Offence: Royal Offences > coining offences
Verdict: Not Guilty; Guilty
Robert Blake , Henry Geahogan , and Katherine Geahogan , alias Gorgon, alias Fryer , of St. Bride's , were indicted for High Treason, in counterfeiting and making 13 pieces of Money, call'd Shillings, of Copper, Tin, Brass, Pewter, and other mix'd Metals, bearing the Stamp, and made after the Likeness and Similitude of the current Coin of Great Britain, and for making 6 other Pieces of Money, call'd Six-pences, as aforesaid, and knowing the same to be false, base Money, and counterfeit, putting off the said Money for the current Coin of Great Britain .
John Steward (being admitted an Evidence) depos'd, That in November last he first became acquainted with Blake, Henry Geahogan , and one Ferris, at the Temple Muse in White Fryers , where Blake kept a Fencing School, that about that Time Geahogan gave him a counterfeit Sixpence, and bid him put it off for 2 Quarts of Beer, which he did, for which they all commended him, but it was discover'd and brought back by the Servant; that after this Blake advis'd him, being a Gentleman's Servant, to steal his Master's Plate, saving, he would convert it into Money, and for Half a Guinea he would learn him to make Money of hard Pewter, Brass, and other Materials, with Glass to make it ring; that he, with Blake and Ferris, went to Henry Geahogan's House, and Katherine Geahogan , his Mother, the Prisoner brought out a Gallipot, in which was hard Mettal, that they put it into a melting Ladle, and Henry Geahogan held it whilst his Mother blow'd the Fire; that it soon melted, and Henry Geahogan poured it into a Mould and made a Shilling, and after that 12 more, bearing the Impression of King William, and then in like Manner they made fix Sixpences of the same Sort of Mettal, that Blake made Notches with a File on the Edges, and Henry Geahogan was the Finisher; that soon after, Blake, Henry Geahogan , Ferris, himself, and a Woman that goes for Blake's Wife, went together to one Mrs. Bignel's, a Pawnbroker, where Blake pawn'd a Suit of his Cloaths for five Shillings, and coming out of the House, he took a good Shilling from the five and put it into his Pocket, and putting a counterfeit Shilling in his Hand to the other 4, went back, and told the Pawnbroker she had given him a bad Shilling, which she changed, upon his swearing he took it of her; that Ferris chang'd another bad Shilling that Morning at a Brandy Shop, and they bid him change another at the Crown in Church-Lane, but the Landlady perceived it was bad and refused it; they then went to Blake's Lodgings and made 7 Half Crowns of the same Mettal as before, and several Sixpences; that the next Money they made was agreed to be at this Deponent's Lodgings, to which he consented, but not liking the Course of Life, he made Information against them, discovering the whole Villany, and had them taken into Custody.
Mr. Sharpless, the Constable, depos'd, That he went by Steward's Information to his Room, with others, and found Henry Geahogan there sitting by the Fire side, and 16 counterfeit Sixpences upon the Table, which were produced in Court unfinished; that they found a Tub by the side of the Bed, in which was Moulds, Files, Crucibles, a Ladle, several Sorts of Metal, and other Materials for their Purpose, and that then Geahogan seem'd in great Surprize, insomuch that the Sweat ran down his Face, that he then went to Blake's Room, and found him by a Charcoal Fire made in a Chavendish, on which he had put a Pan of Water, and a piece of Bacon in a Pan, but neither of them were warm, which made him believe they were put on upon the Surprize he might be put in upon his coming up Stairs, however, nothing was found in his Room but a Bottle of Vitorel.
Mr. Jacock confirm'd every Part of this Evidence, adding, that when they went into the Room to Geahogan, he said to Steward, I little thought you would have took my Life away.
Mr. Jones depos'd, That he assisted in taking Blake and said as was mentioned before on that Occasion by Mr. Sharpless, who likewise went with him to the Lodgings of Katherine Geahogan , and found there a Paper of mix'd Metal and a piece of a File, on the Edges of which was the appearance of the Metal.
Most of the Circumstances were likewise confirm'd by Mr. King, who assisted in taking them.
Mrs. Cope depos'd, That she kept the Temple Muse Alehouse in White Fryers, when the bad 6 d. was brought by Steward, and her Servant Maid depos'd, That she carried it back, and Geahogan gave her another for it.
Mrs. Bignel the Pawnbroker produced the bad Shilling she had of Blake, and said, he swore by G - d he took it of her, and made some Imprecations because she scrupled it; but when he was gone out she heard some of them say, we have put the Bite upon the Mort.
Mr. Pinkney, Deputy Warden of the Mint, examined the Moulds and other Tools, and gave his Opinion that they were for counterfeiting Money.
Blake made a long Defence, and endeavoured to prove he was innocent, and that the Whole was a Contrivance of Steward's, out of Malice, and call'd several to his Character.
Katherine Geahogan , in her Defence, proved her Son Henry a most accomplish'd Villain, by the Deposition of Rachael Abbot , who swore, that he beat his Mother in a most barbarous Manner, for which he was sent to the Gatehouse, but the End was, to prove that Steward did not know Katherine Geahogan at the Time he said she assisted in making Money, for said they, he came to intercede with the Mother for the Son's enlargement, and in Discourse, told me, he did not know the Mother, or had ever seen her, and this was on the 30th of Jan. but Steward said, she assisted in making Money on the 12th of February: Several gave her an extraordinary Character, for an industrious sober Person; the Jury acquitted her and found the other two guilty . Death .