John Allen.
12th January 1769
Reference Numbert17690112-46
VerdictNot Guilty

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

134. (M.) John Allen was indicted for falsely forging and counterfeiting, and willingly acting and assisting in the same, a false and forged note , called a promissory note, to this purport.

"London, 10th of Oct. 1768. Four months

"after date, I promise to pay to Isaac Levi ,

"or order, 50 l. for value received. Thomas

"Little, in Oxford Chapel-Court, Cavendish-Square." And for uttering the same, with

intent to defraud the said Thomas Little . well knowing the same to be forged, Dec. 7 . ++

Thomas Little . I am a carpenter , and live in Oxford Chapel-Court. On the 6th of December last, the prisoner came to me, and asked me if I had not given a note, payable to Isaac Levi , or order. I said I had, and that I was defrauded out of it, and till it became due: I should not pay it. I said I was very busy then, but would meet him any where the next day. We appointed to meet at the Valiant Trooper in Oxford-Road. The next morning I went, and acquainted Mr. Hall with it, and told him I had one of my notes come back again that I had been defrauded out of, and begged he would go along with me to meet this person. We went and met the prisoner, and after having pleaded poverty, telling him I had been defrauded out of it, he desired us to go out and consult between ourselves what I would give him: we went out, and agreed for me to give him five guineas.

Q. How did he say he came by it?

Little. He said he had given the full value for it, we told him, when we returned to him, I would give him five pounds; he said that it was but little more than two shillings in the pound. The note was dated the 10th of October, 1768, for 50 l. Some more words past between us: he said he was going out of town, and that that note kept him in town longer than he should have done, and said, I must make it up seven guineas against Friday night. Some time after he consented to take five guineas.

Q. Was that at the same meeting?

Little. It was. This was on the 7th of December. I produced five guineas on the table, he was very unwilling to produce the note, but at last he did produce it to Mr. Hall. Mr. Hall looked at it, and asked him how he came by it, saying it was not indorsed. He desired me to look at it, and see if it was my hand writing, I said it was not, it was forged; I took my money up, and Mr. Hall took up the note and put it in his pocket-book. Some little time after he made a pretence to go out to make water; Mr. Hall went out after him, but I saw no more of him till Mr. Hall brought him in again, and said the prisoner had run away, and he had brought him back; after that, Mr. Hall desired me to go out of the room, that they might settle between themselves; after that I came in again; then Mr. Hall asked me if the prisoner should go about his business; I said no, he should go before a magistrate. We took him before Major Spinnage .

Q. How was you defrauded out of the note?

Little. I was defrauded out of two 50 l. notes by a Jew. I had occasion for money, and I gave a Jew two 50 l. notes, and he was to bring me the money the next morning, but he kept the notes, and never brought the money. One was dated the 10th of October, four months after date, the same as this, and the other six months after date. That Jew is now in the King's Bench Prison. The prisoner told me one of the notes was paid away, and the other might be recovered, he believed.

Q. Had you any security for these notes you delivered to the Jew?

Little. That Jew gave me a counter note, that is, his own note for an hundred pounds. I have his note now.

Q. Did you know the prisoner before he came with this note?

Little. No, I did not. I never saw him with my eyes to my knowledge.

John Hall. I am a carpenter. On the 7th of December Mr. Little came to my house, and told me a gentleman had come to his house with one of his 50 l. notes that he had been defranded of, and that he was to meet him the next day at the Valiant Trooper in Oxford-Road, and he desired me to go along with him; which I did. When we came there, Mr. Little went in some time before me, may be two seconds; I followed after and saw him and the prisoner in a private room together, the prisoner had got a pint of beer; the prisoner looked at me. Mr. Little said, This is one of my friends, it is no secret, he knows I have been defrauded out of these notes. They began talking about the notes. Mr. Little asked him whether he had given credit for the note or not; the prisoner said he had not, but that Levi had goods of him for it; and he said he wondered that Mr. Little was so simple as to give the note to the Jew, and bid him be careful always to look upon a Jew as a thief: he farther said, Levi told him it was as good as a Bank note. I spoke to the prisoner, and told him Mr. Little was a poor man, and not able to pay the notes when they became due, nor neither would he. The prisoner said, that when they became due, Mr. Little must be arrested for them, and he must bail it, and it would cost him 4 or 5 and 20 l. to defend it, and then he was to throw it into Chancery, before he could recover the note, and told us of a

man that was defrauded out of some notes as Mr. Little was, one Mr. Taylor in Bond-Street, by a Jew, and he was advised to take half the value of the note. He told Mr. Little he did not chose to hurt him, that it was better for him to lose part of it, than all, and desired him to go out with me and consult both together what he could afford to give. Mr. Little and I went out together into the tap-room. I told Mr. Little to offer him five guineas. Mr. Little said, he could not for shame offer him so little as five guineas. I said you may offer it, you may advance, if that will not do. We went in, he offered the prisoner five guineas. The prisoner said he could not take that, that was little more than two shillings in the pound; then there was a good deal more talk about it. The prisoner desired Mr. Little never to trust a Jew any more. Then he said Mr. Little must give him seven guineas. Mr. Little said if he could stay till Monday or Tuesday he should have seven guineas, but he had not so much then by him. I sent to a friend of Mr. Little's to borrow six guineas, That friend came into the room and sent him the money; and the prisoner agreed to take five guineas, saying, he had better take that, than go to law; and said the Jew was in the King's Bench. The five guineas were laid down upon the table; the prisoner had a pocket-book in his hand, out of which he took the note, and gave it to me, and laid his hand upon the five guineas. This is the note, (produced in court.) I took it up, and said this note is not indorsed; how came you by this note not indorsed? Said he, I would not give a halfpenny for an indorsement of a Jew, I would not give a farthing for that: he desired us alway to look forwards, and not backwards. I said to Mr. Little, Take care that it is your own note. He said, it was not his note. I said, Mr. Little before you judge too rash, what kind of paper did you write your notes on? He said he bought a half-pennyworth sheet of writing paper, and wrote two 50 l. notes; and the 100 l. note likewise was wrote on the same sheet of paper. I said this is a forged note, this was torn out of a memorandum-book, for here are the ilot-holes where it had been stich'd through. The prisoner looking at me, said, A forged note! If the rogue has paid me a forged note, I'll prosecute him, let it cost me what it will. I will go immediately to the King's Bench and have him taken up. I said to the prisoner, I took you to be a gentleman, and a very humane man, but I am afraid you are a villain. I put the note in my pocket-book, and Mr. Little took up the five guineas. Mr. Little said he should go before a magistrate. Then the prisoner put his hand to the waistband of his breeches, and turned as if going to the door to make water. I followed him to the door. As soon as he got to the door, he pulled his clothes on one side and set a running. I followed him a good many yards, perhaps two or three hundred yards: at last he turned up Chapel-court, where Mr. Little lives, and ran up into a corner, and offered to dodge me. I catched hold of him, when he was all of a tremble, and begged I would let him go home, and he would tell me how he came by the note. I told him he should not go home; that I should take him to the house where he came from; and then he might tell Mr. Little how he came by it. Going along, he told me he found it just at the bottom of Ludgate-hill, by the Fleet-market, in a memorandum-book. I said, Then why did you not tell us so when you came? He said, Necessity obliged him to do as he had, he wanted a few guineas to carry him abroad. I took him into the house again; and desired Mr. Little to go into the tap-room, and I would speak to the prisoner. Then I said, he had better confess, if he had any concern with the Jew, as it would be better for him. He said, he did not know Levi the Jew; and that he actually found the note wrote in a memorandum-book, and begged I would let him go. I said, it was not in my power; I would ask Mr. Little, if he would let him go, on condition he would assist him in getting him his notes. He clapt his hand to his heart, and said, As he hoped to be saved; he would come the next day. He gave me direction where to find him; which was, to enquire for Mr. Williams, Linen-draper, in Ratcliffe-high-way. I called Mr. Little in, and asked him if he would let him go; he said he would not. We took him then before Major Spinnage . When we came there, he would not tell his name, but denied that to be his name which he had wrote on the paper. When Mr. Little came to me, he told me, a gentleman that came fifteen miles out of London, had brought one of his-notes.

Cross Examination.

Q. Are you sure the prisoner said he received them of Levi a Jew?

Hall. He did tell me so; and when Mr. Little looked at it, he said it was not his hand writing.

Q. After you brought him back how long

were you before you took him to Major Spinnage ?

Hall. About a quarter of an hour.

Q. Had you any consultation about it with Major Spinnage , or any body else?

Hall. No.

Q. What day did he say he found it?

Hall. That I cannot tell. He said he found it at the bottom of Ludgate-hill. He said, My dear soul, let me go home, and I will tell you how I came by it.

Q. What are you, a master or journeyman?

Hall. I am a master carpenter.

Q. Is Mr. Little apt to deal in these sort of Papers?

Hall. I have known him but a little time.

(The note in question produced.)

John Hillam . I know Mr. Little's hand writing. I have seen a great many bills of his. (He takes the note in his hand.) I believe this is not his hand writing.

Q. What are you?

John Hillam . I am a victualler. I swear positively it is not his hand writing. I am quite clear. I have seen him write many times; he signs only T. and this is not so close as he writes.

The note read.

London, 10 Oct. 1768.

Four-months after date, I promise to pay to Isaac Levi , or order, fifty pounds, value received. Per Thomas Little , in Oxford-Chapel-Court, Cavendish-Square.


Prisoner's Defence.

On December the 17th, coming down Ludgate-hill, at the corner of the Fleet-Market, I found a penny memorandum-book. It was doubled, and almost to pieces. I took it up in my hand, and went as far as Mr. Garaway's, a friend of mine that keeps a seed-shop in Fleet-street, with the book in my hand. I said to Mrs. Garaway, Madam, I have picked up a memorandum-book; what is in it I can't tell; I have just opened it; whether they are Bank notes, or what. There is something in it. I presented it to her, after I had read this note. She took the book and opened it, and looked at it and read-it, and gave it me again. After that Mr. Garaway came in; he likewise saw the book and read the note: after that I put it in my pocket, and finding at the bottom it was directed to Thomas Little , Oxford-Chapel-Court, Cavendish-Square, I thought I would go and ask him if he had real value for that note. It was made payable to Isaac Levi , whom I never saw, I looked upon it that it was the property of Isaac Levi , and not Mr. Little; therefore I thought in justice it should be returned to Thomas Little again, if he had not received value for it, and leaving it to his generosity to give me what he pleased: I went to Mr.. Little on the 12th of December, and knocking at the door, he came himself. I asked him his name, and if he had not given a note of hand to Isaac Levi , a Jew, for 50 l. value, payable at four months? He said, I have. I said, Sir, have you had value for it? He said he had not; he told me he had given two notes, and had had no value for them, and that he would not pay them when they became due. I said, You need not make yourself uneasy about it. He said he was then busy in christening a child, and desired me to call in the evening; and accordingly I went. I paused in my own mind, that as he had not received value for it, I would return the note; leaving it to him to give me what he pleased. When I came, some conversation arose: he said he should not pay it, for he had not had value. I believe I did say, That might not make any essential difference, for whoever has given value for it, will demand the money of you. He said he should not pay. I said, very well. Upon this I did imagine there would be nothing more said. He said, Sir, you don't seem willing to part with it; what will you have for it? I said, How could he think I should take any thing for a note not indorsed? I said, I do not ask a farthing, I leave it to you. He said, I should be willing to give you something for it. Upon which he said, what will you have? I said, I shall leave it to you. Then they both whispered. I said, Do not whisper, as though you was afraid of saying something before me; you are at liberty to go out and agree between yourselves, and that shall be the thing. They went out, and came in again. Then Mr. Hall agreed that Mr. Little should give me five guineas, believing it to be Mr. Little's own note. I believe I might say that was very little for a fifty pounds note. I said I shall leave it to you entirely. I never insisted on any more than what they proposed to give me. Upon which they proposed then five guines afterwards. They came to a determination to raise the five guineas, and five guineas were laid down upon the table. Then they asked me, If I had the note? I took it out of my pocket-book. Mr. Little said, If it is my note, it is wrote Thomas. I then replyed, Mr. Little,

it is, and I believe it is your's. He said, it is dated October 10th, believing it to be his own note. I laid it down on the table and put my hand upon one of the guineas. Said Mr. Hall to Mr. Little, Are you sure this is your own hand writing? Mr. Little then said, his note was wrote upon a longer piece of paper. I then declared that I found it afterwards. They began to use me very roughly. My spirit was up, and instead of owning my name, when they said it was a forged note, I was under a consternation about its falling into my hands, and wrote Williams on that paper. The dispute rose pretty high, and they called names: I resented it, and upon that consideration I did not tell them where I lived; neither did I tell them my name that night. If I said any thing about seven guineas, it was leaving it to his generosity to give me what he pleased. I found words arose so high, that I expected they would terminate in blows; and so when I was out of the house I walked off. I am a dissenting minister, and my employ that of a school-master, and live in Virginia-Street.

For the Prisoner.

Mary Garaway . My husband keeps a seed shop in Fleet-Street, I remember Mr. Allen coming to our house one day, and said he had found a book: this was between one and two o'clock. He produced it: it was like a memorandum-book. There was a note in the book. He said he had just found it, and just by our house.

Q. Did you know him before?

Garaway. I have but a very short acquaintance with him.

Q. Whereabouts is your house in Fleet-Street.

Garaway. It is about the middle, between St. Dunstan's church and the Fleet-market.

Q. Did you read the note?

Garaway. There were three memorandums in the book. I read one note; Abraham Jacobs I think was one of the names.

Q. Should you know it again?

Garaway. I believe I should. (She takes the note into her hand.) This is something like it.

Q. When did he bring that book to your house?

Garaway. It was about a week before he was taken up.

Mr. Garaway. Some time in the beginning of Dec. (but the day I do not know) the prisoner came into my house and said he had picked up a pocket-book, and said there was a note of 50 l. in it, and shewed it to me. I said, if it was of any concern, it would be advertised in a few days, and if not, he had better advertise it. I looked at it: I remember it was signed by one Thomas Little for 50 l. (He takes the note in his hand.) I do not think this is the note. I think that note was wrote in a worse hand a great deal, and on a larger piece of paper.

Q. What sort of a memorandum-book was it?

Garaway. It had a marble cover. It was rather thiner than a common memorandum-book, but of the same kind. The note was wrote on one of the leaves, not separated, to the best of my knowledge.

John Kimpston . My acquaintance with Mr. Allen is but small: I have known him about a year. I know but very little of his character; all I know is, this is not his hand-writing.

Peter Ashmore . I am not come to his character. I heard Mr. Hall say, he believed the note was not Mr. Allen's hand-writing.

Richard Davis . I come only in respect to Mr. Allen's hand-writing. This is not his handwriting.

Q. What is his general character?

Davis. I have known him some years. I never heard him to be guilty of such an action.

Q. Is his character a good one?

Davis. So far it is.

Q. Do you know any thing against him?

Davis. No, never.

Thomas Lee . I have known him about four years: he was a preacher in Petticoat-Lane once. I know nothing of his character. I heard Mr. Little say, he believed the note was not the prisoner's hand-writing.

Richard White . I have known the prisoner between four and five years.

Q. What is his general character?

White. To me his character is as good as any man's in England, and I would have trusted him with any thing that fell in my way.

Acquitted .

View as XML