Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 15 August 2022), February 1753, trial of Sarah Summers John Kite (t17530221-30).

Sarah Summers, John Kite, Theft > housebreaking, Theft > receiving, 21st February 1753.

136, 137. (M.) Sarah Summers , spinster , and John Kite , were indicted, the first for that she, on the 12th of January, the dwelling house of Hugh Field did break and enter, one silver watch, value 3 l. one pair of silver shoe buckles, val. 10 s. two 3 l. 12 s. pieces, three guineas and four shillings in money numbered, the money and goods of Stephen Bass , in the dwelling house did steal ; and the other for receiving the watch knowing it to have been stolen , Jan. 16 . *

Stephen Bass. On the 15th of Jan. I met with a young woman (name Rose Manning) who asked me to give her a pot of beer, so we went into a publick house and I called for a pot of beer, there was another woman (her name was Bess Avery ) in that house, who had some knowledge of me; she said, you are not used to drink beer, let us have a pot of hot, so I called for a pot of hot, and after that for another, till we had five, which I paid for; then they wanted to have another, but I had no more silver, so pulled out my money and changed a guinea. After that we went into another room; then they said they were hungry, so I sent for some victuals and had it or fled ; I sat drinking with those two till about 12 o'clock at night after supper .

Q. What time did you go into that house ?

Bass. About ten in the morning .

Q. Was not you in liquor ?

Bass. I was actually very much in liquor. At the last pot of hot the prisoner (Summers) came in and had part of it. This was about 12 o'clock .

Q. How many pots had you in the whole ?

Bass. I am not able to judge, but believe about 15 or 16.

Q. Were they pints, or quarts ?

Bass. They were quarts. After this it was too late for me to go to my lodgings, so I would go to Rose Manning's bed with her, Hugh Field 's, in Cross-lane .

Q. Where do you lodge?

Bass . I lodge in Bow-street, Bloomsbury, at the house of John Jones . Rose Manning lodges at a lodging-house, and sells fish, oranges, and apples, and is about 20 years of age; we had half a pint of rum; then we went from the Golden Boot, where we had been drinking, to her lodgings.

Q. Who paid for your eating and drinking ?

Bass . I called for all, and paid for all. Rose Manning was so fuddled that the waiter of the publick house was forced to lead her home, and help her up stairs; we had but about 50 yards to walk .

Q. Did you walk without help?

Bass. I did, and insisted upon having a full pot of beer brought, fearing we should be dry in the night, which was brought up by the prisoner Summers . Rose Manning took it of her at the door, then locked the door, and put the key in her pocket.

Q. Are you sure of that?

Bass . I am, my lord, instead of both going into bed we were so much in liquor that we were neither of us able to get into bed, so we lay on the bed with our cloaths on. I awaked in the morning some considerable time before day-light, and awaked her and said we must be very much in liquor to lie in this manner with our cloaths on; I went to undress myself, and missed my silver buckles out of my shoes, then I put my hand to my pockets, and missed my watch and money, which was two thirty-six shilling pieces, three guineas in gold, and four shillings in silver, I undressed myself, and went into bed, and told Rose I had lost my watch, buckles, and money; but said I, we will hope for the better, perhaps Mrs. Scot has taken care of them, seeing me in liquor.

Q. Was not you so drunk, that you did not recollect whether you had all these things at the time you went to bed?

Bass. To be sure, I can't recollect that I had them at that time, I awaked in the morning when it was broad day light, about nine o'clock, I was reaching for the pot of beer, and discovered a large hole in the wall; (the door was then locked and the key in Rose's pocket,) I said, I am afraid, there goes my watch, buckles, and money, through that hole, Mr. Scot's maid came for the empty pot, I called, and bid her ask her Mistress, whether she had got these things I had missed ; she went and brought word her mistress knew nothing of them.

Q. Might not that hole have been there over night, and you not observe it?

Bass. The waistcoat and shift was pushed quite into the middle of the room, and lay on the floor, I could not go, without going over it, had it been so over night, I am certain I must have known it, besides I was in that room the day before, it was not so then, I got up and went to the Golden-Boot again, there was the prisoner Summers and Bess Avery .

Q. Had you been acquainted with the prisoner before?

Bass. No, I never saw her before that night, I had them both taken into custody, and took them before justice Fielding, there were nothing found upon them, so he discharged them, this was on the 13th, on the 16th Summers was committed to the Gatehouse, I having intelligence that she had my buckles, I went to her on the Sunday after, there was the other prisoner along with her confin'd; I asked her whether there were any seals hanging to my watch, she said there were two, and that Bess Avery and she together, robbed me of my watch, money, and buckles; that Bess Avery , first of all, pull'd some of the plaster away from the laths; then they broke the laths, then they put their feet against the wainscot, and burst it through, into the room; that the first that went in, was Bess Avary and she, after that they were both in the room together, Bess first took the buckles out of my shoes, and gave them to her to see whether they were silver or not, that there was a candle burning in the room at the time, and Bess bid her put it out, then she gave her the watch, after that two guineas, one thirty-six shilling piece, two shillings in silver, and four six-pences; then they both went out of the room; that they put the two guineas, the 36 s. piece, and the watch in an old cap, and buried them in a dunghill .

Q. Was any body by at this confession?

Bass. Nobody but myself .

Q. Was you sober when she confessed this, for you began to drink hopor early in the morning?

Bass. I was; this she did voluntarily and freely; she said, I am a dead woman, and desire you'll ask Mrs. Scot to send me a book.

Q. What are you ?

Bass. I am a man and deal in old cloaths.

Q. Was not Bess Avery as drunk as you and Summers that night?

Bass. She was very drunk, but Summers was not as I saw.

Q. Did not you make the prisoner (Summers) a promise previous to this confession?

Bass. I made her no promise at all.

Q. Did Summers lodge in Field's house?

Bass. She did, and Bess Avery too.

Q. What have you to say against Kite?

Bass. Kite confessed he had the watch in his pocket to me in the Gatehouse.

Q. What day was this confession made?

Bass . I don't know the day of the month, but it was the day that the king went to the parliament house. Kite said he went to look for Jemmy the Jew; then he went back to Summers, and took her into Whitecross street to the Pyed Bull ; there Jemmy the Jew took the watch and sold it, and brought them the money, which was 25 s. and out of gratuity she returned him 2 s. for selling it, and that he believ'd it was sold in Dick Swift 's house.

Summers . Bess Avery and the prosecutor have been together ever since.

Q. Has Bess Avery been in your company since?

Bass. She has been at Mrs. Scot's when I have been there; I think I have seen her once or twice since .

Summers . He gave me a surety, under his hand writing, that he would not hurt me, if I would confess.

Bass. I did not, I only gave her a direction where to find me, for she had told me my lord Carpenter's steward would be glad to see me.

Q. What did you think he wanted with you?

Bass. I suppose he wanted me to compound it, but I never said I would.

Ann Gold . On the 16th of January, Summers gave the silver buckles to keep for her. (Produced in court and deposed to by the prosecutor.) She desired me to give her mine in the room.

Thomas Reynolds . Ann Gold is my servant, I am a carpenter, and live in Black Boy Alley, she delivered these buckles to me, about the 15th or 16th of January.

Matthias Chambers . I heard a milk boy say to Mrs. Scot, he saw Summers in Bridge Street, she had got new cloaths, new hat, new ribbons, and a large pair of silver buckles in her sh, upon which we went in pursuit of her, we found her in Black Boy-Alley she was committed, I went to New-Prison to her afterwards, and heard her confess the same as mentioned by the prosecutor, about breaking the wall, and taking the things in every particular, and selling the watch in Old Street, for twenty-five shillings.

Summer's Defence.

There were a great many people came to see me and said he'd make it up if I would offer him 20 l. if not, he'd get the reward money and hang me.

Kite had nothing to say.

Summers guilty of felony, but acquitted of the burglary .

Kite acquitted .

[Transportation. See summary.]