11th June 1849
Reference Numbert18490611-1316
VerdictGuilty > lesser offence

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1316. GEORGE RICHARDSON , feloniously forging and uttering a promissory-note for 100l., with intent to defraud William Dimes and others.

MR. BALLANTINE conducted the Prosecution.

THOMAS THIMELEBY . I am a solicitor, of Spilsby, in Lincolnshire. I had a client named William Whittaker, and another named George Searby—on 21st April, 1846,1 had some deeds at my office, belonging to Mr. Whittaker—they had been examined and deposited there on the 20th—there was a note and a memorandum with them—I served a copy of this notice on the prisoner, in Newgate, the day before yesterday—(this was a notice to produce the papers in question)—on 2d June, 1847, I gave up to Searby two papers relative to a mortgage for 79l., which I believe had been in the same box with Mr. Whittaker's papers—in consequence of something Mr. Whittaker said, I

looked for his papers, about 2d May, and found the deeds, note, and memorandum were gone—I went up to London with him, about 17th or 18th May, went to the Tontine Insurance-office, and this note and memorandum were produced to me by Mr. Dimes—I believe he is the solicitor and managing director there—on 21st May I went down to Liverpool, and found the prjsoner at 1, Sun-street—I asked what he intended to do about his life insurance with the Tontine Company, Pall-mall, and his note to the same company for 30l., and likewise Whittaker's deeds, and the note and memorandum of deposit for 100l. which Whittaker owed him—he said he did not know what to do at present; that he had no money, having been a long time out of a situation; but that he intended to pay something weekly to the company—I told him he was suspected of forging, and gave him in charge of the officer who accompanied me—he voluntarily said, "Searby gave me the deeds, in consequence of my having joined him and a Mrs. Thomas in a note for 30l. and upwards, to get Searby out of Whitecross-street prison"—he gave no account of Whittaker's promissory-note, or of the memorandum of deposit—this note (produced) is the one I alluded to—I did not produce it to him—I had seen it at the Tontine-office.

Cross-examined by MR. PARRY. Q. Did he not say, "Searby gave the deeds and papers to me,"or" gave what you have been talking about to me?" A. He only mentioned deeds to the best of my recollection I should not like to pledge my oath to it—he alluded to the deeds and forged document—Searby has been a client of mine for many years—when the deeds and note were deposited with me I lived at Toynton, about four miles from Bolingbroke, where Searby lived—Toynton is near Spilsby—became to my office frequently—the box was kept on the floor of my office—I do not swear that the deeds in question were in it—these are Mr. Whittaker's papers (produced)—here are two abstracts, and a title—I believe I only gave Searby one deed—I generally put papers which I have not delivered over, into a private box, until I deliver them to Mr. Spence, my father-in-law—I hire been a solicitor ten years—I am not likely to give a person what they are not entitled to—I possibly handed Searby one deed, two abstracts, and some loose papers, constituting Whittaker's title—all Searby was entitled to was a single deed—Searby knew Whittaker very well—I cannot say whether he knew his writing—he never communicated to me that I had handed him these deeds accidentally—if they had come into my hands accidentally, I presume I should be anxious to return them to the right party—I have never had to refer to them since the day of their date, and do not know whether they were there or not—I next saw them at the Tontine office—I charged Searby with stealing the whole of the papers—I did not know the prisoner until he was given in charge.

MR. BALLANTINE. Q. Was Searby taken into custody? A. No; after hearing his explanation I withdrew the charge—he said if I persisted I must take the consequences—I suppose he meant an action—he was never in my office after I gave him up his deeds.

GEORGE SEARBY . I live at Sandwich-terrace, Battersea. In June, 1847, I settled some accounts with Mr. Thimbleby, and received from him a mortgage-deed of my own, within which was a deed, a promissory-note, and a memorandum belonging to Mr. Whittaker—these are them (produced)—I got to London in the latter end of June—I recognized to whom the papers belonged, a day or two before I came up—I went up expressly to meet the prisoner, in answer to an advertisement for a partner—we entered into business

together as perfumers, at 22, Wellington-street, Kingsland-road—the deeds were in my portmanteau at my house, 4, Great Cambridge-street, Hackney—in Aug., 1847, I was taken to Whitecross-street prison—I got out the same month, and took all Mr. Whittaker's papers to Wellington-street, wrapped them up, directed them to Mr. Thimbleby, and put them into a closet—in Sept., I went out for the day—I returned, and found the greater part of the things removed, these papers also—I saw the prisoner a day or two after, at the place of business, and accused him of taking away the partnership things, and also the deeds—I had never told him I had the deeds—I think he denied taking them, or having them—it is not true that I handed them over to him as security for his joining in a promissory-note, or any of them—I remember the prisoner lodging at 13, Brunswick-square, Hackney-road—a person named Tooke was his landlord.

Cross-examined. Q. You were in the habit of going to Mr. Thimbleby'a office? A. Yes—I am not sure whether I went after I got the papers—I saw him afterwards—I knew they were not mine—I had no reason for not giving them to him—it was in the hurry of packing up, in fact—I was not aware they were worth anything, at least I was not aware they could be appropriated by any one but the owner—I have got my own deed now—I have never made use of it—I put it and the other papers into my portmanteau, and do not know that I looked into it but once afterwards—Mr. Thimbleby said I stole these deeds—I gave my explanation as I have to-day—I took them from my house to Wellington-street to send them back—one reason why I did not do so, was that I was very scarce of money—I am not aware that I had any creditors at Bolingbroke—I had several debtors—I lived there about ten years—there might be some that I owed a few shillings to—several owed pounds to me—another reason for my removing the papers from my house was, that finding two years taxes were owing on the house I determined to leave it, and gave the landlord the fixtures for the month I had been there—I moved everything to Wellington-street—I saw the parcel there almost every day—the cupboard was kept locked when I was not there—I was to give the prisoner 50l. to go into partnership with him—I was arrested for 40l. a month after I came to London, at the suit of Wilkinson—it was a debt which I had incurred for business purposes at Bolingbroke—he lived in London—I paid off 16l. of it after I came to London—I think I sent the prisoner word that I was in Whitecross-street, two days after I went there—he came to me there two or three times, perhaps more—I am not sore whether I or Mrs. Thomas asked him to become security with her to get me out—I do not think he refused—I had then paid him 39l. of the 50l.—Mrs. Thomas is a cousin of my wife's—she lives at Spilsby—she lived in London then, and came to the gaol sometimes with my wife—the prisoner did not refuse to become my security unless I gave him security—I gave him 3l.—I had my trunk and papers there—I did not give him the deeds and note as security, or offer him them for any purpose—I am now a roaster plumber, painter, and glazier—I was apprenticed to that business—I had no creditors in London but the prisoner—I think I have creditors still—I am not sure—I was a plumber, glazier, and coach-painter at Bolingbroke, and had some land which I occupied.

MR. BALLANTINE. Q. When you settled with Mr. Thimbleby, did you bow what papers he had of yours? A. I know he had others besides the one he gave me, and I believe them to be in his possession now—I have paid the prisoner 49l. out of the 50l., and gave him 3l. besides to be my security—this

promissory-note (produced) for 30l. 18s. is the one in which Mr. Thomas joined—the whole of it has been paid by myself and her—I paid about 12l., and she some, and my wife's uncle the rest—the prisoner paid none of it—I know of no money having been obtained from the Tontine—I never saw this note and memorandum till they were produced at the police-court—I believe them to be the prisoner's writing, some parts especially—I do not know Mr. Whittaker's writing.

WILLIAM DIMES . I am a solictor, and Managing Director of the Tontine Life Insurance Company, 20, Pall Mall. About Oct or Nov., 1847, a person, who I believe to be the prisoner, came—I had been in previous communication with him, and advanced him 30l., on account of the Company-be gave me his own note for 30l., and these papers as a collateral security (the promissory-note was for 100l., with lawful interest, to be paid in two instalments of 50l. each, with a memorandum, admitting the deposit of the deeds at security; signed William Whittaker—witness, John Tooke.)

WILLIAM WHITTAKER . I live at West Keal, Lincolnshire. I deposited some papers with Mr. Thimbleby, amongst them was a promissory-note and memorandum signed by me, connected with some business I had with Mr. Spence—this note and memorandum are not my writing—the name of Whittaker is a forgery—I know Old Bolingbroke well—there is no person of my name there—I never had any dealings with the prisoner.

Cross-examined. Q. Is that signature like your writing? A. Something—I have known Searby, by living about a mile from him—he never made any communication to me that he had got my deeds.

RICHARD MATTHEWS . I am a manufacturing perfumer, and was in partnership with the prisoner—I know his writing—this memorandum and note have not the appearance of being his.

HENRY MURPHY . I am one of the Liverpool police—I took the prisoner, and told him the charge—he said he did not understand about the note for 100l.—I asked if he got all the papers from Searby which he left at the Tontine—he said, "Yes"—I asked if that was the same 100l-note which he got from Searby—he said it was—I said, "How comes it to be drawn by Whittaker, in favour of George Richardson"—he said, "I can't account for that."

Cross-examined. Q. You found him at Liverpool, in the service of Messrs. Vey, the large tea-dealers? A. Yes—I learnt from them he had been there eight or ten months—I found him at 1, Sun-street.

LOUISA TOOKE . My father, John Tooke, lived at 13, Brunswick-square, Hackney-road—he died in May—I cannot tell whether this is his writing—the prisoner lodged there.

Cross-examined. Q. For how long? A. More than twelve months—I never heard anything against his character.

GUILTY of Uttering. Aged 32.— Transported for Ten Years.

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