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Crime and Punishment
  The case of the golden guinea

Before the benchIn October 1878 Elizabeth Gough of Llanidloes was tried at the Quarter Sessions in Welshpool. She had already been in trouble with the police twice. On this occasion she was accused of passing on a forged golden guinea.
Witnesses stated that she had tried to change or spend the coin in the Bell Inn and then the Queen's Head in Llanidloes. The barmaids in both inns were suspicious and would not take it. She then tried to spend it at Mrs Harris' shop in Upper Green. Mrs Harris was also suspicious and refused the coin.

Guinea - a gold coin worth one pound and one shilling (£1.05). This was more than many people earned in a week in 1878.

Elizabeth's statementElizabeth Gough claimed the coin had been seen by the local jeweller who said it was genuine. Nobody believed her and she was arrested by Police Sergeant Tibbald. When questioned she said she nothing to say. This is recorded in her statement.

Elizabeth Gough was found guilty of passing on a forged coin. As she had already been found guilty of theft the court took a stern view of the crime and the sentence was more severe as the extract from the court records below shows.

  Extract from Court records.
  It reads:
Ordered that the above named prisoner Elizabeth Gough be confined in the House of Correction for this County and there kept to hard labour for twelve calendar months.

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