JOHN CHILTON.
30th October 1805
Reference Numbert18051030-46
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation
SentenceDeath

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704. JOHN CHILTON was indicted for feloniously returning to this kingdom before the expiration of the term for which he was ordered to be transported .

EDWARD SMITH sworn. - I produce the certificate of the conviction of John Chilton , the prisoner at the bar, which I received at Mr. Shelton's office; I saw Mr. Shelton sign it.

"These are to certify, that at the Session of the Peace Oyer and Terminer and Gaol Delivery of Newgate for the City of London, and also for the County of Middlesex, holden at Justice Hall in the Old Bailey, on Wednesday, the 26th of October, in the thirty-second year of His Majesty's reign, before His Majesty's Justices then present, John Chilton was, in due form of law, tried for that he, on the 22d of October, with force and arms, in and upon George Hayes feloniously did make an assault, and three pieces of gold coin called half-guineas, the monies of the said George Hayes , he feloniously did steal and carry away, whereupon the Jurors found him Guilty of Death; His Majesty was graciously pleased to extend his royal mercy to him, the said John Chilton , who was ordered to be transported to New South Wales for and during the term of his natural life." - Signed; John Shelton .

JAMES ALPORT sworn. - I am turnkey of Newgate: In October Session in the year 1791, the man at the bar, John Chilton was convicted of a highway robbery; I was present at the time sentence was passed on him; I can swear to the man, he was shipmate with me on board the same ship I was in; I was under servant in the gaol at that time; I have been in the habit of drinking with him several times.

Q. You have no doubt he is the John Chilton who was convicted in October Session in 1791? - A. Exactly so.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. You say he was a shipmate of your's? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you happen to know whether he has been on board a ship since he has been at large? - A. I have heard that he has.

Court. Q. You do not know it of your own knowledge? - A. I do not.

THOMAS GRIFFITHS sworn. - On Wednesday, the 9th of this month, I was in company with John Nowland and Edward Smith , two brother officers, at the Castle in Quaker-street, in the parish

of Christchurch Middlesex; when we went into the Castle I saw the prisoner, John Chilton , smoaking his pipe in the tap-room.

Q. Did you know him before this time? - A. No, only by the description that I received of him: I called to him; he came into the passage and asked us what we wanted of him; my brother officers came up, and he begged to go backward to the landlord in the parlour to speak to him, before we took him away; I then told him we had an information against him for returning from transportation before his time; I then asked him if he had any thing to shew that he had any conditional pardon that he should be at large; he said, no, he had none, and that he was transported to Botany Bay.

Q. Had you said any thing to him to induce him to confess all this? - A. No; he said that he staid there five years, or thereabouts, and then he got away and went on board a ship; I believe he mentioned the names of different ships that he had been on board of, but I cannot recollect; some were ships of war and some Indiamen.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. Have you, in consequence of what he told you, made any enquiry respecting his having been on board ships of war? - A. Yes.

Q. And you found it to be true? - A. Yes, we did; we found that, upon enquiry to be true; I believe there are people here to prove it.

Q. I think you told us, Griffiths, that he left Botany Bay after he had been there five years? - A. Yes.

Q. Did he not say with the consent of the Governor of Botany Bay? - A. I do not recollect that he said that.

- NOWLAND sworn. - I know no more than being in company with Griffiths and Smith, and apprehending of him.

Court. Q. (To Alport.) Do you remember the prisoner being delivered in order to be transported? - Q. I do; I remember his going; I have seen the man five years ago and shook hands with him; he asked me to drink, I said, no; I wished the man well.

Q. Where did you see him - on board a ship? - A. When I went down to Portsmouth with some convicts; he was on shore; he came in the frigate's boat.

Q. Do you recollect the name of the frigate? - A. I do not.

Prisoner. The Diana.

Alport. This was about five years ago, he appeared to me to belong to a King's frigate.

Q. Do they come on shore to do duty? - A. Yes, frequently they do for water, or any thing they want; I wished him well; I said, Jack, do not speak to me.

Prisoner's defence. (Read in Court.) The prisoner, John Chilton , failed from Botany Bay on on the 9th day of May, in the ship Britannia, for Bengal, where the prisoner entered into the pilot's service; he shipped himself on the 6th of October, 1795, on board the ship Minerva, in which ship the prisoner failed for England, and left her in August, 1796. He entered on board the Diana, Captain John Faulkener , in which ship the prisoner remained, and was on board when the Diana was sent off during the mutiny. It certifies, that after the Diana was sent off, the prisoner was sent on shore to make a hawse fast to steady the ship; the ship was struck against a rock, and the prisoner was, entirely through that, sent on shore on the Cove of Cork; the 16th of October, 1797, he returned to England to receive prize-money of the Diana. He entered on board His Majesty's ship, the Druid, in 1798, and failed in her in three expeditions; he was discharged in 1800. Then he returned to London and went on board the Lord Nelson, an Indiaman, as quarter-master, in which ship the prisoner sailed for Bengal, and which ship felt in with the Bellona, a French privateer; the Lord Nelson engaged her two hours and a quarter, and during the time of action every man was wounded, except the boatswain, on board the Lord Nelson; the prisoner was wounded in his hip, and shot in his body and right arm; and two days after we fell in with his Majesty's ship, - , she was then retaken, and fourteen days after the Lord Nelson was taken by the French, she was brought into Plymouth. On the prisoner coming to London he was taken into the Infirmary, where he was under the care of Sir William Wilder , till he was cured of his wounds, but he has never recovered the use of his right arm. He went out in the ship Lord Nelson again, which sailed to Bengal, and returned in September last from Bengal as quarter-master; he has always conducted himself in the time of action with gallantry and bravery.

CAPTAIN WILLIAM RAVEN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. You commanded the Britannia? - A. Yes.

Q. When did the prisoner come on board your ship? - A. I really cannot exactly tell, I believe about nine or ten years ago.

Q. From where did you get him? - A. He was found stowed away in my ship.

Q. What was your ship? - A. She was a store-ship from Port Jackson to England.

Court. Q. When was this? - A. In the year 1795.

Q. You found him stowed away on board your ship? - A. Yes, about three days after we got from Port Jackson; he staid with me till we reached Bengal.

Q. What was the length of time he was with you? - A. About three months.

Mr. Knapp. Q. Was he in any capacity on

board your ship? - A. He did the duty of a foremast man after we found him.

Q. How did he conduct himself? - A. Extremely well; indeed I never saw a man behave better in my life, and the circumstance that caused me to mark his conduct above the rest of the people was, we were without provisions almost, for about three weeks, on the north coast of New Guinea, when the rest of the crew were murmuring, and seemingly inclined to mutiny, I never heard a syllable of discontent from this man all the time.

Q. Did he stay with you during the rest of your voyage? - A. He staid with me till I got to Calcutta.

Q. Do you know where he went then? - A. I believe he went on board an Indiaman.

Prisoner. I went in the Minerva, Captain Smith.

Q. (To Captain Raven .) There was an India ship there, was there? - A. I failed in company with the Minerva in the Madras Roads.

Prisoner. We parted with the Britannia off the Island of Ceylon.

- WALLIS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. Were you mate of the Lord Nelson? - A. Yes.

Q. What was she? - A. An Indiaman; I was mate the last voyage and the voyage before.

Q. Did you know the prisoner on board your ship? - A. Yes.

Q. When did he first come to your ship - do you recollect? - A. About four years and a half ago.

Q. What capacity did he maintain on board your ship? - A. He was a quarter-master.

Q. Did any thing happen to your ship in the course of your first voyage? - A. We had an action with the Bellona, a French privateer of twenty-six guns.

Q. Was your Indiaman attacked by the Bellona? - A. Yes, we were.

Q. Was the prisoner on board during the action? - A Yes.

Q. Did he conduct himself well? - A. Yes, very well; for which reason he was in our last voyage; he was wounded in his arm.

Q. During the time of the action, with respect to his gallantry and with respect to his conduct, was it extremely good? - A. Yes.

JOHN SHORT sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. Were you a commissioned officer on board the Lord Nelson? - A. No, I was a non-commissioned officer; I was in the first voyage; I was there during the action with the Bellona.

Q. Do you speak the same as the rest of the witnesses, that he got wounded and behaved extremely well? - A. Extremely well.

DANIEL HARROW sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knapp. I was a passenger; I remember the prisoner on board the Lord Nelson.

Court. Q. He behaved himself extremely well and gallantly? - A. He did.

Q. Is there any body here that knew him on board His Majesty's ships.

Mr. Knapp. I understand he lost his certificate on board the ship in consequence of the action.

GUILTY, Death , aged 62.

The Jury recommended him to mercy on account of his general good conduct since the time he left Botany Bay .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Thompson .


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