Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 15 August 2018), September 1798, trial of SARAH LISTER, otherwise EGERTON JANE WILLIAMS, otherwise HOWARD (t17980912-3).

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

469. SARAH LISTER, otherwise EGERTON , and JANE WILLIAMS, otherwise HOWARD , were again indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 7th of April , two pair of silk stockings, value 24s. the property of James Lacey , privately in his shop .

JAMES LACEY sworn. - I am a hosier , in Clement's-Inn : I had four pair of silk stockings come in, on Saturday the 7th of April, from the makers; they were ribbed, and made on purpose for a gentleman. I opened them, my son was in the shop; after I had opened them, I went into the parlour to dinner; while I was at dinner these two women came in, and wanted some cotton stockings; I opened the cotton stockings upon the silk stockings; they did not buy any thing, but went away; my son and I went to finish our dinners, and when we came back we missed two pair out of the four, and we never heard any more of them till I was sent for to Bow-street.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. Your son was in the shop with you? - A. Yes.

Court. Q. Could any person come in and take those stockings without your seeing them? - A. I am sure they could not.

Mr. Knowlys. Q. When were you at Bow-street- the first time these women were examined? - A. No.

Q. Did you not at first express some doubt that they were the women? - A. No, I did not; I knew them as soon as ever I saw them.

Q. You were half an hour, or an hour, perhaps, before you returned from your dinner to make up your bundle? - A. We were not ten minutes.

Q. It was some time after they were gone before you missed these things? - A. It was about a quarter of an hour.

Q. Nothing of your property was found upon them? - A. No.

Q. Has your son any share in the business with you? - A. No.

JAMES-MURRAY LACEY sworn. - I am the son of the last witness: On Saturday the 7th of April, the prisoners came in, and asked for some coloured cotton stockings; there were four pair of silk stockings upon the counter just come from the makers; we were at dinner when they came in, and they went away without buying any. When we had done dinner, we went to tie up the stockings that they had been looking at, and missed two pair of silk stockings; the servant was in the parlour, where she could see what passed; she is not here.

Both NOT GUILTY .

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