23rd April 1888
Reference Numbert18880423-471
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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471. CHARLES WILSON CROSS (33), THOMAS MEREDITH JAMES ARNOLD , JOSEPH NEWTON (25) , and GEORGE STUBBINGS (28) , Unlawfully conspiring together to obtain, and obtaining by false pretences, money from persons willing to subscribe to a volunteer fire brigade, with intent to defraud.

MESSRS. MEAD and BODKIN Prosecuted; MR. DUKE appeared for Cross,

MESSRS. FULTON and MUIR for Meredith, and MR. PURCELL for Arnold.

EMILY WARWICKER . I am a widow, and live at 26, Boxall Street, Hoxton—I am the landlady of 31, Northport Street, which is at the back of where I live—before I rented the house it was used by the Vicar as a mission-hall and schoolroom; then it was a carpenter's shop—on 24th September, Cross and Meredith came and agreed to take what had been the carpenter's shop (it was then unoccupied) at 7s. a week—they said it was for a fire-brigade station—they came in at the beginning of October—they paid their rent, a little is standing now.

Cross-examined by MR. DUKE. It is a good-sized place, it extends over the gardens of two houses—you could house two vans there—when the house was being painted in October, Cross told me he would want the door made wider, to admit an engine—they said they could not come in on the Saturday because they had not got their things ready, and they came on Monday and then said they would not come till they could come with the things they wanted to bring, and then they brought the things

—there was a hose and a hand-pump, and an axe and helmets, and one bucket—I saw those things, I did not take particular notice of anything else.

Re-examined The door has not been made wider, because the police interfered.

By the COURT. The gardens of the two houses are back to back and communicate directly with 31, Northport Street; you can go into them from there the place is built on the site of the gardens, on a level with the street—the gardens are roofed in, and that makes the shed—you can go off the street into it.

By MR. MEAD. There was never a fire-engine there—six weeks' rent is owing now, that is since they have been in custody; they have not given up possession.

GEORGE JEFFERIES . I am a barrow-lender at 1, Baynon Road, Kingsland—on 29th September Cross came to know if I had a truck of some kind to be placed at a fire-engine station, to run to fires, to carry the tackle—he said the station was at Northport Street, close to me—I believe he gave me the number, but I knew the place well—I agreed to lend him one—he looked round my premises and selected one of my business trucks, a tradesman's truck, enclosed all round, bottom and all, such as I would let to an oilman or grocer—it is not a costermonger's barrow—it as two wheels—he was to pay 2s. a week for it—he kept it four months and turned it on 19th January—he paid for four weeks—he paid the remainder about a week ago—I have got the barrow back.

Cross-examined by MR. DUKE. He had no intention to cheat me—I did not put him in the county court—this is a photograph of the barrow—they paid me double the price of a costermonger's barrow—I have been to this place in Northport Street two or three times—this cart was there and lamps similar to those the fire-brigade use; and several lengths of hose, I believe, I have seen—I do not know about couplings nor a standpipe nor a turncock's tools—I saw helmets—the place was fitted up as a fire-station—there was a lamp outside, painted red, with fire-station on it.

Cross-examined by MR. MUIR. I did not tell any gentleman from the Treasury or anybody what I was going to say—I did not tell anybody that this was a costermonger's barrow.

JAMES THOMAS WEST . I am a printer, at 71, Tabernacle Street, Finsbury Square—on 23rd September Cross came and ordered some printing to be done; and I printed six books like this—he asked me if I had a block of crossed hatchets and helmets; as I had not got that I put on this fire-engine on my own account—I was told to put the word "North" in the corner—he said he did not want that so large as the other—I printed nine books of this sort, and four of these receipt books—he brought a copy of a similar thing to this, and wanted the word "North" printed underneath the engine instead of over, and he said did not mind how small it was—I printed nine collecting-books, first three of 200 and then six of 100 each—I printed thirteen receipt-books—I did not print these collecting authorities—I have been paid for the work I did by Cross.

Cross-examined by MR. DUKE. This is a manual in the corner; Cross wanted a helmet and cross-axes, and I had not got that and put on the engine on my own account—I showed him the block before I printed it and he approved of it.

Re-examined. I printed the collecting books first—these other receipts were not printed for books, I think—I did 500 of these receipt-forms in addition to the four receipt books of 100 each—these forms were the first I did—then he came and wanted the "North" done small—the receipts I printed first were not in books; they have no manual; there is no engine on one lot; on the first there is—I think this blue one was done after the books.

CHARLES USHER . I am butler to Mr. Gould, of 18, South Street, Park Lane—on 1st December Stubbings, in a fireman's uniform, called on me and asked for a subscription to the London Fire Brigade—I gave him 5s.—previous to that I had seen two men, whom I cannot identify, and I had had a conversation with my master with reference to this visit after they had been and before Stubbings came—I said to Stubbings "I have the 5s. to give you from my master"—I got this receipt. (This was not torn from a book; it had the manual and North London Fire Brigade as a heading.) When I parted with the money I believed the person to whom I gave it came from the London Fire Brigade.

Cross-examined by the prisoner Stubbings. I do not know the London Fire Brigade, or if there is one.

THERESA GREEN . I am single, and live at 37, Church Street, Kensington—on 24th January a man in fireman's uniform (I cannot say who it was) called on me—I gave him 1s. and he gave me this receipt—he said he was collecting for the disabled firemen—I told him I thought I had given to that thing before—he said "Oh, you must have given to the regular Fire Brigade"—I keep a repository, and instead of writing my name I wrote "Repository" in the book.

Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. A good many persons come in there and do a good deal of business—I did not write down the words that the person said to me; I trusted to my memory—the police came to me sometime after—I had gone through a great deal of business, and spoken to other people.

GEORGE PITTS . I am chief clerk to the National Disabled Firemen's Institution, at 5, Albion Place, Blackfriars Bridge—I did not know Arnold till I saw him at the police-court—neither he nor any of the prisoners are authorised to collect subscriptions for our institution—I do not know of any other institution in London bearing that or any similar name.

Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. This is a prospectus of our institution—it is not attached to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, but is entirely independent—we should look after firemen whether they belonged to the Metropolitan or to any other brigade—we are supported entirely by voluntary contributions—I do not know that there is an institution under Captain Shaw's sanction for the benefit of Metropolitan firemen exclusively—the committee of our society attend once a month—I cannot say whether our secretary and founder, Mr. Secomb, Captain in command of the London and Suburban Fire Brigade, has been at this Court, directed to come here by a Magistrate—I have known the institution five years—it is a genuine institution.

Re-examined. We assist Metropolitan firemen who are disabled, and also the widows and orphans.

EDWARD APPLEGATE . I am a greengrocer, of 64, Church Street, Kensington—on 24th January I saw three men dressed as firemen passing my

shop on the opposite side, calling at different shops—afterwards Arnold came to my shop and said "I am paying my annual visit, making my annual call on you"—I said "Well, it is the first time you have called on me, and I have been here something like 20 years, and I have never been called on before"—he opened and showed me this book—I gave him 2s., and wrote my name in the book; this is my signature—he spoke as having a cold, and not having been in bed for five nights, attending fires I imagined; he did not exactly say he had been attending fires—when I had signed the book, I noticed "North" in the corner, and I said "Are you a volunteer fire brigade?"—he said "Yes, but we work under Captain Shaw, and a hard taskmaster he is," or something to that effect," and come out as far as the Thames"—I should not have given my money if I had seen the word "North" before I subscribed—he said they came south as far as the Thames—I understood at first they were London firemen—I discovered they were volunteer firemen when I signed my name, after I had given my money—I did not know anything about whether there was an existing fire brigade with proper appliances for putting out fires.

Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. What induced me to part with my money was a belief that they came on the part of Captain Shaw's brigade, and that I was subscribing to the Metropolitan Fire Brigade—then I thought they were a volunteer fire brigade—I knew there were plenty of them, and I had seen bad accounts about them—he said nothing about 31, Northport Street, or a fire engine—I don't identify the other two who passed.

JOSEPH HOWARD . I am a fruiterer and greengrocer, of 25, Church Street, Kensington—on 24th January Arnold called on me, dressed in a peaked cap and fireman's dress—he said he had called for the annual subscription to the Fire Brigade Fund—I gave him 2s., and he gave me this receipt—I signed this book which was put before me—I believed he belonged to the Kensington branch of the fire brigade, an existing and genuine fire brigade—I did not notice the word "North" in the book.

Cross-examined by MR. MUIR. I have not been to Northport Street—I have not seen the appliances there—for all I know there may be a genuine and existing fire brigade there.

HARRIET OTLEY . I live at 28, Trebover Road, Kensington, and am a widow—on 4th February, two men called on me in firemen's dress—I cannot identify them—they told me they came for a subscription to the, F ire brigade, that they had worked under Captain Shaw, they were not then working—I gave them half-a-crown—they said they collected in London, north of the Thames, and there was another party for the south of the Thames—they said Captain Shaw belonged to the Metropolis, the centre, I suppose they meant, and that he collected there, but that he had no business to go on the north, I believe—I got this receipt, and signed my name in the book.

Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. I saw the men myself—I did not pay very great attention to what they were saying—I understood I was subscribing to a fire brigade—I did not take any particular note of the details, I had a general impression they came from the fire brigade, and bad worked for Captain Shaw—I suppose all volunteer fire brigades have to obey the orders of Captain Shaw if they are present at a fire.

EDGAR WRIGHT (Detective Officer F). On 4th February, at noon, I

was with another officer in Trebover Road, Kensington—I saw Arnold and Newton there, dressed as firemen—Newton went up to No. 3, and handed in his book to the servant, and said "I have called for the annual subscription"—the servant handed the book back at once and gave him nothing—he then crossed the road and joined Arnold, and they both went into No. 28, Mrs. Otley's—they went to 68, Scarsdale Villas, where Newton handed in his book to the servant—I went over and said to him "What are you collecting for?"—he said "For the North London Fire Brigade"—I said "Where is your station?"—he said "At 31, Northport-Street, Hoxton"—that is seven or eight miles from Kensington—I said "Have you an engine there?"—he said "I don't know, I have not been in their service quite a fortnight; a Mr. Meredith is superintendent, and gave me my authority to collect"—he produced this authority. (This was headed "North London Fire Brigade" and stated that Mr. James Newton teas authorised to collect for one day). He said "Meredith is responsible, not me"—I took him and Arnold to the station—I found on Newton a collecting-book marked "I"—I left them at the station, and went to 31, Northport Street, Hoxton, where I saw Meredith, who came in almost directly after I went—I said "I have two of your men detained at Kensington Station for collecting subscriptions; they say you gave them their authority to collect"—I showed him the paper "H"—he said "Yes, I signed that"—I said "Have you any appliances for extinguishing fire?"—he said "Yes; I will show them to you"—he showed me a hand-truck containing a stand-pipe to be fixed into the plug-hole, when the force of the main causes the water to flow—the hose is screwed on that and goes into the engine—the force of the main carries the water up some distance, but there is not always sufficient force to carry it to the top of a high warehouse, and then it must be forced from the manual—there was about 40 feet of hose, I believe, I did not measure it, it was in short pieces—I did not test it to see if it could be connected—I said "Is this all your appliances?"—Meredith said "Yes; I will show you my handwriting, to show you that I signed the authority"—he then signed this form "J"—this entry on page 49, "February 2,15s.," and these initials are in his handwriting in my opinion, and so is this on page 4, in book "J," "10s., February 1st, W. M.—there are other similar signatures in the book—there was no fire engine there, no ladder, no helmets, no turncock's tools—they were not shown to me.

Cross-examined by MR. DUKE. I did not examine the premises, I only looked at what they brought out—there was the hose-cart with lamps—I saw one length of hose 40 feet—there might have been several lengths, I only saw one pulled out to me—the man pulled it out and said "There is 40 feet of it"—I saw a stand-pipe and a syringe—I did not see directing-pipes; I saw couplings used to connect lengths of hose—I did not see a jumping-net—they did not say anything about having one—I did not see a drag-rope, nor any rope, nor any turncock's tools—the hose-cart was already packed, the stand-pipe and hose and things were all inside, and the hand-pump, such as is used in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, I believe, at all fires—I can't say if it is in all street stations—I saw Newton and Arnold going from house to house and handing in a book at each house—the book was similar to this, and headed "North London Fire Brigade, supported by voluntary contributions"—I did not notice on the inside of the one I looked at "North London Fire Brigade,

Superintendent Meredith, Deputy-Superintendent Gross, 31, Northport Street, N."

Cross-examined by MR. MUIR. When I went to Mr. Meredith and asked these questions he gave me every facility for finding out everything in the place, and offered to show me his handwriting—I said "Have you any appliances for extinguishing fire?" and he showed them to me—I did not say "For saving life"—a ladder and a net are not used for extinguishing fire—this photograph is of a cart similar to the one I saw—this is a view of the premises—the lamp shown here is a red lamp, I don't see any word "Fire" on it; I did not see it when I visited the remises—I won't swear there is not the word "Fire"—I know couplings are made to couple lengths of hose of different size—I dare say I have known Meredith 14 years, as a carpenter—I cannot say whether he is working now as a carpenter; he was a journeyman—he is a respectable man; I have known nothing against him—that was my district—if there was anything against him I should know it.

Re-examined. He lives at 61, Hyde Road, Hoxton; he had just come home, I believe they sent for him—he was not working at his trade when I spoke to him—I believe he had worked at his trade as a carpenter ever since this brigade was started.

WILLIAM TRAVIS (Detective F). I was with Wright when he arrested Newton on 4th February—I heard Arnold say to a servant at 62, Scars dale Villas "I have called for the annual subscription"—he handed in a book, which the servant took and brought back, and said "We don't give; mistress is out"—I said "I am a police officer; who are you collecting for?"he said "For the North London Fire Brigade"—I said "I shall have to detain you"—I took him to the station, where a receipt and a collecting book were found on him, and a small slip of paper, the authority to collect—he said he was not responsible; he was a collector and not a fireman—he was dressed as a fireman in a peaked cap, and had the appearance of an officer of the fire brigade—I should have thought he was a superior—he had nothing over his uniform.

Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. Arnold did not tell me he was appointed as collector through an advertisement, nor how long he had been collector, nor how he was paid—he was charged with begging on the 6th, remanded for a week on bail, and then discharged on that charge, and served with a summons on this matter—he had to wait five or six times at Hammersmith for this charge, and then was committed for trial and released on bail.

Cross-examined by MR. MUIR. The two men were not dressed alike—Arnold had a peaked cap; he was dressed differently to the men of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, who have either a helmet or a round man-of-war cap.

Re-examined. It was like a sub-engineer's cap—I believe the officers of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade wear different caps—originally the prisoners were charged under the Vagrancy Act with begging under fraudulent pretences.

FREDERICK WESTON (Police Inspector F). On 4th February Arnold and Newton were brought to Kensington Police Station—two days afterwards I went to 31, Northport Street, Hoxton, where I saw Meredith, Cross, and Newton—I saw a shop there used for these appliances to be placed in—there was a red fire-lamp outside—there was just room in the door

way for a costermonger's barrow to get through—I saw a cart used by the men, which would just about get in through the doorway; it was an improved costermonger's barrow, precisely the same as a barrow, with the exception of the sides being boarded up—I said "I have come to see all the appliances you have"—they showed me a hose-barrow, with two divisions; in one division were lengths of hose and in the other a hydrant, and a hand-pump or small syringe, a very small squirt—there was no engine, no buckets, no escape—there was some now rope netting which they called an escape net, it is generally called a jump-net, for people to jump into—there was a small lamp and an axe on the hosebarrow—those were all the appliances they had—I said "How much hose have you got?"—Cross said "Over 300 feet"—a large quantity was pulled out of the barrow—I said "That will do"—possibly there were 300 feet—I said "Have you attended any fires?"—Cross said "Oh yes"—I said "Where?"—he said "The one at Great Eastern Street"—he referred to a copybook—I said "Did you take your appliances there?"Cross said "Yes, but they were not required, I rendered assistance there myself"—I said "Have you attended any other fires?" he said "Yes, one at a wood yard near New North Road, but we were not wanted there"—I said "Have you an engine?"—Cross said "No"—I said "Have you ever had one?"—he said "No"—I then left-Newton did not hear the latter part of that—Cross and Meredith were together all the time—Meredith may have made some remarks, but Cross gave me the particulars—I called there again on the 7th and saw Cross—I asked him if he had any receipts for the appliances they had purchased—he showed me some papers—then Meredith came in and he fetched some other receipts and showed them to me—I said "When did you start in business?"—they both hesitated—I said "I see your first hose was purchased on 10th October"—I saw that from the receipts—Cross said that was so—he said "Besides those receipts we have some others; I bought some other hose at Houndsditch—I said "Did you get a receipt for the purchase of that?"—he said "No"—I said "Was that purchased before 3rd October or after?"—Cross said "After"—I said "I have seen a receipt which one of your collectors gave dated 3rd October; then that would be before you had any hose"—they made no reply—I did not produce the book—we then referred to the copybook as to chimney fires they bad extinguished, and then I left—I called again on 11th February, and saw Cross and Meredith—I said "I want to see your books"—I had the collecting-books with me, and wished to compare them with any accounts they might have—they refused to show me the books—I received the receipt of 3rd October and the book as well, from Mr. Price of the Charity Organisation Society—this is that book—I have seen Arnold write, and I have seen the receipts that bear his name, n my opinion they are undoubtedly in his handwriting.

Cross-examined by MR. DUKE. This is the receipt I saw, I should say—it is headed "10l. 10 "; it contained a list like this—I looked at the dates of all the receipts affecting the hose—I looked at the quantities and made a note in my book—I should say this is the same receipt—it shows on the left-hand side that although the receipt is dated 10th October, the host was delivered on 27th September—there was this bundle of receipts, and I looked at the date—all the receipts were not there, they said they

had others—the barrow was a costermonger's with the sides and front boarded in—this is a smaller one than the one I saw—I told them to bring the barrow here—I have not seen it—this is a photograph of the premises with the hose-truck and plant—this is the copy-book which they call the occurrence-book—it contains a list of the places which they say they went to—I have investigated the contents of the book only casually—I looked it over with them at the time—I did not go away and leave them with an impression it was all right—I said that would do with regard to the hose.

Cross-examined by MR. MUIR. I saw Meredith four times altogether; the 6th, 7th, and 11th, and after that I served on him the notice to produce the various articles—he offered to give me any information—he said "My connection with Cross was the unfortunate result of public-house acquaintance; I only knew him before as belonging to the one in Kingsland"—he meant the volunteer fire brigade—they have an engine and appliances there—Meredith said "Gross said 'This will turn out all right, and got me to join it. From what I have since heard of him and all the others whom he took on, I admit I have been a fool and nothing else, and that I deserve 20 lashes with the cat; I am quite innocent of knowing what the others were doing, Cross took all the money and had the whole management of it up till the end of January. I am £30 out of pocket over it, and have lost £50 in contracts where I work"—Meredith was alone at that time; he gave me every facility for investigating—on 11th February Meredith refused to snow me the books; he said "No, they will be produced"—after he said that, I told the Magistrate he gave me every facility for investigating; he has done so all through—possibly a jumping-net is an appliance for saving life—I never saw Zazel at the Westminster Aquarium—I have heard she was shot out of a cannon and landed in a net—I have known sheets and blankets used—a net is better adapted—on the lamp was the word "Fire," and over the door the word "Station"—there is just room for the hose-barrow they have, to enter—I was satisfied with the quantity of hose.

By MR. DUKE. This conversation with Meredith was about the 18th February—I had served Cross with a notice, and went to Meredith's house to serve him; and after doing so he made this lamentation to me—up to that time he had said nothing of the kind—he had said nothing of the kind in Cross's presence—I cud not observe much whether they seemed to be on good terms—they both gave me all the facilities I wanted—Cross gave me the same facilities as Meredith; he did not refuse any of those given by Meredith.

Re-examined When we returned Cross refused to open the door to let us into the station.

SAMUEL JAMES SKEBBINGTON. I am superintendent of the North London and Suburban Volunteer Fire Brigade, Finsbury Park—on 12th November I went to 31, Northport Street, and saw the plant there—I have been connected with the volunteer fire brigade about 18 years—there were not there the complete appliances that usually belong to a volunteer fire brigade—I should expect to see one engine at least, and certainly five or six lengths of hose—there were three short lengths of about 40 feet, I should reckon—I know Cross and his writing—I believe this writing across this book to be Cross's—I should think

this letter is entirely in his writing, and the signature only of this other—I should say the initials in red ink at the bottom of page 43 of book 3 are in Cross's writing—I saw no turncock's tools, nor helmets, nor belts, nor long ladder, nor hose-cart—I saw what we term a costermonger's or sweep's barrow standing outside.

Cross-examined by MR. DUKE. I found out that these people had started a brigade, which they called the North London Fire Brigade, on the 1st November—I thought it was partly taking my title—I hare no station in Hoxton—ours is 54, Blackstock Road, Finsbury Park—we have two stations—we began in 1870—at that time we had 16 men, I suppose, in our brigade—we had all necessary plant—my station was then in Penton Street, Pentonville—we receive nothing from the public funds, only from voluntary subscriptions—I am paid as manager—I send collectors, who collect money, and I appropriate part of it as manager's salary—I issue a balance-sheet to let the public know what I do with the money—I am not sure whether I have issued a balance-sheet for 10 years; I began 18 years ago—the brigade was partly formed in 1870—we began in 1871; it was mooted in December, 1870, and the station was taken in 1870—we began to collect in 1871, and we opened in January or February, 1871—we had then six lengths of hose, a stand-pipe, a branch, a felling axe and hand-pump; but previous to that there was an engine ordered of Shand and Mason—I was not superintendent at that time—we had all the necessary appliances for extinguishing fires—we also had two lengths of ladder, 13 feet in all, 6 feet each; a long line, uniform helmets, belts, axes; I cannot enumerate all—we had the gear sent on, while we were getting the engine, for us to open the station—we got the engine in March, 1871—I have been informed that the water company's hydrants in Hoxton district are high-pressure—if you put a hose on the hydrant I should say the water would carry to a height of 70 or 80 feet, with the pressure in the main—if the fire were less than 70 or 80 feet high you would not need an engine, I should say—there are more fires extinguished now with a stand pipe than there were originally, because we get a better supply of water—the manual is more useful to carry the men than anything else, and a speedy way of getting gear to the fire—whether a fire may be put out with the pressure of water from the main depends on if you have sufficient hose—300 feet of hose is very useful; we have 1,000 feet—we began with six lengths of 40 feet each—40 feet is a length of hose in leather—eight lengths would be 320 feet—our brigade has been growing; it has been a great deal of trouble, but I manage to keep it growing—I have expended over 200l. of my own money on it, and now it is in a great state of efficiency—for the last six months, since I broke my arm, I have spent all my time on it; at first I did not—this place was large enough for a fire engine if you enlarged the door—I have not seen this brigade and its appliances since that time—our brigade attends chimney fires—we are sent for and we attend—it is certainly a useful purpose to the public to put out a chimney fire; sometimes it is a serious matter—I have known cases where it has become a very serious thing—from June, 1876, to June, 1877, we had 16 chimney-fire calls; that is a small number—I should think 20 chimney fires in the course of two or three months would be a large number—for the purpose of putting out a chimney fire a hand-pump is a proper appliance—a man who knew his business would not turn all the force of the main up the chimney—the prisoners had such

a pump—for a more serious call some yards of hose and a hydrant would be very useful till the fire engine came with a person that understood it—I think Cross was in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade for about five weeks—for the first few weeks men are drilled; they don't turn them out from the drill-class for about three months in the Metropolitan Brigade.

Cross-examined by MR. MUIR. The Metropolitan Brigade turn out readily to a chimney fire, the same as us, and with as much alacrity to a chimney fire as to a larger fire with the hand-pump—I do not know Baker—we collect subscriptions over Islington, Stoke Newington, Finsbury Park, Hornsey, and South Hornsey—we limit our collections to the fires—we run perhaps two or three miles to a fire—I would not send my collectors to South Kensington; it is too far for me—if any one liked to send me a subscription from South Kensington I should take it.

Re-examined A fire-station would be utterly useless to people living seven or eight miles off—we only collect subscriptions in the area where the public have an opportunity of using our services—our second station is at Clapton Common—I have not an engine at each place; at Clapton I have a fire escape with a squirt. By

MR. MUIR. My collectors are paid a commission of 25 per cent. By

MR. MEAD. A man could not acquire sufficient knowledge of a fireman's duties in a month.

JOSIAH GEORGE HORTON . I am an engineer in the service of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (of which Captain Shaw is the chief officer), at Old Street, Shoreditch—we don't collect subscriptions at all; we depend on the rates—Cross was in the brigade five weeks, from 17th January to 22nd February, 1881—he resigned, to escape punishment for delaying his time and returning to the station under the influence of drink—on 3rd January I attended a fire in Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch—Cross was there in uniform—he had no appliances with him—he was very much under the influence of drink at that time—he rendered no assistance; we did not want it—on 9th December, 1887, I attended a fire in St. John's Road—I saw Cross there in uniform—he rendered no service; the fire was out when he arrived—I did not see what he brought with him—we have a station about half a mile from the volunteer fire brigade—I should not think Northport Street was a place where any extra fire-station was required.

Cross-examined by MR. DUKE. Our nearest station on the other side is about the same distance off—there is about a mile and a half between our two stations—it is a very poor neighbourhood, with a great number of little houses—the appliances of our street-stations are ordinarily a hose-cart, three 100-feet lengths of hose, a stand pipe, delivery elbows for connecting on to the hydrant, a hand-pump, 3 nozzles, 2 branches, a set of turncock's tools, 6 wedges, 6 lapping-lines and lapping leathers—all those are carried in the hose cart—we do not have a jumping net—we have ladders and an escape, at night-time—I should think this photograph represented a hose-cart, with proper fittings and appliances—we have no engines at the street-stations, but they are in communication with the main station by telegraph, and there we have manual and steam engines—there are telegraphs at the corners of the streets to communicate with the stations—the street-stations are between two main-stations, with the object that we can be in prompt attendance at small fires—we attend

chimney fires, not very many—from Old-Street, in 14 months we attended 45 chimney fires, 15 of them proved to be false alarms.

Cross-examined by MR. MUIR. I have seen the North London and Suburban Fire Brigade Station once—it is about half a mile from our station in Old Street; very little nearer to us than Northport Street.

Cross-examined by MR. PURCELL. When at a fire all volunteer brigades are under the control of Captain Shaw and the superintendent of the district.

Re-examined A volunteer fire brigade which professes an area over Enfield, Kensington, and Hammersmith, and the north of London, is not properly constituted without an engine—they would never hear of a fire that occurred in any of those localities—at my station I have two engines, a hose-cart, and three escapes—there are nearly 200 engines in the brigade. By

MR. PURCELL. I am aware that frequent applications have been made by Captain Shaw to increase his resources, and that he has found his appliances inadequate.

By MR. MEAD. I do not think this is a place where additional aid is required—three or four men would be sufficient to stop at that place; they could not go above half a mile off; they had no horses—I have not seen their gear.

EDWARD CLEMENT PRICE . I am assistant secretary to the Charity Organisation Society, 15, Buckingham Street, Strand—I received this collecting-book from Mr. Covingden, of Enfield, on 22nd December, and handed it to Inspector Weston on 14th February. (Two letters from Cross to Mr. Covingden were here read; the first asked for the return of the book; the second said that if the book were not returned legal poceedings would be taken to recover it.)

J. G. HORTON (Re-examined). I have examined the hose—there are five 40-feet lengths and three 30-feet lengths—the three latter would stand good pressure, in the others the water would come through; it is not very old but it is unlined—there are couplings to connect one length with another, they are all right.

By MR. DUKE. It is a common sort; it has been made by makers who supply fire brigades—it would carry water, but some would come through the sides there would be very great leakage—I have not tested it—if it were tarred it would stop it to a certain extent.

Witnesses for Cross.

GEORGE BAKER . I am at present in the employment of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade at Stoke Newington—in November, 1887, I knew Ross, who was station keeper at this fire station in Northport Street; he was leaving, and I applied for the place and was appointed—I was supplied with uniform, helmet, and so forth—at the station there were about five pieces of hose, a hydrant-piece, turncock's tools, uniforms for six or seven men, a hand-pump, two branches with nozzles connected, a long ladder, couplings, a hose-cart, a jumping-net, with beckets for holding it—I have been at various stations; those appliances were sufficient to keep a fire in hand till the brigade came—there were more feet of hose than they have at the Metropolitan street-stations I believe—in the Hoxton district there is high pressure on the hydrants, enough for fires in that district without an engine—I was station-keeper for about three months, day and night—my instructions were to attend at fires and chimneys—we were called to three fires while I was there, and

a goodish many chimneys—this is a book I kept; Mr. Cross entered in it the calls—I gave him the particulars—I cannot tell you how many times Cross attended a fire with me—I went to Copsall Street, to a chimney fire with me—I know there was a chimney fire at Parker's, Flint House, Hyde Row—I went to Mrs. Burleigh, who keeps a newspaper shop in Hyde Road, and to Collard's, carpenter's shop in Burlington Street, where a beam had lighted in the chimney; and to Lock wood's, 133, Philip Street, a chimney fire; and to one in Whitmore Road; and to a chimney fire in Penn Street; and to one opposite Hoxlon church at about 6 in the morning; and to Harvey Street, near the canal, a chimney fire—I did not go to Rossiter's nor to Davis's—I took the appliances to a fire at a timber yard in New North Road; the steam engines were at work when we got there—I went round the building and offered our services; they did not require us—we were also called by a road sweeper to a private house opposite Hoxton Church; I and another man went, but we were not required—we were called once by the police—the police used to leave their capes at our station of a night—I got 1l. a week wages—they were paid me.

Cross-examined by MR. MEAD. I had no engine—that is a necessary thing for a fire-brigade—we were the only persons that attended all these fires; the regular fire-brigade was not there on any occasion—we put them out on every occasion—I was in the employment of the Metropolitan Brigade till I got my subpoena—I have not been discharged yet—I have been coachman, driving the horses—I have nothing to do with putting out fires unless I am called for—Arnold is in charge of the station at Stoke Newington—I am acting under him—he told me to take the subpoena from this Court and attend to it—I am not wanted there any more.

Re-examined I showed the subpœna to Arnold, and I was dismissed through my being connected with this—I have not received a notice, but I have to go and sign the pay-sheet and receive the balance of my money. By the COURT. An engine is necessary in Hoxton, but the standpipe works instead of the manual.

JAMES ANDREW LEGGATT . I am a pensioner in the Navy—I was employed on 7th or 8th October by Cross and Meredith to make a jumping-net at Northport Street—I was at work there about a fortnight—there were generally two on duty at the station at night, and during the day sometimes more than two—Cross was there nearly every day—he used to wear the uniform and belt—there was a fire in the front room at Rossiter's in Hyde Road—after it was extinguished Cross sent me over and gave me orders to remain about the place till a man came from the Salvage Corps in the evening—the fire had been extinguished—a salvage man came and relieved me—I saw the hose tested by Mr. Woodhead of the New River Company, and Barrett, the turncock, while I was there—they connected the gear with the hydrant and ran the water through—the hose stood the pressure of the water—there was very strong force of water—persons came to call them to extinguish chimneys—I was there by day while I was making this net—I received 26s. for knitting it—it was 41/2 yards one way, and 4 yards the other—it had beckets at the side for men to hold it by—it is a new kind of net, better than a canvas one.

Cross-examined by MR. MUIR. I think there were two dozen balls of string at 1s. a ball in it, and then rope bands—it might have cost a little more than 3l.

Cross-examined by MR. BODKIN. Mr. Cross paid me at two or three different times—I believe he paid me all—I worked inside 31, Northport Street—I was hardly working the whole of the twelve days—sometimes there was only one on duty at night—Cross and Ross used to be there—Mr. Woodhead did not tell me what pressure was put on when he tested the hose—a nozzle was screwed on at the end—the water went about 40 or 50 feet up, as high as a house—on 7th or 8th October, when I was first employed, I believe the brigade had been in existence a little time then; it was the first time I knew there was such a place—I do not know that for some time before that men went about collecting for it, nor how many men were employed as collectors—Meredith is there very often.

Tuesday, May 1.

ALFRED WATKINS . I am a labourer, of 24, Clayton Street, Hoxton—I know the prisoners—I was employed at 31, Northport Street, as assistant station-keeper—I had to stand by, night or day according to rotation—George Baker, Stubbins, or Newton, or some of the others, used to take it in turns—there used to be two or three in the station—I and Baker were regularly on duty—I had to clean the plant—it was ready for working, but we had no use for it, as we only attended chimney fires—I think there were five fires; I can remember four—one was in Penn Street, one in Hyde Road; a news agent's, which was a very bad one; one at a constable's in Copthall Road; one in the same street nearly opposite—it is entered in the Occurrence Book (produced)—the entries in that book relate to the fires which were attended—they were made in my presence—either Baker or myself supplied the information for the entries—at the news agent's fire there had been a foul chimney, and it had got well alight up at the top so that the roof was coming in—we got a ladder and some boxes, and got through the roof on to the top—it was very dangerous—the chimney-pot came off, and I nearly rolled off into the street—that was not the pot the fire was in, that was too hot to hold by—we were at it about an hour—Cross was at the station—Baker and myself attended—Cross was there every day and every evening, and sometimes during the night—I only recollect two as the smallest number at the station at one time—sometimes there were five or six—Cross lived just opposite; Meredith lived in the high road, and Arnold close handy, so that I could call them if wanted—we always had plenty of volunteers—we always had our wages paid—there had been no complaint about that.

Cross-examined. Baker was a regular fireman—he is described in the Occurrence Book as an "odd man, late M. F.B."—that was his position in the Metropolitan Fire Brigade—I was a labourer before I joined this brigade—I had gone through training at Hornsey with the Local Board Fire Brigade—I belonged to the New River Company for five years, that would make it in 1882—I was assistant waste inspector—I believe every call given at the station was entered in this book—I attend chimney-fires—I did not write the entries in the book—I made them out, and gave them, to Cross or Meredith—I do not recollect being called to a fire at 120, St. John's Road—I was off duty, but I heard about it—I think

Cross and Baker spoke about it—I recollect a fire at Great Eastern Street, Shoreditch, in January—I was not there—I believe Cross and Baker were there—I was not on duty at the station when the call came—I heard about it at my own residence—the entries are made directly after the fires—the fire-engine is not necessary for putting out all fires, because there are hydrants.

WILLIAM EDWARD WOODHEAD . I live at 75, Colebrook Row, Islington—I am employed by the New River Company—I was asked to go to No. 31, Northport Street, Hoxton—the hose was connected with the main—some couplings had been lashed on the new hose, and I was asked to cut them off, so that the couplings could be put on properly—the water was passing through the hose, but it slightly sweated through—I cannot say what is the usual leakage—the couplings were properly lashed—the ordinary pressure of water was turned on—the hose was not held up any height, but laid on the ground to try the couplings—there is a very high pressure of water in our mains in the district, which might in some parts carry the water from the nozzle to the top of a not very high building—we should apply the hose from the hydrant in the case of a small fire.

Cross-examined. We had three lengths of hose about 50 feet each.

EDWARD ROSSITER . I am a brush manufacturer, at 155, Hyde Road, Hoxton—on a Friday, about the beginning of November, a fire occurred in my front parlour, which is the stock-room—there were brushes, hair, boards, &c.—the hair was ready to be put in the boards, and the brushes were ready to go out—it burned the brushes on the bench, and the papers that hung over, the bench—it was supposed to be caused by a cinder flying out on the bench—it also burned the boxes underneath, and the hair and brushes—the counter was burned—my father sent for assistance to Northport Street—the fire-station has been open for some considerable time—when Cross came I was not there, I was, at tea, and when I went back I found Cross by the side of the fire—he put it out—a man called Leggatt was left in attendance till a man named Bradley from the Salvage Corps in the Upper Street, Islington, came and discharged Leggatt—he was left in charge by Cross, and said there was no danger, as Mr. Cross had extinguished the fire satisfactorily—I pass Northport Street eight or ten times a day, according to business—there is always a man in attendance at the station—Mr. Leggatt, Cross, and Arnold, and another young man who I don't see here, used to be there—I do not know if it is Baker.

THE JURY stated that they did not want to hear any more evidence


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