15th January 1794
Reference Numbert17940115-75
VerdictGuilty; Guilty > lesser offence; Not Guilty

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143. KEZIA SHEPHERD , PETER FERRIL and ANN WILSON were indicted for burglariously breaking and entering the dwelling house of Henry Ferris, about the hour of twelve in the night, of the 13th of January , and burglariously stealing therein a flock bed, value 8s. two woollen blankets, value 1s. a cotton counterpane, value 6d. a flock pillow, value 6d. four wooden chairs, value 6s. an iron grate, value 3s. two wooden tables, value 3s. a pair of bellows, value 6d. and a wooden stool, value 2d. the goods of the said Henry Ferris .


My husband's name is Henry Ferris.

Q. Was your house broke open at any time? - I don't know when it was broke open, but it was broke open last Monday was a week, I was gone out, and I had locked my door, between four and five in the afternoon.

Q. Does your husband keep house now? - No, he is a seafaring man, he is a quarter-master; I keep one room in the house, the house is let out in different tenements.

Q. Is your husband absent from you now? - Yes, he has been almost a twelve-month.

Q. Was your husband ever in this apartment? - Yes, he left me in it.

Q. When you went did you fasten the door? - Yes, I did.

Q. How many other people are there live in this house? - It is a double house, all let out in tenements, in different lodgings, every floor to different families.

Q. Did the landlord live in this house? - No, he does not, my landlord keeps quite a separate house.

Q. What time did you return? - I returned home between eleven and twelve at night, I found my door broke open, and all the things gone but the bedstead; I lost a flock bed, two woollen blankets, a cotton counterpane, a flock pillow, four wooden chairs, an iron grate, two wooden tables, a pair of bellows, and a wooden stool.

Q. Have you ever recovered any of these articles? - No, I have not got them, they are all here, I saw them that night in the peoples room, they live in the same court, right facing of me.

Q. Did you see the articles in the room of these people? - I did.

Q. What time did you see them? how soon after you came home? - Directly as I came home I was taken up to be shewn where they were.

Q. What was done with the goods you saw there? - They were left there that night, the constable has had the care of them since.

Q. Had you any acquaintance with these people? - No further than neighbours.

Q. Was there any debt, or any dispute between you? - No, nothing of the kind.


I work at slop work, my husband is on board a man of war, he is a foremast man.

Q. What do you know about this business? - I know about four or five o'clock Mrs. Ferris called upon me, and told me that she had lost the key of the door, and she would be obliged to me to lend her my key to lock her door? I said if I lend you my key I shall want it, for I am going out (I lodge over Mrs. Ferris) I lent her the key, and she returned the key to me immediately; about half after eleven I heard an alarm come to the landlord next door, a public house where I was, that her door was open, and the things gone.

Q. Did she come over on that alarm? - Yes, and I went and saw the place empty.

Q. In what condition did you find the door? - The door was bursted open, the bolt of the lock was bent quite double, the door was forced, and the room appeared stripped; I know she had four chairs, bed and bedding, but I cannot swear to them.

Q. Don't you know how the person got the intelligence were the things were that were missing? - By searching about the houses up the court; the person is here that searched.


I draw beer for Mrs. Parish, the sign of the Windmill, in Windmill-court, Rosemary-lane; Mrs. Ferris lives in Windmill-court; in consequence of the alarm people went up the court to search several houses, and we saw a light in Shepherd's room, the prisoners, Shephered and Ferril lived together as man and wife.

Q. You understood them as man and wife? - Yes, they past as such, while they were in the court; I was in bed, but on the alarm I got up out of bed, and looked and saw the light, and they put the candle out on the alarm, this gentleman Mr. Brown, he came to my

mistress's to give the alarm of the place being stripped.

Q. About what time did you see this light? - It might be on twelve when I got out of bed and went to the window, and I saw two people going up the stairs of Shepherd and Ferril.

Q. Were it Shepherd and Ferril themselves? - No, it was Mr. Brown and a fellow servant of mine; when they were up Mr. Brown and my fellow servant, gave the alarm of the property being in the room.

Q. Did you hear that yourself? - Yes, I heard them say that the property was in Shepherd's and Ferril's room; Mr. Brown is here. On which I took and put on my clothes, and I came down stairs, and the prisoner, Shepherd was standing at the door, and the watchman, at the door of the house where she lives, the street door, she keeps a one pair of stairs; I went up stairs, the watchman was going to take charge of Rebecca Sidney, I told him she was not one of the persons, if Mrs. Shepherd would go up stairs I would shew him who were the persons, with that she went up, and I followed, and the watchman and I saw them all three in the room, and the property, after that the watchman came up, and took charge of the prisoners.

Court. Does Wilson live in that room? - Sometimes she is there, she does not live there, she works in scourering gun barrels, in the next court to us, which is called Swan-court.

Q. What was done with the property? - There was a padlock clapped on the door, by my mistress's brother-in-law the next day, his name is Andrew Parish, and the key was taken to my mistress, Mrs. Parish.

Q. Did you see them locked up in the room that night? - I did not, the next morning I went to assist the taking of the prisoners to the justice's, and the constable sent me down for the four chairs, to take up to the magistrate, and I went and got the key of my mistress, and unlocked the door, and I took them to the magistrate.

Q. What was done with them after that? - They were left at the magistrate's office.

Q. Do you know whether these chairs are here? - Yes, they are, and some of the rest of the property.


My wife and another woman was out, and coming home again they came by this door, and Mr. Ferris's room, and they saw a candle alight in the room that was stripped, and they came and told me, and I went to the room, I went no further in than the threshold.

Q. Did you see any persons in the room? - I did not.

Q. Did you see a light there? - Yes, the candle was left burning.

Q. What time was it you might see this candle burning in the room? - About twenty minutes after twelve, I went into the public house then, when I found the woman's things were gone, and she was drinking at the public house, and a great deal of do I had to get her home to her own habitation, out of the public house.

Q. Did you go back with her to the room? - I did.

Q. Did she miss the articles in the indictment? - She missed them, and then she began to cry, and then I went back to the public house, and Mr. Parish came along with me, and James Stone .

Q. When you went back to the public house where did you go then? - I light a candle at the public house, at the bar, I wanted to have an over haul about the neighbourhood, whether I could find the

property or no, I went up in the garret belonging to the same house first, the man that kept the room was in bed but his wife was up, then we went into this room where Shepherd and Ferril lives and found the things, they live in the court with Mrs. Ferris, on the opposite side of the way.

Q. Who did you find in the apartment, all the prisoners? - Two of them.

Q. Who were the two prisoners you found, the man and the young girl, and the old woman was at the street door, standing with a candle in her hand; the old woman, Shepherd, says where are you going to? I said I am going up stairs to your room, for I have a strong suspicion of some of these things being in it; says she, you need not slurry yourself Mr. Brown, for there is some of the goods on my stairs; then I went up stairs, I could not find any goods on the stairs, as she told me, I found them in the room, I saw one bed, one blanket, some chairs, I don't know how many, an iron grate; the people were taken to the watch-house, I helped to take them there myself.

Q. What was done with the goods? - They were left in the room.

Q. Who had the care of them after they were left in the room? - I don't know.


I am a police constable of Whitechapel. On Tuesday afternoon, the three prisoners at the bar, were brought from the watch-house to the office, and delivered to my charge about eleven, and was taken before the magistrate; it was Tuesday the 14th of this month in the forenoon, the goods were not brought up, and they were taking their examination, and I was sent down to Ferril's room to bring up some property to swear to, and I fetched four chairs from Ferril's room.

Q. Was the room locked or how? - It was locked, I went to a public house with Wright for the key, and it was delivered me at the bar after she had deposed to the chairs, I was sent down to take the whole of the things out which belonged to her, I brought away one bed, two woollen blankets, a cotton counterpane, a pillow, an iron grate, two wooden tables, a pair of bellows, and one stool, which I have had in my possession ever since; here are some small matters besides, I have two letters which came to Mrs. Ferris to her house, it was on the tops of one of Mrs. Ferris's tables, which had been stolen in a little tin box, and a little piece of coin, which was her husband's first wife's; it is a bit of copper engraved, with a name on it, Susannah Schreder , born 25th February 1757.

Mrs. Ferris. I have seen these letters before, they were taken out of the chest, I cannot read myself, they have been read to me, I believe they came from Plymouth or Torbay, I cannot say which, these were in my chest, the chest was not taken away, but it was broke open, and I lost a great number of duplicates which I have not light of since; That little tin box was my husband's first wife's play thing, when she was alive; and that piece of copper was her maiden name on it; these are my chairs, there are two bits out in the back of one of them, they are all fellows; I have no doubt of the table; my bed is patched in the inside with another sort of stuff; one blanket has got a hole in the middle, the other has not, the cotton counterpane is tore on each side, they are all mine.

Q. How long had you lost the key of your room? - This was on Monday, and I lost it the Monday before but the door was forced open; the Monday before I went to Chelsea to seek after a man that owed me some

money, and the woman lost it that took care of the child while I was gone, the woman was neither of the prisoners.

Prisoner Ferril. My lord I am a labouring man and unable to fee counsel, I therefore hope your lordship will be my advocate. When I work in town I generally lodge at Kezia Shepherd 's, one of the prisoners, who passes as my wife, although it is well known among our acquaintances we are not married; and also Ann Wilson is very intimate with Shepherd and mostly with her. On the 12th of last month I was ill and not able to leave the lodgings and go to work as usual; between eight and nine in the evening of that day, Wilson came into the room and took the candle to go into the yard and then went and brought a bed in, declaring this, that as her father would not furnish her she was resolved to get furniture for her room; and then as she was going down stairs I heard her say, God bless you mother; which I thought the meant her mother, then she came again into Shepherd's room bringing more things; on which I got out of bed and insisted on Shepherd's going to ask her mother if she was giving her the things; and the returned and said that she had been her mother, and that she said she had given her the things. I heard a noise below stairs, after this I started up and put on my great coat, Ann Wilson wanted to go out of the room, I told her I would not have the door locked, nor let her go till I knew what was the matter; immediately her father came in, which I asked if them things where his that were brought there? he answered they were not his, and I was taken into custody and was scarce allowed time to put my clothes on. And then before the justices next day the prisoners declared that I knew nothing of the matter, and the prosecutor said that she believed me to be an honest harmless man and had nothing to lay to my charge, but for what reason I cannot tell I was committed; I also beg leave to say that I did not take the lodging nor pay the rent, I only generally live with Shepherd when I came to town, this is the real state of my case, which I humbly submit to your lordship, hoping no kind of selony will appear on my part.

Prisoner Wilson. This afternoon that the place was broke open, my father and I had a few words, this Mrs. Shepherd asked me to go and have a pint of beer, I went with her to the public house, and I saw Mrs. Ferris there very much intoxicated with liquor, with one Mrs. Bowyer, she takes hold of me and says, O, what you have brought yourself to; O, says I, my father has turned me out of doors to work at the gun barrels; so after that she treated me with a glass of liquor and then she goes out to the Blue Anchor and there she began quarrelling, and I took Ann Ferris 's part, with that she asked me to go and have some more liquor, but she got with other company, and never offered me any of the liquor, they did not seem to speak to me, and so I returned from the Blue Anchor to this man's room, to where he was, so going into the room I saw this man and woman setting by the fire, when I went in I said you are all here sitting by the fire, will you give me any thing to drink? Mrs. Shepherd goes out to a chandler's shop and gets some liquor, and she gave me some, and her husband some, with that I turns out of the room and said I will be back again presently, with that I found by going that my mistress was in bed, and I went back to this room and Mrs. Ferril was on the stairs, and I saw the furniture then in the room, and this man was laying on that

woman's bed; with that Mrs. Ferril went out, I cannot say where the went; afterwards, the man Ferril was laying on the bed, and Mrs. Ferril called to me and said, give me a light; I went to her and I said, have you been buying any goods? yes, says the, I have been, because Mrs. Ferris wants to go to Portsmouth; after that I went up stairs and I heard a great alarm presently, and my father, that is there, Michael Brown, he comes up stairs, and Mr Parsh, that keeps the Windmill, was one of the two men that went into the room, and the watchman, and they took this man and woman, and me.

Prisoner Ferril. When this woman came up the asked for a candle to go to the vault, and she returned with the candle; she was going down stairs afterwards, I was laying on an old bed, with no blanket over me nor no blanket under me; the came up stairs again, and this woman brought up a drop of gin for me, and they gave it to me as I was laying on the bed; says I, who is that brought this bed here, or who sent it here? Why my mother, says this young woman. Then by and by the chairs came up; I started up, and said, I would not put up with all this here, I must know the rights of it; says I to this woman; you go down stairs, and go to this girl's mother and know the rights of this affair. Accordingly she went down and told me it was all right: then they went down again and stopped and brought the stove; afterwards I heard a noise in the court, and I observed they put the candle out directly; I said, what is this? here is some mischief; Mr. Brown was the first man that entered the room; says I to Mr. Brown, are these your property that your daughter, Ann Wilson , has brought into the room? No, says he, they are not my property.

Court to Brown. Are you the father of that girl, Ann Wilson ? - Yes.

Q. How comes she to go by the name of Wilson? - She is married; her husband is at the Isle of Wight; I had a letter from him two or three days before.

Court to Wright. See if you know the chairs? - I know the chairs; I observed there were some pieces out in one, and likewise one of the square tables, the top is the lid of a chest, and it has a grove round the leg.

Kezia Shepherd , GUILTY . (Aged 59.)

Peter Ferril, GUILTY. (Aged 35.)

Of stealing, but not of the burglary.

Transported for seven years .

Ann Wilson , Not GUILTY .

Tried by the first Middlesex Jury before Mr. RECORDER.

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