« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
try, upon which you put yourself for acterised by simplicity, firmness, and your trial, has found you guilty of the feeling. crime with which you stood charged. I am, and every one present, yourself
, There was, I am sorry to say, a even, must be satisfied that the verdict countryman of yours tried some days is a just one. You stand convicted of afterwards for forgery on a grand scale the threefold crime of murder, rape, -I mean the notorious Kinnear, whose and robbery; and you must die. There name has made many a merchant's is not a ray of hope for you on this side heart ache. of the grave; your enormous crime He came originally, I believe, from has rendered you unfit to continue Glasgow, where, as well as at different any longer among your fellow crea- periods of his career in London and tures. I charge you to cherish not Liverpool, he carried on an extensive for an instant the slightest expectation business, and failed at the last-menof mercy; it cannot, it will not be tione: place, some or eight extended to you. The interval be. years ago, to an immense amount, tween the present moment and your leaving nothing whatever for his duped death, an interval which the law has creditors. He had lived in great luxlately mercifully extended, I implore ury and splendour, being a man of you to spend in constant prayer to very expensive habits and ambitious Almighty God for His forgiveness, tastes. Finding it impossible again to through repentance and faith in your establish himself in business,--to obtain Saviour Jesus Christ. His mercy you credit in an ordinary and open course may obtain.
of dealing,—his fertile invention and • I do not intend to harrow up your determined spirit pointed out to him feelings by dwelling upon the details of more secret and tortuous courses. He your crime; they have horrified all who organized a skillful scheme-a comheard them, and you must know it. It pact confederacy (or alliance)! for is enough for me to discharge the the purpose of issuing fictitious bills, awful duty which the law has imposed which soon made their appearance in upon me-reminding you, unhappy all directions, especially in Birmingman, once more, that your moments on ham, Liverpool, and Manchester, and earth are numbered, and very, very took in even the most knowing. His precious to you.
own name, of course, never appeared ; * The sentence of the Court upon but suspicion was at length roused. you is, that you be taken from the place and pointed at him; diligent inquiries where you now are, to the prison were set on foot after the alleged whence you came; and thence, on some parties to these bills--individuals and day to be hereafter appointed, to a companies; and the result was that, place of execution, where you shall be one fine day in October last, he was hanged by the neck until you are dead; seized, together with a portmanteau and that your body be buried within containing damning evidence of his the precincts of the prison.”
doings, and committed to prison. One As these last words were uttered, Jones, also, a hoary-headed scamp, his the prisoner, whose face had become chief confederate, was arrested about ghastly pale, and whose eyes had the same time. closed, leaned heavily against the offi- The Court was crowded with mercers who stood behind him, and who cantile men. When Kinnear was led him down, apparently stupified, as put to the bar I was much struck with soon as the Judge had ceased speaking, his appearance. One cannot help a out of the dock into the prison. He transient feeling of sympathy towards was executed about three weeks after- a man in the garb, and with the bearwards, and died with firmness and pen- ing of a gentleman, dragged to the itence, denying, however, that he had felon's bar, however one may believe intended to cause, or was at the time him to be a scoundrel. He appeared aware of the death of his victim. upwards of fifty years of age; and his
I had never before seen sentence of countenance bore a very strong resemdeath passed. It is a most solemn and blance to that of Mr. Joseph Hume, painful scene. Mr. Justice Pattison the Member for Kilkenny, only that discharged his trying duty excellent- its features were more refined, and ly well. His words were few and betokened intellect. His face and deweighty; and his manner was char- meanour would have taken in any
one. “Should you have suspected," prehend or deal with but a lawyer, and whispered a friend to me, as we were an experienced one! Quem Deus both scrutinizing the prisoner's counte- vult perdere prius dementat ! At nance, “that man to have been a vil- length he was called upon, in the usual lain ?" “ Not I, indeed, nor would manner, to plead to the indictment. any one," I replied, and those lines of “ Not guilty," said he, firmly and Medea's occurred to my mind, in readily, thereby unconsciously waving which she laments that we have not the preliminary objeetion to the indictequal facilities for detecting base coin ment on which he had been mainly and base men.
relying! Just before counsel rose to
state the case to the jury, Kinnear, i Zv, ti xpvcoð uer, &s xißöndos ń, in a strong Scottish accent, and with τεκμήρι’ ανθρώποισιν ώπασας σαφή ανόρων δ', ότω χρή τον κακόν ΔΙΕΙΔΕΝΑΙ an air of mingled anxiety and. cont
dence, thus addressed the Judge. ουδείς χαρακτήρα εμπέφυκε σώματι ;*
* My Lord, I presume the time has His face was a little flushed as he now arrived at which I may take an was brought to the front of the dock, exception to the form of the indictto stand where he knew that the mur- ment ?" derer Hill had stood a short time be- “The exception to the form of the fore; and though he was evidently indictment, do you say?" inquired the making a great effort to appear com- Judge. posed and attentive to what was going Exactly so, my lord.” forward, and so grievously concerned “No, you are too late ! him, yet the restless anxiety of his considered the indictment defective, eyes, and momentary changes of his why did you plead to it?" inquired the colour, showed that he was not insen- Judge, mildly. “By so doing you have sible to the ignominy of his situation. admitted that you have no ground for He, who had lately been among the objecting to the sufficiency of the forme most active and eminent merchants of of it. Why did you plead to it? You Liverpool, now stood charged with should have demurred.” felony at the bar of the court, which Kinnear secmed thunderstruck. was crowded, as he saw, by them with " You might have been better adwhom he had once been on terms of vised," continued the Judge, kindly, Intimacy and equality, nay, supe- w if you had chosen; you should have ciority; of them who felt, as they consulted some one who would have looked at him, a keen and just resent- apprised you of the consequences of ment towards him for the gross frauds the step you have taken-of the proper and injuries he had committed upon time and mode of bringing forward them, whose only fault had been their and shaping your defence. Judging too easy confidence in his integrity. from your appearance, you must have While the jury were being sworn, he had the means of doing so. Surely looked at each of them with a scruti- you have no one to blame but yourself." nizing and anxious eye, but to my Kinnear, with earnest pertinacity, surprise-challenged none of them. pressed the Judge to entertain, at least He had a number of papers with him, to listen to, Iris wlegal objection," and which he arranged carefully before succeeded. - Well-let us bear it; him, while the usual formalities were if it be really a substantial one, you going on; and it soon appeared that may hereafter avail yourself of it in he had retained no counsel, but intend- arrest of judgment. I have looked at ed to defend himself. Never was the indictment, and cannot give you there a more signal instance of the much hope. But go on.” folly of such a procedure, of the truth “I am charged, my lord," he comof the saying, that he who is his own menced,with deliberate emphasis,"with counsel has a fool for his client. A forging a bill of exchange; and if layman to conduct his own defence I can prove the instrument, as deon a prosecution for forgery—one scribed in the indictment, not to be a which is usually environed with tech- bill of exchange, I must be acquitted. nichal difficulties, such as no one is not that so, my lord ?" The Judge could reasonably be expected to com- assented. * Now, my Lord, I have
*Medea, 516, 519.
always understood, in my experience alas, for him !-contained numerous as a mercantile man, and it is laid down memoranda in his own handwritin all the law-books, that to a bill of ing; the stamps with which the exchange three parties are necessary- printed parts of the bills in question a drawer, a payee, and an acceptor ; had been effected; correspondence from which it follows that an accept- with his various confederates, disance is an essential part of a bill of closing a complete organization for exchaage."
swindling and forging ; prospectuses ** If that is your point, there is no. of shain banks in his own handwritthing in it at all; and you must know ing. To what do you suppose his it yourself
, if you are acquainted, as most vigorous fire of cross-examination you say, with commercial matters," was directed ? To the demolition of said the Jadge; “hundreds and hun- all that abundant and impregnable dreds of bills are noted and protested evidence by which his portmanteau daily fe: non-acceptance--how could that and its contents were connected with be if they were not bills ?"*
him, as they were, step by step, beKinnear, however, could not part yond all doubt, in defiance of all evawith his "point" so easily--but urged sion or denial on his part. Never was it again and again with a most provok- any thing more hopelessly absurd ; ing pertinacity, till the Judge at once he had clearly no notion of the true put an end to it by saying, sternly- mode, especially the true object of crosseven his patience being exhausted examination, either to break down his
Silence, prisoner! what do you mean prosecutor's case, without, at the same by standing chattering there in this time, prematurely disclosing his own; way? I have heard you again, and or to make out even by anticipation again, and again, repeating the same that which he intended to set up in thing, and have tried till I am tired to opposition to it. His questions were satisfy you of its futility. I cannot per- all loose and miscellaneous; and yet, mit the time of the public to be any in form, they were neat and terse. It longer wasted. Let the case go on; was plain that he had no clear notion you will have every proper opportunity of his position, no settled purpose in of defending yourself!
view. He produced no beneficial efKinnear, with an air at once dogged fect whatever, nor did he, in his speech and chagrined, gave up the contest ; to the jury, once allude to the matters and the counsel for the prosecutor which he had seemed desirous of exproceeded to state as clear and strong tracting. In fact, his own questions a case against the prisoner as could had served only to strengthen the evi. well be made out. He had gone dence against him where it was weak, by several names, under all of which, and supply what was deficient in it. however, he was most distinctly iden. I found that the prisoner confidently tified. He was arrested on one of the calculated on the prosecutor's being Manchester trains, the officer, at the unable to show the handwriting of the same time, seizing, as already intimat- alleged drawer's name (John Wated, his portmanteau, which bore on it kins) to be his, the prisoner's; guess in conspicuous brass letters, “ J. K. D.” his consternation when there came into (ie. John Kinnear Donaldson, the the box a Frenchman who gave the name by which he most frequently most direct and decisive evidence. went, as was shown beyond all possi. against him! a man whom Kinnear bility of doubt.) This portmanteau believed at that moment to be far away
“ A bill of exchange is a written order for the payment of a certain sum of Honey, unconditionally.” Blackstone's definition is fuller, but to the same effect, pointing more to the origin of a bill of exchange, an open letter of request, from one man to another, desiring him to pay a sum named therein to a third person, on his account;" either definition excluding the necessity of an acceptance, and consequently disposing of the prisoner's objection. The instrament in question was in this form :* Three months after date, pay to my order (wilhout acceptance), £70.
John WATKINS." "To the Flintshire Banking Company." In this form (as far as the words in italics are concerned) are all bills drawn by the Bank of Ireland on the Bank of England. So, at least, it was stated in Court, though the prisoner denied it.
in Prussia, and his name even un- “ Indeed, but you are very much known to the prosecutors!
mistaken, prisoner," interposed the Q. “Do you know the handwriting Judge, to whom Kinnear had looked, of Mr. Kinnear ?"
as if expecting what he had said to A. “() yea, ver well indid ; I ave be corroborated from the bench. “You mosh reason to know it."
are not to suppose that if you address a Q. “How do you know it?" bill of exchange to a person or a comA. “How? Ave I not see him pany that has no real existence—to a write ver many often times ?"
sham bank, for instance, which has Q. “ Have you received letters from been set up only for the purpose of givhim?"
ing currency to their fraudulent instruA. “ Ver gret nomber indeed; too ments—and then pass it off into the many."
world—that it will avail you, even if a R. “ Look at that bill of exchange, person calling himself John Watkins and say in whose handwriting is the should come and swear that these name, .John Watkins.'
words were in his handwriting. I A. “(), yea, it is Mister Kinnear's, mention this, only because you seemed there can be no doubt.”
to appeal to me, and I do not wish to Q. “ Is it his natural and usual mislead you by my silence. Go on, hand, or a feigned one ?"
and call your witnesses." “ A. “No, no, it is a disguise ; Mr. “Well,” replied the baffled swindKinnear write two or tree land when ler, quite chop-fallen, “I will prohe choose."
ceed to prove my case.
Call John Q. “Have you ever seen him write Jones." this kind of hand ?”
Who do you suppose this “ John A. “Ver frequent. There can be Jones”-his sole witness-was? The not any de least doubt that it is Mr. confederate already spoken of, who Kinnear's handwriting—no, none at had been put up at the bar with Kinall."
near that very morning, and who was Kinnear gave him a withering look, to be tried immediately after him on but did not dare to put a question to a similar charge! Here was a credible him.
witness for you! I could hardly help At length the case for the prosecu- bursting into laughter when I saw him tion closed, and the prisoner was call. led out of the prison into the witnessed upon for his defence. Again he box in custody of the officer! by his started his point about the misdescrip- sole testimony to neutralize all that tion of the instrument, as if he expect- had been already given, and secure ed that it would tell with the jury, his friend's acquittal ! Kinnear prowhere it had failed with the Judge. ceeded to examine him in a novel manHe then proceeded to the body of his ner-by putting the speech which he defence, such as it was. His chief had addressed to the jury into palpable point now was to make out that the leading questions, which were all, of Flintshire Banking Company (shown course, readily answered by the witclearly by the prosecutors to have been ness just in the manner which Kinnear a pure piece of fraud and imposture) wished, neither the Judge deigning, was being established bona fide, and nor the counsel for the prosecution had actually commenced doing busi. thinking it necessary to interpose at ness ; that the bona fides of a newly es- all! He got the man to swear that tablished joint-stock bank was not to his name was "John Watkins Jones," be judged of by the smallness of its but that he more frequently dropped the capital at starting, and cited several last name, and passed as “ John Watinstances to show the truth of his as. kins;" why, he left to conjecture.sertion, that “small beginnings often At length he came to his grand point. made large cndings." Above all, he “Now, Mr. Jones, take that bill"should be able show, beyond all the one question—" into your hands, doubt, that the man who had sworn and look at the name of the drawthat the name “ John Watkins" was er." in his, Kinnear's, handwriting, had “I have, sir,” he replied, holding it gworn falsely—that it was written by in his hand, and looking at the prisoner, John Watkins himself, whom he should waiting for the next question. put into the box to prove it; and then * Now, tell us,” continued Kinnear, he should, he apprehended, be imme. confidently, “ in whose handwriting are diately entitled to an acquittal." the words, John Watkins ?!”
* IN YOURS, sir,” replied the wit- successful swindler. He once drew ness as confidently, not knowing the and got discounted, when he was in bucase which Kinnear had been present- siness at Liverpool, a bill for £80,000. ing to the jury, but speaking, probably, It is now framed and glazed as a curiin accordance with some former story osity. I was told by a banker who concerted between them; Kinnear knew it as a fact, that Kinnear, on the also forgetting, obviously--if such occasion of one of his bankruptcies, were the true state of things--his al- audaciously came to a meeting of his tered plot! He turned perfectly pale creditors in a carriage-and-four; and, when thuis most unexpected, and cons on their mildly intimating to him that, founding answer was given; but, with under circumstances, a chaise and pair a presence of mind and readiness might have sufficed, he replied, with worthy of a better cause, calmly con- smiling sang-froid, “Gentlemen, my tinued,
time, which is your time, is so very * Now, Mr. Jones, when I wrote valuable, that I could not think of dethat, did I, or did I not write it in your priving you of a moment of it !” presence, and by your direction?"
He is now on his way to New South “ You did, sir," replied the ready Wales, and I hope he may have health har.
to enjoy his pleasant and novel situa* By procuration?"
tion and the many gratifying thoughts “ Yes-by procuration.".
it will occasion. “Can you write, Mr. Jones?" in- When I looked at him he brought to quired the Judge, half smiling at the my recollection-not, however, from farce that was being carried on by this any personal resemblance—the figure pair of worthies, and was answered rea. of the ill-fated Fauntleroy, as I saw
him dily in the affirmative.
standing, some dozen years ago,--with “Why did you sign by procuration if a high-bred air, a most strikingly genyou could write, and were present ?" tlemanly figure and handsome fea“I don't know, sir."
tures, which were blanched with agony He made a most absurd figure under and terror,-at the bar of the Old BaiCross-examination; disclosing such a ley in London, for a similar offence; scheme of villainy between himself and for which, as you may recollect and the prisoner as even, in the ab- he was shortly afterwards hanged, a sence of all other evidence, must have most miserable spectacle. I think he secured a conviction. The Judge must have been already dead when he summed up very shortly, and the jury was brought out upon the scaffold; he almost immediately found him guilty. was certainly insensible, and obliged He heard the verdict with perfect to be supported to the very last mo. composure. The Judge proceeded to ment of the brief and frightful prepapass sentence upon him ; telling him rations. that, but for the alteration in the law The last trial of interest that I lately effected by the lenient legisla. witnessed in the Crown Court was one ture, his life would have been that day which took place on the next day, or forfeited; that such was his--the the day after. It was that of a man Judge's opinion of the prisoner's for the murder of his wife. He seemguilt, that, had death been then the ed about thirty-five years old, and was punishment of forgery, he should cer- dressed in respectable mourning. He tainly have left the prisoner for exe- stood at the bar with an air at once cution. As it was, he would find the of firmness and depression. He was a punishment inflicted upon him to be little under the average height, and dreadfully severe; which was, that he his countenance rather prepossessing should be transported beyond the seas than ot:erwise. From the evidence in for the term of his natural life. Kin- chief of the first two witnesses it near listened to the sentence with an would have appeared clear that he had air of deep anxiety, but with calmness. been guilty of a most barbarous murHe deliberately gathered up his pa- der. On their depositions before the pers, which seemed to have been, coroner a verdict of manslaughter only however ostentatiously arranged, of had been returned; but, in reading no inanner of use to him ; the officer them, Mr. Justice Pattison had felt it tapped him on the shoulder, motioning his duty to instruct the Grand Jury to him away, and he followed. Many bring in a bill for murder; a step curious stories are told of this most which seemed most amply justified by