The Newgate Calendar - ELIZABETH HARRIET GREEVE

ELIZABETH HARRIET GREEVE

A clever Swindler, transported for Felony, in the Year 1773

ELIZABETH HARRIET GREEVE was one of those specious swindlers who, pretending to great patronage, cheated the credulous by promises of preferment.

With one of the dupes of her artifice she was first cousin to Lord North; with another, second cousin to the Duke of Grafton; to a third, nearly related to Lady Fitzroy: on some occasions she affected great intimacy with Lord Guilford; and had the young Premier then ruled the State she would, without much doubt, have boasted the patronage of Mr Pitt.

On Wednesday, the 3rd of November, 1773, this female sharper and consummate impostor was brought to the bar of the public office, Bow Street, under various charges of fraud.

William Kidwell, a coach-carver, swore that the woman at the bar, who called herself the Honourable Elizabeth Harriet Greeve, had defrauded him of thirty-six pounds, under a promise of procuring him the place of clerk to the stores in the Victualling Office. He said that, the fashion of carving coaches being on the decline, he wished to invest the little sum he had by dint of frugality and hard labour saved in the purchase of some place, and for this purpose advertised for such a situation. This pretended honourable lady answered, and soon lured him out of the sum above mentioned.

William Kent, of Streatly, in Berkshire, charged her with defrauding him of thirty pounds in cash and obtaining from him his conditional bond for two hundred and fifty pounds more, which, together, was the price of the place of a coast-waiter.

This deluded man, upon the promises of Mrs Greeve, quitted his business in the country, and with his wife and children came to London, and remained there some time in the most anxious expectation before he discovered the imposition.

Elizabeth Cooper next appeared before the magistrates and charged the prisoner with defrauding her late husband of sixty-two pounds on a similar pretence to the last case, the loss of which, and his disappointment, the poor afflicted widow said, broke his heart.

The sum of her villainy was proved by another witness, whom the rest had, through some industry, found out: this was her factotum, agent, clerk and friend, an occasional esquire, of the name of Francis Crook. This man swore that when he first acted as her agent he did not know she was an impostor; that he had agreed with a number of persons for the sale of places, whom he took to his mistress, but she always took the money paid in advance.

This artful female was soon recognised as one who had been transported two years before, but had returned before the expiration of the term of her service. She was again disposed of in a similar manner.

 

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