3rd December 1823
Reference Numbert18231203-57
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s

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57. ROBERT SHIELDS was again indicted for stealing, on the 21st of October , in the dwelling-house of George Vipond , his master, one hundred and seventy-three yards of linen, value 16 l.; twenty-nine shawls, value 29 l.; seven cloths, value 4 l. 10 s.; ten yards of cloth, value 8 l. 10 s.; a scarf, value 50 s. eighty-eight-yards of silk, value 20 l.; and sixty-nine yards of cotton, value 3 l. 15 s. his property .

Mr. VIPOND. The prisoner was my servant , and had the principal management of my business, at a salary of 2 l. 10 s. a week. I never authorized him to pawn any goods for me, nor ever knew that he did. I have his cash-book made up to the 4th of November - there is no entry of any sum of money received for the goods stated in the indictment - he made the cash-book up on the 5th of November, at my request. I said "Is everything included?" He said "Yes; everything." I counted what money I had in my pocket, and said, "You cannot be correct, as I am 4 l. short." He then wrote the memorandum of it. I was once told, on my return from the country, that 12 l. 13 s. had been borrowed from a friend to pay a bill - he never intimated that it was a pledge. I made no reply - he was to pay it out of my property. On the 5th of November his desk was opened - Read took what duplicates were in the small box, and Lee those in the desk - they led me to different pawnbrokers, who are here - he has not given credit in the book for any of these articles.

WILLIAM READ . I found some duplicates in a box in the prisoner's desk - they relate to this property.

THOMAS NICHOLLS . I am a pawnbroker, and live in Gray's Inn-lane. On the 19th of July two pieces of Irish were pawned with me in the name of Hughes, by the prisoner.

Cross-examined. Q. You knew the prisoner very well - A. Yes; I knew his name, and where he lived, for I had his card, which he gave me at a former transaction. I put H on the ticket, for housekeeper. I did not know that Mr. Vipond occupied the house.

MR. VIPOND. This is my linen - I was not in want of money in July - I have frequently lent the prisoner's brother-in-law money, and the prisoner knew that - I lent him 40 l. about that time. Since I have been in Hatton-garden I have never been in want of money - I have had 100 l. in my pocket for months together.

Cross-examined by MR. ANDREWS. Q. Did you ever fail in trade - A. Yes, in 1820. I had prosecuted one Oldfield about that time, for keeping a gaming-house.

Q. At which you had been a player - A. Never in my life - I do not know whether he was ever brought up for judgment - I left it with my solicitor. A servant of mine had squandered my money there, and so I prosecuted him.

Q. Do not you know that Oldfield was never brought up for judgment, and that the Attorney-General has himself interfered to bring him up - A. I do not know it - I never attempted to have him brought up - I was never informed of any goods being pawned.

Q. Here is an entry of 34 l. on the 21st of July, what means had he of receiving that sum - A. It appears by

the book to be received by the collectors out of doors from 260 people. I have no petty cash books; his wife keeps a house-keeping book; there are no credit entries in it. I heard Marshall examined in the last case. I never applied to him for goods till after the prisoner was apprehended. The prisoner bought the blankets for me, and the invoice was made in my name; if he became responsible, it is without my knowledge; I paid for them. My private mark is on this linen. I never sell whole pieces of this quality; my stock was taken some time in July.

NICHOLLS re-examined. I have some cloth pawned for 1 l., and a remnant of cloth and kerseymere for 3 l. I gave the persons the duplicates produced.

WILLIAM ROGERS . I am shopman to Mr. Chaffers, pawn-broker, Walling-street. I have two piece of silk pawned on the 2d of October by a man who I saw outside the court, for 5 l.

WILLIAM MAXWELL . I am servant to Mr. Reeves, pawn-broker, Snow-hill. I have some pieces of cambric pawned on the 8th of May for 10 l. I do not know who by. I have also a scarf pawned on the 16th of August for 25 s.; twenty shawls on the 14th of May for 9 l., in the name of Thompson; and some cloth for 3 l., in the name of Jones on the 7th of June; the duplicates are among those produced.

Cross-examined by MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. Should you know the man who pawned them - A. I should know the man who pawned the shawls. Tally shops often take duplicates for money.

WALTER MUNCASTER . I am a pawn-broker. I live in Skinner-street. I have nine shawls, pawned on the 15th of March, for two guineas and a half in the name of Jennings. I do not know who by. On the 27th of June three more were pawned in the name of Shields.

JOSEPH SARSON . I live with Mr. Stafford in St. John street. On the 4th of October 1822, forty-eight yards of linen were pawned in the name of Turner for 2 l. 15 s. On the 2d of November, three handkerchiefs and four pairs of stockings for 30 s.; the corresponding tickets are here.

EDWARD CALVER . I live with Mr. Fleming of Newgate-street. I have two pieces of cotten pawned for 30 s. on the 3d of October, by a much younger man than the prisoner.

ROBERT BEECHAM . I am a pawn-broker and live in Holborn-row. On the 9th of November 1822, two scarfs were pawned in the name of Jones for 2 l. On the 14th of June 1823, a piece of linen for 30 s., and two pieces on the same day for 2 l., in the name of Jackson, and on the 27th of September, eighteen yards of silk for 25 s., and fourteen yards for 20 s.; and on the 13th of August, thirteen yards of cotten for 16 s.; the corresponding duplicates are here.

MR. VIPOND. These articles are mine, and have my private mark on them; the stock was taken by the prisoner, and the account left in his hands to be cast up; he has never returned it to me; if they had been sold, they should be entered in a book. I find two pieces of silk corresponding in length with hese, which are entered in a fictitious name.

Q. Could all these goods go out of your stock without your knowledge - A. Yes, because they were taken at different times. I missed the twenty shawls, and asked him for them; he said they were gone upon approbation to Mr. Evans, his brother-in-law, they are entered on approbation to Evans.

Prisoner's Defence. I had a situation of two hundred guineas a year, and left it to go with him. We had fifty interviews; he always said I was to have half the business: he did not wish my name to appear, as I had take the benefit of the Insolvent Act; he said he had plenty of money to live on, and would go down and live with his family. On the 4th of November he laid a trap for me; he said he wished me to balance the cash; he always had the balance in his own hands. I had none, he is indebted to me above 100 l. for money paid on the partnership account; he has kept the book from me for the purpose of getting me out of this comfortable business.

JOHN COULSON . I am in Mr. Vipond's service. I have pawned things for the prisoner three or four times. they were taken publicly out of the shop. I never heard Mr. Vipond complain of missing any stock, he was generally in the shop. I never heard of Shields having wages. Mr. Vipond called him "Mr. Shields."

MR. BRODRICK. Q. What had you to do in the shop - A. Very little; I was an outdoor collector. I pawned some silk for 5 l., and gave the prisoner the money.

GEORGE PALMER . I am collector to Mr. Vipond. Once, when Mr. Vipond was in the country, a bill came in. Shields said it must be taken up, and requested me to get some money on some Irish. I pawned them, and met him in the Strand with the cash. Some other goods were pawned and taken out to show a lady at the Goose and Gridiron, and then replaced in the stock; it was never made a secret of. I was never told not to tell Mr. Vipond.

MR. BRODRICK. Q. Have you never told Shields that he was liable to be turned away at an hour's notice if he acted improperly - A. Yes; Mr. Vipond threatened to discharge him once. but they were reconciled.

MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. How long ago was that - A. Eight or nine months; he had been drinking, and Mr. Vipond said, if that was not altered, he should dismiss him.

The witness Marshall repeated his evidence as in the former case.

GUILTY. Aged 34. Of stealing to the value of 39 s. only .

Transported for Seven Years .

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