29th October 1829
Reference Numbert18291029-226
VerdictGuilty > with recommendation

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2069. GEORGE CARMAN was indicted for that he, on the 29th of September , at St. Botolph, without, Bishopsgate , having in his custody and possession, a bill of exchange, which is as follows:-£47: 0: 0 Barming, September 18th, 1829.Two months after date, pay to my order, the sum of forty-seven pounds; value received. GEORGE CARMAN .To Mr. James Ellis , Barming, Kent. upon which said bill of exchange, was written a certain false, forged, and counterfeited acceptance of the said bill of exchange, which said false, forged, and counterfeited acceptance, is as follows:- "Exceped, James Ellis , payable at the George Inn, Boro;" he, the said George Carman , afterwards, on the same day, at the same parish, feloniously did utter, and publish as true, the said forged acceptance, knowing it to be forged, with intent to defraud Isaac Dimsdale Child .

SECOND COUNT, the same, only stating the prisoner's intent to be to defraud James Ellis .

ISAAC DIMSDALE CHILD. I am a wine and spirit-merchant , and live at No. 199 Bishopsgate-street, without; I do not know what trade the prisoner is - he has formerly been a publican; I do not know where he lived - I knew him when he kept a public-house in Old-street road; he called at my house the day before the time in question, and has for some time called at my house, I suppose, every day - there was nothing remarkable in his calling. On Tuesday the 29th of September, about ten o'clock in the morning, he came to me, and said he had a bill, which he wished to have discounted, drawn on Mr. James Ellis, of Barming, in Kent; he stated that he had known James Ellis from a boy, that they were brought up together at school, at Burwash - I asked him if it was Mr. James Ellis , the large hop grower; he said Yes, and that he had street to Mr. Ellis that he was about to take a public-house, and that Mr. Ellis told him he would accommodate him with any sum under 100l.; - that he might draw on him to any amount under 100l.; he then put this bill into my hands - I immediately noticed to him the word "Exceped" across it, instead of accepted; he said that did not matter, the bill was as safe, as the Bank of England, all the same for that, and it did not matter about being altered - he then asked me what money I could let him have immediately on it, as he wanted some immediately to buy some clothes; I told him I was then short of cash, but what I had in the house he should have- he asked me to let him have 2l.; I gave him a sovereign and twenty shillings, and then sent my brother over to the George inn, where the bill was made payable to make the necessary inquiry - my brother had gone before the prisoner went away, but I believe he did not know the bill was out of my hands; I advanced him 10s., more after my brother had left - my brother was gone four hours, or nearly so; the prisoner remained in my house I should think half or three quarters of an hour after my brother was gone - I do not think he knew my brother was gone on this errand, for he went out at the side door; I did not tell him my brother was gone - he came again in the evening, for some more money, I suppose, as I had appointed to let him have more that night or the next morning - on his coming, in consequence of something my brother said I had the prisoner taken.

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q. What is your brother? A. He has only lately come from sea; he is a seafaring young man - he does not lodge with me; he has been from sea three months or nearly so, and has not employ at present - I am a publican; I have sold horses on commission - I kept livery stables seven years ago; I never dealt in horses with the prisoner; - I advanced the 40s. after the bill was shown to me; I had no previous meeting with him on that day, before the bill was produced - there was nothing to cause any suspicion on my mind about the bill till I saw it, and then the only suspicion was from the word exceped; knowing Mr. Ellis to he a man of opulence I thought he must know how to spell.

Q.Did you not, in the first instance. propose yourself to discount the bill? A. I said I would advance him the money on it - he said he did not want the whole immediately; I was not the first to propose it - he asked if I would advance him a little, and more as he wanted it; I do not think he had seen my brother - he might have seen him in the shop, but he went into the back room; it is very likely he may have seen him on the premises - after he was gone the prisoner asked for 10s. more; I advanced it - he saw my brother in the evening when he was taken; I do not know whether they recognized each other: 50s. is all I advanced on this bill - I have been kind to him in other instance.

DANIEL SPENCER CHILD . I am the prosecutor's brother. I was in the shop when the prisoner came in, but in a minute after I went into the back room; the prisoner saw me - I had seen him before in my brother's shop, drinking liquor; I had been at his house six or seven

years ago - I had no intimacy with him; (looking at the bill) my brother gave me this bill to make inquiry about it; I went to the George inn, Borough, and in consequence of that inquiry I returned the bill to my brother - the prisoner was not there when I returned: I waited a long time to see Mr. Schofield the proprietor of the George.

Cross-examined. Q. I believe you met the prisoner, did not you, afterwards? A. No; I met him out of doors the morning before, and he told me he was going to get a bill which he had got in the Borought, and which he was going to ask my brother to lend him some money on, or to discount it, I cannot say which - I was going into Tooley-street, and walked with him; he did not request me to walk with him - he went with me to a house in Tooley-street, where he drank with me; I did not see him in the after part of the day, till he was taken - my brother's is a gin shop.

COURT. Q.Where did you separate after coming out of the house in Tooley-street? A. Not till we got into Bishopsgate-street again; he turned up a turning in Tooley-street away from me - I waited for him till he returned; he then walked back with me to my brother's.

WESTERMAN SCHOFIELD . I keep the George inn, Borough; there is no other George there - I am acquainted with Mr. James Ellis ; he is a large farmer and hop grower - I have known him for years, and am acquainted with his hand-writing perfectly well; I have seen him write, and have known his writing many years (looking at the bill) - I am perfectly satisfied this acceptance is not his hand-writing, nor any thing like it.

Cross-examined. Q. Have you seen him write? A. Yes, for many years, as well as seen his writing; he used my house many years, sometimes two or three times a week - he lives at Barming, in Kent; I know his son who lives in a neighbouring parish - his name is James Day Ellis.

MR. JAMES ELLIS. I have no second Christian name,(Looking at the bill) the name " James Ellis " here is not my hand-writing, nor in the least like it - mine is rather a particular signature; I know no other James Ellis at Barming - my son did live there once, but not at that time: his name is James Johnson Ellis - it is not his writing; I never authorized any one to put my name to such a bill as this - I have no knowledge of the prisoner, and do not recollect that I ever went to school with him; I recollect the name in the parish when I was a boy - I have looked at the prisoner, but do not recollect him; I certainly recollect his brother or a person of his name. but I certainly did not know there was such a man - as far as I have any knowledge I have not known him since I was a boy; I do not remember having been at school with him - if I was I have not kept up any intimacy with him; I did not know there was such a man in existence.

Cross-examined. Q. You are not altogether a stranger to the family; you knew the prisoner? A. I knew there was such a man in the parish of Burwash once, and that his brother has been in my employ; it could easily be discovered that the acceptance was not mine, it is not at all like mine.

COURT. Q. You never authorized the brother to sign your name? A. No.(The bill was here put in and read.)

Prisoner's Defence. (written.) My Lord and Gentlemen of the Jury, - Confident of your patient hearing, I will briefly state the cause which has placed me before you in so critical a situation. My life is in your hands; but I am persuaded, that if any favourable circumstances have transpired during my trial I shall have the benefit of them. The evidence on the part of the prosecution you have heard. I most solemnly declare that I was quite ignorant of the bill being a forged instrument. I was about taking a public house at Deptford; I became possessed of the bill in the following manner: - Smith, formerly a customer of mine, (and now I believe he goes to and fro in the country with fruit) was aware, that I was going into business, he requested me to draw up a bill for two months, and he would get it accepted by a friend of his who would honor it when due; so indifferent was I to what he proposed, that I forgot the circumstance altogether, till, unfortunately for me, I must Smith again: he presented a bill to me drawn for two months, and requested me to put my name, saying he would get it accepted and bring it back again. I did so, and it was brought again to me. My Lord and Gentlemen, is it likely? was it the conduct of a man in his senses to have a bill by me which I knew to be a forgery? and knowing of the fatal consequences resulting from committing the crime of forgery, should I have gone to a person, who has known me for so many years? rather, should I not have applied to have it cashed by a person who would not so easily have detected me; would I, after obtaining 2l. on that bill, have returned to the prosecutor, and that after a lapse of upwards of three hours, having given the said bill into his possession, and receiving 10s. more? I left his house, was absent about half an hour, and returned once more to his house, when I was apprehended on a charge of forgery, without the least inquiry being made as to whether the person who was said to have accepted the bill was a responsible person or not. My Lord and Gentlemen, I do not hesitate to say, that it was a vile conspiracy against me for my destruction. I will briefly state the circumstances, and leave the rest to your deliberate consideration. I called at the prosecutor's house and had something to drink; the prosecutor then asked me what he should lend me on that bill, as he could do some good with it. I told him I did not immediately want money; he however persuades me to take 2l., and sends me after the bill - on my road to fetch it, his brother way-lays me, and never leaves me till I am taken into custody. My Lord and Gentlemen, I beseech you most earnestly, that as my reputation amongst society, nay, my life is now at stake, and entirely depending on your verdict, I feel confident that you will give it every consideration that the nature of my case requires; and I aver, that which ever way this investigation may terminate, I am entirely innocent of the crime laid to my charge. I feel assured, after a candid and conscientious inquiry into the evidence, you will return a verdict in favour of the unfortunately person who now addresses you.

MR. CHILD. I know the prisoner's hand-writing; the signature

" George Carman " to the bill is his writing.

Seven witnesses gave the prisoner a good character.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 45.

Recommended to Mercy by the Prosecutor and Jury, on account of his good character.

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