Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 07 December 2019), April 1830, trial of JOHN Mc.DONALD (t18300415-14).

JOHN Mc.DONALD, Deception > forgery, 15th April 1830.

First Middlesex Jury. - Before Mr. Justice Park.

682. JOHN Mc.DONALD was indicted for that he on the 9th of March , at St. Paul, Covent-garden , feloniously did falsely make, forge and counterfeit, and cause and procure to be falsely made, forged, and counterfeited, and willingly act and assist in false making, forging, and counterfeiting a certain order for payment of money , as follows: -

London, March 8, 1830.

To Messrs. GOSLING'S and SHARPE, Fleet-street, Pay Messrs. Powell or bearer, seventy-five pounds 10s. 75l. 10s. JOHN CHETWODE . with intent to defraud William Gosling and others, against the Statute.

2nd COUNT, that he on the same day, at the same parish, feloniously did utter and publish as true, a certain false and counterfeit order for payment of money, well knowing the same to be false, forged, and counterfeit,(selling it out as before), with intent to defraud the said William Gosling and others; against the Statute.

3rd COUNT, that he on the same day, at the same parish, feloniously did offer, dispose of, and put away, a certain false, forged, and counterfeited order, for payment of money, well knowing it to be false, forged, and counterfeited, as follows (setting it forth as before), with intent to defraud William Gosling and others; against the Statute.

4th and 5th COUNTS, like the second and third, only substituting the word warrant instead of order.

6th COUNT, like the third, only stating the intent to be to defaud Sir John Chetwode , Bart .

7th COUNT, like the second, only stating the intent to be to defraud John Newdigate Ludford Chetwode , Esq .

MESSRS. BRODRICK and BODKIN conducted the prosecution.

WILLIAM EWINGS . I am cashier to Messrs. William Gosling and Sharp; there are other partner s - their place of business is in Fleet-street. In March last Sir John Chetwode was a customer at our house, and in the habit of drawing cheques on us - he has been so for many years. On the 9th of March, about the middle of the day, this cheque was presented at our house by a porter named Shaw; Sir John Chetwode generally draws on blank slips of paper, and so is this - it is the mode in which he usually draws cheques: I am acquainted with his handwriting - it is not his writing; I discovered that when it was presented - it is a resemblance of his writing; I madea communication to the principals of the house, and gave the cheque to one of the firm.

Cross-examined by MR. BARRY. Q. Does Sir John Chetwode 's son keep cash at your house? A. Yes - his name is John, but he has other names; I believe the name is entered in our book as John Chetwode ; we supply engraved cheques if asked for, but Sir John Chetwode always draws on blank paper - it was my impression the moment I saw it that it was a forgery; the letters are formed in something the same manner as his - his cheques vary in the size of the papers; I am not aware of ever having seen him write; Shaw had a knot on his shoulder - he did not appear a ticket-porter.

JOHN SHAW . I am a porter, and have been so about seven years; I live at No. 16, Boot-street, Hoxton. On the 9th of March I was in Chandos-street, Covent-garden- there had been a sale of China there the day before; while I was there the prisoner came and spoke to me in the street, and asked if I was engaged - I told him I was waiting for a gentleman; he said, "Never mind then;" I asked him how long his job would take - he said,"Half an hour;" I told him I would serve him first - he asked if I knew Doubleday's, in Bedford-street; I told him no - he said, "Come with me and I will show you;" we walked together into the passage of the house - he then said it was strange to stop a stranger in the street, to do what he wanted me for, and said, "Where do you live?" I lent him a pencil, and he wrote my address down on a card, which he had in his pocket - I told him, John Shaw , No. 16, Boot-street, Pitfield-street, Hoxton; he told me he wanted me to go to receive a cheque for 75l. 10s., at Gosling and Sharp's, Fleet-street - I was to bring a 50l. note, and the rest in gold; I asked him what I should say if they asked me any questions - he said,"They won't ask you any questions; they will pay the money immediately" - I said I was certain they would; he said "Say it is for Sir John Chetterworth 's eldest son," and gave me the cheque - I believe the one produced to be the same (looking at it) - I cannot say that he read it to me, but he told me where it was, and he wrote on a slip of paper, No. 19, Fleet-street, and said Powells mentioned in it, were coachmakers in Bond-street - he was to remain at Doubleday's till I returned with the money; I went to Gosling and Sharp's, presented the cheque and was called backwards, and asked how I came by it - I gave an account how I came by it, and one of the firm came with me to Doubleday's, and got a Police-man on the road; I had the cheque given to me - we all three went to Doubleday's, but did not find the prisoner; I waited there alone for him about two hours and a half, but did not see him - the officer was handy, but out of sight; I then returned to the banking-house, and gave up the cheque - I saw nobody with the prisoner when he first spoke to me in Chandos-street; he crossed the road to me - I heard no more of him till the 18th, when I received a letter, post paid, this is it (looking at it;) in consequence of that letter I went to the banking-house, and then to the two-penny post office, in Brewer-street, Golden-square - I left part of an old catalogue there, with my name and address on it, for a gentleman named Thomas, who had sent the letter; this is the piece of catalogue, with my address on it (looking at it;) I left word that there was a parcel at that address, and if the gentleman came according to that direction, he must come personally and receive it. On Saturday, the 20th, at half-past nine o'clock at night, the prisoner came to my house; I went down to him - I had gone to bed; he said he hoped the money was safe - I had received directions to apprehend him when I could meet him; I told him the money was safe, that I had left it at a friend's house for safety, and if he would go with me, he could receive it - I and he proceeded towards the watch-house; my intention was to look for a Policeman - I saw a man standing, who I thought was a Policeman; I collared the prisoner, and expected that man to assist me - I told the prisoner he had sent me with a forged cheque, and had like to have got me into trouble, therefore I should detain him; he said he would give me a sovereign if I would let him go - I told him I should take no money, I should do my duty; the man did not assist me - a scuffle ensued, and he got away; I pursued, calling Stop him!- I kept him in sight, and a man named George Grafham came to my assistance - the prisoner told Grafham he was not aware of the danger he (the prisoner) was in, he said, "Let me go for God's sake; you are not aware of the danger I am in" - we took him to the watch-house- he struggled a little - he was not willing to go; I left him in the watch-house, in charge of Bedford.

Cross-examined. Q. You are a ticket porter? A. No, I attend sales - I am not employed by any auctioneer; I never saw the prisoner before - I still work as a porter.

Q. Were your suspicious a little raised at the time you asked the prisoner what you should say, if they asked any questions? A. I thought myself it was not all right, but he was so particular in getting my address in case I should not bring the money; Doubleday's is a public-house; I was to take the money to him; I told him it was strange to stop a stranger in the street.

Q. Why not tell him to take back his cheque, if you thought all was not right? A. He was so particular in taking my address; I went back to Doubleday's with the officer - I went to the coffee-room and the bar; I was not accompanied by any person between the 9th and 20th.

Q. When the cheque was given to you did he point to the name and say, "That is Sir John Chetwode 's son?" A. No, he did not point to it - he did not say "That is Sir John Chetwode 's eldest son," but that he was Sir John Chetwode 's eldest son; he was a stranger to me.

MR. BRODRICK. Q. The 9th and 20th were the only times you saw the prisoner? A. That is all.

COURT. Q. You say you were not accompanied by any body between the 9th and 20th; that is nobody had you in custody? A. No, I might have gone away if I liked; I do not recollect hearing the name of Thomas mentioned by the prisoner when he was apprehended.

WILLIAM ELLIS GOSLING , ESQ. I am a partner in the house of Gosling and Sharpe. On the 9th of March Ewings made a communication to me on the subject of this cheque, which he gave me (looking at it) it was in my possession till given to the solicitor for the prosecution; in consequence of a communication from Ewings, I accompanied Shaw down the Strand to Doubleday's eating-house, in Bedford Street - I took an officer with me, whoI met in the Strand - we could find no person there; I directed Shaw to look out, and came away; this cheque is not Sir John Chetwode's hand-writing, nor the hand writing of John Newdigate Chetwode , his son, who keeps a separate account with us.

Cross-examined. Q. You accompanied Shaw? A. Yes, I walked with him to meet the person.

JAMES TAYLOR . I live at the two-penny post-office, in Brewer-street. I do not know the prisoner; a person called in March and left a piece of paper to be delivered to any person who might call in the name of Thomas; I cannot say whether this is the paper, a person called in the evening, and it was given to him by my boy - I was sitting in my parlour at the time, and cannot say who it was; the same paper that was left was put into the rack -I do not remember what day it was.

Cross-examined. Q. How long were you with him? A. I was not with him; I did not take the paper in.

THOMAS HOLLIS . I live at the two-penny post-office, Brewer-street. I remember a man, calling himself Thomas, calling for a paper, which I took out of the rack and gave him; this is the paper (looking at it) - I do not know the man to whom I gave it - it was about eight o'clock in the evening and quite dark; it was in March, but I do not exactly remember the day.

Cross-examined. Q. How do you know it was March? A. I recollect it was March; I should think it was three or four weeks ago; I found the paper in the letter rack; I do not know who put it there; I did not write on the paper, but I read all through the printing part, and all the day before; I do not think I should know the man again.

MR. BRODRICK. Q. Do you know who brought the paper? A. I did not see it brought, but saw it in the rack the day before, and read it.

GEORGE GRAFHAM . I am a painter. On the 20th of March, about half-past nine o'clock at night, I was near the Ivy-house at Hoxton. I heard a cry of Stop thief! and saw the prisoner running; I laid hold of him and detained him till Shaw came up - he begged me very much to let him go, saying, I did not know the consequence of his being detained; I and Shaw took him to the watch-house and gave him in charge.

JOHN BEDFORD . I am a Police-serjeant, at the station-house, Hoxton Old Town. On the 20th of March the prisoner was brought to the watch-house by Shaw and Grafham, charged with forging on Gosling's - he appeared in great agitation, and said he was not the man who had forged; I searched him, and found on him a letter and part of a catalogue, which I produce; he gave me the name of William Thomas , 47 or 27, New Bond-street - the letter I found on him was wafered up and directed to Shaw; I gave it to Shaw in his presence - he opened and read it in the prisoner's presence, and returned it to me - he was kept in custody, and about two o'clock in the morning, he came to me at the desk, and asked if I would be kind enough to show him what charge I had got against him; I said I would, and showed it to him - he said that was not right, that his name was not Thomas but Mc-Donald, that he wished to say something to me, as he had told an untruth, and truth went the furthest; I cautioned him not to say any thing to me, but he said he had been lodging at a public-house in King-street, Golden-square, and the person who he had received the cheque from he had seen there two or three times; that he was in company with him at that house the night before the cheque was presented; he described the person, and said that person was in liquor the night before when he was in his company, and that the person told him if he would meet him there next morning he would give him a job; he said he knew him by the name of Thomas, that they met next morning at this house, and this person gave him the cheque, and asked him to go and get cash for it - he said, Yes, he would if it was all right - that he at first said it was all right, and afterwards said it was not right, but that Thomas had told him he would get the money, as it had been done before - he did not say in what respect Thomas had told him it was not right; he said he and Thomas then went out of the public-house together, and proceeded towards the City or Strand - that they were together two hours previous to meeting the porter - that they met a porter in Chandos-street and he went up to the porter and asked him if he would go and get cash for that cheque, but that Thomas kept back at this time; he said he told the porter that he would meet him at a house in Bedford-street, that he went to the house in Bedford-street, to wait for the porter coming back with the money, and that Thomas followed the porter to the City to see if any person came out with him; Thomas saw some person come out with Shaw, and came running to him to the house in Bedford-street, telling him some person had come out as if they thought that it was not right; that he (the prisoner) then ran out of the house, and did not see Thomas again for a day or two, and then he said he met him the next day in Oxford-street, and Thomas wished him to write to Shaw, thinking perhaps he had got the money - he did not write then, but two or three days after Thomas came and beckoned him out of the shop, or as he stood at the door beckoned him from the door, and asked him to go and take a walk with him - that they went away from the shop together towards Holborn, where Thomas and him went into a coffee-shop, and he wrote a letter to Shaw - that he asked Thomas at first to write himself, but he declined on account of having something the matter with his thumb, and then he wrote - that they parted that evening, and Thomas came on the Saturday on which evening he was apprehended, and again beckoned him out of the shop, and they went away that night together from the shop of Mr. Richards, in Oxford-street where he said he lived - that they went on talking together towards Holborn, till they got towards Hoxton, and came together to the corner of Pitfield-street, Hoxton, and Thomas requested him to go to Shaw for the money - he asked Thomas to go himself, but Thomas made some excuse and he went himself; I said, "Why not state when you were brought to the watch-house that such a person was waiting for you, I might have apprehended him then" - he said he was in such a flurry he did not think of it - he said he had seen Thomas at King-street, Golden-square; I went next morning at seven o'clock to King-street, Golden-square, and found a person named Thomas, and took him into custody; the prisoner afterwards saw him, and said immediately that was not the man; I took a person named Grant, in consequence of a description given me by the prisoner - he did not see that person - he is here.

Cross-examined. Q. This must have been a very long interview between you? A. Yes he was not out of mypresence all night; I did not think it safe for him to be out of my sight; he was not locked up in the watch-house; he could not get away; I did not tell him it would be better for him to make a statement to me; I put him on his guard; I asked him no questions, except the description of Thomas.

Q. Did you not state before the Magistrate that you could not tell but he might have said he had seen Thomas a week after? A. Not to my knowledge - my evidence was so long, I will not swear I did not say so.

Q. Did he not tell you he had been the dupe of a man named Thomas? A. Yes something to that effect - he told me as we came down Pitfield-street that night, that he had heard from Thomas that the cheque was not right after it had been presented.

COURT. Q. But he told you at the watch-house, Thomas had informed him before the cheque was presented that it was right, and then afterwards that it was not? A. He did.

SIR JOHN CHETWODE, BART. I keep an account at Messrs Gosling and Sharpe's. (Looking at the cheque) this is not written by me, nor by any body by my authority; I always draw on blank slips; it bears some resemblance to my hand-writing; I have made frequent purchases of Mr. Graham, a linen-drapper in Holborn, last year; I remember making a purchase last year, for which I have a receipt, which I produce; I do not recollect the person whom I had the receipt from; I imagine I received it at my own house; I have paid Mr. Graham by a cheque on Gosling's in more instances than one - that payment was by a cheque.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you sign your cheques " John Chetwode ?" A. Yes, in full - I think I generally draw on larger slips than this; I will not say I always do - it is written in the form of words I usually draw; I think I usually put the shillings in figures.

JOHN NEWDIGATE LUDFORD CHETWODE , ESQ. I keep an account at Gosling's. This cheque is not drawn by me, nor by any body by my authority; I have no knowledge of the prisoner.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you sign " John Chetwode ?" A. I do not draw any cheques.

JOHN HEALEY . Last year I was apprentice to Mr. Graham, linen-draper, of Holborn. The prisoner came to live there as shopman, about the middle of April, and staid about two months; I know Sir John Chetwode as a customer - I could not swear to the prisoner's hand-writing; (looking at the receipt) I believe this signature to be the prisoner's hand-writing - it is signed John McDonald . and dated 20th of May, 1829, when he was in Mr. Graham's employ; (the receipt for 36l. 3s. 7d. was here put in and read.)

Cross-examined. Q. Was he shopman or cashier? A. Shopman; the cashier does not usually give receipts.

JOHN CRAWLEY . I am a linen-draper, and live in Oxford-street; the prisoner was in my service for a month or five weeks - I have frequently seen him write; this cheque is very much like his writing; I believe it to be his, but cannot swear to it - it is very much like it - this letter I believe to be his writing.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you speak by comparing it with the other? A. No; I saw him write last in my shop - I have seen him make bills for customers and examined them after him.

ALEXANDER THOMPSON . I was clerk to Mr. Crawley, when the prisoner lived there, which was last January; I frequently saw him write, and believe the figures in this cheque to be his hand-writing; I have seen him make figures every day - I believe the writing also to be his, and the signature " John Chetwode ;" it appears to be the same.

Cross-examined. Q. Do you believe it to be his hand-writing? A. I do.

HENRY POWELL . I am a coach-maker, and live at Nos. 38, and 43, Bond-street - this cheque never passed through my hands; I know nothing of it.

Cross-examined. Q. Is there any other coach-maker, in Bond-street, of your name? A. No, except my brother, which is one establishment.

JAMES THOMAS . I am a manufacturer of cloth, in the West of England. I lodged in King-street, Golden-square; the prisoner lodged there while I did - I know nothing about this cheque in the least; I never went with the prisoner about any cheque in my life.

Cross-examined. Q. Have you a brother or son? A. A son Charles, and a brother Joshua, he lives at Gloucester and has not been in town for two or three years, to my knowledge.

COURT. Q. Are you on good terms with him? A. I never fell out with him, but we do not visit each other.

CHARLES THOMAS . I lodge with my father, in King-street; but did not at the time the prisoner was there - I know nothing about this cheque, and never went with him about one.

JOHN GRANT . I live at No. 6, Buckingham-street, Strand. I was taken up about this; I know nothing of the cheque.

Cross-examined. Q. You know the prisoner? A. I have known him ten or twelve years; he bore the highest character for honesty, and was respected by every one who knew him - he is a native of Scotland; I was clerk to Messrs. Foreman and Hadow, but am not at present; the prisoner and I are friends.

The cheque was here read; the direction " John Shaw , No. 16, Boot-street, Pitfield-street," written on part of a catalogue, and the following letters, which had been produced.

10th March, 1830.

I was very much surprised at your not returning with the money I sent you for yestraday, and went down the Strand after you, but could see nothing of you; but having got your address I did not quite despair of seeing you again - if you will write me a note, or send the money enclosed, addressed to Mr. Thomas, 2d. post, Brewer-street, Golden-square, to be left till called for, as I have had a terrible row with my employers; I do not like to trouble them with it, as they have made me responsible for the money. If you send the money enclosed you may take a half-sovereign for your trouble. I am yours, &c.,

WM. THOMAS.

- Shaw, 16, Boot-street, Hoxton. Post-mark, 18th March.

The letter found on the prisoner was as follows: -

20th March, 1830.

I have been three or four times at Hoxton, but could never find such a place as Boot-street. After being so long of answering my letter, you might have left me the money in place of your address. Make up the money into a small parcel, andgive it to the bearer, but you need not tell him that it is money you give him, as I do not know much of him; you may keep half a sovereign for your trouble - I think that will be sufficient, after giving me so much trouble about it - I would have gone for it myself, but it is so great a distance, and very inconvenient for me to go. I am, yours, &c., WM. THOMAS.

John Shaw , 16, Boot-street, Pitfield-street, Hoxton.

The prisoner made no Defence, but three witnesses gave him an excellent character.

GUILTY of uttering only - DEATH . Aged 36.

Strongly recommended to Mercy by the Jury, on account of his excellent character .[Saturday, April 17.]