7th May 1788
Reference Numbert17880507-30
SentenceDeath; Death > burning

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360. JEREMIAH GRACE and MARGARET SULLIVAN were indicted for that they, on the 29th of April , a piece of base coin resembling the current silver coin of this kingdom, called a shilling, falsly and deceitfully, feloniously and traiterously did colour with materials, producing the colour of silver .

A second Count, for that they, a round blank of base metal, of a fit size and figure to be coined into counterfeit milled money, did colour with materials producing the colour of silver.

Third and fourth Counts, for colouring with materials producing the colour of silver, a piece of base coin of a fit size to be coined into a counterfeit sixpence.

The case opened by Mr. Silvester. - The witnesses examined apart.


(Examined by Mr. Reeve.)

I am a headborough for the parish of Wapping; I was at a house in Tennis-court, Middle-row, Holborn , last Tuesday was a week in the evening, between eight and nine, the 29th of April, there was Peter Mayne and William Robinson ; according to our information, we went up one pair of stairs, the door of the house was upon the latch; we let ourselves in and went up very softly; Mayne went first, Robinson next, and I next, but when we got to the top of the stairs, we all went in together; I have reason to think that one of my partners, (Mayne) opened the door, it was not open, but it was not locked, and I thought by the position that the prisoners were in, that it must be opened by one of our people; the first object that drew my attention, was the woman prisoner; she was sitting at a table with a candle before her, she had a six-pence in her left hand, and this stuff in her right, rubbing it with this piece of stuff; I seized hold of her right arm immediately; I said to her, my dear woman! how can you engage in so dangerous a business as this? she made no answer, but fell back in her chair; the people that

were with me took the six-pence out of her hand, I had it from Robinson; I have it here sealed up; I took nothing from her but this black stuff, I took out of her hand; here is a little phial that I found on the table before her; here is some scowering paper, and a little file that was also there, and some leather, and this piece of a hat box; all those things were laying there, and a brush; I have nothing else, that was all that I took.

Describe the situation you found the man in? - The man was sitting at the fire side, boiling something for supper; there was something cooking; I can say nothing about the man, only the situation I found him in.


I went with the last witness and Robinson, in going up stairs to the front room, I turned round and saw the woman at work with a six-pence, and a light before her; I was the person that opened the door, and they were sitting close to me, the house door was on the latch; the last witness, Whiteway, laid hold of the woman by the right arm, I went round to her left side, and she let this piece of rubber drop into her lap.

Prisoner. That I had not; why will you tell such cursed stories? - I took it from her, and there were two six-pences in her lap along with it, loose; then with her left hand she took this parcel of money, and put it under her him; she took it from her lap and put it under her ham; I took it from her, and left her in custody; then I turned round to the man, and he had one new shoe on his right foot, and the other just by him, and in that shoe I found this sample of money unfinished; it was in that brown paper as it is now; I asked him, if it was his shoe; he said; it was; and after I took the money out, he put his shoe on the other foot; I found this file by the side of the woman, and I found this pair of pliers; nothing else.

Mr. Knowlys Prisoner's Counsel. You say this room where the prisoners were, was latched? - It was with a knob; it was not locked.

The man you say, was fitting by the fire? - He was; and looking at the woman when we came in.

The man had two shoes on? - He had a new shoe on his right foot; and I suppose in his flurry, he put the slipper on.

Do not suppose any thing; you do not come here to suppose; had the man two shoes on, or had he not? - No, he had not, he had an old slipper, and a new shoe.

Both his feet were covered? - No, I beg your pardon; on the left foot was an old slipper, not up at the heel; after I took the money out of the new shoe, he put the new shoe on.

Did he put the new shoe on before you took him away to carry him to the Justice? - No, he did not, he put it on in the room, before we took him and the woman out.

You told them they must go? - Yes.

Till that time he did not put on the shoe? - I asked him if it was his shoe; and he said, yes.

The man owned to the shoe directly? - Yes.

This man was cooking his supper? - I cannot say what he was cooking; he was fitting by the fire, there was a kettle of some sort on the fire.

What was in the kettle; did you examine it? - I believe there was potatoes in it.

And I suppose you might believe that was for his supper? - Very possibly.

The man was blowing the fire, was not he? - Yes.

Nothing on the fire but these potatoes? - Not that I saw.

I should be glad to know who you are? - I am an officer.

What kind of officer? - Headborough.

Where chosen? - I was sworn in at Westminster.

When? - The Monday after Easter; out parish officers are generally sworn in there.

Was you sworn in as a parish officer there? - Yes, a regular officer for the parish of St. John's, Wapping.

How long have you been headborough? - Four or five years.

Regularly elected every year? - Yes, Sir; I am a substitute for another gentleman in the parish.

You swore you was the headborough? - I am substitute for a gentleman in the parish; here are some of the inhabitants who know it.

Do not you attend at one of the offices as runner? - I do.


I live in East Smithfield, almost facing Mr. Smith's office, No. 138, I keep a green stall; I am a labouring man, and I work in Mr. Quenton's glass-house, I went with the two former witnesses; I had the information first, and went with them; I went up stairs, I observed this woman at the bar, sitting at the table with a candle before her, and seemingly was doing something.

Mr. Knowlys. Do not tell us seemingly, tell us what you saw? - Sir, I will tell you what I saw, I hope you will let me give my evidence easy; in her fingers she had a six-pence, rubbing it; Mr. Whiteway caught hold of her arm, I immediately caught hold of her arm, and twisted the six-pence out of her fingers, and immediately put it into my mouth, and gave it to Mr. Whiteway; and he marked it, and I marked it; it has been in Whiteway's keeping ever since; it is in this paper, (produced) the seal has not been opened.

Whiteway. I had all the other things from Robinson.

Robinson. I found six-pence, which I took out of her hand, which she was rubbing; the next article I took, was in a particular place over the chimney; I took hold of a china mug, and in looking in the mug, I found twenty-four base sixpences, and twelve base shillings; on a mantle piece, over the fire places, I found eleven sixpences and one shilling, in a tea cup; I found two shillings on the mantle piece; here is a shilling which I took out of the man prisoner's left hand pocket; in looking round the room, I found this piece of money in an old lanthorn.

Mr. Knowlys. This is a piece of copper.

To Robinson. What are you? - A labouring man; I work at Quenton's glass house; I am a space man, constantly with the stoker, one week in the day time, and the other at night; I have been acquainted with Mayne and Whiteway ever since I came home from tea.

What are they? - They always passed to me to be officers of Justice.

Runners at some office? - Yes.

So they have been there five or six years? - Yes; I never was but in one business of this sort before; I do not know their abilities, any more than seeing them.

Court. What do you say, you was concerned with them? - In taking some people once.

For what? - For a felony.

Mr. Knowlys. What did you get that time? - I got a trifle of money.

So you will now? - God knows, Sir; I did not look for that, I cannot stop peoples ears when they come into my place; I kept the sixpence in my month ten or twelve minutes; I and Whiteway marked it, and I brought it home with me, and gave it to Whiteway after the people were committed to gaol; it was the next day about ten or eleven.

Did you keep it in your mouth all the time? - No, in my fob separate.

Had you never any bad sixpences of shillings? - Sometimes, frequently in our shop.

You have taken many such a shilling as this? - I might, or might not; see we are all liable to take bad money.

And you have taken many such a six-pence as this too? - No, I cannot say that I have to my knowledge.


You have been employed many years for the mint, for the discovery of the coiners? - Yes.

There are a variety of things that have been found; you will give your opinion to the court, whether this piece of stuff and leather are made use of in the colouring of money, as well as this bottle; look also at this money? - These are as they come from the caster's; these are cast, they are not blanks; they have impressions upon them; after they are cast, they are filed round the edges, and smoothed round with scouring paper; after they are smoothed, they put them in aqufortis.

Look at that bottle; what has been in that? - Aquafortis; wherever there is counterfeit metal with any silver in it, by putting it into aquafortis, it draws on the surface the silver, and brings the white on the surface; then they are scoured with sand and water, and they put some black stuff on them, and then they are fit for currency.

What is the use of that black stuff? - In order to take the brightness off from the scowering.

That deadens the white? - It does so; it makes them look old, as if there was a grease upon them; they are in different stages; here are some that are cut out in round blanks, the others are cast.

Is any thing wanting? - No; I cannot say that there is; there was some black stuff, but I do not see it here; yes it is here, every thing that is necessary to compleat the business is here.

Are there any pieces that are fit for circulation here? - A great quantity.

Mr. Knowlys. You say that bottle before you, is aquafortis you think? - The bottle is not, but there is a quantity of aquafortis in the bottle.

Is that decidely aquafortis, have you any doubt of it? - I have not a doubt in the least.

It is strong at present, is it? - No, it is not, it has been lowered.

Pray have you ever tried an experiment with marine acid of spirits of sea salt? - I have not.

Do you know wherein is the difference, between the spirits of sea-salt and the spirits of nitre aquafortis? - No Sir, I do not.

Have you ever seen the spirits of sea-salt marine acid? - Not that I know of

Then you do not know that it is of a different colour? - No, I do not, but I am sure that this is aquafortis.

But you never tried the effect of spirit of sea-salt on a cork, whether it will produce the same effect? - No, I cannot say I did.

You was before the Magistrate? - Yes.

I believe it is very well known, that aquafortis is necessary to produce this colour? - It is so.

Those persons who apprehend persons that are suspected of coining, know that likewise? - Why no, Sir, it turned out before the Magistrate, that was not the case at that time, it did not appear that the officers knew the nature of aquafortis, nor what the effect of it was.

You did not see this bottle till it was produced before the Magistrate? - No; I did not.

(The several things banded to the Court and Jury.)

Court to Whiteway. Was there any thing in the bottle when you found it? - Yes, there was a little drop, rather more than there is now; Mr. Clarke tasted it at our office; I did not know what it was; I have had the custody of it all the time.

Mr. Knowlys. How often have you been concerned in taking coiners? - Never before.

You have been here at the trial of coiners? - I do not know but I might; I know nothing of the business at all.

Are not you here every sessions? - No, not every sessions; I have this to say, that I know nothing of the business; and what I have brought here comes just as it is, such things I found.


My husband is sick in bed, that is the reason of his not attending here; I live in Deans court; the two prisoners lived in my apartment, in the one pair of stairs; they had lived there about five weeks; they came out of Middle-row, Holborn, into Deans-court, which is not a hundred yards; I was down stairs when the officers came, I heard them fight; I did not go up till the other lodgers sent for me; I knew nothing of it; I was very much surprized; I was in the room afterwards; the gentlemen gave me a caution to put the fire out.

Did they come is man and wife? - Yes.

How long had they been at home that afternoon? - Sir, the good woman had been at the wash tub, and she came in, I heard her come in, and the man was at home; and when she came home, he said; my dear, I have been at at work two hours.

Mr. Knowlys. This man gets his living by selling greens and potatoes about the streets? - No, he does not, he works at the labouring business; sometimes when he has business, I suppose he goes; I do not know any thing about it; I am out in the morning part; I know he is a labouring man, and goes out sometimes to labour.


I am one of the moiners of the Mint; they are base.

Mr. Knowlys. Look at the sixpence that was found on the woman? - It is bad.

Mr. Knowlys submitted to the court, that the prosecutors had made out no case against the man; in the act of parliament the charge against him, being for traiterously colouring; and he contended that upon this act of parliament they must prove against the person whom they indict the fact of colouring, or counselling, aiding, and abetting in colouring; and the only evidence against the man, was that he was in the room, where pieces of base money were found; and where a woman might, or might not be supposed to be doing an act; and he submitted, that there was no evidence to affect him, as he was not actually in the act of colouring; and as to counsel, he contended there was no evidence; nothing being proved that he set this woman to work; that he advised her to do so, or gave her any emolument for so doing.

The Court over-ruled the objection.

The Prisoner Grace called two witnesses, who gave him a good character.


GUILTY , Death .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice ASHURST.

[Death. See summary.]

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