CATHERINE CONNOLLY, MARY FITZGERALD, Royal Offences > coining offences, 3rd December 1829.

Reference Number: t18291203-167
Offence: Royal Offences > coining offences
Verdict: Not Guilty

Third Middlesex Jury - Before Mr. Baron Vaughan .

165. CATHERINE CONNOLLY & MARY FITZGERALD were indicted for a like offence .

MESSRS. SCARLET and ELLIS conducted the prosecution.

THOMAS DREW . I am a conductor of the Bow-street Police. On the 23rd of November I went with Keys and Fowler to No. 1, Horn-alley, Liquorpond-street , between one and two o'clock - I went up to the first floor room door, rapped, and a woman named Cartwright opened it; Keys and I went in - Cartwright then talked in Irish to the two prisoners, who were in the room; they answered her in Irish - I then saw Fitzgerald sitting on the right side of the fire-place; Connolly was sitting on the left hand-I had my eyes on them both; I saw Fitzgerald move her chair nearer to the stove - she put her hand towards a pipkin, which stood on the hob, and took something; but it being dark there I could not see whether her hand went into the pipkin or not; but she took up something, and threw it into the fire - I saw Keys take it off the fire directly, it was white metal in a solid state, and in the shape of the bottom of the pipkin, which it fits - I took the pipkin off the hob; there was nothing in it then - I took a tobacco-pipe which laid by the side of the pipkin, and the stem of it from the bowl was full of white metal; I found a file on the floor, with white metal filings in the teeth of it - there were two beds in the room, and under one of them I found a pair of moulds, which I produce; they were folded in a bit of rag - I also found on the bed a woman's pocket with a bag in it, with plaster of Paris and a piece of glass paper - about twenty minutes after I entered the room I saw Keys take a pair of moulds from under Connolly's left arm.

COURT. Q. You went there in consequence of information, I suppose? A. Yes; I had received information some time before - I did not know the prisoners before; Cartwright kept the house - they were all three in the room; there were two beds and two bedsteads - Fitzgerald said she was married, but that her husband was sent to Ireland; I did not hear which bed each one slept in - neither of them claimed the pocket.

FRANCIS KEYS. I am a Police-constable. I accompanied the witnesses to the room; the door was shut - I do not know whether it was locked; I knocked, and Cartwright opened it - Cartwright addressed the prisoners in Irish, and they said something to each other; I saw Fitzgerald put her hand towards the fire-place, lay hold of something, and throw it into the fire - she reached her hand to the fire-place. and threw something into the fire; I pulled it off, and it was this metal - the pipkin was on the stove: I saw Drew put the metal into it; fits the bottom, and appeared to correspond with it - I searched under the fire-place, among the ashes, and found several pieces of plaster of Paris, and one of them appears to resemble the obverse side of a shilling; I found a counterfeit sixpence on the hob, not exactly finished - I got a candle, and on a ledge up the chimney found some more pieces of plaster of Paris; I found in a cupboard in the room, a mug, with plaster of Paris, and another mug of sand - I found a piece of tin, with plaster of Paris adhering to it, and a piece of rag, with plaster of Paris on it: on the mantel-piece over the fireplace, I found a new Queen's metal spoon - I found two iron spoons by the side of the fire-place; one appears to have been put on the fire - I found two knives with plaster of Paris on them. I was afterwards left in the room with the prisoners and Cartwright; Drew had gone down stairs - Connolly had been sitting on the side of the fire, on a pillow and blanket; she asked me to leave the room, as she wanted to use the chamber utensil - I refused, saying I was a married man; she went to the chamber-pot, then came back, and sat down in the same place again - in a few minutes she asked me again to leave the room; she went to the utensil, and while she was there Drew came up to the door - I said, "Wait a minute," but he opened the door, and came in; she went to the same place as she had been sitting in - I saw something white on the pillow, like plaster of Paris; I picked it up, and saw the impression of part of the obverse side of a sixpence on it; I produce it - it is now put more together: during all this time she had a child on her left arm - I told her to shift the child on to her right arm, which she did - I lifted her elbow up, and found this other piece, which has the grove in it, under her arm, between her skin and shift, and at the same time this bit of metal dropped from her; I have matched it with that mould, and it fits the get - I said, "What did you put them there for?" she said they were on the grate or hob when we came into the room, and

she put them there out of sight - she said, "What will be done to me for having them;" I told her to ask me no questions - I had said nothing to induce her to say any thing.

Prisoner Connolly. I did not desire him to leave the room, but to turn his back to me. Witness. Her words were, "Sir, will you leave the room?" I did not hear her desire me to turn my back; I omitted to state, that when they had been in conversation together, Cartwright ran down stairs, and I called to Fowler to stop her, which he did.

JAMES FOWLER . I am an officer. I was waiting down stairs, that nobody should escape.

Mr. FRANCIS KIRBY . I am a practical chemist. I have seen these moulds, and analysed part of those found under the bed; they are plaster of Paris - the others are the same materials, and the stuff in the bag.

JOHN FIELD . I am an inspector of counterfeit coin. These moulds found under the bed are for casting counterfeit shillings; they bear an impression of the obverse and reverse sides, and are capable of producing an impression of a shilling likely to impose on the public - these other parts appear to be moulds for casting sixpences; both sides are here - one is broken, but here is the whole impression on it, on putting the two together: it is capable of giving the impression-stamp in similitude of a sixpence, which would impose on the public - the obverse side being broken, would of course not now do it; the reverse side is perfect - I cannot say whether it had been broken recently; this tin band might be used to form the mould into a shape - the plaster of Paris is poured into it; a tobacco pipe and pipkin are often used in coining - here is a piece of glass-paper, which is often used to rub off the sharp edges of the coin, to appear as if it had been in circulation; it is generally found in possession of coiners - I believe the sixpence produced to have been cast in this mould; it appears to fit it - this spoon is made of Britania metal, which is used in coining, and is often found in the possession of coiners; it is made of tin and antimony, which is the metal constituting the coin; the get produced appears to fit the mould for sixpences; the shilling moulds are as perfect as they are usually found - the impressions are as perfect as they generally are.

COURT. Q. In your judgment, are the moulds capable of producing impressions likely to deceive the world, and to be passed into circulation? A. Yes - a farther process is required; after they come out of the mould the get has to be separated, and the edges filed down - the moulds only produce the impression; the sixpence must have been produced by the whole mould in a prefect state.

MARGARET CARTWRIGHT . I am the wife of William Cartwright , and live in Horn-alley, Liquorpond-street. The prisoners rented a room of me, for five or six weeks before they were apprehended, and occupied it continually till then; they both slept there, and both took the room, and were each to pay half - they owed me 8s. 6d; when they did pay I generally received half from each - I saw no man there at all; they told me they made night-caps and sold them in the street: they bad a parcel of nightcaps when they were taken - I saw them netting them; I was found in the room with them, and kept in prison about a fortnight: nobody but the prisoners had any thing to do with this room - there were two bedsteads in it; I did not want them, and said they might have the use of them - there are other lodgers on the second floor.

Prisoner Connolly. Q. Was I not confined in one of the beds? A. Yes, a fortnight or three weeks before you were taken; no man visited her then.

ANDREA ANTONENI . I make images from plaster of Paris. The prisoner Fitzgerald came to my shop, and bought 3d. worth of plaster of Paris, three weeks ago - she took it away in a bag; it was superfine, and would make what has been produced; this mould is the same quality - it is the same colour and sort.

Connolly's Defence. When I came to lodge there I was in much distress; I came to lay-in, and had neither money nor victuals - as to this woman, she is quite innocent of it.

Fitzgerald's Defence. I had nothing to do with it; I sold caps in the street, and was out all day - I never saw any thing of this till the officers came; I never bought the stuff.

NOT GUILTY .

There was another indictment against Conolly, for having the mould bearing the impression of a sixpence, but no evidence was offered.


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