DR FRANCIS SALISBURY AND THOMAS HOUGHTON
Executed at Tyburn, 3rd of November, 1697, for forging a Sixpenny Stamp
FRANCIS SALISBURY was born in the city of Worcester, had a good education, was a student in divinity, and a man of an excellent acquired knowledge, as well as a quick natural understanding. Thomas Houghton, his brother offender, was a tallow-chandler, of St Margaret's, Westminster. These two were indicted at the sessions- house in the Old Bailey, the 15th day of October, 1697, for felony, in forging a counterfeit sixpenny stamp to stamp vellum, paper and parchment; and that after the 12th of September they did stamp five hundred sheets of paper with the said stamp, and did utter and sell a hundred sheets of the said paper, they knowing it to be false and counterfeit.
The first evidence declared that he met Dr Salisbury at the Physic Garden in Westminster, who told him he could put him in a way to make up his losses, and this way was by stamped paper; that he (the evidence) waited on the doctor the next day, and then he told him the rest would not entrust him with the secret till he came out of the country. That some time after he heard that the doctor was at the Fountain Tavern, in High Holborn, whither he went to him and spoke with him, and that he bade him come to him the next morning and he would let him have some. That this evidence accordingly went, and the doctor took him into a stable, and in a hole from under the manger he took out five quires, and gave them to him, and asked him whether it was well done. And then he let him out of the back door. That he met with him at another time after that, and he delivered him fifteen quires more, which made it up a ream, and that he gave him five pounds for it. Another evidence deposed that he met Dr Salisbury at the Thatched House, by Charing Cross, to buy some counterfeit stamped paper of him, and that he desired him to go into the next room, which he did, and believed that Houghton brought it in; and he gave Salisbury six pounds for it; and that they were to get him some more against the next night at the Goat Tavern, where they were to meet, and that Houghton told him they could not get so much done by that time, for the old man was sick; telling him likewise that the old man was as ingenious a man as any was in England; and that if they would put down thirty shillings apiece, they would make such a die as Captain Harris, who made the true die, should not discover it. And that afterwards they went to Houghton's lodgings in Westminster, where they found in a chest a quantity of counterfeit stamped paper.
Salisbury altogether denied the fact, and Houghton said he had taken the paper for a debt; but the fact being plainly proved upon them, the jury found them both guilty of the indictment.
On the day of his execution at Tyburn, after the other criminals who then suffered (on the 3rd of November, 1697) were tied up, Dr Salisbury came in a mourning-coach attended by two ministers, and being brought into the cart, he fell upon his knees, and, praying a considerable time by himself, he afterwards joined with the ordinary in the usual offices performed on such melancholy occasions, and then was turned off.