FRANCIS WOOLDRIDGE.
14th January 1801
Reference Numbert18010114-56
VerdictNot Guilty

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150. FRANCIS WOOLDRIDGE was indicted for forging and counterfeiting, on the 26th of November , a Bank-note, for the payment of 1l. with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England .

Second Count. Stating it to be a promissory note, with the like intention.

Third Count. For feloniously disposing of and putting away a forged Bank-note, knowing it to be forged, with the like intention.

Fourth Count. For uttering and publishing as true, a forged promissory note, with the like intention.

And four other Counts, charging it to be with intention to defraud Marks Israel and Isaac Israel .

(The indictment was opened by Mr. Knowlys, and the case by Mr. Garrow).

MARKS ISRAEL sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I keep a clothes-shop , in Lower East Smithfield : To-morrow will be eight weeks, the prisoner came to my shop in the afternoon, between three and four o'clock, and bought a jacket of me for six shillings and sixpence, he gave me a 1l. note for me to give him the change, he was very much in a hurry for me to give him the change; I held up the note against the light, and could not discover any impression in the note.

Q. You mean, that you could not discover the water-mark? - A. No, I could not; he said he had it from his master; I told him then I should like to see his master, and I sent for the beadle of the parish to take him in charge, I gave the note to the beadle; we then went to the Magistrates' office, at Lambeth-street, and he gave the charge over to Griffiths, the officer.

Q. Look at the note, and see if it is the same? - A. It is the same, I put a Hebrew mark upon it.

Q. Who is your partner? - A. My brother, Isaac Israel.

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. He was taken before the Magistrate, and the Magistrate discharged him? - A. Yes.

JOHN GRIFFITHS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. The prisoner was brought to the office upon the charge of uttering a forged note, I am sure he is the same man. (The note read).

THOMAS FERRIDAY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. I live at No. 5, White's-yard, Rosemary-lane.

Q. Do you know the prisoner? - A. Yes; he called upon me on the 18th of December, at twelve o'clock, and asked me if I could procure him some had money, I told him I would if I could.

Q. Did you go any where with him? - A. I went with him at that time to the Windsor Castle, Holborn; and going along, I said I should be hungry before I came back; to which the prisoner answered, I have got some pork chops in my pocket, for which I passed a bad note last night; I went with him to the Windsor Castle.

Q. Upon your oath, did the prisoner say any thing more to you upon the subject of bad notes? - A. He was telling me that he had passed a good many.

Q. Did he name any place where he had passed them? - A. No, he did not.

Q. When you came to the Windsor Castle, did you see any body? - A. After I had been there in company with him about five hours in the taproom, James Wooldridge, who was tried yesterday, came in, and we three went together into the parlour.

Q. That was a private room? - A. Yes; there were only our three selves; James Wooldridge said to me, our foolish Frank has been taken up to Whitechapel-office for a bad Bank-note.

Q. In the presence of Francis? - A. Yes; he said he looked so much of an innocent, countrified fellow, that they asked him where he had got the note, and he said he had had it of his master, and he, James Wooldridge , came forward, and owned to having given it to him, and gave them a card of his address, and they had acquitted him.

Q. What more passed? - A. Nothing more passed about it.

Q. Was any appointment made, in the presence of Francis, for another meeting? - A. Yes, the next day, at six o'clock.

Q. What was stated in the presence of Francis Wooldridge , respecting the object of that meeting? A. James, and Francis, and I, were to go out, one was to carry them, and the other two to go into the shops and pass them, that if the person that went in with one should be stopped, there should be no more found upon him; I agreed to come to them.

Q. Did you, after making that agreement and appointment, communicate these facts to any officer of the police? - A. I did; the next morning I went to Mr. Rogers, and told him the whole of it, the same as I tell now.

Q. Then there was a plan laid for apprehending him? - A. Yes.

Q. You were to meet at six? - A. Yes, I was too late, it was almost eight o'clock; I went before the Justice, and they kept me till it was too late.

Q. Did you communicate to the Justice every thing that you have now told? - A. Yes.

Q. I ask you, upon your oath, did you go for the purpose of going in this fraudulent scheme, or was it for the purpose of bringing them to justice? A. It was my intention, if I had gone out with them, to have marked all the doors where we had passed them.

Q. Who did you find there at eight o'clock? - A. I found James Wooldridge there, Francis was was gone out; James then went with me to Pritchard's.

Q. Did you see Francis again in the course of that evening? - A. Yes, that night I saw him again.

Q. At what time? - A. It was ten o'clock when I saw him.

Q. Where? - A. At the Windsor Castle; I came back again with James; I told Francis that the notes were all burnt.

Q. Had any thing passed at Pritchard's that induced you to tell him so? - A. I was told so; I told the prisoner that Mrs. Pritchard had told me they were all burnt; he d-d Pritchard, and said, that he wanted to make a property of them.

Q. Where did you leave the prisoner that night? - A. At the Windsor Castle, with the other prisoner, James.

Q. How soon after was this prisoner apprehended? - A. Between nine and ten o'clock the next morning.

Q. In consequence of your information? - A. Yes.

Q. Did the prisoner say any thing to you about the note for which he had been taken up? - A. He said he had passed it, that was all.

Q. Where was that? - A. On the 18th, when I was sitting at the public-house with him in the taproom.

Q. What did he say about it? - A. He said he had passed a bad note, and was taken to the office; he said he had it from James, and that he had passed many for him.

Cross-examined by Mr. Alley. Q. Remember you were examined here yesterday? - A. Yes.

Q. What time do you recollect was it that you had this conversation with the prisoner? - A. The 18th of December.

Q. That conversation was considerably after the time that this man was supposed to have uttered this note? - A. It was after the time.

Q. When this conversation took place, there was nobody present but the prisoner and you? - A. No.

Q. Therefore there could be nobody to contradict you? - A. There was nobody else by.

Q. Is Mrs. Pritchard here? - A. I do not know.

Q. She told you that the notes were burnt? - A. Yes.

Q. And she is not here to prove that fact? - A. I cannot say.

Q. It was the 19th that you met with James? - A. Yes.

Q. And you and he and James were to go out to negociate some notes? - A. We were, but I was too late.

Q. And I understand you to say, that the manner in which it was to be done, was for persons to go into the shop, carrying but a single note? - A. Yes.

Q. You know you were sworn to tell the truth, and the whole truth? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you say one syllable of this yesterday? - A. I was not asked.

Court. The witness speaks the whole truth, when he answers all the questions put to him by the Counsel who has the conduct of the cause.

Mr. Alley. Q. Who employed you in this business? - A. Nobody.

Q. Do you mean to say you are not to be paid for it? - A. I never asked for any thing.

Q. Do you expect it or not, aye or no? - A. I do not look for it.

Q. Do you not expect it? - A. No; if there is any thing given me, I will accept it.

Q. What way of life are you in? - A. A smith.

Q. Have you worked at it lately? - A. Yes, every day, and I work very hard.

Q. Did it ever happen to you to be a witness here before? - A. No.

Q. Has it happened to you to be accused for any felony yourself? - A. No, nor tried.

Q. What were you tried for in the country? - A. I was not tried at all.

Q. Were you not sent to Bridewell, in the country? - A. That was about some pork; they swore to that property which I had bought and sold again three days before they came after it; they swore to my own property.

Q. How long were you in prison? - A. A month; I offered five guineas to take up the man that had sold it to me.

Q. Were you discharged out of prison? - A. There was a man in prison, and he opened the place, and both came out together.

Q. Did it ever happen to you that you were accused of any offence in town, of coining, or any thing of that sort? - A. There was a press and tools taken from me, but they were a press and tools that were not mine, they belonged to an engraver, and it was used in cutting buttons.

Mr. Garrow. Q. You never were prosecuted? - A. No.

Q. And these insinuations of coining, housebreaking, highway robberies, and those offences that were alluded to yesterday are gross calumnies? - A. Yes, and the people that mention these things are ten times worse than ever I was.

THOMAS BLISS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. I am an inspector of Bank-notes.

Q. Look at that note, and tell us if it is a genuine note of the Bank of England or a forged one? - A. The whole of this is a forgery.

Q. Were you at the office when this man was examined the first time? - A. I was.

Q. Do you recollect James Wooldridge attending there? - A. Yes, and produced a card which was annexed to this note, and delivered to our solicitor.

Mr. Alley. Q. There is no day of the month there? - A. No.

Prisoner's defence. I went to my master and told him I wanted a jacket to work in, and about three o'clock that day he gave me a note; I went to a cook-shop to get me something to eat, and coming back I saw some jackets hang up at that gentleman's door; I went in, and he asked me nine shillings for the jacket; we agreed for the jacket at five shillings and six-pence, and I offered him a note, and he said he could not give me change, and he sent the boy out to get the note changed, and he came back and said he could not get it changed, and then the gentleman sent him out again, and he came back with a man who said it was a bad note; and they asked me who I had it from, I said I had it from my master, James Wooldridge , he and I are brothers children; they asked me where he quartered, and I told them he quartered at one Mr. Pritchard's, at Mile-end; they took me in a coach to Lambeth-street, and put me in the care of Mr. Griffiths; he asked me if I had got any more money about me, and I said I had only a shilling; they asked me if I had any more notes, I said I had not, and they searched me, and the next morning took me before a Magistrate, and then they sent for my master, and my master came down and told them he had given me the note, but he did not know whether it was good or bad; I never knew this Ferriday; I did not know that his name was Ferriday; he went by the name of Thomas Baker.

Mr. Garrow. (To Ferriday). Q. Have you been known by the name of Baker? - A. Yes; my uncle's name was Baker; my father died when I was very young, and I was along with my uncle, and called more by the name of Baker than any other name.

The prisoner called Samuel Westwood, who had known him nearly forty years, and gave him a good character.

NOT GUILTY .

Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron Graham.


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