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1838 - Proceedings of the Old Bailey (6)

Date 1838
Topic Customer tenders counterfeit coin at a pub, claiming to have received it at the Robin Hood [? Shoe Lane, Holborn]
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Site of the Robin Hood, Shoe Lane, Holborn.

By Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-01-19. Revised by Henrik Thiil Nielsen, 2018-07-28.


[17 Dec. 1838:]
WILLIAM LENEY. I am barman to James Vivian, at the Anchor, in Farringdon-street. On the 4th of December I saw the prisoner with another man, who called himself Leman, between four and five o'clock in the afternoon—the prisoner asked for a pint of beer, which was 1½d.—he gave me a bad shilling—I saw it was bad—I asked him whether he knew what he gave me—he said, "Yes," and he had taken it of me half an hour before—I knew him before, but I had not seen him for the last three or four months—I kept the shilling—he told me not to keep it—that he had taken it at the Robin Hood—his companion offered to pay for the beer—I sent for a policeman, and then the prisoner paid me in copper—I gave the shilling to the policeman.

Prisoner. Q. Did you state at Guildhall that I told you I took it at the Robin Hood? A. I do not think I did—I was asked but very few questions there—I asked you if you knew the shilling was bad—you told me, "Yes"—I asked you to pay for the beer—you said you would not, but you did afterwards.

JOHN VIVIAN. I am the father of James Vivian. I was sent for to the Anchor public-house when this happened, and went—the constable asked me if I meant to press the charge—I said, he ought to know best, it was my son's business, not mine—the prisoner said I ought not to press the charge, as I knew him to be an old customer—he then said, "I suppose you to be a man of intellect, I know it is a bad shilling, I have other bad money about me, you ought not to do it"—I then told the officer to do his duty, and search him—the officer said, "You must go with me, to my Inspector"—he said, "I shall not go, till I think proper"—the officer sent for more assistance, and they took him away.

Prisoner. I never spoke a word to him.

SAMUEL ALLEN (City police-constable No. 51.) I was called into the Anchor public-house, and the prisoner was standing at the bar, with another man—I told the prisoner, he had much better pay for the beer—he said he would not pay for it—I asked him again—he said he would not—the other offered 1½d. to pay for it—the prisoner took the 1½d. out of his hand, and said he should not pay for it—the prisoner paid for the beer himself, with that 1½d.—I received this shilling from Leney—(producing it)—when Vivian was sent for, I heard the conversation between him and the prisoner—I heard him tell Mr. Vivian, "You are a man of intellect, you ought not to do it"—he said, "Do what?"—the prisoner said, "To press the charge—I know it is a bad shilling, and I have other bad money about me"—he was not searched, there being two together, I detained them till the arrival of my sergeant—he went very quietly half-way up Skinner-street, and then made use of very bad language, tried to force himself out of my hand, and threw himself on his back—I held him by the collar with my right hand, and with my left held his left hand—he struggled very much to get his left hand at liberty—I was present when he was searched at the watch-house, and something went down his trowsers—I picked a purse up, and gave it into the hand of my sergeant—I saw a good half-crown and a bad one, and two good sixpences taken from it.

CHARLES WALLER (City police-sergeant No. 8.) I was sent for, and helped to take the prisoner—I assisted in carrying him to the station-house in Giltspur-street—he tried to release himself, and laid himself down in the street—with great force we took him to the station-house—in searching him I heard something jingle—I could not see any thing—in the course of a minute, something went down the thigh of his trowsers—I had felt in his waistcoat-pocket before, and found 4½d. in copper, and nothing in his trowsers' pocket—something dropped—I cast my eye on it, and saw it was a purse—I told Allen to give it to me, which he did—I searched the prisoner, and in his coat-pocket found three pairs of tips for shoes—I asked the prisoner what he was—he said, "A miller"—I asked where he lived—he hesitated, and said, "No. 2, East Harding-street"—I sent Allen there—he came back, and said it was no such thing—the prisoner then said, "No. 2, Leather-lane"—I went there, and found he did not live there—I have kept the bad half-crown ever since—(producing it.)

Prisoner. Q. Did you state that you picked up the purse? A. No—I said it fell from your trowsers.

SAMUEL ALLEN, re-examined. I went to No. 2, East Harding-street, and found no person of the prisoner's name lived there.

Prisoner. Q. What was the name of the landlord? A. Neither the landlord nor landlady were within—I asked one of the lodgers—they did not know him by name nor by description.

MR. JOHN FIELD. This shilling and half-crown are both counterfeit.

Prisoner's Defence. At the request of the pot-boy of the Robin Hood, I went to Tower-hill to get a ship—we went into the Queen's Head, and made inquiry there whether they wanted recruits for the navy—the landlady said no, they were full—after having two or three pints of beer we returned home—I changed half-a-sovereign at a house near the Minories, and received a half-crown, four shillings, and five sixpences—we then went home—Leney, the boy, said we would have half-a-pint of beer—we went to Vivian's—I tendered a shilling, and he said it was bad—I did not state it was taken from him—he said he should send for a policeman, and I was taken—this half-crown I had received in Leather-lane a fortnight before, and had it knocking about, and on the day stated I put it into my purse—I live at No. 2, Hole-in-the-wall-court, Leather-lane—if I had been disposed to escape I should have paid for the beer and got away—it is evident no person could attempt to pass it as it is now.[1]

Source notes

IRHB has regularized the use of spaces before punctuation marks in the quotation. As of 8 Feb. 2018, it has not been possible to collate the HTML version of the text at the Proceedings of the Old Bailey with the PDF of the original publication as the link to the latter does not work.

IRHB comments

Since the attempt to pay with a bad coin occurred in a pub in Farringdon Street, the Robin Hood concerned is most likely that in Shoe Lane, Holborn, which was located less than 150 m west of Farringdon Street. Other possibilities are Robin Hood (High Holborn) and Robin Hood (Leather Lane, Holborn).



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