28 January 1721   The Lord Mayor has committed also to the same gaol (Newgate) one Margaret Jackson, alias Yeomans, alias Jones, alias Powell, alias Wood, alias Green, alias Bird, alias Chest, alias Johnson, alias Smith, alias Mackeron, &c. who kept a notorious bawdy-house in Hanging-Sword-Court in Fleet-Street, for picking a Bailiffs pocket of his gold, &c. when he came to be accomodated in her house. (Applebee’s Original Weekly Journal)

Thursday 23 July 1724   Yesterday Elizabeth Smith, alias Bouncing Bess, of Drury, was committed to Newgate by Justice Parry, for picking a countryman’s pocket of about three pounds. (The Daily Journal)

10 December 1726   Last Sunday one Sarah Oakly, the reputed widow of Gurtridge, who hangs in chains at Bristow-Causeway in Surrey, now the reputed wife of one Kirk, who was lately committed to the County Goal of Surrey, for felony, and Elizabeth Honyman, likewise committed for felony, made their escape from the County Goal aforesaid, by getting over a wall 15 foot high, by the help of nails fasten'd in the wall on the inside: Oakly leap'd down and escap'd, but Honyman broke her leg by the fall, and was carry'd to St Thomas's Hospital, and her leg cut off last Tuesday. The same day Oakly was taken in Whitechappel, in bed with Kirk and another man. Kirk is also committed to the said Goal, and double iron'd. (Mist's Weekly Journal)

4 May 1728   Last Satuday the infamous Moll King and Sarah Fox, who have been pickpockets for 30 years and upwards, were committed to Newgate for picking a gentleman’s pocket at the play-house. The husband of the latter was executed about six months since at Tyburn. (The Weekly Journal)

19 October 1728   On Saturday night last about 9 o’clock, a basket woman belonging to St James’s Market, commonly called Great Mary, going along Jermyn-Street by the Dead Wall of St James’s Church-Yard, a man came up to her and took a goose away from her, which she had on her head in a basket; but the woman pursued him till she overtook him, and beat him so violently, that he had much difficlty to make his escape without his booty. (Weekly Journal, or the British Gazetteer)

7 December 1728   On Wednesday the Sessions began at the Old Baily, when 26 felons were try’d, whom 15 were cast for transportation, and Judith Holloway was capitally convicted for picking the pocket of Elizabeth Staples of a silver snuff box value twelve shilling as she was going from the Evening Lecture in Bishopgate-street [sic]; she has been a noted pickpocket for above forty years, and was wife to Holloway who about fourteen years ago was executed at the end of Giltspur street, and afterwards hang’d in chains at Holloway, for shooting, (after he had recei’d sentence of death) one of the Turn-Keys of Newgate, who was accessary to his being apprehended for robbing on the highway. Another of his wives was hang’d at the same time with him for aiding and assisting him in the murder of the said Turn-Key. (The Flying-Post)

21 December 1728   Monday five women of the town were carried before Sir Richard Hopkins, being found in a notorious bawdy-house in Blackfryers. One of them was wife to Peter Levee, a street-robber, executed last Sessions at Tyburn. (Weekly Journal, or the British Gazetteer)

26 November 1730   The noted Mary Barber, alias Russet, who lately kept the Fountain tavern in Drury-lane, was on tuesday committed to the Gate-house for beating the Constables. – I wonder how many stout Constables this Virago demolished. [Grub-street Journal]

6 July 1732   Tuesday, July 4. Last saturday night ended the Quarter Sessions for the city and liberty of Westminster, at which Mary Millicent, indicted for a common scold, pleaded guilty, and submitted to the mercy of the Court, who, in regard to her having been in prison above 10 weeks, fined her one shilling, and ordered her to be discharged. DP. (Grub-street Journal)

4 September 1734   Yellow Nan was committed to Newgate by Justice Mitchel, but Hampstead Moll made her escape. (Daily Journal)

12 September 1734   Yesterday the Sessions began at the Old Bailey, when 29 prisoners were tried ...
     Mary Eager, alias Yellow Nan, was tried for the murder of John Essex, the drover, near Hampstead, and found guilty of manslaughter. (Daily Journal)

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Viragos", 28 July 2004, updated 4 April 2007 <>

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