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Now this part of the charge I admit with, and inform against him. If this is to go on all my soul. If you can take upon yourselves so, what is the consequence that men will to say, that that observation is criminal, which complain, that they will talk of reformation, I am sure you have all hcard before, viz. that and if they talk of reformation they do right, force can only be repelled by force, or that and they do laudably. We have a right to reform without revolution cannot be effected, complain of taxes, when we think them exnay, if you have not heard that from people of cessive, and we have a right to complain of all sides, it will seem very strange to me. persons laying on those taxes, if they act imBut if revolution must mean a subversion of properly; for they accept their places, aye, the government of the country, and making and enjoy the profits too, upon that condition. that observation is criminal in the sense of I dare say, neither Mr. Pitt, nor any other this indictment, why then you determine this, persons about him, care for themselves twothat no man shall dare to say what he thinks pence about these prosecutions, because they upon any political subject. You will have do not not gain any thing by them; but there said that every man ought to look around him are others that do; for instance, this extra when he speaks, and to see if there is not a police officer, employed by some of the virtuous spy, or an informer, or a butcher's boy within associations that we have seen for carrying on hearing. You will have said there shall be prosecutions: what was the witness Goodan end to all that honest communication man's employment at that time? he was an which Englishmen in the frankness of their extra police officer; and what is an extra pohearts hold one with another. But this it is lice officer? Why a gentleman that expects impossible to prevent at any time, and there to become a police officer, with a little of the fore it would be wiser to sew up men's mouths sweets of the profit beforehand—a police offiand shut their ears, and in short destroy all cer in reversion, he was not apprentice to the their senses; for these prosecutions never did trade-he was only upon liking. He thought at any time put an end to the fair declaration he had made a complete quibble by his anof public opinions. I am sure in this counswer, and I defy any man to say, he ever saw try they never did; for, take history where an evidence given with zealous malignity as you please, I am sure you will always find his evidence was given; for the rule of evithat men spoke their opinions, and sometimes dence is this, that a witness is to testify to a more than their opinions; and why? because matter of fact, and not to reason; but he goes the addition of prosecution was in theirs ad. farther and argues the case; for this extra dition of grievances. They thought it ought police officer that was, I suppose the real to be prevented and withstood, and there- police officer that is,-he tells you, that Mr. fore it was that these prosecutions had not Briellat was going to a meeting. It was held their effect.
in a field of his at Hackney. It was to work In what manner did this conversation upon the minds of the people. Where did arise? there was a set of men at this public. you hear that? Why, from Mr. Wills, the house, some abusing the administration, and hair-dresser! who was frightened for his fasome praising it, some thinking that taxes mily, and thought all the democrats were were good, and that a number of employments coming to eat him up alive. were good, because they were employed in You see, gentlemen, how zealously he
goes them, others thinking that the reduction of out of the question : but I beg you, for taxes would be good, for so the witness un- your own sakes, to consider very seriously, derstood it. Whether the reduction of taxes ihat if you suffer your minds to go for one be possible or no, is not now the subject of moment out of this charge upon this ininquiry; but it is a very common and natural dictment, if you find the defendant guilty of subject of conversation, for we all know that words which were spoken, but not presented we are taxed from the hat upon our heads to on this parchment, pardon me if I say, the shoe upon our feet. If every thing we you are foresworn men; for certainly this put on reminds us of taxation, it is very na- only is the charge that you are to try—this iural that we should talk of it; it is very only is the charge that you are to find proved natural that we should look to see from what or not. Why, then, how do the prosecutors sort of a source this fountain flows; and then find themselves? Why, they say, here is a it is very natural that we should talk of the man who tells us, that a reformation cannot minister who imprints his taxes upon our hats be effected without a revolution. They know, and our gloves, and our medicines ; in short, however, there is not much in that, and parupon every thing, for we can neither be born, ticularly because it passed a long while ago, nor married, nor buried, without a tax. In and juries do not like stale prosecutions any the name of God, is it possible not to think a more than they like stale goods. Then to little about the actors in such a scene? when bolster this up, they take you to the Hackney we see stamps in every corner of the street; meeting, and tell you a long story, there bein every perfumer's shop-in every stationer's ing a number of people collected, so that then shop-in every hatter's shop, and in every the learned counsel will have an opportunity glover's shop, when each of them is sticking of mentioning the protestant associations in a piece of paper into your gloves, your hosiery the year 1780, and the conflagrations then and perfumery, in order that you may not go produced. Those riots no man remembers
with greater horror than I do; but what did chequer down to the lowest officer of excise. that proceed from? Did it proceed from sen- Do not these people spread themselves over timents of liberty? Certainly not; for it was the island? Are not the ramifications of their for the suppression of religious liberty; the influence perceived in every town and village? Roman Catholics were under parchment. They have the strength-the weapons-ihe chains, which, it must be confessed, bound arms-the force. How will you meet them them very tight. When they were dangerous but in this way? union is a strong thing-let to this country, at the era of the revolution, us make a bond of union among ourselves for acts of parliament were made to restrain them, the liberty of the subject, as they have for so as that it should not be in their power, upon themselves in their places and pensions, and resorting to arms and violence, to overturn let us endeavour by that means to obtain a that constitution, a great part of which cun- redress of our grievances. That was exactly sisted in the protection of our liberty. Time the model of the association which took place passed on, and the Roman Catholics dwindled some time in 1782 or 1783, immediately after in number, till they were reduced to a very the example of those fires which have been small and not a dangerous body. They be alluded to, and it was carried on with the came attached to that constitution from which present prime minister at its head. Then is they derived advantages, and therefore the it so criminal a thing to associate? Is it so generosity and the justice of the country said, criminal to look after a reformation which let them be relieved. But what said those could, they thought, be effected without a reprotestant associations? they said, this is ini- , volution, but which has not yet been effected mical to our religious liberty, because our re- any way. Upon this model others thought ligious liberty is the protestant religion. Now they might associate, and as no skirmish or this is exactly what the Roman Catholics said bloodshed, or no violence had ensued from a hundred years before, and exactly that for this former association, so they thought they which the protestants were burnt in Smith- also might find some men honest enough in field. Then, I say, those protestant associa: the House of Commons or elsewhere who tions were not for liberty but for fanaticism would represent their grievances to the legisand despotism. They were mischievous lature, to the sovereign, and to the aristo things, and I wish their examples had not cracy; so that we should have the benefit of been lately followed. But so far was this that reform. That is what these persons meeting at Hackney from bearing any such thought-that is what Mr. Briellat thought. I character, that it was constructed upon a will tell you what was his conduct, how Mr. different, and I will tell you what model, not : Briellat came to be mixed with it at all; for of tyranny--- not of fanaticism--not of fire this meeting having been introduced here in and sword, but to restore those benefits which, order to bolster up the other parts of the I say, we have lost since the revolution. If charge, I am forced to explain why these every such attempt is to be prevented, if we persons met. Gentlemen, there are, as we are to go on and have this glorious fabric all know, a monstrous number of committees frittered away, we stall at last become as of those bodies who call themselves associadespicable a nation as any now in Europe. tions against republicans and levellers, but
Gentlemen, for this purpose a number of they would give themselves a far better name men did undoubtedly think it necessary for by calling themselves associations for rethem to do in their own defence what many ceiving intormations, anonymous letters, and others have been really to think it necessary carrying on prosecutions. These gentlemen for them to do in the same situation. They have 150 committees in different parts of this thought it necessary to associate, and they capital. I don't say, that no honest man associated, upon what model? why exactly joined them; one honest man did join them upon the model of the right honourable Wil- and soon left them, for very good reasons, liam Pitt, that immaculate prime minister and he has published those reasons to the who now loads us with tases, the present world, which are well worth any man's prime minister, but not the minister of that reading. day. These were the virtues of him who was Gentlemen, there is not a word spoken by not minister, but of the extra officer, who was any of you in a butcher's shop, or any other, upon liking. Says he, we must associate and but it may be carried to the office of these have a retorm in parliament; for if there is gentlemen, exactly as at Venice, where you not one, how are ministers to be honest ? He may throw a piece of paper into the mouth comes into the House of Commons, and he of a lion (and by-the-by the comparison is finds there men, very honest men, and those not a bad one) when immediately prosecutions men associate with him in the same cause. are awarded. I know these gentlemen take Says he, restore the constitution of the coun- great merit to themselves for their conduct in try, or you will never have a virtuous execu- these instances. Many of these associations tive government; restore your constitution, have not misconducted themselves at all. or you will never be a virtuous legislative I know individuals belonging to them who are government; but how restore it? against honest men, and I wish all honest men had power, against property, against placemen of gone among them, to have prevented the all descriptions, from the auditor of the ex- mischief they have caused. But genuenien,
what is the consequence ? that any malicious It was this ; says he, “ Gentlemen, we are
Mr. Vaughan. Certainly not, Sir. Gentle-1 deny; I admit the former; I say, the formet men, having done then with this part of the is not criminal. There are cases where the indictment, I proceed to the remaining part. evidence of one witness ought to be valid in And there I own I see that which would give the minds of a jury; in the case of murder, me infinite pain if I did not know that I had for instance, where only one person is present, evidence to resist it of infinitely greater credit certainly the evidence of that person must than what is produced; for how many per. be received; for such a crime as that must sons were present at this time?-Five per- be punished, and the only way to punish it sons. Ilow many are brought in support of is by bringing evidence, and the only, evithe charge? ---Only one. Woodbridge, a but. dence is one, and therefore that only evidence cher's boy, and that is all. He heard is good, credible evidence; but if there are something which was read out of a book several persons present, that is not the case. which he goes and reports at home, from You have not my word only, who have not whence he accompanies Goodman; but be been twenty months at the bar, when my does not say a word to him about it till he learned friend has been above twenty years, gets to the magistrates. Gentlemen, I have but you have the words of Mr. Justice Black not the evidence to prove it, or I could show stone ; he says, “ One witness (if credible) you that it was founded in mere malice. But is suificient evidence to a jury of any single I have negative evidence. I have this kind fact, though certainly the concurrence of two of reproach to make to the prosecutors; why or more corroborates the proof." Then, why did you not call the other persons that were not bring more? because they knew they present there were other persons present; could not succeed upon it if they did. “Yet, but you don't bring forward any one of them. our law considers that there are many transAll that you bring forward is the butcher's actions to which only one person is privy.”— boy, although five persons were present. There are many cases to which only one perWhen was this? Last October-they were son can be privy, and therefore you must be not dead—they had not bottled their infor- satisfied with that one. " And the law does mation from December to the present time. not always" (always in italics) “ demand the Gentlemen, were I not to call them, which I testimony of two, as the civil law universally will do, it is enough for you to conclude, that requires." This is Mr. Justice Blackstone's their evidence is kept back, because this account of the nature of evidence. He will charge could not be otherwise supported. not be suspected of sedition; for he was not
Gentlemen, you have before you a junior an ardent friend to liberty. He was only : counsel, when opposed to gentlemen who partial friend to liberty. It is for you to conhave had the experience of twenty years, who sider whether there is not the strongest preknow how to coax a jury, and who know how sumption against this witness; I will bring to keep down an evidence, and no man feels to you persons, not butcher's boys, not police so distressed as I do when I have persons of officers, or any persons wishing to recommend that description to cope with. But, gentle. themselves to favour, but two respectable per. men, I will set my foot upon a rock-the au- sons, men who value their reputation as much thorities of the law. For this purpose I have as any of you—men in the same situation brought a book which all of you have heard of life with the defendant-men in the same of, and many of you have read, and I selected situation of life with yourselves. Now, if we it for that reason. It is said by Mr. Justice produce such men to the latter part of the Blackstone, upon the subject of evidence, as charge, we shall put an end to the whole of follows: “'The one general rule that runs it; for, will you take upon yourselves, upon through all the doctrine of trials is this, that your oaths, to say this man is guilty, for say, the best evidence which the nature of the ing, that reformation could not be effected case will admit of, shall always be required, without a revolution? I trust you will receive if possible to be had.” Was it not possible directions from the bench desiring you not so to be had ? It was these people live in Shore. to do. Will you say, that the same idea has ditch--they are tradespeople in Shoreditch. pot entered into your own thoughts?-if so, Woodbridge tells you, he knew their places will you consider it as criminal Gentlemen, of residence, why not inquire of him?-why, I think you will not so say, I think you will because the others say the butcher's boy not be directed so from the Court. You will does not speak truth; they say, he has been listen to what the Court shall observe with guilty of an infamous talsehood. Then, I all respect; but I will remind you of the say, they have not brought forward the best saying of one of the sincerest friends to the evidence, because the better evidence was constitution, as then established, whether in many persons, and not one single person : if its regal part or in its popular one. He says, there is any better evidence that might have “ That Decantatum, in our books, ad ques. been produced, the very not producing it is a tionem facti non respondent judices, ad quespresumption that it would detect some false- tionem legis non respondeni juratores, "litehood which is concealed. Now then, gen- rally taken is true."* Gentlemen, you are tlemen, though five persons were present, they came down here with only one witness . See Bushell's Case in this Collection, to justify the last part of the charge, which I Vol. VI. p. 1013.
all tradesmen, but I am sure most tradesmen your oaths, you have made trial by jury a very know something of Latin.
bad thing indeed, and the jurors of the counForeman of the Jury. We shall thank you try are become (as St. Maithew said of anoto English it for us, if you please.
ther description of men). “ like unto whited Mr Vaughan. I was just going to translate sepulcbres, which indeed appear beautiful it to you. °" That Decantatum, that is the outward, but are within full of dead men's maxim, in our books, to the question of fact bones.” the judges don't answer, to the question of
EVIDENCE FOR THE DEFENDANT. law that jurymen do not answer, literally taken is true;' that is the translation ; “for, if it be Benjamin Davis sworn.-Examined by Mr. demanded what is the fact, the judge cannot
Gurney. answer it; if it be asked, what is the law of You are a cheesemonger in Shoreditch ?the case, the jury cannot answer it.” This is Yes. the opinion of Mr. Justice Vaughan, in the Do you recollect Mr. Briellat coming to famous case of Bushell. Then he goes on to your house on the evening of the 17th of Ocsay," a man cannot see by another's eye, tober last ?-Very well. nor hear by another's ear, no more can a man At what time did he come? --I believe it conclude or infer the thing to be resolved by was between seven and eight in the evening. another's understanding or reasoning, and What evening in the week was it?- Thursthough the verdict"-(Here is the material day evening. part, the distinction between the judge and Who was in your shop when Mr. Briellat the jury, a distinction that juries ought never came in 1—Mr. Fortescue, a wheelright, and to forget at any rale)—" and though the ver- two other men. dict be right that they give, yet they being Do you recollect their names?-Yes, one not assured it is so from their own under- was lloram, and I do not recollect the name standing, are forsworn, at least in foro con of the other. scientia," * in the tribunal of conscience. Those were the persons present, besides the This being the case, I trust you will do your witness Woodbridge ?—Yes. duty, which is a much more interesting duty
When Mr. Briellat came in, we have heard than mine. Most of you seem to be men of you had some little conversation about the responsible characters in life;, you will at- news, did you see Mr. Briellat produce any tend to the observations of the learned judges book?-He did. on the bench, who will make many excellent What did he read?-I think it was a proobservations to you no doubt; but you will phecy, taken out of the 11th chapter of Reremember they are not to be the rules of your velations, and the 13th and 14th verses, converdict; that in matters of law they are deci- cerning the second woe. sive, but you are the only persons to consider Can you recollect what were the words that and to determine matters of fact. If you are be read ? -The words, I think, were about prepared to determine that every man who the earth quaking, and a tenth part of the says a reformation cannot be effected without city falling. a revolution must go to prison, after the man Was there any thing in that book respectner of imprisonments of this day, you are not ing kings?-Not that i recollect. the men that I believe you to be. If you can Did you attend to what Mr. Briellat read? take upon yourselves to say, that all the mat- --Yes; I was close to him. ters in this record (and you must not travel Did you hear every thing he said ?-I did. out of it) were ever spoken by the defendant, Now, to the best of your recollection, did if you can say so likewise, you are not the he say any thing whatever, in the reading of men I take you to be. On the other hand, if that book, respecting the abolition of kings you think the honest character of an English- from the face of the earth ?-No such thing. man is still to be preserved ; if you think that That you positively swear?--- Yes. a freedom of specch and a freedom of com Did he say any such words, not reading munication is still to go forward between them in the book}-No, he did not. Englishmen, remember that words, if even Did any conversation pass after Mr. Brielsworn to, are a sort of things very indetermi- lat bad concluded the reading out of that nate, easily misconceived, and misrepresented, book?-None at all, not a word. for words are no more than wind : the recol Then I need scarcely ask you, if there was lections of men frequently vary it, and the any conversation, after that, respecting kings? imaginations of men vary it likewise. If this -No. is your opinion, you will find the defendant Nor a wish that there were no kings at all? not guilty. But if those prejudices which - No. have been endeavoured to be instilled into If he had uttered such words must you not your minds by a knot of men terrible to this have heard them !_Yes. country and to its justice, are to give way Or any words respecting the landing of the (which I cannot believe you will suffer them French?
-Not a word. to do) to that which is the main object of Or, did he express a wish that 100,000
French would land to fight against the go* See in this Collection, Vol. VI. p. 1012. vernment party?-No.