Documents relating to Richard Symonds Gowlland and Daniel Anchor


The National Archives records these documents as:-


National Archives Summary  - Item details HO 47/29.


Report of Beaumont Hotham on 2 individual petitions (Matthew White MP and John Winter (on behalf of the Board of the Bank of England)) on behalf of Daniel Anchor, convicted at 'the last sessions,' [Kent Assizes] held at Maidstone, for uttering forged bank notes, to defraud Richard Symonds Gowland and the Bank of England, on 5 February 1802. Evidences supplied by Sarah Gowland, wife of Richard Symonds Gowland; Mrs Gowland, mother of Richard Symonds Gowland; Richard Symonds Gowland, John Warner, John Peacoe, grocer of Canterbury; Richard Scott and Thomas Bliss, Inspector of bank notes at the Bank of England. Grounds for clemency: prisoner was of previous good character, had respectable family connections, was seduced into the crime by another, the number of notes uttered were small and that public justice would not be compromised by a pardon in this case. Initial sentence: death. Recommendation: that mercy be granted at the discretion of the Governor and Directors of the Bank of England. Folios 157-162


They comprise (a) three foolscap-sized sheet, (b) (c) and (d) three smaller sheets, and reproductions of three external wrappers.   Transcription of the  documents is not easy, but a first attempt is set out below.  Clicking on the images will bring up an enlarged version, and all suggestions or amendments will be gratefully received.:-


(a)    Document of three pages from Matthew White MP – the magistrate who originally sentenced Daniel Anchor.




My Lord                                                       Hampton  Aug 21st 1802


In obedience to His Majesty’s commands, signified to me by your Lordship’s letter of the 8th instant, I have the honour of informing your Lordship that Daniel Anchor was convicted before me at the last assizes in Maidstone of uttering forged bank notes.


Sarah Gowland, the wife of Richard Symonds Gowland, the person stated in the indictment as intended to be defrauded, as well as the Governor and Company of the Bank of England, swore to the prisoner’s coming to their shop about the 5th of February, and tendering her a £5 bank note in payment for a pair of stockings.      Not being able to give him change out of it, he offered her the [one Pound  -  crossed out] note in question, a one pound bank note for which her mother gave him back 15.6d in change.   She swore positively to him.


Mrs Gowland

The mother confirmed her daughter.  She did not see the water mark in the note, but took it and put it with other notes in a box.   It was rather dark and she never had seen  **** before; but she was inclined to think he was the same man.


Richard  Symonds Gowland 

The son swore to him and to the ??ole and that he and Mr Warner put their initials to it.


John Warner

Identified the note also, from his initials being put on it.


John Pearce [the National Archives' summary gives this name as "Pescoe" but I am sure it is Pearce] a Grocer at Canterbury swore to the Prisoner giving him for a shilling’s worth of eggs a one Pound note on the 6th of February which he marked and swore to.

His wife confirmed his relation and received the identical note from her husband.


Richard Scott

Swore to the Prisoner coming to his shop on the 8th of February for a long smock [?] frock and tendering another Bank note of one Pound value in payment. That note was also identified.


The next day he was taken up and the witness found a £2 Bank note concealed in the lining of his hat, and on searching him further a small pocket book

was found upon him, in which were found four one Pound notes.


W Thomas Bliss


The Inspector of Bank Notes at the Bank swore that every one of the Notes so tendered in payment by him, and found upon him, were all forged.


On this evidence, the Jury found the Prisoner guilty.  He called no Witness and made no Defence


I left him for execution from a general understanding that where the Evidence was clear, the Bank was always inexorable . . . of Public Policy.

But if the Governor and Directors of the Bank have their Reasons for interfering [? Intervening ?] in favour of this Prisoner, It is impossible that I can have any wish to stand between them and Mercy, if His Majesty shall be graciously inclined to extend it to him, nothing having appeared in the trial but what I have now had the honour of stating to your Lordship.


As to Mr White’s application on his behalf, however respectable it may be as I never heard of him in my life, I beg to be understood as laying no kind of stress [?] upon it.


I have the honour to be, My Lord, your Lordship’s most obedient and faithful humble Servant.


PS One Jones was the same day convicted of a similar offence and . . . they were connected [?] in confederacy together did not appear in the course of the trial


To - The Right Honourable Lord Pelham




(b) and (c)        



























Document of two pages from John Winter


Sir                                                                                            Undated


Daniel Anchor was convicted at the last Maidstone assizes of uttering forged bank notes and is sentenced - Death -


The Governor and Directors of the Bank, have reason to believe that this Man was seduced into the connection in which he was found only three [?] days before he was apprehended and that his character until the present occasion was good, and that his family connections are respectable.


Understanding that application has been made on his behalf to Lord Pelham, the Governor and Directors have desired me to suggest to you that they wish his sentence of Death may be s ?? ied by any milder sentence which His Majesty may think fit to impose.


I have the honour to be your mo: obt. Servant   -  John Winter


Swithins Lane  18th August 1802






Finsbury Square 18th August 1802 ? 1962)


To John King Esq




I have been earnestly desired to apply to you in favour of Daniel Anchor who was convicted at the last Assizes at Maidstone of uttering forged bank notes. He is of a very reputable family, had previously borne an unblemished character and was seduced by the artifices of an old offender, who was sentenced with him, to commit the act for which he is condemned to suffer.


Under these circumstances, and as the amount of the bank notes was small, I am induced to request that you will have the goodness to intercede with Lord Pelham in his behalf, and from the enquiries I have made I have every reason to think that the Justice of the County would not suffer by his life being spared. He has a Wife and Family.


I have the honour to be, Sir, you most obedient Servant.


Matthew White


[Click here to return to Richard Symons Gowlland's biography]