30th October 1811
Reference Numbert18111030-43

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846. WILLIAM HABBERFIELD was indicted for feloniously forging and counterfeiting a certain bank note for the payment of two pound, with intention to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England .

SECOND COUNT - for feloniously disposing of and putting away a like forged note, he knowing it to be forged, with the same intention.

And TWO OTHER COUNTS for like offences, stating it to be a promissory note, with the like intention.

JOHN BARRY . Q. I believe you are a prisoner in the House of Correction, Cold Bath Fields. - A. I was a prisoner there. I come now in custody.

Q. Do you know Mr. Westwood, the clerk to Mr. Kay. - A. I do.

Q. Do you know Joseph Beckitt . - A. I do, he is a turnkey in the House of Correction.

Q. Did you receive any notes of Mr. Westwood in September last. - A. Yes, on Monday, the 23d of September, between twelve and one o'clock, I received eight one pound bank notes in the presence of Joseph Beckitt and James M'Quire, they were given to me for the purpose of purchasing Bank notes of the prisoner

Q. How long had you been acquainted with the prisoner. - A. As near as I can recollect, the commencement of my dealing with him was the 20th or 21st of August, that is to have dealing with him, I have known the man before six or seven months, I had seen him, but not in the habit of intimacy with him till then.

Q. He was at that time a prisoner in Newgate. - A. He was.

Q. When you received the eight one pound notes of Mr. Westwood, had you any other notes about you. - A. I was particularly searched by Beckitt and M' Quire, I had no others.

Q. Having received these eight notes what did you do. - A. I went from the House of Correction in company with Mr. Westwood, Beckitt, and M'Quire in a coach to Newgate, when we came to Newgate I and Beckitt got out of the coach.

Q.Did Beckitt accompany you to the door of Newgate. - A. Not immediately to the door, he was on the opposite side of the way, he saw me go to the door, and go into the prison, I then went to Habberfield, the prisoner at the bar, I could not be admitted, immediately, I saw some other person with him, when that person was gone I got admittance. Mr. Westwood requested that I would keep part of the eight pounds, and put them into my pocket. I then delivered six one-pound notes into the prisoner Habberfield's hand, he knew what I want by giving him the money, and he gave me the quantum according to what money I gave him, I gave him the six one pound notes without saying any thing then. He delivered me six. three of which were what I gave to him, and the other three were three two pound notes forged on the Bank of England.

Q. Did he give you any reason for returning you three of the notes that you had given to him. - A. I always purchased them at ten shillings the pound and on returning me the three he told me that he had no more left, and that in the course of a few days he should have a fresh supply, I think on the Wednesday or Thursday week, in the course of eight or ten days he should have a fresh supply. I then returned to Beckitt, and put into his hand these three two pound notes, he was in the same place, as near as I could recollect, as I had left him, M'Quire was with him, I put into his hand the three two pound notes, the same that I had received from Habberfield, the prisoner at the bar.

Q. What did you do with the five one pound notes that were left. - A. I was brought to Mr. Westwood, I found him nearly opposite to Newgate, I gave him the five one pound notes on my return in the coach with Beckitt and M'Quire.

Mr. Gurney. What countryman are you. - A. I was part of my time reared in Ireland, and part in Scotland. Ireland is the place of my nativity.

Q When you were in Cold Bath Fields prison the Bank expected you dealing in forged notes. - A. It appears so

Q. And you wished to disappoint the gallows this time, you thought you would bring it on somebody else. - A. I always wish to disappoint it

Q. So they searched you before they let you out of prison. - A. Yes.

Q. How long were you in Newgate. - A. About fifteen or twenty minutes. I did not watch the time.

Q. Nobody went with you into the prison. - A. No.

Q. What part of the prison was Habberfield in. - A. I believe they call it the state side.

Q. How many doors did you go through. - A. Four doors, and a subterraneous passage.

Q. The turnkeys went through these doors, they did not know the errand on which you came. - A. No.

Q. Therefore there was nobody there to watch you inside of the prison, with whom you spoke to, nor whom you dealt with. - A. No.

Q. You saw many other prisoners though you did not converse with them, walking backwards and forwards. - A. Oh dear yes.

Q. Did you ask for Habberfield, or any body else ask you who you wanted - A. They seldom ask who you want, except past six o'clock in the evening.

Court. Did you at that time enquire for Habberfield. - A. Not just then I did not.

Mr. Gurney. Did you enquire for any other person. - A. No, not just then I did not.


dealing with any other person besides Habberfield, - that we are to take upon your veracity. - A. I had not.

Q. That you would say of course, Mr. Beckitt was not there to watch you. Are you acquainted with a man of the name of Kelly. - A. Yes, two or three of that name.

THOMAS BEVERLEY WESTWOOD . Q. You are a clerk to the solicitor of the Bank of England. - A. I am.

Q. In consequence of information that you had received, did you go to the person that has been examined of the name of Barry, in the house of Correction. - A. I did, on the 23d of September last.

Q. From what you learned of him, did you then make up your mind to try the experiment for him to go and buy any forged notes. - A. I did.

Q. You had permission of the directors of the Bank to go for that purpose. - A. I had, I gave Barry eight one pound notes. I was present when Barry was searched by Beckitt and M'Quire in the house of Correction, before I gave him the notes, he had neither Bank notes or money about him, his pockets were turned inside out, and he was stripped.

Q. Now before you gave him the eight one pound notes did you make any marks upon these notes individually, and describe what marks they were. - A. I put upon the back of these note a small W, but previous to my doing that I took an accompt of the number of the eight notes and by whom they were signed, this paper contains an accompt of the numbers and dates of them. Brickett marked all the eight one pound notes with another mark in my presence.

Q. For what purpose did you deliver these eight one pound notes to Barry. - A. For the purpose of detecting the prisoner, and to enable him to purchase forged bank notes by them. After delivering the notes to Barry, I then went with Barry, Beckett, and M'Quire in a coach from the House of Correction to the Old Bailey, very near Mr. Newman's house Barry and Beckett then got out of the coach, and I got out also, and I saw Barry go into Newgate.

Q. How long was it before you saw Barry again. - A. About a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes, and Beckett delivered me these notes, three two pound notes which Beckett marked in my presence, and I marked them also. These are the three two pound notes, they have been in my possession ever since, after I had received the three two pound notes, Barry returned to me five one pound notes, these are them, they are part of the eight one pound notes that I delivered to him, I know them by the mark I had put upon them. In about a quarter of an hour afterwards I received from Beckett and Brown a city officer, after they came out of Newgate, on the same day I received two one pound notes and part of a one pound note, the two one pound notes contains both mine and Beckett's mark, the part of the one pound note only contains Beckett's mark, that part of the note where my mark was appears to have been burnt, it contains the same number that I marked, they form a part of the eight that I had given to Barry. I attended the examination of the prisoner in Mr. Newman's house, about a fortnight after he was in custody, Barry was then produced as a asked what he had to say in answer to the charge that had been brought against him.

Q. Was this examination taken down in writing. - A. The examination was taken before Mr. Alderman Christopher Smith , what the prisoner said was not taken down, it was suggested that he had better leave what he had to say until the time of his trial. The prisoner denied all knowledge of Barry, and said he had never seen him before.

JOSEPH BECKITT . I am a turnkey in the House of Correction, Cold Bath Fields.

Q. Were you present on the 23d of September when some bank notes were delivered by Mr. Westwood to Barry. - A. I was; I marked them and searched Barry dilligently, previous to the notes being put in his possession, there was nothing in his possession but a shilling and a few halfpence. I accompanied Barry to Newgate, with Mr. Westwood in a coach to the end of Newgate Street, and when he came out again he delivered into my hand three two pound notes. I marked them. These are the notes. I delivered them to Mr. Westwood.

Q. Now look at these five that Mr. Westwood produced, that were returned to him by Barry. Are those five that you hold in your hand now, part of the eight that you marked in company with Mr. Westwood, in the House of Correction, Cold Bath Fields. - A. They are.

Q. Now when you had received the three two pound notes of Barry, did you afterwards go into Newgate. - A. I delivered them first to Mr. Westwood, the three two pound notes. After that I went into Newgate, accompanied by John Brown, the city officer. I went with Brown to the prisoner's room, there were seven or eight people in the prisoner's room.

Q. Was there any of the turnkeys there. - A. Yes, two, Vinge and Smart went in with us. The prisoner was sitting on the bed, I asked him if he had any property about him, he answered yes, he put his hand into his pocket and pulled out a handful of gold, after that he pulled out a pocket-book containing notes, I opened the book and looked over a great many of the notes, he then produced a stocking full of notes. It was requested by some one in the room to have the number of the notes taken down as I looked over them, after I looked over twenty or thirty, or more, some in the stocking and some in the pocket-book. I asked him for the remainder of the property he had got about him, he said he had no more property, then he put his right hand in his waistcoat pocket, he pulled some notes out of his right hand waistcoat pocket and laid them on the bed, about twenty or thirty pound. I looked over them and found they were not what I wanted, that had my mark upon them, he then put his hand in his left hand waistcoat pocket and pulled out three notes, he laid them down on the bed. These were three one pound notes that had my mark upon them.

Q. Were these three that the prisoner took from his left hand pocket, part of the eight that was given to Barry in Cold Bath Fields prison. - A. Yes.

Q. Now these three notes you say he produced and laid them down on the bed. - A. Yes, I took them up and looked at them, and by request I handed them over to Brown the same as the rest to have the numbers After the numbers were taken down

Brown handed them back to me, just after I had got them in my hand from Brown, the prisoner Habberfield ran and snatched them out of my hand, he snatched part of the three notes out of my hand, he left three pieces in my hand.

Q. What was done with the part that remained in he prisoners hand. - A. He went to the fire immediately, I ran and caught hold of the prisoner to prevent him burning them, there was a scuffle took place between Vinge, Brown, and the prisoner, to prevent him burning them. the prisoner attempted to put them under the trivet on the fire. I believe there was a kettle on the trivet, he tried to shove them under the trivet, but was prevented. I took some off the fire, it was in the flames, I throwed it on the ground and put my foot upon it.

Q. Did he attempt to snatch any other bank notes out these three. - A. None, he afterwards snatched at some paper that the person had been taking down the numbers.

Q. What numbers did the paper relate to. - A.I tore off from the paper the numbers of these three notes, was in my hand, and he snatched at it. This is the paper, I delivered the paper to Mr. Westwood.

Q. You had tore it off before he snatched at it. - A. Yes.

Q. Take that in your hand, you see there are two one pound notes, each tore in half, and two bits of a one pound note - A. They have my mark on them. They are what the prisoner produced out of his left hand pocket, they are also the notes that he snatched at and tempted to burn.

Q. Are they also part of the eight notes that you and Mr. Westwood marked together in Cold Bath Fields prison, and delivered to Barry. - A. They are, there is y mark on them.

COURT. During all this enquiry of yours about the property, did the prisoner put any question to you, what business you had with his property. - A. As we were going out he asked us what business we had with his property, and said he would serve us out. We did not tell him for what purpose we came, there were so many in the room.

JOHN M'QUIRE. Q. I understand you are employed in the House of Correction, Cold Bath Fields. - A.am, I was present when Beckitt searched Barry, he was searched dilligently, he had no notes about him. I am not certain whether there were not a few halfpence, there was no money to a great amount about n.

Q. Then you saw some notes that were marked by Mr. Westwood and Beckitt, given to Barry. - A.Yes. I think eight one pound notes. I went with Mr. Westwood, Beckitt, and Barry in a coach to Newgate.

Mr. Alley. Is the time of Barry's conviction out. - A. No.

EDWARD VINGE . I am one of the turnkeys of Newgate.

Q. Were you present on the 23d of September, in Newgate, when the prisoner produced any property to the witness Beckitt. - A. I was.

Q. I believe you were sent there for the purpose of ing present. - A. I was by the order of Mr. Newman that was produced was from his left hand waistcoat pocket, after the prisoner produced these, notes I saw him snatch them out of the officers hands.

Q. Who was the officer. - A. Beckitt.

COURT. In whose hands were they. - A. I cannot say rightly whether Beckitt or Brown. I saw him snatch them, he immediately put them on the fire underneath the tea kettle, they were taken out of the fire by the officer, he trampled upon them and extinguished the flame.

JOHN BROWN. Q. You are one of the city officers. - A. I am.

Q. Did you go with Beckitt to Newgate on Monday, the 23d of September. - A. Yes, I saw the prisoner at the bar produce a great many notes, some in a book, some loose that he took out of his breeches pocket, and some in a stocking, after producing these, Beckitt told him he had more, he then pulled three more out of his left hand waistcoat pocket, he gave them to Beckitt to look at, the moment that Beckitt had looked at them, he gave them into my hands for a man that was sitting by to take the numbers down, after the man had taken the numbers, I returned the three notes to Beckitt again. At the moment that Beckitt had got them in his hands, the prisoner Habberfield made a snatch at them, Beckitt immediately scuffled, and Habberfield made towards the fire place, seeing him in the act of putting them under the kettle, I immediately laid hold of him with my left hand, and stretched my right hand out to lay hold of the notes, his waistcoat gave way so that I was obliged immediately to throw him down, the moment he fell, the notes fell from his hand into the fire, as soon as he was down I put my hand into the fire to rescue the notes, there were two partly whole not burnt, and one partly burnt. I picked up the piece that was burnt and gave it into Beckitt's hands, the other I put into my pocket, that I took off the fire and kept it in my pocket until I came out of the prison I then delivered them into the hands of Mr. Westwood, in the lobby of the prison. The man, then of the name of Gilbert, was then asked for the paper that he had taken the numbers down. Gilbert gave the paper into Beckett's hands, who immediately tore off the number of the three notes now in question.

Q. You mean by that the number of the three notes that came out of the left hand pocket. - A. I do. When they were torn off Habberfield made a snatch at that paper, but could not accomplish it.

Q.(to Mr. Westwood.) Do you know that paper. - A. I received this paper from Beckett, it contains the number of the three notes that were torn.

Q. Look at the mark of the five notes. - A. The mark that I made is a small W, under the one at the back of each of the notes, all the eight notes were marked the same way.

Q.(to Beckett.) Point out the mark on the five ones, and tell me what is your mark, and whether that mark appears upon them. - A. My mark is a blind E, the letter E filled up, it is on all of them, even upon that which appears burnt.

THOMAS GLOVER . Q. You are one of the inspectors of the Bank of England. - A. I am.

Q. It is your business as such to examine notes. - A. It is.


notes given to Barry, are these genuine or forged notes. A. These are forged notes, the signatures are forged as well a the rest of the notes. They are not the impression of bank plates, nor bank paper or ink. They appear to be impressions from the same plate all three and they appear to be filled up by the same hand writing.

Mr. Alley. These notes are such that any man in honest course of trade might take them. - A. They might.

(The notes read.)

Mr. Alley. Q.(to Mr. Ray.) Would the Bank of England pay one of their own notes, struck from their own copper plates, having the same appearance of these. - A. I have known an instance where it has been entirely a blank. These are exactly as bank notes are.

The prisoner upon being asked what he had to say in his defence, handed a paper to Mr. Alley.

Mr. Alley. He merely says it is a wicked accusation of these people.

GUILTY - DEATH , aged 50.

London jury, before Mr. Baron Thompson .

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