10th April 1782
Reference Numbert17820410-14
SentenceImprisonment > newgate

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265, 266, 267. THOMAS MORRIS , JOSEPH NORTON , and MARY MORRIS, otherwise RUSSEL , were indicted for coining an halfpenny , on the 20th of March last.

Another Count for making a piece of copper money to the likeness and similitude of a halfpenny.


On Wednesday the 20th of March we had an information given us, and we went to a house in Bowling-pin alley, Carpmeal , M'Manus, Mr. Clark, and M'Murrant, one shutter window was open, the other not, we knocked at that which was open, we went down stairs and found nothing there, there was a necessary in the passage, no yard, it had a communication by a bolt, and sliding door, it is like a shutter, it was taken down; we went through immediately, went down into the front cellar of the next house, where the window shutters were shut up, there I saw a large stamping press, with two candles burning at the side, and a cutting out press with one candle burning, a quantity of halfpence lay stamped by the side of a large press, and a quantity of blanks which had not been struck, a great quantity of cecils, I saw Mr. Morris stand on the side of the large press without his coat, and his hands very black, I saw the woman in a bed-gown sitting in a chair in the front cellar, with her hands very black, I asked the woman where her cloaths were, she told me in the next house, she desired I would go with her there to shift her cloaths; Norton was standing near the little press, he had his coat on, his hands were very black, the other officer will produce the money.


There was very little doubt they had been at work, their hands were very black, there is a great deal of grease employed in the work.

From Morris. He tells you there were two candlesticks standing by the large press? - There were two candles burning, I did not say candlesticks.

Were my hands black and greasy as if I had been at work? - They were.

From Norton. Whether I had my coat on?

Court. He has sworn you had it on.

Mr. Carpmeal deposed he went to the house, and found the door and opened it, and saw the same persons, in the same situation as the former witness described, and added, (the press was produced in court) their hands were dirty, there were two presses, a large cutting out press, a die fixed, and a halfpenny between the dies, there was a bushel of halfpence and a bushel of blanks, here is the halfpenny I took from between the dies, two gentlemen marked it.


I keep a shop in Carey-street, I know the house in Bowling-pin alley, I went down, Jealous took me there, the three prisoners were there, the woman sitting near the small press, and the men standing by the great press, their hands were all dirty, I marked one of the halfpence.

From Prisoner Morris. Did I look like a person that had been at work? - Your hands were dirty, and your wife's were dirty.

To Jealous. Is this woman the wife of one of the prisoners? - She passes as such.

Mr. NICHOLLS sworn.

I am one of the moniers at the mint, those halfpence are counterfeits.


I was there, and I acknowledge it, but my wife brought me down a pint of beer, and she had not been five minutes in the cellar, as to this gentleman he had not been an hour in the house.

How do you prove she is your wife? - I have a certificate.

Have you any witness to prove it? - I have a person to prove it who was at the wedding dinner.


I know Mr. and Mrs. Morris, the prisoners, I was present on the day they were married, I dined with them, I did not see them married, it was the 20th of March 1775, I lodged in the same house with them at the time.

What are you? - I have been a tradesman but am now reduced.

What business was you? - I was in the grocery and oil business.

Where did you live? - I lived in Duke-street, St. James's.

Have they lived together as man and wife? - They have lived together as man and wife, to the best of my knowledge.

Court. Produce your certificate. (To the Prisoner.)

(The certificate produced.)

Court to Powell. Where did you dine? - (After some hesitation) It was Warner-street.

Where is that?

(Feeling in his pocket for a paper, and taking out one which he looked at.)

Court. You must not look at any paper.

Where is Warner-street? - Near St. Mary's.

Where? - Sheffield.

Court. Look this way, (Turning his head to the Prisoners) now mind, answer this question, Where did you dine that day? - At Mrs. Nicholls's, in Warner-street.

What is Mrs. Nicholls? - She kept a lodging house, we all lodged there.

Where is Warner-street, what part of the town is it in? - It is not in this town.

What town is it in then? - In Nottingham, near St. Mary's, it is not in this town.

Cross-Examination by Mr. Sylvester.

How came you to say Sheffield just now? - If I did I made a mistake, I did not mean to do it.

No, I suppose you did not, why friend, you may perhaps come here again, do you know that every word you say is taken down, Pray where does this Mrs. Nicholls live? - She lives in Warner-street, near St. Mary's, near the church.

Do not laugh, my friend.

I do not laugh, but upon my soul you confuse me, I never was before such gentlemen in my life.

Court. If you lived at Nottingham, how long was you there? - About three quarters of a year.

Court. How many churches are there at Nottingham? - About three.

Which church is this street near? - St. Mary's.

And what are the names of the other churches at Nottingham? - I never took any particular account of the names.

Upon your oath was you ever at Nottingham in your life? - Yes, sir, I have taken my oath on it.

You were? - Yes.

How long did you live there? - About three quarters of a year, in and out, not altogether at a time.

What, and cannot tell me the names of any places there, nor hardly know the name of the street where you lodged? - Yes; in Warner-street, I was asked to come to dinner there, they had a leg of mutton.

To Morris. Is this the original certificate of your marriage? - Yes, my lord, what I had from the parson.

Mr. Sylvester to Powell. Now I should like to look at that paper you was going to look at just now.

Court. Take out that paper you was going to look at, to refresh your memory.

(Powell produces the paper.)

Court. (Looking at it). Who were the company at dinner at the wedding, besides you, the bride, and bridegroom? - I do not know any persons particular by name.

Whose writing is this paper? - It is not mine, my lord.

Whose is it? - It is not mine; the writing was given to me, sir.

Who gave it to you? - A gentleman in the opposite party gave it to me.

What Mr. Morris? - Yes.

What the prisoner gave you this paper? - Yes.

Morris gave you this? - Yes.

Prisoner Morris. He said he should forget the names, that is the reason.

Who were at the dinner besides you, the bride, and bridegroom? - There was a woman and a man besides that dined there, but who they were I cannot tell, we dined there.

The paper is this.

" Thomas Morris , and Mary Morris ,

" Elizabeth Parsons , Sarah Morris , and

" Mr. Parsons, in Warner-street, near

"St. Mary's Church, Nottingham, and

"the re dined with one James Lemon ,

"Stocking-maker, the 20th of March,

"1775, which said street was near the

"church, and we had a leg and shoulder

"of mutton for dinner."

Mr. Sylvester. Your parson at Nottingham can't spell, I see he has left out the Saint, (looking at the certificate).

Court. You will find this no laughing matter, if they can make sufficient enquiry into this matter, upon your evidence, I shall commit you to take your trial for perjury.

Do not let this man go out of court officer look to him.


I had not been in the house an hour, I never transacted any business, I was drinking in Old-street that same day, I have a witness of it here, I was so unfortunate as to be found there, another innocent man might be found there as well as I.

Court. Have you any witnesses?

A person in court said he was with him about twelve o'clock, in Old-street.

Mrs. Trustam was called to Mrs. Morris's character, said she was a green grocer, and had known the prisoner, Mrs. Morris, a year and a half, or two years, and never heard any thing of her but that she was a very honest sober woman.

Charles Powell said, he wished to beg pardon of the court and jury, but was ordered to stand down and not interrupt the court.

The prisoner Morris said I have six children.

The court then ordered the two papers produced by Morris and Powel to be marked.

All three GUILTY .

Thomas Morris and Mary Russel , to be imprisoned twelve months in Newgate , and Joseph Norton six months.

Tried by the London Jury, before Mr. RECORDER.

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