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Author Topic: The Fictitious Banks at Sheerness 1837  (Read 2686 times)

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Re: The Fictitious Banks at Sheerness 1837
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2018, 19:01:35 »
Extraordinary Charge of Swindling.
A fashionably attired young man, who gave in his names as Henry Palmer, was brought up for examination before Richard Spooner and Francis Lloyd, Esqrs, charged with uttering certain fictitious bills of exchange, purporting to be drawn by Abrams and Company of the "Sheerness and Queensborough Bank," and by the "Flintshire District Banking Company, " upon the London and Westminster Bank, such banking establishments not being supposed to exist. These bills were made payable to John Pearson and others, some of them being endorsed "Mark Vernon." It appeared that the prisoner had tendered and discounted several of the bills at the Birmingham Banking Company, the Commercial Bank of England, the Town and District, the Birmingham Borough, and National Provincial Banks. Representatives from these establishments were in consequence in attendance, and considerable interest was excited to hear the investigation, appreheasions being entertained that a wholesale system of fraud must have been but too successfully practised here and elsewhere. The prisoner, who is a remarkably shrewed man and evidently well acquainted with banking transactions, insisted upon all the notes being good, and urged the Magistrates to send immediately to the Managers of the London and Westminster and the Cheltenham and Gloucester Banks, to ascertain whether the notes were genuine or not, offering to pay the expences that would be necessarily incurred, in order that he might be (as he expressed himself he most assuredly should be) released from his unpleasant and painful situation. The Magistrates asked the prisoner for the residence of the parties who endorsed the bills, but he declined giving an answer, on the ground that he did not wish to disclose his connections; and he also refused to give any distinct account of his arrival and stay in the town.

Evidence being called, Mr Edward Lloyd, Manager of the National Provincial Banking Co. in this town, being sworn, said the prisoner had brought for discount two bills, one drawn by the "Cheltenham and Gloucestershire Banking Co." for £30, and one by the "Sheerness and Queensbrough Bank" for £80. Having stated he resided at Cheltenham, and kept an account with their branch at that place, and spoke of Mr Cox, the manager there, as a person well acquainted with him, the bills were cashed. On looking at the bills again after the bank had closed, and not finding the Sheerness Bank in the Directory, suspicions were raised in his (Mr Lloyd's) mind, which induced him to call upon all the other banks, and he found that at the Banking Company, the District Bank, the Borough Bank, and the Commercial Bank and others, bills to nearly the amount of £1000 had been discounted to the same party, who gave to each his name as "Henry Palmer," and always offering with a large bill of the "Flintshire Banking Co." or Sheerness Bank, a small bill of the Gloucestershire Bank. At Messrs. Taylor and Lloyd's, Messrs. Artwood and Spooner's and the Midland Bank, bills had been offered and declined, Palmer expressing to them in indignant terms, his surprise at their refusal to discount such "first-rate paper."  Fot these bills he invariably took the Birmingham Bankers' bills at fourteen days' date. Mr Lloyd then stated he had called at the Hotels and Coach-offices, and found that a person of Palmer's description had slept at the Albion one night during the week, but that he had removed to apartments in Newhall-street on the following day. Whilst proceeding thither he met Palmer in Union-street, and finally watched him to the shop of Mr Scudamore, druggist, in Edgbastion-street. Having dispatched a messenger for Hall, the police officer, who arrived whilst the accused was still in the shop, he was taken to the Public Office. There he stoutly declared the genuineness of the bills, threatened the parties detaining him in custody, and offered at his own expense to send messengers to London and Cheltenham to ascertain the correctness of his statement. Several witnesses were examined, amongst whom were the waiters at the Albion Hotel, who recollected his being there on the night stated, but he declined saying where he was on Thursday evening. The Magistrates, after a long examination of the Managers of the various Banks he had favoured with his discounts, and others, considered the circumstance of his offering two bills invariably, one of each sort to so many houses, and his taking such bills as might assist him in passing away larger amounts before they became due elsewhere, together with the fact of both the Flintshire Bank bills and the Sheerness Bank bills being drawn upon a Bank which is precluded by law from accepting bills from the country, sufficiently strong to justify them in, remanding him until Monday when Mr E. Lloyd would have returned from London whither he would go that night, and Mr Smith, a clerk in the Banking Company, would also have returned from Cheltenham, furnished with particulars of the bills and the parties drawing them, it being understood that in the event of these gentlemen returning on the Saturday, the proceedings should be immediately resumed.

In the interim, however, Mr Gilbart, the principal Manager of the London and Westminster Bank, accidentally passed through Birmingham (on Saturday), and waited upon one of the Magistrates (Mr F. Lloyd); and we believe, from what has transpired, that an extraordinary expose of a deep and well laid scheme to levy contributions to a fearful amount upon the Banks, will be made this day at the Public Office. There is, we are also led to believe, reason to conclude that premises have been taken and firms absolutely established by certain ingenious and accomplished gentry for this purpose in different parts of the country.
   Aris' Birmingham Gazette.

Extensive Charge of Swindling.

It is now pretty evident that the existence of an ingenious and widely contemplated system of fraud has been exposed by the apprehension of Henry Palmer, whose first examination at the Public Office, Birmingham, appeared in the Gazette of Monday last. His capture, it will be seen, has been followed by that of two other persons at Manchester, both of whom are strongly suspected of being confederates in the deeply laid scheme of plunder.

Palmer was brought before the Magistrates for further examination on Monday, and the court, as might be expected, was crowded to hear the anticipated expose. Francis Lloyd, and J.W. Blakeway, Esqrs., presided; the several Banking Companies were represented by Mr Haines, Solicitor; and Mr W. Redfern appeared on behalf of the prisoner. A professional gentleman from Liverpool is said to be in attendance, but took no part in the proceedings. Mr Gilbart, the Manager of the London and Westminster Bank, was also present during the investigation; but his evidence was not called for either on the part of the prosecutors or the prisoner.

After hearing the statements of various witnesses, the prisoner was remanded until Thursday, on which day the investigation was resumed. The sitting Magistrates were R. Spooner, Francis Lloyd, and J.T. Lawrence, Esqrs. Great anxiety was manifested to hear the case, and the office was thronged with persons desirous of being present during the preceedings. The examination was however private, though nearly all the heads of the banking establishments, or their representatives in the town, were present, as well as several gentlemen connected with some of the principal firms. Mr Spurrier and Mr Haines, who are jointly retained by the various Banks in Birmingham, appeared on their behalf. Mr Harmer attended professionally for the Cheltenham and Gloucester Bank. Mr Suckling appeared for the prisoner, and also an attorney specially retained from Liverpool.

On Palmer entering the room he did not evince any indifference as heretofore, and his confidence appeared to have forsaken him. The result of the examination was, that the Magistrates remanded the case until that day week, and the prisoner was removed from the bar. Since the former examination, a great change has taken place in the appearance of Palmer, and he was obviously sensible of the critical situation in which he is placed. He watched the proceedings throughout attentively, and occasionally took notes, but refrained from making any observations.
     Aris' Birmingham Gazette.

Extensive Charge of Swindling at Birmingham.

On Thursday, and by adjournment on the following day, Henry Palmer underwent his final examination; at the close of which he was fully committed to the Assizes, charged with obtaining money under false pretences, and with an intimation on the part of the prosecuters, that in all probability he would also be indicted for a conspiracy to defraud, and perhaps for forgery. On Mr Suckling, who was in attendance for the prisoner, requesting the magistrates to refer the case to the sessions, as they were held earlier than the assizes, the prisoner suddenly exclaimed, "Oh, no, by no means, let me take my trial at the assizes, If I wait a little longer for it. I shall then have a judge who will blow the whole of the evidence which the Brnmmagem lawyers have brought against me this day to atoms in one hour. No more Brummagem law for me."
     From The Cambrian 4th November 1837.

And that, at least in the newspapers I have available, is where it seems to end.

Offline conan

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Re: The Fictitious Banks at Sheerness 1837
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2017, 23:21:09 »
Just goes to prove that dodgy bankers are not a modern phenomenon  :)
To remain ignorant of what happened before you were born is to remain a child......Cicero

Offline kyn

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The Fictitious Banks at Sheerness 1837
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2017, 22:14:50 »
The Times – 28th October 1837

The Fictitious Banks at Sheerness – The inhabitants of this town and neighbourhood congratulate themselves on a narrow escape from being defrauded, as doubtless some would have been, had the project of the designing party been carried into execution.  We allude to the attempt of establishing in this town what we have every reason to believe may be designated a fictitious bank, under the application of the “Sheerness and Queenborough Bank.”  Some few days since, a gentleman, who gave his name as Mr. Abrams, and who had a very respectable exterior, with very prepossessing and alluring manners, arrived in this town, and made inquiries of the several house agents for a house in the most respectable part of the town, stating that he had been to the West Indies, where he had made a few hundreds, and that his wife, who was at Ramsgate, had an annuity; that his intentions was to open an establishment: for the discounting of bills and for the transmission of money; that both himself and his wife were a little “touched” in the lungs through living in a  warm climate, and thinking that the air of Sheerness would suit them, they resolved upon settling here, and hoped to add to their income by employing their money as above described, Mr. Abrams could not succeed in getting a house in that part of the town he wished to do till Christmas, and so engaged one till then in another part, and gave orders for its being fitted up with a handsome mahogany-topped counter, desks, a baized door with a glass panel, on which was to be painted the word “Bank,” and the various tradesmen commenced operations, but had not proceeded far in their work before a gentleman arrived in that town from Birmingham, for the purpose of making inquiries whether there was a Sheerness Bank, stating that several bills had been in circulation at Birmingham of the firm of Abrams and Co., at the Sheerness and Queenborough Bank, and that a person who had got some of them discounted was in custody, as much suspicion was attached to the bills, their genuiness being doubted.  Mr Abrams had given instructions to a solicitor at Sheerness to draw up a partnership deed between himself and some gentleman who was to join him in the concern; on calling again to ascertain what progress was made in the deed, he was asked by the solicitor if he was aware that a person was in custody for negotiating some bills of his (Mr. Abrams’); on hearing this Mr. Abrams appeared astonished, and said that he should immediately set off for London and trace out his bills, and take them up at once and return to Sheerness in a day or two; but he has not yet made his appearance; and on inquiry being made at his lodgings, it appeared that he had packed up everything and started.  There can be no doubt but that this would-be banker was connected with a set of swindlers, some account of whom has appeared in the London papers, and by some handbills that have been sent here from Birmingham, it appears that four persons are already in custody.


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