Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 07 December 2021), September 1788, trial of HANNAH ROWNEY (t17880910-61).

HANNAH ROWNEY, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > grand larceny, 10th September 1788.

559. HANNAH ROWNEY was indicted for stealing, on the 22d of July , one printed book bound in leather, called a common prayer book, value 5 s. the property of the parishioners of St. Catharine Cree , in the custody of Caesar Danby Pigenit and another, Churchwardens.

A second count, for stealing, on the 20th of July, one other printed book, entitled the Holy Bible, value 10 s. the property of the parishioners of the same parish, in the custody of the same persons.

CAESAR DANBY PIGENIT sworn.

I am one of the churchwardens of the parish; the prayer-book was used in the clerk's desk; the books for the use of the clergyman and clerk are found by the parish, out of the church rate; I believe my Lord, the sexton (who is a woman) has the care of them; they are locked up, or ought to be, by her; the sexton has been appointed a long time, and I believe they are generally appointed by the vestry.

WILLIAM TOMLINSON sworn.

On the 2d of July, the prisoner at the bar came to me to pledge the prayer-book for 5 s. and on the 21st of September she brought the large bible; she said her husband dealt in books, and that he was very ill; I had information that the books were stolen, and on the 1st of August, the prisoner came with another book, about nine o'clock in the evening; I went for a constable and took her.

HENRY FACEY sworn.

I know the prayer book by a private mark I made myself; I am the parish clerk; it was stole from my desk; I never saw the prisoner before she was taken up.

ROBERT HAMBLETON sworn.

I know the bible by reading continually in it, as being minister of the church.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

My husband brought them to me, and gave me them to pawn; I have been married these five years; I have not seen my husband since I have been in custody; he ran away.

GUILTY .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

560. The said HANNAH, wife of Patrick Rowney , was again indicted for feloniously stealing on the 1st day of August last, in the parish church of St. Giles's in the fields , a folio-printed common prayer book, value 5 s. the property of the parishioners of the said parish, in the custody of Lawrence Partridge and James Goodwin , churchwardens.

A second count, for stealing a printed book, value 5 s. the property of the said parishioners, in the church of the said churchwarden.

(The case opened by Mr. Scho.)

ELIZABETH FRENCH sworn.

I am pew-opener at St. Giles's; I was in church the 31st of July, about twenty minutes before three; I staid rather better than half an hour; there was a poor woman to be churched; and I saw the clerk's book on his desk then; on Friday morning I went in about twenty minutes before eleven, and the clerk's book was missing; it was prayer day on a Friday; I came out and said the book was gone; and a person went and found it at the pawnbroker's.

WILLIAM TOMLINSON sworn.

I am a pawn-broker in Denmark-street; I recollect the book being pawned with me; I did not take it in; I saw the prisoner take it in her hand; I was in the shop; the boy took it in; this was a little before eleven on the 1st of August; I am sure to the person of the prisoner; she came again in the evening with another; I detained her, and sent for a constable; I have seen the prisoner before; my boy took in the book; he is here.

DAVID LAMB sworn.

I am servant to Mr. Tomlinson; I recollect being in the shop on the first of August, in the morning I saw the prisoner; she came and offered me a book to pledge; which I lent her half a crown on; it might be about eleven; the book is here; I am positive she is that woman that pledged it.

Is that the book? - I cannot say; the book was tied up and laid by, and I had no further business with it.

Tomlinson. This is the book; I wrote my name in it at the justices; I carried the book to the justices; I saw the book, and the woman with it in her hand; I am clear this is the book.

JOHN TAYLOR sworn.

The latter end of April last, or the beginning of May, I had a message sent from the vestry, to furnish the parish church with that book and another; I bound it; I am a stationer and bookbinder; I sold that book to the church at St. Giles's; here are some impressions of the names of the churchwardens; the book is not now in the same condition as when I delivered it, the label is torn off from the outside, which had the names of the churchwardens; this is the fellow to it; there were the names of Lawrence Partridge, and James Goodwin on it, which have been torn off.

(The books handed to the Court and Jury.)

Court. Did you sell but two books to the parish of St. Giles's? - At that time only two; I delivered them on the 16th of May to the vestry myself; I have the tools with which all these marks were made; I have no doubt but this is one of the books.

JOSEPH HOLMAN sworn.

I am parish clerk of St. Giles's; I remember the delivery of the two books; one was put in my desk, and the other in the minister's desk; (these are the books) the perfect one was taken from off the minister's desk to match with the other.

The prisoner made the same defence as in her trial preceding this.

GUILTY. 10 d.

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.