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 4 of 17)
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" — Captain Prescott signed the first
" part in my presence. — The answer
" to the fourth question was filled up
" in pencil, by desire of Captain Pres-
" cott, in order that the party might see
" in what way it should be filled up.

*' I did not see it filled up. Captain
" Prescott ordered me to send it to
" Colonel Toone, and then to his
" house.— 1 did not see the Cadet fill
" up the other part. — It is not usual
" to allow papers, after they are par-


tions before
Secret Select


Question. Anmer.

" tially filled up, to be taken away,

" unless by Directors. — Mr. Back, the

" Cadet, came to the OfiSce this

" morning : two gentlemen came with Mr. Sharp.

" him. I do not know either. I never

" saw them before, but should know

" them again. — One was in the office

" ten minutes ago with the Cadet, and

" is to be here at eleven to-morrow."

Mr. Sharp was ordered to detain the party, as the Committee would see him


Mr. Sharp was ordered to withdraw.


" The Committee draw your atten-
tion to your having signed the certi-
ficate that you are well acquainted
with the family and connexions of
Mr. Edward Drake Back. They are
ready to hear any remark which you
may see fit to make on that assertion,
adverting to your statement already
made to the Committee, that you
know nothing of the parties what-

" The Committee learn that these
papers were withdrawn from this
House from Saturday last till this
morning. The Committee are ready
to hear any remark that you may
wish to make on that fact."
" The Committee observe that the
fourth reply is written in a different

" hand-

again attending :

" It is very true that I have signed
the paper, as many others ; but I
have not known the connexions of
half the Cadets I have sent out. — It
is certainly wrong, but I have
signed many in the same way. It
is true, I ought not to have signed
it. — I never saw the father nor the
young man till to-day ; and I was
surprised to see the latter so small,
as Mr, Sutton had told me he was a
fine young man."

" I really do not know any thing
about that matter. — I really am at
a loss how to answer it. I have
no remark to make."


" I' never saw the fourth reply till
" I came into this room this moment."




No: XXm.


Exiamiha- " handwriting from the rest. The

sSSSt " Committee are ready to hear any

Committee. *< remark which you may wish to

Mr.Prescott, "make on that fact." mrmm "

lot* Were the papers in your posses-

" sion from the Saturday till this morn-

♦• ing, and when did you take them

*♦ away ?"


dtjil 9-

" Who brought the papers here this
morning ?"

«* In what state were the fourth
" question and answer on Saturday ?"

" Who brought Mr, Back to you
this morning ?"

" For what purpose did you give
« Mr. Samuel Sutton the papers ?**


" Mr. Sutton asked me to get him
" the papers. I believe I did take
" them away : I am almost certain it
" was I. They never were out of my
" room till I took them, and I gave
" them to Mr. Sutton half an hour
" afterwards, who lives at No. 7, Jer-
" myn Street j his christian name is
«' Samuel."

" I really do not know ; nor do I
" know who wrote the reply to the
" fourth quesion."

" This was a borrowed appointment
" from Colonel Toone. I must ex-
" plain, that I really did not know
" how to fill it up as a borrowed ap-
" pointment. Mr. Sharp, of the Ca-
" det office, filled it up in pencil. — I
" never saw the present answer be-
" fore."

" I heard he was in the house. I
" had never seen him before ; and was
" surprised, as I have already obsei'v-
" ed, that he was so small a man,
♦' as I had been told he was a fine
" young man. — " I know nothing as
" to who brought him."

" He said he wanted to send them
" down to get them signed in the first
" instance."

ABUSE OF patronage;


" But you gave them on the Satur


tions before
Select Select

'* It was to fill the questions up. I
" said to him now you are not going
" • to dispose of this.' — * No,* he
" replied, ' but that he was going to Mr.Prescott.
" « give it to a particular friend.* ** "
Mr. Prescott was requested to withdraw.
Mr. Prescott again attending.

..o >>

Are you acquainted with a Mr.

Wright ?"

" No, I do not know any Mr.
" Wright to speak to j excepting Mr.
" Wright, who was in this house. —
" I have known Mr. Sutton ten or
" twelve years : he was in my com-
" mittee when I was a candidate. — I
" recollect as to a Mr. Wright, who
" was a brother Director in the Irish
" Provincial Bank with me. — I have
" no wish to reserve any information.
" I have traced two or three reports,
" that my son has offered to sell Wri-
" terships and Cadetships, and thus
" my name is blasted."

" There is a Mr. Andrews. I do
" not know whether his name is Wil-
" liam : he was solicitor to the Pal-
" ladium."

" It was imprudent, but others

" Do vou know a Mr. William An-
drews ?"

" With your knowledge of your
" son having offered Writerships and " have done the same. I do not be-
Cadetships for sale, how could you " lieve there is the least intimacy be-

" tween Sutton and my son j nor do
" I, for a moment, think my son has
" any connexion with this paper."

" I never heard of such names be-
" fore.

" trust the papers out of your hands
" with Mr. Sutton ?"

" Do you know a Captain An-
" stice, or Messrs. Anstice and
" Stubbs?"

I know nothing of them.'*


tions before
Secret Select




Question. Answer.

" Have you ever given a Cadetship « Never, on my honour. I have
" to your son in any way ?" « never given him any patronage, or

" to any one whom he recommended

" Did Mr. Sutton ask you for a
« Cadetship for any particular per-
«♦ son?"

«♦ to me.'


He stated he wanted a Cavalry
" Cadetship very much. I told him I
" had not one, but that he should have
" one when I got it. I believe him
" to be honest and honourable. I
" particularly cautioned him against
"'' " disposing of it. — I may explain, as

"to the irregularity of the paper
" which I have signed. Mr. Abing-
" ton was not at the office, and either
" Mr. Haldane or Mr. Sharpe came :
"I think the latter. When Mr. Abing-
" ton saw it he said it was wrong,
* and that the nomination ought to
" have been transferred to me, and
" given to the young man by me and
" not by Colonel Toone."

Mr. Prescott was informed that the Committee particularly requested all
which had passed should be kept entirely secret, and then withdrew.

The Committee adjourned till to-morrow, Thursday, the 3d May 1827, at
eleven o'clock.






tions before
Secret Select




For the purpose of investigating the Transactions alluded to in a Minute of a
Secret Committee of Correspondence of the 'id May 1827,

Held on Thursday the 3d May 1 827.

C. E. PRESCOTT, Esq. attending the Committee.
Question. Answer.

" Pray is Mr. Sutton in attend- " I wrote to Mr. Sutton to come.

ance ?" " I wrote to him. The Chairman said

I might call. I do not know whe- Mr.Prescott.
ther he is here. — All I wrote was
this : * My Dear Sutton, you are

* particularly wanted at the India-

* House to-morrow morning.* I left
the letter for him at his house my-

Mr. Prescott withdrew.

The messenger was ordered to make inquiry whether Mr. Sutton was in the
house ; and being returned, stated that Mr. Sutton is well known, and that no
one had seen him in the house to-day.

The Committee were of opinion that Mr. Prescott's examination should be
read over in his presence.

Mr. Prescott was accordingly requested again to attend ; when he was in-
formed of the Committee's opinion, and his examination which took place yes-
terday was read over to him accordingly.

Mr. Prescott thereupon declared, that he wished no alteration to be made in
it as taken down.

" Adverting




tions before
Secret Select

Mr. Prescott.


" Adverting to the caution given by
" you toMr. Sutton, that he should not
♦' dispose of the appointment, had you
" any reason for giving such caution?"

Whereupon the Deputy Chairman observed that he was not on such terms
with Mr. Sutton as to have authorized him to ask him such a favour, and that
all he knew of him was meeting him at Mr. Prescott's house.

" I cannot say that I ever heard he
" had sold it. I know he asked the
" Deputy for a Cadetship."

" Did you ever give Mr. Sutton a

" former appointment ?"

" What was the name of theCadet?"
" Do you not recollect who asked

" for the appointment ?"

" Have you given any other ap-
pointment to Mr. Sutton ?"

" To the best of your recollection,
" was the paper for that appointment " I would tell you
" given by you to Mr. Sutton ?"

" Do you recollect this paper?
" (^shewing a cadet paper of February
" last, in the name of Bale), and does
" it appear to you that the writing of
" the answer to the fourth question *
" is in the Cadet's hand- writing?"

•* Yes, I gave him one for a widow
" lady named Pogson."

" I really forget."

" It was a iady, I think, through a
" Colonel Wilson. I gave it to Mrs.
" Pogson, and on that occasion I sup-
" pose she signed it."

" Yes, a Cadetship. I do not recol-
" lect for whom it was. I never gave
" him more than that."

" I really do not recollect ; if I did.

" Certainly it does not look like it.
It looks like Mr. Sutton's writing.
{After considering it attentively). No,
it is not; but a note appended to
the paper is certa'nly his wril'ng.'r

• " liisert name of Director, f " Question 4. Who recommended you to Chas. E. Prescott, Esq. the

" and against the answer write j

" the name of the Person who ■< nommating Director, for this appointment ?

"recommended jou to the/ ° ^'^

■'Director. :; r., K " Anstuer. S. Sutton, Esq.

•f- " Sir: The bearer, Mr. Bale, waits upon you to have his appointment filled up and executed;
" of which you are apprized. I am Sir, your obedient Servant,

" Saturday Morning. (Signed) « Samuel Sutton."

" — Abington, Esq., Cadet Office,
" East-I. House."


. " Was that paper ever in possession

5' of Mr. Sutton?"

<* Were you in London on the l6th

" February last ?"


" Will you be so good to bring to
" your recollection whether you were
" here, or where you were on the l6th

and 26th February ?"

Mr. Prescott was informed that it
of the utmost importance that
he should endeavour to bring Mr. Sut-
ton to the house.

" It is most essential he should be
" here."

The Deputy Chairman, addressing
himself to Mr. Prescott, stated, that it
was of the utmost moment, as connect-
ed with this abominable transaction,
that Mr. Sutton should be produced ;
'f and until you produce him (I speak
" to you as a friend) you will not stand
" free. Money has been paid, and it
" is your matter to shew that you are
" no participator in the business."

" When did Mr. Sutton first apply
" for this appointment ?"

" Did he ever mention the name

of the party for whom he applied ?"

*• How long is it since he signified
*« a wish to have another Cadetship ?"



" I do not recollect."



tions before
Secret Select
" I think I was in Brussels. I came Committee.

over for a short time about that pe- Mr. Prescott.

riod, and then went back. That

appointment is the first I ever gave

to Mr. Sutton, excepting that I gave

to Mrs. Pogson."

" Upon my life, I cannot exactly

say. I was over to England from

Brussels and back again. I really

cannot give an off-hand answer."

" As I'm alive, I thought he would

have been here."

" Then I must have leave of the
*' Committee to go after him."

" I may not be able to find him."

•* I do not recollect."

" I really do not recollect."

« About three weeks, or just before
" the last election J since I returned
" from Brussels j and I returned Fri-


tions before
Secret Select


Mr, Prescott.

Question. Answer.

" day before the election, which was
" on the 11th of April. I think he
applied the beginning of the fol-
lowing week."

" He might have stated it at that
time, but I really forget."

" When was the name of the party
" for whom it was intended first com-
" municated ?"

" When was the name of Back first
" mentioned?"



" Who informed you that Cadet
" Back was in the house ?"

" Do you recollect communicating
" with Colonel Toone as to the young
" man, and that you told Colonel
" Toone that the young man was the
" son of a most respectable clergy-
" man in Devonshire, and as fine a
" young man as any in England ?"

, "You told Mr. Sharp to fill up the
"answer to the fourth question in
" pencil?"

" When Mr. Sutton first asked me
for it. He then said it was for a
clergyman's son, and a very fine
young man : that was his expres-
sion. No other person ever com-
municated with me, and I never
endeavoured to see the Cadet till
the morning he was to be sworn

" I went to Mr. Sutton, to know
whether the young man had come
:to pass. Till then I had not seen
him. It is true, I signed the paper
stating that I had seen him and
knew him, but it was wrong.
" Colonel Toone must certainly
have made a mistake, though I
should be sorry to contradict the
Colonel if he says so ; but I really
do not recollect that I said I knew
the party. I mentioned as much to
the Colonel yesterday. — My signing
the paper was a mistake. Mr. Ab-
ington when he saw it said it was

wrong. .., . .

" Yes, I think I did."



Question. Answer.

" You stated, that you took away
the papers on Saturday ?"



" I do not exactly recollect. It Examina-
might be Friday or Saturday. I SewetSdect






" When did Colonel Toone sign
them ?"

" There was a Committee of Cor-
respondence on Friday."

" Were the papers signed when you
took them to give to Mr. Sutton ?"
" The papers, then, remained, to
the best of your knowledge, with
Mr. Sutton till the Wednesday fol-

" Had you any suspicion that Mr.
Sutton would act improperly, from
your using the expression and cau-
tion, ' do not dispose of the appoint-
ment ?' "

" You have already stated about
the period when Mr. Sutton applied
to you for the appointment. Cannot
you call to memory the day ?"
" Did he apply by letter ?"
" For what purpose could Mr. Sut-
ton want the papers, when you have
stated that they were complete, ex-
cepting the answer to the fourth
question ?"

" The answer to the fourth question
appears only to have been unfilled ?"

" gave them that very day to Mr. Committee.

" Sutton." Mr.Prescotf.

" On the day I took them. It
" might be Friday or Saturday."

" It is true I did not see him on
" that day ; it must have been Satur-
" day."

" They must have been, I presume :
" of course they were."

" Certainly. I never saw any more
" of them."

" I had not any suspicion. I really
" cannot say how I came to express
" myself so. It must have been, as
" is often done, without thinking."

" I arrived on the Friday ; and I
" think early in the following week,
" or about the middle. That was the
" first time, I will take my oath."

" No, personally."

" I do not know, upon my life."

" There was more pencilled than
" the answer to that question. (Mr.
" Prescott having looked at the paper)
** 1 really cannot say which they
" were."




tiSblfore '^^^ Committee pointed out to Mr. Prescott, that it was of the last im-
Secret Select portance to him to endeavour to bring Mr. Sutton before the Committee, and
ommi^e . ^^^^^ j^^ ought not to give up the pursuit till he found him ; adding, " if you
Mr. Prescott. «« Jq not, nothing short of disgrace and destruction must await you."

Mr. Prescott expressed his determination to seek him, and then withdrew.

The various details connected with the progress of the measures adopted,

under the direction of the Chairs, from time to time, for the discovery of guilty

parties, were then communicated to the Committee by the Company's Solicitor.

The Committee being informed, that a person of the name of Gibbons had

been in the Cadet office, regarding the appointment of Mr. Back,

On inquiry it appeared that he had left the house immediately afterwards.
The Company's Solicitor then stated the result of the interview which he
had with Dr. Back yesterday evening : by which it appeared that the remain-
ing half of the £300 Bank of England note had been that day paid by Dr.
Back, in a coffee-house opposite the India-House, to Mr. Sutton and a person
who was with him.


Abinston .

Mr. ABINGTON attending the Committee.
Question. Answer.

" State what took place last Wed- " Early on Wednesday morning last
nesday, as to the papers regarding " Colonel Toone called on me in the
Mr. Back's appointment." " Cadet Office, to know if Captain

'« Prescott's young man had been
" there, and desired that he might not
" pass till he saw hira. 1 gave those
" directions accordingly. The young
" man did not come till some time
" after. I then found that the Com-
" mittee of Correspondence was se-
'« cret, and that Mr. Haldane had
" quitted the house and got the papers
" with him. Captain Prescott having
" inquired two or three times whether
" the papers were ready, I sent Mr.
' « Sharp





Sharp to inquire for Mr. Haldane ; Examina-

^ tions before

and not finding him, I wrote a note Secret Select


'• to the Assistant Secretary to know
" about the papers."
Mr. Abington, by desire of the Committee, went for the purpose of
bringing some notes addressed to him by Colonel Toone, as to the appoint-
ment not passing till he had seen the party.

The letters, four in number, were produced and read ; the purport of which
was, to defer passing the young man till he (Colonel Toone) had seen him.

" Colonel Toone came to mv office
" very soon after the arrival of the
•* letters, and desired that the young
" man should not pass till he had seen
" him. I then took the opportunity
" to point out to Colonel Toone the
«' error as to the papers, as the nomi-
" nation ought to have been made by
" Captain Prescott on the appoint-
" ment lent by Colonel Toone to
" him. — Colonel Toone said 'certainly
" it ought to be so,* and ordered the
" matter to be stopped till the correct-
" ed papers were brought forward."
" After Colonel Toone had signed •« So I understand."
" the present papers, the messenger
" was desired to take them to Captain
" Prescott."

" Who made out these papers ?"


« I don't think Mr. Sharp or Mr.
Haldane. — (^Looks at the ansxtiers
" written in.) Had I seen the answer
" to the fourth question, as it is, with
** any cadet, I should not have passed
•• him. — (Looks again at the Jirst
" part to which Captain Prescott's sig-
" nature is affixed.) It is something
" like Mr. Sharp's writing, but it is a
u 3 bolder






tions before
Secret Select



« Who filled up that ?"

" How came it to pass ? as you say,
such a paper, so filled up, you would
not have passed ?"

" Is it usual for Directors to make

a practice of taking out the papers,

after the questions are partially filled

up, to complete the others ?"

" Do you fill up in pencil any of the

answers r"

" Do you believe another instance

can be found in the Cadet-ofiice of

a borrowed Cadetship being filled up

in this way ?


*' bolder hand than his. — (Looks at a
" nomination given to Mr. Sutton in
" February last.)

" I did. The answer to the fourth
" question is certainly not in the same
, " hand-writing. — I gave the paper to
" Captain Prescott myself. — The re-
" plies were all empty. I then ex-
" plained how they were to be signed
" and filled up, &c. &c."

" I do not exactly recollect whether
" I was away from illness. If not, it
" must have been taken before the
" Committee or two Members, whilst
" I was engaged in other business.
" I certainly should have said, had I
" seen it, that it was irregular."

" Certainly not. Nine times out of
" ten, they are all filled up in my
" office."

" Never."

" No, I do not. — Certainly I do not
recollect one. I may state, that I un-
derstood Colonel Toone wished lo
sign the appointment, although a loan;
consequently this gentleman being
recommended by Captain Prescott,
he was the only one to stand between
Colonel Toone and the Cadet. I
staled it ought to be otherwise, and
then Colonel Toone acquiesced, and
the papers were preparing when this
" investigation


Question. Answer.

" investigation put an end to the mat-


tions bet<i)re

ter. — I presume that the mode was SecretSeiect
suggested by Mr. Sharp to Captain ^'°"""'"'^^'-

" Has Captain Prescott any Cadet-
ship for the Cavalry standing in his
name at present ?"
" When Mr. Prescott borrowed an
Infantry Cadetship of Mr. Alexan-
der last February, had he none in
his ovi^n gift ?"

" He has only one Bombay Cavalry

of the season 1826, and which is

promised to a Mr. Campbell. "

" No. On the 7th February Mr.

Prescdtt appointed a Mr. Frederick,

and the last Madras Cavalry was

passed in January 1827."

•' I had been informed by Mr.

" Sharp, that Captain Prescott had

" desired him to fill up the paper for

" Colonel Toone to sign, and then it

'* was to be sent to his own house. —

" Mr. Gibbons, Dr. Back, and his son,

" were in the office all yesterday : and

" Mr. Gibbons was here this morning,

" when I sent in a note to the Deputy

•* Secretary stating so ; but on return-

" ing to the office Mr. Gibbons was

" gone, — Yesterday he asked conti-

" nuallywhythe matter was not done."

Mr. Abington was ordered to withdraw.

The Company's Solicitor informed the Committee that Dr. Back had stated

that Mr. Gibbons had followed him throughout yesterday, and that on his

asking why he continued to accompany him, Mr. Gibbons replied, " Oh! the

" balance of £145 is still to be paid, out of which £100 goes to Wright,

*♦ and £45 for myself."

Mr. SHARP, of the Cadet Office, was again desired to attend.
Question. Answer.

** The arrangement, as to the present " No."


Mr. Sharp.




" papers of Mr. Back's appointment is

tions before
SecretSelect '* not the usual One ?"

Why did you adopt this course ?"

Mr. Sharp.

" What would you have done in the
" common course of things ?"

" What took place as to the answer
to the fourth question ?"


" Captain Prescott received a note
" from Colonel Toone, requesting Mr.
" Abington to fill up the papers for his
•' signature j and I followed this Course
" because I thought I was fulfilling
" Colonel Toone's wish. I had no
" motive but to save trouble, and meet
" the desire of Colonel Toone."

" I should have got Captain Pres-
" cott to sign the papers in the usual
•' way."

" Captain Prescott desired me to
" fill it up in pencil, to shew that it
" was given him by Colonel Toone."

" No, Sir ; Mr. Abington filled the
paper up."

" Yes ; but when it is taken out
" of the office we cannot answer."

" I know nothing of it."

" Can you account why this took
" place in filling up the fourth an-
*• swer?"

" Do not you understand that it
'« ought to be in the Cadet's own hand-
f...j»V writing ?"

" Do you know why the name of
" Sutton should have been aflBxed to
" the second answer, and in a different

1 2 4 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

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 4 of 17)