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Forum Home > Other Crimes and Punishments. > Patent Shaft, Wednesbury.

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1413

Some additonal information has arrived, on William Coath, who was found guilty of fraud after allegedly " cooking the books " at the Patent Shaft and Axletree Works.. He was, says my informant, born in Dudley, in 1843. Well educated, he trained as an accountant. In 1868, he married Emma Jane Thomas, a native of Walsall, and they went to live in Rushall. They had at least 4 children. He was sentenced, on 22nd January,1880, to 7 seven years penal servitude, and sent to H.M. Convict Prison, Chatham, in Kent. He seems to have disappeared for a while after his release, but then turns up again, living in Bangor Street, Cardiff, Wales. ( The family may have had relatives in the area ). He was still there in 1912, his work being listed as a self employed Mechanical Engineer. So, the answer to my parting question, in the post under Black Country Forges and Iron Works, is yes, he probably was. Thank you sir for the information.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

January 21, 2012 at 11:41 AM Flag Quote & Reply

Alaska.
Site Owner
Posts: 1413

Now here's another little snippet about the Patent Shaft and Axletree Works, and also about our friend, William Coath, stated to be the manager. No stranger to a bit of intrigue was William Coath it seems, as this event occured two years prior to his own conviction. Francis Henry Layland, a merchant of dubious qualities, with a so called business in London, ordered from the company, in 1878, 288 tons of Iron Bar. Having made enquiries about the status of Laylands company, Coath gave the order to ship the first consignment. ( Not a very good check as it turned out, or it was a set up between the pair.) This first shipment was received, but payment was not forthcoming. The second lot was sent before anyone noticed the decrepency. Some payment for this was received, and the third shipment was despatched. Payment duly arrived, but sadly, both were refused by Laylands Bank. Suspecting fraud, ( only suspecting! ) Patent Shafts Directors made a complaint to the Law. They weren't of course the only ones, Francis Layland had been a very busy boy. Finally dragged into Court, he was found guilty of 8 counts of conspiracy to defraud, and sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. The cost to Patent Shaft, was the loss of  £1,558.12s.8d, and the deep suspicion that their manager, William Coath, was involved in the plot. It's highly likely that he was, and when he himself faced a court in 1880, for something remarkably similar, he finally got what he deserved, and, as you will know, it wasn't a long service gold watch either.

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A wonderful thing is work, I could watch it all day.  ( See my Blog entry )

October 13, 2012 at 11:18 AM Flag Quote & Reply

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