Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 December 2021), November 1844, trial of WILLIAM SMELT ANN VARRELL (t18441125-152).

WILLIAM SMELT, ANN VARRELL, Theft > simple larceny, 25th November 1844.

152. WILLIAM SMELT and ANN VARRELL were indicted for stealing, on the 1st of Nov., 1 blanket, value 2s. 6d.; 1 saucepan, 1s. 6d., 1 pillow, 6d.; 1 looking-glass, (6d.; and 1 1/2 yards of drugget, 6d.; the goods of Thomas Howes.

THOMAS HOWES . I am a shoemaker, and live in Blue Anchor-alley, St. Luke's. The two prisoners came to me on the 24th of Oct.—they asked for ready-furnished lodgings—Smelt said he was a shoemaker, that Varrell was his wife, and she was a dressmaker—I let them a furnished room, and they took possession of it the same evening—on the 1st of Nov. Smelt left my house, leaving Varrell and a little girl there—on the following day I spoke to Varrell about the rent—she told me I should soon have it—on the next day she told me her husband was gone to Cambridge about some money, and, independent of what

he would bring back, she had money of her own, by which she would be able to pay me in a day or two—she said she had some houses on the Gravesend-road which belonged to her and her sisters, and she wanted to sell them—I said I thought I knew a person who would buy them, but there would be some difficulty about selling them, as she had a husband—on the following Wednesday I went into the room, and the fire-irons were gone, and a glass—Varrell was out at that time—I went in again, and missed the other articles stated—they were mine—here are two blankets here which are mine, and are part of the things I missed—when I missed the things, I asked Varrell where they were—she said they were pledged, that her husband had the duplicates with him, and he was gone into the country—she said, "We took them jointly,"and she gave me a list of the places where the things were pledged—I gave her into custody—she said she took them from distress, and she was in distress, and the Magistrate, in consequence of that, sent her to the workhouse—I saw Smelt again on the Sunday evening following, and he was then in custody.

BENJAMIN ROBERTS (police-sergeant G 1.) Varrell was given to me by Mr. Howes. She gave me a list of where she had pawned the things, and said she took them to the pawnbroker's herself—I found them all correct, as she had given me the account—several of the things were given up by the pawnbrokers.

THOMAS FEW (police-constable G 154.) I went to St. Luke's work-house, and took Smelt—I told him he was charged with stealing some blankets and other things—he denied taking any, and said be knew nothing about it, that he went into the country and left his wife—I took him to the station.

HENRY PERCEVAL WALKER I am assistant to Mr. Chapman, a pawnbroker. I produce these two blankets, pawned by the prisoner Varrell.

Varrell. You did not take both the blankets in of me.

Witness. I was present, and saw them both taken in of you.

COURT. Q. Can you swear she is the woman that pledged them? A. Yes, and I will swear I took one of them in of her.

Smelts Defence. I am perfectly innocent of the goods that were pledged; I know if my wife did it, it was through utter distress, and I have no doubt they were not taken with any felonious intent; no persons suffered more than we have; we have been nine nights walking about the country roads; I had been a teetotaller, but I left them, and a parcel of people have calumniated me.

>Varrell's Defence. Mr. Howes came on the Wednesday, and asked if the things were all right; I said they were not, but I would write into the country for some money; I wrote a letter, and he told me he posted it; after that I and my little girl laid down, as we had no fire, but he brought in two policemen, and would not allow me to stay in the house till I got an answer to my letter; he asked me for a copy of my mother's will; I gave it him, and he never returned it; I did some work for his wife which came to half-a-crown, and he had a shilling off the rent—I received two half-sovereigns, and they were returned back by order of the Magistrate.

NOT GUILTY ,