« VorigeDoorgaan »
against me, and had asked him whether the out old moorings under Howth. The best statement was not in my hand-writing? day the wind was again fair, add, after some which he had answered by saying he had other occurrences, on the third day I landed never seen me write; that his examination at Roscoff, on the coast of Bretagne, under was not legal evidence, as he had refused to the fortified town of St. Paul de Leon. sign it; and that he was determined to return I remained an eventful year in France, and immediately to England; but that at any sailed from Havre, passing as an American, to rate it was necessary to have two witnesses Philadelphia. My departure from France to convict of high treason; and if we adhered being known, the earl of Clare gave Mrs. H. to one another we should be safe. I asked R. an assurance, that although the prosecuhim whether Jackson's situation would be tion against me must proceed with the utmost rendered worse, in case I could make my es rigour, yet he would use his influence to procape. He said No; but he feared the thing cure a restoration of the estates to the famıs, would be impossible. I left him with his -eight children, and herself. All the forms friend, and never have seen him since. of law were gone through, except the appoint
The next morning I set about my scheme, ment of an agent tor the crown. This cosand got it accomplished at twelve that night. soling information was renewed by lord Clare It would be a waste of paper and your time in 1799, with a passport from the British gohere to recount the various deceptions prac-vernment, for me to meet my family in Deatised on the under gaoler, which induced him mark, and a farther promise of procuring me to accompany me to my own house, where a a pardon when there should be a peace with rope being slung ready out of a two pair of France. stairs window, enabled me to descend into Lord Clare died between the time of the the garden, and to take a horse out of the signature of the preliminaries, and that of the stable, and meet a friend who should conduct detinitive peace of 1803, and I was left withme to a place of refuge.
out a pairon. Mr. Thomas Steele, whose When the gaoler became impatient and schooltellow and fellow-collegian I had beez. forced into my wife's room, she made him having heard these declarations, was induced every offer if he would conceal himself and by a mutual friend to adopt my cause, and be go to America, not raising a pursuit, but per- followed it up with a real' I can never forget. mitting it to be supposed that he had accom- When the French armies were approaching panied me in my fight, which he absolutely Hamburgh, where I then resided with my refused, swearing he would soon see me family, he procured for me a promise of i hanged. I was taken to the house of a gen- pardon, if I would accept of it on the condtleman named Sweetman, since dead. It was tion of never setting my foot in Ireland wittsoon found that the most probable means of out the permission of the Irish government. escaping from this country would be by a which was to be expressed in the body of t.t smult pleasure boat of Mr. Sweetman's; but pardon, under a large penalty. I accepted us she was neither sea-worthy, nor equipped for ihe terms with thankfulness, and embarkea a chamel cruize ; and a farther question was, for England. Mr. Steele procured the inwho would risk themselves with me, who strument to be immediately drawn up and were not in the same danger? Mr. Sweetman laid before the chancellor, to receive the however did not despair, and was successful. great scal. The chancellor refused to put the He procured three sailors of the vicinity of seal to such an instruunent; and it was above Buidoyle, where his house was, about four a year after,—during which time it was found miles from Dublin, to whom he promised that the pardon must be under the great sea! they should be well paid, if they would take of Ireland, where the treason was committed, a gentleman to France in his boat; and they -that he gave as a reason for his refusal, that consented. Two of them, the most trusty, it would have put it in my power, on the pey. had been in the smuggling trade, and knew ment of the penal sum, to have gone to trethe coasts of both countries.
land whenever I pleased. The next day was occupied in procuring I then petitioned the Irish government. provisions, charts, &c. &c. In the evening stating the circumstances of the case, and I when Mr. Sweetman returned, the three men received an unconditional pardon. But the came to him and showed him proclamations, same condition of not residing or going which had been distributed during his ab- Ireland, without the permission of the Irish sence, and which offered in different sums government, was implied. In the summer from the governnient, the city, and the gaoler, 1805, I appeared in the court of King's-bench nearly 2,000!. for my apprehension. They here, and pleaded my pardon.--I returned said, “ It is Mr. Hamilton Rowan we are to immediately after to England, according to 'take to France;" without hesitation he an- | promise. Shortly after, my father died; sad 'swered it was; they as instantly replied, I applied to lord Castlereagh to procure me “ Never mind it. By Jesus we will land him permission to pass a few months on my fasafc !"
mily estate, to regulate my affairs. He wss We sailed with a fair wind, which however so good as to male the application, but bein the night got a head, and blew hard. As fore lord Hardwicke's answer arrived!
,, we could not keep the sea, we returned to change of ministry took place; and I thes.
applied for a permission to reside in Ireland, most gracious pardon. Having then obtained which was granted; and I have lived here liberty to speak, Mr. Rowan addressed the ever since, most sincerely anxious to promote Court nearly in ihese words ; peace, harmony, and submission to the laws When last I had the honour of appearing and constitution of Britain.
before this tribunal, I told your lordships, I knew his majesty only by his wielding the
force of the country; since that period, durThe Proceedings which took place in the ing my legal incapacity and absence beyond
Court of King's-bench Dublin, on Mr. seas, my wife and children have not only Rowan's pleading his Majesty's pardon, dition to those favours, I am now indebted to
been unmolested, but protected; and, in ado are thus related in the Annual Regis the royal mercy for my life. I will neither, ter.
my lords, insist upon the rectitude of my in
tentions, nor the extent of my gratitude, lest
July 1st, 1805. my conduct should be attributed to base and In the court of King's- bench, Dublin, Mr. unworthy motives; but I hope my future life Iłamilton Rowan was brought up by writ of will evince the sincerity of those feelings Habeas Corpus; and the record of his out with which I am impressed, by such unmelawry being read, the clerk of the crown, as is rited proofs of his majesty's beneficence. usual in such cases, asked the prisoner what To which address the Chief Justice he had to say, why judgment of death and [Downes] replied : execution should not be awarded against Mr. Rowan; From the sentiments you himi-Mr. Rowan said, that he was instruct- have expressed, I have not a doubt but you ed by his counsel to say, that the outlawry will prove, by your future conduct, that his contained errors in fact. The attorney-gene- majesty's pardon has not been bestowed on sal confessed errors in the outlawry, which an unworthy object. was reversed. Being put to plead to the in Mr. Rowan then bowed to the Court and dictment, Mr. Rowan pleaded his majesty's withdrew. XLVII. Ann. Reg. 402.
585. Proceedings against Daniel Holt, for publishing a Seditious
Libel, intituled, " An Address to the Addressers,” and for publishing another Seditious Libel, intituled, " An Address to the Tradesmen, Mechanics, Labourers, and other Inhabitants of the Town of Newark, on a Parliamentary Reform :" 33 & 34 GEORGE III. A. D. 1793.
1 The following account of this case is extracted merely in the regular routine of my business ; from a pamphlet published in the year culate it in particular, more than other new
no proof being brought of my intention to ciro 1794 by the defendant under the title of publications of any description whatever. " A Vindication of the conduct and prin- One of the witnesses (Mr. S. Hunter) prociples of the Printer of the Newark He-duced on the part of the prosecution, proved, rald: an Appeal to the justice of the that in a conversation* he had with me on the people of England, on the result of the * This conversation is thus represented by two recent and extraordinary prosecul- Mr. Holt in another part of his pamphlets tions for libels. With an Appendix.
Soon after the institution of ihe “ Newark By Daniel Holt, printer of the Newark tion," a member of the committee called on
Association, for the support of the constituHerald."]
me as a friend, and acquainted me, that the
association had it in contemplation to inform In the month of July last (1793) the assizes against all those who published writings of a were held at Nottingham, where, as a matter seditious tendency; and requested me to of course, my two prosecutions came on for take out of my shop window, several public trial, and, as another matter of course too, cations which he apprehended they in their before a special jury. The information for wisdom might deem either seditious or imselling the " Address to the Addressers," was proper. Knowing that I had no publications first tried. In the course of this trial, it in- exposed for sale, that were then pronounced contestibly appeared, that this pamphlet was either libellous or seditious, by the laws of published by me long before it was proved to my country; and warmed at the bare suppobe a libel in any court of judicature, and sold sition that I should be thought capable of sel
subject of libellous publications, previous to , and with the anxiety that every citizen ought the sale of the pamphlet in question, I informed to feel for his country, to submit to your Jim that I hall taken out of my shop all such consideration the following reasons why, in of Pune's works as had then been declared my humble opinion, the reform of parliament, libels, and that I intended not to vend any now in agitation, ouzit not to be regarded by more of them; nor would I, on any account, you with indifierence: sell a libel, knowing it to be one. --After a * 1. Being subject to the legislation of trial of five hours, in which my counsel, persons whom other men have placed over Messrs. Dayrell and Clarke, did all that great you, it is evident that you are denied that abilities like theirs could do in such a situa which is the birthright of every Englishman, tion, the special jury wiihdrew, taking the and without which he is not a tree man, viz. pamphlet with them, and returned in about a share in the making of those laws which hall an hour with a verdict of-GUILTY! have power over your properties, your fami
The trial for reprinting and publishing the j lies, your lives, and liberties. following* “ Address” next came on, before “ 2. Being very deeply interested in trade, another special jury.
not only at hoine, but in all parts of the “ Address to the Inhabitants of Leeds, Shef
world, you ought to have in parliavent de field, Birmingham, Manchester, and puties well informed on the sulject of com
merce in all its branches, but more partic other (nrepresented Towns, on a Parliamentary Reform.
larly acquainted with that which you in an i Friends and Countrymen;
of disaffection? With respect to the unwar“Permit me, with the affection that every rantable suspicions of my principles and nian ought io hear towards his follow citizens, views, implied in this intended interference
of the association, they merited no other re* The only alteration in this paper from futation, than indignant contempt - After the original copy, was merely the title; that some ob-ervations on the prejudicial and defor which I was prosecuted being addressed spotic tendency of the interference of the as to the inhabitants, &c. of “ Newark.” Oriy. sociation in the sale of political pamphlets, Ed.
and in the internal regulation of my business;
I concluded by declaring, that from several ling any book of that riescription, knowing it private circumstances, I was well convinced to be so, I all-wered himn, I believe, nearly in it was not a love of public justice that acthe following words: “That I was bighly tuaied the association in their proceedings sensii le of this mark of his friendship, and against me, but a diabolical spirit of party conceived myselt much ubliged to him for revenge, and a desire to wount through me taking the trouble to inform me of the inten the local liberty of the press, that induced tion of t.e association, previous to their put them to take the present steps; but I assured ting it int, execution; but, at the same time, him in the accomplishment of these objects I begged leave to say, that as the publications they would eventually find themselves misto which he allured had not yet been legally taken and disappointed, as I was determined pronounced libels by a jury of
tellow-citi not to swerve trum niy duty as a man and a zens, or even noticed as such by the Attorney-printer, through the ap rehension of any per. general in London, where they were originally sonal danger. Our was I to be intimidated by and avowedly published, I could noi, nor the pititul inreals of associated placemen and would not, consent to take them out of the pensioners.-1 he freedom of the press was window, or prevent their being publicly sold attacked, and I felt it my duty as well as ing in my shop, to gratify the tyrannic wishes of inclination, as a printer, to detend and supa set of men who certainly had no legal au port it, as far as my individual exertions thority to interfere in the business. To con- could extend. In those times of false alarm, ply with the requisitions of the association and pretended danger, it became every true in this, or in any other instance, where the friend to his country to be at his post. This obnoxious writings were not specifically men I conceived to be mine, and here they would Lioned would be to sirike at the very root of ever, find me."--Here this gentieinan lett me, my business; for how was I to ascertain what but not without firt acquiescing in the prowere, and what were not libels, previons to priety of my remarks, and expressing his aptheir bemg so found by the verdict of a jury? probation of my conduct.-ı have been thus What was I to sell, or what was I to retuse particular in relating the ciri umstances of selling? Where wis I to draw the line? I this interview, as the subsequent proceedings observed, that far from being the wilful sedi of the ass ciation were maintesiiy regulated tious, di-atiected per-ou le association wish- hy it er to bure the public believe, and which they Irom the moment this gentleman leit me, affected to believe thien-elves; I relused to I fures w uhai would happen ; and expected, sell bull parts of Wr. Paine's Rights of Man, as a maiter of course, an application from the Lough the verdict then only applied to the association to the alturney general, w file sa second, as soon as I knew it to be adjudged a information against me, for my outrageous and Libel. Did this conduct wear the appearance seditious conduct. Vindication, &c. pp. 34.
especial manner commit to their guardianship, favour of the practice of calling out the stand as your immediate representatives. It is not ing army That government which cannot pre otherwise possible that your interests should serve its authority without such an instrument, be properly attended to.
deserves not the name of government; and that “ 3. Should you not join the public spirit- country, in which it is an ordinary practice to ed towns and counties who may petition for support the execution of its laws by a standa reform in the national representation, there ing army, is not a free country. But the is reason to apprehend that it will be but very deadliest wounds that freedom ever received imperfectly amended. And if the amend from parliament, were those which have beeri ment fall any thing short of making parlia- given it by the disfranchising statute of Henry ment independent of the crown, perhaps the 6, the triennial act of William 3, and the seponly difference we may find, may be, that it tennial act of George 1, for by the joint opemay henceforth cost the nation more to pur- ration of those three statutes, the very founchase majorities for the minister, than it has dations of the constitution are removed. hitherto due; for it corruption, instead of Those statutes not only defraud the nation of being made impossible, be only rendered six parts in seven, both of its election and somewhat more troublesome, the additional its representation, but they have effectually trouble as well as the additional value of vitiated the remaining seventh. votes, must be paid for.
“ 8. Parliaments chosen as they now are, “ 4. It is a truth known to you all, that a and continuing for seven years as they now country which once loses its liberty, must do will ever be composed, for the most part, shortly lose its trade also. Thus, on com of a few factions, under the guidance of partimercial principles themselves, you are bound cular noblemen, perpetually contending for to contribute your share towards the reform the power and emoluments of office. The in parliament, although it should be attended cominon-suldiery of these several factions, with some cost and labour. The fruits of like that of all other standing armies, is made your industry will prove to your children but up of mercenaries from the most idle and proa poor inheritance, if not accompanied with Aigate orders of the community. freedom.
idle, as mien of pleasure, and the vicious part “5. So long as a majority of the House of of our nobility and gentry? Who so profiCommons shall continue to be appointed by gate, as murdering nabobs, prostitute lawyers, a number of borough electors, not exceeding and unprincipled adventurers, who through seven thousand as now is the case ; so long the iniquity of corrupt elections, inake their will bribery govern borough elections, corrup: way into parliament, and there let out their tion be the characteristic of parliament, and longues and their votes for hire? an oppressive taxation be the lot of the peo « 9. Parliaments chosen as they ought to ple.
be, that is by the whole nation in just propor" 6. If the present inequality of represen tion, and continuing as they ought to do, for tation and length of parliaments be the cause one session only, must of course (as corrupof parliamentary corruption, as they un- tion without doors would then be impossible) doubtedly are, we must remove the causes consist of men most eminent for virtue and before the effect will cease
wisdom from every part of the kingdom. “7. By a corrupt parliament is meant, Every district and every town (freed from an that which, instead of being a shield against undue influence by the multitude of its elecunnecessary taxation, is the hired instrument tors) would undoubtedly appoint for its parwhereby the nation is pillayed ; – that liamentary representative, or attorney, the which, instead of proving a check upon the person best acquainted with its interests, and crown, when disposed to engage in unnecessary best qualified to promote them. These reand ruinous wars, is the bribed tool by which presentatives, feeling, that dependance on the nation was first gulled into an approbation iheir employers which an annual clection of war, and afterwards drained of its blood would ensure, and carrying with them into abd trearures to carry it on: - and again, parliament characters of value, would be uniform experience teaches us, that whenever doubly guarded against falling into temptaparliaments are under an undue influence tion; besides their virtue would be farther from the crown, they are ever ready to betray secured from this important consideration, the most sacred rights of the people. Suffice that, as no minister in his senses would esit at present to recall to your recollection a teeni it practicable to bribe a majority of such few instances only. In the reign of Henry a parliament, it follows, that bribing indivi8, parliament enacted, that the king's pro- duals could be of no use to him. clamation should have the force of law; in “ 10. But such a parliament cannot be had the reign of William : , they made a precedent unless we will revert to the first principles of for suspending by statute the benefits of the our constitution, which we have so shamehabeas corpus; and it has since been several fully abandoned. Since electing a parliament times practised: in the reign of George 1. by is our only security against an arbitrary power means of the statute vulgarly called the riot in the crown, election itself must be not only act, all the constitutional means of giving sup- the common right, but the common duty of port to the civil magistrate were supplanted in all the people.
" 11. The only plausible objection which is the very essence of that constitution which keld turth, in order to discourage the manu- they inherit in common with ourselves, and facturing towns from demanding representa as that without which they knew they should sion, namely, the loss of time amongst the bot be a free people? workmen that would be occasioned by elec “ 15. If you think to enjoy the benefits of tions, is an idle bugbear.
representation through persons chosen by * 12. All the idleness and vice of modern other men, and over whose dismission you elections in this country are the consequences have no power, you much deceive yourselves. of that very inequality of representation, and Supposing a merchant bad nut the choice of that long duration of parliament of which his own clerks, nor workmen, nor household we complain. While all but the vilieins of servants, but they were to be appointed for former times, that is, while all free subjects him by the exciseman, or by some neighs had their votes, and parliaments were chosen, bouring lord, who had an interest in so doing; sometimes twice, and sometimes thrice in a and it, when so appointed, he could not get year, tumult and debauchery at elections were rid of them in less than seven years, let their unknown; and there were not above two or idleness, extravagance, and dishonesty be three cases of false returns or disputed clec- ever so glaring, and their insolence ever so tions in the course of two hundred and seven- | insufferable, does it need the spirit of propheteen years, as stands proved by authentic re. i cy to foretel, that his name would soon be in cords in the tower. In a single parliament of the garette, proclaiming hiin a ruined and the present reign, the trials upon contested miserable man? And is noi that great mer elections fill five large volunes; and the pro-chant, the nation, brought to the verge of fligacy so frequently attending the choice of bankruptcy by thiese very means -A namembers is a reproach to our age and nation. lion happy above others in the fertility of Is it not lime then to restore a representa- its soil, and the industry of its inhabitants; a tion of all, and parliaments of a single ses. nation which now possesses a district of insion; since they alone can ensure us peace- dia, equal to the whole kingdom of France, able and virtuous elections?
and unul the other day possessed also a con“ 13. Prevent the temptation to the evil tinent in America, is nevertheless, I say, and jou dread, and the evil itself will be prevents by the means I have pointed out, nearly reed: this is a law of nature. If parish officers, duced to the condition of a bankrupt. lx if common-council-men of London, and consequence of losing through supineness, the mayors of corporations, if committees for all appointnent of its own clerks, workmen and sorts of business, if, in short, deputies of any servants, or in other words, its own parliaother description, can be annually or more ment, it is now indebted (wo hundred and frequently elected, without any evil conse. seventy millions of money, and not only its quences, is it not an insult to common sense lands, but future industry, is deeply mortto tell us, that deputies for transacting our saged for the payment of the interest; whereparliamentary business may not be elected as, had it constantly asserted its rights, it also ? --Preveni, I say, the temptation to the needed not at this day to have owed a shilevil you dread, and the evil itself will be pre. ling. vented. The temptation to the candidate-is * 16. As the interest upon these two hunthe hopes of a place, a title, or what else be dred and seventy millions is just so much to can gei from the minister; the templation to be deducted from the national industry, and the borough elector-is the candidale's treat as nations less taxed may consequently unand bribe. -As elections of all, and sessional derscll us at foreign markets, the manufacparliaments, would cut up by the roots this turing lowns of this kingdom are peculiarly cominerce of corruption, so they would ensure and eminently interested in restoring purity you elections as peaceable and orderly, as your to parliaments. They ought also to recollect, weekly meetings at divine service, or in your that if it be neglecied, an increase of debt, markets. Thus that glorious word, clection, and consequently an increase of taxes, must which is not to be found in the dictionary of follow ; for so long as the cause of extravaany enslaved nation, would be restored gance remains, the effect will not cease. amongst us to its plain and honest significa "17. Although it is granted, that if petty botion : carrying with it no other idea, than roughs and septennial parliaments were still that of a free choice of freemen, for their own to remain in statu quo, and the only alterabenefit and happiness.
tion to be obtaincd, were a mere election of “ 14. But it we cannot believe history, nor two members for each manufacturing town, place confidence in records themselves, let us, the general advantage therefrom would be at least, trust our own senses, and observe trifling, and the new elections might perhaps what is the conduct of our soberand sagacious be inconvenient : yet, that is not what is probrethren of America. If representation be of posed; nor would be the consequence, if those no use to a trading people, and if elections towns containing animmense proportion of the are nuisances, why have the citizens of Phil. whole nation would properly exertthemselves. adelphia, Boston, and all America, secured in conjunction with Surrey, Middlesex, and the to themselves, by their new constitution, an Metropolis, united in quintuplc alliance, and equal representation and annual elections, as the many other generous towns and counties