William Montgomery.
26th October 1752
Reference Numbert17521026-45

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549. (L.) William Montgomery was indicted for that he, at the general sessions of our Lord the King held at Guildhall, before Sir Robert Ladbrooke , Knt. Lord Mayor of the city of London, and others, did, on the 27th of September, 1748 , there swear that he was beyond the seas on the first of January, 47, to wit, at Rotterdam, with intent to cheat and defraud his creditors . ||.

Mr. Ford produced the records for September sessions, 48, which began on Monday the fifth; by which it appeared, that he came to Guildhall, and took his corporal oath that he was at Rotterdam, beyond the seas, on the first of January, 1747; and also delivered in a list of all his creditors and a schedule subscribed with his name; upon which he received the benefit of the Insolvent Act as being a fugitive.

John Ward . The prisoner lived at the Inn of the Highlander, below Pelican-Stairs, at the bottom of Fox's Lane, in Shadwell. I remember having a summons from him, in order for taking the benefit of the insolvent act as a fugitive, to appear at Guildhall. I was before my Lord-Mayor when he was brought there, and his lordship asked him if he was the same person that had sworn he was beyond the seas, to wit, at Rotterdam, on the first of January, 1747; he said he was the same person that swore it at Guildhall, and had taken the benefit of the Act of Parliament.

Q. How long is this ago?

Ward. I forget the day; it is about a fortnight ago.

Q. Have you seen him write?

Ward. I have, and now have three notes of hand by me of his signing. [He is shewn the name to the schedule ] This is the prisoner's handwriting, I do believe.

Mr. Ford produces a warrant, signed by Sir Robert Ladbrooke , Knt. July 22, 1748; the purport of which was: To let all the creditors of William Montgomery know he was surrender'd into the hands of the warden of the Fleet as a fugitive, and that he had left a schedule of all his real and personal estate, with intent to make oath, the next general or quarter sessions of the peace, that he was beyond the seas in foreign parts on January 1, 1747 ; and having since return'd and surrender'd himself, he intended to take the benefit of the Insolvent Act, upon which the warden of the Fleet was required to bring the prisoner to Guildhall, September the fifth.

William Smith . I remember Montgomery being brought before my Lord-Mayor; he was charged with having sworn that he was a fugitive, and he there owned he was the very person that had sworn, he was at Rotterdam, to take the benefit of the Act, and insisted upon it. He was cleared at Guildhall thereupon, in the year 48. He owed me 47 l. and upwards. I was summoned to Guildhall in 48 as a creditor, but did not go. He lived in 47 within twenty yards of me. I was with Mr. Weymore at his house on the last day of December, 47, and staid till between eleven and twelve o'clock at night. He was at home with us in a little back room.

Thomas Weymore . I was before my Lord-Mayor; there the prisoner said, he was the very person that had taken the oath he was at Rotterdam in Holland on the first of January, 1747, and was discharged by the Fugitive Act thereupon, and that he would stand by it he was the person that was cleared. I was with Mr. Smith at Montgomery's house, in Fox's Lane in Shadwell, on the 31st of December, 7, where we had three eighteenpenny bowls of punch in his back room. He made it himself, and drank with us. I well remember it from several reasons; one is, that one Daniel Goodwin , who is now in Court, had been under misfortunes, and I supplied him with money to carry on a law suit. It was his birthday, he came to me there, and desired I would let him have a little money to keep his birthday. To the best of my knowledge, when I came away, it might be near eleven o'clock at night, and I am sure the prisoner was in the house then. And another circumstance I remember it by is this; I served the prisoner with bread, and I ordered our people not to call any more with bread till I went to ask him for money, which I did that night.

Q. Do you remember seeing Mr. Ward there?

Weymore. No, I do not. I received a summons to appear among the rest of the creditors, but I have had my debt a good while ago; Mrs. Montgomery satisfied me by a note of hand of a sailor's, he came home, and I soon got my money, as I said I knew he was at home, and would oppose his being cleared.

Daniel Goodwin . I remember in 47, the last day of the year, I happened to go to Mr. Weymore's house to ask for him, and was directed to the Highlander, the house of the prisoner; there he was in a little back room, and in going in I followed Mr. Montgomery up the steps, who had a bowl of punch in his hand, going into the room. This was about seven o'clock at night. I told Mr. Weymore I wanted a little money, and he let me have a shilling. Some time after this I said to Mr. Weymore, They say that Mr. Montgomery is going to be cleared by the Act, and was going to mention this; but he replied, Hold your tongue, I am satisfied.

John Ward . I was in Montgomery's house on the 31st of December (the 27th being on a Sunday) in the evening, and remember there was a young man, with whom I drank slip, and that he and I proposed to fight, but I being in liquor, the people would not let me fight; then I proposed to meet on the Thursday night following, which was December 31, 1747, and I went accordingly. There was Mr. Montgomery, he was pleased to say to me, he never knew I was a fighting man before. I then went backwards, and saw Mr. Weymore, sitting with his back to the partition, drinking of punch; I staid there, and drank the old year out, and the new one in.

Isabella Hannah. I was servant to Mr. Montgomery in December, 1747, and he was then at home. I do not remember seeing any of these people there, as they mention, but I know the prisoner was at home on Newyear's day and Christmas day. I left them a fortnight after Newyear's day, and he was at home on my leaving the house.

Eliz. Murrey. I lived in Fox's Lane when Mr. Montgomery did, next door but one to him, and remember he was at home in the year 1747; he did not come much out, but did not mind me as a neighbour. I know I saw him at home on the latter end of December, and the beginning of January; I did not go in very often ; it was said he was abroad by all the neighbours, but I know he was not.

Q. Do you remember Isabella Hannah living there?

E. Murrey. I do very well.

Prisoner's Defence.

I was in Rotterdam at the time.

William Griffice . I went into Mr. Smith's house last month, the day I cannot tell, and asked him if he could tell where Mr. Montgomery was, he said he was in prison; I asked him for what, he replied, for debt; to who? said I, to me, answered he; What, replied I, is there no such thing as bail to be taken? No, answered he. I am forty for that, says I: to which he replied, I do not want to take his life from him, and if he will pay me one half down, and give me good security for the rest, I'll acquit him.

Peter Peterson . I have known Montgomery ever since the year 44. I saw him in Rotterdam in the year 47, some day in the latter end of December, and in January following. I was glad to see him, having before lodged at his houses. He was at the house of one Daniel Buchanan , in St. Peter's Gang. I quitted the house before he went away, but saw him there some days in December, and till January the 22d, or 23d, when I left Rotterdam, and went into the east country.

Q. Was this new stile or old stile you speak of?

Peterson. It was old stile.

Q. Was you in England when he was discharged as a fugitive?

Peterson. No, I was not.

Q. Who was his maidservant in 47?

Peterson. I do not know, I lodged in his house in 44.

Q. Who was his servant in 48?

Peterson. That witness, Isabella Hannah. I went into the west country from Rotterdam, and when I returned, she was there, at Mr. Montgomery's house.

Q. to Isabella Hannah. Do you know this evidence?

I. Hannah. I do, he dined at Mr. Montgomery's table on Christmas-day, 47, along with Montgomery.

Q. to E. Murrey. What time did Isabella Hannah live with Montgomery?

E. Murrey. I cannot say; she did not live long with him, but how many months I cannot tell.

Q. Do you remember Peterson's living there?

E. Murrey. That I cannot say.

Q. to Smith. Do you remember Isabella Hannah living there?

Smith. She was servant there in the year 47.

On Sunday the 22d of December she came to order some liquor, and asked for her Christmas box; I gave her half a crown. I remember she came back, and said Mr. Montgomery would not take half a crown, so I gave her another sixpence. She staid there, I believe, about a fortnight after.

Q. to Weymore. Do you remember Isabella Hannah being servant to Montgomery?

Weymore. I do, it was in 47; I believe she lived there about three months in the whole.

Jane Becham . I know Elizabeth Hannah . Mrs. Montgomery lay in some time in 48, and I went to see her, and Isabella Hannah was servant there then, I believe it was in April or May.

Q. When do you begin the year?

J. Becham: On Lady-day. In December, 47, his wife sent for me to come and dine with her on Christmas-day and Newyear's day, but I could not go ne'er a one of the days. I went about thirteen weeks after to see her, she then told me her husband was in Holland, and was not returned. He before had told me he was going there for debt. My mother was at the same time a creditor.

Jane Underwood . I am a creditor. I believe the prisoner was in Holland, in the year 47, as much as I do that I am here now. He was absent from home may be a week before Christmas day, and before he went away, he came, to take leave of my daughter and son.

Mary Long . I know the prisoner to be a very honest man. I met him once in the city, and he told me his creditors came so fast upon him, he was afraid he must go out of the way a little, till he could make his affairs up. I remember Isabella Hannah lived with him in 48, in the summer time, but believe she did not live there when Mrs. Montgomery was brought to bed.

George Hill. I have known him about five years, but never heard any harm of his character before.

John Shepherd . I live in Nigthingal-lane, and have known the prisoner about three years and a half. He is a downright honest man as far as ever I heard.

Henry Taylor . I live in Nightingale-lane. I have known him twelve years, he has as good a character as any man. I have dealt with him, and he has paid me honestly,

William Callinder . I have known him upwards of ten years, he is a very honest man.

David Lamb . I have known him three years. I never heard any thing to the contrary but what he is a very honest man.

Mr. Seymour. I have known him eight or nine years, and believe him to be as honest a man as any in England.

Mrs. Seymour. I have known him eleven years. He is a very honest man as ever broke bread.

Eleanor Scot . The prisoner went to Holland with me, the first of May was three years. When we landed he went directly from the ship, not as a stranger, and had no porter to go with him. He knew a great many people there, and asked after several particular persons. He was there about a fortnight, and came away before me.

Guilty . Death .

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