Lot 293Blackmail by a prisoner in Newgate Prison –...

Auction Date: 2/09/2014 at 01pm



Blackmail by a prisoner in Newgate Prison – Crime and punishment – fascinating fair copy of a letter written by a prisoner in Newgate named Robert Turnbull, to the brother of Thomas Adams the Northumberland Attorney, dated 1794. The letter tries to blackmail the recipient by suggesting that he perverted the cause of justice in a case against another prisoner, and threatening to expose him if he wasn’t given his freedom from gaol – as well as handing over a payment of &pound1,000 (about &pound56,000 in today’s money). The letter is written on two sides of a bifolium with the recipient’s further letter to his brother pleading his innocence of the charge: ‘...I neither directly or indirectly made or offered terms of any kind, therefore this epistle must operate most forcibly against him...’ A most unusual example of blackmail at a very early date.

Hammer Price: £90.00

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