20th October 1784
Reference Numbert17841020-39
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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971. WILLIAM MORRON otherwise MURRAY was indicted for feloniously stealing on the 3d day of April last, one canvas bag, value 2 d. and nine hundred and fifty-two guineas, value 999 l. 12 s. and eight shillings in monies numbered, the property of Robert Drummond , Esq ; Henry Drummond , Esq; George Drummond , Esq; and Andrew Barclay , Esq; in their dwelling house .

A Second Count for stealing the same, in the dwelling house of the said George Drummond .

The indictment was opened by Mr. Silvester, and Mr. Pigott also of Council for the prosecution, opened the case as follows:

May it please your Lordship, and you, Gentlemen of the Jury: It falls to my share, in the course of a profession, which has some duties attached to it, that though highly necessary, are certainly painful in their nature, to state to you the circumstances and history of the case of the unhappy young man, now at the bar; and Gentlemen, whatever view you may have of that case, I am persuaded you will agree with me in thinking, that if ever a case did call in a commercial city, such as this is, for the careful and attentive consideration of a Jury, for the fullest exposition, and for the most solemn, and interesting investigation, it is this which you are now about to hear. Gentlemen, you will easily believe, if you have ever heard of the names of the prosecutors, Messrs. Drummonds, in this transaction, that they are as free as their representative in this place must be, from any thing like zeal in a business which involves the life of a fellow creature; I shall think my duty therefore fully discharged in stating to you the history and circumstances of this case, and the steps which lead to it, and in laying before you all the evidence that I have to produce against the prisoner, leaving him and his fate to the laws of his country: but, Gentlemen, I am not without my anxieties on the subject, though they are of another kind; I wish, I confess, that the motives of this prosecution may be felt and understood, that the absolute necessity, the indispensible obligation, which subsists upon those who are the prosecutors, not to smother or suppress a transaction of this nature, happening so near the place in which we are now assembled; I wish, I say, that in this town the necessity for this investigation may be fully known: I am not without some reason to believe, that in this city there prevails a popular, but a very erroneous mistake, concerning the state of the law, as it relates to persons in the situation

in which the prisoner at the bar lately was; a mistake, which perhaps has heretofore been fatal to others, as it may to him: it is believed, that a clerk or servant to a banker or merchant, who imbezzles his master's property, is guilty of no criminal offence, that all that he commits is a breach of trust against the master who employs him; but that in a criminal view the opportunity which access to his master's property gives him, and which therefore, in all sense and reason, is an aggravation of his offence, so far from having that operation, changes his offence, and makes it breach of trust; and this opinion I am affraid has obtained, without any regard to the situation of that clerk or servant, and without any regard to the nature of the trust that has been placed in him; it has been believed to be general, and to extend to every sort of relation, between a master and that sort of servant that I am mentioning: this is a fatal opinion, and of most mischievous tendency in the place where we now are; and it is for the purpose of having the law in this matter settled, if there be persons that think it unsettled, for the purpose of having the law in this case fully understood, that this prosecution was brought before you; this motive however, though a powerful one, is not the only one: after it had been noised abroad, and the subject of public conversation, and of paragraphs in the newspapers, that a theft had been committed in the shop of a banker; do but consider for a moment the situation, in which all those persons who are employed in that banker's shop must be, but for this investigation, which if it does not tend to the conviction of the prisoner, tends at least to remove such a degree of suspicion as to clear all his fellow servants: Gentlemen, to those persons you will recollect, that, character is not to them, as it is to other persons, that which sweetens all the enjoyments, and all the satisfaction of life, it is to them existence; they can have no existence without the possession of a character perfectly irreproachable; and if a robbery has been committed in a banker's shop, in which a great number of these young persons are employed, many of whom are of respectable families and connections, and a general suspicion is suffered to becloud that shop, and the particulars are smothered and suppressed, only consider the dreadful consequences; the consequence to the public you will readily perceive, Gentlemen, is greater still; a banker is a person in whom the most extensive and unlimited confidence is placed, and they would have but little pretensions to the future confidence of their employers, if they suffered such a transaction as this to sleep in obscurity: Gentlemen, those who know the Messrs. Drummonds, the prosecutors, will readily believe, that if there should in the course of the investigation of this business, appear any circumstances which ought to have weight in another place, so far as they can, with propriety and consistency, give that weight their aid, they will do it; but the occasion, the time, and the place, are not yet arrived; the prisoner must first take his trial, and all the effect which belongs to the evidence, that evidence must receive from this Court, and from a Jury of his country, before they think themselves at liberty to lend an ear to any considerations whatever, with which mercy to the prisoner may be mixed. A banker is bound in my opinion, and I have had no scruple to express it, to conduct himself in a case like this, precisely like the Bank or any other monied corporation; to suffer the law to take its course; and not to intercept the law in any shape in its progress. Gentlemen, Messrs. Drummonds are bankers , I believe I need not say to you, as considerable as any in either of these two united cities of London and Westminster; they employ a great number of persons, and, amongst others, they had in their employment the prisoner, he has been in that employment for eight years; during the two last years, and since 1782, he has received the salary of eighty pounds a year; but by all the emoluments, all the little advantages which arose from his situation added to that eighty pounds, he has not been in the last two years, in the receipt of above one hundred a year; he went in originally as you may easily believe, at a much less sum: it will be necessary for you to attend to his particular situation and employment in that house; for the last eighteen months, it has been his employment and business, to keep the cash-book, he was not employed in the receipt or payment of money, still less has he been employed in having committed to him the possession of all the money in that house, he has not even had the charge, the care, and over-sight of that money, but it has been his business to keep the cash-book, and that for about eighteen months past; it is possible that it might in the course of that time, have occurred to him, to have been sent down to the place, in which the money of this shop, except that which is kept in the drawers, by persons who pay bills in the shop; it may be his fate, I say, to have been sent down to this place, perhaps once or twice at the most, with plate or a box of writings, deposited in the shop by some customer; further than that he has not had access either to this room or this shop; if I am mistaken in this, and he should by accident, when a bag of money has been wanted, if he should have been sent with the key to bring that bag of money, I hazard nothing, I am sure when I tell you, that it will not change his situation in making him guilty of felony, if he had imbezzled that money; I presume to state to you, without fear of contradiction, that he is as clearly guilty of felony, as if he had never seen that strong room in his life. It is the practice of this banking house, every Saturday night, to take an account of the quantity of money in this strong room; a person whose business it was to take an account of that money, took that account on Saturday the 3d of April, and having taken the account, he brings the account of the quantity of money he has taken to another clerk, who is a check clerk, and who knows consequently what money ought to be in the shop, that clerk compares his account of the cash taken, with the other clerk, who is the check clerk; and consequently they are enabled to see, whether all the money that ought to be in the shop is there: on the 3d of April, the Gentleman who took this account, in comparing the account, found there was a deficiency of one thousand pounds; you will understand, Gentlemen, that in these chests the money is kept, in bags of one thousand pounds; however, in a place in which such a defalcation as this never happened before, where nobody looked for or expected any such thing, where all the figures answered but one, the first thing that would occur to these persons, would be, that they had made some mistake; a re-examination was had, with all the care which it became them to use, to see if they had committed any mistake; no mistake was committed, and the deficiency of one thousand pounds was found to be actual: you will readily believe this occasioned a great deal of enquiry amongst the clerks in all the house, and excited a great deal of alarm and uneasiness; no person confessed the offence, no means were discovered to fix it on one clerk more than another, and with such unpleasant circumstances, did this transaction rest, from the 3d of April to the 24th of September following, upwards I believe of six months; upon that day it was found that the book called an entry book was missing, and three days afterwards, on the 27th of September, it was found that some leaves had been torn out of a balance book; the alarm and the uneasiness were not likely to be the less for this; it was the subject of a great deal of curiosity, impatient and painful curiosity, to almost all the persons in the house, and a Gentleman who is very much in the confidence of the Messrs. Drummonds, and who from long and faithful service deserves to be so, from great sagacity of observation, discovered that the prisoner seemed to be less curious and anxious than the rest of the clerks were, about one book being missing, and leaves being torn out of another; that Gentleman's name is Wheatley, this first drew his attention to the prisoner, and application, private as it must be in its nature, was made to the person with whom the prisoner lodged, to know of him, whether he had observed in the prisoner's conduct, manners or mode of life, any thing that could lead to further suspicion; that person answered, that his expences were certainly beyond the natural expence of a person in his situation, he answered so without hesitation, he had been told that he had money in the Bank; enquiry was accordingly made at the Bank, and this further clew being obtained, in searching the books of the Bank it was discovered, that there was there four hundred and twenty pounds in the three per cent annuities, in the name of the prisoner at the bar: Messrs. Drummonds did not want to be told that he had no fortune, and it was not very likely that he should have acquired that sum of money; besides upon looking into the dates, it was discovered that this four hundred and twenty pounds, together with a sum of three hundred and twenty pounds, and all but one hundred pounds, had been purchased subsequent to the loss of this bag of money: as no man is at any loss to account for money that he comes honestly by, you will easily believe, it was natural to expect he should account for this money: it occurred to the Messrs. Drummonds, upon understanding that he was intimate, and had much intercourse with a person, who I believe is a relation of his, that is named Wright, it was suspected that he might have money in the Bank in his name or some other person; application was made to him, and he, on the instant he was applied to, confessed that the prisoner at the bar had given him money, to purchase in the name of him Mr. Wright, but for the use of the prisoner, in which he had purchased four sums of money, amounting in the whole to the sum of one thousand and fifty pounds in the four per cent. annuities: when this further discovery was made, very little doubt remained in the minds of the Messrs. Drummonds, who was the person that had been guilty of this depredation in their house, and of course they thought this a sufficient foundation to apply for a warrant to apprehend the prisoner; when the prisoner applied to this Mr. Wright to lay out the money for him, he felt the necessity of accounting to him in some measure for it, and accordingly he said, a friend of his, a Mr. Stanton in the country, had two hundred pounds of the money, and two hundred pounds belonged to him, and had been sent to him for the purpose of laying out; and as to the rest, it was made up of the three per cents. which he said, he had sold out, and of the savings of his situation: when he was taken up two of the partners of this house attended Mr. Justice Addington's, and whilst he was there, and when very little or no examination had taken place, Mr. Adington having accidentally left the room, and one of the Mr. Drummonds and Mr. Wheatly having gone out for the purpose of conferring on what was necessary, one of the partners, Mr. George Drummond being left, the prisoner desired to speak to him; Mr. Drummond had some little reluctance at going on one side with him, because the prisoner had said that if he was accused by those gentlemen he should certainly put them to death, he should pistol them; and he having made some such declaration, Mr. Drummond, who knew that when he was taken into custody there were found upon him a pair of pistols charged, and a bottle of laudanum, had therefore some little reluctance in trusting himself alone with this man, not knowing what an unhappy and desperate man might do; however the prisoner having declared he meant him no harm, Mr. Drummond was prevailed upon to walk on one side with him; he immediately told him, without promise, or application, or any thing of the kind, the prisoner told Mr. George Drummond that he had taken the bag of money, that he had taken the thousand pounds. Gentlemen, this was supposed to end the business, all that then remained to be done, at least, as he underwent little examination, I believe at that time, Mr. Addington, the Justice, thought it was necessary he should undergo some formal examination, the next morning he was brought up: nothing having passed from Mr. Drummond, no application from him, no question, I believe, even put to him whether he was the guilty man or not, but from himself spontaneously he desired Mr. Drummond to walk on one side, and he then made a full, plain, and unequivocal confession of his guilt to Mr. Drummond; he was remanded by Mr. Addington for the purpose of being brought up the next morning, and I believe, in the evening of that day, while he was in that situation, one of the clerks of Messrs. Drummond, without the privity and knowledge of any person in the house made him a visit in prison, feeling a great anxiety about the other clerks in the house, not doubting but the candour of the world would free them from suspicion, but from an excess of caution and great anxiety, Mr. Crabbs, a gentleman in the house, called upon him, and the prisoner said he did not take those other sums of money (which Mr. Crabbs mentioned to him) but that he had made those alterations in the books. The next morning he was brought up before Mr. Addington again, when he made another confession, including the substance of the confession he had made the day before, an acknowledgment that he had taken the thousand pounds, together with the other sums of money, and that he had made those alterations in the books: Mr. Addington then reduced that confession into writing, and I believe, that he signed it in the presence of Mr. Addington and Mr. Wheatley: the receipts for the transfers which had been made to Mr. Wright were found in the possession of the prisoner; upon the back of those receipts there appeared an obliteration of something that had been written on them: Wright I understand, who will be called to day, will tell you in evidence, that the prisoner required him to write on the back of these transfers an acknowledgment that the money belonged to him, and that he did write such acknowledgment as required by the prisoner; in his custody they were found, but the declaration at the back of them obliterated: and this Gentlemen, I believe, will be almost the whole of the evidence; you will understand that it is the practice in this, and I believe every other banking-house, to take a security from all those persons who are taken into the employ of the banker, to account faithfully for any sums of money, bonds, bills, &c. that may be intrusted to them; you know, perhaps as well as I do, that where a particular sum of money, or a particular security for money is given specifically, and individually to one clerk, for the purpose of paying it away, and receiving it in a bill, and that clerk diverts the property, he does not commit a felony (except in the case of the bank, in which case a particular act of parliament has passed) because that circumstance, which is essential, that is a felonious taking, is wanting; and that property which comes to a man lawfully, namely, by delivering to him, he cannot commit a felony upon, at least not unless there be special circumstances: it is for this purpose that the Gentlemen who are bankers always take a bond, which only goes to the extent of one thousand pounds, it not being usual to commit any sum of money, or security for money, at one time, except to a very trusty clerk, above that sum; and if a breach of trust does happen, they have a security, the bond is, that he shall well and faithfully account for all sum and sums of money, &c. with which he shall or may be intrusted. Gentlemen, you know perfectly well whatever may be the inconvenience of this, upon general principles of law, the wisdom of which is very apparent, it is, and always has been uniformly held, that if the possession of property is delivered to a man, and he misapplies that property, or embezzles it, or makes away with it, he does not commit a felony on it, because the owner knows to whom he has given it, and as to the restoration of it there is no uncertainty who has it, no clandestine taking, there does not consist that clandestine secret taking, and a denial when charged, so that because clerks are necessarily and occasionally trusted with specific sums of money, and therefore if they imbezzle these, are not guilty of felony; to that I attribute the confusion which has arisen upon that, by unlettered persons, and that an opinion has prevailed that a clerk cannot commit a felony on the property of his master, for which opinion there is no foundation; for if a clerk has the care of money, if he has access to it for particular and special purposes, and is sent to the bag or drawer for money for the purpose of paying a bill, if he is sent for the purpose of bringing money out of that chest, or drawer, to pay a bill, and at the time he brings that money, he clandestinely and secretly takes out money for his own use, he is as much guilty of a felony as if he had no access to that drawer; if I send my servant to my library for one book, and he takes another; if I send him for my hat and sword, and he steals my cane, he is guilty of felony: in all these cases there can be no question upon it, and most unhappy I am sure will be the predicament of that young man whose case rests upon it; in all these cases he is undoubtedly guilty of felony. Gentlemen, it of some little importance that all this should be fully understood, and it is the only satisfaction that I derive in this business, that I contribute my mite in having it fully understood in this commercial city, where there is but too much reason to believe that this opinion has led young men, who have not been upon their guard, in this licentious age, into practices which they might be prevailed upon to avoid, if this matter was fully understood, even if their sense of the obligations of morality and religion took no hold of them. Gentlemen, I am persuaded that those reverend persons who assist you in the administration of the laws, will warrant what I have said, and give it that sanction it can have alone from them, by telling you that I have not gone further in stating the law to you than the duty of a candid advocate at least: I shall proceed to call my witnesses, and they will state the facts, and with that my duty will be finished.


Examined by Mr. Silvester. You are clerk in Messrs. Drummond's house at Charing-cross? - Yes.

At what time was it you missed any sum of money? - On the third of April.

When did you take the account before? - On the Saturday before.

On the third of April, when you took the account, how did you find the account stand then? - The deficiency of one bag of gold.

The shop and the strong room are all one building, and Mr. George Drummond lives in the house? - Yes.

Mr. Fielding, one of Prisoner's Council. You speak as to the deficiency in one book? - I do.

You collect that there was a deficiency by looking into a variety of books? - In one book.

Have you that book here? - I believe it is here.

How many people have access to this book? - Everybody in the shop.

Whose business particularly is it to write in the book? - His name is Cockhill.

Then he is the clerk that makes the particular entries? - Yes.

On looking over that book, taking it for granted that those entries are right, you only speak from thence? - No further.

Then from that you suppose there is the deficiency of the bag? - Yes, they did not agree.


Examined by Mr. Pigott.

What is your particular department? - I pay bank notes, and keep a balance book on account of the balance of cash in that house: on Saturday the 3d of April, Mr. Heald, the person who has the care of the money, asked me how many money bags there were in my books; I

told him; he said, then there was a bag deficient, that means there was one thousand pounds less in the iron chest than in the books; then we examined the books, to see if we could find any mistakes; we found no mistake, we could not find out that deficiency.

Where is this money kept? - It is kept down in a strong room, locked up in an iron chest.

Who had the immediate charge and custody of that money? - Mr. Heald.

What was the situation of the prisoner in the shop? - He kept the cash book at that time.

Did he pay money? - I do not recollect that ever he did.

Did he receive money? - Not that I know of or remember.

Do you know of his having been sent to this chest at any time to bring up money? - I do not know that he was, not in my knowledge; he had nothing at all to do with the strong room, it was totally out of his department.

Mr. Garrow, another of the Prisoner's Council. I observed you made use of this expression, that you could not find out that deficiency; did you mean by that, that you did find out other errors? - No, Sir, we did not find out any others.

The key of this strong chest and this strong room, I believe, are both deposited in the shop? - They are.

All the clerks and all the persons concerned in the house have access to these keys? - They may go to them, the strong room is locked up all day long.

This balance book is made up from the other clerks books? - Yes.

You cannot get at the data but from taking the sums they give you, the sums paid in or out? - No.

If one of these clerks was to put down one thousand pounds, more or less, that would account for the difference between the balance book and the state of the cash? - I examined the tellers books every day.

It all depends on the truth and accuracy of their books? - In some respects it does, we examined the books of the shop for many nights together.

Is not it the practice of the house, when a clerk is received in any department, that he receives his instructions as to his duty? - I cannot say.

Mr. Pigott. You have that balance book? - Yes.

(The balance book produced.)

Mr. Pigot to Heald. Where is this money kept? - In a strong room below.

Is that room kept locked or open? - Locked.

Where is the key kept? - In the day in an open drawer, near where I do business; my department is to pay away bank notes.

Has every clerk in the house, at his pleasure, access to those keys in that drawer? - He might in the course of the business.

They might have access to that drawer, and come and take away any key they think proper? - Yes.

I want to know whether, in the course of the business of the house, it is the business of any clerk in the house to come and take the key of that strong room? - Not of any particular clerk.

Whose business is it? - It is not any one's immediate business; any clerk may take the key and go and fetch up a bag of money.

Is it the business of every clerk to pay bills? - No.

Is it the business of a clerk who does not pay bills; was it the business of the prisoner? - I do not look upon it to be his business, but he might do it.

In the course of the business, whose business it is to go to that drawer, and take the key, and go down to the strong room for a bag of money? - There is no particular person appointed for that purpose.

- WHEATLEY sworn.

Examined by Mr. Silvester.

You manage, I believe, the business of Messrs. Drummonds? - Yes.

What was the station and employment of that young man at the bar? - His employment was to write the book we call the cash book; he assisted in checking from one clerk to another.

Was he the pay clerk at all? - Not at all.

Was it any part of his duty to go down to the strong room for the cash? - Not his duty or his business.

Who has that key? - That key is kept by Mr. Heald, in a drawer near him.

If Heald is applied to for a bag, and is busy, he sends down another clerk? - If another teller comes, and he says I want a bag of gold, I am very busy, he sends down another teller for the bag.

Every night you balance your accounts, but on the Saturday you balance your accounts of the strong room? - Yes, we tell over the bags in the strong room, and see if they agree with our balance book; if there is a deficiency in the number of bags, it must be taken out of the strong room, or it may be taken out of the shop in the course of the day, where three or four are behind the counter, there is a possibility of that; the bags are one thousand pounds each: on Monday the 5th of April I heard that this bag was missing.

What did you do in consequence of that? - We made every enquiry and examination that we possibly could; we examined the balance books for many months prior to that, but we could find no mistake.

What did you do then? - We continued our examination for a long while, without any sort of success; during our examination we found leaves that had been torn out of a book that we call a waste book, which still made the matter more complicated and more distressing.

Court. When was that? - I do not recollect the dates of the leaves, it was in the course of a week after the discovery of the loss.

Mr. Silvester. The suspicions fell upon the prisoner, in consequence of an entry book being tore? - His behaviour was so different from the other clerks; in consequence of that, we acquired of Mr. Harvey, the person where he lodged, and in consequence of some conversation with him, we sent to the Bank, and there we found four hundred and twenty pounds, 3 per cents. Standing in the prisoner's name; I did not go to the Bank myself.

What was the salary of this young man at your house? - His last salary was eighty pounds a year.

Were there any emoluments? - Yes, altogether nearly ninety pounds a year.

How long was he in that station, with respect to salary and emoluments? - Twelve months at Christmas last, from Christmas 1782 it commenced.

What was his salary before that? - Sixty pounds.

Mr. Fielding, another of the Prisoner's Council. You found the difficulties of ascertaining the matter encreased by leaves being torn out of the books? - That did not prevent us from ascertaining the matter.

The only mode by which any ascertainment could be got at, was by viewing the books? - By comparing the books with the bags that we had.

You think a bag might have been taken out of the shop in the manner you have mentioned? - Yes, but we should have found it out when we came to make up our balance.

Mr. Silvester. If I understand you right, the balance book was not torn at all? - It was compleat.

Then have you the least doubt in your mind, that a thousand pounds was taken from these gentlemen? - No.

Can the deficiency be ascertained in any other way? - Not that I know of, I do not think it possible.


Examined by Mr. Pigott.

Do you know the prisoner? - Yes.

Was you ever employed by him to purchase some stock for him? - Yes.

When? - The first purchase I made was the 23d of August 1783, of fifty pounds; another purchase of fifty pounds, October 3, 1783, it was 3 per cent. consols. the 27th of April 1784, I bought two hundred and fifty pounds; July 23, 1784, seventy pounds.

Did you purchase them in his own name? - Yes, he paid me the money.


Examined by Mr. Silvester.

I am clerk to Captain Armstrong , he is a navy agent.

Did you purchase any 4 per cent. Stock at any time for the prisoner? - Yes.

What were the dates? - I do not recollect.

Look at these receipts. - I am a relation of the prisoner's; he applied to me to purchase stock; the first time was the 8th of June 1784, I then purchased five hundred and twenty-five pounds, 4 per cent. the next was the 1st of July last, then two hundred and sixty-two pounds ten shillings, 4 per cent, the third was the 7th of September last, two hundred and sixty-two pounds ten shillings.

In whose name did you purchase? - In my own name.

How came you to do that? - He desired me to do it, to save him the expence and trouble of a broker.

How would that save the brokerage? - I could not save him the brokerage, but I saved him the trouble of receiving the dividends, and paid it over to him without giving him any trouble.

Did you write any acknowledgments upon the back of the receipts? - I wrote an acknowledgment upon each and signed it.

What did you do with the receipts? - I kept them.

Did you always keep them? - Yes, he returned them to me again as soon as I had wrote the acknowledgment upon the back.

Where were those receipts found? - In my custody.

Who scratched this out? - He did it himself.

When was it done? - It was done after I purchased the last, I do not remember the day.

Court. What did the whole sum make together? - One thousand and fifty pounds.

Did he give you any reason why he struck it out? - He desired me to burn the receipts, as they were of no use, I having accepted the stock in the Bank.

Can you explain why this was to be obliterated? - I cannot; I asked him his reasons, and he said the whole receipts might be burnt, as I had accepted the stocks in the Bank.

Court. How long was it after the last purchase that these were obliterated? - Not many days.

How many? - I do not recollect: he returned me the transfer receipts before he obliterated the acknowledgment; he called on me one afternoon, and told me that I might have burnt the receipts, for they were of no use; he then took and obliterated the acknowledgments on the back of each: I did not chuse to burn them, I kept them by me.

How long after the last purchase was this? - I dare say it was within a fortnight.

Court. When had you the transfer papers first in your possession, before the acknowledgement was obliterated? - I do not recollect.

Did he deliver them back according as each transfer was made? - Yes.

Not altogether? - No, he afterwards had them, and delivered them altogether.

You knew his situation, he was clerk to Mr. Drummond? - Yes.

Had you any conversation with him? - Yes.

What did he say? - He brought four hundred pounds to me first, he said two hundred pounds he had received from a relation out of the country, and the other he had saved out of his salary, that was the first four hundred pounds; he desired me to go to the Bank and purchase in my name, to

save him the trouble of going for the dividends, as he could not leave his business; I did so: he brought me afterwards two hundred pounds more, and told me that part of it belonged to a Lady in Lancaster, and the other part was part of the money that he had in the 3 per cents. which he had sold out, and wished that likewise to be purchased in the 4 per cent. which I did: the last time, he told me he had compleated the money that he had in the 3 per cents. and likewise the money that belonged to the lady at Lancaster, or Manchester.

What do you mean by compleating the money? - He had sold out all his money in the 3 percents.

What sum did he give you then? - Two hundred pounds; and the money that was in the 3 per cents. he told me had saved out of his salary and perquisites.


Examined by Mr. Pigott.

Are you one of the partners in this banking house? - Yes.

Who are the partners? - Mr. Robert Drummond , Henry Drummond , George Drummond , and Andrew Barclay .

Do you live in the dwelling house that adjoins to the shop? - I do.

The part in which the shop is carried on, and all the business that is necessary to the shop, I understand belongs to the partners? - Yes, it does.

Do you pay the partnership rent for that part of the house you live in? - Yes, I do.

Mr. Drummond, were you in company with the prisoner at any time at Mr. Addington's? - No, Sir, I was at Mr. Henry Drummond 's, in St. James's-square, it was Saturday the 2d of October, I went there about ten, between ten and eleven in the morning, the prisoner was not there, he came afterwards in custody.

Did anything pass between him and you while you was in that room? - Yes, there did.

Where was Mr. Addington, the Justice, at that time? - He was out of the room.

Where was Mr. Henry Drummond ? - He was out of the room.

Where was Mr. Wheatley? - He was out of the room.

What led them out? - I do not know.

Did you speak to the prisoner? - No, I did not; he expressed a desire to speak to me, I went first out of the room and told Mr. Addington so, and he advised me to speak to the prisoner, and hear what he had to say.

Did you testify any reluctance to speak to him alone? - I did.

Probably that was before you went to Mr. Addington's? - It was both before and after.

What did the pri soner say? - I went on one side with him, and he said, I took the thousand pounds.

Did you make him any promise or threat previous to his telling you that? - No, I did not.

Did you give him any intimation of any kind? - No, I did not.

What did you say to him? - I then said, to the best of my recollection, did you take any thing else? and he said, no, nothing.

From thence I believe he was sent to prison? - He was.

The one thousand pounds deficient in the stock, was the joint property, I presume, of the banking house? - It was.

Mr. Fielding. I understand you live in a part of this house? - I do.

The shop is the joint property of the partnership? - The whole house is the joint property.

In the part you live in, you pay a consideration? - I pay so much a year for that part I call my dwelling house.

That part is distinct from the shop? - It is so far distinct that there is a door.

This young man had been in custody of the peace officers for some time before you saw him in St. James's-square? - He went immediately to St. James's-square.

Was not he agitated at the time you saw

him? - He seemed to be a little agitated; I did not make any particular remarks; he denied he had taken any thing else.

Were you present at the engagement of this young man in your service? - No, I was not.

You do not know of the bond into which he entered? - No, I do not.

Mr. Silvester to Mr. Wheatley. Look at this paper? - It is my hand writing; I saw the Magistrate and the prisoner sign it.

Was it read over to him before he signed it? - It was.

Were any promises made to him? - No.

Mr. Garrow. Do you recollect the day on which the prisoner was apprehended? - I think it was Saturday the 2d of October.

This paper I see is dated the 3d? - Yes, it was the day following.

My friend has asked you whether there were any promises made him at the time; I must trouble you with a question, whether, antecedent to that time, there had not been any promises made? - I have heard that there were.

Did you understand that this conversation, conveyed to the prisoner this information, that it would be better for him? - I understood that those conversations were of that tendency.

Mr. Silvester. Then I must desire Mr. Wheatley to relate the whole of that.

Mr. Garrow. I have no objection to that.

Mr. Wheatley. On Saturday evening, after the business of the shop was over, Mr. Craggs, one of the clerks in the shop, went down to the prisoner, on his own account, and there had some conversation with the prisoner about the crime he had committed.


Did you at any time call on the prisoner at the bar while he was in custody? - Yes.

When was the first time? - On Saturday the 2d of October, the day he was apprehended.

What time of the day? - After six in the evening, or nigher seven.

Was it the day he was committed? - Yes.

Where was he? - In Tothill-fields Bridewell.

You had some conversation with him! - Yes, I had.

What led you to go there? - Motives of friendship to the unhappy prisoner entirely.

Was you sent there by either of the Mr. Drummonds? - No, Sir.

Did you tell them you was going there? - I did not tell them, several of the clerks knew it, I believe I mentioned it to one or two of the first clerks.

What conversation passed? - I first of all expressed my unhappiness at finding him in such a situation, I then expressed how unhappy I was to hear he had denied other circumstances; I had heard of his confession to Mr. George Drummond .

What were those other circumstances? - In the first place, I was informed he had denied the other things that were missing, and the books torn, in consequence of friendship to my fellow clerks, I was desirous to ask him a question about these books.

Then was your question relative to that? - Yes, the books that were torn.

What did he tell you? - I spoke to him of the unhappy situation that myself, as his friend, and many others were in; he said, I did deny the books in the morning, but I certainly tore all the books which you found to be torn.

Can you relate any other conversation that passed? - I did ask him with respect to other sums of money, which he positively denied; I left him, setting forth to him the consequence that would fall upon all of us; I told him, that the only way in which he might expect any mercy from Mr. Drummond, could only be in confessing every thing that lay upon his mind, I said I hoped he would confess every thing.

Mr. Fielding. This was the advice that you gave him? - Yes.

Is Mr. Addington here? - No.

Does your Lordship as yet think that they have gone far enough to read this confession?

Court. Certainly.

(The Confession read.)


" William Murray ."

Taken before William Addington , Esq; one of the Justices, &c.


"October 3, 1784."

"Who confesses and says, that in March last he took a bag, containing one thousand pounds, out of an iron chest, in the strong room belonging to Mess. Drummonds, and at different times has taken several other small sums belonging to the said Messrs. Drummonds; he also confesses, that the four hundred and twenty pounds in the 3 per cent. consolidated stock, standing in his own name, he bought with the same money; and that one thousand and fifty pounds, standing in the name of Henry Wright , was also bought with part of the money so stolen; and that a gold watch and trinkets, and other things now produced, were bought with that money: he also confesses having torn several leaves out of the said books of the said Messrs. Drummond's and Co.

Court to Prisoner. The evidence for the prosecution is closed, and I now call upon you to state what you have to offer in your defence.

Prisoner. I leave every thing to my Council.

Mr. Fielding. My Lord, I mean to produce evidence of occasional insanity which attends this unhappy young man, and which operated at the time of the confession.


I am an apothecary at Charing-cross; I have known the prisoner ever since he has been in the service of Messrs. Drummonds, I have had occasion to attend him in the way of my profession frequently.

Has that and his conduct in general given you an opportunity to judge of the state of his mind? - My observations were that at intervals I thought him flighty.

Explain a little more particularly, whether you mean flightiness so as to approach to madness, or madness itself? - Neither.

Court. You neither denominate it madness, nor any approach to madness? - No.

Mr. Garrow. Explain then your own sense of the word flighty? - That he seemed in many instances very inconsistent in his actions in life, but nothing that I could collect, as a medical man, that was approaching to madness; he seemed inconsistent in many instances.

Not sufficient to justify sending him to Bedlam I suppose? - No, nor to any other place of confinement.

Do you remember attending him in the month of February 1783? - Yes, he was not confined.

What was his complaint at that time? - He frequently complained of a giddiness in his head, and uneasiness, which he described as a jumping in the top of his head.

I believe you blistered him for it? - I did.


Mr. Fielding. I believe you know the unhappy man at the bar? - I have known him for some years.

Where do you live? - At Charing-Cross, I keep a mercer's shop.

Has it happened, in the course of your acquaintance with him, that you have had opportunities of observing the manner in which he has conducted himself, whether with regulated reason, or disturbed reason? - I think disturbed reason, it appeared so to me; I thought him a mad-headed young fellow before; Mrs. Hughes and me were going up the green park one day, and says I, this is Mr. Drummond's crazy clerk, he was laying down on his back on the grass, pulling the grass as if to eat; the second time, I met him in the particularly one morning slip-shod, with no hat, and his head on one side, and his arms wrapped up; another time he was standing at Charing-cross, and he saw me standing at the door, and in an instant he threw a large stick at me; I have seen him coming up, grinning at me, and then turn off, and have no conversation: he has been our common conversation

at the hair-dresser's for a long time, we wondered that Messrs. Drummonds would keep such a man in the house to be a clerk.

He passed in your idea as a crazy man? - Very much so, I think, from the various actions I have seen.

Mr. Pigott. Did you ever happen to do business with the prisoner? - No, never the least transaction; he often used to come in and see my children, and play with them; I made the observation to Mr. Hope, one of Mr. Drummond's clerks, and he told me that he did business in the same office with him, and that he did business correct; this is three or four years ago.

Did this information alter your opinion at all, that this young man was under the deprivation of his senses? - Nothing can remove that from my opinion, it made so much impression upon me at different times that nothing could remove it.

Then four years ago you saw him in the summer, laying in the grass; you saw him walk pensively once, and throw a stick at you; and another time he laughed in your face? - He has laughed in my face scores of times.

- CRAGGS sworn.

Mr. Garrow. You was a fellow clerk to the young man? - I was an intimate acquaintance of his.

What has been his conduct, and what has been the impression of it upon your mind? - I have certainly seen him guilty of actions which no sensible man could do, and it is my firm opinion, that at times he is not in his mind.

Mr. Sylvester. Did you aquaint Messrs. Drummonds of this situation? - No, I suppose there is hardly one clerk in the shop but has remarked that at the time he was out of his senses, or flighty, or disorderly.

What do you mean by saying flighty or disorderly? - Disordered in his mind; sometimes he would be guilty of actions that one would not think any sensible person would, I have heard many of the gentlemen say so.

Mr. Silvester. You do not mean to say he did not know right from wrong? - No, certainly not. I have seen him do things that it was impossible for a man in his right mind to do.


I am one of Mr. Drummond's clerks. I have had occasion to observe the conduct of the prisoner repeatedly.

What has been your opinion of the state of his mind? - I have thought him very wild at times, when he has been in a passion, and when he has met disappointments I have thought him very wild, but I have no reason to think he was a madman, he was very violent but I did not think him disordered in his mind.

Mr. Fielding. Then he appeared unlike all other human creatures? - He appeared what many men are I think when in passion and under disappointments; I recollect once particularly well that upon the book being missed, I said to my brother clerk I thought it was that mad-headed genius Bill Murry that had been guilty of it.

Mr. Fielding to Hughes. What general character had this young man? - I never heard the least word of complaint against him, only from an opinion of his situation, I communicated my opinion and my sentiments to a gentleman that attends the house, I mean Mr. Reynolds, above a year ago, and he confirmed me in my opinion.

Mr. CRANK sworn.

Mr. Fielding. Having lived in intimacy with this unhappy young man I need hardly ask you what was his character? - A very high one in my opinion.

You never suspected his honesty? - Never.

Mr. FOVO sworn.

Mr. Fielding. How long have you known the unhappy young man at the bar? - I have known him almost five years.

During that time what is your honest and real opinion of his intellects? - I have always thought him disordered in his mind,

intirely so, as to other circumstances of his character I have the highest possible opinion of his integrity.

- RADCLIFFE sworn.

I have known the prisoner about a twelve-month, last June he then first came into my house, Mr. Wright is a lodger in my house, and Mr. Murray is his uncle, he has called on him and set and chattered, when Mr. Wright has been gone down to dress, he would all of a moment start up, good God, says he, here is Harry! and point to the window, clap his hands in this manner, here is Harry just passing! and then set down very quietly; I thought it was too tender a point to say any thing to Mr. Wright, that your uncle is not in his senses: another time he came and was chatting as before, he catched a trinket of his watch all in a hurry, says he this is a very pretty thing, I will make you a present of it; says I it is past time of day with me; says he you shall have it, but Harry is not coming, and started, and folded his arms, and stood looking at the bureau for a quarter of a minute, then unfolding his arms, came and took his trinket and put it to his watch: a third time, I had several shells upon the chimney-piece, we were talking of the king's dress, then he went and took a shell, says he I will give you a guinea for it, he went and stood at the glass with his arms folded; I communicated this to Mr. Wright, says he I have often seen him do so, and I think it is so.

Is that your fair and conscientious opinion? - It is from my soul Sir, I will take my oath I never heard any thing against his honesty, I had the highest opinion of Mr. Wright in the world, and I do not know more of Mr. Murray than coming to see his nephew.


I have known him about nine years, I have always looked upon him as a flighty young man.

Not a man in the common possession of his reason? - No, I think not, I have always had the highest opinion of his honesty.


I am in Mr. Drummond's house, I have had opportunities of observing his conduct.

What opinion have you entertained of the state of his mind? - I thought him a very flighty young man.

Not a person in possession of his perfect reason? - I do not think he was quite, I always had the highest opinion of him as a very honest man.

Mr. Garrow. His being in Mr. Drummond's house is the strongest instance of his good character that can be.

Mr. Fielding. We have several more witnesses to his character.

Mr. Silvester. You never mentioned any thing of this to Messrs. Drummond's? - No.

How did he do his business in the house? - Very well I believe, I never examined what he did.

You heard no complaint of the manner of his doing business? - No Sir, I did not.

- WARREN sworn.

I have known this young man ever since his first coming to London, I board and lodge in his elder brother's house, I have had frequent opportunities of seeing him, his character deserves from me the highest commendation, there is no trust but I would repose in him, and if he was relieved from his present disagreeable situation, I would receive him into my own compting-house immediately, I have such an opinion of the goodness of his heart.

Court. What is Mr. Warren? - I am an Insurance Broker.

Mr. Pigott. Do you mean as your clerk? - Yes.

Then I am afraid you do not think him flighty? - I do not think him so mad but he might act under the direction of another.

Mr. Fielding. My Lord I am satisfied with the law that Mr. Pigott has laid down.

GUILTY , Death .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Lord LOUGHBOROUGH.

He was humbly recommended to mercy by the Jury.

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