Thomas Womersly, Deception > forgery, 30th May 1754.

Reference Number: t17540530-4
Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

308. (L) Thomas Womersly was indicted for forging a certain acceptance, under the hand of James Dickson merchant of London, to a certain paper writing, purporting to be a bill of Exchange, and to have been signed by one John Richardson with intent to defraud Hinton Brown and Co. of the sum of 361. and also for forging a counterfeit warrant underneath the same, under the hand of the said Mr. Dickson, directed to the said Mess. Brown and Co. for payment, Nov. 15. 1753. +

Prisoner. My Lord, I have been tried twice already for this offence and acquitted, and I hope your Lordship will take that into consideration.

Court. Pray, Mr. Ford, how was this?

Mr. Ford, clerk of the arraigns. The prisoner, my Lord, has been tried twice, but not for the crime charged in the indictment. The first indictment charged him with having uttered the bill of Exchange in question, knowing the same to be forged, with intention to defraud Mr. Dickson: that indictment could not be maintained for two reasons; the first, because there was no such person as John Richardson, the supposed drawer of the bill; and secondly, it was not uttered with intention to defraud Mr. Dickson, but Mess. Brown and company. The second indictment against him charged him with having forged the acceptance of Mr. Dickson to a certain bill of Exchange, drawn by one John Richardson : and having laid such bill of Exchange as a true bill of Exchange, the prosecutor was called upon to prove is a true bill of Exchange, and consequently failed in his evidence. I never saw those bills till they had been preferred to the Grand Jury. The indictment now depending I have drawn by the order of the Court, and is totally different from those he has been acquitted upon.

Court. Your life was never in jeopardy for the offence you are now charged with - therefore proceed.

Richard Alnutt . On the 29th of December last being at Mr. Hinton Brown'sa banker in Lombard Street, and with him in a back room, his clerk came in, saying, This man is come again with another forgery; upon which Mr. Brown desired me to step forward with him into the shop, and taking with him this bill ( holding it in his hand) asked who brought it, and the clerk pointed to the prisoner. who was then in the shop. Mr. Brown said to the prisoner, Did you present this bill? he said he did: he also asked him who he had it of; he replied, of a grazier, a very eminent man in Lincolnshireand a man that came to Smithfield every market day; adding, that he was well known, and that his name was Thomas Jones . Mr. Brown said he had too much reason to believe it was a forged bill; and the clerk said, This is the man that brought the draught, two days before for 3 l. 10 s. Mr. Brown asked the prisoner if he was there two days before with a draught, but he denied it. Mr. Brown then sent for Mr. Dickson, and when he came the bill was shewn to him; he said, The drawer I know nothing of, neither did I order it for payment: and addressing himself to the prisoner, said, Mr. WomerslyI am very sorry to see you the presenter of it, but I had too much reason to belive it was you, from the description Mr. Brown's people gave of your person. He was then taken into a back room, where Mr. Dickson talked to him, and said, WomerslyI do not think you are the only person concerned in this, therefore you had better discover them, that some lenity may be shewed you, or you must be hanged for it. Mr. Dickson, and Mr. Brown had a good deal of talk with him, but he would make no discovery. Mr. Brown (being a quaker, would not take an oath) desired me to go with him before my Lord-Mayor, who examined the prisoner: there he denied knowing any thing of the forgery, but said he had it of this Jones, whom he before named. The bill was then presented to him, and he was asked if it was the bill he presented at Mr. Brown's for payment; he said it was. This was on the Wednesday. He was committed for further examination,

and having told his Lordship that Jones came to Smithfield every market day, my Lord indulged him till Friday, at which time he was re-examined: then he said he had sent a man and horse, in order to meet Jones upon the road from St. Allan'sand the messenger was not returned; upon which his Lordship said he must commit him.

The Note read to this purport.

' Wakefield, Nov. 15, 1753.

' Mr. Dickson,

' Pay to Mr. Thomas Jones , or his order, one ' month after date, the sum of 36 l. for value re ' ceived, and place it to the account of

' Yours, &c. ' John Richardson .'

36 l.

To Mr. James Dickson , merchant, in London.

Thomas Jones on the back. Accepted James Dickson .

To Messrs. Hinton, Brown and son.

James Dickson . I have given Messrs. Brown an order whenever he sees a bill accepted by me, to pay it when due, if brought to his shop.

Q. Have you been used to keep cash with him?

James Dickson . I have these five years.

Q. Look at this bill of Exchange; do you see the name Richardson from Wakefield? Have you such a correspondent there?

James Dickson . No, I have not, nor ever had any advice of such a bill being drawn; I have no concerns in the town of any kind.

Q. Do you know any thing of this endorser, Thomas Jones ?

James Dickson . No, I do not; I knew the prisoner when he lived with Messrs. Simpson's on Tower-Hill, and he was clerk there some time, and at that time he had great many draughts from me to carry to Messrs. Brown and son.

John Greenway . I know Mr. Dickson, I have seen him write, I have been clerk to him for some years, and know his hand-writing very well.

Q. Look at this bill of Exchange, do you know that writing, or any of it?

John Greenway . These words, accepted James Dickson , are not Mr. Dickson's hand-writing, nor no part of it, it has not any resemblance of it.

Q. Has Mr. Dickson any correspondent by the name of Richardson, at Wakefield in Yorkshire.

John Greenway . I do not know any such name.

Q. to Alnutt. If there is a direction on the bottom of a bill, as there is to this upon the banker, does that amount to a warrant or order for the banker to pay the money?

Alnutt. Without doubt it has.

Prisoner's defence.

That bill I received of Thomas Jones , a Lincolnshire grazier. I have nothing to say, I throw myself entirely upon the mercy of the court; I have no evidence here at all.

Guilty , Death .


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