Sentenced to Six Months' Imprisonment for buying Guineas at a Higher Price than their Nominal Value, September, 1812
AT the Middlesex Sessions, September, 1812, John Davies and S. Levy, two old-clothes men, were indicted for buying guineas contrary to Lord Stanhope's Act. The defendants had been suspected of the practice of buying up gold, and a man named Hatfield, with the approbation of the Solicitor of the Mint, and in conjunction with Humphries, a police officer, was employed to endeavour to detect them.
On the day mentioned in the indictment Hatfield met the defendant Levy in St James's Street, and was accosted by him, and asked whether he had any clothes to sell. Hatfield said he had not; and, after some conversation, asked the defendant if he would buy some guineas; the defendant replied in the affirmative, and it was agreed that they should meet at the Goat and Lion public-house, St James's, in the course of half-an-hour. Hatfield then informed Humphries, the officer, of the appointment, and three guineas were marked by him and delivered to Hatfield.
At the time appointed they went to the Goat and Lion. Humphries remained in the background, and Hatfield went into the house, where he found Levy already there, and with him the other defendant, Davies. After some conversation had passed between them, Davies purchased the three guineas at twenty-five shillings each, and they were delivered to him. As soon as the transaction was complete, on a signal being given, Humphries came over, and Davies was immediately secured. On the officers attempting to search him he called out "Thieves!" and resisted. He was, however, overpowered; and on searching him the marked guineas were found in his pocket. The jury found Davies guilty, but acquitted Levy.
The chairman, after animadverting on the mischievous tendency of the offence of which the defendant had been convicted, sentenced him to imprisonment for six months in the house of correction, and to find security at the expiration of that period for twelve months longer.