The following stories were found in the Northampton Mercury "Petty Sessions"

newspaper and concern my ancestors Charles Perrin, Charles Coles, Daniel Ward and

John Morehen/Moring :-

MERCURY - Petty Sessions - Oct 29th, 1853 - Daring Robbery

Charles Perrin was charged with stealing 12lbs. of beef from the Rose-and-Crown.

Prisoner and a companion were going down Gold Street, when they observed the piece

of beef hanging in the gateway, and Perrin stepping down was seen to lift it from

the hook and make off with it. A hue-and-cry was forthwith raised, and a chase

commenced, which grew so hot that prisoner found it expedient to abandon the beef

and devote himself to the saving of his bacon. Away he went up Gold Street, College

Street, St. Katherine's, and into the Horsemarket, where, seeing an open door, in he

bolted, and requested permission to sit awhile, saying, he had got into a row.

Unluckily, he had taken shelter in the house of Mead, the Mendicity-officer, who

remarked to him that perhaps the police were after him. Perhaps they are, said Perrin,

whereupon Mead told him that he could not stop there. Upon finding that he had taken

refuge in a hornet's nest he bolted out backway, cleared a few walls, but was captured

in a pantry somewhere in Bath Street. He was fully committed.

MERCURY - Sessions - Dec 31st, 1853 - "Stop Thief; They've Got The Beef."

CHARLES PERRIN and JAMES CLAYSON was charged with stealing 12lbs. of beef, the property

of Mary Penn. Perrin pleaded guilty. A second court in the indictment charged the prisoner

with receiving with a guilty knowledge. Mr. Jeffery was for the prosecution, and Mr.

Scriven for the defence. Mary Penn resides at the Rose and Crown. On Wednesday, the 26th

October, she had a piece of beef hanging in the gateway. About seven o'clock in the

evening, hearing a scuffling in
the gateway, she went out into the gateway and saw a man slipping from the shoulders of

another with the beef in his hand. He had been hoisted up by his companion to reach it.

Does not know the prisoner. Can't say the second man was the prisoners Perrin was certainly

one. She caught at him as he was going out. A boy named Atkins, an assistant to Mr. Jackman,

at the Theatre, was in Bridge
Street on the evening of the 26th October. Prisoner was there with another man. Afterwards

went down Gold Street and was talking to man opposite the Rose and Crown, when he saw

Clayson jump off Perrin's back. A lady came out directly after, and cried "Stop Thief!"

They've got the beef!" Both the prisoners ran across the road, and one went down Kingswell

Street, and the other up College Street. The beef was found just facing the Rose and Crown

Yard. John Rolfe was in Gold Street on the 26th October last just opposite the Rose and

Crown, and saw the two prisoners go into a gateway. One sat a back, and t'other jumped on

it and got the beef down which was hanging to the beam. They ran across the road, and

dropped the beef just opposite the Swan and Helmet. By Mr. Scriven : I get my living

honestly, portering about the town, and carrying home things for people as buys 'em.

Never went abroad at the government expence. Have suffered the law, and nobody has a right

to reproach me with it. John Smith, a newsman, was at the Rose and Crown on the 26th

October, cleaning
out where the gas burns, when he saw two people come into the gateway, and heard Miss Penn

cry thieves, thieves, they've got my beef! He was on a chair at the time, and looking round

saw one man slipping from the back of another. The two men ran off across towards the Swan

and Helmet, and called out to Miss Penn- "Miss Penn, here's your beef, you've got no call

to make no more bother about it."
This was the case. Mr. Scriven addressed the jury for the defence, urging that the

identification of Clayson rested solely on the evidence of the man Rolfe, who had been

transported, and of the boy Atkins, upon whose opinion little reliance could be placed.
Prisoner called Alexander Welch, who stated that prisoner lived in his house, and had

conducted himself like a man. On the evening of the 26th October, witness went out

leaving Clayson at home, at a quarter-past six. Lives in the Wellingborough Road.
By Mr. Jeffery. I have heard of his having been convicted for felony ; but when I say

he has always conducted himself like a man, I mean that he has never done anything wrong

in my sight.
The jury found the prisoner Guilty. A previous conviction for felony was proved against

both prisoners. The Recorder said it was clear he could not pass a sentence of a few

months' imprisonment in a case like this. He should, however, pass the lightest sentence

 

in his power under the new Act and sentenced them to Four Years' penal servitude.
A fearful shriek broke from a female in the body of the Court at this announcement, and

we believe the poor girl was carried out in a fit. She was understood to be a young woman

with whom Clayson was keeping company.

MERCURY - Petty Sessions - May 1st, 1875 - Assault

Charles Coles, rivetter, 32 Market Street, was charged with violently assaulting Charles

Leverick, of Market Street on the 19th instant. Considerable annoyance has been caused in

this street by the number of boys and young men who congregate for the purpose of playing

pitch and toss, and the complainant having endeavoured to put a stop to it by complaining

to the police, the gang, on the night in question, set upon him and committed a brutal

assault on him. The defendant Coles knocked him down several times, whilst the others

kicked him severely. This was Leverick's statement.
A witness stated that the complainant agreed to fight with Coles, and the crowd did not

interfere until Coles called out that Leverick was biting him. The magistrates said that

had not this evidence been given the defendant would have been severely punished. Fined

5s. and costs.

MERCURY - Petty Sessions - May 23rd, 1863 - stealing from person

John Webb, shoemaker, of Scarletwell Street, was charged with picking the pocket of

Daniel Ward, shoemaker, of 25 Melbourne Street, while in the yard of the Coach and Horses

Inn on the 16th. On the night in question the prosecutor was drinking at the Coach and

Horses. After being there sometime he felt unwell, and the prisoner assisted him out of

the yard. While the prisoner was holding him, he felt him putting his hand into his

waistcoat pocket, where his money was, and on his getting better found that his money

was gone. He then charged the prisoner with taking his money. Both the prosecutor and

the prisoner belonged to the Militia, and the money which the prosecutor lost was a

portion of his bounty. The prisoner was committed for a trial at the next Sessions.

MERCURY - Petty Sessions - May 28th, 1887 - A Dog With A Character

Joseph Hawkes, 5 Hood Street, greengrocer, was summoned for being the owner of a dangerous

dog, not kept under proper control, on the 8th inst. Mr. Teale appeared for the defendant.

The complainant, Mrs. Sarah Wrenn, of 13 Hood Street, stated that her child, who was six

years of age, was bitten on the leg by the dog - a fox terrier - and when she went out to

the defendant, he
said paid the license, and should not chain the dog up; and he told her to shut her mouth.

Mrs. Robinson said that the dog had bitten her child, and she went to the defendant about

it, and he said he was sorry. Mrs. Emma Nichols gave similar evidence, and a lad named

Henry Clifford Roberts said that he saw the dog bite the child Wrenn. The child was

walking along the path and the dog
flew off the doorstep at it. Mr. Wrenn, the father of the child, and John Cosby also gave

evidence. Mr. Teal then addressed the Bench in support of an alibi; and called the defendant,

Mr. Fredk. Roberts, and Mrs. Hawkes, with the same view. The Magistrates, after retiring,

came to the conclusion that the dog must be destroyed, and ordered the defendant to pay

the expenses. Mr. Teale said the magistrates had no power to order costs. The Mayor said

the magistrates were advised to the contrary. Mr. Teale : Very well, then we will pay the

costs 22s. 6d., under protest, and sue for their return. After a discussion, the Mayor

said their decision was final.

MERCURY - Sessions - December 22nd, 1849 - fowl-stealing

JOSEPH HUTT and CHARLES LAW were charged with stealing five fowls, the property of John

Moring. Mr. Dennis was for the prosecution.
John Moring lives in Sheep Street, and has a stable in Broad Lane, where he keeps fowls.

On Friday the 26th October, he missed four fowls. Hutt lives very near the stables, and

witness went and asked both the prisoners whether they had seen them. They said they had

not. The fowls produced are his property. At the station-house, Law asked him to make it

up with him, and he told him it was too late.
Michael Perrin, lives in Todds Lane. On the 26th October, Law brought two fowls to him,

and offered them to him for 1s. 6d., the same price he gave for them.
Abraham Robins lives in Jone's Court, Mount Street, and trades in fowls. On the 26th

October, a man brought a couple of fowls and sold them to him for 1s. 6d. Jane Robins,

daughter of the last witness, identified Law as the man who brought the fowls for sale.
Police-constable Harris apprehended Law on the 27th October. He said he knew nothing

about the fowls. On the way to the station he wished to make it up. Law's defence was,

he had nothing to do with them, except selling them. The Recorder, in summing up, said

there was no evidence against Hutt. The jury found Law guilty.
JOSEPH HUTT was then charged with stealing a fowl, the property of John Moring.
Prosecutor stated that on the 23rd October he missed a fowl. On Saturday the 27th, he

found it in the possession of Cox. Michael Perrin stated that the prisoner brought the

fowl produced to him, and asked him to keep it for a few days, until he brought another.

He lent it to his mother-in-law, Mrs. Cox, the same day. She borrowed it for company for

another fowl. Prisoner said in his defence that the fowl came into his house, and that

he took it to Perrin to keep until it should be owned.
The jury found the prisoner Guilty. They were both sentenced to One month's mprisonment.


If any of the above stories connect with your family history please email me at: clarkealanj@myway.com


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