John Brown, Margaret Berry, Royal Offences > coining offences, 10th October 1733.

Reference Number: t17331010-24
Offence: Royal Offences > coining offences
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death > respited for pregnancy; Death

29. John Brown , otherwise Johnson, otherwise Terence Conway , was a second Time indicted, with Margaret Berry , for High-Treason, in Coining 20 Pieces of false and counterfeit Money, in the Likeness of Six-pences , May 10 .

Anthony Macnelly . About nine Months ago, I came from Paris, with a Servant of my Lord Peters - I had been a Month in London, when happening to meet a Friend in the Street, I went to drink with him, at the Muffled-Bear, in Wild-street. The Prisoner, who goes by the Name of Brown, was sitting in the next Box, and call'd to me by my Name ; I told him, I did not know him: No! says he, my Name's Terence Conway . Then I recollected that I had been acquainted with him in Ireland. Having parted with my Friend, the Prisoner carry'd me to the Bull-Head, in Prince's-street. There we found the other Prisoner, who was his Acquaintance, and goes by the Name of Berry, but she told me, that her right Name was Mac Evers .

Berry. So it was, by my first Husband; his Name was Patrick Mac Evers .

Macnelly. Conway and I play'd at Shovelboard there, and in the Dusk of the Evening we all three came away together. As we turn'd into Drury-lane he gave me a Six-pence, whether good or bad I can't say, and bid me go to a little Shop there and fetch him a Halfpenny worth of Snuff; I went and brought him the Snuff and Five-pence Half-penny in Change, at which he laugh'd; I asked him what he laugh'd at? he would not tell me, but said, Come along. A little farther he gave me another Six-pence to fetch a Penny Brick . I thought it odd he should give me Silver to change, when I knew he had Copper. I gave the Baker's Maid the Six-pence to change; she scrupled it, and carry'd it in to her Master, who came forward and ask'd me if I gave that to the Maid? I said, Yes. And have you got any more such about you? says he. No, says I. And upon that he seiz'd me, and sent the Maid for a Constable; but Conway coming in, call'd for a Penny Brick , laid a Penny down, and push'd me out, and I ran away; he follow'd, and call'd after me, and so we met again. I was so daunted that he could not persuade me to change any more that Night, but he past off several himself in our Way to his Lodging, which was in Grub-street . When we came thither, he bid me call upon him next Morning, and ask for him by the Name of Brown; so we parted, and I went to my own Lodging, which was at my Aunt's in Gardener's-lane, Westminster. Next Morning I call'd at Mr. Brown's Lodging; his Landlady directed me to go up one Pair of Stairs; I did so, and knock'd two or three times, but having no Answer, I went down again; then his Landlady call'd Mr. Brown, upon which he answer'd, and came down with the other Prisoner, who goes for his Wife. We drank two or three Quarters of Gin together, and then he bid me take a Walk in Moorfields, and come again in an Hour; which I did. We went together towards- Piccadilly, and past off several Six- pences that Night; so I used to go to him every Morning, and we used to go out in the Dusk of the Evening. But as I often staid very late, my Aunt as often checked me for keeping such ill Hours. I told the Prisoners of this, and so it was agreed, that I should lye in the same Bed with him and her, which I did for some Time, and I believe their Landlady knew nothing of it, but thought I still came in the Morning. At last I began to be ashamed of lying with a Man and a Woman at the same Time, and then they got me a Blanket, and I laid by their Bedside, and they were very kind to me. Now I'll give an Account of what I have seen them do every Morning that I was with them, except Sundays; he sat down on one side of the Fire, and she on the other; they put a Fire-shovel on the Fire, with some Metal in it like Pewter, and melted it; then he took the Shovel and poured the Metal into something, but I can't say what, for they would not let me see it. Then they put the Shovel on the Fire again; he took out a Six-pence, and threw it into an old Hat behind him, and so they did till they had used all the Metal in the Shovel, and made 20 Sixpences, or more, and I have taken them warm out of the Hat. Then both he and she took a Knife and scraped the Edges round, and nicked the Edges of some of them with a File, and afterwards bent them.

Court. Did he take out but one Six-pence at a time?

Macnelly. But one; I asked him to let me see the Thing they made them in, but he would never let me, tho' he promised me that in time he'd let me into the Secret, and learn me how to make them. There was a Table in the Room with Chalk or Whiting, and a flannel Waistcoat, and they set me to rub them upon the Table with the Whiting and Flannel, as hard as I could, which I did. We staid 2 Months in Grub-street, and then removed to Morris's-court in Peter's-street, Soho, where we followed the same Trade; and we always took Care to lock the Door within Side when we were at work.

Berry. Did you ever know me to put off any bad Money ?

Macnelly. Yes; many a Time. She had a false Pocket with a private Fob ; I have seen

her put 15 or 16 bad Six-pences at a time in one Part, and when I brought her Change she has put that in the other Part.

Brown. You make this Information only to get your Discharge from your two Years Imprisonment. Why did not you make your Discovery before you were ordered to be imprisoned?

Macnelly. Brown and I were sent to the Gatehouse for passing this bad Money, and he told me several times there was no Danger, for it was bailable, and we should soon get our Liberty. At Night he was carried before Sir John Gonson , and bailed out. Then I thought to make my Information at Hicks's-Hall, but seeing several of his Friends there, I was afraid they'd tell him, and so he'd make his Escape; so I rather chose to stand my Trial; and afterwards I sent to Mr. John North , who belongs to the Mint, and made my information.

Brown. Did not Mr. North send for you, and promise your Liberty and a Reward?

Macnelly. Mr. North never sent to me, nor had I any Reward, or any Promise from any Body.

Mr. North. Brown was bail'd, but did not appear on his Recognizance. Macnelly was try'd on the Saturday, and on the Monday following he sent to me, and gave the same Account in Substance as he has done now. I made him no promise of his Liberty, or any Reward, but on the contrary told him, he must not expect any such Things.

Brown. Macnelly d has been in the French King's Service; he said, when he was in the Compter, that he would swear our Lives away, and hang us, if he lost his soul to Hell.

Robert Sexton . I keep a Smith's Shop at the Top of Grub street; the Prisoners lodg'd with me 2 Months, and 'tis about 5 Months since they went away. He said he was a Hair-merchant, and had an Estate of 50 l. a Year. They kept their Chamber very close, and sometimes went out. Macnelly came to them almost every Day. After they were gone I found about 2 Ounces of mix'd Metal; with which a Man in my Shop made me this Pair of Buckles.

Mr. North. As I have been concern'd in prosecuting several on the like Account, I have seen a great deal of their bad Money, and this Buckle is very much like what they commonly make Use of; 'tis a kind of Block-tin.

Mary Story . I clean'd the Prisoner's Lodgings at Mrs. Morris's in Old Soho. - I believe she is President here, and I found a matter of a Pound of this Metal in Consequence, but I gave it away to the Children; and this Pocket, which I found there too, had a Bit in it.

Court. Look on that Pocket, Macnelly; is that the double Pocket you said the Prisoner wore?

Macnelly. 'Tis very like it, but I can't positively swear 'tis the same.

John Wadnell . took this Six-pence out of Brown's Pocket before the Justice.

Mr. North. I believe this is made of the same Metal as the Buckles.

Brown. I receiv'd it for a good one -

Berry. And as for Macnelly's coming to us, my Landlady knows that both I and my Husband desir'd her to deny us to him.

Court. What Husband?

Berry. This is my Husband.

Brown. And this is my Wife.

Mrs. Sexton. When the Prisoners lodged at my House in Grub-street, this one-ey'd Man, Macnelly, came to them almost every Morning - There was another Man, indeed, came after them, to whom they desired me to deny them - After they were gone, I found a Piece of Metal, and some Whiting, in the Drawer.

Mr. North. When the Prisoners were before the Justice, Brown said she was not his Wife, and she said, he was not her Husband, for she was never married to him in her Life. She said the same in New-Prison, and that she could prove he had coin'd, but I told her it was then too late. She said Margaret Berry was her maiden Name, and that her Husband, Patrick Mac Evers, was then alive.

Court. If she could prove her Marriage to Brown, it would do her no Service; for in High Treason 'tis no Excuse for a Woman, that she acts under the Direction of her Husband.

John Stolon , Constable. I took Brown on a Bench Warrant, for uttering bad Money, and I found in his Pocket a Razor, a Pair of Scissors, and this fine File.

Macnelly. I believe this is the File that I have seen him use often in nicking the Edges.

Brown. I found the File in the Street.

Ann Berry . I live at Mrs. Morris's in St. Anne's-court, ( some call it Morris's court ) in Peter's-street, Soho ; I was going one Sunday Night, about 4 Months ago, to see for the Prisoners, and by Chance I met this blind Man, Macnelly, near the New Church in the Strand, and asked him if he had seen them ? No, says he, not to Night, but I saw them in the Morning ; and, God damn me, but I'll be revenged of them both, for I'll have a better Coat to my Back by this Day s'nnighs.

Court. Did he ment on any thing the Prisoners had done to him, for which he would be revenged?

Ann Berry . No, nothing of that, but only damn him he would be revenged on them ; and damn him he would have a better Suit of Clothes.

Macnelly. She says this was 4 Months ago, and I have been 5 Months in Consinement.

The Jury found the Prisoners both Guilty . Death .


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