13th May 1812
Reference Numbert18120513-20

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448. MARY BEST was indicted for feloniously forging, on the 16th of March , a bank note for the payment of one pound, with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England .

SECOND COUNT for putting off, and disposing off, a like forged note, with like intention.

AND OTHER COUNTS for like offence, stating it to be a promissory note for the payment of one pound with intention to defraud William Tomlin.

WILLIAM TOMLIN . Q. You keep a grocers shop , No. 142. Tottenham-court-road - A. Yes,

Q. Do you remember the prisoner at the bar coming to your shop about the middle of March last - A. To the best of my knowledge she is very much like her.

COURT. She came into your shop, when - A. About the 14th or 15th of March. I recollect the woman coming to my shop before that time; I had given her change for a a pound note about a fortnight before that time.

Mr. Bosanquet. That must be about the beginning of March - A. Yes.

Q. You had seen the prisoner at the bar, and had given her change for a pound note - A. Yes, to the best of my recollection. I asked her no questions for that note, but gave her change. I saw her again about the 14th or 15th of March, she came into my shop, she asked for two ounces of tea, and a pound of sugar, I weighed her the tea, and gave her the sugar on the counter, and she presented me a one pound note in payment; I looked at her, and I thought I knew her again; I thought I had seen her in the shop before; I asked her name and place of abode; she gave me the name of Mr. George, No 9, Frederic-place, Hampstead-road, and that place not being above half a quarter of a mile from my house I did not scruple of taking the note at all; I took the note, and wrote upon it before I gave her the change.

Q. Look at this note, sir, and say whether that is the note - A. This is the note, it has my hand-writing upon it.

Q. Now, sir, you say you believe that the person that gave you this note was the same person that gave you a note before - A. I believe so.

Q. You believe so. Have you any doubt that the prisoner at the bar is the person, from her features, and her height - A. I have no doubt that she is the same person, to the best of my knowledge and remembrance it is her.

COURT. Can you swear positively it is her. Do not be in a hurry. Look in the woman's face - A. To the best of my recollection it is her.

Mr. Bosanquet. Do you mean the same person who uttered the former note as the person that gave you this note - A. Both.

Q. Have you any doubt that she is the person that uttered to you the second note, this note - A. No, she is the same person to the best of my knowledge.

Q. Have you any doubt upon the subject - A From all appearance I have no doubt of it. She was a stranger to me, though she was in my shop twice.

COURT. Did you observe what the gentleman means. I ask you whether you have any doubt upon the subject that the is the same person - A. I could not swear positively.

Q. Will you, or not, swear positively that she is the same person that tendered the same note - A. I believe it is, from her appearance and her height, and her features, though she had a large bonnet on at the time.

Q. Have you any doubt about it - A. I can say no more than what I have said.

Q. If you have a doubt say so; if you have not, say that. Look at the woman, and say whether you have a doubt or not - A. Why, I have not much doubt of it. I cannot say but I have some doubt about it.

Q. Now, sir, do answer a plain question. Have you any doubt that she is the same person or not - A. Not much doubt.

Q. I will have a direct answer - A. I have some doubt; not much doubt.

Q. Then you have some doubt - A. Not having seen the woman but once before I have some doubt.

Mr. Alley. You say, like an honest man, now, that you have a doubt - A. I can say no farther than to the best of my knowledge and recollection.

COURT. Do you mean to say that it is the same woman to the best of your knowledge and recollection - A. Yes, I do.

Q If you had met her in the street should you have known her to be the same woman - A. Not without I had taken particular notice of her.

Q. I asked you if you had met her in the street, whether you should have known her to be the same woman - A. I believe I should.

FRANCES MUNN . Q. Where do you reside - A. No 9, Frederic place, Hampstead-road.

Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar at all - A. No, I never saw her.

Q Do you occupy the house, No. 9, Frederic-place - A. I do.

Q. Did you in March last - A. Yes.

Q. Was there any person resident in your house of the name of George - A. No.

GEORGE GLOVER . Q. You are a butcher - A. I am, in Leadenhall-market.

Q. Look at the prisoner at the bar. Did you ever see her at your shop - A. Yes, sir, I did, as near as I can recollect the time, from the 5th to the 8th; on this transaction she came to my shop, I cannot say exactly what the article was she bought, some small article; it came to one shilling and four-pence or one shilling and six-pence; I cannot say what. She gave me a one pound note. I took the note in my hand, and not finding the salvages smooth, there were two rough sides. I suspected the note. My wife said, where does the young woman live. The prisoner answered, Jones, Collam-street. I wrote that upon the note.

Q Now, look at this note - A. This is my handwriting. This is the note. I have not a shadow of a doubt, that is the note I received of the prisoner. There was nothing wrote upon the note when I received it.

Mr. Alley. There is the name of Glover upon the note. Was that upon the note when you received it - A. No.

Q. You have spoken to the prisoner's person - A. I have.

Q. Have you ever seen her before that time - A. No, I have not.

Q. Was it a market day, Saturday - A. No, it was not when people are busy; it was about nine or ten o'clock in the morning.

Q. Was not she in custody when you next saw her - A. Not to my knowledge. They took me to the Bank, and from there to Marlborough-street.

Q. You were afterwards taken to a place where she was in custody - A. Yes.

COURT. Did you see her at Marlborough-street - A. Yes.

Mr. Alley. My question is this, whether your seeing her in custody was not the reason why you thought her the same person - A. If I had met her in the street I should have known her again by the mark in her nose. I have not a shadow of a doubt she is the person I took the note of.

THOMAS GLOVER . Q. I believe you are an inspector of the Bank notes - A. I am.

Q. How long have you been so - A. Near twenty years.

Q. It is your duty to examine all bank notes - A. It is.

COURT. Will you tell me whether that is a genuine Bank of England note - A. It is not. It is a forgery altogether.

COURT. It is not an impression from a bank plate - A. No. It is not the paper of the Bank, nor the signature it purports to be. The whole is a forgery. It is not the Bank of England ink.

Q. In short, there is no part of it like what appertains to a Bank of England note - A. No, there is not.

COURT. Who does the first note belong to.

Mr. Knapp. George Glover , and the next is that uttered to Tomlins.

Q. to Glover. Is that a Bank of England note - A. No, it is a forgery throughout as the other I have been just describing.

Mr. Alley. This seems to me to be a most excellent note. It is a thing that a poor ignorant person would take for a Bank note - A. Surely.

Q. It is impossible for any body to say it is a bad note that is not in your secret - A. Certainly.

Q. A man that could read and write could not tell, much less a person that is ignorant, and no scholar, if they had not your secret - A. Surely.

COURT. Gentlemen of the Jury, Look at them together.

Prisoner's Defence. I wish the witnesses to be brought forward that were present at the time them notes were taken.

(The notes read.)

GUILTY - DEATH , aged 34.

Second Middlesex jury, before Mr. Justice Grose.

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