Offences: Deception > forgery; Deception > forgery
Verdicts: Guilty; Guilty
Punishments: Death; Death
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Whitehaven, Nov. 28. 1755.
Directed to Mr. Benjamin Titley , merchant, Nicholas-lane, London. And that he feloniously did make, forge and counterfeit, and cause to be made, and willingly asserted therein certain acceptance in these words and abbreviations.Henry Blake , Dec. 20. *
Henry Blake. The prisoner has an aunt lodges at my house.
Q. Where do you live?
Blake. I live at the corner of Duke's-court, Drury-lane; he came backwards and forwards to visit her some times, two or three times a day for near two months.
Q. When did he come first?
Blake. To the best of my knowledge he came first in September last; he behaved himself always very sober and civil.
Q. What business was he in?
Blake. I can't say he was in any business. He asked me if I could give him cash for a note; (I believe that was in December) and produced one of 10 l. accordingly I gave him 10 l. upon it, after which I found it to be a bad one.
Q. How did you find that out?
Blake. I had taken another note of him after that, which I had some reason to suspect being a bad one.
Q. Who was it accepted by?
Blake. No, I had not. He produced the note.
Q. Has there been any alteration made in it since he gave it you.
Blake. No, there has not; only I paid it to a wholesale cheesemonger at Smithfield-bars, who put a figure on it when it became due, on the top of it.
It is read to this purport.
Whitehaven, 28 of Nov. 1755.
16th of Dec. 1755. accepted per Benja. Titley.
Q. Did he frequently come to your house after this?
Blake. He did, and visited his aunt as usual. After I had went and enquired about another note I had taken of him, and found it a bad one, it was accepted by Robert Ashbridge , who denied it to be his accepting, then I went and took the prisoner up, being myself an officer, and also went and took up this note, and paid the 10 l. for it. I took the prisoner before justice Fielding, and he was committed.
Q. Where did the prisoner come from when he came to London?
Blake. He came from out of the country.
Q. Upon what occasion did he come out of the country?
Blake. I don't know upon what occasion.
Q. Did he attempt to make his escape, when he saw you come to take him up?
Blake. No, he did not; he was willing to go along with me.
Q. Was the note due at that time?
Blake. No; that was not due, the other was.
Benjamin Booth . Mr. Titley was sent for before justice Fielding, and I went along with him; he was shewn this bill here producer, and ask'd, by the justice, if it was his hand writing; that is the acceptance; he said it was not his acceptance.
Q. Did he read these words, (To Mr. Titley, merchant, Nicholas-lane, London.)
Blake. Yes, he did.
The prisoner was called upon to make his defence, but said, he had nothing to say.
C. for prisoner, to Mr. Blake. Do you know whether this bill is a true or a false one?
Blake. I do not know.
C. for prisoner. Do you know Thomas Downs of Whitehaven ?
Blake. No, I do not.
C. for prisoner. Did you ever enquire after him?
Blake. No, I did not.
Blake. No, I did not.
For the prisoner.
Q. What business is he?
Fish. He informed me he was son to an attorney, and came here to be further'd in that business.
Q. How old is he?
Normington. He is about 19 years of age; I never heard any ill of him.
Isabella Parkin. I am first cousin to the prisoner; he came to London some time in September last; his father is an attorney at Whitehaven in Cumberland, and he came to town to serve the remainder of his clerkship in Gray's-Inn.
Guilty Death .
Manchester, 2 Dec. 1755.
Directed to Mr. Robert Ashbridge , a pawnbroker, East-Smithfield, London. And that he feloniously did make, forge and counterfeit, and cause to be made, and willingly asserted therein, a certain acceptance in the words and figures following. Dec. 7, accepted per R. Ashbridge, and for publishing the same with intent to defraud Robert Ashbridge , Dec. 14 . *
Hen. Blake. The prisoner desired I would let him have 17 l. upon this bill, holding one in his hand; he said it was drawn by a very good person and accepted likewise. I paid him the money and took the bill.
Q. When was this?
Blake. This was some time in the beginning of Dec. last. I went with the bill to Mr. Ashbridge on the 23d of Dec. and he denied the acceptance to me.
The bill read to this purport,
Manchester, 2 Dec. 1755.
Dec. 7 accepted by R. Ashbridge.
Court. You can't give evidence concerning the bill. Have you any body here that knows your hard writing?
Q. Are you acquainted with his hand writing.
Wade. I am. I have been his tenant 12 years; here is a book of his receipts (producing a book)
The Court and the Jury look at the book and bill, and declare there is no comparison at all.
The prisoner had nothing to say in his defence.
Guilty , Death .