Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 24 October 2021), July 1800, trial of CORNELIUS-FREDERICK HOLT (t18000709-103).

CORNELIUS-FREDERICK HOLT, Royal Offences > coining offences, 9th July 1800.

579. CORNELIUS-FREDERICK HOLT was indicted for feloniously forging, on the 5th of April , a Bank-note for the payment of 10l. with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England .

Second Count. For feloniously disposing of, and putting away the like Bank-note, as and for a good and true Bank-note, knowing it to be forged.

Third and Fourth Counts. He was charged with forging and publishing as true, a promissory-note for 10l. with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.

Fifth Count. Charging it to be with intent to defraud James Benson .(The case was opened by Mr. Fielding.)

JAMES BENSON sworn. - I am a cheesemonger, I live at No. 51, Rosomond-street, Clerkenwell: On Wednesday, the 2d of April, I remember selling a cheese, when Mr. Amphlet was in the shop, but do not like to swear to the person; I believe that to be the man, but I won't go the length to swear; the person gave me a ten-pound Bank of England note, it was then candle-light, (the note produced); I know this is the note, because I wrote on the back of it directly after I took it; I wrote"clerk, at Evans's," on it; I knew Mr. Amphlet, who was in the shop, was clerk to a meeting, and Evan's was where he lodged; I cannot tell whether Amphlet and the person were acquainted, only by appearance, as they spoke together; Mr. Amphlet came in first, and the prisoner a few minutes after; the cheese came to two pounds two shillings and nine-pence; I gave him five one-pound notes, (I don't mean to swear to the amount of the change I gave him) two guineas and a half in gold, and I believe four and sixpence in silver, and three penny-pieces; I mark all the notes I take, and if they were among five thousand, I would pick them out, (five one-pound notes shewn the witness;) I can speak to them all, I can swear they were in my possession on the 2d of April, at night, after we lit a candle, when the prisoner came in; I knew Mr. Amphlet, and took him to be a friend of his that made me give change.

Cross-examined by Mr. Knapp. Q. The prisoner was a stranger to you? - A. Yes; but I knew Mr. Amphlet, who is clerk to a meeting, and, I believe, a tailor by trade, he is here.

Q. You had taken more than one batch of one-pound notes, or you had more than five in the house? - A. I don't know that I had; I gave him all I had, though I will not swear that I had no more.

Q.Neither can you swear, that if you had any more, you did not put your mark on them? - A. I mark all the notes; I had fifty six notes, but no ten-pound notes to the best of my recollection; I gave no five-pound note in change; I did not receive any other ten-pound note that day, I am sure; I have a book in which I put down the notes I take, this note is down; I can recollect the transaction perfectly from memory, but having the book as well, it is stronger.

WILLIAM AMPHLET sworn. - I am a tailor. I live at No. 48. Rosomond's-street, I attend as clerk to a chapel; I have known the prisoner ever since he was an apprentice, I was very well acquainted with him then; I know Mr. Benson also, and once saw the prisoner at Mr. Benson's in April last; he was purchasing a cheese when I went into the shop: he gave a note while I was there, but I went away before he finally paid for it; I cannot say whether it was candle-light or not; I had some conversation with him, and am certain that is the man.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. He was apprentice to a japanner, I believe? - A. I believe he was.

Q.He has been employed in japanning glasses and frames? - A. I don't know that; I saw the back of the note, but I cannot say whether it was a Bank-note, or any other note.

Prisoner. Q. How long is it since you have known me? - A.It may be ten years.

Q. I presume you have always heard an excellent character of me? - A. I never heard the least reproach on his character in my life.

GARNETT TERRY sworn. - I am engraver of the Bank-notes; this is a forged note; I believe, it not done from a plate, but a composition, with a brush, either a pen, or a camel-hair brush, or both, occasionally; there is an imitation of the water-mark, it is done with a pen or a camel-hair pencil, with a transparent composition, it is not in the texture of the paper (The note read.)

NATHANIEL LOARING sworn. - I am a clerk in the house of Messrs. Winter and Kay, Solicitors to the Bank; On the 4th of April last in consequence of some information, I went to a house in Bowling-green-lane, Clerkenwell where I understood the prisoner lodged, and forced him in a two pair of stairs room, and a young woman with him; the officers searched them, and their boxes, and found some money and Bank-notes; I then told him my business, that we had a five-pound note, forged, which had been traced to him, and asked him where he had got it; he said he got it at a pawnbroker's-shop, in Fleet-market; he said he wanted a five-pound note to send his father, at Birmingham; and thinking a pawnbroker's a likely place to get a note, they wanting cash, he gave them five pounds in cash for it. I took them with me to the pawnbroker's, and saw the servant who had given the change, and he said he perfectly recollected the prisoner, and his giving him the five-pound note; so that the circumstance related by the prisoner was correct. I asked whether that was the note; he said they never marked the notes, but it might be the note, or it might not. I then took them to Mr. Winter's office, and he there gave an account where he lived, and how he got his living, and got the money in his box, which he said he had got by his business he said he had lived with the young woman for twelve months, that they had lodged at four different lodgings during that time; he mentioned first; a lodging in Portpool-lane, Gray's-Inn-lane; the second, in Bayne's-row; the third I have not got; the fourth was in Bowling-green-lane I asked him where he had lodged beside; I am sure the third was not at Islington; he said, some notes found upon him were received in change for a ten-pound note at the Bank; I asked him where he got the ten-pound note; he said it was, part of the change of a twenty-pound note he took a little while before, at a hosier's shop in Holborn. It was then late, and the account he gave of the note being corroborated by the pawnbroker, induced me to let him go, on his promising to be in the way the next morning, at nine o'clock, at his lodgings in Bowling-green-lane; I called at nine o'clock and he was not at home, he had been gone out about an hour; at that time I knew nothing of Mr. Benson's note. I then made it my business to go to the Bank, to see what notes of this description had been paid there, and I found a great number; I did not see any thing of him till the 28th. Mr. Benson came to Mr. Winter's office, on the 9th of April, with one of the Inspectors of notes, who had traced it to him, and related the manner in which he took it. On the 5th, I went to the house of Mr. Painter, who keeps an oil-shop, in White Lion-street, Islington; I was shewn up to a two pair of stairs back room, there was bed in it; I found a cup with a composition in it, a camel-hair brush, and a table with Indian-ink spread on it as if it had be spread on purpose. On the 28th, in consequence of information, I went and apprehended him in Banner-street, Whitecross-street, at a little cheese monger's shop; I went directly up stairs, without asking any questions, and looked into the front room, but saw nobody there; I then went to the back room door, which was fastened and the key outside; I unlocked it, and went in, and he came out from behind the bed-curtains; the person, in whose house he was concealed, told me they had concealed him there on purpose, as they knew he was in danger, from the information he had given them, of being apprehended for forgery, or something of that sort; when he came from behind the curtains, he said he did not know; I then said you must go with me; he did not deny having a lodging at White Lion-street.

RICHARD GIBBS sworn. - I lodge at a cheesemonger's in Banner-street; I know the prisoner; he applied to me in April, on Good-Friday, to conceal him, as he told me he was accused of forgery, and the officers of Justice were closely pursuing him; I hesitated to admit him into the house, but he assured me he was innocent; he told me he only wished to be concealed for a few days, that he was suspected of forgery, but it was not the case, that he would bring proof of the contrary; I was very uneasy during the time he was at my house; I had not convenience to conceal him, but I did he was with me sixteen or seventeen days; during that time, I heard frequent reports, which I communicated to him, that he was supposed to have made them, and the number he passed off, or made, and the method in which they had been done; when I expressed my uneasiness to him, of his being at my house, he bid me to patient, and he would prove his innocence; he said no more, I recollect perfectly; he did not tell me that he either made them, or passed them off himself; he told me simply this; I am accused; of forgery, or passing off, I will conceal myself for a few days, and will bring indisputable proof of my innocence; when I told him of the reports, he used to turn them off with a smile, or a laugh, and desire I would be patient; he never said any more than that he was innocent; and when I expressed my uneasiness, he told me he would make his innocence clear; he had witness, and proof of it, and would bring it forward at a proper season. (A cup with gum in it produced).

RICHARD MARTIN sworn. - I am a watchman at the House of Correction, where the prisoner was confined; I received a letter from him, which I took to Mr. Valentine, in Aylesbury-street on a Monday morning; he was not at home, I gave it his wife, she read it, and gave it me again; I took it back, and gave it to Mr. Aris, the governor; (a letter shown the witness); this appears to-be the same letter (The letter read).

"To Mr. Valentine, japanner, Aylesbury-street, Clerkenwell.

"My Dear Friend, Monday Morning,

"At this time I am in a very strange situation and cannot relieve myself without the assistance of a friend; I write to you, being assured if it is in your power, at this time, that you take pleasure in relieving the distresses of others. - The case is this; if you will be so kind as to lend me eight pounds for a few days, it will be the means of saving my life; I have made an agreement with a person that will give me my liberty for ten-pounds; two guineas I have got by me, and if you will make it up ten pounds, believe me it shall never be forgot as long as I live, consider, Sir, by so doing you will save the life of an unfortunate young fellow; I have no other friend by me at this time, and I believe I shall go to Newgate on Wednesday or Thursday next, and then it will be out of my power. For God's sake do, my dear friend, get it for me if you can, and as soon as I can get it, you shall have it again. Mr. Gibbs, in Banner-street, is indebted to me six pounds, money that my brother sentout of the country, that you shall have; my sister, she has money enough to let me have it, but my time is so short, and I cannot tell where to write to her; don't be fearful about the payment of it, you shall be sure of it again; don't be fearful of doing it, as my life is in danger When you have got this letter, the person will call soon after for an answer; don't be fearful, all is safe; you may give him a note wherein you may tell your intentions, he will bring it safe to me; and if you can do it, you will spare no time, and come to the House of Correction, and ask for me; and if they will not let me see you, you can tell them you have some money for me, and that you should like to see me yourself; but if you cannot see me, write a note, and give it them, and the money with it, I shall have it safe. I hope you will understand me, for I have no time to write what I wish. You can think of the best method to let me have it. Cornelius Holt ."(The Jury here looked at the note and the letter).

Prisoner's defence, I leave it to my Counsel.

This prisoner called three witnesses, who gave him a very good character.


Tried by the first Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice LAWRENCE.