STEPHEN MOWLE, WALTER CULHAM BROOKE, ANN KOLLIER RUNCIEMAN.
7th February 1898
Reference Numbert18980207-173
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour; Imprisonment > hard labour; Imprisonment > hard labour

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173. STEPHEN MOWLE, otherwise Lumsden (40), WALTER CULHAM BROOKE (48), and ANN KOLLIER RUNCIEMAN (69) Conspiring to defraud Henri Lombard and William Francois Lombard. Other Counts—For unlawfully obtaining from them a quantity of furniture by false pretences with intent to defraud,

MESSRS. C. F. GILL, BODKIN and CAMPBELL Prosecuted, and MESSRS. HUTTON and GORDON appeared for Brooke, and MR. SYMMONS for Mowle.

WILLIAM FRANCOIS LOMBARD . I trade in partnership with my brother as Lombard Brothers, cabinet makers and house furnishers, at 48 and 50, High Road, Willesden Green—Brooke was last year and the beginning of this a commission agent of ours—I had known him in connection with a building society and he offered his services—we gave him a letter agreeing to pay him five per cent, on goods ordered through him when paid for—he paid his own expenses—amongst other customers he introduced Mr. Frank Fleming about February, 1897, as the proprietor of the Athenaeum Club, 50, High Road, Kilburn, to whom we supplied goods in February and March to the invoiced a" mutant of £34 9s. 3d.—we sent

in the account I believe on April 6th, the last goods being supplied on April Second—the account was not paid and we spoke to Brooke about it—the account was to pass the committee and to be paid by Fleming—we wrote to the Club—the letter was returned through the dead letter office about June 10th—we spoke to Brooke about it—he seemed very much surprised, and said he would make inquiries—he afterwards gave us Fleming's address as 7, Princes Road, West Kilburn—about June 18th, Brooke suggested that we should draw this bill on Fleming [For £38 10s. at two months and accepted, payable at 7, Princes Road]—the difference was offered as interest—the bill was presented—it was never paid—we had paid it away and were debited with it—I have never seen Fleming nor the furniture—Brooke introduced a Mr. Mayman to whom we supplied furniture to the amount of about £33—we received a cheque for £33 5s. 11d. on May 11th—Mayman was discharged by the Magistrate—Mowle was introduced by Brooke about June 9th, at the wholesale warehouse of Bailey Sloper, in Curtain Road, by appointment, as a well-to-do and substantial man who had an allowance from guardians, and was going to be married and wanted to furnish his house—a lady with Mowle was, I believe, introduced as Mrs. Mowle, or the future Mrs. Mowle—I believe Mowle had a list, like this produced, in his hand, he selected a number of articles to the amount of about £250—they wanted carved oak and we went to Kahn's where about £80 of oak furniture was selected, then to Nightingale's and bought bedding and bedsteads to about £47—the goods were to be delivered at 11, Royal Avenue, Chelsea—a day or two afterwards Brooke called at our place, at Willesden Green, and ordered for Mowle £21 worth of gas brackets from a catalogue—this is the invoice—the total is £387—some of the gas fittings were to be used in a billiard room—my arrangement with the wholesale houses (where there is a larger stock to select from) is that I buy the goods and resell to my customers—I have to pay in any event—I am liable for this £387—on June 11th I wrote to Brooke this letter, [Stating that the wholesale people would not deliver without cash, and Mayman and Fleming's cheque laid not been received though they had been written to, and that they named a week]—some gas-fittings and furniture, to the value of about £68, had been delivered—I wrote this letter of June 19th to Brooke, [Staling that the goods could not be delivered on Monday owing to the Jubilee, and asking for Mowle's address]—Brooke got us the address 13, Cheltenham Terrace, and some other information—Brooke told me Mrs. Runcieman was the mother or mother-in-law of Mowle (I know her as Mrs. Runcieman); that she had bought one lease and was buying another of the house, and a billiard room was being built at a contract price of £270; that Mowle was engaged in the musical and theatrical profession; and that he was partly independent—on June 24th I wrote this letter to Mowle [Stating that goods ordered on June 9th were ready for delivery and asking for cheque for £300 on account of the order amounting to £390]—between the time of the order and June 24th Brooke had told me Mowle was away on the Continent of Europe on his honeymoon and that was why there was delay—about June 28th I saw Mrs. Runcieman at our premises, having written her the day before—she spoke about the goods and we asked whether she would be responsible, in fact she offered in one case to be partly responsible

for the goods—I could not say whether we asked or she offered but she said she would be responsible—she called to make an arrangement—we asked her about Mowle's position—she said Mowle had been a friend but was no relation of hers—that was on the occasion I told her Brooke had said she was Mowle's mother-in-law—I wrote her this letter of June 28th [offering if £200 was paid to take a bill for two months for the balance]—I got the reply from Mowle on June 30th; [Stating that he could not accept the terms offered to Mrs. Runcieman, that he understood three months' credit was to be allowed, that she had offered to guarantee tlie order, and offering three months' bills for tile balance at five per cent, interest, or inform him when they would send van for the goods already delivered, and expressing sorrow that a better understanding did not exist.]—I got these three bills dated July 17th—£18 and £25 payable six weeks and £25 one month after date—they were renewed by one bill for £68—that was dishonoured—I have never received a farthing in respect of that £68—I believe the gas fittings were sold—I have seen one of them in the possession of the police—I have not seen any of the bedding—Brooke also introduced a Mr. Price, Mr. Johnston, and a number of others, to whom I sold goods to the value of £900, in respect of which I have received £18—in most cases the furniture had been removed—I have seen some of the furniture in the possession of Minter and of Mayman—Johnston has been committed for trial—about the beginning of October I gave information to the Treasury, and enquiries were made—afterwards Brooke offered to collect the whole amounts, as he was the only one who knew where these men were, and we should never get the money except through him—he said he should procure warrants for their arrest—an arrangement was made by which he should receive furniture in lieu of his commission, which was supplied him to the amount of £61 17s. 11d., as on this list—we paid him 10 per cent., or about 36s. on the £18, and on some small accounts, and advanced the rest, we never got any payment for any of these things—these are the two invoices making up the £61 17s. 11d.—the receipt is not ours, nor by our authority—the signature is not like mine—I should say it is Brooke's.

Cross-examined. by MR. BUTTON. I believe the receipt was found by the police on Brooke's premises—I have heard the goods had been distrained on, and that Minter paid the brokers out—we have stored some of the goods for the police—we credit him in this account with £47 10s. for commission, which would have been correct had the goods been paid for—we wrote him this letter of March 4th, agreeing to increase his commission to 10 per cent, on our approving the orders before supplying the goods—we took his word that the customers were substantial people—absolutely we did not make enquiries about Runcieman—we and the wholesale people did about Mowle—that is why more goods were not delivered—after inquiries we did not send £60 worth of goods to him—we may have sent him £4—I took shares from the Building Society from Brooke—I said before the Magistrate, "We did not make inquiries before the first lot of goods were sent in; it was our system to make inquiries through Protection Societies"—we inquired of Trade Protection Societies after Brooke introduced customers, not before, because we believed Brooke—my brother went and saw Fleming—I do not know whether he saw Mayman—he told me he saw the Club before

anything was delivered—when Brooke offered to collect all the monies he sent an agreement by post in which something was mentioned about security or a guarantee—he came and mentioned a guarantee office, I think in King William Street—I saw Mayman—he told me he had financed the Athenaeum Club in Melbourne—he wanted a carpet and other things—I did not press him to buy more—I may have asked him in the usual way—he brought a list—some of the gas fittings were supplied after a report from Bailey & Sloper, but we did not know they had not been delivered or we should have stopped the order—we have not been paid by Miller—he kept dining rooms—I was satisfied from the appearance of the place that he was doing good business and would be in a position to pay.

Cross-examined. by MR. SYMMONS. I did not know Mowle when I met him—I was prepared to trust him on Brooke's recommendation—I do not remember Mowle saying that he was engaged or was going to be married, nor about his honeymoon—goods were supplied two or three days afterwards—Mowle had not suggested before our inquiries that he was in a position to pay cash down—when Mowle wrote "Kindly inform me when it is convenient to send your van for the goods already delivered"—I have had reason to believe he was not in possession of them from knowledge since obtained—I did not know they were not parted with till July 15th—my brother went about the goods, and some arrangement was made that I cannot speak about—we did not get the goods—we did not send the van—a club was not mentioned—I thought the furniture was for a private house, and that the people would have a billiard room.

Cross-examined. by Runcieman. A conversation took place about Mowle ordering goods for 11, Royal Avenue, to the extent of £300 or £400, and as to whether you would supply them, but I cannot recollect the exact words—I asked if you knew Brooke, and you said, "No," but he called to see Mr. Mowle—I asked you if there was anything you wished to buy, you said you wanted a side-board and I said I should be pleased to supply it—I do not remember the amount you mentioned, but you said "Not till I can pay for it," as you had enough to pay before the end of the year—you said you were short of money—you said you were partly responsible, you did not refuse when I asked you—finally you de clined, but you did become responsible—you sent a telegram which I believe was responded to—I never saw you before you came to our shop.

Re-examined. I got this letter, of July 15th, from Mrs. Runcieman: "I certainly do not think it altogether wise for Mr. Mowle to undertake the amount of the bill at a month, but certainly think he can and ought at two months from this date"—that was the bulk for £68—she paid for some flower-pots £1 5s. 6d.—the shares I held in the Building Society on Brooke's recommendation, are transferred into one share—Millard incurred a debt of £244 15s. 11d.—we have a judgment against him, and cannot find him.

EDWARD MARTIN PAYNE . I am a registered medical practitioner and Bachelor of Medicine—I have been attending Mr. Minter, of 57, Ashford Road, Cricklewood—I have seen him this morning—he is suffering from tonsilitis, and unfit to travel—he is in bed, and unable to come and give evidence.

Cross-examined. by MR. HUTTON. I attended Brooke about November or the autumn of 1897 for about a month—he was confined to his bed part of the time—he was living in Larch Road.

HENRI LOMBARD . I am a partner with my brother—amongst other persons we supplied Fleming with goods—he was introduced by Brooke—I went to the premises before the goods were supplied—they were open as a club, I believe, in the basement—after the goods were supplied I saw Brooke and Fleming—they passed me a short distance, then turned back—Fleming said he had been ill, and that was the excuse for not paying his account, but he would come and see us the next day—he never came—we never got paid—they were removed without our knowledge—I had called and I took measurements for the linoleum—after that Mayman was introduced as a customer, and I went to 11, Koyal Avenue after the goods were delivered—I saw Mrs. Runcieman on one occasion—we had had a letter from Mowle stating he could not pay—she said he would be in a position to pay when he received his allowance from his guardians, and that if he would then go there she would see they were all right and they would not be moved away—this was several weeks after the goods were delivered—Mowle had written that he could not agree to our terms and we must fetch the goods away and I went with reference to their being brought away and she persuaded us not to do so until she had seen Mowle again—I told her the contents of the letter—I did not see the goods—she said they would be there and would be kept safe—Mowle called about the last Thursday, or last but one, in July and after signing three bills a telegram came, in consequence of which I went to Royal Avenue where I saw Runcieman, Mayman, and a lady who passed as Mrs. Mowle—Runcieman said the goods had been removed without her knowledge—Mowle heard it and said they had only been removed away and stored for safety—I did not ask where—Runcieman had promised to look after the goods on June 13th previously—she did not appear to know where they were—I never saw them again—I again went to see Runcieman the beginning of October—she said Mowle was in Manchester for a few weeks trying to get an allowance from his guardians—she said Mr. Fleming had been to 13, Cheltenham Terrace, when I received the wire, and that she had taken it, and Mowle was going to reside there, and that she had turned Fleming out for misbehaviour—we did not ask Mrs. Runciemain to pay—I do not think she offered—through the transactions with Brooke we are out of pocket £800 with the expenses connected with it.

Cross-examined. by MR. HUTTON. We have not lost a large amount in bad debts—we have been in business about three years, two years when Brooke came—I went to the club—there was no one to make enquiries of—I asked Brooke what the club was—he said it was an ordinary social club—I did not ask him how long he had been there, I knew he had not been there long—there was a billiard room and a billiard table—there were chairs and other things one would expect to see in clubs—there was a bar—there was furniture to the value of about £150—it was not new, except the billiard table—Brooke said he could not work for five percent. and asked for 10 per cent, commission—he was authorized to collect money in two cases—he had two receipt books.

Cross-examined. by M.K SVMMONS. I do not recollect Mowle mentioning

Falke's name, nor that he was going to foreclose—I heard Runcieman was in treaty for the purchase of the lease of a house—Mowle did not say he had the goods removed to prevent their being taken in the foreclosure—he said he had them removed during the alterations—he did not say it was to avoid distress—I went to the club in February—the goods were delivered about two days after the order.

Cross-examined. by Runcieman. What furniture you had you paid for—you sent a telegram to which we responded, and you were all in the sitting room—you were angry and would not stay in the room, because Mowle had taken the goods away without your consent.

Re-examined. I never heard from first to last that the furniture had gone to 13, Cheltenham Terrace.

ELLEN ELIZABETH CLARKE . I live at 45, Cloudesley Road, Islington—for five or six years I have been acquainted with Mowle—I lived with him as Mrs. Mowle, first at 43, Hartland Road, then at 11, Royal Avenue with Mrs. Runcieman, whom I have known about six years—she kept a boarding house at Quex Road, High Road, Eilburn—at 11, Royal Avenue I did not pay her anything, I did all the domestic work and waited upon the lodgers—at Quex Road I pawned articles for Mrs. Runcieman three times—I am married—my proper name is Mrs. Clark—when at Royal Avenue, Mowle asked me and I went with him to Curtain Road to help him to select some household furniture for a club in Cheltenham Terrace—Mrs. Runcieman was taking the house and Mr. Mowle was to rent it for her—Mr. Fleming had first to do with it, and then Mr. Mowle said he would rather not have Mr. Fleming—Brooke visited occasionally at 11, Royal Avenue—bedsteads, bedding, gasfittings and other things came to and were stored at 11, Royal Avenue till the following morning when they were removed by Mr. Neighbour's cart because Mrs. Runcieman thought there was not room for them—they were taken to Cheltenham Terrace—they never came back to Royal Avenue—there were no alterations at the Royal Avenue—Mowle lived by waiting at the clubs and collecting money at times owing to him by several people—part of last year he had pupils—his friends in Manchester sent him, I believe,£1 a week—Mrs. Runcieman had money sent to her—I kept myself as there was not always food in the house—the boarders provided for themselves—I saw the brokers in at Royal Avenue—there were difficulties about the rent and living at Hartland Road—we left without notice and went to Mrs. Runcieman's.

Cross-examined. by MR. HUTTON. I was always known as Mrs. Mowle at these lodgings—we did not see much of Brooke towards the last—he called several times after the furniture was sent in—he came more then than he did before—he appeared anxious to get the money—Mowle and Neighbour went to Manchester—Mr. Neighbour was building the billiard room—I heard Brooke say Lombard's money must be plaid—Brooke was provided with refreshments sometimes, but if there was nothing to offer he was not asked.

Cross-examined. by MR. SYMMONS. Mr. Lombard gave me a luncheon at the Horseshoe with Mr. Brooke—I do not remember his calling me any name, but I was introduced to him as Mrs. Mowle—in consequence of a telegram one of the Lombards called—he saw Mrs. Runcieman and Mowle, and I was in the room part of the time—Mr. Lombard was told

the furniture had been removed, and he asked if Mr. Mowle would give him a bill—there was a letter from a solicitor, and I knew Mrs. Runcieman was compelled to complete the purchase of a house—I helped to select the goods—the club at Cheltenham Terrace was not started, because Mrs. Runcieman could not complete—there was also a difficulty about the furniture; more furniture was wanted than came—a club could not be started with the place in that unfurnished state—Mowle hoped to make a profit from the club—there was just a wall round for the billiard room it was not roofed in, the builders not going on for want of money—I never saw Mrs. Runcieman's letters from Manchester—I knew they had been sent to Mowle from his cousins at Gatley Hill, Cheedle, near Manchester—he got £10 and other sums, and a nice piano—he got some money on the piano.

Cross-examined. by Mrs. Runcieman. You once or twice lent me money which you had back—I do not know what you lent Mr. Mowle—Mr. Kendall, of Cheedle, sent you £10—Mowle was not ill, and you did not take him in and nurse him; he went out each day—I never asked you for money at Quez Road—I did not want it, Mowle provided my food and I was working for you—I pawned some plate for you—I redeemed it for you—it was in the name of Knight—I did not ask you to lend me £25—Mowle asked you in Fleming's presence—he had it—he went regularly to the club and brought money home, with which I kept house 6 weeks—my two boys, aged 15 and 8, were with me at Royal Avenue—they are children of my husband, who is still alive as far as I know—I remained with you at Royal Avenue till November—you had three servants, two months and a fortnight, Emily Rose and Hannah, during the time I was with you—in November my health failed and I had to leave—you had nothing to do with Mowle's furniture—you did not tell me you were dissatisfied with Fleming—I remember a Mr. Cox calling on you, and others I do not know, at Hartland Road—I told you my name was Mrs. Clarke.

Re-examined. The club Mowle went to was the Athenaeum—I believe Brooke went there occasionally—Mowle told me Brooke had recommended him to a firm where he could be supplied with furniture on credit—Mowle was a member of the club—he said he could bring £3 a week from the club when he asked you to lend him money—the club was closed soon afterwards.

WILLIAM LOVELACE . I am a salesman to Mr. Rowley, a furniture dealer, of 216, High Street, Camden Town—in June last, in consequence of a visit from Mr. Lumsden, I went to 13, Cheltenham Terrace, where I saw Mr. Fleming, who showed me gas fittings, bedding, and furniture—I offered £19 for them—they appeared to be new—about July 14th or 15th Fleming and Lumsden (Mowle) called—Mowle said he wished to sell, and would take my offer—he said his friend had bought it, as he had been going to furnish a house, but had altered his mind and was going to sell off—I asked to see the receipt and he showed me one, of which this appears to be a copy—I did not know the name on it, Lombard—the amount was about £56 or £58, but this includes gas fittings—I did not buy any gas fittings, only the beds—I took the goods to my employer—I paid the money to Mowle—the goods were sold—I saw Mrs. Runcieman at 13, Cheltenham Terrace, on the second visit—she tried to persuade him not

to sell them—she said his friends would be angry, because they had been put to great expense in purchasing these goods, and there would be a loss—he said he wanted the cash, and he would sell.

Cross-examined. by MR. SYMMONS.£19 was a fair price for what I bought—I did not notice whether the receipt said for cash or bills, I saw the stamp was erased and the receipt referred to what I was buying.

GEORGE CONWAY NESBIT . I am a photographer and the proprietor of 50, High Road, Kil burn—the basement was let as a club to Mr. Fleming—furniture was brought in and a social club carried on—I was a member—I paid half-a-crown entrance fee—it developed into a gambling club and was closed when the police were about to visit it—there were about 50 or 60 members—I did not see Brooke till the things had been removed—I have seen Mowle there—the rent commenced at £80—there was one large room—the house would rent at £344, it is very large—in the club was a billiard table, little tables, settees, chairs and different things—the rent was paid for November, December, and January, monthly, in advance—on May 3rd I found that the things had been removed during the night—I had had no notice—Mowle was a billiard player—he did not appear to have anything to do with the management—I saw Mayman there.

Cross-examined. by MR. HUTTON. Brooke came to know if it was correct that the things had been removed—he had heard a report—he seemed upset—he said that the things were his and had not been paid for—I had no business with Brooke; he offered—I contemplated furnishing—the other part of the house is used as business premises—Brooke told me he was engaged for Lombard's, and that he wanted to get business right and left.

WILLIAM FLEMING . I am a greengrocer and furniture dealer at 24, Glentworth Street, Dorset Square—my brother Frank lived with me in May last—he was connected with the Athenaeum Club, High Road, Kilburn—one Monday morning in May, on arriving at my house, I found the whole club furniture, which had been placed in my house, was shifted—I afterwards saw it at 13, Cheltenham Terrace—my brother took me there and Mowle asked me to buy the things—I offered a ridiculous price,£5, because I did not want them—I was given to understand they cost £78—they were new—he gave no reason for selling them—I did not ask him—except some gas fittings and the billiard table the furniture came back to my house—I sold some of them, a carpet and so on—my brother asked me—I gave him the money—I have sold the chairs and gas fittings—I have not seen my brother since—he did not say he was not going to return—the police coming on the Saturday night was the first intimation I had of it.

Cross-examined. by MR. SYMMONS. I saw the goods and bid for them about July.

EDWARD JOHN SMITH . I live at 96, Hanley Road, Finsbury Park—I am employed by Wright & Company, billiard table makers of Westminster Bridge Road—I sold on the hire and purchase system a billiard table for about £78 to a Mr. Fleming—in October, 1896—it was to be paid by instalments—I got £30—calling at Fleming's address, 50, High Road, Kilburn, in May last, I found the billiard table was not there—I made enquiries—Mr. Fleming gave me some information and I retook possession of the billiard table at 13, Cheltenham Terrace, the instalments

not having been paid—it was removed with my sanction—I have it now.

Cross-examined. by MR. HUTTON. I paid £10 to Mr. Maymar, who told me where the table was.

WILLIAM NEIGHBOUR . I am a builder and decorator, of 301, King's Road, Chelsea—early in 1897 I had the letting and selling of the lease of 13, Cheltenham Terrace, for the landlord, Mr. Falcke—I saw Mrs. Runcieman, as Mrs. Mowle, about it on May 14th, first—I addressed her as Mrs. Mowle, and she did not deny it till after a Mrs. Mowle called, when I was not in—I told her the lease was for 21 years, the first 14 years at £40 and the last seven at £42, and the premium asked,£300—she asked me if I thought it was worth it, I said "Yes," and then she said "I will take it"—an arrangement was made to go over the house, and I went over it with her—she said she wanted if for herself to let as a lodging-house and furnished apartments—I went over the house again with her, Brooke, Fleming and, I think, Mowle—after the conversation and Brooke had gone, she said Brooke was going to put £100 into the concern—they asked me if there was room for a billiard room in the garden—I measured it, and said, "Yes"—when I told her that she said, "You see the surveyor and get plans out, and let me have a specification—after that they decided to use it as a non-political or social club—the price of building the billiard room was to be £270, and £5 10s. for steps outside the front door—she agreed to pay that—she said it was a lot of money—Brooke said it was a very fair price for the work, and "I should advise that Mr. Neighbour had the work"—afterwards he said he hoped I would make a good job of it, "because I have got money in this"—the contract for the purchase of the lease was not completed—an agreement was come to, and there was to be a deposit of £30, the rest to be paid on July 15th or 16th—the agreement for lease was sent to Mrs. Runcieman, who signed it—on May 27th the deposit was not paid—she gave me £5—she said, "The name is Mrs. Mowle, my name is not Mrs. Mowle"—I said, "I have called you Mrs. Mowle up to this time, how is it you are Mrs. Runcieman now?"—she said, "Well, I have left Chelsea a good many years, and I do not wish people to know I have cloud back again"—I understood she had lived there as Mrs. Runcieman—shortly afterwards Brooke and Fleming came to look over the house, and I went with them to see what furniture was required for the different rooms, and I took measurements—Brooke and Fleming made a list—in small instalments I got about £19, the last £2 in December—on June 12th she asked me and I moved some bedsteads, bedding, and other furniture, from Royal Avenue to Cheltenham Terrace—I afterwards saw it there, and some gas fittings which came in a crate—a billiard table had arrived before that—the goods were stored there—Fleming said that Mr. Falcke had consented to their being tenant at will, pending the completion of the contract—I noticed that part of the furniture disappeared—the billiard table went first, and then the bedsteads and bedding—I asked Mowle about the billiard table, and he said, "I should make you laugh about that, it is a laughable story; Brooke had arranged with a man named Mayman to get the billiard table away Fiona Fleming, Brooke sent a telegram to Fleming at Cheltenham Terrace, he went to 11, Royal Avenue, where Mowle lived, and he said, "I have a telegram from Brooke to meet him at the Serpentine. Will you go?"

He said, "Yes," and that they waited, but Brooke did not turn up, and they went on to Kilburn and came home again to Royal Avenue; a few minutes afterwards Fleming said, "Old man, what has become of the billiard table?"and that they went to Walton Street station and threatened to lock up somebody; it was really suggested by Clarke that I had something to do with it, but I happened to know the gentleman, and he happened to know me—I did not know anything about it—I had begun building the billiard room early in July, and was going on with it—I had cleared four or five large trees in the garden, put the foundations in, and built the four walk up six feet high, and had got on at my shop with the carpenter's work—I had spent about £87—Mrs. Runcieman had promised me 80 per cent, as the work proceeded—I got nothing; but she made me answerable for £21 of the remaining deposit to the bank, as Mr. Falcke was going to foreclose—Mr. Falcke owed me £21 odd for repairs, and I gave him a credit note on her promising to repay me on the Saturday—I got none of that back—from July to December 11th I got £10 in "driblets"—Mr. Falcke foreclosed and took possession of the house—it is now empty, and three quarters' rent lost—there is a space of 37 feet by 20 feet in the walls, which are built against the garden wall, and there is no roof—I went every day for the money—I saw Mrs. Runcieman from time to time—one day Brooke read from notes, and Mowle copied, a list of the furniture—Mrs. Mowle, Fleming, and Mrs. Kuncieman were present—Mrs. Runcieman told me she acted as guardian to Mowle with Dr. Ligterwood, and that the banking account was being changed from Parr's Bank, Kilburn, to Parr's Bank, Sloane Square, and that she had entrusted Dr. Ligterwood, of the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, to do that—on one occasion I saw a bundle of these printed letters, commencing with "An earnest appeal to those whose sympathies are ever with the distressed," &c. (Asking for astistance and giving well-known names as references)—I wrote a circular letter to each of the references and handed the replies to Inspector Brock well—Mowle told me he was a married man not living with his wife—on another occasion Mrs. Runcieman said she was going to the North and that she believed if I went to see Mr. Kendall at Cheedle, in Cheshire, with Mowle, he would possibly get cash, of which I should have some to help her off my debt—I understood that Mrs. Kendall was Mowle's first cousin and allowed him £1 a week for life—I took the journey and saw Mrs. Kendall—Mrs. Runcieman paid the fare and gave me an introduction—Mowle waited outside—I came back without any thing—I afterwards told Mowle what she said, that "I have told Mrs. Runcieman I do not wish to see her, nor have any negotiations from her at all, nor do I wish to see Mr. Mowle."

Cross-examined. by MR. HUTTON. Brooke was not present when the agreement for the lease was signed—he did not lead me to believe Runcieman and Mowle were substantial people—Brooke said, "I think they are trying to do us." I said, "Who?"and he said, "That lady"—that was after I had stopped work, and in the street at Royal Avenue—I said, "I do not think Mowle knows anything about it"—Brooke said, "As soon as I hear anything I will let you know"—he called at my place to see if anything fresh had turned up—Brooke did not get anything out of my work, nor did I—I do not believe he attempted to defraud me, nor to

induce me to take up the work—I have not the slightest complaint against him—from what I saw I am of opinion he had nothing to do with any fraud.

Cross-examined. by MR. SYMMONS. Mowle never suggested that Mrs. Runcieman was any relation of his—my men moved the furniture from Royal Avenue to Cheltenham Terrace—Mowle asked me, "Did I think if Mr. Falke foreclosed he would take what there was on the premises," and I said, "I did not," and I said, "I do not know what he will do"—I was induced to enter into the contract to build by believing Mrs. Runcieman would get the money, and not by anything Mowle said or did—she was my employer—he was present when the price was mentioned, but he did not have anything to do with the acceptance—I saw the lady who was spoken of as Mrs. Mowle—from Mr. Falcke I gathered who Mrs. Runcieman was—when I pressed for money she paid me £5 to go to the Kendall's, who appeared to be people in the silk trade, and worth probably half a million of money—I concluded Mrs. Kendall would have helped Mowle but for Mrs. Runcieman—I knew Mowle was residing with her and that Mrs. Mowle was acting as a servant—not before the contract—Mowle never suggested what Mrs. Runcieman's position was—I saw him hundreds of times.

Cross-examined. by Mrs. Runcieman. I was told that Mrs. Mowle had called before I saw you—I did not know you—you told me you had lived at the Royal Duke of York School—I have never given you a receipt for £30, I gave you one for five pounds—you said you wanted a large room as a billiard room or dining room for lodgers—you had lady lodgers—also Mr. Mowle—I do not remember one or two colonels being there—the contract was for £275 10s. including £5 10s. for wooden steps, which, under the County Council bye laws, were not allowed to be put up—the bath room was to be on the second landing, because you said your lodgers would not go downstairs—I washed the front door and varnished it at 11, Royal Avenue, and you asked for the bill for that—I received £4 that you drew from your lodgers in advance at Cheltenham Terrace—it was left with Mrs. Neighbour—I knew you received money "which Mowle never had, because I had seen a letter from the Kendalls—I was a stranger to the Kendalls, and should have done better if I had gone without your introduction—I did not see any letters from the Kendalls to you, I did to Mowle—I did not hear Mr. Falcke threaten you, he merely said that you were one of the greatest swindlers that he had had to deal with, and the sooner you were within four walls the better he should like it—I did say, if you would depend upon me I would help you all I could, and if you could recommend me to some friends for work it would be a lift to me, but that was before I found I was not going to get any cash for the billiard room—I indentified my account against you in the police-court, with the postmark on it—I was asked by Mowle to remove the furniture from 11, Royal Avenue, you did not want it removed, but it was bought for Cheltenham Terrace—I do not recollect whether you were present when it was moved—you wanted it moved over night, but I came early in the morning—we moved it to Cheltenham Terrace—it is the general rule in the building trade to pay 75 or 80 per cent, as the work goes on—Falke was not refused a similar Action to this at Westminster, he told me he was going to lock you up and

I said, "You had better let her alone for a bit, she will get looked up soon enough"—you told me you had a son-in-law, not that Mowle was your son-in-law—you referred me to Ligterwood, who said, "I have thought she was a respectable woman up, to a date"—I did not ask you for an I.O.U. and say that I would tear up your appeal, nor did your reply" This appeal is no value to me"—I have had £19.

DOUGLAS FALCKE . I live at 97, Church Street, Chelsea—I am the owner of the lease of 13, Cheltenham Terrace—I was introduced to Runcieman there as Mrs. Mowle by Mr. Neighbour—she did not object—I saw Mowle a few minutes afterwards—a purchase of the lease was agreed upon for £300, to be completed by July 14th—I got from Mr. Neighbour £9, and a receipt for £21 for repairs he had done for me—not getting my money on July 14th I took possession of the premises—Mrs. Runcieman made to me a good many statements—one was that she would give me a couple of bonds, for £100 each, if I would wait three months for the rest of the money—I never saw the bonds—I got nothing more.

Cross-examined. by MR. SYMMONS. I asked Mowle if he was a relative of Runcieman—he said, "Certainly not"—I asked him about her position, and if she was likely to have money to complete the purchase—he said he knew very little about her financial position—he lived at her house.

Cross-examined by Mrs. Runcieman. I did not know that he lived with you in a large house in Cathcart Street—you said the bonds were at your bankers—you said you had £70, in the house—I never saw it—I did not offer to foreclose if you would pay the £70 as well as the £30—I foreclosed about the end of August by my solicitor writing you—I did not threaten you—I said I would go to every house agent in Chelsea and stop your taking any other house—I did not say I would go to Lord Cairns and ruin you amongst your friends—when Mr. Neighbour's son said you owed him £100, I said, "If you do not pay this man I shall get a warrant out for you, which will place you within four walls"—I never said I would ruin you—I said I would employ detectives, not that I would spend £40—nor that I would leave no stone unturned to do you harm.

Re-examined. I was not referring to the four walls of the billiard room, but to this place.

JOHN FREDERICK SABINE . I am manager of Parr's Bank, High Road, Kilburn—in July, 1896, Mrs. Runcieman opened an account with an advance of £110 on two bonds of the Devon and Somerset Railway—they were certificates of debenture stock—£110 was placed to her credit—£80 was drawn out the same day—the stock was transferred into the names of nominees of the bank, and the interest credited—the stock was worth £130—it went up a little—in consequence of its sale she was credited, and her security released—this is a statement which shows the account overdrawn £1 7s. 5d. in January—since January the account has not been operated upon—there was a balance of £26 8s. 11d. to her credit after repaying the stock—since these proceedings we wrote her, and the letter was returned through the Dead Letter Office—I do not remember anything being said about transferring the account to the Sloane Square Branch—at the time of the overdraft there were only four small credits amounting to £14.

Cross-examined. by Mrs. Runcieman. I know nothing about writing to your

landlord that you could not pay till after January 19th—if I had known where you were I should have asked you to close the account—I have no recollection of your application to overdraw, or of Mr. Palmer calling—your statement that you had had an account at the Kensington Branch influenced me in opening the account.

GEORGE INGLIS BOYLE . I am an official of the Bankruptcy Court—I produce file of bankruptcy proceedings against Ann Hollier Runcieman of 1. Cathcart Road, West Brompton—she was adjudged bankrupt on May 26th, 1892—the date of the petition is April 26th, 1891—her liabilities were £423 12s. 8d. and her assets £36—her discharge was suspended on October 6th, 1892, for two years, expiring on October 25th, 1894.

Cross-examined. by Mrs. Runcieman. To see whether £800 or £900 worth of furniture was stolen from you I should have to go through your public examination.

OCTAV ARCIER . I am a hairdresser, of 32, Sloane Street—I was formerly tenant of 11, Royal Avenue, on a three years' agreement—at Lady Day, last year, I sub-let the premises to Mrs. Runcieman at £65—I got £6 on account—I brought the matter into Court and the amount due was to be paid by instalments—I got the second quarter's rent through my solicitor—I have not retaken possession, I cannot get the keys—I wrote to Runcieman at Holloway, but got no answer.

BENN ANDREWS . I am a retired solicitor's managing clerk—I live at 19, Ossingden Road, Maida Vale—I was the landlord of 17, Burton Road, in 1895—in September 1895, Brooke and his wife were joint tenants, at £50 a year for three years, payable quarterly—he did not pay the rent at Christmas, 1896—I distrained in January, 1897—I was paid the full amount in two instalments—he left in May or June 1897, owing £25—the tenancy was determined on May 22nd, when the amount due was £18—he gave me a bill—I did not present it, because Brooke did me a good turn—I was paid two instalments and the tenancy went on.

Cross-examined. by MR. BUTTON. He offered to buy the lease for £525—he sent me a telegram while people were looking over the house, which I had advertised for sale—I gave him a reference, as tenant, to a gentleman at Cricklewood at £40, as he had been paying me £50—I never asked him for the £25—I know nothing against him—he is well connected, except that he got in arrear and I had to put the brokers in.

Re-examined. Since he left I have not seen anything of him.

THOMAS BROCK WELL (Detective Officer.) I was in Court on January 20th, 1898, when Augustus Minter was examined as a witness in the presence of the prisoners and Brooke's solicitor—he was cross-examined—his evidence was read over to him—he signed it as it is here, and this is the exhibit referred to (A receipt signed by Brooke for furniture sold to Minter for £21 10s. in November, 1887. (Read) "I live at 57, Ashford Road, Cricklewood—I am a turf commission agent—I know the prisoner Brooke—on or about November 18th he came to me at the Crown public-house at Cricklewood—he came and sat down by the side of me and said he was in trouble; the brokers were in and unless they were paid out by the following morning that his furniture would be seized and his wife and children thrown out into the street—I said I was very sorry to hear that, and I thought he would have had

friends to help him—I said to him, "Rather than see your children turned into the street I'll come and pay the broker's man for you, but I don't know much of you and I must have some security; when I have paid the brokers you must bring some of your furniture to my place to the value of what I am going to pay"—he agreed to that—I understood it was his furniture—we went straight to his house, 5, Larch Road—I never saw a man there in possession—Brooke showed me the warrant under which the distress was made when he was in the Crown—I paid the prisoner £11 5s. 6d. in the presence of the broker's man in Brooke's house. £10 for a quarter's rent, five days brokers expenses,£1 2s. 6d., and 3s. for the warrant—when that was done the broker's man brought some of the furniture to my house and I gave him 5s. at the request of Brooke—I and Brooke both took part in the removal—the next evening, or the evening after that, Brooke asked me to give him another 9s, 6d., which I did; Brooke owed me £1 before this, and between that and the 24th he owed me another £1 for business transactions—he came to me on the 24th and said, "If you give me another £5 that will complete the purchase"—I consented, and gave him the £5, making £19 in all—he said, "I'll give you a receipt," I said, "Never mind about that"—he went home and came back to me in about a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes and gave this, receipt, marked 32, for £21 10s.—I said, "you've made a mistake and given me a receipt for £2 10s. more than I gave you," he said, "Well, you said you didn't want the furniture, but you've bought the furniture and here's the receipt; when I'm in a better position I want to have the furniture back, and the £2 10s. is for your trouble and kindness to me," and I agreed to that—the furniture is still at my house—a police sergeant and Mr. Lombard came and saw it about five weeks ago.

Cross-examined. The warrant was for a quarter's rent due at the end of September—I understood it was the fifth day the broker had been in—Brooke seemed much distressed—the removal was done openly, hut it was evening time—up to that time I was only holding the furniture as security. Re-examined. Brooke said he would purchase the furniture back for £21 10s.—I was willing at any time to give the furniture up to Brooke for £21 10s."

SAMUEL FREDERICK CAYFORD . I am landlord of 188, Glengall Road, Kilburn—in July, 1896, Mowle came to me about 43, Hartland Road—he referred me to Mrs. Runcieman, of 11, Quex Road, High Road, Kilburn, and H. Mayman, 56, Ashford Road, Cricklewood—he went into possession at the rent of £38 per annum on this agreement.

Cross-examined. by MR. SYMMONS. I saw Mowle once after the house was let to him—I have seen cheques cashed for him, drawn in the name of Kendall by a Mr. Hawkins.

ALEXANDER PHILLIPS . I am an auctioneer and house agent, of High Road, Kilburn—I was employed to collect the rents of 43, Hartland Road—I called for the Christmas rent, 1896, on January 14th, 1897—it was never paid—some weeks afterwards I saw the house was empty—there had been no notice—I got possession.

JOSEPH VYPOND . I was manager to a former house agent at 12, High Road, Kilburn—my employer was the agent for the owner of 11, Quex Rood, Kilburn—in September, 1896, in substitution for Mrs. Newman

and Miss Cutler, I accepted Mrs. Runcieman as tenant—we distrained for the rent due Christmas, 1896—we were paid out—on March 17th I found the goods had been removed dicing the night without notice—I made enquiries, and ascertained her address was 11, Royal Avenue, Chelsea—I did not trouble to apply for it—with difficulty I got a latch-key of 11, Quex Road, and got in.

Cross-examined. by Mrs. Runcieman. I distrained once, only on January 21st—no one told you to my knowledge that Mr. Palmer would not wait for his rent 10 minutes—you did not say as soon as you could get away you would.

ELIAS BOWER (Detective Sergeant). I received warrants in this case—on December 11th I arrested Brooke in the Edgware Road about five p.m.—I said, "Mr. Brooke, you know me?"—he said, "I do not remember you"—I was with another officer—I said, "We are police officers, we are going to arrest you for unlawfully conspiring with Mayman, Mowle, and others in obtaining goods from Messrs. Lombard and others with intent to cheat and defraud"—he said, "I do not see why, I was simply a commission agent for them, I merely introduced people to them, but it was for them to make enquiries and satisfy themselves about them; I only introduced them, and know nothing about them"—I found upon him 2s. 2 1/2 d., some letters, and pawn tickets—about 7.30 the same evening I arrested Mowle—I told him the charge the same as I told Brooke—he said, "I gave Mr. Lombard a bill and afterwards renewed it in hopes of paying, but unfortunately I could not, "I said" But you have parted with the goods obtained," he replied "Yes"—when the warrant was read to him he said, "There is not one atom of truth in it"—I found upon him a halfpenny and some pawn tickets—later the same evening I arrested Mrs. Runcieman at 11, Royal Avenue—I read the warrant to her—she said, "I do not understand it, explain it"—I said, "It is simply this, that you agreed with the others to make representations to Messrs. Lombard and others in order to defraud them"—she said, "Who are the others you speak of?"—I said, "One is Mr. Falcke, with reference to 13, Cheltenham Terrace"—she said "I was going to buy that house"—I said, "It is alleged that the representations you made with regard to yourself and others were false, as you were not in a position to make such a purchase," she did not reply—on November 9th, Brooke came to Scotland Yard—he asked me if Mr. Lombard had called—I said, "Before I answer that question, who are you, and why do you want to knew?"—he said, "Oh, I have come to give some information"—I said, "Very well then, I will take it"—I took a statement from him in pencil—this is a copy: "Walter Column Brooke, 5, Larch Road, Ashford Road, Cricklewood, Commission Agent, states:—" I have seen Mr. Lombard, 50, High Road; Willsden Green, with reference to some goods having been obtained by false pretences. I call it false pretences. The goods and decorations were obtained by a Mr. Millard to the extent of £260. When I saw Mr. Lombard this morning, he told me that his brother had come to Scotland Yard this morning to lay an information, and that he had received a telegram from him not to enter into any arrangement with me until he returned. He suggested that I should come here and give what information I could. He also paid my omnibus fare. The fact is Mr. Millard was not in a position to pay for

this furniture when he ordered it. He has since sold his business at 9, Ohichele Terrace, Cricklewood, and the furniture to a Mr. Brown. He, in turn, is going to dispose of the furniture. I do not know where Miltard is, as he gave us a false address when leaving, viz., 68, Fermat Road, Harrow Road, W. This is all the information I can give at present. I have since filled in a guarantee form in the Metropolitan Fire Insurance Company, Limited, 28 and 29, Chancery Lane, according to the wish of Messrs. Lombard Bros. W. C. BROOKE."—As he was leaving the room he said, "Of course, if Mr. Lombard has not laid an information, it is unnecessary for me to say more, but I thought that if he was going to commence criminal proceedings, then I am going to give evidence"—I searched the prisoners' premises—at 11, Royal Avenue, I found a number of documents, including 25 pawn tickets, some County Court summonses, tradesmen's bills, paid and unpaid, and a Bank pass book, made up to January, 1897, a book of the London and Westminster Loan and Discount Company, Limited, referring to Mrs. A. H. Runcieman's bill of sale to secure £60 and interest, and one repayment of 10s., about 300 to 500 prints of Earnest Appeals, and this letter, signed Stephen Lumsden (Submitting the Appeals for Donations)—at 5, Larch Road, I found, among other letters, the correspondence between Brooke And Lombards, produced, as to Mowle—on one letter to Brooke, of June 11th, from Mowle, was a draft letter to Fleming, in Brooke's writing, about commencing business in earnest, with "business" underlined; another, signed Stephen Mowle, with a copy letter to be sent to Lombards written on the back of an advertisement, and another from Mowle stating, "The old man is simply raving," who I infer was Mrs. Runcieman; and another letter, with marks of exclamations after such sentences as, "You called in my absence, oh?"and, "Send the 9th part of a man," and signed, "Ever than, Stephen," and Mowle's card—these are the unpaid bills (These were tradesmen's bills from 6s. to £1 16s. 3d.)

Cross-examined. by MR. HUTTON. The County Court summonses against Brooke were for small amounts.

Cross-examined. by MR. SYMMONS. I have seen the programmes of concerts—I have no doubt Mowle appeared in the Ariostos Quartettes referred to, nor that he is an expert pianist, nor that he is well connected, and has relations in a good position at Cheedle.

Mrs. Runcieman's letters were read at her request, they shewed that she had been in correspondence on various subjects, including her own position, with various people of influence. She called evidence to show she had been of good position and character years ago, and had dealt in property, and said that her bankruptcy was brought about by the tenants of two of her furnished houses taking away her furniture. She denied any conspiracy with the other defendants.

Evidence for BROOKE'S defence called by the Prosecution.

WALTER WARWICK . I am Secretary of the West Hampstead Building Society—Brooke was a collector for two years—he was paid, by commission, about £100 a year—he ceased to act in August last—he got about 250 new members—he discontinued working, so we dismissed him.

Cross-examined. On paying one month's subscription to the society, the agent was paid 3s. per share—of the 250 to 270 members he introduced, with an average of four shares each, about 130 continue.

Brooke and Mowle received good character.

GUILTY .—RUNCIEMAN— Eighteen Months' Hard Labour. MOWLE— Six Months' Hard Labour.

BROOKE—Recommended to mercy on account of his previous good character and the strong temptation owing to the reckless manner in which the firm carried on their business, for which the JURY desired to censure them. But the police stated that Mowle was the dupe of Brooke, who had introduced to Messrs. Lombard nine customers of no substance. BROOKE— Nine Months' Hard Labour.


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