11th April 1833
Reference Numbert18330411-199

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870. ROBERT BYERS was indicted for feloniously forging, on the 28th of September , a certain order for the payment of 150l., with intent to defraud Thomas Parkes and Joseph Parkes ; against the Statute , &c.

SECOND COUNT, for uttering the same.

NINE OTHER COUNTS, stating it to be with intent to defraud Lewis Lloyd , Samuel Jones Lloyd , and others.

MR. CLARKSON conducted the prosecution.

THOMAS PARKES . I am a hop-factor , and live in Counter-street, Borough, in partnership with my brother Joseph. I first saw the prisoner on the 26th or 27th of September; he came to inquire for some Farnham hops, for exportation - I told him we did not deal in Farnham hops, only Kent and Sussex; he asked me if I could refer him to any gentleman who dealt in them, and I gave him a few names - there were several samples of hops on our counter; on the 28th of September, he came to our place of business again, and thanked me for recommending him to the other gentleman, and said he had been supplied with the Farnham hops, but he was still open for a few Kent hops, and inquired for some of the samples which he had seen - I told him they were sold; he looked over a variety of samples, and appeared as good a judge as any merchant in the trade; I ultimately sold him ten pockets - he said he should pay cash for them; I asked him to walk into the counting house, and there he gave his name as William, Wallis - this is what he wrote, " William Wallis , Sussex-hotel, Bouverie-street;" he asked when they could be weighed - I said not till the evening, and we would send the weight to the Sussex-hotel; this was about two o'clock in the afternoon - he said he should be in the Borough in the evening, and he would call for them himself; and about seven o'clock he returned, our clerk delivered him the invoice, and he examined it, and complained of some little items and the shipping expences being too much, and appeared perfectly conversant with business - he said he had arranged with the Exciseman to come next morning to take the weight of the packages to get the drawback; he then took out his pocket-book, and tendered this draft of 150l. in payment - he gave it into the hands of our clerk; the clerk asked me if he was to give the change out; I said, "No, give a cheque on our bankers," and asked who it was on - the clerk said on Jones, Lloyd, and Co., and the prisoner said, "Oh, it is as good as the Bank of England;" we gave him a cheque for 34l. 18s. 6d. - this is the cheque; the hops could not be delivered until the Exciseman had been - I could not present the cheque that day, as it was after banking hours; the Exciseman did not come next morning - I ordered my clerk to be at Jones' and Co. before the house opened, and be was there; he returned and made a communication to me, and I gave directions to the officers, and sent to Bouverie-street.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. He wrote the direction to Bouverie-street? A. Yes - he wrote it himself; my counting-house is not in the jurisdiction of the City - my firm consists of Thomas and Joseph Parkes .

JOHN NEALE . I am clerk to the prosecutosr. I presented this cheque for payment at Messrs. Jones and Lloyds', on the 29th of September, at nine o'clock in the morning - it was not paid. On the 3rd of October, the draft for 34l. 18s. 6d. was brought to my master's counting-house, or about that time - it has since been paid.

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q. Do you recollect on what day the 29th of September was? A.Saturday; we had received the cheque the previous evening.

GEORGE KERBEY . I am cashier to the banking-house of Messrs. Jones and Lloyd; we have no customer named Strong, the treasurer to the Globe Insurance Company - they do not keep cash at our house; I know nothing of the drawer of the cheque; we have had, I should think, seventy of these cheques presented at our house, all in the same hand-writing, but different signatures.

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q. Have you paid them? A. No.

WALTER WATTS . I am a clerk to the Globe Insurance - our treasurer is Mr. George Carr Glynn ; this cheque is not drawn by any body who has any authority in the Company - we do not keep cash at Messrs. Lloyd's; I know nothing of William Strong - we keep cash at Messrs. Glynns'.

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q.Have you any agent to the Company of that name? A. No; there are from a hundred to a hundred and fifty - I think I can swear there is no agent of that name.

MR. CLARKSON. Q.Have your agents authority to draw cheques on Messrs. Lloyds'? A. None - they have no authority to draw cheques.

JOHN NICHOLLS. I am a waiter at the Sussex Hotel, Bouverie-street. The prisoner was staying at our hotel on the 28th of September (looking at the cheque for 34l. 18s. 6d.) he applied to have this cheque cashed at our house, on the 28th, about eight o'clock in the evening - I refused to cash it, and he left on the 29th, before eight o'clock in the morning - I did not see him again till he was in custody.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did he go by the name of Wallis at your house? A. Yes; our house was his true address at that time - he had been two days there.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Had you any hops brought there for him? A. No.

THOMAS WILLIAM FARMER . I am a hop-merchant, and live at No. 79, High-street, Southwark. The prisoner came to my place of business, about half-past six o'clock in the evening of the 28th of September, he showed me the invoice of fifteen pockets of hops, which he said he had purchased on the morning of that day; he produced a cheque for 250l. which I have here - he did not tell me what his name was; he said, "I have come to pay for these hops - here is a cheque of my friend's Mr. Strong, of the Globe Insurance Company, of course you will not object to give me the difference - your cheque will do for the balance, and to-morrow morning, I will send an Exciseman to weigh the hops, and procure the drawback;" I gave him a cheque for the difference on Messrs. Weston, my bankers; I went to Messrs. Weston's next morning, and after I had been there a minute or two, I saw the prisoner there - I think he saw me; I was in the back room, and saw him through the casement - he made his appearance at the outer door, and the moment I saw him, he moved on one side, and disappeared - it was about ten minutes before nine o'clock in the morning; my cheque was afterwards presented at Messrs. Jones and Lloyd's - I have not seen my cheque since - it has never been paid.

BENJAMIN CORBY SWINDELL . I am a retired major in the army. I know the prisoner, as Robert Byers - I am acquainted with his hand-writing; these cheques I believe to be his hand-writing, and so is the address, "Mr. Wallis, Sussex Hotel" - I am under confinement for debt, and am brought from the King's Bench prison; I saw the prisoner in my room there on the 27th of September- he wrote his name as Robert Byers then.

Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Had you often seen him write? A. Only on the 27th of September; I employed him as my agent, and had numerous letters from him, but without comparing it with them I believe it to be his hand-writing; I am not in his debt - there was a running account between us; he has sold property and paid bills for me at Boulogne - I have never had a satisfactory account from him; he called on me on the 27th of September, and said the person who had my property at Boulogne was likely to become a bankrupt, and I requested him to take charge of my property - I never authorized him to pawn any thing.

MR. CLARKSON. Q. Did you learn from him that he was going to Boulogue on the 27th of September? A. He said he was going that evening - I never saw him afterwards; I received letters from him, and acted on them.

JOHN ROE . I live at Boulogne. I know the prisoner - he has gone by the name of Robert Byers there; I saw him there better than a month ago - I have seen him write directions, but nothing more than five or six words; I have often seen him do that - I cannot swear these papers are his hand-writing; they are similar to what I have seen him write - I believe them to be his writing.

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q. You never saw him write letters? A. No, only directions to put on baggage; I lived six months at Mr. Starr's hotel, Wood-street, about three years ago - I did not leave him without informing him I was going; I have not heard that he has been looking after me - I owe him 14l. which I lost of his; I went to Boulogne to avoid it - I lost it in an unfortunate house, about eight o'clock at night; I went back to my master that night, but would not tell him of it - I made him acquainted with it through some friends.

JOHN FORRESTER . I am an officer of the City. I tried to find the prisoner before last September; I took him into custody at Brompton, and took him to the Mansion-house to be examined - I took him on the 23rd of March, I took him to the Compter, and then to the Mansion-house; he was fully committed from the Mansion-house to Newgate; I preferred a bill against him last Friday here - he has been in custody ever since; I apprehended him on another charge, not on this.

The cheque being read, was drawn on Messrs. Jones, Lloyd, and Co. on account of the Globe Insurance Company, and signed" Wm. Strong, Treasurer." The one uttered to Mr. Farmer was drawn in the same manner.

The prisoner, in his Defence, complained of statements made in the public prints respecting him, and that he had not time to bring witnesses to his character from France, but did not enter into the subject of the charge.

GUILTY . Aged 30. - Transported for Life .

There were two other indictments against the prisoner.

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