27th February 1843
Reference Numbert18430227-1040
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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1040. ARTHUR HARVEY was indicted for stealing, on the 4th of Feb., 1 purse, value 6d.; 13 sovereigns, 1 half-sovereign, 1 crown, 3 half-crowns, 10 shillings, and 5 sixpences, the property of John Smith; in a certain vessel on the navigable River Thames.

MR. PRENDERGAST conducted the Prosecution.

JOHN SMITH . I am captain of the Quicksilver, which trades from Sunderland to London. The prisoner had been on board one passage—his mother remained in London—he came up with me as far as Gravesend—I then paid him, and he asked leave to stop till the Christmas holidays were over with his friends in London—he afterwards made application to be taken again—I arranged that he was to go to Sunderland, and have 10s. for the voyage, and then become apprentice to the vessel—he came on board on Saturday, the 4th of Feb., at five o'clock—I had got all my business done, and was about preparing my vessel for the voyage—I took my purse out of my pocket, and put it into the register-box—there were thirteen sovereigns and a half in one end, and 25s. in silver in the other—I put the register-box into a drawer in the state-room—the prisoner was in the cabin—I counted my money before I put it away—he did not see me do that—I cannot say whether he was in the cabin when I did that—as soon as I got my tea I went on deck—as soon as the prisoner had done his tea I went down to balance my cash—I heard a noise on deck, and the mate said the boat was gone—I determined then to send the other lad and the prisoner to look after the boat—when I looked after the prisoner he was not there—they were all on board but him—I went down, opened the box, and missed my purse—I have never seen it since—the prisoner had left his hammock and all his things behind—I gave information.

Cross-examined by MR. PAYNE. Q. How long had you known him? A. He came from a place in the North—the mate, Joseph Deane, and the prisoner, had quarrelled on the passage up from Middleborough—the mate quarrelled with all hands—it was about ten minutes from the time I left the cabin till I went down again—I left Bassett in the cabin—I am sure I put my purse into the register-box—the prisoner ought to have been there before that Saturday, but his mother had written to me to say he was not well—I did not hear the mate or any man grumble at him for not being on board before.

FREDERICK BASSETT . I am nephew to one of the owners of this Vessel. I was on board on the 4th of Feb.—I was going as a passenger—I remember the prisoner's being in the cabin in the evening—I saw Captain Smith count his money—the prisoner had an opportunity of seeing that—I saw the Captain put it away—he had his tea, and went on deck—after he was gone up, the prisoner put away the tea things—while doing so he went near the cupboard—he opened the door, which prevented my seeing into the berth, and went into the sleeping berth—I could not see the drawer in which the register-box was kept, but I beard it opened—he came out again directly, and went right out of the cabin—just before this he asked me to go into the mate's bed—I told him it was too soon—he asked me to go on deck, and see the cargo stowed in the hold, but I declined it—in five minutes after he left the cabin the captain missed his money.

Cross-examined. Q. Did he leave the cabin more than once? A. Yes, once before—there was only one way of getting into the cabin, unless by shoving up a board—the mate's berth is not far from the captain's—it is in the same cabin—the mate was in the hold, stowing the goods—he could get into the cabin from the hold by pushing up the board—I never quarrelled with the prisoner—I only saw him that day—no one went into the cabin from the time the captain left the deck, till he came back—I was not asleep—I did not take the money.

THOMAS TYLER (police-constable N 225.) I received information on Saturday night, the 4th of Feb., and went to the prisoner's mother's house—I looked for him in the neighbourhood—I saw him a fortnight after, about a quarter past twelve o'clock at night, between the Angel and his mother's house—he passed me with his mother—I turned round, and said, "Jack," or something of that sort—his mother stopped—I said, "Arthur, how long have you been home from sea?"—he said, "Not long"—I said, "You must consider yourself in my custody"—he laughed—I said, "For stealing some money from the Quicksilver, a vessel lying at the Tower"—he said, "I don't know it, I never was on board"—he had all new clothes and hat and shoes—I took him to the station, and asked how he got all these clothes—he said he had them at home—the sergeant asked if the Quicksilver was a schooner or a barge—he said he knew nothing about it.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you go to his mother's before? A. I went there on Saturday night, the 4th of Feb.—I did not go again, but I watched it pretty closely—I am quite sure he said he knew nothing about the Quicksilver or the robbery.

(The prisoner received a good character.)

GUILTY . Aged 18.—Recommended to mercy by the Jury.— Confined Two Months.

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