William Booth (forger)
Pencil sketch of Booth, artist unknown
|Born||1776, 1778 or 1779
Hall End Farm near Beaudesert, Warwickshire, England
|Died||12 August 1812|
|Death by hanging|
Booth was born at Hall End Farm near Beaudesert, Warwickshire in 1776, 1778 or 1779. He was one of eight children of a farmer and church warden, John Booth, and his wife Mary. He lived at Great Barr, then in Staffordshire and now in the city of Birmingham.
On 28 February 1799, Booth signed a 25-year lease for what became known (by 1821 if not earlier) as 'Booth's Farm'[a], including a farmhouse and 200 acres of land, part of the Perry Hall[b]estate.
He was accused of murdering his brother John while revisiting Hall End on 19 February 1808, but was acquitted for lack of evidence.
He converted the top floor of the farmhouse into a workshop where he produced forgeries of coins and banknotes. He was caught, tried at Stafford Assizes and sentenced to hang. His accomplices were sentenced to transportation to Australia.
Booth's execution on 12 August 1812 was bungled, and he fell through the scaffold's trap door to the floor. Within two hours, he was hanged again and died. He was one of the last people (if not the last) to be sentenced to death in England for forgery.
Sacred to the memory of William Booth who departed this life August 12th 1812 aged 33 years. Also Charlotte daughter of William and Mary Booth who died August 13th 5 months.
Following a change of county boundary, his body was disinterred and reburied.
The farmhouse was demolished in 1974, and the farm became a sand and gravel quarry (later landfill and a nature reserve), having given its name to the still-extant Booths Lane[d] and Booths Farm Road[e]. Until the late 1920s, it was occupied by the Foden Family, commemorated in Foden Road[f].
- Booth's Farm: (approximate location)
- Perry Hall:
- St Mary's Church:
- Booths Lane:
- Booths Farm Road:
- Foden Road:
- "Booth's Farm". Digital Handsworth. Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- "Twice Tried, Twice Hung, Twice Buried". Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- Booth, John N. Booths in History. p. 39.
- "Newsletter 10" (PDF). Barr and Aston Local History Society. Spring 2005. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- "William Booth by an unknown artist". Digital Handsworth. Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- "William Booth's Grave at St. Mary's Church". Digital Handsworth. Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 8 November 2011.
- "Penny token by William Booth (obverse)". Digital Handsworth. Birmingham City Council. Retrieved 8 November 2011.