5th January 1857
Reference Numbert18570105-231
VerdictGuilty > unknown

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231. LEOPOLD REDPATH was indicted for feloniously forging and uttering a certain deed of transfer of a certain share and interest in the capital stock of the Great Northern Railway Company, purporting to be made by John Morriss, for 312l. 10s., consolidated stock, with intent to defraud. Other COUNTS., varying the manner of stating the charge.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE., with MESSRS. BODKIN. and GIFFARD., conducted the Prosecution.

HENRY ATTERBURY . I am a clerk in the employment of the Great Northern Railway Company, and have been so since 1851. I was employed in the audit department—the registration of stock was not in my department until Feb., 1856, when, in consequence of some investigations, I was called in to assist in that department—I produce a transfer, No. 3623, dated 7th May, 1852; it purports to be a transfer of 312l. 10s., consolidated B stock, from John Morriss, of Manningtree, to William Henry Dickson—I believe this signature, "John Morriss," to be in Redpath's writing, and this signature of "Timothy Shaw," the attesting witness, also—(This being read was a transfer of 312l. 10s., consolidated B stock, from John Morriss, of Manningtree, to William Henry Dickson, for the consideration of 364l. 1s. 3d., subject to the same conditions on which the said John Morriss held the same; accepted by William Henry Dickson, and signed by him in the presence of Timothy Shaw, of Manningtree, and by John Morriss, in the presence of W. E. Gascoigne, No. 80, Old Broad-street)—at folio 223, in this register of stock (produced), John Morriss, of Manningtree, is represented as the owner of stock—this O. B. in the first item in the register book, means, "Old book;" it purports to be brought from a former book—it is not in my writing, but in Redpath's—this (produce A. is the old book; I find no entry in it of shares to the credit of Morriss—the entry following that which purports to be brought from the old book, is No. 4340, 1, 250l. B stock, in the prisoner's writing; the next are Nos. 4341, 3, 750l., A stock; 4342, 1, 625l. B stock; 4343, 1, 625l., B stock; and 5870, 1, 750l., A stock, to the credit of the account—the numbers I have mentioned refer to the numbers of the transfers—I have got the book in which the transfers are registered from 4000 to 5000—(the shares had been converted into stock)—the original transfers are pasted into this book after they are made—I find in it the first transfer I mentioned, No. 4340, it belongs to this book, but has been taken out for the purposes of this investigation—the transfers are kept in numbers from the first to the last—they are numbered—No. 4340, is a transfer of 600l., consolidated stock—(MR. SERJEANT PARRY. objected to these items, there being nothing on the face of the transfers to show that the prisoner had anything to do with them. The COURT. considered, that at present it was evidence, and was quite open to be explained hereafter.)

MR. BODKIN. Q. Go to the next item? A. No. 4341, that is a transfer from John Edward Phillips to George Walker, of 25l., consolidated stock—the next is No. 4342, from Barkworth to Sanderson, of 500l., consolidated stock; the next is No. 4343, from the same to the same, of 1, 200l., consolidated stock; the next is No. 5870, from Cothard and another, as executors

of Joseph Cothard, to Augustus Balls, of 250l. stock merely—Mr. Morriss's account in the stock book amounts to 5, 500l. A, and 5, 750l. B stock; that is all on the credit side of the account—these (produced) are the transfers that have been made of that stock, as they appear on the debit side of the account—the first is No. 3540, a transfer of 437l. 10s., from Morriss to William Henry Mote, in the writing of a clerk named Corfield; the name of Morriss is to it in Redpath's writing—I take that both from the book and the transfer—the next is No. 3540, May 7th, 1852; here is the signature of Morriss to it, and of Timothy Shaw, of Manningtree, as attesting witness; both those signatures are in Redpath's writing—the next is No. 3573, from Morriss to John William Broadhurst, on 7th May, 1852, for 125l., consolidated stock; the subscribing witness is Timothy Shaw, of Manningtree; his signature and Morriss's are both in Redpath's writing—the next is No. 3591, from John Morriss to George Wythes, 7th May, 1852, for 50l., subscribing witness, Timothy Shaw, of Manningtree; both the signatures are in Redpath's writing—the next is No. 3609, May 7th, 1852, from Morriss to Bennett Pell, for 287l. 10s. B stock, with the same witness; both those signatures are, to my belief, Redpath's writing—the next is No. 3823, already described—the next is No. 3663, from Morriss to Hardwick, 7th May, 1852, for 37l. 10s., witness, Timothy Shaw; the signatures of Morriss and Shaw are, to my belief, in Redpath's writing—the next is No. 5681, from Morriss to Hudson, and Robert John Harvey, for 1, 250l., B stock, 16th Sept., 1852; George Sidney, of Edward-street, Hampstead-road, purports to be the attesting witness; that signature, and Morriss's also, are in Redpath's writing—the next is No. 5697, for 2, 500l., consolidated A stock, from Morriss to Marriott; George Sidney purports to be the subscribing witness; I believe those signatures to be in Redpath's writing—the next is No. 5713, 75l., A consolidated stock, 30th Sept., 1852, from Morriss to Pearce; the attesting witness is George Sidney; that, as well as the signature of Morriss, is in Redpath's writing—the next is No. 5756, from Morriss to Seager, on 30th Sept, 1852, for 200l., consolidated A stock; the attesting witness is George Sidney; that, as well as the name of Morriss, is, to my belief, in Redpath's writing—the next is No. 5756, from Morriss to Figgins, 30th Sept., 1852, for 62l. 10s., consolidated A stock.

COURT. Q. Are you giving us the debit side? A. Yes—I have given the full credit side; there is consolidated A stock there—the 1, 250l. is B stock—the next is A stock, and the next is B stock; they are all consolidated—there is no difference between B stock, and consolidated A stock.

MR. BODKIN. Q. Is No. 6109 the next? A. Yes; that is a transfer of 1, 625l. consolidated B stock, dated 14th Oct., 1852, from Morriss and another to Corrie and another—John Morriss's signature is witnessed by Stephen George Hammond—the name of Morriss is in Redpath's writing, and I believe that of Hammond to be Redpath's also—the next is No. 6386, 125l. A stock, from Morriss to Parlby, 30th Sept., 1852; the subscribing witness is George Sidney—I believe those signatures to be Redpath's writing—the next is No. 6389, from Morriss to Parlby, of 750l. A stock, 30th Sept, 1852; the subscribing witness is George Sidney; both of those signatures I believe to be in Redpath's writing—the next is No. 6543, from Morriss to Ferraton, of 1, 000l. B stock, blank day of Nov., 1852, witness, George Sidney; those signatures are, in my belief, the prisoner's writing—the next is No. 6553, from Morriss to Bunham, of 625l. B stock, blank day of Nov., 1852; attesting witness, George Sidney—I say the same of those two signatures—the next is No. 6700 from Morriss to Figgins, of

l, 750l. A stock, 4th Dec., 1852, witness George Sidney—I have the same belief of those signatures—the next is No. 6711, from Morriss to Fordham, of 37l. 10s. A stock, 21st Nov., 1852; the subscribing witness is George Sidney—I have the same belief as to those signatures—that is all that appears on the debit side of the account, 5, 500l—they balance one another—these others (produced) are transfers of similar stock from Morriss.

MR. SERJEANT PARRY. Q. Are they referred to in Morriss's account? A. They do not appear in the ledger, not to the debit of Morriss's account—(MR. SERJEANT PARRY. submitted that these were not evidence, not being referred to in the account. MR. BODKIN. stated that he was going to give evidence as to the handwriting of them. The COURT. admitted them as evidence of the prisoner's intention. MR. TINDAL ATKINSON. stated that the transfer was of A stocky and that this evidence related to B stock.)

COURT. Q. Are these two different accounts? A. Yes; in two different columns—(MR. T. ATKINSON. stated that the B stock would receive 6l. per cent. before the A stock received anything. The COURT. considered that that was merely a question of interest, and would make no difference.)

MR. BODKIN. Q. How many are there? A. Nine—they all purport to be transfers of A and B stock, by Mr. Morriss, and I believe the signature of Morriss in all these documents to be in Redpath's writing—it is not the same attesting witness to them all, but whatever the names are, I believe them to be in Redpath's writing—they are different dates, Jan., Feb., and May, 1853.

Cross-examined by MR. SERJEANT PARRY. (with MR. TINDAL ATKINSON.). Q. How long has this A and B stock been in existence? A. I believe it was about 1851, but am not prepared to say; there are other witnesses who can tell you better—there was previous to that a share ledger, that is here as relates to Morriss—I call the book in which Morriss's account is entered, the stock register—we keep a book called a register of transfers—I believe it has been kept from the commencement—I have not been referring to any share book—that book is here—I have understood that it is incumbent upon us by Act of Parliament to keep such a book—I have been in the registry office since Feb., 1856—Redpath was at the head of the office—he was the Registrar under the Company—I was lent by Mr. Reynolds to Mr. Redpath—I do not know whether Mr. Reynolds is here—he is the accountant—there were six other clerks in the registrar's office besides myself—some of them have been there for many years, and all of them longer than me—I have not been directed by the authorities of the railway to be called as a witness, because I know less about these matters than any other clerk in the office—I will swear that it is not so—there are other clerks who have been many years in that office—this 197 B refers to the register of B shares—the greater part of it is in Redpath's writing—this book is the share register—there is one other book in which A and B shares are entered—this relates to B shares only, not stock, but shares—there is an original share book—this is one of the original share books—this is founded on the original share book, but not posted from it—I have not kept this book—I have examined the old books for the purposes of this inquiry—I have never kept them—I believe Redpath kept this book, but am not in a position to swear it—it was before my time—this is what I call an original share book—I will venture to swear that the signatures of Morriss and Timothy Shaw on this transfer are by the same person—I have sworn to all these documents without hesitation—I swear that each of these signatures, from No. 3540 down to No. 6711 are in Redpath's writing, undoubtedly—I have not the shadow

of a shade of a doubt—I have seen him write many times—I cannot tell you how many—I have looked over him when writing—I have only had an opportunity of seeing his writing within the last twelve months, all these transfers are in 1852 and 1853—I had not seen Redpath write at that time—it was after February that I first saw him write—I cannot say how often since—I have taken a great many documents into his room, and have seen him write a great many—I do not swear to this Stephen George Hammond being Redpath's, I state that I believe it to be Hammond's genuine signature—I believe Hammond is here—there are three attesting witnesses, Hammond, Sidney, and Shaw, and of those three signatures I swear to two—I believe that this is Hammond's writing as an attesting witness to one of these documents—there have been mistakes made, I have no doubt, in the books, in reference to transfers in the hurry of business—I never omitted to enter a transfer in the name of the vendor, nor in the name of the purchaser—other clerks may have done so, I cannot state positively—I know more of the registry office since I have been there than the other clerks—I have been through the transfer book to about No. 18, 000 odd, or 19, 000.

Q. Are you aware of this law, "The said deed of transfer shall be delivered to the secretary, and be kept by him, and the secretary shall enter a memorial thereof in a book to be called the Register of Transfers, and endorse such entry on the deed of transfer, and shall on demand deliver a new certificate to the purchaser?" A. I have heard of it—there is such a transfer book at the Great Northern Railway—Mr. Mowatt is the secretary—the book is kept in the registry office, the office in which this has occurred—this transfer is endorsed with a corresponding number in the transfer register—none of these transfers are endorsed by the secretary; they are numbered according to the number in the register of transfers—my initials were placed at the back of these as having taken them out—I have examined 18, 000 transfers; up to the present time there are about 22, 000—there are not as many as 40, 000—we have five different kinds of stock, besides the A and B stock; they are original 25l. stock, part of these shares were converted into the A and B stock; 5 per cent perpetual preference, 5 per cent, redeemable preference, that is redeemable at 10 per cent, 4 1/2 per cent. preference stock, and 5 per cent preference stock, redeemable at 5 per cent.

Q. As regards these transfers, has the secretary ever endorsed them according to the instructions of this Act of Parliament to your knowledge? A. I believe not—he has never written his name on them—when a transfer is made, it is generally sent to the company, either by the broker of the vendor, or of the purchaser—as soon as it is received in the office, it is entered in the transfer receipt book—all these transfers are undoubtedly entered in the transfer receipt book, otherwise they would not have that number—there are no other books in which they are entered, only the ledgers—the transfer is entered in the transfer receipt book by whoever attends to the post—it is not the duty of the party who receives a transfer of stock, to see that there is that stock.

Q. Do you mean to tell me that you conduct business so loosely that if a transfer of 2, 500l. stock comes to your office, to the proper office, that you do not verify, and see whether that stock is in existence? A. Undoubtedly we do; but you asked me if the party who received the transfer did so—somebody does undoubtedly verify—all these transfers are entered in the transfer receipt book, and it is the duty of some person to verify the stock—the

transferees of these documents have all been receiving dividends from the company since 1852—I have never speculated in stock—I do not know whether any of the directors of the company are present—I know Mr. Graham Hutchinson by name, and also by sight—I know Mr. Parker, and Mr. Arbouin the chairman of the finance committee, Mr. Dennison the chairman of the company, and Mr. Reynolds the accountant; he is still in the employment of the company—these gentlemen are still directors.

Q. Do you not know that all those gentlemen have held stock in fictitious names in the Great Northern Railway? A. I do not know that; I know they have held stock—I do not know that all those gentlemen have held stock in fictitious names in the Great Northern Railway—I know that some of them have held stock in different names to their own—I do not know that some of them have held stock in one, two, or three different names to their own, I will swear that, I have never lent my name to a director—I did not know that a great many of the officers of the company speculated in shares—I mean to say that I have only found since I have been through the books, that several of the officers have held stock at different times—I do not know of several of the officers holding stock in Other names than their own—I came from Mr. Reynolds's office in Jan. or Feb.

Q. Have you borrowed mosey from Mr. Redpath? A. Never but on one occasion; I will swear that, I owe it him now—it is 15l.—I have not paid him—I shall do so whenever it is wanted—I have never borrowed money from him but that once—that was in July, last year—I do not know whether Mr. Reynolds, the accountant, has ever borrowed money of Mr. Redpath—I do not know whether he is here—I do not know that he has borrowed to the extent of 12, 000l. from Mr. Redpath; I never was in a position to know—I do not know whether Mr. Reynolds is a name in which shares have been held not belonging to him—I do not know that the chairman has held shares in that name; I had no means of knowing—I find Mr. Reynolds's name in the books of the company, not to the extent of 100, 000l., nor 50, 000l. to my knowledge; I might turn to the account and see—I do not know that they were Mr. Dennison's shares; I never was in a position to know—Mr. Redpath was at one time a bon✗ fide shareholder—Mr. Clark was the registrar in 1852—Mr. Redpath was at that time in the registration office as a ledger clerk; his duty was principally with the ledgers.

Q. The stamp that is on each of these transfers would be put by Mr. Clark, the registrar? A. I do not know who it would be put by—I cannot answer whether it was his duty to do it—it would be put by some one in the office—every transfer ought to go through the registrar's hands; whether they did so or not I do not know—they are all entered in the receipt book—the registrar might see that day by day—I do not know whether he would; it is not for me to say; I really do not know.

MR. BODKIN. Q. Who is the Mr. Hammond whose name has been mentioned? A. He was formerly, I believe, a friend of Mr. Redpath's—he did not hold any office in the company—I have seen him in Redpath's company on several occasions—I should suppose his age is about twenty-five—the party posting the transfer into the stock ledger, would look to the stock to see that there was the stock which it was proposed to transfer—if in the present case any person had looked, they would have apparently found stock standing in the name of Morriss—the prisoner's salary was 250l. a year—the 15l. that I borrowed of him was for family use—it was not in advance

of my salary; it was a private loan—I intended paying it back by my overtime—he has never asked me for it.

COURT. Q. At what time was it that Redpath was a shareholder? A. He was a shareholder in these stock ledgers, and also in the previous share ledgers, but he has oversold his accounts in all cases.

JOHN CORKILL . I am a clerk in the employment of the Great Northern Railway Company, and have been so about eight years. I have had opportunities of observing Redpath's handwriting, and seeing him write, a great many times—I believe the signature of Morriss to these transfers to be Mr. Redpath's writing—I have looked at the whole of them—I believe the signature of Morriss to this No. 3623 to be Mr. Redpath's, and the signature of Timothy Shaw, the attesting witness, is the same handwriting.

Cross-examined. Q. Are you aware, at any time, of mistakes having been made, in the omission sometimes of the vendor's name, and the purchaser's, when transfers have taken place? A. No, I am not—I believe that the names of Morriss and Shaw are written by one and the same person.

Q. Just look at the stamp on the transfer; is that the stamp of Mr. Clark, who was the registrar at that time? A. There is a brand; that is the brand that was used in the office—it is stamped before it is entered in the receipt book—the seller, or his broker, sends the stock into the office, and leaves it there, and then the brand is used, to satisfy the buyer that the stock is there—I do not mean the transfer is left, but the stock, very likely William Henry Dixon is not satisfied, that the stock is in the office, and then we represent on the stock exchange that the stock is there—I am speaking with regard to the transfer—the seller sends the transfer to the office, and we stamp it to satisfy the buyer that the stock is there—the broker generally sends it—we then issue a certificate to the buyer—that is not signed by the secretary; there is a brand with the secretary's name that is used, and that is signed by the registrar—it does not go to the secretary's office; I mean that a brand is put on, with the signature of the secretary; it does not go into the secretary's office—that has never been the practice—the brand containing the secretary's name was not in the secretary's office, nor under his control—any one in the registration department might put the brand—a certificate is not available unless it has the secretary's name on it—I believe it has no value without the secretary's name—the name of the secretary is stamped with a brand, the secretary himself not doing anything to verify the stock or the transfer—I have never speculated in stock—(MR. JUSTICE WILLES. stated that, by the 11th section of the company's Act, it did not appear that the signature of the secretary was requisite, except for the purposes of the office; he was merely an attesting witness to the common seal)—the transfer is not endorsed by the secretary.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Q. It is endorsed by the number, is it not? A. Yes—the number is entered in the receipt book.

MR. SERJEANT PARRY. Q. Is that by the secretary? A. No.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Q. by the number can it be traced? A. Yes; at least it ought to be—7707 is the number of the transfer—if we looked to Morriss's account, and looked at the credit side, we should find "7707"—I was not in the registration office before Mr. Redpath came there—I assisted as an occasional clerk during the time of the London and York, before the amalgamation of the two companies—I have not been in their service ever since; I have been occasionally engaged for three years after that time.

WILLIAM ELKANAN GASCOIGNE . I am a clerk to Messrs. Williams and Son, of No. 80, Broad-street, members of the Stock Exchange. I was attesting witness to the signature of Mr. William Henry Dixon, the vendee to this transfer, No. 3623, purporting to be executed by John Morriss, of Manningtree—I paid over to the transferor a sum of 366l. 1s. 3d. on account of that transfer—I paid that to Messrs. Field and Co., stock brokers.

HENRY JAMES WOOD . I am clerk to Messrs. Field, Son, and Wood, stock brokers—they have been stock brokers to Mr. Redpath for some years. This transfer, No. 3623 was a transfer made on account of Mr. Redpath—the money was received by us and paid to his credit.

Cross-examined. Q. Did Mr. Redpath speculate largely on the Stock Exchange? A. Yes, for a period of about eight years, I think—he speculated in various descriptions of stock other than the Great Northern stock—his speculations extended to some thousands; perhaps it might have been hundreds of thousands in the course of the eight years; that is a large amount of stock to say—it was to a very large amount—he has speculated in one year to the extent of 50, 000l.—I should think not to the extent of 100, 000l., but beyond 50, 000, I should say—he speculated in the Great Indian Peninsular Railway; I do not think he made a large sum out of that; he made money, not as much at 10, 000l., nor 7, 000l.; some hundreds it was certainly confined to hundreds—I never remember his buying in 15, 000 shares at 5s., which he sold out at 4l. 10s.; I never heard it; he had some 800 open at one time, but nothing of that sort.

THOMAS MORRISS . I reside at Wix, by Manningtree, in the county of Essex—I have lived there seven years last Michaelmas—I never heard of any person named John Morriss living there—I never had any stock or shares in the Great Northern Railway.

Cross-examined. Q. How far from Manningtree do you live? A. About four miles—there are about 1, 100 persons living at Manningtree.

WILLIAM RAYNER . I have resided at Manningtree, in the county of Essex, for the last seventeen years—I was the postmaster of Manningtree during the year 1852; I was also assistant clerk to the Magistrates, clerk to the commissioners of taxes, and registrar of births, deaths, and marriages for the division within which Manningtree is—I did not know of any such persons as John Morriss or Timothy Shaw in 1852 at Manningtree—if there had been such persons there, I think I must have known it.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you know everybody in Manningtree? A. I believe I do—I will not, of course, swear that I do—perhaps I do not altogether; there are about 1, 000 persons living there—I should think there are not fifty persons that I do not know, I would not swear there are not 100.

THOMAS WILLIAM COUNT . I have resided for nearly eight years at Manningtree—I was overseer from April, 1852, to April, 1853; I likewise collected the poor's rates that year—I do not know any person named John Morriss at Manningtree, or any person named Shaw—I never heard of either of such persons.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you know everybody at Manningtree? A. I believe I do.


Before Mr. Baron Martin.

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