JOSEPH WILLIAM STAPLETON.
28th June 1820
Reference Numbert18200628-61
VerdictGuilty
SentenceDeath

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782. JOSEPH WILLIAM STAPLETON was indicted for that he, on the 16th of May , at St. James, Clerkenwell , feloniously did dispose of and put away a certain forged and counterfeit Bank note (setting it forth, No. 12168, 1 l. dated 11th of December, 1819, signed J. C. Baker), with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England , well knowing it to be forged and counterfeited .

SECOND COUNT, for feloniously offering to one James Poore a like forged and counterfeit Bank note, with a like intent, knowing it to be forged.

THIRD AND FOURTH COUNTS, the same, only calling it a promissory note for payment of money, instead of a Bank note.

FOUR OTHER COUNTS, the same, only stating the prisoner's intent to be to defraud the said James Poore .

JAMES POORE . I keep the Barley Mow, in Drury-lane . On the 16th of May, between nine and ten o'clock in the evening, the prisoner came to my house, in company with two girls of the town; he said he wanted something to drink, and unless I could give him change for a 1 l. note he could not have it. I said I would see if I could give change. He then asked for two glasses of rum, and one of gin, which came to 6 3/4 d., and offered me a 1 l. Bank note in payment. I then asked his address - he said,

"If you will give me a pen and ink I will put my address on it." He then wrote the address on it. I perceived the note to be a bad one, and asked him if that was his address - he said it was. I then asked him whom he took the note of - he said he had it of his father. I asked him if his father lived at No. 3, Shepherd-street, Bond-street, which he had written on it - he said Yes. I told him the note was a bad one, and I should detain him. I had him taken into a back parlour, and sent for an officer immediately. Before the officer came the prisoner attempted several times to go away, pushed against me, and said no person should stop him. I said,

"I will stop you." He shoved against me a number of times to pass me, but I insisted that he should not go. Edwards, the officer, came in about a quarter of an hour; the prisoner refused to let him search him. We were obliged to send for Edwards's son, another officer, when he came he was searched - but not until after he had put his hand into his pocket.

Q. Did you see him put his hand into his pocket - A. Yes; into his right hand breeches-pocket, and afterwards take it out, I then saw 1 s. 6 d. in silver, and 2 1/2 d. in copper, in his hand. He was taken to the watch-house. I marked the note - (looks at one) - this is it - it is marked

" William Stapleton , No. 3, Shepherd-street, Bond-street," and has J. Poore, in my hand-writing, on it.

Prisoner. Q. Did you not accompany me to the watch-house at my request - A. I did, being afraid he would get away, but not at his request. He said at my house, that if Edwards was not an old man, he would knock him down.

Q. Did you not tell me you went out for the purpose of procuring change for the note - A. I deny that.

THOMAS EDWARDS . I am a Bow-street patrol. I was sent for on Tuesday, the 16th of May, to Poore's, and found the prisoner in the parlour; Poore handed me a note, I asked the prisoner where he got that note, but he would not give me any account. I asked him where he

lodged - he said at No. 3, Shepherd-street, Bond-street. I said I must detain him, and search to see what he had about him; he said he would be d - d if he would be searched by any one man until he was before a magistrate. I said there was no magistrate sitting, and if there was, I should search him before he went out of the house. I endeavoured so to do, he was very resolute resisted, and said I nor any one man should search him. I sent to the office for my son, he came - I then searched his left hand side, and my son the right. I saw his hand in his right hand breeches-pocket, and told my son of it - he seized his hand and took 1 s. 6 d. in silver, and 2 1/2 d. out. We got two or three more to assist, and took him to the watch-house, as he had made resistance on being searched, and said if I had not been an old man he would have knocked me down. He made no resistance in going along, but kept looking behind him, and there were two or three men behind him. I told one of them to take hold of his coat, two more, besides my son and I, went with him. Next day I went to No. 3, Sheppard-street, Bond-street, and made strict enquiry for Stapleton, but could find no such name. I told him he did not live there, and he said he would not tell me where he lived at all.

Prisoner. Q. Did I attempt to conceal the money - A. He put his hand into his pocket when it was found, and said it was all he had about him.

Q. I could have concealed it while you went for your son - A. I did not go for my son.

THOMAS EDWARDS , JUN. I am son of the last witness, and assisted in securing the prisoner at Poore's - he resisted a good deal, and said he would not be searched by any one till he went before a Magistrate. I went to catch hold of his arm, and he thrust his hand into his right-hand pocket - I pulled it out, and in his hand I found a shilling, a sixpence, 2 1/4 d., and some keys. I opened his hand by force, and took it out with much difficulty - he resisted a great deal before I could get it out of his hand. He told me he lived at No. 3, Shepherd-street, Bond-street - I have not been able to find where he did live.

Prisoner. Q. Did I not count the money when I delivered it to you - A. Yes.

Q. Then you acknowledge that I delivered it to you - A. No, I do not, I forced it out of his hand.

PETER GRIST . I live at No. 3, Shepherd-street, Hanover-square - it is frequently called Shepherd-street, Bond-street, it is the same place. I have lived there two years; the prisoner never lived at my house, nor any person named Stapleton. I do not know that I ever saw him till this morning.

Prisoner. Q. Are there not houses there of a certain description, that persons may procure lodgings at for a night or two - A. There are two houses of ill fame there - there is no other No. 3 but mine.

THOMAS GLOVER . I am an inspector of Bank notes. The note is forged in every respect, and is not the signature of J. C. Baker, which it purports to bear.

JOHN COLE BAKER . I am a signing clerk at the Bank. The signature to the note is not my writing. There is no other of my name.

Prisoner's Defence. I stand here, entirely resting on my own innocence. I have refused to plead guilty to the minor charge knowing myself to be innocent. My friends and relations are in France. I left Paris three days prior to this circumstance. The night previous to my being apprehended I slept at a house in Shepherd-street. Having met a woman at Drury-lane Theatre, I told her I had no money, nor anything but a watch, which cost me thirty francs, and which I meant to dispose of, as I intended to return to Paris. I accompanied her and another female to sell it - they took me to a house in Drury-lane, and I received this note of a man there for the watch, of course I cannot produce the villain who paid me the note. I wanted change, to defray the expences of the night, and put my right name and address (Shepherd-street) on it, as, in all probability I should have accompanied her there again that night. Sometimes I come to London, and sometimes my brother - we are under our father.

GUILTY . - DEATH . Aged 23.

First Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Holroyd.


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