3rd January 1853
Reference Numbert18530103-169
VerdictNot Guilty > unknown

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169. CHARLES WITHAM HARRIDGE was again indicted for stealing 42 grains of musk, value 6s., 1 wooden box, 1s., and 1 bottle, 1s.; the goods of John Hodgkinson and others, his masters.

MESSRS. CLARKSON and LUCAS conducted the Prosecution.

JOSEPH JEFFCROAT . I am an assistant to Messrs. Hodgkinson, in the dry department, the same floor as the prisoner—it is the custom to keep musk in that department—it was my duty to grain the musk—it is imported in small pods, and I have to take the grains from the pods, and place it in bottles; the prisoner had access to the musk at all times—I have missed some on three different occasions.

Cross-examined by MR. BALLANTINE. Q. When was the first time that you missed musk?A. The latter part of July last; I did not mention that to my employers, I thought it might have been sent out without being entered through the books in the warehouse—that did not often happen, it might occur—I missed the second in Aug.; I did not mention that to my employer, because the quantity missing was small; I missed the third lot in Oct.; I did not mention that, the quantity being small—I have owed the prisoner money; I owed him 5l. 7s. when he was taken into custody, it has been paid to him—it was a debt of honour which I had incurred; it was a gambling debt—I am not aware that there is a good deal of that going on in our establishment, I mean to swear that—in the early part of the present year there have been such transactions—I do not know that the Messrs. Hodgkinsons themselves were mixed up with it—I never knew them to go betting houses—the 5l. I owed the prisoner was a bet which I lost at the end of the year—Mr. John Hodgkinson may have betted with his clerks; I never saw it, I have heard it, it may be so, I have heard that it was so—if I am bound to believe what I hear, I believe it—I am not aware that Mr. John

Hodgkinson is here, I have not seen him here—I did not owe any other debts of honour—Mr. John Hodgkinson it the head partner—I am sure this was the only debt of honour I owed; I have had three gambling transactions in the last nine months; I think it is only fair to state what I have done during that time—in April last I had a transaction with the prisoner—I receive 120l. a year—I have access to the musk; all the young men have access to it—I know this musk by the quality of it, (examining it,) I will swear to the quality of it—there are some small gray hairs in it, which I placed in the bottle with the musk—that is uncommon—it it a custom that I have adopted, merely to give an appearance to the musk, to identify it—I can identify it from the hairs; I have done that for eighteen months—there has been a considerable quantity of the musk sold during that time—there was hair in that—we are wholesale chemists—the hair is taken from the outside of the pod of the musk, it grows on the pod, it is not part of the musk itself, musk is a grain—the hair was not intended for adulteration—I took the hair off the surface of the pod and kept it in a bottle, and added a small quantity to the grain musk, so that I could detect at any time whether or not the musk was sold from us—it is not commonly found in musk—I have seen it with other chemists—I have not seen it from other chemists in the same way—I have not seen hair in musk supplied from other chemists, they may do it—I have not said that I have seen it; there are two qualities of musk—this is the finest quality; the difference in quality varies very much, it is perceptible, it is very different in flavour, the finest is dry, and easily pulverised; the common musk is soft, devoid of flavour, and requires a great deal of time to get into powder—the finest comes from China; it is the prodace of an animal, a rat or a cat, it is a particular part of the body—the value of it is 80s. an ounce—this quantity produced is worth 6s.

JAMES JOSEPH . On 5th Dec. I examined a room, in which the young men's boxes are kept, where they change their clothes—I examined the box used by the prisoner—I saw this musk in it—Green and Cotty, two other clerks, were there to assist me—I did not mark the musk—it was wrapped up in three separate papers—I looked at it, but, not having any experience in the warehouse, I did not examine it, but Green weighed it in my presence—there was forty-two grains—I afterwards missed it from the box on the following Sunday, Dec. 12th—the prisoner was taken into custody on Tuesday, Dec. 14th—there was some musk produced at the Mansion-house as from the prisoner's lodging—I have every reason to believe it was the same musk, and the same quality, that I had seen in the box; for when it was produced at the Mansion-house, it had three papers round it, and appeared to be precisely the same.

Cross-examined. Q. Where was the box in which you first saw it? A. In a portion of the warehouse where the young men change their clothes—each has a separate box where he keeps his working dress—it is not locked; in fact the cover is loose altogether—they keep their working dress there—I think in this box there was a pair of trowsers, and a coat, or blouse, or something of that kind, a great number of letters, and the musk—the musk was in among the letters—it was on Sunday, Dec. 5th, that I saw it—I cannot tell you why it was not taken possession of then—I have not done anything in the betting line lately; I have done so—I think I have done so twice with the prisoner, but not within the last two years—I did not identify the musk by the hair—I think the reason why we did not take possession of the musk then was, because it was strongly suspected that the prisoner was robbing the firm, and it was left in order to see whether it would be removed or not;

on the following morning I communicated that fact to the firm, immediately on their arrival—I communicated it to Mr. Thomas Hodgkinson—he has been here to-day—I also communicated it to Mr. Tonge—the box it was in has not been removed—it belongs to the firm—the letters were removed by the officers—they were not taken away at the same time as the musk—I am positive about that—the letters remained there till after he was taken into Custody, and the officers came there and removed everything that belonged to him.

GEORGE TONGE . I am one of the partners in the house of Hodgkinson and Co., wholesale druggists, of Thames-street. The prisoner was in our employ—on Monday morning, 6th Dec" Mr. Joseph made a communication to the firm about some musk; I did not see it myself.

Cross-examined. Q. You had a good character with him? A. Three years ago; it was such as satisfied us at the time—we got it from a chemist, to whom he served his apprenticeship—I do not know whether any chemists allow the hair to remain in musk.

OSMOND ROLLS GREEN . I am clerk in Messrs. Hodgkinsons' countinghouse. After remarking the quinine alluded to in the last case, I went to a box known as Harridge's box, and saw a paper of musk—on 5th Dec. I accompanied Mr. Joseph to the box to examine the musk, it weighed 42 grs.—this is it (produced)—it was in three papers, one within another.

Cross-examined. Q. Have you ever taken any musk?A. No; I have taken a dose of physic from the warehouse, and paid for it—perhaps I have taken a box of pills, and not paid for it—I do not consider that the permission to take medicine extended to scenting love letters with musk, certainly not.

JOSEPH COOMBER KNIGHT (policeman). I took the other prisoner, Henry Harridge, on 11th Dec, and on searching the lodgings I found in this prisoner's box (produced), a small parcel of musk, with a quantity of letters addressed to him; it was wrapped up in these three papers.

Cross-examined. Q. Are the letters given back to him? A. No; they are here—I have read some of them; they are chiefly love letters.

JOHN STANLEY . I am errand boy in the prosecutor's service. I know the prisoner, and know this box; it is his—I carried it for him to his lodging.

ADAM SHELFORD (City police-sergeant, 58). I took the prisoner into custody at Messrs. Hodgkinsons' warehouse, and took him to the station—he was remanded next day—he said on the remand, as near as I can recollect, "There is nothing against me; as for that little musk that was found at my lodging, I do not consider that anything," or "that amounts to nothing."

JOSEPH COMBER KNIGHT re-examined. The prisoner was in my charge at his last appearance at the Mansion House—as we were in a cab coming to Newgate with his brother Henry and sergeant Shelford, the prisoner said he should not mind doing twelve months if he could get Harry off altogether.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you ever mention that before in your life? A. Yes, to the solicitor—I never mentioned it in public before; I have not been in public.

ADAM SHELFORD re-examined. I was in the cab going from the Mansion-house to Newgate, and heard the prisoner say he should not mind doing twelve months if, I think his expression was, he could get his brother Charles off—no, if he could get Harry off.

Cross-examined. Q. Did not you say just this minute, "if he could get

his brother Charles off?" A. Yes; but I corrected myself instantly—on my oath, it was not Henry who made the remark; I can state Henry's reply to it, which was, "It will be worse for me, as being the receiver"—I never told anybody till the present moment that I heard this—I was not examined in the last case—I have been an officer twelve years.


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