steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

The Old Bailey Online records

You can tell I'm meant to be marking, right? But the Old Bailey records are such a time sink. It's hard not to keep reading them just for the human stories - and the advertisements! I find I need to flip between the OCR transcription and the photograph of the original, but mostly it's pretty easy to make out.

6 September 1716

Rebecca Darby, Martha Dykes, Hannah Rogers, and Elizabeth Slate, of the Parish of St. Dunstan Stepney , were indicted for an Assault on the Person of Abraham Major, and robbing him of 2 Gold Rings, value 25 s. 1 Pair of Silver Buckles, 7 s. 6 d. a Silver Tobacco-box, val. 5 s. and 18 shillings in Money, on the 12th of June last.

Rebecca Darby, Martha Dykes, Elizabeth Slate were second Time indicted of the same Parish, with Katharine Lawson and Ann Bolton for an Assault on the Person of the said Abraham Major and robbing him of 26 Guineas, 1 Broad-piece and 11 Moydores on the 14th of June last.

It appear'd the Prosecutor was coming thro' Church-Lane (a most notorious Place) and Darby and Rogers took him into a House, and Dykes and Slate and 4 or 5 more came to their Assistance, who forc'd him into some Rents where they bound and robbed him, and then uncivilly went away and left him in a strange Place; but finding the Way out he got a Constable the same Night to search the House and Rents; but they could find no body. Next Morning he put the Gold mention'd in the Indictment into his Pocket, and went alone to one Pritchard, who was of the Gang,(since executed) to get his Rings which he very much valued, and for two Guineas had them again; after which Pritchard invited him to take a Glass of Rum at the House where he was robb'd before, who, being a very stupid Fellow, notwithstanding he was advised to the contrary by the Man of the House where they drank; consented to it, and then Pritchard went to the Prisoners who were in the Rents adjoining to the Three Mariners in the said Church Lane and chid them there was [???]; and went away: Then they (the Prisoners at the Bar and some others) fell upon him, robb'd him of his Gold, and by throwing Dirt, and other Abuses, had almost frighted him out of his Wits ; when his Wife happily came to his Relief and sav'd his Life. One of the Gang made herself as Evidence in this Matter and confirm'd all the Circumstances, and said tho' she was not in the first Robbery she receiv'd half her Fellow-Women's Share, they being oblig'd by Agreement among themselves, whoever makes a Booty to divide it in this manner. But the Prosecutor and she agreed Dykes was not present at the second; nor was they very positive to Bolton: Upon the whole Darby, Dykes Rogers and Slate were found Guilty of the first indictment, the Evidence being positive against them; and Darby, Slate, and Lawson of the second, of which Dykes and Bolton were acquitted.

I'm trying to imagine the conversation he had with his wife on the way home after she rescued him.

The Trials being over, the Court proceeded to give Judgement as follows:
Receiv'd Sentence of Death, 32.
John Love , Thomas Bean , George Purchase , Richard Price , William Price , John Mason , Samuel Kempton ,Samuel West , Rebecca Darby , Martha Dykes , Hannah Rogers , Elizabeth Slatt , Katharine Lawson , Mary Williams , Jane Whits , Walter Shaw , John Lloyd , Robert Evans , Jacob Leatherian , Richard Griffith, Thomas Allen , Mary Harding , Elizabeth Nichalls , Frances Williams , Christopher Tedder , William Barton , William Devarall , Thomas Jackson alias Purchase, Richard Scott , Mary Thurland , John Pope , and Marry Plot ....

The 12 Women pleaded their Bellies, and a Jury of Matrons being impanell'd 10 of them were found Quick with Child, but the other two (Slate and Mary Williams) not .

10 out of 12 ain't bad.
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