William Brown, Deception > forgery, 3rd July 1751.

Reference Number: t17510703-50
Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

464. (L.) William Brown was indicted for forging a letter of attorney in the name of George Mackenzy , late master's mate of his majesty's ship the Inverness, and for publishing it, with intent to defraud , September 20, 1749 .

John Smith. I was concern'd about the 20th of September, 1749, for several persons in receiving their wages. The prisoner came to me on that day, and told me his name was George Mackenzy , that he was master's mate on board his

majesty's ship the Inverness, and that he belonged to her at the time of her being off Cape Cantoone, under the command of Commodore Coates, and that he was intitled to prize money due for the same. He made this letter of attorney to me, holding it in his hand, in the name of George Mackenzy : I fill'd it up myself, and I saw him sign the name, George Mackenzy , to it. Here is one Benj Cafe , a subscribing witness, I ask'd him to step in, and he saw the seal taken off; the prisoner executed this as his own act and deed, and afterwards went to Sir William Calvert , then lord-mayor, and re-executed it, and brought it back to me again. This William Calvert , Mayor, is Sir William Calvert 's own hand writing.

Cross examined.

Q. How long was it after September, 49, that you discover'd this imposition?

Smith. I discover'd it in about a week after my clerk received the money. The 18th of October a kinsman of Mackenzy's came and told me.

Q. How often did you see the prisoner after the 18th of October?

Smith. I never saw him from the 18th of Oct. till last January, and that was in the house of David Morris , at the Coach and Horses in the Strand.

Q. Had you then a warrant against him?

Smith. I had not.

Q. Did the prisoner say, he heard you had a charge against him, and if so he desir'd you would execute it?

Smith. No, he did not, but made out at the back door and then ran away.

Q. Did you see him after this?

Smith. I did, opposite the Bank in Thread-needle-street, at the sign of the Rose.

Q. Had you a warrant against him then?

Smith. I then had from Justice Fielding.

Q. How long did you stay in company with him?

Smith. About a quarter of an hour.

Q. Was you, or was you not, ask'd, whether you should know the person that committed this fraud upon you?

Smith. I was ask'd that by Mr. Morris, and I said the prisoner was the man. David Morris told me, except I would give an indemnification that I would not hurt the prisoner at that time while I was in company with him, I should not see him, and I gave it to have an interview with him.

Q. Did not you write a letter to the prisoner once ?

Smith. Yes, I did; the day after he made his escape out at the back door; the contents of it was about his defrauding me; so desiring he'd come and make things up, &c. this was with an intent to get at him; he was kept by this Morris and one Spooner, an attorney, that I could not get at him, but by such means; but I had no intention, upon my oath, of making the affair up. This David Morris rescued him once; I waited upon Mr. Spooner several times to know what was become of the prisoner; he told me he knew nothing of him; when I talked with the prisoner at the Coach and Horses Spooner gave a knock, and the prisoner went down stairs, and went away directly.

Benj Case . I cannot say I know the prisoner at the bar (he is shown the power of attorney, the name. B. CASE ) this is my hand-writing; at the time I wrote it as a witness I saw a person who called his name George Mackenzy there at that time, who acknowledged that name, George Mackenzy, to be his hand-writing; he had wrote his name before I went into the office; but I have seen so many faces since, that it is impossible to remember that person again.

The power of attorney read to this purport.

Know all men by these presents, that I George Mackenzy , late master's mate of his majesty's ship the Inverness, for divers good causes and considerations me hereunto moving, have, and do hereby name, make in my stead, and place, put, and constitute my friend John Smith , of Talbot Court, London, Gent. my true and lawful attorney, &c.

The rest in the common form.

Sept. 20, 1749, in presence of

B. CASE.

Sign'd, seal'd, and deliver'd by me,

GEORGE MACKENZY .

London, re-executed by me the same day,

WILLIAM CALVERT , Mayor.

Case. The person whom I saw take the seal off declared this was his act and deed.

Cowlen Campbel. I live in St. John's, Wapping, I was agent for the payment of prize-money of the ship Inverness; I paid Mr. Mackenzy more money than this two or three times; the prisoner at the bar is not the real Mackenzy; I paid this money by virtue of this letter of attorney in presence of Mr. Case, imagining this to be Mr. Mackenzy's handwriting; it was so well forged, that I and my partner, William Grigg , did think it was wrote by the same man; I have a receipt in my book of George Mackenzy 's hand-writing ; I have seen him write; I paid the money to Mr. Cadywold.

James-Cadywold. I was clerk to Mr. Smith at the time this affair happened ; I received this money

of Mr. Campbel on the 18th of October 1749, 47 l. 17. 6 d. the prisoner at the bar came to me in the office; about a day or two before I received it, and said, sir, have you received my prize-money? I said, what is your name, sir? he told me his name was George Mackenzy , and that he was master's mate of the Inverness, and had made a letter of attorney to Mr. Smith (that was my master) in order to receive this prize-money: I gave for answer, that at the day of payment, which was advertised the 17th of October 1749, I should receive the money, and it he would please to call after that time I would pay it him; but there was a great deal of hurry at the time of payment, and the agents could not go through the recals that day, so I was paid on the 18th by virtue of this letter of attorney, signed George Mackenzy ; I received 47 l. 17 s. 6 d. and I paid him 44 l. 16 s. 6 d. after our's was deducted.

The prisoner's defence was, that he had always publickly appeared upon all occasions, till the time he was taken up, as being conscious of his own innocency.

Guilty of forging and publishing it.

Death .


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