Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 17 January 2021), July 1805, trial of CHRISTOPHER POLLARD (t18050710-90).

CHRISTOPHER POLLARD, Royal Offences > tax offences, 10th July 1805.

521. CHRISTOPHER POLLARD was indicted for that he, on the 10th of January , in and upon William Parry , an officer of our Lord the King, and in the service of the Excise, being then on shore, seizing, and securing to our Lord the King, a thousand gallons of rum, brandy, and foreign geneva, and also 500 pounds weight of tobacco, which said goods were liable to be seized and secured, being then and there uncustomed goods, unlawfully, and violently did make an assault,and did forcibly, and unlawfully, oppose, hinder, and obstruct him in his duty, he being such officer as aforesaid .

And several other Counts of like offence with like intention.

(The indictment was read by Mr. Jackson; and the case was stated by Mr. Attorney General.

WILLIAM PARRY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. Q. I believe you are the mate of the Resolution cutter, in the service of the Excise, commanded by Captain Stoneham ? - A. I am.

Q. You are a commissioned officer in the Excise ? - A. Yes.

Q. On the 10th of January you saw the Maria, you searched her, and afterwards you went on shore? - A. Yes, I landed at Selin; I searched the Maria cutter lying close to the land's end at Selin Cove ; I found nothing in her; I afterwards picked up fifty-eight ankers of spirits and a case of wine, lying at anchor close a-stern of her; I then made a signal for assistance for another boat, on my returning to go on board the Resolution I met with the other boat, I ordered that boat to go in search of the Maria cutter's boat.

Q. What time was this? - A. Between six and seven o'clock, on the 10th of January.

Q. Did you secure what you had seen a-stern? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you afterwards go on shore in search of smuggled goods? - A. I did.

Q. What time was it when you and your boat's crew landed? - A. Sometime after seven o'clock when I landed with the first boat's crew, which consisted of six men, and afterwards when the other boat's crew landed I had sixteen men.

Q. Upon your landing did you discover any goods? - A. I did, just below high water mark.

Q. What were these goods? - A. About an hundred ankers of brandy, rum, and gin, I saw at first.

Q. What happened upon your going to take possession of these goods? - A. There were several musquets fired.

Q. Had you an opportunity of seeing the figure of any of the persons firing? - A. Not then.

Q. How soon was it you saw any persons? - A. It might be about ten o'clock.

Q. How many people do you suppose there were that you could see without telling who they were? - A. There were several people come down off and on in the course of the evening.

Court. Q. You said, as you approached the beach there were several musquets fired? - A. Yes, after I had made seizure of the hundred ankers about eight o'clock.

Q. You mean the hundred ankers that were lying just below high water mark? - A. Yes.

Mr. Fielding. Q. When you had taken possession of these did any thing else happen? - A. I went up the beach with the cutter's crew and seized the remaining part of the seizure which were piled up on the quay.

Q. When you were at this quay, having seized the first part of the goods, describe to my Lord how far distant they were from the first? - A. They were at a little distance, the quay is close to the beach.

Q. What did you find there? - A. Three hundred ankers of spirits and some tobacco; I seized them.

Q. Did any thing happen to you or the crew at the time you were taking possession of them? - A. No, nothing; we were fired on just as we were going up the beach, we cleared the beach.

Court. Q. Do you call that nothing, attend to the question and do not give such strange answers; the question is, whether any thing happened to you? - A. We were fired on, and we drove the men away.

Q. What men? - A. The smugglers.

Mr. Fielding. Q. Did you see any men? - A. Yes, we saw some men behind the corners of houses in the village.

Q. Did any of them come down to you then? - A. No.

Q. You having seized these two parcels of goods, when was it that any interruption happened? - A. There was no interruption happened till one o'clock in the morning after the first part of the evening.

Q. Had you any conversation with any body during the time after you had made the seizure and before the latter end of the night? - A. There was a man came down about ten o'clock after I had made the seizure on the quay.

Q. Are you able to speak positively to the person of that man? - A. Not positively.

Q. Look to the man at the bar and tell me whether you know his person or not? - A. I cannot say.

Q. Describe to me as particular as you can the dress, size, and appearance of the person who held this conversation with you? - A. I was standing on the wall on the quay close to the seizure, a man came up to me, I did not particularly look to his dress, but to the best of my recollection he was dressed in dark coloured clothes; I thought he had boots on and I believe he had a whip in his hand; he asked me to sell him twenty or thirty ankers of spirits or spare them, but to the best of my recollection it was to sell them, and then he would give me an order for ten more kegs; I asked him what he meant by an order; O, says he, you know very well, and then he made a kind of a laugh and jeer, or something to that purpose.

Q. Was that the only time you saw that person? - A. I will not be positive, there was another person came down, he left me; there was a man came down to me at half after twelve, he stood against the side of a door and I was on the other side, he talked with me a considerable time.

Court. Q. What door? - A. There is a house built on the quay; he came and talked to me there, the whole conversation was wanting me to give up half the seizure; he said, to give and take, or words to that effect, he insinuated with me to give up half the seizure, he said, live and let live, give and take, or words to that effect.

Q. What were the words? - A. He said you have got a good seizure, you may as well give and take, live and let live, he did not say immediately will you give me up half the seizure, he only insinuated by those words.

Mr. Fielding. Q. Now the person that held that conversation with you was it the same person that held the conversation with you at ten o'clock? - A. I cannot say.

Q. What do you believe upon that occasion, do you think that it was or that it was not? - A. I think it was, it was just such another person.

Q. Did you see any more of that person, be he whom he might, in the course of that night? - A. Not afterwards, I saw him no more.

Court. Q. What did you say to him when he said, live and let live, give and take? - A. I did not make him any answer; I told him that it was worth more than my commission to give up any part of the seizure.

Mr. Fielding. Q. What began then to be the conduct of any of the people there? - A. Soon afterwards they gave three cheers, the smugglers did I believe, it was in the village from a number of people assembled there, and there might be twenty or thirty people come down in a body immediately after the three cheers; then we were fired upon, and stones were thrown by some of these people.

Q. Was this firing all at once or repeatedly? - A. It was repeatedly for an hour or upwards.

Q. Were the stones thrown once or the whole time? - A. The stones were kept continually throwing the whole of the time the firing was, for an hour or upwards.

Q. Did any part of your crew receive any injury? - A. They did, there were five of them wounded with slugs or swan shot with the firing.

Q. How soon, tell as near as you can recollect when this sort of cheering and attack upon you was after this person left you - A. I cannot speak exactly, it was from five to ten minutes after the person left me that it began.

Q. Did you observe which way the person went when he left you? - A. Yes, he went round the corner towards where the mob were.

Q. You say this continued for upwards of an hour? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you see any more of that person with whom you had held that conversation after that? - A. I did not.

Q. Was a man there with the villagers, an inhabitant of that place, of the name of George? - A. There was; he had been with me, I first saw him about ten o'clock.

Q. Did he continue with you from ten till the last time of the firing? - A. No; he went up and down very frequently, he did not stop a long time with us.

Court. Q. Was George with you before the man came to you and had the conversation about the seizure? - A. He was; he came down to the place where I was and went up to the village several times.

Q. Did he go at any time to the place from whence the firing was? - A. Yes, he went away from me just before the firing.

Q. Did he go amongst them? - A. He went towards them.

Q. Had he any opportunity of seeing them? - A. I have every reason to believe he had, he went towards them.

Q. Did you see George's wife? - A. I did; I saw her before I saw her husband, before ten o'clock, to the best of my recollection, she came down just before the mob, just before the twenty or thirty that came down in a body.

Mr. Fielding. Q. Did you see her about at the time you were holding the conversation with the person you have described? - A. I do not recollect, I do not think that she was there, I cannot positively say.

Q. Were there among your company men of the names of, Jonathan Budd , John Pile , and Walter Germain , were they, or either of them near you at the time you were talking with the man? - A. They were.

Q. They had an opportunity of observing the man as well as you had? - A. They had.

Q. Did you secure the goods at last? - A. We secured them and kept possession of them the whole time; I did not lose a single cask.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. You are an officer of the Excise? - A. Yes.

Q. This firing and throwing of stones I think you say was after one o'clock? - A. About one o'clock was the exact time of the firing and throwing of stones.

Q. You have been talking of a man of the name of George whose christian name is Joseph - what is he, Mr. Parry? - A. I do not know what he is; I believe he keeps a public-house in the village.

Q. So I have heard - you have seen him a good many times, now you can tell me what he is; if I were to ask you in Cornwall perhaps you would tell me he is a smuggler - you swore it was one o'clock at a former trial? - A. Yes; I did, I had a watch in my pocket.

Court. Q. Did you examine your watch at the time of the firing? - A. I looked at it at different times of the night; I cannot say I looked at it momentarily; I believe it was about one o'clock.

JONATHAN BUDD sworn. - Examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. You were one of the crew of the Resolution? - A. Yes.

Q. You being one of the crew of the Resolution cutter, do you remember coming on shore on the beach? - A. Yes, on the 10th of January, about seven in the evening we first landed at Selin Cove; I saw there liquor and tobacco before I got out of the boat, I believe they were about five or six yards from the water-side; there were about fifty casks of liquor and about ten bags of tobacco.

Q. Did you hear any firing upon your landing? - A. I heard before I landed, a firing and huzzaing, it came from among the houses in the Cove; when I came on shore I ran among the people, thinking it was our people from the jolly boat; and then there was firing in every direction.

Q. Who was there when you came up to them? - A. They all fled; there was huzzaing; I turned round to come back again.

Q. You said they all fled, at the time they fled were they making any noise at that time? - A. Yes; when I got up to the top of the quay they all fled; I called to Mr. Wren, the officer of the jolly boat, I could not find him; I turned back and I walked down towards Mr. Parry; then there was a man fired a musquet over my head; he said d - n me, this will scare all the cutter's men to hell flames; I saw the musquet in his hand.

Q. Who that person was you do not know? - A. No.

Court. Q. Was that before you got back to Mr. Parry? - A. Yes, a long time.

Q. How near was the man to you when he fired the musquet over your head? - A. About nine or ten yards; Thomas Pile and me went to Mr. Parry; and Mr. Parry told us to get our arms; we got them; before I could get my cartouch-box on, stones were heaved at us from the high quay, by whom I cannot say, there were a great number of people there, there were not above five or six that heaved stones, there was about that quantity of stones came at a time; I sung out to Bill Stevens to fire and I would second him as soon as I could load my musquet; Bill Stevens fired, and as soon as I had loaded my musquet I could not see any one to fire at; I run towards the man that fired over my head, and could not see the men there; I then run to the high quay where the stones came from, I saw there, I dare say, 20 or 30 people.

Q. Did you know any of these people? - A. Not one.

Q. Were any of these people armed? - A. They all fled as I came up, they were not armed as I saw, I sung out, d - n you, I am not afraid of you, I fired my musquet over them as they fled, to frighten them. In this quay, were these people were, there were near three hundred kegs, and some tobacco. Mr. Parry sung out, young men, come here; I sung out to Mr. Parry, that there were three or four hundred kegs there, and Mr. Parry immediately came up and placed sentrys at each place, and told us that we should flash; the people of the jolly boat came to us, then we were fourteen in number; we then carried the goods that were on the beach up to the quay, and hauled our boats up out of the way of the surge, and kept sentrys over them.

Q. Did you see any body there having any conversation with Mr. Parry? - A. I did; there was a man there about ten o'clock, he had a blue coat on, and a whip in his hand, he was a middle-sized man.

Q. Did you see Joseph George ? - A. Yes; we were not there so soon as this man.

Q. Where was this man at the time he was talking to Mr. Parry? - A. He was by the door of the house, on the quay; I saw a man talking with Mr. Parry as he was standing on the wall, and I saw him by the door.

Court. Q Where was the man at ten o'clock? - A. The man was standing on the wall with a blue coat on.

Q. You saw him afterwards, the same man and Mr. Parry talking together? - A. I cannot say it was the same man; to all appearance it was the same man, he had a blue coat on; I saw him the first time about ten o'clock, I saw him again in about half an hour afterwards talking with Mr. Parry at the door.

Mr. Knapp. Q. Do you remember seeing Joseph George , and what time in the evening did you see him? - A. I saw him about eleven o'clock, or between ten and eleven, I cannot say which, I had no watch, I saw George come down, and I saw him speaking with Mr. Parry.

Court. Q. While Mr. Parry and the man in the blue coat were talking together at the door, did you see George? - A. Yes; when Joseph George came down the last time, I saw him.

Q. After George came down the second time, did you see what became of the man in the blue coat? - A. Joseph George told us the smugglers were coming to take the goods away; the man was talking with Mr. Parry, and when George came down the man went away, he turned about and went to the side of the house, I followed behind him about the distance of the length of my musket, till he began to shake hands with one or two of our people, who were standing at the corner of the house, then he shook hands with me.

Mr. Knapp. Q. When he shook hands with you, did you observe his person at that time? - A. No, I did not, there was such confusion I had not time to be certain of the man's features.

Q. Did that man say any thing to you? - A. Hesaid, good night, men, mind and take care of yourselves; he said, good speed to you, and I said, good speed to him; then I saw that man shake hands with some more of the people, and went eight or ten fathoms, and I saw him stoop, as though he wanted to pick up a stone, but I cannot say I saw him pick up a stone, nor can I say I saw him heave any; he sung out, d - n the first man that turns Judas; then the people huzzaed the mob that was above us.

Court. Q. Did they huzza upon the man stooping down? - A. Yes; and I heard a voice sing out, d - n Joseph George , we'll kill you, then the firing took place, and throwing of stones.

Q. Did that man that spoke to you, and that made those expressions, did he go to the people that were huzzaing? - A. Yes, the stones were thrown before he joined them, in two or three different places from over the tops of houses, and from behind the boats.

Mr. Knapp. Q. Were you able to distinguish how many persons there were before he joined them? - A. I cannot say any number, there might be forty or fifty people before he joined them, it looked like a large body of people.

Q. Are you able to say how many muskets were fired? - A. I cannot say.

Q. Were there more than two or three? - A. I think there were more than five or six during the firing, besides what we fired.

Q. Did you receive any wound? - A. I was wounded in my head, my arm, and thigh, with small shot.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. You had no watch about you to know what time it was, you said it was ten o'clock when you first saw the man; you did not know it was ten o'clock? - A. I cannot say it was ten o'clock exactly, it was as nigh as I could guess.

Q. The man, whoever he was, that was in conversation with Mr. Parry, assembled to the mob above? - A. Yes.

Q. There were other people about you? - A. Not in a blue coat.

Q. Are you certain that the same man that had conversation with Mr. Parry, that you saw him pick up a stone? - A. I did not see him pick up a stone, I saw him stoop.

Q. You did not see that man throw any stone? - A. No.

Q. He got among the mob, and then you did not see him afterwards? - A. I did not.

Q. Was the blue coat a great coat, or like one the prisoner has on now? - A. It was a blue surtout coat.

JOHN PILE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Jackson. Q. You are one of the crew of the Resolution cutter - were you on shore on the 10th of January, at Selin Cove, with Mr. Parry? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you meet with any obstruction on landing? - A. No; I was in the second boat, the goods were seized by Mr. Parry before we came to the quay.

Q. Do you recollect any person being in conversation with Mr. Parry? - A. I saw a man talking with Mr. Parry several times, it might be ten o'clock the first time I saw him; he was dressed in a dark coat with white buttons; he had a whip under his arm, and he might continue talking with Mr. Parry five or ten minutes, or it might not be so long; I did not hear what passed.

Q. When did you see him again? - A. It might be in the course of an hour, or it might not be so long; I saw him come down, and walk about, and go up again.

Court. Q. What place did he come from? - A. From Selin Cove, to the end of the house on the quay where the goods were lying; and just before the smugglers began to rise upon us, this same man was talking with Mr. Parry; he came round, and shook hands with me and several of the crew; he said, if you behave well to us, we will behave well to you; he walked away back, and sung out, d - n him who turns Judas, and then immediately joined the mob; they sung out, one and all, and gave three cheers, and one piece was fired at the same time by one in the mob.

Q. Are you sure that the man that sung out, d - n him who turns Judas, was the man whom you shook hands with? - A. Yes, I am sure of that.

Q. Had you any opportunity of seeing his countenance? - A. No, I had not; to the best of my recollection he was a dark man with a blackish beard.

Q. Look at the prisoner at the bar? - A. I cannot say.

WALTER GERMAIN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Attorney General. Q. Were you a part of Mr. Parry's crew that made the seizure at Selin Cove in January last? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you recollect any man coming to speak to Mr. Parry? - A. Yes; I do not recollect what time it was when the man came down the first time; when I saw him the last time, I think it was nigh one o'clock; he was a stout man, he had a blue surtout coat on, he had a dark beard high up, and I thought he had a stick or a whip in his hand.

Q. Was there any man in a dark blue coat that spoke to you? - A. Yes, he shook hands with me as he walked off.

Court. Q. Was that the same man that stood with Mr. Parry? - A. I am not certain it was the same man; it was about one o'clock, he shook hands with me; he said to me, men, be honourable; I said to him again, if you behave honourable, we shall; with that he walked off; he had not gone a great distance before he sung out, one and all, d - n him who turns Judas.

Q. Are you sure that the man that made use of that expression was the man that shook hands with you? - A. I am sure of that; he then went towards the mob of people, and they gave three huzzas, and they began to heave stones; I only saw him go towards them, I could not see him join them.

JOSEPH GEORGE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I live at Selin; I keep the Bell at Church Town, close to the Cove.

Q. Look at the prisoner at the bar? - A. I know him very well, I have known him sometime.

Q. On the 10th of January, in the evening, when Mr. Parry made a seizure, did you see the prisoner on that evening? - A. I did.

Q. What is the prisoner? - A. He professes farming, he lives about seven miles and a half from that spot, near a place called Creeve, or whether he lives in Creeve, I do not know exactly.

Q. About what time did you see him there at night? - A. To the best of my knowledge I saw him there first about nine o'clock at night; he was close to the landing-place in the Cove, he was with the other men.

Q. How many men might there be with him? - A. Three or four; Mr. Parry had seized the goods at that time.

Q. How far was he then from the place where Mr. Parry had seized the goods? - A. About thirty yards; the second time I saw him was when my brother was speaking to me; at that time there were about thirty or forty people.

Q. You are speaking of your brother, that poor unfortunate man? - A. Yes.

Q. How far were they all from where Mr. Parry was? - A. They were not further than twenty or thirty yards at that time, and close to William Pender 's house.

Q. John George was there with him - was he near to John George ? - A. He was.

Q. Was any thing said to you, either by him or John George ? - A. Not by him, by John George , (the prisoner was close to him,) he asked me whether I would join them to take away the goods from Mr. Parry; I told my brother I would not be shot for him, nor any person else; I asked him who would maintain my family if I was shot; the prisoner was closer to me than I am to you, he had a blue coat on with blue buttons, and a round hat.

Q. Did you observe whether he had a stick or a whip in his hand? - A. I did not observe.

Q. Do you know any more of the people that were standing there? - A. I know Patrick Perry ; there were twenty or thirty people standing there, I know no more.

Q. Did you see any other man that was dressed like the prisoner at the bar? - A. I do not recollect that I did.

Q. Was there any thing the matter with his eyes? - A. He is blind with one eye; I went down to Mr. Parry, and told him the country were going to rise upon him; then I saw the prisoner leaning his arm against the north-east side of the door, and Mr. Parry was close by him; the man called away Mr. Parry to speak to me, and then the prisoner turned his back; he went away from that place, and went northward and eastward to the places where the people were.

Court. Q. What time of the night might that be? - A. To the best of my knowledge between eleven and twelve, I did not look at the clock.

Q. The first time you saw him was about nine o'clock? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you hear him say any thing when he went away? - A. I did not.

Q. Did he go towards where there were any other people assembled? - A. Yes, he went away to where the rest of the mob were.

Q. How soon after that he went away towards them was there any disturbance? - A. Instantly three huzzas were made, and stones were thrown; I did not see the prisoner reach the men; they immediately took me as a prisoner; I did not see any thing more of the prisoner that night.

Mr. Fielding. Q. Your wife likewise was there? - A. Yes.

Q. You knew him before, have you any doubt? - A. I have no doubt, I am certain of it.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. Did Mr. Parry take you as a prisoner? - A Yes.

Q. Surely he did not make such a mistake as to take you as a smuggler? - A. Perhaps he thought so at that time.

Q. You were quite astonished that he thought so of you? - A. No, I was not.

Q. He took you as a prisoner - why how near to the beach is your public-house? - A. About three quarters of a mile from Selin Cove.

Q. Pray how soon afterwards was it that you for the first time mentioned that Mr. Pollard was among the smugglers? - A. That night, to the best of my recollection; I spoke of it directly afterwards to many people; I told Mr. Arndle of it a few days afterwards, and I told Mr. Parry of it that night.

Q. You told Mr. Parry that while you were a prisoner? - A. No, before I was a prisoner.

Mr. Fielding. Q. Explain that? - A. Mr. Parry thought I was one of the combined parties of the mob; he kept me to tell who the people were, he thought I knew all the people that were there.

ANN GEORGE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I am the wife of Joseph George.

Q. Did you go down and see Mr. Parry or his men on the 10th of January? - A. Yes, to the best of my recollection, between nine and ten in the evening.

Q. Look at the prisoner at the bar, do you know him? - A. I do; he has a misfortune in his eye, I have known him almost from my first going into the country; I have been in the country these three years.

Q. What time on that evening was it that you saw him first? - A. I do not remember seeing him more than once that evening, and that once I saw him it might be about twelve o'clock, but whether it might be before or after I cannot tell, I had no watch; he was then standing with his face towards William Pender 's house, and his back towards the sea, he was within a stones throw from the place where William Parry and his men were with the goods; I did not see him do any thing, he stood with a whip as I thought, he had a dark great coat on, I cannot describe the colour whether it was blue or black.

Q. Did you see any other person among the number that might be there that was dressed like him? - A. No person to my recollection; I saw this Mr. Pollard standing there; they gave three huzzas, and the words expressed were, kill Joseph George , and take away the goods; and within five minutes after, I heard the firing of guns and throwing of stones.

Q. Did you see stones thrown yourself? - A. I saw them thrown repeatedly in the street; I went round the corner of the houses to get out of their way; I saw them stoop and take them up and throw them.

Mr. Gurney addressed the Jury in behalf of the defendant, and Mr. Solicitor General replied.

NOT GUILTY .

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Lawrence