22nd October 1788
Reference Numbert17881022-72
VerdictGuilty > theft under 1s
SentenceCorporal > whipping

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679. NATH. SURMAN was indicted for stealing, on the 13th of October , two gallons of beer, called porter, value 20 d. the property of John Calvert , Peter Calvert , Jeremiah Merrill , and Thomas Cole .


I am servant to Messrs. Calvert, and Co.

How many partners are there, and what are their names? - John Calvert , Peter Calvert , Jeremiah Merrill , and Thomas Cole . I was called upon by Benjamin Batley , the watchman; I had the care of the cellar; I had left it about three weeks before, locked up.


I am a watchman, I know the store-cellar, in Lilly-street, near Saffron-hill ; about half past three in the morning, as I was going round my beat, I saw the iron bar of the cellar thrown back; I stopped a little for my partner, and in the mean time the shutters were pushed open, and a stone bottle handed up on the flap, out of the cellar; I took the stone bottle and put it on one side, and desired the man to keep in the cellar; but the prisoner jumped out of the cellar; I knew him before, he used to pick cinders, and gather old iron; he begged of me to let him go; I told him I would not; he began to struggle, his coat rent, and he got away; he stood at a distance by the common sewer, and he asked me to give him the bottle; I told him I would not; then says he, I will give you as great a beating as ever a man got; my partner came up, we pursued him, but could not find him, he bid himself; by and by he returned, and said he had a stick, he was prepared for me, to give me a beating; we pursued him again, and could not catch him; I took the bottle to the watch house, it slipped down and broke.

Do you know it was beer? - It was full of some kind of liquor, it smelled like beer, I did not taste it, when I came back; we took him that night, about thirty minutes after.


I went down to the cellar, before they went to the Rotation office; I saw the prisoner, and found two pegs in a butt; this is the one and the other is larger, to .ive it vent; there appeared to me to be about fifteen gallons missing out of the butt, it was porter.

Are you sure that the last time you locked up the cellar, before the 14th, these pegs were in? - Yes.


The cellar door was left open, and I saw it was a gift, and I put the broad arrow, as the government was in my debt, before I entered I put the broad arrow on it.

Court to Batley. You knew this man before? - Yes.

Did he talk in this incoherent manner? - He acted much in the same manner after we took him, before, and by that reason

gentlemen mentioned to the Grand Jury, that they thought he was insane; he was always well enough in the time of the intervals, and bid me good morning.

When you apprehended him did he talk sensibly? - Very sensibly, and asked me to let him go, and asked me what the beer was to me.


How did he behave since he has been with you? - I have heard no particular account of his behaviour.

Owen. Since he has been with us, he has been very quiet; I never took any notice of any thing of the kind.

GUILTY, 10 d . Whipped .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. Justice HEATH.

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