Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 September 2022), February 1825, trial of MARTHA GRIFFITHS (t18250217-16).

MARTHA GRIFFITHS, Theft > pocketpicking, 17th February 1825.

398. MARTHA GRIFFITHS was indicted for stealing, on the 25th of January , a purse, value 2 d.; a guinea, and sixteen shillings, the property of William Funnell , from his person .

WILLIAM FUNNELL. I live at Blackley, in Norfolk, and am master of a coasting vessel . I was in London on the 25th of January, between one and two o'clock in the day, looking in at a shop window in Whitechapel - the prisoner and another woman came up to me, and we got into conversation; I went home with the prisoner, but I cannot tell where to - we went to an upper room, where I staid about ten minutes: her companion was gone away. I am quite sure that when I went with her I had a purse in my pocket, containing a guinea and sixteen shillings; I had been taking a friendly glass, but was perfectly collected. I missed the purse while I was on the bed with the prisoner - I charged her with having taken it, and said I would not leave her till she gave it to me. She got off the bed, and opened the door - two other women made their appearance; I still kept hold of her, and would not let her go. All the women then made use of very bad language to me; I told them I would not let her go, but they got her from me. I pursued her - she fell at the bottom of the stairs, and I took hold of her again, and said if she would return my purse I would give her 5 s., but if she did not I would call an officer. I had given her 1 s. 6 d. before. She did not return the purse, and I gave charge of her to the beadle, who was passing. I have not seen the purse since. I am certain it was in my right hand trowsers pocket.

JOHN PARTRIDGE . I am the beadle of Whitechapel. I was coming down Wentworth-street, between one and two o'clock - I saw five or six women, and the prosecutor with them. I took the prisoner into custody; she made no answer to the charge. I searched her, and found two shillings and two sixpences upon her, but no purse. - The prosecutor had been drinking, but was quite collected.

Prisoner's Defence. I am perfectly innocent. He had been with another young woman before me.

WILLIAM FUNNELL. I swear I had not. I gave her the 1 s. 6 d. out of the purse.

GUILTY. Aged 18. Of stealing, but not from the person .

Transported for Seven Years .