Imágenes de páginas

Insuring, proposals were issned by the caanir^

In July, 1778, came on to be tried at and Steedl1* accePled ** lhe c,e*Uoes

Guildhall, before lord Mansfield, a cause, I.

wherein a merchant was plaintiff and a November 7, ITS!

lottery-office keeper defendant. The ao Mode Of Insurance,

tion was brought for suffering a young „,,. , .. ■ ,

man, the plaintiffs apprentice, to insure . * bich continue, the whole t.r*,e of

with the defendant during the drawing of draw,nS th« lottery' ■t.C*RR,« s &T^

the last lottery, contrary'to the statute; l£"T A?"!tm', ?.S * ^ _L^

whereby the youth lost a considerable Thread needle-street. At »«?«»* «rt

sum, the property of the merchant. The N UMB,EBS are tahen'to returT1 thrte w «2

jury without going out of court gave a Pound Pmes> v?lue '«*, P°"nA> *"

verdict for thl plaintiff, thereby subject- every given number that shall be dra-»

ing the defendant to pay 5001. penalty, any pme whatever above twenty pou^fa

and to three months'imprisonment.* >' during toe whole drawing. _

During the same year, parliament hav- V Nu"tbcr' at halfa S«"^lo »«**

ing discussed the evil of insuring, and the a' e a ove'

mischievous subdivision of the shares of "■

tickets, passed an act " for the regulation J. Cook respectfully solicits tlie ptiW-r

of Lottery offices," in which the principal will favour the following inrompaTO-'.'«

clauses were as follows— advantageous plan with attention, be

"To oblige every lottery-office keeper which upwards of thirty-two {Acuuo..*

to take out a licence, at the expense of chances for obtaining a prize {out sfrte

501., and give security not to infringe any forty-eight thousand tickets) are given n

part of the act. one policy.

"That no person shall dispose of any Policies Of Five Guineas trith tkre.

part of a ticket in any smaller share or numbers, with the first number will grin.

proportion than a sixteenth, on 501. 20000 if a prize of £20000

penalty. 10000 £lOOCX>

"That any person selling goods, wares, 5000 £ 50CO

or other merchandise, or who shall offer with the second number will erain

any sum or sums of money, upon any 6000 guineas if 20000

chance or event whatsoever, relating to 3000 10000

the drawing of any ticket, shall be liable 1500 .....". 50O0

to a penalty of 20J. with the third number will gain

"To enable the commissioners of his 3000 guineas if 200OO

majesty's treasury to establish an office;— 1500 100OO

all shares to be stamped at that office;— 1200 5000

the original tickets from which such shares

are lo be taken, to be kept at that office T .v. i .. . c ..,<-<■> .u

,„ ..' r. j1 • , , In the lottery act of 1762 there was J

till a certain tune after drawing ;-books h d ; J h insurance

of entry to be regularly kept ;-persons of tickets £ ?^ ^ ,

carrying share, to, be stamped to pay a office k /„ ^^ . h , J>

sma 1 sum specified in the act;—penalties , ,, r .■_. , , .. .

- '... , ': , and the magistrates enforced the law.

for persons selling shares not stamped; ,. „, ,," , r , .-„

,r . , B . .. r > About the beginning of January 1«So

and a clause for punishing persons who ..„ , ... . « ,8'

, I, , ., . r o i several ottery-ofhee keepers were con

shal forge the stamp of any ticket." . , , , c }.. , ,' , , ,

In 1779, the drawing of the lottery and Z ?he(°'Ve ^i.1"^ T ^V'

the conduct of lottery-office keepers was meVn PeDa "eS of f * P0,"?ds each.for

further regulated by act of parliament.! i^T*? T TiV"* ;'"

° » ■ 'Innity term the following cause Was

tried at Westminster, before lord Lough

Evasions OF THE INSURERS. borough.

The provisions of parliament against A lottery-office keeper near Charing

the ruinous practice of insurance were cross was plaintiff, and the sheriff of MiJ

evaded by the dexterity of the lottery- dlesex defendant. The action was lo

office keepers. In 1781, the following recover one thousand five hundred anil

_^__^_______ sixty-six pounds, levied by the shciiff,

._ , ..." "about a year past, on the plaintiff's goods,

t AniitiMii.. . by virtue of three writs of peri facias.

[ocr errors]

issued from the court of King's-bench. It seems that the above plaintiff' was convicted, in three penalties of five hundred pounds each, for insuring lottery tickets; but previous to the trial's coming on, for some indulgence, he had, by himself or agents, consented not to bring any writ of error, and an order of nui print was drawn up, and served upon bis attorney; nowithstanding which, three writs of error were sued out. The court of King'sbench being then moved, made an order that the executions should be levied according to the original rule of court: the sheriff made the levy, and the money being paid and impounded in his hands, the above action was brought to get the same returned. The novelty of the action caused much laughter among the counsel, and, after a few minutes' hearing, his lordship ordered the plaintiff to be nonsuited.*

Lottery Wood Cuts.

It is to be remarked, that at this period engravings on their printed addresses do not seem to have been resorted to by the lottery-schemers as they have been since, for the purpose of stimulating attention to their plans. No subject of the kind therefore can be given, to illustrate their proceedings at the time now under review; but on arriving, as we shall presently, at days nearer our own, they crowd upon us, and several will be given in the next sheet as specimens of their ingenuity ana taste.

Charles Price, alias Patch, 8tc.

This man was a lottery-office keeper. His notoriety and his fate render him one of the most remarkable characters of the age wherein he lived; it is therefore proposed to give a brief outline of his life.

His father, Charles Price, was '* by trade a tailor." " He came from South Wales, about the year 1702, and worked at several places in London, till in 1710 he got into Monmouth-street, as journeyman to a salesman there. By strict application he was, in a few years, enabled to set up as a master, and kept a saleshop the corner of Earl-street and West-street, Seven Dials. Some time previous to this he had married a woman who bore a very good character. He was very clever in his business, but illiterate; yet exceedingly artful, and the flower of

Monmouth-street for oratory in the sale of his goods: at the same time, he was sincere in his friendships, despised downright knavery, and had a regard to reputation. His eldest son, Thomas, was bred to his father's business. One Cretd, a salesman in Rosemary-lane, used to send him with a cart loaded with goods round the country; and Creed dying, Thoma3 decamped with the produce of one journey, about 200/. lor this, and for similar acts of knavery in his brother Charles, he left them only a shilling each, and bequeathed the rest of his property to his daughter. Thomas died young.

Charles, the hero of our history, when about six years of age, was sent to school, where he acquired the rudiments of the French language, and was so neglected in his own, that he was complete in neither. At about twelve years' old he was taken home to assist his father, where he soon gave proofs of address similar to the following.

A sailor who had staggered to Monmouth-street to buy some clothes, was caught by Charles at the corner, and introduced by him into a room, where, in a summer's noon, it was hardly possible to distinguish blue from black, or green from blue. The honest tar was shown a coat and waistcoat, the real value of which was about two guineas. Though they were considerably too little, Charles squeezed him up, and persuaded him they fitted exactly. The price being demanded", Charles declared upon his honour the lowest farthing he could take was five guineas. The sailor put his hand in his pocket, and laid down the money. Charles stepped down to his father's journeyman, under pretence of getting something to put the clothes in, and told him the customer he met with, and that he might as well have had six guineas as five. "Do you," said he, " follow me up stairs, nquire what I have done, pretend to be very angry, swear they cost you six guineas, give me two or three kicks or cuffs, and I date swear we shall get more money out of him, and then, as my father is not at home, yon shall go halves in all we get above the five guineas." The scheme was readily acquiesced in by the journeyman. Charles slipped up stairs; the journeyman followed, inquiry, blame, and sham blows ensued; the journeyman declared the clothes cost him six guineas out of his pocket, and was going to beat Charles again, when the sailor cried,

* tfnivental Magazine.


[ocr errors]

"Avast, master, don't beat the boy, if he has made a mistake in a guinea, why here it is;" and laying it down, departed well pleased with his bargain, and that he had saved the lad a drubbing by the insignificant trifle of an additional guinea. Charles gave his father two guineas, the journeyman half a one, and kept three guineas and a half to himself.

The father soon experienced the effects of his son's knavery, and put him apprentice to a hatter and hosier in St. James's-street, with a considerable premium, hoping that his conduct would be quite different from what it had been at home; but his master had almost as much reason to complain of him as his father. Among his other frauds was the following: he robbed his father of an elegant suit of clothes, in which he dressed himself and went to his master, of whom he purchased about ten pounds' worth of silk stockings, leaving his address, Benjamin Bolingbroke, esq, Hanover-square, and ordering them to be sent in an hour's time, when he would pay the person who brought them. Incredible as it may appear, his master did not know him; to complete the cheat, he came back in half an hour, in his usual dress, and was ordered to take the goods home, which he actually pretended to do, and thus robbed his master. Having been detected in his villanies, he ran away; and his father, in detestation of his principles, disinherited him, soon afterwards died, and was buried at Lambeth. It may be remarked, that he was the first corpse carried over Westminster-bridge, which was on the first day it was free for carriages, when multitudes flocked to see the spening of the new structure.

Before his father's death, Charles Price became a gentleman's servant, and in that capacity lived some years, till he got into the service of sir Francis Blake Delaval, went with him the tour of Europe, returned to England, and through sir Francis, who was the companion of the celebrated Samuel Foote, became comedian. He acted a principal part in the scheme by which sir Francis obtained his lady, with a very large fortune. She went to consult a conjuror, and Foote perfot med the character to the satisfaction of his friend. Price afterwards contrived to conjure Foote out of 500/. in a sham scheme in a brewery, wherein that gentleman and Price were concerned. Price was made a bankrupt, and afterwards set

up in a distillery, defrauded the was sent to the King's-bencb, released b* an insolvent act, again turned brewer, and defrauded a gentleman out of COOOi through one of his disguises. He ih-e-. became a lottery-office keeper and stockbroker, gambled in the alley, was mined, again set up lottery-office keeper, court*) a Mrs Pounteney, and ran away with Btt niece, who was the daughter of justice Wood, in the Borough. He practised innumerable frauds, became an adept a swindling, and had the effrontery to aro* his depredations, and laugh at those hi injured.

Price was intimate with a Mr. R—s. a grocer retired from business, with whom he had for a long time passed as a stockbroker. Price, who then lived at Knigit>bridge, frequently used to request the favour of Mr. R. to take a bank-note or tn> into the city, and get them changed into small ones. In this he had a two-fold plu? He informed his friend that he was intimately acquainted with a very old gentleman, exceedingly rich, who had been as eminent broker in the alley, but had loaf retired ; that his monies in the funds «c.-v immense ; that the only relation he had is the world was one sister, to whom he intended to bequeath the best pan of his property; and that his sister was near fifty years of age, had never been married, and determined never to marry ; and that it was impossible the old gentlemin could live long, as he was very old, very infirm, and almost incapable of st>ing oat of doors. This old gentleman, Price sail. had often asked him to become his exec> tor; and besought him to recornmtfii another person, in whose fidelity, character, and integrity, he could repose at. entire confidence, and that he would male it well worth their while, if they woulJ undertake so friendly and solemn an

office "Now," said Price to Mr. R

"here is an opportunity for us to make a considerable sum in a short time, and, in all probability, a very capital fortune in a few years; for the sister being determined not to marry, and having no relations in the world, there is no doubt but she will leave us the whole of the estate; and, after his decease, she will become totally dependent upon us.—I shall see the oU gentleman, Mr. Bond, to-day, and if you will join in the trust, the will shall be immediately made.''

To this proposal Mr. R. consented. Io the evening Price returned to Knight*

[ocr errors]
[graphic][merged small]

bridge. He told Mr. R. thai he had visited Mr. Bond, who expressed great happiness and easiness of mind on such a recommendation, and desired to see Mr. It. the next day. Price appointed to meet him at twelve o'clock at Mr. Bond's. M the appointed hour, Mr. R. knocked at the door. He was shown up stairs by the aforementioned sister-lady, and introduced to Mr. Bond, seated in a great chair, his legs in another, and covered with a nightcap. The poor, infirm, weak, debilitated, old gentleman regretted the absence of his ever-dear friend Mr. Price, the most worthy man in the world, and rang a peal on his friendship, honour, honesty, integrity, &c, &c, accompanied with emaciated coughs—was obliged to go to the city coffee-house—a punctual man— never failed an appointment— it was the soul of business—and then be told Mr. Vul. U.—99.

R. that his dear friend desired to meet Mr.R. there exactly at one o'clock—he approved highly of Mr. Price's recommendation, and was now happy in his mind—it wanted but a quarter to one, he believed, and he hoped Mr. R. would not fail, as his dear friend was very exact indeed. The usual compliments passed ; the sister conducted Mr. R. to the door, who posted away to the city coffee-house, and left old Mr. Bond, the rich brother, who was in reality no other than Mr. Price, and the brother's maiden sister, who was a Mrs. Pounteney, to laugh at Mr. R.'s credulity. Mr. K. had not been five minutes in the coffee-house before he was joined by his friend Price, to whom Mr. R. recapitulated what passed, and as soon as Price had despatched some pretended business, he proposed calling on Mr.Bond. This was readily acquiesced in by Mr. R and away they drove to Leather-lane. When they came there, they were informed by the lady, that her brother was just gone out in a coach, on an airing, to Highgate. In short, Price carried on the scheme completely for several days, during which time Mr. IS. had twice or thrice seen the old gentleman. The will was made, and, on the strength of the joint executorship and expectancy, Mr. R. was swindled out of very near a thousand pounds in cash, and bonds to the amount of two hundred pounds.

Another anecdote, though it does not exhibit him in his Proteus-like character, exemplifies his cunning and selfishness. He had formed a connection with Mr.

W , a brewer, a man of character.

Price, who was then in the brewery, proposed a project, which was assented to, for purchasing hops to the amount of two thousand pounds, and he actually went into the country, contracted for hops to that amount with hop-growers in Kent, and then applied to Mr. W. for the two thousand pounds, alledging that there would be a sudden rise of hops, and they could not be delivered too soon ; and that Mr. W. should have his share of the profit. From some undisclosed motive, Mr. W. refused to advance the money. An unexpected rise, however, did soon after take place, Price went into Kent to demand delivery, the growers were shy in delivering, especially as they found they had made a bad bargain, and he gained two hundred pounds for releasing them.

Price was servile to extreme meanness, where his servility could be recompensed by a shilling. He was master of consummate effrontery, when principle called upon him for that shilling, if it was unsupported by law. He never paid but with an eye to further plunder; and then he abounded in that species of flattery distinguished under the word palaver. He possessed an extensive knowledge of men and manners, and to superficial observers appeared a very sensible person. He knew something of most of the living languages; had travelled all over France and Holland, and been at most of the German courts. He was at Copenhagen during the crisis in the fate of the unhapby Matilda queen of Denmark, sister to George HI.; and he wrote a pamphlet in her behalf, tending to prove that the true motive for the degrading attack on her character, was to effect a revolution in favour of the queen dowager's son. It

proved him to have an eye directed t* li* cabals of the court, and an understand^ capable of developing its intrig-ues.

Price's character about the 'Change n. London was well-known—he was a ksi intriguing speculator, well versed in lit mystery of the bulls and bears : bis be*: enabled him to make the most accnmcalculations, but his heart would not permit him to enjoy the fruit of even ha honest labours; for he never would cosply with the demands of a fortunate eu*tomer, unless terrified into it,—and to terrify him required no small portion of lrgenuity and resolution. His dishocesr was the spring of all his misfortunes; c made him shift from place to place ts avoid the abuse of the vulgar, and titclamorous calls of the few fortunate adventurers in the lottery. His last orBcs was the corner of King-street, Coveetgarden, from whence he was driven, by a run of ill-luck, into a private decampment.

From that period, Price lived in obscority. Though a perfect sycophant abroad, at home he was an absolute tyrant; nor could a prudent, virtuous woman, endowed with every qualification to reudt' the marriage state happy, soften his brutal disposition, when the ample fortune bt obtained with her had been squandered. Having a family of eight children to sopport, he turned his thoughts to fatal devices, and commenced to forge on tie bank of England. His first attack on the bank was about the year 1780, when one of his notes had been taken there, so complete in the engraving, the signature, the water-marks, and all its parts, that it passed through various hands unsuspected, and was not discovered till it came to a certain department, throojti which no forgery whatever can pass undiscovered. The appearance of this no> occasioned a considerable alarm amons the directors; and forgery upon fors^n flowed in, about the lottery and Christmas times, without the least probability of discovering the first negociators. Various consultations were held, innumerable plans were laid for detection, and they were traced in every quarter to have proceeded from one man, always disguised, and always inaccessible.

Had Price permitted a partner in his proceedings—had he employed an engraver—had he procured paper to be made foi him, with water-marks upon it, he must soon have been discovered—but be

« AnteriorContinuar »