REUBEN LIDSTONE.
27th February 1843
Reference Numbert18430227-1043
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment

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1043. REUBEN LIDSTONE was again indicted for stealing, on the 10th of June, 16 pieces of wood, value 12s.; 9 pieces of wood, called veneers, 15s.; 1 plane, 1l.; 3 castors, 4s., the goods of Daniel Chandler Hewitt.—2nd COUNT, for stealing 4 picture frames, value 2l.; 3 boxes, 11s.; 1 nest of drawers, 3l.; 1 square, 2s. 6d.; 1 rule, 2s. 6d.; 1 plane, 1l.; 3 castors, 4s.; the goods of Daniel Chandler Hewitt, his master.

MR. DOANE conducted the Prosecution.

JAMES WHIPP (police-constable D 86.) I went to the prisoner's home in Camden-town on the 17th of Feb. I first read the warrant—when I came to the word "plane" the prisoner said, "Oh, I have got the plane!"—he went to the cupboard in the front parlour and produced it—Mr. Hewitt said that was his plane—I then went to the cupboard and found two castors—this other castor I found in the bed-room—the prisoner said he put them into his pocket when he was at work, went home, threw off his coat at home, and they were left at home—I afterwards found these two boxes in his bed-room—they were pointed out by Bonney—he said in the prisoner's presence, "Mr. Hewitt, these are your property; they are made of your wood"—the prisoner said they were not Mr. Hewitt's wood, and Bonney bad not made them—in the front parlour I found this square, which was pointed out by Bonney, who said it was made of Mr. Hewitt's wood, and he had made it—the prisoner said it was not Mr. Hewitt's, and Bonney had not made it—I found a rule in a small box on the parlour table—Mr. Hewitt said it was his rule—it was marked with the prisoner's name—I afterwards found four picture-frames which Bonney said he made, or assisted in making, out of Mr. Hewitt's wood—the prisoner said they were not Mr. Hewitt's wood, and Bonney had not made them—I then took him into custody—I afterwards searched a box of his and found a nest of drawers—Bonney stated they were made of Mr. Hewitt's wood.

Cross-examined by MR. WYLDE. Q. When you went in what did you say? A. That I had a warrant to search his house—I said, "Consider yourself in custody, and what you state now I shall have to repeat in evidence before the Magistrate"—Mr. Hewitt and Bonney were there—upon my oath the prisoner said Bonney did not make them—the picture frames were hanging round the room.

EDWARD BONNEY . I am a pianoforte maker, and live in Great Clarendon-street,

Somers-town. I was formerly in the serivce of Mr. Hewitt—I was so in June, 1841—I remember Mr. Hewitt being ill, and being in the country—the prisoner was foreman, and I was under his orders—while Mr. Hewitt was away I made this nest of drawers by the prisoner's order in the factory during the usual business hours—I made them out of Mr. Hewitt's wood—the prisoner said he had liberty from Mr. Hewitt to make them, or any thing he liked—I made these picture-frames by the prisoner's orders out of Mr. Hewitt's wood, partly at the factory, and partly at my own house—I made this drawing square by his orders out of Mr. Hewitt's wood—it is the same wood as is used at the factory—I delivered it to the prisoner after I made it—these two boxes were made by the prisoner himself at the factory, during Mr. Hewitt's absence, of Mr. Hewitt's wood—I cannot speak of this rule—I have seen such an one about—this plane, I believe, belongs to Mr. Hewitt.

Cross-examined by MR. WYLDE. Q. How came you to leave? A. I do not know—I left Mr. Hewitt, but I do not know on what grounds—I know a man named M'Gregor—he did not accuse me of stealing his tools—the prisoner and another person did not accuse me of stealing his tools—it was a pawn ticket, not tools—they brought up other things as well—there was nothing about a jacket—I had some tools of my own stolen from the factory; among them there was an iron stock—on that account they said I had stolen the ticket, as it appeared that the tool M'Gregor lost was a stock—the prisoner discharged me about ten months ago—I made these things about June, 1841—I made the drawers, the picture-frames, and the square—I began to make them about June, 1841—I might be about two months doing them—I did not tell my master till the week of the prisoner's examination—I never told my master that I had any misunderstanding with the prisoner—I will swear these picture-frames are my own work—I did not know it was wrong—the prisoner said he had leave from Mr. Hewitt to do any thing he liked—there was Wales and several other persons at work when I made them—this nest of drawers was kept in the prisoner's tool-chest—he told me it was his chest—I made all the internal work of the chest—every man has a tool-chest in the factory—my master came backwards and forwards—the prisoner was in the habit of using all the tools in his chest in his master's business—I am not aware whose tools were in his chest—I had not access to it—it was kept in his own bench room—I have seen his tool-chest open many times, and when other persons were by.

MR. DOANE. Q. There was nothing particular in such a nest of drawers being in a tool-chest? A. No; all the men have similar tool-chests, and nests in them—Mr. Hewitt was not able to come out of his door during the three months he was ill.

ROBERT WALES . I am a pianoforte-maker, and live in Gress-street, Rathbone-place; I work for Mr. Hewitt. In June, 1841, I was at Mr. Hewitt's factory at times—I saw Bonny at work on this nest of drawers, and on some picture-frames—I believe these are the same—I have worked with this plane—it is Mr. Hewitt's.

Cross-examined by MR. CROUCH. Q. You saw these things made in the shop? A. Yes—he used to make them on Wednesday and Saturday—there was no concealment in it—I know M'Gregor—I believe he lost some tools—he did not accuse any one of taking them that I am aware of—Bonny was dismissed, I do not know what for—I do not know of the prisoner having any wood of his own.

DANIEL CHANDLER HEWITT . I am a pianoforte-maker; the prisoner was in my service four years. During June, 1841, I was laid up, and was unable to attend—during that time the prisoner had the control of the men and the

business—I did not authorize him at that time, or at any other, to have things made up out of my wood—he had no right to take castors to his own house, or my plane—I went to his house, and found all these things there, but the nest of drawers—they were afterwards found in the tool-chest—he had no authority to do as he did—he had no wood of his own in the factory, to my knowledge.

JURY. Q. Did this nest of drawers form part of the fittings of his toolchest? A. Yes; the outer case was his tool-chest, and this was made to put in it—I never saw it open, and if I had I should not have known it was my wood.

Cross-examined by MR. WILD. Q. When can you swear to having seen the castors and plane? A. I cannot swear to them—I believe them to be mine—I do not know when the things were there—I received information that there was some property of mine on the prisoner's premises on the Tuesday evening after he returned from Devonshire.

Q. Did not the prisoner offer you to go to his house some months before? A. There had been a disturbance in the factory—he had been charged with having things, and he said I might go to his house and search—he had told me that Bonny had said that he (the prisoner) had things of mine in his house, and I wrote to the prisoner, saying I should not dismiss him; for I did not believe it then; but when, on this occasion, I sent fur Bonny, and he told me this, I did believe it—the prisoner lodged in the same house with me for a time—I did not write letters to him as though he Were a brother—he lived with me some months in Bayham-terrace, Camden-town—I should not have permitted the workmen to have wood in the factory, if I knew it—there was a good deal of wood, and there might be some of theirs, but there was no business to be—I do not know what quantity of satin wood I had in June, 1841—I think I had some—I am not in the habit of taking minute notice of what I have—I had no means of keeping a correct account of the wood—I could not swear that there was any satin wood there in June, 1841—when I was not there the wood was in the prisoner's care, and when I was there he had access to it—there were three little cellars with wood in them—I do not believe he had any wood there—he could not have had any of any value, the place was not big enough.

MR. DOANE. Q. Had he any right to have this plane at his house, and to carry it backwards and forwards? A. He had no work to do for me at his house which he would want a plane for—about July last he told me that Bonny bad accused him of having some of my property, and then I wrote this letter, and declined going to his house—if I had seen these things I should not have had the least idea that they were made out of my stock—I never gave him leave to have this nest of drawers made, or the picture-frames, or other things—I never beard of his having wood on my premises—some men once said that they had wood on my premises, but the figures on the wood were joined, and it proved to be mine, and then I ordered that none of the men should have any wood on my premises.

MR. WYLD. Q. Did you not allow the prisoner to take any tools to his own premises? A. No—there were tools he had when he travelled, which he was to bring back, box and all—he might have brought them from the country, and taken some of the tools home—it was not so much tools as small things that he carried; he certainly would not want to carry castors and planes.

(The prisoner received a good character.)

GUILTY . Aged 29.— Confined Eighteen Months.


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