The Newgate Calendar - THOMAS LEACH AND ELIZABETH, HIS WIFE

THOMAS LEACH AND ELIZABETH, HIS WIFE

The Former transported for uttering Forged Bank-Notes, and the Latter condemned to Death, July, 1811

   AT the sessions, July, 1811, at the Old Bailey, Thomas Leach was put to the bar charged with feloniously uttering and publishing as true a certain false, forged and counterfeit bank-note for the payment of five pounds, well knowing the same to be forged and counterfeit, with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England. On his being arraigned, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge in the indictment -- namely, that of having such counterfeit note in his possession -- by which means he avoided the punishment of death, and was liable to be transported for the term of fourteen years.

   When he was removed from the bar, Elizabeth Leach, his wife, was next placed there. She stood charged with feloniously uttering and publishing as true a certain false, forged and counterfeit bank-note for the payment of one pound, well knowing the same to be forged, false and counterfeit, with the intent of defrauding the Governor and Company of the Bank of England. The prisoner did not follow her husband's example upon this occasion, but pleaded "Not Guilty," and her trial proceeded.

   Several witnesses were then examined, and first a shopkeeper in Clerkenwell, where she passed a false one-pound note. Other persons proved the like, and added that she was always alone, unaccompanied by any other person whatsoever. It was also proved that upon searching her apartments there were found in her pockets some genuine bank-notes of five-pound, two-pound and one-pound value, and in her work-basket a bundle of forged notes for the sums exactly corresponding with those that she had passed to the several persons who had appeared against her. In her defence she attempted to impress the Court and the jury to believe that her husband had always accompanied her; in this, however, she totally failed, and too late she found cause to lament that she had put in such a plea as she did, for the jury found her guilty. She was sentenced to death, which nothing could avert but an extension of Royal clemency.

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