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Author Topic: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849  (Read 3046 times)

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Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #80 on: October 18, 2017, 09:36:11 AM »
and we know that it wasn't uncommon for those who claimed to be manufacturers to be merely wholesalers

Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #81 on: October 18, 2017, 09:56:30 AM »
Indeed.

And funnily enough the description in that same link on the same page as above, of the items Varnish was showing at the Exhibition (no 32.) is not dissimilar to what Mellish was showing at 16. on that page.

Varnish is shown as 'Pat.' though, not as 'Des. and Prod' as Mellish is.


Mellish listing:
'16.  Mellish, T.R. 118 Regent Street, Des. and Prod.- Glass silvered vases; glass globes, mounted on eagles, Atlases, &c. Silvered by the pat. Varnish & Co Berners St.'

Varnish listing:
'32. Varnish, E. 48 Berners Street. Pat, Plateaux. Vases. Salvers &c., in silvered glass. Glass globes, mounted on eagles, Atlases, and ornamental stands.'

see photograph attached .

Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #82 on: October 18, 2017, 11:09:29 AM »
here we go peeps!!

https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/print.jsp?div=t18511124

See the Old Bailey no 60 for what happened to F.H. Thomson, Mr Mellish and where Powell's came into it hopefully.  And how they link to Mr Varnish.

It looks like Mellish was a prisoner??? (misspelt 'Hellish' in the article)

(you will need to scroll down to it.  If you can't find it on my link, then put control f and put in Mellish in the search box - it should come up)

I've not read it yet - hope it's interesting

Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #83 on: October 18, 2017, 11:26:29 AM »
W@W (sorry couldn't resist) M. Well done. You've solved it, I think., and it is interesting. At over 11,000 words it's too long to read online, so if anyone would like a nice pdf to print out, email me via the envelope under my name. Think you need to include your actual email address in the email for me to send you an attachment.

Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #84 on: October 18, 2017, 12:02:49 PM »
Thank you  ;)

I've read it now. 

Old Bailey Proceedings 24th November 1851

Basically, embezzlement by Mr Mellish and a Mr Douglas.  and embezzeling funds from Mr F. H. Thomson.

Mr Powell of Whitefriars glassworks gave Mellish a good reference;
Mr Lund of Fleet Street gave Mellish a good reference;
amongst others quoted in the court case who also gave Mellish a good reference.

Mr Lund appears to have had an unhealthy interest in Mr F. H. Thomson's silvering process - seems to have wanted to use it for his inkwells.

Mellish doctored the invoices from the workers to F. H. Thomson, and then only paid the invoicee the original amount they'd invoiced.  Presumably pocketed the balance.

There also appears to have been a payment made on an invoice that was wrong ie. Over by a huge amount from Powell's.  Perhaps Mellish was doctoring the bills from Powell's on the basis that he was the one with the relationship with them and Mr Thomson wouldn't know any different and wouldn't check them?  Funny how glass prices were reduced significantly once Mellish was sent into custody:

'Q. Do you know that Mr. Douglas, by any steps he took, was the means of reducing your expenditure at all? A. I know he has checked Powell's bills, and after Mellish left he did the same, and he reduced the bills certainly—we dealt in a small way with a person named Sago—I cannot say whether or not that it was at Douglas's suggestion, that we should save a considerable percentage, but we did get some things there, and saved a considerable percentage—I do not know that we got them seventy per cent below the price we were paying Powell's, but it was considerably less—Douglas had no authority to reduce the expenditure while he was under Mellish; but after Mellish left, I remember an instance of his checking a bill of Powell's, when there was a mistake of 20l., and it was immediately allowed, and I believe he was the means of reducing other expenditures after Mellish left.'


Poor old F.H. Thomson appears to have been scammed to pay for machinery, carpenters, desks, rents, trips to Paris etc, and also appears to have ended up overpaying for his glass (with the money going in Mellish's pocket?)

Mellish went down for 10 years.
His assistant Douglas went down for 7 years.




Funny (peculiar as opposed to funny haha) how Mr Mellish had an exhibitor stall at the Great Exhibition but poor old Mr F. H. Thomson whose invention the silvering process and double walled vessels was, and whose money appears to have paid for everything, seems to have not got a mention in the Catalogue?  I need to do some more searching on that because Mr F. H. Thomson says that he did exhibit:

'I took out a third patent in the conclusion of 1850, in my name, and that of Mellish—it was for improvements in staining and cutting glass for the purpose of silvering cutting it in a peculiar manner—I did not make articles under that patent—I am not aware that any were in the Exhibition. I exhibited some articles of double hollow work of every description—Mr. Deane has got the list of articles exhibited from our firm—Mellish had no joint-interest in any manufacture connected with the silvering of glass, that I am aware of; it was never carried out—I saw the patent that I and Mellish took out; the agent who took it out for us was Mr. Cartmell—I believe I and Mellish saw him previous to taking it out; we asked him his opinion; it was in the autumn of 1850—I cannot swear which of us described the patent to Mr. Cartmell, it was taken out conjointly—it was described as a patent for cutting, staining, silvering, and fixing articles of glass—I cannot speak to the very words—I believe I understood the invention thoroughly when I went to Mr. Cartmell—I thought I did at the time—I had gone through the matter myself—I do not know that anybody told me what it was—I swear Mellish did not tell me the whole process, he might have suggested some portion of it, and I believe he did; he suggested some portion of the cutting, as a practical man—he had not been engaged in the silvering of glass for eighteen months; he had nothing to do with the scientific part—I did not direct Mr. Cookney to draw up a paper and present it for the signature of Mellish; the matter was talked over by Mellish, myself, and Mr. Cookney, but I am not aware that I gave any special instructions on the subject—Mr. Cookney did draw up a

paper for Mellish to sign after I bad got the last patent; Mellisb refused to sign it—I did not tear it op, I believe it is in Mellish's possession—I did not present it to him, I cannot say whether Mr. Cookney did—Mellish eventually refused to me to resign his interest in that patent, after telling me two or three times that he would—I was present when the agreement was presented to him, but whether it was tendered to him to sign, I do not know—I was not present when it was thrown on the fire—






Also interesting that Mellish had LEFT employment with Mr F. H.Thomson in May 1851! Funny that the Great Exhibition was held May 1851-October 1851:


contd/
'I did not say I had thrown it on the fire—it was about the spring of 1851 that he refused to relinquish his interest in the patent; it was at Berners-street—I think it was in May this year that he left my service, about a month or six weeks after he had refused to relinquish his interest—'



Mellish had a stand at the Great Exhibition as per the catalogue list:
'Mellish listing:
'16.  Mellish, T.R. 118 Regent Street, Des. and Prod.- Glass silvered vases; glass globes, mounted on eagles, Atlases, &c. Silvered by the pat. Varnish & Co Berners St.'

I will cut and paste the information re the patents and who had them at some point.


m

Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #85 on: October 18, 2017, 02:12:22 PM »
This is a different report - it is a later report of continuation of the case perhaps??? from 1852.
Christine if you do a pdf of this as well please may I have a copy?  Thanks so much.

This is important to read.

The sums of money involved are humongous. It appears Thomson was embezzled out of thousands of pounds.
It appears in this second report case, that Mellish was embezzling wages from the employees as well reporting them as having wages paid when in fact they were off sick and did not receive a penny.




Reference Number: t18520510-502

502. THOMAS ROBERT MELLISH and JAMES DOUGLAS were indicted for unlawfully conspiring to cheat and defraud Frederick Hale Thomson, and others, their masters.
MESSRS. CLARKSON, BALLANTINE, and DEARSLRY conducted the Prosecution.

https://www.oldbaileyonline.org/browse.jsp?name=18520510

scroll down to number 502.

1) It seems from this account that Powell and sons definitely made at least one inkwell, and that Mr Thomson did the silvering:

'...
Q. When you first became acquainted with him, had he not an inkstand which belonged to Mr. Lund, which he was desirous of having silvered on your plan?
(Mr Thomson speaking here)
A. Some inkstands were sent, as I understood, by Mr. Lund, for me to try the process of silvering on, which I did—I cannot say whether Mellish brought them, but he knew of their being there—I believe he was
busy about them for Mr. Lund before I engaged him—it was found that that inkstand, which was not a double hollow one, could not be so silvered as that the silver should resist the operation of the ink within it—Mulish did not then invent the double hollow inkstand which was afterwards silvered—I suggested it myself, in consequence of silvering Mr. Lund's inkstands and finding them fail—I suggested the idea of the double hollow to Mr. Mellish, and he, after a considerable period, did get one made at Messrs. Powell's by my direction—I then silvered it over; that answered—I believe Mellish was working for me at the time—I believe it was not before—I cannot quite recollect, but to the best of my belief he was working for me, carrying out this at Messrs. Powell's—I hired him to go to Messrs. Powell's.
COURT. Q. When was your first introduction to him by Mr. Powell? A, In the autumn of 1849; I had never seen him before—it was after that that this conversation took place about the inkstand—I believe it was after I had entered into the verbal agreement with him—I took him for the very purpose of making the inkstand and other things—I have no doubt in my own mind it was after, for I hired him especially to go to the glass house—before he came, I had been in the habit of silvering glass, but not enclosing it in the glass.'




2) It seems that the Thomson and Mellish patent was never put into operation anyway:

(this is Thomson speaking)
'...
in Aug. 1850, Mellish and I became joint patentees of an invention for improvements in cutting, staining, and silvering glass—it was understood if I look the patent out and paid for it, that he merely as my workman should assign it for a consideration—I asked him to fulfil the engagement he had made, and he declined to resign his interests in the patent—I may perhaps state that the patent was never completed, for the machinery to carry it out bad never been made- ...'



3) More evidence here that Thomson and Varnish glass was being made at Powell's
Varnish speaking here about Mellish
'...
in the evening he would go down to Messrs. Powell's glass works, and be there perhaps half the night, getting things made under his own inspection—they were things which he had designed, made drawings of, and carried out—that was perhaps three or four times a week—he was also obliged to examine every article which had been made under his direction by the outdoor workmen, and see that it was properly made and determine the price to be properly charged for it—he was constantly occupied in the business—...'

Offline Lustrousstone

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #86 on: October 18, 2017, 02:31:45 PM »
Will do. This one requires a bit of tidying for easier reading. Both will be available later - ideal bedtime reading for insomniacs!!

Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #87 on: October 18, 2017, 02:42:54 PM »
having got to the end of that report (skim reading)
it says

' (A great number of witnesses deposed to the good character of Mellish.)
NOT GUILTY .

NEW COURT.—Wednesday, May 12th, 1852.
PRESENT—Mr. Ald. KELLY; Sir WILLIAM MAGNAY, Bart., Ald.; Mr. Ald. FARNCOMB; and Mr. COMMON SERGEANT.
Before Mr. Common Sergeant and the Fifth Jury.
'


ooh! Presumably the case continues on Wednesday May 12th 1852.  And the words 'NOT GUILTY' is his plea rather than the final outcome??

uhh, that means we need to find the 12th May court proceedings.

Offline flying free

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #88 on: October 18, 2017, 02:51:28 PM »
I have edited my post above Christine.

There must be another transcript of the 12th May 1852 court proceedings.
sigghh - I'll have a quick look to see if I can find it but then I've got to go out.

m

Offline KevinH

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Re: E.Varnish mercury glass with embossed seal, circa 1849
« Reply #89 on: October 18, 2017, 02:53:07 PM »
Well found m.  ;D

This all sounds like the making of a good TV drama.
KevinH

 

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