Brewer's: Peter Peebles
Peter Peebles' Lawsuit. In Sir Walter Scott's novel of Redgauntlet. Peter is a litigious hardhearted drunkard, poor as a churchmouse, and a liar to the backbone. His “ganging plea” is Hogarthian comic, as Carlyle says.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894