Offence: Theft > receiving
Punishment: No Punishment > sentence respited
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1399. ISAAC SOLOMON was indicted for feloniously receiving, on the 1st of May, in the 7th year of the reign of George the 4th , 14 watch-movements, value 100l., the goods of Robert McCabe and Charles Strachan , which had been stolen by a certain evil-disposed person, he well knowing them to have been stolen; against the Statute .
MR. CURWOOD conducted the prosecution.
JAMES HUX. I am a watch-finisher. In the year 1825 I was in the employ of Messrs. Robert Strachan and Charles McCabe - their place of business is in George-yard, Lombard-street ; the premises were robbed on Thursday night, the 22nd of December, 1825, or Friday morning, the 23rd: I had locked up the premises the night before myself - I went first the next morning; I put the key into the outer door to turn the lock, and found I could not succeed, as it had been turned back as much as it could be - I found it had been opened; the workshop was in a complete state of disorder, and the things thrown about the floor; I missed the watch I had been working on the day before, and twelve or thirteen watch-movements, three of which had been on my own board - I do not know the value of the property stolen.
Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Are you still in the service of the prosecutors? A. Yes; I missed the watch I had been working on, some which a fellow-workman had been working on, and a vertical watch, which was perfect, in a going state - those I had been working on were not in cases; I had been timeing them - they were movements: they were perfect as far as regards the movements - they were going; they had gold convex spade hands on the dial-plate, and the second-hands were blue steel - they were all alike. Highfield was another servant in their employ - he is here.
MR. CURWOOD. Q.Should you know them again? A. Those I was at work on I have not seen since; those which are here I had not worked on.
COURT. Q. In the course of that night, were any articles lost, which in the trade would be called watch-movements? A. Yes.
CHARLES STRACHAN. On the morning of the 23rd of December, 1825, I received notice that my workshop had been robbed - I went down immediately, and missed fourteen watch-movements; the value of what I lost was upwards of 100l. - I sent to the Mansion-house for an officer- I had the locks examined, and endeavoured to trace the property. In the month of May following I received information, and went to search the prisoner's house, in Bell-lane, Spitalfields - Stafford was with me, also fortune and Foster, two officers, who are both dead; we went between ten and eleven o'clock, I think, on Sunday morning; the officers knocked at the door, and gained admittance immediately - it was opened by the prisoner's wife; she said her husband was not at home, and begged we would take a seat in the parlour, as she expected him in every minute to breakfast - breakfast was on the table in the parlour we went into; the things did not appear to have been used - we sat down for some time, I think full a quarter of an hour, expecting the return of the prisoner; I then told the officers I began to be impatient, and we began to search the lower room first, and looked under the bed; we found nothing there - we then went up to a door on the left-hand side of the stairs at the top of the house; it was fastened with a padlock outside - we were there about ten minutes, when the prisoner came up, and asked what we wanted there, and who I was; I told him my name, and said I was told that some movements I had lost were in his possession, and I begged he would let me look into that room, among his watches, to see if there were any of ours - he put his hand to his pockets, felt, and said he would go down and get the key, and show me his watches; I stood at the door for a few minutes, and as the prisoner did not come, I went
COURT. Q.Then we are distinctly to understand that the prisoner never came up again? A. No - I never saw him till he was in custody; I lost watch-movements that night.
MR. CURWOOD. Q. Produce what you found? A. These are them - they were in cases when I found them, but not when I lost them; I can identify my own movements, and swear to them with positiveness - these two are of my manufacture, and were part of those stolen on that night; I have no doubt about them.
Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. I take it for granted, these must have gone through many hands, to have cases and glasses, and the works fixed in? A. Yes, I should think they had - the name of "Dwerrihouse and Carter, London," was not on the movements we lost; we did not lose any watch - we do not call them watches till they are in cases; I cannot say that I had seen them the night before they were lost, but I must have seen them within a day or two, and given them to my workmen - I believe I had marked and numbered them all with my own hand; I find my own numbers on these movements - here is No. 11, 124 under the bottom, endeavoured to be erased, but it is perfectly distinct to me with this magnifying glass- I cannot see them without the glass; here is part of another movement with No. 11,487 on it - it was about five months after I missed these that I found them; from the state in which they were in on my premises, they must have gone through a glass-man's, a case-maker, a gilder, and another person's hands, before they were fit for sale; I do not swear to every part of the movements, but to those parts which are attached to those that have the numbers on them; I do not recollect whether any of them had the numbers more distinct than this one has - the prisoner had not returned when they broke open the door, that I had seen; we did not wait any longer than while we searched the house, which took nearly an hour - I did not go to the house again to see if he returned; I believe he was not taken up till 1827 - I had a warrant to search the house, but not to apprehend him; the officers had instructions to take him from me, but I cannot tell where he was; I kept these movements in the state I found them for some time, and then sold them to friends, who have since delivered them up to me; I am not quite certain who I sold No. 11,487 to, but I believe to Mr. Enderby, perhaps a year ago - it was in 1829, but I retained that part of the movement with the number on it, and this other part with" James Gibson , London," on it; I never austained a loss of this kind before - Fortune brought them away, and they were delivered to me after the prisoner had escaped, by Miller; he has a perfect one, which has not been in my possession since.
MR. CURWOOD. Q. Are you certain these individual pieces were found at the prisoner's house? A. Yes, I can, as a watch-maker, be certain of the number on this one, not withstanding the erasure - they had the name of James McCabe on them when they were lost; it is very possible to erase that, and put Dwerrihouse on them; one number might be erased, and another put on.
COURT. Q. Are not the names frequently altered? A. Not in my concern.
Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Do not you know it is a common custom for pawnbrokers and watchmakers of inferior ability, to put other names on them? A. We often find our names on them.
JURY. Q. Is not Dwerrihouse dead? A. I did not know him, but I have heard so - I belive the house carries on business in his name.
JAMES STAFFORD. I accompanied the last witness to the prisoner's house in May, 1826 - I was waiting at the door of the upper room; I heard a noise as of stuff falling from the cieling - I gave the alarm, and the door was instantly opened; the lime-dust was flying about, and there was a large hole in the cieling - we found the five watches there; I am a workman of the prosecutor's, and from the state in which I saw them I could swear to the movements - I knew them positively to be my master's, and the same which had been stolen.
Cross-examined. Q. Did you go up to the cieling to see if any one was there then? A. No - the hole was not large enough for a man to get through; we found no person in the house who could have made that hole - I looked up, but saw no man; if there had been a man breaking in at the time I was there, I must have seen him - I did not see any cat there; there was time for a man to get away over the roof of the house.
SAMUEL MILLER. I have one movement complete.
MR. STRACHAN. This is one which we lost.
Prisoner's Defence. I leave it totally to my counsel.
GUILTY . Aged 45. Judgment Respited .