John and Sarah Cocker

Isaac Briggs' Crime

The Lancatser Gazette of Saturday 24 May 1828 reported:

Last week were committed to York Castle, Sally Shackleton, the younger, charged with having disposed of and put away several forged notes with intent to defraud Messrs. Rawdon, Briggs, and Co. of Halifax and Messrs. Gibson and Co. bankers, of Kirkby Lonsdale, knowing them to be forged and counterfeited.
-George Stansfield, charged with putting off counterfeit milled money, purporting to be half-sovereigns and half-crowns, knowing them to be false and counterfeit ; also for uttering forged notes, with intent to defraud Messrs. Reardon, Briggs, and Co. of Skipton.
-Isacc Briggs, charged with uttering forged notes, with intent to defraud Messrs. W. Gibson and Co. of Kirkby Lonsdale ; Messrs. Beckett and Co. of Leeds ; and Messrs. Rawdon, Briggs and Co. of Halifax.
Jonathon Stanfield charged with uttering forged notes, with Intent to defraud Messrs. Birkbeck and Co. of Skipton, and Messrs. Beckett and Co. of Leeds.
-And Henry Sunderland, charged with having uttered forged notes, with Intent to defraud Messrs. Birkbeck, of Skipton ; Messrs. Gibson and Co. of Kirkby Lonsdale, and the Governor and Co. of the Bank of England. These prisoners, who appear to belong to a most desperate gang, were committed by John Aspinall, Esq. of Blackburn. The principal part of the notes which they are charged with having uttered were issued in the parish of Halifax.- York Herald.
The following account of the apprehension and committal of the above and three others, we have copied from the Blackburn Mail :-"  
Extensive Forgeries.- Our readers will doubtless be aware, that for a long time past, forgeries of the notes of several of the Yorkshire banks and others In the neighbouring counties, have been in circulation to a very considerable extent.
-The evil which resulted to the public, in consequence, induced the bankers to take active measures to detect the men by whom the forgeries were put forth and circulated, and information having been conveyed to our active constable, Mr. John Kay, of a gang resident ion in the neighbourhood of Halifax and Todmorden, suspected of being concerned in the matter, he has ever since January last, been on the look-out for certain and accurate knowledge of these proceedings.
Having at length obtained the requisite information of their proceedings, he and his assistants proceeded into the above neighbourhood during the night of Sunday week, and about three o'clock on Monday morning, apprehended six men and one woman belonging to the gang, and although they resided at the distance of 10 or 15 miles asunder, yet so effectual was the plan Iaid for their apprehension, that they were taken into custody within five minutes of each other.
-Mr. Kay immediately brought them to this town, and in the course of Monday and Tuesday, they underwent examinations before John Aspinall, Eq. which ended in the committal of six of them, viz.-Henry Sunderland, Jonathan Stansfield, John Fielding, Isaac Briggs, George Stansfield, and Sally Shackleton, to York Castle, each variously charged with uttering forged one pound notes of the banks of Gibson and Co. of Kirkby Lonsdale, Birkbeck and Co. of Settle, Williams, Brown and Co. and Beckett and Co. Leeds, and Briggs and Sons, Halifax.
-The first named prisoner, Henry Sunderland, was also charged with uttering two forged £5 Bank of England notes ; and George Stansfield with uttering a quantity of counterfeit half sovereigns and half crowns.
“These six were sent off on Wednesday ; the other, Matthias Pilling, was detained  for further examination.-The six had scarcely left town, when Mr. Kay met with another of the gang in King Street, and immediately apprehended him
-This man’s name was George Scholes , a native of this town, and he underwent an examination on Thursday, before J. Aspinall, Esq. and Pilling at the same time was further examined. These examinations resulted in the committal of both of them to York Castle ; Scholes charged with uttering, along with Henry Sunderland, two £5 forgeries on the Bank of England, and Pilling charged with uttering forged £1 notes of the Bank of Conliffe, Brooks, and Co. Blackburn, and of Birkbeck and Co. Settle.
- The men who have thus been sent to take their trial, appear from the evidence, to have been wholesale dealers in forged notes, and to have carried on a regularly organised system of selling them, and circulating them by means of their emissaries, throughout the country ; too much praise, therefore, cannot be given to those through whose  instrumentality and active exertions this formidable gang has been broken up.”