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The Newgate Calendar - THOMAS FOSS,

Executed for Forgery

            THE man who fabricates a single bill, or check, may say something in palliation of his crime; but the deliberate forger of a bank-note has nothing to advance in extenuation of his guilt. He goes systematically to work, procures agents, and deliberates upon the means of defrauding the public in a permanent manner.

            Few forgers of a more dangerous character than Thomas Foss have ever committed depredations on the public. He had been long employed in the Bank of England as copper-plate printer; but left it to commence business on his own account. He joined another person; but kept a private press of his own, without the knowledge of his partner.

            So persevering was his industry, that he learned the art of engraving, and invented a method for impressing the water-marks upon paper. Having thus arranged every thing necessary for his purpose, he struck off some notes, and gave them to two persons, named Norman and Gwyn, to pass. These fellows had not continued long in their nefarious traffic, when their career was stopped t they were detected, and committed to prison.

            While in confinement each of them, unknown to the other, offered to become king's evidence, and they were both admitted. In consequence of their information Foes was taken into custody, and the whole apparatus for fabricating forged notes was discovered.

            Foss was indicted at the Old Bailey, September 18th, 1813, when, in addition to these facts, the printer to the Bank swore that the signature to the notes was in Foss's handwriting. He was accordingly found Guilty, received sentence of death, and was executed in front of Newgate, November the 10th, 1813. He died penitent.


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