23rd February 1846
Reference Numbert18460223-726
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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726. BENJAMIN PAVYER was indicted for feloniously receiving 3 moulds for casting types, value 6l., the goods of Vincent Figgins; well knowing them to have been stolen, &c.

MESSRS. PRENDERGAST and DOANE conducted the Prosecution.

JAMES BLAND (a prisoner.) I am sixteen years old—I was in the service of Messrs. Figgins, the type-founders, ten or eleven weeks, and was then taken into custody—on the 24th of Jan. I took one of my master's moulds—I took it to Mr. Somers, a pawnbroker, in Bath-street; to Mr. Brooks, a pawnbroker, at the corner of Banner-street; to Mr. Reeves, a pawnbroker, in Redcross-street; and to another pawnbroker's, at the corner of New-street and Old-street, but I do not knew their name—I offered it in pawn at those places, but I did not succeed in getting rid of it—I went next to Mr. Blunt's, a typefounder, in Bartholomew-square, Old-street—he was not at home—I then went to the prisoner, in Bartholomew-close, which is not far from Messrs. Figgins—they live on one side of Smithfield, and the prisoner on the other—I think it was about seven o'clock in the evening when I got to the prisoner's—I saw him and his son—I produced the mould which I had stolen—the prisoner asked me whose it was—I said it was my brother's—he asked me what I wanted for it—I told him 10s.—he said he would give me three half-crowns for it—I told him my name was Blunt—I did not say where I lived or where I came from—I handed the mould over to him—he told me, when I went in, to go through the passage into the kitchen—I went into a room with him and put the mould on a table—I wanted 10s.—he said he would give me three half-crowns—I said I dare say it was worth more than that, and then he said he would give me 9s. 6d. for it, and I got the 9s. 6d. of him—he said he could not try it while I waited, it would take him a good bit to try it, to make it hot—he asked me if I had any more tools or anything, or any more articles—I said I believed my brother had one or two more little things, and he said any time I brought them round he would purchase them of me—he did not say any more at that time—I went away—on the following Saturday evening, the 31st, I took three more moulds to the prisoner—I found him and his son and two women there—I went into the same back room, at the end of the passage, as before—I put the moulds on the table—the prisoner, his son, and the two women were there—I told the prisoner I had brought him three more—he asked me what I wanted for them—I said I wanted 2l., I thought they were worth about 2l—he said he would give me the same as he gave me for the other—during this conversation in the room a lad who worked for the prisoner was going out, and he told him to shut the door—the women were present—I did not consent to take the money he offered me—I was coming away with the moulds, and he said he would give me 31s. for them—I said I would take 31s. for the three—these are the four moulds—(looking at them)—I believe this is the one I took on the 24th—I do not know the numbers of them—the prisoner sent a lad, who was coming down stain, out for change for a sovereign—that lad was not present at the transaction—the prisoner then paid me a sovereign, a half-sovereign, and 1s.—I told him there was a matrix in one of the moulds—he said the matrix was of no use without he had the whole of them—he asked me my name, and I told him Henry Blunt—he asked me where my brother worked—it came into my mind to tell him he worked in Scotland, and I told him so, but at present he was living in King-street, Islington—a paper was produced, and I believe the prisoner's son produced it, but I will not be sure—I wrote "Henry Blunt" on it—he opened this mould with the matrix in it, and looked at this other large mould, and said it was not finished.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. I understand it was on the second occasion you told the prisoner your brother, though now living at Islington was working in Scotland? A. Yes—on the first occasion I told him I lived at Islington.

MR. DOANE. Q. Just look at this paper, and tell me if it is the paper that was produced to you on the second occasion by the prisoner or his son? A. This does not look like my writing—the paper I wrote on did not look so large as this—I did not take particular notice, so as to know whether there was anything written or printed on it—I do not think there was.

COURT. Q. Can you write? A. Yes—this does not look like my writing—I do not believe it is my handwriting—I will swear it is not my writing.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Look at this "Received, H. Blunt," is it your writing? A. No, it is not my writing—I wrote "Henry Blunt" on a paper.

MR. PRENDERGAST. Q. That "H. Blunt" is not your writing; look at this "Henry Blunt" on it, is that your writing? A. No.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Did you tell the prisoner that you lived at No. 43, King-street, New-road, Islington? A. I did not make him any number—I told him King-street, Islington—I told him my brother's name was Blunt—I did not tell him any Christian name—I told him he was a letter-founder, and worked at Edinburgh—I told him I worked at Mr. Barlin's, St. John-street, Clerkenwell.

MR. PRENDERGAST. Q. You wrote "Henry Blunt"—did you write more than that? A. No—I only wrote my name once.

COURT. Q. Then the information you gave, you did not give any part of in writing? A. No—I only wrote Henry Blunt—there was nothing on the paper on which I wrote—it was plain paper—there was nothing first or last on it but the name Henry Blunt.

Q. Did you give any receipt for what was paid you? A. I marked my name down on a piece of paper.

VINCENT FIGGINS . I am a type-founder—I received some communication, and obtained a search-warrant—I went to Mr. Pavyer's premises, with Roe, a City officer, a sergeant of police, and Sime—his premises are in Bartholomew-close, on one side of Smithfield, and my premises are in West-street—I am in an extensive way of business—I searched the prisoner's premises for a mould, No. 860—I did not find that at that time, but I found another mould, No. 847—when I went there was some little delay, the prisoner not being at home—Me went in search of him—the sergeant went up stairs, and as there was some little commotion in the house, I thought it best to proceed at once, and I proceeded to search—Sime pointed out the mould, No. 847, that was found by him on a shelf in the warehouse—three other moulds were pointed out by the prisoner's son, in the warehouse—it is a parlour used as a warehouse—there was type and scales in it—it is a room in front—these were apart from his own moulds—his own moulds were up stairs in the foundry—there was chiefly manufactured type in that room, and scales—I went there on Thursday, the 12th of Feb.—I am quite certain all four of the moulds are my property—the prisoner produced this paper to me, as the receipt for the money—Sime was in the room at the time—at that time I had not the least notion about the witness Bland—he had been in my employ for two or three months—I have seen Bland write since, and none of it is like what he wrote—he wrote a very small, cramped hand—I never saw him write before—his writing was not at all like this.

COURT. Q. The character of the hand-writing on this paper is not such as he has used since, and you never saw him write before? A. No—I have

seen him write twice since—when I first questioned him and once more—(Bland here, by direction of the Court, wrote his name on a paper.)

MR. PRENDERGAST to MR. FIGGINS. Q. You were present at the examination of this case before the Alderman? A. Yes—this paper was then produced by Mr. Child, the prisoner's solicitor—at the time I made the search at the prisoner's premises, I had no knowledge at all of who the person was that had taken this property from me—I took the prisoner's son round to one of the addresses which he gave to me, to Mr. Barlin, the tobacconist, in St. John-street—it was represented that the person who sold the mould was working at cigar-making—he went through all Mr. Barlin's establishment, and did not recognise any one—I then took him round my own foundry, where Bland and all the persons were at work—he did not recognise any one there—I think last Saturday week was the first time I had Bland followed—it was about a week after the investigation had been made by the prisoner's son at my factory—when I had Bland followed, he dodged and showed other symptoms which caused my suspicion—on Saturday night last, when he came to fetch his things, I had him in—(he had absented himself for several days before)—I had him apprehended.

Q. Do you know whether it is usual for letter-founders to purchase moulds in this way? A. I never had any offered to me—we have men on the premises to make them—as far as I know, they are made on the premises—they might be bought, but then they would always come new.

COURT. Q. Is it not usual when persons fail or break up their establishments to dispose of their moulds and other things? A. Yes—there is no name on these to show to whom they belong, but a person who worked on the establishment would know.

Cross-examined. Q. I believe the type-founders are men of large capital, and there are not many of them? A. There are not many—Mr. Caslon, myself, Mr. Sharwoods, and Mr. Wilson—we have a considerable number of men—there are persons who have more or less extensive concerns—there are small houses—I cannot tell what goes on on their premises—I do not know that these articles find their way to the pawnbrokers, and are sold by auction, and that is the way in which some type-founders possess them—my own father began in a small way, and yet he always made his own moulds—the principal part of the business is done by persons in a large way—I do not think that to make your own moulds would require a capital which a person in a small way does not possess—a man might make one mould—Sime had been in the employ of my father and myself about nineteen years—he left me for about twelve months—I dismissed him because he was so irregular in his attendance—he was drunk occasionally, but I never heard anything against his honesty during the nineteen years I knew him.

COURT. Q. In point of fact are these things in which you are making day by day improvements? A. There have been little improvements constantly going on—no house when they make improvements dispose of those that are less perfect—we can always alter them for out-of-the-way things—we pay a man who makes these moulds from 2l. to 2l. 5s. a week—it would take him eight or nine days to make a mould—we consider the mould is worth three guineas when it is made.

MR. PRENDERGAST. Q. Is it a usual thing, supposing moulds are sold, to sell them in this state with the matrix? A. Certainly not—this one with the Matrix, being away from the others would spoil the set.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Excepting the one with the matrix could the others be used? A. They could be used without a matrix, by using a very small piece of copper—they cannot be used without a matrix to cast letters.

COURT. Q. Tell us what use you can make with these without the matrix? A. The mould is complete in itself—it is of no use without a matrix, or a matrix without a mould, to cast letters—the matrix made in any other place would be easily adapted to one of our moulds, but that would not be the way in which we should act, we should proceed to alter the mould.

JOHN SIME . I was for nineteen years in the employ of Mr. Figgins—I occasionally got drunk—after being there nineteen years I went to work for Mr. Pavyer, for the last few months, for two or three days in a week—on the 24th of Jan. Mr. Pavyer told me he had bought a nice new pica steel mould, of Scotch manufacture, made by one Blunt of Edinburgh—I said (I being an Edinburgh mould-maker, and the first who introduced the system of making these moulds in London, to Mr. Figgins's foundry,) that there was no such man as Blunt, a mould-maker in Edinburgh—I had worked in Edinburgh and learned the business there—I am sure this was on Saturday, the 24th of Jan.—Mr. Pavyer'sson then brought up the mould in presence of his father—it was this pica mould, No. 860—I knew it directly, and said, "That mould never was made in Edinburgh; it was made at Mr. Figgins's foundry, and I was the last person who took it to pieces, and repaired it" (when I went to work at the prisoner's he knew perfectly well that I had worked at Mr. Figgins's)—when I said that, the prisoner told me that the young had who brought them had twenty more for sale—I took off this wood part on the side of the mould, and showed his son and him how particularly I knew it, by the screws and the different way they are made in England, and by the No, of it—I said, "Gentlemen, were I in your place I would endeavour to detect the man, or secure him if he comes again, and let Mr. Figgins know of it;" the prisoner said to his son, "Never mind, Benjamin, take it down stairs, it will be of use some time."

COURT. Q. What time of day was this conversation? A. About eight o'clock at night—I had not been out to take any refreshment—I do not think I had had anything to drink to do any injury.

MR. PRENDERGAST. Q. Did Mr. Pavyer make any other remark? A. He said, "Never mind, Sime, say nothing about it"—and just as his son was going with the mould out of the room, he said, "If all our black deeds were on our backs, we should have a great many to show"—that was all the conversation that took place in the room—I remained working for him till Saturday, the 7th of Feb.—I was told on the forenoon of that day, by one of his workmen, that he had got some more moulds, and having received that information I took steps to inform Mr. Figgins on the 11th of Feb.—Saturday the 7th of Feb. was the last day on which I worked for Mr. Pavyer—we did not part is consequence of any quarrel—we had been drinking some ale in the shop, the master and men and I came up about nine o'clock in the evening, about receiving the wages—I had been drinking a goodish drop of ale—he told me there was so much to deduct out of my wages, for the ale that we had in the shop, and I considered that it was rather more than I ought to have paid—I refused to take my money, and went away without it.

COURT. Q. Did your deduction for ale exceed that of the other workmen? A. That I cannot tell—sometimes I might not be there—when I left I went down stairs, and got home shortly afterwards—I had some more to drink after I left him, at a public-house in going home—I had a long way to walk—I did not stay long at the public-house—I was nothing particular to hurt when I arrived home—I had not got too much to drink but what I was perfectly capable of taking care of myself, and knew what I was doing—I got home perhaps about twelve o'clock—we had something else to do after I refused to take my wages.

MR. PRENDERGAST. Q. Was there something about a furnace? A. Yes, about an hour before they began to be paid, the men were having a bit of game in the shop which was customary, and there is one particular furnace which, when the men are inclined to lark and waiting about for money, they pull the bricks of it down—I laid hold of it and loosened two or three of the bricks—Mr. Pavyer did not complain of my conduct—it has been so common to do such a thing—he took no notice of it—when he came up he asked what the noise was about, and the bricks were loosened then by a second workman—when I went down stairs in the room below to take the money, the prisoner said I had better go as I would not take the money, and he gave me a push—I went again on the Monday, and saw him, and he was very civil with me—I mentioned about the bricks—he said that was no consequence, and paid me the money, quite as much as I expected.

Cross-examined. Q. Did he push you out of doors on Saturday night? A. No, he pushed me a little off the landing on the first floor—I do not know whether I would not go without that—I get drunk sometimes, but sometimes I do not get drunk for years—I was not drunk for four years, from 1839 to 1843—since that I do not drink much—sometimes I do.

Q. How many times have you been in custody during these twenty years? A. Perhaps twenty—I should not say thirty—not fifty—I think I have been so twice in the same week—I do not recollect that I have been three or four times—I cannot remember more than twice in one week—I will not swear positively that I have not been so three or four times—I was not perfectly sober on Saturday night the 7th of Feb.—on Saturday, the 24th of Jan. I was sober—I think the amount of my wages to be received on the 7th of Feb. was about half-a-sovereign—they might be 7s., 8s., or 9s. 6d.—the little time I worked that week amounted to 10s.—the rest of the time I was at home, as I had a bad leg—the amount I claimed to receive on Saturday night, the 7th of Feb., was about 5s., and some odd—that was what was coming to me—I said to the prisoner, "Let me have half-a-sovereign to-night and we can see how it is on Monday"—he refused—he paid me 5s. and odd on the Monday when the scores were taken off—he offered to pay me on the Saturday night what was coming to me—I am not quite positive whether he offered me 5s. and odd—I was not quite drunk when I left him—I was capable of walking—after I left I went to the first public-house next to his factory—it is the Blakeney's Head, which we use—I did not stop there—the landlord would not let me in—I do not know his motive—I had to meet a person at the next public-house I went to—it was the Rose and Crown, to the best of my belief, in Bartholomew-close—the landlord knew me—I had a pint of beer and a quartern of gin there between a shopmate and myself—I staid there perhaps twenty minutes—it is about a hundred yards from Mr. Pavyer's—the Blakeney's Head is only a few steps—when I left the Rose and Crown I got towards home—I cannot say what was the next public-house I went to—it is some time since—I cannot say how many public-houses I went into—I cannot say that I was turned out of any—I went to Mr. Chance's house in Long-lane but I had nothing to drink—I thought there might be some of my shopmates there, but there was not—Mr. Chance did not turn me out, but one of Mr. Chance's family advised me to go home—he did not consider I wanted any more—that was the last public-house I was in that night, to the best of my belief—I do not recollect that I was turned out of two or three public-houses after I left Chance's.

Q. Did you ever draw a knife on Mr. Pavyer? A. No, nor on any one else—I never threatened to ruin him—I made a communication to Mr. Figgins, in writing, on Wednesday, the 11th of Feb.—on the Sunday before that

I never went out, and did not drink anything at all—I drank some on the Monday, but I do not think I was drunk—there are different opinions on that subject—I do not recollect that I was turned out of any public-house on Monday or on Tuesday—it is some time since, and there was nothing particular happened, or I should have recollected it—I was before the Magistrate when Mr. Pavyer was under examination—I saw the Magistrate reading various papers—I could not tell whether he was reading any of my writing—I saw the solicitor hand him papers—these papers I wrote—(looking at then.)

MR. PRENDERGAST. Q. Do you feel at all any animosity against the prisoner? A. No—I should never have written if I had not been told he had got a lot more.

COURT. Q. Are we to understand that the information you received on the 7th was the cause of your writing on the 11th A. Yes, through one of his men telling me he had got more.

HENRY WORKMAN (City police-constable No. 209.) On the 12th of Feb. I went to the prisoner's house, in Bartholomew-close, with Mr. Figgins and Sime—I found the three moulds which I produce, on a shelf together, in a sort of front shop or warehouse down stairs, not in the workshop—I was before the Magistrate—the prisoner's son was examined on his part.

GEORGE BULLEN . I was in Mr. Figgins's employ in Jan.—I made two of these moulds—I saw these three moulds on Mr. Figgins's premises on the 1st of Jan., and this other, No. 847, which has the matrix, on the 23rd of Jan.


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