Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 06 December 2023), October 1780, trial of MARY the wife of John COWEL (t17801018-19).

MARY John COWEL, Theft > theft from a specified place, 18th October 1780.

580. MARY the wife of John COWEL was indicted for stealing a silver cream-pot, value 15 s. a silver punch-ladle with a whalebone handle, value 4 s. a stone ring set round with garnets and set in gold, value 6 s. two cotton window curtains, value 16 s. a silver table-spoon, balue 5 s. two crown-pieces, seven hundred and forty-four farthings and five shillings in monies, numbered, the property of John Austin in the dwelling house of the said John , July 31st .


I am a victualler in Little Suffolk-street . The prisoner and her husband lodged with me six or seven months in a one-pair-of-stairs front room; there was a chest of mine in the room which was locked, I had the key of it. On the 6th of October I asked her to pay her rent? She cried and said her husband had left her. I said, as she could not pay four-shillings a week she must get a cheaper lodging; she begged I would not take away the few things she had. I said I would not; she must pay me as soon as she could. I went out and returned in about half an hour; then my wife informed me the prisoner had taken away her things and was gone. I took her afterwards at Lambeth-Marsh , and she told me where the things were pawned; she never let me know that her husband was gone till I asked her for the money.

Are you able to prove she took any of the things away after her husband was gone? - No.


I am a pawnbroker in Tooley-street. I have a silver milk-pot I took in of John Cowell, the husband of the prisoner, the 1st of July (producing it.)


I am a pawnbroker in St. Martin's-lane. I have two curtains I took in, one the 15th, the other the 31st of July; a ring on the 24th, a table-spoon on the 15th, they were all pawned by John Cowell .

To the prosecutor. When did John Cowell leave the lodging? - Six weeks before the woman left the lodging.

(There being no evidence to bring the charge home to the prisoner she was not put on her defence.)


Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron EYRE .