GEORGE HAIG.
13th September 1827
Reference Numbert18270913-45
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence
SentenceDeath

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First London Jury - before Mr. Justice Gazelee.

1633. GEORGE HAIG was indicted for that he, on the 25th of May , at Allhallows, Honey-lane , feloniously did falsely make, forge, and counterfeit a certain order, for payment of money, to wit, the sum of 30l., which said false, forged and counterfeited order, for payment of money , is as follows, that is to say,

Messrs. Coutts and Co. 24th of May, 1827.

Pay the bearer the sum of Thirty pounds, which place to my private account. L. STANHOPE . with intent to defrand Henry Baldwin , against the statute.

SECOND COUNT, for feloniously uttering and publishing as true, a like forged and counterfeited order, for payment of money, with a like intention.

MR. CLARKSON conducted the prosecution.

HENRY BALDWIN . I am a tailor and draper , and live in Cheapside. I know the prisoner. On the 14th of May last, between one and two o'clock, he came to my shop, and said he wanted a pair of trousers and a waistcoat made by one o'clock, the next day; he left a 5l. note with me as a deposit, and said he also wanted a Greek uniform, and we should see the pattern of it at Mr. Currie's in Regent-street; he gave my young man a direction to Currie's to get the pattern, and said he would call again, in the course of two hours, when he had obtained it; he accordingly did call again; we took his measure for the uniform: and when we had measured him, he left 15l. with me; he said he wished me to take charge of it till the evening, as he was going into the City, he might as well leave it with me.

Q. Before he deposited the 15l. with you, had he said any thing about Greece? A. He said he wanted the uniform to go out to join Lord Cochrane, as he should have a letter of recommendation or introduction to Lord Cochrane, to get an appointment there from Lord Stanhope; he left my house, and returned about nine in the evening, or a little after, and I returned him the 15l. - I had taken the numbers of the notes he left with me - I kept the 5l. he had first left; he called several times between the day he ordered the goods, and when he called to settle - I did not see him on all those occasions; he called on the 24th or 25th of May, between six and seven o'clock in the evening - I had his account made out ready, in consequence of something I heard - I presented the bill to him when he called; he looked at it, and said he should require discount; and then said, "Can you give change for a cheque?" - I asked how much it was; he said 30l.; he did not say whose cheque it was - I said I could change it, and he gave me the cheque - this is it (producing it); he gave it into my hands, and I saw the signature; he did not say himself whose it was; this happened in the counting-house, when we were alone - I went up to my desk, and gave him the balance out of the cheque, and asked him to write his name on the back of the cheque, which he did; I deducted my bill, and lessened the discount; he then asked me to return him the deposit money, having included every thing in the bill, and I returned him a 5l. note, not the same which I had received from him - I took the number of it in his presence; it was raining, and he asked me to lend him an umbrella, which he would leave in the morning - I rather hesitated at lending it, as it belonged to a friend, but I did lend it, and he said he would leave it the next morning; the uniform was finished at that time, but he left without it - he did not ask for it; it was ready for him, but I expected he would call next morning; he did not call - I did not see him again, till I saw him in custody at the Mansion-house, on Saturday, the 1st of September - I have a foreman named Blanchard.

Cross-examined by MR. BRODRICK. Q. How many persons have you serving in your shop? A. Two besides myself; they are both here; he called several times, and had conversations with me at times; the deposit of 5l. remained with me till I last saw him.

Q. The goods were ready for him, but he never asked for them? A. He took a jacket with him, two or three days after the order was given; it was all ready when I received the cheque; the uniform amounted to 20l. odd; he did not get that; nobody was with us when he paid me the cheque. I believe I recollect all that passed between us; it was on the 24th or 25th of May.

Q. When the cheque was handed to you, did he not tell you it was one he himself had cashed? A. No, he did not; he merely produced the cheque; he had represented Colonel Stanhope as his friend frequently, all the way through.

Q. That through his interest, he expected an appointment under Lord Cochrane? A. Yes; I am not certain whether I was at home all the next day; either I or one of my shopmen would be at home all day; he put the name of George Haig on the back of the cheque - I believe that to be his right name; it was the name he gave us when he first came, and which we wrote in the order-book.

COURT. Q. Had he the waistcoat and trousers away? A. He had them the next day, as he desired; the jacket he took away, was an undress uniform; the change I gave him was between 4l. and 5l., besides the deposit.

FRANCIS BLANCHARD . I am foreman to Mr. Baldwin; I saw the prisoner in the shop, for the first time, on the 14th of May, and measured him that day for his uniform suit. Mr. Baldwin had measured him for the waistcoat and trousers before I came in; he said it was to be a midshipman's uniform, in the Greek service; before I measured him he gave me an address in pencil on this paper,(read) - "Currie, 20, Regent-street, St. James" - he said he understood Currie had made uniforms for that service, and I should there get the regulations - I went, but got no information there - I got it throught a private friend - On the morning after Mr. Baldwin received the cheque - (I believe it was the 24th or 25th, or perhaps the 26th, I had seen the prisoner at my master's house the day before) - I took the cheque to Messrs. Coutts', and presented it, but received no cash for it.

Q. From the evening before you presented the cheque, until the 1st of September, had you ever seen the prisoner? A. No; on the 1st of September, at near ten o'clock in the morning, I was coming up Walbrook, and on turning round into Bucklersbury, I met him; I accusted him, and told him he was a pretty sort of a fellow to have uniforms made, and to say he was going out under Lord Cochrane, and giving a cheque to my employer; he denied it; he said, "O! it was not me;" he then ran from Bucklersbury to the back of the Mansion-house, towards George-street - he walked two or three yards and then ran, as I have stated; no more conversation passed between us before he ran - I pursued him, and after running some time, I cried Stop thief! thinking he was gaining ground on me - I overtook him myself, seized him by the collar, brought him near the Mansion-house, and Turnpenny, the officer took him in charge.

Q. Were you at home on the day after the prisoner had been to your master's house? A. I presented the cheque as soon as I came to business - I returned from Coutts' between ten and eleven o'clock, and was at home the rest of the day - he never came to the shop while I was there.

Cross-examined. Q. The reference to Currie's was merely to ascertain the uniform? A. Yes; they did not choose to give me information - when I called Stop thief! after him, he appeared as if he could not run at all - he did not directly stop, but slackened his pace, and I then got up to him.

COURT. Q. What do you mean by his appearing as if he could not run at all? A. He did not run as he had before - he went from one side to the other, and slackened his pace.

GEORGE MACK . I am in the prosecutor's employ, and was at home on the 24th or 25th of May, when the prisoner called at the shop. I was afterwards at the Mansion-house, when he was in custody - he was not told it would be better for him to confess, or worse for him if he did not - I, the foreman, Turnpenny, and the prisoner, were standing together - the prisoner spoke first; I am sure nothing was said to him in my presence; he said he was very sorry, that he intended to call and pay Mr. Baldwin - Turnpenny said it was a forgery; the prisoner said it was not, and he could bring witness forwards to prove that he did not write the cheque; and said he had been to France in pursuit of the person he took it off - that was all that passed between me and him. I do not recollect any thing more.

Cross-examined. Q. That was the answer he gave you on being charged by Turnpenny with forgery? A. Yes; he did not say whether he had been able to find the man.

HENRY TURNPENNY . I am an officer of the Mansion-house. On the 1st of September the prisoner was given into my charge in George-street, close by the Mansion-house, by Blanchard, a little before ten o'clock in the morning; he was examined the same day - there was some conversation in the lobby before the examination - what he said was not taken down; I did not make him any threat or promise. I said it was a forgery; he said "No, I can prove to the contrary of that;" and, I think, he said he had been to France to look after the person he had it from. I had seen him before the Lord Mayor once before, about a drunken frolic - he was discharged immediately.

RICHARD MINSHAW . I am a clerk at Messrs. Coutts and Co.'s banking-house. We have several customers named Stanhope, but only one whose Christian name begins with L., and that is the Dowager Countess Stanhope, whose name is Louisa - we have no others commencing with the letter L. (looking at the cheque) - this is not the hand-writing of Dowager Countess Stanhope, nor of any customer of ours named Stanhope. I am acquainted with all their hand-writings.

JAMES POWELL . I am a clerk in the agency-office of Messrs. Greenwood and Co., Craig's-court, Charing-cross - they are army agents - we have several customers named Stanhope; Colonel Lincoln Stanhope is one, Colonel Leicester Stanhope is another - we have no other customers named Stanhope, whose Christian name commences with the letter L.: (looking at the cheque) this is not the handwriting of either of those persons, nor the hand-writing of any other customer of ours, to my knowledge.

Cross-examined. Q. Are there any customers named Stanhope, whose hand-writing you do not know. A. Yes; there are. I have seen Colonel Leicester Stanhope write, but not Colonel Lincoln Stanhope.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Have you seen any writing with the name of Lincoln Stanhope to it? A. Yes, frequently - I have marked drafts of Lincoln Stanhope for payment, and they were paid - I have done that very frequently; the two Colonel Stanhopes are related; there is another Colonel Stanhope, a customer - his Christian name is Philip, and, I believe, John - his initials are P. J.

Q. Have you any other customers named Colonel Stanhope, whose Christian name begins with L., except Lincoln and Leicester? A. I do not know any more.

Q. Should you know if there were such? A. I might know; but if I saw a draft presented hearing another sig

nature, I should refer to the Army List to see if there was such a name. I do not know any customer of that name whose writing is like this.

Q. Are you in the habit of paying drafts of the other customer named Stanhope, beside those you have named? A. No; I belong to another department; I should see the signatures of those officers whose names are Stanhope, provided we were agents for them.

MR. BRODRICK. Q. There are other departments which you have nothing to do with? A. Yes; I can only speak of those officers who are in my department - there may be gentlemen named Stanhope, whom I have nothing to do with.

COURT. Q. Do Lincoln or Leicester Stanhope sign their names with an L., or in full? A. They both invariably sign in full.

RICHARD MINSHAW re-examined. Lady Louisa Stanhope writes her name in full.

The cheque was here put in and read.

Prisoner's Defence. My Lord, and Gentlemen of the Jury. - From the peculiar circumstances under which I got possession of this cheque, I cannot bring witnesses to prove it. I gave cash for it. I was in the practice of attending a gambling-house in St. James', and there frequently saw a young man of respectability, whom I understood to be the nephew of Colonel Stanhope. And, as I was about joining the Greeks, I thought if I could get an introduction to the Colonel, it might be of service to me. he played one night, and lost all his money, and requested me to cash this cheque, which (being a considerable winner at the time,) I had no hesitation in doing. I was given to understand, on the following night, that it was not genuine. I lost what money belonged to me; and since that have not had an opportunity of calling on the prosecutor to take the cheque up. On person, in particular, saw me cash that cheque, but I am afraid he would not like to come and give evidence in a public Court, because it may be the cause of his losing his situation.

MR. BRODRICK to RICHARD MINSHAW . Q. Look at this cheque - there is no London to it, and no amount in the corner - would you, as a clerk, pay such a cheque? A. No, not unless it was on a stamp - it must be dated from some place.

COURT. Q. You would not pay it without a stamp, because it had not London on it? A. No. I should make no objection about the figures not being in the corner.

JAMES POWELL re-examined. I do not know whether either of the Colonel Stanhopes were in town in May last; they generally reside in town.

Four witnesses gave the prisoner an excellent character, and stated his name to be George Haig.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 18.

Upon the Second Count only .

Strongly recommended to Mercy by the Prosecutor and Jury, on account of his youth and former good character.


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