Monday, November 19, 2012

Amanuensis Monday: Lodewijk Wesselo as an Expert Witness (1)

Amanuensis Monday is a weekly effort to transcribe family letters, journals, newspaper articles, and other genealogical and historical documents, first started by John Newark at the TransylvanianDutch blog. I will not only transcribe the documents, but also do a quick English summary and analysis of the document.

In an article about Lodewijk Wesselo, the following statement was made:

Mr. Wesselo is also reputed as an expert outside of his direct circle of clients. Several times he was named and heard as such during disagreements, both in front of a court as in other ways.”(1)

Of course I was interested in finding out more. However, with so little information to go on - it does not even say which period Lodewijk served as a witness - it's nearly impossible to go looking for court records. Unless I wanted to look through court records in three seperate cities, hoping he was called to testify in the place he lived. However, old newspaper gave me two court cases that actually made the news where he was named in the article, so I do have more information about two instances where he served as an expert witness. Today, I have transcribed the first newspaper article (2), and I also looked up the subsequent verdict in the case, because I was curious, which was in another newspaper article (3).

Below are the English translations of my Dutch transcriptions. Where the Dutch transcriptions are precise, I have taken a little bit of liberty with the translation - especially with antiquated Dutch terms - in order to keep it understandable for readers. It does not detract from the story, and anyone insterested in the original transcription can contact me; see the About Me page for that or simply leave a comment to this post.

Receiving Stolen Goods

The 48-year old jeweler M.S., partial recidivist, was tried in respect of receiving stolen goods again. Defendant was said to have intentionally received 12 silver ice cream scoops, an asparagus scoop, six fish cutleries and a decorative pin on 23 February last, while he knew these objects had been acquired through theft. He claimed that the scoops had been redeemed by his wife. Defendant submitted an invoice of the asparagus scoop.

He has sold the asparagus scoop to a gentleman and a lady.

Police inspector E.J. Bloemendaal seized several different objects. Defendant failed to register all the exchanged things.

Ms. B.A. Beukers, servant to Mr. Gerzon, stated that in January, in his house, a burglary was committed at which time several items were stolen. One day the witness walked along the Nieuwe Binnenweg and recognized in the jewelry store of the defendant the objects which were stolen from the house of the family Gerzon. She stated categorically that she recognized the objects, present as evidence at the hearing. She could not be mistaken.

Ms. M. Beukers, like her sister, said that she came by the shop and saw the objects there.

Mr. J. M. Gerzon, to whom the burglary was committed, summed up the missing objects and recognize the evidence as his property. Thereupon the witness 's wife was heard. There is for approximately f 3000 stolen from their home. Witness. L. Wesselo, as expert, said that he saw the lot at the firm of Van Kempen in The Hague. The pin is unsecured inspected within the country, it is an uncommon model.

Witness J. v.d. Velde, from The Hague, has received a party silver from the defendant in payment for an account.

Witness S. Johanson, accountant, confirmed this statement. The clerk P.J. the Kruyff was present at the exchange.

Witness G. Bon, traveling salesman, said he supplied the defendant different fish cutlery than those which were present as evidence at the hearing.

After hearing the witnesses F.P.H. Brescchier and J. H. Duhl, the D.A. took the floor, to take the indictment.

Mr. Gombault said it had been established that two witnesses had seen the objects, which were stolen from the home of Mr. Gerzon, in the defendant’s shop. Then His Honor extensively went over the statements of the defendant and the witnesses. The crime, said the speaker, is very serious. The defendant is a recidivist, he has already had one year imprisonment previously.

The demand was: 2 years imprisonment.

Mr. A. v.d. Wild, defendant’s attorney, believed that there can be no question of intentional healing. Speaker said that evidence of this was not supplied during this hearing. Counsel requested the immediate release of the defendant.

After having withdrawn into the Council Chamber, the Judge, Mr. Thomas, said the Court found no grounds to set the defendant free.

Ruling June 4 leading."(2)

"M.S., 48, jeweler, recidivist and detained because of receiving stolen goods, namely 12 silver ice cream scoops, an asparagus scoop, 6 fish cutlery and a decorative pin, all originating from theft, [sentenced] to one year in prison;"(3)


1. Life description Lodewijk Wesselo – Handwritten by himself, 1947, Familiearchieven: CBG, fa 00472, familiearchief Wesselo, Doos 1, portfolio 3, CBG, Den Haag.

2. "Recieving Stolen Goods," Rotterdamsch nieuwsblad, 29 May 1925, Lodewijk Wesselo as witness in a court case; digital image, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Historische Kranten ( : accessed 7 November 2012).

3. "Rulings," Rotterdamsch nieuwsblad, 4 June 1925; digital image, Koninklijke Bibliotheek Historische Kranten ( : accessed 7 November 2012). Excerpt pertaining to court case in newspaper clipping 29 May 1925.

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