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who may be subject to the same charge with | ing reviled in any book, should bring down that now brought against him, for the publi- upon its authors and publishers shame, dis.cation of the Rights of Man. Let me intreat grace, misery, and ruin? That is to be the of you to dismiss from your minds any pre- fate of this man and his family, should you judices you may have imbibed against its au err in the verdict you have to give. I trust thor, of whom I am led to acquaint you with that will not be the case. I am persuaded, an anecdote, disproving much that has been that you will give to this important cause said against him; for I am credibly informed, every attention and every additional argument that it is now several years that he has mains that may occur to you, and which may protained an old and decrepid relation, at Thet- bably have escaped me; but, above all, that ford, the place of his birth. This relation, you will not fail to remember the circumhearing the severe things reported against stance of intention, tending so greatly to fa. him, said, he was the best man in the world, vour that acquittal, which I here solemnly and would have been thought so universally, claim from you on behalf of this defendant, if he had never been able to write. And it because I solemnly believe him entitled to it may in the same manner be said of many per- upon this indictment. sons, that it would have been well if they had Permit me, lastly, again to beg you will sebeen unable to read, as they may afterwards riously reflect upon the consequences of your be prosecuted for lending, or otherwise pub- verdict; should it be a verdici of that harshlishing, this book; for I know of no benefit ness and vindictive character called for so of clergy extending to them in cases of libel. loudly by the prosecutors, it will be an apple
The present cause is to bring with it very of discord that you shall have thrown amongst serious consequences.-Consider how many us, the seeds of which, spreading far and wide thousand copies of this book have been in across the land, shall cover it with sorrow, circulation ; consider how slight a proof is wretchedness, and despair. requisite to convict a man of being a pub There may be parts of this book which are lisher; for the law differs, as to evidence in criminal, but I contend they are not the parts libel, from that of other subjects, being en- appearing on this indictment. Besides it is tirely the offspring of that monster the Star- not quite so well that any persons, who have Chamber. Every man, who lends, or carries, published, and, like Mir. Eaton has done or leaves a book upon his table, so as another it innocently, should never lay down to rest may read it, is, by able prosecutors, made out without thorns upon their pillows. to be a publisher. I do not know whether. Should you bring in a verdict of acquittal you have read the Rights of Man, or have it how different will it be! You will, by that in your possession; but are you sure you means, put an end to all these speculative never lent a political pamphlet that might disputes and rancorous prosecutions. You subject you to a prosecution? I know at least will be laying the foundation and cornerstone of one person in this court who cannot so to a temple of peace and concord, wherein say; but I know my neighbour much too well we shall be protected, not only from the to mention his name. And I should think storms of anarchy and confusion, attributed it somewhat hard, for a man to suffer a heavy to the author, admirers, and publishers of this fine and two years imprisonment for having book, but also from the invasions of those left this book upon his table.
petty subalterns of arbitrary power, who are Gentlemen, it is for you, by your verdict, ever fawning upon their superiors, by perseto lay this question at rest; for otherwise, cuting men better than themselves. when, and where, and with whom, is this storm of informations and indictments to then proceeded as follows:
The Recorder summed up the evidence, and cease? Is it to finish with Mr. Eaton, the present defendant? I wish it were; and al Before I come to the question of publicathough I have not an intimate acquaintance tion, there are some previous other questions with him, I do believe he has spirit enough to be decided. to wish so likewise, provided he were sure The question of libel.— The sense of the of saving the numberless victims who are libel is always stated in the indictment, by intended follow him; who are to be way of innuendo; and before the late act of taken from their homes and occupations; parliament took place, it was always clear and who are to be torn from the bosoms of their settled law, that it was matter of fact for the wives and families, dependant upon them and jury to decide, whether that sense was to be their labour for support; and to meet the applied to the language of the libel. severity of fine and imprisonment :-And all
You have heard an able address to you on this for what? For having published a book the part of the defendant; you will have to which they believed to be innocent, and which consider whether the author never meant, they might fairly think beneficial to the pub- and had no intention to apply himself to the lic interest.
government of this country, in the language Gentlemen, let me ask of you to consider which he used; and at the same time, that whether this foreign, this ancient language of the readers of this book, whoever they were, monarchy,—whether this Tory language, of not merely philosophers and men of great absolute hereditary succession, is such as be information and learning, but the generality
of mankind-whether the generality of man- | their education or situation in life, be supkind, reading this book, would apply this posed to understand the subject on which he book, in the language in which it is written, writes; and whether from those passages, to the king of this country, and the hereditary which are selected here, and others, you will succession and government of this country; not find it rather adapted to the passions, because it has been contended, that the sense than the good sense of mankind, to induce applied by the indictment is not the good them to be dissatisfied with the government sense.
under which they live, and look for someThe counsel, in taking that line of argu-thing more satisfactory than they find. ment, has told you, that the force of this I cannot help observing, that this, if a libel is taken away, by stating to you, and criminal attack, has certainly a degree of ag. therefore I must take it the fact is so, that gravation in it, because it is an attack upun there was a book published on the same sub- a government the most free that is now ject, which book has been considered as a existing, a government that seems to be Libel; and his client, in order to avoid the established for the benefit of all persons conmischief of that publication, has published cerned. The crown is part of that governthis in the way it stands; and that, by that ment, and is at the head of it. As a chief means, not only the sense is materially al. : magistrate must preside over it, there then tered, but all the mischiets done by the for- becomes another question-Whether that mer book are clearly done away, because no' shall be hereditary, or whether it shall be mention is made of the house of Hanover or elective ? Now, the best and most discreet the government of this country.
writers on that subject have found the most You will be to consider upon this part of horrid inconveniences to arise from the rethe case, whether the persons, who in general peated elections of sovereigns; and I believe read this book, in the common sense they use have, in general, agreed that hereditary suc-* the word “ monarchy," the word “ absolute" cession is most for the comfort and benefit of not being put one way, or " limited” the mankind. It is upon that principle our cooother, would not apply it to the government stitution is formed, and to hope will continue
If upon reading the whole of this, you are it my duty to state. If the book was pub. satisfied that the person who wrote it, did not lished, as the work of a philosopher, for the write it with an intention to weaken the benefit of mankind, then this man will not hands of government, to set every thing have to answer for the publication. If pubafloat, to put every thing into confusion, but lished with a malicious view, then he will with a good, honest, philosophical, turn of have to answer for it, if you are convinced of mind, for the benefit and real advantage of the fact of publication. mankind-if you are satisfied, that Paine published this book in this country, as a phi; wards of two hours, they returned.
After the Jury had been out of Court, uplosophical man, coolly applying to the sound discretion of those who were competent to Foreman of the Jury. We find the defenjudge upon the subject, to men of learning, dant Guilty of publishing, but not with a to philosophers, who could understand the criminal intention. terms in which he wrote, and that he meant Mr. Gurney. That is, Not Guilty. to do no mischief, it is what all authors in Mr. Vaughan. My Lord, the verdict must this country have a power to do; for the dis- be entered, -Not Guilty. tinction between the freedom of the press Mr. Recorder. No; the verdict must be and the abuse of it is precisely this, that entered as the jury have given it: but I shall every thing may be done by the press which tell the jury what verdict they have a right to is done for the honour, advantage, and benefit find, in order that they may re-consider it, if of mankind; but nothing can be done by they think proper. the freedom of the press that tends positively Mr. Vaughan. My Lord, I submit that the and decidedly to the injury of mankind; verdict of the jury is given, and that the and, therefore, I should hope you would throw Court is bound to receive it; though in effect out of your decision that sort of captivating it is a verdict of acquittal, it is in form a speargument the learned gentleman addressed to cial verdict-a special verdict is a solemn you upon the freedom of the press, because I and a serious thing; it bears the mark of dečhink it is out of the question; for if it is a liberation. In this case the jury have delibecriminal work, the freedom of the press will rated maturely, and have found a verdict, be protected by your verdict against it; if it which I submit cannot be altered. is an innocent one, it will be protected by Mr. Recorder. I shall inform the jury of your acquittal.
the powers vested in them by the libel bill, I shall leave it to you, whether this book is that they may not be taken by surprise. the work of a philosopher, meant to instruct Mr. Vuughan. I am very far from wishing inankind, and written in such language as is the jury to be taken by surprise, or to be precalculated for persons of that description; or cipitate. I am sure it is for the advantage whether it is adapted to the lowest orders of ot' my client that they should not be. the people-people who either cannot, from Mr. Recorder. I do not think myself at
liberty now to give the jury my opinion upon | If he is to be committed to prison, the jury whether this is, or not, in point of law a libel. might as well have found him guilty.
Mr. White. Your lordship will pardon my Mr. Vaughan. This man stands in a most speaking; but my counsel are not here. I singular situation; he stands, convicted of submit, your Jordship is at liberty, and that innocence. I conceive he is entitled to his you are called upon to do it.
discharge. Mr. Vaughan. Certainly not, Mr. White Mr. Recorder. The point of law cannot be that time is past. His lordship might have argued till next sessions--He must be comdone it, in summing up, but his summing up mitted till then. is closed, and it is not competent to him to Mr. Gurney. This man has hitherto been do it now.
at large upon bail-he has shown no wish to Mr. Gurney. I submit, if your lordship withdraw himself from the justice of his should inform the jury of the powers vested country; and can it be imagined that, after in them by the libel bill—which bill directs, having surrendered, taken his trial, and obthat they may give a verdict upon the whole tained a verdict acquitting him of all criminamatter put in issue before them—that you lity of intention, he will now fly? It would will tell them this, that, in order to find the be Aying from deliverance. defendant guilty, they must affirm every alle Mr. Bonney proposed defendant's being gation in the indictment to be true; and admitted to bail. that if they disbelieve and negative any one Mr. While. Without consulting those with allegation, they are bound to find the defen- whom I have the honour to act, I will condant, Not Guilty.
sent to let him be at large upon the same bail I submit, that the intention of the party is as before. the gift and essence of the crime; and that, Mr. Gurney. Are they here? without a criminal intention, no crime can be Mr. Eaton. They were just now; but they committed; consequently, the jury negativ. are gone. ing the criminal intention of the defendant, Mr. Recorder. Then he must be committed must acquit him of this indictment.
to-night, and brought up to-morrow morning, Mr. Recorder. I think I ought to tell the to be bailed. jury, that, by the libel bill, they are entitled Mr. Vaughan. This is extremely cruel, to give a verdict upon the whole matter in that this man is to be committed to prison at issue before them.
all. Mr. Gurney. If the jury should go out to Mr. White. I thought, without any authoreconsider their verdict, I beg they may take rity for doing it, I had gone a great way, in out with them a copy of the indictment; consenting to what I did. because I am sure it is impossible for any Mr. Gurney. We are perfectly sensible of man to read the indictment without seeing, your politeness, Mr. White; but we cannot that, if the jury negative the criminality of help feeling the hardship of our client's situathe intention of the defendant, they must ne- tion. cessarily find him, Not Guilty.
Mr. Vaughan. We will find bail in a miMr. Vaughan. I contend, that the verdict nute. One of the bail is returned; and here of the jury is given, and that it is complete is another gentleman who offers himself. and irrevocable.
Mr. White. I will not take any bail, but Jury. We have given our verdict; and the persons who were bail before. For this we persist in it.
reason, I have made inquiry, and am satisfied Mr. Vaughan. The jury persist in their with them. verdict: I apprehend it is your lordship’s
Mr. White then left the Court; directly pleasure that the verdict should be recorded.
after which the defendant was committed to Mr. Recorder. Certainly. Mr. Gurney. The verdict must be re
Newgate, to be brought up next morning, in corded-however unwillingly.
order to be admitted to bail; which he ac
cordingly was. The deputy clerk of the arraigns recorded the verdict, and read it to the jury.
To the original publication of this case, the Mr. Gurney. Now I submit to your lord
defendant subjoined the following re
marks : ship, that the defendant must be immediately discharged.
The following sessions commencing, and Mr. Recorder. I certainly shall not dis neither my attorney nor counsel having recharge him.
ceived any notice respecting the business, on Mr. Gurney. Is this man to be kept in Wednesday, the 26th of June, my attorney custody, now he is acquitted?
gave notice to the attorney-general of moving Mr Recorder. I suppose the prosecutors the Court to discharge my recognizances on do not mean to admit that he is acquitted. the Friday following; to evade which mo. Mr. White. No.
tion, Mr. Attorney General came on the Mr. Gurney. But after a jury of his coun- Thursday, the day before, well knowing my try have solemnly acquitted him of all crimi- counsel were not in Court, and moved, that nality of intention, it would be an unheard- the case might be left to the determination of of cruelly to inflict a punishment upon him. the twelve Judges, till the next term, as ap
pears by the following account, extracted Thus foiled by the ingenious management from the Morning Chronicle.
of the attorney-general, and thus prevented
from making a regular application to the June 28. “ Yesterday the attorney-gene- | Court, by the irresistible interference of the ral informed the Court, that he attended, in Recorder, I thought it incumbent on me to inconsequence of the extraordinary, verdict form the public of the nature of the proceedfound by the jury, upon the trial of Mr. ings; which I did, in the Morning Chronicle Eaton, who was indicted last sessions, for of the next day as follows: publishing the Second Part of Paine's Rights of Man; when the jury found the defendant
To the Editor of the Morning Chronicle. guilty of publishing, but without any criminal Sir;-I think it my duty to state to the intention:
public, that being yesterday brought up to “ Notice had been given him, that upon the sessions of the Old Bailey, it was my inthe foundation of this verdict, the bail of Mr. tention to address the Court in the words sub. Eaton intended to make an application to be joined; being however prevented, I will beg discharged from their recognizances.
The of you to insert them, in order that my fellow attorney-general said, it was a case of consi- citizens may not suppose that I omitted claimderable importance, and he was ready to ing my acquittal under the verdict after menargue it, or receive such direction from the tioned. I was indeed stopped by the Court, judges as they might think fit to give. It by reason that the attorney general had yesa would be a question for the junges to decide, terday come down and moved that the verdict what the legal import of the verdict was; the should be referred to the twelve judges. But case was distinguished by its novelty, and it as this proceeding was without any notice to was of great concern to the jurisprudence of me, or my attorney or counsel; and notwiththe country, that the law should be settled standing I had given notice that the Court upon this point.
would be moved on this day, to discharge my " The judges, Buller and Wilson, were of recognizance; I did think it proper to objecí opinion, that the verdict called for the most to their proceeding, in which I am sure no serious deliberation-there was some difficulty one can fairly think me to blame. in ascertaining what the intention of the jury "My lord ;-If your lordship will have the was, when they pronounced the verdict. It goodness to hear me for one word. would be necessary to consider whether it counsel are not here, and therefore your lorcamounted to any verdict at all; and if it did, ship will excuse my speaking for myself. whether it was an acquittal in part, or as to "My lord, I ain come here in discharge of the whole of the charge upon the record. my recognizances, by which I was bound over
“ Mr. Justice Wilson said, the jury possibly to receive the judgment of this Court, upon a might mean, that the sentiments contained verdict found the last sessions, on an indicein Paine's pamphlet were not criminal. After ment for libel. some conversation between judge Buller, Wil “ My lord, that verdict was, that I was son, and the Recorder, it was agreed, that the guilty of publishing, hut without any criminal case should be laid before the judges, in order intent-I am toid by my counsel, and I bethat they might enter the proper verdict, and lieve it is an almost imiversal opinion, that settle the law upon this point.”
this is a verdict of acquittal, because the law The next day, being Friday, we had given of England knows no guilt in any action, notice for moving the Court. I attended with where there is no criminal intent. my bail; when I was, for the first time, in Now, my lord, I demand iny discharge of formed, “ that the verdict was to be decided the Court, because no man can be imprisoned, by the judges next term.”—I then addressed unless by the judgment of his equals, or by the Court; but was desired to wait the Re- the law of the land. A jury of my equals haze corder's return, who had left the Court; found me without any criminal intentios, which I accordingly did. And on his return the law acquits me of all crime, and admits or began to read an address, which I had drawn no imprisonment. up just before going into Court, lest I might “My lord, I am a poor but an honest man; have expressed myself, without intending it, I can bear punishment, when I know it is in offensive terms. But the Recorder pre- good for the public example. But, I should vented my reading the whole; and, with think myself guilty of an heinous crime inmuch reluctance, I submitted, telling the Re- deed, were I to neglect putting in my claja corder, however, and the Court, That, as an to my right under this verdict. And so my Englishman, I claimed the right and protec-lord I throw myself on the justice of the tion of the laws; that I conceived the verdict Court; whether being acquitied by a jury was a verdict of acquittal; and the more so, of my fellow subjects, I am not entitled by as I had heard one of the jury say at the time, the law, to muy liberty as an Englishman." it was intended as an acquittal. I therefore
DANIEL Isaac EATCS. insisted upon having justice, and demanded No. 81, Bishopsgate-street. my discharge. To which the Recorder answered, “ Mr. Eaton, you may depend on For the result of the verdict given by te having strict justice; but it is now left to the Jury on this occasion, sce the following decision of the twelve judges.”
578. Proceedings on the Trial of an Information, exhibited Ex
Officio, by his Majesty's Attorney General, against DANIEL Isaac Eaton, for publishing a Seditious Libel, entitled, “A LETTER addressed to the ADDRESSERS on the late PROCLAMATION : By Thomas Paine." Tried in the Court of King's Bench, Guildhall, before the Right Hon. Lloyd Lord Kenyon and a Special Jury, July the 10th : 33 GEORGE III. A. D. 1793.
integrity and wisdom of parliament, and the
continuance of that zealous attachment to the Hilary Term, 1793.
government and constitution of the kingdom, The King 0. DANIEL ISAAC EATON. which had ever prevailed in the minds of the
people thereof, and that there was nothing London, ? Be it remembered, that sir which he so earnestly desired as to secure the
} to wit
Archibald Macdonald, knt. at public peace and prosperity, and to preserve torney-general of our sovereign lord the now to all his loving subjects the full enjoyment king, who for our said Jord the king, prose-of their rights and liberties, both religious cutes in this behalf, in his proper person comes and civil-He therefore being resolved, as into the court of our said lord the king, be far as in him lay, to repress the wicked and fore the king himself, at Westminster, in the seditious practices aforesaid, and to deter all county of Middlesex, on Tuesday next after persons from following so pernicious an exthe morrow of the Purification of the Blessed ample-Solemnly warned all his loving sub, Virgin Mary, in this same term, and for our jects, as they tender their own happiness and said lord the king. gives the Court here to that of their posterity to guard against all understand, and be informed that before the such attempts which aimed at the subversion publishing of the wicked, malicious, scanda- of all regular government within this kinglous, and seditious libel herein-alter men-dom, and wbich were inconsistent with the tioned, to wit, on the 21st day of May, in the peace and order of society, and earnestly ex. year of our Lord 1792, our said lord the king, horted them at all times and to the utmost of by the advice of his privy council, had issued their power to avoid and discourage all proa proclamation, whereby after reciting that ceedings tending to produce riots and tumults, divers wicked, and seditious writings had lieen and he did strictly charge and command ali printed, published, and industriously dispersed, his magistrates in and throughout his kingtending to excite tumult and disorder by en-dom of Great Britain that they should make deavouring to raise groundless jealousies and diligent inquiry, in order to discover the audiscontents, in the minds of his faithful and thors and printers of such wicked, seditious loving subjects, respecting the laws, and happy writings as aforesaid, and all others who constitution of government, civil and religious, should disperse the same, and he did further established in this kingdom, and endeavour-charge and command all his sheriffs, justices ing to vilify and bring into contempt the of the peace, chief magistrates in his cities, wise and wholesome provisions, made at the boroughs, and corporations, and all others time of the glorious Revolution, and since his officers and magistrates throughout his strengthened and confirmed by subsequent kingdom of Great Britain, that they should in laws, for the preservation and security of the their several and respective stations take the rights and liberties of his faithful and loving more immediate and effectual care to suppress subjects; and that divers writings had also and prevent all riots, tumults, and other disbeen printed, published, and industriously dis- orders which might be attempted to be raised persed, recommending the said wicked and or made by any person or persons, which on seditious publications to the attention of all whatever pretext they might be grounded, his faithful and loving subjects, and that he were not only contrary to law, but dangerous had also reason to believe that corresponden- to the most important interests of this kingces had been entered into with sundry per- dom, and he did further require, and comsons in foreign parts with a view to forward mand all and every bis magistrates aforesaid, the criminal and wicked purposes above-men- that they should, from time to time, transmit tioned, and that the wealth, happiness, and to one of his majesty's principal secretaries of prosperity of this kingdom, did (under divine state due and full information of such persons, Providence) chiefly depend upon a due sub- as should be found offending as aforesaid, or mission to the laws, a just confidence in the in any degree aiding or abetting therein, it VOL. XXII.