John Tomlinson.
12th September 1759
Reference Numbert17590912-26

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273. (L.) John Tomlinson was indicted for that he knowingly and designedly obtained from John Clark four guineas and two half guineas, with an intent to cheat him of the same by false pretences, against the form of the statute , June 1 . ++

John Clark . I was servant to a Brewer ; I had read an advertisement in the daily paper, for May 31, to this purport: To be disposed of for 120 guineas a place for life; salary, &c. bringing in about 60 l. a year; it will suit any industrious man, as there is no objection to age, nor much learning required. Enquire at the lamp in Clifford's-Inn passage, St Dunstan's Fleet-street. I went there, to the prisoner, he said he was to sell it for another man, that the salary was 35 l. per year, and in the whole it was worth 60 l.; I agreed with him for a hundred and twenty guineas, he insisted upon five guineas down; I gave him five guineas in part, it was four guineas and two half guineas; he wrote a paper, and I set my hand to it, to pay the remainder in fifteen days or to forfeit the five guineas.

Q. What place was this?

Clark. It was a Tide-waiter's place; he said it would be two or three months before I should have the place; then I went to my master, Mr Green, of Chelsey; he told me he did not like my bargain, and bid me go to his son, an Attorney, in Crane-court; I went there and told him the affair; this was the same day, the first of June; he went with me to look at the paper that I had set my hand to; but told me, before I went and after, that I had been trick'd out of my five guineas, for those places are not sold but given; then I went to enquire of a friend at the Customhouse; he was not in the way; but I ask'd others that I met with about it; they all said I was a fool, and had been trick'd out of my money; after this I went several times to the prisoner's office, but he was never to be found, 'till he was in the Compter for debt.

Q. Did you ever get your five guineas again?

Clark. No: nor no place, neither.

The prisoner produced the agreement which the prosecutor acknowledged to be the same he signed. It was read in court, and appeared to be an agreement only on one side, artfully drawn by the prisoner and signed only by the prosecutor.

William Kow . John Clark being my acquaintance I went with him to the prisoner's office; the prisoner told him he had a Tide-waiter's

place to dispose of, that the salary was 35 l. and the perquisites 60 l. more; he told us it was to be sold privately, the owner of it was never to be known, and the purchase would be a hundred and twenty guineas; which Clark must pay five guineas down; saying, that was customary, and the rest to be paid in a fortnight or thereabouts; Clark paid him four guineas and a ha lf, all he had about him; and I saw him again about six in the evening, and he said he had carried and paid him the other half guinea, according to their agreement.

John Howard . I have been a Tide-waiter near twenty-two years; there are 35 l. and 40 l. per year salaries, and others of a guinea a week when on duty, the last are called Preferable, are they that are put in by the Commissioners.

Q. Are there not warrants from the Lords of the Treasury?

Howard. There are: I received mine from them. It is a warrant sent down from the Lords of the Treasury to the Commissioners of the Customs, appointing a man in such a station.

Q. Can you sell your place?

Howard. No: I never knew such a thing in my life; the prosecutor came and ask'd me if there was such a place to sell; I told him there was no such thing; I advised him to go to Justice Fielding and take the man up that had imposed upon him; the prosecutor is a stranger to me, I accidentally heard his case at the Custom-house. We are all sworn at our entrance into the office, at the Board before the Commissioners, that we have neither taken nor given any gratuity whatever, for being put into that office.

Prisoner's Defence.

There is one Mr Russel, he is gone out of the way, he wanted me to sell his place; he was to resign it to this person.

Mr Howard. I know Mr Russel; I can take upon me to swear he has been absent half a year, and has not done duty at the customs during that time.

Guilty .

[Transportation. See summary.]

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