Offence: Royal Offences > coining offences
Verdict: Guilty > with recommendation
Before Mr. Justice Park.
2307. ALEXANDER EDWARD WATKINS HAYES was indicted for feloniously offering and uttering a certain forged and counterfeit Bank note, for payment of 5l., with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England .
3rd COUNT, calling it a promissory note.
MESSRS. FOLLET and GURNEY conducted the prosecution.
HENRY SIMPSON . I am a hosier and glover , and live in New-street, Covent-garden . On the 1st of October, about a quarter to eight o'clock in the evening, the prisoner came into my shop, and asked if I had a green silkEdward Watkins , No. 1, New-street, Cannon-street-road," which I immediately wrote on the note - this is it (looking at it) - instead of giving him change from the till (intending to see if he continued agitated) I called for my cash-box out of the back room, and pretended to be turning the key; I then turned up the note he had given me, and said, "This is a forgery, and you know it;" he said, "For God's sake, don't make any noise; can I speak to you in a private room;" I desired him to walk in, which he did - he then said, "I hope you don't consider I am a passer of forged notes;" I said I did not know what he was, but I must see - I then asked how many more he had got about him; he said, "Why, don't you think I am innocent;" I replied, "Every man is innocent till he is found guilty," and again asked him how many more he had got; he said he had but one - he took out his note-case, and handed it to me; I saw that was also forged - I put no mark on that, but kept it, and marked it a quarter of an hour afterwards at Bow-street, but I had parted with it to Reynolds before that, and it was out of my sight - (looking at one) - I believe this to be the same; it has my writing on it.
Cross-examined by MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Did you go with him to the station? A. I believe I did; I did not hear him say any thing - he might have asked the Policeman to go with him to the house he received the note at, without my hearing it - his tendering the second note was voluntary, but I had said I would send for an officer before he took me into the room; I could have searched his pocket-book if I had chosen - I live about half a mile from Wych-street.
MR. FOLLET. Q. Before he produced the pocketbook, you had asked how many notes he had? A. Yes; I sent my lad for an officer, in his hearing, before he asked to go into the back-room; the lad brought Reynolds, and I left the prisoner in the room with him.
FRANCIS REYNOLDS . I am a Policeman. On the 1st of October Mr. Simpson's boy fetched me - I found the prisoner in the back parlour, and found on him 6s., and some halfpence, and a pocket-book -Mr. Simpson gave me these two forged notes - I marked them, and kept them till the next day, then gave them to the Bank-inspector, Mr. Freeman -Mr. Simpson marked one note in his shop; I did not see the inspector give him the notes at Bow-street; I took the prisoner to the station; we had no conversation before- as I was taking him from the station to Bow-street that night, he told me if I would let him walk a little before me, he might show me the house where the party was who gave him the note - I asked him to tell me the sign; he said he could not tell, but he would point it out- I would not let him walk before me, thinking he meant to run away.
Cross-examined. Q. Did he not tell you the house was in Maiden-lane; A. No; I did not ask him where it was; he said there where two young men in the house, and that was all he stated - I could have got assistance to go with him to point the house out if I had chosen.
MR. SIMPSON. The note No. 2347 is the one he offered in payment of the 6s.; I wrote the address he gave me on it in the shop - Reynolds was at the office once more than me, for the purpose of giving the notes to the inspector, but I marked the other note at Bow-street, within a quarter of an hour.
Cross-examined. Q. Did he ever live there? A. No; I have often seen him in the street, and have known his father five or six years, and in that way I knew him; his father kept a public-house, but is now dead - I used to see him about his father's house; I knew where he lived when his father kept the house - that was four years ago, but not more; he never came to see me or my family; I never heard of his being at my house; Davison lodged at my house - the prisoner might visit him for what I know - I have seen him with Davison in the street: I swear I never saw him in my house - he might have come to see Davison, but not in my presence.
MR. FOLLET. Q. Did the prisoner lodge at your house? A. Never; I did not know him by the name of Watkins - his father's name was Hayes.
WILLIAM FRANCIS MIDDLETON . I live in Grenada-terrace, Commercial-road, and am a watchmaker and goldsmith. To the best of my belief the prisoner is the man who came on Monday, the 27th of August, to my shop; he asked to look at a gold-chain, which I showed him, and asked four guineas for; he said it was rather too much, and asked to look at some seals, and he selected one, for which I asked him 35s.; there was another man with him- they talked it over among themselves; I am quite sure the prisoner is not the other man - he was much stouter; he said he would give me a guinea and a half, which I agreed to take, and he tendered me a 5l. note, as I thought it to be - the prisoner I believe to be the person who tendered it; to the best of my recollection he took it out of his waistcoat-pocket - I took it, and asked his name and address, which he gave; I wrote it on the back of the note, this is it (looking at it); he gave me "Mr. Evans, No. 1, Curser-street" - I asked him where Curser-street was; he said just at the top of the road - I was then satisfied, and took the note, and gave him the seal, with three sovereigns and 8s. 6d. from my pocket - I wrote the address on the note, in his presence.
Cross-examined. Q. Were you at Bow-street? A. Yes, last Monday week; I was not sworn - I refused to swear to the prisoner, but at the same time expressed my confidence that he was the man; but when he tendered me the note he had very bushy whiskers, and he was then without whiskers, which made a very great alteration; that was my only reason for refusing to swear to him - I do not swear to him now; he has no whiskers now, but there is still the same countenance - I discovered the note to be forged about five weeks after.
Cross-examined. Q. How is it you mention the 27th of August so exactly? A. I put it down on a piece of paper, when I was copying some poetry that day, after he left - I wrote the date down carelessly as I was writing; I burnt it among other papers a day or two afterwards.
MR. GURNEY. Q. Did you afterwards hear the note was forged? A. Yes, and my master sent me to look for Curser-street, but I could find no such street.
MR. PHILLIPS. Q. Do you mean, that going to look for the street, and hearing the note was forged, impresses the 27th of August on your mind? A. I heard my master say it was the 27th, and I am positive that was the date - I kept it in my mind.
COURT. Q. Had you any reason for writing down the 27th of August, more than that you recollect that was the day? A. No; I wrote it carelessly on a bit of paper.
JOSHUA FREEMAN . I am an inspector of Bank notes. These three notes are forged in every respect, paper, plate, and signatures - they are both from the same plate, and the signatures appear to be the same hand-writing.
Cross-examined. Q. Is the style like the hand-writing of the clerk? A. It is not a good imitation.
Prisoner's Defence (written.) My Lord and Gentlemen of the Jury, - Possessed of a small independence, and having much leisure time upon my hands, I have been in the habit of frequenting many places of public resort, at one of which, about two months previous to this unfortunate transaction, it was my misfortune to meet with a young man named Lane - from his gentlemanly and prepossessing manner, I felt disposed to encourage the intimacy; indeed, so great was my confidence in him, that but a short time after the commencement of our acquaintance, I, without the least hesitation, acceeded to his request for the loan of 10s., and would willingly have lent him a larger sum. On the morning of the day in question, I met Lane, and accepted his invitation to pass the evening with him - according to my appointment I met Lane, and with him proceeded to a coffee-house in Catherine-street, Strand, where we met two other persons, with whom Lane was acquainted, and of whom I had some slight knowledge; we afterwards went to a tavern in Maiden-lane, when, after some preliminary conversation, Lane alluded to the 10s. owing to me by him; and, jestingly alluding to my taste in articles of dress, he asked me if I would have any objection to execute a little commission for him of that nature; he mentioned a particular description of silk handkerchief of the same pattern as one which I myself had mentioned as possessing, and a similar one he was desirous of having; he, therefore, asked me if I would oblige him by purchasing a handkerchief of the same pattern, and at the same time two black silk handkerchiefs - he took a 5l. note from his pocket, and gave it to me, for the purpose of making the purchase, observing that I could repay myself the 10s. he had borrowed of me. As I was about leaving the room, one of the persons we had met with at the coffee-house, asked me if I would be kind enough to execute a similar commission for him; I answered Yes, willingly, and he took a note-case from his pocket, in which there was a 5l. note, which he gave to me with the case; I then went to Mr. Simpson's shop, in New-street, Covent-garden, and asked for the articles for Lane first, for which I tendered his note, wishing to keep each commission separate - Mr. Simpsons declared the note to be a forgery, and asked whether I had any more in my possession; I instantly produced the other note, and told him where the parties for whom I was acting could instantly be found; he, however, gave me in custody to a Policeman, to whom I repeated where the parties were to be found, and requested him to accompany me to the house where they were, but this he refused to do.
Seven witnesses gave the prisoner a good character.
GUILTY. Aged 30. - Transported for Life .
Strongly recommended to Mercy by the Jury and Prosecutor, on account of his character .