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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

R. v. Carpenter (1829) NSW Sel Cas (Dowling) 296; [1829] NSWSupC 14

forgery, and uttering, evidence

Supreme Court of New South Wales

Dowling J., 13 March 1829

Source: Dowling, Select Cases, Vol. 2, Archives Office of N.S.W., 2/3462


[p. 153] [Where a prisoner was indicted for knowingly altering a forged order for payment of money it appeared that he had deposited it with another person saying "Now for fear I should lose the order; keep it in your possession safe for me".  Held that this was not a guilty uttering.][1 ]

March 13th 1829

Rex v Wm Carpenter

Indicted for falsely making and forging on 22nd January 1829 certain false forged and counterfeited order for payment of money as follows

No 21                        January 27th 1829

Messers Cooper & Levy Waterloo Wharehouse

Please pay to Mr J Smart a Bearer the sum of Forty Five pounds Sterling

£ 45.0.0.

Wm Merrett

with intent to defraud Wm Merret

2nd Count Uttering & Publishing with like intent.

3rd Count Forging Intent to Defraud Daniel Cooper Solomon Levy

4 Count Uttering like intent to defraud

Charles James Raine

I am clerk to Messers Cooper & Levy.  I was so on the 22nd January this check was presented to me by a man named Dowd.  It is an order for the payment of 45£ drawn by Wm Merret in favour of Messers Cooper and Levy are Bankers & kept cash [p. 154] in their hands at that time.  This is not the signature of Mr Merrit nor the body of it.  I am well acquainted with Mr Merrits hand writing the order is a printed check of Messers Cooper & Levy filled with the name of the payer sum & drawer.  There is no resemblance between this signature and that of Mr Merit.  There is an acceptance on the face of the instrument "Accepted Daniel Cooper", which is also a forgery.  This was presented by a tallish elderly man named Dowd he presented the Check some conversation passing, I thought proper to detain him, and next day he was taken before a magistrate.  He was discharged, but the prisoner was taken up before a Magistrate.  I never saw the prisoner before. 

Mr Wm Merrit.  I know the prisoner.  He was clerk to me.  The last time he was in my employment about a week six months ago the signature to this check is not my hand writing, Nor the body of it.  I never authorized anybody to draw a check in my name [p. 155] of that date or amount.

Thomas Dowd.  I am a labourer.  I know the prisoner.  In January last I saw the prisoner in my own house Kent Street No.58.  I let lodgings to people now and then that I like.  About the 21st or 22nd of January the prisoner agreed to lodge with me for 3 months unless called to go to Newcastle by his master.  he had lodged with me before at different times.  I had a regard for him.  He came out with mu Family in the same ship. He owed me a balance of 5 dollars for an old lodging account.  When he came and agreed with me for three months he told me he had an order upon Mr Merret for 44 or 45£ and then that he would pay the old bill and any money I demanded in advance for the new bargain as soon as he got it cashed.  This is the order.  When he put it into my hand it struck me as a very clumsy style of hand writing; but I did not say so to the prisoner.  He gave it to me to keep for him.  Before he gave it to me he said come along with me to Mr Merrit."  I put my hat on and went out with [p. 156] him.  In our way we met Mr Merret on horseback coming from the Cattle Market.  The prisoner then went and spoke to Mr Merrit.  I did not hear Mr Merret what passed, but from manner he did not bestow much notice upon him.  He spoke a few words to him and went on.  The prisoner then comes up to me and said that he Mr Merret, would cash that order for him in a few days and that I might be sure of my money "and now for fear I should lose the order you keep it in your possession safe for me."  He produced it and gave it up to me for safety.  Suspecting in my own mind that there was something wrong I of my own head went down that moment to Messers Cooper & Levy to see whether it was a genuine check.  Finding that it was a forgery, a constable was sent with me to look for the prisoner and he was found in the street in which my house is situated.

[p. 157] Thomas Ford.  I am a Constable, I took the prisoner into Custody.  He told me he had given a check to the last witness to put by for him as a safety, and that he had got it from a butcher by the name of Merrett.

I[2 ] stopped the case as their being no proof of uttering with a guilty knowledge.

Not Guilty



[1 ] The Sydney Gazette commented on this decision on 19 March 1829.

In another uttering case, R. v. Jones, 25 November 1829 (Sydney Gazette, 28 November 1829), Wardell objected to evidence of the prisoner having paid for alcohol with a note other than one of those on which he was charged.  The Attorney General argued that it was evidence of the prisoner having been at a particular place.  The trial judge, Forbes C.J., rejected the evidence, saying that it was calculated to excite a prejudice against the prisoner, and that evidence of the method of payment was not necessary to show where he had been.

[2 ] This refers to Dowling J., whose notes form the basis of this report.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University