FREDERIC SMITH.
14th January 1807
Reference Numbert18070114-6
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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74. FREDERIC SMITH, alias HENRY ST. JOHN , was indicted for feloniously stealing from Thomas Bartlet , privily and without his knowledge, on the 10th of July , a bank note, value 300 l. his property.

Second count for like offence, in the dwelling house of Michael Kelly .

The case was stated by Mr. Gurney.

THOMAS BARTLETT ; examined by Mr. Gurney. Where do you live. - A. I live at No. 32, James street, Commercial road.

Q. Do you carry on any business. - A. Yes, I deal a little in the slop way for a livelihood .

Q. In the latter end of the month of June last was the prisoner at the bar introduced to you. - A. He was, by Mr. Benjamin Davis , that lives in Took's court, Cursitor street; he calls himself an attorney.

Q. By what name and description was the prisoner introduced to you. - A. By the name of captain Smith of the army.

Q. After he was introduced to you, did you and him become intimate. - A. Yes, I lodged at the Robin Hood , Leather lane, Holborn, and there the prisoner was brought to me by Mr. Benjamin Davis . I slept in one room in the house and he in another.

Q. He slept in an adjoining room to you. - A. Yes, and we were frequently together in the day.

Q. In consequence of any thing that passed, did you on the 7th of July last sell out stock. - A. I did, by the advice of the prisoner.

Q. What reason did he give you for selling out. - A. This is the particular reason; he said, Mr. Bartlett there is a conspiracy against you to rob you of your liberty, and they will also rob you of every shilling that you have got.

Q. Did he say who had formed that conspiracy. - A. He said Mr. Bill, my own attorney, and Mr. Davis, his attorney, had agreed together to bring me in a lunatic, because they saw I was very uneasy in my mind; and at the time he told me this he made me promise not to tell; I did.

Q. Did he tell you whether any other person was in it. - A. No.

Q. To prevent that he advised you to sell out the stock. - A. Yes; he said they were going to apply to the lord-chancellor, and they had got two men to swear at a guinea a-piece that they saw me run up and down the street naked; I said you know better than that. He says, that is no matter, I know the men that will swear it; and if they swear it, you will be kept out of the money all your life. He offered to take his oath of it that this conspiracy was formed against me.

Q. In consequence of that you sold out your stock. A. Yes.

Q. Who did you employ as your broker. - A. Mr. Richardson. I received 619 l.

Q. What did you receive of your broker. - A. A check. Upon that I went to Mr. Boldero and Lushington, and received two three hundred pound bank notes, one of the three hundred was No. 738; I do not know the date of the other I changed; that I kept and carried to Ramsgate with me.

Q. As soon as you had got this did he propose any hing to you. - A. Yes, he proposed to me to go down to Ramsgate.

Q. To see your wife. - A. Yes on a reconciliation between us.

Q. When you went to Ramsgate did you in point of fact see your wife. - A. I did no, he would not let me; he said let me have the management of the business.

Q. Did he tell you whether he did or not see her himself. - A. He told me that he went to the house and that he could not see her, he had seen a female servant whom he was very well acquainted with, her name was Patty Smart ; he even said so far that he was connected with her.

Q. You need not go so far as that. - A. He said he had used every means, but my wife said I was such a rogue.

Court. Did he say that he had employed her. - A. He said that he had used all the means he could to persuade her, and Patty Smart told him that she could not prevail upon my wife to let me live with her, she said that I was so bad a rogue that she would not live with me.

Q. What did the prisoner advise you to then. - A. He said, now I have thought of another plan; let us go back to London again; I hear you have a son at squire Newbolt's at Fulham, and the mother loves that boy uncommonly I am told; now let us go back there, and we'll go and take him, you have a right to take him, and try and see whether he cannot prevail upon her; if not, and the mother will not be reconciled, we will tell the mother that we will carry him to America, or take and put him on board of a man of war; we shall surely make her come to then.

Q. Did you and he then come from Ramsgate, and go to Fulham. - A. Yes, we took post chaise and went to Fulham.

Q. Who paid all the expences. - A. I paid all the expences, he had no money.

Q. What day did you get to Fulham. - A. It was somewhere about the 10th of July, about two or three o'clock in the afternoon; we went first of all to the Eight Bells, then Smith said let me go in, do not you go in to the boy upon no account in the world, and if I see him I will take him.

Q. Did he leave you at the Eight Bells and go. - A. Yes, I waited; when he came back he said he was gone with his master to Oxford, and that he was not there.

Q. Did you after that go to Mr. Newbolt's yourself. - A. Yes, I was informed the boy was there, I run over several rooms in Mr. Newbolt's house, I could not find him.

Q. Did you come back to the Eight Bells to the prisoner. - A. Yes, and I attempted to run away from him, finding that he had told lies. I had not found him out before I got into a boat and made my escape from the prisoner; I was got about half way over the river, when he and a person named Gayton hailed the boat, and the boatman came back.

Q. Mr. Gayton was a friend of yours. - A. Yes,

Q. When the waterman came back did you join in conversation with Smith and Gayton. - A. Yes.

Q. How long did Gayton stay with you. - A. Not long.

Q. Did you afterwards find the money in your pocket. - A. I had all the money in my pocket then.

Q. You say when you came from Fulham you had all your money in your pocket. - A. I had; I took it out of my pocket and I found that they were all right in my pocket book; which I have in my pocket now.

Q. What time of the day was that. - A. About an hour before the prisoner and I came to London together; I was alone by myself.

Q. Was that before you went to Mr. Newbolts. - A. No, it was after, I was alone then.

Q. Did you then see that you had the three hundred pound bank note. - A. That I did not particularly look to; I looked to see that they were all right.

Q. Which pocket did you put them into. - A. The right hand outside coat pocket.

Court. A great coat. - A. No, my close coat, I had no great coat.

Mr. Gurney. How did the prisoner and you come from the Eight Bells, did you walk or ride. - A. We came in a hackney coach.

Q. Had you drank any liquor that day. - A. The prisoner all that day was forcing me to drink.

Q. You had drank too much had not you. - A. I had not drank so much but what I could remember the greatest part of what passed.

Q. Where did you come to in the coach. - A. We came to Peter street, Soho, to Mr. Kelly's house; Smith said that he would take me to that house to have a cup of tea, he said he was going up to the Oxford coach. He was going up to that part of the town, to see whether he could see my son coming from Oxford; he could not. When the prisoner was in the Welch Harp , Peter street, Soho; at Mr. Kelly's, the prisoner talked to an elderly man, he talked to that man as if he had seen him before; it appeared so to me.

Q. Did you have some tea. - A. We first had some brandy and water, and then Smith called for a quartern of brandy, and kept forcing me to drink.

Q. Were the prisoner and you sitting at a distance or close to each other. - A. I do not recollect.

Q. Do you recollect which side he sat of you. - A. I do not; there was no person near enough to take the book out of my pocket but Smith.

Q. After you had all that you chose to have there, did you offer to pay the reckoning. - A. Yes, I missed my pocket book; I searched for my pocket book to pay the reckoning.

Q. When you opened the book did you find the notes. - A. No, they were all gone, and I charged him with the robbery.

Court. The pocket book was there was it. - A. Yes, and the notes were gone.

Mr. Gurney. Were you sober enough to know whether you were awake or not all the way. - A. I had not slept all the way from Fulham; when I charged him with the robbery, he got up and said he was a good mind to knock me down, he held his fist in my face, and then he ran away; and the landlord and I ran after him.

Q. I believe you never see him again till he was taken in custody. - A Not till he was taken in Mr. Henson's house. The prisoner has acknowledged to me at Newgate, that he had got two hundred and

eighty pound, that he robbed me on.

Q. How came you to see him in Newgate, - A. His wife and Davis, offered me four hundred pound.

Q. You must not tell me what any body else said to you, in consequence of what his wife said to you, did you go to Newgate. - A. Yes.

Q. Did you make use of any promise or threat to him. - A. I did not.

Court. Did you say it would be better for him. - A. The words were these; how much money have you got left, that you robbed me off. I took him aside, and spoke to him privately.

Q. What answer did he give. - A. Two hundred and eighty pounds, he said that is all I have got of your money left; if you will not appear against me, I will give you that.

Q. Did you lose the whole six hundred pounds. - A. Except what I spent; I bought him a new pair of boots.

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley.

Q. At the time that you arrived at Mr. Kelly's house, you were at that time a little in liquor. - A. I was.

Q. Do you recollect how many people there were in the tap room. - A. To the best of my recollection there were one or two more than me and Smith, and they joined company together, they drank together; but whether I drank with them I cannot say.

Q. How near were they to you. - A. I cannot say, there were no one near enough to take it out of my pocket but Smith.

Q. Are you able to state that fact, that nobody was near enough. - A. I can speak to the best of my recollection.

Q. You were not quite sober to speak positively. - A. Yes, I do particularly recollect that.

Q. I suppose the man that drank with Smith, the prisoner, came to the place where you sat. - A. They came both much at one time.

Q. I am asking you whether the man that drank with Smith did not come to him. - A. I and Smith and the other man went out of the parlour into the tap-room.

EDWARD GAYTON ; examined by Mr. Gurney. I believe you are valet to Mr. Newbolt. - A. I am.

Q. On the 10th of July last, did you see the prosecutor and the prisoner together at Fulham. - A. I did.

Q. Was the prosecutor at that time perfectly sober. - A. For any thing I know of.

Q. Do you remember the prisoner saying any thing to you respecting the prosecutor having any thing about him. - A. Yes.

Q. On the 10th of July did the prisoner say any thing about the prosecutor having money. - A. As Mr. Bartlett returned from the water side, after he was out of the boat, Mr. Bartlett said that he was in a great deal of distress about his wife, he said that he would give her all the property he had about him to live with her, and to get her back again; he said he would give her all he had about him, which he said was six hundred pounds.

Q. What did the prisoner say to that. - A. The prisoner said that he had the money about him, and that he would restore it to his wife.

Q. The prosecutor's son was in Mr. Newbolt's service. - A. He was.

Q. Was he gone to Oxford. - A. No, he was at home at that time.

MICHAL KELLY; examined by Mr. Gurney. You keep the Welch Harp , Peter street, Soho. - A. I did at that time.

Q. Do you remember the prosecutor coming to your house on that day. - A. I do, I cannot particularly tell the day.

Q. It was in July. - A. Yes.

Q. There was another man with him - A. There was three of them.

Q. Was the prosecutor sober. - A. No, Mr. Bartlett was not.

Q. After they had been in your house some time did you see any thing pass about a pocket book. - A. Yes; they were first in the tap-room and then in the parlour.

Q. Did you see a pocket book in his hand. - A. I saw the pocket book open in the prisoner's hand.

Q. Did it appear a pocket book like that. - A. Yes.

Q. At the time that it was in the prisoner's hands, did any conversation pass between the prosecutor and the prisoner. - A. Yes, the prisoner said d - n it there is nothing in it.

Q. What reply did the prosecutor make. - A. Then he said you have robbed me.

Q. Did you stay in the room any longer. - A. No, I came out immediately and went into the tap room.

Q. Did you see how it came in the prisoner's hand. - A. No.

Q. How long did they stay. - A. About five minutes; then the prisoner and the man that was with him rushed out together.

Q. Was that an elderly man that was with him. - A. Yes; it was an elderly man; I followed and I could not overtake them. Instead of going up Berwick street they went another way; I went up Berwick street.

Q. So they illuded you. - A. Yes.

JOHN GIBBONS; examined by Mr. Gurney. You are clerk in the library in the bank of England. - A. Yes.

Q. Pray, sir, have you a cancelled bank note, No. 738, 30th June 1806, three hundred pounds. - A. Yes. (Producing it).

JAMES DICIKNSON . Q. You are one of the out-tellers. - A. I am.

Q. Did you receive that note from Messrs. Masterman and Co. on the 9th of August last. - A. I did.

Q. From your bringing it into the bank it was cancelled. - A. Yes.

WILLIAM CLOSE . Q. You are clerk to Messrs. Masterman and Co. - A. Yes.

Q. Did you receive that note. - A. It was remitted to me from Mr. Haywood at Manchester. I have got my book here.

Q. On what day was it remitted to you. - A. On the 9th of August. I received it from Messrs. Haywoods at Manchester.

GEORGE HUNTER . Q. I believe you are a clerk to Messrs. Haywood and Co. who are bankers at Manchester. - A. I am.

Q. Did you see the prisoner at the bar at Messrs. Haywood and Co. in the month of August last. - A. I did, on the 7th of August.

Q. By what name did he describe himself. - A. Henry St . John.

Q. Did he say what he was. - A. No.

Q. Did you observe any thing about him that induced you to believe what he was. - A. We took him to be a captain in the army.

Q. Did he pay any sum of money into your hands. A. A three hundred pound bank note.

Q. This is the note, look at the note, do you see any thing written on it, do you see the name of Henry St. John written there. - A. Yes.

Q. By whom was it written. - A. I cannot exactly say whether he wrote it or no.

Q. Did you remit that afterwards to Messrs. Masterman and Co. - A. I did, on the 7th of August on the same day.

Q. How much of the three hundred pound was drawn out of your hands. - A. About two hundred and ninety-three pounds that he drew out; there is a small balance left.

GEORGE ARNOLD. I am a stock-broker.

Q. Did you give a check on Messrs. Boldero and Co. to the prosecutor. - A. On the 7th of July last I gave a check on Messrs. Boldero and Co. for six hundred and nineteen pounds; that was the consideration for a thousand pound stock sold in the three per cent, consols; it was given in the presence of the prisoner.

EDWARD STEVENS . Q. You are clerk to Messrs. Boldero and Co. - A. I am.

Q. Did you on the 7th of July last pay the prosecutor that check. - A. I did.

Q. Look and see whether a note, No. 738, three hundred pounds was given on that day for that check. A. Yes, dated the 30th of June.

GEORGE HENSON . Q. In consequence of something did the prisoner call on you on the last day of October. - A. He did; on the 31st of October the prisoner called upon me, he said his name was Henry St. John . I asked him if he was the person that paid in the note that came from Messrs. Haywood and Co., he said he had, and he had called upon me for the ballance. I asked him if he knew what that balance was, he said no; I told him that I had mislaid the letter, and I did not know the exact account of the balance, that I had put it down in my lower office, I would go and look for it; this was up stairs. I went down stairs and sent my clerk for a constable, I went up again to the prisoner, and told the prisoner that I could not lay my hand upon the letter, but my clerk was looking for it, I begged him to sit down, and I dare say I should find it; he said he could not stay, he had a lady ill, in a coach, and desired me to pay the balance to a Mr. Wren.

Q. Do you know such a person as Mr. Wren. - Yes, a publican in Cow Cross; I told him I must have his authority, and begged him to write it; he began to write the authority, he did not finish it, but begged that I would write it, and put that which he was writing in his pocket. I accordingly writ an authority, and desired him to sign it, which he did, which I have now in my hand; he then was going away. I told him he could not go for that the bill of three hundred pounds that he had paid into the hands of Messrs. Haywood and Co. at Manchester had been stolen from a client of mine, and that I suspected him to be the man; first he said he would go, I was on the stairs to stop him, he pushed by me to the door, but my clerk taking the precaution of locking it, he could not get out; he afterwards was very quiet and sat down when he saw I was resolute, and he said his name was not St. John. The constable came and he was secured.

Q. Look at the writing of Henry St. John at the back of that note, do you believe that is his hand writing. - A. I believe from having seen him write once that is his hand writing.

Prisoner's Defence. In the first instance I wish your lordship to understand that the prosecutor has perjured himself in his evidence twenty times; Mr. Henson's amounts to the same thing. So far when he asked my name prior, I told him Frederick Smith , that I acted as agent to St. John; he charged me with respect to the acquaintance I had with that man (I am speaking of Mr. Henson), I said that I come from him, I would show him the man, and take him myself; that was refused. The last time that I was brought here I had respectable people from the country; at the present instance I have none; many of them live in Hampshire. The prosecutor has brought these people from Manchester, whom I know not though I do not deny that I negotiated the note. The man was with me and put his dot on the note.

GUILTY - DEATH , aged 29.

First Middlesex jury, before the Lord Chief Baron.


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