Prisoners' Letters to the Bank of England, 1781-1827. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 2007.
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Letters, nos 601-700
601. [F25/10/52] Richard France, Portland hulk, Langstone harbour, Portsmouth, 30 June 1811
Gentlemen, I humbly Beg pardon for useing this Liberty I have now taken of writing to you But my Distressed situation oblidges Me to state my unfortunate Sircumstance to you Gentlemen hopeing that you Will not Contemn what I am going to State as you are Mercifull and Wishes not the punishment of the Inocent. Was my punishment Inflicted on me Justly or had I been Guilty of What I am Convicted for I would Not Repine, but Certainly my Inocence Will Call for Vengence on the perjured prosecutor if his Direfull Carrecter Was Enquired Into such as the Neighbourhood Could testify at Large the Laws of England would not suffer any to be Convicted on his Evidence
This Note for Which I was Convicted was a £5 – I had the same In payment of a sum of Money that I Lent I not Being any Judge of Notes – and the said Note being New I took No further Notice but Laid it up in my Bearow at the End of one Month I had Occasion to Lay it out and took it from hence But observing that it Grew pale in the plate and the Paper seemed Very Much Dimed I harboured a suspicion in my own Breast that it was forged I then carried it to one whome I took to be a Judge of Notes And also a Man of Aimable Caracter he told me to see The person I Rec'd it off and have it Changed I sent for the Person Imadiately I had it off and asked him if he Knew he said he Did I then Demanded the Exchange of it but he Not having as Much as amounted to the Sum Contained in the Note he Gave me What he had and bad me Keep the Note till he Could Get the Remainder for me
this transaction was known to Whitehead My prosecutor (for so Is he Called) and he being an acquaintance I told him freely how it was – he asked me then to Let him see this note which I made no scruple in Doing Upon seeing it he Instantly offered me £2 for it I told him Not it was not my property observing at the same time that there was only 25 shillings Coming to Me and When I was pd. I would Return it to the man I had it off. But When he found I would not sell it he attempt to Steal it or pick my pocket of it I told him I supposed he wanted to some money by it – if you had got it out of my pocket I Replied I suppose you meant to swear I sold it you
At this Expression he Got Enraged and Ran out called the Constables and acctually swore I offered the same note for sale. Now Gentlemen I beg your atention to what I have stated but I Will yet make one observation – that maney wanted me to pled Guilty to Which I Replied I never would Wrong my own honor to plead Guilty to What I was not Guilty off should I suffer the Most Ignimonious Death that Could be Inflicted on Mankind I beg to be Excused In takeing up so much of your time but I trust in God as you are Gentlemen touched with humanity & Lives in a Nation Who fears that God Who is the Justifier of all who suffer wrong. I trust you Will Look Into this Matter of Extremity My family is Driven to Sore Disolation and I am My selfe an Old Man and since my Confinement My health is much Impaired – and for me to Goe now in my old age to a Warm Climate and by all accounts to a Land of Barbarity to be torn from My Native Country and friends and Leaving a Distressed family behind is worse to me than Death
Gentlemen I have stated my Miserable Condition to you and if you Deny me your Benevolence tis all in vain for me to make any further progress – but if your Generous feelings will Sympathize With my unfortunate Downfall I will Encourage my selfe by Expecting some Enlargement as I trust none of the Governors of the Bank of England wish any to suffer in the Wrong
if my State is taken into Consideration by you Gentlemen as I hope you Will take pleashure in Doing Justice you will have the Goodness to send a few Lines for Captt Blackman comanding the Portland Langston Harbour and then I shall proceed but if My humble suit meets your frown I must for Ever Desist
I beg Pardon for taking up so much of your time on this subject and Beg leave to subscribe myselfe Your Most Obdt and Humble Servt Yet the unfortunate Richd France
NB I have had the sentence of 14 years passed on me by Judge Chambers on the 10th September 1810
602. [F25/10/53] John Gilbert, Zealand hulk, Sheerness, 22 November 1810
Honored Sir Under the Infliction of a very lingering Punishment, I humbly hope I shall be excused for the Liberty of sending this Address that is designed to ask you (in Answer) whether there might be a Probability of gaining any Mitigation of my Sentence which is for Fourteen years under the following Circumstances, that perhaps a Recital of may strike your Memory, you being, Sir, I believe, present on my Trial. I was convicted at Norwich Assizes in August 1808 before the Honble Judge Heath of tendering in Payment a false or forged Note for One Pound, purporting to be a Note of the Bank of England knowing the same to be false or forged and received Judgement as above. I beg to remark, which I humbly persuade myself will be somewhat taken in Extenuation of my Error, that it was apparent in several Parts of my Trial, that I was made (by the really guilty Party now with me) a deluded Person, and that thro' great Chicanary had become a devoted victim to offend Justice and, Sir, permit me to say further, it would seem as tho' this was quite manifest, when after receiving the Money for the aforesaid Note, I returned it immediately on Request and that the said Note was kept and detained from me as being surrendered a bad One, for more than a Month after that I had endeavored so to exchange it, yet so little Apprehension had I of Mischief arising to me that I never offered to go out of the Way, or leave my usual Abode, for the best of Reasons that I thought no Wrong. There, Sir, are the principal of the Circumstances I wish to signify in my Behalf, except that I have faithfully served my Country and King in a military capacity (in the 58th Regiment of Foot) for a Length of Time. I was in the Three chief Engagements, Viz: the 8th, 13th and 21st of March 1801, with the French Army in Egypt, and present in that Battle where the much lamented Abercrombie received his lifeless Wound. I fought hard in those Battles for England's Cause, suffered, without repining, very severe Duty and Hardship, and in other Places Abroad also shewed myself a worthy and loyal subject; but which I unfortunately cannot get Testimonials of, my officers being dispersed – some dead and Others not known where to be heard of, and I am precluded any possibility of enquiring about them, because I have not a single Friend to help me in any Respect. Thus situated, Honored Sir, allow me without exciting Umbrage, to throw myself on your Humanity, by Intreating your Endeavours to disentangle me in some Means from my present grievous sufference, that bears extremely hard on me and if, Sir, it should happen as tho' no Pardon of the Royal Clemency could be granted to me, I would consider it with Heartfelt grateful Feelings that your Benevolence (for such it would truly be) would obtain me the Mercy of being sent from this suffering Receptacle Abroad by the first Conveyance of Prisoners thither John Gilbert, Late of HM Cambridgeshire Militia
603. [F25/10/54] Michael Gearing, Zealand hulk, Sheerness, 13 August 1810
Gentlemen, I humbly beg leave to submit my deplorable situation to your merciful consideration & trust after reflecting on the deep and Melancholy state into which I am plunged that your Clemency and compassion will prompt you to have the goodness to render me some Assistance for which I shall be ever grateful, and as my Grey hairs are likely to come with sorrow to the Grave and feeling that soon, I hope your Merciful Clemency and generous Benefactor will not be witheld from your truly penitent supplicator who has not a Friend in the World to assist him, he therefore most implores your Assistance in such a way as may seem most pleasing to you, and should this application be fortunately crowned with success I shall ever think myself in Duty & Gratitude bound to pray, Honrd Gentlemen, with due respect Your most obedient & very Humble Sert Michael Garing
[BECLS: 7 Aug. 1810, request rejected.]
604. [F25/10/59] Michael Gearing, Discovery hospital ship, Sheerness, 9 June 1812
Hond Sirs, With all submission I beg leave to lay my afflicted Case before your Honrs benovolence – I am Hond Sirs the unfortunate Man Michael Gearing who was tryed at the Old Bailey Sessns Jany 1810 and Convicted for 14 years Transportation – Yours Honrs great goodness and Compassion on my old Age – viz. 65 years alowed me 5s per week in Newgate which was of infinate service to me having no friends to give me the least assistance now I am onboard the Discovery Hospital Hulk at Sheerness I humbly pray your Honrs Charity for a small portion of your Honrs well know feeling for the distressed – I am with all Hble submission your Hble Servt Michael Gearing
[BECLS: 10 June 1812, request refused.]
605. [F25/10/55–7] Richard Bricker, Devizes gaol, undated in January 1811
Bricker, 60 years old, butcher and tything man of North Bradley, Wilts., sentenced to twelve months' imprisonment for letting Bank suspect, James Windle, escape, petitions Bank to obtain release; petition signed by high sheriff of Wilts., magistrates, vicar, churchwardens, overseers and sixteen inhabitants of North Bradley. Petition covered by letter, 7 Jan. 1811, from John Pinehard, solicitor, Taunton, deploring severity of sentence, describing him as an old man with young family; 9 Jan. 1811 Bank refuse interference.
606. [F25/10/58] William Stewart, Zealand hulk, Sheerness, 28 July 1812 Gentlemen By a letter from my Wife, I have reced your answer and descisione to my last application. I am extremely sorry to observe, that it is an alternative repleat with more Misery than the one I am at present in, one condition excepted, Viz. the priviledge of entering into any other Regiment but a Condemned one to which I am given to understand all persons of my discipline are in general sent. I am not so hardened or Contaminated as to wish to join such a body of Men
Gentlemen, after permitting me to plead Guilty to the minor offence, I should not have presumed to apply to you for any further Mercy, but out of a feeling consideration for my Wife and Children, I have taken the liberty to request that you will have the goodness to look at them; who will presume to present this, I make not a moments doubt, but you are parents yourselves, if so put your hands on your Hearts and ask them faithful monitors if it would not be the height of inhumanity to deprive such Children at so early an age off their Natural Protector and have them exposed to a Merciless World:- Gentlemen you will thus see, that it is only out of Consideration of them, that I refuse your generous and Humane Offer held forthe to me, had I been a single Man I should with Gratitude have accepted it, and gladly have spent the remainder of my Life in the service of my Country
Gentlemen, permit me once more most earnestly to implore you will have the goodness to reconsider the Circumstances of my unhappy Case and condescend to grant me a Mitigation of Sentence I might then have an Opportunity of being serviceable to my Children as I am by trade a Shoe maker, was several years in the Employ of Mr. Macnortore in Berkley Square; and did all the Work for HRH the Duke of York, and am Confident I am able to do my Work with any Man in England, Industry is particularly encouraged in this Hulk I am confident my Masters in Sheerness would readly give me Work to imploy my leisure time. I would think late and early and suffer any privations for the support of my Family, and I am well assured my earnings would be sufficient to make them a Little Comfortable added to by their own endeavours, let me humbly beg Gentlemen you will have the humanity to grant my Request, no conduct of mine shall ever Give you reason to repent, and my Children shall be teached to remember your Goodness to the last moment of their Existances
If Gentlemen you cannot Acquiesce with the above request, permit me to hope you will not refuse to let my Wife go with me to N, S, Wales, and my Children I must commit to the Care of their Grandmother, I am Gentlemen with every Submition & Gratitude your Obedient Humble St W. Stewart
607. [F25/10/60] William Stewart, Zealand hulk, Sheerness, 28 July 1812, second letter to Mr Weston [? Westwood], Bank solicitors' clerk thanking him for assistance with his requests to solicitors, explaining that life in the army is not an acceptable alternative sentence, and asking him to use his influence to get him shoemaking work.
608. [F25/10/62] William Simpson Henningham, Zealand hulk, Sheerness, 17 May 1812
I humbly hope will take my unfortunate case into their consideration that they will be generiously pleased to sign my petition that I may be restored to my family and in case of noncompliance with that Request that they will use their Interest at the Secretary of State's Office to send me and my wife and children out of the Country in the first Ship that goes to New South Wales with a recommendation that I may be able to support my Family by Honesty and Industry I humbly beg that the Right Honble Company will continue the Allowance granted to me the last six weeks I was in Newgate as long as I remain in the Country and I can Justly assure the Rt Honble
Company that it is more requesite here than in Newgate without my makeing my remarks on my or my fellow sufferers sufferings. My wife will call upon Mr Westwood for an answer.
With all due respect The Rt Honble Companys Very Humble Servant Wm Simpson Henningham
PS Since writing the aforesaid I have heard from my wife that she is going in the Country Therefore the favour of an answer from Mr Westwood by Post will be a Particular favor
609. [F25/10/163] Isaac Newland, Zealand hulk, Sheerness, 31 August 1812
Mr. Westwood, Honoured Sir I do most humbly intreat your Goodness and Humanity to excuse this Intrusion, in reminding you of my unfortunate situation, and my most sincere Sorrow and Contrition for the Offence which I had so unjustly committed. 'Till this my fatal Error I had ever been in the Habit of earning my Bread by the most honest and industrious Means, which several Merchants and Others are ready to certify, and that my Conduct altogether was free from Stain or Reproach.
Under these Circumstances I humbly implore your Humanity in my Behalf, by signing a Petition in my Favor praying for a Mitigation of Sentence or for Leave to Serve His Majesty either by Sea or Land and in any part of the World it may be pleased to send me; this is all I can possibly crave or expect, and this I do most earnestly intreat (in either case as you think best and most provident), your Intercession and Humanity in the Endeavours to gain me; And I do most faithfully and solemnly assure you that as far as it can possibly lay in my humble power I will gratefully acknowledge the same by my future conduct to the end of my Days. I have no Friends to relieve or comfort me, a Interest to obtain any Remission of Punishment, I must therefore humbly leave myself to your Consideration and Mercy; hoping there may prove to be some trifling Circumstances in my Case, which may so far induce you to shew your Humanity to One, who as now situated, is labouring under the most severe and distressing Anxiety of Mind at his awful situation, which Deprives him of all the Enjoyments and Comforts of his Life, as all the best Days of his Existance will be lost without Benefit to him or Society
Most humbly leaving myself therefore to your most merciful Consideration, I beg leave to subscribe myself Your most humble and most obt though unfortunate Servant Isaac Newland his Mark
[In different hand] NB Sir Should you think proper to come down here or send some person to me I could Communicate Matter to that would lead to a great Discovery Concerning the Manufacturing or forging Bank of England Notes which is very Busy at this time but hope no persons would come here that Belongs to any Police Office as they would be known here which wd not serve me if I was seen talking to any of them I was so fool hardy I was quite led a stray with respect of making this Confession in due time but it is better late than never, I hope
The writer of the first part of this letter I wd not Communicate this subject to nor to no person on Board but to the writer of the last part of this. Any Person that may come may Enquire for me and then I Can go along Side.
610. [F25/10/64] Isaac Newland, Zealand hulk, Sheerness, 22 September 1812
Writes again believing his letter of 31 Aug. not received; omits request about military service and does not offer information since, he says, time is short, the ship for the Bay is due to arrive and he must go on board.
611. [F25/10/65] Dennis O'Connor, Zealand hulk, Sheerness, 21 July 1812
Counterfeit dollar maker, sentenced to seven yrs' trspn, offers to help Bank if they will protect his wife, known to gangs of forgers who suspect she will inform on them.
612. [F25/10/66] D. Townsend, Fisherton gaol, Salisbury, 20 April 1813 A bankrupt and his son write to Bank, who had agreed to assure their discharge under commission of bankruptcy, to assist in obtaining their release: they have been in prison four months.
613. [F25/10/67] Isaac Newland, Fortune transport ship, Spithead, 19 November 1812
Honourd Sirs, As I have before experiencd your lenity, I humbly trust you will not consider this liberty impertinent or inpassive, when I assure you, Gentlemen, nothing but the abject Misery I am in, would induce me to trouble you, I have been totally abandond by my friends since I was convicted, in consequence of false reports from what was surmisd in consequence of Mr Westwood coming to see me to prison, And it was James Wheeles that put forth them reports to my prejudice – together with reports of A similar nature brought by Red bills woman to the hulks, I would have let you know these Matters before but I had no opportunity as Unfortunately I cannot write myself
As I am totally Destitute of every necessary and going friendless to a strange country I humbly trust, Gentlemen you will consider my distressed situation – Honourd Sirs I Remain with respect your very Humle Sert unfortunate Isaac Newland on board the Ship fortune Captn Walker lying at Spithead – bound to new South Wales
614. [F25/10/68] Thomas Dardis, Portland hulk, Langstone harbour, 30 September 1812
Honored Sir, Being at this time in very great distress, and having no one to afford me the least assistance, I hope you will be kind enough to let me have the Money that was taken from me before my trial according to your promise while I was in Newgate. The Sum is £4-3-0 and it will be of essential service to me in this unfortunate situation. By so doing you will confer a lasting obligation on your humble Servant Thomas Dardis
615. [F25/10/69] Thomas Dardis, Portland hulk, Langstone harbour, Portsmouth, 7 February 1813
Gentlemen Whereas there is much Distress Arising to me from pecuniary Circumstances I am oblidge to Make application to you and I hope Mr Westwood Solicitor will represent my Case in as favourable a Light as it will Admit of as he has a knowledge that I was Apprehended on a Charge of uttering a forged Note for which I Was Convicted and sentenced to be transported for the term of 14 years when I was taken into Custody there Was property to the Amount of £4–3s-0d in Silver and Copper taken out of a Box Lodged in the House of John McCormick below Kingstreet Which property belong to me and I trust and hope Gentlemen that you Will Remit the same to me as my unfortunate situation at present much Requires it Thos Dardis
616. [F25/11/2] John Chave, Portland hulk, Langstone harbour, 18 April 1813
Hond Sir I must beg to trouble you in Respect of that Money that is in your Hands which Sir, you might rely ont is ours every farthing of it and further that Ruff [Bow Street police officer] will never Never Offer to Claim it our Sufferings is Great. Mean not Sir, to Imply Unjustly My Distress on my familys Account with whom as Tradesman in this Metropolis has Lived in greater Love & Comfort. But i Cherefully Resign to the will of God whom is Working every thing for the Best I hope & trust that you will have the Humane Consideration to give the Bearer the Money, which is my Wife, you will realieve the Distress of an industrious and affectionate woman and Likewise of your very Much Obigd Servt John Chave
617. [F25/11/1] John Chave, Portland hulk, Langstone harbour, 7 August 1813
Hond Sir I hope you will Pardon the Liberty of my troubling you Once More to Solicit your Mercifull Aid to Alleviate my Present Burthen which rends my heart a sunder to think of Leaving my Native land – a poor Distressed Infirm Aged parent to whom for yrs i have been the Chief support by my Industry & Sobriety i have kept my much Honourd & rever'd Mother from a Workhouse My self & family i have kept in Credit, & Sir you would most assuredly find by a Minutely Prying in to my Moral Conduct that it was such as Constituted a Good Member of Community, untill that hypocrite & Delusive Wretch, Bogg [sentenced to fourteen yrs trspn, OB Feb. 1813], came & told me of his Great Benefits i yielded to the temptation i am not the only one that is suffering through having a knowledge of that execrable wretch i was self Convicted from the first Moment i ever had one & i Declare that i shoud never have Entertained him nor any other Person connected with any dishonest profession, after i had bought myself a new coat that which was my Intention after he made the Inducement, to have got them two Articles easy, no person i thought woud be the Wiser, it was not a Vicious or Depraved heart it might be more Justly
Alluded Sir, to a Proud Spirit in not having Patience to Wait to gain it by my former Custom Industry
Pray Sir do Compassionate the Sufferings of a fellow Creature
By which Intercession i trust i shall have my sentence lessened that i may once more have an Idea of Surviving this Dreadfull Dilemma which is the dire effects of being easily Persuaded and Sir with a heart full of gratitude i shall never cease to Pray – I Beg to Subscribe Myself yr Most Obedient Humble Servt John Chave
618. [F25/11/3] Joseph Jennings, Laurel hulk, Portsmouth harbour, 7 August 1813
Gentn Having been unfortunately convicted at the last Lent Assizes at Warwick for having in my possession forged Blank Bank of England Notes and Sentenced to Fourteen years transportation I have most humbly presumed to request you will recommend my Case to the Governors & Directors of the Bank of England as the whole of my Small Property was wasted and Sold in Consequence of my Misfortunes and being now much reduced respectfully solicit those gentlemen will condescend (as there is no doubt of my immediately leavg this Country) to extend to me the same benefit which has lately been afforded to other unfortunate objects of their Prosecn as in my present distressed situation the most trifling Sum will be very acceptable & remain Sirs Your most obedt humble Servt Joseph Jennings
619. [F25/11/4] Isaac Wise, General Hewitt transport ship, Gosport, August 1813, formal petition
Your petitioner, being fully contious of his Guilt pleaded Guilty to the Minor Offence of haveing forged Notes in his possession, in October Sessions last past at the Sessions House in the Old Baily, and received Sentance of transportation for the term of fourteen years
That petitioner returns his most Sincere thanks for the Humanity he has already experienced, that the long Confinement he has underwent has expended all his money that he has not had it in his power to Lay in any sort of Sea Stock, to preserve Health or Sustain nature during so long a Voyage, And that he has no freinds to enable him so to do.
Therefore your petitioner most humbly Implores your Honour to take his Case Into consideration And Grant him some temporary Aid for the Above Purpose And Petitioner in Duty bound will ever pray &c &c &c Isaac Wise his mark
620. [F25/11/5–6] John Davis, State Side, Newgate, 13 April 1813
Gentleman, With the utmost Contrition & Sorrow for my past folley & faults I do most Earnestly beg Your Pardon, Permit me therefore Honnerd Sirs in behalf of my self & Family once more to implore your Mercy & Clamency towards me, and by which means I may be Enabled to render you All the Assistance in my power and I do hereby solemnly plegd myself and likewise sevral of my Nearst friends, Constantly to be owed Study henceford to render you every Assistance, as soon you will pleace to put me in that situation to convince you therof: untill then Gentlemen I offer my Friends to be Security for me in Two hundred Pounds:- I am respectfully Gentlemen your most obt humble Sert John Davis
Attached: covering letter from Davis.
621. [F25/11/8] Thomas Davis, brother of John Davis , 21 April 1813 Sirs, The very distressed and unfortunate Situation of my Brother John, and my natural feelings for him as a Brother will I presume apologise for this address, and I beg to assure you I have no interested Motives in contemplation while I am endeavouring to serve you but the amelioration of my Brother's Sufferings; and allow me to represent to you that if he should be sent to the Hulks his Life will be endangered from the discoveries I have made by the persons who have been the Objects of my Information; and others who are also in confinement for the same offence; and it is to him you are alone indebted for the discoveries that have been made as I had no means whatever from my own Knowledge of distinguishing who the parties were that have been pursuing the nefarious practices of passing counterfeited Notes without having had them first pointed out by him, and even now confined in Newgate he is afraid to attend the Church lest some personal Violence should be offered him by those persons in confinement on the Felons Side and from this he can form an Idea What would be the result if subjected to the Imprisonment aboard with those persons. I therefore most respectfully & humbly entreat as a remuneration for my services that you will be pleased to prevent it & extend to him your gracious Mercy & pardon; or any fine that you may think fit – and should you be disposed to grant him any Indulgences or mitigation Permit me to inform you that he is in hourly expectation of a removal and that no time ought to be lost to prevent it – any Communication you may have to make now upon the Subject the Bearer of this will be happy to take it as he is in waiting
I am Sirs; Your most obedt servant Thomas Davis Prujean Square, Old Bailey
John informs me he can give further information from two different quarters which I will inform you with Thomas Davis his mark
622. [F25/11/9] John Davis, Laurel hulk, Gosport, date obscured by water damage, formal petition
Your Pertitioner most Humbly begs that your Honors will extend your Mercy towards him and Grant him a Medigation of his sentence having given Information before his last Examination that he bought them of a Man of the name of Tavenor [sentenced to fourteen yrs trspn, OB, Apr. 1819] & Mr Westwood your Solisctors managing Clerk said all he could Promiss him was that the Capital should be taken off
Your Pertitioner at a expence has done all in his Power like wise his frinds, to Detect, Tavenor but unfortunately, has not secoseaded
Your Petitioner begs farther to state while he was at the house of Correction in Cold Bath fields in the Sells he got acquainted with a man of the name of Palmer and when they where Committed to his Majestys Goal of Newgate with the consent of Mr Westwood on purpose for your Honours;
Information had frequent interviews with him & other Prisoners in the Vine room pretending he wanted to buy some Notes being short of Money & could git them passed Palmer gave him a Letter to a man of the name of Able & he sent his wife with it to Mr Westwood and implied his brother to buy some Notes & he bought two five Pound Notes N° 9170825 N° 91730 dated Augst 7th 1812 and he sent his Wife with them to Mr Westwood. My brother after wards bought of him which led to his Detection and Conviction. Your Petitioner also got a nother Letter to a man of the name of Wood this with every other information he gave to Mr Westwood thear fore most humbly begs that your Honnors will take his case into farther Consideration and assist him in procuring a Medigation of his sentance
623. [F25/11/7] Ann Davis, wife of John Davis, petition for mitigation for her husband, undated, in same hand as 622, making same points. She writes from Church Lane, St. Georges East, County of Middlesex.
624. [F25/11/10–12] John Davis, Laurel hulk, Portsmouth, 10 June 1813
Mr Westwood Sir I have taken the Liberty of informing you that I have sent a Letter; penitant Letter to the Governor & C° of the Bank of England requesting their kind interference in my behalf for a Mitigation of Sentence or to procure me a grant either to go into the Army or Navy and hope you will be so kind as to assist me with your kind interference as you promisd me and if possible to get me permission to serve in the Army or Navy as you are well aware I did everything in my Power to serve them by giving every information in my power and hope you will please to take my very Unfortunate Situation into your Consideration & use your utmost efforts for me with the Gentlemen of the Bank of England to obtain for me a Mitigation or a grant to serve in the Army or Navy which ever your Wise advice might think proper. I am extremely sorry for the Offence and I through myself upon your kind Benevolence & Humanity so Conspicuous to your Hone Character and Profession I have made every Contrition in my power by Strict Conformity to penitence and good morals for the Offence done Contrary to Law and in Violation of Justice and hope I shall be permitted to go into the Army or Navy
and I remain your Most Obedt & Humble Servant John Davis
Attached: further letter from John Davis to Bank governor, repeating 624; copy reply from Bank solicitors, 17 June 1813, stating Bank decline to comply with his request.
625. [F25/11/13] John Davis, Surrey transport ship, Portsmouth, 19 January 1814
Honored Sir Pardon me for this intrusion on a Person of your Rank & Character; Be Pleased to understand I am now on Board the Surry East Indiaman bound to New South Wales. I left the Laurel Convict Ship Three Days since, & am now Placed in a very disagreeable & wretched situation; I have ever looked forward that your honor would stretch out your aid to deliver me from this unfortunate situation; but as that most likely has not been in your Power; I hope you will by no means with hold some Pecuniary
Assistance to alleviate my distress, on your superior Judgement on such a case I relie every fear with your means of Protection ever be unneccesary. I beg to state that I were hurried away 'ere I could dispose of the little Tenement I were Master of & now expect to sail from this Port in or about 8 Days to the Most distant Period. I need not I hope enumerate any thing which were mentioned at a distant Period – I am well aware that your Powerful Interests can Procure me a Mitigation of my Sentence it being only that which were held out during the time I were in Newgate, rest assured Sir, I have never in the instance misled you & every thing has been done to giving you satisfaction, otherwise I would not by any means have been thus explicit You cannot by no means think me I hope trouble since it being the first time I ever craved your aid, I can assure your honor I have at various times expended a great deal of money & humbly hope that some assistance will be given me to soothe the anguish which I at Present endure – should this meet with the approbation of your honor so as to comply with my request have the goodness to forward it to me on Board the Surry East Indiaman at Portsmouth [three illegible words] At the same time have the goodness to make mention if your honour received a Note from my Wife that I sent her from the Laurel about 3 Weeks since; it were of Importance. I said that you are aware how assidious I have been to give satisfaction therefore I hope shall expect a Proof of your honors Humanity I beg leave to subscribe myself kind Sir Yr Most Obbt Servt John Davis
PS I hope every attention will be paid to my request
626. [F25/11/14] John George Hearson, Thomas Slater, James Ashton, Henry Rodgers, Earl Spencer transport ship, Portsmouth, 28 April 1813, formal petition
That your Petitioners were ever truly contious & sensible of the truth of the charges for which they are transported: that your Petitioners return their most sincere thanks for the Mercy & favors they have received already. That your Petitioners most humbly beg leave to observe that they have it not in their power to provide any sort of Sea Stock for the voyage to New South Wales all their money & friends being exhausted; leaving them no other resource but applying to your Honors. May it therefore please Your Honours to take the Petitioners case into your humane Consideration (and through your Honors accustomed goodness) be pleased to grant them such Pecuniary aid as in your Wisdom & judgement seems fit & your Petitioners as in duty bound shall ever pray &c, &c
J. G. Hearson [letter in his hand], Thomas Slater, James Ashton, Henry Rodgers
627. [F25/11/15–16] Thomas Slater, Earl Spencer transport ship, Spithead, 8 May 1813
Sir Excuse the Presumption of an unfortunate man Convicted for Passing forged notes being so very much distrest and having no one to asist and my Wife in Prison waitting to follow me without one shilling to asist us and having aplyed to the Honble Companys solisitors and cant get any releif I make bold to Informe you that I am not an old ofender but that I did give to Mr Westwood all the Information I could and would have done more If i could and after all the Oldest offenders you have are aloud 7s/6d Per Week and have got Hundreds of Pounds by them Meaning Isacks Wise Wife [Cathrine Watson] and George Hearson Wife [Hannah] and I have not got a shilling to keep me am going to Leave my Contry distitute of one to Leave her that wish to follow me Excuse me sir for thus intruding on you as I have no other way to make my Case know and If your Honnour Should in your Judgement think by Enquiring my Character of Mr Westwood Worthy of a little releife you will be so good if the ship is sail'd to alow it to my wife Elizabeth Morris in Newgate I shall with fervency Ever Pray Your unfortunate obedient Humble Servt Thos Slater
Addressed to Henry Hase, Bank chief cashier
Attached: copy note from Bank solicitors stating that governors decline to comply with his request, or requests of Hearson, Ashton and Rodgers .
628. [F25/11/17] Martha Pedley, Sarah Ashwell, Sarah Startin, Wanstead transport ship, Deptford, 4 July 1813
Mr Kay, Sir, I hope you will Pardon the Leberty I have takein in writen to you But it is nessety for I have Been taken up Ever sence the 30th of October and A small famley and have Been fost to sell all my things to Live on and I am very much Distrest and if you will have The Goodness as to give me A trifle it will be very thankfully Received By me martha Pedley as I have A Child with me and I have no money to Purcehs any thing But the alounce and there is 2 moor women that was Convected at Warwick the same time as my Salfe and very much Disstrest in Deed the Be Honnerd Sir I hope you will atend to the Above and your humble Pektichners is in Duty Bound and will for Ever Pray for you, Martha Pedley, Sarah Aswell, Sarah Startin
629. [F25/11/18] Mary Best, Wanstead transport ship, Deptford, 5 July 1813
Honnerd Sir I hope you will Pardon me with the Leberty of Riting to you But it is nessety that oblidges me to it and I hope your Goodness will Conceder my Long Confinement and my family to Be Suported as oblidge me to part with all I ad, and now I am Going to Leve my naterve Countrey and I am very much Desstrest in Deed. Honnerd Sir I Rely on your goodness and I hope you will atend to the Above and your humble Pertichner will Be in Duty Bound and will ever Pray Mary Best
630. [F25/11/19] Eleanor Thorpe, Wanstead transport ship, Deptford, 8 July 1813
Worthey Sir I have to inform you that I am now on board of the Ship a Going to Botaney Bay for 14 years and I have not troubled you before I hope you Goodness will kind enough to think of me now I am very much Distress for Cloaths indeed and leaving 4 Small Children behind me and not a friend to assist me in the Least thing in the world I was taken at Worrington with 12 two pound notes in my Charge and was tried at Lancaster Last august assizes and pleeded so I hope your goodness will not forget me I am Sir your Most Humble Servent Elenor Thorpe
631. [F25/11/20] Martha Hughes, Wanstead transport ship, Deptford, 8 July 1813
Worthey Sir I have to inform you that I am now on board of the Ship Going to Botaney Bay and I have not trouble you yet so I hope your Goodness will be kind enough to think of me now I shall be humbly oblidge to you as I have 5 small Children to Leave behind me and myself very much distressed for Cloaths indeed I was taken at Manchester and tryed at Lancaster Likewise Last March assizes and not any thing of bad notes found on me so I hope your Goodness will not forget me I am Sir your Most Humble Servant Martha Hughes
632. [F25/11/21] Phoebe Chandler, Wanstead transport ship, Deptford, 8 July 1813
Worthey Sir This is to inform you that I am now on board of this Ship Goeing to Botaney Bay and have not troubled you before if your Goodness would be kind enough to think of me how I was appehanded at Bristol with and onley 1£ in my Care and was tryed the 12 April at Bristol and I am Goeing for 14 years and Leveing 5 small Children behind me and not a friend to assist me in the Least thing in the World and am very much distress for Cloaths indeed so I hope you Goodness will not forget I am Sir your Most Humble Servant Phebee Chandler
633. [F25/11/22] Elizabeth Dewhurst, Wanstead transport ship, Deptford, 8 July 1813
Worthey Sir this is to inform you that I am now on board of the Ship a going to Botoney and I have not troubled you before so I hope your Goodness would be kind enough to think of me now as I have two small Children to Leave Behind me and very much distress for Cloaths and not a friend to assist me in anything I was taken in Leeds in Yorkshire (fn. 1) and not any found on me I was tried at Lancaster in March Last so I hope your Goodness will not forget me I am Sir your Most Humble Servant Elizth Duert
634. [F25/11/23] Elizabeth Chedlow, Wanstead transport ship, Deptford, 8 July 1813
Honnerd Gentlemen I hope you will Pardon the Liberty I have takeing in Riteing to you But it is nesseaty that oblidges me to it for I am in Grate Distress and as you have Been so Good as to give the other Poor unfortunate Women a little as I was Conveceted at Stafford with Mr Booths [cap. con., summer 1812] and Mrs Booth as Baveid very Ill to me and I am very much in want of nessarys and I hope your Goodness will think of me and your humble Pertichner is in Duty Bound and will for Ever pray for you Elizabeth Chedlow
635. [F25/11/24] Hannah Hearson, Wanstead transport ship, Spithead, 23 July 1813
Hounered Sir I hope that you will excuse my taking the liberty of Writing to you but Necesity Drives me to it but I hear that all the other woman is rote for A little Adition for A few necesaries for the long voyge that we are A going to take I hope Gentlemen that you will excuse the liberty that I have taken if you please to Direct Your Humble Servant Hannah Hewson on board off the Wansted Womens Convict Ship Spithead or elsewhere Hannah Hewson
636. [F25/11/25] Eight female prisoners, Wanstead transport ship, Spithead, 23 July 1813
Honerd Gentlemen Wee humble thank you for the favour wee have Recevid from your hands and as wee are Likeley to have a Long Voyege and most of us as Childrin and wat you have Been so Good as to give us all moust Expinded with By in a few things as we wanted very Bad and if you Goodness will Remit us a trifle moar it will Be thankfully Receveid By your humble Pertichner and wee shall Be in Duty Bound and will for Ever Pray Sarah Startin, Sarah Ashwell, Martha Pedley, Elizabeth Chedlow, Elizabeth Jones, Catherine Watson, Mary Best, Jane Smith
637. [F25/11/26] Martha Pedley, Wanstead transport ship, Spithead, 4 August 1813
Honoured Gentlemen Relying on your goodness I take the Leberty of trubling you with thes few Liens for wich I hope your Honour will Pardon me for and since I Recevied your kind Present I have Been very ill and wee have neather tea nor Suger allowed till wee get out to sea and I wented a few od things that I could not well do with out such as Shoes and Stockings for me and my Child and other Little Necessarys as is not allowed hear and I have Layd out my Last Shillings so if your Honour Can Stand my ferind with sending me a trifle moor if it is Ever so Little it will Be thankfully Recevied and your humble Pertishnor is in Duty Bound and will for Ever Pray for you Martha Pedley
638. [F25/11/27] Jane Smith and Elizabeth Jones, Wanstead transport ship, Spithead, 5 August 1813
Honrd Gentlemen Your Goodness will I hope Pardon the Liberty of your unfortunate Pertitioner who is After a Long Confinement in such Distress having no Freinds to Assist Render them compleaty misra misrabl if Gentlemen this should merit Your Aprobation and you should think it Proper to Remit us A trifl to inable us to Procure A few Nessary thing as are not Alowed
We shall be in Duty Bound to Pray We are Honrd Gentlemen your Humle Serts Elizh Jones Jane Smith
639. [F25/11/29] Eleanor Tomlinson, Newgate, 24 June 1813
Honble Gentlemen Your goodness will I hope pardon every liberty I take in sending to you But having never had anything of assistance from you hope you will dewly take into consideration and advance me some money to Enable me to get a few Nessesary Articles for Myself and 3 Children leaving and to be Banish from this Country for 14 years is a very distressing thing to think of. Therefore I hope I May be so fortunate as many more in the Prison for the like offence have Received at your hands that will Render them comfortable and I hope I may Become of them Being the first and certainly will Be the last having Been a prisoner now 6 months I can Assure you was I not Much Distress I would not trouble you I once mor reepeat Gentlemen that I also hope you will consider my case I am Honle Gentlemen with every dew respect Yr very Obt Humble Sert Elenoria Tomlinson
PS the Ship goes on Monday and we are Desired to Be on Board on Morning Early
640. [F25/11/28] Eleanor Tomlinson, Newgate, 28 June 1813
Honble Gentlemen I was in great hopes by this time I should have had the pleasure of hearing form you having trouble you with a letter to request the favour that you would kindly Consider My Distressd Situation My Husband is out of Employmend and having 3 Children and Being long confind has truly Much Bereaft me of My Cloaths having being oblidge to pledge nearly all my Cloaths for suport therefore hope Gentlemen that you will Consider My case as I can Assure you It would be truly Exceptable and thankfully received by Your Humble Pertitioner Believe me was I not realy distress I would not trouble you hope you will have compassion on me and pardon the liberty my writing to you
I am Honble Gentlemen with every dew Respect Yr very Obt Humble Sert Elenoria Tomlinson
PS Gentlemen I hope you will give the Bearer a favourable Answer and shal ever Be in duty Bound to Pray
641. [F25/11/30] Eleanor Tomlinson, Wanstead transport ship, Spithead, 23 July 1813
Honoured Sir I hope that you will excuse me taking the Liberty I have takeing in riting to you but I hear that the other Women has rote for a little addition for to by A few nescery Articals to take for the Long Voyge that I am A going to take I hope you will pardon the Liberty I have taking Your Humble Servant if you please to direct to Elenor Tomlinson
642. [F25/11/31–2] Margaret Palmer, Wanstead transport ship, Spithead, 23 July 1813, with three children; widow of James Brown, hanged August 1812 at Hertford for uttering in St Albans, requests money for voyage to NSW; attached letter, 22 Apr. 1813, in which she calls herself Eliza Palmer, asking for money while in prison. Not convicted for offence against Bank.
643. [F25/11/33] Joseph Barresley, Lancaster castle, 11 September 1813 A bankrupt petitions Bank for clemency on his debts.
644. [F25/11/34] John Carr, York castle, 3 June 1813
A debtor for £50, sends account of expenses while in gaol; since he helped Bank achieve arrest of many forgers, he asks them to pay him and expresses concern about his family; Bank refuse.
645. [F25/11/35–6] John Carr, York castle, 9 July 1813
Further request for help; Bank still refuse to pay expenses but say they will put up £20 to get him out of gaol.
646. [25/11/37] Dennis O ' Connor, Zealand hulk, 25 September 1813 Counterfeiter of dollars sends list of information about forgers.
647. [F25/11/38–46] Henry Moore, Stafford gaol, 26 March, 1, 6, 15, 21 & 22 April 1814 offers information on master-forgers in return for release when he proposes to work for Bank; three copy notes of response from Bank show interest, but they will neither visit him in gaol nor allow him to travel to London to see them; he must put all evidence in writing; they will contact under-sheriff to request that none of his letters to them be opened. No trace of Bank prosecuting Moore.
648. [F25/11/47] Thomas Smith, Captivity hulk, Portsmouth harbour, 2 June 1814
Honor'd Sir, My unfortunate situation will, I hope, plead in my favour for thus troubling You. I was tried in February last, at the Old Bailey Sessions with a man of the name of Thos [John] Borham [sentenced to fourteen yrs trspn, OB, Feb. 1814] for uttering Forged Notes on the Bank of England and being convicted was sent to this Ship 'til another is ready to convey me to Botany Bay which is expected shortly – as I know not the regular mode of making application most humbly throw myself on Your Goodness, trusting that You will interfere and render me some little assistance. Previous to my leaving the Country; as I am in the greatest distress and have not a Friend on Earth who can in any way relieve me and for such goodness I shall with the utmost gratitude for ever Pray
With every respect I am Sir Your most Obedt and very humble Servant Thos Smith
Letter addressed to Henry Hase, Bank chief cashier.
649. [F25/11/48] Thomas Smith, Captivity hulk, Portsmouth Harbour, 14 June 1814
Not having received reply to earlier letter, Smith writes almost identical letter to Mr Lees, Bank investigator.
650. [F25/11/49] Thomas Smith, Captivity hulk, Portsmouth harbour, 15 July 1814
Gentlemen, I have most humbly to intreat Your Pardon for thus intruding; but when I make you acquainted with my distressed and miserable circumstances; I trust and hope Your humanity and Generosity will need no other apology; I was in February Sessions last, at the Old Bailey convicted in the company of a Man of the Name of John Boreham [see 648] for having in our possession a Quantity of Forged Bank of England Notes; and received the sentence of Fourteen Years Transportation.
I am now on Board the above Ship, awaiting the arrival of a Ship that is to convey convicts, from this Country, to Botany Bay, and which is daily expected to arrive
I have most earnestly to implore Your commiseration; and trust that You Gentlemen, will, so represent, my situation that I may be, in some measure assisted by some Pecuniary Relief; having no Friends living, who can; in any Way assist me; I am totally at a loss to whom to apply but hope that in case it does not remain with You to grant me any Relief You will be Pleased to inform me to whom and in what manner I am to apply and such information will be most thankfully received and acknowledged by an unfortunate Man who with the utmost contrition for his Offence begs leave most Humbly to Subscribe himself, Gentlemen, Your most obedient and very Humble Servant Thos Smith
651. [F25/11/50] William Allen, Portland hulk, Portsmouth harbour, 16 June 1814
Sir, Having been convicted at the Assizes held at Lancaster (Septr 1811) before Sir Allan Chambre Knt one of the Judges for the Court of Common Pleas on a Charge of Uttering Notes with intent to defraud the Governor and C° of the Bank of England and received Sentence of transportation for the term of fourteen years
I am still suffering the said sentence on board the Portland (Hulk) on the Portsmouth Station; having made application to Lord V Sidmouth; to Sir Allan Chambre and to the Captains of the respective Hulks to carry the said sentence into execution (by sending me out of the Country) without effect, as five different Ships have sailed with Convicts from Portsmouth for New South Wales since my conviction and I continue to be detained
As the state of my health; owing to my Age [space in brackets blank] and infirmities of Body are such that continuing me in Confinement at the Hulks would be certain death to me being unable to bear the severity of the Climate, I take this liberty to humbly implore you will be pleased to take compassion on my present unhappy Situation and interest yourself on my behalf, to procure and order for my being sent away to a Warmer climate where I hope to have an opportunity to pass the remainder of my Existence in repentance and preparations for another and a better life –
My present debility of body will I hope plead my Applogy for this Intrusion and hoping you will be pleased to seriously consider my situation & alieveate my sufferings in obtaining my ernest request
With the greatest Submission I beg permission to Remain Sir Your Obdt hble Servt William Allen
652. [F25/11/51–4] J. Beckett, home office, Whitehall, 20 October 1813 re: Ann Harris (alias Fleming) held in Worcester gaol, awaiting trspn. Lord Sidmouth requires him to pass Harris's petition for mitigation to Bank governors and directors; they must let him know outcome of their discussion. Copy reply from Bank solicitors, 29 Oct. 1813, to Beckett stating Bank will not interfere but if Lord Sidmouth requires, they will explain the case against Harris. Further letter from Beckett to Bank, 2 Nov. 1813, stating that Lord Sidmouth requires these facts; also attached is much reworked draft reply from Bank, same date, explaining Harris's significant uttering of high value notes, and her (and husband's) previous trspn for similar offences.
653. [F25/11/55] Thomas Roberts and John McCann, Baring transport ship, Spithead, 24 March 1815
Sir we the Two unfortunate men under Mentioned take this liberty of addressing your Honour to Solicit your Friendship and hoping you will be so good as to forward us the Bounty which is allowed by Govrment for unfortunate men in our Situation we was tried at Lancaster Assizes August 31st in 1814 and Transported for Life and in so doing we Shall be bound for your Honour ever to Pray Thomas Roberts, John McCann
Sir, we are now on Board of the Bay Ship therefore we humbly solicit your Answer
[BECLS: 30 Mar. 1815, rejected request.]
654. [F25/11/56] William Allen, Portland hulk, Portsmouth harbour, 4 February 1815
Reiterates letter of 16 June 1814 , adding he would like remission of sentence.
655. [F25/11/57–8] Commander S. Owen of Portland hulk, Langstone harbour, 23 August 1815, gives information about forgers and sellers of notes; attached copy note of thanks to him from Bank, 25 Aug. 1815.
656. [F25/11/59–61] Mark Brown, Portland hulk, Langstone harbour, 21 August 1815
Hond Sir I humbly implore your pardon for this liberty but being unfortunately now on the eve of departing from this Country under the deplorable sentence of fourteen years transportation (which sentence I received at the Sessions held at the Old Bailey in February last on pleading guilty to a charge of Feloniously uttering Bank Notes (forged) with intent to defraud the Governor & C° of the Bank of England) I humbly entreat permission to submit the following statement for your Consideration
I was unfortunately in Company with Stalard and Giles  at the time that they uttered the Notes but without my knowledge of their Business or connection with them, neither did I know anything thereof untill my apprehension but having unfortunately only having left the Hulk at Woolwich a short time previous, my Character was suspected, and caused me, at the persuation of my friends to plead guilty, altho' I most solemnly assure you Hond Sir of my entire ignorance of the Business
The above Hond Sir is a true statement of the unhappy Business, for which I am now innocently suffering and myself involved a second time into the lowest abyess of human misery with a distressed and unhappy Wife who by my Separation from her is reduced to the greatest distress
I therefore under these deplorable Circumstances most humbly implore your Compassion for my unfortunate situation, and your humane intercession on my behalf with Lord Sidmouth to induce his Lordship to take my unhappy case into his consideration and grant me a remission or mitigation of Sentence, thereby enabling me to return and by honest and laudable industry to become an useful member of Society
Entreating your Pardon for this Intrusion and most humbly imploring your humane compassion for my distressed situation and your intercession to procure me an alieviation, most respectfully I beg permission to remain Hond Sir Your obliged & very hble servt Mark Brown
Attached: copy note from Bank solicitors noting refusal to comply; letter from Maria Brown, lawfull wife of Mark Brown, thanking Bank for allowing his life to be saved, asking them to support petition to Lord Sidmouth to allow her to accompany him since they both are young, in good health, of honest character and she can get a grant to get their clothes out of pawn.
657. [F25/11/62–72] Edmund (or Edward) Bamford, Captivity hulk, Portsmouth, 24 May 1815 sentenced to seven yrs trspn for stealing cotton goods, writes several letters hoping to get mitigation of sentence by providing information about forgers, paper makers and utterers in Birmingham; Bank say investigator, Glover, will visit him; after Glover's visit, Bamford sends information, 31 May, 1 & 12 June 1815; Bank pass this to Nadin, deputy constable of Birmingham. Bamford, 10 Sept. 1815, requests employment as Bank investigator; Bank refuse, 15 Sept. 1815, but say if he presents petition they will mention help he has given. [Further contact made 21 Feb. 1818, 704.]
658. [F25/11/73] William Sharpies, Captivity hulk, Portsmouth, 5 June 1815
Sir, I trust you will pardon me troubling you but having been convicted at Lancaster Assizes in March last for Bank of England Notes and Transported for 14 years and now going to leave the Country totally penniless and leaving behind me An Affectionate Wife and four Children and I understand through your kind Interference unfortunate men in my situation get a Trifle of Money allowed if that his the case I request you will be kind enough in making the necessary application for that purpose. But I have to request another favour for my Wife and Family to come to Botany Bay in the next Ship after me and I most sincerely hope that I shall be favoured with your answer and advice on how My Wife and Family should proceed to follow me, Being destitute of friends to take the trouble of making application for my Wife and family; and I most sincerely trust you will be kind enough to stand my friend I remain Sir with the greatest submission Your much obliged and very humble servant Wm Sharples
Hear his another hand of the name of Samuel Jackson convicted for the same offence and he trusts for your kind Interference in case any allowance his granted
659. [F25/11/74] William Spurrier, solicitor acting for Bank in Stafford, 16 September 1814, having visited Henry Moore in Stafford gaol  reports what was done with information gained from him.
660. [F25/11/75–6] E. Griffith, chaplain, Shrewsbury gaol, 23 August 1815, re Hannah Shone
Gent. On my appointment to the Chaplaincy of the County Gaol last Xtmas, my Predecessor Mr Poulett recommended strongly to my notice a prisoner of the name of Hannah Shone under sentence of transportation for 14 years for having in her possession forged Notes of the Bank of England. She had been strongly recommended to V The Hon. Henry Grey Bennett one of the Members for this Borough, who promised to procure some mitigation of her punishment: but as yet I do not learn that any attempt has been made for that purpose. She was tried in March Assizes 1810 with her Son, who was transported and soon afterwards went out of the Country. The report is, and as far as I am able to learn is true that her son was connected with a party at Peterborough or in Birmingham in forging and uttering forged notes of the Bank of England and one of these forged notes of IL he paid to his mother and she passed it again without being conscious that it was a forged note; and this report gains credit from her general character thro' life. Her husband was a respectable Farmer and they lived at the Vicarage of Stanton for considerable time in the neighbourhood of Wem. I have now in my possession a Letter from the Revd G. Dicken, a most respectable Clergyman at Wem, who says 'In reply to your letter, Hannah Shone the person You allude to lived at the Vicarage about twenty two years, during which period she behaved herself honestly & correctly as far as my observation extended'. She is now in her 67th year of her age & her health after a confinement of 5 years is as she says much impaired. Her conduct, since she has been in Gaol, Mr Cartwright the Gaoler informs me has been in every way correct. Her Son and I believe some of the party with whom he was connected have been transported and the Bank I should note, cannot entertain any fears of being further injured by the liberation of this poor woman. My object in writing this letter is to request your permission for her to address a letter to the prince Regent to shorten the time of her sentence. If any opinion can be formed from her fragile appearance, she is not likely to live to the expiration of her sentence whether she be confined or not at liberty.
I am Gent. Your Obdt Servant E. Griffith
On outside of folded paper: I am informed that her confinement or release depends much upon yourselves – if that be the case, I am strongly of opinion that it cannot be exercised towards a more worthy object than the prisoner in whose favor I make this application.
Attached: copy letter to Griffith from Bank solicitors stating directors fully considered Shone's case before and after they prosecuted; there were no circumstances to warrant their interference as her conduct was that of a person very familiar with the Traffick in forged Bank Notes.
661. [F25/11/77] Six male convicts on Fame or Sir William Bensley transport ships, Spithead, 20 September 1816
Gentlemen The undersigned humbly request that they may be favoured with the usual allowance granted to such as are convicted at your suit; on their quitting England, and as they are totally destitute of Money humbly beg that your benevolent donation may be extended to them
Josiah Allen, 1816 March Ass. Lancaster; Thos Erstwaite, 1815 Dec. Old Bailey; Thomas Giles, 1816 March Ass. Stafford [on Fame]
Robert Henry Dye, Henry Dye, Archibald Small, 1816 May, Old Bailey [on Sir William Bensley]
662. [F25/11/78] Anthony Halliwell, Sir William Bensley transport ship, Spithead, 18 September 1816
Mr Hase, Sir, I took the liberty of addressing you from the Retribution Hulk Sheerness intimating the cause of my troubling you; I find I am still equally unpleasantly situated as to ignorance in regard to your silence. I before apprised you of the time of my being arraigned & pleading Guilty to the indictment of having paid forged Notes purporting to be Bank of England ones – by my thus pleading Guilty the Bank of England is gracious pleased to allow the Sum of £5 – which I intreat you will condescend to have forwarded to me prior to my leaving this Country, which will take place in the course of a few days, being already on Board of the Bay Ship & proceeded thus far. Fearful of any mistake again occurring, I will specify the Date of my being arraigned which took place on the 26th day of March 1816 at Lancaster Castle in the County of Lancaster, as Witness my Hand at the foot here. Any inaccuracy that I may commit thru the medium of this application, I humbly beg leave to apologize for, & trust it may be imputed to its proper cause; ignorance as to the proper mode of application – Relying upon the favor of an early ansr I beg leave with due diffidence to subscribe myself – Sir Your most obt & humble servt Anthony Halliwell [own signature]
Witness to the signing before Wm Fisher [Bank offender, Lancs spring ass. 1814], John Robinson, W Leagh [Bank offender, Lancs summer ass. 1814].
663. [F25/11/79–80] James Quin and John Bell, Elizabeth transport ship, Spithead, 15 May 1816
Sir This is to inform you We are tow of the unfortunate Men that Was Convicted at the Last Lancaster Assises for Paying bad Banck of England Notes to Wich We both of us Peaded Guilty and Was Transported for 14 Years Now Sir as there is five Pounds Allowed by Goverment for each of us Shall be for ever in Duty Bound to Pray for you if you Will Please to give us that Indulgence to Procure a few Nessarys on our Voyage and as the Ship is Laying at Spithead there is not much time to be Lost in So Complying We shall be ever in Duty Bound to Pray From your Obedinent unfortunate James Quin John Bell
Please to Directt as follows on Board of the Elizebeth Spithead Portsmouth Bound to New South Wales Cptain Osten
Attached: copy letter from Bank solicitors, 18 May 1816: I have received your Letter, & I can only inform you that you are mistaken in supposing that there is five Pounds or any other allowance made by Government to Convicts in your situation. In some cases of female Convicts the Bank has as a matter of Charity given them £5 each to provide them with necessaries, but this has never been extended to Male Convicts
664. [F25/11/81] Benjamin Dicken/Oliver, Morley transport ship, 'Downs or elsewhere', 17 December 1816
Honrd Sirs, In the most reduced state of Mental affliction I most humbly beg pardon for daring to intrude upon Your important time But beg leave to state, that I was convicted in the Name of Benjn Oliver before Lord Chief Barron Wood, at the last Lancaster Assizes, for having forged Notes in possession and was then Sentenced to 14 Years transportation.
It is no Doubt within your exalted knowledge that at the time I was committed, I had only rec'd a pardon from transportation the short period of 3 weeks from the Retribution Sheerness (Capn Meers) on account of good behaviour after serving 4 years as captains Joiner in my own Name Viz- Benjn Dicken, I therefore most humbly beg leave to state that I have a tender Wife together with a darling child 5 years Old, who on account of our long seperation, implores Me to represent the truely distressing and unfortunate case to your benevolent feelings, that She is earnestly joining with Me in fervant and affectionate prayers, that You will be pleased to view her destitute and deplorable situation, being entirely bereft, of every friend or Protector, at the same time is subject to the cruel ubbraiding of those who where once Most Dear; on account I am sorry to say that herself as well as Me being once unfortunate
I beg leave to state that my character will bare any enquiry with respect to sobriety and industry, even from the officers of the Retribution who advised Me to Make this Solicitation, and will I persuade Myself convince the Secretary of State that I am fully competent to Maintain a Wife and family – and I am given to understand that these are strong objections the Secretary of State as of granting orders for Wifes to be sent
I most humbly and devoutly crave you will condescent to recommend a complyance to the Honle Lord Sidmouth, that My Wife togeather with her Child May be sent in the first Womens Ship to the Colony, Should My Solicitations Meet your favourable consideration, I May then timerously expect to be again united to a distress'd and disconsolate Wife, which will cause Your humble supplicant to pray while I have life with devout fervency and in Such Sweet hope, I beg to subscribe Myself Your Most Obediant Very Sorriful Servant Benjn Oliver
PS I am sorry to say My Wife is deprived of Making personal application on account of her humble finances, and residing in Birmingham. She is therefore waiting in the Most painful anxiety for an answer from you and be pleased to address for Ann Dicken at Sarah Dickens 33 Old Inkleys Birmingham
665. [F25/11/82 & 85] William Doyle, Morley transport ship, Sheerness, 22 November 1816
Hon Gentn I humbly entreat your pardon for presuming to address you which nothing but a due sense of your humanity and benevolence could have induced me to take. I am indicted at the Last Assizes held at Lancaster on a charge of having in my possession certain forged Notes purporting to be Bank Notes of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, to such indictment I pleaded Guilty, and for such offence I am now on board this Ship under sentence of Transportation for Fourteen Years, and am in hourly expectation of leaving this place – I beg leave therefore with the deepest humiliation to state to you that I am in very great distress at present for necessaries and as I am given to understand there is a certain sum allowed me for the purpose of releif on my passage to my place of Exile, on account of my pleading Guilty to the Indictment, I have therefore to request you will be pleased to take my distressed Situation into immediate Consideration – and cause the same to be remitted me as early as possible Your Compliance will ever be esteemed a particular favour conferred on Hond Gentn With the highest respect Your most obedient humble Servant William Doyle.
Direct for me Morley bound to New South Wales Sheerness or Elsewhere Attached: copy reply, 25 Nov. 1816, from Bank solicitors stating governor and directors decline complying.
666. [F25/11/83–6] John Nield, Thomas Kershaw and John Taylor, Morley transport ship, Sheerness, 22 November 1816
Hond Gentn We trust you will not deem us unpardonably intrusive if we again solicit the favor of your causing an answer to be sent us in reply to our Letter to you of the 14th November, as we are now on board this Ship destined to our place of Exile and ever in hourly expectation of leaving this place, we before informed you of our helpless Situation, and once more beg leave to request you will cause our unfortunate and lamentable Situation to be taken into your humane Consideration and send us an answer as early as convenient Your Compliance will ever confer a lasting obligation on Hond Gentn With the highest respect & esteem Your Obedt humble Servants John Neilde. Thos Kershaw, John Taylor
Attached: letter from same three men, 14 Nov. 1816, on Bellerophon hulk, with same facts and request; copy replies from Bank solicitors stating Bank decline to comply with requests.
667. [F25/11/87] George Young, Captivity hulk, Portsmouth, 3 November 1816
Sirs I trust that you will pardon this trespass on your attention which I presume to make in the confident expectation that you will regard this appeal with the feelings of compassion made to you from one who sincerely repents the Commission of that Act which had doomed him to his present state of sufferings. In addressing you Sir I consider that I address a Gentleman in who the noblest feelings of the Heart are blended and consequently Mercy that noblest feeling of the noble Heart there reign predominant
Although to answer the designs of Justice you were become an instrument to execute its Sentence on me for a Criminal offence, yet I presume to submit to your sincer feelings that the nature of the Offence as also the Character of the Offender should afterwards influence the instrument of the Law to weigh well the merits and demerits of such and as they may appear deserving to extend to them such alleviation as may be equally consistent to Justice as to Mercy. On this plea I presume to offer myself an Object for your Commiseration.
I confess myself but little Conversant with the refined feelings of Study, but the little store of Knowledge which Nature has endowed me with has led me to consider that, as there are various offences, so there are various degrees of them and that though the sentence of the Law may necessarily be denounced against every offender, yet that the punishment of such should be ever regulated by the general Character which the Criminal has supported in Life.
A Man, who in the years of his Life for which he is accountable, supports an uniformity of integrity and sustains an Honourable Character, who, from the sudden impulse of an unguarded moment, commits an Act of Fraud which on serious reflection he recoils at such a one surely may not be deserving an equal share of punishment with a man who by being accustomed to violate the laws of his Country becomes dead to all sense of feeling, and a Hardened and depraved Character.
My Sentence has doomed me to Banishment from my Native Country, and I feel less regret leaving it than I otherwise should because that (excepting an Aged Mother) I have no friend to visit me, and consequently none to lament Me leaving, moreover that in England after the forfeiture of my Character I could not be able to obtain any employ
I am sorry that my improper Conduct has barr'd me from obtaining a recommendation to the Governor of New South Wales, but I trust (and rest my sole hope in the resolution I have formed) that in future by treading on and persevering in the paths of rectitude and in uprightness of Conduct, I shall be able to obliterate all recollection of my past errors and also to gain the Confidence and friendship of my Superiors and of those around me. Trusting that you will oblige me with an answer I subscribe myself your Obedient Humble Servant Geoe Young
668. [F25/11/88–9] George Morris, Bellerophon hulk, Sheerness, 28 October 1816
Honrd Sir I hope You will excuse the Freedom I take in addressing a letter to you, the purport of which is I was Convicted at last Assizes for Warwick for Disposing of Forged Bank of England notes and sentenced to transportation for life, by name of George Morris, I have a wife and three Children residing in London, Which I hope and trust the Bank will comply with My request in permeting them to acompany Me to my destiney in the same Ship, the object of My asking the favor of them going in the same ship is to prevent Her plungeing herself into the same Delima that has happend Myself, I should be very sorry to have a Recurrence of this nature, but if Distress should oblige her, which I am Certain would be the case provided I was to leave her behind me as I was the Chief support of the Family Consequently that would happen very soon; As her Finances would soon be exhausted
Sir, had not the Evidence George Robinson taken from my Wife twenty Pound under a pretence, I should in a great measure have had it in my power to have taken her passage but now it is a moral impossible, as it has depriv'd Me of the means, I now throw Myself and Family On the Benevolence of the Bank, hoping they will grant Me my request, and in return I will give them all the satisfaction that Lies in my power George Morris PS Sir If You should think proper I will send My Wife and Family to You Attached: copy reply from Bank solicitors, 29 Oct. 1816, stating it was not in their power to give permission for wife and children to accompany him, but advising that if his wife comes to see them, and he gives them information, they will explain to her how to apply to sec./state for permission.
669. [F25/11/90–3] George Morris, Bellerophon hulk, Sheerness, 31 October 1816
Sir, I Recd Your letter and am willing to do what You Propos'd, upon consideration of You granting Me the favor I ask that is of My Wife & family going with me in the same ship, it being her wish to go with Me. I should not consider it a great favour to grant her a passage in the Womens Ship, upon the account of her being subject to many Abuses as she is a Woman that would like to keep Herself very reserve, Sir I must be convinced of your favour before I can do any good for You, there is not the smallest doubt of Your getting it acomplish'd if you think proper, I must beg of you not to mention any thing to my Wife as I shall send her to You from your Obedient Humble Servant George Morris
Attached: copy reply from Bank solicitors, 5 Nov. 1816, stating his wife came to see them that morning; they would not assist her unless Morris gave information; they would send someone suitable to see him; note from J. Beckett, home office, to Bank, 7 Nov. 1816: The bearer Elizh Morris his the person you desired me to send to your office; and sheets of information obtained from George Morris 16 Nov. 1816, written by Bank investigator.
670. [F25/11/94] A prisoner, Maidstone gaol, 19 September 1816 [illegible signature, surname probably Smith] writes to Mr Foy at the Vestigation Office Bank of England offering information on forgers and utterers if he is allowed out of prison to assist; not prosecuted by Bank.
671. [F25/11/95–9] J M Wallis, Maidstone gaol, 17 December 1816, to solicitor Frankling Esq., 10 New Square, Lincoln's Inn; says he received message via his wife that written information on forgery welcomed; he would like to assist; this is his second letter so assumes previous letter did not get through; since letters in and out of gaol are read, he requires secrecy. Copy note from Bank solicitors, 23 Dec. 1816, to Mr Cuthbert, keeper of Maidstone gaol, requiring correspondence between them and Wallis to be delivered unopened. Wallis sends Bank solicitors extensive information, 31 Dec. 1816, asking them to pay for his discharge so he can better assist; Bank solicitors 2 Jan. 1817, refuse but suggest paying for information; further letter from Wallis, 10 Jan. 1817, saying he cannot help unless liberated. Unknown for what crime Wallis held; not prosecuted by Bank.
672. [F25/11/100–1] James McLean Boyd, Lancaster castle, 20 September 1816
Sir I hop you will Pardon My freedom of thus Adrising you as I ham now confined Jas Mc Lean Boyd now hunder sentenes of Death in L Castle And Saterday week his the Day that I am to Peaye the Deabt of Nattuer if no help comes an it is in yourer Power to Do A Deall in My Beihaf and from My Lord Milne when I was first teaken at Liverpoall I gave John Miller all the Infamatian that I Could think ov at that Time And I Also Sent A Letter wich will Do A Deall of Good in Manchester Mr Joseph Neadon [Nadin, deputy constable of Manchester] and After I came thear And Settelled I Sent A full Acceaunt to your Honnour Mr Neadon & Mr Higgins My Governor heare to I Could think on only I Negleted puting Dowen the Neames of the Partyes wich I Exepted the Scelator would Called for but I will never Subscibe them And if the will Not Do Me any Good it will Passabily do good to some that I have [illegible word] Bealieved Me and the only one thing Needful at Present for me to Dwell on his to implore your Mercy so far has to Save my Life and I will As in Duty Bound Ever Pray But if the [illegible word] of my Life was as well known to the Gentlemen of the Bank As I know the Good that I could do & would do My Life would soon be Reprieved and I would be very heapy if my Life depended on my Performing all that I [illegible word] that his to Put you in the Compleance of the deall of Forged Notes that his Cased so many unfortunate Men & Women to saves there lives and Libertyes But it could not be Don all at first it would teake some time and all that I would ask would two 2 Bow Street Officis that was not known and I would Marke the Bales and they could shut them You Need not be Afread or think that I am holding this out to selef Interastes now only to Seave my Life but you Mey be well Ashured that what I seay his [illegible word] A [illegible word] and [two illegible words] theat in sorrow for what I heave Don And whitever this be the Means of Seaving My Life or not I Sheall Give it for the Good of Secietiy and the Contry at Large so no Mor from your Humbill Pittioner and I am with Due respet your very obedent &c Hubl Sev Jas Mc Boyd
Now Gentelmen You Mey think What I am Going to Seay but I ashuer you As a Deaying Man that the first Bad Note I heaver plazed My heand on to the Beast of My Knowledge was in Sept the 8 1815 and All the times that I was at Birmingham that Sead Bussnes was 3 this would Aper not so but it is Truth As I Except for [two illegible words] Let Me As a Man theat Except to Suffer recommend you to feach Some one that his an offender As you Never can come at the right Parteyes in no other waye and it will not do to let them Do it them selves ther Mus be one in front
Exceuse My Power had
Attached: list of names.
673. [25/11/102–3] Peter Hughes, Lancaster castle, 20 September 1816
Gentlemen, From the awfull situation in which I am now placed (being under sentence of Death for uttering Forged Bank of England Notes) I am disposed to give you material information relative to the Traffic in forged Notes upon condition that you will promise to cause my Life to be saved, an early reply will oblige Your Humble Servant the Unfortunate Peter Hughes
Attached: copy letter from Bank solicitors to John Higgins, governor of Lancaster castle, 23 Sept. 1816, asking him to tell Peter Hughes and James McLean Boyd that Bank decline to interfere to save them; if they want voluntarily to give information Higgins should ensure it is put into writing and sent to Bank.
674. [25/11/104–5] Samuel Gilbert, unspecified prison or ship, 10 January 1816, formal petition
That Your Petitioner was Indicted the last June Sessions at Justice Hall in Old Bailey for selling Twenty forged Notes of one Pounds each purporting to be Notes of the Bank of England to which Indictment Your Petitioner Pleaded Guilty & was Sentence to be Transported for the Term of Fourteen Years. That Your Petitioner is by Trade an Engine Weaver & worked in the employ of the Honble East India Company for fourteen years with unblemished Character till in anfortunate hour he became acquainted a man Name George Morris [668/9] who by the artful allurement of a reward prevailed on Your Petitioner to Convey the said forged Notes to one of his acquaintances named Aikens for eight Pounds which your Petitioner through Inexperience not knowing the fatal tendency of his Mission complied with. When Aikens informed against your Petitioner on which he was apprehended, tried and Convicted in order to atone as far as lay in his power for so flagrant breach of the Law Your Petitioner sent his wife to Mr Westwood to inform him of every Transaction he knew of Morris both in respect of the forged Notes and the making the three Shillings pieces for which the said George Morris is sentenced to three months Imprisonment in the House of Correction. That Your Petitioner has a wife and four Infant Children entirely dependant on his for support but his being upwards of Six Months confined they now descend to the lowest ebb of misery and distress having been obliged to part with every saleable Article they have for subsistence she is now using her utmost endeavours to obtain permission to take herself & family to New South Wales the place of his Destination which she has hopes to obtain
Your Petitioner therefore most humbly prays that your Honours would be pleased to take his familys most unfortunate situation into your humane consideration to grant them some present relief as to your Honours Wisdom & Humanity may seem meet
And your Honours Petitioner as in gratitude &c Duty Bound shall ever pray Sir Samuel Gilbert
Attached: petition of Mary Gilbert, Samuel's wife asking help to get work to support her children.
[BECLS: 29 Feb. 1816, agree to send her £25.]
675. [25/11/108] George Blaker, Newgate, undated in 1816
Sir I am sorry to be thus troublesome to you but owing to me and my wife being so long Confined we are reduced to the Greatest distress and at the time I was taken into Custody Mr Reed the officer took from me 2£ in Notes and some silver, I have applied to him Several times for it and he always put the person I sent to him Off with Evasive answers. Till Absolute Necessity Obliged me to Apply to the Magistrates for it, when Reed informed him he had given the money to a Turnkey belonging to this place, but he has since been with me and says he has given the 2£ to you. If that is the Case, I hope you will Take my distressed situation into your Consideration and Let me have it, as I assure you I have no means to procure any necessarys without it &c
I am Sir your Obedient Servant George Blaker
676. [25/11/111] Female prisoner [undoubtedly Grace Blaker], Newgate, undated in 1816
Honored Sir With Humble submission I beg leave to Address you relying on your Well Known goodness to Excuse this presumption but as you have extended your Benevolence to my fellow prisoners and hope You will not Exclude me I have been a long time in prison without a friend to render me any Relief which is mostly the case with those who depart from on Rectitude which I Unfortunately Experianced and I humbly hope you will Extend Your Charity for I am in the greatest Distress there is 2£ 12 shillings which the officers took from My Husband which we never have had I am Sir with the greatest Respect your Humble Petetioner
677. [25/11/109] George and Grace Blaker, Newgate, undated
Hon Sir the Nam that I Menshont in the Letter was Rong I was Thomas Larence [sentenced to fourteen yrs trspn, OB, Jan. 1818] and the Names of the Maker of they Notes Is Jon Lowes and the Other Jacakeps and thay have Both in wone [illegible word] and thay Live in Bromigham and Were near the Ship Pubelick Hous and is all the Intiglenes that I Can Give at Preasant but you May Depend that I Will Give you all the Informashon that I Can for I hav mor Shall think My Self in Dutey Bound to Sarve your Gudnes We Remane Hond Sir you Humbol and Trueley Sarvents George and Grace Blaker
678. [25/11/106] George and Grace Blaker, Newgate, undated in 1817 Your well known Humanity to the unfortunate induces me to trouble you, with thes few lines, as I flatter myself you can render me, and my unfortunate wife, happy, in our truly Wretched Situation, we are both Convicted by the laws Our Country and are to be Transported for 14 Years, if through your goodness you Could make interest, for us to go together, We will as in duty bound for ever pray. I trust Sir if you could take the trouble to enquire the Behavior of me and my Wife Since our Unfortunate Confinement, hope you will find we shall not disgrace your kindness
We remain Hond Sir Your most Obedient and Truly Humble Servants George and Grace Blaker
679. [25/11/107] Grace Blaker, Newgate, 4 November 1816
Sir With due respect I humbly beg leave to Solicet your well known benevelence to the unfortunate Give me leave Sir most respectfuly to inform you my Husband is gon on Board redy for his Voyge and I am left in the greatest Distress haveing no Friend now he is gon and nothing but the alowence of the Prison to live on his Relations haveing done all in their power Since our Confindment I therefore have Presume to write to you trusting to your goodness to Excuse this Liberty if Sir you will Pleas to assist me in this my distress it Shall be Ever Greatfully acknoledged by Sir your much distresed humble Sevant Grace Blaker
680. [25/11/110] Sarah Gardener, Newgate, 17 January 1817
Sir I hope you will excuse the Liberty I am takeing in asking for the money that was taken from me as Mr Gardener is not able to do any thing for me and I am in great distress being oblidged to part with all my few things and have nothing but the Prison alowance these few lines I humbly submit to your kind consideration and Remain your Obet Humble Sert S. Gardener
681. [25/11/112] Robert Waples, Bellerophon hulk, Sheerness, 11 September 1816
James Westwood, Esq, Sir Understanding that the Attachmment lodged against the forty Pounds which you had in your Hands by Virtue of the Authority delegated to you from the Bank of England has been withdrawn, and being at present in a very reduced and necessitous State, not a little encircled by my sudden and unexpected Removal here, I take the liberty of addressing you, humbly entreating your Kindness in asking the Restitution of the same to the bearer hereof, in conformity with your express Promise made at the Time of my Confinement in Cold Bath fields House of Correction. During my Imprisonment I have been compelled to dispose of those few Articles of Sustenance which I had been possessed of for immediate support, thus am at this moment literally penniless, destitute of even a shilling to soften the hardship of my distressed Situation or purchase the most common Articles which may be necessary on Arrival at Botany Bay Should the Case of my Right to the Sum in Question remain yet Undecided, your well known Humanity and Liberality of Character will doubtless induce your making all possible Expedition in the Procedings or give such Instruction to the Bearer hereof as may lead to her being speedily put in possession of the same
Dwelling however on your Promise and referring to the same with every Certainty if an honourable fullfillment thereof I make no Doubt of being speedily put in possession of my Claim and under this Conviction have empowered the Bearer hereof to give every necessary Receipt and Acknowledgement for the same.
With every sentiment of Respect and humbly requesting a speedy reply.
I have the Honour to be Sir Your most Obedient and humble Sert Robert Waples
682. [25/11/113] Robert Waples, Bellerophon hulk, Sheerness, 25 September 1816
Hond Sir, Your goodness I hope will Pardon me troubling you so often – nothing but distress shou'd induce me – my Present situation is truly awful – myself wanting some trifling assistance – and my Poor distressed Wife Parting with her Firniture for subsistence may I presume to solicit your humanity in advancing Me some Part of the money now in your hands, any such part as you may be Kind enough to advance, this acknowledgement I hope will be sufficient –
Shou'd you not be able to grant my request, will you do me the Honor to name the time, when the Final arrangement will take Place – as I am likely to leave this Country very shortly – your Compliance will Confer an everlasting obligation on Dr Sir Your obt Very Humble Servant Robt Waples
683. [25/11/115] Robert Waples, Bellerophon hulk, Sheerness, 17 October 1816
Sir I beg to return you my sincere thanks for the Kind answer you gave my Wife, respecting the settlement of the Cash in your hands. She informed me it was to take Place in three Weeks from that time – that time having elapsed I once more intrude on your goodness to forward it as much as Possable – as the distress of my Wife and Self is great – In fact I am deprived of the Pleasure of seeing her – for the want of the Means – the Business as now been in hand five Months – and I looking for a Settlement almost every day – I beg to Conclude, with hopeing you will excuse the repeated Visits of a forlorn Woman –
Sir Your Obt Very Humble Servant Robt Waples
684. [25/11/114] Robert Waples, Retribution hulk, Sheerness, 5 November 1816
Sir, I am given to understand by my Wife that all hopes are given up, of a settlement of my Business – untill the latter Part of the Sessions – and then by the Recorder – what he can have to do with it, I am at a lost to guess I think it must be a Mistake of hers – Your answer in writing will much oblige Sir, Your Obt Sert Robt Waples
685. [25/11/116] Robert Waples, Morley transport ship, Sheerness, 18 November 1816
Sir, I Cannot but Express my astonishment at not having my Business arranged – now in your hands – I have greatly depended on you (knowing you to be a Prisoners Friend) I thought you would have got me my Money – before I left England. I am now on Board the Morley on the Point of Sailing for New South Wales – may I once more solicit your kindness in Paying over to my Wife the Money you have in hand – you will Ever receive the thanks of an unfortunate Man Your Obt Sert Robt Waples
686. [25/11/117] Robert Waples, Morley transport ship, Sheerness, 29 November 1816
Sir I have beged leave to remit you a Receipt as desired by my Wife – Witnessed by Captn Brown – hope it will be a sufficient acknowledgement for the money – for which I beg leave to return you my Heartfelt Thanks – and assure you it will be the means of my administering many Comforts to my Wife – as well to myself, for which I shall feel myself under many obligations to you for Your Obt Sert Robt Waples
687. [25/11/118–22] Robert Waples, Morley transport ship, Deal, 6 December 1816
Sir I have this moment received a letter from my Wife, informing me of her Visit to you, and Mr Miller [keeper of a public house] and the subject of Conversation – of which I declare to be false. I must again solicit your goodness in Paying her the Allowance, after deducting the £6 – for which she as a Receipt. Nothing but the greatest distress would induce me, to so repeatedly trouble you. I am now on the Point of leaving my Native Country for Ever – and shall, with Heartfelt gratitude – speak of your Name as it deserves with knowing, I owe my Life to you – in hopes you will grant me this last favour – allow me to subscribe myself Hond Sir Your obt Sert Robt Waples
Attached: copy letter from Bank solicitors, 6 Dec. 1816, to Mr Callaway, town clerk of Portsmouth, enclosing £36 for Robert Waples on ship which that evening or next morning would call at Portsmouth; they had taken £4 of his money to pay back the Person who was deceived by his forged notes; should ship not pass Portsmouth, Callaway should take his expenses and return rest to them. Letter, 11 Dec. 1816, from Waples on Morley at The Downs [off Deal] to Mr Callaway, stating he had received letter from Mr Westwood of Bank solicitors about his money, but the ship was not going to call at Portsmouth; he requests Callaway to post his money to him by return; note from Callaway's clerk, Archibald Law, 13 Dec. 1816, covering return of £36 to Bank with copy of Waples' letter of 11 Dec.; copy receipt from Bank solicitors to Callaway, 14 Dec. 1816.
688. [25/11/123–5] Robert Waples, Morley transport ship, The Downs [off Deal], 17 December 1816
Sir I beg to acknowledge the receipt of your favour of thus informing me of your having remitted the Cash to Portsmouth – the Ship Morley not intending to touch there I on the 10th wrote to Portsmouth, beging that Gentleman to remit it by return of Post to me here – Since which I have recd no answer – and 7 Days having Elapsed I am at a loss to Conjecture. Your reply remiting the cash will be in time Sir your Obt Sert Robt Waples Attached: undated pages of notes, probably related to events mentioned in 687, by Bank investigator made after two days' following Waples' wife to public houses and wine vaults in East Smithfield, the Borough, and to Horsemonger Lane gaol.
689. [F25/12/1–3] John Ashworth, Lancaster castle, 10 September 1817, formal petition
That your Petitioner Now confined in His Majestys Goal the Castle of Lancaster and under the Dreadfull sentance of Death humbly presumes thus to implore the Honble Gentlemen the Governor & Directors of the Bank of England at Whose Mercy your Unhappy petitioner now lies and most humbly hopes that you will spare his life. And by your Honble Clemency you will cause him to be sent to any part of the World. And he humbly hopes you will in pity look upon him in this his Miserable Situation
Your unhappy petitioner that thus humbly implores your forgiveness and Mercy to spare his Life has for Several Years past followed the profession of a farmer in this County and never before this Unhappy Interval fell into any disgrace or had any Unlawful dealings. But always before this misfortune did by care and Honest Industry maintain and support his now perishing and Unhappy family and was by Unforeseen Accident drawn into this Unhappy misfortune
Your Unhappy petitioner being fully confident of the Erors that he has comited and being truly senceable of his Unhappy and Deplorable Situation still prays for the Welfare of that Honourable Society, that influenced by right and just motives, that have thus justly prosecuted him. But humbly hopes that they will yet spare his Life that altho' thus unhappily situated he humbly deploring and Begging Mercy of so Honourable Society as he now presumes to Address he humbly trusting and praying that their goodness will yet Spare his Life and send him to such part of the World, as he may still be of service to the Community at Large and be inabled to render asistance to his Now unhappy and perishing family Your unhappy petitioner must unless happily released by your Honourable pardon suffer Death in a few days and hopes that the Honble Society of whom he earnestly implores his Life will in pity Look upon his most deplorable situation and spare his Life and your petitioner will in Duty Bound ever pray for the good and welfare of these Honble Gentlemen of whom he now so earnestly Begs forgiveness and Mercy
And Should your Honble Society not think proper to spare his Life, he still will most Devoutly pray for the good and Welfare of so Honble Society Your petitioner here humbly begs to Asign his Name and humbly hopes your Honble Society, the Honble the Govenor & Directors of the Bank of England will in pity look upon his now Deplorable and Unhappy Situation And is with due Respect Your Honours Most Devoted Humble Obedt Servt John Ashworth
Attached: covering letter, 15 Sept. 1817, at direction of John Higgins, governor of Lancaster castle; response from Bank on same date to Higgins stating they cannot interfere, asking that this be communicated to Ashworth.
690. [F25/12/4] Henry Smith, Guernsey, 20 September 1817, discharged Bank debtor, informs Bank that his wife, whom he sent to England to be with friends, had eloped with a tall, stout man of 50 whom she met on the boat; this man, he states, is an importer of forged notes from France into Guernsey.
691. [25/12/5–6] Hugh McMahon, Lancaster castle, 22 September 1817
Honoured Gentn It is with the greatest humiliation possible that I thus presume to lay before you my Melancholy and deplorable situation. Most humbly Craving you will pardon my Presumption
My habit and Course of Life had been for the last 12 years in trading in the Character of a Licensed Hawker, which I have regularly taken out a licence for that purpose And have travelled with Unwaried steps from town to town to Enable me to support myself and my dearly beloved Children, which it was their misfortune to be deprived of one of the best of Mothers when they was very young. And with all the tender feelings of Sencation I have laboured to support them as a tender Parant, Wishing to have them Educated And brought up in a Christian like manner. It was my greatest desire to have my little Innocent and innofensive offspring instructed in the Pathes of Religion and Virtue. But alass all my Expectations are blasted and done away. For unfortunately having in my possession some forged Bank of England Notes, for which I have been sentenced to 14 years Exile from my native country thus my Poor and Imploring Children are left as orphans without father or mother or any friend in the world to take the least care of them, or to provide the common necessaries of life for them. I must solicit and entreat your commiseration in this humble manner in behalf of my unhappy and imploring Children – Please to favour me with a few lines stating how or in what manner I am to give to those who are in the Care of them for there future support. Have the goodness to write immediately as my time of staying here is very uncertain. I may be removed all most any day for any thing that I know – you understand me. I was wishful to know if there is any Provision made by the laws of our Country for the support of Poor ones that are left in this deplorable and unhappy manner – from what I have said upon the subject you'l perceive my meaning and I most Certainly shall Esteem it a particular favour if you will Write to me as soon as convenient, in hopes of your compliance I Remain your Obt Hume Sert with all submission Hugh McMahon
Attached: copy response from Bank solicitors, stating they cannot interfere on behalf of his family: You ought to have considered the destitute situation they would in left in before you engaged in the Criminal pursuits that have placed you in the unfortunate situation. They advise that only the Poor Law deals with the destitute.
692. [F25/12/7] Ann Agnew, not Bank prisoner, Lancaster castle, 31 August 1817, asks to speak to Mr 'Frishfield', Bank Solicitor; see 714.
693. [F25/12/7 double numbered] Stephen Bryant, Maidstone gaol, undated in September 1817, informs Bank his arrest was a mistake; he was employed as agent to sell horses for men called Smith and Newman, had witnessed selling of forged notes and was advised to take some of the notes to Bank; he never meant to offend. No trace of prosecution of Bryant.
694. [F25/12/8] William Hammond Crampton and Robert Grey, Retribution hulk, Sheerness, 6 July 1817
Sir We Most Humbly Beg pardon in troubling You. But having sent Once to the Company of Bank of England Concerning Getting the £5 Which His Costomary to be paid after Receiving Sentence. And has we have Received no Answer We Are Informed to Make Our Application to You Which we humbly Beg You will be pleased to Look Into Has we are now in the Greatest Distress And should You butt Condecend to Answer this Letter We Should Be Extremely thankfull. We was try'd at Last York Assizes 11th March 1817
And has we going out of the Country for Life the Money if Could be Gott would be of the Greatest Service and we should have butt Little Doubt of Success if You would Kind Sir Butt Intercede In Our Behalf
We remain Your Most H Sts W Hammond Crampton & Robert Grey
695. [F25/12/9–11] Johanna McCarthy, Bristol bridewell, 12 May 1817
Gentlemen I most humbly take the Liberty of acquainting you that I was tried last month at the Assizes in this City before Sir Vickery Gibbs, and was sentenced fourteen years transportation, for uttering forged Notes purporting to be Bank of England. Having some conversation with Mr Evans, Keeper of the Bridewell, respecting the Man that I got the said Notes from, he informed me that if I would tell where the Man was to be found, and taken into custody that I got the Notes that thro' your interference, that my punishment might be altered from transportation to imprisonment. If you should wish for such information, you will please to send a proper Person to treat with me on the subject. In case that there is any thing that can be done for me, respecting my punishment being altered I can assure you that I can so put you in the way of bring him to justice, and come forward to prosecute. There is a number of his Notes at present in circulation, and many people striving to pass them in different parts of the Kingdom. I leave to your better judgement, what is to be done in this business. If you should have occasion to write, you will please to direct to the Care of Mr T Evans, Bridewell.
I am, Gentlemen, Your Humble Servant, Johana McCarthy
Attached: copy letter from Bank solicitors to Mr Evans, keeper of Bristol bridewell, 16 May 1817, asking him to take McCarthy's evidence in writing and submit it to them, emphasising that they can make no promises; letter from Evans to Bank, 25 May 1817, informing them that McCarthy refuses to give evidence without promise of mitigation of sentence.
696. [F25/12/12] Robert Howes, White Horse Alley, Queens Place, Portsea, undated in March 1810, a discharged prisoner [not Bank offence] who served six years on Captivity hulk, writes confused letter to Bank avowing abhorrence of forgery, his extremely respectable family history, his elevated connections, asking Bank solicitors to tell Mr Capper, superintendent of hulks, home office, that Bank will give him some hackney writing to copy.
697. [F25/12/13] William Bagnell, sr,  unspecified hulk, probably Portland, Langstone harbour, 17 September 1816, sentenced for counterfeiting silver dollars, thanks Bank for mercy to his two sons who have been pardoned and asks them to support his petition for pardon which is with Mr Capper, home office; he is old, in bad health, and will not be able to stand more years on hulks or in NSW.
698. [F25/12/14-15] James Walker, Bellerophon hulk, Sheerness, 15 June 1818
Gentlemen Being sentenced in March last for uttering Bank of England Notes (tried at Lancaster) to 14 years Transportation, I am very desirous of obtaining a passage for my Wife and I am more particularly anxious knowing that she has nothing to subsist upon, and may be led from dire necessity to adopt the same evil practices for which I am found guilty – And if you will have the goodness to solicit the Governors and Directors of the Bank to obtain such favour from Government I shall gratefully make such discoveries – that will prove of the utmost importance and render my Services accordingly
I am Gentlemen your Most Obedient very Humble Servt James Walker
Attached: copy reply from Bank solicitors, 19 June 1818, advising him to apply to sec./state.
699. [F25/12/16–17] John Whitehead, Bellerophon hulk, Sheerness, 14 June 1818
Gentn I most humbly beg your Pardon in thus Persuming to address you. I Cannot forbear thinking my situation very deplorable when I reflect how, or in the manner in which I was betrayed and persuaded to fetch the notes, for which I have brought myself into such an awful and distressing state, deprived of everything that is dear to me in this world, with no hopes or expectations of ever being restored to my poor unhappy and disconsolate Wife and imploring Children and myself far advanced in years and am in daily expectation of being sent in Ignominious exile from my native
Country in all probabily must never return – and to add to my distress have scarcely a penny in the world. Now if Either you or the Country would have gain'd anything or would have been benifited by using me in this way I must then have thought it would have been nothing but what I should have deserved. But I utterly deny ever being in the habit of making use of the bad Notes. And you may rest assured that it was for no other purpose than what is generally Call'd blood money. I must acknowledge I have committed a very Great Error in not Causing the parties to be brought to justice at the time I first knew anything about them. However I think the information that I have given you both through the Channel of Mr Higgins of Lancaster, and likewise our worthy Captain Mr Owens will be more in your favour than any injury that ever I did in the Notes in all my life. (I absolutely think that it is not lawful to persuade People to commit such Crimes.) Now if no medigation can be effected Either now; or at any future Period, you'l surely have no objection in granting me the favour of my Wife and Children following me as I suppose they cannot go along with me. In Hopes and Expectation of your using your interest in my favour. I remain yours in all due respect John Whitehead
N.B. Please to write to me by the next Post
Annotated: Convicted Spring Assizes 1817
Attached: copy letter from Bank solicitors, 19 June 1818, advising him to apply to sec./state for permission for wife and family to accompany or follow him as Bank have no power to grant this.
700. [F25/12/18] George Farney, Bellerophon hulk, Sheerness, 26 February 1818, not Bank prisoner, offers information about forgers on board hulk with him; he gave Bank information while in Newgate and has now learned more; his wife will attend the solicitors if they wish.