18th July 1821
Reference Numbert18210718-123
VerdictGuilty; Guilty

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1027. GEORGE ARMSTRONG and JAMES DUNKLEY , were indicted for stealing, on the 16th of June , sixteen bushels of oats, value 30 s., and four sacks, value 6 s. , the goods of Samuel Knight .

MR. DOWLING conducted the prosecution.

SAMUEL KNIGHT . I am a corn-dealer , and live in Oxford-road. On the 16th of June, I had bought one hundred and ninety quarters of pats, of Messrs. Hill and Wheeler, and ordered Mr. Bradbury, the lighterman, to convey them to Mr. Lack's wharf, Millbank; they were put into my sacks, which had my name and address in full length on them.

JAMES BRADBURY . I am a lighterman. I received orders from Mr. Knight, to lighter one hundred and ninety quarters of oats, from the Ann, Captain Hamilton, at Horsleydown. I saw them put in my lighter, and sent my lad Edwards with them to Lack's wharf , on the 15th. The lighter was called

"The Friends."

JOSEPH EDWARDS . I am apprentice to Mr. Bradbury on the 15th of June, I took one hundred and ninety quarters of oats, and left them at Lack's wharf, Millbank, in the lighter. I got there about one o'clock in the afternoon of the 16th of June.

JAMES LACK . I have a wharf at Millbank. On the 16th of June, I received one hundred and ninety quarters of oats in Bradbury's lighter, moored at the piles belonging to the wharf - I saw the oats taken out, some were ordered but, and the rest left in.

Cross-examined by MR. PLATT. Q. Were you present when they arrived - A. No.

JAMES ALLINGHAM . I am a lighterman, and live in Horsleydown. On the morning of the 16th of June, between two and three o'clock, I was near Lack's wharf - I saw a boat rowing away from the wharf; I was two wharfs above his, two or three men were in the boat, I am sure there were two; they had sacks full of something in the boat, they rowed off to a row in the middle of the river, and put the sacks into a coal barge, and cast the coal barge adrift - the tide was running up nearly high water, the barge drifted towards Lambeth - I saw no more of her; I do not know whether the men followed the barge, it was too dark to tell what the sacks contained.

Cross-examined. Q. You were some distance - A. Yes; I was mooring a barge, and could not pursue.

JOHN LAWRENCE . I am a constable of Surry, and live at Lambeth. On the morning of the 16th of June, in consequence of information, I went down to the water side; about ten minutes past three o'clock, rather above Lack's, and saw a barge on the opposite shore, and the prisoner Armstrong, looking off the shore - I went into an alley leading to the water side, and saw four full sacks lying about the middle of the alley, marked,

" Samuel Knight ,

Oxford-street;" one of the sacks was dirty, as if it had been on some coals - Dunkley was on shore, but not close to the alley. I knew them both before. When I went to the sack, Armstrong jumped into the alley, and said, he would lose his bl - y life, before he would leave it there. He took the sacks away from the alley, and put them into and old barge, and then into a boat, Dunkley assisted - one of the sacks, when it was thrown into the boat, broke one of the sculls; I had no assistance, and could not take them then - it was a large boat, what they call a Norway Yaul - I saw the same boat at the Thames police-office, the same evening; I did not see them go away - about half-past five o'clock that morning, I went over to Lack's wharf, and saw four sacks marked similar to those I saw before, the dirty one was there, I can swear to its being the same, and there was a vacancy in the barge where the sacks had been lying, in the forward part of the vessel, the vacancy appeared sufficient to contain the four sacks - about a bushel and a half or two bushels had been spilt out of them at Lambeth.

Cross-examined. Q. This was on the morning of the 16th - A. Yes; and two hours after, I saw the same sacks at the wharf; I did not conceal myself in the alley, Armstrong knew I was a constable, he addressed himself to me when he said,

"He would be d - d if he would leave them there."

WILLIAM SMITH . I am a watchman. On the 16th of June, I was in Fore-street, Lambeth, close to the river side, and saw a bulk of four sacks, laying among a parcel of timber; I felt, and found them to contain some sort of grain - I saw nobody near it, it was then three o'clock - I fetched Lawrence, and told him, I went down directly. I went to call some people up to work, and when I returned Lawrence and Armstrong were in the alley, Dunkley was on shore - I was going down the alley, and Armstrong said,

"You be off, Mr. Billy;" I knew them both before, Dunkley was very near the alley - I saw Armstrong take the sacks out of the alley, and went away.

Cross-examined. Q. Why not stay and arrest Lawrence - A. I thought it of no use; they were stronger than us two, I am 62 years old - I fetched a constable, but it was too late.

WILLIAM COATES . I am a lighterman, and live at Chelsea. On the 16th of June, about four in the morning, I was on the river, and at Lambeth; I observed some men putting some sacks into a boat, about forty yards from me on the Surrey side, the boat was afloat; there were two or three sacks, I did not take particular notice. One of the sculls broke as they threw the sacks in off the craft - they went across the water in the boat - the tide was running down.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you see them break the scull - A. Yes, I heard it break.

Q. If they took the corn from the row at Westminster, would it be shorter for them to go to the Lambeth side first - A. I think so.

JOSEPH HARDING . I am a Thames Police surveyor. On the 16th of June, between four and five o'clock in the morning, I saw the prisoner coming through London Bridge, on the Surrey side, in a boat alone; there was nothing bulky in the boat, they were going downwards. I followed them to Church-stairs, Rotherbithe; they made their boat fast, and went ashore. I should know the boat again. it had Dunkley's name on it. I knew them both before.

JAMES BRANTRY . I am a Thames Police surveyor. On the 16th of June, in consequence of information, I landed at Lambeth stairs between three and four o'clock in the morning; I was in Fore-street, and looked down one of the alleys, and saw a quantity of loose corn laying in an old barge's head, called the King, and some spilt on shore. I borrowed a sack and gathered it up, it was about a bushel and a half. I searched the craft, and went to Dunkley's back door in my own boat, to see if his boat was stowed there, and found she was not. I then crossed the water, and went to Lack's wharf, and found a punt there belonging to Bradbury, covered with tarpauling, named the Friends, and found the four outer sacks had been taken from the bulk; the sternfast had been cut, to make the barge turn round, so that on coming up the river the vacancy would not be seen. In the fore part of the barge I found four sacks of oats between the bulk, partly in and partly out, they were marked

"Knight, Oxford-street," one of them were very muddy; all the other sacks were perfectly dry; there appeared about two bushels of corn taken out. I produce a sample of the bulk, and of that I found at Lambeth. I found Dunkley's boat at Church-stairs, Rotherhithe, about nine o'clock that morning, and at the bottom of it was some loose oats, I took them away; the boat appeared to have been recently washed. There was a pair of sculls in it, belonging to Dunkley, and one with the name of Thomas Etherell on it; one of Dunkley's sculls was broken about four feet of the blade, it was broken in two parts and tied together with two sack tyers. About eleven o'clock in the morning, I went with Dalby and Blyth to Armstrong's house, close to the Europa, public-house, Rotherhithe, and took the prisoners; I waited at the back of the house - they denied the charge.

Cross-examined. Q. About two bushels appeared to be gone from the four sacks - A. Yes, I found the four sacks at the end of the barge; they must have been brought back, and put in the barge again; I cannot say they were ever taken out. Dunkley's scull appeared to be mended with sack tyers about a foot long, which is the usual length; they appeared the same sort as the sacks were tied with.

DANIEL BLYTH . I am a Thames Police surveyor. Dalby and I went to apprehend the prisoners about eleven o'clock in the morning; we knocked repeatedly at Armstrong's door, they would not let us in, and we entered at the window, passed through the front room, and went into the kitchen; the prisoners came down stairs. Armstrong then said, you bl - y - , what do you want here? They appeared to be going to resist. We secured them; Armstrong asked what he was taken for. I said, on suspicion of stealing four sacks of oats. They denied knowing any thing of it. I asked Armstrong if he had been above bridge that night; he said, yes, he had, and that Green, one of the other officers, had seen him; they said, they had done nothing they were afraid of. I said,

"Then why not let us in when we knocked;" he said,

"You did not give us time to put our things on."

Cross-examined. Q. You found them coming down

stairs - A. Yes, they both put themselves in a posture of defence. We had knocked a dozen times at the door, and stood there a quarter of an hour; they did not answer any of our knocks.

CHARLES GREEN . I am a Thames Police surveyor. On the 16th of June, about half-past two o'clock in the morning, I saw Armstrong laying on the gunnel of a barge, at the back of Dunkley's door, apparently asleep, and I saw Dunkley in his boat, which then laid between the craft and his door, he is a druggerman; I have frequently seen them together.

SAMUEL KNIGHT re-examined. Q. Look at the samples of the bulk, that which was found in the prisoner's boat, and that found in the alley - A. I have been sixteen years in the corn trade; it is impossible to speak to that found in the boat - it being wet and dirty; the other two appear to be samples of the same corn. The four sacks of oats cost me 33 s.



Transported for Seven Years .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.

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