Ex-Classics Home Page

The Newgate Calendar - JOHN DYER


A Westminster Schoolboy, executed at Newgate, 5th of August, 1790, for Forgery

JOHN DYER brought great trouble and disgrace on his most respectable parents and connections. He received his education at Westminster School; from thence he was placed in a merchant's counting-house, and had not seen quite nineteen years when he atoned for the crime of forgery by his life.

On the 7th of May, 1789, Dyer called at the shop of Mr Scott, wax-chandler, in New Bond Street, and ordered thirty-six pounds of candles, which he pretended were for Sir William Hamilton, and in payment tendered a bill of exchange in the following words:--

L10, 10s                                                                   No. 25.
                                                        RICHMOND, SURREY, 22nd, April 1790.

   Fourteen days after date, please to pay Mr William Smith, or order, ten pounds ten shillings, value received, as advised.
                                                         CHARLES THOMAS.
To Messrs HANKEYS,
   Bankers, London,
                                                 Accepted for Self & Co.
                                              JOSEPH CHAPMAN HANKEY.
                  WILLIAM MILLER,


Dyer received the balance, but the candles ordered to be sent, as he directed, being refused, Mr Scott instantly suspected that he had been imposed upon by a forgery. The unfortunate youth was soon found, and committed to Newgate.

When put on his trial every spectator's heart was filled with pity, and, being called on for his defence, he said that he had received the bill from Mr Kelsy, his employer, who ordered him to put the name of Mr Miller on the back; that he was ignorant of the consequence of so doing, and that he acted merely as a servant. Bringing no proof, he was found guilty; and though interest was made to save his life, he died ignominiously on the gallows, on the 5th of August, 1790.


Previous Next

Back to Introduction