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try, upon which you put yourself for characterised by simplicity, firmness, your trial, has found you guilty of the and 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 the threefold crime of murder, rape, scale-I mean the notorious Kinnear, and robbery; and you must die. There whose name has made many a meris not a ray of hope for you on this chant's heart ache. side of the grave; your enormous He came originally, I believe, from crime has rendered you unfit to con- Glasgow, where, as well as at different tinue any longer among your fellow- periods of his career in London and creatures. I charge you to cherish Liverpool, he carried on an extensive not for an instant the slightest expec- business, and failed at the last-mentation of mercy ; it cannot, it will not tioned place, some seven or eight be extended to you. The interval years ago, to an immense amount, between the present moment and your leaving nothing whatever for his duped death, an interval which the law has creditors. He had lived in great lately mercifully extended, I implore luxury and splendour, being a man of of you to spend in constant prayer to very expensive habits and ambitious Almighty God for His forgiveness, tastes.
tastes. Finding it impossible again through repentance and faith in your to establish himself in business,-to Saviour Jesus Christ. His mercy you
obtain credit in an ordinary and open
course of dealing, his fertile invention “ I do not intend to harrow up your and determined spirit pointed out to feelings by dwelling upon the details him more secret and tortuous courses. of your crime; they have horrified all He organized a skilful scheme-a who heard them, and you must know compact confederacy (or alliance)! it. It is enough for me to discharge for the purpose of issuing fictitious the awful duty which the law has im- bills, which soon made their appearposed upon me-reminding you, un- ance in all directions, especially in happy man, once more, that your Birmingham, Liverpool, and Manchesmoments on earth are numbered, and ter, and took in even the most knowvery, very precious to you.
ing. His own name, of course, never The sentence of the Court upon you appeared ; but suspicion was at length is, that you be taken from the place roused, and pointed at him ; diligent where you now are, to the prison enquiries were set on foot after the whence you came; and thence, on alleged parties to these bills-indivi. some day to be hereafter appointed, duals and companies; and the result to a place of execution, where you was that, one fine day in October last, shall be hanged by the neck until you he was seized, together with a portbe dead; and that your body be buried manteau containing damning evidence within the precincts of the prison.” of his doings, and committed to prison.
As these last words were uttered, One Jones, also, a hoary-headed scamp, the prisoner, whose face had become his chief confederate, was arrested ghastly pale, and whose eyes had about 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 put led him down, apparently stupified, to the bar I was much struck with as soon as the Judge had ceased speak- his appearance. One cannot help a ing, out of the dock into the prison. transient feeling of sympathy towards He was executed about three weeks
a man in the garb, and with the bearafterwards, and died with firmness and ing of a gentleman, dragged to the penitence, denying, however, that he felons' bar, however one may believe had intended to cause, or was at the him to be a scoundrel. He appeared time 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 redeath passed. It is a most solemn semblance to that of Mr Joseph Hume, and painful scene. Mr Justice Pat- the Member for Kilkenny, only that tison discharged his trying duty ex- its features were more refined, and cellently well. His words were few betokened intellect. His face and and weighty ; and his manner was demeanour would have taken in any
6 Should you have suspected," or deal with but a lawyer, and an whispered a friend to me, as we were experienced one! Quem Deus vult both scrutinizing the prisoner's coun- perdere prius dementat !
At length tenance, “ that man to have been a he was called upon, in the usual villain ?!? " 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 objection to the indict. equal facilities for detecting base coin ment on which he had been mainly and base men.
relying! Just before counsel rose to ώ Ζεύ, τί δή χρυσού μεν, ός κίβδηλος ή,
state the case to the jury, Kinnear, τεκμήρι’ ανθρώποισιν ώπασας σαφή
in a strong Scottish accent, and with
an air of mingled anxiety and confiανδρών δ', όταν χρή τον κακόν ΔΙΕΙΔΕΝΑΙ
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 indict. to 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?" enquired 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! If you conhim, yet the restless anxiety of his sidered the indictment defective, why eyes, and momentary changes of his did you plead to it?" enquired 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 form 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 seemed thunderstruck. was crowded, as he saw, by them with “ You might have been better adviswhom he had once been on terms of ed," continued the Judge, kindly,“ if intimacy and equality, nay, supe you had chosen ; you should have conriority; of them who felt, as they sulted some one who would have aplooked at him, a keen and just resent- prised you of the consequences of the ment towards him for the gross frauds 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, his “ legal objection," and which he arranged carefully before succeeded. 66 Well let us hear 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 of the saying, that he who is his own commenced, with deliberate emphasis, counsel has a fool for his client. A “ with forging a bill of exchange ; and layman to conduct his own defence if 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. nical difficulties, such as no one could Is not that so, my lord ?" The Judge reasonably be expected to comprehend assented. “ Now, my Lord, I have
always understood, in my experience alas, for him !-contained numerous as a mercantile man, and it is laid down memoranda in his own handwrit, in 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 accep with his various confederates, distance is an essential part of a bill of closing a complete organization for exchange.
swindling and forging ; prospectuses “ If that is your point, there is no- of sham 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 Judge; “ hundreds and hun- all that abundant and impregnable dreds of bills are noted and protested evidence by which his portmanteau daily for non-acceptance ; how could and its contents were connected with that be if they were not bills ?"* him, as they were, step by step, be
Kinnear, however, could not part yond all doubt, in defiance of all evawith his “ point" so easily - but sion or denial on his part. Never was urged it again and again with a most any thing more hopelessly absurd ; provoking pertinacity, till the Judge at he had clearly no notion of the true once put an end to it by saying, sternly, mode, especially the true object of cross-even his patience being exhausted examination, either to break down his
Silence, prisoner! what do you prosecutor's case, without, at the same mean by standing chattering there in time, prematurely disclosing his own; this 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 all loose and miscellaneous; and yet, permit the time of the public to be in form, they were neat and terse. It any longer wasted.
Let the case go
was plain that he had no clear notion on; you will have every proper oppors of his position, no settled purpose in tunity 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 eviwell 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 titied. 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 Wat. ed, his portmanteau, which bore on it kins) to be his, the prisoner's; guess in conspicuous brassletters,“J. K. D.” his consternation when there came into (i. e. 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 money, 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 instrument in question was in this form :" Three months after date, pay to my order (without acceptance), L.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.
[July; 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 handwrit- Judge, to whom Kinnear had looked, ing of Mr Kinnear?"
as if expecting what he had said to be A. “ ( yea, ver well indid; I ave corroborated from the bench. mosh reason to know it.”
are not to suppose that if you address Q. “ How do you know it?" a bill of exchange to a person or a A. " How? Ave I not see him
company that has no real existence write ver many often times ?"
to a sham bank, for instance, which Q. “ Have
received letters from has been set up only for the purpose him?"
of giving currency to their fraudulent Ver gret nomber indeed ; too instruments, and then pass it off into many."
the world that it will avail you, eveni Q. “ Look at that bill of exchange, if a person calling himself John Watand say in whose handwriting is the kins should come and swear that these name, John Watkins.
words were in his handwriting. 1 A. “ O, 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. 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 hand 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 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 bonâ fide, and nor the counsel for the prosecution had actually commenced doing busin thinking it necessary to interpose at mess; that the bona fides of a newly es- all! He got the inan 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 capital at starting, and cited several the last name, and passed as “ John instances to show the truth of his as- Watkins;" why, he left to conjecture. sertion, that “ small beginnings often At length he came to his grand point. made large endings.” Above all, he “ Now, Mr Jones, take that bill”should be able to show, beyond all the one in question--" into your doubt, that the man who had sworn hands, and look at the name of the that the name “ John Watkins" drawer." in his, Kinnear's, handwriting, had “ I have, sir,” he replied, holding sworn falsely—that it was written by it in his hand, and looking at the priJohn Watkins himself, whom he should soner, waiting for the next question. put into the box to prove it ; and then “ Now, tell us,” continued Kinnear, he should, lie apprehended, be imme. confidently, “ in whose handwriting diately entitled to an acquittal.” are 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 busicase which Kinnear had been present- ness at Liverpool, a bill for £80,000. ing to the jury, but speaking, probably, It is now framed and glazed as a cuin accordance with some former story riosity I was told by a banker who concerted between them; Kinnear knew it as a fact, that Kinnear, on the
a 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 this most unexpected and con- 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 priving you of a moment of it !” your 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
to enjoy his pleasant and novel situa"By procuration?"
tion and the many gratifying thoughts “Yes—by procuration."
and recollections it will occasion. "Can you write, Mr Jones ?" en- 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 any personal resemblance—the figure this pair of worthies, and was an- of the ill-fated Fauntleroy, as I saw him swered readily in the affirmative. standing, some dozen years ago,-with
"Why did you sign by procuration a high-bred air, a most strikingly genif you 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 Bai. cross-examination ; disclosing such a ley in London, for a similar offence ; scheme of villany 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 mocomposure. 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 otherwise. 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 manner 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
VOL. XLIV. NO, CCLXXIII,