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1836: Cuckfield pickpocket jailed

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

Brighton Gazette - Thursday 20 October 1836

Jane Barrett, 39, married woman, charged with stealing at Cuckfield, from the person of John Beard, one silver watch, the property of the said John Beard.

The prosecutor, who is servant to Mr Picknell deposed:

In the Georgian and Victorian periods pickpockets were ubiquitous

I was at Cuckfield fair on the 16th Sept., which I left in company with the prisoner about half-past eleven clock; after some improper liberties she drew my watch from my pocket, and ran away. I went in pursuit of her, but, was knocked down by two men. This was near Mr Webber’s house.

Cross-examined Mr Cobbett- Was it a fine evening?

Prosecutor - ’Twasn’t fine, nor ’twasn't wet, if you can make that out (laughter).

Mr Cobbett - Had you any lasses with you, when you were walking about the town for three hours?

Prosecutor - Not one.

Mr Cobbett - You wouldn’t be seen with one?

Prosecutor (simpering) - l didn’t say so.

The prisoner was found guilty, and sentenced to three month's imprisonment, the last fortnight in solitary confinement.



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