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The Proceedings of the Old Bailey
27th October, 1819


ROBERT FOOT was indicted for stealing, on the 19th of October, 230 lbs. of soap, value 7 l., the property of John Raymond and Mead Raymond, in a lighter in the Port of London, the same being a port of entry and discharge.

SECOND COUNT, the same, only stating it to be the property of Thomas Hawes and Benjamin Hawes.

MEAD RAYMOND. I am in partnership with John Raymond; we are lightermen and wharfingers. The prisoner was in our employ. On the 16th of October, between eleven and twelve o'clock in the day, two men, named Joyce and Emmett, were employed to take 500 cases of soap in the Castlereagh lighter - the prisoner had the care of the lighter while they were taking it in; he had brought up a barge of tallow to Hawes's wharf before I left. I left him in charge of the soap; they were to get it from the wharf that day if the tide would serve, but it would not. I saw the prisoner again between eight and nine o'clock in the evening, in my counting-house, in Clink-street, Bankside. I then paid him his wages, and gave him a document. I told him to take charge of the lighter, and go the next day to the West India Docks. I told him Emmett and Callaghan would assist him. I ordered the prisoner to go into the Docks, and not quit the lighter, day or night, to make the delivery good, and bring the receipt to me. Callaghan was to keep charge until Monday morning, the 18th.

Q. Did you see the 500 cases put on board the barge - A. No, I saw twenty-nine put on board - they were all brought there; each parcel was made up in boxes, and tape tied round them, and sealed with the Excise seal. Each case contained 56 lbs,

Cross-examined by MR. ANDREWS. Q. The prisoner was to conduct the lighter from where she received her cargo, till he delivered the goods - A. Yes, he took charge of her at two o'clock in the morning; till that time Mr. Hawes's watchman had the care of her. He was to deliver the cargo on board the New Felix, at the West India Docks.

THOMAS CHESTERMAN. I am a labourer to Messrs. Thomas and Benjamin Hawes. I remember 500 cases of soap being put into the lighter - I lowered them all into the lighter myself; they were all perfect and unbroken. One might have had the top broken off. The prisoner was present at the latter part of the delivery - he assisted in taking them in.

CHARLES CALLAGHAN. I am a labourer to Messrs. J. and M. Raymond. About half-past two o'clock in the morning, I took charge of the lighter with the prisoner and Emmett - we went together - it was dark. We got to the Docks gate between four and five o'clock in the morning, it was Sunday; we made her fast there, and about six o'clock the prisoner and Emmett went away together, and left me on board. My master had ordered me to come home at daylight on Monday morning. Foot had promised to come at twelve o'clock to take her into the Docks - he did not, and I conveyed her into the Docks, made her fast, and stopped there till Monday morning, then locked the cabin, and went home. I left nobody with her. I took the key of the hatches to Mr. Raymond's clerk.

NOTES: The defendant Robert Foot, who was found not guilty, was apprenticed to John and Mead Raymond as a lighterman on 22 Dec 1814 at Bankside and completed his apprenticeship on 4 Apr 1822 (source - Company of Watermen and Lightermen Apprenticeship Bindings Index).