An incident between Mr Marriott, a carpenter and keeper of the Ship Inn on New Road Peterborough, and Mr Stanley, a Peterborough ironmonger, began on 15 October 1839 and went before Northampton Lent Assizes in March 1840. Allegedly Marriott's pony and cart were standing at his door when a dog startled the pony so that it ran away. Marriott chased and caught it, but the cart hit some ploughs laying on the street outside Stanley's shop and Marriott was dragged over them and badly injured. Stanley refused to accept liability, claiming that it was normal Peterborough practice to display goods for sale on the street. The jury could not decide on a verdict, so a retrial was called and the matter finally came to a conclusion on this Wednesday. Among the witnesses called was surgeon Thomas Southam of Peterborough, who objected to being sworn until he had been paid his expenses for this and the last Assizes, pointing out that Gray's 'Practice' stated that he was entitled to 2 guineas a day! In the end Marriott was awarded 1s damages, whereupon the sergeant expressed his exasperation: 'A shilling! This is a trial by jury! I have never heard such a verdict. Gentlemen, I hope you will never be tumbled out of a cart yourselves'. (Jenkins, Eric, Victorian Northamptonshire: The Early Years, Cordelia, 1993)
Taken from The Peterborough Book of Days by Brian Jones, The History Press, 2014.