Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 31 January 2023), October 1810, trial of Phillipine Fitzjames (t18101031-58).

Phillipine Fitzjames, Theft > theft from a specified place, 31st October 1810.

830. JOSEPH FITZJAMES and PHILLIPINE his Wife , were indicted for feloniously stealing on the 31st of August , in the dwelling-house of John Neale , a gold snuff-box, value 20 l. a pair of gold sleeve buttons, value 20 s. a gold seal, value 10 s. a gold stock buckle. value 5 s. a silver stock buckle, value 1 s. a leather bag, value 1 d. a purse, value 2 d. fourteen doubloons, value 50 l. 8 s. two half doubloons, value 3 l. 12 s. one hundred and forty-nine guineas, and five guineas, a bank note, value 2 l. and three 1 l. notes, the property of Pierre Henry Chevillard , since deceased .

KATHERINE PERCY . Q. Where you well acquainted with the late Pierre Henry Chevillard - A. Yes, I had been acquainted with him sixteen years, he had lived the greatest part of the time in my house, he died on the 31st of August, I am his executrix.

Q. Where had this gentleman lodged last before his decease - A. In Summers Town, Jean Toulonne lived servant with him, I was at his lodgings within three days of his death, Toulonne was there and Phillipine Fitzjames . On the morning of the 31st of August, about eight o'clock in the morning, I went to his lodgings, his priest was with him, I staid below; I saw him half an hour before he died.

Q. Upon his death did any thing take place between you and Fitzjames or you and Toulonne in the hearing of Fitzjames - A. There was a French gentlemen there, he desired to have the keys, I desired he might not, but that Toulonne might keep them, as she was always entrusted with them, this gentleman said he would have them; I said, he should not, he said he would break the door open.

Q. Soon after you sent for Mr. Legou and the will was found - A. Yes; it was in a bureau, in a kind of of secretary; Mr. Legou looked for the value that he had left in the will; I knew that he had property, I did not know how much, I knew also that he was in possession of a gold snuff box.

Q. Was Fitzjames present when Mr. Legou opened the bureau - A. Yes; upon searching the secretary, the snuff box was not in it, nor the gold coin; I asked for it, it was not forthcoming; Fitzjames said my being there was very impertinent, who could send for me, she was sent for to interpret to Madam Toulonne, because she could not talk English; some time after that I requested her to quit the place, she said she had as much right to stay there as any body; she would not go; she sat herself down and dared any body to remove her, and talked of sending for an officer. Mr. Legou read the will and the letter.

Q. I believe afterwards at the police office you saw the coin produced and the snuff box - A. I did, I knew that snuff box.

Q. What was the deceased name - A. Pierre Henry Chevillard ; that is his signature, I have often seen his writing.

MR. LEGOU. I am an artist, residing in Foley-street; I knew Mr. Chevillard. On the morning of his death I was sent for, I went and arrived there by twelve, I found Mrs. Percy there, I found the will and this paper. (The paper read.)

Q. Was there any thing passed in your presence respecting Phillipine Fitzjames - A. Mrs. Fitzjames said she did not understand people coming to take the property by pretending to be executors; the will had been read in her presence, upon which I observed I was sorry to hear such an expression after what she had seen, that she had heard the will read, and ought to be satisfied, and desired her to leave the room in the name of Mrs. Percy; she answered, that she knew what the laws of England were, she would remain in possession of the apartment, and would not suffer any of the property to be taken away; she asked me if I was a lawyer, I said it was nothing to her what I was. She repeated that she would not leave the room, put her fists upon her hips, said, you touch me if you dare; I replied, God forbid that I should come near you; I desired her again in the name of Mrs. Percy to leave the room; she got up, said she would not be turned out of the room, she would go of her own accord.

Q. You saw the secretaire searched - A. I did, there were none of the articles in the indictment found in the secretaire.

JEAN TOULONNE . Q. Did you attend the late Mr. Chevillard at the time of his death - A. Yes; Fitzjames was with me to help the deceased up and down in his bed; she was with me when he died.

Q. In the course of the night before he died did Fitzjames propose to you to do any thing - A. Yes; Fitzjames observed to me that Mr. Chevillard might have made a will, he said he would not forget her; she proposed to me to open the secretaire, in hopes of finding something; I opened the drawer, we both searched the drawer and found a pocket-book; Fitzjames said the will must be here, she wanted to take the pocketbook out of my hand, Fitzjames told me to open the little drawer of the secretaire; I replied I never opened it, I did not know the key; she took the keys and opened the drawer herself, and seeing the paper, observed, that must be the paper; I said do not touchit. Fitzjames then put it into its place, and took out the money in the box, which was covered round with paper, observing, this was the person that had no money. She took gold Spanish pieces, and I observed there were four silver pieces likewise. When Mrs. Fitzjames took the gold snuff box, containing the gold, she said she must see what was in it; we found a gold stock buckle and a silver buckle, which I took from Fitzjames and put it in my pocket; Fitzjames had the money, she took it from me. I took one of the pieces and said, what is this; Fitzjames said, Spanish pieces; we counted the guineas ten by ten and put them on the table; I observed Fitzjames put in her pocket, I said what are you doing; she said never mind, count away, I know the number I have got, there is about fifty; I would not count any more; I put the remainder in the bag and tied them up myself. This was about twelve or one o'clock at night; I observed that if Mr. Chevillard was to get up, the money ought to be in its place; she said, never mind, you can tell him any thing; in the course of the morning Fitzjames went home and when she returned I asked her to give me the money which she had taken; Fitzjames said, I told you I had but fifty, I counted them, there were sixty-five or seventy-five, as near as I can recollect, she left them at home to please her husband.

Q. Where did you put the snuff box and the rest of the money - A. I hid them in the next room. A few days afterwards I was sent for to Mrs. Fitzjames, I saw the husband and wife; Fitzjames told me that he wanted twenty-five guineas more to finish the building of his house; I said I shall not let you have a farthing more; he said, if you are afraid to keep the money bring it to me, do not you say any thing about it, if you do I will fix the whole blame upon you and ruin you.

Q. After this was Fitzjames taken up - A. Yes, and Mr. Fitzjames was looking for me, he said he had nothing in his possession, and the best thing I could do to save myself, was to let him have the property; I after this took the gold snuff box and the gold that was tied up in the bag to his house. When I went the first time he, Fitzjames, was not at home; I hid them in the grate of the copper, I afterwards saw him and told him where the gold and snuff-box was, and the four silver pieces that I had forgot to put with the gold I gave to Fitzjames, saying, now you have got all the property, and I have washed my hands of it; Fitzjames said he would not keep the property in his house, as they were searching, he would hide it in the garden under a barrel.

Q. Did you afterwards see the money and snuff box at the police-office - A. Yes, and my intention was to restore it.

JAMES BLY . I am an officer of Queen-square. On the 28th of September I went to search Fitzjames's house, No. 3, Hampton-street, Somerstown; I searched that part of the house they occupied, I discovered this purse twenty-five guineas and a doubloon; I took her in custody; she was violent, she would not let me if she could have helped it. I took the man in custody on the 7th of October he took me to the back of the workhouse wall of St. Pancras; we went to the extremity of the wall, and just by the battlement of the wall, I stooped down and picked up a gold snuff box, with the contents, as you have it there, a stock buckle, a pair of sleeve buttons, a seal, four doubloons, twenty guineas, and two half guineas; Lavender at the same time went to a place by his direction and took out a purse with one hundred and four guineas, and three half guineas.

Phillipine Fitzjames ' Defence. The witness has imposed upon me a great deal, and she has perjured herself.

Joseph Fitzjames ' Defence. The old lady brought the snuff box to me, I never desired her to bring it; she hid it under the copper; I was not at home, it is true; afterwards I hid it myself, but I was afraid the officers would have found it at my house; the magistrate recommended to me to discover the robbery.

The prisoners called three witnesses, who gave them a good character.

PHILLINE FITZJAMES, GUILTY, aged 66.

JOSEPH FITZJAMES , GUILTY, aged 60.

Of stealing, but not in the dwelling-house .

Confined Two Years in the House of Correction , and fined 1 s.

Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Recorder.