Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 January 2021), February 1793, trial of HANNAH FINDALL (t17930220-49).

HANNAH FINDALL, Theft > grand larceny, 20th February 1793.

243. HANNAH FINDALL was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 15th of January , a silver watch, value 1 l. a piece of ribbon, value 1/2 a base metal watch key, value 1 d. and a seal, value 6 d. the goods and monies of Mary Litchfield .

The witnesses examined separate

MARY LITCHFIELD sworn.

I am an inhabitant of Birmingham, an house keeper there; I am a visitor in London to Mr. Isaac Dimsdale in Glass House-yard; this happened on Tuesday, the 15th of January; I lost my watch in Silver-street , at the end of Monkwell-street; I was in company with Mr. Dimsdale and his wife, and coming along a narrow passage, I was pushed a great deal, there were many in the passage besides me and my two friends; I saw some silk binding that I had purchased that day drawn out of my pocket; from that I concluded that my pocket was picked, and I called out that I was robbed. Mr. Dimsdale immediately turned again, I had been obliged to go rather before him on account of the narrowness of the passage, and clasped his hands round me to guard my pocket and claps hold of an arm that he judged to be mine; he called out to know what I had lost, as did several others; I told him I believed a watch; I immediately looked and found I had lost my watch, I saw my watch again in the same passage, in the hands of Mr. King, he said, he took it on the prisoner; it was while the crowd was all thick about us.

Mr. Knowlys. Mrs. Litchfield, this passage was a good deal crowded? - It was, there was a good many people coming from a chapel.

Q. It was dark at this time between seven and eight? - It was between eight and nine.

Court. Was there any lamps at the place? - The lamps were near enough for me to distinguish the silk by.

Mr. Knowlys. I believe it was under a wall? - It was at a sort of turning.

ISAAC DIMSDALE sworn.

I am a coachmaster; the prosecutrix, Mary Litchfield a native of the town of Birmingham, being in London on the 25th of January, was passing Monkwell-street, having hold of my arm; just as we came to the passage it was narrow, we went off the foot path into the highway and she went before me because there was a great many people; there was a man and woman that seemed to jostle her about, I immediately said, what the duce are you at? she said, somebody had got their hand into her pocket, was picking her pocket; I immediately went to clasp my friend round to lay hold of her arm, and I immediately took the prisoner by the bare arm thinking I had hold of my friend's arm; in the mean time came up Mr. Byfeild, the clerk of the Chamberlain's-office, and said, what is the matter? I said, here is a person that has picked my friend's pocket, and Mr. King, of the Castle and Falcon, picked up the watch from the ground; then directly Mr. Byfeild and Mr. King produced this watch; I kept the woman's hand in my hand all the time, and we proceeded then to the Castle and Falcon, Aldersgate-street.

Q. Was this woman one of the persons that was jostling your friend? - So far as this, I got hold of her arm; there was a great crowd there.

Q. Did that woman take any active part in jostling of her for the purpose? - She did, she and the man that was beside of her, they appeared to me to be jostling of her more than the other people which were in the crowd; when we came to the Castle and Falcon, Mr. King sent for the constable of the night.

Mr. Knowlys. Did you search this woman at the Castle and Falcon; - Yes, and found nothing at all.

Q. There was a considerable crowd? - There was.

Q. You was moving up the place, she was coming down? - I was close by the side of her almost.

Q. I think you said the pocket dropped? - I did not.

Q. How many people do you think might be in the passage? - Some thirty or forty before and behind

Q. Do you mean to say that somebody's hand was in her pocket, because she has told us a very different story? - She did not know at first it was so.

George King was called on his recognizance and did not appear.

JAMES BYFEILD sworn.

I know nothing farther than that I picked up the watch; I saw a crowd and understood that a woman was robbed; the prosecutrix said, she had lost her watch, they did not charge the woman I believe, I came up and they insisted on taking her some where to search her, and when they moved her in order to take her to be searched, I looked down and I saw the watch on the ground, I did not observe it till she was removed, then it was on the spot on which she stood; I picked up the watch, a friend of mine came up and said, give me the watch, whose name is King; he took the watch and fetched the woman back to their house, which he said, was the Castle and Falcon, in Aldersgate-street; she was taken there, I attended her there, nothing was found on her unless six-pence and a few halfpence taken out of her pocket.

Q. Was that watch shewn to the prosecutrix at the time? - It was, she said it was her own.

Mr. Knowlys. There was a great number of people close round about there? - There was people of all description, I should suppose so from the crowd round about.

WILLIAM HUTCHINSON sworn.

I was officer of the night; the watch was delivered to me by Mr. King or Mr. Byfeild I cannot say which, in the presence of the prisoner; Mrs. Litchfeild said, it was an old silver watch with two old green ribbons to it, and I found it answered the description; I have kept it ever since. (Produced and deposed to.)

Prisoner. I am totally innocent. I leave it to my counsel.

The prisoner called two witnesses who gave her a good character.

Not GUILTY .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.