Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 6.0, 20 September 2014), September 1882, trial of GEORGE KEELING BOYNTON (31) (t18820911-856).

GEORGE KEELING BOYNTON, Deception > fraud, 11th September 1882.

856. GEORGE KEELING BOYNTON (31) , Unlawfully obtaining by false pretences an order for 200l., with intent to defraud. MR. POLAND Prosecuted; MR. FULTON Defended.

ALFRED BAKER . I am an auctioneer, of 2, Queen Victoria Street—on 22nd June the prisoner called and said, "I am the owner of Haisthorpe Hall, near Beverley, in Yorkshire, and with to sell it by auction, and if you will advance me 200l. I will place the sale of the estate in your hands; the title deeds are in the hands of my solicitor, Messrs. Leeman, of York"—I agreed to make the advance, subject to inquiries, and wrote this memorandum in his presence, from what he told me: "Haisthorpe Hall, Beverley, Yorks. Residence, garden, buildings, and land,

bringing 400l. a year"—I saw my solicitor, Mr. Kite, who arranged with the prisoner to pay 25l. for the legal costs, and they came to me together the next day, and I wrote this cheque on the London and Westminster Bank for 200l. in the prisoner's favour, and he endorsed it—it has been returned to me as paid—the prisoner then signed the letter (Dated 22nd June, 1882, acknowledging the receipt of 225l. to be charged with any other turn upon his property at Haisthorpe, which was free and unencumbered, and agreeing to repay the same at one month from date, with the usual power of tale, and agreeing that Mr. Baker should sell the property for him in one month)—he then signed this bill for 225l.—a statutory declaration was also produced, and dated the same day—the month expired, but I have never been a paid—my solicitor has endeavoured to get possession of the property, but it is claimed by the prisoner's father—I parted with my money on the faith of the prisoner's representations entirely.

Cross-examined. He was brought to my office by a man named Frazer, who is a tout, but not a money-lending tout that I know of; he looks out for properties to be sold, and has been to my office two or three times—I am not a money-lender, I did not ask for any interest, as I was to get my commission out of the sale—the 25l. was for expenses, and would not come to me at all—I heard nothing about Captain Boynton, the owner in possession—this letter says, "the deeds which are in the possession of Messrs. Leeman, of York, solicitors"—I am sure he said that they were his solicitors—I sent them a telegram the same day, to know if it was correct, and they replied to my solicitors on, I think, the same day we completed it—the money was not advanced till 23rd June, between three and four o'clock, so that I had twelve hours to make inquiries—all the details were conducted by my solicitors—the prisoner said that he was the owner of the estate, not the heir to it—about a week after the bill became due my solicitor recommended me to apply for a warrant, and he was taken about a month afterwards—the 25l. was for my solicitor to go to York and get the deeds from Messrs. Leeman, and then go on to Haisthorpe Hall—I have never lent money to the Hon. Mr. Chetwind, introduced by Frazer; I never heard of him.

Re-examined. I should not advance money to an heir when his father was in possession of the property, as until the father dies the heir cannot nave the title-deeds.

HENRY FREDERICK KITE . I am a solicitor, and act for Mr. Baker—I saw the prisoner on 23rd June, and told him he would have to make a statutory declaration that the property was unencumbered—I was in Mr. Baker's office on 23rd June, when the prisoner signed this letter—I drew this statutory declaration (Signed George H. Boynton, of Haisthorpe Hall, Beverley, stating that the title-deeds were free from any encumbrance)—be then signed this letter to Mr. Leeman: "23rd June. Dear Sir,—Please deliver to Mr. Henry F. Kite, solicitor, London, the title-deeds of Haisthorpe Hall, together with all letters and papers connected therewith now in your possession"—we agreed for 25l. for my expenses of going into Yorkshire and doing the business—I communicated with Messrs. Leeman, and they wrote that they had no deeds—I have never been able to obtain them, and I found that the prisoner's father is in possession of the estate.

Cross-examined. It was between 12 and 1 when the prisoner came on the 23rd, and the documents were executed about 3 o'clock—I knew afterwards

that Mr. Baker had telegraphed—our offices are in the same building—the prisoner was in my office, I think, twice—this letter says "the deeds are in possession of "—there was then a blank, in which is inserted "Messrs. Leeman, of York"—that is in my writing—there is no statement that Messrs. Leeman are the prisoner's solicitors; he told me they were—I heard Mr. Baker read it over to him—I might have read the letter to the prisoner, but not the statutory declaration—I did not go to York or to Haisthorpe Hall—when the warrant was applied for I had seen the prisoner's lather's solicitors, and ascertained that he was the eldest son—I heard from Messrs. Leeman two or three days after the money was lent—they never told me that they had ever acted for the owner of Haisthorpe Hall—my first interview with the prisoner's father's solicitor was a week or 10 days after the money was lent, and then I was not sure that Captain Boynton was in possession, as the property was called Haisthorpe Lodge and Haisthorpe Farm—I did not discover that it was Haisthorpe Hall till shortly before the proceedings; it took me nearly a month to satisfy myself—the 25l. was added to the bill, at my suggestion, for expenses; none of it was for interest—I did not wait till the bill was due to see whether it was paid or not before applying for a warrant—it was no question of the bill, not of its existence even—the prisoner did not ask me to take it up or to give him time after it became due; but a week after the advance he asked for a further loan of 500l.—he came to my office with his wife, and I asked him to explain the statement I had taken down—he said that Messrs. Leeman must have made a mistake; he offered a further security, which was an order of the Divorce Court, purporting to show that he was entitled to the reversion—it was a copy, and I have either got a copy of it in my office or the one he brought—it showed that he was entitled in reversion to the income of a fund payable to his mother during her life, and after her death to himself—I immediately instituted inquiries, and found he had parted with that reversion about 1872—I had not evidence enough to give him in custody, but I did not advance him any more money—I asked him for an explanation—he said he was going to Haisthorpe in a few days, and in the meantime would I look at the papers he brought—I don't think I saw him again till he was in custody—I saw Johnson, Upton, and Co., Captain Boynton's solicitors, six or seven times before the bill became due, and my agents in the country communicated with the country solicitor, as I wanted to discover who was in possession—after the prisoner had got the cheque I sent a boy after him, asking him to return, but he went to the bank first and got the cheque—he then came back, and we had a long conversation as to the best mode of selling the property—this document (the authority to hand over the deeds) was not signed till after the money was obtained.

Re-examined. After the cheque was obtained I thought it necessary to get the title-deeds from Leeman—after he returned from the hank the subject of our conversation was whether the auction should take place in the country or in town—after receiving Messrs. Leeman's letter, stating that they had not the title-deeds, I asked the prisoner how it was that they had not got them; he said he was going down and would inquire about it.

JOSEPH AGAR . I have been managing clerk to Leeman and Co., solicitors, of York, for 15 years—they have never been the prisoner a solicitors, nor have they any of the title-deeds of Haisthorpe Hall—they

were applied to, and sent this letter to Mr. Kite—the prisoner's father is not a client of the firm.

Cross-examined. I have been with Messrs. Leeman 30 years, but I do not know that Mr. Leeman, sen., deceased, was a great friend of Sir Henry Boynton, the owner of Haisthorpe Hall; it may have been so, but we have not acted for the family while I have been there.

CHARLES GEORGE BISHOP . I am clerk to Johnson, Upton, and Co., solicitors for Lady Boynton, of the East Riding—I produce a settlement dated 30th March, 1871, of the farm, &c, at Haisthorpe by Dame Mary Boynton on herself and her son George Ebblethwaite Luton Boynton, Esq., the prisoner's father, and his wife and issue—my firm represents the trustees under that settlement.

Cross-examined. I do not know whether we communicated with Mr. Site, as Mr. Upton is away—there has been litigation in the House of Lords.

GEORGE EBBLETHWAITE LUTON BOYNTON . I live at Haisthorpe Hall, Burton Agnes, Yorkshire—that is not near Beverley; it is 20 miles off—the prisoner is my son by a former marriage—I was divorced in 1858; and some property was settled on her and the prisoner—he had a reversionary interest in it—I married again in 1860, and have a daughter by my second marriage—in March, 1871, my mother, Lady Boynton, settled the property at Haisthorpe on me and my issue—I never acquired any interest it till 1871—my mother died four years ago, but I was in possession of the property years before that, and I became entitled to it on her death, with the reversion to my daughter—I do not suppose the prisoner ever had an interest in the property—I have not seen much of him for the it 25 years—I never authorised him to obtain this money.

Cross-examined. I received a letter, telling me there was a bill lying at. Baker and Sons which would fall due to morrow, and they wished it taken up—it was directed to Beverley instead of to Burton-Agnes—it was, I think, a printed form—I replied I had no bill out and could not understand it—the prisoner is my only son—he was not born at Haisthorpe Hall, but he lived there for a few months—he was born in London—I did not live chiefly in London, as I went out to the Crimea in 1858—the divorce was by my wife—I asked my solicitor the meaning of this letter—he said nothing to me about having been written to before the bill became due—Sir Henry Boynton never lived at the Hall—Captain Stephens lived there before me—I did not know old Mr. Leeman, but my father did—I never communicated the terms of the settlement to my son.

Re-examined. He is now 31, I think—Messrs. Leeman have never acted for me—I do not know whether they have for my mother.

EDWARD WALTER PIPER . I am Mr. Kite's clerk—on 23rd June I went with the prisoner to the Commissioner, when ho made this declaration (produced).

Cross-examined. It was not read over to him by me, or in my presence—I do not think I saw him sign it, or any of the documents—I think he signed them before he went to the Commissioner, but it was only down stairs.

WILLIAM JOHN FLUISTER (City Detective Sergeant). On 31st July I received a warrant for the prisoner's apprehension—on 14th August I saw him at Cannon Street Railway Station—I asked if his name was

Boynton; he said "Yes"—I said "I hold a warrant for your apprehension"—he asked me if it was in the matter of Baker; I said "Yes"—hesaid "I gave a hill for the amount."

HENRY FREDERICK KITE (Re-examined).I produce the Order of Court (This teat dated 22nd April, 1861,ordering the dividends accruing on the marriage settlement to be paid to Elizabeth Laura Boynton, and after her death to G. H. L. Boynton, the only issue of the marriage.

GUILTY. —Judgment respited.