Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 7.2, 25 February 2018), February 1797, trial of ANN CROCKER SARAH CRUTCHLEY (t17970215-58).

ANN CROCKER, SARAH CRUTCHLEY, Theft > theft from a specified place, Theft > receiving, 15th February 1797.

176. ANN CROCKER and SARAH CRUTCHLEY were indicted, the first for feloniously stealing a silver watch, value 5l. a base metal watch chain, value 12d. a silver seal, value 2s. a brass watch key, value 1d. a silver breast buckle, value 14d. a pair of silver knee buckles. value 2s. a silk purse, value 6d. a guinea, a half guinea, a French half crown, and six shillings in money, and a Bank-note of 10l. the property of Henry Ellis , in the dwelling-house of Ann Fulstead ; and the other for receiving a silver breast buckle and a silk purse, knowing them to be stolen .

HENRY ELLIS sworn. - I am in the West Middlesex Militia : On the 27th of January, I came home on a furlough from Canterbury -

Q. Where is Mrs. Fulstead's lodging-house? - A. No. 3, Church-street, St. Giles's .

Q. Do you know her Christian name? - A. No.

Q. Is she here? - A. No; I came into town at half past eleven o'clock at night, I was recommended there by a publican, of whom I enquired for a lodging; when I came to the house, I enquired for a bed, which was granted, she charged me a shilling; Ann Crocker shewed me the way to this lodging from the public-house.

Q. What is the name of the public-house? - A. I don't know, I am an entire stranger, it was in High-street, St. Giles's; the young woman of the house said she was only a servant, her mistress was not at home, and she could not take such money as I offered her, which was a French half crown; that young woman who is not to be found, lit me up to bed; when I came into the room, I asked if that was the bed I was to sleep in, she answered, there was no other bed, that was the bed I was to sleep in, which I found this woman in; I asked her whether I was to have any body to sleep with me, she said, no; I said there was a woman in the bed, she said that was the woman that shewed me to the lodging; I said I did not want any woman, I wished to sleep by myself.

Q. How could that happen, I thought she went with you to shew you the lodging? - A. Yes; she went and got into bed while I was disputing with the woman about paying her for the lodging; I told her I had marched fifty miles without rest, and wanted a bed to myself, and insisted upon it; the woman would not get out of the bed; I told her if she did not, I would throw her down stairs, I had hired the bed, and would have it to myself; with many words, she got out of the bed, and went down stairs; then I undressed myself and went to bed, putting my breeches, and the property I had in them, under the bed, between the bed and the sacking, and my knap sack under my head.

Q. What rank are you in the army? - A. A serjeant; the young woman that lit me to bed waited till I was in bed, and took the candle down withher; in the morning I awoke between eight and nine o'clock, and feeling for my property, it was not under me.

Q. Did you secure the door before you went to bed? - A. I desired the girl to secure it, and I heard her lock it before I laid down; my breeches were by the side of the bed, and looking in them, I found I had lost my watch and my purse.

Q. Under what part of the bed did you put your breeches? - A. Under my bottom, as near as I could in the centre of the bed.

Q. Was the purse in your breeches? - A. Yes; looking further, I had lost my pocket-book and silk handkerchief.

Q. Was it a silk purse? - A. Yes; it contained a ten pound Bank-note, my furlough, the note it was wrapped in, a pair of silver knee buckles, a silver breast buckle wrapped up in a piece of linen; my watch was in my fob pocket, it was a silver stop watch, with a base metal chain, a silver seal, and a metal key; finding myself robbed about nine in the morning, I made an enquiry of several women in the house.

Q. Was Crocker one of them? - A. Yes.

Q. You saw her in the house the next morning? - A. Yes.

Q. Was the other girl in the house next morning that shut you door? - A. Yes; I enquired where I could get a constable, and I was directed, by a man standing at the door, to Tredway; I left the house and went for the constable, and he came with me.

Q. How long did you leave the house? - A. About two hours; in searching Crocker's pocket, he found the piece of linen the buckles were wrapped in; in the pocket of Sarah Crutchley was found the silver breast buckle in a pocket-book or housewife; she owned she had the purse in her bed, which was found there.

Q. Who owned it? - A. Sarah Crutchley ; she took the purse out of the bed herself; it was in the lower room in the same house; there was nothing in the purse; the constable has the buckle.

Q. Did any thing pass with these prisoners at the time these things were found? - A. I don't know that there did; Ann Crocker said to Crutchley, if I am the thief, you are the receiver; Crutchley said she gave her the purse and the breast buckle.

Q. Did Crocker make any answer to that? - A. No.

Crocker. Q. Where did you see me? - A. In the street.

Crocker. O! you false man.

Court. Q. Did not you say she was at the public-house, who was to shew you the lodging? - A. No; I met her in the street, she asked me where I was going; I said I was recommended to No. 3, Church-street; she answered she was going there, and she would shew me the way to the house.

Crocker. Q. If I ever went into the room with you? - A. No; you went forward into the room, and was in bed when I came into the room.

Q. (To the Prosecutor). Was it on the 27th you came to the lodging? - A. On the 27th, I left Canterbury; I came to the lodging on Saturday the 28th, at night.

EDWARD TREDWAY sworn. - I am a constable: On Sunday the 29th, about eleven o'clock, the prosecutor came to my house, and told me he was robbed; I sent for Mumford to go with me, and we went all three together, to No. 3, Church-street; when we went in, Crutchley was sitting at breakfast, and three or four more with her; I asked if they knew any thing of the woman that slept with the presecutor -

Q. What room were they in? - A. The lower room; the prosecutor slept in the two pair of stairs fore room; I asked about the girl that was with him; Mrs. Crutchley or another woman, in her presence, said, the woman that had robbed him, was a stranger, and they knew nothing of it.

Q. Do you mean Crocker? - A. Yes; they said they knew nothing of her.

Q. Was she there at the time? - A. Yes; I told her I would go up stairs, and see if there was any body there: Mrs. Crutchley told me I might; I went up stairs, and he shewed me the room he lay in, there was nobody there; while we were up stairs, a man standing at the door, called, Tredway, come down, for they are burning the note; I ran down directly, and asked the man who, and he directly pointed to Mrs. Crutchley, who was sitting by the fire-side.

Q. That man is not here, is he? - A. No; I took hold of her directly, and began to search her; she was very obstreporous.

Q. Did you observe any thing burning? - A. No, I could not; I took hold of her, and began to search her; Mumford held her; I found upon her this pocket-book, (producing it); and in it a silver breast buckle; the prosecutor said, if it is mine, it has a stamp upon the tongue; he looked at it and said, it is mine, I will swear to it; she then began to cry out to Crocker, what have you done, what have you brought me to.

Q. Did Crocker make any answer to that? - A. Not just then, I believe she did not; I asked her, what have you done with the Bank-note and purse; Crutchley said, I will tell you, I will tell you, the purse is in the bureau bedstead; we turned the bureaubedstead round, and found the purse in it, that was in the lower room where they were at breakfast; Mrs. Crutchley was very much frightened, and abused Crocker, and Crocker said, you snitching b-b, if I am the thief, you are the receiver; then I searched Ann Crocker , there was nothing found upon her but some rags in her pocket, they were laid upon the table, and the prosecutor took up this piece of rag (producing it), and said he would swear that was the rag his knee buckles were in.

Q. You are sure it was taken out of Ann Crocker's pocket? - A. Yes, I believe it was.

Q. Are you sure of it? - A. Yes.

Prosecutor. My buckles were in that rag in my purse, they had been in three or four months, I had no use for them; they were put in the rag to keep the breast buckle and knee buckles together.

Q. Can you safely swear to the bit of rag? - A. Yes; very safely.

Tredway. Mrs. Fulstead, the mistress of the house, wanted me to take her word for Crutchley's appearance; I said I could not; Crocker said, no, d-n her, let her come with us.

THOMAS MUMFORD sworn. - I was with the last witness; we went up stairs to see if we could find any thing; when we were up stairs, a man cried out, Tredway, come down, they are burning the note; we came down directly, but did not see any thing burning; Crutchley seemed to be very much frightened; Tredway took hold of her to search her, and she struggled a good deal; I took hold of her and held her hands, while Tredway searched her; he found that breast buckle; he then said, tell me where the watch and Bank-note are; she stopped a little while, and then they went to the bedstead, and turned it round, and this purse was taken out; Crutchley said to Crocker, what have you done; then Tredway and I searched the other woman; she said Crocker gave her the breast buckle and purse; when she said so, Crocker said, you snitching b-h, you are a snitch.

Q. What did she mean by that? - A. Them that turn evidence they call them snitches; then Tredway searched Crocker, I held her; only this piece of rag was taken out of her pocket; the serjeant stood by, and said that was the rag his knee-buckles were wrapped up in; we were going to take them to the watch-house; the woman of the house wanted us to take her word for Crutchley's appearing on Monday morning; Crocker said, no; come along, snitch, we will all go together.

Prosecutor. This is my buckle; it has a stamp on the tongue.

Q. Is that your purse? - A. Yes, I am very sure; it is a figured purse.

Crocker's defence. I never saw the prosecutor in the street in my life, till he came to the house where I was lodging; he came and asked if he could have a lodging; they told him, yes; he said he must have a wife too, and they pointed to me; he said, did they think he would have an old b-h, his mother; he was very much in liquor indeed; with that he chose another; she went up stairs with him for some time; he had no less than three women up stairs with him at different times, sending for liquor and drinking with them; he staid with them till two o'clock in the morning, then they all came down, and said nobody could agree with him; I never saw any more of the prosecutor till between eight and nine in the morning; the prosecutor came down stairs, and as I opened the door he said I have been served very prettily between you; I said, how have you been served; he said he had been robbed; that the person that robbed him was a tall thin woman; he went out about half an hour after, and brought in a man, not one of the witnesses, and desired to know the room where he slept; they called the maid of the house out of bed; she was in bed with a man, and the man asked him which of us robbed him; he said never a one; a little after eleven he came, with the two evidences; and Crutchley, having these things found about her, said, I gave them to her, which was very true, for in the passage in the lowest story I found the buckle and a piece of rag; I am as innocent as the child unborn; he is a false man.

Q. (To the Prosecutor). Did you see Crocker at the door, when you went out in the morning? - A. I saw her in the room.

Q. Why did you not stop her? - A. I was persuaded by the man this woman speaks of to go for a constable.

Q. Did you bring a man into the house before you went for Tredway and the other constable? - A. No, I only saw him at the door.

Crutchley's defence. The person who keeps the house was ill, and sent for me to abide in the house; Crocker was a lodger in the house; she came down at four o'clock in the morning, and knocked at my door, and said she wished to go out; I would not let her; I bid her turn round the bureau bedstead, and sleep there; she staid there till morning; about nine the prosecutor came down, and said he was robbed; between ten and eleven o'clock she brought me a purse and breast-buckle, and gave them to me; she told me she found them; when Tredway and Mumford came, a man stood at the door, and two or three in the house said, burn it, Saliy, or it will be found upon you; that was the purse;I did not burn it, but I chucked it into the bureau; Mr. Tredway picked my pocket, and found the breast-buckle fire gave me; Mumford held my hands while he picked my pocket.

Q. (To the Prosecutor.) Did you give any alarm that you had been robbed, before you went for the constable? - A. Yes; both the prisoners were then in the room.

Q. (To Tredway). Do you know this house? - A. Yes, very well.

Q. What is the name of the woman that keeps it? - A. Mrs. Fulstead.

Q. What is her other name? - A. I don't know her Christian name.

Q. (To Mumford). Who keeps this house? - A. Mrs. Fulstead.

Q. Do you know her other name? - A. No.

Q. (To the Prosecutor). Were you in liquor? A. No, I had drank but two glasses of liquor that day; I was very much fatigued; I had drank no thing in the house.

Crutchley called four witnesses, who gave her good character.

Crocker, GUILTY (Aged 31.)

Of stealing, but not in the dwelling-house .

Transported for seven years .

Crutchley, GUILTY .

Transported for fourteen years .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.