30. William Newington , of London, Gent . was indicted for falsely making, and forging, and causing to be made and forg'd, in the Name of Thomas Hill, a Paper Writing, purporting in itself an Order for the Payment of 120 l. - which Order is contained in the Words and Abbreviations following.
Sir Fra. Child and Comp.
Pray pay unto Sir Rowland Hill, Bart. or Bearer, the Sum of One Hundred and Twenty Pounds, and place it to the Account of
To Sir Fra. Child, and Comp. Temple-Bar.
Francis Child , Samuel Child , John Morse , and Barnaby Bakewell , of the said Sum. June 27 .
The Indictment farther charged the Prisoner with assisting in making and forging the said Order. June 27.
And likewise with uttering and publishing the said Note, knowing it to be false, forg'd and counterfeit. June 27. *
* Note. We are obliged for want of Room, to refer the Reader for the Form of this Indictment, to Cross's Trial; Sessions Book, No. 5. P. 89. Erratum, in that Indictment, line the 13, for Car. read Cross.
The Councel for the Prosecution observ'd to the Jury, that the Indictment charged the Prisoner with three Sorts of Offences, viz With making and forging the Note. With assisting in the making and forging it; and with uttering and publishing it, knowing it to be forg'd and counterfeit; every one of which Species of Forgery was by a late Act punishable with Death. And tho' all the three Offences were charged upon the Prisoner, yet, if he should be so unhappy as to fall under the Proof of any of them, it would be equally fatal to him. And that whoever consider'd the wild Havock, Forgery was capable of making among the Properties of Mankind, would cease wondering that the Law should so severely punish it, and rather be surprised that this Punishment was not annex'd to the Crime, by the antient Laws of the Land; for if the Breach of other Laws of Society is punish'd with Death, how much less punishment is that Crime worthy of, that tends to destroy all Commerce. It was farther observ'd, that this Species of Robbery was the very worst that a Man could be guilty of, for a Person might guard against private Robbers, by caution; against publick ones, by Strength; but against Forgery, no Vigilance could protect; no Strength could defend. And, That it was matter of Concern, to see One so young in Years, capable of being charged with a Crime of this Nature, &c. &c.
John Holloway , Porter. The Prisoner at the Bar, sent me with the Note, from Child's Coffee-House in St. Paul's Church-Yard. He took it out of a Pocket Book, and wrote something on the Back of it, then he gave it to me, to carry to Sir Francis Child 's, and to receive 120 l. for him. I was to have 3 d. and no more. Accordingly I carry'd it as I was order'd by the Prisoner, and gave it to a Gentleman in the Shop: He shew'd it to others, and they all seem'd to be in a little sort of a Study; after which they told me, I might go, but they believ'd the Note was not good. I desired them to give me the Note again, and send somebody with me to the Coffee-House, where the Gentleman that gave it me, waited for my return. They did not send any body with me, so I came alone to the Coffee-House, but the Gentleman was gone, and had left Word that he was gone to the Faculty Office, in Doctor's-Commons. I went thither, and enquired for him by the Name of Caesar (because that Name was put on the Back of the Note) but I could not find him. About 2 or 3 Hours after, my Father told me a Gentleman wanted me at the Horn and Feathers, in Carter Lane. I went thither and told the Prisoner the Note was stopp'd; then stay here (says he) 'till I put my Shoes on, and I will go back with you. I waited there and about the Place two or three Hours, but he came back no more.
Councel. Look at this Note.
Holloway. This is the very Note, I know it by the Writing; - here's Julius Caesar , Doctors Commons upon the Backside There was this Endorsement upon it, when I carry'd it. I saw him write something upon it, when he gave it me; what it was, I could not tell, but I look'd at it as I went along.
Councel. To Holloway. Was any Thing wrote upon it, after the Prisoner deliver'd it you, to go for the Money?
Holloway. I was going to write my Name upon it, and had wrote John Hol -
Here the Note was read.
Sir Fra. Child and Comp.
Pray pay to Sir Rowland Hill, Bart. or Bearer, One Hundred and Twenty Pounds, and place it to the Account of
Your Humble Servant,
To Sir Fra. Child and Comp.
Endors'd Julius Caesar, Doctors Commons.
Mr. Burbeck. No.
Mr. Gabriel Leaver . I have done Business for Mr. Tho. Hill, while the Prisoner was my Clerk ; I am well acquainted with his Hand, and do not believe this to be his Writing. I take the whole Body of the Note to be the Prisoner's own Writing. The Words (Tho. Hill) and the Body of the Note, I take them to be all wrote by the same Hand; and likewise the Endorsement on the Back. I believe them to be the Prisoner's. I have compar'd the Note with some Writing of his which I have at Home.
Peter Mixer . I never saw the Prisoner before Tuesday the 27th of June last, between 11 and 12 o'Clock in the Forenoon, he came into Child's Coffee-House, and wanting a Porter, I cal'd Holloway to him, he asked whether we knew him? I told him yes; then he call'd for Pen and Ink, and wrote something upon the Paper, which he deliver'd to the Porter, after he had asked him his Name, and the Number of his Ticket. I believe it was the same he wrote upon, which he gave the Porter, but he had several other Papers in his Case. When the Porter was gone, I knew he was to bring Money, for he was no sooner out of the House, but the Prisoner asked me what Time the Faculty-Office would be shut up? I looked at the Dial, and saw it wanted 20 or 30 Minutes to 12, and told him the Office would shut up at 12. Upon which he got up, and said, - if the Porter comes back, tell him I will be here again Presently, but he went away, and I saw no more of him. When the Porter returned, I told him the Gentleman was gone to the Faculty-Office, and about 2 o'Clock, Sir Francis's Man came down with the Note. I directed him to the Porter, and heard no more of it till Wednesday Morning, then I heard the Man was taken, and saw the Note.
Holloway. I was present when the Prisoner was taken. He was found the same Evening between 10 and 11, at the Fountain Ale-house in Cheapside. Nothing passed between us till we got him to the Compter, but there I asked him how he could send me with such a Note? He said he believed the Devil was in him; and now he had nothing to do, but to make Friends to Mr. Thomas Hill, and he had Friends who would make it up at any Rate. His Mother, (he said) lived 60 Miles off in the Country. We found him out very easily; Mr. Leaver told us his Name, and where he liv'd, and when we saw him at the Fountain, he seemed in a Hurry, and said, - for God's Sake don't discover me, I will go with you
Mr. Burbeck. When he was before Mr. Alderman Barber, he own'd he sent the Note; but he said he found it.
Prisoner. I hope your Lordship will indulge me in asking the Porter a Question or two. Was the Note folded up, or open, when I deliver'd it to you?
Holloway. He opened it, and shew'd me what it was for; then he folded it up, and gave it into my Hand. 'Twas open when he bid me go to Sir Francis Child for 120 l. and come back presently, - he would stay for me. As I went along I open'd it, and look'd at it.
Prisoner. He says, when I was taken at the Fountain, I seem'd in a Hurry; I had Opportunity to make my Escape. Ask him whether I did not come to him voluntarily?
Holloway. As soon as I came into the Room, and call'd for Mr. Newington, he got up, and said here. He met me in the Room, and said, for God's Sake make no Noise on't, - or some such Words.
Prisoner. I own I gave the Note to the Porter, but I found it on Ludgate-Hill, after 10 o'Clock, in this Pocket Book, and I immediately put it into my Pocket, and carry'd it into St. Pauls Churchyard before I looked at it. I took all Occasions to inspect the Papers, to see if any Reward would be offered for it, and not finding it to be advertis'd, I sent it by the Porter.
Councel. Did you advertise it?
Then a Gentleman produc'd a Letter which the Prisoner had sent him to borrow a Coat, and the Prisoner desired it might be compared with the Note, in Order to shew that the Hands were not alike; but it was observ'd, that if the Prisoner wrote the Note, he would necessarily disguise his own Hand, and endeavour to imitate Mr. Hill's.
Mr. Studley, Mr. Hunt, Mr. Hilder, Mr. Gosling, Mr. Warnet, Mr. Godman, Mr. Vaughan, Mr. Leaver, and Mr. Graves, gave the Prisoner a good Character; some of them he had liv'd with, and had been entrusted by them, in particular, by Mr. Leaver with 9000 l. and that he discharg'd his Trust honestly. Guilty , Death .