The next was a very considerable Tryal: Three women being tried for High Treason for Clipping eight Half-crowns of King Charles the first’s Coin, and ten other Half-crowns of King James’s, and taking six pence off of each of them. Notice was first taken of them thus: A Shopkeeper without Temple Bar hath oft observed a little Girl come to him to change five or ten shillings of small money into greater, as sixpences or shillings into half-crowns, and that she would not take any Mill-money, nor money that was clipt; whereupon he watching the Girl, in Fleet Street saw one of the Prisoners (her Mother) waiting for her, who sent her into several shops in Fleet Street on the like Errand. At last he dogg’d them into an house near Stonecutters Street in Sho Lane, very suspitiously scituate, so that declaring the same, and going with an Officer to search, they took one woman, and in her hand a basket, which, amongst several papers, there was one that had Clippings and Filings. The other woman was abroad; but breaking open her door, they observ’d Filings on the floor, found Clippings under a bed, a File and a pair of Sheers hid under the board, to which part of the new-cut Silver still stuck, a Melting pot not quite cold, &c. The Childe being examined whither she used to carry her Half-crowns, said, To such an one, naming the third woman now indicted, living in Golden Lane; but nothing being found in her house, she was acquitted. Of the other two, one pleaded ignorance; the other, that she had these Tools of one Benjamin Smith, executed two or three Sessions ago; but that appearing frivolous and the Crime evident, as pieces of Silver, and their Touchstones, and old Gloves to smoothen and allay the colour, &c. being produced in Court, they were both found guilty of the Felony and Treason, and received Sentence to be Burnt.
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