20th February 1811
Reference Numbert18110220-4
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty; Not Guilty

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184. EDWARD DEACON , ELIZABETH DEACON , and FRANCES WILLIAMS , were indicted for that they, on the 16th of January , one piece of base counterfeit coin, resembling the current silver coin of this kingdom, called a sixpence, falsely and traiterously did colour with materials, producing the colour of silver ; and

FIVE OTHER COUNTS for like offence, only varying the manner of charging them.

JOHN OWEN . In the month of October last had you a house in Orange-court, Drury-lane - A. Yes. I am a shoemaker.

Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar - A. Yes, very well. Mrs. Deacon was the first I saw; she came to me in the month of October, to take a two pair of stairs room I had to left; I left her the room; she told me that her husband was a shoemaker, and they would be with me the following day. She and her husband came the following day.

Q. When did you see the prisoner Williams - A. On the following day. The prisoner Williams lived there all the time to my knowledge.

Q. How soon did you observe any thing - A. Some weeks elapsed before I made any observation. From the difference of the hammering I knew it was not our business; I had a suspicion, I took the opportunity to make myself certain that it was what I expected; I made a crevise in the partition, so that I could see well into the room. I saw him rubbing as it were with his thumbs shillings or sixpences.

COURT. Some pieces - A. Yes; and I saw him use also a brush. The three prisoners were all there to my knowledge then. I saw Mrs. Deacon standing between her husband and the fire place, handing different articles from the fire to him.

Mr. Knapp. What articles - A. They seemed to be something out of a tin pot that was going backwards and forwards I cannot describe them, but they were something. This was about a fortnight before they were taken; I gave information at the office. At one time I saw Deacon give some silver to Williams; she wrapped it up in paper, and put it in her pocket. There were various people came after them, particularly a Jew.

SAMUEL LACK . I am an officer belonging to Bow-street office. In consequence of a warrant granted by Mr. Read, I went with Clark, Donaldson, and Vickrey, to the prisoners lodgings, No. 4, Change-court, Drury-lane, on Wednesday, January the 16th, between twelve and one in the day. When I got there Vickrey shoved open the door; I went in and seized Williams. Deacon and his wife were on each side of the fire; Williams was sitting under the window; I laid hold of Williams by the pocket, and held her till some conversation took place between Deacon and Vickrey. I found in her pocket two sixpences and a piece of blacking. I then searched Mrs. Deacon, I found two good shillings and a piece of blacking; I found no counterfeit money upon her. Then I proceeded to search the room; behind a box in the room I found a paper of whitening, and several pieces of leather, they appeared to be damp; they are dirty, and appeared to have been used in polishing something with whiteness. I found this brush behind the same box. The bed was on the ground. Under the head of the bed I found an old pair of women's pockets, they seemed to be stained with aquafortis. On a board in the room I found a rag, stone, and a pair of scissars. In a rack under the window I found a brush sticking up, and another pair of scissars; there was some leather nailed against the wall; the scissars and brush were put in. Under a board under the window I found a piece of leather stained very much with aquafortis, and two fingerstalls, which were quite wet, in a pocket that was quite wet, it is not dry now, stained in the same manner as the leather. I found a small mixture in this paper which I cannot describe. I took the prisoners into custody.

Mr. Alley. You met with no resistance, though you forced the door open - A. No.

Q. You found none of the parties doing wrong, and you found upon Williams two sixpences; they are not fit for circulation - A. They were fit for circulation at the time I found them; I should have taken them if I had gone for change.

JOHN CLARK. Q. You are an officer of Bow-street - A. I was at the time; I was with Vickrey and Lack; I searched the two Deacons; I found upon the man Deacon fourteen shillings, nine sixpences, and three half crowns, in his waistcoat pockets, all bad. I searched the mantle piece, I found six bad sixpences; I searched his breeches pockets, I found a bad sixpence, and a blank of the size of a shilling. I searched further, I found a bad dollar, and two blanks, one the size of a shilling, and the other a sixpence. I found some cuttings of silver in a paper, and some blacking in a tin cannister, and a little whitening.

JOHN VICKREY . I am an officer of Bow-street.

Q. You have been in the habit of apprehending persons in the same case of the prisoners before - A. Many; I was in company with Donaldson and the others; I was the first in the room, they followed me; Deacon (the man) was sitting on the right hand of the fire-place, the woman on the left, and Williams was sitting nearer the window, she was working at her needle, I told them we had a warrant to search that

room for counterfeit money, they made no reply, nor offered any resistance. Deacon offered to get off his seat, I desired him to sit still. I saw the officers find the things, they shewed them to me on the table. The two sixpences and the blacking was the first thing that was shewed me. Blacking is a thing that is used after the money is coloured. They rub the piece with blacking when it is coloured and bright, it takes off the polish and brightness.

Q. Is it common blacking. - A. It is a mixture of wax, tallow, and lamp black. It is not a sort of blacking that we should use for our shoes. I saw the whole that Lack found. I directed him to take care of them. Aquafortis with other things found in the house, would produce the colour of silver undoubtedly. After the silver is embibed in the mettle, aquafortis would bring it on the surface. Cream of tarter is an ingredient that is used for the purpose of putting a silver on the metal. I never knew whitening to be used. Scouring paper I have always found in these houses. The finger stalls, I have seen them, I have no doubt they were used for the purpose of colouring money. I do believe the cloths have been used for the purpose of wiping the money after having aquafortis on it. A bird cage was handed to me by Donaldson; in that bird cage, I found this aquafortis bottle. This is a bag of blanks.

Q. How many blanks are there. - A. There is above an hundred. Here are shillings, sixpences, half crowns, and a dollar or two. After I had been searching some time, Mrs. Deacon got from her seat, and under her chair where she sat, I found a counterfeit sixpence, it then appeared to have directly come from the hand of the finisher. In the same bag with the blanks, I found some pieces of silver, I have no doubt they were intended for making colour to put on the blanks. Here are some counterfeit half guineas, I found nothing to colour them. Here are four sixpences in the same place, that had been scoured ready for the process of colouring, they are complete to be coloured now, there was some cream of tartar in the same cage, and some sand paper. Some of these have been used for the purpose of rubbing metal, and this has not been used. These cloths were found in an old tea chest, they were then wet. I have no doubt but they had been washed out, there was a sufficient smell of aquafortis on them.

Q. Look at that found by Clerk in the man Deacon's pocket, is that a counterfeit. - A. It is, it has been coloured. These are the two sixpences found in Williams's pocket, these are very much changed coloured now, to what they were when found; and when produced to the magistrate, they were handed to me, they were then fit for circulation.

Q. Was there any appearance of any shoemaking in the apartment. - A. There was part of a shoemaker's kit, it did not appear that there was any carried on at that time. There were a great many old shoes about, but none appearing in a state of mending at that time.

RICHARD FRANKLIN . Q. You are one of the moniers of his Majesty's mint. - A. I am.

Q. Look at that sixpence found upon the man. - A. It is a counterfeit.

Q. Look at these two found on Williams. - A. These are both like the remainder of the parcel taken out of Deacon's pocket, they are all bad; and the blanks that are not coloured are ready for the purpose of colouring for shillings, sixpences, and halfcrowns.

The prisoners left their defences to their counsel.




First Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Heath.

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