4th July 1833
Reference Numbert18330704-113
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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OLD COURT. Monday, July 8th.

Second London Jury, before Mr. Justice James Parke.

1137. EDWARD HART was indicted for stealing, on the 31st of May , 1 £5 bank note, the money of the Honourable William Fowry Law , in the dwelling-house of Robert Thomas , against the statute, &c.

Five other counts, varying the manner of stating the charge.

MESSRS. ADOLPHUS, SHEPHERD, and SCARLETT conducted the prosecution,

THOMAS RIDLEY . I am clerk to Messrs Gosling and others. William Gosling is the senior partner; I wrote this letter on the 31st of May, and inclosed in it ten £5 notes - I sealed it with a seal which had the impression"G. L. S." on it; I laid it on the table with other letters for the post-office - this seal is not the seal I put on it.

WILLIAM EWINGS . I am clerk in the same house. On the 31st of May, I delivered ten £5 notes to the last witness, Nos. 19577 to 19586, dated 24th, 1833 - I put them on my desk under a lead, till Mr. Ridley took them away - I did not see him take them; this is one of the notes, (No. 19585.)

MR. RIDLEY. I took the notes from under the lead.

JOHN BOWE . I am clerk at Messrs. Gosling and Co. I took the letters to the receiving-house on the 31st of May, this is one of them - I well remember the direction - I took them to Mr. Thomas's receiving-house in Fleet-street, before five o'clock; I put them in in the same state as I took them from the banking-house.

WILLIAM BOKENHAM . I am a clerk in the General Post-office. If a letter is put into the receiving-house, on any day, it should have the mark of the day it is put in - this letter has the mark of the 1st of June.

HENRY MATTHEWS . I am a clerk in the post-office. I made up the mail-bag for Cambridge, on the 1st of June - I have no doubt that this was one of the letters that was forwarded.

WILLIAM NEALE . I am porter at St. Peterhouse College, Cambridge. On the 2nd of June, I received a letter directed to the Honourable Mr. Law - I delivered to Mrs. Benstead, as I received it - it was a o ndon letter, and charged 2s.

MARY BENSTEAD . I received the letter from the last witness, on Sunday, the 2nd of June, I called my son and he took it to Mr. Law.

PHILIP BUCK BENSTEAD . I am son of the last witness. I delivered the letter on the 2nd of June, to the Honourable Mr. Fowry Law.

HONOURABLE WILLIAM FOWRY LAW . I am a fellowcommoner of St. Peterhouse College, Cambridge . On Saturday, the 1st of June, I expected a remittance from my banker's, but it did not come that day, but on Sunday,(the next day,) I received this letter; it had nine £5 notes in it, and contained advice of the receipt of ten - there were No. 19577 to 19586, with 19585 missing - the seal was remarkable, it struck me there was something wrong.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. I believe the seal was so much unlike one used by people in business that it excited your attention directly? A. Yes, it appeared to me as if a penny and a thumb had been pressed against it - the person who took the one note, might have taken the whole, certainly.

THOMAS SAUNDERS SUTTON . I keep the White Hart public-house, at Mitcham. I know Mr. Hart, he keeps the King's Head; the prisoner is his son - Henry Garwood came to my house on Sunday, the 2nd of June, about eleven o'clock in the forenoon, for change for a £5 note - I did not ask him any questions; this is the note - here is the name "Hart" on it, which I wrote at the time; I gave 5 sovereigns in gold for it.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you know the prisoner? A. Yes, for nine years - up to this time he had a good character; his father and friends are respectable - it was his custom to come to his father on Sundays.

ROBERT THOMAS . I am a stationer, and live at No. 203, Fleet-street . I kept a receiving-house for general post letters, up to the 19th of June - I am the housekeeper - the house is in the parish of St. Dunstan in the West; the prisoner was my apprentice, he assisted in doing the business of the post-office; he had a key to the box of the letters which were brought in - if a letter was brought there before five o'clock, on the 31st of May, it would go the same night - the prisoner lodged in my house; he was in the habit of going to Mitcham, every Sunday, to see his father - he went there, on Sunday, the 2nd of June; some time after that I was sent for to the post-office - the prisoner was examined at Bow-street, and after that I had some conversation with him; I did not use any threat or promises to him - in the first place, he was asked what he did with the money - I believe it was by myself - he told me that three of the sovereigns were concealed at the end of the shop, on the top of some French books - he did not say how he came by the note - I asked him what he did with the rest of the money; he said he bought a brooch and gave a sovereign for it, and bought some trifling articles with the remainder of the money- I asked him how he became possessed of the letter - he told me he had concealed it about his person, and took it up to his bed-room at night; he then extracted the £5 note, and re-sealed the letter - I found the three sovereigns in my shop in the place he told me; this wax is similar to the common post-office wax.

Cross-examined. Q. I suppose you mean to seal the bags? A. Yes; this letter is very clumsily sealed - it does not look like any intention to deceive; the prisoner is a very respectable lad, he had been with me nearly three years - I had a premium of 150l. with him - he had conducted himself to my satisfaction in every respect - I sleep in that house.

JOHN LAWSON . I am a bank clerk. There is no other £5 note of the same number and date as this.

The letter stating that £50 in £5 notes was enclosed, signed Gosling and Sharp, was here read. It was addressed "To the Honourable William Fowry Law, St. Peterhouse College, Cambridge."

James Dempster and Edwin Tipple gave the prisoner a good character.

GUILTY. Aged 17 - Transported for Life .

Recommended to mercy on account of his character .

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