12th September 1781
Reference Numbert17810912-39
VerdictGuilty; Not Guilty; Not Guilty

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508, 509, 510, 511, 512, 513. SHEDRICK DUNKLEY , JONAS WOOLDRIDGE , HANNAH TRUEMAN , widow , RICHARD WILLIAMS , ELIZABETH, the wife of Richard Williams , and REBECCA BROWN , were indicted for that they a piece of copper money, of this realm, called a halfpenny, unlawfully and feloniously did make, coin, and counterfeit, against the statute .

2d Count. For that they a piece of false, feigned, and counterfeit copper money, to the likeness and similitude of the current legal copper money of this realm, called a halfpenny, feloniously did make and coin, July the 27th .


On the 26th of July last, I went to Cumberland-court, a little court at the upper end of Southampton-buildings , and through a parlour-window I saw the prisoner Brown in the room, running out of the parlour. I called to Phillips to break the door. Then I ran into the house, along the passage; and at the top of the cellar stairs I saw Rebecca Brown coming up, within two stairs from the top. She tried to stop me from going down; but I pulled her up the stairs, and put her under the care of Senhouse. One of the officers passed by me, and went before me into the cellar: I followed him close. Just as we got into the cellar, I saw Hannah Trueman , with a candle in her hand. She put it out. There were two presses, and a candle at each. There was a quantity of halfpence coined, lying by each of the presses. They had their dies in them; and the blanks were lying by the cutting-out press. The three men prisoners, and one Benjamin Lees , who has been since shot in New Prison, were there: their shirt-sleeves were tucked up; and they were black, and very greasy. I did not see any of them in the act of doing any thing: I was something frightened at seeing Lees: but, however, they all behaved quiet and civil. Elizabeth Williams was there: by the appearance of her dress, she did not seem to have been so much at work as the others.

Court. She being in the presence of her husband, must of course be acquitted.

Prothero. There are three cellars, opening one into the other, and no doors to them, but only door-ways: there was a cutting-out press in the furthermost cellar, and there were a great number of blanks lying by that press: there was the cecil, out of which the blanks were cut, and this piece of copper (producing it) lying in this press. The other two presses were, one in the outer, the other in the middle cellar. I found a considerable quantity of halfpence, of two different dies, upon each of these two presses. The prisoners had no clothes on, except in a condition for working. Rebecca Brown was clean and neat, and did not seem to have been at work; but Hannah Trueman was in her working-dress. They desired leave to put their things on. I allowed them to put on their dress. The prisoner Trueman owned it to be her house, and said she was a widow.


I went down, and found the prisoners in the cellar. Lees and Elizabeth Williams passed by me; all these four were in a working condition; their shirt-sleeves tucked up: two had trowsers, I could not be positive which. Trueman was exceedingly black. She put out the candle. I got another candle, and lighted it by the candle that stood at the other press, which was not put out. The dies were fixed upon two large presses; one in the first cellar, the other in the cellar on the left-hand. There was a cutting-out press in the other cellar: there were great quantities of halfpence, and many of them were warm, which I verily believe were struck but two minutes before I came down: they were of two different dies, both the year 1775, one fresher than the other. There was a cecil, blanks, and copper, by the cutting press. I do not know that I saw Rebecca Brown , otherwise than in the parlour: I rather think she was a servant in the house: she was clean. The reason of seizing her was, there were some counterfeit halfpence taken out of her pocket by Senhouse. The pieces produced are in three states; some are the blanks, some have the impression on them, and the others appear to have been shook in a bag, to rub off the roughness. Lees came out of the cellar, and slipped under my arm. The presses were very large, and calculated for men to work; but the women may be useful, to put the blanks between the dies. These presses could not be worked with a less number of people than were in the cellar.

( Charles Jellous confirms the evidence of David Prothero and John Clarke .)


I searched Rebecca Brown 's pockets, in the parlour, and found in them counterfeit halfpence in a paper, to the amount of half-a-crown.

Clarke. They are counterfeit, and correspond with those dies.


I am a moneyer of the Mint. All the pieces produced are counterfeit.


I am a carpenter. I was sent for there, to repair a window-shutter.


I am a mantua-maker, in Ratcliff-highway. I was sent for to fetch a gown.


I am a journeyman baker. My witnesses are not here.

(Brown called three witnesses, who gave her a good character.)

(Trueman called three witnesses, who gave her a good character.)

(Dunkley called three witnesses, who gave him a good character).





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