"Thank you kindly, sir," and with a flamboyant curtsey, Ann Beazley left the dock - relieved at being sent to prison and not deported.

She and Ann McCann had been convicted of stealing clothing from John Tuck and his wife at whose Southampton house the women of easy virtue had been renting a room.

A conviction at the town's quarter sessions in 1832 was inevitable after the missing items had been found in their possession and both were expecting the worst.

"What do you wish to say before I pass sentence?" Recorder Bingham asked.

"Nothing," remarked Beazley - then she did.

"But I am in the habit of having a little drink and I can't help it, and when I do, I can't tell what I have done. I trust your honours will forgive me and I will not do so any more."

Daily Echo:

McCann appeared so absorbed in grief she declined to offer any words.

"Very well, I sentence to one month's imprisonment with hard labour," said the judge, much to Beazley's shock and delight.

"I fully expected to cross the water," she remarked, alluding to the fact she feared transportation.

Their case was one of only six to feature at the sessions.

Another, which attracted considerable interest, concerned Uriah Holley, a dodgy dealer who specialised in counterfeit cash. Police had evidently been trying to nail him for some time and laid a trap with acquaintance jeweller Abraham Levi who he never would have suspected of playing for the other side.

Levi sought out Holley, deliberating purchasing a pie from him to start off a conversation.

"It's all right for you," Levi bemoaned. "You are doing it up in showful way," knowing Holley was up to no good. "Why don't you let me have some? How about calling between 11 and 12 tomorrow and you can let me have some pegs and subpenas (pennies and shillings) for 5s the score."

Holley couldn't resist the opportunity of making easy money and departed but Levi went straight to the local bobby called Terry who devised a simple plan. First, he marked coinage and then secreted himself in a small downstairs room at Levi's home where he bore a small hole in the door to eavesdrop.

Daily Echo: A spilt purse of old coins.

Sure enough, Holley turned up at the appointed hour.

"Ready?" asked Levi, luring him in.

"Of course," Holley replied, only too anxious to close the deal.

And with that, the jeweller bought one score of shillings for 5s and then half a score for 2s.

"Now, do you want any cooters (sovereigns) or tusheroons (half-crowns)" urged Holley, greedily intent on maximising the bargain.

"No," Levi declined. "I have no more money."

"Pity," bemoaned Holley.

And at that very moment, following a pre-arranged signal, Terry suddenly appeared and arrested the furious Holley who sighed: "It's all up with me."

All too true.

Holley was charged with disposing of a quantity of base coins and it only took the jury a few minutes consideration to return a conviction for which he received seven years transportation.