25th October 1847
Reference Numbert18471025-2484
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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2484. CHARLES CROMWELL HICKS was indicted for feloniously and knowingly uttering a forged warrant for the payment of 7l. 10s., with intent to defraud Robert Simpson.

MR. PRENDERGAST conducted the Prosecution.

ROBERT SIMPSON. I am a baker, in the Walworth-road. On Monday, the 6th of Sept., the prisoner came and asked me to change this check—(produced)—it is for 7l. 10s.—he said 3l. 10s. would do—I had known him for two months—I asked him why he had not got it changed—he said it was too late, and he was very much in want of the money—it was about six o'clock in the evening—I asked who he had it from—he pointed to the check, and said, "That gentleman is my uncle; he is a rich old fellow, with about 200,000l.; if you were to see him in the street, you would think he was not worth 200 pence; and if he were to see me in the street, he would say, there is a penny for you, and be off with you"—(check read—"London, Sept. 8th,

1847. On demand, pay bearer 7l. 10s., placing the same to the account of R. Hicks, Esq., and believe me your obedient servant, C. Hicks. To S. Pratt, Esq., Messrs. Vacher and Sons, Parliamentary Agents, 39, Parliament-street, Whitehall.")—I could not see which name he pointed to when he spoke about the rich uncle—I pointed to the name of Pratt, and asked who he was—he said he was a Parliamentary agent—I let him have 3l. 10s.—he said, "I suppose I must put my name on the back of the check"—he put this on it—this is it—it looks like "H. Hicks"—he said nothing when he wrote it—he gave it to me, and said I might either pay it away, or he would give me the money next day—he did not come next day—I sent my wife with a message—she returned with the check—in consequence of that I went to the prisoner's lodging—I was his baker—I did not find him till the Thursday following—I then told him there were no effects to the check, and I must give him into custody—he said I did he was a ruined man, but he could not be worse off than what he was, it would be a charity to do it—I gave him in charge.

Prisoner. Q. What was the state of the light when I endorsed it? A. It was perfectly daylight—I am quite sure you said "uncle," and not "father"—I saw your wife at your lodging—it did not rain all day the day after—I did not purpose to you to give security after giving you in charge in my own shop, and say that would answer my purpose just as well—the man who accompanied me to the station was not a policeman—he is not here.

COURT. Q. Do you recollect what words you made use of when he asked you to give him the money on the check? A. No, but I am quite sure I asked him where he got the check from.

THOMAS PRATT. I am an army agent at 35, King-street, Westminster—I lived at 29, Parliament-street, at Messrs. Vacher and Sons, many years, and left three years ago—I had chambers there—I never saw the prisoner but twice before—I knew his father very well—he died three weeks ago—I kept his accounts for many years—his name was Raymond Hicks—he was as officer in the army, and I received his pay as an agent—I never knew of the prisoner's having an uncle—I had an account of the father in Sept.—I had no instructions to pay anything to the account of C. Hicks or J. H. Hicks—I do not know whose writing this check is, it is not the prisoner's father's—in the spring of this year the prisoner called on me to inquire after his father's health—I think that was the first time I saw him—I do not think I have ever paid any money to him on his father's account—this check was offered to me, and I returned it.

Prisoner. Q. Were you my father's agent in 1831? A. No, Mr. Vacher was—I lived there at that time—I am not aware of a sum of money being paid to your father's account at the decrease of a half-sister, Miss Harriet Hicks, about that time—I do not think that four checks for 60l., 40l., 15l. and 10l. passed through Mr. Vacher's books at that period by a letter of advice of your drawing—I was told at that time this check was written your father was very ill—I heard that he was not in a condition to have written—I did not see him—I believe he died a few days after you were taken in charge—I am not aware that Mrs. Hicks afterwards paid the amount to this cheek.

JOHN MAY (policeman, V 281.) Mr. Simpson gave the prisoner into my charge—he said, "I will willingly go"—on the way to the station he was I should do him justice to take a rope and tie him up to the lamp-post, for he was in great distress, and he and his wife had had nothing to eat nut bread and water for the last fortnight—he said, "I received the 3l. 10l. of Mr. Simpson, with a view that I should be able to pay it again in two or three days, but not

being able to realize sufficient money from a book which I am publishing; this is the result."

THOMAS JOHN KING. I live in Lothbury, I have known the prisoner three years, and have seen him write several times—to the best of my belief this instrument is in writing." [The prisoner, in a long address, stated that he had been reduced from affluence to great distress, and had been compelled to support himself as an author; that he wrote the order in question to obtain a sum of money to complete and print a work which he had translated, and which was patronized by many eminent persons; but that t was drawn upon his father, who owed him 10l., and not upon his uncle.]

GUILTY. Aged 52.—Strongly recommended to mercy by the Jury. Transported for Sven Years

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