Offence: Royal Offences > coining offences
Verdict: Guilty > with recommendation
116, 117, 118, 119. + Patrick Kelly , and Katherine his Wife , Garret Cavenagh , and Honor his Wife , were indicted for that they not having the Fear of God, &c. nor weighing the Duty of their Allegiance, but being moved and seduced, &c. after the 29th of September, 1742. to wit, on the 1st Day of December, in the 16th Year of his Majesty's Reign , craftily , falsely, unlawfully , subtilly, deceitfully, feloniously, and traiterously, did file, and with certain Materials, producing the Colour of Silver, did wash and colour two Pieces of Brass Money of this Kingdom, called Farthings, with Intent to make each of them resemble, and pass for a Piece of lawful Coin of this Kingdom, called a Sixpence: And the Indictment further charged them with altering the Impression on each Side of two Farthings, with the like Intent: And the Indictment did likewise set forth, that they, on the said 1st Day of December, did file, wash, and colour, two Farthings, with Intent as before. And this was laid to be against the Duty of their Allegiance , the Peace of the King, and the Form of the Statute .*
* This being grounded upon an Act of Parliament (of the last Sessions) the Indictment must by express World being the Offence within the substantial Description made in the Act .
At the Desire of the Prisoners, the Witnesses were examin'd apart.
John Graham . I have known Cavenagh and his Wife about 7 Years, and Kelly and his Wife about 2 Years; I lived with Cavenagh on and off about 6 Years, he is a Smith, and in order to make himself be thought an industrious, hard-working Man, he often got up at 3 or 4 o'Clock in the Morning to go to work, and about 8 o'Clock he came to Breakfast, and then he made Shillings out of Halfpence, and Sixpences out of Farthings; he files them and she rubs them upon a Leather, with Brickdust, to take out the Scratches of the File, and then he bends them, and rubs them over with a Paste, made of Burnt-Silver, Cream of Tartar and Aqua Fortis ; the Aqua Fortis dissolves the Silver, and then with the Cream of Tartar they make it into a Paste, that changes the Colour at once, and makes them look white [the Experiment was shewn in Court] we make use of common Salt to clean before we colour them. - Kelly is sometimes a Labourer, sometimes a Haymaker, and sometimes a Coiner. - I did not coin, but I have been concerned in defacing the King's Coin - I was sent to Clerkenwell Bridewell the 16th of December, and on the 8th and 9th of December I saw Kelly and his Wife, and Cavenagh and his Wife, make Halfpence into Shillings, and Farthings into Sixpences, I can swear to twenty that they were at Work upon in those two Days; they worked at his Brother Kelly's House, I lodged there at that Time - When they were made, the two Women used to go and put them off among the Country Folk of a Morning.
King's Council. Do you know any of the Coin when you see it?
Graham. I believe I do [there were two of the Farthings produced] there is a great deal of Difference between the two; I believe this is Kelly's - it is not so clean made as Cavenagh's Cavenagh has practised it a great deal longer than Kelly - Cavenagh used to call him a dunderhead Fellow, because he did not make so good Work; I take the worst to be Kelly's for that Reason - I believe this is Cavenagh's [the Box of Paste, and the Tools , (two Files, and a Pair of Pinchers) were produced] I have known this Box these two Years, it was Cavenagh's - these are the same Tools they all worked with, they were Cavenagh's - Kelly lived in Church-Lane, in St Giles's, and Cavenagh lived next Door to the Horse and Groom, in Cross-Lane - I can swear to this Leather, because I cut a Piece off the Corner, to put between the Vice and the Halfpence and Farthings - Sometimes one coloured, and sometimes another; the Men generally filed, and the Women smoothed them, because they had not Strength to file them - Cavenagh has done it these 5 Years, and Kelly about 2 Years - I can swear to these two Sixpences - Graham and Laycock were concern'd with them.
Pris. Counc. What is the Reason that Cavenagh
Graham. I shall come to your Question presently, if you please to let me; for you are enough to drown 20 People: I told you he did it to make People believe he was a hard working Man. - I do not know that I ever saw him work at making these at eight o'Clock in the Morning. - I did not impeach first, Cavenagh's Wife impeached before me, - I was sent to Bridewell for a common Assault upon a Quarrel. - I was in Prison 12 Months in the Year 1738, for uttering false Coin. - I heard that Cavenagh's Wife was to give in an Information against me; and finding she had not done it, I took Care to do it before her: So I sent to Mr North , and made my Information.
Cavenagh. How can all four be at Work at one Time, with two Files and one Pair of Pinchers?
Graham. I will tell you; one filing, another smoothing, another pulling down, (that is, filing down the Edges of them to the Letters) another polishing of them, and a fifth may be employed in bending of them.
Honor Cavenagh . How came you by those Files?
Graham. Why, they are yours, my Child. - I know them, because I have worked very often with them.
Graham. I have known her file three Halfpence or Twopence off a Shilling, when she has been scarce of Money, and mix it with Aqua-fortis, in order to colour the Money.
Honor Cavenagh. Here is a good Witness a-coming; she has been transported four or five times.
Mary Laycock . All the Prisoners used these Tools, sometimes one, and sometimes another, as they wanted them. - I had these Tools from under Patrick Kelly's Stairs; and when Honor Cavenagh threatned to give in an Information against me, said I, What, are you like Jonathan Wild , first to buy me a Horse, and learn me to go a thieving, and then take my Life away for the Sake of the Reward. Says I to Sarah Graham , What do you think? Honor Cavenagh says, she has put me in the Information, and does not think much to tell me so.
King's Council . Now shew us what they used to do with these Tools.
Laycock. Suppose this to be Leather, as this is Paper, they used to do so, [ shewed how they filed them ] - I have seen every one of them do so, but the Women were most excused, because they had not so much Strength in their Arms ; the Women used generally to rub them upon a Leather to smooth them, and then rub them over with a little common Salt after they had bent them. - I a'n't cute enough to do it; I wish I was. I never was Mistress of this Trade in my Life; I never worked at it above a Month; they used to rub them between their Finger and Thumb, thus - I saw all the Prisoners working at it in the same Room, within three Weeks before Christmas, at Garret Cavenagh 's Lodging, in Cross-Lane - I used to put the Sixpences off at Chandlers Shops, and Brandy Shops, and had a Groat in the Shilling for it; I never would undertake any of the Shillings - Honor Cavenagh used to go along with me, for I never used to carry any more than one, for fear of being taken up; when I had parted with one, I used to say to her, Here it is, it is flung; she used to have a false Sixpence ready wrapped up in a Piece of Paper, and used to do so (spit upon it) and say, Here, take it, and God send you good Luck with it: The most that ever I put off in one Day were eight - I was not taken, I went to Mr North, and gave my Information voluntarily; I do this for the Good of my Nation, the Safety of my Country, and the Preservation of my own Life, Sir. - This is Patrick Kelly 's Coin - I know it because it is a rougher Coin than Cavenagh's, he is not so good a Workman; this is one of Garret Cavenagh 's, I can almost positively swear to it - Cavenagh would work in the Day-time, to blind the World; when he came home from his Work, and had got his Supper, then he went to work at this, that we might have them to dispose of the next Morning; he began to work about 10, may be 9, 10 or 11 o'Clock at Night, when I lay with him - that is, lay in his House, not with him, Sir - These are made from King George II 's Farthings, the others will not do so well - They file them down to the Letters, and file the Britannia quite off - They file the Laurel and the Neck off, and leave a little part of the Head, and some of the Letters .
Pris. Counc. . Can you take upon you to say these are King George's Farthings ?
Laycock . Yes, I can; that is George the IId , and the Face turns to the Sun - I cannot read, but I can make shift to write; let me see it, and I will see whether I can read or no; I am bad of my Sight; I can write tho' I cannot read.
Pris. Counc. . If you cannot write, how can you read the Letters?
Laycock. You will be with your Cross-Questions upon me; I can do both to my great Joy - Tho' I cannot read, I can tell the Letters; the G is almost wore out, here is the E; I can make shift
Q. Do you expect part of the + Reward ?
+ A Reward of 40 l. is given by this Act for the Conviction of every Offender. And the Accomplies are pardoned .
Laycock . No, Sir, God bless the Reward, let who will have it, I do not care - I took the Box off a Chest of Drawers in Patrick Kelly 's Room - I bought this Box for a Penny, and gave it them since Harvest - I came acquainted with them about April , to the best of my Knowledge .
Laycock. Ever since you were tried for the Murder of your Wife at Kilmanagh - I was at Rochester, but I never was an Evidence there in my Life.
Laycock. Yes , I did give Evidence for her as far as to what I saw, that they did threaten her - I answer to the Name of Lane , * which was my Father-in-law's Name.
Graham , Wife of John Graham . I have been acquainted with Cavenagh and his Wife about three Years , and with Kelly, since last Lord-Mayor's-Day. - I was sent to get 12 Farthings for 3d. there were six good and six bad; those were reckoned bad that would not bear the File; the good ones Mrs. Cavenagh took in her Hand to file, they were too strong for her; so he took them, and filed all off one Side; they filed the Head Side, down to the Letter (V) which brings them to the Bigness of a Six-pence; I should not want an Estate if I had but a Quarter of what they have cheated poor People of; I believe I can swear to 5l. a Week: Kelly's does not go off so well as Cavenagh's, so he puts off his Brother's: Mrs Kelly had a strong Hand at Clearing, Mrs Cavenagh was the best Hand at Colouring; I have seen Mrs Cavenagh colour, and Mrs Kelly colour; I saw Mr Kelly colour but twice; it was sometime before Christmas. - They are every ones Files, they all us'd them; but when the Act of Parliament took Place, my Husband was resolved to do no more, so I sold his Vice for old Iron; these are Mr Cavenagh's Files, I was with him when he bought them, - Mary Laycock seized these Tools, she gave them to me the Day before I went to Mr North; she cried and said, Mrs Kelly said, She would hang the best Neck she had; said I, You know best what you have done, but you may be even with them; if you can lay hold of their Tools do, and bring them to me; which she did; she said , She would throw them down the House-of-Office: No, said I, do not do that, as they threatened to inform against you, do you go and make your Information: I carried the same Tools I had of her to Col. Deveil , and he gave them to Mr North, the Sollicitor of the Mint.
Graham. As long as I have known you; I can swear to their having this Box two Years and not wrong my Conscience.
Mr. Hind produced one of the Counterfeit Six pences which he said, he had of Mr. Alford, a Distiller, by Clare-Market.
Mr. Alford deposed, that he could not be certain that was the Piece he had of Laycock.
Katherine Kelly declared, that she was entirely innocent, and that this was done out of Revenge for her sending Graham to Prison for an Assault. [She shew'd her Arm in which was a very deep and large Wound, whic h she said he gave her].
Honor Cavenagh said, She had seen Graham and the others at this Work, but they never saw her; that her Boy, who is about seven Years of Age, told her, He saw Mr Graham making of Shillings, and, that she peep'd through the Door and saw Mr Graham at work, but could not see what he was doing of, that she thundered at the Door, and he hussled the Things away; said she, Mr. Graham, so, you are at your Tricks: Said he, I cannot help it, I have not a Farthing in the World, I hope you will not hurt me; and that he pull'd out his Tools and went to work again; she said, that her Husband was more innocent than she, that he never saw them at work, that when she told Mrs Graham of it, she said, Her Husband was a Wig-maker,
Mr North (Sollicitor to the Mint). On the 16th of December, the Prisoner at the Bar, Honor Cavenagh, brought this Letter to me from Mr. Poulson, (it is his Hand-writing, he told me he sent it) I enquired into her Business, and she told me, she came to give me Information against several Persons, who filed Farthings, and made them into Six-pences; I sent to Justice Poulson and had a Warrant made out against John Graham and his Wife, and Mary Laycock , I think he called her Lane: Kelly came to me and I asked him, where the Persons inform'd against, were to be found; he told me where to find Mary Laycock , and I told him, I desir'd Honor Cavenagh to come to me in the Morning, and let me know where they were to be found: On Sunday Night a Messenger came to me, from Clerkenwell-Bridewell, to inform me, that John Graham was in there for an Assault, and desired to see me about an Information; I apprehended that some Quarrel was the Occasion of their sending to me; the Person that came from Graham, asked me, If any Person had made an Information against Graham? I did not satisfy him as to that Question; I told the Messenger, I would consider whether I should come or no; I staid till the Friday following, and hearing no more from Honor Cavenagh, I thought it was Time to go to Clerkenwell-Bridewell; accordingly I went to Graham, and he told me, he could make a large Discovery of Persons concerned in filing of Farthings, and making them into Six-pences; I told him I would consider of it, and hearing nothing from Honor Cavenagh , I went to Col. Deveil , and he sent for Graham and took his Information, and Graham's Wife and Laycock came to my House, and said, they could confirm Graham's Information; and their Information was taken, and upon this, the Prisoners were taken up - it was the Day that Graham was taken that Honor Cavenagh came to me and said, her Husband had beat and abus'd her very much, and would not be satisfied unless she made a Discovery - She told me so that Day she made the Information. - I asked her afterwards, why she did not come to me again: She made some Excuse, but she did not talk any thing of a Miscarriage then. I asked Garret Cavenagh the Reason why his Wife did not come again, and told him she said he had beat her, and abused her, because she would not come and make her Information; and he said, he knew nothing at all of the Matter. - They were not all taken at the same Time; Garret was the last Person that was taken. - Kelly did not come to me to make an Information as to the Coining, but upon Honor Cavenagh's Account, to tell me where those Persons were to be found.
Garret Cavenagh . I would ask Mr Thomson the Constable, Whether, when the others were taken up, I was not in the Body of the Watch, and said, that I was one of the Persons in the Warrant; and he would not take me?
Thomson. He did come into the Watch-house, and offered to surrender himself, and I said I knew nothing of him, and I would not take Charge of him.
Samuel Lee . I am a Smith, Cavenagh has work'd with me about five Months; we have but one Fire between us: I work till 12 at Night, and he comes at 3 or 4 in the Morning, to be from the Fire against I come, and sometimes he works till 11 or 12 at Night: He has work'd as hard as any Man in England, and kept his Family as well as any Body - He sent me to Col. Deveil , to know if there was any Information against him, and he said there was; and said, if he came before him, he should be oblig'd to commit him.
Jane Gough . On Saturday before Christmas, Mrs Cavenagh miscarried; she told me, it was upon the Account of her Husband's ill Usage, and abusing her for entertaining these People. - I saw him strike her; that is ill Usage.
Enoch Wilton . I know this Garret Cavenagh to be a hard working, labouring Man. On the 10th of October this Laycock came to my House; my Wife said, What do you do here? there is the same Stairs you came up; and my Wife took up a Candlestick, and
The Council for the Prisoner objected, That the Act of Parliament is made against the filing and colouring of Brass Money called Halfpence and Farthings, and that these Halfpence and Farthings are not made of Brass, but Copper.
The Council for the King answered, They apprehended the Legislature well knew what they did when this Act was made, that it is against filing or altering of Brass-Money, &c. and taking the Word Brass away , the Word Money remains; and that they might venture to say, there is a higher Authority than the Legislature for using of that Word, and that is the Bible, and that the Language is not altered from that Time to this: It says, Cain was an Artificer in Brass and Iron; and that at that Time there was no such Mettal as Brass in the World; for Brass is not an Original Metal, but a Compound.
It was the Opinion of the Court, that every Act of Parliament ought to be taken according to the Intent of it; and that the Act mentions Halfpence and Farthings; and that there is no other Brass-Money within the Intention of the Act of Parliament.
The Jury withdrew for a considerable Time, and then found them all Guilty, Death . +
+ As the principal Witnesses in this Case were Persons of ill Characters, and this the first Prosecution late Act, the Jury recommended them as fit Objects of his Majesty's Mercy. - The Jury did likewise commend Tigh (whose Trial is in the former Part) for that they believed he had been ill advised.