Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Not Guilty > unknown
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MR. STRAIGHT conducted the Prosecution; and MR. WILLIS the Defence.
HENRY PETER MATTHEWS . I live at 7, Southgate Grove, Sonthgate—in 1866, I was chief ledger-keeper at the Agra and Masterman's Bank, carrying on business at 35, St. Michael's Alley—at that time a Mr. Levy, of Moor-gate Street, merchant, kept an account at the bank—on 9th April, 1865 this bill of exchange for 125l. was brought to me, drawn by Edward Levy, and purporting to be accepted by J. Lazarus, payable at the Agra and Masterman's Bank—it was dated February 6th, and due two months after date—I refused to pay it, not believing the signature to be in Mr. Lazarus writing.
JOHN CLARK . I am manager at the Charing Cross branch of the National Bank—I knew the prisoner in 1865, as Edward Levy—he had an account at our bank—I knew him as a solicitor in Bow Street—I think when he opened the account he was practising in Henrietta Street—in April, 1865, I communicated with him with regard to discounting a bill—the first bill that I had, and the only transaction, was a bill for 150l. en 13th November—that was drawn by Edward Levy, and accepted by Mr. Lazarus, and was due 6th July, 1866—I had seen Mr. Lazarus prior to discounting the bill—shortly before the 6th, I saw the prisoner with reference to the bill, and there was a proposal to renew it—there were other transactions before I discounted the original bill, and I asked Mr. Levy how it was that a solicitor should be drawing on an Australian merchant—he said that business relations existed between Mr. Lazarus and his brother in Australia, and that he had authority to act as a sort of agent, and had authority to draw in connection with his brother—he said he expected a remittance, and asked for a renewal of the bill—I said I could not renew it, but I afterwards consented to take a bill for 125l., at two months—I discounted that bill on 6th February, 1866—it fell due on 9th April—this is the bill—I debited the 150l. bill to Mr. Levy's account—the signature upon that bill is in Mr. Levy's writing—I think the whole of the bill is filled up by him.
Cross-examined. Q. On the next day was the money for that bill tendered to you by a Mr. Gadden, on behalf of Mr. Levy? A. It was—I knew Mr. Gadden as being at Mr. Levy's office—the bill was noted—I did not receive the money—I don't know whether the money has been tendered since that day—it was tendered the day after.
MR. STRAIGHT. Q. The bill had been returned by you with this on, stating that it was a forgery?—A. Yes; it was in Mr. Mullen's hands at that time.
JAMES LAZARUS. I carry on business at 153, Houndsditch—in 1865 and 1866 I was in business in Moorgate in the City—prior to that I had been to Australia—I there knew a brother of the defendant's—I came to England at the latter end of 1866—in consequence of some communication with the brother in Australia I saw the defendant immediately on my arrival—in the month of November I opened an account at the Agra and Masterman's Bank—on the 17th of the month I advanced the prisoner 300l. by cheque—in 1865 I made advances to him from time to time—I could not tell you the amount—some of those advances were repaid to me—the advances were principally by cheque—I went back to Australia in September, 1867, and I then destroyed the majority of my papers—when I got back I had a settlement
with the defendant's brother—he had paid me the money before I went back—in May or June, 1865, I remember the defendant wanting 500l., I advanced it to him in cash, and accepted a bill—when I advanced him the 300l. be wrote over to his brother, asking to let me advance him more money—the brother wrote over to me to let him have what he might require from time to time, and at the same time to take his bills—I advanced him 500l., and he gave me a bill at four months—that was about November—when that bill fell due it was arranged that two other bills for 250l. each should be accepted by me—one of those bills became due in April—I imagine I destroyed those bills, or else gave them to Mr. Levy when I went away—I don't know whether the other 260l. bill was paid into my banker's—on 14th February there is a cheque for 250l., not a bill—I dare say I gave him a cheque to take up the bill with—in November, 1865, I accepted a bill for 150l.—it would become due either in February or March—this bill for 125l. purports to be accepted by me—it is not my signature—I did not authorise the prisoner to write my name on that bill.
Cross-examined. Q. I believe you and the prisoner were very friendly? A. We were—in consequence of my intimacy with his brother in Australia—the brother was a man of large means—I did not know the prisoner before I came from Australia—from 1864 down to midsummer, 1865, I had money transactions with him—I had no bill transactions before that date—the first bill I gave him was the 500l. bill—the others were cheques and money transactions—I used to lend him day by day, as he might want it, 200l. or 250l.—at the time I knew him I had the account at the Agra and Mattel-man's Bank—he certainly never used my name without my knowledge—the 500l. bill became due in November—it was then renewed by two 250l. bills—I think he came to me and said he could not get the 500l. discounted, and asked if I would give him two for 250l. instead—the 250l. bill became due in February, 1866, and was renewed by two for 125l.—I can't say whether the prisoner believed he had any authority to accept the bill in my name—my only conjecture is, that the money being for his own use, and knowing that I was not responsible to his brother, and that the money was advanced on behalf of his brother, he thought he had power to do it—it is more a matter for his own mind than mine—he did do so, and he inferred, I should imagine, that he had the power—1000l. subsequently came from his brother to me for his debts—he was expecting money at the time of this transaction in 1866—he always led me to believe it did come over—it would have been some time before he could have communicated with his brother, and received the draft back again—the arrangement was that the bills were not to be presented at my banker's—they were accepted, payable at the Agra and Mastcnnan's Bank, but he was to get a cheque of me before the bills were due to replace those that were becoming due—the prisoner found the money and took up the 500l. bill himself—I know the prisoner's handwriting—if the bill had been brought to me I should have known it was his writing—looking at the bill, and taking all the circum-stances, if the bill had been presented at Moorgate Street, instead of at the Bank, I should have paid it out of friendship to him, and I should have gone and abused him for it afterwards, rather than that this charge should nave been brought against him.
MR. STRAIGHT. Q. He had no authority to write your name? A. He had no authority.
matter, and got a warrant against the prisoner, in April, 1866—I made a search for him, but could not find him—I first heard of him in September, 1867, and went to Paris; I went to his lodgings, and found that he had left—I next heard of him on 1st July, this year, and I went to West Derby Street, Liverpool—I saw him leave No. 42, with two men—I fol-lowed him, and took hold of his arm, and said "Your name is Lingden, I believe"—he said "That is my name"—I said "My name is Funnell; I am one of the City detective officers; I hold a warrant for your apprehen-sion"—I called a cab, and said I was going to take him to the station—he asked me to read the warrant to him—I told him I would, at the station—I said "You say your name is Lingden?"—he said "Yes"—I said "I hold a warrant in another name, Edward Lawrence Levy, and signed by the Lord Mayor"—I took him to the station, and read the warrant to him, and he said I had made a mistake, that was not his name—I said I should remove him to London—on the way to London he said he was the person referred to in the warrant—he further stated that if his brother, who was in Australia, was in England, they could not convict him; that Mr. Lazarus had told his brother that he might make use of his name—I brought him to London, and he was charged before the Magistrate.
JAMES LAZARUS (re-called). Q. Had you ever told the prisoner's brother that the prisoner might make use of your name? A. It was never asked me—I could not say, with any certainty, whether I had ever told the prisoner so—I could not even say that I had not—my impression is that he thought he did have the power, as far as this bill is concerned—I can't recollect any conversation to that effect—if I was asked about it now, I should say that I believe he considered that he had authority—one of the 250l. bills was paid, and he paid off 100l. of the other—I gave him the 150l. bill to take up the 250l., as far as my recollection serves me—the went and got the 125l. from the bank, for the 150l. bill, and paid 25l. in cash, and got this bill for 125l.
NOT GUILTY .
The Jury stated that they considered he believed he had sufficient authority to use Mr. Lazarus' name.