31st October 1810
Reference Numbert18101031-105
VerdictNot Guilty

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877. JOHN GILBERT , JAMES ADAMS , EDWARD LITTLE , and CHARLES BRADBEY , were indicted for a conspiracy .

JOHN ABREY . I am a fly-boy, a taker off in the Newspaper office; I was employed by Messrs . Walter 's, Printing-house-square , they are the printers of the Times .

Q. Do you know John Gildert , James Adams , Edward Little , and Charles Bradbey - A. I know them four persons, they worked for a newspaper office ; I cannot rightly answer who they worked for.

Q. Do you know Stephen Hurley , Robert Howlett , Edward Kidd , Guy Warwick , John Scott , John Gee, William Clifton , Stephen Beckett , and Henry Burn - A. Yes, they were workmen in the printing-business, in the employ of Messrs. Walter's. I saw the four prisoners at Mr. Walters's printing-office, with Stephen Beckett and Henry Burn , they came and asked them if the whole companionship were there, they answered, no. If they had any message to leave they would deliver it to the companionship when they came; this was on Sunday night. May the 13th, they then were preparing for Monday morning paper. The prisoners said to Beckett and Burn, that they had been to their masters for the advance of wages of one halfpenny per hour, and hoped Mr. Walters' then would do the same, if they did they would retrieve their character, if not; they would alway be looked upon as rats, as they always had been; they said there would be a general meeting on the Tuesday evening, and they should hear something more of them, and then they sent out for half a pint of gin: it was brought into the workshop, it was drank; the prisoners paid for it, and then they got talking to Harry Burn about working the newspaper in the Old Bailey at the old price; they asked him if he did not work for Mr. Westall, that works at the Morning Post; he answered, yes, he did, he did not know any thing about working under price; he had his full price for it; accordingly the Times men sent out for another half pint of gin, our people paid for it, and these men went away. On the next morning all Mr. Walter's men gave warning, all the companionship, because Mr. Walter would not grant a halfpenny an hour.

Q. Did they leave him - A. No. Mr. Bradbey, one of the prisoners, came down the same morning to see if they had given warning. They all went into a public-house together, and that evening they gave a fortnight's warning.

Q. They worked through that fortnight, did they - A. Yes.

Q. Did Mr. Walters give the halfpenny per hour advance - A. Not to old hands. They left him on the 27th or 28th, when the fortnight expired, they staid away, and never returned any more.

Q. Do you remember being at Guildhall, in the magistrate's room any time - A. Yes; once before the sitting alderman, it is two years ago; Mr. Wade, a printer in Holliday-yard, my landlord sent me there because I took two pound of iron out of his cellar; I was in distress and out of place; my father lived in the same house.

Q. You were discharged by the alderman directly - A. No, I was sent to Bridewell to be chastized.

Q. I take it for granted you did not tell Mr. Walters of this - A. No. If I had searched the printer's characters, as they have mine, some of them would have been in Botany Bay before this time. Few printers bear a good character.

MR. WALTER, JUNIOR. Q. You are, I believe, engaged in printing a paper - A. Yes, the Times.

Q. What is your father's name - A. John.

Q. Has he any emolument arising from this business - A. Yes, he has.

PHILLIP STREET . Q. Were you in the employment of Mr. Walter's at the time when Stephen Hurley , and the other men, whose names I have mentioned, were working for Mr. Walters - A. Yes. I was in the situation of Publisher of the Times.

Q. Did you see these four men at the bar - A. No, I never saw them before I saw them in court last sessions.

Q. Had you ever any conversation with Hurley, and the other names I have mentioned - A. Some one of them had repeatedly applied to ask Mr. Walter's for an advance of wages for their work, it was two or three weeks prior to their giving notice to quit; I conveyed the notice of these men. When they gave notice finally to quit there was only seven men present; when they all parted the other two I saw coming from the premises, afterwards I asked if they gave notice, they said, yes. Delaney, who is employed as overseer, came to me on the Monday morning, he told me the men had all given notice to quit: I went up to these men, they had done their work, they were together; I asked him who answered for the whole, no single one chosed to answer, they answered individually, they said they would quit Mr. Walters' service without the rise of the price of a halfpenny per hour; that is what they said was the cause of their discontent, the dispute only remained on one part of the work, that was a part of their work they expected a rise of their wages; I told them it was extremely wrong, they placed themselves in an aukward predictment; I observed that they were paid very handsomely for what they did, which was the fact; I used to pay them their weekly wages. I repeatedly warned them. They quitted according to their notice on the fourteenth day.

Q. Now I can ask you what were these mens earnings a week in Mr. Walters's service - A. They were all pressmen; upon the average I should conceive between three and four pound a week, and sometimes upwards of four pound.


London Jury before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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