11th April 1804
Reference Numbert18040411-52
VerdictNot Guilty

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275. THOMAS EDWARDS was indicted for feloniously forging and counterfeiting, on the 28th of February , a certain Bank note for the payment of 2 l. with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England .

Second Count. For falsely disposing of and putting away a like forged note, knowing it to be forged, with the same intention.

Third and Fourth Count. For forging and uttering, and publishing the same as true, a promissory note for the payment of 2 l. in the form of a Bank note, with the same intention.

And Four other Counts, for like offences, charging them to be with intention to defraud Marshall Spink .

(The case was stated by Mr. Garrow.)

THOMAS STILES sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I am shopman to Mr. Marshall Spinks, a pawnbroker , in Barbican: On the 24th or 25th of February, the prisoner at the bar came to our shop to look at a gold seal that was in the window; it was marked a guinea; I shewed it him; he put his hand into his pocket, and gave me three shillings earnest; he said he would call another time for it; I took his name down.

Q. What name did he give you? - A. Edwards; he came on the 25th, I think, again; I am not certain; it was on Saturday, and the next time it was on the 28th, the Tuesday following; when he came into the shop I was in at tea; I saw what he wanted; I got the seal, and gave him the seal and the three shillings he had left for the earnest; upon his receiving it, he gave me a 2 l. note; I took the 2 l. note and looked at it; it was quite dusk, and there was a lantern alight at the farther end of the shop; I went and fetched the lantern, and looked at the note; I said, I do not like this note, where do you live; he said, No. 4, Charterhouse-lane, West-Smithfield; I looked again at the note; more particularly; I was fully persuaded in my own mind that it was a forged one; I immediately said to him, I would advise you to be careful what you are about; I had not a single doubt but it was a forged note; I said to him, where and from whom did you take it; he told me he had it from one Mr. Hallam; I understood him so; he pointed with his finger to an indorsement at the back of the note; pointing to a name that he said was Hallam, that he took it of; he then took hold of the note, as if he meant to look at it.

Q. When you say he took hold of the note, as if he meant to look at it, did you part with the note? - A. No.

Q. He took hold with his hand, while you had it in your hand? - A. Yes, and pulled it, by which the note tore; then he immediately let go; he put the seal and the three shillings out of his pocket on the counter; I continued looking at the note, pondering in my mind what I had best do;

the prisoner then said that he took the note fairly; it was hard for him to be at the loss of it; that was nearly the words that he made use of; then he drew back from the counter; I continued looking at the note, and during that time he went out of the shop; the next morning I told Mr. Spinks what had happened with this note; I gave the note to him; I put my own initials upon it; he went to the Bank; I took the particulars of the note on paper. (The note produced by Mr. Fielding.)

Q. Look at this note? - A. This is the note.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. Did you ever, in the course of your life, in the course of your conversation with any person, find one more ready to give an answer to what you asked? - A. I never did.

Q. Was it in the course of business fair and open? - A. It appeared so.

Q. He gave you his address, which address turned out to be a true one? - A. He did.

Mr. Fielding. Q. You did not go to the door to look after him, to see if he was in your reach? - A. No; there was no one in the shop besides.

THOMAS BAXTER sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. You are an inspector of Bank notes; look at that note? (The note handed to Mr. Baxter.) - A. It is altogether a forgery; it is neither Bank paper, nor Bank engraving, nor Bank printing.

Q. When did you first see the prisoner? - A. I saw him first in company with Mr. Stiles, in Charterhouse-lane; when Mr. Spinks brought the note to the Bank it was the 29th of February.

Q. Did you find the prisoner at home? - A. We did, at No. 4, Charterhouse-lane; Mr. Stiles went in first of all, and informed me he was at home; I went in; I told the prisoner he must go with me; he said, where; I then mentioned where; he went with me to our Solicitors; he said, he thought he was going to Mr. Spinks; I took him to our Solicitors, Messrs. Winter and Kaye, in Swithin's lane; Mr. Freshfield took some minutes in writing, in the presence of the prisoner.

JAMES-WILLIAM FRESHFIELD sworn. - Q. Were these minutes taken by yourself? - A. They were, on the 29th of February. (The minutes read as follows:) I saw a man in Clerkenwell, with a box of trinkets upon his neck; I looked at some pencils, and bought a couple; he told me he dealt in a great many things; and seeing some boxes I told him I made silver ones, and gave him my card; he called upon me about a week afterwards, and bought silver boxes to the amount of ten pounds twelve shillings, and said his name was Hallowes; he paid me in all two-pound notes, except the twelve shillings; I paid one to a pork-shop, in Fleet-market; I paid one at Jenkins's, a pawnbroker, in Redcross-street, where I redeemed some silver boxes; last week, at the beginning, I paid one to redeem six silver tea-spoons, in Shoreditch; two ladies keep the shop, left hand side, near the bottom of Old-street; about three weeks ago today, I paid another in Holborn, Middle-row, near Brook-street; bought a pair of shoes and gaiters; I went to Mr. Spinks, in Barbican; when I was told it was a bad one, I went away; was much surprized it was a bad one; I asked Mr. Spinks's young man if he should take it to the Bank today; he said he should; I said I would call to know if it was a bad one; I wrote the name of Hallowes upon the back of that note, and some of the others, as soon as the man was gone; I am a bright engraver by trade, but can make boxes; I work for Eames, in Paternoster-row; I am employed by my brother and Hallowes, in Hunt's court; also Merrit, Foster-lane; the boxes made for Hallowes laid by me some time.

Court. Q. The same name as he worked for? - A. Yes, but not the same person; upon the first of March I asked him at Bow-street (there was no Magistrate sitting then) about a note not included in this paper; he said he had that of the man also; I told him of a 2 l. note, that had been traced to Mr. Thorn; I asked him to give an account of that note; he said he received it from the same man he received the others.

THOMAS WOOD sworn. - Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. Are you in the employ of Mr. Hall? - A. I was at that time.

Q. Look at that note, and tell me whether that note was brought to your master on the 14th of February. (The note shewn him.) - A. Yes, it was; it was brought to redeem a pledge.

(The duplicate shewn him.) Q. Is that the duplicate? - A. It is the duplicate that was brought by a person who came to redeem a pledge.

Q. How long does it appear by that duplicate the spoons had been pledged? - A. They were pledged the 6th of June and redeemed on the 14th of February; they were pledged for 1 l.

Q. What is the address on the ticket? - A. Thomas Edwards , No. 3, City-road.

Q. Did you ask the person that came to redeem his name and address? - A. I did; I wrote Edwards, No. 4, Charterhouse-street.

Q. Look at the prisoner; do you believe that to be the person? - A. I cannot say; I have no belief about it; I have not the least recollection, there is so long time elapsed.

Q. About two weeks; that is too long for a pawnbroker's memory; where did you live then? - A. No. 8, Old-street road, near Shoreditch church; at Mr. Hall's.

Q. There were some ladies engaged in the business? - A. Yes; their names are Nevill.

Q. How many tea-spoons were pledged? - A. Six tea-spoons.

BENJAMIN CLARK sworn. - Examined by Mr.

Fielding. Q. You are a shoemaker, No. 8, Lower Holborn; on Saturday, the 28th of February, did you sell any shoes; look at the prisoner at the bar; see if you know him? - A. I cannot say I do; he is something like a young man that bought a pair of shoes and a pair of gaiters on Saturday, the 28th.

Q. What is your belief with respect to the prisoner? - A. He is something like, but I cannot say.

Q. How much did the shoes and gaiters come to? - A. I think it was about twelve shillings or twelve shillings and sixpence.

Q. How were you paid for this? - A. With a 2 l. note.

Q. Had you any conversation with the person? - A. No; I took the 2 l. note, and left him in the shop while I went up stairs for the rest of the change; there was another person in the room; I took a very little account of the note; I told my wife the paper was a very bad dark colour; I gave him the change; I put it in my pocket-book up stairs afterwards; on the 29th of February my wife borrowed a 1 l. note of my neighbour; I gave this 2 l. note to my apprentice boy, for to go and pay this 1 l. note she had borrowed; then I found it was a bad one; I saw a pair of gaiters at Bow-street; I cannot swear they are mine; they were bound round like mine; I cannot say they were mine; I have not seen the shoes.

Mrs. CLARK sworn. - I believe that to be the person to whom my husband sold the shoes and the gaiters.

Q. How long might the young man be in the shop? - A. From the time he came into the shop to the time he went out, twenty minutes or half an hour; I was in the shop with him at the side of the counter; I took a great deal of notice of him.

THOMAS BOWDEN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Do you remember your master giving you a two-pound note? - A. Yes.

Q. You are an apprentice to Mr. Clark? - A. Yes.

Q. Did he give you that note to get change? - A. To pay one that was owing.

Q. Did you get the two-pound note changed? - A. Mr. Cross was not at home.

Court. Q. Mr. Cross was the person to whom it was owing? - A. Yes.

Q. Did you get it changed? - A. Yes, Mr. Neale changed it.

Q. Neale is the porter at the Golden Cross? - A. Yes, he gave me two ones.

Q. Where did you meet Neale? - A. At the Blue Posts, the next door.

Q. Did you give Neale the same note your master had given to you? - A. Yes, I did.

THOMAS NEALE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. You are porter at the Golden Cross? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember the last witness? - A. Yes.

Q. Do you remember receiving from him a two-pound note, for which he gave you change? - A. Yes.

Q. Look at it - is that the note? - A. Yes; Mr. Clark's name is at the back of it.

Q. Is Mr. Clark's name your hand-writing? - A. Yes.

Mr. Garrow. Q. You are able to say then with certainty, that the note you gave your boy to pay Cross, was the same you received from the stranger? - A. I went up stairs, and put it in my pocketbook.

Q. Had you any other two-pound note in your pocket? - A. I had neither a two or a one, to my knowledge; I am certain it is the same, I had no other; I observed, when I took it, the paper looked rather dingy.

Q. Did you make the same observation when you took it out of your pocket-book? - A. I did not take particular notice.

Mr. Garrow. (To Baxter.) Q. Look at that note, (Hall's note), is that the forgery? - A. It is.

Q. Is it in all respects, both paper, and engraving, and signature? - A. I have not the least doubt it is the same manufacture as the first.

Q. Now look at that, (Clark's note), is that a forgery? - A. This is just the same as the other two, I have not the least doubt.

Mr. Garrow. (To Mr. Terry.) Q. Be so good as tell us whether these notes are from the same plate? - A. These are from one plate, all three; they are altogether forged. (The notes read.)

Mr. Gurney. (To Mr. Freshfield.) Q. You were led to go to the pawnbroker's from the information the prisoner gave you? - A. We knew the notes were uttered at these places.

Q. Therefore he was the person who gave you the information? - A. Yes.

Prisoner's defence. I have nothing to say, but that I have stated the truth how I came in possession of the notes; I am a young man, and have not been taught that caution which the Counsel against me seems to think I ought to be in the possession of.

The prisoner called nine witnesses, who gave him a good character.


London Jury, before Mr. Baron Thompson.

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