26th May 1790
Reference Numbert17900526-55
VerdictGuilty > theft under 40s

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493. JOHN PEAKE was indicted for stealing, on the 16th of May last, one pair of silk stockings, value 6 d. a silk cloak, value 12 s. a pair of shoes, value 2 s. 6 d. a gown, value 6 s. a striped waistcoat, value 3 s. a muslin ditto, value 6 s. a shirt, value 4 s. 6 d. a woollen cloth coat, value 9 s. a pair of cotton stockings, value 4 d. one linen bed tick, value 2 s. a silk handkerchief, value 3 s. four yards of Irish linen cloth, value 4 s. the property of John Berry , in his dwelling-house .

A second Count, for stealing the same goods, laying them to be the property of several persons.


I am servant to a pawnbroker, Mr. Berry. I know these things were lost: I know them to be the property of Mr. Berry by the duplicates, which are of my hand writing, and the rest of a man in the shop: Mr. Berry has a house in Aldersgate-street, which was burnt: every thing but one pledge was taken in that evening; the things were all taken away; the fire was on Sunday morning: I saw them on Thursday after the fire, at Guildhall; they were brought by the king's officers.

ANN GREEN sworn.

I am wife of William Green. I can swear to the black silk cloak being my property, which I pledged at Mr. Berry's.

JOHN KING sworn.

My brother patrol brought the prisoner and the things to the watch-house, where I was, just at the time the house was on fire; I have kept them ever since.


I am a patrol: I heard the alarm of fire: I went round towards Long-lane; when I

came round to the fire several people were trying to break open the door; at the end of the place I saw the prisoner with these things under his arm; I saw him come out of the side door, under the gate-way; he began putting the things in his pocket out of the bundles, and two women came and disturbed him; at last he went towards Barbican; I stopt him with the property; he would not give me any answer; but began to strike at me several times; I took him to the watch-house; I took several parcels from under his arm, and delivered them to one Mr. Durant, a pawnbroker, that was with me at the time; he brought them to the watch-house, and delivered them to me; the prisoner tried to trip me up: he shuffled a pair of white cotton stockings out of his pocket, and one Mr. Wright took them up, and brought them to the watch-house; and Mr. Wright took three parcels more out of the prisoner's pocket; there were eleven parcels in the whole carried to the watch-house; the prisoner behaved very ill, and almost killed one man; he tripped him up, and jumped upon him, and cut another in the cheek: he behaved terribly at the watch-house.

Mr. Sadler. I was at home when the fire broke out, which was at the back part of a building, about half after twelve; we endeavoured to get out all the things we could; I did not see the prisoner there; I know nothing of him; I was present, and in the shop when the man tied them up; he took them from the counter; he is not here; I do not know the value of the whole articles together; here are four yards of linen cloth, value four shillings, a white muslin gown, value six shillings, a Manchester cotton gown, value six shillings, a black petticoat, value three shillings, a linen shirt, value four shillings and six-pence, a silk handkerchief, value three shillings, a pair of shoes, value two shillings and sixpence, a pair of silk stockings, value sixpence, a pair of cotton stockings, value four-pence, a linen bed tick, value two shillings, a man's cloth coat, value nine shillings.

(Mary Green deposed to the silk cloak.)

Prisoner. When I saw the fire I asked one of the watchmen where it was; he told me; I went to see whether my brother was in danger: I saw many people there; and a woman came in and plunged these things upon me, and said, for the Lord's sake take these things, our house is in flames; some of them fell down; I picked them up; I went to the pawnbroker's in Barbican, whose name is Burrows, and nobody came when I knocked; my wife went the next day to find out Mr. Berry's people; she enquired of two lads whether there were any women that assisted at the fire; and Mr. Berry said they wished to avoid prosecution: that is the truth, as I hope for salvation at the last day: I was going back to see whether there was anybody to take them in; I work hard for my bread, but they have completed the business.

Court to Conway. Have you had any quarrel with this man before? - No, never; I never spoke to the man.

Is there a pawnbroker of the name of Burrows? - There is.

Did he stop there, or attempt to get in there? - He did not; he went up the court, but did not knock at the door.

Prisoner. I have some friends here to speak to the principles of my character.


I was present, and assisted; I laid hold of his collar; and he tripped up a man's heels that stood by the side of him, and trampled on him: I do not know his name: he is very bad.

The prisoner called five witnesses who gave him a very good character.

Jury to prosecutor. Are the things pawned to the full value? - Some of them may.

GUILTY, 39 s.

Transported for seven years .

Tried by the London Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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