Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 30 November 2022), February 1753, trial of Ann, the wife of John Stevenson (t17530221-41).

Ann Stevenson, Theft > theft from a specified place, 21st February 1753.

151 (M.) Ann, the wife of John Stevenson , was indicted for stealing two gold rings, value 20 s. 3 pieces of gold, value 3 l. 11 guineas, and 3 l. in money, the property of Thomas Hankin , in the dwelling-house of the said Thomas , June 6 . ++

Thomas Hankin . The prisoner came to my house about a week before Christmas, with James Bailey and John Stevenson , whom she call'd her husband, I keep the Black Boy in St. Catherine's-lane ; after they had drank some time, Bailey came out, and asked me to let Mr. Stevenson and his wife lie at my house. I asked him who he was, he said it was a drummer, Bailey was a drummer too; (I knew him before) I asked him if they were man and wife, he said they were, and swore to it; then I said they might lay there, then she in the morning desired they might lie there another night, she continued at our house till she was taken up, which was on the 16th of January, for stealing ten guineas in gold, and two half guineas, about fifty shillings in silver, three other old pieces of gold, I can't tell the coin, and two gold rings; on the Saturday I had paid my wine merchant, and on the Sunday I was ill, so did not go to my buroe till the Tuesday following; then I found the lock picked, the inward lock was forced open, I went into the bar room where the eleven guineas were, and about 50 s. in silver, I found the drawer out of its place, there was a little box where my wife had three antique pieces of gold, and the two gold rings, one of them was my wife's mother's.

Q. What were they worth ?

Hankin. I believe they might be worth 3 l. I spoke to my wife about it, she said she knew nothing of it, I always carried the key in my pocket, the reason that I charged the prisoner was, I have witness that saw her at my buroe, I took her before a justice of peace, she would not own any thing. There were nothing found upon her, I had never a lodger at my house when my things were taken away.

Q. Where did this buroe stand?

Hankin. In a back parlour. I went to her in New-Prison, and asked her how she could serve me so to ruin me thus; the answer was, I can't bear to hear you talk of ruin, if you will have patience till my father comes up, all shall be made up; she told me she had a cozen on the other side of the water, if I'd go and fetch him, she would down of her knees to me, and say something that shall give you both satisfaction.

William Lanch . I drink at the prosecutor's house often, on the 15th of January, at half an hour after ten in the morning, I was at breakfast in the opposite house to his back parlour, I saw the prisoner in the back parlour, and presently I saw her at his buroe with the front of it down, the back parlour is behind the bar: there is a long room between the front room where people drink, and the back parlour. I saw her pull out of the buroe, one or two of the drawers, where I was I could see every corner of the room she was in, there is no blinds to the windows, I did not acquaint any body with this, till I heard Mr. Hankin was robbed; she went out that day and back again in about an hour, and after that out and in again, all after this affair.

Q. Where was you when you saw her at the buroe, on the ground floor or up one pair of stairs ?

Lanch . I was on the ground floor.

Q. Had she liberty to go into that room?

Lanch . She had into every room of the house .

Q. Was there windows to the house you was in?

Lanch . There are, but they were open.

Elizabeth Chanteril . I live in the house the last witness mentioned ; on the 15th of January, about half an hour after 10 in the morning, this young man was at breakfast ; he said there is the drummer's wife in the parlour, at Hankin's buroe: I looked, and saw her with one hand upon the drawer, and a drawer about half way out . I saw her take nothing out; but the flap was down: she was searched in mr. Hankin's parlour by her own desire, on the 16th in the evening; she and I had some talk together, I said, I'll shew you the posture you stood in. I went to the buroe and stood so; on which she owned she had been there, putting up a piece of pig: she acknowledged before the justice, upon my repeating the same she did stand so, but took nothing out of the buroe.

Ruth Simons . The prisoner lodged with me about two months, on the 16th of January she came to bring me some work to do, she had two gold rings on, one upon her wedding finger, and another on her fore finger, she told me she had met with a little confusion, she had been to Jack Stevens 's mother, who had given her one of the rings, she pulled it off her finger, and told me it was a remarkable ring, with a hand in hand on it, I did not observe that.

John Blockhart . I was at Mr. Hankin's house when the prisoner was taken into custody; she was searched there, and she had 3 s. and 6 d. and some half-pence: we took her to the watch-house, and as she was sitting in the constable's chair her apron fell down and a piece of money fell down, by the sound and sight of it, it appeared to be a guinea. She sent out for a halfpenny-worth of prunes, and sent half a guinea to change; which is all I know.

James Tabley . I took the prisoner up with a warrant; she was willing to be searched, and we found 3 s. 6 d. and some half-pence; she said she had no more money, either gold or silver: she said, if I would withdraw, she was willing to be searched by woman as far as they pleased.

Prisoner's Defence.

I am quite innocent of this affair, the prosecutor's wife sent me for two tea cups from off the buroe, I went and carried them to her, I was no longer there then while I took them down.

For the Prisoner.

Margaret Chambers . I have known the prisoner at the bar five months, she was three weeks in my house as my acquaintance, she had an opportunity of defrauding me, had she been so minded.

Joseph Plastow . I never heard any thing amiss of her before.

Edward Grace . I have known her from last summer, when she first came to London. I heard the prosecutor say, after he came from the justice, be it right or wrong madam shall go to pot. Master and I went to look through that window, to see how it was, and we concluded it impossible to see, as has been here mentioned.

Q. What time of the day did you go to look through that window?

Grace. It was about three o'clock in the afternoon.

George Vaughan . When I heard the prisoner was taken up. I went to the justice's house, but the prisoner was not brought there; he there shewed me the buroe and the place; the witness out of a pork-shop saw her at the buroe; then the sun shone, it was about three o'clock; but I think nobody could distinguish a person at that buroe from that place. I heard the prosecutor say then, he'd hang her right or wrong.

John Callison . I heard the prosecutor say that the prisoner should go to pot right or wrong.

Acquitted .