18th November 1889
Reference Numbert18891118-46
VerdictGuilty > unknown; Not Guilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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46. JAMES BEESTON and JAMES WESLEY BEESTON , Unlawfully obtaining.£10 from Harold Sheard, and other moneys from other persons, by false pretences, with intent to defraud. Other counts, for con spiracy.

MR. HORACE AVORY Prosecuted, and MR. LYNCH Defended.

HAROLD SHEARD . I am a coachman; I live at the Windsor Castle, Edgware Road—about the middle of May, 1887, I saw an advertisment in the Daily Telegraph—I wrote to the address in the advertisement, and received a reply, in consequence of which I met both prisoners at 17, Cleveland Row, King Street, St. James's—I said I should like to apprentice my son to them—the father said he was a great builder, and was carrying on a great business at Lower Edmonton—we agreed that I was to apprentice my son to him on that day, and I paid him £10 deposit—this is the receipt he gave me—the week after I saw the prisoner again, and paid the remaining £10—this is the receipt for the balance of the premium—this is an I O U he gave for £10 he afterwards borrowed of my father, Henry Sheard—on the day he gave me the second receipt the apprentice ship indentures were drawn up and signed (By these, William Henry Sheard was apprenticed for seven years to James Beeston, plumber and decorator,

who was to pay him one shilling a week for the first four years, and increasing amounts each subsequent year)—after I had paid the second £10 he invited me down to his house at Edmonton, and showed me about, and said he was doing a great deal of work, and building a large mansion a few miles out—I never went to look at the mansion—I took the boy to him on the 1st of June, 1887—afterwards my father handed me a letter from James Beeston, written by James Wesley Beeston—he knew my father by seeing him before—I was stop ping with my father at 7, Cleveland Yard—some time in January, 1888, the boy was sent home—I have seen the younger prisoner write; this is his writing (A letter was read, dated from Church Street, Edmonton, saying he was sorry to say he had to give up his premises at Edmonton, as he was now insolvent, and that he could not take the boy back till he could recover himself)—before that, but after my son went, the elder prisoner borrowed £10 of my father in 1887—I was away when my son Came back—when I returned home I went to Edmonton at the beginning of 1888, and found the prisoners had left—I had no communication with them till afterwards—I got nothing of my premium back, or the £10 loan—he took my boy's bankbook away, and never returned him his money.

Cross-examined. I went twice in 1887 to the Edmonton premises—I paid the first £10 before I had been there; it was then he told me he was doing a great business—I was at his house about one and a half hours, I should think, when I went—I found his house corresponded with the description he gave—if I had found it was not a plumber's and decorator's I should not have paid the balance—I paid both the first and second £10 in London—the second was after I went to Edmonton—he said he was a builder at Edmonton, and doing a great business—that was not in reply to anything I asked him—the two prisoners, my father, myself, and my son were present—he did not say, "I am a plumber, and also do house decoration"—I knew what I was going to apprentice my son to learn; by his representation in the indentures he refers to himself as a plumber and decorator, and also a builder—my son was apprenticed to Beeston and Son—when my son was with him I went and had dinner with James Beeston, and we went to a publichouse, and I came away—I saw my son—the elder prisoner told me nothing about difficulties then—I was surprised when he 'borrowed £10—that was two or three months after I placed my son with him—I did not write to him after that.

Re-examined. I should not have parted with my £20 if he had said anything about being in difficulties—he never said a word about it.

WILLIAM HENRY SHEARD . I am the last witness's son—I am a little over fifteen years old—I am now a kitchen boy at White's Club, St. James's Street—I was present when the indentures were signed for my apprenticeship to the elder prisoner—on 1st June I went to the premises at Edmonton as an apprentice—the morning after I went with the younger prisoner to do something on the roofs of some villas with tiles—no men were employed by either of the prisoners—after a little time there were two other apprentices, Bartholomew and Syers—there was not work to keep us employed all day—the prisoners were not working all day—they amused themselves in the workshops making goat-carts—three were made while I was there, and taken to the auction-rooms and sold—no plumbers or bricklayers were employed—I saw no mansion being" built

by the prisoners—just before Christmas they sent me away for a fort night's holiday—I never went back—I had a Post-office Savings Bank book—when I went to the employment my grandfather gave me 10s., which I put in the bank and entered in the book—I gave the book to the younger prisoner, and he drew the 10s. out to buy trousers for me—I did not get the book back—I had 1s. for wages, and 9d. the prisoner took and put in the book, which I have never had back, and gave me 3d.

Cross-examined. I asked Mr. Beeston to buy me some trousers—I signed my name to the Savings Bank form; the younger prisoner had the money; I went with him to buy the trousers—I did not ask him for the book afterwards, it was no use—the 10s. was drawn out, and that was all I had in the bank—there was a job going on opposite, that lasted about three weeks—I was also employed at the yard cleaning out the workshops—no work was going on there at all; I burnt the paint pots out, sometimes every day, sometimes once a week—sometimes they were used every day—I saw no men employed by the prisoners while I was there—they did all the work themselves—I said at the Police-court my memory was very bad, I trust it sufficiently to swear that no men were employed—I did a good deal of painting while I was there—the younger prisoner used to do the plumbing—I saw combing and graining done at one place by a man; I recollect one man; I will swear no other man except the graining man was employed—I left at Christmas—the elder prisoner told me he would send for me—I said at the Police-court there may have been jobs going on I did not know of—I said goat-carts were made at any odd time in the afternoon; by odd time I meant when they had no work to do.

Re-examined. It often happened they had no work to do—the man who did the graining was only employed for that one odd job; he did not come there every day—they bought nothing for me except the pair of trousers—I don't know how much they cost—it was a long time after I went there—I do not know whether the 9d. a week was paid into the bank—the prisoner said he stopped it to pay into the bank—I never saw the bankbook again—when I left at Christmas I understood I was coming back to the prisoners again—I learnt nothing of the business of a plumber and decorator while I was there.

By the JURY. I painted lampposts and railings in front of the High Road, Edmonton, nothing else—I had 3d. to spend, and 9d. they kept to put in the bank.

By MR. LYNCH. The prisoner had a contract with the Vestry to keep the lampposts in repair and paint them.

HARRY THOMAS BARTHOLOMEW . I was clerk to Mr. Ditton, solicitor, in 1889—in 1887 I was conveyancing clerk to a firm in the City—at the end of August, 1887, I saw an advertisement in the Daily Chronicle—I replied to it, and ultimately I went with my wife to Edmonton, and saw both prisoners at their office—they both described their business as a very good one indeed; the father did so particularly, but the son bolstered him up—we expressed our desire that our nephew should learn plumbing; the elder prisoner said he should not only learn plumbing, but house decorating—the premium was to be twenty-five guineas, and he was to be apprenticed for seven years, and the rate of wages was fixed at 1s. a week to begin with, and so on—I went again a day or two after

wards, with my wife and the boy—there was a representation then as to the business they were doing, and Wesley Beeston brought forward some stencil drawings, and said not only should the boy be taught plumbing and house decoration, but that he was an adept at stencilling, and the boy should learn that—I don't say those were his exact words—he showed us round the ground floor; the passage was being done up, and stencilling work was being done there—Wesley Beeston showed us that, and the elder prisoner took me outside and showed me his house adjoining the office, and said the ornamental work, stencilling and dado, very nicely done in the passage, would be taught my nephew—when we returned to the office the elder prisoner seemed very anxious that we should close—he said, "We have many applications here; you must decide"—after consulting my wife, I said, "We will"—he said, "'Well, we must have a deposit"—I said, "Are you solvent?"—he rather pooh-poohed the idea, and said, "I should not have taken this house for twenty-one years if I was not solvent"—I paid a deposit of £2—he sent a copy of the draft indenture to me; he had inserted six years instead of seven—ultimately he called, and I paid the balance of £24 5s., and this indenture, apprenticing the boy to James Beeston, was executed by me, my wife, and James Beeston, on 5th December, 1887—it was my wife's money—my nephew went away with him from my house—two months after Christmas I received a letter from the elder prisoner, requesting a loan of £5—my nephew brought the letter—I wrote across the letter, declining, and sent it back—I knew, through my nephew, that they had left Church Street, Lower Edmonton, and where they had gone to—I made inquiries—in September, 1888, I received this letter from James Wesley Beeston (This was on paper with a stamped heading, Beeston and Co., Masonic Joinery Works, Builders, etc., Hornsey Road, and stated that his father was out of the business; that he had the nephew on his hands; that he would have been discharged with the other apprentices if he had not taken him, thinking his father would have come to an arrangement with his creditors, and that as there was now no prospect of his doing so, he must send the boy back, as he could not keep him on)—that was the first intimation I had of James Beeston having gone out of business—on 22nd September I received this letter, asking if I had come to any arrangement about my nephew, as he could not see his way to keep him longer, and his father, who was dependent on him, could not keep him—that was signed J. W. Beeston—I wrote on 2nd October, and received this reply (This repeated the former statement about the father being out of business, and said the lad was not wholly discharged, but was only waiting till the elder prisoner could get into business again, when he would take him back and teach him his trade)—I believe the boy was sent home at the beginning of October—I sent him back, and he was sent home again—I heard nothing from the elder prisoner about taking him back—when he was ultimately sent home I wrote a letter—I got no reply—I then applied to Mr. Bros at the Police court, under the Masters and Servants Act—I found the Magistrate had no power under the Act, as I had paid over £25.

Cross-examined. At the time of the proceedings at the Police-court I was conveyancing clerk to Mr. Ditton—I am doing nothing now, I have enough to live on; the length of this case caused me to give up the situation—I have been a solicitor's clerk about twenty years—my son was with the prisoners about fourteen or fifteen months, from September,

1887, to November 1888I have been to Hornsey Road—I parted with my money because he represented to me he was doing a very large business—I heard a good deal of what was said at the Police-court—I have no means of judging if young Beeston did the stencillings—my nephew was not apprenticed to him—he was not sent home because it was alleged he had misconducted himself; I never heard such an allegation—when he was sent home in consequence of the so-called bankruptcy, I sent him back, and refused to take him, and they refused to take him in—young Beeston afterwards called, and said they could not charge him with any misconduct; he was a very good boy indeed—he is a very well-behaved boy—a long time passed before I took any steps, because I could not prove it—it was three or four months after the boy had been discharged that I applied at the Police-court—I wrote out a statement that Beeston had broken his contract with me—the Magistrate's jurisdiction was ousted—I found out since I could charge them with false pretences, when one of the boys called and said they had gone away from their address—I could not find the boy's address when I applied to the Magistrate.

Re-examined. Neither of the prisoners ever suggested that my nephew had misconducted himself; they made no complaint against him—in making the application I said it might turn out there was fraud and con spiracy in the case—I had a strong impression of it—the money was paid through my hands.

WILLIAM JOSEPH BARTHOLOMEW . I am nephew to the last witness—I am an orphan—I entered into these indentures, apprenticing me to the prisoner, in September, 1887—I stopped there just a fortnight over a year—during that time I mixed mortar, swept out the shop, washed brushes, and cleaned tools—if not doing that, and there was no painting or decorating work to do, we made goat-carts—there was not sufficient business of that character to keep me constantly employed—no workmen of any sort were continuously employed by the prisoners during the time I was about—one bricklayer was employed by the week—a month or six weeks before I left, the elder prisoner said he would write a letter to my uncle to say I was to leave—he asked me if I knew anything about it and I told him no—I went home the next Sunday—after I heard some thing from my uncle about that I went back to the premises—the elder prisoner asked me if my uncle had said anything about it—I said he said he had written a letter to my uncle, and he said, "I expect your uncle will put me in prison for this"—I said it was very likely he would—he said, "Your uncle can kiss my—"—I asked James Beeston about the 2s. a week when my first year was up and why I should not have it; and he said it was not his business I was to ask his son about it; he was entirely out of the business—I 'took a letter from him to my uncle soon after I went there—he called me and his son into a room, and said, "Do you think your uncle can lend me £5?"—there was a job on at the time, and he wanted to buy paper for the walls for the staircase—I told him I did not know—he said, "Will you go and take this note with you if I was to give it to you?"e—he paid my fare—I took the letter and delivered it—my uncle wrote an answer back on the same paper; I believe that he could not do it—I gave the answer to the prisoner—I never took any money from my uncle to the prisoner—the job they were on then was Pritchard's, in Fore Street, Edmonton, I think; papering the staircase with sanitary paper and varnishing—that was the paper that was to be bought with my uncle's £5.

Cross-examined. I have known two or three men to be employed—I knew Sheard when he was there—one bricklayer was employed—Wesley Beeston did the carpentering that was required, and the drawings—he showed me a little of his plans; how they were drawn to scale, and that—they were plans of buildings—I don't know about plumbing—of one house there would be one plan, and different elevations—there was not much plumbing work to do, but what was done was done by the younger prisoner—one plumber was employed for two or three days on one job; that is all I can remember—there were no plumbing jobs except little things, cisterns and ball-cocks, and so on, and those Wesley Beeston did—I cannot remember any plumbing done at Seeley's—I remember a wooden shed being built on a brick foundation—I think a gaspipe, was laid to that from the house—I don't know the name of the man who did that; it was not one of the prisoners—I complained I was put to do dirty work, such as mixing mortar—mortar was used for different jobs—I think an apprentice ought to learn his trade; you don't want to learn to clean paint-cans—I was shown how to wash the brushes—I was not shown how to make goat carts; I used to watch them being made—they made fourteen or fifteen—I used to take my orders from both prisoners and from another son, Richard Beeston—three sons and the father worked in the business—no complaint was made that I was in the habit of fighting and quarrelling—I did not fight with another apprentice; we had a little quarrel—very likely I complained that he was a sneak—the elder prisoner did not say I was quarrelsome, and brought it on myself—he did not notice it.

Re-examined. He did not tell me to tell my uncle the money was to buy the paper; he simply told me to take the letter—neither prisoner said I should be sent home for calling the other boy a sneak—the gaspipe to the shed was laid down in an afternoon, I think—on other occasions if plumbing work was to be done a plumber was sent for to do that particular job—no men were kept on properly—no building was done while I was there that required drawings—there were drawings for Seeley's shed, I believe; that was the only elevation I saw, I think—the drawings I saw they said were of houses built—they showed me the plan of a house, and said, "I built that house"—they were not built when I was there—I saw young Beeston draw the plan for the shed; and I saw him draw a picture of his own house after he had taken it.

HENRY WORSHIP NOCKOLDS . I am a dairyman at Camden Terrace, Turnham Green—on 2nd or 3rd January, 1889, I saw this advertisement in the Daily Chronicle. (This was addressed to parents and guardians, and was for an under apprentice to a builder and decorator in an oldestablished firm; premium, £30)—I wrote in answer—I received a reply, and afterwards I called and saw the elder prisoner at 403, Hornsey Road—I saw up there, "J. W. Beeston and Co., the Masonic Joinery Works, "established some few years ago; I cannot remember when—I looked over the place; it had a good deal of writing outside—I saw the elder prisoner, and said that I had come, in answer to his advertisement, about putting my boy in the building trade—he said, "Well, I will take him; I am doing a very good business, and I keep a good many men and everything of that kind"—I was not intimate with the trade—he said he was a builder and decorator, and did plumbing and zinc work and every branch of the trade—he said he was a good builder; not a jerry builder, but a first-class West End builder, and had never done anything only good jobs—the younger

prisoner came in during the conversation, and the elder one introduced him as his son, and told me he was his foreman over his men, and he had given him a good education, and he was able now to take the managing part of the business, and my son would be under him, but that if he had any complaint to make he was to come to him—I under stood he had taken up his premises for 21 years—he said I had better give a deposit to secure the place, because he had got several applications, and I might lose the chance—I gave him this open cheque for £5, payable to Beeston and Co.—he gave me this receipt on a printed form of J. W. Beeston and Co., 403, Hornsey Road—the younger prisoner made out the receipt and signed it, I believe—that cheque was paid in the ordinary way through the bank—on 28th January I again saw the prisoners at Hornsey Road, and paid the balance of £25 by this cheque—I made it payable to J. Beeston, because I thought the apprenticeship deed was to be with J. Beeston—a receipt was given me signed J. W. Beeston by the younger prisoner—the indentures were then signed—I took my son with me, and left him there on that day—he stopped till 4th August, when he came home—I sent him back—he came home again with this letter. (This was from J. W. Beeston and Co., and said his son, with all the other apprentices, had a holiday, it being the last Bank Holiday in the year)—I kept him at home—on 9th August I received this letter from Mr. Sturt, whom I had never heard of before. (This stated that Mr. Beeston had consulted him; his business having fallen off during the last few weeks, and not being likely to revive during the vacation, he thought, as his pupils would be without occupation, his son had better be kept at home; and that business whould revive materially after Christmas)—I received no further communication from Sturt or the prisoners—I kept the boy at home in consequence of that letter, waiting for a further communication—I went to the houses of other apprentices' parents and made inquiries, and then thought some thing of what my boy had told me about having no work was true.

Cross-examined. I paid the deposit after the prisoners said they had a good business and everything of that kind—I made inquiries, they were not very satisfactory—I never inquired about the business—I said at the Police-court the inquiries about young Beeston were satisfactory—inquiries about the father came to nothing—I did not tell Beeston about the inquiries—I inquired of the chemist in the Hornsey Road—I had no reason to disbelieve what he told me—they did not know sufficient for me to go away—I might have done so if I had disbelieved him—I did not go into the yard—I went into the shop, which had an office in it—I saw some plans, which the younger prisoner gave me to understand he had worked on—the prisoner said he had a good business and had a quantity of men, plumbers, decorators, builders, and my boy would have a first-class insight into the trade—he said, "I have large workshops, and I keep good men to do my work"—I inferred he kept good men on the premises—I cannot say if he used the word "keep."

Re-examined. I understood he was constantly employing them—I went to a chemist's shop close by and inquired.

ROBERT WHITEMAX NOCKOLDS . My father apprenticed me to the prisoner on 10th January, and I went on that day to 403, Hornsey Road—Albert Browning was another apprentice there—no men were employed there for the first month I was there that I can remember—no building was done—I don't remember any decoration being done in the

first month, except that they decorated their own house—at the end of the first month, another apprentice, Willison, came—Browning left the day Willison came—I remained there six months; when I left I knew no more of the building and decorating trade than I did when I went—both prisoners were there—the younger prisoner used to work on the premises, the elder one did no work, he used to be in a publichouse.

Cross-examined. I last saw the premises on August Bank Holiday—I have been past twice since—about a month after I left—I have known three jobs going on there together at one time—that is the most I have known—I remember Appleby's house being whitewashed and the ceilings distempered from top to bottom; it was very common decoration—I think the staircase was simply washed down; I won't be sure—I cannot remember what rooms were papered—they were not all papered—I remember the jobs at Mallison's, Hornsey Road, at 96, Cottenham Road, at Sparsholt Road, at Granville Road, at Willis's, of Hornsey Rise; at Avenue Road, putting a pane of glass in, and at Simmons'—Simmons has 10 houses—I do not know that the prisoners have a contract with him to put the houses in repair—I believe two were done up, and two or three Chad odd jobs done—I went to two of them; I believe one was done up from top to bottom—the second was scamped by the prisoners; they told me as they had not got the money for the first one they would not do the second one properly—they put on one coat of paint instead of two in many places—the younger prisoner did Robinson's job, 492, Hornsey Rise—I remember Babson's job, and Goff's; that lasted a week, I think—I was told there were 10 houses of his—the prisoners had to keep them in order as far as I am aware—I remember a job for Mr. Home, of Granville Road; they painted the front of Davis's house in Fairbridge Road—the men in carpentering found their own tools; that is not unusual—carpenters were employed—I saw the mixing of paints going on—I asked the younger prisoner, and also the youngest son, who is 24, to explain it to me, and they put me off by saying they had not time—he was never busy in his life—I had to be on good terms with them because I was an apprentice—I believe as tenants left Guff's houses the Beestons did them up—I don't know any thing concerning them; three were done up in my time—they had a rather long job for them at Polsford's Railway Hotel—the contract was for eight days; it lasted ten—three men were employed on that, I think, a painter and two carpenters at two different times, not both together; and then there was a joiner for three-quarters of an hour or an hour—the job was to varnish and do the ceiling of the publichouse, and put up a small glass partition on the top of the bar—a new front was not built in there—at Robinson's a wall was pulled down, and another one built three or four yards out, and a secondhand front put in; the bar was not touched—that was done by Beeston Brothers, a different firm to James Beeston—at one time there were employed on that job a bricklayer, a labourer, a carpenter, and a plumber, for about two hours.

Re-examined. No other building was done while I was there, and that was not done by Mr. Beeston, but Beeston Brothers—a separate business was carried on by Beeston Brothers, of 277, Essex Road, Islington—that firm was carried on by Wesley and Richard Beeston—Beeston and Co. were at Hornsey Road—the jobs that have been mentioned wt re putting a latch on a door and putting panes of glass in,

mending ball-cocks, mending looking glasses and chairs and taps, odd jobs of that kind—men were never kept constantly in employment—the only man kept constantly employed was a painter, and he was there for three weeks and two days—I went to the place in Essex Road to decorate the outside of the house and scrub the floors inside—the younger prisoner put me to do that.

By the JURY. I cleaned out paint brushes—I did not mix paints, only stirred them—they were white lead, oil, and turpentine.

WILLIAM HENRY WILLISON . I am a builder, of 5, Hornton Street, Kensington—about February 12th I saw this advertisement in the Daily Chronicle. (This was to the same effect as in the last case; the premium wanted was £35)—I wrote to the address and had a reply, and on the following day I went to 403, Hornsey Road—I saw the younger prisoner first, and a few minutes after the elder one—I said I called in reply to their letter, as I was anxious to apprentice my son, who was then fourteen—I wanted him to learn the trade of a builder and decorator, which I thought he would do better away from home than with myself, and it was not convenient to have him at home, as he was the child of a former marriage—both prisoners joined in the conversation—they said they were doing a good business and employed a number of men, carpenters, bricklayers, and plumbers, and they showed me plans of building and decoration which they were getting out; the work was to be that of the younger prisoner—among other things they told me they were sorry to see the state of the weather as it would affect some work they then had in hand: recovering some roofs with zinc and re-pointing fronts and backs of houses—I said it was rather unusual for such work to be done at that time of year—they said they were bound to do it then as they had so much work in view for the coming spring—I said I would consider the matter and let them know—I was asked to leave a deposit of £5 to show I was treating the matter with bona fides, as there were other applications—I did not pay the deposit—I afterwards wrote offering £30—I received a letter offering to accept £30 if the matter was settled at once—I went to 403, Hornsey Road on the following Monday, and the indentures were signed—I apprenticed him to James Beeston—I gave the elder prisoner a crossed cheque for £30—the younger prisoner wrote out and the elder signed this receipt on the memorandum form of J. W. Beeston and Co.—in the afternoon of the next day the younger prisoner came to see me, and at his request I tore up the crossed cheque and gave him an open one—that was duly honoured at my bank—my son remained, there till 3rd August, when he was sent home—on 9th August I received this letter from Mr. Sturt. (This was similar to the one received by Mr. Nockolds)—I communicated with my solicitor, who wrote to the prisoners. (This letter, dated 12th August, stated that unless the £30 wax returned steps would be taken against them)—a copy of that was sent to Sturt—I never got any part of my £30 back—soon after that I instituted proceedings at the Police-court, after making inquiries of my son and the other apprentices.

Cross-examined. I did not induce Mrs. Norman to take her son away—I did not see her before proceedings were taken—they were doing their utmost to get my solicitor to take up their case—I had no conversation with them at the Police-court—Mrs. Norman asked what she should do, and she was advised to ask my solicitor—I don't know that her boy was

taken away against the wish of the prisoners—they told me they had a good business, and employed a large number of men—I looked round the place, and from what I saw I was so thoroughly deceived I was willing to believe anything, and I believed him—if I had had the place myself I should have thought I was doing a flourishing concern—I asked him for references, and he said I might make inquiries wherever I liked, and that I could inquire in the neighbourhood—I went to a beerhouse and to a chemist—I got replies, which I have found were false—I have doubt whether the chemist was not in the conspiracy, but I have no doubt as to whether the beerhouse keeper was—I told him afterwards I had made inquiries; all the chemist and beerhouse keeper said was, "Oh, he is all right"—I should have parted with my money if I had not had these representations—he did not tell me where he had carried on business before—he called himself an oldestablished firm, and I thought from the appearance of the place it was so—the representation that induced me to part with my money was that the prisoners were builders, and had work, and that my boy would be taught his business.

Re-examined. I believed his statements that he was a builder and employed a number of men—he said, "There are people over the way that know me"—the beerhouse and chemist are over the way—I believe the publican is Robinson, and I believe he is one of the bail—I have seen him here—I never had the slightest complaint about my boy.

By the JURY. The boy did not come home every Saturday—I heard the complaints he made from time to time when he came home, but I had no idea it was not a genuine apprenticeship till the boy was sent home finally.

PHILIP WILLISON . I was present when my father paid £30 for my apprenticeship—on 28th February I went to 403, Hornsey Road to begin work—I was first told to clean up the workshops in the yard—I then asked for more work, and was told there was not any that week, but that I should have plenty next week—next week was just the same—I had some painting to do in Fairbridge Road—Nockolds was with me—I was set to paint a gate and clear away rubbish at the Fox and Hounds-public house, Hornsey Road—one day I was set to light some fires at Hornsey Road, and I said to the elder prisoner that my father said I was not sent there to light fires but to do building work—he struck me and called me a gaol-bird, and said I was not to have any breakfast—there were three other apprentices with me, Nockolds, Wall-in, and Norman—the younger prisoner asked me if I should like to mind an office; I made no answer, but a few days afterwards I was sent to mind the office, 207, Essex Road—the name of Beeston Brothers was over the door, builders, decorators, and estate agents—the younger prisoner and some of his younger brothers came there—the only business done there was one house that was painted up—the younger prisoner did something inside it—I was there about five weeks occupying myself in playing about in the workshop—a cart called there; it had the name J. W. Beeston on it—I washed it sometimes—when I first went there I went in it, among other places, to the County-court, where he had some cases on—I minded it while other persons went in the court—no men were employed continuously at Hornsey Road, but they were employed from time to time when there was work for them to do.

Cross-examined. There was a carpenter's and a painter's shop which I used to play in—I burnt paint pots out and mixed mortar with water and sand and lime—I had done that before at my father's and knew how to do it—I did not like cleaning out the stable, and told Beeston so—if any one came to the office about a house I should tell the younger prisoner when I went home; I had not got the key and could not show it, and I could not tell the rents—I saw about twelve men employed while I was there.

Re-examined. The twelve were at different times; that was the number altogether the whole time—they were bricklayers and carpenters employed in repairing—the only building job I know of was building the side wall of the publichouse—I learnt nothing of the building and decorating trades that I did not know before I went there.

JOHN WALLIN . I am a laundryman of Kilburn Lane—on 25th April I saw this advertisement in the Daily Chronicle—I wrote, and after receiving an answer, went to 403, Hornsey Road where I saw the two prisoners—I asked what business they were doing—the elder prisoner said he was doing a good business—I asked if the premises were his, he said they were—I said I would consider it—a short time after I received a letter from him asking if I had thought any more of apprenticing my son to them, because he had other applications—I replied and the following day the prisoners called on me according to the appointment I had made—the elder prisoner said they wished to conclude the transaction by my paying a deposit—I paid the elder prisoner a deposit of £5, after he said that on my paying £30 premium he would take my son as an apprentice and teach him building, decorating, and plumbing—I had this receipt for the £5—on 13th May I went to the premises again with my wife and my son—the prisoners showed us several plans in the office, which they said they were building; they said the plans had been drawn out by the son—they said my boy would have a comfortable home and learn the business thoroughly—then I paid £25, the balance of the premium, in cash, and got this receipt—the indentures were signed. (By these indentures the boy was apprenticed to James Beeston to learn building and decorating)—we left the boy there—I looked round the place—I saw no men there—I had previously asked a question about it, and the elder prisoner said he employed a number of men—on 3rd August the boy was sent home, and on 9th August I received this letter from Mr. Sturt. (This was similar to the letter received by previous witnesses)—I sent my boy back with this note. (Asking if the boy was not to return till the 11th)—I received this note in answer. (This was practically to the same effect as Sturt's letter)—I received that before I received Sturt's letter—I had no further communication from them—I communicated with Mr. Thompson, the solicitor—I got back no part of my premium.

Cross-examined. I have not the least doubt he said, "I am doing a good business and employ a number of men"—one thing that induced me to part with my money was the appearance of the premises, which were beautifully decorated up to attract the eye; any person would have thought they had a good business—they might also attract the eye of anybody who wanted his house done up—there was no other inducement; I wanted my son to learn the business and to have a good home—I had no cause to complain up to the time of Sturt's letter—I should not have taken proceedings if I had not received that letter, and if my son had

been taken back—Mr. Willison called upon me first—he said Mr. Thompson was his solicitor, and I went to him—we did not take criminal proceedings with the idea of getting our money back—I and Mr. Nockolds took the matter up on the ground of justice—I considered it was useless trying to get our money back—I might have said at the Police-court "One portion of our justice was to get the money back, and if we could not get the money, to punish the fellow who had had it"—that correctly represented our feelings up to the visit to Mr. Thompson—he wrote to the prisoners to try and get the money back.

Re-examined. Thompson took proceedings at the Police-court on behalf of us all—when Willison first came to me the question of getting the money back was not mentioned—he said at the Police-court he considered he had been swindled, and so do I now—up to August I thought when the boy said he was not learning much that it was only a few months, and he would not have been able to learn much, and I passed it cover—I was not dissatisfied till I got Mr. Sturt's letter.

MARY ELIZA NORMAN . I am a widow—I keep the Masons' Arms, Church-field Road, Acton—in May I saw this advertisement in the Daily Chronicle—next day I sent my son with my brother to 403, Hornsey Road—they came back and reported to me, and on 3rd June I went with my brother and son and saw the prisoners—they both said they were doing a very good business there and in Islington—the premises there and in the Essex Road looked very nice—I saw the Essex Road place when I took my son away—they said the father had apprentices, and that the son was going to take the business over from the father; he said he kept upwards of forty men working for him at times—the elder prisoner said he had done good business, and he was in hopes of the Hornsey Railway Station taking down the premises, and that he was a monied man and was going to retire and make the business over to his son, and that was the reason his son was taking apprentices—they said £5 deposit was usual as a kind of binding bargain—I paid £5, and they gave me the receipt. (This was a receipt for £5 paid to Beeston Brothers, Essex Road)—on 8th June I paid the balance, £25, and this deed was executed by me, my son, and the younger prisoner—I left my son at Hornsey Road on 15th June—he was to live there for some time because the other house was being done up or something—he remained there till the Saturday be fore August Bank Holiday, when he came home for a week's holiday—on the Monday following I had a letter from the younger prisoner—after wards, in consequence of a letter I received from the lad and seeing the case in the papers, I took the lad away.

Cross-examined. I sent him back after the holiday—I saw Mr. Nockolds on the Sunday before he went back—he told me three boys had been sent home—I told him my boy was home for a week's holiday—he did not say he had had a letter from Sturt, or ask me if I had had one—my boy went back—I went to the Police-court proceedings, and took my boy away the same day—I had no conversation with anyone there—my son told me the proceedings were about to take place—he was brought as a witness on behalf of the elder prisoner—the younger prisoner gave evidence—I took my son away, not because he was starved, but because he had no work—I sent him back because he was to be sent to Essex Road, and I thought there would be more work there—he came home from Hornsey Road, and went back to Essex Road, where I

was told he would be better treated—if the father had turned the business over to the son he would have taught him a trade.

Re-examined. What induced me to part with the £5 was the younger prisoner saying his father had a very large business, and thought of retiring, and then he would have the business himself—I applied to the Magistrate at the hearing, as to whether I could take my boy away, and in consequence of what he said I took him away—I asked the younger prisoner at the Police-court whether it was advisable to take the boy's box away, because he was not treated well as to food and work, and all he had had to do at Essex Road was to sift mould.

BENJAMIN PIKE NORMAN . I went with my uncle to 403, Hornsey Road before I went with my mother; I saw the prisoners—the elder prisoner said they kept 40 men regularly going; that it was his business, and they had another business at Essex Road, where I was to go—on 18th June I went to Hornsey Road as apprentice, and remained there seven weeks—there was not a great deal of work there—I saw no men there—I did nothing—I went from there to Essex Road; I found no great improvement in the condition of things there—there was no building going on; there was a paperhanging and little painting job at Highgate—I dug up the garden at Essex Road, and sifted some of it; Wesley Beeston called it sand—I had cause to complain of the way I was fed; once I had only bread and butter, and another time only bread, butter, and a little bit of cucumber all day—I had a very poor bed, with only the quarter of a blanket—I slept in my overcoat.

Cross-examined. I went home every Saturday to Sunday night—I did not complain to my mother until a week before I left my place—I was brought to the Court as a witness—all the witnesses spoke to my mother, as far as I know; if it had not been for these proceedings I should have been at work now—I don't know if the younger prisoner wanted to keep me—at that time three boys had been sent home—my mother had received no letter, and I had not been sent home—I daresay I should have been there now if I had not been taken away, and if I had been treated all right.

By the COURT. I was engaged on two jobs, I did not do much of them; I learnt nothing of the building or decorating trades; I tried to do so—there was very poor bedding on the bed.

JAMES GRANT . I live at 38, Liverpool Street, Walworth, and am a decorator—in August, 1887, I saw this advertisement in the Daily Chronicle—I replied, and received this letter—on 20th August I went to Church Street, Lower Edmonton, where I saw the prisoners; the elder one said my boy would be thoroughly taught the trade of plumbing and decorating—I said I particularly wished him to learn plumbing—he said, "Oh, yes, the boy will learn plumbing, "and he would turn him out a good tradesman—he wanted a deposit, and I handed £1 to the younger prisoner, and received this receipt, signed "Beeston and Co."—after that we went to the publichouse opposite—he said, "This house I did up not long since; I got £100 for it, "and he said he expected some houses to repair shortly—on 22nd August, 1887, I met the prisoners at the corner of Liverpool Street and Bishopsgate Street—we went to a public house, and I there paid them five £5 notes and a sovereign, and he gave me 15s. change; we then signed these indentures, apprenticing my nephew for three years to James Beeston, of Church Street, Lower

Edmonton—I believed all the indentures said at the time—on the 24th I sent my nephew off, and he remained away till Christmas, 1887—then he came back for a fortnight's holiday—he made a communication to me, in consequence of which I wrote—on January 2nd I went to Edmonton—I met the younger prisoner, and asked him where his father was—he said he did not know, sometimes he stopped away for days together—I said I wanted to see his father, as my business was with him; we got into a train together, and the younger prisoner got out at an intermediate station—I asked his father's address, but I could get no information from him as to where his father was—I received this letter on 2nd January, saying he would write me on his father's return home—about the 16th I received this letter from the father. (This stated that he was compelled to give up the premises at Lower Edmonton; that he was in a state of insolvency, and did not know if the creditors would make him bankrupt; it was a similar letter to that in Sheard's case)—I replied to that, and received in reply this letter. (This purported to come from the younger prisoner at 2. Moselle Villas, Wood Green; it stated that what had transpired between the witness and Beeston, senior, had nothing to do with him, and that he would have no inquiries or interference there, and that the nephew would have to be careful, or he might have to prove words hi had used to his brother)—about the first week in February the indentures were cancelled and sent back by post; I never saw anything more of the prisoners till I saw the case in the papers.

Cross-examined. My nephew complained that he was sent to paint lampposts in the neighbourhood, and drag things, and burn bricks, and sweep up the shop, and burn paint pots—he did not say he had to see to lampposts if they went wrong—the younger prisoner did not tell me in the train that things had turned out very badly; he only said he did not know where his father was—he did not say they were looking out for a business at Hornsey—I found out, after a good deal of trouble, by the postmark "Wood Green" on the envelope, where they had gone to.

FRANCIS OXFORD SYERS . I am now an outfitter's apprentice, at Thornton Heath—I went with my uncle, and heard what the prisoners said—on 22nd August I was apprenticed and the money paid, and I stayed with the prisoners from 24th August till 24th December—I learnt no plumbing and no trade at all while I was there—what I principally did was painting street lampposts in the Edmonton district; I did over 100—I also cleaned paint pots and brushes, mixed mortar and swept the place out—I asked the younger prisoner about plumbing and about making a D trap; he said if I waited till the summer the men would be there, and I should have a chance then—he meant the summer of 1888—that was about a month before I left—during my time a bricklayer and plumber were employed for half a day or more, and a plasterer three or four days—I was labourer to the plasterer the whole time—I was living at Church Street, Edmonton, with them—I was given a fortnight's holiday at Christmas, and during the time I was at home my uncle had a letter—after that I went to Church Street, Edmonton, and found the prisoners had moved—the younger prisoner had told me previous to my going that he was going to take a business in Wood Green—it was understood I was to come back to Church Street when my holiday was over—about three weeks after Christmas I found the prisoners at Wood Green—I followed the younger prisoner from Edmonton to there and

back again—then they shut the door in my face—the younger prisoner ran after me, and said perhaps I should like to speak to his father—I went to his father, who said he was in a state of insolvency, and as soon as he could recover himself he would take me back—the younger prisoner said it was his father's house, and he was only a lodger for a time, and that it would be no good my uncle troubling after him, it would be only throwing good money after bad—I was learning the banjo while I was there in my own time after working hours—I was willing and anxious to work if there had been work for me to do—I went to learn plumbing and house-decorating.

Cross-examined. Before I was apprenticed the elder prisoner said he was doing a large business, and would make a man of me if I was apprenticed to him—the mortar was used for repairing a wall and a copper, and whatever wanted doing—part of it was for the prisoner's own house—the lamps were painted and glazed—I saw a plumber on a job at Wood Green for half a day—zinc tops were put on the lampposts; that was not plumbing, I dare say a bricklayer could do it—the younger prisoner said his father had a contract to do the lampposts—I don't remember anything going wrong with the gas-pipes—one of the sons would have done it if they had gone wrong—that would be a branch of plumbing, I suppose—the younger prisoner told me he was going to Wood Green—I cannot say if he said he was going to take a business there or not; he said they had a large job there—Mrs. Bartholomew said her son had gone there, so I knew the prisoner would be there, and I went.

Re-examined. I was apprenticed to the father, and was to come back to Edmonton after the holidays.

REV. FREDERICK JESSOP KELLY . I am vicar of Farnborough, Kent—as executor and trustee I have had the management and letting of Church Street, Lower Edmonton, which was occupied by the prisoners—I found them in possession in 1887—the rent was due for March, 1887; I made many applications—I got it on 22nd August, I think, that year—I had paid the insurance premiums in default of the prisoners paying them—this is the counterpart of a lease executed on 22nd August; previous to that there had been a lease—by the lease the tenant covenanted to insure the premises—when he paid the rent in August the elder prisoner expressed himself unable to repay me the premiums, amounting to £8 odd, which I had paid in his default—the rent due at Michaelmas was not paid till I distrained—I never had the Christmas rent—I had no notice that he was going to leave at Christmas; I found the premises early in the new year left and wrecked, lead pipes were cut and taken away, locks taken off doors, and a great deal of injury done to them.

Cross-examined. Two quarters were paid in August—I have never received the insurance premiums; I never distrained for them—I signed a warrant of distress, and gave it to the agent, who subsequently gave me the money—I did not apply for the Christmas rent, because they had left the premises—my father-in-law died on 27th May, 1887, and I then became executor—I don't know how long the prisoners had been in possession.

HORACE SPENCER DOVE . I am an agent for my brother, who owns the premises, 403, Hornsey Road—I let those premises in February, 1888, to the younger prisoner—I know nothing of his father in connection with those premises.

Cross-examined. A builder's business was carried on there—I went to the premises occasionally—I have seen ladders there, and the ordinary utensils of a builder's, plumber's, and decorator's business—the rent, £55 a year, payable quarterly, was paid very well until these proceedings had gone on some distance—he still occupies the premises—the business is still being carried on—at the present time the rent is about 30s. in arrear—there is a builder's yard and workshop there.

Re-examined. I have been on the premises three or four times, I should say, between February, 1888, and March, 1889—I am an auctioneer and surveyor, and brother of the present owner—the agreement was in the younger prisoner's name.

EDWARD DARRELL KILBURN . I am a clerk in the Holloway branch of the London and County Bank—I produce a certified copy of the account opened there in the name of Beeston Brothers, on 19th June, 1889—cheques were signed in two names, James Wesley Beeston and Richard Beeston—the account was closed on 8th August, and the balance of £17 2s. 4d. transferred to an account in the name of James Wesley Beeston—that went on to 14th October, leaving a balance of £14 2s. 9d., which is still with us—the account is still open.

MR. LYNCH submitted that the false pretences alleged in the different counts of the indictment had not been negatived.

The COMMON SERJEANT ruled that the 14th and 15th counts relating to Norman should be withdrawn; but that the case upon the other counts was for the JURY. ERNEST FREEMAN (Detective-Sergeant). Not examined in chief.

Cross-examined. No warrant was issued for the prisoner's apprehension; a summons was—I have not seen the books until to day; these; extracts were given to me by Mr. Thompson, the solicitor, who had the case in charge—there was no officer in the case till it was committed for trial.

JAMES BEESTON, GUILTY on all Counts for fraud (excepting Nos. 14 and 15),

NOT GUILTY on the conspiracy Counts.— Eight Months' Hard Labour.


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