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1819 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (2)

Record
Date 1819
Topic The Robin Hood, [? 281 High] Holborn, figures in a case about the possession of false bank notes
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Site of Robin Hood on High Holborn.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-06-18. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-10-18.

Record

[21 Apr. 1819:]
JAMES ILES. I am a porter at the George and Blue Boar - I deliver the parcels. On the 6th of April I assisted in unloading the coach. The guard directed my attention to a basket, directed to Mrs. Ward, No. 41, Compton-street, St. John-street, Clerkenwell - it was fastened with strings. In consequence of what Mayo said to me, I was induced to undo one corner of it. I got one hand in, and felt something like a fowl with feathers on - on putting my hand a little further, I felt a paper parcel; I then undid it a little more, pulled the parcel out, and opened it - it was folded up. It contained bank notes. One bundle contained five notes not tied up; what the other contained I do not know - this was at the Robin Hood, public-house, in Holborn. I immediately told the landlord, and showed it to him - I then took it to Mr. C. Ibbertson, who was my master, gave him the basket we had undone there, and found six rolls of notes tied up in one parcel. Mr. Ibberson, another gentleman, and myself, then went to the Bank, and left the basket locked up in Mr. Ibbertson's private office. Sometime after, Mr. Ibbertson called me, and told me to pack the basket up as before, which I did in his presence, and put the notes in again. I went with my cart as usual - Foy and Mr. Milton followed me to Compton-street. I stopped short of the door, and was pulling the basket out of the cart - I had not time to knock at the door, before the female prisoner came out, putting a smile on her countenance. I went up to her with the basket under my arm, and said, "Mrs. Ward, is this right?" and looking at the direction - "Yes," she said, "my name is Ward." I said, "I have a basket for you, which comes to 2 s. 2 d." She gave me 2 s. 6 d., and said, "Give me 4 d." I had given her the basket. I said I had no halfpence - she said, "Never mind the halfpence, keep them." I said, "Good woman, I don't want them," and gave her the 6 d. back, upon which she turned her head towards the door, and said, "William, have you any halfpence?" a man's voice said, "No, I have not." She put her hand into her own pocket, and gave me 2 1/2 d. I took it, and went away. Before I left the door, Foy came up and went in. It is a private house.

Cross-examined. by MR. ALLEY. Q. Were you authorized to open parcels - A. No. I did not tell my master or the book-keeper that I meant to open it. I told the landlord of the Robin Hood. I have been four years in my place.

Q. I suppose you did not put the paper parcel there yourself - A. No. The Robin Hood is about ten doors from our inn.

MR. REYNOLDS. Q. Had the guard told you of any suspicious he had - A. Yes, and I told the landlord of the public-house before I opened it. I had delivered a parcel at that house on the 27th of March, addressed to William Taverner, in his own name - I delivered it to him. When I found this parcel directed to the same place it created my suspicion.

WILLIAM SELL. I keep the Robin Hood, public-house, in Holborn. On the 6th of April Iles came to my house with a basket - I knew he was porter at the George and Blue Boar. He communicated his suspicions about the basket, and said he should like to satisfy his curiosity, for the guard had told him there was something wrong in it. He went into the back-room - I was busy at the time. In five or six minutes he called me. There were five or six parcels of bank notes, and one loose parcel, which contained 5 l. notes - the others were tied up. I said, "Put them into the basket, and go and tell your master," which he immediately did.[1]

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IRHB has silently regularized the use of spaces before punctuation marks in the quotation and corrected the HTML text at Proceedings of the Old Bailey from the PDF of the original printed edition.

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