Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 08 December 2019), September 1798, trial of CATHERINE LAHEY ANN WARNER (t17980912-19).

CATHERINE LAHEY, ANN WARNER, Royal Offences > coining offences, 12th September 1798.

484. CATHERINE LAHEY and ANN WARNER were indicted for that they, on the 14th of August , a piece of base coin resembling a shilling, falsely, deceitfully and traiterously, did colour, with materials producing the colour of silver .

Second Count. For that they a round blank of base metal, of a fit size and figure to be coined to the resemblance of a shilling, did colour, with materials producing the colour of silver.

And in two other Counts, for colouring with materials producing the colour of silver, a piece of base metal resembling a sixpence.(The indictment was stated by Mr. Knowlys, and the case opened by Mr. Fielding).

WILLIAM PERRY sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I keep a house No. 5, King-street, Drury-lane ; the two prisoners were lodgers of mine, they had the back garret: On the 14th of August, about two o'clock, I went up to their apartments to ask them for the rent that was due to me; they told me they would pay me at night.

Q. What sum was due to you? - A.One shilling and sixpence; as I was coming down stairs I met with one Mary Comber , who lodged in the room next to theirs, and in consequence of what she said I went into her apartment, and looked through a small hole into the prisoner's apartments; I saw the prisoner Lahey sitting with her face to me, and the other with her back towards me, I could see both their hands; I observed them rubbing something between their thumbs and fingers with a rag, and putting it into a piece of paper, it appeared to be something like sixpences and shillings; I gave information at Bow-street, and the officers came in ten minutes; the prisoners had lodged in the house five weeks.

THOMAS DYER sworn. - I am an officer belonging to Bow-street: I was the first that went up stairs, I pushed the door open hastily, Dowset and Perry were with me; Lahey was sitting with a little deal table before her, and Warner was standing in the middle of the room; I told Lahey not to be alarmed, and I picked up a sixpence that dropped from her; there were two other sixpences which I picked up in nearly the same place within a minute after, I did not see them drop from her, (produces them); these sixpences I found lying upon the table in paper, exactly as they are now; this tea-cup was nearly three parts full of liquid, I tasted it, and it appeared to me to be aqua-fortis; while I was there somebody emptied it into a wooden bowl with water, that was upon the table, but I did not see it done; this blacking-cake Warner told me was for blacking shoes, I found it in this cannister under the table, and this pot of lamp-black; their hands were very dirty.

THOMAS DOWSET sworn. - I went with Perry and Dyer: I entered the room immediately after Dyer, I saw Lahey in the act of rubbing something between her fingers and thumb; she screamed out, and dropped a sixpence from her fingers; I searched Warner, but found nothing upon her, she was standing in the middle of the room; I searched the room found, but found nothing but what Dyer has produced; I saw the cup upon the table, but how it came emptied I cannot tell, it must have been done by one of the prisoners; there was but a single drop of liquid left in the cup, which Dyer tasted, I did not.

JOHN ARMSTRONG sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. Q. You have been at the apprehension of a vast number of these people, and know the use of these sort of articles? - A. Yes.

Q. What is the use of blacking? - A. To put among the money to take off the appearance of the newness; the aqua-fortis brings the silver to the surface, and then they rub them, and finish them with cream of tartar.

MARY COMBER sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I lodged in Mr. Perry's house: On the 14th of August I met Mr. Perry on the stairs, I asked him if they had paid him; he said, no; I told him if they paid him in silver to be aware of it; I had been looking through a hole and saw the old lady, Warner, take a little pipkin off the fire, and the young woman said, it was not boiled enough; she brought it to the table and stirred it with something, whether it was a stick or what I cannot tell, then she poured it into a tea-cup, or a bowl, I do not know which; I then went and told Mr. Perry he might come and satisfy his curiosity, and he came up and looked through the hole.

Q. How long was this before the officers camefrom Bow-street? - A. About a quarter of an hour.

HENRY- WILLIAM ATKINSON sworn. - Examined by Mr. Fielding. I am one of the moniers of the Mint.

Q. Look at these sixpences? - A. They are all counterfeit.

Lahey's defence. I was coming past the New Church in the Strand, and I found a paper parcel; when I came home I opened it, and saw it was money, and when these gentlemen came into the room I was wiping the dirt off; whether it was good or bad I know not.

Warner's defence. We found the blacking and cannister in the room when we came there, the room door was open always; I did not know whether the money was good or bad.

Court. (To Perry.) Q. Had you examined the room before they came? - A. Yes; nobody had slept in the room before they came except my apprentice, and I am sure there were no such things there then.

Lahey, GUILTY Death . (Aged 18.)

Warner, GUILTY Death. (Aged 56.)

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before The LORD CHIEF BARON.