Robert Harpham, Royal Offences > coining offences, 13th May 1725.

Reference Number: t17250513-56
Offence: Royal Offences > coining offences
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death

Robert Harpham , and Thomas Broom , of S. George's in Hanover-Square , were indicted for High-Treason, in Counterfieting the Current Coin of this Kingdom , on the 16th of April last. Broom being committed but the Night before his Arraignment, he pray'd that his Tryal might be deferred till next Sessions; which the Court granted.

William Fordham thus deposed. I have known the Prisoner about six or seven Years; he brought a Sett of Coining Implements into my Cellar, in S. Paul's Church-yard ; there was an Iron Press, two Dyes for Guineas, two for Half-Guineas, and others for Moidores, and Pieces that went for six or eight Stivers; a Cutting Tool for making the Blanks, and an Edging Tool for grinding the Edges of the Money. I believe these that are now in the Court are the same; especially the Cutting Tool, and the Fly of the Press, for he had them of me. He did not lodge in my House, but used to come and work there now and then; and sometimes I assisted him in coining about twenty Pieces that were counterfeit Guineas, and Half-Guineas, and some Moidores, and other Foreign Peices. He paid me no Rent for my Cellar; but allow'd me Part of this Counterfeit Money, in Proportion to the Quantity that he made. From S. Paul's Church-yard, by the Prisoner's Directions, I removed these Implements into Rosemary-Lane, and afterwards to Mr. Williams's in Benjamin-Street, near Swallow-Street; and from thence to Mr. Bails's in Wild-Street, where I left 'em, and went to Sea, which is now about two Years ago.

Mr. Hornby thus deposed. I have known the Prisoner eight or nine Years. I being Clerk of the Works at the Admiralty, and he being then a Carpenter , and trading in Timber, we had some Dealings together; but our Correspondence breaking off, I don't know that I saw him for six Years together, till about a Year and a half ago. In October last, a Statute of Bankrupt was issued against him, and I was chosen Assignee. Upon which Occasion, he had several times invited me to dine with him, at Mrs. Milliscent Russell's in Paradise-Row, by Hanover-Square; so in January last, I went thither; I think we had a Turkey for Dinner; but it not being ready, he told me, if I'd go into the Cellar with him, he'd let me see something that I had never seen in my Life. I went down with him, and he shew'd me his Press: In this Press, said he, I can make Buttons; but I'll shew you a greater Rarity; and with that he took up a Piece of gilt Metal, put it into the Press, and struck it, and it came out like a Half-Guinea, except the Milling on the Edge; and that he presently did, by running it thro' his Edging Tool. I believe that this is the same Press, and that the same Edging Tool.

Milliscent Russel thus deposed: When I first knew the Prisoner, he lived with Mr. Fordham in Benjamin-street; from whence, in about four Months, he removed his Lodgings to my House in College-street; from thence into King-street in Golden-Square; and from King-Street to a Plumber's in Jermyn-street, where he lodged when he was taken up. He desired me to let him have the Use of my Cellar in Paradise-Row. I told him it was damp, and was but of little Service to me, and therefore he should be welcome to it without paying any Rent. He brought thither in the Evening several things in Baskets, two great Pieces of Iron, a Block, and other Things, that I had seen him once work with at Mr. Fordham's; and they told me then that they were making of buttons; but I saw some Pieces taken out like Money. He put up a Grate in my Cellar. I have sometimes heard Knocking, but I never saw him work there; for he always kept the Keys himself, and would suffer no body to go down. He used to have Sea-Coal and Charcoal brought once in two or three Weeks; but it was always laid down at the Cellar-Window, and he shovel'd it in himself. He sent me (I believe nine or ten times) to Mr. Yarndner's a Founder, with a sort of blackish Metal to be flatted, to the Thickness of some of the Notches in this Gage Iron; and sometimes I fetch'd the Pieces back again after they were flatted. These Parcels are very much like them: I believe some of them will fit this Notch; that's the Thickness of a Guinea. Yes, they fit it exactly. Then here is another Notch of the Thickness of a Half Guinea; another for Half Crowns, and another for - I don't know what; perhaps for Moidores, or some other Outlandish Money. The last Parcel I carried to be flatted, was a little before last Chistmas; but I never carried out any from the Prisoner after it was flatted. Once or twice, I think, I carried some Gold to be flatted.

Yardner deposed, that Milliscent Russel and Thomas Broom , had often, within these four Years past, brought him Parcels of Metals to be flatted, 20 or 30 lb Weight at a time, which seemed to be a Mixture of Brass, Copper, and other Metals; and that latterly they had brought some Silver.

Mr. Oakly deposed, that about three Years ago he had several times cast a Mixture of Copper, brass, and other Metals for the Prisoner, 20 or 30 lb together. The preceding Depositions were confirmed by Quinny, (who served the Prisoner with Charcoal) Pierce and Brown, two Smiths; the former mended the Fly of the Press for Fordham; and the other made, for the Prisoner, the Iron Clamp or Collar for the Block, to keep it from splitting, which was produced in Court.

Broom the Bricklayer thus deposed: I set up such a Grate as this for the Prisoner in Mrs. Russel's Cellar: I believe it to be the same, by as having so many Bars at the Bottom, which is not usual, for it makes it draw prodigiously. I told him, that such a Grate, in the Manner that I fixt it, would burn the Devil and all of Fuel. So I would have it, says he; it must serve me either to roast or boil, bake or stew.

Mr. Chandler the Messenger deposed, That on the 16th of April, in Mrs. Russell's Cellar, he seized all these Coining Instruments produced in Court, and had had them ever since in his own Custody.

Mr. Pinkny, Deputy Warden, thus deposed: This Press, Cutting Tool, Edging Tool, and these Dyes, which we found in Mrs. Russell's Cellar, can serve for no other Use than Coining. I likewise found there, these 21 false Half Guineas; They are strongly gilt, three of them weigh'd something more than a Guinea. The [O] in [GEORGIUS] leans a little towards the [E], and is something less than the other Letters, which is exactly the same in this Dye, which was found in the same Cellar. These Dyes appear to have been lately made use of, for here is some of the Gilding now sticking in them.

The Prisoner called two or three Witnesses in his Defence. - Knight, a Chair-Maker, thus deposed: I was drinking with the Prisoner in New Bond street, when Hornby came to us in a great Hurry, and desired the Prisoner to get an Iron Clamp for him, and leave it at Mrs. Russell's.

Thomas Butler thus deposed: By Mr. Hornby's Directions, I made the Grate that stands there, and delivered it at Hornby's House in Ax-Yard, Westminster. I never made but one such before, and that was for a Jeweller. I have indeed seen others of the same Nature, that have been made for Silver Smiths, and other Trades that have Occasion for fierce Fires to melt Metal. Some others gave Evidence, that they had often received Money of the Prisoner, but never found that he gave them any that was bad. Guilty . Death .


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