Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 July 2022), September 1783, trial of ANN FARMER ELIZABETH JONES (t17830910-42).

ANN FARMER, ELIZABETH JONES, Violent Theft > highway robbery, 10th September 1783.

637. ANN FARMER and ELIZABETH JONES were indicted for feloniously assaulting on the King's highway Elizabeth Sumner , on the 13th of August last, and putting her in fear and danger of her life, and taking from her person and against her will, one pair of pattens, value 6 d. one nutmeg grater, value 1 d. and two shillings and seven-pence three farthings in monies numbered, the property of the said Elizabeth .

ELIZABETH SUMNER sworn.

I know the prisoner at the bar by sight, on the thirteenth of August, a quarter before six in the morning, I met the prisoners in Drury-lane , and they asked me for a penny, and they followed me, and one of them stopped me, while the other put her hand in my pocket, they took away from me half a crown and seven farthings, and one snatched the pattens out of my hand, I took them about six the corner of Tower-street, Saint Giles's, the prisoners were the same people that robbed me.

Did you immediately follow them? - No, a man was coming by, and I begged him to save me.

Which of them held you, and which of them took the money from you? - I cannot positively say I was so frightened, but one of them held me, and the other put her hand in my pocket.

PETER BATES sworn.

About a quarter before six, on the thirteenth of last month, I was going to my work at a coach-maker's in Saint Martin's-lane, and I saw the woman that was robbed at a little distance before me, it was the corner of Tower-street, the prisoner Jones laid hold of this woman, and the other came across the way from Castle-street to Tower-street, and immediately seized hold of her, and the prisoner Farmer put her hand into her right-hand pocket, and took out a half crown piece, a penny in halfpence, and three farthings in farthings.

Was you near enough to see what money there was? - Yes.

How near? - I suppose about two yards distance, and she snatched a pair of pattens out of her hand, and swore directly that if she offered to resist in any manner, that she would split her skull open with these pattens, I immediately stepped upon the kirb stones, and I saved the blow, and some people standing by they said they ought to go to the watch-house, they went from the corner of Tower-street to the end of Lombard-court, and I myself and two more men went and fetched them back to the corner of Tower-street, where they had robbed this woman, and we were going to take them to the watch-house, and as soon as they found that we were going to take them to the watch-house, Ann Farmer threw down the half crown and the halfpence on the stones, and the pattens, the woman was going to pick up the money, and I told her not to touch it.

Court. Why so? - Because I thought as she had robbed her, she had no business with it.

Who took it then? - Ann Farmer took it up, and called her a bitch, and swore she should not have it; the prosecutor took the pattens herself.

PRISONER JONES's DEFENCE.

We were drinking at Mr. Russel's, we are all unfortunate women, the prosecutrix and we two were drinking in the morning, she had not a farthing to pay her reckoning, I changed a shilling to pay for it, and I fell asleep, and while I was asleep this fellow prisoner and the prosecutrix were gone, and my pocket was picked, I saw them at Tower-street and the other witness, the last witness keeps company with the prosecutrix; when the mob was gone, then he and another took us to the Round-house, we were all in liquor.

Court to Elizabeth Sumner . Did you know the women before? - To my knowledge, I never saw them before, I met them in Drury-lane, I was going to Mr. Hughs's in the Strand, I was coming from Grosvenor-square, I live in Grosvenor-square, I am out of place.

Where had you been all the night? - I was where I live at Mr. Bateman's, in James-street, Grosvenor-square; I am generally up early, I was going down to be employed at Mr. Hughs's in the Strand.

Jury. Is Drury-lane in your way? - I went a cross Covent-garden.

ELIZABETH BACON sworn.

Where do you live? - I live in James-street, Grosvenor-square with my mother, she is a calenderer.

On this 13th day of August was the prosecutrix at your house? - She was.

Had she slept in your house the night before? - She had.

What time did she leave your house? - About five in the morning I think to the best of my knowledge, I was not up myself, I am sure she was there, she is always at our house when she is out of place, she was at home all night.

What was the last time you saw her in your house? - I saw her about five in the morning, when she got up she came into my room.

ANN FARMER , ELIZABETH JONES ,

GUILTY Death .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice ASHURST.