Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 26 October 2021), December 1787, trial of ELIZABETH HOPPER (t17871212-82).

ELIZABETH HOPPER, Theft > grand larceny, 12th December 1787.

87. ELIZABETH HOPPER was indicted for stealing, on the 5th of October , one piece of muslin, containing, in length, two yards and a quarter, value 4 s. the property of Anthony Twydell .

ROBERT WILBERFORCE sworn.

I am apprentice to Mr. Twydell; on the 5th of October last, the prisoner and two other women came into my master's shop together, and looked at different prints, they liked none; they then looked at remnants, and bid 20 d. for what cost 2 s. 8 d.they then talked concerning how much would make the child, which the prisoner had in her arms, a frock; I took one piece, consisting of a yard and quarter of muslin, and folded it out of the rest; I was on the other side, and said, I thought they were thieves, the prisoner then went out, and the other two followed: when they went out our man followed them, and took from the other two women, two pieces of muslin: I did not see him take them; he is not here; and he brought them all back into the shop; and when the prisoner came back, I saw her drop that piece mentioned in the indictment, containing two yards and a quarter of muslin dimity; it was measured and marked at the time, and the constable has had it ever since; his name is Williams; she had a long red cloak on, and it fell before her from under her cloak, the other women were in the shop at the time, and one of them took the child from her; I am positive that it was she that dropped it; they had not purchased any thing; I sent for a constable, and said they should all go to the Compter; she said she was sorry to part with her child; on the 6th they were examined before the Lord Mayor, and the prisoner escaped, and the others were discharged, because she could not be taken again; she was taken again on the 14th; I am positive she is the woman.

(The property proved.)

THOMAS WILLIAMS sworn.

I took the prisoner in Mr. Twydell's shop; this piece of muslin was given me with her, I have kept it ever since.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

The woman in the shop in the black cloak dropped the muslin from under her cloak.

GUILTY .

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. ROSE.