30th August 1786
Reference Numbert17860830-99
SentenceImprisonment > house of correction; Miscellaneous > sureties

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760. MARY MURPHY was indicted for that she, on the 21st of August last , a counterfeit sixpence, as and for a good one, unlawfully and deceitfully did offer to Sarah, wife of James Wright , knowing it to be counterfeited .

A second count, For having at the same time in her possession, one other counterfeit sixpence, well knowing the same to be false and counterfeit.

(The case opened by Mr. Knowlys.)


I live in Fleur-de-lis-court, Fleet-street ; I keep an oyster shop ; I saw the prisoner on Monday the 21st of August in the afternoon, about four or a little after; she came to buy a pennyworth of oysters; I sold them to her; she gave me sixpence

to change, and while she was taking them from the tub I shut the sixpence in my hand and never put it any where till Mr. Holmes came in and asked me if I knew what I had taken; I looked at it immediately, and saw it was a very bad sixpence; from that the prisoner was brought back and searched, and six bad sixpences were found in a piece of brown paper; she had twenty pennyworth of halfpence in her pocket at that time; I saw them found upon her; Mr. Stapleton has the bad sixpence that she offered to me.


(Produces the sixpence.)

When did you see the prisoner? - On Monday the 21st, I was going up from my own shop in Fetter-lane; I saw the prisoner; I went and told the constable, and he came out and we went into Fetter-lane, and saw her at the green grocers; we passed the shop, and we followed her all the way down Fetter-lane; she asked for a pennyworth of oysters; Mr. Holmes was in the shop; I was with him; I have had the sixpence in my possession ever since; I went and fetched her in, and six more bad sixpences were found upon her, and twenty pennyworth of halfpence; she seemed to be quite innocent of the bad sixpence.

Who has these bad sixpences? - Mr. Holmes.

- HOLMES sworn.

I went with Mr. Stapleton to Mr. Wright's shop, on the 21st of August; I saw the prisoner buying some oysters; I saw her give some money into Mrs. Wright's hand; I asked her what money she had given her, she said, sixpence; I said, is it a good one? she said, it may be for ought I know; I brought her from the door, and searched her, and found six bad sixpences, and one good one, and this pot of stuff.


I am employed by the Mint; this is a bad sixpence; these half dozen are all bad.

Do they appear to be of the same mould? - They are not the same pattern as that is; I do not know that either of them is; but they are fresh, because the very blackness that they put on the colouring is on them now.

Look at that little pot? - That is the blacking they make use in colouring sixpences.


I was selling my butter, and I left the most of it on score till the morning, I wanted change; I had not a halfpenny in my pocket; I was to call as I came back for my money, and coming down Fleet-street, I found that piec e of paper, and a little box rolled up; there was a paper outside, and the little box came out of the paper; I looked at it, and held it in my hand; I stood there a good bit to see if I could see any one looking for it; I went for a pennyworth of oysters, to have the change for it; I went for the price of my butter; I could not have it without I had halfpence; if I was to die this minute, I never offered one of them to no soul, nor I did not know that they were bad.

Have you any witnesses? - I have my neighbours; I believe they are here.

The prisoner called three witnesses to her character.


To be imprisoned twelve months in the House of Correction , and find securities for two years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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