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TABLE OF CONTENTS

WOLUME XXII.

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GEORGE THE THIRD, A. D. 1783–1794.

PRoceedings against CHARLES BEMBRIDGE, Esq. on
an Information filed against him, by his Majesty's Attorney
General, for a Misdemeanor, A. D. 1783. [Now first published.] I

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568. Proceedings against Charles BEMeRidge, Esq. on an Information filed against him, by his Majesty's Attorney General,

for a Misdemeanor: [Now first published.]

[Connected with these proceedings against Bembridge, are the following extracts from the Minutes of the Board of Treasury :]

WHITEHALL Treasury Chambers, January 14, 1783. Present, Mr. Pitt, chancellor of the exchequer; Mr. Grenville; Mr. Jackson.

Read the auditors state of the final accompts of the late Henry lord Holland, as paymaster-general of the forces, from the 25th December 1764, to the 24th June 1765; and as paymaster of Chelsea Hospital for the same period; wherein it appears there is a balance due from him of 288,5291. on the former account, and that he is in surplusage 220,5211. 3s. 3d. on the latter, which leaves a balance against him on the whole of 68,008l. 6s. 6d. due to the public.

Write to John Powell, esq. acting executor to the late lord Holland, to desire he will immediately pay the said balance into the exchequer.

February 14th, 1783. Present, Mr. Pitt, chancellor of the exchequer; Mr. Grenville; Mr. Jackson.

Read the letter from the deputies to lord Sondes, auditor of the imprests, dated 5th inst acquainting their lordships, that since their delivering the state of the late lord Holland's accompts, on the 30th of November last, on which there was a balance due to the crown of 68,008l. 6s. 6d, which balance was agreed to by the accountant previous to the delivery of the said state to this board, Mr. Powell (the only acting executor) has voluntarily charged the account with the sum of 48,7991. 10s. 11d., and is discharged of the sum of 2845l. 17s. 10d., by producing a reteipt for so much surcharged on the pay

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master, whereby the balance at this time due to the public from the estate of lord Holland is augmented to the sum of 113,9611. 19s. 7d. Read a letter from the deputy auditor, dated 13th instant, transmitting a state of the additions which have been made to the charge and discharge of the final accompt of lord Holland, latepaymaster-general, together with copies of two letters which have passed between the auditor and Mr. Powell on the subject. Read letter from Mr. Powell, dated 11th instant, with two inclosures respecting the accounts and allowances of Robert Paris Taylor, and Peter Taylor, esqrs. deputies to lord Holland. Direct Mr. Hughes and Mr. Wigglesworth, deputy auditors of the imprest; Mr. Powell, executor to lord Holland; and Mr. Bembridge, of the pay-office, to attend my lords here on Saturday next the 17th" instant.

15th February, 1783. Present, the earl of Shelburne; Mr. Pitt, chancellor of the exchequer; Mr. Grenville; Mr. Jackson.

My lords resume the consideration of the state of the final accompt of lord Holland late paymaster-general of the forces, deliver into the office of the auditor of the imprest (lord Sondes) by Mr. Powell (only acting executor to his lordship), on the 11th January, 1782, and transmitted from thence to this board on the 30th of November last, by which it appears the balance on the determination thereof was 68,008l. 6s. 6d, in consequence of which he received directions to pay the same into the exchequer; and my lords also resume

* So in the original MS, but I do not find that any board was held on the 17th. B

the consideration of the letter from the deputies to auditor lord Sondes, dated the 5th of this month, acquainting my lords, that since the above-mentioned balance was agreed to by the accountant, Mr. Powell (the only acting executor) has voluntarily charged himself with the sum of 48,7991. 10s. 11d. and is discharged of another sum of 2,845l. 17s. 10d.

Mr. Hughes and Mr. Wigglesworth deputies to lord Sondes, attending according to order, are called in.

Read letter from them, dated the 13th inst., and a state of the additions made to the charge and discharge of lord Holland's final accompt, subsequent to the delivery of it to them on 11th January, 1772.

The deputy auditors are asked, whether they considered the accompt as closed with respect to the charge previous to their transmitting it to this board? To which they answer in the affirmative, and that they certainly should not have sent it otherwise. They are asked, whether it is usual, after the balance of an accompt is agreed between the accountant and them, and the sum is marked in pencil, for any addition to be made to the charge They answer, it is not. . They are asked, what occasioned the accompt to be returned to Mr. Powell? To which they answer, they sent it back to him some time between the 11th and 20th December, to have two sums, amounting to 1,868l. 9s. 3d. added to the charge, which they thought were proper to be inserted; that it was delivered back to them on the 4th of last month; and that some time after it was again in their posses: sion, they discovered the before-mentioned sum of 48,7991. 10s. 11d. was also added to the charge without any notice to them.

They are asked, whether they had any intercourse with the proper officers at the payoffice, between the time of the accompt being delivered to them, and the transmission of it to this board? To which they answer, they had frequent communications with Mr. Bembridge, the accountant there, from the 10th to the 15th of November, or thereabouts, to know if there were any other charges to come into the account; and being told there were none, they drew out the pencil balance, considering ū. accompt then as finally closed.

Mr. Powell attending, according to order, is called in.

Mr. Powell is asked, whether at the time lord Holland's final accompt was delivered into the auditor's office, he was not aware that many considerable articles were onlitted in the charge, whicho ught to have been inserted? He admits he was.

He is asked, whether any of them were of such a nature as to make it at all doubtful whether they should be included in the charge or not? He admits they were not. . He is asked, whether he can then assign any reason why they were omitted He answered, he did not consider the accompt to

be finally closed, as some claims of Mr. Robert Paris Taylor's were depending, which might make an alteration in it. He is asked, whether those claims had any kind of connexion with the articles which constitute the voluntary charge made by him after the accompt was delivered, and the pencil balance drawn out? He admits they had not. He was told repeatedly, that not having yet assigned any reason for keeping back those articles, my lords expect he will explain what his inducement was: he replied, he felt himself much embarrassed, as he could not give a satisfactory account of that without injuring a friend; and it being urged to him as a duty incumbent on him in his situation to state his motives for doing what he must have known to be wrong; he said he was o with to keep back the charges from is regard for Mr. Bembridge, the present accountant in the pay-office, who was one of lord Holland's deputies.

Mr. Bembridge, attending according to order, is called in. Mr. Bembridge is asked the same questions as Mr. Powell was, respecting the omission of the articles of the voluntary charges, and whether any of them were such as to admit a doubt of their being proper to be included ; and he answers to the same effect as Mr. Powell did. He is also asked, whether he can assign any reason for the omission of them? To which he answered, he did not consider the accompt. as finally closed. He is likewise asked, if he was not apprized long ago of the several articles before-mentioned? He admits he was, some years ago. He is asked, whether it did not fall properly within his duty at the pay-office, to see that the charge was properly made 2 He answered, it did; but that as Mr. Powell was the accountant before him, he had left it to him to settle and adjust this accompt. He is asked, if that did not occur to him to be improper, Mr. I’owell being himself the person accounting? He answered, it did Indt. He was asked, if he could conceive any motive which could induce Mr. Powell to keep back the articles of the voluntary charge? He answered, he could not.

Mr. Hughes and Mr. Wigglesworth are again called in.

They are acquainted that Mr. Powell and Mr. Bembridge, in the course of their examinations, both declared, they did not consider the accompt as finally settled, when the pencil balance was agreed between Mr. Colborne, a clerk in the pay-office, and Mr. Plasted, a clerk under the deputy auditors; they are therefore again asked, whether they understood it to be so? and they repeat, that they made frequent applications to Mr. Powell to know if any more charges were to be added ;

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Mr. Rose communicates to my lords a letter he received from Mr. Powell of the y office, on the 16th instant, saying, that in the distress of his mind the preceding day, he believes he did not close his examination fully; and that he meant to say, the teason for keeping back the charges lately entered in i. Holland's accompt was, the distress of others, that of lord Holland's family, from the debts due from his deputies, among whom is Mr. Bembridge, and hopes that will be permitted to stand as his answer. Mr. Rose also communicates to my lords a letter received from Mr. Bembridge on the 19th instant, desiring their lordships may be informed, that he will pay the balance due from him as one of the deputies of Henry lord Holland, deceased, in three weeks at forthest. . . . My lords being of opinion that it is highly proper the paymaster-general should be acquainted with the whole transaction respecting the keeping back the articles of the voluntary charge in the accompts of the late lord Holland, which were inserted after the balance was agreed, as a matter of very serious importance both to the present and future conduct of that office, direct that the minutes of this board, of the 15th instant, and of this day, shall be immediately communicated to the paymaster-general, that he may take such measures thereupon, with respect to his own office as he shall judge expedient and necessary. My lords are also pleased to direct a full state of the case to be prepared by the solicitor to this board, from the minutes of this day, and the 15th instant, and that the same be laid before the attorney and solicitor general, as soon as possible, for their opinions, to know whether any, and what further proceedings ought to be had in this business.

On the 5th March 1783 at a board of Treasury a letter was read from Mr. Bembridge dated, the , 3rd, representing that he had Paid the balance due from him as one of the

deputies of the late lord Holland, deceased, late paymaster of the forces, to Mr. Powell.

March 6th, 1783–Present Mr. Pitt, chancellor of the exchequer; Mr. Grenville; Mr. Jackson; Mr. Eliot.

Read report of the paymaster-general, dated 4th instant, acquainting their lordships, that on consideration of the conduct of Mr. Powell and Mr. Bembridge with respect to the keeping back the articles of a voluntary charge in the accompts of the late lord Holland, he had thought it his duty to dismiss the former from his office of cashier of the pay-office, and the latter from his offices of accountant in the pay-office, and deputy-paymaster at Quebec, to the last of which it appears to him unnecessary to appoint a successor, also informing their lordships that Mr. Powell still holds the offices of secretary and register of Chelsea-hospital, and joint agent to the invalids, under commissions signed by his majesty. My lords are of opinion his majesty's pleasure should be taken respecting the two offices held by Mr. Powell, and direct a copy of the minutes of their examination, &c. to be transmitted to lord Sydney, as the said appointments originate with the secretary of state for the home department. Read letter from Mr. Bembridge, dated 5th instant, transmitting a declaration from Mr. John Colborne, assistant clerk in the payoffice, that when he delivered the account of the late lord Holland at the auditors office, previous to the late voluntary charge being inserted, he considered it as an open account, agreeable to the constant practice with that office; and that if the last inserted voluntary charges had been omitted, and the account closed without them, it does not appear to him in what manner any one could have been advantaged by it, except the heirs of lord Holland. Transmit a copy thereof to the paymastergeneral. [By statute 21, Geo. 3, c. 48, after recitin int. al. that the commissioners joi under stat. 20, s. 3, c. 54, to examine, &c. the public accounts of the kingdom, &c. had reported int. al. that the sum of two hundred fifty-six thousand four hundred fifty-six pounds, two shillings and four pence was remaining in the hands of John Powell, esq. the only acting executor of the late right honourable iors Holland, deceased, late paymaster-general of his majesty's forces—It was enacted (s. 2), that on or before the twenty-fourth day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-one, the said sum of two hundred fiftysix thousand four hundred fifty-six pounds two shillings and four pence, remaining in the hands of the said John Powell, the only acting executor of the said late right honourable Henry lord Holland, deceased, or so much thereof as should then remain in

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