Front

Token, pierced at the bottom, with stippled scalloped border, small embellishments, and six lines of stippled text in varying styles:

WILLIAM
HOLMES 
Alias Dublin
Bill Aged 21
Sentenced . 7
1844

Back

Pierced token with stippled scalloped border and six lines of cursive text:

Roasann
Holmes Aged
19ys Aquit July
5 1844. Dear
Wife Forget
Me Not

William Holmes (alias ‘Dublin Bill’), 21, tailor and groom, was tried and convicted at Warwick, Coventry Quarter Sessions for stealing a gold pin worth ten guineas. A section of Coventry barracks was rented out for rooms at this time. Holmes turned up with a begging petition, claiming that he was ‘deaf and dumb’ and ‘pretending to talk with his fingers’. While he was in the office the pin was stolen. Hearing the value of this item, local police officer Thomas Bellerby decided to visit the local pawnbroker in Jury Street and found Holmes’s wife about to pledge the item. Seemingly innocent of her husband’s theft she showed Bellerby to the couple’s lodgings and Holmes was taken away. Holmes claimed he had found the pin on the floor outside the barracks. It seems that ‘Dublin Bill’ was one of many aliases that Holmes was operating under. When arrested he was carrying a piece of paper certifying that ‘William O’Brien’ was ‘deaf and dumb’ and also a certificate of marriage between Felix O’Brien and Rosanna Maginn. Holmes sailed for Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) on the Sir Robert Peel on 6 September 1844. He served an initial term of 12 months with the gang at Deloraine. He was refused a ticket of leave in 1848 and again in 1849, but was finally granted his ticket of leave in 1850. He died of a cold in Hobart in 1863, aged 43.

Diameter: 29.0mm, thickness: 1.0mm. Object number: 2008.0039.0241

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