Opium: Dodgy Acquisitions

The plaintiff is a wholesale chemist and druggist at Bishopsgate Street Within, and bought some parcels of opium, varying from 351b. to 45lb., from a person named Dudley, who is since dead. He had also purchased a parcel of 23 ½ lb. from a person named Crane, a dealer in drugs, in 1861. Both these parcels had been put into boxes and forwarded to Mr Lindo for sale … On the 19th July, Whicher, the detective … called on the plaintiff, and interrogated him as to where and from whom he obtained the last parcel. The plaintiff … refused to tell. The officers took him to the office of the London Docks, where questions were put to him, but he still refused to give any information. The plaintiff commenced an action against Mr Lindo to recover the cases of opium … A ship called the Brenda had brought over a valuable cargo of 101 chests of opium, and according to the statement of Mr Brooks, an opium broker … the cargo of the Brenda was the best of the kind that had been exported to this country for years … The defendants had been robbed of a part of the Brenda’s cargo, and it was contended that the opium in dispute formed a part of the stolen property … The jury intimated that they entertained a very strong opinion in favour of the defendants … A verdict was entered for [them].

O’Neill, Gilda. The Good Old Days: Poverty, Crime and Terror in Victorian London (p. 71). Endeavour Press. Kindle Edition.