Captain George Spurrell

Old Bailey Proceedings, Central Criminal Court, 1742, Reference Number: t17420428-21

John Flanegan, of St. Dunstan Stepney, Weaver , was indicted for forging and counterfeiting a certain Promissary Note , for the Payment of 20 s. which said Note is contain’d in the Words following.

Received of Capt. Geo Spurrel , the Sum of Twenty Shillings, on Account of David Richmond , which Sum I promise to pay on Demand, As Witness my Hand.

Hen. Miller.

Mar. 31, 1742.

Witness John Beach.

With Intent to defraud George Spurrel , and Henry Miller.

He was farther charg’d for uttering and publishing the same, well knowing it to be false, forg’d and counterfeit .

Capt. George Spurrel: On the 31st of March last, after the Hour of twelve, I came home from the Hudson’s-Bay House in Fenchurch-street, to my House on Stepney Causeway , where I found the Prisoner along with three Persons, who pretended to be Sailors I at that Time was in pretty great Necessity for Hands, and these Men agreed to go a Voyage with me, if I would lend them a Sum of Money to sit them out. The Prisoner told me his Name was Henry Miller , and that he kept the Paul’s-Head in Spittle-Fields, and was ready to be bound for them. Upon that, I told him, if he would lend them the Money, I would give him my Note. He did not care for that he said, but if they wanted any thing in his Way, he would be very ready to let them have it. At last, after some Disputes, I lent them first three Pounds, and then 20 Shillings, and he wrote this Note, and sign’d it in my Presence. These Witnesses happened to be in the Room at the same Time, and saw him sign the Recepts, and receive the Money.

The Note was read (as above)

Capt. Spurrel: The Person who witnessed this Note by the Name of John Beach, had failed with me before, and had the Misfortune to lose his Right Hand, and they pick’d him up to introduce them to me.

Q.: Did you pay this Money to the Prisoner?

Capt. Spurrel: Yes, he told me he kept the Paul’s-Head, and I was by that means more easily seduc’d to part with my Money. I told him I should expect my Money again from him, and he promis’d to return it in Case the Men were press’d.

Q.: Did you know Henry Miller ?

Capt. Spurrel: No, I was not acquainted with him, but trusted the Prisoner, thinking him to be the Man that kept the Paul’s-Head, else I should not have lent him the Money.

Mary Rodey: I saw the Prisoner receive the Money of Captain Spurrell , and Sign the Receipt.

This is the very Note, I saw him write Henry Miller. There were four Pounds paid in all, and John Beach witness’d the Note, and wrote his Name with his left Hand.

Another Witness: I was at Captain Spurrell ‘s to receive some Wages for my Husband, and this Man, the Prisoner, brought three others with him in a Coach, and took four Pounds; three Pounds first, and then set his Hand again for another Pound. He was the Man that took the Money, and Capt. Spurrel was very loth to let him have it.

Jury: What Name did he sign the Note by?

Witness: He sign’d Henry Miller .

Pris.: I was order’d by Miller and his Wife to do what I did.

John Connel: The Prisoner works in Spittle-Fields, within a few Doors of me. I have known him 6 or 7 Years, and I believe he is a very honest Man.

A Man: I am a Smith in Brown-Street, and the Prisoner was my Neighbour, I never heard no Harm of him.

John Huggins: The Prisoner liv’d in the House with me, and I never heard but that he was a pains-taking Man.

Benjamin Rollos: I have known him 6 or 7 Years, and always found him act in a very honest Way. I live in Wheeler-Street, Spittle-Fields.

Prisoner: Ask Mr. Spurrel whether he has not had some Satisfaction for this Note?

Capt. Spurrel: No, I have not.

Acquitted .

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