Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 December 2023), April 1759, trial of Catharine Knowland , otherwise Noland (t17590425-24).

Catharine Knowland, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 25th April 1759.

168. (M.) Catharine Knowland , otherwise Noland , spinster , was indicted for that she on the King's high-way, on Richard Ireland did make an assault, putting him in corporal fear and danger of his life, and taking from his person one silver watch, value 40 s. his property, and against his will , April 16 . +

Richard Ireland . On the 16th of this instant April, between the hours of 12 and 1 at night being Easter-Monday, I was coming home.

Q. Where do you live?

Ireland. I live in Wild-street, at the Black-Lyon; I am a lodger.

Q. Where had you been?

Ireland. I had been at the White-Horse in White-Horse-Yard: it being holyday time I staid out longer than I lik'd to do. As I came by the corner of Russel-court into Drury-lane , a woman came up and stopp'd me.

Q. What did she say to you?

Ireland. She bid me stop, and asked me where I was going; I said, what is that to you; she took hold on the skirt of my coat, and catch'd hold of my watch and pull'd it from my pocket; I made a struggle with her; then up came a man and said, You scoundrel dog, what business have you with my wife, and down he knock'd me; I was sensible and got up directly and pursued her.

Q. Who was that person?

Ireland. The man I will not swear too, I know the prisoner is the woman.

Q. How do you know she is the same person?

Ireland. Because I had seen her several times before this time.

Q. Where?

Ireland. In Drury-lane, and at several courts there.

Q. Did you see her that night so as to be sure?

Ireland. I saw her particularly that night, and was sure she was the same person that I had formerly seen; I held her 'till I certainly knew her.

Q. Was it light or dark?

Ireland. It was not dark, it was near lamps, and to the best of my knowledge and judgment the Moon shone that night.

Q. Did you know any thing of her before?

Ireland. I never drank with her, or was in a house with her before; I have heard say she kept men company, and the like.

Q. What condition was you in?

Ireland. I cannot deny but that I had been drinking, but not so, but that I knew any thing that was sufficient to know; I was not in liquor any more than I am now; I had not drank enough to hurt myself in my senses.

Q. When was she taken up?

Ireland. I took her up on the next morning; she and a man were in bed together; I would not swear to the man, so he was discharged.

Q. Did you know where her lodgings were?

Ireland. I did not: but by searching with the constable I found her.

Cross Examination.

Q. What are you?

Ireland. I am a Taylor .

Q. Was you so much in liquor that you could not distinguish one person from another?

Ireland. I could distinguish persons very well.

Q. Do you know one Bridget Stand ?

Ireland. No.

Q. Did not you charge her that very night with this robbery?

Ireland. No.

Q. What did you do with yourself that night?

Ireland. I went home to my master's, and knock'd at the door, and could not be let in.

Q. Do you know one Catharine Riley ?

Ireland. No, I do not.

Q. Was you not at her house?

Ireland. No, I never was to my knowledge, I don't know her.

Prisoner's Defence.

I never saw that man in my life 'till he took me up in my lodgings; the constable owed me a spight, and said, he would be even with me.

The witnesses for the prisoner were examined apart.

James Cannon . I am a Shoemaker.

Q. Where do you live?

Cannon. I live in Vinegar-Yard.

Q. What country man?

Cannon. I am an Irishman.

Q. Do you know any thing of this affair?

Cannon. I do: I was coming home on Monday night pretty late, I went into Mrs Riley's and call'd for a pint of beer.

Q. Who is Mrs Riley?

Cannon. She keeps the Plough in Drury-lane; as soon as I sat down, there was a woman brought in by two soldiers, and accus'd by them for a watch; when I heard that, I drank my beer and went out; and went to a Night-Cellar to get another pint of beer, and then this gentleman came in with his face all scratched, and three patches upon it.

Q. Came in where?

Cannon. Into that Night-House.

Q. Was you sober?

Cannon. I was very sober.

Q. What business had you out at that time of the night?

Cannon. My wife was in Brownlow-street, at a Lying-in Hospital, and if she had been at home perhaps I should have come home sooner; but as she did not, I had not so great a call to come home that night as another.

Q. What did you go there for?

Cannon. Because I saw a woman was charg'd with a watch by two soldiers; I was willing to get out of the other house.

Q. Why did you go into the cellar?

Cannon. Why to please your lordship to get another pint of beer.

Q. Do you know the prosecutor?

Cannon. I know him very well.

Q. How long have you known him?

Cannon. I never saw him since that night; he told me and all the people in the cellar, he had lost his hat, and his watch, and his money; his face was bloody, scratched, and patched.

Q. Did he charge any body there ?

Cannon. No.

Q. Who did he say robb'd him?

Cannon. He did not say any body.

Q. to Prosecutor. Was you in any cellar that night.

Prosecutor. No, I was not.

Thomas M'Cabe. I am a Farrier by trade.

Q. What countryman?

M'Cabe. I am an Irishman.

Q. What do you know of the matter?

M'Cabe. I have nothing to say, no farther than this, I was really disguised in liquor, and went in at the Plough a publick house.

Q. Who keeps it ?

M'Cabe. Mrs Riley does; I know nothing of the affair.

Q. What time of the night was you there?

M'Cabe. Really I cannot say what time of the night; only I was subpoena'd here, or I had no occasion to come; I know no more than the child unborn.

Q. Was the prosecutor there ?

M'Cabe. No, he was not; I never saw him in my life 'till I saw him here.

Q. Do you know the prisoner?

M'Cabe. I have seen her pass and repass, but know nothing of her.

Catharine Riley . I keep the Plough in Drury-lane; the prosecutor came on Tuesday morning with a search-warrant to search my house.

Q. Did you see him on Monday the 16th, at night.

Riley. No, I did not.

Q. Do you know Bridget Stand ?

Riley. I do. She was brought in by two soldiers, and they said that she had robb'd a man of his hat, money, and watch; and the soldiers said, D - n it, what business have we with her, since the man is gone.

Bridget Stand . I met the prosecutor in the Strand; I was at Mrs Riley's; he came in there, and walk'd about the tap-room; and he took hold of me at the corner of the alley.

Q. When was this?

Stand. This was on Easter-Monday, at night.

Q. Where does Mrs Riley live?

Stand. She keeps the Plough in Drury-lane.

Q. to Riley. Did you see the prosecutor on Monday night.

Riley. I never saw him 'till Tuesday morning.

Q. to Stand. What room did you see the prosecutor in at Mrs Riley's, on Easter-Monday at night.

Stand. He went into the tap-room, and came out again; he accus'd me between two soldiers with this robbery.

Q. Where are the soldiers?

Stand. I don't know; the soldiers said they would not search me because the man was not there?

Q. Where was this?

Stand. This was at Mrs Riley's, at the Plough.

Q. to prosecutor. Did you see this woman at Mrs Riley's door?

Prosecutor. No, I never did.

Q. Was you at Mrs Riley's that night?

Prosecutor. No, I was not: after I was knock'd down, the man got hold of the prisoner and help'd her on as fast as he could, and the people at the Plough accepted of them and shut the door against me; I call'd out, thieves, I had been robb'd; but there was no watch present.

Q. Did you see any soldiers that night?

Prosecutor. No, I did not: I staid 'till an honest man, as I took him to be, came by; and I ask'd him if that was the sign of the Plough; he said it was; I told him my case; he said, he was sorry for me; then I went home and went to the Plough with a search-warrant the next day.

Q. You say it was moon-light, was it not light enough for you to see that was the sign of the Plough?

Prosecutor. I knew it to be the Plough; but I thought if I came upon oath that two people were better than one; I knew it then very well.

Guilty . Death . *

* See her tryed before for robbing Thomas Trevor , in Wich-street, of a 36 s. piece, and 8 shillings, in company with two men; No. 345. in Mr Alderman Dickinson's mayoralty.

The jury declared they did not believe one word Bridget Stand had sworn; she was committed for perjury.