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

R. v. Cannon


Supreme Court of New South Wales, Port Phillip

Willis J., 20 August 1841

Source: Port Phillip Patriot, 23 August 1841

Friday, August 20th ---Before His Honor the Resident Judge, and the following Jury of inhabitants:---

John Rankin, John Sutch, John Richardson, John Hunter Patterson, Robert Reeves, Thomas H. Power, James Palmer, Thomas Strode, James Purves, William Patterson, George Somerville, and Thomas Robbins, (Foreman.)

MICHAEL CANNON was indicted for forging an order for £7 17s. 8d., purporting to have been drawn by Charles Hutton, with intent to defraud James Simson, at Melbourne on the 16 th August. A second count in the information charged the prisoner with uttering the said order, knowing it to be a forgery. There were sixteen other counts in the information, laying the offence in several ways, as intended to defraud Charles Hutton, F. [Manton?] and others, and James Simeon. The prisoner pleaded not guilty.

From the evidence of a person named Murray, it appeared that on the 2d August he was in charge of Simeon's shop for a short time; the prisoner came in and enquired for the prosecutor, stating that he had an order on a good mark, and required some property; the witness, after some conversation, sold the prisoner a blue jacket, a cotton handkerchief, and some tobacco, the articles amounted to £3 3s. 6d. including a sum charged for cashing the order; the witness gave the prisoner in change £4 17s. 6d. On Simeon's return it was thought the order was not correct, and he immediately went to the shop of Mr. Mason who knew the handwriting of Mr. C. Hutton, and the order was pronounced by him to be a forgery; the prisoner was then found and given into custody. The prisoner had represented himself as Patrick Sullivan---the name of the person to whom the order was made payable. The order was as follows:---

Merri [?] Creek, 19 th March, 1841.

Please pay Pat. Sullivan, or bearer, the sum of £7 17s. 8d. [??].


To Manton & Co.

Endorsed: his

Pat X Sullivan


Witness---John Murray.

The prisoner in his defence said, he knew nothing of the order being a forgery, it was given him by a man named Sullivan, who could not come into Melbourne as a warrant was out against him.

The jury, without a moment's hesitation, pronounced a verdict of guilty.

His Honor, after stating his determination to make an example of the prisoner's offence by the strong arm of the law, sentenced him to be transported for the term of his natural life.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University