Peter Rogers, Deception > forgery, 7th December 1743.

Reference Number: t17431207-68
Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

+ 83. Peter Rogers , otherwise Lewis Jonaquire , was indicted, for that he after the 29th Day of June, 1729, to wit, on the 2d of December , in the 17th Year of his Majesty's Reign, at the Parish of St. Botolph without Bishopsgate , in London, did forge and counterfeit, or cause to be forged and counterfeited, a certain Paper Writing, purporting to be a Bill of Exchange for the Payment of a certain Sum of Money, which said Paper Writing is in the Words and Figures following.

Amsterdam, 6me Decem. 1743, pour 25 l. Sterl .

A vile paiez cette seule de changed Dordre de Monsieur Jacques Laurent la somme de vings cinq livres sterling, valeur requ de Monsieur De la Fontaine, que posserez suivant Davis de

Jean Isaac Fremeaux .

A Monsieur Monsieur Pierre Muylman , sola Londres.

And this is set forth to be done in order to defraud the said Peter Muylman of the said Sum of 25 l. of lawful Money of Great Britain, against the Peace of the King, &c.

He was a second Time charged for publishing this Bill knowing it to be forged, in order to defraud the said Peter Muylman of the said Sum of 25 l.

Henry Muylman . This Day Sev'night about ten in the Morning the Prisoner came to my House and brought a Letter directed to my Brother Peter Muylman , and delivered it to me; I suspected it to be a Forgery, because the Bill was drawn on Peter Muylman only, and our Correspondents draw on Henry and Peter Muylman . I told him, my Brother was not there, and I did not care to open it; he said, I believe there is no Secret in it, you had as good open it; accordingly I opened it, and in this outermost Letter here was a Bill of Exchange, and another Letter inclosed, in which was only Advice of this Bill of Exhange ; one Letter was in English, the other in French.

The English Letter was read.

December 2, 1743.

'' SIR, Having received Yesterday from my '' Friend Mr. de la Fontaine, in Amsterdam , a Bill '' of Exchange for 25 l. Sterling, with a Letter of '' Advice, I send you them both inclosed; and '' as I am obliged to be in the Country for some '' Days, I desire you to send me by Mr. Peter '' Rogers the value of the Bill, which I have indorsed '' Blank, and as it is to be paid at Sight, I '' hope you will not scruple to pay it to the said '' Mr. Peter Rogers , for I must send Word to my '' Friend at Amsterdam this Evening; and am,

Your humble Servant,

To Mr. Peter Muylman .

'' J. LAURENT.''

Henry Muylman . I have translated the French Letter; I did not stand so much upon the Nicety of the Stile, as the Truth of the Translation - It is a true Translation.

[The Translation of the Bill of Exchange was shewn to Mr. Muylman.]

Mr. Muylman. This is a true Translation of the Bill of Exchange drawn on my Brother.

Amsterdam. December 6, 1743, for 25 l. Sterling.

At Sight pay this my sole Bill of Exchange to the Order of Mr. James Laurent , the Sum of 25 l. Sterling , Value received of Mr. de la Fontaine, which place according to Advice, Jean Isaac Fremeaux .

To Mr. Peter Muylman ,

sole London.

Mr. Muylman . This is the Translation. The French Letter I take to be in Substance as I have translated it - This is New Stile, it is the 25th of November in Holland.

The Translation is as follows.

To Mr. Peter Muylman .

Amsterdam, December 6, 1743.

'' SIR, Having Occasion for a Parcel of Rice '' and Pepper, I have the Honour to write to you '' this my first Letter of Advice, and desire you to '' be so kind as to buy for me at the current Price '' twenty five Bags of black Pepper, and fifty Bags '' of Carolina Rice . I desire you to send this '' Merchandize by the first Ship; be so good as to '' draw on me for the Amount of one Month.

'' Mr. de la Fontaine. My good Friend having '' Occasion to remit a small Sum, has desired me '' to furnish him with a Bill of Exchange, I take '' this Freedom to draw on you this my sole Bill '' of Exchange for 25 l. Sterling, to the Order of '' Mr. James Laurent , Value of Mr. de la Fontaine, '' for which you have Credit. I desire you to Honour '' this Bill, and when you draw for the Rice '' and Pepper, draw likewise for the Amount of '' the Bill.

'' Your humble Servant,

'' Jean Isaac Foremeaux ''

Henry Muylman . I appointed the Prisoner to come to me again at two o'Clock; the Moment he was gone I went to my Brother at the East India House, and acquainted him with it; he told me it must needs be a Forgery; when I came Home I sent for a Constable, and ordered my Man to be in the Way; soon after the Man knocked at the Door, I bid him come into the Parlour; said I, Do you come about the Bill of Exchange you brought in the Morning ? He said, Yes, Sir; said I, This Bill of Exchange is endorsed Blank, and it is usual for the Person who receives the Money to testify it to be the Hand of the last Endorser, and desired him to witness it, to prove that it was the Writing of James Laurent the last Endorser; I asked him, whether he would be paid in a Bank Note, or Money, he said, Which you please; then I said witness it; he said, Sir, I cannot write; then said I, make your Mark; when he had made his Mark, the Constable wrote these Words, The Mark of Peter Rogers ; when he had witnessed it, I told him I had a strong Suspicion that it was not a fair Thing, and insisted that he should go before Sir Edward Bellamy; Sir Edward interrogated him, who he was, what he was, and where he came from; then instead of saying he came from Mr. Laurent at Richmond, as he had told me, he said the Bill was given him by a Gentleman in the Street, who bid him carry it to my House, and bring the Money to him at Tom's Coffee-House, whether he meant Tom's Coffee-House in Cornhill, or any other Coffee-House, I cannot tell: This Contradiction put Sir Edward upon asking many other Questions; he asked him, whether he could produce any Body to his Character; he said, no Body knew him in the City; Sir Edward told him the Presumption was strong against him, and he must be obliged to commit him; then he fell down upon his Knees, begged very hard to be discharged, and desired to speak with me alone; then he told me, if I would intercede for him, he would confess all; I told him, as I was before a Magistrate, that I did not know whether my Intercession might prevail; he confessed the Whole to me, and afterwards to Sir Edward; I believed he repeated it six Times over - He confessed the counterfeiting the Bill of Exchange, the Letter of Advice, and the Letter from Mr. James Laurent .

Q. Did he write, or did he not?

Mr. Muylman . After he had confessed, he begged he might not be committed; but when he saw his Commitment was making out, he said, What a sad thing will this be for my Wife, who has not a Farthing in the World. I put my Hand in my Pocket, and gave him a piece of money (I speak it to show that by this I found he could write.) Sir, said he, I don't care what becomes of me ; I desire you would send this to my Wife. I desired he would give me a Direction where I should send it: He

took the Letter, and wrote upon the Back of it with a Pencil, as good a Hand as need to be wrote. I pressed him very strongly (as there was so great a Difference between the two Writings ) to let me know who was concerned with him; and I said I was informed there was somebody concerned with him; he said, he was the only Person who forged the Letters and the Bill; and he would not let other People suffer for the sake of his Life.

As he was carrying to Newgate in a Coach, he said to the Constable, I hope I shall be transported, for then I shall go into my own Country.

Thomas Blisset . (Constable) I saw him make his Mark on the Back-side of the Bill; he said, his Name was Peter Rogers , and I wrote it as such upon the Bill; he confessed the forging the Bill of Exchange and the Letters; Mr. Muylman asked him how he came to think of him any more than any other Person? he said, Sir, it was the Devil. Guilty of forging and publishing, Death .

Mr. Peter Muylman presented a Petition to the Court in favour of the Prisoner.

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