18th September 1837
Reference Numbert18370918-2094
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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2094. JAMES STEVENSON was indicted for stealing, on the 19th of August, at St. Paul, Shadwell, 1 coat, value 2l. 10s.; 1 pair of trowsers, value 1l. 5s.; 1 waistcoat, value 17s.; and 1 stock, value 2s.; the goods of Mary Maria Eyles, in her dwelling-house.—2nd COUNT, stating the property to belong to Mary Maria Taylor.

MARY MARIA EYLES . I am a widow, and keep a beer-shop in Lower Shadwell, in the parish of St. Paul, Shadwell. I have known the prisoner since the beginning of last March—he is master of a collier—he came to my house, I think, on Thursday the 17th of August, and asked me to lend him 15s., as he had come up in a steam-boat to take charge of a vessel to Sidney, and was going to the brokers—I lent him 15s.—he came again next day, and asked if I would advance him 10s. more—I said I had not as much, but would advance him 8s.—he came again on Saturday, and asked me to lend him 2s.—I said I wanted what he had got, and could not—he said he was rather intoxicated, and wished to go and lie down—I permitted him to do so, believing him to be respectable—I put him into the first floor front room—the room was locked when I took him up, and I locked him into it—he continued there about two hours and a half—my son had got the key in his pocket, and while he was gone to get me change, the prisoner knocked at the door to come out—I got the carpenter who was repairing the lock to take the bolt off the door, and he was let out—when he came down, I saw he had two frock coats on, and something crammed into his breast—he sat down in the back parlour, and had a bottle of ginger beer, and then went away—the door was locked again as soon as the bolt was put right, and I took the key myself—next morning at eight o'clock I missed out of the drawers a frock coat, a black waistcoat and trowsers, and a silk stock, which belonged to Henry Thompson, a steward on board the Pilot, and who was at sea—he had left them in my care—I believe the coat to be worth about 3l. 15s., the waistcoat about 17s., the trowsers about 1l. 5s., and the stock about 2s. 6d.—I should know them again—there was a purple stain on the right sleeve of the lining of the frock coat—(looking at the property)—this is the coat, I have not a doubt—this is the waistcoat, to the best of my belief—I have no private mark on it—I believe the trowsers to be the same.

Cross-examined by MR. JERNINGHAM. Q. You consider the coat worth 3l. 15s.? A. I consider it so—it has been worn twice—it was new about the 6th of August this year—the gentleman went to sea about a week after he had the things—I am a widow—I believe my husband died abroad—I was really married to Mr. Eyles—I am acquainted with a person named Taylor—I have been twice married—I was married before to a person named Taylor—I never knew that there was another person bore the name of Eyles—I will swear that—my beer-shop is never kept open after 11 o'clock at night—I have been acquainted with the prisoner since last March—I never had any intimate acquaintance with him—I knew his brother before I knew him—some days before the prisoner was apprehended, the brother came to my house and told me, if I prosecuted him, he would give me 5l. towards it; and if I did not do it, he would not give 5s. to liberate him—he said he was on board the Monica, and if I did not go and have him apprehended, he would be gone before the morning; but I did not go then—he said if I did not prosecute him he should consider that there was that intimacy between him and that I dare not appear against him in court—he told me his brother was one of the biggest vagabonds that ever walked—I missed my pro

perty on Saturday the 19th, the very day he came to me to borrow the 2s.—he went away about four o'clock, and next morning at eight o'clock I missed the property—I did not tell his brother if he would pay the value of the clothes I would drop the prosecution—I said if he would seek the prisoner, and replace the clothes, I would be at the loss of the 2l. 18s. he had borrowed of me—I very seldom mix with the company who attend my shop—I have nobody to help me, nobody to settle my business but myself, and am obliged at times to try to get custom—at the time the prisoner worked a ship he was often at my house, and he borrowed small sums of money—I always considered him respectable, though his brother told me he was not so.

Q. If he was in the habit of borrowing money, might he not have taken the coat with the intention of returning it? A. Not to my knowledge—I cannot swear he did not intend to return it—he never asked for it.

WILLIAM TAPSON . I am a policeman. I was employed to apprehend the prisoner—I found him on board the Monica brig—I searched the ship and could not find him, but the captain said he was on board, and asked if I had looked into the hatch of the forecastle—I went down again, and got down into the forecastle with a constable, who found him stowed away in the forecastle—on searching him, I found 18s. 6d. in money, and among his papers a piece of dirty paper, referring to No. 10, Bedford square, Commercial-road, requesting some person there to send the duplicate of a coat and waistcoat—I have it here—in consequence of that paper, I made inquiry in Bedford-square, and discovered the property. (Paper read) "London, August 22nd, 1837, 10, Bedford-square. Sir, Please to send with the bearer, the ticket which belongs to my coat and waistcoat Yours truly, CAPTAIN STEVENS." I got this duplicate there, and that led me to Watts 's, the pawnbroker's, where I found the coat and waistcoat which the duplicate referred to.

HENRY FOWLER . I am in the service of Mr. Watts, a pawnbroker, in Commercial-road, East. This coat and waistcoat were pawned with me, by the witness Fermingham, on Saturday the 19th of August.

Cross-examined. Q. What were they pawned for? A. 1l. 5s.—I consider the waistcoat worth 15s. now—the coat is marked at the collar, as if it had been worn once or twice, which makes it second-hand and diminishes its value to about half—when new, I should consider it worth 3l. 17s. at trade price; it would not fetch 30s. if sent to the sale room, and the waistcoat might fetch 7s. or 8s.

HENRY GEORGE FERMINGHAM . I live with my father in Bedford square, Commercial-road. On the 19th of August, I saw the prisoner in my father's company at my father's residence—I pawned these clothes at Watts 's for him, at his request for 1l. 5s., and at his request the duplicate was left in the custody of my father—he told my father he was captain of the brig Northumberland, lying at letter F, St. Catherine's dock, and he had to receive his money on a Monday morning, and wished to raise 25s. till Monday, and being afraid of losing his duplicate he left it in my father's possession till Monday morning, but he never came for it.

MR. JERNINGHAM to MRS. EYLES. Q. You said you were the widow of Mr. Eyles—during his lifetime did anybody ever call on you, stating herself to be the wife of Mr. Eyles? A. Yes—I cannot swear that she was his wife—I was married at St. Botolph, Aldgate, on or about the 20th of August, 1829—I have not my marriage certificate with me, but I could get it if it was required—I had the person representing herself to be

Mrs. Eyles turned out of my house—my maiden name was Mary Maria Howard.

COURT. Q. When did Mr. Eyles die? A. On or about the 9th of January last—I have continued in the occupation of the house ever since, and carry on the business on my own account.

(The prisoner received a good character.)

GUILTY of stealing under the value of 5l. Aged 30.—Recommended to mercy by the Prosecutrix .— Confined Six Months; One Month Solitary.

Fifth Jury, before Mr. Recorder.

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