John Prince, Deception > forgery, 13th January 1764.

Reference Number: t17640113-43
Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

114. (L.) John Prince was indicted for feloniously forging and counterfeiting a certain bill of exchange, for the payment of 125 l. and publishing the same, well knowing it to have been forged, with intent to defraud Robert Mackoun , July 8 . *

Robert Mackoun . In the beginning of July last, I advertised a house to be sold. Mr. Prince applied to me to purchase the house; we had several meetings about it; and on the 7th of July, I delivered my memorandum, setting forth the terms upon which I would sell it; he then desired to have that memorandum, to keep it till the next day, to show to his attorney and some friends. He applied to me the next morning about 9 o'clock, at the New York coffee-house. Soon after he came in, he said he must have the house, and he would give me my price; and soon after, he had two copies of the memorandum that I gave him, brought in by a little boy, wrote out fair; one of them I have in my hand; we examined them; he had left out a few articles, which I pointed out to him, and added at the bottom with my own hand. I signed one of them, and the prisoner the other: I held mine in my hand, and said, now Mr. Prince, where is the 100 l. (he was to give me 100 l. by way of deposit, which I should have told before) he took out a pocket-book, and said, I have not cash enough about me this morning, but here is a very good bill of exchange for 125 l. I said, if it was a good bill, it was as good to me as cash. I took it in my hand, and looked at it, and asked him, who Bricklen and Co. were? he said, they were great distillers, and brandy merchants, and lived near the watch-house, in Moor-fields; that they served Orcherton, the accepter of the bill, and that he keeps the Rose tavern, in Cursitor-street, where the bill is directed to; and that it was for brandy and rum that he had had of them. I gave a receipt for the bill, under the memorandum that I had wrote before, describing the bill; which bill, when paid, was in part of payment of the above sum. (The memorandum produced by the constable; he takes it in his hand). This is the agreement I signed; it is my own hand-writing.

Robert Locked . I am a constable. When Mr. Prince was taken and carried before Sir John Fielding , this and other papers were found upon him. (It is read in court.)

R. Mackoun. I put the bill up, being satisfied with it, and we parted. About a week after, Mr. Prince applied to me, to have a broker, to appraise the goods. I was a little surprized at his wanting to appraise the goods, before the duplicates of conveyance were made, and the money paid. I began to enquire after Mr. Prince, and could find nobody that knew him; neither could I find Bricklen and Co. I sent my clerk to Moorfields; he could find no such people in the parish. I enquired at Sir Joseph Hankey 's, as bankers know a great many people: the clerks there said, they knew no such people about London. I enquired at the Custom-house, if they knew of any such people making entries there? I could get no intelligence at all of these brandy-merchants. By that time, I had heard a very bad character of Mr. Prince: I went to the Rose tavern, in Cursitor-street; I heard there were bad people about the house, I did not chuse to go alone, so I took a gunsmith, an acquaintance of mine that lived in the neighbourhood, with me; I told him what I was going about, and beg'd he would remember what passed. We went to enquire after Mr. Orcherton, the accepter of the bills there was one Fisher, who said it was a very good bill, and would be paid when due; Orcherton was then gone away, and left his house. I did not believe what Fisher said: he gave Mr. Prince and Orcherton very good characters, but said, he did not know Bricklen. I asked him if he knew Prince very well, and if he was a man of fortune? he enquired to know what my business was, and my reason for enquiring after him. I told him my reason: said he, you had better keep your house, and give him back his bill. I went to my attorney directly, and told him what I thought, and advised with him what to do: he advised me to give up the bill, and get back the memorandum, as I could not sell my house, while he had that. About three or four days after I had been at the Rose tavern, I saw Mr. Prince, and told him; this was a bad bill, that I had enquired after Bricklen and Co. and could find no such people; and that I had enquired after Orcherton, and he was gone away, and I could not find where he was gone to. He told me, that Bricklen, in truth, was an outlawed smuggler; that he was worth three or four thousand pounds, and the bill would be paid when

due (it was not due then); he said, he lodged in some lane or alley, in Moorfields: there was a great deal passed between him and I. I offered to give him back his bill, if he would give me up my memorandum: he said, he had friends that would raise him the money; he insisted on his bargain, and I kept the bill till it became due; I had not given him the draught of the conveyance. Orcherton became a bankrupt before it became due, but I discovered where he was; I sent the bill to a notary public, near the 'Change, the day before it was due, and told the gentleman, Mr. Shamburg, what I suspected, and ordered him to do the needful, to present it for payment to Orcherton, at the Rose tavern, and apply to see if he could find Bricklen and Co. The bill has never been paid, nor never will: I went to the notary-public one morning to get the bill back, in order to go to Justice Fielding: I went into a coffee-house, and read the prisoner advertised; he was taken up on some other account, and was to be reexamined; I went to the justice's, and he was examined on this bill: he then said, Bricklen was gone into Yorkshire; I believe he then said, Bricklen lived in the country. Sir John told him, if he would give him an account what part of Yorkshire he was in, he would send an express for him at his own expence, and told him, it was a very material affair to him; the prisoner waved it, and he put it off.

Cross Examination.

Q. You say you gave a receipt, that when the bill was paid, it was to be part of the purchase-money.

Mackoun. I did.

Q. When was the money to be paid?

Mackoun. That was to be paid at the execution of the deeds of conveyance: our agreement was, that he was to deposit an hundred pounds, by way of binding the bargain.

Q. Whether the circumstance of depositing an hundred pounds was mentioned before this agreement was in writing, or after?

Mackoun. Before. (The bill produced, and read to this purport.)

"London, June 3, 1763.

"Three months after date, pay to Mr. John

"Prince, or his order, the sum of one hundred

"and twenty-five pounds sterling, and

"place the same to account of, Sir, your

"most humble servant,

"G. Bricklen and Co.

" 125.

"To Wm Orcherton , at the Rose tavern, Cursitor-street.

"Accepted, William Orcherton ."

William Orcherton . I have known the prisoner at the bar since the beginning of May last; he came to my house, the Rose, in Cursitor-street.

Q. Do you know this draught? (He takes it in his hand)

Orcherton. I wrote the body of it, and accepted it with my own name.

Q. How came you to write the body of it, and to accept it?

Orcherton. At that time the house that I lived in was advertised for sale; the prisoner being at my house, not knowing but I might be turned out of it, he said, he could find means to get it purchased. On the 3d, or 4th of June, he came with Edward Hart , and another gentleman, whose name, if I ever heard, I do not remember. Hart, Prince, and that gentleman and I, went up into a bed-chamber, in order to write notes; the prisoner told me, that by this and others, he could raise money to pay for the house, and then have it mortgaged, to raise money to take up the notes with: at that time I wrote this and others by his persuasion, which I delivered to him; but there was not G. Bricklen and Co, on this at that time; I never remember to have heard of that name, till I saw it upon this draught, at Mr. Mackoun's attorney's.

Q. Did you never deal with Bricklen and Co. for brandy and rum.

Orcherton. No, I know nobody of that name; at the time I wrote them, he told me, that gentleman that was with us was to sign them; that he was a quaker, and worth a great deal of money.

Q. Did he tell you where that gentleman lived?

Orcherton. I do not remember that he did.

Q. Had you ever any dealings with that quaker for rum or brandy?

Orcherton. No, I never had; he was a total stranger to me. I went down stairs, and left them all together.

Q. When did you become acquainted with Mr. Hart?

Orcherton. I never was, till he came to my house either with Fisher or the prisoner; they three were frequently at my house.

Q. What was the amount of the sum for which you drew the bills?

Orcherton. Five hundred pounds; and Hart brought duplicates for 250 l. as he pretended.

Cross Examination.

Q. How was that house you lived in to be sold?

Orcherton. It was to be sold by auction.

Q. Did Mr. Prince bid for the house?

Orcherton. He did; he was the highest bidder, and deposited ten guineas in cash; he came to me after that, and gave me a draught for 95 l. odd, and said, if the broker came in his absence, I might shew it to him.

Q. Did you see him pay the ten guineas?

Orcherton. No, but I heard him say, he did pay that.

Q. Did you see him sign the agreement?

Orcherton. No.

Q. For whose benefit was the purchase to be made?

Orcherton. He told me it was to be made for my benefit; those notes were to raise the money, in order to pay for the house, and the house to be mortgaged, in order to pay the bil ls.

Q. Had there been any quarrel between you and Mr. Prince?

Orcherton. There was not a great deal of dispute, or quarrel, but I was taken up; I went to Sir John Fielding , when Prince was there, at the time of his re-examination: in going from Sir John's to the Gate-house in the coach, Prince told me, I might have given my evidence in another manner than I did. I told him, I had given my evidence of nothing but the truth, and that he had used me very ill.

Q. Did you not make use of some such words, You did not care if you was banished, so as he was hanged?

Orcherton. I said, I would not think much of being banished, to have the satisfaction to see him hanged, or to that purpose: I was in a great passion for being sent to Bridewell, or a prison, on account of these notes. I became a bankrupt on his account.

Q. for the Crown. Did you mean to have him hanged, if he was innocent?

Orcherton. No. [A paper was read that was found in the prisoner's pocket; the purport was,

"An agreement between Samuel Fisher , Edward

"Hart, George White , and John

"Prince, concerning dividing the money

"that should be raised by a bill, or bills,

"drawn by the prisoner, and the expences

"how to be paid."

David Cuthbart . I was clerk to Mr. Mackoun. (He takes the bill in his hand) This is drawn in the name of Bricklen and Co. I went twice to enquire after a person named Bricklen, as near the watch-house as I could, in Moorfields, because Mr. Mackoun told me he lived near the watch-house, on the right hand, going up Moor fields. I went pretty near the watch-house; the first I spoke to was a surgeon, who stood at his own door; I asked him if Bricklen and Co. brandy-merchants, were to be found thereabouts; then I enquired if there were any of that name stable-keepers? the gentleman said, there was nobody of that name: he said, there was a watch-box over the way, where lived some merchants. I went as he directed me, and enquired every 2d or 3d house, till people were surprized at me; I could not hear of any such person: after that, I was sent to Mr. Shamburg, by the 'Change, and when the bill was due, I went to Moor fields again, and enquired of many people on each side the field. but could not hear of any body of the name, or like it; neither did I hear of any brandy-merchant there.

Q. Did you enquire in any alley?

Cuthbart. No, I did not.

Patrick Maglashin . I have lived by the watch-house, in Moor-fields, above 20 years; I never heard of any such person as Bricklen living near there in my time.

Cross Examination.

Q. Might there not be a person of that name lodge in a house or alley?

Maglashin. I never heard of any of the name.

Prisoner's Defence.

As to Bricklen, he lived either the first or second alley beyond the watch-house, in Moorfields; here are people here that know the man well, and can prove his hand-writing.

For the Prisoner.

Mary Brown . I saw George Bricklen once with the prisoner in Newgate-street, in the summer-time.

Q. How do you know it was George Bricklen ?

M. Brown. Because he answered to that name; he called him Bricklen, and the other answered to that name.

Q. How long was you in company with him?

M. Brown. Half an hour, or rather better; I believe I have seen them together more than once: I remember seeing them together another time; he then went by the same name.

Q. Where did you see him that time?

M. Brown. That was near Smithfield; I am not sure to the day of the month.

Q. What size was he?

M. Brown. Rather tall than short.

Q. Fair or Brown?

M. Brown. Of a brown complection.

Q. Old or young?

M. Brown. About 32 years of age.

Q. What business did he follow?

M. Brown. I do not know; I heard Mr. Prince say, he lived in Moorfields.

Cross Examination.

Q. How came you to be with him these two times?

M. Brown. It was by accident.

Q. Whereabouts in Newgate-street did you see him the first time?

M. Brown. It was in a public-house.

Q. What day was it?

M. Brown. It was on a Monday.

Q. But what day, or time of the year?

M. Brown. I don't know; it was in the summer.

John Boucher . I know one George Bricklen ; I have seen him along with the prisoner at the bar: it is about three years since I knew him first; the last time I saw him with Mr. Prince, was at the Swan and Two Necks, in Smithfield, by Hicks's-hall, better than 12 months ago, last October, or some where there away.

Q. How many times may you have seen him?

Boucher. I have seen him ten or a dozen times.

Q. Have you seen him write?

Boucher. I have.

Q. Tell how you came to be acquainted with his hand writing?

Boucher. At the Swan and Two Necks, in October was a twelvemonth, I had been at Hicks's-hall, about some business; the prisoner hipp'd me as I was going by; he called to me, and asked me how I did? (I had known him some time before) I told him pretty well; how do you do, Mr. Prince? - will you come in, and drink a glass of wine? - I am about some business here, at Hicks's-hall. - You are playing the dickens with one Clark: I answered, it is no more than he deserves. I went in; there was Mr. Bricklen; there was an agreement about buying or selling some horses: there was a note of hand drawn up: the man said, he had male his bargain, and would have his money. The other said, he would pay him some time. I offered to pay 6 d. for part of what liquor I had drank. Mr. Prince asked me, if I had any money in my pocket, to make this easy; lend me so much money: I said, I had but 3 guineas in my pocket, I cannot part with it all; I lent it to Mr. Bricklen, and said to Mr. Prince, I look upon you to give me security for the money; I had a note from them both, Bricklen signed it in my presence. I saw him write the note, and the agreement with the countryman; he would have his money; it was due in ten days: and about three weeks after, Mr. Prince came and took up the note, and paid me.

Q. Could you know his hand-writing again?

Boucher. Really I don't know whether I can or not.

Q. How did he sign his name?

Boucher. He signed G. Bricklen, I think.

Q. Look at this note. (He takes it in his hand.)

Boucher. The note is not his hand-writing: the G. Bricklen, is like his writing.

Q. Do you, or do you not believe the name, G. Bricklen, to be the hand-writing of the same person?

Boucher. It is very like it, to the best of my knowledge - it is like some part of it - to the best of my knowledge, it may be his hand-writing - I cannot be positive to it.

Cross Examination.

Q. Is this all the knowledge and acquaintance you have of Bricklen?

Boucher. I never had any more acquaintance than seeing him with Mr. Prince.

Q. Then the only time you have been in any house with him, has been at the Swan and Two Necks?

Boucher. I have been with him at the Bull and Garter, in Fleet-market.

Q. Where do you live?

Boucher. I live in Fleet-lane, now; I have been with him at the Green Dragon, in Smithfield; I have seen him many times about Smithfield.

Q. Was you ever present at any other dealings than that of horses?

Boucher. No. I have seen him talk to people about dealing.

Q. You say you lent the money upon Mr. Prince's account?

Boucher. I did. Bricklen signed the note, and gave it to Mr. Prince; and Mr. Prince indorsed it to me.

Q. How came you not to accept of Mr. Prince's note alone?

Boucher. Mr. Prince said, he was a man of credit: I made some objections, I had rather not lend the money than lend it.

Prisoner. That man, Mr. Bricklen, dealt in horses, and he had partners that dealt with him; that was the reason he signed in that way. I desire Mr. Mackoun may be asked the question, whether I ever desired to come into his house, or not?

Mr. Mackoun. He did not ask me to come in, but he wanted the goods appraised immediately, which I suspected was with a view to get into possession,

Guilty . Death .


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