Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 07 December 2021), September 1831, trial of HANNAH CREED (t18310908-20).

HANNAH CREED, Theft > housebreaking, 8th September 1831.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Alderson.

1549. HANNAH CREED was indicted for feloniouslybreaking and entering the dwelling-house of Mary Davis , on the 5th of September , at St. Mary Abbotts, Kensington, and stealing therein 2 half-sovereigns, 1 crown, 2 half-crowns, 9 shillings, and one 5l. Bank note, her property ; against the Statute.

MARY DAVIS. I live at Nottingdale, in the parish of Kensington ; I do not know any other name to the parish. I lost this money on Tuesday morning, the 5th of September, between ten and eleven o'clock; I saw it safe on Saturday night; I was not out of the house from then till Monday morning - the money was in a little box in my bed-room, at the foot of the bed, with many more odd things; there were two half-sovereigns, a 5s. piece, two half-crowns, nine shillings, and a 5l. Bank note - I do not know the number of it; it had two or three names on the back of it, but I do not know the names - I missed it on Tuesday morning, between ten and eleven o'clock; I know the prisoner - she has been in my house several times; she saw me receive the 5l. note, and said at the time, "I wish this was mine" - I said, "I must save it to buy some more pigs;" I had sold my pigs to a butcher- she is fourteen years old, and used to come to fetch errands for me; I went out on the Monday morning, and locked up every thing - there was a pane of glass broken large enough for her to get through - I suppose she got through there, if she stole the money.

CATHERINE GIBBONS . I know the prisoner. On Monday, between ten and eleven o'clock, she came to me, and brought a 5l. Bank note; I looked at the back of it - there were two names on the back which I could not make out; she also brought two half-sovereigns, and 19s. in silver - there were two half-crowns and odd shillings, but I did not notice a crown-piece; she told me she was acquainted with several girls of the town, and they had made a gathering for her, that the 5l. note and halfsovereigns belonged to a girl of the town, named Sarah Cusa , and she was to give her a sovereign for getting the 5l. note changed - I advised her, whoever owned the note, to take it to them; she said she would take it to her in the evening - she gave it to me to take care of for her, and on Monday afternoon she came to me for a 5l. note, a half-sovereign, and 4s. or 5s., saying she was going to buy a new frock for herself; she afterwards brought me the 5l. note again, saying she could not see Cusa, and would I mind it for her - a young woman came and asked if I was minding a 5l. note for her; I said Yes - I told my father, and then as soon as the prisoner came and asked for some of the silver, I gave her all the money; I saw no more of her - the last time I gave her the 5l. note was on a Tuesday evening.

SELINA PONTZ . I know the prisoner - she came to me at Kensington on Tuesday night, and asked me to go with her to buy a frock in town; I went to town with her, in company with Conner, and she changed a 5l. note at a shop, for two shawls and a silk handkerchief; Conner took the change - we were coming back: I saw a Policeman - Conner said, "There are two Policemen coming - I am afraid you did not get this money honestly, and am afraid they will take me - I will chuck these three sovereigns away;" I saw him stoop, but do not know whether he threw them away - the prisoner afterwards said to him,"Why did you not give them to me, and I would have put them into my shoe?" he said, "If I had given them to you it would have been as bad as having them myself;" she cried, and said she should get murdered, for it had been given to her to get changed by Cusa - I went with her and her aunt that day, and bought a frock and some stockings.

WILLIAM DAVIS . I was present when the prisoner was taken up - she objected to walk with the Policeman; I walked with her, and said if she had stolen the money she had better own it.

ROBERT AUSTIN PYALL . I am a Policeman. I have a piece of cotton and one of the shawls which she bought, but I found no note nor money; I know Davis' house - it is in the parish of St. Mary Abbott's, Kensington.

Prisoner. I was driven to it by distress - my father turned me out of doors.

Two witnesses deposed to the prisoner's good character, and represented that she had been cruelly treated by her father, and compelled to remain in the streets all night.

GUILTY of stealing in the dwelling-house, but not of breaking and entering - DEATH . Aged 12.

Strongly recommended to Mercy, on account of her tender years and destitute condition.