Offence: Deception > fraud
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317. (L). Samuel Lee , was indicted for feloniously uttering, and publishing, as true, a false bill of exchange, with the name Benjamin Sutton thereunto subscribed, bearing date at Leicester, 17th of October, for the payment of 50 l. with intention to defraud John Price . It was laid also with intention to defraud Mess. Frame and Co. Dec. 20 . ++
Q. In what situation is he of late?
Price. He is a man deprived of sight, so is under a necessity of having a person to transact business for him.
Q. The bills drawn upon you from him, who are they drawn by?
Q. What is Mr. Powser?
Price. He is a hosier.
Q. What are you?
Price. I am a merchant.
Q. What do you correspond with him in?
Price. In money only; he was a man in busisiness, in the hosiery way, and he takes the excise money for the county of Derby; he used to remit me sometimes a thousand pounds a month, it answered his purpose in the country, and I was his agent here to pay it into the Bank, when I had collected in his bills and money. Now he has of late taken up money at Leicester, to answer his occasions, and made remittances to me to answer his drafts; he made his drafts upon me, and always sent me materials to answer them.
Price. He was.
Q. Where did he reside?
Price. At Leicester; they both live there, Mr. Powser, and Mr. Sutton.
Q. Were the bills drawn by Mr. Sutton, on the account of Mr. Powser, accepted as Mr. Powser's bills?
Price. All Mr. Sutton's bills, whom I considered as agent for Mr. Powser, I always paid as Mr. Powser's bills, because I had an order so to do from Mr. Powser.
Q . How many clerks had Mr. Powser at home?
Price. He had two or three.
Q. Have you seen Mr. Powser often?
Price. I never saw him but once; but I had an order from him, to pay all the bills drawn by Mr. Sutton, or any of his other clerks.
Q. Who gave you that order? Did not Mr. Sutton write that order?
Price. No, Sir.
Q. How long has Mr. Sutton been his agent?
Price. He has near as long as I have corresponded with Mr. Powser, he used to settle accounts for his master.
Q. Had you this order by letter from Mr. Powser?
Price. I cannot say I received any letter from Mr. Powser, signed by his own hand.
Q. When the account was settled between Mr. Powser and you, did he always allow the account?
Q. Whether you ever settled any account with Mr. Powser?
Price. Yes, a great many.
Q. Did he approve of them?
Price. Yes, he did.
Q. Whether you have not had an answer under the hand of Mr. Sutton, with regard to settling your accounts rightly?
Price. Yes, generally for his master, that Mr. Powser has approved of the account. Mr. Sutton writes word back, that either it is right, or right, subject to such error.
Q. Did you direct your letters to Mr. Sutton?
Q. No money past between Mr. Sutton and you?
Price. I don't know that ever a penny past between us.
Q. Whether there has not been in you, transacting a great many accounts with Mr. Powser, several mistakes in the time of your correspondence together?
Q. Has not the prisoner at the bar been an instrument in settling most of your mistakes?
Price. No. I have trusted him to be sure.
Q. Was you his clerk in the year 1760, in October?
Sutton. I was, and was imploy'd as his agent to draw bills for him.
Q. About the 17th of October 1760, was you authorized to draw bills upon him in town?
Sutton. I have been authorized ever since I have been with him, to draw bills upon his account.
Q. What, as a partner?
Sutton. No, not as a partner.
Sutton. No, Sir, it is not my hand-writing.
Q. Did you draw this bill?
Sutton. No, I did not.
Q. Have you seen the prisoner often?
Sutton. I never saw him but once that I know of, and that some years ago; therefore I cannot form any idea of him.
Q. Is this like your hand-writing?
Sutton. It is a great deal like my writing; I was a good deal shock'd at first, when I saw it
Sutton. I know I never did draw it?
Counsel. You say, when you first saw it, it shock'd you
Sutton. It did a good deal; it was a good deal like my hand writing.
Counsel. Then you could not be certain at first.
Sutton. No, I could not.
Q. What has made you more certain since?
Sutton. By searching Mr. Powser's books.
Q. Is that the only reason?
Sutton. No, there are two indorsers; I went to them, and they had no such account on their books.
Q. Upon your oath, whether is this your handwriting or not?
Sutton. It is not my hand-writing, upon my oath it is not; I am very certain of it.
Sutton. Yes, always.
Q. Do you recollect you omitted entering one of this sort?
Sutton. We always enter them down in two books.
Q. Are you certain you enter them?
Sutton. I am very certain of that.
Q. Is there any entry made of this bill
Sutton. No, there is not, I am very certain of that.
Q. Where do the indorsers live?
Q. Do you know of any bill delivered to you, in order to be carried for payment? Look upon the bill in question?
Q. Of whom did you receive the bill?
Arnold. I received it of the prisoner at the bar; he directed me at the same time, to carry it, and receive the money.
Q. Were there any particular circumstances attended it? Or were there any particular directions of any sort? Or was there any particular behaviour of the person?
Arnold. The prisoner came to the Amsterdam coffee-house, about four o'clock in the afternoon, I think on the 20th of December; I was not in the coffee-room, when he came in (my mistress is an antient gentlewoman) I was down in the kitchen; my mistress called me up from dinner, and said, a gentleman wanted me; I went to the table to the prisoner at the bar, he had this bill in his hand; he asked me, if I knew Frome and Barclay's, in Lombard-street; I said, I did not know directly. He began and told me where it was, and said, Will you go and receive this bill for me of 50 l. I said, I had rather you
Q. Look upon the prisoner, are you sure you know him?
Arnold. I am certain the prisoner is the man.
Q. Had you ever seen him before?
Arnold. I had one day before, and know him particularly well.
Q. Did you see him after that?
Arnold. I did, he came to our house afterwards.
Q. How soon after you went and brought him the money?
Arnold. About six or eight days after, he called me to him, and said, if any person came there, and asked him any questions about the bill, I was to tell them, I received it of a fat, lusty, broad-shoulder'd gentleman. [Note, The prisoner was the reverse.]
Q. Are you certain to the number of days it was after you paid him the money?
Arnold. I am not certain, but I believe it was about six or eight days after that.
Q. What reply did you make him?
Arnold. I do not recollect that I made him any reply at all; but immediately I went away, having some suspicion it was not right.
The bill read, to this purport.
Leicester, 17 Oct. 1760.
Two months after date, pay Mess. Pitts, Ward, and Co. or order, 50 l. value received, for Mr. Thomas Powser, as advice, by Sir,
On the back, Mess. Freame and Barclay, pray pay this bill.
Counsel. This was a direction on the back to the evidence, in order for him to go and carry the bill.
Q. When was it you saw the prisoner, before he brought the bill to you?
Arnold. It was the day before he brought the bill, in December last.
Q. You say, he came about four in the afternoon; were the candles lighted at that time?
Arnold. I do not say it was absolutely four; I believe we lighted candles soon after he was gone; it was near dusk.
Counsel. We shall next prove, that Mess. Freame and Barclay, upon the bill being tendered with Mr. Price's acceptance upon it, paid the bill to the person that brought it.
Q. Where did you pay it?
Benning. I paid it at Freame and Barclay's, I am clerk there; I paid it by the direction of Mr. Price, upon the back of it.
Q. Does Mr. Price keep cash at your house?
Benning. He does.
Q. Do you know the witness Arnold?
Q. Do not you make a mark upon a bill in order to show who paid it?
Benning. No, Sir, but I chiefly pay all, if it is in paid money.
Q. to Arnold. Do you know this witness?
Arnold. I think I saw him that day, but I cannot take upon me to say who paid me; but some-body did pay me there.
Q. to Benning. Do you know this man Arnold?
Benning. I cannot take upon me to swear I do.
Q. Look at the back of the bill, see if you know to whom it was paid?
Arnold. I did, it is my writing.
Arnold. I think it was about four o'clock.
Q. from Prisoner. What light was there in the alley, that you could distinctly see I was the man; I do declare I never was in your house; consider young man what what you have done, it is upon life and death?
Arnold. I am certain of the prisoner's person.
Q. What time of the day was it he came to you, to describe him as a thick person?
Arnold. I do not remember the time of the day; but I think it was in the afternoon, not late; but I am certain he is the man, I am confident of that; and that he is the man that came afterwards, and desired me to describe him, as a lusty sat man.
Q. from Prisoner. Upon your oath, how long did I stay with you, when I came, as you say, a second time?
Arnold. I am certain I know the prisoner, I saw him three times in the coffee room, he staid with me out a very little time.
Prisoner. Was I upon m oath now, as I am upon life and death, I can safely swear, I do not know where the Amsterdam coffee-house stands; I never was in it in my life.
Q. from Prisoner. Were there any people in the coffee-room, when you say I was there?
Arnold. It was not very full of people; there were scarce any gentlemen there at the time.
Prisoner. You are a good painter, to take people off to swear plumply to me now; and when you came into Newgate to me, you was asked by Mr. Price's clerk, if you knew that person; you look'd at me and said, you thought I was the person; and trembled as if you was afraid of speaking to me, and said, you must swear to me.
Arnold. I was not afraid, nor had I any occasion to speak to the prisoner.
Q. from Prisoner. By what means could you distinct, know I was the person, when you had never saw me for 10 months, by you own account.
Arnold. I saw the prisoner within six or eight days after he delivered me the bill.
Q. from Prisoner. What hour of the day was it, that I came as you say to you a second time?
Arnold. I cannot particularly say the hour, but I knew then the prisoner was the same person that I delivered the money to.
Q. from Prisoner. Did you pick me out in Newgate, or was I described to you by Mr. Price's clerk?
Arnold. He was not described to me at all, I knew him as soon as I saw him in Newgate.
Prisoner. You was five minutes looking at me before you spoke.
Arnold. Mr. Price's clerk is in court, he can give an account of the matter.
In the first place, my lord, I should be glad to know my prosecutor. Mr. Price, are you my prosecutor?
Court. This is a prosecution at the suit of the public, in order to bring to justice every body guilty of these offences; it is immaterial who it is.
Prisoner. Mess. Freame and Barclay being the aggrieved persons, I do not find their names on the bill of indictment.
Court. The first account in the indictment is laid for publishing a false bill of exchange with intend to defraud John Price . The second for publishing an acceptance of John Price, with intention to defraud John Price . The third for publishing an acceptance of John Price , with intention to defraud Mess. Freame and Barclay. And the fourth for publishing an order of John Price 's, with intention to defraud John Price . And the fifth account with intention to defraud Mess. Freame and Barclay.
Prisoner. I should imagine Freame and Barclay were prosecutors, and not or Mr. Price.
Court. You have made that an objection, which is none at all.
Prisoner. I have known Mr. Price, in hurry of business, direct a bill to be paid; and I have asked him two hours afterwards, and he has not recollected he has directed such a bill at all; and if there is Mr. Price's direction on the back of the bill. I should apprehend it is his handwriting, and not mine. May it please your lordship, has there any circumstance appeared yet that I forged the bill?
Counsel. You are not indicted for that; you are indicted for uttering a bill, knowing it to have been forged.
Prisoner. In my servi ude to Mr. Price, I paid, I can justly say, three thousand bills of Mr. Price's; so that it is reasonable to suppose I knew Mr. Sutton's hand-writing; but this bill I am ignorant of, it is the 10 l. bill that I am to be tried upon. All of them, for three years past,
Q. to Price. How long had the prisoner lived with you?
Price. He lived with me four years.
For the Prisoner.
Q. How long before?
Hughes. It may be three or four months before; I have seen him once or twice before he came to the King's-bench; that was some time before Christmas, but I cannot be certain how long.
Q. Was you a prisoner there?
Hughes. I was.
Q. Was it a week before Christmas?
Hughes. If I speak to the best of my knowledge, I really believe it was some time more than a week before; I was a prisoner there twelve months before.
Q. Can you be positive you knew him there a week before Christmas?
Hughes. I cannot; I did not know that I should be called upon, otherwise I could have enquired. Upon my oath, to the best of my knowledge, I do think it was a week before Christmas. I cannot take upon me to say positively; I could as well think two weeks as one, but cannot be positive. I think he went away a little before March, and I believe he was a prisoner there full two months.
Q. Was not you at all apprized of being a witness 'till to-day?
Hughes. I was not upon my oath.
Q. What time did you know you was to be a witness?
Hughes. Never, 'till the prisoner now called upon me.
Q. Was you never with him in prison?
Hughes. I was two or three times.
Q. How long ago?
Hughes. Two or three months ago; I called with a friend or two to drink a glass of wine with him.
Q. Was he a prisoner within the walls, or not?
Hughes. To the best of my knowledge he was a prisoner within the walls.
Q. Had you the rules?
Hughes. I had.
Q. Had he the rules, or not?
Hughes. I think he had not; I was then very intimate with him, and was often, and frequently, with him.
Q. How comes it you cannot with certainty tell whether he had the rules or not?
Hughes. We that were in prison had some sort of indulgence from the marshal to go out, and see a friend or so..
Q. Was the prisoner in execution?
Hughes. I cannot take upon me to say he was; I saw him within the walls often, and frequently he lodged with Mr. Champion, who is there now; he is a bankrupt, and cannot be discharged.
Q. Has he never desired you to recollect yourself, to remember when you saw him in the King's-bench?
Hughes. Upon my oath never; he never proposed any such thing to me in his life.
Q. Was you a prisoner there?
Holeman. No, I went as an acquaintance, to see Mr. Lee; I saw him before Christmas, and after Christmas, and between whiles, and never saw him out.
Richard Elstone . I did not come here to give the man a character, only I have a prisoner here. He was an inside prisoner at the King's-bench; he was there about last Christmas; I cannot take upon me to say what time; I remember the man.
Q. Can you take upon you to say it was before last Christmas?
Elstone. I cannot, I know it was about that time.
Philips. I cannot take upon me to say what time in particular; I know he was there in the middle of December, it was extream cold weather.
Q. What time in December?
Philips. I believe it might be, perhaps, the 10th of December.
Q. Was he a close prisoner within the Bench?
Philips. He was.
Q. How long did he continue there?
Philips. I cannot take upon me to say how long; I cannot take upon me to say the day of the month in particular; I know I saw him after Christmas a close prisoner within the walls.
Q. to Elstone. Are the prisoners ever allowed to go out of prison?
Elstone. No, not unless in term-time, the turnkey would let them out into the rules.
Q. Will they let them go out of the rules?
Elstone. No, not unless it be term-time; but I cannot take upon me to say what is done there; I only go over with a prisoner, and deliver him there.
Q. Are the prisoners within the walls by the marshal permitted to go out into the rules?
Elstone. That is to take a walk for an airing; I have known a prisoner taken out, and a bond has been given for him on the Sunday; I have been with them, but then they have been taken no farther than the rules; if I do, I am fixed with the debt.
Q. Whether the marshal lets them go out of the walls of the goal into the rules?
Elstone. No, I told you the turnkey does it, but not with the consent of the marshal.
Q. The question is plain, Whether the prisoners are suffered to go out of the King's-bench into the rules?
Q. Have you seen it done?
Elstone. I have.
Q. What to let the prisoners out upon their request?
Elstone. I think I have seen them let out, but upon what account I cannot say.
Q. If a man is suffered to go out into the rules, has he not an opportunity to go over the bridge to Lombard-street?
Elstone. It is possible.
John Brooks . I have known the prisoner at the bar from an infant; I was born at Spalding, a neighbour of his father's, and knew him 'till he was 13 or fourteen years old there. He was as sober and well-behaved a youth, as any lad in town, and his father brought him up with the greatest virtue. I have known him since he lived with Mr. Price, I never was there, I have met him in the street.
Q. What is his general character?
For the crown.
Q. Look at this paper, is this your handwriting? [He takes it in his hand.]
Absolom. Yes, it is.
Q. Look on the other side of it, did you ever see the prisoner, where, and when?
Absolom. He came to me at the Cock-alehouse, at the corner of Sherborne-lane, on the 20th of December, and delivered this note into my hand.
Counsel. This is a 10 l. bill.
Q. Why do you know it was the 20th of December?
Absolom. Because when I go upon these affairs, I generally make a memorandum; this was to receive some money of Mr. John Price , for him, and I received it in the name of one Welden; the prisoner at the bar ordered me to go, and receive it.
Guilty Death .