Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 September 2023), September 1766, trial of Elizabeth, wife of John Chatfield (t17660903-60).

Elizabeth Chatfield, Theft > theft from a specified place, 3rd September 1766.

458. (M) Elizabeth, wife of John Chatfield , was indicted for stealing one pair of linen sheets, value 4 s. one stuff curtain, value 1 s. three flat irons, one iron poker, one pair of iron tongs, one iron fire-shovel, one copper quart pot, one pewter bason, and one iron trevet, the property of John Vaughan , in a certain lodging-room left by contract , &c. April 15 . *

John Vaughan . The prisoner is a married woman; she and her husband lodged at my house between two and three years; after her husband left her, and was gone away. I left her a room of a lesser rent; she worked for an upholsterer in Clerkenwell at 7 s. a week; her husband has left her about two years: I lost nothing while he was with her: on the 15th of April she went off, and took the key with her, and the things mentioned in the indictment were missing; she returned the 19th of August; I charged her with taking the things; she told me, if I would not punish her, she would punish me for scandalizing her; I took her before the Justice; she confessed voluntarily to taking all the things; we have found all again but the sheets and curtain.

Prisoner's defence.

Mr. Vaughan promised me, if I had any body that would join in a note to pay a shilling a week, he would make a debt of it. I did not take them in order to steal them, it was upon an emergency.

Mr. Godfrey. I am foreman to Mess. Mallet and Gomm, upholsterers; I have known the prisoner between fourteen and fifteen years; she worked there some years; we have often things of value lying about, we never missed any thing; she is the last person I should have mistrusted; was she to find favour, I believe she might come to work with us again.

Dennis Mullen . I have known her about seven years; she has worked for Mess. May and Eades in the upholstery way; she behaved very sober and well, both there and in several other places.

Acquitted .