First London Jury - Before Mr. Recorder.
1273. ISAAC SOLOMON was indicted for feloniously and burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Richard Groncock and another, about three o'clock in the night of the 6th of June, with intent to steal, and stealing 77 pieces of lace, containing 1770 yards, value 40l.; 43 handkerchiefs, value 5l.; 28 veils, value 15l.; 43 caps, with lappets, value 7l. 10s.; 357 other caps. value 19l.; 30 collars, value 15s.; 468 cap crowns, value 4l., and 40 pieces of bobbinet, containing 120 yards, value 8l., their property .
MR. CLARKSON conducted the prosecution.
HENRY PATCHING . In January, 1827, I was in the service of Richard Groncock and Sampson Copestake, lace-manufacturers , No. 7, Cheapside - they have since removed to Friday-street. On Saturday, the 6th of January, 1827 , between eight and nine o'clock, I made the premises secure - the property stated in the indictment was then safe; I locked the warehouse, and took the key up to my bed-room - I slept on the premises; the warehouse is on the first floor; I went into the warehouse about eight o'clock on Monday morning, and missed all these articles - I calculate the property missing to be worth about 500l.; inquiry was set on foot - we got officers directly we discovered it: the prisoner was apprehended the latter end of April that year - I slept at the top of the house.
Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Were you the last person up? A. I believe the servant was up after me, it being Saturday - she has left; I went to bed between ten and eleven o'clock - I locked the warehouse door, and closed the shutters myself, and I fastened the street door that night; I do not swear that I fastened all the windows - there is no back door to the house; there is but one door: I saw some of the goods again on the 24th of April - I cannot say how many hands they had gone through in that time; those found were worth about 100l. - I never saw the prisoner about the premises.
MR. CLARKSON. Q. In what state did you find the warehouse on Monday? A. The door was unlocked, but was closed; the card-boards and papers the goods had been in were strewed about - the key had been in my possession from Saturday till Monday; the door had been opened with a picklock-key or some such means.
JANE OADES . In 1827 I lived in Lower Queen-street, Islington. The prisoner came to lodge with me in March that year - he had one room on the first floor. and he slept and had his meals there; he continued to lodge there till he was apprehended - the officer (Lea) came to the house at the time Solomon was taken; they entered the room he occupied, and called me up - I saw lace and different things, which Lea and Davis took away in a coach; the prisoner was not taken at my house, and I cannot say on what day it was - his wife used to come there to see him, but did not live with him there; I knew him by the name of Jones at my house.
JAMES LEA. I am an officer of Lambeth-street. On the 23rd of April, 1827. I apprehended the prisoner in the New North-road, Islington, not in any house; I took him to Islington watch-house, and searched him, but found nothing relating to this robbery - I had not then received information of it; I took him before a Magistrate, and he was afterwards committed to prison; I went to Mrs. Oades' premises the following morning, about six o'clock, and inquired if she had a person named Solomon living there; she said No, there was a person named Jones - I was shown to the room on the first floor- I was accompanied by one Jackson, and sent for Davies; on opening the room door I found a vast quantity of property, lace, handkerchiefs, veils. Irish linen, tablecloths, and various articles, silk handkerchiefs, a watch, some hobbinet, and a quantity of caps; all the property was tied up in bundles, under the bedstead - there were three or four large bundles, and a great quantity of valencia waistcoat pieces; I took it all away - there was a large trunk full; all the articles were new, and might be worth 300l. or 400l. altogether; among it were the articles I now produce; also the following, which I delivered up to Mr. Copestake on the 28th of September, by direction of the Magistrate: (reads) "74 pieces of cotton
Cross-examined. Q. Who showed you Jones' room? A. Mrs. Oades - she went up to the room door; I inquired which was the room - she said on the one pair of stairs; this was on the 24th of April; I found some cloth and a silver spoon in the room - there were no skeleton-keys or housebreaking implements.
ROBERT DAVIES. On the 24th of April, 1827, I went with Lea to Mrs. Oades' house - I found Lea down in her room, and accompanied him up to the first floor room; I saw him find the property - I have heard Lea's evidence; it is correct: I found a quantity of lace under the bed, which I gave to Lea - this is it: I found all the lace that was identified by the prosecutors - all the articles were new.
Cross-examined. Q.There was considerably more than a man could carry? A.There was a coach full; we found no housebreaking implements.
SAMPSON COPESTAKE. In January, 1827, I was in partnership with Mr. Groncock - we carried on business in Cheapside; here is a quantity of bobbin and sprig net, which have our tickets and marks on them, the same as they were in our warehouse; I do not recollect seeing any of the articles in the warehouse on the Saturday, but the articles produced are part of what were missing on Monday morning. the 8th of January; in September that year Lea delivered me the articles be has enumerated, by the Magistrate's direction - I put my name to this inventory on receiving them; they amounted to about 120l. - I calculate our loss at about 500l.
Cross-examined. Q.When can you undertake to swear you saw any of the identical goods produced? A. I cannot fix any time myself - I had sold none of them; I can tell that by the numbers on the tickets, and the identical goods are so fresh in my recollection - we had not bought them long before, within a month; I will swear I saw them within a month of the robbery - I find, by referring to the invoice, that I received some of them on the 3rd of January, and will swear I saw those a fortnight before the robbery- I sold some of the lot, but can identify these as not being sold, by the numbers on them; I divided them into two lots when they came in, and sold one lot, but the other was stolen - they are entered in my books, which are not here, but I cannot be mistaken; this invoice amounts to 28l. 10s. - I sold about half of that amount; I will swear I sold 10l. worth; after we were robbed I marked off on this invoice what were sold, and ascertained that these were not sold, I have a memorandum here which I extracted from my books myself, and I know the goods again: here is one piece I had seen about the 3rd of January, and I might have seen it the day before the robbery, and here is another; the person I bought them of is not here.
MR. CLARKSON. Q.This invoice is for net? A. Plain and figured net, a very small portion of which formed part of the property lost; here are some pieces which I saw about the 3rd of January.
COURT. Q. Did you ever see the prisoner before he was taken? A. Never; he certainly was never a customer of ours - the warehouse is on the first floor; the street door was fastened inside - the thieves had come in through a private door in the passage, which opens into a trunkmaker's shop, and which was robbed of portmanteaus at the same time; a large portion of this property is unopened, just as it was when in our warehouse, and as we purchased it, not as we should sell it; we never sold a piece of lace entire like this - it is our own make, and we never made any other piece of this pattern.
MR. PHILLIPS. Q.Have you a shop-boy? A. I do not keep a shop; we have a warehouseman - this is an uncommon pattern of lace; I do not think you would find it in the whole City - I am satisfied I made no other of that pattern; there is certainly no other piece of this pattern to be found with my mark on it.
BENJAMIN COCKERTON . In 1827 I lived in Fore-street, Cripplegate, and was a commission traveller to the prosecutors. These two pieces of figured bobbinet are their property; I saw them in their warehouse on the 6th of January.
Cross-examined. Q.How many warehousemen are there? Two and a youth - here are two others which I can speak to, and one which I know there is not another of the pattern; I took these out on Saturday to show to several people, but did not sell them - I brought them back; here is another pattern which I recollect perfectly well, but we had two of this, and sold one; I now speak positively to both - I did not examine it before so minutely.
COURT. Q. Has that piece the private mark on it? A. Yes, in pencil; I cannot say whether that is the mark of the house - I never saw the prisoner on business, nor ever near the house.
HENRY PATCHING . I know this piece of lace; I cannot remember exactly when I last saw it, but know it was in the stock at that time, and was not sold - it has our private mark on it, and we never had but this one piece.
Cross-examined. Q. Will you swear you saw it within a week of the 3rd of January? A. I cannot say positively- I am sure it was not sold; I should have missed it, for it was the only piece we made of this pattern. We had, I should think, 3000l. or 4000l. worth of goods on the 3rd of January - when I saw this piece again I recollected it as not having been sold.
RICHARD SMART . I was an under-gaoler of Newgate in 1827, and between sixteen and seventeen years. The prisoner was in custody in May, 1827; I took him from Newgate to the Court of King's Bench, Westminster, on Ascension-day, by habeas - I brought him back to Newgate, and on the following day took him again to Westminster; his bail was rejected, - and just at the foot of Westminster-bridge a large mob came round; I was afraid
Cross-examined. Q. I ask for your own sake - I have no doubt he got away without your knowing any thing about it? A. I knew nothing about his intention to escape.
Prisoner's Defence. I can only say I had no concern in the robbery - I have dealt largely for many years, and had papers to prove I bought property to a great amount, but since I have left England part of my papers have been destroyed; and Mr. Isaacs has papers in his possession - whether he has delivered them up I cannot say; they were papers of different sales, to a large amount.
JAMES LEA. The prisoner was in Whitechapel watch-house at the time I went to his lodging.
NOT GUILTY .