Photograph of American forger George Bidwell.

George Bidwell

(c. 1837 - 1899)

In 1871, George Bidwell left America for London with his brother Austin Biron Bidwell, where they became infamous for their audacious Bank of England forgery scheme which netted them over £100,000 before they were caught. Bidwell was incarcerated in March 1873 and was released on July 18, 1873, writing of the experience, “Though I began those years a black-haired, robust young man, at the end I found myself a gray-headed cripple.” He returned to the United States upon his release, writing his autobiography, Forging His Chains, in 1888. He died in Butte, Montana, in 1899.

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