[From Lib Scac 1723]

Libra Scaccarii 1723 pp 39 et seq

Depostions taken by us whose names 
are subscribed being a Jury of Indictmt 
Impannelled and sworn by Tho Tubman 
Corronr. of Rushen Sheading touching a 
discovery lately made of some Copper pence 
being Conterfeit, uttered and paid; 
[erasure] for which misdemeanr. Geo: 
Wilks of Ballasalla & John Wilks his 
son are suspected; and to find out the 
truth of this matter these following proofes 
are taken the 21st May 1723.  The Atty: 
Genl: in our Honable Lords behalfe being present.

Lawrence Welsh being sworn and examined declareth 
and said that on Fryday last, this Depont. meeting 
with the above John Wilks at his own in Ballasalla 
he asked him to pay him some few pence owing to him 
from the said J. Wilks, Whereupon the said Wilks paid 
the Depont. 6d in brass: 2d whereof he then spent in the sd 
Wilks's house, where he had not been very long when 
Tho Tubman Corronr. came in, and seeing the Depont. 
have some of the said pence, in his hands, he took 
notice of them and said they were Rapps, and that it
was insufforrable ^they^ such should pass, and that he the sd
Corronr. being sworn to my Lord, was obliged to make 
a discovery of the same or words to that effect, but the 
depont. did not in the least suspect them to be counterfeits 
when he recd them & further saith not, only that the 
other remaining 1d of ye 6d he has produced this day 
to ye Jury.  And further ye depont. declares that when he 
asked ye sd Jo Wilks to pay him as afforesaid he bid 
this depont. to stay a while till his wife came ^in^ who had ye 
key, and that then he should be paid, which he accordingly 

Lawrence Welsh my mark W

[next page some loss of rh margin in binding]

John Saint one of Soldrs. sent by the Dep. Govenr. 
to search John Wilks house that day the Inform=
ation was made. being sworn and examined 
declareth and saith, that when they came to the 
House this depont. told the before named George 
Wilks that he had authority to search him 
upon suspicion touching the counterfeit pence, the sd Wilks replyed that 
he was at liberty to do that, But ye depont. 
observing while he was Searching the sd Geo 
Wilks's pocketts, that he was useing & shift[ing] 
his right hand behind him, as if he was 
going to hide something, this depont. examined 
the same and found a mancks penny in t[he] 
breeches behind, which being very rough 
appearing like  counterfeit he took up ye sa[me] 
And the said Geo: Wilks himselfe acknowledg[ed] 
he run or made that penny to try the we[] 
which he delived to ye Corronr

Jon: Saint

Jo Nelson another of said Soldrs makes oath th[at] 
upon searching the Houfe & familly of John Wi[lks] 
He found 2d in the pockett of Jon 
Moore his apprentice which he looked up to be Counterfeits and so took 'em up 
[erasures] & delivered ^them^ to ye corronr.

Jo. Nelson my mark (x)

Thomas Tubman Corronr. makes oath that 
Fryday last he went into Jo Wilks's house in 
Ballasalla where he found Lawrence Wesh 
the sd Jo Wilks & others in Company; and after he
[next page]
had sat down a while with them, the said Welsh 
took some brass out of his pocket and seemed as if 
he was looking earnestly & smiling at it, which 
made this depont. take notice of the same, and upon 
viewing of the ^sd^ pence, the depont. finding them ^some thing^ 
rough, said that he beleived they were Rapps 
and were not made in Englaynd: Mr Wilks 
having gone out of the room, the depont. observed 
that ye sd Lawrence Welsh still smiled, and made 
motions with his eyes and hands lifted upwards 
towards the room Mr. Wilks works in above _ 
stairs; but Jo: Wilks returning into the room 
again the depont. asked Welsh (being moved to 
some suspicion by ye motions aforesaid) to change 
two or three of these pence with him, which 
he did.  Whereupon the depont. charged ye said 
Welsh to recollect who he had those pence from 
because being sworn to my Lords proffitt 
was obliged to take notice of them, and make a 
discovery, for it was unsufforeable that the 
country should be abused with them:, the said 
Welsh replyed he had them from the sd Jo Wilks 
or his wife [erased text]in change 
and Mr. Wilks acknowledged that Welsh 
had them from either him or his wife, but which 
of the two, the depont. doth not perfectly remembr. 
And the depont. thereupon went & informed the 
Dep: Governr. and shewed him ye sd counterfeits, who 
thereupon sent soldrs. with this Depont. to 
search the sd Jo: Wilks's house & familly, And 
upon examination of Mrs Wilks upon that matter 
she pulled a parcell of brass out of her pockett; 
and the Depent. picked nine pence out of ye same which 
[next page - some loss to rh margin in binding]
looked upon to be Counterfeits & so took 'em up 
as such; which with ye 1d delivered ye Depont. by 
Jo Saint soldr which he said he took from Geo: Wi[ilks] 
and ye ij d found with Jo Moore the Apprentic[e] 
are the very same this day produced to the 
Jury: As likewise the pott for runing mettle 
the flask or mold, and the price [piece?] of Copper taken 
up by the depont. & soldrs. at the said Jo Wilk[s] 
house the day afforesaid, are the very same now produced._

Tho Taubman

Dav Curlett and John Wattleworth being 
apprentices to Jo Wilks, do make oath that 
they know nothing directly or indirectly touch[ing] 
the making or counterfeiting of the pence now 
produced to the Jury. and thoh. they usually 
wrought with the said John Wilks & his fat[her] 
they saw no cause or reason to induce them to 
beleive that they were guilty of that crime.

Dav: Curlett my mark (x)
John Wattleworth

We whose names are subscribed being a ^petty^ Jury sworn by the 
Corronr. of Rushen Sheading touching a discovery lately made 
of a foul and fraudulent misdemeanrs. Committed vizt. the 
Counterfeiting of some pence of the forme and make of 
the Copper pence now currant and passable amoungst us, 
And whereas Geo: Wilks of Ballasalla & John Wilks his 
son, were persons suspected to have committed the sd 
crime in regard some of the said Counterfeit pence were 
found to have been paid in the said John Wilks's house, & in ye 
custody of his wife Margt Wilks, & his brother in law 
John Moore when search was made; Upon examination 
of the matter and of all partys concerned, in presence 
of the Attorney Generale, and perusall of the evidences 
produced and taken by us in this case, We find 
by the [some text ersaed] deposition of John Saint that 
when he was searching ye sd Geo: Wilks he used 
means to hide and convey from him a certain counterfeit penny 
(then about him) which the said depont. observing did 
upon a narrow search find the said counterfeit penny 
hid in the said Georges breeches behind, Which said 
counterfeit penny George Wilks himselfe acknowledged 
to have run or made, as well in presence of ye sd depont. as 
openly this day before our selves, alledging he did it to try 
his flasques how they would cast, or try the mettal; 
Upon consideration of all which together with all the 
circumstances of this matter, We do indict the said 
George Wilks for the crime and misdemeanr. of Counterfeiting 
as afforesaid. according to the laws of this Isle direct in 
such cases of treason. And as for John Wilks [himself erased]
and his wife, & John Moore in regard no material evidences 
appeared agt. them or either of them, that they were confederates 
in the said Crime, or that they knowingly uttered or paid any
[line(s) of text missing but appears to be continuation to next page]]
of the Counterfeit pence now produced, we do 
acquit them. And we give for our verdi[ct] 
[this erased] according to our best judgements Wittness 
our hands this 21st May 1723 _

 Rich Quay his mark x
 Ro Wainwright his mark x
 Wm Woods his mark x
 John Crebbin his mark x
 Jo Kneene his mark x
 Richd Reece 

The jury of indictment haved
delivered their verdict to me	
                 Chas Moore

Deputy Comnftable you are now to 
secure the Body of George Wilks 
in close prision till further order 
from yor superior upon the above 
Indictement Given under my ^hand^ 
this 21st May 1723
Cha: Moore

At the Head Court 
held the 8th Oct: 1723 
The before named Geo: Wilks was 
aquitted by the Grand Jury.

vide 24 Keys verdict.

Lib Placitorum Oct 1723

At a Court of Goale[Gaol] Delivery held at Castle Rushen the 8th Oct 1722

We as many of the 24 Keyes of this Isle as were present
at this Court of Goale Delivery being required by this
Court to pass and proceed upon the verdict of the
Grand Jury who this day acquitted Geo Wilks one
of the Criminalls arraigned this day at the Barr,
for Counterfeiting the manckes pence; Do find upon
examination of that matter that the proceedings of
the said Grand Jury are illegall; however as this
is the first instance that happened since the law
touching the Counterfeiting of the mancks pence +
half pence was made we rather impute the same
to the misunderstanding of the said Jury rather
than willfull error and therefore do recomend
them to the Worpll Court to be favourably used
in their fine and punishmmt.
John Wattleworth      Will Christain
Tho Stevenson         Tho Christian
John Christian        James Bankes
Jon Fargher           Robt Curghy
                      James Christian
                      Dan Lace
                      Edm Corlett
                      Jon Garrett
                      John Curghy
                      John Harrison
                      Ph Moore
                      Robt Maddrell

At the Debet Court held the 10th Oct 1723
Court hath fined the above Grand
Jury in 20s a piece and declared 
them incapable of passing on any
Jury of or Enquest for the future

It is very likely that the realisation that under the new act of 1709 counterfeiting of brass coinage was now also a capital offence that led to the Grand Jury acquiting the accused.

The following year an Irishman Robert Wilson was found guilty of bring into the Island some pewter half crowns & shillinga and passing off 3 of these - he was hung

Lib Placitorum 1723

Lib Plac
To the Honorable John Lloyd Esq Govr of this Isle
with the rest of the Honrble Court

The humble petition of the Grand Jury that passed
upon George Wilks

[]y Sheweth
That or peticionrs were the grand jury who passed upon
Mr Wilks for counterfeiting the coyn of this Island and
coyning, being seldome or never re[blotted] & no president ? appear=
ing upon record that might suppose that judgments
in a verdict of that nature; yor petitionrs were therefore
left to give the best of their judgmts in a new case, which
they did according to their conscience: But as it is usual
the 24 Keys were called upon, to see whether the sd jury
had proceeded regularly: They returned for answer that
they had proceeded illegally, therefore yor peticionrs were
fined in 20s each & disqualified to serve their
Country for the future.
Wherefor yor peticionrs most humbly beg yor Honour
may be pleasd to acquit us from such fine and so
grevious an imputation, since they acted in the whole
affair to the best of their judgments & according to
consciences, & yor petionrs as in duty bound shall
ever pray.

At a Chancery Court held at Castle
Rushen the 5th March 1723 [1723/4]
Upon consideration of this peticon and the circumstances
of the matter therein menconed; I do with the advice 
[next page - rh margin lost in binding on film]
of the rest of the officers in court think fit to re[duce]
the petitionrs fines to five shillings six pence []
And in regard the peticionrs proceeding appearr[]
to be the effects of ignorance & misunderstanding
the law, and not willfull error, I do there=
fore and discharge them from that imputation
by []ndering and do hereby qualify and res[]
them to their reputations as formerly []
thing to the contrary not withstanding
John Lloyd

  Back index next  

Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
HTML Transcription © F.Coakley , 2011