Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

under severe bodily indisposition, aggravated by mental sufferings bordering on despair." Many witnesses were called, who spoke of the prisoner's character in the highest terms. The Jury, after a moment's consultation, returned a verdict of Guilty, but recommended the prisoner to the most lenient consideration of the Court. In reply to the usual question of the officer of the Crown, the prisoner having pleaded the benefit of clergy, Lord Stowell addressed him in these words—" Edward Kenny, you have been convicted of the offence of Manslaughter, committed as has appeared, upon a person with whom you had been in particular habits of friendship. This fact must have often occurred to your mind, and produced the most poignant regret, and I should deem it to be not only highly improper, but absolutely unjust, to press further upon those feelings — those feelings which honourable testimony has proved you to possess, and the influence of which will I trust prevent the occurrence of a similar crime. This Court having taken into consideration the whole of the circumstances of your case, adjudge, by way of punishment for your violation of the law, that you pay a fine of 10/. to his majesty, and that you be imprisoned until the same be paid." Old Bailey, Oct. 31. Arson. Charles Thomas White, aged 23, bookseller, was arraigned for feloniously setting fire to, and burning a certain dwelling house ih Holborn, in the parish of St. Giles-in-the-fields, on the night of the 4th and morning of the 5th of August last. There were two other indictments against him for similar offences at different periods. He pleaded not guilty. Michael Shine, a watchman.— No. 265, High Holborn, is in his beat; on the morning of the 5th August, he heard an alarm of fire from a woman, at the prisoner's; a Mr. Lazarus lived there; he rang the bell, and Mr. Lazarus opened the door; there was a light from the fire on the kitchen stairs; he went along the passage and down the kitchen stairs; the stairs were quite in a flame; he got water and extinguished the flame; he broke up two of the stairs; he broke down the lath and plaster to see that there was no fire remaining. The two steps of the stairs were nearly burnt through; the flames seemed as if hanging down, and dropping like burning gas. About half an hour afterwards, Riley, the beadle, produced two pieces of link; after that, he thought that the flame he saw had been produced by links. He looked, but he saw nothing like a gas-pipe. Furzeman, Riley, and a fireman, named Mills, had come before he left the place; there was a step-ladder placed against the closet-door, under the stairs. He saw the prisoner when he first went to the house; he thought he wore a long grey coat. Samuel Furzeman, watch-house keeper of St. Giles-in-the-fields.— On the 5th of August he went to the house of the prisoner, at two o'clock in the morning, with the engine. When he got there, his brother and Riley had arrived a little before him. He examined the place, and observed to Mr. White that there was something

wrong about the fire. He looked under the staircase, and found it all burnt to a cinder. He then asked White, if he suspected anyone in the house, for there was something wrong; it had been set on fire. White said, that, some time before, the table in the front kitchen had been set on fire. He examined the table, and thought that some liquid had been on the table; it was oak. White said, none but Mr. Lazarus's family and the servant had any business there, and he suspected Lazarus's servant, Margaret Drew. She was called down, and an altercation took place between Lazarus and White, who should make the charge; the prisoner insisted, that as she was Lazarus's servant, he should. Riley came to him, and wished him to search the premises; under the plaster, under the stairs, he found two pieces of link, about nine inches long; and on a ledge under the stairs there was some pitch, which appeared to have dropped from a link; one of the pieces of link fitted the place. He then went to White, and asked, if he had any links in the house; he said, he never had any thing of the sort; the girl was then taken into custody; there was no gas conductor where the fire was. On the llth of August, Lazarus and the prisoner called upon him, in consequence of his sending for them; White said, that he had been dining with his mother, and that she had told him there were some links in the house six or eight months before; he wanted them to go to Mr. Bradford's, where he understood some links had been bought; they did not go then, but went the next day; he asked White what he could want with links six or eight

months ago; he said, he had a party of friends, who were sitting in the yard, when the candle had been blown out, and they then had links to light them. Lazarus, White, Mr. Davis, a broker in Holborn, myself, and the prisoner's wife, went together to Mr. Bradford's. Lazarus said to Mr. Bradford, "Am I the person who bought the links?" he said, "No, you are not." Bradford's boy was there. The prisoner then said, "I can prove, by two witnesses, that I was in bed at twelve o'clock that day" (the 4th of August). It was said by Mr. Bradford, that the links were bought between eleven and one on that day, but he could tell better if he saw the gentleman (Mr. White) in his morning gown. Witness said to White, "You will have no objection, to go home and put on your morning gown?" Lazarus said, he would go home, and put on every dress he had, and shew himself. White said, "I shall do nothing of the kind. I shall not make a puppet-shew of myself." On the morning of the fire, he saw the prisoner in his morning gown. When he next saw him in it, the sleeves appeared to him to be cut shorter.

Cross-examined by Mr. Phillips. —It is a quarter of a mile and upwards from White's house to Bradford's. The way lies through a crowded neighbourhood. Bradford and his boy were silent respecting the face of the person who bought the links. They spoke more of the coat.

Philip Riley produced the two pieces of link. He found them amongst the lath and plaster that had been pulled down.

Thomas Dodwell is shopman to Mr. Bradford. On the 4th of August he sold two links, he believes, to the prisoner; it was from eleven to one, or half-past one, but cannot be positive: the person was dressed in a grey morning-gown; the links had more pitch on them than is usual; it is not common to sell them in summer time; the links before him are like those he sold; he afterwards saw the prisoner in his grey morning gown, in October, in St. Giles's watch-house; he thought it was the same gown he had seen before, but it was cut shorter in the tail; he observed nothing else. The links were taken away in a blue bag.

Mr. Bradford corroborated the evidence of Furzeman and Dodwell.

Godfrey Lazarus.—Witness is a jeweller and general dealer. He went to bed on the 4th of August about twelve o'clock. He awoke about an hour and a quarter after, and found his room full of smoke. He unlocked his door, and gave an alarm of fire. With his child in his arms he ran down to the street door; as he was opening the street door, the watchman rung the bell. There was a middle door in the passage to cut off the communication with the shop. He went with his family to Little Turnstile. When he returned he found Furzeman questioning the girl about the fire. They asked him to give charge of the girl as she was suspected. Witness took her accordingly to the watch-house, and, on his return, found the prisoner laughing in the passage. Witness said to him, "Mr. White, I really see nothing to laugh at." They then went into the parlour, and White said to him, "If I was you, I would not prosecute her." He answered, "Mr, White, I don't

know what you mean; you first make me take up the girl, thinking her intentions were to burn nine or ten persons in their beds, and now you tell me you would not prosecute her." White gave him no answer. He afterwards attended at the police-office, and the charge was dismissed. There is a trap door over the garret. On the night of the 1st of August, the trap door was open, and a ladder placed against it. He called to Catherine, the prisoner's servant, to know what it meant. He then moved it down stairs. He could not shut the trapdoor; he had never seen it open before. The usual place for the ladder was between the kitchen and the cellar wall. He had never seen it near the trap door before; it remained down stairs till the fire.

Margaret Drew was Mr. Lazarus's servant on the 5th of August. She did not set the house on fire. She had no pitch in the house, nor had shebeen using any. She never had any on her hands.

William Hopkinson, the owner of the house, had let it to White's mother; his interest in it was worth something more than 700/.

A clerk in the British Fire- office, the subscribing witness to the policy, said, the insurance was for 3,500/.—350/. upon household goods, printed books, wearing apparel, and plate, 150/. upon jewels, trinkets, &c, 200/. for fixtures, &e., and 2,800/, upon stock in trade. i , ,,->

Mr. Coxhead, bookseller.—In August he had an opportunity of looking at the stock, and there appeared to be in value about 600/. or 700/.; he saw the stock a short time before August, and did not notice any augmentation in it oi! consequence j there were a >fe\y works more than before, worth perhaps 100/.

Mr. Wilson, bookseller.—There appeared to be about 800/. worth ofbooks.

This was the case for the prosecution.

The prisoner on being called for his defence, read from a paper he held in his hand his account of the transaction. It denied all knowledge of the manner in which the fire had taken place. He also denied that he was the person who had bought the links. With respect to his stock, he begged to say, that it considerably exceeded 2,000/. in value. He had made no demand upon the fire office, nor had he endeavoured to conceal what had taken place from any body; on the contrary he had written to the British Fire Insurance Company an account of the fire. He had also advertised —first, a reward of two guineas, and afterwards of five, if the person who bought the links would come forward.

The following witnesses were then called for the defence— Daniel Longley was in the service of Mr. White, as shop-boy, in August last. Remembers taking the ladder to get a piece of petrified wood out of the loft. He left the ladder where it was. His master told him, when asked, that he might do as he liked about carrying it away. His master had a pair of steps and ladder in the shop, exclusive of the one he had used. There is another trap door from the loft. He left the lower trap door open. This was about a week before the fire. Witness did not sleep in the house. On the day before the fire his master rose from bed about twelve o'clock. When he came down, witness asked him if he knew the hour.

White answered, he supposed it was ten. Witness told him it was twelve. White then went into the parlour to breakfast. He staid there till half-past one.

Cross-examined. — Can't recollect what hour his master came down the day after the fire. His master sometimes went out with a blue bag.

Re-examined.—The blue bag lay in a drawer under the counter, and was there the whole of the day in question.

Ann Slack mended a morning coat of the prisoner's in September; she mended the sleeves and covered the buttons; she made no alteration in the length of it.

Mr. Justice Park summed up the evidence.

When his lordship had reached the evidence of the servant maid, and was commenting upon the alleged alteration in the appearance of the morning gown,

The prisoner said—"My lord, the tailor who made and repaired my morning-gown, is in court; and he can prove that no alteration has been made in its length."

Mr. Justice Park.—This places me in a very painful situation. The prisoner believes the evidence of this person to be necessary to his defence, and yet the witness has been in court all the time that I have been addressing you, and has, of course, heard the comments that I have felt it my duty to make upon that particular part of this case.

—— Kinsillee, the tailor.—I made this coat for the prisoner. [Here he measured the dress.] No alteration whatever has been made in it since it was first delivered to him, except these little repairs done to the cuifs: all gowns of this kind are of the same length.

Mr. Justice Park—What! For men of all sizes ?—Yes, my lord.

The coat was here handed to the jury, who appeared to examine it with great attention.

The learned judge then resumed the summing up of the evidence. After about ten minutes consultation, the jury sent up a written paper to Mr. Justice Park, who thereupon ordered Margaret Drew to stand forward.

She was examined by Mr. Justice Park.

Had you the care of the front kitchen occupied by your master, Mr. Lazarus, in the house of the prisoner?—I had.

When you went to bed on the night in question, did you leave anyjfire in the kitchen grate?—No. Nor candle-lighting ? — No; I never leave any fire in the grate. I suffer the fire to expire. I cannot say at what time the fire went out on that night.

Did you meet the prisoner on the stairs as you were going up? —I did.

Had he a light in his hand? —He had.

At half-past five the jury returned into court, and the prisoner was put to the bar. In answer to the usual question, the jury returned a verdict of Guilty.

He was executed on the 2nd of January following.

Court op Common Pleas,

Nov. 10.

Kempsou v. Saunders.

This was an action tried at the last sittings, in London, to recover the sum of one hundred guineas, being the amount of certain railroad shares sold to the plaintiff, under the following circumstances.

It appeared, that, during the mania for Joint-stock Companies, one was formed, and intituled, the Northern and Western Rail-road Company; they formed a committee, appointed directors, and went through the usual course pursued on such occasions, and twenty shares had been sold to the plaintiff, for which he paid the sum of one hundred guineas. The shares were issued on the small deposit of 2/., and it appeared that the difference between that sum and 57. 5s., was a premium on the purchase. The fact of the purchase, at the market price of the day, was fully proved. But on the other side, it was contended, that the sale was an illegal transaction, and that, the bargain being void, the defendant was justified in resisting the demand made upon him. It further appeared that the company was not yet legalized by any act of parliament, and that one of their resolutions forbade the transfer of shares until such act of parliament should be procured. In fact, however, the act never was applied for, and the company had been for some time dissolved. For the defendant generally, it was contended, that, if it were an illegal transaction in him to sell, it was also illegal in the plaintiff to purchase, that he (plaintiff) knew what he bought, and that therefore he could not be entitled to recover.

The lord chief justice told the jury, that the company not intending to do any thing without the previous sanction of an act of parliament, could not, so far, be considered illegal. The defendant sold what he did not possess, and the plaintiff was clearly intitled to recover. The jury under his lordship's direction, found a verdict for the plaintiff.

« ZurückWeiter »