THOMAS BUCKNELL.
4th July 1804
Reference Numbert18040704-17
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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380. THOMAS BUCKNELL was indicted for feloniously forging and counterfeiting, on Monday the 21st of May , a Bank-note, value 1 l. with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England .

Second Count. Stands charged with feloniously uttering, disposing of, and putting away, a like forged note, with like intentions.

Third and Fourth Counts. For like offence, only stating it a promissory note for the payment of one pound, with like intentions.

And Four other Counts. The same as the former, only alledging the intention to defraud Samuel Peckham .

(The indictment read by Mr. Giles, and the case stated by Mr. Fielding.)

JOSEPH KIMBELL sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. I am a servant of Mr. Peckham, I live at the Brill-house, Somer's-town.

Q. Do you remember seeing the prisoner at the bar there? - A. Yes, on Whit-Monday; there were two women and three men that came with him, I only took particular notice of the prisoner; they came there to spend their afternoon.

Q. Had they any thing to drink? - A. The men had some ale, and the two women had some tea; the prisoner at the bar offered to pay the reckoning; he paid me the reckoning, he gave me a note; I looked at the note strictly, and took it up to the mistress at the bar.

Q. Did you, in consequence of any thing that passed, go back to the prisoner - what passed between you and the prisoner? - A. I asked him to put his name to it.

Q. Did you tell him why? - A. I did not; I took a pen and ink, and he wrote it on the bench which he sat on; he wrote on it William Humphrys , Charlton-street; I only made mention to

him, that he was a near neighbour; and he said, yes, meaning that it was the same street that we lived in; he gave me his address, No. 14, or 17, in that street.

Q. There is a Charlton-street, in Somers-town? - A. Yes.

Q. You took the note upon that? - A. Yes; upon his signifying it, and gave him change for it.

Q. And the prisoner and the party went away? - A. Yes, soon after that.

Q. Have you made any inquiry in Charlton-street? - A. I went to No. 14, 15, and 17, and they never heard that a man of the name of Humphrys lived there.

Q. When did you see the prisoner again? - A. Not till I saw him at Bow-street.

Q. Did you know him again? - A. Yes; I knew him to be the same man.

Court. Q. The next time you saw him he was in custody? - A. Yes.

Q. Where was that? - A. At Bow-street.

WILLIAM HUGHES sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Where do you live? - A. At No. 14, Charlton-street, Somers-town.

Q. Do you know a person of the name of Humphrys at your house? - A. No; I never knew a person of that name in Somers-town.

Q. Did you ever see the prisoner at the bar? - A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. Have you lived there long? - A. Three years.

RICHARD ALDRIDGE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Where do you live? - A. At No. 17, Charlton-street, Somers-town; I have lived there about six years.

Q. Do you know any person of the name of Humphries living there? - A. No, never; none of that name.

Q. Did you ever see the prisoner there? - A. To the best of my knowledge I never saw him before in my life.

THOMAS BLISS sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. You are inspector of Bank notes; you will be so good as to state whether that is a Bank of England note? - A. It is a counterfeit note.

Q. Is that the signature of the Cashier of the Bank? - A. It is not the signature of any person in the Bank; the whole of it is counterfeit.

Court. Q. What is the name of the signature? - A. It is in imitation of William Colleer .

Q. Did you ever see him write? - A. Many times; I know his hand writing; I am certain it is not his hand writing; the whole of it is counterfeit. (The note read.)

Q. (To Joseph Kimbell .) Is that the note you received from the prisoner? - A. (Looks at the note.) It is.

Q. How do you know it to be the note that you received from the prisoner? - A. By his hand writing, and by the name that he wrote upon it.

Q. (To Mr. Bliss.) Were you present when the prisoner was apprehended? - A. I was.

Q. Where did you find him? - A. No. 14, Queen-street, Drury-lane.

Q. When was it you apprehended him? - A. On Sunday morning, the 24th of June.

Q. (To Kimbell.) What was the day of the month when you saw him at your master's? - A. I cannot say; it was in Whitsun week; Monday or Tuesday.

JACOB-THOMAS WHITE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Bosanquet. Q. What are you? - A. I am a publican, living at Brentford.

Q. Do you remember seeing the prisoner at Brentford? - A. On the 17th of May I saw him at Mr. Nunn's shop.

Q. Were you in Mr. Nunn's shop before the prisoner? - A. No; he was in there before I was; the prisoner was in the shop buying some dressed ham; Mrs. Nunn put the ham in some paper; the prisoner tossed a 1 l. note on the counter, to pay for the ham.

Q. Did you observe the note? - A. I observed the note particularly; I made an observation to Mr. Nunn that it was a bad note in the prisoner's presence; the prisoner immediately stepped to the counter, close to me, and asked me how I knew it was a bad one; and I asked him (and looked at him very sternly), how he knew it was a good one; I meant to take him by the collar; I took the note nearer to the candle, and examined it more minutely, and found it was a bad one.

Q. You did not take hold of him? - A. No.

Q. What time of the evening was it? - A. Between nine and ten in the evening, on the 17th of May; the candles were lit, and the prisoner said he had it of a man at the door, and he would call him in.

Q. Did you make any answer to him? - A. Not at that time; on my looking at the note more particularly (I was behind the counter). I immediately said I would take the prisoner; the prisoner was making to the door, as I then supposed, in order to bring the man; I followed him, and could not find him; I did not go outside of the door at that time.

Q. Did he come in, and bring in any body with him? - A. No.

Court. Q. How long were you in the house? - A. As much as ten minutes.

Mr. Fielding. Q. What did you do with the note? - A. I came back and marked the note in two places, sealed it up in a paper directed to Mr. Nunn, and ordered him, if any one called, to detain them.

Q. Is that the note? (A note shewn him.) - A. That is the same note.

Q. Look at the prisoner at the bar? - A. I have not the least doubt he is the man.

Q. Had you ever seen the man before? - A. No, nor since, till I saw him at the prison in Coldbath-fields.

Q. Were there any other persons when you saw him in Coldbath-fields? - A. There were four or five others brought up; I immediately selected him.

Q. You have no hesitation? - A. None whatever of his person.

Prisoner. I never saw Mr. White at all with my eyes.

JOHN NUNN sworn. - Examined by Mr. Giles. Q. Where do you live? - A. At Brentford; I keep a shop there, the corner of the Market-place; I am a grocer and cheesemonger.

Q. Look at the prisoner; do you remember seeing him at any time in May last? - A. Yes, on the first day of Brentford fair, in the evening.

Q. Was that on the 17th of May? - A. I do not recollect the day, it was the first fair-day.

Q. You remember his coming into the shop? - A. Yes; he asked for half a pound of ham; it came to tenpence.

Q. How did he offer to pay for it? - A. With a 1 l. note, which he threw on the counter.

Q. Did you ever see that note? (A note shewn to him.) - A. Yes; that is the note the prisoner brought; I know it by Mr. White's mark; I saw him make the mark; Mr. White was in the shop at the time the note was paid; I took the note and looked at it, and shewed it to Mrs. Nunn; she said it was very greasy; I said, never mind, if it is greasy, if it is a good one; Mr. White said it was a bad one; the prisoner asked Mr. White how he knew it was a bad one; Mr. White said, how do you know it is a good one; Mr. White was behind the counter, and said he would take him; I do not know the words exactly; the prisoner said the man was at the door he received it of; he would bring him in.

Court. Q. Did he say he would take him so loud as the prisoner could hear? - A. I do not know; I think he could.

Q. Did the prisoner ever return? - A. No.

Mr. Bosanquet. (To Mr. Bliss.) Q. Is that a counterfeit note? - A. (Looks at the note.) I am convinced it is a counterfeit note; the same plate as the last.

WILLIAM STONE sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. Q. You are a biscuit-baker in Long-lane, Smithfield? - A. Yes.

Q. Were you at Brentford fair with your articles? - A. Yes.

Q. On the 17th, the first day of the fair? - A. Yes.

Q. Look steadfastly at the prisoner; did you see him at the fair on that day? - A. Yes; towards the evening; it was duskish; he asked me the price of the best nuts, what they were a pound; I said fourteen pence; he said, weigh me a pound; I weighed him a pound, and he gave me a 1 l. note.

Q. Are you able from what took place at that time, to know the note again? - A. Yes.

Q. Is that the note? (The note shewn him.) - A. It is; it is the first note that I took; I had the misfortune to take two at that fair.

Q. Are you sure that is the note you received from the prisoner? - A. Yes.

Q. By what mark is it that you know that is the note that you took of him? - A. I observed these two flaws, and particularly this tear is a crooked tear.

Q. Did it differ by that tear from the other note you took? - A. Yes.

Q. Is there any other mark by which you know it? - A. Yes, by the names of Jenks and Green at the bottom.

Q. What did you do with the notes after you received them? - A. I put them in my fob.

Q. Whom did you deliver that note to? - A. To the solicitor or inspector.

Q. To Mr. Bliss? - A. That is the gentleman.

Court. Q. When did you deliver it to Mr. Bliss? - A. The second day of the fair in the morning, at Brentford; the gentleman came up to my stall the day after I received it.

Mr. Fielding. Q. When did you write your name on it? - A. Last week, at Bow-street.

Q. Have you got in your possession any other note that you had took on that day? - A. No; I parted with that on the same day, to the same gentleman.

Q. Is that the other note, that you received on the same day at the fair? (The note shewn him.) - A. Yes.

Court. Q. How do you know that? - A. By the long name; I took notice at the time it was a long name; I cannot pronounce it perfectly.

Q. Did you deliver these two notes to Mr. Bliss, and did you receive these two notes on the 17th, at the fair at Brentford? - A. Yes.

Court. Q. You had no notes but what you delivered to Mr. Bliss? - A. No, I only took two.

Mr. Fielding. Q. (To Mr. Bliss.) Look at that note? (A note shewn him.) - A. This is one of the notes I received of Stone, it is a counterfeit, like the other note he has got in his hand.

Court. Q. When did you receive it from Stone? - A. On the 18th of May, at the fair, both the notes.

Q. You had been at Brentford? - A. Yes; on hearing there were some counterfeit notes there, I went down.

Q. Was that you received on the 18th of May from Stone a counterfeit note? - A. Yes, they are both counterfeits, and from the same plate with those I have received before; they are all from the same plate with that I saw of Kimbell and Nunn.

Prisoner's defence. I am not guilty of what is

Alledged against me; I was never at Brentford fair in my life, I am in the plated way by trade, the lady is here where I work at; we were short of work at our shop, and I bought things of my mistress to get a shilling or two, because I had not employment, and a young man, of the name of Booth, had got his watch in pledge; he gave me the ticket of it, and in the course of three or four days, I pawned some of my things to release the watch, because he told me it was worth four pounds, and I thought to get something by it; it was not worth fifteen shillings, I kept it for two or three days, the case was very much bruised and broke; I mended the case, then it was much better than it was before; I wore it for three or four days, then I saw a man that gave an order for three or four plated spoons and cups, and when I had taken them to the man that had ordered them, they were too small and too light, I had them returned on my hands, I kept them for three or four days; I then thought I had better get a fresh place of work; I went down to Hoxton, to a friend, at the Royal Oak, he was not at home, then I went to the White Horse in Pitfield-street; I called for a pint of beer, and there was a gentleman there whom I had never seen before, I supposed he was a countryman; seeing him play at skittles, I went up to him, and I said to him, I beg your pardon, an't you a traveller? Why, says he; by your appearance and your dress, said I. I then said to him, I have an article to dispose of in my pocket; he asked me what they were, I told him; he says, come and go into the parlour, we will agree if we can; we went into the parlour, and there were three or four gentlemen there; I shewed him the articles, he liked them very much; I asked him fifteen shillings for the two cups, and seven shillings for the spoons, or seven shillings and sixpence, I will not be sure which; he bated me down to twelve shillings for the cups, and six shillings for the spoons, that was eighteen shillings; I told him there was another article to sell, and that was the watch that I had fetched out of pledge; I gave it into his hands, and he set the price, and I took it, that was twenty-eight shillings, I was to spend a shilling out of it, which I agreed to do; in the mean time, I asked him if he dealt in such goods as them; he said, he generally dealt in a smaller way, in knives, &c. I said, if you do, I will give you my master's residence, I knew the manufactory of such goods, I could get them cheaper of my master and mistress than he could get them himself, and get something myself by them; in the mean time, he did not want the residence of my master and mistress, he said he would sooner deal with me; I then required of him where he lodged, when in town, which he gave me; he could not write himself, nor read in his life; he said, he always kept his accounts by his head, and a gentleman in company wrote his residence, that was in Charlton-street; he gave me the direction to the Brill-house, which I have lost; he travelled to Norfolk he said, and to Newmarket; he authorised me to sign it in his name. I was never in the house above three times, in the White Horse, Pitfield-street, and I saw him there twice.

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

GUILTY , Death , aged 26.

Of uttering it, knowing it to be forged.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Lawrence.


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