2nd February 1909
Reference Numbert19090202-34
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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KING. Richard Edward (54, bookseller) ; in incurring certain debts and liabilities—to wit, £410s. to Murray, Limited, on August 2, 1907; £1 5s. to James Bowmer Allison, on or about January 5, 1908; £2 5s. to Henry Elliston Humphris, on July 23, 1908; £12 to Albert Victor James, on or about August 11, 1908; £16 to Henry Fairburn, of September 2, 1908; £8 to Eric Bennett, on October 14, 1908; £1 15s. to William Bunning Batten, on October 16, 1908; £3 12s. to Thomas James Crompton, on October 23, 1908; £3 to Thomas Boycott, on November 2, 1908; £1 3s. to Amos Arthur Appleton, on November 6, 1908; £15 to. Albert Wesley Holt on November 16, 1908, did unlawfully obtain credit under false pretences and by means of fraud other than false pretences; unlawfully obtaining by false pretences certain printed books—to wit, four books, value £4 10s., from Murray, Limited, on August 2, 1907; 16 books, value £1 5s., from James Bowmer Allison, on or about January 5 1908; certain books, value £2 5s., from Henry Elliston Humphris on July 23, 1908; 36 books, value £12, from Albert Victor James, on or about August 11, 1908; 36 books, value £16, from Henry Fairburn, on September 2, 1908; 35 books value £8. from Eric Bennett, on October 14, 1908; 14 books, value £1 15s., from William Bunning Batten, on October 16, 1908; 20 books, value £3 12s., from Thomas James Crompton, on October 23, 1908; 20 books, value £3, from Thomas Boycott on November 2, 1908; eight books, value £1 3s., from Amos Arthur Appleton, on November 6, 1908; 35 books, value £15, from Albert Wesley Holt, on November 16, 1908, in each case with intent to defraud.

Mr. Muir, Mr. Travers Humphreys, and Mr. S. Ingleby Oddie prosecuted; Mr. J. Wells-Thatcher defended.

Rev. HERBERT WILLIAMS, St. John's Clergy House, Southward I have known prisoner since three years ago, when he came to me and asked me to assist him While in difficulties. I put him in some rooms at 101, Hanover Buildings, Tooley Street, where he remained about two years. I believe he was selling a cookery book from there. There was nothing on the door to show that he was carrying on business there.

Cross-examined. One of my clergy was bail for prisoner at the police court. I believe he sold a great number of the cookery books; it was a book that he had made up himself in earlier editions; he had the plates of it, and through some friends they were released out of a sort of pawn, and he was printing and selling them. Prisoner bought books for me; I had great confidence in him; he had the run of my library and got books for me at a discount; he has a great knowledge of books.

CHARLES EDWARD FEAKS , manager to Murray, Limited, Leicester, booksellers. In July, 1907, I received order produced from "R. E. King and Co., wholesale and export booksellers and wholesale stationers, 101, Hanover Buildings, Tooley Street, London," ordering from our catalogue two books "Borrow" and" Hudibras "; in August we received from the same firm an order for Sebohm's "British Birds," in 4 vols., at £4 10s. I forwarded the books, believing the firm to be a substantial one, desiring the books to resell. On September 28, 1907, I received an order for Laing's" Butterflies; I replied saying the book was sold. I applied for payment, but have not received it.

Cross-examined. The order was written in a businesslike way. We are not members of Stubbs or the Trade Protection Society.

GREVILLE HOWARD BROWN , 113, Edgware Road, second-hand book dealer. I know prisoner as "F. Cooper." On August 16, 1907, sold books to me. About a week afterwards he sold me Sebonm's

British Birds," in 4 vols., at 30s., receiving 15s. and another took in exchange.

Cross-examined. The trade price of Sebohm's" British Birds" is £5 10s. to £4; at 30s. I had it a bargain; that was the price prisoner asked me. The book I gave him in lien of the 15s. was Scott's Novels, in 48 vols. I do not know if people sell books in a false name; it has never been done before worth me.

FRANK CARSLAKE , editor of the "Book Auction Record." I collect debts in the book trade and called on prisoner in July, 1907, at Hanover Buildings. He afterwards came to see me at 35, Pond Street, Hampstead, twice. He owed an account to James Pin, Edinburgh, of £4 13s. 6d., which he was sued for and afterwards paid. I had a number of other accounts to collect from prisoner, which I wrote to him about, including one from Murray, Limited, Leicester, £4 10s. They have not been paid. He stated that he had customers to whom he hoped to sell the books; also that he had a lawsuit running and that he could not pay the booksellers, because he must keep that suit going by paying the fees.

Cross-examined. I am the hon. secretary of the International Association of Antiquarian Booksellers, formerly called the SecondHand Booksellers' Association; its address is 35, Pond Street; my house. It has 231 members scattered over the world. One of its objects is to collect debts. Prisoner promised to pay interest on debts. I was very sorry for prisoner when I first knew him; I thought he had been unfortunate. I had been to other addresses of prisoner, but never could find him; they were all sweet stuff shops. He called on me because he had given a post-dated cheque on a bank where he had no account; that is the reason I got Pint's debt paid.

JAMES BOWNER HARRISON , Bridgwater, schoolmaster. In December, 1907, I advertised in the" Exchange and Mart" to sell a set of Dickens's works and the International Library and received an answer from R. E. King and Co., 80, Chancery Lane, asking for the books to be sent on approval to 6, Red Lion Square, London, which I did, believing King and Co. were a respectable firm of book dealers. They stated the International Library were no use to them and returned them, and I ultimately sold the Dickens in 16 voles, to R. E. King and Co. for 25s. I have not been paid.

Cross-examined. I paid the carriage on the books both ways; prisoner did not send me a postal order for them.

JAMES POLLOCK , solicitor's clerk and law typist to Mr. Hope, 10, Bell Yard, living at 80, Chancery Lane. From October to December, 1907, prisoner had the use of my office at 80, Chancery Lane. He used billhead produced, "R. E. King and Co., wholesale and export booksellers, wholesale stationers." He used to come daily, open letters, and answer them. There was nothing on the door to indicate that R. E. King and Co. carried on business at my rooms. Occasionally people called; I sometimes saw them. I do not know what they came about; sometimes it was for an account; I never knew anything about prisoner's business. Sergeant McEvoy once called; he did not see prisoner; I told him that the detective officer

had been making inquiries about him. Prisoner left in consequence at my request.

Cross-examined. Prisoner gave me a message to McEvoy that he would like to see him. My wife objected to the heavy parcels coming to the office; that was partially the reason for my asking prisoner to leave. Prisoner had a large pile of printed matter that used to be made up into books; it was in sheets. Large parcels of books were brought there and taken away from time to time. I asked prisoner whether he would have his name upon the door as there was a solicitor in the building with the same name—he said he would have it done. I have known prisoner five or six years, have done a considerable quantity of typewriting for him in connection with a law case; I did the statement of claim in that case.

Re-examined. Prisoner did not have his name put up on the door, Apart from the parcels he did not keep any stock. For some time parcels used to come and go away again; prisoner used to take them away with him. I did not know what he did with them.

HENRY ELLISTON HUMPHRIS , bookseller, Norwich. I advertised in the "Publishers' Circular" on July 18, 1908," Harmsworth SelfEducator" at £2 5s., received a postcard from" R. E. King and Co., wholesale and export booksellers, 4, Eagle Street, Holborn," ordering same to be sent by goods train. I forwarded the books, sent the bill, have applied repeatedly for payment, which I have not received, and I communicated with the police.

Cross-examined. I deal in old and new books. The" Publishers' Circular" is chiefly advertisements of books for sale.

ALFRED SMITHERS , Crouch End. I carry on business at 9, Drake Street, Red Lion Square, as a law stationer. In 1907 I had a room at 4, Eagle Street, Holborn. In December, 1907, prisoner called on me and said he wanted an address near the Law Courts as he was carrying on a lawsuit, and I allowed him to use my room for a payment of 2s. 6d. a week. Letters arrived addressed to R. E. King and Co., which prisoner called for; various parcels of books arrived which I received, and they remained until prisoner removed them. I understood he was a wholesale bookseller. On the door there was a piece of paper with "R. E. King and Co." written upon it, and also my own name, as a direction to the postman. In March, 1908, I left Eagle Street and removed to 6, Red Lion Square, where I had a room on the second floor and a small back room on the ground floor. Prisoner went with me and remained till December, 1908, continuing to pay 2s. 6d. a week. He usually came between 9.30 and 11 am., and remained for half an hour to rather more than a hour. He did not keep any account books. He referred to his banking account; I never saw any cheques. The letters varied, sometimes there was a large number; they would average eight or 10 a day. Carriers brought and took away the parcels of 'books. I had a large cupboard in the room where prisoner stored books. Callers occasionally came about books and I reported to prisoner—sometimes they stated they had not got an answer to their letter, and wanted to know if the books had arrived; on one occasion a summons came, which I put with

prisoner's letters; he said he would attend to the matter. Just before prisoner's arrest I told him I had taken a new office and that there was no room for him to have his books there. I was moving to Drake Street the day of the arrest. I did not know prisoner's private address. I only knew him as R. E. King and Co.

Cross-examined. I was told that prisoner was a bookseller by a person who called before he came, and I knew it afterwards from the large number of books that arrived. The addresses on the door were put on a piece of paper three inches by two inches, written in text hand and easily read. Prisoner told me he was a poor man or he would have paid me more. Prisoner did not have his name up at Eagle Street. Prisoner had the key of the cupboard. He had a large number of parcels arriving for some time.

ALBERT VICTOR JAMES , bookseller, Wednesbury. On August 8, 1906, I advertised in the Bazaar, Exchange and Mart" the" 'Encyclopædia Britannica' in 36 volumes, absolutely new—not a soil on one of them, £12, cost £36. Approval willingly." I received postcard produced in reply from" R. E. King and Co., 4, Eagle Street, Holborn," asking for the books to be sent, which was done by me, thinking they were a responsible firm. I had no reply, and telegraphed and received postcard produced asking if they were purchased on the deferred payment system. I replied enclosing the receipt for the last payment. R. E. King and Co. on August 28 wrote:" We find that the 'Encyclopædia' sets are fetching such small prices at present that your price is too much. Similar sets to yours are producing only £7 to £8. What is the lowest price you will take as there are so many now in the market?" I replied, declining to take less than the £12 asked for. I received no money; the books were not returned, and I communicated with my solicitors. I afterwards received a letter from R. E. King and Co., stating that the writer was going away for a few days. I obtained judgment in the Walsall County Court but have not received payment.

Cross-examined. The" Encyclopædia" cost me £37 8s. I understood prisoner's postcard stating, "We will purchase" to be a contract provided the books were as stated.

HENRY FAIRBURN , Northallerton, chemist. On August 28 I advertised in the" Bazaar, Exchange and Mart," 'Encyclopaedia Britannica'; three-quarters morocco, marble edges. As new. Best condition. 36 volumes. £16." I received in reply a postcard from R. E. King and Co., 4, Eagle Street, Holborn, "Please send us the Encyclopaedia 36 volumes on appro. and say lowest price for it. If in good condition we will purchase." I replied on August 31, stating that £16 was the lowest price and that if I did not receive a telegram by next day I would dispatch the books. They were forwarded on September 2 to R. E. King and Co. I sent them believing R. E. King and Co. were a respectable firm of booksellers. On September 19 I wrote threatening proceedings as the books had not been paid for. On September 22 R. E. King and Co. replied stating that the price was too high and that I had sent the books at my own suggestion. I answered by return of post, and afterwards placed the matter in my

solicitor Mr. Gardiner's hands who issued a summons in the Clerkenwell County Court on October 12. I received no money and communicated with the police. The books have not been returned.

Cross-examined. The books cost me £15; I did not buy them new. I did not send them on approbation. As prisoner did not send a wire I forwarded them in accordance with my letter, after giving him an extra day to wire. I made enquiries of a local bookseller, who informed me that he had done business with R. E. King end Co., and that they were a firm of booksellers. I considered the purchase was settled.

Re-examined. I showed the local bookseller prisoner's postcard and was told that they had done business with him.

ERIC BENNETT , Birchdale House, Birchdale, near Stockport, Lancashire, beekeeper. In September. 1906, I was living at Beecham, Norfolk. On September 23, 1908, advertised in the "Bazaar. Exchange and Mart," "' Encyclopædia Britannica,' 10th edition, £11 or offer." I had taken it in exchange. I got a letter from R. E. King and Co., which I have destroyed, offering £8, if in good condition. I replied on September 27, stating £10 cash was the lowest price I would take, carriage forward. On September 30 R. E. King and Co. wrote again, offering £8, which I accepted and said, "Are you a buyer of Lloyds International Library with book-case, £3 10s.?" and asking the prisoner to send deposit to the" Bazaar." R. E. King and Co. replied that they would require to see the volumes and that being dealers they did not send a deposit. Upon that I forwarded the books with a telegram, mentioning that there were only 35 volumes, because the index was bound in one volume instead of two. It was a complete set. I received no acknowledgment of arrival, and on October 18 wrote asking that the books should be sent back or £7 10s. be forwarded. The 10s. was allowed for the carriage. I got no answer, and wrote again threatening proceedings. On October 23 I received a letter stating that volume 29 was omitted, and asking for 12s. postal order for carriage. I am quite certain I forwarded all the volumes. I then forwarded 12s. postal order for carriage. On November 7 R. E. King and Co. wrote stating that they could buy a copy of the missing volume 29 from the publishers. I replied on November 8 requesting them either to forward £7 10s. or return the books. When sending them I regarded R. E. King and Co. as a genuine firm of wholesale booksellers. Volumes produced appear to be part of set I forwarded. With the books I forwarded part of the bookcase. Shelf of bookcase produced I believe to be mine. The remainder of the bookcase was packed separately and is the package produced. I have not been paid or received my books back.

ALFRED BULL , of Bull and Advance, 34 and 35, Hart Street, Bloomsbury, booksellers. On October 11, 1908, I sent postcard produced to M. Lewis, 84A, Stapleton Road, Tooting, offering £5 for an "Encyclopædia Britannica." On October 22 I received a reply from M. Lewis accepting that price and the books were forwarded. On unpacking them I found volume 29 missing, there being only 34 volumes. Shelf produced was packed with the books. The index volume of the "Encyclopædia Britannica" is sometimes in one volume and sometimes

in two. We also received two shelves and two side pieces of the bookcase, which, in that condition, were quite useless. We wrote to Lewis stating that if the missing volume was sent we would remit the amount. I subsequently received from Lewis volume 29 produced, which is slightly differently bound from the other 34 volumes. The difference is not noticeable without inspection. I then paid Lewis £5 by cheque produced, endorsed "M. Lewis." I never heard of publishers selling an odd volume of the book.

Cross-examined. There was nothing to guide me as to where the package had been packed. I should think from its appearance it had come from the country. The parcel was carefully packed and the portions of the bookcase were on the top. My price for a good copy in leather of this book would be £7 to £8; in morocco £10 to £12. About nine months ago I had a set in my catalogue offered at £10—that would be my selling price.

WILLIAM BUNNING BATTEN , Portsmouth, auctioneer. On October 2, 1906. I advertised in the "Exchange and Mart," a set of Dickens's. works in 14 volumes at £2. On October 9 I received postcard produced from R. E. King and Co., Eagle Street, Holborn, offering to buy them and requesting me to send them, if in good condition, and stating they would send cash by return. I sent two volumes on approval first, and. after correspondence, I agreed to sell at 35s., and dispatched the remaining 12 volumes. I received no acknowledgment and had some further correspondence, upon which I agreed to accept 22s. 2d. I have not been paid and I have not had my books returned. The two volumes produced are, I believe, two of those I sent.

Cross-examined. I received the books with a quantity of furniture and other effects. I believe a very large number was published.

JAMES WESTON , 106, Charing Cross Road, bookseller. In October last I received a letter, which I have lost, from Lewis, 84A, Stapleton Road, Tooting, referring to a set of Dickens's works in 14 volumes which he wished to sell. I replied offering 17s. 6d., upon which the books were delivered. I produce two of the volumes. I paid Lewis by cheque, which has been endorsed by him.

Cross-examined. I identify the volumes because they were the ones delivered to me. The publishing price was 5s. a volume, I believe net.

THOMAS JAMES CROMPTON , Ashburton, house agents' assistant. On October 16 I advertised in the "Exchange and Mart" a set of 20 volumes" International Library of Famous Literature" at £3 19s. 6d. I received postcard produced from R. E. King and Co., 4, Eagle Street, Holborn, dated October 19, asking the condition of the books. I replied, and on October 25 R. E. King and Co. wrote asking me to send them, which I did, and wrote a covering letter asking for cash by return. At that time I thought King and Co. to be a firm of respectable booksellers, who would either pay for the books or return them. I received no reply until November 4, when they wrote complaining of the binding. On November 7 I wrote offering to take £3. I did not receive the money, and on November 12 wrote demanding that the

books should be returned. I have not been paid. Last month I went to Neville and George, South Kensington, booksellers, and saw the books, which I had sent to prisoner, two volumes of which I identify (produced) by some writing and from a piece of paper being torn from the last volume—I have no doubt they are my books.

Cross-examined. I identify the books by a note written in the margin. I bought them from the Standard Publishers' Library. They cost me over £10.

CHARLES GUNNELL , clerk, London Parcels Delivery Company. I know prisoner as calling at my office to give orders to collect and deliver parcels from No. 4, Eagle Street. I identify receipt produced of October 10 for two parcels addressed to Neville and George, South Kensington, which were delivered on prisoner's order.

Cross-examined. I have not received a great number of parcels from prisoner—several. I have known him as King and Co. He signed the name of Lewis on the order produced.

THOMAS BOYCOTT , Church Street, Madeley, Salop, draughtsman. In October, 1908, I advertised in the "Exchange and Mart" "Set of 'Lloyd's International Library. 'Quite new. £3," and in reply got letter produced from R. E. King and Co., 4, Eagle Street, Holborn wholesale and export booksellers, of October 27, stating that if the books were in good condition they would purchase them. I thought they were a safe firm. I forwarded a volume on approval. On October 31 received postcard produced asking me to send the remaining 19 volumes, which I did. I wrote several times for my money but have not received payment.

(Saturday, February 6.)

HARRY GEORGE , of Neville and George, booksellers, South Kensington. I know the defendant under the name of Lewis. In November last I purchased a set of 20 volumes "Lloyd's International Library," two of which I produce, for £1 9s. 4d., which I paid to prisoner on November 1, on receipt of the books, by cheque produced, in favour of and endorsed by" M. Lewis." On November 11 prisoner wrote offering another set of the" International Library," which I purchased at £1 1s. The books came by carrier, and I forwarded cheque produced for £1 1s. in favour of "M. Lewis," which has been returned endorsed through my banker. I sent the cheque to 84A, Stapleton Road, Tooting, on receipt of the books.

Cross-examined. I believe the" International Library" was published at £8 8s. Those sold me by the prisoner were in fair condition; they are in half-calf. The second set I have parted with.

SIDNEY KIEK , of Sidney Kiek and Son, 17, Paternoster Row, booksellers. I have never seen prisoner except at Bow Street. I have had correspondence with" M. Lewis," of 84A, Stapleton Road, Tooting. On August 7 I bought from Lewis a set of "Lloyd's International Library," in 20 volumes, morocco backs, and" Harmsworth's Educator," eight volumes, half morocco, paying him 20s. per set. I received postcard produced from Lewis, dated August 19, acknowledging

postal orders for 40s., and offering a "Set of the 'Encyclopædia Britannica,' 'Times 'Last Edition, 36 volumes bound, three-quarter levant, same condition as new—I have not the room to keep them as my office is limited so I wish to sell." I replied, asking for a sample volume, and made an offer for them. The advertisement in the "Exchange and Mart" produced, put in by James, describes the books I purchased. I received from Lewis postcard produced, the date of which is obliterated:" My cousin asks me now to sell a set of 'Encyclopædia Britannica,' 35 volumes, in three-quarter levant," etc. I also received postcard dated November 5 from Lewis:" Dear Sir,—My cousin asks me to sell for her a set of 'International Library of Literature,' 20 volumes, "and asking for an offer. I have no recollection of the details of the transaction, but there is written across that postcard in my handwriting" 20s."—that was the offer I made.

Cross-examined. I cannot remember the dates or details, but I have records of every transaction that I had with the prisoner. I remember purchasing the "International Library." All cloth sets would be very similar in appearance.

ARTHUR ALBERT WESLEY HOLT , 8, Minton Road, East Croydon, builder. On October 30, 1908, I advertised in the" Exchange and Mart" "Encyclopædia Britannica," in 35 volumes, asking for cash offer. It was the edition issued by" The Times," but made up of two separate sets, partly the ninth edition and partly the 10th. On November 2 I received letter produced from R. E. King and Co., 4, Eagle Street, Holborn, and I replied offering to sell at £20. I received in reply postcard from R. E. King and Co. on November 6 stating the price was too high, and replied offering to sell for £15. On November 10 R. E. King and Co. directed me to forward the books. On November 12 I wrote asking them to send deposit, and received in reply postcard of November 14 refusing to pay a deposit but promising payment on receipt of the volumes, and stating in a postscript," We are traders not private buyers—we have a customer, so wish to receive at once." I thereupon forwarded the books, believing R. E. King and Co. were respectable traders, and that they had a customer for them. On November 23 I got a postcard stating that the books had not been delivered until Wednesday, etc. On November 28 I went to 4, Eagle Street, but could not see the prisoner or anyone representing R. E. King and Co. I wrote further letters and have had no reply, and did not succeed in getting my money for my books. About December 3 I went to a bookseller's shop at 53, Shaftesbury Avenue, kept by James Rimell and Son, and there identified the books and bookcase that I had forwarded to R. E. King and Co. I am quite sure of the bookcase.

Cross-examined. The 35 volumes consisted of two separate portions of the ninth and tenth edition, making altogether one complete set—I am not sure whether there were 35 or 36 volumes. When I went to Eagle Street someone was there in charge of the premises, and told me that that was the address of R. E. King and Co. I did not inquire whether the prisoner did business at that address. I do not recognise

the books, but they were similar to mine in appearance. I recognise the bookcase by marks on the top made by a flower-pot which I stood upon it. I have no recollection of receiving a letter from the prisoner on December 11 promising to pay me. I think he wrote at some time to that effect.

HENRY JAMES RIMELL , of Rimell and Son, 53, Shaftesbury Avenue, booksellers. I have been in the trade for some years. In August, 1908, I had a correspondence with Lewis, of Stapleton Road, Tooting. On November 23 I received letter produced offering me a set of "Encyclopædia Britannica" with bookcase. I replied offering £7 5s. and 10s. for the bookcase, making £7 15s. I received the books and sent a cheque to M. Lewis, 84A, Stapleton Road, Tooting, which has been returned through my bankers endorsed, "M. Lewis."

Cross-examined. The books were bound in three-quarter morocco, which is the second most expensive binding. I believe the published price is about £45; the bookcase would be additional. I gave £7 15s. for this set and have now sold them for £9; they are not yet delivered.

Re-examined. No dealer could afford to give £15 to sell at a profit.

At the suggestion of the Common Serjeant, similar evidence with regard to other cases was not given.

GEORGE ENGLISH BOYLE , messenger in the Court of Bankruptcy. I produced file No. 294 of the year 1900 relating to the bankruptcy of Richard Edward King. Receiving order was made April 11, and adjudication on April 18, 1900; liabilities, £6,882 11s.; no assets. The debtor is an undischarged bankrupt; the discharge has never been applied for.

Sergeant JOHN MCEVOY, E Division. On December 18, 1908. I had a warrant for the arrest of Richard Edward King and went to 84A, Stapleton Road, Tooting, where I saw the prisoner. I asked him if his name was Mr. Lewis. He said, "Yes." I said, "The Mr. Lewis who sold books to Mr. Rimell, of Shaftesbury Avenue?" He said, "Yes." I said, "I believe you are also Mr. Richard Edward King, of 4, Eagle Street, Holborn." he said, "Yes." I told him then that I was a police officer and held a warrant for his arrest. I read the warrant to him. He said, "I was arranging to pay all my debts in January next. I am getting some money from Kingston and then I can pay everyone. This is the outcome of the losses I sustained through my former solicitor's frauds, against whose executrix I am bringing an action to recover £90,000." He then produced this statement of claim (produced) in an action in which he was the plaintiff, against Fanny Milne Hudson, dated June 30, 1907. He asked me where the false pretences were in that case—the warrant was in the name of Holt with regard to the" Encyclopædia Britannica" for incurring a debt and a certain liability to Arthur Albert Holt and for unlawfully obtaining credit by means of false pretences. I told him it was alleged that when he agreed to pay £15 to Mr. Holt for the books he knew he was only able to obtain £7 15s. for them from Messrs. Rimell. He said, "That is not so.

I mean to pay every penny I owe in January next, as soon as I get my money from the Kingston business." I then took possession of a large quantity of papers at 84A, Stapleton Road, and took prisoner to Gray's Inn Road Police Station, where he was formally charged; he made no reply. On his arrest he handed me nine postcards (produced) addressed to different persons, some of whom are the prosecutors here, and saying, "We will remit the amount next week." The postcards are undated and unstamped. I found at Stapleton Road the original letters which have been put in evidence and other documents of which I have made a list, which was put in at the police court. I know the prisoner's handwriting. The documents contained in the list (Exhibit 141) are, in my opinion, in the handwriting of the prisoner. They are all signed either "R. E. King and Co.,"" M. Lewis," of 84A, Stapleton Road, or "Cooper," also the endorsements on the cheques payable to M. Lewis, and the writing across various original letters sent by various witnesses. I also searched 4, Eagle Street, Holborn. I found no business books, ledgers, cash books, or day books whatever at either address. The correspondence I found was all after October, 1908—not earlier. I also found writ relating to action by James and the order permitting special service. There are also letters from the solicitors at Wednesbury. There were also the papers in the action of Fairburn against the prisoner in the Clerkenwell County Court, also papers showing that execution was levied from Lambeth County Court on August 31, 1906, at 84A, Stapleton Road. I also found three letters from McLeod, of Oban, relating to Volume 29 of the" Encyclopædia Britannica." There were also a number of printed headings and notepaper of R. E. King and Co., of 4, Eagle Street, Holborn. Neither at 4, Eagle Street nor at Stapleton Road was there any indication that R. E. King and Co. carried on business there.

Cross-examined. When I arrested prisoner he answered the questions I put to him correctly. I have ascertained that prisoner has been negotiating with Napp, Drewitt, and Co., of Kingston, for the printing of certain books, of which he supplied the stereo plates and moulds. The papers I found at Stapleton Road were mostly upon a sofa in the front room at the flat; there was no concealment; they were in a heap or bundle, some on the table and some on the sofa, just promiscuously put together. There were those put in evidence and a great many more. Prisoner handed me the nine postcards from his pocket. He said he was going to post them and would have done so but for his arrest. The writ of James and the judgment and execution from Lambeth County Court were among the papers. I called at 80, Chancery Lane on November 8. I ascertained that he was informed of my visit. I was not surprised that he had been informed from what I ascertained subsequently.


RICHARD EDWARD KING (prisoner, on oath). I came to London about 26 years ago and commenced business in a small way as bookseller, publisher, printer, and stationer. I was financed by my family

banker, who had banked for my grandfather, my father and for myself—Mr. Henry Daniel, of Lymington, Hampshire. I travelled all over the United Kingdom, through America, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, and my business became very large indeed, turning over from £75,000 to £80,000 per annum, paying wages from £350 to £500 a week, and yielding a net profit of £5,000 to £6,000 per annum, certified by chartered accountants. In the year 1900 I had saved and got in my business a capital of £40,000. Thomas Boiling Bolton was then my solicitor, in whom I had absolute confidence and trust. He advised me to turn my business into a limited liability company, which I did in 1898, and of which the capital was £40,000 in 4,000 £10 shares. I took the whole of the share capital as the purchase money and I became managing director. I received no cash. Mr. Bolton was chairman and one of the three directors. My credit was absolutely good; I could have drawn at any moment from the Capital and Counties Bank in Threadneedle Street on my own signature without security. In the middle of 1899, or at the close of 1898 I opened bookseller's shops in various places—about 30 or possibly 38—all over the country, in the North, in the Midlands, in the South, and a few in the Eastern counties. The leases were taken in my name and I paid the rent in each case. I got books from the company which bore my name. (To the Judge.) The company was myself—I held all the shares. It was arranged with the board of directors that I could purchase goods and have them delivered to those shops on paying as a customer in the ordinary course. (To Mr. Wells-Thatcher.) The shops were absolutely my own venture. When I wanted 1,000 books I would inform the Board of directors of my company, which held about a million and a half books in stock, produced by their own machinery and work people, and they would deliver them to my shops. My managing directorship salary was not paid; that got me into difficulties and my company was put into liquidation by the trustee for the debenture-holders—Mr. Thomas Boiling Bolton. The company's assets at this time were £85,000, which were bought by Bolton nominally for £38,000, but actually for £12,000. Bolton applied for and obtained an injunction against me to restrain me from trading as a publisher, printer, or bookbinder. I afterwards started business on my own account under the name of R. E. King and Co., the name of the company being R. E. King, Limited. Before the company was started my firm was called R. E. King and Co. I started trading on my own account immediately the company was put into liquidation. The injunction. I think, was in 1902. Bolton tried to have me committed for contempt—he failed in that and then alleged that I was trading as a publisher. It was held by Mr. Justice Buckley that I was doing nothing of the kind. I continued trading as a bookseller at various addresses—in Fleet Street, at Hanover Buildings, at 80, Chancery Lane, at 4, Eagle Street, at Red Lion Square, and Duke Street. I did a genuine business selling reprinted copies of non-copyright books, of which I had the plates. In one year I issued 250,000 copies at 6d. each of Mrs. Henry Wood's novels;

250,000 copies of books by Florence Marryat, Rita, and similar authors; 10,000 copies of a book by Wilkie Collins; 10,000 copies of a book on Cookery, by Eliza Acton, bound in cloth, at the nominal price of 5s.—I was selling that at the time I lived at Tooley Street, and while living with the Rev. Herbert Williams. About 12 months ago I became pressed for money. I had started an action against Mr. Bolton's estate for £90,000. In all, since 1905, I have put on the market about 545,000 books. The two. large lots I spoke of of 250,000 each were published at 6d. each; the Cookery book nominally at 5s.; Wilkie Collins's book was 6d.; there were 20,000 copies of a child's picture book at 6d. At the time of my arrest. I had a contract with a large firm of printers at Kingston and a large firm of binders in the City to produce books. When I purchased the various parcels of books mentioned in this charge I intended to pay for them. Mr. Carslake called on me to collect a debt, I was out doing something for the Rev. Herbert Williams and I went to see him the next morning between 10 and 11 a.m. I discussed the debt with him. I conducted nearly all my recent business by correspondence written at home, going to the office for letters. My name was painted up on my premises at 37, Fleet Street, "R. E. King and Co., booksellers." I believe my name was in, the Post Office Directory. There was no name put up at Hanover Buildings; I considered it unnecessary, because it was on the third floor and I was only at that time dealing with people who had known me for many years. On the morning of Carslake's application I returned to him some books which were the subject of his application, and which were imperfect. I paid three accounts through him, two direct to the people he had called about and a third to himself. I promised to pay interest on other debts he was collecting—it was his suggestion and I accepted it and wrote accordingly. I promised to pay him as soon as the money came in or as soon as it was convenient. I considered the arrangement to pay 5 per cent. interest could be carried on to suit my convenience; he expressed himself so when I called upon him. I paid many other creditors whom Mr. Carslake had called about. I attribute my bankruptcy to the loss of my total estate in the company—I had everything invested in that. The Official Receiver has assigned to me his right of action against Bolton. Secondhand booksellers, often sell books at a loss. I have had large experience and have lived amongst books ever since I left school. All the books that I purchased, or which are the subject of this indictment I expected to be able to pay for from the contract I had with the Kingston printers. When McEvoy arrested me there was no attempt to conceal documents. I was about to post the nine postcards, which I handed to him, addressed to Holt, Boycott, Murray, Allison, and others. Murray's was a debt that Carslake had arranged for me to pay interest. Allison sent me a large number of books which had not been discussed, and which were of no use to me; I kept the set of Dickens and returned the others. I sent Allison a postal order for 20s. and 2s. 7d. for the carriage, which finally closed the transaction. Humphris wrote me a very objectionable letter. I answered

him and asked him who prompted him. I felt very hurt and very wounded, because I had been the butt for a long period of time of certain actions at the hands of Mr. Carslake, who I considered was prompting Humphris. I admit my debt to Humphris. James got a judgment against me at Walsall. I wrote to the solicitor, Mr. Tench, and had a long correspondence with him. I admit I am indebted to Fairburn. I believe the neighbour he spoke of referring to was Stairmand, a bookseller, of Northallerton, with whom I have done business. I admit I owe Bennett £7 10s. There was a delay in delivery owing to my absence. The books were on my premises some days, and finally I sent them on to Bull and Auvache by the L. P. D. Company as I received them, the parcel being re-addressed. I had not opened the package and cannot say whether there was a volume short in it. I had correspondence with Bennett and promised to pay him on January 7, 1909. I had not promised to pay him before the date of my arrest. I suppose I do owe him £7 10s; he offered to allow 10s. for the missing volume. I owe Batten his amount. I admit the debt of Crompton and also that of Boycott. I also owe Holt, as I had his books. When in Tooley Street I had 80,000 or 90,000 books in sheets. Some were at Aldersgate Street stored at a warehouse. I only went to Tooley Street for the convenience of packing. At 80, Chancery Lane I had large quantities of books delivered, new, second-hand, and in sheets. One delivery of sheets weighed a ton. Mrs. Pollock objected to the heavy parcels coming and going and generally to the trouble of my using the office. I had no sheets delivered at Red Lion Square—only bound copies, which were sent out to customers, also a few second-hand books. That applies also to Eagle Street. I used the name of Lewis because of certain paragraphs which Mr. Carslake had published and which had prevented me from doing any business in London whatever in my own name. Since the failure of my company I have kept no books and have dealt for cash. I have kept a record of all my transactions. I was told by Pollock that McEvoy had called. I do not deny my liability in any of these cases so far as I had the goods.

Cross-examined. When arrested I said that this was caused by the frauds of my late solicitor—I mean it was the results of his acts—that his acts had put me in such a position that this state of affairs has been brought about, that I have been reduced in circumstances. I did not get the goods by false pretences. I brought an action against Bolton about a year before he died, claiming £10,000 damages for negligence as a solicitor; that was dismissed by Master Chitty as frivolous and vexatious; it was because I had not been properly advised and had not got an assignment from my trustee in bankruptcy; that is how I understood it. I may have appealed against that order to Mr. Justice Jelf, and if so it was dismissed. I have not paid the costs and have never had the money to do so. I do not know if they were about £33. After Bolton's death I commenced an action against his executrix. The action was in preparation long before his death; the writ was just about to be served when he died. The action is for a declaration of a constructive trusteeship and claims £90.000 damages. The writ was issued in

May, 1907, against the executrix, Mr. Bolton's daughter. Application was made before Mr. Justice Kekewich to dismiss the action on the ground that it was the same case that had been previously tried and he held it was not. I sold books in the name of Lewis, and on one occasion in the name of Cooper. Those in the name of Cooper were books which I had bought and paid for. In one case I sold books in the name of F. Cooper, bought from Murray, of Leicester, to Brown, of Edgware Road. There was no legitimate reason why they should not deal with me in my own name, but there was the reason that I had been libelled by Carslake; he had libelled me to the trade. At Hanover Buildings I was a bookseller—a wholesale and export bookseller; I dealt with shipping houses; I sold 10,000 copies of my cookery book. The books were stored at the binders and printers, Sully and Ford, of Fetter Lane; Kitcat, Limited, and Matthew Bell, of Cursitor Street, Chancery Lane. None of those persons are here to-day. I was carrying on my correspondence in the room lent to me by the Rev. H. Williams. I was never asked to pay rent for it—I made a return to him in other ways. I have sold stationery—printing paper—in Hanover Buildings to Sully and Ford, which I have bought from Strong and Hanbury, C. W. Davis, of Upper Thames Street, and similar houses who have known me for years. When at Tooley Street I bought Sebohm's" British Birds" from Murray, of Leicester, at £4 10s.; I thought I could have sold it at a profit, but it was not the edition that I thought I was getting—I wrote and told Murray, and he would not take it back. I afterwards offered, to buy further books from Murray, Limited, and they declined to let me have any more until I paid for Sebohm. That does not alter the fact that they refused to take that book back. I do not admit that Brown's evidence is correct that on August 3 he bought Sebohm's" British Birds" of me for 30s. I sold it to him at that price; it may be correct that I bought it on August 1 and sold it on August 2. My impression is that the price was 40s.; there was a cross-transaction between us; I believe I received rather more than 15s. I did not think I was called upon to send the 40s. to Morris. Carslake arranged that I should pay interest upon it—the 5 per cent. was to run until I paid. I cannot recollect if I got a receipt from Allison for the 20s. I sent him the money early in March. I sold the set of Dickens at a profit—I think for 25s., but I cannot remember. I cannot remember who I sold it to. I know very well I paid Allison. I may have got the books from Humphris about the end of July. I did not sell them on August 7. I did not sell them to Kick. I have had many sets of the" Self Educator "; I cannot say where I got the set I sold to Kick. I do not agree with Kick's evidence that I sold him a set; I do not believe I did; I cannot recollect a book I got 20s. for from him. Humphris's correspondence had been of such a nature that I told him I would pay immediately he told me who prompted his letters. He wrote a very vulgar letter, and I thought he ought to give me the information I asked for. I never got Allison's letter of March 16. I have had a price offered me in December of £11 10s. for the" Encyclopædia

Britannica." Between August 28 and November 30, seven, eight, or nine guineas was the best price that could be obtained. When I offered to give £15 I thought I could have sold for more money. Then I had my business arrangement coming forward at Kingston which would bring me £1,000 profits and I thought if I lost money I could make it up in that way; I expected my money in January and could easily have made up those small losses. There was no fraudulent intent. I did not write to Holt that I had a customer in order to induce him to part with his books. I had a customer in respect—it was one of the booksellers in London—I knew I could sell that book. My impression is my possible customer was Parsons, who had offered me £10 to £11. There was no contract that the money should be sent by return. Credit is universal in the book trade. I did not write to say so. I wrote," As soon as we get the books and see they are in good condition we will remit." I did not write that always. I did not mean immediately on receipt. I should have paid in the early part of January. It did not mean" spot cash." It was not meant to deceive. (To the Judge.) He was asking me to deposit the money at the "Exchange and Mart." (To Mr. Travers Humphries.) I ask the Jury to believe that I did not intend to defraud Holt. I understood "We will remit" to mean within a reasonable time after receipt. I should have remitted in the early part of January. I wrote to McLeod, of Oban, that I wanted volume 29 to consult a particular article in it. That was not correct. I wrote immediately afterwards that I would take the remainder of the set—he did not answer my letter. I sold the 30 volumes of the" International Library of Famous Literature," which I bought of Crompton, to Neville and George for £1 10s.—or £1 9s. 4d. if that is the amount of the cheque. When I wrote to Crompton nine days afterwards that I would return them, as they were not in good condition, I was confused—I was thinking of another set of books entirely—it was not a wilful untruth. I was referring to another set of books. When I bought them from Crompton I thought I could sell them at a higher price than £3. I believe I had a volume sent on approval and asked them to forward the remainder. When I wrote," We have a client who will purchase," I had not a customer absolutely certain. I intended to send the money. My debts in my bankruptcy were £68,000. If I got £1,000 from the Kingston business I should be perfectly willing to make a just arrangement with my trustee—he would be quite willing to receive 10s. in the £—he would not absorb the whole; I have been perfectly straightforward with my trustee in bankruptcy. I was confused when I said that £1,000 would pay 10s. in the £.

Verdict, Guilty of obtaining by false pretences, except with regard to counts on which evidence was not given.

Prisoner confessed to having been convicted at this Court, on May 29, 1905, of obtaining goods by false pretences, receiving six months in the second division. He was also proved to have been convicted at this Court, on November 19, 1900, of embezzlement and bound over

in £100 to come up for judgment if called upon. He was stated to have carried on business at 10 different addresses and obtained other goods in a similar manner to those charged in the indictment. Sentence, Fifteen months' hard labour.

BEFORE JUDGE RENTOUL. (Friday, February 5.)

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