Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 05 October 2022), December 1804, trial of ANN ALSEY THOMAS GUNN (t18041205-56).

ANN ALSEY, THOMAS GUNN, Theft > theft from a specified place, Theft > receiving, 5th December 1804.

56. ANN ALSEY and THOMAS GUNN were indicted, the first, for feloniously stealing, on the 1st of November , seventeen dollars, value 3 l. 10 s. the property of Erpune , a native of China, in the dwelling-house of the said Thomas Gunn ; and the other, for feloniously receiving the same, knowing them to have been stolen .

(The case was opened by Mr. Gurney.)

(Erpune, the Prosecutor, being a native of China, Mr. John Anthony was sworn as an interpreter.)

Mr. Gurney. (To Anthony.) Q. You are yourself a native of China? - A. Yes.

Q. You have been educated in the Christian religion, and are a Christian? - A. I have been christened in the church of England.

Q. The prosecutor is a Chinese? - A. Yes.

Court. Q. How long have you been in England? - A. Since the American war, backwards and forwards.

Q. At what age did you leave China? - A. At eleven years old.

Q. What do you know, of your own knowledge, of an oath in China - did you ever see an oath administered in a Court of Justice there? - A. Yes.

Q. You have been at China since you were a man? - A. Yes.

Q. You are well acquainted then with the mode of taking an oath in the Courts of Justice there? - A. Yes.

Q. To whom do they make an appeal? - A. To the God they worship in that country; they break a saucer, and then they are told, your body will be cracked as that saucer is cracked, if you do not tell the truth.

Q. What is meant by his body being cracked - does it mean by the God they worship? - A. Yes, that is the meaning of the oath.

Q. You are quite sure that is the way of taking an oath in China? - A. Yes.

Mr. Gurney. Now administer the oath to him in the usual way in his own country.

(The oath was then administered to the prosecutor,and a saucer delivered to him, which he dashed to pieces.)

JOHN ANTHONY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. I believe you have the care of the Chinese who are brought to this country in the ships of the India Company? - A. Yes.

Q. Where do you keep them? - A. In Hastings-court, Angel-gardens, Shadwell.

Q. On the 1st of November was Erpune, one of the Chinese, in your care? - A. Yes.

Q. How late in the afternoon of that day, before this happened, had you seen him? - A. I saw him about six o'clock that evening; he came back again between nine and ten, the prisoners live at the end of the gardens, about fourteen or fifteen doors off.

Q. I believe you were present with Rodgers, the Police officer, when Gunn was taken up? - A. Yes, I was.

Q. Did you yourself know that Erpune had any dollars that day? - A. I did not see them, I know he had been paid.

Q.(To Erpune.) Did you go to the house of that man, Gunn? - A. Yes, at six o'clock in the evening.

Q. Was that on the 1st of November? - A. Yes.

Q. What passed when you went there? - A. I went to the prisoner's house, and wanted a girl; Mrs. Gunn sent a boy to bring that girl to the house; I gave the dollars into Mr. Gunn's hand for the girl.

Q. How many dollars had you about you? - A. I had nineteen dollars, in a cloth.

Q. Did you take those dollars out of your pocket while Gunn and the girl were by? - A. I took the nineteen dollars out of my pocket, and put them upon the table, that every one saw them.

Q. After you had done this, did you, and Gunn, and the girl, go any where? - A. The girl went first with me, and the man followed after to the public-house to get the dollar changed.

Q. Was that the same dollar you had given to Gunn, or another dollar? - A. I gave Mr. Gunn one dollar for the girl, and changed another for liquor; they took the dollar for 4 s. 2 d. and took for the beer, and then I took the change.

Q. After you had had the beer, did you come back to Gunn's house? - A. After we had drank the liquor, I went back to Gunn's, and went to-bed.

Q. Who did you go to bed with? - A. That girl.

Q. Did you undress? - A. I undressed, and only kept my waistcoat on.

Q. Where were your dollars? - A. In my waistcoat.

Q. Are you quite sure, when you went to-bed, the dollars were in your waistcoat-pocket? - A. Quite sure.

Q. Were you quite sober? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you fall asleep? - A. Yes.

Q. When you awoke again, did you find your dollars in your pocket? - A. When I awoke, my dollars were gone, and the girl was gone.

Q. Did you get up? - A. I got up, and ran down stairs, and saw Mr. Gunn, and told him my dollars were gone.

Q.(To Anthony.) Can he speak a little broken English? - A. Very little: he cannot understand any thing you say.

Q. Can he say dollar? - A. Yes, he can say dollar.

Q.(To Erpune.) What did Gunn say? - A. He took a candle, and went up stairs to see if he could find the dollars.

Q. Did they find them? - A. No.

Q. After that, did you go out with Gunn? - A. Gunn said, do not make a noise, I will go out, and endeavour to find the girl; Mr. Gunn and I went to the public-house, but could not find the girl.

Q. After that, did you meet with Mr. Gole? - A. After this, I called to Mr. Gole, and said, this man has taken my dollars.

Q. Where did you see Mr. Gole? - A. Under the gate-way.

Q. Was Gunn by at that time? - A. Yes.

ABRAHAM GOLE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I live with Mr. Anthony; I am his brother-in-law, he married my sister.

Q. You understand a little Chinese? - A. Very little, but so as to understand a little; I was passing under the gate-way, when Erpune, the Chinese, had the prisoner by the collar.

Q. What time was this? - A. A little after nine.

Q. What did Erpune say to you? - A. He called out in broken English, "this man catchee my dollar." Gunn was going to make a reply; I said he had better go into my house, and not make a disturbance in the street, and I would endeavour to interpret between them.

Q. Did they come into your house? - A. They did; I asked Gunn if he knew any thing of the China man; he said yes; I asked him if he had been to his house with a girl; he also replied, yes; I further asked him if he knew any thing of the dollars; he said, the girl must have taken them; I then told Gunn, you had better return this poor man his money; he replied that he was a poor man, and how could he afford to do it; he then asked me what the amount of them would be; Erpune said he had lost nineteen; I had a pen in my hand about to cast them up, when Gunn said, mind they are not 5 s. dollars, they only pass for 4 s. 2 d. I then sent a servant for an officer; Rodgers came, and took him into custody.

EBENEZER ALLNUTT sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. I believe you are shopman toMr. Ashbridge, a pawnbroker, in Ratcliff-highway? - A. I am.

Q. On the evening of the 1st of November did you see the prisoner Alsey at your master's house? - A. Yes; she came about seven o'clock, sold a dollar, and took out some articles of wearing apparel that were in pledge.

Q. With what coin did she redeem them? - A. Two dollars.

Q. With a Bank impression, or common Spanish dollars? - A. Common Spanish dollars.

Q. Did Gunn come to your house that evening? - A. Yes, about three quarters of an hour before her; he brought two dollars of the same description to sell them; he sold them to my master for either 4 s. 2 d. or 4 s. 3 d. I cannot say which.

EDWARD RODGERS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. I am an officer of Shadwell: On the evening of the 1st of November, I was sent for to take the prisoner Gunn into custody, about half past nine in the evening; I then left him in charge with Mr. Gole, in Mr. Anthony's parlour, and went instantly to search his house; I first searched his person, and then his house, but found nothing; I then returned to Gunn, and asked him where the dollars were that the China man had lost; he told me he did not know, but he believed the girl had them, but that he would make up the loss, and begged of me not to take him into custody; I told him I could make no bargains with him of that kind, that I was under the necessity of taking him into custody; he several times said he was innocent, in his way to the Office, but he would still make up the loss, if I would let him go.

Q. How soon after did you find the prisoner Alsey? - A. Several days, eight or ten; I traced her to Spital-fields, and from there to Lambeth; I found her at a public-house, under a false character, on Tower-hill; I told her I took her for robbing a China man of dollars; she denied it; I took her into custody, I searched her, and found nothing upon her; as I was taking her to the Office, she said it was hard she should suffer for Mrs. Gunn; about ten minutes before I took her to the Magistrate, which was the next morning, I had her in custody all night at a lock-up house near the Office, she sent for me, and told me she wished to tell the truth; I neither used promise nor threat, but desired her to be sure to stick to the truth; I told her to be cautious, for what she told me I should repeat to the Magistrate; she then said she had taken sixteen of the dollars, and had taken no more; she said she had divided the sixteen dollars with Mrs. Gunn; I then brought her before the Magistrate, and she said the same before the Magistrate; it was not taken in writing.

(The prisoner, Alsey, put in a written defence, which was read as follows:)

"My Lord and Gentlemen, I humbly address you in the hope you will humanely consider my statement as the truth. The person who is tried with me kept a common lodging-house for the reception of men and women; I went with the prosecutor, and he gave me a dollar and a sixpence; Mrs. Gunn stopped me in the way, and told me he had plenty of money, and advised me to go up and rob him; I, unfortunately for myself, followed her advice, and shared the dollars with her; they not being stamped, and not considered the current coin, I could not part with them for more than 4 s. 2 d. a piece; I went to service for the purpose of retrieving my character, from which place I was taken up; I humbly throw myself on your mercy, and hope by your clemency to alter my mispent life.

Gunn's defence. I know nothing at all of it.

Alsey, GUILTY.

Of stealing, but not in the dwelling-house .

Confined twelve months in the House of Correction , and fined 1 s.

Gunn, GUILTY .

Transported for fourteen years .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Graham .