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PRINCIPAL OCCURRENCES

In the Year 1798.

JANUARY.

l-T^UE elect'on of an alderman X for the ward of Farringdon without, in the room of John Wilkes, Esq. finally terminated this day, in favour of Mr. Price; who, having a majority of 207 votes over Mr. Waddington, Wbs declared duly elected. The numbere on thNs three days poll were, Mr. Price. Mr. Waddington. Friday 188 179

Saturday 280 l6'7

Monday 138 53

606 399

2. The late hea'vy rains have been so severely injurious to the land in several parts of Gloucestershire and the adjacent countries, as to render it quite impossible to sow the wheats even till this advanced period. The Thames has overflowed its banks, and laid the fields on each side the high road quite under water for a mile in extent between Cirencester and Hampton. The sheep are driven from their pastures, and cannot even be turned into the turnipfields, on account of the lands being too wet, as the dirt they collect there becomes too injurious to the fleece.

From the Jjondon Gazette, Jan, 8. Parliament-street, Jan. 2. A letter, of which the following is an extract, bets been received from

Peter Le Mesurier, esq. governor of the island of Alderney, by the right hon. Henry Dundas, one of his Majesty's principal secretaries of state, dated Alderney, the 25th of December, 1797.

I have the honour of informing you, that yesterday afternoon, at three o'clock, a French cutter privateer had the boldness to chase the Ann cutter, of Hastings, close under one of our batteries, which she was just on the point of boarding with her boat, when the battery opened and obliged the French to sheer off.

Having observed that the English vessel outsailed the enemy while there was a breeze, and that the privateer was not of great force, i judged it probable that she might be captured by the troops of the garrison, and therefore ordered a detachment, with an officer, to embark in the same vessel that had been chased, and in another that fortunately happened to be in the road, having previously promised some gratuity to the owners; and in a few hours I learned, with much satisfaction, that the privateer was brought into our harbour.

She proves to be the Epervier, captain Pierce, with twenty-four men, mounting three guns, two swivels, and small arms, belonging to Dunkirk, but fitted out at Cherburgh, on a fortnight's cruise from the 17 th instant; bad, on the 21st, (A 2) taken taken the brig Ann, Le Hirrel, master, from Gaspe-to Jersey, with fish, and yesterday morning a small vessel,, bound from hence to England, both which captures had been noticed from this island.

I cannot too much praise the readiness and alacrity shown by major Gordon, the officers and soldiers of the garrison, in the execution of my orders on this occasion; for the day wa3 so far spent, that one quarter of an hour's delay might have frustrated all our exertions; but I .am in duty bound to testify my particular obligations to town-major. Hainell, who solicited to be employed, and instantaneously embarking, effected the capture without any loss.

J am further happy in reporting, that our battery was well served, as out of three shot fired within reach, one passed through the enemy's sails, and another kiliuda man on board.

This enzette also contains an account of thecapture of the Delphine, a Trench privateercutter.piened lor 10 guns, 4 mounted, and 38 men, by bis Majesty's ship Niger, capt. Edward Griffith. She had captured the Active Rrigantine of Jersey, and had been beat oft the night before we fell in with her by au English letter of marque.—Also, the Trench privateer schooner Le Victoire, of 14 guns and 74 men, by his mnjrsty's ship Termagant, capt. Lloyd, after a chase of four hours. She had captured two colliers, and was in pursuit of an English merchantman, when first discovered.

A common hull was held at Guildhall, for the purpose of electing a proper person to fill the office of chamberlain, vacant by the death of the late John Wilkes, esq. After the recorder had formally explained the purpose of the meeting,

Mr. Wilson proposed sir Watkin Lf:wes, which being seconded by Mr. Griffiths, sir Watkiu came forward and addressed the livery.

Mr. Clarke, the other candidate, then shortly addressed the livery, and on a show of tiands there appeared about ten to one in his favour: notwithstanding which sir Watkin demanded a poll, which commenced at half past two and closed at four, and upon casting up the numbers, they appeared as follow:

Mr. Clarke — 393
Sir W. Lewes 4-8

Majority 345 At the close of the poll sir Watkin declined giving any further trouble, and Mr. Clarke was consequently duly elected.

0'. This day passports were sent off. by the commissioners for French prisoners, tor a Trench' agent to come to this country, to superintend and have charge of the provisioning the French prisoners. It is now agreed upon between the two countries, that the prisoners of each shall be maintained at the cost of their respective countries, the markets of both being open to the agent residing therein.—The prir soners in both are likewise to be kept iu two or three places of general rendezvous, in place of being scattered over the country as heretofore. This country will save near naif a million a year by this arrangement.

7. Count Rumford has made a donation to the Royal Society of 10001. in the 3 per cents, for the purpose of instituting a biennial prize medal, to be disposed of by the decision of .the president and council of the Royal Society.

o. Charles Crawley and Joseph Robinson, two seamen belonging

to to his majesty's ship Tromp, were executed this morning at Spilhead, for mutiny on board that vessel, during her passage home from St. Helena.

The London Gazette contains an account of the capture of L'Aventure letter of marque, formerly, the Onslow Guineaman, of Liverpool, mounting 10 tour and 2 eight pounders, and had on board, when captured, \Q0 men, by his majesty's ship Mermaid, capt. Newman.

10. At the Old Bailey sessions this day, Robert lleeves was put to the bar on a charge of forgery.

Mr. Fielding, on the part of the prosecution, addressed thejury. He observed that the crime imputed to the prisoner was no less than forgery, a conviction of which to their satisfaction would be attended with the forfeiture of his life; and for that reason, as well as on account of its being a crime that struck so deep at the root of the commerce and money transactions of the country, deserved their most serious aliention. The prosecution was carried on, on the part of the directors of the bank, in consequence of that duly they owed the public. The prisoner, at the time of his apprehension, was a broker, in which situation he had acted for some years. Previous to his carrying on the business of a broker, he had been employed in some of the departments of the bank, and consequently was well skilled in all money transactions relating to it. It happened in the year 1796, that government had occasion lor a loan of seven millions and a half, the terms of which were, that the 3 per cents were to be taken as at 67, and according to that rate the interest of the shares of such as meant to contribute to the loan was to be divided. The subscribers.w«re also

to conform to this condition, uamely, that if a person subscribed for one, two. or ten thousand pounds, he was to pay 10 per cent, on the sum he proposed to subscribe for, ewh advance to be made on the 2(nli of April, and the remaining 90 per cent, to be made good by six subsequent payments of 15 per cent. each. The second payment Wus to be made in May, and the third in June. In the act of parliament for regulating the terms of the loan, it was provided, that if subscribers, wishing to complete" their loans, did not make good their payments within a specific time, that is to say, having paid the 10 per cent, in April, if they did not make the second payment in- May, the first subscription became forfeited for the benefit of the public. This stock, of course, formed a considerable part of the business of the stock exchange. The prisoner was acquainted with a Mr. William Ashforth, who resided at Walworth, and knowing him to be possessed of money, contrived to get out of him sums to the amount of 3 or 40001. The application of the prisoner to Mr. Ashforth for the loan of money was in the month of June, when the stipulated periods for the two first payments on the subscription to the loan to government, namely, the one in April and the other in May, were past. As a security for the money advanced by Mr. Ashforth, the prisoner deposited in his hands, what, in the language of the Alley was called scrip; the first instalment of which had been duly paid, and the receipt signed by Mr. C. Allier, the proper clerk. This scrip, or receipts to the amount of near 300,0001. was deposited with Mr. Ashforth as a security tor what he advanced. It happened that (AS)

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this loan, after the first payment of 10 per cent, was made, bore a very considerable discount, and many preferred losing the first instalment altogether, rather thau running the subsequent hazard of losing their subscription; in cousequence of which this scrip became of very trifling value indeed, so much so, that there was discovered in the possession of the prisoner stock of this kind to the amount of near 60,0001. After the prisoner had made the deposit of this scrip, the matter rested till January 1/97, wb«n A]r. Asbforth, conceiving that something more was necessary to make it a good security for his money, applied to the prisoner, who went with him to the bank for the purpose of getting the instalments paid up, although he well knew the time had elapsed, and it was impossible to be done. The prisoner left Mr. Asbforth.in the rotunda at the bank; staid away about two hours, and when he returned said he had paid up all the instalments, and could give bun the most perfect security. The prisoner then .returned him six receipts, to the amount of u'OOOl. bearing on the face of them the appearance of every payment having been made at the propar time, und signed by the cashier of the bank. Thus was the forgery completed; but it was not till the October following it was discovered. Mr. Fielding said it was no matter whether the receipts were actually signed by the prisoner or not, the question was, whether he bad not uttered them knowing the name to be forged, lie thought from the whole of the circumstances, there could be no doubt of their not beiiig the hand-writing of Mr. Allier, and consequently that the prisoner was guilty of the offence charged in the indictment.

The evidence of Mr. Allier was objected to by Mr. Wood, one of the counsel for the prisoner, and the court determined against admitting his testimony; however, it was proved by several clerks in the bank, who were acquainted with his hand-writing, that none of the receipts, except for the first advance of 10 per cent, were written by him.

Mr. Ashi'orth proved the several circumstances as stated by the learned counsel, Mr. Fielding.

A variety of legal objections were urged by Mr. Wood, Mr. Knapp, and Mr. Balmanno, but noue of them were allowed.

The prisoner being called upon for his defence, said, that the loan in 1796 seeming likely to yield a considerable profit, he bad purchased scrip to a large amount for himself and Mr. Asbforth, on which he had made the first payment. Having accounts to settle with Mr. Asbforth, he had deposited a considerable quantity with him, which, owing to an illness he was attacked with, he lost the opportunity of paying the instalments in their due time: thai he therefore went to the stock exchange, and purchased other scrip with ail the subscriptions paid up, but from whom ha purchased the same he could not tell. He said scrip was considered as current as bank notes on the stock exchange, and it was usual with persons who had large dealings to purchase scrip without making any minute of the parties they purchased of. He further said, if he had had any idea oS his having committed a forgery, he would not have attended the stock exchange till the very hour and minute of his apprehension.

Several gentlemen of lite stock

exchange stated, that it was not uu

usual in the hurry of business to

purchase purchase scrip, without knowing from whom, but on being crossexamined, they admitted the)' were in general as circumspect as possible, and took notes of the seller as well as the parly for whom they bought.

Several witnesses gave the prisoner an excellent character, after which the learned judge summed up the evidence with the utmost precision and candour, observing, that the principal points for the consideration of the jury were, whether the prisoner had uttered the receipts,knowing them to be forged, or whether he had fairly purchased them on the stock exchange from persons whom in the hurfy of business he had forgot.

The jury retired for thirteen minutes, and soon after returned with ■a verdict—Guilty.

Plymouth, Jan. 13. On the morning of the llih, the Cerberus, of 32 guns, captain Drew, arrived in Cawsand Bay, from Cork, having under her convoy the Reynard, of SO guns, and Epervoir, of \Q guns, French privateers, which had been captured by her in November last. During the night of the 10th, and morning of the 11th, the wind blew from the southward with great violence, attended by a very heavy sea, and for the most part bard rain; this state of the weather continued until about half past one o'clock P. M. when the wind abated considerably, and veered a little to the westward of the south. All the morning, till that time, the Reynard was in great danger of drivingon the rocks in Firestone bay, but she fortunately escaped, and is now safe in Hamoaze. As soon as the gale abated a little, captaiu Drew of the Cerberus, Mr. James Drew, acting lieutenant of the same ship, and nephew to captain Drew; captain

Pulling, late of the Penguin, of 18 guns, now on the Cork station, Mr.' Poore and Mr. Daily, midshipmen, captain D.'s coxswain, and a black servant belonging to captain P. together with a boat's crew of sit sailors, left Cawsand Bay in the Cerberus's barge, and steered for Hamoaze, Captain D. having letters from Admiral Kiugstnill at Cork, for the port-admiral here: they made their passage very safely, though the sea ran very hollow, until they came abreast of Redding Point, and at the opening of Hamoaze; but about two o'clock P. M. as they were passing the bridge, a very narrow channel, situate between Mount Edgcumbe and St. Nicholas's Island, they found, notwithstanding the wind had much abated, that the swell of the sea was there very heavy, occasioned by the then strong ebb-tide from the harbour, running counter to the southerly wind at sea. The ground beneath being very rocky, and the water shoal, although we may fairly presume, that the utmost care was taken by captain Drew to guard against accidents, he could not prevent the melancholy fate which awaited him and his companions; when they got abreast nearly of St. Nicholas's Island,a heavy sea broke into the boat, which rendered her situation very dangerous: captain Drew now became alarmed, and instantly pulled off his coat to be prepared for the worst, at the same time advising all hands in the boat to consider of the best means of saving their lives, in case any still more imminent danger should itrise: bis fears were soon realised, for the sea which first 9truck the boat, was instantly followed by two others, by which she foundered, and, dreadful to relate, every person, on board her, except two of the (A 4) sailors,

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