The gentleman who presents to your Mr M[to come] letters on my behalf, has stated to me that there is no hope of obtaining a change of my awful sentence of death to transportation for life, as my character is considered so particularly bad, in my case very flagrant. Will you allow an unhappy woman to state a few facts which I humbly hope will induce you to take a more favourable view of my case. Guilty as I am, and deservedly involved in disgrace, I am not guilty to that extent which is supposed. I most solemnly declare that I never lived in any house of ill fame kept by my brother, or any one else, but the one in Leigh Street, out of which I was taken, and in that lived only after it was opened in bad house five or six weeks, part of any times was employed, in working at my business, in doing upholstery work of the house, which was leather & furnished by my brother, not so much to be used, which in his possession was to let to some other person, and it was not opened by him till the 20 Dec last.
I further declare that I never was but in one house of that description with [?] and that not for any lewd purpose, but in consequence of a violent quarrell between Parr and my brother, our only object was to make a noise, & thus to oppose the house as a bad house. I confess that my motive was not the good of the public, but to gratify a desire of revenge on the part of my brother, whose advice I sincerely regret, that I followed. For this I was held to Bail, and on the 6 [?] last times I was surrendered by my bail. Wm Cooper of [?} Eagle Ct. Holborn, and was acquitted, and Mr. Common Sergeant recommended the indictment of Parr which was done at this state.
I do most solemnly declare, that I never had a bad note to my knowledge in my possession, or ever passed one, knowing it to be forged, till within the last four or five weeks before I came to prison (now about seven weeks, some) and as far as I can recollect nine notes only have been uttered by me, and not the number you supposed.
I am willing Sir to make every reparation in my power to the offended laws of my country by disclosing all I know as to the person from whom the notes were procured, and by whom I believe they were made.
These few remarks will I humbly trust convince you that I am not so abandoned a character as you suppose, and that I am not guilty to the extent I am charged as to the notes.
Will you be so kind as to state this to the Gentlemen of the Law Committee, – My life being concerned I hope will supply an excuse for giving you so much trouble.
I am Sir
Your most obdt and afflicted servant
[signed in her hand] Harriot Skelton
March 17 1818
This is the reply.
Harriet Shelton [sic],
I have laid your letter of the 17th Instant before the Govrs. & Directors of the Bank who have directed me to acquaint you that they still remain of opinion that consistent with their Duty to the Public they cannot interfere in your behalf.
19 March 1818
The letters start on page 38 of the PDF.