26th April 1786
Reference Numbert17860426-106
SentenceMiscellaneous > fine; Imprisonment > newgate

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425. THOMAS BASSETT was indicted for feloniously putting off to one John Bevan , on the 27th day of March last, 360 counterfeit halfpence for ten shillings and sixpence, against the statute .


I am a tallow-chandler , I live in Red-cross-street, I have known the prisoner about three years: On the 21st of March, I met the prisoner near the end of Aylesbury-street, Clerkenwell-green, he asked me if I did not buy a good deal of stuff, meaning kitchen stuff and dripping; I told him I had, but markets was down; he said he had a friend that had some halfpence, and put his hand in his pocket and pulled out two or three; he said they went undeniable at Wapping, and if I would buy any of him, he would sell me 30 s. for a guinea. I told him I was going to Wapping, and would enquire whether or no they went there, if they did, I would buy some: this I told him, in order that I might bring him to justice, I thought it a duty incumbent on me, if possible, to bring him to justice. I went once or twice to Clerkenwell-green to tell the affair the next day, on the 23d I went again, Justice Girdler was there, and a young gentleman his son; I related the story to them, and young Mr. Girdler directed me to the Solicitor of the Mint, Mr. Vernon, and he directed me to Mr. Clarke at Bow-street; I told Mr. Clarke the story, and the prisoner's name, and he knew him by the name of the Cheap Butcher; Mr. Clarke told me to buy half a guinea's-worth of halfpence; on the 27th I met the prisoner, I did not see him till then, I told him I would take half a guinea's-worth of halfpence, if he would bring them at four o'clock; he appointed the Robinhood in Holborn, as I was going there, I met the prisoner, and he told me he could not possibly come till five, I waited there, and the prisoner made it eight, when he came, there was another person waiting for him, he went out with the other man, and returned in two or three minutes; he then came to me, and said, how many do you want? I said half a guinea's-worth, he brought some halfpence from the other man, and laid them on the table, and received

silver for them; the prisoner then came and sat down by me; he gave me a paper that was done up square; this has been open since, which I gave him half a guinea for; there were three five-shilling papers of halfpence; there were three hundred and sixty in the whole, I counted them the next morning.

Did you know they were bad? - No, Sir, I do not know, of my own knowledge; Mr. Clarke has seen them; I carried them to Mr. Clarke direc tly, when I received the halfpence, he pulled out a shilling out of his pocket, and said he was queered; I likewise asked if he had any silver to sell; I met him again at the Robinhood, in Holborn; Ting and another attended there to apprehend him, but he was taken at the Magpye in Middle-row, with two separate half guinea's worth of half-pence, and some silver, which I was to buy.

Mr. Garrow, Prisoner's Counsel. So, you bought one lot at half a guinea? - Yes.

Who gave you the money to pay for them? - Mr. Clarke, of Bow-street.

He desired you to buy them, did he? - He did.

So you had the misfortune of having the trouble of going to the Rotation-office three or four times, and nobody was there? - No, Sir, I did not say three or four times; I said, twice; it happened to be out of office hours.

Mr. Clarke desired you to buy these half guinea's worth? - He did.

Did he tell you, you was committing a felony when you was doing it? - He did.

Did he tell you, you should be indemnified? - Yes; he said it was done, in order to bring a person to justice; he did not say that I should be indemnified; I did it for the good of the public at large.

That is to say, you committed a felony for the good of the public? - I did commit a felony.

You knew it at the time? - Most certainly.

You continued this negociation with this man, and dealt with him for some silver and more halfpence? - He was to bring more halfpence; I did not deal with him for more halfpence; he was to bring me more, by order of Mr. Clarke.

You did deal with him for more half-pence? - He brought me more halfpence.

Did you desire him to bring you more halfpence? - Yes.

Did you settle the price? - No; I was to have them the same as the others.

Did he agree to bring them for the same price? - Yes; some more halfpence, and silver.

Did you know, that after committing one act of felony yourself, you were to desire him to commit a new act of felony? - I asked him to bring them, that he might be taken with them upon him.

Did you know you was desiring him to commit a new act of felony? - I do not know that I thought any thing about it.

Did you know it? - Most certainly; I knew the first was a felony, therefore the second was.

You knew you were repeating an act of felony? - Yes, in order to bring him to justice.

You was desiring him to commit an act of felony, that you were repeating yourself? - I did not think any thing of it myself.

Having been told so, as to the first parcel, upon your oath, did not you know that you were desiring him to give you an opportunity of committing a new act of felony? - I can say no more than I have said already.

Did you know you was inducing him to commit a new act of felony? - I did not think about it.

Then, had you so totally got rid of all impression about it? - What I was doing, was to bring the man to justice; most certainly I must have known it.

Did you know, then, you were inviting him to give you a new opportunity? - To be sure I did.

You said, he was to be taken with some bad halfpence, or silver, about him? - Yes.

Who was that settled by? - By Mr. Clarke.

Do you keep a house? - No.

What sort of tallow chandler are you, have you a licence? - No; I work day-work; journey men are not obliged to have licences.

For whom have you worked lately? - Mr. Morris, on Holborn-hill; I lived with him, and with Mr. Bedford, in Short's Gardens; about half a year ago he left off business.

Who may you have been employed for since? - Now, I deal in kitchen-stuff; there is very little to do in the tallow-chandlery way now; I can buy candles much cheaper than I can make them.

Where do you keep your warehouse? - I have none; I carry them on my shoulders.

Then, that is your whole stock in trade? - Yes.

That is your only way of getting your living for six months? - Yes.

Court. What day of the week was it you purchased this money? - It was Tuesday the 21st I met him, and I purchased it on the 27th; I had the money from Mr. Clarke to purchase it; I bought it for the purpose of detection; then I desired him to bring some more; I was to purchase half a guinea's worth of silver, and the rest was taken upon him; the half guinea's worth of halfpence I saw taken from him.


Mr. Garrow. How long have you known Bevan? - I never saw him before.


I was in company with Mr. Ting, and apprehended the prisoner in Middle-row, Holborn, at the Horseshoe and Maypye; I found a great quantity of halfpence.

How many? - I do not know; there are these papers full, and a great many more loose ones; I found these in his waistcoat-pocket, and these in his coat, on the 29th.


I had an information from Mr. Bevan, of some money being for sale; I desired him to go to buy some; Bevan told me that it was a man named Basset, whom I knew; I desired him to buy half a guinea's worth, and bring them to me; after he came there, I desired him to order more, and I sent the officer to apprehend him.

Look at these halfpence, did you desire him to purchase any more? - Yes, I did, another half guinea's worth, in order to get him into custody.

What more passed between you? - He told me, in the first instance, he had been with a Magistrate, and the Magistrate sent him to the Solicitor of the Mint, and the Solicitor of the Mint sent him to me; he brought half a guinea's worth to me, and I desired him to get another half guinea's worth of halfpence; I sent an officer, and he was apprehended.

Look at these halfpence? - These are bad; these in the bag were found upon him; they are all bad; here are six papers, five shillings in a paper; this is the usual way of doing them up; six of these papers, which is thirty shillings, they call a piece.


Mr. Bevan met me on Clerkenwell-green, and asked me if I would go into the tallow chandlery line; I asked him what benefit should arise from that; he said he did not mean to pay any duty; from that, I think, he has owed me a spight; I never bought any thing of him in my life.

The prisoner called two witnesses, who gave him a very good character.


Fined 1 s. and imprisoned one year in Newgate .

Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. ROSE.

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