Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 22 May 2018), October 1781, trial of ELIZABETH HARRIS (t17811017-7).

ELIZABETH HARRIS, Theft > grand larceny, 17th October 1781.

597. ELIZABETH HARRIS , spinster , was indicted for stealing a black silk cloak, value 25 s. the property of Ann Baker , September the 15th .

SARAH ELLIOT sworn.

I am an apprentice to Mrs. Baker. The prisoner came into Mrs. Baker's shop, on the 15th of September, and asked to look at some cloaks. We shewed her several. She desired to see more. She looked upon one in particular. She objected to it, because it had a black lining, and asked to see some with white linings. Afterwards she asked to see some childrens' bonnets. Mrs. Baker observed that she stooped, under pretence to tie her garter, or something of that kind; and she observed, at that time, that the prisoner drew up, under her petticoats, a silk cloak; upon which she charged her with it. She denied it totally. Mrs. Baker said she would search her; but the prisoner said no one should search her: upon which Mrs. Baker insisted she should go into the parlour. She sent for a constable, but could not find any constable at home: but we searched her; and this cloak (producing it) was taken from under her petticoats. I know it, by the mark, to be Mrs. Baker's property: it is one she objected to on account of its not having a white lining.

ANN BUNTING sworn.

I saw the cloak taken from under the prisoner's petticoats.

Is Mrs. Baker here? - Yes; but she is a Quaker.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

I never had the cloak under my petticoats.

(The prisoner called one witness, who gave her a good character.)

GUILTY .

Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice NARES.

[Whipping. See summary.]

[Imprisonment. See summary.]