John Werge.
26th October 1752
Reference Numbert17521026-44
VerdictNot Guilty

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548. (M.) John Werge , Clerk , was indicted for making a certain false, forged, and counterfeit bill of exchange, and for publishing it as true, knowing it to be forged, with intent to defraud , Sept. 6 . ++

Alexander Ranney . The prisoner came to the house where I am quartered, (the evidence is a soldier) at the Two Blue Posts, Southampton buildings . I don't know the particular day; it is about six weeks ago. He went into a little room by himself, rung the bell, and called for a pint of beer. It was brought him, after that he rung again, and desired paper, pen, and ink; it was brought to him. I went into the room then, and in about a quarter of an hour he rang the bell a third time. Then he asked me if I would carry a letter to Hay's coffee house, and bring an answer. I carried a letter; it was directed on the outside for Mr. Hays. He had been master of the house. I carried the letter, and delivered it to the gentlewoman of the house. She broke it open, and gave it to a gentleman there to read it. He found a bill in it; I was standing in the room, and heard it read. I remember one part of it was to send two guineas by the bearer, and to have a little watch ready for

him against the Monday following. The gentlewoman said, she would send none. She did not know the gentleman, and inquired of me what sort of a man he was I told her as far as I could. She bid me tell him to come to her. I went to him and told him; he went out of the house.

Cross examined.

Q Was the letter directed to Mr. Hays?

Ranney. It was.

Q. Did not you know the gentlewoman's name was Bly ?

Ranney. I did not know her name. She accepted the letter.

Christopher Bly . I live at Hays's coffeehouse, at the corner of Southampton Buildings, Chancery Lane. I was out at the time the letter was brought.

Q. Have you ever seen the prisoner before?

Bly. I believe I have at my house four or five times. When I came home, about twelve at night, Mr. Gunter, who belongs to the navy office, said to me, here is a forgery upon you by one Mr. Werge; he gave me the letter and the other paper. I knew no such person as Werge.

Q. to Ranney. (He is showed the bill.) Do you know any thing of this paper?

Ranney. I saw Mr. Gunter take such a paper out of the letter in the coffeehouse. I read it, but can't be positive but another may be like it.

Q. Do you know whether this is the letter that you carried there?

Ranney I can tell by the outside of it. He looks upon it. This is like the letter I had of the prisoner, but I will not swear to the identity of it, for the hand that wrote that may write another like it.

Q Did you see him write that you carried?

Ranney. No, I did not.

Elizabeth Bly I live at Hays's coffeehouse in Southampton Buildings. On Saturday the 16th the soldier brought a letter directed to Mr. Hays. He came from the alehouse where we fetch our beer. I opened it and gave it to Mr. Gunter to read, it was such small writing I could not. He read it, and asked me if I knew one Werge ? I said no, I did not. Then I put on my spectacles and read it ; I then sent the soldier to bid the gentleman come to me.

Q. Is this the letter that is produced which the soldier brought?

Eliz. Bly. I believe it is, but can't be positive; Mr. Gunter took it and shewed it to other gentlemen in our house, and it was out of my hands, I believe, for ten minutes. The prisoner came to me about ten minutes after I sent for him. I told him there was a gentleman in the other room that went to school with Mr. Rivington, and said the indorsement was not his hand writing. The prisoner said, only let me have two guineas till Monday, and I'll come and take it up again; he urged there is Mr. Rivington's hand writing for the acceptance of it, saying he was going into the country. Mr. Gunter sent the letter and bill by a porter to Mr. Rivington; the porter return'd and delivered them to him again, and he kept them till my husband came home. Then he gave them to him, and my husband has had them till he delivered them to Mr. Rivington.

Q. to Mr. Bly. When did you deliver it to Mr. Rivington?

Bly. I deliver'd it to him on the Monday morning, about ten o'clock.

Q. to Mrs. Bly. When did the soldier deliver it to you?

Mrs. Bly. I believe about eight at night, Sept. the 16th, and I immediately delivered it to Mr. Gunter. I heard the prisoner tell Mr. Rivington in my house, that he saw Mr. Wilson write Robert Wilson and J. Rivington.

The Bill read to this purport:

Newcastle, Aug. 27, 1752.


Twenty days after date, pay to Mr. Robert Wilson , or order the sum of 40 l. for value received, and place it to my account.

Thomas Oliver ,

Robert Wilson ,

J. Rivington.

To Mr. Rivington, Bookseller, Paul's Church-yard.

John Rivington . On the 17th of September my servant came and told me there had been a bill brought to my house for 40 l. to know if it was a good bill. On the Monday morning following I came to town, and was advised to go after it; for Mr. Bly had been at my house on the Sunday to desire I would go to his house on Monday. I went, and there Mr. Gunter and he told me what I need not repeat here. I asked where this bill was? Mr. Bly came down stairs and gave me this letter and this bill, which I read. He told me it was brought to Mrs. Bly by a soldier in the neighbourhood; they went and fetched him. I asked him how he came by it? He said he had it of a gentleman at the Two Blue Posts in Southampton Buildings. I called for a constable, but could not

get one immediately. The soldier, with Mr. Bly and I, went towards the Buildings. Going along, Mr. Bly said, here is the gentleman. The prisoner was coming along. I said, Sir, is your name Werge? He said, yes, Sir. I said, did you send this letter to Mr. Hays? and shewed in him. He said, yes, Sir, I did I said, did you send this bill inclosed in that letter? I shewed him the bill. I did, Sir, he said. Said I, Sir, you must go along with me then. I called the soldier from over the way; the prisoner said, you need not call any assistance I'll go with you to the coffeehouse ; we went there. I asked him, where he had the bill? He said, of Robert Wilson . Said I, who wrote the name Robert Wilson? He said, Robert Wilson wrote it. Did you see him? Yes, he did, he said. I said, who wrote the name J. Rivington, as an acceptance? He said, he saw Wilson write both the name. Robert Wilson and J. Rivington. I said, that is all I wanted; I have taken all the pains I could to subpena Mr. Gunter here; he desired me not to subpena him. I have done all I could as an honest man to get him here.

Cross examined.

Q. Do you know such persons as Thomas Oliver , or Robert Wilson ?

Rivington. I know no Thomas Oliver . I know one Robert Wilson , but he does not spell his name as this is. I have no such correspondent, at Newcastle or elsewhere.

Robert Witty . I am servant to Mr. Rivington. He is shewed the bill.

Q. Do you know such a person as Thomas Oliver ?

Witty. No, I do not.

Q. to Mr. Rivington. Have you any body to prove that is Thomas Oliver 's hand writing, of Newcastle?

Rivington. I don't know there is such a person.

Acquitted .

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