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ADDENDA TO THE CASE OF VALENTINE JONES, Esq.
Vol. X. of this Continuation, Page 336.*
COURT OF KING'S BENCH,
14th JUNE, 1809 : Mr. Attorney General.- I am to move your lord ship for the judgment of the Court against Mr. Valentine Jones.
Mr. Dallas.-In point of form, I ought to request of your lordships that the gentleman before the Court may be permitted to sit.
Mr. Attorney General.— I make no objection.
Lord Ellenborough. - We understand that the defendant is in a situation requiring it : indeed the manner in which he came into Court shewed it.
Lord Ellenborough read his report of the evidence on the trial. The following Affidavits were read :
Valentine Jones, late of the parish of Batheaston and county of Somerset, now confined in the King's-bench, the defendant named in the indictment tried at Westminster on the 26th day of May last past, maketh oath and saith; that he this deponent, having previous to the year 1795 served in divers public situations of credit trust and responsibility in his majesty's service in the West Indies, bad the happiness to acquit himselfin them all with general satisfaction and approbation, and that having in the said year 1795 received the appointment of commissary-general and superintendant of stores, provisions and extraordinaries to the army serving in the Leeward islands, he this deponent embarked for his station in the fleet under admiral sir Hugh Christian, and after an unsuccessful attempt to perform the voyage, and after the dangers and difficulties so well known to have attended that enterprise during eight weeks' storms and contrary winds, returned to England in so impaired a state of health that he despaired of being able to fulfil the appointments aforesaid, and endeavoured to obtain permission to resign the same; but that not finding he would be allowed to do so, this deponent made an effort to embark again in the fleet under command of admiral Cornwallis in March 1796, in which be was prevented by a most dangerous attack of gout in his stomach, which had nearly put
an end to his life; that this deponent
, however, still animated by zeal to do that duty which had been so particularly the quired of him, lost as little time as peesia ble, when he had sufficient strength
, in going from Portsmouth to Falmouth, and there embarking in a packet for the Wa Indies : that on his passage the deposet was again attacked by severe illness tra the gout; but finding, on his arrival at Ba. badoes on the 23rd of April 1796, that a armament under the command of general sir Ralph Abercrombie had sailed against the island of St. Lucia, this depodent, albo though obliged to be carried to and from the shore, did immediately follow and join the said armament on the 26th of April at St. Lucia, and entered on the duties of his office, without regard to personal suffering, in a most arduous and difficult enployment in the midst of military operations.
And this deponent saith, that on undertaking the vast laborious and extensive avocations of his appointments aforesaid, he had but one deputy commissary general under him, and three assistant commissaries at a time when more aid and assistance were required than at any other period ever known in that country, and during the whole of his employment; whereas at subsequent periods in more eitcumscribed service four deputies have been allowed and treble the number of assistants.
And the deponent saith, that the calls of the service and supply of so large as army (for the wants of which calculation was to be made on the scale of 30,000 persons) required him to leave a general agent, with means competent to undertake the supplies, and having general comptetion with the chain of islands wherein the said troops were stationed ; and accordingly this deponent having renewed contract for vessels with Mr. Malther Higgins (who had furnished the same by a former contract previous to the arrira of the deponent), he did also engage inch the said Higgins to be the merchant or agent to do the greater part of the busiga required as to furnishing stores of all kinds; and this preference the deponers gave to him the said Matthew Higgins from his having been employed as a coltractor and being a creditor of the public to a large amount; and also from his possessing the good opinion of the commander in chief, sir Ralph Abercrombie
, bo whom the said Matthew Higgins had beer useful in the negotiation for surrender
The proceedings, subsequent to the trial of Valentine Jones, having been mislaid, were unavoidably omitted in the Volume which contains the trial itself; but as they have since been recovered, they are here inserted.
the colonies of Demarara' and Berbice to issuing commissaries, for the purpose of his majesty's arms; and further, from the literally feeding the troops, and ihe resaid commander in chief having expressed ceiving their returns and vouchers, and to this deponent that he could not do better this deponent having under many diffithan employ the said Matthew Higgins. culties been obliged to make up the ac
And this deponent saith, that by the counts finally from imperfect papers transfirst contract for vessels which the said mitted to him by the said Glassfurd (paMatthew Higgins had with quarter-master- pers which the secretary himself of the general Knox, he was to provide for the West India commissioners had in charge pioneers of the army, which part thereof for the deponent and knew the mutilated this deponent would not renew, but con- state of), had nor could have no other sulted ihe interest of government in alter- meaning than that the said deputy coming the same.
missary general should not, by any new And deponent further declareth' and statement alter the official mode by which saith, that during the whole time the said deponent had arraigned the imperfect Matthew Higgins continued to furnish documents before furnished by the said supplies, he, the deponent, never did, Glassfurd himself: and the suggestion that directly or indirectly, take any steps to the said deputy might not remember enhance the profits thereon or interfere points of business so long gone by, arose therewith for his own ultimate benefit; from the conviction that he literally and always believing that the public service truly could not (by reason of the difficulwas benefitted by the manner in which ties with which the complicated and multhe business was done. And he believes tiplied vouchers in detail had been colthat if he, this deponent, had not confined lected by him) bear them in rememhimself so much to the said Matthew brance; for this deponent saith that the Higgins, but had purchased generally of vouchers here described relate to the the merchants, the articles would have serving out in the fields, on marches, on cost government in the aggregate as much the water, in quarters, and in every posas was charged by him the said Matthew sible circumstance of the service, to the Higgins. And this deponent verily be- amount of upwards of twenty millions of lieves the same, from his observation at rations issued, and to the accounting for the time and inquiries since.
every pound, ounce, gallon, pint, or more And this deponent further saith, that he minute delivery. most solemnly declareth, that with the ac- And this deponent on his oath further counts of the said Matthew Higgins, made saith, that he never intended by any exout for his agency, he had no connivance pression in the aforesaid letter to prein fraud, if such there be, and that he was scribe to the said deputy commissary genperfectly innocent of any delusion in the eral what he should say as a witness upon mode of making out the same by the said oath; nor could the deponent fear any thing Matthew Higgins or his sub-agents for any from him in that character; which the sinister motives ; And that he, this depo- deponent is warranted in saying, nothing nent, cannot be charged with any fiction having been produced from any examinaor deception whatever to the injury of tion of the said John Giassfurd against the public on his part, with regard to him, this deponent, in his office of comsuch accounts, as the contents thereof are missary general, his department in which all duly fully and specifically debited to fell under the constant observation of the this deponent in kind, and the consump. said John Glassfurd. tion thereof accounted for by him, and And the deponent saith that he has not himself made responsible therefore.
only rendered accounts and vouchers long And this deponent here further saith since for the issue and expenditure of and declareth, that the letter written by every species of stores coming to his him to John Glassfurd, deputy commis- hands in any way, but that in six weeks sary general (which from misconception after bis return to this country (that is to of its contents and a mistaken construc- say on or about the 14th day of August tion of its terms has been deemed in- 1798) this deponent delivered in accounts jurious to him and dictated by conscious and vouchers for all the expenditure of misconduct) has no connection whatever cash and bills of exchange which had with his dealings with the said Matthew passed under his direction to the amount Higgins, or any bearing on the case in of more than two millions sterling, and which he is implicated with him, as the that as soon as he was required by the terms used in that letter do not in anywise lords commissioners of his majesty's treaapply to provisions, or bills for provisions, sury to pay the balance due from him to or purchases or transactions between him the public, he, this deponent, did pay the and this deponent; but that the said John same without hesitation, in the manner Glassfurd having had chiefly under his ordered, in six months after his return direction that portion of the business from his official station in the Leeward
which appertained to deliveries to the Islands. VOL. XXXIII.
And deponent saith that he was kept in the execution of his office there, contrary to all remonstrances and requests to be relieved, for twelve months after his knowledge of the rumours spread against him; but neither in that time or any Other did the deponent use or adopt any measure of enriching himself by borrowing from the public funds under his control for purchases and speculations, which he could, in common with many, have made with vast emolument. And this deponent saith, that on the subject of the indictment upon which he has been tried it would ill become him to say one word, further than that he has not shrunk from the charge, or attempted to withdraw himself from the justice of the country. Whatever the extent of his offence may have been, the deponent waits with submission the punishment for that offence which this Court may think fit to inflict.
And this deponent further saith, that a mind distressed and agitated has increased the sufferings of a body worn down by an afflicting malady, and previously exposed thereto by fourteen years spent in public occupations in an unhealthy climate ; that he is seldom free from the gout, the consequences whereof are contractions of the joints, and that from exposure to cold and damp situations the deponent might be liable to the loss of the use of his limbsif not of life.
Thomas Broughton, clerk, A. M., rector of St. Peter's in the city of Bristol, and one of the acting magistrates for the county of Gloucester, maketh oath and saith, that he hath known the above-named Valentine Jones for thirty years now last past, and that he has been intimately acquainted with him for a considerable portion of that period ; and that during all such time he has been so frequent a witness of his many excellent qualities, that he has always esteemed him as a man not only of the most humane and benevolent, but of the most upright and honourable character, and that he is one of the last persons amongst his acquaintance he should deem capable of any intentional misconduct.
Thomas Howard Griffith, of the city of Bath, esquire, maketh oath that he knows the above-named defendant Valentine Jones, and that he knew and was well acquainted with him for near ten years during his residence in the island of Barbados, and has since known him during his subsequent residence in England. And this deponent saith, that the said Valentine Jones was received and much esteemed in the first ranks of socie. ty in the said Island of Barbados, and always conducted himself in an upright manner, and with honour and credit ; and
was looked upon as a person of very estimable character and unsespected integrity.
George Phillips, of French Hay near Bristol, in the county of Gloucester, esquire, maketh oath and saith, that he has known the above-named defendant, Valentine Jones, esquire, from a very early period of his life, and for the space of thirty-si years, and during a considerable portion of which time he hath been intimately acquainted with him. And this ponent saith he hath known manastances of the said Valentine Jodes'is cellent qualities as a member of sace, and he hath always esteemed him ji man, not only of the most bumane and benevolent disposition, but of the most upright and honourable character.
John Cobham, of Berkley-square, in the city of Bristol, esquire, maketh oath, that he knows the above-pamed defendant, Valentine Jones, and that he knew and was well acquainted with him for thirteen years, during his residence in the Island of Barbados. And this deponeat saith
, that the said Valentine Jones was receired and much esteemed in the first ranks of society in that Island, and always conducted himself in an upright mander, and with the greatest honour and integrity, and was looked upon as a person of vers esa timable character, and respected by all who knew him.
Samuel Perry, of Park-street, in the city of Bristol, esquire, maketh oath that he has known the above-named defendant, Valentine Jones, for the space of twentyfive years last past. And this deponent further saith, that he was intimate and well acquainted with the said Valentine Jones for fifteen years of that period
, during his residence in the Island of Barbados. And this deponent saith, that the said Valentine Jones was received and much esteemed in the first rart of society in that Island, and always est ducted himself in an upright manner
, and with great honour and integrity, and a looked upon as a person of very estimate character.
The Reverend John Brome, A. M. ( present of Welbeck-street in the count of Middlesex, and a member of bi majesty's council in the Island of Baibados), maketh oath and saith, that he personally knew the above-named defende ant Valentine Jones for several years during his residence in the said Lland, where he filled the office of clerk of the council and deputy secretary, ofices of considerable trust and importance
, in the execution of which this deponent always understood, that the said Valentine Jones conducted himself with the utmost rectness and propriety.
And this deponent further saith, that ponent, is firmly of opinion it is absolutely the said Valentine Jones was at that time necessary for the preservation of the life received, and considered by the first ranks of the said Valentine Jones that he should of society in the Island of Barbados, as a have a free and open circulation of air, gentleman of great respectability, and and be protected as much as possible from generally esteemed a person of strict damp and cold. honour and integrity.
William Bowen, of the city of Bath, in Thomas Fownes Luttrell
, of the city of the county of Somerset, Apothecary, Bath, in the county of Somerset, esquire,
maketh oath that he hath known the above maketh oath and saith, that he knows the
named Valentine Jones for nine years and above-named defendant Valentine Jones, upwards, during which time he, this depoand that he knows and was intimately ac.
nent hath been the Apothecary to the said quainted with him, for the space of about
Valentine Jones and his family, and this three years and a balf during his residence deponent, in his medical character, bath in the Island of Barbados. And this de- very often attended him the said Valentine ponent saith, that he has always considered
Jones. And this deponent is well acthe said Valentine Jones as a man of the quainted with the general state of health strictest honour and integrity, and inca.
of the said Valentine Jones, and that he pable of any intentional misconduct,
is of a very gouty habit, and in the course
of the above period he hath had repeated John Randall Phillips, of Winterbourne, and most violent attacks of the gout, some in the county of Gloucester, esquire, of which have confined him to his bed maketh oath that he knows the above- and room for several weeks together, and named defendant, Valentine Jones, and that, during the said above specified nine that he has known him for the space of years, lie the said Valentine Jones hath fifteen
years last past. And this deponent seldom been entirely free from the gout. saith, that he was intimate and well ac- And this deponent saith that the health quainted with the said Valentine Jones, of the said Valentine Jones has been, dufor about five years, during his residence ring the time he this deponent hath known in the island of Barbados ; and this depo- him, much affected by the change of situanent further saith, that the said Valentine tion and season, and that in the judgment of Jones was received and much esteemed this deponent it is absolutely necessary in the first rank of society in that Island, for the preservation of the life of the said and conducted himself in this deponent's Valentine Jones that he should not be estimation in an upright manner, and with subject to any damp or cold situation. the greatest honour and integrity, and was looked upon as a person of very es
Sir Waller Farquhar, of Conduit-street
Hanover-square, in the county of Middletimable character.
sex, baronet, maketh oath and saith, that Robert Lovell, of the city of Bristol, in his character of Physician he hath free doctor of physic, maketh oath and saith quently attended the above named den that he hath known the above named
fendant, Valentine Jones, for many years defendant, Valentine Jones, for upwards of past; and that during the last month he twenty years last past, and that during
bath' often visited him in consequence the said Valentine Jones's residence at of the said Valentine Jones being afficted Naish House near Bristol, and afterwards with violent gout, and the unpleasant con. at Bath, he this deponent has frequently sequences of a broken constitution; and in the capacity of his physician, attended that his situation was so 'very critical and him in very deplorable and distressing alarming that he requested the assistance attacks of gout, which have confined him of doctor Baillie. And this deponent to his bed and room for weeks and even saith, that from the debility that now, months together.
exists, his life might be endangered by ex, And this deponent further saith that he posure to cold and damp; in short this is well acquainted with the constitution deponent is absolutely convinced that the and general state of health of the said said Valentine Jones's disease is so deepValentine Jones, which have been greatly ly rooted in his constitution, that nothing impaired by the frequent and violent at, but the greatest care and attention can tacks of gout with which he has been afa
preserve his life. ficted, and from which attacks lie is never Samuel Chilver, of new Burlington, free for any considerable length of time street, in the county of Middlesex, Surgeon together.
and Apothecary, maketh oath and saith, And this deponent further saith he has that he hath attended the above named also found the health of the said Valentine defendant Valentine Jones, for many years Jones, during the period he has attended past in severe attacks of the gout which, him professionally, greatly affected by in consequence of the very irritable and change of situation and states of the ai. broken down state of the said Valentine mosphere, and for these reasons he this de- Jones's constitution, have sometimes been accompanied with symptoms the most , or indeed if I were speaking elsewhere, I Bean serious and alarming.--and this deponent for a moment to insinuate that any temptation saith that during the last month the said can be of sufficient strength to overpower a Valentine Jones has been suffering severe right and proper sense of duty-most undoubtly from one of his usual gouty attacks, edly (and 'I beg to be so understood), I do not for which he has been several times visited mean to extend the observation to any sech by sir Walter Farqubar, and attended by limits but what we are not permitted to defend this deponent. And that from his know- we may be allowed to deplore; and I an sure ledge of the said Valentine Jones's con- it must be matter of deep regret to every perstitution, he is fully convinced that if the son who has heard the evidence in this court said Valentine Jones were to be exposed that a gentleman of the defendant's charter to cold and damp air, that imminent risk in life should have reduced himself to the se and danger to his life would be thereby tuation in which he now appears before page incurred.
I may at the same time state to the Coura Mr. Dallas.—My lords, I am now to address without any concealment, that tbis is a case a a very few words to your lordships on the which a despair of doing service and a dread part of the defendant. I have always thought, of doing mischief make me advance with fears and have often felt, the situation in which I and trembling; and therefore in the Fery Donow stand to be precisely the most painful to ment in which I am making these observaten, one's self and the least satisfactory to others cannot but perceive the probability that they that can occur in the discharge of our profes- may be retorted upon me and that I may be sional duty. From the nature of the proceed- told that this is a case in which above all others, ing, the party himself must unfortunately be the consideration of past character and of past present, and as, notwithstanding the verdict of conduct ought to be of the least avail; for the a jury, it does not always happen that parties appointments bestowed upon this gentlemas, are disposed to admit their guilt, and as the the duties of which he is charged with baring observations of their counsel can proceed upon violated, brought their remuneration and tethat footing alone, it often appears to them ward; he was trusted because he had been that a surrender of their innocence is made tried; and there may possibly be pointed out from that quarter from which they least ex- to the Court (and if it were not
, I feel it is not pected it. On the other hand, if any observa- possible that it should escape its observation tion were to be made inconsistent with the after the report which has been read) the cirverdict, it would be immediately and properly cumstances of the conversation with Mr. Rose checked by the Court, who must look to the after the appointment, and of the increase of preservation of their own rules. The effect is, salary for the purpose (as that gentleman stated) to produce a state of embarrassment and diffi- of securing a faithful performance of the duty. culiy which all of us have felt in our turn, It is quite impossible for me to deny that these as well those who continue where I now am, are circumstances which may be fairly presed as those, who, fortunately for the justice of the upon the part of the prosecution ; but at the country, have been raised to a higher, though same time I will do the attorney-general the in many respects a not less anxious and pain- justice to believe that they will not be urged ful situation.
beyond their proper extent. Looking then, my lords, at this case in the The conversation with Mr. Rose does not only light in which I am permitted to consider appear to me deserving of much weight; for, it, that is, through the verdict, I of course admitting, as I do most distinctly, that the bir can have but very few observations to offer. of duty in this case was perfectly clear, and The fact itself is unfortunately established be- such as no man could mistake, if no such as yond the possibility of doubt, and with respect versation had happened, the want of Mr. to its nature, I fear it cannot become the sub- Rose's verbal communication could not have ject of any opposition in argument. I can been urged as a circumstance in favour of the therefore only generally lament that this is one defendant, and, therefore I trust that its barin other to be added to the long list of innume- taken place will not be pressed to bis dis rable instances in which a person of the most advantage : in truth, in the correct considera amiable and unblemished character, of the ation of the subject it has no operation on eiber most tried and approved worth and integrity side. But the increase of salary stards em as this gentleman appears to have been, not very different ground, and I hardly know what only from the affidavits that have been 'read, observation I dare make upon this part of the but upon the testimony given in support of the case; it seems however to me that if the cator prosecution, should, at an evil hour, in a mo- plaint is to be confined to a mere breach of ment of self-abandonment have been betrayed duty, whether the allowance given was more into conduct inconsistent with the whole of his or less, becomes perfectly immaterial; for I must former life--that he should have given way, I admit that the performance of duty cannot de unfortunately, to a temptation which he found pend upon the extent of compensation : but if too strong to resist.
the question is to be shifted from the point of When I say this, I hope it will not be sup-duty and put upon the extent of allowance posed that while speaking in a court of justice, then to obviate its effect is point of aggravalia