RICHARD BAKER, JOHN RADCLIFFE, ELIZABETH WHITE.
6th December 1775
Reference Numbert17751206-26
VerdictGuilty; Guilty; Not Guilty
SentenceDeath; Death

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34, 35, 36. RICHARD BAKER , JOHN RADCLIFFE , and ELIZABETH WHITE , were indicted for feloniously and traitorously forging, counterfeiting, and coining one piece of false, feigned, and counterfeit money and coin to the likeness and similitude of the current money and silver coin of this realm called a half-crown, against the duty of their allegiance, and against the statute , &c.

2d Count. The same as the first, only for counterfeiting a shilling.

3d Count. The same as the first, only for counterfeiting a sixpence, October 14th .

FRANCIS RYDER sworn.

Upon the 15th of October I had an information of some coiners in Skinner-street , at the house of one Elizabeth White : I went there in company with Gossett, Lewin, and Manwaring, between the hours of two and four in the afternoon; Gossett went into the lower room first, Lewin followed him, and I followed Lewin into the passage. Mrs. White the prisoner came out of her apartment, on the bottom floor; she caught hold of me by the coat and said, who do you want up stairs? you shall not go up, which gave me suspicion there was somebody up stairs that did not wish to be seen; they had gone up stairs before she took hold of me I got from her, and went up to the garret; the door was fast; I forced the door open, and we went in: either Gossett or Lewin called me up, and said now they are getting out of the window. I ran up directly. Baker and Radcliffe had got out of the window, and Gossett was out and had hold of Radcliffe: he said the others could go no farther. Baker said, use me well, I will surrender myself. Then Gossett pulled Radcliffe in at the window again, and Baker came into the garret. Baker turned round immediately to his sand through; he made a sort of a stand at the flask which had sand in it, and there were shillings, half-crowns, and six-pences lying upon the sand: in the flasks are put the sand, and upon the sand is put the money to make the impression. He swept part of the sand off: I stopped him from so doing, and we handcuffed them. Then they begged to put on their cloaths; for when we first saw them, one was in his shirt sleeves, and the other in a flannel waistcoat and trowsers. The money we found upon the flasks was good money; they put that upon the sand in the flasks to make the impression. Then I went to the vice-bench, and there I found a quantity of counterfeit shillings filed, and some unfiled. They are cast rough, and they afterwards file them smooth, and polish and silver them.

What quantity did you find? - I did not count the base metal; there were a great number of them: the good ones amount to between 3 and 4 l. There was in the same garret a furnace: I took this crucible (producing

it) with the metal in it red hot out of the furnace; and all the implements that are here were in that garret.

Cross Examination.

What are you, Ryder? - I have attended justice Wilmot's office two or three months.

And have on no other employment but that of catching and convicting people? -

None else.

And I suppose you expect when they are convicted to have a little bit of the reward? -

I suppose I shall have no more than what the law allows me.

What do you expect upon the conviction, should it so happen, of these three prisoners? - I came to speak the truth, I don't come to talk about rewards.

You expect to have the reward, don't you? - I came to give my evidence.

Do you expect to have the reward? - If there is any allowed, without doubt.

But what that sum is you don't know? - I don't know what will be allowed to me.

What is to be allowed for each? - Forty pounds.

And you expect to have your share? - Without doubt.

Which went up first into this house? - Gossett and Lewin.

The woman did not stop them? - The door was open, and they went up before I saw her.

Were these flasks set or not? - One was.

What else did you find in the room besides shillings? - Half-crowns and sixpences and these implements.

Was there nothing else there? - There was a vast quantity of rotten stone and sand, which is not produced here.

Were there any buckles? - There were three rims, one pair, and an odd one.

These might, I suppose, as well be cast in these flasks as any thing else? - I am not of that branch.

I suppose these are common files? - Yes.

I suppose they are made use of by every smith in the kingdom? - I am not a smith.

You say you are not at all of the business, and yet you have ventured to swear that this money was ready for silvering? - They polish them up after they are rough cast before they silver them.

Was the flask set with them or not? - They lay upon the sand in the flask.

Was that flask set or not? you know what I mean by that term; was it set ready for melting? - No, because they must be taken out first.

Then the flask was not set? - They were all laid ready to make the impression.

Was all that handful you have produced laid upon the sand in the flask? - Yes, it was.

One of the Jury. Whether these three rims of buckles you speak of were silver or base metal? - They were base metal.

What day was you there to search? - On a Saturday; I believe, the 15th day of the month.

The 15th is not a Saturday? - It was however upon a Saturday.

ROBERT LEWIN sworn.

I went along with Francis Ryder , Philip Gossett , and Thomas Manwaring , upon Saturday, either the 14th or 15th of October, to the house of one Mrs. White in Skinner's street, about two or three o'clock in the afternoon. The street-door stood open. Philip Gossett , Francis Ryder , and I went up stairs: Gossett was close to the door; Manwaring came up a short time after. The garret door was bolted: we looked through a crevice in the door, and saw the two men at the bar in the room. The door was broke open by Gossett, I believe. Baker was dressed in a flannel waistcoat and a pair of trowsers, and without his coat. Radcliffe was in his shirt tucked up to his armpits, and his collar open, without any wig or any thing upon his head. The moment they heard the door breaking open, Baker put his foot upon the trough, jumped out at the window into the gutter, and from thence he got upon the house. Radcliffe followed him, but being a more bulky man could not get out so fast as Baker did. They were brought in by Francis Ryder and Philip Gossett . As Baker came over the trough he pulled out a quantity of good money that were set in these iron things (the flask) which were in a large trough with a quantity of sand. I handcuffed them together. They begged for their cloaths: Francis Ryder desired I would go

down and fetch them; I went down to Mrs. White's apartment, she said their cloaths were not there: I found their cloaths hanging in a two pair of stairs room; I brought them up to them, and they put their cloaths on. I observed there was a furnace in the room, and a pot full of metal boiling hot in it: Ryder gathered up a vast quantity of silver that was in the room; then I brought them down stairs, and Baker asked for a clean pair of shoes, and White brought them out of the back room. There was a great deal of counterfeit money upon both sides of the place: we found several pieces of counterfeit money, a quantity lay close to the vice, some appeared to be finished, some not: I did not gather any up, Ryder did.

Cross Examination.

What business are you? - I have worked in the foundery before now.

What business are you now? - I attend at justice Wilmot's office, and have for some years.

You are in the same office with the last witness? - Yes.

Did you find some unfinished buckles in the room? - I did not see any.

PHILIP GOSSETT sworn.

Was you of this party that went to this house? - Yes: Ryder, Lewen, and Manwaring were with me; I saw Baker and Radcliffe getting out at the window, I followed them: I took Radcliffe, and Ryder took Baker, and we brought them into the room: when Baker came in at the window, he put his hand into the trough, and threw the money and the sand about.

Was there a furnace there? - Yes; and this scouring paper, and files, and flasks, and vices, and things.

Cross Examination.

What is your employment? - I am a peace officer.

A sworn officer? - Yes, I am an headborough; Manwaring and I are sworn in as officers.

You are not sworn in for a particular district, but in general? - Yes; to serve a warrant or apprehend a thief.

Did you see any buckles there? - No.

JOHN CLARKE sworn.

I believe you know nothing of finding these instruments? - No.

Describe the use of the several things produced? - These flasks are made use of to cast, the sand is put into it: here is what they call a get, a leader that makes a channel in the sand, through which the metal runs to the impressions; here is a mixture of silver and metal, copper, I suppose, and some filings; here is scouring paper that is used in coining; and here are a great many crucibles: these three half crowns are counterfeits; in a good half crown you will find the letters upon the edge, on the counterfeit you will find none in general.

Are these counterfeits or not? (shewing the witness some of the shillings that were found in the trough) - I look upon these to be good ones, and I apprehend they were used for patterns.

Cross Examination.

You are very conversant with this sort of business: I understand that flask may be used for the purpose of casting any thing that may be enclosed in a flask? - Any small things.

Crucibles are used in melting metals? -

Yes.

And files are used for many things? -

These files are not used, I believe, in buckle-making,

Nor no other business? - Other business they may; whoever has used these has filed counterfeit silver.

Court. I suppose there are none of these instruments now produced, but what may be used in some other business? - They may be used in small work of silver or gold, or any thing of that kind.

Do you look upon these half crowns to be completely counterfeit, or is there any thing remaining to be done upon them in order to pass them off? - No: when I saw them they were finished ready to utter, lying by turns them of that colour.

In the state they are at present, they don't appear to me to be likely to impose upon any

body? - That is by lying by for some time; in a course of circulation they keep a better colour; in order to put a proper colour on them, they use aqua fortis and water, which purges the silver, and brings it to the outside. These are so bad at present nobody would take them; therefore it will be necessary to throw them into aqua fortis first, or rub them they will come to their proper colour directly.

Were they of a better colour when you first saw them? - Yes; they would have passed then.

Q. to Ryder. What quantity of counterfeit half crowns were there? - I did not count them.

You have produced nothing now but what you found in the garret? - I have produced nothing but what I found in the garret; but I have not produced all I found in the garret.

RADCLIFFE's DEFENCE.

He said I knocked something off the flask, I did not: I only put my hand upon the edge of the trough to clear myself from it.

BAKER's DEFENCE.

These things were brought to me the day before by three men, from one Mr. Welbank: they told me Welbank sent his compliments to me, and begged I would melt down some things they had got there; that they had found them a week or a fortnight ago. I told them I was very busy and could not do any thing for them then; there was a bag full of pieces of money. I did not know neither of those three men, but I know Welbank very well; Welbank told me on the 3d of October, that he should be in town soon, and would bring them to me; but as he did not come to town, he gave these men a direction and they brought them to me. I said I was very busy cleaning some buckles, but if they would leave them with me, I would melt them down and sell them to a refiner for them: the next morning when I came to my shop, I swept my board down and sorted them out: I shaked them in some saw dust, they were very dirty and nasty; I looked them over and found some good amongst them; then I weighed them off in different parcels, as much as my scales would hold, and put a pot full into the skillet upon the fire, and as I was doing them these men came in: I had been three or four hours sorting the good from the bad: I did not know there was one good one among them when I turned them out of the bag; they were to call again upon the Saturday afternoon; me and my men were at work about them when they came in.

RADCLIFFE. I worked for Mr. Baker six months, and I never saw any thing of the sort in the shop, till these men brought these things.

COURT. As there is no evidence to affect Elizabeth White , I shall not call upon her for her defence.

FOR THE PRISONERS.

EDWARD NUNN sworn.

Do you know the prisoner Baker? - I have no acquaintance with him.

Do you know a Mr. Welbank? - Very well: I met him to the best of my remembrance about the latter end of September. I have known him some time, but I had not seen him a long time before; he was enquiring after my family, and I asked after his: he said we have not seen one another some time, we will have some drink; Mr. William Clark was with me and John Benfield : we met Mr. Welbank just at the end of Chiswel-street, we agreed to go to the Black Dog, in Shoreditch; going across Moorfields by the watch-house he kicked something before him with his toe; he said, bless me, here is something of some bulk, we will take it up and see what it is; Mr. Welbank stooped and picked it up: Benfield and Clarke both came up and said halves: we took it up; when we got to the Black Dog we had a pot of beer, and there we examined it: there were some half crowns, and there might be some shillings, and some other little pieces that I know not what the name was: I looked upon it to be good money; not being a judge, then we examined it. I said to Mr. Welbank, I think it will be very proper for us to keep this a while, to see whether it will be advertized, and if he had a mind I would take it home with me: I said tie the bag with a string, and then get a bit of wax and clap your own seal upon the knot: it was done; he said I shall be in town such a time, and if I am not, carry it to Baker, he is an honest man, and will give the worth of it: Welbank not

coming, I went to Benfield (he keeps a cook's shop) Clarke was with him, I said I thought it would be proper to carry this bag to Welbank's acquaintance, and see if it was worth any thing: we three carried it there, and there I left it; Mr. Baker said come up into the shop, and I will see what it is; he looked at it, and said there is no other way that I can see for you to know the value of it, but by melting it down and making an assay of it, then I can be a judge of it: some were sticking together and some loose, some little and some big.

What day was it? - I think it was a Friday; I carried it about the 12th or 13th of October, as near as I can guess.

Cross Examination.

When was this first meeting with your friend Mr. Welbank? - I had not seen him before that day for I suppose a twelvemonth.

Where do you live? - Number 1, Lane's Court, Cold-Bath-Fields.

Have you been a long while acquainted with Mr. Welbank? - I have known him some years.

What are you? - I deal in pens and quills; I was going to Mansfield-street for some quills.

You was bail, I believe, some day last week, in the court of King's Bench? - I don't know whether I was or not; I might.

You know whether you was or not? - I was.

How long have you known Welbank? - Six or seven years.

What is he? - He goes about the country with hard wares; he is a Somersetshire man.

Has Welbank been much in town at the end of the year? - I cannot say, I met him promiscuously then.

Welbank hit something with his foot, that was about the end of September? - Yes.

When was it opened? - Directly.

What quantity of shillings and half crowns did you find? - A good many.

Were there ten? - More than that.

Were there seventy? - We did not count them.

Were there as many as ninety? - I cannot tell; I did not number them.

Have you seen Welbank at any time since he picked these up? - No; I have not.

How came you to stay so long before you carried them to Baker? - To see if they would be advertised.

You did not know Baker before? - I never saw him before, he was a stranger to me; I carried them there by Welbank's directions.

Do not you think it would have been better to have carried them to that old friend of yours the Solicitor of the Mint? - My old friend! I don't know him.

You have had some connections with him? - I am but a little judge of money; I tell you the pieces as near as I can, chapter and verse.

Look upon that, and tell me whether you think that money coined at the Tower? here are, you see, five pieces joined together as cast. - I look upon it to be bad; but I cannot say.

Are you of opinion that it is good money? - No; but there was some silver in it, but not all.

You looked at that before? - It was by candle light.

And did not you look at it from the time you picked it up till the time you carried it to Mr. Baker? - We looked at it the very night we picked it up; and then it was tied up with a piece of string, a bit of wax put upon it, and Welbank's seal sealed it; no body saw it as we sealed it up.

Do you know what is become of Welbank? - No.

Did not you attend here last sessions, when this trial was put off? - I was here, but not called in court.

Counsel. No; because there was an affidavit made that Welbank was a material witness, and he was out of the way.

Court. I thought you said, that when you looked at the things found in the bag, that you took it to be money? - We did look upon it to be money, and monies worth.

Court. But did you look upon it to be all current money? - Yes, we did by candle light.

But did you look upon these five or six pieces that were together to be current money? - We could not tell, what could we see by candle light.

Did not this six-pence in the middle of these half-crowns strike you a little? - I am not a judge; if I had, it might have struck me.

JOHN POOLE sworn.

I am a watch-maker: I have known Baker fourteen or fifteen years, but for the last six or seven years he and I have been very intimate; his family and mine have visited: I believe him to be a very honest sober man.

How does he get his living? - I always thought by buckle-making; I have often heard him say he sold buckles to shop-keepers in town, and have seen people I understood to be his work people.

Cross Examination.

Did you ever see him make buckles? - No; I have seen buckles, but I never saw him at work in my life.

BROTHERTON sworn.

I am a gold and silver wire-drawer; I have known Baker fourteen years, he is a buckle-maker ; I have known him deal in buckles, and always thought him a hard working man in that way of business.

WILLIAM WALKER sworn.

I am a barber: I have known Baker five years; he is a buckle-maker, as I always understood.

Have you known him employed in that branch of business? - I never saw him work in my life; he was a man universally respected, and no man bore a better character.

Cross Examination.

Where do you live? - The corner of Bull-head, Court, Jewin-street.

Where has Baker lived all the time you have known him? - I don't know where he lived at the last place; but I knew him last in Lime's Buildings, Bunhill-row.

Did you ever know him to live in Mount-pleasant-row, in Holloway, near Highgate? - He might, and I not know it.

Have you ever been there with him? - Never.

You never heard any imputation upon his character? - Never.

You never heard any accusation of this fort? - Never.

THOMAS RANDAL sworn.

I am a watch-maker: I have known Baker six years, he is a very honest man; I lived near him.

What is his business? - A buckle-cutter; I have seen patterns of buckles he has brought down to gentlemen to chuse; he bears a general good character.

WILLIAM ROGERS sworn.

I am a cabinet-maker by trade: I have known him about six years, I never saw any thing but justice and uprightness in him in all my days: I have bought buckles of him; I bought the buckles of him I have in my shoes.

Cross Examination.

You don't know of his having been in custody before? - No; nor that he was ever in trouble in my life.

THOMAS BURROWS sworn.

I have known Baker six or seven years; I am a butcher, I served him with meat; he is a metal buckle-maker.

Do you know of his dealing in that branch of business at all? - He has a man that worked for him in the place now.

GEORGE WHITE sworn.

I have known Baker fourteen years; he is a buckle-maker: I have made many dozen of chapes for a gentleman he worked journeyman for once, and I have worked for him.

He got his livelihood by that branch of business? - Yes; and nothing else as I know of.

Cross Examination.

How long is it ago since you worked for him? - It may be near a twelvemonth; he employed another man afterwards instead of me; he did not like my chapes.

Did he ever keep a shop? - No; he worked as a chamber-master at home.

How long did you work with him? - I worked abroad for him, not with him; he hath sent me patterns.

When was the first? - He worked for a

gentleman then, that is, twelve or thirteen years ago; that gentleman broke.

RICHARD WINGFIELD sworn.

I am a plaisterer: I have known Baker between five and six years; he has made me buckles several times; he has a very good character: I have seen rims of buckles as they have been cast, and I have seen them afterwards at his own house when finished.

Did he get his livelihood by that branch of business? - I never heard to the contrary.

Mr. BATEMAN SADDINGTON sworn.

I am an apothecary: I have known Baker three or four years; I always understood he was a buckle and button-maker: he always bore a very good character as an industrious sober man.

Has he a wife and family? - Yes.

SIMEON BAILEY sworn.

I have known Baker eighteen years; he is a buckle-maker; I am a buckle-maker. I had some work in hand for him at the time this affair happened.

What work? - Three pair of pinchbeck buckles.

DANIEL MEARS sworn.

I am a buckle-cutter; I have known Baker twelve years: I have worked in the same shop with him; I never knew or heard any thing amiss of him.

THOMAS PRATLEY sworn.

I have known Baker about two years; he is an honest, just, faithful man, as far as ever I heard; he is a buckle-maker.

What sort of buckles did he make? - I don't know, I never saw any buckles of his making.

JOHN BURFORD sworn.

I have known Baker for five years; he has a very good character as far as ever I heard.

PETER CLEW sworn.

I am a taylor: I have known Baker five or six years; he has a very good character; he has a wife and three children.

ABIGAL ATKINS sworn.

I have known Radcliffe eighteen years; he was a gun-lock-maker ; he worked for my husband, who was a gun-lock-maker, about eleven years; he had a very honest character then.

Have you known him lately? - Yes.

MARY HAWKINS sworn.

I have known Radcliffe sixteen or seventeen years; he is a civil honest man for what I know of him.

RICHARD CURTIS sworn.

I have known Radcliffe about eleven years; he was a gun-lock-maker: I never heard a bad character of him.

RICHARD MARSHALL sworn.

I have known Radcliffe six or seven years, he is a very honest, sober, industrious man: I am a watch-maker, I have sold him three or four watches at a time; he always paid me very honestly, and with good money.

BAKER GUILTY . Death .

RADCLIFFE GUILTY . Death .

WHITE NOT GUILTY .

Tried by the Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron BURLAND.


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