LEOPOLD REDPATH, CHARLES JAMES COMYN KENT.
5th January 1857
Reference Numbert18570105-232
VerdictGuilty > unknown; Not Guilty > unknown
SentenceTransportation

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232. LEOPOLD REDPATH . was again indicted, with CHARLES JAMES COMYN KENT , for feloniously forging and uttering a transfer of 1, 000l., B stock and 87l. B stock of the Great Northern Railway Company; their masters, with intent to defraud.

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

HENRY ATTERBURY . I am a clerk in the audit office of the Great Northern Railway, and have been lately attending to the registrar's department. I produce a transfer No. 16774, purporting to be of 1, 087l. 10s. B stock, from Stephen George Hammond, to George Sidney, dated 10th Feb., 1855—the signature Stephen George Hammond is in full, and is in Redpath's writing; it is not witnessed at all—the attesting witness to Sidney's signature is Charles Kent—that is in the writing of the prisoner Kent—I produce the stock register No. 22, at folio 133 I find an account of George Sidney's in the writing of a clerk named Corfield—he is described as of No. 20, Edward-street, Hampstead-road, gentleman—his account here is credited with the amount mentioned in the transfer I have spoken of—I have got the stock register No. 119—at folio 153 I find an account of Stephen George Hammond, of Church-street, Chipping Norton; but a line is drawn through the address, and it is altered to Barge-yard, Bucklersbury—that account is debited with the same amount—the entry of the transfer is in Freeman's writing, a clerk in the registry office—I produce the original transfer which came into the office on 10th Feb., 1855—Hammond's account was then balanced—there was no dividend coming to him, and Sidney had oversold his account to the extent of 2, 315l.—that reduced the overplus to 1, 227l. 10s.—the total amount of A stock from Sidney is 7, 625l., and of B stock 5, 525l., as by the books, but there are other transfers—here is a transfer, No. 19259, purporting to be from Leopold Redpath, of Chester-terrace, to the Rev. Robert Spranger, of 92l. 10s. five percent pre-ference shares, redeemable at five per cent.—there is no other five per cent. preference stock except that—the date is 15th Nov., 1855—the signature of Spranger is in Redpath's writing, and is witnessed by Charles Kent, in Kent's writing—here is another transfer, No. 19585, from the same to the same, of 7l. 10s. in the same stock—the signature of Spranger is in Redpath's writing; there is no attesting witness to that. (The COURT. considered that, after the verdict in the last case, any evidence affecting Redpath alone ought not to be given, as it could only affect Kent by way of prejudice; the last transfer must therefore be struck out.)

Q. Look at No. 19298; what is the date? A. 6th Nov., 1855—that is a transfer of 95l. five per cent. preference shares of 7l. 10s. each, making 712l. 10s. from Spranger to Wedgwood—the signature of Spranger is in Redpath's writing, and is witnessed by Charles Kent in Kent's writing—No. 19211 is a transfer from Spranger to Deane of 22l. 10s. on 27th Nov., 1855—the name of Spranger is in Redpath's writing, and the attesting witness is Charles Kent, in Kent's writing—No. 19212 is a transfer from Spranger to Proctor of 7l. 10s. on 27th Nov., 1855—the signature of Spranger is in Redpath's writing—the attesting witness is Charles Kent, and the signature is in Kent's writing—No. 19470 is a transfer from Spranger to Jordan of 7l. 10s. on 30th Nov., 1855—the signature of Spranger is in Redpath's writing—the attesting witness is Charles Kent, that signature is in Kent's writing.

Cross-examined by MR. HAWKINS. (with MR. THOMPSON. for Kent.) Q. Is Hammond here? A. I believe he is, I have seen him here this morning—these two transfers, Nos. 16774 and 16775, were cut out of some book—the two being pasted on one guard, we were obliged to take

the two out—they were not in the transfer book this morning—the transfer No. 16774 is the subject of this indictment—No. 16775 is annexed to it—those two papers were taken from the transfer book on the 7th of the present month by me—before the Magistrate the books themselves were produced—the books are here—the two documents were taken out because they were both pasted on one guard, and I could not take the one Without destroying the validity of the other—my attention was not particularly directed to the other document—I will swear that—I did not know what it was—I do not know that Mr. Redpath had a great deal of stock standing in different persons names—I swear that—I knew that he had stock standing in his own name—I did not know that he had stock standing in the name of Sidney—I did not know that there was such a name until I commenced the examination—these documents are cut out of a guard book—they are pasted into that book—I have gone through the transfers up to about No. 19000—there are forty-nine transfers of Sidney's in the books, thirty-three of one sort—all the signatures of Sidney's are in the same handwriting—I believe those signatures are not attested by fifteen or sixteen different persons—(referring to the books) here is one, No. 16776, attested by S. G. Hammond—I believe that is the person whose name has been referred to—I could not say whether this is Hammond's writing—I do not know his handwriting well, not sufficiently well to be certain—I never saw him write—I believe it may be his, but I would not undertake to swear one way or the other—I cannot tell without going through the transfers, how many other attestations there are by Hammond—it will oocupy some time to do it—I never attested a signature—there are not clerks in the service of the Company who have attested the same signature—I never heard until this morning that there had been any forged signatures of Spranger's which Kent had attested—(MR. SERJEANT PARRY here stated, that as regarded Redpath, he should entirely abstain from any further examination of the witnesses, the COURT. having intimated an opinion that the evidence should be confined to matter relating to the case of Kent. MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. stated that he would proceed as if Kent alone were on his trial)—it may save time if I say that there are three entries at the commencement of this account, purporting to be to the debit of this account which do not in any way relate to Sidney's account—No. 17067 is a transfer from Rames to Wetherell and others.

Q. Are there not at least thirty-three different transfers, purporting to be executed by George Sidney, in the same handwriting? A. There are in the books thirty-three transfers, but they are not all Sidney's—No. 17067 is a transfer that does not in any way relate to Sidney's account—the transfer number appears in his account; it is Rames to Wetherell—No. 16764 is the first to the debit of the account; the attesting witness there is Stephen George Hammond—the next is No. 16769, that is witnessed by S. G. Hammond—No. 16770 is the next, that is Hammond's—I have not gone through these transfers for the purpose of seeing who the attesting witnesses are—I was asked this question a month ago, but I did not know that I should be called upon—No. 16731 is witnessed by S. G. Hammond—No. 492 is witnessed by Redpath—No. 916, 917, 574, 545, 610, 623, and 1073, are all witnessed by Redpath—No. 16777 is attested by Cork ill; that is the witness who was examined in the last case—that is a transfer from Sidney—No. 2018 is witnessed by Corkill—No. 2257 is witnessed by Redpath—Nos. 2484 and 2485 are each witnessed by Redpath and also Nos. 2550, 2571, and 2643—(The witness was requested to furnish the particulars of the remaining transfers before the dose of the case)—I do not know that holders of stock in the Great Northern hold it in a great many different names.

Q. Has it not been a matter of common talk in the office? A. Only with regard to one or two—with regard to one or two of the directors of the railway—I only know from what I have heard in the office, that Mr. Graham Hutchinson is the owner of 100, 000l. of stock in different names—I was repeatedly called on to register the transfers—I never registered any transfer from or to Sidney—the principal of that account is in Redpath's handwriting—prior to Redpath's being appointed registrar, he was the clerk whose duty it was to enter the transfers—I am told so; I do not know it of my own knowledge—apparently from the books, Redpath was the owner of a considerable quantity of stock—I had never heard the name of Sidney mentioned in the office until I called attention to it; I cannot tell how long that is ago—it was after I had began the examination of the A and B stock; some time in the course of last summer—I have never posted one transfer purporting to be signed George Sidney—I have been in the service of the company since 1851—Redpath was the principal registrar—I cannot say what Kent was when I went there; I did not pay any particular attention; I do not know—he was undoubtedly under Mr. Redpath—I do not know what his salary was—I had no means of knowing—I only know he was a clerk in the office—I know Hammond by sight only—he was occasionally at the offices of the company; not frequently—he was not a clerk there—the occasions upon which I have Been him have been when he has come into the registration office to see Mr. Redpath—I believe he was a friend of Mr. Redpath's; he used to come and ask for Mr. Redpath—I heard of these transfers signed Spranger, before this morning; some time when the examination was going on at Clerkenwell—there was no transfer purporting to be signed by Spranger, produced at Clerkenwell—I believe none was produced with reference to this prosecution until this morning—I pointed out Spranger's transfer to the officials at the office after I had been to Clerkenwell—I pointed them out to Mr. Oakley, and Mr. Brenny, and other clerks in the office—I had no reluctance to produce our documents at Clerkenwell—I heard objections made to their production—I had a request made to me to fetch those documents, and it was refused on the part of the prosecution—I really had no power in it—as far as I know, this is the first time Kent has had the opportunity of knowing the name of the attesting witnesses to these transfers—I cannot say whether they were studiously kept back from him at Clerkenwell—when the documents were asked for, it was said on the part of the prosecution, "They shall not be fetched;" I said there would be no difficulty in fetching them, because they were within five minutes of the place—there would have been no difficulty—I believe the observation was made that the only object of wanting the transfers, was to know the names of the other gentlemen who had attested the documents—after that, the prosecution refused to produce them—I have never attested any transfers, not on any occasion, either genuine or otherwise—I know nothing at all about the practice of the office with regard to the attestation—I cannot tell whether it is the practice to have a great number of them attested at the same time, or whether it frequently happens that clerks are asked to attest genuine documents which they have never seen signed at all—I have never been in a stockbroker's office—Kent was considered a respectable young man at the office, and very attentive to his duties—I knew where he lived—he has been recently

married; about eighteen months—he was living in a little cottage near Islington—he moved from there to one in Camden-town, a less expensive place—from all the opportunity I had of observing him, he appeared a steady, attentive young man—I believe he was a very great favourite with all the officials; he was with his fellow clerks—I do not know of my own knowledge that on one occasion he had a gratuity presented to him for good conduct and attention.

MR. BODKIN. Q. Did you go through these accounts before the parties were taken into custody? A. I did; that is, with regard to the A and B stock—I went through Sidney's account—I stated both to Redpath and Kent what I had found with respect to Sidney's account—the Company's advisers were asked before the Magistrate to produce all the books and accounts of the Company from the year 1850; Mr. Giffard, the counsel for the prosecution, answered that he would produce all documents relating to the charge, but he must decline doing so as to any other.

STEPHEN GEORGE HAMMOND . I live at No. 46, Gower-place, Eustonsquare. I am not in any business or profession—I am twenty years of age—I am no relation of Mr. Redpath's—I have lived at his house on and off for about two or three years—this transfer, No. 16774, purporting to be a transfer from me to Sidney, is not in my handwriting—I do not know anything of that transfer—I never put any money into the Great Northern Railway Company—I did not receive any money for this transfer—I was educated by Mr. Redpath for two years.

Cross-examined by MR. HAWKINS. Q. Do you mean to say that you did not know there was stock standing in your name? A. I knew stock was in my name—he has told me that he had put stock in my name—he has told me that on several occasions.

Q. Has he told you also that he had stock standing in the name of Sidney? A. I saw a transfer in the name of Sidney—I saw the signature of Sidney, and I happened to say something about the likeness of the handwriting—he told me that he had stock standing in the name of Sidney—I do not remember his telling me so on more than one occasion—I could not swear that he did not tell me so on half a dozen different occasions—I have been asked to execute transfers—I have not refused to do so—I do not remember Mr. Redpath ever telling me that he had signed transfers in my name—I could not swear he has not—I would not swear that he has not told me so a dozen times—if he had, I think I should have remembered it—I could not say—I could not say he has not told me so a dozen times—I do not remember his ever telling me at all—I could not say that he has not told me a dozen times that he has signed transfers in my name—I was frequently at the offices of the Great Northern Railway—I used to go in to see Mr. Redpath—it might have been about stock or shares, it was not always—I do not remember exactly whether it was generally—I did not generally go there to see him about stock or shares particularly—I have been to see him about stock, but not always—I could not swear whether I had been there 100 times to see him about stock—I could not swear to how many times I have been there—I was not a speculator in stock—I had some shares given me by Mr. Redpath, not in the Great Northern, it was in a mining Company—I had no means of subsistence at all myself—Mr. Redpath partly brought me up, and educated me—he educated me from 1850 to 1852—I was in a mining office after that, the one I had the shares in—I was not a promoter or director, I was a clerk.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Q. Have you been to see Mr. Redpath since

he has been in Newgate? A. No—I have not seen his attorney or his clerk—I have had no communication with Mr. Redpath or his attorney since he has been committed—I have seen them in Court, but had no communication with them—I have not been talking to them—I have not been subpœnaed by them, but by Mr. Humphreys.

ROBERT MAYMAN . I have for the last twelve years lived at No. 20, Edward-street, Hampstead-road—there is no other No. 20, in that street, to my knowledge—no person named George Sidney has lived there since I have lived there—Red path lived there eight or nine years ago.

Cross-examined by MR. HAWKINS. Q. Do yon know Hammond? A. I have some little knowledge of him—I saw him there once, but he did not live there—I believe he used to visit Mr. Redpath.

THE REV. ROBERT JEFFREYS SPRANGER . I am a Clergyman of the Church of England. I live at Hursley—my father's name was Robert Spranger—he lived at Tointon, in Lincolnshire—I have no stock in the Great Northern Railway—my father died in Feb. 1850.

JAMES RYDER MOWATT . I am secretary to the Great Northern Railway Company. Redpath was originally a clerk in the registration department, and on the retirement of Mr. Clark, about three years ago, having been chief clerk and book keeper, he was appointed to succeed him—while he was principal clerk to Mr. Clark the entry of the transfer of shares was, I believe, chiefly his duty—Kent was in those days second clerk in the office, acting in concert with Redpath—since Redpath has been at the head of the office, Kent has been chief clerk, next to him—during any temporary absence of Redpath, it was Kent's duty to superintend the business of that department.

Cross-examined by MR. HAWKINS. Q. How many clerks are there in the same office? A. I think lately there were altogether five; they were, Redpath, Kent, Corkill, Freeman, and Flemming—I do not know where Redpath lived latterly—I was never on visiting terms with him—I never saw him lately out of the office—I do not know that the Directors were on visiting terms with him—I mean to swear that; I am here on a serious occasion, I will give yon all you choose to ask me on any subject whatever—Kent has been in the office for, I believe, seven or eight years, and, considering he was a youngster, his conduct has during the whole of that time been uniformly good; it was sometimes necessary to give him some good advice, and, being an old one, I took the liberty of giving it to him—his conduct was tolerably good—I have not actually given him a gratuity for good services—one was presented under peculiar circumstances.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Q. What were the circumstances? A. It was considered, some four or five years ago, that it would be desirable to try and encourage good conduct among the servants generally, by giving a per centage on the amount of dividend, and, with the concurrence of the proprietors, that was done to all the servants indiscriminately, who had a certain amount of salary, on a certain day, and he was included with them.

MR. HAWKINS. Q. Did you know that Redpath was living in considerable style in the Regent's-park? A. No more than you did—I have heard of it—I only knew rather lately that he was the owner of a considerable amount of stock.

Cross-examined by MR. TINDAL ATKINSON. Q. Is Redpath a bankrupt? A. Yes—I have been appointed assignee of the estate—I believe it has been valued by the official assignee—I really do not know the amount(The attestation to the transfer was here read, as follows:" Signed, sealed, and

delivered by the above named George Sidney, in the presence of Charles Kent, King's Cross.")

MR. HAWKINS. to STEPHEN GEORGE HAMMOND. Q. Just take that in your hand (transfer. No. 14769); is that your writing? A. Yes—Nos. 14770 and 16776 are mine also. (Kent received a most excellent character).

REDPATH.— GUILTY .— Transported for Life.

KENT.— NOT GUILTY .

There were three other indictments against Kent, upon which no evidence being offered, an acquittal was taken: there were also other indictments against Redpath.


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