Prisoners' Letters to the Bank of England, 1781-1827. Originally published by London Record Society, London, 2007.
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Letters, nos 301-400
301. [F25/5/22] Richard Radford, Newgate, 20 March 1818
Sir I am unhappily placed here for Trial for uttering a Forged Ten pound Note, which I have been most Villianiously entrapped into. I hope you will Condescend to call here I will give you Information of the Party, as I understand they are gone in the Country either to pass some or purchase some from the Makers and I every reason to suppose the Person who inveigled me sells them himself
I am Sir Yr Humble Srt Richard Radford
302. [F25/5/23–4] Letter, with covering letter, from Mary Swain, Newgate, 20 January 1818. Sentenced to death for forging navy transfers, and reprieved, she suggests further mitigation of sentence, which Bank refuse to act upon.
303. [F25/5/26 & 28] John Hill, Newgate, 9 February 1818, formal petition
That Your Petitioner is waiting to be Tried, (at your suit) at the ensuing Sessions held in the Old Bailey for having in his Possession Forged Bank of England Notes.
That Your Petitioner sensible of the Enormity of the Offence, as well as the Ignominy awaiting him, If Prosecuted to the full Extent, bows down with the utmost humility, and states, that he was driven by distress, for the Supplies of a Wife and four small Children to err from that Path of Rectitude which he now deeply Laments
That your Petitioner is informed it has ever been a Study of Your Honorable Board to Mingle Mercy with Justice, so that a Sinner may live to atone for his past Offences that as this is the First Time in his Life he ever had to do with such a Transaction
Your Petitioner therefore Prays you will be pleased to extend your mercy towards him by allowing him To plead Guilty to the Minor Offence and that you will in your infinite Goodness refrain from offering Evidence as to a Part of the Charge which affects his Life, so that by Banishment from this Country he may Live to atone, and amend the Remainder of his Life in due Repentance in hopes of Forgiveness hereafter
And as in duty bound he will ever Pray John Hill
Attached: covering letter for petition
304. [F25/5/25 & 27] John Hill, Newgate, 20 February 1818
Sir I beg leave to send the Inclosed to you And probably through your Interferrence With the Bank Directors. As I can Benefit them much by my Information. They may feel disposed to Speak to the Judge so as to Punish my Offence by Imprissonment in this Country allowing you to act as your Judgement may seem meet
I am Sir respectfully Your very Humble Sert John Hill
Attached: formal petition stating same point.
305. [F25/5/29–30] Charlotte Newman, Newgate, 12 February 1818
Hond Sir I Most Humbly hope your humanity will Excuse the liberty I take to intreat your Consideration of my most afflicting situation I sometimes felt some hopes hearing of your great mercy towards those who have Been allowed to plead Guilty the last Sessions. I trust I feel most sensible the awful situation I am now in and the Justness of my sentence When I was at the Bar my Life was then in your hands and I now feel it more accutely Let Mercy Be blended with Justice it is yet in your power to save the Life of an unhappy sufferer which I most earnestly implore of you How sweet will be the hours of Reflection when you can rest upon your Pillow and commune with God & yourself that Life which if taken from one of Gods Creatures you have not power to Give A few days nay hours will Determine this awful Event I once more humbly beg of you to save my Life there is time yet for your Consideration. All depends upon you and a all wise providence the Just and Good God deigns to say he will Pardon & receive the true penitent whose sins are as unmeasurable as the sands of the seas. His promises are we shall live with him forever Can you then feel pleasure in the Death of a fellow Mortal that you are the means of saveing
I Once more intreat your Mercy to spare my life which will if I am allowd to hope for it be spent in the service of my offended God and prayers that you may Experience every Blessing he is able to Bestow From the Unfortunate Charlotte Newman
Condemn Cell half past 11 O Clock at Night
Pardon me if from the impulse of the moment I have said too much Attached: copy note from Bank solicitors: Charlotte Newman, I received your Letter but I cannot interfere in your behalf. The Governor & Directors of the Bank have considered your Case & they also decline to interfere. JK Westwood, New Bank Bds 13 Feby 1818
306. [F25/5/31–2] John Morris, Newgate, 21 December 1818
Sir I hope you will pardon the liberty I take in soliciting your Interest on the behalf of my Wife, for a Passage to my place of Exile, wch I do beg will not be withheld as she did all in her power to apprehend and have Wm Die taken and which your convinced of, the only recompense that can be wished is your kind intercession in her behalf wch will ever be most gratefully acknowledged by Sir your Ms Obed Hble Serv John Morris
Attached: earlier formal petition to plead to lesser offence.
307. [F25/5/33] John Morris, Newgate, 23 December 1818
Sir From your general humane feelings for the unfortunate emboldens me to solicit the favor of a Letter of Recommendation to Major General Macquarie, Govr of New South Wales. If you think I am deserving of such indulgence, you may be assured that I am far from being Old in Crime as I did not leave my Fathers Home until June last, when I came up here in order to obtain a situation as a Clarke, but was not fortunate enough to suceed, and unfortunately was induced to comit the crime for wch I am about to suffer for, wch I do acknowled the Justice of my sentence, I cannot say but I feel hurt at Wm Die having got acquitted as he was the Man who is the cause of my being here, and from the knowledge of his transactions has sold 400 forged notes each day, to regular Customers he Employed, three Carriers, Burn [Byrne, cap. con. Sept. 1818], Baker and Williams – and this Baker I understand his still an active Fraud – had I been admitted together with my Wife as evidence against Die, the Jury must have found him guilty, tis to be hoped that Die will not be suffered to carry on his nefarious Practices with impunity much longer and bringing so many unwary wretches to this place, I further beg leave to enclose a Petition to Lord Sidmouth praying a Passage for my Wife With me to my Place of exile and I shall ever most gratefully acknowledge your goodness. If you will be pleased to enclosed the said Petition to Lord Sidmouth as it will then be Complied with, had I not so short a time to Stop here I should have given the Bank some further information, as it is my wish to give them all the information I possibly can for their great Lenity in not prosecuting me Capitally – and am Sir Your most Obed Hble Servt John Morris
PS I beg leave to state that I had no hand in the Petition to the Court for a Trial as I was satisfied with being allowed to plead to the Minor Charge, you will be pleased to understand that Mr Brown Govr was obliged to move me from the South Side of this Prison to the School as my life was Threatned and they still declare If I go in the same ship they will be my Death, such are my prospects, these Circumstances are all Known to the Govr and how they mean to dispose of me I not yet aware of
308. [F25/5/34] Jane Williams, Newgate, 11 August 1818
Hounerable Gentlemen I hope you will excuse the Liberty I am taking in addressing these lines to you but as I am standing before you as a Criminal and am Commited to newgate untill the sessions and being entirely destitue of money or friends induces me to suplicate your humanity as I have had nothing since I have been Commited but bread and water nor have I any Prospect of reciving anything from any one if you would have the Goodness Gentlemen to take my Distressed Situation into Consideration I should for ever Pray the smallest trifle would be most Gratefuly Recived by your most unhapy and obeident Servant Jane Williams [not in own hand]
309. [F25/5/35] Jane Williams, Newgate, 21 October 1818
Honorable Gentlemen Embolden to address you as I am on the present subject by having mercy extended to me thro your Humanity and Goodness, and now entreats your Charity in the same Merciful and Benevolent manner having had no Friend to Assist me since I have been in Confinement and nothing to subsist on but the Goal allowance In hope you will take my Distressed situation in to your Consideration and extend a little of that Charity that is so kindly Distributed to some of my fellow Prisoners the truth of my assertions can be proved by enquiry at the Prison as my Distressed state is fully known.
With Humble Respect I remain Honorable Gentlemen your most Humble Servant and Prisoner Jane Williams [letter in her own hand]
Gentlemen Pardon A Letter by Post but being Destitute of a Friend to Deliver it and unable to Pay a Messenger is the cause of the liberty
Annotated: 22d Octr Mr Christmas to give 5/- & to report further as to her situation. 29 Octr Mr Kaye authorized to pay her 5/- per week during her stay in Newgate
310. [F25/5/36] Clarissa Downes, Newgate, 25 July 1818 sir I hope you will excuse me sending to you, – But thougt I had Slipt your memory as Mr Westwood used to pay me my money Every Month & it is now six weeks since I have Recd any But my fellow prisoners have Recevd theirs Regularly wich induced me to take the Liberty to send to you Sir I Remain Your Obd Servt Clarisa Downs
311. [F25/5/37] Mary Ann Reed, Newgate, 16 July 1818
Sir I hope you will be so kind as to Excuse me troubling you but being distressed both me and me child through me confinement Emboldens me to solicit you Sir if you would be graciously Pleased to take me into considaration and bestow me a little of your Benevolent Charity it would be the greatest Charity Sir by you taking me into your Humane Considaration and by so doing your Humble Petioner is in Duty bound to Pray Mary Ann Reed
312. [F25/5/38] John Owens, Newgate, 22 June 1818
Sir I return you my most Sincere and Heartfelt thanks for your humanity and kindness towards me in allowing me to plead guilty, I am an unfortunate unhappy man and you Sir have it in your power to elevate my unhappiness by Shorting my Sentance as you knowing me to be an Iniasent man Seduced by a faulce Harted woman which taught to Sware my Life a way for Self gain, I do pray think on my unfortunate Situation, I am fearful it will be my lot to live this Country Should that be the case, I hope and trust Sir you will put my Wife in a way to follow me, and your petitioner will be in duty bound ever to pray for you and yours John Owens
313. [F25/5/39] Thomas Coutts, Newgate, 4 June 1818
Coutts, aged 17, requests to plead to lesser offence; Bank made this decision 27 May 1818.
314. [F25/5/40] Richard Bennett, Newgate, 8 October 1818
sir irite afew lines to you if you will have the profer that ican give you good satisfaction of two or three men which you have not got in Costody which Sells bank of England forged notes besides employing three of four every day to pas for them which they know are forged and one of them perticler puts amark on them which he said to mee that mark made them pas all the better beside he said there was not one in twenty which noes where that mark is but he said all that he had he put that mark on peticler and the other is men which i know as been going on that game for a great while ihave knone them myself for five months and iknow they have been seling forged notes ever since iknew them besides ican give you peticlar adress of severel others which they sel to and iwil give you their names and adres which sells them if you can take them they will do you more good then twenty selers for they enploy so many in seling and pasing it is hard to tell you ibelieve there is several in this place that is took that as been pasing for one of them it is very seldom they go to pas any themselves but they go with them that pases for them and gives them to those who pases them when they get out from of about home Samuel Bailey are Seller Thomas Turner a seller Edward Dent [cap. con. Jan. 1819] those three are sellers of Bank of england Notes forged and if you will send any body to me as a friend iwill tell you more piticler about it iwil tel you what publick houses they kep
315. [F25/5/41] Susannah Wilson, Newgate, 10 April 1818
Sir I am Verry thankfull to you and the Gentlemen for all the faviours you were So kind as to bestow on me, in Allowing me to Plead Guilty, as I owe me Life to God and you Gentlemen, Sir I am ordered to be Ready to Embark on Monday Morning by Mr Brown, Sir I am no way prepared for My long and Weary Voyage, as my unhappy Confinement Distressed me, that I was Obligated to part all me cloaths, and I am Quiet distressed, Sir I trust your humane kindness will take my distressed situation into consideration and bestow a little of your Benevolent charity on me, Sir I have only to day and tomorrow to prepare and I hope you will be so kind as to give the bearer Answer Sir I Remain your humble Servt Susanahe Wilson
316. [F25/5/42] Maria Wilkes, Newgate, probably December 1818, formal petition
Your Petitioner was at the last September Sessions holden at the Old Bailey sentenced together with her husband to be transported for fourteen years she having pleaded guilty to an indictment for having forged Notes of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England in her possession. Your Petitionar respectfully takes leave to inform your Honourable Court that she is in absolute want having no means of support besides the Prison allowance. Your Petitioner without attempting to palliate her guilt or to object to the justice of her sentence humbly implores your Honourable Court to take into their merciful consideration the only circumstance which can plead in extenuation of her offence her extreme youth and the influence which a beloved husband must possess over the mind of a young and affectionate wife. Your Petitioner humbly but fervently entreats the Honourable Directors to extend some trifling weekly allowance to a young and helpless female sinking under the accumulated pressure of the severest privations and mental sufferings And your Petitioner will ever pray &c Maria Wilkes [own signature].
[BECLS: 18 Dec. 1818, petition refused.]
317. [F25/5/43] W. E. Hardy, official at Newgate, December 1818, writes to Bank solicitors on behalf of Bank prisoners Mary Pendleton, Hannah Gilbert and Maria Wilkes, in great distress, deserving of Bank's attention. No requests from these women in Dec. 1818 were met.
318. [F25/5/44] Mary Hartnell, Newgate, 28 December 1818
Sir I trust you will be pleased to Pardon the Liberty I presume, but being Distressed by my confinement both my Children and me in the greatest distress and Confined to my bed five weeks with the Feavour under Mr Bose care Sir I have one of My Children here in the Prison and the Second with My aged parents at 38 Saffron Hill in Great distress Sir I will be leaving My Country in the Course of six weeks both me and my Children Quiet distressed as I was Obliged to Part my Cloaths to support my Child Sir if you would be Graciously pleased to bestow on me a little of your benevolent Charity your Humble Petioner will be Ever bound to pray Sir I Remain your Most Obedient Humble Servt Mary Hartned
Annotated: has 2 Children
319. [F25/5/45] Hannah Gilbert, Newgate, 2 December 1818
Honored Gentlemen The distressed Situation in which I am at present Placed Emboldens me to take the liberty of again troubling you with an application to your Charity and Benevolence not having a Friend but and Aged Mother who is a Widow with 3 younger Children and reduced to the greatest distress without any assistance whatever but what proceeds from her Hands which are feeble and Infirm and Humbly assuring you that Distress tempted me to the Crime for which I stand convicted by offending the Laws of my Country and having your great Mercy extended to Me in so great a degree I now farther implore your Charity by having a little releif towards releiving my present necessities as I have parted with all my Cloaths since my long Confinement and having nothing but the Goal Allowance which can be certified by Mr Hardy at the Prison
Honorable Gentlemen I beg leave to Subscribe Myselfe With Humble Respect your Distressed Servant and Prisoner Hannah Gilbert [letter written in prisoner Jane Williams' hand]
Annotated: Bad character – Hoad a notorious Thief who kept her, has supported her in prison, but is now in custody himself
320. [F25/5/46] Mary Pendleton, Newgate, 2 December 1818
Honorable Gentlemen Hoping you will Pardon the liberty of troubling you in so repeated a Manner but being reduced to the Greatest Distress and having no Friends whatever to Assist me and having parted with all my Cloaths to Support me since my long Confinement and having a Mother who being unable to Support me and now reduced to the Greatest Penury thro my Imprisonment I now beg leave to implore your Charitable and Benevolent kindness to be Extended to me as you have Shewn your Mercy in so great a Degree and be pleased to Allow me a little of that Releif Which you have so Humanely given to my fellow Prisoners who are placed in the same Situation the truth of this may be Certified by the trouble of enquiring at the Prison I beg Leave Honorable Gentlement to Subscribe Myself your Humble and Distressed Servant and Prisoner Mary Pendelton [letter written in prisoner Jane Williams' hand]
Annotated: Bad character.
321. [F25/5/47] John Riley, Newgate, 25 February 1818
Mr Westwood, I John Riley do take the liberty in writing these few lines to inform you of these People which is Said the head in London for having These Bad Notes and it is Supposed no less than thousands goes thro their hands in a year as i been told since i Came to Newgate and the head man i know well & a few more of the Party and put you in the way of Ketching them with the Notes your Honor i have been 3 weeks in the Hospital and I am not well now i have nothing to Support me but the Gaol allowance and my wife is Starving in like manner And i hope your Honor will take pity on me my wife do not know what this letter is for, and if anything Can be done for me i want no more than to Send me to the Pententiary and i live for my time to be up ishall quit the Country and never to be seen in England no more Be so good as to Send an answer by My Wife if you send or Come to the Prison ihope you will keep this business as secret as you Can for if the Prisoners knew of this Business they Certainly Put an End to me if i dont put in the Right way of Ketching them in the fact i ill wan nothing done for me No more from your Humble Servant John Riley
322. [F25/5/48] William Belcher, Newgate, 28 January 1818
Hounoured Sir I hope that You will pardon the Liberty I have taken of Writing these few Lines to You hoping that You will take My Distress Case into Consideration at this present time under the Sentence of Being Transported a term of fourteen Years for Offering to pass a Bad One pound Note wich at this preasant time I Lay in Great Distress having a Wife and Child Who have nothing to Support them at this preasant time and having Made away with Everey thing that She had and his in Graet Distress wich I hope that Your hounour would Be Pleased to take my Destressed Case into Consideration I Shall Be Ever in Duty Bound to Pray for Your Honours Goodness William Belcher
323. [F25/5/49] Elizabeth Stubbs/Chamberlain, Newgate, 26 September 1817
Sir I trust your Goodness will pardon me troubleing you But being very much distressd and in debt With persons here I shall be happy to see you the first Oppertunity you can make it Conveinant I am with Respect your Humble Servt Elizth Stubbs
324. [F25/5/50] Catherine Brown and Louisa Kemble, Newgate, 29 January 1818
Sir, with humble permishion I ask pardon for the Libberty I have taken in addresing thes few lines to you but I am in great distres at present as I have now Friends to come to me & our Father Died Suddenly since wee have been here & wee have no person to give us a Farthing & wee are only Depending on your Mersifull Bounty Wee Remain Sir Your Humble Servants Catherine and Emma Conner
Annotated: Louisa Kemble, Catherine Brown, £5 Note
325. [F25/5/51] Thomas Smith, Newgate, 30 March 1818
Request to plead to lesser offence as he is only 20 years old, has been to sea for 11 years, suffered hardships, three times shipwrecked and once taken prisoner by French. Bank took decision 11 days earlier to offer PB.
326. [F25/5/52] Anne Pilkington and Mary Gillis, Newgate, 25 March 1818
Honoured Sir I write you these few lines to Inform you we are ordered to go on board Ship Either Friday or Saturday and hopes your Honour will be So good as to bestow a little of your Charity on me and my Children as it is the Last time I will trouble your Honour me Children are in great want of Cloaths, and I hope you will Consider the long Voyage I have to take them as the will want Sea Store Mary Gilliss also hopes your Honour will consider her Distress and bestow her a trifle and by so doing we both are in duty bound to Pray Anne Pilketon Mary Gillisse
327. [F25/5/53] James Law, Newgate, end of February 1818, formal petition
Your Petitioner was suffered by your Honorable Board to Plead Guilty to an Offence of uttering Notes purporting to be Genuine Notes of the Bank of England and is now awaiting sentence. (fn. 1)
That Your Petitioner is now only Sixteen Years of Age and from his Youth was Ignorant at the Time of the Enormity of the Offence which he was led into, and never before attempted to utter such a Thing
That from the Indiscretion of your unhappy Petitioner, he is likely to bring down the whole of his Afflicted Family with Sorrow to Their Graves
That your Petitioner bows down with the utmost humility and Contrition having violated the Sanguinary Laws of his Country, by a just and Sincere Repentance in some one of the Asylums he might be brought to a due Sense of Religion, Taught a Trade and in his more Riper Years become an upright member of Society.
Your Petitioner therefore prays your Honourable Board will be pleased to Take into your humain Consideration his Tender Age, And by extending your Mercy Towards him, allow him to atone for this Offence by an Infliction of Punishment, Tempered with Mercy. That as he advances in Life he may by a strict adherence To a Virtuous Path proved himself not unworthy of any Lenity You may be pleased to Intercede before Sentence is passed in his behalf to be extended Towards him
And as in duty bound Your Petitioner will ever Pray &c &c James Law
328. [F25/5/54] Mary Ann York, Newgate, 4 November 1817
Sir I beg you will excuse the Liberty I take in writing to you weare I not very much Distrest I Should not Trouble you I have no Friends theave all Deserted me sence I have been Imprisoned I have no dependence but on
your Bounty what I received last I owd the most of or I Should not trouble you now I received it on the 30 of the Last month
Your humble Servant Mary Ann York
329. [F25/5/55] Mary Ann York, Newgate, 5 December 1817
Sir I would feeld myselfe Extreamely oblidge to you if will pardon the Liberty I take in writeing to you weare I not so Distrest in the manner I am at present I should not have Troubled you I have Nothing to depend on by your Mersifull bounty
I have not receaved anny Mony sense the 03  of September Last Mary Ann York
330. [F25/5/57] Sarah Howell, unspecified prison, 7 October 1817
Honoured Sir I ham very sorey to be so trubelsom to right to you again but belive me I ham in great distress for I left nugat in det for I have been very hill and so has my child and Mrs Spirs has rot to me for what I hoe her for she says you have been to her and told her you should come to me the next day I hope honered sir you will fulfil your promes as I ham in graet distress and my sufrings has been more all reddy than I was ever diserving of but the lord knows the secrets of all harts and I hope and trust that he will leed you to know that I ham not gilty I hope you will pardon me youre most obedent sarvint in distress sarah howal
Hat the hous of corection I hope honered sir you will think of me as well as the rest as I ham most weanting of it
331. [F25/5/56] Sarah Howell, unspecified prison, 13 October 1817
Honoured Sir I Most humbely beg your pardon for the lerbety I now take in righting to you but as Mrs Spires has resecived her Money I think hit hard that I have not as it is more then 2 months since I resevied Money and I shall be in ever duty bound to pray if you will permit me mine from your Most obedent and humbel searvant Sarah Howel the hous of Correction
332. [F25/5/58] Margaret Watkins, Maria transport ship, Deptford, around end March 1818
Sir Premit an unfortunate female to implore your Kind assistance in this time of my need, for having lost my liberty for Life and heaving found it is the Custom of your Company to assist those Convicted of paying bad notes when thay Leave their Cuntry I take the Liberty of soliciting the same as I have not a friend in the world and in great distress, and I Remain your Most Obt hble M Watkins
[BECLS: 2 Apr. 1818, £5 to be paid.]
333. [F25/5/59] Alice Willcock, Ann Lord, Catherine Hardacre, Betty Wild, Mary Norman, Betty Healy, Betty Stott, Maria transport ship, Deptford, 30 March 1818
Honoured Sir, We hope you will Excuse the Liberty We take in Adressing you in Respect of a little mony that is alowed by the Bank We the undersighned unfortunate Women is very Badley of for a little mony and will thank you Sir if there is any alowance that your goodness Will Alow it to us Poor Women as most of us is destitute of frends and no mony as We understand the Women from Newgate Received it and We are all in Great distress and no mony to Buy any Sea Store by so Doing you Will oblige your Humb Petitioners Alice Willcock, Ann Lord, Catherine Hardacre, Betty Wild [Written in Alice Willcock's hand and signed by her; Ann Lord also signs, other five sign by mark beside their names written by Willcock.] [BECLS: 2 Apr. 1818, all to be paid £5.]
334. [F25/5/60] Alice Willcock, Ann Lord, Catherine Hardacre, Betty Wild, Mary Norman, Betty Healy, Mary Young, Maria transport ship, Deptford, 1 April 1818
Honoured Sir We hope you will Excuse the Liberty We take in letting you know that We are all very ill Distressed for want of a few necessaries as there his 5 of us from Lancaster Castle that has Been upwards of 12 months in Prison and is very Badley of for a little mony We hope Sir you will Consider our distressed Situation as most of us is Destitute of Friends Mr Capper was on Board to day and said We Must Aply to you and you Would relieve us, We are Sir your Humble Servants, Alice Willcock, Betty Healey, Catherine Hardacre, Ann Lord, from Chester Betty Wild, from Litchfield Mary Norman, from Carlisle Mary Young
335. [F25/5/61] Sarah Docker and Mary Young, Maria transport ship, Deptford, 2 April 1818
Sir From the Despths of mesiery and want with banishment for life befor premit humbley to solicit you Kind assistance, for having heard from the Newgate transports that your goodness is extended to the unfortunat when they Leave England and having been in Confinement so long it as reduced us to great destress these few lines I humbley submit to your kind Consdieration and remain Your Destressed Servants
Annotated: Elizth Docker was the name she was tried by; by her name Warwick, by Mary Young's name Carlisle
336. [F25/5/62] Jane Taylor and Hosanna Thomas, Maria transport ship, Deptford, 2 April 1818
Sir Premit tow unfortunate females to emplor your Kind assistance in this time of great Destress and having been informed that you assist the unfortunate when thay leave their Cuntry gives us Confedence in asking the same these few lines I humbly submit to your Kind Consideration and Remain your Destresed sert Jane Taylor, H Thomas
Annotated beside their names: Worcester
337. [F25/5/63] Johanna McCarthy, Maria transport ship, Deptford, 8 April 1818
Hounared Sir I hope you will Excuse the Liberty i take in writing to you hoping you will have the goodness to alow me the Same pruvlage as the Newgate prisoners and Other Country prisoners also as i am quite
Destitude of Money and freinds and have Been Confined in Newgate in Bristol 13 months I Remain your humble Servant Johana McCarty
Direct for me on Board the Maria female Convict Ship
Annotated: Bristol; also the Mark of J McCarthy 10 April 1818 signing for money.
[BECLS: 8 Apr. 1818, to be paid £5].
338. [F25/5/64] Sarah Turner, Maria transport ship, Deptford, 21 April 1818
Honerd Sir I ham sorey to trubel you with this Letter But I did not know that I was leaving [illegible word] till to Day and I hop that your goodness will so kind as to fever mee with the seame Goodnes as you Did the rest with the [illegible word] mony as I have Left with out any thing of the kind and honerd sir the ship sail in aday or to and I hop that you will not Delay any time as tis so shart and Dear sir I hop that you will Be so God as to Let my Dear Gill come along with me if there is not any thing aginst her or not But if she is I Doe Declare to God that I Doe not know any thing about it for she kept it as a thing from mee and wat sever I tould you I Doe Declare twas nuthing but the trouef as you will find in time as I remain your unfortnet & humbel Searvant sara turner Detpoford
339. [F25/5/65] Sarah Turner, Maria transport ship, Deptford, 25 April 1818
Sir I hope you will excuse the liberty of my riting again so soon but as the ship sails on Friday the 25th and having nothing provided for the Voyage wich may be Long and being informed it as been your goodness to give the prisoners five pound gives me hopes I shall not be one alone thea few lines I humbley submit to your Kind Consideration and Remain your obedent Servt Sarah Turner
340. [F25/5/66] James Armstrong, King's Bench prison, 6 November 1817
Debtor to Bank, seeks information on imminently due sentence on his son prosecuted by Bank for uttering.
341. [F25/5/67–8] Edward Thorp, Coldbath Fields prison, 26 December 1817 to his lawyer.
Prisoner held for examination [unspecified charge] asks to see his solicitor's clerk. Attached: letter from prison keeper refusing visit without permission from Westwood, Bank solicitor's clerk; letter on behalf of J Harmer of 29, Hatton Garden, requesting permission to visit Thorp.
342. [F25/5/69] Richard Twine, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 11 December 1818
Formal petition from utterer of forged notes, expressing contrition and requesting to be allowed to plead guilty to lesser offence. Bank took decision 5 Nov. 1818.
343. [F25/5/70] Catherine Gorman and Sarah Clowes, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 4 December 1818
Formal petition expressing contrition, pleading their gender and requesting to be allowed to plead guilty to minor offence. Bank took decision 17 Sept. 1818.
344. [F25/5/71] John Sayers, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 29 September 1818
Formal petition expressing contrition and requesting to be allowed to plead guilty to minor offence. Bank took decision 1 Oct. 1818.
345. [F25/5/72] Elizabeth Smith, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 29 September 1818
Formal petition requesting to be allowed to plead guilty to minor offence. Bank took decision 1 Oct. 1818.
346. [F25/5/73] William Grant, Giltspur Street compter, 1 April 1818
In prison for assault, offers information to Bank on dealers in forged notes.
347. [F25/5/74] Thomas Simcox, unspecified prison [probably in metropolitan Surrey], 1 August 1820, unspecified addressee [see 348]
In consequence of my Trial Approaching so near if you will have the goodness to state at the Bank to know if you can postpone my Trial and please to Bring me a note signed by the Gentlemen to postpone it or else it will be impossible to get it done I will discover to them immediately where the Plate is that makes the Notes and also the People that makes them –
As they Told Wm Stevens  a Man in this Gaol if he would give up his Connections with it they would give him his liberty –
Now as to this Young Man I knew him a long time Ago I can tell you where he bought them and when they were made –
I have seen him Purchase them of a Man named Thomas Ashbey A Native of Birmingham At 3£ a Score the Wholesale Price This Man has them from his Aunt A Miss Smiths at Birmingham At Bordesly Street there is a Private room in her house with no road to it except by a Trap Door at the top of the House they have a Ladder by which they ascend up to this Room and then take the Ladder up after them They Notes are Signed in this Room and then put in Large stone Jars and then put under Ground in the Garden at the Back of her house Till Called for I also have seen them several Times at Birmingham
I can prove it – if they will give me time As I am A native of Birmingham this is all facts
There is also a Man at Solyhull Lodge about 2 Miles from Birmingham of the name of Bampton that Married Booths Daughter this Booth Suffered at Stafford for forged Notes a few Years Back and this All Bamptons family have been in the Bill way for Years at this House there is a Room Similar to that I have described to you with skylights to it In this Room there is the Plate Where the Notes are made And then send to Birmingham to Miss Smiths to be signed And this Thomas Ashbey Goes to Birmingham for them he is living in London and Selling the Notes at this time and has for some Years
NB Please to copy this off before you go to the bank as I had no more Paper There is Also a Great Many More men in that line near Birmingham I know they Formerly lived at Birmingham but on fear of being detected at Birmingham removed from the town To Handsworth of the Names of Brics a Whole Family and One Savage a Rope Maker by trade and his Family have been in that line for Years –
All This I can put the Bank in possession of if they will postpone my Trial and give me time as the Assizes are so near now. Please to send me an answer as soon as you can
348 [F25/5/74 sic] Thomas Simcox, Justitia hulk, Woolwich, 26 August 1820, to Mr Scutts, end of the Albany Road, Old Kent Road, Surrey
To Mr Scutts and Mr Palmer Gentlemen As in duty I am bound to Pray for you for your most zealous and arduos undertakings In my cause be pleased to accept these few ill written lines Which I now write to you and I hope the Lord will strengthen You In your undertakings which you have already began on my Part and should you succeed with the Blessing of God for me To be restored to society once more I should call myself one Of the happiest beings on Earth with my Family as you know From the information I have given you to understand I can Prove to be as useful a Member for the Bank as ever they employed And also for the Public good as the forged Note Makers Signify they shall make their Fortunes as soon as the Notes For his Majestys new reign shall get into circulation and the new Silver as they are making great Preparations for them in Birmingham at this time and there is not the least doubt but they will succeed in Counterfeiting them as some of them have For Years to my knowledge.
Now Gentlemen as you have been pleased to undertake That arduous task of restoring me again to my Family and as I hope the Lord will prosper your undertakings and also your Children as from your feeling for a Poor fellow Prisoner and My Family as I have no doubt you are Fathers of Families Yourselves according to the genrous feeling you have acted to me On Board his Majesty's Ship Justitia Hulk Woolwich
I also humbly crave that for the Sake of My Family that you will do the Best you can for me and I shall be Ever bound to Pray for You I am your Obedient and Ever Praying Humble Servant Thomas Simcox
[See also an earlier letter 501.]
349. [F25/5/76] William Pendray, Justitia hulk, Woolwich, 28 October 1817, formal petition
Your humble Petitioner humbley solicites Your indulgence for the immediate inspection of his unfortunate conviction in the last Summer assizes for the County of Devon.
Your humble Petitioner unfortunately was convicted for uttering forged notes of the Bank of England obtained from Mr Arnold of Plymouth Dock in the County of Devon in exchange for two notes of hand to the amount of twenty seven pound odd Shillings the bank of England notes tender'd to your humble Petitioner William Pendray was received by him not knowing the said to be forged on the Bank of England and passing them in the regular course of Business to a person of the name of William Radmore of Plymouth Dock in the County of Devon.
Your humble Petitioner further solicits your indulgence to state the whole of facts that cause your humble petitioners ruin and also his unfortunate Wife and four Children who by the sentance of the Law is compel'd to leave them in the utmost distress, and greatly acknowledges the indulgence of the Goverr and Company of the Bank to allow him to plead guilty.
Your humble petitioner further asserts the above William Arnold haveing been for many years in the habit of vending, uttering and selling to sundries of persons forged Bank of England notes and bass coins of His present Majesty King George the third in sundries of parts of his Majesty dominions to a great amount, haveing no other support and trappaning the innocent and unguarded causeing them to be thrown into a jail and causeing their utter ruin and shame assisted also by bribery and perjury on my acct. in particular.
Your humble Petitioner further asserts the said William Arnold was tried at Exeter for a quantity of Cloaths wrongfully obtained the Witness against was prevented from appearing by the assistance of his money and a multiplicity of other Criminal transactions too numerous to insert.
Your humble Petitioner in the numerous of suffering he has undergone and the distress and ruinous situation he is plunged into by his perfidy Your humble Petitioner most humbly implores your humain and benevolent Aid allowed to the unfortunate persons in my unhappy situation.
Your humble Petitioner will not only thankfully receive the above mentioned stipulated aid but ever greatfully acknowledge the same and in duty bound will ever pray. William Pendray
N.B. Your humble petitioner begs leave to mention the particulars relative to Mr Arnold was unfolded to him since his trial which information having left a deep impression on his unfortunate mind even to be coupled with such a Character my acquaintance previous to my misforne was near to ten weeks at most
350. [F25/5/77] Frances Morris, Stafford gaol, 25 July 1817
Morris writes in support of petition from Oman Hall, formerly banker in Stafford, sentenced to seven yrs trspn for false trading. She does not appear in Bank records.
351. [F25/5/78] Note of information, 21 August 1818, prepared by Bank investigator from evidence given by Timothy Lane, on remand in Giltspur Street compter for uttering forged notes. [Sentenced to trspn, Sept. 1818]. Names, addresses and descriptions given.
352. [F25/5/79] William and Maria Wilkes, Newgate, 1 October 1818, formal petition
That your Petitioner is under sentence of 14 years Transportation for having unfortunately passed bad Notes and is now in very distressed
Circumstances, your Petitioner therefore humbly Solicitts your Honours will be pleased to Consider his situation and allow him the One Pound Note the Officer took from him on his Apprehension and if any small Allowance could be granted to Assist him, Your Petitioner has a Wife under the same Sentence in the said Goal without Friends, and in the greatest Distress who also Prays and hopes some Relief will be afforded on your Honours Consideration and your Petitioners will ever hope to be sensible and Penitent for their Offence and acknowledge whatever Relief may be granted with Gratitude – and your Petitioner be ever bound to Pray William Henry Wilkes, Maria Wilkes
353. [F25/5/80] Copy note from Bank solicitors, 28 October 1818, to Mr Brown, keeper of Newgate, informing him when prisoners in his custody are to be arraigned before OB grand jury.
354. [F25/6/1] W.R.H. Brown, keeper of Newgate, 5 October 1819, to Mr Rooker, clerk to Bank solicitors; he will send off female transportation convicts in a day or two; if Rooker has money for them he should send it immediately.
355. [F25/6/2] John Storey, Newgate, 9 January 1820, formal petition That your petitioner have been arrested on the 14 ult° for Tendering one pound Bank of England Note, which on investigating proved to be a counterfeit on said Bank, which he had taken as one perfectly good, and for which he had given its intrensick Value, That he have been since the above period, labouring Under the most callamitous difficulties, That he has an aged Mother, and an helpless Family, That he has not a friend in London to aply to for any assistance, his situation is therefore rendered distressing in the highest degree imaginable, He therefore
Humbly prays youll be pleased to consider his case & Grant that he may be so happy as to experience your kind interest, previous to, or at his Trial, at the ensuing sessions, to be Holden at the Old Bailey, for which he shall be truly Thankful, And as in duty bound will ever pray, & That prosperity in all your undertakings, and domestic Happiness may long continue to Gratify you and family, shall be always the most ardent wish of John Storey
356. [F25/6/3] Esther Bevan, Newgate, 2 September 1819
Honoured Sir I Humbly beg Pardon for this Intrusion and the Liberty I have taken in Soliciting A Little of that Charity So Humanely Extended (by The Honble Gentlemen of the Bank) to Those In the Like Situation As Myself I would Not have been thus Troublesom but was Obligated through Necessity Not having Any Friends to Render Me the Smallest Assistance And the Little Wearing Apparel I Possest have been forced to Pledge to Procure Subsistance And it will Not be In My Power to Redeem them Unless Kindly Assisted by The Humane Gentlemen of the Bank And Should it be Ever So Trifling they May Be Pleas'd to Bestow on Me Will be thankfully Rcd by their Most Hble And Devoted Servant Esther Bevan
Annotated: Esther Bevan is in a very bad state of Health and does not appear to have any Friends to assist her 13th Septr 1819 – £2 pd [BECLS: 15 Sept. 1819, to pay her £5.]
357. [F25/6/4a] Thomas Owen, Newgate, 28 September 1819
Honored Sir, I hope you will not think me pre-dominent by taking the liberty of addressing myself to you it is to inform you I was Convicted at this present Sessions 1819 – for uttering a forged one pound Note and was by the Humanity of the Bank allow'd to plead Guilty which Sentenced me to fourteen Years Transportation I beg to State to you that having a Large family and no one to assist me in anyway whatever Induces me to Solicit you to render me some small assistance to provide myself with a few Necessaries to help to assist me on my Voyage to my place of Destination (Honred Sir) hearing of your humanity on all former Occasions Induces me to address myself to you hoping you will take my unfortunate Case into your Kind consideration and you may depend my prayers shall allways be offered up for you and yours It may be recollected before I was Committed I named to Mr Christmas the Inspector I would do everything in my power to place the man in your hands I had the Notes off at that time I thought it would be of very Essensial Service which I would have done but very likely you could not place that Confidence in me it was a Man that I am sure from what I have Collected in the prison and out Doors he is the principle Vender of them Diabolical things were so many poor Creatures are torne from the Comforts of there Wife and family wich is my unfortunate Situation but I hope providence will smile on me in another part of the World; there is a Man which at Certain times in the Week attends regularly at the Crown & Sceptre near Golden Lane and disposes of them to people at this time not the Man himself that I named to Mr Christmas but a Man from the same party you may depend I am not informing you wrong as I am sure of leaving this Cuntry but I do it for the Good of Mankind, I am sure and certain he is the principle Man in them and if I had been allowed at the time I would have put him into your hands I hope you will excuse the liberty I am taking in writing to you in such plain terms the Bearer of this is my Wife and she will be left with three small Children wich I hope and trust you will take into your Kind Consideration I remain with due submission your Obedient and humble Servant Thomas Owen
NB I hope you will not Communicate this to any one but whom it may concern or else I may be very much illtreated in this Place
Addressed to Henry Hase, Bank chief cashier.
[BECLS: 30 Sept. 1819, request refused.]
358. [F25/6/4b & c] Thomas Owen, 4 October 1819
Writes that his wife will call at Bank solicitors' office for answer to letter of 28 Sept.; letter from Elizabeth Owen [written in husband's hand], repeating request for pecuniary help, since she cannot help him, having to apply to her parish for herself and children.
359. [F25/6/5] Sarah Ward, Newgate, 6 October 1819
Honoured Gentlemen In Consequence of Receiving Orders to hold myself and family in Readiness to Embark On Friday Morning for New South Wales – I Consider Myself in duty Bound to Return My Most Grateful Acknowledgements for All the Unmerritted favours Conferred Upon Me During My Confinement here And Remain with the Most Profound Respect Your Most Humble And Devoted Sert Sarah Ward
Annotated on front: Not Known As Directed in Old or New Bank Buildings as she addressed it to Mr Hooker, rather than Rooker, clerk to solicitors.
360. [F25/6/6] Elizabeth Rhodes, Newgate, 21 August 1819
Sir I hope you will Pardon my Intrusion being verry Much distressed and best Part of my Cloaths in Pawn Since my Confinement through my health being Verry bad I could not live on the Strong Provision allowed here Sir I am ordered to be Ready for to leave my Country in the Course of a month, and have no friends to Relieve me but Relying on your Humane kindness to bestow on me a little of your Benevolent Charity by so doing your Humble Petioner will Ever Pray Elizabeth Roads
Annotated: Elizabeth Rhodes is in a very Ill state of Health and does not appear to have any Friends to assist her 13th Sepr 1819 £2 pd
[BECLS: 15 Sept. 1819, to pay her £5.]
361. [F25/6/7] James Moore, Newgate, undated, November 1819
Formal petition requesting permission to plead to minor offence. Bank made decision 11 Nov. 1819.
362. [F25/6/8] Catherine Martin, Newgate, 2 February 1820
Gentlemen Pardon the liberty I have taken in writing to you soliciting some relief from you has I have an afflicted Child to suport and my own health greatly impaired in consequence of confinement and having no friend to render me any assistance therefore absolute Distress induced me to ask this favour by complying with my request you will greatly oblidge your Humble Servant Catherine Martin
Annotated: 7/6d per Week to be allowed her.
[BECLS: 9 Feb. 1820 records Glover, Bank investigator, visited her, found her child very sickly and, though three years old, unable to walk.]
363. [F25/6/9] Thomas Marr, Newgate, undated, mid-March 1820
Formal petition requesting to plead to minor offence on grounds of youth [aged 20], first offence, contrition, and heartbreak of his aged father were he to be executed. Three tradesmen whom he describes as his prosecutors sign petition; they do not wish to be involved in a death penalty. Bank took decision to allow PB, 1 Mar. 1820.
364. [F25/6/10] Lydia Hogan, Newgate, 17 November 1819
Sir I hope you will pardon the liberty I take in troubling you, but having one of My Children verry ill not Expected to Survive Many hours, Obliges me to trouble you as I am Distressed through my Childrens illness Sir if you would be Pleased to bestow a little of your Benevolent Charity on me your Humble Petioner will Ever pray Liddy Horgan
365. [F25/6/11] Thomas McDermot, Newgate infirmary, 20 December 1819, formal petition
That your Petitioner is under the awful Sentence of death in His Majesty's Gaol of Newgate for uttering a forgd One Pound Note purporting to be that of the Bank of England
That your humble Petitioner begs to represent to you that although found Guilty by a Jury of his Country, that he gave his real address N° 24 Reeves Muse South Audley St. Grosvenor Square, when questioned by the Officer who took him into Custody, and that the latter mistook it for N° 4 on whose oath your unfortunate Petitioner was convicted.
Your Petitioner also begs to state that he has a Wife and three Children who will be now left to the dreadful alternative of begging or starving, and it being his first imprisonment that you will be pleased to take his case into your consideration and recommend to the Government that the awful Sentence pronounced against him may be commuted to fourteen Years transportation upon the ground of his unhappy family and the peculiar circumstances connected with his Most deplorable Situation
And as in duty bound Your humble Petitioner will for ever pray Thomas McDermot
[BECLS: 22 Dec. 1819, petition rejected.]
366. [F25/6/12] Maria Williams, Mary Anne Croft, Hannah Green, Anne Hall, Newgate, 24 February 1820
Sir your Humble petioners emplore your kind and benevolent Charity as they are verry much Distressed and Deserted by their friends and also in a bad State of health which the Surgeon can Sertify I maria Williams is Confined to my bed and Mary Anne Croft also Sir beg taking Our distress into your humane Consideration and allowing us a little of your Benevolent Charity your Humble Petioners will Ever Pray Maria Williams, Mary Anne Croft, Hanah Green Anne Hall Sentenced 14 years
[BECLS: 1 Mar. 1820, requested investigation of these women and three others; 8 Mar. 1820, relief refused; investigator reported that keeper of Newgate said they were women of the worst description, unworthy of the Bank's bounty and to give them anything now would be a kind of encouragement, they were employed and received part of their earnings every Saturday.]
367. [F25/6/13] Clarissa Downes, Newgate, 21 May 1818
Hond Sir I most humbly beg of you to Except my Sincere thanks for your goodness towards me in permiting me to plead for which I hope I shall ever return a grateful sense of. I again intreat your forgiveness in presumeing to trouble you but haveing no friend & my husband gone abroad I have no prospect but starveing in a prison at present. I was in hopes to have gone with this ship I hope this will meet your Humane Consideration and your
Good disposition will Extend your Charity towards an unfortunate Individual Who will be forever in Duty Bound to Pray Clarissa Downs
Annotated: The Prisoner is in great distress & her Mother & Husband having been transported she has not any Person to relieve her, and in hand of BECLS secretary, 5/- per Week during her Stay in Newgate
368. [F25/6/14a-d] Four similar copy notes from Bank solicitors, 27 October 1819, 1 December 1819, 12 January 1820, 16 February 1820 to W. H. Brown, keeper of Newgate, listing prisoners in his care who are to come up for trial at OB, asking him to inform them accordingly.
369. [F25/6/15] Hannah Polley, Newgate, 9 November 1818
Sir I humbly Emplore your kind Entercession with the Bank Gentlemen to take my Distressed Situation into their humane Considaration as I am Confined here Since June in Great Distress as I have no friend but an Aged husband Obliged to go to the workhouse for relief, Sir the Gentlemen of the Bank were Graciously Pleased to Allow me to Plead guilty but I did not understand the law and I would Plead Guilty to any thing they ordered me in order to save my life as I was Ignorant of the Consequence, Sir if you would be Graciously Pleased to bestow on me a little of your benevolent charity your Humble Petioner will Ever pray Hanah Polly
370. [F25/6/16] David Crawley, Newgate, 11 November 1818
Gentlemen have wrote to before to try to get my wife and Children to go to New South Wales with me finding It not In your power to send her so by your advice wrote to Mr Capper [home office] and finding there she Cannot go as yet I beg leave to state to you that she has no other hopes but to retire to Birmingham her native place and In her unparrelld distress the Lord only knows how she Is to get there and at this season of the year with two small children should you Gentlemen be pleased to consider her distress and aleviate her present distress by granting her a trifle of the but part to defray her expences home you will I hope bestow it on a fit and worthy object of pity and greatly releave the distracted mind of him who remains your Humble prisoner David Crawley
371. [F25/6/17a & b] George Velton, Newgate, 12 November 1818
Gentlemen, Pardon the liberty I take by addressing you but under the present distressing circumstances having a wife and Infant Child I am compell'd through actual necessity. At the time of my Apprehension the officer by name Shaw thought it proper to take from my person The Sum of £1-13-10 which I need not add would in a great measure and very materially relieve me and helpless wife at this time. May I beg of you to interfere in this business by endeavouring to obliging Mr Shaw to repay the before-mention'd sum. I would be additionally obliged by your immediate interference on account of my being almost in Daily expectation of going off. The bearer my wife will explain more fully the distress'd state we are in, and I rely on your compassionate disposition by thus far obliging me
I remain Gentlemen Your most obed servt George Velton
Attached: letter, 11 Nov. 1818 from Velton to Brown, keeper of Newgate, asking him to look into same matter.
372. [F25/6/18] Thomas Bowers, official at Newgate, 12 January 1820 Introduces to Bank solicitors a Mrs Connolly, whose husband is a prisoner who can provide information on forged notes dealers.
373. [F25/6/19] John Hearn, William Benham, John Riley, Thomas Watson, George Downes, John Rogers, James Butler, John Hill, William Downes, Thomas Smith, Richard Radford, Newgate, 2 May 1818
Honor'd Gentn, Most Humbly we Entreat your Forgiveness In Presumeing An Address to you, but acknowledgeing Our Past Errors and Offences, Particularly that of Defrauding your Honorable Company. We Once More Throw ourselves at your Feet; We Humbly Beg of you to except of our Sincere and Hearty thanks in extending your Mercy so far towards us as to Save our Lives. We further Hope your Mercy & Extensive Charity will Lean towards us in our Behalf, by Granting us that Donation which we Understand as Generally been Bestow'd to the Unfortunate Culprits who have been Convicted by your Honorable Company. We are Truly Distressed having No Friends that can assist us even in our Present Condition which is Truly Deplorable. (Some of us being even without Shirts to Cover our Nakedness). Much more in Provideing us with the few Necessaries of A Sea Stock, We therefore Hope this our Humble Request will meet with your Tender Mercy, and the Unfortunate Sufferers, who here sing their Names, will be ever in Duty Bound to Pray, and by their Future Conduct Shew themselves Deserving of your Donation [each signs own name].
Annotated: 11 Male Convicts in Newgate – Prayg relief.
[BECLS: 7 May 1818, rejected.]
374. [F25/6//20] Samuel Dell, Newgate, 1 October 1819
Honored Sir, Permit an unfortunate miserable Man to beg your interference on his behalf toward his detention in this Country either to get him to stop in this Prison or the Penitentiary. Pray hond Sir feel for my Situation Imagine the horrors I must feel when I reflect on leaving a Wife and three dear Children whom I most tenderly loved, and in particular what remorse when I reflect it is my own fault that has plunged them also into the Whirlpool of Misery Let me beg of you Hond Sir if you should decline any Assistance to put the Bearer Mrs Dale in some way that she may obtain relief as to her Sufferings, any thing that I can do in the mean time I shall feel happy in doing and beg to say that if I had my liberty I could have placed Dye and other most Notorious Dealer in your Power, as I hinted to Mr Foy [Marlborough Street police officer], however as that is not the Case I am as I ever have been ready to serve the Bank in any shape whatever as far as lies within my Power I remain with Every Sense of Gratitude for every favor received Hond Sir Your very humble Servt Saml Dell
375. [F25/6/21a & b] John Branley, Newgate, 23 September 1819, formal petition
That Your Petitioner is a Prisoner in Newgate, and has been found Guilty of having a Forged Bank of England Note in his possession for One Pound and being allowed to plead Guilty to the Minor Offence has subjected himself to be Transported for Fourteen Years and has received Sentence accordingly. That Your Petitioner has a Wife and Five Children, all of them in an helpless state of Infancy, and with their [pregnant inserted then deleted] Mother incapacitated of contributing to their mutual or individual support and are by his Your Petitioners conviction driven into the Sink of want wretchedness and despair.
That Your Petitioner has been a resident Housholder in the Parish of Stepney Nineteen Years during which time he maintained a good Character for honesty, industry and a strict regard for Moral rectitude of conduct and until this misfortune (which he has in common with his Wife and children to lament and deplore) is conscious of having never in one instance infringed the Laws of his Country, or received the least Mark of its displeasure.
That Your Petitioner is happy to have it in his power to say, that he is borne out in his Statement relative to his Character by the testimonial of his many and respectable Neighbors, whose Names they have been so good as to subscribe hereunto, and whose good wishes accompany his, that Mercy may be extended towards him Your Petitioner in mitigation of Punishment, whereby Your Petitioner may have not a very distant prospect of returning to the Bosom of his Family and Friends.
That Your Petitioner has been emboldened from the recollection of this being his first Offence to Petition his Royal Highness the Prince Regent and should Your Petitioner be so happy to prevail of upon You to give but the least support thereto, Your Petitioner will have confidence to hope the Royal Clemency will be extended to him, in lessening the term of his exile. His Wife who is pregnant of her Sixth Child, will take the liberty of presenting this Petition, with the one for his Royal Highness, praying Your support thereto
And Your Petitioner will every Pray.
Petition signed by his landlord, churchwarden, rent collector, two overseers of poor and eighteen other residents of Mile End and Ratcliff.
Attached: note to Bank from William Anderson and William Tyler, surveyors of highways, hamlet of Mile End, Old Town, Stepney, certifying that Branley had long worked for them honestly and industriously.
[BECLS: 30 Sept. 1819, support refused.]
376. [F25/6/21c] John Branley, Newgate, 4 October 1819
Sir, I am a Prisoner in this Place under Sentence of Transportation for 14 Years for having been concerned in uttering a forged Bank of England Note for One Pound.
On Monday the 23d of September last I took the liberty of leaving a Petition at your Office to be laid before the Director of the Honorable Company of the Bank of England with a view of obtaining their Interest to
Not having since heard whether my Petition has met with the reception desired and as the time is fast approaching where my Sentence must be carried into execution I cannot avoid feeling particularly anxious to obtain the answer of the Directors to the Petition
Your would therefore confer a lasting obligation Sir, on a wretched husband and a consequently distressed Wife and family consisting of 5 small Children, by making use of your interest to obtain an answer to my Petition as soon as possible and
I am Sir Your infinitely obliged and most respectful humble Servant John Branley [own signature].
377. [F25/6/22] Jane Williams, Mary Pendleton, Hannah Gilbert, Sarah Hyland and Maria Wilkes, Newgate, 5 November 1818
Honored Sir We beg leave to address you hoping the liberty will be forgiven as our Distress is the cause of troubling you we having being Mercifully Spared thro the Humanity of the Governor and Company of the Bank of England We further entreat your Charity to be extended to us as we are now reduced to the greatest Penury not having a Friend to assist us but entirely Depending on the Goal Allowance our Cloathes being all parted with and being quite Destitute we beg your human Intercession in our Distressed State in hope that Charity my be extended in some Degree as it has been to our Fellow Prisoners who are in the same Situation The truth of our assertion may be proved by the enquiry at the Prison. We beg leave to Subscribe Ourselves Sir your most Humble Servants and Prisoners [Jane Williams, writing in own hand, signs, writes others' names, who sign by mark.]
Annotated: Sarah Ireland 10/6 per Wk frm 8 Octt, Jane Williams 5/- per Wk. fr. 29 Oct.
378. [F25/6/23] William Jasper, Newgate, undated, about November 1818, formal petition
That your Petitioner was sentenced to Fourteen years Transportation at the last Old Bailey Sessions for having in his possession a forged Bank of England Note, for the Payment of One Pound.
That Your Petitioner having been informed that it has been customary for you to allow a small sum of Money to the unfortunate criminal, in order to furnish himself with a few Necessaries, before he leaves this his Native Country humbly hopes you will not think him altogether undeserving of being allowed the same.
That Your Petitioner humbly begs to state that his relations are so Poor and distressed that they cannot assist him in the smallest degree.
Your Petitioner therefore most fervently Prays you to take his case into your consideration And that you will be pleased to allow him such sum as in Your goodness shall seem meet And Your Petitioner will ever most Sincerely Pray William Jasper his mark
[BECLS: 12 Nov. 1818, rejected.]
379. [F25/6/24] Thomas Kirby, Newgate, undated, about November 1818, formal petition
That Your Petitioner was convicted at the last Sessions held at Justice Hall in the Old Bailey of having a Forged Note in his possession and received sentence of Transportation for Fourteen years.
That Your Petitioner bowing with the utmost deference to the Verdict of the impartial and honourable Jury by whom he was tried, humbly begs leave to intreat your attention and benevolence in his forlorn and destitute situation.
That Your Petitioner having been informed that in many instances it has been your custom to extend your Bounty towards the unfortunate criminal prior to his leaving this Country so as to enable him to furnish himself with a few necessaries requisite for so long a Voyage.
That Your Petitioner having no friends who can provide him with the smallest article, and being now in daily expectation of being removed from his native Country most humbly hopes that you will not think him altogether unworthy of your notice, but that you will be pleased to commisserate the unhappy situation into which he has unfortunately plunged himself, by allowing himself to be made the dupe of an artful and disigning man.
Your Petitioner therefore most ardently craves that You will be pleased to allow him the same Bounty which you have heretofore allowed (as he has been credibly informed) humbly assuring you that the smallest sum will be most gratefully and thankfully received, as his friends are all of them so poor that they have not the means of sending him the smallest assistance, should you be pleased to grant this Prayer of this his most humble yet ardent Petition that it will always be remembered with the most lively gratitude And Your Petitioner will ever most sincerely Pray. Thomas Kirby his mark
[BECLS: 12 Nov. 1818, rejected.]
380. [F25/6/25a & b] William Turnbull, Newgate, 3 October 1819, to Mr Serjeant Bosanquet, 12, Montagu Place
Formal petition to be allowed to plead to minor offence, sent to Bosanquest, as Turnbull's sister, Rebecca, was housemaid to Lady Bosanquest. Bank had already taken decision, 23 Sept. 1819. Attached: note from Bosanquet's clerk, J. Gibbs of Lincoln's Inn, forwarding petition to Bank.
381. [F25/6/26] Thomas Carter, brother of prisoner John Carter, unknown address, 13 February 1820
States he has been 20 Years at Messr Enies & Barnard Goldsmiths Ave Maria Lane St Pauls and requests his brother be allowed to plead to lesser offence. Bank took decision 19 Jan. 1820.
382. [F25/6/27] Francis Whitby, Borough compter, 19 December 1819
Sir As Being a prisnor in the Borrough Comter for atempting to pass forgd notes I take Liberty of Writeing to you wishing a private Intervew With you or the other Solissiters of the Bank as I have paid But few a way and Detest the Concerne But trust I Can Give you that Information that Will Give you Sattisfastion and be a Great Service to the Bank Pleas to Let Mee have an answer as Soon as posable or the Partes May Hear of My Confindment and not to Be found Sir I Never ad a note from aney person But the Man I alude to wish I Can prove By the Man to Whom Introduced Mee to him for I have Been But Latley out of Business through Misfortune and a Large family of 5 Children on Seeing you I will Explain Better than By penn Your H S, F. Whitby
383. [F25/6/28] Joseph Kaye, Bank solicitor, to Sir John Eames, magistrate, 5 February 1820, warning of an attempt to be made to enable prisoner, committed by Eames for further examination, to escape from Borough compter.
384. [F25/6/29] William Davies, Clerkenwell New prison, 1 March 1820 too the Bank inspector saing that the man of worn I had the nots is name is samewell McLaud and is I bee live is now in horse Monger Lane for A resque But I doo not now of aney one elce for I have not Been Aquainted with them Not A fort knight so that I doo not now but verey Litell A bout them for wen hee gave mee the nots it was in A publick house that whe used and I paid 5s A note
Wm Davies by the Name of Wm Young Clarkenwell New prison
385. [F25/6/30] Mr Atkins, keeper of Coldbath Fields prison, January 1820, submits list of 131 persons committed to the prison for uttering or possessing forged notes between 1 Jan. 1819 and 1 Jan. 1820. Annotated: 131 persons £20
386. [F25/6/31] Joseph Davis, Giltspur Street compter, undated, September/October 1818, to Peter Percy, sr, Bow Street public office, via Bank
Mr Percy I am affrade you will consider me neglectful as you did not See me before the reason is I have a Companied Brown to Birmingham as I thought it would be the Shurest way to find out the Sellers at the preasant time for althow formerly I new maney of them things are verey much altered since I have bin aways. Whe have bin Entertained a several of thare houses & have had an opertunety of seeing everey thing I could wish but Cannot give an acount of the perticulars at this preasnt being verey pooreley with the fatiges of the gurney The Best way would be for you to put of my Exammenation & will Disclose that wich will be of the gratest Servis to the Bank & be a Means of Stoping in a grate measur the allarming traffick in this business for thare absolutely sold by Brown & Edwards & now Davis & maney more of the gang wich I Know well and wil due Everything in my power to give Everey Information for no man In England
Can have the opertunety of bringing it as I Can be trusted by aney of them with thare most private Consurns as I have all my lifetime bin Considered a good man Therefore frend Percy you may Rely on my integurety I beg you wil go to The Bank & she[w] this, & get my Examenation poseponded til I give them further Information wish I wil due to thare Satisfaction The note I bin here fore I took a gambeling with them Thay absolutely put them in So much when at play wich you Know I gambel verey much I gave my rite plase of aboade & am not a tol affrerd of aney thing coming of it an I remain your truly Josh Davis
The Business appened last nigh & I am in gilsper St Comter & for Examanation tomorrow I suppose
On front of letter, Davis writes: Mr Peter Percy Senr Bow Stree publick offis to the Care of the Clark please to Let him have it Emedeatley it being of Importance; and along side of front of letter: frend Percy I Distroyed your Card for it wose not propper I should have it about me
387. [F25/6/32a] Elizabeth Brown Owen, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 27 February 1820
Sirs, I hope that you will excuse the liberty that I have taken in writing to you but I Wish to State to you the particulars of my Unfortunate Situation untill the time that I Sufferd Myself to be Led in to the Error that I have I had Allways Worked hard and Maintained My Family by my Own Industry I had four Children and the Parish only Allowed me Eight Shillings per week to Support them and What I Could Earn myself and I had no Father no Mother nor Freinds to Advise or Assist Me in my distress I am very Sorry for What has happened and I pray to God Almighty to Support me and to Spare Me for the Sake of my Dear Children and I will Strive for them Again as I have done and I Declare to your Sirs that I have worked hard for three Days and had only one penny Worth of Bread to Eat and Distress Drove me do What I have But I was Drawn in to it quite Inocently not knowing the Consequence and Trouble that it would Ocasion and My prosecutor says that he taken his Oath that I Said that My Name was Bowen Which I did not for I Said Brown Owen and I thought that the place of my Abode was named Carlisle Court Instead of which it is Called Carlisle Place but I was not Aware of that for there is no Name up at the Corner of the place and if you will take the trouble to Come and Speake to Me that I will Inform you Wheare these Notes are Made and the Name of the person that Comes Constant to the Bank to See if their is any Alteration in the Notes but if I do so I hope that for the Sake of My poor Children that he will try and get me my Liberty as they Will have no Freinds in this world When I am go[ne] to look to them but God Almighty and all My Troubles now are from being parted from them and Should I be Bannished in to Another County [sic] I Would Certainly Break my heart to leave them and I pray to God Almighty Night and Day to Let Me have them with me once more let me Suffer Any Hardships to Maintain them hoping that you will take pity on me for the Sake of my Children and that you will excuse this Liberty
I Remain Sir your humble Servant Elizabeth Brown Owen
388. [F25/6/32c] Elizabeth Brown Owen, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 18 March 1820
Sir, I hope that you will Consider my Distressed Case and take pity on Me for the sake of My four Fatherless Children. I have no Father nor Mother and My Children has no one to look to them but Myself having no Father I was Left very young in the world to strive for them which I Did working in the Fields and have not had but one penney Loaf in three Days for Myself that I might be able to give to My Children as I had but 8 shillings pr Week from the parrish at that time I was 8 Weeks Laying on a bed of sickness Which overwelhemed me in New Trouble and having no freinds in the Whole World to assist me or Mine but the Almighty God in whom I still put My trust with every hope in his Goodness I shall not be Cast or Leave my Dear Children I unfortunately entred into a se[c]ond Marrage with a hope of getting a home for My Children but as most unfortunately turnd out otherwise that I expected for I am now in More Trouble and Distress with the throughts of parting with My Dear Children. I am sincerely sorry that I suffered myself to be Drawn in to the error that I have but I Did not Consdred the Consequnce Before but I hope that If I get My Liberty with the Blessing of God Almighty I shall be able to support them by my own Industry as I have Done before I hope sir you will spare me and Consider my unhappy situation for the sake of My Four poor Dear Children. I have no Friends to Consult or Advise me for the Best, for belive me I was Innocently Drawn In to it as my Husband took the Notes for a Horse which I had no Idea the Notes where bad. My husband being frghtened and told they where bad, he whent away and I have not heard or seen him since I have been in Confinement which I take much to heart, therefore Sir I hope and Trust you will be kind enough to Do all that lays in your power for a most unfortunate and Friendless Woman, I pray to God night and Day that I may not be parted from my poor Children
Sir I remain your very humb and Obedient Servant Elizabeth Brown Owen P.S. Sir I forgot to Mention that the Officers as sworn faulsely against me and the prosecutor most wrongley
389. [F25/6/32b] Elizabeth Brown Owen, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 20 March 1820
Almost identical letter to 387, penned by different hand.
390. [F25/6/32d] Elizabeth Brown Owen, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 28 March 1820
Sir I hope you will not be offended at the Libberty I have takeing in riteing to you concerning My Drisstrees case as I am cast for Foureteen years Sir I hope you will Do all you can to set me free for I was inosent of the crime For I do not know a good and Bad one apart and I took the notes of my husband wich he told me he took for a horse I am sorry that I entered the second time of Marrage but i did it for the best thinking to have a home for my Childeren for if I am sent out of the Cuntterry I Shall Leve 4 Childeren Without a frind in the world
Sir if will take the trobble to come to Speek to me I can inform you of A Great Deal
I am your umble Servant Brown owen
391. [F25/6/33] Elizabeth Redgrave, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 13 March 1820
Sir, I hope you will pardon the Liberty I have taken in Troubling You with these few Lines as I before stated the facts to you, but If any further profes are required I could mention a few more perticulars If Sir you or any other Gentleman of the Bank would be kind enough to Call on Me, I have been Led away to Commit the Crime I am now suffering for, being Drove too it by the Greatest Distress having a sick Childe and A Husband at Sea, the Childe I have wholey to Maintain. I am suffering here while those escape unpunished that as brought me and many more and are still Doing so and will bring them to the same fate, therefore Sir, I shall feel myself much Honord by an answer to the above request.
Sir, I Remain your very Humble and Obedent Servant Elizabeth Redgrave
392. [F25/6/34] Thomas Fuller, Horsemonger Lane gaol, undated in March 1820
Honourd Sir My knowing your goodness induces me to wright to you hopping that youl forward this petetion to who you think Proper to ask them the favour to Let Me pleade Guilty to the Lesser offence of uttering forged notes (fn. 2) as i well no Myself Guilty of the Same and By so Doing youl Much Oblidge me your humble St Thos Fuller
I would have related Something to you Concerning the affair But i Cannot Wright Myself
Addressed to Mr Warwick Bank
[Bank had offered PB Aug. 1819].
393. [F25/6/35a & b] Mary King, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 10 March 1820
Sir, I hope you will pardon My Liberty in writing to you to beg the Favour to be Allowed to pleaid to the Minor Offence, and Sir, If you and the other Gentlemen of the Bank will take into Consideration of My Distressed State It Will at once releave frome the Lowest Depth of Misery a Wretched Woman who as no Friend or Relation in the World to Do anything for her, and If the Gentleman will Comply to My Pettion, I should be for ever Bound to pray and If it is not to grate a Request – I should esteem Myself Much Honord by an answer to the Above, and in so Doing Sir you will Much Oblige Your very Humble and Obedint Servant Mary King
Addressed to Mr Freeman Bank Inspectors' Office.
Attached: letter 17 Feb. 1820, from Bank solicitors to clerk to magistrates, Queen Square, explaining that bill against King thrown out by Mdx. grand jury, OB Feb. Sessions; they request magistrate to issue warrant to Brown, keeper of Newgate requiring him to continue holding her in Newgate for offences in Surrey.
394. [F25/6/36] Jane Wilson and Elizabeth Miller, Horsemonger Lane gaol, 17 November 1818
That each of us are deeply impressed with gratitude for the Lenity shewn us on our respective Trials – but having no Friends whatever to render us the least Assistance during our continuation in this Prison – and no means on our own part to assist ourselves – are reduced to the Gaol allowance of 24 Ounces of Bread for each Per Day – we most humbly entreat Your Kind interference with the Honourable Directors of The Bank That in their humanity they will please to alleviate our present suffering in such measure as they may think meet and as in grateful Duty bound will ever Pray &c. &c.
Inserted in margin by writer of letter: Convicted at the Assize holden at Guildford the 6th of August 1818
Annotated beside Miller's name: with one child
[BECLS : 19 Nov. 1818, Miller to be paid 5s. a week in consideration of her having a child to support, Wilson's request rejected].
395. [F25/6/37a-j] William Eyre, debtor in King's Bench prison, in a series of correspondence with Bank solicitors between 3 Jan. 1819 & 8 Mar. 1820, asks for the signing of his discharge licence; he cannot pay Bank's expenses. Bank solicitors finally send discharge for him to marshal of prison.
396. [F25/6/38] Printed bankruptcy pro forma, completed 6 September 1819 in name of Edward Russell, hop and corn merchant, debtor in King's Bench prison, claiming discharge as insolvent debtor.
397. [F25/6/39] John Paulyn [or Pullein; see 503] Coldbath Fields prison, 29 December 1819, formerly held in Tothill Fields prison on Bank charges, then released, writes concerning debts incurred in prison. His parents paid 3s. 6d. a week for his bed. Paulyn not prosecuted but admitted as evidence in another Bank case.
398. [F25/6/40] Lydia Astell and Mary Horne, transport ship [probably Janus], Woolwich, 19 October 1819
Honnoured Sir, Pardon The Liberty Of me An unfortuneiate Feameal In Addressing my Senelf To your Honnour But From The very meney Hart Brakeing Sencetions I Now Feel In This Fountain Of Miserey I Have Involved my Senelf In to Though more Through A misfortune Then A Crime Oblidges me To Solessiet Your Kindness And most Humbly Begs That you Will Not Send Me out Of The Countrey Without Bestowing Your Charrity On me For The Sake Of My Dear Babs I Leave Behind – Honnoured Sir, I most Humbly Implor your Goodness To Look Down On me An unfortunate Young Wooman With An Eye Of pity So As To In Able me To Cloath my Children In A few things Of Which Am In grate Need – Sir Some Heare From Newgate Have taken The Bennefit Of Five Pounds Which give me grate In Curradgement To Think your Honnour Will Kindly Take It Into Concederation And Extend your Goodness to Wards me, Likewise A Fellow Sufferer Named Marey Horn Joins With me And Humbley Prays For your Goodness To Extend towards her
Sir By Complying With The Above Requet Will Mutch Oblidge me An unfortuneate Feameal And In Duty Bound Will Ever pray Lydia Esden, Mary Horn
Sir, By The Advise Of Mr Caper [Capper, home office] – Have Indus me To take This Liberty In So Doing Hopes No Offence
[BECLS: 14 Oct. 1819, already agreed £5 for these and eight other women].
399. [F25/6/41] Cathrine Wells, released prisoner, 119 Old Pye Street, Westminster, May 1818
Sir, to Pass unnotised so great an Act of your Goodness and Benevelence Would be the hight of ingratitude in me I therefore beg leave in the best Manner I am Mistress off to return my most Greatfull thanks to you for restoreing me to my long lost Husband and Children Who has been Partakers of my Wretched situation Dureing my late long Confindment which has Exauesed every thing we had in Supporting our large Famaly 2 of our Children Died since my absence and to Add to our troubles the Dockters gives little hopes of my recoverry being in a decline and Traid Very bad for Want of Money to Carri it on Yet Sir in this situation I am thankfull to you for my Liberty and trust in God Whos never failing Goodness that has Protected me these last three Years to bring me through my present difficulty and may that Gratious God Ever Protect and Bless you With a long and happy Life and When he thinks fit to Call you may you enter into Everlasting Bliss is the Prayer and Ever Shall of me and my Famaly I am Sir with all Gratitude your most Obedent and Dutyfull Servant Cathrine Wells
400. [F25/6/42] Catherine Leeson, unidentified prison [probably Ilchester gaol], November 1819, to friends
I have sent you this to let you know I have been informd by A Gentleman that if I get a Coppy of the Affidavids that was sworn against me before the Grand Jury and take them before A Magistrate and the witnesses that is in my be half to come also and proave what you meant to do hear at Sizes it would be sent before the 12 judges and no doubt but I shuld get my liberty and pardon if so you must get another person as well as Marsh and the yong man
I will speak to Mr Bridal [Bridle, keeper Ilchester gaol] about it and then I will write to you when you write say nothing about it untill you hear from me as it is not known that I mentioned this to you – you had better buy 13 yards of stuff like yours and lining when you receive some money for me for fear we should be sent off and if mother will let me have the Cloak send some purple lining and binding for it if you send 2 pairs of boots let them be my size and Mary shall have them and you had better buy a lot of needles and Cotton for us to take with us at the fair of Bristol – there is a parcel of tickets in a purse mens Cloths some of them might do for Marsh and sell the rest Mothers blue gound is in pawn with my pelice what ever is in pawn if any get them out if you Can and and make us some pockets and send them to us I have some hopes yet but if I Cant get of I am Resign'd to My fate We join in love to you and mother and tell her it is no use to fret about us nor there is nothing that trouble us but parting with her and ye both but the time will Come when we shall meet never to part again
God bless you all C. Leeson