Old Bailey Proceedings Online (www.oldbaileyonline.org, version 8.0, 03 March 2021), April 1782, trial of GEORGE PERKINS (t17820410-71).

GEORGE PERKINS, Theft > grand larceny, 10th April 1782.

343. GEORGE PERKINS was indicted, for stealing on the 12th of March last, one cotton morning gown, value 2 s. the goods of Elizabeth Nichols , spinster , and one other cotton morning gown , the goods of Sarah Sanders , spinster .

Richard Middlebrook , servant to Mr. Roberts, deposed, he saw the prisoner on the 12th of March come up the avenue, between Mr. Roberts's and Lord Aylesbury's, there is a common foot path, he saw him get over the hedge, at the bottom of the field belonging to Lord Aylesbury, and went to a quick hedge; I went to Lord Aylesbury, and said, I apprehended a person was going to take some things that were on some pales, I met the under butler and told him, he looked out of the window as he stood upon a chair, he saw the prisoner take a gown and give it a twist, and put it in his pocket, that he, the witness, saw him take another bed-gown, the servants went out, and he and they pursued him and took him, and brought him into Lord Aylesbury's and sent for the headborough, the gowns were taken from him by Mr. Watts, the headborough, I had seen him put the gowns in his pocket.

John Watts was sent for and searched the prisoner, and took the gowns from his pocket, they were wet at the time, (he then produced them in court).

Elizabeth Nicholls , a servant to the Earl of Aylesbury, deposed to one of the gowns, as being her property.

Sarah Sanders , another servant of Lord Aylesbury's, deposed, the other gown was her property, she spread them on the rails, they had been there a quarter of an hour.

PRISONER's DEFENCE.

I was walking along the foot path, it happened to be a very windy day, these things happened to blow off the hedge, which was dry, I picked them up and put them in my pocket.

Court. You had no right to put them in your pocket? -

Prisoner. They were in the foot path, I did not know who belonged to them.

Court. Would you have had a right do you imagine because they blew off the hedge, to put them in your pocket?

Prisoner. I was going into the town to, know who they belonged to.

GUILTY .

George Perkins was capitally convicted this sessions with Rawlins and Batster.

Tried by the Second Middlesex Jury, before Mr. Baron EYRE.