STEPHEN MORRIS, Theft > theft from a specified place, 28th October 1818.

Reference Number: t18181028-80
Offence: Theft > theft from a specified place
Verdict: Guilty > with recommendation
Punishment: Death
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1471. STEPHEN MORRIS was indicted for stealing, on the 4th of October , at St. Pancras, one coffee-pot, value 20l.; thirty silver spoons, value 7l.; one silver tankard, value 7l.; one silver fish-slice, value 5l.; two silver butter-boats, value 3l.; three silver sauce-ladles, value 3l.; two silver salt-cellars, value 10s., and one shirt, value 5s., the goods of William Clulow , Esq. in his dwelling-house .

MRS. ELIZABETH CLULOW . I am the wife of William Clulow, who lives in Camden-street, Camden-town , in the parish of St. Pancras; we have lived there ten years. My husband went abroad ten weeks ago. I remained at home with Emma Owen , and Joseph Braid , the servants. Braid had lived with me three years, and Owen one year. While my husband was abroad, I went twice to visit my daughters, one lives at Clapham, and the other at Brixton. I remained three days at each place.

Q. When did you pay your first visit - A. On the 14th of September. I left Owen and Braid in care of the house. The prisoner was a private watchman , employed by the gentlemen in our neighbourhood. On Tuesday, the 6th of October, I went to bed at twelve o'clock - I had ordered the two servants to bed before that. At half-past two the prisoner sprang his rattle, which alarmed me - I got up, opened my bed-room window, and rang my bell-Owen came.

Q. What did she say to you - A. I asked what was the matter - She knocked at my door-when I found it was her, I opened it. She said thieves were in the house, that two of them came to her bedside, with their faces blackened, that one of them remained, holding a pistol over her, and threatening that he would blow her brains' out, if she stirred - She said that she remained in that situation half an hour, when the watchman sprang his rattle, and the man who stood over her, cursed himself, and said, he must be off - She said she was alarmed. As I opened my door to let her in, I saw Braid with the poker across his shoulder, and the prisoner with him - They were coming up stairs.

Q. Where was your plate-chest usually kept - A. In the two pair of stairs back room-it is a wooden box. I had seen it two or three days before, it then had no appearance of anything having been done to it.

Q. When you went into the room next morning, did you miss any plate - A. Yes to a considerable amount; I missed a silver coffee-pot, worth 20l., a tankard worth above 2l., and the other things stated in the indictment.

Cross-examined by MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. Was the prisoner employed by Mr. Clulow - A. No.

Q. After the plate was missed, did your servant maid make any confession to you - A. Not to me, it was to the officer. I had seen my plate all safe together within the space of two months before. I keep an inventory of it - I occasionally called it over.

MR. REYNOLDS. Q. How lately had you seen the coffee-pot - A. I realy do not know; I saw it when I saw the rest, in the paper that it was wrapped in, which was in the drawing-room, in the morning-it was not there the night before. My spoons are all made to pattern, and have a crest on them.

MR. THOMAS WALLIS . I live at No. 5, Camden-street, next door to Mr. Clulow. On the morning of the 7th of October, I was alarmed about half-past two o'clock, by the springing of the watchman's rattle. I looked out of my back window, and saw a great light launch on the balcony. I called out, what is the matter, the prisoner cried out, very distinctly, come and see what is the matter. I made haste and went to the prosecutor's house. In the drawing-room, I saw a sheet spread upon a blanket, and several knives and forks laid on it, as if they were put there to be packed up. The prisoner looked into the plate-chest, which was open-the nails were drawn, and the lock hanging to it. He unfolded a paper, and found a large marrow-spoon in it. There was some bread, mutton, and a knife on the sideboard, as if the robbers had been regaling themselves. A window was broken, and a ladder put across the wall, which separated my house from the prosecutor's-one foot of the ladder was on the fence wall. The window came down to the floor, and had no fastening. I said there was no necessity for breaking the window to get in, as it could have been pushed up, nor could a hand be got through the hole that was broken-there were candles in the room-the prisoner was in the room, and Braid was on the stones, without his shoes and stockings - He ouly had his shirt on, with the collar undone, and appeared as if he was frightened to death; as if he had been alarmed, and got out of bed. I commended the prisoner for his activity on the occasion, and always respected him, as I thought him a very active watchman.

Cross-examined. Q. You knew him some years - A. Yes, he always bore a good character. He once detected a man breaking into one of my houses, and was rewarded by the gentlemen.

JOHN SMITH. I am conductor of the patrol of Bow-street. On the 7th of October, about seven o'clock in the morning, the prisoner came to my house in Kentish-town, and said there had been a robbery at the prosecutor's house. I went with him to Davis, one of my men, and we all three went to the prosecutor's.

Q. You have heard the account Mr. Wallis gave, of the situation of the room - A. It is correct.

Q. What account did the prisoner give you - A. He said that he saw a light in the kitchen, about half-past two o'clock-he saw a man was there, and he thought they were robbing the house, he knocked at the door, and sprang his rattle-that in two or three minutes the servant, named Joseph, let him in, he went down stairs, with him, and found the back premises open, and a ladder on the wall, which led up to the drawing-room balcony; that he then went up stairs, and saw the things strewed about the room - He said the plate-chest was on the sofa, and a pane of glass broken in the drawing-room window. I examined the house, with Davis, but could find no marks of violence, excepting the one pane broken in the window. The glass was all over the carpet. I went to the plate-chest, and found the nails drawn, and the lock hanging to it-things remained in this situation till that day week.

Q. Was the prisoner apprehended on that day week - A. Yes; I sent him on a message, and then told him I suspected him of the robbery, and must take him into custody. He asked what Joe (meaning the footman), had said? I told him what he had said he would state before the magistrate. I searched him, and found a watch, a gold seal and key, and two 1l. notes, on him. I have kept the seal. He said he knew bl-dy well who had the plate, for it was the old Jew. I then went with Davis to his lodgings, No. 7, Caroline-street, Camden-town; and in a drawer in his bed-room, I found a frilled shirt, marked C, in red-it appeared that another letter had been taken out; it was on the 15th. I found nothing else that day. He was taken to the office. Next day I searched his house again, and found eight silver tea-spoons, three with the crest - A lion; two with the eypher C, and three with the crest erased. I produce them.

Q. You say he said it was an old Jew who had the plate, did he afterwards tell you any more about it - A. Yes; he said, at the office, that it was old Mike and I knew him well, and have known himsome years. I had the seal, which I found on the prisoner - I have seen one like it in the possession of Mike-it has no impression; he often showed me things; he showed me one like it about a fortnight or three weeks before I took the prisoner.

Q. Did you receive an earthen pot from Mr. Clulow - A. Yes, it contained four 1l. notes and three duplicates, made out in the name of Joseph Braid. I took Braid into custody the same day. He took me on the 15th to a court in Petticoat-lane, where Mike lived; he took me into a front room, up one pair of stairs, where I found Mike with his wife and daughter.

Cross-examined. Q. You knew nothing of the robbery until the prisoner informed you, and took you to the house - A. No.

Q. When you saw him a week after, you had before had some conversation with Braid - A. Yes, with both the servants. Braid did not confess in my presence, my man told me what he had said. I had examined both the servants before their master, and told them it must be somebody in the house. Braid then denied any knowledge of it. Since the prisoner has been in custody, Braid has told me part of the story again, not before, he had told me he had received some money of the prisoner.

Q. Did you take him into custody before you took the prisoner - A. Yes, I took him on the Tuesday night. I took Owen and the prisoner the next day. Before I took Morris I had sent him with a letter upon the business.

Q. Did he know the servants were in custody before you took him - A. Yes; I have known him five or six years; he bore a good character.

COURT. Q. You sent him to the prosecutor's son-in-law with a letter, after the others were in custody, and he knew it - A. Yes; he brought an answer back, which he was ordered to do, delivered the message to Mrs. Clulow at her house, and then I took him.

JOSEPH BRAID . I was footman to Mr. Clulow, and had been so for upwards of three years. Owen was my fellow-servant. My master was gone abroad, and my mistress went occasionally from home, leaving us in care of the house.

Q. On Tuesday, the 15th of September, did you and Owen go to the Play - A. Yes, we went to the Play, and left the house in the care of Dennis, who is my uncle.

Q. Sometime after that had you any conversation with the prisoner about what happened that night - A. Yes; a fortnight after, he called me into the Hope and Anchor, public-house, and said he had something to tell me; that it was a very serious thing, and I should be obliged to be taken up when my master came home; and that he was afraid to tell me, lest I should split-which means telling. I promised I would not say anything about it.

Q. Then he told you what had taken place - A. Yes.

Q. Pass over that; the next day did he tell you what was to be done - A. Yes; he said there would be no other way of getting over it, than this, which was-to break open the house. I was to call him in at twelve o'clock at night, and he would do it as if it had been broken open; then at half-past two he would give a false alarm; but that he would have some more plate first.

Q. How long before the false alarm did this conversation take place - A. It was two or three days before.

Q. What else did he tell you - A. He said he would have some more plate first. He sent me up on Sunday morning, before the alarm, to fetch some plate down-it was in a chest in my master's bed-room. I fetched it down in a half-peck measure, and took it to him in the stable-yard. I took a silver tankard, silver coffee-pot, three silver salt-cellars, some spoons and forks-he was in my master's stable-yard ready to receive them. He put all that he could about his person, and I took the rest. He told me to follow him, and said he was going to Angelcourt, Gravel-lane.

Q. Did he say who he was going to - A. Not till he got there. When he got there he said he was going to Old Mike. We went up to the first floor - He was not at home. We staid about half an hour, he then came in. A young woman and a young man left the room, leaving us three together.

Q. Were you afterwards to meet anywhere - A. Yes, we were to meet that day, at two o'clock, at the prisoner's house, in Caroline-street, for the money that the plate fetched. I went there, and met Mike, and the prisoner there. I saw Mike put a handful of notes into the prisoner's hand - We all had some gin Mike then left, and the prisoner gave me six 1l. notes, and told me to be sure to put them where they would never be found. I spent two, and put the other four in an earthen pot, and buried it in my master's garden.

Q. Did your mistress come home on that Sunday - A. No, on the Monday.

Q. Did you see anything of the prisoner, and Mike on the Monday - A. Yes, at the Cock in Somers'-town. I bought a razor, and a small pin of Mike, and the prisoner bought a seal and a key. Those produced are the same,

Q. When you saw Morris, did he inquire if your mistress was come home - A. Yes, I told him she had come home that day, he said it must be done that night for fear my master should come home. The house was to be broken open.

Q. What directions did he give you about it then - A. I was to let him in when he called twelve, and to be sure not to go to sleep. He told me to shut the dog up in the scullery, for fear he should bite him, which I did. I went to bed between ten and eleven o'clock, before my mistress. When the prisoner cried twelve o'clock, I got up and let him in through the area-gate, and through the kitchen. The key of the area gate, hung in the back parlour. We went up stairs. after pulling off our shoes. I went into my master's back bed-room, and brought down the plate-chest from there, and put it on the sofa, in the back drawing-room. I brought down some blankets, sheets, shirts, and handkerchiefs of my master's. We took the plate out of the chest, put them in the blanket, and tied them up as if they were ready to be taken away. We also took down two mirror glasses, and tied them up.

Q. Was anything done with a ladder - A. It was set on a wall at the back of the house, and led up to the balcony. Some bread and meat were brought up and put on the table, with a knife. Two candles were put in the drawing-room, one in master's bed-room, and one in the kitchen; they were all alight.

Q. Did Morris give you any direction to say any thing to Owen - A. Yes; he told me to tell her to say, that two men came up, with their faces blackened, and threatened to blow her brains out if she offered to stir. I told her so immediately as I came home on the Sunday. I had told her what he had told me had happened, while we were at the Play. We went to Astley's.

Q. All this being done, what then happened - A. At half-past one o'clock I let the prisoner out. He told me to be sure and not go to sleep, and that he would give the alarm at half-past two o'clock, and spring his rattle, which he did; I got up and let him in; he went down stairs and undone the back door. I went up stairs, following him with the kitchen poker.

Q. Was any plate left in your care, besides what was in the chest - A. Yes, some tea-spoons. (Looking at those produced.) These are them.

Q. Some time after the alarm was given, did Mr. Clulow, junior, show you an earthen jug - A. Yes, there were duplicates in it, and four 1l. notes, which belonged to me; they were the notes which the prisoner gave me for my share. I was taken up by Smith, and went with him to Mike Levy 's. I went first.

Cross-examined. Q. How long have you lived in town - A. Four years, three of which I have been in the prosecutor's service.

Q. Had your uncle ever been to the house before the

night you went to the Play - A. Yes, he had been to see me. He went no further than the kitchen. He slept in the house the night we went to the Play, and two nights before that, with me in the front parlour.

Q. On this night you went to the Play and let him sleep in the house by himself the while - A. Yes. I never showed him the plate-chest; it was kept up two pair of stairs, in my master's back bed-room. It was not concealed. There were other boxes there and furniture. We set out about four o'clock to go to the Play-went over Westminster-bridge to Astley's-called at No. 1, Upper Harley-street, to see an acquaintance of Owen's. We had tea there. A gentleman named Smith keeps the house. We left there, and went straight to the theatre, and got there before the performance began, which was at half-past six.

Q. What entertainment did you see - A. I cannot remember the name of it. We remained there till it was over, and got home at half past twelve o'clock. We staid no where else.

Q. Who drank tea with you - A. Owen, and her acquaintance, whose name was Sarah Jones.

Q. When you went home you knew nothing of the robbery being committed, or thought of it - A. No; I never had the least notion of anything of the kind, until a fortnight after. My uncle had called to speak to me after-the robbery and left again.

Q. Who was present at the Hope and Anchor, besides you and the prisoner - A. Nobody. I went to get a pint of beer, and the prisoner called me to him. I was then innocent of any robbery.

Q. And the first thing he said was, that you would be hung if you did not do something - A. Yes.

Q. Did you not say."Why, how can that be?" - A. Yes. He said he would tell me, if I promised not to tell; and if he told me, I could get over it. I asked him to be so good as to tell me. He said he would tell me in the morning.

Q. He told you nothing else till the morning - A. No. I told Owen he had said so. He told me afterwards that night. When next morning came, he said nothing could be done but breaking open the house.

Q. What did he tell you over night - A. He said I should be taken up, when my master came home. And would I split if he told me? I said No. After some time, he told me my uncle had been breaking open the plate-chest, and taking some plate out, the night we were at the Play, and to be sure and say nothing about it. I asked what they had taken; he said he did not know, but my uncle would tell me. That was all he said that night.

Q. How often had your mistress been at home in the fortnight - A. She had been at home; she slept in the front room, which communicates with the back room, where the plate-chest was, all the fortnight.

Q. Had you been particularly acquainted with the prisoner before - A. Yes, I have often been to the Hope and Anchor to speak to him. The spoons had been in my care, for common use; they were not kept in the plate-chest.

Q. When he advised you to make this contrivance, did you not say, "What have I to do with all this?" - A. No.

Q. You told me the agreement was made on Sunday to break open the house - A.On the Sunday that the plate was taken to the Jew.

Q. How long before that did the first conversation take place - A.About a week.

Q. You took the second parcel of plate - A. Yes. The prisoner sent me after it. Owen knew nothing but what I told her.

Q. He took you to the Jew on Sunday; you was never there before - A. No.

Q. Did you tell about the seal and key, till it was found on the prisoner - A. I was taken up before I said anything about the business.

Q. Where did you live before you came to the prosecutor - A. With Mr. Childs, a solicitor, in the Borough; before that, at Bethnal-green.

MR. REYNOLDS. Q. You say the prisoner first said he would not tell you what had taken place till the morning; when he told you, did you look at the plate-chest - A. Yes, and found the nails drawn out, and put in as before. If my mistress had opened it, she would have seen what had been done.

EMMA OWEN . I am servant to the prosecutor, and was left in care of the house with Braid.

Q. When your mistress was away, did you go any where with Braid - A. Yes, to Astley's; we returned at half past twelve. We had left Dennis in care of the house.

Q. At any time after that night, did Braid tell you any thing - A. A fortnight afterwards he told me what had taken place that night.

Q. Did he afterwards tell you to do any thing - A. Yes; he said the watchman and his uncle had been plundering the house the night we were at the Play, and it would be very serious, and the way they must get over it would be to lay the house open as if it had been robbed. He told me to say that two sailors had entered my bed-room with black faces.

Q. What did you tell Mrs. Clulow, the night the alarm was given - A. I went to her door, and said thieves had been in the house.

Q. Did you see the prisoner after you had been told what to say - A. Yes, I met him in Gloucester-place, Camden-town; he spoke to me, and I said "Watchman, I had rather that this which you have said to my fellow-servant had not taken place." He said I must be very foolish, for it could be done very easy.

Q. After Braid informed you what the prisoner had told him, did you look at the plate-chest - A. Yes, it appeared as if the nails had been drawn out and put in again.

Cross-examined. Q. Every thing was left in the house when your mistress went out - A. Yes. I am now come from the House of Correction, where I have been confined.

Q. Have you had an opportunity of having any conversation with Braid there - A. No; I have not seen him from the day he went there. I have been in the same room with him to-day, but the officer was with us.

Q. Have you had any conversatin with him about the evidence you were to give here - A. No. He told me to mind and speak the truth, and I told him so too, that was all we said. I knew nothing of the transaction till after it happened.

Q. What night did you go to the Play - A.On a Tuesday.

Q. How many places did you go to before you went

there - A. Nowhere, except to the public-house, which we went to as the doors of the play-house were not open. I am certain we stopped no where else.

Q. Perhaps you had your tea before you went out - A.We did not stop to have ten anywhere.

Q. You have no acquaintance in Harley-street, or near Mary-le-bone-A. I have an acquaintance in Upper Harley-street.

Q. Did you call on her that afternoon - A. Yes, I rang the bell for her, she came out, we went into the hall but did not stop. Her name is Sarah Jones.

Q. If any body has said you went there and drank tea, it would not be true - A. We remained about ten minutes with her, in the house-keeper's room; we had a cup of tea while we were there.

Q. Why not say so before - A. I did not understand you. I thought you asked if we had tea before we left home. Braid paid for us both at the theatre. We remained there till it was over, and got home at half-past twelve o'clock; Braid's uncle was then sitting up. I observed nothing particular for a fortnight after.

Q. Your mistress did not sleep in the room where the plate-chest was - A. No.

Q. Did Braid tell you any thing on the night he had been with the prisoner - A. Yes, he told me the same night that the watchman had told him, at the Hope and Anchor, that he, the prisoner, and his uncle had plundered the house the night we were at the Play, and that the prisoner said it would be a very serious thing when my master came home, and they must lay the house open.

Q. Did you see his uncle after that - A. Not at all. He was gone into the country. I saw him two or three nights after he slept in the house, nothing passed then about this.

Q. How long did Braid tell you about laying the house open before it was done - A. About a week before, I think. My mistress was at home at the time he said the watchman told him not to tell me anything about it.

Q. Did he give you any reason for it - A. He said the watchman had a wife and family, and desired me to say this, on account of his wife and family. Braid said that he should be brought into it, as he was left in care of the house. Braid never told me he had taken plate out of the chest. I knew nothing about the spoons.

BRAID re-examined by MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. How long before you was taken up was the money given by the Jew - A.About a week. I did not redeem anything after I received the money.

Q. How came you to pledge for the amount of 4s. on the 3d of October, as appears by one of your duplicates, if you had 6l. - A. I think it was before I received the money. The jug had been buried about a week before my master dug it up.

MR. REYNOLDS. Q. Was it Saturday or Sunday that you received the money - A. On the Sunday before the alarm was given, which was on Tuesday night, the 6th. I received the money on the 4th. I was taken on the 13th, which was the day the alarm was given.

COURT. Q. They were pledged on the day before you received the money - A. Yes.

THOMAS BOWSKILL . I live at No. 7, Caroline-street, Camden-town. The prisoner lodged with me. I have seen a Jew, named Mike, calling on him. I remember the day the alarm of the robbery was given.

Q. On the Sunday before that, was he at home - A. He came home at eleven o'clock in the morning, and went out. I saw him at home again at one o'clock, Mike, the Jew, was with him; Braid came in. It was on Sunday the 4th of October.

MR. JAMES HARMER. I am solicitor to this prosecution. When the prisoner was apprehended, in his way from the watch-house to Bow-street, he said Braid had more money than the 4l. which had been found in the garden. That Braid was concerned in selling the plate to the Jew, and he could prove that Braid had been at the house on the Sunday to meet the Jew.

Cross-examined. Q. Did he not say that Braid committed the robbery, and applied to him to assist in getting rid of the property-A. No.

(Spoons sworn to.)

Prisoner's Defence. I had no hand whatever in robbing the house.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 27.

Recommended to Mercy.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Dallas.


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