26th April 1786
Reference Numbert17860426-9
VerdictNot Guilty; Guilty; Not Guilty

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327. JOSEPH YELLAND , otherwise HOLMAN , PHEBE HARRIS , and ELIZABETH YELLAND , were indicted, for that they, on the 11th of February last, one piece of false, feigned, and counterfeit money and coin, to the likeness and similitude of the good, legal, and silver coin of this realm, called a shilling, falsely, deceitfully, feloniously, and traiterously did counterfeit and coin, against the duty of their allegiance, and against the statute.

A second count, for coining a sixpence.

(The Indictment opened by Mr. Silvester, and the Case by Mr. Wilson.)

( The Witnesses examined separate, at the desire of Mr. Garrow, Prisoners' Counsel.)


Mr. Silvester. In consequence of an information, you went to a house, No. 19, in Swan-yard, Drury-lane? - I did.

What day was it? - I think it was on Saturday the 11th of February.

About what hour? - I should suppose it near upon five in the afternoon.

When you came there, describe what persons you found there, and what things? - I went to the room up one pair of stairs; there is only one room on a floor; I saw the two women prisoners in the room; Mrs. Harris was in the middle of the room, facing the fire, and I think, if I recollect right, the other girl was upon her knees: after they were secured, we began to search, and upon a kind of bureau, or chest of drawers, I saw a piece of get.

Court. That is the metal that fills up the sort of gutter that communicates to the different moulds.

Clarke. In a drawer Macmanus searched, he took out a quantity of good shillings, which he gave me; they have been in my possession ever since; and a bed was turned up; Macmanus saw the woman approached to that; and there we found a quantity of counterfeit shillings; they are here; and in a little room like a closet, in the same room, I found all the implements compleat for coining.

Did that little room communicate with that room? - Yes.

Has that closet a door into any other place? - No communication only with that room: there I found a pair of flasks, sand, scowering paper, file, cork, and upon the mantlepiece there was this aqua fortis; there was a fire in the room, and charcoal on.

Was the whole apparatus for coining and finishing compleat there? - Clearly so: I have compared the good shillings and the bad ones together, and they agreed; from which I conclude, that from the good shillings counterfeits had been cast.

How many good shillings are there? - Twenty-eight.

How many have you fitted? - I believe there is a dozen shillings and sixpences.

Do they tally in such a manner, as to enable you to pronounce that the bad ones were made from the good ones? - I have not a doubt of it, particularly as there is one sixpence that I believe any body may see; one sixpence has a hole in it, and the other has been cast from it; I saw the two women there; and in about five minutes the man came in; we stopped him, according to our information. The things are all here in a box as they were found; (the things all produced) flasks, sand, a crucible which is broke, and facings.

Court. We have heard nothing of the crucible before? - I found the crucible by the fire-side.

Whereabout? - On the hearth, on the side of the grate where the fire was.

What fire was it? - Part charcoal, and part coal.

Mr. Wilson. You saw no more than one crucible? - Yes, several.

How many? - I fancy there is pretty near half a dozen; there were several of them broke lay by the fire-side.

How many whole crucibles are there? - Here is one that has not been used, and one that has; every one of the crucibles were found by the fire-side; here is the get.

Mr. Garrow. Were the moulds set? - No, Sir.

They were in the state you first produced them in, before you screwed them together? - Yes; they were all in the box together.

The remiander of this Trial in the next Part, which will be published in a few Days.

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter.
26th April 1786
Reference Numbert17860426-9

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THE WHOLE PROCEEDINGS ON THE KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON; AND ALSO The Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex, HELD AT JUSTICE HALL in the OLD BAILEY, On Wednesday the 26th of APRIL, 1786, and the following Days;





Printed for E. HODGSON (the Proprietor) And Sold by J. WALMSLAY, No. 35, Chancery Lane, and S. BLADON, No. 13, Pater-noster Row.



KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON, &c.

Continuation of the Trial of Joseph Yelland , Phebe Harris , and Elizabeth Yelland .

You said the woman Yelland was upon her knees? - Yes.

Do you know what she was doing? - I should rather think she was scouring the floor.

The other woman was ill, was not she? - Yes.

Holman in fact enquired for his sister? - I do not know that he did, till he was taken into custody.

Did you know that they are brother and sister? - I have heard they are.

Did you know Hardy before you took him? - No.

I take it for granted you searched the man? - I did not.

Did you see him searched? - I did not.

Court. How came you not to search the man? - I should suppose he was searched, but not by me.

Mr. Garrow. You did not find any pickle? - No, only aquafortis.

Is not pickle one of those things which is necessary to put this into a state of currency? - No, Sir; they are put into aquafortis, and by the different workings, it reduces its strength.

Is this aquafortis in the strong state, or is it so reduced, so as to become a pickle? - It is in its strong state; they use the aquafortis alone; if a quantity of aquafortis is put into a pan, and by applying any thing to it, as it is put in, so it soments, and it reduces it, and from that it becomes a pickle.

Therefore, if I understand you right, when aquafortis is first used, it is not a pickle? - They use it without water; then they throw them into water afterwards, and that water is what they call pickle.


Did you go to the house in Swan-yard, Drury-lane? - On Saturday the 11th of February I went with Mr. Clarke, Mr. Macmanus, and Mr. Andrews, to the house No. 19, in Swan-yard, near the New Church in the Strand, between five and six; I went up one pair of stairs; the door was locked inside, I shoved against it, and it came open, I broke it open at once, and the two prisoners at the bar were standing at the fire-side, and screamed out very much, and upon that I peraceived something drop; the man came in about five minutes afterwards; I went in

first, and Mr. Andrews came in next, and Mr. Macmanus and Mr. Clarke; I heard something drop, and there was a light got, a candle was lighted, it was between light and dark, it was about half after five; and upon the ground where the two women prisoners stood, I picked up these two sixpences, one half finished, and one not quite finished, and a piece of blacking, and some cork, and a quantity of scouring paper, and some broken crucibles, and a pair of nippers; they were all close together spread upon the ground, and a quantity of dirt and sand and rubbish on the floor.

Do you know what that blacking and cork and things could be used for? - Mr. Clarke can inform you best; I do not understand it.

You do not know what that was that dropped? - I do not; I found the two sixpences just between the two women; they were taken into custody, and carried to Bow-street; I saw some files on the table, and a little box, and some things Mr. Clarke saw in the closet like.

When the man came in, was he immediately taken into custody? - He was, by order of Mr. Clarke; he gave no account of himself, how he came there, or who he belonged to.

Was he searched? - I do not know; I know nothing about him.

(The two Sixpences handed to the Court and Jury.)

Mr. Garrow. Did you try the door first, before you pushed it open? - No, I did not; I opened it with a good bang.

How long might it be till Mr. Clarke came up? - A minute after.

Then they were standing by the fire-side? - Yes.

And they continued in the same position till he came in? - Yes; then he ordered them be searched.

Holman was taken dir ectly before he had any time to give any account of himself? - Yes.

Did you see any body on their knees in the room? - Not to my knowledge, I did not observe.

Were neither of the women on their knees? - No, Sir; the women were at the fire-side.

Did you take Mr. Hardy with you? - No, Sir; I did not.

Where did you leave him when you went? I left him by the New Church.

He knew you was going there? - I imagine he did.

How long have you known Mr. Hardy? - No great while.

How long before you went to this house? - About a fortnight.

How long? - About a fortnight.

Do you know what business he follows? - He kept a house in Drury-lane, a green-grocer's, sold oranges; the way I came to know him, I went to serve a warrant upon him.


I went with Clarke and Meecham to this house; when I went into the room, there were two women near the fire; Meecham said he saw something drop; I went and picked it up, it was a bad sixpence; presently he found another; they moved towards the window, and Harris took a key out of her pocket, and went to the bureau, and took this crucible out with the contents, and gave it to the other woman; she put it out of the window upon a place to put garden pots on; I immediately took it in with the contents; I found it all as it is; in about five minutes the man came in; and there was scouring-paper and other things.

Mr. Garrow. Who searched the man? - I cannot say, I did not observe it.

How long have you known Mr. Hardy? - Not long; I served a warrant upon him first.

You and Meecham went together? - I believe it was Meecham.

How long is that ago? - I cannot say.

What business did he follow? - He kept a green-grocer's shop.

Does he keep it now? - I do not believe he does.

That is the only trade you have known him to follow? - Yes.


I went with the other officers to this room, and I found a quantity of silver in a drawer, that Mr. Clarke said was good silver; he said they were the patterns for casting, I gave them to Mr. Clark, and in some little time after, I took notice the woman went to the bed head, and I let down the bed, and reached Mr. Clark a paper I found there.

What did the paper contain? - He said bad silver; I did not look into it.

To Clarke. Is that the paper you produce now? - Yes.

To Macmanus. Did you search the man? - Yes, I found nothing upon him; I went up stairs and kicked the door open, and when I returned, I found the young man at the door of the one pair of stairs.


I understand this house, No. 19, Swan-yard belongs to you? - I am landlord of it.

Who did you let it to? - Different lodgers.

Who lived in it at the time the officers came in? - Mrs. Brown lived in the one pair of stairs room.

Which is Mrs. Brown? - I understand she goes by the name of Harris, she came to me by the name of Brown, she had lived there two or three weeks, I live in the kitchen, and says I, one day, Madam, though you have been here so long, I cannot say I know your name; says she, Brown, oh! says I Mrs. Brown; there was a gentleman with her when she took the lodgings, his name his Hardy, there was another young man with her.

Who did she describe herself to be? - The gentleman says to me, coming with the gentlewoman, Mr. Sparkes, I have recommended you to a good lodger, she is a captain's widow, and she has an income, so that you are sure of your money, her husband lays dead in the room where she is, and she wants another room; there was a young man with them, but I do not know who he was.

Mr. Garrow. So Hardy was the person, who treated with you for a lodging? - Yes.

He described this woman? - Yes.

The woman said nothing about it? - No, she never spoke a word.

Did you ever see Mr. Hardy afterwards? - Not till the officers came, he might pass in and out; she was there near four months before the officer came.

Silvester. The woman was present when Hardy said this? - Yes, both together.

How long had the other woman occasionally come backwards and forwards there? - I cannot say.

She did not come with her sister? - No.

Had the other been there a considerable time before she came? - Yes, I believe it was some weeks.

How many times might you have seen the other woman, before the officers came? - I cannot say, in particular, I have seen her up and down stairs.


How old are you? - Turned of fifteen; I am son of the last witness, I was present when the lodgings were taken.

Who took the lodgings? - Mrs. Brown.

Who was in company with her? - One Mr. Hardy.

And who else? - I cannot tell.

Was you mostly at home, my boy? - Yes.

How soon after the lodgings were taken, did the other woman come? - On Christmas-day.

When did they come to live in that house? - They had lived there about four months.

Who else used to come there? - I cannot tell, there used to be a man that used to come there.

Who is that man like? - That young man there used to come almost every day.

What time did he come? - He used to come at all times almost, I cannot tell what time.

How long did he use to stay? - Two or three hours sometimes, and sometimes not so long, he used to go away soon.

Are you sure that is the man? - Yes.

Do you know whether he was present

at the time the lodgings were taken? - No, Sir, he was not.

Mr. Garrow. Was Hardy there, after the lodgings were taken? - About once, or twice; I saw him, he came to see Mrs. Brown.

How long might he stay? - Not above half an hour.

Then that, I suppose, was before the other woman came to be there? - Yes.

Was any body else present, at any time, when Hardy was there, except Mrs. Brown? - No.

Did you ever see Mr. Holman there, when Mr. Hardy was there? - No.

Did you ever see Hardy bring any thing with him? - No.


Do you know the prisoner? - Yes; I went with Mrs. Harris and Joseph Yelland to take the room, there was one Mr. Richard Smith there; she desired I would represent her as a captain's widow, because she was separate from her husband, and she was afraid if he knew where she was, he would come and fetch away her goods; her husband had been separate from her two or three years, or near upon that; he lived with another woman; that was the reason she gave me, for going in another name; I told Mr. Spackes, that she was a captain's widow, I knew she was not a captain's widow, I knew she had a husband alive at the time; I know the other woman, I have seen them in that apartment, I have seen them at work, such as filing the shillings, and preparing them, and cleaning them.

Who have you seen? - I have seen Elizabeth Yelland preparing the money, and I have seen her likwise, after her sister has coloured them, rubbing them out in sand; I have never seen any body else colouring the money; I have seen a young man which is there, Joseph, making the mould with fand, and the flask; I believe after they had the room, they did not do any thing to the casting part till about a fortnight before Christmas, then they commenced casting; before that they used to buy the bad money and finish it.

Then it was after the time of course, that you saw Joseph making the mould? - I never saw him making any mould, but three times, for I was deterred from going up; the reason I went was, they owed me a little money, and I went after it, I being somewhat of a confidant, I believed they were not fearful to trust me; I only saw them making the mould; I believe I have seen the woman at work six or eight times.

Mr. Garrow. The business you saw the woman employed in, was rubbing them on paper, and cleaning them? - Yes.

This was whilst they purchased the unfinished stuff, and were working it into finished for uttering? - Yes.

It was before they began casting? - Yes.

So you saw that six or eight times? - Yes.

At distant periods from each other? - It may be two or three days, sometimes it might be every other day.

You was a frequent visitor? - Yes.

When was the first time, after the lodgings were taken? - I believe it was within four or five days.

What Elizabeth understood the business as well as Phebe? - She was not there then, she came since they began casting; there was only Mrs. Harris and her daughter and this man.

Did you ever see any casting going forward? - I never saw any metal run; I have seen the silver in the flask to make the mould.

You have? - Undoubtedly; when I went up, they have been a little surprised, but then they said, you need not mind him.

You have known this family eighteen months, how came you to be the person singled out to tell this falsehood to the landlord. - I never told any falsehood only by her own desire.

However you was the person thought the fittest with that demure face to tell a lie? - I lived in that neighbourhood, and I believe she had no other connections

but me, as I had not been in the neighbourhood long, and she desired me to look her out a room.

Are you a married man? - Yes, I lived at No. 62, I never saw her do any thing of the kind before; I did not know she was a person of that kind.

Did you know those people were in the act of high treason, at the time you went there? - I knew it would affect their lives, I thought it right to divulge it at last.

Did you always think it was a bad thing that they were doing, and that it was a bad thing to keep it secret? - Undoubtedly I did.

Had they paid you the money they owed you? - Some time; I suppose for two months.

Then you continued to visit them after the money was paid? - All the difference that arose between them and me, that made us separate in our connection was, my advising them to quit and leave that business, and they thought my advice too bad.

So there was a downright falling out between you? - No, there was not.

Still they continued in their old lodgings, going on with their old trade, knowing you knew of it? - Yes.

It was two months after your recommendation, and breaking of the connection, that you gave this notice? - Yes.

How long had all connection ceased between you? - I believe it might be a week.

Did you desire them not to come to your place, that you might disclose this matter? - I had some struggle in my mind, and at the same time was in hopes my persuasions would have an effect upon them, as I saw it was dangerous; I saw they would not leave off, and there was no other method; besides, I saw clearly that they were leading young people into that error, and they might have led others; I so far persuaded her own daughter to quit the house, and come to live at my house.

What is the age of that daughter? - About fourteen; she lived with me and my wife in the capacity of a servant, or in fact, till her grandmother would take her; she was not with me not many days before, not many hours; she came on the Saturday, and her mother was apprehended on that very evening.

Had not you really made a discovery to the officer, before you took the daughter home? - No, Sir; the daughter was at my house settled before the officers went.

I ask you, upon your oath, whether you had not informed the officer before you took the daughter home? - I had not mentioned it to any one person, till the daughter was in my house, for there I left her, when I went to apprehend them; I took her in order to save her life.

Had you made any declarations respecting the prisoner Phebe Harris and yourself, respecting your attachment to her? - I never had any attachment to her, she is a married woman, and I am a married man; upon my oath I never had any attachment towards her.

Have you never said this to any body, that if they made a case against Phebe Harris , the rest should go too, for you loved her better than your own wife? - Upon my oath I never said so, I never was prejudiced any more in her favour than the other.

You never said so? - I never did.


One of these sixpences is bad, and the other I believe good.

How are these shillings? - They are both bad; two of those shillings are bad, and one good.

Court. Hand over the paper with the two shillings in it; I want to ask Clarke a question about them.

To Clarke. You delivered in these, to be one good, and one a bad shilling; which did you take to be good? - His judgement is better than mine.

Jury. Suppose the good shilling was gone, one might be a pattern as well as the other? - Not a doubt of it, in all branchches of business, besides this, they mostly use lead for a pattern.


My Lord, I had been at my mother's all that morning, and hearing my sister was ill, I came to see her; and this witness

wants to swear my life away, for the sake of the blood money.

Court. Can you shew by witnesses what your life has been for the course of the last four months, that you have been honestly getting your living; that would be of great service to you? - I had been at work, and I have been out of work some time, I was looking for a place.

What business was you bred to? - A whitesmith, I have four witnesses to my character.


I have known him from a child; I am a married woman, my husband is a waterman and lighterman at Hungerford-stairs.

What business is he? - I saw him about half a year ago, he said he was going upon liking to a smith; I never knew any thing of him but an honest young fellow.

Has that been his general character? - Yes, I never heard any thing amiss of him.

What was he brought up to? - He was brought up in the school.

What business was he brought up to? - He was going upon liking to a waterman; my husband would have taken him; I have not seen him within this last twelve months, and then he had not been out at any business; I know his mother very well a very honest hard working woman; She goes out to work.

Did he live with her? - He used to be backwards and forwards.


I live next door to his mother, in Artichoke-lane, I am a married woman, my husband is a cooper, I have known him these three years to my certain knowledge, he went on board a ship, and attended as a waterman along with his father in-law; I never heard any thing amiss of him, till now; I never heard any thing of his being a smith; I heard once he was to be a smith, but he did not go.

Court to Prisoner Phebe Harris . What explanation can you give of this to the Jury.

(Her Defence read.)

My Lord and Gentlemen of the Jury, I am an unhappy woman; I was desired by a young man of the name of John Brown, to take the room, which I did, and he brought the things found in the room; and desired me to secret them, and I not knowing the nature of them, or for what purpose they were intended, did do so, and so I told the gentleman when they came and took me: as to my sister-in-law, I being very ill, she came to clean the room for me, and the gentleman found her cleaning it on her knees: and my brother-in-law came some time after the gentlemen had been in the room.

The prisoner Harris called two witnesses who gave her a very good character.


I leave it to my counsel.

The Prisoner called Alexander Sutherland , an Apothecary, with whom she lived servant two months before her commitment, who gave her an exceeding good character.

Court to Macmanus. Which woman went to the bed's head? - Phebe Harris .

The Jury retired for some time, and returned with a Verdict.





Tried by the second Middlesex Jury before Mr. Baron EYRE .

Old Bailey Proceedings front matter.
26th April 1786
Reference Numbert17860426-9

Related Material

ActionsCite this text | Print-friendly version | Report an error

THE WHOLE PROCEEDINGS ON THE KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON; AND ALSO The Gaol Delivery for the County of Middlesex, HELD AT JUSTICE HALL in the OLD BAILEY, On Wednesday the 26th of APRIL, 1786, and the following Days;





Printed for E. HODGSON (the Proprietor) And Sold by J. WALMSLAY, No. 35, Chancery Lane, and S. BLADON, No. 13, Pater-noster Row.



KING's Commission of the Peace, Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol Delivery for the CITY of LONDON, &c.

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