BLANCHARD EDWARDS, Deception > fraud, 27th February 1882.
Blanchard Edwards , unlawfully, while employed in the service of the Loog Company, Limited, making certain false entries in a cashbook, and also omitting to enter certain sums, with intent to defraud.
MESSRS. BESLEY, GRAIN, and TICKELL Prosecuted; MR. FULTON Defended.
GUILTY .— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.
JAMES BIGG . I live at Ranger's House, Peckham—on 19th October I bought a sewing machine from the prisoner for 6l.—he gave me this receipt—it is for sewing machine No. 251,590, and is signed "Blanchard Edwards"—discount is taken off—this is the cheque I gave him—it has been duly honoured—I never paid him any sum afterwards in respect of it—that settled the whole account.
JOHN PHILLIPS . I am a bricklayer, of 18, Coleman Street, Camberwell—on 5th October I bought a sewing machine of the prisoner, price 6l., and paid him 3l. on account on that day, for which I received this receipt (For 3l., in part payment for machine 245,766, balance to be paid within three months)—I did not pay him 10s. on 12th November, or 2s. 6d. on 6th December, or any other payments.
ARTHUR MASSEY . I am a letter carrier—I bought a sewing machine of the prisoner in July, price 7l.—I received this book, and made my payments, 1s. a week, at the shop in Suez Terrace, Bermondsey, where the prisoner lived—soon after Christmas I went to the shop and paid 2l. 10s. to Townsend, the collector, who gave me this receipt in prisoner's presence, and allowed me 2s. 6d. discount (This was for 2l. 12s. 6d.)—I made further payments of 1s. a week—I did not pay 5s. in January.
Cross-examined. I do not how much was left due on 6th January—I do not know the other place of business—I don't think the prisoner's name was up at Sues Terrace—this was a "Singer" machine—I don't know whether it is a German one—I received the book on the 18th July at Suez Terrace; the entry of 9th July was already made in it—I saw the prisoner's wife on that occasion; I first saw him on 11th July, when I purchased the machine.
FANNY ELIZABETH BRUEN . On 7th December I bought a sewing machine of the prisoner; the price was 4l. 19s., but I had it for 4l.—I went to the office in Walworth Road, paid the 4l., and got this receipt signed "Blanchard Edwards per C. Cruikshank"—I did not pay 10s. after that in respect of the machine, or 2s., or anything.
ARTHUR HICKMAN . I live at 24, Edward Street, Kennington, and am a carman—in November, 1881, I purchased the sewing machine at the depot, Walworth Road—I made payments on account, 4l. 10s.; my wife paid 30s. of it; this is the receipt; and on 7th December I made another payment of 1l. 10s.
Cross-examined. I bought it on the hire system; I signed an agree-that if I did not pay regularly the machine should become the property of the people selling it—that remained in Edwards's possession; I bought it of Edwards—I never heard of the Loog Company.
Re-examined. I can't say whether "The Loog Company" was on larger paper than this produced—Mr. Townsend took it away—the shop is 310, Walworth Road.
ALFRED JOB . I keep the Mason's Arms, East Street, Walworth—I have known the prisoner as a customer three or four months; I can't say the date, but he brought me a sewing machine and asked me to lend him 30s. till 11 o'clock the next day, as he was going to pay a man off who was going to leave him—I gave him the 30s., and he left the machine as security—he never removed it, but I think he came again; I did not mention the machine or produce it—I never agreed to pay for any machine, or hire it, or pay for it by instalments; I never paid him 5s. on account of it.
CHARLOTTE CRUIKSHANKS . I live at 45, Sydney Street, and have been in the prosecutor's employ since October—I entered into an agreement with the Loog Company under which from 15th October the prisoner paid me weekly; my hours were from 9 a. m. to 7 p.m. at 310, Walworth Road; that is the company's depot. (This was dated 15 th October, between the Loog Company and the witness, who agreed to serve him at 12s. a week, signed Emily Edwards.) That is the prisoner's wife—I made entries in the rough cashbook from time to time of moneys which I received, and in the fair cashbox, and from these books I made out weekly returns—the prisoner from time to time made entries in the fair cashbook, and I sometimes made entries there by his dictation—I believe Mr. Biggs had a sewing machine; I don't know that he paid 6l.—I did not receive it; there is no entry of it in the rough cashbook, but in the fair cashbook I find 10s. entered on 18th October in my writing; I did that by the prisoner's direction—I also find an entry on 19th November of 5s. in the prisoner's wife's writing—this entry," December 10, 5s. from Mr. Bigg," is the prisoner's writing, and so is this 5s. from Bigg on 10th January—this sheet of entries with regard to Mr. Bigg's machine is my writing; I made it by the prisoner's order—that is the weekly return sheet to the company; there is no writing of the prisoner's in it—I handed it to him—it would be made out on a Monday, and would be forwarded to the office sometimes on Monday and sometimes on Tuesday; I had nothing to do with that; there would be another sheet of the payments—this sheet for October 19th is in Mrs. Edwards's writing; there is none of the prisoner's writing in it—this sheet of 19th November is some of it in my writing under the prisoner's direction; I got it from the cashbook—I made all these entries except the three at the end; this 5s. from Biggs is written by Mrs. Edwards, and this total, 4l. 9s. 6d., is her writing—there is no initialling here; this "Bigg 5s." on the 10th December is in my writing under the prisoner's direction; that agrees with the entry in my writing in the cashbook—this "Bigg 5s." on 10th January is my writing under the prisoner's direction—I accounted to him for the cash paid, which was counted over every evening, and what I had in the rough cashbook I handed to him—Bigg's sums were not in the rough cashbook at all—there is no entry in the rough cashbook on 12th November of 10s. from Phillips, but in the fair cashbook on 12th November here is an entry of "Phillips 10s. "in Mrs. Edwards's writing; there is no writing of the prisoner's on that page—this entry "10th December, Phillips 2s. 6d." is in the prisoner's writing—I went there on 6th October, and this book was in use when I went—I find an entry of the prisoner's on 5th October, "Phillips 3l."—that payment was not actually made on that day; there is no entry of it in the fair cashbook—in the return sheet of 12th November here is "Phillips, 12s.," and on 10th December 2s. 6d. is carried out—that is my writing under the prisoner's direction—this (produced) is Massey's instalmentbook—this entry of 2l. 10s., representing 2l. 12s. 6d. with the discount, is in Townsend's writing; that is not entered in the fair cashbook—the Bermondsey books were also kept at 310, Walworth Road—I find in the Bermondsey fair cashbook "Massey, 10s." in my writing; that was done under the prisoner's direction—this is the return sheet of that date; it is in my writing, made by the prisoner's direction from the fair cashbook—it is not carried out here as 2l. 10s., but 5s. only, and initialled by the prisoner—Miss Bruen's machine is entered on 7th December in the rough cashbook—I signed this receipt in the office, and used the office stamp—the 4l. was handed to Mrs. Edwards in my presence—it is entered in the rough cashbook "Bruen, cash 4l."—here is another entry in the cashbook at page 23, "Bruen, 10s.," in the prisoner's writing, bat there is no entry of the 4l.—there is no entry in the rough cashbook on 10th January of 2s. from Miss Bruen, but in the fair cashbook here is" Bruen, 2s. "in the prisoner's writing—I have got the return sheet of that week, but there is no entry in it of 4l. on the 10th from Miss Bruen—the entry made is 10s.—that is in my writing, at the prisoner's direction—this "Bruen, 2s." in the return is in my writing—I signed this receipt marked "G "for 30s., and also this receipt "F" on the same day for 30s., making 3l.—3l. is entered in the rough cashbook in my writing—the money was handed to me by Mrs. Edwards, and I put it in the till for the prisoner in the ordinary way—I find in the fair cashbook on 2nd November an entry in my writing "Hickman 1l.," not 3l.; the prisoner had told me to leave it open, and he put in his own figures afterwards—the return was afterwards made out 1l., and not of the actual receipt of 3l. that is in my writing—I copied the 1l. from the fair cashbook—this receipt for 1l. 10s. on 7th December is in my writing—I put the money in the till, and made a proper entry in the cashbook on 5th December; that was done because the money was brought in by one of the machinists, and the receipt was signed two days afterwards because I entered it on the 5th, when I got the money—here is an entry in the prisoner's writing on 6th December "Hickman, 10s."—he has not entered the true sum, and there is no entry to make up the true sum; that is continued to the entry in the rough cashbook—here is an entry on 30th December, 1881, in the return sale sheet in Mrs. Edwards's writing, initialled by the prisoner—that was on the sale or hire, of machine 262,476, invoiced 23rd December, 1881, "Dec. 30, supplied to Albert Job, Masons' Arms, selling price 4l. 19s."—this is the machine. (Examining it)—the number is 262,476—I have an entry that day in my writing "Job 15s."—that was made under the prisoner's direction—I believe he paid 15s. on credit, as if it had come from Job, for the machine—I find in the fair cashbook "Job payment 5s." in my writing—that was done by the prisoner's direction—this sheet was copied in the fair cashbook; it is in Mrs. Edwards's writing; it is initialled by her.
Cross-examined. I have seen Mr. Hermann Loog on the premises looking over some bills—I never received any orders from him, only from the prisoner; I looked to him as my master—"Blanchard Edwards." was over the door, and nothing about the Loog Company—I occasionally witnessed the signing of agreements for sewing machines—Walter Blanchard Edwards was always described as the owner of the machines—this memorandum book is in my writing, but the name and address are in Mrs. Edwards's writing—I often wrote the preliminary page of a purchaser's book, and always described the machine as belonging to Walter Blanchard Edwards until the whole money was paid—there is not a single sentence about the Loog Company.
Re-examined. The prisoner and his wife conducted the business, but I knew that the Loog Company were paying my wages and supporting the establishment.
THOMAS TOWNSEND . On 14th September, 1881, I signed this agreement—it is filled up partly in the writing of Mr. Loog himself—I acted under it as manager to Loog, and am still in the service—the prisoner acted as manager at Walworth—I received my weekly wages from the prisoner—on 6th January I received 2l. 10s. from Massey in the prisoner's presence, and wrote this receipt at the time—Massey was credited with 2l. 12s. 6d.—I paid the money to Miss Cruikshank at the other office next morning—I worked at Bermondsey the first part of the time, before the Walworth office was opened; that was up to the middle of July.
Cross-examined. I had to do with taking the machines from the manufacturers, in a cart and bringing them back again—the prisoner's name was on the cart—I do not know when the little word "Manager" was painted in, but it was done by a man named Benedict, by my direction—Mrs. Edwards gave me the order to have that done after the prisoner was in custody—I have seen Mr. Loog, at Suez Terrace, half a dozen times, but never received payment from him in any way—Edwards always paid me, and gave me my orders, and his name was up at Walworth Road—there was no name up at Suez Terrace—I first went to Edwards's last April or May—he engaged me at 1l. a week and commission—I was to be Mrs. Edwards's servant—I heard of the Loog Company the same time that I was engaged—I understood that he was selling their machines.
Re-examined. This (produced) is one of the hiring agreements for sewing machines which were in use when I went into the service in April—this one was filled up in the prisoner's writing—here are seven in his writing and one not. (This was a printed form, stating that the machines were the property of Hermann Loog, and would be forfeited in default of payment. They were all dated in April.)
HERMANN LOOG . I am managing director of this Company—on 23rd April, 1878, acting on behalf of the Company, I took No. 22, Suez Terrace, St. James's Road, Camberwell, at 36l. per annum—this is the original agreement; it is signed by Mr. Whitaker, the landlord, and is made with the Hermann Loog Company, Limited—the premises were taken expressly as a depot of this Company—the prisoner and his wife occupied the premises—they paid no rent—the company paid both rates and taxes—I first came in contact with the prisoner in August last year, but I had employed his wife previously—this agreement was printed in 1878—the date ought to have been altered to 1881, but I did not notice it—the first occupation of the premises by the prisoner was when his wife went there after this agreement—I did not know at the time that he was under the covenant not to enter the services of any sewing machine dealers, but he informed me of it afterwards—he simply continued in August the agreement made with his wife in April—I conversed with him on the terms of this agreement, and his wife signed it in his presence with his sanction, at the time when he was under covenant, as he could not serve me then—I recommended him to a person in Brighton to work for him till the three months of his covenant expired, and made this arrangement with his wife till he was free from this covenant—no other arrangement was made with him except what is contained in this agreement.
Cross-examined. This letter produced was written by my order on 16th March; it was at that time that I first made overtures to the prisoner—I was selling the German Singer machines—he had been, I believe, in the employ of the Singer Company—this letter was a preliminary arrangement and was never acted upon, and I suggested that his wife should enter into arrangements with me for three months to carry on the business with me, and then that he should carry it on—there was no occasion to defer to that arrangement, he was present and it was done with his wife for his convenience—I issued this circular produced—I settled that—these goods (Looking at an invoice) were supplied to the prisoner on the dates set out; before the agreement with his wife; they could not have been supplied under the agreement because they began on March 2nd, and the agreement is dated March 16—I commenced negotiations with him through the last day of February or March 1st—from March to April we were negotiating about the terms of the agreement—he came to me without any particular introduction, and although we supplied goods to him in March without the agreement, it was simply on account of the introduction.
Re-examined. The prisoner was present when this agreement was signed—it was made for his benefit—it was made with his wife pending his absence at Brighton. (The agreement between the Loog Company and the prisoner's wife toot here put in.) I got him a situation at Brighton as it was beyond the radius of the prohibition—the rent of the Walworth Road premises commenced in September—the lease is dated August 22nd—I spent 48l. in fitting up the premises, and they were used as a depot for my machines, and for no other purpose—my company paid the rent and taxes; there has been no adverse possession of those premises against my rights—the prisoner came to Peckham two or three times a week, and helped to look after the business—I supplied him on 22nd July with money on petty cash account—this is his receipt, "For 10l., signed W. B. Edwards"—that is on my printed heading; that was for money paid for petty expenses—here is another of his receipts for 5l., and another for 10l.; these moneys were paid to him to carry on the business and for wages—he made a return from week to week of the moneys he received—I have looked through the return sheets and find the facts entirely as stated by Miss Cruickshank—he charges me in the accounts 2s. a week for cleaning the shop and office; also for the gas account, Townsend's wages, Miss Cruickshank's wages, 2l. a week for himself, and 4d. for an omnibus for himself to the City—every machine bears a distinguishing number with which the manager at the depot is debited; it is his duty to make a return weekly of the machines sold—in these two sheets here is a return of the destination of two of the machines; they were invariably brought by him through from our head office—I never demanded money of him for machines supplied—I received this letter from him while he was in the House of Detention. (MR. FULTON objected to the admission of this letter as it was marked "Without prejudice" but the COURTconsidered that there was no power to exclude it. This was signed by the prisoner, stating that he admitted pledging the machines, and that he had no right to do so, but that he did it to obtain money temporarily to pay canvassers who were pressing him for money; that he had no intention of wronging the company, and intended to plead to the charge without giving further trouble; that he would never again touch drink, and that he resigned all pretensions to the business.) If he wanted money it was his duty to come to me; he invariably got 10l. when he wanted it—the sheet of 3rd January shows a balance of 2l. 6s. 1 1/2 d., and balance in hand of 1l. 2s. 3 1/2 d. on two accounts, therefore he ought to have had the 1l. 2s. in the house; that is quite independent of the sums which he had already received in the other cases—he has never paid the 17l. 3s. received from Bigg, Phillips, Hickman, Job, and Massey, or given any account of it—I had some suspicion of falsification on 17th January, when this agreement was signed, but I had not discovered them—this pencil mark" Blanchard" is in the prisoner's writing; I don't know when he put it—I had received the agreement before it was signed; it was sent me by my solicitor early in September—it was the prisoner's habit to call regularly, but he had not called for the last few weeks—these three sewing machines are quite independent of the matters we have inquired into today—he says here, "Of course resigning all pretensions with relation to the business;" it was after that letter that his wife had the "manager" painted en the cart—my company bought the cart.
By Mr. FULTON. I first came to this country with sewing machines in 1876 ; I described them from the commencement as "Singer's machines" and "Wheeler's machines"—I was restrained from selling them as "Singer's machines" until the Court of Appeal reversed the judgment; I don't know whether the matter is still awaiting the House of Lords—the prisoner had no capital; the only arrangements I made with him are here—I did not arrange that when he obtained cash I was to get cash, and that when he was obliged to sell on credit I was to wait until he got the money; the bad debts were not to be all his—no arrangement was arrived at about bad debts being borne by him—it was arranged that Mr. Rubenstein was to be security for him—his salary week by week is entered in the cashbook—this document of 16th March is not in my writing; it was written by my orders—this letter was written by my firm. (This was addressed to the prisoner, stating that a machine had been sent to him, and an agreement prepared for Mr. Ravenstein to sign. Another letter, of 16 th March, 1881,from the Company to the prisoner was put in also, mentioning Mr. Ravenstein as his security, and stating that they would give the prisoner all credit which he might require, and that if he paid the company before six months expired he would be allowed 5 per cent. interest, paying the cash and keeping the profit for himself.) On 18th March the goods value 6l. 14s. were sent to him, and other goods on other days on the terms mentioned in the agreement; the letter just read embodies the agreement—the first agreement between the Company and Mrs. Edwards was executed, and under that there was to be a salary paid; that is an entirely different agreement from the letter; there was no alteration in my mind, but I was advised that the only way was to have a master and servant agreement, and I told him so in April—the agreement was made before he went to Brighton—he was not selling my machines there; he was quite independent of me—he came back finally from Brighton on 19th August—he had nothing to do with me while at Brighton except in this sense, that the agreement was made—I must have had a conversation with him about the agreement when he came up because here are his pencil marks on it, scratching out his name and putting in his wife's instead—the 2l. a week which was his wife's salary was to be his salary afterwards—I had nothing to do with the stamp, but no doubt it was a form which was in the office, and I used it; it bears the date of March 12—this entry, "Personal expenses half," means his salary, and here is another place, "Personal expenses 2l.," in his own writing twice over—I do not only suggest that it is his salary, but it is the word "half" shows the agreement—the persons who had to be fed will appear by the cash-book; there were two Miss Cruikshanks, the prisoner's wife, and two Miss Bagwells, but the Misses Bagwell were not paid—it was their own choice—I had nothing to do with the sisters-in-law—when he engaged Miss Cruikshank he mentioned her salary, 12s.—I protested against it as not being sufficient—he said she lived with her parents, and it would be sufficient—I would have paid her 1l.—the prisoner and his wife were in the same agreement—their salary was 2l., and they lived on the premises—she received a salary on account of her husband when he was at Brighton—one little girl, a Miss Bagwell, was there as an apprentice—there are no indentures—I first saw her about March or April, when the prisoner sent her to me to be instructed in the use of the machines, and she remained there till the prisoner was charged—this letter comes from my firm. (This was dated 30 th March, 1881, addressed to the prisoner, stating that it was of the utmost importance to the success of the business to have an efficient person to instruct customers in the use of the machines.) This (produced) is a hire agreement settled by me with my writing in the margin in red ink, and the owner is described as Blanchard Edwards—I returned that to the prisoner in this condition with another—the matter was at that time incomplete—I said in the letter, "I signed you your agreements;" it is plural—the fact is that the agreement which you have not produced is the one which we used—I have heard the evidence of Miss Cruikshank that Blanchard Edwards was in every case described as the owner, but the agreement I retained was the one which we used; here are two of them—it may be the fact that when he returned from Brighton and took the management that he and he only was described as the owner of the machines—here is one of August 2nd. (Several of the agreements were here produced, in all of which was the name of Edwards, and nothing was said about Loog and Co.) On 17th January an agreement was signed in my office, by which he was made my servant—my confidential clerk was present, but not my solicitor—the prisoner did not say, "If I sign that document I become a servant"—he did say, "I am your customer," but nothing about a servant—I said, "I do not care a twopennybit as to the past; our dealings will show our previous relationship"—he said, "I object to sign it; I am a customer, and my invoices will prove it"—by that agreement it was expressly set out that he was to be my servant—it was dated 17th January, but it had been lying in my office from the beginning or middle of December, and he had not turned up since Christmas—he put in the name of his wife and put in his own name in pencil—that was some time after August—the pencil alteration would not make it an agreement—I thought then that the word "Brighton" was in his writing, and I think so now—I can't say whether I was present when it was written; I told you so six times; my memory does not serve me—it is very much like his writing—Ravenstein was his security; this (produced) is the security he gave—the business was to bear the loss of any bad debts made at either of the depots (The document stated that Mr. Ravenstein guaranteed and indemnified the Company against all loss by bad debts and breach of duty)—though he was my servant his bad debts were guaranteed because they could only arise from dishonesty on his part as manager—if a person had an agreement for hiring a machine, and went away without paying it, that would be a bad debt, but it would be a fraud—if a man had a machine on credit, and did not pay, we should fetch it back again—when the prisoner was given in custody a desk full of papers was stolen by a dozen fellows who broke in, and who employ you now—whatever invoices were on the premises when he left would be here; I took possession of all that were left—if the word" invoices" means what Mr. Besley explains then there are no invoices—in some of these invoices the word "but" is scratched out, and "on account" is added; that is in Mr. Smith's writing he left my employ several months ago, but this one of January 14th is either Mr. Watts or Mr. Wilding; neither of them are here—that alteration ought to have been made from the beginning, but it was not made through carelessness—I never saw one of these headed "310, Walworth Road" before—I knew that thousands of them were issued from 310 with Blanchard Edwards's name on them as selling the machines, but as bailee—I did not settle the draft of this document; I never saw a similar one to it—I did not know that Edwards appointed Gearing as his subagent, but it appears in our books that Gearing was his subagent.
By MR. BESLEY. I know that he has been in the employ of the Singer Company; they have offices at 39, Foster Lane, Cheapside—there was litigation between that Company and myself before the Company was formed; it began in 1878—there was a decision in their favour in 1879, and a decision of the Court of Appeal in my favour in 1880—Mr. Hooks was not acting as my solicitor in that action, but he was in other matters—by the master and servant agreement an arrangement was made about making invoices due six months after date—no such account current as that was delivered to the prisoner—there was an arrangement that half a year's interest was to be charged if paid before; he was to get credit for the interest—there never was an invoice or bill of parcels of that kind—Mr. Ravenstein never became security under any other document—that arrangement was never carried out—it was after March 30th that I saw Mr. Rooks, and in consequence of that I came to the agreement where the wife's name was used—I can't say whether the agreement with the wife was signed before or after this letter (produced) was received—that is a letter threatening Edwards from the solicitor to the Foster Lane firm that if he entered into our employ in any shape they would enforce the covenant—this agreement of his being a customer was never carried out—I never asked him for payment in any manner—the whole weekly expenses were carried out against me, and he came up twice a week from Brighton to assist—it was intended from the first that he should be my servant, but he could not appear so openly; there was no change in his position with regard to the Company from the time of the agreement with the wife—we saw these long bailee agreements when he was away; we have seven or eight smaller forms of agreements in his writing in which the machines are described as the property of the Loog Company; the bailee forms were need with our knowledge, because he handed them to us—they have his name as the owner, because he was our bailee—he always had to bring us the agreements every week with the return sheets—the earliest date of these memorandum sheets is March 2, and every machine from that date which went into his possession was registered by its number—the invoice is merely a receiving note, although it is on one of our invoice bill heads—Miss Cruikshank and Mr. Townsend's agreements are printed forms by which they entered into the Company's service, and the prisoner was aware of them—Townsend's is dated 14th September at London Wall—it is signed in the prisoner's presence—he agrees to enter the service of the Loog Company—I filled it up in his presence—it was only in September that we began agreements; after the first two weeks my clerk went there for the cash sheets, and after that they had to send them in, which they did regularly—I kept a register of the persons who were paying on hire, and what were the actual returns of the money paid—the office boy, Hutton, is charged for, and so is porterage, and Christmas presents to scavengers—I keep a number of these memoranda of machines; this is Redfearn's, and here is a memorandum in the book of Redfearn's transactions—the fact of its being let for hire to Redfearn was known to me, and the money was entered for it in the weekly cash account, and the number of the machine is in the invoice—I found all the entries posted regularly in the ledgers of the depot with the information of who Redfearn was, and why he should be trusted in his weekly payments, or in the cashbook—I found Gearing's name in the ledger; he is a pawnbroker in Walworth Road, and was appointed agent for us—he has two of our machines for exhibition—there is no entry in the books of the depot of two sewing machines sent to Gearing—the letter from the House of Correction refers to his improperly letting Gearing have machines—I found them at another pawnshop in Exmouth Street, Clerkenwell; there is no memorandum of them—they are returned to us as sent to Gearing, but there is no notice of them being sent to Exmouth Street—this letter of January 3, 1882, was written before the agreement with Mr. Edwards was signed; it refers to the position of matters between me and him. (Two letters upon this subject were here put in, one from the prisoner and one from his wife.) In consequence of one of these letters I sent money for the gas company which was due—I had no communication with him referring to matters of business in consequence of these letters—I had instituted inquiries about some missing instalment books, but had not made any inquiries of the prisoner personally.
GEORGE ARTHUR ROOKS . I am a solicitor, and have been in practice a good many years—at the end of March a communication was made to me about the proposal to have such an arrangement as is in this letter of 16th March—that was before I had Mr. Mason, the solicitor's, letter, threatening the prisoner—I advised that an agreement with the wife should be prepared, and this agreement was done at my lawstationer's by my instructions on a stamp—it was to be sent on May 2nd, and on 3rd May I sent it to my client for execution—it came back in August with this pencil writing "Blanchard" on it, I believe, and this erasure of the wife's name—I cannot identify the writing as that of any one in my establishment—I also prepared Ravenstein's guarantee—it is stamped 9th December, and it was engrossed on 21st December—this was stamped on 8th September, it was sent away to be engrossed on 18th December—it came back engrossed on the same day, and was sent to the Loog Company—I had nothing to do with settling these bailee agreements—as far as I know there are no statements of accounts or any forms of documents making a charge against the prisoner as a customer for any machines of any kind—they are all the other way.
Cross-examined. I doubt whether the agreement with Mrs. Edwards on which the pencil writing is, came back into my possession before Dec.—it then came with instructions to prepare the agreement of 17th Jan., which is the counterpart of it, I think, except that the name in that is William Blanchard Edwards—in the first it is Emily Mary—I have no doubt that the word Blanchard in pencil is a direction to me—I was told so.
Re-examined. In April, 1881, the prisoner spoke to me about the prohibition covenant—I said that it was a mere fictitious prohibition, and when the second agreement was prepared the time had run out—I did not see him upon the matter of the agreement on 17th January to my recollection.
DANIEL HUNT (Detective Sergeant). On 20th January I went to the prisoner's office and told him that two gentlemen were waiting at my office—I took him there; Mr. Loog and Mr. Ravenstein were there—I said" Mr. Loog charges you with stealing three sewing machines; here are the return sheets upon which are given the numbers of them, they have been seen by the prosecutor pledged at a shop in Clerkenwell by you," and I drew his attention to the fact that they had been entered to other persons—the sheets were lying on my desk, and I read from them—this is one of them—I cannot tell that I read every word of it, but I called his attention to the number 25,574, a machine supplied to Henry Brock—he turned to Mr. Loog and said "You don't mean to charge me, I can explain everything?"—he said "No, the machines have been stolen, that cannot be explained"—he was then charged—I went to 112, Albany Road, Walworth, to see if I could find Mr. Brock, but there was no such person.
Cross-examined. The pawn tickets never came into my possession—I know nothing about these duplicates. (Referring to three machines pawned for 6l. in the name of James Edwards, 310, Walworth Road).
GUILTY .— Twelve Months' Hard Labour.