Aris’s Birmingham Gazette – An Escape

12 November 1787


MARY TAYLOR, who escaped from the Custody of the Keeper of the County Gaol in Shrewsbury, on Friday the 12th and was advertised in the Birmingham Newspapers of Thursday the 18th and Monday the 22nd of the same Month, offering a Reward of Two Guineas to any Person or Persons who should apprehend, or cause to be apprehended, the said Mary Taylor; and whereas it appears upon the Oath of Mr. Thomas Lawrence of Rowley in the County of Stafford, that the aforesaid Mary Taylor was hired by Mrs Lawrence, Wife to Mr Thomas Lawrence aforesaid, on Monday the 15th but the assumed Name of Mary Smith, and under a forged Character, given (as she said) by Mrs Clayton of Wrexeter, in the County of Salop; the said Mary Taylor, alias Smith, continued in Mrs. Lawrence’s Service till Saturday the 20th of the same Month, when she absconded, taking with her a large Quantity of Wearing Apparel, four Crown Pieces, a Dollar, a new Shilling, and a new Sixpence, in Silver, the Property of Mr Thomas Lawrence and his Wife aforesaid; and that Part of such Property was found in the Possession of one Haden, of Lower Gornell, in the Parish of Sedgley, Father to James Haden, who was suspected to conceal Mary Taylor, alias Smith, whose Dress, when she was seen last in the House of a Chimney-sweeper in Dudley (where she changed her Dress the Morning she left Mr Lawrence’s Service) was in a light coloured Cotton Gown and Petticoat. –

The said Mary Taylor, alias Smith, is about seventeen Years of Age, five Feet two Inches high, black Hair and Eye-lashes, a small Eye, rather hollow in her Head, and is marked upon her Eye-brows and on one Side of her Nose by a Bruise she is supposes to have received when she escaped from Prison, as she dropt near thirteen Feet for the Roof of it, upon and adjoining Building.

As an Encouragement for the immediate apprehending the said Mary Taylor, alias Smith, I hereby offer a Reward of Five Guineas to any Person or Persons, who shall deliver into my Custody the said Mary Taylor, alias Smith; except such Person or Persons, who have and now are suspected to conceal the aforesaid Mary Taylor alias Smith; as I am determined to prosecute such to the utmost Rigour of the Law; as from good Information she is now concealed by James Haden’s Associates, in the Parishes of Wolverhampton, Sedgley, or Tipton, in the County of Stafford, four of whom were apprehended on Wednesday last, and committed to Stafford Gaol, and a Warrant granted the same Day to apprehend Haden’s Father, and three more of his Accomplices.

Salop County Gaol, Nov. 9, 1787.

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Image credits: Aris's Birmingham Gazette 1787/11/12