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East India Company.

Proceedings of the court of directors and of a secret select committee appointed by the court ... 2d May 1827, to investigate transactions connected with an abuse of patronage; together with a report of the trial in the Court of king's bench online

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Online LibraryEast India CompanyProceedings of the court of directors and of a secret select committee appointed by the court ... 2d May 1827, to investigate transactions connected with an abuse of patronage; together with a report of the trial in the Court of king's bench → online text (page 15 of 17)
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not sufficient that they should have some general notion floating in their
minds that all is not as it should have beeu, but they must be satisfied in their
conscience that the party is really guilty ; and they ought to exercise the same
discretion with respect to the safety of a fellow-creature who stands before
them, as if their own and most solemn interests were at stake. Gentlemen, a
jury may, without any feelings of great emotion, afterwards remember that
perhaps they may have acquitted a guilty person ; but. Gentlemen, if 1 mis-
take not, the feelings of every man amongst you, and every man of humanity,
must be bitter indeed, if any circumstance subsequent to the trial should
lead him to suppose he has been the instrument of convicting a fellow creature,
and ruining a man who was actually innocent. Gentlemen, under these cir-
cumstances, it is for you to say whether Captain Despard was guilty of
corruptly, and for gain's sake, negotiating the obtaining this employment for
this young man, I will not repeat those observations I have made. I thank
you for the attention you have paid to the whole of the case, and I have no
doubt you will come to the conclusion that your consciences point out as
being the proper one.



EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENDANT, PRESCOTT.



JOHN BAKER RICHARDS, Esq. sworn. Mr.Rkhards.

Examined hy Mr. Pollock.
I believe you are the Governor of the Bank of England ? — I am.

How long have you known Captain Prescott? — More than thirty-five
years.

What character during all that time has he borne ? — I have always consi-
dered him to have borne —

Lord



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Lord Tenterden. — How extraordinary it is, that gentlemen of the education
of those before us will not answer the question put to them : the question
asked is, what is his character ? — Always that of an honest and honourable
Mr. Richards. I^an.

Mr. Gurney. — That is the only thing that is legitimate evidence.



Mr.
Masterman.



Mr.
Alexander.



JOHN MASTERMAN, Esq. sworn.
Examined by Mr. Pollock.

I believe you are a banker and East-India Director ? — Yes.

How long have you been acquainted with Captain Prescott ? — I think
between eight and nine years.

What is the character he has borne for honour and integrity during those
years ? — Always that of an honourable and upright man.



JOSIAS DUPRE ALEXANDER, Esq., M.P. sworn.
Examined by Mr. Pollock.

You are a Member of Parliament and an East-India Director? — 1 am.

How long have you known Captain Prescott ? — I have known Captain
Prescott since the year 1798 ; thirty years next October.

What character has he borne during that time for honour and integrity ? —
A remarkably good one.

Have you had any means of knowing any thing of his conduct in the dis-
posal of his patronage ?

Lord Tenterden.— Thoi is a question you cannot ask, that is a fact,

Mr. Pollock. — What character he has borne as to that particular point.

Lord Tenterden. — That is a different thing.

Mr. Pollack. — What character has he borne in regard to the disposal of his
patronage, has he borne any character? — I believe he has acted very fairly.

What is his character upon that ?

Lord Tenterden. — This is getting too near the objectionable point.
Mr. Gurney. — This is a fact. If you pursue it, I must cross-examine
upon it.



Majok



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MAJOR JAMES RIVETT CARNAC, sworn.
Examined by Mr. Pollock.
You are an East-India Director ? — Yes.

Have you known Captain Prescott for any length of time ? — I have known
Captain Prescott for about five years.

During that time what character has he borne for honour and integrity ? —
Always the character of an honourable and benevolent man.



CHARLES MILLS, Esq. sworn.
Examined by Mr. Pollock.
I believe you are an East-India Director ? — Yes.
How long have you kuown Captain Prescott ? — About eight years.
What character has he borne during that time ? — That of a straight-forwdrd
honourable man.



Court ^
of King's
Bench.

Major
Camac.



Mr. Mills.



VICE-ADMIRAL SIR PULTENEY MALCOLM, sworn.
Examined by Mr. Pollock.
How long have you known Captain Prescott ? — Thirty-two years in various
situations.

What is the character he has borne ?— An honourable, liberal, and open-
hearted man.

SIR CHARLES FLINT, sworn.
Examined by Mr. Pollock.
You are the Secretary of the Irish office ? — I am.

How long have you been acquainted with Captain Prescott ? — Twelve years.
During that time what has his character been ? — The highest possible
character.

H. BONHAM, Esq , M. P. sworn.
Examined by Mr. Pollock.
I believe you are a Member of Parliament ? — Yes.

Have yon known Captain Prescott any time ? — I have known him, I believe,
about thirty-five years.

What character has he borne during that time ? — During that time, I think
he has borne the character of a very honourable, upright, good-nature3 man.
•■ •■ z Lewis



Admiral
Malcolm.



Sir C. Flint.



Mr. Bonham.



170 PROCEEDINGS fN THE



<:oiafr LEWIS LLOYD, Esq. sworn

of King's
Bench.

Mr. Lloyd,



Bench. Examined by Mr. Pollock.



I believe you are a banker in this city ? — I am.

How long have you been acquainted with Captain Prescott ? — About ten
years.

During that time what character has he borne? — That of a most upright
and honourable man.



Colonel COLONEL FREDERICK, sworn.

Fredericks

Examined bj/ Mr. Pollock.

How long have you known Captain Prescott ? — From the time of his birth.

What character has he borne during all tiie time you have known hitn ? —
A kind-hearted and honoura be man.



Mr. WILLIAM CURTIS, Esq. sworn.

Examined by Mr. Pollock.
You area partner in your father's house. Sir William Curtis and Co.? — Yes,
as bankers.
- How long have you known Captain Prescott ? — About ten years.

During that time what character has he borne ? — That of an honourable,
honest, upright man.



Sir J. Shaw. SIR JAMES SHAW, Bart, sworn.

Examined by Mr. Pollock.

How long have you known Captain Prescott? — I think I have known
Captain Prescott between ten and twelve years.

What character has he borne during that time? — He has borne a character
of the very highest description, an honourable man, and a frank straight-
forward seaman.



Robert Williams., Esq. called, but did not answer.
Thomas Wilson, Esq. called, but did not answer.



Cornelius



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CORNELIUS BULLER, Esq. sworn.
Examined by Mr. Pollock.



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You were lately Governor of the Bank of England, and are now one of the Mr. Butter.
Directors ? — Yes, I am.

Do you know Captain Prescott ? — Yes, and have for several years.
How many ? — Eight or ten years.

What character has be borne during that time ? — I have always considered
him a highly honourable and respectable man.

Lord Tenterden. — That is not an answer to the question, I am obliged to
insist upon it.

Mr. Pollock. — You have stated what you yourself considered him to be :
the question is, what character has he borne ? — I have always understood
him to bear the highest character.



NICHOLAS BROWN, Esq. sworn.

Examined by Mr. Pollock.

I believe you are one of the Commissioners of the Victualling Office ?—
I am.

How long have you known Captain Prescott ?— Fifteen or twenty years.

During that time what character has he borne ? — I have always found him
to be —

fj)rd Tenterden. — That is not an answer to the question. What is his
character? — A plain, honest, upright-dealing man.



Mr.
N. Br (mm.



CAPTAIN LEWARD sworn.

Examined by Mr. Pollock.

How long have you known Captain Prescott ? — -About thirty-four years.

During that time what character has be borne generally in the world.? —
That of an honourable and upright man.



Capt.Lewird.



JOHN CAPEL, Esq. M.P. sworn.

Examined by Mr. Pollock.
I believe you are a Member of Parliament ? — I am.

z 3



Mr. Capel.



How



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PROCEEDINGS IN THE



^'<!ourt How long- have you known Captain Prescott? — About twelve years.

"bctcH.* During that time what character has be borne ?— That of an honourable
' upright man.

Mr. Capet.



Col. Davies.



Mr.
Robinson.



Lord
Tenterden.



COLONEL DAVIES sworn.

Examined bi/ Mr. Pollock.

You were in the East-India Company's service ? — Yes.

How long have you known Captain Prescott? — Nearly thirty years.

During that time what character has he borne in the world ? — That of an
honest and honourable man.



ISAAC ROBINSON, Esq. sworn.
Examined by Mr. Pollock.
You are one of the Elder Brethren of the Trinity-House ? — Yes.

How long have you known Captain Prescott ? — Thirty-nine years in-
timately.

During that time what character has he borne in the world ? — That of a
man of the highest honour and integrity, open-hearted and kind.

Mr. Brougham. —There are twenty or thirty more, but I do not trouble
your Lordship with them. They come from different parts.

Lord Tenterden.— Do you call any witnesses for the other defendant ?
Mr. Plait.— No, my Lord.



LORD TENTERDEN.— SUMMING UP.

Gentlemen of the Jury : — This is an indictment against Samuel Sutton, Wil-
liam Andrews, James Patten Anstice, John Edward Despard, Joseph Tyndale,
George Henry Gibbons, Thomas Wright, and Charles Elton Prescott ; and
the indictment charges, that the seven persons first named (that is, all except
Mr. Prescott) conspired together, for gain, reward, and profit, to negotiate
for one Edward Drake Back to be nominated and appointed to a certain
employment, that of a Cadet, under the United Company of Merchants of
England trading to the East-Indies ; and then it charges, that Captain Pres-
cott unlawfully, wilfully, and knowingly aided, abetted, and assisted the other
persons I have named. That form of charge is varied in the different counts ; but

the



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the latter counts are all substantially the same, charging the first seven
defendants with conspiring together unlawfully to obtain this appointment for
this young man.

Mr. Gurney. — The first count does not charge a conspiracy.

Lord Tenterden. — It is, that they unlawfully negociated for this appoint-
ment. There are several other counts of that class, varying the charge as to
negociating for gain or reward, all of them importing that the act done by
them was done for gain or reward, and that Captain Prescott aided and assisted
them. Then there is another set of counts, which charges all the defendants,
including Captain Prescott, with combining and conspiring unlawfully and
corruptly, for gain, reward, and profit to Samuel Sutton, to recommend
Edward Drake Back to be nominated and appointed to this office of Cadet
under the East-India Company. There are several counts in that class, vary-
ing the charge, but not in any material degree. Then there is another count,
perfectly distinct from all the rest, which states, that all the defendants con-
spired, falsely and fraudulently, to cause and procure a false representation to
be made to the Court of Directors of the United Company of Merchants of
England trading to the East-Indies, that young Back was a person with whose
family and connexions Captain Prescott, at the time of such representation,
was well acquainted, for the purpose of obtaining for Edward Drake Back the
nomination and appointment to the employment of a cadet, the defendant,
Prescott, and all the other defendants, being wholly unacquainted with his
family and connexions.

Now, Gentlemen, as it regards all these counts in this indictment except
the last, no person can properly be convicted upon it, who is not in some way
a participator in the unlawful scheme to obtain this appointment for profit and
gain. I use the word participator, because that term has been employed by
the counsel for one of the defendants : but in order to convict persons of a
charge of this kind, it is not necessary, in point of law, that each of them
should have in his mind to participate in the gain ; for if they all combine to
attain the object for profit and gain to some of them, they are all guilty within
the meaning of this charge. No person can be convicted upon these two first
sets of counts, who is not conscious that gain and reward is the object of
some of the defendants with whom he conspires : but it is not necessary that

he,



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he, individually, should be one of those to share. No person can be con-
victed, if he is not conscious that those with whom he conspires have gain
for their object ; but it is not necessary that every one should participate.
That is the law as regards this part of the charge, which is the most important
part of it. The latter part is, that they all conspired falsely and fraudulently,
to cause and procure a false representation to be made to the East-India Com-
pany, that young Back was a person with whose family and connexions Mr.
Prescott, at the time of that representation, was well acquainted.
. iNow to this charge, all the first class of defendants, except Despard, have
acknowledged their guilt. Five, I think, of them have pleaded guilty before
we came into this place ; and another of them desired that your verdict should
pass against him. The only two persons now upon their trial are Captain
Despard and Captain Prescott : those are the only defendants. The case as
against them stands upon very different grounds ; and therefore it is necessary
I should direct your attention to the evidence as it respects each of them,
separately and distinctly.

Now, the only witness called who speaks to any participation by the de-
fendant Despard in this transaction, is Dr. Back ; and the account he gives
of it is, that having seen an advertisement in a paper called the Herald, in the
month of August 1826, professing to be addressed to parents and guardians,
and representing that a permanent situation offered to a youth under twenty
to go abroad : his outfit would require means without which none need apply.
That Dr. Back having a son for whom he was desirous of obtaining some pro-
vision, wrote a letter addressed to Alsop's Buildings, and received an answer ;
and, in consequence of that, he called at the house in Alsop's Buildings,
where he saw afterwards the defendant whose name is Wright. He says, he
took with him some cards, having upon them the name of " Edwards," which
was the name of the first husband of his present wife, many of which cards he
had ; and it is quite clear what the gentleman says that it was natural, and we
might suppose it would so happen, that he would not wish in the outset to
appear personally, and he went throughout in the name of " Colonel Ed-
wards." Then he relates, first, his interview with Mr. Wright ; then a letter
from Mr. Wright, representing he is going out of town, and referring him to
Mr. Gibbons. He gives an account of his conversation with Mr. Gibbons,

and



COURT OF KING'S BENCH.



175



and then depositing first one half of a £500 note and the half of a £300 note ;
and he produces several letters from Gibbons confirmatory of that, and also
two receipts from Mr. Gibbons.

Then he tells you, in the next place. Gibbons introduced him to Tyndale :
that after a time he was introduced to the defendant Despard. Before, how.
ever, he was introduced to Despard, he had learnt from Mr. Wright that the
sum required for the appointment was, for a Cadetship in the Infantry, £600
but if in the Cavalry, £800 or £900. He reached town in the year 1826
but finding the sum did not at all suit him, he abandoned the negociation
but that, in the spring of the following year, his son, for whom the appoint-
ment was to be procured, coming of age, and being possessed of a sura of
money, he was desirous to renew the negociation. However, before he did-
that he thouarht he would have some communication with the Chairman of the
East-India Company. He saw that gentleman then, and several times afterwards
the solicitor to the Company. He was informed he was in great danger in what he
was doing ; that it was contrary to law, which he was not aware of; and with^
that caution he would have nothing more to do with it. But it was the wish
of those who had the management of the aflfairs of the Company, and very
natural and proper feeling it was, to trace to the very bottom the persons thus
professing to traffic in this appointment; and at the suggestion of the Chair-
man or the Solicitor (the Chairman he puts it) he was desired to go on with
the negociation, and to hold out he was willing to negociate with them, that
the Company might find out who the parties were; and that he, in conse-
quence, had made communications from time to time tothe Chairman or the
Solicitor, and that he made memoranda, from time to time, of the conversa-
tions and other parts of the transaction.

After the introduction to Tyndale, which is after both the sums of money
had been paid, Tyndale introducing him to Despard (and Tyndale and Wright
have pleaded guilty), he says " On the 14th of April I met Gibbons and
" Tyndale. This was the first time I saw Tyndale. Gibbons shewed me an
*« acknowledgment from Tyndale that he had received the half of the note
•' for £500. On the evening of the same day Gibbons introduced me to
" Tyndale, and Gibbons then said that nothing could be done on that day, as
" there were no Directors at the India-House ; that we must wait till Monday."
Then the Easter Holidays were mentioned as reasons for delay : another

reason



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reason was, the unsettled state of the Ministry. There was an intimation
given that the appointment was to come from the President of the Board of
Control. The then President has been examined, and he has said, as you
might have expected, that he knew nothing about it. Then it appears that,
after the half of the £300 note had been deposited, on the same day, the
witness says, " Tyndale introduced me to Captain Despard at Lloyd's Coffee-
" House." This is the first time that Captain Despard is introduced. He
says, " Captain Despard lamented he had not been consulted sooner in the
" business ; that if he had I should not have been detained so long in town :
" he would soon settle it." He says, " Gibbons left me at Lloyd's in company
" with Captain Despard, and promised to return in about a quarter of an
" hour. I waited for him four or five hours, but he did not come. Captain
" Despard did return, and asked me if I had seen Gibbons since he had left :
" I replied no, and he expressed great astonishment that he had not. Then
" we appointed to meet the next day, and we did so. That is the 26th, I
« only met Captain Despard on that day. He told me that I should not be
" disappointed again, for he would introduce me to two very respectable
merchants. He then took me to the office of Captain Anstice and Mr.
Stubbs, at Great St, Helens. Captain Despard introduced me to Captain
Anstice ; and Captain Anstice then said he had had the half of the £500
note in his possession for some time, but that it was no manner of use until
the half of a £300 note was also deposited." Captain Despard is there at
the time this passes. " Before we went there. Captain Despard had said that
" Captain Anstice had got most of Mr. Astell's patronage, and that this was
" supposed to be one of Mr. Astell's appointments." Mr. Astell is called,
and he says, of course, he knew nothing about this, he being a Director at
the time. Then, on the 27th, he attended again at Mr. Anstice's office.
They were running about from one place to another. He believes they were
at- Captain Anstice's, and Captain Despard called upon him again at the
Monument Coffee-House, and said every thing would be completed by the
next day. He says, " I was waiting at Captain Anstice's office in very great
" anxiety, and expressed my doubt of the ability of the parties to procure
" the appointment, when Captain Anstice said he would forfeit £100 if it
" was not completed the next morning ; and if 1 would leave the young
" gentleman with him, if I wanted to go out of town, he would take care of

'■ him.



COURT OF KING'S BENCH.



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" him. That the appointment would be forwarded to the house of the
" Director who was to give it, who was in Hertfordshire, and that the Director
" had declined signing it until the half of the £300 note was in Captain
" Anstice's possession. That he had forwarded the appointment by post to
" this Director, and he expected it by the return of post." He said, " the
" gentleman had been tired of waiting for the £300, and he had expressed
" himself in very angry terms at the delay, and said he would wait no
" longer.

This is the last interview he mentions as having had with Captain Despard ;
and if the account he has given of the part he took is correct, no doubt
Despard was a party to this combination to obtain this money, for the benefit,
if not of himself, at least of others. If Dr. Back gives a correct representation,
it is clear the matter of profit and the note are spoken of when Captain
Despard is present. It is said, you are not to believe Dr. Back. Why not ?
It is said that the prosecutors ought to have called the Chairman or the
Solicitor of the Company. Why are you to support the testimony of a man
who is not in the least broken in upon by any thing that has taken place ?
What motives could he have to accuse a man of this crime of whom he had
no knowledge ? Is it to be supposed that a man is to come forward and
invent a charge of this kind ? In another part of the story, there is abundant
confirmation by all the other parties pleading guilty, and confirmation as to
many of them, by the letters they have written ; and it will be for you to ask
yourselves, whether there can be any doubt in your minds upon what Dr. Back
has said of the part that Captain Despard took in this transaction. There is
no reason why he should accuse him falsely.

Then he goes on with the further narrative, which I need not give in very
minute detail. We come to the 28th : that is a material day, connected with
what appears afterwards with regard to Captain Prescott. He waits all that
day in expectation that Captain Anstice would come. Captain Anstice went
out with him, and they endeavoured to find Mr. Andrews : they went to the
office of Mr. Andrews in Waterloo Place, but he was not there. " Captain
" Anstice said that I had great reason to complain, that I was ill used. On
" the next day, the 29th, I saw Mr. Andrews at his house in Brook Street,
" Grosvenor Square. I saw Gibbons at Captain Anstice's house on that day,

A a "in



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" in St. John's Wood Road : Gibbons was talking to Anstice at the door of
" his house. Anstice said, Gibbons wanted to go with us to Mr. Andrews,
" and he would not allow it. We went there without him. We saw Andrews,
" who said the appointment was certain : that the gentleman who was to give
" it was to be in town the next day, and he would bring the appointment with
" him to Great St. Helens by two o'clock the following day. He also said,
" he was sorry that he and I had missed each other the day before, that he
" wished to settle the business as much as I did, and that the money would
" be very useful to his chent at that particular time. He said, I was to keep
" it secret and not to let the business transpire." The next day was Monday,
the 30th. He went there by appointment. " I waited till four o'clock and
" Mr. Andrews did not come. At last he came, and said that his friend, who
" was to give the appointment, would be with him that evening, and if Captain
" Anstice could call upon him in the afternoon, in his way home to St. John's
" Wood Road, the hour for a meeting the next day should be fixed." On
that day he also received a note from Gibbons : I need not read that.

On the 1st of May he says, " I went to Captain Anstice's by appointment.
" There was a note arrived at Captain Anstice's from Mr. Andrews, which
" Mr. Stubbs opened;" and then the hand-writing of Mr. Andrews was
proved, and that note was read : and, in consequence of that letter, he sent
his son down to Mr. Andrews' office.


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Online LibraryEast India CompanyProceedings of the court of directors and of a secret select committee appointed by the court ... 2d May 1827, to investigate transactions connected with an abuse of patronage; together with a report of the trial in the Court of king's bench → online text (page 15 of 17)