Thursday, December 17, 2015

Alfred Perryman in court

My grandmother's grandfather, Zechariah (Zachary) Perryman, migrated to Australia in 1849. Zechariah and his siblings were all born in Dorney, Buckinghamshire, across the Thames River from Windsor Castle. This post is about one of his older brothers, Alfred Perryman. (According to Family Tree Maker Alfred is my '3rd great uncle'.)

In  July 1842, when Alfred was about 19, he was working as a fishmonger and his actions required a court attendance. It was reported in the local paper, the The Windsor and Eton Express on 9 Jul 1842:
Windsor Police - Monday [Before John Clode, Esq.,(Mayor) and Robert Blunt, Esq.] 
Alfred Perryman was charged with embezzling the value of some fish he had been entrusted to sell for John Fullilove [?]. The case appeared however not to amount to the charge, and the magistrates dismissed it, advising them to settle it between themselves.

In December of the same year Alfred was in court again, this time as a witness. Apparently he was a passenger in a cart being driven by his uncle, John Perryman, when he crashed into a cart being driven in the opposite direction. According to the report in The Windsor and Eton Express, on 10 Dec 1842, the driver of the other cart was thrown off but John Perryman failed to stop and render assistance. Uncle Alfred supported his uncle by stating that Charles Cannon appeared to be drunk and driving erratically but the magistrates weren't convinced. They were particularly unimpressed by John Perryman's failure to stop.

It's worth reading the final discussion between John Perryman and the magistrate just for entertainment value.

John Perryman, of Dorney, was charged with wilfully driving his cart against the cart of Charles Cannon, of High Wycombe, chairmaker, and damaging it, and also with causing severe injuries to the said Charles Cannon.

The complainant, an aged and infirm old man, stated that on the afternoon of the 19th of November, as he was driving his pony and cart (in which there were 17 chairs) along the road leading from Slough to Salthill, he saw at some little distance the defendant driving his cart in the opposite direction. Witness drew to his own side, close to the grass, leaving, as he said (for he had since measured the width of the road) full 14 feet of road for the defendant to pass him. The defendant, however, crossed the road, and drove against his cart, breaking one of the shafts off, and pitching him into the road on his head, his pony going on, one of the wheels passed over his leg, and he was dragged along for some yards until he let go his hold of the reins. His head and leg were much bruised by the occurrence.

The defendant, who was a perfect stranger to him, drove off without rendering him the least assistance. Witness returned to Eton directly, and went to the Rev. Mr. Cookesley.

Mr. Cookesley said when the complainant came to him he was certainly in a very bad state from his injuries, and he was covered with mud. The witness added, that the same evening, being unable to go home from the injuries to himself and the damage to his cart, he went to Mr. Harding's of Eton, where he saw the defendant, and told him he must recompense him, but he refused to pay anything. Witness had ever since, until yesterday, been confined to his bed. The damage done to his cart was about £1, but he did not know what amount his doctor's bill would be.

Mr. Nathaniel Bacon, of Eton, said he was going along the same road and met the defendant in his cart, directly after which he saw the complainant and his cart, damaged as described. Complainant asked the witness to take notice of his wheel tracks, which he did, and he found that there was plenty of room, for the defendant to have driven by, for the complainant's cart wheels tracks were within five or six inches of the grass on his proper side.

The defendant, in his defence, said the complainant was driving in a zigzag direction from one side of the road to the other, and that it was he who caused the collision. The complainant appeared, from his manner of driving, to be drunk, and his (defendant's) nephew, who was in the cart with him, noticed that before the carts met each other.

Mr. Cookesley said, the complainant came to him directly after the occurrence, and he was perfectly sober.

The defendant called his nephew, Alfred Perryman, who swore to the best of his belief that Mr. Cannon was drunk; he inferred so from his driving from one side of the road to the other, and he remarked it to his uncle at a distance of twenty or thirty yards.

Mr. Cookesley said the conduct of the defendant was most brutal in leaving the complainant in such a state without offering him the slightest assistance.

The magistrates inflicted a fine of £4 5s and 15s costs making £5.

Defendant - I can't pay it, and I won't pay it.
Mr. Tower - Then you will have six weeks hard labour in the House of Correction at Aylesbury.
Defendant - Very well, then I will go to prison.
He was then ordered to be committed, on which he asked if he might not be allowed some time to pay the money.
Mr.Tower - No, you said you would go to prison.
Defendant - I thought, sir, you meant you would give me six weeks to pay the money [a laugh]
Mr.Tower [laughing] - Oh!  No, after what you said, you must go to gaol.

He was then taken away in custody.

Alfred married Emma Ayres three years later, in 1845, and continued to work as a fishmonger. In the 1851 census they were living in Peascod Street in the parish of Crewer, a street that is a stone's throw from Windsor Castle, and had a son Edward aged nine. Alfred Perryman died at Windsor in 1854. He would have been only 33 years old. His son, Edward Perryman aged 19, was working as a butcher's man in Peascod Street in 1861. He was probably working with his stepfather Richard Cox, a master butcher, whom his mother had married in 1858.

Peascod Street, Windsor. The castle is in the background.

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