Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Anarchist on trial 1894, Part 2

    Cops and Rabbits (and Christmas crackers)
[Continuation of blogpost adjourned to here due to its length]

Wednesday, July 4th, 1894.

DR. DUPRE'S Cross-examination continued. The strength of the methyllated spirit I analysed was 63 over proof, although at the Police-court I said it was 65 [...]—the error of two degrees crept in by my assistant making a mistake in the calculation—I told him to divide the weight of the spirit by the weight of an equal bulk of water, and he made it 8.22 [...]—it might he that the thistle funnel, the Florence flask, spirit lamp, glass tubes, and other apparatus and chemicals suggest that whoever used them knew how to buy chemical apparatus and chemicals [...]—I stated at the Police-court that this acid was suited for the composition of all these different substances given in the recipes, because the appearance of the bottle showed it was a strong acid—I judged by the appearance [...]—I did not say at the Police-court I took out two and onetenth grains to test—I said the whole quantity was two and one-tenth grains—I took it all out and weighed it, and put it back again—some is now at the bottom and some at the side, because I wanted to illustrate how it was when I found it—there is a passage in the depositions, "The whole interior was more or less coated with a grey powder, some of which I have taken out to analyse. I got out two and one-tenth grains for analysis"—I did swear I got out two and one-tenth grains, but I did not use it all for analysis—this recipe found in the prisoner's possession for making fulminate of mercury is a workable one [...]—I also exploded it—I did all that with half a grain; I could do it all with one-tenth of a grain—I know of no other substance which would have answered the tests I have enumerated and which led me to think it was fulminate of mercury—I stake my professional reputation on that—[...]—Watt's "Dictionary of Chemistry" is an authority to some extent, not much—I dispute the statement in the second volume of that work, "The only fulminate of which a satisfactory analysis has been made is the silver salt," and I can give a very good authority for disagreeing with it.

Re-examined. Some of the herbs submitted to me are Indian hemp, which has a stupefying, intoxicating action on the human frame—ferrocyanide of potassium (or yellow prussiate of potash) is a component part of a number of explosives, only one of which may be lawfully manufactured in England [...]—I got a very loud explosion—it was quite enough to fill eight percussion caps—Christmas crackers are generally started by means of fulminate of silver, which is more violent still, and gives a sharper crack—twenty or thirty grains of fulminate of mercury would have to be used to give the explosions for a thousand Christmas crackers[...]—I would not go so far as to say it is the rough outfit of a person studying the branch of chemistry that deals with explosives; it only contains all the essentials to make fulminate of mercury [...]—I found in this black pocket-book a list of the ingredients of the Explosive Vaillant; it tallies with the recipes Nos. 1 and 12 on the translations shown me, only it is partly in French and partly in German—the substances named are the same, and they are in the exact porportions.

By the JURY. Fulminate of mercury is much heavier than water; it would be too dangerous to keep it other than in water—you would put a very small deposit in this bottle—a cabinet-maker would not require fulminate in his business; he would not be allowed to use it—it is used chiefly for detonators and percussion caps—I do not think it would be used in conjunction with detonators; they would act themselves—these glass tubes could not be used as blow-pipes—the ends of the tubes could not be closed without a blow-pipe; it might be done with the glass tube.

The prisoner's statement: "I reserve my defence and call no witnesses. I plead not guilty to both charges; I reserve my right to call witnesses."

Witnesses for the Defence.

FRANK NITHERLAND TEED . [more technical stuff curtailed here] I am a doctor of science of the London University, and public analyst to Islington and Camberwell—under an order of the Court I attended Dr. Dupre's laboratory last Thursday and analysed certain substances submitted to me—I wished to examine the spirit, but there was none left; I then said I should like to ascertain the strength of the nitric acid—I asked the doctor if he had the strength—he replied in the negative—I suggested we might do it together—we ascertained the strength to be slightly under 64 per cent.—63.9 was my actual figure—that, as Dr. Dupre says, is a gravity of 1.42—I examined the sulphuric acid, and came to the conclusion that it was an ordinary commercial sample, and not chemically pure, but a common acid—we looked at the mercury, but got nothing out of that—seeing the small quantity of fulminate of mercury present I said I would not take the responsibility of examining that on myself—I found a number of chemical apparatus, which, in my judgment, were quite innocent—they are very much the list Dr. Dupre has given—the opinion I formed was that it was a sort of rubbish swept from an amateur chemist's laboratory, a sort of residuum [...]—I agree with Dr. Dupre that the cartridges might be used for starting a detonator, but probably not for causing an explosion directly, and for starting a detonator there would necessarily be other apparatus associated with them—by themselves they are practically harmless [...]—looking at the recipe, "Explosive Vaillant," I agree with Dr. Dupre none of those materials were found, certainly not shown to me [...]—Liebig, writing for his original paper published in 1855, gave far fuller directions, although writing for chemists, than are given here for men who presumably are not chemists—I think that paper, if intended to be used, must have been for a highly skilled man—I look on it rather as memoranda—I agree with Dr. Dupre that none of the glass tubes could have been used for making explosives—the spirit lamp is not mentioned in any of the directions—it is not necessary, and I do not see how you could use it [...]—you could prepare a very small quantity of fulminate in a Florence flask—I should not recommend a Florence flask for manufacturing it, you would want a far larger vessel, but it would do very well for experiments in a legitimate way.

Cross-examined. I have never been called or given evidence before with regard to explosives—I am an analyst—in certain cases if an inspector of weights and measures took some butter which he was a little suspicious of it would come before me; Dr. Dupre is a public analyst also—I have made no special study of explosives; only as a student—I went on behalf of the prisoner to test the accuracy of Dr. Dupre's analysis, which was challenged—I did not make any attempt to test the fulminate because I was acquainted with a mixture which will give most of the reactions of fulminate of mercury; that was my reason—the least quantity of fulminate of mercury with which you can get an explosion is the least quantity you can see—you can see a grain of it with the naked eye—I don't doubt Dr. Dupre's word as to the tests he applied to half a grain; but I read his depositions and I understood he had used two and one-tenth grains for analysis—when I called at his laboratory he offered what he estimated was one grain—I did not assume I was twice as clever at Dr. Dupre, and therefore I did not presume to do with one grain what he had used two and one-tenth grains to do—I did not ask him how much he had used, I thought it was so obvious—that, coupled with the fact that certain other substances give the same results, to a great extent was my reason for not testing what was left in the bottle—I cannot remember any substance to which those four tests Dr. Dupre gave this morning yield the same results; but I did not know what tests the doctor applied at that stage—the nitric acid is not strong enough to make nitro-glycerine according to the recipes—I know of no authority for it; I feel inclined to deny it—I heard that with the spirit of the strength that I and Dr. Dupre agree about fulminate of mercury was actually made—I was not surprised to hear that, because you can make it from any strength of spirit—I have seen a few of the residua from amateur chemists' laboratories—this is not rather the residuum of a student of the explosive part of chemistry, except the fulminate—the two chief ingredients of nitro-glycerine were not there, the nitric acid is not of the right strength—I do not agree that nitric acid becomes weakened to that extent by unstopping it and exposing it to light—slight weakness might occur—I heard Dr. Dupre say that from Thursday to Monday the deterioration was from 92 to 85—I did not hear the conditions under which the experiment was performed, but I heard the fact that it had deteriorated on exposure to light—I have not come across a battery like this before.

By the JURY. You would find some cartridges in my house; I do not use them—I am not an Anarchist—I should not have fulminate of mercury in this condition in my laboratory—I do not keep any except that I have a little with me in case it is referred to—I should have it in a widermouthed bottle, with a cork, and if I had any quantity I should keep it wet—you could explode this, of course, if it is fulminate.

By the COURT. This is not a thin capillary tube, it is what we call a soft German one; there is another piece here which I did not notice before; there are three pieces—a thin capillary glass tube is an extremely thin quill tube; there is nothing here that answers that description—this could be welded together by a blow-pipe by a skilled man—a capillary tube means generally a thick tube with a thin bore that could be bent, but to draw it out and seal it you would want a blow-pipe—I fancy the expression must mean a piece of such tubing as this, heated and drawn out into a capillary tube, which is not usually called a capillary tube—this book refers to the thick tubing with the small bore; there is none of that here.

GERADUS J. BOSMAN . I am a cabinet-maker, of 3, Whitecross Street—I have been in London about three years—I have known the prisoner about five years; I know him from Holland—I always knew him there as a good fellow, a hard-working man, a cabinet-maker; he was all right—he was the secretary of the Cabinet-makers' Society over there—I saw him the first time I came over here—he kept my box, and my brother's; some boxes of mine he kept for about three weeks—he was visited many times by fellow-workmen, a lot of them came over—he was in the habit of taking care of a lot of boxes for them—I knew about five whose boxes he kept—I was at his house in Jubilee Place, Chelsea, about three months ago; he was not in—I only saw the missis and the little Fritz, his children—I stopped there half an hour, and said to the missis, "I want to go away; I have no time"—I live so far away from there, and some man knocked at the door and inquired for the prisoner and brought a box about this length and this height into the house—I took only a little notice of it—I saw the same one before; the bottom part was bigger than the top; it was joined in the middle, and it was locked up—the missis said, "Where do you come from"—he said, "That is no matter; I know Mr. Brail, and if you take the box a few weeks I think it is all right"—he took it in, and it was taken downstairs, and I left at the same time—I never saw the box again—I did not help to take it in—I think this is the same box—I did not notice any inscription on it—I took a bit of notice of it because I never saw a box like it before—a man took it downstairs, and Mrs. Brall helped him—I think the man's name was Renaud, or Recordi—I think he was a Frenchman; he spoke with a French accent—he was tall; taller than I am, with a black moustache and a little beard, a Napoleon beard; that is all I know of him—Mr. Brail kept rabbits in Jubilee Place; I saw them—I am from Arnheim—I gave the clerk a sketch of the rabbits I kept myself in Holland (Produced)—one is at the top of the ground, the other is down under the ground—you have no room for it here—this shows the rabbits under the ground, and it is boarded all round; it is always right for the rabbits—if you put in four you get fourteen or so—you make a little hole round the boards, and the rabbits make the hole bigger—they eat the wood; they eat everything—it is boarded at the bottom as well—if you do not put the boards on it they go down every day—it would take about two feet to keep three rabbits, and three feet to keep half a dozen—you leave a little opening, or bore a hole—the rabbit makes the hole himself to go always to the same place, and he won't go to another hole—they come back to the wooden box to sleep—I saw a Dutchman in England the other day who keeps rabbits just in the same way—I saw a Dutch stove at the prisoner's place in Pitt Street—I put it on the sketch—the usual way to clean the flue is with a little bit of gunpowder—I have seen the pipe of the flue taken out, it takes about a quarter of an hour, and another quarter of an hour to get it back—I have often seen the prisoner, but never heard him advocate violence or the use of explosives to procure any change of social affairs—I have seen those rabbits eaten by the prisoner—I had a letter from him to come to his home, and there were two rabbits died the night before, and on the 22nd it was better to kill one before he died, and I know myself I put one rabbit on the rail, and perhaps another died—he hung him up on the railings in Park Walk, a big rabbit like that—they died from damp, I think—there would be no damp in that underground hutch; that was all right.

Cross-examined. I never saw in Holland a box without any space between the boards for keeping rabbits let into a cellar—a cellar in England is much different to one in Holland—these rabbits died of dampness, being in, a damp place—they died at Jubilee Place—I visited the prisoner at Park Walk, and saw rabbits there running about the kitchen; he moved them there from Jubilee Place—they did not die in Jubilee Place; they died in Park Walk, two of them, and one was killed in Park Walk, for to eat him—there is an open place in Park Walk at the back of the house—I never saw a rabbit hutch at Park Walk or in England—I visited him at Pitt Street many times—this was not an American stove; it was a Dutch-stove; he moved it from Holland over here—they always burn coal and always have these flues—I have seen the flues taken to pieces twice, I think, at Pitt Street—I think Mr. Brall took it to pieces himself; he helped the missis; it was not a difficult thing to do—I do not know if it is the practice in Holland to use gunpowder in cleaning flues; it is the cheapest and quickest way of doing it—I do not know whether there was plenty of time to take the flue to pieces on Sunday—the prisoner sometimes worked on Sunday; I never do—I think Jerome was the name of the person who brought the box—I do not know where he lives; I never saw him before—from what I saw they did not expect to see him there—Mrs. Brail did not appear to know him—I am sure the box was locked—that was three months from May 31st, rather more than four months ago.

Re-examined. The coal used in Holland is not the same as that used here; it is a lot different; it is too fat here—English coal is too greasy for Dutch stoves, and therefore there is soot.

JACOB CHRISTIAN STEARGEL . I am a cabinet-maker, of 9, Stanley Road, Sands End, Fulham, and a friend of the prisoner—I was working at Mr. Vitz's in Chelsea, and the prisoner was foreman in the shop—he was then living at 30, Jubilee Place—I worked mostly out of doors—I used to call at Brall's house early in the morning for the key of the workshop, and I saw a box standing under the dresser in the kitchen—when he opened the door you could see everything that was under there—it was like a French absinthe box, and had a padlock on it—it was not kept secret—when the prisoner removed to Park Walk I gave a hand to load up the furniture—the box was brought out, but it was open on one side; I cannot remember whether the back or the front, as we were in such a hurry to bring the furniture to the van—it was broken open in some way—I helped in unloading the furniture at the other end, and found lying at the side of the box, a few plaster things tied up with something—I brought them in and put them in the front parlour at Park Walk with the box, and went away and finished the first load, and we had a glass of beer together, and I went away—later on I came back, and saw Mrs. Brail wrapping the plaster things in an old apron or cloth to put them away in a portmanteau—rabbits were kept in the coal-cellar in Jubilee Place; I noticed them several times—they ran out from the area, as there was from the front kitchen a glass door that you would see out into the area, and there they were running, as the cellar door was left open—I did not go to the cellar; I saw it through the glass door in the front kitchen—I have been in the cellar, and saw rabbits there—I went there when I left Vitz's place; I moved to the West-end, and I borrowed from Mr. Brail two four-foot cranks, which I fetched from the cellar—I know about polishing cabinet work; I do not apply methylated spirit and so on, with my fingers, but with a woollen rag and a linen rag round it—the polish is a mixture of methylated spirit and shellac.

Cross-examined. I was friendly with the prisoner—I have known him since January this year—I never saw him at Pitt Street, or knew him there—I only knew him working at Chelsea—I have not heard from him that he was connected with any friendly society—I belong to a friendly society for cabinet-makers in London—it is spread all over the United Kingdom—I have heard of the Autonomie Club premises—I have not been in for a number of years, and as a visitor then, and at the outside three times—I was brought in there by a member of this very society—I only saw the box once at Jubilee Place; it was in the front kitchen under the dresser—it was locked; I did not touch it—I saw it twice—I removed it to Park Street with care; but one or two plaster of Paris things came out of it by the shaking on the journey, I saw them come out.

Re-examined. I have heard someone say that the prisoner was secretary of the Amsterdam Cabinet-makers' Society.

HENRY SHWANKERFORD . I am a cabinet-maker, of 39, Newman Street, and also a decorator and carpenter—I have been in England forty-live years, and am naturalised—I am a member of the Church of England—I have been a cabinet-maker since 1860—plaster of Paris is very seldom used in the trade, but it has been; also glycerin, oxalic acid, and spirits of salts, when oak turns black and we want to get it a lighter colour—we also use sulphuric acid when there is a stain in the wood, to get it out—sometimes a blue spot is left in the veneer, and we take it out with that—I have two electric batteries in the shop, with electric bells put on—I do not like to take them off, but they are not used in our business—electric batteries are sometimes used for cleaning brass which turns black; and sometimes we have gilt antique work, and clean it in that way—I exhibited in 1851 and 1862—I found Brail a very steady and industrious workman—I never heard him advocating violence in political matters—I have known him fifteen or eighteen months—I have kept rabbits in my house and in my shop in Newman Street in the coalcellar.

MR. VITZ. I am a builder and cabinet-maker, of 11, Oakley Road—I have lived in England a little over fourteen years—I came from Belgium, and have carried on business here about nine years—the prisoner was in my employment—he is a first-class man, an industrious, honest man; he always had the key of my shop—I have never heard him advocate the use of violence in political matters; he is a very quiet man—I remember taking an estimate of a house, and he gave me a small pocket book of his to write on, because I had no paper in my pocket—this is it (Produced) and this is my writing—it is a description of rooms; I took it from this book into another book—the book was in my possession five or six days—this was three months ago from now—it was before Easter.
Cross-examined. I did not look at any other part of the book—he asked me to give it to him back when I had done with it, and I did so—I cannot say whether this is his writing or not.

MR. WESTRUS. I live at 33, Lever Street, Poplar—I have lived in England two and a half years, and before that in Paris—I knew the prisoner in Amsterdam—he is a cabinet-maker, and was treasurer of the sick benefit society of which I was a member—the society was not political—there were about 300 members, sometimes more and sometimes, less, all cabinet makers—when I came over here I went to him—I knew he was working at a factory—it was customary for workmen of his former society to call upon him—I know of two men who wrote to him before they came over, and when they came over they went to him to ask about cabinet work—he obliged members of his society by keeping boxes for them—he used to befriend workpeople who were in distress, and put them up, and had them to stop with him—his wife is Dutch—I never heard him advocate the use of violence or explosives—I have met him in the streets and in the park, and we have only talked about the topics of the day—I have never kept rabbits, but I know how they are kept in Holland—in some places they keep them underground, and put something to keep them from going through.

Cross-examined. The prisoner used the name of Thomas Brail as the officer of the society—the people he used to befriend in England would know him by that name—I do not know him by any other name.

MR. JERED (Interpreted). I am a tailor, of Hammersmith; I belong to Holland, and so does my wife; she knows Mr. Brail—we used to go to their house in Pitt Street two or three times a week—once when I was there a man from Windsor called between ten and eleven o'clock—he was about my size, not so well set, and a dark moustache and hair, a very swarthy man—Mr. Van Vincent, a friend of mine, was there—that is eleven or twelve months ago, on a Saturday afternoon—he had a portmanteau in his hand, which he put on the table, and asked Brail to take care of the contents till he came back, or sell them for 30s.—there was a pocket-book with some writing in it, and glass bottles and tubes of various sizes, and curiously-shaped bottles—I recognise some of the articles, this spirit lamp and funnel; I think this bottle was among them, and I see some resemblance in the other things—I had many discussions with the prisoner, and he was always opposed to violence, I cannot understand how anybody holding his opinions could stretch forth his hands to commit violence on anybody else—I have visited him constantly for two years, and we have had conversations on these subjects, and I never heard him express any other but those sentiments—as far as I have heard from his comrades he has always been an industrious workman, and though he was sometimes out of work he generally earned £2 a week—I do not go in for politics—I am not an Anarchist, hut I have a slight tendency towards social democracy—the flues of Dutch stoves are frequently swept, but they are also frequently cleaned by placing a cartridge or loose powder in, which causes the soot to fall down—I have done that myself; when I was sixteen years of age I did it in my mother's house—there are various ways of keeping rabbits in Holland; some place a barrel in the ground, and some a box—putting the box underground is usual, and they cover it over, and make a hole at the top where the rabbits can go out.

Cross-examined. I have seen Van Vincent before I got to know him through a friend of mine, Mr. Albert—I have known him fifteen or sixteen months—I may have known him first in a lodging-house or an inn—there is a public-house at the corner of London Street, Tottenham Court Road, where many Hollanders come together—Van Vincent was living then in Charlotte Street, Tottenham Court Road—he is a cabinetmaker—he belonged to a society of cabinet-makers in Holland; I don't know whether he belonged to one here—he and I went to Brall's house together on the Saturday afternoon a year ago—I may have met him in the street or in a public-house—I do not make appointments—I worked at home always, and have not regular hours—the cabinet makers have regular hours till one o'clock on Saturday—I met Van Vincent by accident; he had no portmanteau—I went with him to this house on this Saturday afternoon—I did not expect to see Brail at home; but when I was in his neighbourhood I called there, and when he was in my neighbourhood he called on me—I found him at home that day—he did not say that he was expecting anybody, but the same man brought a portmanteau and placed it on the table and took the things out and laid them down—Brail appeared to know him—his name is Shapirer; I have seen him several times—I met him in Grafton Hall, Tottenham Court Road; that is an International Union, where people of all nations come and meet, and you can join it, pay a shilling a week or something, and you can go there on Sunday afternoon when the public-houses are closed, and meet your friends—I had never spoken to Shapirer—I do not know where he works, but he works at tigers' and lions' skins, fur—I never had any conversation with Brail about him except that he told me he was a farrier—Brail never spoke about the things in the portmanteau on that Saturday, nor did I he said so many things I did not take any further notice—I never remember seeing him again, because he had only two rooms, and rubbish was put in the back room—the man asked Brail if he could not sell the things in the portmanteau or keep them, till he came and fetched them—he did not say where he was going, and he did not know how long he was going to be away—he may have been there five, ten, or fifteen minutes—I have never seen him since—I cannot mention the name of a single person he used to be with at Grafton Hall, they were Tom, Dick and Harry—Mr. Brail came to me, and said, "I recollect your being present on the day that the man brought these things, what do you remember about it?"—I said, "Yes, I was there," and I thought it over; and later I said, "Yes; I remember all about it"—that was three weeks after the remand—it was a fortnight before I knew of the arrest—I am not a member of anything—if you go to the Grafton Hall with somebody who is a member he can take you in, and if you pay 3d.

VAN VINCENT . I understand English a little—lam a cabinet-maker—I work at Harman's factory, Dodd Street, Poplar—I have been in England one half year—I know the prisoner very well—I knew him at Amsterdam as a cabinet-maker—he was secretary of the Cabinet-makers' Society—I called on him, I think, the second day he was in London. (At this stage the evidence was given through an interpreter)—I often saw the prisoner up to five or six months ago—cabinet-makers from Amsterdam called on the prisoner—I remember being at the prisoner's house in Pitt Street last year, when a German came from Germany, and brought his clothes, boxes, and things, as soon as he landed, and wrote letters to Brall before he came about his coming—he had bottles and glass tubes, and so on in a little box resembling these produced, but I did not very much notice, because I was sitting by the window, talking to a friend—he gave a pocket-book or a book—he put the things on the table, and went away—the man spoke in German, which I do not well understand, but the man said, "If you like you can sell them for 30s."—I have never heard the prisoner advocate the use of explosives or any violence in politics—I am not an Anarchist—in Holland rabbits are let run about the yard, put in a box, a hutch, and underground, and kept in various ways, and in gardens much.

Cross-examined. I remember the afternoon well when the man brought the things—the friend I was talking to in the room was Raheholt, who has just been called—I went with him to the house—I do not know Shapirer—I have never seen him before or since—I did not hear him give any reason for leaving the things—I heard the man say why it was and what it was for, but could not understand, because I speak so little German—I did not hear what they should be used for—I have never spoken to Brail since about these things, nor seen them.

MRS. BRALL. I am the prisoner's wife—I have been in England nearly three years—we first came to live in the East-end, where we lived one year and three months—then we went to Jubilee Place—I think we lived there ten or twelve weeks, and then went to Park Walk—at Jubilee Place we had the front room, kitchen, and the front room second floor—we kept rabbits in the coal-cellar—at Pitt Street we had a Dutch stove—it troubled us with the smoke—the English coal is very fat, gives very much smoke, it wants a very long pipe in the chimney, and I cannot take it out—I did not take the flue to pieces, it was too long, and required too much work—my husband put something in the pipe, and then it gave a very loud noise, and I got a long stick with a hook on it, and could take the soot out—no complaint was made to me about the noise or using gunpowder in the stove—in Amsterdam my husband was the secretary of the Cabinetmakers' Society and Sick Fund—many people wrote to him asking how the work was in England, and he would write back, "The work is better," and "Come to London," and then when one came to London he would always come to my husband—many times they left their boxes—I remember Shapirer, who studied chemistry, visiting our house—he brought bottles in, and long glass pipes—he put them in a portmanteau—all these things were in it, the pipes, the glasses, and the bottles; I remember it all very well—he said to my husband, "Will you keep that so long for me when I go to Paris, and if you can sell it for thirty shillings you can sell it, and after I come back we will speak of that"—I have seen that man since; I saw him in January—Mr. Jered and Mr. Van Vincent were present when he brought these things in a portmanteau—I have sought to find the man, but cannot; I do not think he is in London now—besides the chemicals, there was a book where you put letters in, a pocket-book, and he put a little book in there and two letters, and said, "Take this away for me," and he had a small box of cartridges—I put some things in the pocket-book, and put it in a drawer, and afterwards I put some letters and tickets in—the police took everything out that was in them—I think this is the book—no, that is not the book—I put the things in a cupboard, where there were things for my children to play with, and my children's clothes; anyone could see them, I did not lock the door—I took these chemical things from Pitt Street to Jubilee Place—these are the articles—I remember a man bringing the box to Jubilee Place; my husband was not at home—Mr. Bosnian was there at the time—this is the box, "Absinthe" was printed on it—the man knocked at the door, and said, "Is Fritz at home?"—I said, "No, he is not at home, perhaps he comes in"—he said, "Can I leave the box here?"—I said, "I do not know if it is right for you to leave the box here"—he said, "Yes, I want to go for two or three weeks, and after I come back I will fetch it away," and I said, "Yes, you can lay it here"—he took it downstairs—he said, "I know your husband"—I think it is all right, and I take it in—I was accustomed to people asking my husband to take care of boxes, many times—the police often called at our house—I think altogether six times—the first time he said he was a doctor, at Pitt Street—he said he came looking for the cholera—I don't remember their names—I think one was Mr. Flood—I do not know if one was Inspector Melville, I think it was, he was a very tall, big man—I never saw him before—he came at dinner-time, one o'clock—first in the morning came two detectives, and at dinner-time came Mr. Melville—I do not know who it was—then two detectives came—my husband was not at home, and they asked me for a man's address, and as I never spoke to the man I did not know the address—they came three times for that—all these calls were in Pitt Street; and they called in Jubilee Place—they came to see a man, and my husband went out, and he came back with two detectives and brought them in—then I had gone out of the room, and afterwards my husband came—and they said, "No, that is not the man who went; we want a tall man, and that is a very little man"—the box was in the house at that time—we had the chemical things in Pitt Street; they were there when they came and asked for the address—I remember when the police came to the house in Park Walk—they came in like thieves—two or three came in the back, and three or four at the front—I had gone into the yard, and Mr. Sweeney said, "Come in the house, you have got lodgers!" and he went up—I was upstairs, and Melville said, "No, no, Mrs. Brall, you cannot come downstairs, you must stop up here"—I remember when the box was moved from Jubilee Place to Park Walk; Sterken, a friend of mine, was there—the box fell down and then it broke—I never saw these plaster casts before the morning—the bottom of the box was broken, and I was afraid it might come wet, and I put the things in a dirty apron, and put it in another portmanteau—my husband never made use of the things—he used to work after hours; he was always working after he came home, and the last time he made a wardrobe—he had many bottles, and used chemicals; sometimes he would do it with gloves, and sometimes with other things—he always said he must use leather for that—I never attempted to hide them; every bottle was in the place where my husband was working, in the back kitchen—he bought rabbits for the children in Jubilee Place, and kept them in a coal-cellar—we removed them to Park Walk.

Cross-examined. I have been nearly three years in England—Pitt Street was the second place we went to—my husband got work in the West-end—he was first working in the East-end, and afterwards he got work in the West-end, and then we took a house in Pitt Street—afterwards he got work in Chelsea, and then he thought it would be too much money to go every morning and night in the train, and he said it was best for us to go and live in Chelsea—so we went—we left in February early in the morning at five or half-past, because he could help early to move—I knew our landlord, Mr. Barton, he was a nice man—I never spoke to the other people in the house—I paid the rent to Mr. Barton—he knew that we always paid him the rent—I do not know why we did not give him notice—I don't know if I left word where we had gone—I knew of the Autonomie Club—I heard of the visit of the police there—not before we left Pitt Street, I can swear I did not hear of it before—it had nothing to do with our going away—a Dutch Jew helped us to move from Pitt Street—we occupied two rooms there, one big and one little—we always slept in the little one—people did not come and sleep all night and go away in the morning; that never happened—I never heard the name of Schmidt—I did not know a man of that name living with us in Pitt Street—I was three months in Ireland; it may have been when I was away—that was in the summer, nearly two years ago—I took my children with me, and my husband was left alone in Pitt Street—I heard from my husband that Schmidt was living in the back room first floor at Pitt Street—I don't know who he was—I never heard of him as Francois; I have never heard of the name of Francois at all—I have read in the paper of Francois; I never heard the name in my house—I did not know him before, nor did my husband—my husband said he was in the club, and he said, "Do you know a room for this man?" and he said, "Yes; there is a room to let in my house; the back room," and afterwards I found he had been there—he knew him as Schmidt; he spoke of him many times—I never saw him—I saw him once—I know not this photograph (Produced)—I cannot say I know the man; I saw him once only—he had a blonde, fair moustache, that is all; no other hair on his face; no whiskers, no beard, only a moustache—I did not see glasses—it was in my house at Pitt Street that I saw him—that was after I came from Ireland—I came back in September, I think—my husband used to be at home on Sundays at Pitt Street, and I also—the flue of that stove has never been taken to pieces—it is very much trouble to take it to pieces; it takes a very long time—it has never been taken to pieces by my husband—I know Bosnian; he is no relation of mine—I have never heard that my husband has taken the stove to pieces—perhaps it had been cleaned once while we were there, I don't know—as the pipe was very long my husband put something in, and I put in a long stick with a hook on it—I never spoke to Mrs. Kelterbron, or Mrs. Fox, or Mrs. Foster—they have never spoken to me about explosions in our room—it is a lie to say that I said it was my little boy with a pistol, they never have said something about that—they said nothing to me, and I said nothing to them—we left there and went to 30, Jubilee Place—Leoni stopped with us there—he had no room, and no money for a room, and my husband said he was a Dutchman, and we would take him home, a man cannot sleep on the street—he slept a fortnight in Pitt Street, and a fortnight in Jubilee Place—afterwards a Frenchman, Fritz, lived there—I cannot speak French, I cannot speak to his business—I saw him at the Autonomie Club before that—I went there with my husband sometimes when there were theatricals or a festival there—my husband went sometimes, not many times, on other occasions—I saw some of the other people who went to the Autonomie Club—the other people out of the club did not come to Pitt Street—my husband talked to one or two of them there, not much, the others were all Dutch people and German—my husband knew some of them who went to the Autonomie Club—I never asked their names—Leoni and Fritz went to the club—I do not know that Schmidt went—I asked my husband the name of the man who brought the box, and he said Gerondine—I never heard the name of Jerome—Gerondine never lived at Jubilee Place—I only saw him there once—we were known as Brail at 20, Pitt Street, and as Ravine at Jubilee Place, because we lost letters at Pitt Street and Jubilee Place—in Amsterdam we were known as Brail; my husband was secretary of the society in that name; that in his right name—we did not get letters from my mother and sister—we took the house in the name of Ravine; I going first to take the rooms, and my husband joining me afterwards—we took the name of Ravine, so that letters might reach us more easily—I wrote to my mother to say she must send letters in the name of Ravine, because some had not been received—we lost letters in Pitt Street, addressed to Brail; and we lost two letters afterwards addressed to Ravine—we never had the name of Ravine in Pitt Street, only at Jubilee Place—I never complained to anyone at Pitt Street of losing letters—there was no one in the house of a similar name to ours—my husband's stepmother's name was Ravine—I have never been known by the name of Ravine at any other place than Jubilee Place—I got acquainted with Colan at Jubilee Place; I saw him several times—we had letters at Jubilee Place; two letters were lost there—we thought it best to have letters addressed to Colan at his private house—my husband asked him, right to have letters come in the name of Colan, and Colan said, "That is all right"—my husband spoke to the postman at Jubilee Place about losing letters—one of the lost letters was from my sister in London, and one from my mother; I don't know if there were others—we left Jubilee Place because we thought we would take another house—Mrs. Wood said she had heard loud talking between my husband and some Dutchmen, and we gave notice next day, and then our things were moved to Park Walk—the house was taken in the name of Colon because my husband had lost letters and he thought he would take another name—he asked the postman, and he said it was the Director of the Post Office, and we thought it better to take another name that might do better than Ravine or Brall—we thought Colon would be a good name, and we took the house in that way—I don't know of Colan knowing anything of that—the people my husband was in the habit of corresponding with were his mother and my mother and my sister; that is all—my sister lives in London, my mother in Amsterdam, and my sisters and brothers in Germany; they wrote lots of times, many letters—I wrote to say they were to send letters in the name of Colon and Ravine—I went with the things when they were removed from Jubilee Place to 54, Park Walk, and I helped to put things straight there, and to put the things on and in the cupboard upstairs—I took some of those things out of the box and afterwards I took the box into the area—those things had been in the front room second floor in Jubilee Place—that was a bedroom—at Pitt Street they were in the room where I lived—I put the box containing the moulds in the area at Park Place—when the officers came on 31st May, before my husband was brought there, I went round the house with them—I went with them into the upstairs room, where all these things were—they asked what they were, and now I became possessed of them—I said, "I have got them from a man; he has gone to Paris; he has gone away"—Mr. Melville said, "What is this?"—I said, "That is a bottle"—he said, "Yes, I see; who brought you the bottle?"—I said, "A man brought them"—he said, "Where is that man?"—I said, "He has gone away"—then he said, "Take Mr. Brall"—I did not tell Melville that I knew nothing about them—Melville called me down to the cellar, and said, "What is this hole?"—I said, "I don't know"—it was for the rabbits—I said I did not know because I was very cross; night detectives came in like thieves, and my husband had not come in, and I was at home with the children, and you do not know what you must think when so many people come in a house—they asked me so many things that I was cross, and I would not answer everything they asked me—the only name of the Dutch Jew who asked me to take the things from Pitt Street was Leoni—that is the same name as the Dutchman who used to live with us—he is not a member of the Autonomie Club; he only came here looking for work, and he found no work and went back—I do not think he ever told me he was a member of the Autonomie Club—Shapirer was the name of the man who brought the portmanteau a year ago—I saw him three or four times before at my house—I think he was a friend of my husband—when he brought the things he said, "Fritz, I go away to Paris, can I leave these lying here?"—he lived in Whitechapel, he said in some street off the Commercial Road—I saw him last January at my house at Pitt Street—I only saw him once in January for five minutes—he said he had come back from Paris and wanted to look here for work—my husband did not go out with him—he did not know he was coming; he never got a letter from him—neither I nor my husband said anything to him about the things that had been lying at Pitt Street for eight or nine months—my husband thought he would come back.
Re-examined. My husband asked the postman about the letters, and he said, "It is not me who keeps them; if it is anybody it is the Director of the Post Office"—I thought that by changing our name we should prevent our letters from being intercepted by the Post Office—three weeks' rent was not paid at Pitt Street, because my husband was out of work for a fortnight, and I thought those people could wait tatter—I have heard the name Francois; I know he was acquitted.

JOSEPH GREENBAUM (Interpreted). I live at 16, Kinder Street—Shapirer lodged at my house, leaving about two months ago—he went away from here about a year ago—I don't know where he went—he took his boxes and a portmanteau with him—he was a young man a little smaller than I am; a fur cutter.

Cross-examined. Kinder Street is a turning from Cannon Street Road, Commercial Road, Whitechapel.
JOSEPH FIERSTEIN . I am a bootmaker, at Cannon Street Road—I know Shapirer, who lodged with Mr. Joseph Greenbaum in Kinder Street—he left England about six weeks ago—about two years ago he bought a pair of boots in my place—I took his measure for the boots, and Shapirer said, "I shall send you money, and you shall send me the boots"—he wrote this name on the paper measure.
Cross-examined. That was written since six weeks ago, when I took the measure.

FRITZ BRALL (the prisoner). I am a cabinet-maker—I have been in England about three years—when the police came to my place at Park Walk I was in Mr. Vitz's employ at Chelsea—I lived in Amsterdam, and was a cabinet maker—I was second foreman in a steam cabinet factory—I was secretary of the Cabinet-makers' Society and of the sick fund—members used to communicate with me when they were in England about daily news, what was going on in Holland and other countries, and sometimes politics—they often asked me about getting employment—very often they left boxes at my house—I had a Dutch stove—the pipe was in five pieces joined together and coming from the top of the stove—I cleaned it by putting in a cartridge and exploding it—no one ever complained about any noise that was made—Shapirer was a friend of mine—he was a Russian Pole; he spoke German, Russian, Polish, and English—one Saturday afternoon he came in when two other friends of mine were present—he said he was going to Paris, he had no work here, and could I take in these instruments, pipes, bottles, and some powders for him, to save them for him—if I could sell them I was to do so; if not, he would take them back afterwards—I said, "Is there anything in that which is dangerous?"—he said, "No"—there was a bottle of nitric acid left—I said, "What do you want to do with that?"—he said, "I don't want it"—I have acid like nitric acid for polishing work—Van Vincent and Jered were there—Shapirer went away first—he was no politician; he was a furrier—he studied chemistry—I saw his card of the chemical night school, 89, Commercial Street—he brought me these bottles and this box, with two cartridges and a letter pouch with the recipes—at Jubilee Place I kept the rabbits in the coal-cellar—I kept rabbits, before I came to England, at my brother's place in Germany—some of the rabbits I had in Jubilee Place died, and I asked my friend how it was, and he said perhaps it was too cold; and I was making a foundation in the ground at Park Walk for the hutch, so that the wet could go through the holes in the planks to the bottom to keep it dry; but when I had started on the hole another rabbit died, and I had only one left, and I said it was better to kill it and eat it up, or else he would die; and we did so, and the hole was left as the police found it—I had seen that sort of sunk rabbit-hutch in Germany once—this is the box that my wife told me a stranger had left at Jubilee Place—I see by the stamp on it that it is an absinthe box—I never use absinthe—I never opened that box or looked at its contents—I never secreted the chemicals—I was visited several times by the officers from Scotland Yard, and those things were in the cupboard always—I changed my name for the purpose of letters, because I lost letters—I thought my name was known to politicians on the Continent, and there might be force from other nations to keep my letters away, and for that purpose I changed my name on several occasions—I never advocated the use of explosives or terror for political purposes—I never made explosives—I know nothing about making them—one morning Sweeney and Flood met me in Jubilee Street, and said, "Have you got anyone staying with you?"—I said, "Yes, a little Frenchman"—he said he came looking for a Frenchman, a tall one—I said, "I do not think that is the one; you can come and have a look"—they came, and Flood spoke to him in French, and then said, "No, that is not the man we are coming for"—we then went out and had a drink—I lent this pocket-book to Mr. Vitz on one occasion—the names and addresses in it are those of several customers—in 1893, when I left a shop in Arlington Road, I worked six months for myself in Pitt Street, and I had to buy a shop and get customers, and the easiest way was to go to the club where I was a member, and I asked other members for work—I can show by letters I have worked for these people—I use acids and methylated spirits in my trade, and also bichromate of potash.
For further reading about this milieu.

Cross-examined. I am not an Anarchist, but a Socialist—I was a member of the Autonomie Club, and went there—that club was not founded by the extreme Anarchist party, who differed from the Socialists, but there were members in the club who belonged to the extreme party—that party had nothing to do with the German party, it was the French section, and these two sections always had trouble together—I could not say if some of the members belonged to the extreme party, who were in favour of violence to property and person, but I have heard on several occasions there were people there who propagated outrage—I do not think the club-room was hung with pictures of men who had committed wellknown murders; I saw several pictures hanging in the club of revolutions, not of individuals—I cannot give the names—I did not see there a picture of Lesciex; he had committed an outrage—Stowmacher's picture was not there; I have not heard of him—there were pictures of the Chicago Anarchists—I had been a member of the club for about one year and ten months—on joining the club I mostly went on Sundays when there was dancing, with my wife, and danced there—I seldom went on other occasions, because almost always in the evening I was working at home for myself—the names of the men in my pocket-book were customers I had met at the club—Ricken used to visit at my house at Pitt Street, Jubilee Place, and Park Walk—he came the day my house was searched—he was the man who attempted to rescue Meunier when he was arrested—Meunier was arrested here for an outrage in Paris; I do not know him; I had heard of him—Bailon's address is given; he is a Russian professor—he is an imbecile—he may be an Anarchist, but I know him as a very quiet man—I could not say if he was a member of the club—nearly all nationalities were likely to come to the club; they had to take a card of membership like these found on me; a fresh one every month—I made a tailor's table for Pietroya, whose address is Hammersmith—I do not know if he is a prominent Anarchist; I cannot understand him much; he speaks very little English—I know Rabe, a German—I had a photograph of him in my possession—he was sentenced in Germany, as an Anarchist, for making propaganda literature, but you can publish in England what you cannot in Germany—he is now in prison for it—I know Vandeberg; he has been several times in England—he is not an Anarchist—I know two different Vandebergs from Holland; the one from Antwerp was a carriage-builder; I don't know his political views—Gunderson is an Anarchist—that is one of the addresses in my pocket-book; he was the editor of a newspaper issued by the Autonomie Club—I should not describe him as a violent Anarchist; he is a peaceable man—I know Sicard, because I asked him once if he had got some work for me—Rabe came from Switzerland to London, and he brought several photographs from Switzerland—I asked him for his picture, and I put a frame round it—the newspapers found at my house had not been sent to me by comrades at different places; the most part of them I took from several friends when the Autonomie Club was closed—several newspapers were left, and I use a lot of newspapers in my trade for glueing veneer work—I only had one for myself, which came from Holland; those found at my house were mostly used for the purposes of my trade—I have asked for them; I say, "If you have newspapers, bring them up here; I can use them"—I had one bound volume of the Anarchist newspaper—I did not take the room at Pitt Street for Francois—one friend came to me, and said, "There is a French family coming over; do you know a room?" or "Can you take a room?"—I said, "Yes; I believe there is a back room empty in the house lam living at"—I do not remember Francois coming there in the first three weeks after; I remember his being there—he did not stay in the house during the day and go out at night—the first time he was living there, and I knew him in the name of Schmidt; he was working in a cabinet-maker's factory—I never saw him wearing glasses—I did not know that he was under suspicion, and wanted by the police, not in the first time, afterwards I remember—I do not know that he was arrested in the name of Brall—I read it in the newspaper—when he left Pitt Street I did not know where he went—I found the furniture for his room and paid the rent at first—I had a bedstead, table, and chair left, and I let him have them—I paid the first week's rent, and afterwards he paid for himself—in the first three weeks I did not know who he was; three weeks afterwards he told me—he said he was Francois, passing in the name of Schmidt—I did not know there was a warrant for him—he told me he was suspected of being concerned in the Cafe Verey explosion—he said if he came over just now to France, it would be very likely he would be arrested and condemned—I could not say for certain how long he remained with me after I knew that, but I know it was a couple of months—I could not say that I gave him papers to enable him to pass in the name of Brall; I did not—I did not give him papers when he left, so that he might say his name was Brall, and not Francois—I read in the newspapers that he was living at first in the name of Francois, and then Brall; that he represented himself as Brall when he was arrested—I had a memorial card of Bourdin, who blew himself up at Greenwich—it was a mourning card, with a black border—I did not buy it myself, it was in the room—I read in the papers that he blew himself up—I know nothing about Most's pamphlet, "Guide to Social Revolutionary War"—I never read it, but, as far as I know, it was in this letter pouch of Shapirer—I have heard from my wife that there were several recipes, and this book as well, that were left by Shapirer—I have not read it myself—Shapirer left this letter-pouch—there were receipts in it and that book, not left with me—he put it on the table, and he said, "Cannot you save that for me?" and my wife picked it up and put it in the drawer—I had the pouch in my possession twelve months—I moved it from Pitt Street to Jubilee Place, and from Jubilee Place to Park Walk; it was all together removed—I never read it, because it was in the drawer where my wife had all her things, and I never tumbled things about—I left that to my wife, and I went to work—I was sometimes out of work, sometimes I was working for myself, and I have soon had a job back again—about Christmas I was out of work for some time, and I was looking for it again—I never troubled to read this book—I did not trouble about other people's property—unless I heard of it in Court, I never heard of it—I never read the title of it—I only saw it was a red book—I did not know the name of the man who wrote it—I have many times read the name of Most in the papers; I knew him as a violent Anarchist—I never knew the name or title of the work—I do not hear of it now with surprise—I do not know that the bomb that Bourdin was blown up with is one of the same description as that in the pamphlet—I do not know now that it contains all the necessary directions for preparing bombs—I did not take much notice of it—I heard this morning that there were directions in it for making bombs and things, but I never read it for myself—I can swear that solemnly—I don't know what the name of the book is in English—the name of the author is Johann Most—the title and the name I certainly saw many times in the newspaper, but I never saw the book—I took the name of Ravine for the letters—I heard Colon give his evidence—I heard him say that I had asked whether I could have letters addressed to the workshop—I had letters addressed to Colon at Little Smith Street—I don't think he is an Anarchist, a man in favour of violence—as far as I knew he was a perfectly respectable man, not a member of this club—I wanted my letters addressed to him because, as I said before, I remembered and noticed I lost my letters in Pitt Street, and afterwards in Chelsea as well—I lost letters in the name of Brall and Ravine—I knew my letters fell into the hands, on the Continent, of people watching the letters—I was not afraid of my letters falling into the hands of the authorities, and I changed my name because I did not want to lose letters—I thought people on the Continent knew I was a Socialist, and very possibly might stop my letters—I signed the name of Johann Colon to this letter; I got a friend to write it because I do not write English enough—I wrote in that name because I took the house in the name of Colon—I first knew Shapirer about two years ago—I met him at the docks—I have seen him a dozen or half dozen times in my life—I have seen him in the presence of a lot of people—I am called Fritz—the last time I saw Shapirer was in January this year at Pitt Street, when I came from my work—I moved these instruments from Pitt Street to Jubilee Street because I had to take care of them—they were no good to me; I did not know where the man was, but he was a friend of mine, and I knew he was studying chemistry—I never had a chance to sell them—I never noticed that the name of the chemist where the acids had been got had been rubbed off—one bottle of nitric acid was open, and I used that—I moved them because I would not leave a man's private property in another house—I knew, having read in the newspaper, that some violent Anarchists were making explosives and committing outrages—that did not make me curious as to what these things were, because the bottles were all empty; not even after the police visit to the Autonomie Club, because I was living then in Chelsea—I was not in possession of the things after Francois' arrest—when the policeman came to me when the house was searched I said to him, "What is up now? Are you looking for more dynamite?"—I said it out of fun, because I heard the last time they had found dynamite, and I thought I was on a friendly footing with the detectives—I did not think of explosives; I have never propagated outrages in my life—when I said I wished I had nothing to do with those fellows, I meant the members of the Autonomie Club, because I expect that was the only reason I had so many visits from the officers.
Re-examined. There are different sections of Anarchists—one section are Anarchists for knowledge, to educate the people, and they have nothing to do with violence—there is an Anarchist pamphlet denouncing violence.


MR. JUSTICE GRANTHAM stated that the police were thoroughly justified in every step they had taken, and that it was a case for thorough investigation.

Reference Number: t18940625-580
Offence: Damage to Property > other
Verdict: Not Guilty

1 comment:

  1. On political and other exiles in London before 1905, see yesterday's (20-1-17) post at the Past Tense blog ( -