Dr Mike Baldwin : Organologist : Historian : Researcher : Writer : Harp maker : Restorer
Theft: Mr Van Bever (piece worker for Erard) versus Adele Dupierre

The Burlington-Arcade Case, The Examiner, 28 September 1844, p.12.


At Marlborough street Adele Dupierre underwent a second examination, on a charge of having stolen a large quantity of shoes, the property of Mr Van Bever, shoemaker.  

Mr Van Bever underwent a very long cross-examination by Mr Lumley. He had been twenty-nine years in England, and all that period in the service of Mr Erard, the harp maker. Kept a shoe shop about eighteen years, but was a harp machinist. Worked piece-word for Mr Erard. Had quarreled with his wife, and had been two or three times brought to this court for alleged assaults.  

The prisoners had been first engaged two or three years ago. She had left for nearly two years, and had been re-engaged in consequence of his former shopwoman leaving him. It was as “false as h-ll” to say that at any time he had either given her shoes to pawn, or had authorized her to pawn shoes. Had never asked the prisoner to meet him at night. Had given money to his wife the last time he was in Paris. Was not in the receipt of 30s. a week as wages for Mr Erard. Found his earning enough for his expenses without having occasion to abstract money from his shoe business.  

Here Mr Van Bever’s patience appeared to fail. He said, “What have my private actions and my domestic affairs to do with the cast? I have been robbed, and I come here for justice. I appeal to the court for protection against such nonsense as is going forward.” Mr Lumley said he should presently show that the probably solution of the deficiency in the stock was, that Mr Van Bever had taken the property, and caused it to be pawned for his own private ends. Mr Van Bever emphatically repeated that he had never authorized, at any time, the pawing of shoes or boots. Cross-examined continued: The receipts in the shop had fallen off very much within the last week or two. He had received information that the prisoner had sent customers to another shop in the arcade. On taking stock had found about 105 pairs of shoes and boots deficient. The shopman to Mr Wood produced samples of 75 pairs of shoes, which the prisoner had pledged at the shop since August. The prisoner had been in the habit of pawning shoes at his employer’s shop for some years; at a period when she was not in Mr Van Bever’s employ.  

The prisoner, when called upon for her defence [sic], in broken English said she had never known anything about pawning shoes until sent by Mr Van Bever. Mr Maltby felt it to send the case to jury. Mr Van Bever’s solicitor said he now had to make a charge of arson against the prisoner, but the magistrate decided that the present charge must first be dispose of.