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Who was involved?

This page describes briefly the members of the gang that appear in the depositions and examinations within the archives, together with details of their involvement in the affairs of the Coiners. A further section below the details of the Coiners gang lists the men who helped bring the Coiners to justice. Wherever possible, details of the full name, residence, occupation and their fate have been included.

The Coiners Gang.

Barker, John (Carpenter - Stansfield, Halifax) – Arrested in December 1769 and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. When the Assizes took place he was bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Barker, Peter (Miller - Stansfield, Halifax) – Was named in a deposition by James Crabtree on the 7th September 1769 and also John Sutcliffe on the 14th December 1769. His description was published in a list of suspects on the 25th March 1770.

Barker, Robert (Weaver - Erringden) – Gave a deposition on the 25th January 1770 describing his involvement on the outskirts of the gang.

Barker, Thomas (Weaver - Fly Laith or Thornton) – Named in depositions by Joseph Shay on the 15th September 1769, Joseph Shaw on the 3rd February 1770 and William Sutcliffe on the 3rd July 1773.

Barrowclough, Jonathon (Weaver - Bradshaw, Ovenden) – Named in a deposition by John Cockroft on the 30th January 1770. Subsequently gave his own deposition on the 3rd February 1770 in which he claimed to have been abducted and held prisoner overnight by a number of Coiners.

Bates, John (Innkeeper - Halifax) – Arrested in December 1769 and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. When the Assizes took place he was bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged. He gave a lengthy statement in mid 1771 describing how he had become involved in coining and the methods of the Coiners in some detail. 

Bolton, John (Labourer - Erringden) – The son of Jonathon Bolton. A search of his house on the 5th October 1778 revealed a collection of coining tools, copper blanks and counterfeit copper coins. He was arrested with his father and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1779 Spring Assizes where he was were found guilty. His father was acquitted. John Bolton was sentenced to be executed, but was reprieved before the sentence had been carried out and was released.

Bolton, Jonas (Labourer/Carpenter - Erringden)– Arrested at the same time as John and Jonathon Bolton. Faced charges together with them but was acquitted along with Jonathon Bolton.

Bolton, Jonathon (Stuff Weaver - Sowerby) – The father of John Bolton. Was present during the search of his sons house and had his own house searched the following day, the 6th October 1778. During the search he asked to use the toilet and was caught attempting to hide counterfeit coins in a hole in the wall. He was arrested with his son and sent to York Castle  to await trial at the 1779 Spring Assizes when his son John was found guilty. Jonathon Bolton was acquitted. Was also named by Robert Thomas  as a subscriber of twenty pounds towards the murder of William Dighton.

Broadbent, James (Weaver/Charcoal Burner - Erringden) – The principle informant who gave information to William Dighton and assisted with some of the early arrests. Was implicated in Dighton’s murder and gave a number of statements which changed his account on each occasion, resulting initially in the acquittal of the murderers.

Broadbent, Thomas (Innkeeper - Mytholmroyd) - Keeper of the Inn at Mytholmroyd Bridge, known as Barbary’s. Also named as being arrested in assisting in the escape of a Coiner (John Sutcliffe) though it is not clear that this refers to the same Thomas Broadbent.

Clayton, Thomas (Stuff Maker - Sowerby) – The second man that William Dighton called upon James Broadbent  to assist with arresting. Clayton absconded though and his description was included in a list of suspects published on the 25th November 1769. He was finally arrested in 1774 but escaped and was re-arrested on the 28th April 1774 in Liverpool. He gave evidence against Robert Thomas  and Matthew Normanton and was subsequently  released.

Clayton, William (Weaver - Sowerby) – His description was published in a list of  suspects on the 25th March 1770. Clayton was also included in a list of men called upon to surrender to the Sherriff before the 1770 Autumn Assizes.

Cockroft, John (Weaver - Northowram and Leeds) – Arrested in December 1769 and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. When the Assizes took place he was one of the men bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes where he was discharged. He was also named in the statement made by John Bates. Cockroft was finally arrested and tried for counterfeiting Shillings in 1782 and sentenced to death. His sentence was reprieved though on condition that he was transported to a penal colony in Africa.

Crampton, Thomas (Cordwainer - Soyland Mills, Halifax) – Named in Robert Parkers handwritten list of suspected Coiners taken from Eli Hoyle  on the 22nd December 1769. Subsequently put in a joint plea with Thomas Greenwood on the 28th July 1773 for their trials to be postponed.

Crosley, Ely (Turvin) - Named in Robert Parkers handwritten list of suspected Coiners taken from Eli Hoyle on the 22nd December 1769. Also mentioned in the deposition by Robert Barker on the 25th January 1770.

Crossley, Abraham (Weaver - Northowram) – Named in the deposition by Thomas Stansfield on the 25th December 1769. He was subsequently arrested and at the 1770 Spring Assizes was bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Crossley, John (Woolcomber - Northowram) – Named in the deposition by Thomas Westerman on the 21st December 1769, and Robert Parkers handwritten list of suspected Coiners taken from Eli Hoyle on the 22nd December 1769. Also named in the deposition by Thomas Stansfield on the 25th December 1769. He was subsequently arrested and at the 1770 Spring Assizes was bailed to appear at the Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Crowther, Crispin (Weaver - Soyland) – One of the first people to make a deposition on the 29th July 1769 accusing John Waterhouse and Nathan Fielding of diminishing coins, but was accused himself of clipping coins by Nathan Fielding, John Waterhouse and Joseph Hall. Also named in Robert Parkers handwritten list of suspected Coiners taken from Eli Hoyle on the 22nd December 1769 but never appears to have been charged.

Dempsey, Brian (Merchant - Halifax) - Mentioned in depositions by Joshua Stancliffe and Samuel Magson on the 25th December 1769 in which they accused him of supplying coins for clipping. Gave his own deposition on the 27th December 1769 in which he confirmed lending Stancliffe and Magson money but denied any further involvement in diminishing coins.

Dewhirst, Isaac (Weaver - Warley) – Named in the depositions by Joseph Shay on the 10th and 14th September 1769. Then named in James Broadbents first statement on the 13th November 1769 and in the original list of coining suspects published on the 25th November 1769. Also named in the depositions by Joseph Shaw on the 27th November 1769, and John Bates on the 6th January and 3rd February 1770.

Dewhurst, John (Stuff Weaver - Old Cragg) – Named in the depositions of John Sutcliffe on the 14th December 1769, Robert Barker on the 25th January 1770 and Valentine Smythes on the 4th Bebruary 1770.

Dewhurst, Luke (Stuff Weaver - Turvin) – Arrested in early February 1770 on suspicion of coining. Was also named by Robert Thomas  as a subscriber of twenty pounds towards the murder of William Dighton.

Dewhurst, Thomas (High Greens, Erringden) - Named in Robert Parkers handwritten list of suspected Coiners taken from Eli Hoyle  on the 22nd December 1769. Lived at High Greens Farm, a short distance from David Hartley’s home at Bell house.

Fielding, Nathan (Weaver - Soyland) – Named in the deposition by Crispin Crowther on the 29th July 1769 and gave his own deposition on the 31st July 1769. Also named in a deposition by Thomas Sunderland on the 3rd January 1770. 

Folds, William (Callis, Erringden)– Arrested on the same day as Robert Thomas  and Matthew Normanton on suspicion of being involved in William Dighton’s murder. He was held until the 1770 Autumn Assizes but released early in the trial as there was no evidence against him.

Gelder, Joseph (Stuff Weaver - Halifax) – His description was published in a list of  suspects on the 25th March 1770. Gelder was also included in a list of men called upon to surrender to the Sherriff before the 1770 Autumn Assizes.

Green, Daniel – Named in depositions by John Kitson and Robert Iredale on the 1st January 1770. Gave his own deposition on the 3rd January 1770.

Green, James – His description was given in a list of suspects published on the 25th November 1769. Green was also included in a list of men called upon to surrender to the Sherriff before the 1770 Autumn Assizes.

Greenwood, Daniel – Named in James Broadbent's first statement on the 20th November 1769. The announcement of his arrest was made in Leeds Mercury on the 19th December 1769 and was examined on the 21st December 1769. Also named in information from Adam Liley on the 28th December 1769 and the confession of Robert Thomas on the 5th August 1774.

Greenwood, David (Hill Top Farm, Erringden) Supposedly acted as an unofficial  ‘hedge’ Solicitor to the Coiners. He appeared before a Halifax magistrate in June 1769 charged with coining offences. There is no record of him being convicted at the time and the brief for his prosecution was subsequently requested by William Chamberlayne.

Greenwood, Thomas (Wadsworth Bank) Also known as Great Tom or Conjurer Tom. Was named as one of the men bailed at the 1770 Spring Assizes to appear at the Autumn Assizes. Greenwood is also named in the information of William Sutcliffe  against James Milner in 1774 and finally faced charges of coining offences in June 1782 when he was sentenced to death. This was later reprieved and he was sentenced to a penal colony in Africa for the rest of his life.

Harper, William – Named in the deposition of Thomas Westerman on the 21st December 1769 and gave his own information the same day against Westerman. Also named in the examination of Thomas Stansfield on the 25th December 1769. Stood trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes and was bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged..

Hanson, Joseph (Innkeeper, Halifax) - The Deputy Constable of Halifax, charged with coining offences in December 1769. He escaped from the custody of Francis Simpson  and was subsequently named in the list of additional suspects published on the 25th March 1770 and the proclamations to surrender before the 1770 Autumn Assizes.

Hartley, David (Weaver/Ironworker - Bell House, Erringden)  – Commonly referred to as ‘King’ David; leader of the Cragg Coiners. Arrested at the Old Cock Inn, Halifax on the 14th October 1769. He was sentenced to death at the Spring Assizes in 1770 and hung at York Tyburn on the 28th April 1770 and buried at Heptonstall. Was also named by Robert Thomas as a subscriber of twenty pounds towards the murder of William Dighton.

Hartley, Grace – The wife of King David Hartley. Was bound over to give evidence against David Greenwood at the 1770 Autumn Assizes who was accusing of attempting to bribe her.

Hartley, Isaac (Weaver - Bell House, Erringden) – Younger brother of David Hartley, known as the ‘Duke of York’. Collected and contributed to the subscription of the £100 that was used to pay the murderers of William Dighton and is supposed to have provided the weapons. Was never prosecuted and died at White Lee  in Mytholmroyd  in 1815.

Hartley, William1  (Farmer - Bell House, Erringden) – Father of David, Isaac and William2 Hartley. Lived at Bell House Farm, Erringden .

Hartley, William2  (Weaver - Bell House, Erringden) – Youngest brother of David and Isaac Hartley, known as the Duke of Edinburgh. Lived at Bell House  Farm, Erringden and appears to have played only a minor part in the story. His only mention is his escape in his nightshirt in January 1770 during an attempt to arrest him.

Haworth, William (Midgeley) – Named in the examination of Thomas Varley on the 4th January 1770. 

Hepworth, Matthew (Butcher - Ovenden, Halifax) – Named in the deposition of Jonas Tillotson on the 26th December 1769 and described in a list of suspects published on the 25th March 1770.

Hill, Ely (Clothier, Barkisland) – Named in the information of Thomas Sunderland on the 3rd January 1770 and stood trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes where he was bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Hill, James (Clothier, Barkisland) – Named in the information of Robert Iredale on the 1st January 1770 and Thomas Sunderland on the 3rd January 1770.

Hill, John (Clothier, Barkisland) – Named in the information of Thomas Sunderland on the 3rd January 1770 and stood trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes where he was bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Horsfall, Nathan (Butcher - Warley) – Named in the information of Joseph Shay on the 10th September 1769 and his description was given in the initial list of suspects published on the 25th November 1769.

Houldsworth, Joshua – Gave information against Thomas Murgatroyd on the 16th July 1773 which resulted in a search of Murgatroyds house and the discovery of coining implements and some parts of guns which were thought to have been used in the murder of William Dighton.

Hoyle, Eli – Gave a list of suspected Coiners to Robert Parker on the 22nd December 1769.

Ibbetson, John (Decorator - Ovenden, Halifax) – One of the men whose description was published in the list of additional suspects added to the initial list on the 25th March 1770 and the proclamations to surrender before the 1770 Autumn Assizes.

Ingram, Abraham – A labouring man who was set about and killed by a gang of Coiners in a Heptonstall Inn supposedly as a result of him boasting that he knew who had killed William Dighton and threatening to inform against them.

Iredale, Robert (Woolcomber - Southowram) – Gave information on the 1st January 1770 against Thomas Sunderland, James Hill, Thomas Varley and others. Was subsequently informed against by Thomas Sunderland, Thomas Varley and William Varley.

Jagger, James (Weaver - Rough Head, Erringden) – Arrested in the Cross Pipes Inn, Halifax at the same time as David Hartley was arrested in the Old Cock Inn. James Broadbent had given information that he had seen Jagger and Hartley clip coins together. Jagger was sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes when he was subsequently freed.

Lister, Joshua  (Innkeeper - Halifax) – He was accused of clipping guineas in the information and depositions of Dan Greenwood, John Kitson, Robert Iredale, Thomas Varley, and William Varley. His description was published in a list of suspects on the 25th March 1770 and the proclamations to surrender before the 1770 Autumn Assizes. 

Lumb, Abraham (Weaver - Sowerby) – Named in Robert Parkers handwritten list of suspected Coiners taken from Eli Hoyle  on the 22nd December 1769. Was also named by Robert Thomas as a subscriber of ten pounds towards the murder of William Dighton.

Magson, Samuel (Stuffmaker - Halifax) – Named in the information of Joshua Stancliffe and subsequently gave his own information, which included evidence against David Hartley. He was also named in the deposition of Brian Dempsey, a Merchant, whom Magson had asked to borrow money from so that it could be clipped. Also named in the  information of Thomas Sunderland.

Milner, James (Labourer - Harding, Bingley) – Included in the information of William Sutcliffe in 1774 having told Sutcliffe about Thomas Greenwood’s involvement in introducing Milner to coining. The information led to Greenwood’s arrest and subsequent conviction.

Morton, Stephen – Named in the information of James Crabtree and William Haley on the 10th August 1769 and gave his own statements on the 4th and 5th September 1769 following which he was arrested. Named in a further deposition by William Haley on the 8th September 1769 then gave a further statement against others on the 14th December 1769. Appeared at the 1770 Spring Assizes but was bailed to appear at the Autumn Assizes where he was acquitted.

Murgatroyd, Thomas (Haley) – Had his house searched in 1773 and during the search, coining tools, evidence of coining activities, and parts of a pistol and a Blunderbuss  thought to have been used in William Dighton’s murder were discovered.

Normanton, Matthew (Drawboy Weaver - Stannery End, Sowerby) – One of the two men employed by the Coiners to murder William Dighton. Normanton was tried first murder in 1770 and acquitted. He was then charged with highway robbery in 1774 but the case did not proceed. He was eventually convicted in 1775 and executed in York on the 15th April 1775. His body was hung in chains on Beacon Hill , Halifax alongside the remains of his accomplice Robert Thomas.

Oldfield, James (Stuffmaker - Sattonstall) – One of the men arrested in December 1769 on the oath of James Crabtree  and William Haley. He was sent to York Castle  to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes and tried alongside David Hartley. He was subsequently sentenced to death and executed alongside Hartley on the 28th April 1770 at York Tyburn.

Pickles, John (Farmer and Double Piecemaker - Wadsworth Row, Mytholmroyd) – Arrested in December 1769 and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. When the Assizes took place he was  bailed to appear at the Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Ramsden, George (Innkeeper - Halifax) –  Gave a deposition on the 3rd January 1770 against Thomas and William Varley and was subsequently accused by the two Varleys of being involved in clipping coins himself.

Sharpe, Joshua (Stuffweaver - Turberwin) – Was named in the statements of John Barratt and Edmund Sykes on the 9th December 1772 and gave his own information the same day. No record exists of any charges or conviction.

Shaw, James (Innkeeper - Halifax) – His arrest was announced in the Leeds Mercury on the 24th October 1769. He was named in John Bates' statement as the supplier of coining dies to John Cockroft. He was examined on the 10th January 1770 and informed against Thomas Sunderland. In the statement of Jonathon Barrowclough on the 3rd February 1770, Shaw was supposedly involved in the threats against Barrowclough and his subsequent abduction, when Barrowclough claimed to have been held overnight in an upstairs room at James Shaw’s ale house.

Shaw, Joseph (Weaver - Ovenden) - Was named in the information of William Haley on the 8th September 1769. Gave a statement against Isaac Dewhirst and John Cockroft on the 27th November 1769. He was named in John Bates' statement  which gave details of him supposedly clipping coins and stamping new coins. He gave a further statement on the 3rd February 1770 accusing various people of being involved in coining.

Shaw, Joshua – (Innkeeper - Halifax) - Matthew Normanton and Robert Thomas claim to have been drinking in his public house between 7 and 8 o’clock on the night of William Dighton’s murder. He was also one of the men whose description was published in the list of suspects on the 25th March 1770.

Shay, Joseph (Weaver - Ovenden) – Gave a number of depositions against various people on the 10th and 14th September 1769, adding extra information on the 12th October 1769. He was also the father-in-law of Jonathon Barrowclough, who claimed he had seen his father-in-law with other Coiners but could not confirm that he had seen him actually carry out clipping or coining.

Sladdin, John (Shalloon Weaver - Wadsworth) – Was named in the statement by Joseph Broadbent in September 1771 and made his own statement in October 1771 regarding his knowledge of William Dighton’s murder and in particular the discussions between Isaac Hartley, Robert Thomas and Matthew Normanton regarding payment for murdering Dighton.

Spencer, John (Weaver - Ovenden) – Arrested in December 1769 and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. When the Assizes took place he was bailed to appear at the Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Spencer, Thomas (Weaver - New House, Mytholmroyd)- Travelled to Halifax on two occasions with Robert Thomas and Matthew Normanton when they attempted unsuccessfully to murder William Dighton. Was due to travel on the third occasion but chose to attend the Goose feast in Mytholmroyd instead. He was named in various statements describing his involvement but was never charged. Having led the bread riots in Halifax in 1783 he was hung alongside Mark Sattonstall on Beacon Hill, Halifax for his part in the riots.

Stansfield, Thomas (Stuffmaker - Boothtown, Halifax) – Arrested in December 1769 and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. When the Assizes took place he was bailed to appear at the Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Sunderland, Thomas (Painter - Halifax) – Was named in John Bates' statement as being one of the people who encouraged Bates to clip coins and is described in the same statement as making counterfeit coins.

Sutcliffe, Benjamin (Stuffmaker - Halifax) – Named in depositions by James Crabtree and William Haley on the 7th and 8th September 1769 respectively which stated that Sutcliffe had taken their discreetly marked Guineas which had subsequently been returned clipped. Also named in the information of Joseph Shay on the 14th September. His description was included in a list of suspects published on the 25th November 1769. He was one of the absconders bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes and named in the appeal to surrender to the Sherriff.

Sutcliffe, John (Weaver - Keighley) – The first of the men to be arrested with the assistance of James Broadbent in 1769 and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. When the Assizes took place he was bailed to appear at the Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Sutcliffe, Richard (Stuffmaker - Erringden)- Named in Robert Parkers handwritten list of suspected Coiners taken from Eli Hoyle on the 22nd December 1769

Sutcliffe, Thomas (Weaver - Langfield) – Two Thomas Sutcliffe’s are named in Robert Parkers handwritten list of suspected Coiners taken from Eli Hoyle on the 22nd December 1769; one from Soyland and one from Erringden.

Sutcliffe, William (Woolcomber - Sowerby) - Travelled to York Castle with James Broadbent after the arrest of David Hartley in an attempt to have the evidence against Hartley withdrawn. Also gave evidence against James Milner and Thomas Greenwood  which resulted in Greenwood being arrested, charged and convicted of coining.

Taylor, Paul (Weaver - Erringden) – Named in the information of Adam Liley on the 28th December 1769 who claimed top have witnessed Taylor clip coins with Daniel Greenwood. His arrest was announced in the Leeds Mercury on the 2nd January 1770. At the 1770 Spring Assizes he was bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes where he was subsequently discharged.

Thomas, Robert (Stuffmaker Weaver - Wadsworth Banks) – One of the two men employed by the Coiners to murder William Dighton. Thomas was tried first for murder in 1770 and acquitted. He was then charged with highway robbery in 1774 and convicted. He was executed in York on the 6th August 1774 and his body was hung in chains on Beacon Hill, Halifax.

Tillotson, Jonas (Shalloonmaker - Ovenden, Halifax)– His arrest was announced in the Leeds Mercury on the 26th December 1769. He gave a deposition later which indicated that he had been sent to York Castle as a debtor, but gave information against John Bates who he claimed had encouraged his involvement in coining.

Varley, Thomas (Weaver - Springs, Midgeley) – The son of William Varley who was arrested with his father in December 1769 and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. He was subsequently found not guilty and acquitted, but at the same trial his father was found guilty.

Varley, William (Miller - Luddenden Mill, Warley) – The father of Thomas Varley, who was arrested with his son in December 1769 and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. He was subsequently sentenced to death alongside David Hartley and James Oldfield but had his sentence respited and received a full pardon in June 1770.

Westerman, Thomas (Woolcomber– Named in the examination of John Cockroft on the 20th December 1769, when Cockroft claimed to have witnessed Westerman clip coins. He gave his own deposition the following day accusing Cockroft of clipping coins. Also named in other depositions by William Harper, John Spencer and Thomas Stansfield. He was arrested and sent to York Castle to await trial at the 1770 Spring Assizes. When the Assizes took place he was one of the men bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Wilcock, John (Weaver - Keelham Farm, Erringden) – Lived close to Bell House and was thought to be one of the Hartley’s closest associates. His description was published in a list of suspects on the 25th March 1770.

Wilson, Thomas (Woolcomber - Northowram) – Arrested at the same time as Thomas Westerman and named in the depositions of William Harper, John Spencer and Thomas Stansfield. He gave his own examination on the 21st December 1769 giving information against Joseph Hanson, John Bates and John Cockroft. When the 1770 Spring Assizes took place he was one of the men bailed to appear at the 1770 Autumn Assizes, where he was discharged.

Wood, James (Innkeeper - Haworth) – Named in the deposition of Jonathon Spencer on the 14th September 1769 who claimed that he and another man Timothy Pickles had been encouraged by Wood to see how a coin was clipped. Wood apparently supplied the Guineas that Spencer and Pickles got clipped.

Wood, John – Was charged at the York Assizes in July 1782 with coining offences alongside John Cockroft and Thomas Greenwood. The three men were found guilty and sentenced to death, but were later reprieved on condition that they were deported to Africa for life.

The Good Guys.

Armytage, Sir George – A gentleman from Kirklees who took up a commission in December 1769 to assist the Justices of the Peace. Also received the order from Colonel Townley giving authority to execute Matthew Normanton in Halifax.


Blackstone, Justice William
– The Judge present at the trial of Robert Thomas and Matthew Normanton in July 1774 and who sentenced Thomas to be hung. He bailed Normanton to appear at the 1775 Spring Assizes.

Chamberlayne, William – Solicitor to the Royal Mint. Dispatched to Halifax from London following the murder of William Dighton to act in the prosecution of the Coiners and Dighton’s murderers.

Crabtree, James – One of the two men employed by Samuel Lister1 and John Stanhope to infiltrate the Coiners gang.

Dighton, William – The Supervisor of Excise in Halifax. Responsible for the identification of Coiners and arrest of David Hartley and others. He was shot by Robert Thomas and Matthew Normanton on the 9th November 1769 close to his home in Bull Close Lane, Halifax.


Gould, Justice Henry - The Northern Circuit Judge present at the 1770 Spring Assizes where he postponed the trial of Dighton's suspected murderers at the request of William Chamberlayne. Later, in 1775 he sentenced Matthew Normanton to be executed when Normanton failed to appear to answer to his guilty plea.

Haley, William – One of the two men employed by Samuel Lister1 and John Stanhope to infiltrate the Coiners gang.

Horton, Joshua – One of the Justices who took some of the depositions and examinations; notably the evidence against David Greenwood for attempting to bribe Grace Hartley.

Hustler, John - Chairman of the Worsted manufacturers association with whom Samuel Lister1 and John Stanhope had shared the plan for James Crabtree  and William Haley to infiltrate the Coiners gang. When Crabtree and Haley were themselves accused of coining after Lister and Stanhope died the knowledge of the plan by Hustler and Samuel Lister2 saved the men from being prosecuted.

Hyde, Thomas – The Halifax Coroner. Held the inquest after William Dighton’s murder and took statements from several people recording the accounts of the murder and the whereabouts of those suspected of committing the crime.

Leedes, Justice Edward – The Justice with whom James Broadbent laid his evidence against David Hartley  and James Jagger  in 1769. Isaac Hartley and others later forced Broadbent to visit Mr Leedes to retract his evidence.

 Lister, Samuel1 – A Bradford Magistrate. Working with John Stanhope, he hired James Crabtree and William Haley in an attempt to identify the Coiners. He and Stanhope died before any significant progress was made.

Lister, Samuel2 – An attorney from Manningham who intervened after Samuel Lister1 and John Stanhope died and saved the lives of James Crabtree and William Haley,  who were themselves accused of coining. Also offered assistance on the prosecution of Robert Thomas  and Matthew Normanton  .


Lord North
 - Frederick North, 2nd Earl of Guilford, (13th April 1732 – 5th August 1792), more often known by his courtesy title, Lord North, which he used from 1752 until 1790 and was Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1770 to 1782. As Prime Minister at the time of the Coiners, Lord North took part in meetings and parliamentary debates on the subject of the Coiners and the state of the gold coin in the Kingdom. 


Lord Rochford
 - William Henry Nassau de Zuylestein, 4th Earl of Rochford, (1717 – 28 September 1781), was a British Diplomat and Statesman. Having gained experience as envoy to Turin from 1749 to 1753, he was ambassador to Madrid from 1763 to 1766 and to Paris from 1766 to 1768. From 1768 to 1775 he was Secretary of State successively for the Northern and Southern Departments. During 1774 he sent and received various letters concerning the prosecution of William Dighton’s murderers.


Lord Rockingham
 - Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, (13 May 1730 – 1 July 1782), styled The Honorable Charles Watson-Wentworth before 1733, Viscount Higham between 1733 and 1746, Earl of Malton between 1746 and 1750 and The Earl Malton in 1750. Rockingham was a British Whig statesman, most notable for his two terms as Whig Prime Minister of Great Britain. At the time of the Coiners as Lord Lieutenant of Yorkshire, the affairs of the Coiners were of great interest and he played a significant part in bringing about the prosecution of the Coiners and William Dighton’s murderers, calling upon support from the Government and the Mint through regular correspondence and a meeting with the Gentlemen of Halifax following Dighton's murder.


Lord Weymouth
 - Thomas Thynne, 1st Marquess of Bath, 3rd Viscount Weymouth (1734-1796), English politician. Before the close of 1768 he was transferred from the Northern to the Southern department, but he resigned in December 1770 in the midst of the dispute with Spain over the possession of the Falkland Islands. In November Weymouth returned to his former office of secretary for the Southern Department, undertaking in addition the duties attached to the Northern Department for a few months in 1770, but he resigned both positions in the autumn of that year. During 1769 he sent and received various letters concerning the prosecution of the Coiners and William Dighton’s murderers and published details of the reward for the apprehension of Dighton’s murderers in


Murray, William
– 1st Earl of Mansfield and Lord Chief Justice of the Kings Bench. He presided over the trials of William Varley, James Oldfield and David Hartley and sentenced the three men to death when the jury returned guilty verdicts against each of them.

Parker, Robert – A prominent Halifax Solicitor responsible for continuing the work of William Dighton, including identifying the murderers and assisting to prosecute them.

Royds, John – An influential Merchant Banker and Trader from Halifax who corresponded on various occasions with Lord Rockingham and with whom Rockingham stayed during his visit to Halifax. In other correspondence he reported the progress of William Chamberlayne to Rockingham.

Saville, Sir George – Member of Parliament for Yorkshire. He is mentioned in some correspondence and was involved in the agreement of the Halifax traders to refuse counterfeit or clipped coins in payment for goods.

Sayer, Thomas – A Halifax Solicitor who had met with William Dighton shortly before his murder. Was also present at the meeting in Halifax organised by Lord Rockingham and advised John Royds on the possible means of offering a pardon to anyone bringing information leading to the conviction of Coiners.

Simpson, Francis – A Bradford Bailiff, named in James Broadbent's first statement given on the 13th November 1769 as assisting in the transport of James Jagger and David Hartley to York Castle after their arrest. Simpson was also the custodian of Joseph Hanson, the Deputy Constable of Halifax at the time of his escape on the 23rd December 1769. Thomas Clayton also escaped whilst he was in Simpson’s custody on the 21st December 1773.

Topham, Francis – A Justice of the Peace who took various examinations and depositions from suspects and informants against the Coiners. He is also mentioned in the Administration Bond issued to Grace Hartley after David Hartley’s execution in which she was required to provide an inventory of his estate.

Townley, Colonel Richard - The High Sheriff of Lancashire, who examined the evidence against James Milner and Thomas Greenwood. He also received the orders for Matthew Normanton’s execution and forwarded it to Robert Parker suggesting that it might be better to hang Normanton in Halifax rather than York.

Whitworth, Sir Charles – Chaired Parliamentary debates in May 1774 during which the affairs of the Coiners and the state of the coin were discussed.

Wickham, Henry – A Justice of the Peace who took statements at various times relating to coining and the murder of William Dighton, including the voluntary confession of Robert Thomas.

Wilson, Richard – The Recorder of Leeds. During 1769 he sent and received various letters concerning the prosecution of the Coiners and William Dighton’s murderers.

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