Last update:
September 13th

living room logo

Old Bailey Proceedings - Trial Accounts
London's Central Criminal Court


17th September 1866

Horatio Cracknell, Robert Walker

Theft - extortion


830. HORATIO CRACKNELL (17) and ROBERT WALKER (19), Feloniously threatening Henry Cundell Juler to accuse him of an infamous crime, with intent to extort money.

MESSRS. WOOLLETT and POLAND conducted the Prosecution, and MESSRS. RIBTON and COOK the Defence.

HENRY CUNDELL JULER. I reside at No. 5, James Street, Hyde Park - I am a member of the College of Surgeons, and an M.D. of Aberdeen University - I am also one of the governors of St. Mary's Hospital - I have been in the habit of attending the Craven Hill Chapel, at Bayswater - the prisoner Cracknell was a member of that congregation, but has not been for some time - there was a youth's institute connected with the chapel, at which there have been soirees given from time to time - I and the prisoner have attended those soirees with the other members of the congregation -

I was first secretary to the institute for the first year, and afterwards vicepresident - in December, 1864, in consequence of my position at the institute, I gave a soiree at my own house, to which all the members of the institute, without exception, were invited - amongst the others, Cracknell came - his father is a plumber and glazier, and I employed him to do some work for me at my house - Cracknell assisted in doing that work - after-wards some work was to be done; I was to pay for the materials, and Cracknell was to find the labour; that was the arrangement - I was dissatisfied with the charges, and I declined to employ the father any further -

I employed another tradesman of the name of Stevenson instead, two or three doors off Cracknell's father - I cannot remember the date at which Cracknell was last employed for me, my solicitor has the bills - I should think it was about four months since - the prisoner afterwards applied to me for a character for honesty and integrity, and I declined to give such a character - while he was employed at my house the dog of a friend of mine that I had charge of, bit him - on Wednesday, the 5th of this month, I came home from evening service at Craven Hill Chapel about a quarter to nine - I did not find the two prisoners waiting in my dining-room when I got home -

I was subsequently informed that they were there waiting - I went into the dining-room and found them there - I had never seen Walker before, and did not know who he was - I had not seen Cracknell for some three or four months before - when I went into the room I said, "Oh! Cracknell, how are you? Will you be seated?" - the prisoners were very much confused apparently - Walker said, "He has come to speak to you, sir, upon what took place some time ago" - I said, "What do you mean?" - Cracknell said, "You know what I mean" - I said, "How should I know what you mean?" - Walker said, "He has come to speak to you, sir, about what you did together some nine months back" - I said, "What's that? Why don't you speak out?" - Cracknell hesitated and seemed not at all inclined to offer any explanation, and Walker said, "The fact is, sir, he accuses you of an abominable offence" -

I said, "Surely, Cracknell, you have not said such a thing as this of me?" - Cracknell said, "Yes, you know you did, and I will swear to it before any judge, but don't make a noise; nobody knows anything about it, and I should like to see you by yourself" - I said, "You vile fellow, what can have possessed you to make such a false charge as this?" - he said, "I would rather speak to you by yourself" - I said, "Mrs. Juler is in the next room, but I will ask her to step out if you wish" - I asked her and she stepped out - I then opened the door and Cracknell and myself walked in - Cracknell shut the door after him -

I immediately opened it, and said, "I can't see what you have to say to me alone; if you have got anything to say, why not speak out" - I found he would say nothing, and therefore Walker, who had entered the room when I opened the door, left it, and closed the door after him - I then said, "Now, Cracknell, what have you got to say?" - he kept his eyes fixed on the carpet, and played with the carpet with a stick that he had in his hand - I said, "I understand that you accuse me of indecent conduct?" - he said, "Yes, you know you did" - I said, "Tell me what I did. Do you intend to go so far as to accuse me of sodomy?" - he said, "I don't know what that is" - I said, "You cannot have been in workshops without knowing what that means" - he still hesitated, and said he did not know what it meant, and said, "Well, I will tell you what it is" (the witness here described the offence in question) -

he hesitated a minute or two, and then said, "Well, that is what you did to me" - I said, "Oh! pray, for God's sake, Cracknell, don't accuse me of such a thing as that; you surely don't know what you are doing; I never did such a thing as that in my life" - I then opened the door and said, "He accuses me of an abominable offence" -

Walker was then in the next room, the front room - there are two folding doors between the rooms - Cracknell said, "We will come and speak to you again; we will come again, sir" - I said, "What can be your motive for preferring such a charge as that against me?" - Cracknell said, "I was thinking of some compensation" - I said, "What do you mean by compensation?" - Walker said, "You see, sir, he has been ill, and a few pounds would be very useful to him just now" - I said, "Oh! I see your motive," and Cracknell said that he was prepared to swear before any judge, and Walker said that they intended to see it to the end - Cracknell seemed somewhat frightened and anxious to leave, and he said, "Sir, we will call again; when can we see you?" -

I said, "You can see me at any time" - Cracknell said, "We will come to-morrow night" - Walker said, "You know I cannot come to-morrow night," and Cracknell said, "Well, come on Friday night" - Walker said, "Yes, we will come on Friday night." Because, "said Cracknell," as you have joined me in this matter, I wish you to come again with me " - Cracknell then told me who the other young man was, that he was his cousin, and that his name was Robert Walker - I said, "Where does he live?" - he hesitated, and then said, "He will tell you that himself" - they then agreed to come at eight o'clock on Friday night -

I said, "I cannot think, Cracknell, what has possessed you to make such a false charge as this against me," and I said to his cousin, "I have to thank you for telling me what his motive was" - I said, "I have been a good friend to you, Cracknell," and Cracknell held out his hand and said, "Dr. Juler, I don't wish to be unfriendly with you" - I said, "How can we be friends? You must withdraw your statement, make an apology, and hope for my forgiveness" - Walker said, "Yes, you cannot be friends; you must apologise and ask his forgiveness" - I believe my servant Wesley then shewed them out of doors -

I did not take Cracknell's hand - directly after they had gone I communicated with my son, and arranged for him to be at home on the Friday when they came - On the Friday evening I was in the back drawing-room, and my son in the front room, a curtain being between - they both called about eight o'clock that night, and were shown up by Wesley, the page - I entered the back drawing-room and said, "Well, is it the same game to-night?" - they said, "Yes, sir, I suppose so" - I don't know which one said that - I said, "Have you well considered this matter?" - Cracknell said, "Yes, sir, and we intend to go on with it" - Walker said, "Yes, so would I" -

I said, "Well now, what do you accuse me of?" - Cracknell said, "Well, sir, the same as yesterday" - I said, "Well what is it that you accuse me of? Just state what I did, "and Cracknell said, "I don't know in what words to put it, sir," and then he said, "It is sodomy, sir" - I said, "Well, go on" - he said, "You did it to me several times," and Walker said, "You pulled *** as you know what would happen" - I kept asking them to go on, for I was anxious to hear the full statement, what they had to say -

Cracknell said, "You unbuttoned my trousers as I was leaning against the mantelshelf, and did it again" - when he said, "Sodomy, "he said, "There it is, it's out," and Walker said, "That's plain" - I said, "Well, that is what I did; now what do you want?" - Walker said, "He want's compensation, sir" - I said, "What is compensation? What do you mean by compensation?" - Cracknell said, "I don't know, sir, what such a thing as that is worth; I would not have such a thing as that said of me for 10£; I am inexperienced in these matters" -

I said, "Perhaps" - Walker said, "Well, we do read of things, where sometimes from 5£ to 500£ is given; I do not know what a judge would give in such a case" - I said, "Well, what do you want? How much do you want?" - Walker said they had not made up their mind as to what to ask - I said, "Oh! you have made up your minds what sum you were to ask before you came in" - they hesitated a long while, and I stepped out of the room a moment, and when I returned I said, "Well, how much?" - Cracknell said, "Well, sir, between 30£ and 40£" -

I said, "Oh! 30£ or 40£? I should think 10£ a handsome sum" - Cracknell said, "Well, if you look at it in that light, perhaps 10£ is a handsome sum when you consider that I had not any work to do for it," or words to that effect - Walker said, "The gentleman is only offering you a quarter of what you ask; take half" - they exchanged glances, and then Cracknell said, "It must be between 30£ and 40£, sir. I would not have such a thing as that said of me for 10£" -

I said, "Well, 40£ Now what are you going to do for this 40£?" - they both seemed astonished, and Walker said, "Do, sir?" - I said, "Yes. What protection are you going to give me for this 40£? How do I know that you, Cracknell, have not mentioned this to some one else?" - he said, "I will give you my word of honour, sir, I have not mentioned it to any one" - I said, "Why you have mentioned it to your cousin" - he said, "Ah! sir, but only to him" - I said, "How do I know that Walker has not mentioned it to some one else?" -

Cracknell said, I will pledge you my word that he has not; have you?" (addressing Walker), and Walker said, "No, I am sure I have not" - I said, "How do I know that you will not mention it to some one else?" - Walker said, "Well, we will give you a paper; we will write on a paper," and the boy Wesley brought me up the inkstand and paper - Cracknell said, "Draw up something yourself, sir" - I said, "No, I have nothing to do in it; you come here for money, you give the paper" -

Cracknell then took the paper and commenced writing, and after having written a paper he pushed it to me and said, "Will that do, sir?" - I said, "No; you have not mentioned here what you charge me with; you have not mentioned the sum of money you require" - Walker said, "No, you must put both them in" - Cracknell said (addressing Walker), "Perhaps you will draw out the paper yourself" - Walker said to Cracknell, "You must put both in, both the nature of the offence and the sum required" -

Cracknell kept writing on this piece of paper, filling it up, and he then handed it to Walker to transcribe it on to another piece, a clean sheet, and said, "Perhaps you will write it out" - Walker said, "Oh! no; you draw it up" - Cracknell then tore the piece of paper into many pieces, after having copied it, and after writing the paper he pushed it to me, and asked if that would do - I said, "Yes, I think that will do if you will sign it" - they hesitated a little, particularly Walker, and then affixed their signatures to the paper -

I have omitted to say that before this I said to them," Supposing I don't give you the 40£, what will you do?" - Cracknell said, "I intend to push it; I can swear to it before any judge" - and Walker said, "Yes, we will give you in charge and see it to the end" - that was on the Friday, after the writing was suggested by Walker - he asked me what sort of protection I should require, and I said the kind of protection I should require would be a retractation of the statement, an apology for having made such a statement, and an expression hoping that I might forgive him, and Walker said, "Why, if we were to admit that statement to be untrue, you would call in the police, and we should be transported for life" - and Cracknell said, "No, I am ready to swear it before any judge" -

This is the paper that was signed by the prisoners - it was drawn up and signed in my presence. (Read) "September 7, 1866. Robert Walker, of 91, Cirencester Street, Harrow Road, and Horatio Cracknell, of 8, Sheldon Street, Bishop's Road, hereby pledge themselves not to divulge or mention to anybody whatever the indecent conduct of Dr. Juler towards Horatio Cracknell upon one occasion of sleeping together, upon condition of having received a sum of 40£ for the same. Signed: H. W. Cracknell, Robert Walker."

That document was pushed towards me by Cracknell, and I immediately rose up, and said, "Edward, will you witness this" - that was to my son, who was behind the curtain; he is twenty-four years of age - he rushed forward, and Cracknell, turning very pale, reached his hand out and seized hold of the paper, and, looking at Walker said, "I told you this would be so when we came in" - Walker rose and seized hold of Cracknell's hand to wrest the paper from him, and eventually my son took it away from Cracknell and placed it in his pocket, Walker saying, "It is no use" -

I took the paper from my son, left the room, and showed it to my wife - I sent for a constable - my son locked the door, and put the key in his pocket - the constable came, and I gave the prisoners into custody - after they were in custody the constable asked them when this occurred, and Cracknell said, "About nine months ago" - they were ultimately taken to the station, and after some time the charge was entered by the acting inspector - I think I was at the station an hour and a half - some law books were consulted - the officer said he did not know how to take the charge - I did not pay the prisoners any money - there is no truth whatever in the charge that they made against me - it is the vilest, and the most false, and the most cruel charge.


Q. How long have you known Cracknell?

A. I should think nearly two years - I think I first knew him about the early part of '65 - I am sure of that - I might have known him in '64 (referring to a paper) - I am looking at a programme of a soiree that was held in '65 at the church, and I think that it was in the early part of '65 that I knew Cracknell - I think it is very likely that I may have known him at the latter end of '64, but I cannot call it to memory - he tells me now he is about seventeen years of age - he would be about fifteen in '64 -

I knew him first by his father coming to put in a pane of glass at mine - I cannot tell whether it was in'64 - my solicitor has the bill; he can tell - the father said his son was at the institute, of which I was co-secretary (looking at some bills) - the first bill is not amongst these - these are partly Cracknell's own bills, and partly his father's - the last I have got here is February 28th, 1865 - I am not sure whether that was the first bill or not - that was not the first time he did work at mine - the institute consisted of a number of young men who attended the church - they thought they should like a discussion class, to attend on their spare evenings - it was not held in any particular month, but generally in the winter months -

it was kept up while there were any attendants, in November, December, and January - there are meetings held in February and March, but generally after Christmas there are not so many attending - I think I first saw Cracknell at the next meeting of the institute, at the discussion class - the soirees I speak of were evening gatherings, sometimes at my house, and sometimes at the chapel - there was one in February, 1865 - it is impossible for me to say whether it was at that soiree that I first saw Cracknell - I do not exactly remember when I first saw the father, therefore I cannot say - there was a soiree in November, 1864, at which I met the boy - there might have been one in December - I will not undertake to swear that I did not see him there -

I was in the habit of bringing the boys up to my door after the soiree, when they left me and bade me good night - they accompanied me voluntarily; I did not bring them - I did not bring Cracknell home to my house to supper after a meeting at the chapel at the latter end of 1864, not to the best of my recollection - his father did not come and ring the bell and ask for him, nor did I answer it and tell him that his son was going to stay all night: I swear that - I have not the least remembrance of it - it is not likely at all, because I do not answer my own door - I never told the father on any occasion that he was going to stay all night, or anything like it -

I say most emphatically that he never did stay all night - I did not state at the police-court, in the presence of three constables, "I admit the boy stayed at my house all night" - the sergeant did not reply, "What! in your bed?" nor did I answer, "Yes, in my bed" - I know that man (Sergeant Eames) - I saw him at the station - he put questions to me and I answered them - I did not say that to him - it is quite a misapprehension - they kept me talking for an hour and a half at the police station - the sergeant said, "Has he ever stayed a night at your house?" and I said, "He may or may not; but not to my knowledge," that was all - it is not at all likely that he said, "What! in your bed?" and that I answered, "Yes, in my bed" -

I swear I did not say it - I know James Millard - he was in my service at the latter end of 1864 - he left at the beginning of 1865 - I gave him verbal notice to leave me on the 10th of December, and I gave him a written one on the 19th of December, 1864, and he left on January 19th, 1865 - I do not remember while he was in my service in the winter of 1865 bringing Crackwell home to supper on the evening of a meeting at the Craven Hill Chapel - I will swear to the best of my recollection that I did not - I am sure I do not know that Millard left Cracknell and myself in the dining-room at supper - he was not always up when I came home from the meetings - he did not leave me there with Cracknell at supper;

I swear that - it is a long time ago - it might have happened, not at supper, if the boys had walked home with me to my door from the institute I have some-times had coffee waiting for me and I have said, "Children, will you stop and have a cup of coffee?" and they have generally refused to do so; and as to supper, I have no set supper, I never take suppers - I can state that Cracknell, to the best of my recollection, never came to supper at mine - to the best of my recollection, he and I were never left alone in the drawing-room by Millard -

I swear that Cracknell was never with me in my bed - Millard did not bring up a jug of hot water in the morning and see Cracknell in my bed - Cracknell and I did not breakfast together in the morning at my house - I never breakfasted with Cracknell; I swear that - I have never been in the habit of giving boys cigars to smoke - I gave one boy a cigar to smoke who suffered from asthma; that was Ross - I have never given Millard cigars to smoke - I did not like him well enough, and there was no occasion to give my servants cigars to smoke -

I swear I never gave him brandy-and-water to drink - he was never in my bed - I never saw Mrs. Cracknell in my life till the other night - I do not know John Kirk, a railway porter (Kirk was called in) - I do not know that man - I have never seen him until he has been hovering about this court - I swear most positively that I do not know the man - I never saw him till I saw him hovering about here for the last two or three days.

Q. Then I suppose it is not true that in the summer of last year that man found you and another man standing under the railings of Kensington Park practising or committing some indecency?

A. You ask me if it is true, nothing could be more wretched and abominable, and it only shows plainly the line of defence that you have been asked to take in such a case - nothing could be more abominable - I deny it most positively - I thought he was something of the police kind by the look of him, hovering about outside, and peering into the windows where I was, in a most extraordinary way - but this is a most abominable thing to say, a most cruel thing to say - I swear I never saw him before - at the first part of the conversation Walker said this occurred some time ago, and then afterwards he said nine months ago - that was further on in the conversation -

I could not say whether I made use of the expression, "Nine months ago," before the magistrate, unless I saw my deposition - I know that what I said before the magistrate was true - I spoke from the best of my memory - I cannot say why I omitted it before the magistrate - I was about two hours in giving my evidence, I had been up all night, and had been in a dreadful state with these young men before-hand, and I may have omitted it - I did not call in a constable at the first interview, because I could not clearly understand what he meant by his statement, and because I thought, as he came with a witness and made such a statement as that, I would have it repeated before a witness, and I thought I would go and consult my son what he would advise me to do under tile circumstances -

they came creeping into the house, they mights have perhaps watched me from church, and they made this statement in a low voice and said, "Don't make a noise," and they got Mrs. Juler out of the neighbouring room, so that she could be no witness - I went into the other room to speak to him alone at his earnest wish - I did not know the full extent that he meant, and I wished to know clearly what he did mean - I surmised of course - when he named that he accused me of an abominable offence I knew there was something of that kind - instead of sending for a constable, I took him into a private room and said, "Now, Cracknell, what have you got to say?" and then, what I have stated took place.

Cracknell wrote this paper - I did not dictate it or suggest a word - he asked his cousin whether he should put their address, and he said, "Yes, you had better " - it was the constable who took them in charge who asked Cracknell when this happened, to which he replied, "Nine months ago" - I do not know his name.

MR. WOOLLETT Q. What time was it when you got to the police-station?

A. About ten o'clock I think - I saw a woman there when I got there - I now know her to be Mrs. Cracknell - the policeman took down a book several times - the officer who was called in just now was not the policeman who took down the book, I do not see him here - I was kept there until past twelve o'clock - I then went at once to my solicitor - it was about three o'clock when I got to his house, and next morning, having been up the whole night, I went and gave evidence at the police-court -

it was at the second examination, when I first heard it suggested that this occurred two years ago - Millard was a discharged servant of mine - he applied to me for a character and I gave him one, but it was not a character which enabled him to take an indoor situation, because he was not fit for it - I have never in my life been charged with any indecency of any kind whatever, directly or indirectly, in any shape or form whatever.

HENRY EDWARD JULER. I am a medical student at St. Mary's Hospital, and am twenty-four years old - in consequence of some communication I received from my father, I placed myself behind the curtain in the front drawing-room on Friday evening, 7th September - I could partly see into the room, and was not seen - the prisoners came into the back drawing-room - I was examined as a witness before the magistrate, Mr. Mansfield, and heard my father give his evidence - it was correct in every respect -

I heard my father call, "Edward" - I entered the back drawing-room through the curtain, and saw Cracknell and Walker, and my father - Cracknell was trying to get a written paper from near my father's hand - I don't know whether he was holding it or not; he was snapping at it - Cracknell said to Walker as I entered, "I told you it would be so" -

I saw Walker try to get the paper - I told Cracknell to give me the paper, and I took it from his hand - they were very much frightened, both of them, and Walker said, "I suppose, sir, you intend to give us in charge? This is just what I expected you would do if you were innocent" - my father gave them a good talking to, and he took the paper from me and went down-stairs - I locked the door, and remained in the room with the prisoners - in about twenty minutes a constable came, and they were given into custody.

Q. Did you hear anything said by either of the prisoners as to the time this was said to have occurred? -

A. I heard Cracknell say nine months ago - I went to the police-station with my father - my father said, "Cracknell may have slept at my house, or he may not; but I have not the slightest recollection of it" - he did not say that he had slept in his bed


Q. Did you hear Sergeant Eames ask him if it were true that the boy had slept at his house?

A. Yes - I did not hear my father reply that he did.

MR. JUSTICE WILLES was of opinion that this evidence could not be given It was matter for the cross-examination of the prosecutor; but it was immaterial to the issue whether he was innocent or guilty of the charge made against him by the prisoners.

CHARLES JABEZ WESLEY. I am in Dr. Juler's service - the prisoners came there on Wednesday night, 5th September - Dr. Juler saw them in his dining-room - they came again on Friday evening, and he saw them in the drawing-room - on the bell being rung, I fetched pen, ink, and paper into the drawing-room.

Cracknell 's Statement before the Magistrate: - "Dr. Juler can't say before me that it is not true - I could point out the very place where it occurred."

The prisoners received good characters.

[Verdict: Guilty - Punishment: Seven Years' each in Penal Servitude]



navigation map
If you can't use the map, use these links.
HALL Lounge Living Room Memorial
Our Bedroom Guestroom Library Workshop
Links Awards Map