ROBERT FISHER.
7th December 1826
Reference Numbert18261207-14
VerdictsGuilty; Guilty
SentencesTransportation

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14. ROBERT FISHER was indicted for stealing, on the 25th of November , 112lbs. of canvas wrappers, value 15s.; 4 pamphlets on the silk trade, value 4s.; 1 printed book, value 18d., and 2ozs. of thread-leish, value 9d., the goods of Thomas Davidson , his master .

THOMAS DAVIDSON. I am a silk-manufacturer , and live in Star-court, Bread-street . The prisoner was my porter . On the 25th of November two officers called, and I found him in custody, with a quantity of wrappers, weighing 112lbs.; they are worth 15s., and most of them have my mark on them; I had examined the packages, which they had formerly enclosed, and numbered the wrappers; he had no authority to take them; they were kept in the lower warehouse with the silk which they had formerly enclosed; the prisoner slept on the premises; and in a closet behind his bed, of which the officer produced the key, I found four pamphlets on the silk trade, and another book, belonging to my child, and several skeins of thread-leish. The prisoner had possession of that cupboard - he lived four years and a half with me.

JAMES TOMKINS . I am a patrol of Cripplegate. - About ten minutes before six o'clock on the evening of the 25th of November, I was in Milk-street, and saw the prisoner come into Robinhood-court; he pitched a load down, which I took up, and Henman secured him; we asked whose property he had got - he said it was his own - Henman took him to Mr. Hayter's, the beadle, in Milk-street; we afterwards went to Mr. Davidson, in Bread-street; we showed him the wrappers, at Hayter's house, and he claimed them.

Cross-examined by MR. ANDREWS. Q. He said it was his own? A. Yes at first - I did not hear him give any other account.

WILLIAM HENMAN . I am a patrol, and was with Tomkins - I took the prisoner in the court, and asked what he had got - he said, "Some wrappers" - I asked if they belonged to him; he said they did - I asked if they were his perquisites; he said they were - I asked how long he had had them as perquisites; he said about six months - I took him a little way, and said I did not believe his statement, and asked who he lived with - he said, with Messrs. Davidson and Perks, of Star-court - I said I should send for Mr. Davidson, as I thought it was a robbery - he immediately asked what Mr. Davidson would say if he came - I said I could not tell; he then said they were his master's property, and not his - he said he would give me the whole of it, if I would let him go - I refused, and took him into Hayter's - I found a purse containing two sovereigns and 5s. 6d. on him - I went to Mr. Davidson, who saw the wrappers and claimed them.

Cross-examined. Q. Are you a City constable? A. I am a ward-officer, and have been ten months in office.

I thought it my duty to question him - it was not with a view to convict him; but if the property was his own, he had a right to go about his business - he said they were his perquisites at first, but I doubted that, and questioned him to judge whether I was right in detaining him - I did not say that what he said would be given in evidence - he gave no account before the Magistrate, that I heard, but said he deferred it till he came here; no witnesses were offered in my presence - I and Tomkins were close together.

MR. DAVIDSON. I have examined the wrappers; they are mine; they are not allowed as perquisites - the prisoner never understood so, for they are always made into bags again - they are my sole property; Mr. Perks has been dead four years.

Cross-examined. Q. How long had the prisoner been with you? A. Four years and a half. Wrappers of this description are made into bags, and there is also a common sort, which the people make the bags of; they are all made up into two sorts of bags, new and old - this was all good, and was packed up to be sent to the workhouse next day, to be made into bags, and the prisoner would have to deliver it out. I have two apprentices - they were not examined before the Magistrate - thread-leish is used in making harness - the greater part of this is excellent wrappering, and would all make good bags - I never allowed any thing of the sort as perquisites, nor has it ever been claimed - it has never been considered that damaged wrappers are perquisites.

GUILTY . Aged 22.

15. ROBERT FISHER was again indicted for stealing on the 7th of December , 1 crape scarf, value 20s.; 1 shawl, value 10s.; 1 piece of silk handkerchiefs, containing 5, value 20s.; 7 handkerchiefs, value 20s., and 3 leather wrappers, value 7s. , the goods of Thomas Davidson, his master.

WILLIAM SPINSLEY . I am warehouseman to Mr. Davidson, and have been so for three years and a half; the prisoner was porter there all that time; he slept in the house, but was not boarded. When the officers gave me information, I went with them to his father's house - they searched three boxes which stood in the fire-place, and found this property; the keys found on the prisoner opened the boxes - in one of them was found a silk damask shawl, worth 10s., which had never been worn - it has no private mark, but corresponds with similar articles in Mr. Davidson's possession; the prisoner was not present - in the same box were three leather wrappers, which came from a silk throwster whose initials were on them - the same person supplies other people, but these wrappers had been missed, and the prisoner was asked several times if he had returned them to the throwster; he said he had - I asked him myself if he had returned them, and he said he had; this was at least six months before - there were seven silk handkerchiefs in the same box, which I believe to be Mr. Davidson's - there is the mark where the ticket had been gummed on them - they were folded in a paper, with the mark of our house; it is in the hand-writing of the manufacturer - a crape scarf was found in another room in a drawer which was not locked.

Cross-examined. Q. The constable produced the keys which opened the box? A. Yes, the prisoner was in custody at the time - he did not lodge at his father's. When goods are sold, we seldom take the ticket off; it seldom comes off, unless it has not been sufficiently gummed, and then it would not leave the gum mark which is on these handkerchiefs.

WILLIAM HENMAN . I attended this search, and opened three or four boxes with some keys which I found on the prisoner; one box containing the property was opened by one of these keys - he did not know I was going to search his father's house.

Cross-examined. Q. Which is the key that opened the box? A. One key opened all the boxes - I cannot say which; I found three of the keys in the prisoner's cupboard at his master's house - I do not conceive them to be common keys.

MR. DAVIDSON. The goods produced are such as I have in my possession; I never sold the prisoner or his father any thing of the sort - his father sells wood about the street - these were my property, but may have been sold.

GUILTY . Aged 22.

Transported for Fourteen Years .


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