Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 August 2022), September 1817, trial of MARY SMITH (t18170917-174).

MARY SMITH, Theft > pocketpicking, 17th September 1817.

1281. MARY SMITH was indicted for stealing, on the 13th of September , one watch, value 5l.; two seals, value 1l. 10s.; one key, value 5s.; and one ribbon, value 2d., the goods of Richard Hough , from his person .

RICHARD HOUGH . On the 13th of September I was walking home in Shoe-lane , between twelve and one o'clock at night; the prisoner came up to me, and pulled my watch from me in an instant - I had not spoken to her; she made her escape leaving her cap and bonnet in my hand. The watchman came up I told him; he said he thought he knew the bonnet - I went home. I am sure she is the woman.

ABRAHAM COLEY . I am a watchman of Holborn, between twelve and one o'clock, I heard a bustle, near the top of Shoe-lane; the prosecutor came towards me, saying, he had been robbed of his watch, and the woman had escaped, leaving her cap and bonnet in his hand; I knew the bonnet to belong to the prisoner; I went in search of her but could not find her; I placed myself so as to see all over my beat, and about half-past one o'clock, I heard somebody coming down Robinhood-court, I concealed myself in a door-way, the prisoner advanced to the end of the court, she looked both right and left and went into Shoe-lane; I ran to lay hold of her and as I came up I saw her pull a watch from her pocket, and heard the seal and key rattle against the case; I seized her, and told her to give me what she had in her hand, she screamed out,"Murder," and made a great resistance - She broke my lanthorn - I caught at the watch, she shifted it from one hand to the other, put her two hands behind her, sat down on the ground and dropped it - I caught it as it fell, by the step of a door - She did not know that I had got it - I took her to the watchhouse, she had neither cap or bonnet on, I gave them to her at the watchhouse, she said they were her's - She put them on, and appeared before the alderman on the next day in them. The prosecutor was sober.

(Property produced and sworn to.)

Prisoner's Defence. I met the man very drunk, he took me up a court and gave me the watch, he threw me down, I got away with the loss of my cap and bonnet, when I recovered myself I found I had got the watch and went back to the prosecutor to give it to him, and they took me.

GUILTY . Aged 40.

Transported for Seven Years .

London Jury, before Mr. Recorder.