17th December 1855
Reference Numbert18551217-125
VerdictNot Guilty > directed; Guilty > lesser offence
SentenceImprisonment > penal servitude

Related Material

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

125. MARK MAY and WILLIAM WALKER , burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Charles Woolley, at St. Mary the Virgin, Aldermanbury, and stealing therein 300 lbs. weight of raven sewing silk, 100 lbs. weight of coloured sewing silk, and other silks and twists, value 550l.; their property.—2nd COUNT, feloniously receiving the same.

MESSRS. SLEIGH and THOMPSON conducted the Prosecution.

ABRAHAM KAUFMAN . I live at No. 5, Golston-street, Whitechapel, and am a slipper manufacturer. On 3rd or 4th Oct. I went to Walker's house, somewhere in Brick-lane, with Mr. Barrington—I asked Walker if he had any sandaling—he said that he had a lot, but that was sold—he showed me a sample of silk, and wanted to know if I could sell it for him—I said that I would take a pattern with me, and did so—in three or four days he called at my place, and I told him that I could not sell it for him, but would lend him 8s. per pound on it—he had asked 13s. 6d. per pound for it, and said that he had got about 40 lbs. weight—he said that he was short of money, and would do it—I said that I would keep it a month or six weeks for him—I lent him 16l. on it, and went to a public house with him, and had a glass of ale—I afterwards gave it to Knight, the policeman.

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. Did you know where Walker lived? A. I did not know then, I know now—I did not look at the number of the house I went to, and cannot tell you the name of the street, but it was somewhere in Brick-lane—I know Mr. Barrington well—I have dealt with him several years—he makes elastic sandaling for side spring boots—I had never seen Walker before—(Six parcels of silk were hers produced by Knight)—I did not give up the silk till the policeman came for it—I told several other persons of the transaction—I told Mr. Worms, of Blackfriars-road—I know nothing of the value of silk—I have purchased a very little before, from our binders, but have never bought any of Mr. Barrington—he does not sell it.

MR. THOMPSON. Q. When yen lent the 8s. on it, did you get this receipt (produced)?A. Yes—(Read: "Oct. 10, 1855. M. A. Kaufman, bought of W. Walker 40 lbs. black sewing silk, 16l. W. Walker ")—the whole of that is in Walker's writing.

MR. LOGIE. Q. Why did you accept that memorandum if you did not buy the silk? A. I thought I would make a memorandum of it, and what else could I make?—I have witnesses to prove that I did not buy it.

Q. Can you explain why you accepted a memorandum in which it is stated that the silk was bought of Mr. Walker, if you had not bought it, but only advanced money on it? A. I only wanted to make a memorandum of it—I have shown the memorandum to nobody but Mr. Knight.

JOHN BARRINGTON . I live at No. 3, Ann-street, Pollard-row, and am a corrugated India rubber manufacturer. Early in Oct. I met Walker at the Flower Pot public house, at the corner of Brick-lane, Bethnal-green—be lives in Peter-street—it was an accidental meeting—he asked me to go with him to Kaufman's, I knew where that was, and walked with him—he

asked Mr. Kaufman if he wanted any of this sewing talk—he had a sample with him, and asked 13s. 6d. for it at first—Kaufman said that he would not give that, but arranged to lend him 8s. 6d. per lb. on it for one month, and he was to allow him 18d. in the pound if he redeemed it within the month—I do not know whether that was the pound money or weight—on the same day I went with Walker to Kaufman's with a bundle, which was opened, and the silk was weighed—I saw money pass between them, but do not know how much—I then went with Walker and Kaufman to a public house in Whitechapel.

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. is Kaufman a friend of yours? A. He is a customer of my brother's—I have known him six or eight months—I had seen him the day before I went with him to Walker's—he came and asked me if I knew where he could get any sandaling, and I took him there.

HENRY HOLMES . I am in the employ of Edward Lloyd, a draper, of No. 74, Shoreditch. On 10th Oct. I purchased 2 lbs. of sewing silk of a woman named Hughes, at 13s. per lb.—I gave it to the officer Bull.

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. Was that the price she asked for it? A. Yes—I considered that quite the value, as it was not an article fitted to our trade, but I bought it because she had been a customer for a number of years.

SUSAN HUGHES . I am the wife of George Hughes, a blacksmith, of New Inn-yard. I have some slight acquaintance with Walker—he brought me this parcel (produced), and asked me to sell it for him—1 have frequently sold fringe for him—I sold 2 lbs. of it to Mr. Walker, at 13s. per lb., and gave the money to Mrs. Walker—a day or two afterwards he brought me a further quantity of silk, but I did not open it; I should think there were about 11 lbs.—he asked me to see if I could sell it at the same price, but it was fetched away next morning, or the morning afterwards, before I had shown it to anybody; but I was not present—he sent for it.

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. You live at No. 16, New Inn-yard; are you a neighbour of Walker's? A. No, I lodge at No. 6, Church-street—he makes fringe—I have never been on his premises.

GEORGE TOWN . I am a trimming seller, of St. Luke's. I know Walker—I bought 6 lbs. of silk of him, from the 10th to 15th Oct., at 12s. per lb., which was what he asked for it—I gave 1 lb. to sergeant Brennan—this produced) is it, and the rest I sold.

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. Did you tell Brennan that you had bought it of Walker? A. I did not.

JOSEPH TURNER . I am a button and trimming seller, of No. 56, "St. Martin's-lane. I bought 4 lbs. 9 ozs. of coloured sewing silk of May on 15th Nov. at 13s. 6d. per lb.—this is the receipt (Read: "Nov. 15th, 1855. Mr. Turner, bought of Mr. May, 4 lbs. 9 ozs. of silk, 3l. 17s.")—I have known him more than a dozen years, he has been in the habit of supplying us with velvets and serges—I asked him who he was selling it for—he said for a neighbour of his, who was in the fancy trimming way; that the price was 14s., but he thought he could take 13s. 6d.—I looked at it, a portion of it was loosely twisted, and not so good as it might have been, and I agreed for 13s. 6d.—it was given to the policeman when I was out of town by my brother in law, Mr. White—this (produced) is it.

Cross-examined by MR. LILLEY. Q. You have known May twelve years? A. I have known him from my being a boy, and have bought of him hundred of times—it is the custom of the trade to buy and sell again at a

very small profit—he told me that he was selling the goods at 2 1/2 per cent.—he has been a weaver, and used afterwards to sell for his brother—13s. 6d. was a fair price, as it was an article which would hang a long time on hand.

MR. THOMPSON. Q. Do you know the market price? A. 20s. and twelve months' credit, which is about 18s. cash—it was sold as a job lot.

WILLIAM HUDSON . I am buyer for Messrs. Clayton, of Whitechapel, wholesale and retail drapers. I have known May very well for eight years—on 14th Nov. he came with 10 lbs. of silk for sale, which he said was the property of a button manufacturer—we gave him 4l. for it, at 8s. per 1b.; it was tied up in a silk handkerchief—I afterwards gave it to Knight—this is it (produced).

Cross-examined by MR. LILLET. Q. You have bought of May on other occasions? A. Yes, hundreds of times—we went by his judgment—he asked 10s., and we gave him a little less.

WALTER GREGG . I am a piece broker, of No. 6, South-row, Carnaby-street. I know May very well, and have seen Walker once—I have seen them together—on 15th Nov. May called on me at my premises, and showed me a parcel of coloured silk, and asked if I would buy it; being coloured, I would not—he asked 12s. 6d. for it—I offered him 10s. 6d.—he said that he could not take it, as he was selling it on commission, but would go and ask the party—he went out, and brought in Walker five minutes afterwards—the silk lay on the counter—Walker agreed to take it, and I gave him 4l. 2s. 6d. for the 7 lbs. some odd ounces—I parted with it to Mr. Benham, of South Molton-street, on the same day.

Cross-examined by MR. LILLET. Q. YOU have known May some time? A. Seven years—I know that he sells on commission for the trade—I have bought a great deal of him.

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. Were you examined before the police Magistrate A. I was not.

ROBERT BENHAM . I am a trimming seller, of South Molton-street On 15th Nov. I bought 7 lbs. 10 ozs. of silk of Mr. Gregg, at 14s. per lb.—I gave it to Packham—this (produced) is it.

GEORGE BARTON NORMAND . I am a trimming seller and general mer-chant, of No. 54, Old Compton-street, Soho. I know May; he came to me on 14th Nov., about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, and asked me to purchase a parcel of sewing silk—I looked at it, and recognised it as Messrs. Sleigh and Woolley's manufacture—he asked 14s. per lb., but shortly afterwards said that he would take 13s. 6d.—he said that the party to whom it belonged had brokers in his house, and wanted the money—I said that there were some unsaleable colours among it, and asked him if they would take 12s. 6d. per lb.—he left, and returned in a few minutes saying that the parties would take that price—I said that I was very busy, and asked him to call again—he said that he would call again in half an hour—I then left, and went to Sleigh and Woolley's; I returned in three quarters of an hour, and May was then in the shop—I told him to look in again in five minutes—he did so, and I weighed the silk, and gave him a cheque for 4l.; that was at the rate of 12s. per lb.—I asked him if there was any more silk—he said that he believed there was—I told him I could buy any quantity of black, within reason—he said that he thought there was some black—I said that if he called on the following day, in the forenoon, probably I would buy it—he left the shop, returned in a few minutes, and wished me to give him cash instead of the cheque—I told him that it was not convenient to do so,

but if he would bring it next day with the other silk I would then give him cash for it—he said that he must have cash then, as the money had to be paid to two parties—he gave me back the cheque, and I gave him 1l. in gold, and 3l. in silver, and he left the shop—about 3 o'clock on the following afternoon, he came again with another parcel of coloured silk—it was weighed, and there were 6 1/2 lbs.; he said, "You can have this for 12s. per lb., as before"—I asked him why he had not brought the black—he said that it was in pawn, and he would bring it perhaps in a day or so—I gave him 3l. 10s. for what he brought, I got no receipt—I gave the two parcels of silk to Bull and Packman—on Thursday morning I had a policeman in the counting house, and after May had received the money, I pointed him out—he had some braid in his hand, and asked me if I would buy it—I said that it would not suit me—the market value of the goods I bought of May is 20s. or 21s. per lb.

Cross-examined by MR. LILLEY. Q. You had known May before? A. Yes, for some years; I had bought of him repeatedly—if we buy silk of the manufacturer we pay the value, but if it is a job lot, I should not think of paying more than 14s.—the condition of the silk is a great consideration as well as the colour.

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. Are you in the silk trade? A. Yes—May was employed by weavers to buy and sell goods, and they wait outside till he has effected the sale—that is quite a custom—I do not know Walker.

MR. SLEIGH. Q. Do you mean that it is the custom of the trade to sell such property as this by a man like May? A. It might so happen—the silk I bought of him was fairly worth a guinea per lb.—it is in very good condition—under certain circumstances we should not call it a job lot, in consequence of the condition it was in, but if it was offered at a sale room, we should consider that it was a job lot.

COURT. Q. If it was sold by auction what price would it fetch? A. I should not think of giving more than 14s. or 15s. at the outside.

THOMAS LOVERIDGE . I am agent and manager to Sleigh and Woolley, silk merchants, of Staffordshire—they have a warehouse in Aldermanbury—I manage their London department, it is in the parish of St. Mary-theVirgin, Aldermanbury—they pay the rent. On Saturday afternoon, 29th Sept., I left for the night, having ascertained that all the doors and windows were fast—no one sleeps on the premises—on Monday morning I went to the warehouse about 9 o'clock, and found that an entry had been made by cutting out a panel, and the whole of the goods of this description had been removed to the value of about 600l.—I have seen these parcels of silk and identify them an Messrs. Sleigh and Woolley's property—I know that they were there on 29th Sept—for the greater bulk of it the lowest value is 1l. 1s. per pound—some portion of it is not worth so much—I was present when these nine skeins of sewing silk were taken out of a box in Walker's house, and can swear to them particularly, and I saw the papers containing them when I left the warehouse on 29th Sept.—in consequence of a communication made to me by Mr. Normand I went to his establishment on Wednesday or Thursday afternoon, and was in the counting house when May came into the shop—when he went out I went out at the side door and saw him go over to Walker and hand him a cheque, he looked at it by the gaslight and returned it to May, who returned to the shop with it—I was present when they were taken the next afternoon—I saw May taken first, and then Walker came into the public house, and was taken.

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. Were you inside the public house? A. Yes—I supply many houses for Sleigh and Woolley, I hare been their agent some eight years—I never but on one occasion sold any of this silk, and that was returned on our hands, and we have had it ever since—I can conscientiously swear that this silk was stolen from our warehouse—I know this blue silk by its slightly changing, there is a whiteness on it—there is a tie round each bundle, and I can also swear to them by that—these eight or ten skeins are some which we dyed for a particular purpose: some two or three days before the robbery, I tied them together with a piece of thick string to send them down to know whether they could be re-dyed for sale—they are a very blue kind of slate colour.

MR. SLEIGH. Q. Do you mean that there is anything different from the general appearance of silk in this? A. If I had been in the habit of seeing any of those gentlemen (the Jurors) for a long time, and five or six other gentlemen were put with them I could pick them out—I have not the slightest doubt that this silk was on the premises on the Saturday, and on the Monday there was not a skein in the house—I was obliged to borrow, a skein to show the police what sewing silk is.

JOSEPH COMBER KNIGHT (City policeman). On Thursday, 15th Nov., I was with Bull and Packman, and saw May in Mr. Normand's shop—I did not see him come in, but I came down from the upper warehouse and walked out at the front door—I remained in sight of the shop, and in a few minutes saw Walker come up to the front of the shop, and walk to and fro for a short time on the opposite side, and stand looking, and after that he walked away out of my sight—I stood a short time longer and May came out, and Bull and I followed him into a public house, at the corner of Greek-street and Church-street, thirty or forty yards from Mr. Normand's—when he came out and was coming away we stopped him, and one of us asked him where he got the silk he had just sold to Mr. Normand, over the way—he said, "Silk, silk, I have not sold any silk"—Bull said, "Yes you have; it is no use fencing with us, we are police officers, and we know what you have sold"—we asked him who he had sold it for—he said, "For a person at Bethnal-green"—afterwards he said that the person's name was Walker, and he lived, I believe he said, at No. 6, Peter-street, Bethnalgreen—I asked him if he did not expect to meet that person here—he said that he did not, he was going on to his place—Bull then said, "Do not you really expect to meet him here?"—he said, "Well, I do; I have been inside, and I suppose he has flown"—we took him back to the public house to a little place partitioned off, at the farther end of the bar, and Walker came in at the front door—he was coming across to May, but seeing me he stopped suddenly about the centre of the bar—I said to May, "Is that Walker?"—he said, in an under tone which Walker could not hear, "Yes"—Bull and Packman walked up to Walker, and said, "May has just sold a great quantity of silk over the way which he says he has sold for you, how do you account for the possession of it?"—Walker said, "He sold no silk for me; I gave him some braid to sell, and that is it which you have got in your hand"—I had a small portion of braid in my hand—Bull and Pack-man then came up and went with Walker into the bar parlour—I gave the handful of braid to Bull or Packman, and remained outside for a short time—I then went in and Packman was taking some silk from May's pocket—it was loose, not in paper—Packman said, "Where did you get this silk, May?—he said, "I had it from him," pointing to Walker, who was sitting down at the end of the table—Bull or Packman then said, "I

suppose the two lots you sold last night you had from him too?"—he said, "Yes, I did"—Walker said, "Yes, that is true, he had the silk from me to sell"—Packman or Bull asked Walker how he came in possession of the silk as it formed a portion of the robbery—he said that he bought it of a man named Pollock, who kept a clothes shop in Petticoat-lane, and had given him 13s. per lb. for it, above four months ago—Packman asked him if he would give him the correct address—he said, "I will write it down if you will give me a piece of paper"—he did so, and Bull and Packman then took the prisoners away in a cab, and I went to Mr. Normand's and got the two parcels of silk which have been produced—I made inquiries in Petticoat-lane and found there had been such a person as Pollock, but could not find him—I procured 40 lbs. weight of silk from Kaufman, 10 lbs. weight from Clayton and Co., of Whitechapel-road, and 4(lbs. weight from Mr. Turner, of St. Martin's-lane—on the same day I went with Packman and Bull to Walker's house, in Peter-street, Bethnal-green—we searched, Packman found several articles, and took a pocket book, and several papers out of a box, among the papers was this one (produced).

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. Was it in the same state? A. Except these ink figures, which I put to add up the amount—this writing at the bottom has also been added since—I found some looms at Walker's house, and one man at work—Walker's wife was there—(The paper was handed to the Jury.)

Cross-examined by MR. LILLEY. Q. Had neither of the officers his uniform on on this occasion? A. No—we have a uniform—I have stated before that May said, "Silk, silk, I have not sold any silk"—we had not told him that we were police officers before that—we were in the street at that time, close to the door of the public house—we stopped him as he came off the step of the door—May afterwards said that he had sold some sift to Mr. Clayton, of Whitechapel-road, and some to Mr. Turner, and in consequence of that we went to Mr. Turner's, and found the silk—he said that that was all he had sold anywhere.

THOMAS LOVERIDGE . This is the piece of silk which I tied up (locking at it)—I know my own tie.

MR. LOGIE. Q. Do you mean this little bit of string which is round it? A. Yes.

ROBERT PACKMAN (policeman). I produce two parcels of silk, 2 lbs. I received at Mr. Lloyd's, of Shoreditch, on 28th Nov.; and 4 lbs. from Mr. Benham, of South Moulton-street, also some silk which I found loose in May's pocket, and this parcel (produced) in his hat—I went with Knight and Bull to Mr. Normand's.

Cross-examined by MR. LILLEY. Q. You were not with Knight when he met May outside the public house? A. No.

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE. Q. Did you see Walker come into the public house?A. Yes, and I heard May say that he was the man be had the silk of—I was a few paces off—I told May in the private back parlour that we were all police officers, and asked him how he accounted for the possession of the silk—he said that he had received it from Walker, and turned and asked Walker if that was correct, and Walker said that it was.

COURT. Q. Did you hear anything said by Walker as to whether May had sold the silk for him? A. I did not—I did not hear what passed when Knight went up to Walker—they had some conversation, but I was a little distance off.

JAMES BRENNAN (police sergeant). I produce a parcel of silk which I received of Mr. Loveridge, on the evening of 26th Nov., at his house, in Bath-street, St. Luke's.

JOHN MARK BULL (City police inspector). I produce 2 lbs. of silk, which I got from Lloyd, at Shoreditch—I went with Knight and Packman to Mr. Normand's, and saw May leave the shop.

Cross-examined by MR. LILLEY. Q. Were you with Knight when he met May coming out of the public house? A. Yes—I saw May go into the public house, and followed him out—to the best of my belief. I was the first to speak to him as he came out, but we both spoke together, and asked him how he accounted for the silk he had just sold to Mr. Normand—he hesitated two or three minutes, and then said, "I do not know what you mean"—I told him we knew all about it, and he said, "I had it of a man named Walker"—I said, "You mean that party who was in your company last night with a female by Mr. Normands shop?"—he said, "Yes."

Cross-examined by MR. LOGIE? Q. Were you in the bar parlour when the silk was taken out of May's pocket? A. Yes—the braid was there at the time, and Walker said, "That is my property"—he also said that the silk was his property, that he bought it of a Mr. Pollock tour months ago, in Petticoat-lane—I said, "That was before the jobbery?"—he said, "Four months," and not "about four months"—I understood him to say "four months"—he said that he gate Pollock 30s. for it—I went to Petticoat-lane, and found that a man named Pollock had been transported for a watch robbery, in August Sessions this year.

COURT. Q. Were you present when Walker came in? A. Yes—May said, "That is the man I had the silk from"—Walker said, "I never gave him any silk"—I was then in front of the bar.

(The COURT considered that there was no evidence against May, in conesquence of the time that had elapsed.)


WALKER— GUILTY* on 2nd Count . Aged 36. (Inspector Brennan stated that Walker was convicted at this Court in Sept., 1843, and confined eight months, since which he had been engaged in working an illicit still. On the following day Jonathan Rowe, the prisoner's wife's uncle, founder, of Rose wharf, George Davis, a braid maker, and Charles Widows, a publican, of Smithfield, gave the prisoner a good character.)— Four Years Penal Servitude .

View as XML