John Stone, Royal Offences > coining offences, 10th January 1718.
John Stone , of St. Giles's in the Fields , was indicted for High Treason, for Counterfeiting the Current Coin of this Kingdom, and making 40 pieces in similitude of half Crowns, and 40 more in the similitude of Shillings , the 2d of November last. The Council for the King inform'd the Court, that the Prisoner was one of the most notorious Offenders; and that for several Years past, had been constantly Coining. and had been apprehended by the Warrant of the Lord Sunderland, and did then make a show of discovering his Accomplices; but being committed into the Custody of a Messenger, he made his escape thence, and had been retaken; and that there was the strongest Grounds for presumption , that he had been guilty of the same Fact, even in the Interval, in as much as when he was retaken; There were 27 counterfeit Shillings found about him. William Faulkener deposed, That the Prisoner did use to buy counterfeit Money of Abigal Newstead , before he knew how to make it; but afterwards the Prisoner and himself used to coyn together at the Prisoners Lodgings: And on the 19th of July last, in Crown-Court in St. Giles's , did coyn 5 l. of that counterfeit Money, and used to go out every Night with one Sarah Patrick , to dispose of the said Money; and that about 19 Weeks ago, the Prisoner and himself did at the same place coyn 8 l. in half Crowns, and that when they had done they used to break the Moulds to pieces, and fling them into the House of Office, to prevent discovery, and so make new ones every time. Katharine Mathoon deposed, That about 9 Months ago he used to buy this counterfeit Money of Abigail Newstead : That the Prisoner afterwards quarrelling with Newstead, would not go for it himself and therefore used to send her for it , and that, he had had several
Pounds of it out of her Hands; but afterwards said, that now he could make it himself, and therefore did not care a Fig for any of 'em. Mr. Wootton deposed, That when he was apprehended first, he had one of those counterfeit Shillings about him, which was produced in Court; and that he owned he had been putting off several others. Mrs. Culpepper , who was Servant to the Messenger, to whose Custody he was committed, deposed, That he told her, had he as much Time out as he had within,(being then confined , and having nothing to do) he would stock the Nation with bad Money; but he would make no more Half-Crowns and Crowns, but Half-Guineas and Guineas. Mr. Smith, the Constable that apprehended him the second Time, deposed, That when he was taken he had 27 counterfeit Shillings found upon him; and that he enquiring of him, whether he was not afraid of being discovered when he was a coining; he answered, that he used to hang a Blanket up against the Door, and when he had done broke the Moulds. The Prisoner denied the Fact intirely, and said, that the counterfeit Shilling which he had when apprehended first, he had took in Holborn in Gaming; and the 27 Shillings which was taken upon him when he was apprehended the second Time, he came by as follows: That he having got away from the Messenger, he was going along St. Paul's Church-Yard, and there met with a Woman, and he had then not one Farthing of Money She gave him the 27 Shillings to hold, saying she would go and buy a Bun or two, and put off some of it, and in the Interim he ran away with it. As to the Information he had given of his Accomplices, he knew nothing of it, for he had drank hard; the Constable,&c. had plied him with Drink and Geneva, that he was drunk, and put Names to him, and persuaded him that he must of necessity know them, and so had led him into injuring innocent People: That the next Morning he was surprized at what he had done, and was much concerned in his Mind that he had gone about to take away the Lives of so many innocent Persons. But all these Allegations of his were denied by the Persons on whom he fixed the vile Aspersions ; and they being Persons of such Credit on whom they could rely, what he said bore but little Weight with the Jury. The whole of his Demeanour at the Bar bespoke him a hardned and incorrigible Villain; and the Jury were so well satisfied with the Evidence, that they found him guilty of the Indictment.
[Death. See summary.]