Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 17 October 2021), April 1843, trial of JANE WATFORD JOSEPH ROURKE (t18430403-1151).

JANE WATFORD, JOSEPH ROURKE, Theft > theft from a specified place, 3rd April 1843.

1151. JANE WATFORD , and JOSEPH ROURKE , were indicted for stealing, on the 12th of March, at St. Luke, 7 spoons, value 1l. 10s., the goods of Edward Green: 1 bag, 5s., the goods of Edward Baker Green: 1 memorandum-book, 5s.; 6 pieces of paper, 6d.; 3 half-crowns, 12 shillings, 7 sixpences, 1 groat, 4 pence, 1 order for the payment of 14l. 10s., 1 order for the payment of 6l. 10s. 6d., and 7 bills of exchange for the payment of 560l. 8s. 4d.; the property of Joshua Barrett and another, in their dwelling-house.

MR. BALLANTINE conducted the Prosecution.

JOSHUA BARRETT . I am in partnership with Mr. Edward Green, as coal-

merchants, Regent's Canal wharf, City-road, in the parish of St. Luke, Middlesex. On Saturday, the 11th of March, I left my counting-house about six o'clock in the evening, leaving my cash-box in one of the drawers of an iron chest in the counting-house—there were several bills which were over due, and seven that were not due, two cheques, and 12s. 4d. in silver—the iron chest was not locked when I left, but the two drawers in it were locked—I saw it again next day, and both drawers had then been forced—the cash-box, documents, and money, were all gone.

Cross-examined by MR. CLARKSON. Q. Does the counting-house form part of the dwelling-house? A. It joins it—there is a door communicating with the dwelling-house, and you can go from one to the other without going into the air—the house is the house of the firm; but my partner, Mr. Green, occupies it with his family, it is his dwelling-house, though taken by the firm—none of my family live there or any servant of the establishment—the rent of the whole premises is paid by the firm—Mr. Green lives in the dwelling-house rent free, in consequence of the trouble he takes on the spot—the dwelling-house is used exclusively by Mr. Green.

MR. BALLANTINE. Q. You are usually there in the day time? A. Yes—I have ingress and egress to the dwelling-house if I think proper—the door is generally open during the day.

EDWARD BAKER GREEN . I am son of Mr. Green, Mr. Barrett's partner—I live in the dwelling-house, which is attached to the counting-house—my father is at present absent—the prisoner was in my service—on Saturday, the 11th of March, I was in the counting-house at six o'clock in the evening—at that time I locked the iron safe, which is fixed into the wall—I placed the key on the mantel-piece in the parlour, which is where I usually kept it—on Sunday, the 12th of March, I left the premises about half-past ten o'clock to go to church—before I left I gave directions to Watford for my dinner—I did not state at what hour I should be back—no other person was in the house when I left it, to my knowledge—I returned about one o'clock or a little after, knocked at the door, but could not get in—I got in by the backway, and found that Watford was gone—after going through the house. I went to the counting-house, and saw that three desks had been broken open, which were locked at the time I left the counting-house the preceding evening—there had been 11s. 8d. in one of those desks, which was mine, and that money was gone—I found the safe locked—I went into the parlour for the key, and it was gone—in the coal-cellar I found this cash-box, which had been in the safe—I also found there several papers in a table-cloth, which I believe was the kitchen table-cloth—the cash-box was broken at one end and empty—I also found these two screw-drivers, hammer, and a pair of pincers—the pincers are my own—I had bought them the preceding evening, and had placed them on the parlour-table—I gave information to Taylor, the wharf constable, and he and sergeant Brannan came to the house—I then searched the house, and missed three silver table-spoons and three silver tea-spoons—I had used two of the spoons for breakfast—I missed a carpet bag which I had not seen for three or four weeks before—Mr. Barrett came to the counting-house about five o'clock that afternoon—he opened the safe with a duplicate key, and I saw that the drawers had been broken open—on the ground near the safe I saw Mr. Barrett find the tool part of this screw-driver.

Cross-examined. Q. How long had you been living in this house separate from your father? A. Ten days, I believe—I conceive he is permanently away now—he pays me visits at times—I am not married—my father has lived in the house since this transaction—I believe he was living in it when Watford was hired, but I was not present—she was my servant—I was to

pay her wages with my own money—that arrangement was made when my father left—my father had permanently left before this—I was sole occupant of the house, except at uncertain periods when he chose to come—I pay no rent—I did not hire the girl—my father is unwell—I do not know that Watford was permitted by my father to receive Rourke's visits—I have not asked my father that question.

COURT. Q. With whom did you arrange that you were to occupy the house? A. With my father—Mr. Barrett did not interfere about it to my knowledge—I was in the employ of the firm as clerk.

CAROLINE AYRES . I am the wife of Richard Ayres, and live in City-garden-row, City-road. I am a charwoman, and have been employed at Mr. Green's house—I knew Watford as the servant, and Rourke by seeing him several times visiting Jane—he used to come in the evening—the last time I saw him was this day six weeks—I do not know the day of the month—it was towards the latter end of Feb.—I think it must have been the 24th—it was the last Friday in Feb.—he came as a suitor or sweetheart to Watford.

Cross-examined. Q. Do not you know he was permitted to come by old Mr. Green? A. No, I do not—I have seen him altogether four times—I cannot tell when the first time was—it was one Monday, when Watford had a holiday—I always took care of the house when she had a holiday, since Mr. Green has been out of town—I saw Rourke waiting for her, and they went out together, between nine and ten o'clock in the morning—young Mr. Green was not in town then—Mr. Barrett was in the counting-house—the house was left in Watford's care—I should say that is three months ago—the last time I saw him was six weeks last Monday—I think it was the Monday before the robbery—I saw him between seven and eight o'clock in the evening then—I cannot say where young Mr. Green was then—I never told him or Mr. Barrett of Rourke being there—Watford told me that she had asked leave, and she had been permitted—she told me that on the Monday.

JAMES BRANNAN (police-sergeant G 20.) On Sunday, the 12th of March, in consequence of information I went with Taylor to Mr. Green's house—I examined the counting-house, and found three desks forced open, also the the drawers and the iron safe—I took possession of the tools produced, and Taylor took possession of this cash-box in my presence—I searched the house, and in a top room I found a razor and a card which I produce, and a bundle containing female wearing apparel—on the 17th of March I took Rourke into custody, at a house in Clark's-buildings, St. Giles's—I said, "Well, Mr. Rourke"—he replied, "Well, sir"—I asked him to come down stairs—he did so—I then told him I belonged to the police, that he must consider himself in my custody, for being concerned, with Jane Watford, the servant of Messrs. Green and Barrett, City-road-wharf, in forcing open the desks in their counting-house, and stealing a quantity of bills of exchange, cheques, money, and silver-spoons—he replied, "Sure, I was not there at all, sir; I do not know the people"—I said, "I have also had information that you showed some bills and cheques to Mr. Mullins, the landlord of the Running Horse, Duke-street, Grosvenor-square"—he said, "I never showed him any bills or papers, and he cannot say so"—I then took him to the station in St. Giles's—I went away, and returned in about an hour and a half, and put the prisoner in the cab—he said, "Have you seen Mr. Mullins?"—I said I had—he said, "I thought I should not have much luck at having anything to do with that girl; when we found the bills were of no use we were going to send them back, but she said we should wait to see an account

about it in the Times paper"—I then took him to the station, in Featherstone-street, St. Luke's—on Monday, the 20th, Watford was brought to the station by Cole, the constable—I observed her move her hands underneath her cloak, and said, "What have you got there?"—I took from her hand this caddy-spoon, bent double as it is now—I again said, "What have you got here?"—she said, "My master's caddy-spoon"—she then gave her address, Hennidge-court, Oxford-street—I put her into a cab with Cole, and then she said, "I live at No. 2, Mitford-place, Tottenham-court-road"—we went there, and in the one-pair back-room, which she said was hers, I saw Cole find, underneath an oil-cloth in a hole in the floor, the bills and cheques, and the book which I produce—Cole kept them—I know them to be the same—I have put my initials on the back of some of them—the silver-spoons and carpet-bag I found at the pawnbroker's.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you know Rourke before? A. I cannot say I did—I had received a description of him, and took him entirely from that—I have since ascertained that he came from the same part of the country as myself—he is a tailor by trade, and is single.

JAMES TAYLOR . I am a constable of the Regent's Canal Company. I was with Brannan on the 12th of March, when Mr. Green's premises were examined—I received this cash box there, and have kept it ever since—I went to the premises next day, and found this shirt in the kitchen, and this night cap and pair of socks in Watford's bed-room, the front room second floor—I was present when Rourke was taken—I asked if he knew anything about Mr. Green's—he said no—he had seen it from the City-road, that was all.

MARGARET BURKE . I am the wife of Darby Burke, and live in Chapel-street, Islington. Rourke lodged with me some time, and left on the Saturday before the robbery—I did not see him again until he was in custody—he gave me no notice of his intention to leave—I was in the habit of washing his linen—I think I have washed this shirt now produced for him—I do not know whether I have washed it more than once—I had women washing for me, and did not always wash myself.

Cross-examined. Q. You cannot speak to that identical shirt? A. I cannot swear it is his—he lodged with us about a year and a half—he is single, and is a tailor—we found him very honest while with us.

PATRICK MULLINS . I keep the Running Horse, in Duke-street, Grosvenor-square. I know Rourke, he comes from the same part of the country as I do—I knew him when a child, and have known him in London for the last twelve months—he has been in the habit of coming to my house about nine months—on Sunday, the 12th of March, he came to my house, and said he had found some papers, and could not understand what they were—I asked him to let me see them—he said he had not got them then, but he would go and bring them, and show them to me—he went away, and came back with two cheques, and a bill—I looked at them—I could not positively swear to them again—I told him they were of no use to him—the best plan was for him to take them to the gentleman whose name was on the bill, and of course he would get something for his trouble—I do not know whether he can read—he rolled up the papers, and said he would do so next morning.

Cross-examined. Q. What part of the country does he come from? A. A village in county of Galway, Ireland—he told me he had been in England about four years—I have only seen him during the last twelve months—he is single, and is a tailor—I have always heard persons speak very highly of him.

MARIA SMITH . I am the wife of William Smith, and live in Mitford-

place, Tottenham-court-road. On Sunday morning, the 12th of March, between eleven and twelve o'clock, the prisoners came to my house, and took the one pair back room unfurnished—they did not sleep there that night—I went and engaged a bed for them—they came next day, brought some furniture, and put into the room—they remained there till the 17th of March, when Rourke was taken—I knew nothing of them after they took the room—I lived in the two pair front—I saw them in the house—they brought the things on the Monday morning—I suppose they staid there that night—I saw them in the course of the next day—I met them occasionally on the stairs from Monday to Thursday—I never was in their room, or they in mine—on the next Monday, Watford was brought to the room in custody.

ROBERT COLE (police-constable G 193.) On Monday, the 20th of March, I saw Watford in the street, near the New Prison, Clerkenwell, between twelve and one o'clock—Rourke was then in that prison remanded—it was at the time when the friends of prisoners visit them—I asked her whether she used not to live as servant with Messrs. Green and Barrett, in the City-road—she said she did not know any such people—I asked her name—she said Rourke—I asked what she was, and where she lived—she said she was a dress-maker, and lived in Regent-street—I asked how she came to be there—she said she bad come to see her brother who she was informed was locked up for a row—I took her into custody, and told her it was for robbing her employers, Messrs. Green and Barrett of a quantity of bills, and other articles—she continued to deny ever knowing any such people, or any such place—whilst going to the station she said, "It is no use denying it any longer; I am the person you allude to, and this is what I have come to through having a young man, but I am as bad as he, and he is as bad as me"—I was at the station, and saw Sergeant Brannan take from her hand the caddy spoon now produced—she said it belonged to her master—I afterwards went to her lodging with Brannan, and found these bills in the hole in the floor under some oil-cloth—Watford said she had put them there to take care of them, and that she thought to have sent them back before.

JOHN CALVERT . I am assistant to Mr. Benton, a pawnbroker, in Tottenhamcourt-road. I produce a carpet bag pawned on Monday. the 13th of March, by Rourke, for 3s.

Cross-examined. Q. Had you known him before? A. No—I have got the duplicate ticket—I believe this was pawned in the evening, I cannot be certain—Monday is rather a busy day with us—more than a hundred persons came in the course of the day—I spoke to him, and put the usual questions, but I did not write the ticket—I believe him to be the man.

MR. PAYNE. Q. Have you any reason to doubt his being the person? A. I could not swear he was the person.

JOHN CHARLES CUTBUSH . I am shopman to Messrs. Livermore, pawnbrokers, in Tottenham-court-road. I produce two silver table-spoons and three silver tea-spoons, pawned on the 13th of March, for 24s., by Watford.

MR. GREEN re-examined. I can swear positively to three of these spoons, and I believe the other two to be my father's—the carpet bag is mine.

(Malachi Shield, tailor, of No. 28, Great St Helen's, Bishopsgate-street; and Martin Fleming, tailor, of No. 8, Old King-street, Deptford; gave Rourke a good character.)


ROURKE,— GUILTY . Aged 26.

Transported for Ten Years.