Brighton

Jany 24th/85

Dear Sir

Mr T S Stocker

I am much obliged to you for your letter of yesterday-and for sending me the catalogue of the sale of Mr Stokers Effects-Certainly I much wish that some one or other cognisant of the circumstances had been benevolent enough to afford me an inking of what was taking place before all these costly articles had been dispersed-things which have been purchased-there can be no reasonable doubt with the money that this man has been embezzling of mine for years past.

It is manifest that such an auction of valuables cannot have been amassed, and that expensive and extensive tastes-ranging from “Hand painted China” to Blunderbuss’s and Curiosities of all sorts-embezzling art, literature, music and natural history-and with field sports and handicrafts into the bargain-cannot have been thus indulged in without great expenditure of money (not to mention the expenditure of time which he was liberally paid for but neglected to give to other purposes)

It is clear also, and undenied even by himself but fully admitted both by word of mouth and in letters which I have-that he has collected large sums of rents for me which he has never accounted for-say £100 at the least and is further clear that he made short work of immediately appropriating to his own use, and has never paid to re-credited me with a farthing of that additional £70 which you so very unfortunately left in his hands notwithstanding my having thought is sufficiently xxxxxx to telegraph the request on August 19th / 82 that all the rents he had collected might be taken out of his hands-and further still, I am extremely sorry to say I have ascertained on going carefully through the Gas Accounts only within the last 2 days, that (unless he can explain otherwise which I do not see a possibility of) Mr Stocker has been systematically robbing me in that department also, at the rate of £30 a year-the defalcations from the beginning of 1882 up to the time of my desxxxxxsing him at the end of September 1884 (which is as far back as I have tested at present) amounting to £85 14 3½ -Another thing which, lastly, there can be little doubt of is, that the game being up as the saying goes, this sale is simply a preliminary  step to decamping with the whole of the plunder that can be xxxxxxx- My object then in writing today is the request that whatever steps of any sort can be lawfully & properly taken to defeat that purpose and to recover the money which this scandalous sale has produced, or as much of it as can be discovered, may be at once taken without a moments delay-

The reports of analogous cases which unfortunately appear almost daily in the papers must be very misleading if the Law is too weak to xxxxxx one to follow up misappropriated funds when there is an assemblage of condemning facts such as I above have recapitulated-and most painful though it is to myself and sorry as I am to give you such an unpleasant task- nevertheless it is a course which ought not I think to be shrunk from-considering the unbounded confidence I had by degrees come to the man and the unscrupulous way he has abused it-stopping short only at the point beyond which would have involved immediate conviction-and from first to last xxxxxxxx no contrition or regret and making no sort of practical offer of restitution-although well able as it proves to have done so.

Of course if he were to tender restitution now by surrendering the money and if it could be accepted without incurring the imputation of compromising dishonesty-that would alter the case, and I should truly glad to be saved the necessity for further proceedings-but he must also at the same time give up the very large quantity of papers, account books and correspondence extending over a great number of years, which he still has belonging to me-which I asked him especially for at Christmas, and was promised, but have never received – and if you are under the necessity of taking stern steps to get the money, I must beg that in that case all the books and letters and papers of every sort in his possession relating to all departments of my business may be seized on my behalf as well as the funds

I write in haste

And xxxxx Dear Sir

Yours truly

George E Dering

Edward Oran Esq

Messers Sworders and Longmore

Hertford