Joan Gibbs 

*? - †?


a) 1841-Census: Chesil, Portland, Dorset.nn1851-Census: Fortunes Well, Portland, Dorset.nn1861-Census: Spring Gardens, Portland, Dorset.nn1881-Census: Maiden Well, Portland, Dorset.nnBIOGRAPHY: REPORT FROM DORCHESTER COUNTY CHRONICLE, 19TH MARCH 1835;nSamuel Norster (35), Joan Norster, his wife (25), and Abraham Norster (32), were indicted for having broken into the dwelling-house of Wm. Pearce, in Portland, and stealing money therefrom to the amount upwards of Ð60, his property, on the 21st Dec. last.Mr. Hodges, with whom was Mr. Horsford, addresses the Jury for the prosecution, stating the facts of the case: and the following witnesses were called.nWm. Pearce: I am a shopkeeper living in Portland, on the evening of 21st Dec. I and my family went to chapel, about six o'clock, fastening up the house. On our return, about eight, I found the yard door had been unlocked, and the window of the dwelling-house broken. I went upstairs and found one drawer in a chest taken out, and a hole cut through the bottom of one over it, and that more than Ð60 had been taken from it. There was a guinea, sixty sovereigns, several crowns and half crowns. I also lost some keys. I obtained a warrant from the Rev. Mr. Dade at Broadway, in consequence of some suspicion, and the prisoners were apprehended.nRobert Pearce: I am a constable of Portland; I obtained a warrant on Tuesday evening, the 23rd Dec., and went on the following morning to search the house of the prisoners who live together. The men were at home. When the woman returned, she asked what was the matter? I said I had apprehended her husband and Abraham Norster on suspicion of stealing money. She said there was no money in the house: and that she was so poor that yesterday she borrowed 6d. From her brother's wife, for she had not a penny to by some caster oil. This was in the presence of her husband. Wm. Way and Wm. Pearce, other constables, were with me. We searched the house, but found nothing while I was there.nWm. Pearce: I am a constable of Portland, and went with a search warrant to take the prisoners into custody, with the last witness. Samuel Norster took 4s. 4d. From his pocket and said that was all the money he had. On searching him I found four sovereigns in his waistcoat pocket. He said he had five sovereigns given him the day before by a gentleman at Weymouth; but he did no know the gentleman's name, nor where he lived. Joan Norster, after a search, and with much hesitation, produced a small purse, with a sovereign, seventeen shillings, and a sixpence.Wm. Way: I accompanied last witness to the house of Abraham Norster, Joan Norster's brother's wife, and the sister of Joan were there. There are two rooms up stairs divided by a partition. The male prisoners were apprehended and taken away before I got there. I went up stairs, and searched in a dark closet; and put my hand on a parcel, which I gave to Benjamin Pearce. It contained one pound for shillings and sixpence in silver. I went again the day following and searched in a dark room down stairs, and found Ð6. 10s. 6d. all in silver; wrapped in a handkerchief, and buried in the dirt. I gave it to Robert Pearce. All the prisoners lived in the house.nBenjamin Pearce: I am a constable of Portland, and went to the dwelling house of the prisoners, with the two Pearces, constables. I was there also with Wm. Way, when he found some money, all in silver.nJas. Joyeaux Glenister: I am clerk to the County gaol. The prisoners were brought in custody on 24th Dec. As is customary, I asked them whether they had any money. They said they had none. On searching Samuel Norster, I found a guinea, some sovereigns, and some silver.nThe guinea was produced, and put into the hands of the prosecutor, who said it was of the same coinage as that he had lost, and appeared the same in every respect.nGeorge Cull: Clerk to the Magistrates' Clerk for Dorchester Division. The prisoners were brought before the Magistrates on the 27th Dec. the examination of Samuel Norster, now produced, was then taking in writing.The examination was read, it was a statement of Samuel Norster, that he had been given Ð5 by a gentleman of Weymouth whom he did not know. His wife had said she would not take it unless she knew who gave it, and he had, to pacify her, said it was given by Mr. Roper Weston.nJohn Randall: Overseer of Melcombe Regis in 1833. From Sept. 7, 1833, to Jan 1, 1834, Samuel Norster, received parochial relief.John Dyne: Overseer of Portland. The prisoner Abraham, had received parochial relief in November last; and on the 4th of Dec, when witness gave him an order for 3 loaves of bread.nSamuel Norster declined saying any thing in his defence; and Abraham said he was merely a lodger in his brother's house; and knew nothing about the money.nThe learned Judge, in summing up, said there was no evidence at all against the female; and explained the law on the subject as affecting women.nThe two male prisoners were found guilty, and the female prisoner acquitted. ------Sentence of Death Recorded; and the learned Judge intimated that they would be transported for life.nnOCCUPATION: 1841 (C) Widow Paupern1861 (C) Laundressn1881 (C) Laundress