3rd July 1822
Reference Numbert18220703-59
VerdictNot Guilty

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1048. CHARLES MEREDITH was indicted for stealing, on the 18th of June , thirty yards of ribbon, value 5 s., and four fans, value 4 s. , the goods of James Morrison and William Cope .

MR. LAW conducted the prosecution.

WILLIAM COPE . I am in partnership with James Morrison ; we are haberdashers , and live in Oxford-street. The prisoner was in our service as hosier ; the business was very frequently under his controul; it is carried on under the firm of Todd and Co. On Monday, the 17th of June, I made a communication to Plank the officer, at Marlborough-street - and on Thursday morning the prisoner delivered an anonymous note into my hand - (looks at it) this is it, and the envelope; he said he had it from the cook - I told him he had been robbing me.

(Letter read.)


"Sir, You are suspected of having robbed Messrs. Todd - the writer overheard a conversation between Mr. Todd and one of the Officers of Marlborough-street. One of the housemaids is also implicated."

This letter was enclosed in an envelope, and directed

"For the Cook."

Mr. COPE. The cook is in the shop in the day-time, and sleeps in Castle-street; he said it came from Castle-street, from the area. I told him I was informed he was robbing me - and had appointed two men to come that day and the next with marked money, and I was sorry he had found it out so soon; but as he had I must send for an officer. I sent for Plank, and kept the prisoner in my presence. Plank searched his drawer and trunks - which we opened with his own key; and immediately that it opened, the prisoner took up two parcels and gave them to me - I was going to open them. One contained a piece of ribbon directed to Humphries; he said he had taken that himself down to his sister, that it would not do, and he brought it back; there was a paper inside it with a bill of parcels of his own making. When goods are sent from our house, the bill is made out by one person and examined by a second, and signed with his initials, and the date put to it. The other parcel contained six fans; he said he meant to take them to his sister, for he thought they would suit her trade. I asked if they were entered anywhere, and if any person besides himself

knew it? he said No - they were wrapt in separate papers; there was a paper with writing on it in the ribbon parcel, which appeared to be his own writing.

Cross-examined by Mr. ALLEY. Q. Todd and Co. carry on very extensive business in the City - A. Yes. Mr. Todd has no concern with the house in Oxford-street. I have heard since this, that the prisoner's sister keeps a small shop at Walton on Thames - and he told me three or four weeks before, that a parcel was for his sister at Walton. I did not find fault with him for selling her goods. I often send goods on approbation in town, but not in the country.

Q. Do you know Mr. Middleton of Tunbridge-wells - A. I understand he is a customer of mine - I received an order from him last week; it was addressed to Meredith. I ordered the goods to be sent.

Q. The prisoner could have taken the things out of his box before he brought you the letter - A. Certainly. I have a boy named Wiggins, who has a relation at Walton; the prisoner asked leave for him to go to Walton one Sunday. The prisoner said the ribbon was sent to his sister for a club, but not being the colour, he brought it back himself, and had forgotten to put it back.

MR. LAW. Q. What was the parcel which you knew went to his sister - A. Four parasols. All goods which go out should be entered by the clerk.

SAMUEL PLANK . I am an officer. Mr. Cope made a communication to me, and on the 20th of June I was sent for - and as I opened the prisoner's box he put his hand in and took out two parcels, and delivered them to Mr. Cope. I opened them - one contained ribbon, and the other four fans; the ribbon was directed to

"Mr. Humphries's cottage, Walton;" a bill of parcels was in it, and a note; he said he took the ribbon to the person to whom it was directed - they did not approve of it, and he brought it back - it was wafered; he said he took the fans, intending to shew them to some person on the following Sunday.

(Note read.)

"I could not get one with an edge - but can get one text week, if you have any one to call for it."

WILLIAM WIGGINS . My parents live at Walton; I dined there on Whit-Sunday. On the 26th of May, I brought one parcel from the prisoner's sister; it contained Norwich crape - her name is Humphries. I had strict orders to keep it from Mr. Cope, or any of the young men; but to return it to him as a secret. I gave it to him on Sunday evening, and told him next day in the shop, that it was spotted, and therefore returned. I have brought nothing else from his sister's.

Prisoner's Defence. The ribbon was returned; I did not say I brought it back myself. I meant to take the fans down on Sunday. Mr. Cope was well aware of my sending goods to my sister.

ROBERT PARKINS . I am butler to Mr. Middleton of Tunbridge-wells; they have dealt with the prosecutor two or three times through the prisoner.

JANE RAMSAY . I am cook to the prosecutor. The lad found this letter in the area - it was brought to me. and being directed

"for the Cook," I opened the envelope.

MR. LAW. Q. You go to the play with him sometimes - A. No.


First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.

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