Cheating bankers nothing new, 19th century 'Madoff medal' shows

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Intense public anger at cheating bankers is nothing new, this macabre souvenir created to mark the hanging of the 'Bernard Madoff of the 19th century' shows.

The reworked George III penny was fashioned as a memento to the hanging of Henry Fauntleroy, who forged cheques at his bank Marsh, Sibbald & Co for more than a decade before he was found out and it collapsed with enormous debts.

Showing sentiments have changed little over the best part of two centuries, one side of the coin describes Fauntleroy as "The Robber of Widows & Orphans".

The other warns "all insolvent bilking [cheating] bankers" that "The Fate of Fauntleroy" awaits them.

Such a scandal was the Fauntleroy affair that 100,000 turned up outside Newgate Prison near the Old Bailey on 30 November 1824 to watch his execution.

He was the last man in Britain to be hanged for forgery.

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