14th November 1892
Reference Numbert18921114-57
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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57. WILLIAM ALFRED ERNEST LONERGAN (33) , Stealing two shirt-studs and two scarf-pins, the goods of Hugh Wegelin, in his dwelling-house.

MR. BESLEY Prosecuted, and MR. GRAIN Defended.

HENRY MARSHALL (Police Inspector, Scotland Yard). On 13th November. 1881, Mr. Wegelin's loss of jewels was first reported to me; I was then inspector in charge of the district—the jewels and their value were described to me, and were put into the pawnbrokers' list and the police information; they were an emerald shirt-stud, as far as I remember, a cat's-eye pin in the form of a bee, and other things—inquiries were made, and a warrant was granted on 24th November, 1881—we had the prisoner's photograph—on 26th November, 1881, at 8.30, I went to 89, Elizabeth Street, Eaton Square, where the prisoner's mother lived—I there saw the prisoner—I said to him, "I am Inspector Marshall; I hold a warrant for a person named Lonergan, I think you are he, for stealing some jewellery from Mr. Wegelin, at 22A, Ebury Street"—he said, "Yes, that is my name, but I know nothing about it; tell me more particulars," or words to that effect—I read the warrant, which states: "The said Lonergan, on 2nd November, did feloniously steal one emerald stud, one diamond tie-stud, and other articles of jewellery, of the value of £100, the property of Hugh Wegelin"—he said, "Good God! it cannot be that jewellery I picked-up in Ebury Street, that was wrapped in brown paper"—he said, "How many articles are there?"—I said, "Four"—he said, "Have you found them?"—I said, "Three out of the four"—he went on to say that he had sold two to a pawnbroker near Golden Square, and the emerald to a pawnbroker in the same neighbourhood, who said it was false; and he said, "The fourth, a pin, I sold on the same day to Mr. Attenborough, of, I think, Oxford Street"—I said, "I suppose you mean No. 68 1/2?"—no pin is mentioned in the warrant; it comes under the head of "other articles"—he volunteered the statement about the pin—he went on to say, speaking of Attenborough's, "I gave my own name as Lonergan, and my address, 4, Park Race, which is my club. I have no doubt I did wrong in selling them; I ought to have taken them to the police-station"—after the evidence was completed the Magistrate committed him for trial at the January Sessions of 1882—he was admitted to bail in £250—a true bill was found at this Court—when he was called on his recognisances he did not appear, and his bail was estreated—a certificate was issued from these sessions, in consequence of which this warrant of 30th January, 1882, was issued—I did not see him from that time till October this year—I tried for some two years to find him—on 10th October, at two a.m., he called at Scotland Yard—I was telegraphed for, and I went and found him detained at King Street Police-station—I asked him his name, I hardly recognised him for a moment, and he said it was William Ernest Lonergan, and that he knew I had a warrant for him—he desired to surrender, as he wanted to get the matter off his mind.

Cross-examined. I had done my best to execute the warrant for several years; I had been inquiring—I have not done much for four or five

years perhaps; I heard long ago he had left the country, and I never heard of his return—I practically, in a sense, ceased looking for him after some years—since he has been in custody I have heard that he has been back to this country for two or three years, and has been in the Park and at Brighton and other places openly—at the time of his arrest he was living with his mother, a lady of position; I do not think she lives there now—I had traced the prisoner through various places in Yorkshire—I had been hundreds of miles after him, and traced him back to London from Beverley, where he had been visiting a nobleman—he was a lieutenant in the 66th Regiment at the time, and when I arrested him—in consequence of the original arrest he was dismissed the Army—I was present at the Police-court when the information was sworn—we had this photograph of the prisoner, and Mr. Wegelin would be sure to have given a description of the prisoner—Mr. Wegelin said, "In fact, my friend Lonergan of the. 66th Regiment has stolen my jewellery"—I cannot say he used those words, but the prisoner was described as a friend, and it was known he was Lonergan because I went in pursuit of him to Yorkshire and other places—I got the warrant because I was under the idea that the prisoner had gone out of the metropolitan district—I went to the nobleman's house at Beverley, where the prisoner had been visiting and found he had just left—he left in the ordinary way a guest would leave—he was moving in good society—I was seeking the prisoner between 10th November and 24th November, the date of the granting of the warrant in the metropolitan district—then I traced him to Yorkshire, got the warrant and went to Yorkshire, and then traced him back to London, and went to Elizabeth Street and arrested him—I have forgotten from whom I obtained the photograph.

Re-examined. Mr. Rose was the person who gave information of having seen the prisoner on that occasion; Mr. Wegelin knew nothing except what he was told, and as the loser of the property; I am not certain whether Lee did not give some information.

HENRY LEE . In November, 1881, I was Mr. Wegelin's valet, and I am now—I remember certain articles of jewellery being brought to the Police-court by pawnbrokers in whose hands I had previously seen them—I identified them as Mr. Wegelin's—that jewellery was afterwards destroyed in a fire on a house-boat on the Thames—those articles of jewellery were usually in my care—on Monday, about 7th or 8th November, 1881, we came up to London from Cambridge, and the jewellery was brought to Ebury Place—at half-past seven p.m. on November 10th I was going to put the emerald stud in Mr. Wegelin's shirt, but, as Mr. Wegelin said he would not wear it that night, I put it back in its case and in the drawer, and took another one—within a day or two I found it and other articles of jewellery were missing—on November 10th, when my master was dressed, he went out—later in the evening I let Mr. Albert Stopford in, and I went to bed at half-past eleven I should think—I don't remember if I let anyone else in—Mr. Rose was a friend. of Mr. Wegelin—I went to bed before he came—I heard they were there, but did not see them—I happened to come home at the moment that Mr. Stopford arrived at the front door—I had a latchkey and let him in—that was about a quarter-past eleven—I had been out that evening for a couple of hours—I told Mr. Wegelin I might be late,

and he said he should be in early—I think another gentleman came up in a cab just at the time I was letting Mr. Stopford in—they were the only persons I saw—I know nothing of Mr. Rose's arrival—as soon as I missed the property I told Mr. Wegelin.

Cross-examined. I had been Mr. Wegelin's valet for four or five years prior to November 10th, 1881—I have since heard that he was on intimate terms with the prisoner during a portion of that time at ail events—I did not see him visiting my master—he called once afterwards—I don't remember seeing him there before—I don't know that my master and the prisoner were together with the same tutor in Paris—the prisoner was not at my master's house very often, or I should have remembered him—I don't know if he was there at all—the emerald stud went in the centre of the shirt—I valetted my master, and saw him go out—I went out about half-past eight—there were no other servants besides myself—my master occupied the whole of the top part of the house—a woman came in to clean—the ground floor was let to someone else, and my master occupied the two floors above it; they were like chambers divided off—my master had no meals there—my master had a separate door for his apartments—I don't know if anyone else had a latchkey' besides my master and me—I found no gentleman already inside when I got back—I let Mr. Stopford and a gentleman in; my master was not at home then—Mr. Wegelin had told me he expected a few friends, and should be in early; there was no preparation for them except brandy, whisky, and soda—I don't know how Mr. Rose got in—the ground floor was a shop, I think, and my master's rooms were separate, and had a front door opening into the street—I missed the jewels on the evening of 13th, I think; I went to look for the emerald—I asked Mr. Wegelin if he had had the emerald stud, and he said no—I went back and looked in the drawer again, and opened all the cases, and found they were empty, and I went and told him—I don't remember what he said—the prisoner, I think, called some few days after the things were missed; Mr. Wegelin was out; he saw me and left a card, and I told Mr. Wegelin, and I think he said, "I think that is the gentleman who has got my studs," but I would not be quite certain as to those words—I don't remember seeing the prisoner again till I saw him at the Police-court—when I left the house, at a quarter to nine on 10th November, it was empty.

Re-examined. I don't remember if the occupant of the ground floor was a wine merchant—none of his clerks slept on the premises—the occupation of the shop was a separate occupation, and quite, apart from the dwelling-house—Mr. Wegelin had two floors, one above the other—on the first floor were two rooms, the bedroom through the sitting-room, on the first floor—I slept on the second floor—only Mr. Wegelin and I slept on the premises at that time—the other articles, besides the emerald, that I brought up from Cambridge were in cases—when the prisoner called and my master was out I did not remember having seen him before.

BATEMAN LANCASTER ROSE . In November, 1881, I was living at Cromwell Road, South Kensington—Mr. Wegelin, a stockbroker, was a friend of mine—I am also a stockbroker; he has been working with me ever since he was about eighteen; we have offices together—I had never seen the prisoner before 10th November, 1881—I was a very constant visitor at 22A, Ebury Place; I knew most of Mr. Wegelin's friends for years prior to November, 1881—I had never heard the prisoner's name; Mr.

Wegelin never spoke of him to me; I did not know he knew him—on 10th November, 1881, I went to 22A, Ebury Place, after dinner, to meet Mr. Wegelin—I wanted to see him particularly; I was not expecting him home early—Mr. Stopford, I think, let me in, and I think Mr. Harcourt was there; I am not sure—the prisoner was not there—I did not see Lee—after sitting there some time Mr. Harcourt and Mr. Stopford went away about twelve or one o'clock—I think then Harcourt and Horace West went and Mr. Stopford remained on with me a little while—then he left and I remained—I went with Mr. Stopford to the front door; I noticed a cab coming down, and I thought it was Mr. Wegelin returning, and I waited at the door to see if it pulled up, and then the prisoner came up, walking I think, and asked me if Mr. Wegelin was in—the cab did not stop—I said that Mr. Wegelin was not in, but that I was waiting to see him, and I was expecting him in every minute—I think he said, "Oh, then I will come in; I want to see him," or something: to that effect—I think he was dressed in evening dress, but I should not like to say—he was dressed as a gentleman, and I allowed him to go in—he went upstairs first, and I followed up almost immediately behind—he went into the sitting room—later on I went downstairs again intending to go away; I got to the front door, and then I came-up thinking I would wait a little longer—I then saw the prisoner in the bedroom, which opens by folding doors into the sitting-room; the doors were just half open; he was standing at the dressing table he came and talked to me a little while, and then I went home—in conversation the prisoner referred to Mr. Wegelin as if he was one of his friends—I left the prisoner behind me when I left about two o'clock—I closed the front door behind me—up to that time there had been no alarm, no throwing of parcels on the pavement—I next saw the prisoner at the Police-court—two or three days after the 10th, when I was out shooting, I got a telegram from Mr. Wegelin saying, "Have you taken my jewellery for fun?" or something of that sort—I saw Mr. Wegelin two or three days afterwards, and told him what had occurred that evening, but I could not tell him the prisoner's name; I described him as nearly as I could—I had not asked the prisoner's name, and he had not given it to me; I did not know it.

Cross-examined. I got to the house before twelve I should think—Mr. Stopford (who let me in I am almost sure), Mr. Horace West and Mr. Harcourt were there prior to the prisoner coming about one o'clock—I left about two—before the prisoner came I was the only person, except the valet, in Mr. Wegelin's rooms—I might have been out of the room five or six minutes, just time enough to go downstairs and alter my mind and come back—I was talking to the prisoner from the time he came in till the time I left, believing him to be a friend of Mr. Wegelin's—most likely I was smoking—I have not seen the prisoner since he absconded—the only times I have seen him were that evening he came there, one day at the Police-court, and to-day.

HUGH WEGELIN . In November, 1881, I was living at 22A, Ebury Street—I do not live there now—Lee, my valet then, is still in my service—I think the ground floor was occupied by a wine merchant—no one lived there—the front door to my rooms was the only access to the upper part of the house—I used the first floor, and my valet slept above on the second floor—I should think it was on 10th November that I saw

the emerald—I did not wear it that night—I went out to dinner and got back about half-past two a.m. on the 11th—I got in by my latchkey—no one was in my rooms—I knew within a day or two that my jewellery was gone; my valet reported it to me—I sent a telegram to Mr. Rose—I knew he had been in my rooms that evening—afterwards Mr. Rose told me of some person, whose name he did not know, coming to the door, and asking for me, and going in—the description he gave me of that person induced me to think it was the prisoner—I had been intimate with the prisoner; I had lived in the same house with him for six months in Paris three or four years before; in the interval we had not seen much of one another, only on and off—I don't think I had ever invited him to my rooms—at Paris we were studying French for six months at an establishment where we were taught by a Frenchman—that is what I mean by our intimacy—I do not know of his coming to my place at 22A, Ebury Street at all—I had never seen or entertained him there—on hearing of the loss of the jewellery I communicated with the police—I was shown the jewellery at the Police-court, and I identified it as my property—I actually saw the emerald when I was dressing on the evening of 10th November, 1881; it was a very good stone, I believe—the jewels I lost were worth about £95; they have since been lost in a fire—I do not remember if Lee afterwards gave me a card.

Cross-examined. These were real jewels—I gave the value at the Police-court as £100—very likely that was the estimated value—I and the prisoner had mutual friends—we both knew Mr. Farrer and other persons; we were moving in the same circles—I knew he was a lieutenant in the 66th, and that his regiment was in the Mwand action in South Africa; I don't think I knew that the prisoner was one of the few surviving officers—after sending a telegram to Mr. Rose I had a conversation with him, and he gave me a description of the prisoner, which I suppose I recognised—I do not think I really then believed that he had stolen my jewels; I believed he had when I swore the information at the Police-court—I don't remember whether I gave a photograph of him—I don't think I saw the prisoner between the 10th and 15th or 16th—I don't remember it; I don't say I did not—I saw him at Brighton, two years ago I think it was, walking in the street; he spoke to me—I knew the warrant was out against him—he said, "How do you do?" I think, and I said the same, and then he said something to the effect either that he was doing very well or was not getting on well; I forget which; and I said I was very glad—I did not care whether he was getting on well or not—I did not tell the police I had seen him in Brighton; I took no steps at all—I did not intend after he had absconded to take any step—I wished the matter to drop, and I do so now—I would rather not be bothered with coming here at all; it is a long time ago—I think I saw him also last year at Brighton; I think he spoke to me then.

Re-examined. At one time I thought the prisoner could not be the person who had stolen the jewellery, and then what Mr. Rose told me made me think that possibly it might be.

JAMES BENGER . I was in 1881 an assistant to Richard Attenborough, of 142, Oxford Street, who had a shop at 68 1/2, Oxford Street—on 11th November, 1881, about midday I believe I bought a diamond and cat's eye pin of the prisoner; he asked £2, and I gave him 30s., and had it reset before I showed it to the owner—I do not recognise the prisoner

now, but I said before the Magistrate that he was the man—he gave the name of Lonergan, 4, Park Place.

WILLIAM COX . In 1881 I was a pawnbroker, at 79, Wardour Street—before the Magistrate, when the prisoner was there on this charge, I produced an emerald stud—I said I could scarcely tell the value without taking it out of the setting—the prisoner is the person who brought it to me on 11th November, 1881—he asked about a sovereign, saying it was not real—he said it had been given to him, but that he had no further use for it—I bought it for about 15s—he gave the name of A. Lonergan, 49, Denbigh Street, Pimlico, I believe.

EDWARD CLOUGH .—I was a sergeant in the B division; I am now retired—a description of Mr. Wegelin's lost jewellery was circulated on 14th November, 1881, and on 22nd or 23rd I saw the carbuncle bee stud and the horseshoe pearl pin at a pawnbroker's, 1, Lower John Street, Golden Square, kept by Mrs. Fleming—Mr. Hatchard, who was manager, is now dead—the pawnbroker produced the ticket before the Magistrate, and kept possession of it—I afterwards saw the emerald in Mr. Cox's possession, and I took a cab to Mr. Wegelin's, and took Lee with me to Wardour Street; and Mr. Cox produced the emerald, and said he had bought it for paste.

HENRY MARSHALL (re-examined). I got this photograph of the prisoner from Captain Fairer, Wellington Barracks—Clough rot these articles from the pawnbroker's—Mrs. Fleming's business has changed hands; it is now Messrs. Attenborough's.

ARTHUR WRIGHT . I am manager to Mr. James Attenborough, who has succeeded to Mrs. Fleming's business at 1, Lower John Street, Golden Square—this piece of paper is in the writing of John Hatchard, a witness, ten or eleven years ago in this case, for the purpose of comparison with his signature to the depositions—I lived there with him; he is now dead.

HENRY MARSHALL (re-examined). I was present at the Police court—the prisoner had an opportunity of cross-examining Hatchard—this is Hatchard's deposition and his cross-examination—I was present when he signed it; it corresponds with the writing on this paper just produced.

(The, deposition of John Hatchard was read. It was to the effect that he was assistant to Mrs. L. Fleming, a pawnbroker, of 1, Lower John Street, Golden Square; that he produced a horseshoe pin and rose diamond stud, pawned at their shop on 11th November for 30s., he believed, by the prisoner, not in his own name; that he gave the person a duplicate, and he produced the ticket made at the time; that as near as he could remember it was in the morning; that to the best of his remembrance he asked £2.)

A witness deposed to the prisoner's good character.

GUILTY. The JURY recommended him to mercy. MR. BESLEY stated that Mr. Wegelin desired to join in this recommendation. Four Months' Hard Labour.

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