• Reference
  • Title
    Depositions of John Frederic Dawson, clerk of Clapham, Henry Ison Jebbett, superintendent of police at Bedford. Charles Smith of Clapham, menial servant. Ann Flashman and Charlotte Porter, both menial servants of Clapham. In the case of Charles Gascoin accused of stealing 30 gallons of wine.
  • Date free text
    17 March 1859
  • Production date
    From: 1859 To: 1859
  • Scope and Content
    John Fredric Dawson [on 17 March 1859]: the prisoner had been in his service as a footman for 2 years until he left his service. In November 1857 he purchased 27 dozen and 2 bottles of port and sherry. There where 13 dozen and 11 bottles of port and 13 dozen and 3 bottles of sherry. The wine came in cases. He ordered the prisoner to unpack them and store them in the wine cellar. At the same time he instructed him to pack them as free from sawdust as possible on slats. The prisoner took the key to the cellar to pack them. After the prisoner had finished packing the wine he asked him to come and look at it. He did so and it appeared to be as he had directed. On the 13 March 1859 he had occasion to go to the cellar. He had not been there for a great length of time. He thought he perceived something where the wine had been stored. He saw some saw dust in front of the bin where the wine was packed. He found a quantity of saw dust in the bins where the wine was packed. He found in the top of the saw dust bottles of wine. He discovered a row of empty bottles. He had kept the key to the cellar since the prisoner had left. He found several dozen empty bottles. Henry Ison Jebbett: he apprehended the prisoner and explained the charge. The prisoner said there were other servants about the premises as deep in the mud as he was in the mire. John Frederic Dawson [on the 23 March 1859]: on 21 March he examined, with Mr Jebbett, both of the bins in which he had ordered the prisoner to pack the wine. He searched the whole of the bins and found 22 empty bottles in one bin and 26 empty bottles in another bin. [cross examination] he considered he had lost 16 dozen bottles of wine. He counted the bottles at the bottom. He thought about 4 dozen of port would be drank in a year. He had one man and 3 maids in the house. He did not want a charge bringing on the key to the cellar. Henry Ison Jebbet [on 23 March]: on 21 March he went with Mr Dawson and examined the wine cellar with him. In the bin he found the 26 empty bottles of port wine and 12 full ones and in the adjoining bin he found 22 empty bottles and 6 full ones. Charles Smith: he was in the service of Mr Dawson as a coachman. He had been in his service for about 4 and a half years. He had a glass of wine sometimes. He had been in the house to help the prisoner and had been given wine by him. The prisoner had given him wine at other times. It had never been more than a glass or 2 at a time and he had never had it except in the pantry. He had seen the prisoner take the wine from a bottle. He had seen him give wine to the servants in the pantry but nowhere else. He had seen him give wine to the servant of Mr Geary. He had been in the cellar to set up a cask of wine but for no other purpose. Ann Flashman: she had been in Mr Dawson’s service since last March. Gascoin left Mr Dawson’s service in November. She had drunk wine with the prisoner. It had been in the pantry. The cook, Charlotte Porter., was present on some of the occasions. Porter and Gascoin had some wine at the same time. She had never seen the prisoner give wine to anyone else. A glass was the most she had at any one time. She had it from a black bottle. Charlotte Porter: she had been in Mr Dawson’s service for 2 and a half years as a cook. The prisoner had offered her wine and she had several glasses. She had seen him give wine to her fellow servants. She had the wine in the pantry. She recalled some cases of wine coming about a year and a half earlier. They had been taken into the dairy. It was necessary to get into the wine cellar from the dairy. The prisoner unpacked the wine. The dairy door was not kept locked at night. A person going from the prisoner’s bedroom to the cellar door would not pass any other bedroom. The other servants slept in a distant part of the house. There was a bath room and laundry between the prisoner’s room and the other rooms occupied by the family. She had not seen wine taken in the kitchen except by the prisoner and Mr Dawson. Henry Ison Jebbett [on 26 March]: when the case was first before the magistrates he was asked to retire from the room. He did not hold out any threat or inducement for the prisoner to say anytime relative to the charge. The prisoner said Mr Dawson had made a mistake about the quantity of wine he supposed to miss. The prisoner said there was nothing approaching the quantity of wine mentioned and at the next opportunity he would tell all about it for he would not bear the blame of all of them.
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