Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 10 December 2022), July 1771, trial of John Holland William Green Mary Chymist Ann Pennick (t17710703-62).

John Holland, William Green, Mary Chymist, Ann Pennick, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > receiving, Theft > receiving, 3rd July 1771.

502, 503, 504, 505. (L.) John Holland , William Green , Mary Chymist , and Ann Pennick were indicted, the first for stealing a wooden box, value 3 s. a linen wrapper, value 1 s. a thread laced hood, value 18 s. a yard and half of point lace, value 4 l. a pair of tripple point laced ruffles, value 30 l. a point laced tipped, value 6 l. one pair of point laced lappets, value 6 l. a point laced cap, value 3 l. one linen worked apron, value 4 l. a linen apron edged with thread lace, value 20 s. two pair of lined worked ruffles, value 5 l. a pair of linen ruffles, edged with thread lace, value 18 s. four pair of thread laced ruffles, value 12 l. four pair of thread laced ruffles, value 40 s. three blond laced caps, value 3 l. one black laced tippet, value 20 s. and one artificial rose, value 3 s. the property of John Leake , Esq ; and a Dresden handkerchief, value 3 l. the property of Sarah Leake , widow. Green and Chymist for receiving the box and wrapper , and Pennick for receiving a yard and half of point lace, value 4 l. being parcels of the said goods well knowing them to have been stolen , June 5 . ++

Mrs. Leake. I was going by the Stage-coach into Norfolk, on June 5, between eleven and twelve o'clock, and took a hackney-coach; I took a parcel of boxes and other things in the coach with me, the box containing the things mentioned in the indictment, I had packed up myself, and afterwards sowed it up in a wrapper. I had given it to my maid to put into the coach, after I understood from my maid that she had put it into the coach, I saw it in the boot; in order to be more certain about it, I spoke to the coachman to know if he was sure he had the box; he said he had, and gave me the dimensions of it with his whip, to assure me he had it; at the very instant almost he turned round and swore that the box was gone. I know nothing of the persons who took it.

(Several of the articles produced and deposed to by Mrs. Leake.)

Q. Is the coachman here?

Mrs. Leake. No, we could not get him to come.

John Strutton . I am acquainted with all the prisoners; the four prisoners and I lodged in the same house in Hatchet Alley, Chick Lane; they lodged up one pair of stairs, I upon the ground floor; Holland and Green lived with Howell and Chymist; Holland knocked at the door between twelve and one at night; I was lying upon the bed dressed, a woman that lives with reopened the door, I saw Holland come in with something upon his shoulder; I did not know then that it was a box; I concluded it was from what happened afterwards; it appeared then like a sack. Holland went into the one pair of stairs room where Mary Chymist was at that time in bed; he staid there about a quarter of an hour, then he came down stairs with a candle, he had not set down the candle before Green came in; Holland said to Green, Sophia, that was a cant name he went by, I have touched a box of lace in a coach, the lace I warrant will be worth to us twenty guineas; if we had the worth of it, it is worth one hundred. Sarah Howell (who is not taken) came in then, they all went immediately up stairs, and I heard no more conversation. The next morning Green and Holland went out and staid about a quarter of an hour; afterwards Chymist called up the other women, Ann Pennick lay that night in another bed in the room where I lay below stairs, she did not use to lie there in general, she only lay there that night. In about an hour after, Holland, Green, and another man came in, Ann Pennick came in just before them in a slurry, and sat down on the bed in the lower room, and then the men went up stairs. Ann Pennick said, that is Aaron the Jew: they were up stairs about half an hour; then the Jew came down with the bird eye handkerchief under his arm full of something, and went away; the other men came down at the same time, but did not go out immediately, but came into my room on the ground floor. Holland had the bottom part of a wooden box covered with paper, and a piece of lace in his hand, and an artificial rose, which he put upon the table near where Sarah Howell was sitting by the fire, and gave the piece of lace and the rose to Sarah Howell ; she said, the lace was not enough to go round her cap; they immediately began to pull the box to pieces, and stripping the paper off from the wood, and went to burning the box as fast as they could. Green afterwards threw something which appeared to be brown, a kind of sacking, like a fine hop bag, (and which I suppose was the cover this box was wrapped up in when it was brought into the house by Holland) down the necessary; the rose was burnt the next day by Green. After Sir John Fielding 's people had been to search the house, he took it from Howell, thrust it between the bars, and burnt it. This piece of wood I took out of the fire, with the hinge (producing a bit of a wooden box, covered with paper, with a hinge to it.)

Mrs. Leake. I can venture to swear that this is part of my box.

Court. I observe the paper on one side of the box is of a deeper colour than the other

Mrs. Leake. It was so at first.

Cross Examination.

Q. How came you not to discover to Sir John Fielding 's people, the first time they came, what you had seen and heard?

Strutton. I did not know, at that time, that they were come there about these particular things, therefore I did not say any thing about them.

John Seabrooke . I am servant to Mr. Bruin, who is a pawnbroker, and lives on Snow-hill.

This yard and half of point lace (producing it) was offered to me by Pennick, on the seventh of June, in the evening: I asked her whose it was; she said it was Lady Hall's. I stopped it; neither Lady Hall nor she came any more. I had a hand-bill afterwards; I found the description answered; I carried the lace to Sir John Fielding 's, and told him what had happened. I went to Mr. Leake's, to shew him the lace; I told him who I had it of; we went to Chick-lane; Pennick met us, and asked if we wanted her. I said, we wanted her, about the lace I had of her; she said, she was willing to go to Sir John's; she went with us, and was committed.

Robert Coben . I am a pawnbroker, and live in Tothil-street. This (producing half of a Dresden handkerchief) was brought to me by Sarah Howell ; and this (producing a net laced hood) was brought by one Salters.

Mrs. Leake. This handkerchief is my mother's; It was in the box.

Holland's Defence.

I did not lie in the house that night; I laid on the other side of Tower-hill. I came home the next morning; two gentlemen were at the door; they said they had lost some money. John Strutton said, I have a guinea and a half in my shoe; the girls have touched me. I asked him to lend me a shilling or two till the Monday following, when I got into work.

Green's Defence.

I never was in the house; I did not know them till I was in prison. Strutton swears false for the sake of ten guineas. I am an apprentice to one Mr. Thorpe, an ironmonger, in Old-street.

Chymist's Defence.

I never saw any thing of it; it is a common lodging house, free for any girl, a disorderly house; there was a man robbed, the same night, of two guineas. I know nothing of the prisoners.

Pennick's Defence.

Sarah Howell came into a public house where I was; I had known her some time; she desired me to pawn the bit of lace; she said, a gentleman had made her a present of it to put upon a cap. I went to this gentleman's house on Snow-hill.

Ann Pennick called two women, who gave her a good character.

Holland guilty , T .

Green guilty , T. 14 .

Chymist acquitted .

Pinnick guilty , T. 14 .