Alexander Thompson, Deception > bankrupcy, 15th January 1756.

Reference Number: t17560115-26
Offence: Deception > bankrupcy
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

88. (L.) Alexander Thompson , embroiderer, dealer and chapman , was indicted, for that he becoming a bankrupt, within the meaning of the several acts of parliament relating to bankrupts, he owing his creditors to the amount of 200 l. and upwards, did not surrender himself to be examined by the commissioners, according to proper notice given &c. April 26 .*

Susannah East. The prisoner lived in Bury-street, in Feb. last.

Q. What was his business?

S. East. He followed the business of an embroiderer.

Q. Do you remember Mr. Blanch ?

S. East. I do; he is an upholder. I was a journey woman to the prisoner, Mr. Blanch came to talk to my master after he was burnt out, about a bill that was due to Mr. Blanch from Mr. Thompson.

Q. What day of the month was it?

S. East. I can't say I remember the day of the month; it was after the fire at my master's house.

Q. What day was the fire at your master's house ?

S. East. That was on the 20th of Feb.

Q. What do you know it by to be after the fire?

S. East. Because I know it was about 2 days after my master had received his money of the insurers.

Q. What was the answer your master made to Mr. Blanch?

S. East. He said he would pay him on the morrow at 11 o'clock.

Q. Do you know what day of the week they had this discourse ?

S. East. I believe it was on a Friday morning.

Q. Where did your master live at that time?

S. East. He lived in St. Martin's Street, at the house of Mr. Wychart: he went there from Mr. Davis's, his father-in-law.

Q. Where did you live then?

S. East. I liv'd in the house with him.

Q. Did Mr. Blanch come on the morrow?

S. East. He did.

Q. Did Mr. Thompson see him?

S. East. No, he did not.

Q. Where was your master?

S. East. I don't know where he was: I heard he went out a little after 7 in the morning; but I was then, I believe, asleep in bed.

Q. How long did you continue there after this?

S. East. I only continued there 'till the Monday following; master did not return.

Q. Do you remember going along with Mr. Lowden to the prisoner since he was in Newgate ?

S. East. Yes, I do.

A list of creditors and their several debts produced.

Q. Do you know any thing of this list?

S. East. I know all the persons herein named, I and Mr. Lowden went to master with the list yesterday in Newgate.

Council. Here is Mr. Thomas Cotes , 70 l. Do you know him?

S. East. I do.

Q. Did your master deal with him ?

S. East. He did.

Council. Here is James Scot , woollen-drapper, 13 l. 10 s.

S. East. I know him; master dealt with him.

Council. Here is George Vaughan , 60 l.

S. East. I know him; master dealt with him.

Council. Here is William Gray , 24 l. 14 s. 6 d.

S. East. I know him; master traded with him.

Council. Here is Thomas Smith , 15 l. 15 s.

S. East. I know him; master traded with him.

Council. Here is John Kentish , 8 l. 1 s.

S. East. Master said he did not know the man.

Council. Here is Andrew Nash , 7 l. 10 s. and John Ward , 19 l.

S. East. He acknowledged all, except that of Mr. Kentish's, but said, he did not know the man. He acknowledged them to be debts due in April last, before he went away, which was on the 12th of April.

Q. from prisoner. Whether or not she heard me mention any debt before I went away?

S. East. Yes, I did; I heard him mention Mr. Blanch's debt the Friday before he went away.

Q. from Prisoner. Whether she heard all these particular debts before I went away?

S. East. No, I did not.

William Lowden . I went with the evidence East, yesterday, to the prisoner in Newgate, and produced to him this List between 3 and 4 o'clock; he look'd into the particulars of it, and acknowledged every one of the debts, setting aside Mr. Kentish's, which is 8 l. 1 s.

Q. Did he own these debts to be due before the time he went away?

Lowden. He did.

Q. Are you a creditor ?

Lowden. I am not.

William Fell . I have known the prisoner ever since last November was 12 months.

Q. Are you a creditor?

Fell. No, I am not: he was recommended to me by a gentleman of my acquaintance, to do business for me as an embroider.

Q. Did you employ him ?

Fell. I did; at about the latter end of that month, or the beginning of December, I gave him a coat and waistcoat to embroider, and it was done and brought home to my house; the last I know of him might be the Jan. or Feb. after that; he was paid his money, and I never employed him afterwards. I remember when I sent for him to do them, he came and undertook it, and left me a printed bill which expressed his name, what sign he lived at, the street, and trade of an embroiderer: to the best of my remembrance it was a copper-plate.

Ann Wychart . I remember the prisoner lodging at my house.

Q. Are you a creditor?

A. Wychart. No, I am not: he went away one Saturday morning about 7 o'clock.

Q. Can you recollect the month?

A. Wychart. I can't, nor the day of the month.

Q. Was Susannah East at your house at that time?

A. Wychart. She was: she said till the Monday following, then she went away.

Q. Did he leave any word where he was gone?

A. Wychart. No, he did not.

Q. Did he return?

A. Wychart. No, he returned to my house no more: I knew he was gone, but I wou'd take no notice.

Q. What family had he?

A. Wychart. His spouse, Susannah East , and another woman, name Fawlet.

Q. How long had he lodged at your house?

A. Wychart. He lodged at my house, I believe, 3 weeks.

Q. Did he follow any business ?

A. Wychart. He followed the business of an embroiderer during the time he was at my house.

Q. What is your husband's name ?

A. Wychart. His name is George Wychart .

John Vaughan . I have the bond that was given to my lord chancellor, and the affidavit also. I saw the bond executed, and am a subscribing witness. He produced the bond and affidavit.

Mr. Geosirce. This affidavit (taking it in his hand) was ingross'd by my clerk; I went to these several people, and was present when they were all sworn.

The affidavit read to this purport:

Thomas Cotes , mercer, James Scot , wollen-draper, George Vaughan , lace-man, William Gray , silversmith, Thomas Smith , - John Kentish , goldsmith, Andrew Nash , taylor, and John Ward , taylor; jointly and severally maketh oath, that Alexander Thompson is justly and truly indebted to these deponents; to the said

l. s. d.

Thomas Cotes , the sum of - 70 0 0

to James Scot , the sum of - 13 10 0

to George Vaughan , the sum of - 60 0 0

to William Gray , the sum of - 24 14 6

to Thomas Smith , the sum of - 15 15 0

to John Kentish , the sum of - 8 1 0

to Andrew Nash , the sum of - 7 10 0

to John Ward , the sum of - 19 0 0

The bond read, signed with their names, &c.

Then the commission of bankruptcy under the great seal was produced and read in court, dated the 22d of April, in the 28th year of our lord the king.

Mr. Goostree. I was clerk to this commission. On the 22d of April last, the commissioners met for the first time, I was present. Richard Davis , Thomas Life , and Thomas Cobb , 3 of the commissioners named in it, severally took the oath appointed to be taken by the act of the 15th of his present majesty; and then produced a memorandum of it, with their three names to it, which was read.

Mr. Cheshire. I was the messenger to this commission of Alexander Thompson . I saw the commissioners sign a notice for him to appear and surrender himself. This is the very notice (producing one).

Q. Were there duplicates taken ?

Cheshire. There were. I left one with Mr. Wychart in St. Martin's-street, by Leicester-fields, on the 24th of April last.

Q. Did the commissioners sign that which you left there?

Cheshire. They did. This is the duplicate of it.

The notice read to this purport:

April 22, 1755.

Whereas a commission of bankrupt issued forth under the great seal of Great Parish against you Alexander Thompson, of the parish of St. James, Westminster: and whereas the major part of the

commissioners, named in the said commission, have declared you to be a bankrupt, we do hereby summon and desire you, the said Alexander Thompson , personally to appear before the commissioners, or the major part of them, on the 2d and 9th of May next, and on the 10th of June following, at three of the clock in the afternoon, at Guild-hall, London, then, and there, to make a full discovery and disclosure of all your estate and effects, according to the acts of parliament concerning bankrupts, &c. herein fail not at your peril. Given under our hands, &c.

Sign'd Richard Davis , Thomas Life, and Thomas Cobb .

The notice in the Gazette produced and read to this purport:

Whereas a commission of bankrupt is awarded and issued forth against Alexander Thompson , of the parish of St. James, Westminster, embroiderer, dealer and chapman; and he, being declared a bankrupt, is hereby required to surrender himself to the commissioners in the said commission named, or the major part of them, on the 2d and 9th of May next, and on the 10th of June following, at three of the clock in the afternoon, on each of the said days, at Guild-hall, London, and make a full discovery and disclosure of his estate and effects, when and where the creditors are to come prepared to prove their debts, and at the second sitting to chuse assigness, and at the last sitting the said bankrupt is required to finish his examination, and the creditors are to assent to, or dissent from, the allowance of his certificate. All persons indebted to the said bankrupt, or that have any of his effects, are not to pay or deliver the same but to whom the commissioners shall appoint, but give notice to Mr. Goostree, attorney, in Sherrard-street, near Golden square.

Mr. Cheshire. This was publish'd in the London Gazette, on Saturday the 26th of April last.

Q. to Mrs. Wychart. Look upon this notice.

She takes it in her hand.

Q. to Mrs. Wychart. I remember a copy of this notice being put upon the dining-room door. I had twice notice of it before it came.

Q. When was that delivered to you?

Mrs. Wychart. I can't tell the time, but it was deliver'd to me by this gentleman (pointing to Mr. Cheshire.

Q. Look upon the date of it.

Mrs. Wychart. It is dated the 24th of April.

Q. to Mr. Cheshire. Look and see which were the days appointed for the commissioners meeting.

Cheshire. The Days were the 2d and 9th of May, and the 10th of June following.

Q. Did the commissioners meet at Guildhall on all these days?

Cheshire. They did; I was present at the meetings.

Q. Did Mr. Thompson surrender himself upon either of these days?

Cheshire. No, he did not; and the commissioners said till past 12 o'clock at night.

Q. Was there any excuse sent by him for his not appearing?

Cheshire. No, none at all.

Q. to Mr. Goostree. Had you any notice sent to you for enlarging the time?

Mr. Goostree. No, I had not.

Q. to Cheshire. Had you any petition for longer time?

Cheshire. If there had been any I should have noticed it, and inserted it in the Gazette.

Prisoner's defence.

I was taken into custody and knew nothing of the statute of bankrupt being taken out against me; what effects I had I surrender'd up. I have been in the north of Scotland and had no knowledge of this notice. I have had nothing to subsist on, either victuals or drink. I was put into New-prison this day is a month, and there were strict orders given that I should not see or speak to any body while I was there. I had not liberty to set pen to paper.

Guilty Death .

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