Benjamin Smith, Deception > forgery, 14th January 1768.

Reference Number: t17680114-26
Offence: Deception > forgery
Verdict: Not Guilty
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132. (L.) Benjamin Smith was indicted for publishing, a false, forged; and counterfeit receipt for money, purporting to be a receipt from Daniel Glading , who had served on board a certain ship called the Charming Nelly, where of he the said Benjamin Smith was master, for the sum of 37 l. 3 s. 1/4, of the current money of the island of Granada, dated April 9th, 1766, with intention to defraud John Dunbar , the former owner of the ship; it was laid also to be published with intention to defraud David Trinder , Oct. 21 . ||

Samuel Crossley . I remember this bill (holding the portage-bill in his hand) was produced by Mr. Reynolds, and Capt. Benjamin Smith sat next to him, as a receipt for sailor wages; it was produced as a general receipt, Daniel Glading was there, he was made to write, his name, and he was another, one Cornish; Capt. Smith at first insisted he had paid all the money contained in that bill; Glading was called in, and this receipt produced to him; he denied ever having received the money standing against his name, and that the name was not his hand-writing ; I am only speaking of the first meeting, when the arbitrator made Glading write his name; after that Capt. Smith said; he believed he had not paid Glading.

Q. How long was this after he said he had paid the money?

Crossley. It was in a few minutes talking; I suppose in about five or six minutes.

Q. Did you hear the Captain account for how Glading's name came to be there?

Crossley. No, I did not; the man had said he had received no money, and when we saw the receipt, it was judged that was wrong; Glading swore before the arbitrator it was not his handwriting, and he had not received any money; then in about five or six minutes the Captain said, I believe I have not paid Glading; I remember one circumstance when we brought is these people, Mr. Reynolds said to Capt. Smith in my hearing, strike it out of the account; Capt. Smith said no, I will not; but it was afterwards agreed to have it struck out.

Q. Do you remember there was a letter produced?

Crossley. I do.

Q. Was it before or after the production of that letter, that he said he believed he had not paid Glading?

Crossley. It was after the production of the letter.

Q. Do you remember these words paid in part?

Crossley. No, I do not.

Q. When was this?

Crossley. I believe this was in October; I was present only at two meetings, the last was when the bag was ran away with; I attended as a friend of Mr. Trinder's.

Q. Do you know how much the ship had earned?

Crossley. No, I do not.

William Green. I am partner with Mr. Trinder in the brewery, not in this; I was present at all the meetings; I was there when there was a dispute about Glading's receipt.

Q. What meeting was that?

Green. I believe it was the 30th of September, we challenged the Captain with that as being a forgery, that he never had paid Glading that money; we mentioned it to the arbitrator and Capt. Smith's attorney, that was the portage bill; Capt. Smith insisted upon it he had paid Glading and one Cornish, that he had paid the money himself to these two men, on which we called in Glading and Cornish; Glading insisted upon it that Capt. Smith had never paid him a shilling, and that he never gave him a receipt, and this receipt was shewed to Glading, and he denied that this name was his hand-writing; he had first been sworn, he said that name was spelt differently from his name; he was

ordered to write his name, to compare it to see if it was his or not; after they had compared the hand-writing, the arbitrator insisted upon it it was his hand-writing; Mr. Smith at first said he had paid it, but after that Mr. Reynolds insisted upon it that it should be struck out; afterwards Capt. Smith said, upon my producing a letter which I had in my pocket of Capt. Smith's to Mr. Trinder, desiring Mr. Trinder to pay the money, then Capt. Smith said, he believed it was not paid; in the letter he requested Mr. Trinder to pay the money, as he had been threatened to be sued for it by a proctor; till I produced that letter, the Captain did not express the last doubt about it.

The letter read to this purport.

"I have made Glading the sailor the account,

"and sent Mr. Longden a proctor in the Commons,

"which you please to pay, signed

" Benjamin Smith ."

Nov. 5, 1766.

Q. When was this?

Green. This was in the November preceding.

Q. Had no body the curiosity to ask how Glading's name came there?

Green. Not as I know of; after I shewed the letter, they all gave it up.

Cross examination.

Q. Was you there when the portage-bill was first produced?

Green. I was.

Q. On whose account was you there?

Green. I was there at the desire of Mr. Trinder, to examine the accounts; I was at all the meetings.

Q. Take the bill in your hand, is this the same bill?

Green. This is the same bill, (holding it in his hand.)

Q. Were the words paid in part there then, as now on that paper, to Glading's name?

Green. I cannot positively say.

Q. Whether you have not spoke of these words having been wrote there when it was produced?

Green. No, I have not.

Q. Will you swear the words were not there at that time?

Green. No, I will not swear that.

Q. What words passed between Capt. Smith and Glading, about some slops that Glading had?

Green. I do not recollect any thing of that.

Q. Will you take upon you to say there was no such thing mentioned?

Green. I will not.

Q. Was you at the meetings in order to point out the errors?

Green. I was.

Q. As you was there for this purpose, will you take upon you to say, there was not mention made of money being allowed for slops?

Green. I will not take upon me to say there was not.

Q. Was not there a charge about Cornish of the same sort?

Green. There was.

Q. How came it there was not an indictment upon that?

Green. You know he was discharged at Guild-hall.

Q. How long after the portage-bill was produced, that mention was made of this letter?

Green. But a few minutes; then it convinced every body that he had not been paid, because Mr. Trinder has paid the money; the balance that was settled was paid by Mr. Trinder long before that.

Q. What money did Mr. Trinder pay to Glading?

Green. He paid him 18 l. 2 s. and a penny sterling.

Q. Cannot you tell what was allowed for slops?

Green. No, I cannot; this money was paid in consequence of the letter to Mr. Trinder.

Q. Cannot you remember any thing about slops that Glading had?

Green. No, I cannot; I do of Cornish, because he had not received his money of Capt. Smith, nor of Mr. Tinder neither.

Q. Whether it is not customary for sailors to put their names to these things, before they receive their money, so trusting to the merchants?

Green. I do not know that it ever was done; I have paid several ships myself; I have three in my pocket now.

Daniel Glading . I was a mariner on board the Charming Nelly, under Capt. Smith ten months, at 1 l. 16 s. by the month sterling.

Q. How much was due to you for wages in that ship?

Glading. I cannot say directly, but I had 18 l. 2 s. and a penny of Mr. Trinder.

Q. Did Capt. Smith pay you any money?

Glading. I never received any money of him in my life.

Q. Did you ever set your name in the portage-bill?

Glading. No, I never did.

Q. Look upon this bill, whether you ever set your name to this?

Glading. (He takes it in his hand) No, that never was my hand, I never signed it: there was a paper produced to me, in which it was insisted my name was, but that was not my hand-writing, it was not spelt as I spell mine; I shell it Glading, that was Gleading; I never put there in my name; I am sure I never signed no paper only the shipping paper; here is my name that I wrote before the arbitrator on the back of this.

Q. Did you take notice of the difference of the spelling before the arbitrator?

Glading. I did.

Q. Did you ever give any body the authority to write your name on this paper?

Glading. No, I never did.

Q. Had you been at sea before you went in that ship?

Glading. I had.

Q. Did you ever sign any portage-bill before you received your money?

Glading. No, never.

Q. Suppose 30 l. was due to a sailor, and the Captain to pay him 10 l. in part, is it customary for a sailor to put his name to it, and trust to the Captain for the rest?

Glading. I never knew any one do it.

Q. Did you ever know any one paid in part?

Glading. No, I do not remember any.

Q. How long have you been at sea?

Glading. I have been at sea fourteen or fifteen years.

Cross examination.

Q. Look at this is this your name?

Glading. (He takes the paper in his hand). This is the way I spell my name, it is my hand-writing; (this is on the back of the bill.)

Q. Did you receive any slops of the Captain, and to what account?

Glading. I received some slops to the amount of 5 l. and upwards, that was settled with my wages.

Q. Can you fix the exact sum?

Glading. I cannot.

Q. Where did you receive the slops?

Glading. I received them at Tobago.

Q. Had you never any conversation with Capt. Smith about settling your wages?

Glading. No, never.

Q. Did you not leave the ships?

Glading. I did, in the Granades; I went to the main in a trading sloop, my voyage was finished in the Granades; I staid about a fortnight in the town, and asked Capt. Smith for my clothes, and he would not give them to me, he would not pay any body, nor discharge them.

Q. Why do you say your voyage was out?

Glading. The voyage was to be about three-months, and I was kept about ten.

Q. Did the Captain go any other voyage besides that?

Glading. He did not.

James Glading . I am brother to the last witness I have seen him write a great many times.

Q. How do you spell Glading?

J. Glading. We spell it Glading, we do not put the letter in it.

Q. Look at this bill, the name here, whose writing do you think it is?

J. Glading. I do not believe this name is my brother's hand-writing, this is Gladi, and a sort of a g; I believe none of these letters are his handwriting.

Prisoner's defence.

In the first place, I never insisted upon any man's hand-writing. I never saw this Glading write; it is very common with me to let my mate and officers settle these accounts; this Glading shipped at the Granades to perform that voyage, when we came to Tobago he ran away, and left the ship, and was two or three months in the woods; after that he solicited me to bring him back; when I settled the portage-bill in figures, I never knew half the people's writing in it; when I came to settle Glading's wages, he would not take his money, and said if I did not allow him the time he was absent from the ship, he knew where to get it; I had only advanced him 5 or 6 l. in part in slops; when he came home, the first news that I had of him, was a letter from the Commons about his money; I immediately sent to Mr. Trinder, and said I was liable to be arrested, and desired he would pay him, and settle the accounts, slops and all; our complement of men were forty-seven; it was some months before this arbitration, that I had sent to Mr. Trinder about this account, and I did not just at first recollect it.

For the prisoner.

Peter Hodgson . I was one of the special jury that was to have tried the cause in which Capt. Smith was plaintiff, and Mr. Trinder the defendant, before Lord Mansfield at Guildhall; when it was gone into a little it was agreed to be referred; it was referred to me, I did not like to undertake it.

Q. Why so?

Hodgson. Because I knew Mr. Trinder was a contentious man, and chuses a great deal of law; my Lord Mansfield strongly recommended me, and said I should be indemnified; after my Lord had said so much, I did consent to take it upon me with assistance; Mr. Lee, another special juryman, consented to give me assistance: this cause was in July, and our first meeting was on the 16th of September; there were Mr. Trinder, Mr. Green, Mr. Dalby, and Mr. Macbean; they attended on the part of Mr. Trinder; I gave every body an opportunity, because I wished that every body should be satisfied; there was a charge brought in by Capt. Smith in a book, I went through that charge first, the papers were brought by Mr. Reynolds and Lem; there was a book in which were all the particulars, and they brought vouchers and laid them before me.

Q. Did the Captain insist that these were real vouchers, or in what way did he bring them?

Hodgson, I was continually in doubt about it; I had various accounts from various people, people that were thorough masters of these sort of transactions; I took great pains in it.

Q. What was the demand on the one side?

Hodgson. The demand amounted to 2600 l. or thereabouts for provision, for wages, and various other things; money he had paid, commissions for getting the ship supplied, and expences on shore, and many things that constitutes the Captain's demand; I desired the two attornies to both attend; there were a great many vouchers brought; I took the book and crossed what I thought material, and went through the whole on one side the first meeting, but I made no judgment of them then, but laid them by; this was held in Mr. Lee's presence, from about eight in the morning, till between two or three in the afternoon; then I desired they would agree whether that was right cast on one side; Capt. Smith was a stranger to me at this time; I found he was a very bad writer, and did not understand much of figures; after some altercations, and seemingly a good deal of ill-nature from Mr. Trinder, Mr. Lem did come and enter into it on the account of Capt. Smith. I was told there was a set-off which extinguished every article, but no talk of forgeries; then they insinuated that the Captain was a very bad man, and abused him very much; I understood there was something very bad, that I was very much shocked in being concerned in the business; but as Mr. Lee said he would attend me, I did call another meeting; the second meeting was the 23d of September, there was an account produced by Mr. Green in behalf of Mr. Trinder, the attornies were there, and their clerks; I examined the set-off, I believe it was about 2300 l. they have the account; my Lord Mansfield told me I had nothing to do but with that one particular voyage; Mr. Dunbar was the owner, and he had signed his interest to Mr. Trinder; I examined the set-off, and found it amounted to mere nothing, either in one way or the other; it did not amount to I think an hundred pounds; in short, it was generally given up by Mr. Trinder and his friends to about an hundred pounds, that regarded that voyage; the other had been settled and agreed before with Mr. Dunbar; however, there was a disputed article between Mr. Trinder and Mr. Green, which amounted to about 200 l. the Captain said he had paid great part of it; there were words arose upon that, so I recommended that they would settle that between themselves; Green and Trinder would not settle it; this set-off failing so extraordinarily alarmed me very much, I could not conceive the meaning of it, it was only amusing of me, Mr. Dunbar and Mr. Trinder's accounts were so very intricate; Mr. Green behaved very well, in that he said he was sorry that had been produced, but he did not know that they were settled in other accounts, that was 2308 l. there were hints thrown out of forgeries after this set-off; I think there were some insinuations of that sort, but they began to blaze gradually; I begged of Mr. Trinder, and said here is a large sum of money due to the Captain, and said I would do it by an average; I consulted Captains, and took their opinions on it, and gave Mr. Smith no more than a man in such circumstances should have in such a voyage; I said to the others if they did not bring better accounts than these, I should be obliged to give the Captain 2600 l.

Q. When was the portage-bill first looked over?

Hodgson. I believe it was looked over at the first meeting.

Q. Do you remember this against Glading's own name, these words paid in part?

Hodgson. I remember it clear and well, it is wrote against the wages per month, 3 l. 6 s. per month.

Q. Was it produced as evidence that there was wages to be paid by somebody?

Hodgson. I am sure those words were then, there is a blot upon the name now.

Q. Whether the Captain produced this portage-bill, and insisted upon it as a real voucher?

Hodgson. I cannot particularly say that the Captain produced it as a voucher, he said he could not remember the names, he could not fix them

as any body's names, he did not insist upon them; he had some doubts I should give him but very little; Mr. Reynolds told him to go on, and said Mr. Hodgson will not go on without the advice of other people, and he will do you justice if you deserve it: in regard to Glading, Mr. Green retired from this business and he brought in Mr. Crossley; there was a day that Mr. Lee left me, when Glading came in, he gave something the same account he has now. I believe the Captain was extreamly uneasy; they asked about the portage-bill, he said he did not pay Glading, he only paid him in part, he was paid the rest by Mr. Trinder; I believe the Captain did not know who had signed or who not: I then examined Glading, he gave the same account he has now before the Court; I took off a great sum of money. If that trial had gone on at Guildhall, and if Mr. Trinder had not made a better defence than he did before me, I should have given 500 l. more than I have, but I found Mr. Trinder was very much confused with Mr. Dunbar; I gave the Captain 2100 l. I now say Mr. Lee did put the damages himself.

Q. Do you recollect the letter Mr. Green has mentioned?

Hodgson. Upon my word I do not, Mr. Green was backwards and forwards, but was particularly ordered to withdraw when this matter of the examition of the witnesses was.

Q. Whether there was not an attempt made upon you not to make an award?

Hodgson. Mr. Trinder had spoke to me once or twice to desire some private conversation with me; I did at first say I should be glad to see him at any time; the second time he repeated it; I then told him he did not speak what I could understand, he wanted some private conversation with me; I said I will hear none of you but in public, come there and say all you can; at first he was very angry, and would not come to dine with us; I told them if they would examine how all affairs stood, and see if they had effects to pay in the main, and drop all suits, I would endeavour to get the tradesmen of the ship to take their money in five years, by installments of 20 per cent. per annum. Mr. Trinder said if I would undertake to be arbitrator he would consent to it; I said I would have nothing more to do with arbitration, this one being sufficient for me, Mr. Trinder's people would do nothing towards the set-off; I gave them copies of all the bills; afterwards we had nothing but ill language, words arose to a prodigious pitch, they were very riotous and very troublesome at the last meeting; as Mr. Trinder had been exceeding remiss in going on, I said that morning I would make an end of it; Mr. Macbean, the attorney for Mr. Trinder, behaved exceeding genteel till that very day; he said Mr. Hodgson, this affair grows very serious, here is a vast many forgeries, I desire you will send for Mr. Lee; Mr. Lee was sent for; we sat down, Mr. Macbean then said we can prove forgeries at Portsmouth, and have certificates to prove them; I said bring the people before me, and I will examine them; I told him I determined to make an award; he said I must be cautious what I did, and that it was recommended to me by an eminent counsel to be cautious of what I did, saying he was my friend and countryman; I said I will wait on no counsel, but if the counsel comes to me I was ready to hear what he had to say; Mr. Lee and I agreed at the meeting, Mr. Crossley objected to several articles; we set from ten till one o'clock, when I ordered every body to withdraw but Mr. Crossley and the attornies; they came and broke into the room, I thought the house was coming down, they seized on Mr. Reynolds's bag; I think Mr. Green was the man that seized it.

Green. The reason that I took the bag was, Mr. Hodgson said there were things of a serious nature, and he would not foul his fingers with them; he would not examine an evidence I brought, but he would examine the Captain; Mr. Crossley told me the Captain said he believed some of them, and I might the rest; the Captain was going away, and as Mr. Hodgson seemed to think he had forgeries in his hands, I was afraid the Captain would run off.

Q. What was your reason to think so, when here was a balance of 2100 l. due to him?

Green. The reason was, because the first account he delivered to Mr. Trinder amounted to no more than 1752 l. and 8 d. and the other to 3560 l. and it was declared that Mr. Hodgson would burn his minutes, and I feared all would be destroyed.

Hodgson. There I blame Mr. Macbean, he knew of this attempt being made; had I known of it, I should not have let the bag be taken; they got the Captain and bag away; the Captain was carried before my Lord-Mayor, there he was set at liberty; I made the award and published it; I was by when Mr. Macbean said, if you will let us have another trial they will give up all these charges; there was my Lord-Mayor, Sir Richard Glyn , Mr. Alderman Turner, and Mr. Recorder; Mr. Macbean should not have winked at a thing, that might have caused bloodshed and destruction in the room; there was one Cornish's account mentioned, there was a lady came and proved he signed

the paper, but Cornish said he had not; I took reat pains with Cornish and made him write, nd the gentlemen were of opinion it was his handwriting; I believe the Captain did say that Cornish did write his name; the Captain did not come i that way in expectation I would give him every thing he charged; he had buried his ship several times over, and he did not insist upon things in that way; in the nature of those vouchers laid before me, I did not understand them to be such paper as he could take positive knowledge of; they were laid before me to judge in general; it is plain he ould hardly write, it was understood his mate transacted business for him; he had several mates another people; I have reason to think the Captain was not on shore at Portsmouth; it was laid before me he was afraid of being arrested; when the portage-bill was put in the bag, this name was a reat deal more perfect than it is now; I believe the blot has been made or increased since *.

* There were several large blotches on the bill of different-coloured ink.

Cross examination.

Q. When you first engaged in this business, had you conceived any prejudices against Mr. Trinder?

Hodgson. No, I had not; I knew he was very wangling, noisy, and troublesome; and knowing him such, I should have declined it had I had time so reflection.

Q. At which meeting was it that it was said the Captain had not paid the money?

Hodgson. That was blazed about I think at the third meeting.

Q. Do you remember you did threaten you would burn your minutes?

Hodgson. I did declare before them all that I would burn them, but Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Lee begged I would keep them.

Q. Upon your oath, were there any hints, or any thing said by Mr. Trinder, more than a private conversation?

Hodgson. No, he did not explain it. I say now publickly in this court, I would advise every gentleman that is arbitrator, never to take into their hands the papers of any man, for I believe they would have broke into my house as much as they did into the room in the tavern; it was told me several times by some of Mr. Trinder's party, the moment you make your award we shall have the papers; I believe they did intend to prefer bills upon them: when I came to make this award, I had the opinion of several Captains that had known and seen the behaviour of Capt. Smith, who had a very good opinion of him, and Mr. Dunbar gave him a very good character; he said Capt. Smith had been a lucky man to him, that he had taken prizes to the amount of 40,000 l. but he was not then in a situation to pay him a compliment; the Melvil's account was very near two fifths more than this; I had such a character of the Captain by gentlemen, that I had no doubt of his character.

Mr. Lee. I have been present during the examination of Mr. Hodgson, at his request I assisted him; he has given a very just and true account to the Court of what passed; I do not remember during the whole, that Mr. Smith insisted upon any particular hand-writing of any one person; he did not bring them as any particular persons handwriting, but to ascertain his accounts.

William Lem . This is a book (holding one in his hand,) which Capt. Smith delivered to me before the trial; he applied to me, and said I am in great distress, and you have often settled my accounts, I should be glad if you would look over them; I said Captain, from the melancholy tale you tell me, I will do all I can; this article was in the book, then opposite the name of Daniel Glading ( not paid per portage-bill;) this was in April before the trial; this book was laid before the arbitrator, at which time Capt. Smith got up and said, when Glading's name was mentioned, that man ought not to be charged, for he has not received all his wages, and I gave an order to Mr. Trinder to pay the remainder; the portage-bill was then produced, and there was upon that to Glading's name, paid in part; the charge I made was no single charge, but the whole portage; I have known instances that sailors have signed the portage-bill before the account was settled, when it has been in part paid they have signed; mine was not an account closed, mine was the last account that was delivered to the arbitrators; I was in the room with the arbitrators the whole time; upon my oath, I do not believe the Captain said that was Glading's own hand-writing; I know he did say George Cornish 's name was his own hand-writing; I think that blot on the name Glading was not on it when I saw it at the arbitration; I was in the room when Green took the bag away. Acquitted . And a copy of the indictment granted to the Captain.

There were six other indictments against him for forgeries, receipts to butchers bills for fresh provisions, &c. of two of them he was acquitted without calling a witness, and the others were given up by the prosecutor's counsel without going into the evidence. The Captain moved for copies of these indictments, and received for answer from their Lordships, that as an injured

innocent person, they had granted him one: and though they declined granting any others, they would not have it understood, that their Lordships apprehended there was the least ground for a suspicion of forgery in these.

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