Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 28 May 2023), February 1866, trial of JOHN PERMEWAN (33) (t18660226-289).

JOHN PERMEWAN, Deception > forgery, 26th February 1866.

289. JOHN PERMEWAN (33) , Feloniously forging and uttering a transfer of certain shares in the Hallenbeagle Mine, with intent to defraud.

MESSRS. METCALFE and DALY conducted the Prosecution; MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE and MR. F. H. LEWIS the Defence.

EDWARD KING . I carry on business at 22, Austin-friars—I am secretary to the Hallenbeagle, as well as other mines—that mine is worked on the cost-book system—on reference to my cost-book under date 25th November last, I find that 100 shares stood in the name of Henry Withered—there was a call of 12l. 10s. due upon those shares—that would be reduced by discount to 11l. 17s. 6d.—the prisoner was a shareholder in that mine—there was a meeting of shareholders on 16th November, and he was in the chair—I do not remember any proposition made at any meeting to remove the offices from London to the country—I received this letter on 27th November—[This was dated November 25th, 1865, from Henry Ansted to Edward King, Esq. and enclosed a transfer of 100 shares in the Hallenbeagle mine, from Mr. H. Wethered of Bristol; also a bank post bill for Calls due, 11l. 17s. 6d. dated 25th November, from the Plymouth branch of the Bank of England. The transfer purported to be from Henry Wethered to Edward King, Esq. requesting him to enter 100 shares in the name of Henry Ansted, Esq. of 20, Tamerterrace, Stoke, witnessed by George Gill; Henry Ansted undertaking to accept 100 shares, witnessed by Mary Ansted]—I sent this certificate to the name and address given in the letter—Stoke is near Plymouth—[This certified that 100 shares in the Hallenbeagle mine had been registered to Henry Ansted signed Edward King, secretary and purser]—after that, I received a draft from Mr. Wethered for the amount of calls due on his shares—on 5th December, I received this letter, marked "E," enclosing

a certificate—[This was dated Bristol, 4th December, 1865, from J. K. Thomas to Edward King Esq. enclosing transfer for 100 shares. The transfer was from Henry Ansted to Edward King, Esq. requesting him to transfer 100 shares to John Hutchings, and an acceptance from John Hutchings to take the same; witnessed by J. K. Thomas]—I then referred to the transfer from Clift to the prisoner—this is in prisoner's writing—I have seen him write—my suspicious then fell on the prisoner—I believe the other transfers to be in his writing—I know his writing very well—the form of transfer was by the same printer, but the name had been cut off—the two transfers looked as if they had both been cut by one knife—the genuine and forged transfers were both cut—the name on the forms, was, "Tregaskis, printer, Redruth"—I communicated with the police—I received this letter from the prisoner in June—it is written by him—the water-mark on the paper is "Pierre and Sons, 1862," and it is blackedged—at one of the meetings, the list of the shareholders was placed on the table, and was afterwards missed—it contains the names and addresses of all the shareholders, with the number of their shares—this is the list; it contains the name of Wethered, 100 shares—this letter signed "H. Ansted," I believe to be in the prisoner's writing—the paper on which it is written, is impressed Rock and Co.—the call upon the shares was made at the last meeting, when the prisoner took the chair.

Cross-examined. Q. How long have you known the prisoner? A. Several years—I have not had any unfriendly discussions with him—when I received the transfers, I handed them to my clerk—it was not until I had suspicions, that I found them to be in the prisoner's writing—it did not strike me at first as being a forgery—it was in a disguised hand—it is not exactly like his genuine hand—I know he is a gentleman of considerable practice as a surgeon, and I have been intimate with him—I believe he is highly respected in the place he lives in—I have not got the transfers here that I examined—I did not find any other transfers with the printer's name cut off—I think I examined about 500—I knew that the list of shareholders had been taken—Mr. McKann took it—he is a friend of the prisoner's—I demanded that list from McKann, but he would not give it up—it was never returned—McKann was a shareholder—some twelve months previous there was a movement, in which McKann and the prisoner were parties, to have a local board in relation to this mine—the list was taken by McKann in November last, and the movement to have a local board was twelve months before that—a committee of three gentlemen was formed—two gentlemen in Cornwall I think, were added to the committee—they were to sit nowhere in particular, merely to attend to the duties of the mine—there was opposition at all the meetings—there was no opposition to the local board; the resolution was passed unanimously—the books of the mine are kept in London, and duplicates of them at the mine—votes are taken by proxy, sometimes.

MR. METCALFE. Q. Were there proxies taken at the last meeting you spoke of? A. Yes—Mr. Wethered was not present—the prisoner represented him by proxy—that would contain Mr. Wethered's signature.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Q. Where is the proxy? A. It would be destroyed.

MR. METCALFE. Q. Whose writing is "Henry Ansted" upon that transfer? A. I believe it to be the prisoner's—it was not carried out

HENRY WETHERED . I reside at Devon House, near Bristol—I was proprietor of 100 shares in the Hallenbeagle Mine in November last—I did not transfer them, and I never authorized their transfer—I sent to pay the "calls," and I then ascertained that somebody else had paid them, and transferred the shares—I do not know any such person as George Gill.

JOHN KEMPSON THOMAS . I am a stock and share broker of Bristol—I am not acquainted with the prisoner—I have never had any transactions with him—on Monday, 29th November, I received this letter—(This was dated 21, Tamoreterrace, addressed to Mr. Thomas, and signed Henry Ansted/—it stated that he had 100 shares in the Hallenbeagle mine for sale, and asking Mr. Thomas to get the best price he could)—This other letter is dated 3d December—I received it on the 4th—the water-mark on the paper is "A. Pierre and Sons, 1862"—the post-mark is "Redruth, December 3d"—This was dated "3d December, 20, Tamoreterrace," from Henry Ansted to J. K. Thomas, Esq. stating that he thought 35l. per share a very low price for the 100 shares in the Hallenbeagle mine, but would take that price, as he wanted to sell them)—I found a purchaser for them, and wrote to him to that effect—I received this transfer—I believed it was enclosed in that letter—it is dated 2d December—it is from Henry Ansted to John Hutchings—I passed that on to Mr. King, the purser.

COURT. Q. You found out Mr. Hutchings, and got him to sign it? A. Yes.

MR. DALEY. Q. Was Hutchings the proposed purchaser? A. Yes, next morning I visited Mr. Wethered, something took place, and I did not carry out the transaction.

JOHN SPITTLE (City-detective). On 5th December, I received instructions to find out the forger of this transfer—I went to Bristol, and communicated with Mr. Thomas—afterwards I went to Plymouth, and to 20, Tamoreterrace, Stoke—I found Mrs. McLean living there—I took Mrs. McLean to Redruth to the prisoner's house—after inquiring into a matter about a 5l. note—I received a warrant from the Lord Mayor to apprehend the prisoner, which I did on 18th January, at the Redruth Railway station—I searched his house, and found a number of papers and books, which I brought away—I found three blank forms of transfer—two of them had the name of "Tregaskis, printer, Redruth," on them, and one had no printers name—I also found two letters, which have been put in, upon the prisoner, dated 4th December, and 5th January—the one of 4th December, was signed W. L. Permewan—I found two more at his house, one dated 19th September, and the other the 20th—I found this note paper in the prisoner's house—one kiud bears the name of "Rock and Co. London," and the other "A. Pierre and Son, 1862," and another one with the words "Satin," upon "Rock and Co. London," is stamped, and "A. Pierre and Sons, 1862," is a water-mark—on 5th December, I watched two banks at Plymouth—the Branch of the Bank of England, and the South Western Bank—they were in the same neighbourhood, and I could watch both at the same time—the letter produced from the brother is dated the 4th—I did not send this letter to Tamoreterrace, but it was sent at my suggestion—it is unopened.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you take the landlady to identify him? A. Yes—she never said positively that he was the man—I also took Mr. Gray from the branch of the Bank of England, Plymouth, where the bank post bill was issued, to see whether it was the prisoner to whom it was issued—I did not show the prisoner to him—I think bank clerks are generally more accurate than women—Plymouth is about sixty miles from Redruth by rail—it is about two hours' ride—I took the bank clerk to Redruth, because he issued the bank post bill to some person, between 10 in the morning and 3 in the afternoon—I did not take anybody else to Redruth—I can swear that I took a waiter from the Royal Hotel to the Guildhall, Plymouth, to see the prisoner—he is not here—that was not in connexion with this case—I did not learn that a person named Ansted had been staying at the Royal Hotel.

MR. METCALFE. Q. Mr. Gray being cashier at the bank, had you any difficulty in getting permission for him to be absent? A. He could not leave for more than one day—I did not take him to Redruth—he was sent to me.

ELIZABETH MCLEAN . I am housekeeper at 20, Tamoreterrace, Stoke—I let a lodging on 25th November, between the hours of 10 and 12—letters were afterwards sent there for the person who took the lodging, in the name of Henry Ansted—I never saw the person after he took them—the detective telegraphed me to come to Redruth, and showed me the prisoner—I believe he is the person that took the lodging of me—he gave me this address to which letters were to be forwarded—(Mr. King here stated that the writing on the paper was the prisoner's).

Cross-examined. Q. What time was this lodging taken? A. Between 10 and 12 in the morning—I think the person told me he was going by the Cornish train which, I think at that time, left about half-past 11—he was to come in and occupy the lodging on the Wednesday or Thursday following—I had not seen any photograph of his before he went to Redruth.

RICHARD ADY BAILEY . I am a clerk in the Bank of England—I produce a cancelled Bank of England note for 5l. dated 29th July, 1865—30, 141—there are two stamps upon it, "London and South Western Bank, Cambourn" and "John Mitchell Williams and Co., bankers, Redruth."

FREDERICK TUCKER . I am a clerk in the London and South Western Bank, Cambourn Branch—on 16th November, I paid some money to Mr. Pike's clerk.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Q. What is that you are looking at? A. This is our Waste Book—this entry was made by me on 16th November.

MR. DALEY. Q. What did you pay him.? A. 16l. 11s. 9d.—this note, dated 29th July, 1865 No. 30, 141 was one of the notes paid him—I gave him two other notes, which were paid in again on 1st December, by the Rev. Robert Brindell.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE to ELIZABETH MCLEAN. Q. Have you a servant? A. I have—she let the gentleman in.

MR. DALEY. Q. Did you let the lodging? A. Yes.

JOHN CHAMPION . I am clerk to Mr. W. Pike, purser of Mines at Cambourn—on 16th November, I received a cheque, which I took to the bank, and got cashed—amongst other money, I received three 5l. notes, which I gave to Mr. Pike next day.

WALTER PIKE . I am a purser of mines at Cambourn—the last witness gave me three 5l. notes in return for a cheque I gave him—on 24th November, I gave one of them to my clerk, and the other two to the Rev. Robert Brindell—I gave John Thomas, my clerk, the 5l. note with other money, to pay the prisoner and two other doctors.

Cross-examined. Q. How long have you known the prisoner? A. About eight or ten years—he is highly respected in the neighbourhood, and has always borne a very good character—he is surgeon to a great number of mines, and also to the union.

MR. METCALFE. Q. How far is Cambourn from Redruth? A. Three miles.

JOHN THOMAS . I am clerk to Mr. Pike—on 24th November, I gave a 5l. note to Mary Goldsworthy to pay Dr. Permewan—this is the receipt that was brought back.

Cross-examined. Q. How much had you to pay altogether? A. About 42l.—there was only one note—I am quite certain it was not all cash

EDWARD KING (Re-examined). This receipt is in the prisoner's writing.

MARY GOLDSWORTHY . I am in the service of Mr. Pike—I received 13l. 10s. 4d. from the last witness—amongst that was a 5l. note—I gave that to Dr. Permewan, who gave me this receipt.

Cross-examined. Q. What are you? A. I belong to the counting-house of the mine.

SAMUEL GRAY . I am clerk at the Plymouth branch of the Bank of England—on 25th November I issued this bank post bill in favour of Mr. King—amongst other monies that I received from the person to whom I gave the bill was a 5l. note.

Cross-examined. Q. What time was the bank post bill issued? A. I think about the middle of the day, rather later than 12, I cannot say to as hour—I think that was the time from the position the entry is in, in the book.

COURT to ELIZABETH MCLEAN. Q. Is yours Tamore-terrace or Tamore-street? A. Tamore-terrace—I am not aware that there is a Tamore-street.

SAMUEL GRAT (Re-examined). The bank is about a mile and a half from Tamore-terrace.

Witnesses for the Defence.

NATHANIEL EARLS . I am a printer, bookseller, and stationer, of Redruth—I have lived there for the last thirty years, and for the last nine years have carried on business on my own account—I used to print mining transfers, but have not done so within the last twelve months—I have since purchased them of a printer named Tregaskis in considerable quantities—he is a printer of considerable business—I have cut his name off the bottom—I have sold them all—I bought them in dozens and two dozens from time to time—I was pressed for payment in the autumn of 1864, and had to sell off my stock, which was considerable—amongst it were papers bearing the names of Rock & Co.—I recognise Toogood and Watkins' papers—I do not know whether I had paper bearing other watermarks—I did not take particulars notice of the watermarks.

COURT. Q. Do you buy of the manufacturers or stationers? A. The stationers—the sale extended to ten days or a fortnight—I sold out in small quantities, and to the trade.

JOHN TUCK . I am assistant to Dr. Permewan—I live at Chassewater, about three or four miles from Redruth—it is my duty to attend to the miners there—I am out sometimes night and day—I have been with the prisoner four months—we have a mine called North Skirby—I remember the cylinder of that mine blowing up on Saturday, 25th November—I believe there were no people injured—I saw the prisoner about a quarter past 5 on that day—I went from Chassewater to Redruth—I found some one in the surgery with the prisoner—I do not know who it was—I had tea with the prisoner, and then returned to Chassewater.

Cross-examined. Q. You said, "I think I saw him on that evening?" A. I am sure I saw him—I went to Redruth by a train leaving Redruth at four minutes to 5—the journey takes about ten minutes—it takes about four hours to get from Plymouth to Redruth—I remember the day, because the mine blew up—I did not mention that circumstance to the prisoner, I forgot it—I have not got his books here—I believe he keeps books.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Q. Do you know that Spittle seized all your master's books? A. I have heard so—I have not finished walking the hospitals yet.

JOHN PERMEWAN . I am the prisoner's brother—he is a medical man, residing at Redruth—he has been there about seven or eight years—I heard of the forgeries, and I wrote this letter to my brother—this is a letter I received from him in reply—I am acquainted with his writing—I have not seen any of these documents before—this receipt is in his writing—this letter to Edward King, Esq., enclosing transfers, I do not know the writing of, or of the other documents.

Cross-examined. Q. When did you receive that letter in answer to yours? A. It bears date the 5th, and I believe I received it on the 6th—I believe that because I generally receive letters the following day—I am quite sure I received it by post, but I do not remember the post mark—I am a share dealer.

ELLEN MELRAIN . My husband is a draper of Redruth—I have known the prisoner for seven or eight years—he is a surgeon, and has attended me five years—on 25th November, there was a very great storm—my baby was poorly, and the prisoner attended it—he was passing, and I beckoned him in—it was about 4 o'clock—I am quite certain it was upon that day.

Cross-examined. Q. Did you make any memorandum of it at the time? A. No—it might have been a little after 4—I did not look at the clock—my attention was first called to this when I heard the prisoner had been taken away.

MR. METCALFE to JOHN SPITTLE. Q. On what day did you take the prisoner in custody? A. On the 18th January—I took Mrs. McLean to see him on 16th December—I produce the prisoner's daybook.

Crossexamination of ELLEN MELRAIN, continued. I cannot recollect how long it was between the time he attended my baby, and the time he was taken away—I was first asked about it by Mr. Trevenier, solicitor, of Redruth—that was about a fortnight ago—I did not go before the Magistrate—then I began to recollect about the baby and the storm.

MR. SERJEANT BALLANTINE. Q. Was there any other day in November in which you recollect there was a great storm? A. No—I am quite sure it was 25th of November—I have not paid for that visit.

JOHN RICKARD . I am a miner, and work at the Wheelwriggan Mine—the prisoner is the surgeon of that mine—I recollect a very great storm on 25th November—I had a bad pain in my back, and I went to the prisoner for some medicine—I left home about half-past 3, and got back again before 4 o'clock—I saw the prisoner, and had medicine of him—the cylinder of the North Skirby Mine burst on that day—that is close to our mine, and it occurred just after we had left.

Cross-examined. Q. When were you first asked about this? A. I cannot say—about a fortnight after, I suppose—I inquired what day of the month it happened.

WEBSTER. I live at Redruth—I keep a horse and cart, and carry out goods—on the 25th November the prisoner attended my mother-in-law—there was a storm that day—Friday is the market-day at Redruth.

Cross-examined. Q. Was this on market-day? A. No, Saturday, the day after—I was going home to dinner about 1 o'clock, and I met the prisoner coming out of my house—I was asked what day it was a few days ago—then I remembered directly—he had attended her before that—I do not know whether he did every day—I cannot tell when he attended my mother-in-law before this day, as I was not always at home.

JOHN PAUBERTHY . I am master of the workhouse at Redruth—I have known the prisoner over six years—he has always borne a very good character

—I know his writing—these documents I have not seen before—this receipt is in his writing—I do not know the writing of any of the others—this signature is not exactly like his—I could not swear to the body of it.

Cross-examined. Q. If you were pressed, would yon rather say it was not his writing? A. It is a heavier writing—this is a very little like his writing, if any—I should not like to swear it is not his, but my opinion is that it is not.

MR. METCALFE to EDWARD KING. Q. Did you see the prisoner on 5th December? A. Yes—he attended at my office, and placed his signature to this book—it was a special meeting, and was held about 2 o'clock—I saw him there.

COURT. Q. How long does it take to get from London to Redruth? A. By special train, ten hours.

MR. METCALFE to JOHN PAUBERTHY. Q. What time are the London letters delivered at Redruth? A. About half-past 9.

JOHN SPITTLE (Re-examined). The London letters are not delivered at Redruth until between 10 and 11.

GUILTY .— Seven Years' Penal Servitude .