Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 August 2022), July 1744, trial of Sarah Probert , otherwise Mason (t17440728-22).

Sarah Probert, Theft > grand larceny, 28th July 1744.

325. Sarah Probert , otherwise Mason , of St . Paul's Covent-Garden , was indicted for stealing 7 silver tea spoons, value 3 s. 6 d. five towels, value 1 s. two table cloths, value 1 s. a cotton gown, value 2 s. a counterpane, value 1 s. a pair of shoes, value 6 d. and 2 muslin handkerchiefs, value 6 d. the goods of William Vaughan , April 1 .

William Vaughan . On the 30th of March I went down to Deptford to enter on board a ship in the service of the East-India company, and I was informed at Deptford the 2d of April that my house was broke open. When I came home - I live in Hart-street by Covent-Garden Playhouse , I found there had been some strain to take out a bar of the kitchen window. I missed a quantity of coloured shirts, I can't tell how many, seven tea spoons and other things, some are mine and some my mother's. I had a suspicion of one Richard Probert , who I heard had entered into the army, and lived with a woman at one Lewis White 's in Thieving-lane , (whether it was his wife or no I could not tell) I enquired for him by the name of Probert and described him, and they said there was one Mason lodged there that belonged to the army. I heard he had entered into the Duke's regiment, went to the Corporal of the guard at St. James's, and found he was sick in the Infirmary. I had liberty to go up and found him lying in a miserable state of health. I heard there was a woman came to him who called herself his sister, and she was to be there the next day. I waited to see her, and found she was the Prisoner; I enquired at Lewis White's whether they had seen any calico shirts, and in particular, the counterpane: they informed me where the washerwoman lived, I went to her, and she said she had washed such a thing; 'tis an India Pallampore. Upon this information I got a warrant to search Mr. Smith's a Chandler's shop in opposition [opposite] to the Blue Boar's-head in Denmark-court. I searched the house and found 5 towels and a table cloth. I got a warrant to apprehend the Prisoner; the Wednesday following I saw her at Mr. Townsend's she said there her husband (Mr. Probert) as she called him had sold 2 table cloths, some towels and the counterpane to this Mrs. Smith for 13 s. or 13 s. 6 d and she said she had sold the silver spoons herself.

Prisoner. Pray Sir, did I sell the things?

Vaughan. There is evidence that you sold them.

Smith. I bought these things of her and her husband as she calls him, and she said she was offered 11 s. for them at the Star Tavern in the Strand; that her mother bought that counterpane of an upholsterer and gave a guinea for it. I gave them 13 s. for them, and I heard no more of them till Mr. Vaughan came with a warrant.

Elizabeth Bathew . The Prisoner kept a house in Vine Court, I know she had a great many good things; she offered these things to Mrs. Wood at the Star Tavern , and she would give but 11 s. for them, and Mrs. Smith gave her 13 s. - her husband was with her at that time. I have known Mrs. Mason two years, I lodged in her house, and take her to be a very honest person; they then went as man and wife.

Prisoner. Did not you give the money into my husband's own hand?

Smith. I laid the money down upon the table, but cannot tell whether he or she took it.

Mary Margerum . I have known the Prisoner three years and an half, she was a lodger in my house before she was married. I have trusted her fifty times in my house; I have a 100 l. worth of plate in the house - my husband is a poulterer in Leadenhall Market.

Mary Hone . I have known her ever since she was born, and - Butler from eight years of age, and gave her the character of a sober modest young woman . Acquitted .