Thursday, 13 September 2012


As part of the Booths Road development agreement the Farm once belonging to William Booth the farmhouse old time forger has been unearthed. The ground plan has been exposed and the footing of the building will be re pointed by experts in the field with original materials.
It is intended the site will be part of an open corridor between the Queslett Nature Reserve and the near by Perry Barr Nature reserve and Turnbury Park.

William Booth (born Hall End Farm  Warwickshire, 1776,(sources vary); and was hanged 12 August 1812), one of eight children of a farmer and church warden, John Booth, and his wife Mary, was a farmer and a forger who lived in Oscott Birmingham. He is the subject of the song "Twice Tried, Twice Hung, Twice Buried" by John Raven
On 28 February 1799, Booth signed a 25-year lease for what became known (by 1821 if not earlier as ‘Booth’s Farm’, including a farmhouse and 200 acres of land, part of the near by Perry hall 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 was bungled, and he fell through the scaffold's trap door, to the floor. Within two hours, he was hung again and died. He was one of, if not the, last people to be sentenced to death in England for forgery.
He is buried in the churchyard of St Mary’s Church, Handsworth. The inscription on his gravestone reads:
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.
Booth also minted genuine tokens as a cover for his forging activities. Several of his tokens, forgeries and printing plates are in the collection of Birmingham museum
The farmhouse was demolished in 1974, and the farm became a sand and gravel quarry, having given its name to the still-extant Booths Lane and Booths Farm Road. Until the late 1920s, it was occupied by the Foden Family, commemorated in Foden Road.

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