Offence: Royal Offences > coining offences
Verdict: Guilty > no_subcategory; Guilty > no_subcategory
Punishment: Imprisonment > no_subcategory; Imprisonment > no_subcategory
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MESSRS. RYLAND and PLATT conducted the Prosecution. MART ANN SEBRIGHT. I am a widow, and am a tobacconist at 38, Lombard-street. On 14th Sept., about three in the afternoon, Bannister came into my shop and asked for an ounce of Scotch snuff—while I was serving her, she asked if I could change her a sovereign—I said I could, and she put one down—I took a half-sovereign from my purse, put it down, and put my hand in my pocket to get the silver—while I was so doing, she took up the half-sovereign and put it down again—she then took it up again and said she did not like the look of it—I said I would change it—she said she wished I would—I took out my purse and gave her another, and put the first one back—I did not then particularly notice it—I had but two half-sovereigns in my purse, and I am sure they were both King's coin—she then left the shop—Spittle came in directly after, and in consequence of what he said I looked at the half-sovereign, found it was a very bad one, and one of the Queen's—I marked it and gave it to Spittle—this is it (produced)—it has my four marks on it—this piece of paper (produced by Groves) is the same sort as I use in my business—it has my address on it, "38, Lombard-street."
Cross-examined by MR. BRIARLY. Q. When had you looked at the half-sovereign before Bannister came in? A. About eleven or twelve o'clock in the morning—I always empty my purse after breakfast, and only keep sufficient to give change for a sovereign or two—one of these half-sovereigns I took in the morning for half-a-pound of tobacco, and the other I had the night before—I noticed them particularly; they were old, but both good—I never took bad money before I did not look at the half-sovereign when she returned it, because I had no suspicion of my own, nor of the prisoner, from her appearance—I had taken no gold that afternoon.
JOHN SPITTLE (City-policeman, 9). On 14th Sept. I was in company with Huggett, near the Mansion House, at about a quarter-past two o'clock, and saw the prisoners there in company; they walked towards the Mansion House, turned down Charlotte-row, remained five minutes, then went to Lombard-street, through Pope's Head-alley, into Cornhill; then through 'Change-alley into Gracechurch-street and Lombard-street; Bannister then went into Mrs. Sebright's shop, leaving Foster outside, in front of the shop—they had before stopped at the corner of Birchin-lane about five minutes—when Bannister came out she passed close by Foster, who remained looking about till Bannister got out of my sight—in about a minute Foster left the shop and went in the same direction as Bannister—I then went into the
shop, and at my request Mrs. Sebright looked at her money—I looked at it also, and saw a counterfeit half-sovereign—she marked it in my presence, handed it to me, and I now produce it.
Cross-examined. Q. I suppose they were walking about like country people observing the town? A. I had known Bannister two or three years, and knew her method of walking.
JOSEPH HUGGETT (City policeman, 23). I saw the prisoners opposite the Mansion House—they removed to Charlotte-row, then went along the front of the Mansion House to Lombard-street, through Pope's Head-alley, into Cornhill, then through Change-alley to Lombard-street and Gracechurch-street, and through Nag's Head-court into Lombard-street again—as they were going through Nag's Head-court, I saw them talking together; Foster had her gown up, and after a second or two she withdrew her hand, from her pocket, I suppose, and gave Bannister something—they then immediately came into Lombard-street, and Bannister went to Mrs. Sebright's; Foster remained outside—Bannister came out in a few minutes, passed by Foster, and almost touched her—Spittle then went into the shop; Bannister turned into George-yard, Foster remained looking about a little while, then followed Bannister, and they joined about the middle of George-yard, walked on together, and I lost sight of them.
Foster. Q. Did you see me at my pocket? A. I saw you with your gown up. Foster. My pocket is not there.
MARY ANN BROWNING . I am female searcher at the Fenchurch-street station—I searched Bannister, and found two half-crowns, three shillings, a sixpence, 2 1l. 2d., and a half-sovereign on her—I gave the half-sovereign to Florey.
WILLIAM WILSON . I am shopman to Mr. Locock, a cutler, at 38, Cornhill—on the 14th, at a little after three in the afternoon, Bannister came to the shop, and bought a small knife and fork which came to 1s. 6d.—she tendered me a sovereign in payment—I took it, and gave her a half-sovereign and 8s. 6d. in silver—there were two half-crowns among the silver, I am certain, but I am not sure whether there were three—she tried to ring the half-sovereign on a glass case, and said she did not like the ring of it or the look of it; she thought it was bad—I said if she did not like it, I would give her another—I took it back, gave her another, and she went away—after she was gone, I looked at the half-sovereign she gave me back, and found it was a very bad one—I had looked at the half-sovereign I gave her, just before she came in, and noticed a mark on the edge over the right side of the Queen's head, as if it had been filed—after this, Florey came in while I had the half sovereign in my hand that the prisoner had given me—he afterwards produced to me the first half-sovereign I had given her—I can swear to it—this is it (produced).
Cross-examined. Q. When did you observe the half-sovereign you gave her? A. Not a quarter of an hour before she came in; I had just made up the money in the till according to the till-book, and that was the only halfsovereign.
ISAAC FLOREY (City policeman, 57). On 14th Sept. I saw the prisoners follow two persons in custody to the station-house, and wait till the parties came out—they then called two men over to them, and said something, the men went towards Whitechapel, and the two prisoners went down Fenchurch-street towards Lombard-street, and I lost sight of them—about three the same afternoon 1 saw Foster looking into a shop in Cornhill; and after waiting a short time I saw Bannister come out of Mr. Locock's, which was
next door; saw her go close to Foster, and they both walked up Cornhill, Bannister in front, and Foster following close behind—I then went into Mr. Locock's shop, and Wilson gave me the half-sovereign just produced—I then went after the prisoners, and they were taken into custody—I afterwards got a half-sovereign from Browning, showed it to Wilson, and he said it was the one he had given in change—there was a mark on it. CALEB GROVES (City policeman, 78). Wilson called me to the shop, and the prisoners were given in charge—Bannister said she did not know Foster; Foster said nothing—as we were going to the station, Bannister offered Foster a piece of bun in a piece of paper; she declined having it—at the station Foster put her hand behind Bannister and dropped a piece of paper, which I picked up, and have produced—it appears to be such as tobacconists wrap snuff in; there was snuff in it at the time, which I believe was Scotch.
Foster. It was another person's; the inspector asked what piece of paper that was, and you went and picked it up; you did not have it for near ten minutes after I was in custody. Witness. The inspector was not aware of it till I picked it up.
JOHN KEMPSTER . I belong to the In-teller's Office, Bank of England—I have been attached to the Bank twenty-three years, and am familiar with good and bad coin. These two half-sovereigns are both counterfeit, and so soft that I can break them with my hand.
BANNISTER— GUILTY .* Aged 28.— Confined Eighteen Months.
FOSTER— GUILTY . Aged 30.— Confined Twelve Months.