Joseph Bransgrove, George Juett and John Juson

Old Bailey Proceedings Online (, version 6.0, 25 January 2012), May 1859, trial of JOSEPH BRANSGROVE (35) GEORGE JUETT (18) JOHN JUSON (43) (t18590509-505).

Dated: 9th May 1859

JOSEPH BRANSGROVE (35), GEORGE JUETT (18), and JOHN JUSON (43) , Stealing 1 sack, value 2s., and 16 bushels of oats, value £2. 6s. of the London General Omnibus Company, from a barge on a navigable canal.

MESSRS GIFFARD and LEWIS conducted the Prosecution.

JAMES THOMAS . I am a lighterman, and live in Euston Road.  Bransgrove and Juett were in my employ. I have a contract with the London General Omnibus Company. I was to take oats to Paddington, to the Company’s premises, and then to come back and take orders to another place, wherever they had to go. The prisoner had no right to be at Stapleton Wharf, the oats and corn were to be delivered at the Company’s wharf, at Paddington.

Cross-examined by MR. LAWRENOE. Q. How long had Bransgrove been in your employ? A. Seven or eight years. I have found him to be honest up to the present time. I believe Juett is a relation of his, he worked with him.  During the time that Bransgrove has been with me I have trusted him with hundreds and thousands of pounds worth of property, he was in the habit of making one or two journeys a week.

Cross-examined by MR. METCALFE. Q. Do you contract to supply the Company? A. No; only as a carrier, I receive the delivery orders from their agents, and take them to different ships and warehouses.  On this occasion I had to go to the Commercial Docks.  I have not the delivery order, when we apply for the oats we give the delivery order up, and I had to deliver the corn at the London General Omnibus Company’s premises.  I am bound over to appear here, I make no charge against the prisoners, I don’t know that the proper quantity of corn was delivered to the Company’s premises on that occasion. No complaint has been made to me of the non delivery of any corn. I don’t know the quantity of corn, there are parties here who can tell. It has been ascertained, and will be stated.

THOMAS POTTER (Policeman, A 348). From some information, I watched opposite Stapleton’s bridge.  On Friday, 29th April, I saw the barge navigated by Bransgrove and Juett at 9 o’clock in the morning, in the Paddington-canal, and about half-past 10 I saw it had been removed lower down the basin, and was opposite Stapleton’s-wharf.  At a little before 9 o’clock in the evening, I saw Bransgrove, and Juett, and another man, go to the barge, and one of the prisoners, I believe it was Bransgrove carried off three sacks into a shed which Juson is the keeper of.  I saw two men near the shed at the time, but I was not near enough to see who they were.  I saw three sacks carried, and, as I was getting over some palings, I saw another sack, or part of one, carried.  The barge left about 20 minutes afterwards.  I saw the barge again about 11 o’clock at night, at the lock at Camden Town. I then went on board and saw Bransgrove and Juett in the cabin.  I told them I wanted them for stealing four sacks of corn, the property of the London General Omnibus Company.  Bransgrove said, “I have never seen any corn since I left the Company’s wharf this morning about half-past 10 o’clock.  I cautioned him, and then asked him whether he had left any corn that night, and whether he knew a man of the name of Juson, in the Paddington basin.  He said again he had not left any corn since he left the Company’s-wharf in the morning.  I spoke to Juett, and asked him the same questions, and he also denied it.  I then asked Bransgrove whether he had seen Juson.  He said he had not.  I commenced searching the cabin, and in one corner I found a sack with the name of Juson on it.  I asked them how they came by that sack, and Bransgrove said he knew nothing about it.  I then took them to the Paddington station in a cab.  I then went to Jusons premises and searched, and under a quantity of straw I found four sacks of oats, a sack contains four bushels.  There was one sack containing oats, which was marked “London General Omnibus Company;” that was under the straw.  There were two sacks containing oats, marked “James Thomas,” and one sack full of oats with the name of Walker on it.

Cross-examined by MR. LAWRENCE. Q. What time did you see Bransgrove carry the sacks? A. About 9 o’clock at night.  I was twenty-five or thirty yards from the shed, Bransgrove came from the barge up to the shed with the corn on his shoulder.  I saw three sacks distinctly; not at once, he returned each time.  I had not seen him before.  When I saw him in the evening, about eleven o’clock, I charged him with stealing four sacks.  I saw him carry three distinctly, and he carried something else, but I could not distinctly see what it was.  I could not stop him; I was on the other side of the water.  I could not get to the barge before eleven o’clock at night.  I knew one of the Company’s servants was suspected.  When I went on board I found them both in the cabin.  I have been told Bransgrove is the master, and Juett the man.  This sack that I have brought to-day I got from Juson’s shed, after I had apprehended the other two men.  When I got this sack, it was full of corn, it is marked “London General Omnibus Company.  There were no more than four sacks when I went on board the barge.  I don’t know that Juett is the nephew of Bransgrove.

Cross-examined by MR. METCALFE. Q. You found four empty sacks in the barge? A. Yes, the barge was on its way back, before I saw the sacks carried from the barge, it had been partly unloaded in the Company’s service.  They were unloading that barge the day before, on the Friday morning.  I first saw the barge at the Company’s wharf about ten o’clock on Friday morning, the 29th.  I saw Bransgrove and Juett were there unloading it.  I saw one of the Company’s servants there. About half-past 10 o’clock, I saw that the barge had been removed.  It had finished unloading all but the four sacks.  I believe some of the Company’s servants have been subpoenaed here as witnesses.  I saw clearly three sacks carried, and I believe a fourth.  I did not follow the barge; I went and met it.  Having seen them do this, I asked them whether they had done it.  It was not for the purpose of catching them, it was to hear what they would say: whether they would tell the truth or not, and whatever the answer might have been to my question, I would have repeated it here.  I don’t know whether they knew that I was a constable, there was another constable with me.  It is my practice to put questions to prisoners, and whatever their answer might be, I should repeat it in a court of justice.  I did not take down on paper what they said.  I took the two bargemen about eleven o’clock, and Juson was taken about four o’clock in the morning.

JAMES WALKER . I am in the employ of Mr. Stapleton, he has a wharf called Stapleton’s wharf. I recollect on 29th April seeing a barge of Mr. Thomas’s opposite my master’s wharf; I saw Bransgrove and Juett in it.  At a little before 9 o’clock at night I was in my own boat, I saw Juson’s barge lying along side of the wharf, close by the stern of Thomas’s barge.  I saw Bransgrove and Juett pull the barge back alongside of Mr. Juson’s boat.  I came down to the comer of my own boat, and I saw Bransgrove carry three sacks of corn into Mr. Juson’s shed.  I saw Mr. Juson at that time; he stood inside the shed.  I came up the yard, and soon afterwards the two bargemen and Mr. Juson came to the Lord Hill public-house.

Cross-examined by MR. LAWRENCE. Q. What are you? A. A boatman. I work a boat myself, any where where I can get work. I rent the boat of Mr. Stapleton. I do his work when he has got any for me to do. It was about 9 o’clock when I saw what I have stated. I was in my own boat on the canal. I could step off my boat on to Stapleton’s wharf, any body could see me, and I saw there were two men in a barge. I never saw the two men before.

Cross-examined by MR. METCALFE. Q. How long have you been in the employ of Mr. Stapleton? A. I should say ten or eleven years. I never took any hay at all. Mr. Juson did not follow me down to the City-Road and charge me with taking hay. My wife did not interfere. I took the hay to Mr. Stapleton, for him to swear to it. I did not say that I would do for him.

MR. LEWIS. Q. What about this hay? A. I bought a truss of hay, and the police said they came to take me as a witness. They told me I bought a truss of hay on Sunday afternoon, or Monday morning, and Mr. Juson followed and said it was a truss of hay belonging to him. I said, “I don’t know nothing about that, if it does belong to you, it is in the boat at the wharf.”

THOMAS BUNGAY (Policeman D 161). I recollect on 29th April I was near the Lord Hill public-house. The three prisoners were inside the house. I went and concealed myself. I saw the prisoners come down to the wharf together, Juson went into a shed, and Bransgrove and Juett went into a barge, which was Mr. Thomas’s. They shoved the barge alongside of the wharf, and I saw them bring out four sacks of oats; Bransgrove carried them, and Juett was assisting to get them on his back. They were taken into the shed where Juson was. I saw Juson there. I saw the last of the four sacks delivered at the shed, and on the delivery of the last sack Juson said, “Is that all?” and Bransgrove said, “Yes,” They left, and Juson fastened the door of the shed with a piece of straw, and they went to the Lord Hill public-house. I afterwards searched the shed and found there four sacks, one with the name of the London General Omnibus Company on it; two of Mr. Thomas’s; and one, I believe, with the name Walker on it. Potter and I took Bransgrove and Juett in custody; we went to the cabin where they were. Potter told them we took them for stealing some oats belonging to the London General Omnibus Company. They said they knew nothing about it; they had not delivered any oats that night, Bransgrove said that.  Potter picked up a sack in the cabin with Mr. Thomas’s name on it; he asked them how they became possessed of it. They said, “Sacks will get mixed at times,” Potter then asked if they had delivered any corn that night at Mr. Juson’s. They said no; they did not know him, and they had not delivered any corn that night. We took them to the Paddington station. I afterwards went to Juson’s house, I told him I must take him in custody for receiving some corn from two bargemen, belonging to the London General Omnibus Company, knowing it to be stolen; he said he knew nothing about it. I took him to the station.

Cross-examined by MR. LAWRENCE. Q. Were you in the shed when you saw these sacks delivered? A. No; I was behind a cart about ten yards from the barge. I looked, but I did not see any more sacks in the shed but these four. I took no part in the conversation. I think Juett’s age is about sixteen on the charge sheet.

Cross-examined by MR. METCALFE. Q. Juson is a dealer in corn? A. Yes, and he has premises in a street leading to the wharf. This shed is on the wharf. I don’t know that there is any lock on it, when he came out he fastened it with a bit of straw.

JOHN TREVITT . I am superintendant of police for the London General Omnibus Company. This sack is the property of that Company. The value of it is about 3s. The value of the sixteen bushels of oats would be about £2. 6s. I have no doubt the oats are the property of the Company.

Cross-examined by MR. LAWRENCE. Q. Is there a name on this sack? A. Yes, I don’t know that sacks very often get into the hands of other people. The sacks sent out with mixed provender may do so, but not this description of sack. We do not sell corn; Mr. Thomas has to convey the corn to our place.

Cross-examined by MR. METCALFE. Q. How many sacks have you? A. 300 or more. Mr. Thomas has them for the use of the Company. I don’t keep any account of the number we have in store. These never ought to be but at Mr. Thomas’s barge or in our Company’s. I have not taken stock to know how many are in our place, and how many Mr. Thomas has. There is a report to me of the corn delivered. I have not brought my books. I don’t know that notice has been given to me, or to some one on the part of the Company, to produce the books; the books show the number that we are led to suppose have been delivered. They would not show the number which have been actually delivered. I have not one of our men here. I compared the corn at the Police-court. I have no sample here.

JAMES THOMAS re-examined. These two sacks with my name on them are mine. No corn was carried in these sacks but that belonging to the London General Omnibus Company.

Cross-examined by MR. LAWRENCE. Q. Do you sometimes have the Company’s sacks in your possession? A. Yes; and no doubt my sacks would get into the hands of the Company, and into the hands of other people.

Cross-examined by MR. METCALFE. Q. And have you sacks belonging to other people? A. I don’t admit that.

The prisoners received excellent characters.

BRANSGROVE   GUILTY. Recommended to mercy by the Jury.   Confined Two Months.

JUSON  GUILTY . Confined Nine Months.


There was another indictment against the prisoners on which no evidence was offered.


WebMaster’s Note:

An article about this case appeared in the BTPHG Year Book 2012, and is reproduced here.