Ex-Classics Home Page


Executed for Forgery.

            THESE offenders were brought to justice through the information of two accomplices, Richardson and Cooke. They all met at the Horns Tavern, Doctors' Commons, where they agreed to commit forgeries on some banking house in the city.

            It was agreed that Hill was to procure genuine checks, from which Cooke was to execute the forgeries. Badcock was then to procure porters to carry the forged checks, that they might be cashed; and Richardson was to watch the porters, to see that the checks were paid without hesitation, and to return and inform Badcock 'that all was right.'

            On the 4th of September, 1812, Hill received three checks from Parsons, a hay-salesman, in White-chapel, who did not know for what purpose they were wanted. From one of these Cooke forged, in the name of Burchell and Co. to the amount of seven hundred and fifty pounds on the house of Robarts, Curtis, and Co. The first check being paid. they forged the two others; and, in two days they robbed the one banking house of three thousand and eight hundred pounds which these worthies divided among them at the Moorgate Coffee House.

            The notes were then sold at twenty per cent. discount to one Edmund Birkett, who was subsequently brought to justice.

            These facts were fully corroborated by other witnesses in addition to the evidence of the accomplices, Richardson and Cooke; and the prisoners were found Guilty -- Death, at the Old Bailey, July 17th, 1813.

            On Thursday, July 29th, Badcock was executed in the front of Newgate; Birkett, already mentioned, suffered also with him; as well as one Ennis, for forgery, and William Smith, for taking money out of a letter in the Post Office.

            These unhappy men were brought upon the scaffold a few minutes before eight o'clock; and, after Ennis had remained in prayer some time with a Catholic clergyman, and the three others with the Ordinary of Newgate, they met their fate with becoming fortitude. Smith and Ennis evinced great penitence. Birkett had contrived to secrete a pistol, with so much address as to evade detection upon the search which took place the night before the execution; and about eleven o'clock, although a fellow-prisoner and one of the turnkeys were in the cell with him, he discharged a ball into his left side. He failed, however, in his object of destroying himself, and only inflicted a wound which caused much pain. He ascended the scaffold without assistance, and submitted to his fate with the others.

            Brady and Hill subsequently underwent the sentence of the law in the same place.


Previous Next