House of Commons Journal Volume 12
4 January 1698

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History of Parliament Trust

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1803

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21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27

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'House of Commons Journal Volume 12: 4 January 1698', Journal of the House of Commons: volume 12: 1697-1699 (1803), pp. 21-27. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=39520 Date accessed: 28 November 2014.


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Martis, 4 die Januarii;

Nono Gulielmi Tertii.

Prayers.

Duties on Leather.

ORDERED, That the Committee to whom the several Petitions touching the Duties laid upon Leather are referred, have Power to send for Persons, Papers, and Records.

Ditto.

A Petition of the Tanners and Skinners within the ancient Borough of Knaresborough, in the West Riding of the County of York, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, by reason of a Clause in the Act for laying a Duty upon Leather, which obliges the Petitioners to sell their Commodities at Fairs and Markets only, first entering the same, and the real Value, with the proper Officer, the Petitioners are mightily restrained in their Trades; for that they chiefly deal with poor CountryPeople for small Pieces at Home, who cannot come to the Markets: And praying, That a Bill may be brought in to give Liberty to all Persons to make use of such Leather as shall be registered with the Officer, and the Duty secured by the Petitioners, without incurring the Penalty of the said Act.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the Petition of the Aldermen, Stewards, and Company of Fellmongers, Leather-dressers, and Glovers, in the City of Chester, is referred: And that they do examine the Matter thereof; and report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Duties on Leather.

A Petition of the Master, Wardens, and Company of Glovers incorporated, in the City of Oxford, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, since a Duty hath been laid upon Oiled and Alum-Leather, the Glovers Trade is much decreased; and many poor People, who used to be thereby employed, are now brought to great Want; and must be kept by their Parishes, if not speedily relieved by taking off the said Duty: And praying the Consideration of the House in the Premises.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the Petition of the Aldermen, Stewards, and Company of Fellmongers, Leather-dressers, and Glovers, in the City of Chester, is referred: And that they do examine the Matter; and report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Ditto.

A Petition of the Tanners, Tawers, and Dressers of Leather, within the West-Riding of the County of York, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, by a late Act for laying a Duty upon Leather, the same is required to be brought to some publick Market or Fair, to be sold, and not thence removed without the Licence of an Officer; which is found very inconvenient to the Petitioners Trades: That they cannot have Leave to sell their Goods by Retail, as usually, to their Customers: And praying, an Alteration may be made of the said Act, for the Petitioners Ease; they in no-wise desiring to evade the said Duty.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the Petition of the Aldermen, Stewards, and Company of Fellmongers, Leather-dressers, and Glovers, in the City of Chester, is referred: And that they do examine the Matter; and report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Ditto.

A Petition of the Leather-dressers and Glovers, within the Corporation of Newberry in the County of Berks, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, by reason of the great Duty laid upon Alum and Oiled-Leather, the Petitioners Trades are much decayed; and many People, who maintained their Families thereby, are become great Objects of Charity, for want of Work; and, if the said Duty be continued, will fall to their respective Parishes: And praying, That the Duty upon Oiled and Alum-Leather may be taken off.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the Petition of the Aldermen, Stewards, and Company of Fellmongers, Leather-dressers, and Glovers, in the City of Chester, is referred: And that they do examine the Matter; and report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Ditto.

A Petition of the Cordwainers of the Town of Monmouth in the County of Monmouth, in behalf of themselves, and others, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, by their Petition the last Session, they did represent the ill Consequences that a Duty upon Leather would bring upon the Petitioners; which by fatal Experience they find too true, even to the Ruin of their Trades and Families: And praying, That the Duty upon Leather may be taken off.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the Petition of the Aldermen, Stewards, and Company of Fellmongers, Leather-dressers, and Glovers, in the City of Chester, is referred: And that they do examine the Matter; and report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Arrears of Transport Service.

A Petition of the Masters of Ships, and others, of the Town of Poole, concerned in the Transport-Service, for the Year 1693, was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That the Commissioners for Transports hired several Ships of the Petitioners for his Majesty's Service; and were to have had a Month's Pay in Hand, and be cleared within a Month after they were discharged: That there is due to the Petitioners about 2,000 l.: and they much want their Money: And praying the House to take care for their speedy Payment.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee, to whom the several States, Estimates, and Accounts, presented to the House, are referred.

Baker's Estate.

An ingrossed Bill, from the Lords, intituled, An Act for vesting in Sydenham Baker Gentleman an absolute Estate of Inheritance in Fee simple, in a certain Rent, Messuages, Lands, and Hereditaments, in the County of Devon; and securing to John Baker Gentleman, and Henry Baker an Infant, his Son, Monies, in lieu of their Claims thereunto; was read a Second time.

Resolved, That the Bill be committed to Mr. Serjeant Bond, Sir John Bolles, Mr. Clark, Mr. Hooper, Mr. Speke, Mr. Foley, Sir Fra. Masham, Sir Robert Cotton, Mr. Pocklington, Mr. Hammond, Mr. Watlington, Mr. Drake, Mr. Stokes, Mr. Baldwyn, Mr. Blake, Mr. White, Sir Walter Yonge, Sir Richard Onslow, Mr. Tayler, Mr. Hedger, Sir Cha. Sidley, Mr. Slater, Mr. Thompson, Mr. Northmore, Mr. Harrison, Mr. Henley, Mr. Daniell, Mr. Arnold, Mr. Mitchell, Mr. Hunt, Mr. Fleming, Mr. Munson, Mr. Farrer, Mr. Fuller, Sir Wm. Drake; and all the Members that serve for the Counties of Devon, Somerset and Dorset: And they are to meet this Afternoon at Four a Clock, in the Speaker's Chamber.

Hindon Election.

A Petition of Reynolds Calthorpe Esquire was presented to the House, and read; setting forth, That, a Writ being directed to the Bailiff of Hindon, Com. Wilts, to chuse a Parliament-man for that Place, one Sir James How pretended to stand, and spent a great deal of Money in Treats; but, at the time of the Election, set up Colonel Lee, whom the said Bailiff hath returned though the Petitioner had the Majority of Legal Votes: And praying Relief therein.

Ordered, That the Consideration of the said Petition be referred to the Committee of Privileges and Elections: And that they do examine the Matter thereof; and report the same, with their Opinion therein, to the House.

Assize of Bread.

Mr. Perry, according to Order, presented to the House a Bill to regulate and ascertain the Assize of Bread: And the same was received.

The Bill was read the First time.

Resolved, That the Bill be read a Second time.

Committee on Accounts and Estimates

Mr. Norris acquainted the House, That the Committee, to whom the States, Estimates, and Accounts, presented to the House, were referred, had considered several of the Matters to them referred; and directed him to report the same, when the House will please to receive the same.

Ordered, That the said Report be made To-morrow Morning.

Counter's &c. Imprisonment.

Mr. Clark, according to Order, reported, from the Committee of the whole House, to whom the Bill for continuing the Imprisonment of * * Counter, John Bernardi, Robert Cassels, Robert Meldrum, James Chambers, and Robert Blackborne, committed to Newgate for the late horrid Conspiracy to assassinate his Majesty, was committed, the Amendments made by the Committee to the said Bill; 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 were once read throughout; and then a Second time, one by one; and, upon the Question severally put thereupon, agreed unto by the House.

Ordered, That the Bill, with the Amendments, be ingrossed.

Hammered Coin.

An ingrossed Bill to prevent the Currency of any hammered Silver Coin of this Kingdom was read the Third time.

An Amendment was proposed to be made, Press 2. L. 24, by adding, "Tower of London, or in the."

And the same was, upon the Question put thereupon, agreed unto by the House; and the Bill amended at the Table accordingly.

Resolved, That the Bill do pass: And that the Title be, An Act to prevent the further Currency of any hammered Silver Coin of this Kingdom; and for recoining such as is now in being; and for the making out new Exchequer-Bills, where the former Bills are, or shall be, filled up by Indorsements.

Ordered, That Mr. Harcourt do carry the Bill to the Lords; and desire their Concurrence thereunto.

Clipping the Coin.

Ordered, That Leave be given to bring in a Bill for the better preventing the clipping and other diminishing the Coin of this Kingdom: And that Mr. Clark do prepare, and bring in, the Bill.

Duties on Leather.

A Petition of the several Tanners inhabiting in the Borough of Shafton was presented to the House: And the same was received.

Ordered, That the said Petition be read To-morrow Morning.

False indorsing Exchequer Bills.

The House being informed, That Mr. Reginald Marryot had sent to several Members of this House Letters, acknowledging, That he had been concerned in the irregular Indorsement of Exchequer-Bills; and therein offered fully to relate how that notorious Practice hath been projected, and carried on; and in what manner he had been drawn into the same;

Ordered, That the said Mr. Reginald Marryott be summoned to attend this House immediately.

And the said Mr. Marryott attending accordingly;

He was brought in by the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, to the Bar: Where he delivered an Account of his Knowledge of that Matter, in Writing, signed by himself: Which he read at the Bar; and afterwards delivered in to the House.

And then withdrew.

There being named in the said Information John Knight Esquire, a Member of this House, Mr. Bartholomew Burton, Mr. William Knight, and Patrick Crawford Esquire;

And the said Mr. John Knight not being in the House;

Ordered, That the said Mr. John Knight do attend this House, in his Place, immediately.

Ordered, That Mr. Bartholomew Burton, and Mr. William Knight, be summoned to attend this House immediately.

Ordered, That Mr. Patrick Crawford be summoned to attend this House immediately.

Mr. Marryott was several times called in; and examined touching the Matters in his Information mentioned.

And afterwards withdrew.

Ordered, That the Serjeant do take care, That no Person do converse with, or bring any Letters to, the said Mr. Marryott, till further Order of this House.

Mr. Marryott was afterwards called in again; and again examined: Wherein he acquainting the House, That he had a Book, and some Accounts, at his Chamber, relating to the Matters mentioned in his Information;

Ordered, That Mr. Marryott do go, with a Messenger belonging to the Serjeant, to fetch his said Book, and Papers of Account: And that the Messenger do not suffer any Person to speak with him, or deliver any Letters to him.

Ordered, That the Examinations, taken before the Lords of the Treasury, relating to the irregular Indorsement of the Exchequer-Bills, be laid before this House.

The Serjeant at Arms acquainting the House, That Mr. John Knight would be here presently; and that Mr. Crawford attended; but that Mr. Burton, and Mr. William Knight, are not to be found;

Ordered, That Mr. Bartholomew Burton be taken into the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, to answer the Information given against him by Mr. Marryott.

Ordered, That Mr. William Knight be taken into the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House, to answer the Information given against him.

Then Mr. Crawford was called in; and examined touching the Matters mentioned in Mr. Marryott's Information.

And then withdrew.

Mr. John Knight attending in his Place;

Candles.

Ordered, That Candles be brought in.

And they being brought in accordingly;

The Information given by Mr. Marryott was read; and is as followeth; viz.

I Reginald Marriott, being at the Treasury that Day the King gave Mr. Burton Mr. Duncomb's Place of Treasurer of the Excise, and Mr. John Knight seeing me there, he walked with me into the Privy-Garden, and told me, That now the King had made Mr. Burton Treasurer of the Excise, I should come into the Exchequer; and bid me not go away, for Mr. Burton would be there presently: And in a little time after I saw them both together in the Clerk's Room at the Treasury; and Mr. Knight beckoned me to him, and said, He had spoke to Mr. Burton about my coming into the Exchequer, and that he was willing it should be so; and Mr. Burton said, Yes, with all my Heart: I told them, I was very much obliged to them, and that I would endeavour to discharge the Duty of the Place faithfully and diligently; and they both answered, They were very well satisfied as to that Matter.

Mr. Knight, Mr. Burton, and myself, being together several times afterwards; Mr. Burton always, before we parted, would mention something about the Place; as, That he would speak to Mr. Howard about my coming into the Office; and that he would go with me to him; or that he was making up his Accounts, and clearing all Demands upon the Office, or to that effect. Mr. Knight did often tell me, It would not be long before I was settled; for that Mr. Burton had promised him to speak to Mr. Howard; and that Mr. Burton told him, That he was settling his Accounts, in order to leave the Office.

False Indorsing Exchequer Bills.

On the 31st of May last, we Three being together at the Swan Tavern against Somerset-House, Mr. Burton asked me, If I would come to him at the Office the next Morning? I told him I would: And accordingly I did go to Mr. Burton; who, being in his Seat, said, Well, Mr. Marryott, if you will now settle to the Business, Mr. Bolt will shew you the Method of it, there is no great Difficulty in it; but I'll come and visit you; and then he went from the Side of his Desk, where he was talking to me: And from that time forward I went every Day to the Office, about Nine in the Morning, and helped to dispatch the Business: And Mr. Burton did sometimes come every Day, sometimes every other Day, and some times not in Two or Three Days: And, when he did come, he usually enquired, What Money had been paid in, or directed; and gave Directions for the Payment of the Office-Money, for his own private Occasions, and gave me Bills in lieu thereof; and also about paying Money into the Trustees Office, and other casual Matters: And Mr. Knight did oftentimes come with him, and would ask me, Whether I had made myself Master of the Business of the Office, or to that effect.

About a Month after I had been in the Office, Mr. Burton prayed me to come to him into the Million Lottery-Office in the Exchequer; and, it being in the Afternoon, I found him there with a considerable Parcel of Exchequer-Bills lying by him, and about Four Bills before him which were indorsed, "paid for Customs," with different Names, to the best of my Remembrance; which Four Bills he told me he had indorsed; and I do verily believe it, for the Indorsements were not dry when I looked upon them: And he gave me that Parcel that lay by him, and told me, He would have me indorse that Parcel of Bills, and put any Person's Name to them, as he had done to those Four Bills; and that when I had so indorsed them, to put them at the bottom of the Chest, in the Inner Office, among the Custom-house Bills; At the same time he bid me do my own Bills, for my own Subscription, the same Way; and told me, I must do such Things as those sometimes; and that he would have me take out of the Parcel of Bills that were to come from the Custom-House the next Morning, so many of them as came to the Sum of that Parcel abovesaid; and bid me add them to the Office-Cash, and be accountable to him for the Money; which, to the best of my Remembrance was about 2,000 l. which I shortly after paid away for his Use: And several times afterwards he spoke to me to pay divers Sums into the Trustees Office, out of such Money as was in my Custody belonging to the Tellers Office, for several Persons, as by the Books in the Trustees Office will appear; and to take out the Exchequer-Bills, from the Trustees-Office, that belonged to the respective Persons; and to make the said Bills Specie Bills, by indorsing them, as I had done several former Parcels for him the said Burton; and to pay them away to any Person, whose Orders became due; and by that Means the Office-Money would be made good again.

I was the more easily prevailed upon by the said Burton to comply with him in the Matters aforesaid, being brought into the Office by him, to whom I then acted as an Assistant; for his Desk was in the Office, and he had frequent Recourse to it, and kept the Key of it, and took an Account from me of every thing that was done in the Office; and I accounted to him for the Profits of the Office, as will appear by an Account stated by the Four Tellers, from the 14th of May 1697, to the 6th of August last past: And, by that Account, Mr. Howard's Fees came to 804 l. 6s. 5 d. and the Clerks to 325 l. 4s. 9 d. Which said Sum of 325 l. 4s. 9d. was placed to Mr. Burton's Account: And Part of that Sum being received in Malt-Tickets, Mr. Burton took them away before the Lottery was drawn, to make Advantage of the Benefits, if there happened to be any, as I really believe: And I was likewise unwilling to disoblige the said Mr. Burton, because he had not been at Mr. Howard's with me, according to his Promise; neither was I sworn into the Office; but Mr. Burton gave me great Reason to believe I should have the Office in my own Right; as by the following Instance will appear.

About Three Weeks after I had been in the Office, there was, by Order of the Lords of the Treasury, MaltLottery-Tickets to the Value of 600,000 l. brought into Mr. Howard's Office, and there charged; and the like Quantity into Mr. Carew's Office, where Mr. Ferne is Chief Clerk, and there charged; and at the same time an Order from the Lords, That whenever those Tickets were delivered out, they should be signed by the Tellers, or their Chief Clerks: And, when they were charged, I told Mr. Burton of it, and asked him, Who should sign them? He said, Pray do you sign them, in your own Name; for I will have nothing to do with the Office: And about Two Days afterwards, he being in the Office, I was telling him, That the signing those Bills was so very tedious, that it hindered me from dispatching other Business of the Office; he said, Let Mr. Bolt help you; and Mr. Bolt asked him, If he should put his own Name to them? And Mr. Burton said, No; put Mr. Marryott's Name to them: And Mr. Bolt did put my Name to all the Tickets he signed.

Matter of Fact relating to Mr. John Knight.

About the Beginning of August last, he desired my Company at Dinner, at his Apartment in Somerset House: After Dinner, he asked me to indorse for him a Parcel of Exchequer-Bills, to the Value of about 1,800 l. as I had done those for Mr. Burton; and then Mr. Knight produced the said Bills: I asked him, If he had acquainted Mr. Burton with it? He said, He had; and that Burton told him, That what Bills I had done for him, the said Burton, were put at the Bottom of the Chest: At the same time I told Knight, I was fearful it would be discovered; and desired him to consider of it; and his Brother William, being present, desired him to take care what he was going to do: I told them both I was going into the Country that Afternoon; and I would have them consider of it; and I should be in Town again the next Morning, and at the Office by Nine a Clock: Whereupon John Knight said, He would come to me there: Which he did: and said, He would go down into the Trustees Office, and discourse Mr. Herne about it; and desired me to come to him there: Which I did, and found him, and Mr. Hern, drinking Tea: And Mr. Knight having before him one of the Weekly Certificates that Mr. Herne made, for the Trustees, from the Certificates that the said Mr. Herne received from the Four Tellers, certifying what Exchequer-Bills they weekly received, and paid away; Mr. Knight, in my Presence, taking the said Certificate in his Hand, said to Mr. Hern, If these Tellers should play any Tricks with the Bills in their Offices, How are you able to detect them? Mr. Herne said, It was impossible, unless he sat by each of them while they did their Duty: And, when Mr. Knight and I came away together, he said, Now, Marryott, you hear what Mr. Herne says, That he cannot find it out: Therefore, prythee, do them for me: I told him, That in the Evening I would come to him and take the Bills, and do them for him: Which accordingly I did, and paid them away, and accounted to him for the whole Money.

About the 23d of August last, he desired me to dine with him again: And after Dinner I went up-stairs with him, where he gave me one Parcel of Bills, signed by Arthur Shallett, but not indorsed, as paid for Customs, there being a blank space left to put in that Indorsement, which he desired me to indorse; and several other Parcels, to the Value of near 5,000 l.; and bid me pay them away for him, and he would direct me how I should dispose of the Money; viz. Part of it to be paid into the Trustees Office; namely, 2,000 l. for Sir Step. Fox; 1,000 l. for Mr. Knight; 500 l. for John Smith Esquire; and 250 l. for Sir John Austen: And for the Remainder I was to be accountable to Mr. Knight.

Hereafter follows a Diary of such material Circumstances as occurred, since the time of the Discovery of the aforesaid Indorsements.

September 17th, Mr. Knight sent for me to his House; and Mr. Burton was there; and both of them desired me to tell them the whole Matter about this forged Bill, that made such a Noise; and I told them to the following Effect; That one Robert Marryott, a Taylor, with whom I had been acquainted many Years, came to me on the 7th September, and told me, That a Lodger of his had desired him to get him an Exchequer-Bill of 100 l.; which he had procured; but Robert Marriott not getting it so soon as the Gentleman desired it, he had provided one for himself; so that the said Robert Marriott's Bill lay upon his Hands, and he knew not how to dispose of it; and therefore desired me to do him the Favour to get him Money for it; which I refused to do: But he importuning me very much, and his Wife having been very serviceable to my Family upon many Occasions, I bid him come to me at the Office, about Ten a Clock the next Morning, and I would try what I could do for him: And he did come to me, and brought the Bill with him; and I took it of him, and indorsed it as it now is, and directed him down to the Trustees Office, where he received the Money for it: And I did likewise acquaint them, That, upon the 11th of September, Mr. Taylor, a Clerk to the Trustees, brought the said 100 l. Bill to me at the Office, and said, That there was a Bill of 100 l. with my Hand to it, which was a forged Bill; and did desire to know of whom I had the Bill; and I did very imprudently say to Mr. Taylor, I did not know whether it was my Hand, or no, my Hand might be counterfeited, for ought I knew; and that I did not seem to own it: And Mr. Burton said, It was a very unlucky Accident, for he had dined with Sir Henry Furnace and Mr. Bateman that Day, and they were very hot upon it: And Mr. Knight said, by way of Question, Was Furnace so angry? Mr. Burton answered, Yes; but that Bateman was the worst; for that he had got a State of the whole Transaction from Taylor; and Burton said, He could do well enough with Furnace, for he had lately changed him Bills to 1,000 l. Value: I believe he meant the Bill for the 1,000 l. which I paid in to the Trustees for Sir Henry Furnace, the * Day of September last, by Mr. Burton's Direction: I asked them what I should do in this matter; for I was much concerned such an Accident should happen; and that I would govern myself according to their Directions; and their Advice was, to confess the Fact to Mr. Taylor, and endeavour to get the Bill from him, and pay him for it, and that would put a Stop to any further Inquiry; and that they would tell Mr. Bateman and Sir Harry, how the Matter was, and pacify them.

September 18th, I went to Mr. Taylor, and told him, I was sorry I had denied my Hand; and then gave him the before-mentioned Account, and told him, That for his Charge and Trouble he had taken in tracing out this Matter, I would make him a Gentleman-like Present; and that I would take care he should be no Loser by the Bill, for I would pay him the 100 l.: And then asked him, If he would let me have the Bill? He said he would, if Mr. Knight or Burton gave him Direction: I desired him not to mention any thing I said to him, till he had heard from me again; for Mr. Burton and Knight would speak with Sir Harry and Bateman, and that would end the Matter. And I went from him to Mr. Burton, and told him what Taylor said; and he bid me find out Knight, and desire him to go to Bateman; for he could best prevail with him, because Mr. Bateman was concerned with him in remitting of Monies: And I went to Mr. Knight, who promised me to speak to Bateman.

On the same Day, I did afterwards desire Taylor to let me have a Copy of the Paper he gave Bateman; which he promised me; but I had it not: He then told me, That since I had been with him in the Morning, Mr. Abbot had asked him for the Bill, and had put it into his Pocket. From him I went to Mr. Burton, and told him, Abbot had got the Bill: He bid me go and find him out, and tell him the whole Thing; for that he believed, Abbot was gone to Mr. Mountague's, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, with the said 100 l. Bill. Whereupon I endeavoured to find out Mr. Abbot; but could not meet with him; for, it being Saturday Afternoon, his Servants thought he was gone to Chelsea.

20th, It being Mr. Burton's Waiting-Week, I went to him at the Trustees Office, and told him I could not find Mr. Abbot on Saturday Night; and he said, I'll see for Mr. Herne: And he and I going together into the Commissioners Room, Mr. Hern came to us; and Mr. Burton said, Mr. Marriott has done a foolish thing; What can we do for him; and then told Mr. Hern the whole Circumstance; and he said, All the Commissioners were to meet about it To-morrow, and my best way would be to acquaint them with the whole Matter; for some of them were very angry; so desiring Mr. Hern to be my Friend, I left him and Burton together.

False indorsing Exchequer Bills.

That Night, Mr. Burton and Knight sent for me to the Swan Tavern, and told me, The Trustees were all to meet together To-morrow; and that they had spoke to their Friends to be there; and did believe they should be able to out-vote those Gentlemen that were so very malicious; and that they would have me be at the Trustees Office the next Morning, and I should be called in, and should confess the whole Fact; and then they did hope by their Friends Interest, and their own, to put a Stop to any further Examination.

21st, I did attend the Trustees; and Sir Joseph Hern being in the Chair, he examined me, and I gave them the same Account of the 100 l. Bill as I gave Mr. Knight and Burton upon the 17th: And, about an Hour afterwards, the Lords of the Treasury sent for me, and examined about the same Bill; to whom I repeated what I had before said to the Trustees: And, within Two Hours afterwards, I was taken into the Custody of a Messenger; and Two Days afterwards committed to Newgate.

28th, Mr. Knight came to me, and told me, That Mr. Hern had informed the Lords of the Treasury, That he had looked over all the Bills he had in his Custody, being upwards of 70,000 l.; and did not find any Indorsement like that which I had made upon that forged Bill; but Mr. Knight said, He believed they would endeavour to find out all that had been done; and I told him, I was of his Opinion.

30th, Mr. Knight being with me, I told him I had, locked up in my Drawer, in the Office, Exchequer Bills to the Value of 500 l. belonging to Ben. Levy; and in another Drawer there was above 1,000 l. in Exchequer-Bills, indorsed, belonging to Mr. Burton: And Mr. Knight told me, That Burton had given Ben. Levy's Bills to him, and had taken the other into his own Custody: I then told him, That Burton must have then broke open my Drawer and Desk; for I had the Keys in my Pocket: And he told me, He believed Mr. Burton had done so; for that Burton said to him, He found my Accounts, and the Money in the Cash-room right: I desired Mr. Knight to speak to Burton, to send me my Books, Papers, and Accounts, that were in my Drawer, and the Desk; for among them were all my Casting Papers, and Memorandum Papers, of every thing I had done; and that I thought it unkind in Mr. Burton to break the Locks, and take away my Papers and Books, and not to send them to me.

In a short time after, Mr. Knight came to me again, and told me, That Mr. Burton would send me all my Things; and that he said my Drawer was open, which I am sure was not till it was broke open; and that the Trustees were mighty busy in finding out what Bills had been indorsed by me; and that, upon the second Payment of the Subscription, there were abundance of them paid in to the Trustees; and that Taylor kept them together: And Mr. Knight said, That Mr. Burton was fearful I would discover; but that he, the said Knight, did tell him, He believed, I never would: And Mr. Knight said to me, I dare say, Marriott, you will never confess what you have done for us; and I did then assure him, I would not; and Mr. Knight said, That Mr. Burton told him, He would give me the Reversion of an Annuity of 500 l. per Ann. after the Death of Mrs. Anne Pelham; and I said to Mr. Knight, That Mr. Burton had newly purchased it in Sir Wm. Scawen's Name. Then Mr. Knight told me, That Mr. Burton would meet me that Evening, at the King's-Arms Tavern, at Somerset-House Water Gate; and that he would go thither; and desired me to come about a Quarter of an Hour afterwards; and I did go, and met them both there: Mr. Burton excused his not sending my Papers; and said, He found my Drawer open, &c.; and that he was much troubled, that the Trustees should be so very intent upon finding out what Bills were indorsed; but hoped, That I would not confess any thing to their Prejudice; for I should be no Loser thereby; and told me, he would give me that Annuity of 500 l. per Ann. that was in Sir Wm. Scawen's Name.

False indorsing Exchequer Bills.

The next Day he sent me my Books and Accounts; but never sent me any of my Memorandum Papers, or Casting Papers.

October 7th, Mr. Knight and Burton came to me in a Coach about Twelve a Clock; and Mr. Knight told me, That the Trustees had found out several Bills that I had indorsed for him; and that now all the Trustees were very angry; and that he, the said Knight, was very speedily to give his Answer to them, How those Indorsements came to be put upon the Bills; for they, having searched the Books at the Custom-house, had found those Bills had not been paid in for Customs; and desired me to meet them that Evening, at Eight a Clock, at the Horn and Horseshoe Tavern, in Chancery-Lane. And after they left me, I sent to a Counsellor, my Relation; and told him, how I had been employed by Mr. Burton and Knight, and what I had done for them: He asked me, How I could make it out, that I had done those Things by their Directions? I then shewed him a small Book; wherein I had entered some Account of what I had done; and he said, That was Proof enough: But he told me, I had done a very unadvised Thing; and checked me that I did not consult with him, before I ventured to do it: I asked him, What could be the Consequence of it? He answered, That I was undone; for I might be indicted for every single Bill, and sined at the Discretion of the Judges; and that the Parliament might make an Act to attaint us all: All which made so great an Impression upon me, that I was resolved to leave the Kingdom immediately, after I had met Mr. Knight and Burton, and acquainted them with this Gentleman's Opinion. And at Eight a Clock I went to the Tavern, where I found Mr. Burton; and immediately after came Mr. Knight; and they asked me, What they should do about those Bills? I answered, I knew not how to advise them; but I believe the doing of those Bills had undone me: They said, They hoped not; for, if I would not confess any thing of them, they would give me, besides that Annuity of 500 l. per Annum, a Place worth 500 l. per Annum in the Exchequer; which was, the receiving and paying the Money for the MillionLottery Tickets; and that, notwithstanding it was in Mr. Knight's Name, yet that they were equally concerned in it; and that Place might be officiated by a Deputy, if I was made incapable of executing it myself: I replied, That the Apprehension of the Danger I had brought myself into, by indorsing those Bills, had almost distracted me: And then I told them, What the Counsellor said to me; and Mr. Burton said, We are all undone: But Mr. Knight said, I cannot think there will be any thing of this Nature done; or that the Parliament will ever meddle with it: But I told them, I would not run the Venture of it; for I was resolved to go over into Holland, and from thence to France: This Resolution they were very much surprised at; but told me, If I would go, they would take care to supply me with Money, where-ever I went; and that I should direct my Letters for Patrick Crawford, Esquire, at his Chambers in Symond's-Inn; a Gentleman I was acquainted withal, by being with him often in Mr. Burton's and Knight's Company: And having parted from them, with a Resolution to go, the next Morning very early, being mighty fearful of another Commitment, I ordered my Horses to be saddled by Three in the Morning, and every thing ready for my Journey to Harwich; but, being taken so very ill in the Night, that I was not able to sit my Horse, I altered my Mind.

8th, I sent to Mr. Crawford; told him my Resolution, and how I was prevented; and desired him to acquaint Mr. Burton and Knight with it; which he promised to do, and that he would see me again in a little time: And, when he came to me again, he told me, That Mr. Knight and Burton would meet me at his Chambers that Evening. We all met, and desired him to consult the Acts of Parliament, relating to the Exchequer-Bills, and to abbreviate them, and to state the Matter of Fact.

9th, And we met at his Chamber again the next Night, on the same Subject; and were all very melancholy: Amongst other Discourse, we were talking of sending into Flanders to some Person of Interest, that was about his Majesty, to get me a Pardon; and Mr. Knight, and Burton, and I, came away together: Mr. Knight said, He would go to Sir Step. Fox, and consult him about it: And Mr. Burton said, He would do the like with Mr. Mountague. And, about an Hour afterwards, Mr. Crawford came to my House, and told me, That my Friends were of Opinion, that the King would do nothing in it, till he came over; and that it would be a more secure way for me to go out of the Kingdom, till the Storm was over: I told him, That I was not in a State of Health to do it; and, besides, it was an odious thing to leave my Country, and my Bail; and that I was once of the Opinion to do it; but now I would not; for I had not, upon my own Account, done any thing to make me run my Country; and that, if I should do so, all the World would say, That all the Bills I had indorsed, was for a private Advantage to myself; but, I could safely say, I never had the Value of one Farthing, for all the Bills I had so indorsed: Mr. Crawford said, That if leaving my Bail had been the only thing that made me uneasy, Money would be deposited to secure my Bail: I asked him, If he would advise me to leave my Country? He replied, No, indeed, Mr. Marriott, 'tis not my Advice for you to leave your Country; for I never will advise any Man to do it; I see you are mightily disturbed; so I'll take my Leave of you.

10th, I went to Mr. Knight, and told him, I was very sorry to see him and Mr. Burton so much dejected last Night; but was come to assure them of my Faithfulness and Service to them, about indorsing those Exchequer-Bills; and that I was resolved to take the whole Matter upon myself, provided they were concerned in the Indorsement of no more Bills than those I had done for them: Mr. Knight assured me, That he was not concerned in any other Bills, or with any other Person; and he did believe the same of Mr Burton: Whereupon I told Mr. Knight, That I had thought of the following Expedient; and would put it in Practice, in case they approved of it; namely, That I would wait upon the Lords of the Treasury, and acquaint them as follows; viz.

That, in regard of Mr. Knight's and Burton's Kindness to me, in placing me in that Office of Mr. Howard's, I freely offered them, That I would make use of my Interest with several Receivers of Taxes, to engage them to exchange me about 20,000 l. in Exchequer Bills; which, at that time, I made do doubt to have got done, so considently did I rely upon the Interest which I thought I had with the Receivers; being, for several Years, concerned as Auditor for 19 Counties; and therefore I promised to exchange Mr. Knight's and Burton's Bills, and their Friends, to such a Value: And furthermore, That I would inform their Lordships, That all that I had done for the said Gentlemen, did not exceed that Sum; and that I did receive several Parcels of Exchequer-Bills from Mr. Knight and Burton; and did tell them, I had disposed of the said Bills to Receivers, to be sunk; but that, my Interest not being sufficient to do so many of them that way, I did, unknown to the said Burton and Knight, think of this unadvised way of doing them.

This was the Effect of the Declaration that I proposed to Mr. Knight, as a proper Expedient to keep him and Mr. Burton secure and free from any Suspicion: From which Proposal, Mr. Knight did receive a great deal of Satisfaction; and withal told me, He very well approved of what I had proposed; and did believe Mr. Burton would do the same; and that he would go to Mr. Burton's House that Night, and acquaint him with it, if Mr. Burton did not come to him: And also told me, That I should hear from him the next Morning.

11th, Mr. Knight came to me about Twelve a Clock, and told me, He left Mr. Burton at the Upper end of the Street; and that all things would be very well; for Mr. Burton had been with Mr. Mountague, and Mr. Knight, with Sir Step. Fox and Mr. Smith; and at Night I should know the Result: And Mr. Knight desired me to meet him and Mr. Burton at the French Ordinary, near the Excise-Office in Broad-street, at Six a Clock. I went thither at the Time appointed: Mr. Burton told me, He was with Mr. Mountague at Seven that Morning; and told him, That I desired to wait upon him, and to make a Confession, of the Nature of that above-mentioned, of all the Bills I had indorsed irregularly; and also told Mr. Mountague, That he did believe, what I had done did chiefly consist of Folly, and not Advantage; and desired him to use his Interest at the Board, that I might not be committed again, it being a Fault of the same Nature of the former 100 l. Bill; but that, if the Board thought it reasonable to augment my Security, I would readily do it: And Mr. Knight told me, He had been with Sir Step. Fox and Mr. Smith, and had spoke with them to the like Effect: And they both assured me, I might depend upon Mr. Mountague, . . . Step. Fox, and Mr. Smith's Favour; and that I should not be committed again.

12th, I then attended the Lords of the Treasury, and acquainted them with the before-mentioned Account, Word for Word, as near as I can remember; and did likewise inform their Lordships, That I had so irregularly indorsed several Bills, to the Value of 15,000 l.; and sunk by Receivers 5,000 l.; and that 6,000 l. of the said 15,000 l. was for Mr. Burton, and about 7,000 l. for Mr. Knight, and about 2,000 l. for myself; and that it was without the Privity of Mr. Burton or Knight, that I had done them that irregular Way.

And I do confess, That I had indorsed Bills to the Value of above 13,000 l. for Mr. Burton, as by the Particulars will appear: But Mr. Burton told me, That I need not confess above 6,000 l.; for that he had taken out of the Chest, and got up from other Places, as many of the Bills which I had indorsed as came to above 7,000 l.

And, on the same 12th of October, about Eleven at Night, Mr. Knight came to me, and shewed me the Paper that the Trustees had drawn up against him; which he had promised to answer on the 14th of the same Month: And he then shewed me several of the Bills which the Trustees had left with him, being one out of each Parcel, which they suspected to be irregularly indorsed; and he was to satisfy them, Who indorsed those Bills: And, as he shewed me the Bills, he said, This, and This, I believe, is your Indorsing; but this is my poor Brother Will's Indorsing, and here is the Account of the whole Parcel which he has indorsed, and it amounts to about 500 l.; and I must intreat thee, Marriot, to own the Indorsements on these Bills among the rest, To-morrow, before the Lords, if they send for you; for I am ordered to attend them: To which I replied, That I did not know what to say to that Matter: But he answered thus, I believe there will be no particular Inspection; They will all pass together: And he asked me, If he might rely upon me? And I said, I thought he might, or to that Effect.

13th, I being sent for before the Lords, the Trustees shewed me the Indorsements on several Bills, and asked me, If they were my Hand-writing? and particularly some of those Mr. Knight said his Brother indorsed; and I did, before the Lords, unadvisedly acknowlege all of them to be indorsed by me, but not without great Reluctance, being very uneasy to take another Man's Fact upon myself; at which I am very sensibly concerned.

And I do confess, The Lords did put me to write such an Hand as W. Knight wrote on the Bills; which I tried to do, but could very little resemble it.

False indorsing Exchequer Bills.

14th, John Knight, W. Knight, and I, were ordered to attend the Lords again: And W. Knight came to my House in the Morning, before he went to the Lords, and desired me, in Case the Lords should ask me, What Quantity of Bills I had indorsed in that Hand? that I would confess the Sum of 1,500 l. or thereabouts: And while he and I were attending at the Treasury, he in treated me to own, that I had indorsed Bills in that Hand to the Sum of 3,000 l.

15th, Late in the Evening I had Notice sent me, There was an Indictment found against me at the Old Baily, upon the 100 l. Bill I indorsed for the Taylor: And the next Morning I went out of Town, to prevent my being forced to the Sessions to plead, and be tried presently.

18th, I came to Town again, and went to the Recorder of London, with Two able Citizens; and we entered into a Recognizance of 1,500 l. to appear and plead to the Indictment, next Sessions: And that Night I met Mr. Knight, at Mr. Crawford's Chamber; and Mr. Knight would have had me absconded for awhile, till the Trustees Fury was over: I told him, I could not consent to abscond myself; for then I should be put into a Proclamation, and all my Friends would think I had done some very ill thing, and was run away.

20, I was taken out of my Bed, very early in the Morning, by Messengers and Constables; and, about Twelve a Clock, I was had before the Lords of the Treasury, in Custody of Two Messengers: And the Lords were pleased to ask me, If I would make any further Confession? which I refused to do; and was the same Night committed to Newgate, by Mr. Ellis's Warrant, for forging Indorsements upon Bills of Credit, to the Sum of 20,000 l. and upwards, when my Confession to the Lords was but 15,000 l.

I remained in Custody Eleven Days; and was then bailed at the King's-Bench Bar, where Four Sureties, and myself, entered into a Recognizance of 6,000 l. to appear the next Sessions at the Old Baily; though my Counsel moved the Judges, That I might appear at the King's-Bench Bar; but it was not allowed.

January the 4th, 169½. Reginald Marriott

And Mr. Knight was heard thereupon.

And then withdrew.

Resolved, That there being Information given to this House against John Knight Esquire, a Member thereof, in relation to the false Indorsement of Exchequer-Bills; to which he not having given a Satisfactory Answer to this House; the said Mr. John Knight be committed Prisoner to his Majesty's Tower of London, during the Pleasure of this House: And that Mr. Speaker do issue his Warrants for that Purpose.

Ordered, That the Chief Governor of the Tower do take care, that no Person be admitted to discourse with, or bring any Letters to, the said Mr. Knight without Order of this House.

Ordered, That the said Mr. Knight have a Copy of the said Information: And that he do give in his Answer thereunto, in Writing, upon Friday Morning next.

The House being acquainted, That Mr. Marriott was returned;

He was called in; and, at the Bar, delivered to the House a Book and Account.

The Titles whereof were read.

A Motion being made, that the House will order, That all Prosecutions at Law against the said Mr. Marryott be staid, during the Pleasure of the House;

And a Debate arising thereupon;

Resolved, That the Debate be adjourned till To-morrow Morning.

Ordered, That the said Mr. Marryott be taken into the Custody of the Serjeant at Arms attending this House; And that no Person be admitted to converse with, or bring any Letters to him, without Leave of the House.

Ordered, That Mr. Crawford do attend this House again To-morrow Morning.

And then the House adjourned till To-morrow Morning, Ten a Clock.