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venport, Mr. Cooper, Mr. Wilson, and Mr. favour. Mr. Bearcroft admitted the facts chargBaldwin. After the nature of the information, ed, but denied that his client bad been guilty of and the whole of the case, had been opened to the any crime described by the law of England as it jury, a variety of witnesses were called, to efta. now stood; and challenged his learned friend to blish the several facts on which the charge was cite him a single cafe that tended in the smallest rested.
degree to fix legal imputation of criminality upon The examination of Mr. Bembridge, on oath, such conduct as that he was ready to admit had before the commissioners of public accounts, was been purfued by Mr. Bembridge. He contended, exhibited, in order to prove, that he had sworn that though the accounts of the ex-paymasters the duty of his office to confiit in examining and had customarily been examined and stated by the Aating the accounts of paymasters-general, as accountant of the pay-offices, yet it was no part srell ex-paymasters as those in office.
of that officer's duty foto examine and Fate them, Mr. Hughes, and another gentleman from the 'and therefore not being a part of his duty, he was office of the auditor of the impreft, were sworn, not obnoxious to legal imputation of criminality to establish the cuitom of passing the accounts of for having neglected to itate them accu'ately, paymasters-general, as well those in office as ex and consequently not liable to legal punishment. paymasters. They gave the court a detail of He said, the cale had been greatly misconceived the circumstances attending the passing of Lord by the public, that clamour had prevailed unHolland's accounts, mentioning when the ac- juftly against his client and the late Mr. Powell, counts began to be pafred, and at what time they that their names had been bandi d about in every were sent from the pay-office to the auditor's common newspaper, and that misrepresentation office, as well as that it was customary upon any and ignorance had attempted to fix a ftigma where doubt arising in that office, on the examination none wis merited. He described the lat- Mr. of the accounts, to refer queries of all such doubts Powe:l as the friend, the benefactor, and the to the accountant of the pay-office for answers, patron of Mr. Bembridge; a id, after stating, that folutions, and explanations: they stated, that two if there was any criminality at all in the m tter, errors had been discovered after what was called it was imputable to Mr. Powell, and Mr. Powell the final balance was pencilled to the bottom of only; he asked, if any man would say, that Mr, the accounts, and that the accounts were sent to Bembridge ought, or was bound to have turned the pay-office, to have those errors rectified. spy and informer against his friend ard patron That it was then understood the books were to Mr. Powell? He said, it wis by no means con go from the auditor's office to the lords commis fonant to the genius and liberal spirit of this fioners of the treasury, and that the books came country, to have it's public offices filled with spies back from the pay-office to the office of the au and informers; and if the present prosecution ditor of the impreft, where they lay eight or nine was admitted to be justifiable, the plaio inference days before it was discovered; that above the was, that every clerk in a public office was bound two items, which had been erroneously omitted, in duty to turn fpy and informer. If Mr. Powell as above mentioned, entries had been made of had been living, he declared, he verily believed other items to the am unt of 48,7991. 1os. This the jury would have heard n thing of a profecudiscovery was stated to have been made in and tion against Mr. Bembridge, and he dwelt for about October 1782, and the items were proved some time on the affertion; that if a sacrifice to confift of monies chargeable to Lord Holland's was necessary to be made to the public for the accounts between the years 1757 and 1765. neglect of entering the money stated in due time,
A warrant for the payment of certain sums the public had already had their victim in the for fees on palfing the accounts of Lord Holland death of Mr. Powell. He directed several of his was produced, and it was proved that Mr. Bem arguments againft the late miniftry, to whom he bridge had claimed and received 2600l. of those imputed much blame for their arbitrary proceed fums as his due for stating and examining the ings with respect to Mr. Bembridge, and charged faid accounts.
his learned brother with having that day stood Mr. Rose, of the treasury, proved the exami. forward their panegyr'it. He stated that the nation of Mr. Bembridge before the lords of the whole of the balance due from the executors of treasury; when the board, on receiving intima Lord Holland, was in the very same situation in tion from Lord Sondes, the auditor of the im. which it had ver stood, and affured the jury preft, that a difcovery had been made of the that it was as entire and as well secured to the entry of the items amounting to 48,7091. 1os. public as any property in the kingdore. He laid under the circumstances before stated, thought it considerable stress on the affertion, that the acnecessary to call Mr. Bembridge and the late Mr. counts of Lord Holland fo merly passed and exPowell before them. It appeared, that Mr. Bem- aminen, w.re not actually final accounts, but bridge then avowed, that he had not recently merely pencilied balançes up to the time they discovered that the 48,709l. 1os. had been omit. were delivered into the cffice of the aucitor of ted in the former accounts of Lord Holland, but the imprest. After a va iety o. other arguments, that he was perfectly apprized of the omission all he closed his addrets with informing the jury, the time,
that he' mean to call several witnesses of unAfter the witnesses in support of the informa. doubted credit and respectablity, to ascertain the xion had been all examined and cross-examined, fact, that to state and examine the accounts of Mr. Bearcroft rose, as counsel for Mr. Bem- ex-paymasters was no part of the duty of the bridge, and made a long address to the jury in hiq accountant of the pay-office, and to establish
beyond the possbility of doubt the character of that his learned friend had admitted the whole of Mr. Bembridge, as a faithful, diligent, and able the charge, but contented himself with endeaa officer.
vouring to prove, not that it partook not of cri, The first witness called on the part of the des minality in a civil or moral light, but what (if he fence was Mr. Bangham, who said he had been couid have established it) would have served his in the pay-office upwards of thirty years, and turn as well, namely, that the conduct of Mr. gave an account of the duties of the accountant, Bembridge had no legal criminality imputable to which he described as moit important and confi- it. Upon this part of his subject, his learned derable. Mr. Bangham declared, he did not con friena had been strenuous and urgent. He had ceive it to be the duty of the accountant to exa declared, that as the law of England now ftood mine and itate the accounts of ex-paymasters. the conduct of his client had not been legally He assigned his reasons for entertaining this opie criminal, and he had desired him to produce a nion, and stated the case of an ex-paymaster's ac- precedent from any book whatever that would, çounts having been examined and passed by other Thew Tuch conduct had at any time been so consin persons, than the accountant, in his memory. dered. Certainly he was not, he faid, prepared to
Mr. Craufurd confirmed Mr, Banghain's tes, quote a case from any book, stating that an timony, in regard to the known and acknow accountant of the pay-office had been tried, ledged duty of an accountant, and also delivered a convicted, and punished, for the sort of conduct fimiliar opinion relative to it's not being the ac in question; nor did he believe any such case countant's duty to examine and pass the ac could be found. But this he was ready to shew, counts of ex-paymasters. Bụt, on a cross-exa that in almost every book, from those written mination, Mr. Craufurd acknowledged, that his in the earliest times, down to Mr. Justice Blackopinion was a matter of belief strongly impressed stone's Commentaries, (the last of the books on his mind, rather than an opinion founded on containing the elements of the Englif: law) his facts which had fallen within his own know- learned friend would find that mal-feasance, mis ledge.
feasance, and non-feafance, were offences inBoth these gentlemen gave Mr. Bembridge dictable, and punishable as other indictable of. the character of a man of strict integrity and great fences were. If his learned friend stood in any ability.
need of a case to exemplify this, let him recol. Mr. Lamb deposed, that on the recommenda- lect the case of a late chief magistrate of tion of Mr. Sawyer he had been the person em London, who had been recently convicted ployed to examine and state the accounts of the of non-feasance, of not having been so active late Lord Chatham, after he went out of the and diligent, as he might have been, and as he office of pay-mafter general, and that no person ought to have been, in quelling the riots in June whatever, but himself, had any share in the busi- 1780. There was no doubt, he said, but every ness. Mr. Lamb was at the time of his examin-' man in a public office was responsible to the pub ing and stating the late Lord Chatham's ac lic, for his official conduct, and punithable for counts, an army agent.
offences of omiffion, as well as commission, if Lord North, Lord Sidney, Mr. Rigby, Mr. the public were liable to be injured by either, Burke, Mr. Caswell, and Mr. Champion, (who Mr. Bembridge was a public officer, as much so had all been paymasters-general, or deputy pay as the noble earl who then sat upon the Bench. masters) were severally sworn, and each gave Mr. It had been proved, from his own testimony on Bembridge the highest character as a most honest, oath, that he knew it to be his duty to examine active, and able officer. Mr. Burke expatiated and pass the accounts of ex-paymasters as well as for some time on Mr. Bembridge's great merit; of paymasters in office. It had been proved that and said, it was owing to that officer's integrity, he had received 26ool. for examining and passing diligence, and ability, that his reform of the
pay. the accounts of the late Lord Holland, the very: office had been carried into effect, and that he accounts in question. It had been proved that had been enabled to do the public the service he he himself made no scruple to avow before the trusted he had done them.
Lords Commissioners of the Treasury, that he All the evidence called on the part of the de knew the 48,7091. jos. had been omitted in. fence being at length gone through, the Solicitor the former accounts of Lord Holland, and omitGeneral rose, and made his reply to Mr. Bear ted for eighteen or nineteen years together; and, croft; and, at the same time, offered a few obfer- against his own evidence, it had been attempted vations to the jury, upon the whole of the case, , to be established on the part of the defence, that as it had come out in the course of the trial. , it was not the duty of the accountant to examine Mr. Solicitor said, his learned friend had stated and state the accounts of the ex-paymasters; buty him to be the panegyrist of the late ministry, on a cross-examination, it had come out, that than which nothing could have been farther from this was matter of belief, and in fact nothing his thoughts. He had contented himself with at all. His learned friend had in one part of his declaring, that in haye directed their attention argument asked, if Mr. Bembridge ought to have to the reforms of the exchequer, they had acted' turned spy and informer; and had described Mr.: in a laudable manner. This, he observed, was Powell as his patron and benefactor. He begged barely. doing theni justice; and more, he was the jury to attend to this--hiş learned friend had: (ure, they did not defire at his hands, as they by set up as a serious defence of a person in office's 29 means expected, nor would they thank him havingi connived at a criminal concealment of for, any applause he could bestow upon their con the public money on the part of one of his afCUCAfter this remark, he proceeded to Itate, fociates, that he was not bound to betray his
patron and his benefactor. Was such a defence nounce the defendant guilty; that was, they must to be listened to for a moment? or were they to not only be satisfied that it was the duty of the adopt the reasoning, that one officer of the public, accountant to examine and pals (x-paymasters çonfessedly apprized of another officer's conceal accounts, but that Mr. Bembridge in the case ing the public money, was not criminal in con. in question, had connived at the concealment niving at such concealinent? If such arguments wilfully, corruptly, and fi audulently. His lordprevailed, where would the mischief end ? Not mij after this stated the principal evidence that with Mr. Bembridge; there would not be an of had been given on the part of the prosecution, and fice in the kingdom, w lere such practices would the evidence that had been fet up to controvert it. not obtain, to the manifeft and material injury He particularly inentioned Mr. Bembridge's exa of the public. Mr. Solicitor dwelt upon this
mination before the commifiioners of accounis, in for some time; and at length took notice of what which he had himself itated that it was his duty Mr. Bearcroft had said of the arbitrary conduct to examine ex-paymasters accounts, and also the of the late ministry, relative to Mr. Bembridge. warrant, from whence it appeared that Mr. Bemą This, Mr. Lee declared to be a charge thrown bridge had received two thousand fix hundred where it ought not to reft. The late ministry pounds for duty of this kind. He next men, were out of the question; they were long paft, tioned the evidence of Mr. Bangham, Mr. Crau. and forgotten; they had existed years before tbe furd, and Mr. Marsh, which went in favour of food. (A loud laugh.] If there was any fault, Mr. Bembridge. After having with great accuracy the fault was his. Whether the institution of and great candour reminded the jury of the leada the suit, the conduct of the cause, or any thing ing parts of the whole of the evidence, his lorda else deserved blame, to him that blame was due, fhip said, he had no difficulty in declaring, that and not to the late ministry. He expressed his as to the point of law, he had not the smallest aftonishment at what Mr. Bearcroft had asserted particle of a doubt but that any perfon holding a relative to the late Mr. Powell, whom he had public office under the king's letters patent, or ntroduced with so much pathos; but whose name, derivatively from such authority, was amenable for reasons sufficiently obvious, he (Mr. Lee) had to the law for every part of his conduct, and obforborne to mention. His learned friend had noxious to punishment in case he was convicted said, had Mr. Powell been living, the name of of not having faithfully discharged his duty. In Mr. Bembridge would not have been heard of the present cale, however, the facts were what as a defendant. Good God! where did his learned the jury were to pronounce upon; and if they friend pick up this? had he forgot that the pro were satisfied that Mr. Bembridge had acted secutions against Mr. Powell and Mr. Bembridge with a finister view, or to answer any finifter had gone hand in hand together; that their purpose, they must give a verdict for the crown; names had on all occasions been coupled, and no if they were not so satisfied, they must acquit the mention made of the one without an equal men. defendant. tion of the other? Undoubtedly, had Mr. Powell The jury went out of court, but returned in been living, Mr. Bembridge would nevertheless less than a quarter of an hour, finding the de. have been prosecuted, Mr. Solicitor declared, fendant-GUILTY. he would not say any thing upon the character Mr. Scott, Mr. Erskine, and Mr. Adam, of Mr. Bembridge; he verily believed he merited were of counsel for the defendant, befides Mre the high character that had been given him by Bearcroft. the two noble lords, and the other very respect 19. Came on in the Court of King's Bench, able witnesses, who had spoken to that point. before Earl Mansfield and a special jury, the The charge stated in the information went not indictment against Chriítopher Atkinion, Esq. to Mr. Bembridge's former character; if, there late cornfactor to his Majesty's Victualling fore, he could derive any good from his good Board, and member of parliament for Heydon, character, he would attempt io diminish it.
in Yorkshire, fur wilful and corrupt perjury. Mr. Solicitor added a few other remarks, and The indictment contained nine counts, each said he left the whole to the judgment of the upon a specific charge. jury,
The facts stated on the part of the prosecution Lord Mansfield informed the jury, that the were, that the defendant, Christopher Atkinson, whole of the case resolved itself into two propo- Esq. had made a contract with the commissionfitions; on their being satisfied of the truth of ers of his Majesty's navy, for the purpose of which, depended entirely the verdict they were supplying a certain quantity of corn; the condi, to give. The first proposition was, that it was tion of which agreement was, that Mr. Atkinthe duty of the accountant of the pay-office to son should have commission upon the said quanexamine and state the accounts of ex-paymasters, tity of corn, as a compensation for his trouble in as well as paymasters in office. The second pro- purchasing the same, but should not charge any position was, that the defendant being bound in profit upon the price paid by him to the cornduty to examine and pass the accounts of the holders, or be entitled to any profit whatsoever, late Lord Holland, had wilfully, corruptly, and except the said commiffion. fraudulently, connived at the concealment of That the corn being delivered by Mr. Atkinthe 48,7091. Ios. and a fraction, as stated in the son, he gave in his accounts, specifying the information. ! These, his lordship faid, were names of the persons from whom he had purthe facts for the jury to pronounce upon, and chased, the prices paid by him to each person reupon which they necessarily must ground their spectively, and charging his commission thereon, verdict; but they must be satisfied in the truth which said accounts were respectively delivered in of both the propofitions before they could pro. upon the oath of the said Atkinson,
That, in each of the accounts stated in the in with them five weeks from the loss. During dictment, Mr. Atkinson had charged the com the latter time they had met with part of a missioners of his viajesty's navy with an advanced whale, which they eat; that some of the party price, beyond what he had paid to the corn had been obliged to eat their shoes. On the Tellers, with an intent to defraud; and, having whole, the description is shocking. The men done so, was thereby guilty of wilful and corrupt were in a hurry in relating these particulars; it perjury.
may yet be hoped that some others survive. To each of the nine counts Mr. Atkinson The passengers were--Mrs. James, Mrs. Lopleaded Not Guilly.
gie, Mr. and Mrs. Hofier, Mr. Wiliams, Mr. In support of these facts, Mr. Bennet and se Taylor, and Mr. Newman. veral other witnesses were called; the amount of A Court of aldermen was held at Guildhall, whose evidence was this, that Mr. Atkinson had The Recorder and Common Serjeant made a charged, in the accounts delivered by him to the report on the long pending caute referred to their commissioners of the navy of coin puri hased consideration respecting the Jews, whether they for their use, prices exceeding what he had paid. can legally claim the freedom of this city, and
On the part of the defendant nothing material exercise the rights and franchises of freemen. was produced
Their opinion is, that Jews publicly baptized, Earl Mansfield, in his charge to the jury, ftated and conforming to the laws of this country, after the agreement made between the defendant and renouncing their errors, may be entitled to the the coinmiffioners; and observed, that the only privileges of the citizens of London. The point for their consideration was, whether the Court took into their serious deliberation the detendant had charged higher prices than he paid: defect of the laws relative to watermen,who have if they thought he had, they muft find him guil, for a series of years abused the public with imty; if not, they must acquit him.
punity, owing to the tedious process of those After a trial, which lasted seven hours, the laws, and the insufficiency of punishment when jury withdrew for a few minutes, and returned put into execution. It was agreed to apply next their verdict-Guilty.
session of Parliament for their amendment. Sentence, as usual in such cases, was postponed Mr. Dornford resumed his attack upon the till the ensuing term, Mr. Atkinson giving bail publisher of a certai work, for obícenity the for bis appearance.
prints. He remarked, that obferving the Cham. 22. About twelve o'clock arrived at the East berlain to be in his seat, he took the opportunity India House, two of the seamen belonging to the of reviving the subject; and, in the course of his Grosvenor Eat Indiaman, who came in a Danish speech, gave a fide-blow which called up that hip from the Care to Portsmouth. They were gentleman. immediately ordered before the Committee of Mr. Wilkes said, that he had the misfortune Correspondence. The information they bring to differ in a very effential degree with the worcontains an account of almost unheard-of hard thy commoner, who seemed to sanguine to supMaips, of which the following are some of the press indecent publications in the work alluded particulars. That the ship was lost on the 12th That gentleman, in his zeal for religion, of August 1782; that fifteen of the seamen were had a strange kind of weakness to one sort of obdrowned; that the captain, his officers, pallen- scenity, whilst another with which it was natural gers, with their servants, and seamen, got on to suppose he was, from his religious habits, bet. thore on the Caffre ci aft; that they determined ter acquainted, had entirely escaped him. What to keep in a body, and endeavour to reach some effect the obnoxious prints had upon the passions Dutch settlement, or the Cape; that the seamen of the worthy commoner, he could only guess were often attacked by the Caffres with showers from his motion to prosecute the publisher: for of ftones, and sometimes with lances, one of his own part, he observed, he had, from mere which killed Mr. C. Newman, a passenger; that motives of curiosity, fince the matter was for. leveral of the feamen died for want; that the merly stated, reviewed the prints, and bis passic Caffres drove them as if they were a flock of were not disturbed. He would tell the worthy sheep; and when attacked by the seamen with commoner where prints more indecent were pub. fones, in return for those thrown, they defended lished, under the veil of religious protection. In themselves with targets, and appeared very cow a certain publication of the Bible, Joseph and ardly; that they did not take away any of the Potiphar's wife, Susannah and the Elders, Daladies, but that the whole of them were treated vid and Bathsheba, and our First Parents, were without distinction very ill; that they were every
drawn in lituations which were certainly not connight obliged to light fires to keep off the wild fonant to the purposes of religion and virtue. For beasts, which were very númerous, and had de those, and other reasons, the alderman said, he ftroyed some of their party; that several had would not be instrumental in prosecuting the been missed, and some had died before they left publisher, who had reason to thank the worthy them; that they only knew of fix men, includ commoner for re-publifhing his work. Mr. ing themselves, being faie, four of whom ac. Dornford said a few words in reply, and his mocompanied them to a Dutch settlement, where tion was rejected, they were imprisoned. These men escaping, The Committee appointed long ago to en. got on board the Dane, which sailed the 4th of quire into the place of Water-Bailiff, made a March, and reached the Cape on Christmas-eve. report, which was agreed to by the Court, by They do not imagine any of the party can live, which the office is to be bestowed, and not fold. as they were all near expiring; they had been 23. This day was tried at Guildhall, before
Lord Chief Baron Skynger, an action brought of the sum of 210l. stated to be drawn for as
the prosecution. He concluded by humanely
Sir Thomas Davenport, assisted by Mr. Newn bill Atated in the indictment. ham and Mr. Erskine, as counsel for the de 'This was the short account of the progress of fendant, justified Governor Murray; explaining the forged note given in evidence: that of the in the clearest manner to the court the motives true bill was as follows. which induced the governor to suspend Mr. Mr. Archibald Campbell had a bill for 210l. Sutherland, which were briefly as follows. Va remitted him from Madras, which was accepted rious complaints had reached the ears of Go at the India House; he got it discounted, and vernor Murray againft a Mr. Pons, who was necessarily indorsed it, but declared that it was deputy-register in the Vice-Admiralty Court the only bill for that sum which he did indorse; (where Mr. Sutherland presided;) his miscon he could not, however, decide upon which note duet, in having large concerns in privateers; in his own hand-writing was. Mr. George Munro buying shares of sailors prizes; in divulging the received the bill of Campbell, and he knew it sentences of the court before the time of public when compared with the other by a sinking in cation, contrary to an express act of parliament; the ink, which he remembered when he first and in committing a variety of other misdemea upon
it. He would have owned the bad nours, which rendered him a very improper bill if brought alone. The good one was occaperson for the employment he was in.
fionally in his own poffeffion, and that of his Witnesses having been examined in support of banker, backwards and forwards, from March to the above, the judge fummed up the evidence; May. John Cruickshank received the bill of in doing which, he observed, that however up- Munro, but could not tell which it was; he de-, right the motives were which actuated Governor livered the same bill to John Goddard, who on Murray to suspend Mr. Sutherland from his the 16th of May 1782, gave it to Mr. Ryland office, he was not, in his opinion, warranted to for a valuable and fair confideration. do so in point of law, for where the crown ap Richard Holt, who accepted bills in the abpoints, none but the crown can remove.
sence of the secretary, related the rule of accepThe jury then withdrew; and, after some time tance at the India House; said he had accepted spent in deliberation, returned with a verdict in but one bill, but could not ascertain which is favour of Mr. Sutherland, awarding him goool. damages.
Richard Holman, a clerk at the same place, 26. This morning came on, at the Seffions made some distinction between the bills, one House in the Old Bailey, before Mr. Justice being more in the manner of his writing, and Buller, the trial of Mr. William Wynne Ryland, bearing the marks of sewing, which marked for a forgery on the Honourable United East India those bills of the fame class he had fewed. Company. The indictment confifted of several Mr. William Nightingale-deposed, that on the counts, but amounted in effect to this, that 19th of September 1782, Mr. Ryland brought the prisoner forged, or uttered knowing to be three bills to their houfe, of which that last al. forged, a bill purporting to be drawn by the Juded to was one; by his initials and marks be Company's servants in India, and accepted in knew it to be the same. Three thousand pounds London, with intent to defraud the said Com. were advanced on these notes. pany, or the bankers to whom it was presented, Mr. James Whatman, paper-maker, gave a