London Life/Lives




William Samuel Walker 1852-1916




Morning Post, Wednesday 14th March 1888



Frauds Upon a Westend Tradesman



At the Marlborough Street Police Court on Tuesday afternoon, William Samuel Walker, clerk, Graylands Road, Peckham, was charged on remand with embezelling several sums of money belonging to Mr Swaebe, court dressmaker, his employer.  Accused was a general clerk, and had to pay the workpeople their weekly wages.  The allegation against him is that he had allowed payments to be entered in the books to a greater amount than what had actually been paid over, whilst wages has been invented in respect of other persons who, it was stated, had been away from work at the time. The main evidence against the accused was adduced by a fellow clerk who was called by the prosecution.  Frank William Jobson, a clerk, said that he was in the service of Mr Swaebe at a salary of 30s a week and his meals. The prisioner, who was witnesses senior, was in receipt of 2 5s a week.  About a year ago they had some conversation about the possibility of getting some money.  The prisioner, as far as he could remember, said something to the effect that they might get money by putting down the names of workers who were not employed at given time.  The question of discovery was discussed and both of them thought it was rather a dangerous thing to do.  Eventually they agreed to risk it by putting down the names in Mr Swaebe's wages book. The names, the time, the dates, and the rate of wages were, as a rule, entered by the prisioner, whilst the witness put down the amounts paid. As the workers came down into the counting house for their wages, Walker told him the amounts and witness paid them accordingly. The names were obtained on a Saturday on a sheet sent down by the manageress of the workroom.  In the book, as having been paid on Saturday week, were 16s 6d accredited to Miss Whiffen and 15s to Miss Bury, whereas the real amounts paid were to Miss Whiffen 13s 6d and to Miss Bury 12s. The difference of 6s witness and prisioner divided between them.  The total amount paid over that day was 45 4s 9d, but 47 4s 9d was entered, and the difference between the two divided as before.  This sort of thing had occured many times previously - in fact witness thought they had divided on every Saturday during the year. amounting to about 30 or 50.  They always agreed beforehand as to what to take,  by adding up wrongly and falisfying the books.  The false entries were generally made at the beginning of the follolwing week.  The prosecutor had confidence in them, and accepted their entries as correct. On Tuesday afternoon. Miss Shewry, forewomen, gave evidence as to certain workmen, whose names appeared in the wages book, being absent on the days in which they appeared, and several young women deposed to receiving wages of less amount than was entered. Mr Swaebe, having also given evidence, Detective Schmelzer stated that the accused, on being arrested, at first said that he wished he had never seen Jobson, who persuaded him to do it. Mr Newton committed the prisioner for trial.



The Morning Post, Thursday 22nd March 1888


Middlesex Sessions, Wednesday


(Before the Assistant Judge)


William Samuel Walker, 36, clerk, was indited for obtaining several sums of money by false pretences from Henry Sweabe of New Burlington Street.


The prosecutor's wife carries on the business of a Court milliner, and the prisioner had been in the employ of the firm for seven years as a confidential clerk. Among other duties, he had to make out the wages list, and it was alleged that he had so altered the returns as to make it appear that the young women in the employ of the firm had earned more wages than they were entitled to. 


The jury, after a brief absence, returned into court with a verdict of guilty, coupled with a recommendation to mercy.


The Assistant Judge sentenced him to twelve months imprisonment with hard labour.