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HAROLD TREHERNE
(stamp forger)

1884(?) - ?

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According to Philatelic Forgers, Their Lives and Works by V.E.Tyler, Harold Treherne first started forging stamps in 1902. They are sometimes referred to as Brighton forgeries after the town he was residing. He also used the names G.Arnold, M.Melville (or N.Melville?), T.Morton, R.Newman, R.Holden and A.West.
Complete forgeries exist of (according to Tyler): Western Australia, South Australia, India (1854), Victoria, Duttia, Charkari, St.Christopher, Transvaal and Jammu-Kashmir.
Forged overprints on genuine stamps exist for: Brunei, Ceylon, Cyprus, Great Britain, Orange Free State and Negri Sembilan.
According to the same source, Treherne had a 'contact' in India, Thomas Hill (Frere Hotel, Bombay) who send him genuine stamps of India, which were subsequently provided with forged overprints. The stamps were then send back to India and sold there.

More information: http://www.wastudygroup.com/Feature/Harold-Trehene.pdf.

He is probably most 'famous' for his Jammu and Kashmir forgeries.

Treherne forgeries of Western Australia:

I think a similar forgery in the value 2 p orange is described in Album Weeds. The letters are different from the genuine stamps. The eye of the swan is black (instead of white with a black outline). Note, some of the stamps have a '408' cancel.


Forgeries of the 6 p value, one of them with a '408' cancel.


Virgin Islands 1 Sh forgeries, one of them has a '408' cancel as the above shown Western Australia forgeries.


These forgeries of Nevis also appear to have a '408' cancel, very similar to the Treherne forgeries of Western Australia.


Ceylon forgeries, also some of them have the '408' cancel.


A sheet with Brighton forgeries of Jammu and Kashmir, made by Treherne


The Brighton Stamp Case

The following text was found in "The Philatelic Record, Vol. XXIX, 1907, pages 161-164.":

The Brighton Stamp Case.

On August 2nd, before the Brighton magistrates, a young man known as A.West (and said to be known also by the aliases of G. Arnold, R. Newman, N.Melville, and R. Holden) made his appearance on a charge of attempting to obtain by false pretences from Mr. T. C.Appleton the sum of 45, the monies of the Stamp Trade Protection Association. Formal evidence having been given, the prisoner was remanded until August 9th.
The young man hitherto known as "West," but whose real name is now given as Harold Treherne, made a further appearance before the Brighton magistrates on August 9th on the charge of attempting to obtain from T. C. Appleton, on or about 24th July, the sum of 45, the monies of the Stamp Trade Protection Association, with intent to cheat and defraud.
Mr. E. M. Marx prosecuted, while Mr.W. D. Peskett defended. The magistrates on the Bench at the resumed hearing on August 9th were Alderman Sendall (in the chair), Mr. Horton-Stephens, Alderman Lowther, Mr.Martin, and Mr. Mackintosh.
Mr. Marx, repeating the opening statement he made at the last hearing, explained that there are postage stamps which are surcharged by the offices issuing them for certain purposes, a fact which greatly increases their value. Prisoner had been a dealer in stamps for some years, although only 21, and in consequence of his having placed orders for large quantities of stamps which lend themselves to surcharging, steps were taken to see if he really wanted them for a legitimate purpose, with the ultimate result that the present charge was brought against him.
Mr. William Boyd Kirkpatrick, stamp dealer and importer, of 157, Strand, London, said he had been in the stamp trade about 15 years. He had had dealings with a Mr. West, of 130, London Road, Brighton, which began in December, 1905, and continued up to about a fortnight ago. There were a number of stamps which were worth much more surcharged than unsurcharged. Those sold to West were those which lent themselves to "surcharging," if a person wished to defraud. Similar stamps had been at some time surcharged by the authorities. He bought these stamps in large quantities, and only once or twice purchased stamps which could not be surcharged. In April, 1907, witness received an order from West for 100 one cent Labuan stamps. This was a stamp which could be surcharged. The form of surcharge was the word "Brunei" in block letters at the top. This and the following orders aroused witness's suspicions, and, in consequence, he communicated with Mr. Appleton and Mr. Telfer. A meeting was held on 31st May, at the offices of Mr.Hadlow, 12, Adam Street, Strand, at which witness, Mr. Hadlow, Mr. Oliver, and Mr. Telfer were present. Certain stamps were then marked with secret marks—a pinhole in certain positions of the stamp. Mr. Telfer made a record of the marks, and witness and the others present signed it. More stamps were marked at a meeting on 26th June, and a record was kept in the same way. All these stamps had been ordered by "West," to whom witness posted them. When sent off all the stamps were unused and unsurcharged. The first set sent comprised only penny red English stamps; the second set, in addition to three pennyred English, stamps of Negri Sembilan (one of the Straits Settlements), Pahang, Ceylon, and the Orange Free State. Witness had examined the album produced, and recognised six 4 cent Ceylon lilacrose stamps as being those which were marked in the way described. The price charged for these stamps was 4d. each. If genuinely surcharged, as they appeared to be in the book, they would be worth from 10s. to 25s. each. Witness also identified three penny red Cyprus stamps, which were supplied unsurcharged to West at 3d. or 4d. each. If genuinely surcharged, as they appeared to be in the album, they would be worth about 1 each. The "overprinting" was very well done, and was very likely to deceive.
Genuinely surcharged stamps were handed to the Bench to compare with the alleged forgeries, which Mr. Monk said were beautifully executed. Continuing, witness said three of the Negri Sembilan stamps and one Pahang stamp in the album were also supplied by him to West. The price charged for the Negri Sembilan stamps was 4d. The Pahang stamp was also sold for 4d., and if surcharged, would be worth 5s. One of the Negri Sembilan stamps, if surcharged, would be worth several pounds. It was not known to exist in this state.
Witness also identified two Orange Free State stamps. They were not "overprinted" when he sent them out. He received 2s. each for them ; surcharged they would be worth 1 each. Three stamps (produced) said to have been found on prisoner, were also identified by witness, who supplied them in an unsurcharged condition. Witness had been carefully through the collection of stamps which he had received from Mr. Appleton, and, excluding the stamps supplied by witness, its value was 10.
At this point the Bench adjourned for lunch. On the resumption, Mr. Kirkpatrick corrected his statement that one of the Negri Sembilan surcharged stamps in the album was an unknown variety. In the interval he had ascertained that it was known.
Cross-examined by Mr. Peskett, witness said he was a member of the Stamp Trade Protection Association, Limited. During the time West was dealing with him he received considerable sums of money from him. Questioned at some length he adhered to his estimate of 10 as being the value of the collection of stamps in the album produced. If he were selling it entire he would be satisfied with 2 profit; if he broke it up he should expect more. Possibly in the latter case, he would get 20.
Mr. John Stanley Glasspool Telfer, Secretary of the Stamp Trade Protection Association, Limited, spoke as to attending the meetings mentioned by the last witness, when certain stamps were marked. Witness recorded the markings as they were made. He identified the 15 stamps under discussion in this case, and contained in the album (produced), as being among those marked on those occasions. Detective- Superintendent Wood had handed to witness the stamps which were alleged to have been found on prisoner and at his house, and witness picked out three which were also marked at the two meetings. None of these stamps were surcharged when they were marked. Mr. Appleton had been negotiating with "Mr. Arnold," of Russell Square, Brighton, on behalf of the Protection Association, and on 26th July he handed witness the stamp album produced.
Mr. Marx asked if shortly after the arrest of the prisoner a quantity of blocks, dies, stamps, &c, was shown to witness.
Mr. Peskett objected to this question. The police, he said, got hold of these things in an illegal manner, and now wanted to use them to the prejudice of the prisoner. He contended that they ought not to benefit by something they did of an illegal nature. He protested against this continual searching of prisoners' houses without a search warrant when the warrant was only one of arrest.
The Chairman said that surely everything that would tend to the elucidation of the matter at issue was desirable. They had to avail themselves of all means of getting at the truth. Mr. Peskett : Illegal or not.
Mr. Marx said there was nothing in the objection. The police were not obliged to wait for a search warrant if they thought it likely that things of this sort were likely to be discovered in anybody's house. The magistrates decided to allow the question, but made a note of the objection. Mr. Marx then repeated his question, and Mr. Telfer agreed that he had been shown a small printing machine, blocks, dies, plates, set-up type, proofs, and a quantity of forged stamps, which were alleged to have been found at prisoner's house. The set-up type included the necessary letters for surcharging the Negri Sembilan and Ceylon stamps.
Cross-examined, witness said the Stamp Trade Protection Association had been in existence some years. There were five Directors. He had neither a letter nor a resolution of the Directors authorizing him to pay 45 for the collection of stamps in the album produced. Mr. Peskett : How are we trying to get 45 from your Association? Witness : Had it been necessary to pay the 45 we should have had to find it.
Replying to further questions, witness said he was unable to recall the terms of any resolution authorizing him to commence this prosecution, but promised to produce the minute book of the Association at the next hearing. Re-examined, witness said he understood his instructions were to take any steps he thought necessary in the matter.
William Hadlow, stamp auctioneer and dealer, of Adam Street, Strand, London, I spoke as to being present at the meetings when the stamps were marked. He identified the fifteen in the collection (produced) as among those so treated, in addition to the three alleged to have been found on prisoner. None of these stamps were surcharged when he last saw them. Francis Higby Oliver, partner in the firm of Bright & Son, stamp dealers, of 164, Strand, London, gave similar evidence.
Thomas Charles Appleton, stamp dealer, carrying on business at Ben Ridding, Yorkshire, said he first got into communication with "G. Arnold," of Russell Square, Brighton, a few months back, when the latter sent him some stamps on offer. He subsequently boughtsome stamps from "Arnold." On the 24th July he received the collection of stamps in the album which had been referred to during the hearing. In negotiating with prisoner, he was acting on behalf of the Stamp Trade Protection Association, Ltd., and would have expected the Association to pay any expense he might be put to.
Cross-examined, witness said he would have paid 45 for the collection of stamps if it had been necessary for the prosecution in this case. Mr. Peskett : Have you ever paid 45 for a collection? Witness : I paid 3,000 for a collection last year. Re-examined, he said the collection was worth 12 at the outside. Mr. Oswald Marsh, of Borough High Street, London, who had been called in as an independent expert, valued the collection at from 8 to 10. Were all the stamps what they professed to be, it would be worth 50 or 60.
On the adjourned hearing on August 20th, the magistrates on the Bench were Alderman Sendall (in the chair), Mr. Beves, Alderman Colbourne, and Mr. Martin. The first case had been completed at a previous hearing, and the evidence of prosecutor in the second case to the effect that he purchased a number of Ceylon stamps, surcharged "On service," from a "Mr. Morton," of Cross Street, Hove, had also been taken. John Frederick Sinden, 19, Cross Street, Hove, attendant in mental cases, said he also kept a tobacconist and confectioner's shop at the address named. He had received a number of letters at his shop addressed to "T. Morton," for which prisoner called. Mr. Marsh, recalled, expressed the opinion that the surcharging on the Ceylon stamps which Mr. Appleton was said to have purchased from "Morton," was not done by the Government. Replying to Mr. Marx, witness said the printing of the words "On Service" on a slip of paper which was said to have been found at prisoner's residence resembled the printing on the stamps which were alleged to be a forgery. An impression of the same words, which had been taken from type alleged to have been found "set up" at accused's house had the same characteristics.
William Percy Barnsdall, a director of Stanley Gibbons, Ltd., and who edited the catalogue published by the Company, which is accepted as the standard catalogue, said in his opinion the surcharges on the Ceylon stamps in question were forgeries. Witness also agreed with Mr. Marsh's evidence as to the resemblance between the printing on the stamps and the pieces of paper produced.
George Edwin Terry, a practical printer, with forty-five years' experience, gave evidence as to "pulling" a proof of the words "On Service" from the type alleged to have been found "set up" at prisoner's house. The impression had the same characteristics as that of the alleged forged stamps.
Detective-Superintendent Wood stated that the paper bearing impressions of the words "On Service" and the "set up " type alluded to were found at prisoner's house when he was arrested. Letters and post-cards addressed to "J." or " T." "Morton" were also discovered among other documents. This concluded the case for the prosecution on the second charge.
In accordance with a promise made at the first hearing, the minute-book of the Stamp Trade Protection Association, containing the resolution directing the present prosecution, was produced by Mr.John Henry Telfer, Chairman of the Company. Cross-examined by Mr. Peskett, witness said the Company was formed in 1900, with a capital of 1,050, divided into 1,000 shares of 1 is. each. He agreed that by 1st February, 1906, only 77 shares had been taken up. In reply to an objection by Mr. Marx to his cross-examination, Mr. Peskett said there was no evidence that the Company had any money at all at the date of the alleged frauds. Therefore, how could his client be charged with attempting to get what was not there? Mr. Marx : It is larceny to attempt to pick an empty pocket. Mr. Peskett : You can't get anything if there is nothing there. Mr. Marx : "Regina v. Collins" decided that you can get six months. (Laughter.) Further cross-examined, witness said that the Company had considerably more than 45 in the bank at the date of the alleged frauds.
THE THIRD CHARGE.
Mr. Marx was proceeding to open the third case when Mr. Peskett objected on the ground that he had had no notice whatever of this charge. It was distinctly understood that notice of any fresh charge should be given him. The Chairman said the magistrates had decided to commit on the first two charges, and suggested that it would be better to proceed on the understanding that Mr. Peskett should be granted an adjournment if he found it necessary. After some further argument on the point, this course was agreed to. The first witness called on the new charge was Harrison Percy Sharp, employed by Messrs. Ventom, Bull & Cooper, auctioneers, of 35, Old Jewry, who said that in October, 1906, he received for auction four English stamps, surcharged "O. W. Official," from a "Mr. R. Newman," of 29, Bristol Road, Brighton. They were catalogued in two lots. Witness produced letters shewing that his firm had on earlier dates sold stamps for "A. West," " M. Melville," and "R. Newman," of Brighton. The stamp auction sales of witness's firm were well known among collectors. At all of them the genuineness of the stamps offered was guaranteed. The two lots of stamps sent up by "Mr. Newman" fetched 1 15s. Mr. Nissen purchased one lot for 15s. The proceeds of the sale, less commission, were afterwards forwarded to "Mr. Newman."
Mr. Nissen, stamp dealer, 7, Southampton Row, London, said he specialized in British stamps. He attended the auction sale conducted by Messrs. Ventom, Bull & Cooper, on 11th October, 1906, and purchased two unused Queen's head halfpenny stamps, one vermilion, and one green, and surcharged "O. W. Official," for 15s. He purchased them without examining them, accepting Messrs. Ventom, Bull & Cooper's general guarantee of genuineness. He had since discovered marked differences between the "overprint" on them and on genuinely-surcharged stamps. The impression on a paper produced alleged to have been found at prisoner's house was similar to that on the alleged forged stamps.
Mr. Barnsdall, of Stanley Gibbons & Co., recalled, also expressed the view that the stamps purchased by Mr. Nissen were forgeries, and that the impression on the paper produced was similar to that on the stamps. The value of the two stamps unsurcharged would be 1d. ; surcharged they would be worth 15s. or 20s. each.
Henry King, retired baker, said he had received letters addressed to "R. Newman" at his premises in Bristol Road, which were called for by prisoner.
Detective- Superintendent Wood gave evidence as to finding a piece of paper bearing the impression "O. W. Official," at prisoner's residence. A letter was also found from Messrs. Douglas Cook & Co., addressed to " M. Melville," to the effect that a tenpenny "O. W. Official " stamp which had been sent to them for sale had been pronounced a forgery. Witness read the present charge to prisoner that morning, and in reply he said, "I don't know the man."
Mr. Marx intimated that was as far as he was prepared to go that day. The Chairman said they had heard no evidence that made prisoner liable for the false representation in the present case. Mr. Marx said the evidence sufficiently connected Messrs. Ventom, Bull &Cooper, as prisoner's innocent agents, with prisoner, as to make him liable for any representation made by them. The case was then formally adjourned till Wednesday, the 28th inst.


Copyright by Evert Klaseboer