Executed, under the Bankruptcy Act, for a Felonious Embezzlement
JAMES BULLOCK was capitally indicted for feloniously secreting and embezzling the effects of his creditors, he being a bankrupt, with intent to defraud the said creditors, and to convert the same to his own use, against the statute. Mr Gurney stated the case to the jury, and after detailing the facts with great accuracy, and charging the prisoner with the embezzlement of property to the amount of one thousand, two hundred pounds and upwards, he concluded by saying that the offence imputed to the prisoner was the result of the most criminal artifice and deep deliberation, and that the creditors would have compromised their duty to the public, and the justice due to themselves, had they not prosecuted the present indictment. The jury, he added, might pity the man's infirmities, but should he make out the charge preferred in evidence they were bound to find him guilty.
The first witness called was John Hubbard, clerk and cellarman to Messrs John & George Cowell, who proved the petitioning creditors' debt, amounting to one thousand, four hundred and seventy-two pounds, for rums and brandies sold to him.
William Bryant, the prisoner's travelling clerk, proved the fact of bankruptcy, and James Tracey and James Mabbs proved the prisoner's absconding from his counting-house, in Scotch Yard, Bush Lane, and from his country house at Dulwich, to avoid the pecuniary difficulties into which he said he had fallen. The last witness also proved that the goods were carted away from the country house, under the prisoner's direction, and carried to a house in Bouverie Street, Fleet Street, and afterwards to a house in Hungerford Market. There were two loads of goods carted away from Dulwich. In the first cart there was a bookcase, and in the second ten boxes.
Anthony, the officer, was then dispatched to Leith, information having been obtained of his flight to that place, and the prisoner was apprehended, passing under the name of Brown, and claiming in that name seventeen packages, which had been shipped in London for that place, on board the Leith packet, containing effects which the prisoner was bound to have surrendered under his commission to the use of his creditors.
Mr Thomas Wilde deposed that the prisoner deposited with him certain securities, rums, wines, etc., upon which he lent him eight hundred pounds, giving him a cheque upon the house of Prescott & Co. for the amount. This money the prisoner placed in the hands of Messrs Herries & Co., bankers, in St James's Street, in the name of "J. Brown, of No. 11 Chapel Street, Park Lane," and four days after he withdrew the whole amount, and carried it with him to Scotland. This money was found in the packages, and constituted part of the effects. A variety of other evidence was adduced to corroborate the various embezzlements, and to show the felonious intention of the prisoner to secrete his effects from his creditors. Mr Justice Heath summed up the evidence; and, having commented upon the whole of the prisoner's conduct -- his changing his name, and subsequent flight to Scotland -- concluded by saying that charity itself could not suggest a doubt in his favour.
The jury found the prisoner guilty, and he was sentenced to death. He was genteelly dressed in black, and exhibited uncommon skill and address during the progress of his trial.