Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 20 May 2022), May 1833, trial of ERNEST ELSNOR Caroline Elsnor (t18330516-139).

ERNEST ELSNOR, Caroline Elsnor, Theft > simple larceny, 16th May 1833.

1023. ERNEST ELSNOR and CAROLINE, his wife , were indicted for stealing, on the 17th of May , 3 sovereigns; 2 half-sovereigns; 1 10l., and 1 5l. bank note , the monies of Joseph Luckie , against the statute, &c.

MESSRS. PHILLIPS and CLARKSON conducted the prosecution.

JOSEPH LUCKIE. I am a pork-butcher , and live in Upper Marylebone-street. I am single - I have known Caroline Elsnor for six months - I first met her in the street; she lived near me, and she dealt at my shop after I had seen her; there was an intimacy between us once, about four months ago - on Wednesday last she called on me and said she was very poor, and asked me to lend her a sovereign; I said I would give her one, but she must not keep calling on me - I gave her one, and she persuaded me to come up to her house that evening; she had lived there about a fortnight, and had been to me several times to ask me to call on her - she said the man she had lived with had treated her so ill that she had quite got rid of him - I called that evening about half-past ten o'clock, but I did not stay more than five minutes; I appointed to call on her on the following evening; I was to have gone at eleven o'clock, but I did not go ill twelve o'clock - I then went to her house, No. 12, Quixote-row, New-road - I had no knowledge that she was married; she always declared to me that she was not - the male prisoner had been to my shop; he said "Don't allow that woman to come here any more, she is my wife, she has given me the ****;" that was about four months ago; when I saw Caroline again on the Monday following - I told her what he had said, she said, "Nonsense, he is not my husband, but a fellow who has ill used me, and I cannot get rid of him; he watched me into your shop, and when I came out he said, where is the blunt" - I had given her a little money occasionally, as I was taken with her - on the night in question, I went to her house a little after twelve o'clock, she opened the door to me and said, I was late; she was just going to bed - I had been accustomed to carry a little French watch about me; she had seen it at my house - and when I got to her house that night, she asked me if I was going to rise early in the morning; I said, yes; she said,"Where is your watch?" I said, "Never mind, I shall awake in time" - she introduced me into the front parlour, and asked me if I was going to stop all night; I said, yes - we then retired to the back parlour, which is the bed room - I asked her if there was any person in the house; she said, no, only the female servant - I had not heard any one come in after I got there; there are two entrances, one back and one front - when I got into the back room I undressed and went to bed, and she went down stairs; she came up in three or four minutes - I heard her talking in the kitchen; she had before told me the servant was going to bed, but she did not say where - I heard her say as she was coming up again, "Amelia" - I had put my clothes in a chair at the foot of the bed - I had a ten pound note, a five pound note, three sovereigns, and two half sovereigns, in my pocket - the female prisoner came into the room, undressed herself, and came to bed - she put the candle out after she was undressed - she had not been in bed with me more than two minutes, before the room door was stormed and forced open; some person came in and said it was his wife, and he would murder me; he struck me on the head and the arm - I got out of bed and went to the window which looked to the back part of the premises; I tried to lift it up, but it was fastened down; I broke the window, and called murder and police - I was not able to get any of my clothes on - I was still in the dark - I think in less than three minutes a man came to my assistance from a cottage which joins to the house; he got over the wall - he looked for my clothes - I was too much alarmed to look for them - but he could not find them; in a short time the police officer came and he had a light with him - we then searched for my clothes, but none were to be found; I had some of them afterwards brought to me, but part I have not found - I looked into the fob of my trousers where my money had been, and it was all gone, but fourteen or fifteen shillings in silver and two keys; I had a receipt in that pocket which had been taken out, crumpled up, and put back again - the policeman took the male prisoner into custody, he had only his trousers on; there was no appearance of the other part of his dress in the room where I was.

Cross-examined by MR. TURNER. Q. How long is it since you found this lady? A. Some time ago I had seen Caroline Horne, her servant - I never asked her when her master was likely to be out - when the male prisoner called on me he said, the woman was his wife, and if ever he caught her at my house he would punish me - I had called at her house when I first became acquainted with her - I was in her first floor, but not more than five minutes; no intimacy took place between us on that occasion - I swear that - I remember her calling at my house and going into the back parlour; she staid there for half an hour; there is no sofa there, but there is a rug - I did not give her any money then - she has had pork chops in my shop, but she usually paid for them; I made no charge for them - I had never made her any presents, and never promised her anything - I had not promised, on the night before I was robbed, that I would give her a brooch - I had notbeen in bed more than two minutes, on the night in question, with her, before I was interrupted - I had not been asleep - she had gone down stairs before she came to bed, as she told me, to give some directions to her female servant; I heard her talking, and heard her say, Amelia; whether she said good night I don't know - I never said that if I was interrupted by the male prisoner, I would murder him - I have said I would use violence to him or any man who should come in while I was with his wife - she had often asked me to come to her house, and I said I would not go to any woman who had a man living with her - she told me this house was taken for her by an old gentleman, and she was going to live gay and to see gentlemen - there are two entrances to the house, but I think no person could come in at the front door, while I was in the back parlour, without my hearing them - I believe when I first saw the male prisoner in the room his boots were off, but I will not swear it.

Ernest Elsnor. You have seen me several times. Witness. No; I only saw you once, and then you had the conversation I have stated.

JASPER LINCOLN . I live at No. 25, Fitzroy-place, New-road. I heard the prosecutor cry murder, and went to his assistance; I burst the outside door open, and entered the parlour; I found the prosecutor in his shirt, and the female prisoner in her night-dress - there was no light in the room - the prosecutor said "For God's sake protect me, I shall be murdered;" I said I will - the male prisoner came into the room, and I seized him; he said "It is my wife" - I told the prosecutor to put on his clothes, he said he could not find them; I felt, but I could not find them - the policeman came in about ten minutes, and brought a light - I pulled off the bed-clothes, and looked for the prosecutor's clothes, but could not find them - his trousers were afterwards brought in by some person, but he stated that he had lost his money; it could not be found in the bed, nor in the house.

EDWARD KING . (police-sergeant S 10). Last Thursday night I heard the springing of a rattle, I went up the road, and to the house in question - there are two kitchens and six rooms above - I found Mr. Luckie in his shirt. and the female prisoner in her night-dress in the back parlour, which is the bed-room - I saw the male prisoner on the same floor shortly afterwards, he had his trousers and shirt on - he was not in the bed-room when I went; the first place I saw him at was on the landing-place - there was no female servant in the house - I took the two prisoners into custody, locked up the doors, and proceeded to the station - I returned to the house with the prosecutor, we examined the house, and I found this money in a trunk in the back parlour under the bed; in which were some clothes belonging to the prisoner - I found this handkerchief outside the room, the prosecutor said "It is my neck-handkerchief" - he found his drawers in the kitchen in my presence - there was a sofa in the kitchen, and a large blanket; it appeared as if arrangements had been made for a person to sleep there - I asked the male prisoner in going along where the servant was, and he said she left at nine o'clock that night; I don't think he told me her name - this money was down in one corner of the trunk; here are three sovereigns and two half sovereigns, wrapped up in the bank notes; I found 6s. in another paper in the box - the man was asked at the station what money there was in his house, and said only a little silver - I heard him say at the office, that he thought this money was a brooch wrapped up in paper, as a present for his wife; and he said he had taken clothes and all away, because when the police came they should find the prosecutor and the woman in bed together, and he had taken this money from the pocket supposing it to be a brooch.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you not find some other gold? A. No.

JOHN GRAVESTOCK (police-constable S 102). I went to the house with King, what he has stated is correct.

JOSEPH LUCKIE. These are my notes, they are both marked in my own writing.

Ernest Elsnor's Defence. I went to Kensington about seven o'clock, and told my wife I should be very late at home, as I was going to see a friend who was going to New York; I came home at a quarter-past eleven o'clock - I had the keys of the doors; I let myself in, and saw through the glass-door of the parlour a man sitting on the sofa with my wife, and heard Mr. Luckie's voice; I went down the steps a little way, and heard him say "What a fool you are to live with him, you have often complained; you don't like him; if you wish you shall have three pounds a-week; never mind the house, nor the furniture, I will protect you;" she said "He will follow me;" he said "He shall not come where I am;" he then said "Can I stay with you to-night;" she said "No, I expect him home;" he said "Let me look at your bed-room," he went in, and said "What a shabby little shawl you have got;" she said "Give me a better;" he said "I will bring you a brooch;" he then said "I will come to-morrow night," and she told him to come to the front door - when he was gone she saw me, and asked how I came in; I said from the back door - the next morning I said I must go to Kensington again - I did not go there, I from ten o'clock waited till half-past eleven o'clock to see Luckie come to the house - he did not come as he had promised; I thought he would not come; and at eleven o'clock I went in from the back door, that my wife should not hear - I waited a few minutes, and then went down and laid myself on a board in the back-kitchen, where I thought I would hide myself, I took off my boots and my coat, but not my trousers nor waistcoat - there are six bells in the kitchen; about twelve o'clock, one bell went very softly, I could not distinguish which it was - I went to the bells and felt it was the front-door bell; I thought Luckie was coming; she let him in and said, "I thought you would be sooner;" he said he had been in company, and had a glass of brandy - I heard them talking; I went close to the room-door - I heard Luckie say, "I wish I could go to bed"- she said "If you do you must not stay long;" he then went to bed, and the room-door opened - I ran down to the back-kitchen; my wife came there and threw down a sofa-pillow and a blanket, but I could not see then - she went up-stairs again, and she said to him, "I have a girl down stairs, who sleeps on a sofa;" she then undressed herself, and I heard them talking in bed; I did not know what to do - my blood was hot - I tried to open the door; they would not answer - I tried the next door, they would not open that; I pushed it open, I was very hot - I will speak as it was - I began to strike him in bed; he bore it a good while - I gave him eight or nine blows, he saidnothing; my wife begged of me "For God's sake, don't make a noise, he shall go away immediately" - then he got up, ran to the window naked, and cried "Murder" - I took his clothes immediately; (all I could feel in the bed-room,) I carried them all into the kitchen, and laid them down; the money fell out, I picked it up and put it into the box, and six shillings in a paper which I had - it struck me that the paper which fell from his clothes was the little brooch he had promised her - I never thought I did wrong in taking his clothes; it was only to say that he was found naked when the officer came - the room was full of people when the officer came; I was hot and dry, I could not speak; if I had found millions of money of Luckie's, I would not have taken it; it was not my intention to rob him - when the police came with his light, I said, "I give this gentleman in charge, I found him in bed with my wife, and Luckie said, "I was with her in bed, and he has robbed me of my clothes and money;" the officer let me dress myself, and then locked the doors and took me to the station where I was kept in custody; they brought down my wife in ten minutes; I then asked, "Who is there?" she said, "Don't speak to me, don't be so jealous, you know you are out of work; I wish you would leave me entirely" - that is all I can say about this affair - I had saved sixty sovereigns; I then thought I would marry; I met this woman in a confectioner's shop; she said she had forty sovereigns, and a gentleman had promised to marry her, but she would not - she said she was not a virtuous woman, but I said "If you will be true to me I will marry you" - we married, and she has not been faithful to me.

ERNEST ELSNOR - GUILTY . Aged 30.

Transported for Seven Years .

CATHERINE ELSNOR - NOT GUILTY .