Dominus R v Johann' Bigg

JurisdictionEngland & Wales
Judgment Date01 January 1717
Date01 January 1717
CourtHigh Court of Chancery

English Reports Citation: 24 E.R. 1127

Chancery Division

Dominus Rex
and
Johann' Bigg

3 P. WMS. 419. REX V. BIGG 1127 [419] de term. S. michaelis, 1717. dominus rex v. johann' bigg. [1717.] : Arguments before all the judges at Serjeants' Inn, in Fleet Street. ' \ j 1 Stra. 18. One with lemon juice takes out a receipt written on the inside of a bank note, but called an indorsement; this held to be rasing an indorsement within 8th and 9th of W. 3, cap. 19, sect. 36, and to be felony without clergy. This was a special verdict found at the Old Bailey, where the prisoner, John Bigg, was indicted for rasing out an indorsement of 90 made on a bank bill for 100 which is made felony without clergy, by a late act of the 8th and 9th of W. 3, chap. 19, par. 36. The indictment set forth, that on the 19th day of February 1714, and long before, one Joshua, Adams was entrusted and employed by the governor and company of the bank of England, to sign bank notes for the said company, [420] fr the payment of money by them payable : that afterwards the same day and year, the said Joshua Adams, being so entrusted and empowered by the said company, did make a certain bank note under his own hand, and signed by himself on behalf of the company, dated the 19th of February 1714, by which note the said Joshua Adams, on behalf of the said company of the bank of England, did promise to pay to Mr. James White, or bearer one hundred pounds on demand : that afterwards on the 22d of February 1714, on. behalf of the said company of the bank of England, the sum of ninety pounds, part of the said sum of one hundred pounds in the said note mentioned, was paid to the bearer of the said note ; and that thereupon, on behalf of the said company, quoddam scriptum Anglice an indorsement on the said note was duly made and written, specifying, that 90 was paid the same 22d of February 1714 : that the prisoner, John Bigg, endeavouring to make an unlawful gain to himself, and to defraud the company of the bank of England, of great sums of money; after the payment of the said 90, and after the said indorsement made upon the said note, viz. on the first of March in the same year, feloniously erasit that indorsement upon the said note, contra pacem domini regis, et contra formam statuf in hoc casu nuper edit' et provis'. Upon Bigg the prisoner's pleading not guilty to this indictment, the jury found a special verdict, vis;. They found, that the said Joshua Adams, on the said 19th of February 1714, was entrusted and employed by the governor and company of the bank of England, but not under their common seal, to sign for the company bank notes for the' payment of money payable by the company : that the said Joshua Adams, being so entrusted and employed as aforesaid, on the 19th of February 1714, did [421] make the note in writing mentioned in the indictment signed under the said Joshua Adams' own hand on behalf of the said company; by which note the said Joshua Adams, on behalf of .the said company, promised to pay to Mr. James White, or bearer, on demand, the sum of one hundred pounds ; that on the said 22d day of February, 1714, on behalf of the said company, the said 90 parcel of the said sum of one hundred pounds in the said note contained, was paid to the bearer of the said note ; and that on the said payment, on and across the writing of the said note, the words and figures following, viz. 22d of February 1714, paid ninety pounds, were in due manner, on behalf of the said company, written with red ink, upon the face of and insi/le of the said note ; that the said John Bigg, on the first of March, in the said year, after the payment of the said 90 and the inscription thereof on the said note, by a certain liquor to the jury unknown put by the said John Bigg, upon the words and figures so written upon the said note, with red ink as aforesaid, the same words and figures totaliter expunxit et delevit. Also the jury found, that at the time of making the act of parliament, intituled, an act for making good the deficiency of several funds therein mentioned, and for enlarging the capital stock of the bank of England, and. always afterwards, to the 28th of November 1696, the way only used for indorsing of bank notes was, by writing on the backside of the said notes with black ink; but that afterwards on the 28th of Nov. 1696, and from thenceforth to this time, the way that was only used was, to write all the payments of any part of the money paid on these notes, upon and across the writing of the said notes, with red ink, in manner and form as is above mentioned 1128 REX V. BIGG 3 P. TOMB. 422. to be written on the said note; and that such inscriptions, from the said 28th of November [422] 1696, hitherto have been, and are commonly called indorsements; and if upon this whole matter the court shall be of opinion, that the prisoner is guilty of the felony charged upon him in the indictment, then they find him guilty ; if the court shall be of the contrary opinion, then not guilty. My Lords, I am of counsel with the prisoner, who, I must admit, has been guilty of a very great misdemeanour or offence; but the question now before your Lordships is, whether the fact, as found by this special verdict, be felony 1 I shall beg leave to speak to the case upon these several points : First, Whether this Joshua Adams appears to have been w,ell empowered on behalf of the company of the bank of England to sign notes for the payment of money by the bank 1 And I humbly take it, that on this special verdict, but more particularly the negative words of it, I mean as it is found, that there was no authority under the common seal; it appears Adams was not well empowered to sign this note on behalf of the company; and therefore, that in strictness it is not, as to this purpose, a bank note, and consequently that it is no felony to rase it, or to rase an indorsement made upon it. Secondly, Whether this receipt of the 90, part of the 100 mentioned in the note (the receipt being written on the inside and face of the note), can be said to be an indorsement within the act ? And I humbly hold it cannot be said to be an indorsement; and, consequently, that the prisoner cannot be guilty of rasing an indorsement on a bank note. [423] Thirdly, Whether the prisoner's taking out this receipt by applying to it a liquor unknown to the jury, can be called a rasing of this indorsement ? And I must beg leave to hold, that it cannot be called a rasing of this indorsement. Fourthly, Whether the indictment be good, it being for rasing the...

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9 cases
  • Church against The Imperial Gas Light and Coke Company
    • United Kingdom
    • Court of the King's Bench
    • 1 January 1837
    ...are authorities for the defendants in error, unless the distinction between executed and executory contracts be upheld. In Rex v. Bigg (3 P. Wms. 419), it was held that a party might be indicted for felony in erasing an indorsement made on behalf of the Batik of England by an agent authoris......
  • The Governor and Company of the Bank of England v Anderson and Others
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    ...which have so much money bonl fide resting due thereupon : not speaking of the bills as bills under seal. From the case of Bex v. Bigg (3 P. Wms. 419), it is clear that bank bills were not under seal. No authority has been adduced for the assertion that the issuing of the bills and the adva......
  • Paine against The Guardians of the Poor of the Strand Union
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    • Court of the Queen's Bench
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    ...The Hank of England (16 East, 6), BrougUon v. The Manchester Waterworks Company (Z B. & Aid. 1), Manly v. Long (3 Lev. 107), Hex v. Bigg (3 P. Wms. 419), 2 Kent's Commentaries, 290, 291, and note (i), ibid, and 298 (ed. New York, 1840). See also Hall v. The Mayor, Ac,, of Swansea, 5 Q. B. 5......
  • Doe, on the demise of the Company of Proprietors of the Birmingham Canal Navigations, against Bold
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