Thomas Jones and Rebecca Fisher

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 6.0, 27 September 2011), October 1838, trial of THOMAS JONES REBECCA FISHER (t18381022-2295).

Dated: 22nd October 1838.

THOMAS JONES and REBECCA FISHER were indicted for stealing, on the 21st of September, 3 sovereigns; and 1 £5 Bank-note, the monies and property of John Thompson, from the person, of Mary Thompson.

MR. BODKIN conducted the Prosecution.

MARY THOMPSON. My husband’s name is John Thompson we live at Ramsay, in the Isle of Man. On the 21st of September I came by the Railway-train from Birmingham to London. I arrived at Euston-square about nine o’clock in the evening.  I was looking for my luggage, and the male prisoner came up to me, he attracted my attention to the first carriage, and told me that my luggage was there.  I told him I thought it was not, he was quite a stranger to me I had seen him in Birmingham.  I had a pocket book in my right-hand pocket, it contained a £5 note and three sovereigns, I felt it safe while the prisoner was speaking to me.  My pocket hole is in the centre behind.  He stood on my left-hand side quite close, I lifted my hand to adjust my shawl, and felt a pressure on my right hip, I then put my hand down, and missed my pocket-book.  The prisoner was still standing close by me, I turned round and seized him, and told him he had robbed me of my pocket-book.  He said he had not, there were several ladies and gentlemen standing, but not near enough to touch me.  I am quite positive of that none of them had been so near as the prisoner.  I called for the policeman, the female prisoner then came up, and said she could take me to the gentleman who had robbed me of my pocket-book, as she saw him do it. I had not at that time said anything about losing a pocket-book except to the male prisoner only.  I told the policeman that I had been robbed of my pocket book, and she must have heard it.  I said that the man I had in charge I was confident was the who had robbed me of my pocket book.  Fisher passed very close by the male prisoner, and I felt confident she had received the book, she then mixed with the crowd.  A policeman came and took the man, and ordered another officer to look after the female.  I pointed out the female prisoner to the officer, the pocket book was afterwards shown to me by the officer, it was the one I had lost.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Had you seen the female prisoner before? A. Not to the best of my recollection, I have always been confident that she had received the pocket book.  I was examined before the Magistrate, to the best of my recollection I never said in any place that I “thought” the woman had received it, I never did.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. When you took the man, did he not say that he was ready to go any where with you, and be searched by anybody? A. I do not recollect those words.

JOHN BOOTH . I am Inspector of the Police at the London and Birmingham Railroad Station at Euston Square.  I remember the arrival of the trains by which the prosecutrix travelled, I heard a cry of Police, I went up, and saw the prosecutrix had hold of the male prisoner.  She said “I am robbed”. She seemed agitated.  I said, “What of?”  She said, “A pocket-book containing a £5 note and three sovereigns”  She said, “This man has robbed me of my pocket book.”  I give this person into custody.  She said, “He has handed the pocket book over to a lady dressed in black”.  In consequence of that I took charge of the male prisoner, and gave directions to another officer to follow the lady dressed in black.  I produce the pocket-book, which I received from the police constable, James Eart.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did you accompany the train? A. I am stationed on the spot, I cannot say exactly how many carriages came by the train, probably fourteen with passengers, there might have been many ladies dressed in black.  I had not known the woman before.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. What did you find on Jones? A. 9l. 10s. in gold; and 10s. 6d. in silver; a watch; and some other things.  I took the whole of the money away but a few shillings.

MR. BODKIN. Q. What did you find on Fisher? A. 11 sovereigns and a half, a purse; 7s. 12 fourpenny pieces; 2 keys; and a silk umbrella, I gave 9 sovereigns and a half, 7s., and 12 fourpenny pieces back to her by order of the Magistrate.  I was present when a woman came up and spoke to the prosecutrix.  I searched the luggage, I found no small blue box.

MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Were there any ladies’ band boxes? A. Yes; but Fisher’s was described as a blue deal box.

JAMES EART (police-constable 222.) I am an officer at the London and Birmingham Station. I heard the prosecutrix call for police, I went to her assistance, and found the inspector there.  In consequence of directions from him, I followed the female prisoner, she was dressed much the same as she is now, with the exception of a black bonnet, she went into a cluster of people, shuffling about very much, and was complaining of her luggage, saying, it was a small blue box, and desired me to look for it.  I said I would not, she might go, and I would go with her, she then shuffled about some time, and stooped down, I peeped over her shoulder, and saw her drop a pocket book.  I took it up, and took her back to Mr. Booth, and said she had dropped a pocket-book, and I saw her, she immediately denied it, it contained a £5 note and one sovereign.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Were there a great many persons about? A. Yes, all bustling about, and looking after their luggage.

MARY THOMPSON re-examined. This is the pocket book I lost, it contained a £5 note and three sovereigns.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. How comes it to have but one sovereign in it? A. It was gone long enough from me, I think, for any person to take anything out.

JONES. GUILTY . Aged 29.


Transported for Ten Years.