The Trial of Jane Leigh Perrot, Wife of James Leigh Perrot, Esq; Charged with Stealing a Card of Lace in the Shop of Elizabeth Gregory, Haberdasher and Milliner, at Bath . . .

Publisher: Taunton: Printed by and for Thomas Norris; London: Sold by Carpenter, E. Newbery, Hurst and Co., [et al], (1800).
Edition: First edition; there were two subsequent editions.
Bibliographical References: ESTC T108778 records five copies in the British Isles (BL [2], Morrab, Oxford, Somerset; and five in North America (HEH, Columbia, Free Library of Philadelphia, Harvard [2] and Morgan).
Condition: Wrappers wrinkled; very good copy.
Book ID: 26624


8vo, later brown paper wrappers, typed label on the upper wrapper, 43 pages. Woodcut plan after the title-page; without half-title.


¶ A trial for the crime of shoplifting which achieved great notoriety in its time and remains interesting today for the fact that the accused, Jane Leigh Perrot, was the aunt of novelist Jane Austen and a regular presence in her life in Bath. There were three witnesses for the prosecution and over twelve (primarily character witnesses) for the defense, in addition to Mrs. Perrot’s statement on her behalf. The jury was out for about fifteen minutes and then rendered a verdict of "not guilty." Some have concluded that Mrs. Leigh Perrot was framed, that the shop's proprietors inserted the card of lace into her purchases to blackmail the wealthy Leigh Perrots. Others think that she got off lightly because she was from a prominent, wealthy family. ¶ In addition to the testimony, there is a plan of the shop and list of the jurors, counselors (6) and solicitors (2).¶ Contemporary ink signature on the title-page of William Burgh, who has written in the margin of page 16, commenting on the proceedings: "Why did he not challenge it then? There was a Possibility of a Mistake, the opportunity of rectifying it should have been given. It now looks as if she was suffered to take it away in order to ground a malicious prosecution, or with a hope to be silenced by Reward."

Price: $4,500.00

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