Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 February 2019), September 1798, trial of SARAH LISTER, otherwise EGERTON JANE WILLIAMS, otherwise HOWARD (t17980912-2).

SARAH LISTER, JANE WILLIAMS, Theft > shoplifting, 12th September 1798.

468. SARAH LISTER, otherwise EGERTON , and JANE WILLIAMS, otherwise HOWARD , were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 14th of February , eight veils, value 8l. and forty lace crownings, value 6l. the property of Moses Lany , privately in his shop .

MOSES LANY sworn. - I live in Tavistock-street, Covent-garden , I keep a lace-shop . The prisoners came to my shop on the 14th of February last, about four o'clock in the afternoon, in a hackney coach; there were two ladies in the shop looking at some black veils, there was nobody to attend the shop but myself, I served the two ladies, and they went away; I had taken the veils out of a trunk where I keep my goods, the goods at that time were all smooth and right; the short one, Williams, sat down on a stool by the end of the trunk, which was shut; the other prisoner stood between me and her that I could not see what she was about; I heard the lid of the trunk open, and they seemed to be in a hurry to get away; I came round and sold them a little bit of lace, they then went away in the coach; I went to put the veils to rights, and return them into the trunk, and then I saw the goods all scattered about, and rumpled, and then I missed eight British veils made of silk, thatcost me eight pounds, and a great many crownings that are used for children's caps; there were forty or fifty of them gone, they were worth about six pounds. I saw no more of them till they came to my shop again on the 19th of July, there was another with them then; they walked in, and asked to look at some lace hanging in the window. I knew them directly; they bought nothing, and went away; as soon as they were gone, Mr. Rivett the officer came in, and I went with him and took them up, but we could not find any thing, because they gave a wrong direction.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. Nothing has been found from that time to this? - A. No.

Q. When had you counted the veils over? - A. Not for some time; but I am sure they were all right when they came in.

JOHN RIVETT sworn. - On the 19th of July, I saw the two prisoners, and another woman, go into the prosecutor's shop, and come out again, and I was desired by the prosecutor to take them into custody.

Lister's defence. I am quite innocent of the affair.

Williams's defence. I am entirely innocent of it.

Lister called two, and Williams three witnesses, who gave them a good character.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice ROOKE.