In 1842, a gang of 7 local men were charged with forging and circulating counterfeit notes & coin.
The following documents mention the case
The Yorkshire Gazette [Saturday 26th February 1842] reported
Gang of Forgers.
A gang of seven forgers were brought up at the Court House, Bradford, who gave their names as follows;
- George Ashworth a stone mason from Halifax
- Henry Sutcliffe a woolcomber from Halifax
- Thomas Bardsley Wood a woolcomber from Sowerby Bridge
- Jonathan Smith a woolcomber from Bradford
- John Greenwood a woolcomber from Wadsworth, Todmorden
- Benjamin Borran a woolcomber from Haworth
- Abel Ashworth a woolcomber from Sowerby
For a long period the police have been convinced that a gang of forgers were in existence somewhere in this neighbourhood, and they used every exertion to obtain a knowledge of the whereabouts, but from the systematic method of putting off their forged notes and counterfeit coin, their efforts were for a long time ineffectual.
At length, a clue was obtained, which has taken months to partially unravel.
Hopes, however, are now entertained that the whole or at least a portion of the gang will speedily be brought to justice.
As the Assizes are near at hand, and the evidence against all seven not yet completed, we refrain from entering into it.
Suffice to say for the present, that George Ashworth, Henry Sutcliffe, Thomas Bardsley Wood and Jonathan Smith were each committed for trial to York Castle on a charge of putting off forged Bank of England £5 notes, and forged counterfeit silver.
John Greenwood was discharged for want of sufficient evidence, although he is believed to be the worst of the gang and Benjamin Borran and Abel Ashworth were subsequently committed.
For the sake of the public, we sincerely hope that the manufactory of the spurious stuff will yet be discovered
The Crown Court [Thursday 24th March 1842] heard
Before Mr Justice Wightman.
Samuel Charlton bought a £5 note and 19/- of base money off the prisoner on the 8th May last for £2 4/- which he delivered to Mr Brigg who produced them: Committed.
Thomas Bardsley Wood and Henry Sutcliffe were committed for a like offence. Charlton appointed to meet the prisoner Wood at the Blucher Inn, Halifax on the 13th August last and there bought of him and Henry Sutcliffe a £5 note which was produced. Mr Metcalfe, the landlord, saw the prisoner give Charlton a piece of paper and after they had gone Charlton showed him what appeared to be a £5 note., etc.,
Henry Sutcliffe and five others were sentenced to 15 years and to be transported
Page Ref: X462
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