Prisoners' Letters to the Bank of England, 1781-1827. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 2007.
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Letters, nos 201-300
201. [F25/3/64–6] William Wilkins, Justitia hulk, Woolwich, 5 May 1815, formal petition
That your Petitioner was tried at the Assizes held at Warwick in the month of April last, 1815 for feloniously passing divers fictious Notes purporting to be those of the Bank of England when he was humanely permitted to plead Guilty, and accordingly sentenced to 14 Years Transportation That your Petitioner feels the most accute pain and remorse at being led to violate the Laws of his Country and thereby degrading a Character, (however humble in life) was such as obtained him the respect of all that knew him
That your Petitioner is 27 Years of age and upward of 14 of that period has obtain'd his living by humble yet the most honest industry and which all those he has served will bear just and ample testimony
That although he might say and prove much in the way of extenuation but will only solemnly declare, that he was drawn in to commit the act for which he is doomed to suffer
That your Petitioner has been confined ever since the 1st of November 1814 which has been attended with great expence to him considering his humble occupation as a Servant and as his offence is of that nature as precludes him from all hope of a mitigation of his sentence in this Country. He most humbly throws himself on your Munificence Humanity and Mercy to extend your Benevolence towards him in granting him some pecuniary assistance as he is going to a place where he will not know or be known, and where he hopes by the propriety of his future conduct to atone for his past, which has blighted prospects which if not brilliant, might have been truly comfortable and happy
Your Petitioner therefore most humbly and earnestly implores your commiseration, to be pleased to take his unfortunate Case into your humane consideration and in your Munificence and Charity, bestow on him the Assistance he most humbly and respectfully supplicates.
And your Petitioner will ever pray. William Wilkins
Attached: Wilkins' covering note to petition and letter from high bailiff of Birmingham, emphasising Wilkins' excellent character and first offence.
202. [F25/3/67–70] John Ivy Wilson, Justitia hulk, Woolwich, 20 June 1815
Gentlemen, With the most profound and dutiful submission I lay this declaration before you. Considering it's a Justice I owe myself and Family to state to you my Innocence of what I am now suffering for. Gentlemen, my Case must be fresh in your memory as I was Tried last March at Derby. Charged with having uttered two Notes purporting to be Bank of England Notes, and was sentenced to be Transported for fourteen years and am now on board the Justitia hulk Woolwich Kent
Gentlemen, altho in this situation, I attach no blame nor Impute anything to the Court or you – altho in this situation I consider its truly proper the Laws should be Obeyd and do Consider Justice ought to have its Ends – If not no person nor public or private property would be safe I attach and Impute all the Blame to the Attorney I Employd My Case ought to have gone before the Court I should have pleaded Not Guilty and took my Trial Instead of doing this I received the Sentence of the Court untried and am thus situated, and in this my situation, I declare to Almighty God in all considering that he knows the secrets of all hearts, that I am an Innocent Man, and that I took the two Notes above mentioned in the regular way of Trade. I likewise Consider that it is the intention of the Law, or more properly explained, the Wish of those who sit at the head of it, that Justice and Mercy should go hand in hand and cannot help observing that no Man is safe under such circumstances as mine as in such Cases every man is in trouble. Gentlemen I consider it likewise a Justice I owe myself to state to you that previous to this most unhappy Event my conduct and character stood unimpeached I am upward of Fifty years of Age and can prove to the satisfaction of the World at large that I never was concernd in any Illegal Transaction I therefore submit this to you previous to my leaving my Native Land well considering I shall never see it again I will submit myself to my most unhappy Fate and will put myself under the protection of the Great and Wise disposer of Events declaring to Almighty God and the World I am Innocent. Gentlemen I am your most unfortunate Humble Sert John Ivy Wilson
Annotated: Read in Commee 22 June.
Attached: Wilson's cover note to petition, letter from James Whiston, keeper of Ashbourne gaol, Derbys., 25 July 1815, requesting reimbursement of expenses for apprehending Wilson, and Bank's reply, 4 Aug. 1815 saying if he will send someone to them in London, they will provide three guineas for his trouble.
203. [F25/3/71] John Ivy Wilson, Justitia hulk, Woolwich, 27 July 1815
Sir, Forgive the liberty I take, and trust my Situation will plead for taking the liberty. I wrote you some Weeks ago and Enclosd I sent a Letter to the directors of the Bank. I dont consider it required an answer and have no doubt but you was kind to lay the Same before the them – and as it may be some days before I leave England – If any of your Gentlemen should be coming near Woolwich I should like to have the honor of a Conversation.
I am Sir your unfortunate Humble Sert J Ivy Wilson
204. [F25/3/72] George Smith, address unknown, undated, probably mid-1815
four about nine mounts ago i was takin up for pasen of bad note you was kind a noufe to give me the Libirty of taken the man that I had them off and it was not my faut it was the [illegible word] faut bout it Layes in my pour to take a Man iney Day that I Like that Sels 3 or 4 houndrs pounds a worth every wick Surs i pouts my selef under your proteshon and i hope you will not take eny [illegible word] of me i will tell you the [illegible word] when I see you If you will grant me my fre pardon i wil soun pout a end to bad notes ples to find a man cald [illegible word] the Coiner Whether you will grant it or not as i shall see the man that [illegible word] sels them Ples to send a not froum your ond hand righing what you will Don for me by the [illegible word] so i remain your Sarevent george Smith george smith to be left at the golden Lion Fore St London hold for me I shall not go for it my selef
[This is a wildly scrawled note, difficult to read, addressed almost illegibly but showing the Banck, Banck bilding]. Unclear if writer is in prison.
205. [F25/3/73–4] Copy letter from Bank solicitors to Greethams, solicitors, Portsmouth, 22 July 1815 in which they request that the enclosed £5 note be passed to Mary Mazagora on transport ship, Mary Ann, for her and her children's use; the ship had left Deptford, and was believed to be nearing Portsmouth. If the ship did not touch Portsmouth, Greethams should return the note. Attached: Greetham's reply that they made every effort but were informed by the navy post office that the ship did not touch Spithead, thus they return the note.
206. [F25/3/75] Mary Watson, Mary Ann transport ship, Deptford, 26 June 1815
Honoured Sir I hope your goodness will Send me a trifle of money I was Sent to the Ship on Friday morning and went away in grate distress and most of My cloths in Plege as I have Not a friend in London that Could give me a Shilling before I went away if your goodness will Send me what your think Proper the Ship Name is the Marey Ann and She will lay at Deptford a Short time your Humble Servant Marey Watson
Annotated: £5 each Paid 30 June 1815 T Glover
207. [F25/3/76] Hannah Johnson and Mary Watson, Mary Ann transport ship, Deptford, 26 June 1815
Honered Sir I hope you will Excuse Our Sending to ask you the favour of a Little Relefe as we are on Board the Ship and being Much distressed as What things we have are all in Pledge and wee Expect to Sail Shortly therefore Honered Sirs trusting in your goodness we Remain your Humble but unfortunate Pertitioners Mary Watson Hanah Johnson
Annotated: £5 each Paid 30 June 1815 T Glover
208. [F25/3/77] Mary Beavitt, Newgate, 1 July 1816
Honnd Sir I hope your Goodness will excuse the Liberty I take in Addressing you in my Unfortunate Case being ordered to prepare to quit my Country and now in the 55 year of my Age and Ruptured which is increased much in my near 3 years Confinement and with a Family of 5 Children unprovided for owing to the Illness of my Husband and a Rheumatic Disease (4 of which must go with me the other one my Friends support) if Sir your Kind interferance in my Favour in this Case to relieve me will never be erased from my Memory and hope Almighty God will bless you and for which myself and Unfortunate Family will in Duty bound ever pray from Sir an Unfortunate Crimanal Mary Beavitt
209. [F25/3/78] Ann Taylor, Newgate, 7 July 1816
Sir with humble sumition I beg leave to inform you that we are in daly Expectation of being Called to the Ship therefore have taking the liberty to solicet you to Extend you Well Known Goodness to me and my Child as I am in want of Many thing for so long a Voige and what I am in Want off Can be perchised much Cheaper than When we are on Board.
I am Sir with thanks for all past favours Your much Distressed and humble Petitioner Ann Tayler
210. [F25/3/79–81] Elizabeth Hayselden, Newgate, 2 July 1816
Hon Gentlemen I most humbly request your indulgence of this fresh prayer of your kind favor in my Behalf, on the expected departure of a Ship for New South Wales with those women sentenced to transportation – unaided by friends and sinking with the miseries of Leaving my friends and Native country. I implore the bounty of the worthy Directors of the Bank for some little assistance towards my unhappy outfit; having laid out what little Money I had; and, though my Added Error [continued selling of forged notes in Newgate] has excluded me from their usual charity, perhaps your tenderness may induce you, in consideration of my Distress and that from better circumstances I have never Applied before for any allowance, but my resources at this Melancholy crisis being exausted, I now humbly Crave for that Relief you have Granted before Towards other prisoners; I am Sirs Your most respectful and very humble Servant Elabeth Hayselden [own signature]
Attached: much reworked draft letter from Bank solicitors to J. Beckett, home office, 8 Mar. 1816, explaining that since Hayselden had been an extensive note dealer, having £500 worth in her possession on apprehension, and that Ann Taylor was one of her Confidential Agents, it was imperative that both were removed as soon as possible; both were trying to be admitted to the sick ward at Newgate to delay departure. Same letter recalls Mary Beavitt [164, 208], overdue for transportation, also selling notes in prison, saying it would be useful if she were removed from Newgate to a house of correction. Further copy letter to Beckett, 20 May 1816, explaining widespread practice in prisons and hulks of sale of forged notes and counterfeit dollars.
211. [F25/3/82–3] Elizabeth Stubbs/Chamberlain, Newgate, undated, late 1816
Sir I humbley hope your goodness will Pardon this liberty in writeing to you to beg a Continuance of your late bounty which I should not have presumed but have been Very ill for a long time and my Friends have it not in there Power to assist me for want of imployment and My Husbands friends is doing all in their power for him so I have nothing but What your goodness is Pleas to bestow on me I am Sir with Gratefull thanks for your Past favours your much Obliged and Distressed Petitioner Elizabeth Stubbs thirsday Even
Attached: undated petition with own signature, probably earlier than 211, requesting allowance, annotated on front: 5/- per week
212. [F25/3/84] William Cuthbert, Newgate, 24 April 1816
Sir, I have most respectfully to apologise for the liberty I take in addressing, but the unhappy situation in which I have Placed myself Emboldens me so to do – not so much on my own account as for the sake of an amiable Wife and other distressed Relations who are rendered truly wretched by this my first deviation from the Path of Rectitude – The object Sir, I have in view is, that (as I have addressed a Petition to the Prince Regent, and also to the Honorable the Banks directers Praying their Honorable Board to order such a favourable Report to be officially made in my Particular Case as to them in their great mercy shall seem fit) you will be Pleased to further the object of my Petition so far as you can in your official Capacity, under the Particular Circumstances of my Case, Permitt me only to add that should your humanity be Pleased to interceede in my behalf such intercession will Ever be most Greatfully remembered and acknowledged by Sir Your Humble and Unfortunate Servant William Cuthbert
[BECLS: 3 May 1816, his petition for mitigation of sentence, not in archive, rejected.]
213. [F25/3/85] William Cuthbert, Newgate, 18 June 1816
Gentn, As I am now in hourly expectation of being removed to the Portsmouth Hulks from this place, and have every reason to believe that this evening will be the last of my stay I take the liberty respectfully to state to you that my long imprisonment has exhausted all my means of living and the resources of the few friends I have and that I am in consequence wholly destitute of ability to procure the trifling comforts allowed and which appear necessary as well on board the Hulks (where we are likely to wait at least two three months) as on board the Transport on the Voyage. Gentn Having stated this I most humbly beg of you to represent my situation to the Honble Court of Directors of the Bank and solicit for me the little assistance usually granted by their humanity on such occasions.
If Gentn through your goodness I attain this favor would you also be kind enough to solicit it in specie and inform the bearer when to wait upon you for an answer to this.
Gentn I hope the occasion will be my apology for the liberty and I am Your most humble and most obedt Servt Wm Cuthbert
214. [F25/3/86] Thomas Brock, Newgate, undated probably September-October 1816
Coiner, prosecuted by royal mint, sentenced to death, OB, Sept. 1816, writes to ask Bank for money to enable him to get petition written for Prince Regent; he argues they owe him something as he assisted in apprehension of two forgers.
215. [F25/3/87] George Blaker, Newgate, undated, between September and November 1816
Honerd Sirs I Return My Sincer Thanks and hever Shall think My Self in Dutey Bound to Consider you the Perssever of My Life and My Unfortunet Wife [illegible word] in the Sitewashon that the Lawes of My Countery will Premit Me and My Wife and I Solemny Declare to you that My Unfortunet Wife knew not but wat the Notes was Gud I Geve them to her I heard yestady that thare was a Man Tacking in Custidy and as not Give is Right name by the Infermachon that I Can Git is names Is Thomas Macklanine and that is the werey Man that those Peapul had them of Exeapt My Self and one the Woman that Was Tride
In the Case of a Few Days I Shall be habel to in Form you ware you May Discover I beleve ware the Maker of Sum of This Notes but Raley Carnt Say that this Pursen that Is Tacking hup is the Maker of them for God Sake Do not Late it Be none for I Surtiny Shold be Minded and you May Depend that having Intres I Will be Marke for I have Bin heden in it [illegible word] and did not Think of the Concqence of It But I Solemy Declare to you that I Never Did Change but that mone and that Ware at the Robin Hud Pubek Hous and as For the 2 Pond Note Solomy Call My God to Witenes that I ham Innence it is more Intres to the [illegible word] So I hever Remain your humbel Sarvent George Blaker
216. [F25/3/88] William Chamberlain, Newgate, 30 September 1816
Mr Westwood Sir, I beg pardon for Troubling you with this but it is real necessity that press upon me so hard that I cannot refrain any longer. If there is any thing that can be allowd by the Bank for the assistance of my poor creature [his wife, Elizabeth Stubbs, also in Newgate] and me I hope if it is in your power Sir you will allow it to us. I assure you Sir we have nothing but the Jail allowance and that is very Trifling indeed my friend Mr Edmonds Says there was a one pound Note in my Pocket book, if it is Consistant and if you will have the goodness to return it to mee I shall be very thankfull – I cannot Say any more but Shall beg the favor of my friend Mr Edmonds to say the rest I am Sir your very Oblgd hble Servt W Chamberlaine
217. [F25/3/89] Isaac Greenslade, Newgate, undated 1816
Sir My Attorney Mr Buckland called upon me yesterday and informed me If I send down this morning to you you would send me the Money which was taken from me by Mr Gammon the Constable of Chiswick. With Respect I am your Obedient Humble Servant Isaac Greenslade
218. [F25/3/90] Jane Brown, Newgate, 4 November 1816
Sir nothing but reall distress Could have induced me to trouble you but as I have no Friend to Assist me hope you will not Withold your late Bounty from me as relying on your Well Known have Contracted a Small debt for Tea and Sugar and Cannot get any more till that is Paid hope you will pardon this liberty which nothing but reall want Could have made me trouble you I am Sir Your much obliged and humble Petitioner Jane Brown
219. [F25/3/92] Jane Brown, Newgate, March 1817
Sir With humble Submision I Most humbly Beg your pardon for presuming to solicit your Extenseve Goodness and Charity to Me I have Contracted a few Little Depts in prison and am Not abel to pay it Without youre Continued Goodness as I have Not a friend to Render me the Least Assistance Nor have Not Sence I have Been Confined here Sir I am quit Distrest that only has Induced me to Troubell you I shall Be in Duty Bound to pray for your Goodness in hopes to Make Amends for My future Conduct Sir With the Greatest respect and humbell Submicone I am your Humbell Petitioner Jane Brown
220. [F25/3/91] Jane Brown, Newgate, 11 April 1817
Sir I hope you will pardon the Liberty I take in Presuming to rite but being in great Distress and have not a friend to give me Any Assistance to support [illegible word] only my Goal allowance Sir I hope you will take my Distress into Considaration and bestow a litle of your benevolent charity on me and I will be ever bound to pray, with Submission I Remain your humble Petioner Jane Brown
221. [F25/3/93] Benjamin Johnson, Newgate, 11 October 1816
Johnson, under sentence of death for unstated offence, not against Bank, is an 'officer', perhaps a constable, who says he has many times in the past assisted Bank in apprehension of forgers; he insists he is innocent of the crime for which he is condemned and asks Bank to let him have money to get a petition drawn up to send to Lord Sidmouth or the Prince Regent in order that his life may be saved. See 228.
222. [F25/3/94] William Bagnell, sr, William Bagnell, jr, Thomas Bagnell, and John Riley, unknown address, undated, but probably May/ June 1816.
Bagnells, Birmingham die-sinkers, successfully prosecuted by Bank, Nov. 1815, for stamping silver Bank dollars. William Bagnell, jr, pardoned, offers Bank his services to go to Birmingham to detect people engaged in coining 3s. tokens and supplying them to Jewish connections in London. Writers enclose details of a plan [not now with letter] which Bank accepts, June 1816.
223. [F25/3/95] Anonymous, Newgate, undated, probably September/ October 1816
Prisoner, not Bank offender, offers information about fellow prisoner, Robert Harris, awaiting seven yrs trspn for theft, who is dealing in forged notes.
224. [F25/3/96] R. Hooper, Newgate, October 1816
Hooper, sentenced OB Sept. 1816 for stealing from dwelling, about to be transferred from Newgate to hulks, offers Bank information on sellers and utterers of forged notes, in hope of being pardoned.
225. [F25/3/98] Elizabeth Fisher, wife of prisoner Frederick Fisher, unknown address, undated in February 1816.
Honourd Sir With Humble Submisshon I Beg Leave to Intreat the Favour Of your Goodness in Be Pleaseed to Present My Petision to the rest Of the Gentlemen and to Speake A favourable Word for Me Being Drove to the Greatest Distress insamuch that I Am Desstitute Of Common Necesarys I do Purpose Going to Service in Case the Gentlemen Should Be So kind As to Assist Me in redeeming My Cloaths My Child Wich is Eleven Months Old I purpose putting Out to Nurse Honourd Sir Hopeing You Will be Graceousely Pleaseed to Speake for me to the Gentlemen A Without There kind Assistance I Cannot tell What Must Become Of Myself and Baby The Favour of Wich Will Ever Be Greatfully Acknoledgeed By Honourd Sir your Obedient Humble Servant Elizebeth Fisher
[BECLS: 15 Feb. 1816, to send her £20.]
226. [F25/3/97] Elizabeth Fisher, unknown address, undated, probably July/August 1816
Honourd Sir Humblely Hopeing You Will Be Pleaseed to Pardon the Liberty I have takeing in Again trobleing You it is to request the Favour of your Goodness if You Would Be So Kind As Favour me With A few Lines to Mr Capper [home office] in Order to forward My Departure in the Ship that is Going this Month As I Cannot have the happyness Of Provideing Myself A Sittiauation to inable Me to Get Bread And if I Could I Should Be Miserable Nothing Ever Will Give me A Moments Comfort But following My Hussband Honourd Sir I Beg Leave to add that Mr Hardy [official, Newgate] Presents his Complements and Says he Shall Feele Himself Much Oblidgeed to Mr Westwood if he Will Be So humane As to interfere in My Behalf As he Says there Will Not Be Another Ship Go for twelve Months Honourd Sir Humblely hopeing you Will Be Graceousely Pleaseed to Concider My Unhappy Sittiation in Favouring Me with A few Lines to Mr Capper As I Understand it Would Be to Great Effect the favour of Wich Will Be Ever Greatfully Acknoledged By Honourd Sir your Most Obedient Humble Servant Elizebeth Fisher
227. [F25/3/99–100] W. Menzies, unspecified prison, probably Newgate, 8 October 1815
Menzies, not Bank prisoner, offers information about sellers and utterers of counterfeit Bank tokens and forged notes.
228. [F25/4/1] Benjamin Johnson, Coldbath Fields prison, 2 August 1816 Asks Mr Westwood, chief clerk to Bank solicitors, to call on him. [See 221]
229. [F25/4/10] David Reading and Benjamin Morris, Coldbath Fields prison, 6 September 1816, to a work colleague. Neither a Bank prisoner, possibly informants, requesting shoemaker, William Grasby, their 'shopmate', to send them their shirts and to raise a small 'subscription' from work mates.
230. [F25/4/2] Thomas Erstwaite, unspecified prison, 13 October 1815
Sir, I would be very much Obliged to you if you would be so good as to call here and see me as soon as you Possibly can, I have got something to say to you very Particular Indeed
231. [F25/4/3] Elizabeth Morris, unspecified prison, undated probably 1812, to a friend
My Dear Friend, I am sorry to inform you I am in the House of Correction but I hope you and Celia is safe and tell Mrs Mor to take Great Care of herself and tell her not to be afraid of me for thea shall get nothink out of me the Officers of Bow Street ask me about her but I told them I did not no such a person, so if she minds it will be all right I am along with Mrs Slater and Mrs tool can come and see her at any time but thea must ask for Elizabeth Morris – transtport let somebody come as soon as possable for I Long to know how you all are I am not to Go to Bow Street today if you send me anythink put My Name on the parcel Dont make yourself unhappy about me for thea can not hert me So Remain Yours
Addressed to: Mrs tool at the Back of the Ball Long Alley Moorfields
232. [F25/4/4] Margaret Spears, unspecified prison, undated October 1816, to friends
Dear freinds I Am in the House of Correcktion and Will Not have Any Heareing Wesanday please To tell My Brother [illegible word] to By Me a trunk and Wat Cloths I have Got about your House I Hope you Will take Care of Be So Good As to Send Me Some tea an Sugar And a pece of Meet put My Name on it and Leve it at the Gate and I Shall have it Send My pockets [illegible word] and Hearings Margate Spears
send them by Mrs Spink
Addressed to: Mr Grant, Shoemaker, George Street, Black Fryars Road
233. [F25/4/5] Benjamin Prichard, Horsemonger Lane prison, undated, probably last half 1816
Sir Mr Griffes caled on me and told me that you could not cum to see me nou sir i Be glad you cum hear for i have maded it my studey to tel you all i noe i can tel you more than ever you herd of Befour there more mackers of nots then one in Brummingham and i can Let you noe the coyners of tockens and other silver Yours Benj Prichard
sur i hope you concider me i have got a very Bad cold and i ham Ruperd Both sids and ware a duble trus and my iorn mackes it wors
234. [F25/4/6] Samuel Hale, Retribution hulk, Sheerness, 21 March 1817
Honard Sir I hope You will pardon me with they Libertey I heave now teaking, In writing But As I am they man that you prossecuted, In December last for they notes I hope and Beg and pray of you Sir, that you will pleas to teake it in to Consideration to advance Me a Litle Money, so that I may Be able to get me a Few Cloathes, to teake with me as I shall Indeavour If please god, to meake myselef as a usfull as my employers May requier of me, and if you dont heave they goodness, I heave not a friend in they world to fley to, as my Pore Wife, with three small Children she [two words illegible under repair to letter] Obleige to goe to a parrish, unless you Goodness Would of thought proper for hur to of [illegible word(s) under repair] As its hur wish, and mine as well, if you could But Get that favour granted, I heave wrote to my Sister In toune and if You Will pleas to write hur to call On Monday and Releive me with what you think proper As I heave understood you allways was kinde a nuf To releive others when they was sent away, we earspecket To goe everey day, and I Heartley Beg you will pleas to releive Me As I shall Be for evour Bound to pray for Your Charratey
Saml Hale abord they Retribuation Hulke Sherness
235. [F25/4/7] Eleven female convicts, Lord Melville transport ship, Deptford, 22 July 1816
Gentn We the undermentioned unfortunate females having been prossecuted by the Bank, and Now about to be Transported to New South Wales most humbly solicit for that relief Generally given to unfortunate Convicts We beg leave Gentn to remain your Most Obet Humble Servts the Under Signed Hannah Doods, Mary Duncan, Mary Henshaw, Ann Evans, Ann Stiles, Mary Ann Allen, Sarah Holiwell, Eliz Dunn, Esther Ashby, Esther Turner, Elizh Hazelton [each signs by mark].
Annotated: Mary Beavitt, Mrs Blackstone [prisoner's wife, 236].
[BECLS: 25 July 1816, to pay each woman, except Hazelton, £5.]
236. [F25/4/8] Mary Ann Blackstone, Lord Melville transport ship, 18 July 1816
Formal petition from wife of William Blackstone [transported May 1816 for Bank note offences in London], asking charity to make purchases for her voyage to NSW as she has received permission from sec./state to join husband. [BECLS: 25 July 1816, petition refused.]
237. [F25/4/9] Susannah Courtney, Newgate, 22 April 1817
Sir Being informed of your Kind alowance to your prisoners, prermett me humbley to solicet the same, as I have no friends that as it in theire power to assist me, and having been in prison for this tow monthe I have been oblidge to part with a many of my Cloathe to suport myself but relying on your goodness I Remain Your most obet Humb Sert S. Courtney
Annotated: in great distress & pregnant
238. [F25/4/11] Charlotte Harrison, Newgate, 10 April 1817
Sir I hope you will excuse the Liberty I am taking in asking the favour of the money you are so kind as to alow your prisonors, as I have offended all my friends by my late conduct they have all forsaken me and I am in Great Destress having nothing but the Goal alowance, your attention to thes few Lines will much oblige Your obed Humbe SertC. Harrison
239. [F25/4/12] Robert Roberts, Newgate, 4 June 1817
Tried OB, 3 Apr. 1816 for simple grand larceny of large number of high value promissory notes, acquitted, but remanded in custody for trial for conspiracy, informs Bank of forgery activities of prisoners recently discharged from Newgate.
240. [F25/4/13] Samuel Newman and Benjamin Brown, Newgate, 29 June 1817
Mr Westwood, Sir Wee Understand from you by Mr Humphryes our Attorney that you Granted us the favour of pleading Guilty for which wee humbly Acknowledge Your Goodness in so doing. There fore, for the Goodness wee have receiv'd from You wee think proper to Acknowledge from Whome wee Receved them From Wich is Mr King at No 13 Duke Street Bloomsbury where he resides at Mrs Westbrooks Your Most humble & Obet Sers Saml Newman, Benjn Brown
241. [F25/4/14] Samuel Newman, Benjamin Brown, William Harrison, John Bamber and John Grigg, Newgate, 17 July 1817
Sir We the under mentioned Petitioner, humbley implores your indulgence for the contineau in the above Prison untill their may be a Ship ready to convey we the unfortunate Petitioners to the Bay
We further humbley solicete your indulgence to contineau in the above Prison assureing you Sir:- their hang a greater dread on our Unhappy minds to be removed to the Hulk, then the whole of the suffering we have hitherto undergone.
We further crave your indulgence assure you we men haveing families in distress and haveing no means to supply their craveing wants nor haveing no other support then Gail allowance, under the above circumstances we humbley implore your humain Assistance has far as may consistant
We further most humbley solicete to be sent on board the first Ship that may be sent to the Bay
Remaing Sir with humble Submission your unfortunate Petitioners Willm Harrison, Jn Bamber, Saml Newman, Bn Brown, J. Grigg
242. [F25/4/15] Samuel Newman and Benjamin Brown, Newgate, 27 July 1817
Sir Your goodness will excuse the liberty of this request understanding thare is something allowd by the bank to Persons convicted we Sir are much distressd and my Cloths are all in Pleage if you will send me something it will be verry exceptable as I expect to go away every Night an answer will greatly Oblige Sir Your Most Obedeint and Humble Servant Benjamine Brown, Samuell Newman
243. [F25/4/16] George Robinson, Newgate, 9 July 1817, formal petition Your Petitioner having a Wife and Eight Children wich have heretofore been Suported by him, and having been a man in Better Circonstances in Life, But through the Preasure of times and Losts in his buisness have Reduced him and his family to very Lowe Circumstances and am Sorry to Say that My Abillilitys have been So Weake as to Suffer Myselfe to Innocently Led into this Dreadful Sittuation in wich I am Placed and that by a most Internent Acquaintence not Considering My Danger
under these Circumstances your Petetioner most Humbly beg your Indulgence to be Permited to Plead to the Lessor Offence for wich your Petetioner Will Ever Pray The Mark of George Robinson Witness John Banks
244. [F25/4/18] William Harvey, Newgate, 22 September 1817
Gentlemen I conceive it to be injustice due to myself and the information may not be unacceptable to you, (tho' perhaps you may think me not entitled to the credit of your belief) for me to detail the facts which has placed me in my present wretched situation; I shall therefore commence from the period of my liberation from White Cross Street Prison on the 29th of April last, at which time my circumstances and situation was very needy and necessitous, tho' previous to the conclusion of the war I lived in good repute as a Licenced Navy Agent at Portsea, but on the peace being ratified I was ruined by the parties (Petty Officers and Seamen) to whom I had advanced considerable Sums of Money on their Prize Money, being paid off out of the Service and revoking my claims. When Liberated from White Cross Street Prison my Wife was within 10 Weeks of her Accouchment, we had a few valuable trinkets and a little plate which I disposed of for our support, and I tried every possible means to procure a situation as Clerk in order to obtain a Livelihood for my family, but without success – When my Wife was put to Bed on the 10th July I had not then in the House in Money or Goods 2 Guineas worth, nor did I know where or how to procure for her those Comforts her situation required – to the best of my recollection it must have been a fortnight or more after my Wife was put to Bed that a person whom I had known for some Months, seeing my distressed situation, tempted me by offering me Counterfeited Bank of England Notes – steeped as I was in poverty to the very lips, I closed with his offer – my situation was too desperate for reflection, and thus for momentary relief, I plunged myself and family into irremediable ruin – I declare to you Gentlemen that it was nearly the latter end of July when this occurrence took place, and not 'till then had I ever seen to my Knowledge a Forged Bank Note – My detection then Gentlemen almost immediately following the Commission of the Crime
I cannot conclude Gentlemen without declaring to you most solemnly by all my hopes of pardon for my offence when I shall appear before that dread power who shall Judge you, me, and all the world in righteousness, that I never was in the Shop of Mr Prosser, or Mr Lockyer in my Life, nor did I ever utter a Note to either of these Gentlemen or to their Shopmen, as sworn by them before the Magistrate at Worship Street – As I am in great distress, I hope that you will be pleased to give to my Wife the two pound you have of mine, and I am also to beg that you will be pleased to intercede to get her a Passage to go with me to New South Wales for which purpose, and to receive the 2 pound detained from me, she will call on you Gentlemen on Wednesday morning. I am Gentlemen, with the greatest respect your most obedient humble servant William Harvey
245. [F25/4/17] William Harvey, Newgate, 29 September 1817
Gentlemen A circumstance has occurred which induces me once more to address you not to beg for mercy but to request that you will do me that justice which in the occurrence I am about to relate I conceive myself to be entitled to – A person of the name of Read alias Spence I am informed was apprehended on Saturday last in Holborn uttering Counterfeited Notes of the Bank of England – I have also been told that this Read alias Spence is the person who uttered the Note on Saturday the 16th day of August to Mr Elliot in Mr Lockyers Shop, Tottenham Court Road, for a Box of Loda Powders, and gave his address "Roberts 31 Howland Street" – Elliot before the Magistrate swore that I was the person; I have already asserted most solemnly by all my hopes of eternal happiness that I was not the person, and I again assert it – I therefore request that you will in consequence of the intelligence I have obtained, cause Mr Elliot to be sent for, and that he may see Read alias Spence that if he should be satisfied that he was mistaken with a similarity of person, or in his Zeal for his masters interest (that is to recover the Money cost) and regardless to whom he affixed the Guilt; in either case should it be satisfactorily made out that I am not the Man, that the note taken from me to repay Mr Lockyer, may be returned, and the circumstance receive from you that consideration which I must presume it deserves. I am gentlemen your very respectful & obedient humble Servant William Harvey
PS. I must inform you Gentlemen that I wish the subject of this Letter to be kept Secret, for should it be known here (to use the Language of the Newgate inhabitants) that I had nosed tho' for the most justifiable motives, my life would be sacrificed by the Wretches with whom I am compelled to associate.
246. [F25/4/19–20] John James, Newgate, 30 September 1817
Sir, I take the Liberty of Sending these few Lines by the bearer who is my wife hoping you will put her in the way to follow me as she has no trade to get a honest living by and as its not in the power of her friends to Support her and as it is her wish to go out of the country if, Sir, you would have the Goodness to put her in the way – it will be the means of not doing that which brot me here or worse as I should not wish her to go out of the Country as a Convicted person if it could be avoided by Leaving the country Free. I am Sir Yr Humble Servant J James
Attached: letter, 14 Feb. 1818, to Bank solicitors from Ann, John James' wife, sent from Birmingham, asking their help to get permission from Lord Sidmouth to go to NSW; she says that if she cannot go, she has choice of starving or doing what her husband did in order to be transported.
247. [F25/4/21] Edward Egan, Newgate, 22 September 1817
Egan, sentenced to death, OB July 1817, for burglary, offers information about some gentlemen of the Bank who are supplying bank note paper to forgers.
248. [F25/4/63] John Brooks and Isaac Greenslade, Newgate, September 1816
Hond Sir We most humbly hope you will excuse the liberty we are taking in thus troubling you, but when we were apprehended at Hammersmith last August, the constable Mr Gammon of Chiswick took from our Persons the sum of £16 and some odd Money, since which, We have received from him at different times and at our different Examinations Four Pounds only so that there now remains a balance of £12, some odd cash, in his hands. We therefore most humbly beg and entreat you will give him directions, immediately to return Our Property in question, as we are much distressed having no other means of subsistence than the Gaoel allowance. Trusting you will grant this favor, most earnestly solicited by Your most obedient humble Servants John Brooks Isaac Greenslade
249. [F25/4/22] Susannah Courtney, Newgate, 27 May 1817
Pardon me sir for intruding on your goodness has i am in Great Destress and most humbly Begs to be Partaker of your goodness the same as my fellow Prisoners has i have Parted with What few things that i had and i have got any Freinds to help me an i have been 4 months in Confinement and i am in Great Destress and i shall be in duty Bound to Pray for your goodness to me Susanah Courtney
Annotated: Susa Courtney convict £5
250. [F25/4/23] Margaret Spears, Newgate, 24 March 1817
Sir I hope you will excuse the Liberty I am taking in riting but being in Greate Destress and near the time of my Confindment and having not a thing prepared I shall take it a favour if you will send me a small sum of money as it is ten weeks since I received the last, theas few lines I humbley submit to your Kind Consideration and Remain youre obet Humbe Sert Margaret Spears
251. [F25/4/24] Margaret Spears, Newgate, 10 April 1817
Sir Pardon the freedom I am taking in Riting but as I am in Great Destress and without a friend in the world and exspect to be put to bed in a few Days and have not a thing in the world provided and in Debt in the Goal theas few Lines I humbley submit to your Kind Consideration and Remain yours Margaret Spires
252. [F25/4/25] Margaret Spears, Newgate, 15 May 1817
Sir I take the Liberty of informing you I am Delived of two fine Girls and hope you will extend your Goodness toward them, I was delivd the 6th of this month, and with the Children am likely to Do well, relying on your former Goodness I Remain your Obed. Humbe Sert Margret Spires
Annotated: 5/- a Week is paid to her
253. [F25/4/26] Margaret Spears, Newgate, 23 June 1817
Honoured Sir I hope you will Pardon the Liberty I Presume in troubling your Honour, but in Consequence of me Layinginn I want more Nourishment than usall and two Little Babes is Verry Expencive washing and Nursing them, Sir I hope your humane Goodness will bestow allitle of your Benevolent Charity on your Humble Petioner and her two Dear Little Babes Sir I Remain your Humble Petioner Margrett Spiers
254. [F25/4/27] Margaret Spears, Newgate, 6 September 1817
Sir I am sorry to truble you so soon but as I have not received any thing since the 9th of Last Month and having had one of my Children ill Ever since and is now Dead I hope you will Pardon my riting so soon, but as I have been att a Great expence with it I hope you will Call as soon as Conveient till than I Remain your most obed Humbe Sert M Spires
255. [F25/4/28] Margaret Spears, Newgate, 16 September 1817
Sir I hope you will excuse my being so trublesome but it is my Great Destress that Compels me, as I have been att a great expense with my Child that is Dead as I was oblidged to have a person with me night and Day for some weeks before she Died and if you will Call as soon as Conveint it will much oblidge your humble Sert M. Spires
256. [F25/4/29] Sarah Howell, Newgate, May 1817
Honoured Sir I humbley beg your pardon for the liberty I now take in righting to you but I ham in great distress for the want of a littell suport for in my sitruashon it is very hard to have nothing but the gale alouance and I have nothing hels for I have no one to send me a peney and it dos not lay in my husbands power to do haney thing for me for whilst he weas in confmment he lost hall his work and all his tools and he his now in want of bred honoured sir I hope you will take this our aufull situashon into your considerashon as we are a unfortunat pair and inesent dron into this our aufull sitruashon and I have the sentence for hit and I never knoad the mening of such a thing nor did I know what my sisters husband weas gon for till I hared you say when I came in the ofis and till then she tould me he weas gon for smugled guds and then I found the horror my sister had lindit me in and then I well knew my aufull situashon but I putt my trust in the lord and I hope he will be my gide and I hope honoured Sir you will not send me hout of my cuntry but hit is my sisters wish to go and all her children as tha are here with her honoured Sir I hope you will pardon me for the liberty I now take in trubling you but my Distress is grat and my husband is the barer of this to you I ham your humbal servant Sarah Howell
257. [F25/4/31] Sarah Howell, Newgate, 24 June 1817
Sir I hope you will please to excuse My liberty in troubling which I should Not Do but I am lying in at present And am very much Distrest as I Have not Got a farthing of money To Get any necessary thing that I want And should be very thankful to you If you will have the goodness to Let me have A little money and Sir your humble petitioner As in Duty bound will ever pray Sarah Howell
258. [F25/4/32] Sarah Howell, Newgate, 3 July 1817
Honnord Sir Pray Pardon the liberty of my Addressing these few lines to you but Sir having been Put to bed this fortnight Past and totley without friends that Can do Eany think for me I am totley distrest in Duty Bound Should Ever Pray if your Honnor Could make it Convent to let me have my Money Should not think of being so Extremly troubelsome but being so Very Much distrest Your Very Humble Servant Sarah Howell
259. [F25/4/30] Sarah Howell, Newgate, probably July 1817
Sir I hope you will excuse the Liberty I am taking in riting again but it is necessity that Compels me, as I have been Deliverd of a Girl three weeks and have had nothing but the Gaol alowance to live and through this unfortunate busyness my husband as Deserted me and having been in pris Prison four months I have been oblidge to part with my C[l]oaths to suport my self these few lines I humbly submit to your kind Consideration and Remain your obent Humb Sert S. Howell
260. [F25/4/33] Sarah Howell, Newgate, 8 September 1817 [written as 1871]
Honered Sir I ham very sorey to trubel you with this butt beleive me I ham verey much distresed indeed as my child has been very hill and so have I my self and it is for want of suport as I have no one to give my child haney thing but what I have from you honered sir beleive me my puneshment is more than I can discribe to you as it was the lest of my thoughts ever to be in such a place as this and all my Mrs and Mr will tell you the same I allweays felt to much hurt to let them know were I was but I have had one of them here to see me and she was more surprised then I can mentchon but I should never of been here had it not of been for my unfortnat sister honered sir I hope you will pardon me A most miserebel and unfortnat woman and look into this my aufull situeation and I will let you see that the remaner part of my days that your clemecy is not bestoed on the undeserved and if you think proper to refer for my caracter you may refer for hit hat is 26 Mr Smiths Wood stret Ceepsid and I dont feear but hit will beair the stricets investegashon – Honered Sir plees to pardon your Most obedent and unfortnat and Humbel Sarvant Sarah Howel in distress
261. [F25/4/34] Sarah Howell, Newgate, undated
Honored Sir I ham very sorry to be so trubelsom but believe me I ham very much distressed in deed for I have my child to suport and no one to Asist me and I have not reseived haney thing from you sinc the 8 of august and I ham in grat Distress plees to pardon me as I ham in grat trubel as my child has been very hill and Mrs Spirs has lost one of hers from your most obedent and humble sarvent Sarah Howel
262. [F25/4/35] Grace Blaker, Newgate, 14 May 1817
Sir I hope you will Pardon the Liberty I Presume in troubling you, but being Distressed through me Confinement and the Absence of my Husband Obliges me to Solicit for A little of your benevolent Charity, Sir the Ship Doctor have Inspected the Prisoners for the Purpose of going Abroad and Informs us that the Ship will Sail before the first of June I am Very Unhappy, Concerning Some of me Cloaths I was Obliged to Pledge, which I Shall be at a great loss for them, if I do not get A little of your benevolent Charity to Release them, I Remain your Humble Petioner Grace Bleaker
263. [F25/4/36] Grace Blaker and Jane Brown, Newgate, 29 May 1817
Sir I hope your goodness will pardon the liberty I take in writing to you but we have had orders this morning for the Ship & we are going on Saturday Morning and humbly Begs you will please to Consider My Present Distress as I have Contracted A few Triffling Debts in the Goal and I have A Desire to pay what I owe as I Dont wish to Go away in Debt to any person and By so Doing you will very much Oblige your most obedt humble servts And Humble petitioners Grace Blaker & Jane Brown
Annotated: £5 has been ordered to be paid to Grace Blaker. 5/- a week has been paid to Jane Brown, Convict £5
264. [F25/4/37] Grace Blaker and Jane Brown, Newgate, 31 May 1817
Sir I hope your Goodness will please to Excuse my troubling you but there is a Mistake in our payments as we have not Recd any money for this 7 weeks and we Have found the 5£ Pound we Recd little Enough to Redeem our Clothes out of pawn And pay our Debts in the prison and I hope Sir you will have the Goodness to let us Have the Remainder as we want to get Necessarys to take on Board with us and Sir you will Greatly oblige your humble Petitioners Grace Blaker and Jane Brown
265. [F25/4/38–9] Martha Thatcher, Newgate 26 May 1817
Sir I hope you will Excuse me Soliciting you Sir I understand their is an allowance for all me Children and you Only gave me for One and I have three Children if your Dispute me word you may Refer to governer I have no person to give them a shilling only for your Benevolent Charity I do not know What would become of me and them Sir I hope will take me family into consideration and bestow a little more of your benevolent Charity on them by so doing your Humble Petioner is in Duty Bound to Pray for you Martha Tatcher
Attached: earlier formal petition, Apr. 1817, on behalf of Martha Thatcher and Sarah Howell [256–61] asking to plead guilty to lesser offence.
266. [F25/4/40] Martha Thatcher, Newgate, 30 May 1817
Sir I hope you will pardon the Liberty I take in troubling you but I am Ordered to get Ready to go to the Ship and the Other women have Received their 5 Pounds, and I am Distressed with three Children and have the best part of me Cloaths in Pledge, Sir I hope you will Consider me Distresed Situation and me Large family and bestow a little of your benevolent Charity to Enable me and me family to get me Cloaths, by so doing your Humble Petitioner is in Duty Bound to Pray Martha Tatcher
Annotated: Martha Thatcher to pay her £5.
267. [F25/4/41] Sarah Gardener, Newgate, 10 April 1817
Sir Having rote and received no answer I take the Liberty of once more riting as I am in Great Destress as my husband is out of employ and as been for this six month and as it not in his power to help me and as it is now ten weeks sence you gave me the Last money I am in Debt in the prison and have no prospect of paying it without your assistance these few remarks I humbly submit to your Consideration and Remain your obedt Humb Sert S. Gardener
268. [F25/4/42–3] Mary Davis, Mary Lenny, Margaret Sellars, and Barbara Oliver, Friendship transport ship, Deptford, 4 June 1817
Honered Sir the Humble Pertition of Mary Davice who was tride at the County Gaol Notingham and Cast for Death But now Going to Leave my Country Leaveing 9 Children and quite Destetute therfor hopes you will Be So Kind as to take into Concerderation my pitifull Case Likewise Mary Lenny who was tride at the Winchester Last March and was Sentence to 14 years and as Left 6 Children fatherless and Destetute likewise Margrate Selars who was tride at Carlile Last August widow Sentense for Life Likewise Barbery Oliver who was tride in the City of Drurumn Sentence for 14 years Tranceporttation the Smallides Danation will Be Gratefuly Received By your Humbly Pertitioners Being all quite Destetute.
Annotated: Petitions from Mary Davis £10 Mary Lenny £10 Margt Selars £5 Barbara Oliver £5 Convicts
Attached: petition 6 June 1817, in identical terms, on behalf only of Mary Davis and Mary Lenny. Both appear to be in Mary Lenny's own hand, addressed to Henry Hase, chief cashier of Bank.
269. [F25/4/44] Mary Lenny, Winchester gaol, 15 May 1817
Sir Embolden by the Lenity you was pleas to Shew Me at my trial & hope you will Be so Kind As to Grant Me My Humble Request that Is that I May not Be Sent out this Country From my poor Children I have Six and four Of them intirly unprovided for having no Relation and very Young the Two Last is only one and four and the Other Two Years Old I was Left a Widow with five and young with Child of the Six. Mr Bear to whom my husband was Servent for near a Elven years Was so Kind as to raise a subscription for me wich enabled me to take A Lodging House and Day School By wich means I thought to Be able to Serport my self and family But I was unfourtunate Not Being able to let any Part of the House it Was very high Rent and By that Means I Became very Much in Debt wich I As Sure you Sir was the reason of My Altering of the Notes wich I am Now in the County Gaol Winchester Under the Sentance of Tranceporttation for fourteen Years and therfore humbly Beg that you will be Pleased to Let My Sentence Be Altered to inprisonment I asure you Sir that i have Never Ceased to lament My Misconduct wich as made my Health very Bad therfore the thought of Death cannot be more painfull that that of being sent abroad from my Poor Children Who have No refuge But the Workhouse I hope you will Be pleased to take pitty on me and Grant my request that I may Be inprisoned and Not Sent abroad and me and my poor family Will Be in Duty Bound to pray for you as Long as We all Live your Gratefull Humble Servent Mary Lenny
Annotated: Mary Lenny convicted at the assizes at Winchester for altering Several Bank Notes of £2 each to £10 and uttering them – is a Widow with 6 Children was allowed to plead Guilty to Minor Offence to be Transported
270. [F25/4/45] Mary Ann York, Newgate, 3 May 1817
Honrd Sir Permit me most humbly to address you with a few lines in which I beg to solicit your humane intercession with the Rt Honble Lord Sidmouth to divert my present stay in the Gaol, or to bestow upon me the happy Priviledge of being sent the House of Penitientiary. My motive principally for thus intruding upon Your Goodness is, should I be allowed time, I entertain a confident hope, I shall be able most satisfactorily to prove to You, my perfect, innocence upon the late unfortunate event, which has reduced me to the most Poignant sense of feeling and Distress, I am also induced Sir to persue this line of application from the experienced Kindness and attention you have been accustomed to show to every unfortunate person who has had occasion to address You on such Maloncolly subject And am Honr Sir Your unfortunate Huble Servt Mary Ann York
271. [F25/4/46] Mary Hopkins, Newgate, 30 May 1817
Sir I hope you will Excuse me Soliciting you, but I am Ordered to go to the petencly [Penitentiary] tomorrow Morning and I have contracted a little Debt here, to go away in any Persons Debt, it would hurt me feelings Verry Much, I would not Contract the Debt only Relying on your benevolent Charity, Sir I do not mean the 5 Pounds I only Mean the weekly allowance, Sir if I should be gone before you send you will be Pleased to give it to the Governer and he will Pay the Person I owe it to Sir its Six weeks since I Received any Sir by you taking me into Considaration I am bound Ever to Pray for you Mary Hopkins
272. [F25/4/47] Thomas Simpson, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 16 April 1817
Condemned to death for forgery [not Bank notes], he petitions for mercy; petition rejected.
273. [F25/4/48] John Smith, Justitia hulk, Woolwich, 25 June 1817
Most Honrd Sir The solemn reflections on my past lamented conduct, whereby I am reduced to my present unhappy situation, and my Wife and infant children to the Most severe distress, causes me to feel a difidence in addressing you, but imboldened by a sense of your characteristic humanity and christianlike Philanthropy, I am induced to hope your Pardon for so doing and for intreating a Compliance to my Humble request.
Having been tryed last Lent assizes at Nottingham County Jail, for uttering and passing Forged Notes of the Bank of England, and received the sentence of fourteen years Transportation Beyond Seas, and I am now on board this Ship waiting to be conveyed to New South Wales which I expect to sail for, in the course of a very few days, In consequence of having been precisely informed, you have made some provision for all the Females on board his Majestys Ship Friendship, now Lying at Debtford, that was prosecuted by you for the same offence, I therefore Most humbly & sincerely trust, you will have the condescending goodness to take my case into your Most serious and humane consideration & the distressed circumstances in which I am placed, and have your usual humanity and benevolence prevailed upon, to be pleased to grant Me Some assistance, as it will at this time greatly alleviate Me, and My family from the direful effects of extreme Misery and distress which we are now labouring under. I gave you all the information concerning the person of Isack Harwood of Lincoln, and my friends is now doing the same if possible to get him detected as he was the person who gave Me the Forged Notes, previous to my being taken into custody, and to whom I can ascribe all my present distress and Misfortune too, The extreme Poverty my Wife and family was in at the time I committed the fatal act, is beyond all discription, and indeed the Misery they are in at present, is beyond all conception, My Wife and five infant children now living at Bingham in Nottinghamshire, where they belong and all the support they now have is from the Parish, which is seven shillings & sixpence per week. And me in this unfortunate situation, waiting to be removed to a distant Country, without Money to aid or assist me or My poor family, The thoughts of which overwhelms my heart with the utmost sensation of grief and sorrow
It is therefore on that account I have to implore your benevolent and charitable assistance, that is if you will be pleased, to make some provision towards my support before I leave this Country and likewise I must humbly hope you will have the goodness to use your influence and exertions, towards getting My Wife and Children sent to New South Wales after me, as it is their Most earnest wish, and as I intend when I arrive at my destination, to remain in the Country and live hereafter a life, of the utmost decency honesty & industry and indeavour to retrieve the good character in another country I once enjoyed in this.
I sincerely trust you will have the decention to favour Me with an answer at your earliest convenience, In the Meantime, permit Me to subscribe myself Sir with the utmost sentiments of respect Most Hond Sir, Your Most Obt Humble Sert John Smith
274. [F25/4/49–51] John Dunn, Justitia hulk, Woolwich, 26 May 1817
Honoured Sir haveing learnt from my solliceter at the time of my trial at Gloster that it would be to my advantage to give up those persons who I received those Notes from which I received the sentence of 14 Years transportation for. I beg to assure your Honourable Company of the Bank of England that I can prove of the greatest service to them and the Country at Large & that at a very Cheape rate I would therefore thank you to acquaint me with Your Disposition thereon and point out what you think would be granted me under those circumstances, and the answer to the same shall contain every oppertunity in the mane time I remain Sirs your most obedient and very humble Sert John Dunn
Please to direct to the Care of Captain Smith on Board of the Justitia Hulk Woolwich & sent for John Dunn
Attached: copy reply 28 May 1817, from Bank solicitors, stating that if he has information they will submit it to governors & directors, but cannot hold out assurance of mitigation of sentence even if it is useful; rambling letter 15 Apr. 1817 from Dunn in Gloucester county gaol prior to trial, to solicitor, Mr Shaw at R. B. McKenna, 3, Crooked Lane, Cannon Street, London, suggesting he knows forgers all over England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and France and will help get them apprehended.
275. [F25/4/52] Hannah Crampton, Friendship transport ship, Deptford, 26 May 1817
Mr Key Honred Sir i ham infirmed by a respectabe Jentleman that the Convicts beloning to the Bank of England is intitled to the sum of 5 pounds Honred Sir if so i hope you will have that tender feeling towards the Distrest to forward it as soon as Possable Honred Sir i hope you will Pardon my Adresing you on this subject Sir i ham you Moast Obeident Humble Servent Hannah Crampton on Bord the Frenship
Annotated: Hannah Crampton convict £5
276. [F25/4/53] Susannah Courtney, Friendship transport ship, Deptford, 7 June 1817
Sir I am sorry to be so troublesome But my distress'd situation must plead my Excuse I recev'd 5 pounds but I never had any thing all the 4 Months that I were in Confinement [5s. a week ordered from 24 Apr. 1817] and I were so distress'd that I have not now one penny to help myself I had Borrowd so Much Money in the prison and I hope if there is any More Comeing to me that you will have the Goodness to send it to me and you will Greatly Oblige your Humble petitoner Susanah Courtney
277. [F25/4/54–58] H. F. Horneman, White Cross debtors' prison, 3 October 1816
Horneman, signing himself His Danish Majesty's Consul General in Great Britain, in debt to Bank, requires them to intervene in an argument with his partner, Mr Rooke, which has landed him in this situation. Bank solicitors say they do not interfere in personal arguments.
278. [F25/4/59–62] Miscellaneous papers from 1816: draft bond and statements re Corporation of London's borrowing of £30,000 to build new debtors' prison in the City and repairs and alterations to Newgate.
279. [F25/4/64] John Christopher Dittmann, King's Bench prison, 22 August 1816
Dittmann, debtor to Bank, wants to be freed as his partner, William Spunden, has been; he requires common bail so he can get on with his consular business.
280. [F25/4/65–6] William Chapman, White Cross Street debtors' prison, 30 & 31 May 1816
Debtor writes on behalf of ward mate, Alexander Man, who has had £20 stolen from his portmanteau. He thinks Bank may be able to help since it is alleged that the person who stole it is in Bank custody; this would relieve him and ward mates from suspicion.
281. [F25/5/1] Ann Storey, Newgate, 30 January 1818
Sir parddon me for again Intruding on you haveing before staded my Curcumstances to you and I ham at this time verey destressed I shall feel my self for ever thankfull to you if your Mercerey and goodness will reach so far as to think me Worthy of the support that from your kind Considerereation offenderes as me doue receve for wich Sir I shall be for ever thankfull to you I ham Sir youre Moast Obdt Humbl Servt Ann Storey
282. [F25/5/2] Ann Storey, Newgate, 6 February 1818
Sir I hope and trust that your goodness Will pardon and Excuse the Liberty I have again taken I dropt you a line last week to beg of you to plese to give me the Allowance that you have to otheres Sir I gave you everey Information that Lyd in my power I hope you will consider my Case I know that I have offended the Laws of the Nation Still i hope to find that favour from your Mercereyful goodness as i ham in grate Destress Sir if it is not two much Intruding pleas to drop me a line to Say if i may Expect the favour that i beg of you and when that i may Expect to see you and Sir by so doing I shall be in Duty ever thankfull to you I ham Sir Your Moast obd humbl Servt Ann Storrey
283. [F25/5/3] Ann Storey, Newgate, 26 February 1818
Sir I hope and trust that your goodness will Excuse the Liberety I take to again rite to you but Sir i hope you will Considder that my Case is very hard I have not a friend in the World to help me to annay thing and through my offence As my husband has lost his place and at this time it is not in his power to help me and i ham quight Destressed doue Sir Considder my Case for wich i shall be fore ever bound in Duty to thank you i hear Sir that the Whomans Ship is Expected to goue in the next month and if my fate is to goue I ham Moast Destressed for such a purpos pray Sir Excuse this intrushon and i trust to your kind humannaty that you will be pleased to relieve me in this my moast unfornaute and Deplorabel sittuion this is the sixth Letter that I have sent and if i was not so truley in want i would not be intrushon I ham Sir Your Moast Obdt and Humbl Servt Mary Ann Storrey Transport
284. [F25/5/4] Ann Storey, Newgate, 2 March 1818
Honrd Sir I trust that you will pardon the Liberety i have taken I Address my Self to you as a moast Destressed whoman i have being triyed ever scence December Sentens I have repeatedly Aplied for the Favours that is Sumtimes Confered upon offenders as my Self but have not receved the smallest kindness none Sir i ham upon the point of leaving the Country for 14 years wich might as well have beeng for my life no one has ever Aplied to you in a moore Destressed State I have neather Friend Monney nor Cloths Sir I hope and trust that your goodness will be pleasd to Allow me sumthing before i goue for wich i shall be moast Humbbly thankfully for it so Sir I shall be glad to have it that i may have a oppertunaty to lay it out before i leve this place pray Sir Considder my Destress and think me a Object worthy of your relief for wich I shall be in Duty bound to pray I ham Sir your Moast Obdt Ann Story
Addressed to: Jeremia Harmer [Jeremiah Harman] Esq Governor of the Bank Broad Street
285. [F25/5/5] Ann Storey, Newgate, undated March 1818
Sir pray Excuse my Writing or trubeling of you but i Expect this day to receve the order for the Ship and I have not a friend in the world to doue annay Service i hope and trust Sir that you will Considder my Case and be pleased to give me Sum Ascestance as i ham sure of gouing and i ham in grate Destress and have nothing to goue to the Ship and i Expect from the govener that we are to be on Bord Eather on thuesday or Wedeniday and when i ham there i have not a friend that Can doue annay thing for me Sir whatever, you will be plased to give me i shall be glad to have the opportunity to lay it out while i ham hear as i ham Moast Destressed indeed fore Cloaths I ham Soririy to trubel you with so mannay Letters this beeng the Eaths time that i have rote i think that perhaps they have not all fell into your hands Sir pleas to say to the Bearer when i may Expect to see you I ham Sir your Moast Obdt and Humbel Servt Ann Storrey
286. [F25/5/6] Ann Storey, Newgate, 24 March 1818
Gentlemen I am sorry to troubl you but I feel my self hurt that I Cannot have any allowance from the Bank of England as well as my fellow prisnors –
I do assure you Gentlemen I am Drove to the most presing Distress I have made away with all my Cloths Except what I Stand up in & going out of my Country in that distress situation it hurts me much I was in hopes to have Recd something from your bounty that would have enabled me to have got anything as I might have apered not quite distressed in a forren Country, I hope Gentlemen you will take my Deep Distres in to your Consideration & I shall be bound Ever to pray for you Your Most Obd Sevt Ann Story
287. [F25/5/7] Ann Storey, Newgate, undated March 1818
Honoured Gentlemen I hope you will Excuse My Liberty in troubling you, but being far from me Native Contry, and Destined for a Climate where I do not know aney person I am Quiet Destitute of friends, Since me Confinement I was Flattered I would have five shillings a week, from you Gentlemen of your Charity Expecting it I Pawned Every Article of me Wearing Apearl I now being ordered for a Strange Country I have not as Much as a to Wear I am Quiet Distressed, and unhappy in Mind as I do not know what to do, but I trust Gentlemen, you will take me Distressed Situation into your humane Consideration and bestow me a little of your benevolent Charity in Order to Release me cloaths as I trust to your humane kind and benevolent Charity, I hope you will not Delay Answering this as I Expect to go on board Friday or Saturday and by your Gentlemen Considering my unhapy Situation your Humble petioner is in Duty Bound to Pray Anne Storry
288. [F25/5/8] Ann Storey, Newgate, 26 March 1818
Sir You will very much oblige a Distresed Woman if you will transmit this to the Board of Directors of the Bank as I am going to Leave my Country quite in Distress fully Expecting to have the same allowance as my fellow prisoners You will oblige your obt Sevt Ann Story
289. [F25/5/8] Margaret Spears, Newgate, 29 November 1817
Honered Sir, with humble permishion I have taken the Libberty of writing to you as I am in great distress & rely only on your mercifull bounty having know Friend to render mee the Smallest Assistance it is now too months since I Received any Money Sir I remain Your Humble Servant Margret Spires
290. [F25/5/9] Margaret Spears, Newgate, undated
Sir I ham Soririy to be Trubelsom but will be thankfull if you will pleas to let me know the Gentelmans Answer it is Necesetty that makes me Trubelsom wich i hope you will Excuse Sir we gou tomorrow so pray lett me know your Moast Obet Humbl Servt Margrat Speares
291. [F25/5/10] Margaret Spears, Newgate, 30 January 1818
Sir I hope and trust that your goodness Will parddon the Liberty i have taken In Addressing my Self to you Intruding upon your Goodness Sir it is two months this day since I Recevd the Bounttyfull Allowence from you wich is all the Support i have for myself and Child for wich i stand for ever Indetded to you for Sir may I persume to ask you for a Remitance as Soon as is Convenent for your Self as I ham in grate Destress at this time for wich Sir I ham in Duty bound to pray your Moast Obdent Humbl Servt Margreat Spires
292. [F25/5/11] Margaret Spears, Newgate, undated March 1818
Sir I trust that you will Excuse my Writing but we Expect to Receve the order for the Ship on tomorrow the last Monney that i Receved was from the 30 of Janry i would not be trubelsom but wen i ham gouing i will be very thankfull for what your goodness will be pleased to give me as it will be of grate use to me wanting to lay it out I ham Sir with gratefull thanks your Moast Obdt and Humbel Servt Margrate Spiries
293. [F25/5/12] Margaret Spears, Newgate, undated March 1818
Sir I ham Soririy to be trubelsom to you as to intrued upon your goodness but I Expect every Momment to Receve the order for the Ship as Mr Brown the Governer told us yesisterday that we shuld Receve the order as today Sir I have not a Friend in the world to help me to one penney and I ham very [illegible word] of to leave my Countery but hope and trust to your goodness as i Mentiond in my last the last Monney that i Receved was from the 30 of Janry Sir If Convenent I hope you will call upon me upon what were you pleas to give me i shuld be glad to laye it out as i have not a friend to combe to me to doue one thing for me after i leave this place I ham sir with gratefull thanks your Moast Obd Margreat Speares
294. [F25/5/13] Margaret Spears, Newgate, undated March 1818
Sir I Returen you moast greatefull thanks for the kind Feavours i have recevd from you i will be moast infinetly oblighd to you if you will present this Letter for me Sir a Deal rest with you and i hope and trust that you will be pleasd to render me the Services that you Can i have not a friend in the world to give me one penney wich is hard for me and my Dear Childring i trust Sir from the kindnest that i have receved from you that you will doue all you Can to be the means of my haveing a littel monney for wich i shall be for ever thankfull to you Sir pray Excuse me but if you pleas to say to the Bearer if She shall Call upon you on Thursday afternoon or on Friday Morning or if you will be pleasd to Call upon me – I ham Sir your most Obdt Margrat Spires
PS Sir dont think that we have not Receved the order for Mr Brown the Governer has told us that we goue on board on Friday pray doue what you can for me
295. [F25/5/14] Margaret Spears, Newgate, 25 March 1818
Honrd Gentelman I trust that you will pardon and Excuse the Liberty i have taken i return my moast gratefull thanks for the kindness that has been conferrd upon me wich has being a support for me and my Childring other ways i must have known grate want not having a friend in the world to help me gentelman i ham apon the point of leveing the Countrey and ame in grate want of a few things has induced me to intrued apon your kind Concideriation hopeing that you will be pleasd to render me sum ascestaince my Leveing the Countrey and not haveing a friend to help me to one penney makes it moare hard for me i trust that my Applycation will not offend and whatever your Bountyfull goodness will be pleasd to bestow upon me will be receved by me with my moast gratefull thanks and a everlasting acknologement of your kindnest we Expect to be on board of the Ship on Friday and shuld be happy if i posibily can to provied a few things for my self and Childring before i goue from this place as i have not a friend to combe to the Ship to me Gentelman i ham intirely Depending apon your goodness for wich i shall be in Duty bound to pray I ham with gratefull thanks your Moast Obdt and Humbl Sert Margreat Spires
296. [F25/5/15] Catherine Brown and her sister, Louisa Kemble, Newgate, 21 March 1818
Hond Sir. I most humbly presume your goodness will pardon the liberty taken As now three months since My sister and myself receivd sentence for fourteen years which priveledge you was so good to us I hope we shall ever feel sensible of, and with the warmest Gratitude we return you our most Humble thanks we have experienced the most severe distress since our confinement and what has added much to our trouble is the sudden Death of our father and haveing no friends whatever – we have informed we are to go abroad and have received notice to be in Readiness next Wednesday. We most Humbly solicit your Humane Consideration we shall Forever Be in Duty Bound to Pray Catherine Brown, Louisa Kemble
297. [F25/5/16] Catherine Brown and Louisa Kemble, Newgate, 27 March 1818
Hond Sir Trusting to your goodness and my very distressing circumstances I hope will Be an appoligy for the liberty I am takeing troubleing you I most humbly hope the Gentlemen of the Bank will take Our case into consideration being quite friendless and we are to leave here on Saturday morning. With your Permission the Bearer waits an answer We Remain with Respect your Humble Servents Louisa Kemble & Catherine Brown
298. [F25/5/17] Catherine Brown and Louisa Kemble, Newgate, undated March 1818
The Humble Petion of Louisia Cembell Catherine Browne Humbly Emplores the Humane kindness of the Governer and company of the Bank and take in to considaration that the are destitute of Father or Mother or any freind to give them the least assistance know being ordered to leave our country on Friday or Saturday we have no more time before we go to the Ship begs leave to Solicit your humane kindness and hope through our present Distress that you will bestow a litle of you benevolent charity on us both as we are in great Distress for cloaths or any Sea Store, Gentlemen we both hope you will Consider our Great distress and give us a little of your benevolent charity and by So doing your Humble petioners in duty bound to pray Luisia Cembell Cathearine Browne
299. [F25/5/18] Copy letter, 12 March 1818, from Bank solicitors to John Ward, prisoner in Newgate, condemned to death for uttering in London, saying governors and directors of Bank decline to interfere in his fate. Ward's petition for mercy not in archive.
300. [F25/5/19–21] Harriet Skelton, Newgate 17 March 1818
Hond Sir. The gentlemen who presented to you Mr Mannings [Clements Inn solicitor, whose servant she had been] letter on my behalf, [petition earlier in March] has stated to me that there is no hope of obtaining a change of my awful sentence of death to transportation for life, as my character is considered as particularly bad, and my case very flagrant. Will you allow an unhappy woman to state a few facts which I humbly hope will induce you to take a more favourable view of my case – Guilty as I am, and deservedly involved in disgrace. I am not guilty to the extent which is supposed. I most solemnly declare that I never lived in any house of ill fame kept by my brother, or anyone else, but the one in Leigh Street, out of which I was taken, and in that I lived only after it was opened as a bad house five or six weeks. Part of my time was employed in working at my business, in doing the upholstery work of the house, which was taken & furnished by my brother, not so much to be used, while in his possession, as to let to some other person, and it was not opened by him till the 20 decr last.
I further declare that I never was but in one house of that description with Ward  and that not for any lewd purpose, but in consequence of a violent quarrel between Parr and my brother, our only object was to make a noise, & thus expose the house as a bad house – I confess that my motive was not the good of the public, but to gratify a desire of revenge on the part of my brother whose advice I sincerely regret, that I followed. For this I was held to Bail, and on the 6 Novr last I was surrendered by my bail Mr Cooper of Eagle St Holborn, and was acquitted – and Mr Common Sargeant recommended the indictment of Parr, which was done at Hicks Hall I do most solemnly declare, that I never had a bad note to my knowledge in my possession, or ever passed one knowing it to be forged, till within the last four or five weeks before I came to prison, (now about seven weeks since) and as far as I can recollect nine notes only have been uttered by me, and not the number you supposed.
I am willing Sir to make every reparation in my power to the offended Laws of my country by disclosing all I know as to the person from whom the notes were procured, and by whom I believe they were made.
These few remarks will I humbly trust convince you that I am not so abandoned a character as you suppose, and that I am not guilty to the extent I am charged as to the notes.
Will you be so kind as to state this to the Gentlemen of the Law Committee, – My life being concerned I hope will supply an excuse for giving you so much trouble
I am Sir Your most obet and afflicted Sert Harriot Skelton [own signature]. Attached: copy letter, 19 Mar. 1818, from Bank solicitors stating her letter laid before governors and directors of Bank who still remain of the Opinion that consistent with their Duty to the Public they cannot interfere in your behalf