Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 23 May 2019), April 1730, trial of Mary Gardener (t17300408-18).

Mary Gardener, Theft > pocketpicking, 8th April 1730.

Mary Gardener , of St. Peter's Cornhil , was indicted for privately stealing a Watch, Value 4 l. from the Person of William Fan , the 15th of March last.

The Prosecutor depos'd, That as he was passing thro' Peter's-Alley at a little past 11 o'Clock at Night, being come near the Turning, the Prisoner came up to him, and clapp'd one Hand upon his Neck, which while he was endeavouring to put away, he felt her other Hand at his Pocket, and perceiv'd her to draw out his Watch; that she ran away, and he follow'd her out into Grace-Church-Street, and call'd to the Watch, who was then calling past 11 o'Clock, and that the Watchman apprehended her near the Corner of Cornhil. He added, that the Prisoner was not out of his Sight, but just while she turn'd the Corner; that she was carried to the Watch-house on the Change, and was indeed searched there; but the Watch was not found there, being none but Men to search her.

The Prisoner deny'd the Fact, pleaded that she was going along Grace-Church-Street, the Watchman bid her make haste Home, and she stopping a little, he laid hold of her, and she knew nothing of the Watch, nor had ever seen the Prosecutor; that she was carried to the Watch-house and searched 3 times; and the Watch not being found, the Prosecutor swore she had put it into her private Parts, and that he was so drunk he could not speak plain, and had been tumbled all over in the Dirt. - The Prosecutor being ask'd, when he had seen his Watch? Answer'd, he saw it just before, when he came from the Crown Tavern in Smithfield, and was sure No-body had been near him in coming from thence to Peter's-Alley. - The Constable being ask'd, if he was in Drink? Answer'd, he was indeed in Liquor, but not so, but what he said the Night before, he said the same the next Morning, and that there was indeed some Dirt upon his Coat - And the Prosecutor being ask'd, did own, that indeed his Foot had slipt, and he had a Fall. Upon a full hearing of the Matter, the Jury acquitted her.