1. Charles S Armytage
547. HENRY TROTMAN and CHARLES ARMITAGE were indicted, the former for feloniously stealing, on the 12th of September , fifteen sacks, value 15 s. and seventy-five bushels of flour, value 45 l. the property of John Tusting ; and the latter for feloniously receiving the same, knowing it to be stolen .
(The case stated by Mr. Gurney.)
JOHN TUSTING sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. I believe you are a flour-factor ? - A. Yes, I live in Church-street, St. Saviour's, in the Borough.
Q. Do you know the prisoner, Trotman? - A. Yes, very well; I have known him six or eight months; he has been in my service ever since the latter end of May or the beginning of June.
Q. By whom was he recommended to you? - A. By Charles Armitage , the other prisoner; I hired him to conduct a bakehouse, in Union street, Kingsland-road.
Court. Q. Did Armitage recommend him to you as a servant? - A. He recommended him to me as an honest worthy servant; he said he would be bound for his honesty, he had lived with him for six or eight months.
Mr. Gurney. Q. You say he was to manage a bakehouse there for you; what wages was he to have? - A. Eighteen shillings per week and the privilege of the bakings; I took the house, and bought the fixtures, and put him in, as baker, the same as the others; I had one or two more at the same time; I paid every expence of the business; the assize-papers, salt, yeast, and coals, and every individual thing; I paid for the printer's bills.
Q. Did he go into that house, and into that business for you? - A. He did; I from my own stock provided flour; he paid me as he sold the bread for the consumption; we settled once a week, on Thursday; I believe I always went to him; I settled up to the 6th of September, debtor and creditor. (Produces the book.)
Q. Did you sell the flour to him, or did he receive it as your servant? - A. I never sold to him a sack of flour, but he was to account to me as bread; on the 6th of September there remained twelve sacks of flour on hand; that was on Thursday; on the Tuesday following he came to my house; he said he wanted some more flour; he was getting on famously; he baked a great deal of it, and begged I would send him some fresh flour in; I immediately ordered twelve sacks to be sent to him; this was on the 11th; on the 13th, Thursday, I went, as usual, to settle with him, and very much to my surprize, I found the house shut up, and every thing taken away that he possibly could, and he himself was gone.
Q. Did the prisoner Armitage come to your house at all? - A. Yes, he came to my house on the 16th; he enquired if I had heard or seen any thing of Trotman; I said, I think, Armitage, you know where he is; he declared to me that he had not seen him; he wished he had, for that he had borrowed of him 5 l. the week before, on purpose to make my money up, and he had run away with it; on the 22d I went to Armitage; he lives on Saffron-hill; Mr. Cole was with me; I knocked at Armitage's door; he is a baker; I said, what, Armitage, are you here; I told him I rather suspected he knew something about Trotman, and about the flour, as I had told him at my house; he said he knew nothing about the flour; I told him I believed I should make him know something about it, before I had done with him; I looked round the shop, and could not see any sack belonging to me, but one, and that was marked Hobrey; it was standing with salt in it; I had sent that sack to Trotman with flour in it some time before, and I had seen the sack at Trotman's house with some salt in it, that he had bought of some person, not on my account; he denied the flour; I sent for Mr. Trott, an officer, and when he came Armitage was very much frightened and alarmed; then he acknowledged to have received twelve sacks of flour from Trotman, but he would not keep them; he sent them away the next morning; I asked him where he sent them to; he said, Trotman took them away himself, he did not know where they were gone to; we were altogether, Trott, Armitage, and me; Trott said that he had observed some few sacks of flour go out a few days before, and he could not make out where the flour went to.
Q. After this did Trott and you go to any person's house? - A. To one Salter's, a Baker, in Leather-lane, and there I found two sacks that I had sent from my own house to Trotman's; it had not been unsewed, it had the appearance of being in the same state as I had sent it from my own warehouse to Trotman's, and there was another sack, marked Man, but I did not swear to that, I had no doubt of it; after this I came back to Armitage, and told him what we had found; then he acknowledged to the receiving of twelve sacks from Trotman.
Q.Did he produce any bill or receipt to you? - A. Yes, he produced a receipt for twelve sacks of flour, signed by Trotman; D - n me, says he, that is the receipt, you can do me no harm, I have bought the twelve sacks of flour, and paid for it; the receipt expressed twelve sacks of flour: I said to him, that would not account for the 15; Trott took him then into custody, and took him to a public-house; he seemed very much frightened; if this be the case, says he, I will tell you the whole about it; Mr. Tusting, I should never have served you so, if you had not used me ill; I told him that I never had used him ill; he said I had, in not letting Trotman be best for him, in some difference there was between his wife and him; he said, I will tell you were Trotman is; he has been at my house near a week, and he left me on Wednesday last, and he is gone down to the Devizes, but if I would not believe him, if I would go to an inn at the top of Fleet-street, I should find his box, directed Crouch; he had altered his name, for fear I should find him out; I accordingly went to this inn, as he directed me, one of the waggon-inns, just at the top of Fleet-market; I did not find his box; I found an entry of the box, in the name of Crouch; upon this, Trott and I went to the Devizes that evening; we got there the next morning very early, and there I found Trotman in a little room, with his wife, at a public-house, up stairs; they seemed to be repacking their clothes up; Mr. Trott entered the room before I did; I was close by to hear what passed; Mr. Trott said, you are the man that we want; you must pack up your things and go with us; he said he would get packed up directly; I was in the room all the time; Trott asked him if he had any property belonging to me; Trott found some money on him, that he acknowledged to be my money for the bread he had manufactured the week before, and also a debt that he had got from a neighbouring person, it was 11 l. I asked him if he had received any money of Armitage; he said he had not received a single farthing of it, nor for the flour sold, nor the candles; he had borrowed 2 s. of his wife, which he paid him at that time; he told us that Armitage desired him to give a receipt, in case that I should find out the flour, that he might shew the receipt, that I might not do any thing to him; he gave him the receipt, in the presence of Paul Hatton, but it was a false receipt; he acknowledged to being with Armitage, and he had been down a day or two in the country.
Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. Before Armitage said any thing to you about it, you probably told him, it would be better to confess? - A. I did not say any such thing.
Q. You told him you would prosecute him? - A. I meant to do it, if I could.
Q. Did you threaten him you would prosecute him, if he did not confess? - A. No, nor any thing like it.
Q. Armitage came to you, after Trotman had gone off? - A. It appears to me, that he was at his own house at that time.
Q. He was gone from Union-street? - A. Yes.
Q.He produced a receipt to you? - A. He did.
Q.Trotman was your servant? - A. Yes, he was.
Q. With the name over the door, Henry Trotman , bread and biscuit baker; and the cards that you paid for, were made out in his name? - A. They were.
Q.Henry Trotman, bread and biscuit baker and flour manufacturer, Union-street, Kingsland-road; this is the card he distributed to your customers, therefore he appeared to the customers, and the world at large, as one who had the management of the shop; as one that kept the shop; who made the return? - A. He made the return, but I never charged him with it.
Q. Whether Trotman, as the proprietor, did not make the return in his name? - A. Yes.
Court. Q. Any body might suppose Trotman was the master; did any body besides Armitage know of the engagement between Trotman and you? - A. It was not likely that any body should know; I do not know that any body knew of any engagement but Armitage and him.
Mr. Alley. Q. You had employed Trotman to open a cheap bread shop; a loaf for three-halfpence less than any body else would sell it for, and he was to return the money of what he had sold? - A. Yes, he had no right to sell a sack of flour.
Q. If he had sold a sack of flour, he was to return you the money? - A. To be sure he was; he had no right to sell a sack of flour at all.
Q. Do you mean to swear that? - A. I do not.
Q. Do not you know that he sold a sack of flour to Michael Finch ; did not Finch offer to pay you? - A. Not till within these four or five days.
Q. Did you ever make any application to the prisoner, that if he would pay you the money, to the amount of what the flour was sold, you would let him off? - A. I never have.
Q. You know very well, as a baker, a return should be made every week; did not you desire the prisoner at the bar to make your return, as under your direction? - A. He was my servant, and had a right to go by my directions, or else I would have turned him off.
Mr. Gurney. Q. Did you ever give him any profit of any flour he had sold? - A. No, he had his wages and the privilege of the bakings.
Q. Did Armitage know the relation in which Trotman stood to you? - A. O, yes, he did know exactly.
THOMAS TRACEY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. You are a servant of Josiah Keeves , who keeps town carts? - A. Yes; on Wednesday, September 12th, we took fifteen sacks of flour from Trotman's house, Union-street, (Trotman helped to load the cart,) to the corner house at Hatton-wall, Saffron-hill, a baker's shop; Trotman went along with me.
Q.Was that the same house you took Mr. Tusting to? - A. The very same house.
WILLIAM SALTER sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a baker, in Leather-lane.
Q. Do you know the prisoner Armitage? - A. Yes.
Q. In the month of September last had you any transaction with him, respecting flour? - A. Yes, I had five sacks of flour from him; he gave me five sacks of stale flour and a sack of salt, for five sacks of fresh flour; he took the five sacks of fresh flour with him.
Q. Did he borrow any sacks of you at that time? - A. No; it was three or four days before, that he had borrowed ten empty sacks of me.
Q. Did any of the five sacks of flour that came to you, come in the sacks that he had borrowed of you? - A. Yes, two of them.
JOHN TROTT sworn. - Examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. You are an officer of Hatton-garden? - A. Yes, on Saturday, the 22d of September, I went to the house of Mr. Armitage.
Q. Have you heard the account which Mr. Tusting gave? - A. Yes, it is true; there is one thing that Mr. Tusting has not related; the prisoner Trotman asked me who had told me where to find him; I told him it was Armitage; he said, he was a d - d rogue; then I put the question how much flour he had sold to Armitage; he said, fifteen sacks; there was an agreement made for twelve sacks, of which Armitage got him to give a receipt for; I said, why not give a receipt for the whole fifteen; I cannot exactly remember the words about the receipt; it was something concerning the receipt-stamp would not do for the whole amount; he said that Armitage said to him, if he had a receipt for twelve sacks that would take off any suspicion.
Mr. Knapp. Q. This was what Trotman said; Armitage was not present? - A. No, Trotman said he had received no money from Armitage; he supposed he should be served the same way as he had served Mr. Tusting, get none; I produce the three sacks I received from Mr. Salter.
Q. Had you a few days before seen any flour removed from Armitage's? - A. Yes; I live nearly opposite; it might be three or four days before that Saturday; I was coming out of the door, going up to the Office, and I observed a grey horse, which is not able to carry flour a great way, and a very little cart; I observed the sacks being put in in a great hurry; it struck me very surprisingly that he had not been in the shop long, on account of removing the flour; I saw them put it in a cart opposite Armitage's door.
Q. Did the flour come out of Armitage's house? - A. I did not take particular notice; I saw three or four sacks put into the cart; on the morning of the 22d, I went and enquired, and these are the sacks I had from Mr. Salter; one of them is marked with a piece of leather, No. 1; Mr. Tusting told me it was marked so. (The sacks produced and identified by Mr. Tusting.)
Trotman's defence. Mr. Tusting, the prosecutor, employed me to print these bills; he indited them himself at his own house, and what was denominated to me as wages, was in case of fines, before I went before the Lord-Mayor; I told him the consequence, that I was going to do a thing that was wrong; he did not seem to like me to have that shop, without I made an affidavit of the return; he said, you must go and do it; I am sorry he has betrayed me as he has done; he allowed me to sell the flour, I did not do any thing but what he allowed; he said if I had not flour in the shop, to come to his warehouse for it.
Armitage's defence. I did not know that Mr. Trotman was a servant of Mr. Tusting's; I happened to see a hand-bill - Trotman, bread and biscuit-baker, and flour manufacturer, Union-street, Kingsland-road; bread sold three-halfpence under the assize price; flour sold by the sack or score, at the shortest notice. - There is a hand-bill there of the same.
The prisoners called three witnesses each, who gave them a good character.
Trotman, GUILTY , aged 30.
Transported for seven years .
Armitage, GUILTY , aged 30.
Transported for fourteen years .
Charles was living in Saffron Hill, London, at the time of his arrest.
Victorian London - Districts - Saffron Hill
Near to the spot on which Snow Hill and Holborn Hill meet, there opens,
upon the right hand as you come out of the City, a narrow and dismal alley
leading to Saffron Hill. In its filthy shops are exposed for sale huge bunches
of second-hand silk handkerchiefs, of all sizes and patterns; for here reside
the traders who purchase them from pickpockets. Hundreds of these
handkerchiefs hang dangling from pegs outside the windows or flaunting from
the door-posts; and the shelves, within, are piled with them. Confined as the
limits of Field Lane are, it has its barber, its coffee-shop, its beer-shop, and
its fried-fish warehouse. It is a commercial colony of itself: the emporium of
petty larceny: visited at early morning, and setting-in of dusk, by silent
merchants, who traffic in dark back-parlours, and who go as strangely as they
come. Here, the clothesman, the shoe-vamper, and the rag-merchant, display
their goods, as sign-boards to the petty thief; here, stores of old iron and
bones, and heaps of mildewy fragments of woollen-stuff and linen, rust and
rot in the grimy cellars.
.....Charles Dickens Oliver Twist, 1838
Convicted at Bristol - Arrived on the Nile. Maiden name unknown - Married to James Skinner
Marriage to Charles not recorded.