At a Sessions held at the old Bayly one              & his wife were indicted by G. Macy for a misdemeanour for having clippings & clipping instruments found in their house at Elin mare Acton in Middlesex. The evidence for the King were Iohn Whitwood, David Tuccar & a Constable: who deposed that by virtue of my Lord chief Iustice Holt's warrant they went to the said             's house in expectation to find there several Highway-men, as my Lord was informed were harboured there; But they found no person in the house save the man & his wife. The witnesses searched the house for arms, instead of which they found clippings, clipt money, filings, sheers, files &c & brought the same together with the man & woman before my Lord Chief Iustice Holt who committed them to Newgate. Vpon their arraignment they pleaded not guilty & being brought upon their trial my Lord Chief Iustice called for the Indictment & read it, complaining that the crime was of a higher nature then that Bill set forth, which he ordered to be quasht & commanded the said G. M. to go to Hickses Hall & cause a Bill to be drawn for High Treason which the Iustices there upon the Bench were of opinion ought not to be don. Yet upon Macy & Tuccar their making oath it was his Lordships command did at last permit it, but it was with great difficulty that they themselves perswaded the Grand Iury to find hte Bill. The men & his wife were arraignd tryed & found guilty upon it. In their defence they alledged that these things did belong to persons who frequented their house. And if it were otherwise it could be but circumstantial evidence against them, for that the law required two eye witnesses of the matter of fact. My Lord replied they misconstrued the statute, that these instruments were sufficient evidence the sheers supplying the place of one witness, the filings of anoth{er} the files & rough clipt money of another.

A year & half ago at an Assize at Lancaster a person was there tried before my Lord Chief Iustice {Treby} & convicted for counterfeiting of money upon a bill of Indictment found against him eighteen years before. for that he had fled & lived in Ireland but newly returned was taken & the same witnesses being alive appeared against him. Ergo an Indictment is not invalidated by time alone.


About 3 or 4 years since one Momforth a Dutchman having acquaintance with the Casshire of Monsr Vanderesch who is paymaster of the Dutch forces: persuaded or tempted the said Clerk (or Casshire) to be confederate with him in clipping on money. Momfort being in private with the Casshire proposed how he should quickly get an estate & told him the manner by shewing him some clipt money out of one pocket & broad money out of another, saying this narrow was made so from this broad this very day & I my self did it. Further that the young man should be only concerned to furnish him broad money for clipt & should receive only 2s in the pound advantage. The Casshire was surprized within himself but did not show it outwardly & as soon as they parted he discovered this intrigue to his Master who made it known to Mr Bridgman of the Secretaries office & he advised that the Casshire should comply with the proposals of Momfort & exchange money with him, but with all to contrive that a witness or two should be in the next room to hear & see what was done. And it happend that there was only a wainscot between the Room where the Casshire received & paid this mony & the other room where the witnesses conceald themselves & through a crevise saw & heard Momfort at an appointed time pay 5 in clipt money unto the Casshire in liew of broad money & threw down 4 clipt half crowns for the exchange at 2s per pound. But the Casshire returned it saying, Let it alone till the next time. Another day he brought 5 more of clipt money & paid to the Casshire in lieu of so much broad money together with 8 clipt half crowns for the exchange of both summs. This was in like manner observed by the aforesaid witnesses. The third time Momfort brought about 20 in clipt money & was exchanging the same with the 2 witnesses, rusht in upon them & secured the man (Momfort) & the money. Mr Attorney general Treby directed a Bill of high Treason to be brought against him, & my Lord Chief Iustice Polluxfin being then upon the Bench ordered the statute to be read & directed the Iury to find him guilty for aiding & abetting which was as much Treason as clipping. And accordingly he was found guilty & executed.

© 2020 The Newton Project

Professor Rob Iliffe
Director, AHRC Newton Papers Project

Scott Mandelbrote,
Fellow & Perne librarian, Peterhouse, Cambridge

Faculty of History, George Street, Oxford, OX1 2RL - newtonproject@history.ox.ac.uk

Privacy Statement

  • University of Oxford
  • Arts and Humanities Research Council
  • JISC