Pagina-afbeeldingen
PDF
ePub

The cells of priests, and the studies of the, pears in the whole of this affair ; neither, great, have been ransacked, in order to fur- with due subinission, is it proved, that I was nish matter for prosecution, and for a single in any m..nner of way concerned, in either paper found there, the author has been writing or publishing the paper now before brought to the block; as was the case of co- the Court. And I would humbly ask any lonel Sydney.* The parliament, sensible of gentleinan here present (who has attended the enormnity and dangerous tendency of such to the evidence), what harm has that paper proceedings, subversive of all law, and de- done to the public peace of the kingdomstructive to every principle of liberty, set! What injury has it done to any individual in aside his attainder, and rendered his memory it, that ought to have subjected its real alrespectable to the world; since which his thor to the cruel treatment I have met with works have come down to po terity with ap- on that account? To be torn from a tender plause, and particularly that part of them for wite, a sick and infant family, and consigned which he suffered, viz. bis - Essay on Go over to the gloomy cells of a solitary prison; vernment."

where, for some ume at least, the very sight I am sensible that no such arbitrary meas of them or any other friend was denied me; sures will ever be countenanced by his pre- i whilst the cutting reflection of their distressed sent majesty, whose every wich has centered situation was still before my eyes--the douin the public good, and the sole principle of ble load of misery to winch they were thereby whose reign has been the law of the land. reduced-the want of the necessaries of life, Neither, I presume, will any such measures being deprived of the profits of my labour, be attempted by any minister or magistrate, by which alore they were supported-the who is at bottom a friend to the constitution husband and the father's fate hanging in susof this country, and the illustrious family upon pence, and all relief sternly denied the throne. And who shall say, if such mea Gentlemen of the jury, your verdict in this sures should be adopted by any interested. case cannot be void of importance to your magistrate, which are equally destructive to tellow-tilizens; you will not only thereby the rights of the sovereign-ine liberties of declare me guilty or innocent, in whole or in the people—the constitution of the kingrum part, of the crime laid to my charge, which is -- and the law of the land, that their fellow. so far as your verdict can affect me as an insubjects have not a right to point out their dividual ; your verdict, together with the senerror, and show them wherein they have de. tence of this honourable Court, will be enparted from the line of their duty and alle. ! tered upon receril, and may be pleaded in all giance, without being liable to be throun: similar cases. Put the case, then, that any into a Bastile and prosecuted ?-Prosecuted gentleman within the jurisdiction of this for a libel upon that constitution they had all Court, shall, in future, be found reading a along been endeavouring to support

, and paper, a private letter from a friend, or any would wish to see handed down to posterity thing else--a busy by-stander plucks the pia entire, as the surest pledge of their future : per or letter from his hand-says it is sedihappiness.

trous--and runs directly to a magistrate with Gentlemen of the jury, as to any declara- it, who, thereupon, calls upon the gentleman tion of mine, when before the mayor on the to give up and turn evidence against his 18th of February, being ofiered as proof in this friend who had wrote him that letter, othercase, it was partially taken-I refused to wise he himself will be taken into custody. sign it. I saw no paper in the mayor'scham- Must not such procedure strike at the root of ber, and therefore could not say, if the all free correspondence, and all frieudly in. Court was then possessed of any, that it was tercourse? This is similar to the case of lord mine. Such evidence is precluded by the Saville; who, A. D. 1613, was committed law of the land; which is so tender and close prisoner to the Tower of London, for guarded in this particular, that though a refusing to name the person who had wrote a crime should be ever so notorious, and even letter to him, tlie parliament had thought confessed in writing, under hand and scal be-, treacherous ? But I hope no gentieman here fore justices of the peace, secretaries of state,' present, would ever wish to see these busy arbior the king and council

, yet this is no legal or trary scenes acted over again here in England, admissible evidence in any court of criminal froin which we had been so happily freed by law in the kingdom;- it is the proof that has the ever-memorable Revolution. been taken in your presence, gentlemen, with Gentlemen of the jury, I leave it with you which you have to do in the present case, it is to do in this case as your consciences may that must govern you in returning your ver- direct, and as you would wish to be done by dict into court.

in a similar situation. From the evidence now before you, gentlemen, whether taken in the whole or in part, Three unexceptionable witnesses having I humbly presume, that there is nothing of spoken to the defendant's character, Mr. Reevil design, malice, or seditious purpose ap- corder proceeded to charge the jury, who, in

about an hour and a half, returned into court, * See his trial, Vol. IX. p. 817 of this col. finding the prisoner NoT-GULTY OF PUBLISH

ING. - The Court seemed dissatisficd with thic

verdict--Mr. Clayton turned to Mr. Recorder, ing only. The question being again put, the and said, it was the same thing as finding Mr. jury said, they were unanimous in finding the Whyte not-guilty upon a general verdict, as prisoner Not-Guilty.—Upon which he was the grand jury had found a bill for publish- dismissed from the bar,

[blocks in formation]

ADDEND A.

To the case of lord tiscount Strangford, To the case of Stockdale, pp. 294, and seq.. pp. 161, and seq.

The debates which took place in parliament

on Mr. Fox's Libel Bill will be found in the The proceedings in the case of Hume o. Burton, are reported in Ridgeway's Cases in New Parl. Hist., Vol. XXIX. the High Court of Parliament in Ireland, Vol. i. pp. 16, 201, 554.

To the case of John Frith, p. 311, note.

The reasoning of Mr. Hume on the practice To the case of lord George Gordon, p. 236. which prevails in the Scottish courts in cases

The following pussuue was by accident of this nature is worthy the reader's atomitted at the conclusion of this case.

tention.

“ There are also several pleas in bar of Burke, in his Reflections on the French Revo- trial, though they do not occur so frequently, lution, takes occasion thus to introduce the con- which consist mainly in fact; as if it be alduct and character of lord George Gordon : leged for the pannel, that he is insane at the

“ We are generous enemies; we are faith. time, and incapable of providing for his just ful allies. We spurn from us with disgust defence. Now, as to this plea, I know not if and indignation the slanders of those who it can be affirmed, that we are yet in possesbring us their anecdotes with the attestation sion of a rule. It is true, that a jury were of the flower-de-luce on their shoulder. We empannelled to try the matter of lunacy, in have lord George Gordon fast in Newgate; the case of Harries, [Maclaurin, No. 85) in and neither his being a publick proselyte to April 1770, where they found that his disorder Judaism, nor his having, in his zeal against was affected; and also in that of John Philp, Catholic priests and all sorts of ecclesiasticks, on the 27th of January 1777, who was found raised a mob (excuse the term, it is still in use to be truly insane, and not in a proper condilierc), which pulled down all our prisons, tion to be tried. Yet in spring [ May 13th] 1786, have preserved to him a liberty, of which he in a circuit court held by the lords Hailes and did not render himself worthy by a virtuous Henderland, at Aberdeen, the insanity of Ann use of it.

We have rebuilt Newgate and Simpson, a person indicted of child-murder, tenanted the mansion. We have prisons al was inquired into and found proved, upon evimost as strong as the Bastile, for those who dence,* which was laid before the Court alone. dare to libel the queens of France. In this And in this, those judges had the authority of spiritual retreat let the noble libeller remain, what was done by the whole Court, in the let him there meditate on his Thalmud, until trial of Thomas Caldwall (June 13th, July he learns a conduct more becoming his birth 15th, 1787] for murder and robbery (as and parts, and not so disgraceful to the tar as I know the oldest precedent on the ancient religion to which he has become subject), where, on a proof taken before thema proselyte; or until some persons from selves only, they “ found that the madness your side of the water to please your new Hlebrew brethren, shall ransom him. lle # "The lords Hailes and Henderland having may then be enabled to purchase, with the considered the depositions of Dr. Skene and old hoards of the synagogue, and a very small Dr. Bannerman, this day emitted in their poundage, on the long compound interest of presence, find it sufficiently thereby inthe thirty pieces of silver (Dr. Price has structed, that the pannel Ann Simpson is at shown us what miracles compound interest present insane, and not a proper object for will perform in 1790 years), the lands which trial; they therefore desert the against are lately discovered to have been usurped by the said Anu Simpson.” This woman having the Gallican church. Send us your Popish been liberated, was afterwards guilty of another archbishop of Paris, and we will send you our act of child-murder (for this was the particular Protestant rabbin. We shall treat the per-turn of her insanity), and was tried for it (Sept. son you send us in exchange like a gentle- 16th and 17th, 1796), and found by the jury man and an honest man, as he is; but pray let to be insane. She was in consequence, him bring with him the fund of his hospitality, ordered into confinement as insane, in the bounty, and charity; and depend upon it, we gaol of Bamff. In that situation, she bore a shall never confiscate a shilling of that ho- child, as was alleged, to the gaoler; and this nourable and pious fund, nor think of enrich- also being made away with, he was tried for ing the treasury with the spoils of the poor- the murder in April 1798, but was acquitted. box."--Burke's Works, Vol. V. pp. 162-164, In this last trial, Ann Simpson was called as 870., 1808.

a witness. Hume.

and fatuosity alleged for the pannel was only tion was stated, at receiving the verdict in affected, and wilfully feigned by him to screen the trial of Thomas Gray (August 3rd 1773). himself from justice;" and therefore they re- And the diet was in consequence adjourned mitted him to an assize, who found him from time to time, till at last, if I mistake guilty of the charge. It thus seems to be not, the case dropped out of the record: at doubtful at least, if we have yet sufficient least, I have not been able to discover, that it authority for annexing to the province of the came to any issue.” 2 Hume's Comm., 342. jury, a pre-judicial inquiry of this nature, which is utterly exclusive of the very libel whereupon, and the purposes for which they To the case of William Hudson, p. 1019. are summoned, as these are announced in the concluding clause of the libel itself. This the day, this man is sometimes called Dr.

I have observed that in the publications of too is such a matter, with respect to which, Hodgson. Pigott, his companion, calls him especially as the condition of the man is Hodgson in a pamphlet relating to these prothe Court at the time, there seems not to be ceedings, which he published in 1793, under any reasonable cause for jealousy of judges, i

the following title:nor the same natural inlet to prejudice or “ PerseCUTIOX. - The case of Charles passion, as in trying the merits of buman ac Pigott contained in the defence he had tions, or in weighing the proof by which the " prepared, and which would have been guilt or the innocence of the accused shall “ delivered by him on his trial if the grand finally be determined. And indeed, after his jury had not thrown out the bill preferred plea of insanity has been repelled by the against him. By Charles Pigoti, author judge, the pannel has still his refuge with the “ of Strictures on the New Political Tenets assize, who may do with respect to his con « of Edmund Burke, and other well known viction, as they themselves shall sce cause.” “ popular publications. London, printed 1 Hume's Comm. Tr. for Crimes, 229.

“ for Daniel Isaac Eaton.” “ The pannel must not only be present with bis person in court, but in that due state of sobriety also, and possession of himself, which are requisite towards conducting this

CORRIGENDA. solemn part of the trial with decency, and with hope of benefit to the audience. It, P. 442, L. 13 from bottom, the* should be at. therefore, he appear to be intoxicated (as hap L. 11 from bottom, for June 1737; pened in the case of Maccuillin, in 1797), the and, read June 1737, and. Court will adjourn the diet, and take order P. 509, last line, for Edir, read Editor of for keeping and presenting him, in a state of Erskine's Speeches. mind more befitting his unfortunate condi. P. 509, last line but one, for cases there cited; tion Or if he seem to be disordered in his and, read cases there cited, and. senses, sentence shall in like manner be de- P.577, the second and third notes are wrongly layed from time to time, that it may be ascer. marked. tained whether his disease be real or affected, P. 1006, L. 15 from bottom, to the words“ and whether it be fixed and incurable, or an the case of Mr. Holt the printer,” shou occasional derangement only, of which he have been subjoined a reference to th may be expected to recover. Such an objec case, P. 1225 of this Volume.

END OF VOL. XXII.

Printed by T. C. Hansard, Peterborough-Court,

Fleet Street, London.

« VorigeDoorgaan »