Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 02 October 2022), December 1815, trial of JOHN YOUNG JOHN FRANCIS (t18151206-72).

JOHN YOUNG, JOHN FRANCIS, Theft > grand larceny, Theft > receiving, 6th December 1815.

71. JOHN YOUNG was indicted for feloniously stealing, on the 24th of November , three hundred pounds weight of printed paper, value 10l. the property of Thomas Bensley . And JOHN FRANCIS , for feloniously receiving the same goods, knowing them to have been stolen .

WALTER CHATFIELD . I am warehouse-man to Mr. Bensley, of Bolt-court, Fleet-street ; John Young was in our employ during four years previous to last Christmas; he was a reading boy . During his service, we missed several sheets, and books in sheets out of the warehouse. In the month of November last, as I was passing by the shop of Matthews, a fruiterer in Leather-lane, Holborn, I was induced to go in, by seeing in the window, some paper printed by Mr. Bensley, and which ought to have been in his warehouse, because I knew it had never been published. In consequence of what passed between me and Mr. Matthews, I went to the house of the prisoner Francis, on the same day; he lived in Cross-street, Hatton Garden ; I found him at home. I asked him if ever he had sold to Matthews, any paper of the works called the Earl of Surry? and without hesitation, he said yes, he had, and said he had bought them of a young lad, named John Ball , whose person he described, and by which description, I guessed it to be Young. I asked him if he had sold any other works than this, and he told me he had, but he did not know what works they were, not having opened them. I told him I was warehouse-man to Mr. Bensley; and he told me that the boy had told him, he lived with a printer in Earl-street, who used to allow him waste paper, as a perquisite. He went to enquire after the printer in Earl-street, but could not find no such person. He shewed me six quires, as being the whole of what he purchased from this boy; young Mr. Bensley went to his house.

JOHN MATTHEWS . I am a fruiterer, and live at 91, Leather-lane, Holborn. I remember to have bought a quire of paper from the prisoner Francis, on the 11th of November last; it was waste printed paper, clean and in sheets. A short time afterwards, the last witness Chatfield, called at my house; I paid ten-pence a quire for this paper; I purchased it, to set my fruit off in my baskets.

MR. JOSEPH BENSLEY . I am a son to Mr. Thomas Bensley . In consequence of what was told me, I went to the house of Francis; when I went in, he was at home, and on entering, I informed him who I was, and stated that I believed our warehouse-man, had been with him in the morning; he told me, that since our warehouse-man had been with him, he had discovered more; a bundle he said, of the Sparkles of Glory. He then went down to his warehouse, and brought it up. He then said, that perhaps I and my brother, who was with me, would like to walk down into his warehouse, and examine it ourselves. We immediately went down, and found a large quantity of our paper there was a portion of Banks's Peerage, a quantity of lberia's Crisis, and a large bundle of Observation on the Cure of Cancer, by Dr. Denman; also about fifty volumes of the works of the Earl of Surry; the works of the Earl of Surry had never been delivered for publication, but the others had. It would cost one hundred and fifty pounds to replace them. The prisoner Francis, described to me that he had purchased it of a boy whom he described so accurately, that I had not the least doubt but that it was the other prisoner at the bar. He said that the boy had told him, he worked for a printer in Earl-street, Blackfriars, and was allowed waste paper, as a perquisite. I went to Francis's house again on the 24th, in company with Read, the officer. The prisoner Francis had entered the house just before us. On turning over some old pamphlets on a shelf in the shop, I discovered two copies of Denman on the Cure of Cancer, stitched, and Francis said he had stitched them for his own reading.

MR. BENJAMIN BENSLEY . I have heard the account my brother has given, and it is perfectly correct; and I sealed up the parcels of paper found in Francis's possession, which be assisted me in doing.

CHARLES GIMBER . I am a constable, of St. Dunstan's parish. I apprehended the prisoner Young, in Chandos-street, Covent Garden, on the 17th of November, I first took him to Mr. Bensley's in Fleet-street, and thence to the prisoner Francis's with the young Mr. Bensley. Francis said, that he was the boy of whom he bought the paper; the boy was told what he had been taken for. The paper was then tied up in the state in which it now is. I went to Francis with a hackney coach, to take away the papers, and Francis asked me did I think it necessary for him to go with me to Hatton Garden office? I told him I did not think so, but afterwards on his coming, the magistrate thought he ought to be detained.

MR. JOHN SHEARMAN . I am clerk to the magistrates at Hatton Garden office, and also attorney for the prosecution in this case. I produce the confession of the prisoner Young, which is in Mr. Ford's hand writing, which I heard Young read over, and then saw him sign it.

Mr. Adolphus, submitted, whether the confession could be read or not, as there were statements in it coming from the mouth of the prisoner Young, which went very materially against the other prisoner, and which statements were made in his absence.

COURT. It has been decided by the judges, that where there are more prisoners than one; so much of a confession as relates to the confessor, and none other is to be read, and no more.

Mr. Andrews. Mr. Shearman, was Francis present when Young made this confession - A. I don't know whether he was.

"So much of the confession of the prisoner Young, as related to himself, was now read by the clerk of the Court, and acknowledged that he had stolen the paper, and had sold it to the prisoner Francis."

WILLIAM READ . I am an officer of Hatton Garden. I was with the Mr. Bensleys, in Francis's shop, on the 24th of November. In the shop, upon a shelf, I found these two pamphlets, called Denman on the Cure of Cancer. (Producing them.) They are stitched. Mr. Bensley asked Francis, what he sewed them for? and he said, for his own reading.

(Property produced, and sworn to)

EDWARD GARDINER . I am a book-seller, in Paternoster-row. I have at various times bought and sold waste paper, but have generally given the same price as Francis gave.

YOUNG, GUILTY , aged 16.

Transported for Seven Years .


First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Recorder.