Old Bailey Proceedings:
Old Bailey Proceedings: Accounts of Criminal Trials

19th February 1812

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311. ELEANOR WESTON proceedingsdefend and ANN WESTON proceedingsdefend were indicted for a conspiracy .

ROBERT ALLMAN < no role > . I am parish clerk of St. Mary Nottingham.

Q. Have you the register book of marriages in February, 1787 - A. I have.

" John Thompson < no role > , of the parish of St. Nicholas, of this town, was married to Margaret Jeffs < no role > . of this parish; married in this church by license, 22d of February 1787.

JOHN THOMPSON < no role > . Q. Did you formerly reside at Notingham - A. Yes.

Q. Were you married there in the month of February, 1787 - A. Yes, to Margaret Jeffs < no role > .

Q. Your wife, I believe, is dead - A. Yes, she died on the 3d of June last.

Q. And you have, for some time past I believe, resided at Birmingham - A. Yes, with my wife, we lived together as man and wife at the time of her death.

Q. Did your business occasion you to be frequently in London for a length of time - A. Yes.

Q. In the spring of the year 1810, did you meet the young woman at the bar, Eleanor Weston - A. Yes, I did.

Q. And in a few days after you met her were you introduced by her to her sister, Ann Weston < no role > - A. Yes, I was, they lodged together at No. 12, Fetter-lane.

Q. Were did you then lodge - A. At No. 10, Mitre Court, Fleet-street.

Q. In a few days after you met her, did you and she form a more intimate acquaintance - A. Yes, we did.

Q. At that time when you came to town did you and she principally live together - A. No, we did not at first.

Q. Did you cohabit when you came to town - A. We first cohabited upon the 26th of May, I went down into Birmingham one week after I became acquainted with her, and stopped a week or ten days, and came back again.

Q. Were you in London near the beginning of the month of August in that year - A. I was.

Q. Were was your sleeping-room then - A. No. 10, Mitre Court; I slept with her then at her lodgings; I then moved to St. John-street, Smithfield.

Q. Did the sister lodge in the same house with you then - A. In the same house.

Q. You say you left London for Birmingham on the 7th of August - A. It was.

Q. Was your place taken in town, or taken in Birmingham - A. Taken in town, in the Prince coach the George and Blue Boar.

Q. What time of the day did it set off - A. Three o'clock in the afternoon.

Q. And you set off on the 7th or the next day - A. On the 7th at three o'clock in the afternoon.

Q. Did you know then Mr. or Mrs. Houghton - A. Yes, they were in the same coach upon that day.

Q. Did you know them before - A. Yes.

Q. How far did they go with you - A. Within ten miles of Birmingham, to Hockley-house, there the carriage waited for them.

Q. What time did you arrive upon the 8th at Birmingham - A. About eleven, or a quarter past, upon the 8th, morning.

Q. What state of health was Mrs. Thompson in at that time - A. She was extremely ill, she was attended by a physician.

Q. Had you heard of her being worse from her illness before you left town - A. Yes, I had received a letter acquainting me that she was worse.

Q. Have you every reason to believe that letter is destroyed - A. After my wife's death I destroyed every letter.

Q. By whom was that letter written - A. About two or three lines by my wife, and the remainder by the servant.

Q. How long did you remain at Birmingham at that time - A. About ten days, I then went to Liverpool, and came to town again about the 27th, upon the close of that month.

Q. After you returned to town did you again cohabit with the prisoner Eleanor - A. Yes, I did.

Q. When did you cease wholly to cohabit with her A. Upon the 20th of March.

Q. She had a child by you - A. So I understood since, she has a child, of which she was pregnant when I left her in March.

Q. And you took her with you to the Isle of Wight - A. I did take her with me to Portsmouth in October, 1810. her friends lived in that neighbourhood.

Q. Did you give her liberty to pass in your name - A. I did.

Q. In visiting any of her friends in town, or their visiting you, did you let her pass by your name - A. I permitted her to pass by my name.

Q. Did she know that you were a married man - A. She did; I let her know, the first week of our acquaintance in the month of April, before any intercourse had taken place.

Q. I must ask you, for form sake, were you ever married to her - A. Never.

Q. I must further ask you, for form sake, were you ever married to her on the 9th of August, 1810, at St. Bride's church in London - A. In the autumn of the year 1810, that the ceremony had been gone through between her and the other person, she told me herself, on the 27th or on the 28th of August, when I returned to town, that she had got married to a man in my name, and it was for the sole purpose of satisfying her friends, and she said that her sisterhad persuaded her to it.

Q. Was her sister by at this time - A. It was only what she said herself; she said that the man came to her apartment, and her sister's apartment, and she agreed with the man for two pounds.

Q. Did she say any thing with respect to the ceremony - A. She said that they had dressed themselves in such a figure and manner that nobody should know them, they dressed like washerwoman.

Q. What did you say to her upon this - A. I was very angry with her, and asked her how she could think of doing such a diabolical act, as to go to the altar in that manner; she said that she had wrote to her friends, saying that she was married, and they said they would not receive her without a certificate, therefore she was compelled to do it. I asked her if she knew the man's name, and she declared she did not.

Q. Upon this, I believe, you took a lodging for her and her sister - A. Very near that time.

Q. You say you continued living with her occasionally to the month of March last, after you ceased to live with her did she upon any occasion apply to you - A. She did, several times, for money.

Q. Do you remember her applying to you at the house of Mr. Young of Bartholomew-close in October - A. Yes; I supplied her with money for the use of the child.

Q. Did she come to you at the house of Mr. Young in October last - A. She did.

Q. Did she there say anything to you respecting being married to her - A. Yes, she knocked at the door; I opened it; she came to my room door, brought the child, and a bundle, and said she was come to live with me, for she was my lawful wife; my answer was if she made any disturbance there I should be obliged to send for a constable and take her away.

Q. Had she made any application to you prior to this A. No further than drinking tea with me and inviting me to renew the intercourse.

Q. Was Mr. Young by when any thing of this passed - A. No. She would not go out at this time, and I was obliged to go out and leave her in one of my rooms, and I locked up the warehouse, and went out; she would not come out; I staid out till eleven o'clock at night.

JOHN WHITEMAN < no role > . I am parish clerk of St. Bride's.

Q. Turn to the 9th of August, 1810, read the entery.

" John Thompson < no role > , of this parish, widower, and Eleanor Weston < no role > , spinster, of the same parish, were married at this church by banus, the 9th of August, 1810, by me, J. M. Jones, curate. Signed as having been married; John Thompson < no role > , Eleanor Weston."

Q. Who attested as witness - A. Ann Weston < no role > .

Q. to Mr. Thompson. Is that signature yours - A. It is not; I believe the signature, Eleanor Weston < no role > , is her's; I have seen her write.

Q. Have you seen Ann Weston < no role > write - A. I am not certain I have seen her write at all.

Q. to Whiteman. Can you recollect who were the persons that were married that day. How many are married in that church in the year - A. A good many.

Mr. Alley. You say you know the man very well, has he or has he not been with you; I ask you whether you could or could not remember whether he was married at your church - A. He is a parishioner of the town of Birmingham, he has been several times in our vestry-room.

Q. Has he not, again and again, spoke to you upon the subject of this marriage, and asked whether you could or could not recollect whether he was the person that was married at your church with this woman - A. He did ask me once, and but once, and I told him directly: I know you very well, but I do not know whether it was here, or it might be in Birmingham.

Q. How often can you recollect that he has been at your parish vestry-room - A. Very often.

Q. Do you allow it, or is it the custom for persons who are not your parishioners to come to your vestry-room - A. No; it is not; he never came at any period but it was about the business that this book concerns.

Q. How often was it in all - A. I cannot say, it might be four or five times; he brought other gentlemen to look at the book.

Q. How long ago had he been before Christmas - A. I do not recollect, he was there before Christmas; he has been at my house two or three times.

Q. Was he a private acquaintance of yours - A. No.

Q. What did he come to your house for - A. He came to ask my daughter if I was at home.

Q. Have you seen him yourself - A. I have.

Q. For what purpose did you see him at your house - A. He came to ask for the book to see the names in it; he never saw it at my house, but at the vestry.

Q. How long before Christmas - A. Never before Christmas; the first time he came about the books; he applied to the Rev. Mr. Jones.

Q. Did you ever live at Birmingham - A. No, but I have been there repeatedly, several months together.

Q. Do you know any thing of his character at Birmingham at all - A. It is improper to say things of a man's character, which we do not know is true.

Q. Then you had not the honour of his private acquaintance at Birmingham - A. No; I had not.

Mr. Gurney. You say he has come to your house for the purpose of making enquiries respecting the book, and that book not being at your house he has gone to the vestry to see it - A. This he has done four or five times.

Mr. Gurney, shewing a paper to Mr. Thompson. Tell me whose hand-writing it is - A. Eleanor Weston < no role > 's.

Mr. Alley. You know of course the nature of your oath - A. Yes.

Q. You were married in 1787, at what time of life have you arrived to - A. Forty-eight.

Q. Quite to years of discretion, you have learned your catechism, you read the bible and go to church - A. I do.

Q. Do you believe in God, and you believe in afuture state of rewards and punishment, and have read the Scriptures, I take it for granted - A. I have.

Q. So then your poor wife at Birmingham was upon her death-bed, and you travelled up to London, and met with the woman at the bar, and took a lodging, your poor wife requiring the solace of your duty, and you spending your time with a prostitute - A. Yes.

Q. You got home to Birmingham, and when was it your poor wife died - A. The 3d of June, 1810.

Q. And you continued on this intercourse with the woman up to the time of her decease - A. Up to the 20th of March.

Q. Now I put one plump question to you in Christian charity, I caution you before you give me your answer, in the presence of God I ask you, and in the presence of your country, is it or is it not your handwriting to the register of St. Bride's - A. It is not my hand-writing; the name of John Thompson < no role > in the register of St. Bride's is not my handwriting.

Q. Now I caution you that I will prove this - A. It is not my hand-writing.

Q. You say you met this woman in the street first - A. No, I did not; I met her in St. Paul's Church.

Q. What, talk to her in St. Paul's church - A. I did not.

Q. Did your attachment to her take place in St. Paul's, where you first found her - A. I followed her home from St. Paul's church to No. 12, Fetter-lane. I had not been to that church to prayers, I had just come from a place of worship.

Q. So coming from a place of worship you followed her home to Fetter-lane - A. I did.

Q. Did you speak to her in the street - A. I did not.

Q. What day was this - A. On Sunday.

Q. What religion are you, for God's sake - A. I do not know any name I can give to my religion.

Q. Thanks to God, I hope no other man is of the same religion - you followed her in the house without having spoken to her before was the door of the house open - A. It was.

Q. Did you see her or her sister first - A. Her.

Q. How long was it before your intimacy took place with her - A. I do not understand you.

Q. How soon did the intercourse take place with her - A. On the 25th of May.

Q. In Fetter-lane, at her sister's house - A. I am not sure it was in Fetter-lane, I think they were removed to St. John's-street while I was in Birmingham. I lived with her there one month, and then went down to Birmingham.

Q. Then I think you said you were very angry with her for having married in your name - A. I was.

Q. You said you were shocked at her profligacy - A. I did.

Q. What are you - A. I am a jeweller, I make imitable diamonds.

Q. What, mock diamonds to cheat the world with - A. My warehouse is 53, Great Bartholomew-close, my manufactory is in Birmingham; I employ seven or eight working under my direction.

Q. So then after this woman told you she had married in a fictitious name you took her down to Portsmouth with you - A. I did.

Q. And you at Portsmouth took her to her own brother, and I tell you here he is, a respectable tradesman at Portsmouth as your wife, and requested that he would receive you as his brother-in-law - A. I suffered her to introduce me to her brother, and I kept up the delusion.

Q. Now, sir, did not you yourself say that you hoped he would have no objection to you as a brother-in-law - A. I did not.

Q. How long did you live in that habitation as the husband of his sister - A. About ten days.

Q. Received as a brother-in-law - A. Yes, I was.

Q. Received the same at her mothers - A. We were not at all with the mother.

Q. So that after you left Portsmouth you returned with this woman to London - A. I came to London, and went down to Birmingham, and left her at Portsmouth.

Q. Then you came to London and took a room in Mitre-court - A. Yes, Mrs. Currie's, a fruiterers and oyster shop.

Q. She fitted up a room - A. No, it was not fitted up at all, it was only took to deceive Mrs. Currie; I put a bed in it in order to deceive her.

Q. How long did you live with her as man and wife - A. I think till the 20th of March last.

Q. She had a child afterwards and you thought it time to be off - A. I was two months at home on account of my wife's illness.

Q. Where did his mother live - A. In Old-street, opposite of St. Luke's church.

Q. You say you were always ready and willing to pay for the maintainance of this poor orphan - A. Yes.

Q. No action has been brought against you to compel you to pay - A. That was brought for the premises, the rent; for the old woman told me she would never take any rent of me, therefore she never made any demand; she made a demand of rent before the action was brought.

Q. Did you object to paying that demand - A. Yes, my lord, but my attorney paid part of that demand in court.

Q. Who is your attorney - A. Mr. Draper.

(Mr. Draper was desired by Mr. Alley to go out of court.)

Mr. Alley. Mr. Harmer is here, I cannot ask him to go out of court. When were you first introduced to Mr. Draper - A. I cannot recollect.

Q. Do you recollect Mr. Draper being desired by you to call upon the mother to propose that if she would forego the claim for the rent you would not prosecute her two daughters for a conspiracy - A. I did not; I did know of the conspiracy at the time.

Q. Then if ever Mr. Draper has said so he did it without your direction - A. Certainly, if he did it at all he did it without my direction.

Q. Did you or did you not hear that he went to the mother of these people with a warrant upon the indictment to take them in custody if they did not accede to the proposal, and forego the action - A. Inever did hear so.

Q. Do you remember the night they were taken in custody - A. Not the day of the month.

Q. Have you ever corresponded with the prisoner - A. Once.

Q. Has she often been with you - A. About four times.

Q. You have been once to her and she four times to you - A. Yes.

Q. Did you ever copy a letter for her to write - A. Never, nor any other document.

Q. Did you ever dictate to her the form of any letter that he was to write - A. Never.

Q. Have you never said to any body that you took care that she should not have your letters, but that you took care to manage well to have letters of her's - A. Never.

Q. Have you or have you not said that you took care that she should have no letters of yours to shew, or any thing to that effect - A. Never.

Q. Nor have not you said that you took care that you would have letters of hers - A. Never.

Q. You again deny it. Now I again caution you and tell you that I will call a witness to contradict you if you again deny it; have not you said that you took care to have her letters, but you took care she should have no writing of yours to produce - A. I did not.

Q. Did you ever propose to her that she should write a letter to you declaring to you that she was not married to you, as your reason that it might save you from a prosecution for bigamy, because the thing was wispered about among your wife's friends - A. Never.

Q. Do you understand the question - A. I do.

Q. Do you know that you have been subject to a prosecution if the fact had been so discovered - A. Assuredly.

Q. I think you told me that you left London upon the 7th of August in the year 1810, and did not return for two weeks - A. I did not return till the 28th, I was not in town on the 9th or 10th.

Q. Can you tell where you dined on the 9th - A. At home, at Birmingham.

Q. With your poor wife that is gone - A. Yes, with her.

Q. Have you got any body here that dined with you that day - A. No.

Q. Did you meet with two persons that went with you within ten miles of Birmingham. Are they here to-night - A. They are.

Q. When did you first apply to them to come here to day - A. About a month back.

Q. As a Birmingham man doing business, you went backwards and forwards continually - A. I came about four times a year.

Q. Do you usually go yourself to enter your name or send any other for you, for the clerk to put it down, so that it will not appear in your own handwriting that you went down at that time - A. It will not.

Q. If you had a friend that you wished to accommodate in the coach I suppose you would not object to enter his name as Thompson that he might be well accommodated - A. I do not understand you.

Q. Have you never entered a name of Thompson for any of your friends for whom you took a place to go in the country - A. I have for my wife, not for any male friends. Yes, from Birmingham not from London; I had a servant that lived with me about six years, and her name was put down with mine when we came to London together.

Q. Who has she lived with since your wife's death - A. With Mr. Griffiths, a surgeon, No. 2, Tooth-place, Finsbury-square.

Q. Where has she lived, and with whom, since your wife's death - A. After I gave up house-keeping she went to live with her father; she lived with me after I gave up housekeeping till the month of August, and from that time till she came to live in London I had seen her two or three times: she went to see her father about seven or eight miles from Birmingham.

Q. How long did she continue to live with her father - A. About a week, and then she went down to Sheers Hill in Staffordshire, about twenty-three miles from Birmingham; I understood she was there about a fortnight or three weeks or a month, then she came to Birmingham and waited my return, and then she came to London with me in September in the coach in a very ill state of health; she went the very same day to Mr. Griffiths.

Q. Where does she live now - A. In the very same place.

Q. Now let me again caution you, do you know a person of the name of Susannah Currie < no role > , who cooked your wedding dinner - A. No one in London.

Q. Did not Mrs. Susannah Currie < no role > upon the 9th of August, 1810, in London, cook your wedding dinner for you - A. No.

Q. Do not you know Mr. Thomas Evans < no role > , he is a respectable wholesale dealer in town - A. I do not know it.

Q. Do you remember a visit from him on the 9th - A. I do not.

Q. I ask you, upon the oath you have taken, did you either on the 9th or the 10th receive from him both you and your wife a congratulatory visit just before he was going into the country - A. I did not; I was in Birmingham at the time.

Q. You know the man - A. I do.

Q. Do you recollect the chit-chat of the afternoon Mrs. Currie saying it was a very odd thing to say that she had the pleasure of dressing a wedding dinner for her master and mistress, and it was the following day that she was married herself some years ago - A. I never heard any such thing said in my presence.

Q. That you persist in - A. I do.

Mr. Alley. There then I leave you.

MARY HOUGHTON < no role > . Q. Where do you reside - A. At Wild Green, Sutton Colfield, near Birmingham.

Q. What is Mr. Houghton - A. In the ordnance.

Q. Do you know Mr. Thompson of Birminham - A. I do; that is the gentleman.

(Pointing to him.)

Q. How long have you known him - A. Since the 7th of August, 1810.

Q. Did you go down in the Birmingham coach on the 7th of August - A. I did; I got in it at the endof Sloane-street, in the afternoon.

Q. Did you travel in that coach all night. Was Mr. Thompson< no role > a passenger in the coach all the way you went - A. Yes.

Q. Where did you and Mr. Houghton leave the coach - A. At Hockley, about ten miles from Birmingham.

Q. Did you leave Mr. Thompson pursuing his journey to Birmingham - A. Yes.

Q. Are you quite sure this was the 7th of August - A. Yes, I am.

Mr. Alley. You never knew him before - A. No.

Q. You never spoke to him on the 7th of August, did you - A. Not till I came to London.

Q. At the time you passed him in the street did you know it was Mr. Thompson you travelled with. When was you first applied to to become a witness - A. Wednesday evening last, at Wild Green.

Q. And you have come up from Wild Green on purpose to be a witness - A. I have.

Q. What particular reason have you for knowing it to be the 7th of August - A. I recollect it upon account of my birth-day the Tuesday before, when I kept my birth-day with my friends at Chelsea.

Q. What time did you quit the coach - A. About ten o'clock.

Q. When did you first see him - A. Last Friday.

Q. You never spoke to him in your life before, till last Friday -

Mr. Gurney. You had travelled with him by daylight, can you have the least doubt about his person - A. Not the least.

WILLIAM PORTER < no role > . Q. What are you - A. I am an assistant at the George and Blue Boar. I have the entries of the coach of the 7th of August, 1810; this is my fellow-servant's hand-writing, he is dead; he was the book-keeper at that time, I know his handwriting.

"Tuesday, August 7th, 1810, Mr. Houghton two to Birmingham; 4 l. 10 s. Sloane-street. Mr. English one, Stratford. Mr. Thompson one, Birmingham; 2 l. 5 s. full.

COURT. Q. You know the hand-writing of the man that kept the book at that time - A. I do; this is his hand-writing.

JOHN HOUGHTON < no role > . I live in Wild Green, Sutton Colfield.

Q. Were you in town in the beginning of August, 1810 - A. I was.

Q. Upon what day did you leave town to go home - A. On the 7th, in the afternoon, it was on a Tuesday.

Q. Was your wife with you - A. She was.

Q. Do you know Mr. Thompson, of Birmingham - A. I know him from going to Hockley with him that day.

COURT. Do you know your wife's birth day - A. On the 2d was her birth-day, it was kept at a friend's house at Chelsea.

Q. Do you know Mr. Thompson - A. I know him very well.

Q. Was he one of your fellow-travellers - A. He was. I am perfectly sure of it.

Q. Had you any acquaintance with him before this - A. No.

Q. Have you since - A. I have met with him two or three times in the street, and he called upon me some months ago.

Mr. Alley. You often travel backward and forward to London, will you tell me that you can recollect the faces of the different passengers that you meet with in the coach - A. I cannot of every one, but I do that of Mr. Thompson very well.

Q. Did you travel by night - A. Surely.

Q. What time did you leave the coach - A. I cannot tell to an hour or so, about ten o'clock the following morning I should suppose.

Q. What time did you go off at night - A. I believe the coach leaves London at three in the afternoon.

Q. You went in your own coach from the stage, and left him - A. No, not my own coach, in an hackney chaise.

Q. You took a post chaise and left it before you got to Birmingham - A. Yes, at Hockley.

Q. Where do you live now - A. In Wild Green, but then I lived in Birmingham.

Q. When did this man call upon you after your first interview together - A. I do not know.

Q. Will you swear that you never saw the man's face for a full year and a half - A. I cannot, I have seen him in the street once or twice.

Q. What did he call upon you for - A. There was a circumstance which would occasion a trial in Hereford, he should be obliged to subpoene me.

Q. Did he call upon you six, or three months ago - A. He called upon me at one of my manufactories.

Q. Had you given him your address before you left him - A. I am so perfectly well known in Birmingham that I might easily be found; he asked me if I recollected him, I said I did, and then the circumstance of our travelling together, whether he mentioned it first or me, I cannot recollect; it was five days after my wife's birth-day at Chelsea that I travelled with him, there was a particular circumstance that makes me remember.

Q. What time did you leave him in the morning, at Hockley - A. I believe we breakfasted at Stafford.

Q. Did you leave him at Stafford, or go the next stage - A. The next stage I think.

Q. He called upon you you say; when were you first applied to to be a witness here - A. I believe about nine or ten days ago.

Q. Were you before the Grand Jury - A. No.

Q. Was your wife - A. No, we came up to London together.

Q. Have you and he visited often lately - A. No, sir.

Q. Not at your house at all - A. No.

Mr. Gurney. Has he called at your house lately - A. He called upon me at the Imperial hotel, where I am now; I saw him on Friday when he came to town.

Q. Are you well known in Birmingham - A. Perfectly well known.

Q. In the course of travelling, do you think very likely you and your wife might call each other by your names - A. I frequently called her Mrs. O.

Q. You say you are a person extremely well known - A. I am.

Q. Then if any one went to the coach-office to know who was his fellow traveller, he would verysoon find you - A. He certainly would.

Mr. Gurney, Q. to Porter. What time did the coach set off - A. At three o'clock.

Mr. Houghton. I got in the coach at the end of Sloane-street.

Q. At whose house were you at Chelsea - A. At Mr. Nobles.

EDWARD NOBLE < no role > . I reside at Chelsea.

Q. In the month of August were your friends Mr. and Mrs. Houghton on a visit to your house - A. They were.

Q. Was Mrs. Houghton's birth-day kept there - A. In particular it was mentioned at the time, I remember that her birth-day did occur at the time she was at my house; we complained that we had no plumb-pudding on that day.

Q. Do you remember on what day they quitted your house - A. On the Tuesday after, that was the 7th of August; I accompanied them to the coach, and saw them in it at the end of Sloane-street. I have made a memorandum of the day, I have it in my pocket. Mr. Houghton left on Tuesday and returned on Friday.

LETITIA MOSELEY < no role > . Q. Did you live with Mr. and Mrs. Thompson at Birmingham - A. Yes, near seven years.

Q. You remained in their service till Mrs Thompson's death - A. Yes, I did.

Q. Was your master in town in the beginning of August, 1810 - A. He was.

Q. Do you know your master's birth-day - A. Yes, the 4th of August.

Q. Was it usually kept in the family - A. Yes.

Q. Was it kept at that time when he was in town - A. It was not kept at that time; Mrs. Thompson was very ill indeed.

Q. Do you remember her attempting to write a letter at that time - A. Yes, she began to write to my master in London on Friday morning, the 5th.

Q. Did she finish it - A. No, she was too ill. I finished it for her.

Q. Did you ever write or finish any letter for her but that one - A. No. I took it to the post.

Q. When did your master came down - A. On Wednesday after the Friday, and my master remained at home about nine or ten days at Birmingham.

Q. Are you quite sure he staid above a week - A. Yes, I am sure of that.

Mr. Alley. You are in service now, are not you - A. Yes.

Q. You lived at that time, two years ago, at Birmingham - A. Yes.

Q. As soon as your poor mistress died you did not think it right to stay at Birmingham, you came to London, you did not remain any time at Birmingham - A. I remained there till my master sold off, my mistress was buried in June, and he sold off in Birmingham.

Q. Was there any other servant in the house but you - A. No, but I had a person in the house with me, but she was not a servant; I was in the country altogether three or four months after her death.

Q. How long did you stay in the same house with your master - A. About two months; the rest I passed with my friends; my master called on me once while I was at my father's.

Q. You know Eleanor Weston < no role > , the woman that says she is his wife, and he denies; has Eleanor Weston < no role > ever happened to pop in on you, and your master any where - A. Yes, at the warehouse, twice she did.

Q. She wanted to know what business you had there - A. She did not ask me.

Q. Did she ask Mr. Thompson - A. Not in my hearing.

Q. In what room did Eleanor find you in - A. In the bed-room, I was looking up Mr. Thompson's clothes I had got to be washed, and I was there when Mr. Thompson went to the door.

Mr. Gurney You had lived in his family for near seven years - A. Yes.

Q. His wife had ill health - A. Very ill health.

Q. At the time that this Eleanor saw you in the bed-room were there any words between you and her - A. I never spoke to her at all; he said if Mr. Thompson choosed to keep me as a servant she had no objection; Mr. Thompson was in the room at the time, he did not speak at all. She said she was his lawful wife; he told her if the did not go about her business immediately he would send for a constable and have her taken up; she said he was her lawful husband, it was a shameful thing, he had promised to marry her a fortnight after Mrs. Thompson's death; Mr. Thompson told me to go directly home, and I did, leaving him and her both in the same house; she said he was her seducer, and she would make it cost him a great sum of money. This was in Bartholomew-close.

JOHN TWELLS < no role > . I am clerk to Messrs. Spooner's the bankers.

Q. Does Mr. Thompson keep cash at your house - A. He draws checks upon us for the credit of the house at Birmingham.

Q. Look at the signature, John Thompson < no role > , in the parish book of St. Bride's do you believe this to be his hand-writing - A. No, I should not pay a check in that hand-writing. This differs from his usual manner of writing, I should not take it to be his writing. I do not conceive any similarity between it, it is not like his hand-writing; I have seen him write six or seven times.

COURT, to Porter. What time did that coach that set out from your coach office return to town - A. About two o'clock.

Q. Are there coaches that set off earlier from Birmingham - A. Some get to town about eight in the morning, they leave there about seven in the evening.

Q. Do you know of any coach that come up at an earlier hour - A. No.

JURY. How early does the mail get up to town from Birmingham - A. That I do not know.

COURT, to Thompson. Do you know when the mail gets up to town - A. The Shrewsbury mail sets off about three o'clock in the afternoon, and would get to town about seven or eight in theafternoon, and would get to town about seven or eight in the morning, they arrive about seven in the morning.

Q. Do you know any coaches that come up to London at an earlier hour - A. No.

Q. From what place did you subpoene Mr. and Mrs. Houghton - A. I first called upon him in January, I called on him at his warehouse, the last time I wrote to him at his warehouse in Birmingham.

Q. What was the name of your physician and apothecary that attended your wife - A. I applied to them both, and they would not prove any thing concerning the day.

Q. Had your wife a nurse - A. No, she had not.

Q. What hour did you get to Birmingham on the 8th - A. About eleven o'clock in the morning.

JOSEPH BLANDFORD < no role > . Q. You are a practicing attorney in London - A. I am.

Q. Were you solicitor to a commission where Mr. Thompson was a creditor - A. I think John Thompson, I know him well.

Q. What commission was it - A. A man of the name of Brothers, two commissions; this Thompson was a creditor and assignee under both commissions.

Q. The hand-writing in the church-book of St. Bride's, look at it - A. It is not his usual hand-writing, but I have not the smallest doubt in the world but it is his hand-writing. There is one thing remarkable, which no man will mistake, the letter S is pretty similar in all the instance which I have ever seen him write, I never saw him write otherwise than John Thompson < no role > in full length, and I have seen him write a dozen times under those commissions. (A paper shewn the witness, which Twells thought was not his hand-writing.) This is his hand-writing, I called upon him for the composition myself, for the money to be paid under this agreement, and he paid it himself. (Another paper shewn the witness, which Twells did not think was his hand-writing.) I will swear that this is his hand-writing, I saw him sign it, these are the proceedings under the commission, and I saw him sign them.

Q. Is that signature to be found more than once in these proceedings - A. Yes, a dozen times, and I saw him sign them all but one.

Mr. Gurney. You are attorney for the prosecution A. I have never interfered at all, my part is concerned for the defendants certainly.

WILLIAM MURRAY < no role > . I am partner with Mr. Blandford.

Q. Do you know the hand-writing of Thompson - A. I know his hand-writing perfectly well.

Q. Look at the register book of St. Bride's, and tell me whether you think it is his hand-writing - A. From the knowledge I have of his hand-writing, I think there is no doubt but it is hand-writing, I have no doubt, not the least in the world.

(The commission under the bankruptcy shewn the witness.)

MR. MURRAY. I drew up these depositions and memorandums, I positively saw him write his name to them.

Mr. Gurney. You have a very strong opinion that the writing in this register-book is his hand-writing - A. I do, but I think he meant to disguise it.

Q. Is not the letter T perfectly unlike his handwriting - A. He has made the T to differ in all the times he has wrote his name.

Q. But as to the letter s, which is a blotted letter, is there any other letter which is like his - A. Then I do not think much like it; I think it is really his hand-writing.

Q. I ask you whether there is any other letters like his besides the s and n, is the i like - A. The i is not like exactly it is not so much like his general writing as I have seen.

Q. Is the o like - A. I think it is like his general hand-writing.

Q. Do you mean to say the h is like - A. I cannot speak to every letter

Q. Is the n in John - A. The n, I do not think it is, neither are they alike here.

Q. Is the h in Thompson like - A. No, I think it is, not as he usually writes.

Mr. Alley. He signs almost different in every character - A. He certainly does

Q. Look at the general character of the handwriting, do you believe it to be his hand-writing - A. I do believe it to be his hand-writing.

SUSANNAH CURRIE < no role > . Q. Do you know Eleanor Weston - A. I know Mrs. Thompson.

Q. Do you know the woman that was Eleanor Weston < no role > - A. Yes.

Q. Did you know where she lived - A. Yes, in the month of August 1810.

Q. Do you remember cooking a dinner for her - A. I did, on the 9th of August I cooked the dinner for her and Mr. Thompson.

Q. Why did Mr. Thompson dine with her on that day - A. On account of the wedding; there was nothing extraordinary for dinner, but it was for the wedding.

Q. When was the wedding dinner - A. On the morning that Mr. Thompson and Eleanor Weston < no role > were married.

Q. Did you learn that from Mr. Thompson yourself - A. I did not see Mr. Thompson till about three in the afternoon.

Q. Do you know Mr. Thompson when you see him - A. I do.

Q. Have you seen him here to day - A. Yes, that is the man, pointing to him.

Q. Did you learn from him, or Mrs. Thompson in his presence, that they had been married - A. As soon as Mr. Thompson came in I quitted the room.

Q. Did you hear from Mr. Thompson that any thing had particularly passed that day - A. No.

Q. Did you on any other day speak to him about his being married - A. To be sure.

Q. Did you at any time speak to him about the subject of his being married - A. He called her his wife.

Q. Did he pass her as his wife - A. She was called so.

COURT. Are you quite sure it was upon the 9th that you, dressed this dinner. Are you quite sure that you saw that man in the afternoon, in London particularly - A. I am quite sure.

Q. Did you live in the same house with Mr. Thompson and these two ladies - A. No.

Q. When did you see Mr. Thompson next after that day - A. I cannot positively say.

Q. Did you see him the day before you dressed the dinner - A. Yes, I did; that was the 8th; it must be some time in the afternoon, because I did not dine there.

Q. Can you charge your memory upon the 8th, at all - A. I think between the hours of one and three to the best of my recollection.

Q. Upon the 9th the ladies talked to you about a marriage, are you quite sure that you saw him the very day before that, on the 7th - A. To the best of my recollection the day before, but I cannot charge my memory further; I am quite sure that I saw him on the 9th that the marriage took place.

Q. Are you as perfectly sure that you saw him the day before - A. Not so perfectly sure of that.

Q. Have you dressed dinners for them often - A. I was in the habit of cooking there.

Q. Can you take upon yourself to say for a certainly that you saw him a week after they were married - A. I cannot.

Q. You only saw him from going to dress a dinner there - A. That is all; I am sure he was there upon the 9th after the ladies had told me that a marriage had taken place; he came in the room, and I left it immediately. I knew my place.

Q. Who lived in the house with the two Miss Weston's, did they keep any regular servant - A. No.

Q. Was it a lodging-house - A. It was let out in tenements.

FRANCIS EVANS. Q. I believe you are a wholesale tea-dealer - A. Yes, in St. Mary Axe.

Q. Are you acquainted with the prosecutor, Thompson - A. Never until he paid his addresses to Miss Eleanor Weston < no role > as a widower, that is about two years ago; she lived then at No. 12, Fetter-lane, Fleet-street.

Q. Did you ever hear him express himself to be a widower - A. I never heard him say what he was.

Q. Do you recollect being at Miss Weston's lodgings on the 9th of August - A. I called at Miss Weston's lodgings on the 9th of August by appointment, because I was to prosecute a journey; I called there between seven and eight in the evening, 150, St. John-street, they were Ann Weston < no role > 's lodgings; I staid there till ten o'clock; I found Ann Weston < no role > at home, and after I had been there some little time Thompson and Eleanor came in together; I left them there.

Q. How long might they stay while you were there - A. About an hour, or an hour and a half. I went away about ten.

Q. What was your reason for recollecting this was on the 9th of August - A. Because I took leave of the ladies previous to my going the journey on the 10th.

Q. Have you any memorandum of that journey - A. I have.

Q. Read it - A. (A pocket book produced and read.)

"Journey began 18th of August, ended September 1st."

Q. I do not know whether any thing was said about the marriage - A. There was not.

Q. Had you ever any conversation with Thompson about her - A. Never.

Q. Did he ever call her his wife in your presence - A. I do not know that ever he did.

JURY. When was it you made these memorandums - A. At the time the transaction took place.

Mr. Gurney. Which of these sisters did you visit - A. I visited Ann; I have been acquainted with her four or five years.

Q. Did you write this on the 10th of August - A. I did, when I commenced my journey that day.

Q. Did you know by a spirit of divination when it would end - A. No; that was not written till the journey was ended; the list is made out before I left home, and the date made when I received the money.

Q. Do you always leave a blank to write that alone - A. Always; it is only 1st of September, which was not written before I settled; it was written previous, and room left for the date; it is all written with the same ink. There is other entries in the book made in the same manner.

COURT. You say with a perfect certainty on the 9th of August you saw Eleanor and Mr. Thompson on the evening of that day - A. I can.

Q. Can you say with certainty how long you had seen them before - A. I do not think that I had seen them for two or three days before; I did not return from my journey untill the 31st of August or 1st of September.

ELIZABETH STOCKMAN < no role > . I live at Portsea; my husband's name is Edward, he is a grocer.

Q. What relation are you to these two young women - A. A sister.

Q. Do you remember Thompson< no role > the prosecutor coming to your house in September 1810, who did Mr. Thompson bring with him - A. My sister Eleanor, he brought her as his wife.

Q. Did you introduce him as your brother-in-law to all your acquaintances - A. I did, and he was received as such, and he slept with her.

COURT. Had you any reason to entertain the least suspicion that they were not man and wife - A. Not the least.

Q. Do you know whether she shewed the certificate in the presence of Thompson - A. I do not know that she did; I took him to a friend of of mine, a merchant, to send some jewellery to America.

Q. Did they ever talk about the church they were married in; did he - A. At St. Bride's, it was said in his hearing by my sister, and he said it himself.

Q. So then you had no earthly reason to doubt but that he had married her at St. Bride's - A. Not the least on earth.

Mr. Gurney. How many times was the place of marriage conversed upon in your hearing - A. I cannot say, frequently.

Q. Did it not strike you as extraordinary - A. It did not.

ELEANOR WESTON < no role > . I am the mother of Eleanor and Ann Weston < no role > , the defendants.

Q. Do you know the prosecutor, John Tompson < no role > - A. Yes.

Q. Do you recollect his coming to Portsea, in September 1810. - A. Yes; he introduced himself to me as my son-in-law. I lived in Portsea at that time, and supported myself in letting out my house in lodgings.

Q. Did he say any thing about when or where he was married - A. He said he had married my daughter at St. Bride's.

Q. Was he present when the certificate was produced - A. Yes, I saw the certificate, and heard it read, and was fully satisfied; it was read in his presence.

Q. You did not live in the same house with Mrs. Stockman - A. No, he was going to Mrs. Stockman's, and continued there about a fortnight or three weeks.

Q. Where did he go to then from Portsmouth - A. He told me he was going to Birmingham.

Q. Was he absent from Portsmonth - A. Yes, a few days, about a week, and returned again.

Q. When he returned where did he go to - A. He then went to London with me and my daughter Eleanor; upon our arrival in London he brought me to his lodgings in Mitre-court.

COURT. You say there was a certificate, and every semblance of marriage, at that time had you the least reason to believe there was the least semblance on their part, or did you really believe they were man and wife - A. I really believed they were man and wife, I gave them my blessing.

Mr. Alley addressed the Jury in behalf of the defendants, and Mr. Gurney replied.


London jury, before Mr. Common Serjeant.

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