Tins case illustrates the remark we have often made, that crime, however ingeniously committed, cannot escape detection -- nay, the very solicitude to avoid suspicion is frequently the cause of creating it; and it generally so happens; that, while the depredator thinks he is flying from danger, he is only plunging into the coils of justice.
David Spreadbury arrived in the dress of a gentleman at Deeping, on the 26th of March, 1813, in the Peterborough coach, and ordered a chaise from the New Inn, saying he was going to Lincoln. Before he took his departure, however, he got the proprietor of the inn to change for him a note for ten pounds, which afterwards turned out to be a forgery: it purported to be of the bank of Johnson and Eaton, of Stamford. He was next found on the road from Newark to Grantham, having hired a chaise at the Kingston Arms, where he got another ten-pound note exchanged. He said, at Newark, that his luggage had gone on by the coach, and that be was anxious to overtake it. He accordingly set off in the chaise; but, suspicion arising, the note was shown to some person, who was a good judge, and found to be a forgery. One of the waiters now mounted a swift horse, and pursued the villain, of whom he got information at Foston toll-bar, where he had received good notes for another forgery for ten pounds. The waiter, hearing this, continued the pursuit.
The post-boy suspected that all was not right, in consequence of Spreadbury saying at each turnpike that he had no change, and presenting a ten-pound note in payment, and actually passed through one without paying, though the post-boy knew he had abundance of change in his pocket.
The post-boy at length observed that they were pursued; and, suspecting that it was some one from his master, he slackened his pace. Spreadbury observed this, and urged the boy to proceed, but without effect; for he refused to use the whip, and kept moving slowly.
Near Grantham Spreadbury expressed his apprehensions that their pursuer was a highwayman; and, as the post-boy continued obstinate, he thought it better to trust to his heels, and accordingly jumped out of the chaise. He ran forward to Grantham; but the post-boy and waiter did not lose sight of him, and he was apprehended in a little lane, which he thought to make his way through, but was disappointed, as there was no egress at the extremity.
On searching him, there were found on his person about forty pounds in good notes, and some silver; and, in the passage where be thought to secrete himself, were discovered seven ten-pound notes, forgeries, and one blank-note, unsigned, rolled up. There was no doubt but he had dropped these when he found there was no hope of eluding his pursuers.
At the summer assizes, at Lincolnshire, he was capitally indicted for uttering forged notes, knowing them to be such. Of his guilt there could not be a doubt, and he was accordingly convicted. The judge passed on him the awful sentence of the law, and the unfortunate man suffered, on Friday, Aug. the 13th, 1813.