Offence: Deception > fraud
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Imprisonment > no_subcategory; Imprisonment > no_subcategory; Imprisonment > penal servitude
MESSRS. HORACE AVORY and GUY STEPHENSON Prosecuted, and MESSRS.
C. F. GILL and E PERCIVAL CLARKE Defended.
FANNY NUTT . I am a widow—in December, 1894 I was living in Delancey Street, Regent's Park—my husband had been dead then not quite twelve months—about six o'clock, on Monday evening, December 2nd, I was in Bond Street, dressed in widow's weeds, when the prisoner came up and said, "You must be a very young widow?"—I said, "I am; I am only twenty-one"—he said, "Tell me all about your husband, and how he died"—I told him all about him—he eventually asked if he might call—I wrote down my address and gave it to him—I said I was not in the habit of receiving gentlemen, but he might call, as he said he would be such a friend to me—he said he could not stop and talk to me that evening as he was going to a grand dinner, but that he would write, and let me know when he would call—I was talking to him for about a quarter of an hour—he did not give his name—next morning I received this letter. (This was on paper with the printed heading," Grand Hotel, London," and stated, "Please expect me to-morrow, Tuesday, between one and two o'clock.) Next day, between one and two, the prisoner drove up in a cab—I let him in; he took off his coat, and sat down in a chair by the are—he said he had got a nice house in St. John's Wood; would I like to be his housekeeper? that he was just sending the lady who had been living with him away to Coventry; she had no money whatever, and he was not going to give her any; she had got about £18,000 worth of jewellery, which he had given her; that he would give me £5 a week to begin with, to be increased to £10 if everything went on satisfactorily; that he had estates in Lincolnshire, and he would be having some grapes sent him next day, and would forward me some—I was to give up my apartments—he wanted to go away in his yacht to the South of France before Parliament sat, and was anxious to get me settled before he went—his umbrella bad a rather massive silver top, with some monogram or initials on it—I thought he was quite a gentleman; he was dressed as such—he said he would make out a list of dresses I should get, because I must leave off my mourning—he said he would give me some jewellery—I gave him my writing case, and he wrote out this list of dresses and other things. (This list was marked Q.) I did not suggest the items to him—he made out a list of jewellery I was to have, rings, brooches, bracelets and a watch; he took that list away with him—he specified the various shops, at which I was to get the things—he gave me a cheque for 15 guineas, with which I was to pay a deposit of £10 at Redfera's—he had two cheques, one for £10 10s., and the other for £15 15s. in his pocket, already written. (The one produced was on a promissory note form.) He put it into an envelope, and addressed it in my presence to the Union Bank, Belgrave Mansions—I did not see him write anything on the cheque—I said, Could not I get it changed without going to Belgrave Mansions, as it was such a long way off?—he said, No, it would not do for a gentleman in his position to have a cheque changed anywhere"—I said, "I cannot get there to-day"—he said, "The bank keeps open to six o'clock at Christmas time"—he asked me what jewellery I had—I told him not much; I was wearing my rings—
he said he must have a ring for the size of my finger; he wanted one to take away for my size, and he would buy me a more massive wedding ring—he took my wedding ring for the size, and another one; I was wearing two of my husband's rings at the time on my little finger—he put the two rings into an envelope and put them in his pocket—he said he would return them about five o'clock by a commissionaire, with one arm, from the Grand Hotel—the value of the two rings would be about £5 or £6—he said he would call again the following Thursday to make final arrangements—he took a brooch, worth about £1, from my dressing-table without my knowing it—I missed it after he had gone—later in the day I saw my brother, and showed him the cheque; and, in consequence of what he said, I never presented it—I did not communicate with the police; my brother said it would be no good—in January my brother showed me a newspaper report, in consequence of which I went to Westminster Police-court on January 19th, without previously communicating with the police—I went straight into the Court, and found the prisoner standing in the dock; I saw his back—I should know him among a thousand—I recognised him at once—I am quite sure he is the man.
Cross-examined. The newspaper I saw was the Evening Standard when the man was first charged, two or three weeks before I went to the Police-court—there was a full account of what he was charged with—I read two or three accounts before I went to the Police-court, and knew a man was in custody charged with doing what I complain of to someone—I only read accounts in the People, which is not illustrated, and the Standard—I am very angry with the man who took my wedding ring; it was a most heartless thing to do—I was dressed in widow's weeds when I met the man in Bond Street—I talked to him for ten or fifteen minutes, standing in the street—I was looking at some pictures in a window, I think—he had never seen me before, to my knowledge—I never knew his name; he was to come on the following Thursday—at the interview on the following day no one else was present—I was not excited at all; I listened to what he had to say—I was perfectly calm and collected then, and the day before—he was very well dressed; his clothes were very good—he was a middle-aged man, with slightly grey hair—he looks ten years older now—I could not say if he faced me when he spoke to me in the street—he had light hair tinged with grey—he had no rings—he had a watch and chain, apparently gold—he took out the watch, and looked at it—it was rather a massive chain—I let him out, and shut the door—I identified him by his back at once at the Police-court—I was quite sure of him, and always have been—I never identified anyone before—I have not seen my property since—one of the rings had "Love and Friendship" engraved on it—the brooch was made out of a five-shilling piece enamelled, with the date, 1822—with the exception of the wedding ring, the property could be easily identified—I heard one lady give evidence at the Police-court—I was there four times altogether—there was nothing peculiar about his dress except the watch and chain—I saw him write the whole of this list—he wrote quite freely—he said the lady who was retiring from the position had £8,000 worth of jewellery
Re-examined. On this list bonnets is spelt bonets; I was sitting at the table when he wrote it; I was not looking at him all the time—when he
spoke to me in Bond Street, he had on a blue overcoat with a velvet collar—when he called the next day and took off his overcoat I saw he had a black frock-coat underneath—I did not notice if he had patent boots; he wore fawn-coloured spats—the picture-shop I was outside in Bond Street was well lighted—I saw his face well—when he called he was with me from one to one and a-half hours—he does not look older now than when I first saw him at the Police-court; I do not think he looks quite so old; I think he looks better this morning—he does not look quite so worried—since he has been in custody I have only heard him say, "No," or "Leave it to Mr. Dutton"—when I met him in Bond Street, and when he called, I thought he was English; he might have had a slight foreign accent—I have not heard him speak since he has been in custody, so as to say one way or the other.
FRANK COOPER . I am smoking-room waiter at the Grand Hotel, Charing Cross—I have been there nine years—I have known the prisoner by the name of Mr. Beck for the last six years as a visitor to the Grand Hotel, using the smoking-room—in that room there are writing-tables and materials—printed note-paper and envelopes are supplied to visitors without charge—anyone in the room can sit down and write—I have not seen the prisoner write, but he may have done so—he came, perhaps, twice in a week, and then he would not come for perhaps two months, during six years—I last saw him there in September or October, 1895—I went for a holiday at the latter part of August and beginning of September—I saw him on my return—this was the note-paper and envelope in use at the Grand Hotel close on the beginning of 1895—the Victoria Hotel, which is given among the list of hotels at the head of the note-paper, was taken over by our company on January 1st, 1895—I did not notice that the post-mark on the envelope is December 3rd, 1894—for some time before the company proposed to take over the Victoria, and I believe they were carrying it on before 1895.
Cross-examined. I never saw the prisoner writing.
MARIAN TAYLOR . In the early part of January, 1895, I was living at Morton Place, Pimlico—on the first or second Saturday in January, about 4 p.m., the prisoner addressed me in the usual way, and asked me if he might call and, I gave him my address on a dirty envelope—he said he would call the next afternoon—he did not tell me his name—the same evening I received a telegram, signed "Wilton, Carlton dub," "Shall call upon you at four o'clock"—next day, Sunday, he came punctually at four, and stayed about two hours, I should think—I gave him tea—he told me he had a very nice house in St. John's Wood; that he had quarrelled with his mistress, and should like me to be at the head of his establishment—he said, "You are nicely dressed, but certainly not well enough for my establishment—he said he had an estate, near Horncastle, in Lincolnshire—he asked me what jewels I possessed; I had not many—he made, in my presence, a most elaborate list of dresses, and everything—I was to get them at Redfern's—he said, "Now, I will write you a cheque for £25; you pay so much at Redfern's, and keep the balance for yourself, and I will pay Streeter's and send the diamonds down"—he said, "Of course, you must have some rings"—he took from me an ordinary old buckle ring for the. size; it was not mine—he said the jewellery would be brought by a commissionaire, and my ring would be sent back—he wrote out in my.
presence a cheque for £25 on a form like this promissory note form—the cheque and list are lost—he signed the cheque, but I could not read the name; it was all scribble—he never told me his name was Wilton—I said to him, "You are not English"—he said, "No, I am a German"—there was on my mantelpiece a little statuette of Goethe—he said, "What do you know about Goethe?"—I said, "Well, I am educated," and we got into conversation—the cheque was on the Union Bank—he told me I should find the branch of the bank opposite Marlborough House—I did not find it—I went to the nearest branch of the Union Bank I could find, and got nothing by it—this list (Q) is like the one he gave me, and the writing is the same—as he was leaving he said, "Have you any silver?"—he wanted it for his cab; it was Sunday night—I gave him 9s.—he said he should come at one o'clock next day with the commissionaire, with the diamonds—I afterwards went to the Carlton Club, and inquired for Wilton, but got no satisfactory answer—I did not see him again till, on January 2nd, 1896, I went to Rochester Row Police-court, inconsequence of seeing his case in the paper, and picked the prisoner out of eleven or twelve men without the slightest difficulty—I am quite sure about him.
Cross-examined. There was no one there a bit like him—they were all respectably dressed—I saw one man, whom I had seen driving a coach—I cannot say if the prisoner was the only man of the eleven or twelve respectably dressed—I was looking into a jeweller's window when the prisoner spoke to me—I did not keep this matter to myself—I was only about five minutes with him in the street—when he came the next day I thought he was very nicely dressed—he had on a black coat and a covert coat—he had on a waistcoat with a white lining that showed beyond the waistcoat—he had patent boots, white spats, and grey trousers—I cannot say if he had a watch and chain—I did not give information to the police—I afterwards read the prisoner's case in the Daily Chronicle—I went to the Police-court for revenge—I had read no description of the man in custody—the prisoner is the living picture of the man I saw—he was a middle-aged man, with grey hair, as the prisoner's is, I am sure—there was no mixture of any other colour in his hair—he looks very much older now—the man I saw was not perceptibly younger than the prisoner—the ring I gave him I borrowed from my landlady; it was not a very valuable one—I gave her the documents to hold, for safety; I cannot keep anything—the prisoner wrote with rather a cramped hand—I watched him write the list; I took an interest in it—I was greatly excited.
Re-examined. In writing the cheque, when he came to the signature he wrote back-handed—I did not notice how he held the pen—I have not had an opportunity of hearing him speak since he has been in custody, except a word or two on the last hearing.
EVELYN EMILY MILLER . I live at 17, Park Village East, Regent's Park—about 5 p.m., on January 28th, 1895, I was in Bond Street, when the prisoner said, "Did not I meet you at a ball last night?"—I said he might have done so, but that I did not remember him—he said he was sure he had met me, and that he would be delighted if I would allow him to lunch with me at my house, next day—I said he might—he said he was not quite sure whether it would be the next day or the day after, but that he would send me a telegram in the evening, signed "Wilton,
Carl ton" Club—I gave him my address, and we separated—the same evening I had a telegram, signed "Wilton, Carlton Club," stating that he would be with me at two to-morrow—he came at two next day, and had lunch with me—he said he had a house in St. John's Wood, and the lady who had been acting as his housekeeper had just left—I asked who he was, and lie said he was the Earl of Wilton—I said I would consider whether I would go to his house in St. John's Wood; be offered me the position—he said he would come a day or two after, and arrange details; that after the sitting of Parliament he was going on a trip to Italy, and would like me to go with him, and that I should want a new outfit—he asked for a piece of paper, in order to give me a list of dresses—I gave him the paper and he wrote out a list, which has been destroyed—he composed it himself—it was like this, and in writing like this (Q)—the tailor made dresses I was to get from Redfern and the other gowns from Russell and Allen—he said I should have to pay something on account, and he would give me a cheque—he took a cheque-book, in which there were not many cheques, from his pocket, and filled up this cheque for £30. (This was on the Balham Branch of the London and South Western Sank.) He said I could cash it at the South Belgravia Branch—I gave him an envelope to put it in, and he sealed it up and addressed it—he said also that he would give me some jewellery, and asked me to let him have one of my rings to get the size of my finger—I asked him to take the size in cardboard—he said he preferred having the ring—I was wearing some rings, but I did not care to part with them, so I borrowed a diamond horseshoe ring, worth £7 or £8, which I gave him—he was with me about one and a quarter hours—before he left he said he had a pensioned-off coachman who lived near me, and he wanted to take him some money, and he had not any change; could I lend him £2?—I believed about the pensioned coachman, and lent him £2—he said I could deduct it out of the £30 cheque—he said a commissionaire would bring the ring back that evening—the ring did not come—I did not see the prisoner again until lately—I took the cheque to Sloane Square, and was referred there to the Balham Branch of the London and South Western Bank—I presented the cheque there, and it was dishonoured and returned—I then went to Albany Street Police-station, and reported what had happened and described the man who had robbed me—at the beginning of February, this year, the police came to me—I went to Westminster Police-court and saw the prisoner with a number of other men in the court yard, and identified him at once without difficulty—he wrote both the body and the signature of this cheque in my presence—he spoke with a slight foreign accent.
Cross-examined. The description I gave at the Police-station was of a man aged about sixty, 5 ft. 4, hair and moustache cut short almost white, dressed well, speaks with rather abroad accent, and evidently a gentleman by education—when I went to identify the prisoner I knew a man was in custody of whom it was said he had committed similar offences; I had read the case in the newspapers—I have a good memory—I did not take a very great interest in the case—I took an interest in it because I wanted to get the ring back—I had attended the Police-court to identify the prisoner before I gave evidence—there was one man in the yard like the prisoner, but a stouter, bigger man—I could not give a description of
him, or of how he was dressed—the case was being heard that day; I did not go into Court—I saw the case in the Daily Telegraph, not in the Sunday papers, or the Daily Graphic—I read the whole case—the man wrote freely, without difficulty—the ring I gave him could be easily identified—the man who spoke to me in Bond Street was an utter stranger to me; he would answer to the description of an oldish man with grey hair, and well-dressed, he was about five minutes with me in the street—he might have met me at the ball; I thought he might have danced with me.
Re-examined. It was a Covent Garden fancy-dress ball, with masks and dominoes—some of the men wear masks and dominoes—the prisoner had on a black waistcoat with a white lining showing, it might have been a double waistcoat, and a frock-coat—I saw him at the Police-court when I gave evidence, and here to-day—I have no doubt about his being the man.
ALICE SINCLAIR . In February last I lived in Upper Baker Street—on Saturday, February 16th, about one p.m., I was passing with my sister, through Ludgate Hill, when a man, who, to the best of my belief, is the prisoner, came up and asked me if I was waiting for an omnibus—after a little conversation he asked for my address, and I gave it to him—he asked permission to call on the next day—he called the next day about two—he was announced as Mr. Wilton—he came into the room, and said he was the Earl of Wilton—he sat talking tome for three-quarters of an hour—he wrote me out a list of dresses and asked if I should like to dine with him—he said he had a house in Abbey Road, St. John's Wood, and asked me if I should like to go and stay there with him, and if I should like to go and dine with him on the Tuesday—he said it was a very nice house, with good conservatories, and plenty of servants, and the best of wine—he proposed that I should dine with him there, to see how I liked it, on the Tuesday—the list of dresses he wrote out is at home. (The witness was directed to fetch it at the conclusion of her examination.) The handwriting was the same as this (Q)—I was to get the dresses at Redfern's. the riding habit at Cobb's, in Baker Street, a well-known shop; I believe I was to go to Norman's, in Victoria Street, for boots—he gave me a cheque for £40—I was to pay a deposit for some of the things and keep £5 for myself—I was to give his name, the Earl of Wilton, at the shops—he tore the cheque from a cheque book, and wrote out the whole of it and signed it; he kept his hand in front that I should not see. (This was a cheque on the Balham Branch of the London and South Western Bank.) He said I wanted some rings, and that he would buy me a half hoop diamond ring and a marquise ring, and asked me to give him rings for the sizes—I asked if he could not do it with a piece of cardboard—he said no, surely I could trust him with my rings, and I gave him a wedding ring and a plain foreign gold ring—he said they would be sent back to me by a commissionaire from Streeter's—he talked about taking me away in his yacht to the Riviera—next morning I took the cheque, which he had put in an envelope and directed to the bank at Belgravia Mansions—I saw no London and South Western Bank there, and I opened the envelope and went back home—I afterwards sent the cheque to the London and South Western Bank; they refused payment and kept it—on January 2nd the police fetched me to Westminster Police-court, where
I picked out the prisoner from about a dozen men—I thought at the time of our conversation that he was not an Englishman.
Cross-examined by MR. GILL. I made no complaint to the police—I believe they came to me from seeing my name and address on the cheque—the only woman who has given evidence that I knew before this case was Miss Taylor; I saw her about five or six years ago—the first day I met the prisoner I was with him about two minutes—my sister saw him—she does not live with me—I saw this case in the papers about the day after I was subpoenaed—I knew there was a man in custody, and if he was at all like the man I had seen he must have been an elderly man with grey hair—the prisoner looks slightly thinner now; he looks altered since I saw him at the Police-court—I am pretty well sure he is the man—to the best of my belief he is the man—I recognised him among the other men; they were not the least like him, I am quite sure—there was one other man, oldish, with grey hair, and well dressed—I think I gave the detective a description of the prisoner when he brought a subpoena to me—I did not think the Earl of Wilton was a foreign title, he told me he had travelled a good bit—I thought he was a gentleman, and I took his word who he was—I was not excited during the interview—I believed his statements—I should have no difficulty in identifying the rings I parted with—he was remarkably well dressed, with spats, a black frock coat; I think he had no overcoat—it was a very fine day when I was waiting for the omnibus—I could not say if the next day was fine, he had no overcoat—he had a black satin tie, with a large pearl pin, and something white inside his waistcoat—my sister has not seen him since the Saturday—he wore white spats, I cannot say if he had patent boot a—I don't know if he had a watch and chain.
Re-examined. He looks slightly thinner now, and his moustache is not waxed as it was before—he looks about the same age—he looks thinner than when he was at the Police-court; his moustache is the same as it was there—apart from that, he looks the same now as he did in February—I had no communication with Miss Taylor before I went to the Police-station and identified the prisoner; I was the first to identify him, and she was the last, and I was very surprised to see her—I did not help her, and she did not help me, to point him out.
By MR. GILL. The man held his pen backwards—when he wrote the list of dresses he wrote very freely and without difficulty, but very indistinctly—there were five or six women at the Police-court to identify the prisoner when I did so—we went in one by one, I first, and then I saw the others come out—the detective asked me if I would go and identify the man—I touched him with my umbrella—I only hesitated because I did not cam about doing so—I did not touch anyone else, only the one man, who was the prisoner.
ETMEL ANNIE TOWNSEND . I am a widow—in March, 1895, I was living in a flat in Shaftesbury Avenue—on March 6th I was walking with my little daughter in Piccadilly about 1.15 p.m., when the prisoner asked me if I was Lady somebody (I do not remember the name he used)—I said I was not, unfortunately—he asked me then where I. was living, and if I knew Lord Aberdeen—I said I did, but I knew his brother, better—I thought by that that I knew the prisoner, and had met him at
dinner somewhere—he said he had just come back from Canada, that he had been staying with the Earl of Aberdeen, and should like to talk to me about him, and he asked if he might call—I said "Yes," and gave him my card—he did not say who he was—he kept his handkerchief to the left-hand side of his face the whole time he was speaking to me, about three minutes, as if he was trying to conceal his face; and when he came to my flat he did the same thing—he said he would call at four the next afternoon—he came about 3.40—my sister let him in, and he came into the drawing-room—he did not keep his handkerchief to his face the whole time, only while my sister was letting him in, and part of the time he was with me—he stayed about twenty minutes—he said he was Lord Winton de Willoughby—he asked why I lived alone in a flat—I said I had an income, and wished to do so—he asked me if I would prefer to live in St. John's Wood—I said I should very much like it, but I should want to know something about him first—he said he had a little house there, with, I think, twelve servants; it was standing empty at the time, with the exception of the servants; that he had a carriage and pair, and a wine cellar, and everything requisite, but no lady in possession, and that he would call and take me to see it—he said he did not think I was dressed sufficiently well, and he wished to buy me some new clothes and diamonds, and he wished me to write a list of what I wanted—I wrote the list, which he dictated to me—he said I was to get some of the things at Redfern's—I destroyed the list about two days after, finding he did not return—he said he would give me £150 to go on with—I saw him write out this cheque for £120; he put it in an envelope and sealed it—he said he would send me some jewellery from Streeter's, and asked me for a ring for the size of my finger—he promised me a few diamond rings—I gave him the only ring I had on at the time, my wedding ring, for the size—he said the ring would come back by a commissionaire with one arm—he said he would make an appointment with me as to the house in St. John's Wood in two or three days' time—he looked at a thick gold curb bracelet I had on, and said he thought it ought to be set with a diamond in the padlock—I gave it to him—he also took my sister's bracelet from the table to have some dents knocked out—he took an ostrich feather fan, that had cost fourteen guineas, to have it mounted with turquoise, and a pair of elephant tusks (I have seen a similar pair worth fifty guineas), to have mounted as an ink-stand, and a hand-painted porcelain photograph of myself—I left the room to get him some tea—two or three hours after he had gone I missed some tigers' claws, and the teeth of an animal mounted in silver with my monogram—they had all been in the room in which he had been sitting—I valued the property he got from me at £180, but it was worth more—next day I took his cheque to the bank at Balham—I was asked to put my name and address on it——the bank kept it, and it was dishonoured—two days afterwards I communicated with the police at Vine Street, and gave a description of the prisoner and the name he had given me—I did not see the prisoner again till I saw him at the Police-court on December 23rd—the police came for me, and I went and saw thirteen men in the yard of Westminster Police-court, and I at once recognised the prisoner—immediately I heard him speak I was doubtful, as he spoke in my flat in a Yankee twang, and in the Police-court with a foreign accent, I thought it
was Swiss—his hands, hair, and feet are the same as I noticed before—he is the same man.
Cross-examined. I thought I might have met him in India, where I had been for eleven years; I did not recognise him—I heard him say at the Police-station that he had never seen me or any of the women, except one, who gave evidence against him—when I heard his voice I said I did not think he was the man—the man I saw was oldish, with grey hair—I have seen some oldish men with grey hair, and well dressed, in, Piccadilly—I believe the man who spoke to me to be an Englishman—he made up the things he took away into a parcel; they were not very large—not one of the articles was found in his possession; I could identify them—of the men I saw him among afterwards no one was like him—he seemed to write freely; I did not watch him; his back was towards me—my sister let him in when he called; but it was very dark, and he had his handkerchief to his face—the man who spoke to me in Piccadilly had a black overcoat with a velvet collar, and spats—I am not quite sure whether he had a little white lining to his waistcoat—I read this case in. the paper—I had not heard that four or five people had given evidence before me, describing the same sort of frauds; I thought I was the first one that went to Vine Street—I had spoken to the police before I read the case in the papers—I don't remember reading the case; I may have done so—he gave the name of Winton de Willoughby—I described him as. about fifty-three—I did not. say he wore a yellow and black striped muffler—he had no whiskers—his moustache is the same now as then—he looks just the same now as then—he had what appeared to be a gold watch and chain—I did not notice any ring on his finger—I gave the police a full list of my property, and described it.
Re-examined. When I first saw him at the Police-court he was wearing an overcoat, the same, I believe, as the man had worn—when he came to see me he had fawn-coloured spats on—at the station I heard him speak in a foreign language to the interpreter; it was not French; it might have been Norwegian; I did not understand it—when he called on me he only talked on the one subject—I felt he wanted to get away as quickly as possible; he fidgetted, and he did not drink the tea that was prepared for him—I made the things up into a parcel for him.
MINNIE LEWIS . In April, 1895, I was living at 3, Charlwood Street, Pimlico—Miss Allen lived in the same house—before April 3rd I had seen, the prisoner coming to the house to see Miss Allen; I knew him by sight—on April 3rd he called to see her; I answered the door, and told him she was not at home—I recognised him as the man who had called before—he asked to be allowed to write a note to her—I took him into my room for that purpose, and fetched him note-paper and envelopes—he asked me to sit down and talk to him—he told me he wanted to do some good for Miss Allen; he considered for a few minutes, and then said he would not write to her—he told me he would like me to be his housekeeper at St. John's Wood; the one he had had before was always intoxicated, and he had had to send her away; and that he was Lord Wilton—I had not known him by any such name before—he told me I should have to have a lot of dresses, and that he would have me
taught riding—he wrote out and gave me a list of things I wanted; I have destroyed that list—it was the same as this (Q), and the writing was the same—some of the things I was to get at Redfern's—a riding habit, which I was to get at Cobb's, I think, was on the list—I heard of Cobb's, in Baker Street, as a great riding-habit maker—Miss Allen is not still living with me—he spoke about jewellery, and asked for a ring, for the size of my finger, and said he would send me several rings by a one-Armed man—I gave him a gentleman's signet ring, which I was wearing—he wrote out this cheque for £30 on a sheet of note-paper in my presence, enclosing it in an envelope, sealing it and addressing it to the Union Bank, St. James's Street, and gave it to me to pay for the things—he left, saying he would write and make an appointment for going into the house at St. John's Wood—the same day I went to St. James's Street, but could not find the Union Bank; I found a branch at Charing Cross, and presented the cheque there, and one of the clerks took me to Scotland Yard, that I might give information about the cheque, and I gave information of what had happened, and a description of the man who had visited me—in January or February the police came to me, and I went to Westminster Police-court, where from about fourteen men I picked out the prisoner—I have not a shadow of a doubt he is the man—in writing the cheque, when he came to the signature he altered his hand, and wrote backwards.
Cross-examined. The man who called had no marked peculiarity that I can mention—he had a gold watch and chain, and patent leather boots—I had not the least difficulty in picking out the prisoner—I described him to the police as fifty-five or fifty-six, five feet high or a little more, with a tall hat, a black coat and vest, bluish striped trousers, patent boots and spats—I cannot remember if I said he was five feet eight inches—the constable asked me if he was about as tall as the man from the bank, and I said yes—I could easily identify my ring again—the man's chain had a seal with a crest attached—he wrote freely—I read the case in the newspaper before I went to the Police-court, and I knew a man was in custody charged with having done this sort of thing—among the fourteen men, no one else answered my description except the prisoner—Miss Allen left the following week, and I don't know where she is—I do not know where she came from, or anything about her—she had lived in the house about five weeks.
Re-examined. The prisoner bad visited her for about three weeks before April 3rd; I had seen him about three times during the three weeks—I saw him coming in and going out; I had not opened the door to him, or spoken to him before April 3rd—the cheque and the list are the only things I saw him write—he seemed to write freely—he wore brown spats—when I saw thirteen or fourteen men in the yard, I went up to the prisoner without hesitation, and said, "This is the man."
JULIETTE KLUTH . I live at 5, Harwood Road, Walham Green—in March, 1895, I was at Olympia with my little sister—between 3 and 4 p.m., after the performance, the prisoner came up and spoke to me—I gave him my address at his request—next day, March 1st, he called—he said he kept a large place in St. John's Wood, and asked me if I would come and see him one day; he said that he had some more friends there, and would I give them some music—I said I did not mind, as I had nothing to do
during the afternoon—I am a professional artist—I think he told me he was the proprietor of a mine somewhere, and had plenty of money—I noticed by his speech that he was not an Englishman—I am a Belgian by birth—when I said I would come and see him he told me I was not dressed well enough, and he wrote me out a list of clothes—I burnt the list, which was like this (Q), and in the same handwriting—I was to go to Redfera's for some of the things, and to Regent Street for the boots and shoes—i said I had not enough money to get the things—he said, "Very well, little woman, I will give you a cheque," and he wrote out this cheque for £20. (This was on a promissory note form, and addressed to the Union Bank.) He signed it, and put it in an envelope which he sealed with wax—he told me I was not to open it, but to take it to the Union Bank, Belgrave Mansions, just as it was—he said he would give me some jewellery, and asked for one of my rings, to take the size of my finger—I gave him a ring with three little diamonds——he said he would return it with three other rings by a one-armed messenger, in about an hour's time—he was with me for about an hour—he said he would write to me when I was to come to his place—I never heard of or saw him again—I went to Belgrave Mansions next day, but could find no bank there—I saw this case reported in a newspaper, and I wrote to Scotland Yard, enclosing the cheque—I gave a description of the man—on January 2nd I was asked to go to the Westminster Police-court—I there saw about eighteen men, and among them I recognised the prisoner at once, as soon as I put my foot in the yard.
Cross-examined. I saw the case in the Weekly Times and Echo before I went to the Police-station, that a man giving the name of Lord Wilton was charged with committing this sort of fraud in connection with women—I think the signature on the cheque looks very much like Wilton—I read in the paper that the man charged was the proprietor of a mine—I described the man to the police as about fifty, short, broad shoulders, no beard, and a long moustache—the only peculiarity I noticed about him was his foreign accent—I mentioned that to the police at the time—about ten other women were at the Police-court to identify him when I went there—I went in about third, I think—when I came out I said I had identified him at once—I looked at the other men before identifying the prisoner—there was no other oldish, short man with grey hair there, no one like it—I knew there was a man in custody who answered the description of an oldish man, with grey hair, and well-dressed—the man I met at Olympia had patent-leather button boots, and a large gold watch and chain—I did not notice if it was a hunting watch—I did not say it was at the Police-court—I have no idea what a hunting watch is—someone from Scotland Yard came to see me after I wrote, and took a statement from me—I do not know whether I could identify my ring—the man wrote quickly—three of the other witnesses were at the Police-court the day I identified the prisoner—we talked about the case a little—I was a bit angry.
Re-examined. When he called upon me his moustache was longer, and waxed at the ends—when I first saw him at the Police-court it was not waxed—when he first spoke to me at Olympia, he spoke in French—I speak French very well—afterwards he said I spoke English very well; I
said I was not an Englishwoman; he said I spoke English as well as any English people do, pretty near—he did not tell me his nationality—I know the difference between German and French accents; his was more French than German when he spoke English—I could not say whether he spoke French as if he were a Frenchman, or had acquired it—I have never, to my knowledge, been in conversation with a Norwegian—he only spoke a few words to me in French.
KATE BRAKEFIELD . I am married—I am a music-hall artist—in June, 1895, I lived in a flat at Upcerne Road, Chelsea—on Saturday, June 22nd, I was walking down Sloane Street in the afternoon—the prisoner followed me, and, after a while, came up and said he followed me because I had small feet—it led to conversation, and ultimately he asked me where I lived—I told him my profession—he asked what instrument I played; I said, "The mandoline"—he said he would like to come and hear me play—I arranged for him to call the next day, and hear me play—next day, Sunday, he called—he asked me where I had been—I said. to Wilton Crescent—he said he was Lord Wilton, and that all that property round there be Jonged to him—after a little conversation he asked me for a sheet of paper to write out a list of costumes which he was going to buy me; he said he had so much money he did not know what to do with it—I got some note-paper and an envelope for him—he wrote out this list (F) of dresses and other things I was to get—he put the name Redfern at the top, and told me to get the dresses there—he gave me a cheque for £30 to pay for the costumes, and one for £20 for myself to spend till he came to see me again—he arranged to come the following, day—he put both cheques into one envelope, and addressed it "Union Bank, St. James's Street"—I asked him why he did not endorse the cheques across the back? and he said, "Oh, I am known so well, you have only to hand them in, and you will get the money"—I did not notice that the cheques were drawn on bill of exchange forms—he said I was not to look at the cheques, and he. sealed them down and put them under a large book—he asked me to take some of my rings off for the size, as he would get me some fresh ones, and I gave him for that purpose a diamond and turquoise ring, and a ruby ring worth about £10—they were presents—he said he would return them by a commissionaire with one aim, and I was to be in to take them—he said he would send them back the next day—he just tried the mandoline, but it was out of tune—he stayed nearly two hours—I was talking to him all that time—he asked me to take down large Indian medallions, with paintings of India on ivory, mounted in silver, and with plush frames, that hung on the wall, that he might look at them—they were laid on a chair—he looked at a silver belt and bangles, and said they were no good; I was to give them to my poor relations—about 3.45 I went up to see about some tea, which I was going; to give him—when I came down to ask him a question he was gone, and I missed my mandoline and case, seven silver bangles, a silver brooch, a silver belt, two of the medallions; the brooch he asked me to lend him, as it was a good design—I have seen none of those things since; I have inquired at every pawnshop, and cannot find them—within an hour I gave information at the Police-station, and gave a description of the man—I did not take these cheques to the bank; I made up my mind that I
had been robbed—on December 23rd I went to the Police-station, having seen this case in the paper, and picked out the prisoner from seven other men—I am satisfied he is the same man—he is a little thinner in the face, and his moustache is not so military, it was then long and waxed.
Cross-examined. There is no doubt that this is the same man I saw at the Police-court and in the yard—I saw in the paper a man was in custody for defrauding women—I saw a very good picture of him in the paper, but not before I picked him out—the man I had seen was oldish, with grey hair and moustache, and well-dressed—none of the other men in the yard answered to that description—as soon as I saw him I knew him; I took no notice of the other men—I was not the least excited on the Sunday when he called—I don't know why he was going to give me all these things—my husband was in a situation—you could put the medallions under your arm, not in your pocket—I could easily identify them—I did not show him out, and there was no one else to do so—my parlour is along-side the front door—he seemed to turn his hand a little round in writing—he had on a kind of grey check trousers and white spats, a white lining to a black waistcoat, a gold chain, a tall silk hat, and a blue thin overcoat—when I met him on the Saturday he had a grey dust coat—he had patent leather button boots—he had a little scar by the right side of his neck, under the ear—I spoke to him about it, and he said, "Oh, don't speak to me about that, talk about the costumes, because I want to get' away"; it is a little scar something like a mole—I said, "It is a singular thing; it is rather like this on my face"—I have a mole there—I did not mention that to the police, nor in my evidence before the magistrate; I have spoken of it a good many times to the detective—my attention was attracted to something said in the Evening New about a man having such a scar, and that was why I went to the station—I and three or four women were there on the same day, we went in one by one to pick him out—that was December 23rd, the day I gave evidence.
Re-examined. I told Constable Jeffreys about the mark on the prisoner's face—I noticed he spoke with a little foreign accent, and I asked him if he was foreign—he said he had been abroad a good deal. (At MR. GILL'S request the witness went to the dock, and pointed to the angle of the prisoner's jaw, as the place where she said the mark was; she said, "I do not see it now.")
DAISY GRANT . I live at 44, Circus Road, St. John's Wood—on July 4th I was in St. James's Street, about five p.m., with a lady and a little boy, when the prisoner came up and spoke to me, and said he would like to call on me—he asked me if I did not remember him—I said no—he said, "My name is Wilton" and he told me to ask my young man whether he knew him—I had no young man with me, the prisoner must have followed me about and seen some one with me, as the prisoner lived in Victoria Street, and I lived then just round the corner, in York Street—I did not know the prisoner by sight—I gave him my address, he took out a pocket-book and wrote it down, and said he would call the next afternoon—the next afternoon, July 5th, he called about four o'clock, and remained with me about three-quarters of an hour—I told him I did not know his name, nor did any one I knew know him—he said it was only an excuse to speak to me—he said he was Lord Wilton—he said he had a house at St. John's Wood, which was empty,
and suggested that I should go to it—I said I was very happy where I was—he said he should like to buy me some better dresses and jewellery, and asked for a piece of paper on which he could write out a list—he wrote out this list—he arranged to call the following Monday to arrange matters—he said I had better pay a deposit, and he wrote out this cheque for £35, which he put in an envelope, and addressed it to a bank in St. James's Street—he said I should want a ring, and asked me for a ring to measure the size of my finger—I gave him a small diamond ring, and also a gold bracelet which was dented, and which he offered to get repaired at Streeter's—he said a commissionaire with one arm in a sling would bring them back in an hour—I fetched from another room, and showed him, a marquise ring in a case; I left that in the room in which he was—I went out of the room twice, once for matches to light a cigarette, and once for a photograph—after he had gone I missed my ring out of its case; the ring is worth about £15, it was given to me—I valued all he took at £15, but the marquise ring I find is worth a good deal more than I said—I went to St. James's Street, but could not find any Union Bank there—on July 9th I went to the Police-station and gave a description of the man—on December 16th I was sent for, and went to the Police-station, and there, among seven or eight men, I recognised the prisoner after he took off his hat—he had his hat on; I asked that he might take it off, and when he took it off I knew it was him—I say now he is the man—he was in my apartments three-quarters of an hour.
Cross-examined. I was influenced by his taking off his hat in identifying him—I could tell him better with his hat off—there is nothing remarkable about his hair; he is slightly inclined to be bald on the top of his head; but I was influenced by his whole appearance—there is a peculiarity in the shape of his face—I did not mention that in the description I gave—when I met him in St. James's Street, he spoke to me first, and then to the little boy with me, "What a nice little boy"—I had never seen him before—I think he must have known me, because he lived in Victoria Street—I found out at the Police-station where he lived—I don't know how long he had lived then at Victoria Street—I saw him write in his pocket-book my address at York Street, Westminster—I know now that my name and address were not found in anything belonging to the prisoner—the lady with me in St. James's Street did not glance at the man when he spoke to me; she walked straight on; she was not with me when he called—she did not go to the Police-court—when he called he had on a frock-coat, with white lining to his waistcoat, and white spats, a heavy gold chain, and apparently a gold watch—I think he had a pearl pin; I do not remember—I described the man as between fifty and sixty, rather short, about five feet two, rather fat, with a dark complexion (I have not a good memory) moustache cut short, brown, turning grey; it was a tawny sort of moustache, with a lot of grey in it—I remembered more then than I do now—I law his watch—he wrote everything but his name in the ordinary way; he wrote his signature to the cheque with the pen between two fingers—I did not notice him write the list so much—I was sent for an hour or two after the prisoner was arrested, and had not time to read any description of him—Miss Meissonier was at the Police-court when I got there—I had not seen her before—she spoke to me of him, asked me
what I had lost and that sort of thing—none of the men among whom the prisoner was placed was like the prisoner so far as I saw—my attention was attracted to him at once—I looked round and saw him, and said I should not like to swear till he took his hat off; I did not notice any other man—I should not like to swear that there was another well-dressed man there—there was another man with a grey moustache, but he was too tall and had a ruddy face—afterwards at the Police-court I heard his address and came to the conclusion that he must have followed me as he lived round the corner—when he spoke to me in the street he had on a low round hat—I cannot remember if he had on a light or dark suit of clothes; I think it was a brown sort of coat—he was dressed quite differently when he called upon me—the things I lost I could easily identify.
Cross-examined. I noticed when he talked to me that he was not English, and I said, "You are not English"—he said he was, but he had travelled a lot—when he laughed his eyes nearly shut, and there was a certain expression which I cannot explain, but which I should know again—I noticed that when he called, and I saw it afterwards at Westminster Police-court, after he had been identified—the pocket-book in which he wrote my name and address in St. James's Street was of dark coloured leather, mounted; I did not see what he wrote in it.
OTTALIE MEISSONIER . I live at Fulham, and teach music—I am German—on November 26th I was passing through Victoria Street, going to a flower show—I met the prisoner who passed, turned back, and lifted his hat, and said, "Oh, pardon; are you Lady Everton?" or "Illington"—then he asked my. pardon, as he said he had made a mistake, and asked me where I went; I said I went to a flower show—he said it was not worth while going there, because the flowers were very poor; and as he kept ten gardeners in Lincolnshire, his flowers were much better—I said I had that very morning received a box with some chrysanthemums, and as they were very beautiful he asked permission to come and see them—I gave him my address—he spoke in English; I remarked that he was a foreigner, and he said no, he was an Englishman—the following day he called—my servant, Harvey, opened the door—he said his cousin was Lord Salisbury; that he had a very great estate in London, nearly all the property round West Brompton belonging to him; and that he had £180,000 a year—he proposed that I should join him and six other people in a trip to the Riviera, because I was musical and spoke several languages, I should be very useful—I speak three languages very well, English, German and French, and Italian and Portuguese a little—at first I declined, and then I thought I ought not to throw away such a good occasion, and I told him I might manage to go for a fortnight, but not longer—he thought my toilette was not good enough, and he wrote out this long list I had to stop him, he wanted to make it so long—he told me to go to Redfern's—he wanted me to order a riding habit at Cobb's, of Baker. Street; as it was a yachting trip I asked him what I wanted it for, and he said when we landed he had always his own horses there; to pay for the things he gave me this cheque for £40, to open an account—he wrote out the body in my presence, I think the signature was already written—he held the pen between the second and
middle fingers and under his hand—he thought my jewels were not good enough, and asked me to give him my bracelet to put two black pearls in—he did not like a diamond ring I had—I gave him a small ring of not much value, for the size of my finger—I let him have my watch to get the glass mended—he told me the South Kensington Exhibition of Antique Watches partly belonged to him—I showed him an antique watch I had, about the size of 1s.—he had it in his hand, and said he would like to exchange it for a diamond bracelet, and that he would do so later in the Riviera—I left it on the table and as soon as he had gone I missed it, and I sent my servant after him, but she followed him to the next corner, and then lost sight of him—he left, promising to come again on the following Wednesday—as he went out he took out a pocket-book and put in it a list of articles he wanted to buy himself; opera-glass, umbrella, dressing case, hats, and other things—it was a very good pocket-book of morocco, I think with initials, but he opened it so quickly I could not see the initials—he had a very good watch, and a chain—he had a silver matchbox, and a cigarette case, heather, I think—altogether, the property he took of mine was worth over £30—immediately after he had gone I took a cab, and tried to find the Union Bank, St. James's Street, but could not—the cabman took me to a bank in Trafalgar Square, and I found the cheque was no good—I then went to Vine Street and gave a description of the man who had defrauded me—I noticed when he sat in my room he had some mark just below the right jaw, whether it was from a drawn tooth or not I cannot say—I described it at the station—I next saw him on December 16th; I was coming along Victoria Street from the Army and Navy Stores, and I saw the prisoner standing in the doorway of 135 or 139, Victoria Street—as soon as I passed I recognised him, and I stepped up to him and he smiled—I touched his coat and said, "Sir, I know you"—as soon as he heard my voice he tried to push past me into the street, and said, "What do you want from me?"—I said, "I want my two watches and my rings"—he used bad language to me and ran across Victoria Street through omnibuses and cabs to the other side—it was about 4.40, and dark, the gas had just been lighted—I followed him, and said I would not leave him till I found a constable—he went down Victoria Street, and I followed—I saw a policeman, nearly opposite the new clock, close to Victoria Station; I stepped up to the policeman, but before I could speak he again called me very bad names, and said I was in the habit of accosting men, and had accosted him—I said, "Never mind, I give this gentleman in charge for stealing two watches and a ring, and forging a cheque for £40"—he said, "Well, I never saw her in my life," or "I have never seen her before"—the policeman said, as I charged him, he must take him to the station—when I saw him on that day he had on the same overcoat as when he called on me, but he had a different coat underneath—he had a frock-coat the first time, and the next time he had a short jacket—he had light spats when he called on me—when I saw him in Victoria Street he had no spats, or dark ones, and an umbrella with a silver top like this—this is the overcoat he wore (produced,) it is blue cloth with a black velvet collar; as he sat in my place he put it on my coach, and I saw the lining—he wore tight brown gloves; the seams left marks on his hands.
Cross-examined. The first time I met him we spoke for four or five
minutes; the second time for about three-quarters of an hour, or it might be a little more—he was a perfect stranger to me—his moustache was waxed then; it is altered now—I am sure about the scar or something I spoke of on the right side; it might be from a drawn tooth—it was something I could notice; I could not see it quite plainly—I see the mark on the prisoner now. (Some of the JURY stated that they saw the mark described.) I gave a description of the mark as I lodged the charge—when I charged him I think he was dressed as he is now—at my place he wore a necktie with a pearl pin—I cannot say whether he had patent leather boots when he came to my place; I could not see if they were button boots, because he had light spats, nearly white—his frock-coat had new silk facings, not worn in the least—he had a watch and chain, apparently gold—when I said to him in the street, "I know you," he said, "Pardon, what do you want from me?" and then he said, "Oh, you mean the dentist"—I did not speak rudely to him, but quite calmly—I said I would follow him wherever he went—he told the policeman I was a common prostitute who accosted men—just as I was stepping up to the constable, the prisoner walked more quickly and said it, and then he said, "I never did see this woman before; I don't know why she follows me"—he did not say, "What am I to do with this woman, who keeps following and annoying me?"—I went straight to the station—I could not tell what boots he had on then, or whether he had a watch and chain; I was so much upset and excited at the Police-station that I did not notice small details—it was 4.40 when I charged him in Victoria Street; I left the. Army and Navy Stores at 4.30; it was not dark, but getting dark.
Re-examined. When he followed me the first day in Victoria Street he was a little shorter than me, and I saw the waxed point of his moustaches sticking out below my eyes when he raised his head; his moustaches were waxed when I gave him into custody—I was differently dressed, and he did not recognise me at first, but when he heard my voice he recognised me and changed entirely, and tried to pass me—when I first spoke to him in the doorway he did not appear angry or annoyed with me for speaking to him; quite the reverse, he smiled very sweetly—he did not think I was accosting him improperly.
MARY HARVEY . I am the last witness's servant, and was so in November—on Wednesday, November 27th, I let in the prisoner at 1 or 1.30—heaskea for Madame Meissonier, and I showed him upstairs—about an hour afterwards Madame Meissonier came and told me to follow him, and I went to the door, but could not see him any where—he had an umbrella and high hat and overcoat—I next saw him on the evening he was locked up, with a lot more gentlemen, at the Police-station, and I picked him out.
Cross-examined. No other gentleman called during the time I was with Madame Meissonier—I knew the prisoner's face when I saw him at the Police-station—I only saw him for about a minute in the house; I offered to take his hat and umbrella, but he took them into the dining-room.
Re-examined. I had lived with Madame Meissonier for a fortnight at that time.
Victoria Station, when the prisoner and Madame Meissonier came up to me—the prisoner wanted to know what he could do with the woman, as she kept following him about and annoying him, he said—I told him I must hear what she had to say—she said she wished to give him into custody for stealing two watches and a gold ring from her house a fortnight before—I asked her if she would take the responsibility of charging him herself—she said she would—the prisoner said he did not know her, and had never seen her before in his life—I told him he would have to go to the station; he said he was quite willing to do so, and he at once went with me—the charge was read over to him there; he said he did not know the woman—Harvey came to the station, and picked him out from others.
Cross-examined. I did not ask him for his name and address in the street—at the station he was asked for it, and he gave it as Adolf Beck, 139, Victoria Street—he was living there at the time—he had on an over-coat and high hat—I did not search him—I did not notice his boots—the inspector on duty arranged the identification; I was there at the time—about eight or nine men were got from the street, and some from the adjoining shops—most of them were well dressed, I think—their ages ranged from thirty upwards, I should say—two, in addition to the prisoner, had grey hair—I think they were about the prisoner's height—one came from the shop opposite—he was not much like the prisoner in appearance; except that his hair was grey, I do not think there was any similarity in appearance—the other, who was about the prisoner's height and with grey hair, happened to be walking past.
GODFREY CHETWYND . I am a financial broker, at 13A, Cockspur Street—in June, 1894, the prisoner called with reference to some company in connection with a copper mine he owns in Norway—after that I wrote to and received letters from him upon that and other business matters—these are three I received from him—he was then living at the Buckingham Hotel, Buckingham Street, Strand—I had business relations and communications with him up to about December 22nd or 23rd, 1894, they were renewed afterwards—the final date I saw him was April or May, 1895—I cannot say where he was living then without referring to my books—while he was visiting my office I believe my clerk wrote some letters for him; I only know that by hearsay—that clerk is not in my employment now, and is not here.
Cross-examined. I believe my clerk did some correspondence for him, but I cannot say what—I saw the prisoner on and off from June, 1894, to the end of the year, and again once or twice in 1895—I never saw him with a gold watch and chain—I have heard him speak of having owned one; if he carried a watch it never attracted my attention—I don't remember peeing any jewellery about him—in December, 1894, and the beginning of January, 1895, he generally wore an overcoat that I gave him; one I had worn myself—he returned it soon after the new year, 1895, or about Christmas, 1894—the beginning of 1895 was exceedingly cold, and he wore a fur coat then—I knew he had a fur coat before I gave him mine; I gave him mine because he said he had no coat suitable for the season; the fur coat was too warm—I did not see him wearing a fur coat; I did not see him for some time after that—he sometimes wore a double-breassed black jacket when he came to see me—I never saw him
wear a white waistcoat or a waistcoat with a white lining—I never noticed him wearing patent button boots, or white or black spats—I remember his saying his frock-coat had been turned at a tailor's—the overcoat I lent him was dark grey; it might have been taken for black—it had no velvet collar; it was perfectly plain—I should not think it could be mistaken for blue—I have no recollection of seeing him wear any other overcoat than the one I lent him and the fur coat—he never wore a covert coat, to my knowledge.
Re-examined. Some time this year I was asked whether I could say if the prisoner was shabbily dressed at the time he came to my office—I have no distinct recollection of the way he used to dress from day to day—I don't remember having ever seen him wear spats—I think the frock coat he wore had silk facings, I don't remember; but one would be apt to notice a frock-coat that had not; I should gather he meant the coat had been turned inside out—in 1894 I had a good many interviews with him—he borrowed a good deal of money in small amounts for daily expenses, 10s. and 5s.—I also paid his weekly hotel bill occasionally.
JOHN WATTS (Constable A.) On December 16th I was at Rochester Row Police-station shortly after the prisoner was brought in—I told him he answered the description of a man giving the name of Earl Wilton, who was wanted for stealing jewellery—he said, "It is a great mistake"—I sent for Miss Grant, who had given a description—she came—the prisoner was placed, with six other men, in the charge-room—she looked at the men and pointed to the prisoner, and said, "I believe that is the man; if he will take his hat off I shall know"—all the men took their hats off, and then she said, "That is the man"—I charged him with stealing the property of Daisy Grant—he said, "It is a great mistake; I have never seen the ladies before in my life," referring to Madame Meissonier and Daisy Grant; he was charged with stealing from both of them—I searched him, and found on him this brown leather pocket-book, with silver mounting, and the initials "A. B.," a £10 note, a £5 note, an Army and Navy Stores ticket, 30s. in gold, 2s. 6d, silver, a knife, a tobacco box, and some visiting cards with the name of "A. Beck, 139, Victoria Street"—he gave his name and address before I found the cards—I went to 139, Victoria Street, about twenty minutes after he was charged—I found he had been in occupation of three rooms which were sublet to him—there was a porter in charge of the whole building, but no one in charge of this suite of rooms—I had the keys—I found in the rooms about six or seven suits of clothes, a black frock-coat, two ordinary overcoats, besides the one produced, which he was wearing when arrested—I did not take very particular notice of them—I did not bring any of the clothing away—I noticed a new pair of patent boots in paper, they had never been worn—on December 18th I made a further search with another constable—I found this indexed address-book—he had a bedroom, sitting-room, and a small ante-room—a friend of the prisoner had previously occupied them, and had sublet them to prisoner, who was the only occupant at that time—I found these documents, one of which is a letter addressed to a lady, but apparently not sent, the others are memoranda of addresses of ladies apparently—the lettered address-book contains the names of business people apparently, mostly foreigners; I cannot find the names and addresses of any women in it—I
also found eight or nine pawntickets relating to jewellery; I left them behind; they were dated 1890 and 1891—I also saw printed papers apparently relating to a mine or mines, in Norwegian or some foreign language, I could read the title at the top—I don't know what has since become of the things I left behind in the rooms; the clothes were removed two or three days afterwards, I believe, after the prisoner was in custody—I called again, and found they were gone.
Cross-examined. When I got to the station I found the prisoner detained on Madame Meissonier's charge; he was not charged—he had given his address—I searched him after he was charged, sometime after he was at the station—Miss Grant had to be fetched from St. John's Wood—he was wearing a small link-pattern gold watch-chain and a dark gun-metal watch; he also had a small silver match-box; no other articles of jewellery—he wore an overcoat and a high silk hat; his other clothes were as they are now—he had this umbrella with a silver top; I am not sure about his boots—I found no promissory note or bill of exchange form—I found no entry in the pocket-book of the name and address of any of these women, or of any particulars of clothing—I should say about fifteen or sixteen women have seen him between the time of his arrest and his committal—I should say there had been about twenty complaints from different parts of the Metropolis of the same kind of thing complained of in the present case—the dates would be kept; I do not know them; Sergeants Briggs and Cracknell would have the dates when the complaints were made; they were here this morning—I arranged the identification in the first case, when the prisoner was detained at Rochester Row Police-station; on the next occasion Inspector Walduck arranged it—I looked through all the papers at the prisoner's address; I made very careful search to try and find some cheques—I found no paper with the name and address of any woman, no cheque, and no bill form—I have been in this case throughout—no single article of property belonging to any of the ten different women has been traced to the prisoner's possession—whenever a complaint of such a thing as this is made, we take the date of when it is alleged to have occurred, and a description; we are always very careful about the date—it was a pair of new patent shoes I found at his address—they had never been worn—there was a dress suit there.
Re-examined. The fifteen or sixteen women, who saw him at the Police-station, include the ten who have sworn to him here—the other five or six did not identify him; one women was not sure, she would not swear to him—the five or six women who are not here saw him under the same circumstances as the others; three failed to identify him; they said they could not see the man there—another of them came into the charge-room while he was in the dock being charged, and she said she did not think he was the man—another of them afterwards said she thought he was the man—all of them but one had lodged complaints, I believe—I believe I can get the dates on which the five or six women complained—I ascertained that the prisoner had been living at Victoria Street for about three months; he went there about September 6th.
JAMES NORRIS SUTTON . I am cashier at the Union Bank of London, 66, Charing Cross—we have no branch in St. James's Street or Belgrave Mansions—we have no customer named A. Wilton, Lord Wilton or Lord Willoughly de Winton, or any name of that kind—during the year 1895,
a number of cheques, most of them drawn on bills of exchange forms, were presented by different ladies, and with this signature, which I cannot decipher—I knew nothing of the drawer, and had no funds to meet the cheques, and I dishonoured and returned them—these exhibits were so presented for payment at our bank and dishonoured.
Cross-examined. All of them were on promissory note forms—there were fifteen or twenty altogether, and I should think during between eighteen months and two years—we kept no record, because they were not drawn on our bank—they were all the same kind of document; as soon as I saw one I recognised it—I don't remember keeping any.
WILLIAM JOHN WEY . I am cashier in the Balham Branch of the London and South Western Bank—on November 10th, 1894, Mrs. Gardiner opened an account with our branch—I issued to her a book of twenty-five cheques, Nos. A. 482776 to 800—on January 4th, 1895, I received notice from her to stop cheques in that book, Nos. from 482791 to 800—she gave a reason for that—subsequently seven of those cheques were presented—Exhibits J, L, and V, were three of them—they were all signed like those produced, with the signature "Wilton," that is the name they were put down to—in some cases I got the ladies who presented them to endorse them—that was on the instruction of the police—I gave them up to the police—I have not seen Mrs. Gardiner since.
Cross-examined. I could not give you the dates the cheques were presented—we do not keep dates unless the cheque comes into the accounts—we detained the cheques in every case—I produced seven to the police—I had received notice from our customer they had been stolen (the cheques produced.)
Re-examined. The dates run from January 28th, to March 7th, 1895.
MARCUS BBOWNE . I am the proprietor of the Covent Garden Hotel—the prisoner lived there for some years down to within the last two years—I could not tell you the date without referring to my books, and I do not carry them in my pocket—you should have given me notice to look—it might be September, 1894—I have so many people to see I cannot recollect every individual who comes to the hotel, the time he leaves, and so on—I cannot tell whether it was September or January—I am in a criminal court, and I have nothing to do with a criminal case; you can apply to my solicitors in the City and they will tell you, may be—the prisoner lived at my house about six years; he left because he had not paid his bill, and I said I could not keep him any longer—apply to my solicitor, the bill is my business, not yours—that has nothing to do with a criminal court whether he owes me money, or whether he does not; go to my solicitor, you have my solicitor to go to—am I obliged to answer what was owing to met—he owed me £300 as far as the hotel bill went, and he owed me hundreds in money lent to him—I could not tell you the amount; you must apply to my solicitors, they have got all the information; they have got all my papers. (The witness was here cautioned not to withhold information.) I am quite aware you have power to commit me—the amount is between £1,300 and £1,400—a lot of the prisoner's boxes are at the hotel—he left them—Inspector Froest has searched them—I believe he had a watch; I do not recollect the kind of watch—he gave me a pawnticket for a gold watch, which I gave to Inspector Froest—he always dressed very nicely, and behaved
very gentlemanly, and never brought any persons into the house—I should not notice with twenty or thirty in the house whether any individual wore spats—I have not said at the Police-court I did notice the prisoner wore white spats—I cannot recollect whether he did.
Cross-examined. Who is the prisoner's solicitor?—I do not recollect seeing him; I saw Mr. Froest—I do not recollect a gentleman calling at the hotel to see the prisoner's things—I did refuse to allow the prisoner's solicitor to see anything in the place; you have got the letter no doubt; because I did not know whether I was doing right or wrong—I have heard nothing from him since—as to an action against the prisoner, that has to do with a civil court and with my solicitor—I was not winking at the prisoner; he is no friend of mine—I brought an action against him—I believe my solicitors have the judgment—I am satisfied if my solicitors are.
FRANK FROEST (Detective Inspector.) I searched the prisoner's box at the Covent Garden Hotel—I found a pair of white spats, a pair of brown spats, half a dozen white waistcoats, a quantity of underclothing, an opera hat, a wedding ring, a few photographs of ladies, and views of Norway and Sweden, and a large quantity of correspondence relating to business.
Cross-examined. I understood Beck had been staying at the hotel up to September two years ago—that his things were detained—I have seen Mr. Browne calmer than he was here—afterwards he was living at the Buckingham Hotel, Strand—I went there—I did not go to Victoria Street—I did not take charge of the case till after May 3rd. (A white waist-coat was Here produced.) That is a specimen of the waistcoats; they were all of this class—there was some silk underclothing; old things—I have made inquiries about Mrs. Gardiner—she has been convicted of uttering bad cheques, and passing herself off as a person of distinction—a warrant was out against her for assault—I have not seen her—she led a loose and fraudulent life—she lived once at Balham—she was charged, with others, at Westminster, and after several remands discharged.
Re examined. The charge of assault was withdrawn by her landlady—I have made every effort to find her whereabouts to subpoena her as a witness here—I was not in charge of this case until the third remand—I did not sanction the prisoner's clothes being left at his lodgings—I would not have left them.
THOMAS HENRY GURRIN . I am an expert in handwriting, at 59, Holborn Viaduct—I have had many years' experience—I have examined the cheques and promissory note forms produced—also this manuscript book. (MR. FROEST identified the book as the one he found at the Covent Garden Hotel, and which purported to be a report of the Galapagos Mine.) I have also examined the three letters which Chetwynd has sworn to be the prisoner's writing—they are written to Chetwynd—they are all in the same writing—there are two handwritings in the book—I do not include all the handwritings there—I include the writing in the address book produced—the prisoner's writing is in different hands—I prepared the report produced, giving my reasons, and with fac-similes showing similarities—the cheques and lists are not written in the prisoner's ordinary hand—two forms of disguise have been adopted—one is a back-handed or vertical scribble—that occurs in the signatures, the list of
addresses, and on the envelopes—the other disguise is an ordinary hand, more resembling his writing in the books, but written large and more Distorted.
Cross-examined. The lists of dresses are written with freedom—the control of the fingers is not exercised; it is written from the arm—a man who habituated his hand to it would acquire facility—list "A" is a medium writing between the two disguises—the photographs are very much reduced—part of "A" was dashed off—I mean "Redfern's" at the top and "Cobb, Baker Street," and one or two other instances, as to which little control was exercised—I do not suggest he held his pen differently. (The witness pointed out the similarities in the documents.)
MR. GILL was proceeding to cross-examine as to the handwriting of certain other documents—exhibits in the case of a man named Smith, tried in July, 1877. MR. AVORY objected to the witness being cross-examined with a view of raising the question whether the prisoner was the person convicted in 1877 of an offence similar to that charged in the indictment; that was a collateral issue, and should not be inquired into until after the JURY had returned their verdict, lest it should afterwards he said that the prisoner had been improperly convicted. MR. GILL urged tliat the question was directly in issue, and that he was entitled to raise it, as his case on behalf of the prisoner was that the man who was convicted in 1877 was the man who has been committing these frauds, and that the prisoner had been mistaken for that man. He desired to show, by cross-examination, that the writing of the man convicted in 1877 was the same as that of the exhibits in the present case. MR. GURRIN stated that the exhibits in the case of Smith were examined by him some time after he had made his report; there was a reference in his report, produced at the Police-court, to the, exhibits in that case. MR. AVORY objected to the witness being asked whether those exhibits were in the same writing as the lists in the presents case. MR. GILL further contended that upon the question of the value of the witness's opinion he was entitled to have all the documents produced which had been submitted to him. The COMMON-SERJEANT ruled that the question, whether the prisoner was or was not the man convicted in 1877 was not admissible, upon the ground that it related to another and distinct issue, and one calculated to mislead the JURY. If witnesses were called to character. MR. AVORY might cross-examine them as to the prisoner's previous character; or he might choose not to have the issue confused by the introduction of that matter.
Re-examined. The writing is that of a foreigner—it is the Scandinavian type, which would include Norway, as distinguished from the German or the French type, but not far from the German type; it is distinct from the English type, which, as a rule, is after the Italian. (The witness further pointed out the similarities in the documents.)
WILLIAM PARSONS . I am a warder of Her Majesty's Prison, Holloway—I made a special examination of the prisoner about three weeks after he was received in custody—I found a mark on the right side of his throat—I could not describe it as a scar—I also found a mole on the right side of it.
Cross-examined. It is not the mark from a double chin—the examination of prisoners is usual, as a record for future use, so that a man can be afterwards identified—photographs are also taken—I have not photographed
him as my prisoner—I was told to make the special examination seven or eight weeks ago—I did not know I was to come as a witness till a warder spoke to me this morning—I have not been shown a record of a man sentenced to five years' penal servitude, named Smith.
ALBERT ERNEST LAMB . I am a clerk in the Solicitors' Department of the Treasury—I was present when the exhibits in this case were produced at the Treasury for inspection by Mr. Inglis, an expert in handwriting—he attended on behalf of the defendant—on January 8th.
Cross-examined. I was partly cognisant of the conduct of this case—I cannot speak personally of Mr. Button's application for the dates of offences, or of all that went on in the office.
JOHN WATTS (Detective A., Re-examined.) I produce dates of complaints in two cases—one of May 9th, reported on May 10th, 1895, at New Scotland Yard—the other is of April 16th—the offence complained of was on April 13th, 1895—the officer took the report, and referred to another complaint by Miss Minnie Lewis, but it does not give a description of the prisoner—two others complained, but gave no information—they came to the Police-court amongst other witnesses, but failed to identify.
Cross-examined. In two cases the witnesses were sent for in consequence of information the police had possession of, to identify the prisoner—they both gave descriptions.
Evidence for the Defence.
HENRY HERMAN ELLIS . I am one of the firm of J. and H. Ellis, tailors, of Farringdon Street—I have known the prisoner since the end of February or the beginning of March, 1895—he came on a matter of business with a lady—he had a fur coat, and under it a serge suit—his first order for clothes was in March—he told me he would take the suit away as soon as he could pay for it—I had said, "Our terms are cash"—when he took them away he was wearing the same serge suit, a double-breasted reefer—the price of the suit was £3 10s.—he then gave orders for a lot of goods—his serge suit was rather shabby—he bought some white waist-coats the 14th or 15th of last September—then he sent all his wardrobe for me to clean, as he said he was going to survey some mining property in Norway—there were four suits and an extra pair of trousers—there were no white waistcoats—the clothes were very shabby—I have never seen the prisoner wear a white waistcoat, only those I made in September.
Cross-examined. I saw him in November, and we made him several other things—I saw him the end of September—he told me when he returned that he went to Norway in October—I returned him his clothes in September to take with him—I pressed them up—he paid me—the cleaners sent two or three back as not worth cleaning—I saw him again about the end of November, when he gave me a further order—they were four dress vests that he ordered on September 14th—there was no frock-coat sent to be done up—we made him a frock-coat about June or July—it had silk facings—I cannot recollect where I sent it without referring; to my books—in February or March he lived at Buckingham Hotel, Strand.
Re-examined. I had made him a dress suit, and for that I made the
waistcoats—I never made him a white lining to wear inside a black waistcoat.
ANNIE SMITH . I am chambermaid at the Buckingham Hotel, Strand—Beck was there when I went there in, I think, February, 1894—Beck stayed there till last September—I saw his clothes—he had his things washed there—I never saw him with a gold watch—I saw him with a black one, like that produced, and a gold chain—I never saw jewellery in his rooms—up to May or June, 1895, he was rather shabby, when he began to brighten up—after that he had good clothes—I never saw him wear a white waistcoat—I never sent any to the wash—I never saw him wear white spats—he had a black overcoat lined with fur; he wore it a good deal—I looked after his room—I was in it every day—I have never seen elephants' tusks or a mandoline there—I have seen him writing; letters I believe—he wrote very badly and slowly.
Cross-examined. I have been at the hotel two years. (MR. FROEST explained he had not been allowed to see the hotel books to get the dates.) Beck had a bedroom, and the use of the coffee-room and drawing-room—he had no sitting-room of his own—he wrote in his bedroom in the evening as a rule—he was generally out during the day—he never wrote to me—he sent me a note—it was a letter of half-a-dozen words—I had forgotten that—I have not got the letter—it was last August—in the letter he hoped I was enjoying my holiday, and he would be pleased to see me back—he did not go till September—I think he went to Victoria Street—he did not tell me the number—he took a large portmanteau, and a black box—I did not help him pack—I could not help noticing his clothes; they were hanging in the room—there were a good many of them—he had the portmanteau when I went there; the box came later, about June, I think—he had a dark blue overcoat with a velvet collar, and an old frock-coat with silk facings, but he very seldom wore it—he had it all the time he was there—his watch used to lie on his dressing-table in the morning—I believe he had a pearl pin, but I did not much notice—he had a little pin of some kind—it looked like pearl—he wore spats, but they were dark blue or black always—only one pair that I saw—he wore them last winter; I don't know about "always;" he was wearing them when I went there.
Re-examined. I brushed his clothes—I do not know whether his coat had been turned—I heard of his being in custody—several officers have been to see me—about four, I think; two wrote down what I said, one I know did—I think Mr. Froest.
CHARLES GEORGE KISTNER . I am a clerk to Messrs. Jenkins, Baker and Co., solicitors, St. Michael's House, Cornhill—about the middle of January, 1895, Beck came to the office practically every day, sometimes before I got there at ten—he was there sometimes all day—he was introducing a mine, the Hannen's reef—then he went to Ward and Chandler's—he was paid considerable sums of money in respect of the mine—one cheque in September, 1895, was for £282, one in October for £100, and he had 3,500 shares allotted him—his dress was "medium" the early part of the year, but afterwards he was better dressed—I never saw him with a massive gold chain, gold watch, nor pearl pin—he had an oxidised watch—I should say this is the one he was wearing—I did not see a chain, he used to take it out of his ticket pocket—I have seen him
writing—his writing was laboured—the longest time he has been at the office has been from 9.45 a.m., till 7 or 8 p.m.—this was about March—I drafted him a letter which he took away.
Cross-examined. I was told he was a Norwegian—he spoke Spanish—he spoke with a foreign accent—his dress improved towards June or July—he wore a high hat—he had a fur-lined overcoat; I never saw him in any other overcoat—I could not see what he wrote; I never looked at what he wrote—we allowed him to use the office to write his private correspondence—he held the pen in a peculiar way—he wrote slowly—I do not recognise his writing in these letters to Chetwind—he has not written to me—he has never signed documents in my presence—the writing in these documents does not remind me of his—nor does the writing in the book of the Galapagos Report—I could not swear to his writing—I never saw him write back-handed—I saw him about October 3rd—I believe he went to Norway after that—I believe he returned in November—I do not recollect his conversation in November, but I believe he said he had gone from Liverpool—I have not the cheques the prisoner last paid to him.
Re-examined. His business at our office was connected with mines and other business—I remember the September cheque for £282 being cashed across the counter—I went to the bank with him.
SAMUEL ARCHER JONES . I keep the Buckingham Hotel—the prisoner came there in September, 1893—he stayed till September, 1895—the end of 1894, and the beginning of 1895 he was shabbily dressed—he left to go to Victoria Street—his clothes were better the last month or two; I never saw him with any jewellery nor wearing white spats—no jewellery, elephants' tusks, mandolines, ostrich feathers, or anything of the kind were ever brought there.
Cross-examined. I do not know if he had a watch—we have about forty guests at the hotel—I noticed the prisoner's dress because I lent him a sovereign or two—I got it back—he was rather shabby up to April or May, 1895—after that he seemed to be in better circumstances—he dressed better, but nothing out of the way—he had a good coat with fur on it—I saw him wear that I do not recollect seeing a pearl pin.
MAJOR HANS RADOLPH SOFAS LINDHOLM . I have arrived today from Copenhagen, which I left two days ago—I live at Bred Garland—I am a Gentleman of the Chamber of the King of Denmark—I knew Beck several years at Lima in 1880—I left Denmark for Valparaiso about May, 1880 (This evidence was objected to as not relevant.) I first knew Beck in June or July, 1880, and from then to 1883 or 1884—he was a good friend and ah honourable man.
COLONEL HARRIS. Beck is no friend or acquaintance of mine—I have been brought here on subpoena—I knew him in Peru from 1875 up to 1882—I have seen him with the very best class of people.
Cross-examined. I do not think he could write two lines in English—he may have learned since—I knew he was a Norwegian—I do not think he could understand what English he did write—he spoke English very well, and Spanish remarkably well—I last saw him about five months ago in Bread Street—I had seen him twice previously; I had no business with him—I met him casually in the streets.
Re-examined. From 1875 to 1882 I used to see him in the carriers and
in the streets of Lima sometimes, and used to say "Good-day"—as one has to be careful with whom they converse in a country like that—I do not think he can write a line in English now.
Cross-examined. I knew him in London in 1894—I did not know his residence—I have seen him in the street on several occasions.
GUILTY .—MR. GILL applied that other indictments against the prisoner upon the file of the COURT should now be tried, or that a verdict of Not Guilty should be taken upon them; as there was no authority for leaving indictments untried upon the files of the COURT against the will of the person who was prepared to answer them. MR. AVORY asked the COURT to sentence the prisoner upon the indictment on which he had been convicted and to let the others be adjourned to next Session, in order that the Attorney-General might be applied to to enter a nolle prosequi upon them. The COMMON SERJEANT stated that he should not depart from a well-established practice, and that the other indictments should stand over till next Session, in order that the Public Prosecutor might consider what steps should be taken.
Four Years on the Fifth Count (charging the obtaining from Mrs. Townsend); Three Years on the Tenth Count (charging the obtaining from Madame Meissonier); these sentences to run consecutively. On each of the other Counts Three Years' Penal Servitude; to run concurrently with the previous sentence of Three Years.
Before Mr. Justice Wills.