John Ayliffe, Deception > forgery, 24th October 1759.

Reference Number: t17591024-27
Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

328. (L.) John Ayliffe was indicted by the name of John Ayliffe , late of London, Esq ; for that, after the twenty-ninth day of June, in the year of our Lord One thousand seven hundred and twenty-nine; to wit, on the thirteenth day of April, in the thirty-second year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George the second , King of Great Britain, &c. with force and arms, at London; that is to say, at the Inner Temple, in London aforesaid, he feloniously did falsely make, forge, and counterfeit, and cause and procure to be falsely made, forged, and counterfeited, and did willingly act and assist in the false making, forging, and counterfeiting, a certain deed with the name H. Fox thereunto subscribed, purporting to be a lease from the right honourable Henry Fox to him the said John Ayliffe , and to have been signed by him the said Henry Fox ; and to have been sealed and delivered by him the said Henry Fox : which said false, forged, and counterfeited deed, is to the purport and effect following (that is to say), This indenture made the twenty-second day of November, in the thirty-second year of the reign of our sovereign Lord George the second, by the grace of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, and in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and fifty eight, between the right honourable Henry Fox , of Holland House, in the county of Middlesex, of the one part, and John Ayliffe , of Blandford Forum, in the county of Dorset, Esquire, of the other part, witnesseth, That the said Henry Fox , for, and in consideration of the rent and covenants herein after reserved, and contained on the part of the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, and assigns, to be paid, done, and performed, hath granted, leased, demised, set, and to farm let; and by these presents, doth grant, lease, demise, set, and to farm let, unto the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators and assigns, all that messuage, or tenement and farm called and known by the name of Rusley Park, in the parish of Bishopstone, in the county of Wilts, together with about one hundred and twenty acres of arable and pasture land; and all houses, outhouses, edifices, buildings, barns, stables, orchard, garden, coppices, hereditaments, and appurtenances; which said premises were late in the possession or occupation of Henry Willoughby , Esquire, to have and to hold the said messuage or tenement, and farm, lands, tenements, here-ditaments, and premises, hereby granted and demised, or mentioned, or intended so to be, with their, and every of their appurtenances, from the twenty-fifth day of March now last past, for and during, and unto the full end and term of ninety-nine years thence next ensuing, and fully to be compleat and ended. If the said John Ayliffe party hereto, Sarah his wife, and John their son, or any, or either of them, shall happen so long to live; yielding, and paying therefore yearly, and every year during the said term of ninety-nine years, determinable as aforesaid, unto the said Henry Fox , his heirs and assigns, the rent or sum of five pounds of lawful money of Great Britain, at or upon the twenty-ninth day of September, and the twenty-fifth day of March, in every year of the said term, determinable as aforesaid, by even and equal portions. The first payment thereof to begin, and be made the twenty-ninth day of September now next ensuing; freed and discharged of and from all taxes and outgoings whatsoever, already charged or imposed, or hereafter to be charged or imposed on the said demised premises, by Act of Parliament or otherwise howsoever. And the said John Ayliffe , doth for himself, his executors, administrators, and assigns covenant, promise, and agree to and with the said Henry Fox , his heirs and assigns, by these presents. That he the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, or assigns, shall and will yearly, and every year during the said term of ninety-nine years, determinable as aforesaid, well and truly pay, or cause to be paid, unto the said Henry Fox , his heirs, or assigns, the said sum

The Third Part of these Proceedings will be published in a few Days.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter, 24th October 1759.

Reference Number: t17591024-27

THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery FOR THE CITY of LONDON, And also the Gaol Delivery for the County of MIDDLESEX, HELD AT JUSTICE-HALL in the OLD-BAILEY, On Wednesday the 24th, Thursday the 25th, and Friday the 26th, of OCTOBER, 1759.

In the Thirty-third Year of His MAJESTY'S Reign. NUMBER VIII, PART III. for the YEAR 1759. Being the eighth SESSIONS in the MAYORALTY of The Right Honble Sir RICHARD GLYN , Knt. and Bart. LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.

LONDON:

Printed, and sold by M. COOPER, at the Globe in Pater-noster-Row: 1759.

[Price Four-Pence.]

THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE

King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery held for the City of LONDON, &c.

[The Indictment continued.]

of five pounds, at, and upon the days and times, and in manner herein before mentioned and appointed for payment thereof, according to the true intent and meaning hereof. And also from time to time, and at all times hereafter, during the said term of ninety-nine years, determinable as aforesaid, well and sufficiently repair, uphold, support, sustain, amend, maintain, and in good repair keep all the houses, barns, hedges, ditches, gates, stiles, park, and other pales, and all other the said demised premises in, by, and with all and all manner of needful and necessary reparations and amendments whatsoever. And at the end, expiration, or other sooner determination of the said term, leave, and yield up the same in such good repair into the hands and possession of the said Henry Fox , his heirs, and assigns; he the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, and assigns, from time to time, and at all times hereafter, during the said term, being at liberty to cut, take, and carry away sufficient timber at Bishopstone aforesaid, or in the common thereof, for putting and keeping the said demised premises in good and sufficient repair. And also, that he the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, or assigns, shall not, nor will at any time during the said term, determinable as aforesaid, plow or sow any part of the said demised premises that have not already been plowed or sown; nor shall he, the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, or assigns, at any time after the term of seven years, from the date hereof, plow or sow any part of the said demised premises without the leave and licence of the said Henry Fox , his heirs, and assigns, in writing under his, or their hand and seal for that purpose first had and obtained. And further, that he the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, or assigns, shall and will, after the expiration of the said term of seven years, lay down with grass-seed, in a good husband-like manner, all the land which on the said demised premises have been sown on converted into tillage, and so keep the same during the remainder of the said term of ninty-nine years, determinable as aforesaid, forhe use and benefit of the said Henry Fox , his heirs, and assigns; save, and except only, as to such parts, and for such times as such leave or licence as aforesaid shall extend unto. And the said Henry Fox doth for himself, his heirs, and assigns, covenant, promise, and agree to and with the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, and assigns, by these proents, That he the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, and assigns, paying the rent, and performing the covenants herein reserved and mentioned, it shall and may be lawful, to and for the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, and assigns, peaceally and quietly to have,

hold, possess and enjoy the said demised premises, with the appurtenances, for and during the said term of ninety-nine years, determinable as aforesaid, without the lawful let, suit, trouble, or interruption, of or by the said Henry Fox , his heirs or assigns, or any other person or persons lawfully claiming, or to claim from, by, or under him, or them. And also, during the said term of ninety-nine years, determinable as aforesaid, to cut down, take and carry away from time to time, in due season, and in a husband-like manner, all the coppice and underwood now standing, growing, or being, or which at any time hereafter, during the said term of ninety-nine years, determinable as aforesaid, shall stand, grow, or be on any part of the said premises hereby demised, he the said John Ayliffe , his executors, administrators, or assigns, keeping the said coppices well planted with underwood, and cutting the same in due course, and in a husband-like manner, from time to time, during the said term. [In witness whereof, the parties to these presents have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals, the day and year first above-written. H. Fox. Sealed and delivered, being first duly stamped, in the presence of John Fannen , James Hobson ] With intention to defraud the said Henry Fox , against the form of the statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace of our said Lord the King, his crown and dignity.

The indictment further charged the said John Ayliffe with the felonious publication of such forged deed as a true deed ( knowing the same to be forged) with intent to defraud the said Henry Fox , against the statute.

The indictment also charged the said John Ayliffe with feloniously forging such deed, with intent to defraud William Clewer , Esq ; against the statute.

The indictment also charged the said John Ayliffe with the felonious publication of such forged deed as a true deed, (knowing it to be forged) with intent to defraud the said William Clewer, Esq; against the statute.

Mr Aston. May it please your Lordship, and you Gentlemen of the Jury. I am Counsel for the Crown against the prisoner at the bar, John Ayliffe , Esq; who, you hear, stands indicted for the crime of forging a deed, and for uttering that forged deed, knowing it to be falsely forged and counterfeited. And, Gentlemen, I need not here enlarge upon the greatness of this crime, I fear you have too frequent instances of it brought before you; and therefore, I shall only say, that the Legislature, finding great inconveniencies from this offence, that it was a growing evil, and of most pernicious tendency to trade and credit, thought it necessary to guard against it's increasing mischief by sanguinary laws; which were accordingly made to put a stop to it, so far as the Legislature were able to do it by inflicting severer punishments.

Gentlemen, the prisoner stands indicted upon the statute of the second year of his present Majesty; which was made to prevent the falsely making and forging any deed or other instrument mentioned in that Act; or uttering any such false deed, knowing it to be false and forged with intent to defraud.

The circumstances of the present case I will open to you as shortly and clearly as I can; but it will be necessary for me to go a little back before I come to the transaction of forging the present deed; it is laid in one count to be done with intention to defraud The Right Honourable Henry Fox ; and in another to defraud William Clewer , Esq;. One of these two things it is necessary should be proved for the conviction of the prisoner.

That the prisoner has been guilty of the actual forging, or of uttering that deed knowing it to have been forged.

And then the next thing necessary to follow is, that it was done with intent to defraud one of those persons. If it was done with intention to defraud either The Right Honourable Henry Fox or Mr Clewer, the prisoner will be proved to have been guilty of the offence charged against him.

Gentlemen, Mr Fox about two years ago became intitled to an estate in Wiltshire, on the decease of Mrs Horner, to whom Mr. Ayliffe had been formerly steward, but had been some time discharged from her service. Mrs Horner, however, out of regard for the wife and family of Mr Ayliffe, desired Mr.

Fox, that he would make Mr Ayliffe some beneficial lease of the value of about 30 l. a year; there was no obligation upon Mr Fox to do this; but being willing to fulfil that lady's request, and having purchased an estate called Russley-Park; which is the estate conveyed by the deed laid in the indictment, and supposed to be forged, he made an offer to the prisoner, John Ayliffe , of making him a lease of that park, and the grounds belonging to that estate, being 120 acres for the term of ninety-nine years, for his own life, his wife's life, and his son's life, at the rent of 35 l. a year. Mr Ayliffe was extreamly rejoiced at this proposal, as there was a very good house, and a considerable estate about it, of double the value of the rent reserved; and he gladly accepted the offer. You will find in consequence of it a draft of a lease was prepared and carried to one Mr Jones, a Stationer, in the Temple, to have two parts of it engrossed; I do not name the person that carried it, because he was unknown; but the instructions he delivered at that time, were to make two parts of this lease; but not to add the common conclusion at the end of it, which is, [In witness whereof the parties above named have hereunto interchangeably set their hands and seals.] And the reason given by the person bringing the draft why that was to be omitted, was, because the parties might want to add some other covenant; therefore, that was by order of the person that sent him not to be inserted.

This circumstance will afford something very remarkable; for Mr Jones's clerk, Henry Thomas (whom we shall call) did engross two parts of this draft, all in his own hand-writing to the words (In witness whereof); and he will prove, if my instructions are true, that these engrossments were exactly agreeable to the draft brought by this unknown person, who, when they were prepared, fetched them away. It will appear, that these deeds so ingrossed were shortly after executed at Mr Fox's house, one by Mr Fox, and delivered to Mr Ayliffe, the other by Mr Ayliffe, who was then Mr Fox's Steward, and left in the hands of Mr Fox. And as the words (In witness whereof, &c.) were left out by Henry Thomas , so it will appear, that the counterpart, which was left in Mr Fox's hands, was filled up, by the hand-writing of the prisoner.

This will shew two things, that the person that carried the draft of this lease to be engrossed was an agent sent by Mr Ayliffe, and the deeds engrossed by Henry Thomas ( one of which two we shall produce) will be identified by Mr Ayliffe's own hand-writing, added in the conclusion, and filling up that line which was directed to be omitted.

These leases being engrossed, you may well imagine the manner in which they were executed, by a Gentleman that had a confidence in his steward; a steward, who had so considerable a bounty, immediately moving from his master and who could not be suspected at that instant of putting a trick upon him. And I suppose therefore, Mr Fox, on his steward's bringing the leases to be executed, executed them in his house, without ever reading one word of them; yet, however fraudulently Mr Ayliffe had the opportunity of acting, Mr Fox had care enough to have the counterpart left in his own custody.

After this, you will find Mr Ayliffe fell into very declining circumstances; he wanted to borrow money, and applied to William Clewer , Esq; to advance him what he wanted, of whom he frequently had borrowed money before; and Mr Clewer was to have, as a security for the money that he had advanced and was to advance, some estates, that are unnecessary to mention, of the prisoner in Dorsetshire, and likewise a mortgage of this very estate, that had been so leased to him by Mr Fox.

The deed which was so executed by Mr Fox in December, bore date the 27th of November 1758, the rent 35 l. per year, and was witnessed by Fannen and Hobson, who will be called: and upon borrowing this money of Mr Clewer, a security was to be made to him of several estates, and amongst the rest, this estate of Russley Park. And accordingly you will find, upon the 13th of April 1759, in consideration of the sum of 1700 l. Mr Ayliffe made a mortgage to William Clewer , Esq; of this Russley estate; reciting in the mortgage deed a lease that had been made between The Right Honourable Henry Fox and himself, as dated the twenty-second of November 1758, of that

estate at 5 l. a year rent; and Mr. Clewer having advanced to the prisoner several sums of money, to the amount of 1700 l. this mortgage-deed was executed to him by the prisoner, by which this Rusley es tate is assigned to him, and at the same time a title-deed, to verify the recital of the lease of Rusley, in this mortgage, was delivered to Mr Clewer by Mr Ayliffe, which we say is a forged lease, being a lease bearing date 22d of November 1758, between Mr Fox and Mr Ayliffe, at 5 l. a year, subscribed H. Fox, and endorsed with the name of the very two witnesses to the deeds that were really executed at Mr Fox's house, bearing date the 27th of November 1758, and at 35 l. a year rent. This was delivered to authenticate the deed recited in that conveyance of the leasehold premises that was made to Mr. Clewer as a security for his money.

It will be proved to you, that at the time of this transaction, which was in the Paper-Buildings in the King's Bench-Walks, at the chambers of one Mr Priddle, Mr Ayliffe desired there might be an oath of secrecy taken by the persons present, not to disclose that he had mortgaged this Rusley estate; an oath of secresy they were surprized at, and refused to take.

I mention this, to shew the reason he gave for it, which was, That he would not for all the world have it come to Mr Fox's knowledge that he had mortgaged this Rusley estate; for, says he, I am sure he will be very angry with me, if he ever hears of it. When he could not bring them to take an oath, then he was forced to depend on their promise, That it should be kept a secret; a secret indeed, the prisoner knew too well it ought to be for his own safety. It will appear in proof, That this lease is every word of the prisoner's own handwriting - The date the 22d, not the 27th, the rent 5 l. a year, and not 35 l. That the name H. Fox was forged, and the names of Fannen and Hobson, the two witnesses to the real deed, will also appear on this deed to have been forged. This lease so being delivered over, and the prisoner still continuing in very distressed circumstances, Mr Clewer had a mind to know (and sent Mr Green to Mr Fox for that purpose), whether Mr Fox would take up the mortgage that had been made to him of Rusley. When Mr Green came to Mr Fox with that proposal, he said, He had no mind to buy it in; and the rent being mentioned by Mr Green, in the conversation, to be 5 l. per year, Mr Fox said immediately, No, Sir, You are mistaken; it is 35 l. - Mr Green then produced the lease, and Mr Fox not having the least idea of that deed's being forged from one end to the other; said, It must be a mistake; but began to suspect that a fraud had been put upon him at the time of the execution, and that the deed he had in his custody might be at that rent too: accordingly he went up stairs to examine it; and when he came down again, said to Mr Green, It is 35 l. a year. Mr Green was a good deal surprized upon hearing it; said, He was afraid Ayliffe was a bad man, and immediately went from Mr Fox; possibly he went directly to Mr Ayliffe, to inform him of it; but, however, Mr Ayliffe was certainly informed of it very soon. And you will find, upon his discovering that it had reached the ears of Mr Fox, from whom he so much wanted to conceal it, and that for very good reasons, as he had been so bountiful a friend to him, he writes a letter to Mr Clewer which we shall produce, and incloses in it a letter, which he desires Mr. Clewer would write to Mr Fox, to disavow it; and to deny that there was any mortgage actually made. This will be very strong evidence, to shew that the prisoner was really sensible that the lease which was delivered to Mr Clewer, and shewn to Mr Fox, would not bear the light.

In regard to the first charge, of actually forging the lease, the circumstance to prove it will be, that it is all of the prisoner's own handwriting. As to time and place, when and where it was is done, it is impossible to know and prove exactly in what secret corner, or in what place, a man does transactions of this nature. And therefore, as to the time when it was done, it must be gathered from this violent presumption, that it was done at the time when the person stood in need of that forgery, in order to receive an advantage by it.

As to the place where this lease was uttered and published, knowing it to be forged, that

will be made extreamly clear. It was at the chambers of Mr Priddle in the Paper-Buildings in the Temple; and that it cannot be the real lease executed by Mr Fox is plain, because Mr Thomas will prove the two leases ingrossed by him were of his own hand-writing, down to the words (In witness whereof, &c.) The counterpart produced is so and the rest will be proved to be Mr Ayliffe's hand-writing.

It will be proved also, not to be the same by the prisoner's own declarations to Mr Fannen, one of the subscribing witnesses, near the time of the execution of the deed at Mr Fox's, when the prisoner expressing his joy, and declaring the goodness of his master, Mr Fox, said, that he had got Rusley conveyed to him at 35 l. per year. There is likewise another strong proof of it; Mr Ayliffe had a servant named Lodge, (who will be called) to whom the prisoner delivered that lease which he had of Mr Fox, with some other writings, near the time when it was executed, and then said, Mr Fox had granted him a lease of Rusley at 5 l. per year; but Mr Lodge will prove to you, that he had the curiosity to look into that very deed, and he saw it was 35 l. a year. Gentlemen, these circumstances will be very clear evidence to shew, this lease at 5 l. a year was forged, from his own declaration to Fannen that it was 35 l. per year, and his declaration afterwards to Lodge that it was 5 l. per year, but when the deed was looked into by him, it appeared to be thirty-five pounds.

The lease now produced will be proved to be a lease forged, and wrote by the prisoner, and in order to raise a sum of money, he has made it 5 l. instead of 35 l. a year, which makes a great difference in the rent reserved.

And it will be clearly proved too, that he published this lease with intention to defraud Mr Clewer, who advanced him a large sum of money upon it. These are circumstances which we shall lay before you; and when we have done so, I make no doubt but you will discharge your consciences, and find the prisoner guilty.

Mr Jones called, but not yet appearing.

Henry Thomas sworn.

Thomas. I am clerk to Mr Jones, a Stationer in the Temple.

Counsel for Crown*. Look at this (giving him the counterpart of the genuine lease into his hand) and tell us whose hand-writing this engrossment is.

* The counsel for the Crown were Mr Aston, Mr Serjeant Davy, and Mr Wedderburn; and for the prisoner Mr Serjeant Hayward, Mr Stow, and Mr Lane.

Thomas. This is my hand-writing, as far as the words (In witness whereof).

Q. How came you not to engross the whole?

Thomas. I can't particularly say that; sometimes we leave a blank by the gentlemens desire, perhaps they may add another covenant, or something of that sort, I can't recollect the reason for that.

Q. How many parts did you engross?

Thomas. I engrossed this part, and as it appears by our day-book, another part.

Q. By whose instructions did you engross it?

Thomas. It was brought me by Mr Jones's son.

Serjeant Davy. Now we will prove this to be executed by Mr Ayliffe.

John Fannen sworn.

Fannen. This deed (taking the counterpart in his hand) was executed by Mr Ayliffe in my presence.

King's Counsel. Was there any other deed executed at the same time?

Fannen. There was another part executed by Mr Fox.

Q. Was you a subscribing witness to this deed?

Fannen. I was; and also to the other part executed by Mr Fox.

Q. Had you any conversation with the prisoner after the execution of this lease?

Fannen. I had; but I cannot say, whether it was immediately after, or a day or two after.

Q. Where was it?

Fannen. In my room at Mr Fox's house. I asked Mr Ayliffe, whether Rusley Park was it? he said, Mr Fox had been so good as to it him at the rent of 30 l. or 35 l. a year, I am not sure which, and he expressed Mr Fox's great goodness in so doing.

Prisoner. I should be glad to look at that deed.

Court. You shall see it as soon as it has been read.

Eilis Dawe , sworn.

King's Counsel. Look at the concluding words in this deed, from the words [In witness whereof] He takes it in his hand.

Dawe. I know the prisoner, Mr Ayliffe; these words are his hand-writing.

Q. Look upon the endorsement; I mean the title of the deed written upon the back of it; whose hand-writing is that?

Dawe. That is Mr Ayliffe's hand-writing.

Q. Are you acquainted with his hand-writing ?

Dawe. I am.

Q. Have you seen him write?

Dawe. I have often seen him write.

The lease read, which bore date the 27th of November; and wherein the rent reserved was thirty-five pounds a year.

After which the jury took the lease and suspected it, and then it was shewn to the prisoner.

Mr Aston. My Lord, we will now proceed to prove the publication of the forged deed in question; and for that purpose we will begin with a mortgage thereof, executed by the prisoner to Mr Clewer.

Walter Hargrave , sworn.

King's Counsel. Look upon this deed (giving in the mortgage) see whether your name, upon the back, as a subscribing witness, is of your hand-writing.

Hargrave. It is.

Q. By whom did you see it executed?

Hargrave. By Mr Ayliffe: I saw him seal and deliver it.

Q. Where?

Hargrave. At Mr Priddle's chambers, in the King's-Bench-Walks, in the Temple.

Q. Is your name there, as a subscribing witness to the receipt for the consideration-money, likewise of your hand-writing?

Hargrave. It is: I saw Mr Ayliffe sign this receipt for 1700 l.

Q. At the time of the execution of that mortgage, did Mr Ayliffe deliver any title-deeds to Mr Clewer ?

Hargrave. He did: and this lease (pointing to the forged lease in question) was one.

Q. Do you remember any request being made, and by whom, to keep this mortgage a secret?

Hargrave. Mr Ayliffe desired Mr Bradley, Mr Green, Mr Clewer, and myself, to swear to keep it a secret.

Q. What answer was given to that?

Hargrave. We told him we would take no such oath.

Q. What reason did he give for this request?

Hargrave. Because he said he was not willing Mr Fox should know of it?

Cross Examination.

Counsel for the prisoner. Have you any particular reason for remembering this lease?

Hargrave. Yes: I'll show you, I remember it by this stamp. Pointing to an imperfect blotted country stationer's mark in the margin.

Mr Jones, being come, was sworn.

King's Counsel. Do you remember any person applying to you, the latter end of the year 1758, to get two parts engrossed of a lease of Rusley-park, in Wiltshire, in the name of Ayliffe?

Jones. I did three parts of a lease, Fox and Ayliffe; my clerk Thomas engrossed two of them, and Henzell the other.

Q. Were there any particular instructions given you by the person who brought the draft?

Jones. I can't positively say 'till I see the deed (he takes the counterpart of the genuine lease in his hand) we engross'd this down to the words, In witness whereof; and all the conclusion from those words are of another person's hand; the conclusion was omitted to leave room for something to be added.

Mr Fannen called again.

Court. The last witness says there were three parts engross'd.

L. Ch. Justice. How many did you see executed?

Fannen. There were only two executed the lease and the counterpart; the first by Mr Fox and the other by Mr Ayliffe.

The mortgage deed was then read; in which the forged lease, in question, is recited.

King's Counsel. We will now proceed to prove the lease recited and assigned in the mortgage to Clewer, and delivered to him by the prisoner, to be forged. Mr Fannen, look at that lease.

Fannen. He takes the forged lease in his hand.

King's Counsel. Is your name upon the back of it, as a subscribing witness, of your handwriting?

Fannen. No, it is not.

Q. Look at the name H. Fox set to that deed; is that Mr Fox's hand-writing?

Fannen. No, it is not.

Q. Are you acquainted with Mr Fox's hand-writing?

Fannen. I am: I have been well acquainted with his hand-writing these thirteen years.

Q. Is your name, which is set there as a witness, like your hand-writing?

Fannen. There is an imitation of my handwriting, but it is a very bad one.

Cross Examination.

Counsel for the prisoner. Is your hand-writing always the same ?

Fannen. No, Sir, but as nearly so as possible.

Counsel for the prisoner. Then, what reason have you to say, it is a bad imitation of it?

Fannen. Because it is not like it; it is intended to imitate mine, but compare that with mine upon the counterpart, and you'll see a very great difference.

Counsel for the prisoner. Look at these (producing three several letters) are these your handwriting ?

Fannen. (He takes them in his hand) these are my hand-writing.

They were all three delivered into court.

King's Counsel. Can you positively swear, that your name on that lease is not of your hand-writing ?

Fannen. I do.

Lord Chief Justice. The lease from Mr Fox to the prisoner is dated in November 1758. Was you a witness in that month, or a short time before or after, to any other deed between Mr Fox and the prisoner?

Fannen. No, my Lord, I remember being a witness to this counterpart executed by the prisoner, and to the original executed by Mr Fox, but to no other that year.

James Hobson , sworn.

King's Counsel. Take that lease in your hand (the forged one).

Q. Is the name James Hobson , wrote upon the back of that lease as a witness to the execution of it, of your hand-writing?

Hobson. No, it is not.

Q. Does it appear to you to have been intended to imitate your hand?

Hobson. It was certainly intended to imitate it?

Q. Does it imitate your writing?

Hobson. There are two letters here particularly very bad; the H is much wider than I write it, and the turn of the n is not at all like mine.

Q. Look at the counterpart of the lease. He takes it in his hand.

Hobson. I remember I was witness to the prisoner's executing this counterpart, and to Mr Fox's executing the original.

Q. Was you ever witness to any other deed between Mr Fox and Mr Ayliffe?

Hobson. I do not know that ever I was.

King's Counsel. Was you witness to any other deed in November?

Hobson. I am certain I was not.

King's Counsel. Or December?

Hobson. I do not remember that I was; I don't remember I was to any other deed at all.

Counsel for the prisoner. When was you a witness to this?

Hobson. On the 11th of December.

Counsel for the prisoner. Look at this paper.

Hobson. This is my name; this I saw Mr Fox sign.

Counsel for the prisoner. Look at the name James Hobson , as a witness to that instrument signed by Mr Fox to Mr Ayliffe.

Hobson. (He takes it in his hand). The name is my hand-writing, and the name H. Fox is his writing.

King's Counsel. Whether was you a witness either in the month of November or December, or before or after, to any parchment-deed at all, besides this that you have proved?

Hobson. I do not remember that I was.

King's Counsel. Are you acquainted with Mr Fox's hand-writing?

Hobson. I am.

Q. Do you live with him?

Hobson. I do.

Q. How long have you been acquainted with his hand-writing?

Hobson. About eight years.

Q. Is the name H. Fox to this deed, (pointing to the forged lease) of Mr Fox's hand-writing ?

Hobson. I believe not.

Counsel for the prisoner. Tell us why you think so.

Hobson. Because of the I in the H. (pointing to the first limb of the H, and turn of the x.)

Counsel for the Prisoner. Look at those X's, and tell us wherein they differ from this. Producing some papers signed H. Fox.

Hobson. The turn of the X is carried more round in this than in those of Mr Fox's writing.

Counsel for the prisoner. Do you think it is possible, in the course of a gentleman's signing deeds, to write always just alike?

Hobson. It is possible to write very much alike.

King's Counsel. Do you know what business Mr Ayliffe was formerly?

Hobson. I know no more than that he was a steward to Mr Fox.

Counsel for the prisoner. Have you observed any difference between Mr Fox's signing, when he franks a letter, or when he signs any instrument ?

Hobson. There is a difference.

Counsel for the prisoner. Can you describe that difference?

Hobson. Mr Fox makes his X's different in a frank, from what he does at other times.

Counsel for the prisoner. Look at his name on this paper, is this his writing?

Hobson. (He takes it in his hand) This is his writing.

Counsel for the prisoner. Is that X like the x to the deed? Compare them together.

Hobson. If you look upon them together, you will see a great difference.

Counsel for the prisoner. Look at this paper. (Producing a letter frank'd with Mr Fox's name.)

Hobson. (He takes it in his hand) There is but very little difference except in the X.

Counsel for the prisoner. Is not the top of this I of the H larger? (Shewing him a frank.)

Hobson. It is; but perhaps this may be of the prisoner's own making; for he used to frank sometimes in Mr Fox's name.

The letters and papers were delivered into court.

Samuel Netherton , sworn.

King's Counsel. Do you know Mr Fannen?

Netherton. I do.

Q. Have you seen him write?

Netherton. I have many times.

Q. Look at his name, subscribed as a witness to this lease. ( Shewing him the forged lease.)

Netherton. This is not his hand-writing; the manner in which this is wrote, in regard to the shaping of the letters, is not like his hand. Mr Fannen makes the strokes of his N farther asunder, and rather freer and sharper, and turns the bottom of his J more round.

Cross Examination.

Counsel for the prisoner. Look at this paper; is this Mr Fannen's writing?

Netherton. (He takes it in his hand.) I believe it is.

Counsel for the prisoner. Are the tops of the n's here sharper?

Netherton. The tops of the N in this paper appear to be sharper than those on the parchment. There is more similitude in these two, (looking at two papers) than there is between either of them, and that on the parchment.

L. Ch. Justice. Look on the name John Fannen on that parchment. Do you believe it to be his hand-writing, or not? or are you doubtful?

Netherton. I am not in the least doubtful; it is certainly forged.

Samuel Cox , sworn.

King's Counsel. Are you acquainted with Mr Hobson's hand-writing?

Cox. I am.

Q. Look at this deed. (Shewing him the forged lease.) Is the name James Hobson of his hand-writing?

Cox. It is not.

Q. Are you clear in that?

Cox. I am clear.

Q. Where is your objection?

Cox. I object against the H, the b and the n. Mr Hobson's H's are very narrow. I have had a great many letters from him.

Q. Have you seen him write his name?

Cox. I have. I have no doubt at all but that this is not his hand-writing.

John Calcraft, Esq; sworn.

King's Counsel. Have you ever seen Mr Fox write?

Calcraft. I have very often.

Q. Look at the name H. Fox subscribed to this deed. (Shewing him the forged lease.) Is that Mr Fox's hand-writing?

Calcraft. I do not take this to be Mr Fox's hand-writing; I never saw him make an H like this.

L. Ch. Justice. From your knowledge of Mr Fox's hand-writing, and of writing in general, are you capable of saying whether you believe this to be his hand, or are you doubtful?

Calcraft. From the knowledge I have of Mr Fox's hand-writing, I really believe that this is not his; and I never saw Mr Fox make such an H as this.

George Donisthorpe , Esq; sworn.

King's Counsel. Look at this deed. ( Shew him the forged lease.)

Donisthorpe. I have been acquainted with Mr Fox's hand-writing above 28 years, and I don't take this to be his.

L. Ch. Justice. Do you believe it, or are you doubtful?

Donisthorpe. I am as certain as I can speak of any thing which I did not see done myself, that this is not his hand-writing.

Q. What are you?

Donisthorpe. I have now the honour to be Mr Fox's steward.

Q. Are you acquainted with Mr Ayliffe's hand-writing, as to engrossing?

Donisthorpe. I never saw him engross; but (taking the forged lease into his hand) this deed is not wrote in an engrossing hand.

Q. Whose hand-writing then is it?

Donisthorpe. I am certain it is Mr Ayliffe's hand-writing; and I am sure the name H. Fox is not Mr Fox's hand-writing.

Ellis Daw called again.

King's Counsel. Whose hand-writing is the body of this deed? (Shewing the forged lease.)

Daw. I believe it is Mr Ayliffe's handwriting.

James Dalby , sworn.

King's Counsel. Did you ever see Mr Ayliffe write?

Dalby. I have a great many times.

Q. Look upon the body of this deed. ( shewing him the forged lease.)

Dalby. This is much stronger than his usual writing, but the turn of the letters is exactly

the same; I never saw him engross upon parchment.

Cross Examination.

Counsel for the prisoner. Whose hand-writing do you take this to be?

Dalby. The turn of the letters resembles Mr Ayliffe's hand-writing: I have received many letters from him.

King's Counsel to Mr Jones. Look on the body of this deed; ( shewing him the forged lease) whose hand-writing is it?

Jones. This is not the hand-writing of any of my people whom I employ; it is not an engrossment, but very badly wrote.

Q. Are you sure it is not the hand-writing of any person that you employ?

Jones. It is not the hand-writing of any person I employ, or ever did.

Q. Did you ever see any writing like it?

Jones. It seems to me to be the same handwriting with the conclusive part of the deed engrossed at my house.

Q. Look at the words (In witness whereof, &c.) of each.

Jones. I do; they are both alike, and appear to me to be both done by the same hand. I believe them to have been wrote by one person.

Counsel for the prisoner. Both what?

Jones. The whole of one deed (pointing to the forged lease) and the words (in witness whereof, &c.) in the other (pointing to the counterpart of the genuine lease).

Samuel Lodge , sworn.

King's Counsel. Do you know Mr Ayliffe's hand-writing?

Lodge. I do.

Q. Look at the body of this lease (shewing him the forged lease) and say whose hand-writing it is.

Lodge. It has a great resemblance to Mr Ayliffe's hand-writing.

Q. Did not you once live with him?

Lodge. I have been frequently backwards and forwards with him.

Q. Did he at any time in December 1758 acquaint you with Mr Fox's having granted him a lease of Rusley-Park ?

Lodge. I copied a draught to carry to Mr Paterson, and therein left a blank for the rent. Mr Ayliffe told me he did not know what the rent would be. It might be 5 l. a year, or it might be a pepper-corn; I wrote it, and and I believe he carried it, in my own handwriting, to Mr Paterson.

Q. Did he afterwards deliver a lease to you which was executed?

Lodge. Yes: I can't directly say the time; but, I believe, it was in December.

Q. Did he at that time tell you what the rent reserved was?

Lodge. No: not at that time; I looked to see.

Q. What did you find it to be?

Lodge. I found it to be thirty-five pounds a year.

Q. Where did he give it you?

Lodge. He gave it me at Mr Priddle's chambers, or coming from thence; I took and put it in my pocket, and going to a vault, having no waste paper, this being done up in a new'spaper; I took it out to tear off a piece of that paper, and then I had the curiosity to see what the rent of the lease was, and I saw it was thirty-five pounds in words at length; and it was in the same hand-writing as this counterpart is, as high as a person can carry it in his mind.

Q. Did you see any name to it?

Lodge. Yes, there was H. Fox to it.

Q. What was Mr Ayliffe originally?

Lodge. I have known him a great many years; I believe he kept a school.

Q. What school?

Lodge. A writing and reading school, I believe.

Q. Where did he keep a school?

Lodge. At Lineham in Wilts.

Q. Look at this deed and the signature H. Fox; (shewing him the forged lease) whose writing is the name H. Fox subscribed to it?

Lodge. It appears to have a strong resemblance of Mr Ayliffe's hand-writing.

Q. How do you know that? Have you ever seen him write Mr Fox's name?

Lodge. I have two or three times seen him frank letters with Mr Fox's name; and it looks like the command of his hand, though wrote larger than the franks.

Cross Examination.

Counsel for the prisoner. How did the prisoner sign the franks?

Lodge. He used to make the franks in the same manner as Mr Fox does.

The forged lease read and compared with that set forth in the indictment.

L. Ch. Justice. Are the words thirty-five pounds in the reddendum and covenant of the counterpart of the genuine lease in words at length; and is there any razure in either of them in the lease set forth in the indictment?

Clerk of Arraigns. The rent in the counterpart is in words at length, and there is no razure in the other.

King's Counsel. My Lord, we rest it here.

Prisoner's Defence.

It is Mr Fox's hand-writing; that is all I know.

For the Prisoner.

Gabriel Cruse , sworn.

Cruse. I was subpoena'd last Monday, and came up here from the country; I have not been paid for my journey nor expences; therefore, I hope I shall be considered.

L. Ch. Justice. That is never done in cases of felony.

Counsel for the prisoner. Do you know Mr Fox?

Cruse. I do: but I have but very little acquaintance with him.

Q. Do you know of any lease he executed to the prisoner?

Cruse. No: I do not.

Q. Did you ever hear Mr Fox make any declaration concerning any lease he had granted to the prisoner?

Cruse. He said he had agreed to give him a lease at thirty-five pounds a year; and that if he signed one for five pounds a year it was an imposition, that is all, I know of it.

King's Counsel. Explain that?

Cruse. The draft of the lease was thirty-five pounds (as Mr Fox said), but the lease that he had signed he never read it.

Q. Did you at any time see the lease in Mr Fox's hand?

Cruse. No: I did not.

Adam Brown , sworn.

Counsel for the prisoner. Are you acquainted with Mr Fox's hand-writing.

Brown. I am well acquainted with it.

Q. How long have you been acquainted with it?

Brown. About a dozen years.

Q. Here take this deed; (shewing him the forged lease) look at the name H. Fox at the bottom.

Brown. The first glance of it shews me a great aukwardness; it is not Mr Fox's handwriting, but a very bad imitation of it; there is a stiffness in this that I never observed in Mr Fox's writing.

Thomas Bonnell , sworn.

Counsel for the prisoner. What are you?

Bonnell. I am an Attorney.

Q. Look at this deed ( shewing him the forged deed) did you ever see this in Mr Fox's hands?

Bonnell. No, Sir, I never saw it before.

Q. from the prisoner. Did not Mr Fox make some acknowledgment to you?

Bonnell. That was matter of private conversation; Mr Fox asked me if I knew any thing with respect to the lease of Rusley-Park.

Q. Where was this?

Bonnell. I attended Mr Fox at Holland House, he said, Mr Ayliffe had made it 5 l. instead of thirty-five pounds, and seemed then to look upon it not as a forgery, but as a fraud and imposition. He said, he first intended it should

be 40 l. a year, but being desirous that he should have it upon reasonable terms, ordered it to be made 35 l. but said, Ayliffe had imposed upon him. That was nearly the sense of what passed at that time.

King's Counsel. When was this?

Bonnell. This was about the latter end of July last.

King's Counsel. Was this before Mr Clewer had shewed Mr Fox the lease mortgaged to him?

Bonnell. It was after that, I think, Mr Fox told me he had seen the deed; but I will not be positive to that, I think he said it was made 5 l. instead of 35 l.

Counsel for the Prisoner. Did Mr Fox treat it as an imposition, or as a forgery?

Bonnell. I believe Mr Fox then thought that the lease he executed was 5 l. instead of 35 l.

Lord Chief Justice, to the counsel for the prisoner. If you build upon Mr Fox's opinion of this matter you may call him as a witness, and have the benefit of his testimony, although they cannot call him on the part of the Crown.

King's Counsel. Mr Fox is near at hand, and will be forth-coming if they desire it.

Counsel for the prisoner. No, we do not desire it.

King's Counsel. Are you sure Mr Fox told you he had seen it?

Bonnell. I think he told me so, but I am not certain.

King's Counsel. Did he tell you any thing of the counterpart?

Bonnell. I think he mentioned it; but to be particular I cannot.

Counsel for the prisoner. My Lord, we now shall call witnesses to the prisoner's character.

Lord Chief Justice. It is clear Mr Fox himself had formerly a very good opinion of him, by employing him as his steward.

Francis Scull , Sworn.

Counsel for the prisoner. Do you know Mr Ayliffe?

Scull. I have known him a great many years, ever since he lived in the parish of Lineham.

Q. What is his general character?

Scull. I ever looked upon him to be a very honest man, I scarcely heard any thing to his discredit, he was steward to Madam Horner; she dying he continued steward to Mr Fox.

King's Counsel. Did he continue steward to Madam Horner to her death?

Scull. I do not know whether he did or not. I have one particular reason to look upon him to be an honest man, he had turned out a servant of Mr Fox's, I applied to him to employ him again; no, said he, I'll employ no person that will not regard the interest of Mr Fox, my honour will not let me do it: for Mr Fox's interest is in question, as several people have complained to me of him.

James Doleman , sworn.

Counsel for the prisoner. Do you know Mr Ayliffe?

Doleman. I do, I have known him a dozen or fourteen years.

Q. What is his character?

Doleman. He had a very good character during that time, that of an honest man, I never heard any thing to the contrary in my life.

John Tucker , sworn.

Counsel for the prisoner. Do you know Mr Ayliffe?

Tucker. I have known him many years.

Q. What is his general character?

Tucker. As far as ever I heard, he is a man of credit and reputation.

Q. Where do you live?

Tucker. I live at Chippenham.

King's Counsel. When you speak of credit, what do you mean?

Tucker. A very honest man.

Q. Don't you know that he was in distressed circumstances?

Tucker. No.

Q. from the prisoner. You have heard what Mr Lodge said here; did not he give me a good character but a week ago?

Tucker. I have heard him give you a good character.

William Bradley , Sworn

Counsel for the prisoner. How long have you known Mr Ayliffe?

Bradley. I believe I have known him about a year and a half, or thereabouts?

King's Counsel. Was you not a subscribing witness to the mortgage-deed executed by the prisoner to Mr Clewer?

Bradley. I was.

Q. Look at that deed, ( shewing him the mortgage) is that your name?

Bradley. (He takes it in his hand.) This is my hand-writing (pointing to his name).

King's Counsel. Do you remember any talk of keeping this mortgage a secret?

Bradley. Yes.

King's Counsel. Was there any mention made of an oath of secrecy?

Bradley. I cannot say that; it was desired to be kept a secret.

King's Counsel. Who desired that?

Bradley. I believe it was Mr Ayliffe's Attorney.

King's Counsel. Did not Mr Ayliffe desire it?

Bradley. I do not remember that I heard him say any thing about it.

King's Counsel. Was Mr Ayliffe by when the Attorney mentioned it?

Bradley. I believe he was.

King's Counsel. What was said?

Bradley. It was said Mr Fox would take it ill, if he knew that Rusley-Park was mortgaged or sold; and he therefore was very desirous it should not be known.

King's Counsel. Who said that?

Bradley. Really I can't say which of them said it; it was spoke when the mortgage was signed.

King's Counsel. Who was the Attorney?

Bradley. Mr Priddle was; I think he repeated those words; but I can't recollect positively who it was.

Q. from the prisoner. Was it in my hearing?

Bradley. I can't say you heard it; you was there when this deed was signed.

Counsel for the prisoner. Is it an uncustomary thing for a mortgagor to desire it might be kept a secret, and not be exposed, that he has mortgaged his estate?

Bradley. It is often desired.

Counsel for the prisoner. Do you think, that if a mortgagee is paid his money, there is any necessity to disclose the mortgage?

Bradley. I should think not.

My Lord Chief Justice then summed up the evidence, and gave his charge to the Jury.

The Jury withdrew, and returned in about six minutes, and brought in their verdict, Guilty . Death .

There was another indictment found against him in Middlesex for another forgery; but being capitally convicted of the one, it was thought unnecessary to try him for the other.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter, 24th October 1759.

Reference Number: t17591024-27

THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery FOR THE CITY of LONDON, And also the Gaol Delivery for the County of MIDDLESEX, HELD AT JUSTICE-HALL in the OLD-BAILEY, On Wednesday the 24th, Thursday the 25th, and Friday the 26th, of OCTOBER, 1759.

In the Thirty-third Year of His MAJESTY'S Reign. NUMBER VIII, PART III. for the YEAR 1759. Being the eighth SESSIONS in the MAYORALTY of The Right Honble Sir RICHARD GLYN , Knt. and Bart. LORD-MAYOR of the CITY of LONDON.

LONDON:

Printed, and sold by M. COOPER, at the Globe in Pater-noster-Row: 1759.

[Price Four-Pence.]

THE PROCEEDINGS ON THE

King's Commissions of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery held for the City of LONDON, &c.


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