Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 May 2022), October 1679 (16791015).

Old Bailey Proceedings, 15th October 1679.

THE TRUE NARRATIVE OF The Sessions Begun at the OLD BAYLEY On Wednesday the Fifteenth of October, 1679.

Giving an Account of the PROCEEDINGS against the Westminster-Scholars, and Three Persons found Guilty of killing a Bailiff there.

The Tryal of Three other Persons likewise found Guilty of Murdering another Bailiff to Dutchy-Lane.

The Tryals of Three Persons Condemned for Robbery on the High-way; And of a Woman Convicted of High-Treason, and to be burnt to Death for Clipping of Money.


All other Remarkable Passages there happening: The Number and Names of all the several Persons Condemned, and their respective Offences; As also those that were Burnt in the Hand, or are to be Whipt, or Transported.

ONe of the first and most material Tryals on Wednesday, was of a woman lately dwelling in the Parish of St. Giles, Crippel-gate . For high Treason, for Clipping of Money , she liv'd amongst her Neighbours in very good Equipage; and was accounted Rich, but it appears she got her Money by very base practises, making it her Trade to Buy stolen Plate, which having a considerable Stock she would keep a great while by her, till all remembrance or inquiry after it was over, and then make Money of it, to this purpose she held correspondence with the most noted Theives, amongst whom one having a long time been eminent both for House-robbing, and Exploits on the Highway, being now reclaimed and allowed his Pardon, that he might discover the rest of his Gang, did now come to give Evidence against her, and swore that one time going to sell a parcel of stolen Plate, being well acquainted with her Habitation, he went up staires, and opened a door so suddenly that he surprized her in the very act of Clipping a Shilling, holding it in the Sizzars in her hand, and just before her, a large parcel of Clippings, but he then spoke nothing to her of it at that time, but only blush'd and presently removed the Clippings, and so fell to bargaining with him for his Plate. And when he first discovered her, Captain Richardson and other officers going to apprehend her, took her with 27 shillings in her hand, just newly Clipt; which she endeavoured to shuffle away. They also found several large parcels of Plate that had lately been stolen from several Persons of quality, and of which Publique notice had been given, a stolen Diamond Ring on her Finger, a parcel of melted Silver, and a Book of Receipts, whereby it appeared what Vast quantities of Plate had passed through her hands, Besides there was found in her possession, about 300 pound in Silver, which the Witnesses testified was all their Money; and generally the largest for such a quantity that ever they saw. The Prisoner was or at least pretended to be very Deaf, and therefore was brought from the Barr into Court, the better to hear what was proved against her, which she had fitter material to alleadge, but only denied the crime: confessing that she did indeed buy Plate, but knew nothing that it was stolen; and that the Witnesses swore against her, to save his own Life and merit his Pardon. But the other circumstances being so apparent the Jury could not but find her Guilty .

[Death. See summary.]

The next seemed to be an object of Compassion to most People present, a poor young Wench lodging about Thames street, betrayed (as she alleadged by a promise of Marriage and getting her with Child, which being perceived by the Woman that she lodged with, to whom she confessed the truth thereof, just when she came to fall in Labour about 9 or 10 a Clock in the Night, this etous woman, fearing some charge or trouble might happen to her, who had entertain'd her, cruelly turned her out of doors, and set her in another Parish, and there left her in pains, telling her that now the said Parish were bound to provide for her. In this sad condition in the street, and without any help was this poor Creature delivered, and being found lying as one half dead by the watch, and her condition perceived; a midwife was called, who found the Child dead, but not separated from her Body , when she came to her; who asking her if it were still-born, the Prisoner both then and now said, it was not, for she heard it, cry, but denied that she intended or used any wilful means to make away the Life of it nor did there any signs of Violence appear save only some little spots or marks of a Bruse or Pinch on the Throat, which some conceive might be occasion'd Involuntarily in struggling to Promote its Birth; by an ignorant Woman in her circumstances: however being a Bastard Child, and the law makeing it death in that case for any woman to be delivered alone without calling help, she was thereupon found Guilty .

[Death. See summary.]

A Woman and 4 men were indicted for murdering a Baly in the Dutchy Lane in the Strand , the Balies came legally with an Execution to seize her goods, for 22. pounds haveing a writ out of the Each q ; which runs as well within liberties as without: however in civility they acquainted the particular Baliff of the Dutchy therewith; and had his consent, and also had a Constable to keep the peace; so they quietly entered the House, and the Woman now Prisoner, promised them so fairly their Money, that they verily believed her; but instead thereof she privately went forth and got together several Souldiers out of the Savoy and other Rabbels, which Violently entred the house wounded the Beadel attending the Constable, and barbarously beat out one of the Bailes Brains: and forced the rest to get away for the preservation of their Lives she encouageing them to come on, and telling them there was no Constable there, but they were rogues got into her house, &c. As to two of the Prisoners there being no direct proof, they were acquitted , the other two were met coming from the Wounded Man and heard boast that they had done the Rogues business, whereupon several honest Shop keepers endeavouring to apprehend them, they made great resistance, and many Swords were drawn, but at last they were mastered, and now the two and the said Woman that first occasioned all this tumult, upon a full Examination of all circumstances, were found Guilty of the Murder.

[Death. See summary.]

The same day a man was found guilty of stealing an Horse , though the person that lost it, was as favourable to him as possible he could in his expressions, there were likewise three found guilty for Robberies, committed on the High-way , which rendered them considerable, though the booty they met with was not great.

On Thursday, several very young Gentlemen Schollars of Westminster-School were brought into Court, concerning the killing of a Bailiff , that came to serve an Execution near the same School , where common Fame and Rumour has long talked that there was appriviledge that no Baily should enter, and most certain it is, that the Schollars at divers times, have endeavoured to keep out or Expel any such Officers, but this was rather by might than right, nor can it be imagined that there should be any priviledge in the World to commit Murder and re st the Law, however in regard of their Youth, and the unusual circumstances, his Majesty had been pleased to grant Eight of them his Gracious Pardon , which they submissively pleaded, and obtained to be allowed of by the Court, three others of them took their Tryals, and though the evidence seem'd to charge them all three to have been present at the Riot, yet there was Testimony beyond all exceptation, that one of them was not so much as in Town that day, but in the Country, with his Master the reverend Doctor Busby, Master of that Famous School, in whose absence this accident happening, nor could there direct proof be made against the other Two, that they were any actually concerned, but rather likewise absent, so that they were all three acquitted . But two Women , of whom one first called the Schollars to this Execution and o her invited them through her House, that they might the better come to assault the House, wherein the Boy was and also a Man that appear very a t to animate the Lads on to the Mischief, were found Guilty .

An Old Thief , tryed but the other sessions, being got out of custody, hired her self to a Citizen in Bow-Lane , but the every first day she came, in the Evening, Robbed them of great quantity of Cloaths and Linnen , the matter was fully proved, and she found Guilty .

Most Violent presumptions if we not say sufficient proof, were made against a person for counterfeiting of Money , several naughty half Crowns that he expo d, being shewn in Court, but the Jury upon weighing all circumstances, thought fit to acquit him.

An arch Slut , having a mind to Rob her Aunt , drew in a young wench to assist her, and takeing an opportunity when all the People, were out of the House stole away divers Cloaths , but the Jury in favour, valued them but at 8 Shillings , so they are both to be Whipt .

One French, a very lusty fellow , and notorious Padder, charged with two Indictments, one for Robbing a Gentel-man of 30 Shillings and other things on the Road , and another for stealing a Horse pleaded guilty to both.

One Richard Wood , was most maliciously prosecuted for the like offence of Robbing a man at Noon-day, on Tower Hill of 7 Shillings and a sack and a shovel &c but upon Examination, it appeared the prosecutor and he and some others working together, the prosecutor was got Drunk, and tumbled up and down the and spent or lost his money, and his Sack &c. were taken up in the by the Watch so that there being no colour of crime in the prisoner he was acquitted , and his Adversary severly check'd for such a Base prosecution.

One Thomas Hudson was found Guilty of High-Treason for Clipping of money having often offered pieces notably circumcised at an Ale house, and desired to buy Ginnies, offered 22s. d a piece, yet confessed he must change them again for Silver, and would rather give some advantage for broad Silver, particularly going into the Yard one day, and staying long there, a Woman belonging to the house, went to look after him, and peping in at the House of Office, saw him at work, a Clipping of Shillings, with a Pair of Sizzars, and then rubbing them over with a stone &c. He had also declared that he could take off 3d. from a Shilling, and yet it should go never the worse. He endeavoured to suggest, that there was some malice in one of the evidence against him, but could not make it out, and so was convicted .

Two other both Jersy men , were arraigned not for Clipping, but a more secret and dangerous Art, (viz) washing, and by that means lessening of Coyn , whereby a Shilling was reduced to be worth not above a 4 pence and an half Crown not 20 pence, of these there were several pieces offered to be put off by one of the persons produced in Court, and divers Glasses of Aqua Fortis, wherewith 'twas suppos'd he did the Feat, but he pretending he took the said light Money, and that the Aqua Fortis, was used by him in a Trick, or Invention he said, to turn Red, Brown or indeed any colourd Hair, into bright Flaxen, and no home evidence coming in against the other, they were both acquitted .

There was a long Tryal likewise concerning the stealing of several Bottels of a medicine called Elixar Vite from one Salvator Winter a very ancient Itallian Gentel man , who has long professed Physick in this Kingdom, his man was indicted for it, and the things found lockt up in his Trunk but he alleadged that they were put in there by another nearly related to the Doctor , without his, the said prisoners privity, and brought several witnesses that made the same credible, whereupon he was acquitted .

Two Indictments were preferred against one Mr. Valenciens , an out landishmant, for supposed Rapes committed on two several Young Women , both the Daughters of a Scotch-man, one was said to be done at Whitsuntide last , and the other 6 Weeks ago , the 2 Girl s pretended abundance of modesty in giving their evidence, yet in fine, each of them down right swore the matter of Fact but the same was attended with many improbable and suspicious circumstances, the first never complain'd from Whitsuntide till about 3 Weeks ago, and then both a midwife affirm'd and she confess'd she beleiv'd she was with Child on the Ravishment, and the later concealed it 6 Weeks, and then disclosed it rather on her Mothers Importunity, than her own Inclimation, besides divers other particulars prov'd some contradictory to their evidence, others seeming as if they had been Tutor'd, to say and swear what they did, so that upon the whole matter it was generally look'd upon as a design to get Money, and that the Prisoner was much wronged by such an odious Accusation, and therefore was fairly Acquitted on both Indictments.

Then two persons were Arraigned for Horse stealing , one of them discovered by an Honest Hostler, which we mention for the honour and Encouragement of men of that profession, he having great commendations from the Court for such his faithful service.

There were in all, no less than one and thirty person, that at this Sessions received sentence of Death, on Saturday the 18 of October. That is to say.

Three for Treason, in Clipping and diminishing of Money, (viz.) Christian Woodward, sentenced to be Burnt. Steven Push -north, and Thomas Hudson , to be drawn and Hang'd .

Seven for Murdering, (viz.) Joan Blackwell , for killing her Bastard Child.

John Twogood , Richard Hammond , and Ann Wing feild, for murdering the Bailiff in Dutchy-Lane.

Richard Taylor , Mary Bishop , and Elizabeth Eosstock, for murdering the Bailiff at Westminster.

Four for Robbing on the High-way, (viz) Thomas French , John Hurst , Morrice Hunt , and Joseph Hunt .

Eight for Burghlary, and House breaking, (viz.) Edward Jarvis , John Weal , John Martin , Charles Michener , Isaac whitacre , Thomasin Moor , James Marmaluke , and Charles Pain .

Three for Horse stealing (viz.) Thomas Beecham , Richard Good , and George Butler .

The other six were for other Felonies, but Old and Incorrigible offenders, that had been Burnt in the hand, or Pardoned &c. and would take no Warning their Names were, Susan Smith , Jane Mood , Susan Hollis , Hannah Andrews , Elizabeth and Alice Skip .

There were likewise, to Burnt in the hand, and 7 or 8 ordered to be whipt, and so ended this most remarkable Sessions.