Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 December 2023), October 1759, trial of Grace Haseldine (t17591024-25).

Grace Haseldine, Theft > grand larceny, 24th October 1759.

326. (M.) Grace Haseldine , widow , was indicted for stealing one silver spoon, value 5 s. the property of Dennis Murphy , Oct. 5 . ||

Elizabeth Murphy . My husband's name is Dennis; we live in Castle-court in the Butcher-row .

Q. Do you know the prisoner?

Murphy. I have known her some time; I believe, about four or five years?

Q. Where does she live.

Murphy. She lives any where were she can. about the fifth of October, I happened to be out when the prisoner came in; I was fetched home; she having asked for me: when I came home, I saw her in my parlour; she told me she was come to drink a dish of tea with me.

Q. Are you any acquaintance of her's?

Murphy. No farther than seeing of her.

Q. Was you never in her company before?

Murphy. Never in my life. I have seen her in the street, and she has come to my father; but I never eat nor drank with her in my life.

Q. Where does your father live?

Murphy. He lives in the Butcher-row.

Q. What did she call upon you for?

Murphy. She called upon me, to ask me how I did.

Q. How does she get her living?

Murphy. I do not know.

Q. Did you ask her to stay to tea?

Murphy. No.

Q. What did the prisoner do?

Murphy. I saw her put her hand into the beaufet and take out a spoon; she put it first under her cloak, and then put it into her pocket.

Q. What did you do, when you saw her take the spoon?

Murphy. Then I desired her to stay.

Q. Did you send for a constable?

Murphy. No, I did not; she went out at the door, and up the court, and I desired Mrs Crookshanks to go after her, that I might have time to fetch my husband, least she should be gone out of sight.

Q. Did you fetch your husband?

Murphy. He came, and ran after her, and Mrs Crookshanks brought her back.

Q. Where was you when she came back?

Murphy. I was in the house then; I then charged her.

Q. What did the prisoner say upon that?

Murphy. She said, D - n me, she would stand search; and asked me, If I thought she had the spoon; I told her, That I knew she had it; we took her to Justice Fielding; the spoon was found in the hands of Mr Gaull; he will give an account how he came by it: she said there, If she was transported, she would have the spoon with her.

Mary Crookshanks . I was asked to drink tea with Mrs Murphy; the prisoner was there when I came into the parlour.

Q. Who else were there?

Crookshanks. There were Mrs Murphy and her aunt; the tea things were set, and tea going to be put into the pot.

Q. Was you invited to drink tea there?

Crookshanks. I went in as usual, and then she asked me, If I would not drink tea; after a little time, Mrs Murphy said, Where is my spoon? I miss it; she said to the prisoner, Have you got it? having been sitting, when I came into the room, by the beaufet, in a low chair, not by the tea-table.

Q. Where was Mrs Murphy at that time she asked for the spoon?

Crookshanks. She was standing up, by the table, and her aunt was putting the tea into the pot, with her back to the beaufet; after that Mrs Murphy said, Haseldine, you shall stay; she answered, She would not; Mrs Murphy said, You shall; for I saw you take my spoon just now, out of the beaufet. Mrs Murphy went to her husband, and I went after the prisoner, and stopped her just by the Black-horse; her husband and another man came after me, and they brought the prisoner back: I first laid my hands on the skirts of her gown, and said, Haseldine, You shall come back.

Q. Did you know her before?

Crookshanks. I did, and Mrs Murphy. I live in the neighbourhood; she once lived servant at the Robin Hood , just by.

Q. Did she ever drink tea at your house?

Crookshanks. No. When Mrs Murphy came up, she d - d and swore that she had not the spoon, and began to strip herself; she was carried to Justice Fielding's; when she was up at the bar, Mr Gaull went up to the prisoner, I saw her put the spoon out of her hand into his hand; then he shewed it directly: then Justice Fielding asked her, If she brought it as a present. She then made him a pretty answer, and a D - n in the bargain.

- Gaull. I am servant to the keeper of New-prison, and attend at Justice Fielding's; I was by when the prisoner was brought up; I was just opening the door in the office, and she came into the passage and put a silver spoon into my hand directly; she had been in New-prison and knew me, and thought she could put confidence in me; I went and told Justice Fielding of it. The spoon produced in court, and deposed to. There are A B and A D upon it. When the prisoner was brought to the bar, she said, She knew nothing of it; I having before told Justice Fielding of it, then I was sworn.

Prisoner's Defence.

I lived some years at the Robin Hood in the Butcher-row; her father and mother did not lie together for four or five years. I was his bedfellow for eight years; his companion in his naked bed. I have witness in court that he once put me for twenty-seven weeks in the Poultry Compter; they said they would either hang or transport me one time or another; that is the way that she came to know me; she has known me this twenty years, as I lived in the neighbourhood; she knows that her father has been the ruin of me; it is nothing but spite; they want me out of the world: I have disgraced all my friends by my own misconduct.

Guilty .