Revisiting the Case of Joseph Hunton – Silver Token Issuer and Last Man Hanged for Forgery – Gary Oddie

When originally conceived, this note had a very different title and form, but as the story of Joseph Hunton was uncovered in contemporary newspapers, it took a more serious turn and so is being given a separate article.

This note presents the life, career and ultimate downfall of Joseph Hunton, a Quaker and very successful businessman. The original act of forgery of a bill of exchange, his attempt to escape, foiled by the weather and the police chase, his capture and high-profile trial and execution were all laid bare in the newspapers of the time. Though he had started with significant wealth, all of his properties and possessions were taken to pay his debts. Just over three years later an Act of Parliament would repeal the death penalty for such counterfeiting.

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