Journal of the House of Commons: Volume 12, 1697-1699. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1803.
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Veneris, 7 die Januarii;
Nono Gulielmi Tertii.
WALTER Merchant, Peter Abraham Thuynman Abraham Henckell, and Mathias Giesque, took the Oaths appointed, in order to their Naturalization.
Leave of Absence.
Ordered, That Mr. Evelyn have Leave to go into the Country for Ten Days, his Son being very ill.
An ingrossed Bill to enable Sir Francis Guibon, and Dame Isabella his Wife, and their Trustees, to sell the Manor of Avenalls, and other Lands in or near Gunthorpe, in the County of Norfolk; and for settling other Lands in lieu thereof; was read the Third time.
Resolved, That the Bill do pass: And that the Title be, An Act to enable Sir Francis Guibon, and Dame Isabella his Wife, and their Trustees to sell the Manor of Avenalls, and other Lands in or near Gunthorpe, in the County of Norfolk; and for settling other Lands in lieu thereof.
Ordered, That Sir Henry Hobart do carry the Bill to the Lords; and desire their Concurrence thereunto.
Abolishing Payments of Smoak-silver, &c.
Ordered, That the Committee, to whom the Bill to take away Smoak-silver, Peter-pence, and other Payments at the Sheriffs Turn, is committed, have Power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.
A Petition of the Subaltern-Officers, and Troopers, of his Grace the Duke of Schomberg and Leinster's Regiment of Horse, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, notwithstanding the Resolutions and Orders of this House of the 18th of March last, That Mr. Francis Molineux, Agent to the said Regiment, should be prosecuted by the Attorney General, for defrauding the Petitioners, yet the said Agent hath not, in the least, made any Offer to satisfy the Petitioners, what he allows to be due to them; knowing that they are not in a Condition to wait the Event of a Suit at Law with him: And praying some speedy Relief in the Premises.
And a Motion being made, and the Question being put, that the said Petition do lie upon the Table;
It passed in the Negative.
Ordered, That the said Mr. Molyneux, named in the said Petition, be taken into the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House.
A Petition of several Troopers, lately disbanded out of Colonel Rechteren's Regiment of Horse, was presented to the House:
And a Motion being made, and the Question being put, That the said Petition be read;
It passed in the Negative.
Undue Marriages of Infants.
Sir Henry Colt reported from the Committee, to whom the ingrossed Bill, from the Lords, intituled, An Act to prevent undue Marriages of Infants; and for better securing the Guardianship of them; was committed; That they had considered the same; and had made one Amendment thereunto; which they had directed him to report to the House; and which he read in his Place, with the Coherence; and afterwards delivered in at the Clerk's Table: Where the same was twice read; and, upon the Question put thereupon, agreed unto by the House; and is as followeth; viz.
Pr. 1st. L. the last, leave out "6;" and insert "12."
Ordered, That the Bill be read the Third time To-morrow Morning.
Privilege of a Member in a Suit.
A Petition of Thomas Cooper Gentleman, and the Right Honourable the Lady Charlott, his Wife, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That Mrs. Charlotte Katherine Savage, by her Last Will, gave the Petitioner Charlotte 8,000 l.; and the House of Lords hath given the Petitioner Leave to prefer a Bill in Chancery against the Earl of Derby, who is surviving Trustee and Executor of the said Mr. Savage, in order to recover the said 8,000 l.: But the Petitioners are advised, all the Legatees must be made Parties to the Bill, otherwise it will be dismissed; and James Stanley Esquire, a Member of this House, being a Legatee, who insists on his Privilege; the Petitioners pray, That the House will direct him to wave his Privilege, and to answer the Petitioners Bill.
To which Mr. Stanley was heard in his Place.
Resolved, That no Member of this House, during the Continuance of this Parliament, have any Privilege, except for his Person only, against any Commoner, in any Suit or Proceedings, in Courts of Law or Equity, for any longer time than the House shall be actually sitting for Dispatch of Business in Parliament.
False indorsing Exchequer Bills.
Then the House proceeded in the further Examination of the Matter relating to the false Indorsement of Exchequer-Bills:
And the Minutes of the Lords of the Treasury of the 11th of November 1697; and also a Report of the Trustees for circulating Exchequer-Rills, in relation to one Mr. Richard Darby; and also a Letter of the said Mr. Richard Darby; were read; and are as follow; viz.
Treasury-Chambers, 11th November 1697. Forenoon.
Trustees for Exchequer-Bills, their Memorial read; and the Minutes are thereupon;—
Mr. Dodington informs, That they have a Suspicion, by Mr. Taylor's Inquiry and Information, That Marryot indorsed fraudulently Un Specie Bills; and they were disposed for other Non-Specie Bills, with an Allowance of 6 l. per Cent.: And that, by this means, the Cheat might be repeated very fast, without fetching the Money from the Trustees: And therefore desires Mr. Goodwyn, but a Clerk in Peter's Office, may be examined by my Lords.
Goodwyn comes in.— He says, He has had many Exchequer-Bills: He exchanged many with Peter Assin: He had 6 l. per Cent. more or less: He transacted for Mr. Darby, perhaps, about 2,000 l: He never did considerably for any body else: He changed Specie, for NonSpecie-Bills: He did not receive the Money of the Trustees to carry That, because there would be Trouble and Charge: His Business was, for Darby, to change Specie, for Non-Specie Bills: He had no Brokage; but Coachhire, and a Supper: He did 1,000 l. more with Batsford, in Lombard-Street, for Darby, Part of the 2,000 l.—
Being asked, Whose Hand indorsed them? Answer— Some with Marriott's some with Darby's.—
He's in Squibb's Office: He kept no Account. He was desired by Mr. Palmes's Gentleman to discount some for him;—sell them for Money; but had no Brokage. That Darby ordered him to get these Specie-Bills changed into Non-Specie Bills: The 1,000 l. was transacted with Batsford about a Month ago. He has been intrusted by Mr. Wright, and others, to receive their Money for them; and when he received Tallies and Tickets, he went to the Trustees, and took Money for them; but Mr. Darby would have NonSpecie-Bills: The Non-Specie-Bills he received for Mr. Derby, he delivered to the said Derby; who wrote down the Principal and Interest in his Waste-Paper: Batsford had his Bills of 1,000 l. from Frame and Gold; and he, Goodwyn, tarried a Quarter of an Hour, till they were fetched: All this was transacted about a Month or Six Weeks ago. He asked Darby, What he did with the Non-Specie-Bills? He answered, The Receivers brought up Money, and he clapped in these Bills, and took their Money. Goodwyn says, He had a Guinea for doing the 1,000 l.; and never else above 10 s. a time.
Mr. Darby comes in.—Says, He never had to do with Marryot in any thing, unless to salute him, as he went by, unless 3,000 l. which were too full of Indorsements; he paid off 3,000 l. Orders for Marriott, and had from him 3,000 l. in such full Bills, which were sunk in the Revenue: He never had any other Bills from Marriott. He says, He never employed any-body to change NonSpecie, for Specie-Bills. He never bought any Bill in his Life, or employed any-body.
Chancellor. Do you know Goodwyn?
Answer per Darby. I have employed him for others; not for myself: He was employed to change 2,000 l. He had a Mischance in his Cash, of 250 l.; and, to reimburse him self, he made about 2,000 l. Specie-Bills: Porter brought the Bills; they came regularly indorsed, "Paid at the Customs;" and, to make himself good, he did, that which he should not, make them issued at the Exchequer: The Surplus on these Bills made him Amends in his Cash; for the Credit of Specie-Bills they have taken them as Money: Observe the Interest got. He says, This Practice hath been generally amongst the Clerks, as he believes. He says, That the Bills which he made Specie-Bills by the Second Indorsement, before the Bill was really issued, were sold by him, to get the 6 l. per Cent. He had Marriott's Bill, but not from Marriott: Morse, belonging to Sir Francis Child, first brought Marriott's Specie-Bills instead of Money. That he has not transacted above 2,000 l. Nowand-then he would give Goodwyn Two or Three Guineas: He sunk the second Non-Specie-Bills on the Sinking-Funds. He says, He generally made use of Mr. Knight's Bills, brought in for Customs, to underwrite them, to be issued. He says, Nobody has employed him in this Transaction. He owns, Upon the Bills, that were Non-Specie Bills, which he received, he wrote "Paid in for Taxes," or "Exchanged for Capitation;" and put Names to them; and that they are now sunk; they were the Names of other Persons.
—To Mr. Squibb, That he employ Mr. Darby no longer.
Darby owns, That he hath observed the same Practice; viz. He made false Indorsements on the Bills, which he hath received back, upon Account of 3,500 l. by him subscribed; excepted 100 l. or 2; but, of the Bills he hath transacted, he hath regularly changed about 1,300 l.
He says, He knows nothing of any-body but himself.
The Report of the Trustees.
We being informed, That one Mr. Gould, a Goldsmith, brought in about 1,000 l. in Specie-Bills, to be paid by the Trustees; all suspected to be fictitiously indorsed; and that Mr. Gould had declared, That he had those Bills from a Neighbour: and that they were brought to him by * * Goodwyn, lately a Clerk in Mr. Palmes's Office, in the Exchequer; and that the said Mr. Gould's Neighbour gave Non-Specie Bills for them to Goodwyn, and 6 l. per Cent. Discount; We laid this Matter before your Lordships on the 11th of November; when, upon Examination, the Matter of Fact appeared thus:
Mr. Goodwyn being examined by your Lordships, it appeared, That the Bills for 1,000 l. which the said Goodwyn disposed of to Mr. Batsworth, Mr. Gould's Neighbour, were delivered to the said Goodwyn by Mr. Darby, Clerk in the Office of the Lord Fitzharding, of the Exchequer, to dispose of for the Account of the said Mr. Darby, for Non-Specie-Bills: And accordingly Goodwyn did dispose of them, and had 6 l. per Cent. Discount.
Goodwyn did also then confess, That he had transacted for Mr. Darby about 1,000 l. more, in like manner; which he sold to Mr. Peter Asselin, a French Merchant, and others.
Darby, being sent for by your Lordships, and examined, at first positively asserts, That he never did, by himself, or any other, buy or sell Exchequer-Bills: And this he did two or three times: But when your Lordships named Goodwyn to him, and told him, That the said Goodwyn had confessed, Then Darby owned, That Goodwyn did transact for him 2,000 l. in Bills, as above; and that he had 2,000 l. in Specie-Bills, out of the Office; and that 1,000 l. Part of the Non-Specie-Bills, that he received in lieu of them, he sunk, by Money that came into the Office, upon the Capitation; and that he forged Indorsements upon the other 1,000 l. Non-Specie-Bills, as paid in for Taxes. And, being asked, If that was all he had transacted? He asserted, He never did more. But your Lordships being afterwards acquainted, That he was a Subscriber to the Second Contract for circulating Exchequer-Bills, the Sum of 3,500 l.; and that he had then paid in 5/8 thereof, amounting . . 2,187 l. 10s.; and he the said Darby, being asked, What he did with those Bills? he then owned, That he had also forged Indorsements upon them all, but 300 l. sunk upon the Capitation; and taken Money for them, in like manner as before.
The Letter directed to be left for Mr. Wilkinson, at the Royal Oak, near Westminster-Hall-Gate.
I have here sent you the Numbers and Sums of the several Bills; which I would desire you to see if allowed in your Books. I intend to wait on you Thursday Morning, if you think you can inform me then; else, pray be so kind to give a Line by Wednesday's Afternoon Penny-Post, and you will much oblige
Your Friend and Servant,
Monday, Two a Clock. R. Darby.
Let me see you, before you give Mr. Squibb any Account.
Ordered, That Mr. Richard Darby, charged with false Indorsement of Exchequer-Bills, be taken into the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House.
Mr. Speaker acquainted the House, That he had, by the chief Governor of the Tower, this Morning, received a Letter from Mr. John Knight, with his Answer to the Information given against him; and with a Request from Mr. Knight, That his Wife might be admitted to come to him.
Ordered, That Mrs. Knight have Leave to resort to her Husband in the Tower.
Then the Letter from Mr. Knight, and his said Answer, were read, and are as follow; viz.
Being made a close Prisoner in the Tower by your Warrant of the 4th Instant; and not having the Liberty of Pen, Ink, or Paper, till last Night, about Ten of the Clock; when my Lord Lucas, understanding by the Votes, That I was to say something in answer to Mr. Marriott's Charge, To-morrow, being Friday, thought it reasonable to permit me the Use of it: I could not apply myself till this Morning, to lay any thing before the House; which is since done; and I beg your Favour, That the inclosed Papers may be communicated to them.
I am, Sir,
Your most obedient, and
most humble Servant, Jo Knight.
January 6, 1697/8.
Mr. Knight's Answer.
My Acquaintance with Mr. Marriott is not of any long standing; but the Civility he shewed me and my Family, by entertaining me a Fortnight together, after the Fire in Beaufort-street had stripped us of all to what we had on our Backs, intituled him to what Friendship I could shew him upon that Account, and no other Consideration whatsoever.
And whereas it hath been insinuated, That I recommended him to Mr. Burton with some sinister Design, I call God to witness, I never had the least Thought of it: But Mr. Burton asking me one Day, Whether I knew an able Clerk? for he would put such a one into the Exchequer, and give him a good Salary; I thereupon asked him, What he thought of Mr. Marryott: He seemed to approve of him, as one that had been conversant in Business, and bred an Auditor; and so was introduced into Mr. Howard's Office.
What Mr. Marriott charges me with is, That I asked him to indorse a Parcel of Bills, the Beginning of August last, of about 1,800 l.; and, about the 23d of the same Month, that I gave him a Parcel of Bills, signed by Mr. Shallet, but not indorsed, as paid for Customs; and that these, with others, amounted to about 5,000 l.; and bid him pay them away for me. Then follows his Diary; wherein he gives an Account, as he pretends, of my soliciting Mr. Montague, Sir Steph. Fox, and Mr. Smith, on his Behalf, and Assurance of their Favour, &c.
In order to letting the House know as much as I do, in relation to these Exchequer-Bills, I lay before them an Account of such Subscriptions as have been under my Management; and how the Exchequer-Bills for the same have been disposed of, to the best of my Knowlege.
To the first Subscription, subscribed.
To the Second Subscription,
|By Sir Steph. Fox||¼||1,000||5,500|
|John Smith Esquire||¼||500|
|Sir John Austin||¼||250|
|Sir St. Fox||1/8||500|
|Cha. Fox Esquire||1/8||500|
|John Smith Esquire||1/8||250|
How the foregoing Bills have been disposed of;
Before I say any thing to vindicate myself from Mr. Marryott's Information, I beg Leave, in general, to say; That, if any thing hath been done contrary to Law in the Execution of my Office, it is through Inadvertency, and not wittingly.
That I have lately been committed to a Messenger, by virtue of a Warrant from the Duke of Shrewsbury; and thereupon sued out a Habeas Corpus, and am bound to appear the First Day of next Term.
That I do understand the Intention of the Parliament was, that every 100 l. Bill, issued out of the Exchequer, was to go for 100 l.; and so for any lesser Sum: And, by a particular Clause in the Capitation-Act, it is provided, That if there shall be any Money in the Exchequer, except what comes in on the 3 s. Aid, those Bills shall command it out of the Tellers Hands; and then the Bills, so paid, to be immediately cancelled: And, in this Act, there is not a Word of Indorsements, nor any other Act, to the best of my Remembrance.
That for every 100 l. Bill received by me, or my Agents, before such Receipt, 100 l. was actually paid to the Trustees; and it is not pretended, That more than 100 l. hath been received by means of any such Bill; nay, the sooner the 100 l. is received, the sooner the Interest is determined.
That though, by means of some ill Persons, a Discount hath been brought on the Bills; and it is confidently alledged, That I have purchased great Sums of them; yet I do sincerely declare, that I never was concerned directly or indirectly, in the purchase or Traffick of one single Bill: And if any Instance can be given of it, more than borrowing 250 l. in Bills of Mr. Taylor, for the Honourable Mr. Pelham of the Treasury, who gave his Note for the same on Mr. Hoare, I am content to undergo any Punishment the House shall think fit to inflict.
That, by the Act for inlarging the capital Stock of the Bank of England, the said Bills being to pass, and be current, at the Exchequer, from any Person making any Payments there upon any Account whatsoever, I took Sir Creswell Levins, another Learned Counsel's Advice, whether I might not legally pay in such Exchequer-Bills as I had received for my Subscriptions, on Account of what I was indebted to the King, by reason of my Receipt at the Custom-house; and stated the Matter as followeth;
"J. S. being a Receiver of Part of the King's Revenue, and one of the Trustees for the King, and Contractors to advance and pay off Exchequer-Bills, pursuant to the late Act of Parliament, intituled, An Act for making good the Deficiencies of several Funds therein mentioned; and for inlarging the capital Stock of the Bank of England; did subscribe 100 l. to an Agreement made with the Lords of the Treasury, to advance Money to the aforesaid Purpose; and, upon Payment of 100 l. to the Cashier of the said Trustees, received an Exchequer-Bill for 100 l.; upon which Bill, his Servant made an Indorsement, to the Effect following; viz. Paid into that Part of the Revenue, whereof J. S. was Receiver, on the 1st of September 1697: And, to the same Indorsement, there was a feigned Name, signed by the said Servant: And afterwards the same Bill was delivered into the Exchequer, towards Discharge of Money to be accounted for by J. S.; and thereupon he had a Tally for his Discharge of the same.
"Q. If the said Indorsement, by the said Receiver's Servant, be any Offence in him, or his Master? and how punishable?
False indorsing Exchequer Bills.
"The King being indebted to J. S. the Receiver, in 100 l. upon the Bill, for Money paid to the Trustees; and the Receiver indebted to the King, upon his Accounts; That Bill must have been received and allowed in the Exchequer, in Discharge of so much of his Accounts, by virtue of the Stat. 8 and 9 Wm. III. Page 384, 385, whether there had been any Indorsement upon the Bill, or not; so that the Indorsement was but a mere Matter of Surplusage, that signifyed nothing: Nor is there any Deceit in the Case, or Advantage to J. S. or Loss to the King; but the Receiver is allowed, upon his Accounts, the Money lent to the King, and no more; and the Indorsement a Piece of impertinent and unnecessary Folly, without Fraud or Prejudice, and not punishable, as I conceive.
And here, I beg Leave to inform the House, That many Exchequer-Bills have been paid for Customs, both at the Custom-house in London, and also from the Outports, without any Indorsements at all; several Merchants refusing to sign them, and those of the most eminent Figure in this City; nay, the Commissioners of the Navy and Victualling-Office refuse to do the same thing: And I appeal to Mr. Papillion in this Matter, whether this be not true: So that my Tellers have been necessitated, as I have been informed, to put Indorsements upon them, in order to determine the Interest, which is the proper Use and Meaning of the Indorsements: And I beg Pardon for adding, That, in my poor Opinion, it hath its Operation, with as much Effect, by a feigned Name, as a real one; and when the Servants of Merchants, or their Brokers, come with Bills to pay Customs, those Servants or Brokers who are in no-wise concerned in Interest in the Bills, set their own Names to the Indorsements, and sometimes their Masters Names; which may be called forging their Masters Hands; yet still the Indorsement is sufficient for the Purpose intended by the Act of Parliament.
For answer to what Mr. Marryott charges me particularly withal, I say;
That whatever Bills Mr. Marriott hath had of mine, or such as I have been concerned for, were lodged with him, in order to be applied to the Funds, in which they are, by the Act of Parliament, to be sunk and cancelled; and, if he hath made any other Use of them, it was not by my Direction.
I looked upon it as a Piece of Friendship to me, little thinking of this Requital, That he freely offered to make use of his Interest with the Receivers of Taxes to sink some of my Bills; which I thought he might easily have done, being Auditor to Nineteen Counties, as he assured me.
As to what is said concerning my going to Mr. Bateman, and speaking to him, in order to put a Stop to the inquiring into the forged Bill of Marriott the Taylor, it's utterly false; for I never changed one word with Mr. Bateman upon that Subject; and I must appeal to him for Justification in this Matter.
I must confess, upon Mr. Marriott's desiring to speak with me several times, I went to him, and was sorry for his Misfortunes; and whenever he talked of quitting the Kingdom, I dissuaded him against it, for fear it might have been thought he had been sent away on purpose.
As to what he saith concerning my consulting with Mr. Montague, Sir Steph. Fox, and Mr. Smith, there is not any Colour or Ground for such Reflections on those honourable Gentlemen: All that ever I said to them, or either of them, to the best of my Remembrance, was, That Mr. Marriott had been with me, and told me, He resolved to throw himself the next Day upon the Lords of the Treasury's Mercy, and confess the whole Fact; who made me, or some of them at least, this Answer, That they looked upon him as a most profligate Wretch, because of his Imprecations and Asseverations, That he never had indorsed more than one single Bill for Marryott the Taylor; and that he deserved no Pity or Compassion.
I will only add one thing more; That it is not in my Power to make Specie-Bills, I mean such as are demandable on the Trustees; because no Tallies of Pro were struck on any of the Branches of the Revenue, whereof I was late Receiver; but whatever have been paid into the Exchequer by my Officers, were on Account of my Receipt, and no otherwise: And I hope, if any Indorsements with feigned Names have been made by Mistake or Ignorance, in my Absence from my Office, it will not be deemed a Crime in me, who have endeavoured to promote the Credit of the Bills, and never received one Farthing Profit, directly or indirectly, by them, other than what the Act of Parliament allows.
6th of January 97/8.
Ordered, That Mr. Herne, Mr. Edwards, and Mr. Taylor, Officers to the Trustees for circulating ExchequerBills, do immediately attend this House with the Contracts made with the Lords of the Treasury.
And they, attending accordingly, were called in; and delivered to the House the Contracts for the First and Second Subscriptions; and acquainted the House, That the Contract for the Third Subscription was not as yet signed by the Lords of the Treasury.
And then they withdrew.
Then the House being acquainted, That Mr. W. Knight was in the Custody of the Serjeant; and that he attended;
He was called in to the Bar:
And the Information of Mr. Marriott, in relation to him, was read: And he was examined touching the Matter charged upon him.
And then he withdrew.
Then Mr. Herne was again called in; and examined, touching the Discourse mentioned in Mr. Marriott's Information, to be in his Presence, between Mr. John Knight and Mr. Marriott, relating to Exchequer-Bills.
And then he withdrew.
Then Mr. Wm. Knight was again called in; and examined.
And then withdrew.
Resolved, That Mr. William Knight, being charged with making false Indorsements of Exchequer-Bills, to which he not having given a satisfactory Answer, but having trifled with this House, be committed Prisoner to the Gatehouse, during the Pleasure of this House: And that Mr. Speaker do issue his Warrants accordingly.
Ordered, That no Person be permitted to converse with the said Mr. Knight, by Letters, or otherwise, without the Leave of this House.
And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Nine a Clock.