Offence: Royal Offences > treason
Punishment: Death > drawn and quartered
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Middlesex.] BE IT REMEMBERED, That at the general session of Oyer and Terminer of our Lord the King, holden for the county of Middlesex, at Hick's Hall in Saint John's street in the said county, on Tuesday the 24th day of April, in the 21st year of the reign of our sovereign lord George the Third, king of Great-Britain, &c. before William Mainwaring , esq. the Reverend Sir George Booth , bart. George Mercer , David Walker , esqrs. and others their fellows, justices of our said lord the king, assigned by his Majesty's letters-patent under the great seal of Great-Britain, directed to the same justices before named, and others in the said letters named, to enquire more fully the truth by the oath of good and lawful men of the said county of Middlesex, and by other ways, means, and methods, by which they shall or may better know (as well within liberties as without) by whom the truth of the matter may be better known, of all treasons, misprisions of treason, insurrections,
Middlesex.] The jurors for our sovereign lord the king, upon their oath, present, that an open and public war, on the 11th day of January, in the 20th year of the reign of our sovereign lord George the Third, by the grace of God, of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and so forth, and long before and ever since hitherto by land and by sea was, and yet is carried on and prosecuted by Lewis the French king against our most serene, illustrious, and excellent prince, our said lord the now king; and that one Francis Henry De la Motte , late of the parish of Saint George, Hanover-square, in the county of Middlesex , gentleman , a subject of our said lord the king, of his kingdom of Great-Britain, well knowing the premises, not having the fear of God in his heart, nor weighing the duty of his allegiance, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil, as a false traitor against our said most serene, illustrious, and excellent prince George the Third, now king of Great-Britain, and so forth; and contriving, and with all his strength intending, the peace and common tranquillity of this kingdom of Great-Britain to disquiet, molest, and disturb, and the government of our said present sovereign lord the king of this kingdom of Great-Britain, to change, subvert, and alter; and our said lord the king from the royal state, title, honour, power, imperial crown and government of this his kingdom of Great-Britain, to depose and deprive; and our said lord the present king to death and final destruction to bring and put, and the faithful subjects of our said lord the king, and the freemen of this kingdom, to bring into the most miserable servitude and slavery under the said French king; he, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, on the said 11th day of January, in the said 20th year of the reign of our said lord the king , and on divers other days and times, as well before as after that day, with force and arms, at the said parish of Saint George, Hanover-square, in the said county of Middlesex, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously did compass, imagine, and intend our said present sovereign lord the king, of and from the royal state, crown, title, power, and government of this realm of Great-Britain, to depose and wholly deprive, and the same lord the king to kill, and bring and put to death: and to fulfill, perfect, and bring to effect, his said most evil and wicked treason, compassings, and imaginations aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor, during the war aforesaid, to wit, on the said 11th day of January, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously, did compose and write, and cause to be composed and wrote, divers
And the said jurors, for our said sovereign lord the king, upon their said oath, further present, that an open and public war, on the said 11th day of January, in the 20th year of the reign of our said sovereign lord George the Third, by the grace of God, of Great-Britain, France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and so forth, and long before, and ever since, hitherto, by land and by sea, was and yet is carried on and prosecuted by Lewis the French king, against our most serene, illustrious, and excellent prince, our said lord the now king; and that the said Francis Henry De la Motte, a subject of our said lord the king, of his kingdom of Great-Britain, well knowing the premises, not having the fear of God in his heart, nor weighing the duty of his allegiance, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil, as a false traitor against our said most serene, illustrious, and excellent prince, George the Third, now king of Great-Britain, &c. and contriving, and with all his strength intending, the peace and common tranquillity of this kingdom of Great-Britain to disquiet, molest, and disturb, the government of our said present sovereign lord the king of this kingdom of Great-Britain to change, subvert, and alter, he, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, during the war aforesaid, to wit, on the said 11th day of January, in the 20th year aforesaid, and on divers other days and times, as well before as after that day, with force and arms, at the said parish of St. George, Hanover-square, in the said county of Middlesex, unlawfully and traiterously was adhering, aiding, and comforting, to the said Lewis the French king, and his subjects, then being enemies of our said present sovereign lord the king; and, in the prosecution, performance, and execution of the said traiterous adhering of the said Francis Henry De la Motte to the said Lewis the French king, and his subjects, then being enemies of our said lord the present king, he, the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor, during the war aforesaid, to wit, on the said 11th day of January, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the said county of Middlesex, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously did compose and write, and cause to be composed and wrote, divers other letters and instructions in writing, to shew and inform the said French king and his subjects, then and yet enemies of our said present lord the king, of the state, condition, and force of several of the ships of war of our said lord the king, and of the number of the ships and forces of our said lord the king, then and there designed and prepared for the defence of this kingdom, and the enemies of the said kingdom to attack, repell, and resist; and how some of the ships of war of our said lord the king were manned, and for what time divers ships of war of our said lord the king were furnished with provisions; and of the stations of divers squadrons of ships of war of our said lord the king, employed in prosecuting and carrying on the said war; and the names of the commanders of such squadrons, and the number and force of the ships of war of which such squadrons consisted; and also of the service in which divers other ships of war of our said lord the king were then employed in prosecuting and carrying on the said war; and also the number and force of the ships of war of our said lord the king within certain ports of this kingdom, and of the state and condition of several of the said ships; and of the numbers of the land forces of our said lord the king in this kingdom, and the dominions thereunto belonging; and of the times of the sailing of divers ships of war of our said lord the king, and the destination of the said ships, and the services in which such ships were employed, and of the times when other ships of war of our said lord the king were then expected to sail from this kingdom, and the voyages, cruizes, and services upon which such ships were sailed; and also of the times when other ships of war of our said lord the king, employed in the prosecution and carrying on of the said war, were expected to arrive in this kingdom; and also of the times of the sailing of several ships and vessels, belonging to divers subjects of our said lord the king, from this kingdom to the dominions of our said lord the king, and other places, in parts beyond the seas; and also
Murray, esq. then being one of the officers in the navy of our said lord the king, and the place of the destination thereof: and afterwards, and during the said war, to wit, on the 5th day of September, in the 20th year aforesaid, at the parish aforesaid, in the county of Middlesex aforesaid, he the said Francis Henry De la Motte, as such false traitor as aforesaid, in prosecution of his said treason and treasonable adhering, and purposes aforesaid, falsely, wickedly, and traiterously composed and wrote, and caused and procured to be composed and wrote, a certain other account, to be sent to certain subjects of the said French king, in parts beyond the seas, then and yet enemies of our said lord the king; in which
On Friday, the 13th of July, the prisoner was brought from the Tower, in custody of the sheriffs, to the prison of Newgate. He was set to the bar, and pleaded Not Guilty to his indictment. The court assigned him, at his own request, Mr. Dunning and Mr. Peckham for his counsel, and Mr. Platel for his solicitor.
On Saturday, the 14th of July, the court being opened, and the prisoner set to the bar, the jurors returned by the sheriff were called into court.
Apsley Pellat, of St. John's street, ironmonger - Challenged by the prisoner.
Hickman Young, of Hatton-street, upholsterer - Sworn.
The Clerk of the Arraigns charged the jury with the prisoner.
May it please your Lordship, and you Gentlemen of the Jury,
THE prisoner at the bar, Francis Henry De la Motte, stands charged with the crime of high treason. The indictment sets forth, that he, Francis Henry De la Motte, being a subject of Great-Britain, and well knowing that public war was carried on by Lewis the French king against our sovereign lord king George the Third , and intending to subvert the government of this kingdom, on the 11th day of January, in the 20th year of his present majesty, and at divers other days and times, at the parish of St. George, Hanover-square, in this county, did traiterously compass, imagine, and intend, to depose and kill our present most gracious Sovereign .
Gentlemen, The overt acts laid in the indictment, to prove this treason, are, that he, the prisoner at the bar, to bring to effect such his traiterous intention, did write, procure, and send from this kingdom to France, several letters, instructions, lists, and accounts, to inform the French king of the state, condition, designations, and stations, of the naval and military forces of this kingdom, in order to enable the French king to carry on the war against this country; and this is laid to have been done by the prisoner against the duty of his allegiance, against the peace of our sovereign lord the king, his crown and dignity, and against the form of the statute in such case made and provided.
Gentlemen, There is another count, charging the prisoner with high treason, in adhering to the king's enemies; and the overt acts laid are the same with those in the first count. - To this indictment the prisoner has pleaded that he is Not Guilty. We, who are of counsel for the crown, will call our witnesses; and if they prove the charge against him, it will then be your duty to find him guilty.
May it please your Lordship, and you Gentlemen of the Jury,
I AM of counsel on the same side, in support of this prosecution, which imputes to the prisoner at the bar the crime of high treason; and the particular acts which constitute the offence are charged by the indictment to consist of procuring and sending intelligence to the French king and his subjects, with whom this country is at war, to inform that government of the force, condition, equipment, and destination of the ships employed by his majesty in the prosecution of the war against France - of the destination of the ships of the subjects of this country engaged in the commerce of it - of the time of their failing - of the time when they are expected to arrive - and of every circumstance which can enable the enemy not only to defeat or avoid our enterprises, but to intercept and destroy our commerce. This, in substance, is the charge against the prisoner at the bar: it is a treason of the most dangerous nature. An aid and support of this sort, to an enemy, is the most effectual and important that any private man can possibly give.
The prisoner is supposed to be a Frenchman by birth; he certainly is not a natural-born subject of this country: but I must inform you, that whilst he is under the protection of the laws of this kingdom, he owes allegiance to it equal to that of any natural-born subject. It has been the custom of modern times, during war and hostilities, not to drive out of this country the subjects of the enemy who are resident in it, or even to prevent others from coming whose occasions or curiosity may bring them: but it has ever been understood, that, whilst they are here under the protection of the laws and government, they do nothing detrimental to the state, and that they owe the same allegiance to the king, during the time they stay, as any natural-born subject whatever.
Perhaps a philosopher might discover some shades of difference in the moral turpitude of an act against the state committed by those who owe perpetual allegiance to it, and by those whose allegiance is local and temporary; but in the scale of policy, and in consideration of law, no distinction will be found: the crime and the punishment are the same. If the enemy, by intelligence from this country, be assisted in the operations of the war, or in the means of defence, it matters very little whether that intelligence is derived from one of our own subjects, tempted and seduced to the service, or from spies of their own nation placed among us; the effects are the same; and therefore, if the prisoner at the bar shall appear to have committed acts which if done by a natural-born subject would have amounted to high treason, he is guilty of that crime.
At what time the prisoner at the bar first came into this country, I am not enabled to state to you with precision; but you will find him here, from the evidence I shall produce, in January, 1780. He had lodgings then, and till the time he was apprehended, at a Mr. Otley's, in Bond-street, for which he paid an hundred guineas a year. He made the figure of a gentleman; had his servants, and got introduced into the company of gentlemen: his employment necessarily called for every means of obtaining intelligence, which his address and management could possibly procure; and you will find, in the sequel of this cause, that a more vigilant, a more industrious, or a more able spy, was never placed in any country. The intelligence he procured will astonish you.
About June, 1780, a correspondence with the enemy was discovered, which continued a considerable time before the prisoner was detected as the author.
One Ratcliffe, the owner of a cutter at Folkstone, in Kent, who will be called, was hired by one Roger to carry dispatches, the nature of which was not explained, from Folkstone to Boulogne, in France, to be delivered to the commissary of marine there: he was to be paid 20 l. a trip, and to have also some recompence for his speedy conveyance there. This was the agreement that he made with Roger, who turned out
From this time every dispatch given to Ratcliffe was by him delivered to Mr. Stewart, who either brought it himself, or sent it to the secretary of state: it was opened, the material papers copied; the packet was then made up in the same manner, returned to Ratcliffe, and by him carried to Boulogne. They were generally delivered to the Commissary of Marines at Boulogne; the letters were signed by fictitious names, and the address was also fictitious: but some of the inclosures were directed to Monsieur Sartine, the Marine Minister at the court of France; others to a Monsieur Baudovin, who was also a minister employed in that court, and to other people resident at Paris. Various endeavours were made to discover the author, without effect: at last a scheme was formed to detect him by the means of Ratcliffe. Ratcliffe had frequently hinted that he was employed in the business, without mentioning by whom: he had not been paid the gratuity for dispatch, which had been promised him: he affected to quarrel with Roger on that account, and insisted upon seeing the principal. He came to town, and Roger agreed he should be introduced to the principal: he went to Roger's house; Roger went out, and brought with him the prisoner, Monsieur De la Motte. Ratcliffe made his complaint. Mr. De la Motte told him, that as to the first three or four dispatches, they had gone with all the expedition wished, but that some of the last had been so much delayed, that the same news, by other channels, had got to France before them, and that the dispatches were of no use. He told Ratcliffe he should not give him any thing then, but he assured him he would not only give him 20 l. a trip for the dispatches in future, but that he would give him, in the month of January, as a present, if he found the expedition in carrying them was according to his expectation, the sum of an hundred guineas. Upon this plain and unequivocal avowal, by the prisoner at the bar, of the correspondence, preparations were made to apprehend him.
It is now proper to notice, more particularly than I have yet done, the nature of the correspondence which was carried on through the means of Ratcliffe.
In the first dispatch, which was given by Ratcliffe to Mr. Stewart, was contained a letter addressed to Monsieur Sartine; it was dated the 30th of June, 1780.
(Here the counsel for the prisoner submitted to the court, that the Attorney-General ought not to be permitted to state the contents of the copy of a letter; that they founded their objection upon the wellknown rule, that a copy is not the best evidence which the nature of the subject affords, when the original is not proved to be not in existence; that it ought not to be permitted to any man, for any purpose, to part with the original, intending to substitute a copy in the stead of it; that because the admission of the copy would deprive the prisoner of an opportunity of proving that the original, which was stated to have come through the hands of the prisoner's
(The court were of opinion that the subject was taken up rather prematurely; that, as there were circumstances under which a copy might be admitted in evidence, it would not be right to stop the Attorney-General from stating that part of the case, and the proper time for making the objection would be when the copies were offered to be given in evidence.)
Gentlemen, I state to you the evidence I have to produce, and the nature of that evidence: if it is not competent in law when it comes to be offered, your own good sense will lay it out of the case; and the court, in their attention to subjects of this kind, will inform you that what is opened, of which there is no legal proof, ought to be erased from your memory, and to make no part of your consideration.
The first letter is addressed to Monsieur Sartine, and is dated the 30th of June, 1780: in the beginning it says,
"Answers to the questions of the 24th instant;" clearly referring to some questions to which he was to give answers. There is in the letter an account of the East-India affairs, and the India ships preparing to sail; and of the troops that are going there, and of the ships expected home, and a great deal of information respecting the India possessions. He then says,
"We have no news from Admiral Rodney: we know he is at Barbadoes with fourteen ships of the line, and that Rowley keeps at sea with seven, and that the others are under repair at St. Lucia." He goes on, and says,
"We receive very frequent accounts from Admiral Geary , who cruizes between the Scilly Islands and Ushant, and preserves his communication with the channel. We are getting ready several vessels with provisions for his fleet. The Marlborough failed last Tuesday from Spithead to join him. With regard to the other ships in our ports, we are getting them in readiness, but want men to fit them out. The Nonesuch of 64, Jupiter of 50, five frigates, and two fire-ships, continue off Cherbourg, of which you must needs be well informed. By my next letters, I shall send you the state of our ports, and of the fleets of merchant ships to come in, those of which, from Jamaica and the Leeward Islands, cannot arrive before the end of June."
In this packet there was one to Mr. Baudovin, which says,
"I have just received your letters of the 24th instant. You will be pleased not to send me any intelligence by the post, that is to say, not to write under any name whatever, either to me, or to Mr. Simper. In the name of God, write no more by the post to me, or to Mr. Simper! The man, whose address you sent me, committed a thousand follies and blunders upon the delivery of it: in the name of God, send no mortal to me upon any pretence whatever! For God's sake, take care to preserve my life." On the 1st of August following, you will find another, which is addressed to Mr. Baudovin; and he says, in the first paragraph of this letter, (the rest I shall not trouble you with particularly)
"I have the honour to send you herewith a very exact state of the naval forces, armed and to be armed this year; though observing in this dispatch my monthly custom (as for eight days the public papers give us a very imperfect account of the naval forces). I desire you to observe, that the particulars of this state, from the accuracy of my accounts, are always of two and three months before their execution." Then, after giving some intelligence respecting the ships that are out, follows,
"A list of the naval forces, armed or to be armed; their stations, destination, and crews, the first of August, 1780." You have then, first,
"Total 26 ships of the line, nine frigates, five cutters, and three fire-ships." Then there is a long list of the naval forces in the ports of England, on the first of August, and the destination of their armaments. Then a list of ships and frigates lately failed, as well as those that are to fail. Then he states the time of sailing, and the time expected that those in port would fail. This is followed with a Nota-bene:
"It is to be observed, that the ships above described, are all that we can arm this year; therefore I make no mention of those on the stocks, to the number of nine, which cannot be finished before about the month of March, 1781." Then there follows a list of the ships and frigates, with their force, cruizing upon their several stations. Then he recapitulates the whole of this catalogue of the ships that are in port, that are out, that are under the command of different squadrons, and that are cruizing. This is a letter of the first of August, 1780.
There is, in the next dispatch, letters of the 9th of August, 1780; one directed to Monsieur Sartine, in which there seems to be contained, a copy of some letter of Admiral Geary 's, stating his condition, and the situation of his ships. Then he takes up accounts from the Admiralty, where he states, that
"the utmost endeavours are used to reinforce the fleet under the command of Admiral Geary ; that they had dispatched the Valiant of 74 guns, and the Biensaisant of 64 guns. The Fortitude of 64 guns, the Prince William 64, the Monarque 70, the Princess 70, and the Gibraltar 80; these five ships are sitting out, one by one, and will be sent out, as they are in order, to join Admiral Geary." Then he goes on to state,
"the fleet of merchantmen, and the transports for New York, are still detained at Spithead; we cannot determine on letting them fail, before we have received the news from America. As to our maritime condition at home, look to my last list of the 1st of August, and add to it the contents of this letter, and you will be faithfully informed." Then he states,
"some cruizers are gone to the north. Our fleets, ready to sail at a minute's notice, consist, first, of that for New York, having 3000 German troops, and from 60 to 80 merchantmen; secondly, of a fleet for New York, with provision and ammunition, consisting of 36 vessels, which are to go from Corke; thirdly, of a fleet of 20 sail for Charles-town, and Savannah. Our fleets expected home in the course of the month, are, first, 300 sail from the Windward Islands; secondly, seven ships from the East Indies; thirdly, from Lisbon and Oporto; fourthly, from the Baltick " - This is the account he gives, in the letters of the 9th of August. There is, besides, a letter to the commissary of the marine, at Boulogne. I read this for the postscript that is to it.
"The letter, which you did me the honour to write to me, dated the 3d of this month, has been transmitted to me, in which, I see with concern, that orders have prevented your remitting to me the commission of the first, agreeable to my desire: I write in consequence, and make no doubt that you will be informed of the pleasure of our friend, desiring you, for the good of our house, in whatever way the merchandize may be sent, to be so good as to receive them, and send them, either by Lefevre or otherwise, and continue to inform me of the receipt of them, and that in the cautious style, which you will do me the favour to make use of. - Nota Bene, In every future letter, which I shall have the honour to send you for yourself, I will put for direction, for Mr. T. Smith."
There are in the future packets, intelligence to the same import, giving, at different periods, accounts of our naval and military armaments, which I will not take up the time of the court in stating particularly.
I have already taken notice, that upon the discovery of the prisoner, by the means of Ratcliffe, to be the author of this intelligence, preparations were made to apprehend him. His lodgings were at Mr. Otley's, in Bond-street, and a messenger, with a constable, was sent to seize him there.
The papers which he was so solicitous to get rid of, it will behove me to state to you. There were two papers; the first contained an account of the ships that had suffered, or were supposed to have suffered, by the storm in the West-Indies. -
"The Thunderer, Stirling-Castle, and Scarborough, missing, and given over for lost; the Phoenix, Victor, Barbadoes, the vessels lost, with every thing but the men; Ramilies, Southampton, Pallas, Pellican, Jamaica, Tobago, cruizing to windward of Jamaica, all well; Albion, Diamond, Janus, Porcupine, these ships are fit for sea at Jamaica; the Princess Royal was along-side the wharf at Jamaica, in order to be cleaned. The fleet destined for Gibraltar is said to consist of eighteen sail of the line, and to take six months provision, and to be got ready with all possible expedition: what the rest of the ships are, and when they will sail, is at present unknown. Romney, Monmouth, Jupiter, Jason, Diana, Active, Mercury, Shark sloop, Lark cutter, Infernal, victualled for eight months, and to take two regiments, namely, Humberston's and Fullarton's regiments, consisting of 1000 men each regiment; and to take a number of artillery; but when they sail, and on what service, is a profound secret. Commodore Johnstone has been sent for to London, where he is at present. What ships are going with Sir Hugh Palliser is not known; but hear he is to hoist his flag on board the Hero, which is expected here from Plymouth every hour. The Foudroyant and Bienfaisant, at Plymouth; the Canada, Edgar, and Warwick, are still on their cruise; the Canada was seen in distress. The Minerva is in the downs, to convoy the Bishop of Osnabrugh to Germany. The Alert has brought the undermentioned authentic account from Jamaica; - Ruby, all her quarter-deck guns thrown over-board; Grafton, ditto, ditto, ditto; Hector, all her guns thrown over-board except two; Trident, none or little damaged; Bristol, all her quarter-deck guns thrown over-board; Egmont, all dismasted, and received other considerable damages; Endymion, Ulysses, Pomona, Resource, Hinchinbrook, Leostoff, Endeavour, Badger, have received no damages but what may be repaired in fourteen days time." The second paper is an account of all the ships lying at Spithead; an account of all the ships lying in Portsmouth Harbour: and then there is a weekly account of the sick and wounded seamen in Haslar Hospital.
Amongst the papers found on the prisoner, there was a letter from a Mr. Lutterloh, of Wickham, near Portsmouth, addressed to his banker in Town: this shewed the prisoner
It seems, the French Ministry were extremely anxious to intercept the squadron destined on a secret expedition, under the command of Commodore Johnstone; and, in order that they might have the earliest intelligence of the failing of that squadron, the prisoner had given instructions in writing to Lutterloh, to dispatch two vessels the moment the squadron set sail, one to Brest, and another to Cadiz, with letters to the commandants at those ports, leaving blanks for the day and hour of sailing, and the number, names, and force of the ships, which were to be filled up by Lutterloh. The prisoner also left with him covers addressed to the commandants, in his own hand-writing: there were also many other covers, in which intelligence was to be sent, addressed in the hand-writing of the prisoner.
There were other papers in the prisoner's hand-writing, of less consequence; some letters, with promises of money, and a promissory note from the prisoner to Lutterloh, dated the 14th of June, 1780, for the payment of 121 l. on the 21st of the same month: this was part of the pay due from the prisoner to Lutterloh.
The hand-writing of the prisoner in these papers, led to a further discovery. In the beginning of the year 1780, there being a suspicion that intelligence was given to the enemy, under cover to a Mons. Grolay, at No. 64, Rue de Richelieu, at Paris, orders were sent to the post office, to stop all letters with that address: two were stopped, one dated the 11th of January, 1780, and the other, the 1st of December in the same year. From the comparison of those, with the letters wrote by the prisoner, it appeared manifestly they were of the same handwriting. They will be proved, to your satisfaction, to be of the prisoner's handwriting, though under seigned signatures. The first contains accounts of the ships at Portsmouth, and their destination; of the number of land forces getting ready for the West Indies, and America; the times when certain convoys were expected to sail, and other important intelligence: the other letter contains intelligence of the sailing of the fleet under the command of Sir Samuel Hood , for the West Indies.
These are the general outlines of the case I have to lay before you, against the prisoner.
There are a great variety of facts which constitute distinct overt-acts of treason.
Every act tending to subject this kingdom to the dominion of a foreign power, and done with that intent, is held, and rightly, to be an overt-act of compassing the King's death.
Intelligence given to an enemy to assist them in the operations of the war, is an overt-act of that species of treason, and also a direct adherence to the enemy.
Any measures actually taken, which manifest a traiterous intention, are overt-acts of treason.
The sending intelligence by the means of Ratcliffe, is an overt-act.
The sending the letters by the post, though intercepted from getting to the enemy, is an over-act; for the prisoner did every thing in his power to have them conveyed.
The hiring of Ratcliffe to carry intelligence to the enemy, although he had never conveyed any, is an overt-act.
The hiring Lutterloh to procure intelligence for the prisoner, to be by him sent to the enemy, and to dispatch immediate notice to the enemy of the sailing of Commodore Johnstone's squadron, is an overt-act.
And the obtaining the papers found upon the prisoner, from Lutterloh, in order to communicate the intelligence they contained, to the enemy, is also an over-act.
I trust we shall lay before you clear and full proof, against the prisoner, of all these acts of treason; but if we should establish one only, to the satisfaction of your minds, it will be your duty to pronounce him guilty.
Counsel for the Prisoner.
EVIDENCE FOR THE CROWN.
(The witnesses were examined apart.)
(Examined by Mr. Solicitor-General.)
What business do you follow? - The sea.
Where have you lived? - At Folkstone.
Have you had a vessel of your own? - Yes.
Look at the prisoner. Have you seen that gentleman before? - Yes, I have.
Where did you see him? - At Mr. Roger's, who lived in Greek-street, Soho, at No. 28.
What brought you and him together? - To make an agreement to carry some papers to Boulogne.
Did you talk to Mr. De la Motte upon that business? - Yes.
What did you go to him for? - To make a fresh agreement. I had been carrying some before. Mr. Roger had promised me a hundred pounds. He said there was a gentleman would give it me; and I wanted to see the gentleman.
And that brought you together with the gentleman at Mr. Roger's house? - Yes.
You said you had carried so me before? - Several.
Who did you receive them from? - Mr. Roger.
Where were they delivered to you? - Some at Canterbury; one at Folkstone; and at different places.
Where were you to carry them to? - To the commissary at Boulogne.
Did you go, as you were employed to do, with those papers, from time to time, to this gentleman at Boulogne? - I went up to the house but once: I employed the merchant's wife that we have concerns with to carry them up.
You know a merchant there, do you? - Yes.
Once you went to the commissary yourself? - Yes.
Why did not you at other times go to the commissary himself, but go to the merchant's house? - They did not like I should go, for fear there should be some suspicion.
You said you had carried some before, and the reason of your applying to him was to know about this 100 l.? - Yes.
What did he say to you upon this subject? - He said, if I could carry them, and carry them quicker, that he would give me the money; but he could not give it me now, because there were papers carried quicker than I carried them, and so they were of no use.
Did he complain, then, of your not going so fast as others? - He complained so far as this; he said, the news was carried over, they knew it before.
You had not been quick enough for him, then? - The first two or three times he liked it very well.
How much was you paid a trip for this? - Twenty pounds a time.
Did he tell you how often he would employ you? - Mr. Roger said it would be constant, once a week. Mr. Roger made that agreement with me first.
Did you at any time deliver to any person any of the papers you received from Mr. Roger? - Yes.
Who did you deliver them to? - To Mr. Stewart, a gentleman of Sandwich.
You said you received some from Roger; did you receive any from De la Motte? - No; I received 20 l. from him, but Roger gave me the papers.
You say you carried several to Mr. Stewart? - Yes.
After you had delivered them to Mr. Stewart, did he deliver them back to you again? - Sometimes he gave them to me himself, and sometimes he sent them back.
When they were either given back to you by Mr. Stewart, or sent back to you by him, did you carry them to Boulogne, as you was directed? - I did: I either carried them myself, or sent them.
Sent them, by whom? - A person I put in as master; I could not always go myself.
Court. Who is Roger? - A gentleman that lives in Greek-street, Soho, No. 28: he is a Frenchman, I believe.
What do you take Mr. Roger to be? - He did the business for this gentleman.
What did you say you took Mr. Roger to be? - He did the business for this gentleman; he was employed by this gentleman.
I want to understand from you the same question that my Lord put to you, what you took Roger to be? - He makes small boxes.
He is described as being a toyman; I hope he is truly described? - Yes.
You came to Mr. De la Motte, in consequence of being informed by Roger that a gentleman would give you 100 l. for something or other, if you would come to him? - Yes.
And that gentleman, you say, did give you a twenty-pound note, and not an hundred pounds? - He gave me a twenty-pound bank-note.
Be so good as to inform us what else he gave you: did he not give you two great trunks? - Roger gave me them.
What you got, and for which you received 20 l. were two large trunks? - There were two large trunks.
Do you know what were the contents of those trunks? - No.
What did you do with them? - I carried them over to Boulogne.
You did not then carry them to your friend Stewart? - I did not: Mr. Stewart opened one of them.
What did it contain? - Draughts; maps, I think they call them.
Prints? - Yes, and pictures.
What was in the other of them? - The model of a gun.
Then this is all that was contained in those two trunks, for the carriage of which to Boulogne you received 20 l.? - Yes.
Mr. Stewart did not stop either of them? - No.
He packed them up again, and then forwarded them on immediately, either by yourself or your sub-captain? - Yes.
This was the only time you ever saw Mr. De la Motte? - Yes, to my knowledge.
You are a Folkstone seaman, are you? - Yes.
I don't know whether I understood you rightly, or no; I understood you to say that Mr. De la Motte did not talk to you at all about any papers? - He talked about carrying the papers over.
These two trunks? - Yes.
But did not talk about any other papers? - No farther than saying, I had not carried quick enough.
Repeat the words he said upon that subject? - When Mr. Roger came up, he told Mr. De la Motte I was the gentleman: he said he could not give me the money.
Mention all that passed, and content yourself with saying all that passed? - To the best of my remembrance, he said, that the gentleman complained, over on the other side, that I did not carry them quick enough, and he could not pay me the money then, unless I could make satisfaction, and carry them quicker.
Carry what? - The papers.
Did he mention any thing about papers? - I can't say he did.
That you did not carry the things quick enough? - That I did not carry the things quick enough, did not give satisfaction.
Was this what he said, and all that he
Then, upon your oath, this is all that you recollect; that you did not carry the things quick enough, and therefore he could not give you the 100 l. Roger had been talking to you about? - No.
But he directed Roger to deliver you these two trunks, for the conveyance of which he delivered you 20 l.? - Yes.
This, upon your oath, is what passed, and this is all that passed between ye? - Yes, to the best of my remembrance; but there might be a word or two more pass.
But if there was any thing else, it is what you cannot remember? - It is; I cannot remember.
Mr. Solicitor-General. You said the prisoner, De la Motte, said you had not carried the things quick enough. What things had you carried for Roger before? - Small papers tied up, containing about as much as two or three news-papers would be.
And you had carried nothing else for Roger, had you? - No.
You told me that Mr. De la Motte desired Roger to fetch the paper, and he brought it down to you? - Yes; he did.
Did you carry that paper, or send it along with these trunks? - I sent it in the same boat.
You told me, but I don't know whether you meant to say so or not, that, as the reason why Mr. De la Motte would not give you the money, unless you went quicker, the news got there before what he sent by you, and therefore it was of no use. Did he say something to that purpose? - Yes.
You have not mentioned the time when this was? - It was some time in November last, I believe; I cannot rightly recollect, for I never set any thing down.
(Examined by Mr. Howorth.)
Do you know Mr. De la Motte, the prisoner? - Yes.
How long have you known him? - About two years.
Upon what occasion were you first introduced to his acquaintance? - By means of one Mr. Waltrond.
For what purpose, and upon what occasion? - To sell some things of my trade.
That was the first acquaintance you had with him? - Yes.
Were you at any time, and when, employed by any body to give to Ratcliffe any thing? - Yes: I gave to Ratcliffe some parcels of papers sometimes.
What was to be done with them? - To be carried over to Boulogne.
What were to become of them, when they were to be carried over to Boulogne? - The papers were directed to a Mr. Smith, a merchant at Boulogne.
In how many instances do you recollect having given papers to Ratcliffe? - I cannot remember that.
More times than one, two, three, or four? - Do you mean that I have been to Ratcliffe?
Yes, that you have been to Ratcliffe? - More than that.
Who paid Ratcliffe? - I paid him.
How much were you used to pay him for a trip? - I gave him twice only 15 l. a time, the other times 20 l.
Do you remember any complaint being made by Ratcliffe about the sum he had received; and did he express any desire to see any person besides you? - Yes, I remember that.
Who did he ask to see? - To see Mr. De la Motte.
Did he, in consequence of that application, see Mr. De la Motte? - He pressed me to see Mr. De la Motte.
Was he, in consequence of that desire, introduced to him? - I saw Mr. De la Motte at home at my house, and he saw him there.
Did you give any intimation to Mr. De la Motte who this Ratcliffe was that wanted to speak with him? - I said that Radcliffe wanted to speak to him.
Did Mr. De la Motte know who Ratcliffe was? - I don't know at all.
You did not tell him then the business he wanted to speak with him on? - No: I told him Mr. Ratcliffe wanted to speak with him;
Do you know whether he had ever seen Ratcliffe before? - I don't know.
Or knew his name, and what he was? - I don't know.
Had you no talk with Mr. De la Motte before that time about this Radcliffe? - Not before, that I recollect.
When Mr. De la Motte met Ratcliffe at your house, and you had told Mr. De la Motte that Ratcliffe wanted to speak with him, what did he say? - He said, I have nothing to do with Ratcliffe; but, he said, I will call upon you to see what he wants.
When he did call, what passed between Ratcliffe and him? - When Ratcliffe called, I left him and De la Motte in my room; I don't know what they did.
What room were they in, in your house? - In a little room.
Who introduced Mr. De la Motte into the room? Was Ratcliffe in the room? - Ratcliffe staid at home all the day, and dined with me; he was there since ten o'clock in the morning.
Was there any person in the room besides Ratcliffe, the prisoner, and you? - No: I was in the room with Ratcliffe when the prisoner came.
What did you hear pass between them? - Mr. De la Motte went directly into the fore room: I said directly to Ratcliffe, there is the gentleman that wants you.
Did you continue in the room, or then go out? - I staid a few minutes in the entrance-room where I was, and from there I went up stairs to fetch a packet to give to Mr. Ratcliffe, that Mr. Waltrond gave me two days before; I took it, and a long box full of prints he gave me to take care of; I gave that box and the packet to Ratcliffe, in the room.
Was De la Motte present in the room at the time? - He was, and told him to take care of the prints.
Who bid you go up stairs to fetch the packet and the box? - I don't believe I received any order from any body.
I wish you would recollect who sent you up for that packet, or why you went up for it at that particular time, when De la Motte and Ratcliffe were present together? - I was not in a hurry to give it him, but as he was going out.
How came you to go up stairs for this packet, when Mr. De la Motte was there? - Because I did not know that it was safe to give it him before.
Who sent you up for it? - I don't remember that I received any order for it; it was my inclination to go to fetch it, because I knew I had that packet to give to him.
You brought the packet down, and the prints? - No; the prints were below; the packet was up stairs.
What was paid Ratcliffe at that time, and by whom? - I did not give any thing to him at that time.
Did any body else give any thing to him at that time? - He told me he received 20 l. from Mr. De la Motte.
Was Mr. De la Motte present when he told you that? - No; that was after.
You paid him nothing at that time for that? - No.
How long were Mr. De la Motte and Ratcliffe together? - Five minutes, I think, but I cannot tell about the time: it was not long: they did not sit down.
I ask you, upon your oath, whether, before that time, or after that time, you received any packets from Mr. De la Motte? - I can't tell how many I received from Mr. De la Motte.
I don't want to know how many you received from Mr. De la Motte: did you receive some before, and some after that? - Yes.
What did you receive them for? - To give to Ratcliffe.
For what purpose? - To carry over to Boulogne.
When these packets were delivered, had you any orders from any person to give Ratcliffe directions about them, as to the dispatch he was to make? - The direction always was upon it.
Did you receive orders from any person, and did you give those orders to Ratcliffe, to make dispatch? - The order was given by Mr. Waltrond the first time; I don't remember that I gave any order.
When the packets were delivered you, for the purpose of being given to Ratcliffe to carry abroad, were any directions given by any person whether he was to make haste, or what? - I never gave any directions. Mr. Waltrond gave them the first time.
Who was Mr. Waltrond? - A friend of Mr. De la Motte's.
What business was he? - I don't know: at first he was in the smuggling way.
What was he when he brought you these packets? - I know he has his family in Paris; and I came over with him first.
He is a Frenchman? - Yes.
Did he carry on any business that you know of at the time you was carrying these packets to Ratcliffe? - He sometimes sent some prints over: he was a friend of Mr. De la Motte's: he told me several times he was in partnership with him.
Don't mention what he told you. Where is he now? - In Paris.
How long is it since he went there? - He went there the Sunday before Christmas.
Do you know a gentleman of the name of Lutterloh? - Yes; I know him very well.
Have you carried any letters at any time to Lutterloh? - No; I have never been at Mr. Lutterloh's. I know him; and have seen him about four or five times.
Where have you seen him? - I think it was the first time, or the second, that he called upon me when I was not at home: he left his directions.
Have you at any time seen him in the company of De la Motte? - Yes; I saw him two or three times after with Mr. De la Motte.
Where? - In Mr. De la Motte's apartments.
Any where else? - No; I don't remember.
Do you recollect how long ago it was? - No; I don't remember what time.
About how long ago is it? - I think, for about five months before De la Motte was taken up.
I see you have had a good deal of trouble. Who used to pay you for your trouble? - I don't know.
Upon your oath, have not you been paid for the trouble you have taken? - Yes, I have been paid myself for my trouble.
Who paid you? - Mr. Waltrond and Mr. De la Motte, both paid me.
How much did you use to receive? - Eight guineas a month.
Any thing besides that? - No.
Were you at your own expences? - No, I did receive always the money for the stage.
You have been paid these eight guineas, you say, both by Waltrond and De la Motte? - Yes.
What do you mean by the stage you was paid for? - The stage coach from Picadilly; Mr. Waltrond gave me only a guinea for my stage.
What do you mean by being paid for your stage? where was it to carry you to? - Canterbury.
Were you used to receive letters that were to be left at your house for any body? - Yes, sometimes Mr. Waltrond gave me directions to somebody; I don't know whom.
Do you remember any post marks upon any letters you received? - When I received them, I did not take notice.
To whom did you carry these letters? - Mostly when Mr. Waltrond was at home: when he expected letters, he used to dine with me.
Did you ever carry any to Mr. De la Motte? - Yes, one or two.
Do you recollect to whom they were directed? - I never minded that at all.
Were the letters addressed to Waltrond, to Mr. De la Motte, or to any person that you can remember? - No more than to Mr. Roger, No. 20, Greek-street, Soho.
Did you open them, or give them unopened? - I never opened one.
How came you, then, to deliver letters, unopened, to Waltrond and De la Motte, which were directed to yourself? - I had no letters at all to receive for myself. Mr. Waltrond asked me if I would do so; and I did not care.
Had you any directions to deliver them to Mr. De la Motte? - No.
You did, in many instances, you say, deliver letters to Mr. De la Motte: how
What was done with the letters after he had opened them? did he leave them, or take them away with him? - He never left them with me. Sometimes he burnt some; but he never read one to me.
Do you know what the post mark was? - I never minded, at all, the post mark. I believe it was from France; because I paid sometimes 6 d. sometimes 1 s. 6 d, and sometimes 2 s. for the postage.
Had they any English letters? - The directions were always in English.
Can you recollect what post marks were upon any of these letters? do you recollect the name of the town or place? - I can't tell. I never took any notice of that.
I think you said, just now, you knew but very little of Mr. Lutterloh? - I have seen him four or five times.
Was you examined before the grand jury? - Yes.
Was Mr. Lutterloh examined at the same time? - Yes.
You are, I think, a toy-man? - Yes.
You became acquainted, you say, with De la Motte, being introduced to him by Mr. Waltrond? - Yes.
Has De la Motte purchased of you, toys of various articles, and to various amounts? - I have sold some prints to him. When Mr. De la Motte came to me first, he saw some prints I had at home: he said, You have got some very fine prints there: he s aid, he should be glad if I would take the trouble to buy some for him: I said, with all my heart: and I bought, for him, from last July or August, till December; I paid, myself, 300 l. for prints I purchased for him.
Do you know whether De la Motte purchased any other articles that would be valuable upon the continent? - Many of these, I know, went abroad, because I myself carried them abroad.
Were they sent abroad by De la Motte? - Yes.
To whom did you deliver them? - Mr. Barwens, at Ostend.
I hardly need ask you, whether Ostend is not in the Austrian Netherlands, and does not belong to France? - It belongs to the Emperor.
Mr. Barwens is a merchant at Ostend? - Yes.
Did you ever carry any prints for De la Motte to any other place than to Ostend? - I gave some to Ratcliffe.
Did you carry any of these prints to any other place, save Ostend? - I sent some to a Mr. Le Clerk's, at Ostend.
Were those likewise prints? - It was the same: it was a square box; and there was, I saw, a print in it.
Do you know whether De la Motte dealt in any other articles besides prints? Did he purchase toys, or any thing of that kind? - There were some toys he purchased of me; I sold him some tooth-pick cases, smelling-bottles and cases, and snuff-boxes: these are what I make myself.
Do you know whether he dealt in any Birmingham goods? - He often spoke to me about Birmingham; I gave myself to Ratcliffe a packet with Birmingham goods in it; and it is lost.
Was that packet given to Ratcliffe by the order of Mr. De la Motte? - Yes; I received the order of Mr. De la Motte, and gave it to Ratcliffe.
Waltrond dealt in contraband goods? - Yes; he carried on a trade in them. After that, he had a place in the Temple; and he began again the trade.
At the time you used to buy goods for Mr. De la Motte, Waltrond dealt in contraband goods? - Yes, I bought some myself, some lace, for him.
I think you said Mr. De la Motte knew nothing of Ratcliffe? - I think Mr. De la Motte never saw Ratcliffe.
He told you he knew nothing of him, and that he wondered what he wanted with him? - When I told him Ratcliffe wanted to speak to him, he said, What does that man want with me?
Waltrond, you say, had given you a packet two days before Mr. De la Motte and Ratcliffe met at your house? - Yes.
Was that the packet, and the only packet, that went from your house by Ratcliffe with the two boxes? - It was one packet, and a round box, which I gave to him: he put a padlock to the box.
Did you see that box opened? - I put the prints into it myself: then Mr. Ratcliffe locked it up. Mr. De la Motte recommended me to put some oil-cloths round it. Ratcliffe took out of his pocket a padlock, and put it to the box.
So you put the prints into the box? - Yes.
Was there in that box any thing but prints? - No; I packed them up.
You have been asked some questions about some letters that had been left at your house. All the addresses of the letters were in English, were they not? - Yes.
Mr. Waltrond had no house of his own, I believe: he lived in lodgings? - He did.
And went from place to place to collect these contraband articles which he dealt in? - Yes.
As you were an acquaintance of Waltrond's, you was not, I suppose, much surprised that he should desire to have his letters left at your house? - No: he was my friend.
Having no certain place of abode?
No; he had a lodging.
Waltrond, you say, was acquainted with Mr. De la Motte? - Yes.
Therefore, if Mr. De la Motte happened to come to your house when you had a letter directed to Mr. Waltrond, and Mr. Waltrond was not there to see it, then Mr. De la Motte took that letter to carry to Waltrond, supposing he might see him sooner than you would? - I don't know what he might do with it.
Mr. Howorth. Perhaps you may have seen what these Birmingham goods were? - No.
Do you recollect seeing the model of a gun? - Yes; it was in the box.
When you have been carrying over to Ostend and other places these prints, did you ever take any paper or packet besides? - Yes; I took some letters.
From whom? - Mr. De la Motte and Mr. Waltrond.
Who did you carry them to? - I gave some to one Mr. Lefevre, of Ostend; and gave them when they took the packets to Mr. Barwen's.
Where were the packets to be conveyed to? - They were directed to Mr. Lefevre, of Ostend, and to Mr. Barwen's.
And where were they to go to from Ostend together with the prints? - The packets were carried sometimes to Paris, to Mr. Dessein. Mr. Lefevre was at Ostend, as a man there, for Mr. Dessein, and he took the packet, and carried it to Mr. Dessein: that is what he told me himself.
Court. What he told you is not evidence.
Mr. Howorth. You don't know that yourself? - No.
Was you paid for going to Ostend each journey? - I received ten guineas, twelve guineas, and fifteen pounds.
And your expences besides? - No; for all.
Have you made these journeys for any other person besides Mr. De la Motte? - For Mr. Waltrond and Mr. De la Motte.
Have you made these journeys for any other person besides Mr. Waltrond and Mr. De la Motte? - No.
Did you pay any person, when you was over there, for forwarding these packets? - No; I gave them to Lefevre.
What is he? - He is there a servant to make the trade for Mr. Dessein; he was sent to buy carriages, or any thing, for Mr. Dessein.
Mr. Peckham. You say you had received from 10 to 15 l. a voyage? - Yes.
How often have you received that from Mr. De la Motte? - I cannot tell that.
Did Mr. Waltrond or Mr. De la Motte pay you? - I believe Mr. Waltrond paid me the money first.
How often have you been these trips? - About six times in six months.
How many times did Waltrond pay you afterwards? - I am sure I received from Mr. De la Motte one or two times, or two or three times.
When these trunks were carried to Ostend, there you delivered them? - Yes.
Lefevre, you say, is a person who acts for Mr. Dessein, of Calais? - Yes.
Does not Lefevre live at Ostend? - Yes.
Has he an house or shop there, and attends the market to buy goods? - He has a room there.
And he purchases goods for Mr. Dessein, of Calais, you believe? - Yes: when I was there, I said to Lefevre, It is better for you, if you can; and he set off sometimes the next day, sometimes the same day, for Mr. Dessein.
And he was employed for Dessein? - I don't know: I have seen him there.
Mr. Howorth. And you saw him set off with the packet? - Yes.
Do you know that he took the packet with him? - No.
You often went in the stage from London to Canterbury? - Yes, when I gave the packet to Ratcliffe.
Court. When you went from London to Canterbury in the stage, and carried a packet, which you delivered to Ratcliffe, did you carry any thing else with you? - I do not remember that I did.
Court. Did you at any one time, when you went, go with a packet only, without any other parcel? - I do not remember that.
When you went from London to Canterbury, did you carry any thing except paper with you? - I never went to take any thing else.
Then, when you went from London to Canterbury with nothing else but the paper, you received eight guineas for going to Canterbury? - Eight guineas a month.
And how often did you go down to Canterbury? - I have been always three or four times a month.
Mr. Dunning. These eight guineas a month were also for what you did in town? - Yes.
The whole employment you had under these people was paid for at eight guineas a month? that was for all you did, whether by going into the country, or what you did in town? - I was paid for the carriage too. When I bought prints for Mr. De la Motte; he always paid me a shilling in the guinea commission.
The only question I meant to put to you was, whether these eight guineas included payment for any thing done in town, or any thing besides your journeys to Canterbury? What was you to be paid eight guineas a month for? Did you receive that eight guineas a month for the whole that you did? for going to Ostend, for buying the prints, and the whole? or was it only for going to Canterbury? - I received eight guineas a month, when I was to go to Canterbury, or to Folkstone. I have been two or three times to Folkstone.
Examined by Mr. Norton.
Where do you live? - At Sandwich.
Do you know Mr. Ratcliffe? - I do very well.
Was any application made to you, by Mr. Ratcliffe, about the month of July last? - There was.
What was the nature of that application? Mr. Ratcliffe delivered to me a packet, which, he said, he was employed by Mr. Roger to carry over to Boulogne; which packet he was to deliver to the commissary there.
Mr. Dunning. Do not mention what he said to you: what did he do? - He delivered to me a packet at Folkstone.
What did you do with that packet? - I brought it to town.
Have you any minutes? - I have, (refers to his minutes) I received it upon the 3d of July, at Folkstone. I brought it to town immediately: and on the 4th, early in the morning, I delivered it into the hand of Sir Stanyer Porten, at his house, in St. James's Place.
What sort of packets were they? - This was put up in a piece of white paper, tied with a string, and sealed up.
Of what size? - To the best of my recollection, the first was not so large a packet as many subsequent ones. I apprehend the first packet might weigh about three quarters of a pound.
Was any superscription upon it? - Yes, it was directed for a Mr. Smith, negociant, at Boulogne.
What became of that packet? - Sir Stanyer Porten said, the packet must be opened, and the contents looked into. I was desired to wait, to see whether it was to be returned or not: I waited several hours. I delivered the packet to Sir Stanyer Porten, I believe, about six in the morning. Sir Stanyer was in bed; I called him up, and I believe I received it back again about one. I carried it back myself to Folkstone, and gave it to Ratcliffe.
What packet did you receive next? - The next which came to my hands. I did not receive from Ratcliffe; I was not in the way, and it was delivered to a friend of mine at Folkstone. It was given to me at Sandgate, near Folkstone, by Mr. Farley of Folkstone.
Go on to the next packet. - On the 16th of July, I received, from Ratcliffe, at Canterbury, another packet; that packet I put up into a cover, and sent it, by a post-office express, to Mr. Stephens, of the Admiralty: I wrote, in that cover, a direction to whom he was to deliver it. I received that same packet back again, at Canterbury, in the night between the 17th and 18th of July, about midnight, or perhaps rather after. It was brought back to me by a Mr. Winchester, a messenger of the Admiralty: he came to my bed side with it.
What was done with that packet after you received it? - I had a servant of mine there in waiting: I put that packet into a cover, and sent it to a builder, at Sandgate, who knew the direction, one Mr. Wilson.
Is he here? - No. On the 2d of August, in the morning, I met Ratcliffe on Westminster Bridge: I was coming to town in a post chaise; he was going down in the diligence; he stept out of the diligence, and got into my chaise; he gave me a packet which he said he had just received from Roger, to carry to Boulogne. I carried that to Sir Stanyer Porten, and delivered it myself: I waited till they had done with it, and then took it, and carried it back to Sand-gate, and gave it to Ratcliffe. On the 10th of August, I received in the evening another packet, at Canterbury, from Ratcliffe. One Scott, an Admiralty messenger, went to Canterbury with me; I gave it him, and he took it up to the Admiralty. I received that packet back, by Scott, at my own house, at Sandwich; and I sent it by my servant to Sandgate, under a cover, directed to Mr. Wilson, for him to deliver it to Ratcliffe. On the 18th of the same month, I received at Sandwich a packet from one Lewis Benfield , who brought it me from Ratcliffe: he was one of the boatswains of the boat.
Mr. Peckham. Is he here? - No.
Mr. Peckham. Then that is done with; that must be scratched out.
Mr. Peckham. Is he here? - Not to my knowledge.
Mr. Peckham. Then that is nothing.
Mr. Stewart. The next packet went through my son's hands, and not through mine.
Is your son here? - He is. I never saw the packet: I knew there was one coming, and sent him to receive it. There was one about the 22d of August; but I can't speak perfectly to that.
Mr. Attorney General. Pass over any that you can't speak to particularly.
Mr. Stewart. On the 15th of September, I received, at Canterbury, from the hands of Ratcliffe, another packet: I sent that, by a post-office express, to Sir Stanyer Porten; and received it back again, from him, at Folkstone, on the 17th, in the morning, by an express. I gave it into the hands of one Wilson, who is since dead: he was one that belonged to Ratcliffe's boat. On the 18th of November, I received another packet, at Canterbury, from Ratcliffe; I sent that, by a post-office express, to Mr. Stephens, at the Admiralty, who returned it back in the same manner to Canterbury: after I received it back, I sent it, by a post-office express, to London; desiring Mr. Stephens to return it back to me,
Do you know of any other packets delivered to you from Ratcliffe? - I had several which came from Boulogne.
Mr. Attorney General. That is not enquired into.
Was there any packets that you received, with your own hands, from Ratcliffe himself, which were delivered into the hands of Sir Stanyer Porten? - Yes, I delivered one to him on the 4th of July; that which I received on the 3d from Ratcliffe's own hands.
Do you know of any other? - On the 17th of December, I delivered one to him, which I received from Ratcliffe on the 16th; that is all.
Sir STANYER PORTEN sworn.
Examined by Mr. Attorney General.
You are in the office of my Lord Hillsborough, one of the secretaries of state? - I am.
Did you ever receive, from a Mr. Stewart, any packet? - Several.
I mean, directly from the hands of Mr. Stewart? - I received several, from his own hands, and others, that he transmitted to me.
Have you any minutes of those you received from his own hands? - The first I remember perfectly; I received it on the 4th of July last year.
Did you cause it to be opened? - I carried it myself to the Post Office; there it was opened, and I read the contents of it: after that, while somebody else copied one of the letters, I copied two myself.
Did you take the copies of all three? - I have the copies of all three; two in my own hand, and one in another person's.
Who is that other gentleman? - I forget his name, but here is a person here, who, I believe, will swear to it.
Did you copy in the same place? - No, in different rooms: I was by myself.
Had you read the dispatch which he copied? - I did, before he copied it.
Now, Sir Stanyer, after you read this dispatch, and had taken copies, what did you do with the papers? - The originals were given to one in the Post Office, who made them up in the cover again, as I supposed, and he delivered the packet back to me. The originals I delivered back to Mr. Stewart.
We will first go to those you received from the hands of Mr. Stewart. - I received another, from Mr. Stewart, on the 2d of August; I carried it myself to the Post Office; it was opened, and I read all the contents, but took no copies of them myself.
Were any copies taken? - They were taken by some of the gentlemen at the Post-office. The packet with the originals, after they were put in again, was delivered to me.
What became of the copies? - The copies were sent to me in another packet.
You have these copies? - I have.
What did you do with the packet that contained the originals? - I conveyed that to Mr. Stewart.
Do you know of any others? - There were several others which were conveyed to me by Mr. Stewart; but I never saw the contents of them, only those of the 4th of July and the 2d of August; not the originals.
What did you do with them, then, when they came to you? - I delivered them to Mr. Todd, at the Post-office, under another cover.
What was to be done with them at the Post-office? - I desired them to copy them, to return the originals in the original packet, and send the copies to me.
On the outside what was there? - Two covers: the inside was marked private, that he might open them himself, or one of his trusty officers.
Did you receive those packets back again as the packets containing the originals? - I regularly received the original packets, and the copies too, in different packets; then I either delivered them into Mr. Stewart's own hands, or conveyed them to him, either thr ough the hands of Mr. Stephens, of the Admiralty, by expresses of the Post-office, or by the Admiralty messengers, and ordered them to be forwarded to the places to which they were directed.
Please to produce those you can speak to yourself. - These (producing them) are of the 4th of July; two of them are copied by myself, No. 2. and No. 3; No. 1. was copied by another person.
Did you read the original of No. 1. before it was copied? - Yes, I did.
Did you read the copy made by the clerk of the Post-office, after it was made? - I did.
Mr. Dunning. The original you had not in your possession, to compare with it? - No.
Sir Stanyer Porten cross-examined by Mr. Peckham.
There were three letters in all, on the 3d of July? - Yes; No. I, 2, and 3.
Two of which you copied yourself? - Yes: I made an extract of No. 3, because the latter part only related to private affairs.
No. 1. you did not copy? - No.
Neither did you compare the copy with the original? - I did not.
How many letters on the 2d of August did you copy yourself? - I did not copy one.
Then the only one you know any thing of by copying yourself is No. 2.? Who did you give those originals to at the Post-office? - I gave them either to Mr. Todd, or a Mr. Maddison, who is the nephew of Mr. Todd.
Or to a Mr. Somebody else, whose name you may have forgot? - No, never.
You cannot recollect who the gentleman was that you gave them to? - That on the 4th of July, I think, to Mr. Maddison.
How many did you give to either one or the other, on the 2d of August? - One, and two inclosures in it.
To whom did you give those three? - Either to Mr. Todd or Mr. Maddison, you may depend upon it.
(Examined by Mr. Solicitor-General.)
You are in office in the Post-office? - I am.
Do you remember Sir Stanyer Porten at any time bringing some packets to you on the 1st of July? - Yes.
Do you remember the contents of that packet being copied by any person? - Yes.
Look at the copy, No. 1. Whose handwriting is that? - It is the hand-writing of a Mr. Dupree, who is dead.
Mr. Peckham. How do you know that he is dead? - I attended his funeral.
Mr. Peckham. We object to the reading of these copies, or to the reading of the originals, 'till such time as it is proved that they came from the hands of Mr. De la Motte.
Mr. Attorney-General. The ground upon which we offer to read these letters, is, that De la Motte and Waltrond appear from the evidence to be carrying on the same business, and that sometimes the packet is brought by one, sometimes by the other; he is paid by one, or he is paid by the other, indifferently; and Ratcliffe says, De la Motte told him that the two or three first packets went in proper time. Roger would not distinguish which packets he received from Waltrond, or which he received from De la Motte; but he received from both, and was paid by both for his trouble; and also for the money he paid Ratcliffe, the twenty pounds a trip, to carry these packets to Boulogne. Ratcliffe proves that he said the two or three first went in good time; but complained of a delay latterly, and that, unless he carried them with more expedition,
Mr. Dunning. No. 3. being an extract, that certainly cannot be read, if a copy may: therefore the question arises upon No. 2. and it is very clear, that there is no proof from any one witness, that he affects even to believe, much less will say, that No. 2. was ever received from the prisoner, or that it was ever communicated to him, or that he knows any thing more of the matter than I do. Your Lordship is told, Waltrond and the prisoner carried on the same trade. The trade, if it is to be called a trade that they carried on, is, I suppose, in these pictures, Birmingham goods, toys, &c. If there is any connexion between them, it is undoubtedly of that sort. A partnership in treason, is a new species of trade to be carried on, that what one man does, should it be high treason, the other shall be answerable for; though it does not appear he knows any thing of the matter. This is independent of the general objection, that these copies ought not to be received at all, even if they were authenticated; the paper in question wants that authentication. It was said De la Motte is proved, in conversation with Ratcliffe, to have spoken of some of the earlier packets having gone in time, and some of the latter ones having been delayed. What these earlier packets were, we have not a tittle of evidence about. The learned gentleman, in his opening, said this correspondence had gone on for some time, and that Mr. Ratcliffe, supposed to be struck with a qualm of conscience, of which Ratcliffe gave no evidence, applied to Mr. Stewart.
That the letter now in question, was not a part of what was first sent, is clear. That it is not among those which were last and latterly sent, is equally clear. It seems to me to stand about midway, as far as we can judge, from the evidence of those packets which Ratcliffe received, and which he disposed of in the manner your Lordships have heard. There is another way of proving these were not among the letters that were the subject of that conversation; for in that conversation, De la Motte complained of the delay which rendered the latter packets useless. This does not apply to this packet; for it underwent, by the intervention mentioned, a delay of two days; therefore, as far as one can judge from the evidence, this packet is excluded; however, it is enough for me, that the evidence does not apply to prove this to be a packet received by the witness from Mr. De la Motte.
The ground upon which it is attempted to be sustained, is, that, although it be not the original, yet, being a copy, it is to be received; because a copy, say the gentlemen, under the circumstances of this case, is as good as the original; and for the purpose of sustaining that argument, they assume that this is an authenticated copy; which we deny. Sir Stanyer Porten says, that a letter of this date he copied; but where did that letter come from? It came from Stewart. Stewart told the court, that what letters he gave Sir Stanyer Porten, he received from Ratcliffe, in this instance, with his own hands. Roger speaks of a letter, which he two days before received from Waltrond, of which letter De la Motte knew nothing; of which letter he was the possessor during these two days; but that at the time when De la Motte was sending by Ratcliffe two boxes, one containing prints, and nothing but prints, the other containing the model of a gun, and nothing but the model of a gun, he says he put into the hands of Ratcliffe a packet, which he, Roger, had received two days before from Waltrond; so that the receipt of a single packet from De la Motte is absolutely excluded, if Roger speaks truth: but your Lordships will not, in deciding this question, decide which of the witnesses speak truth, which is undoubtedly the province of the jury. Taking every tittle Ratcliffe has said to be correctly true, the upshot he has said is, he either received this
Mr. Peckham. I will suppose, for a moment, that the paper produced is not a copy, but the original. Under these circumstances, can that original be given in evidence, to affect Mr. De La Motte? It turns upon a very plain and simple question: Can a letter be given in evidence against the prisoner, which has not been proved to have been in his possession, or of his hand-writing? What is the evidence that has been given to prove that this was ever in the possession of De La Motte? Sir Stanyer Porten says, that the copy he now produces (I will call it the original) was received by him from Stewart. Mr. Stewart swears that he received that identical letter from Ratcliffe: but here the chain is broken; for Ratcliffe says, that he either received it from Roger, or from Waltrond, which of them he cannot tell; but he positively says he did not receive it from De La Motte. Is Waltrond here, to say that the letter he gave Ratcliffe was the letter he received from De La Motte? No. Mr. Roger is here: Has he said that the letter he gave Ratcliffe was received from De La Motte? No; precisely the contrary. Roger swears that he never gave any letter to Ratcliffe, which he had received from De La Motte: Ratcliffe says he never saw De La Motte but once, which was at Roger's; and at that time, by the evidence of Ratcliffe himself, as well as by the evidence of Roger, De La Motte had not the letter in his possession: instead of evidence that De La Motte gave this letter to Ratcliffe, there is the evidence of Ratcliffe that he did not; which is confirmed by the testimony of Roger. I am ready to acknowledge that Ratcliffe insinuated, that Roger went up stairs for the letter, by order of Mr. De La Motte; but that very witness has positively sworn (and he is stamped with credit by the high authority which has called him) that the letter which he gave to Ratcliffe, he had received two days before from Waltrond.
I conceive that the first thing to be disposed of is, Whether, taking this as the original, it could be given in evidence against Mr. De La Motte, when there is evidence before the court, that the letter did not come from him, but from another? When your Lordships shall be of opinion, that the original could be given in evidence, it will be time enough for me to object to the production of the copy; as the original has confessedly been in the hands of government, and is not destroyed.
Mr. Attorney-General. Mr. Peckham says, that Mr. Ratcliffe is contradicted by Mr. Roger in the circumstance of De La Motte's ordering the packet to be brought down. Your Lordships will recollect, that is the very last packet Ratcliffe took, which was in the month of December; it is totally a different time. Our producing Roger is not, as the court fees, because he is a witness of high credit, but to connect the business with them. It is with the jury intirely what credit they will give to the witnesses that are produced; and so will be the letter, when it is received; but in my opinion, the ground upon which it is to be received is with the jury still, and they must decide that point. Mr. Ratcliffe has repeatedly sworn, he never received any from De La Motte, (but that is not the question here) all he received were from Roger. Then who did Roger receive them from? He says, I received sometimes the packets from Waltrond, and sometimes from the prisoner; he added farther, that he received pay from both of them. This certainly is evidence; not of a partnership in trade, as it is called, but, in the language of the law, of a conspiracy between these people to give intelligence to the French: and whether one delivered the packet to Roger, or the other, appears to be quite immaterial: each of them gave Roger the money to pay to Ratcliffe; and that he has been paid himself the wages indifferently by both of them. Then is not this a fact for the jury to determine, whether these two men
Court. It seems as if the prisoner and Waltrond were in a conspiracy together (and that is a fact for the consideration of the jury) to send intelligence to the French; but the intelligence which was sent must be laid before the court by legal evidence. The question now for us to give our opinions upon, is, Whether the copies which are produced, marked No. 2. and 3. are evidence admissible in this case? With respect to these two letters, they are proved to have been delivered by Ratcliffe to Stewart, and by Stewart to Sir Stanyer Porten, and copied by him. But the charm is between the delivery of the letter from the prisoner, or from Waltrond (if the fact were so) to Ratcliffe; for, as the case stands now, there is no evidence to shew how these two letters, which were brought to the Secretary of State's office in July, came to the hands of Ratcliffe; and, unless there be some evidence to prove that these two letters, which afterwards came into the hands of Sir Stanyer Porten, and by him were copied, were delivered to Ratcliffe by the prisoner, or by Waltrond, or some person sent or employed by them, in my opinion, they ought not to be received. The case upon the evidence is clear, as to the condition of the papers, and what became of them from the time they got into the hands of Ratcliffe. He certainly did not mention any particular time when he first began to receive letters or packets from Roger; nor does he say that he delivered any papers whatever that were received from him in the month of July. The copies can be evidence only in one of two ways; namely, that from a date prior to the time these letters got to the hands of Stewart, Ratcliffe delivered all the packets generally to Stewart which he received from Roger, and no others; or by saying pointedly, that he received from Roger this packet dated in the month of July, which he afterwards delivered to Stewart. Neither of these things are proved; and unless one of them were proved, I think it impossible to receive these copies in evidence.
Examined by Mr. Howorth.
Did you apprehend the prisoner De la Motte? - I was one of the persons who did apprehend him.
Where did you apprehend him? - At one Mr. Otley's, in Bond-street, on the 5th of last January; it might be between the hours of six and eight in the evening.
How long had you been waiting for him? - We went in the morning, on the 4th, between the hours of ten and eleven. We waited all that time. His own servant was with us.
He had not been at home the preceding night? - No; he did not come home all night.
Describe the manner in which you apprehended him, and the circumstances attending it. - Between the hours of seven and eight o'clock there was a double rap at the door: the servant said,
"I believe that is
"my master: I will go down stairs." I said,
"No; do not go down by yourself." Mr. Prothero went down along with him. He opened the door, and let his master, Mr. De la Motte, in. When his master came as far as the stairs, the servant said something to him, but what I can't tell: immediately he turned upon his heel, and went as if he was going to get out again.
Did the servant speak to him in French or English? - I cannot tell. Mr. Prothero laid hold of him immediately, and told him he should go up stairs. Prothero desired I would assist him: I likewise got hold of him; and while we were together, Mr. De la Motte threw some papers out of his waistcoat pocket upon the stairs. I picked them up, and afterwards delivered them to Mr. Chamberlayne.
All the papers you found you delivered to Mr. Chamberlayne? - Yes; I did.
Bank-notes and all? - No; there was a 10 l. Bank-note, and he had it back again.
He threw out a Bank-note? - He did.
And you gave it him? - Yes.
That was very good. I hope you will always copy that example. - I hope I shall.
How many papers were there that you did not give back? - I believe there might be seven: he tore one to pieces.
Did you read them, and know what they were about? - I believe I could tell the particulars: there was something about a ship called the Egmont. One he tore to pieces; but it was of no use; there was nothing upon it.
These papers (producing them) I received from Jellous: they have been in my custody ever since.
PAPERS (produced by Jellous) which were read in Court.
Diligente Guard-ship at present ordered to receive Dutch prisoners.
Britannia Completing provision for six months, and will be ready for sea
in ten days.
Victory Ditto ditto.
Duke Ditto in fourteen days
Ocean Ditto in ten days.
Queen Ditto ditto.
Formidable Under no order at present.
Provision for six months, and fit for sea in ten days.
Dublin Under orders for Plymouth.
Fortitude Completing six months provision, ready in eight days.
Nonesuch Ditto ditto.
Inflexible Under orders for the Downs.
Monmouth One of Commodore Johnston's squadron, eight months provision.
St. Alban's Completing six months provision, ready in seven days.
Buffalo Ordered to the Downs.
Jupiter Commodore Johnston's squadron, eight months provision.
Monsieur Ditto ditto.
Alarm Ditto ditto.
Active To go with Commodore Johnston, eight months provision.
Mercury To go with Commodore Johnston, eight months provision.
Solebay Fitted for foreign service.
Vestal Fitted for Channel service.
Pegasus Fitted for foreign service, ready for sea.
Shark Commodore Johnston's squadron, eight months provision.
Alert Just arrived from Jamaica, last from Ireland.
Infernal Commodore Johnston's squadron, eight months provision.
Satisfaction Arrived from Ireland.
Lightning Harpy Firebrand
Under no particular orders, but supposed will go with the Gibraltar fleet.
IN PORTSMOUTH HARBOUR.
Union Completing provision for six months, fit for sea in twelve days.
Magnificent Ready for dock.
Raisonnable Ditto ditto to the Repulse.
Repulse, 64 Will be ready in fourteen days.
Lion Ready in fourteen days, completing provisions for six months.
La Fortune , 44 Ready for dock.
La Nymphe, 44 Is to go with Commodore Johnston, if she can be got ready in time.
Fox Fitted for Channel service; is to convoy the trade to Ireland.
Warspight Fitted to receive new-raised men brought from different parts, but has
Dragon no recruits.
Hospital ships to receive recovered men from the hospitals.
On a cruize.
In the Downs.
On a cruize.
Prince of Wales
I don't see in my list the Princess Amelia - my friend must have overlooked her.
Thunderer Stirling-Castle Scarborough
Missing, and given over for lost, as there has not been the least heard of them.
The vessels lost, with every thing but the men, and 70 of them are missing.
Ramilies Southampton Pallas Pelican Jamaica Tobago
Cruizing to windward of Jamaica, all well.
Albion Diamond Janus Porcupine
These ships are fit for sea, at Jamaica.
The Princess Royal was along-side the wharf at Jamaica, in order to be cleaned.
The fleet destined for Gibraltar, it is said, is to consist of 18 sail of the line, and to take six months provision, and to be got ready with all possible expedition: what the rest of the ships are, and when they will fail, is at present unknown.
Commodore Johnston's squadron.
Victualled for eight months; are to take two regiments, namely, Humberston's and Fullarton's regiments, consisting of 1000 men each regiment; and to take a number of artillery: but when they fail, and on what service, is a profound secret. Commodore Johnston has been sent for to London, where he is at present.
The Foudroyant and Bienfaisant, at Plymouth; the Canada, Edgar, and Warwick, are still on their cruise; the Canada was seen in distress; the Minerva, in the Downs, to convoy the Bishop of Osnabrugh to Germany.
The Alert has brought the under-mentioned authentic account from Jamaica.
Grafton Ditto, ditto ditto
Trident None, or little damaged
Bristol All her quarter-deck guns thrown over-board
Egmont All dismasted, and received other considerable damages.
Have received no damages but what may be repaired in fourteen days time; but were, as they were, unfit to go to sea.
NUMBER VI. PART II.
KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON, &c.
YOUR favour of the 2d instant, I received yesterday, and make no doubt of the bill on Mr. Brurker being duly honoured. I take the liberty of inclosing a frank for me.
I am, SIR,
Wickham, 4th June, 1780.
In the above was inclosed a frank, Capt. Lutterloh, Wickham, Hants. Free, H. Scott.
YOU will much oblige me to send me a few of the undermentioned (address) franks. I recommended another gentleman to you, hope you find him a good customer: if you should change your habitation, beg you will let me know your abode; whatever I may owe you for franks, be so good as to put it into my cousin's bill, who will pay you. Gretham begs to be remembered; and I am, with wishing you the compliments of the season,
Your very humble servant, H. LUTTERLOH.
Wickham, 4th Jan. 1781.
P.S. Pray what is the best sealing-wax per pound?
Mrs. Wall, Little Carrington-street, May Fair.
(There was another paper, which was only a bill for entertainment at the Bush Inn, Farnham.)
Mr. Chamberlayne. She is not here.
Mr. Peckham. Who is she? - I really do not know. I only know, that I have had a letter put into my hands, which they told me was wrote by Mrs. Wall. She said she had been at the Tower, and was afraid she should be subpoena'd against Mr. De la Motte, and she determined to keep out of the way.
Mr. Dunning. The simple question was, What is this woman? where does she live? does she sell news papers? - All that I know about her is, she keeps a little pamphlet shop; and I sent after her, in order to have her subpoena'd; and with great difficulty, my messenger told me he had subpoena'd her.
Mr. Dunning. One is a letter addressed to Mrs. Wall: it is natural for us to desire to know who she is. - I must give you hearsay evidence if I say any thing about her.
Mr. Dunning. If you say you know nothing of her, that is an answer. - I know nothing of her.
Mr. Peckham. But only that she keeps a pamphlet shop? - I don't know that.
(Examined by M. Howorth.)
Did you, in consequence of any direction given you, go down to the house of one Mr. Lutterloh, at Wickham in Hamshire? - Yes; with a warrant from my Lord Hillsborough.
On what day did you go? - On the 5th of January.
Did you then apprehend Lutterloh? - I did.
Did you go, at any other time, down to Wickham to search for papers? - Yes.
When was that? - On the 16th of January.
Did you find any papers? - Yes.
Where were they? - They were buried in Mr. Lutterloh's garden.
What did you do with those papers? - I brought them to Sir Stanyer Porten, at Lord Hillsborough's office, and delivered them to Mr. Chamberlayne.
You did not know what the papers were, not how many there were of them? - I do not know the contents of any of them.
Mr. Peckham. Did you yourself take up the bundle? - I took them up from the garden.
Who dug the ground up? - I did; I had a direction from Mr. Lutterloh where they were, and I went and dug them up.
(Examined by Mr. Attorney-General.)
Do you know Mr. De la Motte? - Yes, I do.
How long have you known him? - Ever since the year 1778.
Have you had any connection with him? - Yes.
In what way? - To procure intelligence regarding the fleet.
Where did you reside then? - First at Portsmouth, afterwards at Wickham.
Where did Mr. De la Motte reside at that time? - In London.
Do you know where his lodgings were then? - In Wardour-street, by Prince's-street.
Did he change his lodgings during your acquaintance with him? - Yes, he did; he went to Hampstead.
Where did he go to lodge in London in the winter? - To No. 1, Old Burlington-street.
Did he lodge at any other place? - In Bond-street.
Who did he lodge with there? - A Mr. Orley.
What was the purpose of your getting this intelligence for him? Did he communicate the purpose to you? - He told me it was for the ministry of France.
Did you make any terms with him? - Yes, I did.
What were your terms? - At the beginning of our acquaintance, he paid me eight guineas a month, and my salary soon came to fifty guineas a month, besides many valuable presents.
Did you occasionally come up to town to him from Wickham? - Very often.
Otherwise, how did you send your intelligence? - By the post, or the diligence.
How long were you in this employment? - From the year 1778 till I was apprehended.
Were you in the regular course of transmitting intelligence from Portsmouth? - Yes, I was.
What kind of intelligence did you send him? - Every thing concerning the fleet, and what intelligence I was able to procure.
Before you was apprehended, was Mr. De la Motte at your house? - Yes, he was.
(Some of the papers found upon Mr. De la Motte shewn the prisoner.)
Lutterloh. No I. is my hand-writing; No. 2. is my hand-writing too; No. 3. is out of the Admiralty-Office.
Where? - At Portsmouth.
Who procured it? - A person in the office.
Who did you deliver them to? - Into his own hands.
Is that your direction to Mr. Theed? - It is.
Who did you give that letter to? - Mr. De la Motte, with a request to send it to my banker to send me some cash.
Were any papers concealed in or near your house at the time you were apprehended? - In my garden.
Should you know them again if I shew them to you? - Yes.
Court. Look at the latter end of that: it is written in a different way from the rest of your hand-writing. - It is.
Is it not different ink? - Yes; but the whole paper is my writing; it was written as we were sitting talking together.
Mr. Attorney-General. You had, at the time you was apprehended, papers concealed in your garden: do you mean under ground? - Yes.
Did you direct any person, after your apprehension, where to find them? - I directed a king's messenger.
Look at these (shewing the witness the papers). - This is the prisoner's writing: it was one of the concealed papers: it is marked No. 7. There is another of De la Motte's hand-writing: it is No. 8.
Was that one of the concealed papers? - I am not clear whether it was or not; but if it was found there, I certainly put it there. No. 9. is De la Motte's hand-writing; so is No. 10: No. 11. is De la Motte's handwriting; No. 12. the same: No. 13. No. 14. No. 15. and No. 16. are De la Motte's writing.
What is this paper? (No. 7.) - My instructions, which I received from Mr. De la Motte himself; it is instructions that I should procure two boats, and if there was any thing very material, to send my intelligence by these two boats; one to Brest, and the other to Cadiz in Spain.
Does this relate to Commodore Johnstone's squadron? - Yes, it does so.
What is No. 8? - That was a letter which I was to send with them to Brest.
But it is all blank, you see. - I was to fill it up with proper names: the paper is De la Motte's writing. No. 9. was to the commandant at Ouessant, which is a sea-port town in France: if my cutters were not able from the wind to get into Brest, they were to go to Ouessant.
Were you to inclose the intelligence you sent in that cover? - Yes.
What are those two seals? - They are Mr. De la Motte's own seals: he sealed them in my presence; his seal was known in France. No. 10. is a direction to the commandant at Cadiz in Spain; there is a direction to go to the French embassador's at Lisbon. No. 11. is a letter directed to the commandant at Brest, which I was to send in my inclosure, and the governor was to give for this a receipt to my cutter. No. 12. is likewise the prisoner's handwriting; it was either to be given to the commandant in Brest, as the cutter could get in, or at Ouessant. No. 13. is to the same purpose. No. 14. for the same purpose. No. 15. was for the minister of the marine, the admiralty, in Paris. No. 16. is the same as the others, except No. 15. No. 17. is Mr. De la Motte's writing; it is a note for 121 l. for the business I transacted,
There is something about coals in it. Have you any coal trade between you? - None at all; that was fictitious.
As you have no coal trade, it must relate to something. What did you mean by it? - I don't recollect now; I know we had no coal trade between us.
Mr. Sollicitor General. Nor did it mean coals? - It did not.
There is 30 l. or something, mentioned in it? - No; 35 l. he sent me.
What for? - Those services. No. 19 is Mr. De la Motte's hand-writing. No. 20, is also Mr. De la Motte's writing.
Mr. Dunning. Does it happen to be known to you that at Portsmouth and Plymouth, and, I believe, at every other seaport, there are stationed collectors of news for the London news-papers, who transmit their intelligence every week, or post? - No, it is not very particularly; I know that there are people that do such things.
There are people in the employ of the news-writers who collect intelligence of what is passing at the several sea-ports, and send the news to London? - I can only answer that by hearsay, I know of no such people.
Have you never been one yourself?
Lutterloh. A news-paper!
Mr. Dunning. No, not a news-paper, but a man who writes such stuff as we see every day in the news-papers? - No.
Am I to understand that those that you say are Mr. De la Motte's hand-writing were written by him in your presence? - No.
Which were written in your presence? - The direction to Cadiz, the franks, &c.
Now cull out those that you will swear were written by him in your presence, and as to the other you speak from the knowledge you have of his hand-writing from seeing him write that? - I am most certain, most sure.
Your being most certain, and most sure, will not make any body else, I believe, most certain or most sure; but choose them out, and inform the court of the grounds of your belief. - No. 11. was wrote in my presence; that is a letter to the Commandant at Brest.
Does it say at Brest? - No;
"Commandant." All these covers, 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16. were written in my presence.
Are those, then, all that were written in your presence? - Yes; and the instructions, No. 7. were written in my presence. I do not positively remember whether No. 8. was wrote in my presence.
Are we got now to the end of those that were written in your presence? - No. 9. is a direction, and was written in my presence; and so was No. 10. and there is a letter to the governor of Brest, No. 11, directed
"To Mons. Commandant;" and there is a letter inside.
Mr. Attorney General. Where were those written that were written in your presence? - At my house.
Mr. Dunning. Then all that was written in your presence were directions? - A letter to the Commandant of Brest.
Court. And No. 15, which is a letter to the Admiralty.
Mr. Dunning. Can you either read or write French? - Very imperfectly.
Then your recollection is not at all assisted as to what you saw written in your presence, by the contents of the papers? - Yes, I I know the contents, what the papers mean.
You know I am now distinguishing what was written in your presence, and what you suppose to be Mr. De la Motte's from the general knowledge of his writing? - He explained them very properly to me in English.
He put these papers into your own hands, and translated them into English? - He explained them in English to me.
Where and when? - First at his house in
The covers were written in Bond-street? - Yes; the instructions and two or three small covers were wrote at my house at Wickham.
Where was the letter to the commandant written? - In Bond-street.
Then all that was written at Wickham was the instructions and some small franks? - Yes?
The large franks and the letter having been written in Bond-street? - Yes.
How long ago might it be that this first writing was in Bond-street? - I cannot be exact; but, I presume, in last November.
And when at Wickham? - The day before Mr. De la Motte was apprehended.
That was in January? - Yes.
Then the first time you saw him write, if I understand it, was in Bond-street, in the month of November; and the last time was in January, at Wickham? - I am not clear whether it was in November, or the month before.
But whether it were in November or October, that was the first? - Yes.
Only that we may understand one another correctly, and may not suppose by and by that we are mistaken; you say the first time you saw him write was in Bond-street in November, and the last time was in January at Wickham? - That is what I mean.
Then the occasion of so much verbal instruction took its rise from an opinion in Mr. De la Motte that you could not read the written instructions? - Certainly.
How happened it then that these important instructions, which were drawn up as an instrument, and called Instructions for your conduct, were left with you in a language which you did not understand? - Because my friend understood it.
Did nobody that you conversed with upon this subject understand English? - I only conversed with Mr. De la Motte.
It never was imparted by you to any body whatever, What he intrusted you with, paid you for doing, and what you was to do, all remained a secret, and never was imp arted by you to any third person whatever? - There was a particular agreement between us, not to betray one another in case we were apprehended.
So, in consequence of this, you kept true faith with Mr. De la Motte. and never conversed about this with any one creature whatever? - Not by Mr. De la Motte's order, but by my own inclination.
You kept it an inviolable secret in your own bosom? - I do not keep it a secret in my own bosom.
You imparted to him the whole of the subject, without naming the man. Do you conceive that to be perfectly consistent with having given me again and again for answer, that it was an inviolable secret between you two, and no third man to be acquainted with it? - I said so, only to sir Hugh Palliser .
When did you impart this to Sir Hugh Palliser ? - After I had settled the plan with the ministry of France. I went to Paris; the ministry of France wished to take Commodore Johnstone's squadron; I laid them the plan how to take it; they agreed in every respect. I asked 3000 guineas for a friend of mine, who would procure me all necessary intelligence, as likewise the third part of every ship that should be taken; that was done by Mr. De la Motte's desire. The French ministry would not agree to a third part; they agreed to give me 3000 l. and 2000 l. a year to my friend, which I said I had in the admiralty.
You are a dextrous hand at making plans, I perceive. Then you made a plan, and invented a lord of the admiralty, and went to the French ministry? Be so good as tell me which of the French ministers had the
See if I understand you: You first settled a plan with De la Motte, by which Commodore Johnstone and his fleet were to be taken; and, when they were taken, they were to be divided between you, De la Motte, and your friend? - Not divided; only an eighth part of it divided.
Then you were to have an eighth part for yourself, for Mr. De la Motte, and for your friend? Be so good as tell me who this friend was. You said, this moment, it was an imaginary thing - So it is.
Then the meaning is, you are to settle a plan with Mr. De la Motte, and cheat him of a partition of the plunder you were to have, for your imaginary friend? Was it but one imaginary friend you had? - Only one that I employed in that business.
How many imaginary friends were there to have shared in the plunder? - Only we three.
That makes five of you; you, Mr. De la Motte, and three imaginary friends.
Lutterloh. If you can make five out of three, I cannot. I wished to give up the business in which I was employed: I wished likewise to render myself serviceable to England.
So you entered into this conspiracy originally, did you, with a view to make yourself serviceable to England? - No, not with that view, but because I was in necessity.
So you entered into this conspiracy with a view to destroy England? - And enrich myself.
But by hurting England? - Certainly: How could I do otherwise?
I want England to know her benefactors. You entered into this conspiracy with a view to destroy England, and enrich yourself. Having enriched yourself, be so good as tell us what was the plan you and Sir Hugh Palliser had concerted to serve England? - I went to Sir Hugh Palliser , and told him I had perfectly settled a plan with the ministry of France.
Tell me when you went to Sir Hugh. - I suppose in the month of November.
I thought you told me August just now. - No; I believe it was in November: It was in August I went to France. I went to Sir Hugh Palliser , and told him the ministry of France intended to take the Fleet; that I had made a plan how and in what manner they might take it, and they had perfect confidence in what I said. I then made Sir Hugh Palliser a plan how it was possible, in case the French took this English fleet, that the English should take the French fleet. I begged of Sir Hugh, at the same time, that he would not ask me the name of my partner, Mr. De la Motte, because I did not come to inform against a person with whom I lived on friendly terms; I only requested that my name might be kept a secret, and my friend not hurt.
Which of the fleets of France was it that was to be destroyed by this conjunction between you and Sir Hugh Palliser ? - Sir Hugh Palliser was to go to the minister, and inform him of my plan; which he has done.
What was the mischief you intended them? - To take the fleet of France.
What! all of them? - No, the fleet that was to come out to take Governor Johnstone were to be taken, by sending out more men of war in a secret manner.
I hope it was done? - It was not, I wish it had: there happened to be a mistake; I went out of town, and Sir Stanyer Porten was sent by Lord Hillsborough to converse with me upon this subject.
When so many wise heads got together, I wonder how this scheme failed! - If you had been there, it might have been better perhaps.
I am afraid we shall make it a little worse before we have done. - I am very willing to answer your questions.
You certainly shall; so don't make that a matter of compliment. Do you recollect going to present the bill to the grand jury against Mr. De la Motte? - I do.
Do you remember what you said to any person when you came out from the grand jury upon the subject of Mr. De la Motte? - I don't recollect.
Mr. Attorney-General. If Roger is present, let him go out of court.
(Roger is sent out of court.)
Mr. Dunning. Do you recollect saying any thing at all to any body about Mr. De la Motte? - I may have done so. I do not recollect it perfectly.
Now I will see if I can help your recollection. Did not you tell somebody, that
"Mr. De la Motte was a man of fortune, and you would have a slice of it before it should be over?" - I did not say any such thing.
Did not you say,
"The Grand Jury have not sufficient proof before them; but I will furnish them with enough to find the bill. This man is rich, and I must make an advantage of it; and it will be a fine thing for me?" - I never said such a thing in my life.
You said no part of it? - I have said that Mr. De la Motte is a man of fortune; I have mentioned that to the Ministers.
That was not with a view to invite them to a share of the plunder, I hope? - No.
But did you say this to any person you thought might be tempted to join with you in it? did you say it to Roger? - He knew he was a man of fortune, as well as me.
What was the reason of telling it to him then? - When people dine together, they are capable to speak: I believe I may have told him he was a man of fortune.
Did you tell him the Grand Jury had not sufficient evidence to find the bill? - Just the contrary.
What do you mean by just the contrary? - I told him I was clear that Mr. De la Motte was guilty of high treason.
Now do you understand that this is just the contrary of the words that I have read to you, the Grand Jury not having sufficient evidence before them? Do you think the contrary of that is, I know Mr. De la Motte is guilty of high treason? Did you say any thing about the Grand Jury? - I do not recollect that I said a single word about it.
Did you say any thing about finding the bill? - I did; that I would lay a wager they would find the bill. Roger said he thought they would not.
Did you ever say that they had not evidence enough to find the bill without you? - Never in my life.
Did you ever say you would furnish them with evidence enough to find the bill? - Never in my life.
Did you never say, This man is rich, and I must make an advantage of it? - Never in my life.
Did you ever say, It will be a fine thing for me? - Never.
Did you say to Roger, that you should make profit or advantage of Mr. De la Motte by this prosecution? - By no means whatever.
And this is a fortune acquired by the means you mention? - By the hands of De la Motte and the ministry of France.
Mr. De la Motte and the ministry of France have made you a rich man? - They have.
What country had the honour of producing you? - Germany.
What part? - Brunswick.
How long have you honoured England with your residence? - Several years.
How many? - I cannot be positive: may be fifteen or sixteen.
Where did you live when you first came to England? because, as we have had Mr. De la Motte's history, let us have a little of yours. - I was an officer last war in Germany.
I am asking you where you have lived, and what you have been in England? - I came over here to see an uncle of mine, in the character of an ambassador here. There is Mr. Chamberlayne, who can witness it.
I believe not. Don't be quite so frequent in your appeals to Mr. Chamberlayne; for, I take it, he would attest the contrary. What became of you? - I was sent to Winchester, to learn English, to one Mr. Taylor, whom I believe you know perfectly well.
I have not the honour to know Mr. Taylor; but, whoever he might be, you went there to learn English. What did you do after that? - I married his daughter.
How long since? - Fifteen years ago, soon after I came to England; and by doing so, I disobliged all my relations, who would know nothing of me, by marrying a woman without fortune and family. Then I came to town.
Where did you live then? - I spent what little money I had, and then went to an office by Charing-cross. I applied for a place to a gentleman, one Capt. Phillips. I lived with him I cannot tell how long, I suppose a twelvemonth. He had an ill state of health.
He is dead, I take for granted? - He then sent me, with a great character, to Mr. Wildman, in Lincoln's-inn-fields, with whom I lived about a twelvemonth.
Did Mr. Wildman send you away with a great character? - He was more like a friend to me than a master. He said one morning,
"I want a livery-servant: I suppose
"that will not suit you." I said,
"cannot think of wearing a livery." Then he said,
"I should be glad if you would
"get another place." I left Mr. Wildman, and then lodged in Castle-street, Leicester-fields. Mr. Wildman told me he was very ready to render me any service. After I had left Mr. Wildman two months, he lent me 15 l. upon my note, to set myself up in some business: and my father assisted me likewise with some money. I took a small shop in Castle-street, Leicester-fields, and there I lived a year, 'till my uncle saw I absolutely would live; then he took me into his hands; and he keeping a carriage, &c. he made me sign and accept a great many bills; which I very readily did.
What shop in Castle-street, Leicester-fields, did you keep? - I sold tea and sugar.
A chandler's shop? - No, not a tallow-chandler's.
Mr. Dunning. No, these are different sort of men.
Lutterloh. My uncle being very extravagant, he lost a great deal of money. I found myself much encumbered by those people whose bills I had accepted: I was obliged to go out of the kingdom, for fear of being arrested. I went to Germany, recruiting for government. I then returned to England.
When may this return to England have been, after your breaking in the chandler's shop? - I did not break in my chandler's shop; it was on account of those bills my uncle made me accept.
About what time did you come again to
Do those things make no impression upon your memory? When you break, and run away, to avoid your creditors, and then come and face them again; cannot that be recollected? - In 1775 I came over: my friends persuaded me to go to the King's-Bench, and be cleared by an act; the only way of getting rid of debts I had not contracted.
When that operation was performed, and you was a clear man, what became of you then? - I went into Germany, and recruited for the Prince of Orange; by which I gained a pretty little sum. I then returned to England. My uncle by that time was gone to America. I came to England with intention of going to America likewise. I fell ill, and continued so for twelve months, which reduced me to great inconvenience. After I was better, I went to Portsmouth, just at the time when the King was there. I applied to one Mr. Fielding, who kept the George, the principal inn at Portsmouth, and told him I was in want of employ till the fleet failed for America. He asked, if I had any body could give me a character? I told him, Yes; a very respectable tradesman in the town. He then made me book-keeper; to receive his money, keep his books, and write out his bills, during the time the King was there.
Do me the favour to tell me what was to carry you to America? - I intended to enter into the service.
What service? - The service of Government here.
Then you entered into it at home, and was sent to America at Government's expence, I hope? - No: a man that speaks different languages, perhaps, is more valuable than a mere carbineer.
Then Government would be glad to send such a man? - They would have officers enough: they don't wish to send officers.
You meant, then, to go there, and see what you could make of your fortune? - That was what I intended to do.
Do you recollect proposing any project about going to America, or doing any thing in America to any body? - I don't know; I don't recollect.
Do you know a Mr. Rappel? - Very well.
Do you recollect any thing passing between him and you about going to America? - No.
Perhaps the name of the Margrave of Anspach may bring it to your recollection? - No.
Perhaps the name of Dr. Franklin may? - No.
You recollect nothing about buying arms to be sent to America? - Yes, I do recollect that.
Be so good as to explain that? - It was an imaginary plan.
So that, besides imaginary friends, when they are wanted, you have now and then an imaginary plan. Be so good as state this imaginary plan, that one may see whether it is better imagined than the other was. - I do not recollect it; your witness perhaps can tell it.
But do you anticipate him; inform us what that plan was that you bestowed the epithet of imaginary upon. Why do you call it an imaginary plan? - Because there never was any reality in it.
In what? - In procuring arms.
What was the plan which you call imaginary? - I don't recollect the whole subject now, nor that we talked about arms.
About what arms? - I said there were several officers at Hamburgh that sent all kinds of effects to America, and got a great deal of money; and that a great deal of money might be got by buying arms and sending to America.
To the Americans? - Yes.
What farther passed about it? Upon your oath, what was it that was to be done upon the subject of those arms, and of this conversation? - Nothing at all.
They were to be sent for nothing. Where were they to be sent? - No where; I had no arms.
But you was to buy arms at Hamburgh?
I said, a great deal of money might be got by buying up some old arms.
When people must speak something, they generally speak what means something, or means nothing. - Nothing at all.
So all this imaginary scheme turns out, instead of being an imaginary scheme, to be nothing. Nothing was ever proposed between you, by the one to the other, about conveying arms to America? - No, not that I recollect.
You will not be sure, will you? - I cannot be sure.
We had a little conversation about the manner in which you parted with Mr. Wildman? - Yes.
Mr. Wildman was so much your friend, that he lent you money? - Yes.
Did you carry from him as good a character as you brought with you to him? - I did.
And he gave you a character? - I did not want a character; for I was going to keep a shop. He told me he would give me a character.
Did he always continue to hold the same language to you? - He did not.
Did you ever apply to him for a character, and he refused it? - He did, after I was cleared by the act; it was a great while after.
Why? - He had heard I had accepted many bills, and was cleared by the act: that must have given him a bad opinion of me.
Was that the grounds of his re fusal? - It was.
Do me the favour to recollect whether, at the time of your parting from Mr. Wildman, he had not his bureau broke open, and robbed of 80 or 90 l.? - I remember it perfectly well; it was at his chambers in Lincoln's Inn.
But this happened to coincide very wonderfully at the time of your departure? - No; it happened several months before I left him.
So his refusing a character to you did not originate from any thing relative to that transaction, but from your having taken the benefit of an insolvent act? - That is my imagination.
Mr. Attorney-General. Whose hand-writing is that? (No. 22.) - That is Mr. De la Motte's.
There is some alteration of figures in it? - Yes.
Lutterloh. As the gentleman has said something about Mr. Wildman, and it is a delicate point to me, I should be obliged to him if he would be so good as call Mr. Wildman in.
Mr. Dunning. I will undertake to do you that favour.
Lutterloh. I shall be much obliged to you.
No. VII. [TRANSLATION.]
"When Commodore Johnstone shall sail from Spithead, you will order your two smugglers to go straight to Ushant, or to Brest, and to deliver the letter which you shall give him; and on the receipt of it, he shall give the hour and the day that he shall have received it. If the wind, or other circumstances, will not permit the said smuggler to go straight to Ushant, or Brest, he will do his utmost to carry the letter to St. Maloe's; but Ushant, or Brest, are the port which he shall endeavour to make, and not think of St. Maloe's but upon a very extraordinary circumstance. The smuggler who shall go to Cadiz, will deliver the letter to the commandant of the marine at Cadiz, and shall take a receipt, from the said commandant, of the hour and of the day the letter shall be delivered. If the wind, or circumstances, shall hinder positively the said smuggler from going to Cadiz, he will do his utmost to make Ferrol, or Lisbon. If the said smuggler shall make Ferrol, he will deliver his letter to the commandant of the marine, and will take a receipt. If the said smuggler shall make Lisbon, he will go and carry the letter to Monsieur the Ambassador of France, and will take a receipt; but it is to be observed positively, that the principal object is to go directly to Cadiz, and that Ferrol and Lisbon are only on the impossibility of going to Cadiz."
"This - day, - month, - hour, set sail from St. Helen's, Portsmouth, Commodore Johnstone, with the following vessels, (then there are eight blanks) the wind being - .
"There are no other vessels ordered to follow him. I desire you to give a receipt, to the bearer, of the hour and of the day."
"to the Commandant."
No. XIII. The same.
No. XIV. The same.
"To the Minister of the Marine at Court."
"To the Commandant."
"I promise to pay to Mr. Henry Lutterloh , on the 25th day of the present month, the sum of one hundred and twenty-one pounds sterling, for the liquidation of the account between us, at London, this 14th of June, 1780."
"Four thousand guineas, ready money. For a man of war of 50 guns, 2000 guin. For a man of war of 64 guns, 3000 guin. For a man of war of 74 guns, 4000 guin. For a man of war of 90 guns, 4000 guin. For me you must ask."
To Lutterloh. What is the meaning of the paper that has just been read? - When I had made Mr. De la Motte a plan for taking Com. Johnstone's fleet, I was with him in his closet, at his house in Bond-street. I asked him the terms I should ask the ministry of France: he told me 4000 guineas, ready money, for the terms. Every man of war which was taken by my contrivance, my plan; for a 50 gun ship he made it 1000 guineas, which I, when I came to Paris, altered to 2000; for every 64 gun ship that was taken by our plan, 3000 guineas; for every 74 gun ship 4000, and a 90 gun ship the same; and frigates in proportion.
What are these words at the bottom,
"For me you must ask?" - I should ask a larger sum, which I was to pay to Mr. De la Motte; he left the agreement entirely to me.
Was De la Motte in France with you at the time? - I was once with him in Calais, and once with him in Paris.
Did you go to any person in Paris together? - I delivered the dispatches, when I came there, to Mr. De la Motte, and requested him to introduce me to the minister, which he did.
What minister? - Monsieur Sartine, the minister of the marine.
Mr. Attorney-General. Now, my Lord, we'll read the letters from De la Motte to Lutterloh, to shew the connection between them.
"London, Monday Dec. 14, 1779.
"I inclose you the sum of 35 l. which makes up the quarter for your children, and likewise the six guineas you have advanced for Mr. T. Garison, and I remain to owe you 2 l. 4 s. which I will place to the future account. In my coal trade it is absolutely necessary I should know how much coals are put into each ship of war and transport, from Portsmouth. Don't lose any time to demand every particular about this article; and let me know, as soon as soon as you have informed yourself, as it is a speculation I may gain much profit by. I hope you have received the last parcel I sent you by Mrs. W - . I wish you all happiness, and believe me your's,
"My Dear Cousin,
"I SEND you to-morrow, (Monday) by the stage, 35 l. the sum of your account: it is the fault of Mr. V. that you have not received it sooner. I don't understand any thing of this man, but will explain all to you when you come to see us, and will give you what I have asked for you. Adieu, my dear cousin, you will let us hear from you often, informing us of your health and that of your friends.
May 30, 1779.
"I RECEIVED, very exact, the letter that you have sent, which has given me much pleasure. I pray you to observe what
"I am your most obedient servant,
"London, Monday Even. 11 Oct. 1778."
"I HAVE received, yesterday, in writing, the confirmation of the arrangements concerning Mr. Busby; therefore it is very necessary at present to give me the proof of this friendship in sending me, without loss of time, all that belongs thereto, with respect to the affairs of the family, and enable me to prove to the lawyer that all that has been proposed is truth; therefore send me the soonest possible the papers of your Cousin S. H. before his departure, at length, that I can do justice to your manner of thinking and acting. Do not trouble yourself with the other farms at present, only with the one occupied by Mr. Busby. Write to me immediately, to No. 28, Soho, and consider well the importance of your process, for the future well-being of your family. If it is necessary, do not neglect to come yourself to see me.
"I am yours, C. MULLER."
Who is Mr. Busby, mentioned there? - That was a fictitious name; that was the person, I told Mr. De la Motte and the minister of France, who would supply me with all the private signals, as likewise the instructions that Governor Johnstone received.
What was meant by your family and his family? - That means the fleet.
Prove to the Lawyer that all that has been proposed is true, what is meant by that? - Prove it to the minister of France, Mons. de Sartine. He received another letter from me whilst he was writing this: this is an answer to another letter, dated the 14th of November. [It is read.]
"I opened my letter, having received this moment your's of yesterday, the 13th instant, in which I see with pleasure that you well understand the necessity of actions, and not of mere words.
"I have sent three times to the person for franks, but he can never be found. I wait momently for the person that you write should arrive; naturally concluding that you will send me all that is necessary relative to the voyage of my cousin, that one can send him on his journey.
Did you understand it so? - I did.
Examined by Mr. Attorney General.
Did you receive any directions to stop letters under a particular address? - I did.
What was the address? -
"Mons. Grolay, Merchant, at No. 64, Paris, Richelieu street." I stopped this letter (producing it) at the post office.
Did you stop any others? - Ys, I did.
What did you do with them? - Sent them to the Secretary of State.
Is that the identical letter? - Yes, and was received upon the day that it is stamped.
Has it been in your possession ever since? - Yes, except a little time at Mr. Chamberlayne's; but I marked it with the initials of my name, so that I know that to be the letter.
Sir STANYER PORTEN,
Examined by Mr. Attorney-General.
Did you receive any letter from the Post-Office, which had been stopped? - Yes.
What did you do with that? - I put the initials of my name upon it, and Mr. Chamberlayne has it.
There is no address upon it now? - It is lost.
What was the address? - To Mons. Grolay, Richelieu-street, Paris, No. 64.
(The letters shown to Lutterloh.)
Whose hand-writing is this?
Lutterloh. They are both Mr. De la Motte's hand-writing.
Sir Stanyer Porten cross-examined by Mr. Peckham.
You have delivered a letter without any address to it? - There was a cover to it.
How came that cover to be lost? - I really cannot say.
I suppose this letter was sent to you, and you thought it of some importance, or you would not have kept it? - It was sent to the Secretary of State.
You know nothing then of what cover was to it? - Yes, I had the cover in my possession.
How came so careful a man as you to lose the cover? - I did lose it.
What was the direction upon that cover? -
"Monsieur, Monsieur Grolay, Richelieu-street, Paris, No. 64."
I thought you repeated the direction in English? - Yes; I repeated it in English.
Then you was so obliging as to translate it for the country gentleman? - I translated it.
I understood you to say, upon your oath, the direction was in English: you now, upon your oath, say it was in French? - I did not say it was in English.
How happened it you lost that cover? - I have lost it, I don't know how.
Who gave you the letter? - It was in a packet, directed to the secretary of state, and I opened it.
Who gave you the packet? - I found it at the secretary of state's office.
No. XXIII. [TRANSLATION.]
"London, 11th Jan. 1780.
"SINCE my last, I have nothing whatever, interesting, to inform you of at present, this being only to recall me to your remembrance, and to assure you of the attachment which my wife and children do, and so long as they live will, preserve for you.
"With respect to our political matters, we are in the same position, and wait with great impatience for news from all parts of the world, without exception; not having had any even from Rodney, nor concerning the hostilities committed against the Dutch flag; having confined ourselves to ordering, that no vessels should be released, and treating the principal officers, and even the crews, with much attention and gentleness, until the return of messengers sent on both sides.
"As to our home concerns, we are engaged in rendezvousing at Portsmouth the seven East-Indiamen, which are to sail from that port between the 26th and 30th instant; three of which are already gone round from Gravesend to Portsmouth completely laden and equipt, and the remaining four are to sail likewise from Gravesend within six or eight days at farthest. We are also busied in assembling the four regiments, making four battalions, of Tottenham, St. Leger, Ackland, and Chewton, consisting of 2200 men, which are part of the troops newly raised by the Duke of Ancaster and Lord Harrington. These four battalions are destined for the West-Indies, and are the last of the troops intended for that country; and when gone, will complete the number of 8871 men destined to operate in the West-Indies, Georgia, and Africa.
"We are preparing for our convoys, which are to sail the beginning of March, for North America and Canada, consisting of 10,000 effective men, whereof a part is to be made up of new levies, recruits, and Germans.
"As our convoy from Corke is to sail between the 15th and 18th instant, under escort of only two 28 gun frigates; there will remain but the two above-mentioned to be sent out at the appointed time.
"We are under some anxiety for the return of the seven East-India Company's ships, as well as for those from New-York, which we expect for the latest at
"The object of the Association now forming becomes more and more important, and the cause of uneasiness to administration, because the heads of the association aim at disposing of the militia and the new levies of volunteers. The counties of York, Cumberland, Hants, Sussex, Surrey, and Middlesex, have declared themselves, and the leaders multiply daily. Wilkes is the firebrand, and points out the means. I shall acquaint you with the sequel of this affair, which we apprehend may become of consequence.
"The association of the Protestants against the Catholicks is not so dangerous; but they are a burthen upon our minds, and shackles to our operations."
No. XXIV. [TRANSLATION.]
To M. Grolay, merchant, Richelieu-street, No. 64, Paris.
"London, 1st Dec. 1780.
"WE have taken the opportunity of an insurance to send you last Thursday a bale of goods which you desired of us, and which we hope will arrive safe. We shall send off for Ostend, next Sunday morning, a small box, directed to Mr. Bouwens, containing the prints, which we believe we have chosen well. We do not expect to send any thing more for some days, as there are no other goods ready for packing. We desire you to rely on our punctuality in fulfilling carefully your orders.
"P. S. Sir Samuel Hood failed Thursday the 29th with eight ships of the line, ten frigates, and three cutters, and every thing wanting for our West-India islands. We have insured, at 50 per cent. the 17 vessels sent on private account to Gibraltar: as they fail with Admiral Hood unto a certain latitude, we only fear their entrance into the straits; - but this insurance does not concern you.
"With regard to remitting the remnant of our old account, I desire you to discharge the two payments of it, viz. 6000 livres, place Dauphine, and the rest to the house of Mr. Simper, whereof a discharge will be given by us upon the receipts.
From Mr. Soyez.
(This witness not understanding English, an interpreter was sworn.)
(Examined by Mr. Solicitor-General.)
Do you know Mr. De la Motte? - Yes.
How long have you known him? - since the month of December last year.
Have you ever seen Mr. De la Motte write? - Yes.
Look at these papers, and tell the court and jury whether you believe these to be the hand-writing of Mr. De la Motte? - No. 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 16, are all the prisoner's hand-writing. I can't say that No. 18. is his hand-writing. No. 19, I do not know that it is his hand-writing; I do not know whether No. 20. is his handwriting or not. No. 21. and 22. are his hand-writing; and this note (No. 17.) for the payment of 121 l. is his writing. No. 23. and 24. are his hand-writing.
Who are you? - A merchant.
Where do you live? - In Queen-street, Golden-square.
How long have you lived there? - Six months.
Is the house your own? - No; I am a lodger.
What is the person's name with whom you lodge? - Robinson.
Is he the master of the house? - Yes.
What apartments have you? - The first floor.
What merchandise do you deal in? - I do not trade here, but traded from my own country; I am just come over.
Then you are a merchant that does not trade? - I traded in my own country, and came over here to trade.
Have you traded since you have been here? - I have been in a merchant's house here three years ago.
Whose house? - The merchant's name is Benthousen; I lived with him as a clerk in the counting-house.
How came you to leave him? - Because I would go home again to my own country.
Then, having gone home to your own country, why did you come back? - Because I had a suit at law in my own country.
Where did you last come to in England? - I was always in the same house.
Was you never down at the house of Mr. Lutterloh, in Hampshire? - Yes.
How came you acquainted with Mr. Lutterloh? - I was acquainted with Mr. Lutterloh three years ago, and likewise when he was in Germany.
Was not you a servant to Lutterloh? - No.
How long was you down with Lutterloh, and when? - I was down six weeks.
At what time was that? - The beginning of November.
You said just now, that you had lodged at Mr. Robinson's ever since you have been in England: how came it to happen that you had been at Lutterloh's six weeks of the time? Explain that, if you can. - When I first came to England, I lodged in Little Charles-street.
When did you lodge there? - From August to September.
Where did you lodge before the month of August? - I did not lodge any where else; Charles-street was the first place.
You told me, within these five minutes, that you came to England six months ago: now you say you was there a twelvemonth ago. - I came to London first in the month of August in last year.
When did you first see Mr. De la Motte? - I was acquainted with Mr. De la Motte through Mr. Lutterloh.
On what day did you first see him? - I cannot tell the day.
Where did you see him? - In his own house in Bond-street.
That was the first time you saw him? - Yes.
What did you go there for? - Because I had a letter from Mr. Lutterloh.
How long did you stay with Mr. De la Motte at that time? - I staid but a little time the first time when I saw him; but he desired me to go again the next day.
Did you go again the next day? - Yes.
How long did you stay then? - I staid but a little while the next time.
Where was Mr. Lutterloh then? - Mr. Lutterloh was at Wickham at that time.
When did you see Mr. De la Motte again after those two times? - He desired me to take a lodging, and come again in a couple of days time.
Did you come again in two days time? - Yes.
To take a lodging! Why, you had a lodging? - I had not a lodging at that time.
From whence did you come when you first came to De la Motte's house? - I came from Wickham.
Was that the lodging you took in Queen-street, Golden-square? - Yes.
When did you see Mr. De la Motte again, after the two days? - I saw him two days afterwards again.
Do not you know when you first went into your lodgings in Golden-square? - I have forgot that.
When did you see him again? - In two days again.
Did you always use to go every other two days? - No, not always, only when I was ordered.
What did you go for? - By his orders.
For what? - If you will give me leave, I will tell the whole story. When I had been about six weeks with Mr. Lutterloh at Wickham, Mr. Lutterloh asked me if I would not accept of a place to have ten guineas a month.
Do not you talk English? - I can't speak it, not to explain myself.
You don't converse in English in London? - No; I do not.
Had you any employment under Mr. De la Motte? - No; I did not know any thing of Lutterloh nor Mr. De la Motte at that time.
Was you ever in any employment, or did any business, for Mr. De la Motte? - Yes.
What was it that you did for Mr. De la Motte? - I had not done any thing for Mr. De la Motte; but one letter was carried from him to Wickham.
To whom did you carry that letter, at Wickham? - To Mr. Lutterloh.
Did you often see Mr. De la Motte after you became acquainted with him; and when you carried the letter? - Yes, only a few times or so, not often.
What did Mr. De la Motte talk to you about, when you did see him? - Mr. De la Motte offered to pay me, on the 15th of January, ten guineas a month if I would be in his service.
Did you agree to that offer of Mr. De la Motte's? - Yes.
Did you after that time, when you had so agreed, continue in the service of Mr. De la Motte? - Yes.
How long did you continue in the service of Mr. De la Motte, so paid at ten guineas per month? - I have never been paid any thing at all from him (for Mr. De la Motte was arrested before the time came) excepting a bank-note for 10 l. and three guineas which I received before of him; but the 10 l. was for travelling charges.
When you first came to London in December, Lutterloh was at Wickham? - Yes.
Did you see Lutterloh in London after that? - Mr. Lutterloh and I returned together from Wickham to London.
Where was Lutterloh in London when you went to De la Motte? - I do not know where he lodged in London then; I cannot recollect where it was.
How came you to carry a letter from Mr. Lutterloh to Mr. De la Motte, if Lutterloh himself came to town with you? - That happened before we came together.
You said just now, you and Mr. Lutterloh came to London together. When was it you came to London with Lutterloh? - In the beginning of December.
Did Lutterloh come with you then, or did he not? - Yes.
Was that the time that you carried the letter? - At that time I was not in Mr. De la Motte's service.
And you came up to town then with Lutterloh? - Yes.
Do you know where Lutterloh lodged in London? - I have been in his lodgings; but I cannot recollect.
Was it the first time you came up to London with Lutterloh that you brought the letter to Mr. De la Motte? - I was not in Mr. De la Motte's service when I came with Lutterloh.
I know that; but I want to know, when you first came to London with Lutterloh, whether that was the time you first went to De la Motte with a letter from Lutterloh? - No; I did not know Mr. De la Motte at that time, nor did not carry any letter.
When was it that you did carry a letter? - I brought the letter to Mr. De la Motte on the 24th or 25th of December.
At that time Mr. Lutterloh was in the country? - Yes.
How long after that letter was it that you saw Lutterloh again? - A very short time afterwards; for I came back again with a letter, and delivered it to Mr. Lutterloh.
When did you first see Mr. De la Motte write? - The third time that I was with him, in the morning.
What was it he wrote? - Mr. De la Motte asked me what I had seen at Mr. Lutterloh's, and if I had not made a journey to Portsmouth, and if I had not made a journey with him to Plymouth.
I asked you what it was you saw De la Motte write? - What I have said now, about whether I had been at Plymouth and Portsmouth.
When he had wrote it, what did he do with it? - He kept it as a notice or memorandum to himself.
When did you see him write the second time?
The second time I saw him write, was, when Mr. De la Motte sent me to Lutterloh.
What did Mr. De la Motte say in that letter? - I did not see the inside of the letter.
When did you again see him write? - I never saw him write but those two times.
Some of these papers you said are not his hand-writing, the others are?
Mr. Solicitor-General. He said two of them he does not know.
Mr. Peckham. Do you know your own hand-writing? - Yes.
Is that your hand-writing? (giving the witness a paper.) - Yes.
Mr. Solicitor-General. The gentleman asked you just now, whether a paper he produced to you was your hand-writing? - Yes, it is.
How came you to write it? - I do not know what it is.
Mr. LE COINTE sworn.
(Examined by Mr. Howorth.)
Do you know Mr. De la Motte, the prisoner? - I do.
Have you ever seen him write? - I have.
What business are you? - A merchant.
Do you carry on any business? - We are in the exchange line, and a merchant for goods likewise.
Did De la Motte keep cash with you occasionally? - We received remittances from Paris for him.
To what amount? - To about 3000 l. I believe, from the month of June, 1778, when we were first acquainted with Mr. De la Motte.
Look at No. 7. and see whether you can form any judgement whose hand-writing it is? - Before I do that, I think it is necessary for me to mention that I have seen Mr. De la Motte write, but it is but very seldom; I have received notes and papers from him, but they are very few; and therefore I am not acquainted sufficiently with his writing to have a thorough knowledge of his hand-writing.
I ask you whether you believe it to be his hand-writing, or not? - I should think this to be his hand-writing. I believe No. 7, 8, 9, 10, are all De la Motte's hand-writing. No. 11. I don't believe to be his hand-writing.
Look at the seal. Have you seen that before? - I cannot say that I have; I do not recollect it. No. 12. I believe to be Mr. De la Motte's, and No. 13. and 14. likewise. No. 15. I have great doubts about. No. 16. I believe to be his hand-writing, and No. 17, 18, 19: there is a signature at the bottom of 19, which I do not know. I have doubts about No. 20. I believe No. 21. to be his hand-writing. I do not think there is any of Mr. De la Motte's hand-writing in No. 22. save the words
"ready money" at the top. No. 23. and 24. I believe to be his writing.
Whether the seal upon that letter is the same as the seals to letters you have received from Mr. De la Motte? - I believe it is.
Have you the letters with you? - I have (the witness produced a letter, and compared it); they are the same seal as there is to No. 9, 10.: the other seals I am not acquainted with.
Mr. Le Cointe cross-examined by Mr. Peckham.
You say you have very seldom seen Mr. De la Motte write? - Yes, very seldom.
What have you seen him write? - I have seen him sign his name very frequently; D'Akerman at first, and afterwards De la Motte.
Have you seen him write any thing else but his name? - Yes, I have seen him write a note or two at our compting-house.
That is, you were in the compting-house when he wrote the note; but I take for granted, you was too much of a gentleman to look over him? - It was not a note to send out of the compting-house, but a note of some little transaction that happened in the compting-house, or rather a direction.
What was the note? - I can't recollect.
Can you take upon you to recollect the hand-writing of a note, when you can't recollect the purport of the note? - Yes, really I can.
Then it is not from having seen it at that time, but your recollection arises from having seen his writing at other times? - And that time likewise.
You saw him write a note, the contents of which you do not recollect; and it is from thence you recollect his hand-writing? - Yes, as also from these notes which I have got here, and from one or two more that I have received from him.
Did you see him write these notes you have here? - No, I did not.
Then your idea of his hand-writing arises from your recollection of it from these notes, and not from the times when you have actually seen him write? - From one and from the other; from the note I saw him write in the compting-house; it was from thence that I ground the opinion I have of his hand-writing.
If you had never received these notes, which you did not see him write, and recollected his hand-writing only from those things which you actually saw him write, would you then swear, you believe these to be his writing? - From those papers I have made oath to I could.
And you have seen him write his name once, and once write a note in your shop, of which you do not recollect the contents? - I have here six receipts I put in my pocket; there are many others I left at home.
These are merely the signature of the name that was written by him? - The signature, the name only.
Therefore, if he had written it a thousand times, it would have been the same number of letters? - I think he one time, though I am not very certain, gave me his direction at Hampstead, when he lived there.
(Examined by Mr. Solicitor-General.)
Do you know Mr. De la Motte, the prisoner? - I have seen him.
Where? - At his lodgings at New Bond-street, and at Mr. Lutterloh's house at Wickham.
When you saw him at New Bond-street, was Mr. Lutterloh with him? - Yes, he introduced me.
You live upon your fortune, in Hampshire? - Yes.
Where did your acquaintance with Lutterloh commence? - From his situation at Wickham. I live at Wickham: I dined with Mr. Lutterloh at Mr. De la Motte's: I afterwards saw Mr. De la Motte at Lutterloh's house at Wickham.
When was that? - After Christmas, some time the beginning of this year, it was a day or two before I heard of Mr. De la Motte's being taken up.
At the time when you saw Mr. De la Motte at Lutterloh's, was he upon a visit to him? - I understood so.
(Examined by Mr. Solicitor-General.)
Where do you live? - I live at No. 18. Porter-street.
Have you seen Mr. De La Motte come to your house? - I can tell if I see him.
Look about the court. - I don't see the Gentleman.
(The witness went round the court, but did not fix upon any person.)
The End of the Evidence for the Crown.
I find myself unexpectedly called upon to enter on a defence, which, from the nature of the charge, and the length of the evidence, requires, and would have received, the assistance of Mr. Dunning; but unhappily for me, and still more unhappily for my Client, illness disables him from performing that duty which I feel myself by no means qualified to discharge. Was my learned Friend to make the defence which now devolves upon me, he would easily convince you of the innocence of Mr. De la Motte, and repel the accusation with infamy on his accusers.
But it is not Mr. De la Motte alone who has reason to deplore the absence of Mr. Dunning; I feel most sensibly the weight of the misfortune, and have no consolation but this, that your recollection will assist my memory, and your judgment correct my errors. Permit me therefore to sollicit your grave and serious attention in behalf of the unfortunate Gentleman at the bar, who is called upon to answer with his life a charge of constructive treason, founded on an English act of parliament. He stands before you, a stranger to your language, your customs, and your laws; yet he relies with confidence on his innocence, on your justice, and on that humanity which is the genuine characteristic of an Englishman.
Of his innocence, I trust, you, Gentlemen, entertain as little doubt, as I do of your humanity; because I flatter myself that you possess that liberality of sentiment, which, superior to narrow prejudice, disdains all national distinctions. I speak not from an idle hope, but from observations founded on experience.
I have remarked, in all causes at Guild-hall, even between alien enemies and English underwriters, that the Juries of the city of London, whether composed of the most opulent merchants or the meanest mechanics, have all been actuated by the same nobleness of soul, and lean most partially, and I will add most honourably, in favour of the foreigner against the native. When I say most partially and most honourably, it may strike you perhaps as a solecism in terms; but it is a conduct that has been stampt with the approbation of Lord Mansfield, who publickly declared in the court of King's Bench, within these few weeks, that it was much to the honour of the London juries, that such a partiality universally prevailed in favour of the foreigners who appealed to them for justice.
As the Juries of the city of London are so laudably attentive to the property of an alien enemy, have I not a right to expect that a Jury of the county of Middlesex will at least be as attentive to the life of an unhappy fellow-creature; and that this GENTLEMAN will experience from you the same measure of justice as your countryman, your neighbour, or your friend?
It is not from affectation that I call him the Gentleman at the bar; but I cannot bring myself to wound his feelings by the humiliating found of prisoner, when I know that he is by birth, education and profession, a Gentleman. You will naturally enquire his history, which his ignorance of our language will prevent him from stating. Permit me therefore to give you the outline, and the reasons which induced him to settle in this country.
In the course of the last war he served his country with honour, and became colonel of the regiment of Soubise. When the war ended, his regiment was broke, and of course some part of his emoluments diminished: he had then to retire to his own estate, which was situated in Alsace, and which communicated to him the barony of D'Akerman. Here let me observe, that Mr. Le Cointe informed
He appeared here in his real name of Baron D'Akerman , and continued in that character about twelve months, when his estate was sold for the benefit of his creditors, his debts were paid, and the wreck of his fortune was d estined for his subsistence: the residue was sufficiently ample for him to live here in comfort, and in a degree of affluence; but was very insufficient for him to return to his own country, in that splendor and state he had been in the habit of living.
As soon as he sold his estate, he dropt the title, which no longer was his, and took his family name of De la Motte, and lived in this country, as quiet, and as free from vice or guilt, as any man to whom I have now the honour of addressing myself. But, unfortunately for him, he became acquainted with Lutterloh, who introduced him to Mr. Waltrond. I need not observe to you, that Lutterloh is a man of intrigue, a great schemer, in short, an adventurer. Waltrond and Lutterloh advised Mr. De la Motte, as he had great knowledge of prints, and understood drawings and pictures, to deal in those articles, as it was not at all beneath the dignity of an English Gentleman, though in France it might be thought disgraceful; by which means the fortune that remained to him might be amply increased. In consequence of this advice, and feeling a desire to enlarge his income, he commenced a dealer, and carried on trade. I do not mean, by Trade, to say that contraband trade which is forbidden in this country; but, if he had, as it would only have been a breach of a law of policy and regulation, I think you would not say Mr. De la Motte was a very great offender: but, as I am taught to understand, the articles in which he dealt were articles not prohibited to be exported, but were valuable in France, and for which he had his remittances in money. When I say in France, I mean upon the continent; for many of these things were carried to Ostend; some, indeed, to Dunkirk and Boulogne: but they were chiefly sent to the Emperor of Germany's dominions. Those articles were prints, drawings, the different kinds of jewelry that are in estimation there, and the hard-wares of Birmingham and Sheffield.
This account does not rest only on my assertion; it has been proved to you by the witnesses called for the prosecution: and in consequence of that trade it is that these remittances were made to him in England, as mentioned by Le Cointe; which might possibly have made an improper impression on you, on the idea of their amounting to 3000 l. in the space of two years: but, when you consider great part of these remittances were for goods sent abroad, you will no more call that receiving 1500 l. a year, than you will say a tradesman gains 1500 l. a year because in the course of the year he appears to have received that sum, when probably the balance is trifling, and he only lives upon the residue.
After he had carried on this traffick for some time with perfect innocence on his part, and without the least suspicion of crime, Lutterloh, who had upon various occasions
Mr. De la Motte said that was impossible, as there was a war with France: he therefore could only send his goods to Ostend, unless by chance he might be able to get one of those men that had been employed to send his goods to Dunkirk or Boulogne; that the scheme did not seem feasible; and that he should only lose his property, instead of extending his trade.
Lutterloh insisted, that the scheme was plausible.
"I am, for instance," says he,
"a very good friend of Sir Hugh Palliser (whether Sir Hugh feels it as a compliment, is not for me to determine): I can, through his means, get a passport of Lord Sandwich; and, under the oftensible idea of conveying false intelligence to France, we shall then get a passport; our vessels will go in safety; and we will tell the French ministry that we will give them true intelligence, but, in fact, will give them false."
Mr. De la Motte, much to his honour, said, that, though he lived in this country, he had not forgot that he was a native of France; and that he would neither betray the country in which he lived, nor be base enough to deceive that country in which he was born. The shameful offer was rejected with scorn; and Mr. De la Motte pursued the plan in which he set out.
It is worthy observation, that Lutterloh should be so exceeding solicitous for Mr. De la Motte to come down and pay him a visit at Christmas: it is something extraordinary that he should have given to Mr. De la Motte, papers, the contents of which could have been so easily carried in his head: it is very odd (if there were these smuggling vessels that Lutterloh could have daily sent from Portsmouth, or that neighbourhood) that these papers should be carried to London, instead of being sent by them. Strange as it may appear, yet it is Lutterloh's story.
I have not yet been told by any witness, how it happened that Mr. De la Motte was seized at this particular period, with those very particular papers in his pocket, all of them in the hand-writing of Lutterloh: but I can easily understand, that Lutterloh, to add another scheme to the many he had perpetrated, thought he could engage Government powerfully in his favour, and that he could fix and fasten to himself the honourable friendship of the Honourable Sir Hugh Palliser ; and that he could not employ better means than by holding up Mr. De la Motte as a traitor, who ought to be brought to punishment for the intelligence be was about to give. If Lutterloh had not conveyed that intelligence into his pocket, it is inconceivable to me that Mr. De la Motte should be seized the moment he got to town, and that these papers should be found in his pocket when he came from Wickham, which ought to have been sent from the coast to France, not to have been brought to London.
I flatter myself, that every man belonging to government would be above bringing an innocent man's life in jeopardy, unless convinced of his guilt: notwithstanding which, I can clearly conceive that Mr. Lutterloh, whose character you can be no stranger to, if you will pay credit to himself, might think he could get a fortune by his treachery, foolishly imagining that he should do most acceptable service to his Friend's Friend at the head of the Admiralty, if he could fix on Mr. De la Motte a criminal correspondence with the enemy; which would be an apology for those manifold misfortunes, and repeated miscarriages, that have brought this devoted Country to ruin, and which we have been weak enough to attribute to the inability, negligence, and incapacity, of those who have presided over the Naval Department He might possibly conceive that any apology for those ill successes would not only merit, but command a reward.
Having said thus much of the history of Mr. De la Motte, permit me now to state
"To compass," signifies the intention of the mind; but, as that intention can be judged of only by the Almighty, it does not fall within the limits of human jucature; and therefore the intention of the mind is not within the act of parliament, unless accompanied by some open or overt deed. From the evidence that has been already given, it would be abundantly too much for you to put so forced a construction upon this act, as to say that sending a copy of a news-paper, or a printed list of the sick and convalescents at Haslar hospital, is to compass and imagine the death of the King: therefore the first count, I trust, will not be supported by your verdict. But I am ready to allow, that there is another count in the indictment, which will do equally as well for the purpose of justice; which is, adhering to the King's enemies, &c. I am free to confess, that giving intelligence to the King's enemies does amount to an overt act; and I should not do myself nor you justice, if I did not admit it: but when I make the admission, I beg you will attend to the proof of that charge.
The first charge in the indictment is, that he composed and wrote a certain letter, giving an account of the number of the ships at Spithead, and of the fleet under Commodore Johnstone, with many other particulars that I need not repeat, to be sent to certain subjects of the French King. That is the first charge in the indictment: therefore you will please to recollect, that if he has sent ten thousand letters to persons who are not subjects of the French King, they cannot criminate Mr. De la Motte, because the indictment is not proved, which charges him with sending letters to the subjects of the French King. Here let me ask, what was sent? Not letters, but prints; and even these were sent to Ostend. Therefore, when I asked, not foolishly, though it provoked a smile from the Counsel for the Crown, whether Ostend was within the dominions of the Emperor of Germany? I asked it, not meaning to throw any imputation upon your knowledge, but because it was necessary to appear in evidence, that Ostend was under the dominion of the Emperor. The moment that fact was proved, every thing that Roger carried from England, even if he had carried it from Mr. De la Motte himself to Ostend, was totally irrelative to this indictment. But, say they, there was a person at Ostend connected with a Mr. Dessein of Calais. Be it so! But Le Fevre did not receive any goods of Roger as a servant or a messenger of Dessein's; but he attended daily at the market, if I may be allowed the expression; had a lodging in the town, and resided there, to buy carriages and other articles at Ostend, for the use of Mr. Dessein. He therefore did that which every other person might do, purchase, at a fair price, those commodities that were sent over from England to Ostend; whether by De la Motte, Waltrond, or by any other person, is totally immaterial; and of course you will lay it out of the case.
The next charge in the indictment is, that on the 30th of June Mr. De la Motte hired Stephen Ratcliffe to carry, in his vessel, certain letters and instructions to inform the French King and his subjects of the stations of our naval and military force. Now, Gentlemen, is that proved? Is it proved that Mr. De la Motte hired Ratcliffe to carry any thing? If it is, is it proved that Mr. De la Motte hired Ratcliffe to carry letters and instructions? But if it is proved that he was hired by Mr. De la Motte to carry letters and instructions, is it proved that those letters and instructions went to the subjects of the French King? No! Ratcliffe carried these things to Ostend: and he does not even now pretend to say, that the things that were carried to Boulogne were given him by Mr. De la Motte, or his order.
One of the Jury. I beg your pardon; a leter dated June 30th was directed to Mons. Sartine.
Gentlemen, before I proceed, perhaps it will be necessary for me to recall to your recollection what evidence has been given with respect to these letters that are supposed to have been sent by Ratcliffe. We had some argument upon this subject before; therefore it may be necessary now for me to say the less upon it, because there is not one letter before you in evidence, no, not a single letter, that was ever carried by Roger or Ratcliffe; nor is there the copy of any one letter, that was carried either by Roger or Ratcliffe, in evidence. I mention this with some emphasis, because I have no doubt it must have made a certain impression upon your minds; I mention it, that you may do justice to the prisoner, and to yourselves, by erasing that impression from yourminds, which the Counsel for the Crown ought not to have made. None of the original letters have been produced: if they had, they could not have been traced to Mr. De la Motte. Copies of those letters only have been produced, which the Court would not suffer to be given in evidence. You are therefore relieved from that part of the indictment.
I think the next charge in the indictment is,
"that on the 5th of January, 1781, Mr. De la Motte did obtain, and get into his hands, accounts of the numbers and the names of the ships at Portsmouth, and of the squadron to fail under Commodore Johnstone." Now you will please to observe, that he did it,
"in order, and with intent, to send the same to certain subjects of the French King; and for that purpose he conveyed them to the house of Richard Otley ." Upon this charge of the indictment you can receive nothing in evidence, but those papers that were actually conveyed to the house of Mr. Otley; and even then they will not affect De la Motte, unless you think yourselves bound by your oath to say that they were brought to London in order, and with the intent, to send them to the subjects of the French King.
Let me ask you, Gentlemen, how does that intention appear? for the charge, you observe, is, that he obtained accounts, and got them into his hands, with the intent of sending them to the subjects of the French King; and for that purpose he conveyed them to London. Does his conveying them to London, into the interior part of the kingdom, from the sea-coast, shew that intention? Is there any evidence of the intention of Mr. De la Motte to send those papers abroad, that were found upon his person in London, when it appears that he had brought them from the sea-coast, where, if what Lutterloh has said is true, there were vessels ready at every hour to go to France? Notwithstanding which, he takes them from the sea-coast, where they might be sent, and brings them up to London, as it seems to me, for no other purpose than to send them back again. As no proof of this intention has been given, you will not presume it; for, in a case of life and death, I am sure you will presume nothing against the accused. Your humanity, your justice, will not suffer you to draw any metaphysical conclusions of the intention of a man, unless-it is fully proved to you by action. But, permit me to ask, what are these papers that were thus found upon him? Jellous has told you, that he found in all seven papers: some of them he took from his pocket; others he took from the floor. You will please to recollect, that these men had been waiting for him upwards of twenty-four hours. Whether, therefore, they brought any papers into the house; whether there was any thing upon the stairs that did not belong to him; whether they, or any body else, had dropped any thing, is more than you can tell: for the fact is, that some of the papers only were taken from his person; others were taken up, that lay upon the floor. I suppose
"he turned upon his heel, as if he wished to go out." It might have been as well, if he had only stated the fact, without drawing his conclusion. He adds, that these papers were thrown from his pocket; I take it for granted, with a view to make you believe that Mr. De la Motte thought there was something so criminal in those papers, that he, for his own security, attempted to get rid of them. Yet one of the papers thrown from his pocket was a ten-pound bank-note. Can you not conceive, that a foreigner, finding himself attacked, if you please by the officers of justice, and knowing them to be so - cannot you conceive, that he thought it full as well for him to take care of his own property, or even to throw it upon the floor, or give it to his servant, as to give it to the officers of justice? of whom he probably might have heard, that they are in stronger habits of seizing property, than of returning it, and that from their office property does not always find its way back so readily to the persons from whom it was taken. I think he was not much to be blamed for this: and it will be at least as fair, and as honourable, for you to suppose that he threw these papers away with a view of preserving his bank-note, as to suppose that he threw these papers away for fear they should criminate himself. Gentlemen, the papers that were thus taken up were, a printed bill of Haslar hospital, an account of Commodore Johnstone's squadron, and likewise an imperfect account of the ships that were at Spithead. These are the papers, and these are the only papers, that were seized upon his person.
Gentlemen, you will be so obliging as to pay some little attention to the observation I am about to make; not from the quarter from whence it comes, but as it may deserve some attention in the determination that you soon must make. Those papers that were taken in Mr. De la Motte's custody and possession, were not one of them in his own hand-writing. The papers thus seized were written by Lutterloh, the Gentleman at whose house he had been on a visit; and for what purpose could these papers have been brought to London, unless it was for the insidious purpose that Lutterloh had planned, of having these things found in his possession, to make good the charge in this indictment?
This brings me to the next charge in the indictment, which is,
"That he, De la Motte, retained Lutterloh to obtain information of the sailing of Commodore Johnstone's squadron, and to send such information to certain subjects of the French king." Now, you will please to remember, that this is proved likewise by Lutterloh only; and you will please to remember, that employing a man to send instructions, or advice, if that intelligence is never sent, though it may be in itself criminal, though it may be unjustifiable, is not an offence for which a man's life is to be forfeited. I may employ another, if I have a heart like Lutterloh, to take away the life of a fellow-creature; but, God forbid that I should be hanged for murder, though the fact of employment is proved upon me, if the man lives, upon whom the murder was to have been committed! Try the present charge by the same rule: I do not ask too much of you; for, as high treason is a greater crime, you will put as favorable a construction upon it. Suppose every thing that Lutterloh has said is true, that he was actually employed to send certain instructions and advice to subjects of the French king; yet that advice, and those instructions, were never sent: therefore Mr. De la Motte may have done a thing that is criminal, but has not done that act which ought to convict him of high treason.
Having said thus much upon the different charges of the indictment, permit me now to remind you of what the law has said, upon which this indictment is founded. The Legislature has declared,
"That a man must be, on SUFFICIENT PROOF, attainted of some open deed.' Sufficient proof is not the oath of one witness, as in
As to the last charge in the indictment, respecting the instructions that are supposed to have been given by Mr. De la Motte to Lutterloh, that depends solely upon the testimony of Lutterloh himself. If, therefore, there was no other witness upon this indictment but Lutterloh only, the Court would say you must acquit the Prisoner, though his credit was unexceptionable, and his character above reproach; because there would be wanting that second witness, which the law has thought necessary to conviction. But suppose, for a moment, that one witness alone was sufficient to convict a person of high treason, and that this act of King William had never passed; even then, if conviction had depended solely upon the testimony of Lutterloh, the Court would tell you, that you must acquit Mr. De la Motte; for, upon the testimony of an accomplice, the law will not call upon the accused to make a defence: their Lordships would tell you, that if the accomplice's testimony is the only evidence against him, though he may be as guilty as the most hardened villain that ever stood in this court, yet you must acquit him; because to the unsupported testimony of an accomplice no man will or can give credit.
But who is Lutterloh? If you credit the picture of his own drawing, he is a monster, not a man; and his whole life has been a satire on the vices of human nature. The unblushing miscreant on his oath confesses, that he has been guilty of treason to France, who employed him, and to England, who protected him: he has been guilty of treachery to Sir Hugh Palliser , (who honoured him with his friendship) and now thirsts for the blood of his benefactor, whose unbounded liberality has raised him from beggary to affluence. What a tale has he told! He was a foreign officer: he came here to see his uncle, who was an Ambassador that never existed, from a country as yet unknown. This Ambassador Uncle puts his hopeful Nephew to school at Winchester, to learn the language of Mr. Taylor, a clergyman: That in the acquiring the language, he likewise obtained the daughter of his preceptor in marriage: That this Uncle Ambassador was so exasperated at his nephew for contaminating the purity of his blood, and for degrading himself by marrying the innocent daughter of a respectable English clergyman, that he turned him out of doors, dismissed him from his presence; and all streams of liberality were at once shut from this worthy nephew, who before had been the favourite object of his tenderness and care. For this first, this only honourable act of his life, he was discarded, thrown upon the world, an object of detestation; and, because he married a young lady of family and character, he is reduced to the humiliating necessity of offering himself, though the nephew of an Ambassador, to miserable servitude. He becomes the servant of a Captain Somebody, whom nobody knows, who dismissed him, and gave him the best of characters: yet this character does not appear, though foreign servants always have their character, or certificate as they call it, in writing. He next lives with Mr. Wildman, who parted with him, not from disgust at his conduct, or suspicion of his honesty; for he lived with him more as a companion and friend than as a servant: his master was so extremely attentive to him, even to the nicety and delicacy of his feelings, that he would not suffer him to put on a livery, but dismissed him
"Get out of my sight! How dare you approach me! Ask me not for a character, but thank me for my lenity." This is the story Mr. Wildman will tell you; and if it is, shall the life of a Gentleman, and that which is dearer to him, his honour, and the honour of his family, depend on such a witness? I will likewise prove to you by another witness, a stranger to Mr. De la Motte, who came here a volunteer in the cause of innocence, that he knew Lutterloh a common servant; that he has known him many years as an adventurer, though it was some time before he found out the reality of his character; that he always looked upon him as a projector, but lately as a villain; for he proposed to him a scheme, by which a large fortune was to be amassed, by going over to the Prince of Anspach to buy 25,000 stand of arms, which were to be conveyed to Congress, and to be paid for by Dr. Franklin; and that he had desired him to go over to France, to settle the contract. Lappel will likewise tell you, that Lutterloh is a man that he would not trust, that he could not believe, and that he dares not credit. - Is Roger in court? He must withdraw.
[Roger goes out of court.]
Mr. Peckham. Gentlemen, the measure of Lutterloh's iniquity is not yet complete. God forbid that I should say a word that any witness might lay hold of in a cause of this kind; but Roger is now gone out of court, and I am instructed to say he will tell you, that Lutterloh, before the bill was found by the Grand Jury, told him, that Mr. De la Motte was a very rich man; that he believed there would be difficulty to find the bill: perhaps I may not be accurate in the words; but the idea that he meant to convey to Roger was, that it was through him, and through him only, that the bill could be found; that he looked upon Mr. De la Motte to be a rich man; that, if the bill was found, he should make an advantage of it, and that it would be a fine thing for him. - Now, if he said any thing that did convey that idea to Roger, what conclusion can you possibly draw from the testimony of Lutterloh? What interest could Lutterloh have, if he was an honest man, in the conviction of Mr. De la Motte? But, if he thought that by the bill being found he might work upon the hopes or fears of Mr. De la Motte, that he might hold himself up to him as the arbiter of his life or death; then I can put a meaning upon the words he used to Roger, when he said
"that he was a rich man, that he should make an advantage of it, and that it would be a fine thing for him." But I trust you will disappoint him, if he expects any reward from the conviction of that poor Gentleman at the bar, at least, if that conviction is to arise from his evidence.
As this charge of hiring and employing Lutterloh to send intelligence to the court of France, is not proved by any other person, you, Gentlemen, will be relieved from considering that part of the indictment. Then it will depend entirely upon those letters and papers which have been produced to you in evidence; but before I comment on them, it will be extremely necessary for you to lend me your attention in respect to the handwriting. The only evidence now produced against Mr. De la Motte, (upon which that Gentleman is to live, as he has done, with honour, or to die with disgrace) altogether depends upon the certainty of his hand-writing, which must be proved to you by two
"that he could not affirm it." Now Francia was acquitted.
I must mention another remarkable case, that happened within these few weeks, to shew how cautious you should be in the admission of testimony upon a belief of a man's hand-writing: it is a fact within my own knowledge; and I call upon the Attorney and Solicitor-General to vouch for the truth of the anecdote I am going to state.
It is not six weeks ago, that in a case in the Exchequer, the Attorney-General thought it necessary to fix some criminality upon the defendant, for whom I was counsel; and that was attempted by the production of a petition signed by the defendant, and which was said to be of his hand-writing. The Attorney-General thought it proper to produce that petition, and he called a Gentleman to prove it, a gentleman by the name of Bate. I hope you know him, because then you will not suppose I mean to throw any imputation upon him; for he is a respectable old gentleman, in an honourable and very profitable office in the Custom-house; and he was called to prove the supposed handwriting of the defendant to this petition, and signature at the bottom of it. I really pitied him when he was sworn: I wished that he might not swear it; I guarded him repeatedly against it; I desired him to forbear. I told him the defendant sat by me, who would (if his testimony was admitted) contradict him upon his oath; that I would produce the very person who had written it. But he still persevered - honestly persevered - conscientiously persevered: but he incautiously persevered; for he persevered in swearing, not only that he had a perfect knowledge of the defendant's hand-writing, but that he verily believed the petition was his hand.
Gentlemen, I appeal to both the Law Officers (I am sure they will do me justice) I proffered the defendant to be sworn as a witness, to prove that it was not his handwriting; and I actually called the clerk of the defendant, who was accidentally in court, (for I had no idea that such a species of evidence would be given against the defendant) I called the clerk, who said, that while he was at the Custom-house, one of the officers had advised him to write a petition, and present it to the board; that it was a common thing to write a petition in the name of another; and that it did not signify who wrote it, if it was written in the name of the petitioner; that he wrote it himself, and signed
Suppose you had been the Jury: suppose that piece of paper had been produced, not to determine upon a dozen of hats (which I think was the question there) but to determine upon the life of Mr. De la Motte: suppose upon that evidence, given by a man of respectable character, given by a man of that age that he soon must be called upon to answer for the crime of perjury, if he knowingly committed it - suppose, upon that testimony, you should have thought yourselves bound in your conscience to have found a verdict for the crown, and that Mr. De la Motte had been executed (which he certainly will be, if he is convicted;) how many wakeful nights would you have had, how many heart-breaking days would you experience, when you were told you had condemned a man to death upon the testimony of a person who was mistaken, and that the writing was not the hand-writing of De la Motte, but of Lutterloh! Consider the truth of that case; and then, for your own sakes, judge with caution; receive with care the testimony that is given; and do not too hastily determine upon the life of a fellow-creature.
Now, Gentlemen, let me see how this hand-writing is proved? Lutterloh has sworn that he knows the hand-writing of Mr. De la Motte. I have made so many observations already upon Mr. Lutterloh, that I mean not to trouble you with more: but this I will say, that, if Mr. Lutterloh was an Angel of Light, his testimony alone could not convict; therefore it is necessary that some other witness should be called to the proof of Mr. De la Motte's handwriting.
Who do they call for that purpose? Mr. Bauer is called, as a second witness, to confirm his worthy friend Mr. Lutterloh. Observe, Gentlemen, that by law - I am not wandering from my point, though at present I may appear to do it - but by law it is absolutely necessary, that the list of the witnesses should be given to the prisoner ten days before the trial. It is something singular, that in the first list of witnesses the name of Bauer was not mentioned; and if Mr. De la Motte had fortunately been tried at the last sessions, Bauer would not have been a witness against him. I do not mean to say but that it was an act of favour that he was not tried; I receive it and acknowledge it as such: but it is something singular that Bauer, the bosom friend of Lutterloh, who carried a letter from Lutterloh to Mr. De la Motte, who tells you that he carried a letter from Mr. De la Motte to Lutterloh, who tells you that he knows his hand-writing - it is singular that this ready witness for the Crown should never have communicated his knowledge to Mr. Chamberlayne, who, I will venture to say, sifted him to the bottom; (he had not done his duty without it:) and yet, with all his sagacity (and there is not a more sagacious or worthy man living) yet, with all his sagacity and industry, it was never suspected by him, it was never suggested by Lutterloh, that Bauer knew any thing of the hand-writing of Mr. De la Motte. I am most certain that Lutterloh in this instance was sincere; that for once he has regarded truth: for he did not tell Mr. Chamberlayne that Bauer knew any thing of his hand-writing. I believe it to be true, and I believe it from the wretched testimony given by Bauer himself. Heavens! is a man to be convicted upon the testimony of Bauer? Put every thing you have heard out of the question for a moment, and let this gentleman stand or fall upon the evidence of Bauer. Suppose this case could and did turn only upon his testimony, what says Bauer?
"Yes, it is his hand-writing:" not I believe; he is above sheltering himself under his belief; it is his hand-writing: at least, so says the interpreter. I am very sorry the Gentleman would not permit me to talk a little English to him: if I had, he would not have passed his examination quite so easy, as through the medium of an interpreter. What nice distinctions he can make, even in the turn, the formation, of a letter! He takes two or three letters from the rest:
Thus much, Gentlemen, is most certain, that Bauer's knowledge of Mr. De la Motte's hand is so imperfect, that there are three different papers which he verily believes are not the hand-writing of Mr. De la Motte, though, as to similitude, upon comparison you can find no difference, and though Lutterloh has sworn that he believes them to be so?
Now permit me to ask, upon what authority is Bauer's testimony founded? It is founded upon a very weak authority indeed. But first of all permit me to observe the manner in which he gave his evidence. If I take him right, he said he came to England only six months ago; and, as soon as he came, he lodged in Charles-street; yet afterwards, in the course of his examination, he confessed he lodged in another street so long ago as last August: consequently he swore to a thing not true, because he had, in fact, been in England eleven months instead of six, and did not lodge first in Charles-street, but in another place. He had a wish to have passed himself off to you as a merchant living in Charles-street; but, when I interrogated him to his merchandise, he dwindles down to a clerk, and confesses that he had never exercised any other office than the menial office of a clerk. He told you he knew Lutterloh some years ago; that his acquaintance ripened into friendship upon his last coming into England; and that, on the 25th of December, he saw Mr. De la Motte for the first time in his life; that at that time he brought a letter from Lutterloh, staid a very little while, and did not see him write; that he came again the next day but one, and staid as little a while; that, two days after that, he came again, which brings it to the 29th of December. And now you will find dates a little material. On the 29th, he, for the first time, saw Mr. De la Motte write. Why, what did he write? He says, he asked h im whether he had been at Plymouth or not, how long he had been at Wickham, and whether he had been at Portsmouth with Lutterloh? To these questions he saw Mr. De la Motte write down his answers; that is, he was in the room when he heard Mr. De la Motte ask these questions, and was in the room when, as he supposes, Mr. De la Motte wrote down these answers: but he does not affect, he does not dare to say, that he looked over the writing, or saw the words which Mr. De la Motte had thus written down. Now would you, or could you believe it possible, that Mr. Bauer should know the hand-writing of Mr. De la Motte from being in the same room, and seeing him write answers to questions that had been put to him? It does not appear that he ever looked on that paper after it was written. What should he look at it for? I do not believe there is a single word of truth in what he has said. It is the most foolish of all foolish stories. What could induce Mr. De la Motte to ask those questions? and, having asked them, why should he reduce them into writing? Whether he had been at Plymouth, or at Portsmouth, must be totally immaterial to Mr. De la Motte. But, Did you ever see him write afterwards? -
"Yes, I saw him write some days after." Unfortunately, I am afraid the exact time
"I cannot tell; I did not see that." If he did not see what was in the inside of the letter, has he a sufficient knowledge of the man's handwriting to tell the character in which these words were written, when in fact he did not see the words that those characters composed? Is not that sufficient to blast the testimony of any man? but is it not abundantly sufficient to blast the testimony of the friend of Lutterloh? If it rested upon Bauer's testimony alone, is it possible you could hesitate a moment about your verdict?
Let us see, then, how much the case is improved by the next witness, a very reputable, a very respectable Gentleman, Mr. Le Cointe. He says, that No. 11. which is the letter to the Commandant, is not his hand. He says,
"I have seen him write very seldom: I have doubts about No. 15. and doubts about No. 20." Then there is a note shewn him, which Lutterloh has told you was written by Mr. De la Motte, except only one or two words filled up by him. Observe what Le Cointe says upon this note! He says,
"The words ready money I believe to be the hand-writing of Mr. De la Motte; but I do not believe the rest is." Here then, you see, is the same disagreement as there was between Bauer and Lutterloh; for there are in this note twenty or thirty words, besides ready money, which Lutterloh swears are the hand-writing of Mr. De la Motte, except one or two words inserted by himself. Mr. Le Cointe as positively believes they are not. Surely this observation, founded as it is in truth, will make a very material impression on your minds. Observe likewise, that Mr. Le Cointe is asked, how often he had seen him write. He says, that he has seen Mr. De la Motte write his signature different times; but, except in one instance, he has never seen him write any thing but his signature. Now suppose, Gentlemen, for the sake of argument, Mr. Le Cointe had positively sworn that he had never seen Mr. De la Motte write any thing but his signature; and I will take that to be either D'Akerman or De la Motte: Do you think it possible that any Gentleman could swear with such certainty, as to authorise you to take away the life of a man upon his knowledge of the hand-writing? If he had only seen him write his name, he would not have seen him write more than half-a-dozen letters in the alphabet. Would you believe a man could swear with that degree of credit that he ought? I do not mean to throw any imputation upon Le Cointe; I dare say he believed it. But will you believe, that, from seeing a Gentleman write nothing but his signature, it is possible to swear to a whole letter? Has Mr. Le Cointe seen him write any thing else? He says,
"I rather apprehended he did once give me his address at Hampstead; but I am not certain of it." If he is not certain, it can be no evidence. You would not receive such testimony in a question of property; therefore you will not think of receiving it when Mr. De la Motte's life is at stake. He adds, that
"he once wrote a note in my shop." What are the contents of the note? what were the words of it?
"I don't know." The same observation I made upon Bauer. I do no mean to class Bauer and Le Cointe in the same scale of credit: I am sorry to see him in such company as Bauer and Lutterloh,
"Sir, do you form your judgment from these notes alone?" If he had answered in the affirmative, the Court would have told him that was not evidence, because, if he had never seen him write, though he had received ten thousand notes from him, it would be no proof of his hand-writing. I assert this proposition to be law; and I am sure I shall not be contradicted. Suppose he has received notes from Mr. De la Motte; is that to be evidence to convict? Might not his servant have written these notes? If that was to be evidence, every man of fashion in this town might have the spurious notes of their servants palmed upon them for their own, as they will not fatigue themselves with writing common notes of civility and invitation.
Put these notes out of the question, and see then whether my observations upon Le Cointe's belief are not founded in good sense; one of which has been upon the signature, consisting of six letters; another, upon the address at Hampstead, which he does not know he ever gave him; and the third, upon a note he saw him write, but is a stranger to every syllable of the contents.
I find the Law Officers of the Crown of whose ability and sagacity you can have no doubt, from the high situation in which they are placed, assisted as they are by the first Criminal Lawyer in England, have thought the evidence against Mr. De la Motte, upon the hand-writing, insufficient to convict him; and therefore another witness was produced for the purpose of shewing that there was a partnership between him and Waltrond. A partnership in treason, by which the act of one should convict the other, is a new idea, reserved for these enlightened times. For this purpose they call Elizabeth Hannet , to prove that Waltrond and Mr. De la Motte had been seen together in her house; imagining from thence, that this species of evidence (if Waltrond had, in your opinion, conveyed all this criminal correspondence to France) would operate so strongly upon your minds, as to induce you to find a verdict against Mr. De la Motte, though they really believed you were not justified to find that verdict upon the testimony of the handwriting by Lutterloh, Bauer, and Le Cointe. But is there any evidence of this connexion? Even Elizabeth Hannet, that is expressly called for the purpose, after hunting round the court, and looking in De la Motte's face without knowing him, retires without giving any evidence. Was it a material part of their case that a connexion should be shewn betweeen Waltrond and Mr. De la Motte? Yes! their judgement told them that they could not convict him without that connexion being proved; and, by calling Mrs. Hannet, they admit that the connexion was not proved before. Then, Gentlemen, in confirmation of my own observations, I have the opinion of the Attorney and Solicitor General, that the proof of the hand-writing was too weak to convict; that Lutterloh's evidence could not gain credit; that a connexion between Waltrond and De la Motte must be substantiated by Mrs. Hannet, who did not even know the face of Mr. De la Motte. It is strange, that, material as they thought this fact of connexion, in which I must beg leave to differ from them, they have called Mrs. Hannet, who cannot prove it; and they have not called the wife of Waltrond, who is one of their witnesses, and now waiting in the next room to be examined; whose name was delivered to Mr. De la Motte in the original list of witnesses. How happens it that Mrs. Waltrond, the wife of Mr. Waltrond, that they had subpaena'd as a witness, that they gave us notice they would produce, whose testimony we expected to have received - how happens it that she has not been called to prove that fact which they themselves thought so important? Whether Mr. De la Motte was, or was not, connected with Waltrond, this
In respect of those two letters produced from the Post-office, one of them only can be received in evidence. Those letters come under the charge of sending letters to certain subjects of the French King. The first letter was stopt at the Post-office. I am very ready to admit, that, if the letter was sent and delivered at the Post-office, it would be a sufficient act of sending it to certain subjects of the French King, not meaning to give up the observation upon the hand-writing. The second letter that is produced, Sir Stanyer Porten swears to the reality of; but he does not swear that he ever received that letter from the Post-office: he says, the cover has been lost. It is astonishing to me, that with all his ability, care and assiduity, he should have lost that which is alone material in this indictment; for that great man has lost the cover, without which this letter cannot be admitted in evidence. Be it De la Motte's hand-writing, for the sake of argument; be it the letter that is now produced in evidence, that Sir Stanyer Porten had given to Mr. Chamberlayne; if it does not appear that that letter was sent to a certain subject of the French King, it will operate nothing. I will admit, that it might be directed to a certain subject of the French King; but if it was not sent, or delivered, it is not criminal. Suppose a letter highly criminal was taken from the writer by force, when he was going to destroy it. Shall that rise up in judgment against him which he wished, and would have destroyed, if it had not been taken from him? It does not appear that this letter ever was in the Post-office; for Sir Stanyer Porten only tells you, that he found it in the Secretary's office. His
Gentlemen, I will trouble you but with a word more: I will for a moment suppose, that which I trust you never will believe, that all these papers which have been produced in evidence, and sworn to by the witnesses as the hand-writing of Mr. De la Motte, were really written by him: Are the contents of those letters treasonable? have they conveyed any treasonable intelligence to the enemy? For it is not sending a ballad to the enemy that is treason; it is not, as the indictment charges, sending to the enemy that Darby commanded the fleet at one time, and Hardy another; for, God knows, it is very immaterial to France whether Darby or Hardy commands: that is not the intelligence that is comprehended under the article of treason. These letters differ extremely from any that have been produced in a Court of Justice in high treason. In the case of Francia, who was a foreigner, the charge against him was not only for sending intelligence to the enemy, but for pressing the enemy to send arms, ammunition, and money, to supply the rebels in this country in supporting a rebellion that was then commenced, or in the act of commencing. That was a charge of a very different nature; but even in that, Francia was acquitted. In the case of Hensey, one of the letters, and that which operated to his conviction, was pressing the enemy to make an invasion upon this country. I am inclined to think that was the material part of the evidence upon which that indictment hinged; that it was the part upon which the jury gave their verdict; because I observe that Lord Mansfield, when he summed up to the jury, says,
"in one of his letters he had even invited the enemy to invade his native country, and to bring war and destruction into the heart of it." That is the letter that Lord Mansfield particularly lays his finger on. Observe, likewise, what Lord Mansfield says,
"that the guilt of this offence arises from the nature of the correspondence, which is calculated to betray the SECRETS of his King and Country to the enemy." Now, Gentlemen, remember that it was not for conveying intelligence only, but because Hensey conveyed correspondence, the nature of which was calculated to betray the SECRETS of his King and Country. Adopt Lord Mansfield's rule in the present case. I am now supposing that all these letters are proved, and are of Mr. De la Motte's hand-writing. Is the printed list of Haslar-hospital a secret? Is it a secret that there were certain vessels lost and damaged in a storm in the West-Indies? The moment the news came to England, it was publicly known; and Charity was universally throwing in its mite to the unfortunate sufferers at the time that this letter is supposed to be written, which was to convey that important intelligence to France, that was known to every man in England, that was known to every man in Europe. But there is a third species of intelligence; there is an account of Commodore Johnstone's squadron lying at Spithead. Is it possible that any man, who could read, could be ignorant of it? - Had not Commodore Johnstone's squadron been lying for weeks, for months, waiting for - God knows what - waiting for Seamen, Soldiers, Provisions, and Orders? And yet this is the important secret that has been conveyed to the enemy, for which this unfortunate Gentleman is to forfeit his life! In a word, supposing that it is his
Gentlemen, I had almost forgot to open to you some evidence which I am desired to produce. I do not know that it is necessary; but I wish to shew you, that what I have said of Mr. De la Motte is not my imagination, nor the imagination of the Prisoner. Some part of his history has been proved to you by the Witnesses already examined. I mean to shew you, that he has dealt in those articles which Roger mentioned, who laid out 300 l. for him in the space of four or five months for prints only. Now, as they have called Roger, I am to presume he is a witness that deserves credit; because it would be too much to suppose they have called none but bad, and kept back all the good Witnesses. I will not rank him with Lutterloh and Bauer, but with Mrs Lutterloh and Mrs. Waltrond. I will call to you two print-sellers, who will tell you they have often supplied Mr. De la Motte with prints; not common prints that were to be a cloak to iniquity, but that he was most attentive to the prints that he purchased; that he gave the highest prices for proof prints, which shews he meant them for the purpose of sending abroad, and not for the purpose of screening an illegal correspondence he was carrying on; for that might have been done as well with the common prints, as with the finest impressions. I shall call these Witnesses to confirm Roger's credit and testimony, if the Gentlemen attempt to impeach the credit of their own Witness, either by observation or evidence.
I will no longer trespass on your patience; but I implore you to recollect, that, if these papers convey such secret intelligence as constitute the crime of treason, the intelligence must be proved to be in the hand-writing of Mr. De la Motte by two witnesses, to whom you can give credit. Remember the mistake of that respectable Gentleman I mentioned to you in the cause in the Exchequer. Impute the same mistake to the frailty, if not to the wickedness of human nature, in the present case. If you think it possible that these Witnesses may have made an involuntary mistake, take care that you do not make an intentional mistake, by stamping an authority on their credit by your unequivocal belief, which must deprive of honour, and of life, that poor friendless Foreigner at the bar.
PICTOR MAR. PICOT sworn.
(Examined by Mr. Peckham.)
What are you? - A printseller and engraver.
Have you ever sold any prints to Mr. De la Motte? - I sold some to Mr. Roger for Mr. De la Motte.
Were the prints you sold him valuable, and on the best impression, or the refuse prints of your shop? - Some of the best impressions, and duplicates of them.
To what amount were the extent of your transactions? - I cannot tell; I always was paid ready cash: it was above 100 l. I believe.
Pictor Mar. Picot cross-examined by Mr. Attorney-General.
You are a tradesman that keeps no cash-book, I take it? - No.
When was it you sold these prints? - In July, September, and November, 1780; but I cannot tell exactly: as I was always paid ready cash, I took no memorandum of it.
Do you know a Mr. Waltrond? - I saw him once at my house with Mr. Roger.
You never saw Mr. De la Motte at your house? - Never in my life.
(Examined by Mr. Peckham.)
Are you a printseller? - I am.
Have you ever sold any prints to Mr. De la Motte? - Yes; and they were the best prints that could be procured. I sold him, as near as I can take from my books, to the amount of 93 l. 10 s. 6 d. between March 10th, 1779, and December 29th, 1780.
Do you know of any other articles he used to send abroad, Birmingham goods, or trinkets, or any thing of that kind? - No.
You sell a great many maps, I believe? - I do.
Look, and see whether that is one of your bills? (shewing the witness one). - Yes, this is my bill.
What is that
"Atlantic Neptune"? - Some maps, that are published by order of the Lords of the Admiralty, of America.
Are they reckoned accurate? - They are.
Do they particularly mark out, and with accuracy, the ports of America? - They are reputed so.
Mr. Peckham. They are sold publicly in your shop? - Yes.
It was not a secret to the Lords of the Admiralty? - No.
Mr. Solicitor-General. Look at that other bill; that is one of yours, I believe? - Yes, it is.
I see the last article is, three charts of the Atlantic Ocean? - Yes.
What part does it comprehend? - It is a general chart to exhibit the two continents of Europe and America.
Are they reputed charts of authority? - It is the best of the kind.
I ask you only for form's sake, whether these charts do or not delineate accurately the coasts of Europe as well as America? - They are understood so, as far as that small size can do.
There is one article of 51 l. do you recollect whether that article included maps, or prints only? - It refers to that bill that I just now had in my hand.
Roger called into court.
(Examined by Mr. Peckham.)
You appeared, I believe, before the Grand Jury? - I did.
Do you know Mr. Lutterloh? - Yes, I was with him.
Have you known Lutterloh for any time? - I have seen him three or four times, once at Charing-Cross, and once at Plymouth.
Did any conversation pass between you and Lutterloh before you went into the Grand Jury room, and when you came out from them, respecting Mr. De la Motte? - Yes, and I told that story directly to
What was the conversation that passed between you and Lutterloh, that you told to your friend Mr. Goss? - I observed Mr. Lutterloh was quite low and affected; Mr. Goss said he looked very affected: soon after, Lutterloh came and spoke to me in French; he said, that
"this was a very bad piece of work, and a bad affair for us." I said, You do not lose nothing, but I do; it is more unhappy for me than can be for any body. He said,
"I am very sorry, but Mr. De la Motte will be hanged" I said, You came here to find the bill; tell the Grand Jury, the Judge, the Jury, all justice. He said,
"Don't you know the Ministry will be very glad to have their vengeance for the death of Major Andre in this?" I said, How can you say so? what character you give of the Ministry! If they did know that, they would take him up for taking their character; and I would not speak to him. When Lutterloh was come back from the Grand Jury, he said,
"I know very well the bill will be found." Because for what, said I? He said,
"Because I swear any thing, and to the writing too:" he said, he had done it before the Grand Jury.
Court. What did he say he had done before the Grand Jury? - That he had swore to the hand-writing. I said it was a shame; I don't know who was next me; I take it it was Ratcliffe: I said, there is some man that deserves any punishment. He said,
"he was sure that it would be found." I said,
"How do you know that? If the bill is not found, you cannot make it found yourself."
"Oh, said he,
"I have told enough, and I can swear it was his writing." I never spoke no more; but after that we went to dinner, and at the dinner he kept such discourse I was ashamed to hear.
What was it? - I don't remember.
Did he say any thing else to you? - I do not remember that he spoke any thing more at the same time: at dinner he said,
"I know very well I could work better than him; I should be glad he would be hanged, because I could work by myself a great deal better than we do together."
Roger cross-examined by Mr. Attorney-General.
Lutterloh was no friend of yours? - I never knew him to be no friend.
Was this conversation in French? - Part in French, and part in English. I never heard him speak French but that day.
I believe he never spoke French before nor since: he was visited with a gift that day, that he lost in a moment again? - I promise you he can speak French perfectly well.
(Examined by Mr. Peckham.)
Do you know Mr. Lutterloh? - Yes; I have known him from eight or ten years ago.
What situation was he in when you first knew him? - A servant. I knew him afterwards keeping a chandler's shop in Castle-street, Leicester-fields.
Have you ever had any conversation with him about your going to France? - About his going to France, he made a kind of proposal to go to France, as he said there was a prince in Germany (I have forgot his name) that wanted money, and that he had several thousand stand of arms, and he would endeavour to sell them for him to the American Congress, and would advise with Dr. Franklin about it: he was to write to Dr. Franklin, to see if they could agree for them for the Americans.
You did not enter into this scheme with him? - I did not.
Is he a man you would trust, credit, or believe, after ten years knowledge of him? - I should rather doubt.
Is he a man of good or bad character? - I know no further of his character than what I have stated.
How long is it since your acquaintance ceased? - The exact time I cannot tell.
( Examined by Mr. Peckham.)
I believe Mr. Lutterloh lived some years ago with you as a servant? - He was my servant in the years 1769 and 1770; about a year and a half, I believe, in the whole.
When you dismissed him from your service, did you give him a character? - He never asked one, nor did I give him one. He left me, I think, but I cannot be accurate to the time, in 1771, or the latter end of 1770.
I can only ask you a general question, which is, if he had applied to you for a character, should you have given him one?
Mr. Solicitor-General. I object to that question; it is a very improper one.
Mr. Peckham. From what you know of this man, what is his character, good or bad? - While he lived with me, an accident happened; but he certainly behaved very well, and that accident I had no grounds to impute to him.
How came he to leave you? - I had followed the accident up as far as I could; but I could not trace it at all. I was determined to discharge him, not upon that ground, nor with any imputation of that sort to him when I discharged him.
You did not tell him so? - No; neither told him so, nor reported it; for I had no grounds.
If that accident had not happened to you, should you not have kept him? - I liked him extremely well as a servant.
If that accident had not happened to you, should you not have kept him? - I rather think I should not.
Mr. Wildman cross-examined by Mr. Solicitor-General.
Did you afterwards lend Mr. Lutterloh 15 l.? - In the settlement, when I discharged him, there might be a balance; but certainly I lent him nothing afterwards.
Mr. Peckham. We have been told you lent him 15 l. upon his note. Is that true? - There might be a balance; I have endeavoured to recollect it, but could not: mean, he might be in my debt, and I might take a note for it; but I can't speak with any certainty.
Mr. Peckham. He has said, that, some months after he left you, you lent him 15 l. upon his note? - Nothing, to my recollection, passed with him about money from the time that I discharged him.
You have no recollection of it? - No.
I do not know whether you recollect that he was afterwards in a shop? - I recollect to have heard it.
(The End of the Evidence for the Prisoner.)
Gentlemen of the Jury,
It becomes now my duty to address you, upon the subject of the manner in which the present prosecution has been supported, and the way in which the Prisoner has been defended.
I shall make but a very few observations upon the very long defence of my learned Friend; not from any incivility or disrepect towards him, but because it appeared to me then, as it does now, upon the best recollection I have of the observations he has made, that, notwithstanding they employed a very considerable part of your time, yet they have very little relation to this cause; though some part of the argument related to other causes, the history of which I am unacquainted with, the history of which he did not explain to you, but upon which I can safely pronounce, that they had nothing to do with this cause. I do not mention this as any reproach to the learned Gentleman; it certainly was his duty to offer what arose out of the case; and when he found himself tempted to deviate into matters that had no relation, nor any connection with this cause, he did it because he thought he might thereby withdraw your judgment and your attention from the merits of this cause.
And first, the old and common observations made by way of exciting some compassion towards the Prisoner. And very largely indeed my learned Friend explained to you, that which is perfectly new to me, though I have had the honour of practising in the court from which he supposes those partialities to be derived - that partiality was a principle of justice; and that, because the present prisoner is a foreigner, you, in judging upon the accusation against him, willact honourably if you act partially; that is, if you judge according to the arguments which the Counsel urged to you, not founded in fact, nor supported by reason, if you dismiss the evidence from your minds, and, upon considerations of indulgence and favour to a foreigner, you shall pronounce that foreigner innocent, when you would have convicted one of your countrymen, that such a conduct is honourable; that is, that it is honourable to break your oaths, to determine against that evidence according to which you are sworn to determine. I conceive it would be very dishonourable. I ask of you nothing more than this, that you should determine according to the evidence; not for him because he is a foreigner, not against him because he is a foreigner; but according to the true merits of the case laid before you, and according to that oath which I am sure you have not forgotten, though my learned Friend seems to have forgotten you have taken one: and, recording to that oath, and the evidence before you, I have not the least doubt you will determine. I must beg you to forget a little the lamentations over the misfortunes of this unhappy man, as he is called: I cannot agree that he is unhappy in the sense in which the Counsel wishes you to consider him; that, being innocent, he is in danger of being oppressed. What marks there are of oppression, or what proof of innocence, I need not take up your time in considering; but I will venture to say, that there is nothing unhappy in his situation, unless it he unhappy to commit great crimes, and to be detected in t he commission of them; to be brought to prosecution, and to be in danger of punishment. If this denominates a man unhappy, then he is properly to be pronounced unhappy; but if it be addressed to your compassion, that there is any thing particularly distressful and afflicting in his condition, except as he is a person accused and a prisoner, there is no foundation for it: for, helpless and destitute as this foreigner is of all assistance and support, he has, you see, the advantage of the ablest Counsel that the English bar affords; that Counsel assisted with an Attorney, with Witnesses, with every aid that a man in that condition can possibly have; and if the most illustrious of our countrymen was to he called into judgment for a similar crime, he could not possibly have any one aid or support, of which the man you are now trying is destitute.
I will not resort to any arguments to move passions of a different sort, because I would have you actuated by none, but form your judgment upon the evidence only. This country would be in an unhappy condition indeed, if men protected by its laws, deriving every comfort and happiness which the constitution of this country affords to those who live under it, could with impunity commit the crimes with which the prisoner is charged, and, when those crimes are proved upon them, could escape punishment, owing to any false and mistaken compassion: then all the efforts which we are making to resist the dreadful combination of our numerous enemies, might be in one moment frustrated and defeated by such intelligence as the present prosecution charges the prisoner with having either communicated, or endeavoured to communicate, to the enemies of this kingdom.
Some observations have been made, reflecting, in a peculiar way, on the conduct of this prosecution: I am very sorry they were made, because it obliges me to give an answer to it, which I should otherwise not have thought it becoming me to give; it forces me to express an opinion of my own, which, standing here as an Advocate, I ought not to wish should have any influence with you. God forbid, that the life of any man should ever depend upon the opinions of the Counsel in a cause but my opinion
Is it the business of Counsel to produce ten witnesses to prove that which is sufficiently proved by two, three, or four? and, if a Counsel is of opinion, as I am most clearly, that every point we could prove by fair evidence has most clearly been evinced by the witnesses that have been examined, would it not be wasting time? It was my opinion that it would, and therefore I declined examining those witnesses. They were very properly prepared to be examined, because no person can foresee what will be the evidence of the witnesses; and therefore it is proper not to rest upon one, two or three, but to have others ready, if either the health or the memory of those we first produce should happen to render them incapable of discharging that duty that is expected from them. My learned Friend supposed those witnesses were not produced by us, because their testimony would have been in favour of the Prisoner. The Gentleman whom he examined told him they are attending; and though he argues upon the supposition of those witnesses being in possession of facts which would be of advantage to his client, his own judgment informs him that it is safer for that client that those witnesses should not appear, for he does not call them. This, I conceive, you will think a sufficient answer to that imputation upon the prosecution. You have heard a great deal from my learned Friend relative to the nature of the crime; and, as it is now extremely late, I shall endeavour to explain to you very shortly the crime with which the prisoner stands charged, and then apply the evidence that has been given to prove that change, and shall take some notice of the efforts of my learned Friend to obviate the weight of that evidence.
You are now trying the Prisoner for the crime of high treason, which is described in two different ways: one is what the law calls compassing or imagining the death of the King; the other, adhering to the enemies of the kingdom. The nature of the crime in general is giving intelligence, or endeavouring to give intelligence, to the enemies of the kingdom. Now, whoever gives intelligence to the enemies of the kingdom, is judged by law to imagine the King's death, because he endeavours to assist the enemies of the King, and of the kingdom, in pursuing their war and hostile attempts against this kingdom, one of the great ends of which is certainly the destruction of the Sovereign upon the throne; and therefore the law has wisely again and again decided, that (for instance to take one fact) sending a letter of intelligence to an enemy at war with this country, is an open act, proving the imagination of the death of the King in the mind of him who sends it. Whoever sends intelligence, or employs another person to send intelligence, to the country at war with this, does adhere, in other words, does aid and assist the enemies of the kingdom; and it makes no difference in the crime, whether the intelligence actually reaches the enemy, or whether the assistance intended to be given is completed: he who does an act in order to assist the enemy, completes his guilt, whether the enemy receives that assistance or not. My learned Friend mentioned the case of Dr. Hensey, who was tried for a similar crime. Why he referred to it I don't exactly know: there are four lines in the report of that case, which most clearly comprehend the law upon this subject:
"Letters of advice and correspondence and intelligence to the enemy, to enable them to annoy us or defend themselves, written and sent in order to be
These are the general observations, and the only ones, as it seems to me, that I am under any necessity of making to you. Let me now state to you the particular acts that are here stated by the prosecution, as constituting the crime of the prisoner. And I think they may be reduced to four. - The first is, sending intelligence, with an intention that it should be delivered to the enemy. - The second is, collecting materials, in order to send intelligence - A third is, hiring Ratcliffe, and paying him for the purpose of conveying that intelligence. - And a fourth is, employing and hiring Lutterloh to gain and to send intelligence to the enemy. - Now then let me beg your attention to the evidence that has been given. That which is proper to begin with, though it is the last almost in point of date, is the apprehension of the prisoner. Mr. De la Motte is taken at his own lodgings, returning from a journey: he had been then certainly at Lutterloh's: upon his person are found certain papers. This is followed by the apprehension of Lutterloh, by several papers being found in Lutterloh's garden, many of which were written by the prisoner: he is proved by Lutterloh to have been employing him for a considerable space of time, in order to gain intelligence to send to France, and which Lutterloh understands to have been sent to France. Lutterloh goes to France also with the prisoner upon this business. You farther find, that during the period in which he has employed Lutterloh to gain intelligence, he, as well as other persons who are named, employed one Roger to carry packets to Ratcliffe, which packets Ratcliffe was engaged to carry to Boulogne: he is hired at 20 l. a trip, and is to be paid - 100 l. at a certain time: he is told he is to go very often, and he does go very often, and he himself has an interview with the prisoner. I say nothing to you of the particular contents of the papers that were actually put on board Ratcliffe's boat, and carried by him to France, because they have not been proved; but there are two letters that are in proof, one produced by Mr. Todd, the other by Sir Stanyer Porten, addressed to a Mr. Grolay, in Richlieu-street, in Paris, written by the prisoner, and containing intelligence.
This is in general the nature of the case. If it is proved, Can there be a doubt that he sent intelligence? Did he not send the two letters found in his own hand-writing, which were stopped at the Post-office? Did he not send those papers by Ratcliffe, which according to the evidence (which I shall presently shortly state to you) could be nothing but intelligence to the enemy, with which he had been furnished by Lutterloh,
Now the next thing I beg your attention to, is the several papers that were found in Lutterloh's garden. One, you will find, is a letter dated in 1778; another a letter dated 1779, in which mention is made of coals, in which they never dealt. In another he is speaking of his promises to Lutterloh, and in a language which beyond all doubt shewed what was the nature of the negociation and correspondence between them. Besides that, there is a paper called Instructions, which contains particular directions to Lutterloh to send two cutters, one to France, and the other to Spain, the moment that the squadron under the command of Commodore Johnstone should sail. There are also covers directed to the Commandants of different French ports.
These are the papers found in Lutterloh's garden, almost all of them in the handwriting of De la Motte. I should indeed say all, because the proof goes to all of them. Then does it not in the strongest manner prove the employment of Lutterloh? Add to that the evidence of Ratcliffe, and of Roger, with regard to that employment. But, in order to get rid of this testimony, of all of it indeed except the papers that were found upon the prisoner - for as to them there is no possible answer to be given; for Jellous, who took him, proved them to have been upon his person, and to have been thrown away in that hurry and confusion which a guilty man feels when he is apprehended; Lutterloh proved them to be papers which he had given him; one of which he procured, the others he himself prepared - to get rid of all this evidence, except relative to what was actually found upon his person, you have a prodigious long criticism upon the hand-writing of De la Motte, as it is proved in the papers found in Lutterloh's garden. If this man's hand-writing is not proved, how is it possible ever to prove a hand-writing? or when did you see or know of a hand-writing being proved? You have heard a great deal of similitude of hands: that might do very well for the purpose of my learned Friend; but it is nothing to the question, because this is not proved by similitude of hands; his hand-writing is proved by men who have seen him write; and they don't speak rashly, but with consideration. Mr. Lutterloh, who has seen him write, who saw him write the greater part of these, proves nearly all of them.
What is the next witness, Mr. Bauer? He was introduced to De la Motte by Lutterloh, and was employed by him. He sees him write twice. In what manner does he give his testimony? He does not swear roundly to every paper that is put into his hand: no, he is cautions; he excepts two or three, he cannot venture to say he thinks those the handwriting of the prisoner; they may or not be his hand-writing, but he doubts about it. Is this the language of a man who speaks rashly, and at hazard? or is it not the evidence that you would expect from a man exercising his judgment, and speaking soberly, as that judgment directs him? You have also the testimony of Mr. Le
It did not escape you, I am persuaded, that some of these letters were sealed with the same seal that Mr. Le Cointe has had affixed to letters sent him by Mr. De la Motte. Mr. Le Cointe's manner of proving the hand-writing does him great credit; he speaks with a caution which ought to be observed where a man's life is at stake. As to a little note which Lutterloh saw De la Motte write, in which are put down those sums of money which, according to the proposed plan and bargain Lutterloh and De la Motte were to receive from the French Ministry, if, in consequence of their communication to them, any of our ships should be taken; Mr. Le Cointe says,
"Upon the whole, I don't think any of it is Mr. De la Motte's writing, excepting the words ready money."
Then, Gentlemen, falling in with the handwriting, what is the evidence of Lutterloh? That he was employed by the prisoner to gain intelligence; that he sent him intelligence, from time to time, in which you see how Lutterloh is confirmed by the papers found upon the prisoner, which Lutterloh had supplied him with, as well as by those found in Lutterloh's garden. A great deal of pains has been taken to make you believe that Lutterloh is a man who deserves no credit. An examination has been gone into, in a way very highly improper; because, when the character of a witness is attempted to be impeached, it can only be done by enquiring into the general character the man bears in the world: you have not one witness produced to say, that Lutterloh is a man of such character that he does not deserve credit upon his oath. I protest I never heard a witness go through a long examination with more openness and fairness than he did; for, though he was obliged, when pressed by my learned Friend, to answer questions which must be very grating and painful to him to answer, when he was forced to give an account of himself, as having fallen from a condition very much above what he was afterwards reduced to; that he had fallen into that low condition; that, having been the nephew of a person who was agent (he calls him Ambassador) from the Duke of Brunswick, he was at last reduced to the situation of a common footman: and yet you do not find him endeavouring to sink these circumstances of his life, which it must be painful for him to relate; but he fairly and openly tells them to you.
Mr. Lutterloh, you are told, is a monster, is a traitor; in short, no words occur to my learned Friend, that are bitter enough to be used against him. If this be true, he has, I hope, made some recompense to this injured country for his crimes, by doing that which is the utmost and the best that can be expected from a man who embarks in such work: he has endeavoured to bring to justice the principal offender, by relating that which, I am persuaded, you will believe to be the truth. But, if he is a traitor, a monster; if no terms of reproach are strong enough to delineate his demerits, baseness, and wickedness; what is the prisoner? what
I say nothing to you now of the miserable attempts that were made to asperse and blacken the character of Lutterloh, by supposing that Mr. Wildman had detected him in a crime, and that another man would contradict him, and prove him to have said what he had denied; because Mr. Wildman has cleared him, beyond all doubt, from all suspicion, and has utterly disproved that foolish reproach, that was groundlesly adduced, and attempted to be thrown upon him.
As to the other, you are told that Lutterloh, forsooth, had become a witness against De la Motte from the hope of gain; that he had said De la Motte was rich, and he should have a good slice out of him, by convicting him of high treason: that is a strange way to get money from a man. But it did not immediately occur to me how this officer of France, reduced to beggary, and becoming a dealer in prints, Birmingham goods, and toys, should become a rich man, from whom Lutterloh was to get a slice. But it is wasting your time to make such remarks.
Besides aspersing the character of Lutterloh, and attempting to destroy his credit, he is held forth to you as one of the strangest men in the world; to which I have only to ask you, Did you ever in your life hear a story more perfectly strange and incredible, than the description given you by the Counsel of Mr. De la Motte? I have heard of men having been driven by their distresses from this country, and going to live in France, on account of the cheapness of the country; but I never before heard of a Baron, an officer of a regiment in France, coming here because he could not support himself in France; and I never heard of a Baron coming to England to deal in prints. The whole of that is so extremely ridiculous, that if you read it in a romance you would laugh at it, as being too absurd for that species of composition. That is hardly worth a remark, but for this observation, that you will see one contains Charts of America, which cost ten guineas, the other is Charts describing the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, both of America and Europe. I leave you to guess why De la Motte, employed as he is proved to have been, was so expensive in obtaining these Charts.
You have in evidence two letters; the one produced by Mr. Todd, the other by Sir Stanyer Porten. My learned Friend commented upon one of them, because it did not come from the Post-office. If it did not, it is not material. Sir Stanyer Porten says it came from the Post-office. Mr. Todd did not recollect that he had sent that letter to the Post-office; but the hand-writing of it is proved by three witnesses beyond all doubt. Sir Stanyer Porten says,
"It was sent to me from the Post-office; I have lost the cover of it; but it was directed to Mons. Mons. Grolay, No. 64, Richlieu-street, Paris." Mr. Todd says,
"I had directions to send letters, so addressed, to the office of the Secretary of State, Lord Hillsborough's, in which Sir Stanyer Porten was deputy secretary. There were but two so addressed; one I kept myself, and the other I sent accordingly. I cannot swear I sent that particular letter, but I sent another that was so directed." If Sir Stanyer Porten received this letter from the Post-office, which is the evidence of Mr. Todd, can there be a doubt but that this letter came from the Post-office? Not that it makes any difference, come how it would. If Sir Stanyer Porten had picked it up in the street, it would not less have been evidence, because it is proved to be the letter of the prisoner himself.
Gentlemen, you are to add to this the proof given by Roger and by Ratcliffe. Notwithstanding all the comments upon the witnesses, I may, I think, remark to you, that those witnesses did not speak with any appearances of preparation, or of art, but like men; - at least Mr. Ratcliffe, who was telling you simply the truth, as he recollected it. With respect to Roger, I leave you to judge whether he spoke any thing more against Mr. De la Motte than he could possibly avoid. That he was, in his heart, the friend of De la Motte, I think his examination, when he was called up a second time by my learned Friend, can leave no doubt. Now, what is the evidence given by Roger? - That Ratcliffe was employed to carry, not prints, not Birmingham toys, but to carry papers, or packets or parcels of papers. Upon what terms? At 20 l. a trip, with a promise from De la Motte of a gratuity of a hundred pounds, if he would be diligent and active. Now, if you had not heard the other part of the story, in God's name what must you at once have concluded that these papers contained? To run over again and again from Kent to Boulogne, out of all course of trade, merely to deliver these packets, and bring back an answer; for Ratcliffe swears he never carried any thing but papers, except once, at the time when he saw Mr. De la Motte: then with the papers there
"With some of the first you were quick enough; with some of the others you have not been so quick; and the same news gets sooner to France by other channels, and therefore it will not be worth while to employ you, unless you make haste." Why would the news getting into France by other hands, in a shorter time, render of no advantage the packets Ratcliffe carries, unless Ratcliffe communicates intelligence? What other construction can be put upon it? I don't wish you to presume or guess a man's life away; but I desire you to determine upon that evidence which, in this case, as well as in all others, carries conviction to your minds. If it stood alone upon that proof, I conceive you could not have a doubt that Ratcliffe was employed by De la Motte to carry the intelligence to France. Then what does Roger say? He tells you he carried these packets to Ratcliffe; that he was paid eight guineas a month, besides his expences, by De la Motte; and in the prints that he bought, he had a shilling in a guinea commission; and that when he went upon the coast of Kent, to carry these packets, he never carried any thing else but the papers: so that, for sending papers only down to Kent, this man receives eight guineas a month, besides his expences, and other advantages. Does this leave a doubt in your minds that this was intelligence to the enemy? Why should he pay so extravagant a price to send a few papers? And they were sent to the Commissary at Boulogne, directed in the name of a Mr. Smith. I defy any man who hears me to rise up and seriously tell me, that he has a doubt that those papers contained intelligence to the enemies of England. And if that single fact is made out against the prisoner, he stands beyond all doubt convicted; for then he has actually sent intelligence: and if it had not reached France, his guilt would be complete in having employed and paid this Ratcliffe to carry it.
Here, Gentlemen, let me remark, that all the papers which came from Roger, as well as those that came from Waltrond, seemed to be generally connected with De la Motte; for Roger tells you, that sometimes De la Motte and sometimes Waltrond paid him this eight guineas a month. He was paid but once by De la Motte. Besides, too, De la Motte's conversation connects the whole of the business with himself; for he speaks of the first of the packets: he says, those first sent went early; those afterwards had been flower in their carriage: that, you observe, was owing to Mr. Stewart's sending them to London. Then does not Mr. De la Motte, by this conversation, connect himself with all that passed before the time that Ratcliffe had an interview with him? Roger tells you, relative to the letters brought to his house for Waltrond, that he sometimes gave them to De la Motte; that De la Motte read them, and some of them he burnt. These letters were directed to Roger, and sent to him; yet he so well understands the business, that Waltrond and De la Motte are the same, that he gives the letters to De la Motte. Are not Waltrond, Roger, Ratcliffe, and De la Motte, by this evidence, undoubtedly joined together in the transaction?
You have heard arguments upon different parts of the case, as if each of them had stood separately: but they are not only each of them, as distinct transactions, clearly proved in the most satisfactory manner, but they add to the weight of each other; and every part of this one story, and one transaction, most strongly supports and corroborates the other. Lutterloh supplying De la Motte with intelligence in 1778, 1779, and 1780, is extremely consistent with the scheme of sending these papers by Ratcliffe. I have no doubt but he employed other instruments, and gained other intelligence, than by the means of Lutterloh. Lutterloh's district was Portsmouth. I have no doubt but that the scheme extended to Plymouth, and
These are, in general, all the remarks which, at this late hour, I think it at all necessary to trouble you with: but I recollect, my learned Friend told you, it must be secret intelligence; that the intelligence sent by the Prisoner was to be found in every news-paper; and therefore it is not secret, and is not treason. I own the term secret intelligence has never before occurred to me in the description of this sort of high treason; and there is one good reason why it never has, because no mortal can ever understand what is meant by secret. That this was intelligence which no news-paper could supply, there can be no doubt, because this is authentic, it is accurate: part of it, as Lutterloh tells you, was obtained of a man in an office at Portsmouth, whom he found means to corrupt; and there is a wide difference between reading it among common articles in a news-paper, if it could have got there, and having it by a trusty hand conveyed as actual intelligence received from the very port where those ships were preparing. Whether it was conceived to be valuable intelligence, or not, the price paid, of 20 l. a trip to Boulogne, will satisfy you; as well as the price paid to Lutterloh and Roger: that proves it was considered by them as valuable. And sorry I am to say, that one unfortunate fact has occurred, that the secret signals which should be known only to the officers of a fleet at sea, have, either by De la Motte or some other, been communicated to France. I do not say that is proved upon De la Motte: I only say that such a thing has happened; and it is obvious that such intelligence must be extremely important to the enemies of this country, and infinitely detrimental to us.
With these remarks I shall conclude; not wishing that you should carry the evidence the least beyond its plain and necessary import. Whatever my reasonings upon it have been, or whatever my opinions may be, they are to weigh no farther with you than as your judgment accompanies mine. I have not a wish to convict Mr. De la Motte as Mr. De la Motte, or as a man standing at that bar accused of the crime of high treason: as far as I know any thing of the man, considered distinctly from the proof adduced against him, I should hear his acquittal with as much ease, and as perfectly free from dissatisfaction, as any man that sits round me: and, if in your judgment he is not proved guilty of the facts upon which I have been reasoning, in God's name pronounce that he is not guilty. You will do justice, and you will do no more than justice. But, on the other hand, if your judgments accompany mine; if the Prisoner is, in your opinion, proved to have been guilty, I will not say of one, but of repeated acts of treason; if you are satisfied of that, upon the evidence you have heard, and are as well satisfied as you can ever expect to be in accusations of such a nature as the present; then, I own, I am not among the number of those who feel that which is falsely, and by a very unjust name, called compassion; for that sort of pity, or tenderness, which shall prevail upon a Jury to acquit a man proved to have committed such dangerous treason against this kingdom as the Prisoner at the bar has, if the proof be such as I have supposed it to be; though the Jury may have no criminal intention, they are, in truth, the most cruel enemies to their country; for such acquittals tend to encourage crimes like those which are charged upon the Prisoner, to lay open to our many enemies around us all the secret councils that are taken, and the preparations that are made, to defend ourselves against their attacks; and they tend, of course, to weaken, to disarm, and to destroy your Country.
Gentlemen of the Jury,
THE Prisoner at the bar, Francis Henry De la Motte, stands indicted for High Treason; and the treason which is specified in the indictment is of two sorts: first, compassing the death of the King; and, secondly, adhering to the King's enemies. The compassing the death of the King is the act of treason; and the overt acts which are laid in the indictment (the evidence of which I shall state to you presently) are only the means which are made use of to effectuate the intentions and the imaginations of the heart. In this way the crime of treason has been defined by our ancestors, and has been settled for ages past. The overt acts, of which evidence has been given to you, consist of collecting intelligence for the purpose of supplying the enemy with it, of sending intelligence to the enemy, and of hiring persons for the purpose of collecting that intelligence in this kingdom. The sending intelligence, or collecting intelligence, for the purpose of sending it to an enemy, to enable them to annoy us or to defend themselves, though it be never delivered to the enemy; or the hiring a person for that purpose, is an overt act of both the species of treason which I am stating to you from this indictment.
Gentlemen, having now stated to you what is the law, I will state to you the question which you are to consider. You are to consider whether the prisoner at the bar collected intelligence of the nature which you have heard, for the purpose of furnishing the enemy with it; whether he did hire Ratcliffe, or Lutterloh, or either of them, to convey this intelligence to the French; and whether the two letters which are proved to have been written by him, and sent to the Post-office, directed to Monsieur Grolay, were written and sent to the Post-office in order to be delivered to the enemy, and with intent to convey such intelligence to them: for in either of those cases, though the advice was intercepted, and no intelligence actually got to the hands of the enemy at all, yet the offence against the prisoner is proved, and it will be incumbent upon you to find him guilty.
Having now stated to you the law, and the questions for your consideration; I will state to you as fully as I can all the evidence that has been given, both for and against the prisoner; and, as I go through that evidence, I shall make such observations to you as occur to my mind; because I hold it to be the indispensible duty of the Court, to assist, and not to mislead or confound a Jury in their enquiry. But, before I make any observation to you upon the evidence, I must tell you, that you ought not to adopt any one observation that falls from me because it is mine: you are to exercise your own judgments upon the subject; and, if you don't agree with me in the observations which you hear from me, reject them all, and form your own opinions entirely upon the evidence.
His Lordship now summed up the evidence for the Crown, and then proceeded thus:
Now, Gentlemen, this is the evidence on the part of the prosecution; and it will be necessary for you to see, that some one of the acts charged upon him is proved by two witnesses; or otherwise, that two distinct acts are proved, each of them by one witness: for, if two acts are proved, one by one witness, and another by another, that is as much as the law requires.
The most material witness, and the man who has given you the longest and the most particular account of the conduct of the prisoner, is Lutterloh; and his credit has been attacked a good deal by argument; and some witnesses have been called to induce you to believe that he ought not to receive any credit at your hands. What credit he may or may not deserve, is for you alone to decide: but, in deciding that, you must consider all the evidence that has been given by other persons respecting the facts which he has sworn to; and judge, upon the whole, whether the account given by him is so substantiated that you will give credit to it. He has given you a very long account of himself: he does not seem to have kept back any thing respecting his own condition, even in times of his greatest distress; and the witnesses that have been called against him don't go so far as to say that they think he ought not to be believed.
For the prosecution they have produced
The Counsel on the part of the prisoner have first objected, that similitude of handwriting is no evidence. They certainly are right in that argument; but the objection does not apply to this case. Similitude of hand-writing is where a paper is produced, not sworn to by any body that has ever seen him write, or has any knowledge of his hand; but the inference is made that it is his hand-writing, because it is like some other which is so: but that is not the evidence that has been offered to you respecting any one of the papers which you have heard read: they have all been proved by persons who were acquainted with his hand-writing; every one of them is proved by Lutterloh; all but two by Le Cointe, and all but three by the witness Bauer; each of whom had seen the prisoner write. They speak not from the similitude of the writing only, but from their knowledge of his hand-writing, having seen the prisoner write before; and from that knowledge they say they believe the letters and papers are of his hand-writing. That, Gentlemen, is the only evidence which can be given of hand-writing, except it happens that there be a person who saw the prisoner actually write the papers. And this kind of evidence has been received in many cases before: it was so received in the case of Dr. Hensey, which was mentioned by the Counsel; and in many older cases the same rule has prevailed.
There is no such distinction as the Counsel for the prisoner attempted to make between that which is legal evidence in a civil action, and in a criminal prosecution: that which is evidence in one, is evidence in the other; and in one of the cases for high treason, where the letters were proved in the same manner that they have been now, the Chief Justice says, it is the common case of proving a man's hand-writing, which is done every day in an action between party and party. You are told, that you ought not to believe that this is the hand-writing of the prisoner, because one of the witnesses, namely Bauer, was not very conversant with his hand-writing; for he had seen him write only twice. That witness said he had seen the prisoner write only twice; but from thence he tells you he is able to form an opinion of the hand-writing, and that he believes it to be the hand-writing of the prisoner. Upon the question of the handwriting you have the evidence of three persons, who swear they are acquainted with his hand; and they believe that the several papers which were shewn to them, except two or three, which are not very material, are all of the prisoner's hand-writing. Those three are also proved by Lutterloh to be written by the prisoner; he swears he actually saw the prisoner write many of them. On the other hand, you have not a single witness called, who says he does not believe them to be the hand-writing of the prisoner; and therefore this part of the evidence stands uncontradicted.
These are the three witnesses called to impeach the credit of Lutterloh. The witness Lappel said he rather doubted whether he would trust or believe him.
The Counsel for the Defendant did not put the question in the manner the question always is, and ought to be put, if they mean to impeach the veracity of a witness; and every day's experience teaches the Gentlemen at the bar how they ought to put the question, if they think the answer will serve their purpose; for the question was never asked of any witness, whether he thought this man, from his general character, deserved to be believed upon his oath. The only question at all like that was put to Lappel, with this addition, whether he would trust or believe him. As to the other witnesses, they were never asked the question at all; and Mr. Wildman tells you, during the time Lutterloh was with him, he behaved extremely well; and he clears him from any imputation of being concerned in the misfortune that attended him whilst Lutterloh was with him.
Then, in deciding what credit you will give to the witness Lutterloh, you are likewise to examine all the other facts which have been given in evidence: and the different paper writings, that have been produced under the hand of the prisoner, are all circumstances for you to take into your consideration in the credit that you will give to him; for, if you find that his evidence is confirmed and supported by other evidence, it will be a ground for you to give credit to what he has said. But, whether you will give credit to him or not, is, as I told you before, a matter for your decision. If you give credit to him, and believe that these letters are the hand-writing of the Prisoner, there are then two witnesses to prove the act of hiring Lutterloh for the purpose of procuring intelligence to be sent abroad.
There is, distinct from that evidence, the account which you have had from the witness Ratcliffe, supported, as you have heard, in part by Mr. Stuart, with respect to the employment that he had under the prisoner; and he tells you, that the sums which he received were very considerable, and that he had a settled allowance for every trip which he took. On the part of the prisoner, it is said, that this man was employed only to send wares which the prisoner had bought at different places, prints which were valuable of their sort, and things which he had purchased at Birmingham. If Ratcliffe was employed only to carry such packages and goods, most undoubtedly that does not amount to any proof of his being hired by the prisoner to carry intelligence to the enemy: but you will consider the sums which were allowed to him for the trips which he made, the agreement which is proved as to the regularity and the frequency of his going, and that, at some of the times when packages were sent down to Canterbury, nothing else was sent with them.
Thus stands the evidence as to the hiring of the two persons whose names you have heard, namely, Ratcliffe and Lutterloh: and upon either of these parts of the case, if you should be of opinion they were hired by the prisoner for the purpose of conveying intelligence of the destination of our fleets, or the strength of the army and navy, to the enemy, the overt act is proved, which constitutes that species of treason which the prisoner is charged with.
But, besides that, there are the two letters which I mentioned to you last, and which are proved to be in the hand-writing of the prisoner, and put into the Post-office, that they were taken from thence, and that they were directed to Grolay, who lived in Paris. If the case stood upon this evidence only, it would be material for you to weigh the contents of those letters; for, if in those letters he has disclosed the state of the navy or the army of this country to the French, though they never were received, yet, being written by him for that purpose, and put into the Post-office, though intercepted, they do amount to an overt act of the two species of treason charged. That was the evidence in the case of Dr. Hensey, and in several other cases before that. It was solemnly decided by all the Judges of England
Now, having read these letters to you before, I shall only state to you generally, that one of them mentions at what time different East-India ships are to sail, some of which had already gone round from Gravesend, and that others were expected to sail within six or eight days; the number of regiments which were destined for the West-Indies; what preparation is making for the convoys, when those convoys are to fail, and where they are to go; the number of effective men which will be in North-America and Canada; that another convoy is to sail from Cork; when other Indian ships are expected to return from India, and particularly the number and size of the ships which were stationed off the Isle of Wight: and in that letter he compares the strength of the fleet, as then in England, to what the fleet was at Brest, or what the fleet in England would be when other ships returned here. In the other letter he states that Sir Samuel Hood had failed the Thursday before; he states how many ships of the line he had sailed with; and he states that other vessels, which are going to Gibraltar, are to sail with Admiral Hood to a certain latitude. These are the facts which are disclosed by the prisoner in the two letters sent, or directed, to Grolay; and, as I told you just now, upon these two letters, if you are satisfied with the proof that they are the prisoner's handwriting, and that they were sent or put into the Post-office by him for the purpose of conveying such intelligence to the enemy, upon that ground alone you will be obliged to find the prisoner guilty.
With respect to Lutterloh, I forgot, in going through the evidence, to state to you one fact which is very material in itself, and which likewise tends very strongly to confirm his evidence; and that is, the contents of the papers which were found upon the person of the prisoner. Those papers were the hand-writing of Lutterloh himself: the prisoner was not at home the night before he was apprehended: the Gentleman who came up from Wickham tells you, that he saw the prisoner at Wickham not above a day or two before the time that he heard that the prisoner was taken up. Then, a day or two after the prisoner was with Lutterloh at Wickham, he is apprehended in London, with papers in his pocket, written by Lutterloh, containing an account of all the ships that were at Portsmouth, or at Spithead, or that had sailed, or were intended to sail soon.
It is for you to lay all this evidence together; and if you are satisfied upon either of the three heads which I have mentioned to you, namely, that the prisoner did hire the two persons Ratcliffe and Lutterloh, or either of them, for the purpose of conveying intelligence to the enemy, that is an overt act of treason; or if you are not satisfied of that, and are satisfied that he did collect intelligence of the nature which you have heard, for the purpose of sending it, that also is a complete overt act of treason; or, in the third place, if you are satisfied that he sent those two letters to the Post-office for the same purpose, that also is another and complete overt act by itself: and in either of these cases you must find the prisoner guilty. On the other hand, if you do not believe that the information of the state of our fleets and armies, and their destinations, was gained by him for the purpose of supplying the enemy with it, and that he had no connexion with Ratcliffe or Lutterloh; or, if he had any connexion with them, yet that it was not for the purpose of sending advice or intelligence to the French, but merely for the purpose of sending goods, as suggested by the Counsel, to different places; and that the prisoner did
The trial began at nine o'clock in the morning; at thirty-five minutes after ten at night the Jury withdrew: they returned into court in eight minutes, with a verdict finding the prisoner
Mr. JUSTICE BULLER.
FRANCIS Henry De la Motte, the offence of which you stand convicted is so enormous, and the dangerous tendency of it is so obvious to every body who has heard, or who may hereafter read the transactions of this day, that it would be but mis-spending time to enlarge upon it. It is an offence for which every State under the sun has agreed in inflicting the most exemplary punishment.
There is no nation, no government under heaven, which would allow to a traitor of your description the same privileges, and the same indulgences, which you have experienced, during the course of your trial, at this bar. You have had a long, a full, and patient trial: you have had the assistance of such of the Advocates at the British bar, as you yourself approved: you have had a long previous information of the names of those who were to decide upon your guilt, or innocence; and you have had information, of equal length, of those who were to be adduced as witnesses against you. These are indulgences which are allowed in no country but in England; and you, though a foreigner, though a native of that country which has harboured an old inveterate hatred against this kingdom, and which is now at war with it, have yet received every indulgence which a British subject could enjoy. But, after all this, you have not been able to offer any fair, specious, or credible reason for the conduct which you have pursued. During your residence in this country, as well as during the course of your trial, you have received the protection of the Laws of the land. As such, you owed a duty to those Laws, and an allegiance to the King whose Laws they are; but you have thought fit to abuse that protection which you received. The Law of this Country, though flower in its progress, and more cautious in tracing out the unerring path of truth than the Laws of most other Countries, is not less sure than they are in detecting guilt; and, when guilt of such enormity as yours is detected, the Law must take its course. You have, by great and immense bribes, corrupted others to join you, within the very bowels of this Country, to become traitors against it, and to endeavour, as much as you could, to ruin the constitution, and to render a land of liberty and of freedom, of justice and of mercy, subject to the most arbitrary sway of its inveterate Foe. In such a case therefore as yours, you must expect to receive, from an English Court of Justice, that punishment which every country would inflict for the same offence. Such efforts as yours have hitherto proved ineffectual, and I trust in God they ever will. But the safety of the State requires that you should be made an example of, to deter others from meriting that fate which awaits you.
The sentence of the Law in your case is, and this Court doth adjudge,
That you be drawn upon a hurdle to the place of execution; that you be there hanged by the neck, but not until you are dead; but that, being alive, you be cut down, and your bowels taken out and burnt before your face; that your head be severed from your body, and your body divided into four parts; and that your head and quarters be disposed of as the King shall think fit: and may the Lord have mercy on your soul!
NUMBER VI. PART II.
KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON, &c.