12 Days of Criminal Christmas: Sex, Drink and Pickpockets


There are always two sides of a story – well, kind of. In the trial of Margaret Lawlor, accused of grand larceny in a case brought by Benjamin Tucker, the two sides were not altogether dissimilar – and both depicted a rather grubby Christmas Day in 1740.

Benjamin’s story:

“On Christmas Day, about three in the morning, I happened to meet the prisoner in Drury Lane. We went to the Greyhound Inn, and went to bed together, and I am sure I then had my watch in my pocket. About five in the morning I waked, and missed madam and my watch too.”

Margaret’s story:

“A wicked, vile man; he was drunk as anything, and had other women before me.”

Benjamin’s drunkenness and gullibility was ignored, but Margaret was found guilty and transported.

Source: Old Bailey Online, 25 February 1741