27th October 1813
Reference Numbert18131027-88
VerdictNot Guilty

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1068. WILLIAM DAGNEASH and SIMEON DAGNEASH were indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 4th of October , one hundred and ninety-six feet of timber, value 47 l. the property of Gilbert Fox .

GILBERT FOX. I live at Wapping High-street; I am a mast-maker .

Q. In the latter end of September, did you purchase some timber of Mr. Smith - A. I did; some ten fine timber, at six pounds ten shillings per load. This is the bill of parcels. (The bill of parcels read.) The timber corresponds to that bill of parcels.

Q. You did not see where the timber was taken to, you agreed with your man where to place it - A. I did.

Q. After that, you went into the country - A. I did; on Sunday. On Wednesday, the 29th I made the purchase. In consequence of some information, I came up to town on Monday, the 4th of October; I then went to the premises of Mr. Dagneash.

Q. How far is that distant from Richardson's wharf - A. Two hundred yards if it went under the bridge; going round would make it three hundred yards. When I got to Dagneash's wharf, I there saw the six pieces of timber that I had lost; which had been my property. They were the six same pieces of timber; they were placed under the wharf, under the crane, ready for landing.

Q. Did you see either of the prisoners - A. I did; Simeon Dagneash , the younger; this was about half after four in the afternoon. I asked the younger Dagneash, if these six pieces of timber belonged to him; I pointed out the individual pieces to him. He said, they belonged to him. I asked him if they were to sell; he said, yes, at ten guineas a load. I told him I thought that was too much; he said, he would take ten pounds for ready money. I then said, I would take the six pieces I dare say, if he would give me until ten o'clock to consider of it; he said, he would. I went home, and went to Shadwell office. At eight o'clock, the same night, I saw Simeon Dagneash and his brother; I told them that I came about the timber, that I agreed with him for; that I met the gentleman for whom I purchased it; that I would be glad to take the contents of the timber; I went upon it, and took the measure; we took the contents of all but one piece. I then asked them if they had a racing iron; that is a thing that marks timber; they said, they had no such thing. I then recollected that I had one in my pocket; I marked a T. upon each, that I might know that was the very timber when day light came; we then came off the timber. I asked Mr. Dagneash to give me the contents, that I might know how much money to send; he gave me the contents. This is it. It corresponded with the bill of parcels, and it corresponds with the timber I bought of Mr. Smith; I can speak with positive certainty to that.

Q. In pursuance of that arrangement, did you call again the next morning - A. I did, and Hope, the officer, with me, and Nicholas Wall, my own man; I then saw Simeon Dagneash , and his father; I told them that I had come about the timber that I had purchased, and asked them when I could have it away; they told me they would land it or ship it for me whenever I thought proper. They were both close by, one heard what the other said. I asked then where they got the timber; William Dagneash said, why do you ask me this question. I told him it was a fair question, and said again, where did you get this timber; he then said, he purchased it at Chatfield and Arnott's. Before that I told him the property was mine, and it had been stolen; before that I said, if he purchased it of these people, I suppose he had a bill of parcels; all this time they were both standing together. No, he said, he did not think he had a bill of parcels.

Q. Where is Chatfield and Arnott's premises - A. Somewhere about Westminster-bridge. I then asked William Dagneash , who it was got the timber there, to that wharf; he then replied, my son, his name is Simeon Dagneash . I told him to tell his son, to take it back from where he brought it from; he replied, he shall. The timber was nearly a-ground. I then said, I should not wait his taking it, my servant should take it, who was then on the timber; he said, they might, and they did.

NICHOLAS WALL . I am in the employ of Mr. Fox.

Q. On the 29th of September, did you get some timber from Mr. Smith - A. Yes, six pieces; they were delivered out of St. Saviour's Dock, Dock-head; took them down to Limehouse, and left them in the care of Samuel Arnon . I delivered them to Arnon between six and seven in the evening; I delivered them to Arnon just below Limehouse cut, and on the 4th of October, between five and six, I saw them along side of Dagneash's wharf, by the crane.

SAMUEL ARNON . I am a lighterman. On the 29th of September. I was employed by the servant of Mr. Fox, to take twelve pieces of timber altogether; I received twelve pieces of timber; they were all fastened together by ropes. On Sunday morning, I took them into the New-cut, I made them fast to a barge laying in Mr. Richardson's dock, near seven o'clock in the morning; it is a still water place. On the 4th of October, Monday morning, I missed them from there; there were eight pieces of timber gone; there were four remaining, and when

I came to Dagneash's wharf there were there seven pieces of timber; six out of the seven pieces of timber were six that I lost. It lay alongside of the wharf. I afterwards communicated it to Mr. Fox. I told him where the timber laid.

RALPH HOPE . I am an officer of Shadwell office. On the 4th of October I went with the prosecutor to Dagneash's wharf, about half past eight, I saw the two sons of Mr. Dagneash, the father, who stands at the bar. Mr. Fox knocked at the door; he informed Mr. Dagneash's son, that he had brought the person for whom he had bought the timber; he wished to have the contents in order to send down the checks the next morning for the money. It being very dark a light was produced; we went down the wharf; Simeon Dagneash and his brother went with me and Mr. Fox. Simeon Dagneash gave the contents to his brother, and his brother put it down upon a piece of paper; he gave the contents of six pieces. Mr. Fox put a mark upon the timber, a F. We then came up to the accompting-house, and Mr. Fox received the contents upon a piece of paper. He then enquired if the timber was sound. They said, it was perfectly sound, they had opened a great deal of it. On the next morning, Tuesday, we went down again between eight and nine; Mr. Fox went down the wharf himself; he would not let me go that time. What conversation passed I cannot say, I was not present. I went down afterwards; Mr. Dagneash, the elder, and Simeon, were both there. Mr. Fox then claimed the timber; he requested Simeon Dagneash to take the timber from where he brought it. Mr Fox then said, my man is here; a man may take his own property wherever he finds it. The timber was there on the wharf, and Mr. Fox's man took it away. No objection was made on the part of the prisoner to his taking it away. I then desired Mr. Dagneash and and his son to attend at the office; they did from time to time.

EBENEZER CORNELL . I am a clerk to Mr. Smith, a timber-merchant. This is the note of delivery; I wrote it myself.

Q. to Mr. Fox. What is the price you paid; what is the amount of that quality - A. That is the bill, forty-nine pounds for the whole of it.

Q. What would be the price of it at ten pound a load - A. Forty pound.

William Dagneash 's Defence. My lord, and gentlemen of the Jury, on the 2nd of October last, as I was coming down my timber yard, a man who is repairing a barge for me, he called out, sir, there is a man wants to speak to you. I came down to the river, the New-Cut, Limehouse: I saw a person, his name is Pennington, who is in the employ of Mr. Richardson and son; he asked me if I had lost any timber. I told him, I could not tell, I would look and see. I examined my wharf, at which there is a sharp point which goes into the river, or New Cut, where I drew up timber. I then saw a vacancy in my dock, where there were some timber missing. I could not tell the number of pieces. I I then told Pennington that I had, but I could not tell the number of pieces. They put their boats into my dock; I supposed they took the timber to put themselves over; it is a still water place. This is all that passed. Pennington walked away. I came to the accompting-house; my eldest son was there; he is clerk; my youngest son, William, he attends the loading. I said to my eldest son, Sim, Pennington says there is some timber drifted down to Richardsons, you must go and take Bill with you, take some rope and staple, and push through the lock. If any timber comes there they push it away. This was my order to my son. The timber I never saw. This was on Saturday. On Monday the 4th of October, about dusk, my son said a man has bought six pieces of timber; he says he knows you very well. I came home the next morning, one of my then said a gentleman wanted to speak to me. I said to my son, Sim, I dare say this is the gentleman that has purchased the timber of you last night, as you are the person that agreed with him, you are the most proper person to go. I then said, as he said he knew me, I had better go; however, my son went down before me. When I came near the dock where this timber laid, I said, good morning, Mr. Fox; he made no reply, but said, pray, sir, where did you purchase that timber. I was surprised. I had no doubt I purchased it of Chatfield and Arnott. He replied, you are a liar, sir; your son has sold me my own property; well you may build houses; there are many poor men transported for a lesser crime. I do not know that ever I saw the timber before. Upon a narrow inspection I saw it was not our timber. I said, upon my word, Mr. Fox, I am very sorry. He then said, villain, I will not hear it. I then said, Mr. Fox, if I have offended the laws I am very willing to go along with you where you think proper. If my timber had been marked this would not have occurred.

Simeon Dagneash 's Defence. On Saturday the 2nd of October, my father told me there was some, timber adrift. According to my father's request I got ropes and staples, and collected this timber together. It was similar to our timber. William Boxall was upon Mr. Richardson's wharf; I asked him if that was our timber; he said he did not know who they belonged to, as William Pennington had made them fast he supposed they belonged to us. I admit I untied the rope, and took them away in the presence of Mr. Boxall. I saw another piece laying opposite of Mr. Rossiter's, the boat-builder; which William Coglan made fast to the six pieces which Mr. Fox claimed as his property; then after making them fast to our wharf I went to breakfast, when one of our men called to me in the accompting-house, and said a gentleman wished to speak to me in the yard. I went out; it was Mr. Fox; he enquired of me if we had got any red pine timber for sale. I told him we had. I shewed him some in the yard; he said that did not suit his purpose; he said, these six will suit me as well as any. He asked the price; I told him ten guineas; he agreed at ten pound a load. In the evening Mr. Fox came again; I gave him the contents of the timber. The next morning Mr. Fox came again; after a good morning to each other had passed, my father came down the yard; he said, how do you do, Mr. Fox, Mr. Fox made no reply. He said, sir, where did you purchase

this timber. I answered, at Messrs. Chatfield and Arnott's; then he said, I suppose you have got a bill of parcels. My father answered, he did not know that he had; then he said, I have got you, your son has sold me six pieces of my own timber. My father turned to me and said, Sim, this is a bad job indeed; you must have brought this timber by mistake. He turned to Mr. Fox and begged his pardon, and said, he has collected this timber by mistake. He abused him, called him a thief, a villain. My father said, he was not afraid of the laws of his country. Then we went to the office.

The prisoners called twenty witnesses, who gave them a good character.


Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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