3rd July 1822
Reference Numbert18220703-37
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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1026. WILLIAM MILLART was indicted for stealing, on the 31st of January , twenty-eight yards of cambric, value 12 l.; eleven cambric handkerchiefs, value 2 l.; fifty yards of lawn, value 7 l.; eighteen yards of muslin, value 3 l., and seven yards of diaper, value 1 l. , the goods of Thomas Mitchell .

MR. ADOLPHUS conducted the prosecution.

THOMAS MITCHELL . I am a linen-draper , and live in Leadenhall-street. The prisoner was more than fourteen years in my employment; he left early in March 1820, to go into business on his own account; he took a shop in Bethnal-green Road. I gave him credit to the amount of 400 l. or 500 l. On the 3d of June last, I received information, and on the 4th I went to his shop in Bethnal-green Road; before I entered, I saw some lawns in the window, which I knew to be mine. I then went in with Mr. Thomas and Mr. Hines; the prisoner was out, he was sent for, and came in a few minutes. I told him I wished to see the lawns which were in his window; he brought part of them; I told him they were my property, and had never been sold to him, and I had reason to believe there was a considerable quantity more goods, and I insisted on seeing them; I said he knew what belonged to me, and I expected him to produce them; this passed in a little back room adjoining the shop. I went into the shop myself, looked about, and desired him to take down some Irish linens, muslins, and a paper containing India muslins, and some shawls; these were taken down, and I claimed them from private marks by which I knew them; I said he must have taken them while he was in my employ, and I had never sold them; there was a considerable quantity of them placed together; he made no answer how he got them; he was so confused, that I thought he was incapable. All the articles stated in the indictment were found there on that day, except the diaper, but that is not a tenth part of what was found; I am positive I never sold them to him; I have since asked him how he came possessed of them, he made no answer. I have never held out any hopes or promises to him; the goods I claimed were put up in a wrapper, and afterwards, by his written permission, removed to my house; the value in the indictment is something below their real value. I told him my debt was twice the amount of any person's, and therefore I insisted on having a warrant of attorney for 300 l., as he owed me 400 l.; I said I should then stand equal with the rest of the creditors. I got the warrant on the 5th, and took out the execution next day. I then informed the creditors, and gave up my warrant to distribute the effects equally - I only took it out to secure the goods.

Cross-examined by MR. ALLEY. Q. Have you not obtained from him since, an assignment of all his book debts and property of every description, to the amount of nearly 1500 l. - A. It is under 1000 l.; the assignment was for the benefit of all his creditors - I never promised to take no steps against him, if he made this assignment. I did not promise not to put the warrant of attorney in force for six months. I had him apprehended about a month after the assignment.

Q. Why not proceed instantly against him - A. It was partly my own convenience, and a wish to obtain the goods. We had a consultation whether we should take him this Session or the next; he was taken the night before last. I have had intercourse with him, from time to time; he has applied to me about it - I said I had nothing to say to him at present. No promise of any kind was held out to him - I did not object to an attorney attending on his behalf.

Q. Do none of the goods you sell go out with your mark - A. Certainly.

MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. Are you the only person named in the assignment - A. No. Mr. Stockdale, the next principal creditor; it is for the benefit of all the creditors.

THOMAS OLDHAM . I was once in the service of the prosecutor, and about two months ago I went to assist the prisoner in his business, and noticed a great number of goods that were Mr. Mitchell's, and mentioned it to Lewis: they had Mitchell's mark on them.

Cross-examined by MR. BRODRICK. Q. How long did you live with Mr. Mitchell - A. Three or four years, and while the prisoner lived there, I was clerk; he knew I was acquainted with the goods - but cannot say whether he knew I was acquainted with the mark. The goods were exposed.

MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. How long had you left Mr. Mitchell - A. Three or four years. I have examined all the prisoner's invoices; none of these goods are included in them.

THOMAS HIND . I was in Mr. Mitchell's employ about twelve months ago, and am now in business for myself; on the 4th of June, I accompanied him to the prisoner's shop, and saw the goods brought out of the window; they had Mr. Mitchell's mark on them; and other goods were found with the mark on them; he was asked to produce invoices of them, and could not. I produce the invoices delivered to him, with goods sold him; Mr. Mitchell delivered them to me.

MR. MITCHELL. These came in my possession under the assignment; they are all the bills of those he bought of me.

THOMAS HIND . (In continuation.) When the first parcel was found, he was asked to produce his invoices; he brought invoices, and they contained none of these goods; the prisoner called a few days after at my house, and requested me to wait on Mr. Mitchell, to intercede for his forgiveness, and not to prosecute him; I told him I could not think of that, but I did at last, and afterwards saw him, and told him the prosecutor would make no promises. He asked my advice - I advised him to give up all the goods which he had fraudulently obtained, as without that he could not expect clemency; he said, he did not know what he should do; he should be ruined, and what would become of his wife and family; this conversation was about a week after the 4th of June; he called on me repeatedly about my interceding with Mr. Mitchell.

Cross-examined. Q. You told him nothing could be done unless he gave up the goods - A. No. Mr. Mitchell never said he would not prosecute him if he got all the goods.

PHILLIP LEWIS . I am a linen draper, and live in Bethnal-green Road; I was in the prisoner's employ, his goods were kept in the shop, and some up stairs in an Irish case in his bed room; most of the property claimed by the prosecutor was in that case. I had seen the case before the prisoner took the shop at No. 4, Princes-street, Finsbury, where he lodged - I did not see the contents until about nine months after he opened the shop in Bethnal-green Road.

(Property produced and sworn to).

The prisoner put in a written Defence, - stating, that all the goods were invoiced to him; that the warrant of attorney was obtained on a promise that it should not be executed for six months; and that his own private mark was the same as Mr. Mitchell's.

PHILLIP LEWIS . I was the prisoner's shop boy; one of his marks are the same as Mr. Mitchell's; but Mr. Mitchell has two marks. I lived with the prisoner from his first commencement in business, (examining the goods) the marks on these are not the hand-writing of the prisoner or myself.

MR. MITCHELL. I have examined all the marks; most of the goods have two marks, one mine, and the other my shopman's. The prisoner's writing is not on one of these, where the marks are visible.

THOMAS HIND . I cannot find the prisoner's writing on any of them. Part of them bear both the marks of myself and Mr. Mitchell.

GUILTY . Aged 38.

Recommended to Mercy.

Confined Two Years .

London Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

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