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Tuesday, December 30, 2014 Anthony and Barbara Brabazon Son Edward William Durnford m Elizabeth Langley Their story and extended update on the last post.

This is an updated post from the previous 43.3.2
Anthony and Barbara's first son was Edward William Durnford, and the stories about their families are quite remarkable.

Edward William Durnford married Elizabeth Rebecca Langley  b February 1804 in Gosport   Hampshire.

Members of Elizabeth's  family were also involved in the British Military.

She was the daughter of Captain John Langley b 1771 in London, and Annabella Claringbold.   She was born 1778 and died August 1848 in Cardiff.

Her father was the Captain and Paymaster in the Royal Glamorgan Militia

Elizabeth was one of 12 children.

Among her brothers was General Sir George Colt Langley KCB, a General in the British Army.  He attended Adam's Grammar School for his schooling.

The KCB The Most Honourable Order of the Bath (formerly the Most Honourable Military Order of the Bath) is a British order of chivalry founded by George I on 18 May 1725

The Order was now to consist of three classes: Knights Grand Cross, Knights Commander, and Companions. The existing Knights Companion (of which there were 60) became Knight Grand Cross; this class was limited to 72 members, of which twelve could be appointed for civil or diplomatic services. The military members had to be of the rank of at least Major-General or Rear Admiral. 

The Knights Commander were limited to 180, exclusive of foreign nationals holding British commissions, up to ten of whom could be appointed as honorary Knights Commander. They had to be of the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel or Post-Captain. The number of Companions was not specified, but they had to have received a medal or been mentioned in despatches since the start of the war in 1803

WJK: “General Sir George C. Langley served in the [British] operations on the north coast of Spain [during the First Carlist War].” He was “in command of a detachment of Royal Marines of H.M.S. Castor in 1834 and two following years, and was severely wounded on 9 June 1836, defending the Heights of Passages [what they?] against a very superior force of Carlists. For his conduct on this occasion, he was awarded the First Class of the Order of San Fernando. He served subsequently on the north coast of Spain in 1838 to 1840, and had the same order conferred on him a second time for his general services in Spain.”

George married Maria Catherine Penrice and one of their children was Major Lionel Langley of the Royal Engineers

Major Lionel Langley of the Royal Engineers in Portsmouth, went on a shooting expedition.

St Jude's Southsea
He was the son of General Sir George Colt Langley of the Royal Marines and, at the aged of 40, had served his Queen in defending her empire for many years.

During the expedition at Kullur Madras, India, Major Langley was killed by a tiger.

His remains were returned home and interred in Highland Cemetery and a memorial was put up in St Jude’s Church, Southsea – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.     

Another of her brothers John Henry Langley was a solicitor in Cardiff

and another Robert Langley was an Attorney and assistant country clerk in Cardiff in 1851

The Langley's have a fine historical background, as the family were descended from the Langley's of Golding Hall in Shropshire.  There is possibly a link between Geoffrey de Langley 1226, and Edmund de Langley b 1341 son of King Richard III and nephew of our 17th great grand uncle.

Some members of the Langley family were merchants, and some held postings in Jamaica.

Col. Andrew Langley 1702   Member of the Assembley in Jamaica in 1688 and held other posts up to 1702

He  was the son of John Langley of St Peter's Cornhill who was Alderman of London  his daughter Elizabeth Langley who married Fulke Rose in 1678 in Jamacia and Jane married Anthony Swymmer of Jamacia,  When Andrew died the Swymmer's inherited his estates.

John Langley was an English merchant and politician who sat in the House of Commons in 1653.

Langley was a merchant of the City of London and a member of the Worshipful Company of Fishmongers. He was one of the Court Assistants from 1643 to 1648 and from 1649 to 1650. He was elected alderman of the City of London for Langbourn ward in December 1649 or January 1650. From 1650 to 1652 he was on the Committee of the East India Company. In 1652 he was Commissioner for the Admiralty and Navy and also Prime Warden of the Fishmongers Company.[1]

In 1653, Langley was nominated as Member of Parliament for City of London in the Barebones Parliament. He was a member of the Committee of the East India Company from 1653 to 1655 and from 1656 to 1657. He was one of the Court Assistants from 1664 to 1671. He was Deputy-Governor of the Levant Company from 1671 to 1672 and was again one of the Court Assistants from 1672 to 1673.

Langley became poor in his old age and a pension of £20 per annum was granted to him by the Court of Common Council on 10 October 1679.

Elizabeth's great grandfather Thomas died in 1790 in Jamaica.

From Shropshire:

    Brief Description: The garden at Golding is an excellent example of a gentleman's garden of the later 17th century.

    Description: Golding Hall is the chief house of Golding, a manor in Cound parish. Steep brick terraces behind the house are the most significant evidence that hand-in-handwith the rebuilding of the house in the 1660s went the construction of fashionable formal gardens. The garden at Golding is an excellent example of a gentleman's garden of the later 17th century.

The remainder of the manor of Golding was purchased by George Langley, tenant there since 1598, in 1606. The Langleys owned it until 1820 when it was sold to the owner of the Pitchford estate (V.C.H. Shropshire 8 (1968),65). It then remained a part of that estate until 1994, when it was sold to Mr. Richard Hartley, whose family had been tenants there since the 1930s.-

Golding Hall, two miles south-west of Cound, is part of an attractive group of historic farm buildings which include a 15th- or 16th-century cruck barn (Listed Grade 11: 1189/6/98), an 18th-century dovecote with kennel or game larder beneath (Listed Grade 11: 1189/6/96), an 18th -century and later stable and granary (Listed Grade 11: 1189/6/97), and a large stone barn, perhaps of the early 19th century.

    The Hall itself (Listed Grade II*: 1189/6/92) is a complex and curious building. Edward Langley, who had succeeded to the estate in 1615, rebuilt the Hall in 1662 (dendrochronological date: inf. From Mr. Hartley) as a traditional timber framed structure. He died in 1665 and his son Thomas (d. 1694) soonafter enlarged the new building by adding a brick parlour range onto the west end of it, this being dated 1668. Later, perhaps in the early 18th century, the rest of the house had a brick skin added to present a more symmetrical appearance to the H-plan house.-

It was probably also Thomas Langley, who was born in 1636, was a barrister of the Inner Temple, and was admitted burgess of Shrewsbury in 1670 (Trans. Shrops. Arch. Soc. 4 ser. 8, 79), who was responsible for the brick walls which provide a setting for the house. Set forward 20 m from the north front of the house is a 40 m long forecourt wall (Listed Grade 11: 1189/6/93), 1 m high and stone coped. This is pierced at its centre by a pedestrian gate with square brick piers (little taller than the wall and perhaps much reduced in height) surmounted by stone caps and finials. The forecourt is today lawned. At both ends the forecourt wall turns south, to bound the Hall to west and east.

Probably contemporary with the forecourt wall, although not physically tied to them, are brick terrace walls south of the Hall. The upper wall (Listed Grade II: 1189/6/94), parallel to and 20 m south of the south front of the Hall, is only two or three courses higher than the lawn to its north. It is stone coped. From the centre of the wall a flight of 16 stone steps, probably an 18th-century insertion, descend against the face of the wall to the lower terrace. The upper terrace rises some 5 m, and probably from the start there were problems with the stability of the wall and the weight of soil pushing forward against it. Certainly by the 18th century broad raking buttresses were being built to hold up the western half of the wall, and others have been added since that time. In the 1950s a large area of the wall face at the east end was rebuilt using an incongruously hard, orange-red facing brick

    Related Places:             Cound, Shrewsbury and Atcham, Shropshire (Civil Parish)
    For more information contact: Shropshire Council HER       Date Last Edited: 20/06/2014 11:58:07


Peltham Rd Portsmouth
St John's Cardiff

 Edward and Elizabeth were  married  in 1829 at St Johns Church Cardiff   Elizabeth died 28 Jan 1894 in Southend .

Before her death she was living at 22 Peltham Road Portsmouth    The street consists of a selection of similar style terrace housing.

Edward, like his father and uncles before him joined the Royal Engineers.

In 1825 he was nominated a "Candidate for the Corps of Royal Engineers," and joined the Ordnance Survey at Cardiff.

In August 1826, he was posted to Chatham and was gazetted 2nd-Lieutenant in Sept. of the same year.

(a) He joined the Ordnance Survey of Ireland in 1827 and served there until 1842 when he transferred to the English Survey in which he served until 1844.

(b) He was promoted 2nd-Captain in 1841.  In 1845 he embarked for service in China.

(c) In 1849 he served in Scotland until 1855 when he embarked for service in the Crimea.

He was however, detained at Malta and served there until 1856, when he embarked for Ireland where he was employed upon district duties until 1857, being appointed Assistant Adjutant-General to the Royal Engineers serving there.

In the meantime, he had been promoted to Brevet Major in July 1854 and Lieutenant-Colonel in December of the same year.

Shortly after his promotion to full Colonel in 1860 he was appointed Commanding Royal Engineer in Ireland, which he held until 1866 when he again embarked for Malta as Commanding Royal Engineer and Colonel on the Staff.

He remained at Malta until his promotion to the rank of Major-General in 1868.  He was promoted Lieutenant-General in 1874, and in the same year he was gazetted to the rank of Colonel Commandant in the Corps.

He was further promoted to the rank of General on Oct. 1, 1877.  He died a the age of 85 on Jan. 30 1889.  Elizabeth died January 1894 in Portsea, Hampshire.

Some information about where he was during his 52 years of service.


 (a)  Royal Engineers built forts and garrisons.

The Curragh Camp in 1861, from a painting by army surgeon Jones Lamprey. (Gorry Gallery, Dublin)

With the outbreak of the Crimean War in 1854 a requirement for additional training areas for the British Army was recognised as an urgent necessity by the government in London. Early in the following year it was announced that camps would be established at Aldershot in Hampshire and on the Curragh of Kildare

They also undertook a Survey of Ireland and produced the first maps.

The Maps, Plans and Drawings collection of Military Barracks and Posts in Ireland (MPD Collection) is one of our newest online resources for researchers.  Taken from a collection of 19th and 20th century paper architectural maps, plans and drawings of military installations throughout the island of Ireland – many of which are previously unseen - it offers a unique opportunity to explore Ireland’s military architectural heritage.

The MPD collection has come from a variety of sources, both under the British (UK) and Irish (Free State and Republic) administrations.  The vast majority of Ireland’s surviving military installations (north and south of today’s border), including barracks, posts, camps, forts and castles, were constructed by the British during the 19th century.  Accordingly, most of the MPD records were originally produced for the War Office (contemporary Department of Defence equivalent) by the Royal Engineer Corps of the British Army, mainly from the Southampton drawing offices, but often in conjunction with the Ordnance Survey offices at Mountjoy Barracks in the Phoenix Park Dublin, which today houses the Ordnance Survey of Ireland.  These barracks were constructed under the auspices of such Crown organisations as the Board of Public Works and later the Barracks Board. - See more at:

1852 Map of Cork

Military Archives Maps, Plans and Drawings collection of Military Barracks in Ireland

The Maps, Plans and Drawings collection of Military Barracks and Posts in Ireland (MPD Collection) is one of our newest online resources for researchers.  Taken from a collection of 19th and 20th century paper architectural maps, plans and drawings of military installations throughout the island of Ireland – many of which are previously unseen - it offers a unique opportunity to explore Ireland’s military architectural heritage.

The MPD collection has come from a variety of sources, both under the British (UK) and Irish (Free State and Republic) administrations.  The vast majority of Ireland’s surviving military installations (north and south of today’s border), including barracks, posts, camps, forts and castles, were constructed by the British during the 19th century.  Accordingly, most of the MPD records were originally produced for the War Office (contemporary Department of Defence equivalent) by the Royal Engineer Corps of the British Army, mainly from the Southampton drawing offices, but often in conjunction with the Ordnance Survey offices at Mountjoy Barracks in the Phoenix Park Dublin, which today houses the Ordnance Survey of Ireland.  These barracks were constructed under the auspices of such Crown organisations as the Board of Public Works and later the Barracks Board.
- See more at:

The Ordnance Survey (OS) was established in 1824, under the direction of Colonel Thomas Colby, assisted by Lieutenant Thomas Larcom, to undertake a townland survey of Ireland and to map the entire country at a scale of 6 inches to one mile. The cartographic element of the OS project was completed by 1842, and a full set of maps exists for each Irish county.

 Ordnance Survey Ireland has evolved from the Ordnance Survey Office which was established in 1824. This Office was initially part of the army under the Department of Defence. All staff employed by the Office were military until the 1970s when the first civilian employees were recruited.
The Ordnance Survey Office was created to carry out a survey of the entire island of Ireland to update land valuations for land taxation purposes. The original survey at a scale of 6 inches to 1 mile was completed in 1846 under the direction of Major General Colby. Ireland thus became the first country in the world to be entirely mapped at such a detailed scale.

Drawings and sketches of buildings and other antiquarian items were prepared by the researchers employed by the OS as part of their work of recording antiquities in the landscape. Among the artists employed by the OS were George Petrie, MRIA (1790-1866), George Victor du Noyer (1817-69), and William Frederick Wakeman (1822-1900). The collection of OS Sketches in the Royal Irish Academy comprises over 1,000 drawings. (Shelf-marks are in the range 12 T 1 – 12 T 17). These sketches have been conserved, with funding from the Heritage Council. The sketches are stored, unbound, in archival boxes. The drawings are individually catalogued on the Prints, Drawings and Artefacts Catalogue. Funding for the cataloguing of the drawings was provided by the Sailors & Soldiers Trust Fund. The collection has been photographed for preservation purposes with funding from Atlantic Philanthropies. It is planned to make the digitised images available via the RIA website.

(b) China

Before the battle meeting with leaders
The first capture of Chusan by British forces in China occurred on 5–6 July 1840 during the First Opium War. The British captured Chusan, the largest island of an archipelago of that name.

On the morning of 5 July, a large number of Chinese troops occupied the hill and shore. British seamen from the masthead of the ships observed the city walls, which were 1 mile (1.6 km) from the beach, also lined with troops. At about 2:00 pm, the Cruiser and Algerine brigs got into position, and the signal was given to land.

The first division comprised the 18th Royal Irish Regiment, Royal Marines, the 26th regiment, and two 9-pounder guns. The second division comprised the 49th regiment, Madras sappers and miners, and Bengal volunteers.  At 2:30 pm, the Wellesley fired at the Martello tower.

 The Chinese immediately returned fire from the shore and junks. The cannonade lasted 7–8 minutes before the Chinese troops fled to the city walls behind the suburbs.

The British landed unopposed on a deserted beach, which Viscount Robert Jocelyn described as having "a few dead bodies, bows and arrows, broken spears and guns".

 By 4:00 pm, British troops placed two 9-pounders within 400 yards (370 m) of the city walls. Six more 9-pounders, two howitzers, and two mortars were later added to the arsenal

 Burrell waited until the next day before ordering a resumption of operations. The next morning, he sent a party to reconnoitre the city. Although there were thousands of inhabitants during the evening, the city was now largely abandoned. The gate was found strongly barricaded by large sacks of grain. A company of the 49th regiment took possession of the main gate of the city of Ting-hai, where the British flag was hoisted.

The China War Medal was issued by the British Government in 1843 to members of the British Army and Royal Navy who took part in the First Anglo-Chinese War (1839–42). The medal was designed by William Wyon.

The China War Medal was originally intended by the Governor-General of India, in October 1842, to be awarded exclusively to all ranks of the Honourable East India Company's Forces. Instead, in 1843, under the direction of Queen Victoria, the British Government awarded it without clasp to all members of the British Army and Royal Navy who had "served with distinction" between 5 July 1840 and 29 August 1842 in the following actions :
  • In the Canton River operations of 1841.
  • At the first and second capture of Chusan, in 1840 and 1841.
  • At the battles of Amoy, Ningpo, Chinhai, Tsekee, Chapoo, Woosung, in the Yangtze River, and in the assault of Chinkiang.

This campaign became known as the First Opium War, ending in the seizure of Nanking. The resultant treaty opened five ports to trade, and ceded Hong Kong to Great Britain

(c) The Crimea Medal was a campaign medal approved in 1854, for issue to officers and men of British units (land and naval) which fought in the Crimean War of 1854–56 against Russia.

The medal is notable for its extremely ornate clasps, being in the form of an oak leaf with an acorn at each extremity, a style never again used on a British medal. The suspension is an ornate floriated swivelling suspender, again unique to the Crimea Medal.

Five bars were authorised, the maximum awarded to one man was four. Azoff was only issued to Naval and Marine personnel. The medal was issued without a clasp to those who were present in the Crimea, but not present at any of the qualifying actions. A five bar specimen is held in the Royal Collection.

This medal was also presented to certain members of allied French forces. These medals, in addition to the five British clasps, were often issued with unauthorised French bars; Traktir, Tchernaia, Mer d'Azoff, and Malakof.

The medal was awarded with the British version of the Turkish Crimean War medal, but when a consignment of these were lost at sea some troops were issued with the Sardinian version instead.

Royal Engineers Shipping at Balaclava

Their children were:

1.1  Anthony William Durnford                       24 May 1830 Manor Hamilton Ireland  22 Jan  1879
                                                                                                           South Africa
1.2.  Edward Congreave Langley Durnford     8 May  1832  -  1927
1.3.  Annabella Barbara Durnford                    19 Mar 1834   Limerick Ireland    -  1884
1.4   Catherine Jemima Durnford                     16 Mar 1836  Killerhrandra Ireland   d  1904  Devon
1.4.  Arthur George Durnford                           9 Aug   1838  -Westport Ireland     1912
1.5.  Harriet Maria Boteler Durnford                1 Mar   1840  -  1916   Born In Limerick

Harriet did not marry and lived with her parents throughout her life

This post regarding Edward and Elizabeth and the family has revealed some absolutely amazing facts and stories.  The achievements of these Durnford cousins has at times been quite overwhelming.

I often felt that our great grandmother Jemima Isaacson was treated rather badly, and felt sorry for her. 

 I am sure however, she would be so very proud to learn the achievements of her grandchildren from her younger son Anthony William Durnford.       KH



Anyone who is unfamiliar with the lineage of this Durnford Family which has been written in the blog, will find it difficult to work out who was who, when it comes to the era of the "Military" Durnfords.    This line commenced with the marriage of Elias Durnford to Martha Gannaway, who lived in London in 1753.

Elias was not involved in any military, he lived as a gentleman, on the proceeds of an inheritance, however they had four sons, Charles, Elias, Andrew and Thomas.  These last three begin this lineage of the Military Durnfords.

So many were in the Royal Engineers, they held senior posts, Captains, Majors and Generals and have undertaken remarkable engineering projects all over the world.

They were talented authors, artists, surveyors and builders.

There have been so many who gave their life for England buried in far flung places, on land and in the sea.

So many who have died from tropical illnesses, in a time when medical research was just being undertaken, before smallpox vacinations, or quinine for malaria, or treatment for yellow fever.

The wives and children who accompanied each of them to places like India, South Africa, Malta, West Indies, America, Canada, all at a time when there was so much conflict, especially during the Victorian era, deserve a mention.

While their husband's and son's bravery can be researched, the women were often those left raising many children in difficult circumstances in areas where disease was prevalent, when children died in infancy, where conditions were deplorable, in foreign lands where English was not the first language they had to cope in the best way they could.  For some that meant earthquakes and uprisings.

They truly are unsung heroes.

There was a tradition to name the children after others in the family, with the result that there is a lot of incorrect information written about various members of this family.

When documenting this story about each of the different family members, it has been done in a chronological order.  Family stories of the children follow each of the levels of parentage.

Later there were so many who fought in World War I.


 In order to clarify some particular notions that cast some doubts on the ability of Col. Anthony William Durnford in South Africa, and particular this piece from Hansard, the officer attached to the Dublin Ordinance Branch was his father, (whose Military history is above, and the comments in the Hansard report are irrelevant to Anthony Durnford's ability as a soldier.

And in no way does it cast any doubt on the ethics of Col Edward Durnford.

The case involves a fraud within the staff of the Ordinance Department - one Hamlton Connolly.

The interesting thing about this is that while based at Dunkirk, Edward's cousin, Andrew Durnford also in the Royal Engineers, sent reports back to London about his concerns with the smuggling and illegal activities of the Irish.  His brother was reporting on fraud at Chatham Dockyards, so the family were serious about the role that they played while in service of the Royal Engineers.

The transcript is listed, so that others can gain a clear understanding, as to which officer was responsible.

From Hansard British Parliament HC Deb 21 March 1862 vol 165 cc1925-8 1925


I wish to call attention to the facts proved on the recent trial in Dublin of Hamilton Conolly, a clerk in the Ordnance Department, and of John M'Ilvaine, a contractor with the Government; and to ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer, or the Secretary to the Treasury, to explain in what manner the Ordnance Accounts are kept and audited, which allowed the proceedings by the parties convicted at such trial; and whether any and what changes have been effected in the mode of keeping the Public Accounts calculated to prevent a repetition thereof?

These two persons were tried for conspiracy.

The one, Hamilton Conolly, was a clerk in the Ordnance Department, drawing a very respectable salary, and bearing, of course, a good character. The other, John M'Ilvaine, was a contractor with the Government, and, according to the evidence of several witnesses who were called on his side, one of the most respectable men that ever lived.

The frauds for which they were brought to trial and convicted were committed in the following manner:—It appears that when a contract is made in Ireland—say, for the repair of barracks—the estimate is considered and the prices are fixed in a most methodical manner. When the work is done, it is carefully examined.

The head of the department in Dublin, Colonel Durnford, an officer of Engineers, and, I need hardly say, a man of unexceptionable character, retains a facsimile of the Account, and gives the counterpart to one of the clerks to forward to the Ordnance Department in London.

Conolly availed himself of this practice to alter the account before sending it away. Sometimes he inserted £300 or £400, or sometimes £500 extra. The account which bore Colonel Durnford's signature was next examined by a number of very able gentlemen in London. When, however, they were satisfied of the correctness of the account, they did not communicate with Colonel Durnford or any of the officials in Ireland, but sent a check direct to the contractor.

In this case the contractor, M'Ilvaine, was in collusion with 1926 the clerk Conolly, and therefore, when he received a letter authorising him to draw on the Treasury for a sum perhaps twice the amount of his account, it was thankfully received and immediately obeyed. In passing sentence on the offenders, the Judge enumerated some of the instances of fraud which occurred between February and July, 1861.

A sum of £323 17s. was altered into £628 7 s.. 2d.; another of £271 11s. in £576 1s.; another of £361 14s. into £706 17s.; another of £221 16s. into £445 18s.; and another of £268 into £501. Of course, had the head of the department in Dublin caught sight of any of the altered accounts or orders to pay, the fraud would have been at once detected.

 But, with singular ingenuity, all the checks were arranged so that there was no safeguard whatever against conspiracy between a clerk and a contractor. It was chiefly in the items for slating that the figures were altered.

A gentleman told me that there were charges for slates enough to cover the Isle of Wight. Any one who knew anything of the barracks for which it was pretended that these slates were required, could see at a glance that it was utterly impossible such a preposterous quantity could have been used

On the trial the Judge observed, that although he was, of course, bound to confine himself to the frauds disclosed in the evidence, he had a shrewd suspicion that they were but a small portion of the system which had been carried on in the department for a series  of years. I have been told that these two gentlemen, one very religions, and the other a very fashionable man, have been making nearly £2,500 a year by their dishonesty. Indeed, they might, perhaps, but for an accident, have been still pocketing large sums.

The report is, that the fraud was discovered only through a clerk from Dublin happening, when in the London office, to set eyes on one of the cooked accounts. Upon that the law officers were called in, and the two gentlemen were arrested, one of them as he was going to a dinner party, which was clearly very inconvenient for him, and very distressing to his feelings.

It was discovered that the two rogues had an agreement to divide the spoils. They were convicted, and the justice of the country was vindicated. I wish to know from the Government what sums of money have been abstracted from the public treasury in this manner; and what steps, if any, have been taken to 1927 prevent a repetition of this systematic and long-continued plundering?


The statements of the right hon. Gentleman are perfectly correct as far as they went. The information I have received is, that a clerk named Conolly, who was formerly in the Ordnance Department, and afterwards on the Consolidated Staff of the War Department as chief clerk of his branch, conspired with a contractor named M'Ilvaine to defraud the Government.

My information leads me to the belief that their frauds extended over the years between 1848 and 1861. It is plain that as the amalgamation of the Ordnance and War Departments took place in 1854, these offences were not due to that measure.

The manner in which the frauds were committed was this:—The Commanding Officer of Engineers certified the value of the work done, and delivered the certificate to the chief clerk, who, in collusion with the contractor, increased the amount, and transmitted it to the War Office in London, where it was examined, and whence the order for payment on the paymaster was sent to the contractor.

That was the system of checks; the chief clerk was supposed to be a check upon the officer of Engineers, and the contractor to be a check upon these two officers. It was the practice of the old Ordnance Office, and no alteration was introduced by the combined departments. The right hon. Gentleman said, that if payment had been made on the order of the officer of Engineers, the possibility of fraud would have been avoided.

But, without intending to cast any imputation upon the honour of officers of the army, he must say, that if there bad been collusion between the officer of Engineers and the contractor, such a system would have led to a precisely similar result.

 [Mr. WHITESIDE: Then we have no hope?] Your hope is in this, that you may have a system of checks which will make fraud extremely difficult. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? No system of checks can be devised which, by means of forgery and conspiracy, may not be defeated. I believe that at first the frauds were not large, but impunity rendering the parties bolder in late years the amounts of which the public were defrauded became more considerable.

As these persons were only convicted of frauds to the extent of £1,400, I feel some difficulty in stating, upon what may be considered official authority, the extent of the frauds which they actually committed, as they may have friends and relations whose feelings would be hurt by such a statement.

If the House thinks I am justified in making the statement I have no objection to do so; but I will hot voluntarily state the amount, though I may say that it considerably exceeds that which was proved at the trial. The frauds were detected by a clerk in the office, who suspected something was wrong, and wrote to London.

Inquiry was made, and the irregularity was at once found out. The rule which has been adopted to prevent the recurrence of such practices is, that the Commanding Officer of Engineers should send to the London office a duplicate statement, which will be a check upon the clerk.

This will prevent the recurrence of any precisely similar frauds, but it is impossible to provide securities against every possible fraud which ingenious rogues may devise. Means have also been taken, with which I need not trouble the House, to prevent such frauds as these leading to the expenditure of more money than has been voted by this House.

SIR FREDERIC SMITH said, that in England the system was very simple. The works were executed by contract and measurement, and when complete the contractor, the clerk of the works, and the executive officer of Engineers, each of whom kept a book, checked one another.

The check was complete, for there must be collusion between all four persons before any fraud could be effected. It appeared that in the instance referred to the amount paid was more than the work could cost. It should be known that in these cases there was an estimate, and every sum paid upon it was entered in a hook.

Now it was the duty of the clerk who made the entries, the moment there was an excess of payment over the estimate, to state the fact; and therefore the contractor would be called upon to know why there was an excess.

He contended that the practice should be that no bill in which there was an erasure or interlineation should be paid, and he would suggest that there should be a positive order to that effect.        

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