Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 10 May 2021), February 1836, trial of ANN DUNN (t18360229-848).

ANN DUNN, Theft > stealing from master, 29th February 1836.

848. ANN DUNN was indicted for stealing, on the 7th of February, 1 pair of bracelets, value 4s.; 1 eye-glass, value 8s.; 1 petticoat, value 10d.; 1 box, value 1s. 6d.; 1 yard of ribbon, value 1d.; and 8 yards of silk, value 5s.; the goods of William Nightingale, her master.

AGNES NIGHTINGALE . I am a laundress, and the wife of William Nightingale, a marine, and live in Adelaide-place, Woolwich. On the 19th of January the prisoner came to live with me as servant—she left me on the 7th of February, without notice, at about half-past two o'clock—I missed the articles before she left—a little trunk was brought to my door by a person, and I accused her of taking it—she denied it, and left—the piece of silk was in the trunk, and the eye-glass and bracelets—I had seen the trunk about a fortnight or three weeks before—it was kept in a little room, which I used as a sitting-room—she denied having seen the box—she left while I went to get a constable—I found a petticoat-body under her bed—she was apprehended next day, the 8th, at Mrs. Gaymer's, three doors from my own house—I went there and saw her, and said, "You good for nothing girl, to rob me of the petticoat of a lady I wash for; I would not care if you had nothing to eat"—she said, "Oh! forgive me, forgive me"—I sent for a constable, and had her apprehended—the petticoat belonged to Mrs. Cill of Blackheath—I had it to wash.

Prisoner. She told me there was nothing in the box, and when I unfortunately took it I shook it, and there was nothing in it—it was thrown into a place with my old candlestick rags—she told Mrs. Chapman there was nothing in it. Witness. I did not—I kept it in a cupboard where my husband puts his clothes—the box has never been opened, and the things are in it now—she could not get a key to open it—she might put rags in the cupboard, but not with my knowledge—I have had no quarrel with her.

SARAH COURSE . I am the wife of John Course, a labourer, in Adelatde-place, Woolwich, I was employed by Mrs. Nightingale to mangle her clothes which she washes—on the 7th of February the prisoner came to my house with a little box, and asked me if I had a key which would fit it, for her mistress—I said I did not know, but I would see—I had not got one, and I sent it back directly, with a message that I had not a key—I sent it by a little girl.

Prisoner. I did not say it was for my mistress—I merely asked if she had a key to fit it. Witness. She did say it was for her mistress.

LOUISA GAYMER . I am the wife of Samuel Gaymer, a shipwright in Woolwich Dock-yard. I take in needle-work—on Saturday, the 6th of February, the prisoner came to my house in Adelaide-place, and asked me if I could put a band to a petticoat for her—I said I could not just then,

having a little work in hand—she said she was in no hurry for it—she came on Sunday, and asked me to let her brush her shoes—I said, "Yes"—she asked who I had in my house—I said, "Nobody but my husband," and she sat down and drank ten with us—I went out afterwards, and when I returned she was still there—I said her mistress would want her, and next morning I found her in the privy—I said, "What! have you been siting here all night?"—she said, yes, she could not get in, and that her mistress would not let her in—when my husband was gone out, I took her and gave her some breakfast; and about eleven o'clock she said she would sell me the petticoat for 2s., or change it with me for another—I never saw her till Twelfth-night, when I was at a patty, and saw her and her mistress.

Prisoner. She said, if I was afraid of the petticoat being found on me, she would give me 2s., for it, or give me another in exchange—I would not agree to it, and she fetched my mistress, Witness. I did not know she had left.

PETER CONWAY . I am a constable of Woolwich, On Monday, the 18th of February, in consequence of information, I apprehended the prisoner at Mrs. Nightngale's house—she was crying very much—I found three duplicates on her for two shawls and a pair of shoes, not claimed—they appear to be her own property.

AGNES NIGHTINGALE re-examined. The lady's name is on the body of the petticoat, which she has cut off—I found it under her bed—I brought her back to my house from Mrs. Gaymer's—I had no conversation with her after she came—she had not been three weeks in my house—I agreed to give her 5l. a year, and had given her 1s. 3d.—she boarded in the house—her father is a sawyer in the Dock-yard, and has a large family—she had no means of knowing what was in the trunk.

Prisoner's Defence. I did not intend to keep the little box—there things were not in it—she told an acquaintance so, and I had no ides there could be any thing in it, it being throw into a cupboard like that—I did not think it was of any consequences—I intended to ask her if it was, or if she would sell it to me—she gives out that all her servants rob her.

MRS. NIGHTINGALE. I have put nothing into the box since it came back.

GUILTY . Aged 17— Confined Three Months.