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 :-
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.
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
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
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'
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org