Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 October 2022), June 1810, trial of WILLIAM WARNER (t18100606-80).

WILLIAM WARNER, Theft > theft from a specified place, 6th June 1810.

482. WILLIAM WARNER was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 23d of April , one hundred and twenty deals, value 50 l. the property of John Chatfield , Thomas Arnott , Robert Mercer , and Thomas Arnott , jun. in a certain boat upon the navigable river Thames . And

TWO OTHER COUNTS for like offence, only varying the manner of charging him.

CHARLES POTLIDOE . Q. Do you live with Messrs. Chatfield and Co. - A. Yes.

Q. Were you employed in April last, to mark any deals - A. Yes; on Saturday, the 21st of April, I marked one hundred and twenty deals, sixty with W. O. and sixty with I. W; I marked them at Mr. Lett's yard, and I stowed them into Mr. Chatfield's boat, I left them at Mr. Lett's wharf.

Q.Where was she moored - A. Three barges outside of the wharf.

ROBERT MERCER . Q. Are you the firm of Chatfield and Co. - A. Yes, the names of the firm are John Chatfield , Thomas Arnott , Robert Mercer myself, and Thomas Arnott , jun.; the deals in question, they were marked sixty for William Ortery , and sixty for John Worthy ; they were put on board the lug boat, to be sent by the Winstable hoy, one to be left at Ridge, and the other at Canterbury.

Q. What are the worth of the hundred and twenty deals - A. Fifty pound.

WILLIAM LINHAM . Q. Do you live with Messrs. Chatfield and Co. - A. Yes. On the 21st of April, I brought the lug boat, containing one hundred and twenty deals, from Mr. Lett's yard, to Mr. Chatfield's timber yard, close by Blackfriars-bridge, Surry side; I made the lug boat fast to my master's yard, and left them there.

- DOBNEY. I am a lighterman to Messrs. Chatfield and Co.

Q. Did you take any deals from Messrs. Chatfield's - A. Yes, they were in a lug boat; on the 21st of April, about half after six o'clock in the evening, I took them down to the Old Swan wharf, I delivered them to Mr. Cock, the owner of the Winstable hoy, I saw Mr. Cock, he took charge of them.

Q. Do you know how many deals you took down there. - A. No, I had no note, I suppose there was about one hundred and twenty in number.

JOHN COCK . Q. I believe you are one of the owner's of the Winstable hoy - A. Yes; my partner's names are Thomas Wakefield, Edward Hayward , and Benjamin Reynolds .

Q. What time did Dobney arrive at your wharf - A.About seven o'clock, I took charge of the lug boat.

Q. How many deals were there on board there - A. I suppose there were one hundred and twenty, the boat had as much as she could almost carry; I moored her facing Fishmonger's hall, alongside of Mr. Thompson's, the coal merchant's, craft; that was on Saturday evening, I saw her lying there as late as nine o'clock, and I saw her at two o'clock on the Sunday, the deals were all just the same as they were when brought on Saturday evening.

Q. Was there any other lug boat with deals there - A. No craft with deals, whatever.

PETER BELL . Q. You are a watchman at London-bridge water works, I believe - A. I am.

Q. On Sunday, the 22d of April, did you see a boat at Thompson's wharf with any deals - A. I went on duty at twelve o'clock on Sunday night; on monday morning, the 23d, at one o'clock, I saw a boat with deals in her, she was laying near the water works at London-bridge, and facing Fishmonger's hall.

Q. In what state was the tide at that time - A. The tide was near low water, the mills were standing still.

HENRY RUST . I am a watchman at Yallowby's wharf, by East-street, Blackfriars.

Q. Early on Monday morning, April 23d, did you see any boat with deals come there - A. Yes, about half past three, it was before day light, in the dawn of the morning.

Q.What kind of a boat was it - A. I only took notice that it was a boat with deals, there were two men in the boat, it was not light enough to distinguish their persons. It was about half tide, it just floated her in, they brought her in and moored her there; and after they had made her fast to one of the barges, they got into a skiff and rowed over the water.

Mr. Alley. What time in the morning was this - A.Half past three o'clock.

Q. You say you could not tell who the men where - A. No.

Q. Did not you say before the magistrate, that you knew that the prisoner was not one of the men - A. I said had known the prisoner for some years.

Q. And therefore if he had been in the boat you must have known him directly - A. No, I could not, I was forty or fifty yards from him, I could not swear to any man, I could not if it was my own brother.

JOHN FIGG . I was a porter at Herrington and Yallowby's wharf. On Easter Monday morning, the 23d of April, between ten minutes and five minutes before five o'clock in the morning, I was called up by two men; one man of the name of Warner was present at the time, and another man stood by the side of him.

Q. Had you known Warner before - A. Yes, I am sure the prisoner is one of the two men. When they called me up, Warner, the prisoner, told me that there was a craft of deals at Yallowby's wharf, that wanted landing. The other man said he brought them from Limehouse.

Q. Did he say we or I - A. He said, I have brought them from Limehouse. He said, get them landed a soon as we could, to get his craft afloat, as he wanted to take his craft down to Limehouse again; when he sent for the deals away he would pay for the wharfage and for the landing. They went away, I saw no more of them until the prisoner was taken into custody.

Q. Did you go down to unload the deals - A. Yes; I got Giles to help me, we found the lug boat loaded with deals, the name on the lug boat was Chatfield and Co. We unloaded the lug boat, there was a large hundred of deals, about one hundred and twenty, we did not count them.

Q. On the same morning did Mr. Arnott, one of the firm of Chatfield and Co. apply to you - A.Yes; and I guided Mr. Prior and Towsy to the prisoner's house, he had told me, on a former occasion, where he lived.

Mr. Alley. In point of fact, you had known the prisoner in consequence of a former contract he had with you - A. Yes.

Q. There was no disguise on his part you knew he has been a lighterman for many years - A. Yes.

Q. It is the business of a lighterman to call upon you when the tide requires - A. Yes.

Q. Therefore his coming to you at five o'clock on that morning was on the occasion of the tide - A. Yes.

Q.This man that was with him was quite a stranger, you have never discovered him since - A. No.

Q. You found the prisoner directly you went to his house, he did not run away - A. Yes, the prisoner was found the same morning.

Q. You did not find any deals or the boat on his premises - A. No.

Mr. Gurney. The deals were at Yallowby's wharf at the same time - A. Yes.

Q. What time was it you went after the prisoner - A. It might be half past eight the same morning.

THOMAS ARNOTT , sen. Q. You are one of the prosecutors - A. Yes.

Q. Did you on Easter Monday morning find your boat at Yallowby's wharf - A. Yes, I went there between seven and eight in the morning, I saw the lug boat in the water, and the deals pitched up on the wharf.

JOHN TOWSY . I went to apprehend, the prisoner. About half after eight o'clock in the morning, Mr. Prior was with me, we went to Burbridge-street, near Marsh-gate, in the New-cut, leading from Rowland's Hill's chapel; Figg shewed me where he lived, I saw his wife standing about two yards from the door, the prisoner was about thirty yards off, Figg pointed him out to us, I took him in custody to Union-hall. When I took him I told him it was on suspicion of stealing some deals he said, oh, those deals I brought up this morning, I can get through that easy enough, I was hired; I asked him for whom he brought them; he said, an entire stranger that he knew nothing of; and at Mr. Chatfield, he pretended not to recollect the man that hired him, I was present at Union-hall, and there before the magistrate he said, he was employed by a man of the name of Steinback, the magistrate said, you have said to the officer that you was employed by a man you did not know; he replied, I recollect now his name is Steinback. Gough, the officer said, we are able to find Steinback.

Mr. Alley. They could not find him - A. No, the other had taken care of that, this was at half past one in the afternoon.

Q. He was in custody from eight o'clock till half past one, he had no opportunity of seeing Steinback - A. He spoke to his wife going from Mr. Chatfield's accompting-house to the magistrate, she said, Warner what is thematter, oh he said, it is about them deals that I brought this morning, oh, she said; it is a pity you got up so soon this morning to earn two shillings.

JOHN HENRY PRIOR . I am a clerk to Messrs. Chatfield and Co.

Q. On the morning of Easter Monday did you go with Towers and Figg for the purpose of apprehending the prisoner - A. I did, the prisoner asked Towsy what he wanted with him; he said, he wanted him on account of some deals that had been taken away, the prisoner then said, he could get over that very well as he was hired by an unknown person to take the deals up to Yallowby's wharf.

Mr. Alley. You were examined at Guildhall - A. I was, the prisoner there said, that he was employed at so early an hour in the morning to bring them to the wharf, I understood it to be before day light.

CHARLES POTRIDGE . These are the deals that I marked, they were in a lug boat.

MR. ARNOTT. These are the deals that I found on Yallowby's wharf.

Prisoner's Defence. I am innocent of the charge. I never saw one of the deals before in my life as I hope to see my Saviour. It is not likely I should have brought them deals if I had stolen them in a neighbourhood that I was brought in.

WEEDY CLOSE. I am a servant to Mrs. Adams, she keeps a coal shed in Petticoat-lane. On Easter Sunday I was along with Mr. Warner at the Red house about nine o'clock, I left him in King-street, Lambeth, he was near home then. I went out with him at one o'clock and was in company with him till nine, George Potter was with me.

GEORGE POTTER. I was in company with Mr. Warner at Battersea; I left him a quarter before ten o'clock on Easter Sunday, at his own door.

MR. STEWARD. I am a printer. I lodged in the prisoner's house, at that time, and do now, and have for some years past.

Q. How is his bed-room situated as to your's - A.Mine is and was in the front parlour, they sleep in the back; the top of the house is in an unfinished state.

Q. Is there any communication to their bed-room but through your room - A. No.

Q.Then, after they had gone to bed, if they came out of their room to go abroad, must not you know it - A. Yes. On Easter Sunday, I came home between ten and eleven o'clock; I went to bed. I saw the prisoner, he came out to me in an undressed state, we had some conversation about rising in the morning; this was between ten and eleven at night.

Q. Do you recollect in the course of the night or morning, any body calling to him - A. Yes, I was disturbed about half past four.

Q. Did you know the person that called him up - A. No, not by his voice; I know him now, I have seen the man.

Court. Q. You did not see the man that called him up - A. No.

Q. What time did he go out - A. A little after that he dressed himself and went out.

Q.Was it light when he was called up - A. I know not indeed; I am very close shut up. The day had broke when I looked at my watch, and it wanted twenty minutes to five, that was a few minutes after.

Q.What occasioned you to look at the watch - A. Because I was roused, and I was afflicted with the rheumatic tooth-ach; rather anxiety to get up to business.

Q. When did you get up - A. I got up about half an hour afterwards.

Q. What business had you for calling, you up so early - A. Oh! six o'clock is the usual time in the morning to go to my work.

Q. Does your door open into the street - A. Yes, directly.

Q. Did he leave the door open - A. No, he shut the door after him.

Q. How do you know it was light at that time - A. By being roused; I never went to sleep till I looked at my watch.

Q.After he had gone out and shut the door, you looked at the watch - A. Yes.

Q. Why did not you look at your watch when the prisoner went out - A. I had not an opportunity, there was no light.

Q. You did not look at the watch before the prisoner went out, because there was no light - A. I was more effectually awaked by his shutting the door; the prisoner said something to me, I cannot say what.

Q. Did that rouse you, or did the shutting of the door rouse you - A.Both; I was in a state of anxiety; I was perfectly awake when the door was shut, not before that.

Q. If you were perfectly awake, perhaps you can tell me what the prisoner said to you - A. I cannot.

Q. When the prisoner shut the door that roused you, effectually - A. Yes.

Q. Then you immediately looked at your watch - A. Yes; I got up directly, though I went to bed again; I got up in bed, and got out of bed, though I did not put my clothes on; I looked at my watch; I did nothing else; I laid down again.

Q. Then what light was there to look at your watch - A. Of course I opened the street door to look at my watch.

Q. Do you mean to swear that - A. I opened the street door, I cannot say whether I opened it to look at my watch, but I opened the street door and looked at my watch; curiosity led me to open the door to look about me, and to look at the watch at the same time. I did open the door, I cannot say for what purpose.

Q. When you opened the door did you look out - A. Yes, but I did not look about me. I cannot tell whether I shut the door immediately.

Q. When you opened the door did it appear a fine morning, was the sun up - A. Yes, it appeared so; my eyes were heavy; as I had mentioned before, I had very little sleep in the early part of the evening.

Q.As your eyes were very heavy, and you were very sleepy, and had no sleep in the course of the night hardly, what could induce you to get out of bed and open the door - A. I do not know, it was done; it was the anxiety, as I have said before, that induced me to know what time of the day it was.

Q. You heard him speaking to you, and was very anxious to know the time of the day, how came you not to ask your friend - A. Because I was not so effectually roused; after the knocking at the door I must have dozed again, and awaked by his speaking to me; I hardly remember his speaking to me; in fact, I remember something or other passing.

Q.Will you swear to his speaking to you, or no - A.I will swear that there was something passed between us; he certainly spoke to me.

Q. Why, man, if you come here to tell the truth, there is a strait-forward way to tell it: now then I want to know, are you certain that the prisoner did speak to you, or did he not - A. Yes, he spoke to me, it roused me a trifling, it did.

Q. What time was it when you dressed yourself - A. Between seven and eight.

Q. I thought you said it was your custom to get up at six o'clock - A. It was so, but through my heavyness I laid afterwards.

Q. What was your reason for your looking at the watch - A. To know the time of the morning; it wanted twenty minutes to five.

Q. You were not so heavy then but what you marked that - A. Yes, I took notice of it.

Mr. Gurney. Your usual time of rising was at six o'clock in the morning - A. Yes.

Q. Your anxiety not to oversleep yourself made you get out of bed to open the door to look at your watch A. I do not know what induced me; I got out of bed, opened the door, and looked at my watch.

Q. You do not know whether it was by chance or design that you took your watch to the door - A. I know I looked at my watch, I cannot say whether it was by chance or design.

Court. Did you take your watch from your bed to the door - . That I cannot swear.

Q.When you were at the door, where was your watch - A. In my hand, and it wanted twenty minutes to five.

Mr. Gurney. Q. Did it ever happen to you before, to get out of bed and look at your watch - A. Oh! frequently these fine mornings. I generally look out in my shirt, and sometimes I put on my small clothes. I generally throw the door open to find my things, and sometimes pop my head out.

Q.And you generally to look at your watch take it to the door - A. Yes, generally.

Q. You were extremely anxious to get up at six o'clock, where do you work - A. At the Philanthropic Society.

Q.You told my Lord, that you looked at your watch, it wanted twenty minutes to five, you had an anxiety to get up, you got up about half an hour afterwards - A. I beg your pardon, it certainly is a misunderstanding; I said, in about ten minutes after the prisoner went out I got up and looked at the watch.

Q. You told me directly the prisoner went out you looked at the watch - A. In ten minutes after the door slammed that I got up; I conceive so.

Q. You dozed, and was in a state of stupefaction - A. Yes.

Court. It might be half an hour that you dozed after the door slammed - A. No, it appeared immediately almost.

Q. Did you doze, or did you not, after the door slammed - A. I beg your pardon, as I heard the door slam I got up instantly without dozing.

Q.What does the half hour apply to? In half an hour after the prisoner went out, did you get up or doze - A. Between seven and eight, I said, I got up.

Q. Did you breakfast in the house, or not - A. I am not quite certain; I am almost positive that I did; I cannot take upon me to swear.

Q. Did you stay without breakfast - A. I do not know how that was; I have done that before now.

Q. Do you come here to say merely it wanted twenty minutes to five - A. Yes.

Q. If you can recollect it was twenty minutes before five, why cannot you recollect the other - A. When I came home I heard Warner was taken up, it impressed my mind. It was in a conversation between me and Mrs. Warner, I think at dinner time, It was at his own house, or going home.

Q. Do you know, whether on the Monday you got any dinner, or not - A. Oh! yes, I got a dinner, I cannot tell where.

Q. Did you go to the prisoner's house at dinner time - A. I go almost every day there at dinner time; I am pretty certain I did.

Q. You staid to dinner with her - A. I do not know, I know I dined, I cannot tell where; I cannot say whether I had any breakfast or not.

Mr. Gurney. The prisoner was at home before you went out - A. Yes.

Q. You left him at home when you went out - A. Yes.

Q. Will you swear that - A. I will not; he was at home two or three minutes before I went out; he came home much about the time that I got up, or a little after; I saw him, and spoke to him.

Court. Q.to Figg. You say you worked as a porter at Herrington's and Yallowby's Wharf, where was it you were called up - A. In Green Dragon-court, St. Andrew's-hill. I heard St. Paul's strike five when I had got my clothes on, before I got down stairs.

Prisoner. I was called up by this man only to recommend him to that wharf to land the deals. I called Figg myself, the man was with me. I never went out of my house before the time that my witness has stated.

GUILTY - DEATH , aged 38.

The prisoner was recommended to his Majesty's mercy by the Jury and the Prosecutor, on account of his former good character.

London jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.