William Jones.
17th April 1765
Reference Numbert17650417-51
VerdictNot Guilty

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271. (L.) William Jones was indicted for assuming the name and character of the brother to Edward Jones , deceased, late mariner on board his Majesty's ship the Medway, in order, unjustly, to receive the wages due to the said Edward, and defraud the proper claimant , June 28 . *

John Ratcliff . I belong to the Pay-Office. There was a person came with a letter of administration, and a ticket, who demanded the wages due to Edward Jones , late mariner on board his Majesty's ship the Medway. He said he was the brother and administrator to the deceased. I paid him the wages due, 27 l. 13. 4 d. (The ticket produced with the receipt on the back of it; it is read in court.) There were 32 l. 11 s. 5 d. full wages. The receipt signed William Jones , brother and administrator, dated 28th of June, 1764. I should not be able to know that person again.

Robert Hopman . I am in the Ticket Office. It is my business to deliver out the tickets of seamen deceased, or living: I remember the prisoner coming to our office on the 28th of June last; he said he was brother of Edward Jones that died on board the Medway man of war, and demanded his ticket of me. He produced an administration and a certificate, and said there were wages due to him. The Captain makes out the ticket. Here is the certificate (Producing it). He said it was signed by the minister and churchwardens of Bedwas, in Wales. I heard him own to the receiving the money afterwards on his examination. He then insisted that he was the brother of this Edward Jones who died on board the Medway, and that this certificate was a just one.

Watkin Jones . I am minister of the parish of Bedwas, in Monmouthshire.

Q. Who were churchwardens of that parish in the year 1764?

Jones. Thomas Ellis and Harry Thomas were.

Q. Look at this certificate. (He takes it in his hand.) Here is my name, but it is not my hand-writing. I never subscribed this certificate: and the names of the churchwardens upon it were not churchwardens that year. The names upon it are Robert Thomas and Howel Evans . They were neither churchwardens not overseers. The prisoner at the bar applied to me for a certificate of this sort; and gave me directions. But I heard the prisoner's brother John say, that Edward had made a will to him before he went to sea; so I would not sign his certificate.

Q. Had the prisoner a brother named Edward, a seaman?

Jones. He had. He was press'd on board in the year 1756.

Q. Did that Edward leave a wife?

Jones. No, he did not to my knowledge; I believe he was a single man. He died in 1761. I believe his father died before him.

Q. Do you know whether the prisoner's brother was on board the ship Medway?

Jones. I know nothing of that.

Mary Pritchard . I live in Elbow-lane, by College-hill. My father was named Edward Jones , and my mother Catherine; they lived in Overstey, in Shropshire. I had three sisters, and one brother, whose name was Edward, the youngest of fifteen. I am sixty-four years of age: he would have been forty had he been living. He belonged to the ship Medway.

Q. Did you ever see him on board that ship?

Mary Pritchard . No. I have received a great many letters from him while on board that ship.

John Chainey . I knew Edward Jones on board the ship Medway. The Medway's boat impressed him out of my vessel, a timber sloop, called the Prosperous; he was impressed in the Downs between the North and South Foreland: I cannot say how long it is ago; it was the beginning of the war. I know he, was this woman's brother: I have seen them together about four times; they passed for brother and sister while he belonged to me. He failed with me two years. I paid him his wages after that at the new hospital at Gosport. I have seen him on board the Medway: after that, he told me he had a mind to make a will and power to his sister Pritchard when in the hospital, but he could not then well spare the money to pay for it.

Q. Where does your vessel belong?

Chainey. It belongs to Rotherhithe. I always use the Sussex coast. I was employ'd in bringing timber, and carrying King's stores to Portsmouth and Plymouth. I knew Edward Jones a dozen or fourteen years ago.

Q. to Hopman. Do your books give an account when this Edward Jones first belonged to the Medway?

Hopman. It appears by the books that he was impressed the 2d of May, 1755.

Acquitted .

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