of The Tablet's first edition
MURDER OF LORD WILLIAM RUSSELL
EXAMINATION OF COURVOISIER AT BOW STREET. - It being known that Courvoisier, the valet of the late Lord William Russell, was in custody at the station-house at Bow Street, on the charge of being concerned in the murder of his lordship, a crowd of persons collected at an early hour at the door of the court, in order to get a sight of him as he passed from the cell to the court-room. He was brought to Bow Street on Sunday night, at twelve o'clock, for the purpose of being examined before Mr. Hall, the chief magistrate. Mr. Jardine, Lord Montford, the Honourable Captain Byng, Major Anderson, and several other magistrates, were also on the bench.
About a quarter before two o'clock the night charges were disposed of, and the prisoner was brought in by Mr. Inspector Pearce, of the A division, and placed at the bar.
He was pale, and apparently in ill health, but did not appear agitated.
Mr. Hobler, the solicitor for the police commissioners, attended to prosecute; and Mr. Flower, the solicitor, of Hatton Garden, appeared on behalf of the prisoner.
Mr. Flower said, that he endeavoured to see the prisoner before he was brought into court, but he had not been permitted to speak to him.
Mr. Hall said, that in general the permission of the magistrate was required before a person could be allowed to speak to a prisoner. He might now see the prisoner if he wished.
Mr. Flower expressed a wish to speak with him before the examination was proceeded with.
Mr. Hall desired the prisoner to be taken into the private room, where Mr. Flower might see him; and when he was again brought into court.
Mr. Burnaby said, is your name Francis Benjamin Courvoisier? - Prisoner. Yes.
Mr. Hobler stated, that the charge against the prisoner was of being concerned in the murder of Lord William Russell, and evidence would now be adduced to justify the magistrate in ordering him to be remanded for a few days. He then called
Mr. Nicholas Pearce, who stated - I am an inspector of police of the A division, and attended at the house of Lord William Russell, No. 14, Norfolk Street, on the evening of Wednesday last, between four and five o'clock. I went into his lordship's bedroom, and found him dead in bed. His lordship's establishment consisted of a man-servant and two maid-servants. The prisoner was pointed out to me as the man-servant, and he afterwards told me that he was in his lordship's service. He said he was valet. His lordship was lying on his right side, and on turning down the bed-clothes I saw a great quantity of blood, but did not observe any wound. The face was then covered with a cloth. I saw a large quantity of blood also on the floor, which had soaked through the bed and two mattresses. The same evening I attended the inquest, and heard a verdict of "Wilful murder against some person or persons unknown" returned. I have searched the premises, and found the property (produced) belonging to his lordship. The butler's pantry was pointed out to me, and I have heard the prisoner since say it was his pantry. I examined the flooring, and at the corner of the fire-place, near the sink, I saw a small piece of lime or plaster removed. I put in my hand and got hold of the skirting-board, when nine or ten inches of it jerked off. The nails came out, and it seemed to have been removed before, but the wood was quite sound. When the skirting-board came away, I saw the purse I now produce, and it appeared to have been pushed behind the wood. There were two constables in the pantry at the time, who saw me take it out. It was as it now appears, and contained five gold coins, one of them wrapped in paper. I also found five gold rings and a wedding-ring, which I produce. I then saw the ribbon produced, and on taking it out I found a Waterloo medal attached to it. Subsequently, I found £10 Bank of England note, and a watch-ring, behind a water-pipe, above the plate-cupboard, about seven feet from the floor. Before I found the rings, the prisoner had told me that his lordship wore rings, and that they were missing. When I found the rings, I went and told him, and he said, "I know nothing about them; I am innocent of any crime, and my conscience is clear." He told me that he had never seen the medal before. I afterwards took him into the pantry, and showed him where the rings were founds. He continued in the room while I searched for the missing articles. The chisel produced was found in a deal box. The prisoner said it belonged him. I compared it with the marks on the plate-drawer, and found them to correspond. The screw-driver was found on a bench; and on comparing it with the marks on the door of the plate cupboard, I found they coincided. I found some silver and the gold locket produced in the prisoner's pocket, and also a bunch of keys.
By Mr. Flower. - Several persons were in the house when I went to it. I found the rings before I searched the prisoner. He has always declared his innocence.
Mr. Hobler stated that he did not intend to adduce any more evidence at present, and would ask the magistrates to remand the prisoner until Thursday.
Mr. Hall asked Mr. Flower if he had any objection to this.
Mr. Flower. - No, sir; I can have no objection.
The prisoner was then remanded, and he was sent to the New Prison, Tothill-fields.
Mr. Flower, on applying to the magistrate, obtained an order to see the prisoner on his leaving the court.
THE MURDER OF MR. TEMPLEMAN. - RECANTATION OF THE PRISONER GOULD. - About an hour after this person was removed from the bar on Monday evening, he expressed a wish to the gaoler to see the magistrate again, saying he had something to communicate, which he should not disclose except in his presence. Mr. Hall ordered him to be brought forward, when the magistrate told him that he was ready to hear whatever he wished to say.
Gould then said, he merely wished to inform the magistrate that the statement he had made to Otway, the police serjeant, was not true.
Mr. Hall. - Do you mean now to tell me, that the confession which was taken down from your own lips, and by your own desire, is untrue?
Gould. - I do mean to say so. It is false from beginning to end. The officer induced me to make it, by holding out to me that I should be entitled to the reward offered by the Secretary of State if I told the name of the person who committed the murder.
The prisoner was again locked up in the cell attached to the court, until he was removed to the House of Correction.
This morning Richard Gould was brought to Bow Street for re-examination.
Mr. Hobler stated, that the magistrate would be quite aware, from the evidence that would be required in this case, a remand would be necessary, not only for the purpose of allowing the prisoner to hear his trial, but the ends of justice might not be satisfied if sufficient time were not allowed to prepare the case for the prosecution. In the mean time he would proceed to show that Mr. Templeman was in possession of money on the evening before the murder and robbery.
Mrs. Lovell was then called, and repeated the evidence she had formerly given on the trial relative to the silver she had paid Mr. Templeman the day preceding his murder.
Robert King, a sweep, residing at 8, Phoenix Street, Back Road, Islington, knew the prisoner, having played at skittles with him. We played on the day before the murder took place, at the Rainbow public-house, which is opposite to where I love. He said he should like to have a game, and he had three halfpence. He said he should buy a pint of beer if any one would bet with him, and I played with him and two others for a pint each; but the prisoner was of the winning party. He said, if he lost, he could get a pint from the potboy on credit, and he afterwards played single-handed with me for a half ounce of tobacco, which he won. We all then went into the tap-room, and drank the two pots of beer.
Mr. Hobler. - How soon after did you leave the house? - Witness. About a quarter to twelve o'clock we all came out together, and the gas was put out.
Mr. Hobler said that sufficient had been shown to prove that the prisoner had no money in his possession on the night previous to the murder.
Prisoner. Did you and I not play another single game previous to our playing for tobacco? - Witness. I doubt it.
Prisoner. I have asked a straightforward question, and I expect you will give a direct answer. Now, on your oath, did I not pay for beer on that night? - Witness. I did not see you.
Prisoner. Were you drunk on that night? - Witness. I was pretty well.
Prisoner. Say, were you drunk or sober when you heard me speak about three halfpence? - Witness. I was not sober.
Prisoner. I have proof that I paid for a pot of beer on the night in question.
Robert Pisey, a shoemaker, 17, Elder Walk, Lower Street, Islington, was acquainted with the Rainbow public-house. Went there about six o'clock with King, the sweep. The prisoner came in during the evening, and said he would like to play a game, but he had only three halfpence in his pocket; but if any person would lend him a penny he would make one of four.
Mr. Hobler. Then did any person lend him? - Witness. No, but the potboy said he would give him a pint of beer on credit. The sweep, the prisoner, another, and myself, then played, and the prisoner won the game; and then he played a single-hand game with the sweep for tobacco, and won again.
Mr. Hobler. Did you then leave the ground? - Witness. We all left the ground together. I gave the prisoner twopence halfpenny, which I had lost. He then asked me to bring him a rushlight candle, which he paid me a penny for.
Prisoner. How many games did I play? - Witness. I don't know.
Prisoner. Did I not play single-handed, except for tobacco? - Witness. Not while I was in the ground.
Sergeant King made a search, on Tuesday last, in a pond, where he found the dark lantern produced sunk in the mud, containing a piece of rushlight candle in it.
Mr. Hall. Were you present when the prisoner was examined in this court? - Witness. Yes; and in consequence of the statement made by the prisoner, through Sergeant Otway, I searched the pond.
Mr. Hall. How far is the cottage from the pond? - Witness. The pond is about twenty yards from Allen's cottage, which is not very far from where the deceased lived.
The other witnesses examined at the trial, were again called, and the prisoner cross-examined them at some length, but nothing new was elicited.
The magistrate ordered him to be remanded until Tuesday next, at twelve o'clock.
The prisoner, during the whole of the long examination, retained his coolness and self-possession, and it was only when the dark lantern was produced that he betrayed any symptom of fear. His face at that moment became suddenly flushed, and then pale. He, however, soon recovered his usual firmness.
On Thursday Courvoisier was again placed at the bar, and the evidence of Sarah Mancel, the housemaid, and Mary Hannel, the cook, in the service of Lord William Russell, were examined at great length, but no new fact was elicited from either.
Mr. Hobler said he had a great deal more evidence to produce on a future day, and he wished the prisoner to be remanded.
Mr. Flower said he had no objection to a remand, as the prisoner was most anxious for the fullest investigation.
Mr. Hall then named Friday next at ten o'clock.
The prisoner during the examination paid the greatest attention to the evidence, and seemed perfectly composed.