Petition of John Catlet, 1762.
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that God to whom the secrets of all hearts are revealed and before whose awful tribunal he fears he is shortly to appear to attest the truth of his assertions. Your petitioner begs leave to remind your honor that the proof of his knowing the bills to be forged was by no means positive but supported by such slight circumstances of probability that your petitioner conscious of his innocence well hoped that the jury would have acquitted him, but as for the discouragement of all offenders of this sort they have convicted upon slighter circumstances than usual, in other offences your petitioner tho' innocent hath now no other hopes no other resource left him than those tender sensations of humanity which inform your honours breast and which he hopes will incline you to compassionate if not an unhappy criminal, his aged parents, his helpless wife and innocent children your petitioner begs leave to remind your honor that it hath been an invariable rule with all your honors predecessors to pardon the first offender convicted under their administration your petitioner in some measure looks upon himself as fortunate in this circumstance of being the first convicted since your honours arrival as he flatters himself you will not think he hath offended so far beyond the reach of mercy as to render it necessary that your honours administration and your petitioners case should be the first exception to that rule and your petitioner sincerely promises that if mercy can be extended to him, that so far from abusing your honors goodness he will by his future life and behaviour endeavour to set a more edifying example than his death would occasion. Wherefore your petitioner humbly prays your honour will grant him your most gracious pardon for the two offences of which he is convicted and give him such a discharge from the army as may enable him without fear to betake himself to an honest and industrious life by which he may become a useful member of that society he has injured. And your petitioner shall ever pray