William Barlow, Jane Durant, Deception > forgery, 14th September 1763.

Reference Number: t17630914-66
Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Guilty; Not Guilty
Punishment: Death

436. 437, (L.) William Barlow , and Jane Durant , were indicted for forging a letter of attorney, purporting to be executed by William Smith , in order to receive prize-money due to him, as a seaman on board his majesty's ship the Lively, and published with intention to defraud Hucherson Mure , May 12 . +

Richard Atkerson . Mr. Hucherson Mure is agent to the Lively , so far as concerns the Valleur and Syren, I do business for him in his absence, there was 12 l. prize money due to one William Smith , the second supernumerary, and likewise the same due to another William Smith , both on board the Lively, being rated able , but he is deceased; on the 12th of May last Elizabeth Clark, the evidence, brought a letter of attorney to our office, and had the money in consequence, some days after this I was told by John Dickson that this woman had produced a power signed by one Humphry Smith, and a day or two after that she came again with a letter signed William Smith , it was, I sent it down to the Navy office to know if that was the hand of Mr. Thomas Coleby . I was answered it was not, then I took measures to apprehend her; she was met with in the street by one of our clarks, who followed her to a tavern, where she was apprehended; the day after I had word brought she had confessed her guilt, and wanted to tur evidence; I attended her at Wood-street-compter, there she told me Barlow, Richardson, and Lloyd were the men that forged it, and she uttered it, and was to have a guinea for so doing. Some days passing, and nothing done in apprehending them, I obtained permission of Mr. Alderman Cokayne to carry her before Sir John Fielding, that she might give the like evidence before him, to enable him to set his officers to look after the men. She gave the same information there, she said one of the three men made a mark, the other two signed the names of the two witnesses; Sir John advertised a reward for apprehending them. Soon a message was brought me that Barlow was in Wood-street-compter, I went, and found him with the keeper, who knew him. he having been in custody before, for a similar affair; he declared he could open a very large scene of of this kind, and desired to be admitted evidence; at that time he neither denied nor confessed it; we told him we apprehended we had evidence sufficient in the woman to convict every person concerned in this fact, and it was clear he could not be admitted; this was repeated to him often. Mr. Kirby, the keeper, was present. Barlow said, the woman was a very bad woman, and had not been candid in her information, for one Jane Durant was concerned in this power, and was the person that made the mark, purporting to be the mark of William Smith. Durant was, upon this, apprehended, and carried before the sitting Alderman, with Barlow and Clark, otherwise Cox, many things were said both by Barlow and Cox, but I do not remember them sufficiently so as to give them in evidence.

Q. What did the evidence say, when this mistake was mentioned, of not having mentioned Durant at first?

Atkerson. She said it proceeded from her misapprehension of Sir John Fielding's questions, and that Lloyd was one of the three that had forged the former power of attorney, upon which I had actually paid the money; but that Barlow, Richardson, and Durant did actually commit this forgery, upon that they were committed; she persevered in her charge against Durant afterwards. (the power of attorney produced) This has been principally in my custody ever since, it has not been altered.

John. I am clerk to Mr. Mure, this power of attorney was brought to my office by Elizabeth Cox , otherwise Clark, in the month of May last, she delivered it in order to receive 12 l. prize money due to William Smith ; upon a suspicion that it was forged one I stopped it, and delivered it to Mr. Atkerson; when I stopped it she was a good deal confused, she told me in half an hour's time she would produce people that saw William Smith sign it, she went away, and I did not see her for 14 or 15 days after, then I met her in Tower-street, and followed her to a house in a court in Grace church-street, I remained there till she came out, she then went in at the Castle in Lombard-street, there I apprehended her; she was carried before the sitting Alderman, she at first positively denied the fact; the Alderman ordered her to be taken in stody till the Monday following, I never saw her after that.

James Faulkner . I remember Elizabeth Clark coming to our office (I am one of Mr Mure's clerks) in the name of Humphry Smith, I could not find such a name in the book, but I had a suspicion of her from a former transaction; I told her, there was one William Smith intitled to prize money, this I did on purpose to try her, and I wrote upon the back of the power, William Smith ; I was not in the office when she came in the name of William Smith .

Thomas Coleby . I am clerk of the Cheque at Chatham, it is my business to sign powers of attorney, (he takes the power of attorney in his hand) this my name here is not my hand-writing.

Q. What is your reason for adding to your name as here, Clerk of the Cheque?

Coleby. No power is valid unless it is signed so.

It is read in Court:

"Know all men by these presents, that I William

"Smith, on board his Majesty's ship the

"Lively, for certain good causes, &c. making

" Elizabeth Cox , of Clerkenwell, widow, his

"lawful attorney, to receive all bounty-money,

"prize-money, &c.

Signed William Smith .

"Signed, sealed, and delivered in the presence

"of Thomas Coleby , clerk of the Cheque,

"and William Ritch ."

Q. to Atkerson. Was this power of attorney produced to Barlow?

Atkerson. I do not know that it was, I described it as the power that Clark was sent with to get the money, and for which he was apprehended, I think it was mentioned the power in the name of William Smith ; he was taken up on the oath of Elizabeth Clark , for having forged this letter of attorney in the name of William Smith , the words in the warrant was, on violent suspicion of forging a letter of attorney in the name of William Smith .

Elizabeth Clark . The first letter of attorney I had I went to Mr. Mure's house with, which was a week before this, to receive 12 l. I forgot the name it was in. I have known the prisoner Barlow 3 or 4 years, that was signed by the prisoner Barlow, Lloyd, and William Richardson , I did receive the money for that, there was Mrs. Richardson and Mrs. Barlow present with us at at the time, it was in the name of Daniel Soaper , the money was shared afterwards at the White Lyon tavern, in Bishopsgate-street, Barlow had one guinea for filling it up, which he did entirely himself.

Richard Booth . I am a victualler in Salisbury-court; I have seen Barlow write a great many times. (he takes the letter of attorney in his hand) the filling up I believe to be his hand writing, and I take the name Thomas, in Thomas Coleby , to be his hand writing.

Q to Clark. Did you go with any other letter of attorney besides that, and that in the name of William Smith ?

Clark. Yes, I went with one in the name of Smith, but not William, I do not remember the name, the gentleman told me, there was no one of that christian-name, but there was one William Smith , then he put it down on the back of the other power, then I carried that to the Crown on the other side of Moorfields, but Richardson was waiting in the Street at Mr. Mure's for me, as he always did.

Q. Who prepared that?

Clark. Barlow, Lloyd and Richardson did. Barlow and Mrs. Richardson met Mr. Richardson and I at the Crown, I told them what the gentleman said, then they said they had made a mistake in the christian-name; we parted at that time, and in a day or two after they left a line for me at the Three Tuns in Brooke's-market, to go to them the next day at the Crown ale-house again; I went, there were Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, Mr. Barlow and Mrs. Durant; Richardson pulled out a power of attorney and gave it to Barlow to fill up, which he did in a little room joining the bar, I saw him do it, he signed Thomas Coleby to it, and Richardson signed the other witness to it, Mrs. Durant made the mark, she asked if she should make the mark, or sign the name, they bid her make a mark, she can write extremely well, when she made the mark she said it was as particular a mark as could be made; Barlow put a wafer in it, and it was carried into the tap-room before they signed it; then I carried it to the office, there Mr. Dickson told me the gentleman was not in the way, and I must come again in half an hour, or the next morning; Mr. Richardson was at the door, I told him what had passed; we went to the Crown, there they were all waiting, Richardson told Barlow it was stopped, they said they must make use of some scheme or other to get it out of their hands, as it was a bad affair to lie in their hands, Barlow said, I should not have let it go out of my hands till I saw the gentleman myself. In about four days or near a week after Richardson called upon me again at the Three Tuns, and desired, I would meet him at the Crown the next morning, I went, there was Mr. and Mrs. Richardson and Barlow, there was a letter wrote to be sent to Mr Mure, Richardson had wrote it; Barlow said it was a very improper one, Richardson desired him to write another, Barlow said his hand would be known again, as he had filled up the power of attorney, he was very loth at first to do it; Richardson said he could write a different hand to that, as the power was filled up in a very small hand: with a good deal of persuasion Barlow did write one, which was sent to the gentleman; I gave it to a porter, and he carried it, I was to wait at a public-house for the porter, Richardson went part of the way with the porter; the porter came back no more, Richardson came and said, the gentleman had taken up the porter.

Q. At what house did you wait for the porter?

Clark. I do not know the sign, it was on this side Moorfields. Barlow went out of the Crown, and said he would go and see for Richardson, we saw one another no more that night; Mrs. Durant called upon me once or twice after, but we had no talk about it, till I went to her one day, and said, Barlow is gone out of the way on account of the power.

Q. What is Durant?

Clark. She is a gold and silver button maker. Richardson and I were upon Tower-hill about a month after I went with the power of attorney, we called at a public house, I went from thence to the Castle tavern, I saw the gentleman come in with a constable, he said, that is Mrs. Cox; (directing him to me) I said, my name is not Cox; he said he did not care whether that was my name or not, I was the woman. I was taken before the Alderman, and had been in Wood-street compter three or four days before I made this discovery; the first I mentioned, Richardson, Barlow, and Lloyd were concerned, and the other, Barlow, Richardson, and Durant; I did not at first know it was a separate thing, Lloyd had no concern in this, nor Mrs. Durant in the other. I was three times at Mr. Mure's with powers of attorney; Lloyd, Barlow, and Richardson were in Soaper's; the second was Barlow, Richardson, and Lloyd; and this, Barlow, Richardson, and Durant.

Samuel Thorley . I do business for Mr. Corbet, a bookseller, in the Lottery way, I have seen Barlow write many times.

Court. Look at the filling up of this power of attorney.

Thorley. I really believe it to be Barlow's hand writing, it is very much like his writing.

Court. Tell how much of it you believe to be his hand writing, and how much not, of the witnesses names, and every thing.

Thorley. I have already spoke to the filling up, here is Thomas Coleby , clerk, I take to be his hand writing, and the mark of William Smith I take to be his writing; I do not know whose hand writing the other name is.

Barlow. This evidence, Clark, stands perjured in the commons in taking administrations in men's names there; I had an administration in my hand of her's, in the name of Barnet, which she published, it was in order to receive money of the India Company.

Q. from Barlow to Clark. How can you take upon you to swear to my hand writing, when I cannot swear to my own?

Clark. I could not swear to it if I had not seen him write it, I was close to him all the while.

Q. from Durant. Pray how long have we be acquainted?

Clark. About twelve months, or more, you and I have frequently been along with Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, and Barlow, at the Three Tun and White Lyon in Bishops-gate-street.

Q. How came you to get into this gang?

Clark. The first was at Mr. Owen's, the Horse shoe, in Wood-street.

John Kirby . I am Deputy keeper of Wood-street-compter, I have known Barlow some time, he being a prisoner before in the Poultry-compter, I remember him being brought here three or four times at goal deliveries the last year. After I had had Mrs. Clark in my custody, and she had been before Sir John Fielding , and others, I made fruitless attempts to take Barlow, but on the 30th of July he was brought into my custody; I sent for Mr. Atkerson, we went into the lodge to Barlow, I said, I have seen you before, I am sorry to see you in this case again; said he, I have been a very great cat's paw, and shall be glad to know who is in the information of that woman; I told him the warrant expressed Barlow, Richardson, and Lloyd; said he, she is a very false woman, for Lloyd was not concerned in this power of attorney, it was one Durant that made the mark to it; Durant was not in custody then. Soon there was an information they were at Durant's house, Clark went and shewed us the house in a court in White Fryers, we went and took Durant; I kept her separate from Barlow, I mentioned this power to her, I think she said she did make her mark, but was ignorant what it was. I had not seen the power of attorney then.

Q. Did she know what she was taken up for?

Kirby. She did.

The letter sent by the porter to Mr. Mure's produced in Court.

Q. to Thorley. Look at this letter.

Thorley. A great many of these letters are pretty much alike. I don't look upon this to be a person's common hand-writing, it is much like to Barlow's, it seems to be a fictitious hand.

Ananias Wares. A woman gave me a letter to carry to Mr. Mure's, a man was with her, at the Swan alehouse, Coleman-street, I never saw her before or since. (He looks at Clark.) I can't say whether this is the woman or not. (He is shewed the letter.) This looks much like the letter.

Mr. Atkerson. This is the letter that this evidence brought.

Clark. (Looks on the letter.) This is the letter I sent by this porter.

The letter read to this purport:

Sir, I am surprised at the ill treatment of your clerks in stopping the power of attorney of William Smith ; I think I am extremely ill used. I don't intend to cast any reflections on you I wrote a letter to Chatham, to acquaint the gentleman with what has happened; but if you will be so kind to send it by the bearer, as you have no legal right to detain it, and if you don't return it, I must be under the necessity of applying to my attorney.

"May 19, 1763.

"Sign'd Elizabeth Cox ."

Directed to Mr. Hutchinson Mure , Nicholas-lane.

Q. to Clark. What size man is Richardson?

Clark. He is a short thick man, then in snuff-colour'd cloaths.

Wares. There was such a sort of a man with The woman when he gave me the letter, he was sitted with the small-pox; I was detained at Mr. Mure's that time.

John Apthorp . I am constable, I was employ'd in taking Durant. Barlow gave me directions where to find her, I took her in Ashentree-court; I asked her no questions till I got her into Fleet street, then I told her I took her on the information of Barlow for having a hand in forging a power of attorney; I said there was a mark made; she said if she did make it, it was done in a hurry: When it was shew'd her by the magistrate, she said, I do not know but I might do it; I believe I did, but if I did, it was in a hurry.

Barlow's Defence.

The power of attorney is not my hand-writing. The evidence Clark is perjured in the Commons, I think such an evidence should not be heard. I was once with a clerk, we did not know one's hand-writing from the other.

Durant's Defence.

I know nothing at all of the matter.

Barlow Guilty . Death .

Durant Acquitted .

See Barlow and Richardson evidences against Mr. Goswell for a crime of their own, No. 41, in this Mayoralty.


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