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Decisions of the Superior Courts of New South Wales, 1788-1899

R. v. Turley [1814] NSWKR 2; [1814] NSWSupC 2

uttering forged notes

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction
Bent J.A.., 29 March 1814
Source: Court of Criminal Jurisdiction Minutes of Proceedings, 1813-1815, State Records N.S.W, 5/1121-288

           [288] The Court met pursuant to adjournment


The Judge Advocate

Capt Mr G B Shaw                  46th Regiment

John Brabyn                             R V Company

Lieut Arch Bell                         R V Company

Dawe                                       46th Regiment

Smith                                        46th Regiment

French                                      46th Regiment

           Free woman by Servitude [in margin]

           [288] ...Mary Turley [ in margin: free woman by servitude] late of Sydney spinster is put to the bar charged with feloniously uttering and publishing free false forged and counterfeited promissory notes purporting to be drawn by John Birch esq. and particularly set forth in the information with intent to defraud one Richard Phelps, she the said Mary Turley at the time of uttering the same, knowing the same to have been false forged and counterfeited, to wit at Sydney on the 15th and 17th days of February 1814. (Information no. 18.)

The prisoner pleads not guilty.

The prisoner makes an application to the court to postpone her trial, on account of the absence of eitnesses material to her defence.

The court having inquired into the nature of the testimony expected by the prisoner from the witnesses whom she states to be material, directs the first witness. The trial to proceed.

[289] Richard Phelps sworn and examined for the prosecution says, I live in Cambridge Street . I am a licensed publican there. I recollect Sarah Quin coming to my house some time in February last on a Tuesday shortly before I was examined before Mr Wentworth. She came for a pint of rum. I let her have the pint of rum. I charged her seven shillings currency for it. She paid me for it a one pound... I gave her in change 19 shillings currency. This was about dinner time. She came again first at dusk and asked for a pint or a quart of rum, I am not sure which. She got a pint or a quart, I am not certain which. She paid for it by giving me another one pound bill of Mr Birch's. I was rather dubious as to the first bill. I objected to the second. I asked her where she got it, she said from Mr Turley. I then begged Mr Quin to wait a little and I ran to Mr Birch's with both bills. I went to Mr Birch's but he was not at home. I then went to Sergeant Marshal's, his clerk. He was not at home. I shewed the bills to Marshal's wife and she said she had no doubt they were filled up by her husband. In consequence of what she said I returned and kept the bills and gave her (Mrs Quin) the change. On the Thursday following one Hugh Murphy came to my house for a quart of rum. I gave it to him. He paid me a one pound bill of Mr Birch's for it and I gave him the change. I put the three bills in my box till next morning, and then I took them with some other bills to Mr Wentworth to pay for my license. Mr Wentworth objected to these three bills. He said he would swear to them being forged. I am sure that the bills Mr Wentworth objected to the very three bills that I received from [290] Sarah Quin and Hugh Murphy. I gave him the information where I got them and in consequence the prisoner was taken up. The three promissory notes now shewn me are the three very bills I received from Sarah Quin and Hugh Murphy. They were marked in my presence in the Police Office. I am sure that the one marked T.H. no. 3 at the back of the bill is the second bill I received from Sarah Quin. I left the bills at the Police Office. I did not see the prisoner at the time I received the notes.

Questioned by the prisoner says before I received these notes, I received from Mrs Quin on the Tuesday, either a ten shilling note or a five shilling note or both. I am not certain which. She also brought me for change a one pound bill and a one pound ten bill of Birch's, [both] good. I received them to change for currency. All this was before I received the forged notes. On Thursday morning, Mary Turley came to me and asked me if I had taken a two pound note. She said she had lost one. I do not recollect her saying she had lost any other bills. I mentioned to her what bills I had received. She said that was right. This conversation took place before I took the note from Murphy. I was present when the prisoner was searched. Their pocket book was taken from her. It contained a quantity of currency notes which was shewn to me. I could not identify them.

By the court. The price of a quart of rum was 14 shillings currency. I did not make any particular mark on the notes. I can swear to them because I had more like them rather in paper or [type].

[291] Sarah Quin sworn and examined for the prosecution says, I am the wife of Edward Quin. I live on the Rocks Sydney. I recollect that prisoner Mary Turley coming to my house on Tuesday the 15 February last. William Flynn. We permitted them to remain at my house. Just after breakfast the prisoner asked me if I would have the goodness to go to Richard Phelps and change a one pound bill and a one pound ten bill. I brought her the change. I was to bring her two pound 12 currency and ten shilling sterling. After this she desired me to go for some rum to Phelps'. She gave me a one pound note of John Birch's. This was shortly after I had given her the currency. I went for the rum. I got it from Richard Phelps. I gave him the one pound note in payment for a pint of rum. Phelps gave me the change of the note. I took back the rum and the change to my house and gave the change to the prisoner. About 7 o'clock in the evening of the same day she desired me to go to Phelps' for some more rum. I brought a pint. I paid for it by another one pound bill of John Birch's. I received it from the prisoner and gave it to Phelps himself, who gave me the change. I was so long absent that she sent Alexander McGuire after me. I waited at Phelps' while he went to Mr Birch's to see if it was good or not. Mr McGuire found me at Phelps. He got the change and brought it home with me and put it on the table. The prisoner took it up and counted it and gave him five shillings out of it and put the rest in her pocket. The next day she the prisoner gave me a one pound bill to go to Cheers' for a joint of meat. The meat weighed six pounds and a half. I [292] gave little Dicky Cheers the one pound bill, and he told me it was a forgery and I took it back. I returned it to the prisoner and she gave me a ten shilling currency note to pay for the meat. In the same afternoon she gave me a bill, a two pound bill, to send to Lowry's for a pint of rum. I sent a man there with the bill. He brought it back and said it was a bad one. I returned it to the prisoner and she heard what the man said. The prisoner in the same afternoon gave a bill for a half Crown bill for some rum. I handed it to one George Green, a boy, and told him to go to Mrs Davis' for the rum. The boy brought back the rum. In the prisoner's presence, the boy told me that I had given him a two pound bill instead of half a Crown. He counted the change and left it on the table. Either William Flynn or the prisoner took it up. Next morning Mrs Davis brought back the two pound bill. She gave it to me and said it was a bad one. I went to the prisoner who was in the long room and asked her if she would give back the currency and take the bill. She took the bill and said she would give me the currency as soon as Mr Quin was gone out. She did not give it to me. I told Mrs Davis this and she went away. After the prisoner was taken up I found this two pound bill in the fireplace between her and the prisoner's box and a bucket. I should know this bill again if I was to see it. The bill now shewn me is the bill. I put my mark upon it. I believe it to be a half Crown note altered to two pound. On the Thursday she asked me to go for some rum. She handed me a bill folded up and said it was a one pound of John Birch. I gave it [293] to Hugh Murphy, to go for some rum, a bottle of rum. He went for some rum and brought it back and put it on the table in the room where the prisoner William Flynn was. He brought back the change, which the prisoner took up by Flynn's desire. I am sure the one marked T. Hyndes no. 1 on the back is one of the one pound bills I took to Phelps. I know it because it is so dirty at the back.

Questioned by the prisoner says the first bills the prisoner gave me were a one pound bill and a one pound ten bill of John Birch. These bills proved good. No soul was in the house when she gave me the other one pound bills. William Flynn was present when she gave me the forged two pound bill. This was on a Wednesday. On the Tuesday the prisoner went out at 12 o'clock and she came home at six in the afternoon. She had other ways of laying out the money besides in my house. The prisoner told me she owed the Captain of the vessel she came up in two pounds ten.

By the court, says when I brought back the bad bills the prisoner seemed surprised and said she would tear them and burn them. At the time she gave me the one pound note of Mr Birch's to go for some rum. She had but two pounds 12 currency in her pocket. The last one she gave me I asked her why she changed so many Birch's bills. She said she had nothing else and Phelps gave most in exchange. I heard her say she had lost notes out of her pocket book. She told Mr Wentworth she had dropped a two pound note [294] on our floor.

Hugh Murphy sworn and examined for the prosecution says I am a free man in Mr Oxley's employ. I was in Sydney on Thursday last was five weeks. I was at Mr Quin's house. The prisoner was there, William Flynn was there. Mrs Quin on that desired me to go to Dick Phelp's to get a bottle of rum. She gave me a decanter and a pound note of Birch's. I went to Phelps and got a bottle of rum there. I laid down the pound note to him and he gave me the change in copper coin. I did not count it. But what I got I carried back to Mr Quin's house and laid on the table with the spirits. The prisoner was in the room. Flynn was at the door and came in as I laid liquor down. The change of the liquor remains on the table for two or three minutes or better and Flynn desired the prisoner to take up the change. She went and took up the change and the liquor. The bill was folded up when Mrs Quinn gave it to me and I did not open it. In the course of the day the prisoner asked me twice over where I left that bill.

Questioned by the prisoner says I suppose the prisoner was in Mr Quin's house when Mrs Quin gave me the bill. She was not present when I received it. I received it out of doors. I never saw the prisoner give Mrs Quin any bill. I have been to the Cowpasture since. I lived at Quins when I was at Sydney . I always stay there when in Sydney .

[295] James Marshal sworn and examined for the prosecution says I am Sergeant in the 73rd Regiment. I am clerk to Mr John Birch, the paymaster in that regiment. I have been in that situation ten years since August 1806 under Mr Birch. I am well acquainted with Mr Birch's hand writing. The regiment has been paid since it has been in this colony by promissory notes issued by the paymaster.

The three one pound notes mentioned in the information and by the witness are shewn the witness, who says these three notes are all forgeries. The signature of John Birch is not of Mr Birch's hand writing. The initials J.B. are not of my handwriting. I have no doubt they are forgeries.

The two pound note mentioned by the witness Sarah Quin is shewn to the witness Marshal who says the note now shewn me is drawn by Mr Birch. It was a one pound note and has been since altered into a two. It is a counterfeited two pound note. All the two pound notes issued by Mr Birch bear date 24 April 1810.

Thomas Hyndes sworn and examined for the prisoner says I am clerk to Mr Wentworth the Superintendent of police. I marked the three notes now shewn me by his directions. One is marked T. Hyndes no. 1, the other T.H. no. 2 and the other T.H. no. 3. They were the three notes tended by Richard [296] Phelps in part payment of his licence and marked on the day the examination of the prisoner was taken.

Questioned by the prisoner says no other bills of that description were brought down to me. Mrs Quin did not say on her examination that the prisoner said all the bills she had were forged, to the best of my recollection. The notes are read and compared with those stated in the information.

The case for the prosecution is closed.

The prisoner presents to the court a written address which is read in her defence.

John Nowland sworn and examined for the prosecution says I am a prisoner. It is better than two years and a half since I have been in this country. I was coming from the store house on a Thursday about five weeks ago, by Mr Quin's. She met me and asked me to come down as she wanted one in a very short time to go for a leg of mutton. I told her I would. I went to her house. I saw her there. She went into her bedroom, and she came out with a shawl about her neck and a decanter in her hand. She told me to follow her out. I did.

We went towards the storehouse. When we got into the inside of a large wall made at the back of Mr Wentworth's storehouse she handed me a two pound bill, and a decanter and told me to go to Mr Lowrie's and get a pint of rum and change and that she would go before me and wait at Mr Cheers', where she was going for a leg of [297] mutton. She went before me. She went into Cheers' and I went into Lowry's. I called for a pint of rum which a woman put into the decanter. I then handed the two pound bill. She objected to it and said it looked very queer. She shewed it to Mr Lowry who said it was but a two and six penny bill and returned it to me. I then gave up the rum and took the bill back. I overtook Mrs Quin at the new guard house and gave her the bill and told her it was a bad one. She then gave me a one pound bill and told me to take it to ... Tom's as it would not be good to go to Lowry again. I shewed the bill to the witness who said it was a barefaced forgery. I can read and write. I should not know the bills again that I received from Mary Turley. I returned the bills to Mrs Quin. I went home with her. She did not offer to return them to the prisoner while I was at the house. She never told me that she got the bills I have mentioned from Mary Turley.

By the court. I am employed in the camp gang. I was in the gaol gang some months ago. I was put in for neglect of duty. I have had conversation with the prisoner since the circumstances I have mentioned took place. It was in the gaol. I have seen the prisoner twice in the gaol. I never received any thing for my trouble.

Catherine Davis sworn and examined for the prisoner says I live in Charlotte Square . I keep a publick house there. It was a little child of Mr Green's brought me the false two pound bill. He said Mrs Quin sent him. I never have received the change back. [298] The next morning I brought the two pound bill back to Quin's. I gave it Sarah Quin. I told her it was a bad one. Mrs Quin said she would get the change. She did not tell me who gave her the bill. She told me I should get the change back but nothing was said about concealing the business. When the child brought the bill I asked him what it was. He said it was a two and six penny bill. I said it was a two pound bill. I did not see the prisoner when I took her bill back.

William Flynn sworn and examined for the prisoner says I am a free man, my punishment at Newcastle . The prisoner and myself live as man and wife together. We have lived together about four years. I was not in Quin's house when Murphy came in with any change. I do not recollect I was standing at the door. That day I was along with Quin at Chisholme's from between 3 and 4 o'clock till 11 at night. I did not see Murphy bring in any change or liquor. This was on a Thursday.

Edward Quin sworn and examined at the desire of the court. I was not in company with Flynn from between 3 and 4 o'clock on the 17th of February last till 11 o'clock at night. I saw Murphy coming on the road from Phelps with a decanter of spirits and I was called into the house. I wanted to have some of it. William Flynn was in the house and to the best of my opinion it [299] was her that called me. I was at Chisholme's with him that night, and came away from there with him. It might be 10 o'clock. It might be between seven and eight I went with Flynn to Chisholme's to see Mr Williams. I never saw a bad bill during the time she was in my house with the prisoner.
The court having maturely considered and fully understood the premises doth adjudge that the said Mary Turley is not guilty of the felony wherewith she stands charged.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University