Mary Collins.
18th September 1765
Reference Numbert17650918-72
VerdictNot Guilty

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455. (L.) Mary Collins was indicted for forging a promissory note for the payment of money, with intent to defraud Edward Hooper . It

was also laid to be done with intention to defraud the person intitled to the money due to Peter Price , late mariner on board his Majesty's ship the Yarmouth , June 26 . +

Edward Hooper . The prisoner applied to me by the name of Mary Price , and produced this probate of the will of Peter Price , late of the Yarmouth (producing a probate, &c.) and said she was widow to him. I inquired for a certificate of her marriage; she came again, and brought one; but since I find it is a false one: she had some money of me then; she had a company of people extremely clamorous, pretending they had demands on her five or six times: the-last time she came was on the 26th of June; I said she had had so much before, that she would have nothing for herself, if she went on in this manner. The probate of the will mentions the wife executor, and I found there was money due: I let her have more: the amount in the whole was 6 l. 18 s. 6 d. I wrote the note, and called in John Smith , who witnessed it: she received that money, calling herself Mary Price , widow of Peter Price . I saw her make her mark; John Smith wrote on it Mary Price , her mark; and on the 20th or 21st of last month Hannah Bourk came to me, and told me this was a forgery, and said there were a great many of the gang: she said the prisoner's name was Mary Collins , and what money she was to have for acting that part in getting the money. I took up the prisoner; she confess'd to me she had the money, and her name was Collins.

(The probate produced, dated, June 10, 1759, making Mary Price , his wife, executor).

John Smith . I saw the prisoner make her mark on this receipt (taking it in his hand); I witnessed it, and ask'd her her name before I wrote, the mark of Mary Price . This was on the 26th of June. The probate was left with me as a collateral security.

Q. to Hooper. How much money did you advance when this note was sign'd?

Hooper. She had had before upwards of three guineas; she had the rest on the 26th of June, to make up 6 l. 18 s. 6 d.

Q. Can you mention the sum she had that day?

Hooper. I cannot tell the exact sum.

Smith. I saw the prisoner take some money; there was more than 20 s. but I did not particularly remark that.

Robert Hassman . I am a clerk in the Navy-office; he produced the pay-book belonging to his Majesty's ship the Yarmouth; Peter Price served on board her: there were wages due to him to the amount of near 20 l.

Hannah Bourk . I have known the prisoner about eight years; I have not seen her this seven years, till within six or eight months; her name is Mary Collins , now she goes by the name of Richardson; she lives with a fellow named William Richardson : this probate was left at Mrs. Murrey's by him; there was one John Barns there; the prisoner said, she would go and get the money: then Mrs. Murrey said, she might take the probate, and go.

Ann Murrey . I have known the prisoner about eight months; her name is Mary Collins : I have been intimate with her four months; she keeps company with Richardson: I heard her say, she would go and fetch some wages in the name of Price, on the paper Richardson left at my house.

Prisoner's Defence.

When I first came to Mrs. Murrey's house, she said, she had had the probate by her five months; they got a gentleman to recommend me to Mr. Hooper; he first lent me half a guinea on it, and after that he let me have more; and at last it was six guineas and a half: the next day the woman and her sister quarrell'd with me, and bid me go for more: Mrs. Murrey bid me give Barnes a guinea, and the man that recommended me, half a guinea, and Mrs. Murrey gave me but half a guinea out of it: I got a guinea of Mr. Hooper after I had the money he mentions.

Acquitted .

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