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

R. v. Williams and others [1821] NSWKR 25; [1821] NSWSupC 25

R. v. Williams [1821] NSWKR 25; [1821] NSWSupC 25 

R. v. Brown

R. v. Tunicliffe

R. v. McAvoy

R. v. McGuire

R. v. Lansdown

forgery and uttering, bank notes

Court of Criminal Jurisdiction

Wylde J.A., 6 August 1821

Source: Sydney Gazette, 11 August 1821

            William Williams, Gilbert Brown, William Tunicliffe, Edward McAvoy, John McGuire, and William Lansdown, were separately and respectively indicted for forging certain Bank of New South Wales' Notes, for the sum of £10, and also for passing and uttering the said notes, well knowing them to be forged. From the evidence it appeared that various notes, purporting to be legal and just, for the sum of £10, had obtained circulation in the towns of Liverpool, Parramatta, and Sydney, in and about the commencement of the present year, and some short time elapsed before the discovery took place of such notes being abroad, which were no other than genuine one pound notes fraudulently converted into tens; and all the prisoners at the bar, at various times and upon diverse occasions, had been apprehended by the Police, and were consequently now brought to their trial for the offences specified in the various counts in the indictment. The trial lasted some considerable time. Six notes were produced in support of the prosecution, and were all proved by Mr John Black, the Accountant of the Bank, to be forgeries; who stated, as it appeared by the date of the bills, that no ten pound notes had been issued at the Bank till this year, and all the notes in question bore dates of real one pound notes that had all been issued the end of last year. Several respectable publicans and housekeepers swore to having actually received the bills from the prisoners, at different times; and, after a long chain of well connected evidence being heard by the Court, the prisoners were called upon for their defence. Lansdown denied all knowledge of the charges alleged against him, as also any participation in the spoil arising from such acts of fraudulency; and McAvoy said he was completely ignorant as to the notes being otherwise then and genuine; in fact both these prisoners satisfactorily proved to the Court their innocence in the transactions. The other prisoners had, however, by all the evidence, become too seriously implicated, to admit of any think like extenuation of the guilt with which they were about to be declared so pregnant. The Court retired; and shortly after returned with the following verdict:

            William Williams, Guilty of forging and uttering; and Gilbert Brown, William Tunicliffe, and John McGuire, Guilty of uttering knowing to be forged. Lansdown and McAvoy were acquitted.

Published by the Division of Law, Macquarie University