Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 09 June 2023), January 1804, trial of ANN HURLE (t18040111-60).

ANN HURLE, Deception > forgery, 11th January 1804.

120. ANN HURLE was indicted for feloniously, falsely, making, forging, and counterfeiting, on the 12th of December , a certain instrument, or letter of attorney, with the name Benjamin Allin thereunto subscribed, purporting to have been signed, sealed, and delivered, by one Benjamin Allin , of Greenwich, in the county of Kent, gentleman , a proprietor of certain annuities and stock transferable at the Bank of England, called Three per Cent. Reduced Annuities, to sell, assign, transfer, and convey, the sum of five hundred pounds of the said transferable annuities, the property of the said Benjamin Allin , to her, the said Ann Hurle , with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England .

Second Count. For uttering and publishing as true a like forged deed, knowing it to be forged, with the like intention.

Two other Counts. For the like offence, charging it to be with intention to defraud Benjamin Allin .

(The indictment was opened by Mr. Bosanquet, and the case by Mr. Garrow.)

GEORGE FRANCILLON sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. You are a stock-broker? - A. I am.

Q. Are you acquainted with the prisoner? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you recollect her applying to you on or about the 10th of December about any stock? - A. On the 10th of December last, she waited upon me at the Bank Coffee-house, requesting me I would take out a power of attorney for the sale of five hundred pounds Reduced.

Q. You were acquainted with her before, I believe? - A. I had known her five or six months; she told me it was to come out of the name of a Mr. Benjamin Allin , of Greenwich.

Q. That is a technical expression, which means that it was to be transferred from his stock? - A. Yes; she told me Mr. Benjamin Allin was an elderly gentleman residing at Greenwich, that she had been brought up in his family, her aunt had been for many years house-keeper and nurse to Mr. Allin, and that the five hundred pounds stock was a gift to her as a reward or recompence for her services to him for some years; according to that instruction, I took out a power of attorney, and delivered it to her.

Q. On the same day? - A. On the same day, for the purpose of taking back to Greenwich to be executed.

Q. There is an office in the Bank for the purpose of taking out the powers of attorney? - A. Yes; she told me she wanted it executed that afternoon, and return with it on the Monday morning, for the purpose of either selling the stock, or transferring it into her own name; on the Monday morning, at eleven o'clock, she brought back the power of attorney, executed, in the name of Benjamin Allin .

Q. Look at that, is that the instrument she brought back? - A. Yes, it is.

Q. You see the description of the attesting witnesses,

"of Greenwich?" - A. The residence was signed afterwards by me; I desired her to wait a few minutes while I went into the office to have the power passed, and in the mean time, as she said she would sell the stock, I would enquire the price of the stock; she said, she would sell the stock, and not have it transferred into her own name; in about twenty minutes I returned to the Reduced Office to know if they had passed the power; shewas at that time at the Bank Coffee-house; the power is left in the Office for the Bank clerk to examine it, and see whether it is a correct power; in about twenty minutes I went back to enquire if it was ready; I then found Mr. Bateman, the clerk who passes the powers, desired to see me; I went to him with Ann Hurle , the prisoner; when we got to his Office, he said that the signature of Benjamin Allin differed from the hand-writing they had at the Bank; he asked me if I knew Mr. Benjamin Allin .

Mr. Knapp. Q. Was the prisoner near enough to hear all this? - A. She was close to me; I told him no, I only knew Ann Hurle , who was made the attorney under the power; he asked her if she knew him; she said, yes; that she had been brought up and acquainted in the family from a child; that he was a very old man, near ninety, in an infirm state of health, and if the hand-writing differed, she accounted for it from his not being much in the habit of writing; on that account there might be some difference in the signature, but if it was necessary, she would take out a fresh power of attorney, if there were any doubts about this; Mr. Bateman replied, it would be a pity to put her to the additional expence of a fresh power; he said, he had some slight knowledge of one of the witnesses, Mr. Peter Verney ; Mr. Bateman wrote a memorandum at the bottom, which he wished her to get him to sign, that

"the within-mentioned Benjamin Allin has been many years personally known to me," and to return with it in the morning, that the stock should then be sold. While we were in Mr. Bateman's office together, in giving some little account of herself and Mr. Allin's family at Greenwich, she said, a few days before she had been married. On leaving Mr. Bateman's office before she left the Bank, I told her if she was married, which I was surprised to hear, that the power of attorney should have been taken out in her married name, and not in her maiden name, and that we must have a fresh power, or it would be of no use. She then told me she was very sorry she dropped any thing about her being married, for she had every reason to believe her marriage was not a good one. She then gave me the particulars of going to Bristol with a young man of the name of James Innis , whom she described as a person of bad character, that she had got acquainted with but a few days before, who persuaded her to go down to Bristol, and he would marry her. I then asked her what church she was married at, at Bristol; she said, not at a church, but at a private house in the afternoon; that within two hours after her being married, the man took what money she had, part of her clothes, and then left her; she heard that he entered on board a ship, and likewise that he was a married man; that either she or one of her friends had seen the certificate of his former marriage; that on her return to town, and then to Greenwich, she acquainted her friends in what manner she had been used by him, and that all her friends, as well as Mr. Benjamin Allin , requested her to go by her own name of Ann Hurle , as she certainly was not lawfully married to Innes; she then took the power of attorney back with her to have the memorandum at the back signed, and said she would be with me on the Tuesday morning. After she was gone, not being quite satisfied in my own mind whether she was married or not, and not wishing to run the risk of identifying a married woman as a single woman, or a single woman as a married woman, in my way home I called on Messrs. Owen and Hicks, of Bartlett's-buildings, attornies to the family; they recommended her to me last spring.

Q. What passed there is not material? - A. On the Tuesday morning, at eleven o'clock, she returned with the power of attorney, signed at the back of it Peter Verney , cheesemonger, of Greenwich; being then pretty certain, but not quite, that it was a forgery, I again put her off to be with me again on the Wednesday morning, intending in the mean time to make enquiry respecting the power, whether it was a good one or not; in the afternoon of Tuesday, myself and her father went to Greenwich; I went to Mr. Allin's house by myself, having the power of attorney with me.

Q. When did you see her again? - A. On the Wednesday morning; I got to the Bank pretty early, and went to Mr. Newcomb, the principal clerk in the Reduced Office, about ten o'clock; in going through the rotunda at the Bank, I saw the prisoner and a man with her standing just by the door going in; I said, Miss Hurle, you are come very early this morning, I will be with you in a minute, and immediately left her; from that time I did not see her till she was apprehended.

Q. Had you delivered up the power of attorney before that? - A. Not before that; after mentioning the circumstance to Mr. Newcomb, he took me to the accomptant-general; the accomptant-general took me before the Directors of the Bank, and they requested me to give the power of attorney up.

Q. Did you see it afterwards delivered over to Mr. Kay, the solicitor? - A. I gave it up in the morning, I should suppose between eleven and twelve, and I was again sent for in the afternoon.

Q. Do you know that to be the same power of attorney? - A. Yes, by this P being blotted a little, and wrote again, and also by my own hand-writing upon it.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. The description of the witnesses were wrote by yourself? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you not understand, from the whole tenor of her conversation, that there was a connectionbetween her and a man of the name of Innes? - A. Yes, I found there was an acquaintance, and a pretended marriage.

Q. You left the power of attorney the first time in the office for some time? - A. For about twenty minutes.

Q. It then passed into different hands, did it not? - A. It did.

Q. And you did not see it again for the space of twenty minutes? - A. Thereabouts.

Q. Did you know the person that was with her afterwards when you saw her early on the Wednesday morning? - A. I did not.

Q. Have you ever understood whether that person was Innes? - A. He was not.

Mr. Giles. Q. Had you written the words

"of Greenwich" upon it before it was left in the Office? - A. Yes, I had.

Jury. Q. Were you present during the conversation with her and Mr. Bateman? - A. Yes, I was.

THOMAS BATEMAN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Bosanquet. Q. I believe you are inspector of letters of attorney? - A. Yes, I am appointed to examine the letters of attorney; that is one part of my department.

Q. Do you remember the prisoner and the last witness coming to the Office? - A. To my Office, in the Four per Cents.

Q. Did they bring any paper with them? - A. Yes, this power of attorney; there is a memorandum of mine at the corner.

Q. Do you know, from any thing upon the paper, that that is the paper they brought with them? - A. Yes, it has my writing upon it; it is the same paper that Mr. Francillon and the prisoner brought.

Q. Did you examine that paper? - A. I did.

Q. Did any conversation pass respecting that paper in the prisoner's presence? - A. Certainly, between me and the prisoner, and the last witness.

Q. Be so good as state what that conversation was? - A. The prisoner, with the last witness, came to my Office to ask the objections I had to passing or admitting this power of attorney; I told her, I had compared the signature with the former signature of Mr. Allin, that there was a difference in the present signature and the former signature of Mr. Allin; in answer to which, she said, she expected it would be so; that Mr. Allin had been long out of the habit of writing, so much so, that her aunt signed all his drafts upon his banker; in answer to this, I said to her, perhaps your aunt has signed this for him; no, she said, I might depend upon it that Mr. Allin had signed that himself; I believe I put this question to her a second time, suspecting that her aunt might have signed it; to which she answered, I might depend upon it, it was not so; I then said, Pray, Ma'am, if I may ask you the question, what is this old gentleman going to do with this 500 l. she answered me, that he was going to make her a present of it for the great care and attention that she had many years paid him, and that her aunt was willing he should so do. I then asked her how this power came in this mutilated state; to which she answered, just as it was going to be executed, the dog had got hold of it and tore it; if that was any objection to the power she would take out a fresh one. I did not think any part of it torn to affect the validity of it; I therefore told her the Bank of England would never wish to put any constituent to any expence that might be fairly and properly avoided. To the best of my recollection, seeing the name of Peter Verney , a cheesemonger, of Greenwich, being a name I had well known and a respectable man, I asked her if she knew Mr. Verney; to which she answered, that she did; that he had been many years the cheesemonger of the family.

Q. Meaning Mr. Allen's family? - A. Yes; I observed to her, that he was a considerable proprietor of stock, and if he would certify what I should write upon the back of the paper as to his personal knowledge of Mr. Allen, I then would take the matter into further consideration when she brought it back again, and from that till the present time I have not seen the power of attorney.

Q. After that you saw nothing of the prisoner? - A. I saw her the morning after in the Rotunda, along with a man, but I had no conversation with her.

BENJAMIN ALLIN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. Do you reside at Greenwich? - A. Yes.

Q. Have you a person in your service of the name of Hurle? - A. Yes, Jane Hurle .

Q. Do you know a young woman of the name of Ann Hurle , who is her niece? - A. Yes.

Q. Has she been much in your family? - A. I have seen her, but I have not been much in her company, nor much in any company.

Q. What was the latest time that you recollect her to have been at your house? - A. Upon my word I cannot really tell.

Q. Be so good as look at this paper, and inform the Court whether this is your signature, the words Benjamin Allin ? - A. It was the 1st of December I am told, but I never sign any thing but for the money I was to receive at the Bank.

Q. Be so good as look at it? - A. I know I never did sign it, and this is not my hand.

Q. Are you positively sure that is not your writing? - A. Yes, I am sure of it, that is not my hand-writing; I write nothing else but only receipts, and when I have received money from my banker, Mr. Powell, in Lombard-street.

Q. Do you usually write your name at full length? - A. I have not written it at full length for sometime.

Q. Do you mean for years or months? - A. For years for what I know; I cannot recollect how long.

Q. Did you in December, or any time lately, authorize any person to sell any of your stock? - A. God bless me, no, I don't know of any I am sure.

Q. Do you know Peter Verney, a cheesemonger? - A. I don't know any person of that name to my knowledge; I may know such a person by sight, but I don't know him.

Q. Do you know a person of the name of Thomas Noulden , a carpenter? - A. No; Mr. Nowland I have seen I believe.

Q. Did you ever put your name to a paper in the presence of Peter Verney and Thomas Noulden ? - A. I don't know that ever I did.

Q. This paper is dated the 10th of December, are you able to say whether you did or not? - A. I don't know indeed; I think not, and if I did, could not those persons say I did.

Q. When you had occasion to sign papers, who was the person that used to present them to you? - A. One Miss Hurle, Miss Jane Hurle , she is the person who receives for me my dividends.

Q. By Mrs. Jane Hurle , do you mean your housekeeper, the aunt of the prisoner, or do you mean the prisoner? - A. The person that lives with me, I call it keeping the house; she lives in the house.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. Then we are to understand the aunt was the person who brought all the papers to you to sign? - A. God bless me, a gentleman of the Bank, Mr. Winter, I believe shewed me some papers to sign.

Mr. Garrow. Q. You are speaking of an examination before the Magistrate at your house? - A. Yes.

Q. The question you are asked is, whether when papers were presented to you to sign respecting your money transactions, Mrs. Jane Hurle was the person who presented those papers to you? - A. Yes; I used to sign them by her presentation.

PETER VERNEY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Are you a cheesemonger at Greenwich? - A. Yes.

Q. Are you acquainted with the prisoner at the bar? - A. I have known her by coming backwards and forwards to my house for her grandmother.

Q. Do you know Mr. Benjamin Allin ? - A. I never saw him in my life till this morning.

Q. Look at this paper, is the name Peter Verney your hand-writing? - A. No.

Q. Look at the indorsement at the back of it, is the name Peter Verney to that indorsement your hand-writing? - A. It is not.

Q. Did you ever see it before it was shewn to you at the Mansion-house? - A. I did not.

Q. Was that after the apprehension of the prisoner? - A. Yes.

THOMAS NOULDEN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Bosanquet. Q. You reside at Greenwich? - A. Yes.

Q. What is your business? - A. A carpenter.

Q. Look at that paper, do you see your own name written there? - A. Yes, but it is not my writing.

Q. Did you see that instrument executed? - A. No.

Q. Do you know Mr. Allin? - A. I never saw him but once before to-day.

Q. You never saw him execute that instrument? - A. No.

Q. When was the only time you ever saw him before? - A. I suppose twelve or thirteen years ago, when he removed from one house to the other.

Q. I believe you know the prisoner? - A. Yes, to my great mortification.

Q. You are related to her I believe? - A. Yes, I am her godfather.

JANE HURLE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. I understand you reside in the family of Mr. Allin, and have done for some years? - A. Twelve years.

Q. I believe you have the principal management of his concerns? - A. I live with Mr. Allin as his housekeeper, and attend upon him.

Q. The young woman at the bar is your niece I understand? - A. Yes.

Q. When Mr. Allin has occasion to execute any paper, or put his name to any paper, who presents them to him? - A. I do, and I have two in my pocket now.

Q. What is the latest period at which you have seen the young woman at the bar at Mr. Allin's house? - A. Before Michaelmas.

Q. She has not been there since that you know of? - A. No.

Q. Could she have access to Mr. Allin without your knowledge? - A. Not since Michaelmas.

Q. Look at that paper - from your intimate acquaintance with Mr. Allin's manner of writing, do you think that is his? - A. I can't say it is, but it is like his hand-writing.

Q. Did you ever see him write the word Benjamin to any signature of his at full length? - A. No.

Q. Do you know Mr. Verney and Mr. Noulden? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever see either of them in company with Mr. Allin? - A. Never.

Q. Could they at any time since Michaelmas last have had access to Mr. Allin, and attested any deed in his presence without your knowledge? - A. No.

Q. Was it impossible? - A. It was impossible.

Q. Did you ever present the paper now shewn to you to Mr. Allin? - A. No.

Q. When did you first know that such a paper was in existence? - A. Mr. Francillon brought it down to me.

Q. Until that time you had no knowledge that any such paper was in existence? - A. No.

Q. How many years has Mr. Allin kept within doors? - A. Above forty or fifty for any thing I know.

Q. How long within your own knowledge? - A. As long as I can remember.

Q. And no person has access to him without your knowledge? - A. Only myself and the person that shaves him.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. I understand you to say you cannot say positively whether it is Mr. Allin's hand-writing or not? - A. It is so much like it, that I should have said it was his hand-writing.

Q. You have been in the habit, as you have lived with him so many years, of taking a variety of papers to him to sign during that long course of time, have you not? - A. Yes.

(The power of attorney read.)

The prisoner left her defence to her Counsel.

GUILTY , Death , aged 22.

Second Middlesex Jury, before the Lord Chief Baron.