28th October 1820
Reference Numbert18201028-4
VerdictGuilty; Guilty
SentenceDeath; Death

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1229. DANIEL GENTLE and WILLIAM READ were indicted for stealing, on the 5th of October , at St. George, Hanover-square, six china plates, value 6 l.; seven china cups, covers and stands, value 5 l.; one china cup and stand, value 8 s.; two china flower-pots, value 5 s.; one china cup, value 5 s.; one pair of boots, value 10 s., and one smelling bottle, value 5 s., the goods of John Mortlock , in his dwelling-house .

WILLIAM SAINSBURY . I lived servant with Mr. John Mortlock twelve or thirteen years, and left him last Wednesday. His warehouse is at No. 250, Oxford-street, in the parish of St. George, Hanover-square . He had a servant slept there constantly, to take care of the property; he is a china and glass dealer . Gentle lived warehouseman with him about five years, and left the day he was apprehended. Read lived there about a year, and left three years ago. In the last week of September, Mr. Mortlock sent me to Mr. Cook's in Wardour-street; I found some china plates exposed for sale, which I knew to be Mr. Mortlock's property; he described the person who sold them, and in consequence of which I went to Read's house as the person, and asked him if he had sold a lot of china plates and other things to Mr. Cook? he said he had; I asked who he bought them of? he said a lady; I asked what lady? he said he was not bound to tell; I said

"You must know who she was?" - he said he had an insuperable objection to tell me; I said I was placed in such circumstances that I really must know; he then said he should have no objection to inform Mr. Mortlock, or Mr. Brewer our head cashier; I said Mr. Mortlock was not at home, and asked him to walk with me to see Mr. Brewer. He would not inform Mr. Brewer or me. I asked him if he had any objection to write to Mr. Mortlock what he had to say; he objected to that, but wished to write to Mr. William Mortlock , the prosecutor's brother. I sent to him two days after to know if he had wrote; he sent me word he had. I went with the officer to take him up; the officer asked him how he came by the china plates; he said he took them of a lady in exchange for other goods; that is all he would say. When brought before the Magistrate his confession was taken down. Gentle was apprehended the same evening, he lived in the house. No threat or promise was made to induce them to confess.

Prisoner READ. Q. Did I not live three years with Mr. Mortlock - A. He might. I never knew him guilty of anything.

EDWARD COOK . I keep a china shop in Wardour-street. In June or July, I bought one India china jar; six china plates, worth 10 s. 6 d. each; six china cups, covers, and stands worth two guineas, and five or seven jars of different descriptions. I have sold six cups and four plates. I bought them of the prisoner Read all at once.

(Property produced, and sworn to.)

SAMUEL PLANK . I am an officer. I took the prisoners into custody. I took Read at his house in North-street, and questioned him how he came by the plates found at Cook's; he said he had them from a lady, but refused to tell who she was. I found a pair of boots, some flowerpots and a china cup, at the cottage of one King. I took Gentle the same evening, and found three keys on him; he said one was the key of his box at his master's, and the others were keys of two boxes which he had at King's cottage, who was also in Mr. Mortlock's employ. One of them was a skeleton key, the wards were filed out. He then acknowledged that it was not the key of his box, but the key of his master's desk, and that he filed out the wards himself to fit his master's desk. I found it did open the desk. When I returned from King's I told him what I had found; he said they were all his master's property, he had taken them and had robbed his master of a great deal more, and had given nearly all the property to Read, who disposed of it, and brought him his share of the money; that he had received about 80 l. as his share, and gave nearly all of it to a young woman named Wilmot, who he was about to be married to. I searched her boxes where she was in service, and found a china cup, a smelling bottle, with a book of a Saving Bank, as a receipt for 75 l. Wilmot came into the presence of Gentle, and said she had the money, cup and smelling-bottle from him. He acknowledged it, and said it was Mr. Mortlock's property, and the money was the produce of the stolen goods. I said nothing to induce him to confess, and the Magistrate reasoned with him on the impropriety of signing his confession - I saw them both sign them.


The voluntary confession of Daniel Gentle , who says,

"I live warehouseman with Mr. Mortlock, I have lived five years there. I became acquainted with Read by his being there with me; he left Mr. Mortlock's above two years ago, and applied to me to give him various articles of china from the premises to sell, and he agreed to give me half what they sold for. He usually came after the shop was shut. I was the only person left in the premises at night, I slept in the kitchen. When he came we used to go into the warerooms and collect such articles as he thought would suit, he then packed up as much as he could in a handkerchief and took them away. I have received about 80 l. from him, which I gave to Eliza Wilmot , who lived servant with Mr. Parden, architect, in Berner's-street, and to whom I was going to be married; who placed the sum in the Provident Institution for Savings, Leicester-place, Leicester-square, in the following sums in the name of Eliza Wilmot .

1819. May 24th. 14 l.

June 7th. 10 l.

- 21st. 15 l.

July 10th. 11 l.

October 16th. 5 l.

November 20th. Interest 17 s. 11 d.


February 21st. 20 l. 75 l. 17 s. 11 d.

I also gave Wilmot a smelling bottle with a silver top, and a thimble. I also took two china garden-pots, a very nice Chelsea vase and covers, a seive-can and saucer, a pair of new boots and a table-cloth. I filed a key to make a skeleton key, with which I used to open the desk in which the money was kept, and have frequently taken various sums at different times; sometimes 5 s., sometimes 10 s. I made the key about twelve months ago; I opened the desk sometimes once a week, and sometimes twice. I do not claim the money in the Saving Institution as my property, but consider it being the property of Mr. Mortlock as the produce from the sale of the china given to Read and disposed of by him, and paid to me by Read as my share.




The voluntary confession of William Read , who says

"I lived with Mr. Mortlock three years as shopman, and left about two years and a half age. For nearly two years I have been in the habit of receiving various dessert china sets, tea services, and one dinner service from Daniel Gentle . I used to go after the shop was shut, and was let in by Daniel Gentle ; I used to tie up as much as I could in a handkerchief, and take them away at different times. I sold a dinner service to Mrs. Jones, No. 1, Park-lane, for fifty guineas; one dessert set to Mr. Dawson, Manchester-square, for fifteen guineas; one ditto to Mr. Hand, Stratford-place, for ten guineas; one breakfast ditto, for about six guineas; one tea ditto, for about five guineas; one dessert set to a gentleman I do not know for twenty guineas; one ditto to Mr. Folkes, Queen Anne-street, West, for 9 l.; one ditto to Sir Frederick Fowke , Baker-street, for twenty guineas. I resided at No. 14 and 19 in North-street, Manchester-square, at the time, and used to advertize the articles as the property of a lady embarrassed, in the Morning Post. I sold six services of plates to Mr. Cook, No. 123, Wardour-street, for ten guineas, with three china jars, five other jars, six basons and covers. I represented them as belonging to a lady. In consequence of distress, I planned with Gentle the mode of robbing Mr. Mortlock, and I agreed to give him half the articles sold for.




GENTLE'S Defence. I lived five years with the prosecutor. I had only 1 l. a week, and I think I deserved 28 s. or 30 s. I throw myself upon your mercy.

READ'S Defence (written). I stand before you a dreadful example of the consequences arising from a master overstepping his line of duty, by depriving a servant unjustly of the character due to his services. Previous to my entering the employ of my prosecutor, I had lived fifteen years in some of the first families in London. I served my prosecutor for three years, in a situation of considerable confidence, with fidelity, and left him with assurances of support in placing me in business, and to which my father added the offer to him of 200 l. to promote that object. From some motives, of which I am ignorant, I was suddenly deprived of my prosecutor's and my father's flattering support, and found myself divested of friends, character, and employ. By casual employment, and some money saved by industry, I waited in hopes of the offer of some other situation, till becoming deeply embarrassed, I became involved in the charges which has led to the present indictment. My prosecutor having known my family for nearly forty years, and myself from childhood, deprived of the testimony of my friends from the influence of my prosecutor over their minds, I throw myself on the mercy of your Lordship and a Jury of my countrymen, and shall bow with humble submission to their judgment.

GENTLE - GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 26.

READ - GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 31.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Wood.

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