Offence: Royal Offences > coining offences
Punishment: Death > burning
464. ISABELLA CONDON was indicted for that, one piece of false, feigned, and counterfeit money, to the likeness and similitude of the current coin of this realm called a shilling, she did feloniously, traiterously, and against the duty of her allegiance, falsely make, forge, and coin , Aug. 3d.
(The witnesses were, at the request of the prisoner, examined apart.)
Mr. Clarke, Mr. Jealous, and I, went, in consequence of an information, to the house of the prisoner on the 3d of August, at about twelve o'clock at noon.
Where is the house? - In Peartree-court, Cold-bath-fields . We received information that there was coining carrying on in a house at the top of St. John's-street, but that the prisoner and her sister were finishing them in Peartree-court; we went there; I went in first; the prisoner was sitting upon a chair in the room; there was only one room, it was a sort of shed; she was finishing a shilling; a boy stood just by her; I caught hold of the boy's hands, and Jealous caught hold of her hands.
What age was the boy? - I suppose about sixteen years old. I saw upon the table aqua fortis, water, scouring-paper, and all the implements for finishing he silver. Mr. Clarke came in; she had several more shillings in her lap; I do not know how many; she had one in her hand which she was cleaning off. There was a key lying on the table by her.
Were there any shillings finished? - One in her hand, which will be produced by Jealous; that is, I believe, finished. Upon asking her what key that was, she said she did;
Prisoner. What did I finish the shilling with? - I cannot take upon me to say. I immediately snatched hold of the boy. I saw the shilling in her hand; she was rubbing it with something, it might be a bit of scowering-paper.
Jury. How did you get admission? - The door was just upon the jar.
On the 3d of August I went with Mr. Clarke and Mr. Prothero to a house in a little court in Coldbath-fields; we went in directly, and I saw the prisoner rubbing a shilling.
What was she rubbing it with? - A piece of sand-paper. She had some shillings in her lap, and some lying on the table, and there was this piece of cork. We made her stand up, and out of her hand we took this counterfeit shilling (producing it). After we had secured her we saw a key lying on the table near her; she said it belonged to her house. Mr. Clarke and Mr. Prothero went first, and she laid hold of my arm, and we went to her house. The house was in a little court, near Goswell-street, in a new row of houses, opposite St. John's-street. We unlocked the door with that key, and went up stairs, and in the garret we found all these things.
Prisoner. How was I finishing these shillings? - She was sitting rubbing a shilling.
What was I finishing it with? - Rubbing it with sand-paper.
What was the water in? - I did not take particular notice of that.
I went with Prothero and Jealous, on the 3d of August last. We first went to a place in a court at the top of St. John's-street. When I came to the house I received information that the prisoner was not then at home. Then we went to a court near the Cold-Bath, and saw her there sitting at a table, scowering a shilling with a piece of sand-paper; before her, upon the table where she was sitting at work, was this bottle of aqua-fortis, some water, and scouring-paper, and in her lap were seven counterfeit shillings, which I have got here (produces them.)
Were those shillings finished? - No; they were what she was at work upon. There was the key of her house lying upon the same table. I asked her whose key that was; she said it was her's. I knew where her house was. After we had taken her into custody we went to her house; when we came there I asked her which was her house; she pointed out the house, and I unlocked the door with that key; we took her up to the garret, and in the garret we found these things; here are flasks, melting-pots, wrought arsenick; here is facing, which is what they use after they have put the impression upon the sand; the sand is porus; this is a fine sand, and it is laid upon it to make the impression come off clear; here is sand-paper, and some part of a get which is used to make the passage for the metal to run into the flasks; here are some shillings, but the impression is not come up; there are five, which are patterns, which clearly have made these impressions in the flask; here is other waste metal.
You found none that were in any degree finished, except that which she was at work upon, when you went in? - Yes; there are three there that are finished; they lay by the side of the moulds in the other house.
Court. Whether that shilling you say she was at work upon was made from these impressions in this mould? - (After inspecting them) I do not think it was.
Had the prisoner with her, at the time you took her, all the necessary things to make this piece complete? - She certainly had.
What was all that was wanting to make it complete? - Nothing but to be dipped into aqua-fortis; the aqua-fortis and water stood in a cup before her; dipping it in aqua-fortis and water forces the strength of the silver on the outside.
Do they want rubbing afterwards? - With a little sand.
Will a flask do for more than one casting, or must it be set afresh for every casting? - They make a fresh mould, for by taking the pieces out it spoils the impression; they generally keep a particular set of patterns for laying the mould.
Do any of these correspond with the mould? - Two or three of them do.
Mr. FLETCHER sworn.
I am a moneyer in the mint (inspects the three finished counterfeits). These are all bad.
Mr. Clarke says he took these things all on my lap; the other men say there were some in my lap, and others on the table. They were all in my lap. I went to Mrs. Beckford's house. I was there before they came; she had pawned some things for me. A young woman came in that I had let the rooms to, and left these things with me. I did not know what was in my lap, one looked like a shilling, it was white and yellow. They watched this young woman from her mother's house to the house where I was. I believe she knew these men were pursuing her by her burry, so she dropped in there. It is not to be thought that a poor woman like me could do it. There was nothing in the apartment where I was. I had let the house to these people. I had not settled with my landlord on Saffron-hill. I could not take away my bed till I had settled.
For the Prisoner.
Prisoner. Whether you did not see the young woman bring these things?
Court. What age are you? - Between fourteen and fifteen.
Court. Can you give any account how these shillings which were found in Peartree-court came there? - I can give no account how they came there; a little girl came, and sent me out for a pint of beer, what passed when I was gone I cannot tell.
Then you do not know how the shillings came there? - The girl must bring them there; the girl came in whilst I was gone for the beer.
GUILTY ( Death .)
Tried by the First Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice GOULD.