Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 15 August 2022), October 1762, trial of James Farr William Biddle William Sparry (t17621020-18).

James Farr, William Biddle, William Sparry, Deception > forgery, 20th October 1762.

300, 301, 302. (L.) James Farr , William Biddle , and William Sparry , were indicted for that they did make, forge, and counterfeit, and cause and procure to be forged and counterfeited, and willingly acted and assisted therein, a certain counterfeit will, purporting to be the last will and testament of Jeffery Henvill, and publishing the same, with intent to defraud Anna Freke . At the request of Sparry the witnesses were examined apart.

The prisoners all allowed that the deceased Jeffery Henvill had made a former will, which bore date August 20, 1761, under which Anna Freke was intitled, and that he died Nov. 23, 1761.

Wm Heusch . I was acquainted with Mr. Jeffery Henvill, the person that appears to be the testator to this will. [Holding the will in question in his hand.

Q. Have you ever seen him write?

Heusch. I have several times.

Q. Look at the name of Jeslery Henvill, is it his own hand writing?

Heusch. I do not believe it is.

Sparry. I object to his testimony. The time he came to me at Greenwich, he told me, he carried on the prosecution at his own expence. Pray, how far are you interested in this cause?

Heusch. Not a halfpenny. I have no benefit whatsoever. I told him it was not carried on through anger to any party, but for the sake of justice. It has been a most intricate thing, and what I have had a great deal of trouble about, and what we found out by chance.

Q. from Sparry. How much money have you given to Frankland your witness?

Heusch. I never gave her a farthing, nor she has never had a farthing yet.

Q. Is Farr any way related to Jeffery Henvill the deceased?

Heusch. I have heard he married Mr. Henvill's daughter.

Farr. I married his only child.

Q. Where did Farr live, when Henvill died?

Heusch. I believe Farr then lived at Crookhorn in Somersetshire; the next post or post after Mr. Henvill's death. I sent down a letter to Mrs. Farr of my own hand-writing, signed by Mr. Brown, to let her know her father was dead, and inclosed I sent her a copy of the will; I believe this was about the 25th or 27th of November last, three or four days after the testator's death; he died on a Monday, and I believe I sent down on the Tuesday or Thursday following.

Q. Did the prisoner and his wife live together there?

Heusch. They did; she sent word up, that her husband would soon be in town; he came up and called at Mr. Brown's house in Charles-street; and said, my father has not been so bad a man as the world took him to be. I said, I was sorry he has not done better by you: He said, he has made another will in my favour. I said, don't make things worse: He said, have you been served with any citations? I said, no. He said, then you will be, for there is another will in the Commons.

Q. When was this?

Heusch. This was on the 10th of December, the first time that I saw him after his father-in-law's death. Immediately after that, citations were served. It rested for some time, to, I believe, the 22d of last June. Mr. Bellas's clerk sent a person to our house to let us know, two witnesses had been in the commons and examined on the execution of this will. I I went to Mr. Bellas's to know who they were, which I found to be the prisoner Biddle and Hannah Frankland , and that the attorney concerned was Sparry. I found Frankland had been a servant to Sparry, but then resided with one Thomas Morvil in Blackfriars. Then I went to Mr. Bellas's to get his clerk to see Frankland, to know whether she was the same woman, that had been in the commons; he said, she was the very same person. After that, I and Mr. Hamlen went to Greenwich, and took Sparry in an alehouse, and brought him to town; it was very cold weather; we came up by water, and went to a tavern and dined. I do not now recollect whether it was in the boat or in the tavern, but he declared to us that very day, that Farr was taken by Oliver, who was going to carry him to the Marshalsea-prison, at the suit of Mountstephens, that then he should have given us notice that we might have taken him up, and he believed it to be a'bad affair, and if I would admit him a witness, he would give me all the assistance in his power; he said, Farr brought him a draught of an old man's will, (I will not be sure to the time when he said he brought it) and desired him to dictate a will to him for his father-in-law. That Farr told him, that the testator had an utter aversion to a lawyer making a will; and that he, at Farr's request, dictated a will, which Farr wrote; I think he said this was at the King's head in Broad St. Gile's, that after the will had been wrote by Farr at that house, he went with him to the next house, called the Robin-hood, at Farr's request, in Charles-street; that Farr desired him to wait there, while he went in to the testator his father-in-law, and upon Farr's not returning immediately, he went away; nor was he at the execution of the will; and that it was the same will that was produced in the commons. As we were in Guildhall-yard, just before we went before Mr. Alderman Blunt, I said to him, As you say you are innocent of this affair, I should be glad to know who wrote the will? He said, as Mr. Farr wrote the body of the will, you may easily guess who wrote the name; he likewise declared, he did intend to let us into the secret, and did send his brother once or twice to have given information; that he had a letter wrote by Mountstephens, which he said was either two or three sheets of paper, and Mountstephens had no concern in the affair, and desired to know if I had any thing against Mountstephens; I told him, I had not, and that instead of desiring Mountstephens to keep out of the way, I desired him to get him to come to me, that I might know what he had to say on that affair.

Q. Is Mountstephens a witness?

Heusch. No; he is not. I am informed he is a man that they have had a great deal of money of. I always had a good opinion of him, and believe he has been much imposed upon: he was afraid to come to me; he wrote a note to me by a woman for me to sign, which note Sparry declared he wrote for him; but I would not sign it.

Q. What did Sparry say before Mr. Alderman Blunt?

Heusch. I believe he there acknowledged the will was a forgery. He likewise declared that he, Mr. Farr, and Mountstephens, went down into the country, in order to mortgage an estate which Farr had there, in order to carry on the suit; and that they did raise 300 l.; 150 l. in money, and 150 l. in a note payable in a month; and I think he said, he was to have had 100 guineas with Mr. Farr's son as a clerk. Mr. Hamelen was with us in all this conversation. I think he said Farr should say, he should get possession of this estate on the 6th of September.

Q. from Farr. Did you never promise Frankland any money?

Heusch. No; nor ever gave her a halfpenny.

Q. from Farr. Did you never hire any body to do it?

Heusch. No.

Q. from Farr. Did you not carry her in a coach to justice Fielding?

Heusch. I did, as soon as she discovered this affair to me, in order to get an information; but, upon speaking to Sir John, he said I had better take her to my lord mayor.

Q. from Farr. Did you not make her very drunk that day?

Heusch. No; I did not.

Q. When did you carry her before my lord mayor?

Heusch. I carried her there the next day.

Q. from Farr. Did she not always refuse coming into your terms?

Heusch. No.

Q. from Farr. Did you not keep her out three days from her lodgings?

Heusch. No. My lord mayor's clerk was not in the way; one of the judge's tipstaffs had her some time in his possession.

Q. from Farr. Did you not threaten to hang her if she did not do as you bid her?

Heusch. No; I did not. I said it was a bad thing; and she said she was totally ignorant, and was forced to put her mark to it: that she could neither write nor read, and she had 5 l. for doing it. When she was brought to me at Sam's coffee-house, I asked her, if she knew Mr. Henvill? She said she did. I said, what sized man was he? She said, he was a large man. I asked her, who was present when she put her mark to it? She said, Mr. Sparry and Mr. Biddle were. I said, was nobody else present? She said, no, sir. Then I observed she began to hesitate a little: I said, I believe you are ignorant of this affair; I apprehend you have been deceived in it. If it is fact, stick to it; and if it is not, I hope you will think of what you may meet with here and hereafter. Will you speak the truth? Then she said, I'll speak the truth. Then she said, she was sent for to a room where Farr was, by Sparry's instigation. He asked her, if she could write or read? She said, she could do neither. Said he, I have some money left me by my father-in-law, and you shall be rewarded; and she did it at his instigation; and after that, Sparry directed Farr to write,

"This is the mark of Hannah

"Frankland." And after that, she was sent for to an alehouse, called the Cock in the Corner, and there Biddle signed to the will.

Q. from Farr. Do you know how she came by the cloaths she has now on?

Heusch. She declared to me one day, she had a piece of stuff in pawn, and Sparry went with her and paid the money for her, and she went in it to Doctors Commons to see the will proved; and Sparry did acknowledge to me he paid Mr. Mountstephens for making it up into a gown.

Q. from Sparry. Whether I did not say, when you came to me at Greenwich, you need not have a constable; I'll go with you quietly; let my brother go with me?

Heusch. I appointed your brother to meet us at the King's Head, opposite Woodstreet Counter. We went there and had some dinner.

Q. from Sparry. Whether I did not say, the pretended forged will, before the alderman?

Heusch. You said, the forged will. Sparry told me, he never saw the will after he left it in the house, till he saw it in the Commons, but it will appear to the contrary.

Q. from Sparry. Whether or not you did not hear me, at the time I was committed, say, Sir, I beg pardon; I see a scene of iniquity going forward, for we had three wills.

Heusch. No; Sparry did not say any such thing. He told me, the first time he suspected it to be a forged will, was upon Hannah Frankland 's saying to him, God bless me! the man that you got me to put my hand to the will, he is alive, and yet you made me sign his will.

Sparry. No; she said, she heard Mr. Farr had got her to set her hand to the will of a man that is alive.

Q. Did Sparry say, himself or Farr got her to set her hand to it?

Heusch. I will not be certain which.

Cross Examination.

Q. Who is the prosecutor in this affair?

Heusch. Mrs. Freke is.

Q. Who is she?

Heusch. She lived with the testator two or three years before his death, and kept his house.

Q. When did he make his will?

Huesch. He made it on the 28th of August 1751.

Q. from Sparry. Whether you did not advise Mount stephens to move away?

Heusch. I told him, I always had the best opinion of you in point of character: - I find you have been concerned in this affair; it is not proper you should live in the house of this woman. And advised him to take his goods away.

Q. from Sparry. Where is he now?

Heusch. I do not know. I used all the means I could by Mr. Oliver that he might exculpate himself in this affair; but I could never get him to come to me. I remember the testator told me, three days before he died, he had no other concern in life but to make provision for this woman, Hannah Freke . He was then very ill, and had a sort of a mortification on his thigh.

Q. Where did he die?

Heusch. He died in Charles-street, in his own house.

Q. from Sparry. Whether he had not an utter aversion to a lawyer making his will.

Heusch. As for that, he made a will two years before, and I was sole executor.

Q. Are you a lawyer?

Heusch. I am.

Q. from Sparry. Did not Hannah Frankland declare she saw the testator execute the will, and that Farr and Biddle were there?

Heusch. She did; but after that she denied that she ever saw the testator, and that every word was put into her mouth by Sparry.

Q. from Farr. Did you or any body, to your knowledge, promise her 100 guineas?

Heusch. The woman never was promised a farthing, no otherwise than I told Mr. Hamlen, this woman has had a great deal of trouble, and I certainly will satisfy her for her trouble.

The Will read.

[The words put in Italics, spelt as here.]

"In the name of God, Amen. I, Jeffery Henvill,

"of the parish of St. James's, and liberty of

"Westminster, and county of Middlesex, and by

"trade a taylor, being in sound mind and memory,

"and understanding, and considering the uncertainty

"of this life, and the certainty of death, I give my

"soul to God who gave it me, and hoping, through

"my blessed redeemer Jesus Christ, to have the pardon

"of all my sins. And as to that wordly " which it has pleased God to bless me with, I give,

"devise, and bequeath, in maner following: And

"whereas I have hertofore, about the month of July

"or August last, I have given the bulk of my fortune

"to Anna Freke , wife of Charles Freke , and

"which will I desire may be revoked by these presents.

"And as to all these my freehold mesuages

"and stable, with there appurtenances, lying and

"being in the borough of Shestsbury, in the county

"of Dorset, or elsewhere in England, unto my beloved

"son-in-law James Farr , in trust for my beloved

"grandson, the only child of my beloved

"only daughter Dorothy Farr : on special trust that

"the said James Farr and Dorothy his wife do enjoy

"the said premises, and the survivor of them,

"on special trust to and for the only use and benefit

"of my grandson James Henvill Farr , and infant

"about the age of twelve years. And my will is,

"that the said James Farr and Dorothy his wife,

"or the survivor of them, shall have all the issues,

"rents, and profits, of the said premases, without

"any ways incumbering waste or against the same;

"on this condition, that the said James Farr and

"Dorothy his wife, or the survivor of them, shall

"find and maintain him all sufiant meat, drink,

"washing, lodging, to the amount or near the value

"of the rents and profits of the aforesaid estate,

"And allso, I do devise and bequeath a legacy of

"20 l. of lawful money of Great Britton, to John

"Mountstephens, my cozen and foreman, to be paid

"out of my personal estate, within twelve months

"after my decease. And as to my personal estate,

"both monies, goods, and wearing apparel, and

"out-standing debts, and all the remainder of my

"real and person estate, of what kind and nature soever,

"or shall be hearafter any ways intitled, I

"do give, devise, and bequeath, unto my son-in-law

" James Farr , whome I do order and appoint

"to be my soul exicutor of this my last will and

"testimant. And I do allso, in case my grandson

"should die without issu or marriage, or arrive to

"the age of twenty-one, then I give my aforesaid

"freehold estate to the said James Farr and Dorothy

"his wife, or the airs or survivor of them for ever.

"And I do hearby revoke all former wills by me

"made, and declare this to be my last will and

"testament, desiring that I may be decently buried,

"at the discretion of my exicutor heartofore mentioned,

"near to my father and mother, in the

"town of Shaftsbury, Dorsetshire, haveing hearunto

"set my hand and seal, according to the stile of

"the church of England, the twenty-eight day of

"October, in the year of our one thousand


" Jeffery Henvill.

"Signed, sealed, published,

"and declared by the said

"testator, as and for his last " will and testimant, in the

"presense of uss.

"The mark of Hannah Frankland +,

" William Biddle ."

Robert Hamlen . I know all three of the prisoners at the bar.

Q. Do you remember going to Greenwich, in order to take up Sparry?

Hamlen. I do.

Q. Do you remember what conversation you had with him?

Hamlen. I do. After we took him we had him before a magistrate. The magistrate ordered us to take him to London: he was a little obstinate at first, and wanted to go home; but the constable said, he should go before a magistrate. We brought him from the magistrate's by water to London. Coming along, he said, he had no occasion to come to London to throw himself into our hands; that he had kept at Greenwich some time, and if we had sent to him he would have surrendered: and if we had not come down to day he intended to have surrendered himself; that he knew the will to be a forged thing himself, and that he dictated the will at a public house in St. Giles's and Farr wrote the will; he said, Mr. Farr said to him, I should be obliged to you if you will do this thing for me, because my father-in-law always said no lawyer should make his will; and that he dictated it, and Farr wrote it; then they went to the Robin Hood , and there, at Mr. Farr's request, he staid some time, in order for Farr's coming back to let him know whether his father-in-law was ready for him to come to be a witness to the will; finding him not coming immediately, he went away; he said several times, he was concerned for Mr. Farr in such an affair, and that Farr had such an estate left him by his father-in-law, a taylor in Charles's square, and he was going to mortgage an estate which Mr. Farr had at Crookhorn, in order to carry on this affair, and he had no manner of doubt but they should succeed. And coming along, and afterwards at the Queen's Head in Tower street, on Tower-hill, where we dined, he mentioned it; and there he begged we would admit him an evidence, and he would give us all the assistance he possibly could; that he knew it to be a forgery, and had several papers relating to this will, and if we would call at the Counter in a day or two after, he would deliver the papers up to us. While coming by water, he several times said, he knew the thing was forged. We asked him, if he knew who signed the name Jeffery Henvill? Said he, Mr. Farr wrote the body, and who do you think signed the name? He said, he hoped we would be as favourable as we could to him, and he hoped we would not take up Mr. Mountstephens: he said, he had a letter from him as long as my arm, wherein he sets forth the thing; and said, he as well as myself knows it to be a forgery. He said, Mr. Farr had given him a note of 50 l. and he was to make out a bill of cost for the business he had done to that amount.

Q. Was you with him before Mr. Alderman Blunt?

Hamlen. I was. First of all there he said, he was a man of property, a man of fortune. When the alderman came to ask him again, he said, he was not worth a penny. After that, he said his wife was worth 8 or 900 l. but he was not a farthing the better for it.

Q. Do you remember any conversation about Hannah Frankland ?

Hamlen. I have been in company with them several times. I have heard him say, Come, Hannah, come, the thing will come round soon for your examination; then we will get some money, and then every thing will be satisfied. He acknowledged he went to the pawnbroker, and took a piece of stuff out of pawn for her, and paid seven shillings for it, and afterwards got Mr Mountstephens to make it into a gown, and he paid him half a crown for making it.

Q. How often may you have been in Sparry's and Frankland's company?

Hamlen. It may be near twenty times.

Q. from Sparry. Do you remember before the alderman I begged his pardon, and said, I mean the pretended forged will?

H amlen. Sparry absolutely acknowledged before the alderman, he knew it was a forgery. The alderman catched it at once, and bid him hold his tongue.

Q. from Sparry. Did Frankland swear I was by when she subscribed the will?

Hamlen. She did; and will do the same now.

Q. from Sparry. What were her words?

Hamlen. She said, Sparry was present at the time she witnessed the will. This was before Mr. Alderman Blunt.

Q. from Sparry. Did not she say, I owed her 13 l. for wages?

Hamlen. She said he did; and he said he did not owe her any thing at first; but at last he said, he might owe her a trifle. She said, he owed her for six years wages; that she had lived with him seven years, and never received but one year's wages.

Q. from Sparry. When you came to me to Wood-street Counter, did not you say, you came to treat me, and say, you was my friend, and should say much less when you came on the trial than you had said?

Hamlen. No; I never said any such thing. I was once there when I had a bowl of water thrown upon me, and two or three people came and used me very ill at Sparry's request, so that I thought I should not come out of the place alive.

Q. from Farr. I want to know how you live?

Hamlen. I have been clerk to an attorney many years.

Q. Who was you with?

Hamlen. I was with Mr. Craycraft in the city, and I lived with one gentleman seven years within two or three months.

Q. from Farr. How much money have you given Frankland?

Hamlen. The woman never had a halfpenny of me in her life.

Q. from Farr. How much have you had of the prosecutor?

Hamlen. No more than my expenses; we were at a great deal of trouble and expence, in order to find out the people at the bar.

Hannah Frankland . I know all the three prisoners at the bar.

Q. How long have you known Sparry?

H. Frankland. I have known him ten years: I lived with him seven years.

Q. How long have you known Biddle?

H. Frankland. I have known him about three years.

Q. How long have you known Farr?

H. Frankland. I have known him about 15 or 16 months.

Q. Look at this will? [The will in question put into her hand.]

H. Frankland. This mark upon it is my mark, Mr. Farr wrote my name by it.

Q. How came you to set this mark here?

H. Frankland. Mr. Farr asked me to do it.

H.. When?

H. Frankland. About nine or ten months ago.

Q. Where?

H. Frankland. At Mr. Whitchurch's, the Thistle and Crown, in Water-lane, Black-friars.

Q. Was it before Christmas or after?

H. Frankland. I can't say whether it was before or after justly; Mr. Farr called me down stairs one morning, and we had some purl; he asked me to make a mark? I told him. I could neither write nor read; he said, then I could make a mark; I asked him, what I was to make a mark for? he said, he had some money left him by his father-in-law, and desired me to make my mark.

Q. Was there any seal upon it?

H. Frankland. Mr. Farr pulled out a seal and put it upon it.

Q. Who was by at the time?

H. Frankland. There was only him and I together.

Q. How long did you stay there with him in that room?

H. Frankland. I staid but a little while.

Q. Did any body come into the room at the time you was there?

H. Frankland. No; nobody to my knowledge: I went out, and left Mr. Farr there.

Q. Was Sparry in the room when you made the mark?

H. Frankland. No, he was not; he was then in the fore-room, but Farr and I went into another room to do it.

Q. Was Biddle there?

H. Frankland. No, he was not; but when we went into the next room, Farr shewed the thing to Sparry.

Q. Do you know what conversation passed?

H. Frankland. No, I do not; I did not stay but a very little while.

Q. Do you remember seeing this thing after this? [ meaning the will.]

H. Frankland. Yes; that was two or three days or a week after; then I saw Biddle sign his name to it; that was at the Cock in the Corner, the house of Mrs. Stone.

Q. Who was present then?

H. Frankland. Three was only I, Mr. Sparry, and Mr. Biddle in company then; we went in all together?

Q. Who had the paper in custody then, before Biddle signed it?

H. Frankland. I believe Mr. Sparry had.

Q. Was there any application made to you, in order to go to Doctors Commons?

H. Frankland. There was a note made to me for five pounds, for me to go to be sworn at the Commons, to say it was a true will.

Q. Did you know Jeffrey Henvill ?

H. Frankland. I never saw him in my life to my knowledge.

Q. Do you know who was present when that note was given?

H. Frankland. Mr. Oliver, Mr. Biddle, and Mr. Farr, were there at the time.

Q. Have you been in company with these people frequently?

H. Frankland. I have; I have drank tea with Mr. and Mrs. Farr at the Thistle and Crown, they lodged there; I had seen Biddle backwards and forwards there.

Q. What dress was you to go to the Commons in?

H. Frankland. In this gown that I have got on; it was fetched out of pawn by Sparry for me to go in. and Mr. Mountstephens made it up.

Q. How do you know Sparry fetched it out of pawn?

H. Frankland. I went along with him to the pawnbroker's: it was in the neighbourhood of Blackfriars.

Q. Who employed Mr. Mountstephens to make it up?

H. Frankland. Mr. Sparry did, and he paid him.

Q. Had you any conversation with either of the prisoners about the manner this will was to be proved?

H. Frankland. Biddle and Farr bid me say I saw Mr. Henvill sign it, and to say he was a very lusty man: Mr. Biddle said, he had been in the house, and had seen what was in the room.

Q. to Heusch. What size man was Mr. Henvill?

Heusch. He was a very lusty man.

H. Frankland. They said I should be asked but three questions at the Commons.

Q. from Farr. Did not you live in that neighbourhood?

H. Frankland. Yes, 14 or 15 years ago.

Q. from Farr. Have not you often declared you saw Mr. Henvill sign this will?

H. Frankland. No; I never did.

Q. from Farr to Mr. Huesch. Have not you heard her say she saw him sign it?

Huesch. No.

Q. from Farr. Did not you say you carried beer to Mr. Henvill's house?

H. Frankland. I might years ago.

Q. from Farr. Who took that gown you have now on out of pawn for you lately?

H. Frankland. I borrowed the money, and took it out myself.

Q. from Sparry. Whether you did not tell the proctor you did really see Mr. Henvill sign that will?

H. Frankland. The proctor never asked me, and I did not tell him so.

Q. from Sparry. Did you swear-before the sitting alderman that I owed you money, and the money which I advanced you, was part of your wages?

H. Frankland. And do not you owe me money? He owes me wages to this hour.

Q. Was the money he gave you part of your wages?

H. Frankland. No; wages was not mentioned.

Q. from Sparry. How much money had you of me at one time?

H. Frankland. Once I had an eighteen shilling piece, and I have sixpences and shillings of Sparry.

Q. from Sparry. How came you to say Farr was at the Thistle and Crown?

H. Frankland. Why; was he not? he lived there.

Q. from Sparry. Whether you have not said nothing should affect or hurt me from what you knew in this case?

H. Frankland. I never did say so; I never could, because I never saw Mr. Henvill in my life.

Q. from Sparry. Did not you say when you went to give evidence against me, O Lord! I shall be transported?

H. Frankland. No; I never did.

Q. from Sparry. Did not you go and tell my wife you was waiting for me?

H. Frankland. If I did, that does not belong to this affair.

Q. from Sparry. Whether you did not tell my wife you was waiting for your master?

H. Frankland. I was waiting till you came in.

Q. from Sparry. Did not you tell her, you had more right to me than she had?

H. Frankland. No; I did not.

Q. from Sparry. Did not you strike my wife?

H. Frankland. No; she struck me, Sir; but that does not belong to this.

Q. from Sparry. Whether you did not declare you would be revenged of me for my beating you for insulting my wife?

H. Frankland. No; never.

Q. from Sparry. Whether you did swear you was never known by any other name but that of Frankland?

H. Frankland. No; I go by no other name but Frankland.

Q. from Sparry. Have you not letters wrote to you by the name of Morvil?

H. Frankland. No.

Q. from Sparry. Have you never brought letters to me to read to you, that were directed to you by the name of Morvil?

H. Frankland. No.

Cross Examination.

Q. What time of the day was it at the Thistle and Crown, did you put your mark to that paper?

H. Frankland. It was in the morning, about 8 or 9 o'clock.

Q. Did you see Mrs. Whitchurch then?

H. Frankland. Mrs. Whitchurch was not up.

Q. from Biddle. During the time of my being in Woodstreet-compter, whether you did not come after Mr. Sparry?

H. Frankland. He sent for me there.

Q. from Farr. Did not you say to Sparry I'll lose my life to save you but I'll hang Biddle and Farr?

H. Frankland. No.

Q. from Biddle. What did you do there; do you know?

H. Frankland. Yes; I drank some beer.

Q. from Biddle. Did you do nothing else?

H. Frankland. No.

Q. from Biddle. Who lent you a pot from under the bed?

H. Frankland. Nobody.

Q. from Farr. Did not you leave your pattens there?

H. Frankland. No, I did not.

Ann Whitchurch . I keep the Thistle and Crown, Water-lane, Black-friars. I have seen the prisoners together at my house several times.

Q. Do you know Hannah Frankland ?

Whitchurch. I do.

Q. Have you seen her along with them at your house?

Whitchurch. I have.

Q. About what time?

Whitchurch. About the latter end of the last year.

Cross Examination.

Q. Where does Frankland live?

Whitchurch. She lives in the neighbourhood.

Q. Does she use your house?

Whitchurch She does.

Q. Do you know of her going by the name of Morvil?

Whitchurch. I have trusted her in that name, and received money of her in that name; I never knew to the contrary but that was her name, till Sparry came to me, and said, if a person came to enquire for Frankland, this Hannah Morvil was the person.

Counsel for the Crown. Did you ever know one Jeffery Henvill?

Whitchurch. No; never to my knowledge.

Prisoner's Counsel. What is Frankland's character?

Whitchurch. I can't say a great deal to her character.

Mary Oliver . Mr. Oliver my husband, and Mr. Sparry, went to take Biddle over the Water; I was with them; and between Sparry's house and the bridge, Biddle said in our hearing, he had d - d his soul, and sworn himself to the d - l to serve Mr. Farr, and they were to have a quarter part of an estate, and he found he could get nothing for it; and at another time in our kitchen, he said, if they had carried on the transactions as they might have done, they might have won the day; that they never went about business, but always it was in a public room.

Biddle. I never had but little conversation with her; I never saw her but about four times.

Q. from Sparry. Was you present when your spouse came to the Marshalsea prison?

M. Oliver. I was there.

Q. from Farr. Did you ever hear your husband ask for money of me a guinea, half a guinea, or two shillings, and say, if he would give him that, he would let him go.

M. Oliver. No; never.

Mark Oliver . I know all the prisoners at the bar.

Q. Do you know any thing of a note of hand?

Mark Oliver . I do; [ he produced one] this is it.

It is read to this purport.

London, Aug. 12, 1762. Five weeks after date, I promise to pay to Mark Oliver , five pounds, for Hannah Frankland , to be paid her at discretion.


Q. Have you ever heard any thing said about this will?

Mark Oliver . I have heard Biddle say it was a false will.

Q. When?

Mark Oliver . When I have been alone with him.

Q. Is Mary Oliver your wife?

Mark Oliver . She has said, when my wife was by, before he went to the Commons to be examined, he was going to lend his soul to the d - l, and that he was going to be examined for a rogue.

Q. Did he ever say he was to have any part of the estate?

Mark Oliver . When I went to take Mr. Farr. I said, I hear there is a warrant against you for a forgery, and I will not be concerned with you. Sparry said, you will be hanged for this forgery, to Farr: and said, he wished he could get his money.

Q. Have you ever seen Farr write?

Mark Oliver . I have; I have seen him write; and I have several letters which he wrote to me when in gaol.

Q. Look at the body of this will, whose writing do you think it to be?

Mark Oliver . [He takes it in his hand.] This is Farr's hand writing.

Q. Did you see him write that note for 5 l. you produced here?

Mark Oliver . I did.

Q. from Sparry. Did you not become bail for Farr?

Mark Oliver . I did; but if I had known what you had been about, I would not have been for neither him nor you; you are black enough.

Q. from Sparry. When you was cross-examined, whether you did say this will in the Commons was a just will, and that you was a freeholder.

Mark Oliver . No, Sir; I never said any thing about the will: If you remember, you said, you thought Farr had got all the money. I am a freeholder.

Q. from Sparry. Whether you did not come to me at Greenwich to have your name put in as bail, without fee or reward?

Mark Oliver . Yes, Sir. I did.

Q. from Sparry. Whether this is not your own hand writing? [A paper is put in his hand.]

Mark Oliver . Yes, it is; this is a note of two pounds two shillings. It reads thus:

June the 30th, 1762, Received of John Mountstephens two pounds two shillings, on James Sparry 's account.


Mark Oliver . This was money that I laid out for letters and things; this was not for any see or reward.

Q. from Sparry. Whether you did lay out a shilling?

Mark Oliver . I shall lay you open if you talk to me. That night that I up all night, he was my prisoner, he and John Mountstephens consulted together to rob Mr. Farr; they thought he had got all his cash, and had put it into his breeches-pocket. Said Sparry, we can rob him, for he had condemned man by the law, and will be hanged for this forgery.

Q from Sparry. Whether at the time you justified both, you did not swear you was worth 60 l. and all your debts paid; and now you are become a bankrupt, and have not obtained your certificate.

Mark Oliver . I am worth 60 l. for all that; I have 15 l. a year at Ipswich.

Q from Sparry. Did not you go to my maid servant, and desire her to lend you a silver spoon, for you to put into Farr's pocket, that you might hang him for a robbery, and convict him for the reward?

Mark Oliver . That is what you raised yourself; that is false.

Nicholas Symonds . I know Hannah Frankland . I remember her and Sparry coming to my master's to fetch the camblet gown out of pawn.

Q. Where does your master live?

Sym onds. He lives in Blackfriars.

Q. Who paid the money?

Symonds. Sparry, I believe, did.

Farr's Defence.

The will was executed duly at my father-in-law's house; my proctor, if he was here, would declare it, that Hannah Frankland has said it was.

Biddle's Defence.

I was there with Mrs. Frankland and Mrs. Farr, at Mr. Henvill's house, when he signed it. Mr. Farr left the house, and went to the Black Horse in the Haymarket. Mr. Henvill made use of a viol with ink in it, and I pulled out my own pen and ink from my pocket, and signed it with my own ink.

[ This was to account for the different sorts of ink the will was wrote and signed with which was observed by the court and the jury.]

Sparry's Defence.

My acquaintance with Mr. Henvill was about the 12th of March was twelve months. He came and asked me when I had heard from Mr. Farr, I said, he was in town and that I heard he had had something sell to him. He said, Mr. Sparry, I am desirous they should be settled; he is a little stupid, and strong headed; I wish you would speak to him; I have a great regard for my daughter, and she has the guest boy I ever saw. Said I, Mr. Henvill, I will do any thing for either him or you: I thought Mr. Farr's affairs had been a little unhappy, and he may want some of your assistance. He said, he had lent him 100 l. I said, he is now discharged from debts under the fugitive act in 1755, and if you was now to put him in a little way of business he is a low chandler and soap boiler) it would be of service to him. He desired me to call upon him and tell him he would be his friend. I called and told him. Then Farr said, at the death of his mother-in-law Mr. Henvill had made him a suit of mourning cloaths, and what shall I do to pay my father-in-law for them? If I do not pay him I fear I shall lose his favour. Said I, I have a draft of my wife's which she gave me leave to take. I went and discounted it with a wine-merchant at Temple bar, and let him have the money, and he paid for the mourning, here is the bill and receipt. Some time after that, I met Mr. Henvill coming along Covent garden; we stopt at the Plough in Drury-lane: Said he, Sir, I find my son-in-law is going to settle in the country; if he will but come to me, and put his affairs to right, I will be a friend to him; for he is obliged to pay his sister 500 l. and I am afraid he will be obstinate enough not to pay it; I will do something for him if he will but settle upon my daughter 500 l. Frankland said, she knew Mr. Henvill very well, for she had carry'd beer to his house. Mr. Henvill told me, he heard she was a good sober girl. I said, while she was along with me she was as honest a creature as ever was: I had trusted her with my watch, money, and rings; but I am told now she has no way to get her bread but by drinking, whoring, and swearing. She came to me into Newgate, and swore, d - n her soul, if she would hurt me: She said, I had no occasion to spend my money; I was as innocent as the child unborn. Mr. Henvill said, I have been very unhappy with Mrs. Freke; she has endeavoured to prove my daughter a thief. He gave me this will, all of his own handwriting, and told me how he had been threatened for having criminal conversation with this Freke; for she is the wife of Charles Freke , lately broke out of Dorsetshire gaol, and I am afraid I shall be punished with an action. Said I, you cannot do any thing better than to amuse her, as if you intended to do well for her. Said he, I am very desirous to live praceably. He called upon me about the 26th of last October, and desired then that Mr. Farr would come to a resolution to make some memorandum in writing, that he might send it down to Dorsetshire, that this money might be raised, that was 300 l. to pay his debts, and set him up at Crookhorn. He had a freehold estate of about 120 acres of very good land, but it wants manuring. A memorandum was drawn; a copy of it I have here. I was desired to dictate to Mr. Farr nothing more than the preamble of this will. Mr. Henvill said, he should not desire me to give any directions about the will, and that he would be buried at Shaftesbury; he said, he did not desire Mr. Farr to come to his house, for when he comes there is nothing but wrangling; and said, he was in a very bad way, he had got a mortification in his thigh, and did not know whether he should go out of his house any more. I read it to him, and he wrote it. I wrote down nothing more than the preamble of it, and directing his body to be buried at Shaftesbury, near his father and mother. Farr told me, Mr. Biddle, Mr. Mountstevens, and Mr. Hussey, should be witnesses to the will. I did not know there was so much as a legacy for me. This Frankland has swore most falsely. I saw her come home as drunk as possible; I saw her drinking at the Robinhood, at the Black Horse, and in the Strand; I never saw a beast so drunk. As to this story about Mark Oliver and Frankland, it is the vilest story ever invented. When she was going to be examined in the Commons, said I, here you have been almost a fortnight; what is the reason you do not go to be examined? She said, I have been a great deal out of pocket; I must mind my business; she would not go unless some provision was made for her. I said, you show yourself to be a bad woman. I have affronted my wife in what I have done for Farr. When Frankland came into the Commons, she told the proctor she saw Mr. Henvill sign, seal, and deliver the will; and that Mr. Farr wrote her name to her mark in her presence; and that Biddle objected against Mountstevens being a witness to the will, because there was a legacy left him in it. When I heard the talk of this, I sent my brother up to Mr. Brown's in Charles-street, as he very much wanted Farr. Mr. Heusch desired that I would take care to let him know where Farr was. The message was brought me by my brother, that if Farr would come alone, he would be glad to see him; but he would not if he came with any body else; that was the reason that Farr did not go.

For the Prisoners.

Rachael Morgan .

Q. from Sparry. Whether did you ever hear Mr. Heusch say the witness Frankland should be rewarded?

R. Morgan. I heard him say to Hannah Frankland she should be rewarded for her trouble.

Q. to Heusch. Do you know this woman?

Heusch. I saw her when we came from the hall.

Q. from Sparry. Did you ever hear Mark Oliver say what he was to have for taking of us up?

R. Morgan. He said he was to have 40 l.

Q. to Mark Oliver . Did you say as the witness has said?

Mark Oliver . I never said any farther than this; I said there was so much for taking a man for forgery.

Court. Then you was mistaken.

Jacob Grant .

a free.

Q. from Sparry. Whether Mark Oliver is holder or not?

Grant. I cannot say whether he is or not.

Ann Stone . I keep the Cock in the Corner, near Ludgate.

Q. from Sparry. Do you remember Mr. Biddle and Mr. Farr executing a will in your house?

A. Stone. I do not know that they did.

Q. Do you remember their coming to your house?

A. Stone. I cannot say I remember any such persons.

Q. Do you know Hannah Frankland ?

A. Stone. I do.

Q. from Sparry. Do you know any good of her?

A. Stone. No, nor no bad; I know no farther of her, only she has come to my house.

Q. Is she a person proper to be believed upon her oath?

A. Stone. I do not know that.

Q. Do you know any thing of Frankland's being at your house at any particular time?

A. Stone. No.

Q. Do you know of her being at your house with Biddle?

A. Stone. No; I do not.

Q. Do you know of her being there with Sparry?

A. Stone. I cannot say I do?

George Biddle .

Q. from Sparry. Whether Frankland did not declare at the door, when she was going to swear against me, and say,

"O Lord, I shall be committed!"

Biddle. Yes, she did, before the man that keeps the Thistle and Crown in Water-lane, I, and two or three others; we were all together. I heard her say, she would be bound to be transported before Mr Sparry should be hurt, but as for the other two she would hang them, and go with pleasure to the corner of the Old Bailey to see them go to be hanged.

Mary Reed .

Q. from Sparry. Whether Frankland did not say she did not know whether it was a black or red seal on the paper?

M. Reed. She did say so. She said, there was a will made, and she signed it at Mrs. Whitchurch's.

Q. Did she mention the name Henvill?

M. Reed. No, not as I heard. She always said Sparry was a very good gentleman. She goes by the name of Morvil.

Thomas Sparry . I am brother to Mr. Sparry. I have heard Frankland say she was to be well rewarded for this fact; and the day after Farr was taken up I heard Oliver say I have done the best day's work I ever did in my life; I shall have four-score pounds for taking Farr. I believe Frankland is not to be believed upon her oath.

Eliz. White. I was present when Mark Oliver came to Greenwich, and charged Farr with the forgery. He said the thief-catchers were after Mr. Mountstephens and Mr. Farr. Oliver asked me for silver spoon to put into Farr's pocket to try him, that he might have the reward.

Edward Loveman . I heard Hamlen say to Sparry he was come to be his friend and would be more favourable on his trial than he had been before.

Robert Franks . I should not believe Frankland upon any account.

Wm. Oliver. I have known Frankland between eight and ten years; she is a very bad woman; she has made Mr. Sparry live very unhappy with his wife through her keeping him company. She has also done the same by another person. I never heard any thing amiss of Mr. Sparry before this.

Eliz. Haget. When Mr. Sparry was taken it did not appear that he wanted to secrete himself. Frankland has a very bad character.

Samuel Hussey . I have taken some scores of pounds of Mr. Sparry; he always honestly paid me.

Q. What is his general character?

Hussey. I never heard any thing bad by him.

All three Guilty . Death .

See Sparry tried, in company with Morvel; for forging a receipt for 18 l. 2 s. 3 d. with intent to defraud Dr. James. No. 509, in Mr. Alderman Cokayne's mayoralty.