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Franz Muller.

Lord Chief sary to give direction, and then to leave you to form your
own judgment as to what are the opinions to be drawn from the
facts that are sworn before you. There can be no doubt that
Mr. Briggs on the evening or night of the 9th of July in this
year was murdered. I know nothing, and can say nothing,
of the manner in which that murder was done, but I apprehend
that of the fact there can be no doubt. I shall presently state
to you the circumstances as they appear to have occurred
according to the evidence, and I shall leave it to you to form
your own fair opinion, for the verdict is to be yours and not
mine. I shall call your attention to certain parts of the case.
I shall give you some general directions as to what I think you
should do, and I shall leave you to form your own opinion.

It has been said, and said very truly, that this is a case of
circumstantial evidence. I apprehend that circumstantial evi-
dence means this when the facts stated do not directly prove
'the actual crime, but lead to the conclusion that the prisoner
committed the crime and I believe I am right in saying that
the majority of cases that are investigated in criminal Courts
in this country are decided upon circumstantial evidence it has
been said that that evidence is better than direct evidence.
In one sense that may be true ; in another sense it is not true.
If you have the testimony of witnesses of undoubted character
who saw the crime committed, why, then, you can hardly have
better evidence than that the direct evidence of some persons
who saw the fact and can depose to the crime as having been
committed; but, undoubtedly, where there be any doubt about
the veracity or honour of the witnesses, indirect evidence, com-
ing from different distances and remote quarters, and all tending
to the same end, has a force and effect beyond the testimony of
more direct evidence. For direct evidence may be mistaken in
various ways. There may be an error about the person. The
witness may say, " I saw him do it, or a person like him." He
may give a character to the commission of a crime which really
does not belong to it; but indirect testimony from a number
of facts, supposing that you believe them if that is the case,
and they all concur to the same point, they are free from the
objection that there has been either perjury, or omission, or
misstatement. There is another matter upon which I wish,
before I go into the case, to address you, and that is upon the

Charge to the Jury.

degree of certainty with which you ought to give your verdict. Lord Chief
I collected from my brother Parry's address that he suggested
to you that you ought not to pronounce a verdict of guilty
unless you were so satisfied of the guilt of the prisoner as if you
had seen him do the act, and you yourselves, too, witnessed
the completion of it. Gentlemen, I think that is not the
certainty which is required of you to discharge your duty on
the oath you have taken, to the country to which you belong, or
to the prisoner, whose safety is in your power. I have heard
the late Lord Tenterden frequently lay down a rule, which I
will pronounce to you in his own language " It is not neces-
sary that you should have a certainty, which does not belong
to any human transaction ; it is only necessary that you should
have that certainty with which you transact your own most
important concerns in life." No doubt the question before you
to-day, involving as it does the life of the prisoner at the bar,
must be deemed to be of the highest importance ; but you are
requested to have only that degree of certainty with which you
can decide upon and conclude your own most important trans-
actions. Gentlemen, our care should be to prevent the com-
mission of crime, which it is the object of criminal Courts
to do. The learned counsel, brother Parry, has referred to
a common axiom in which there is no doubt some degree of
truth, and that is, that it is better that a great many guilty
persons should escape than that one innocent man should suffer.
Now, gentlemen, it is impossible to deny that the history of
our criminal Courts, and I believe that of all criminal Courts,
will afford instances where innocent persons have been classed
with the guilty, and have been found guilty, and have suffered
by it. But, gentlemen, to make a comparison between con-
victing the innocent man and acquitting the guilty is perfectly
unwarranted. There is no comparison between them. Each
of them is a great misfortune to the country and discreditable
to the administration of justice. The only rule that can be
laid down is, that in the question of a criminal trial you should
exert your utmost vigilance, and take care that if the man be
innocent he should be acquitted, and that if guilty he should
be convicted.

Now, gentlemen, I think the mode to investigate this
case on your part should be this. Take the facts


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Lord^Chief that are proved before you, separate those which you believe
from those which you do not believe ; take those you are satis-
fied you can rely upon, and the conclusions which naturally
and almost necessarily result from those facts are to be acted
upon as much as facts themselves ; and whatever may be
the conclusion they may lead you to whatever, on the one side
or on the other, that conclusion may be I think you may rely
upon it as a safe and just one. The case on the part of the
prosecution is the story of the death of Mr. Briggs, told by
the different witnesses, who unfolded the circumstances one
after the other according to their occurrence, leading to the
gradual discovery of some apparent connection between the
property which was lost and the possession of it by the prisoner
at the bar. The case on the part of the prisoner I collect to
be threefold. In the first place, my brother Parry said,
'' You have not satisfactorily made out the guilt of the
prisoner. There are links wanting in your chain. Some of
the links are broken or imperfect. You have substituted
imagination for fact, and of these there is no certainty." So
I understood brother Parry to say the prisoner would be en-
titled to your verdict of not guilty. That issue, no doubt,
requires your special attention, because it is very much upon
that the trial is to be determined. There can be no doubt if
the case on the part of the prosecution does not bring home
to your minds a satisfactory conclusion, upon which you can
only say that, acting upon your own minds, you believe the
prisoner guilty, the prisoner is entitled to be found not guilty.
The next point in the defence was this, that the prisoner was
unable, that he was not of stature and strength competent to
the task that apparently was performed. That, no doubt,
if the prisoner at the bar were a young man under age and
possessed of no strength, would be an argument in his favour.
If you think he was incompetent, if you think that he could
not have done that which is imputed to him, of course, if he
could not have done it, then he is entitled to be found not
guilty. The third line of the defence is an alibi. That
requires a word from me before I proceed to the particular
facts of the case.

Upon the whole case for the prosecution, if you
entertain any reasonable doubt, if you cannot come to a

Charge to the Jury.

satisfactory conclusion, the prisoner is entitled to the benefit Lord Chief
of that doubt. If you do come to a satisfactory conclusion
upon the case for the prosecution you are then met by an alibi,
and I think the alibi is then to be weighed in the scale against
the case for the prosecution. To explain precisely what I wish
to show if you entertain any serious doubt on the case for the
prosecution you must acquit the prisoner. On the other hand,
the case for the prosecution and the alibi must be thrown into
the same scale. Where an alibi is proposed and there is some
doubt, it then becomes your province and duty to examine the
alibi, and to decide between the prosecution and the alibi. All
the facts brought before you on the part of the Solicitor-
General form the case for the prosecution, and ought to be
weighed duly. The facts brought in support of the alibi should
be weighed with the case for the prosecution, and you will
say which you believe. It is a case where both cannot be
true, and it is for you to decide to which the truth belongs.
Now, gentlemen, having stated to the jury what I consider
to be the case on the part of the prosecution, and the case on
the part of the defence, I think it right to draw your attention
to the facts themselves.

Gentlemen, it appears that Mr. Briggs left London on the
9th of July (Saturday). After having dined with his niece's
husband, Mr. Buchan, he proceeded by an omnibus to some
place near London Bridge, where he got out and went to a
train at Fenchurch Street station to take him through Bow
to Hackney, or Hackney Wick, as it is called. A Mr. Lee
said he saw him there. There is no doubt that Mr. Briggs
left Fenchurch Street and was murdered before he reached
Hackney Wick, and, as it is highly improbable that he was
murdered between Fenchurch Street and Bow, you may
easily believe that he was at the latter place. Whether he
was there with another person or not I will not say. Lee,
who was there, and did not consider it his duty to make a
statement respecting what he saw, is, I think, scarcely in that
frame of mind which is deserving of approbation. If, indeed,
the prosecution had known what Lee had to say in examina-
tion and cross-examination, I am not surprised that they did
not call him, and they did quite right not to call him. Mr.
Briggs was there. Mr. Briggs did not arrive at Hackney


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Lord Chief Wick. The carriage that went from Fenchurch Street to
Hackney Wick was taken back without being turned round.
That accounts in part for what appears on the depositions
and in the evidence before the coroner, for what on going
down was the near side would in returning be the offside, and
the offside would be the near side. Mr. Briggs was found
about one-third of the distance from Hackney Wick. His
body had in some way been removed from the carriage to the
six-foot way, and there he was found, with his head towards
Hackney Wick and his feet towards London. Gentlemen, I
think it right that some of you may have remarked the circum-
stance as well as myself. The head pointed towards Hackney
Wick. The consequence of that is that his feet must have
touched the ground first. If a man were thrown out head
foremost, and his head touched the ground, his body would
go forward with the velocity of the carriage, and his head
would be towards London and his feet towards Hackney Wick.
On the other hand, if he were put out by force, or if he jumped
out and alighted on his feet, the effect would be that of stop-
ping his feet, his body would go with the velocity, and his
head would be smashed. This makes no difference in the
charge against whoever it was that committed the murder,
for it is plain that before the body was removed in any way,
either by himself or by the murderer, he had received several
desperate wounds. According to the medical evidence, there
was one fracture, and I think it right to say that, in point of
law, whether Mr. Briggs had been struck and then stunned
by the blow, so as to be unable to call out, or believing that
he might be got to the door of the carriage and then driven
out by force, or the fear produced by the violent action of
the person menacing him, it would be equally murder, because
his death would be caused by his getting out and then receiving
that violent wound. Mr. Briggs was examined that evening,
the carriage was examined that evening, and there were the
articles which Mr. Briggs had lost. The only alteration with
respect to that property was that the watch and chain were
gone. That some struggle had taken place in the carriage
was evident from the fact that a link of the chain was found
pressed down in the carriage. The hat he wore was gone,
and another hat was left in its place. For some days nothing

Charge to the Jury.

was known about it, but, according to the evidence, Mr. Death Lord Chief
was applied to on the following Thursday, and was asked if '
he had exchanged a chain. Mr. Death said "Yes," and he
gave in exchange for it another chain (the one produced) and
a signet ring. At that time it was also discovered that there
was some question about the hat. Every effort was made to
discover the person who was connected with the transaction,
and, when it was discovered to be the hat of the prisoner at
the bar, officers were sent out to anticipate his arrival in
America. On their arrival his box was searched, and the
watch was found in his box. In that box also was found a
hat, and when that hat was brought back to this country
every inquiry was made respecting it. It was said the hat
was not the hat of Mr. Briggs that it could not be; it was 1
inch or 1J inches too short. When it came to be examined
it was found to be cut down. Then came the question with
respect to the watch and chain and hat Mr. Briggs wore, and
the hat supposed to be the prisoner's. Gentlemen, there is
no evidence whatever to show you whether that is the hat Mr.
Briggs wore on that day or not. It is for you to consider
how far the evidence will show you that was Mr. Briggs' hat.
Now, gentlemen, the facts of the history of this case, though
appearing to be many, are in reality very few the watch,
the chain, and the hat Mr. Briggs lost that night. A hat was
found in the carriage in the place of Mr. Briggs's hat. These
are the three matters which constitute the case for the prose-
cution. Gentlemen, these are three links of the same chain;
but do not make the mistake which it appears to me Serjeant
Parry is rather inclined to lead you into, that, if there is
one link of that chain broken, you have got rid of the prosecu-
tion. There are three separate and distinct links, having each
of them a separate history, and a failure on the part of one
does not in the slightest degree affect the position of each of
the others. For instance, if there had been no trace whatever
of either of the hats, if the hat alleged to be the hat of Mr.
Briggs had not been found in the box, that does not at all
diminish the evidence of the watch and chain. They all
stand on separate and distinct grounds apart from each other,
and if one of them is made out to your satisfaction, that is,
if the result of the evidence satisfies you that the prisoner at


Franz Muller.

Lord Chief the bar was on the Monday morning in possession of the watch
and chain, then you are to see whether he has given a true
account, or for this is the question has he given a satis-
factory account? Now, with respect to the watch and chain,
the evidence seems to be this : on Monday morning, about ten
o'clock, he exchanged the chain for a chain which he took
from Mr. Death, the jeweller. That chain he pawned on the
Wednesday. But then you say, what became of the watch?
Why, when he was apprehended off New York he had the
watch in his box ; it was found there. He said it was his
watch, and he had had it two years. It will be for you to say
whether that is evidence to induce you to believe that both the
watch and chain were in his possession. How did they come
into his possession? Gentlemen, I shall presently ask that
question, and call the attention of my brother Parry to the
way in which I understood that he put it, because I am desirous
that there should be no mistake, and I am desirous not to
speak in ambiguous or doubtful language, but to express myself
with perfect plainness, and, if I am wrong, I shall be glad
to be corrected. You will have to ask yourselves whether the
prisoner had the watch and chain on the Monday morning.
The evidence is that he separated them if he had them, that he
took the chain to Mr. Death, that he there had it valued at
<3 10s., that he declined to take a chain of the value of 3 15s.,
which would require him to pay 5s., and that he took a
chain of the value of 3 5s., and took a ring instead of the
5s. Here, as I must again say to you, it is for you to say
whether you believe that part of the case or not. Unless
you believe it, you ought not to convict the prisoner; if you
believe it, I think you ought to act upon it. When he had got
the chain he went to the house of a friend, and, showing it,
spoke of it, and mentioned what he had given for it, and said
he had bought it at the docks. There is no evidence that he
said anything to anybody about the watch none. He gave
different accounts of the way he got them. He described
himself as buying the ring along with the chain. He stated
to one person that he had the ring sent to him by his father;
and in America, when he was questioned about the ring, he
said he had bought it at a shop in Cheapside, very probably
meaning that he got it at Mr. Death's. Gentlemen, you will

Charge to the Jury.

have to consider whether you see what is the reasonable con- Lord Chief
elusion to be drawn. He never has said on any occasion
that he bought the watch and chain at the docks.

SERJEANT PARRY Will your lordship pardon me? Mr.
Tanner said in evidence that in America his counsel stated that.

The LORD CHIEF BARON Oh, his counsel.

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL His counsel suggested it.

SERJEANT PARRY No, his counsel made that statement.

The LORD CHIEF BARON What he said in America was that
he had the watch two years, and the statement of his counsel,
as given by Mr. Tanner here, amounts to no evidence. The
statement here in London was that he bought the chain, and
he said nothing about the watch. I think it my duty to point
these matters out to you. I come now to the question as to
which I want to call the attention of my brother Parry. My
brother Parry suggests that there is no evidence that he did
not tell anybody in Amerca that he bought the watch at the

BARON MARTIN (referring to his notes) Inspector Tanner
says, " I did not hear him say he had purchased the watch
and chain at the docks. His counsel suggested that before
the magistrates at New York."

The LORD CHIEF BARON I want to call the attention of
brother Parry to the matter, in order that I may be correct
as to what he said. What I understood my brother Parry to
state was this that he bought the watch and chain at the
docks, and that he was quite aware that a transaction of that
sort could not be perfectly right. I understood my brother
Parry to say that every false statement the prisoner makes
in reference to that matter might be explained by his con-
sciousness that he was doing wrong. I call brother Parry's
attention to it in order that we may understand distinctly what
was intended to be conveyed to your minds, viz., that, instead
of committing the murder on Saturday, he bought on Monday
morning at the docks the watch and chain. That is his
account of it. Sunday is not a day for regular business,
but for the transfer of property obtained by robbery or other

Franz Muller.

Lord Chief illegal means, that is as good as any other day. Property
taken illegally on Saturday and sold on Monday morning is
not so likely a transaction as one of honest dealing, in which
Monday morning is the same to Saturday night as Tuesday
morning is to Monday. It is for you to consider how far that
is an apology for being in possession of these things, because
he was aware there was something wrong about his having
bought them; he therefore gave excuses and made awkward
statements about them. That is not the only thing. The
remarkable matter about this case is that every part of the
change of property the loss of the watch and chain and the
hat of Mr. Briggs, and the hat left in the railway carriage
by somebody, points with a certain degree of strength more or
less to the prisoner at the bar. Now, gentlemen, you have
to consider the question as to the hat. The hat is proved
to be Mr. Briggs's to such an extent that my learned brother
Parry did not deny that it probably was the hat.

SERJEANT PARRY I admitted that it was a hat sold by
Mr. Digance, but never that it was Mr. Briggs's.

The LORD CHIEF BARON My brother Parry does not admit
anything. No man can admit anything in a case like this;
but the hatter who made it said, " I made it for Mr. Digance,"
and Mr. Digance says, " I recognise this hat, as far as I can,
as having been made for Mr. Briggs." He speaks of it in
every respect as the hat. He says it had been cut down, and
in a manner in which no hatter would have cut it down, and
then he points out the peculiarity, which I do not think it
necessary to dwell upon. The hat, on being examined, turns
out to have been sewed in a manner which is said not to be
the practice of regular hatters, and apparently not the prac-
tice of second-hand hatters. I do not think it necessary to
call your attention to the evidence of the two hatters; they
both of them said they should not have altered a hat in that
way. It is for you to say whether, on the whole of the evi-
dence, it is or is not made out to your satisfaction that that
was the hat of Mr. Briggs. A remark was made by the
Solicitor - General which is of some force, that the
prisoner at the bar has had, and one is very glad
that he has had, the protection of a patriotic society

Charge to the Jury.

established for the protection of their countrymen, and Lord Chief
that no expense has been spared by them to get all the
information that could be obtained. It is for you to con-
sider whether half the industry and diligence which has resulted
in the production of those old hats that we saw I forget now
how many there were it is for you to consider whether, if
that diligence had been applied in finding out where the prisoner
bought this hat, which was bought certainly, according to his
own account, not more than a month from the date of the
murder whether half that diligence would not have found out
the very man who sold it to him, if anybody did sell it, and
the very man who altered it, if, in fact, anybody did alter it
but himself. On that question you will have to decide, but
it is a point in the case that appears to me to be worthy of
your consideration.

SERJEANT PABRT I beg pardon; but Mr. Digance said, at
the close of his evidence, " I will not swear that this is the
hat I sold to Mr. Briggs."

The LORD CHIEF BARON I dare say; but the question is
whether he believes that it was, and whether he furnished you
with sufficient material for you to believe that it was. A
man will not swear positively to a thing, but the question is,
does Mr. Digance speak with certainty, the certainty that
you have that I am speaking to you now? He cannot be
certain in that extreme sense. Well, then, gentlemen, you
will say how far the history of the hat leads you whether
it leads you to the conclusion that the hat which was found
in the box belonging to the prisoner at the bar was the hat of
Mr. Briggs. Then, with regard to the said hat that was found
in the railway carriage, undoubtedly it was some surprise to
all who are acquainted with the proceedings in criminal Courts
that evidence of such a character could be produced. It was
stated that that pattern of lining was not put into more than
three or four hats, and Mr. Walker himself said, " I got a
number of samples from France, and there were only one or
two of these, and certainly not more than two or three of the
hats that I have made that had this particular lining." Now,
gentlemen, it is for you to say what is the conclusion you
draw from this Mrs. Repsch said it had a remarkable lining,


Franz Muller.

Lord Chltf and that she never saw any other hat with the same kind of
Baron . .

lining. Well, then, when these different points of the case

lead one with each other to the same conclusion, it is for
you to say how far the union of more than one gives strength
to that conclusion, how far it is better if several
of them unite together in a conclusion, even though
not so perfect, and lead to a result more certain on
the whole. There is a case which, I think, will illustrate
what I mean. It is to be found in Mr. Starkie's book on
Evidence. A gentleman was robbed of his purse in a crowd.
He gave information to the police, and a man was appre-
hended, and a purse corresponding was found upon him. The
prosecutor was asked whether he could swear to any of the
pieces of money which were discovered in the purse. He said
he was convinced it was the same. Why? Because he said

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