Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 01 December 2021), November 1835, trial of WILLIAM ROLLAN (t18351123-179).

WILLIAM ROLLAN, Theft > theft from a specified place, 23rd November 1835.

179. WILLIAM ROLLAN was indicted for feloniously breaking and entering the warehouse of Christoper Maltby and another, on the 6th of November, at St. Mary, Lambeth, and stealing therein 4 pieces of brass, called bearing-brasses, value 5l., their goods—2nd COUNT, describibg the goods as 248lbs. weight of brass.

THOMAS MALTEY . I am in partnership with my brother, Christopher Malthy—we are merchants and manufacturers—I found a quantity of brass missing from a warehouse in our manufactory in Bevedere-road, in the parish of St. Mary, Lambeth—I have known the prisoner many years—he is the son of our foreman—I am informed that lately he worked on our premises, but not with my knowledge—I heard of this robery from the foreman, who pointed out the part broken into—I found a door in a closet in the warehouse, with marks of violence on it—the brass was part it, taken from inside that closet, and part without—the force used at the door must have been very great—the wood work against the lock was

cut away, and some instrument had been introduced to force the door open—It could not be closed again without force.

ALEXANDER MITCHELL . I am one of the Thames Police. I was sent for to the prosecutor's premises on Monday, the 9th of November—I examined the door, and found the door-post cut away, a portion of the door cut where the bolt of the lock shot, and some marks on the door-post—It had required considearble force to open the door—on the door-post and door there were marks of a round instrument having been introduced to force it open—I afterwards fitted this bullet-mould to it—It fitted exactly—I afterwards made inqury, and found at Messrs. Everett's, in the New Cut, nine pieces of brass weighing 9 cwt.—William Nicholson showed them to me on the 12th of November—In consequence of information I got there, my brother officer apprehended the prisoner that day—he was brought on board the police-ship that night—I told him that what he said in answer to any questions put to him might be used against him; and next day going down to the office I asked him how he got into the premises—he said he went into Perchey's yard, got up where the old iron was kept, and on the roof into a window in the tower of Mr. Maltby's shop, down there into the shot-house—that he took a ladder, got into the loft, cut the door and door-post with the knife, and forced it open with a bullet-mould and that he carried the brass out the same way he got in—I said it was impossible if they were that weight—he could not have done it by himself—he said, "I had no accomplice with me"—some of the pieces weighed three quarters of a hundred weight—at the time I went to Everett's they gave me this bills of parcels—I showed it to the prisoner, and he said he had written it—I asked him who Johnson was—he said he was asked a name, but he did not know who Johnson was—(read) "Mr. Edward Lambert, bought of W. Johnson, 24 cwt. of old brass, at 5d., £5 3s. 4d.: Received W. Ress. "

WILLIAM NICHOLSON . I am in the employ of Messrs. Everett, at Lambeth—the prisoner brought some old brass for sale, on the 7th of November—It was put in our back premises, and afterwards given to the policeman Mitchell—this is the bill of it.

MR. THOMAS MALTBY re-examined. The robbery was discovered on the 9th of November—I first heard of it on Tuesday, the 10th—I did not hear of it on the Saturday at all—I made the examination on the Tuesday—It is a part of the premises which we very rarely go to—It might be some days without being discovered, as it is usually kept locked—I know the brass to be our property—two pieces I can decidedly identify—It was either in the closet to warehouse.

STEPHEN SILLIS . I am an engineer in Messrs Malthy's employ. This brass is their property, and was kept in the warehouse, close against the door—I did not put it into the closet myself—I saw it last about six weeks ago.

WILLIAM ISRESTER . I am an officer. I took the prisoner in charge, and had some conversation with him—he told Mitchell, in my presence that he cut the door with a knife, to make room for a shot-mould, to prise the door open with; that he lowered the brass sown into Peachey's yard by a rope, and took it out at the gates.

Prisoner's Defence. When I told Mitchell I broke the door, he said that story would not do for him.

WILLIAM NICHOLSON re-examined. The prisoner was alone when he

brought the brass—he brought two at one time, on his shoulders, and two at another.

GUILTY . Aged 18.— Transported for Life.