5th July 1841
Reference Numbert18410705-1921
VerdictsGuilty > unknown; Not Guilty > unknown

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1921. ALFRED MORLEY was indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling-house of James Newton and another, about the hour of twelve in the night of the 27th of May, at St. Sepulchre, with intent to steal, and stealing therein, 2400 pence, and 4800 halfpence, their property; and THOMAS DAVIS, alias Jones , for feloniously inciting him to commit the said burglary.

MR. BODKIN conducted the Prosecution.

JAMES NEWTON . I am in partnership with my father, James Newton, and carry on business, as cork-cutters, in St. John-street, in the parish of St. Sepulchre. About seven o'clock, on the morning of the 27th of May, I was called up by my servants—I went down stairs, and found the front door of the premises, which opens into the street, open—I then went into the parlour behind the shop, on the ground-floor—I found a box that was there had been broken open, and copper money, to the amount of about 20l., taken away—it was done up in five-shilling papers—I also lost a silver pencil-case from an inkstand on the sideboard in the same room—there were marks of a chisel, or instrument of that sort, being applied to the box to force it open—I was the last person up on the premises the night before—the front door was then secured by a lock, a bar, and two bolts—the prisoner Morley was in our service at the time as an errand-boy—the witness Thomas Fisher was my apprentice—neither of them slept on the premises—they left their work at eight o'clock in the evening—they ought to come in the morning at seven—on the morning I discovered this robbery Morley came a little after seven, and Fisher a little after nine—I immediately sent to the police—Inspector Penny came to my house—he asked Morley if he knew any thing of the robbery, as he was suspected—he said no, he was at home and in bed all night—that was before Fisher came to work, I think—I had Fisher and Morley taken into custody that evening, in consequence of a communication made to me by Porter, my foreman—they were taken before the Magistrate—Fisher then said he was at home and in bed, and slept with his father that night—the Magistrate gave him time to produce his father to prove that—he was produced, and examined that afternoon; and on his being examined the Magistrate discharged Fisher—after that, Porter made a statement to me, which led me to Fisher, and he made a statement to me—there is an area-gate in the front of the premises, the key of which hung on a hook over the desk in the front shop—in consequence of Fisher's communication, I and the policeman looked into a hole in the area on the 3rd of June, and there found twelve five-shilling papers of halfpence, similar to those I lost, wrapped up in a towel of which I know nothing—it did not belong to the premises—I looked for the key of the area-gate on the day of the robbery, and found it hanging up in its usual place.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. How soon after Fisher had been discharged by the Magistrate, in consequence of his father being examined, was he taken into custody again? A. Not till the 8th of June—he had been taken on the night of the 27th of May, and was discharged on the 28th—in the mean time he had been sometimes at work, and sometimes absent—he ought to have been constantly at work—when he was absent it was without my authority—it was on the 3rd of June I had the conversation with him—I said, his past faults had nothing to do with the present, and if he knew any thing about it, it would be best to tell me the whole truth—I did not say "it would be best for him"—I said, if he knew any thing about it, the best way would be for him to tell the whole

truth—I told him he knew I bad been robbed, and if he did not tell me I must seek out the parties—he knew, before he made any disclosure to me, that I was determined to seek out the parties.

Q. I believe you had found him before a very bad boy? A. He had been as good as the rest of them—I cannot say any tiling in praise of him—he was rather a bad boy—I have a very bad lot of them.

CHRISTIAN NEWTON . I am one of the prosecutor's foremen. On the morning of the 27th of May I went to my master's premises about seven or a quarter to seven o'clock—I found the outer door open—there was no one up in the house at that time—I rang the bell, and gave an alarm—a policeman was sent for—when he arrived Morley was sweeping the door—he asked what was the matter—I told him there bad been a robbery committed—he said, "Is that all?"—between eleven and twelve o'clock that morning I saw him in a place called "the burning shed," and he remarked, if he got loose that night from the premises he should not come to work in the morning—I said, "What for?"—he said, because he was suspected of being the thief—he said they had been trying to pump him, but if he knew any thing about it, it was not likely he should tell them—the police had left the house then.

JOHN FINK (police-constable G 47.) I went to the prosecutor's premises about half-past seven or a quarter to eight o'clock, on Thursday evening, the 27th of May, and Morley and Fisher were given into my custody—I told them I took them for robbing their master—they said they knew nothing of it—they were locked up that night, and taken before the Magistrate next day—I told the Magistrate that Morley had been seen near the house about four o'clock the same morning the robbery had been committed—Morley denied it, and said he was at home and in bed—Sergeant Gray was not then present—he came afterwards, and was examined to that fact, and then Morley never said a word—I assisted in taking, from a hole in the area, this towel, containing twelve papers of halfpence.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Was not what you stated, that he had been seen in St. John-street? A. That he had been seen near the house where the robbery was committed, in St. John-street, near his master's house—I mentioned the words "near his master's house"—I said he was seen about four o'clock, the morning the robbery was committed, near his master's house, in St. John-street.

THOMAS FISHER . I shall be nineteen years old next December—I am now lodging with my father, at No. 8, Morton-street, London-street, London-road—I am apprenticed to Messrs. Newton—I had been lodging at my father's for about four or five weeks before the robbery—before that I had been lodging at Mrs. Monroe's, by the side of the Elephant-and-Castle—I do not know the name of the row—the prisoner Morley lodged there at the same time—I know Davis by sight—I saw him first, I believe, at Mrs. Monroe's—I do not believe I had any conversation with him at that time—the next time I saw him was at the Alfred's Head, in the London-road, on the other side of the water, about three weeks before the robbery—Morley was there at the same time—he went away to get a little something for smoking, I believe, leaving Davis and me together—Davis then told me that Morley had spoken to him about some money—I asked him what money—he asked me if I did not know—I said I did not know—we said nothing more to each other that day—I had some conversation with him once or twice after that, up at the shop—twice, I believe—he came

to my master's shop one day, and asked for Morley—I told him I believed he was out—I then left him to go to dinner—that was all that passed that day—I saw him again at the shop about nine days before the robbery—he asked me again for Morley—I cannot positively say whether he was at home then; I believe not—I had no other conversation with Davis then besides his asking if Morley was at home—I had no other conversation with Davig, except when he spoke to me about the money at the Alfred's Head—he did not at any time give me any explanation of what he meant—the day after that conversation with Davis, I asked Morley what money it was that lie had been speaking to Davis about—he said, Davis and some others were going to crack the master's crib—I did not say any more to him that day—next day he told me, if I did not say any thing about it, that I should have 5l.—I made no answer to that—I went away and left him—it was after that that Davis called once or twice, and asked for Morley—about nine days before the robbery Morley asked me, if he gave me down the key, would I open the gate, and I told him "Yes"—it was the small key belonging to the padlock, which was on the area-gate—I received the key from Morley that night, opened the padlock, and left it hanging on the chain, so that any person could get in—I gave the key back to Morley—I saw Morley on the following morning—I do not recollect any conversation passing—I told Morley afterwards that they had not done it that night, and I would have no more to do with it—I said that the day after the gate had been found open, which I believe was on a Thursday—the gate was discovered open by Francis Porter—on the morning before the robbery, (Wednesday the 26th,) Morley told me that he had been een in the street by a policeman, and that he had on him three small keys, a file, and a key which he had been filing, to try to make it fit the padlock—he showed me the filed key in the burning-place, and I pressed the ward off with my thumb, because he should not do it with that—in the evening I saw Morley take the key of the area gate off the hook, after Mr. James Newton had hung a bunch of keys on it—when I left work that evening I went away, in company with Morley and James Beverstock, to a bath in Oakley-street, Westminster-road, to bathe—I did not take any towel with me—I cannot say whether the others did—I parted with Morley at the corner of London-street, about half-past ten o'clock that night—Beverstock had left us before—I told Morley at parting that I hoped he would not do what he was going to do, I should have nothing to do with it myself—I went to my father's house and slept there that night with my brother—I went to my work next morning about a quarter to nine—I saw Morley at my master's—he came down into the workshop where I Was at work—he did not address himself to me, because there were others in the shop—he merely said his master had been robbed—about twelve I saw him in the burning-place—he then told me Davis and he had committed the robbery, that he entered the place by the assistance of the key he had taken away, and undid the padlock, and after he got in he locked the gate after him again—by undoing the padlock he could get to the workshop, as there is a door on the top of the stairs that is not kept locked—a person getting through the area gate could get to the room where the money is kept without breaking any other room—he said he took the bar from the street-door, and placed it against the parlour-door, and then he let Davis in at the front-door—that Davis cut away the box, and carried away 9l., and he carried away 8l.—that they went as far as Farringdon-street, and then

they took a cab and went over the water in it—he also told me he had left the 17l. and the pencil-case with Davis, and that he had left 3l. in a hole in the right-hand side of the area—I told him there it might be, I would not touch it, for I would not have any thing to do with any of the robbery—he told me the money was in 5s. papers, in a towel—I was taken into custody—my father was examined before the Magistrate, and I was discharged—the first person I made any communication to was Porter, the foreman—that was on Tuesday night after I had been taken up on the Thursday—I afterwards made a statement to my master—I had not interfered with the money up to that time.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did not your master tell you it would be better fur you to tell him all, and that you should not suffer? A. No, nothing of the kind—he told me that it would be the best to tell the troth, for all would be found out—I had not told him a word before that—I was not afraid of being found out, because I did not think that any body knew but myself—I was afraid of myself, but not of that—it was my life I was afraid of—I thought it would be threatened, and it has been threatened since I have been in custody, while the prisoners have been in gaol—I have been in gaol, but not in the same place they were.

Q. Of course you had always been a very industrious boy with your master before this? A. I cannot answer for that—I cannot say whether I attended to my work properly—I went every day to my work—I might have been away one day or so—I have been apprenticed to the prosecutor two years and three months—I never was away when I was in health—it was from illness if I was away—I have been confined to my bed.

Q. Why did you not tell your master of this before he was robbed? A. Because I was afraid, that was the only reason—I bad not the same reason for not telling him afterwards—when I was accused of being present at the robbery, I said I slept with my father that night—that was true—I slept at my father's house that night, and I slept with my father in the same bed with my father and my brother too—my father is here, my brother is not—he is at work, I believe—I slept with my father and brother the night before the robbery—it was on a Wednesday night—I cannot answer for the day of the month, but it was about the 26th or 27th of May—I was in bed before eleven o'clock—my brother was in bed when I went to bed—he is fourteen years old—my father was also in bed—I am quite sure of that—I did not see him go to bed that night—I found him in bed—he was awake, I spoke to him—I cannot tell what I spoke to him about—I have no recollection—it was not a remarkable night with me, no more than usual—I did not consider it so.

Q. Nothing remarkable at all in the planning of your master's robbery? A. I had no planning of it whatever—I knew all about it before it took place—I knew it was going to be done—my reason for pressing the ward of the key off was in order that it should. not be done at all—one of my motives was that it should not be the instrument to open the premises with—it did not signify to me what instrument it was done with—I pressed off the ward that it should not be done at all—I have said it was that it should not be the instrument to open the premises—that was one of my motives, and nothing further that I know—I cannot recollect any conversation I had with my father that night when I went to bed—I cannot say whether my brother was awake—I cannot tell whether he spoke to me,

it is a while ago, and I have had a deal of trouble since—I have been confined in Clerkenwell prison—I suppose they were afraid I should run away—I have not come from Clerkenwell now—I got out last Friday morning—I was kept there about three weeks and four days—my father went out before I did the next morning—I cannot say at what time, for I was asleep—I went out about five minutes before eight o'clock—I did not tell my father to be sure and recollect that I was in bed with him that night, nor any thing of the kind—my brother was not before the magistrate, only my father and mother—my mother is alive or, she was this morning when I came out.

Q. Did she sleep in the bed that night with you also? A. I shall not answer the question—I hope it will not be put to me—I have an inward reason for it.

MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did she sleep in the house that night? A. Yes, in the same room, and on the same bed—there is but one bed in the room—no one else slept in the bed—I cannot say whether my mother was before the Magistrate, not to be sure of it—she was not to my knowledge—I do not remember—if she was I might have forgotten it—I cannot tell whether she was examined or not—I do not remember seeing her—I was in bed before eleven o'clock on the night of the robbery—I came home about half-past ten.

MR. BODKIN. Q. I believe you were released from prison directly after you were examined before the Magistrate? A. No, I was taken back to the House of Correction till Saturday.

JOSEPH FISHER . I am a cork-cutter, and live at No. 8, Morton-street, London-street, London-road. I remember the morning of the day, in the evening of which my son was taken into custody—I went before the Magistrate on the following morning—the night before that my son slept with me at my house, and passed the whole night there.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. What kind of health does your son enjoy? A. Pretty fair, sometimes he is rather poorly, but not very often—we slept in the same bed—he laid at my back the whole of the night—his brother and my wife slept in the same bed—I went to bed first, then his younger brother, and then him—I was awake when he came to bed, and I said, "Thomas, you are rather late this evening"—he said, "It is but half-past ten o'clock"—I said, "You know our time is rather earlier than that,'—but, said he, "It is only half-past ten"—my other son did not say any thing that I noticed, for I am a heavy sleeper at times, and while he was undressing himself I lost myself for a moment or two, but 1 felt him come and lie down at my back—as he came in his younger brother said, "Mind your feet, or else, mind mine, one or the other"—Thomas said, "Lie still, or move further."

Q. You are sure he spoke to him? A. I am not to say positive, but I heard some words pass between them—his younger brother was not asleep when he came to bed—we did not know there was any occasion for him to be here, as I have been examined three times—Thomas went out next morning at eight o'clock, or a very little before—I saw him go out, for I awoke him in the morning when I first got up, about half-past five, and said, "Tom, get up"—he asked me the time—I said, "About half-past five"—he said, "It is too soon for me yet awhile"—I called him again at half-past six when I went out to work, and he said he should get up presently—I then left him there, and as I was returning home to my

breakfast, a few moments before eight, I met him at the street door, and said, "Thomas, you are rather late this morning"—he said, "Then I must run for it, father"—he was awake when I went out at half-past six o'clock—I left him in bed then.

FRANCIS PORTER . I am foreman to the prosecutor. A week or ten days before the robbery I found the area gate unlocked—on the morning the robbery was discovered I saw Morley about nine o'clock—he told me the master had been robbed of about 17l. or 20l.—that was the first I beard of it—at a later part of the day Morley was with me in the burning place—the inspector came while we were together, and Morley was called out of the place—he came hack to me, and said, "There are no locks broken, they can't give me above three months"—at another part of the day Mr. Charles Newton called him out, and they had some conversation together—he returned to me, and told me that Charles had not got a b—y child to deal with; that his b—y fiddling was of no use to him, for he would get nothing out of him, for he knew nothing of it—that was all that passed between us—on Whit Tuesday eve, the Tuesday after the robbery, Thomas Fisher made a communication to me relative to this matter—at that time he was not in custody—I communicated that statement to Mr. Newton, and went in consequence of it, in company with Henry Richardson, an errand-boy to the prosecutor's, to look after the prisoner Davis—I had received a description of him from Fisher, and Richardson knew him—we searched for him every night from Tuesday, but did not find him till the Friday week following, (the 11th of June)—I then saw him in the Walworth-road—he was walking in the same direction as Richardson and I—he walked on ahead of us till he came to a pork-shop at the corner of Prospect-row—I desired Richardson to go in there, and get something to eat, which he did, and when he came out Davis was standing looking in at the window of the pork-shop—he then had the opportunity of teeing Richardson—I do not believe he saw us before—when Richardson came out Davis went to the door of the pork-shop, retreated to the next door, bought a penny loaf, returned back, and went down Prospect-row at a quick pace—I followed and overtook him—he looked round once—I gave him into the custody of a policeman who came up—the policeman told him it was for a robbery at Mr. Newton's, of St. John-street—he said he knew nothing of it, that he had just left his employer's, in Doddington-grove, and he would he able to prove he was innocent—we went to the station—he was asked there where he lived—he said—

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Did the inspector take down in writing what he said? A. I believe he did.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Have you told us all the conversation you had with Morley at the burning place? A. I have, to the best of my recollection—the first thing he said was, they could not give him above three months, for there were no locks broken—I believe that was the first thing—that was before this conversation with Mr. Charles Newton—I think he made use of the words "Here is a pretty go, I am inspected, but I know nothing whatever of this robbery," but I cannot challenge my memory to it—to the best of my knowledge he did—I think lie said that before he said they could only give him three months—I think he said it immediately on his return from the inspector—he was taken into custody between seven and eight o'clock the same evening—this conversation was about one, I should say—he was at liberty from one till eight

o'clock, so far as this, that every time he went out Mr. Charles Newton or some one was looking after him, and he was aware of it—he told me so, and likewise Mr. Charles Newton—he did not go home—he had to attend on me—he went to the coffee-shop, and was followed by Mr. Charles Newton —he is not here.

WILLIAM GRAY (police-sergeant G 12.) About four o'clock in the morning of the 27th of May I was in the neighbourhood of St. John-street, Smithfield, and saw the prisoner Morley there—I have since measured the distance he was from the prosecutor's premises, and it is just seventy-three yards—I asked what brought him out at that time in the morning—he said he was going to work—I asked where he worked—he said, at Mr. Newton's—I remarked to him that I knew Mr. Newton—he said, "You know me, don't you, aren't you the person that bought some cork soles of us?"—I told him I was not—I was satisfied, and let him pass on—I did not know him before—he was coming from a northerly direction towards Mr. Newton's house—I have not the least doubt of his being the person—I was examined about this on the following day before the Magistrate.

COURT. Q. Where was your beat the day before? A. In the same neighbourhood, but I was not on a regular beat—I am sergeant of the section, and have charge of twelve men—I did not see Morley the day before, nor ever in my life—I inquired of my men whether they saw him the day before.

HENRY RICHARDSON . I am an errand-boy in the prosecutor's service. I know Morley by working with him, and Davis by seeing him about the shop—I have seen him three times—three weeks before the robbery I saw him speak to Fisher—I saw him again, a week after, speaking to Morley, about a dozen doors from my master's premises—I was waiting for them at the time—on the Saturday before the robbery I saw him in St. John's-lane—he crossed over to where Morley and I were walking, called him on one side, and had some conversation with him, which I could not hear—they stopped for about a minute, and then walked on together—I was behind them—after the robbery I went with Porter to look after Davis.

JAMES BEVERSTOCK . I am apprenticed to Messrs. Newton. On the evening before the robbery I left work at eight o'clock, and went with Fisher and Morley to a bath in Oakley-street—Morley had a towel there—I went to the premises next morning about half-past seven—Morley came with me—he said nothing to me about this.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did not he tell you there had been a robbery committed, and that his master had been robbed of 20l.? A. Yes, about ten minutes after we got to the shop.

THOMAS BARNABAS DINN (police-constable P 13.) I took Davis into custody—I asked his name—he said, "Charles Jones"—he said he had no residence.

MR. PHILLIPS to JAMES NEWTON. Q. Your father is the proprietor of this concern? A. He is in partnership with me—sometimes one hires the boys, and sometimes the other—he hired Morley—I believe he had a character with him—he has been in our service twelve or fifteen months, and Fisher about two years and a half.

COURT. Q. When was it you found the money in the towel? A. I think, on the 2nd of June—my conversation with Fisher was on the 3rd—I found it in consequence of a conversation he had previously with Porter

—we went to the coffee-shop where Morley lived, but found no packets, there.

(Richard Glover, a cork-cutter, of No. 3, Horsemonger-lane, gave Morley a good character.)

MORLEY*— GUILTY . Aged 18.— Transported for Fifteen Years.


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