Offence: Royal Offences > coining offences
Frederick Schmidt , late of St. Martins in the Fields , in the County of Middlesex, was indicted for erasing and altering a Bank Note. For that he did wickedly, and fraudulently, intending unjust Lucre, to acquire and obtain, and as well the Governor and Company of the Bank of England , as well as divers other Subjects of the King, to Deceive and Defraud, after the publishing of a Statute, in this Case made and provided (that is to say, the 16th Day of January, in the 10th Year of the King , at the Parish of St. Martins in the Fields ,
The Case was open'd by the Council, setting forth, That the Prisoner having gotten into the Acquaintance of the Baron de Loden and Eleonora Sophia , Countess of Bostram, he entrusted the Baron with a Bank Note of 600 l on which he would have had 200 or 300 l. borrow'd upon, under pretence that it was left by a Person to transact his Affairs, who was gone Abroad for a small Time, and so when he came, he would willingly return him the self same Note. He thereupon went to one Mr. Perrier, but he not readily coming into it, afterwards, he applied to one Mr. Minet, a Merchant but he refusing, this Baron goes to Mr. Wilday and bought of him Goods to the Value of 200 l. and gave him the rest, to the Value of 600 l. in Money and Notes. That besides this, there was another Note, which was the Note in Question, which was payable to one Mr. Williamson, which was originally only a 20 l. Note, which was carried to the Shop of Messieurs Mallory, and tendered to them as a Note of 85 l. in Payment for about 12 Pounds worth of Goods, in exchange of which, the Baron receiv'd of Mr. Mallory, a Bank Note of 20 l. Goods and Money to the Value of 85 l. which 20 l. Note was by the Prisoner altered to a Note of 100 l. and negotiated as such to a Goldsmith, in buying a Service of Plate. The Prisoner demanded a party Jury, which was granted him.
Juratores diversarum Linguarum.
John Allyingham depos'd, That the Note of 85 l. was originally a Note of 20 l. and that he made it in the Name of Mr. William Richardson . Daniel Mallory depos'd, That the Baron de Loden came to his Shop the 15th or 16th of January, and having bought about 12 Pounds worth of Lace, &c. that he gave him in Exchange of it. Money and a Bank Note of 20 l. The Baron de Loden depos'd, That he gave this Note to the Prisoner, which he had receiv'd of Messieur Mallory, that he desired the Key of this Evidences Lodging, which was up two pair of Stairs, they being at that Time in the Lodgings of the Countess, which was up one Pair of Stairs, that the Prisoner was by himself alone for some Time, and when he came down the Sum Twenty was quite taken out of the Note, the Place being blank, that then he drew the Note through a Plate of Gum-water, and afterwards having dried it between Papers, smooth'd it over between Papers with a Box Iron, and afterwards wrote in the Vacancy (where Twenty was taken out) One Hundred, and also wrote at the Bottom of the Note 100 l. instead of 20 l. and after the Prisoner had thus altered the Note, he gave it to him (this Evidence) to buy a Service of Plate with; that he went with it and bought Plate to the Sum of 40 l. and upwards and delivered it to the Interpreter, to carry to Mr. Schmidt the Prisoner, and in about an Hour after he being taken up, he could not tell whether the Interpreter delivered the Plate to the Prisoner or not. He added, that the Prisoner had told him he could write 20 sorts of Hands, and that if he had but 3 or 400 l. he could get 50000 l. Eleanora Sophia, the Countess of Bostram depos'd, That when she saw the Note first it was a 20 l. Note, and that it had been altered in the Manner as had before been depos'd by the Baron, not varying in the least Circumstance, and that she saw the Note afterwards blank'd as to the Sum, and that with her Eyes, she saw him write the Words, On Hundred Pounds; and besides the Oath taken in Court in Form, added this by way of Confirmation, before God. The Prisoner deny'd the Fact, and produced a Letter in Court, as written to him by the Baron, the Purpose of which was, to contradict his having charg'd the Prisoner with altering and giving him the Note, and to charge it upon one Collier. The Baron own'd his having given the Prisoner that Letter, but said that the Prisoner came to him after he was apprehended, and was in Newgate, and said to him, what good would it do him to hang him, and that if he charg'd it on a Person that could not be found, he would come off himself well enough, and that the Prisoner himself did dictate to him what he should write, and he did write what he dictated to him, upon his Persuasions. Mr. Frazier depos'd That the Prisoner did send a Letter to his Correspondent at Amsterdam, that he would send him Word whether Notes of the Bank of England for large Sums were current there. Which the Prisoner did not deny, and pretended that he came from Breslau in Silesia, to England, to Negotiate an Affair for the Duke de Alvarez, who was the last of the Family of the Duke de Alva, (so famous for his Cruelty in the Netherlands) in Relation to a large Sum, to the Quantity of about a Million of Money, owning to him from the Government, or the Executors of the Lord Godolphin, and call'd some Evidences. Mr. Myer and Mr. Frazier depos'd, that he had talked to them of such an Affair, and show'd them some Writings, which he pretended were Powers to transact such an Affair; and also he desir'd there Assistance; but they could not understand, not had any Opinion of the Matter being Real, and therefore desir'd to be excus'd in concerning themselves about it. The Matter of Fact being plainly prov'd against the Prisoner, as to the altering the Bank Note, the Jury found him guilty of the Indictment. Death .