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Duration 00:53:19

The Will Forgeries: a forgotten sensation

These infamous crimes were headline news when they came to trial at the Old Bailey in the 1840s, and remained in the public eye for many years after, but they are now largely forgotten. They were the work of an organised criminal gang who stole large sums of money from dormant accounts in the Bank of England, over a number of years. The story of the elaborate schemes they used, and what happened to them afterwards involves identity theft, fraud, transportation and one man’s remarkable determination to clear his name.

Audrey Collins is a Family History Specialist at The National Archives, where she has worked for ten years. She is a regular speaker at family history conferences and events in the UK and overseas, and is the author of numerous books and articles. Her most recent publication is Birth, Marriage and Death Records: a guide for family historians (Pen & Sword 2012), which she co-wrote with Dave Annal.

The talk was sponsored by the Friends of The National Archives.