5th July 1847
Reference Numbert18470705-1563
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

1563. JAMES HARRISSON was indicted for stealing 3 cwt. of lead, value 50s.; 1 metal tap, 1s.; 1 ball-cock, 3s. 6d.; 2 brass bolts, 2s. 6d.; 2 bell-cranks, 3s.; 6 fingers-plates, 12s.; 6 escutcheons 2s.; 6 brass knobs, 2s.; 6 yards of wire, 2s.; the goods of David Hickinbotham, and fixed to a building; and 5 gallons of wine, 7l. 10s.; and 30 bottles, 5s.; his property, in his dwelling-house.

DAVID HICKINBOTHAM. I live at No. 38, Trevor-square, Knightsbridge, and have a house, No. 4, Manchester-street, Marylebone. On Saturday night, the 12th of June, I applied for a man to take charge of my house, No. 4, Manchester-street—the prisoner was appointed—I gave him the keys—I told him I had a cellar of very fine old port, and cautioned him to take great.

care of it—I went away at seven o'clock—all appeared safe then on Monday morning I went again, and found the house was not opened—the prisoner was standing at the door—I waited till he went in—I then knocked, and he let me in—we then opened the house, after which I said if he would call again about twelve o'clock I would settle with him—I had agreed to give him a crown, if he took care of the property from Saturday till Monday—I then went down stairs, and found the back kitchen door, leading to the back yard, and the front door, unbolted—the padlock of the wine-cellar was torn off, and the Bramah lock was cut out to let the bolt up—I went to the police-office to acquaint Sergeant Rumball, who came with me and inspected the premises—I then found two or three cwt. of lead gone, and afterwards some brass bolts and six finger-plates, some brass hooks, some wire, and some of the old port gone—Sergeant Rumball found ten bottles hid on the premises—I know them—my name is on them—they ought to have been in my cellar—I have one burgundy bottle here, the same as one that was afterwards found in the prisoner's dust-hole—I had in the cellar burgundy, champagne, claret, and old port—I had been in the cellar, I think, about three or four hours before I gave him possession.

Cross-examined by MR. BALLANTINE. Q. Was not there a lady in your house when you applied to the prisoner? A. There was a woman who I wanted to get rid of, and Inspector Tedman employed the prisoner to carry her out of my house—I had applied for a policeman—I never heard of the prisoner till then—he took the woman out quietly in his arms—she never spoke—I could not get her out, because she was obstreperous—I had not agreed to give the prisoner anything for that job—he did it very well—I had asked one of the officers if I should be safe in trusting him—the woman been living in the house about seven months—she knew I had the port wine—I had told her to take care of it—I had the keys about me—I charged the prisoner with the theft before Mr. Rawlinson, who after hearing me and Sergeant Rumball, dismissed the case—the prisoner, after he found I had the brother-bottle, ran away—I was going to offer 100l. reward for him—the fellow-bottle was found in the dust-hole of the house where he lived—I then had him taken before Mr. Bingham at Marylebone—I know the house, No. 44, Charlotte-street, Portland-place, where Thomas Hawkins lives, who has a key of the lock of my street door—it will not open my door—it certainly belongs to my street door, but that lock has been nailed up seven months—he took the key away on the 30th of Jan., in the presence of a policeman—he had no access to the cellar—I understand the house in Charlotte-street is a very indifferent one—the police tell me it is a brothel—Hawkins came to No. 4, Manchester-street, and stole the key—I heard of his stealing it on the following day—that key does not open the cellar—it was a Chubb's latch-key I gave the prisoner—that had nothing to do with the large key that Hawkins stole—he did not break into the house to get it—he knocked at the door—the woman who had charge of the house let him in, and he took it—I do not know whether he was a friend of the woman's, but I think it will turn out he is a very indifferent sort of man—he had nothing to do with breaking into my cellar—the house was empty, with the exception of the cellar—before the woman was turned out of the house, I had been there every day, from ten till five, except Sundays—I put the prisoner in about seven o'clock on Saturday night—I left about half-past seven—I had turned the woman out about six o'clock—I had not been out of the house before that—I have not seen the woman here—I went to the station to fetch a policeman to turn her out, about ten o'clock on Saturday morning.

Q. Did you over employ that woman to sell lead for you? A. About twenty feet of lead had been blown or slipped off the back part of my house, it hung there a week or a fortnight—I employed her to carry it—she and I went with it to a shop in Marylebone-lane—it weighed seventy or eighty pounds—we got 14s. or 15s. for it—I was present when the ten bottle were found—they were hid in a back place, which we call the wash-house—they were full—I tasted the wine in those bottles, and believe it is mine—the bottle have my name on them.

SAMUEL RUMBALL (police-constable D 19.) I was sent for on Monday, and examined the wine-cellar—it had been broken open—I searched, and found ten bottles of wine in the wash-house—I went to the prisoner's lodging—he opened the door—I told him what was missing from the place where he had been—he appeared surprised—I said I must look over his place—I went up stairs with him, looked over the place, and found nothing to indicate either wine or bottles—I took him back to Mr. Hickinbotham, who asked him about it—he said he had not taken it, and denied all knowledge of it—I asked Mr. Hickinbotham id he would given him into custody—he declined doing so—we went down into the back kitchen with the prisoner—I asked him to get up and see if there was any wine or bottles of wine there—he got into the cistern, and found one empty bottle—I took him before Mr. Rawlinson four or five days after, and he was discharged.

Cross-examined. Q. Did not he come to the station, and ask you whether there was any charge whatever against him, and express his readiness to meet it? A. Yes, that was after the prosecutor had said he suspected him to stealing, and after he had denied all knowledge of it—he was given into custody on the Thursday—the bottle had been found in the cistern on the Monday—I have not heard till now that the key of the prosecutor's house had been in possession of another person—the prisoner did run away—he afterwards came to the station, and expressed his willingness to meet the charge—he said, "Well, I suppose it is the old story over again"—I took him into custody the second time.

STEPHEN CURTIS. I live in York-street, Manchester-square—the prisoner lodged in the same house—my father is the landlord. On Monday fortnight, from what my father told me, I went and examined the dust-hole—I found in it the broken bottle which I have here—I do not know whether it has any marks on it—when I showed it to the prosecutor, he said it was his—he compared it with another bottle, and it seemed to correspond exactly.

Cross-examined. Q. How recently before had you been to the dust-hole? A. Not for same time—I believe I found it on Monday, the 21st of June.

MR. HICKINBOTHAM re-examined. I compared the bottles together as soon as they were found, and they were as fac simile of this one when joined together—this is a burgundy bottle, the fellow to that which Sergeant Rumball found—it has the same sort of wax round it—to the best of my belief, it is mine—this is one that Sergeant Rumball found on the premises—they were all in the wash-house, except three burgundy champagne bottles in the larder—there were ten altogether.

FRANCES CURTIS. I am the wife of the last witness—the prisoner lodged in our house. On the Sunday I met him with his brother, and he was very tipsy—I observed the stairs were all wet with wine—it seemed red wine—I saw some bottle on the table—the place smelt very strongly indeed of wine.

Cross-examined. Q. Were you examined before Mr. Rawlinson, or on the second occasion? A. On the second occasion—I had not seen the prosecutor in the mean while—I had had no communication with him—I spoke to my

husband about this—I do not think anybody but me saw the bottles—my husband is a tailor—I do not know the house in Manchester-street, nor the woman that was turned out of it—I never saw the prisoner tipsy before that time—I believe he had lodged there several months—I did not go into his room when I saw the bottle on the table—I was passing by—I think there were several bottles—I do not know what time his brother went away.

SUSAN CRUMPLER. I am the wife of William Crumpler, and lodge in this house. On this Sunday afternoon I looked out of the window, and saw the prisoner at the door with a bottle in his hand—he appeared rather the worse for liquor.

STEPHEN CURTIS. re-examined. I am quite sure I found this bottle—I raked the dust-hole—my father is very infirm he had seen the bottle in the dust-hole a day or two before, because some days elapsed since the prosecutor had lost the property, and the time we found the bottles—my father had seen them and communicated the circumstance to me—he said he had seen a bottle in the dust-hole, and wondered who in the house could afford to have a bottle of wine—I believe he had not seen the prosecutor—he knew nothing of it till I mentioned the circumstance to him—I did not know my father had seen the prosecutor that day—I do not know where he did see him—he did not see him the following day to my knowledge—I did not see him till after I found the bottle—I had not seen him at all or had any communication with him whatever—I do not know whether my father had or not—I believe not—the dust-hole is common to every lodger in the house—they all have free access to it—there were several lodgers—I have made no arrangement with the prosecutor about my expenses—he told me of course I should get my expenses—he told me that, I think on the day we were at the office—it was not was before that—he might have told me that at the office—I cannot say whether it was before we went there, or in going along—I think it was in the clerk's office—I believe the inspector mentioned the circumstance—he asked me if I had incurred loss of time, and I told him certainly I had, and my wife also—that was after we were examined—if I did have a conversation with the prosecutor about my expenses, it was very slight—I believe the inspector mentioned it, and the prosecutor then said, "You will get your expenses for your loss of time"—he did not say how much—he said he did not know—I have had nothing at all from him, not to the value of one farthing—my father has had nothing whatever—he is not here—my father is paralyzed—he happened to observe the bottle when he went into the back yard—he was not able to pick it up—it was in an open place in the back yard—he told me about it—I did not go down at that time, not till the prosecutor called on us—the prosecutor did call on us—he saw my father first—I understood you just now to ask whether my father had been seen the prisoner—my father did not know the prosecutor previously—he saw my father the same day that I found the bottle, and before I found it—it was just previous—it was through the prosecutor coming that it was brought to light—my father had lost a little lead from the roof of his house, and there was a young man of the name of Newsom, a carpenter, who the prosecutor knew, he had informed him of my father's loss, and previous to that, my father nor any of us knew anything about the robbery at the prosecutor's—the prosecutor called and saw my father, and afterwards I found the bottle—my wife had told me about seeing the bottles on the stable previously—I do not know that she had told anybody else—my father is unable to attend—the inspector saw him, and said he ought to be excused—he told me he must dispense with his attendance.

MR. HICKINBOTHAM re-examined. The stolen key will not open my door, nor any part of my premises—I had been in the cellar about two hours and a half before, and everything was safe.

(The prisoner received a good character.)


View as XML