Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 29 January 2023), October 1879, trial of VALENTINE SEMIBRAVE DOBROWOLSKI (33) (t18791020-906).

VALENTINE SEMIBRAVE DOBROWOLSKI, Deception > forgery, 20th October 1879.

906. VALENTINE SEMIBRAVE DOBROWOLSKI (33) , Forging and uttering a receipt, with intent to defraud.

MESSRS. GRAIN and TICKELL Prosecuted; MR. METCALFE, Q.C., Defended.

ANTONIO LUIGI MORA . I live at 74, Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square—in June, 1878, I lodged with the defendant's father in Milton Street, Dorset Square—the defendant also Jived there—I had just come to England, and I said that I should like to find some words to compose music to; some words were lyin there, and the result was that I composed the music of "The Tar's Return"—I cannot say whether I received the words from the defendant's father—I went to Signor Foli with the song; he liked it very much, and I went there again with the defendant, who desired to publish the piece, and made an arrangement that he was to pay 5d. or 6d. and a

royalty of 2d. to myself, the music being my own composition and my own property—the song was taken to the engraver's on I believe the same day 10th or 11th July—I saw Signor Foli about February, 1879; I had sold him my right to "The Tar's Return" for 10 guineas, and gave him this receipt (Dated February 5, 1879)—the song was sold to Madame Foli, who paid me, and a day or two after Signor Foli's return from America I gave him the receipt, dated on the day the sale took place, but he was not in London then—on 21st May this year I believe, I went to Mr. Poole's office in consequence of an appointment made by Mr. Chappie, and Mr. Poole showed me my original MS.—I had signed my name to the song, and it being an Italian name, in giving directions to the printer I signed again underneath in a back handwriting so that it should be clear enough for the printer to engrave it—there was not a very large space between the two signatures.

HERBERT POOLE . I am a solicitor, of Bartholomew Close—I have a subpoena to produce a song called "The Tar's Return"—I do not produce it; it is not in my possession—whatever information I possess on the subject I acquired in the professional capacity of solicitor, and I object to answer any question on the subject except under his Lordship's direction.

VALENTINE DOBROWOLSKI (The Prisoner's father). In July, 1878, I sent the MS. of "The Tar's Return" to Mr. Bray to be engraved—I do not know whether I have had all the documents in my possession since then; I have not had the MS. since—I swear that—I had it to carry to Mr. Bray to engrave, but what became of it afterwards I do not remember—I cannot remember seeing it—I will swear I have never seen it this year—I did not receive it back from Mr. Poole—I was with my son when he took it to Mr. Poole; we were both consulting Mr. Poole as a solicitor—I will swear I did not see it after that.

MR. LICKFOLD. I saw at the Guildhall Police-court the MS. of a song called "The Tar's Return"—I received it as solicitor to Dobrowolski—I object to produce it on the ground that it is my client's title, and secondly it is my right as solicitor—I have it. (MR. GRAIN submitted that he had now laid sufficient foundation for admitting secondary evidence.

MR. METCALFE contended that the ordinary rule being that a document delivered by a client to a solicitor was privileged, there was nothing in this case to take it out of the ordinary rule, but on the Court expressing an opinion that secondary evidence was admissible, MR. METCALFE consented to produce the document.)

ANTONIO LUIGI MORA (continued). This is the original MS. of "The Tar's Return"—I find the two signatures here, and between them is written "Received 30s. from V. S. Dolrowolski for music of Tar's Return, July 6th, 1878"—I first saw that in Mr. Poole's office in May this year—I never sold the music to him for that or for any sum—this is the prisoner's writing—I never gave him authority to write those words; I was very much surprised when I heard of it.

Cross-examined. I received 3l. and some shillings for him when he was out of town, and that was for other affairs entirely—I came to England more than a year ago; three months before I went to the prisoner's house—I come from Milan, but I was born in Turin—my wife came with me; we have no family—I was not in great difficulties when I went to the prisoner's; I was composing, and I had several engagements, concerts—I cannot say how I

I came to go the prisoner's house—my wife did not apply for the place of housekeeper—there was an advertisement in the paper for some employment at the prisoner's house relating to music, and my wife went in the morning, and I went in the evening—I did not tell the prisoner that I was badly off—the result was that we went to live in the prisoner's house a week afterwards, or less—we were then living in one room on the second floor in Charlotte Street, Fitzroy Square, and paid 7s. a week regularly—in the beginning we were invited to the prisoner's house to dinner, and he made me hear his son sing; I wish to show how we were coaxed to go into their house—we remained there a very long time till after July, when I had finished some work which was in their hands—we went there in May, 1878, and remained till January last—I composed this song while I was there—we provided our own food, except when we dined downstairs with them—I was engaged, and they were to give me from 5s. to 10s. a day for giving lessons to the prisoner's son, but I was getting nothing, and I suppose they let the rent run on—I was not to compose music for them—I had food and lodging, and there was compensation for it in the lessons I gave his son daily in music and singing; it was that which brought me to the house—his son has a tenor voice—I do not know that he has a French medal—I never saw this medal (produced)—all this was to be supplied for teaching—that was all I hud to do—my wife was to do nothing at all—they were delighted at my coming there to prepare him, and bring him out at the opera—I got the words of the song about three weeks after I was in the house, and I wrote the music to them in a very few days—I did not know at first whether I could compose any music to the words; they were given to me to try what I could do—there was no arrangement as to whom the music was to belong to if I succeeded, because I did not expect to succeed, as the words were very ugly, and very irregular—the words profess to be by "Nollo," that is a gentleman named Davis—I have heard that there was an arrangement between him and the defendant for the words, and I did not suppose that he was going to pay Davis and give me the words—I know that Signor Foli, Signor Santley, and Mr. Sims Reeves sing songs for the purpose of getting them sold, and that they are paid for singing them, either so much or by royalty—the prisoner's father is, I believe, a music publisher in Newman Street, but I cannot say for certain, because there are so many of them—when I went to Signor Foli it was not to ask him to sing the song which I had composed, but to see if he liked the music, and if he did he would undoubtedly accept it—he has a bass voice—the song was for a bass voice, but still it may be called a baritone—it was peculiarly suited to Signor Foli's voice; a song can be made suitable to a baritone, and also to a bass by transposition—I suggested taking it to Signor Foli—this song was published in Shrewsbury by some Dobrowolski—my name appears twice on the MS.—I have done so with all my music; the first signature was written so imperfectly that I wrote the second so that the engraver might make no mistake—I have been in the habit of doing so for a long time—this writing at the bottom is mine; I have always been in the habit in America of entering my music in my own name, and I put "Entered at Congress," hut that is scratched out—I did not receive any money for this—I went to Signor Foli to show it to him—I played it over to him, and asked him whether he liked it—he said he did very much, and offered to buy it—I said "The words do not belong to me, I must bring the person who has got

the words," that was on the 10th or 11th June, and I waited till February but it had been published, and copies had been sold before I sold it—it was published directly, and I believe 3,000 copies were sold—Signor Foli arrived, I believe, on April 15th, and I gave him this receipt for 10 guineas; it is in my writing—I lived in his house while Madame Foli was in America—he went there first, and she went afterwards, and they came back together—my wife lived there too; I did not pay there—I did not compose for them, nor did I teach Signor Foli to sing—I went to stay there as a friend while they were away—I know that Signor Foli claimed his royalties from the prisoner—I am now living at 45, Mortimer Street, Cavendish Square—I have no friend there to keep me and my wife for nothing—I work, and receive money, and am very well paid.

Re-examined. I remember putting my two signatures to this manuscript—this "Received 30s." was not there then—when I said that I had not the right to the words, I went immediately afterwards with the defendant to see Signor Foli—he wished to buy the words, and he said, "You can pay the gentleman who wrote the words two or three guineas, and come to me after;" so I suggested to the defendant to buy the words—he said, "I need not do that, Davis gave them to me, I can have them for nothing, I will give Davis a drink"—the property in the music was mine—the prisoner said be would give Signor Foli 5d. or 6d. royalty—the music was to be printed at Dobrowolski's, and a proof brought of it, but it was never done.

By MR. METCALFE. It was printed on 15th July—I did not know that it was entered at Stationers' Hall as the property of Valentine Dobrowolski—I know it now; it was entered by Signor Foli's solicitor, but I did not know it before we commenced proceedings this year.

ALLEN JAMES FOLI . I live at 88, Piccadilly—I have known Signor Mora some time—he came to me late last summer with reference to "The Tare Return," and he came again a day or two afterwards with the defendant—I liked the song very much, and tried very hard to buy the copyright of it, but found he did not own the words, and I distinctly objected to it if Dobrowolski published it, because he did not publish in London—he came again a few days afterwards with Dobrowolski, and I said, "I had much rather buy the song, because you publish in Shrewsbury, and it was arranged that I should have a royalty on the music—I did not think I could buy the music without the words—Mora said, "I cannot sell you the song, because the words are not mine, but I will try hard and get you the words"—I think the royalty was to be 5d. and 2d. on each copy signed by me—before I went to America I went to Dobrowolski to collect the royalty, and he would not pay—in the meantime my wife had bought the music, and gave him 10l. or 10 guineas, and I made him write me a receipt—the defendant made no claim to the music when I saw him till they came to my house one day—I have not received a farthing royalty.

BENJAMIN BRAY . I am a music engraver, of Chapel Street, Oxford Street—either the prisoner or his father brought this MS. to me to be engraved on 16th July, 1878—these words, "Received 30a, July 6, 1878," between the two signatures, were not there when I engraved it—he paid me for it on the 17th.

Cross-examined. I engraved the music and the words, but not the outside title-page—I say that those words were not there, because it is our rule to look on the outside to see whether there is any reference to the inside—I engrave two or three songs every week—I am able to say that Moira's

signature appeared twice—something is scratched out below; I do not know what the words were.

GEORGE BARKER . I am in Mr. Bray's employment—the document went through my hands for the purpose of engraving it—these words between the two signatures were not there then.

Cross-examined. I did not engrave the title-page; I bad nothing to do with it—if this had been blank it is very possible it would have been torn off to give to the engraver, but it was given to me in its integrity, and I can say that this was not on it because I never saw such a thing on a MS. in the whole course of my existence, and it could not have been there; if it had I am certain I should have noticed it—engraving the title-page is a separate business.

GEORGE HURST . I am an engraver of musical title-pages, of Oxford Street—I engraved the whole of this title-page from this piece of paper, with the exception of the assignment—this receipt was not there then—I engrave 500 or 600 compositions in a year.

Cross-examined. The signature shows that this is the very document I engraved from, as I wished to know whether that was the facsimile of M. Mora's name—the title-page is sometimes sent without the score—this is the MS. I engraved the title from—it might not have been a facsimile of this on one sheet, excepting the receipt—when a publisher is getting out a song quickly he sometimes sends the score to one person and the title-page to another—I only go by the appearance of the MS. and the signature underneath, but if they were to copy one MS. from another you might be deceived, but I considered that M. Mora's name was to be engraved as a fac-simile—I only engraved the composer's name, not the bottom signature, hut I am sure the bottom signature was there, as I asked M. Dobrowolski if I was to engrave that as a fac-simile.

Re-examined. I inquired about the signature from Dobrowolski, sen.—that was why I gave my attention to the document—I asked him whether I was to engrave "Antonio Mora" twice or once—I cannot tell you whether any part of the score was attached to the paper from which I engraved the title-page.

VALENTINE DOBROWOLSKI (Re-examined by MR. METCALFE). It is my son who has premises in Shrewsbury—I have a house in Dorset Street—the defendant stayed with me at times, and travelled for me all over England—he sometimes went to Shrewsbury—I afterwards took premises in Newman Street, where I now carry on business—I published this song; I was ordered to do so by my son—I advertised for a housekeeper, and M. Mora's wife came; but she was so very fine—her husband came in the evening—he said "My wife called this morning. I am a pianist, and wish to speak to you, and show you my style of playing"—he began to play, and he played very well—he said he was starving, and for two days had nothing to eat—I said "That is a pity for a man with talent like you," and I took a sympathy for him—he said he had two situations to go to to-morrow, one to keep the books of a sweep, and the other as a potman—I said "It is a pity. You shall not go to those places. You come to me, and I will give you and your wife what you want till better times come," and I gave him half a sovereign to bring his things to my house—they came there, and remained nine or tea months—they did not pay me anything; I did not expect it—I remember my son buying the words of that song and the title from Mr. Davis—I know

of Mora writing the music to those words—I heard him play the song, and heard my son sing it—my son afterwards went with it to Signor Foli, and I took it to Stationers' Hall and registered it—Moira composed three pieces more for me—I have had no claim about them—he worked for me, and I agreed to give him food and lodging—I first saw the song when my son came home from travelling and looked among his papers—I cannot tell you whether the receipt was on the title-page then or when I took it to the publishers and the engravers—my son has three French medals for music.

NOT GUILTY .