MARY CATON (the mother), and ELIZABETH CATON (the daughter), were indicted for stealing from the warehouse of Mr. ROBERT COOPER, in George-street, a piece of muslin, a shawl, and a gown-piece, on the 25th of August. The case was this: — The mother had been laundress for Mr. COOPER’s family 6 or 7 months; and the daughter had only been as servant-maid in the same family 8 days. The linen had been prepared in the course of the day for the old woman to take away in the evening, and the daughter was in the act of rolling the bundle down stairs when a man-servant was running up, who espied the top of a new umbrella, making its appearance out of the bundle. Mr. COOPER was informed of this circumstance; in the mean time the mother went home to bring a man to assist her in the removal of the linen. The bundle was untied, and the articles for which the prisoners were indicted, were found among the linen; and these articles had been taken from different parts of the show-room. There was no possibility of doubting the prisoners’ guilt; but, owing to the very good character given the mother by two respectable witnesses, the Court was pleased to make a distinction in the sentences. MARY CATON was therefore sentenced to 6 months hard labour in the Factory; and ELIZABETH CATON, an apparently modest looking girl, was sentenced 12 months transportation to Port Macquarie.
See Original: “MAGISTRATE FOR THE ENSUING WEEK, JAMES BOWMAN, ESQUIRE.,” Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (NSW : 1803 – 1842) Thursday 2 October 1823, p.2