ROBERT ASLETT.
14th September 1803
Reference Numbert18030914-86
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath > respited

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675. ROBERT ASLETT was indicted for that he, on the 26th of February , being an officer and servant of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England , as such officer, was entrusted by the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England with certain effects belonging to the said Governor and Company, that is to say: a certain paper, partly printed and partly written, purporting to be a Bill called an Exchequer Bill, No. 835, for 500l. which said paper, partly printed and partly written, was then and there belonging to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England, and of the value of 500l. and which was unpaid and unsatisfied to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England the holders thereof; and one other paper, partly printed and partly written, purporting to be a Bill called an Exchequer Bill, No. 2694, for 1000l. which said last mentioned paper, partly printed and partly written, was then and there belonging to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England, and of the value of 1000l. and which was unpaid and unsatisfied to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England the holders thereof; and one other paper, partly printed and partly written, purporting to be a Bill called an Exchequer Bill, No. 106l. for 1000l. which said last mentioned paper, partly printed and partly written, was then and there belonging to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England, and of the value of 1000l. and which was unpaid and unsatisfied to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England the holders thereof; and that he being such officer, and servant of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, did feloniously secrete, embezzle, and run away with the said effects so belonging to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England, and of the value of 2500l. against the form of the statute, and against the King's peace .

Second Count. For that he, being an officer, and servant of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, was entrusted with certain effects belonging to the said Governor and Company, that is to say: a certain paper, partly printed and partly written, upon the credit where of, the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England had advanced a large sum of money, to wit: 500l. which remained unpaid and unsatisfied to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England the holders thereof. The indictment then set forth the Bill, as also the two other Bills, mentioned in the first Count, and charged that he feloniously did secrete, embezzle, and run away with the same.

Third Count. The same as the two former Counts, only describing the effects, setting each of them forth as a certain paper, partly printed and partly written, purporting to be a Bill commonly called an Exchequer Bill.

Fourth Count. The same as the former Counts, only describing the effects, setting each of them forth as a certain paper, partly printed and partly written, upon the credit and security whereof the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England had advanced a large sum of money, to wit: 2500l. which remained unpaid and unsatisfied to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England.

Fifth Count. For that he, being such officer as aforesaid, was entrusted with certain effects belonging to the said Governor and Company of the Bank of England, setting forth a Bill, No. 2686, and charging that he feloniously did secrete, embezzle, and run away with the same.

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Counts. The same as the first five Counts, only calling the instruments embezzled securities instead of effects.

11th, 12th, 13th, and 14th Counts. The same as the first four Counts, but for feloniously secreting and embezzling two of the instruments, namely, those numbered 106l and 2686, and calling them effects.

15th, 16th, 17th, and 18th Counts. The same as the first four, only calling the two instruments securities instead of effects, against the form of the statute, and against the King's peace.

Names of the Jury.

John Hurle ,

Daniel Lane ,

Thomas Atkin

John Wynne ,

George Gordon ,

William Puckeridge ,

William Burton ,

Thomas Landells ,

George Duffield ,

William Williams ,

John Dolphin ,

John Hewson .

(The indictment was opened by Mr. Giles.)

Mr. Garrow stated the circumstances of the case as upon the former trial. - (See Page 419.)

The Hon. Thomas Erskine. My Lords, in point of form I ought to postpone what I am about to state to your Lordships a few moments later, when the instruments which have been so distinctly stated by my learned friend would have been produced in evidence, and then have taken my objection; but I anticipate that; what I am about to say in this stage of the cause will not be considered premature, or at least will not be considered offensive to the Court, because it was not so considered upon a former occasion. I then had the opportunity of making my stand at the same period of the cause that I now make it, upon the same honourable, manly, and candid statement of the Learned Counsel on the part of the Bank that your Lordships have now heard. I agree with my learned friend, Mr. Garrow, that in presenting myself to a Court of Criminal Jurisdiction, in a case of such mighty moment as I admit this to be in point of magnitude, from the evidence that is proposed to be laid before your Lordships, that if we were in a case perfectly new, attended with considerations that required great difficulty in the examination and in the decision, I admit your Lordships might, however hard it may be upon the prisoner in his present anxious situation, in such a case think sit to reserve an opinion, which you could not form upon the argument you have heard to-day, until I have closed every thing I have to offer to your Lordships; and if, when you have heard, as I take it for granted you will hear an answer from my learned friend to what I am about to urge, your Lordships should find yourselves, with all the learning you bring into this place, (and there can be none greater) in no condition to give such a judgment as the public expect, unquestionably then would be the season for your Lordships reserving for further consideration the law belonging to the case; but if I find myself in a case altogether the same with that in which I stood before; if I find that, without perverting every idea I have entertained of criminal justice, the unhappy gentleman at the bar is arraigned for the same offence from which he has already been delivered, and that this indictment only gives the goby to the last in point of mere words, and remains the same upon all the substance of the transaction, I should think the prisoner had a right to complain of us, if we did not, upon this occasion, state why we consider ourselves as precisely in the same condition.

My Lords, I wish in the first instance, and that is matter of private feeling, to explain what I mean when I say we are precisely in the same case, because it might seem that this kind of preface to what I am about to deliver to your Lordships, looked as if I meant to consider this as a vexatious proceeding, as if I wished to arraign either the want of learning or discrimination in the Learned Counsel, in not having in an earlier period proceeded in this form, or as if I meant to arraign persons whom I greatly honour and respect, who have conducted themselves in a manner perfectly honourable and correct, as it regards the public, who have been guilty of no negligence in their trust, and who have been sufferers by an act from which no human foresight could have delivered them: I consider, therefore, and I am not speaking altogether as a lawyer when I say so, but I take upon me as a man to say,(after the acquittal which is so much in all our memories, and after the facts of the case which are now before us) this is an indictment for the same offence; but the Directors of the Bank of England were determined rather to appear to act with severity towards the prisoner, than with injustice and negligence towards the public; it was decent and fit that there should be none heard to say, if the indictment had been preferred in another form, public justice would have been satisfied; and therefore I do admit that the proceeding is not severe, but proper in every possible respect.

My Lords, it stands as a fact (and it stood exactly in the same manner before) that the Exchequer-bills, which the defendant is charged with having embezzled, were not Exchequer-bills.

Mr. Justice Le Blanc. Not valid Exchequer-bills.

Mr. Erskine. Not Exchequer-bills. When I had the good fortune upon the former occasion to address the Court, I held in my hand an Act of Parliament, in which these are declared not to be Exchequer-bills; that to have made them Exchequer-bills certain forms were to be observed; that those forms had not been observed, as it has been stated by Mr. Garrow, and therefore Parliament, in its justice, declares they shall be considered valid to all civil purposes, but with this proviso, which is deserving of your Lordships consideration and attention, "Provided always that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to prejudice or affect in any manner whatsoever any prosecution now depending, or which may be hereafter commenced for, or relating to any act done previous to the passing of this Act, touching, or concerning, or relating to the said Exchequers-bills, or any of them, so as aforesaid signed by the said Robert Jennings , of his Majesty's Exchequer."

My Lords, the first distinction I would take between these papers, which are described as purporting to be Exchequer-bills, and which are considered as effects, and which are also considered as securities, is between their being securities of the public upon which the Bank had advanced money, and the securities of private individuals, although I think that will make very little difference.

Mr. Garrow. It is not merely money advanced, but both; it is sit that should be understood.

Mr. Erskine. I put the distinction between the security of a private individual, in which there is any fraud of which that individual might avail himself, and securities to the public. In the case of an individual, if a promissory note was embezzled, the party might wave the objection which the law gave him from its having been altered; for instance, without the leave of the party subsequent to its being executed, from its being without a stamp, or any other informalities that might belong to it, which would enable the party to make a stand against the recovery, though he might wave the objection, and pay the money, it might be argued (though then the argument would come to nothing) that it might be considered as effects, as something valuable, as some benefit of which he had been deprived by its being embezzled or stolen; but, as my learned friend truly expressed himself upon the former trial in his reply, he says, "I must shew that this is an Exchequer-bill, and if it is not an Exchequerbill, for this purpose to make it the subject of a charge

upon an indictment, it is nothing," This is not the case of a private individual, for the moment this Exchequer-bill became no Exchequer-bill, in consequence of the necessary ceremonies not having been performed, from that moment the generosity of Government could have no operation, the justice of Government could have no operation, nor could the Lords of the Treasury make any payment upon it. No man would suppose the Lords of the Treasury would pay it out of their own private pockets, and they could not have charged it to Government. The executive Government of the country could not have been called upon to make the payment, nor could they be justified in making it. There was but one way, therefore, by which these instruments could be made valuable, there was but one way in which they could be made to differ from what my learned friend stated, that they are Exchequer-bills, or nothing - they are waste paper, or they are valuable to the extent they purport to be. It could only be done by Act of Parliament; as it has been done by Act of Parliament, it was Parliament alone that could give existence, not validity, (for validity is something that by making an addition to it may render it effectual) but it was Parliament alone that could give existence to the instruments now proposed to be put in evidence before your Lordships; and to deprive my learned friend of the argument that, Parliament might be expected to do it, or that Parliament would do it, or the anticipation that Parliament must do it, that that could make them be considered by retrospect as valuable ab origine in the hands of the Bank. This humane proviso is introduced, this Act of Parliament in making these papers any thing else but waste paper that I have described them, and which they were described to be by my learned friend upon the former occasion, in order to extinguish the argument in its birth, and to destroy every appearance of an ex post facto law, has declared, that they shall be for all civil purposes Exchequer-bills, and not only have Parliament cautiously put it for civil purposes, but they have introduced this proviso, "that nothing herein contained shall extend, or be construed to extend, to prejudice in any manner whatsoever any prosecution now depending, or which may be hereafter commenced:" that is to say, the whole would have been waste paper before the passing of this Act; but which, by the passing of this Act, becomes a security ab origine, but for the purposes of prosecution, it is a piece of waste paper, upon which you could not count in petty iarceny, which does not come up to the extent of any denomination which can constitute value, and therefore your Lordships will consider it, as far as relates to my client, as if this Act had never passed; that they are not Exchequer-bills as they relate to the unhappy gentleman at the bar. It may be said that Mr. Aslett received money upon them, and that when he disposed of them to his own advantage, he treated them as things that were valuable. The answer I give to that is, that but for this Act, which is still not in my way, it would have been money had and received by Mr. Aslett, to the use of those persons who advanced the money. I will endeavour to make your Lordships understand in a very few words the light in which I consider it: The prisoner is indicted upon the statute of the 15th year of his late Majesty's reign, and it was intended, in consequence of the momentous concerns of the Bank, (as it was correctly stated by Mr. Garrow) to give them a protection, which the law gave to no private individual till the 39th of the present King, chap. 85, in consequence of Beasley's case; so that your Lordships observe between the 15th of George II. and the 39th of his present Majesty's reign, that in all that long interval Parliament never thought of giving to private men the security it had given to the Bank; and at last did it only upon the spur of the particular occasion, urged and goaded on by the escape of a notorious offender, who could not be brought within the reach of the law. Then can it be doubted for a moment what the construction of this Act was? The Legislature said this, the Bank is charged with mighty concerns; it has in its care and its custody vast revenues; it is obliged to place that considence in their servants, which my learned friend with so much humanity was pleased to say (and I honour him for it) had been faithfully administered by the unhappy prisoner at the bar for five-and-twenty years; who had been entrusted with hundreds of millions floating before his eyes, without even the wish to appropriate a farthing of it to his own use. The words used in this Act of Parliament therefore are, any dividend-warrant, bond, deed, or any security, money, or other effects. In order to fortify the construction, I take the liberty of putting to your Lordships, not for the purpose of this indictment, but because I can put no other, Parliament, looking at the great securities which the Bank are possessed of, the deeds they have, the dividend-warrants they have, the bullion they have, the bonds, securities, and money they have, add the words, "other effects," by which can only be meant other valuable effects, other chattels, other things, which, if they were stolen, at the common law would have been a larceny, not something, which, if it be no security, is nothing, not that which I say could not be worth a farthing. I say it could not be the intention of this Act of Parliament, that while a servant of your Lordships, entrusted with your plate, with your jewels, with all that is valuable, and the loss and embezzlement of which might have reduced your Lordships to considerable difficulties in your families, he shall be only guilty of a misdemeanour; while a servant of the Bank, who has secreted a pen worn down to the stump, or half a sheet of paper loose in the office, would be within this law; or that Parliament, in using the words" other effects," could mean any thing else than those kind of effects to which the law gives the sanction of criminal justice to protect the property of private individuals; and, therefore, unless it can be made out that this is the meaning of the Act of Parliament, this prosecution must fail. In the first place, is this a security? It is a security for civil purposes. Would it have been a security for civil purposes without an Act of Parliament? Certainly it was not only no security, but it could not be recovered against a private individual, and the purse of the people could only be open to Parliament. Are we then in a penal statute, in a statute which creates a capital offence in the servants of this great Corporation, but which did not extend for many years afterwards to the servants of other persons?Would your Lordships put so partial a construction upon it as to say, it had any other acceptation than that I have submitted to your Lordships? I would refer to what has been decided before the passing of the statute, 2 Geo. II . In Mr. East's late valuable book, which he has given to the profession, page 597, compiled from Hawkins's Pleas of the Crown, your Lordships will find this laid down as the reason of that statute having been passed, "In order to make the stealing of goods felony, they ought to have some worth in themselves, and not merely from their relation to some other thing, and therefore bonds, bills, notes, and other securities, which concern mere choses in action, were not the subjects of larceny at common law." Why were they not the subjects of larceny at common law? Because you could not count upon their value, but by connecting them with their value as securities. Suppose a man had stolen 50,000l. in Bank-notes which were cancelled, I do not believe there ever was an indictment for stealing them as paper.

Mr. Justice Le Blanc. You are likening it to a case which was brought before the Judges, and never decided.

Mr. Erskine. My Lord, I do not mean to build upon a case which was considered of sufficient magnitude to be brought before the Judges, and which going off upon another point did not call for any decision; but in the case of Sutton v. Johnstone, in the House of Lords, it was held a strong reason why an action for a malicious prosecution could not be maintained against a superior officer, because there was no instance in which such a doctrine had been held, My Lord, here the statute law, supplying the defects of the common law, makes it for the first time a felony to steal a security, which could not have been considered as a chattel, though it might be of some imaginary value; but it may be said, that by getting a number of them together, it might become a petty larceny. But give me leave to ask, if your Lordships can conceive it to be the construction of this Act of Parliament, that if a person takes a thing as a security, which turns out to be no security at all, that that is "effects" in the contemplation of the Legislature at the time this highly penal statute passed? Can it be supposed that Parliament, when they passed this Act on account of the magnitude of the concerns of the Bank, meant to put your Lordship in this situation to say, that the stealing of a pen or a sheet of paper might be considered as effects within this statute? My Lord, there is one great stay to the human mind in this argument, and it is this, suppose this was a loose sheet of paper, suppose it had been no security at all, suppose it to have been distinctly what I have stated it to be, and what it only is, except by the authority of this Act, would my learned friends call it effects? No, and therefore they are obliged to mix it in your Lordship's mind, as being connected with value, as being considered by the prisoner as value, as having been made use of by him as value, and as having received that for it which was a valuable consideration, then your Lordships can only look at it in that aspect, by considering it as a security, and your Lordships will say whether it is a security upon which any action could have been brought, or for which any demand could have been made by any living being; and in a penal case like this, when your Lordships are to put the true construction upon this Act of Parliament, it will be necessary to come to a decision that will cover other cases; and, therefore, I say, this is not a case worthy of your Lordships wisdom to reserve: I say it is either a case in which your Lordships will decide against me and against the prisoner, and execute the law upon him; or else it is a case in which I have a right humbly to ask your Lordships to deliver him from the charge, as the other Learned Judges delivered him from the former. Surely, my Lords, it is very little consonant with the wife principles of British justice, where, if the bills of indictment had been the same, he could have pleaded autrefois acquit; that the law should be different, though the act is the same; and I sit down with repeating, that in my opinion and belief this prosecution is a determination on the part of the Bank not to suffer any man living to whisper away their reputation, by saying they fell one iota short of that which the law of the land entitled them to carry into effect against the prisoner; and there is another reason for thinking so; the moment Mr. Aslett was acquitted, he was detained for debt, though the Grand Jury were at that time fitting, and they could have preferred another Bill.

Mr. Justice Le Blanc. That can have no effect as to the point of law.

Mr. Erskine. Certainly not, my Lord, but it shews that this did not at that time occur to the great learning with which the Bank are assisted, and there is none greater, at least that I am acquainted with, except as it exists with your Lordships on the Bench. I trust, therefore, this prosecution will take the same course it did at the former Session, and that your Lordships will be of opinion this indictment cannot be maintained.

Mr. Serjeant Best followed Mr. Erskine on the same side.

Mr. Garrow rose to reply, but was interrupted by

Mr. Justice Le Blanc. As it strikes me and my Brother, both as it respects the public and the prisoner, I should think it quite sufficient that either party should wish it to be submitted to the Jury. I was desirous of hearing every thing which ingenuity could alledge on the other side, in order to see whether any doubt that existed in my mind could be removed; but I confess it does not appear to me the clear case that it has been represented to be. The question turns upon this, whether, in the construction of this Act of Parliament, in which this general term "effects" is used, we can give that limited construction to the word "effects," as to say it shall not extend to any thing but that which is in itself of intrinsic value. The word securities as well as effects is used; but it will turn more upon the word effects, because that is the largest and most extended word. When it is compared with cases of larceny, it deserves a very different consideration; here it is not made a larceny, but the person is made guilty of felony, and therefore perhaps there is not so much analogy between the cases. At present, sitting here, I do not profess to be of opinion that every thing which is not in itself of value, or which cannot be called a security, does not come within the protection of the Act. I am, therefore, of opinion the trial should proceed.

Evidence for the Crown.

JOHN BEST sworn - Examined by Mr. Fielding.

Q. I believe you are the Secretary of the Bank? - A. I am.

Q. Be so good as cast your eyes on that unfortunate gentleman - do you know him? - A. Yes.

Q. Was he an officer, or servant in the Bank of England? - A. He was elected a clerk in the Bank, on the 19th of March, 1778.

Q. You have known him, I take it for granted, ever since that time? - A. I have.

Q. Do you know at what time any difference of situation was appointed him? - A. He was appointed assistant cashier under Mr. Newland, 19th September, 1793; he was appointed a cashier on the 17th of January, 1799, which appointment was advertised in the London Gazette of the 19th and 22d of January, 1799.

Q. And he has continued to act in those capacities all the time you have known him in the Bank? - A. He has.

ABRAHAM NEWLAND , Esq. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. I believe you are the principal cashier of the Bank of England? - A. Yes.

Q. For how many years has the prisoner at the bar been in your office as a cashier? - A. Between four and five years.

Q. Was the money business of the Bank intrusted to his care? - A. A good deal of it.

Q. When the Bank has occasion to purchase Exchequer-bills, who was in the habit of giving the orders for the payment of those bills? - A. Either Mr. Aslett or myself.

Q. When the Bank purchase Exchequer-bills in the market, who is the person that makes out the orders for the payment of those bills? - A. Mr. Aslett, or myself, signs an order for the payment of it.

Q. Are these purchases kept in any book for that purpose? - A. Yes, there are three or four books, the bought book is one.

Q. Who was the person that principally kept the bought book? - A. It is sometimes entered into by one clerk, and sometimes by another, which ever happened to be at leisure, but I believe Mr. Kiddell, principally.

Q. After the Bank has purchased any Exchequer-bills, can they, without fraud, in some person or other, in the employment of the Bank, come again into the market? - A. Impossible.

Q. Are they always kept in the custody of the Bank, till the Government redeem them? - A. Always.

Q. When Exchequer-bills are purchased, are they kept in the Cashier's office, or are they taken immediately to the Directors? - A. They very often are kept under the care of the Cashier for some weeks before they are deposited in the care of the Directors.

Q. When there are sufficient in the Cashier's-office to take to the Directors to put under their care, who was the servant who conveyed them from the custody of the Cashier's-office to the Directors? - A. Sometimes I have done it, and very often Mr. Aslett.

Q. Can you tell who conveyed the Exchequer-bills on the 26th of February last from the Cashier's-office to the Directors? - A. Mr. Aslett.

Cross-examined by Mr. Erskine. Q. The prisoner at the bar has been in a confidential situation in the Bank, for a great number of years? - A. He has.

Q. Has he not had opportunities, by which I mean, daily and hourly opportunities of defrauding the Bank, I won't say to the extent of this indictment, but to thousands of millions of money? - A. Undoubtedly, if you take the whole period.

Q. Was there any suspicion, or have you any more doubt, than that you are now a witness under examination, that his whole conduct was faithful? - A. I believe, entirely so.

Mr. Knowlys. Q. If such frauds had been committed, they must necessarily soon have come to detection? - A. Undoubtedly.

Mr. Erskine. Q. From whence you are unable to say, upon your oath, there have been none committed? - A. Undoubtedly there have been many thousands of millions of money passed through his hands.

ABRAHAM GOLDSMID , Esq. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. I believe your house deals very largely in Exchequer-bills? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you recollect, in the month of December, in the last year, having sent any quantity of Exchequer-bills to the Bank, to the amount of 85,000l.? - A. Yes.

Q. Look at this - is this the bill of parcels you delivered, with the bills you sold to the Bank? - A. Yes, this was written by the clerk.

Q. Did you, in point of fact, on the 3d of December, 1802, sell Exchequer-bills to the Bank? - A. I did.

Q. Look at the order pinned to that bill of parcels, and say whether you received the money for those Exchequer-bills? - A. It is impossible for me to say, whether it was myself or Mr. Moxon, but the money was paid.

Q. Are you acquainted with the hand-writing of the prisoner at the bar? - A. Certainly.

Q. Is the name of Aslett upon that order for the money, his hand-writing? - A. It is.

Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Best. Q. Do you know, of your own knowledge, whether the

85,000l. has been paid? - A. Most assuredly, we received it.

Q. Your knowledge of the receipt of it, must have come either from Mr. Moxon or your books? - A. I am sure it was paid, because otherwise I must have been indebted to Government 85,000l.

Q. Do you know, except from the information of some other person, or your books, that it has been paid? - A. Yes, because we paid away the same money again.

Q. Mr. Moxon did not receive it in your presence? - A. I cannot say.

Mr. Giles. Q. Are the Bank indebted to you one single farthing on account of these Exchequer-bills? - A. Certainly not.

BENJAMIN KIDDELL sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. You are a clerk in the Cashier's-office, in the Bank? - A. Yes.

Q. You were so in December 1802? - A. I was.

Q. Did you make out any order for the payment of 85,000l. Exchequer-bills? - A. I did.

Q. Is that order signed by the prisoner at the bar, Mr. Aslett? - A. Yes.

Q. Before Mr. Aslett signs these orders, he examines the bills of parcels? - A. He generally fees that the bill of parcels correspond with the order.

Q. How does he make the comparison? - A. He compares the total amount of the bill of parcels, with the order it is cast up.

Q. Was it your course to take the bill of parcels, and the Exchequer-bills, and the order to Mr. Aslett for signature? - A. Generally, not always.

Q. Did you mean that you did it when you wrote out the order? - A. Yes, I generally counted over the bill of parcels to see that it corresponded.

Q. And did you take it to Mr. Aslett with the order for signature? - A. Generally.

Q. Did you enter the particulars of those bills so brought in a book, which is called the bought book? - A. I did.

Court. Q. Whenever you wrote the order for the payment of the money, did you examine the bill of parcels? - A. Generally, but sometimes another person counted the bills while I wrote the order, when we have had a great many. (The bought book shewn to the witness.)

Q. Is that your hand-writing? - A. Yes, it is.

Q. Does that contain a list of the bills in that bill of parcels for which that order was given? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you make that entry from a comparison with the bills? - A. It is a copy of the bill of parcels.

Q. After the order is given for the payment of the money, what do you do with the bills? - A. They are then given up to Mr. Aslett, or Mr. Newland.

Q. What is done with the bills then? - A. They were generally counted up afterwards by Mr. Aslett, or Mr. Newland, and deposited in the chest kept for that purpose.

Q. Is that chest in the Cashier's-office? - A. Yes, in an interior room.

Q. That bought book is also kept in the Cashier's-office, I believe? - A. Yes, it is.

Q. When those bills accomulate to a large amount, are they taken from the chest? - A. Yes, they are taken from the chest and delivered to the gentlemen in the parlour; they have sometimes been deposited as they have been bought, but of late they have been made up in large parcels, and delivered in very large parcels indeed.

Q. What is the mode of making up that parcel? - A. We used to deposit them according to the number of bills for the day, but since the bills have increased, they have been done up in sums of 1000l. or so on, they are wrapped in a cover with the amount generally endorsed upon it, and the date when deposited.

Q. Is there any description of the class of the bills upon the invelope? - A. Yes, always, whatever is the heading of the Exchequer-bill, for whatever services it may be.

Q. Whose duty was it to take it from the chest to the parlour? - A. Either Mr. Newland or Mr. Aslett.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. I understand that the order was generally taken by you, but in the case of the present business, it might be done by another person? - A. It might.

Q. And you are quite sure your account of them is taken from the bills of parcels every time? - A. Yes.

Q. You merely copy the bills of parcels? - A. Yes.

PETER TEMPLEMAN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. You are a stock-broker? - A. Yes.

Q. Look at that bill of parcels, and tell me if you purchased those Exchequer-bills for the Bank? - A. Yes, on the 11th of December, 1802, either by my partner, or myself, I cannot say which.

Q. Who is your partner? - A. Mr. Cole.

Q. Is that the bill of parcels which was delivered to the Bank with the bills? - A. I cannot speak of m yown knowledge, it was delivered by one of the firm most likely, they are all here.

Q. Who signed the bill of parcels? - A. Mr. Eade.

- EADE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles.

Q. Is that your signature? - A. Yes.

Q. Were the bills mentioned in those bills of parcels purchased for the Bank? - A. Yes.

Q. Were they delivered with those bills of parcels to the Bank? - A. I should suppose they were.

Q. Have you any means of knowing whether the money was paid? - A. (Refers to his book.)

Q. Can you say from that, whether these Exchequer-bills were paid for by the Bank? - A. Yes.

Q. Whose entry is that? - A. Mr. Cole, junr. - COLE, junr. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Is that entry your hand-writing? - A. Yes.

Q. Are you enabled to say from that, that the Bank paid you for those Exchequer-bills? - A. Yes.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. This is an entry of the 11th of December., 1802? - A. Yes; the entry is, "Nutt, Governor, 31985l. 2s. 2d."

Q. Was the entry made by you on that very day? - A. Yes, I made the entry from Banknotes and cash, which I myself received from the Bank.

Q. Did you receive it yourself? - A. I cannot recollect whether I received it, or Mr. Eade, or Mr. Templeman.

Q. Do you know, of your own knowledge, for what specific subject matter this 31,000l. was received? - A. I believe for Exchequer-bills.

Q. I asked you, whether you knew it of your own knowledge? - A. I did not receive the money that I know of.

Q. Then all you know is, that from something which somebody told you you made an entry in your book, that you had received from the Bank, 31,000 and odd pounds? - A. Yes.

Q. Have you any recollection of the transaction? - A. No, I have not.

Q. Then, but for finding this entry in your own hand-writing, you know nothing about it? - A. Yes, I do, because I see an entry in the daybook.

Q. Who made that entry in the day-book? - A. Mr. Eade.

Q. In consequence of which you made this entry in the cash-book? - A. No, the entry in the cash-book is made before the entry in the daybook, I do not recollect at present what I entered that for.

Q. Whether the money was received, if it ever was received from the Bank by you or any other person, you do not know? - A. I do not.

Mr. Gurney. (To Mr. Eade.) Q. You have been speaking of a bill of parcels, whose writing is it? - A. It is the writing of Mr. Scott, or his clerk, it is the original bill of parcels that we received from the house of Scott, the signature"Cole, Templeman and Eade," is my hand-writing, I remember receiving it either from Mr. Scott, or some person in his house.

Q. Have you any recollection of the Exchequerbills, accompanying this bill of parcels? - A. No farther than the day-book entry shews it.

Q. Is that day-book entry made by yourself? - A. Yes, it is.

Q. From the bill of parcels? - A. Yes.

Mr. Giles. (To Mr. Cole, junr.) Q. Though you cannot at present recollect whether you or some other person received this money, should you have made this entry in the book, if you had not known it had been received? - A. No.

Q. (To Mr. Eade.) Look at the back of this bill of parcels - whose hand-writing is that? - A. The hand-writing of one of the clerks in the Bank.

Q. Look at the other; do you know whose handwriting that is? - A. No.

Q. (To Mr. Templeman.) Have you any demand upon the Bank now for these Bills? - A. No; the money has been received by one of the house, but which I do not know.

Mr. THOMAS MOXON sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Look at those bills of parcels - is that your hand-writing? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you know of those bills having been sold to the Bank? - A. Yes.

Q. And that is a correct description of the bills? - A. Yes.

Q. Look at that order, and tell me if you know of those bills having been paid for by the Bank? - A. I have no doubt but they were.

Cross-examined by Mr. Erskine. Q. You don't know it of your own knowledge? - A. I have no reason to doubt it, on account of our cash agreeing at that time.

Q. Did you receive the money? - A. I cannot say; either Mr. Goldsmid or myself received it.

Q. Did you yourself deliver those bills to the Bank? - A. I cannot say that I myself delivered them.

Q. Nor do you know, of your own knowledge, that they were delivered? - A. I made up the bill of parcels.

Mr. Giles. Q. Look at that order - was that the order given for the bills contained in that bill of parcels? - A. It is the same amount.

Q. That is signed by Mr. Aslett? - A. Yes.

Q. Does Mr. Aslett ever give you orders like that but upon the delivery of the bills? - A. Never.

Mr. Erskine. Q. There is no enumeration in the order, is there? - A. No.

Mr. Garrow. (To Mr. Kiddell.) Q. Look at that order, (the order of Cole an Templeman of the 11th of December,) did you make out that order? - A. Yes, I did.

Q. Is that signed by the prisoner? - A. Yes.

Q. Was that order made out on account of these bills of parcels? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you know whose figuring that is upon the back? - A. Mine; it is a collection of the two totals of the two bills of parcels.

Q. Have you entered the bills delivered with this bill of parcels in the bought book? - A. (Refers to it.) They are my entry in the book; it is a copy of the bills of parcels.

Q. Were those compared with the bills? - A. I can say I compared one of them, because it has my initials.

Q. Which is that? - A. 15,000l. I am sure we received of Messrs. Cole and Templeman 15,000l. of the description in this bill of parcels.

Q. And were they paid for by that order? - A. They were paid for by this order.

Q. When you made out an order of that sort, and took it to Mr. Aslett for signature, what did you do with it after he had signed it? - A. It was generally given to Mr. Cole, to apply at another office to receive the money.

Q. Is there any mark made upon the order at that office to denote the payment of it after it is paid? - A. There is no mark upon this order; we always answer the draft as soon as we pay it, by crossing the name.

Q. Is that so crossed? - A. It is.

Q. Now look at that, (the other order), and see if it is so cancelled? - A. Yes, it is.

Q. Upon looking at these documents, and your bought book, have you any doubt that all these bills were brought into the Bank and paid for? - A. I have no doubt.

Q. By the order of Mr. Aslett? - A. By the order of Mr. Aslett.

Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Best. Q. The bought book is a mere copy of the bill of parcels, and not copied from the Exchequer-bills? - A. It is a copy.

Q. You did not compare that with the bills themselves? - A. Certainly, the numbers and amounts.

Q. Did you, compare the numbers and amounts with the bills themselves? - A. They are compared, but not at all times, by the person who makes the entry.

Q. You said, just now, from the press of business another person might do it? - A. Yes.

Q. Does that frequently happen? - A. It has happened several times.

Q. It might have happened in this instance? - A. I cannot say.

Q. Can you take upon yourself to swear you saw these specific bills with the numbers upon them? - A. The 15,000l. I can positively.

Court. Q. Is that one of the bills of parcels of Cole and Templeman? - A. Yes.

Mr. Giles. Q. Was it the duty of Mr. Aslett, before he gave these orders, to examine the bills, and to see that they were right? - A. It was his duty.

Q. And was that done? - A. I cannot say he generally counted the bills after I had given him the order to sign.

Court. Q. Do you mean that he counted over the amount of the bill of parcels, or examined the bills themselves? - A. The bills themselves generally, but I believe not always.

Mr. COLE, sen. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Look at that bill of parcels, (shewing him, another), have you signed that? - A. Yes, I have.

Q. Do you know of those Exchequer-bills having been sold at the Bank? - A. I certainly know that.

Q. Look at that order annexed to it - are you acquainted with the hand-writing of Mr. Aslett? - A. Very well.

Q. Is that order signed by him? - A. Yes.

Q. Were these Exchequer-bills paid for by that order? - A. Yes.

Q. And you have no demand upon the Bank for these Exchequer-bills? - A. I cannot say that I received it myself, but some of the firm did; I generally received the orders from the Governor himself.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. You don't mean that you delivered the bills with your own hand? - A. No; I cannot say that.

Mr. Giles. Q. You signed the bill of parcels? - A. Yes.

Mr. Giles. (To Mr. Kiddell.) Q. Refer to the bought book, and see if you have entered that bill of parcels bought of Cole and Templeman on the 14th of December? - A. Yes, I have entered them.

Q. That bought book was kept in the Cashier's office? - A. It was.

Q. Did you write out the order for the payment of those bills? - A. Yes.

Q. Is that signed by Mr. Aslett? - A. It is.

Q. Does that appear to have been paid? - A. Yes.

Q. From the course of the Cashier's office, could a description of those bills have found their way into your bought book, unless they had been brought into the office? - A. I am well convinced these bills were brought into the Bank, because I examined them.

Q. What is the amount? - A. 10,055l.

Mr. Gurney. Q. Do you mean that you compared, in that instance, the bill of parcels with the bills themselves? - A. Yes.

Q. As to numbers as well as sums? - A. Yes.

Q. How do you know? - A. By my checking the bills of parcels.

Q. You are sure that bills to these amounts came into the Bank that day? - A. Yes.

Q. But do you mean to state positively, that the bill No. 562, for instance, or any other number, came into the Bank that day? - A. No, I did not look at the number; it is the general practice to read the numbers of the bills to the bill of parcels, but I cannot positively swear it was done in that instance.

Mr. Giles. Q. In the order that was signed by Mr. Aslett, and written by you, you gave a general description of the bills? - A. Yes, always.

Mr. JOHN PUGETT sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. You are one of the Directors of the Bank of England? - A. Yes.

Q. And was so on the 26th of February last? - A. Yes.

Q. Is it the course of transacting the business of the Bank, for certain Directors to be in daily attendance? - A. Yes.

Q. Were you present on the 26th of February, assisted by Mr. Smith, another Director, - I will refresh your memory by giving you the book (hands it to him)? - A. Yes.

Q. Is it the duty of the Directors of the day, to receive, in that parlour, any Exchequer-bills that may be brought there for deposit from the Cashier's office? - A. Yes.

Q. By whom were they generally brought? - A. Generally by Mr. Aslett.

Q. Upon looking at that book, which is signed by yourself and Mr. Smith, are you able to say whether Mr. Aslett was the person who brought in Exchequer-bills upon that day? - A. The entry is his hand-writing: and I could almost positively say it was him, for I do not recollect for some time any one else coming into the parlour; certainly not when I was in waiting.

Q. Was any person in the course of bringing them, except Mr. Newland and Mr. Aslett? - A. No.

Q. In what way are Exchequer-bills brought, for the purpose of being deposited in the strong closet? - A. In bundles, inclosed in a case, a paper enveloped containing the number and amount.

Q. When they are brought in, is that book produced to the Directors, to compare the parcels with the entry? - A. Yes.

Q. When that is done, what becomes of the Exchequer-bills? - A. They are put by in the iron closet in their covers.

Q. That closet has three separate locks? - A. Yes.

Q. Can that be resorted to for the purpose of taking out its contents, but in the presence of two Directors? - A. Certainly not.

Q. As you signed the entry of that day, you can state to us whether all the parcels of Exchequer-bills, that were brought in and examined by you that day, were safely put into the strong closet? - A. I believe they were examined by me and Mr. Smith.

Q. When they are so deposited, these bought bills remain there till they are redeemed by the Government? - A. They do.

Q. Turn to your entry - it will appear, I believe, as if four separate parcels had been brought in that day? - A. It does so appear.

Q. Does the first parcel import to be a parcel of 200,000l.? - A. The first appears to be a parcel of 200,000l.

Q. For what service? - A. The supply of 1802.

Q. Supposing that parcel to have been brought in upon that day, and with the others, to have been deposited in the strong closet, must it have remained there till the month of April following? - A. I apprehend it must, unless it was stolen out.

Mr. HENRY SMITH sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. Be so good as look at that book, and tell us if you were a Director in attendance with Mr. Pugett upon that day? - A. Yes, I signed the book.

Q. Do you recollect who brought the Exchequer-bills to be signed that day? - A. Mr. Aslett did; I never received any Exchequer-bills, from any other person at that period.

Mr. THOMAS BISH sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. You are a stock-broker? - A. I am.

Q. You are largely concerned in the purchase and sale of Government securities? - A. Frequently.

Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar, Mr. Aslett? - A. Yes.

Q. Did he make any application to you in the month of March last? - A. On the 14th of March, Mr. Aslett came to me to know if I would make a purchase in the Stocks, as he and some friends intended to have a speculation; I told him it was a time when I thought there would be a very great variation in the Stocks, which might make it rather a matter of hazard; he told me I should be perfectly safe if he gave me security; he accordingly the next day gave me an order to buy 50,000l. Consols. for the approaching account, that was to be in a few days afterwards.

Q. A purchase for time? - A. A purchase for time; he asked me what difference I thought there would be in the Stocks; I told him I thought there might be from five to six per cent. fluctuation; he then said, he would give me 3000l. Exchequer-bills for the whole, which would cover the loss of six per cent.

Q. Did he in consequence of that make any deposit of Exchequer-bills? - A. He deposited three Exchequer-bills with me of 1000l. each.

Q. Look at these, and tell me if they are the three Exchequer-bills he deposited with you? - A. These are the three.

Mr. Garrow. There is only one of them charged in this indictment, the one No. 2694.

Q. In consequence, of this transaction, did you at any time go to the Bank? - A. I sold that stock again to Mr. Aslett, and in fact bought and sold it three times over.

Q. In consequence of the transactions growing out of this deposit, did you go to the Bank? - A. Yes, I did.

Q. Have you marked those bills so that you can swear positively to them? - A. Yes, I can swear to their being the same bills.

BENJAMIN WINTHROP , Esq. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. You are the Deputy Governor of the Bank? - A. I am.

Q. Did Mr. Bish at any time make any communication to you of any circumstances which induced you to see Mr. Aslett? - A. He did.

Q. Be so good as state what passed between you and Mr. Aslett upon that occasion? - A. On the 9th of April, about twelve or one o'clock, I sent for Mr. Aslett and Mr. Newland; I began by asking Mr. Aslett what was the mode of taking the account of Exchequer-bills; I asked him whether it was possible, after the Exchequer-bills that we had purchased were either traced to Mr. Newland's iron chest, or removed from the iron chest to our parlour, that any of those bills could get out of the Bank again; he said, he believed it was not; I then told him, that nevertheless it appeared to me in proof, that there were bills out of the Bank that had been purchased by the Bank, and that were the property of the Bank; I told him I must go one step farther, and say, and I was very sorry to say it, that he, Mr. Aslett, was suspected of being the cause of their being so out of the Bank. I asked him then if he knew Mr. Bish; he said he did; I asked him whether he had placed any Exchequer-bills in the hands of Mr. Bish; he said he had, but that they were not the property of the Bank; he was then asked whose property they were; whether that question was asked him by myself or Mr. Watson, I am not sure; he said he had rather be excused mentioning names, but shortly after he did mention the name, and said, they were the property of Mr. Hosier.

Q. Did he give any description of Mr. Hosier? - A. I do not recollect that he did; I think we then sent for Mr. Bish, and I think it was about that period of our conversation that Mr. Watson said, Mr. Aslett, I think it my duty as a Magistrate to tell you that you are not obliged to answer any questions, the answers to which you may think will tend to criminate yourself. Mr. Bish then came into the room, and stated to us what he has just now stated, that he was applied to by Mr. Aslett to engage in a speculation of about 50,000l. that he declined it, because there might be a fall in the Stocks, and that Mr. Aslett proposed securing him by a deposit of 3000l. When we had heard this, Mr. Watson told Mr. Aslett he was under the necessity of committing him.

Q. Do you recollect in the course of that conversation any reference to the bought-book? - A. We had the bought-book in, in order to find out whether those Exchequer-bills at Mr. Bish's were really our property.

Q. Who was directed to turn to the boughtbook to obtain that information? - A. We had the bought-book there, and were looking over the bought-book to find the numbers; we had two books in, and could not find them; then we had a third book in.

Q. Who brought in that book? - A. I believe Mr. Aslett.

Q. Who was it that turned to the first and second bought-book? - A. I think Mr. Watson; Mr. Newland-said, there is another book, Mr. Aslett, you had better go and bring it; Mr. Aslett went from the room where we were, and returned a little while after with the third book, and when he brought that third book, Mr. Watson opened it, and discovered the numbers, and then we saw that they were the same; Mr. Aslett said, he had no doubt if he could be permitted to go to his own house instead of being sent to the Compter, he should be able to clear up every thing.

Q. Were you present on the Monday when Mr. Aslett's desk was broke open? - A. I was not.

Cross-examined by Mr. Erskine. Q. How long have you known Mr. Aslett? - A. Ever since I have been one of the Directors of the Bank.

Q. Was not his conduct perfectly correct up to this time? - A. I think no clerk could be more so; he was very much esteemed, very civil and complaisant to every one; we all regarded him very much.

Q. In this confidential situation, I need hardly ask whether he had not daily opportunities of embezzling the property of the Bank to a very great amount? - A. He had great opportunities certainly.

Q. And before this time no suspicion fell upon him? - A. I believe none, I am sure none with me; his knowledge was very extensive; he knew more of the business of the Bank than any other clerk in the Bank.

BROOK WATSON, Esq. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. Were you in waiting at the Bank in the month of April last? - A. I was.

Q. According to your recollection, has the conversation been correctly stated by the Deputy Governor? - A. The Deputy Governor has correctly stated it, with the exception of Mr. Aslett being sent out for the third book; to the best of my recollection the books were all there; that is, they were all brought in.

Q. Do you happen to recollect whether, in speaking of Mr. Hosier, Mr. Aslett gave any description from which you knew what Mr. Hosier he was speaking of? - A. Mr. Aslett, speaking of Mr. Hosier, said, he was a partner in the house of Mr. Morland, the banker.

Mr. Winthrop. When Mr. Aslett went out for the third book, the Governors said, we shall never see him any more; I expected he would go to his own office, take his hat, and go off; that was the impression upon my mind at the time.

THOMAS BODINGTON, Esq. sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. You are one of the Directors of the Bank? - A. I am.

Q. Did you attend on Monday the 11th of December upon the breaking open of Mr. Aslett's desk? - A. Yes; I found the desk locked, it was broke open in my presence by a smith; Mr. Hess, one of the clerks in the Cashier's office, was present at the time.

Q. Does that paper contain any Exchequer-bills found in that desk? - A. Yes; I gave it to Mr. Hess immediately, and desired him to make a list, which he did in my presence; he returned the list and its contents to me, No. 109; it contained Exchequer-bills to the value of 16,000l.

Q. Were they in your presence compared with the list Mr. Hess made? - A. No; I carried them into the parlour, and delivered them to Mr. Watson.

- HESS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. Were you present when Mr. Aslett's desk was broke open? - A. Yes; I saw Mr. Bodington take the cover out which contained the Exchequer-bills; it was handed to me to make the enumeration of its contents; it was delivered to me almost instantly.

Q. Did you make a faithful list of the envelope? - A. I gave it to a clerk in the office; I saw him turn the bills over, and read them to me while I made the list.

- SMART sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. Did you dictate to Mr. Hess the bundle of Exchequer-bills? - A. Yes.

Q. You dictated them faithfully? - A. Yes.

Cross-examined by Mr. Serjeant Best. Q. Had any other person access to Mr. Aslett's desk? - A. Not that I know of.

Q. Were there not papers belonging to the Bank that did not belong to Mr. Aslett in that desk? - A. Yes.

Q. Had not other persons access to it? - A. I cannot say.

Mr. Garrow. Q. In that desk was there any other large bundle of Exchequer-bills? - A. Yes; they were delivered to me on the Saturday after he was taken into custody.

Q. In the afternoon after he had been before Mr. Watson? - A. Yes.

Q. What did Mr. Aslett deliver to you after his examination upon that very afternoon? - A. He gave me a bundle of Exchequer-bills, written on the back 200,000l.

Q. Was this a desk to which any body else had access, or had Mr. Aslett a private key of it? - A. He had the private key.

Q. Do you not know that no other person had access to it? - A. I know of none; I am not quite sure whether Mr. Aslett might not trust Mr. Hess to go to it.

Q. Was that bundle in the form and manner in which Exchequer-bills were made up to be carried into the Directors parlour? - A. Yes.

Q. Was that private desk a proper and usual place for bundles so made up for the parlour? - A. No; whether he put them in to take care of till the gentlemen were ready, I cannot tell.

Q. That was not the usual place to keep them in? - A. No.

Q. After he had given you out the bundle on the Saturday, did he lock the desk, and did you find it locked on the Monday? - A. It was locked when I saw Mr. Bodington come to it on the Monday.

Mr. Garrow. (To Hess.) Q. Whose desk was it out of which the 16,000l. Exchequer-bills were taken? - A. Mr. Aslett's; it was the inner seat of two in the Office.

Q. Had any other person access to that desk but himself? - A. I never knew of any body.

Q. From whom did you receive that bundle of 16,000l.? - A. I saw Mr. Bodington put his hand upon the envelope, and I then lost fight of them; but in the course of two minutes they were put into my hand by Mr. Bodington.

Mr. Garrow. (To Mr. Bodington.) Q. Did you deliver them in the same unopened state to Mr. Hess, in which you found them in the desk? - A. I did exactly.

Mr. Garrow. (To Mr. Winthrop.) Q. Have you, since Mr. Aslett was committed, examined in your strong depository in the parlour, and have you found there any bundle of Exchequer-bills corresponding with the first entry of 200,000l.? - A. I do not recollect that I have examined it since.

Mr. Garrow. (To Mr. Hess.) Q. After this matter was discovered, did you examine the different parcels of Exchequer-bills deposited in the parlour, to see whether you could find this entry of 200,000l.? - A. It was done in my presence by the Directors some days afterwards.

Q. Upon that examination, did you find that there was a deficiency of that 200,000l.? - A. The iron chest was deficient of 200,000l. of the description of the supply, 1802.

Q. And does the envelope of the 16,000l. agree with the entry made on the 16th of February? - A. It does.

Court. Q. They were missing, according to the Directors book? - A. Yes.

Mr. Gurney. Q. I believe you had occasion to attend the Directors in the parlour? - A. Very seldom; at that time I was not in a situation that required my attendance in general upon them.

Q. Had you ever, in their presence, access to the strong closet? - A. Never, till this circumstance.

Mr. Gurney. (To Mr. Winthrop.) Q. From

what you have said of Mr. Aslett's situation, I presume he had frequent occasion to attend you, and the other Directors, in the parlour? - A. Very often.

Q. Had Mr. Aslett ever access to that strong closet, in the presence of you, or any other Directors? - A. When he has brought in Exchequer-bills, he has deposited them in the closet, I believe, very often.

Q. Exchequer-bills, to the amount of some millions, were kept in that closet? - A. Yes.

Q. Were any other things, beside Exchequer-bills, deposited in that closet? - A. Yes.

Q. Of what description? - A. Of various descriptions - small packages of bonds, and other things; there are two drawers in that closet; in one is contained Exchequer-bills, and in the other the Accomptant-General's bills.

Q. In the interval of some months, Mr. Aslett must have frequent access to that closet? - A. Yes, in the presence of the Directors.

Q. Had any other person, besides Mr. Aslett and the Directors, access to that closet? - A. When the Accomptant-General had occasion to deposit, or take out bills, he had access to it in the presence of the Directors.

Q. Had any person ever access to that closet, without two or three Directors being present? - A. I think not; such a thing never did occur, I believe, and never ought to occur.

Q. It has never been left open? - A. No.

Mr. STEWART sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. Were you a clerk in the Cashier's office, on the 26th of February? - A. I was.

Q. Look if that indorsement, with the exception of 16,000l. is your hand-writing? - A. It is.

Q. What does it import to be? - A. Exchequer-bills, to the amount of 200,000l.

Q. Upon what occasion was that indorsement made? - A. When the bills are told out, they are made up in bundles, and so indorsed.

Q. Do you happen to know by whose direction you made that indorsement? - A. I don't know particularly; sometimes Mr. Hess, and sometimes Mr. Smart.

Q. Somebody in the Cashier's office? - A. Yes.

WILLIAM HORTON sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. Q. You, I believe, live in Newgate-street, and are a hosier? - A. Yes.

Q. Are you acquainted with Mr. Aslett? - A. I have very little acquaintance with him.

Q. Did he make any application to you on the 22d of March last? - A. A friend of his did.

Q. In consequence of any thing that was said, did you see him? - A. I did, on Monday the 21st, and on Tuesday the 22d.

Q. What was his business to you? - A. To transfer to his direction 11,000l. Consols. and he proposed delivering into my hands nine Exchequer-bills, in consequence of an agreement.

Q. Did he deliver you any Exchequer-bills? - A. Yes.

Q. Have you a memorandum of those Exchequer-bills? - A. Yes.

Q. Look at that? - A. This is the memorandum that he gave me; one of them is No. 1061.

RICHARD CHAMBERS -sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knowlys. Q. You are a merchant, in Dove-court, Swithin's-lane? - A. I am.

Q. Do you know Mr. Aslett? - A. I do.

Q. Did he make any deposit of Exchequer-bills with you at any time? - A. He did; the first was on the 16th of March last.

Q. To what amount of Exchequer-bills did he deposit with you on that day? - A. 10,000l.

Q. When was the next deposit made? - A. On the 17th, the next day.

Q. For what amount? - A. 16,000l.

Q. Was there any subsequent deposit? - A. On the 9th of April, I think, 17,000l. in all to the amount of 43,000l.

Q. Look at that paper? - A. This is a memorandum of the bills, their numbers, and dates.

Q. For what purpose did he make this large deposit with you? - A. To secure a loan of 3 per Cent. Consolidated Stock.

Q. Did you procure a loan for him? - A. I did, through the means of a broker.

Mr. JAMES VANSOMMER sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Had you any deposit of Exchequer-bills from Mr. Aslett, the prisoner at the bar? - A. Yes.

Q. When was it? - A. In the beginning of the month of April last.

Q. What number of Exchequer-bills were placed in your hands by him? - A. 30,000l.

Q. For what purpose did he deposit those bills with you? - A. To borrow money.

Q. Were you to borrow money for him, or advance money of your own? - A. To borrow the money for him.

Q. You are a broker? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you borrow money on the whole 30,000l. or only upon a part of it? - A. Upon 15,000l.

Q. Had you 15,000l. remaining? - A. Yes.

Q. Have you an account of this 15,000l.? - A. Yes. (Produces it.)

Q. Have you any account of those you parted with? - A. No; this is the list of the bills I returned to the Bank, and which I received from Mr. Aslett.

Q. How did you dispose of the other 15,000l.? - A. To the parties who lent the money for them; there were 8000l. with Down's house, and 7000l. to Birch and Chambers in Bond-street, I think, but I cannot exactly say now which of them had the 7000l. and which the 8000l.

HENRY CHAMBERS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Did you receive a deposit of Exchequer-bills from Mr. Vanlommes? - A. Yes, 7000l.

Q. Did you deliver them to Mr. Kay? - A. I cannot say; they were the same bills I took home to Bond-street, and put them in a drawer; I left them there, and saw no more of them; they were entered by my clerk, Mr. Wildon.

Q. You deposited them in the usual drawer for such things? - A. Yes.

- WILDON sworn. Q. Did you make any entry of the bills that were deposited in the drawer by Mr. Chambers? - A. I have the entries of the bills, and the sums, to the amount of 7000l.

Mr. Gurney. Q. Did you make that from the bills themselves? - A. I copied it from the book.

Court. Q. Did you enter the bills in the book? - A. Yes, and I copied it from the book.

Q. Is the book here? - A. No.

- DOWNES sworn. - Q. Did you receive any deposit of Exchequer-bills? - A. Yes, 8000l.

Q. Did you deliver those bills to Mr. Kay? - A. Yes,

Mr. Gurney. Q. From whom did you receive those bills? - A. From Mr. Vansomer's hands; I gave them to my clerk, and they were put into a drawer among other Exchequer-bills, after having been entered.

Q. Did you enter them? - A. No.

Q. How many persons had access to them beside yourself? - A. Two or three clerks; but I believe the bills I took from Mr. Vansomer were put separate.

Q. Did you put them there yourself? - A. No.

Q. Are your clerks here? - A. No.

Mr. JOHN HOSIER sworn. - Q. Are you a partner in the house of Morland and Co.? - A. Yes.

Q. Did Mr. Aslett engage in any transaction on the part of Mr. Bish with you? - A. In the latter end of March, or the beginning of April, I delivered to Mr. Aslett 8000l. part of the property of the house, but not for the purpose you mention.

Q. Do you know what he did with them? - A. I believe he carried them to Mr. Goldsmid's; he told me to afterwards.

Q. Have you a list of those 8000l.? - A. I have not, but my partner has, who is here.

Q. For what purpose did you deliver them to him? - A. For the purpose of raising some money upon a credit of ours that wanted an advance.

Q. Was that the only transaction you had with him of Exchequer-bills? - A. Yes.

Mr. WILLIAM BOEAS sworn. - Q. Have you a list of the Exchequer-bills for 8000l. delivered by your partner to Mr. Aslett? - A. I took a copy from the book into my pocket-book.

Q. Is the original book here? - A. No.

Q. Then you must go and setch it immediately.

Q. (To Mr. Kiddell.) Turn to your book and see whether you find entered on the 3d of December, an Exchequer-bill, No. 2692? - A. Yes, dated 25th Nov. 1802, for 1000l.

Q. Have you Nos. 2693, and 2694 of the same date for the same sum? - A. Yes.

Mr. Garrow. Mr Lord, I shall now take the 16000l. found in the desk.

Q. Look at No. 141, what is the date of the entry? - A. The 10th of December, 1802.

Q. What is the date of the bill? - A. The 3d of August, for 1000l.

Q. (To Mr. Hess.) Have you compared the 16000l. worth of Exchequer-bills found in the desk with the bought book? - A. I compared them with the Exchequer-bill ledger, but not with the bought book.

Q. Then we must go through them - do you find No. 867, 2804, 2916, 862 and 2919, for 500l. each? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you find Nos. 2351, 2352, 2353, 2354, 2355, 2356, 2357, 2358, 2359, 2360 and 2361, and from No. 2406 to No. 2494 inclusive, of 100l. each? - A. Yes.

Mr. Garrow. Now take Mr. Horton's list, and put in an agreement signed by Mr. Aslett, dated the 22d of March, 1803.

Q. Do you find an entry of No. 1060, 1061, 1062, 1063, 1064, 1071, 1072, 1073, and 1074, for 1000l. each, on 14th December? - A. Yes.

Q. (To Richard Chambers .) Is that the original list you made? - A. I made it from the bills themselves.

Q. Do you find No. 2078, dated 16th of February, for 1000l. Nos. 2080, 2081, 2082, 2824, 517, 518, 519, 1558, 1559, 1560, 1561, 1562, 1563, 1564, 1565, 1566, 1567, 1569, 1570, 1571, 1572, 1573, for 1000l. each, and No. 2925, dated 31 December; Nos. 2926, 2927, 2928, 2935, 2936, 2937, 2939, 2940, 2951, 2930, 2931, 2932, 2933, 2934, 2952, 2953, 2954, 2955, 2956, 2957 and 2959, for 500l. each? - A. Yes.

Mr. Erskine. (To Mr. Kiddell. Q. Turn to the bought book, on the 3d of December, 1802, where you find the bill 2694, which is one of the bills in the indictment? - A. Yes, here it is.

Q. You have told the Jury, that in making the entries in the bought-book, when it came to you to make them, you did not always look at the bills themselves, but at the bills of parcels? - A. Yes.

Q. I desire to know whether you can swear positively that you saw the bill No. 2694, when you made the entry, or that you did not make the entry from the bills of parcels, and which, if the entries are correct, ought to correspond? - A. I cannot swear to it.

Q. Turn to the 11th of December, 1802, there you find No. 835? - A. Yes.

Q. Can you swear, that in making that entry, you made it from your own occular inspection of the bill, or whether you did no more than make the entry from the bill of parcels, which ought to correspond with the contents? - A. I cannot say.

Q. Look to the 14th of December, 1802, you will find NO. 1061; I ask you the same question as to that? - A. I wish to see the bill of parcels,(looks at it;) yes, I examined the bills with this myself, I cannot swear whether I did the others or not.

Mr. Garrow. Q. Of the last you are certain? - A. Yes, I am positive.

Q. With regard to the others, have you any doubt they were the property of the Bank? - A. I have not the least doubt they were.

Mr. Erskine. Q. When you counted the bills, did you examine them? - A. No, we took care that the amount corresponded.

Q. Will you swear you had occular inspection of the bill, and saw No. 1061? - A. I have not the least doubt but I counted the bills, and they amounted to the sum.

Court. Q. Did you examine that bill as to the amount, or only the numbers of them? - A. That I cannot say.

Mr. Garrow. Q. You have said, that with regard to the bill of parcels, you had no doubt you examined it with the entry? - A. Yes.

Q. In what respect? - A. As to the amount.

Q. Do you find the amount in the invoice correctly entered in the bought-book? - A. Yes.

Q. Can you make it up without? - A. No.

Q. Have you any doubt they were entered as being the property of the Bank? - A. I have no doubt in the least.

Mr. Garrow. My Lord, I propose now to read the bills uttered by the prisoner to Mr. Bish.(Bills, No. 2694 and 1061, for 1000l. each, and No. 835, for 500l. read.)

Henry Boeas . I have now got my book.

Q. Are those the original entries you made? - A. Yes.

Court. Q. Is that the list of the 8000l. Exchequer-bills your partner lent to Mr. Aslett? - A. The 8000l. are included here, but there are others.

Mr. Garrow. Q. Do you find No. 2692? - A. No.

Q. Nos. 2693 and 2694? - A. No.

Q. Then you are enabled to say those three numbers do not constitute any part of those lent by your partner to the prisoner? - A. No, positively.

Mr. Garrow. That is the case on the part of the prosecution.

Mr. Erskine. I understand it is admitted otherwise, I shall call Mr. Jennings to prove they are not bills legally signed by him.

Mr. Garrow. I take it, as admitted, that he was not legally authorized to sign those bills at the time they were issued; that he had no legal authority to sign them.

Court. That ought to stand upon the evidence - I will take it upon the admission.

GUILTY , Death .

London Jury, before Mr. Justice Le Blanc.


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