5th September 1833
Reference Numbert18330905-97

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OLD COURT. Saturday, September 7, 1833.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Patteson.

1300. DAVID DUNDAS was indicted for, that he, on the 8th of August , at St. Pancras , feloniously did forge a certain order for payment of money which is as follows ; that is to say,

"No. London, 10th June, 1833.

Messrs. Drummond pay to Captain Dundas or bearer, eighty pounds.

£80. Dundas." with intent to defraud Andrew Berkeley Drummond , and others; against the statute, &c.

2ND COUNT, for feloniously uttering a like forged order for payment of money, well knowing it to be forged, with a like intent.

3RD COUNT, for feloniously putting off a like forged order for payment of money, well knowing it to have been forged, with a like intent.

4TH, 5TH, and 6TH COUNTS like 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, only not setting out the forged instrument.

6 OTHER COUNTS like the six former, only stating the intent to be to defraud William Edmead .

MR. BODKIN conducted the prosecution.

WILLIAM EDMEAD. I live at No. 29, Gower-place, Euston-square . The prisoner lodged at my house three or four months in 1829, and again for about the last twelve-months in 1829, and again for about the last twelve-months - he had incurred a debt of 49l. 10s. with me for lodging, and paid me by a bill of exchange which would become due on the 17th of August last - I paid it away - on the 8th of August, he sent for me up-stairs; I went up and he said, "Here, Mr. Edmead, is your account" - there was another quarter's account about coming due, and that was the account he referred to - he produced the quarter's account, including the bill; I have it here; this is the paper I received from him, here is "bill 48l." mentioned, but it should be 49l. 10s.; the account was 17l. 12s., making the whole 67l. 2s. - on his producing the account, he placed a cheque on the account, this is the cheque, and he said, "Here is this, I have some pressing letters to go into the country, and I shall be absent about three weeks; I think I shall be obliged to go off about seven o'clock in the evening; I am going into the city, to the Bank, should I have time to return before I go off into the country, I will return and take up the bill, and call upon you and settle your account and take this again" - I had paid the bill away, and he knew where it was - he said, "I have reserved this for a certain purpose, I did not want to make use of it immediately" - this passed about twelve o'clock in the day; the cheque was laying on the account all this time - I took the cheque up with the account, and said I would take care of it; I then left him - I went up again about an hour after; he still remained at home; I went up and told him he had made a mistake in the amount of the bill; he said, "Never mind, Mr. Edmead, that is of little consequence, I have a fifty for it" - he went out about two o'clock, and in a short time a boy came for his portmanteau; I went up-stairs myself to fetch it down, and found all that there was in the room nearly, was put into the portmanteau, except a pair of shoes and boots; they were packed in the portmanteau - I brought it down stairs, and gave it to the boy; he took it down towards Euston-square, the same way as the prisoner went - in consequence of what I observed up-stairs, I was induced to present the cheque; and I went that day to Drummond's banking-house, presented the cheque, and payment was refused - he went by the name of Captain Dundas at my house.

Cross-examined by MR. DOANE. Q. Are you quite sure you have told us all that occurred between you and him, when he delivered you the cheque? A. Not quite; he asked me where Moggridge lived, at the time he gave me the cheque, I told him, and he took down his address - I am quite sure when he gave me the cheque he did not say, "This is not for payment." - the cheque is for 80l.; the amount he owed me altogether was 67l. when the bill became due and the quarter's account; the bill had not become due then - if it had been due there would be a balance owing to the prisoner, if the cheque was paid; the bill was 49l. 10s. and the account was 17l. 12s. which would be 67l. owing to me - there would be a balance of 12l. 18s.; he did not ask me for the difference; he did not tell me he gave it me as a security, nor anything of the kind - he told me he intended to call for it again; he did not say he would call for the cheque again if the bill was not paid; this was on the 8th of August - I am quite sure he did not say, "Remember, I wish to have that back again."

Q. Did he not say, he intended to have the cheque back again, or words to that effect? A. Yes; I replied, "Very well, I will take care of it."

MR. BODKIN. Q. Was that when he said he would get back about seven o'clock, from the City, if he could? A. Yes; he did not return at all that day - Moggridge is the person in whose hands the bill was; it was the prisoner's acceptance, drawn and accepted by himself; he drew the bill, I signed it, and he accepted it - I am a baker.

THOMAS ANDREW RUSH . I am a clerk in the house of Messrs. Andrew Drummond and others; there are more than two partners besides him - on the 8th of August, I was at the banking-house; Mr. Edmead presented this cheque; it appears a very strong resemblance to Lord Dundas's hand-writing - I was struck at the first appearance of it, as being something different, but I went and examined it, and inquired the opinion of others, and eventually declined paying it - Lord Dundas had an account at our house at the time, and that is the form in which he draws his cheques, and a very good imitation of his signature.

Cross-examined. Q. Yet something struck you that it was different? A. Yes.

THOMAS LINDIGREEN . I am a policeman; I was called on the 8th of August, and took the prisoner into custody, at the corner of Hampstead-road, in the New-road, at the King's Head public-house - a solicitor who was with me said, "I give this man into custody for forging a cheque of 80l." - the prisoner heard it, but said nothing; I took him to the station-house, searched him, and found a quantity of memorandums, sixty-three pawnbrokers' duplicates, ard a cheque-book of Drummonds, and 3 cheques of it filled up - this is one of the cheques which I found. (looking at it.)

RIGHT HONOURABLE LORD DUNDAS. I keep an account at Drummond's house, and have always done so - I believe I once saw the prisoner in the street, he presented a paper to me; I don't recollect the contents, but from the contents of the paper I presumed he might be a Mr. David Dundas, who had corresponded with me; I have had letters from him, but have no other knowledge of him - no part of this cheque is my hand-writing; I think I should know anywhere that it is not my hand - I don't draw on these cheques, I have a private cheque-book of my own, unless I receive money in the banking house I don't sign these cheques - the signature is made in the way I sign my name, it is an imitation, but I should discover it in a moment (looking at another cheque) this other cheque is still less like mine, it is not the way I sign cheques, it is the way I sign franks - I

have had several letters from the prisoner, and corresponded with him; I probably franked my answers.

Cross-examined. Q. Is your Lordship prepared to say that this is an imitation of your hand-writing? A. I cannot answer that more than another person; I imagine it being signed "Dundas" is intended to imitate my signature - I should say the last cheque would not deceive anybody, that is for 40l.; the other might deceive, but not a very accurate observer - it ought not to deceive a person used to my signature, because I invariably draw a line and join the D's.

MR. BODKIN. Q. Is it a different signature to that with which you draw a cheque? A. Yes, the tail of the D comes through it and joins the u, which I do in franks (cheque read).

Prisoner's Defence (written.) My Lord and Gentlemen of the Jury - Painfully distressing as my present position is, arraigned a prisoner at this bar - a spectacle to the world, charged with the intention to commit a frand on the Messrs. Drummonds. Gentlemen, my conscience prompts me to reprobate that which I feel to be a vile attack on a character which I have in varied climes maintained without blemish, for a period of more than thirty years in the service of my king and country, having throughout the whole course of my professional duties, uniformly received the high commendations of all under whom I had the honour to serve. I do not name my services, Gentlemen, with any view of moving your pity; nor would I, had I the power, attempt to excite your sympathies to shield me from any pains or penalties, an error in judgment may bring upon me- they are altogether of a secondary consideration, inasmuch as an incurable wound was inflicted the moment of my arrest; nor will your verdict of acquittal heal that wound, or give me back my peace of mind, or allow me again to taste the sweets of social intercourse, or evermore to feel the sacred influence of friendship - under such depression, the sufferer sighs for his final release, to meet the righteous sentence of the Judge Eternal.

In looking, however, at the evidence given by Edmead, I wish you, Gentlemen, to favour me with your undivided attention to a few points, which, from their tendency, it appears to be imperative in me to notice. Bear in mind, then, that the transaction in question took place after mid-day on the 8th of August, and that I was arrested soon after four o'clock the same afternoon. This man has sworn, Gentlemen, that he assented to hold the cheque as a collateral security, until I took up a certain named bill, coming due on the 15th of the same month. Such was our specific agreement. He has admitted on his oath, that he promised to keep this cheque in safe custody, and to restore it to me at the time already named. He again tells you, Gentlemen, that the impression or understanding of his mind was that the bill should be taken up on that day, a week before it was due, and his account to be liquidated that night. Admitting, then, for a moment the truth of the latter statement, which I deny in the most unqualified manner. Examine, however, this man's conduct; do you see him acting agreeably to his own shewing? Certainly not. You must fancy him flying on the wings of the wind to the banking-house at Charing-cross! Mark his laudable purpose: was it to satisfy himself of the validity of the document? The clerk of Messrs. Drummond's answers no! that he required payment for that which he has sworn he promised to keep in safe custody for a fixed and positive period. I can easily imagine with what chuckling exultation he would bound away, with the honest hope of realizing by his breach of faith the sum of £80, for a debt of £17 odd. All this was done, and my caption made, in little more than two hours; hence it is manifest that his determination was that I should not have the power to do as he has stated he expected me to do! This witness, however, has had honesty sufficient to state on his oath, that I refused to accept any money consideration for this document; and admits that I enjoined him, over and over again, not to let the cheque go out of his possession: his answer was, "I will not." He has further sworn, that when I gave him the cheque, no person or party was named, or even alluded to, so as to give him any idea or reason to think that the document emanated from any person but myself, for it bears no other than my own name. I think I may then fearlessly ask you, Gentlemen, where is the evidence in all this to show even a shadow of "criminal intention" on my part towards the Messrs. Drummonds? Rather would not justice have been more fully satisfied, had this man Edmead, whose conduct herein was based on treachery and falsehood, been put to the bar in preference to the witness box? I shall, therefore, leave my destiny to the decision of your impartial judgment. My conduct in this particular instance may not have been in exact accordance with the requirement of the laws, but I submit that there is not a tittle of evidence to justify the charge of"guilty intention" on my part towards any of the individuals named in this indictment. I appeal then, Gentlemen, to your own feelings, assured that you will conscientiously view all the bearings of the case; and by your verdict show to the world, that you cannot sanction such abandonment of principle, or make me the victim of such nefarious conduct.

GUILTY . Aged 50. - Transported for Life .

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