Source: Old Bailey Proceedings: Reference Number: t18570615-734
Date: 15 June 1857
THOMAS RAMBY (34), EDWARD WILSON (41), and JAMES PLUCKROSE (45) , Stealing 54 lbs. weight of beef, value 25s.; and, within six months, 129 lbs. weight of beef, and 25 lbs. weight of beef; the property of Henry Hicks and others, the masters of Ramby and Wilson.—2nd COUNT., charging Pluckrose with receiving.
MR. METCALFE. conducted the Prosecution.
HENRY HICKS. I am in partnership with my father, a meat salesman, in Newgate Market. Ramby and Wilson were in our employment many years; Ramby was a collector of money, and had also to hang up in the shop—Wilson was scale man; it was his business to weigh the meat and deliver it to the buyer, to stand between the sold and unsold goods—after meat is sold and weighed, it is in his charge—he would not notice the name of the consignor at all—on 23rd March I received a communication from Newbiggin, a butcher, in consequence of which I went that evening to his house in Harford Place, and saw two flanks of beef there; one was part of a consignment from Goocher, of Ipswich, and the other was Scotch, I could not swear to it—Mr. Goocher had consigned beef to us on that very day, and the flanks could not be made right, but I did not count them over—on Friday, 24th April, I missed four quarters of Scotch beef, consigned by Mr. Liddingham, of Huntley, which were received that morning in my presence, between 5 and 7 o'clock—I sold two quarters of beef, about 7 o'clock, to a person named Gregory, and when he came to weigh his quarters, between 7 and 8 o'clock, he could only find one, and we let him take another, to make up the one that was short—Ramby was there, and Wilson also—I went down to Newbiggin next evening, and saw a quarter of beef, one of the same lot—on 6th May I called in Ramby and Wilson; I told Ramby that it was my painful duty to give him into custody, and Wilson also, though I did it with much pain and sorrow, but there had been so serious a defalcation of meat abstracted, that it was impossible for me to look over it—they said that they knew nothing about it—I said that Pluckrose, who had been the receiver of the meat, was already in custody, and I could not proceed against him without putting them with him; that they had been watched for several weeks, and opportunities had occurred from pressure of business and every one being greatly engaged; that they had planted meat by the side door, and that it had been Ramby's custom to seek Pluckrose and tell him that something was ready; that he then sent his lad or a porter named Slark, and Wilson or Ramby had delivered the meat to these porters when they came, and received from Pluckrose a portion of the proceeds—they were very much affected, and so was I; perhaps I was more so than they—they begged I would think of their families—I told them I had thought of them while this was going on—I showed them a written list of meat delivered to Pluckrose, in which were two flanks of beef on 23rd March, four quarters on 24th April, and a flank on 1st May—Russell, an officer, was present, and I gave them into custody—Pluckrose has a stall at the other corner of the market; we are south-west, and he is north-east—I have never sold him any meat.
Cross-examined by MR. RIBTON. Q. Was there any mark on this meat?
A. We know Goochers meat the same as a tailor does his clothes; there is a peculiarity in the cutting of it; we have paid them thousands of pounds—it was conveyed to us in hampers containing 70 stone—I should know that the hampers came from Goocher, the name is painted on them; but I was not there on Monday when the consignment arrived, I was in the cattle market—I only know from my books what it contained, and they are not here, and if they were the entry would not be in my writing—there are two Goochers at Ipswich; they are brothers; but the other never consigned meat to us; he does to other people—the quantity we receive of a morning is very various, from 50l. to 400l.; from 100 stone to 2, 000 stone—the flanks come on the hind quarters; we receive about twenty or thirty of a morning—a flank weighs from 16 lbs. to 40 lbs.—on 24th April we missed a fore quarter of Scotch beef, when we made the book up at 10 o'clock, that came from Liddingham; we received fourteen or sixteen fore quarters from him that morning, and I know what we sold—I do not know what my father sold, but the book will show—I sold two quarters to Mr. Gregory; there was a lot tied together, fourteen or sixteen quarters, all from Mr. Liddingham, and he picked two out; they were all Scotch—he had marked them with a skewer, and I told Ramby to come for them in half an hour, and then I could only find one—Ramby was to take them to the usual place, inside the shop—all the meat that is sold is taken in there, as fast as it can be—a large quantity of unsold meat is put there also, and they are very often mixed up together—they take the unsold meat out again to sell it—when Gregory came back we only found one marked quarter, the other was inquired for, and could not be found, and he took another—there have been a good many mistakes occur of that kind, and when the customer cannot get what he originally purchased, he frequently takes something else—Ramby has been in our employment twelve years, and Wilson more than that—it has happened that mistakes occur in delivering meat to a wrong consignee—if we find meat at our house consigned to another person, we send it to him—it happens once in a year that the meat has been all taken out and mixed with the meat of other consignees, as well as with our own—my clerk and myself keep the accounts—if a stranger, a butcher, comes to get a quarter of beef he would come to me or my father first to buy it, and not to Ramby, or Wilson—we are always there of a morning—I am there about 6 o'clock, business begins about 5—an hour's business takes place before I get there, but my father is there—the place may be opened at 3 o'clock, but no one would sell meat then—Ramby's special duty is to carry meat into the sold room, and to hang it up on it's arrival—Wilson carries it in to the customer.
Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. Is it foreign beef that you get from Goocher?
A. No—we have no other beef from Ipswich; Goocher is the only customer we have—it was Ramby's duty to hang meat on the scale, and Wilson's to weigh it, and I think he ticked it off—he has been there nearly twenty years.
Cross-examined by MR. CARTER. Q. How many are actually engaged there?
A. Only myself and my father—we open at 5 o'clock, and some mornings at 4—my father is generally there first—it would be a great liberty if anybody was to sell before I or my father came, one which is never taken, and very probably it would be a great mistake, as the price varies so much—mistakes will occur, and we have had disagreements with Mr. Goocher with respect to the weight of mutton—there was an account in which there was 220 stone deficient; but I think you had better not ask me questions about it, for the good of your client; I am not vindictive, and do not wish to press hard upon him—flanks of beef from different parts of Scotland are not all dressed alike—they would be differently dressed from Huntley and from Aberdeen, they are cut lower in the hind quarter in Scotland; in Ipswich they pretty well divide it—I can tell the various quarters of the country they come from—Pluckrose is in a small way of business in the market—I know very little of him—I cannot say that I ever sold him meat; I do not recollect selling him any for years, he tried to buy some of me once—there are several persons named Pluckrose, two or three brothers; and if they send their meat to be sold they send their man with it—I cannot say that I have sold meat for him, I have sold meat in the name of Pluckrose—he has not bought hind quarters of me repeatedly; he cheapened a carcass of beef of me at the time we were watching for this transaction, and he said that those who bought for more than they could pay for, got into the House of Correction—that was between 23rd March and 23rd April—we did not deal—I did not know his name at that time, but I will swear I have not sold him quarters of beef repeatedly—I saw a good deal during the time I was watching, and I hope you will not ask me anything about it, because my eyes stopped a great many transactions—I did not see Pluckrose taking anything from our shop, or conveying anything away, or removing anything—I have seen him go into the public house; that is a very common thing—persons make bargains there for their own ruin; I never was in one, and I do not allow any one in my establishment to go in—I was horsewhipped for going in, about twenty-five years ago, and I think if other people were served the same it would be a good thing—I think I deserved it, and I would serve my son the same if I caught him in.
MR. RIBTON. Q. How long has Ramby been with you?
A. Many years—I have trusted him with hundreds of pounds to deposit at our banker's up to 1, 000l., and the banking book has remained in his possession—I had unlimited confidence in him—I have never found anything wrong as regards the money.
MR. COOPER. Q. Will you say the same of Wilson?
MR. METCALFE. Q. Were they both confidential servants?
A. They had both been in our service many years—when neither my father nor myself were at the shop, Ramby was in charge, but my father generally endeavoured to be there—it was Ramby's duty to put the carcasses into the scale—at the time the purchaser complained of there being one instead of two, a communication had been made to me—we find that the short weight is very much less since the prisoners have been in custody; the meat is consigned to us in carcasses and large pieces, and we have to cut them to suit different butchers—in the first three months of this year the short weight has been about 3 stone in the cwt, and since the prisoners have been in custody it has been about 5 lbs.
COURT. Q. Did you read the list to the men?
A. Yes—this (produced) is it—before I read it to them I said that I had to charge them with stealing, on these dates, these articles.
MR. RIBTON. Q. Were they alone?
A. Russell, the detective officer, was present, and our clerk—I believe Ramby spoke first—I think you had better not ask me what they said—Wilson said that he had a wife and seven children, and Ramby said that he had a wife and two children—it was immediately before they spoke of their families that I read the list.
MR. METCALFE. Q. Did they deny it until you told them that they had been watched?
EDWARD GEORGE NEWBIGGIN. I am a butcher, of No. 2, Harford Place, Haggerstone, and have dealt with Pluckrose for meat since last summer. On 23rd March, in consequence of some suspicions I had, I made a communication to Mr. Hicks, and he came and saw two flanks of beef at my place, which had been put into my cart that morning—Pluckrose had told me that his boy would put them in—I saw Pluckrose that morning near his stall, in Newgate Market, near the Red Cross public house—I do not think I saw either of the other prisoners there that morning—I left him there, went round the market, and met him again, and he told me that there were two flanks of beef put into my cart by his boy, and that they were coming from Mr. Hicks's—I shortly afterwards went to my cart, and saw the two flanks of beef, which I afterwards showed to Mr. Hicks—I paid the boy 6d., and Pluckrose told me they weighed 6 stone 6 1/2 lbs.—I paid Pluckrose for them the full market price—I on each occasion paid the ordinary price—I had before that occasionally seen the other men in Pluckrose's company; I have seen them go in and out of the Red Cross public house, and drink with Pluckrose occasionally—I do not remember seeing them that morning, or that day—in the evening Pluckrose called at my shop to see the flanks weighed—that is not the ordinary practice; meat is generally weighed in the market—he did not receive the money till the following Sunday morning—on 24th April I saw Pluckrose again at his stall in the market, and while I was there I believe Ramby went into the Red Cross public house with Pluckrose; they came out together, I think—Pluckrose told me that he should have something for me that morning, some beef—I saw him again three or four hours afterwards, and he said that he had been down to my cart with a very good fore quarter of beef, which came from Mr. Hicks's, and he had been down to my cart that I should not have to pay a porter for putting it in, and would call in the evening and see it weighed—I gave him 3s. a stone for it—I saw him next morning, and told him that it weighed 16 stone 1lb.—he said that Hicks's man told him that it weighed 17 stone 4lbs.—on the following Sunday he came into my shop, and I paid him some money for some meat which I had previously owed him for—that money included the 16 stone—he brought me a bill, which Mr. Russell has, as he took it away again at night, having the quarter of beef in it—I made entries of all these transactions in my books—this (produced) is the bill he first gave me; it does not contain the 16 stone 1lb.—he took it away, and gave me this other on the next morning, including the 16 stone 1lb. (produced)—that is the only difference in them—it is adopting the weight which I had stated—when he took away the first bill he said that his brother had made a mistake, that he had omitted to put in the quarter of beef from Hicks's, and he gave me this next morning, which I afterwards showed to Mr. Hicks and his son—on Friday, 1st May, I was at the market again, and bought a sheep and some other things of Pluckrose—I saw Wilson at the Red Cross—he said nothing to me when he came out—he told Pluckrose that he had left him something to drink; Pluckrose was then at his stall outside—Pluckrose told me he should want to see me again, as there would be a flank or two of beef, but he should want to see Hicks's man first, and that the boy would put it into the cart—I waited some time at the cart—I had been about the market, and I went back to Pluckrose, who was in the tap room at the Red Cross at that time—he gave me a bundle, with a piece of beef tied up in it, a cloth—he had got it in the tap room with him, and the boy put it into the cart for him, and Pluckrose said that he would call in the afternoon and see it weighed, but, instead of coming himself, his brother came—I found in the cloth a flank of beef, weighing 2 stone 4 1/2 bs—I saw Pluckrose at his shop next morning; he asked me the weight, and I told him; he said that it ought to have weighed 4 stone; that the scaleman told him so, and that it came from Goocher, at Ipswich—his brother saw it weighed—there was a "G" on the cloth in black—he told me that the skirt was in it—I said that it was not—he said that the scaleman told him it was—I believe he said that he was to pay for it, I understood him, to Wilson, but it is so long ago I do not recollect—this bill is 11s. 1d., and I objected to the price—I showed that meat to young Mr. Hicks, and the cloth also—Pluckrose gave me this bill of the beef (produced)—I saw him again the following Sunday; something was said about his charging too much, and he agreed that I should have it at 4s. a stone—when I had meat of this description it was always carried to to my shop before it was weighed, as far as I know—the other meat that I bought of him was weighed at the scale opposite his stall—on Monday morning, 4th May, I again saw Pluckrose—he said that he should have nothing more to do with any meat from Hicks's, for he had heard that there would be a regular smash there before long, and he should get into trouble if he was found out—next morning he said that he had stopped just in time, as a friend had told him that there were three policemen in private clothes watching him, and that one of them had been locked up in Mr. Hicks's shop all night watching.
Cross-examined by MR. CARTER. Q. Did he tell you that voluntarily?
A. Yes, he had told me where the meat came from—I was buying it at the regular trade price—I knew that Mr. Hicks was a well known dealer in the market—Pluckrose had told me where the meat had come from, and I might have gone to Hicks's and ascertained it if I had liked, but I did not—this occurred about 8 o'clock in the morning, after both the Mr. Hicks were on the premises—I have had a good deal of dealing with Pluckrose—I have sometimes bought 10l. and sometimes 5l. worth of meat of him in the last six months—I will not swear that none of that was weighed on my premises—meat has been weighed at my house on several occasions, but that did not come from Hicks's—I have seen that six or seven times—it has been beef—I have not weighed other meat—I owed him at this time about 7l.—I have not offered to pay him that, I have not had the opportunity—I swear that it is not more than 10l., nor yet 8l., to the best of my recollection—I have my books here (looking at them), I paid him 7l. 10s. off of 11l. 7s., which leaves 3l. 19s. 5d.; and besides that, I owed him 5l. 2s. 8d.—I have no note in my book as to where the meat was weighed, but merely the weight—on 24th April, he said that he wanted to see me presently, and I saw him about three quarters of an hour afterwards—he did not tell me that he had been down to my cart with a porter with 4 lbs. of beef from Hicks's—he said he had been down to my cart with a fore quarter, and that he went to save the expense of a porter—he did not say that he had been down with a porter—(The witness's deposition being read, stated that he went down with a porter)—I did not say so—I said that he went himself to save the expense of a porter—I did not notice that; when the deposition was read over I signed it; I did not notice the addition of one sentence, and the absence of another—I was about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour being examined—I cannot say exactly—my evidence was not taken by the attorney before I went before the Magistrate—I was asked what I knew about the case—I did not see it taken down—I answered the questions—I saw nobody writing—there was no one in the room but Mr. Wontner, Russell, Spital, and myself—I will not swear that no writing was going on—Mr. Wontner appeared before the Magistrate and asked questions—I think he had his paper before him then, and appeared to be reading—I cannot swear, but I think I told Mr. Wontner that Pluckrose said that he had gone himself and saved me the expense of a porter—on one occasion he charged me 2d. a stone more than the market price—he sometimes told me of other people to whom he sold meat, but their meat was weighed in the market—I do not think my brother owes him a large sum of money—I do not know what he owes—I have heard Pluckrose say that he owes him money, but I have not heard my brother say so—on one occasion, when he came from Hicks's, he said that the scaleman told him that the skirt was in the bundle—I have bought meat of old Mr. Hicks, and of Mr. Henry Hicks, of a morning, but not of anybody else—I have dealt there perhaps half a score or a score of times—there is a class of middle men in the market who buy and sell again—I buy of them occasionally without asking them where it comes from—I should not have asked Pluckrose where it came from if he had not told me.
Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. Where is the Red Cross public house?
A. In Newgate Market—it is the resort of all butchers.
MR. METCALFE. Q. My friend asked you whether you went to Hicks's to inquire if the meat came from there.
A. I went to the New Cattle Market and told Mr. Hicks, in order to avoid drawing the attention of the men—none of the money that I now owe to Pluckrose was owing to him when I made that communication, it has all occurred since.
GEORGE MARTIN. I am clerk to the Magistrates at Guildhall, and was acting as such at the time these depositions were taken. I recollect Newbiggin being examined—after he had given his evidence, Pluckrose was asked by the Alderman whether he had any question to put to the witness, and he immediately said, turning round to Newbiggin, "You know's where it came from from the first."
Cross-examined by MR. CARTER. Q. Did you take the examination?
A. Yes, I have had a good deal of experience—I took down what Newbiggin said, and as nearly as I can recollect, the words he used—he said, "On 24th April, I saw the prisoner Pluckrose at his own stall outside the Red Cross public house; while I was there, I saw the prisoner Ramby go into the Red Cross public house with Pluckrose, and saw Pluckrose come out again, and he told me he should want to see me presently; I saw him about three quarters of an hour afterwards, and he told me he had been down to my cart with a porter with four quarters of beef from Hicks's, and I was to weigh it, and not cheat him in the weight"—I am prepared to say that that is the substance of the words he used—he did not say that he had been down to the cart himself with the meat, and had saved him the expense of a porter, or I should have written it down.
MR. METCALFE. Q. Is there any erasure?
A. Yes, I have struck out the words "4 quarters," but I should recollect the circumstance, independent of my note—I struck that out, and went on with the word "porter."
WILLIAM HAWKES. I am a journeyman butcher, and live at No. 17, Rawstone Place, Clerkenwell Green. I am fourteen years old—I was in Pluckrose's service when he was taken into custody, and had been for some time—I have been to Hicks's for meat, at his direction, and taken it to Newbiggin's cart—the first time I went was in March—I fetched two flanks of beef, and put them into the cart—when I went to Mr. Hicks's for them, I saw Ramby and Wilson—I spoke to both of them, and said that I had come for some meat for Mr. Pluckrose—I cannot remember which of them gave it me, but they were both in the shop at the time, and nobody else—I did not see it weighed—some time after that I went again, and got a Scotch fore quarter of beef—Ramby and Wilson were both in the shop, close together, and they said, "There is your Scotch fore quarter," and chucked it on my shoulder—I put it into Newbiggin's cart by Pluckrose's direction, and about a fortnight or three weeks afterwards I fetched a flank of beef from the shop—they were both there at the time, and one of them said, "That is your flank of beef"—I picked it up, and put it on my shoulder—on May 1st I was standing outside my master's shop, when Newbiggin came—he told me to take something into the cart, which was tied up in a cloth—I put the cloth and contents into Newbiggin's cart—on occasions when my master has sent me for meat from other salesmen, he has had it weighed before I went from it—I have seen him weigh meat, and I have weighed meat for him at Allen's scale, opposite, but I never saw the meat weighed that came from Hicks's—I have seen Ramby, and Wilson, and Pluckrose, all together, and sometimes two of them together.
Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. And have you seen him with other butchers, in the market?
A. Yes—I have been in the butchering line three years—it was in the morning part, before breakfast, that I went to Mr. Hicks's—there was no secrecy at all—I asked for a flank of beef for Mr. Pluckrose, and anybody in the shop could hear me—I saw nobody in the shop but these men—the clerk was not in the shop, but he was at the desk—I spoke out as loud as you do, so that he could hear me—I was not told that if anybody was in the shop but these two men, I was not to go in—I was to go for it openly, whoever might be in the shop—I should have gone in if Mr. Hicks had been there—I carried it over my shoulder—I have seen other customers there when I have gone in, and I have spoken in the same open, bold way—I saw the clerk at the desk every time I went—he is the man that puts the meat down after it is weighed—I did not go to the clerk, and give any account to him, but I know that his duty is to put down the weight of the meat and the name of the person who comes for it, the same as in every shop in the market—that is one of the lessons I have learnt in the butchering line—if I say that I want a flank of meat for Mr. Smith, down goes the name of Smith and the weight in the book.
Cross-examined by MR. CARTER. Q. Has the meat sometimes been weighed before?
A. Yes, and then it is not called out to the clerk, because it is left under the man's care—I never went and asked for a flank of beef for Mr. Newbiggin—I fetched meat for my master from various shops, wherever he bought it—I did not fetch for other persons—my master has a good deal of meat at different places—the meat was only once tied up in a cloth, and that Newbiggin delivered to me with his own hand, to put into his cart—in March, April, and May, it would always be daylight when I went to Hicks's shop—I did not know who I might find there.
MR. METCALFE. Q. Did you ever go to the clerk at all, or make any communication to him?
A. No—I never used to have to speak to the clerk in any shop in the market—I used to go directly I was told—he always told me to go directly.
COURT. Q. Where were you when he used to tell you to go?
A. At his shop—he used to leave me there, and when he came back he used to send me to the different shops to fetch what he had bought.
HENRY HICKS . (junior). I am the prosecutor's son, and assist him. On 1st May I went to Newbiggin's shop, and saw a flank of beef in a cloth, on which was the letter "G"—I have no doubt that that flank of beef belonged to us in the morning, and was consigned to us from Mr. Goocher, of Ipswich—I have no doubt of it—we were told of it, and examined, and missed it—I did not miss it personally, nor did I that on 24th April—I cannot say, from my own going through the accounts, that the total weight in that consignment was deficient—I went to Newbiggin's alone on 24th April—I saw the Scotch fore quarter of beef—I knew it, and knew that it was consigned by Mr. Liddingham, of Huntley—we had received several quarters that day from him, to my knowledge, and they were as near as possible similar to the one I saw.
Cross-examined by MR. CARTER. Q. What is your age?
A. Seventeen next July—I have been initiated into the mysteries of the trade three or four months—I am privileged to sell in the establishment—I have a father and a grandfather—I come to the premises in the morning with my father—my grandfather is there first—I endeavour to attend to the business—I do not wander about there unnecessarily—I have seen several things carried off, but I have seen them sold first—I did not think it necessary to stop them—we sell scores of stones in a day in the market—we have never sold to Pluckrose—I never knew him before the day he was taken into custody—there are five or six men usually about the establishment in the day, sometimes more and sometimes less—the clerk is attached to the desk—great care is taken to have a substitute if he leaves—a clerk is there all business time, and if he is necessarily absent one of us is there—we sometimes sell more than the carcases of a dozen oxen in a day—we also deal in sheep and veal, and any kind of meat—I cannot tell you the exact quantity to a carcase or two that we had from Liddingham on 24th April—they are not all one pattern which came up from him, but they are generally of the same appearance, from one district—they are not all the same size and weight, but they are all of the same appearance; I mean the manner of drawing and cutting them—they have a peculiar manner of dressing in Scotland—the weight of a quarter of an ox would depend upon whether it was a Scotch quarter or an English one—they would differ in size and form—we put them into the scale in the morning, to ascertain the weight—a dozen oxen consigned to us from Ipswich do not differ much in appearance—I was afterwards deputed to go to Haggerstone—I took notice of the whole that arrived on this particular morning—I did not take any particular observation of any particular carcase—I did not happen before-hand to know that one was going to be stolen, or else it would not have been stolen; I should take care of that—I never was prepared to take my solemn oath that what was at Haggerstone at night had been in our possession in the morning.
Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. Have you thousands of stones come up from Ipswich?
A. Sometimes—there is a difference of four pounds in the hundred for the draught of the scale in cutting up.
MR. METCALFE. Q. Do you know by the cut, the different parts of the country from which they come?
A. Yes, generally speaking.
WILLIAM ADAMS. On 24th April and 1st May I was clerk to Messrs. Hicks & Son. It was Wilson's duty, on weighing, to call out the weight to me, and call, "Ready"—I then book it—these two flanks, on 23rd March, were not called out to me by Wilson—I cannot say whether they were sold; but whether they were sold or not, they were not sold to Pluckrose or to Newbiggin—a Scotch fore quarter was not sold to Pluckrose or to Newbiggin, on 24th April, nor called out in connection with their names—a flank of beef was not sold to either of them on 1st May, nor called out in connection with their names—we could not tell exactly whether the two flanks of beef were missing; we thought so—the Scotch fore quarter was missed on 24th April, before my master went to Mr. Newman's—we missed the flank on 1st May.
Cross-examined by MR. COOPER. Q. On "Ready" being called, do you take a note of the buyer at that moment?
A. No—when they call out "Ready" is when ready money is paid, but that is not so at all times—I do not always know the amount—I know the money it is sold for, but nothing further—if it is for ready money, it is made ready money, and I receive the cash—there is not always a note taken of the buyer.
Cross-examined by MR. CARTER. Q. I understand that there are various ready money transactions at your premises?
A. Yes—there is no other clerk but me—I am occasionally absent during the day—no one supplies my place—I merely lock the counting house—I am very seldom away except for a minute—my duty is only with the books and papers, not with the carcases—I only get my information from the invoices—I do not compare them with the particular parts or handle the carcases—the shop does not keep open all day—it closes at 10 or 11 o'clock—it is the scaleman who calls out "Ready"—I take the money, and he takes the weight and calls it out, and the purchaser hands the money to me—it is not always paid for when "Ready" is called, and then it lies at the side of the shop—in that case, I should have nothing to do with the delivery—it is paid for and left for subsequent removal—no one stands at the scale but Wilson—it is Ramby's duty to bring in the meat when it is sold outside, and to put it on the scale—I never sell—there are three or four persons who sell—if the master is away sometimes the head man sells, his name is Wicks—if you came into the shop and the master did not come forward, you would see Mr. Wicks—ready money would be required if you came—Wicks may sometimes go to the Crystal Palace, and then the next man there would sell, I suppose—I have known other men sell.
Cross-examined by MR. RIBTON. Q. Had Ramby anything to do with calling out?
A. No; it would be his duty to bring in the meat when sold—the day book is here—the man who weighs the meat calls out to me, and I enter it in this book (produced), but you will not understand it—all these entries were made on that morning by myself, and made from the man at the scale—they are not copied from something else—the scale man calls out this name, Alexander Reid, and the meat is noted with the name of Reid, and then I enter that in the margin, and here is the money which I receive—after making that entry, the customer comes to me and pays me the money—I balance my accounts at night—the consignments of meat are entered in this day book, in the margin—here are all the different consignors—the largest quantity is from Goocher—they consign to other people as well as us—we are not very liable to mistakes in the weight—we do not find that the meat received tallies with what we have sold, as meat sent from the country will lose—mistakes are sometimes made in entering the wrong person's name; and sometimes meat consigned to other persons is pitched to our place, and vice versed—I am unable to say whether any flanks were missed on 22nd March—we missed the Scotch quarter at 12 o'clock at noon, after business was over—we found an entry of a Scotch quarter which we could not account for; and the same thing on 1st May with regard to a flank—there was a deficiency of 20 or 24 lbs.—it sometimes happens that buyers for ready money are not entered at once—it sometimes happens that meat arriving in the morning is not entered for two or three hours, through the pressure of business.
MR. METCALFE. Q. Are you the sole consignee of Goocher?
A. Yes—on 1st May we missed 20 or 30 lbs. of meat.
COURT. Q. You say that sometimes meat is bought for ready money and you do not always put down the name of the purchaser, but he comes and pays for it?
A. Yes—we cannot prove it, but it is a supposition that the two flanks of beef, on 24th March, were paid for as a ready money purchase—my book has an entry of two flanks as "Ready," and many such entries—we were short of four quarters on 1st May.
JOSEPH BROWN. (City Policeman, 584). On 1st May, I went to Mr. Newbiggin's shop, in plain clothes, and saw him weigh some meat—Pluckrose's brother in law was there—I saw him take a cloth away, and followed him to Pluckrose's house, No. 7, King Henry Street, Ball's Pond Road, Islington, with the cloth—I then went to a public house opposite Pluckrose's house, and saw Pluckrose standing in front of the bar—I sat down, smoked a pipe, and remained there some considerable time, sitting next but one to Pluckrose—the person came in who had taken away the cloth from Newbiggin's—he told Pluckrose that he had been to Newbiggin's and seen the weight of this flank of beef—Pluckrose said, "All right, what did it weigh?"—he said, "2 stone 4 1/2 lbs."—Pluckrose said, "All right, go over and put it down at once; put it down at four and four, and don't make any mistake"—on the Monday following, 3rd May, I went to Newbiggin's shop—I was in the parlour behind the shop—there is a glass partition—Pluckrose came in about 11 o'clock, and Newbiggin told him that he had charged him too much for that flank of beef from Hicks's—Pluckrose said, "You have got nothing to grumble about for I have paid the b—9s. for it"—he then asked if he had got any of it left—Newbiggin pointed to a piece of meat at the door, and Pluckrose went and looked at it and made some observation which I could not hear—I saw Newbiggin pay Pluckrose some money, and Pluckrose went away.
Cross-examined by MR. CARTER. Q. I suppose you are a butcher?
A. I am—I heard "four and four" mentioned—the weight was 2 stone 4 1/2 lbs.—he might have said 20 1/2 lbs., but I did not hear it—I heard him say 2 stone 4 1/2 lbs.—this was in front of the bar—about half a dozen people were present—he did not speak openly—he leaned across me and spoke to his brother—I have never said that he said 20 1/2 lbs., that I am aware of—(The witness's deposition stated 20 1/2 lbs.)—my recollection was not better before the Magistrate than it is now—I have not improved my memory since then—"four and four" is 4s. 4d. a stone—that is a fair price, 6 1/2 d. a pound—the flank is not the best part, it is not like the ribs or the sirloin—on the latter occasion I concealed myself in the inner room with the glass door between—I was there for the purpose of concealment—he said that he had paid 9s. for it.
GEORGE RUSSELL. I am a detective officer. On Friday, 1st May, I saw the boy Hawkes place a piece of meat in Mr. Newbiggin's cart—I looked at it after he had gone, it was a flank of beef and I put a mark on it—on 6th May, I took Ramby into custody at Mr. Hicks's—I took him to the station and he said that he wished to speak to his master—I asked him what he wanted to say; he said that he only wished to ask him to be as lenient as possible—I searched him and found 10l. 10s. in gold, and 11s. in silver—I saw Pluckrose at the station, and saw 58l. 19s. 4 1/2 d. found on him, and this bill (produced) was found at his house, but I was not present—it was given to me at Newgate by Spital, in Pluckrose's presence—Spital has gone abroad—he said that it was Newbiggin's bill, and that this book contained Newbiggin's account; it does contain an account.
Cross-examined by MR. RIBTON. Q. Were you present when Ramby had a conversation with Mr. Hicks, his master?
A. Yes, but it was in an under tone and I did not hear it—they were talking for about ten minutes, I moved out of hearing—I did not wish to hear what was said—I am quite sure Ramby said that he wished to ask his master to be as lenient as possible, and his master was close by and heard it—I did not hear him talk about his wife and family, or of the annoyance and disgrace of being given into custody—I heard all that he said at the station house; that was subsequent to the conversation at his master's house.
Cross-examined by MR. CARTER. Q. Do you know whether Pluckrose is a scholar?
A. I never saw him write.
MR. RIBTON. submitted that there was no case to go to the Jury, that the case must be confined to the three charges in the indictment, as to which there was no evidence, but only conjecture, that any meat was lost.
MR. CARTER. submitted that Pluckrose was never shown to be present, or acting in the matter before hand; that he was not concerned in the robbery and never received possession of the meat.
The COURT. left, the case to the Jury. The prisoners received good characters.
GUILTY. Recommended to mercy by the Jury and prosecutor.
RAMBY and WILSON.— Confined Nine Months each.
PLUCKROSE— Confined Twelve Months.
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This is James Pluckrose, PL1950 in Tree 1010.