Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 07 December 2021), April 1819, trial of GEORGE PRICE (t18190421-67).

GEORGE PRICE, Royal Offences > coining offences, 21st April 1819.

567. GEORGE PRICE was indicted, for that he, on the 9th of February , at St. James, Clerkenwell , feloniously did dispose of and put away a forged and counterfeit bank note (setting it forth, No. 2157, 19 November, 1818, 20 l. signed J. D. Capel), with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England , he well knowing it to be forged and counterfeited, against the statute .

SECOND COUNT, the same, only calling the forged instrument a promissory note for payment of money, instead of a bank note.

TWO OTHER COUNTS, the same, only stating his intent to be to defraud Edward Wood , William Wood , and Leonard Phillips .

WILLIAM WOOD . I am a coal-merchant , in partnership with Edward Wood and Leonard Phillips , we live in Northumberland-street, Strand. On the 9th of February, about half-past eight o'clock in the morning, I was alone in the counting-house, the prisoner came in and asked if I would send a chaldron of coals for his master, Mr. Williams, who had taken lodgings at Mr. Jackson's, No. 7, Newman-street, Oxford-street. I asked him if we had ever sent any there before? He said No; but his master had ordered him to go down to the waterside, and it made no difference where he went to. I said I could send them, and asked him if I should write a receipt for them? he said Yes - he was going to pay for them if I could give him change for a 20 l. note, and if I could not he must go to the Bank for it. He then pulled out a 20 l. note; I looked at it, and then wrote him a receipt, first asking him how far the men were to carry the coals, in order to charge for the shooting; he said they were to be shot through a hole in the street. They cameto 2 l. 17 s. 6 d. I gave him a receipt (looks at a 20 l. note). This is the note he gave me, it has

"Williams, 9 - 2 - 19" on it, which I wrote about two hours after, but I kept it separate in my pocket. I desired him to follow me up to my dwelling-house, as I had no change - he did so, and stood in the passage while I went up stairs for it; I came down, gave him the change, and asked him if it was right - he said it was; I opened the door, and he went out, requesting I would be sure to let them be of the best quality.

Q. How was he dressed - A. With a large frock coat, straight front, with yellow buttons, corderoy breeches, and top boots, as if he was a groom. We sent the coals by Gower - they came back again.

Cross-examined by MR. BROADRICK. Q. When did you see him afterwards - A. About three weeks, or a month. I took the name in my book at the time. I wrote on the note in two hours after; I discovered it was forged in two hours after. I remember the man well, and have no doubt of his being the same.

COURT. Q. When were the coals returned - A. About half an hour after I discovered the note to be forged.

LEWIS GUINIGAT . I am servant to Mr. Wood. On the 9th of February, about half-past eight o'clock in the morning, I saw the prisoner in the hall - he was dressed in a long brown frock coat and top boots; he was very clean. He was there when I went up stairs, and when I came down again - I noticed him particularly not knowing him. He came into the hall - I am certain he is the man.

Cross-examined. I did not see him for three weeks after; but I heard at dinner-time that my master had taken a forged note, which called my attention to the man.

JOSEPH GOWER . I am carman to Mr. Wood. On the 9th of February I went to No. 7, Newman-street, Oxford-street, with a chaldron of coals, to Mr. Williams - the maid-servant told me that no such person lived there, and refused to take them in.

JOHN JACKSON . On the 9th of February, I occupied No. 7, Newman-street; my name is on the door. I do not let lodgings, and had no lodgers of the name of Williams. I never saw the prisoner, nor did I order any coals of Mr. Wood.

WILLIAM BENT . I am a coal-merchant, at Cannon Wharf, Parliament-street. On the 9th of February, early in the morning, the prisoner came to my counting-house, dressed in a brown coat, with large gilt buttons, striped waistcoat, corderoy breeches, and top boots - I have no doubt of the prisoner being the person. He said he came to order a chaldron of coals for Mr. Williams, at Mr. Jackson's, No. 7, Newman-street, Oxford-street. I asked him if Mr. Williams had had coals of us before? he said his master was only just come to town, and had taken lodgings at Mr. Jackson's. I asked him who sent him to my wharf? he said he was directed to the water-side, and knowing my wharf by coming by at times, he came there. I made some objections to sending coals to a total stranger, which he endeavoured to remove, and said, if I would write him a receipt, he would pay me. As I was taking out a stamp, he said,

"You of course can give me change for a 20 l. note," which I objected to, and said I would send the change with the coals. He said it was not material, as his master had ordered him to go to the Bank if I could not give him change. I intended to send the coals in the course of the day, but did not, in consequence of what I heard from Mr. Wood. The prisoner came to my wharf soon after eight o'clock. It is five or ten minutes walk from Northumberland-street.

Cross-examined. Q. Will you swear he is the man - A. I have no doubt of it, but I will not take upon myself to swear to him. I had a very transitory view of his person, but my attention was called to the circumstance the same morning.

FRANCIS PARSONS . I am carman to Mr. Bent. The prisoner is the man who came the beginning or about the middle of February - I was by the warehouse door at the time. He had a long frock coat on, top boots, and corderoy breeches - he appeared like a groom. He asked me the way to Mr. Bent's office to order some coals? I directed him, and saw him go in; Simpson was with me.

Cross-examined. I took particular notice of him; he stood still, and looked me full in the face. I made a remark to Simpson about his dress and appearance after he was gone by.

WILLIAM SIMPSON . I am a coal-meter. On the 9th of February I saw the prisoner come down Bent's yard a little after eight o'clock in the morning. I was standing in the yard with Parsons, and took particular notice of him. He was dressed in a brown frock coat, yellow buttons, light corded breeches, and top boots. He inquired of us if it was a coal-wharf? I said it was, and showed him the counting-house - I saw him go in and come out again in five or six minutes, and asked him if he had seen anybody there? he said he had. The same evening, or next morning, I heard something from Mr. Wood, which called the circumstance to my mind. I am certain of his person. I did not see him again till about the middle of March, at Marlborough-street, and knew him again immediately. We both took particular notice of him, and spoke to each other about him.

WILLIAM LITTLE . I am clerk to Messrs. Thompson and Monkhouse, coal-merchants, Blackfriars. On the 21st of January, about five o'clock in the evening, the prisoner came to the wharf, went into the counting-house, and asked if we could send him a chaldron of coals the following morning? I said we could, and asked him who they were for? he said they were for his master, Mr. Smith, at Mr. Leighton's, No. 17, Albemarle-street, Piccadilly. I told him he must have made a mistake, for we did not serve them. He said he had not made a mistake, for he meant to pay for them. I asked him if I was to make a bill and receipt? he said Yes. I was alone; he gave me a 20 l. note - I said I could not give him change, but if he would step with me to Mr. Monkhouse's dwelling-house, very likely he might give change. Just as we were going, Mr. Monkhouse came into the counting-house, it was candle-light. I told him what had passed. He asked my opinion of the note? I had looked at it, and told him I thought it was a good one - it was quite new. Mr. Monkhouse turned to the prisoner, and said he hoped he was not giving him a bad note. He said his master gave him the 20 l. note to buy a chaldron of coals and other things that morning, and gave him no particular orders where to go; that his master was a single gentleman, and lived at No. 1, Albany, Piccadilly; that his mother wascoming to town the following morning, and that he had taken apartments for her at Mr. Leighton's, No. 16, Albemarle-street, where the coals were to be sent to. Mr. Monkhouse wrote Mr. Smith and the residence on the note before he gave him the change - (looks at one) - this is it. He was dressed in a straight brown coat, gilt buttons, top boots, and I think a striped waistcoat, and had a stick in his hand - he appeared to be a groom. I sent Hart with the coals the next morning - they came back.

Cross-examined. He was about ten minutes with me. I have no doubt of his person.

JONATHAN MONKHOUSE . I am in partnership with William Thompson , Earl-street, Blackfriars. I believe the prisoner to be the man who came on the 21st of January. I met him coming out of the door with my clerk to get change. I went in with them - the prisoner stood at my elbow; my clerk had the bill and receipt in his hand. The prisoner handed me the note, I examined it by the candle, and handed it in to my clerk for his opinion - he said he had no reason to doubt it. I told the prisoner forged notes were frequent, and I hoped he was not giving me a bad one. He said it was given him by his master for him to buy coals and other things, in the City. I asked him why he came to me? he said he came promiscuously, that his master's name was Mr. Smith, No. 1, Albany, and the coals were for his master's mother, who was coming to town next morning, and he had taken her lodgings at No. 16, Albemarle-street, where the coals where ordered. I wrote the address and name on the note in his presence (looks at one), this is it. I gave him 17 l. 2 s. 6 d. deducting 2 l. 17 s. 6 d. He was dressed in a brown groom's coat, buttoned close up - I did not notice the rest of his dress. I sent the coals next morning, they came back. Nobody called for the 2 l. 17 s. 6 d.

Cross-examined. Q. You will not swear positive to him - A. I will not, but I have no doubt of him.

JOHN HART . I am carman to Messrs. Monkhouse and Co. On the 22d of January I took the coals to No. 16, Albemarle-street; my direction was to

"Mrs. Smith, at Mr. Leighton's." I could find no such person lived there. I could find no such person in the street.

MR. THOMAS LUXMORE . I am steward of the Albany. The houses are lettered from A up to L, which represents the staircases, which are divided into different stories and chambers. No person of the name of Smith lived at No. 1 in any of them, on the 21st of January last. Mr. Newman Smith lived in letter 1. No. 2, and had lived there upwards of six months. He was the only Mr. Smith there at the time.

NEWMAN SMITH, ESQ. I lived at No. 2, in letter I, in January last. The prisoner was not my servant. I do not know him.

JOHN LAYCON . I live at No. 16, Albemarle-street. I have lived there three years, my name is on the door. Nobody of the name of Smith or Leighton, lived there. I never ordered any coals of Thompson and Co. I never saw the prisoner before.

COURT. Q. Had you any reason to expect a person to your house to lodge - A. Lord O'Neil lodged with me; I had no other lodger, nor expected any.

JOHN FOY . I am an officer. I apprehended the prisoner on the 14th of March, in the passage of No. 7, Peter-street, Cow-cross; he said he lodged there, and that his name was Thomas Williams . I told him he was suspected of uttering forged notes - he said he had none in his possession.

SARAH HESSEY . I keep the house, No. 7, Peter-street, Cow-cross. The prisoner lodged with me at the time he was apprehended. On the 16th of January I let the room to his wife; he came on the 17th, and remained there until he was taken up. He went by the name of Garrett.

COURT. Q. How used he to dress - A. Very clean and neat; he used to wear a dark green coat, and sometimes a blue one.

Cross-examined. I understood him to be a porter. I used to call him Garrett - he never objected to it.

THOMAS GLOVER. I am an inspector of bank notes (looks at the note uttered to Mr. Wood), it is forged in every respect; it is not the bank plate, paper, or the signature of J. D. Capel; it is a very bad imitation of his writing. The water-mark appears to be impressed. The other is also forged in every respect; both appear to be off the same plate and paper - it is signed

"R. Law." There is no cashier of that name. There is Robert Low , but he does not sign 20 l. notes.

Cross-examined. I have seen the water-mark made in a genuine note.

JAMES DURNFORD CAPEL . I am a cashier in the Bank, and sign 5 l. notes, and upwards. The note is not signed by me - it bears no resemblance to my hand.

ROBERT LOW. I only sign 1 l. and 2 l. notes. The note signed Low, is not my writing.

(The note was here put in and read.)

Prisoner's Defence. I never had a 20 l. note in my hands. I am not the person.

GUILTY - DEATH . Aged 20.

Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Justice Park.