GUSTAVE VICTOR, Breaking Peace > libel, 27th January 1868.

Reference Number: t18680127-198
Offence: Breaking Peace > libel
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: No Punishment > sentence respited
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198. GUSTAVE VICTOR (23) , Unlawfully publishing a defamatory libel on Otto, Baron Blome. (The evidence was interpreted to the prisoner.)

MESSRS. SLEIGH and LEWIS conducted the Prosecution.

HERMAN REECK . I am employed in the Chancellerie of the Prussian Embassy—on the 8th January last the prisoner called there—he said that

be had to communicate an important matter, and that he wished to speak to an officer of the Embassy, but only one—he spoke in German—I said that we were all officers of the embassy, and that he could say what he knew—I communicated with the Baron von Schmidhals, and he and the prisoner went into, another room-after a short time he came from the room, and went out—on the 9th he came again—I had no conversation with him then—on the 10th he came, and I had some conversation with him—he told me that Mr. Emerich had come from Paris about six months ago, and that he had lived here in very needy circumstances with him at 1, Osborn Place, Whitechapel, on the money that he, the prisoner, had given him—he said that Emerich was a Hanoverian, and a soldier of the Hanoverian army, hut that he had nothing to do then, that he was a very desperate man, and that he had the intention as long as he had known him to kill the King, of Prussia—he said that Emerich was in communication latterly with high persons, and that he had received very much money—I afterwards went with the prisoner to some place where he had said he had been with Emerich-the first was 14, Hinde Street, Manchester Square-that was the house where he said Emerich had been sometimes, and where he had received money—we afterwards went to 20, Eaton Place, where the Baron Blome resided-that was also pointed out to me by the prisoner as a house where Emerich had received money-Baron Blome was the representative in this country of the late kingdom of Hanover.

Prisoner.Q. Did I communicate with you first or with Baron Schmidhals? A. You first sent a letter in, and then you said, "I have something to communicate," and then Baron Schmidhals took you into another room—I read the letter before giving it to the Baron, this is it-(translated and read: "Sir, I should like to have the honor to be able to speak to you in a matter where no time can be lost. Yours respectfully, Gustave. 8th January, 1868.") When you took me to Eaton Place you knew who lived there, because you had said the day before that Baron Blome lived there, and you would show me the house where he lived-that was on the 9th, when you came to the Embassy, and on the 10th I went with you to the house of Baron Blome-you said on the 9th that Baron Blome was the gentleman who had given the money-you had previously written a protocol at the Embassy, in which the Baron's name was mentioned-you did not mention the Baron's name on the 8th, but on the 9th you said the person you meant was Baron Blome, and when we went on the 10th to the house you said, "This is the house where Baron Blome lives"-when we returned to the Embassy on the 10th I told you that the whole statement you had made up to that time was entirely unsatisfactory, and not complete—I told you then that if you could give some more correct information to return next day, but only in case you could really say something correct—I asked you to accompany me to the places where you had been with Emerich, and you did so—it took you about three hours to find out Hinde Street-when you went away on the 10th you said you would return in a week to know the result—I told you to come back in two days, but under the condition that you should bring correct information—I told you on the 9th to return next morning under the same conditions—on the 10th I asked you whether you would accompany me to a gentleman who knew Emerich well—I asked you to show me the house where Emerich lived, and to show me the friends he frequented, in order to ascertain from them whether Baron Blome or the other persons you mentioned were concerned in a plot of that kind-(looking at a letter) this

is not my andwriting—I do not know whose it is—it is not Baron's Schmidhals's—I told you over and over again only to come back in case you had some correct positive information to give-you came on the 11th at one o'clock—it is possible I ordered you to come at three, as I was rather engaged at the time-you came, and I asked you to go with me to your lodging, and show me the place where Emerich kept his things-you went with me to a former lodging, where you both were living, and then to another-you showed me the cupboard where Emerich kept the Orson bombs and shells—I did not see any—I gave you a shilling in the evening, and you wished to return it-you said you would return all the money I had given you before, and would have no more to do with the matter—I had given you 11s. in all-you said you should leave London for Berlin—I told you that I gave you the shilling out of my pocket, because the Ambassador was not in town.

OTTO, BARON BLOME . I was formerly the political epresentative of the King of Hanover in this country as Envoy Extraordinary—I am now residing at Fleming's Hotel—I did reside at 20, Eaton Place, until the 27th December last, for a year—I am not acquainted with any person of the name of Emerich—it is not a fact that I for an hour had onversation with him at my house in Eaton Place; I never had any conversation with him—I do not now him—I certainly never conspired with him to compass the death of the King of Prussia, nor ever gave im money, either as a premium or with the intent that he should assassinate the King of Prussia—I heard the papers read at the police-court-there is not the least foundation for the contents of them.

RICHARD, BARON SCHMIDHALS . I am Secretary to the Prussian Embassy-these two documents (produced) were written by me on the 8th and 9th of January at the prisoner's ictation-they bear his signature and my own. (Read:—"London, 8th January, 1868.) I lodged here in London for upwards of six months with a certain William Emerich, who stated himself to be a Hanoverian officer, and that he had arrived from Paris. At first this person was entirely without means, but after a while he received money from various sources, among others from a certain Hanoverian Baron, who resides in Eaton Place. Ultimately Emerich became continually more mysterious, and talked about a duty he had to fulfil: he must avenge George, his King, on the King of Prussia. I drew his attention to the fact that in reality Count Bismarck was the instigator, but he persisted in his view. Yesterday he suddenly startled for Berlin, and I have just now received this letter. As Emerich is a desperate man, and asserts himself to be in posession of Orsini shell, I felt myself in duty bound to give information about his criminal intention. Further interest in the matter I have not, as I am not a Prussian subject. Emerich is a member of the Society of aithful Hanoverians, and lived here without work, and, as I believe, on funds which were placed at his disposal. Signed, Gustave Victor." "London, January 9th, 1868. The Baron of whom I made mention yesterday is, as I have just ascertained, the Baron Blome. I was myself with Emerich at Baron Blome's about three weeks ago, and waited outside the house. I don't know if Emerich has had personal interviews with Baron Blome. The interview that he had three weeks ago lasted about an hour. Emerich has on other occasions, doubtless, received assistance from Baron Blome, as he changed directly after leaving him a sovereign at a public-house. Signed, Gustave Victor." This is the letter referred to in the first of these papers:—"Cannon Street Station. My dear Gustave, in

hurry I write you only these few lines as adieu. I put thee on thy oath to keep the promise that thou gavest me. Farewell, and pray for thy faithful friend, Wilhelm Emerich. If God will give me His blessing I will return to London. Farewell." In consequence of these communications with the prisoner I felt it prudent to communicate with my Government in Prussia by telegram, on the 9th.

BARON BLOME (re-examined). I have heard these documents read; as respects myself, there is not the least foundation for the contents of them.

Prisoner to BARONS CHMIDHALS. Q. On the 8th, when I first came to you, did not I tell you the story simply, before you took it down in writing? A. Yes—I then took some paper and said I would take it down in writing—I did not put down every word exactly you said, but I put down the sense of what you said, and I asked you at every sentence whether it was true, whether that was what you wanted to say-you said you went with Emerich to the house of Baron Blome, and that he came out with some money-the document does not say that Emerich told you the Baron had anything to do with this affair-you never declared it to me very positively, but you showed me in all you said that you meant it-all you said pointed to that-you said that for the first fortnight or three weeks you had kept Emerich entirely, that you gave him the sums he required—I do not recollect your saying that he was obliged to pawn his things to get what he wanted to live upon-you never asked me for any money-you said you should not require any money before I had ascertained that your statement was true-you did not exactly ask me for money, that is, you did not beg for money, but all your manner impressed me with the belief that you wanted some, and I gave, you a trifle, 5s.—I only had once to do with you—I know nothing about 2s. being sent to a friend of yours—I only gave you 5s.-you said all you required was that I should take the necessary measures in Berlin, and then I should find out the truth of it.

JURY. Q. You say you only gave him 5s., and that you only had once to deal with him, but it appears by the two protocols that you had twice to deal with him? A. I understood the question asked me was, whether I had assisted him twice with money—I certainly saw him twice, but I only gave him money once, that was on the 9th.

WILLIAM REIMERS (Police Sergeant 1 A). I first saw the prisoner in the presence of Mr. Reeck, on the 8th, at my house—I was ill at the time-the prisoner did not know then that I was a police officer—I was not then engaged in the matter—I was afterwards ordered by my superiors to take it in hand to find a person of the name of Emerich—I went to No. 1, Osborn Street, Whitechapel, to look after Emerich—I could not find him there, or hear of him or the prisoner either—I saw a number of Germans—I made inquiries there with reference both to Emerich and Victor, but could not hear anything of either of them-Victor lived there in the name of Nelkein, but no one knew him by the name of Victor—it it was on the 15th that I went there—I made inquiries at No. 12, Thrawl Street, Whitechapel-the prisoner gave me that as Emerich's residence—I could not hear or find anything of him there—I went to five other common lodging-houses, but I could not find nor hear anything of him at either of them—I asked the prisoner to introduce me to a person who knew Emerich; that was on the 16th January—he introduced me to a foreign Jew at the London Pavilion-that man told me something about a Mr. Emerich-before I saw that man the prisoner gave me a description of Emerich, and the man at the London Pavilion gave me quite the reverse

description-Victor described him in the presence of Mr. Reeck as a man thirty-six years of age, as tall as me, and I am six feet, with dark brown hair, and a moustache fairer than his hair—he said the first four months of his acquaintance with him he was dressed very seedy, and the last two months he was dressed like a gentleman-the description which the other man gave of Emerich was, that he was about twenty-two or twenty-three years old, with black curly hair and a dark brown moustache, and always dressed like a gentleman—I said to him, "Always?" and he said, "Yes, always, during the six months I have known him, and always had plenty of money, and lived in a French hotel in Leicester Square"—in fact he said, "I have dined there with him"-when he said that, the prisoner made a sign to him, and the man then said, "In fact, I am so confused, I have been drinking; another time I will be able to give you a better description"—I said to him, "Where can I see you?"—he said, "I have business in Whitechapel, but I live at Brompton, but if you write to me in the name of Mr. Simon, at Gatti's Coffee-house, Adelaide Street, Strand, I will meet you anywhere"—I have inquired there, and no Mr. Simon is known-the whole of this conversation took place in the prisoner's presence, and in the presence of Mr. Kenipe, a friend of Baron Blome's-the prisoner speaks as good English as I do.

Prisoner. Q. When you saw me make a sign as you say, to the other man, why did you not mention that to me, or ask me about it? A. Because I wanted to satisfy myself about all the lies you told, not only a portion of them-when I first came and asked for Victor you were called three times, and did not answer—I then wrote a letter, and told the manager to take it to you, and say it was brought by somebody from the West End—I was not three yards from the man when he gave you the letter, but you did not see me—I wrote it at the lodging-you said to me, "I wish you would ask the Prussian ambassador for some clothes," and I said I would speak for you-you said likewise, "I must have means; you see I am a respectable man"—I said, "I see what you are by your face, and I shall treat you accordingly," but I did not say you were a respectable man.

LOUISA LAVIES . I am a servant at 14, Hinde Street, Manchester Square-Mr. Kenipe and Baron Klincke live there—I recollect the prisoner and Mr. Reeck coming there-the prisoner asked me if Mr. Emerich was at home—I told him there was no such name in the house—he hesitated a little time, and thought I had made a mistake, and asked me if I was sure he did not live theree—no such person did live there at any time while I have been there—I don't recollect what day this was-Mr. Reeck only called once on me-both Mr. Reeck and the prisoner asked whether Emerich was there-they asked me if he lived there—I understood that to be the question—no person of the name of Emerich that I know of had ever been there—I do not know the name at all.

Prisoner. Q. Did they give any description of Emerich? A. No—I asked my mistress if it could possibly be Mr. Kenipe's clerk—I did not know his name-you did not ask me when I had seen Emerich, nor did I say he had been there a day or two before, and if you liked to see him you could find him at Baron Blome's—I do not remember hearing my mistress saying such a thing-Mr. Reeck did not ask me for the Baron's address, nor did I say I did not know—I did not hear my mistress say so—she was on the stairs and came down to hear what you had to say.

MR. REECK (re-examined). The prisoner told me that 14, Hinde Street,

was a place where Emerich had got money—he did not say that he lived there-when we went to the house the last witness said that Emerich did not live there-the prisoner showed me the house as a house where Emerich had got money—I asked for Emerich, and the answer was, that no Emerich had been there, and that she never saw him.

Prisoner. Q. Did the lady ask you what you wanted? A. Yes, and I said I wanted to take a cup of tea with Emerich-you had said to me, if Emerich was there, what should we say, and I said, "We will say, will he take a cup of tea with us"-the lady did not say we should find him at Baron Blome's—she said a gentleman named Duve sometimes came to the house, who was the person spoken of as clerk to Mr. Kenipe, and also clerk to Baron Blome, but no Emerich-you did not give any description of Emerich that I remember-the person who was referred to as the clerk is in Court.

ERNEST DUVE . I sometimes act as clerk to Mr. Kenipe, at 14, Hinde Street—I never passed by the name of Emerich—I do not know such a person—I never heard the name.

LOUISA LAVIES (re-examined). That is the person I mean by the clerk.

JULIUS KENIPE . I live at 14, Hinde Street, Manchester Square—I am a Hanoverian, in the service of his Majesty the King of Hanover—I do not know a person of the name of Emerich—I never gave a person bearing or assuming that name any money for any purpose whatever—I was abroad from 12th November to 6th December.

Prisoner. Q. During September, October, November, December, were you or some other gentleman always in that house as the representative of the King of Hanover? A. Except during the time I have mentioned, from 12th November to 6th December, there was always one, Baron Klincke or I, in the house-except persons who have pensions from the King of Hanover, old servants who have served here in England under the Duke of Cumberland, nobody has received money in that house.

The prisoner, in a long address, through the interpreter, entered into a detailed explanation of the different interviews he had with the Baron Schmidals, and the other witnesses, as indicated in his cross-examination. He declared that he had no object in what he did but that of relieving his mind of the secret with which he had been entrusted by Emerich; that he compromised no one, and, so far from desiring to obtain money, he had determined upon returning the few shillings that had been given to him, and should have done so but for being taken into custody. In the course of his address he put in letters addressed by him to the Prussian Embassy, of which the following are translations:—"London, January, 13th, 1868. Sir, I am sorry I cannot come myself, being busy; if you have need of me, please to give my friend, the bearer of this, a few lines for me. It will be very agreeable to me if you do not trouble me any more, and I am sorry I cannot render you any further assistance in this affair. Please to receive the assurance of my profoundest esteem and devotion. (Signed) Gustav Victor." "London, January 14th, 1868. Sir, It is my duty to address yet a few lines to you. My friend tells me that you will give me a reward if I can to-day discover the residence of Emerich for you. You know that I have run about in rain and storm last week, and that my health was jeopardized in this weather. I have not even recovered the expenses I incurred in riding every time into the City and back. If you are an intelligent man, and on the whole know to appreciate a man who can render you such a service, you

will understand that I cannot lose my time this week about an affair which brings me in nothing, and interests you more than me. Until now I have only done my duty, and now, if you want to have a proof that my informations are correct, I will guarantee to tell you within twenty-four hours that Emerich is in Berlin, &c. You will understand yourself that I cannot present myself to a respectable person in the state in which I find myself at present; if you give me the necessary means to present myself respectable in three houses I am ready to find out the affair in a few hours. If you will do your duty, you will give my friend a cheque for a clothing magazine and a little money to buy necessaries. It is impossible for me to gain the end in view in any other way, as you will understand yourself, and it is the highest time now for that, as my reason tells me, perhaps. Receive the assurance of my profoundest esteem and devotion. (Signed) Gustav Victor."

GUILTY.— Judgment respited.


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