3rd April 1811
Reference Numbert18110403-59
VerdictNot Guilty

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error
Navigation< Previous text (trial account) | Next text (trial account) >

344. SARAH DELL was indicted for that she on the 30th of March , feloniously did forge and counterfeit a certain bank note for the payment one pound, with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the bank of England .

SECOND COUNT, for feloniously disposing of and putting away a like forged note, with like intention.

And OTHER COUNTS for like offence, with intent to defraud Richard Burnell .

RICHARD BURNELL . I keep a grocer's shop in the Strand . On Saturday, the 30th of March, near nine o'clock in the evening, the prisoner came into my shop, she asked for two ounces of ten shilling tea, and a pound and a half of moist sugar, which amounted to two shillings and three-pence, she offered a one pound note to pay for it; I took up the note, and as she tendered the note I perceived it to be a false note. I did not take any notice of it, but told her while I was serving the next customer to put her name and place of abode upon it, she did so.

Q. Look at this note, and see what she wrote on that occasion - A. It is the same, there is her writing and my writing on it; I wrote my name in the presence of the officer; the prisoner wrote Sarah Dell , No. 7, Northumberland-street. This is the note I received from her; I then asked her who she had taken it of; she said, of her husband, who was then gone on; she went to the door, as if to look for her husband; I then told her it was a bad note; I called my porter to tell her she must not go away; he got to the door as she got there; she returned and said she did not wish to run away, but while serving a customer, or being otherways busy, she went to the door unperceived and run away; I followed her and overtook her, my porter accompanied me.

Q. How far had she got when you overtook her - A. Five doors; I never lost sight of her. At the time that she got past the window I got out of doors; I secured her and brought her back, then I sent for Lavender the officer. (The note read)

COURT. The name put on the note by the prisoner is the same that appears now - A. The same.

STEPHEN LAVENDAR . I am an officer of Bow-street. I took the prisoner in custody on Saturday evening last, at the shop of Mr. Burnell in the Strand, near ten o'clock at night; she had no pockets, in her bosom I found two shillings, and sixpennyworth of halfpence; I then asked her if the direction she wrote on the back of the note was correct; she then said it was not, she lived at No. 12, Snow's-fields, in the Borough; I asked her how she came so far, or some such question: she said that she had been or was going to some friend in Northumberland-court, and that she thought it better to give that direction, which was so much nearer, than the one that she really lived at. I asked her if she was a married woman; she said she was not, but she lived with a person of the name of Smith, she went as his wife, but she was not married to him. On the Monday morning I went to this house in Snow's-fields, No. 12, on searching it there appeared to be in a room at the back of the shop, better than a quarter of a pound of tea, and about two

pound of moist sugar. It is a kind of a chandler's shop, where they sell bread, butter, and cheese.

Q. Was there any other tea and sugar than that you have described - A. None, whatever.

Mr. Alley. When you went to Snow's fields you there saw a parcel of tea, and a poor man there, and children - A. Yes, there were three children. I received the bill of Mr. Burnell, he indorsed it in my presence.

Mr. Knapp. The tea and sugar for which the note was given was different tea and sugar to that - A. That I never saw.

JOHN LEE . I am one of the inspectors of the Bank.

Q. Take that note in your hand - look at that note - A. It is a forged note in all respects; it is not bank paper nor bank plate, nor the signature of the cashier. That is the note in question.

Q Now look at that - A. This is a forged note also, and from the same plate, it is filled up in the same hand-writing as the note in the indictment.

COURT. Are they all signed by Watts - A. No, all different; the second note is from the same plate, it is marked Mary Brown , 21, King-street, Borough. The third note is not from the same plate, the filling up is the same hand writing, it is marked in the front, Mrs. Brown; the name subscribed to it is I. Clapp, that is the same name as the second note.

Mr. Bosanquet. Now look at the fourth - A. The fourth is from the same plate as the third, and I should take the filling up to be the same as the third note. It is marked Brown, No. 6, Kent-street. They are all forged notes.

Mr. Alley. If I understand you there are two notes corresponding in signature, and two notes appearing to correspond with the plates and signatures - A. Yes.

Q. So that there are not two corresponding in signatures and plates - A. No, I think not. I cannot say now they are out of my hand.

COURT. Two of the notes may be received in evidence, the one from the same plate, and the other of the same hand-writing.

REBECCA CLARK . I am the wife of Richard Clark, he keeps a cheesemongers shop in the Borough. On the 31st of January the prisoner came to our shop, she asked for a pound of butter and afterwards a pound of cheese, it came to two shillings and four pence altogether, she offered to pay for it by a note.

Q Look at that note, and see if that is the note she offered to you - A. It is. I asked her what her name was, she told me Brown; I then wrote Mrs. Brown on it. I am sure it the note that I received from her.

Mr. Alley. Q. to Mr. Lee. Is the note of the same plate charged in the indictment - A. It is not from the same plate, it is in the same writing.

Q. When you say it is the same writing you form a comparison with the note that is produced - A. Certainly.

Q. You have no knowledge of the hand-writing - A. No.

Q. to Mrs. Clark. The hand-writing on the front of the note Mrs. Brown was written by you Mrs. Clark - A. Yes, at the time I took it I thought it was bad, but I was not certain. I wrote that before I gave her the change.

Q. Did you ever write upon any other note the name of Brown - A. No, not exactly at that time. I did not put it out of my hand until I wrote the name of Brown upon it.

Q. Attend to my question - you have wrote the name of Brown upon other notes, have not you, it is a common name - A. I do not know that I have.

Q. What did you do with this note after you had written Brown upon it - A. I put it along with other notes I had in the house to send to the bankers.

Q. I thought you said at the time you took it you thought it was bad - A. I did.

Q. So that you that come forward to prosecute a poor woman you put it along with other notes to give it to an honest tradesman - A. No.

Q. Did not I understand you to say that you put it along with other notes that you had to send to the bankers - A. We had a bill to pay the next day, it was put along with them; the bankers clerk came the next day, he had it.

Q. Did you tell the bankers clerk that it was forged - A. No.

Mr. Bosanquet. Is that your handwriting - A. It is.

CAROLINE WARNER . I keep an oil-shop and grocer's shop, 99, Borough.

Q. Do you remember the prisoner at the bar at any time coming to you shop, and when - A. I think it was the 8th of March, she asked for a pound of plumbs and a pound of currants, I had but half a pound in the house, and a pound of sugar; my daughter reckoned it up, and signed the note; the prisoner said, before I give you the trouble to weigh the plumbs can you give me change of a one pound note; I said I would see; I called my daughter, I took the note of the prisoner and looked at it, I thought it felt thicker than bank notes generally feel; the note I received from the prisoner I gave to my daughter, and in the prisoner's hearing I said I could not see the watermark plain. I was almost afraid of it. My daughter marked it in my presence. I asked the prisoner her name and address; she told me, Mary Brown , 20 or 21, King-street, Snows Fields.

Mr. Alley. Had you ever seen the prisoner before - A. No.

Q. Have you ever seen a woman like her that you could not tell one from the other - A. Oh, yes, I could.

Q. Did you or not see another woman like the prisoner, that you for a moment thought it was the prisoner - A. No, there was a vast deal of difference; I could not mistake one from the other.

Mr. Bosanquet. Where did you see her sister - A. Some man brought a person in and asked me if I knew that woman in the Lord Mayor's parlour.

CHARLOTTE MARY WARNER . I am a daughter of the last witness.

Q. Did you receive that note from your mother - A. I did, I marked it, it is my own hand-writing. I saw the prisoner give the note to my mother.

Prisoner's Defence. I am not guilty of what I am accused of. I had two shillings and sixpence in my bosom, which was to pay for my child's coral, which

is now at the shop, not fetched home. I wanted change, and that made me go and buy tea. I was going to Northumberland-court I told Mr. Lavendar.

JOHN BRIANT SMITH . I live at No. 12, Meeting-house Walk, Snows Fields. The woman at the bar lived with me as my wife, she has four small children; I keep a chandler's shop.

Q. You recollect her being taken in custody on Saturday night on this charge of forgery - A. Yes. On the Saturday night I took the baby in a blanket to her in Bow-street, because a friend came forward. I gave her the note, I took it in the shop for a loaf of bread, a bit of cheese and bacon; I gave her the note and told her to buy meat, sugar, and tea, and what we wanted, and on Monday I came forward at Bow-street and said I gave her the note. I thought if there was any danger I would take it all upon myself. I gave the officer leave to search my premises. The sugar and tea was not brought home; on the Sunday morning I had none, I said to Mr. Gunn I'had no tea and sugar; he said he had some, I was welcome to it, he furnished me with some. I lived in Northumberland-court near seven years, she had a brother a coalmerchant that lived in Northumberland-street. Northumberland-street and Northumberland-court are connected together; the prisoner was well known there as the sister of Mr. Dell.

Q. After she and you came to live together how long did you live in Northumberland-court with her - A. Near seven years.

Q. How long ago is it that you lived in Northumberland-court - A. More than two years.

Q. When you were at Bow-street were you in custody - A. I was no otherways in custody; I went forward myself, I waited to see if they had got any thing against me. I was ready, and then I was discharged.

Q. Do you know Mrs. Clark and Mrs. Warner - A. I saw that lady to-day in the room.

Q. In the Lord Mayor's parlour - A. I do not know the name of the room. I saw them under the roof of this court; I went in along with the prisoner's sister, I asked them if they knew this woman; they said they did not know much of this woman; I said it was a hard matter to swear a thing unless they were sure.

Q. Upon the solemn oath you have taken now did not you take the prisoner's sister into the Lord Mayor's parlour, where the bank witnesses were, in hopes that they would be able to say they were one like the other - A. I did not take the sister, she was against the door at the time.

Q. Was not that the object - A. It was not. Mr. Bellis was in there, and I went in to speak to him; Mr. Bellis called me of one side, he asked me to speak the truth if I knew any thing. I said I was an innocent man, I knew nothing.

Mr. Alley. Mr. Bellis is the attorney of the prisoner - A. Yes.

Q. You say he was in the Lord Mayor's parlour - did you see him there - A. He was in one of the rooms. He is the solicitor for the prisoner; he said, if I knew any thing against the prisoner to speak the truth, and nothing else.

Q. And all that did pass from you to these women was you asking them whether they knew the sister before or not - A. I said, do you know this woman.

Q. Is she pretty much about her age - A. No, she is older; I asked them if they knew this face.

Q. Why was your reason for asking them if they knew this face, is it like the prisoner's - A. No, not exactly. I did not know there was any harm of it.

THEOPHILUS BELLIS . Q. It has been said that you were in the parlour where we go to, you came to make some communication - A. Yes. After having heard the opinion of the learned gentleman, Mr. Alley, who has the charge of defending this case, I felt it my duty to acquaint Smith, he being the nearest person affected with the prisoner, I told him the learned gentleman advised her to plead guilty of the lesser offence, and in consideration of that the Bank would new her lenity, that application was refused, both by Smith and by the prisoner; the prisoner said, I cannot plead guilty to that which I know myself innocent of.

The prisoner called seven witnesses, who gave her a good character.


Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Chambre.

View as XML