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Title: Some Distinguished Victims of the Scaffold
Author: Bleackley, Horace
Language: English
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SOME DISTINGUISHED VICTIMS OF THE SCAFFOLD


[Illustration: The IDLE ‘PRENTICE Executed at Tyburn.]



  SOME

  DISTINGUISHED VICTIMS

  OF THE SCAFFOLD

  BY

  HORACE BLEACKLEY

  _WITH TWENTY-ONE ILLUSTRATIONS_


  LONDON
  KEGAN PAUL, TRENCH, TRÜBNER, & CO., LTD.
  DRYDEN HOUSE, GERRARD STREET, W.
  1905



  To

  JOSEPH GREGO

  WHOSE MEMORY IS STORED WITH
  PICTURES OF THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY
  THESE MODERN IMPRESSIONS FROM
  OLD PLATES ARE
  OFFERED



PREFACE


No apology is needed, save that which the consciousness of inadequate
work may call forth, from him who writes a history of great criminals.
Since the lives of so many whose crime is their only title to fame
have been included in the _Dictionary of National Biography_, it is
inevitable that some of these old stories shall be re-told. Already
the books of Charles Whibley and J. B. Atlay, as well as the newspaper
sketches of W. W. Hutchings, have advanced this portion of our
bibliography to a large extent. By a judicious selection some rare
human documents and many an entrancing tale may be found in the crimson
pages of the Tyburn Chronicle. The dainty squeamishness that put
Ainsworth into the pillory, not because he had written a clumsy novel,
but because he had dared to weave a romance around the grisly walls of
Newgate, would be out of place in an age that will listen to ballads
of a drunken soldier, and reads our women’s stories of the boudoirs of
Mayfair.

Without a knowledge of the _Newgate Calendar_ it is impossible to be
acquainted with the history of England in the eighteenth century. On
the other hand, to him who knows these volumes, and who has verified
his information in the pages of the Sessions papers and among the
battles of the pamphleteers, the Georgian era is an open book. No
old novel gives a more exact picture of a middle-class household than
the trial of Mary Blandy, nor shows the inner life of those on the
fringe of society more completely than the story of Robert Perreau.
While following the fate of Henry Fauntleroy we enter the newspaper
world of our great-grandfathers. And as we look upon these forgotten
dramas, the most illustrious bear us company. For a time Wordsworth and
Coleridge chat of nothing but the Beauty of Buttermere and rascally
John Hadfield. Dr Johnson thinks wistfully of the charms of sweet Mrs
Rudd. Boswell rides to Tyburn in the same coach as the Rev. Mr Hackman,
or persuades Sir Joshua to witness an execution. Henry Fielding lashes
the cowards who strive to condemn a prisoner unheard. To all who desire
to understand the eighteenth century the _Newgate Calendar_ is as
essential as the _Letters_ of Walpole.

In making a selection from the dozen or more _causes célèbres_ that
stand out in special prominence from the rebellion of ’45 to the death
of George IV. the choice is not difficult. It is apparent that the
stories of Eugene Aram, Dr Dodd, and John Thurtell must be omitted, for
all have been told adequately in recent years. Little that is new or
interesting can be found in the tale of mad Lord Ferrers, except that
he was not hanged with a silken rope. Although the weird tragedy of the
Rev. James Hackman sank more deeply into the popular mind than almost
any other, the history of the brothers Perreau has been preferred,
since Mrs Rudd appears a more attractive personage than the unfortunate
Martha Ray. For similar reasons Wynne Ryland takes the place of Captain
Donellan, and Eliza Fenning, naturally, has been excluded in favour
of the Keswick Impostor. As to the rest, it is obvious--owing to the
omission of the highwayman and those guilty of high treason such as
Colonel Despard--that no more illustrious names can be found in the
_Newgate Calendar_ than Mary Blandy, Joseph Wall, and Henry Fauntleroy.

Each crime, moreover, bears the distinct impress of its epoch. None
other but the dark night that separates a gorgeous sunset from the
brilliant dawn could witness the sombre tragedy at Henley. While the
nation begins its eager life as a young apprentice to trade, Tom Idle
is found among the recreants, and many a sparkling macaroni like
Daniel Perreau prefers to stake his all in Exchange Alley to pursuing
laborious days. Wynne Ryland is dazzled by the birth of a most radiant
springtide when the world becomes clothed in beauty, and man seems to
have stolen the heavenly flame. Then comes the clash of arms and the
strife of worlds, when the red giants are unchained, and the life of
ten thousand men is naught in the policy of a statesman. With the story
of the Maid of Buttermere we perceive again one of the spirits of the
age--vain, ruthless Strephon in dandy attire pursuing his Phyllis,
shallow-pated and simple. And last, the era of Henry Fauntleroy, when
the nation has grown rich, and man must choose between the scarlet of
the Corinthian, and the dull, sober garb of toil--a strange mingling of
black and crimson.

In order to avoid an interruption of the narrative which a footnote
must always cause, the editorial comments have been placed in the
bibliography at the end of each monograph, to which those who differ
from the author are requested to refer. Although the addition of the
lists of authorities has robbed the book of due proportion, the fact
that the useful adage “when found make a note of” has been observed
will, it is hoped, cause the loss to be balanced by the gain.

The author wishes to acknowledge his obligations to Mr John Arthur
for his kindness in verifying references in the British Museum; to Mr
Isaac Edwards of Bolton for similar help; to the editors of the _Henley
Advertiser_, the _Carlisle Journal_, and the _Tiverton Gazette_ for
access to the files of their newspapers; to the rectors of Henley,
Feltham, Mottram, St Sepulchre’s, Holborn, and St Martin’s, Ludgate,
for permission to consult the church register; to Mr Richard Greenup of
Caldbeck for information concerning the Beauty of Buttermere; and to
Mrs Bleackley for the list of Wynne Ryland’s engravings.



CONTENTS


                                                                PAGE

  THE LOVE PHILTRE. The Case of Mary Blandy, 1751-1752             1

  A Bibliography of the Blandy Case                               35


  THE UNFORTUNATE BROTHERS. The Case of Robert and Daniel
    Perreau and Margaret Caroline Rudd, 1775-1776                 39

  A Bibliography of the Perreau Case                              70


  THE KING’S ENGRAVER. The Case of William Wynne Ryland,
     1783                                                         74

  A Bibliography of the Ryland Case                              107

  A List of William Wynne Ryland’s Engravings                    110


  A SOP TO CERBERUS. The Case of Governor Wall, 1782-1802        112

  A Bibliography of the Wall Case                                144


  THE KESWICK IMPOSTOR. The Case of John Hadfield, 1802-1803     146

  A Bibliography of the Hadfield Case                            175


  A FAMOUS FORGERY. The Case of Henry Fauntleroy, 1824--

  Part I. The Criminal and his Crime                             178

  Part II. Some Details of the Forgeries                         207

  Fauntleroy and the Newspapers                                  220

  Notes on the Fauntleroy Case                                   224


  INDEX                                                          227



ILLUSTRATIONS


  1. The Execution of the Idle Apprentice at Tyburn,
  _by Hogarth_                                          _Frontispiece_

                                                                   PAGE

  2. Mary Blandy. _Mezzotint by T. Ryley after L. Wilson_  _to face_  1

  3. The Divinity School, Oxford, where Miss Blandy was
  tried                                                        ”     23

  4. The Execution of Miss Blandy. _From an engraving
  by John Cole_                                                      35

  5. Messrs Robert and Daniel Perreau in the Dock              ”     39

  6. Margaret Caroline Rudd. _Line engraving by G.
  Sibelius after D. Dodd_                                       ”    47

  7. Mrs Margaret Rudd in the Dock. _Drawn and
  engraved by G. Bartolozzi_                                    ”    61

  8. William Wynne Ryland. _Drawn and engraved
  by P. Falconet_                                               ”    74

  9. His Majesty King George III. _Line engraving by
  W. W. Ryland after Allan Ramsay_                              ”    84

  10. Charles Rogers. _Mezzotint by W. W. Ryland after
  Sir Joshua Reynolds_                                          ”    87

  11. General Stanwix’s Daughter. _Stipple engraving by
  W. W. Ryland after Angelica Kauffman_ (an
  example of the famous ‘red-chalk’ manner)                     ”    90

  12. Angelica Kauffman. _Stipple engraving by T. Burke
  after Sir Joshua Reynolds_                                    ”   110

  13. Governor Wall. _An etching by J. Chapman_                 ”   112

  14. John Hadfield. _Etched by J. Chapman_                     ”   146

  15. The Beauty of Buttermere. _Coloured engraving
  after John Smith_                                             ”   152

  16. Mary of Buttermere. _Stipple engraving by Mackenzie
  from a drawing by W. M. Bennet_                               ”   158

  17. Mary of Buttermere. _Etched by James Gillray_             ”   173

  18. Henry Fauntleroy. _From a sketch by “A. V.”_              ”   178

  19. James Harmer. _Line engraving by T. Wright from
  a drawing by A. Wivell_                                       ”   192

  20. Fauntleroy’s Trial at the Old Bailey. _By W. Read_        ”   195

  21. Catnach’s Broadside of Fauntleroy’s Execution             ”   204

[Illustration:

  _F. Wilson Pinxᵗ._      _T. Riley Fecit._

_Miss Blandy_

_Now confined in Oxford Gaol on Suspicion of Poisoning her Father._]



Some Distinguished Victims of the Scaffold



THE LOVE PHILTRE

THE CASE OF MARY BLANDY, 1751-2

    “Who hath not heard of Blandy’s fatal fame,
    Deplored her fate, and sorrowed o’er her shame?”

    --_Henley_, a poem, 1827.


During the reign of George II.--when the gallant Young Pretender was
leading Jenny Cameron toward Derby, and flabby, gin-besotted England,
dismayed by a rabble of half-famished Highlanders, was ready to take
its thrashing lying-down--a prosperous attorney, named Francis Blandy,
was living at Henley-upon-Thames. For nine years he had held the post
of town clerk, and was reckoned a person of skill in his profession.
A dour, needle-witted man of law, whose social position was more
considerable than his means or his lineage, old Mr Blandy, like others
wiser than himself, had a foible. His pride was just great enough to
make him a tuft-hunter. In those times, a solicitor in a country town
had many chances of meeting his betters on equal terms, and when the
attorney of Henley pretended that he had saved the large sum of ten
thousand pounds, county society esteemed him at his supposed value.
There lived with him--in an old-world home surrounded by gardens and
close to the bridge on the London road--his wife and daughter, an only
child, who at this period was twenty-five years of age.

Mrs Blandy, as consequential an old dame as ever flaunted _sacque_
or nodded her little bugle over a dish of tea, seems to have spent
a weary existence in wringing from her tight-fisted lord the funds
to support the small frivolities which her social ambition deemed
essential to their prestige. A feminine mind seldom appreciates the
reputation without the utility of wealth, and the lawyer’s wife had
strong opinions with regard to the propriety of living up to their
ten-thousand-pound celebrity. While he was content with the barren
honour that came to him by reason of the reputed _dot_ which his
daughter one day must enjoy--pluming himself, no doubt, that his Molly
had as good a chance of winning a coronet as the penniless daughter of
an Irish squireen--his lady, with more worldly wisdom, knew the value
of an occasional jaunt to town, and was fully alive to the chances of
rout or assembly hard-by at Reading. Thus in the pretty little home
near the beautiful reach of river, domestic storms--sad object-lesson
to an only child--raged frequently over the parental truck and barter
at the booths of Vanity Fair.

Though not a beauty--for the smallpox, that stole the bloom from the
cheeks of many a sparkling belle in hoop and brocade, had set its seal
upon her face--the portrait of Mary Blandy shows that she was comely.
Still, it is a picture in which there is a full contrast between the
light and shadows. Those fine glistening black eyes of hers--like the
beam of sunshine that illumines a sombre chamber--made one forget the
absence of winsome charm in her features; yet their radiance appeared
to come through dark unfathomable depths rather than as the reflection
of an unclouded soul. With warmth all blood may glow, with softness
every heart can beat, but some, like hers, must be compelled by
reciprocal power. Such, in her empty home, was not possible. Even the
love and devotion of her parents gave merely a portion of their own
essence. From a greedy father she acquired the sacred lust, and learnt
from infancy to dream, with morbid longing, of her future dower; while
her mother encouraged a hunger for vain and giddy pleasure, teaching
unwittingly that these must be bought at the expense of peace, or by
the sacrifice of truth. To a girl of wit and intelligence in whose
heart nature had not sown the seeds of kindness, these lessons came as
a crop of tares upon a fruitful soil. But, as in the case of all women,
there was one hope of salvation. Indeed, since the passion of her soul
cried out with imperious command that she should fulfil the destiny
of her sex, the love of husband and children would have found her a
strong but pliable material that could be fashioned into more gentle
form. Without such influence she was one of those to whom womanhood
was insufferable--a mortal shape where lay encaged one of the fiercest
demons of discontent.

Molly Blandy did not lack admirers. Being pleasant and vivacious--while
her powers of attraction were enhanced by the rumour of her
fortune--not a few of the beaux in the fashionable world of Bath, and
county society at Reading, gave homage and made her their toast. In
the eyes of her parents it was imperative that a suitor should be able
to offer to their daughter a station of life befitting an heiress.
On this account two worthy swains, who were agreeable to the maiden
but could not provide the expected dower, received a quick dismissal.
Although there was nothing exorbitant in the ambition of the attorney
and his dame, it is clear that the girl learnt an evil lesson from
these mercenary transactions. Still, her crosses in love do not seem
to have sunk very deeply into her heart, but henceforth her conduct
lost a little of its maidenly reserve. The freedom of the coquette
took the place of the earnestness and sincerity that had been the
mark of her ardent nature, and her conduct towards the officers of
the regiment stationed at Henley was deemed too forward. However, the
father, whose reception into military circles no doubt made the desired
impression upon his mayor and aldermen, was well satisfied that his
daughter should be on familiar terms with her soldier friends. Even
when she became betrothed to a captain of no great fortune, he offered
small objection on account of the position of the young man. Yet,
although the prospect of a son-in-law who held the king’s commission
had satisfied his vanity, the old lawyer, who foolishly had allowed
the world to believe him richer than he was, could not, or (as he
pretended) would not, provide a sufficient dowry. Thus the engagement
promised to be a long one. Fate, however, decided otherwise. Very
soon her suitor was ordered abroad on active service, and the hope of
marriage faded away for the third time.

In the summer of 1746, while no doubt she was sighing for her soldier
across the seas, the man destined to work the tragic mischief of her
life appeared on the scene. William Henry Cranstoun, a younger son
of the fifth Lord Cranstoun, a Scottish baron, was a lieutenant of
marines, who, since his regiment had suffered severely during the late
Jacobite rebellion, had come to Henley on a recruiting expedition. At
first his attentions to Miss Blandy bore no fruit, but he returned the
following summer, and while staying with his grand-uncle, General Lord
Mark Kerr, who was an acquaintance of the lawyer and his family, he
found that Mary was off with the old love and willing to welcome him
as the new. All were amazed that the fastidious girl should forsake
her gallant captain for this little sprig from North Britain--an
undersized spindleshanks, built after Beau Diddapper pattern--in whose
weak eyes and pock-fretten features love must vainly seek her mirror.
Still greater was the astonishment when ten-thousand-pound Blandy,
swollen with importance, began to babble of “my Lord of Crailing,”
and the little bugle cap of his dame quivered with pride as she told
her gossips of “my Lady Cranstoun, my daughter’s new mamma.” For it
was common knowledge that the small Scot was the fifth son of a needy
house, with little more than his pay to support his many vicious and
extravagant habits. Such details seem to have been overlooked by the
vain parents in their delight at the honour and glory of an alliance
with a family of title. In the late autumn of 1747 they invited their
prospective son-in-law to their home, where, as no one was fonder of
free quarters, he remained for six months. But the cruel fate that
presided over the destinies of the unfortunate Mary intervened once
more. Honest Lord Mark Kerr (whose prowess as a duellist is chronicled
in many a page), perceiving the intentions of his unscrupulous
relative, made haste to give his lawyer friend the startling news that
Cranstoun was a married man.

This information was correct. Yet, although wedded since the year
before the rebellion, the vicious little Scot was seeking to put away
the charming lady who was his wife and the mother of his child. Plain
enough were the motives. A visit to England had taught him that the
title which courtesy permitted him to bear was a commercial asset
that, south of the Tweed, would enable him to sell himself in a better
market. As one of his biographers tells us, “he saw young sparklers
every day running off with rich prizes,” for the chapels of Wilkinson
and Keith were always ready to assist the abductor of an heiress.
Indeed, before his arrival at Henley, he had almost succeeded in
capturing the daughter of a Leicestershire squire, when the father, who
suddenly learnt his past history, sent him about his business. Still,
he persisted in his attempts to get the Scotch marriage annulled, and
his chances seemed favourable. Most of the relatives of his wife, who
had espoused the losing side in the late rebellion, were fled in exile
to France or Flanders. Moreover, she belonged to the Catholic Church,
which at that time in stern Presbyterian Scotland had fallen upon evil
days. Believing that she was alone and friendless, and relying, no
doubt, upon the sectarian prejudices of the law courts, he set forth
the base lie that he had promised to marry her only on condition she
became Protestant. His explanation to the Blandys, in answer to Lord
Mark’s imputation, was the same as his defence before the Scottish
Commissaries. The lady was his mistress, not his wife!

Miss Blandy took the same view of the case that Sophy Western did under
similar circumstances. Human nature was little different in those days,
but men wore their hearts on their sleeve instead of exhibiting them
only in the Courts, and women preferred to be deemed complacent rather
than stupid. Doubtless old lawyer Blandy grunted many Saxon sarcasms
at the expense of Scotch jurisprudence, and trembled lest son-in-law
Diddapper had been entangled beyond redemption. Still, father, mother,
and daughter believed the word of their guest, waiting anxiously for
the result of the litigation that was to make him a free man. During
the year 1748 the Commissaries at Edinburgh decided that Captain
Cranstoun and the ill-used Miss Murray were man and wife. Then the
latter, being aware of the flirtation at Henley, wrote to warn Miss
Blandy, and provided her with a copy of the Court’s decree. Great
was the consternation at the house on the London road. Visions of
tea-gossip over the best set of china in the long parlour at Crailing
with my Lady Cranstoun vanished from the old mother’s eyes, while the
town clerk forgot his dreams of the baby whose two grand-fathers were
himself and a live lord. Nevertheless, the young Scotsman protested
that the marriage was invalid, declared that he would appeal to the
highest tribunal, and swore eternal fidelity to his Mary. Alas, she
trusted him! Within the sombre depths of her soul there dwelt a fierce
resolve to make this man her own. In her sight he was no graceless
creature from the barrack-room, but with a great impersonal love she
sought in him merely the fulfilment of her destiny.

    “In her first passion, woman loves her lover:
    In all the others, all she loves is love.”

At this time Cranstoun’s fortunes were in a parlous state. More than
half of his slender patrimony had been sequestered for the maintenance
of his wife and child, and shortly after the peace of Aix-la-Chapelle,
his regiment being disbanded, he was left on half-pay. Still, he did
not waver in his purpose to win the heiress of Henley.

On the 30th of September 1749, the poor frivolous old head, which
had sported its cap so bravely amidst the worries of pretentious
poverty, lay still upon the pillow, and Mary Blandy looked upon the
face of her dead mother. It was the turning-point in her career. While
his wife was alive, the old lawyer had never lost all faith in his
would-be son-in-law during the two years that he had been affianced
to his daughter, in spite of the rude shocks which had staggered his
credulity. Cranstoun had been allowed to sponge on him for another six
months in the previous summer, and had pursued his womenfolk when they
paid a visit to Mary’s uncle, Serjeant Stevens, of Doctors’ Commons.
However, soon after the death of his wife the patience of Mr Blandy,
who must have perceived that the case of the pretender was hopeless,
seems to have become worn out. All idea of the baron’s grandchild faded
from his mind; the blear-eyed lover was forbidden the house, and for
nearly twelve months did not meet his trusting sweetheart.

Although a woman of her intelligence must have perceived that, but
for some untoward event, her relationship with her betrothed could
never be one of honour, her fidelity remained unshaken. Having passed
her thirtieth birthday, the dreadful stigma of spinsterhood was
fast falling upon her. If the methods of analogy are of any avail,
it is clear that she had become a creature of lust--not the lust
of sensuality, but that far more insatiable greed, the craving for
conquest, possession, the attainment of the unattainable, calling
forth not one but all the emotions of body and soul. A sacrifice of
honour--a paltry thing in the face of such mighty passion--would have
been no victory, for such in itself was powerless to accomplish the
essential metamorphosis of her life. In mutual existence with a lover
and slave the destiny of this rare woman alone could be achieved. Thus
came the harvest of the tempest. It was not the criminal negligence
of the father in encouraging for nearly three years the pretensions
of a suitor, who--so a trustworthy gentleman had told him--was a
married man, that had planted the seeds of storm. Nor did the filial
love of the daughter begin to fade and wither because she had been
taught that the affections, like anything which has a price, should
be subject to barter and exchange. Deeper far lay the roots of the
malignant disease--growing as a portion of her being--a part and
principle of life itself. Environment and education merely had
inclined into its stunted form the twig, which could never bear fruit
unless grafted upon a new stalk! And while the sombre girl brooded over
her strange impersonal passion, there rang in her ears the voice of
demon-conscience, unceasingly--a taunting, frightful whisper, “When the
old man is in his grave you shall be happy.”

The esteem of posterity for the eighteenth century, to which belong
so many noble lives and great minds, has been influenced by the
well-deserved censure bestowed upon a particular epoch. The year 1750
marks a period of transition when all the worst characteristics of the
Georgian era were predominant. For nearly a quarter of a century the
scornful glance that the boorish little king threw at any book had been
reflected in the national taste for literature. Art had hobbled along
bravely on the crutches of caricature, tolerated on account of its
deformity, and not for its worth. The drama, which had drifted to the
lowest ebb in the days of Rich and Heidegger, was just rising from its
mudbank, under the leadership of Garrick, with the turn of the tide.
Religion, outside the pale of Methodism, was as dead as the influence
of the Church of England and its plurality divines. The prostitution
of the marriage laws in the Fleet and Savoy had grown to be a menace
to the social fabric. London reeked of gin; and although the business
of Jack Ketch has been seldom more flourishing, property, until
magistrate Fielding came forward, was never less secure from the thief
and highwayman. Our second George, who flaunted his mistresses before
the public gaze, was a worthy leader of a coarse and vicious society.
Female dress took its form from the vulgarity of the times, and was
never uglier and more indecent simultaneously. Not only was the ‘modern
fine lady,’ who wept when a handsome thief was hung, a common type, but
the Boobys and Bellastons were fashionable women of the day, quite as
much alive as Elizabeth Chudleigh or Caroline Fitzroy. Such was the age
of Miss Blandy, and she proved a worthy daughter of it.

In the late summer of 1750 the fickle attorney, who had become weary
of opposition, consented to withdraw the sentence of banishment he
had pronounced against his daughter’s lover. Possibly he fancied that
there was a chance, after all, of the Scotch lieutenant’s success in
the curious law-courts of the North, and perhaps a present of salmon,
received from Lady Cranstoun, appeared to him as a favourable augury.
Consequently the needy fortune-hunter, who was only too ready to return
to his free quarters, paid another lengthy visit to Henley. As the
weeks passed, it was evident that the temper of the host and father,
whose senile humours were swayed by gravel and heartburn, could not
support the new ménage. Fearful lest the devotion of his Molly had
caused her to lose all regard for her fair fame, wroth that the clumsy
little soldier should have disturbed the peace of his household, the
old man received every mention of “the tiresome affair in Scotland”
with sneers and gibes. Vanished was the flunkey-optimism that had led
him to welcome once more the pertinacious slip of Scottish baronage.
Naught would have appeased him but prompt evidence that the suitor was
free to lead his daughter to the altar. Nothing could be plainer than
that the querulous widower had lost all confidence in his unwelcome
guest.

The faithful lovers were filled with dismay. A few strokes of the pen
might rob them for ever of their ten thousand pounds. Their wishes
were the same, their minds worked as one. A deep, cruel soul-blot,
transmitted perhaps by some cut-throat borderer through the blood
of generations, would have led William Cranstoun to commit, without
scruple, the vilest of crimes. Those base attempts to put away his
wife, and to cast the stigma of bastardy upon his child, added to his
endeavour to entrap one heiress after another into a bigamous marriage,
make him guilty of offences less only than murder. In his present
position he had cause for desperation. Yet, although utterly broken in
fortune, there was a rich treasure at his hand if he dared to seize
it. Were her father dead, Molly Blandy, whether as wife or mistress,
would be his--body, soul, and wealth. Within the veins of the woman
a like heart-stain spread its poison. All the lawless passion of her
nature cried out against her parent’s rule, which, to her mind, was
seeking to banish what had become more precious than her life. Knowing
that her own fierce will had its mate in his, she believed that his
obduracy could not be conquered, and she lived in dread lest she should
be disinherited. And all this time, day after day, the demon-tempter
whispered, “When the old man is in his grave you shall be happy.”

Which of the guilty pair was the first to suggest the heartless crime
it is impossible to ascertain, but there is evidence, apart from Miss
Blandy’s statement, that Cranstoun was the leading spirit. Possibly,
nay probably, the deed was never mentioned in brutal plainness in so
many words. The history of crime affords many indications that the
blackest criminals are obliged to soothe a neurotic conscience with
the anodyne of make-belief. It is quite credible that the two spoke of
the projected murder from the first (as indeed Miss Blandy explained
it later) as an attempt to conciliate the old lawyer by administering
a supernatural love philtre, having magical qualities like Oberon’s
flower in _A Midsummer Night’s Dream_, which would make him consent to
their marriage. Presently a reign of mystic terror seemed to invade the
little house in the London road. With fear ever present in her eyes,
the figure of the sombre woman glided from room to room, whispering
to the frightened servants ghostly tales of things supernatural--of
unearthly music that she had heard during the misty autumn nights, of
noises that had awakened her from sleep, of the ghastly apparitions
that had appeared to her lover. And to all these stories she had
but one dismal interpretation--saying it had come to her from a
wizard-woman in Scotland--they were signs and tokens that her father
would die within a year! Those who heard her listened and trembled,
and the words sank deep into their memory. So the winter crept on;
but while all slunk through the house with bated breath, shrinking at
each mysterious sound, the old man, doomed by the sorceress, remained
unsuspicious of what was going on around him.

Not long before Christmas, to the great relief of his churlish host,
the little Scotsman’s clumsy legs passed through the front door for
the last time, and he set out for his brother’s seat at Crailing in
the shire of Roxburgh. Yet, though his lengthy visit had come to an
end, his spirit remained to rule the brain of the woman who loved
him. Early in the year 1751 she received a box, containing a present
from Cranstoun, a set of table linen, and some ‘Scotch pebbles.’
Lawyer Blandy viewed the stones with suspicious eyes, for he hated all
things beyond the Cheviot Hills, but did not make any comment. The
relationship between father and daughter had become cold and distant.
Quarrels were constant in the unhappy home. Often in the midst of
her passion she was heard to mutter deep curses against the old man.
Indeed, so banished was her love that she talked without emotion to the
servants of the likelihood of his death, in fulfilment of the witch’s
prophecy.

Some weeks later, when another consignment of the mysterious ‘Scotch
pebbles’ had arrived for Miss Blandy, it was noticed that her conduct
became still more dark and strange. Slinking through the house with
slow and stealthy tread, she appeared to shun all eyes, as though bent
upon some hidden purpose. A glance within the box from the North would
have revealed the secret. When the crafty accomplice found that she was
unable to procure the means of taking her father’s life, he had been
forced to supply her with the weapons. During the spring, the health
of the old lawyer, who suffered more or less from chronic ailments,
began to grow more feeble. His garments hung loosely upon his shrunken
limbs, while the teeth dropped from his palsied jaws. The old witch’s
curse seemed to have fallen upon the home, and, to those who looked
with apprehension for every sign and portent, it was fulfilled in many
direful ways. Early in June, Ann Emmet, an old charwoman employed
about the house, was seized with a violent illness after drinking from
a half-emptied cup left at Mr Blandy’s breakfast. A little later,
Susan Gunnel, one of the maid-servants, was affected in a similar way
through taking some tea prepared for her master. One August morning,
in the secrecy of her own chamber, trembling at every footfall beyond
the locked door, Mary Blandy gazed with eager, awestruck eyes upon a
message sent by her lover.

“I am sorry there are such occasions to clean your pebbles,” wrote the
murderous little Scotsman. “You must make use of the powder to them, by
putting it into anything of substance, wherein it will not swim a-top
of the water, of which I wrote to you in one of my last. I am afraid it
will be too weak to take off their rust, or at least it will take too
long a time.”

From the language of metaphor it is easy to translate the ghastly
meaning. She must have told Cranstoun that the white arsenic, which he
had sent to her under the pseudonym of ‘powder to clean the pebbles,’
remained floating on the surface of the tea. Possibly her father had
noticed this phenomenon, and, not caring to drink the liquid, had
escaped the painful sickness which had attacked the less cautious
servants. But now she had found a remedy--‘anything of substance!’--a
safe and sure vehicle that could not fail. Louder still in the ears of
the lost woman rang the mocking words, “When the old man is dead you
shall be happy.”

During the forenoon of Monday, the 5th of August, Susan Gunnel, the
maid, met her young mistress coming from the pantry.

“Oh, Susan,” she exclaimed, “I have been stirring my papa’s water
gruel”; and then, perceiving other servants through the half-open door
of the laundry, she added gaily, “If I was ever to take to eating
anything in particular it would be oatmeal.”

No response came from the discreet Susan, but she marvelled, calling to
mind that Miss Blandy had said to her some time previously, noticing
that she appeared unwell:

“Have you been eating any water gruel? for I am told that water gruel
hurts me, and it may hurt you.”

Later in the day, her wonder was increased when she saw her mistress
stirring the gruel in a half-pint mug, putting her fingers into the
spoon, and then rubbing them together. In the evening the same mug
was taken as usual to the old man’s bedroom. On Tuesday night Miss
Blandy sent down in haste to order gruel for her father, who had been
indisposed all day, and such was her solicitude that she met the
footman on the stairs, and taking the basin from his hands, carried
it herself into the parlour. Early the next morning, while Ann Emmet,
the old charwoman, was busy at her wash-tub, Susan Gunnel came from
upstairs.

“Dame,” she observed, “you used to be fond of water gruel. Here is a
very fine mess my master left last night, and I believe it will do you
good.”

Sitting down upon a bench, this most unfortunate old lady proceeded to
consume the contents of the basin, and for a second time was seized
with a strange and violent illness. Soon afterwards Miss Blandy came
into the kitchen.

“Susan, as your master has taken physic, he may want some more water
gruel,” said she. “As there is some in the house you need not make
fresh, for you are ironing.”

“Madam, it will be stale,” replied the servant. “It will not hinder me
much to make fresh.”

A little later, while tasting the stuff, Susan noticed a white sediment
at the bottom of the pan. Greatly excited, she ran to show Betty
Binfield, the cook, who bore no good-will towards her young mistress.

“What oatmeal is this?” asked Betty, significantly. “It looks like
flour.”

“I have never seen oatmeal as white before,” said the maid.

Carefully and thoroughly the suspicious servants examined the contents
of the saucepan, taking it out of doors to view it in the light. And
while they looked at the white gritty sediment they told each other in
low whispers that this must be poison. Locking up the pan, they showed
it next day to the local apothecary, who, as usual in those times, was
the sick man’s medical attendant.

Nothing occurred to alarm the guilty woman until Saturday. On that
morning, in the homely fashion of middle-class manners, the lawyer, who
wanted to shave, came into the kitchen, where hot water and a good fire
were ready for him. Accustomed to his habits, the servants went about
their work as usual. Some trouble seemed to be preying upon his mind.

“I was like to have been poisoned once,” piped the feeble old man,
turning his bloodshot eyes upon his daughter, who was in the room.

“It was on this same day, the tenth of August,” he continued, in his
weak, trembling voice, for his frame had become shattered during the
last week. “It was at the coffee-house or at the Lyon, and two other
gentlemen were like to have been poisoned by what they drank.”

“Sir, I remember it very well,” replied the imperturbable woman, and
then fell to arguing with her querulous father at which tavern the
adventure had taken place.

“One of the gentlemen died immediately,” he resumed, looking at her
with a long, reproachful glance. “The other is dead now, and I have
survived them both. But”--his piteous gaze grew more intense--“it is my
fortune to be poisoned at last.”

A similar ordeal took place in a little while. At breakfast Mr Blandy
seemed in great pain, making many complaints. As he sipped his tea, he
declared that it had a gritty, bad taste, and would not drink it.

“Have you not put too much of the black stuff into it?” he demanded
suddenly of his daughter, referring to the canister of Bohea.

This time she was unable to meet his searching eyes.

“It is as usual,” she stammered in confusion.

A moment later she rose, trembling and distressed, and hurriedly left
the room.

There was reason for the old man’s suspicion. Before he had risen from
his bed, the faithful Susan Gunnel told him of the discovery in the pan
of water gruel, and both agreed that the mysterious powder had been
sent by Cranstoun. Yet, beyond what he had said at breakfast, and in
the kitchen, he questioned his daughter no more! Still, although no
direct charge had been made, alarmed by her father’s hints she hastened
to destroy all evidence that could be used against her. During the
afternoon, stealing into the kitchen under pretence of drying a letter
before the fire, she crushed a paper among the coals. As soon as she
was gone the watchful spies--servants Gunnel and Binfield--snatched it
away before it had been destroyed by the flames. This paper contained a
white substance, and on it was written ‘powder to clean the pebbles.’
Towards evening famous Dr Addington arrived from Reading, summoned by
Miss Blandy, who was driven on account of her fears to show a great
concern. After seeing his patient the shrewd old leech had no doubt as
to the symptoms. With habitual directness he told the daughter that her
father had been poisoned.

“It is impossible,” she replied.

On Sunday morning the doctor found the sick man a little better, but
ordered him to keep his bed. Startling proofs of the accuracy of his
diagnosis were forthcoming. One of the maids put into his hands the
packet of arsenic found in the fire; while Norton the apothecary
produced the powder from the pan of gruel. Addington at once took the
guilty woman to task.

“If your father dies,” he told her sternly, “you will inevitably be
ruined.”

Nevertheless she appears to have brazened the matter out, but desired
the doctor to come again the next day. When she was alone, her first
task was to scribble a note to Cranstoun, which she gave to her
father’s clerk to “put into the post.” Having heard dark rumours
whispered by the servants that Mr Blandy had been poisoned by his
daughter, the man had no hesitation in opening the letter, which he
handed over to the apothecary. It ran as follows:--

    “DEAR WILLY,--My father is so bad that I have only time to
    tell you that if you do not hear from me soon again, don’t be
    frightened. I am better myself. Lest any accident should happen
    to your letters be careful what you write.

    “My sincere compliments.--I am ever, yours.”

That evening Norton ordered Miss Blandy from her father’s room,
telling Susan Gunnel to remain on the watch, and admit no one. At
last the heartless daughter must have seen that some other defence
was needed than blind denial. Still, the poor old sufferer persisted
that Cranstoun was the sole author of the mischief. On Monday morning,
although sick almost to death, he sent the maid with a message to his
daughter.

“Tell her,” said he, “that I will forgive her if she will bring that
villain to justice.”

In answer to his words, Miss Blandy came to her father’s bedroom in
tears, and a suppliant. Susan Gunnel, who was present, thus reports the
interview.

“Sir, how do you do?” said she.

“I am very ill,” he replied.

Falling upon her knees, she said to him:

“Banish me or send me to any remote part of the world. As to Mr
Cranstoun, I will never see him, speak to him, as long as I live, so as
you will forgive me.”

“I forgive thee, my dear,” he answered. “And I hope God will forgive
thee, but thee should have considered better than to have attempted
anything against thy father. Thee shouldst have considered I was thy
own father.”

“Sir,” she protested, “as to your illness I am entirely innocent.”

“Madam,” interrupted old Susan Gunnel, “I believe you must not say you
are entirely innocent, for the powder that was taken out of the water
gruel, and the paper of powder that was taken out of the fire, are now
in such hands that they must be publicly produced. I believe I had one
dose prepared for my master in a dish of tea about six weeks ago.”

“I have put no powder into tea,” replied Miss Blandy. “I have put
powder into water gruel, and if you are injured,” she assured her
father, “I am entirely innocent, for it was given me with another
intent.”

The dying man did not wait for further explanation, but, turning in his
bed, he cried:

“Oh, such a villain! To come to my house, eat of the best, drink of
the best that my house could afford--to take away my life, and ruin my
daughter! Oh, my dear,” he continued, “thee must hate that man, thee
must hate the ground he treads on. Thee canst not help it.”

“Oh, sir, your tenderness towards me is like a sword to my heart,” she
answered. “Every word you say is like swords piercing my heart--much
worse than if you were to be ever so angry. I must down on my knees and
beg you will not curse me.”

“I curse thee, my dear!” he replied. “How couldst thou think I could
curse thee? I bless thee, and hope that God will bless thee and amend
thy life. Go, my dear, go out of my room.... Say no more, lest thou
shouldst say anything to thy own prejudice.... Go to thy uncle Stevens;
take him for thy friend. Poor man,--I am sorry for him.”

The memory of the old servant, who repeated the above conversation
in her evidence at Miss Blandy’s trial, would seem remarkable did
we not bear in mind that she went through various rehearsals before
the coroner and magistrates, and possibly with the lawyers for the
prosecution. Some embellishments also must be credited to the taste
and fancy of Mr Rivington’s reporters. Still, the gist must be true,
and certainly has much pathos. Yet the father’s forgiveness of his
daughter, when he must have known that her conduct was wilful, although
piteous and noble, may not have been the result of pure altruism.
Naturally, the wish that Cranstoun alone was guilty was parent to the
thought. Whether the approach of eternity brought a softening influence
upon him, and he saw his follies and errors in the light of repentance,
or whether the ruling passion strong in death made the vain old man
struggle to avert the black disgrace that threatened his good name, and
the keen legal intellect, which could counsel his daughter so well,
foresaw the coming escheatment of his small estate to the lord of the
manor, are problems for the student of psychology.

During the course of the day brother leech Lewis of Oxford--a
master-builder of pharmacopœia--was summoned by the sturdy begetter of
statesmen, and there was much bobbing of learned wigs and nice conduct
of medical canes. Addington asked the dying man whom he suspected to be
the giver of the poison.

“A poor love-sick girl,” murmured the old lawyer, smiling through his
tears. “I forgive her--I always thought there was mischief in those
cursed Scotch pebbles.”

In the evening a drastic step was taken. Acting on the principle of
‘thorough,’ which made his son’s occupancy of the Home Office so
memorable at a later period, the stern doctor accused Miss Blandy
of the crime, and secured her keys and papers. Conquered by fear,
the stealthy woman for a while lost all self-possession. In an agony
of shame and terror she sought to shield herself by the pretence of
superstitious folly. Wringing her hands in a seeming agony of remorse,
she declared that her lover had ruined her.

“I received the powder from Mr Cranstoun,” she cried, “with a present
of Scotch pebbles. He had wrote on the paper that held it, ‘The powder
to clean the pebbles with.’ He assured me that it was harmless, and
that if I would give my father some of it now and then, a little and a
little at a time, in any liquid, it would make him kind to him and to
me.”

In a few scathing questions the worldly-wise Addington cast ridicule
upon this weird story of a love philtre. Taking the law into his own
resolute hands, with the consent of colleague Lewis he locked the
wretched woman in her room and placed a guard over her. Little could be
done to relieve the sufferings of poor ten-thousand-pound Blandy--who
proved to be a mere four-thousand-pound attorney when it came to the
test--and on Wednesday afternoon, the 14th of August, he closed his
proud old eyes for ever. In her desperation the guilty daughter could
think of naught but escape. On the evening of her fathers death,
impelled by an irresistible frenzy to flee from the scene of her
butchery, she begged the footman in vain to assist her to get away.
During Thursday morning--for it was not possible to keep her in custody
without legal warrant--a little group of children saw a dishevelled
figure coming swiftly along the High Street towards the river. At once
there arose the cry of ‘Murderess!’ and, surrounded by an angry mob,
she was driven to take refuge in a neighbouring inn. It was vain to
battle against fate. That same afternoon the coroner’s inquest was
held, and the verdict pronounced her a parricide. On the following
Saturday, in charge of two constables, she was driven in her father’s
carriage to Oxford Castle. An enraged populace, thinking that she was
trying again to escape, surrounded the vehicle, and sought to prevent
her from leaving the town.

Owing to the social position of the accused, and the enormity of her
offence, the eyes of the whole nation were turned to the tragedy at
Henley. Gossips of the day, such as Horace Walpole and Tate Wilkinson,
tell us that the story of Miss Blandy was upon every lip. In spite of
the noble irony of ‘Drawcansir’ Fielding, journalists and pamphleteers
had no scruple in referring to the prisoner as a wicked murderess or a
cruel parricide. Yet the case of Henry Coleman, who, during the August
of this year, had been proved innocent of a crime for which he had
suffered death, should have warned the public against hasty assumption.
For six months the dark woman was waiting for her trial. Although it
was the custom for a jailor to make an exhibition of his captive to
anyone who would pay the entrance fee, nobody was allowed to see Miss
Blandy without her consent. Two comfortable rooms were set apart for
her in the keeper’s house; she was free to take walks in the garden,
and to have her own maid. At last, when stories of a premeditated
escape were noised abroad, Secretary Newcastle, in a usual state of
fuss, fearing that she might repeat the achievement of Queen Maud, gave
orders that she must be put in irons. At first Thomas Newell, who had
succeeded her father as town clerk of Henley four years previously, was
employed in her defence, but he offended her by speaking of Cranstoun
as “a mean-looking, little, ugly fellow,” and so she dismissed him in
favour of Mr Rives, a lawyer from Woodstock. Her old invincible courage
had returned, and only once--when she learnt the paltry value of her
father’s fortune--did she lose self-possession. For a dismal echo must
have come back in the mocking words, “When the old man is in his grave
you shall be happy.”

At last the magistrates--Lords Cadogan and ‘New-Style’ Macclesfield,
who had undertaken duties which in later days Mr Newton or Mr
Montagu Williams would have shared with Scotland Yard--finish their
much-praised detective work, and on Tuesday, the 3rd of March 1752,
Mary Blandy is brought to the bar. The Court meets in the divinity
school, since the town-hall is in the hands of the British workman,
and because the University, so ‘Sir Alexander Drawcansir’ tells his
readers, will not allow the use of the Sheldonian Theatre. Why the most
beautiful room in Oxford should be deemed a fitter place of desecration
than the archbishop’s monstrosity is not made clear. An accident
delays the trial--this second ‘Great Oyer of Poisoning!’ There is a
small stone or other obstruction in the lock--can some sentimental,
wry-brained undergraduate think to aid the gallows-heroine of his
fancy?--and while it is being removed, Judges Legge and Smythe return
to their lodgings.

[Illustration: _THE DIVINITY SCHOOL, OXFORD._]

At eight o’clock, Mary Blandy, calm and stately, stands beneath the
graceful fretted ceiling, facing the tribunal. From wall to wall an
eager crowd has filled the long chamber, surging through the doorway,
flowing in at the open windows, jostling even against the prisoner.
A chair is placed for her in case of fatigue, and her maid is by
her side. A plain and neat dress befits her serene manner--a black
bombazine short _sacque_ (the garb of mourning), white linen kerchief,
and a thick crape shade and hood. From the memory of those present
her countenance can never fade. A broad high forehead, above which
her thick jet hair is smoothed under a cap; a pair of fine black
sparkling eyes; the colouring almost of a gipsy; cheeks with scarce
a curve; mouth full, but showing no softness; nose large, straight,
determined--it is the face of one of those rare women who command, not
the love, but the obedience of mankind. Still it is intelligent, not
unseductive, compelling; and yet, in spite of the deep, flashing eyes,
without radiance of soul--the face of a sombre-hearted woman.

Black, indeed, is the indictment that Bathurst, a venerable young
barrister who represents the Crown, unfolds against her, but only once
during his burst of carefully-matured eloquence is there any change in
her serenity. When the future Lord Chancellor declares that the base
Cranstoun “had fallen in love, not with her, but with her fortune,” the
woman’s instinct cannot tolerate the reflection upon her charms, and
she darts a look of bitterest scorn upon the speaker. And only once
does she show a trace of human softness. When her godmother, old Mrs
Mountenay, is leaving the witness-box, she repeats the curtsey which
the prisoner had previously disregarded, and then, in an impulse of
pity, presses forward, and, seizing Miss Blandy’s hand, exclaims, “God
bless you!” At last, and for the first time, the tears gather in the
accused woman’s eyes.

Many abuses, handed down from a previous century, still render
barbarous the procedure of criminal trials. The case is hurried over in
one day; counsel for the prisoner can only examine witnesses, but not
address the jury; the prosecution is accustomed to put forward evidence
of which the defence has been kept in ignorance. Yet no injustice is
done to Mary Blandy. Thirteen hours is enough to tear the veil from her
sombre heart; the tongue of Nestor would fail to show her innocent; of
all that her accusers can say of her she is well aware. Never for one
moment is the issue in doubt. What can her scoffing, sceptic age, with
its cold-blooded sentiment and tame romance, think of a credulity that
employed a love-potion in the guise of affection but with the result
of death! How is it possible to judge a daughter who persisted in her
black art, although its dire effects were visible, not once, but many
times! Her defence, when at last it comes, is spoken bravely, but
better had been left unsaid.

“My lords,” she begins, “it is morally impossible for me to lay down
the hardships I have received. I have been aspersed in my character. In
the first place, it has been said that I have spoke ill of my father;
that I have cursed him and wished him at hell; which is extremely
false. Sometimes little family affairs have happened, and he did not
speak to me so kind as I could wish. I own I am passionate, my lords,
and in those passions some hasty expressions might have dropt. But
great care has been taken to recollect every word I have spoken at
different times, and to apply them to such particular purposes as my
enemies knew would do me the greatest injury. These are hardships, my
lords, extreme hardships!--such as you yourselves must allow to be
so. It was said, too, my lords, that I endeavoured to make my escape.
Your lordships will judge from the difficulties I laboured under. I
had lost my father--I was accused of being his murderer--I was not
permitted to go near him--I was forsaken by my friends--affronted
by the mob--insulted by my servants. Although I begged to have the
liberty to listen at the door where he died, I was not allowed it. My
keys were taken from me, my shoe-buckles and garters too--to prevent
me from making away with myself, as though I was the most abandoned
creature. What could I do, my lords? I verily believe I was out of my
senses. When I heard my father was dead and the door open, I ran out
of the house, and over the bridge, and had nothing on but a half sack
and petticoat, without a hoop, my petticoats hanging about me. The mob
gathered about me. Was this a condition, my lords, to make my escape
in? A good woman beyond the bridge, seeing me in this distress, desired
me to walk in till the mob was dispersed. The town sergeant was there.
I begged he would take me under his protection to have me home. The
woman said it was not proper, the mob was very great, and that I had
better stay a little. When I came home they said I used the constable
ill. I was locked up for fifteen hours, with only an old servant of the
family to attend me. I was not allowed a maid for the common decencies
of my sex. I was sent to gaol, and was in hopes, there, at least, this
usage would have ended, but was told it was reported I was frequently
drunk--that I attempted to make my escape--that I never attended the
chapel. A more abstemious woman, my lords, I believe, does not live.

“Upon the report of my making my escape, the gentleman who was High
Sheriff last year (not the present) came and told me, by order of the
higher powers, he must put an iron on me. I submitted, as I always
do to the higher powers. Some time after, he came again, and said he
must put a heavier upon me, which I have worn, my lords, till I came
hither. I asked the Sheriff why I was so ironed? He said he did it by
command of some noble peer, on his hearing that I intended to make my
escape. I told them I never had such a thought, and I would bear it
with the other cruel usage I had received on my character. The Rev. Mr.
Swinton, the worthy clergyman who attended me in prison, can testify
that I was very regular at the chapel when I was well. Sometimes I
really was not able to come out, and then he attended me in my room.
They likewise published papers and depositions which ought not to have
been published, in order to represent me as the most abandoned of my
sex, and to prejudice the world against me. I submit myself to your
lordships, and to the worthy jury. I can assure your lordships, as I
am to answer it before that Grand Tribunal where I must appear, I am
as innocent as the child unborn of the death of my father. I would not
endeavour to save my life at the expense of truth. I really thought
the powder an innocent, inoffensive thing, and I gave it to procure
his love. It was mentioned, I should say, I was ruined. My lords,
when a young woman loses her character, is not that her ruin? Why,
then, should this expression be construed in so wide a sense? Is it
not ruining my character to have such a thing laid to my charge? And
whatever may be the event of this trial, I am ruined most effectually.”

A strange apology--amazing in its effrontery!

Gentle Heneage Legge speaks long and tenderly, while the listeners
shudder with horror as they hear the dismal history unfolded in all
entirety for the first time. No innocent heart could have penned that
last brief warning to her lover--none but an accomplice would have
received his cryptic message. Every word in the testimony of the stern
doctor seems to hail her parricide--every action of her stealthy career
has been noted by the watchful eyes of her servants. And, as if in
damning confirmation of her guilt, there is the black record of her
flight from the scene of crime. Eight o’clock has sounded when the
judge has finished. For a few moments the jury converse in hurried
whispers. It is ominous that they make no attempt to leave the court,
but merely draw closer together. Then, after the space of five minutes
they turn, and the harsh tones of the clerk of arraigns sound through
the chamber.

“Mary Blandy, hold up thy hand.... Gentlemen of the jury, look upon the
prisoner. How say you: Is Mary Blandy guilty of the felony and murder
whereof she stands indicted, or not guilty?”

“Guilty!” comes the low, reluctant answer.

Never has more piteous drama been played within the cold fair walls
of the divinity school than that revealed by the guttering candles on
this chill March night. Amidst the long black shadows, through which
gleam countless rows of pallid faces, in the deep silence, broken at
intervals by hushed sobs, the invincible woman stands with unruffled
mien to receive her sentence. As the verdict is declared, a smile seems
to play upon her lips. While the judge, with tearful eyes and broken
voice, pronounces her doom, she listens without a sign of fear. There
is a brief, breathless pause, while all wait with fierce-beating hearts
for her reply. No trace of terror impedes her utterance. Thanking the
judge for his candour and impartiality, she turns to her counsel, among
whom only Richard Aston rose to eminence, and, with a touch of pretty
forethought, wishes them better success in their other causes. Then,
and her voice grows more solemn, she begs for a little time to settle
her affairs and to make her peace with God. To which his lordship
replies with great emotion:

“To be sure, you shall have proper time allowed you.”

When she is conducted from the court she steps into her coach with the
air of a belle whose chair is to take her to a fashionable rout. The
fatal news has reached the prison before her arrival. As she enters
the keeper’s house, which for so long has been her home, she finds the
family overcome with grief and the children all in tears.

“Don’t mind it,” she cries, cheerfully. “What does it matter? I am very
hungry. Pray let me have something for supper as soon as possible.”

That sombre heart of hers is a brave one also.

All this time William Cranstoun, worthy brother in all respects of
Simon Tappertit, had been in hiding--in Scotland perhaps, or, as some
say, in Northumberland--watching with fearful quakings for the result
of the trial. Shortly after the conviction of his accomplice he managed
to take ship to the Continent, and luckily for his country he never
polluted its soil again. There are several contemporary accounts of
his adventures in France and in the Netherlands, to which the curious
may refer. All agree that he confessed his share in the murder when
he was safe from justice. With unaccustomed propriety, our Lady Fate
soon hastened to snap the thread of his existence, and on the 3rd of
December of this same year, at the little town of Furnes in Flanders,
aged thirty-eight, he drew his last breath. A short time before, being
seized with remorse for his sins, he had given the Catholic Church the
honour of enrolling him a proselyte. Indeed the conversion of so great
a ruffian was regarded as such a feather in their cap that the good
monks and friars advertised the event by means of a sumptuous funeral.

Worthy Judge Legge fulfils his promise to the unhappy Miss Blandy, and
she is given six weeks in which to prepare herself for death. Meek
and more softened is the sombre woman, who, like a devoted penitent,
submits herself day after day to the vulgar gaze of a hundred eyes,
while she bows in all humility before the altar of her God. Yet her
busy brain is aware that those to whom she looks for intercession
are keeping a careful watch upon her demeanour. For she has begged
her godmother Mrs Mountenay to ask one of the bishops to speak for
her; she is said to entertain the hope that the recently-bereaved
Princess will endeavour to obtain a reprieve. In the fierce war of
pamphleteers, inevitable in those days, she takes her share, playing
with incomparable tact to the folly of the credulous. Although the
majority, perhaps, believe her guilty, she knows that a considerable
party is in her favour. On the 20th of March is published “A Letter
from a Clergyman to Miss Blandy, with her Answer,” in which she tells
the story of her share in the tragedy. During the remainder of her
imprisonment she extends this narrative into a long account of the
whole case--assisted, it is believed, by her spiritual adviser, the
Rev. John Swinton, who, afflicted possibly by one of his famous fits
of woolgathering, seems convinced of her innocence. No human effort,
however, is of any avail. Both the second and third George, knowing
their duty as public entertainers, seldom cheated the gallows of a
victim of distinction.

Originally the execution had been fixed for Saturday, the 4th of April,
but is postponed until the following Monday, because the University
authorities do not think it seemly that the sentence shall be carried
out during Holy Week. A great crowd collects in the early morning
outside the prison walls before the announcement of the short reprieve,
and it speaks marvels for the discipline of the gaol that Miss Blandy
is allowed to go up into rooms facing the Castle Green so that she can
view the throng. Gazing upon the assembly without a tremor, she says
merely that she will not balk their expectations much longer. On Sunday
she takes sacrament for the last time, and signs a declaration in which
she denies once more all knowledge that the powder was poisonous. In
the evening, hearing that the Sheriff has arrived in the town, she
sends a request that she may not be disturbed until eight o’clock the
next morning.

It was half-past the hour she had named when the dismal procession
reached the door of her chamber. The Under-Sheriff was accompanied by
the Rev. John Swinton, and by her friend Mr Rives, the lawyer. Although
her courage did not falter, she appeared meek and repentant, and spoke
with anxiety of her future state, in doubt whether she would obtain
pardon for her sins. This penitent mood encouraged the clergyman to beg
her declare the whole truth, to which she replied that she must persist
in asserting her innocence to the end. No entreaty would induce her to
retract the solemn avowal.

At nine o’clock she was conducted from her room, dressed in the same
black gown that she had worn at the trial, with her hands and arms
tied by strong black silk ribbons. A crowd of five thousand persons,
hushed and expectant, was waiting on the Castle Green to witness her
sufferings. Thirty yards from the door of the gaol, whence she was led
into the open air, stood the gallows--a beam placed across the arms
of two trees. Against it lay a step-ladder covered with black cloth.
The horror of her crime must have been forgotten by all who gazed upon
the calm and brave woman. For truly she died like a queen. Serene and
fearless she walked to the fatal spot, and joined most fervently with
the clergyman in prayer. After this was ended they told her that if she
wished she might speak to the spectators.

“Good people,” she cried, in a clear, audible voice, “give me leave
to declare to you that I am perfectly innocent as to any intention
to destroy or even hurt my dear father; that I did not know, or even
suspect, that there was any poisonous quality in the fatal powder
I gave him; though I can never be too much punished for being the
innocent cause of his death. As to my mother’s and Mrs Pocock’s deaths,
that have been unjustly laid to my charge, I am not even the innocent
cause of them, nor did I in the least contribute to them. So help
me, God, in these my last moments. And may I not meet with eternal
salvation, nor be acquitted by Almighty God, in whose awful presence I
am instantly to appear hereafter, if the whole of what is here asserted
is not true. I from the bottom of my soul forgive all those concerned
in my prosecution; and particularly the jury, notwithstanding their
fatal verdict.”

Then, having ascended five steps of the ladder, she turned to the
officials. “Gentlemen,” she requested, with a show of modesty, “do
not hang me high.” The humanity of those whose task it was to put her
to death, forced them to ask her to go a little higher. Climbing two
steps more, she then looked round, and trembling, said, “I am afraid
I shall fall.” Still, her invincible courage enabled her to address
the crowd once again. “Good people,” she said, “take warning by me
to be on your guard against the sallies of any irregular passion, and
pray for me that I may be accepted at the Throne of Grace.” While the
rope was being placed around her neck it touched her face, and she
gave a deep sigh. Then with her own fingers she moved it to one side.
A white handkerchief had been bound across her forehead, and she drew
it over her features. As it did not come low enough, a woman, who had
attended her and who had fixed the noose around her throat, stepped up
and pulled it down. For a while she stood in prayer, and then gave the
signal by thrusting out a little book which she held in her hand. The
ladder was moved from under her feet, and in obedience to the laws of
her country she was suspended in the air, swaying and convulsed, until
the grip of the rope choked the breath from her body.

Horrible! Yet only in degree are our own methods different from those
employed a hundred and fifty years ago.

During the whole of the sad tragedy, the crowd, unlike the howling mob
at Tyburn, maintained an awestruck silence. There were few dry eyes,
though the sufferer did not shed a tear, and hundreds of those who
witnessed her death went away convinced of her innocence. An elegant
young man named Edward Gibbon, with brain wrapped in the mists of
theology, who for three days had been gentleman commoner at Magdalen,
does not appear to have been attracted to the scene. Surely George
Selwyn must be maligned, else he would have posted to Oxford to witness
this spectacle. It would have been his only opportunity of seeing a
gentlewoman in the hands of the executioner.

After hanging for half an hour with the feet, in consequence of her
request, almost touching the ground, the body was carried upon the
shoulders of one of the sheriff’s men to a neighbouring house. At five
o’clock in the afternoon the coffin containing her remains was taken
in a hearse to Henley, where, in the dead of night, amidst a vast
concourse, it was interred in the chancel of the parish church between
the graves of her father and mother.

So died ‘the unfortunate Miss Blandy’ in the thirty-second year of her
age--with a grace and valour which no scene on the scaffold has ever
excelled. If, as the authors of _The Beggars Opera_ and _The History
of Jonathan Wild_ have sought to show, in playful irony, the greatness
of the criminal is comparable with the greatness of the statesman,
then she must rank with Mary of Scotland and Catherine of Russia among
the queens of crime. Hers was the soul of steel, theirs also the
opportunity.

In every period the enormity of a sin can be estimated only by its
relation to the spirit of the age; and in spite of cant and sophistry,
the contemporaries of Miss Blandy made no legal distinction between
the crimes of parricide and petty larceny. Nay, the same rope that
strangled the brutal cut-throat in a few moments might prolong the
agony of a poor thief for a quarter of an hour. Had the doctors
succeeded in saving the life of the old attorney, the strange law which
in later times put to death Elizabeth Fenning would have been powerless
to demand the life of Mary Blandy for a similar offence. The protests
of Johnson and Fielding against the iniquity of the criminal code fell
on idle ears.

Thus we may not judge Mary Blandy from the standpoint of our own
moral grandeur, for she is a being of another world--one of the vain,
wilful, selfish children to whom an early Guelph was king--merely
one of the blackest sheep in a flock for the most part ill-favoured.
As we gaze upon her portrait there comes a feeling that we do not
know this sombre woman after all, for though the artist has produced
a faithful resemblance, we perceive there is something lacking.
We look into part, not into her whole soul. None but one of the
immortals--Rembrandt, or his peer--could have shown this queen among
criminals as she was: an iron-hearted, remorseless, demon-woman, her
fair, cruel visage raised mockingly amidst a chiaroscuro of crime and
murkiness unspeakable.

                    “a narrow, foxy face,
    Heart-hiding smile, and gay persistent eye.”

In our own country the women of gentle birth who have been convicted
of murder since the beginning of the eighteenth century may be
counted on the fingers of one hand. Mary Blandy, Constance Kent,
Florence Maybrick--for that unsavoury person, Elizabeth Jefferies,
has no claim to be numbered in the roll, and the verdict against
beautiful Madeleine Smith was ‘Not proven’--these names exhaust the
list. And of them, the first alone paid the penalty at the gallows.
The annals of crime contain the records of many parricides, some
that have been premeditated with devilish art, but scarce one that a
daughter has wrought by the most loathsome of coward’s weapons. In
comparison with the murderess of Henley, even Frances Howard and Anne
Turner were guilty of a venial crime. Mary Blandy stands alone and
incomparable--pilloried to all ages among the basest of her sex.

Yet the world soon forgot her. “Since the two misses were hanged,”
chats Horace Walpole on the 23rd of June, coupling irreverently the
names of Blandy and Jefferies with the beautiful Gunnings--“since the
two misses were hanged, and the two misses were married, there is
nothing at all talked of.” Society, however, soon found a new thrill in
the adventures of the young woman Elizabeth Canning.

[Illustration: Miss MARY BLANDY

_B. Cole Sculp_

_Aged 33 and Executed at OXFORD April 6, 1752, for poisoning her
Father._]


BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE BLANDY CASE

I. CONTEMPORARY TRACTS

1. _An Authentic Narrative of that Most Horrid Parricide._ (Printed in
the year 1751. Name of publisher in second edition, M. Cooper.)

2. _A Genuine and Full Account of the Parricide_ committed by Mary
Blandy, Oxford; Printed for, and sold by C. Goddard in the High St, and
sold by R. Walker in the little Old Bailey, and by all booksellers and
pamphlet Shops. (Published November 9, 1751.)

3. _A Letter from a Clergyman to Miss Mary Blandy with her Answer
thereto_.... As also Miss Blandy’s Own Narrative. London; Printed for
M. Cooper at the Globe in Paternoster Row. 1752. Price four pence.
Brit. Mus. (March 20, 1752.)

4. _An Answer to Miss Blandy’s Narrative._ London; Printed for W. Owen,
near Temple Bar. 1752. Price 3d. Brit. Mus. (March 27, 1752.)

5. _The Case of Miss Blandy considered_ as a Daughter, as a
Gentlewoman, and as a Christian. Oxford; Printed for R. Baldwin, at the
Rose in Paternoster Row. Brit. Mus. (April 6, 1752.)

6. _Original Letters to and from Miss Blandy and C---- C----_, London.
Printed for S. Johnson, near the Haymarket, Charing Cross. 1752. Brit.
Mus. (April 8, 1752.)

7. _A Genuine and Impartial Account of the Life of Miss M. Blandy._ W.
Jackson and R. Walker. (April 9, 1752.)

8. _Miss Mary Blandy’s Own Account._ London; Printed for A. Millar in
the Strand. 1752 (price one shilling and sixpence). N.B. The Original
Account authenticated by Miss Blandy in a proper manner may be seen
at the above A. Millar’s. Brit. Mus. (April 10, 1752. The most famous
apologia in criminal literature.)

9. _A Candid Appeal to the Public, by a Gentleman of Oxford._ London.
Printed for J. Clifford in the Old Bailey, and sold at the Pamphleteer
Shops. 1752. Price 6d. Brit. Mus. (April 15, 1752.)

10. _The Tryal of Mary Blandy._ Published by Permission of the Judges.
London. Printed for John and James Rivington at the Bible and Crown and
in St Paul’s Churchyard. 1752. In folio price two shillings. 8vo. one
shilling. Brit. Mus. (April 24, 1752.)

11. _The Genuine Histories_ of the Life and Transactions of John Swan
and Eliz. Jeffries, ... and Miss Mary Blandy, London. Printed and
sold by T. Bailey opposite the Pewter-Pot-Inn in Leadenhall Street.
(Published after April 10, 1752.)

12. _An Authentic and full History of all the Circumstances of the
Cruel Poisoning of Mr. Francis Blandy_, printed only for Mr. Wm. Owen,
Bookseller at Temple Bar, London, and R. Goadby in Sherborne. Brit.
Mus. (Without date. From pp. 113-132 the pamphlet resembles the “Answer
to Miss Blandy’s Narrative,” published also by Wm. Owen.)

13. _The Authentic Tryals of John Swan and Elizabeth Jeffryes_.... With
the Tryal of Miss Mary Blandy, London. Printed by R. Walker for W.
Richards, near the East Gate, Oxford. 1752. Brit. Mus. (Published later
than the “Candid Appeal.”)

14. _The Fair Parricide._ A Tragedy in three acts. Founded on a late
melancholy event. London. Printed for T. Waller, opp. Fetter Lane.
Fleet Street (price 1/). Brit. Mus. (May 5, 1752.)

15. _The Genuine Speech of the Hon. Mr ----_, at the late Trial of Miss
Blandy, London; Printed for J. Roberts in Warwick Lane. 1752. (Price
sixpence.) Brit. Mus. (May 15, 1752.)

16. _The x x x x Packet Broke Open_, or a letter from Miss Blandy in
the Shades below to Capt. Cranstoun in his exile above. London. Printed
for M. Cooper at the Globe in Paternoster Row. 1752. Price 6d. Brit.
Mus. (May 16, 1752.)

17. _The Secret History of Miss Blandy._ London. Printed for Henry
Williams, and sold by the booksellers at the Exchange, in Ludgate St,
at Charing Cross, and St. James. Price 1s. 6d. Brit. Mus. (June 11,
1752. A sane and well-written account of the whole story.)

18. _Memoires of the Life of Wm. Henry Cranstoun Esqre._ London.
Printed for J. Bouquet, at the White Hart, in Paternoster Row; 1752.
Price one shilling. Brit. Mus. (June 18, 1752.)

19. _The Genuine Lives of Capt. Cranstoun and Miss Mary Blandy._
London. Printed for M. Cooper, Paternoster Row, and C. Sympson at the
Bible Warehouse, Chancery Lane. 1753. Price one shilling. Brit. Mus.

20. _Capt. Cranstoun’s Account of the poisoning of the Late Mr. Francis
Blandy._ London. Printed for R. Richards, the Corner of Bernard’s-Inn,
near the Black Swan, Holborn. Brit. Mus. (March 1-3, 1753.)

21. _Memories of the life and most remarkable transactions of Capt.
William Henry Cranstoun._ Containing an account of his conduct in his
younger years. His letter to his wife to persuade her to disown him as
her husband. His trial in Scotland, and the Court’s decree thereto. His
courtship of Miss Blandy; his success therein, and the tragical issue
of that affair. His voluntary exile abroad with the several accidents
that befel him from his flight to his death. His reconciliation to the
Church of Rome, with the Conversation he had with a Rev. Father of the
Church at the time of his conversion. His miserable death, and pompous
funeral. Printed for M. Cooper in Paternoster Row; W. Reeve in Fleet
Street; and C. Sympson in Chancery Lane. Price 6d. With a curious print
of Capt. Cranstoun. Brit. Mus. (March 10-13, 1753. As the title-page of
this pamphlet is torn out of the copy in the Brit. Mus., it is given in
full. From pp. 3-21 the tract is identical with “The Genuine Lives,”
also published by M. Cooper.)

22. _Parricides!_ The trial of Philip Stansfield, Gt, for the murder of
his father in Scotland, 1688. Also the trial of Miss Mary Blandy, for
the murder of her Father, at Oxford 1752. London (1810). Printed by J.
Dean, 57 Wardour St, Soho for T. Brown, 154 Drury Lane and W. Evans, 14
Market St, St James’s. Brit. Mus.

23. _The Female Parricide_, or the History of Mary-Margaret d’Aubray,
Marchioness of Brinvillier.... In which a parallel is drawn between
the Marchioness and Miss Blandy. C. Micklewright, Reading. Sold by J.
Newbery. Price 1/. (March 5, 1752.)

Lowndes mentions also:--

24. _An Impartial Inquiry into the Case of Miss Blandy._ With
reflections on her Trial, Defence, Repentance, Denial, Death. 1753. 8vo.

25. _The Female Parricide._ A Tragedy, by Edward Crane, of Manchester.
1761. 8vo.

26. _A Letter from a Gentleman to Miss Blandy_ with her answer thereto.
1752. 8vo. (Possibly the same as “A Letter from a Clergyman.”)

The two following are advertised in the newspapers of the day:--

27. _Case of Miss Blandy and Miss Jeffreys_ fairly stated, and
compared.... R. Robinson, Golden Lion, Ludgate Street. (March 26, 1752.)

28. _Genuine Letters between Miss Blandy and Miss Jeffries_ before and
after their Conviction. J. Scott Exchange Alley; W. Owen, Temple Bar;
G. Woodfall, Charing Cross. (April 21, 1752.)

29. Broadside. _Execution of Miss Blandy._ Pitts, Printer, Toy and
Marble Warehouse, 6 Great St. Andrew’s St. Seven Dials. Brit. Mus.

30. _The Addl. MSS._, 15930. Manuscript Department in the Brit. Mus.


II. CONTEMPORARY NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES

1. _Read’s Weekly Journal_, March and April (1752), February 3 (1753).

2. _The General Advertiser_, August-November (1751), March and April
(1752).

3. _The London Evening Post_, March and April (1752).

4. _The Covent Garden Journal_ (Sir Alexander Drawcansir), February,
March, and April (1752).

5. _The London Morning Penny Post_, August and September (1751).

6. _Gentleman’s Magazine_, pp. 376, 486-88 (1751), pp. 108-17, 152,
188, 195 (1752), pp. 47, 151 (1753), p. 803, pt. II. (1783).

7. _Universal Magazine_, pp. 114-124, 187, 281 (1752).

8. _London Magazine_, pp. 379, 475, 512(1751), pp. 127, 180, 189(1752),
p. 89 (1753).


NOTES

NOTE I.--In recent years the guilt of Cranstoun has been questioned.
Yet a supposition that does not explain two damning circumstances must
be baseless:

    (_a_) In the first place, one of his letters to Miss Blandy,
    dated July 18, 1751, was read by Bathurst in his opening
    speech. Although the reports of the trial do not tell us that
    the note was produced in court, or that the handwriting was
    verified, it cannot be presumed that the Crown lawyers were
    guilty of wilful fabrication. However strange it may appear
    that this letter alone escaped destruction, it is improbable
    that Miss Blandy invented it. Had she done so its contents
    would have been more consistent with her defence. As it stands
    it is most unfavourable to her. Therefore, in the absence of
    further evidence, we must conclude that the letter is genuine,
    and if genuine Cranstoun was an accomplice.

    (_b_) In the second place, the paper containing the poison
    which was rescued from the fire, is said by the prosecution to
    have borne the inscription in Cranstoun’s handwriting, ‘Powder
    to clean the pebbles’ If this had been counterfeit, Miss Blandy
    would have had no object in destroying it, but would have kept
    it for her purpose.

At any cost Lord Cranstoun must have been anxious to remove the black
stain from his scutcheon. That this was impossible the fact that it was
not done seems to prove. Indeed, if Captain Cranstoun had been ignorant
of the crime, he could have proved his innocence as soon as Miss Blandy
was arrested by producing her letters, which, granting this hypothesis,
would have contained no reference that would have incriminated him.
That she had written a great deal to him was shown in evidence at the
trial by the clerk Lyttleton.

For these reasons it is impossible to accept the conclusion of the
writer of Cranstoun’s life in the _Dic. Nat. Biog._ (who has adopted
the assertion in Anderson’s _Scottish Nation_, vol. i. p. 698), that
“apart from Miss Blandy’s statement there is nothing to convict him of
the murder.”

NOTE II.--Anderson’s statement that “there does not appear to be any
grounds for supposing that Captain Cranstoun was in any way accessory
to the murder,” shows that he had not a complete knowledge of the facts
at his disposal, or that he did not weigh them with precision. Miss
Blandy’s intercepted letter to her lover affords a strong presumption
of his connivance, and her destruction of his correspondence suggests
that it contained incriminating details. That these two actions were
subtle devices to cast suspicion upon Cranstoun cannot be maintained
with any show of plausibility, for in this case Miss Blandy, if
dexterous enough to weave such a crafty plot, must have foreseen its
exposure, and with such exposure her own inevitable ruin, when to
prove that he was not an accomplice her lover had produced the letters
she had written to him. Thus to support such an assumption it must be
shown that Cranstoun had previously destroyed every particle of her
handwriting, and that she was aware of the fact. Of such an improbable
circumstance there is, of course, no evidence.

NOTE III.--“Old Benchers of the Middle Temple,” _Essays of Elia_. The
relative of Miss Blandy, with whom Mr Samuel Salt was dining when
he made the unfortunate remark which Lamb repeats, may have been Mr
Serjeant Henry Stephens of Doctors’ Commons, who was her maternal uncle.

NOTE IV.--The date of Miss Blandy’s birth is not given in the _Dic.
Nat. Biog._ From the register of Henley Parish Church it appears that
she was baptized on July 15, 1720.

[Illustration: _Mess. Robert and Daniel_

PERREAU.

_London. Publish’d Janʸ 22ᵈ 1776. According to Act of Parliament._]



THE UNFORTUNATE BROTHERS

THE CASE OF ROBERT AND DANIEL PERREAU AND MRS MARGARET CAROLINE RUDD,
1775-6

    “What’s this dull town to me?
        Robin’s not near;
    He whom I wish to see,
        Wish for to hear.
    Where’s all the joy and mirth,
    Made life a heaven on earth?
    Oh! they’re all fled with thee,
        Robin Adair.”


When tenor Braham sent his plaintive air ringing through the town,
few were alive who could recall the two previous occasions on which
also the name of Adair was upon every lip. One day in February 1758
all London had been stirred by the elopement of Lady Caroline Keppel,
daughter of second Earl Albemarle, with a rollicking Irish physician
who may have been the Robert of the ballad; while during the summer of
1775 the whole world was wondering whether a man or a most beautiful
woman must go to Tyburn for using the signature of Mr William Adair,
the rich army agent, cousin to Dr Robin of wedding and song. In the
first romance the hero received the just title of ‘the fortunate
Irishman’: in the latter the chief personages were ‘the unfortunate
brothers’ Messrs Robert and Daniel Perreau. Their disaster happened
thus:--

On a Tuesday morning, the 7th of March 1775, a slender, middle-aged
gentleman walked into the counting-house of Messrs Drummond, the great
bankers of Charing Cross. Garbed in a trim snuff-coloured suit, and
betraying none of the macaroni eccentricities with the exception of a
gold-laced hat, his dress suited the rôle that he played in life--a
sleek and prosperous apothecary. This Mr Robert Perreau of Golden
Square was welcomed cordially by Henry Drummond, one of the partners
in the firm, for an apothecary was almost as eminent as a doctor, and
the men had met and known each other at such houses as my Lord Egmont’s
or that of my Lady Lyttelton. Producing as security a bond for £7500,
bearing a signature that should have been honoured by any house in
London, the visitor requested a loan of £5000. However, strange to
say, banker Henry, who had been joined by his brother Robert, seemed
dissatisfied.

“This bond is made payable to you,” he remarked. “Was you present when
it was executed?”

“No, I was not present,” was Mr Perreau’s reply.

“It is not the signature of William Adair, the late army agent of Pall
Mall,” was the startling comment of Robert Drummond. “I have seen his
drafts many a time!”

The prim countenance of the apothecary remained unperturbed.

“There is no doubt but it is his hand,” he answered, with perfect
composure, “for it is witnessed by Mr Arthur Jones, his solicitor, and
by Thomas Stark, his servant.”

“It is very odd,” replied the incredulous Robert Drummond. “I have seen
his hand formerly, and this does not appear to be the least like it.”

Brother Henry Drummond echoed the same sentiment, whereupon Mr Robert
Perreau waxed mysterious and emphatic.

“Mr Adair is my particular friend,” he declared. “There are family
connections between us.... Mr Adair has money of mine in his hands, and
allows me interest.”

“Come to-morrow, Mr Perreau,” said Henry Drummond, “and we will give
you an answer.”

Having received this promise the apothecary departed, but after the
lapse of two hours he returned, and was seen by banker Henry once more.
Without the least reserve he confessed that he had been much concerned
by what the Messrs Drummond had told him.

“I could not be easy in my mind till I had called on Mr Adair,” he
explained. “Luckily I catched him in his boots before he went to take
his ride.”

Naturally, the good banker listened with interest, noting the words,
for it seemed odd that Mr William Adair, the rich squire of Flixton
Hall in Suffolk, whose son was carrying on the army agency, should
raise money in such a style.

“I produced the bond to Mr Adair,” Robert Perreau continued. “It was
his signature, he said, but he might possibly have altered his hand
from the time you had seen him write.... You might let me have the
£5000, Mr Adair said, and he would pay the bond in May, though it is
not payable till June.”

The astute banker, who had talked the matter over with his brother in
the interim, did not express his doubts so strongly.

“Leave the bond with me,” he suggested to his visitor, “in order that
we may get an assignment of it.”

Which proposal Mr Robert Perreau assented to readily, believing, no
doubt, that it was a preface to the payment of his money. In the
course of the day the document was shown to a friend of Mr Adair,
and finally exhibited to the agent himself. Attentive to the hour
of his appointment, Mr Perreau left his gallipots in Golden Square,
and reached the Charing Cross bank at eleven o’clock on the following
morning. Both partners were ready for him, and suggested that to clear
up all doubts it would be wise to call upon Mr William Adair without
delay. To this the apothecary assented very readily--indeed, in any
case a refusal would have aroused the worst suspicions. As it was a
wet morning, he had come in his elegant town coach, and he drove off
immediately with one of the bankers to the house of the late agent in
Pall Mall. Upon their entrance the squire of Flixton took Mr Henry
Drummond by the hand, but, to the surprise of the worthy banker,
made a bow merely to the man who had boasted him as his ‘particular
friend’ Then, the bond being produced, Mr Adair at once repudiated the
signature. For the first time Robert Perreau betrayed astonishment.

“Surely, sir,” cried he, “you are jocular!”

A haughty glance was the sole response of the wealthy agent.

“It is no time to be jocular when a man’s life is at stake,” retorted
the indignant Henry Drummond. “What can all this mean? The person you
pretend to be intimate with does not know you.”

“Why, ’tis evident this is not Mr Adair’s hand,” added his brother, who
had just arrived, with similar warmth, pointing to the forged name.

“I know nothing at all of it,” protested the confused apothecary.

“You are either the greatest fool or the greatest knave I ever saw,”
the angry banker continued. “I do not know what to make of you.... You
must account for this.... How came you by the bond?”

Then there was a hint that a constable had been summoned, and it would
be best to name his accomplices.

“How came you by the bond?” repeated Mr Drummond.

At last the bewildered Mr Perreau seemed to realise the gravity of his
position.

“That will appear,” he replied, in answer to the last remark, “if you
will send for my sister.”

“Who may she be?”

“Why, my brother Mr Daniel Perreau’s wife.”

Calling his servant, the apothecary bade him take the coach for his
sister-in-law, who, he said, might be at her home in Harley Street, but
most likely with his wife at his own house in Golden Square. It was
evident that the carriage did not go farther than the latter direction,
for in a short time it brought back the lady, who was ushered into the
room. Then indeed the hearts of those three hard-pated men of finance
must have been softened, for their eyes could have rested upon no more
dazzling vision of feminine loveliness within the British Isles. Of
medium height, her figure was shaped in the robust lines of graceful
womanhood, but the face, which beamed with an expression of childish
innocence, seemed the daintiest of miniatures, with tiny, shell-like
features, and the clearest and fairest skin. In the fashion of the
time her hair was combed upward, revealing a high forehead, and the
ample curls which fell on either side towards her neck nestled beneath
the smallest of ears. Without a tinge of colour, her complexion was
relieved only by her red lips, but the healthy pallor served to
heighten her radiant beauty. A thin tight ribbon encircled her slender
neck. Below the elbow the close sleeves of her polonese terminated in
little tufts of lace, while long gloves concealed her round, plump
arms. Dress, under the influence of art, was beginning to cast off its
squalor.

Grasping the situation in a moment, this lovely Mrs Daniel Perreau
asked if she might speak with her brother-in-law alone, but the
request was refused. Then the beauty, making full use of her shining
blue eyes, besought Mr Adair to grant her a private interview. But the
old man--not such a gay dog as kinsman Robin--was proof against these
blandishments.

“You are quite a stranger to me,” he answered, “and you can have no
conversation that does not pass before these gentlemen.”

For a short time the beautiful woman appeared incapable of reason. At
last she seemed to make a sudden decision.

“My brother Mr Perreau is innocent,” she cried, in an agony of
distress. “I gave him the bond.... I forged it!... For God’s sake, have
mercy on an innocent man. Consider his wife and children.... Nobody was
meant to be injured. All will be repaid.”

“It is a man’s signature,” objected one of the bankers. “How could you
forge it?”

Seizing a pen and sheet of paper, she imitated the name on the bond
with such amazing fidelity that all were convinced. Then, according to
promise, Robert Drummond destroyed the writing, for he, at least, was
determined that no advantage should be taken of her confidence.

Little information was gained from Daniel Perreau--twin brother of the
apothecary--who had been summoned from his spacious home in Harley
Street, save shrugs of shoulders and words of surprise. Between him
and Robert there was a striking likeness. Both were handsome and
well-proportioned men, but a full flavour of macaroni distinguished the
newcomer--a ‘fine puss gentleman’ of the adventurous type. To him dress
was as sacred as to his great predecessor, Mr John Rann of the Sixteen
Strings, who only a few months previously had met with a fatal accident
near the Tyburn turnpike. Indeed, the macaroni was as great an autocrat
as the dandy of later days, and princes, parsons, and highwaymen
alike became members of his cult. So the gentleman from Harley Street,
flourishing his big stick, and shaking the curled chignon at the back
of his neck, tried with success to look a great fool.

Quite appropriately, it was the woman who determined the result. Less
dour than the squire of Flixton, the two bankers had no objection to
accompany her into an adjacent room, where they listened with sympathy
to her prayers. Being younger men than Mr Adair, they were full of
respect for her brave deed of self-accusation, moved by the piteous
spectacle of beauty in tears. In the end, confident that she spoke the
truth, they began to regard Robert Perreau as her innocent dupe. So the
constable was sent away, for macaroni Daniel seemed too great an idiot
to arrest, and it was preposterous to dream of locking up his lovely
wife. Thus the three grave financiers promised that the adventure
should be forgotten, and the Messrs Perreau drove away from the house
in Pall Mall in Robert’s coach, assured that they had escaped from a
position which might have cost them their lives. Almost as clever as
she was beautiful was this charming Mrs Daniel Perreau.

Surely, all but a fool would have tried to blot the incident from his
mind, content that the gentlemen concerned believed his honour to be
unsullied, too humane to betray a pretty sister into the bloody hands
of justice--all but a fool, or a _criminal_ seeking to escape by
sacrificing an accomplice! Yet Mr Robert Perreau, although anything but
a fool, would not rest. Without delay he sought advice from a barrister
friend, one Henry Dagge, with the amazing result that on the following
Saturday forenoon, the 11th of March, he appeared before Messrs Wright
and Addington at the office in Bow Street to lay information against
‘the female forger’ Luckily, the magistrates took the measure of
the treacherous apothecary, and committed him as well as the lady to
the Bridewell at Tothill Fields. On the next day, fop Daniel--a base
fellow, who had acted as decoy while his brother was effecting the
betrayal--was sent to keep them company. It was a rueful hour for the
two Perreaus when they tried to pit their wits against a woman.

On Wednesday morning, the 15th of March, in expectation that the three
distinguished prisoners would appear before Sir John Fielding, the
Bow Street court was besieged by so large a crowd that it was deemed
prudent to adjourn to more commodious quarters in the Guildhall,
Westminster. Surprising revelations were forthcoming. It was found that
the forgery discovered seven days ago was only one of many. Two other
persons--Dr Brooke and Admiral Sir Thomas Frankland--less cautious than
the Drummonds, came forward to declare that they had obliged their
friend Mr Perreau by discounting similar bonds, all of which bore the
signature of William Adair! Plain indeed was the motive of Robert’s
betrayal. It was not enough that the bankers should forgive him--it was
needful that the woman must answer as scapegoat for much more.

Never had a fairer prisoner stood before the blind magistrate than
the intended victim. Above a striped silk gown she wore a pink cloak
trimmed with ermine, and a small black bonnet--as usual, daintiest of
the dainty, in spite of her tears and shame. Hitherto, she had given
splendid proofs of courage and loyalty, but treachery had changed her
heart to stone, and she lent herself to a cunning revenge. A youthful
barrister named Bailey, who was hovering around Bow Street soon after
her arrest, had been lucky enough to be accepted as her counsel.
Clever almost as his client--in spite of contemporary libels from Grub
Street, that repute him more intimate with Ovid’s _Art of Love_
than Glanvill or Bracton--he came forward with the naïve suggestion
that she should be admitted as evidence for the Crown! And a witness
she was made there and then, two days later being let loose on bail,
which created a very pretty legal causerie in a little while. On the
other hand, the unhappy brothers were committed to the New Prison,
Clerkenwell, on the capital charge of forgery. All this was very
welcome entertainment for the fashionable mob that crushed into the
Westminster Guildhall.

[Illustration: MARGARET CAROLINE RUDD]

The repartee of one of Sir John’s myrmidons, often quoted by wags of
the time as an excellent joke, is not without its moral. One of the
doorkeepers refused entrance to a certain person on the ground that he
had been told to admit only gentlemen.

“That is Mr ----, the great apothecary,” quoth a bystander.

“Oh!” returns the doorkeeper, “if that’s the case, he must on no
account go in, for my orders extend only to gentlemen, and the whole
room is filled with apothecaries already.”

It would have been well for Robert Perreau had he held no more exalted
opinion of his station in life than the Bow Street officer.

To the delight of all the _bon ton_, the scent of scandal rose hot
into the air. The charming lady who had passed as the wife of Daniel
Perreau proved to be his mistress. Although she had lived with him for
five years, bearing him no less than three children, her real name was
Margaret Caroline Rudd, whose lawful husband was still alive. Being the
daughter of an apothecary in the North of Ireland, by his marriage with
the love-child of a major of dragoons, who was a member of the Scottish
house of Galloway, her boast that the blood of Bruce ran in her veins
was strictly true, in spite of the scoffs and jeers with which it was
hailed by her enemies. Early in the year 1762, when only seventeen, she
had married a dissolute lieutenant of foot, named Valentine Rudd, the
son of a grocer at St Albans. Soon his society proved distasteful, and
the fair Margaret Caroline eloped with a more congenial partner. During
the next few years she lived the life of a Kitty Fisher or a Fanny
Murray--a gilt-edged Cyprian--selling her favours, like Danae, for
no less than a shower of gold. Of all her patrons, the most faithful
and generous by far was a rich Jew moneylender named Salvadore, whose
name remains still as a landmark in the purlieus of the metropolis.
Good Lord Granby is said to have visited her out of mere affection.
Among others, it was whispered that Henry Frederick, a gentleman of
easy virtue, like all Dukes of Cumberland, became one of her intimate
friends. Possibly she may have listened to couplets from the _Essay on
Women_, for patriot Wilkes, the member of Parliament for the county of
Middlesex, is believed to have cultivated her society, going to the
extent of finding her a home at Lambeth. Peers flocked to Hollen Street
or Meard’s Court to pay her homage. A favourite device of hers was to
impersonate a boarding-school miss or a lady of quality. Few women
of pleasure have possessed the fertile imagination of Mrs Margaret
Caroline Rudd.

In May 1770 she met the foolish Daniel Perreau--not stupid from the
woman’s point of view, since he was a dashing dog with a taste for all
the pleasant things in life--and in an unlucky moment she accepted
him as her protector. However, in other respects, although he had
travelled far over the world, his intellect was no mate for hers. In
business he had been a failure both at home and abroad. Three times, it
is recorded, he was obliged to make composition with his creditors.
Only a fortnight before his alliance with the bewitching Irishwoman
his certificate of bankruptcy had been signed. Still, he was a man
suited to the fair Margaret’s taste, handsome, gay, and genteel, with
a complacency that paid no regard to her methods of raising money--a
partner, in short, who gave her back the status in society that she had
forfeited.

Naturally, Daniel was more than satisfied with his beautiful companion,
allowing her to pass as his lawful wife, forming an establishment
for her in Pall Mall Court--the cost of which, since Salvadore and
others were as lavish as ever, she appears to have provided. Golden
dreams had captured his silly brain, and he believed that Exchange
Alley would bring a more propitious fortune than vulgar trade. Funds
could be obtained from his dear Mrs Rudd. Secret news from the French
Embassy was furnished by his confederate, one Colonel Kinder--an Irish
soldier. It would be easy to cut a brilliant figure at Jonathan’s, and
restore his shattered credit. Thus, relying upon certain information,
he insured the chances of war with Spain; but the Falkland Island
convention happened to bring peace, and Daniel Perreau suffered his
first big loss in the Alley.

Still, this did not deter him, for the finances of Mrs Rudd seemed
inexhaustible, and sometimes he made a lucky stroke himself. In
addition to her pretended fortune, which Daniel knew was not bequeathed
by any relative, she declared to her friends that a windfall had come
to her in the shape of an annuity of £800 a year from Mr James Adair,
the wealthy linen-factor of Soho Square. This kinsman of the Pall Mall
agent chanced to be acquainted with the maternal uncle of Margaret
Caroline Youngson--a tenant farmer of Balimoran, County Down, John
Stewart by name, another unlawful offspring, possibly, of the amorous
major of the house of Galloway--and, after the custom of a man of the
world, as he is described, he became even more interested than the
royal duke in the fortunes of the pretty niece. It is doubtful whether
his generosity reached the sum named, but with so many sources of
income strict accuracy in detail may have been difficult to Mrs Rudd.
Indeed, the despicable Daniel Perreau did not require them. It was a
great thing to boast at Jonathan’s that his wife was a connection of
one of the great Adairs. With such a surety funds might be borrowed
easily.

Apparently, being much attached to her protector, Margaret Rudd was
quite content to live with him in their humble quarters in Pall Mall
Court, and to present him at appropriate intervals with pledges of
their mutual ardour. Probably she shared his golden visions, hoping for
future affluence. At all events, she gained no monetary advantage from
the connection. Moreover, it was not until the beginning of the fatal
year that she was mistress even of a house of her own, for the elegant
residence on the west side of Harley Street was purchased on the 31st
of December 1774.

Brother Robert watched with amazement the progress of the fortunes of
his twin, for it was wonderful that bankrupt Daniel should be able to
live in decent lodgings with a stylish lady, to pursue fashion in all
its vagaries, and to throw about money in the Alley. A different man
this Robert--solemn, laborious, and intelligent, making a hard-earned
income of a thousand pounds a year. Nevertheless, his soul soared above
his gallipots. It was his ambition to make a figure in the world, so
that his wife could woo society with drums, routs, hurricanes. When he
looked around he saw that fortunes were being won on every side. A wave
of prosperity was bearing the empire on its crest. The Great Commoner
had wrenched America and India from the hereditary enemy. To these vast
markets British seamen were carrying the exports of their country. At
home, the clever inventors of the North, Watt and Arkwright, Hargreaves
and Brindley, had increased the powers of production a thousandfold.
England was setting up shop on a scale undreamt of hitherto in the
world’s philosophy. Why spend one’s life in dispensing pukes and
boluses, thought apothecary Robert, when the Alley is open to all who
dare take advantage of this golden age?

Since this was his character, brother Daniel and his pretty _chère
amie_ soon tempted the misguided man to share their fortunes, glad to
seek the cover of his reputable name to fashion new and more desperate
schemes. For earls and bishops were clients of the apothecary, and
‘honest Perreau’ was one of his appellations. Yet to preserve the
co-operation of such respectability a pleasant little piece of fiction
had to be maintained. Brother Robert, not a fool by any means, was
willing to assist their plans, but only in the character of an
ingenuous agent; a method--as, no doubt, he pointed out--that must
disarm all suspicion. Thus, when he canvassed his friends to advance
money on bonds in pursuance of the new policy, he would be able to pose
as the emissary of his sister-in-law Mrs Daniel Perreau and her doting
relatives Messrs James and William Adair. Indeed, there was a letter
in his pocket, authorising some such scheme, which, not being penned
by the Pall Mall agent, probably was the work of the clever woman who
could give imitations of other people’s handwriting. Such a letter
would be useful in case his possession of an Adair bond was questioned,
but most useful of all--and this most certainly Mr Robert Perreau would
not point out to his confederates--in making him appear a guileless
dupe in the hands of an artful woman. Very cleverly had he arranged
the saving of his own skin, this sly, precise apothecary.

For no game could be more hazardous than the one which the guilty trio
continued to pursue. Forgery was needful to cover forgery. As one bond
became payable another had to be discounted to provide the money. A
couple of bonds to the value of nearly £8000 were cashed by banker
Mills in the City. On two others the large sums of £4000 and £5000 had
been advanced by Sir Thomas Frankland. In this way more than a dozen
were negotiated during the twelve months that preceded the discovery.
All were signed with the name of the army agent--the pretended
benefactor of Daniel’s wife--and their total value reached the huge
sum of £70,000. Thus the Perreaus had been able to continue their
speculations in Exchange Alley. Their sole chance of coming out of the
mischief scot free was a lucky stroke at Jonathan’s, or the death of
one of their victims.

Public interest in the case was aroused no less by the personality of
the prisoners than by the mystery surrounding the actual criminal.
For the brothers on one side, and Mrs Rudd on the other, told two
wonderful and contradictory stories. This most artful of women, whined
the Messrs Perreau, using consummate guile, had revealed to them
gradually a dazzling and enticing prospect. First Mr James and then
Mr William Adair was represented as the lavish benefactor of their
beautiful relative. Yet such was the modesty of these capitalists,
that although they declared their intention of procuring a baronetcy
for Daniel, and an estate in the country for Robert, besides setting
up the twins as West-End bankers, they would communicate with Mrs
Rudd alone! Moreover, such was the impecuniosity of these wealthy men
that they were able to carry out their benevolent intentions only by
the aid of notes of hand! However, the brothers protested that these
assurances had been given to them by the lady, and that all the forged
bonds had been received from the fair Margaret Caroline by innocent
Daniel or ingenuous Robert, in the belief that the Messrs Adair, who
had signed them, intended a gratuitous present. A most happy stroke of
luck, coinciding fortunately with the period of their bold speculations
at Jonathan’s! Yet what was Mrs Rudd’s motive in running these risks
to provide funds from which she received little benefit, was not made
clear.

Even more wondrous was the other story. Although her conduct at the
house in Pall Mall--whether we deem her guilty or innocent--showed
something of nobility, she had no mercy for her confederates after they
had played her false. While confessing once more that she had forged
the bond which the Drummonds had rejected, she declared that her keeper
Daniel had forced her to do so by standing over her with an open knife,
threatening to cut her throat unless she obeyed. An incredible story,
but no more improbable than the other! With the exception of this
compulsory forgery, Mrs Rudd avowed that she was innocent. Amidst all
this publicity it is likely that poor Mr James Adair, who had been very
much the lady’s friend in former days, would have an unpleasant time
with Mrs James Adair, and with his son, young Mr Serjeant James, M.P.,
the rising barrister!

Such an entertainment was a novel and delightful experience for the
British public. Since the wonderful time (fourteen summers ago) when
mad Earl Ferrers had made his exit at Tyburn in a gorgeous wedding
dress, and amidst funereal pomp, the triple tree seldom had been graced
by the appearance of gentlefolk. Broker Rice, whose shady tricks at
the Alley made him the victim of Jack Ketch three years after his
lordship, was almost the only respectable criminal who had been hanged
for more than a decade. Indeed, except Mother Brownrigg and Jack of the
Sixteen Strings, no criminal of note had dangled from a London scaffold
since the days of Theodore Gardelle. Yet a glorious era was dawning
for the metropolitan mob, when, in quick succession, Dodd, Hackman,
and Ryland were to journey down the Oxford Road--the golden age of the
gallows, when George III. was king!

On Friday, the Ist of June, Robert Perreau was put to the bar at the
Old Bailey. Owing to ill-health he had been allowed to remain in the
Clerkenwell prison, and was not taken to Newgate until the morning of
his trial--a privilege shared also by his brother. The President of the
Court was Sir Richard Aston, who, as a junior of the Oxford circuit,
had helped to defend the unfortunate Miss Blandy. By his side sat the
Right Honourable John Wilkes, Lord Mayor of London, a quite tame City
patriot now almost ready for the royal embraces, very different from
the Wilkes winged by pistol-practising Martin, M.P., and hounded by
renegade Jemmy Twitcher. This same City patriot--if we may credit one
of Dame Rumour’s quite credible stories--whispered into the ear of the
judge the most important words spoken during the trial:--“My lord, you
can convict these men without the woman’s evidence.... It is a shocking
thing that she should escape unpunished, as she must if you call her as
a witness!” Which advice--if the lady had been as kind to ‘squinting
Jacky’ as the world believed--shows that he was rising on stepping
stones of Medmenham Abbey to higher things. At all events, instead
of summoning Mrs Rudd into the box, the judge startled the world by
ordering her to be detained in Newgate.

In spite of the efforts of his counsel and his friends, the Court
did not put the least faith in the wily apothecary, refusing to
believe that he had been ignorant of his brother’s relationship to his
mistress, or, if this were true, that an innocent man would obtain
cash for a succession of huge bonds, drawn on the well-known house
of Adair, at the bidding of a woman without making inquiries. Even
granting that he was so credulous as to remain silent when he saw that
suspicion was aroused, it was clear that no man of honour would strive
to stifle mistrust by telling lies. Then there were other compromising
circumstances. It was apparent that the Perreaus needed money to repay
certain bonds that were falling due. Robert had antedated the latest
forgery to make it agree with one of his falsehoods to the Messrs
Drummond, for in the previous January he had endeavoured to obtain
money from them by a fictitious story. Not only did the employment of a
scrivener have no weight in his favour, but pointed to premeditation.
In the face of these facts his guilt seemed clear. Notwithstanding an
eloquent defence written for him by Hugh M’Auley Boyd, in which he
protested that he had received the bonds from Mrs Rudd in good faith,
the jury required no more than five minutes to return a hostile verdict.

At nine o’clock on the following morning there were similar dealings
with brother Daniel. Seeing that his case was hopeless, he did not
deliver the elaborate address that had been prepared, choosing to print
it, like Pope’s playwright. Naturally, his expectations were fulfilled,
and he was found guilty of forging one of the bonds in the name of
William Adair, on which his friend Dr Brooke had lent him £1500. On the
6th of June, at the close of the Old Bailey sessions, he was sentenced
to death along with Robert by Recorder Glynn, while on the same day Mrs
Rudd was told that as bail could not be granted, she must remain in
prison. In spite of their dishonesty, and still baser treachery, it is
impossible to think of the cruel sentence of the unfortunate Perreaus
without a thrill of horror. Yet no qualms disturbed the tranquil
conscience of King George, who believed he was doing the Lord’s work in
hanging men and women for a paltry theft.

The charming Mrs Rudd was not disposed of so easily as her unlucky
confederates. From April onwards she had attracted more attention
than the skirmishes with our rebellious colonists at Bunker’s Hill
and Lexington. While she was at large and the brothers were under
lock and key, public sympathy had remained on their side. Moreover,
her tactics were not too reputable, and until it was evident that she
was struggling in her prison with the valour of desperation against
overwhelming odds, popular compassion did not condone her shifty
methods. Still, whatever her guilt, she waged her long battle with
surpassing dexterity.

One of the foremost of her foes, and not the least dangerous, was
George Kinder, the Irish colonel--Daniel’s emissary in the unlucky
touting at the back stairs of the French Embassy--a gentleman who had
sought vainly to win the good graces of Miss Polly Wilkes. There was no
false delicacy about this warrior, as the letters in the _Morning Post_
under pseudonyms ‘Jack Spry’ and ‘No Puffer’ bear ample testimony, and
soon he had made the whole world familiar with the amatory history of
Margaret Youngson. Yet Colonel Kinder was too reckless in the delivery
of his attacks, and, like many another dashing soldier, he found
himself often outflanked. For Mrs Rudd wielded her pen brilliantly, and
her replies to critics of the press were not unworthy--both in style
and context--of a novelist of later days. At all events, the vulgar
diatribes of Colonel Kinder helped to bring popular sympathy to the
side of his fair antagonist, and this is precisely what the clever lady
must have foreseen.

Another enemy, as inveterate as the Irishman himself, appeared in
the person of a rough-and-ready sea-dog, ex-Admiral Sir Thomas
Frankland--whom the Perreaus had swindled out of thousands of pounds--a
lineal descendant of Protector Cromwell. More truculent even than his
great ancestor--for surely Oliver never confiscated ruff or farthingale
belonging to Henrietta Maria--he pounced upon Mrs Rudd’s clothes, and
indeed upon all property that might help to repay his loans. Remaining
loyal to his old friend the Golden Square apothecary--for the choleric
gentleman was convinced that he was an innocent instrument in the
hands of the woman--he seized anything that Daniel and his mistress
happened to possess. In consequence of this brigandage there was a
pitched battle between the employees of the admiral and the sheriff’s
officers for the possession of the house in Harley Street, in which
the former got the worst of the tussle. Running amuck at all who
took the other side--Barrister Bailey, Uncle Stewart, the Keeper of
the Lyon Records--each in turn received a broadside from the fiery
old salt. Shiver-me-timbers Frankland--this Paul Pry of a lady’s
wardrobe--wrought more good out of evil to the cause of Margaret Rudd
than any other man, and his fair enemy was nothing loth to let him run
to the top of his bent.

Nowhere was the diplomacy of Daniel Perreau’s mistress more remarkable
than in the negotiations with her old servant, Mrs Christian Hart.
Early in July there was an interview between the pair in Newgate:
the handmaid compassionate and pliable; the prisoner full of subtle
schemes against her enemies. Barrister Bailey was present, and a
lengthy document was drawn up--a paper of instructions in the form of a
narrative for the guidance of the faithful ‘Christy’--wherein was set
forth the details of a wicked conspiracy, which the servant was to
pretend that she had overheard, between old sea-dog Frankland and Mrs
Robert Perreau to swear away Mrs Rudd’s life. Promising to learn her
story and stick to the text, Mrs Hart went away with her manuscript;
but, frightened by her husband or bribed by the admiral, in a little
while she deserted to the other side. In no wise dismayed, Margaret
Rudd retorted that ‘Christy’ had volunteered the story, and that the
instructive document was a faithful copy of the woman’s narrative as
dictated by herself, another copy of which she produced, attested by
the faithful Bailey. Moreover, she alleged that the whole business
was a thing devised by the Perreaus for the purpose of compromising
their enemy, a most dexterous plot to make it appear that Mrs Rudd
was endeavouring to create false evidence! Thus, even when the first
scheme failed, she gained the effect desired by its very failure. Poor,
persecuted woman, thought the big-hearted British public, and what a
shocking old admiral!

A little later, the fair captive in Newgate triumphed over another
enemy, one Hannah Dalboux, a second domestic. This Hannah had been
nurse to the youngest of Daniel Perreau’s children since the mother
had been put in prison. One morning in August the newspapers announced
that the woman had refused to surrender the child, and that the woman’s
husband had tried to thrash the inevitable Mr Bailey when he paid a
visit with his client’s request. “The baby shall be given up when I am
paid for its board and lodging,” was the sum and substance of Hannah’s
ultimatum. All the same the child had to be delivered to its rightful
owner, and husband Dalboux was locked up for the assault. A great
opportunity, indeed, which Mrs Rudd did not neglect. All the journals
were full of hints concerning the horrid old admiral, who had employed
people to steal the lady’s baby as well as her petticoats--about the
last two things in the world a swell mobsman would choose, unless they
were accompanied by the proprietress. Yet the salient fact, remembered
by the British public in a little while, was that this inveterate
sea-dog was the prosecutor at Mrs Rudd’s trial.

The well-known anecdote told of her by Horace Walpole, must, if true,
have reference to an incident that occurred during her imprisonment in
Newgate.

“Preparatory to her trial, she sent for some brocaded silks to a
mercer. She pitched on a rich one, and ordered him to cut off the
proper quantity, but the mercer, reflecting that if she was hanged, as
was probable, he should never be paid, pretended he had no scissors.
She saw his apprehensions, pulled out her pocket-book, and giving him a
bank-note for £20, said, ‘There is a pair of scissors.’ Such quickness
is worth a hundred screams. We have no Joans of Arc nor Catherines de
Medici, but this age has heroines after its own fashion.”

Whenever a Gordian knot presented itself the undaunted Mrs Rudd was
always ready with a pair of scissors!

Like all other popular entertainers, the fair Margaret Caroline had
rivals in the public favour. On the nineteenth of August, “one of the
prettiest young women in England,” Jane Butterfield by name, was tried
for her life at Croydon on a charge of poisoning a foully-diseased
old man for whom she kept house. Paramour also to this rotten William
Scawen was Miss Jane, debauched by him when a child. Although the poor
girl was acquitted amidst tears and huzzas, she lost the fortune that
should have come to her, for her protector, who had listened to the
accusations of his Dr Sanxy--the instigator of all the proceedings
against the innocent Jane--lived long enough, unhappily, to cross her
out of his will. For a while all England forgot Margaret Rudd in its
generous sympathy for the beautiful heroine of Croydon. Soon also
the ubiquitous Elizabeth Chudleigh monopolised public attention, to
the exclusion of everyone else, under her new rôle as Her Grace of
Kingston; while the sex of the mysterious Chevalier D’Eon continued to
be the subject of many wagers.

For six months Mrs Rudd remained a prisoner in Newgate--from the day of
Robert Perreau’s condemnation on the 1st of June until the morning of
her own trial on the 8th of December--using every endeavour so that she
should not be brought to the judgment-seat. A few weeks after the close
of the summer sessions--on the fourth day of July--she was summoned to
Westminster Hall to listen to the ruling of Chief-Justice Mansfield,
an unrivalled exponent of amazing decisions, with regard to her status
as king’s evidence. Superfine, indeed, was the quality of Mansfield’s
red tape:--“The woman did not confess that she was an accomplice,
but an assistant by compulsion, therefore she may be presumed to be
innocent, consequently there is no reason why she should not be tried!
Only a _guilty_ person can be admitted as a witness for the Crown!”
Yet the great Chief-Justice had a more cogent reason still--one that
is irrefutable: “Since the lady did not disclose _all_ she knew, she
has forfeited indulgence!” Quite proper, no doubt, in a legal sense,
but foreign to the eternal ethics of British equity, that has permitted
‘burker’ Hare to escape the halter, believing that it is monstrous to
ask a jury to try a prisoner from whom a confession has been extorted
under promise of pardon. There was no false delicacy about the learned
Mansfield’s interpretation of the law.

However, his lordship was the autocrat of all bigwigs, and none but the
most stout-hearted ventured to challenge his decisions. When the case
was argued by her counsel before three judges, sitting as a Court of
Gaol Delivery in the middle of September, one Henry Gould, who feared a
Chief-Justice as little as a Gordon riot, appears to have realised
that the law must keep its faith. So he gave a flat contradiction to
the ruling of the King’s Bench. “How can we know that the woman was
cognisant of any other forgery than the one to which she has confessed
unless we bring her to trial?” demanded this judge Gould. “And if we
bring her to trial we break our word!” Nevertheless his two colleagues,
remembering possibly the Mansfield temper and the Mansfield tongue,
maintained the arguments of the Chief-Justice, and thus it was decreed
that Mrs Rudd must go before a jury. Early in November twelve judges
assented to this decision.

[Illustration: _Mrs. Margaret Caroline Rudd at the Bar of the Old Bailey

Published dec.ʳ	 15.ᵗʰ 1775 according to Act of Parliament_]

Confident that her long struggle had not been futile, since this breach
of faith must shock the public mind, the beautiful prisoner prepared
to face her terrible ordeal. In a letter from Strawberry Hill we catch
a glimpse of her on the eve of her trial. “... She sent her lawyer a
brief of which he could not make head nor tail. He went to her for one
more clear. ‘And do you imagine’ said she, ‘that I will trust you or
any attorney in England with the truth of my story? Take your brief:
meet me in the Old Bailey, and I will ask you the necessary questions.’
...” And when the time came she kept her promise to help him through.

On Friday, the 8th of December, she was placed in the dock at the Old
Bailey. During her long imprisonment the popular sympathy had come over
to her side, and a friendly crowd filled the galleries before daybreak.
With much tenderness Judge Aston explained to her the reason that she
was put to the bar, his chief argument being the elusive one that she
had not spoken the _whole_ truth before the magistrates. No woman could
have been more dignified or composed. An air of melancholy rested on
her beautiful face, which appeared more pale in contrast to her garb of
mourning. A silk polonese cloak, lined with white persian, was thrown
round her shoulders. Beneath, her gown was black satin, _appliquée_
with wreaths of broad silken ribbons, her skirt draped upon the small
hoop worn with an evening toilet. Above the tall head-dress demanded by
fashion, a white gauze cap, dotted with small knots of black, rested
lightly upon her powdered curls. It was almost the same costume that
she had worn before the three judges.

Only for a short time were the spectators in doubt as to the result of
the trial. None of the evidence was convincing; each witness seemed
more feeble than his predecessor. Serjeant Davy, rough and ready, tore
their statements to tatters. To the jury Mrs Robert Perreau seemed
eager to swear aught that might save the life of her unhappy husband.
Admiral Frankland, in the face of his petticoat theft, appeared to have
pressed the prosecution out of greed and for the sake of revenge. John
Moody, a footman discharged by the prisoner, must have been regarded,
very properly, as a barefaced liar. The famous Christian Hart, another
old servant with a grudge, who was answered on all points by the
evidence of the indefatigable Bailey, could prove nothing concerning
the forgery cited in the indictment.

All the while Mrs Rudd kept on passing notes to her counsel--more than
fifty in number--suggesting questions to baffle the hostile witnesses.
The trial lasted for nearly twelve hours. When the jury returned
into court, after an absence of thirty minutes, Henry Angelo, the
fencing-master, saw the gay auctioneer who was the foreman throw a
meaning smile towards the beautiful prisoner. “Not guilty according to
the evidence before us!” declared the jury, while the court thundered
with applause. At last her bitter ordeal was over, and Margaret Rudd,
smiling through her tears, stepped gaily into a coach that was waiting
at the door of Old Bailey. Then she was driven, post haste, to her new
home with the wicked Lord Lyttelton. Certainly this charming and clever
woman was far from being too good to live.

Naturally, the acquittal of Mrs Rudd determined the fate of the
unfortunate twins, who had been kept alive all this time pending the
result of her trial. Only in one way could Robert, deemed the less
guilty, have been spared. Had Daniel confessed that he was the forger,
exonerating his brother, probably a pardon would have been granted. Not
being built, however, after the fashion of martyrs, he continued to
make frantic protests of innocence, thereby sealing the doom of both.
For arguments that were incredible merely in the case of the apothecary
became preposterous when applied to Daniel. Yet the loyalty of Robert
was admirable, as although he knew that his one hope was to be
dissociated from his brother, he would not pretend that he had been his
dupe. Desperate efforts were made to save the unhappy men. A petition,
signed by more than seventy bankers and influential men of business,
was presented to the King. Mrs Robert Perreau with her three children,
all in deep mourning, flung herself at the feet of the Queen. But good
King George III. was a stranger to mercy, and Justice Mansfield was not
the sort of person to make the introduction.

On Wednesday, the 17th of January 1776--a bitter morning, with keen
frost in the air and deep snow on the ground--the two poor brothers
were led out to die. When they were brought from the chapel into the
day-room within the Press Yard, to await the coming of the hangmen,
they found only a few faithful friends who wished to say farewell.
For, to prevent an unseemly crowd, good Keeper Akerman stood himself
at the gate of the fatal quadrangle, denying entrance even to his own
acquaintances. Daniel Perreau, apparently unmoved, gave a bow to his
friends, and then sought the warmth of the fire. Robert, less resolute
than his brother, was unmanned for an instant by the sight of the cords
and halters upon the table. In a few moments their steps were ringing
across the flags of the courtyard, as with bound arms they followed the
Sheriffs towards the gate. Those who gazed upon these poor victims of a
merciless law testify that their tread was firm and their faces hopeful
and serene. For, save in that first base betrayal of a woman, no one
can accuse Daniel and Robert Perreau of cowardice. Five others bore
them company to the grave.

Shortly after nine o’clock the City Marshals, attended by the full
panoply of sheriffdom, started the procession. Next came an open
cart, covered with black baize, where sat three of the convicts, and
then a hurdle, dragged by four horses, on which rested a pair of
wretches condemned for coining. And last, there followed the sombre
mourning-coach--a special privilege--with the unhappy brothers. All
around lay a winding sheet of snow, crusted thick on the housetops,
piled in deep billows against the walls. A piercing east wind shot down
the Old Bailey, while the prison gleamed in the frosty mist like a
monument of hard black ice.

Beyond Newgate Street the bell in St Sepulchre’s high steeple rang
fiercely over the frozen roofs, as though pealing forth a pæan of
exultation upon the procession of death. Here there came a halt in
the march, while from the steps of the church, in time-honoured
fashion, the sexton delivered his solemn exhortation to the condemned
prisoners:--

“All good people, pray heartily unto God for these poor sinners, who
are now going to their death, for whom this great bell doth toll....

    “Lord have mercy upon you,
    Christ have mercy upon you.”

Backwards and forwards around the mourning-coach surged the mob,
clamouring with ribald fury for a glimpse of the celebrated forgers.
Robert Perreau, sitting with his back to the horses beside one of the
sheriff’s officers, pulled down the glass meekly, and gazed out with
calm, unruffled features. Then the long journey was resumed. Over the
heavy road the wheels and hoofs slipped and crunched down the slopes
of Snow Hill, and toiled up the steep ascent into Holbourn. Standing
erect in the cart, George Lee, a handsome boy highwayman, gorgeous in a
crimson coat and ruffled shirt, doffed his gold-laced hat with a parade
of gallantry to a young woman in a hackney coach. Then, while a hundred
eyes and a hundred loathsome jests were turned upon her, the poor girl
burst into a flood of tears. In another moment her lover had passed
away for ever. Huddled in the same tumbril with the swaggering youth, a
couple of Jews, condemned for housebreaking, shook and chattered with
dread, their yellow faces livid as death, a strange contrast to their
florid, bombastic companion. Shivering with cold, the two tortured
coiners were jolted over the snow, bound fast to their hurdle, their
limbs turned to ice by the frost. Within the black coach, the brothers
listened calmly and reverently to the prayers with which Ordinary
Villette, who sat by the side of Daniel, supplicated the Almighty to
pardon these victims unworthy of human mercy. And all the while, the
mob--forty thousand strong--shrieked, danced and hurled snowballs,
maddened like fierce animals by the scent of blood.

It was only half-past ten o’clock when the cortege reached the triple
tree. Two separate gallows had been prepared, for it was not meet that
Hebrew and Christian should hang from the same branch. So the tumbril
was drawn under the smaller crossbar, and, their halters being fixed,
the two Jews were left to their rabbi; while highwayman Lee, and the
coiners Baker and Ratcliffe, were placed in a second cart. Seated in
their coach a little distance away, the two brothers watched these
ghastly preparations with unruffled mien. When all was ready Sheriff
Newnham gave them a signal, and they descended to the ground. A moment
later they were standing beside their three wretched compatriots. Then
the Rev. Villette came forward to play his usual part. Holding the same
prayer-book, Daniel and Robert Perreau followed the services with pious
attention, their reverence forming a marked contrast to the swagger
of the boy highwayman. For some time they were allowed to converse
with the Ordinary, and each gave him a paper containing a last solemn
declaration of their innocence. It was noticed that Daniel raised his
eyes to the sky, and boldly asserted that he was guiltless.

At half-past eleven all was ready for the final scene. Ordinary
Villette offered a last shake of the hand; Sheriffs Haley and Newnham
bowed in solemn farewell. Having been fee’d by his distinguished
clients, Jack Ketch gave a moment’s grace while the brothers embraced
tenderly. Faithful unto death, the brave fellows exhibited more
nobility in their last few hours than during the whole of their lives.
As the cart drew away and their foothold slipped beneath them, their
hands were still clasped together. For a full half minute their fingers
remained linked as they dangled in the air, and then fell apart as they
passed into oblivion beside their five dying companions. Four days
later, on Sunday, the 21st of January, they were buried together in a
vault within St Martin’s Church, Ludgate Hill.

No mob could have behaved with more indecency than the howling,
laughing throng that gazed upon this scene of death, increasing by
their wanton rioting the agony of the poor sufferers a thousandfold.
With great difficulty an army of constables--three hundred in
number--kept a clear space around the scaffold. After the spectacle
was over it was found that there had been numerous accidents. A woman
was beaten down and pressed to death; a youth was killed by a fall
from a coach. One of the stands near the gallows collapsed during the
execution, and three or four persons lost their lives.

In the history of crime the case of the unfortunate brothers forms an
important landmark. Although many a forger had gone to the gallows
before, they were the first ‘distinguished victims’ of the merciless
code. Thus their fate served as a precedent. “If Dr Dodd is pardoned,
then the Perreaus have been murdered!” quoth the crazy king, when he
was asked to forgive ‘the macaroni parson’ Henceforth, it was as safe
to blow out a man’s brains as to counterfeit his handwriting. At last,
when the first humane monarch for more than a hundred years set his
face against such butchery the lawgivers were unable to preserve the
bloody statutes that had slaughtered thousands during the half century
which separated the deaths of Robert Perreau and Henry Fauntleroy.
By the side of Mackintosh, Romilly, and Ewart, the fourth George is
entitled to an honourable place.

Public opinion changed once more with wonted inconsistency after
the acquittal of Mrs Rudd, and the apothecary in particular, as the
bankers’ petition indicates, received the widest sympathy. Still, it
seems strange that his guilt could have been doubted by reasonable
persons. No other defence was open to him save the one he used, old as
human sin--it was the woman!--and even this apology involved the most
absurd pretences. Clearly, the fable had been prearranged between the
conspirators. Treachery brought its own reward, and Robert Perreau,
forgetting that there should be honour among thieves, was ruined
because he did not trust his fair accomplice to the full extent. No
doubt she would have soothed sea-dog Frankland just as she pacified
the bankers Drummond.

In all the sordid history the one bright spot is the loyalty of
charming, wicked Mrs Rudd to her grimy confederates, for the scene in
old William Adair’s parlour on that stormy March morning might well
have cost her life. Had the bankers proved to be curmudgeons, the
Perreaus would not have raised a hand to save her from the shambles.
Since she must have known the men who were her associates, she must
have realised also her own risk. Yet still she kept her faith, while
perceiving that safety lay in betrayal. Truly a noble act of heroism,
though based upon a mud-heap. Thus when we bear in mind how the two
brothers repaid her trust, and reflect upon the breach of law-honour
sanctioned by James Mansfield, there comes the obvious suspicion that,
whatever her iniquity, the woman was more than repaid in her own coin.

Little is remembered of her subsequent history. A few days after her
trial it is recorded that she visited the play in Lord Lyttelton’s
chariot. During the following spring she was honoured by the polite
attentions of James Boswell. On the 15th of May of this year, great
Johnson himself declared that he would have visited her at the same
time as his _fidus Achates_ were it not that they had a trick of
putting everything in the newspapers! Possibly other references
occur in ‘Bon Ton Magazines’ or similar _chroniques scandaleuses_,
now treasured in tree calf or crushed morocco, and vended at so many
guineas per ounce. There is a hint somewhere that her charms had begun
to wane, although she was only thirty at the time of her trial, for a
life and experiences such as hers trace lines upon the face and dim
the lustre of the eye. Still, whatever the cause, we may conjecture
that her friendship with Lord Lyttelton did not last much longer than
a couple of years, as, while he succumbed to the famous bad dreams
on the 27th of November, she died before June 1779 in very distressed
circumstances. Possibly she was supplanted by the famous Mrs Dawson.

In the testimony of her contemporaries there is unanimity with regard
to the beauty and wit of Margaret Rudd--the sole grudge, even of the
women, being that she was clever enough to cheat the gallows. To
pretend sympathy with those who were saddened because she received no
punishment is superlative cant, for the penalty would have been out of
all proportion to the offence. Thus the cheers that rang through the
Old Bailey on that December evening long ago find an echo in our hearts
to-day. Moreover, since it was needful to offer up a propitiatory
sacrifice to Mammon, it was a shrewd common-sense that selected the
brothers as the more deserving of the awful atonement.

In the scarlet pages of the chronicles of crime there is not another
dazzling figure such as the mistress of poor Daniel Perreau. Yet she
walks across the dim stage in the guise of no tragedy queen as Miss
Blandy. If at all, she compels our tears amidst our smiles, and such
tears are the most gentle and spontaneous. Light, sparkling, joyous,
she chases pleasure with reckless laughter, meeting the fate of all
who pursue the glittering wisp, heedless of the deepening mire through
which they tread. It is wrong to watch her dainty person with delight,
but we cannot avert our eyes. Alas, _transit gloria mundi_! One of the
most excellent of modern critics speaks truly of this immortal lady as
a forgotten heroine of the _Newgate Calendar_, and she--the idol of
princes and lord mayors--has not received a niche among the national
biographies!



BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE PERREAU CASE


I. CONTEMPORARY TRACTS

1. _The Female Forgery_, Or Fatal Effects of Unlawful Love. J. Bew, No.
28 Paternoster Row. Price 1/6. “With a beautiful whole-length portrait
of Mrs Rudd resolving whether to sign the Bond or forfeit her life.
From the capital drawing of an eminent master.” (Published April 22,
1775.)

2. _Forgery Unmasked_, or Genuine Memoirs of the Two Unfortunate
Brothers, Rob. and Daniel Perreau, and Mrs Rudd. A. Grant, Bridges
Street, Covent Garden. Price 1/. “Illustrated with a New and Beautiful
Engraving of Mr Dan. Perreau in the act of threatening to Murder
Mrs. Rudd, unless she would sign the Fatal Bond.” (April 25, 1775. A
pro-Rudd Tract, containing the case of Mrs Rudd, as related by herself,
which appeared originally as a series of letters in the _Morning Post_
from March 27 to April 10.)

3. _Genuine Memoirs of Messieurs Perreau_; (Now under Confinement.)
With many Curious Anecdotes relative to Mrs Rudd; G. Allen, No. 59
Paternoster Row. Price 1/6. Brit. Mus. (April 26, 1775.)

4. _The Genuine Memoirs of the Messers Perreau._ G. Kearsley, 46 Fleet
Street. Price 1/6. (Published May 11, 1775. Second edition June 8,
1775.)

5. _The Trials of Robert and Daniel Perreau._ T. Bell, at (No. 26) the
Top of Bell-Yard, near Temple Bar. Taken down in shorthand by Joseph
Gurney. (June 6, 1775.)

6. _Mr. Daniel Perreau’s Narrative of His Unhappy Case._ T. Evans, No.
50 in the Strand, near York Buildings. Price 2/. Brit. Mus. (June 9,
1775.)

7. _A Letter to the Right Hon. Earl of Suffolk...._ In which the
Innocence of Robert Perreau is demonstrated. T. Hookham, at his
Circulating Library, the Corner of Hanover Street, Hanover Square.
Price 1/. Brit. Mus. (July 13, 1775.)

8. _Facts_, or a Plain and Explicit Narrative of the Case of Mrs. Rudd.
T. Bell, 26 Bell-Yard, Temple Bar. Price 2/. Brit. Mus. (July 1775.
This tract contains the “Case of Mrs. Rudd as related by herself,”
with the addition of her “Narrative,” which appeared originally in the
_Morning Post_. July 1, 3, 4, 7, 10, and 14.)

9. _Observations on the Trial of Mr. Robert Perreau._ With Mr.
Perreau’s Defence, as spoken on His Trial. S. Bladon, No. 16
Paternoster Row. Price 2/. Brit. Mus. (July 17, 1775.)

10. _The True Genuine Lives and Trials, etc. of the Two Unfortunate
Brothers._ Illustrated with Two New and Beautiful Engravings, 1st.
Daniel Perreau threatening to Murder Mrs Rudd .... 2nd. The two
Perreaus lamenting their unhappy fate. J. Miller, White Lion Street,
Goodman’s Fields. Brit. Mus. (1775.)

11. _An Account of the Arguments of Counsel...._ On Sat., Sept. 16.
1775, whether Mrs. Rudd ought to be tried, etc. By Joseph Gurney. Sold
by Martha Gurney, No. 34 Bell-Yard, Temple Bar. 1775. price 1/6. Brit.
Mus.

12. _The Case of Mrs. Margaret Caroline Rudd_, from her first
Commitment to Newgate on Thursday, the 1st of June, last to her final
acquittal at the Old Bailey, Friday, December 8, 1775. J. Bew, No. 28
Paternoster Row. (December 15, 1775.)

13. The Whole Proceedings on the King’s Commission of the Peace, Oyer
and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the City of London; and also the
Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex; Held at Justice Hall in the
Old Bailey, on Wednesday, the 6th of December, 1775, and the following
Days. Revised and published by John Glynn, Serjeant at Law and Recorder
of London. No. 1. Part I. Printed by William Richardson for Edward and
Charles Dilby, price 9d. (December 19, 1775.)

14. _The Trial at Large of Mrs. Margaret Caroline Rudd._ Elucidated
by such Matter as never before transpired. By Mr. Bailey,
Barrister-at-Law. Sold at No. 26 Bell-Yard near Temple Bar. (1775.)
_London Library._

15. _A Solemn Declaration of Mr. Daniel Perreau...._ Written by himself
and Delivered to a Friend in the Cells of Newgate on Sunday, January
14. 1776. T. Evans, near York Buildings in the Strand, price 1/. Brit.
Mus. (January 22, 1776.)

16. _A Genuine Account of the Behaviour and Dying Words of Daniel and
Robert Perreau._ By the Reverend John Villette, Ordinary of Newgate.
Printed for the Author and sold at his house, No. 1 Newgate St. 1776.
Brit. Mus. (1776.)

17. _An Explicit Account of the Lives, Trials, Dying Words, and Burial
of the Twin Brothers._ Brit. Mus. (1776. Without the publisher’s name.)

18. _Mrs. Marg. Car. Rudd’s Case Considered, Respecting Robert
Perreau._ In an Address to Henry Drummond Esquire, J. Wilkie, No. 71,
In St Paul’s Churchyard. Price 1/. (January 26, 1776.)

19. _Mrs. M. C. Rudd’s Genuine Letter to Lord Weymouth...._ Together
with An Explanation of the Conduct of a certain Great City Patriot. G.
Kearsly in Fleet St. Price 1/. Brit. Mus. (March 5, 1776. The original
letter appeared in the _Morning Post_, January 16, 1776.)

20. _A Letter from Mrs. Christian Hart to Mrs. Margaret Caroline Rudd._
J. Williams. No. 46, opposite Fetter Lane, Fleet Street, price 1/.
Brit. Mus. (Published March 23, 1776.)

21. _She is, and She is Not_; A Fragment of the True History of
Miss Caroline De Grosberg, alias Mrs. Potter, etc. J. Bew, No. 28
Paternoster Row. Price 1/6 Brit. Mus. (Published April 24, 1776.)

22. _Authentic Anecdotes of the Life and Transactions of Mrs. Margaret
Rudd_ ... in a series of letters to ... Miss Mary Lovell. “In two
neat pocket volumes, price 4/ sewed, or 5/ bound, embellished with a
striking likeness taken from the life and engraved by G. Bartolozzi.”
J. Bew, No. 28 Paternoster Row. Brit. Mus. (Published June 16, 1776.)

23. _Prudence Triumphing over Vanity and Dissipation_; or the History
of the Life, Character, and Conduct of Mr. Robert, and Mr. Daniel
Perreau, and Mrs. Rudd. J. Maling, Bookseller, the corner of Fleet
Market, Ludgate-hill; J. Bradshaw, No. 40, St John Street, Clerkenwell;
and J. Naples, Greenwich. Brit. Mus.

24. _A Particular Account of the Dreadful and Shocking Apparitions_ of
the two unfortunate Perreaus. Brit. Mus. (Broadside. Published later
than February 30, 1776.)

Lowndes mentions also:--

25. _An Authentic Account of the Particulars which appeared on the
Trials of Robert and Daniel Perreau._ Nassau, pt. ii. 746.

26. _The History of the Life, Character, and Conduct of Mr. Daniel and
Robert Perreau and Mrs. Rudd._ London 8. vo.

27. _Law Observations on the Case of Mrs. Rudd._ By a Gentleman of the
Inner Temple. 8. vo. 1/6.


II. CONTEMPORARY NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES

  1. _The Public Advertiser_, March 15-December 1775. January 1776.
  2. _The Daily Advertiser_,   do.  15     do.            do.
  3. _The Morning Chronicle_,  do.  13     do.            do.
  4. _The London Chronicle_,   do.  16     do.            do.
  5. _The Morning Post_,       do.  16     do.            do.
  6. _The Gazetteer_,          do.  15     do.            do.
  7. _Lloyd’s Evening Post_,   do.  17     do.            do.
  8. _The Evening Post_,       do.  17     do.            do.
  9. _The Craftsman_,         June 1775.

    The _Morning Post_ of Thursday, January 18, 1776, contains a
    long account of the execution of the Perreaus. There are full
    descriptions in the other newspapers.

    10. _Gentleman’s Magazine._

                                      1775.

          “The Perreau Frauds,” pp. 148-150, 205.
          “Trials of the Perreaus,” pp. 278-284, 300.
          “The Case of Mrs. Rudd,” pp. 347, 349, 452, 603-5.
          “Poems on Mrs. Rudd,” pp. 443, 492.

                                      1776.

          “Petitions on behalf of the Perreaus,” 22, 23, 44.
          “Execution of the Perreaus,” 44, 45, 46.
          “Pamphlets on the Case,” 176, 278.

                                      1779.

          “Reported death of Mrs Rudd,” p. 327.

                                      1800.

          “Reported death of Mrs Rudd,” pp. 188, 483.

                                      1809.


1834.

    Reference to the Perreau Case, _vide_ obituary notice of Alex.
    Adair, part ii. p. 318.

    The report of the celebrated Mrs Rudd’s death in vol. lxx.
    is inaccurate, as reference to the parish register of
    Hardingstone, Northampton, shows that a Mrs William Rudd was
    buried on February 7, 1800. There is evidence that she died in
    1779.

11. _The London Magazine._ Published by R. Baldwin at the Rose,
Paternoster Row.

  (1775), pp. 300-307, 356-7, 376, 429, 488, 602, 657.
  (1775), pp. 53-54, 161, 327.

12. _The Town and Country Magazine._ Published by A. Hamilton Junior
near St. John’s Gate.

  (1775), pp. 300, 482, 629.
  (1776), p. 39.

13. _The Westminster Magazine._ Published by Richardson and Urquhart at
the Royal Exchange, and T. Wright, Essex St., Strand.

  (1775), pp. 119, 297, 304, 390, 475, 655.
  (1776), pp. 41-43.

14. _The Convivial Magazine._ Published by T. Bell. Bell-Yard near
Temple Bar.

  (1775), pp. 33, 98.
  (1776), pp. 171, 223, 247, 291.

15. _The Annual Register_, xviii. 229.


THE SONG “ROBIN ADAIR”

V. _Notes and Queries._

  Third Series, v. 404, 442, 500; vi. 35, 96, 176, 254.
  Fourth Series, viii. 548; ix. 99, 130, 197.
  Fifth Series, v. 20.
  Eighth Series, vii. 267; x. 196, 242, 426; xi. 32.

    Although both words and music may have been plagiarised from
    old Irish ballad and old Irish melody, it is probable that
    the story of Surgeon Robert Adair and Lady Caroline Keppel
    suggested the later version of John Braham, December 17, 1811.

       *       *       *       *       *

NOTE.--We are indebted to Sir Thomas Frankland for one of the most
charming mezzotints by Wm. Ward, after Hoppner--a picture of his two
daughters.



THE KING’S ENGRAVER

THE CASE OF WILLIAM WYNNE RYLAND, 1783


About the time that Miss Blandy was commencing her ill-fated amour with
Captain Cranstoun, a dark-eyed boy with earnest, clear-cut features,
often carrying a portfolio of drawings under his arm, might have been
met by any one who strolled along Fleet Street or the Strand in the
early morning between Charing Cross and the Old Bailey. From his home
beneath the grim shadow of Newgate prison, where his father, Edward
Ryland, prints and engraves in a house next door to that in which
thief-taker Wild levied blackmail, the young artist trudges each day to
the St Martin’s Lane Academy. And should one meet him in the autumn of
1749, he will be wearing a suit of solemn black; and his grave, eager
face will seem more sombre than wont, for his patron and godfather,
the good and kind Sir Watkin Williams-Wynne, has been killed by a fall
from his horse, to the unspeakable grief of every son of gallant little
Wales.

[Illustration: Guil.ᵘˢ Wynne Ryland,

Hist.ᵆ Calcographus.]

Around the school of drawing where young Ryland is learning his craft,
a new world is springing into life--a world of fancy, grace, and
colour, destined to free old London from the sable sway of dulness.
It is the world of art, over which the deep black deluge has rested
for so long, soon to be peopled with the bright creations of genius.
William Wynne Ryland will see some of these great ones ere he leaves
St Martin’s Lane for the studio of a new master. Often, as he passes
the coffee-tavern of Old Slaughter, he must catch sight of a placid,
round-faced young man, with a mild pair of eyes that seem to need the
aid of glasses, hurrying down Long Acre, while he envies Mr Reynolds,
the portrait-painter, who has the entry to the Club that meets beneath
the roof where Pope has held his court. Or, when he looks up at the
house where the elegant Thornhill lived and worked, now the residence
of Beau Hayman, more at home with the bottle than the brush, he may
observe a tall, sentimental youth springing through the door, whose
thoughts are far away amidst the woods and dales of Sudbury, where
dwells a pretty miss called Peggy. And possibly, a little later, he
will listen to the romantic fable that Tom Gainsborough has married a
princess in disguise. Sometimes he may meet a middle-aged compatriot,
named Richard Wilson, whose glowing scenes from Nature are to wrest the
guerdon from France, and to found the incomparable school of British
landscape.

Frequently a smile will steal over Wynne Ryland’s grave, nervous lips,
as a small boy with a big head and a long, Punch-like body scampers
down the lane, whirling his crooked legs, and he will hail the
truant with the cry: “What, little Joey, have you been tolling for a
funeral?” But the breathless lad, who has wasted too much time in his
favourite game of assisting his friend the sexton at St James’s Church,
scuttles back to his casts and models. Perhaps, one day, this little
Joey Nollekens, who in good time produces many a beautiful bust and
statue, will be allowed to take his friend into the studio of the great
good-natured Roubiliac. “Hush, hush!” we can hear the volatile master
cry, as he drags his young admirer before the figure which his deft
chisel has caressed for a last time; “look, he vil speak in a minute!”
And as the youth gazes upon the noble work, his quick Welsh blood,
warmed by the infection of genius, glows with like ambition to do and
dare. Soon, also, he becomes a pupil of the sculptor in St Peter’s
Court, from whom, whatever else he learns, he must acquire a boundless
self-confidence.

Shortly after the death of his godfather, young Wynne Ryland, now about
seventeen years old, is bound apprentice to engraver Ravenet, who came
over from France to help Hogarth with his plates, and who has set up a
school south of the river in Lambeth Marsh. As the crows flies, it is a
short journey from the Old Bailey, but one must turn up Ludgate Hill,
wind round Black Friars through Water Lane, holding one’s nose if the
wind comes north-west down the grimy Fleet, and from the steps take
wherry to the Surrey side. Across the Thames, the wide, deep ditches,
bordered by their fringes of willows, have changed the moss into a
fertile plain.

Old Ryland is careful to conciliate the French artist now and then by
a judicious commission, which takes the form of woolly book-plates
after Sam Wale--classic pictures according to Queen Anne traditions,
filled with urns and hose-pipe torches, wooden scrolls of parchment,
and busts on pillar-boxes, gentlemen in cotton dressing-gowns, with
stony beards, and demure ladies in flowing nightshirts. We meet these
curious plates in a rare copy of the Book of Common Prayer, with the
sign of Edward Ryland of the Old Bailey, and similar ones in Sir John
Hawkins’ interpretation of Old Isaac. Young Wynne takes his part
in the work, and though Master François gives him the lead, aided
by fellow-countrymen Canot and Scotin, while the senior prentices,
Grignion and Walker, also ply their gravers, a glance at ‘Luke the
Physician,’ or ‘St Matthew at the Receipt of Custom’ will show that the
youthful Welshman already is the equal of the best of them. Thus for
five years he works under Ravenet.

It must have been a happy home in that dingy, sunless house in the Old
Bailey, where Wynne Ryland’s early days were spent. The father, busy
and prosperous, devoted to his wife, eager to encourage the talents of
his boys, and observing proudly, with expert eye, the amazing genius
of his third son. Yet over all there broods the sad shadow of the grim
prison. Often in the night the silence is broken by the hoarse voice of
the bellman chanting this refrain:--

    “You prisoners that are within,
    Who for wickedness and sin,

    “After many Mercies shown you, are now appointed to Dye to
    Morrow in the Forenoon: Give Ear and understand that to-morrow
    the Greatest Bell of St Sepulchre’s shall toll for you, in Form
    and Manner of a Passing Bell, as used to be tolled for those
    that are at the Point of Death....”

It is the loathly knell of the unhappy wretches within the deep black
walls. And in the morning the awful boom of St Sepulchre rolls over the
housetops, while a ribald, drunken mob chokes the street. Then comes
the clank and clatter of sheriffs officers, and, as the procession
moves from the iron portals of Newgate, there follows an open cart,
driven by a gruesome creature astride a coffin, and in which, bound and
quaking, lie the poor passengers to Tyburn. Such scenes are a portion
of the boyhood of William Wynne Ryland, the great engraver.

But, after the long years of his apprenticeship have rolled away, a
brighter and more glittering life than dingy old London, or even the
whole world, can show, comes to the young genius. Since his youth Paris
has been whispering to him her enticing summons--Paris, the Cyprus
of art, where beauty, love, and colour walk hand in hand, and where
he whose fingers can fashion their charms may become mightiest of
the mighty. Two friends and old school-fellows are eager to make the
same pilgrimage, and the indulgent parent, whose foresight perceives
whither the talents of his gifted son will lead him, gives his consent.
Although he knows that if the lowering storm-clouds shall burst, a
visit to France may mean exile until the close of the war, he resolves
that the young man shall pursue his art in the studios of the great
French masters. So, early one morning the three enthusiasts mount
Christopher Shaw’s stage-coach at the sign of the ‘Golden Cross’ and
resting at Canterbury over night, reach Dover in good time the next
day. With a fair wind, a stout smack will touch the opposite coast in a
few hours, where they must tolerate a much less speedy team and a more
shaky vehicle along the road to Paris.

It is the eve before the deluge, and a sunset, having no part in the
morrow, most brilliant and gorgeous of aspect. To the eye of the poet
or painter there is no blemish in the fair landscape. His vision rests
only upon graceful palace or shining gardens. Around the fountains,
over the lawns, glide the creatures of Arcadia--beautiful gentlemen
in dazzling frocks and scented ruffles, toying with bejewelled sword
or flicking the lid of a golden snuff-box, moving their satin limbs
in obeisance to their fair partners. Sweet ladies with snowy ringlets
falling upon bare shoulders, the bloom of roses in their cheeks, and
the sheen of pearls on their round breasts, fluttering like butterflies
amidst the flower-beds, clad in shimmering draperies, flashing in
a blaze of colour. Or, in the twinkling of an eye, the picture may
dissolve, to become more entrancing. My lord now trips the mead a
dainty Strephon, tuning his pipes, and shaking the ribbands at his
knees, while his highborn Phyllis, still wearing her powdered hair and
disdainful patches, twirls her silken ankles in the graceful freedom
of short frocks. What though these scenes dwell only on the canvas
of the painter of Valenciennes! They are as real as were visions of
angels to the dreamer Blake! In the eyes of the artist the whole of
laughing France must be a fairy Arcadia such as this, for the witching
Pompadour, who fulfils the thoughts of prescient Watteau, directs the
dance.

Then from the thicket comes the tinkle of silvery laughter, where the
paths wind beneath the branches to lonely dells, through which the
sunlight streams in floods of amber between the leaves. Here, amidst
the gold and olive shadows, which chase each other in flickering play
round some graven image of goat-faced Pan, flits a wanton lady, flying
from her persistent lover, but laughing, tripping, and calling to him
still, as she draws him onward. Or, in the cool grove, crowned by a
wealth of ivy-tinged greenery, a sylph-like figure sweeps through
the air in her velvet swing, and her shining arms, raised to grasp
the ropes, throw the contours of her form into shapely pose. From
the bushes beneath sounds a burst of raillery, as her swain rises to
his feet, gazing with rapture as the pretty girl flies past him and
returns, adoring the tiny slippers, and the silken hose that vanish
in dainty curves beneath a fluttering screen of drapery. The fancy of
Fragonard has painted the spirit of his age--a world full of leaves,
and flowers, and sunshine, where life moves with the rhythmic cadence
of the swing, where every breath is pleasure, recking naught of pain or
death.

Each palace that crowns these fairy gardens, wherein the splendour of
man reaches its highest goal, is a sanctuary dedicated to the worship
of feminine beauty. From every wall glows her picture, majestic in
opulent lines of dazzling flesh--Cytherea draped in creamy foam, or
languishing upon her couch with robes of gossamer, the divinity of
the shrine. All the fair throng of lords and ladies, flashing with
brilliants, shining in silk attire, are her votaries, who bow in
idolatry beneath the spell. More than human are these worshippers, for
they have tasted the honey-dew upon her lips, and have drunk the milk
of Paradise. Yet only half their life-story has been told by François
Boucher. As semi-divinities he has limned them, sporting as children
around their Venus-mother, grovelling as satyrs before the throne of
their queen. We must turn to other pictures to view their destiny.
Their fate is that of all mortals who seek to share the pleasures of
the gods. Duped by the alluring smile of the deity, they spread their
tiny wings to invade her home, and the outraged divinity turns upon
them in her wrath and smites them with death.

Not one of those who immortalise the romance of that fairy age can read
the writing on the wall. Boucher, Fragonard, and their gay school, who
are as blind to the future as the dead painter of Valenciennes, depict
only what they see. The squalid little leech of Boudry is still in his
country home, or wandering, an enthusiastic boy, in greedy pursuit of
science to the sunny south; the sea-green _avocat_ of Arras has not yet
looked upon the light; the lion-hearted tamer of the Gironde also is
unborn. Even the surly, pock-fretten features of giant Mirabeau have
never passed through the streets of Paris. A long, brilliant night is
still before the giddy capital.

None of the ominous hungry growls from squalid purlieus can arrest
the ears of young Wynne Ryland, who has come to Paris to shake off
the memory of sad Old Bailey, who sees naught but the colour and
romance. Thus he breathes into his soul, with strong, eager lungs, the
perfume-scented air. With the enthusiasm of genius he plunges into
work at the seductive studio of the inspector of the Gobelins. Sieur
Boucher is at the summit of his fame, petted by Madame de Pompadour,
commissioned by King Pan. Surely the handsome, dark-faced Welshman, who
can trace on copper the gallant compositions of his master as finely
as any pupil of Le Bas, must have won the love of the gay, profligate
painter. And, should it be his humour, what a strange world Monsieur
Boucher can reveal to the pupil’s eyes! One day, perhaps, he may hold
before him a jewelled fan, glowing with luscious pictures, which he has
just created for la belle Marquise. Or it will be a fancy sketch of
some lacquered tabouret that he has designed for her private room at
Versailles. Sometimes he may grasp the young man’s arm, and, drawing
him a little aside, will open a secret portfolio, whispering, with a
smile upon his pleasure-worn face, and drooping his dissolute eyelids,
“Pour le boudoir de Madame dans l’Hôtel de l’Arsenal.” Then, while
Wynne Ryland gazes upon the beautiful Anacreontic pictures, which no
scene within the cities of the plains can have excelled, his black,
thoughtful eyes will flash with admiration, and his white teeth glitter
between his parted lips. It is no place for innocence, nor for narrow
virtue, this glowing, gilded salon of Sieur Boucher the incomparable.

Yet the young Welshman does not neglect his proper craft. As the work
of later years bears eloquent testimony, none of the gifted pupils of
Le Bas have profited more from the instruction of that famous school.
Jacques Philippe, as might be expected, turns him on to the plates
of his _Fables choisies_, designs after Oudry-interpretations of La
Fontaine parables, spread over four mighty tomes, beloved of the
amateur who collects the _estampes galantes_. Volume II., bearing date
1755, contains a couple of these--with signature in Gallic orthography,
‘G. Riland’--portraits of peacock-feathered jay and boastful mule,
humanised in the text, though strangely wooden in the picture.

Still, the line-engraver, with all his splendid art, is not the master
that moulds the destiny of William Wynne. Among the numerous pupils of
Le Bas is an ingenious person named Gilles Demarteau, who is practising
a new method of working his copper plate with tiny dots which make the
finished print as smooth and soft as a drawing in chalk. Out of this
arises a vehement artistic causerie, for it is a sure fact that a man
of forty, one Jean Charles François, has received a pension of 600
francs for this same invention, which, some say, another before him
invented after all. Ryland, no doubt, learns everything he can from
both pioneers, without troubling to ascertain the original discoverer,
and, as this ‘stipple’ manner takes his fancy, he soon becomes as
dexterous as those who teach him. Further, he finds that this same
dotted plate may be tinted by the engraver’s brush, giving an almost
perfect illusion of a picture in water-colours.

At last the young Welshman makes up his mind to complete the grand
tour, without which the education of an artist is incomplete. Some say
that the medal he gained at the Académie Royale entitles him to free
tuition at Rome. At all events, he flies south to blunt his pencil upon
the gnarled contours of Michael Angelo, and to shade the tender lines
of Raphael--for the immortals of Leyden and Seville have not yet thrown
these high priests from their altar. This same enterprise proves of
much service to him when, in a year or two, the great lords at home
wish him to transcribe, in the novel ‘Demarteau-after-Boucher’ fashion,
their collections of the great masters. Hitherto he has been true to
his first love, the line-engraving, in the dainty fashion of Le Bas,
and the Parisian connoisseurs of ’57, who glue their glasses upon the
rounded limbs of Leda toying with her swan--a print after Boucher which
Ryland has pulled from his plate--acknowledge that some good has come
from Angleterre at last.

With this same work the Welsh engraver first woos the British public,
showing it at the Exhibition of the Society of Artists in Spring
Gardens in the May of ’61. About this date, after an absence of five
summers, when he is in his twenty-ninth year, he returns home to
England. Chance has much in store for him. For a long time the canny
Prime Minister, known to most of his fellow-countrymen as the Boot--an
opprobrious, not a popular term,--has been looking out for a cheap
line in engravings. Some time ago, courtly fellow-Scot Allan Ramsay
had painted wonderful portraits of the noble favourite and royal
Prince George; so, when the first was Premier and the other Defender
of the Faith, it became necessary for the welfare of the nation that
their lineaments should be scattered broadcast through the medium of a
copper-plate.

“Robie Strange is my man,” thinks painter Allan, and makes the
mistake of telling his illustrious ex-sitters before he has caught
his engraver. There is a dreadful _contretemps_. Stout-hearted Robie
is acquainted with Scottish truck--he will have none of them. “Off to
Rome to copy great masters,” is the excuse. “Cannot waste four years
over your pictures!” But in stout Robie’s heart of hearts there may
lurk another motive; for Robie has whirled his claymore at Prestonpans,
and Charlie is his darling. Indeed, he might have gone the way of
wry-necked old Lovat had not a devoted damsel allowed him to hide
beneath her hoop--to whose skirts, very properly, he remained attached
ever after. Robie snorts at the canny price they offer him. A hundred
pounds to engrave the cod-fish features of royal George! when Rome and
the great masters are calling loudly, where he will kiss hands with his
own King James III. “No, thank you!” says Robie, and, packing up chalks
and drawing-board, takes himself off on his travels.

In this dilemma Mæcenas Bute, who, to do him justice, keeps his eyes
open for budding genius, hears of the young Welsh engraver, the beater
of Frenchmen on their own soil. Being an art-collector, probably he
has seen an assortment of the fleshy prints after Boucher. So, as
Robie is with Charlie over the water, Bute secures Ryland to copy his
likeness by the polite Allan, and, in due course, “the handsomest legs
in England”--legs literally fit for a boot--appear in a very creditable
line-engraving, emblazoned with a coat of arms. Thus in this month of
February 1763 William Wynne has reached the top of the tree, happy
and smiling, at Ye Red Lamp, Russell Street, Covent Garden, close to
Button’s and Will’s. The portrait of the beautiful legs, along with
his red-chalk imitations--employed industriously ever since his return
from the Continent in several sketches from the old masters,--convinces
‘Modern Mæcenas’ that Robie’s room is better than his company. A word
whispered in the ear of the royal mother would be enough to persuade
apron-string George that the clever Welshman is the artist for his
features. At all events the great honour is offered, and Taffy, very
shrewdly keeping his head, takes care that, from his point of view, it
is a good deal. It is a most amazing deal--£100 down for the drawings,
£50 a quarter as long as the work lasts, and the proceeds of the
copyright. However, thus it stands--Wynne Ryland blazons himself with
the fearsome title, ‘Calcographus Regis Britanniæ’ and, setting up
in the true manner of a master, begins to take pupils. One of these,
worthy James Strutt, who comes to him the year after his achievement
with the beautiful legs, remains a trusted friend through life, and the
tutor, in turn, of his eldest son, who, alas, meets an early death.

During the next four years, being paid for time, Ryland, like a true
British workman, continues to pick out slowly the salmon-lips and
Gillray stare of his royal master. A large number of the red-chalk
engravings from pictures of the great painters in the possession of
noble patrons belong to this period; and when George is finished, he
goes on to copy Cotes’ picture of the Queen with the infant Princess
Royal in her arms. While he is basking in smiles from the throne, he
is employed in other ways, visiting Paris in the middle of his work to
collect engravings for the royal connoisseur, which prints, we are told
by the festive Wille, are “magnifiques épreuves ... fourniés comme pour
un roi.”

[Illustration: _HIS MAJESTY KING GEORGE III.

ENGRAVED BY RYLAND._]

These are the halcyon times of the artist’s life--these are the days
when we catch a glimpse of him swaggering along Bow Street, with
silver-hilted sword and ample ruffles, by the side of a heavy-jowled
brawler of handsome person and agile, spiteful tongue, listening with
black, eager eyes and flashing teeth to the jibes and sallies of his
friend. Or, beneath the arm of this same aggressive Charles Churchill,
he turns into Will’s coffee-house, and sits in easy deference on
the fringe of a little ring, while he hears a torrent of charming,
vicious diatribe, at the expense of poor patron Bute, pouring from the
wine-stained lips of the cross-eyed apostle of liberty. Or perhaps poet
Charles, who wields the Twickenham rapier in the fashion of a butcher
with his cleaver, may take up this Dunciad of peers, roaring out a
gruesome fable--how poor John Ayliffe was strung up at Tyburn to shut
his lips concerning the crimes of peculator Fox. Then, while they talk
of the forged deed that brought the luckless agent to the gallows, a
shudder may pass through the graceful limbs of artist William as he
thinks what a small matter may take a man to the triple tree.

At other times two chairs will halt in Russell Street, and Ryland and
architect John Gwynn, gorgeous in brocade frocks, satin knee-breeches,
and silk stockings, will step out gaily, giving the order to their
bearers in two significant monosyllables--‘Carlisle House’ And among
all the dazzling throng that crowds the salons of fair Therese Imer,
alas for the worth of poor human nature! the one we know best--better,
even, than the old maid in knickerbockers from Strawberry Hill--is a
broad-limbed Italian, with frizzy hair and fierce nigger eyes; which
same African-tinged gentleman moves through the company with much
self-conscious play of robust leg, and a truculent stare, ogling
such a one as half-draped Iphigenia Chudleigh, or making obeisance
to buxom Caroline Harrington, while the whisper follows, keeping
company the almost filial glance of pretty Sophy Cornelys--“The
famous Casanova--it is the Chevalier de Seingalt.” Then, should Wynne
Ryland draw close while the splendid blackguard babbles French to
Milord Pembroke or Milord Baltimore, he will hear a dreadful tale of
a certain Mademoiselle la Charpillon, who, to the eternal honour of
her frail fame, has humiliated the sooty rascal to his native gutter.
Wynne Ryland and companion John are very fond of these light and airy
assemblies in Soho Square.

For the clever engraver his connoisseur Majesty seems to foster a great
regard. Possibly, the proof prints of Wille--‘fit for a king’--have
been picked up for an old song, and tickle his thrifty soul. At all
events, he is pleased to grant to the artist a most amazing royal
boon; for, at his intercession, he--the third George, by the grace of
God--actually pardons a capital felon. A ne’er-do-weel rascal this
same poor felon, so tradition relates, but all the same he is Wynne
Ryland’s own brother. Near Brentford, or upon breezy Hounslow Heath,
or some such fashionable highwayman resort, in a drunken frolic--after
the fashion of Silas Told’s respited friend David Morgan--he calls upon
two unprotected females to stand and deliver. And for this same
daring frolic the rash Richard Ryland is taken, tried, and handed over
to Jack Ketch. And Jack soon would have made short work of Richard if
the favourite engraver to the King had not moved the royal bowels to
compassion. For, incredible though it may seem, his Majesty does turn
his thumb to the side of mercy, and brother Richard receives pardon;
after which exertion the royal bowels remain obdurate for all time.

[Illustration: CHARLES ROGERS ESQʳ.]

At last the regal portrait is finished, hanging in state upon the walls
of the ‘Great Room’ belonging to the excellent Incorporated Society,
when it opens its exhibition on the 22nd of April 1767. The artist is
now a resident in Stafford Row, close to the Green Park, or, rather,
as he prefers to particularise his address, ‘near the Queen’s Palace,’
upon whose picture, with the slumbering baby Princess in her arms, he
is engaged. His portrait by Pierre Falconet, drawn during the next
year, shows him a man in the prime of life, with clean-cut, delicate
profile and a neat bob-wig tied by black ribbon, published by a dutiful
pupil who trades as Bryer & Co. in Cornhill. This kind of trade,
unhappily, has much allurement for Wynne Ryland, who, with his splendid
monopoly of plates--the royal George, her maternal Majesty, the Modern
Mæcenas with his shapely legs--seems to scent appetising profits. So
Bryer & Co. becomes Ryland & Co., and any of the royal public who
desire these regal portraits must purchase them from the proprietors at
No. 27 Cornhill, near the Royal Exchange. Unhappily for this same No.
27, the public--enamoured of the Wilkes squint and disdaining the regal
stare--do not treat these prints in the manner of hot cakes, and upon
a fateful day in December 1771, No. 27 is in the hands of the broker’s
men.

Early in the same year a strange thing happens in Ryland’s studio. A
proud father brings along his fourteen-year-old son, a boy of splendid
and weird genius, as the sequel shows--a sequel prolific in pictures
of the immortal sheik struggling against his environment of sands and
storms and improvidence, which, like his interpreter Blake, sheik Job,
overwhelmed by tree-trunk legs and half a gale of beard, regards as
the judgment of his God. But this weird boy with the large head and
amazing eyes objects to the parental scheme of making him a pupil of
the great engraver. “Father, I do not like the man’s face,” murmurs boy
Blake, when the pair have left Ryland’s studio. “It looks as if he will
live to be hanged!” “Prescience, intuition--all the things not dreamt
of in thy philosophy,” babble his legatee mystics, bowing the knee
to jaundiced mind as rapturously as to portraits of human abortions,
aping verbal harmony of empty sound, plastering deformities with
giraffe necks and swollen limbs in a wealth of muddy hair and a saffron
skin--good and sedulous disciples. Boy Blake can have heard nothing
of the brother Richard hanging-escape! Such a small affair has never
been breathed by fond parents who go to entrust a weird son to brother
Wynne! Prescience, intuition, are more potent physical instincts than
the throb of suggestion or empiric thought. Thus clamour legatee
mystics, spurning the simple mental machinery put into motion by the
association of ideas.

It has been reserved for a lady of our own times, whose graceful
pen has been devoted to the radiant prints of fair women of olden
days, to tell the romantic story of poor, crushed, bankrupt Ryland
and sweet feminine charity in the person of dove-eyed ‘Miss Angel’ A
scene, alluring as any of the glowing old-world engravings, is this
dainty-coloured picture painted by Mrs Frankau. Within the oak-panelled
studio, through which the winter twilight is stealing in flickering
shadows, the two ardent souls are wrapt in the communion of art. And
while coy, diaphanous Angelica listens to the fascinating tongue of
the virile, dark-skinned Welshman, her quick southern fancy whispers
that this man is the knight-errant who shall write her fame amidst the
stars. Ryland has come with a heart of lead; he goes away with a heart
of gold. For one of the most famous of unions in the annals of painting
has been sealed, and in a little while the prints after Kauffman will
have captured the imagination of the whole world.

In a house in Queen’s Row, Knightsbridge, the great engraver commences
one of those life-and-death struggles that genius alone can wage
successfully against malicious fate. Gradually--for he is young
and strong and brave, while the trust of a sweet woman warms his
courage--he emerges from the choking atmosphere of debt. One by one his
creditors are paid, and at last, free from his bankrupt chains, he is
his own master. It is a fine work, this proud, independent cancelling
of obligations--merely moral claims--a fair tribute to the lady who
has been his tutelar divinity. For it is through his engravings of
Miss Angel’s pictures, to which he applies the ‘stipple method’ which
he learnt in France, that he wins his way back to fame and fortune.
Soon he is a contributor to the newly-formed Royal Academy exhibition,
sending very properly as his first works a couple of drawings copied
from the canvas of the sylph Kauffman. Thus pass three sober years,
while he perfects his new art, living with his young wife far from
the delights of town and the old seductive companionship, first at
Knightsbridge, and then moving a couple of miles further out into rural
Hammersmith.

At last he resolves to tempt the grimy god of trade once more. Better
assets are in his store than a salmon-profile king or maternal majesty,
and he knows that the marketing bourgeois will not be hindered by
squint of Wilkes from clamouring for his many pictures of Venus,
beaming with the soft, dove-like eyes of pretty Miss Angel. So, in the
third year after his bankruptcy, he hangs out his sign once more as an
honest print-seller at No. 159 in the Strand, near Somerset House, by
the corner of Strand Lane, trading as William Wynne Ryland, engraver
to his Majesty. From the first the enterprise flourishes. Angelica’s
plump little Cupids, drawn in rosy chalk, appeal in their suggestive
resemblance to the heart of the British matron; the dainty Angelica
Venus, with her large haunting eyes, becomes a pattern of female
loveliness; Angelica’s mild and chaste interpretations of classic
romance push aside all previous readings. More than all, the Kauffman
pinks and yellows, transformed by the deft fingers of the wonderful
Welshman into soft, rainbow-tinged impressions--like a delicate
painting in water-colours--capture the public fancy. Such engravings
never have been seen before, and never will be seen again. It is not
strange that No. 159 in the Strand becomes one of the most popular
print-shops in London.

During those nine years, from 1774 until the spring of 1783, the
trade venture of the engraver to his Majesty continues to enjoy great
prosperity. Profits reach the sum of two thousand a year, while
stock and plant swell to a total of five figures. Few well-fobbed
merchants, no chair-sporting City dame, can resist the temptations of
that seductive window. A pleasant sight for Miss Angel, that little
knot of open-mouthed shop-gazers with burning pockets, as she passes
in hackney coach, a vision of clinging drapery in her white Irish
polonese. While, if at that moment the happy proprietor steps out,
bound for the counting-house of Sir Charles Asgill and his friend Mr
Nightingale, with whom he is having some considerable bill of exchange
transactions--a glimpse of those large eyes and crest of feathers at
the coach window will bring down his laced hat in a sweep of obeisance,
as he bows to the knees. Then, after the bankers have discounted all
he wants, he will hurry off to Golden Square to show his Miss Angel
the last impressions of some of her pictures, glowing in colours, or
copied in the popular shade of red. Perhaps, one of these days, as he
comes near the studio, a chair may stop as he passes, from which glides
a beautiful lady, wearing a crown of glorious hair, brushed from her
forehead, who rests her starry eyes upon him for a moment with a slight
motion of her tiny rosebud lips. And his heart will beat more quickly
as he recognises the woman whose radiant face has brought poor Daniel
Perreau and his brother to a shameful death.

[Illustration: _IN MEMORY of GENERAL STANWIX’S DAUGHTER who was LOST in
her passage from IRELAND.

Sold at Nᵒ 159 near Somerset House, Strand May 10ᵗʰ, 1774._]

For Wynne Ryland’s conscience is becoming a heavy burden. In spite
of his princely income, artistic improvidence is beginning to weigh
him down. Over his soul the like spirit that swayed Sieur Boucher the
incomparable reigns absolute. Gilded rooms, where the Eo. tables pave
the road to ruin, swallow his guineas in their rapacious maw. His open
hand scatters gold amidst his friends. Miss Angel, his patron saint,
returns to her native land. Although he remains the kind husband
and devoted father, the shadow of sin creeps over his roof-tree. A
pretty girl, whose fresh young beauty has stolen his heart from the
mother of his children, becomes a mistress who squanders his earnings
faster than they are reaped. Those bill of exchange transactions
with bankers Asgill and Nightingale grow more considerable. Friends
and accommodators Ransome and Moreland often receive him in their
counting-house, with his pockets full of crisp notes drawn upon the
Honourable the East India Company of Leadenhall Street; for this clean,
easy paper-credit is always welcomed as deposit for current coin.

At last comes the fatal crash, bursting over the town in a thunderclap,
striking sorrow into the hearts of thousands. On the 3rd of April 1783,
when the London merchant opens his newspaper--_Morning Chronicle or
Daily Advertiser_--he reads there that William Wynne Ryland stands
charged before the Right Hon. the Lord Mayor on suspicion of forging
the acceptance of two bills of exchange for payment of £7114, with
intent to defraud the United East India Company. Kind John Gwynn throws
aside his plans of stately edifices, walking the streets with streaming
eyes, sorrowing for his friend. Statuesque Domenico Angelo hurries to
condole with poor Mary Ryland, and the sight of the agonised wife and
children robs the good-hearted Italian swordsman of sleep. But the
engraver had left his home at Knightsbridge on the first of the month,
and although the City Marshal searches for him in the Old Bailey and in
the Minories, nothing is heard of him for fourteen days.

On the morning of the 15th of April, a drunken woman reels into the
‘Brown Bear’ Bow Street, hiccupping an exciting story that entices
the runners even from their pewter pots. She is the wife of a Stepney
cobbler, who for many days has been harbouring a strange lodger--a man
garbed in an old rusty coat, with green apron and worsted nightcap,
who poses as invalid Mr Jackson who needs the country air; which same
delicate invalid rests indoors all day, only venturing out after
nightfall to enjoy the health-giving April east winds. But he is not
Mr Jackson at all, babbles tipsy Mrs Cobbler Freeman, for, when taking
one of his shoes to her husband to mend, she noticed a bit of paper
pasted on the inside, and, tearing it away, she has seen written his
real name--William Wynne Ryland. This is great news for the ‘Brown
Bear’ runners, and Chief-officer Daly, accompanied by a fellow
robin-redbreast, takes coach with Mrs Cobbler Freeman to Stepney Green.

From his garret window the guilty engraver beholds the coming of the
bloodhounds. With a brief prayer for pardon he flies to his razor, and
when the constables burst through the door they find him stretched upon
the boards with a gash across his throat. Still, he has not cheated
cruel fate. A surgeon staunches his wound, and watchers surround his
bed lest he should seek to meet death once more. In the agony of that
long night, while physical torture conquers even the deep, black pain
of unutterable despair, the wretched sufferer atones for the sins of
a lifetime. Yet on the morrow they take him rudely from his couch,
and while the foul cobbler goes clamouring to the India House for his
blood-money, Ryland is brought before Sir Sampson Wright, who sits in
the place of blind John Fielding in the office at Bow Street. There he
is given over to Governor Smith, who carries him to the Bridewell at
Tothill Fields, where he lies for weeks sick almost unto death.

Newspaper canards spring up in wonted manner like mushrooms from a
dunghill. Mr Ryland, who cannot recover--so they say--has confessed
his crime to Sheriff Robert Taylor, naming also a pair of accomplices,
and hints a third. As he cannot recover--so they say--Keeper Smith
has a couple of men to watch him always, lest he should kill himself.
Newspaper reason uses these odd arguments and more. Among the feasts
of scandal crammed down the public gullet one fact is readily
digested--Ryland is guilty beyond all refutation! Forged E.I.C. bills
have been found in shoals--none but the great engraver could have
been their author--he attempted self-murder because he was certain of
conviction. All true, possibly; nay, probably, but where is the proof?

The trial of the poor sick artist skips a session. In tender mercy
those in power do not shut him up in fetid, overcrowded Newgate, but
allow him to remain under the watchful care of good Keeper Smith. His
kind jailor does everything in his power to lighten his dreary lot,
making him a trusted friend, allowing him to take walks with him in the
open street, confident that he will not break his parole. It is not
until the eve of the session that they drive him to the Old Bailey,
around whose bloodstained walls he used to play with his brothers as a
child.

On Saturday, the 26th of July, he is brought to face his accusers.
Not until the last moment do Crown lawyers intimate the terms of
indictment, for there are several forged bills laid to his charge, and,
conviction appearing a matter of doubt, the Honourable E.I.C. wishes
to be certain of its prey. So Crown lawyers select a minor charge--a
small bill for £210--which they assert Ryland has copied and engraved
from a true document, uttering it knowing it to be forged. Both bills
have been lately in the prisoner’s possession--this is made clear--but
which is the counterfeit? A hard nut for Crown lawyers, since both
are like as two peas. Unless they show that the first which Ryland
had received is the true one, their case falls to the ground, for no
man can copy what he has not seen. A breathless crowd, whose hearts
are all for the man in the dock, watch the ghastly duel of keen wits,
for it is death to one if he is vanquished. Witnesses come and go,
but tierce and parry keep the defendant unscathed. Witnesses advance
and retire, but Crown lawyers find them weak reeds. Banker Ammersley
swears to his signature on the first bill, but this proves nothing, as
Banker Ammersley’s autograph is not the seal of Company John. One Holt,
late E.I.C. secretary, whose brain is not so clear as it was, makes a
dismal display in the box, while the courage of Ryland’s friends mounts
high. One Omer, E.I.C. clerk, tries to spot the true bill, but counsel
Peckham involves him in a maze of legerdemain. All the gallant little
host of well-wishers, who have drunk deeply of newspaper canards, and
still more insidious City gossip, are amazed that Hicks’s Hall should
have deemed such evidence worthy of a true bill--amazed, moreover, that
their friend seems to have a chance of escape.

Suddenly the quick shadow of despair flits across the face of the
prisoner. For a moment the brave, easy self-confidence leaves him
naked to his enemies. Crown counsel Sylvester--who lives in fame as
the judge of maiden Fenning--has played his last card, calling to
the witness-box a calm, unemotional man of commerce, Mr Waterman of
Maidstone, papermaker for twenty years. Then the reason of the Hicks’s
Hall opinion is made clear. Papermaker Waterman brushes aside all
doubts--he made the sheet upon which one of the bills is printed,
recognising the marks of his moulds, distinguishable only by expert
eye. Since this Maidstone Waterman is positive that the paper on which
one of the E.I.C. acceptances is stamped did not reach London till May
1783, it is certain that the first bill which came into the possession
of Ryland was the true one accepted by the Company. Thus two counts of
the indictment are decided--the last bill is the spurious one, and it
was uttered by the prisoner.

Yet what is the whole significance of this carefully accumulated
evidence! Merely that an amazing forgery has been wrought, and that
Ryland alone, who had the motive and the skill, possessed also the
opportunity. Every heart within the crowded court is filled with pity
for the accused man. Bankers Moreland and Ammersley, though called by
the Crown, have striven to assist the defence. Prosecutors Sylvester,
Rous, and Graham have shown no vindictive spirit. Even stripping Judge
Buller--he who drew up a specification of rod for the benefit of
wife-beaters--strives to find a “chasm in the evidence,” endeavouring
to prove that the honourable servants of the E.I.C. have made a
mistake. Finally, when this big-brained lady-whipping Buller comes to
instruct the jury, he specially commends the prisoner’s defence--read
by the clerk of arraigns, as poor Ryland’s throat is too sore for the
effort--for its matter and good sense.

Then mercy hides her face, for the youthful judge lays down calmly
the most astounding of eighteenth-century judicial dogmas. “It stands
prisoner,” declares this Buller, “to show how he came by the bill in
order to prove he did not know it to be forged.” So--musty old twiners
of red tape--they cannot fasten the guilt upon the man, thus with
impotent _tu quoque_ they demand that he shall prove his innocence.
Since they cannot rip him open in the witness-box, they shift their own
burden upon his shoulders. Since he cannot prove his innocence, they
deem him guilty, forgetting the good British legal converse of this
proposition. Bewildered by judicial hair-splitting, the jury at last
withdraw. No direct evidence convicts him--circumstances, prejudice
rather, the whispered stories of numerous E.I.C. bills (forgeries all)
that have passed through the hands of the engraver. If one indictment
does not draw, others will follow--he had the motive, means, and
opportunity, and he flew to his razor when the runners came to take
him. Half an hour of such reasoning kneads the brains of jury into
proper hanging shape, and they decide that to Tyburn the prisoner must
go.

Quiet and brave, as he has been through his long trial, the man in the
dock rises to his feet when his judges return. Courage is stamped on
the strong, deep lines of his face, though the face is white as his
soft ruffles, or as the snowy vest that lies beneath his russet coat.
Coming forward, he listens calmly while they declare him guilty,
bowing to the Bench. A thrill runs through the court when the foreman
pronounces the dread word, but, though all hearts are throbbing with
pain, one fond hope rises in every breast--that the power of a gracious
king will rescue this erring genius from a shameful death. Also, the
poor servant himself thinks first of his royal master; for as he is
conducted back to loathsome Newgate, he tells the friends around him
that, although he has been the victim of persecution, he can perceive a
beam of mercy. Alas, he could not know his sovereign!

A week later the dreary session draws to a close, and Ryland is
brought up again, and alone, before the rest of the convicts, to hear
his sentence. Calmly and bravely he bears this ordeal like the last.
Already two petitions have been presented at Windsor--one the day
after he was condemned, the other on the thirtieth of the month. It is
supposed that he will be kept alive for a while, since he has begged
that his life may be preserved a little longer, not for his own sake,
but that he may finish some plates for the benefit of his wife and
children. Even the heart of royal George may have been touched by the
piteous request. So the prisoner spends the gloomy days in toiling at
his task, scraping the copper sheets with his stipple-graver, literally
dying in harness. Nor is it inadequate work, for when his printer is
allowed to bring him the proofs he is able to murmur with satisfaction,
“Mr Haddrill, my task is finished!” Yet two pictures after all are
left incomplete, one of which Bartolozzi, to whom he sends to beg the
favour, and who owes him as a master of his craft so much, promises
to take in hand, while jovial William Sharp polishes the other. For
King George, when pressed once more to spare the poor artist because
of his great genius, replies sternly--“No; a man with such ample means
of providing for his wants could not reasonably plead necessity as an
excuse for his crime.” Material logic, worthy of the man!

On Friday, the 29th of August, dawns the fatal morning. Before nine
o’clock the outer Press Yard is overflowing with sight-seers; but
because of Governor Akerman’s humane order, none are allowed within the
smaller court to disturb the last moments of the unhappy sufferers.
Presently the iron-studded door of the lodge is flung open, and Sheriff
Taylor, bearing his wand of office, enters the prison to demand the
bodies of his victims. Then through the expectant crowd the turnkeys
slowly force a path, and down this narrow lane the malefactors walk
one by one with hideous clank of fetters. On his knees beside a block
of stone a creature with punch and hammer deftly rids them of their
chains. Five times the strident blows echo through the vaulted walls,
while as many unhappy wretches pass into the hands of the hangman’s
lacqueys, busy with their bonds and cords. Last of all comes a slim,
graceful figure, clad in a suit of mourning with white ruffles and
silver shoe-buckles, unencumbered by chains, walking as unconcernedly
as though he were a spectator of the scene. A shudder runs through
the throng as all eyes rest upon the gifted artist, who, as he passes
on, quietly salutes those friends whom he chances to recognise. With
a respectful bow the Sheriff advances and leads the prisoner to the
lodge, away from the crowded quadrangle.

“Don’t tie Mr Ryland too tight,” he commands the attendants as they
fasten the cords.

“Never mind, sir,” is the quiet answer; “they give me no uneasiness.”

All the time he chats calmly to those around, bearing himself in
this, as through all other scenes to the end, as a brave heart and
a gentleman. Then the clatter of arms is heard outside, for the
City Marshal is bringing up his troop. A moment later the door is
thrown back, and from the steps a stentorian voice bellows aloud,
“Mr Ryland’s coach.” With brisk, easy steps he passes out into the
street, closely followed by the attendant Ordinary. Suddenly he springs
forward, and in an instant a tiny girl has thrown her little hands
around his pinioned arms, while he kisses her passionately--his own
daughter, the child of sin. Tenderly they induce him to hasten the
agonising farewell, but his steel-clad soul is steadfast and unshaken.
Tearing himself away, he hurries on with a firm tread.

Then the procession moves forward. A strong company of Sheriff’s
men and City Marshal’s constables leads the way, parting the dense
surging mob for the progress of the official chariots and the black
mourning-coach that follows next in line. Another carriage, in which
sits one Lloyd, an ex-housebreaker turned psalm-singing penitent, comes
after that of Ryland, and then the pair of loathsome carts with four
more miserable victims. No cant or cowardice marks the bearing of the
poor artist. Unlike the conventional hypocrite of such a time, his lips
do not move in response to the exhortations of white-banded Ordinary
Villette. No prayer-book rests in his fingers. Having made his peace
with God, he does not deign to humour the prejudices of man. Unjustly,
they are sending him to a cruel death. Why should he appear to worship
in the fashion they have chosen? Thus, while the procession moves
onward, his calm, inscrutable face gazes upon the scene that passes
before his eyes.

An amazing spectacle, this eighteenth-century march to Tyburn,
revealing as completely as the roofless city of romance the human
animal taken unawares. No braver picture of dauntless courage ever has
been displayed in battlefield than the serene victim, tied and bound,
who is drawn along slowly to his shameful death. Though the deep toll
of St Sepulchre’s passing bell may beat in cruel blows against his
heart, as he moves past the old church at whose font his brothers and
sisters were given their Christian names, there is no tremor visible
to the thousands who gloat upon his form. Down the slopes of Snow Hill
runs the quick, eager whisper, for the eyes of all seek but one man,
“Which is Mr Ryland?” And the careless murmur swells into a louder
key, “There he is in the coach--that is he--that is Ryland”--the
heartless babble of a multitude of savages. Thicker and thicker teems
the concourse, as the procession crawls over the bridge and up Holbourn
Hill, swollen like a black, turgid river by streams that flow from
haunts of filth and foulness--the sweepings of the slums. Thieves,
cut-throats, hoarse drunkards, and shrill strumpets join in the
delirious march with the loud, mad tread of a thousand clattering feet.

Thus they move onward. Within the sable coach the smug Ordinary is
mumbling scraps of Holy Writ pertaining to the time and place, the
valley of the shadow of death. In response, a hundred ribald oaths and
loathsome jests are pealing all around. Within the sable coach the poor
ecstatic housebreaker is piping a quavering hymn, his joints shaking
in palsy, his eyes, which gleam in horrible whiteness, raised to the
skies. All around, the hands of a hundred thieves are busy at work as
they tramp along in this march to the grave. Beyond Chancery Lane the
wide thoroughfare seems to pass into a new world. Although the street
echoes still to the tread of ten thousand squalid footsteps, high up
on either side, at the windows or in the narrow balconies, wealth and
beauty take their part in the mighty spectacle. Sweet, pale faces
look down, while soft, heaving bosoms press the casements. Beings who
might soar amidst the stars are sunk in the mire--all compelled by the
haunting, irresistible tramp rolling onward in the march of death.

Yet the footsteps never pause. Forward still, winding through St
Giles, the highroad to Tyburn opens to the view. There is no halt now
for the Lazar-house bowl, nor would those fettered men in the carts
wish to quaff it. Huddled together in the first, the three are babbling
supplications; prone and fainting, a half-dying creature is stretched
within the last. In front, the hysterical housebreaker is swaying like
a drunkard on the seat of his coach, still quavering forth his piteous
hymn. Only the artist, whose carriage leads the way to the shambles,
gazing calmly around with grave, stony face, will have no truck with
the cant of humanity. For his thoughts are far distant, fleeing from
the mighty roll of footsteps till they soften to his ears like the
murmur of muffled drums. All around him are visions of bygone days.
Yon narrow road that is pouring forth its human torrent leads to Soho,
where, with the gentle Gwynn, he used to visit the gilded palace of
Therese Cornelys, or that other Carlisle House, the fencing-school of
splendid Angelo. Down that long street is Golden Square, but there is
no pretty Miss Angel to weep for him. And far away, beyond the distant
horizon, lies the palace of his king, but before it there is reared the
gaunt, frightful spectre of the triple tree.

Then the sound of voices swells louder while the march is stayed.
Through the windows of his coach he can see the three bare posts close
at hand, so that he can almost touch them. Slowly the creaking carts
roll forward, halting beneath the wooden bars, and a sweeping circle of
soldiers spreads itself around. Perched upon the park wall is a long
mass of expectant faces. Here and there rise huge stands, tier upon
tier, choked to the full with swaying humanity. As far as the eye can
reach is a dense, surging throng, crushing forward, ever crushing, as
though eager to press the victims to their doom.

Presently the black clouds that have been slowly unfurling their
shadows across the August sky burst in a peal of thunder, and the
tempest rushes through the air. Amidst the flashes of lightning, a
fierce rainstorm hurls itself to earth. For a moment the bloody work
must pause, since it is impossible to stand against the blinding
torrents. Half an hour passes. Then the deluge ceases as suddenly as it
arose. Hastily the Sheriff gives his orders, and soon expert hands have
arranged the ropes around the necks of the three rain-soaked wretches
in the cart. Swiftly the second tumbril, in which the sick man is lying
prostrate, backs to the coach where sits the penitent housebreaker, and
he is summoned to the gallows. In a few moments the halters are placed
upon their heads, while the contrite thief entreats the multitude to
take warning from his fate. At last, when all is ready, they call upon
Mr Ryland. Springing lightly down the steps, he mounts the cart, and
stands beside his two fellow-sufferers--a brave, graceful gentleman in
black, quiet and unflinching. Strange contrast indeed to the swooning
creature on the floor, or to the noisy burglar, who shrieks to heaven,
wringing his hands. Ordinary Villette comes forward, pressing his
holy attentions upon the unhappy artist, who listens to him calmly
and respectfully, while close at hand his wretched companions pray
long and loud. Suddenly there is a shrill, wailing sound, rising and
falling in equal cadence with the see-saw rhythm of a hymn, “The
Sinner’s Lamentation,” which four terror-stricken creatures, with their
heads thrown back, bellow loudly to the skies. And all this time,
firm, motionless, inscrutable, bearing even the greatest ignominy--the
contact of these foul ones--without a tremor, Wynne Ryland stands
silent, waiting for the last cruel moment. Swiftly it comes. His face
is covered, the hangman lashes his horse, the foothold sweeps from
beneath, and he passes into oblivion. To the other five who sway in the
air at his elbow (save one) death also is merciful.

A holiday of butchery, cries Mercy; yea, and more, a holiday in which
butchery alone has a part, giving naught that chance or strength or
valour might lend its victim; butchery a thousand times more squalid
than that of the noble Roman. Ah, but it is the pious retribution of
majestic laws, declares the spirit of those times; the just conclusion
of the social contract; butchery, alas! for these poor victims can have
no resemblance to the gladiators of the arena. Yes, indeed, retorts
Mercy; it is the vengeance of the sacred majesty of commerce, whose
garments have been soiled by the hands of these malefactors, which
cannot be appeased by the code of savages, an eye for an eye, a life
for a life. Yet ’tis stern for the sake of utility, pleads the spirit;
harsh for the public good, so that the evil-doer may be terrified to
the advantage of all innocence, and to the encouragement of a Christian
life. But what of that handsome youth, is the reply, whose face is
seared by vice, and whose hand is in the fob of your sleek, well-fed
City merchant: is this one dismayed by these six dangling victims on
the tree? No, answers the spirit; but we must not adopt a universal
conclusion from a particular case, for how can we judge how many of the
tempted have been saved from crime by the terrible example of the fatal
rope? True in logic, false in truth, Mercy well may thunder--a valid
deduction from _conditional_ premiss, but the terms of jurisprudence
should not be qualified by an ‘if’ Thus, surely, unless we admit the
old Hebrew ‘eye for an eye’ dogma, must we view all legal punishments
that deprive a fellow-creature of his life. Alas, that we are
controlled by the logic of other times!

The same coach that conveyed William Wynne Ryland along the road to
Tyburn brought back his dead body to his friends. Five days later--on
Thursday, the 3rd of September--they took him to the tiny churchyard
of Feltham, beyond Hounslow, where his father and mother had been laid
to rest. For a long time after his death Mrs Ryland continued to keep
a print-shop at the corner of Berners Street, where her husband’s
engravings commanded a large sale. Subsequently she transferred her
business to New Bond Street. From contemporary newspapers we learn that
the Ryland plates were much sought after in Paris when his untimely
fate became known. Nine years later, on the 20th of October 1792, the
unhappy wife went to join her husband in the little grass-plot of the
village by the Thames.

With the exception of that mighty scholar Eugene Aram, the eighteenth
century never suffered deeper loss by the hangman’s rope than in the
death of brave and graceful Wynne Ryland. Just as the marvellous usher
is the greatest of schoolmen, so is the Strand engraver incomparably
the greatest artist that ended his days upon the scaffold. With
him the dissolute and passionate Theodore Gardelle can no more be
contrasted than poet Gahagan with the former. Yet, unlike the sombre
Aram, poor Ryland did not bear the stain of blood upon his hands. Nor
was the evidence of his guilt less open to doubt. Because he failed
to prove his innocence they sent him to his death. Still, although
there was no lack of tears and lamentation, his cruel fate did not
excite the same interest nor cause the universal consternation that
was aroused in similar cases. Neither Horace Walpole, Mrs Delany, nor
George Selwyn speak his name, and gossip Tom Smith merely mentions him
incidentally in a list of engravers. A reason is not far to seek. Not
being a man of fashion, how was it possible that an epoch which had
beheld so many stupendous melodramas should be greatly shocked by his
atonement? Preacher Dodd, the pet of devout ladies; the unfortunate
brothers over whom the charms of Margaret Rudd cast the halo of
romance; soldier-parson Hackman, with his love and madness; poisonous
Captain Donellan of Lawford Hall--all these magnificent criminals had
lately made the march to Tyburn, or elsewhere. Little wonder that
society, _ennuyé_ by the sight of the gallows, had lost its zest for
convict-worship.

To say that William Wynne Ryland might have been the greatest engraver
that the world has seen would be to state an equivocal proposition,
since modern print-science, to which the splendid art has given
birth, scarce realises comparative methods, and has no complete list
of precise terms. Yet the assertion that none have ever excelled him
as a creator of the coloured stipple is a mere platitude. Also, it
would be difficult to name any other artist who has produced finer
work in all the three great branches of engraving--line, dot, and
mezzotint. Still, like every rolling stone, he suggests rather than
demonstrates the possession of superlative powers. Although few surpass
him as a draughtsman, colourist, and craftsman, he shares the fate of
all who pursue unworthy models. While the fair Kauffman sinks into
insignificance in contrast to Sir Joshua, the man who translated her
pictures into their popular form is worthy to take his place beside
all the masters who fashioned engravings after Reynolds. Through the
whole of his life it is the same. In careless vigour he speeds along
the difficult paths that lead to the golden mountain-tops, but never
reaches the summit. To Wale or to Oudry he gives more than to François
Boucher. Smiling Ramsay and courtly Bute snatch him from his allegiance
to the mighty Italians. Always opportunist, the pleasures of the world
entangle him amidst a stifling undergrowth, where his wings may not
expand to bear him aloft, free and unconfined.

Nor are his copies of Angelica the best that she can offer. In humble
servitude he seems to take all that is given to him. The slave of
popular taste, unlike Bartolozzi he never casts off his shackles. A
simpering Venus, an over-fed Cupid, a Grecian warrior with a feminine
frame--these are the subjects upon which he wastes his powers. Even
when opportunity comes to draw a human portrait in the person of a
noble woman, he has to struggle against the mockery of a burlesque
dress--furled Turkish trousers, or a Grecian turban. Yet how different
is the obvious ideal! Since he could transform the work of ‘Miss Angel’
with such wondrous art, conjecture may dream of entrancing pictures
after Gainsborough, in miniature, but in perfect semblance, glowing
with all the gorgeous tints of the great master.

An illustrious feather-pate, gazing with idolatry upon his own modern
photograph, has screamed, “Camera beats the brush! Look upon that
picture, and then presume to tell me that Rembrandt or Velasquez has
fashioned its equal.” Obviously, for those painters never had such a
model as illustrious feather-pate. Yet feather-pate but babbles the
gibberish of his times. All who inveigh against soulless lithograph or
poll-parrot photography, saying that monarchs of the brush are with us
still whose works are worthy of the engraver’s steel, cry as prophets
of the wilderness. “Camera beats the print,” shrieks Cosmos; “magna est
vilitas, et prævalebit.” Thus poor Cinderella, who never went to the
ball with her more gorgeous sisters, is driven even from her home in
the kitchen.

Still, could some god transport Wynne Ryland from the sunny plains,
he would find work for his hand as alluring as the canvas of Angelica
Kauffman. In the gossamer creations of such as Alma Tadema and Blair
Leighton, the soft-coloured print might begin a new life. Is it too
late to hope that ere he passed over the dark river he left his mantle
upon the shore?



BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE RYLAND CASE


I. CONTEMPORARY AUTHORITIES

1. _Authentic Memoires of William Wynne Ryland._ Printed for J. Ryall,
No. 17 Lombard Street, 1784. Brit. Mus.

    As these _Authentic Memoires_ do not present a very lucid
    account, it is necessary to place the principal events of Wynne
    Ryland’s career in chronological order:--

    Born November 2, 1733, in St John’s Street, Clerkenwell; the
    third son and fifth child of Edward and Mary Ryland.

    Baptized December 2, at St Martin’s Church, Ludgate, where his
    name appears in the register as William Wynn.

    Studied at St Martin’s Lane Academy--probably during the latter
    half of the forties.

    If, as is generally stated, he served an apprenticeship of five
    years with Ravenet, he must have been bound to that engraver
    before 1750.

    The second volume of _Les Fables choisies de la Fontaine_, with
    illustrations after Oudry, shows that he was in Paris in 1755.
    Having studied for two years under Le Bas, it would seem that
    he went to Boucher about 1757. According to most accounts he
    remained abroad for five years.

    Probably he was in England in 1761, for several of his
    red-chalk engravings after the old master were finished during
    the next year.

    In April 1762 he published at Lichfield Street, Soho, an
    engraving of George III., after Ramsay.

    In February 1763 his engraving of Lord Bute, after Ramsay, was
    finished.

    From 1763-67 he was engaged upon the portrait of George III. in
    his Coronation Robes, after Ramsay.

    In the spring of 1765 he visited Paris on a commission for the
    King (_v._ Journal of J. G. Wille).

    In 1767 he was living in Stafford Row, Pimlico.

    From 1767-69 he was engaged upon the portrait of the Queen,
    after Cotes.

    In 1767 or 1768 he entered into partnership with his late
    pupil, Henry Bryer, at 27 Cornhill. This firm became bankrupt
    in December 1771.

    In 1772 he was living at Queen’s Row, Knightsbridge, and in
    1773 near the Hammersmith turnpike.

    In 1774 he opened his print-shop, No. 159 in the Strand.

    On November 4, 1782, he deposited the forged bill on the East
    India Company with Messrs Ransome, Moreland & Ammersley,
    bankers.

    On the 1st of April 1783 he fled from his home at
    Knightsbridge, and the advertisement offering £300 for his
    arrest was published in the newspapers on April 3.

2. _A Catalogue of Mr Ryland’s Exhibition_ at Mr Pollard’s in
Piccadilly. Brit. Mus.

3. _Exhibition Catalogue of Incorporated Society of Artists_, 1761-69.
“In their Great Room in Spring Gardens, Charing Cross.” Brit. Mus.

The following were Ryland’s exhibits:--

  1761. No. 215. A Print of “Jupiter and Leda,” after Boucher.

  1767. No. 217. A Print of his Majesty in his Coronation Robes after Ramsay.

  1769. No. 301. Two Drawings.

  No. 302. One Drawing.

4. _Catalogue of the Royal Academy._ 1772-1775. Brit. Mus. The
exhibits of Ryland, with their dates, are as follows:--

  1772. No. 227. Vortigern falling in love with Rowena--after A. Kauffman.

  No. 228. The interview between Edgar and Elfrida after her marriage
    with Athelwald--after A. Kauffman.

  No. 229. A Portrait of a child drawing.

  1773. No. 259. Domestic Employment--a drawing.

  1774. No. 255. A Frame with sundry Portraits.

  No. 256.     ”         ”         ”

  1775. No. 268. Juno borrowing the Cestus from Venus. A Drawing in
    red chalk, after A. Kauffman.

5. _Dodd’s Memoires of English Engravers_, xi. pp. 104-110. Add. MSS.
33404. Brit. Mus.

6. _Joseph Strutt’s Biog. Dic. of Engravers_ (1785-6), ii. 285. Brit.
Mus.

7. _A Collection of Prints in Imitation of Drawings._ 2 vols. 1778.
Edited by Charles Rogers. Brit. Mus.

    Ryland contributed fifty-seven plates. These two volumes should
    be included in any collection of Ryland’s works.

8. _Nichol’s Literary Anecdotes_ (1813). Vol. iii. 256, vol. v. 668,
681, 686.

9. _Reminiscences of Henry Angelo._ 2 vols. London, 1828-30. Vol. i.
pp. 473-83. New Edition by Joseph Grego and H. Lavers Smith. Kegan
Paul. 1904. Vol. i. pp. 366, 370-75.

    Ryland was a frequent visitor at the fencing and riding school,
    which the elder Angelo had established at Carlisle House,
    Carlisle Street, and which, oddly enough, was the second
    building of that name in Soho Square.

10. _Mémoires et Journal de J. G. Wille._ 2 vols. Jules Renouard.
Paris, 1857. Vol. i. pp. 287, 288.

    Wille met Ryland in Paris on April 17, April 18, and May 9,
    1765. He tells us that he had been acquainted with him when the
    English engraver was in France seven or eight years previously
    (_i.e._ in 1757-1758), which dates fit in with other known
    incidents of Ryland’s life.


II. CONTEMPORARY NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES

1. _The Gentleman’s Magazine_ (1771), p. 572; (1778), p. 594; (1783),
part i. pp. 359, 443; part ii. pp. 626, 710, 714; (1808), part i. p. 87.

  2. _The European Magazine_ (1783), part ii. pp. 158, 172-173.

  3. _The Morning Post_,                  April-August 1783.

  4. _The Morning Chronicle_,                   do.

  5. _The Morning Herald_,                      do.

  6. _The London Chronicle_,                    do.

  7. _The Public Advertiser_,                   do.

  8. _The Daily Advertiser_,                    do.

  9. _The General Advertiser_,                  do.

  10. _The Whitehall Evening Post_,             do.

  11. _The London Recorder_,                    do.

  12. _Ayre’s Sunday London Gazette_,            do.

  13. _The Gazetteer and New Daily Advertiser_,  do.

  14. _Lloyds Evening Post_,                     do.

    The most complete account of the trial will be found in the
    _Morning Post_, Monday, July 28, 1783. Those who are interested
    in the much-debated question whether the site of the ‘Tyburn
    Tree’ was in Connaught Square, Bryanston Street, or Upper
    Seymour Street, would do well to remember that on August 29,
    1783 (so the papers tell us), the gallows were placed fifty
    yards nearer the park wall than usual. Naturally, its position
    was changed from time to time.


NOTES

NOTE I.--_Dic. Nat. Biog._ The date of Ryland’s birth is given as July
1732! Nor was he the eldest, but the _third_ son of his father.

NOTE II.--_Eighteenth Century Colour Prints._ Mrs Julia Frankau.
Macmillan (1900).

Mrs Frankau’s explanation of the flight of Ryland is scarcely
plausible. It is not credible that a man who is engaged in a frantic
search for a lost mistress would remain in close hiding, posing as
an invalid, only venturing abroad after dark. Nor is it a tenable
assumption that he attempted to commit suicide in a fit of despair
because he fancied that he was being arrested for debt, and thus might
lose all chance of finding his _chère amie_. One of the strongest
pleas in his defence was that his fortune was ‘princely’ and he
protested that he fled because he could not find the man from whom
he had received the fatal bill. It is a strange coincidence that the
discovery of the fraud upon the East India Company should have taken
place on the eve of his disappearance. Moreover, he was not arrested
for the forgery that secured his conviction. The warrant charged him
with counterfeiting two other bills of exchange to the value of £7114
(as reference to the advertisement columns of the daily papers of April
3 will show), and it was not until this publicity that Mr Moreland,
the banker, examined the bill for £210, which Ryland had deposited
with his house. Thus the accusation of one crime led to the discovery
of another! And it is still more strange that the artist should have
cashed an East India Company bill of the value of £210 on September 19,
1782, while on November 4 he should have handed to his banker another
bill--an exact copy of the first--bearing a similar date, denomination,
and acceptances. Although these two identical bills came into Ryland’s
possession within the space of a few weeks, he did not seek an
explanation of the remarkable coincidence. A careful survey of all the
facts must convince everyone of the guilt of the unfortunate engraver,
but it is a pleasure to be able to agree with Mrs Frankau--except
in some minor details--in her contention that the evidence was not
conclusive. Ryland was convicted because he failed to show that he had
received the forged bill from another person, and to cast thus the
burden of proof from the prosecution to the defence is quite foreign to
the methods of a modern tribunal.

Since the Catholic has become the spoilt child of contemporary
literature, it is not surprising to find Wynne Ryland hailed as
the victim of Protestant persecution. Yet there appears to be no
evidence to support this assumption. There is not a line in the
newspapers of the day to indicate that any anti-Romanist feeling was
aroused, and had such been the case, the _Public Advertiser_, at all
events, whose animosity towards ‘Popery’ is sufficiently evident,
would have trumpeted loudly. It is significant that the mob never
behaved with greater propriety--very unusual conduct in the howling
Tyburn crowd--than on August 29, 1783. How different would it have
been if the word had been whispered that a Papist was going to the
gallows! Strutt and Angelo, who write so sympathetically of their
friend, have nothing to say on this subject, and, indeed, accept his
guilt as proved. Although the former, who wrote in 1785, might have
reason for reticence, yet the latter, whose book was published a
year before the Emancipation Act, could have no reason to suppress
such evidence. Indeed, we have only the doubtful authority of the
_Authentic Memoires_ for the statement that Ryland was a ‘supposed’
Catholic in his early youth. With this very ambiguous suggestion we
must reconcile the strange fact that he was buried in a graveyard of
the Established Church, and that the last rites were performed by
an Anglican clergyman. There are one or two slips of the pen in Mrs
Frankau’s interesting memoir. As the catalogue of the Royal Academy
shows that Ryland contributed his first drawing in 1772--four years
after the institution was established--he was not “one of the earliest
exhibitors.” From the same catalogue it appears that the print-shop
in the Strand was opened in 1774. The date of the publication of the
_Authentic Memoires_, given as 1794, is, of course, a clerical error.
Owing to the footnote attached to Ryland’s letter to Francis Donaldson
of Liverpool, printed in the _Morning Post_, September 2, 1783, the
document must be regarded with suspicion. No trivial disagreement
with the conclusions of Mrs Frankau can diminish the interest of her
delightful account of the great engraver, which must remain the most
valuable of recent monographs.

NOTE III.--There are references to W. W. Ryland in the innumerable
dictionaries of painters and engravers, French, German, and English,
such as Basan, Le Blanc, Portalis and Beraldi, Andreas Andrescen,
Redgrave, Bryan, etc. One of the best of modern notices will be found
in the _Print Collectors’ Handbook_, by Alfred Whitman.



A LIST OF WILLIAM WYNNE RYLAND’S ENGRAVINGS.

(By RUTH BLEACKLEY.)


   1. Les Grâces au Bain,    after Boucher. }
   2. La Belle Dormeuse,           do.      }
   3. Le Repose Champêtre,         do.      }
   4. Vue d’un pont,               do.      }
   5. Berger passant une rivière,  do.      }  1757-60
   6. La petite Repose,            do.      }
   7. La Bonne Mère,               do.      }
   8. La Marchande d’Oiseaux,      do.      }
   9. I. and II. Vue de Fronville, do.      }
  10. Jupiter and Leda,            do.      }

  11. George III., King of Great Britain. Published April 1762.

  12. John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute--after Allan Ramsay. Published
        February 1763.

  13. George III. in State Robes--after Allan Ramsay. Published 1767.

  14. George III. (bust).

  15. Queen Charlotte with infant (Princess Royal)--after Cotes.
        Published 1769.

  16. Diogenes--after Salvator Rosa. Published 1771.

  17. Antiochus and Stratonice--after P. da Cortona. Published 1772.

  18. General Stanwix’s Daughter--after Angelica Kauffman (called also
        “The Pensive Muse”). Published in colours 1774.

  19. Hope--after A. Kauffman--(a portrait of herself). Published in
        colours, February 7, 1775.

  20. A Lady in a Turkish Dress--after A. Kauffman. Oval in colours.
        Published May 1, 1775.

  21. A Lady in a Greek Dress--(the Duchess of Richmond)--after A.
        Kauffman. Published November 20, 1775.

  22. Narcissus. Drawn and engraved by Ryland. Published January 12,
        1775.

  23. Domestick Employment. Drawn and engraved by Ryland, in colours.
        Published September 13, 1775.

  24. Faith--after A. Kauffman. Published 1776.

  25. Dormio Innocuus--after A. Kauffman. Circle in colours. Published
        May 21, 1776.

  26. Olim Truncus--after A. Kauffman. Circle in colours and red.
        Published, first state, April 3; second state, May 1, 1776.

  27. Juno cestum a Venere Postulat--after A. Kauffman. Circle in
        colours and red. Published January 1, 1777.

  28. Achilles lamenting the Death of his friend Patroclus--after
        A. Kauffman. Published December 4, 1777, in colours and red.

  29. Patience--after A. Kauffman. Published May 27, 1777.

  30. Perseverance--after A. Kauffman. Published June 24, 1777.

  31. Cupid Bound, with Nymphs breaking his Bow--after A. Kauffman.
        Published March 17, 1777.

  32. Telemachus returns to Penelope--after A. Kauffman, in colours.
        Published December 4, 1777.

  33. Venus in her Triumphal Chariot--after A. Kauffman, in colours
        and red. Published September 7, 1778.

  34. Charles Rogers--mezzotint after Sir Joshua Reynolds. Published
        1778.

  35. Cleopatra decorating the Tomb of Mark Antony--after A. Kauffman.
        Published March 25, 1778, in colours.

  36. Telemachus at the Court of Sparta--after A. Kauffman, in colours.
        Published 1778.

  37. The Judgment of Paris--after A. Kauffman, in colours and red.
        Published January 17, 1778.

  38. Maria Moulins--after A. Kauffman. Published 1779, in colours
        and red.

  39. Eloisa--after A. Kauffman. Oval in colours and red. Published
        1779.

  40. Britannia directing Painting, Sculpture and Architecture to
        address themselves to Royal Munificence, etc.--after Cipriani,
        in colours and red. Published August 18, 1779.

  41. Marianne. Drawn and engraved by Ryland. In colours and red.
        Published January 3, 1780.

  42. Eleanor sucking the poison from the wound of King Edward--after
        A. Kauffman. Published March 1, 1780, in colours.

  43. Lady Elizabeth Grey imploring pardon for her husband--after A.
        Kauffman. Published 1780, in colours and red.

  44. The Flight of Paris and Helen--after A. Kauffman. Published 1781.

  45. Venus presenting Helen to Paris--after A. Kauffman. Published
        1781.

  46. Cymon and Iphigenia--after A. Kauffman. Circle in colours.
        Published January 15, 1782.

  47. Morning Amusement--after A. Kauffman. Published March 1, 1784.

  48. King John signing the Magna Charta--after Mortimer. Published
        1785. This plate was finished after Ryland’s death by Bartolozzi
        and published by the widow.

  49. Interview between Edgar and Elfrida--after A. Kauffman. Published
        1786. According to Bryan’s _Dictionary_ this plate was finished
        by W. Sharp and published by the widow.

  50. Donald MacLeod, aged 102--after W. R. Bigg. Published 1790.

  The following I am unable to date:--

  51. John, Duke of Lauderdale.

  52. Henry, 7th Baron Digby.

  53. Churchill, Duke of Marlborough.

  54. Charity--after Van Dyck.

  55. The Muse Erato--after Joseph Zucchi.

  56. Les Muses (Urania, Clio, Thalia, and Erato)--after Cipriani.

  57. Sir John Falstaff raising Recruits--after F. Hayman.

  58. Interior of a Dutch Cabaret with peasants dancing--after R.
        Brackenberg.

  59. Penelope awakened by Euryclea--after A. Kauffman.

  60. Religion--after A. Kauffman.

  61. Ludit Amabiliter--after A. Kauffman. Circle in colours.

  62. Penelope hanging up the Bow of Ulysses--after A. Kauffman.

  63. Achilles discovered by Ulysses in the disguise of a Virgin--after
        A. Kauffman.

  64. Andromache weeping over the ashes of Hector--after A. Kauffman.

  65. Samma at Benoni’s Grave--after A. Kauffman.

_Note._--The _Morning Herald_, May 5, and the _Morning Post_, August
28, 1783, state that Ryland left unfinished a plate of the Battle of
Agincourt, after Mortimer.

[Illustration: _Sir Joshua Reynolds Pinx._ _John Boydell excudit,
1780._ _F. Bartolozzi Sculpsit._

ANGELICA KAUFFMAN,

_Ex. Academia Regali Artium Londini_

Published Septʳ. 3; 1780 by John Boydell, London.]



BOOK ILLUSTRATIONS


1. The Book of Common Prayer. Published by Edward Ryland, May 1, 1755.
Nine plates by Ryland--after S. Wale.

2. The Book of Common Prayer in Welsh (1770), with the same plates as
in former edition.

3. The Complete Angler, by Isaac Walton, edited by Sir John Hawkins.
With fourteen plates, dated 1759, by Ryland--after S. Wale. First
edition 1760.

4. “Les Fables choisies de la Fontaine.” Illustrated by J. B. Oudry
(1755-59). Seven plates by Ryland in vols. ii., iii., and iv.

5. L’Ecole Des Armes. Par M. Angelo. A Londres: chez R. & J. Dodsley,
Pall Mall. February 1763. Second edition 1765. With forty-seven plates.
A few copies in colours. Ryland engraved fourteen of these plates.
Hall, Grignion, Elliot, and Chamber did the rest--all after drawings by
John Gwynn. Thus Henry Angelo’s account of this work is inaccurate.

6. A Collection of Prints in Imitation of Drawings. Edited by Charles
Rogers. Published London 1778. Contains fifty-seven plates by Ryland in
addition to the mezzotint portrait of Rogers.

7. The School of Fencing, by D. Angelo, edited by Henry Angelo. 1787.
With forty-seven plates, the same as in the first edition. This book
is not well edited, as the letterpress does not always agree with the
pictures.

_Note._--In every case the date of the engraving has been copied from
an existing impression. Possibly there are earlier and later states.



A SOP TO CERBERUS

THE CASE OF GOVERNOR WALL, 1782-1802

    “He wandered here, he wandered there,
      A fugitive like Cain,
    And mourned, like him, in dark despair
      A brother rashly slain.”

    --_A Tale without a Name._ JAMES MONTGOMERY.


On the 26th of August 1782, a captain in the army, named Joseph Wall,
just come home from foreign service, sat down to compose his report to
the Secretary of State. A glance would tell that he was one of those
chosen by destiny to rule man and enslave woman. Although the swift,
hot courage of the Celt shone in his fearless eyes and slumbered in
his rough-hewn features, the beetling brow, resolute jaw, and fierce,
mobile mouth were softened by the gentle mesmeric charm that marks all
of his race. In stature he was a giant; while his sweeping shoulders,
which towered above the heads of most, the thick, gnarled fingers and
stalwart limbs, indicated a mighty strength. For the rest, he was a
clean-looking man, with light brown hair and a fresh complexion. Yet
the dull grey lines in his face told that the tropics had levied that
tax upon his physique which the British soldier is ever eager to pay.

[Illustration: _Etched by J. Chapman_

GOVERNOR WALL.

_Published by J. Cundee Ivy Lane Janʸ, 1804_]

There was nothing of moment in the officer’s report to Secretary
Townshend. It was merely a rough account of the termination of his
stewardship while Governor for eighteen months at the island of Goree.
Mere chance had thrown this tiny sun-baked rock once more into the
possession of Great Britain. Three years previously the French fleet
under de Vaudreuil, _en route_ to the West Indies, sweeping down upon
Senegal, had seized the English posts at Fort Lewis and Fort James. The
victory of Sir Edward Hughes had reversed the position. By the capture
of the island of Goree, which nestles south of Cape Verde scarcely
three miles from the mainland, the approach to the enemies’ settlements
on the opposite shore was placed in the hands of England. Being a
station of some importance for trading purposes, owing to its proximity
to two great rivers of West Africa, a British garrison remained there
during the course of the war. Though deemed less unhealthy than the
coast, its climate was deadly. Not a mile in length, and scarcely more
than a quarter in breadth, the men had little scope for exercise. All
ranks detested the place. The regiment was composed of the riff-raff of
the army; the officers were those who could get no other appointment.

Joseph Wall was worthy of better things. Nature had made him one
of those soldiers of fortune whom his native land has sent forth
unceasingly year by year into the armies of every country in the world.
About the time of George III.’s accession he had flung aside the
religion of his fathers to obtain a commission, and two years later, at
the age of twenty-five, the young Irishman saw his first fight in the
West Indies. His fiery valour during the storming of Fort Moro gained
him promotion, and he returned home from Havannah in 1762 with the rank
of captain. Fate, however, robbed him of his birthright, for twelve
years of weary peace laid their rust upon his restless soul. Soon an
appointment under Company John took him to Bombay, but opportunity
never came to draw his sword in a war of nations. At the close of his
residence in India he returned to his father’s home, Abbeyleix, in
Queen’s County, a sad example of him whom fortune welcomes with a smile
and then turns away her face for ever. The keen spirit that could find
no outlet under arms was ill fitted for the civilian’s life. Joseph
Wall, the soldier of fortune, possessed none of the grace of humour
which might have softened his red, untamable temper. Broils innumerable
led to many a bloody duel, and on one occasion--so tradition
relates--he crossed swords with ‘Fighting Fitzgerald’ Rumour credits
him also with the death of a faithful friend, and, ’tis said, _dux
femina facti_. Indeed, several affairs of gallantry stain his record,
and once he was called upon to answer an insult to a lady in a court of
justice.

At last he sought active service once more. The British colony
that borders the river Gambia in North-West Africa offered him
employment, and Fort James, a station on the estuary, became his home.
Unfortunately, Colonel Macnamara, the Lieutenant-Governor, was a man
of similar disposition to his young officer, and during August 1776
the inevitable encounter took place. Wall, on the plea of ill-health,
happening to disregard one of the orders of his superior, was cast
into prison without trial, and was immured for nine months. An action
at law, which appears to have been heard during the year 1779, was the
result, and the jury, who, guided by Lord Mansfield, held the opinion
that Colonel Macnamara had acted with unnecessary severity, ordered him
to pay the sum of a thousand pounds to the victim of his tyranny.

Previously, having returned to England, the Irishman had become
fortune-hunter, and cut a dash at Bath or Harrogate, searching in vain
for his rich heiress. Such a precarious existence could not endure, and
during the year 1780, Joseph Wall, whose finances were at a low ebb,
again was compelled to seek employment. The command of the recently
captured island of Goree was going a-begging--two Governors having
succumbed to the climate in a space of eighteen months--and he accepted
the post. Its perquisites were considerable; for as the control of the
vast trade along the coast of Senegambia was in his hands, there were
endless chances of lucrative commissions and levying extortion upon the
native chiefs. Huge inflammable Wall was just the man to tame and cow
the rebellious gaol-birds who formed his garrison, and he ruled them
with a hand of steel. Neither men nor officers loved his methods. As
ships touched but seldom at this far-distant port, the soldiers were
called upon often to submit to short commons. A glance from the fiery
Governor quelled the murmurs, for a merciless flogging was the fate of
the unlucky one upon whom his eye rested for a second time. Even the
iron frame of Joseph Wall was soon conquered by the deadly climate. In
less than two years he was compelled to send in his resignation. On the
11th of July 1782 he quitted the arid rock, and, his ship being lucky
enough to avoid the cruisers of France and Spain, he landed safely
at Portsmouth before the end of August. Thus it came about that this
soured and disappointed man sent his report to Mr Townshend.

Joseph Wall was only in his forty-sixth year. Although his health had
broken down temporarily, he was capable still of a long period of
active service. But the unkind fate that had offered his only chance at
the close of the Seven Years’ War, and had kept him styed in Senegambia
during the struggle with the American colonies, was smoothing the way
for the younger Pitt and his ten years’ peace. Thus fortune sports
with nations, giving to one Frederick, to another Daun, working
miracles with Chatham, or assisting Choiseul to open the flood-gates
of a deluge. Lucky, indeed, for humanity that every man has not his
opportunity. Valour was not lacking in the British officers who fought
at Lexington, at Bunker’s Hill or Saratoga, but theirs was no mate to
the courage of those who did battle against them beneath the shadow of
the rope. During the early years of the American War a hundred Joseph
Wall might have erected a forest of gibbets and have made the colony
a second Poland, but the United States never would have survived its
birth. It is far better as it is. Truly, there were giants in those
days--cruel, untamable giants, but capable of superhuman achievements;
and though from time to time we cast off their chains, bidding them
stalk through a world of slaughter, yet, to the credit of our race, the
spirit even of that robust age kept them mostly in their dungeons of
obscurity.

For only ten months did the Irish soldier of fortune enjoy his
retirement undisturbed. Dark rumours had been whispered of his bloody
régime in West Africa, and one Captain Roberts made grave accusations,
of which, however, a court-martial at the Horse Guards took little
heed--merely censuring the giant tenderly in minor matters, as the
beating of a sentry, with a humorous rider that the man got what he
deserved. They are tedious complaints, such as rise to the lips of the
slack and spiteful when a strenuous commander insists upon a rattle of
bones. It was not until the troopship _Willington_ brought home the
remainder of the garrison of Goree--now ceded to the French--that a
more substantial charge was laid against the ex-Governor. In a few days
the newspapers announced that the surgeon and a couple of officers, who
had been examined before the Privy Council, had presented a terrible
indictment of cruelty against their late commander. Towards the end
of February 1784, two men set out for Bath to take Joseph Wall into
custody. Although distressed by the warrant, he submitted quietly,
merely asking that a lady friend should be allowed to accompany him
to London. The ‘Castle Inn,’ Marlborough, was the first halting-place
on the journey along the most famous of coach-roads, and on the 1st
of March, the next evening, they rested at the old ‘Brown Bear’ in
Reading. Here Captain Wall protested that his custodians should not
occupy the same bedroom as himself; and to humour him, as ordinary
mortals are in the habit of humouring a restive giant, they agreed to
remain in an adjoining chamber. A drop to the ground from a first-floor
window was not the obstacle to deter the untamable soldier, and the
next morning the police-officers found that their captive had vanished.
A reward of £200 was offered for his apprehension on the 8th of March,
the day on which he is believed to have set foot on French soil. It
is understood that he wrote to a friend, stating he should surrender
for trial as soon as the popular clamour against him had died away,
and it is certain that he sent a letter containing a similar promise
to Secretary Townshend, now Lord Sydney, on the 15th of October
of the same year. This intention, however, was not fulfilled, and
gradually the case of Governor Wall, whose cruelty had excited so much
indignation, faded from public memory.

The cause of his arrest was an incident that occurred on the eve of
his departure from Goree in 1782. For some time the felon soldiers
under his command had been muttering low growls of discontent. Short
allowance had been their lot for a long period, and the fear arose
that the usual compensation would not be paid unless they received it
before the Governor left the island. On the 10th of July preparations
were hastened for Wall’s departure. All was bustle at the storekeeper’s
office, where a servant was packing the commander’s luggage. No doubt
it was whispered among the men that the home-bound vessel would carry a
wealth of merchandise, which by right should be left for the garrison.
Early in the morning the Governor observed a body of soldiers, twenty
or more, marching across the hot sand towards his residence, where
they had no right to intrude. Though enraged at this evidence of
insubordination, he merely gave an order that they should retire. Two
hours later, a still larger number was seen approaching Government
House. Wall went out into the blazing tropical sunlight to meet them.
So determined were they to vent their grievances that they did not
pause to consider that this act was flagrant mutiny. Since their
commanding officer had forbidden a similar gathering, the right course
was to send a deputation to the Governor, explaining their demands
through the proper channels.

That Wall considered the situation was serious, is proved by the fact
that he temporised with the men, dismissing them without any threat
of serious punishment. In later days he protested--which version was
endorsed by several eye-witnesses--that the conduct of the soldiers
who spoke to him was insolent and menacing, and that he induced them
to disperse by a promise to consider their claims. At all events, he
came to no decision until he had taken counsel with his officers, whom
he met, as usual, at the two o’clock dinner. The methods adopted show
that elaborate precautions were deemed necessary in order to avoid
a grave disturbance. Roll-call was sounded about an hour before the
proper time, and as the pink flush of evening was stealing over the
burning rock the soldiers assembled on parade. Unaware that reprisals
were contemplated, the corps was drawn up in a half-circle within
the ramparts, in the centre of which stood the Governor and his four
available officers. As the men were falling in, or perhaps a little
while before, another case of insubordination arose. Word was brought
that there was a mutiny in the main guard. Away hurried the intrepid
commander to the scene of the disturbance. Snatching a bayonet from the
hands of a drunken sentry, the angry giant belaboured the man lustily,
and thrust back an excited soldier named George Paterson, one of the
ringleaders of the morning, who was about to break from the guard-room.

Having thus smothered this miniature rebellion, the Governor, whose
inflammable temper had burst its bonds, hastened back to the parade
ground. In those robust times a commanding officer had rude methods
of dealing with disobedient soldiers, and Wall had no tender scruples
against straining to the utmost all the power that martial law had
given him. Yet in spite of his bloody tyranny, it is impossible not to
admire the courage of the stout-hearted Irishman. The whole regiment,
two-thirds of which was composed of civil or military convicts who had
exchanged prison life for servitude on the deadly island, loathed his
authority. A few miles off on the coast lay the French settlements,
where English rebels would be sure of an eager welcome. There were
but seven officers to support the Governor, and one of these, who
sympathised with the claims of the soldiers, was under arrest. Except
half a dozen artillery-men and some blacks, the remainder of the
garrison belonged to the ill-conditioned African corps--a hundred and
fifty strong. One bold leader might have raised a swift mutiny. There
was a ship in the harbour, and in a few hours the rebels would have
been safe within Gallic territory in Senegal.

But the courage of Joseph Wall, which had borne him across the rocky
slopes of Moro amidst the hail of Spanish bullets, did not quail before
the scowling faces of his own men. Calling two of them from the ranks
of the circle--Benjamin Armstrong, sergeant, and George Robinson,
private--he charged them with disorderly conduct during the morning,
and commanded his officers to try them by drumhead court-martial.
As the penalty had been decided previously, the proceedings were
brief. After a few moments’ discussion the little tribunal announced
the sentence--eight hundred lashes apiece for the two mutineers. A
gun-carriage having been dragged forward, the men in turn were ordered
to strip. The mode of punishment struck terror into every heart. No
cat-o’-nine-tails could be found; nor was it thought safe to trust a
white man with the flogging. When the victim was bound to the cannon,
one of the blacks was called up, a rope put into his hand, and he was
ordered in military formula to “do his duty.” After twenty-five lashes
a new operator took his turn in the usual way. During the whole time
the garrison surgeon looked on, but made no comment. A thousand strokes
of the ‘cat’ was a common punishment in those Draconic days, and it
seemed immaterial whether the flagellation was inflicted with a bunch
of knotted leathern thongs or with a rope’s-end. When at last the long
agony was over, the two poor soldiers were taken to nurse their bruised
and swollen backs in the hospital.

On the following morning, the 11th of July, the bloody work was
continued. Drastic Wall thought fit to leave an imperishable record
of his mode of government. Beneath the flaming blue sky the soldiers
were marshalled upon the parade ground once more, and four of their
number were selected for punishment in the same informal manner. George
Paterson, the guard-room rebel, was sentenced to eight hundred lashes;
Corporal Thomas Upton, a ringleader of the deputation, and Private
William Evans, were condemned to receive three hundred and fifty and
eight hundred strokes respectively; while Henry Fawcett, the drunken
sentry, was let off with forty-seven. Having thus vindicated his
authority, the terrible Governor proceeded to his ship, which, to the
great joy of the awestruck garrison, weighed anchor the same day.

Soon after his departure the drama became a tragedy. A poisonous
climate and scanty rations had undermined the physique of the soldiers;
besides which, the sickly season was at hand. The ignorance of the
medical attendants was supplemented by an immoderate use of brandy.
Since the first occupation of the island, men had dropped like flies,
while to the sick and wounded a visit to the hospital was almost
equivalent to a sentence of death. Corporal Thomas Upton died two days
after his punishment; Sergeant Armstrong succumbed on the 15th of the
month; George Paterson only survived until the 19th of July. Meanwhile,
Joseph Wall, on the high seas, knew none of these things.

Cruel, wanton, reckless as was the deed of the Governor of Goree,
such things were of everyday occurrence in the army of his time. Sir
Charles Napier has left record of the merciless floggings of which
he was an eye-witness a decade later. Forty years after the Peace of
Versailles a court-martial had no hesitation in passing a sentence of
a thousand lashes. Although the rope’s-end employed in the punishment
of Armstrong and his fellows was probably a more formidable instrument
than the regimental ‘cat’ it was no more dangerous than the bunch of
knotted cords used in the navy. A social system that permitted women
and children to be hanged for petty larceny had a Spartan code for its
soldiers on active service.

Moreover, any lack of firmness on the part of Joseph Wall might have
brought him face to face with a serious mutiny. Riot was the sole means
of expression of the inarticulate mob, both civil and military. A few
months after the disturbance at Goree, General Conway, Governor of
Jersey, was called upon to quell a fierce rebellion among his troops.
About the same time wild insubordination was rife in the regiments
quartered at Wakefield and Rotherham. The danger of a similar outbreak
in a far-off island, garrisoned for the most part by gaol-birds, and
close to the French possessions, was multiplied a hundredfold. Severe
as were the methods of Wall, had such a man been in command at the
Nore the nation would have been spared the terror and ignominy of
‘Admiral’ Parker. Unfortunately for himself, the discipline of the
Irish giant was exerted to punish a personal affront. Had his soldiers
refused to cheer the birthday of some German princeling, he might have
flogged to death a whole company with impunity. Yet, relatively, the
ways and means of inflammable Wall were tame. On the 4th of August
1782, Captain Kenneth Mackenzie, who ruled over a similar regiment
of convicts at Fort Morea on the coast of Africa, blew to atoms a
mutinous fellow-Scot, a private under his command, from the mouth of a
cannon. For this deed, being brought to trial two years later, he was
condemned to death, but subsequently granted a free pardon. At the time
of his escape from the ‘Brown Bear’ at Reading, there were rumours (so
Wall alleges) that the Governor of Goree had put to death soldiers in
Mackenzie fashion. In which case he bore the stigma of another’s sin.

For twenty years after his flight from England Joseph Wall remained
a fugitive from justice, being an exile for the greater proportion
of the time. Paris was his principal abode, where he was able to
meet many compatriots, who held commissions in the French army. Yet,
although poor and in disgrace, he was never tempted to swerve from his
allegiance to his king. To have joined the colours of France would have
raised him from comparative poverty to affluence, but he kept loyal,
treasuring the hope that some day he would be able to return to his
country a free man. There is evidence of his presence in Paris at the
time of the flight to Varennes in 1792; but previously he paid a visit
to Scotland, and had married the fifth daughter of Baron Fortrose,
Frances Mackenzie, who gave birth to a son in 1791. At one time he
resided in Italy, where he wandered as far as Naples. All these years
his crime lay heavy upon his conscience, and it is said that several
times he meditated surrender. There is a legend that once he went as
far as Calais with this intention, but, his resolution failing at the
last moment, he remained on shore. By a strange chance, the boat in
which he should have reached the packet was swamped in the harbour
before his eyes--a noteworthy fact, like the drowning-escape of
immortal Catherine Hayes, for all who credit the old adage.

About the year 1797--so the _European Magazine_ tells us, although the
date seems premature by three years--he came over to London incognito,
where he lived with his wife in Upper Thornhaugh Street, Bedford
Square, under the name of Thompson. One day, while some workmen were
painting the house, he happened to express a few words of sympathy for
a sickly apprentice lad, who he had been told was in a decline. “Yes,
poor little fellow,” observed the foreman; “his father was flogged to
death by that inhuman scoundrel, Governor Wall.” Sometimes in real life
poetic justice will assert its power.

For a long while the outlaw was undecided whether to run the risk of
surrender. Under the shield of oblivion he might have continued to live
in the metropolis without danger, for his crime was almost forgotten.
Yet there were urgent reasons why he should vindicate his character, as
his wife was entitled to property which she could not receive unless
her husband appeared in person in a court of law. Before such a step
could be taken it was necessary for him to stand his trial. In his
dilemma he consulted Mr Alley, the famous counsel, who, in the face
of his flight from justice, could give him only cold comfort. However,
Joseph Wall was not the man to shirk risk in pursuit of a definite
object. On the 5th of October 1801 he sent a letter to Lord Pelham,
Secretary of State, announcing his presence in England; while on the
2nd of November he appeared before the Privy Council, and was committed
to Newgate.

The Special Commission appointed to judge the case of Governor Wall
met on the 20th of January 1802. At nine o’clock in the morning the
Court assembled in all the majesty of a State trial. Its president was
Sir Archibald Macdonald, Chief Baron of the Exchequer, a political
Scot who, like many of his betters, owed his position to a wife.
Sir Giles Rooke of Common Pleas, and Sir Soulden Lawrence of King’s
Bench, two merciful and kind-hearted judges, sat on either side to
give assistance. Never was there a more formidable array of counsel
for the Crown. Grim and spiteful Attorney-General Edward Law; the
urbane and much-underrated Spencer Perceval, Solicitor-General; Thomas
Plumer, George Wood, and Charles Abbott, all three destined to hold
distinguished positions on the Bench; and lastly, William Fielding,
who, like his more famous father, became a London magistrate. Nor were
the three barristers for the defence less illustrious: Newman Knowlys
was appointed Recorder of London; John Gurney, one of the greatest of
criminal advocates, rose to be a judge; and Alley, defender number
three, was as astute a lawyer as any of the rest.

No shudder of sympathy sweeps through the crowded court as the figure
of the crimson giant passes into the dock. Outside swell the low
growls of a gutter-wallowing mob; within, every heart cries aloud for
vengeance upon the grim tyrant. Joseph Wall faces his accusers, as he
faced all enemies, with fearless eyes and undaunted soul. From the
firm, martial tread and high, unbent brow, none would judge that this
is an old man, who has lived for sixty-five years. At the close of the
indictment the voice of the prisoner rings through the court, to the
surprise of all.

“My lord,” he exclaims, “I cannot hear in this place. I hope your
lordship will permit me to sit near my counsel.”

“It is perfectly impossible,” stammers the scandalised scion of the
Lords of the Isles. “There is a regular place appointed by law. I can
make no invidious distinction.”

Jaundice-souled Law opens the attack in most persuasive cut-throat
manner, compelled to be fair in spite of his opportunity by reason
of instinctive tolerance for all savouring of bloodthirsty tyranny.
Pinning the jury down to the first indictment, he bids them think only
of the fustigation of Armstrong. “Can the prisoner prove a mutiny?” is
Law’s reiterated demand. “You cannot flay soldiers alive, unless they
deserve it!”

Law-logic is a marvellous thing. “Wall left island day after flogging,”
it persists; “_ergo_, no mutiny.” The jury suck in this eloquence
open-mouthed--visions of neatly-plaited halters hover before their
retinas. “Governors never turn their backs directly mutiny is quelled,”
argues Law, and the myriad black-and-white sprites, who, invisible
and in silence, weave their gossamer threads of passion into the webs
of poor human nature, hear and tremble. Yet their handicraft still
sparkles with the hues of Iris, for not even British law-giver can
paint the spirits of the soul in the dull self-colour of his own dreary
brain. “Generals never desert their beaten army,” we can hear Law
thunder at Judges’ dinner ten years later; “Napoleon is still with his
troops on the Beresina!” Wonderful logic, wonderful Law! Pity, for the
sake of cocksuredom, that hearts do not beat as he bade them.

“Prisoner did not report this rope’s-end business to Secretary
Townshend,” cries the logician. “Why not? Because mutiny plea was an
after-thought to cloak his crime.” One wonders of what fashion were
the accounts of his stewardship, if any, that this stalwart pillar
of Church and State made in daily confession to his God. Did he omit
naught? Or did he report all cruel lashes for which he had given
sentence, and did he speak of his savage opposition to a change of the
bloody code? Kind forgetfulness given by Providence to those who need
it most! “Prisoner did not report flogging, because he did not know the
man was dead.” Jury mouths open wider upon this marvellous Law, for
reason whispers in their ears, “Then prisoner did not intend that the
man should die.” But reason is dinned out of their tradesmen pates.
“After-thought--after-thought!” clangs ding-dong Law, and echo comes to
the true and bewildered twelve: “Away with him to the gallows!”

First witness appears--Evan Lewis--Cambrian bred; a race of man for
the most part having no mean, superlative, or unspeakable. Lewis was,
or says he was, orderly sergeant on the day of the Goree flagellation;
now he is Bow Street runner, brave in scarlet waistcoat. “No mutiny!”
declares this Lewis. “Men were as good as gold. They couldn’t have been
bad if they’d tried.” Perceval gently leads the witness along, and much
is communicated. “Flogged to death without trial”--such is the meaning
of Taffy’s testimony. In due course, other soldiers of the precious
garrison follow--one, two, three, four, five--and the parrot cry, “No
mutiny,” smites the ears of the tradesmen in the jury-box. The Scotch
lip of the Lord-of-Isles grows more attenuated, and he sees the man in
the dock crowned with halo of crimson. His busy pencil scribbles notes
for the edification--at the proper time--of the luckless twelve men,
good and true. “Witnesses each say different things,” writes Caledonian
pencil. “But what else can you expect? The thing happened twenty years
ago!” And this Caledonian tongue repeats--at the great and proper time.

A gentleman and officer--for things are not what they seem--is produced
by Law in due course, one Thomas Poplett, a lieutenant under untamable
Wall. This estimable Poplett confesses the Governor had him safely
under lock and key--for disobedience--on the day of flagellation, which
shows that the red Irishman was not a bad judge of some men’s deserts.
From his prison Poplett witnessed the thrashing of Armstrong, and he
produces rope with which it was done, or rather someone told him, who
had it from one of its nigger wielders, that this was the very same.
The Caledonian pencil scribbles industriously. Hearsay evidence? not
a bit of it. Nor proof of malice neither, for the nice Poplett may be
a collector of curios. But the nice Poplett had done some odd things
in his time; had been sacked from Lord George Germaine’s office for
telling tales out of school--a dabbling-in-Funds speculation--such
things as disgrace men still. The name of Poplett, too, had been posted
in the Stock Exchange, with a footnote, ‘Lame-duck’ or some equivalent
compliment. A most estimable witness, indeed, this nice Poplett.
Splendid material for Caledonian pencil.

There was yet another of similar breed--Peter Ferrick, surgeon of
Goree. The rope’s-end business was well in hand when he arrived.
Peter takes much credit for this unpunctuality, and the Lord of Isles
jots it down a black mark against the prisoner--the why is not clear.
“The Armstrong back-slashing did not seem more severe than usual to
Doctor Ferrick, but the man is dead.” Doctor Ferrick was amazed at the
time, but he knows now that the rope’s-end killed him--a marvellous
pair of eyes in the skull of this Ferrick! “Brandy-drinking in the
tropics after such fustigation would not be wholesome, and would be
done contrary to leech-Ferrick’s orders.” Corollary, note by Scotch
pencil--if there was brandy-drinking, the treatment was unskilful, and
prisoner must answer for the leech-folly. Query--“Why didn’t Ferrick
stop the flogging?” Great wrangling among counsel on account of this
same query. “Improper question--the twelve honest tradesmen must not
be prejudiced against the man in the dock.” Still, innuendo remains:
_i.e._ leech-Ferrick did not interfere, because he was afraid of Wall!
The Scotch lip lengthens, and its owner pats the timid leech on the
back approvingly. What a grim, bloodthirsty tyrant, this Governor Wall!
think the honest twelve. Leech-Ferrick steps down, proud and satisfied
that Caledonian pencil has wrote him down an ass. To hang Wall is all
he cares. Better a live donkey than a dead giant. Going home, he comes
to the bad end of many fools--he writes a letter, which is printed by
_The Times_.

Then the tyrant is called upon for his defence. It is simple and
straightforward, for he knows nothing of Law-logic. “The soldiers were
turbulent; Armstrong was disobedient; every cat-o’-nine-tails was
destroyed, so he did the thrashing with a rope; he had no intention
of killing the man, who might not have died but for brandy-soaking in
hospital; he ran away from Reading twenty years ago, because the mob
was howling for his blood, believing that he, like Kenneth Mackenzie,
had blown men from cannons.” _N.B._--The red soldier must have
remembered how successfully the ’57 mob had howled for the death of
kid-gloved Byng.

Witnesses for the crimson tyrant follow--a poor lot. Number one,
mincing Mrs Lacy, wife of late second in command at Goree. This
lady gets angry with magnificent Law, to the great scandalisation
of the Lord of Isles, and tries to put everyone right, for they
are all wrong. Contradictions annoy the Court. When there has been
plain sailing--though close to the wind, no matter--it is annoying
to think out new and perplexing tracks. “Welshman Lewis was not
orderly-sergeant,” persists Mrs Lacy. “The deputation to the Governor
was eighty strong. Her husband’s brain was turned by the sun in 1784,
so he would have been no use as witness to the arrested Governor.”
All this borders on the superfluous, shocking the Chief Baron, upon
whom the honest twelve glue their round and honest eyes. “The soldiers
threatened the Governor--upon my oath, they did,” vociferates Mrs Lacy,
while the Lord-of-Isles, no doubt, thinks sadly of another such shrill
voice that assails his ears at home. Then magnificent Law--a naughty
Attorney-General now--plies witness with searching questions about
solitary visits to imprisoned giant, here in Old Bailey; and though
the military widow makes wrathful repudiation, this thin-ice skating
exhibition sinks deep into the pious souls of the virtuous twelve. A
wicked profligate also, think they, is this cruel red Irishman!

Mary Faulkner, gunner’s wife, comes next, and says similar things, and
more; she even heard the men discuss the killing of Governor Wall. Her
husband, gunner Faulkner, corroborates. Agrees with the two last that
Armstrong was mutinous and threatening. Admits, however, he had little
trial. Great excitement among Crown counsel, and learned Plumer presses
the point. “Very little trial” is the conclusion sought, and Caledonian
pencil records it. No matter that consistent Law has laid it down
that if there was a mutiny he will not press for proof of elaborate
court-martial. A prisoners witness has scored a point for the other
side, and they record it--“Scarcely any trial at all.”

What matters the rest, while the prim Scotsman, in full-bottomed wig,
brandishes his pencil! Peter Williams, soldier, endorses all said by
women Lacy and Faulkner, but clever Plumer shows him up, on the word
of an officer, as “a lying, shuffling fellow.” Private Charles Timbs
swears that ‘cats’ were all destroyed by the men, but no one heeds
him. Deputy-Advocate Oldham instructs the tribunal that drum-head
court-martials are never reported to Government Department. Thus, why
should Wall report his small explosion to Secretary Townshend, why----?
But what does this signify in face of what Law had laid down--“Never
mind trial! Can prisoner prove the mutiny?” No need to press Deputy
Oldham, for there is no chance of scoring another point at the expense
of prisoner’s witness.

Then arrives the great and proper time. The pencil has done its
work, and Caledonian tongue now speaks, and Caledonian lip, having
arrived at full tension, trembles. Important comments are delivered--a
general ripping-up of the Wall witnesses. Chief Baron reads the
report to Secretary Townshend, and adds footnote: “No mention of
mutiny”--suspicious. Again: “Two officers returned from Goree at same
time as the Governor. This,” he echoes Law-logic, “does not indicate
existence of mutiny.” Further: “Prisoner made his escape when all
witnesses who could prove his innocence were alive”--still more
suspicious. Twelve good and honest brows grow still darker and more
vengeful. The rope-ending is contrasted with the birching of children;
marvellous parallel--as though the maternal heart bore resemblance
to the provisions of Mutiny Acts! Back-slapping of leech-Ferrick
is long and loud. “Be careful not to hurt a toss-pot,” declares
the Lord-of-Isles, “for if he drinks himself to death, you are his
murderer!” Wonderful Caledonian pencil that is able to out-logic
wonderful Law.

It is ten o’clock at night. For thirteen hours the unfortunate twelve
have been box-fast. Within twelve honest waistcoats lies a dull and
aching vacuum. The Laws, Plumers, and Lords-of-Isles have similar
sensations, in spite of the adjournment-gorge in an upper chamber.
Yet, when they retire, the good tradesmen debate this military cause
sedulously for the space of sixty minutes. They have sons and brothers
in the army, and doubtless much suppressed eloquence to explode. At
last, an hour before midnight, they return into Court, faces stern and
dark. The deaf giant receives the verdict with a start of surprise, but
without tremor of limb. To him the proceedings have been a long, dreary
mumble, and he longs for repose. In good set terms, for the benefit of
reporters and the junior bar, the Recorder passes sentence, and, as the
curtain falls, the gaol-bird mob outside growls forth its plaudits.

Till Friday morning, only thirty-two hours, has been allowed the
prisoner to prepare for death. Before trial, Keeper Kirby had given him
a spacious and comfortable room, but a cell in the Press Yard wing must
now be his portion. With a cry of impotent rage the weary giant flings
himself upon his bed, and declares he will not rise till the fatal
hour. During the black winter night the felons in other cells hear
his voice, for the poor crushed giant is singing hymns to his Maker.
Next day there is much wear and tear of good cloth in the seats of the
mighty. Government officials sit long over case, and a respite till the
Monday following is the result of their labours. The love of the noble
and devoted wife, given long ago to him whom she knew as one of the
world’s pariahs, shines brighter and more beautiful amidst the dreadful
darkness, and she toils without ceasing for a reprieve. All the
influence of Clan Mackenzie--such as it be--is summoned to the aid of
the condemned soldier, for the second daughter of the house had married
Henry Howard, and their kinsman, his scapegrace of Norfolk, is induced
to take up the cudgels on behalf of the chained giant. Unfortunately,
the senior peer is not a favourite at headquarters. Still, Secretary
Pelham gives heed so far as to send down another respite to Newgate on
Sunday eve. Wall’s hanging-day is now settled for Thursday, the 28th
of January, and the Monday morning mob of gallows-birds howls fiercely
when discovery is made that it has been baulked of its prey for a few
dozen of hours; which same howls, penetrating in ministerial mind’s-ear
to the purlieus of Whitehall, set ministerial hearts palpitating with
apprehension. For the Pilot who weathered the Storm no longer has a
home in Downing Street, and the hearts of ministerial successors lack
tissue.

Not all the wealth of woman’s tears can move authority to greater
mercy on behalf of the red giant. The smug and closet-petted doctor,
who cares naught for military matters, is bent on his French peace in
spite of all that patron Pitt may say, and it seems a small matter to
hang a mob-detested officer. “Soldiers a drug in the market--we are
going to be friends with the good Buonaparte,” think Farmer George
and his Council when they confabulate on Wednesday afternoon. The
Caledonian pencil-notes are consulted, and cobwebs gather fast around
the bewildered royal brain. Kingly thoughts dwell lovingly upon the
royal prerogative of the gallows--a truly English pastime, worthy of
a British prince whose blood has run itself clear of all Hanoverian
coagulations. Chancellor Eldon, being interrogated, finds his load of
learned lumber ill-digested for the moment, and doubts, and doubts, and
doubts. Then some brave and discreet statesman--oblivion shrouds his
illustrious name--mentions the mutineers of the ‘Fighting Téméraire’
a dozen or so of whom a few days before had ornamented the yard-arms
at Spithead, and King and Council ponder deeply. Newgate howls have
been ominous, Newgate cries have been eloquent, and the time-honoured
platitude, “One law for rich, another law for poor,” has often ended in
window--sometimes royal window--smashing. Mercy seems a great risk,
far greater because of the ‘Téméraire’ yard-arm business than the
unpopular pardon of Kenneth Mackenzie. On the other side there is the
alluring picture of the great triumph of British equity--the balance
of justice--‘Téméraire’ rebels hanging on one side of the scale, and
mob-hated Joseph Wall on the other. “Foreign nations please observe and
copy!” A notable triumph for an English-born German prince. Like the
peace that was to be, it seemed an experiment worth the while. Farmer
George and Doctor Henry prove to have most forcible willpower in the
Council, and when his Gracious Majesty posts off to Windsor at five
o’clock, to drink tea with his Princesses, the Governor of Goree has
been left for execution.

In the condemned cell that same evening the devoted wife and husband
hope still for the reprieve that never comes. Keeper Kirby has promised
the grief-stricken woman that she shall remain in the gaol till the
last possible moment, and while the clock slowly beats its march to the
hour of eleven the heart-rending tragedy unfolds its agonies.

“God bless you, my dear,” cries the giant in their last embrace. “Take
care of the children. Let them think as well of me as you can.”

Then, while the Governor of the prison escorts the poor lady along the
cold, dark corridors, she sobs forth her one piteous question for the
hundredth time:

“Is there no hope?”

“Madam, I trust your wishes may be fulfilled,” replies Kirby. “But it
is now a late hour, and I have received no orders.”

Sister Howard, who also has borne this terrible vigil, supports the
fainting woman from the portals of the charnel-house, and their
carriage rumbles away over the stones of Old Bailey. Even these loving
friends have failed him, and the red giant must bear his last dismal
journey alone. Two turnkeys watch over him, lest he may do himself
injury, for he wears no fetters.

“It is a long night,” he exclaims about two o’clock, as he tosses
wearily upon his couch.

Still, his voice is strong and resonant with its military ring, though
his mighty form has sunk beneath a weight of torture into a mere
gaunt framework of bones. Bread-and-water has been his diet since the
sentence, and Sheriff Cox, although assiduous in his visits to the
unhappy man, will not relax his stern rules. In a little while, as if
he looked for sleep, he asks whether the scaffold will make a noise
when it is dragged out into the street. With compassionate lie, they
answer that it will not, but his thoughts dwell morbidly upon his
destiny.

“I most earnestly request,” he tells his attendants, “that I may not be
pulled by the heels when I am suffering.”

They attempt to appease him by the promise that it shall be done as
he wishes, but he has seen hangings in plenty, and he knows what may
happen.

“I hope that the fatal cord may be placed properly,” he persists, “and
that I may be allowed to depart as fairly and easily as my sentence
will allow.”

At last he falls asleep, and when the huge wooden machine lumbers
between the prison doors with a sound that reverberates through the
whole building, he is unconscious of what has happened. Also, it is not
recorded that he heard the dread chaunt of the bellman outside in the
Old Bailey:

    “You that in the condemned hole do lie,
    Prepare you, for to-morrow you shall die;
    Watch all, and pray, the hour is drawing near,
    That you before the Almighty must appear.”

About half-past five he awakes with a start as a mail-coach rumbles
along Newgate Street.

“Is that the scaffold?” he demands, and they tell him no.

Once more he makes anxious inquiries about the methods of the hangman,
and they satisfy him as well as they can. Shortly before seven he is
led to the day-room of the Press Yard, where he is joined by Ordinary
Forde, who, robed in full canonicals, with a great nosegay beneath
his chin, seems prepared for a wedding day. A fire is smouldering on
the hearth, and a nauseating smell of green twigs fills the chill
stone chamber. Gaunt and terrible is the aspect of the red, untamable
giant, who is meek and penitent, but with soul still unbowed. A yellow
parchment-like texture is drawn tightly over his sunken features, and
through their hollow sockets the piercing eyes shine as though in
ghastly reflection to the glance of death--not the triumphant glitter
thrown back by Death Magnificent, but the stony, frightful stare
imparted by the Medusa of Shame. A suit of threads and patches hangs
loosely upon his emaciated limbs--an old brown coat, swansdown vest,
and blue pantaloons--a sorry garb for one who has worn a colonel’s
uniform in his Majesty’s army. For a moment his piercing gaze falls
upon Ordinary Forde.

“Is the morning fine?” is the strange, eager question. “Time hangs
heavily,” the hollow far-away voice continues. “I am anxious for the
close of this scene.”

As if in response to the wish, Jack Ketch’s lackey, a dwarf with face
of a demon, draws near with his cords and binds the giant’s wrists.

“You have tied me very tight,” is the weary complaint.

“Loosen the knot,” commands absolute Forde, and the sulky wretch obeys
with low mutterings.

“Thank you, sir,” murmurs the giant. “It is of little moment.” The
green twigs upon the hearth crackle in a shower of sparks up the wide
chimney, and a shovelful of coals is thrown upon the burning mass.
Death’s piercing glitter flashes from the eyes of the dying man while
his brain paints pictures in the flames. Then his lips move slowly:

“Ay, in an hour that will be a blazing fire.”

Ay, and you are thinking that in an hour, you poor, red, untamable
giant will have finished your long torture, and be lying cold and
still--while that fire blazes merrily. In an hour one loving,
great-hearted woman will have entered upon the agony-penance that she
must endure to the grave. In an hour your little ones will be children
of a father upon whom his country has seared the brand of infamy--and
these green twigs will have become a blazing fire! Sad--yea, saddest of
words that could fall from human lips!

Then the demon of suspense torments the poor giant once again, and he
turns to the Ordinary appealingly:

“Do tell me, sir--I am informed that I shall go down with great force;
is that so?”

Ordinary’s thoughts cease for a moment to dwell lovingly upon his
breakfast-gorge with the Sheriff--the epilogue to every hanging--and
professional pride swells his portly soul. With reverent unction he
explains the machinery of the gallows, speaking of ‘nooses and knots’
with all the mastery of expert, for Jim Botting and his second fiddle
‘Old Cheese’ are no better handicraftsmen than Ordinary hangman Forde.
Presently he in his turn grows curious.

“Colonel Wall,” he inquires, “what kind of men were those under you at
Goree?”

The haunting glance of death-shame fades from the piercing eyes, and
through the portholes of his soul there flashes the living spirit of
defiance.

“Sir,” he cries, “they sent me the very riff-raff!”

Suddenly the reverend Ordinary bethinks himself of his holy office,
and plunges headlong into prayer; a contrast that must compel the
tear of recording angel--smoke-reeking, unctuous, ale-fed Forde and
contrite, half-starved, but invincible giant. Sheriff Cox and his
myrmidons enter as the clock is striking eight. A look of eagerness
passes over the cadaverous lineaments, a gaunt figure steps forward,
and a firm, hollow voice murmurs:

“I attend you, sir.”

Although his head is bowed, his tread is that of the soldier on
parade as they pass out into the keen winter air. A crowd of felons,
destined soon for the gallows, is huddled in groups, here and there,
within their courtyard den, and as the procession passes through the
quadrangle they hurl forth curses of hell against the man who is
marching to his death. The giant head falls lower, and the martial
tread beats faster. “The clock has struck,” he cries, as he quickens
his step. There is a halt in another chamber beyond the Press Yard. An
ingenious law-torment is demanded--the Sheriff’s receipt for a living
corpse. A legal wrangle follows; the red giant’s body is not described
in good set terms, and there is much quill-scratching, while the giant
gazes calmly. Then the march is resumed down the loathsome passages,
and the soul of Greatheart warms as eternity draws nearer.

In another moment, the most wondrous prospect of his life opens before
his eyes. High upon the stage, with back turned to the towering wall,
as befits a soldier, his vision ranges over a tossing sea of savage
faces, a human torrent that fills the wide estuary, surging full and
fierce to the limits of its boundaries. Then a mighty tumult rises
from the depths of the living whirlpool, the exultant roar of a
myriad demons thirsting for blood. At last the giant limbs tremble,
as the shouts swell fiercer and louder still--three distinct terrific
huzzas--unmistakable to trained ears; they come from the angry throats
of a thousand British soldiers, the fierce war-cry learnt from the
cruel Cossack long ago. The red tyrant is delivered to the mob at last.
Some say it is the shout of punters delighted to have won their bets,
and loudly press the strange apology; but reason, giving preference to
comparative methods, calls to mind the savage exultation that hailed
the atonement of skipper Lowry and Mother Brownrigg, of Burke and
Palmer, and muses thoughtfully upon this balance of justice.

The gnarled, bony fingers of the red giant grasp the hand of Sheriff
Cox, while the foul-odoured beast fumbles with the halter around his
neck, withdrawing the noose and slipping it once more over his head.
The victim turns to the plump Ordinary with a last request:

“I do not wish to be pulled by the heels.”

The priest deftly draws the cap over the gleaming, shrivelled face,
and mumbles from his book. No clanging bell disturbs the peace of the
sufferer, for he is a murderer, and this blessed torture is not for
those of his class. The bareheaded crowd gazes with rapture upon the
wooden scaffold, shorn of its appalling garb of black--another mercy
vouchsafed to him who dies guilty of a brother’s blood. Suddenly there
is a second mighty shout of triumph. The rope hangs plump between the
two posts, and the tall, gaunt form is swaying in empty air. In another
moment there are cries of horror, but of horror mingled with applause.
The noose has formed an even collar around the giant’s neck, while the
knot has slipped to the back of his head, which is still upright and
unbent. Horrible convulsions seize the huge, struggling frame. It is a
terrific scene--most glorious spectacle of suffering that a delighted
crowd has ever gazed upon--Jack Ketch has bungled! Minutes pass, and
still the hanging man battles fiercely for breath. Minutes pass, and
not a hand is stretched forth to give him relief. Sheriff’s eyes meet
eyes of Ordinary in mutual horror. Sheriff’s watch is dragged from its
fob, and when the little steel hands have stretched to a right angle,
at last a hasty signal is made to the expectant hangman. Two butchers
beneath the scaffold seize upon the sufferer’s legs, and soon his agony
of more than a fourth of an hour is brought to a close. A fierce shock,
indeed, to reason and the balance of justice argument--a fiercer shock
still to those that cling lovingly to the tenets of Hebrew mythology.

With a sigh of relief Sheriff and Ordinary hurry away to coffee and
grilled kidneys in Mr Kirby’s breakfast-room, leaving the crowd to
watch the victim hanging--which crowd does with gusto, scrambling
fiercely a little later for a bit of the rope, which Rosy Emma,
worthy helpmate of Jack Ketch, retails at twelvepence an inch, and,
furthermore, gloating with delight upon the cart that presently takes
the wasted form of the dead giant to the saws and cleavers of Surgeons’
Hall dissecting-room, Saffron Hill. Tight hands at a bargain, these
bloodletting, clyster-loving old leeches! They demand fifty, some say a
hundred, guineas from the giant’s friends, and they pocket the ransom
before they surrender their corpse. Devoted old leeches: _sic vos non
vobis_--we are the learned legatees of your dabblings in anatomy. A
few days later--it is a Thursday morning, numbered the 4th of February
in the calendar--a few merciful friends bear the giant’s coffin to a
resting-place in St Pancras Churchyard. Epitaph does not appear, for
cant refuses to superscribe the true one--“England did not expect him
to do his duty!”

As we look back upon the glowing perspective of our history, there are
few scenes that stand out in fiercer grandeur than the flogging of
Goree. Foul-smelling, Lilliputian picture, it shines, nevertheless,
with the same unconquerable spirit of genius that clapped a telescope
to the blind eye at Copenhagen. One untamable hero, armed merely with
a crimson rope, faces a hundred cut-throats, and, within view of the
ramparts of the enemy, cows them into licking his shoes, declaring
that an insult to himself is an insult to his King. Truly a David and
Goliath picture.

“Wrong,” cry Farmer George and Doctor Henry, glancing timidly, as with
mystical prescience, down the vista of ages to Board School days, and
quaking at swish of cat and clank of triangles, guilty of as deep
anachronism as he who hurled a shell at the tomb of the Mahdi, to
the great disturbance of bread-and-milk nerves. For birch twigs and
cat--essential forerunners of Standards Six--had much Peninsular and
Waterloo work in front of them, and it was just as easy to chain red
giants as to hang them.

“Wrong,” cry Farmer Merciful and Doctor Justice, busy with knife and
steel, getting ready a keen edge for the grey, gallant head of poor
crazy Despard, and eager to paste the town with balance of justice
placards--“‘Téméraire’ insubordinates, and red giant of Goree--both
hanged. Let foreign nations please copy.” And, doubtless, a burst of
inordinate Gallic laughter hailed this _jeu d’esprit_, for Gallic
neighbours had other things for the encouragement of red giants--a
field-marshal’s baton and the like.

There is no place for the musings of modern milksop. The deeds of the
parents of his grandfather are for him merely a tale that is told, and
as he closes the family record his bread-and-milk soul must only give
thanks that his lot is cast in more pleasant places. Modern eye can
but discern the red giants of a bygone world through a glass darkly.
Cruel, crimson, unscrupulous--they were all that: children of murkiness
even as we are children of light, and thus let comparison end. One
hundred years--as great a barrier as a million miles of ether--has
divided our ages, _et nos mutamur_. A thousand pencils--Saxon and
Caledonian--have banished with Dunciad scorn the birchen wand that used
to betwig merrily the tender fifteen-year-old flesh of ribald lad and
saucy maiden. Triangle and cat, rope’s-end and grating, ceased years
ago to terrify the hearts of rolling Jack and swaggering Tommy. Good
Mr Fairchild no longer takes little Harry and little Emily to view the
carrion of the gibbet, _exempli gratiâ_, for the modern Mr Fairchild
does not remember that such instruments ever had their proper places
in the land. Red giants, too--only to be let loose when occasion
required--had their proper places in the good old times of birch-rod
and gibbet, of Farmer George and Doctor Henry, who found much use for
them in the taming of the Corsican ogre. Modern milksop, however,
will scarcely concede that such times were good, or, at least, most
wrong when inconsistent! Be that as it may, the cat and rope’s-end of
the crimson giant were a portion of Britain’s bulwarks, in spite of
inconsistent headshakings of Farmer George and Doctor Henry, of Brother
Bragge and Brother Hiley--all of which, fortunately, is as repulsive to
the soul of modern milksop as the dice and women of Charles Fox, or the
two-bottle thirst of the Pilot who weathered the Storm. Lucky, perhaps,
for bread-and-milk gentleman that he had fathers before him.

No other case bears the same resemblance to that of Joseph Wall as the
incident of Kenneth Mackenzie and his cannon-ball execution. Some,
indeed, have a certain affinity, and exhibit the national conscience
overwhelmed by periodical fits of morality--a hysterical turning-over
of new leaves. A few days before the red giant of Goree passed through
the debtor’s door, Sir Edward Hamilton of the ‘Trent’ frigate was
dismissed from the navy for an act of cruel tyranny, only to be
reinstated in a few months. Thomas Picton, England’s “bravest of the
brave,” was shaken by the same wave of humanity. Yet, after all, the
guilt of the Admiral or the innocence of the hero of Waterloo were
of little moment to a nation that continued to mutilate its enemies
in the fashion of a dervish of the desert, under the sacred name of
high treason. For, years later, the bloody heads of Brandreth and
Thistlewood stained an English scaffold. Luckily for their oppressors,
the victims of Hamilton and Picton--officers who did not stand in
the desperate position of the Governor of Goree--survived their
punishments, not having a leech-Ferrick to reckon with, else Farmer
George and Doctor Henry, in the face of those dangling ‘Téméraire’
seamen, would have been in an awkward dilemma.

The case of George Robert Fitzgerald, often held forth as a parallel
by contemporary pressmen, has little similarity to that of Wall. Both
belonged to the 69th Foot, they were antagonists in a Galway duel in
’69, and both ended their days on the scaffold; but here comparison
ends. The retribution that overtook ‘Fighting Fitzgerald’ at Castlebar
was the fitting penalty of a vendetta murder, brutal and premeditated,
and wrought without a semblance of authority.

Fifty years before the death of Joseph Wall, the London mob was able
to indulge its fury in like fashion against another black-beast of its
own choosing, one James Lowry, skipper of the merchant ship ‘Molly’
compared to whom the Governor of Goree appears to have been a mild
and merciful commander. At different times, three sailors expired
beneath the terrible floggings of Captain Lowry, who was wont to
salute his dying victim with the cry, “He is only shamming Abraham.”
And as the cruel seaman was carried in the cart to Execution Dock, the
furious mob howled forth this ghastly catchword, just as they saluted
Wall with the echo of the phrase which they supposed he had uttered
while Benjamim Armstrong was being flogged to death, “Cut him to the
heart--cut him to the liver.”

Nor was the cruel tyrant only to be found in the merchantman, or
was Edward Hamilton a solitary exception. Captain Oakham of the
British navy is more than a creature of fiction, as is shown by the
trials of Edward Harvey in August 1742, and of William Henry Turton
in August 1780, which cast a lurid light upon the conditions of
life in our ships of war. Midshipman Turton was a butcherly young
gentleman, who turned his sword against a disobedient sailor in a sort
of Captain-Sutherland-and-negro-cabin-boy fashion, but, owing to a
Maidstone grand-jury petition and the absence of ‘Téméraire’ mutineers,
there was no hempen collar for him.

The story of Joseph Wall has no exact parallel in our history, for
the Mackenzie incident differs in two essential particulars--the dour
Kenneth meant murder from the first, and did not pay the penalty of
his crime. Lowry, Turton, and Sutherland were guilty, like ‘Fighting
Fitzgerald,’ of common homicide, and the _malice prepense_, as
law-givers understand the phrase, was clear and unmistakable. Even the
lax morality of Doctor Henry’s days was compelled to take cognisance
of giant Wall’s offence, just as it punished very properly--or tried
to do--the sins of Picton and Hamilton; and a verdict of manslaughter,
though delivered by a tradesman jury, would not have been an illogical
conclusion. However, it remains a judicial murder--one of the most
disgraceful that stains the pages of our history during the reign of
George III.



BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE WALL CASE


I. CONTEMPORARY TRACTS

1. _An Authentic Narrative of Joseph Wall Esqr._ By a Military
Gentleman. J. Roach, Britannia Printing Office. Russell Court, Drury
Lane (1802). Brit. Mus.

    Except in the tract published by A. Young--a transparent
    plagiarism--there is no corroboration of the statement that
    Wall flogged to death a man named Paterson on the voyage out to
    Goree. As no reference is made in any contemporary newspapers,
    it seems probable that the ‘Military Gentleman’ has confused
    his materials. George Paterson, a soldier, received eight
    hundred lashes the day after the punishment of Armstrong, and
    died soon afterwards, which may have caused the mistake. If
    Wall had done another such deed in 1780, it is probable that it
    would have obtained greater publicity.

2. _The Life, Trial and Execution of Joseph Wall Esqre._ By a
Gentleman. A. Young, Vera Street, Clare Market (1802). Brit. Mus.

3. _The Trial at Large of Joseph Wall Esqre._ Also an Account of his
escape in 1784. John Fairburn, 146 Minories.

4. _The Trial of Lieut. Col. Joseph Wall._ Taken in shorthand by Messrs
Blanchard and Ramsey. London (1802). Brit. Mus.

5. _Life, Trial and Execution of Joseph Wall Esqre._ (with a full
length portrait). E. Lawrence, C. Chapple, and H. D. Symonds.

  This tract is advertised in the _Morning Chronicle_, February 9, 1802.

6. _The Trial of Governor Wall._ With particulars of his escape at
Reading in 1784 and his subsequent surrender in 1802. Fred Farrah,
282 Strand, (The Only Edition Extant). Brit. Mus. Copied from earlier
accounts.


II. CONTEMPORARY NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES


  1. _The Public Advertiser_, March 1784.

  2. _The Gazetteer and New Advertiser_, August 14, 1783, and March
        1784.

  3. _The General Evening Post_, March 1784.

  4. _The Bath Chronicle_,         do.

  5. _The Bristol Journal_,        do.

  6. _The London Gazette_, March 9, 1784.

  7. _The Times_, March 1784, January 1802.

  8. _Morning Post_, July 21 and August 12 and 13, 1783, March 1784,
        January 1802.

  9. _Morning Chronicle_, March 1784, January 1802.

  10. _Morning Herald_,       do.          do.

  11. _St James’ Chronicle_,  do.          do.

  12. _Lloyd’s Evening Post_,              do.

  13. _The True Briton and Porcupine_,     do.

  14. _The Star_,                          do.

    In the _Morning Post_ of August 13, 1783, there appears the
    report of the court-martial held at the Horse Guards on July
    7 and following days, which practically acquitted Wall of the
    charges brought against him by Captain Roberts. The _Gazette_
    of March 9, 1784, contains the King’s Proclamation, dated March
    8, describing the personal appearance of the escaped prisoner,
    and offering a reward of £200 for his apprehension. To those
    who consult contemporary journals for a first time there will
    come a surprise, for they will learn that Governor Wall on July
    10 and 11, 1782, flogged to death not _one_ man but _three_.
    No account later than the Espriella Papers, and not one of
    the many _Newgate Calendars_, gives this information. Surgeon
    Ferrick’s letter appeared in _The Times_, February 5, 1802.

15. _The Gentleman’s Magazine_ (1784), part i. p. 227; (1802), part i.
p. 81.

    The January number, 1802, endorses the statement that Augustine
    Wall, the brother of the Governor of Goree, was “the first
    person, who presumed to publish Parliamentary Reports with
    the real names of the speakers prefixed.” This evidence
    is important, as Sylvanus Urban might have grudged such
    an admission. His own claims, however, are set forth very
    modestly. “Dr Johnston (in our magazine) dressed them (_i.e._
    the speakers in Parliament) in Roman characters. Others gave
    them as orators in the senate of Lilliput. Mr Wall laid the
    foundation of a practice which, we trust for the sake of
    Parliament, and the nation, will never be abandoned.”

16. _The European Magazine_ (1802), pp. 74, 154-157.

17. _The Annual Register._ Appendix to Chronicle, pp. 560-568.


NOTES

NOTE I.--_Dict. Nat. Biog._

    Although reference is made to the dubious case of the flogging
    of the man Paterson during Wall’s outward voyage to Goree,
    there is no mention of the fact that four other soldiers were
    flogged by the Governor’s order on the same day and the day
    following the punishment of Benj. Armstrong, and that two of
    these also died of their wounds. There seems to be no authority
    for the statement that Wall “appears to have been in liquor”
    when he passed sentence on the men, and as such a presumption,
    which was never put forward by the prosecution, sweeps away
    all defence, and proves that the act was murder, it should not
    be accepted without the most trustworthy evidence. Mrs Wall’s
    father, Kenneth Mackenzie, Lord Fortrose, never became Lord
    Seaforth; her brother did. Since Wall did not remain at Goree
    for more than two years, and left the island on July 11, 1782,
    it is evident that he did not become Governor in 1779. His
    letter to Lord Pelham, offering to stand his trial, was written
    on October 5, 1801, not on October 28. _State Trials_, vol.
    xxviii. p. 99.

NOTE II.--_State Trials of the Nineteenth Century._ By G. Latham Brown
(Sampson Low, 1882). Vol. i. pp. 28-42.

    On page 31 the author states that he has searched the records
    of the Privy Council in vain for a report of the charges
    brought against Wall by Captain Roberts in 1783. As stated
    previously, he would have found what he required in the columns
    of the _Morning Post_ of August 13, or the _Gazetteer_, August
    14, 1783. It is strange that he is unaware that Wall flogged to
    death two other soldiers besides Benj. Armstrong.

NOTE III.--_Edinburgh Review_, January 1883, _vide_ criticism of G. L.
Brown’s book, p. 81.

    To the writer of this review belongs the credit of being the
    first to hint a doubt as to the justice of Wall’s conviction.

NOTE IV.--_A Tale without a Name_--a tribute to Joseph Wall’s noble
wife--will be found in the works of James Montgomery, Longman (1841),
vol. iii. p. 278. _Vide_ also _Life of Montgomery_, by Holland and
Everett. Longman (1855), vol. iii. p. 253.

NOTE V.--Other contemporary authorities are _Letters from England by
Don Alvarez Espriella_, Robert Southey, vol. i. pp. 97, 108, and the
familiar _Book for a Rainy Day_, by J. T. Smith, pp. 165-173.



THE KESWICK IMPOSTOR

THE CASE OF JOHN HADFIELD, 1802-3


                      “... a story drawn
    From our own ground,--the Maid of Buttermere,--
    And how, unfaithful to a virtuous wife
    Deserted and deceived, the Spoiler came,
    And woo’d the artless daughter of the hills,
    And wedded her, in cruel mockery
    Of love and marriage bonds....
    Beside the mountain chapel, sleeps in earth
    Her new-born infant....
              ... Happy are they both,
    Mother and child!...”

                --_The Prelude_, Book vii. WORDSWORTH.


During the late autumn of 1792, a retired military man of amiable
disposition and poetic temperament, who had made a recent tour through
Cumberland and Westmoreland, published his impressions in a small
volume which bore the title _A Fortnight’s Ramble to the Lakes_.
The book displays the literary stamp of its period just as clearly
as a coin indicates the reign in which it is moulded. Fashion had
banished the rigour of the pedant in favour of idyllic simplicity. The
well-groomed poet, who for so long had recited his marble-work epistle
to Belinda of satin brocade, now spoke to deaf ears; while the unkempt
bard, who sang a ballad of some muslin-clad rustic maid, caught the
newly-awakened sympathies of the artistic world.

[Illustration: _Etched by J. Chapman_

JOHN HATFIELD.

_Published J. Cundee Ivy Lane_]

The author of _A Fortnight’s Ramble_, having the instinct of a good
literary salesman, was not backward in sentiment, and among his
thumb-nail sketches of rural life he was careful not to omit the
portrait of a village damsel. There is certainly much charm in the
impression of his humble heroine, whom he discovered in a tiny hamlet
on the shores of Lake Buttermere, where, according to the laws of
romance, she was the maid of the inn. No doubt the child of fourteen
was as beautiful as he describes her--with her long brown curls, big
blue eyes, rosy lips, and clear complexion, and with a grace of figure
matured beyond her years. The pity is that the picture was ever drawn.

Before the close of the year the charms of ‘Sally of Buttermere’ had
been quoted in a London magazine, and henceforth the tourist was as
eager to catch a glimpse of the famous young beauty as to visit Scale
Force or Lodore. Very soon the inn where she lived--“a poor little
pot-house, with the sign of the Char”--became a place of popular
resort. Verses in her praise began to cover the white-washed walls; and
while she was in the full bloom of youth, wandering artists, who have
handed down to us her likeness, took the opportunity of persuading her
to sit for them. That Mary Robinson was a modest and attractive girl
is shown by the testimony of Wordsworth and Coleridge, and there is
evidence that she remained unspoilt in spite of her celebrity.

Six years after the publication of _A Fortnight’s Ramble_, its author,
Joseph Budworth, paid a second visit to the home of his ‘Sally of
Buttermere’ Mary, who was nineteen, and still charming, seemed destined
(after the fashion of village maidens) to become a buxom beauty, and it
is said, indeed, that she had been most lovely at the age of sixteen.
Budworth, however, saw that she was quite pretty enough to attract
hosts of admirers, and conscience told him that he had not done well
in making her famous. There was Christmas merrymaking at the little
inn, and she reigned as queen of the rustic ball. Next morning he
confessed to her that he had written the book which had brought her
into public notice.

“Strangers will come and have come,” said he, “purposely to see you,
and some of them with very bad intentions. We hope you will never
suffer from them, but never cease to be on your guard.”

Mary listened quietly to this tardy advice, and thanked him politely.

“You really are not so handsome as you promised to be,” Budworth
continued. “I have long wished by conversation like this to do away
what mischief the flattering character I gave of you may expose you to.
Be merry and wise.”

Then, taking advantage of his seniority of twenty-three years, the
good-natured traveller “gave her a hearty salute,” and bade her
farewell. Unfortunately, he repeated his previous indiscretion by
publishing another long account of the Buttermere Beauty in the
_Gentleman’s Magazine_, and, like Wordsworth, who in similar manner
paraded the charms of ‘little Barbara Lewthwaite’ he lived to regret
what he had written.

Two years later, a handsome middle-aged gentleman of fine presence
and gallant manners paid a visit to the Lake District, bearing the
name of Alexander Augustus Hope (brother to the third Earl Hopetoun),
who, after a successful military career, had represented the burgh of
Dumfries, and now sat in Parliament as member for Linlithgowshire. An
active, strong-limbed fellow, with courtly demeanour and an insinuating
Irish brogue, the contrast between his thick black brows and his fair
hair, between the patch of grey over his right temple and the fresh
colour of his face, added to an appearance of singular attractiveness.
These were the days of the dandies, when young Mr George Brummell was
teaching the Prince of Wales how a gentleman should be attired; and
Colonel Hope was distinguished by the neatness and simplicity of a
well-dressed man of fashion.

The new-comer reached Keswick about the third week in July, travelling
in his own carriage without ostentation, having hired horses and
no servant. Soon after his arrival he went over to Buttermere, and
remained there for two or three days. Towards the end of the month he
visited Grassmere, where he became acquainted with a genial merchant
from Liverpool, whose name was John Crump. Being a most entertaining
companion--for he was a great traveller, had fought in the American
War, and, as might be expected of one so gallant and handsome, had been
engaged in numerous duels--Colonel Hope had the knack of fascinating
all whom he met. With Mr Crump, who for some reason was not in favour
with the young poet at Greta Hall, he struck up a great friendship
during his three weeks’ stay at Grassmere, and a little later the
merchant showed his appreciation by christening one of his children
‘Augustus Hope’ as a compliment to his new acquaintance.

About the end of the third week in August the member of Parliament,
whose passion, we are told, was a rod and fly, left Grassmere, and, for
the sake of the char-fishing, took up his quarters at the little inn at
Buttermere. So pleased was he with the district, that he contemplated
the purchase of an estate, and Mr Skelton, a neighbouring landowner,
went with him to inspect a property near Loweswater. During his sojourn
at the Char Inn he paid frequent visits to Keswick to meet his friend
John Crump. Although wishing, for the sake of quiet and seclusion,
to travel incognito, Colonel Hope seems to have been a gregarious
person, and could not help extending the number of his acquaintances.
At the ‘Queen’s Head’ Keswick, where his Liverpool friend was in the
habit of stopping, he came across a kindred spirit in Colonel Nathaniel
Montgomery Moore, who had represented the town of Strabane in the
recently extinct Irish Parliament.

Since the two had much in common, a close intimacy ensued; but there
was another reason for Colonel Hope’s friendly advances. A pretty young
lady of fortune, to whom Mr Moore was guardian, was one of his party,
and the new acquaintance began to pay her the most evident attention.
Colonel Hope, in fact, always had been remarkable for his insinuating
behaviour in the society of women, and since his arrival in the Lake
District he had been concerned in an affair of gallantry with at least
two local maidens far beneath him in station. However, this was a
pardonable weakness, for the Prince himself, and his brothers of York
and Clarence, did not disdain to stoop to conquer. But on the present
occasion the gay Colonel apparently had fallen in love, and when,
before very long, he asked the lady to be his wife, he was accepted.

It is not strange that a man of his power of fascination and
handsome appearance should have met with success even on so short an
acquaintance. The match seemed a most suitable one in every respect,
and Mr Moore would have been well satisfied that his ward should be
engaged to a man of Alexander Hope’s rank and position. Yet the lover
did not hasten to take the guardian into his confidence. Remaining at
the little inn on the shores of Buttermere, only occasionally he made
the fourteen miles’ drive to visit his _fiancée_ at Keswick. Colonel
Moore, who could not remain blind to the flirtation, became anxious
lest his ward should place herself in a false position. It was evident
that the two behaved to each other as lovers, and the Irishman was
impatient for the announcement of the betrothal. Still, the love affair
ran a smooth course until the close of the third week in September;
but as the time went on, and the engagement remained a secret, the
suspicions of the lady’s guardian began to be aroused. Since it was
apparent that his friend had committed himself, his duty was plain.
There were only three explanations of his reticence. Colonel Hope
was not the man he pretended to be, or he had quarrelled with his
relatives, or else his passion was beginning to cool.

The first proposition already had been whispered among a few. Although
his _bonhomie_ and air of distinction had made him a great favourite
with his inferiors, yet the fact that the reputed Colonel Hope was
travelling without servants, and had selected a woman of fortune as
his conquest, prejudiced critical minds. Coleridge, who was engaged in
basting the succulent humour of the gentle Elia before a roasting fire,
seems to have cast the eye of a sceptic upon the popular tourist from
the day of his arrival. However, no open rupture took place between the
Irishman and Alexander Hope, but towards the close of September they
met less frequently.

On Friday, the 1st of October, Colonel Hope sent over a letter to his
friend at Keswick, explaining that business called him to Scotland, and
enclosing a draft for thirty pounds, drawn on Mr Crump of Liverpool,
which he asked him to cash. Pleased, no doubt, at this mark of
confidence, which may have appeared a favourable augury of his ward’s
happiness, Colonel Moore at once obeyed the request, and forwarded ten
pounds in addition, so that his friend might not be short of funds on
his journey. On the next day, the sensation of a lifetime burst upon
the people of Keswick. At noon, the landlord of the ‘Queen’s Head’
returning from the country, brought with him the great intelligence
that the Hon. Colonel Hope had married the Beauty of Buttermere!

It was obvious to everyone--aye, even to the sceptic of Greta
Hall--that the mystery was at an end. Alexander Hope was no impostor.
Avarice had not led him to attempt the capture of a lady of fortune.
Torn between love and honour, he had doubted whether to give his hand
when his heart was disposed elsewhere, or to break his word. Thus,
obeying the impulse of love, he had married a girl of the people.
Native pride in the Beauty of Buttermere was strong in every breast,
and the next mail conveyed to London the news of her great triumph.

But Colonel Moore, who had the right to be wroth and suspicious, would
not be appeased by the explanations which satisfied the multitude.
Since he could not believe that a gentleman would behave in such a
fashion, he made haste to test the credentials of his late friend. The
bill of exchange was forwarded to Mr Crump, who, delighted to be of
service to Colonel Hope, from whom he had received an affectionate note
requesting the favour, at once accepted it! Still the Irishman refused
to be convinced, and he sent a letter to the bridegroom, informing him
that he should write to his brother, Lord Hopetoun. Moreover, he told
all friends of his intentions.

[Illustration: _J. Smith, sculp._

THE BEAUTY OF BUTTERMERE.

_Published in the Act directs. June 25-1803._]

During his five or six weeks’ residence at the Char Inn, the amorous
tourist must have had full opportunity of forming a contrast between
the Irish girl and Mary Robinson. The Beauty of Buttermere was now in
her twenty-fifth year. A healthy outdoor life had matured her robust
physique, and her figure, though graceful still, had lost the lines of
perfect symmetry. The keen mountain air had robbed her complexion of
its former delicacy, and with the advance of womanhood her features
had not retained their refined, girlish prettiness. Still, her face
was comely and pleasant to look upon. The charm of her kind and modest
nature was felt by all who met her, and she seems to have possessed
culture and distinction far in advance of her lowly station. Indeed,
one of her most celebrated admirers hints plainly that a mystery
surrounded her parentage, and that her breadth of mind and her polished
manners were the result of gentle birth. However, there appears no
warrant for such a surmise.

So, at last, Colonel Hope had begun to waver in his ardour for the
Irish girl. Naturally, she was not content to remain under a secret
engagement, and her inclinations favoured a brilliant wedding, which
her husband’s noble relatives should honour with their presence. Such
delay had not pleased the lover, who wished the announcement of the
betrothal to be followed by a speedy marriage. In this respect his
other inamorata had been less exacting. Poor Mary expected no pomp
or ceremony, and had never imagined that a peer and his people would
come to her wedding. All the odium that can attach to the man who pays
his addresses to two women at the same time is certainly his, for it
is stated on good authority that he made his first proposal to the
Cumberland girl before he commenced the courtship of Colonel Moore’s
rich ward.

Then, when the heiress refused to fall in with his wishes, he
made the final choice. On the 25th of September he went over to
Whitehaven--about twelve miles as the crow flies from Buttermere--with
the Rev. John Nicholson, chaplain of Loweswater, a friend of two
weeks’ standing, to obtain a special licence for his marriage with
Mary Robinson. Naturally, no opposition was raised by the parents;
and although it has been said that the reluctant girl was overruled
by their persuasions, it is certain--as far as any judgment of human
nature can be certain--that she was a willing bride. Nor--since his
record shows that each woman whom he cared to fascinate was unable to
resist him--is it difficult to believe that Mary was in love with her
handsome suitor.

On the morning of Saturday, the 2nd of October, the wedding took place
in the picturesque old church at Loweswater, in the beautiful vale of
Lorton, about seven miles from Buttermere. The ceremony was performed
by Mr Nicholson, who had become as firm a friend of the bridegroom as
Crump himself. Immediately after the service the newly married pair
posted off north to visit Colonel Hope’s Scotch estate. Their first
day’s journey was a remarkable one. Passing through Cockermouth and
Carlisle, they reached Longtown, near Gretna Green, at eight o’clock in
the evening, a distance of over forty miles. The next day being Sunday,
the bridegroom, who on occasions could affect much religious zeal, is
careful to record, in a letter to the chaplain of Loweswater, that they
made two appearances in church. On Tuesday or Wednesday they continued
their tour across the Border, but on the following Friday, owing
to Mary’s anxiety to receive news from her parents (so her husband
alleged), they retraced their steps to Longtown. Here, two days later,
important communications reached Colonel Hope, which made him resolve
to return to Buttermere without delay.

Friend Nicholson wrote that scandalous reports concerning his honour
had been spread in the neighbourhood since his departure, and that
his wife’s parents had been much disturbed by the rumours that had
reached their ears--informing him also of Colonel Moore’s opinion of
his behaviour. This latter news was superfluous, for there was a letter
from the Irishman himself. Its contents may be gathered from the reply
that the traveller despatched to Nicholson on the 10th of October. With
amazing effrontery he tells his friend that his attentions to the Irish
heiress had never been serious, and expresses his astonishment that
Colonel Moore should censure his conduct. Yet he shows his concern for
the attacks on his integrity, declaring that he will come back at once
to meet his calumniators face to face. Moreover, he was as good as his
word. Probably he left Longtown for Carlisle, according to promise,
the next morning, and arrived at Buttermere on Tuesday, the 12th of
October. Thus Mary’s brief honeymoon came to an end.

As luck would have it, a somewhat remarkable person, who happened to
be acquainted with Colonel Hope, was now staying at Keswick. This was
George Hardinge, senior justice of Brecon, the late Horace Walpole’s
friend and neighbour, the ‘waggish Welsh judge’ of whom Lord Byron
has sung. Having heard of the romantic marriage, and being anxious
to meet Colonel Hope, he sent a letter to Buttermere requesting a
visit. Early on Wednesday morning the newly married man drove over
to Keswick in a carriage and four, accompanied by his factotum, the
Rev. John Nicholson, to answer the summons in person. The meeting,
which took place at the ‘Queen’s Head’ Hotel, was an embarrassing one.
Pertinacious Nathaniel Moore, who no doubt had kindled in Justice
Hardinge’s mind the suspicions which had caused him to solicit the
interview, was present at the encounter. The Welsh judge found that
Colonel Hope of Buttermere renown was an entire stranger to him!

However, the other was in no way abashed, but pointed out pleasantly
that the mistake had arisen through the coincidence of names. Mr
Hardinge persisted that it was remarkable that he should be Alexander
Augustus Hope, M.P. for Linlithgowshire, when the name of the
representative of that county was Alexander Hope. The reply was a
flat denial that these names and titles had been assumed, and we are
told that the credulous clergyman bore witness to the truth of this
statement. Nevertheless, other testimony against the accused man
had more weight with the astute George Hardinge. Not only was there
Colonel Moore’s declaration that the stranger had always passed as Lord
Hopetoun’s brother, but the Keswick postmaster was able to prove that
he had franked letters as a member of Parliament. The result was an
appeal for a warrant of arrest to a neighbouring magistrate, and the
suspected Mr Hope was placed in charge of a constable.

Still, he did not appear disconcerted, but treated the whole matter as
a joke. Others, too, were of the same opinion, for during the course
of the day he presented a bill of exchange for twenty pounds, drawn
once more on John Crump, to the landlord of the ‘Queen’s Head’ which
that individual cashed without hesitation. The stranger at once sent
£10 to Colonel Moore to cancel the gratuitous loan received before
his departure to Scotland. Faithful Nicholson, too, retained full
confidence in his genial friend, who ordered dinner to be prepared for
both at the hotel, and continued to bear him company.

Presently, the prisoner, chafing at the thought of being kept in
durance, asked permission to sail on the lake. As this appeared a
reasonable request, the wise constable gave his consent. The clergyman
accompanied his companion to the water’s edge, while he made fervent
protests of innocence.

“If he were conscious of any crime,” he told his trusting friend, “a
hair would hold him.”

Since, however, he declared that he was guiltless, as a natural
corollary he had no intention of being held by the whole force of the
Keswick constabulary, and Nicholson must have been aware of his design.
For not only did he give his friend a guinea to pay for the dinner
at the ‘Queen’s Head’ which was a plain hint that he did not mean to
return, but he told him that, as his carriage had been seized by his
accusers, his only chance of rejoining his wife at Buttermere was by
rowing down the lake.

Luck favoured him. A fisherman named Burkett, who had been his
companion on many previous expeditions, had a boat ready for him, and
soon he was far across Derwentwater. A crowd of sympathisers, full of
wrath against his enemies, for they were sure he was a great man (as
an impostor would have had no motive in marrying poor Mary), stood on
the shore with Nicholson and the intelligent constable to watch his
departure. Soon the short October day drew to a close, and darkness
fell upon the waters, but ‘Colonel Hope’ did not return. Keswick never
saw his face again.

The conduct of the Rev. John Nicholson has been the subject of
keen censure. Although the province of a parson is not that of the
detective, it is unfortunate that he did not suggest to the parents of
Mary of Buttermere that it would be wise to verify the statements of
their daughter’s suitor. On the other hand, it must be admitted that
everyone was infatuated by the splendid impostor, and it is evident
that the clergyman was not aware of the flirtation with the Irish
heiress. It is more difficult to defend Nicholson’s conduct at the
interview between Judge Hardinge and the swindler; for although we have
no precise details of the conversation, it is plain that the chaplain
of Loweswater was guilty of a strange reticence. Naturally, he knew
that his mysterious friend had passed under the name of Colonel Hope,
and had franked letters as a member of Parliament. Still, not only did
he refrain from exposing, but even continued to trust him, though he
must have perceived him to be a liar. However, charity may suggest the
conclusion that the clergyman was full of compassion for Mary Robinson;
and since he believed that her husband would join her at the little
Char Inn, he was determined, whether felon or not, that he should have
the chance of escape.

The first announcement of the marriage of the celebrated Buttermere
Beauty with the brother of the Earl of Hopetoun was printed in the
_Morning Post_ on the 11th of October. Yet, three days later--the
morning after the remarkable escape at Derwentwater--a letter, written
on the highest authority, appeared in the same journal, denying the
previous report and stating that the real Colonel Alexander Hope was
travelling on the Continent. Thus, by chance, London and Keswick became
aware almost simultaneously that Mary Robinson had been the victim of a
cruel fraud.

Although his flight had made it evident that the pretended member of
Parliament was an impostor, it was not until the last day of October
that his identity was discovered. Meanwhile, the most strange rumours
had been aroused. The fact that all his plate and linen were found
packed in his travelling carriage, which was retained by the landlord
in pledge for his twenty pounds, gave rise to the suspicion that he had
meant to desert his poor young bride. On the other hand, his admirers
persisted that he was an Irish gentleman, hiding from the authorities
because of his share in the recent rebellion. A costly dressing-case,
which he had left behind, was examined under warrant from a magistrate,
but nothing turned up to reveal his true name. In the end this
discovery was made by Mary herself. While looking over the dressing-box
more carefully, she disclosed a secret hiding-place containing a number
of letters addressed to him who had forsaken her. Alas for the Beauty
of Buttermere! No anticipation could have exceeded the cruel reality.
The handsome bridegroom was a married man, and these letters had been
written by the heart-broken wife whom he had deserted. ‘Colonel Hope’
her supposed rich and noble husband, was a notorious swindler--guilty
of a capital felony--whose real name was John Hadfield!

[Illustration: _Mary of Buttermere._]

Since the days of ‘Old Patch’ no impostor had reached the eminence
of Hadfield. Born of well-to-do parents at Cradden-brook,
Mottram-in-Longdendale, Cheshire--where a neighbouring village may have
lent his family its surname--forty-three years before the adventure at
Keswick, his habits and disposition had always been superior to his
station in life. As a youth he was apprenticed to the woollen trade,
but proved too fond of adventure to succeed in business. Though much
of his career is wrapped in mystery, we know that he was in America
between the years 1775-1781, during the War of Independence, and that
he married a natural daughter of a younger brother of that famous
warrior the Marquis of Granby.

Having squandered the small fortune he had received with her, the
elegant Hadfield left his wife and their children to take care of
themselves, and by means of credit managed for a short time to
enjoy a career of dissipation in London. By his favourite device of
extortion--passing drafts or bills of exchange upon persons of wealth,
who would be unlikely to prefer a charge against him--he was enabled to
continue his impositions without any more serious consequence than an
occasional visit to gaol.

The King’s Bench Prison, where in 1782 he was confined for a debt
of £160, appears as the next grim landmark in his life. By a lucky
chance he was able to lay his case before the Duke of Rutland, who,
having discovered that the prisoner had married a daughter of his
late uncle, but being ignorant that the wife had died of a broken
heart in consequence of her husband’s desertion, generously paid the
sum necessary to obtain his release. For many years the impostor’s
dexterity in obtaining money under false pretences from credulous
strangers, who believed him to be a connection of the Manners family,
made it possible for him to associate with those far above his rank.

During 1784, after a brief career of fraud in Dublin, where he posed as
a relative of the Viceroy, and by means of this falsehood contracted a
host of fraudulent debts, he was lodged in the Marshalsea Prison. With
unblushing impudence he appealed to the Lord Lieutenant--his previous
benefactor, the Duke of Rutland--who agreed to pay his debts on the
understanding that he should leave Ireland immediately.

In the year 1792 Scarborough became the scene of his depredations.
Staying at one of the principal hotels, he announced his intention of
representing the town in Parliament in the interest of the Manners
family. A portrait of poor Captain Lord Robert caused him to burst into
tears, which evidence of feeling won the sympathy of all who witnessed
it. As usual, his sparkling conversation and distinguished appearance
disarmed suspicion, and for several weeks he lived in princely style at
the expense of his landlord. When pressed for money he did not hesitate
to offer bills of exchange, which the local tradesmen accepted without
demur. Yet the day of reckoning, which this remarkable man never seemed
to anticipate, could not be postponed. On the 25th of April he was
arrested for the hotel debt, and, not being able to find bail, was
cast into prison. Some weeks later, a detainer was lodged against him
by a London creditor, and for eight years he remained an inmate of the
Scarborough Gaol.

During his long confinement he maintained his favourite pose as a
luckless aristocrat, writing poetry, and publishing much abuse against
the authorities. At last fortune smiled upon the interesting captive.
Neither Faublas nor Casanova ruled with more success over the female
heart, and it was to a woman that he owed his release. A Devonshire
lady, named Nation, who, it is said, occupied rooms facing the
prison, took compassion upon him, and paid his debts. On the 13th of
September 1800 the impostor became a free man, and the next morning,
notwithstanding that hitherto they had been strangers, he married his
benefactress. The pair made their home at Hele Bridge, near Dulverton,
on the borders of Somerset and Devon, where the bride’s father was
steward to a neighbouring landowner, and before very long Hadfield
plunged once more into a career of fraud.

A marvellous _aplomb_, his previous commercial experience, and a
deposit of £3000 which he contributed towards the firm, induced Messrs
Dennis and Company, merchants of repute in the neighbouring town
of Tiverton, to admit him as a partner. In consequence of this new
enterprise, he removed during the summer of 1801 with his wife and
child to a cottage at the village of Washfield to be near his business.
As before, the utter lack of prescience and sagacity characteristic
of the man prevented him from reaping the fruits of his perverted
genius, as a less clever but more prudent would have done. The whole
transaction was a smartly conceived but clumsily arranged swindle.
Since the money for the partnership had been obtained by inducing a Mr
Nucella, merchant of London, to transfer Government stock, which soon
would have to be replaced, to the credit of Messrs Dennis, Hadfield was
compelled to realise his winnings without delay. For the sake of a few
hundred pounds of ready cash, he seems to have been eager to sacrifice
all that a man usually holds dear, and to have become a lawless
adventurer once again.

In April 1802 he was obliged to decamp from Devonshire, leaving his
wife and children as before, while his partners in Tiverton, who soon
discovered that they had been defrauded by a swindler, proceeded
to strike his name off the books of the firm. During the following
June he was declared a bankrupt. Meanwhile he had proceeded to cut
a dash in London, and it is said that he came forward as candidate
for Queenborough, with the object of obtaining immunity from arrest
as a member of Parliament. Being still provided with funds, he made
no attempt to surrender to the commission issued against him; but
compelled, through fear of exposure, to relinquish his political
ambitions, he went on a leisurely tour through Scotland and Ireland,
and in the month of July appeared at Keswick as ‘Colonel Hope’ to work
the crowning mischief of his life.

There has been much conjecture with regard to the motives of Hadfield
in his conduct to poor Mary Robinson. The explanation that he was
actuated by pure animalism cannot be reconciled with our knowledge of
his temperament or his methods, setting aside the initial objection
that the sensualist, already cloyed by innumerable conquests, does
not usually play a heavy stake to gratify a passing fancy. Nor is it
credible that a man who had the heart to forsake two wives and five
children could have been influenced by love. At first sight it seems
probable that, just as the most reckless speculator often cuts a
desperate loss, he wished to quit a hazardous career of fraud, and to
live a life of quiet and seclusion in the humble home of the Beauty of
Buttermere. Such foresight, however, was wholly inconsistent with the
nature of the man; and even had he been capable of this reasoning, a
moment’s reflection must have taught him that his recent ostentation
had made retirement impossible. No; like that of every gambler, John
Hadfield’s destiny was ruled by chance. Each stake he played was
determined by the exigency of the moment; win or lose, he could not
draw back nor rest, but must follow blindly the fortunes of the day
to cover the losses of the past. Although not able to possess his
Irish heiress, the tiny dowry of Mary Robinson, the poor little inn
at Buttermere, seemed to lie at his mercy, and so he seized upon it
and threw it--as he would have thrown his winnings of any shape or
kind--into the pool. John Hadfield was a fatalist, and his motto, _Quam
minimum credula postero_.

After the interview with Judge Hardinge, the adventurer became the
sport of chance once more. When he took boat from Keswick on the
evening of his clever escape, he steered his course to the southern
extremity of Derwentwater. The cluster of little islands soon must have
hid him from view, and no one thought of pursuit. Whatever may have
been his impulse, there was no time to bid adieu to his bride. The path
to safety lay far ahead over the high mountains. Having left the lake
under the guidance of his faithful friend Burkett the fisherman, his
course for a few miles was a comparatively easy one; but twilight must
have fallen before he had traversed the gorge of Borrowdale, and his
flight up the desolate Langstrath valley, which cleaves its way between
Glaramara and Langdale Pike, was made in the darkness. By night the
journey was a terrible one--over rocks and boulders, along a broken
path winding its course beside the mountain torrent, up the face of
the precipitous crags, and across the Stake, a tremendous pass high up
in the hills, dividing northern lakeland from the south. From Langdale
he struck west towards the coast, and after a journey of some fourteen
miles reached the seaport of Ravenglass, on the estuary of the Esk. In
this place he borrowed a seaman’s dress, and took refuge in a little
sloop moored near the shore, and here he was recognised on the 25th
of October. With a hue and cry against him, it was not safe to remain
near the scene of his latest crime. Going by coach to Ulverstone, he
continued his flight thence to Chester, where early in November he was
seen at the theatre by an old acquaintance. Then he appears to have
walked on to Northwich, and there for some time all trace of him was
lost. An advertisement, describing his appearance and offering a reward
of fifty pounds for his arrest, was published on the 8th of November
and scattered broadcast over the country.

The next tidings of him came from Builth in Wales, where, on the
11th of November, he is said to have swindled a friend, who had no
knowledge that he was the Keswick impostor, by the usual device of a
bill of exchange. On the day following this performance, the London
post brought the newspapers containing the description of his person,
and he hurried away from the little town on the banks of the Wye in
his flight towards the south. For a time he still baffled capture, but
the pursuers steadily closed upon his track. On the 22nd of November
the authorities at Swansea were informed that a man resembling the
published account of the impostor had been seen in the mountains beyond
Neath, and the next day Hadfield was run to earth at the ‘Lamb and
Flag’ an old coaching inn about seventeen miles from the seaport town.
At once he was lodged in Brecon Gaol, and in about a fortnight’s time
the newspapers inform us that he was brought up to town by one Pearkes,
robin-redbreast.

The romance of the case attracted a great crowd to Bow Street when
the notorious swindler was brought up for examination by Sir Richard
Ford on the 6th of December, and the investigation appears to have
been difficult and tedious, for he appeared before the magistrate each
Monday morning during the next three weeks. On one of these occasions
his attire is described as “respectable, though he was quite _en
déshabillé_,” his dress being a black coat and waistcoat, fustian
breeches, and boots, while his hair was worn tied behind without
powder, and he was permitted to appear unfettered by irons. Among other
requests he asked for a private room at Tothill Fields Prison, as he
objected to herd with common pickpockets, and he desired also to be
sent as soon as possible to Newgate. Although his wishes were not
granted, the solicitor for his bankruptcy made him an allowance of a
guinea a week.

Most pathetic was the loyalty of the wife and benefactress whom he had
used so cruelly. The poor woman, who was the mother of two children,
travelled from Devonshire--a journey occupying a couple of days and a
night--to spend Christmas Day in prison with her unfaithful husband.
Numerous celebrities visited the court during the examination of the
impostor. Amongst those who were noticed more than once was the Duke
of Cumberland, drawn possibly by a fellow-feeling for the culprit,
and Monk Lewis, on the look-out for fresh melodrama. At last all the
charges against him were proved to the hilt--his offence against the
law of bankruptcy, his repeated frauds on the Post Office, the two
bills of exchange forged at Keswick. Still, although the iniquities of
his past were fully revealed, and although a shoal of unpaid debts,
fraudulently contracted, stood against his name, one circumstance
alone was responsible for the great popular interest, and aroused also
universal abhorrence. John Hadfield had been damned to everlasting fame
as the seducer of Mary of Buttermere.

The extent of his baseness was disclosed in the course of the
proceedings at Bow Street. It was found that the poor girl was destined
to become the mother of his child, and that he was in debt to her
father for a sum of £180. Indeed, the motive of his mock marriage
became apparent, for he had endeavoured to persuade the trusting
parents to allow him to sell the little inn on their behalf, and
possibly, but for the interference of Justice Hardinge, he might have
succeeded. Mary refused to prosecute him for bigamy, but she was
induced to send a letter to Sir Richard Ford, which was read in court
at Hadfield’s fourth examination.

“Sir,” she wrote, in the first agony of her cruel disenchantment, “the
man whom I had the misfortune to marry, and who has ruined me and my
aged and unhappy parents, always told me that he was the Honourable
Colonel Hope, the next brother to the Earl of Hopetoun.”

Contemporary newspapers show that the Beauty of Buttermere became the
heroine of the hour--she was the theme of ballads in the streets; her
sad story was upon every lip; never was there so much sympathy for one
of her humble birth.

Early in the new year, Hadfield, who received as much notice from
the journals as Madame Récamier’s wonderful new bed, was committed
to Newgate. With cool effrontery he dictated a letter to the press,
asking the public to reserve judgment until his case was heard, and,
as a wanton Tory newspaper declared, like Mr Fox and Mr Windham, he
complained bitterly of misrepresentation. A long interval elapsed
before he was sent north to stand his trial, and he did not reach
Carlisle Gaol until the 25th of May, whither he was conveyed by an
officer from Bow Street, who bore the appropriate name of Rivett.

At the next assizes, on the 15th of August, he was arraigned before
Sir Alexander Thomson, nicknamed the ‘Staymaker’ owing to his habit
of checking voluble witnesses--a figure to be held in dread by
law-breakers of the northern counties, as the Luddite riots in a few
years were to show. Hadfield was not lucky in his judge, for the man
who, at a later date, could be harsh enough to consign to the hangman
the poor little cripple boy Abraham Charlson, was not likely to extend
mercy to a forger.

The prisoner stood charged upon three indictments:--

(_a_) With having drawn a bill of exchange upon John Gregory Crump
for the sum of £20, under the false and fictitious name of the Hon.
Alexander Augustus Hope.

(_b_) With having forged a bill of exchange for £30, drawn upon John
Gregory Crump, and payable to Colonel Nathaniel Montgomery Moore.

(_c_) With having defrauded the Post Office by franking letters as a
member of Parliament.

Only the first two were capital offences.

James Scarlett, afterwards Baron Abinger, was counsel for the Crown,
and Hadfield was defended by George Holroyd, who, as a judge, displayed
masterly strength fourteen years later in directing the acquittal of
Abraham Thornton. It is recorded by some aggrieved journalist that the
crowd was so great it was difficult to take notes. Such odium had been
aroused against the betrayer by the sad story of Mary of Buttermere,
that ladies and gentlemen are said to have travelled twenty miles to
be present at his condemnation. At eleven o’clock in the morning the
prisoner was placed in the dock. The principal witnesses for the Crown
were George Wood, landlord of the ‘Queen’s Head’ Keswick; the Rev. John
Nicholson; and good-natured Mr Crump, who proved conclusively that he
had assumed a false name and had forged a bill of exchange. A clerk in
the house of Heathfield, Lardner and Co. (late Dennis), of Tiverton,
called Quick, and a Colonel Parke, a friend of the real Colonel
Alexander Hope, supplied other necessary evidence. One witness only--a
lawyer named Newton, who had been employed by Hadfield in the summer
of 1800 to recover an estate worth £100 a year, which he had inherited
from his late wife--was summoned by the defence.

The prisoner bore himself in a calm and dignified manner, taking
copious notes, and offering suggestions to his counsel. But his speech
to the jury--for still, and for many years afterwards, a barrister
was not allowed to address the court on behalf of his client, except
on some technical point of law--shows that he anticipated his doom.
“I feel some degree of satisfaction,” he declared, “in having my
sufferings terminated, as I know they must be, by your verdict. For
the space of nine months I have been dragged from prison to prison,
and torn from place to place, subject to all the misrepresentation of
calumny. Whatever will be my fate, I am content. It is the award of
justice, impartially and virtuously administered. But I will solemnly
declare that in all transactions I never intended to defraud or injure
those persons whose names have appeared in the prosecution. This I will
maintain to the last of my life.”

Very properly the judge would not accept the plea set up by the
defence, that the financial position of the prisoner was a guarantee
that no fraud had been meditated. At seven o’clock in the evening,
after a consultation of ten minutes, the jury returned a verdict of
guilty. Hadfield received the announcement with composure, and when he
was brought up for sentence the next day--as was the barbarous custom
of those times--he displayed equal coolness. Kneeling down, and looking
steadily at the judge--who began to roll out a stream of sonorous
platitudes--he did not speak a word.

From the first he seems to have been resigned to his fate, and gave no
trouble to his gaolers, but spent his time quietly in writing letters
and reading the Bible. Indeed, his whole behaviour was that of one
utterly weary of existence, and he does not appear to have desired or
expected a reprieve. All his life he had posed as a religious man,
and he lent an eager ear to the ministrations of two local clergymen
who attended him. Since there is no evidence that he was penitent,
we may adopt the more rational supposition that he was playing for
popular sympathy. It was seldom that he spoke of himself, and the
only reference he made to his own case was that he had never sought
to defraud either John Crump or Colonel Moore. A contemporary report
states that “he was in considerable distress before he received a
supply of money from his father. Afterwards he lived in great style,
frequently making presents to his fellow-felons. In the gaol he was
considered as a kind of emperor, being allowed to do what he pleased,
and no one took offence at the air of superiority which he assumed.”
Some days before his death he sent for an undertaker to measure him for
a coffin, and gave his instructions to the man without any signs of
agitation.

On the day of his sentence, Wordsworth and Coleridge, who were passing
through Carlisle, sought an interview with him. While he received the
former, as he received all who wished to see him, he denied himself
to Coleridge, which makes it clear that he had read and resented the
articles written by the latter to the _Morning Post_. Neither his
father (said to have been an honest man in a small way of business) nor
his sisters visited him. Also his faithful wife, since probably the
state of her health or her poverty would not allow her to make the long
journey from Devonshire to Carlisle, was unable to bid him farewell.

There has been much idle gossip concerning the conduct of Mary of
Buttermere after her betrayer was condemned to die. Some have said that
she was overwhelmed with grief, that she supplied him with money to
make his prison life more comfortable, and that she was dissuaded with
difficulty from coming to see him. Without accepting the alternative
suggested, among others, by De Quincey, that she was quite indifferent
to his fate, there are reasons for rejecting the other suppositions. It
is impossible that the most amiable of women would continue to love a
man who had shown so little affection towards her, and whose hard heart
did not shrink from crowning her betrayal by the ruin of her parents.
The story of the gift of money, also, seems unlikely, as her father
had been impoverished by the swindler, and the fund for his relief,
raised by a subscription in London--which did not receive too generous
support--had not yet been sent to Buttermere. And, finally--alas!
for romance--since the moral code even of the dawn of the nineteenth
century did not allow Mary Robinson to usurp the duties, more than
the name, of wife to the prisoner, it is incredible that a modest
woman would wish to renew the memories of her unhallowed union by an
interview with the man whose association with her had brought only
dishonour.

The execution of John Hadfield took place on Saturday, the 3rd of
September. Rising at six, he spent half an hour in the prison chapel.
At ten o’clock his fetters were removed, and he was occupied most of
the morning in prayer with the two clergymen, who, we are told, drank
coffee with him. The authorities do not seem to have had any fear that
he would attempt his life, for they allowed him the use of a razor.
About the hour of three he made a hearty meal, at which his gaoler
kept him company. In those times there was a tradition in Carlisle
that a reprieve had once arrived in the afternoon for a criminal who
was hanged in the morning. Thus, nearly three weeks had been allowed
to elapse between Hadfield’s trial and execution--in order that there
might be plenty of time for a communication from London--and even on
the last day the fatal hour was postponed until the mail from the south
was delivered.

Although it had been the opinion of the town that he would not suffer
the extreme penalty, the Saturday post, which arrived early in the
afternoon, brought no pardon. At half-past three he was taken to
the turnkey’s lodge, where he was pinioned, his bonds being tied
loosely at his request. Here he showed a great desire to see the
executioner--who, oddly enough, hailed from Dumfries, the town which
the real Colonel Hope had represented in Parliament--and gave him
half a crown, the only money he possessed. It was four o’clock when
the procession started from the prison, in the midst of an immense
concourse of spectators. Hadfield occupied a post-chaise, ordered from
a local inn, and a body of yeomanry surrounded the carriage. Without
avail he petitioned for the windows to be closed. The gallows--two
posts fixed in the ground, about six feet apart, with a bar laid across
them--had been erected during the previous night on an island, known
locally as the Sands, formed by the river Eden on the south side of
the town beyond the Scotch gate, and between the two bridges. A small
dung-cart, boarded over, stood beneath the cross-bar, Tyburn fashion,
in lieu of the new drop. As soon as it met his eyes, the condemned man
asked if this was where he was to die, and upon being answered in the
affirmative, he exclaimed, “Oh, happy sight! I see it with pleasure!”

John Hadfield met his fate with the heroism which great criminals
invariably exhibit. Aged since his arrest, for he had been in prison
nearly ten months, he looked at least fifty. In every respect he had
become very different from the sprightly ‘Colonel Hope’ of the previous
summer. When he alighted from the carriage at the shambles he seemed
faint and exhausted, but this weakness was due to physical infirmity
and not to fear. A feeble and piteous smile occasionally played over
his white face. Yet none of the arrogance of pseudo-martyrdom marked
his bearing, but his quiet resignation and reverent aspect won the pity
of the vast crowd, bitterly hostile to him a short while before. It
was remarked that he had still an air of distinction, and was neatly
dressed; his jacket and silk waistcoat were black, and he wore fustian
breeches and white thread stockings. Just before he was turned off he
was heard to murmur, “My spirit is strong, though my body is weak.” We
are told that he seemed to die in a moment without any struggle, and
did not even raise his hands. An hour and a half later he was lying
in a grave in St Mary’s Churchyard, for his request that he should be
buried at Burgh-on-Sands was disregarded out of consideration for the
pious memory of Edward I.

Were it not for his dastardly treatment of the women who gave him their
love, the fate of John Hadfield would seem hard. He was not hanged
for swindling John Crump out of £50--which indeed the value of his
carriage and its contents, left behind at Keswick, would have more
than cancelled--but for attempting to swindle him under the fictitious
name of Colonel Hope. Thus by assuming the character of another man he
became entangled in one of the fine-spun meshes of the law, and was
held guilty of an intention to defraud. Our great-grandfathers, who,
with the assistance of Sir Alexander Thomson, could hang an old woman
for stealing a few potatoes in a bread riot, thought it expedient also
to kill a man who obtained £50 by telling a lie.

There is much truth in the proposition, which has been stated with
such inaccuracy by De Quincey, that, but for his heartless conduct to
Mary of Buttermere, John Hadfield might have escaped the gallows. It
is probable that Mr Crump would have been loth to advertise himself as
a credulous dupe, unless he had thought that it was his duty to give
evidence against a heartless seducer. Parson Nicholson, also, would
have had no reason to depart from the attitude he had taken up before
he was aware that he had officiated at a bigamous marriage.

[Illustration: MARY of BUTTERMERE.

_Sketched from Life July 1800_]

Notwithstanding that his career was marked by so many villainies, John
Hadfield is in many respects an admirable rascal. Setting aside his
behaviour towards women--if that is possible even for a moment--he
played a part which required infinite tact and magnificent courage.
Although occasionally he robbed a man who was not rich, yet until
the crime of Buttermere such an occurrence was in the nature of an
accident, and was rather the fault of the wronged one for putting
himself in the path. Like Claude Duval, the Keswick impostor was in the
main merciful towards the impecunious; not indeed for conscience sake,
but because he believed that his rightful place was among the wealthy.
A hunter of big game, dukes, members of Parliament, and prosperous
merchants were his proper prey! And the man who could maintain a decent
social position for twenty years, in spite of the heavy handicaps of
poverty and lowly birth, and could compel those whom one of his class
should have met only as a lackey to receive him on equal terms, was
more than a common trickster. An insatiable love of pleasure robbed him
of all foresight and prudence, or such a consummate liar might have
climbed high. Even as he was--had an earl been his father--he might
have gone down to posterity as one of the greatest diplomats the world
has ever seen.

The career of Samuel Denmore Hayward, hanged at the Old Bailey for
forgery on the 27th of November 1821, a picture of whom, dancing with
‘a lady of quality’ ornaments one version of the _Newgate Calendar_,
is similar to that of the Keswick impostor. Both men seem to have had
culture and address; each was distinguished for his social ambition,
and both were famous for gallantry. With the exception of James
Maclean, illustrious as the friend of Lady Caroline Petersham and
little Miss Ashe, none of our rogues--not even William Parsons, the
baronet’s son--have been such fine gentlemen.

Mary Robinson’s child was born early in June 1803, but did not survive
its birth. Who can tell whether she wept over it; or if the words that
came from the lips of her parents, when they heard of the death of her
betrayer, did not seem a fitting epitaph--“God be thanked!” To avoid
the gaze of curious travellers the unhappy girl was obliged for a
period to leave her native place, and the shadow that had fallen upon
her young life was not lifted for many years. Yet, brighter days were
in store for the Maid of Buttermere. In the course of time she was
wooed and won by a Cumberland ‘statesman’ named Richard Harrison, to
whom she was married at Brigham Church in the May of 1808. Two of her
sons, born at Buttermere, where she resided for a period after her
marriage, died in infancy; but when her husband took her to his farm
at ‘Todcrofts’ Caldbeck, beyond Skiddaw--where the Harrison family
had been ‘statesmen’ for generations--she became the mother of five
more children, three daughters and two sons, all of whom grew up and
married. In later years it was remarked that her girls were as pretty
as Mary had been herself when she was the Maid of the Inn. There is
reason to believe that the rest of her career was happy and prosperous,
and she lived tranquilly in her home at ‘Todcrofts’ where she died in
her fifty-ninth year. The tombstone records that she passed away on the
7th of February 1837, while her husband survived her for sixteen years.
Both rest in the churchyard that holds the ashes of immortal John Peel,
who followed Richard Harrison to ‘the happy hunting-fields’ within a
few months.

       *       *       *       *       *

(I am indebted to the kindness of Mr Richard Greenup, of Beckstones,
Caldbeck, one of Mary Robinson’s few surviving grandchildren, for much
interesting information.)



BIBLIOGRAPHY OF THE HADFIELD CASE


I. CONTEMPORARY TRACTS, ETC.

1. _Report of the Proceedings on the Trial of John Hatfield_, London.
Printed for A. H. Nairne and B. Mace. Sold by Crosby and Company price
6d. 1803. Brit. Mus.

    Although always spoken of as John Hatfield, the proper name of
    the ‘Keswick Impostor’ if the register of his baptism is an
    authority, was Hadfield.


2. _The Life of Mary Robinson_, the celebrated Beauty of Buttermere,
Embellished with an elegant coloured Print. London. Printed by John
Rhynd, 21 Ray Street, Cold Bath Fields. Sold by Crosby and Company,
Paternoster Row. Price 1/. 1803. Brit. Mus.

3. _The Life of John Hatfield_, Printed and Published by Scott and
Benson. Keswick. James Ivison, Market Place 1846. Brit. Mus.


II. CONTEMPORARY NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES

  1. _The Times_,                Oct., Nov., Dec. 1802; Jan., Aug., Sept. 1803.
  2. _The Morning Post_,               do.                    do.
  3. _The St James’s Chronicle_,       do.                    do.
  4. _The Morning Herald_,             do.                    do.
  5. _The Morning Chronicle_,          do.                    do.
  6. _The True Briton_,                do.                    do.
  7. _Lloyd’s Evening Post_,           do.                    do.
  8. _The Carlisle Journal_,           do.                    do.
  9. _The Leeds Mercury_,              do.                    do.

    10. _The Gentleman’s Magazine_, part ii. 1792, pp. 1114-16;
    part i. 1800, p. 18-24; part ii. 1802, pp. 1013, 1062, 1063,
    1157; part ii. 1803, pp. 779, 876, 983.

    11. _The European Magazine_, part ii. 1792, p. 436; part ii.
    1802, pp. 316, 477; part ii. 1803, pp. 157, 242.

_Coleridge and the “Morning Post.”_

    Three accounts from the pen of Coleridge, which appeared in
    the _Morning Post_ of October 11, October 22, and November 5
    respectively, under the titles “Romantic Marriage” and “The
    Fraudulent Marriage,” find a place in Coleridge’s “Essays
    on His Own Times,” edited by his daughter. The late Mr H.
    D. Traill, in his monograph in the “English Men of Letters”
    series, has pointed out (note, p. 80) that “it is impossible
    to believe that this collection, forming as it does but two
    small volumes, and a portion of a third, is anything like
    complete.” It is not an unwarrantable assumption that two
    subsequent articles in the _Morning Post_, which appeared on
    November 20 and December 31, were written from Greta Hall, and
    that Coleridge therefore was responsible for the sobriquet “The
    Keswick Impostor.”

    Sir Alexander Hope, brother of the third Earl Hopetoun, whom
    Hadfield impersonated, was not (as stated in the _Dic. Nat.
    Biog._) the second but the _eighth_ son of the second earl
    (_vide Gentleman’s Magazine_, 1837, part ii. p. 423).


NOTES.

NOTE I.--_A Fortnight’s Ramble to the Lakes in Westmorland_, Lancashire
and Cumberland.

    This book is reviewed at full length in the _Gentleman’s
    Magazine_, December 1792, pt. ii. pp. 1114-16, and in the
    _European Magazine_, December 1892, pt. ii. p. 436. The author,
    Joseph Budworth, who afterwards adopted his wife’s surname,
    Palmer, was a contributor to the former journal. Mary Robinson
    is described under the pseudonym ‘Sally of Buttermere’ The
    second edition of the _Fortnight’s Ramble_ is reviewed in
    _Gentleman’s Magazine_, vol. lxvi. pt. i. p. 132, February 1796.

NOTE II.--_A Revisit to Buttermere._ Letter from a rambler to ‘Mr.
Urban’ dated Buttermere, January 2 (_vide Gentleman’s Magazine_,
January 1800, pp. 18-24).

    This account was inserted in the third edition of _A
    Fortnight’s Ramble_, published in 1810. Joseph Budworth tells
    us that his second visit to Buttermere took place in January
    1798.

NOTE III.--_The Prelude_, or Growth of a Poet’s Mind, by Wm.
Wordsworth. Commenced 1799, finished 1805, published 1850. The
Centenary edition of the works of Wm. Wordsworth. Six vols. Edited by
E. Moxon, 1870.

    Book VII., “Residence in London,” contains the famous reference
    to Mary of Buttermere and her story. Describing various dramas
    he has seen at Sadler’s Wells Theatre, the poet mentions one
    written around the story of Mary of Buttermere. _Notes and
    Queries_, Tenth Series, i. pp. 7, 70, 96.

NOTE IV.--_The Collected Writings of Thomas De Quincey._ Edited by
David Masson. A. & C. Black (1889-90); _vide Literary Reminiscences_,
Samuel Taylor Coleridge, vol. ii. pp. 138-225.

    The description of ‘The Hadfield Affair’ occupies pp. 174-184,
    and its numerous errors were the subject of a smart attack by a
    correspondent in _Notes and Queries_ (First Series, vol. viii.
    p. 26), July 9, 1853.

NOTE V.--_The Tourist’s New Guide._ By William Green. In two volumes.
Kendal (1819), vol. ii. pp. 180-5, 221. _Seventy-eight Studies from
Nature._ By William Green. Longman (1809) p. 7.

    The various descriptions of Mary Robinson are so conflicting
    that it is difficult, until one reads the impressions recorded
    from year to year by Wm. Green, to form an estimate of her
    personal appearance. It has been shown that Joseph Budworth,
    who first saw her in 1792, when she was fourteen, raves of
    her charms, and his second visit to Buttermere six years
    later did not disillusionise him. De Quincey, however, denies
    that she was beautiful, and does not praise even her figure.
    Yet he seems to be unconscious that he is describing, not
    the world-renowned ‘Maiden of Buttermere’ but a matron of
    thirty-five, who was now the wife of a prosperous farmer,
    and who had drank deeply of life’s sorrows. Mr Frederick
    Reed of Hassness, Buttermere, writing in August 1874 (_Notes
    and Queries_, Fifth Series, ii. 175), thirty-seven years
    after her death, states that “she was not the beauty she is
    represented to have been. She carried herself well, but got
    to be coarse-featured.” Still, as it is improbable that Mr
    Reed saw her till she was past her prime, his criticism is of
    little value. Sara Nelson, too, who was born during the year of
    Mary’s great trouble, did not meet her till her good looks had
    vanished. The _Morning Post_ of October 11, 1802, contains the
    following description from the pen of Coleridge:--“To beauty in
    the strict sense of the word she has small pretensions, being
    rather gap-toothed and somewhat pock-fretten. But her face is
    very expressive, and the expression extremely interesting, and
    her figure and movements are graceful to a miracle. She ought
    indeed to be called the Grace of Buttermere rather than the
    Beauty.”

    William Green tells us that he first saw Mary Robinson in
    1791, the year before she was noticed by Captain Budworth.
    “At that time,” says he, “she was thirteen; and to an open,
    honest, and pleasant-looking face, then in the bloom of
    health, was added the promise of a good figure. Her garb,
    though neat, was rustic; but through it, even while so young,
    appeared indications of that mild dignity which was afterwards
    so peculiarly attractive.” He saw her next in 1794. “The
    infantine prettiness of thirteen was now matured into beauty;
    her countenance beamed with an indescribable sweetness, and the
    commanding graces of her fine person were equalled only by her
    innate good sense and excellent disposition.” After remarking
    that Captain Budworth’s panegyric seemed to have had no ill
    effect upon her mind, he proceeds: “Like some other mountain
    rustics, observed by the writer during his residence amongst
    these thinly populated wilds, Mary’s beauty was ripened at
    an early period; for this was, probably, the period of its
    perfection.” Green did not see her again till 1801. “She was
    then twenty-three, and though greatly admired for her general
    appearance and deportment, was on the whole infinitely less
    interesting than seven years before that time.” In 1805, the
    date of his next visit to Buttermere, he noted a further
    change. “Her features were pervaded by a melancholy meekness,
    but her beauty was fled, and with it, that peculiar elegance of
    person, for which she was formerly celebrated.” The next time
    the artist saw her was in 1810. “She was no longer the Beauty
    of Buttermere, but Mrs. Harrison, the bulky wife of a farmer,
    blessed with much good humour, and a ready utterance.” This
    was about the time when De Quincey saw her. Gillray’s sketch,
    November 15, 1802, corroborates Green’s description.

    The _Dictionary of National Biography_ gives the date of
    publication of _The Tourist’s Guide_ as 1822. This is an error.
    It was published in 1819. The same monograph does not mention
    Green’s _Survey of Manchester_.

NOTE VI.--_East Cheshire._ By J. P. Earwaker, 1880, vol. ii. p. 136.

    Gives the following extract from the register of baptisms at
    the parish church of Mottram-in-Longdendale:--

    “1759. May 24, John, son of William Hadfield, and Betty, his
    Wife.” The church register confirms this reference.

    John Hadfield’s father, who lived at Crodenbrook or
    Craddenbrook, Longden, must have been a man of means, for in
    1760 he gave £20 to the poor.

NOTE VII.--_Dic. Nat. Biog._ This excellent sketch is only marred by
the misspelling of Hadfield’s name, and the error in the date of his
birth.



A FAMOUS FORGERY

THE CASE OF HENRY FAUNTLEROY, 1824


_Part I.--The Criminal and his Crime._

    “Then, list, ingenuous youth....
      And once forego your joy,
    For your instruction I display
      The life of Fauntleroy.”

    _The Dirge of Fauntleroy_, JAMES USHER, 1824.

In the year 1792--not one of the least disastrous in our annals of
commerce--a small party of capitalists established a private bank under
the name of Marsh, Sibbald & Company of Berners Street. The chief
promoters--William Marsh, a naval agent, and James Sibbald of Sittwood
Park, Berkshire, a retired official of Company John--were gentlemen
of substance and position; while their managing partner, William
Fauntleroy (previously employed at the famous house of Barclay), was a
man of ability and business experience. Four years later, a younger son
of Sir Edward Stracey, a Norfolk baronet, who married eventually the
niece of Sir James Sibbald, was admitted into the firm.

[Illustration: _HENRY FAUNTLEROY._]

Although never a bank of great resources, it appears to have made a
fair return to its proprietors, and because of its connection with two
baronets--one of whom became Sheriff of his county--it was regarded
as a house of repute. In the spring of 1807 the firm received a
severe blow through the death, when only in his fifty-eighth year, of
the active partner, William Fauntleroy, in whom his colleagues placed
implicit trust. Luckily, however, it was possible to fill his place,
for his second son Henry, who had been employed as a clerk for seven
years, although only twenty-two, was fit and eager for the post. None
of the members of the firm were able to devote much attention to their
bank, and thus, by a strange chance, the sole control was left in the
hands of young Fauntleroy.

A remarkable man in every respect, this youthful manager, who carried
with ease the burden of a great business on his shoulders. During
the second decade of last century no figure was better known to
those familiar with the west end of Oxford Street. Neat and elegant
as Brummell, grave and industrious as Henry Addington, he seemed a
model for all young men of commerce. Each morning at the same hour,
the front door of No. 7 Berners Street, where he lived with his
mother and sister, was thrown open, and the banker would step briskly
into the adjoining premises--the counting-house of Messrs Marsh,
Stracey, Fauntleroy & Graham. For he was a partner, also, as well as
absolute manager, this solemn young gentleman whose air of ponderous
respectability won the confidence of all.

At first sight, his cleanly-chiselled features seemed to express merely
gentleness and simplicity, but a second glance would reveal a picture
of resolution and strength. In fact, the massive brow, the broad
cheekbones, and the firm, bold contour of the chin suggested a strange
likeness--one that he sought to emphasise by the close-cropped hair
made to droop over his forehead. It was his foible, this belief that
he bore a resemblance to the great Buonaparte--whose bust adorned his
mantelpiece--and the final catastrophe that overwhelmed him should
discourage any latter-day egoist who prides himself upon a similar
likeness.

Springing from an industrious Nonconformist stock (for his father
had been the architect of his own fortunes, while his elder brother
William, who fell a victim to consumption at an early age, was a youth
full of the promise of genius), the temperament of Henry Fauntleroy
appears to have been as complex a piece of mechanism as Nature ever
enclosed within a human tenement. The love of toil, and an indomitable
perseverance, seemed to be the guiding principles of his life. Not only
did his fine courage never waver amidst the terrors of the financial
tempest, through which he stood at the helm of his frail bark, but he
gave no sign to his colleagues of the misgivings that must have lurked
within his mind. For commerce had fallen upon evil days. On every side
he beheld the crash and wreckage of his fellows, but, inspired by the
confidence which only the knowledge of power can bestow, he resolved
to continue his struggle against the storm. With a brain capable of
grappling with huge balance-sheets, an almost superhuman dexterity in
figures being his natural gift, the work of three men was the daily
task of this Napoleon of commerce. Although the members of his firm
were compelled to dive deeply into their pockets during these hazardous
years, to meet losses occasioned by the failure of clients engaged in
building speculations, the Berners Street Bank was handled so skilfully
that it managed to weather the storm.

In spite of his vast abilities, there was nothing of bombast in
Fauntleroy’s nature, nor did external evidence show that he was engaged
in deadly warfare against the unpropitious fates. A gentle, unassuming
man, with a quiet charm of address, he won universal regard from all
with whom he came into contact. The gift of friendship, the infectious
knack of social intercourse, was part of his character. Naturally, the
circle in which he moved was composed of persons of refinement and,
in some cases, of eminence in the commercial world. While his hand
was ever open to the cry of distress, his board always had a place
for those who had gained his esteem. All the leisure he could snatch
seemed devoted to simple pleasures--a choice little dinner to a few
kindred spirits, a holiday at his suburban villa, or a week-end visit
to his house in Brighton. Though his earnest, florid face might be seen
often beneath the hood of his smart cabriolet, this carriage was used
principally in journeys between Berners Street and the City. In short,
few business men in London were held in greater respect than this
hard-working young banker, who was so like the Emperor Napoleon.

Yet there was another side to the picture. Although ostensibly he lived
this simple and strenuous existence, a few bosom companions knew him
in another guise. Unknown to the world, those week-end parties at his
villa in the suburbs were tainted and ungodly. The sweet girl who sat
at the head of his table as mistress of his home had lost her maiden
innocence while her fresh young beauty was in its bud, lured by the
sensuous Fauntleroy almost from school. All her pretty friends belonged
to the same frail sisterhood, Cyprians beyond question, though modest
perhaps in demeanour and speech. And with these ‘Kates and Sues’ of
the town came Fauntleroy’s intimates, ‘Toms and Jerries’ unmistakably,
though possibly only in travesty, becoming sober men once more in
business hours.

Or one might have seen him driving past the fetid Pavilion at
Brighton in his smart carriage, with its fawn-coloured lining, and
have recognised in the shameless features of the flashy lady at
his side the notorious ‘Corinthian Kate’ herself--in real life Mrs
‘Bang’ most ‘slap-up of ladybirds’ Then, again, at his luxurious
seaside home in Western Place, with its conservatories and sumptuous
billiard-room-draped as a facsimile of Napoleon’s travelling tent--his
Kate’s dear friend Harriet Wilson, or other illustrious fair ones,
would come to amuse his bachelor companions. Thus, in his leisure
moments, the industrious Fauntleroy enjoyed secretly the life of an
epicure and sensualist. Deep-buried in his soul the love of vice was
ever present. “There only needed one thing to complete your equipage,”
he writes, in plain _double entente_ that indicates his ruling passion,
to his friend Sheriff Parkins, “instead of the man at your side, a
beautiful angel!”

Marriage had meant no sowing of wild oats to Henry Fauntleroy. A
mystery surrounds his union to the daughter of a naval captain named
John Young. It is known only that, although a son was born, the match
from the first was an unhappy one, and an early separation took
place. During the year of Waterloo a liaison with a married lady, who
had a complacent or shortsighted husband, increased the habits of
extravagance which in the end brought the banker to ruin. Later, the
pretty young girl Maria Fox, who had been educated at a convent in
France, consented to become the mistress of his suburban home. Thus
the double life continued; while to those who knew him only in Berners
Street, Mr Fauntleroy appeared the most righteous and respectable of
men.

What was the nominal income of the young bank manager it is impossible
to ascertain; but whatever the sum, it is certain that before very long
his expenditure began to exceed his means. Probably he took the first
step on his downward march during the year of the hejira to Elba. The
strength and weakness of his character combined to make the position
of Tantalus unendurable. Nothing seemed more certain than that the
Berners Street house, which had never recovered from its unfortunate
speculations, would return large profits if its capital was sufficient
to meet all claims. Thus Fauntleroy decided not to take his colleagues
into his confidence. Such a step would have caused the business to be
wound up, and he would have lost his handsome salary. As one of his
most severe critics has pointed out, “he had not enough moral courage
to face the world in honest, brave poverty.” On the contrary, his
courage took another form. Confident that he must conquer evil fortune,
the self-reliant man resolved to commence a life-and-death battle with
fate, alone and unaided. And his choice was the frightful expedient of
forgery!

The methods of Fauntleroy were of unparalleled audacity. Then,
as now, clients were in the habit of placing the certificates of
their securities in the hands of their bankers for safe custody.
So, by boldly forging the signature of the proprietor upon a power
of attorney, he was able to sell any particular investment that he
desired. Naturally, his depredations were confined to Government
securities--Consols, Long Annuities, Exchequer Bills--and thus in
effecting the fraudulent transfers his negotiations were with the
Bank of England. For a period of almost ten years this incomparable
swindler maintained the credit of his house in this manner, selling
stocks belonging to his clients to the value of hundreds of thousands
of pounds. As the proprietors received their dividends as regularly
as ever--for Fauntleroy took care that their pass-books were credited
with the half-yearly payments--they never knew that their investments
had been abstracted. On the death of an owner the stolen stock was
replaced, and thus the trustees were unaware of the theft. So the
frauds went on, each forgery being shrouded by another, until the total
deficit of the Berners Street Bank exceeded half a million!

Narrow escapes were inevitable. On one occasion he was handing over a
power of attorney for the transfer of stock to one of the clerks in
the Consols Office at the Bank of England, when the person whose name
he had forged entered the room. Yet Fauntleroy’s _aplomb_ did not fail
him. As soon as he perceived the new-comer, he requested the clerk
to return the document, with the excuse that he wished to correct an
omission. Then, having secured the paper, he went to greet the friend
whom he was about to rob, and they strolled out of the bank together.
Another day, one of his lady clients instructed a London broker to sell
some stock for her. Finding no such investment registered in her name,
the man called at Berners Street to make inquiries. To his surprise
the plausible banker informed him that the lady had already desired
him to effect the sale. “And here,” continued the smiling Fauntleroy,
producing a number of Exchequer bills, “are the proceeds.” Although his
customer protested that she had never authorised the transaction, the
matter was allowed to drop. While a friend was chatting in his private
office he is said to have been imitating his signature, which he took
out to the counting-house before his companion had departed. One of
the last occasions when he visited the Bank of England was on the 5th
of January, the day on which Thurtell and Hunt were tried for the
Gillshill murder. While the clerk was crediting the dividend warrants
due to his firm, the banker conversed about the crime. It was noted
as a strange coincidence that the same clerk was one of the witnesses
against him.

One day in September 1824, Mr J. D. Hulme, an official of the Custom
House, wishing to examine a list of investments belonging to an
estate of which he had become a trustee, paid a visit to the Bank of
England. To his amazement he found that a sum of £10,000 in Consols
was missing, and inquiry proved that the stock had been sold by the
Berners Street manager under a power of attorney. On the advice of
Mr Freshfield, solicitor of the bank, an application was made to Mr
Conant of Marlborough Street, who was induced to grant a warrant for
the arrest of the suspected man. At last the wily Fauntleroy had been
caught napping; for although he was aware that there was a risk of
exposure, and had made preparations to reinvest the stolen Consols, he
had not yet been able to complete the transaction.

During the whole of Thursday night, Samuel Plank, chief-officer of
Marlborough Street, finding that the banker was away from home, paraded
Berners Street watching for his return. On the next morning, the 10th
of September, at his usual hour, the grave, neatly dressed forger
walked into his place of business. A mean trick marked the arrest.
Mr Goodchild, the other co-trustee of the plundered estate, entered
the counting-house a few moments before Plank, and proceeded into the
private office, while the constable, pretending to cash a cheque,
remained at the counter. When through the half-closed door of the inner
room he saw that the victim and decoy were closeted together, the
police-officer pushed past the astonished clerks, explaining that he
wanted to speak to their employer. As Fauntleroy raised his eyes from
his desk, and saw a warrant in the intruder’s hand, he realised that
the visit of his friend was merely a device to place him in the hand of
the law.

“Good God!” exclaimed the doomed man. “Cannot this business be settled?”

And tradition relates that he offered Plank a bribe of ten thousand
pounds to allow him to escape. But the officer proved incorruptible,
and soon the banker was standing in the presence of his astonished
friend, Magistrate John Conant, who, though sore distressed, was
compelled to commit him to Coldbath Fields prison.

“I alone am guilty,” cried the wretched Fauntleroy, in a burst of
penitence. “My colleagues did not know!”

Like the great model whom he had striven to emulate, the vain man had
found his Moscow. No longer was he the dandy banker of Berners Street,
whose friendship had been sought by so many rich men from the City.
The days of the lavish Corinthian, the associate of ‘bang-up pinks
and bloods’ had passed away for ever, and he had become a criminal,
standing beneath the shadow of the gallows!

While Mr Freshfield, with the aid of the constable, proceeded to
execute his right of search, the members of the firm were summoned to
town. At first the catastrophe was not appreciated to the full extent.
On the following morning the bank opened its doors, and customers paid
and drew their cheques as usual. However, before the close of the day
the proprietors sent an announcement to the press that “in consequence
of the extraordinary conduct of their partner,” they had determined for
the present to suspend payment.

During the whole of Monday, the 13th of September, an excited throng
took possession of Berners Street--neighbouring tradesmen trembling for
their deposits; men from the City dismayed by the wildest rumours. A
force of police was deemed necessary to prevent a riot. “Arrest of Mr
Fauntleroy, the well-known banker!” The amazing tidings was upon every
lip. A similar sensation had not been experienced in the memory of
man. Since the days of Dr Dodd, half a century before, none so high in
the social scale had been accused of such a crime. All the week, panic
reigned in business houses. It was whispered that the defalcations
would reach half a million pounds: that the greatest commercial
scandal of the age would be disclosed. One day, it was said that
Fauntleroy had arranged a plan of escape; on another, that he had cut
his throat with a razor.

In the presence of a crowd of his creditors, the forger--crushed,
despairing, overwhelmed with the deepest shame--was brought up for his
first examination at Marlborough Street on the following Saturday.
Although not more than forty, his hair, prematurely grey, made him look
much older. During ten long years of torture the slow fires of suspense
must have burnt deep into his soul, and the reality of this fatal
hour would seem less cruel than the dreaded expectation. One observer
states that “his expression is of pure John Bull good-nature”; another
declares that he had “a mild Roman contour of visage”; while his dress
was the inevitable blue tail-coat and trousers, with half-boots and a
light-coloured waistcoat--the morning attire of all gentlemen of the
period from Lord Alvanley and Ball Hughes down to Corinthian Tom.

On the Friday week following his first examination, the forger stood
once more in the dock at Marlborough Street. Two maiden ladies, Miss
Frances and Miss Elizabeth Young, whose small fortune had been stolen,
gave testimony against the prisoner. Pained to see the man whom they
had honoured and trusted in this terrible position, the tender-hearted
women were tearful and distressed. Since the maiden name of Mrs Henry
Fauntleroy was the same as theirs, rumour leapt to the conclusion that
these witnesses were the sisters of the prisoner’s wife. When the
unfortunate banker was seen to flush deeply as Miss Young appeared in
the witness-box, the error was confirmed.

It was not until the 19th of October that the accused went through his
third and last examination. Although well-groomed and immaculate as
ever, he was a mere shadow of the placid, inscrutable man of business
who had borne his guilty secret so boldly and so long. There was
“rather a ghastly than a living hue upon his countenance,” remarks the
stylist who reports for _The Times_. All the necessary charges being
proved, he was committed to Newgate, his removal being postponed until
Thursday, the 21st of October, on the application of his solicitor.

Meanwhile the London press had revelled in the case. Scarcely a day
passed without a reference to the forger or to the forgery, and there
was the greatest strife among the various newspapers to secure the
most lurid reports. Many times we have the amusing spectacle of two
journals belabouring each other like the envious editors in _Pickwick_.
Even the recent crime of John Thurtell--for in this wonderful fourth
year of his Gracious Majesty King George IV. the lucky public was
satiated with melodrama, while Jemmy Catnach’s pockets were overflowing
with gold--did not offer such chances of sensational reports. It was
announced to an amazed public that Fauntleroy had squandered the
proceeds of his forgeries in riot and dissipation. One-half of his
private life was disclosed to public ears; and though some of the
newspapers were merciful, just as others were hostile to the prisoner,
one and all, with very few exceptions, probed deep into his murky past.

Happily, there is no evidence to justify the supposition that the
partners in the Berners Street bank--and in particular Mr J. H.
Stracey, who thirty years later succeeded to the baronetcy held in turn
by his father and his two brothers--were responsible for the dastardly
attacks upon the defenceless man. Even had he given no public denial
to the charge, such an assumption is impossible in the case of an
honourable man like the late Sir Josias Stracey. Moreover, the identity
of the person who inspired the disgraceful accounts in _The Times_ and
other journals is easy to discern.

This spiteful enemy bursts upon the stage of the sad tragedy of
Fauntleroy like the comic villain of melodrama--too contemptible to
hate, but with a humour too crapulous for whole-hearted laughter.
Joseph Wilfred Parkins--elected Sheriff of London on the 24th of June
1819--appears to have been one of the most blatant humbugs that ever
belonged to the objectionable family of Bumble. Tradition relates that
he was the son of a blacksmith who lived on the borders of Inglewood
Forest in Cumberland; but Parkins, too proud to know from whence he
came, preferred to pass as a bastard of the Duke of Norfolk. In his
early youth, we are told that “he was apprenticed to a breeches-maker
in Carlisle, but his dexterity as a workman not being commensurate
with his powers of digestion, a separation took place.” Afterwards he
sailed to Calcutta, where, assisted by letters of introduction from his
patron the Duke, he established a lucrative business. In other ways,
according to account, he was a success in India, where he became famous
for hunting tigers with English greyhounds, and once shot a coolie for
disobeying his orders, two miles and a half distant, right through
the head, across the Ganges, and through an impenetrable jungle! On
another occasion he claimed to have ridden stark naked in mid-day, on
a barebacked horse without bridle, fifty miles in six hours, for a
wager, and to have trotted back for pleasure without even a drink of
water. When he returned to his native land with the treasures of the
East, it was inevitable that such a man should win notoriety. Having
failed to gain the affections of Queen Caroline, who preferred Alderman
Wood for a beau, he devoted himself to Olive Serres, ‘Princess of
Cumberland’ and became her champion and literary collaborator. One of
the achievements on which he most prided himself was the refusal to
marry a daughter of Lord Sidmouth, who was most eager to become his
father-in-law. Sometimes we behold him fawning upon Lord Mayor Waithman
and Orator Hunt. At others, no one excels him in hurling abuse at these
same celebrities. During a portion of his career a charmer named Hannah
White caused him much trouble. Probably he enjoys the unique honour of
being the only Sheriff of London upon whom the Court of Common Council
has passed a vote of censure for his conduct while in office.

For some years this great Parkins was a familiar friend of Henry
Fauntleroy. “I have been looking out for you in town these three or
four days,” the banker writes to him in May 1816, “as we have a dance
this evening, and lots of pretty girls, and I know you are an admirer
of them.” However, just after the arrest, the ex-Sheriff suspected
his former associate unjustly of a breach of faith, and thus became
his most deadly enemy, placing his intimate knowledge of his friend’s
habits at the service of the hostile press. In order to exhibit the
bankers depravity, he published a communication from the fair but frail
Corinthian Kate, known in real life as ‘Mother Bang’ but the context
chiefly serves to indicate that Parkins treasured a grudge because his
friend had never introduced him to the lady. Even after the criminal
had received sentence his animosity did not cease. “The penalty for
forgery should be the gallows,” he declared at a meeting of the Berners
Street creditors, “until the law discovered a worse punishment.”
When the only son of the condemned man, a youth of fifteen, wrote
to the papers, pleading that mercy should be shown to his father,
the vindictive ex-Sheriff declared in the columns of the _Morning
Chronicle_ (as it proved, falsely) that the boy was not the author
of the appeal. Nor did he scruple to print private letters from Mrs
Fauntleroy to her husband in order to show that she was an ill-used
wife.

Great indulgence was shown to the banker--for a forger always was
treated with lenience--during his term of imprisonment at the Old
Bailey. The same consideration--which aroused the ire of Parkins to
boiling point--had been paid to him while he was under the care of Mr
Vickery, ex-Bow Street runner, at that time the Governor of Coldbath
Fields bridewell. On this account there arose a very pretty quarrel, at
which, of course, the newspapers assisted, between John Edward Conant
of Marlborough Street and an elderly magistrate of Hammersmith named
John Hanson. The latter was accused of intruding into Fauntleroy’s room
at the House of Correction, when the following conversation is said to
have taken place:

“You are the banker from Berners Street, aren’t you?” demanded the
visitor.

“Yes, I am that unfortunate person, sir,” answered the prisoner.

“Oh, then you’d better look to your soul,” was the reply. “Look to your
Bible. Read your Bible.”

Although poor old Hanson, who was struck off the list of visiting
justices in consequence of his officiousness, made many earnest
protests that he had been misrepresented, and although Fauntleroy
acquitted him of all intent to offend, it would appear that his
observations were superfluous, whatever their precise form.

At Newgate the kind-hearted Mr Wontner--keeper of the gaol from 1822
till his premature death at the age of fifty in 1833--allowed the
unfortunate banker every privilege that lay in his power. Thus his
prison was no gloomy dungeon, but a large and well-furnished room,
occupied by a turnkey named Harris, who removed into an adjacent
apartment, and who, together with his wife, watched over and attended
to the wants of his charge. Convinced that his case was hopeless, it
is said that Fauntleroy resolved to plead guilty; but, urged by his
friends, and by his solicitors, Messrs Forbes & Harmer, he was induced
at last to abandon the intention.

James Harmer, who conducted his defence, was the great criminal
lawyer of his day--a prototype of Mr Jaggers--the prince of Old
Bailey attorneys. Among his clients were such diametrically opposite
characters as Joseph Hunt of Gillshill fame, and lusty Sam Bamford
of Middleton. The incidents of Mr Fauntleroy’s case offered many
opportunities for his versatile talents; and although he failed to
teach good manners to _The Times_ newspaper, he did much service to his
age, by means of a side issue, in getting Joseph Parkins indicted for
perjury. Yet the greatest abilities could do little to extenuate the
Berners Street forgeries. Still, whether or not he had a weakness for
scented soap, Harmer never fought in kid gloves, as the unfortunate
Messrs Marsh, Stracey, & Graham--whom he was compelled to damage in the
interests of the man he defended--found to their cost. Those inclined
to accuse Charles Dickens of exaggeration should bear in mind that
murderer Hunt, who chose Jaggers Harmer as his solicitor, escaped the
hangman’s rope, while Thurtell, who employed another lawyer, was handed
over to Thomas Cheshire.

The trial of Fauntleroy on Saturday, the 30th of October, did not
attract the mob of respectables that officialdom had anticipated. A
guinea entrance-fee proved prohibitive. Press and law students alone
furnished their crowds, and the private galleries were patronised but
poorly. Joseph Parkins, eager to witness the humiliation of the man
whom he had chosen to regard as an enemy, was an early arrival, taking
his place at the barristers’ table in front of the dock, where, in full
view of the prisoner, he could gloat over his misery. Luckily, Sheriff
Brown, whose humanity--like that of his colleague John Key--was
in advance of the age, witnessed the manœuvre, and, appreciating the
motive of the truculent nabob, sent an officer of the court to tell
him that his seat was engaged. Parkins, whose fierce eyes, glaring
from beneath bushy, overhanging brows, seemed to inflame his combative
features and fiery locks, turned in outraged dignity upon the official.

[Illustration:

_James Harmer, Esqʳ._

_Solicitor._

_Engraved by T. Wright from a Drawing by A. Wivell._

_London, Published August 1ˢᵗ, 1820, by A. WIVELL, 105, Great
Titchfield Street._]

“Do you know to whom you speak, sir?” he articulated.

“Know you?” was the reply. “To be sure I do. Come, be off!”

So the ‘XXX Sheriff’ was forced to make his exit by climbing
ignominiously over seats and benches, to the infinite mirth and
advantage of the gentlemen of the press.

At ten o’clock Justice Park and Baron Garrow come into court, followed
by the Attorney-General, the great Sir John Copley, soon to be Lord
Lyndhurst, who, instructed by Mr Freshfield, solicitor to the bank,
has charge of the prosecution. John Gurney, afterwards a judge, who,
like Scarlett and Adolphus, is one of the great criminal barristers of
his day, defends the prisoner. The buzz of many voices is hushed into
silence as Fauntleroy is placed at the bar. Jaggers Harmer accompanies
him. For a moment he is dazzled by the glare from the inverted mirror
above the dock. Making a feeble attempt to bow to his judges, he almost
falls back into the arms of the attendants. With closed eyes and bent
head, shrinking from the universal gaze, he stands with trembling
fingers resting on the bar--a picture of unutterable shame. Thin and
worn are his features, and his face is pale as death, while his hair,
thrown into contrast by his full suit of black, has become white as
though sprinkled with powder.

The Attorney-General proceeds with the first indictment, that which
charges the prisoner with transferring under a forged deed £5450 Three
per cent. Consols, belonging to Miss Frances Young. During the speech
there comes a disclosure amazing to everyone in court save the man in
the dock and those who defend him. In a private box found at Berners
Street after his arrest, a document has been discovered containing a
list of stolen securities. Upon this paper, written and signed by the
hand of Fauntleroy, and dated the 7th of May 1816, are these words,
which, as Sir John Copley reads them, bewilder all his hearers:--

“In order to keep up the credit of our house I have forged powers of
attorney, and have thereupon sold out all these sums, without the
knowledge of my partners. I have given credit in the accounts for the
interest when it became due. The Bank (of England) began first to
refuse our acceptances, and thereby to destroy the credit of our house;
they shall smart for it.”

Attorney-General and rest of the world are much puzzled, concluding
that but for unaccountable negligence the prisoner would have destroyed
this seemingly incriminating document; as though a forger would not
prefer that his frauds should be thought to have been actuated rather
by devotion to his business and revenge against the unpopular Old Lady
of Threadneedle Street than merely for the sake of self-aggrandisement.
“The Bank of England shall smart for it!” Were the story credible--were
Fauntleroy, in fact, a small defaulter--we may well believe that
another fierce outcry would have arisen against the wicked old harridan
of the City.

There is little difficulty in proving the indictment, while the poor
wretch in the dock sits huddled in his chair, trying vainly to conceal
his face with his handkerchief. A couple of his own clerks swear that
the signature to the deed is a forgery. Tear-stained Miss Young, whom
most regard as the sister-in-law of the accused man, proves that her
slender store of investments has been pilfered. Officials of the
Bank show that the unhappy prisoner was the thief. There crops up
a curious instance of the _naïveté_ of British jurisprudence. For
Threadneedle Street has been obliged to refund the stocks belonging to
Miss Young in order to make her ‘a competent witness’ lest it might
seem that she has a motive in affirming or denying the forgery of the
power of attorney. Thus the Old Lady confesses that she has bribed a
witness in order that this witness may not be suspected of trying to
obtain a bribe!

[Illustration: _FAUNTLEROY’S TRIAL AT THE OLD BAILEY._]

When Fauntleroy is called upon for his defence, he manages to stagger
to his feet. The law of England will not allow his counsel to speak
for him. Drawing a paper from his bosom, and wiping away the tears
that stream from his eyes, he adjusts his glasses. Then, in a clumsy,
insincere manner, like a schoolboy’s recitation, he begins to read
a long apology. It is apparent that he has not written the speech
himself, and it makes no impression. Commencing with a complaint
against the false and libellous accounts in the press, he sketches
the history of the Berners Street Bank in order to show that it has
received the benefit of the whole of his forgeries; describing how he
alone has borne the burden of the business and the anxiety of perilous
speculations, while his partners have given him no assistance. All his
frauds were accomplished to cover commercial losses, the withdrawal
of borrowed capital, and the overdrafts of two of his colleagues. To
every one of the charges of prodigality he offers an emphatic denial.
In conclusion, he makes a pathetic vindication of his conduct towards
his wife, declaring that not only are the statements published in the
newspapers false, but that she has had always the best of feeling
towards him.

Although just and merciful, the address of the judge is hostile to the
prisoner, and the jury, who retire at ten minutes to three, return in
less than a quarter of an hour with a verdict of guilty. Exhausted
with his long ordeal, poor Fauntleroy is incapable of exhibiting
emotion. A vacant expression is stamped on his pallid features, and
when Justice Park tells him that the trial is over he sinks listlessly
into his chair. Raising him in his arms, Governor Wontner supports him
from the dock.

On the following Tuesday, when the convict is brought up to hear his
doom in the New Court, Messrs Broderick and Alley move an arrest of
judgment on certain technical points of law. Justice Park, who is said
to have been acquainted with the prisoner, does not attend, but neither
Baron Garrow nor the Recorder will accept the empty but ingenuous
arguments of counsel. The prisoner reads a paper, stating that when he
committed the forgeries he had expected to repay the money when his
house prospered. Thus he begs for mercy from the Crown. Sentence of
death is the reply.

After the publication of Fauntleroy’s defence, the press attacks--as
no doubt Jaggers Harmer had foreseen--are turned against the unlucky
partners. All the statements of the condemned man find acceptance, like
the protests of every criminal, and it is believed that his colleagues
must be guilty of complicity in the frauds. From _The Times_ comes a
demand that Messrs Marsh, Stracey, and Graham shall be examined before
the Privy Council! A petition for reprieve is promoted by the creditors
of the Berners Street house, on the plea that Fauntleroy’s evidence
is necessary to elucidate the intricate accounts. Another lies at the
office of Harmer’s paper, the _Weekly Dispatch_.

Condemned convicts are quartered still, and for many years afterwards,
in the part of the prison known as the Press Yard--a walled quadrangle,
where they are allowed to herd together indiscriminately during certain
hours, adjacent to a three-storied building containing a day-room
and the cells in which they are locked at night. Being a person of
consequence, the miserable banker does not share this ignominy, but
returns to the same apartment that he had occupied before his trial.
Since the use of fetters had been abolished in Newgate, he is not
required to endure even the ‘light manacles’ which some of the papers
state he is wearing.

Remaining faithful to the end, although so deeply wronged, his poor
wife is a constant visitor. His brother John, a London solicitor, and
his fifteen-year-old son, reported variously as being educated at
Winchester and Westminster (afterwards at Skinner’s, Tonbridge), come
frequently to the prison. The beautiful Maria Fox, a mere schoolgirl
when first she became his mistress, and who appears to be deeply
attached to her protector, brings her two baby daughters to Newgate.
Few men in their last hours have witnessed more terrible examples of
the ruin they have wrought than the weak and self-indulgent Henry
Fauntleroy.

Gentle Mr Baker, the white-haired layman of the map office in the
Tower, whose work in the foul dungeon was scarcely less admirable
than that of Elizabeth Fry, seems to be more successful in winning
the affections of the condemned man than Ordinary Cotton; and the
efforts of this good Samaritan are aided by a clergyman from Peckham,
named Springett, to whom Fauntleroy had been introduced by a friend.
These two are his constant companions during the remainder of his
imprisonment. Most of his old associates prove loyal, in spite of his
infamy and disgrace, for the fearful penalty of the forger is thought
to atone for the greatest of frauds.

Meanwhile, exertions for a reprieve continue. The condemned banker is
not included in the Recorder’s report on the 20th of November at a
meeting of the Council, over which the King is said to have presided,
and the case is argued twice before the Judges on the 23rd and 24th of
the month. George IV., the only one of the four who was a gentleman,
a scholar, or a man of artistic taste, the only one whose foolish
egotism did not embroil the country in a costly and bloody war, was
also the only one with a merciful heart. His first great fault, for
which neither contemporaries nor posterity have forgiven him, was
infidelity to a dull, silly, uncleanly wife, whom he was compelled to
marry against his will, and who was nothing loth to pay him back in his
own coin. His next, that, like the Duke of Wellington and his brother
William, he was a lion among the ladies. George IV. is inclined to save
Fauntleroy from the scaffold, just as he wished to save all except the
murderer.

Every effort fails, however, and on Wednesday night, after a meeting
of the Privy Council, the Recorder sends his report to Newgate. At
half-past six the Rev. Cotton, whose duty it is to break the news of
their fate to the prisoners, proceeds to Fauntleroy’s room. The banker,
who is reading, looks up as the Ordinary enters, and, observing that he
is deeply affected, “Ah, Mr Cotton, I see how it is,” he exclaims. “I
expected nothing less than death, and, thank God, I am resigned to my
fate.” During the rest of the day he seems more concerned for the doom
of Joseph Harwood--a lad of eighteen, condemned to die the next morning
for stealing half a crown from the pocket of a drunken Irishman--than
for his own dismal situation. Worn out with suspense, he does not awake
until a late hour on Thursday, and thus sleep spares him the anguish of
hearing the awful bell that is added to the torments of those who go to
the scaffold innocent of murder.

On Friday, Miss Fox comes to bid him farewell, bringing with her, so
_The Times_ reports, “two lovely babes, both girls, of the ages of
eighteen months and three years, and both also in deep mourning.”
Another occasion, indeed, for the modern reader to exclaim--“Cruel,
like the grinding of human hearts under millstones.” One of that time
thinks so--Edmund Angelini, a crazy teacher of languages, who the same
day makes application to the Lord Mayor that he may be allowed to mount
the scaffold instead of Fauntleroy.

On Saturday, the miserable wife pays her last visit. Previously she
has made a desperate attempt to reach implacable Peel--fainting in his
hall--which brings from the Home Secretary “a kind message.” Afterwards
she strives to speak with Lady Conyngham, who pleads inability to
assist, conscious, no doubt, that although she can mould divine right,
her charms are powerless against the incorruptible calico-printer.
Angelini, still filled with lust for the rope, but whose logic has made
no impression on the Lord Mayor, comes hammering at Newgate door, and
succeeds in gaining an interview with Ordinary Cotton, whom, perhaps,
he regards--judging by appearances--as Jack Ketch’s commanding officer.

With the Sabbath comes gala-day and the ‘condemned sermon’ The partners
of Jaggers Harmer, by name Forbes and Mayhew, are humane enough to
sit with Fauntleroy in the ostentatious sable pew reserved for doomed
convicts, and the good Samaritans Baker and Springett, supporting their
charge with kind hands, take their seats with the dismal company.
Abductor Wakefield has left a graphic picture of an entertainment
similar to this. The rude, unsightly chapel, near akin in more than
appearance to the dissecting-room in Old Surgeons’ Hall, and with no
more semblance of holiness than the court at Bow Street, is packed
with prisoners, gay and careless sight-seers, the pomp of sheriffdom
and attendant lackeys. Hymns are bellowed, in hideous blasphemy,
beseeching divine mercy to show good example to the creatures it has
moulded in its own image. Prayers are mumbled, and heeded as little by
the gallows-gazing throng as the showman’s horn by children who pant
eagerly for the puppet-show. The hangman’s prologue--the sermon--is
what all desire, and everything else is of no account. At last the Rev.
Cotton, smug and resolute in white gown, mounts the lofty pulpit, and
the Sheriffs attempt to screw their courage to face the ordeal. The
Ordinary is in his finest form. On the previous Sunday he had shattered
the nerves of the boy Harwood, and had sent ‘a female’--condemned to
die for a paltry theft--into hysterics a fortnight ago. Scenes like
these make the condemned sermon attractive. To-day the discourse is
a stupid plagiarism of the Jacobite doctrine of passive resistance,
but the bank’s charter, and not divine right, is Cotton’s fetish.
While lauding the humanity of “the greatest commercial establishment
in the world,” he displays his want of accuracy and legal knowledge
by praising the directors for having replaced the stolen investments,
as they had not yet done, but were bound by law to do. “I deprecate
that feeling,” he declaims, “which is artfully and improperly excited
in favour of those who have no extraordinary claim to mercy. When
monstrous crimes have been committed we have a right to call for
judgment on criminals, and to consign them to the fate the law demands.
Offences are sometimes brought to light which require the most severe
chastisement the law can inflict, and discoveries of such a nature
have been made in reference to the unhappy individual to whom I shall
more particularly address myself,” etc., etc. Upon the limp, shrinking
figure in the large black pew, whose poor throbbing brain is pierced
through and through by the barbed words of the holy man, all eyes are
turned, save a few blinded with tears, or those wretches of both sexes
who testify by sobs and howls that a like fate is their portion. Even
in the leathern faces and soulless eyes of the grim turnkeys there
glimmers a tiny spark of emotion. It is pleasant to remember that
the Rev. Cotton, harmless and worthy gentleman in other respects,
received strong censure from those in authority for his eloquence at
the expense of Fauntleroy, and was accused of “harrowing the feelings
of the prisoner unnecessarily.” Still, it would have been wiser to have
attacked the system rather than the man.

Less gruesome even than the loathsome chapel is the condemned cell on
the fatal night. All day the doomed banker has been calm and resigned,
bidding adieu to his brother and his son, and explaining to his
solicitors intricate details in the books of the bank. Late in the
evening Mr Wontner comes to visit him as usual, and tries to persuade
him to take something to eat, but the wretched man protests he ‘loathed
food’ For hours he continues to pace the room, leaning on the arm of Mr
Springett. Although he declares that he shall never sleep until after
that ‘awful moment’ about three o’clock he is induced to lie upon the
bed. The clergyman, who leaves the chamber for a few moments, finds
him, when he returns, sitting by the fire and greatly terrified. Early
in the morning he is able to accept a cup of tea and a biscuit. Before
six o’clock Baker has resumed his work of mercy, and a little later
conscientious Ordinary Cotton joins the sad company. Neat and precise
as ever, the forger has made as careful a toilet as if he was to attend
a social gathering, attired in a suit of black, with knee-breeches,
silk stockings and dress shoes, and a white handkerchief around his
neck. To Mr Baker he gives a few pounds to distribute among the needy
people in the prison, and leaves a ring for Mrs Harris, the wife of the
turnkey, to whom, and also to her husband, he gives thanks for their
kindness.

Fauntleroy is spared a visit to the Press Yard, or to the adjacent
apartment, where the manacles of prisoners are knocked off previous to
the march to the scaffold. About 7.30 they conduct him to the ‘Upper
Condemned Room’ and here his favourite hymn is sung--“God moves in a
mysterious way”--and he partakes of the sacrament. From the numerous
conflicting reports it may be gathered that Sheriff Brown and his
ghastly train--for Alderman Key did not care to be present--attend
their victim at a quarter to eight. At the end of the long stone
chamber, dimly lighted by two candles, a small group is huddled before
the fire--the Rev. Cotton administering platitudes, Baker and Springett
on each side of the prisoner with their arms linked in his. Fauntleroy
is standing firmly in easy pose, although his senses seem benumbed
as if under the influence of a narcotic, and he bows slightly to the
Sheriff, who addresses him in a few kindly words. The Ordinary--clever
stage-manager--seizes the opportunity to draw the criminal a pace
or two apart, and the officers, taking the signal, come behind, and
commence to place their ropes around his arms. For a moment he seems
terrified, and like a hunted animal shrinks for refuge to his two
faithful friends, who gently place his hands across his breast, while
the attendants pinion his elbows with their cords.

The clock of St Sepulchre--ominous name!--strikes the hour. With a
solemn inclination of his head towards the convict the Sheriff moves
forward, followed by the white-robed Cotton. Then comes the hapless
banker, supported by Baker and Springett. With tightly closed eyes and
mechanical steps, as though his nerves were dead and his senses steeped
in torpor, he moves almost as an automaton. Through the long vaulted
passages, where the tread of footsteps seem to beat a funeral march to
the grave, down cold, steep stairs and along damp, cavernous windings,
amidst a gloom made more fearful by the red glare of scanty lamps, the
procession crawls onward. As it reaches the gate of the long corridor
leading into the high, square lobby, from whence the Debtors’ Door
opens upon the street, the Ordinary commences the service for the
dead. At the sound of the harsh words the wretched sufferer starts,
and clasps and unclasps his hands. No other sign of emotion marks his
bearing; and even when the boom of the passing bell smites the startled
ears of his companions, and their footsteps, as though stayed, pause
for a moment involuntarily, he shows no sign of consciousness.

Across the lofty stone hall, and under the gate of the slaughter-house,
the Sheriff and the Ordinary pass onward. There is a rush of chill,
moist air through the open door, the bare wooden stairs reverberate
with the tread of feet, and in another moment Fauntleroy, still
supported by his friends, is standing upon the platform in the open
street beneath the frowning wall of Old Bailey. Instantly every head
in the dense crowd is uncovered. Yet this is not a token of respect
for a dying man, but a time-honoured custom, so that the view of those
in the rear may not be obscured. With eyes still closed, and his face
turned towards Newgate Street, Fauntleroy moves under the cross-bar.
Physical exhaustion is fast conquering him, and the officials hasten
their task. In a moment the cap is slipped over his head, while Baker,
accustomed to these scenes, speaks to him in earnest prayer. The halter
is placed round his neck, and the loathly creature, whose expert hands
have finished pawing their victim, glides swiftly from the scaffold.
The Rev. Cotton continues to read from his book, but his eyes steal
sideways furtively, and he throws a glance of meaning upon the man who
has descended. An instant later, the Ordinary passes a handkerchief
across his lips. It is the signal! There is a crash of falling timber,
and to those in the street Fauntleroy appears to drop through the
platform as far as his knees, and hangs swaying from the strong black
beam which holds the cord that is gripping him by the throat. The
bowstring of the unspeakable Turk is a more artistic but not a more
cruel death.

The performance was an immense success, for a more stupendous throng
had never gathered round the black walls of Newgate. Over one hundred
thousand persons were said to have witnessed the entertainment, and
reserved seats in the houses commanding a view of Debtors’ Door
had been booked far in advance. At the ‘King of Denmark’ in the
Old Bailey the sum of fourteen shillings was charged for a place;
while at Wingrave’s eating-house and at Luttman’s, which were
exactly opposite ‘the drop’ the price was as high as one pound.
“Many respectable-looking females,” says the _Morning Post_, “were
present at the windows, all attired in deep black.” A line of large
waggons, hackney-coaches and cabriolets, all of which reaped a rich
harvest, stretched from the corner of Giltspur Street and Newgate to
Skinner’s Street, Snowhill, and every housetop was overflowing with
holiday-makers.

It was a bitterly cold morning, with icy rain-storms and a chill
mist, so the resolute thousands thoroughly deserved the enjoyment for
which they set at defiance all the ills of the flesh. Most careful
precautions were taken to avoid a repetition of the Haggerty-Holloway
tragedy, when the mob saved James Botting--that worthy soul whose
latter days were distressed by visions of ‘parties’ in nightcaps with
their heads on one side--an infinite deal of trouble by trampling
to death some fifty of its fellows. Six huge barriers stretched
across Newgate Street at the corner of the prison, and there were two
intermediate ones, to break the press, between that place and the
scaffold; more were erected at the Ludgate Hill termination of Old
Bailey, and within the barricade around the fatal platform were four
hundred constables.

[Illustration: _CATNACH’S BROADSIDE OF FAUNTLEROY’S EXECUTION._]

Sad to relate, the object-lesson was a failure in one instance, for
Henry Norman, a fine-looking lad of fifteen, was charged at the
Guildhall the next morning with picking a pocket, the owner of which
was gloating over the spectacle of the strangled banker. It speaks
highly for the integrity of our modern police force that, in these days
of exclusive hangings, a nimble-fingered Robert has never tried to
filch the watch of an impressionable Under-Sheriff. Or if he has, the
public has not heard of it.

In these record-breaking times it is a common occurrence for a trusted
attorney to embezzle half a million pounds, but before the achievements
of Henry Fauntleroy all previous forgeries sink into insignificance.
Poor Dodd surrendered all he stole, and Wynne Ryland’s fraud was, in
its way, as artistic a performance as those of Thomas Chatterton, while
a brief career of crime--as in the case of Henry Savary of Bristol, who
was lucky enough to escape the gallows--ruined the brothers Perreau.
James Bolland and John Rouvelett were low-born fellows; and although
the public welcomed each as a first-class criminal, neither gained
the same prestige as a forger of gentle birth. In a small way, Henry
Cock, the lawyer, anticipated the Berners Street frauds, and two other
cases bear some resemblance. Henry Weston, a man of good family and
social position, who was hanged at the Old Bailey on the 6th of June
1796, disposed of stocks amounting to twenty-five thousand pounds in
a similar manner to Fauntleroy; and Joseph Blackburn, one of the most
respected of Leeds attorneys, who suffered a lingering death at York on
the 8th of April 1815, committed innumerable frauds for a great number
of years by transferring and altering the denominations of the old
familiar blue stamps.

“Fauntleroy’s doom was so thoroughly recognised as well merited,”
writes Mr Thornbury, sternly, about forty years after the event, “that
although in 1832 every other kind of forger was exempted by law from
the gallows, the hands of the hangman still hovered over the forger of
wills and powers of attorney to transfer stock.” Yet, since the penalty
was never inflicted, this argument appears superfluous.

Fauntleroy certainly is the prince of forgers, as truly as Jack
Sheppard is the greatest of prison-breakers and George Barrington the
finest genius among pickpockets. Although driven to crime in the first
instance by moral cowardice and craving for self-indulgence, he must
have possessed an almost Napoleonic confidence that his abilities would
conquer misfortune. Too proud to surrender the terrible struggle, he
refused to adopt the easy alternative of flight to France with his
ill-gotten gains. When one tries to realise the stupendous task of
manipulating figures of such magnitude for so many years, the brain
reels. The regular payment of huge dividends lest the victims should
become aware of their loss, the constant replacement of stock when
discovery seemed to threaten, the repeated buying and selling in
order to rob Peter to-day to pay Paul to-morrow, the daily juggling
with the books, and adjustment of balances, added to the incessant
vigilance lest the errors of a few figures should mean betrayal to
partners or clerks--all these wonderful transactions show an example
of mathematical legerdemain such as the world has seldom seen. When it
is borne in mind that the man was playing for nearly ten years with
sums amounting in the aggregate to half a million sterling, his title
to the incomparable forger of all time cannot be challenged. But like
many another who has contributed to the public amusement, his memory
soon faded from the minds of all save his creditors. Scarcely had the
curtain been rung down on the tragedy of Fauntleroy, when it rose again
upon the entrancing drama of accommodating Miss Foote and wayward Mr
‘Pea-green’ Hayne.

Occasionally, but not often, we hear mention of the banker’s name, and
there was a recent reference to it in one of the delightful novels of
Anthony Hope.

“It is no longer a capital offence,” declares ribald Arty Kane,
referring to forgery, and addressing charming Peggy Ryle; “you won’t be
hanged in silk knee-breeches like Mr Fauntleroy.”


_Part II.--Some Details of the Forgeries._

[Sidenote: The Berners Street bankruptcy.]

No complete balance-sheet of the Marsh-Stracey bankruptcy appears
to exist. The books of the firm seem to have baffled both the
Commissioners and the assignees; and so artfully had Fauntleroy
concealed his frauds, that even skilled accountants did not succeed
in unravelling the whole of their mysteries. Contemporary newspapers
furnish many important clues, but their statements, when not
conflicting, are neither lucid nor exhaustive. Yet, although many
details must remain obscure, it is possible to form a rough conception
of the result.

[Sidenote: The position of the bankrupts.]

Since we know that the first dividend of 3s. 4d. in the pound
(distributed to the creditors on the 7th of February 1825) absorbed
a sum of £92,486, it is clear that Messrs Marsh, Stracey & Company
required a grand total of £554,916 to pay twenty shillings in the
pound. Practically these figures are substantiated by the preliminary
accounts presented at the meeting of the Commissioners on the 18th of
December 1824, which state that the claims against the firm--excluding
any liability to the Bank of England--amount to £554,148.

This estimate, however, is the only one of any accuracy made at the
time, for the assets expected to be realised fell very short of the
original calculation. A second dividend of 3s. 4d. was received by
the creditors on the 30th of August 1825, and between that date and
the appointment of the official assignee a further sum of £46,243 was
distributed. Thus the total of the first three dividends--which were
equivalent to 8s. 4d. in the pound--amounts to £231,215.

The bankruptcy return of Patrick Johnson (official assignee), published
in 1839, shows that assets were collected subsequently amounting to
£160,930, and thus the creditor side of the Berners Street ledger
appears to have reached a total of £392,150.

From this balance of £160,930--realised by the official assignee after
the payment of the first three dividends--further distributions of 5d.
and 1s. (being 9s. 9d. in the pound in all) were made respectively on
the 23rd of December 1833 and the 9th of September 1835, and absorbed
further sums of £11,560, 15s. and £27,745, 16s.

During September 1835 the claim of the Bank of England against Messrs
Marsh, Stracey & Company was compromised for a payment of £95,000
in cash; and a further sum of £11,000 for the expenses of working
the Commission of Bankruptcy from the 16th of September 1824 to the
end of the year 1833 must also be deducted. Therefore a balance of
£15,628--less any further costs--appears to have remained for payment
of a final dividend. Although many of the newspapers state that this
was made on the 7th of October 1837, unfortunately none of them give
any particulars. Yet it may be conjectured that the unfortunate
customers of the Berners Street Bank, after waiting for thirteen years,
could not have received more than 10s. 6d. in the pound.

The following rough balance-sheet will explain the above account:--

    _Dr._                                    _Cr._
  First div. 3s. 4d., Feb. 7,              First div.,               £92,486  0
   1825,                       £92,486  0  Second div.,               92,486  0
  Second div. 3s. 4d., Aug.                Third div.,                46,243  0
   30, 1825,                    92,486  0  Received by the official
  Third div. 1s. 8d., (paid                 assignee at 84 Basinghall
   before Dec. 28, 1832),       46,243  0   Street from Dec. 28,
  Fourth div. 5d., Dec. 23,                 1832, to Oct 7, 1837,    160,930  0
   1833,                        11,560 15                           /
  Fifth div. 1s., Sept. 9,                                         /
   1835,                        27,745 16                         /
  Bank of England, Sept.                                         /
   1835,                        95,000  0                       /
  Expenses of Administration                                   /
   up to Dec. 24, 1833,         11,000  0                     /
  Balance (including all costs                               /
   from Dec. 24, 1833, to                                   /
   Oct. 7, 1837, and out of                                /
   which the final dividend                               /
   was made on Oct. 7,                                   /
   1837,)                       15,628  9               /
                              -----------               -----------------------
                              £392,150  0                           £392,150  0
                              -----------                           -----------

[Sidenote: The private estates of the partners.]

The private estates of Messrs Stracey and Graham paid twenty shillings
in the pound before the end of 1833; and upon that of Mr Marsh, the
senior partner, who appears to have been indebted to the firm for a
loan of £73,000, excluding his overdraft on his private account, a
distribution of 17s. 6d. had been made before 1834. Little was received
on Fauntleroy’s estate, as it was claimed almost entirely by the
creditors of the Berners Street Bank.

[Sidenote: Losses under Fauntleroy’s management.]

It is now possible to form an estimate of the extent to which Messrs
Marsh, Stracey & Company were defaulters, and what were the losses
under the Fauntleroy régime. The total receipts set against the claims
of the creditors and the money stolen from the Bank of England, show a
deficiency of £522,980. Thus:--

    _Dr._                             _Cr._
  Claims of the creditors (to pay   Total receipts  £392,150
   20s. in the £)        £554,916   Deficiency       522,980
  Gross loss of the Bank  360,214
                         --------                   --------
                         £915,130                   £915,130
                         --------                   --------

[Sidenote: How the losses were incurred.]

Although it would be difficult, with any degree of accuracy, to
apportion under the separate charges this adverse balance of over
half a million pounds, and although much must be left to conjecture,
it is possible to explain some of the ways in which this vast sum was
dissipated. At the outset, the suggestion--arising out of one of the
pleas of Fauntleroy, and believed at the time--that the overdraft
on loans to two of the partners was responsible for a deficit of
£100,000, is refuted by the fact that both Messrs Marsh and Graham
refunded eventually their obligations to the full extent. In like
manner, the belief that large sums were lost owing to the necessity of
reinvesting constantly the various stocks sold by Fauntleroy in order
to avoid detection, overlooks the fact that, on the other hand, these
transactions must have afforded similar opportunities for making a
profit. It is probable that many such losses did occur; but since we
may believe that the Berners Street Bank prior to the forgeries was
earning an income of £7000 a year, it is likely that such an astute
manager as Henry Fauntleroy would be able to cancel many of these
losses through reinvestment by the profits he earned on the immense
capital he had secretly appropriated.

[Sidenote: (_a_) Loss of £160,000 in building speculations.]

[Sidenote: (_b_) £90,000 lost by paying dividends on the stolen stocks.]

Although the forger’s estimate of the result of his building
speculations is extravagant, the newspapers of the 20th of December
1824 make it clear that the Berners Street house must have lost in this
manner £160,000. It is certain also that immense sums were absorbed
by the payment of dividends to the proprietors whose stocks had been
stolen. Nearly £7000 per annum must have been required for this
purpose from the year 1816, and the sum would accumulate at compound
interest, until, as some say, an annual fund of £16,000 was required.
Setting aside all excessive calculations, we have the great authority
of the historian of the Bank of England that £9000 to £10,000 a year
was thus expended during the progress of the forgeries. Further than
this, notwithstanding that the partners in the bankrupt firm were
not entitled to any fraction of profit, the testimony of almost the
entire press credits each of them with receiving an income of over
£3000. At the examination of William Marsh, reported in the newspapers
of the 1st of March 1825, it was proved that he was indebted on his
private account for an overdraft of £26,000. As there is no reason to
believe that Mr Stracey or Mr Graham had enjoyed a smaller income, a
further deficit of nearly £80,000 is the result. And finally, as will
be shown, there is an overwhelming weight of evidence to prove that
the iniquitous Henry Fauntleroy, during the nineteen years he was a
partner, dissipated at least £100,000. In addition, the repayment of
the capital of Sir James Sibbald (who died the 17th of September 1819),
which formed a large portion of £64,000--the capital of the firm in
1814--would swell the adverse balance still further. Leaving this
out of the question, the facts stated above explain the deficit of
£430,000; and with the material at our disposal any further solution
would involve a more elaborate use of the methods of conjecture.

[Sidenote: (_c_) Loss of £80,000 through payments to Messrs Marsh,
Stracey & Graham.]

[Sidenote: (_d_) Fauntleroy spent £100,000.]

[Sidenote: To what extent did Fauntleroy participate in the proceeds of
his forgeries?]

When Fauntleroy made his famous declaration from the dock, he was
endeavouring to refute the extravagant assertion that he had spent a
sum of over four hundred thousand pounds in riotous living; and thus,
led to the opposite extreme, he made the mistake of attempting to
convey an erroneous impression of his frugality. Thus the statement
that he had never enjoyed any advantage beyond that in which all his
partners had participated seems to hint economy; but as Mr Marsh had
overdrawn his loan account by £70,000, the proposition is irrelevant
to the argument. Then, again, he confesses that the Brighton villa
cost £400, but he is not candid enough to admit the expenses of his
other establishments. The stern reality--that a thief cannot justify
the expenditure of one pennyworth of stolen property--never entered
his mind. Utterly false, however, is his answer to the charges of
profligacy--outrageous though they were.

“It has been cruelly asserted,” he declares, “that I fraudulently
invested money in the Funds to answer the payment of annuities
amounting to £2200 settled upon females. I never did make such
investment.”

No single tenet in Father Garnet’s doctrine of equivocation
puts greater stress upon the truth. Whoever made the necessary
investments--and the forger was shrewd enough not to let the
transaction appear in his own name--there is certain evidence that
he provided lavishly for his mistress Maria Fox. The lie is merely
concealed in subtle language.

“Neither at home nor abroad,” continues Fauntleroy, “have I any
investment, nor is there one shilling secretly deposited by me in the
hands of any human being.”

Such an assertion goes far beyond the sophistry of the most misguided
seventeenth-century Jesuit, for the Commissioners of Bankruptcy were
soon to discover that he had squandered thousands on his friend Mrs
Disney. His one denial in unequivocal terms is a deliberate falsehood.

“Equally ungenerous and untrue it is,” the forger proceeds, “to charge
me with having lent to loose and disorderly persons large sums of money
which never have and never will be repaid. I lent no sums but to a very
trifling amount, and those were advanced to valued friends.”

No doubt this last declaration had reference to the rumour that he had
squandered money upon the notorious Mary Ann Kent, ‘Mother Bang’--who
figures as ‘Corinthian Kate’ in _Life in London_--and its truth or
falsehood must depend upon the exact definition of the term ‘large
sums’ The criminal who had dealings with huge balance-sheets, naturally
had a magnificent sense of proportion.

[Sidenote: Fauntleroy’s expenditure.]

Fortunately, there is evidence of some of the ‘prodigal extravagance’
that was laid at his door. The total loss of the Bank of England owing
to the forgeries was £360,214, and the original claim of the directors
against the Berners Street establishment was £250,000. So it seems that
the balance was believed to have been spent wholly by Fauntleroy, and
not placed to the credit of the partnership. The sworn testimony of Mr
Wilkinson, an accountant employed by the assignees to examine the books
of the bankrupts--although inclined to favour Messrs Marsh, Stracey &
Company--supports this assumption in the most decisive manner. Thus, in
spite of his defence, it would appear that during his management the
forger appropriated for himself a sum of over £100,000. These figures,
moreover, are endorsed by the fair-minded James Scarlett, who made the
same statement as Wilkinson in his speech for the defendants in the
case of Stone and Others _v._ Marsh, Stracey & Company, which was heard
on the 2nd of March 1826. To disregard such unanimous testimony is
impossible.

[Sidenote: How did Fauntleroy spend the money?]

[Sidenote: (_a_) Domestic expenditure £2000 a year.]

It is quite credible that for a period of seventeen years (from 1807
to 1824) a man of Fauntleroy’s habits should expend an average income
of £5000. Had each of his three establishments--in Berners Street, in
Brighton, and at Lambeth--cost him as much as his moderate estimate of
one--and none of them could have been less expensive--the total reaches
£1200 a year. In addition to this, it is known that he allowed an
annuity of £400 to his wife. Thus, as he kept horses and carriages both
at London and the seaside, his lowest annual domestic expenditure must
have been at least £2000, or £34,000 over the period. Although the
house at Fulham was one of his later extravagances, there were others
that had taken its place previously.

[Sidenote: (_b_) Freehold property £10,000.]

The villa, land and furniture at Brighton, sold after his death,
realised nearly £7000--the residence alone is said to have cost him
this amount; and since he was the owner of a mews and six houses in
Bryanston Square, and two other houses in York Street, his freehold
property, on a moderate estimate, must have been worth £10,000.

[Sidenote: (_c_) Maria Fox £10,000.]

From the reports of the trial of Maria Fox at the Lewes Assizes in
April 1827, we gather that Fauntleroy settled on his youthful mistress
£6000, besides an annuity of £150, “of which the assignees,” said John
Adolphus, her counsel, “through the advice of a worthy gentleman, Mr
Bolland, were not so cruel as to deprive her.” Thus another £10,000 is
added to the banker’s debt.

[Sidenote: (_d_) Mrs J. C. Disney, £10,000.]

During the month of December 1824 the London papers are full of
insinuations with regard to Fauntleroy’s improper connection with a Mrs
James C. Disney, and the letter from the lady’s husband, which appeared
in the _New Times_ on the 24th of December, substantiates unwittingly
much of the truth of the story. It is certain that the creditors of
Marsh, Stracey & Company recovered large sums from this Mrs Disney, who
had been the recipient of Fauntleroy’s bounty to an extent exceeding
the limits of platonic love, and according to _The Times_ the amount
refunded was £10,000. Although many reports state that she received
twice this sum, it is sufficient for the purpose to accept the lesser
figures.

Thus there is almost complete evidence that Fauntleroy’s expenditure
under three heads--domestic expenses, freehold property, and the two
mistresses above mentioned--absorbed a sum of £64,000. It is not
unreasonable to suppose that the man who could squander this money in
less than seventeen years, while his firm was in so dire a plight,
was capable of spending double the amount. It is improbable that his
various establishments cost him no more than £2000 a year; and if
_The Times_ of the 1st of December is to be believed, he confessed
that he had enjoyed a very much larger income. The age of pinks and
bloods was as extravagant as our own, and many luxuries of life were
more expensive. Fauntleroy was a patron of ‘Corinthian Kate’; and if
Pierce Egan is an authority, we may conjecture--in spite of her denial
to Joseph Parkins--that the unfortunate banker found her an expensive
luxury. Like the great man whom he took a pride in fancying he
resembled, it is notorious that the forger had a weakness for what his
contemporaries termed ‘ladybirds’ and was in this respect a dissipated
and worthless fellow. Moreover, he was celebrated for his costly
dinners and rare wines--there is the grisly story of the friend who
urged him as a last request to tell where he purchased his exquisite
curaçoa--and he seems to have denied himself no luxury. Although it is
not possible to give a complete explanation of Fauntleroy’s expenditure
during the years of his race to ruin, it is satisfactory to know some
portion of the details, and they show, through all possible coats of
whitewash, that he was guilty of the most prodigal extravagance.

[Sidenote: The conduct of the partners.]

Since the partners of the Berners Street Bank were censured for gross
negligence in two courts of law, it is not surprising that their
creditors should have treated them with intolerance. At first the
public had regarded them as unfortunate dupes, and it was not until
Fauntleroy had made his defence that a popular outcry arose. It seemed
incredible that three men of the world should have thrown the heavy
burden of managing a firm, weighed down by embarrassments, upon the
shoulders of a youth of twenty-two, and equally preposterous that, in
the face of losses reaching into hundreds of thousands, the young
man’s colleagues should have remained easy, trusting, asleep. Yet, in
spite of the onslaught of the London press, and the clamour of the
noisy creditors, headed by Joseph Parkins and his fellows, beneath
the roof of the ‘Boar and Castle’ and the ‘Freemasons’ Tavern,’ it
is certain that Messrs Marsh, Stracey & Graham were innocent of all
guilty complicity in their partner’s frauds. The statements that had
aroused the storm against them proved to be baseless or exaggerated. It
has been shown that the Berners Street Bank did not lose £270,000 in
building speculations between 1810 and 1816, as Fauntleroy suggested,
and to meet the loss that did occur a large sum was raised by the
supporters of the firm, to which William Marsh contributed £40,000.
Thus, considering the reticence of their manager, there was good reason
why the partners should believe that they had weathered the financial
panic which brought to ruin so many of their contemporaries.

Modern commerce estimates more accurately the value of youth than the
age of Mr Walter the Second; and as young Fauntleroy, who was one of
the smartest bank managers in London, accepted his responsibilities
with zest and cheerfulness, it is not surprising that he became the
autocrat of the firm. Moreover, the juggler who could deceive the
clerks working at his elbow day by day would have no difficulty in
satisfying the periodical curiosity of sleeping-partners. Fat profits
rolled into their coffers, and, like many another good easy man, they
did not pause to look a gift horse in the mouth. Fools they were, and
must remain, but in the end the world ceased to suspect their honour.

Still, their credulity was remarkable. All three of them appear to have
been the instruments of most of the frauds, attending at the Bank of
England to make the transfer under the forged powers of attorney, and
instructing brokers to dispose of the stolen stocks and bonds. In one
particular, however, the conduct of Marsh and Stracey appeared dubious.
On the day of Fauntleroy’s arrest the daughter of the former cashed
a cheque for £5000, while the latter drew out over £4000 in the name
of his father. The trick was discovered, and restitution made to the
creditors.

[Sidenote: The Bank of England’s claim.]

As might be supposed, the Bank of England received little sympathy
either from the press or from the people. The directors never disputed
their obligation--as managers of the public debt--to refund to the
rightful proprietors the whole of the stocks that had been stolen,
but they made every effort to enforce their claim against the Berners
Street firm--amounting to a quarter of a million--which they contended
that Fauntleroy had placed to the credit of his house. It was soon made
clear by law that Messrs Marsh, Stracey & Company were responsible to
the stockholders, who had been defrauded by their managing partner,
and thus were equally responsible to the Bank, whose debt was similar
to that of the stockholders. The chief obstacle to the enforcement of
the Bank’s claim lay in the fact that the proprietors of the stolen
stocks were clients, and, as a natural consequence, creditors also
of Marsh, Stracey & Company. Being aware that the directors were
legally compelled to replace their missing Consols and Exchequer
Bills, they raised a great clamour against the claim of the Bank, for
naturally they perceived that if it was enforced the cash balances in
their Berners Street pass-books would be diminished. This difficulty
compelled the Bank to seek the consent of the Courts to permit them
to claim from the bankrupts the lump sum that had been restored to
the stockholders, so that it would not be necessary to bring forward
reluctant persons to prove each separate debt. Lord Chancellor
Lyndhurst ruled, however, that each transaction must be established to
the satisfaction of the Commissioners of Bankruptcy in the usual way,
and thus the Bank was driven to depend upon the stockholders. Since the
claim of half a million was compromised for a payment of £95,000, we
may conclude that the majority of the Berners Street creditors were not
disposed to assist the rival claimant to a share of their dividends.

[Sidenote: The transfer of stock.]

Much has been written of the lax methods of transferring stock in
vogue at the Bank of England. As the frauds were so slovenly that
Fauntleroy’s clerks had no difficulty in detecting their employer’s
handwriting in the signature attached to the forged power of attorney
produced at the trial, it is plain that the crimes could not have
continued for so many years unless a most careless system had
prevailed. The Berners Street swindle showed that it was possible
for any applicant with whom the clerks at the Consols Office were
acquainted to complete the transfer of another person’s securities,
provided only that he possessed a knowledge of the exact value of the
particular stock he wished to appropriate. A power of attorney seems
to have been as readily acted upon as obtained, and no comparison of
the real owner’s signature appears to have been made. This danger was
pointed out subsequently at a meeting of the Court of Proprietors, and
a shareholder made the wise suggestion that when any transfer was made
immediate notice should be sent to the proprietor of the stock.

Yet checks and precautions did exist at the Bank of England in the days
of Henry Fauntleroy. The purchasers of securities were recommended
to protect themselves from fraud by accepting themselves--that is to
say, by signing--all transfers of stock made to them, thus giving the
officials of the Bank the opportunity of comparing the handwriting of
the proprietor whenever necessary. Still, the investing public rarely
complied with this regulation, and Fauntleroy must have been aware
that there was no danger of detection on this account.

Although forgery of such a description is more difficult in these days,
yet prudence should neglect no safeguard that does not impede the
business of everyday life. A signature, however much resemblance it
has to its original, may still be a forgery, and personal attendance
might be simulated by a bold and plausible scoundrel. The most sure
precaution is the one suggested on the 17th of September 1824 by the
nameless proprietor, that whenever a transfer is lodged immediate
notice shall be sent to the holder of the stock.



FAUNTLEROY AND THE NEWSPAPERS


1. _The Morning Chronicle._

    Under the leadership of the famous John Black, this paper had
    become a somewhat fat and stodgy production, savouring of the
    ‘unco guid’ It is fierce in its attacks upon Fauntleroy’s
    partners for their indolence and carelessness, and pleads that
    mercy shall be shown to the offender. Special prominence is
    given to the pious conversations alleged to have taken place
    in Newgate between the prisoner and his spiritual advisers
    Messrs Springett and Baker. Since this paper is not hostile
    to Fauntleroy, it is strange that it should publish (November
    11) a vile communication from his enemy J. W. Parkins, an
    ex-Sheriff of London, in which the writer tries to show that
    the prisoner who is awaiting his trial has been a brutal
    husband. The first announcement that the Bank in Berners Street
    had suspended payment appears in the columns of the _Chronicle_
    on Monday, September 13.

2. _The Morning Post._

    Although the _Morning Post_ makes a point of pluming itself
    on its humanity towards Fauntleroy, its attitude is wholly
    inconsistent and double-faced. Having copied from _The Times_ a
    column of disgraceful news concerning the private vices of the
    dishonest banker, it turns round and upbraids its contemporary,
    a few weeks later, for supplying the information. Foolish
    letters upon all kinds of subjects from Fauntleroy’s bitter
    enemy, J. W. Parkins--Sheriff of London 1819-20--disfigure
    this paper constantly. The _Post_ gloats over the scene at the
    Debtors’ Door, and is glad that there was no pardon.

3. _The Morning Herald._

    This journal is opposed to the death penalty for forgery, and
    inserts several letters, urging that the convict should be
    reprieved, but it admits, after the execution, that while the
    law remained unaltered there were no special circumstances in
    the case to warrant mercy. The report of the trial on November
    1, which holds up to ridicule the absurd and indecorous conduct
    of ex-Sheriff Parkins previous to the meeting of the Court,
    furnishes a striking proof of his malice against his former
    friend Henry Fauntleroy. During April 1823 the notorious
    Parkins made a somewhat feeble attempt to assault Mr Thwaites
    of the _Morning Herald_ in his office, which is the reason, no
    doubt, why the editor handles him so roughly.

4. _The Times._

    The attitude of the greatest paper in the world towards the
    unfortunate banker is a black record in its history. Although
    the man was a sensualist and a forger of the highest degree,
    it is not creditable to British journalism of those days that
    a leading newspaper should take infinite pains to rake up
    every scandal of his past life, and to prejudice the public
    mind against him before he was brought to trial. A more
    deliberate attempt to condemn a man unheard has never been
    made in the press. It is amazing that an editor of the calibre
    of Thomas Barnes should have printed the article of September
    24 and the disgraceful letter signed “T.” of September 25,
    which compares Fauntleroy to Thurtell, the cut-throat. The
    reproof administered by James Harmer on September 27, although
    fully deserved, was not sufficient to restrain the licence of
    Mr Walter’s reporters. _The Times_ proceeds to wrangle with
    the _Brighton Gazette_ as to whether the banker had been a
    libertine, and on October 9 publishes a statement about his
    lenient treatment at Coldbath Fields prison, for which it
    is compelled to apologise to Mr Vickery, the Governor. More
    innuendoes follow concerning Fauntleroy’s moral character,
    and on October 19 (before his trial!) it is reported that the
    printers at the ‘One Tun’ tavern in Covent Garden were making
    bets as to whether he would be hanged.

    Almost as repulsive are the leaders written after the culprit’s
    execution. “If forgery had not been capital before,” says this
    truculent journal, “the most humane legislators would have
    doubted whether, if carried to a similar extent, it should
    not be rendered capital in future.” Yet Samuel Romilly had
    been in his grave only six years, and James Mackintosh and
    William Ewart were left to continue his brave work. Finally,
    on December 4, comes a blast of thunder that Dennis or the
    editor of the _Eatanswill Gazette_ might have envied. “We are
    not anxious to extend the narrative of Mr Fauntleroy’s life
    by a description of his personal habits, but, if provoked, we
    can lay before the public such a detail of low and disgusting
    sensuality, as would appear incredible to those who were not
    as degraded in body and mind as he was. This narrative would
    involve persons who hold themselves rather high, and who have
    presumed to talk big with reference to our accounts of their
    wretched friend and associate. Let them be quiet; if we find
    that in public or private (and we have channels of information
    they dream not of) they have the impudence to disparage our
    motives or deny our statements, we will hold up their names and
    actions to public scorn and astonishment and disgust.”

5. _The Morning Advertiser._

    This journal, then as now the organ of the licensed
    victuallers, is hostile to Fauntleroy, but moderate in the
    reports it publishes about him.

6. _The New Times._

    As might be expected, this paper deals some nasty raps at
    that from which its editor seceded. It is very critical of
    the conduct of Fauntleroy’s partners, with whose explanations
    before the Commissioners of Bankruptcy it is dissatisfied, but
    does not make the reckless charges against them that appear
    in some journals, such as the _Sunday Times_ and _Morning
    Chronicle_.

7. _The British Press._

    Gives more complete information than any other paper of
    the details of Marsh, Stracey & Company’s bankruptcy. The
    reports of the proceedings before the Court of Commissioners,
    and of the meetings of the Berners Street creditors, which
    are criticised at large, throw much light upon the endless
    ramifications of the Fauntleroy forgeries. This journal alone
    makes an attempt to ascertain whether the statement of the
    criminal banker was endorsed by the books of his firm. “I
    declare,” says Fauntleroy in his defence, “that all the monies
    temporarily raised by me were applied, not in one single
    instance for my own separate purposes or expenses, but in
    every case they were immediately placed to the credit of the
    house in Berners Street, and applied to the payments of the
    pressing demands upon it.... The books will confirm the truth
    of my statement ... the whole went to the general funds of the
    house.”

    The value of this assertion may be tested by reference
    to the columns of the _British Press_ of the following
    dates:--September 20, 29, October 6, November 13, 15, 17, 22,
    23, 30, December 10, 13, 17, 20, 28 (1824), January 17, 19, 20,
    February 2, March 1, 19, April 11, July 25, August 31 (1825).

    For further particulars of the bankruptcy consult _The Times_,
    _Morning Post_, and _Morning Chronicle_ of December 24, 1833;
    and September 10 and 11, 1835. Also _John Bull_, September
    20, 1835; the _Weekly Dispatch_, September 17, 1837; and _The
    Times_, October 7, 1837.

8. _The Examiner._

    The statements in Fauntleroy’s defence are received with
    incredulity. “From what we hear and observe of the man,” says
    the _Examiner_, in a leading article, “we do not believe he
    would have risked his life to preserve a trading concern of
    which he had only a fourth share. We expect the truth will
    be that he began to forge to get money for himself, and was
    obliged to go on because bankruptcy would have led to his
    detection.” The leader proceeds to condemn the law of banking,
    and to attack the monopoly of the Bank.

9. _The Observer._

    The veteran Sunday journal--which at this period was the
    property of Wm. Clement, who owned also the _Morning
    Chronicle_, and afterwards _Bell’s Life_--takes the bulk of its
    reports, like most of the weekly papers, from the columns of
    the daily press.

10. _The Sunday Times._

    This hardy newspaper (which age cannot wither) condemns the
    criminal code that makes forgery a capital offence, and charges
    Messrs Marsh, Stracey and Graham with previous knowledge of
    their partner’s guilt. On October 10 appeared the famous letter
    from malignant ex-Sheriff Parkins, complaining that Fauntleroy
    or his partners had surrendered certain private documents which
    he had left at their bank in safe custody. In those days the
    _Sunday Times_ was under the proprietorship of its founder,
    Daniel Harvey.

11. _The Englishman._

    A weekly paper, containing reports similar to those in the
    _Observer_.

12. _Bell’s Weekly Messenger._

    The leading article of December 5 expresses the hope that Mr
    Fauntleroy will be the last person executed for forgery. As
    a matter of fact the Berners Street frauds postponed this
    much-desired reform, and the illogical argument of George III.
    was revived in another shape--“If Dr. Dodd is pardoned, then
    the Perreaus have been murdered.” Captain John Montgomery would
    have been hanged on July 4, 1828, for forging bank notes, had
    he not cheated the gallows by the aid of prussic acid; Joseph
    Hunton, the Quaker, suffered death at Newgate on December 8
    following, for issuing counterfeit bills of exchange; and
    Thomas Maynard, who had obtained money from the Custom House
    under a fraudulent warrant, was executed in the same place on
    the last day of the year 1829. After this date, although the
    capital penalty was not finally abolished until 1837, no other
    person was hanged for forgery in this country.

13. _Bell’s Weekly Dispatch._

    This newspaper, founded in 1801--five years after his _Weekly
    Messenger_--by John Bell, the printer of the _British Poets_,
    had now become the property of James Harmer the Old Bailey
    attorney, who was Fauntleroy’s solicitor. The scathing attacks
    upon Joseph Wilfred Parkins, which appear in this journal on
    October 3, October 10 and November 14, explain the reason
    of the ‘XXX Sheriff’s’ animosity towards the unfortunate
    banker. Some time before the arrest of the forger, Parkins,
    who had a law-suit pending, requested Fauntleroy to return a
    certain cheque for £6000 that he had drawn upon his firm a
    few years previously. The reply was that, as it could not be
    found, probably it had been destroyed. On the strength of this
    statement, Parkins swore in the witness-box on September 13,
    when his action was being tried, that the cheque in dispute had
    never been presented, but to his amazement and consternation
    the missing piece of paper was produced in Court. In
    consequence, he not only lost his case, but was called upon to
    stand his trial for perjury on December 20 following. By some
    means or other wily James Harmer, who happened to be solicitor
    for the defendants against whom Parkins was bringing his
    action, had discovered the cheque at the Berners Street Bank
    soon after Fauntleroy’s arrest, and perceiving its importance
    to his clients, had appropriated it. Naturally, this amusing
    piece of strategy was not relished by the choleric ex-Sheriff,
    who cast most of the blame upon the shoulders of the unhappy
    banker, and pursued him to the death without mercy.

    The _Weekly Dispatch_ made a great effort to save the doomed
    man, and the petition for reprieve which lay at its office
    received three thousand signatures. The Rev. Cotton, Ordinary
    of Newgate, comes in for some well-deserved censure for the
    tone of his ‘Condemned Sermon’

14. _Pierce Egan’s Life in London._

    This paper, started February 1, 1824, by the creator of _Tom
    and Jerry_, gives extracts, copies for the most part from other
    sources, and similar information to that contained in Pierce
    Egan’s account.

15. _John Bull._

    Naturally, Theodore Hook’s paper did not miss the opportunity
    of inveighing against _The Times_ for its cruelty towards
    Fauntleroy, or of ridiculing the sanctimonious articles of the
    _Morning Chronicle_. Still, it is unjust to Mrs Fry’s friend
    and helper, the humane Mr Baker, whose work among the prisoners
    at Newgate merits the highest praise.

16. _The Globe and Traveller._

    Condemns the ‘mischievous law’ passed in 1708 to support the
    Bank of England’s monopoly, which prevented a private banking
    establishment from being controlled by more than six partners.
    The journal contends with truth that this legislation “forces
    a business of great responsibility, which should be of entire
    security, into the hands of small firms.” The law of 1825
    altered all this.

17. _The Courier._

    Has a weakness for drawing attention to its own propriety, in
    comparison with that of its contemporaries. Its leader on the
    evening of the execution declares that, although it refrained
    from comment while there was a chance of mercy, it applauds
    the firmness of justice in refusing a reprieve when there was
    nothing in Fauntleroy’s case to merit such interference. The
    _Courier_ was in the hands of Daniel Stuart--a great name in
    journalism--who was proprietor also of the _Morning Post_.

18. _The Sun._

    A somewhat feeble paper, though well printed and arranged,
    edited by John Taylor. It prides itself on never printing
    anything about Fauntleroy except the proceedings before the
    magistrates.

19. _The Brighton Gazette._

    Cudgels _The Times_ lustily, and is indignant that a mere
    London paper should presume to know more about Mr Fauntleroy’s
    seaside residence than a journal published in Brighton. About
    two years later the _Gazette_ has much to say about the
    beautiful Maria Fox (_alias_ Forbes, _alias_ Forrest, _alias_
    Rose), who had lived under the protection of the fraudulent
    banker. A retired lawyer named Barrow, who resided next door to
    the lady on the New Stein, accused her of keeping a disorderly
    house, and she was called upon to meet this charge at the Lewes
    Assizes. Although the fine advocacy of John Adolphus obtained
    a verdict of not guilty, the judge went out of his way to
    compliment the author of the prosecution. (_Vide_ the _Brighton
    Gazette_, April 5, 1827; also September 14 and 21, 1826.)

20. _The Rambler’s Magazine, or Frolicsome Companion._ Printed and
published by William Dugdale, 23 Russell Court, Drury Lane. April 1,
1827, pp. 180-182 (_vide_ Trial of Maria Fox).

    The learned ‘Pisanus Fraxi’--H. S. Ashbee--whose knowledge of
    this class of literature is unrivalled, gives no description
    of this particular publication. It may be a plagiarism of
    a magazine of about the same date, and bearing an almost
    similar title (which it appears to resemble), noticed in
    _Catena Librorum Tacendorum_, p. 327. Periodicals of this name
    are almost as numerous, between the years 1782-1829, as the
    _Newgate Calendars_. The _Rambler’s Magazine_ makes two things
    evident: first, that Fauntleroy’s _chère amie_ was a “fair and
    engaging woman”; and secondly, that Mr Barrow had much cause of
    complaint.

21. _The Gentleman’s Magazine_, November 1824 (part ii. p. 461);
December 1824 (part ii. p. 580).

    In the December number there is a trenchant letter from the
    Earl of Normanton, condemning the criminal code. “Philosophy
    would deem it an abuse,” says he, “to punish the crime of a
    Fauntleroy in the same manner as the crime of a Thurtell.” For
    the obituary notice of William Moore Fauntleroy, the brother of
    the forger, see the _Gentleman’s Magazine_, part ii. p. 1092,
    1803.


NOTES ON THE FAUNTLEROY CASE

NOTE I.--_Pierce Egan’s Account of the Trial of H. Fauntleroy._ Knight
and Lacey, 1824.

    No one excelled the historian of the Prize Ring in this style
    of literature, and his two other similar works, the _Life of
    Samuel Denmore Hayward_ (1822), and the _Account of the Trial
    of John Thurtell_ (1824), will remain text-books for all time.
    Pierce Egan makes a note (p. 21) that Mr. Fauntleroy has never
    used a ‘slang expression’ during his imprisonment. The surprise
    indicated by this comment is natural, for, robbed of his
    italics, the author of _Life in London_ would have been left as
    naked to his enemies as Cardinal Wolsey.

NOTE II.--_The Newgate Calendar._ Knapp and Baldwin (1824-28). Vol. iv.
pp. 285-390.

    Accepting the statement made by most of the daily newspapers,
    this account declares that Fauntleroy was hanged for defrauding
    his wife’s family. Although this statement was made by _The
    Times_ on October 2, it was denied two days later in that
    paper, and the contradiction was published also in _Bell’s
    Weekly Messenger_, the _Globe_, and the _Courier_. Again, on
    December 4 _The Times_ repeats once more that “Miss Frances
    Young is no relation to Mrs Fauntleroy.” Considering the
    bitter rivalry that existed between the various newspapers,
    and the jealous criticism that each journal bestowed upon the
    information of its contemporaries, it is certain that if the
    assertion made by _The Times_ had been untrue--and if false it
    could have been disproved easily--its rivals would have exposed
    it with the greatest joy. Moreover, since Fauntleroy might
    have been charged with twenty other indictments, the public
    mind would have been shocked had his sister-in-law alone been
    selected as the instrument of vengeance.

NOTE III.--_The Anatomy of Sleep._ Edward Binns, M.D. Churchill (1842).
p. 282.

    Although such an escape was a physical impossibility to
    Fauntleroy, there is a rational explanation of the strange
    superstition--referred to in this book--that he did not die
    on the scaffold, but was resuscitated, and lived abroad for
    many years. At eight o’clock on the evening of his death the
    body was taken by the undertakers, Gale and Barnard, to their
    premises opposite Newgate prison, where the coffin was fastened
    down immediately by order of the relatives, who had reason
    to fear that the morbid--attracted by the notoriety of the
    criminal--would seek by means of a bribe to view the remains.
    The flames of rumour are set ablaze by a tiny spark, and the
    fact that no one outside the prison saw the dead body of the
    forger may have revived popular faith in a favourite belief.
    The haste, too, in sealing up the shell may have excited
    suspicion. For in later days it is certain that many persons
    cherished the idea that Fauntleroy, more lucky than Jack
    Sheppard or Dr Dodd, whose friends tried in vain to restore
    them to life, had survived his execution. _Vide_ also _Notes
    and Queries_, First Series, viii. 270, ix. 445, x. 114, 233.
    Possibly that prince of inkslingers, G. W. M. Reynolds, may
    have had the Fauntleroy legend in his mind when he drew the
    picture of the resuscitated forger in the first part of his
    obscene and scurrilous romance, _The Mysteries of the Court
    of London_. Fauntleroy was buried in the cemetery at Bunhill
    Fields on Thursday, Dec. 2.

NOTE IV.--_Old Stories Retold._ By George Walter Thornbury (1867), p.
290.

    Mr Walter Thornbury makes a brave and ingenious attempt to
    explain “the mystery still shrouding the great Fauntleroy
    swindle,” and “to conjecture for what purpose the dishonest
    banker preserved in a private box so carefully a suicidal
    statement of his own misdoings.” His conclusion is that
    Fauntleroy invented the lie so it should not be thought that he
    had been influenced by motives of greed, but that as time went
    on he began actually to credit the untruth, and, treasuring
    the paper for conscience’ sake, was for years “buoyed up by
    the secret excuse of an absurd and illogical revenge.” It
    is only a want of lucidity that prevented Mr Thornbury from
    unshrouding the mystery, for the explanation--the key of which
    he held in his hand--is a simple one. There was method in
    Fauntleroy’s seeming madness. The document found in his private
    box, which gave a list of his forgeries, and contained the
    footnote explaining that his motive was revenge against the
    Bank, was dated May 7, 1816. It is notorious that never in her
    history was the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street so unpopular
    as at this time. For nearly twenty years she had borne the
    odium caused by the suspension of cash payments, and by the
    alarming depreciation of paper money. In like manner, the panic
    which overthrew so many provincial houses in 1814, 1815, and
    1816 was ascribed to her envied monopoly; and her consequent
    prosperity, owing to the demand for Bank of England notes,
    helped to increase the widespread jealousy. Never had forger
    a more splendid shield than Henry Fauntleroy. Although he had
    hoped and believed that the proceeds of his first frauds would
    enable his firm to weather the financial storm, yet if Nemesis
    should overtake him before he had struggled through the slough,
    he was justified in supposing that the Board of Directors might
    hesitate to prosecute a man who would be hailed as a popular
    champion. Indeed, had his crime been as paltry as that of
    Henry Savary, it is quite probable that the public would have
    regarded him as an intrepid enemy of the Bank’s monopoly, and
    that a like storm which compelled the financial legislation of
    1819 and 1825 might have saved him from the scaffold. Fate
    compelled him to overreach himself, or the crafty story of
    revenge might have been believed.

NOTE V.--_The History of the Catnach Press._ By Charles Hindley (1886),
p. 73.

    But for the indefatigable researches of this author we should
    know little of the immortal Jemmy, who, it must be remembered,
    was the Alfred Harmsworth of his day.

NOTE VI.--_Dic. Nat. Biog._

    Like Pierce Egan and Charles Hindley, the writer of this
    monograph states that Fauntleroy was convicted for a fraud
    upon his sister-in-law, which is the more remarkable as _The
    Times_ is cited as an authority. The name of the forger’s
    father was not Henry, but William; the arrest was made on
    September 10, not September 11; the warrant of commitment
    charged him with embezzling, not a thousand, but ten thousand
    pounds; the Berners Street Bank was not founded in 1782, but
    ten years later; the value of Miss Young’s stock was £5450;
    and Fauntleroy was committed for trial on October 19. There
    does not appear to be any authority for the assertion that the
    fraudulent transfers first began in 1815, and it would be more
    correct to say that Messrs Marsh, Stracey & Company announced
    the suspension of payment on September 13.

NOTE VII.--_History of the Bank of England._ By John Francis (1847).
Vol. i. pp. 339-345.

    The author of this work, relying upon the evidence of J.
    H. Palmer before a Committee of the House of Commons in
    1832, estimates the loss of the Bank of England through the
    Fauntleroy forgeries at £360,000. Although these figures were
    correct at the time when the Governor made his statement, the
    Bank received £95,000 from Messrs Marsh, Stracey & Company
    during September 1835, in full discharge of their debt.[1]
    Thus, as the gross loss to the Bank, according to John Horsley
    Palmer, was £360,214, the actual loss appears to have been
    reduced to £265,214.

NOTE VIII.--For particulars of the Berners Street Bankruptcy consult
the following:--

    (_a_) _The Bank of England’s Case_ under Marsh & Co.’s
    Commission. By a Solicitor. (Lupton Relfe, 113 Cornhill. 1825.)

    (_b_) _The Bank of England’s Claim_ ... in reply to Mr
    Wilkinson’s Report upon the Facts. (Lupton Relfe. 1825.)

    (_c_) _Ryan and Moody’s Law Reports from 1823-1826._ “Stone and
    Another _v._ Marsh, Stracey & Graham.” P. 364.

    (_d_) _Reports of Cases determined at Nisi Prius from
    1823-1827._ By Edward Ryan and Wm. Moody. “Hume and Another
    _v._ Bolland and Others.” P. 371.

    (_e_) _Cases in Bankruptcy from 1821-1828._ By Thomas Glynn and
    Robert Jameson. “Governor and Company of the Bank of England in
    the matter of Marsh, Stracey, Graham and Fauntleroy.” Vol. ii.
    pp. 363-368, 446.

    (_f_) _The Report of Committee of Secrecy on the Bank of
    England’s Charter_ (1832). _Vide_ Evidence of John Horsley
    Palmer (Governor). P. 9, and Appendix, p. 55.

    (_g_) _Returns as to Bankruptcies previous to the Act of
    Parliament, 1831._ (1839.) Vol. xliii. p. 96.

[1] I wish to acknowledge, with many thanks, the kindness of Mr Kenneth
Graham, Secretary of the Bank of England, in verifying the sum paid by
the assignees of Marsh, Stracey & Company.



INDEX


  Abbott, Charles, 124.

  Abinger, Baron, 167.

  Adair, Mr James, 49, 52, 53.

  Adair, Mr Serjeant James, 53.

  Adair, Dr Robert, 39, 73.

  Adair, Robin (origin of song), 39, 73.

  Adair, Mr William, 39, 40 _sq._;
    discovers his signature, 42;
    mentioned, 46, 49, 55.

  Addington, Dr Anthony, 17;
    Henry, 133, 140, 141, 179.

  Adolphus, John, 214.

  Ainsworth, Harrison, vii.

  Akerman (Governor of Newgate), his humanity, 63, 98.

  Albemarle, second Earl, 39.

  Alley, Mr (counsel for Wall), 123, 124, 196.

  Alvanley, Lord, 187.

  Ammersley, Mr (banker), 94, 95.

  Angel, Miss. _See_ Kauffman, Angelica.

  Angelini, Edmund, 199.

  Angelo, Domenico, 92, 101.

  Angelo, Henry, 62, 108.

  Aram, Eugene, viii, 104.

  Armstrong, Benjamin, 119, 121, 125, 127, 143, 145.

  Asgill, Sir Charles, 90, 91.

  Ashbee, H. S., 224.

  Ashe, Miss, 173.

  Aston, Sir Richard, 28, 54, 61.

  Atlay, J. B., vii.

  Ayliffe, John, 85.


  Bailey (barrister), 57, 58, 62.

  Baker (coiner), executed, 65.

  Baker, Mr, 197, 199, 201 _sq._, 223, 226.

  Bamford, Sam, 192.

  ‘Bang’ Mrs, 181, 190, 212.

  Bank of England, 184 _sq._, 194 _sq._, 208, 216 _sqq._, 225 _sq._

  Barnes, Thomas, 221.

  Barrington, George, 206.

  Barrow, Mr, 224.

  Bartolozzi, F., completes engraving by Ryland, 97.

  Bathurst, Henry (barrister), 23.

  Bell, John, 222.

  _Bell’s Weekly Dispatch_, 222.

  _Bell’s Weekly Messenger_, 222.

  Binfield, Betty, 15, 17.

  Binns, Edward, 225.

  Black, John, 220.

  Blackburn, Joseph, 205.

  Blake, William, mentioned, 79;
    visit to Ryland, 88.

  Blandy, Francis, described, 1 _sqq._;
    breaks with Cranstoun, 8;
    invites him to Henley, 10;
    attitude towards him, 10;
    falls ill, 13;
    suspects poison, 16;
    last hours, 18 _sq._;
    death, 20.

  Blandy, Mary, mentioned, viii, 9, 74;
    described, 2;
    early life, 3 _sqq._;
    engagement to Cranstoun, 4 _sq._;
    passion for Cranstoun, 8 _sq._;
    fear of disinheritance, 11;
    plots with Cranstoun, 11;
    receives love philtre from him, 12;
    prepares her father’s oatmeal, 14 _sq._;
    suspected by her father, 16;
    calls in Dr Addington, 17;
    writes to Cranstoun, 17;
    conversation with dying father, 18 _sq._;
    accused by Dr Addington, 20;
    taken to Oxford castle, 21;
    life there, 22;
    trial, 23 _sqq._;
    speech, 25;
    found guilty, 27;
    last days, 29;
    execution, 30 _sqq._;
    burial, 33;
    date of birth, 38.

  Blandy, Mrs, described, 2 _sq._;
    death, 7.

  Bolland, James, 205, 214.

  Boswell, James, viii;
    visits Mrs Rudd, 68.

  Botting, James, 136, 204.

  Boucher, François, 80 _sq._, 82, 105.

  Boyd, Hugh M’Auley, 55.

  Braham, John (singer), 39, 73.

  Brandreth, Jeremy, 142.

  _Brighton Gazette_, 224.

  _British Press_, 221.

  Broderick, Mr, 196.

  Brooke, Dr, 46, 55.

  Brown, Sheriff, 192, 202.

  Brownrigg, Elizabeth, 54, 138.

  Brummell, George (‘Beau’), 149.

  Bryer & Co., 87.

  Budworth, Joseph, writes of Mary of Buttermere, 146, 147;
    advice to her, 148;
    writes again, 148;
    details of his articles, 176, 177.

  Buller, Judge, 95 _sq._

  Burke, William, 138.

  Bute, Marquis of, 83;
    employs Ryland, 84.

  Butterfield, Jane, 59.

  Buttermere, Mary (the Beauty of), mentioned, viii, ix;
    Wordsworth’s lines on, 146;
    becomes famous, 147;
    Wordsworth’s and Coleridge’s account of, 147;
    marries ‘Colonel Hope’ 152;
    description of, 152;
    wedding tour, 154;
    announcement of marriage, 158;
    discovers husband’s identity, 158;
    letter to Sir Richard Forde, 165;
    popular sympathy with, 166;
    attitude to Hadfield after trial, 169;
    child born, 173;
    marriage and subsequent life, 174;
    contemporary descriptions of, 176 _sq._

  Byng, Admiral, 128.

  Byron, Lord, 155.


  Cadogan, Lord, 22.

  Cameron, Jenny, 1.

  Canning, Elizabeth, 34.

  Canot, Peter Charles (engraver), 76.

  Carlisle House, 86, 101.

  Caroline, Queen, 189.

  Casanova, 86.

  Catnach, Jemmy, 188, 226.

  Charlson, Abraham, 166.

  Chatterton, Thomas, 205.

  Chudleigh, Elizabeth, 10, 60, 86.

  Churchill, Charles, 85.

  Clement, Mr, 222.

  Cock, Henry, 205.

  Conant, Mr John, 185, 191.

  Conway, General, 121.

  Conyngham, Lady, 199.

  Coleman, Henry, 22.

  Coleridge, Samuel Taylor, mentioned, viii;
    articles on Hadfield, 169, 175;
    description of Mary of Buttermere, 176.

  Copley, Sir John, 193, 194.
    _See also_ Lyndhurst, Lord.

  Cornelys, Madame, 101.
    _See also_ Imer, Therese.

  Cornelys, Sophie, 86.

  Cotton, Rev. (Ordinary of Newgate), 197, 198, 199, 200 _sq._, 202, 203, 223.

  _Courier_, 223.

  Cox, Sheriff, 134, 137, 138.

  Cranstoun, Lady, 4, 5, 7, 10.

  Cranstoun, fifth Lord, 4, 37.

  Cranstoun, Captain William Henry, courts Miss Blandy, 4;
    stays with Blandys, 4;
    past life, 4 _sq._;
    divorce suit, 6 _sq._;
    dismissal from Henley, 8;
    return, 10;
    desperate position of, 10;
    plots with Miss Blandy, 11;
    returns to Scotland, 12;
    sends ‘Scotch pebbles’ 12;
    writes instructions, 13;
    denounced by Mr Blandy, 18;
    escape and death, 28;
    alleged innocence, 37, 38;
    mentioned, 74.

  Crump, John Gregory, 149;
    friendship with ‘Colonel Hope’ 149;
    honours his draft, 152;
    witness at Hadfield’s trial, 167;
    mentioned, 168, 169.

  Cumberland, Henry Frederick, Duke of, 48, 165.


  Dagge, Henry (barrister), 45.

  Dalboux, Hannah, 58.

  Davy, Serjeant, 62.

  Dawson, Mrs, 69.

  Delaney, Mrs, 104.

  Demarteau, Gilles (engraver), 82.

  Dennis & Co., 161, 167.

  D’Eon, Chevalier, 60.

  De Quincey, articles on Hadfield, 169, 172, 176.

  Despard, Col. Edward Marcus, ix, 140.

  De Vaudreuil, 113.

  Dickens, Charles, 192.

  Disney, Mrs J. C., 212, 214.

  Dodd, Dr, viii, 54, 67, 104, 186, 205, 225.

  Donellan, Captain, viii, 105.

  Drummond, Henry, 40 _sqq._

  Drummond, Messrs, 40 _sqq._

  Drummond, Robert, 40;
    destroys Mrs Rudd’s writing, 44.

  Duval, Claude, 173.


  Egan, Pierce, 215, 223, 224.

  Egmont, Lord, 40.

  Eldon, Lord Chancellor, 132.

  _Elia, Essays of_, 38.

  Emmet, Ann, 13, 14.

  _Englishman_, 222.

  Evans, Private William, 120.

  Ewart, William, 67, 221.

  _Examiner_, 222.


  Falconet, Pierre (portrait of Ryland), 87.

  Faulkner, Mary, 129.

  Fauntleroy, Henry, mentioned, viii, ix, 67;
    becomes manager of bank, 179;
    description of, 179;
    character, 180;
    private life, 181;
    marriage, 182;
    _liaisons_, 182;
    forgeries, 183 _sq._;
    discovery, 184;
    arrest, 185;
    examined at Marlborough Street, 187 _sq._;
    excitement over his case, 188;
    friendship with Parkins, 190;
    imprisonment, 191;
    employs Harmer as solicitor, 192;
    trial, 193 _sq._;
    defence, 195;
    verdict, 196;
    sentenced, 196;
    last days, 197 _sqq._;
    execution, 203;
    comments on case, 205 _sqq._;
    details of forgeries, 207 _sqq._;
    and the newspapers, 220 _sqq._;
    contemporary accounts of trial, 224 _sqq._;
    reported resuscitation, 225;
    written statement of motives discussed, 225.

  Fauntleroy, John, 197.

  Fauntleroy, William, 178;
    death, 179.

  Fauntleroy, William Moore, 180, 224.

  Fawcett, Henry, 120.

  Fenning, Elizabeth, viii, 33, 95.

  Ferrers, Lord, viii, 53.

  Ferrick, Peter (surgeon), 127 _sq._

  Fielding, Henry, viii, 9, 33.

  Fielding, Sir John, 46, 93.

  Fielding, William, 124.

  Fisher, Kitty, 48.

  Fitzgerald, George Robert (‘fighting’), 114, 142.

  Fitzroy, Lady Caroline, 10;
    (Petersham, 173;
    Lady Harrington, 86).

  Foote, Miss, 207.

  Forde, Rev. (Ordinary of Newgate), 135, 136.

  Forde, Sir Richard, 165.

  Fortrose, Baron, 123, 145.

  Fox, Charles James, 141.

  Fox, Maria, Fauntleroy’s mistress, 182;
    visits him in Newgate, 197, 198;
    mentioned, 212;
    trial, 214.

  Fragonard, Jean Honoré, 79, 80.

  Francis, John, 226.

  François, Jean Charles, 82.

  Frankau, Mrs Julia, 88;
    account of Ryland discussed, 109.

  Frankland, Admiral Sir Thomas, 46, 52;
    attacks Mrs Rudd, 57, 58;
    prosecutor at her trial, 59;
    daughters painted by Hoppner, 73.

  Freeman, Mrs, 92.

  Freshfield, Mr, 185, 186, 193.

  Fry, Elizabeth, 197, 223.


  Gahagan, Usher (poet), 104.

  Gainsborough, Tom, 75.

  Gale and Barnard, 225.

  Gardelle, Theodore, 54, 104.

  Garnet, Father, 212.

  Garrick, David, 9.

  Garrow, Baron, 193, 196.

  _Gentleman’s Magazine_, 224.

  George III.: mercilessness, 56, 63, 67;
    portrait by Allan Ramsay, 83;
    pardons Ryland’s brother, 86;
    refuses to pardon Ryland, 97;
    considers Wall’s case, 132;
    refuses to pardon, 133.

  George, Prince of Wales. _See_ George IV.

  George IV.: humanity, 67, 149, 150;
    character, 198.

  Gibbon, Edward, 32.

  Gillray, James, 177.

  _Globe and Traveller_, 223.

  Glynn (Recorder), 55.

  Goodchild, Mr, 185.

  Goree (island of), 113 _sqq._

  Gould, Henry, 60.

  Graham, W. (barrister), 95.

  Graham, Mr, 211.

  Granby, Lord, 48, 159.

  Green, William, 176.

  Grignion, Jacques (engraver), 76.

  Gunnel, Susan, 13, 14, 13, 18 _sqq._

  Gunning, the Misses, 34.

  Gurney, John, 124, 193.

  Gwynn, John, 85, 92, 101.


  Hackman, Rev. Mr James, viii, 54, 105.

  Hadfield, John, mentioned, viii, 146;
    passes as Col. Hope, 148;
    in Lake District, 149;
    makes friends with John Crump, 149;
    stays at Buttermere, 149;
    acquaintance with Colonel Moore, 150;
    betrothed to his niece, 150;
    pretensions suspected, 151;
    marries Mary of Buttermere, 152, 153 _sq._;
    wedding tour, 154;
    returns to Buttermere, 155;
    confronted by George Hardinge, 155;
    arrested, 156;
    draws on Mr Crump, 156;
    escape, 156 _sq._;
    identity discovered, 158;
    previous life, 159 _sqq._;
    motives, 163;
    details of escape, 163;
    arrested, 164;
    examination, 165;
    taken to Carlisle, 166;
    trial, 166 _sqq._;
    speech, 167;
    sentenced, 168;
    last days, 168;
    execution, 171;
    burial, 171;
    case examined, 172;
    character and motives, 172 sq.

  Hadfield, Mrs John, 161;
    loyalty to husband, 165;
    mentioned, 169.

  Haley, Sheriff, 66.

  Hamilton, Sir Edward, 141, 142, 143.

  Hanson, John, 191.

  Hardinge, George, 155 _sq._, 165.

  Hare, William (‘burker’), 60.

  Harmer, James, 192, 193, 196, 199;
    reproves _Times_, 221;
    proprietor of _Weekly Dispatch_, 222.

  Harrington, Lady, 86. _See also_ Fitzroy, Lady Caroline.

  Harris (turnkey of Newgate), 191, 201.

  Harrison, Richard, marries Mary of Buttermere, 174.

  Hart, Mrs Christian, 57, 58, 62.

  Harvey, Daniel, 222.

  Harvey, Edward, 143.

  Harwood, Joseph, 198, 200.

  Hawkins, Sir John, 76.

  Hayes, Catherine, 123.

  Hayman, Francis, 75.

  Hayward, Samuel Denmore, 173;
    life of, 224.

  Heathfield, Lardner & Co., 167.

  Heidegger, John James, 9.

  Hindley, Charles, 226.

  Hogarth, William, 76.

  Holroyd, George, 167.

  Holt (secretary E.I.C.), 94.

  Hook, Theodore, 223.

  Hope, Colonel Alexander Augustus.
    _See_ Hadfield;
    the real, 158, 166, 167, 170.

  Hope, Anthony, 207.

  Hopetoun, third Earl of, 148, 152, 166.

  Howard, Frances, 34.

  Hughes, Ball, 187.

  Hughes, Sir Edward, 113.

  Hulme, J. D., 184.

  Hunt, Henry (‘orator’), 190.

  Hunt, Joseph, 184, 192.

  Hunton, Joseph, 222.

  Hutchings, W. W., vii.


  Imer, Therese, 86.
    _See_ also Cornelys, Madame.


  Jack (Rann), ‘Sixteen String’ 44, 54.

  James III., 83.

  Jeffries, Elizabeth, 34.

  _John Bull_ (newspaper), 223.

  Johnson, Patrick, 208.

  Johnson, Dr Samuel, viii, 3;
    and Mrs Rudd, 68.

  Jones, Mr Arthur (solicitor), 40.


  Kate, ‘Corinthian’ 181, 190, 212, 215.

  Kauffman, Angelica, 105 _sqq._;
    friendship with Ryland, 88;
    pictures engraved by Ryland, 89 _sqq._;
    mentioned, 101.

  Key, Alderman John, 193, 202.

  Kent, Constance, 34.

  Kent, Mary Ann (Mrs Bang), 212.

  Keppel, Lady Caroline, 39, 73.

  Kerr, General Lord Mark, 4, 5, 6.

  Kinder, Colonel George, 49;
    attacks Mrs Rudd, 56.

  Kirby (keeper of Newgate), 131, 133, 138.

  Knowlys, Newman, 124.


  La Charpillon, Mademoiselle, 86.

  Lacy, Mrs, 128 _sq._

  Lamb, Charles, 38.

  Law, Edward (Attorney-General), 124;
    conducts case against Wall, 125 _sqq._

  Lawrence, Sir Soulden, 124.

  Le Bas, Jacques Philippe, 81.

  Legge, Judge, 23, 27.

  Lee, George (highwayman), 65.

  Leighton, Blair, 106.

  Lewis, Evan, 126.

  Lewis, Dr William, 20.

  Lewis, ‘Monk’ 165.

  Lloyd (housebreaker), 99.

  Lovat, Lord, 83.

  Lowry, Captain James, 138, 142 _sq._

  Luddite riots, 166.

  Lyndhurst, Lord, 193, 217.

  Lyttelton, Lord, 62, 68.

  Lyttleton, Lady, 40.


  Macclesfield, Lord, 22.

  Macdonald, Sir Archibald, 124.

  Mackenzie, Frances, 123.
    _See_ Mrs Wall.

  Mackenzie, Captain Kenneth, 122, 128, 133, 141, 143.

  Mackenzie, Kenneth (father of Mrs Wall), 145.

  Mackintosh, James, 67, 221.

  Macnamara, Colonel, 114.

  Maclean, James, 173.

  Mansfield, Lord (Chief-Justice), judgment in Mrs Rudd’s case, 60, 61;
    mentioned, 68, 88.

  Marsh, Sibbald & Co., 178.

  Marsh, Stracey, Fauntleroy & Graham, 179, 196, 207 _sqq._, 221, 222, 226.

  Marsh, Mr William, 178, 209, 211, 216.

  Martin, Samuel (M.P.), 54.

  Maybrick, Florence, 34.

  Maynard, Thomas, 222.

  Mills (bankers), 52.

  Mirabeau, Count, 80.

  Montgomery, Captain John, 222.

  Moore, Col. Nathaniel Montgomery, 150;
    cashes draft on Mr Crump, 151;
    suspects ‘Colonel Hope’ 152;
    confronts him, 155, 156;
    mentioned, 167, 178.

  Moreland, Mr (banker), 95.

  _Morning Advertiser_, 221.

  _Morning Chronicle_, 220, 221, 223.

  _Morning Herald_, 220.

  _Morning Post_, 220.

  Mountenay, Mr, 24, 29.

  Murray, Miss (Mrs Cranstoun), 6.

  Murray, Fanny, 48.


  Napier, Sir Charles, 121.

  Nation, Mrs, 160;
    marries Hadfield, 161.
    _See also_ Mrs Hadfield.

  Nelson, Sara, 176.

  Newell, Thomas (attorney), 22.

  _Newgate Calendar_, vii, viii, 69, 173, 224.

  Newnham, Sheriff, 66.

  Newton, Mr (lawyer), 167.

  _New Times_, 221.

  Nicholson, Rev. John, 153 _sq._;
    faith in ‘Colonel Hope’ 155 _sq._;
    assists his escape, 156 _sq._;
    witness at Hadfield’s trial, 167;
    mentioned, 172.

  Nightingale, Mr, 90, 91.

  Nollekens, Joseph, 75.

  Norfolk, Duke of, 130, 189.

  Norman, Henry, 205.

  Norton, Benjamin (apothecary), 17, 18.

  Nucella, Mr, 161.


  _Observer_, 222.

  Oldham (Deputy-Advocate), 130.


  Palmer, J. H., 226.

  Palmer, William, 138.

  Park, Justice, 193, 196.

  Parke, Colonel, 167.

  Parkins, Joseph Wilfred, mentioned, 182, 215;
    career, 189 _sq._;
    indicted for perjury, 192;
    at Fauntleroy’s trial, 192 _sq._;
    letters to press against Fauntleroy, 220;
    and _Morning Herald_, 220;
    letter to _Sunday Times_, 222;
    lawsuit, 223.

  Parsons, William, 175.

  Paterson, George, 119, 120;
    dies, 121, 144, 145.

  Peckham (counsel for Ryland), 94.

  Peel, John, 174.

  Peel, Sir Robert, 199.

  Pelham, Lord, 124, 131.

  Perceval, Spencer, 124.

  Perreau, Daniel, mentioned, ix, 39, 205;
    description of, 44;
    committed to prison, 46;
    relations with Mr Rudd, 48 _sq._;
    speculations, 49;
    takes house in Harley Street, 50;
    statement in defence, 52;
    on trial at Old Bailey, 54;
    defence and condemnation, 55;
    attitude after trial, 63;
    in the Press Yard, 63;
    drive to Tyburn, 64 _sq._;
    execution, 66;
    guilt, 67.

  Perreau, Mrs Daniel.
    _See_ Mrs Rudd.

  Perreau, Mrs Robert, 58;
    evidence at Mrs Rudd’s trial, 62;
    begs Queen for mercy, 63.

  Perreau, Robert, mentioned, 39, 205;
    at Drummond’s Bank, 40 _sqq._;
    denounces Mrs Rudd, 45;
    committed to prison, 46;
    attitude towards brother, 50;
    joins in plans of Daniel and Mrs Rudd, 51;
    cashes bonds, 52;
    trial at Old Bailey, 54;
    defence and condemnation, 55;
    loyalty to brother, 63;
    attempts to save, 63;
    in Press Yard, 63;
    drive to Tyburn, 64 _sq._;
    execution, 66;
    guilt, 67.

  Petersham, Lady Caroline (Fitzroy), 173.

  Picton, Thomas, 142.

  Pitt, William, 132, 141.

  Plank, Samuel, 185.

  Plumer, Thomas, 124, 129.

  Pocock, Mrs, 31.

  Pompadour, Mme. de, 79, 81.

  Poplett, Lieut. Thomas, 127.


  Quick (clerk), 167.


  _Rambler’s Magazine_, 224.

  Ramsay, Allan (portrait of George III.), 83.

  Rann, John (‘Sixteen String Jack’), 44, 54.

  Ransome & Moreland, 91.

  Ratcliffe (coiner), executed, 65.

  Ravenet (engraver), 76, 77.

  Ray, Martha, viii;
    Récamier, Madame, 166.

  Reed, Mr Frederick, of Hassness, 176.

  Reynolds, G. W. M., 225.

  Reynolds, Sir Joshua, viii, 75, 105.

  Rice (broker), 53.

  Rich, John, 9.

  Rives, Mr (lawyer), 22, 30.

  Roberts, Captain, 116, 145.

  Robinson, George, 120.

  Robinson, Mary.
    _See_ Buttermere, Beauty of.

  Romilly, Samuel, 67, 221.

  Rooke, Sir Giles, 124.

  Roubiliac, 75.

  Rous (barrister), 95.

  Rouvelett, John, 205.

  Ryland, Edward, 74;
    his plates, 76.

  Ryland, Mrs, 92;
    opens print-shop, 104.

  Ryland, Richard, 87.

  Ryland, William Wynne, mentioned, viii, ix, x, 54, 205;
    attends St Martin’s Lane Academy, 74 _sq._;
    apprenticed to Ravenet, 76;
    home in Old Bailey, 77;
    goes to Paris, 78;
    at Boucher’s studio, 80 _sq._;
    engravings after Boucher, 81;
    learns stipple, 82;
    makes the grand tour, 82;
    exhibits in England, 83;
    returns to England, 83;
    appointed king’s engraver, 84;
    engraves royal pictures, 85;
    friends, 85;
    society, 86;
    obtains pardon for brother, 86;
    resides in Stafford Row, 87;
    portrait, 87;
    starts as print-seller, 87;
    fails, 87;
    visited by Blake, 87;
    friendship with Angelica Kauffman, 87;
    engraves her pictures, 89;
    print-shop in Strand, 90;
    success, 90;
    extravagance, 91;
    charged with forgery, 92;
    in hiding, 92;
    attempts suicide, 93;
    in Bridewell, 93;
    trial, 94;
    condemnation, 95;
    last engravings, 97;
    progress to Tyburn, 98 _sqq._;
    execution, 102;
    burial, 104;
    guilt, 104;
    genius, 105;
    Mrs Frankau’s account of, 109;
    other accounts, 109;
    list of engravings by, 110.

  Rudd, Margaret Caroline, mentioned, viii, 105;
    description of, 43;
    confesses forgery, 44;
    committed to Bridewell, 46;
    appears before Sir John Fielding, 46;
    admitted as evidence for Crown, 47;
    previous life, 47 _sqq._;
    passes as Daniel Perreau’s wife, 49;
    sources of income, 49, 50;
    family, 50;
    skill as forger, 51;
    statement in defence, 53;
    committed to Newgate, 54;
    arouses public sympathy, 56;
    her enemies, 56;
    defends herself in the press, 56;
    dealings with Mrs Hart, 58;
    and with Hannah Dalboux, 58;
    her ‘pair of scissors’ 59;
    six months in Newgate, 60;
    her case before the judges, 61;
    gives her brief, 61;
    appearance at Old Bailey, 61;
    trial and acquittal, 62;
    conduct reviewed, 68;
    subsequent history, 68;
    death, 69.

  Rudd, Valentine, 48.

  Rutland, Duke of, 159.


  St Martin’s Lane Academy, 74.

  Salvadore (moneylender), 48.

  Sanxy (Dr), 59.

  Savary, Henry, 205, 225.

  Scarlett, James, 167, 213.

  Scawen, William, 59.

  Scotin (engraver), 76.

  Seaforth, Lord, 145.

  Selwyn, George, 32, 104.

  Serres, Olive, 189.

  Sharp, William (engraver), 97.

  Sheppard, Jack, 206, 225.

  Sibbald, Sir James, 178, 211.

  Sidmouth, Lord, 190.

  Skelton, Mr, 149.

  Slaughter’s coffee house, 75.

  Smith (Governor of Bridewell), 93.

  Smith, Madeleine, 34.

  Smith, Tom, 104.

  Smythe, Judge, 23.

  Springett, Rev., 197, 199, 201 _sq._, 220.

  Stark, Thomas, 40.

  Stevens, Serjeant Henry, 8, 38.

  Stewart, John, 49.

  Stracey, Sir Edward, 178.

  Stracey, Mr J. H. (Sir Josias), 178, 188, 211.

  Strange, Robert (engraver), 83.

  Strutt, James (pupil to Ryland), 84.

  Stuart, Daniel, 223.

  _Sun_, 223.

  _Sunday Times_, 221, 222.

  Sutherland, Captain John, 143.

  Swinton, Rev. John, 26, 29, 30.

  Sydney, Lord, 117.
    _See also_ Townshend.

  Sylvester (Crown counsel), 95.


  Tadema, Alma, 106.

  Taylor, Sheriff Robert, 93, 98.

  Thistlewood, Arthur, 142.

  Thomson, Sir Alexander, 166, 172.

  Thornbury, George Walter, 206, 225.

  Thornhill, Sir James, 75.

  Thornton, Abraham, 167.

  Thurtell, John, viii, 184, 188, 192, 221, 224.

  Timbs, Private Charles, 130.

  _Times_, 220, 221, 223, 224, 225.

  Townshend, Mr, 112, 115, 117.

  Traill, H. D., 175.

  Turner, Anne, 34.

  Turton, William Henry, 143.


  Urban, Sylvanus, 145.

  Upton, Corporal Thomas, 120;
    dies, 121.


  Vickery (Governor of Coldbath Fields Prison), 191, 221.

  Villette, Rev. (Ordinary of Newgate), 65, 66;
    at Ryland’s execution, 99, 102.


  Waithman (Lord Mayor), 190.

  Waterman, Mr (papermaker), 95.

  Wale, Sam, 76.

  Walker (engraver), 76.

  Walpole, Horace, 21, 34, 59, 104.

  Walter, Mr, 216, 221.

  Wall, Augustine, 145.

  Wall, Governor Joseph, mentioned, ix;
    description of, 112;
    Governor of Goree, 113;
    serves in West Indies, 113;
    in John Company, 113;
    duels, 114;
    service in North-West Africa, 114;
    Governor of Goree, 115;
    censured by Horse Guards, 116;
    arrest, 117;
    escape, 117;
    his soldiers in Goree, 117;
    their discontent, 118, 119;
    has soldiers flogged, 120;
    fugitive abroad, 122;
    returns to London, 123;
    surrenders, 124;
    trial, 125 _sqq._;
    sentence, 131;
    last days, 131 _sqq._;
    execution, 137;
    body ransomed from Surgeons’ Hall, 139;
    burial, 139;
    comments on his case, 139 _sqq._;
    other accusations against, 144;
    reported court-martial, 145;
    flogging of other soldiers, 145;
    date of appointment, 145.

  Wall, Mrs Joseph, 123;
    attempts to get husband reprieved, 131;
    parting with husband, 133;
    mentioned, 145.

  Watteau, Antoine, 79.

  Wellington, Duke of, 198.

  Weston, Henry, 205.

  Whibley, Charles, vii.

  Wild, Jonathan (thief-taker), 74.

  Wilkes, John, 48, 87;
    at Perreaus’ trial, 54.

  Wilkes, Miss Polly, 56.

  Wilson, Harriet, 182.

  Wilson, Richard, 75.

  Wilkinson, Mr, 213.

  Wilkinson, Tate, 21.

  William IV., 198.

  Williams, Peter, 129.

  Williams-Wynne, Sir Watkin, 74.

  Wontner (Governor of Newgate), 191, 196, 201.

  Wordsworth, William, mentioned, viii;
    lines on Mary of Buttermere, 144, 145, 176;
    on ‘little Barbara Lewthwaite’ 148;
    visits Hadfield in gaol, 169.

  Wood, Alderman, 189.

  Wood, George, 124, 167.

  Wright, Sir Sampson, 45, 93.


  York, Duke of, 150.

  Young, Miss Elizabeth, 187.

  Young, Miss Frances, 187, 194, 225.

  Youngson, Margaret Caroline, 49.
    _See also_ Rudd.


PRINTED BY NEILL AND CO., LTD., EDINBURGH.


Transcriber's Note:

Inconsistent spelling and hyphenation are as in the original.





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