Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 18 February 2018), June 1785, trial of EDWARD JEFFERSON (t17850629-102).

EDWARD JEFFERSON, Theft > grand larceny, 29th June 1785.

703. EDWARD JEFFERSON was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 5th of June , four ounces of Bengal silk, value 3 s. the property of John Michael Gilleage and Philliberd Gilleage .

MARY BARBER sworn.

I am a silk windster ; I work for Mr. Taylor , the prisoner came to my room to ask a woman that lives with me to wash a pair of stockings and a shirt; I am a room keeper; and whilst she was washing these things he came to the basket and took a piece of silk out of it, a child informed me of it; I looked and missed three pieces, and one piece I found in his breeches; I examined him before he went out of the room, he had not his shirt on then; I knew the silk I missed it directly, and that I found upon him was the colour of the silk that was missing ; the constable has it; I have known the prisoner between two and three years, he is a weaver .

- TAYLOR sworn.

I am a silk throwster, I employ Mrs. Barber, I weighed her three pounds of silk, I cannot say the exact day, it was about the 19th of May it was Bengal raw silk, I should know whether it was Bengal raw silk, but not whether it was the identical piece of silk that I delivered, that is impossible; the silk belongs to John Michael and Philliberd Gilleage, I understand they are partners, their names are upon the door together.

Court. You know nothing of Mr. Gilleage's name but by what he told you? - - No, not that they are in partnership, except by themselves, on their door is J. M. and P. Gilleage.

Are they reputed partners do you know? - I understand them to be so, and dealt with them as such; I received the silk from them to throw, and I gave this woman three pounds; about a fortnight after this woman came to me, and told me she was robbed of part of the silk, but did not mention the name of the man that robbed her, she said she had got the thief; I do not remember that she said where.

THOMAS TAYLOR sworn it .

I am a weaver, I was in Mrs. Barber's room at the same time, but I was looking out of the window, my back was to him, I turned myself and I saw this Mrs. Barber go to the place where the work did lay, and she turned to the prisoner and said, you have got my work, and he denied it; he was lying near the work, with that she got to his breeches, and said, oh! there is my work; and he denied it several times, he had got no shirt on; I saw it taken out of his breeches, Mary Barber took it out.

Did you ever find the other two? - I did not examine him myself, but Mrs. Barber did.

Court to Mrs. Barber. I understand you that you missed three of these pieces of silk? - Yes, I do not know what is become of the other two, he was up and down stairs two or three times before his shirt was off, that was when his shirt was off that I found the piece upon him, he was gone out that morning a matter of two or three hours; he was in the room both before and after dinner.

MARY CROMLEY sworn.

What silk did you carry to the constable? - That he has got in his handkerchief, it is the silk that I saw Mrs. Barber take out of his breeches, and give it to the constable.

JOHN HENLEY sworn.

I am constable, I received this silk of Mary Cromby , I have kept it ever since.

Prosecutrix. I work for nobody but for Mr. Taylor, and I had no silk at that time, but what I received from him.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

When I went up there in the morning, I asked this woman to wash my shirt, and I laid down and slept, I gave them some money, and this woman charged me with the silk; they have known me many years, there were more in the room than me.

Court. How came the silk in your breeches? - It was not in my breeches.

The prisoner called three witnesses who gave him a good character.

GUILTY .

Whipped , and confined one month in Newgate .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. ROSE.