[From Lib Scac 1723]
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 did. 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.
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 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
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