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1841: Deported for a dodgy fiver

Forgery on the Bank of England

Not the actual banknote

Thomas Midmar, aged 47, a miserable-looking man, walking on crutches, was indicted for feloniously uttering and putting off, at the parish of Cuckfield a 5 pound note, purporting to be of the Bank of England, well knowing the same to be forged and counterfeited, with intent to defraud the Governor and Company of the Bank of England.

The prisoner pleaded ‘guilty’.

The prisoner was then arraigned upon another indictment for a similar offence. To this charge he also pleaded ‘guilty’.

Lord Denman said that although he could not help commiserating his present miserable condition, yet his

duty to the public compelled him to pass a severe sentence for the offences to which he had pleaded guilty. Frauds of this description were most dangerous, and it was absolutely necessary that they should be repressed by the strong arm of the law.

The prisoner was then sentenced to be transported for 14 years.

From the English Chronicle and Whitehall Evening Post - Thursday 25 March 1841



19th century counterfeit plate for a Bank of England five-pound note. First published in "Bidwell's Travels, from Wall Street to London Prison Fifteen Years in Solitude", copyrighted 1897 by Bidwell Publishing Company, Hartford, Conn. A small change from the date shown of 1881 has been made to make the note fit the story. Note: If I am to be deported SW Australia, West Coast of America or Bermuda would be my preferences MD.

Contributed by Malcolm Davison.



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