Philobiblon: Sad Life

Friday, October 08, 2004

Sad Life

Just up the road from me, in Chancery Lane, in 1666 was born Mary "Moll" Jones. Her parents were hopeless debtors; she worked as a hoodmaker, then married an apprentice with extravagent tastes. Turning to pickpocketing to support this, she was caught stealing from Jacob Belafay, chocolate-maker to James II and William III. Branded on the hand, she turned to shoplifting for four years, for which she was again branded. Eventually caught stealing a piece of satin from a shop on Ludgate Hill, she was hanged at Tyburn at the age of 25 on 18 December 1691.
From A. Brooke and D. Branden, Tyburn: London's Fatal Tree, Sutton, Thrupp, 2004, p. 93.


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