3rd August 1886
Reference Numbert18860803-812
VerdictGuilty > unknown
SentenceImprisonment > hard labour

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812. WILLIAM HENRY BROMWICH (39) , Unlawfully obtaining by false pretences, from David Robert Hunt, 3l. 10s. 6d., with intent to defraud. Other Counts for obtaining various sums from other persons.


GEORGE JAMESON . I am one of the firm of Jameson and Stanham, auctioneers and surveyors, Putney—I know the prisoner—in December, 1880, he called at my office, and produced some plans of some property in the neighbourhood of Rugby and of Guildford—he told me had a share in these properties and he proposed to offer them for sale, and wanted to know our terms—I gave them to him and he said he proposed to get the consent of the other parties to offer them for auction—he ultimately said if we would advance him a little to take him down to Rugby he should be glad, and I advanced him 2l., for which he gave me this I O U—I believed the prisoner's statements or I would not have made the advance—I saw nothing more of the prisoner, but received several letters from him, putting off his appointment to pay the money, and a messenger called once with a letter, asking for more money, which I declined to give—the I O U was written on a printed form, similar to the one produced. (This was a printed form requesting the tenants to pay their rent at the Plough Inn, Morton, on Monday next.)

DAVID ROBERT HUNT . I am an auctioneer, and live at 2a, Chepstow Place, Bayswater—on 13th June, 1884, the prisoner called at my office with a card of introduction, with an idea of coming into partnership with me, that took me off my guard—he said he was a surveyor and had offices at Benerley Road, Wandsworth, and at Rugby; that he was the surveyor of large estates in Warwickshire, for which he received 400l. a year; that he employed his brother principally to do the work at the Rugby office, and gave him 150l. a year; and that his enquiry was really more for his brother than himself, he should like to put him in a better position—he also said he was the receiver of some family property, and later on they would divide the estate among the family and sell it—he called again on Saturday, 21st June, and said that he had consumed with his brother, but that he did not think he would entertain the idea, but he would use his influence with his co-trustee, Mr. West, who lived at Exeter, to sell the estate; that he was rather short of money till the half-yearly audits, when the rents were collected, and asked me for a few pounds to assist him—I replied I should not like to do that unless I knew something more about it, and he then suggested that I should go to his office and see the plans and particulars, and afterwards he suggested that I should meet him half way at Battersea Bridge and he would bring the plans—I met him at an hotel at Battersea, and he brought plans like those produced, which I believed to be genuine, and to refer to a genuine estate—on the following Monday I gave him 10s., and on July 18th another 10s.—I believed the statements he made—he said the matter had improved then—on Bank Holiday, August 4th, he called and asked for a few pounds, as his brother had been ill, and I think he said he was dying, or just dying—I gave him 1s. then, being Bank Holiday I could not get any money out, as he wanted to go to his brother's funeral, and next day I gave him 1l. 18s. 6d. to pay his expenses—this is the correspondence between us (produced)—I advanced him a further sum.

BERNARD ELIOART . I am an auctioneer and estate agent, of 1, Stuart Terrace, Bayswater—on 1st February this year the prisoner, who was a stranger, called on mo (prior to that I had received a letter from him

from 260, Common Road, Battersea)—he told me his name, and said he was connected with some property in Warwickshire, and was in receipt of a salary of 150l. a year as agent for collecting rents—he produced plans and schedules as to the value of the land—he said it had been valued for probate, and it would get that money at a sale, and his family thought they would sell it—the estates were shown on different papers; one was at Morton Lapworth—I discussed the matter with him at some length, and afterwards received the letter I have here—he said there were so many people connected with this estate whose consent he should have to ask, but he should have no difficulty except with Mr. West, his co-trustee, who either lived at Bristol or Exeter—after some interviews he wanted to go to Bristol to see his co-trustee, Mr. West, and asked me to advance him some money—I hesitated, and then, concluding it was all right, and believing; the statement he made, I lent him 30s.—he said the fare was 15s., and he should want some more to keep him while he was down there—he gave me this I O U on this printed form. (This informed the cottagers that he should attend at the Glover's Arms to collect their rents.) I received these two letters from him. (The one of 27th stated that Mr. West was still ill, and he was unable to get instructions).

WILLIAM HERBERT DAW . I am a member of the firm of Herring, Daw, and Co., auctioneers, of 52, Coleman Street—I first heard of the prisoner by a letter on the 19th, and after that I saw him, and he said he was interested in large property in Warwickshire, near Rugby, and was in receipt of a salary of 150l. a year for the management of that; that he had the power of giving it to any auctioneer to dispose of, as a large part would be put up for sale shortly—believing his statements I lent him 5l. on one occasion and 4l. on another—on 17th November I received this letter. (This stated that he found his friend West quite unconscious, and that next day he quietly breathed his last.)

JOHN M. MILNER . I am an auctioneer, of 54, Cannon Street—in January this year the prisoner corresponded with me—he said he had command of the sale of a large estate, and was desirous of placing it in the hands of the office—I believed his statements, and advanced him 2l. to take him to Exeter to see Mr. West as trustee to the property—in the course of the correspondence I received this letter of 1st December. (Asking for the matter to stand over, as there was very little hope of Mr. West's recovery.) There is also a printed letter, stating that he would attend at the Plough Inn to receive the rents.

JOHN PALMER (Superintendent of Police at Rugby). I have been at Rugby 10 years—I do not know the prisoner as an inhabitant of Rugby, or acting as a surveyor or otherwise; I know nothing of him—there is no estate there belonging to Mr. Henry Bromwich—there is no such estate at Hill Morton—there was an inn at Hill Morton called the Plough, but it has been closed 10 years—there is no inn called the Glover's Arras.

THOMAS ERNEST BROMWICH . I am an auctioneer and estate agent at Rugby, and have been in business two and a half years, and my father for 50 years before—during that time the prisoner has not curried on the business of an auctioneer there, nor to my knowledge has anyone of the name of Bromwich either at Lapworth or Hill Morton—Hill Morton is two miles from Rugby and Lapworth is 20 miles.

WILLIAM CRANE (Policeman). I received the prisoner in custody on 3rd July—I told him the charge—he made no reply, but on the way from Battersea to Sloane Square he said he had had the money for expenses; he must admit that he had committed fraud, and he could not face those gentlemen again—I afterwards went to the house in Barclay Road; it is now unoccupied—I saw no sign of an auctioneer having carried on business there.

Prisoner's Defence. I admit having the money from these prosecutors, and they hold my I O U's for them, and if they had waited I should have paid them, but I never admitted the fraud; I never said I received 400l. a year as agent, and I did not mention Hill Morton; it was never mentioned in the correspondence; I never committed a fraud.

GUILTY *.— Eighteen Months' Hard Labour.

MR. MATHEWS stated there were many other cases against the prisoner.

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