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Old Bailey Case of Stolen Shoes 1829
Offence: Theft – simple larceny
Verdict: Guilty; Not Guilty
Miss R and Miss J were indicted for stealing, on the 8th of August, 17 pairs of shoes, value 3l. 8s., the goods of Mr Thomas.
MR THOMAS: I keep a shoe warehouse in the Borough. On the 8th of August I received information, and missed eighteen or twenty pairs of shoes – I had known Miss R for two years; she used to bring a few pairs of shoes of her own manufacture to my shop, for sale two or three times a week.
MISS M: I live in Cock-alley, Norton Falgate, and know Miss R by her coming down that alley to see Miss J. On the 8th of August I was in Camberwell Road, and saw the two prisoners together, a good way from Mr. Thomas’ shop – they asked me where I was going; I said I was going home – Miss R said she was going to the shop to get some shoes to bind; Miss J and I waited – Miss R went to the shop and brought out six pairs of shoes, and gave them to us to mind, on the step of a door; she said she had to go back in half an hour – that was some distance from the shop; I did not see the shop – she then brought out some more, and put them altogether in her lap; and as we were coming over London-bridge, Miss R said, “Miss J, how you tremble, if there is anything amiss I will take it all on myself” – we went home and counted the shoes on the bed; there were seventeen pairs, which she said she had from Mr. Thomas’ to bind – they were bound, and I said they did not want binding; she said they did – we then went out with them, and she pawned some; she said she wanted 1l. 12s. to get a young man out of prison – she pawned one pair at Mr. Francis’, and one pair further on, and then we stopped at the corner of Old-street, and she said she pawned some, but I do not know how many – I pawned one pair at the corner of Long-alley, and gave the money to Miss J; I went to pawn another pair in Aldersgate-street, and there I was stopped.
Cross-examined by MR. LEE: Q. How long have you known Miss R? A. About two years – we were at a considerable distance from the shop; I did not see it – we watched her as far as we could see; as we were coming past the shop, she said that was Mr. Thomas’ – I thought it must be wrong when I saw the shoes were bound; it was the first time I had been with her – Miss R was at the door when I was taken; I did not partake of the produce – Miss R bought a penny pie, and gave us some of it; I met them casually on the road.
MR JOHNSON: I received information from Miss M’s father went to a house in Shepherd’s-court, and saw Miss R, and took her – Miss J was there on a bed; I took them to the watch-house, and told Miss R it was my duty to ask a few questions, and that what she said might come in evidence against her – she then said she had got six pairs from Mr. Thomas’; had given some of them to the witness, some to Miss J, and she had pawned some herself.
Cross-examined: Q. Where was Miss R? A. Behind a bedstead – she went into hysterics; I put her into a chair, and told her not to be frightened, nobody would hurt her – Mr Joseph was below stairs when I took her; she said she was pregnant.
MR JOSEPH: I went with Mr Johnson. I said to Miss J, “I suppose you know our business?” she said, “No, I don’t” – I said it was about some shoes; she then began crying, and said she knew, and that she had pawned one pair – Miss R had been denied by the woman of the house; but Miss J said she was concealed upstairs.
Cross-examined: Q. Did you go upstairs where Miss R was? A. Yes – there was no violence used towards us.
MR GEORGE: I live in Aldersgate-street, and am a pawnbroker. Miss M came in and asked 4s. on a pair of shoes – she said they belonged to her father, who was a shoemaker; I asked if he made them – she said Yes; I knew that to be false, as I knew they were Northampton shoes, and I gave her into custody.
MR JOHN: I received Miss M in charge with this pair of shoes.
MR FRANCIS: I am a pawnbroker. I took in these shoes on the 8th of August, but I do not know of whom.
MR RICHARD: I am a pawnbroker. I have three pairs of shoes, all pawned by Miss R, at different times – the last two pairs on the 8th of August; I questioned her, and she said they belonged to her father – I examined them, found Mr. Thomas’ name, and gave information.
Cross-examined: Q. How often have you seen Miss R. A. About four times – they were pawned in the name of Miss R and Miss S, and different addresses, which raised my suspicion; I found the label on a pair which had been pawned on the 27th of June, which I examined when she left the last pair.
MR MATTHEW: I am a pawnbroker, and live in Holywell-lane. I have some shoes pawned by Miss R, on the 8th of August, in the name of Miss T.
Cross-examined: Q. You knew her name was Miss R? A. Yes – when she gave me the name of Miss T, I asked if that was her name; she intimated she was married, and her husband was a shoemaker – I took in two pairs.
MR HENRY: I am a pawnbroker. I took in these shoes of Miss M on the 8th of August, between ten and eleven o’clock, in the name of Miss D.
THOMAS. This pair of shoes were given up to me at Guildhall; these I have brought to match – this pair have my own writing in them.
MISS R – GUILTY. Aged 18. Transported for Seven Years.
MISS J – NOT GUILTY.