Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 24 February 2018), April 1765, trial of Eleanor Johnson (t17650417-49).

Eleanor Johnson, Theft > grand larceny, 17th April 1765.

269. (M.) Eleanor Johnson , spinster , was indicted for stealing two guineas, two half guineas, and three shillings in money, numbered , the property of John Pursey , April 8 . ++

John Pursey . I keep a public house in Red-lion-street, Holbourn : the prisoner was my servant ; she lived with me near two months; one night my wife called to me to know if I had had any money of her within a few days; we could not recollect either she or I had paid away any: she was certain there was money missing out of the box. About two hours after she went up into the prisoner's room, and came down, and said she had found the thief; she shewed me a housewife, in which there were two guineas and two half guineas; one of the half guineas was a very remarkable one, which I remember taking. As Mr. Clay was a neighbour, we sent for him; he took the girl into a private room, and examined her; he soon called me in, and said, the girl has acknowledged she had nothing in her box but a few halfpence; but afterwards she acknowledged she came out of her room into your wife's room, and took two guineas and two half guineas, and that she had robbed the till at different times, of about three or four shillings and a few halfpence. This was at night between nine and ten o'clock.

Elizabeth Pursey . I miss'd my money about four o'clock; then I went up into the girl's room, and found this housewife in her box; there were two guineas and two half guineas in it.

Q. Was her box locked?

E. Pursey. I don't know whether it was or not in my fright. (The money produced in court, one half, guinea very remarkable one).

M. Clay. I was sent for to the prosecutor's house a little before ten o'clock: I first asked the prisoner if she knew, of her master's being robb'd she said she had heard something of it; I asked her what money she had about her? she said, she had none. I asked her what money she had up stairs? she said she had none. I said, Have you neither silver nor halfpence up stairs? she said, No. I desired her to consider the consequence, if she denied it; and it afterwards came out to be true. She said she had no money at all, except nine-pence, that was given her at divers times in halfpence. I told her it was entirely false what she had said, therefore I could not believe her any longer. I then produced this pocket with these halfpence in it. Then I produced this gold, and said, This was taken out of your pocket, how can you deny it? she then said she took it out of her mistress's pocket up stairs, after her master had got up to brew. I asked her how she came by the halfpence? she said there was a sixpence among it was her own, which I gave her; but the rest of the halfpence, she said, she had taken out of the till last week. After that she was charged with the same at Hick's Hall; there she also acknowledged it. I never heard any thing amiss of her before. She was brought up at a charity-school in our parish. I have known her from a child: she is 17 years of age.

The prisoner said nothing in her defence.

Guilty . T .