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On March 16th in the year 1699 William Chaloner was executed at Tyburn Tree in London. Before his gruesome death, he wrote a letter to Sir Isaac Newton, begging for his life. “O dear sir, no body can save me but you,” he wrote, “I shall be murdered unless you save me.” Newton, England’s greatest scientist, had recently become the warden of the mint, and was responsible for the coining of English currency. This included catching anyone who committed the high treason of counterfeiting. Chaloner had sent a pamphlet to Parliament, accusing Newton of incompetence and corruption. This did not please Newton, and he set out to catch the great counterfeiter. Like a 17th century Sherlock Holmes, Sir Isaac used informers and even went about in disguise to find out what Chaloner was up to. In this way, the man who gave us the laws of gravity and motion was able to gather enough evidence to send Chaloner to the gallows.

“O dear sir no body can save me but you O God my God I shall be murderd unless you save me O I hope God will move your heart with mercy and pitty to do this thing for me…”