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 6 of 17)
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has been expressed to Mr. Serjeant Bosanquet, who stated, that whilst he





tions before
Secret Select


would not shrink from the performance of what he considered to be the discharge
of his public duty, it would be highly satisfactory to him, that the course now
pointed out, of consulting his Majesty's Attorney and Solicitor General,
should be followed.

The Company's Solicitor received the Committee's instructions accordingly.

Mr. HALDANE was again called in

" What was the first communication
to you from Colonel Toone regard-
ing the loan of the Cadetship to
Captain Prescott?"


" The first communication from
" Colonel Toone was by a written
" note from him to Captain Prescott,
" which was given by Captain Pres-
" cott to me in the Cadet-ofiice.—

* " When Colonel Toone came to the

" oflSce to say the Cadet was not to
" pass, he mentioned that he had
" written a private note to Captain
" Prescott, stating he had given him
" the Cadetship, and this note Colonel
" Toone then took, since which I have
" not seen it."

Haldane was desired to withdraw.

The Committee adjourned till Wednesday next, the l6th instant, at 10
o'clock in the morning, on which day the Committee made their second report
to the Court. (Vide p. 10.)






lor the purpose of investigating the Transactions alluded to in a Minute of a
Secret Committee of Correspondence of the 2d May 1827,


Held on Thursday, the 14th June 1827.

Secret Select

The Chairman called the Committee's attention to the case of Cadet Bale, ]4j™n'^i827.

who was appointed in February last, on the nomination of C. E. Prescott, Esq.,

at the recommendation of Mr. Samuel Sutton. Whereupon Company $

The Solicitor detailed to the Committee the suspicious circumstances which Solicitor.
had occurred regarding that appointment, and drew the Committee's particu-
lar attention to the fact of Mr. Sutton having signed the recommendation, de-
claring that he knew the party and his connexions, whereas, in his examination
before the Committee on the 4th May, it appeared that he was entirely unac-
quainted with the Cadet or his friends ; that he stated that he had given it to
a Mr. Godwin, who he believed lived at Brixton, but that it appeared on
inquiry no such person was to be found there, but that a Mr. Thomas Godwin,
a stock-broker, in embarrassed circumstances, who lived at Vauxhall, was the
party, but that, in the present state of his affairs, there was little probability
of his attending the Committee to afford any information.

The Solicitor then adverted to the great similarity in the hand-writing in
which the answers to some of the questions were filled in, to that of Mr.
Gibbons, one of the parties concerned in the matter now under prosecution ;
and then drew the particular attention of the Committee to the Certificate of
Baptism, which was in part filled in by the same hand as that of Gibbons, and



tions before
Select Secret



which was signed by "George Chamberlin," as guardian of Bale, whereas, in
point of fact, Bale was more than twenty-one years of age when nominated,
and Chamberlin never had been his guardian.

The Solicitor then entered into a detail of the means which had been
employed to gain a knowledge of the connexions of Bale in Devonshire, and
of the result, which led him to trace certain pecuniary transactions of the Cadet
Bale when in town, from which it appeared that he had kept cash at the bank-
ing-house of Messrs. Remington and Co. That on the 1st February 1827,
Bale drew out, by his own cheque, the sum of £800, in

1 Note of... £50

1 200

1 ... do 500

and the 50 in cash.

The dates and numbers were all ascertained.

That the date of Bale's nomination as a Cadet by Captain Prescott was on
the 23d February, which was Friday. That on the 24th, Saturday, the notes
for £500 and £200, which were paid by Messrs. Remington to Bale on the
1st of that month, and which had not been negociated till the 24th, were on that
day paid into the Bank by Mr. Gibbons, both notes having previously been cut
in half. That Gibbons received cash for the £200, and twelve notes for the
£500, of which four, of £100 each, had been traced, and on one of them the
name of " T. Godwin" was written. On the three others nothing had been
written, but each had been cut in half. On the same day, the 24th February,
that they came out of the Bank, they were paid into the banking-house of
Messrs. Williams and Co., Birchin Lane, to the account of Mr. F. Freshfield,
a stock-broker. In consequence of which Mr. Lawford addressed a note to
Mr. Freshfield, to learn the particulars of the party from whom he had received
them ; and that Mr, Freshfield, in reply, stated that he had received them from
Mr. Samuel Sutton, on account of a stock transaction between them ; and
that Mr. Freshfield has since informed the Solicitor, that he received them
direct from Mr. Sutton. The other notes have not been traced. One for £20
had the name of "S. Sutton" in front, and had been cut in half; another, for
£20 had the name of " Goodwin, 26-2," implying the 26th of the 2d month.
Another, for £5, had been cut in half, and had written on it " 24-2 S. G.,**



also " Francis, Auction Mart ;" who, on being questioned, admitted that he
(Francis) had received it from Godwin.

Mr. CHAMBERLIN attending the Committee.

" You were guardian to a cadet of
the name of Bale, who went to Ma-
dras. Can you give any informa-
tion to the Committee as to his con-
nexions ?"

" How did you become acquainted
with Bale ?"


tions before
Secret Select


" The signature purporting my be-
" ing guardian to Bale is mine. I
" had been told by Bale he was going
" to have an appointment to India ;
" and that, as Bale was at variance
" with his friends, he had asked me to
" act as his guardian, and to put my
" signature to the paper, over a glass
" of wine. Bale, at the same time,
'* put a bag of sovereigns, and a
" pocket-book with notes, into my
" hands."

•' Bale was staying at the inn where
" I was, the Castle and Falcon, in
" the latter part of last January, when
" he told me that he had got an
" appointment given him for the East-
" Indies : that he was at variance
*' with his friends, and asked me to
" become his guardian, and said it
" was a mere matter of form. He
" was an expensive, rattling young
" man. I kept his property about
" three weeks. I gave it him once,
" and he gave it back to me. I ad-
" vised him to go into private lodg-
" ings instead of living at an inn,
" which was expensive. He almost
" insulted me, and asked why I inter-
•' fered, and said I had nothing to do
i " with




tions before
Secret Select





Question. Answer.

with his concerns. He left the
Castle and Falcon and went to the
King's Arms. He spent above £200
when he left London to go to Ports-
mouth. I was in his company once
before, at Taunton. I knew nothing
of him, and should not have recol-
lected him again had it not been
for his dissipation. His character
was well known. When I objected
to become his guardian, he said it
was mere form that made it neces-
sary. I signed two papers before the
one now produced. They were
two affidavits : one was at the Man-
sion-House, and one at Guildhall.
Afterwards Bale told me that he had
heard from his brother where he
could get his certificate, at St.
James's, Clerkenwell. At the time
I signed the paper now shewn me,
the answers to all the questions
were blank, and only Bale's sig-
nature to them. I do not know the
Director's hand-writing.
" I have known Mr. Gibbons for
the last seven years. I have never
seen him write. I dined with Bale
and Gibbons, and Bale paid Gib-
bons for his passage, I think £110
or £120: it was not more than
£120. I cannot exactly state what
day the money was paid, but it must
have been in March. It was paid

" in


^ ,. ,, . . , „ , , , No. XXVII,
Question. " in sovereigns and notes. Bale told

" me he had been to his banker's, and Examina-
tions before
" hoped to take £200 and odd pounds Secret Select

« with him to India. Mr. Bradley Connnittee.

" told me, after he was gone, ' why Mr.

" Mr. Dasher \\?i& sent after Coulson '"merm.

" for more money.' I know that Gib-

" bons got Bale his passage, but I do

'• not know any thing of Bale's ac-

" quaintance with Gibbons, and I

" cannot say whether they appeared

" to be privately acquainted, though

" I rather should think not. Bale

" gave his brother £500 before he

" went off. His object in going to

" the Lord Mayor was to swear about

" his age. He sailed by the Resource.

" I have known Gibbons for the last

" seven years. I have seen him, and

" told him that Mr. Lawford had

" called on me, to know whether I

" had any concern in a Cadetship j

" when Gibbons said, if my character

" is impeached, I will call on Mr.

" Lawford to-morrow. I told Gibbons

" the particulars, and he said he had

" nothing to do with it. I told him I

" did not know a Mr. Sutton, and he

" said he did not know such a person.

" He did not know what had become

" of Mr. Godwin, nor any thing of

" Bale's acquaintance with him. I did

" not tell Gibbons as to any inquiry

" having been made at the banker's,

" nor the notes having been traced ;

L 2 " I am


tion* before
Secret Select





I am certain I did not. — I have
known Mr. Gibbons as a broker. I
do not know whether he knew of
my having signed the paper, nor can
I say any thing as to his intimacy
with Bale. To the best of my know-
ledge, he knew nothing of my hav-
ing signed as guardian. I had seen
Gibbons and Bale together ; and
there was a rattling chap, of the
name of Coulson, guard of the North
Devon Coach, at the dinner. Bale
had picked him up : he was fond of
blowing the bugle. I never heard
that Bale had purchased the Cadet-
ship, nor did he ever say to me
that he had. 1 certainly have said,
that I have no doubt he purchased
it. A person asked me if such a
thing could be done : I told him I
would make inquiry. I had no par-
ticular reason for saying I had no
doubt he purchased it. I wished to
try if I could get it out. I said to
the person who made the inquiry,
that I had no doubt Bale purchased
it ; but which way he got it, or how,
or where, I did not know. I asked
him who were the friends from
whom he got it, but he would not
say. A person asked me if I thought
he could get an Assistant Surgeon's
appointment. I asked Bale, but he
said he could not tell. I thought

" Bale


Question. Ansiner. '1

" Bale had purchased his, but I could .li"'"""'""-

■^ Uoiis betore

" not learn from him. The name of Secret Select
••' the person who inquired of me was ""^"""^e-
" Fry. He never obtained the ap- ^■•^'■•

,, . TT • 11 1 Cliam/jerlin.

" pointment. He is too old ; at least
" he told me so, and I know he is
" walking the hospital now. — Gib-
" bons did not ask what Mr. Lawford
" said to me : he appeared to be quite
" indifferent. He said he had heard
" that his name had been mentioned
" in a matter about a Dr. Black or

"'"' *' Back. — After I had signed the paper

" as guardian I thought I had done
" wrong J and I should not have
" done it had I thought more. He
" said it was mere matter of form, I
*' was aware Bale was of age. — I do
*• not think that Colson knew any
" thing about it. Bale only had him
*' to shew him all the houses of dis-
" sipation and gambling. Bale kicked
" up a row at the theatre, and knock-
" ed down ten constables, and was
" put into the watch-house all night.
" — He told me that he had no
" nearer relative than his brother, and
" that was why he wished me to be
" his guardian. — Bale told me that
" the pocket-book which he gave me
" contained £1,000. I never opened
" it. He was a very unthinking
*• young man : I never saw his equal."

How often did you see Bale, and " It is impossible for me to say

" how




tions before
Secret Select


did he ever mention the name of a
Mr. Sutton or a Mr. Prescott to
you ?"



" how often I saw Bale. I was a
"■ fortnight at the same inn, the Cas-
*• tie and Falcon, I never heard him
" mention the name of Sutton or Pres-
'• cott, nor did I know which Direc-
" tor gave him the appointment. I
understood a Mr. Preston gave
it him. — He never told me who
got it for him. I asked him what
" Director, and I understood a Mr.
" Preston ; but he would not tell me
" through what interest he got it. —
" I do not know whether he knew the
*' Director or not. I know a Mr.
" Preston, a rich man, and that is the
" reason why the name occurred to
" me. Bale mentioned it. I ima-
•' gined Bale might have friends of
" that name. I have heard him say
" that he went about with different
" officers. When he was an ap-
" prentice he knocked down his mas-
'• ter."

Mr. Chamberlin withdrew.














A^ington, Mr. William 140

Alexander, Josias Dupre, Esq., M.P •• ....,168

Astell, William, Esq., M.P ..............;...:... 142

Back, Rev. Edward, D.D 101, 105, 116

— Mr. Edward Drake 130

Bonham, H. Esq., M.P 169

Brown, Nicholas, Esq •••• ITl

Buller, Cornelius, Esq. ib.

Capel, John, Esq., M.P ib.

Carnac, Major James Rivett 169

Curtis, William, Esq.......... ..^....K.iiriV...... ....'.... 170

Davies, Colonel 172

Flint, Sir Charles 169

Frederick, Colonel i, 170

Haldane, Mr. Frederick... .%;.. v. '.»... : 133

Leward, Captain 171

Lloyd, Lewis, Esq ...j.;..,.. 170

Malcolm, Vice-Admiral Sir Pulteney 169

Masterman, John, Esq 168

Mills, Charles, Esq 169

Richards, John Baker','Esq. ....i.L.!.'.Q. 167

Robinson, Isaac, Esq. '. ^iUt^^.i 172

Salter, John 140

Sharp, Mr. Edward 135

Shaw, Sir James, Bart 170

Sullivan, John ...wu^*...^.-.. 140

Thornhill, Mr. Robert ...iwv.i......; 116

Toone, Colonel Sweny „. 122, 126

Varley, Mr. Thomas 104

Williams, Joseph 126, 127

Wynn, Rt. Hon. Charles Watkin Williams 142

( 81 )

THE KING on the t»rosecution of the EAST-INDIA COMPANY,


Samuel Sutton, William Andrews, James Patten Anstice, John Edward
Despard, Joseph Tyndale, George Henry Gibbons, Thomas Wright,
and Charles Elton Prescott, Esquire, Defendants.

Ten Special Jurymen appeared. — Mr. Gurney prayed a Tales.

1. John Ord,

2. James Scott,

3. George Scrivens,

4. Henry Alsager,

5. Paul Pebrer,

Special Jurymen.

6. William Lawson.

7. Charles Augustus Robberds,

8. Edward Hanson,

9. Philip Gowan,
10. Neil Black.

11. William Simpson. | 12. William Hoy.

The Indictment was opened by Mr. Carter.

Mr. Quin. — My Lord: on the part of the Defendant, Anstice, I am instructed
to withdraw his plea of not guilty.

Lord Tenterden. — This is not the place to do that. He should have come
to me before : it is a very inconvenient thing to do it now.

Mr. Gurney. — He may consent to a verdict of guilty.

Mr. Quin. — I was only this moment instructed.

Lord Tenterden. — If you desire to have a verdict of guilty recorded before
the cause proceeds, that may be done.

Mr. Gurnet/. — It is the same thing.

Lord Tenterden. — You desire to have a verdict of guilty recorded against him ?

Mr. Quin. — Yes, my Lord.

M Lord

S^ proceedi;ngs in the

Court Lord Tenterden. — Gentlemen : the Defendant, Anstice, consents to your
°Bench/ finding a verdict of Guilty against him.
The Jury pronounced the Defendant, Anstice, Guilt\'.

Mr, Solicitor ~ '


Gentlemen of the Jury : — I appear, in this case, on the part of the prosecution
against the eight defendants who have been named by my learned friencj.
It is a prosecution that has been instituted at the suit of the East-India Com-
pany, for the purpose of detecting and bringing to punishment persons who
have been guilty of a very gross act, in the sale of patronage belonging to
their body.

Gentlejnen : before I begin to narrate the facts of the. case, I would state
to you that the parties stand in very different relations : the first seven of them
being those who are charged with the actual guilt of the transaction itself; but
Mr. Prescott, the gentleman who is last-named upon this record, being charged
only with having aided and assisted, and abetted the rest, but not himself charged
with being the perpetrator or part perpetrator of the criminal act itself. It
appears, also, by the statement of my learned friend, that several of these
defendants have thought proper to withdraw their plea of not guilty, and
submit to the judgment of the Court against them : and one of them, since we
have entered the court, since you have been sworn, Mr. Anstice, has allowed
a verdict to be taken against him* I have no other observation to make upon
this, than that the prosecutors of this indictment are no parties whatever to
•any agreemerrt,<orany understanding, or any hope of withdrawment of punish-
ment, held out to the parties who have so' thought proper to withdraw thetr
'■^«a:': -it is a matter for their consideration. They hare thought, I dare say,
and rightly thought,- that the evidence we were prepared to lay before you was
so strong and conclusive^ that rather than give the trouble of a more minute
investigation, they have voluntarily, by the' advice of those under whose care
tliey have intrusted themselves, withdrawn theirplea, and suffered judgment to
be entered against them. At present, therefore, the only persons with whom
you have any concern are Captain Despard, who has pleaded he is not guilty
of the charge; and Mr. Prescott, who, I have already stated, stands charged
with an inferior degree of guilt : not an actual- participation inr the original

'^ '- transaction


transaction itself, but with having aided and assisted, or at least, as I think the Court
evidence will satisfactorily show you, of having connived in this act, when per- g^'^*
formed by a person of the name of Sutton, the principal agent. -^

Gentlemen : It will be my duty to lay before you, as shortly as I can, the ^GeniraU^
evidence that will be brought in review before your judgment, and I think you
will be of opinion that there is a case, not only irresistible against the first of
those defendants, but upon the result of the evidence and the observations I
shall make, if they shall be justified by the evidence I shall produce, you cannot
entertain a doubt but that the Directors of the East-India Company would have
deserted the duty reposed in them, and betrayed the trust they hold and the
conduct of those large concerns which are intrusted to their care, if they had
not investigated this question to the very foundation, and persisted in bringing
it before a Jury of the country, to decide upon the guilt or innocence of the
parties accused. This observation is the more necessary, because orve of these
defendants, Mr. Prescott, stands in the situation of being a brother Director
with those who have instituted the prosecution ; and it became therefore doubly
their duty, it became an imperious duty, and from which it was impossibte they
should withdraw themselves, that they should bring the case of that gentleman^
with the rest, before the judgment of a jury of their country ; for it would
otherwise have been said (and I know not what answer could have been made
to it), that though they were willing to prosecute those, the immediately guilty
parties who participated in the transaction, yet with a case laid before them,
and their suspicions justly excited, they were desirous of throwing a shield over
parties who were their brethren in the government of the body, and unwilling
to bring all equally guilty to the punishment they deserved. It has therefore been
determined, and upon the evidence before you, you will decide whether propefly
or not, that this prosecution should proceed, and that Mr. Prescott, charged as
he is with having assisted, with a knowledge of the guilt of the transaction on
the part of those who were the immediate perpetrators, should receive at your
hands, as the evidence turns out, either a verdict of guilty, or a verdict of

Gentlemen : It will appear to you, that the firfet intimation that was given t6'
the East-India Company of any transaction which at all affected the sale of the
patronage in question, was so early as the month of February I827. But

M 2 before


Court before cbming to that, I shall beg leave to mention a few transactions that had
'^Bench * occurred, which, although they have no immediate reference to the parties now

— ^ upon the record, will clear the way to your more fully understanding the whole
General, nature of the transaction, and introduce one of those persons who is a pro-
minent party in the transaction.

It will be proved to you that a clergyman, of the name of the Reverend
Dr. Back, residing at Little Hampton, in the county of Sussex, having per-
ceived in the Morning Herald newspaper, in August 1826, one of those
adv ertisements withfeigned names to them, or only letters (I believe M. N.,
in this case), denoting, as you often read, that if inquiry was made at a
particular place, an opportunity offered to parents of obtaining asituation
of a respectable nature for a youth under twenty, to go abroad, but his
outfit would require means, without which no application need be made. Dr.
Back having a son that he was dSeirous should obtain some employment of the
nature pointed out in that advertisement, wrote a letter to the fictitious
character, M. N., to which he afterwards received an answer. I shall not
trouble you with .the correspondence upon that occasion, any farther than that
it introduces to your acquaintance before it had ceased, which was only the
20th of August, the name of Mr. Wright, one of the parties to this record.
It seems, however, that Dr. Back being dissatisfied with the negociation,
which went on to a certain extent, on that occasion, by a friend in town
having called on the party in town to whom the letter had referred, entirely
abandoned it. However, in October 1826, there is another letter addressed
to him at Little Hampton, requesting him to call upon Mr. Wright, and
stating where Mr. Wright, the defendant, then resided, which I think was in
Alsop's Buildings, Regent's Park. Dr. Back accordingly, a short time after,
came up to London, and called at the place to which he was referred, where
he introduced himself to Mr. Wright : not under the name of Dr. Back,
because upon these occasions there is always a little degree of reserve and
secrecy ; and having once written a letter in the name Edwards, he thought
it would be as well, during the progress of this transaction, that he should
not pass by his own name of Dr. Back, but by that of Edwards ; -he calls upon
him, and has a conversation with him under l^e name of Edwards. Now,
upon that occasion, the conversation turns upon the nature of the employ-;
oiol'jtl - " ment


ment which Mr. Wright could furnish, and the price required for it; and it Court
appears that Mr. Wright stated that the nature of the employment was that "ggn"^.*
of a cadetship to India; and if it was a cavalry cadetship, it would be nine ~r^-M
hundred guineas, and if in the infantry, from six to seven hundred pounds only. Generd.
Dr. Back, however, having been informed, in the course of the former nego-
ciation, that no price would be required, felt himself certainly indignant
at hearing so large a sum mentioned for the outfit, as it might be called,

1 2 3 4 6 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 6 of 17)