Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 13 November 2018), February 1839, trial of ALEXANDER M'CULLOCK (t18390204-653).

ALEXANDER M'CULLOCK, Deception > forgery, 4th February 1839.

653. ALEXANDER M'CULLOCK was indicted for feloniously forging and uttering an order for the payment of 5l. 10s., on the 8th of January, at St. George's, with intent to defraud John Upsall.

JOHN UPSALL . I am a pawnbroker, and live in Ratcliffe-highway—I have known the prisoner six months. On the 8th of January he came to my shop and asked to look at a coat, which was shown him—he agreed about the price, and produced an advance note—he had told me about a

fortnight before, that he was going as mate in the William Thompson, and he wanted some money—I directed him to a lodging-house to find some money—he said that would not suit, and asked if I would cash a note—I said "Yes," and when he selected the coat he produced a note for 5l. 10s., said he wished for some clothes, and that he was going on board that morning—I asked where the vessel laid—he said at the back of my home, which is the London Docks—he had clothes which came to 2l. 4s. 6d., and 3l. 0s. 6d. in cash—he went away with it—the note has not been paid—this is it—I never saw these notes stamped—I have seen a great many—(read)—"5l. 10s. Advance—London, January 6, 1839, Three days after the William Thompson has sailed, please to pay Alexander M'Cullock 5l. 10s., provided he has sailed in the said ship.—WILLIAM BROWN, master. To John Baker, Esq., 57, Leadenhall-street."

WILLIAM MULLINS . I live at No. 57, Leadenhall-street, and am a furniture broker. There is nobody named John Baker living there—I know of no such person—I have lived there twelve years.

GEORGE ELLIS . I am a Thames police-officer. I made inquiries after the prisoner, and apprehended him at the Thames Police-office—I asked him if he knew Mr. Upsall of Ratcliffe-highway—he said, "Yes"—I asked if he remembered getting a note cashed there—he said, "Yes"—I asked who gave it to him—he said, "A mate"—I looked at him, and he said, "I made a mistake, it was a captain"—I said, "Where is the vessel lying!" he said, "At Deptford, taking in Government stores"—I went to James-street, Commercial-road, the address he gave the prosecutor, and found he had lived there till Christmas last.

Prisoner. I did not understand you, when you asked me who gave me the note.

WILLIAM JEFFERT . I am in the Transport Office. I keep an entry of all the vessels at Deptford dock-yard, which take in Government stores-no vessel named William Thompson was taken up by Government.

JOHN DONM AN . I am a tide surveyor to her Majesty's customs—vessel taking out Government stores are registered in my office. No vessel named William Thompson has been registered since the 3rd of June, 1835—it is necessary that all vessels taking goods should be registered in my office.

Prisoner's Defence. I have witnesses to prove that a man named James Brown, who was in company with me, gave the note to me—they were in my company when I received it from him.

ROBERT WELLS . I am a glass-worker, and live in Lower Chapman-waited street, St. George's. On Sunday morning, the 6th of January last, I on the prisoner for a few shillings which he owed me—he said he had some money to receive, and if I met him in the evening at the Golden Anchor at Wapping, he would pay my little demand—I did so, and while we were there a person came in to speak to the prisoner—he went out and returned with the person—the person then tendered him a note—I believe to the amount of 5l. odd—I understood it was a monthly advance note to join a ship named William something, which I cannot call to mind, which was lying at Deptford, as I understood—I did not see the prisoner give any thing for the note—that is all I know of the transaction—this is something like the note, but I did not notice it to swear it is the same.

WILLIAM MUMBRY . I am a painter, and live in Club-row, Shoreditch. I went with Wells to the Anchor, at Wapping, and saw the prisoner there—I never saw him before—I saw a man, who was sitting talking to him,

give him a note similar to the one produced—they were talking about going on board a ship.

Prisoner. I came from the north, and was discharged in London—I was looking out for another ship—I fell in with a man, who represented himself as a master of a vessel, and said he wanted a mate—I agreed with him at 5l. 10s.—he said the ship was at Deptford, taking in Government stores, and was going to Bermuda and Halifax—he gave me the note out of his pocket, and I went to the prosecutor, who gave me clothes and money for it—I went down to Deptford, and found no such ship—I found I had been duped, and I went to search for a vessel, that I might give Upsall another note, of the same amount—I begged the shopman not to press me about it, and I would deliver up the clothes and money as soon as I could—Mr. Upsall would not consent to it, but put the law in force against me—the man who gave me the note was an entire stranger to me—he had the appearance of a captain of a vessel—I never told the prosecutor that the vessel was lying in the London Dock—I told him the same as I told the police-officer.

JOHN UPSALL re-examined. The prisoner never came, and told me he had got a wrong note, or any thing about it, nor offered me the clothes back—I never saw him at all—a fortnight elapsed between my receiving the note and his apprehension—I do not know the prisoner's hand-writing—his name was not signed to the note in my presence—he told me, and also my young man, that the vessel was lying in the London Dock—I am quite positive of it—I had previous dealings with him, but never took a note of this kind of him before—he had told me once or twice before, that he was going in the William Thompson—that was several days before the 6th of January, I am certain—a man is never engaged as mate without inquiring his character, and signing articles.

Prisoner. I never mentioned the name of any ship to him—I said I was going to sea—I had not engaged with any ship at that time—the man said he was looking for a mate, and that he was going to call next morning.

GUILTY . Aged 31.—Recommended to mercy.— Confined Two Years.