Skip to main content

Full text of "The speeches of the Hon. Thomas Erskine (now Lord Erskine), when at the bar, on subjects connected with the liberty of the press, and against constructive treasons"

See other formats

This is a digital copy of a book that was preserved for generations on library shelves before it was carefully scanned by Google as part of a project 
to make the world's books discoverable online. 

It has survived long enough for the copyright to expire and the book to enter the public domain. A public domain book is one that was never subject 
to copyright or whose legal copyright term has expired. Whether a book is in the public domain may vary country to country. Public domain books 
are our gateways to the past, representing a wealth of history, culture and knowledge that's often difficult to discover. 

Marks, notations and other marginalia present in the original volume will appear in this file - a reminder of this book's long journey from the 
publisher to a library and finally to you. 

Usage guidelines 

Google is proud to partner with libraries to digitize public domain materials and make them widely accessible. Public domain books belong to the 
public and we are merely their custodians. Nevertheless, this work is expensive, so in order to keep providing this resource, we have taken steps to 
prevent abuse by commercial parties, including placing technical restrictions on automated querying. 

We also ask that you: 

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Google Book Search for use by individuals, and we request that you use these files for 
personal, non-commercial purposes. 

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort to Google's system: If you are conducting research on machine 
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the 
use of public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help. 

+ Maintain attribution The Google "watermark" you see on each file is essential for informing people about this project and helping them find 
additional materials through Google Book Search. Please do not remove it. 

+ Keep it legal Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just 
because we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States, that the work is also in the public domain for users in other 
countries. Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of 
any specific book is allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Google Book Search means it can be used in any manner 
anywhere in the world. Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe. 

About Google Book Search 

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and to make it universally accessible and useful. Google Book Search helps readers 
discover the world's books while helping authors and publishers reach new audiences. You can search through the full text of this book on the web 

at |http : //books . google . com/ 





(now lord ebskinb), 







Constructibe Crtasfoitf^ 









VliMidlgr&GoiimH UtateOMmSMtt 





Subject of the Trial of Mr. Thomas Walker i 

Jdr. Law's Speech in Support of the Prosecution S 
Mb'. Erskine*s Speech in Defence of Mr. Walker XJ 
Subject of the Trial of Thomas Hasdt — 53 
hdictment against Thomas Hardy and others 58 
The Attorney GeneraTs Speech for the Croum m 

this Cause — — _ ,« 65 

Proceedings in Court, relative to an Application 
of Mr. Erskine for the Indulgence of a few 
Hours to prepare himself for the Defence of 
the Prisoner — — — — 3ltf 

Ur. Erskine' s Speech for Thomas Hardy ^ 3^9 

Trial of Mr. Thomas Walkek of Manchester^ 
Merchant, and me other Permns, indicted 
Jbr a Compif^acy to overthrofv the Constitu^ 
lion and Government of this Kingdom ; and 
to aid and assist the French, being thfi 
King's EnemieSf in ease they sh»uld invade 
this Kingdom.^^Tried at Lancaster before 
Mr. Justice Heath, one bf the Judges of 
the Court of Common Pleas, and a Special 
Jury, on the 2d of April 1 794, 


JVE have nt>i found it necessary for the foil undeT'^ 
standing of this interesting and extraordinary case, 
to print the evidence given upon the trial ; because, to 
the honour of Lord Ellenhorough, then Mr. Law, 
who conducted the prosecution for the Crown, after 
hearing positive contradiction of the only witness in 
support of it, by several unexceptionable persons, he 
expressed himself as follows : 

^' I know the characters of several of tfte gentlemen 
*^ who have been examined, particularly of Mr^ 

TOL. m« B 


^^ Jones. I cannot expect one taitness ahne, unemtx 
*' firmedy to stand against the testimony of all these 
'* witnesses ; I Ought not to desire it.** To which 
Just declaration, which ended the trial, Mr. Justice 
Heath saidy---^^^ You act very properly, Mr. Law^ 

The Jury found Mr. Walker Not Guilty \ andrthe 
Huitness was immediately committed, indicted for per^ 
jury, and convicted at the same assizes. 

PFe liave printed Mr. Law^s able and manly Speech 
to the Jury, which contains the whole case, afterwafds 
proved by the witness who was disbelieved. The Speech 
tf Mr. Ershine in answer to it states the evidence af^ 
iefwards given to contradict him. 

Mr. Walker was an eminent merchant at Manr 
Chester, and a truly honest and respectahie man ^ 
and nothing can show the fever of those times, more 
than the alarming prosecution of such a person upo^ 
such evidence. It is not to every Attorney General^^ 
tfiat such a case could have been safely trusted.-^The 
ionduct of Mr. Law was highly to his honour, dnd 
prognostic of hisfutu/re charwter as a Judge. 

m:6; laW*s ^pesch; 

!rhe Indictrticht having beeri opened by Mr; Jjmu^ 
Mr. Law addressed tht Jury as fallows { 

oentleM;en op the jurY| 

Th^ Itidictment whidi Kkfi bfeefi read 
40 you, imputes to the Defendants a specie^ of trea- ' 
sonable misdemeanor, second only In degriee, ahd iti- 
ferior only in ttfialigtiity, to the crime Of high treksort 
itself. It imputes to then! a conspiracy for the pur- ' 
pose of adhering with effect to the King's etiemifes^ 
in case the calamity of foreigh invasioti or of internal ^ 
and domestic tumult should afford theih the desirfed ' 
opportunity of so doing — a conspiracy for th6 pur- 
pose of employing against our fc6utitry those at-iiis 
which should be devoted to its defence; atid df over- 
throwing a constitution, the work of lohg-contlnued 
wisdom and virtue in the ages that have gone before 
us, atid which, I trust, the sober-minded virtue and 
wisdom of the present age will transmit unirhpaired 
to ages that are yet to succeed us. It itnputes to them 
^ conspiracy, not indeed levelled at the person and 
life of our Sovereign, but at that constitution at the 
head of which he is placed, and at that system of 
b^tteficial laws which it is his pride and his duty to 
administer ;'--at thkt constitution which makes us 
Wiat we are, a great; ifree, and; I trust, with a few ' 


exceptions only, a happy and united people* Gen- 
tlemen, a conspiracy formed for these purposes, and 
to be effected eventually by means of arms ; — ^ con- 
spiwicy which had either for its immediate aim ^or- 
probable . coDsequenoe, the introduction iittb. this 
country,, upon the model of France, of all the mi- 
series that disgrace and desolate that unhappy land, 
is the crime for which the Defendants stand arraigned ' 
before you this day ; and it is for you to say, in the 
first instance, and for my Lord hereafter, what shall, 
be the result and e^ect in respect to persons^ against , 
whom a conspiracy of such euormous magnitude and 
mischief shall be substantiated in evidence. 

Gentlemen^ whatever subjects of political differ- - 
cnce may subsist amongst us, I trust we are in ge- 
neral agreed in venerating the great principles of our 
constitution, and in. wishing to sustain and render 
them permanent. , Whatever toleration and indul- 
gence we may be willing to allow to differences in 
matters of less iraportaace, upon some subjects we 
can allow none;— to the friends of France, leagued 
in unity of council, inclinatibn, and interest with 
France, against the arms and interests of our country, 
however tolerant in other respects, we can afford np 
grains of allowance,— no sentiments of indulgence, 
or toleration whatsoever ; to do so, at a time when 
those arms and councils are directed against our po- 
litical and civil, against not our national only, but 
natural existence (and at such a period you will 
fiijd that the very conspiracy aow under .cbnsiderax • 


iion was formed), would be equally inconsistent with 
every rule of law and every principle of self-preser- 
vation : — it would be at once to authorize every de- 
scription of mischievous persons to carry their de-» 
structive principles into immediate and fatal effect ; 
in^ other words, it would be to sign the doom and 
downfall of that constitution which protects us all. 

1 am sure, therefore, that for the crimen such as 
I have represented it to be, my learned friend will 
not, in the exercise of his own good sense, choose 
to ofifer any defence or apology ; but he will endea- 
vour to make the evidence I shall lay before you, 
appear in another point of view : — he will endeavour 
to conceal and soften much of that malignity which 
I impute, and I think justly, to the intentions and 
actings of these Defendants, 

It was about the close of the year 179^, that the 
French nation thought fit to hold out to all the na- 
lion§ on the globe, or rather, I should say^ to the 
discontented subjects of all those nations, an encou- 
ragement to confederate and combine together, for 
the purpose of subverting all regular established au- 
thority amongst them, by a decree of the iQth of 
November 17 92, which I coifisider as the immediate 
source and origin of this and. other mischievous so- 
cieties. That nation, in convention, pledged to the 
discontented inhabitants of other countries, its pro- 
tection anfi assista<ice, in case they should be disposed 
Id inniJVato and diange the form of government 
under which they had heretbforfe Hved. ' Under the 

B 3 


influence of this fostering encoqrageraeot, and mcatw 
|ng, I must suppose^ to ^vail themselves of the pror 
tection and assistaqce thus held out Xo them, this 
and other dangerous societies sprang up apd ^pW^ 
themselves within the bosom qf this realm. 

Gentlemen, it was about the period I mentioned, 
pr shortly after, I mean in the nionth of December, 
which followed close upon the promulgation o€ this 
detestable decree, that the society on which I anp 
about to comment, — ten members of which ar^ 
now presented in trial before you, — was formed ♦r 
The vigilance of those to whom the administration 
of justice and the immediate care of the police of 
the country is primarily entrusted, had already prcr 
vented or dispersed eypry numerous assembly pf perr 
sons which resorted to public-houses for such pur^ 
poses ; it therefore became necessary for persons t)iu« 
disposed, to assemble themselves^ if at all, within 
the walls pf some private mansion. The president 
and head bf this society, Mr. Thomas Walker, 
-raised to that bad eminence by a species pf merit 
which will not meet with much favour pr enqpurager 
inent here, opened his doors to receivef a spciety of 
this sort at Manchester, rpiscalled the Jlefprm^tioQ 
Society : the name may, in soipe senses, indeec^ \xo^ 
port and be understood to mean a society fornipd for 
the purpose of benefici^ Tpform ; but what the rea| 

* The BiandMster CpostitQtional Society was institated is 
Pctober ifgO} the B^formation Society, Jn I4arc{i IJ^SfS^I tbf 
l^tnotic Society^ io April 1792. 


purposes of this society were^ you.wiU presently learn^ 
from their declared sentiments and criminal actings. 
He opened his doors^ then, to receive this society ; 
-—they assembled, night after nighty, in numbens, 
to an amount which you will hear from the witnesses: 
»mctimes, I believe, the extended number of such 
assemblies amounting to more than a hundred per^ 
sons. There were three considerable rooms allotted 
for their reception* In the lower part of the house^ 
vhere they were first admitlied, they sat upon busi- 
ness of less moment, and requiring the presence of 
smaller numbers i — in the upperpart, they ass^embldd 
in greater multitudes^ and read, as in a school, and 
as it were to fashion and perfect themselves in every 
thing that is seditious and mischievous, those writing 
which have been already reprobated by other Juries, 
fitting in this and oth6r places, by the Courts of law, 
and in effect, by the united voice of both Houses of 
Parliament. They read, amongst other works, par^ 
ticularly the works of an author whose name is in 
the mouth of every body in this country ; I mean 
the works of Thomas Paine ; — an author, who, in the 
gloom of a French prison, is now contemplating the 
full effects and experiencing all the miseries of that 
disorganizing system of which he is, in some respect^ 
the parent'^certainly, the great advocate and pro- 
moter. . 

The works of this author, and many other works 
of a similar tendency, were liead aloud by a person 
of the name of Jackson, who. exer.ciiBed . upon thoftt 

3 4 


occasions the tniscbievoas fonction of reader to ^ this 
society. Others of the Defendants bad difierent 
functions assigned them ; some were busied in train- 
ing them to the use of arms, for the pnrpose, avow- 
edly^ in case there should be either a landing of the 
French, with whom we were thai, I think, actually 
at war or about to be immediately at war ; or in 
case there should take place a revolt in the kingdoms 
of Ireland or Scotland, to minister to their assistance^ 
either to sudh invasion or to such revolt. That thqr 
met for such purposes is not only clear from the 
-writings that were read sdoud to them, and the con- 
versations that were held, but by the purposes which 
were expressly declared and avowed by those who 
may be considered as the mouth-pieces and oi^ans 
of the society upon these occasions, 

Thejirst time, I think, that the witness Dunn, 
whom I shall presently produce to you, saw the De- 
fendant Mr. Walker, Mr, Walker declared to him, 
'^ that he hoped iltey should r^on overthrow' the c<)«- 
*^ stitiuion.*^ The witness I have alluded to, was 
introduced to the society by two persons, I think of 
thie names of M'Callum and Smith, and who, if I 
am not misinformed, have since taken their flight 
from this country to America. The first night he 
was there, he did not see their president Mr. Walker, 
but on the second night that he went there, Mr: 
Walker met him as he entered the door, and ob-^ 
eerving, from his dialect, that he was a native of 
beland^ Mr. Walker inquired of him how the vo- 

ofr Thomas wAi^^tft JttfB others. 9 

iunteers went on, and said^ with a smile as he passed 
him in his ivay up stairs to the rest of the associated 
members^ *^ W^ shall averthr&w the constitution iy 
" and b^.'*' The witness wa$ then ushered into thi^ 
room, Where' he saw assembled nearly to the number 
of a hahdred or a hundred and fifty persons. Tim 
room was, I understand, a large warehouse at thfe 
top of'^kie house ; there were about fourteen or fif- 
teen persons then actually under arms, and some oi* 
those whose namfes are to be found in this record 
were employed in teaching others the military exer- 
cise.' It would be endless, as well as useless, to re- 
late to you the whole of what passed at these several 

Upon sonte occasions, Mr. Walker would talk in 
the most contumelious and abominable language of 
the sacred person of our Sovereign. In one instance, 
when talking of monarchy, he said, *^ Damn Kings? 
" "What have we to do with them, what are they to 
^' us ?** and, to show the contempt in which he held 
the lives of all kings, and particularly that of our 
own Sovereign, taking a piece of paper in his hand, 
and tearing it, he said, " If I had the King here, 
" I Would cut off his head, as readily as I tear this 
« paper/' 

Upon other occasions, otherfe of the member^, 
and particularly a person of the name of Pkul, who 
TbeKeve is now in Court, held similar language :~ 
damning th^ King;— -reviling and defaming him iii 
the exicutton of his high office ;— representing th6 


whole system of our public government bb a system 
of plunder and rapacity ; — ^representing, piarticularly, 
.the administration of a neighbouring kingdom by a 
Ix)rd-lieut?nant, as a scheme and device merely ia- 
Tented to cqrrupt the people^ and to enrich and ag- 
grandize the individual to whose care the govemmeflt 
of ; that kingdom is more immediately del^ated ; — in 
short, arraigning every part of our public ecoaomjT 
as directly productive of misgovemment and oppres* 
sion. The King himself w|is sometimes more parti*- 
cularly pointed at by Mr. Walker. He related of 
him a strange, incredible, Wd foolish fable^ which I 
never heard suggested from any other quarter ;•— 
'^ That His Majesty was' possessed of seventeen 
*' millions of money in some bank or other at Vienna, 
^^ which he kept locked up there, and would not 
** bestow a single penny of it to relieve the dis* 
f^ tresses and indigence of any part of his own sub- 
*^ jects/' Many other assertions of this sort were 
fxiade, and conversations of a similar import held, 
between Mr. Walker and the persons thus assem- 

About three months after the formation, as fer as 
t can collect it, of this society^ that is, about the 
month of March 1793, a person of the name of 
yorke-— Yorke of Derby, I .think l>e is (?alled, — ar- 
rived at IS^anchester, with all the apparatus of a kin4 
of apostolic mission, addressed to the various assem-* 
blies of seditious persons ii> that quarter of the king-^ 
dom, He harangued t,hm\ upon spc^. liopics 9^ wej:^ 

or xaoMAS wal&bs anp othiwi* tj 

9iost likely tp int^^t and tnflame them ;«-4ie 
plained to th^m the object of the journey he wa$ 
then making through the country ;-^he md, he WM 
come to visit all the combined societies, in order to 
learn the numbers they could respectively muster^ in 
case there should be an invasion by tihe fVencht 
which was then talked of, and is yet, I am afraid, 
talked of but upon too much foundation;*— to know, 
in short, what number they could add to the arms of 
France, in case these arms should be hostilely dU 
jwted ag^nst Great Britain itself; — he stated that 
the Frendi 'were about to land in this country to the 
number of forty or fifty thousand men, snd that he 
was collecting, in the different societies, the names o£ 
«nch persons as could be best depended upoti ; in 
order to ascertain what number in the whole could ;^ 
actually be brought into the field upon such an emer^ 

When this per^n was present, there seems io 
have been a sort of holiday and festival of sedition : 
each member strove with his fellow which should ex^ 
press sentiments the most injurious and hostile tB 
th^ peace and happiness of their country. Dunn, 
the witness J have already alluded to, will speak tof 
tb^ actual communication of all the several persona 
who are Defendants upion this record in most of the^ 
mischievous councils which were, then held, and 
vbich are the subject of this prosecution. .They 
met during a considerable length, of time he attended 
(«n() )^re you will nqt be c^led upoQ* to giye ^credit 


«to K Ibose and caBual recollection of a few randoiq 
caxpressfonS) littered upon one or two acckiental oc- 
^m6io>ns^ capable of ;an innocent or doubtful construc- 
tidn); but be attended^ I believe, at nearly forty of 
these meetings '^.^e attended tbeni from about the 
montli of De^mber or January, down to the month 
of Jane, when, either through compunction for the 
ahare he had himself borne in those Tnischievous 
•proceedings^ or whiatever else might be hia motive-i- 
I trust it was an honourable one, and that it wi(l k\ 
its effects prove beneficial to his country,— he came 
forward and detailed this busm^s to the hiagistrates 
of this county. It became them, having such dr* 
eiimstances related to them, and having it also con-> 
firmed by other eindenoe, that there were numerous 
ilightly meetings of this sort held at stated intervals 
est the house of- Mr. Walker, upon having the ob- 
jects of these meetings detailed and verified to them 
^!*^it became them, I say, to use means for suppressing 
t, tnischief of such extent and magnitude. It wte 
ttccordingly thought proper to institute this pro- 
aecution for the purpose of bringing these enormous 
pfocefidings into public discussion and inquiry,' be- 
fore a Jury of the country, and fbr the purpose of 
eventually bringing to condign punishment the per- 
sons Jinimediately concerned in them. ' • 

. Gerttlemen, the evidence of this person> th6 wit^ 
ness^I have mi^ntipned> wiH 'Unquestionably be as^ 
sailed and attacked by a great deal of attempted con- 
tradictiofi V^hia df)arackr vicill^ I have no donbt^ ba 

OF THPMiiS WAXiK&il.AN0 07V9R)9« 19: 

arraigned and drawn in question frpm the earliest pe^ 
riod to whk^ the Defendants ctfn have any opportu^ 
nities of aix^ss, fi^r materials respecting M,. Upon » 
nothing but upon the, effectual impeachment of th^ 
character of this witness, can they bottom any pro-> 
babie ei<pectation8 of acquittal ; -^ to that point, 
therefoi^, their efiforts will be tnaialy directed. I^ 
wish their efibrts had been hitherto direot^ inno«- . 
cently towards the attainment of this objeqt^ add > 
th^t no opportunities had been recently taken* 
in cxxasional meetings and oonversations, to at* 
tempt to tamper with the testimony "of this witness*^ 
There are other practiceSj^ which, next to an actual 
tafnpering with the testimony of a witness, are ex- 
tremely nftischietous to the regular courae and ad^ 
ministmtton of juAice. I mean attempts to lure a 
witness into cooversations respecting the sutgect of 
his tj^timony ; of this we have seen many very 
biameabie instances in the course of the present cir« 
cttit, where conversations have been se^ on foot 
for the purpose of catching at some particular express 
^ions^ inadvertently dropt by a witness, and of af* 
terwards bringing tbem forward, separately and de- 
tached: from the rest of the conversation^ in order 
to give a dtf&rent colour and complexion to the sub^ 
stance of his evidence, and to weaken the effect and 
credit of the whole. 

Gentlemen, these attemj)ts are too commonly 
made; -"^-happily, however, for public justice, they 
am eommoniy unsuccessful ; because they do and 


most, with er^ honourable cnind^ recoil upon the 
party making them. Private applications to a person 
not only known to be an adverse witness^ but to h^ 
the very witness upon whose credit the prosecution 
most materially depends 5 private conversations with 
such a witness, for the purpose of getting from him 
declarations which may be afterwards oppoised in 
seeming contradiction to his solemn testimony upon 
bath, s^re of themselves so dishonourable, that, with 
every well-disposed and well-judging mind, they wilt 
naturally produce an effect directly contrary to the 
expectations of the persons who make them. 

I know. Gentlemen, w^t Thave most to fear 
upon this occasion ; I know the vigour and energy 
of the mind of my learned friend. — I have long felt 
and admired the powerful effect of his various talents 
—I know the ingenious sophistry by which he can mis^ 
lead, and the fascination of that eloquence by which he 
can subdue the minds of those to whom he address^ 
himself. — ^I know what he can do to-day, by seeing 
what he has done upon many other occasions before. 
But, at the same time. Gentlemen, knowing what 
he is, I am somewhat consoled in knowing you. I 
have practised for several years in this place ; I know 
the sound discretion and judgment by which your 
verdicts are generally governed; and upon the credit 
of that experience, I trust that it will not be in the 
power of my friend, by any arts he is able to em- 
ploy, to seduce you a single step from the sober paths • 
of truth and ju;5tice. You will hear the evidence 


with tbe attentiotii which becomes men who are de* 
odmg cm the fate of others; If these Defendants 
he innocent^ and my learned friend is able to Sub- 
stantiate their innocence, to yoar satisfaction, for 
God*s sake let them be acquitted ; but if that inno- 
cence cannot be clearly and satisfactorily established, 
I stand here interested as I am in common with him 
in the acquittal of innocence, at the same time how- 
ever demanding the rights of public justice against 
the gfuilty. It imports the safety of yourselves,— it 
imports the safety of our country, — it imports the 
existence and security of every thing that is dear to 
us, if these men be not innocent, that no consider- 
ations of tenderness and humanity,— no considera- 
tions of any sort short of what the actual abstract 
justice of the case may require, should prevent the 
hand of puiiishment from falling heavy on them. 

Having, therefore. Gentlemen, given you this 
short detail and explanation of the principal facts 
which are about to be laid before you in evidence, 
I will now close the first part of the trouble I must 
^ve you. I shall by and by, when my learned friend 
has adduced that evidence by which he will attempt 
to assail the character and credit of the principal 
witness for the prosecution, have an opportunity of 
addressing you again; and, I trust, in the mean 
time, whatever attention you may be disposed 
to pay to the exertions of those who will labour to 
establish the innocence of the persons now arraigned 
Wfore you^ that you will^ at the same time, steadily 

10 M9. law's BnMCU, &c. 

bear m miftd the duties which you owe to youftelves 
apd to your country ;*^recollectiDg9 as I ojn sur6 
you m\U that we all look up to your firmnessr and 
ii^tegrity at this inoment^ fqr the prptectton of that 
conatitution from which we derive every blesaieg we 
individualty or ooUectively enjoy* 

"KHw brsviitb'^ spbbch, &c. 17 



I LISTENED with thc greatest atten- 
tion (and in honour of my learned friend I must say 
with the greatest approbation) to much of his address 
to you in the opening of this cause ; — it was candid 
and manly, and contained many truths which I have 
no interest to deny ; one in particular which inrolves 
in it indeed the very principle of the defence^ — the 
Value of that happy, constitution of government 
which has so long existed in this island. I hope that 
none of us will ever forget the gratitude which we 
owe to the Divine Providence, and, under its bless-^ 
ing, to the wisdom of our forefathers, for the 
happy establishment of law and justice under 
which we live; and under which, thank God, my 
Client9 are this day to be judged : great indeed will 
be thje coqdemnation of any man who do^ not feei 
and act a$ he ought to do upon this subject ; for 
surely if there be one privilege greater than another 
which the benevolent Author of our being has Been 
pleased to dis})ense to his creatures since the existence 
of the earth which we inhabit, it is to have cast our' 
lots in this age and country :^-for myself, i woukt 
in spirit prostrate roysdf daily -and hoixriy befof^ 

VOL. III. c 

18 Mil. iSMKlNB^S 8P££Cn ON TBS TBIAX* 

Heaven to acknowledge it^ and instead^ of coming 
from the house of Mr. Walker^ and accompanying 
him at Preston (the only truths which the wittiess 
has uttered since he came into Court), if I believed 
him capable of committing the crimes he is charged 
with, I would rather have gone into my grave than 
have been found as^a friend under his roof. 

Gentlemen, the crime imputed to the Defendant iir 
a serious one indeed : — Mr. Law has told you, and 
told you truly, that this Indictment has not at all 
for its object to condemn or to question the particular 
bpinions which Mr. Walker and the other Defend- 
ants may entertain concerning the principles of this 
government, or the reforms which the wisest govern- 
ments may from time to time require : he is indeed 
a man of too enlarged a mind to think for a mo- 
ment that his country can be served by interrupting 
the current of liberal opinion, or overawing the legal 
freedom of English sentiment by the terrors of cri- 
minal prosecution: he openly disavows such a system, 
and has, i think, even more than hinted to us that 
there may be seasons when an attention to reform 
may be salutary, and that every individual under our 
happy establishment has a right upon this important 
Aubject to think for himself* 

The Defendants therefore are not arraigned befora 
you^ nor even censured in observation, for having 
associated at Manchester to promote what they felt 
to be the cavise of religious and civil liberty ; — ^nor are 
they arraigned or censured for seeking to collect the 

HP tfiOMAS WALKSit AND CtUttiB. 19 

lentiidents of their neighbours and the publie oon- 
cerning the necessity of a reform in the constitution 
of Parliament i these sentiments and objects art 
wholly out of the question : but they are charged 
with havidg unlawfully confederated and conspired 
to destroy and overthrow the government of the 
kingdom by opbn poacb and bsbsllion^ and that 
to ef{ect this wicked purpose they exercised the 
King*s subjects with arms^ perverting that which is 
our birthright^ for the protection of our lives and 
property^ to the malignant purpose of supporting the 
enemies of this kingdom in case of an invasion: in 
order^ as my friend has truly said (for t admit the 
consequence if the fact be established)^ in order ta 
make our country that scene of confusion and deso- 
lation which fills every man's heart with dismay and 
horror, when he only reads or thinks of what is trans-^ 
acting at a distance upon the bloody theatre of the 
war that is now desolating the worlds This^ and 
nothing different or less than this, is the charge 
which is made upon the Defendants, at the head of 
whom stands before you a merchant of honour^ pro-, 
perty, character, and respect;— who hste long en* 
joyed the countenance and friendship of nKany of 
the worthiest and most illustrious persons in the 
kingdom, and whose principles and conduct have 
more than opee be«a publicly and gratefully ac- 
knowledged by the community of which he is a mem* 
ber> as the fiiend pf th^ir commerce and liberties* 


and the pratfecfor of the most essential privileges 
which Englishmen can enjoy under the laws. 

Gentlemeii, slich a prosecution against such a pe*r- 
'ton ought to have had a strong foundation : putting 
private justice and all respect of persons, wholly out 
of the question, it should not, but upon the most 
clear convictiort and the most urgent necessity, have 
been instituted at all ;— we are at this moment in k 
most a\vful dnd fearful crisis of af&irs ; — we are told 
authentically by the Sovereign from the throne, that 
our enemies in France are meditating an invasion, 
and the kingdom from one end to another is in motiofi 
to repel it. In such -a state of things, and whet^ 
the public transactions of government and justice in 
the two countries pass and repass from one another as 
if upon the wings of the wind, politic to prepare 
this solemn array of justice upoa such a dangerous 
subject, without a reasonable foundation, or rathet- 
without an urgent call? At a time when it is our com- 
mon interest that France should believe us to be, what 
we are and ever have been, one heart and soul to pro- 
tect our country and our constitution — is it wise or 
prudent, putting private justice wholly out of the 
question^ that it should appear to the councils of 
France, — apt enough to exaggerate advantages, — that 
the Judge representing the Government in the 
northern district of this kingdom should be sitting 
here in judgment in the presence of all the gentle- 
men whose property lies in this great cOunty*, to 
trace and to ptinij^h the existence of a rebellious cou- 


spiracy to suppert an invasion from France? — a con^- 
spiracy not existing in a single district alone, but 
maintaining itself by criminal concert and corre- 
spondence in every district^ town, and city in the 
kingdom ;-^projecting nothing less thau the utter 
destruction and subversion of the Government.-^ 
Good God! can it be for the interest of Qciverpmcnt 
that such an account of the state of this country 
should go forth ? Unfortunately, the rumour and effect 
of this day's business will spread where the evidence 
ipay not travd with it, to serve as an antidote to the 
ipiBchief ; for certainly the scene which we have 
this day witnessed can never be imagined in France 
or in Europe^^wbere the spirit of our law is 
known and understood ; — it never will be credited 
that all this serious process hias no foundation either 
in fact or probability, and that it stands upon the 
single evidence of a common sddier, or rather a 
oommon vagabond, disdiarged as unfit to be a soU 
dier j — of a wretch, lost to all reverence for God and 
religion, wlio avows, that he has none for either^ 
and who is. incapable qf observing even coiprnpn de-> 
cency as a witness in the Court :-— this will never b^ 
believed ; and the country, whose best strength at 
home and abroad is the soundness of all its member^, 
will sufier from the very credit which Government wiU 
rcceive.fort;he justice of this proceeding. 

What th wean be more bene^eia} than that y(m 
should naa^e haste, as public and private men, to an- 
de(^ve the world; to do justice to your fellow-sub- 
JectSj aod tQ vindicate your country ?-^what eaq be 

c 3 

^2 MS. erskine's speech on the tbial 

more beneficial, than that. you, as honest men, should 
upon your oaths pronounce and record by your ver-r 
diet, that, however Englishmen may differ in religious 
opinions, which in such a land of thinking ever must 
be the case ; — ^that however they may separate in 
political speculations as to the wisest and best forma- 
tion of a House of Commons ; — that though some 
may think highly of the church and its establish- 
ment, whilst others, but with equal sincerity, prefer 
the worship of God with other ceremonies, or with- 
out any ceremonies ; — that though some may think- 
it unsafe to touch the constitution at this particular 
moment, and some, that at no time it is safe to touch 
it, while others think that its very existence depends 
iipon immediate reformation :— what, I repeat, can 
be more beneficial, than that your verdict should 
establish, that though the country is thus divided 
upon these political subjects, as it ever has been in 
every age and period of our history, yet that we all 
recollect pur duty to the land which our fathers have 
left us as an inheritance; — that we all ktiow and feel 
we have one common duty ^nd one common interest? 
This will ba the language of your verdict, whatever 
you yourselves may think upon these topics con-' 
nected with, but still collateral to the cause : — whe- 
ther you shall approve or disapprove of the opinions 
or object^ of the Defendants, I know that you will 
•till with one mind revolt with indignation at the 
evidaace you h^ve heard, when yoii shall have heard 
also the observations 1 have to make upon it, and, 
what is fer more important, the fects I shall bring 


farwiird to encounter it. To these last words I beg 
par particular attention: — I 8ay» when you shall 
hear the facts with which J mean to encounter the 
widened. My learlied friend has supposed that I 
bad nothing wba-ewith to support the cause^ buf 
by nulifig at his witness, and end^Vouring td tra«» 
duc^ his character by calling others to reproach it : 
he, hds tpld you» that I could encounter his testimony 
by no^Tze facty but that he had only to apprehend 
the influence tvhich my address might have uponf 
you; — as if I, an utter stranger here^ could have any 
possible weight or influence^ to oppose to him^ who 
has been so long known and honoured in this place. 

But although my learned friend seems to have et- 
pected no adverse evidence^ he appears to have heea 
appr^ns^ve for the credit and consistency of hit 
own ; since he has told you that we have drawn this 
man into a lure not uncommon for the purpose of 
entrapping witnesses into a contradiction of testi-^ 
mony ;— that we have ensnared him into the com* 
pany of persons who have drawn him in by insidious 
questions^ and written down what he has been made 
to declare to them in destruction of his original evi- 
depc|^5 for the wicked purpose of attacking the sworn 
testimony of truths and cutting down the conse* 
quepces whicli would have followed from it to the 
Defendimt^. If such a scene of wickedness had 
been practised, it must have been known to the wit-i* 
ness himself ; yet my learned friend will recollect^ that 
thpughhemade this char^ in his hearing before 


his- dxamifiation, he positively denittd the whoto i^ 

}t;^--Iputit to hiiyr point by p^fit, pui»iilqg^tb<( 

opening as my guides — ^and he denied tbait be tiad 

been drawn into any lure ;--^he denied that My trap 

had been laid for bi(n ; — ^he denied that be had berai 

asked any questions by any body. — If I am nii^lakj^ny.I 

desire to \\e corrected^ and particularly so by nny learned 

friend^' because I wish to state the evideoce as H wa» 

given>-^He has then denied all these things ; he has 

furtiher sworn that be never acknowledged to Mr^ 

Walker that ha had u^onged or injured him, or 

that the evidence, be had given ligainst him was ^Ad^i 

— that Jie never had gone down upop his knees in 

hi§ presence, to implore hi® fergfven^s ;**-4hat he 

never held his har^s before his face, to hide the teai^ 

that were flowing down his cheeks in the momentof 

contrition, or of terror at the oonsaquen<)e of hh 

erimes; all this he has positively and repeat^ly 

sworn in answer to questions deliberately ^t toihktii 

and instead of answering with doubt, or Ab trying iOi 

recollect whether any thing approaching such a nes, 

presentation had happened, he put bis hands to Wl^ 

sides, an4 laughed, as you saw, at me who put thi 

questions), with that sneer of contempt and iT)sol<»^ce 

wJiich accompanied the whole of his evidence, on 

my part s^t leasb of his examinatiorl 2 ^— if nothing. 

' therefore was at srt;ake but the destruction pf this 

man's evidt^nce, 'and with it the^ prosecutioii Which 

l-ests.for its whole existence^ upon it, I sho^* pro* 

ceedat pnce to conlbund him with testimoiiy, Ih^ 



trotli of which my learned friend himself will, I am 
iwe, not bring into question ; but as I wish the whole 
cpnduet of my Clients to stand fairiy before yqu, and 
not to rest merely upon positive swearing destructim 
of opposite testimony ; and as I ^ish the evidenoe I 
mean to bring before you, and the fitlsehood of that 
winch it opposes, to be dearly understood; I will state 
to you how it has happened that this strange prose* 
cation has oome before you. 

The town of Manchester has been long extremely 
divided in religious and civil opinions; and while i 
npish to vindicate those whom I represent in this plaee^ 
I desire not tp infiame differences which I hope in a 
^boit season will be forgotten ; I ain desirous, on the 
jcofftrary, that every thing whiph proceeds iron) me 
may be the means of conciliating rather than exas<» 
perating dissensions which have already produced 
mdch mischief, and which perhaps, but for the lesson 
pf to-day, might have produced much more, 

Gentlemeti, you al} know that there have been 
for centuries past in this country various sects of 
Christians worshipping God in difiereiyt forms, and 
holding a diversity of religious opinions ) aiid that 
this kw has fcH* a long season di^prived numerous 
plasses, even of His Majesty's Prptestant snb^dbtss, 
of privileges which it eonfers upon the rest, of the; 
public,* setting as it were a mark upon ibem, and 
keeping tliem below the level of the community, by 
shntting them out from offices of trust and c6nfi« 
dence in the country. Whether these laws he wise 


or unwise^ — ^whether tbey ought to be continued or 
abolished, are questions for the Legislature, and not 
for us ; but thus much I am warranted in sayii^^ 
^at it is the undoubted privilege oi every man or 
class of men in England, to petition I^liament for 
the removal of any system or law, which either ac- 
tually does aggrieve, or which is thought to be a 
grievance :-— impressed with the sense of this inherent 
privilege, this very Constitutional Society, which 
is supposed by my learned friend the Attorney Ge- 
neral to have started up on the breaking out of the 
war with France, fqr the purpose of destrojring the 
txxistitutioU' — ^this very sodety owed its birth to the 
assertion of this indisputable birthright of English- 
,men, which the authors of this prosecution most 
rashly thought proper to stigmatize and resiat* It ia 
well known that in 17Q0 the Dissenters in the dt£^ 
ferent parts of the kingdom were solicitous to bring 
before Parliament their application to put an end for 
ever to all divisions upon religious subjects, and to 
make us all, what I look forward yet to see, one 
harmonious body, living like one family together^ 
It is also well remembered with what zeal and elo- 
quence that great question was managed in the House 
of Commons by Mn Fox, and the large majority 
with which the repeal of the Test Acts was rcjeioted : 
it seems therefore strange that the period of this re- 
jection should be considered as an asra either of danger 
to the church or of religious triumph to Christians ; 
nevertheless, a large body of gentlemen and otheid 


at Manchester^ whose motives I an) far from wishing 
to scratinize or condemn, considered this very wish 
of the Dissenters as injurious to their rights^ and as 
dangerous to the church and state ;— they published 
advertisements expressive of these sentiments, and 
the rejection of the bill in the Gommons produced a 
society styled the Church and King Club, which met 
for the first time to celebrate what they called the 
glorious dedsion of the House of Commons in re-; 
jecting the prayer of their dissenting brethren. 

Gentlemen, it is not for me to say, that it was 
unjust or impolitic in Parliament to reject the appli-r 
cation; but surely I may without ofience suggest, 
that it was hardly a fit subject of triumph, that a 
great number of fellow-subjects, amounting,! believe^ 
to more than a million in this country, had miscar- 
ried in an olgect which they thought beneficial, and 
which they had a most unquestionable right to 
submit to the government under which they lived ; 
yet for this cause alone,— France and every other 
topic of controversy being yet unborn— the Church 
and King were held forth to be in danger ; — a so* 
^ety was instituted for their protection, and an unU 
form appointed with the church of Manchester upon 
the button. 

Gentlemen, without calling for any censure upon 
this proceeding, but leaving it to every man's own 
reflection, is it to be wondered at or condemned, 
that those wha thought more largely and liberally on 
lulgects of freedom both civil and religious, but who 


fouod themselves persecuted for senttmento and con* 
duct (be most avowedly legal md ooostitatioiid, 
' should asaociate for the support of their rights and 
privileges as Englishmen^ and assemUe to comider 
how they might best obtain a more adequate repre*. 
mentation of the people of Great Britain in Parli^ 
ment ? - . : 

Gentlemen^ this society oontinued with these, db^ 
jeets in view until the issuing of the proclamatioii 
against Republicans and Levellers, calling upon the 
magistrates to exert themselves throughout the king^. 
dom to ^ert some danger with which, it seems, our 
rulers thought this kingdom was likely to be visited* 
Of this danger, or the probability of it, either, gene^ 
rally or at Manchester in particular^ my learned friend 
has given no evidence from any quarter but that of 
Mr* Punn ;--^he has not proved that there has been 
i» any one part pf the kingdom any thing wbi^ 
could lead Government to apprehend that cieefeingt 
existed for the purposes pointed at ;»-*but that ia out 
of the question ;t — Government had a right to ttuiilQ 
for itself, and to issue the proclamation* The public 
cans however, (as it appears upon the omsfr-examina^* . 
tion of the witness), probably directed by the ma- 
gistrates, thought fit to shut up their houses opened 
by immemorial law to all the King's subjects, and to 
refuse admissiicm to all the gentlemen and tradesipaen 
pf the town who did not associate under the banners 
of this Church and King club. This illegal proeewd^ 
ing was accompanied with an adverti^^euient contains 


itig a vehement libel against all thbde pet-sonfs, whd, 
under the ptotection of the laws, thought theitistlves 
as much at liberty to consider their various privileges, 
as others Were to maintain the establishment of the 
church. tJpon this occasion Mr. Walker honour- 
ably stood forth, and opened his house to this Con- 
stitutional Society at a time when they must other- 
wise have been in the streets by si combinatidn of 
the publicans to reject them. Now, Gentlemen, I 
put it to you as m6n of honour, whether it can be 
justly attributed to Mr. Walker as seditious, thit 
he opened his house to ^ society of gentlemen and 
tradesmen, — whose good principles he was acquaint^ 
wlth,-^who had been wantonly opposed by this 
Churth and King club, whose privileges they had 
never invaded or questioned, — and againfet Whotft, ili 
.this day of trial, there is no man to be found who 
can come forward to impeach any thing they haVe 
done; or a syllable they have uttered. V^helfieht *« 
the desire most apparently has been, to bring this 
gentleman and his associates, as they are c^rlted, to 
justice, yet tiot otie magistrate,— no man of properly 
or figure in this town of its neighbourhood, — tio 
person having thd King*s authority in the countj^, 
has appeared td prove out fact or circumstance ftota 
Whence even the vaguest suspicion could arise, thkt 
any thing criminal had been intended or transact^ : 
— no constable, who hadtlVer been sent to guard, tet* 
the peace might be btoken, or to make Irfquilrie^ for 
its preservation ; -^- not a J>aper seiifed ttt-oUghWit 


England^ nor any other prosecution instituted ex-^ 
cept upon the unsupported evidence of the same 
miserable wretch who stands before you^ the town, 
neighbourhood, and county, remaining in the same 
profound state of tranquillity as k is at the moment 
I am addressing you. 

Gentlemen, when Parliament assembled at the end 
of 1792, previous to the commencement of the war, 
these unhappy differences were suddenly (and, as you 
will see, from no fault of Mr. Walker's) brought ta 
the crisis which produced this trial :< — a meeting wa9 
held in Manchester to prepare an address of thanks, 
to the King for having embodied the militia during' 
the recess of Parliament^ and for baying put the 
kingdom into a posture of defence ; I do not seek 
to question the measure of Government which gave 
rise to this approbation, or the approbation itself which 
the approvers had a right to bestow ; — ^but others 
had an equal right to entertain other opinions. On 
all public measures the decision undoubtedly is with 
Government ; but the people at the same time haver 
a right to think upon them, and to express what they 
think;— surely war, of all other sul^ects, is one which 
the people have a right to consider ; — surely it can 
be no offence for those whose properties were to be 
taxed, and whose inheritances were to be lessened by 
it, to pause a little upon the eve of a contest, the 
end of which no man can foresee,— the expenses of 
which no man can calculate, or estimate the bloods 
tp flow from its calamities* Surely it is a liberty se* 


cured to us by the first principles of our constitution^ 
to address the Sovereign, or instruct our represent- 
atives, to avert the greatest evil that can impend 
over .a nation. 

Gentlemen, one of those societies, called the Re- 
formation Society, met to exercise this undoubted 
^Hivilege, and in my mind upon the fittest occasion 
that ever presented itself; yet mark the moderation 
of Mr. Walker, whose violence is arraigned before 
you. Though he was no member of that body, and 
though he agreed in the propriety of the measure in 
i^tatiou, yet he suggested to them, that their oppo» 
skion might be made a pretence for tumult, — ^that 
tranquillity in such a crisis was by every means to be 
promoted, and therefore advised them to abstain 
irom the meeting ; so that the other meeting was 
left to oarry its approbation of Government and of 
the war, without a dissenting voice. If ever thereof 
fore there was a time when the Church and King 
might be said to be out of danger at Manchester, it 
was at this moment: — yet on this very- day they 
hoisted the banners of alarm to both ; — they paraded 
with them through every quarter of the town ; — 
mobs by degrees were collected, and in the evening 
of this veiy eleventh of December, the houses of 
Mr. Walker and others were attacked. You will 
pbserve, that before this day no man has talked about 
arms at Mr. Walker's : — if an honourable gentleman 
4ipon the Jury who has been carefully taking notes 
of the evidence, will have the goodness to refer to 


ibevn, he will find that it was not till near a weel: 
^ter this (so Dunn expresses it)^ that a single fire- 
, lock had been seen ; nor indeed does any part of thte 
evidence go back beyond this tiniCj when Mr. 
Walker'^s house was thus surrounded and attack^ by 
B riotous and disorderly mob. He was aware of the 
probable consequences of such an attack ; — he 
knew, by the recent exannple of Birmingham, what he 
and others professing sentiments of freedom had %q 
expect ; — he therefore got together a few fire-arms^ 
which he had long had publicly by him^ and an in- 
ventory of which with the rest of his furniture at 
Barlow Hall, had been taken by a sworn appraiser, 
long before any thing connected with this Indictment 
had an existence ; and with these, and the assistance 
of a few steady friends, he stood upon his defence. 
He was advised indeed to retire for safety; but know- 
ing his own innocence, and recollecting the duty he 
owed to himself, his family, and the public, he de* 
clared he would remain there, to support the laws and 
to defend his property, — and that he would perish^, 
rather than surrender those privileges, which every 
member of the community is bound, both from iii^ 
lerest and duty, to maintain :— to alarm the multi^ 
tude, he fired from the windows over their heads,, and 
dispersed them : but when, the next morning, they 
assembled in very great numbers before his house, 
and when a man got upon the churchyard wall, and 
read a most violent and inflamniatory paper^ inciting 
the populace to pull the house down ;—M**^ Walker 

OF TH0»iA8 WAittfift A«fi OTHERS. St^ 

fimt out itmongst thenH^ and expostulated with them, 
and asked why they had disgraced themselves so mndti 
byattadiing him the night before; adding, that if he 
had dorie any of them, or any person whom they 
knew, any injury, he was, upon proof of it, ready 
to make them every satisfactioti in his poweff — he 
kkotold them, that he had fired upon theni( the 
fi^ht before, because they wdre mad as wet! as drank ; 
tbat^ if they attadced him again^ he' would, under the! 
4Sihe circumstances, act as he had done before ; but 
that he was then alone and unarmed in the midst of 
them ; and if he bad done any thhig wfong, they 
Were then sober, and had him completely in their 

Gentlemcti^ this was most meritoriotis conduct- 
You all live at a distance from the metropolis, and 
iwsrie probably, therefore, fortunate enough neither to 
be within or near it in 1780, when, fpc«n beginnings 
ttnailer than those which exhibited them^lves at 
Birmingham^ or even at Manchester^ the metropolis 
of the country, *rid with it the country itself, bad 
iiearly been undone : the begirfning of these things 
is the season fot exertion: I shall nfver indeed forget 
Wluit I h^ve heard the late mild and venerable ma-» 
gistntte Lord Mamfield say npon this sub^t, whose 
bouse was one of the first attacked in London ; I have 
taoie than oote hesfcrd hirh say^ that perhaps some 
blame might have attached upon himself and others 
in aiathority, for their forbearance in not ha?ing di- 
rected fo<t» to have been at the first vHmeni repdie4 

J4 mi. ibrskinb's spbbch on the triai* 

by force, it being the highest humanity to check the 
infancy of tumults. 

' Gentlemen, Mr. Walker's conduct h^d the de- 
sired effect : he watched again on the ]3th of De. 
cember, but the mob returned no more, and the 
next morning the arms were locked up in a bed* 
chamber in his hduse, vvhere they hav^ remained ever 
since, and where, of course^ they never could. have 
been seen by the witne3s, whose whole evidence coiri-i 
mences above a vv$ek subsequent to the l ith of De* 
cember, when they were finally put aside. This is the 
genuine history of the business ; and- if iiiust therefore 
not a little surprise you, that when the charge is 
wholly confined to the use of arms, Mr. LaW should 
not even have; hinted to you that Mr. Walker*s 
house had been attacked, and that he Vi^as driven to 
stand upon his defence, as if such a tiling had never^ 
liad an existence ;— indeed the armoury which must 
have been exhibited iii such a statement, would have 
but ill guited the Indictment or the evidence, and I 
must therefore undertake the description of it myself. 
The- arms having befen locked up, as I told you, in 
the bedchamber, I was shown last week into this 
house of conspiracy,^— treason, — arid death, and saw 
exposed to view the mighty armoury which was to 
level the beautiful febric of our constitution, and to 
destroy the lives arid .properties df ten millions. of 
people. — It'consisted, first, of six little swivels pur- 
chased two years ago at the sdle of Livesey, Har- 
grave, and Co. (of whom we hate all heard so much); 
by Mr.- Jackson, a gentleman of Manchester, who is 


abo one of the Defendants, arid who gave them to 
Master Walker, a boy about ten years of age :— 
swivels, you know, are. guns so called because they 
turn upon a pivot ; but these were taken off their 
props, were painted, and put upon blocks resembling 
carriages of heavy cannon, and in that shape may be 
fairly called children*s toys ; you frequently see them 
in the neighbourhood of London adorning the houses 
of sober citizens, who, strangers to Mr. Brown and 
his improvements, and preferring grandeur to taste^ 
place them upon their ramparts at Mile-End or Is- 
lington. Having, like Mr. Dunn (I hope I re- 
semble him in nothing else), having, like him, served 
His Majesty as a soldier (and I am ready to serve 
again if my country's safety should require it), I took 
a closer review of all I saw, and observing that the 
muzzle of one of them was broke off, I was curious 
to know how far this famous conspiracy had pro- 
ceeded, and whether they had come into action, 
when I found the accident bad happened on 
firing a feu de joie upon His Majesty's happy re- 
covery, and that they had been afterwards fired upon 
the Prince of Wales' birthday. These are the only 
times, that, in the hands of these conspirators, these 
cannon, big with destruction, had opened their little 
mouths ;r— once to commemorate the indulgent and 
benign favour of Providence in the recovery of the 
Sovereign, and once as a congratulation to the Heir 
Apparent of his crown on the anniversary of his 



I urent next, under the protection of the master- 
general of this or4Qaac6 (Mr. Walker's chamber-* 
siaid), to visit the rest of this formidable array of 
death, and found a littie musketoon ^bout so high 
(dsscribing it) ; I put my thumb upon it, whei| 
out started a little bayonet like the iack-in-a*bax 
which we buy for children at a fmr : in short, not to 
weary you, Gentlemen, thare was just sudi a paccel 
of arms of different sorts and sizes as a man coUect^- 
ing amongst his ftiends, for bi$ de£enoe agiunat 
the sudden violence of ^, riotous multitude, miglit 
be expected to have collect^; here lay three os 
four rusty guna of different dimensions, and here 
and there a bayonet or broad-swocd, covered over 
with du^t and rust, so as to be almost undistinguish«^ 
able ; for, notwithstanding what this infamous wretch, 
has sworn, w^ will prove by witness after witness^ 
till you desire i^ to ffaush, that they were princi- 
pally. QoUected on the 11th of December^ the day of 
the riot, aiyi that from the 1 2th in the evenings or 
the l^th in the iporning^ they have lain untouched, 
as } kiUTe desfixibed them ; — that their use began and 
elided with tlie necessity, and that, from that time to 
the prcf^ent, there never has been a fire«arm in the 
warehouse of any sort or description. This is the 
whale on which hns been built a prooeedipg tltat 
mighi have brought the Defendants ta the punish^ 
ment of dieath, foe both the charge and the evi^ 
deuce aniaunt tx>. high treason, — high treason^ in- 
dcecl, under almost ^very branch of the statute; since. 

tflg fafiti amoant to levying wir Against the Kihg^-^ 
by a conspiracy to wrest by force the gb\€riiinhht 
out of his hands, — to an adherence to the King's 
enemies,— arid id a compassing of his death, iVhich 
is a neceisa^^ conseqaence of an invading army of 
riepabKcans of of any othef enemies of the stafteV-- 
yef notwithstanding the notoriety of these facts, the 
Tin-named prb^chtors (and indeed I am afraid to 
slander any man or body of fnen, by even a guessT 
lipon £he subject) h'arebeen beating np as for voTun- 
tecf^s, to procure another witness to destroy the lives 
of the gfentlemen bdfdreyorf, against many of ^hom 
i#^arrants for higli treason were issned to appriliend 
thetrf; Mr. Walker, among tfhe rest, was tl^e sub- 
jict 6f inch a warrant, and aS ioon a^ he knew it; he 
behaved (as he has throughout) Hke a man and an. 
EngBsfrmaflf r— ^he wrote irnTAedfately to the Secfetary 
oif Stkte, ^ho was sirAimbnecf here to-day, and whosrf 
absence I do not compKin of, be<iause we have by 
crtisehtf fbt b^riefit of hi^ testinibny ; — he wrote three 
Icffterff fo Hfi*. Dmidas, one of which was' delivered^ 
by Mr. Wharton, informing him that he Was ift 
LoAdon oh* his business as' a merchant ; — that if any 
warrant had been issued against him, he was ready to' 
rte6t it, and for that' purpose d(iliver^d his address 
where it might be cxe6uted. This Mr. Walk^i* did 
Wheii th6 prbsecutors were in* s^rch of another Wit- 
ness, and when tWs Mr. Dunn was walking like a 
tarh'tf ^ki^row l!hroitgh tfhe New Bailey, fed at the 
pUblilS or siiifte 6t^er' 6?^pfertse, arid sitfffeteiF to ^ ^ 



large, though arrested upon a criminal charge^ and 
sent into custody under it. 

And to what other circumstances need I appeal for 
the .purity of the Defendants, than that, under the 
charge of a conspiracy, extensive enough tocompre* 
hend in its transactions (if any existed) the whole 
compass of England, the tour of which was to have 
been made by Mr. Yorke, there has not been one 
man found to utter a syllable about them, no not. 
one man, thanks be to God, who has so framed the 
characteristics of Englishmen, except the solitary in- 
famous witness before you, who, from what I heard 
since I began to address you, may have spoken the 
truth when he claimed my acquaintance, as I have 
reason to think he has seen me before in a criminal 
court of justice. 

Having now, for the satisfaction of the Defend- 
ants rather than from the necessity of the case, given 
you an account of their whole proceedings, as I 
fehall establish them by proof; let us examine the 
evidence that has been given against them, and see 
how the trvith of it could stand with reason or pro- 
bability, supposing it to have been sworn to by a 
witness the most respectable. 

According to Dunn's own account, Mr. Walker 
had not been at the first meeting, so that when he 
first saw Dunn he. did not know either his person or 
his name ; he niight have been, a spy (God knowsi 
there are enow of them)^ and at that season in pg^rti- 
cplar, informers were to be expected : — Mr. WalK^ 


is sopp6sed to bave hira^ /^ What is youj* bu-; 
'^ siiiess here ?" to which he answered, " I am going 
^^ to the society," which entiikd hint) at once to ad- 
raasiou without farther ceremony; — there was. ao- 
body to. stop him :— was he asked his name. ?— was he 
hailottedfor? — vvas he questioned as to his principles ? , 
No> he walked, in atom*.; but fiist, it se^ms, Mr, * 
Walker, who had never before. seen himj inquired, 
of bim. the pews from. Irieland (observing by bis voipe. 
that he: wa^ an Irishman),. and asked what the vo- . 
Iimbecra were aban^ as if Mr. Walker could possibly * 
suppo^ that such a. person was. likely to have been 
ia ;a( <:6rr^pond6nce with Ireland^ which told hirn 
more thau report must have told every body else* 
Mr, Dunn tells you indeed be was no such person,: 
Tie was a friend, as he 5a} s, to .the King and Cori- 
stifulaon, which Mr. Walker would have found by 
asking another qi^stion; but, without furbher in- 
qiiiry, he is supposed to. have said to him at once, 
*f We shall, overthrow the. constitution by and by;" 
which , the m6mertt Du^nn had heard, up walked that 
aflfectionate subject of our Sovereign Lprd the King: 
into Mr, Walker's house,} where the constitution was 
to be . so overthrown ; but then be tells you h&' 
thought there was no harm to be done, that ic was- 
only for the benefit of the poor, and the public good j 
—but how oo.uld he. think so after what he had that 
moment heard ? but he did not know, it seems, what 
Mr. Waiker qjeant. Geutlexnen, do you collect^ 
iirom Mf* Dttpn's discpjurse and. deportment to-day, 
. »4 


^bat he could not teU but that a man tne^nt goofi 
\vben he had heard evep him exprpsi a wish to ovoTr 
throw the government ? wpuld yon pull a feather ot|t 
pf a sparrow's wing upon the oath of a nian, who 
awears that he believed a perscni to have bfsem a good 
^ubject in the very moment he was telling htm of ai| 
intended rebellion ? But ^hy shqulii I %hta f^ian^ 
jtom with argument ?-T-Could any naan bi4 a drivefr 
|er, have possibly given such m answer, as ispu^ 
into Mr. Walker's mouth, tq a mail he b^ nen^ 
seen in bis life ? However many inay 4fflfer ffomf 
Mr. Walker in opinion, every body, 1 beU^re, mil 
admit that be is ao acute intelligent man, with ai| 
lextensive knowledge of the world, a^d not at al| 
likely to h^ve cppduet^ himself lik^ an idiot. Wbal 
follows next ? — ilhotber night he wentiolp the ware* 
^ouse, where be saw Mr. Yorke called to the efs^r^ 
who said he was going the tour pi the kfngdoa», n^ 
prder to try the strength of the difiemit tpcietieij, 
to join fifty thousand men that y^trp expect^ to had 
from France in this country, and that Mr. WaUunr 
then said, " Damn all kings— 1 know cmr Kiog \in 
" seventeen ipilljons of money hn the Bank of 
f* Vienna, although he won't afford any of if to tbft 
f^ poor/' Gentlernen, ja this the bnguage c^a mati 
pf sense and education ? l( Mr. Walker had the 
malignity pf a demon, wookl he think pf gi^V^ 
^ect to it by such a senseless }je f-^Wheti we know 
that, from ^e immense expense atteiidiiig H|9 Ma^ 
jesty-s numerous ai^ iHustripfi^ ^uns^y 9^ th^ graat 

wocssitttts of the state, be has been obliged ot^ind 
over again td hare redouffie to th^ gdnero^H^ and 
joBtice of FarliaiUenC to maintain t^ dignity of A6 
Growth, coipid Mr. Walker ever have thought of Ift^ 
ventang this aonsenae about the Batik of Vienna, 
when there is a Bank too in o&f own eountfy^ wh^nt 
be might legally invest his property for bimadf mA 
bis heirs i fiiit Mr. Walker did not fttop thei'e i-^b0 
went on and said, ^^ I should think no more of talking- 
^* off the King's beaid than I should of tearing tbii 
^' pkoe of paper.** Ml this happened soon after hia 
^dmassion ^ y^t this map, x^bo repnesetrts himseif td 
yottxipon his0ath this^sy, as having betn xitiM0nA\f 
a friend to the x^onstitotion, aa far a& ha understood 
it y^^<f9 bavk^ kft th0 sOeieCy as soofi aa he lamr tlidr * 
piiiehii^oiis }iiciiiiatioiia/-«««nd aa having ifOkmtmitif 
iafiimied agailpat then)/ I %»f this sfltne friend of the 
ponstitixtkm teUa yoo^ almost in the M»^ brfeath^ 
Itbat be caootiiSQed (0 Attend tbair iftetthi^ bom 
tb^y to forty tfmes> wheT6 tigh trediCTi. pfds cwMk*^ 
ting with open doors ; and thiyl^ histead df giving in^ 
ior^ptipn of hi? o^n free choice, h^ waa arrested in 
the vptfmA of diatribniing aoaae aeditiopapnblieatioB. 
OMtteman, it ia real^ a serious^ 0ODsideration,. 
that ttpm Mdb testimony a man sbootd even b^ pot 
i^^on his defei^ i» 1^ cMxi& of tbi« coontry v^ 
Ufpoo aiadi fMpy» ^^ ^fM^ i» ^^^ I ^^ ^ 
desd bm ill af ease myfetf wbett Mr. Dmn mW ftie 
hekiie«r me better tbfwiatippdsed. WteK Mgortt/ 
^a^ I At tlw QM9Mt tbM )m; ill^ 


hfi liad met i^ie und^r some gateway in Lancaster, and 
that J had said to him, " Well, Dunn, I hope yoa will 
•S not swear against Mr. Walker, but that you wiU 
'^ stick to the good cause : . damn all kings : damn 
"fthe constitution :" if the witness were now to 
swear this, into gaol I must go; and if my Client i» 
ID danger from what has been sworn against kintj 
what safety would there be for Tnc/*— the evidence, 
^ould be equally positive, and I am equally an object 
of suspicion as Mr. Walker : it is said oi hm^ that 
be has been a niember of a society for the reform of 
Parliament ; so have /, and so am 1 at this moment^ 
and so at all haizards I will continue to be, and I will 
tell you why, Gentlemen — because I hold itto^be 
essential to the preservation of all the ranks and orders 
of the state, — alike essential to the prince and to the 
people : I have the hdnour to be allied to His Ma- 
jesty in Wood, and my family has been for centuries 
a part of what is now called the aristocracy of the 
country ; I can therefore havie no interest-in the de^ 
struction of the constitution. 

In pursuing the probability of this story (since it 
must be pursued), let us next advert to whether any 
thing appears to have been done in other places 
which might have been exposed by this man*s in* 
formation. The whole kingdom is under the eye. and 
dominion of magistracy, awakened at that time to an 
extraordinary vigilance ; yet has any one man been, 
arriested even upon the suspicion of any correspond-^ 
encfe with the societies of Manchester, goodjj bad, or 


mdifFerent ? or has any person within the four seat 
come to swear that any such corre^ndence existed.^ 
So that you are desired to believe, upon Mr. Dunn't 
single declaration, that gentlemen of the descriptioa 
I am representing, without any end or object, or 
concert with others, were resolved to put their livau 
into the hands of any miscreant who might be dis*. 
posed to swear them away^ by holding public meet- 
ings of conspiracy with open dbdrs, and in the pre- 
sence of all mankind, liable to be handed over to 
justice every moment of their lives, since every tap 
at the door might have introduced a constable as. 
readily as a member ; and, to finish the absurdity,- 
these gentlemen are made to discourse in a manner, 
that would disgrace the lowest and most uninformed 
classes of the community. 

Let us next see what interest Mr. Walker has^in 
the proposed invasion of this peaceable country : has 
Mr. Law proved that Mr. Walker had any reason to 
expect protection from the French from any secret 
correspondence or communication more than you or 
I have, or that he had prepared any means of resist- 
ing the troops of this country ? — how was he to have 
welcomed these strangers into our land ? — what, with 
this dozen of rusty muskets, or with those conspira^ 
tors vfhom he exercised ? — but who are they ? — they 
are, it seems, " to the Jurors unknown," as my 
learned friend has called them who drew this In-» 
dictment, aiid he might have added, who will ever 
remain i^nknown tQ Mem,— But has Mr. Walker non 

ft^ffg W k)*, Hke Gth^r mm trho^read ah invasion f 
tk ha9 Ig^ bd4 the ^i^dmtan^d itid (^'iehMitp of 
•cMid df the beat ^Mfi itv tbisf kitigdotif)^ ivbo ^irduM 
1»B dl»tf&^^d if 9^h m ihnSiiQh she^iIH fgke place*"^ 
Has h^y ))kd otlif^^ ni6fi, ir^ ii^ of a near e^i^ d^s£#^-? 
tton > Afe«, GeftttemM r I feifil at tht« monyent IhiC^ 
be has nttnfy i Mti Dntiti ii^d yoi^ that I wa^ \^Mh 
Mt. Walker^ « M«tt*hef^ter> irifd it enaM^ A« to iS*f ^- 
oif my Oivti ktio^wIe%6,' fhS^it- is impossiM^ hd^duSJ 
kGive hdc( Ihd des^n^ inf)f>tf{ed W him. J h#te I)i6^# 
im&et hi9 fdoif, \Vh^e I h^e^ seett him (hffr fk^hl^d 
^ ^m itmkhle aTiAHfke%i^a(& Woman, and ^ ^ppf 
pnfim t4d\% tog^ging ehiM^ ; and H hekt^ttie iii)& 
\it^ ta think WhM fh«y i^cisf f^I at thi^ monfcfRf •> 
j^&k»^ pC&9btQti6iy§ tfS set e^ foot, thos6' thiiigst 
dught to be considered ;— we *^1« im, Kkd ft*? fi** 
ill: 1^ Fi^6f4)Sy fd* ^m€^ firebrtod;^ aM deeM^y ahcl 
fejr, ^'AiftlfiotJnsfKjftr (>burrfwelo6i«fhf*nft5i.' 
Aefl^iMd thedwdRftg 6f (hi>te>fe¥«trtMitte geptleroafty 
i^ SIS I Ai}«l^<!;aII hiYAy I am perstia(!^ (he so&ti;^ 
#g>AAd d Jttf fti usi^-^hfe family camiot but be trrrfiapf^ ;' 
*^ft®^ hia^e ^en ^'os^feutioA* equally unjust as even? 
flVte fe,- ii«tended Vvith a sweeps of *q^f itijeriei^; 
Md w* haS^e seen tRofe |)ro(!feedirigsv | ath afmid by 
fll(»tf v^teo «ri8 al thfe b6tt6iTfT of ifhis IricKttmetit!, ptit 
«?i<#arrffi» yoid- iWiitrflffeir. I sa\t (6 ihy aSttohisfr^- 
jBfti*, at J?te^dn, vAieYe, a* * traveller, J calfed for* 
a'ltevW^pKV; th« this'iWfWacuWA sodety (i^iMitif^ 
«te8t^¥' €»^ftb ii^ KittgCluiyy Ba(f i meairig ferfeiy. 

mmit which thpy ^raak ; sooifi of them I like, mmm 
of them deserve repvoftiatipn i <^ The Chnreh bii4 
'' King;^* very vyeU. '' Tlie Queen and Rpyal £^ 
<^ Qttily ;'' be it 8o. ^ The Di)ke af Yark tnd th« 
*^ Am^ ;** be it sq« B^t tvH^ dp yen thiiik eaam 

fifinre M*. Justice Heatft inierfmpud Mr. Er$kp^^ 
h}^ iayixig, ^ fPi are ifiot ia g^ mko this, ofpifok ym^ 
^ cmmQl givetviinuitf'). 

Mv. Ershiae. I don't know wha^ eieet th^te 
puUktttioQf may have upoa the admiaistvation o£ 
jostioe; viky drtqk ^ Thf Ijovd j^chonte and ih 
^^ Court of Jiistkimrt/i m Scoiiaod,'* just when yoor 
liurdship i& cajkd upon to admiBisterjiiatioa according 
lo the laws o( Engiand} tf I had aeea the King aii4 
his Juc^s upou the northenn eirooit pt)hKshe4 ea« 
toast t. J . Ji 

Mr. Justice jSkoA. You know yoa qanaot gim 
t^ta ia evkfence. 

Mr. Brskine. Gentlenen^ coMideaing the sitan^i 
tipn in whioh my Glienta staad at this laooMMt, i 
axgresaed the idea which ocaufved to nie> aiM| nArndk 
\ thought i^ righi not to 8UppraBa:-nJ»utrlat it pa9a;t«ii 
this is not the iBoaae»t fbi^ GpqlixH{es^;-mit is ingr 
intei^est to suhnut to^ any oouise his Loiddvp wmfp 
think proper to dictate; the evidence is mor^ tJNM 
^nov^Ji foi; niy purpose. ;-<»sp^BMiittly iafipfobaM|i^> m 
cqateaiy tp ewery thing ib the> CDuose oC* hi^mm 
tShm^ ti^I Ipinow yoiAwill lejaet iA, even if ifestepcl 
ipiaaipig^;. what- thea wiU yoa say^ when I shaH^ 
prove to you by the oaths of th€i various persons who 


. attended these sociQti)es, that no propositions of the 
0ort insinuated by this witness ever existed ; — that 
no hint, directly or indirectly, of any illegal tendency, 
was ever whispered ;— that their real olgects were 
just what were openly professed, be they right or 
wrong, be they wise or mistaken, namely, reforma-^' 
tioh. in the constilutmi of the House of Commons^ 
which my learned friend admitted they had a right 
by constitutional means to promote. This was their 
object ;— they neither desired to touch the King's 
authority, nor the existence or privileges of the 
House of Lords ; but they wished, that those nume- 
rous classes of the community, who (by the law as 
it now stands) are excluded from any share in the 
choice of members to the Parliament, should hate 
.an equal right with others, in concerns where their 
interests are equal. Gentlemen, this very county^ 
furnishes a familiar instance; there are, I believe^ 
at least thirty thousand freeholders in Lancashire, 
each of Whom has a vote for two members of 
Parliament; and there are two .boroughs within it (if 
I mistake not), .Clithero and Newton, containing a 
jbandful oif men who are at the beck of ttoo individuals; 
yet these two little places send for themselves, or 
rather for these two persons, two members each, which 
makes four against the whole power and interest of , 
this county in Parliament, touching any measure, 
haw deeply soever it may concern their prosperity^ 
Can there be any ofFqnce in meeting together to 
confcicfer.of a representation/to Parliament, suggesting 


the wisdom of alteration and amendment in such a 
system ? 

Mr. Justice Heath. ^^There can be no doubt bitt 
that a petition to Parliainent, for reform or any thing 
else, can be no offence. 

Mr. Erskine. Gentlemen, I expected this inter* 
ruptibn from the learning of the Judge ; certainly it 
can be no offence, and consequently my Clients can 
be no offenders. 

Having now exposed tlie weakness of Dunn's evi- 
dence, from its own intrinsic defecte, and from the 
positive contradiction every part of it is to receive 
frdm many witnesses, I shall conclude with the still 
more positive and. unequivocal contradiction which 
the whole of it has received from Dunn himself.— 
You remember that I repeatedly asked him whether 
he had not confessed that the whole he had sworn 
to-day was utterly false ; whether he had not con- 
fessed, it to be so with tears of contrition, , and whe- 
ther he had not kneeled down before Mr. Walker, 
to implore his forgiveness. My learned friend, 
knowing that this would be proved upon him, made 
a shrewd and artful observation, to avoid the effecti 
of it ; — ^^he said, that such things had fallen oftea 
under the bbservation of the Court upon the circuity 
where witnesses had been drawn into similar snares 
by artful people to invalidate their testimony ; — this 
inay be true, but the answer to its application is, that 
not only the witness himself has positively denied 
that any such snare was laid fpr him, but the wit- 

ecMfii J. btvf to 9tU» both io re^paot of wmb« 9xi4 
credit^ will put a total end to such a suggestion ; if 
1 2iad indetd but wa wtQeJA^ my (mvA the Attor- 
iiey Qmerftl mi^t oodoiibtedly put it to you is 
reply, whether his or mine was to be believed i but I 
Hf^ e^l t0 you, mdow}Mt fmtr or^ ; or, if ne- 
oewsry* m witumm^^ aaovs Af'ii pv«piciok, }« 
whom pre^en^ JDuon vokmttiily co^f^^ the falser 
bood of his testimony, and, with ti^r^ of apparemt 
i^^«it«»Qei ^^^i^ to m^kci my rdparatkm to these 
■m^ Pttd uoittriimpto D9feiidwit«.-ii*.Xhiai t plo^ 
I9y^f bof prova to your afiti^otiofi^ 

Gmtlfmm# the ^joel of all p^kblic tritt md pu^ 
fti^hw^nt ill (h^ o^oyrity of m^iikkid m «odal Hfti# 
Wq drs »P( W9€inbioJ \m^ for the purpos^a of veot^ 
fMR6^« httt fer tb^ ends of ji>stk^ ;«^to giv^ Iran-* 
qnUlity to humw Hfe, v/^kh ia lh# 9C^0 of iHX go** 
v^mm^ awl law;— ygy. Mall takfi carf therefore, towv 
ia tbQ v«ry n^^^imttratio^ of jwticei you dinippotirt 
that wbiqh i» *§ very (ound^tioQ^ of its iitititqtioiii i 
-^yoft viftll Uik^ €ay«5 thul m tbo veay moiijwt y«i 
ftm^yifig a mw 91 a disturber of the pujbiict h*p|«^ 
«i^^ y^vt (k)^ aot i^ioUt^ thie^ rulss iwhich mcm^ \t 

Tb^ k«l efideiU^ I bav^ heoEi $latii^ oogbt by ^ 
ftdf to p«ftBfi i^ttDt ep<d to th^QMuai^; I rernQnib^r 
« Qft»fe very tetdy, whkfc- w^ s(fr brought to its «m^ 
ctutioQy ^h^^, upoA s^ ti^ ibif perjury of a vriiDeso^ 
who hft(l iw^n %^iist a cfiptflaik of as y^99l in th« 
Mii^iP ti^di^, H «ppeii^ th^ tho witnesaes^ tvhof 
swoTQ to (^ ^y^y «p»nil tbt d&feMbM^ h«i 


themselves made delibemle dedaraiion^, which ma- 
terimUy dashed with the testimony they were giving; 
liDtd KenycHij Who tried the cause^ would after this 
proceed no further, and* asked nie, who was counsel 
for the prosecution, whether I frouM urge it further, 
saying eu^phatically, what I ho^e every Judge cmdor 
similar ciraimsstonces will think it his duty to say also, 
" No man ought or can be convicted in Englisind^ 
*^ nillass the Jcdge and the Jury have ajirrwaisurdnte 
*^ tblt hmocence cannot by any possibility be tlie 
" victim of conviction and* sentence." And how can 
the Jnry or his Lordship ha\'e that assurance here, 
when the only source of it. is brought into scch se<- 
rious doubt and question ? Upon the whole, then, I 
caiteiot hdp hoping, that my friend the Attorney 
General, when he shall hear tny proofe, wiH feel that 
a prosecotibfy like this ought liot to be offered for 
the seal and sanction of yow verdict. Unjust prose- 
cutions lead to the ruin of all governments. Who- 
ever will lo6k back to the hisflory of the world "in . 
general, and of out own particular country, will be 
convinced, that exactly as prosecutions have been 
cruel and oppressive, and maintained by inadequate 
and unrighteous evidence, in the same proportion, 
and by the same mean^, their authors have been d&- 
sti^'cd iti^eadf of being supported by them ; — as 
often^ as the principles of our ancient laws have been 
departed from in weak and wicked times, so often 
the goveviiments that have violated them have been 
suddenly crumbled iivtb dast ; and therefore wishing 

50 MR. BRSKIKE's speech on THE TEIAL 

as I most sincerely do, the preservation and prospo- 
rity of our happy .constitution, I desire to enter my 
protest against its being supported by means that are 
likely to destroy it. Violent proceedings bring on 
the bitterness of retaliation, until all justice and ma- 
deratioq are trampled down and subverted ;-»-witiie8s 
those sanguinary prosecutions previous to the awfol 
period in the last century, when Charles the First 
fell : that unfortunate prince lived to lament those 
vindictive judgments by which his impolitic, infatuated 
followers imagined they were supporting his throne: 
.•—he lived to see how they destroyed it ;--?his throne, 
undermined by violence, sunk under him, and those 
who shook it were guilty in their turn (such is the 
natumi order of injustice; not only of similar but of 
worse and more violent wrongs ; witness the fate o£ 
the unhappy Earl of Strafforcl, who, when he couM 
not be r.eached by the ordinary kws, was impeadied 
in the House of Commons, and who, when still tSe* 
yond the consequences of that judicial proceedings 
was at last destroyed by the arbitrary mthed mandate 
qf the. Legisiature.' J^mes the Second lived to ask 
assistance in the hour of his distress, from those who 
had been cut off from the means of giving it by un- 
just prosecutions ; he lived, to ask support from the 
Earl of Bedford after his son the unibrtunate Lord 
Russell had fallen vmder the axe of injustice; ^Monce 
V had a §on," said that noble person, '^ who could 
*' have served your Majesty upon this occasion^'* but 
there was then none to assist hm,.^ 


I cannot possibly tell how others feel upon these 
subjects, but I do know bow it is their interest to 
{^ GouGerning them ; we ought to be persuaded 
thai the only way by which government can be ho* 
uouraUy or safdy supported, is by cultivating the 
love aod aifection. of the people ;— by showing them 
the value of the constitution by its protection ;-^by 
making them understand its principles by tbe practi- 
cal bendita derived from them ^-^nd above all, by 
letting then) feel their security in the administration* 
of law and justice* What is it in the present state of 
that unhappy kingdom, the contagion of which fills 
us with such alarm, that is tlie just object of terror f 
*-*what, but that accusation and conviction are the 
same, and that a false witness or power without evi* 
dence is a warrant for death ! Not so here ;r-Jong 
may the countries differ ! and I am asking for no- 
thing more, than that you should decide according 
to our own wholesome rules, by whichrour govern* 
ment was estabKehed, and by which it has been ever 
protected. Put yourselves. Gentlemen^ in the place 
of the Defendants, and let me ask| if you were 
brought before your country^ upon a charge sup^ 
ported by no other evidence than that which yoa 
have heard to-day, and eooountered by that which 
I have stated to yoa, what would you say^ or your 
children aftef youj^ if you were touched in your per^ 
sons or your properties by a conviction ? — ^may you 
pever be put to such reflections, nor the oountry ta 
?Hch disgrace ! The best service we can render ta 


the public is^ that we should live like one hannonidas 
family, that we should banish ail animosities, jealoo* 
aeSy and suspicions of one another ; and that, Itvkig 
under the protection of a mi)d and impartial justice^ 
we should endeavour, with one heart, acoordii^ ta 
our best judgments, to advance the freedom and 
maintain the security of Gr^t Britain. 

Gentlemen, I will trouble you no fortlier ; I am 
afraid indeed I have too long trespassed on your pa^ 
tience> I will therefore proceed to call my witnesses.' 

On the eiommPMiion (^thtmtnesim, to the mailers 
mentioned by, Mr. Erskhe in Itis Speech, the witnese 
for the CrowHf Themeis Dunn, %»as so eniirefy om^* 
tradieted, that Mr. Law interposing, in the maimer 
slated in the preface, the trial ended, oniMf. Walker 
And the ot/ier lyejkndamts were acqmtted^ 







The T/ud b^[an on the 2Sth of Octpber, and endod on the^^th 
of November, 1794. 

We have mi b0en withom tmnd^ahle di^culiies m 
preparing the UntroducttQn io Mr. Erskine's Speech 
upon this wp^t memorably Suue TriaL 

It was i^r 4>riginal injLtm^iim^ m we hiwe befpri 
stated^ Ht/hoife puilifihed m(:k of Mr. ErsAine^s 
Speeehe^ ^s.^^,were ^hi^c&Ueet^ in the sicmemaMer 
as those (ffthf Mast^^ ihe Roils in Ireland hadbden 
printed in I^biin^ which ^^d^ as we have said, to the 
present pHUi^ti^'^pfefii(;ing onltft as in that coi^ 
lection^ a. short aecaunt of ih$ occasions on which tkey, 
were delivered. But as we advanced in the work, jwe 
fovxj.dsome o/ihe Speeches yi^Mch we had colleeted, so 
4ilosebf conneoi^ with political differences in our owh 
tinies^ that, to avoid even the appearance of partiality^ 
' or of any denre to render the work subservient to th9 
sentiments or views jofany particular class ofpersonf^, 
hmever eminent ir-^above all, to avoid the iMsi dista/i^s 
appearance pf entering into the imputed or iiupposed 

B 3 


designs of the persons prosecuted by Government^ and 
defended in the Speeches in "que^ion^ we found it ad^ 
visable-y because in those instances practicabltj to print 
not only the Speeches for t/ie Croivn, but the whole sub - 
stance of the evidence. This could ntk ifce done, upon 
the present occasion^ withoiU printing the whole Trials 
which occfipies three large volumes : yet, to give to 
Mr. Erskine^s Speech — tfie publication of which is our 
'principal desigh-^its tjve spirit and effect, we found 
that it would be necessary to explain the nature of the 
arguments it opposed j and of the evidence which it ap^ 
pealed, to, and had prepared a concise skUementof the 
fihole case.*-—Siill apprehensive, however, that' uk 
might be stispeeted of leaning to the side of the parties 
accused by Government^^^and be charged mth giving 
a gar^bled publication frmn motives foreign toour pro • 
fessions-'^we resolved to print the entire Speech of t lie 
Attorney General, in which he detailed the whole tody 
of the evidence, and also the law respecting high trea- 
son, as he meant to apjply it against the Prisoners, 
which, with the answer to it by Mr. Erskine, brings^ 
forward the whole outline of this interesting pro- 

Never, perhaps, were any persons acaised of high 
treason (certainly not since the government became 
settled at the Revolution) exposed to such great diffi^ 
cutties in making their defence. — It will beseei^ by the 
following Speeches, and by the Indictment prefixed to 
them, that the Prisoners were charged with compassing 
and imagimng the death of the King^ the overt act 


being a tompiracy, which, though masked under the^ 
pretence of proaering by legal means a r^orm in 
the Commons House of Parliament j had for its real 
oljfect the subversion by rtbellious force of the whole 
frame of the constitution of the country. \ 

In support of this JndictTnent it will be seen by the 
fyllowing Speeches, that the evidence for the Crown- 
wojf divided into two distinct branchesyviz. to esta^ 
bUshg^rst, that such a conspiracy existed, and secondly , 
tdfrove tJuLt the Prisoners were parties to it* This 
course^ of proceeding had been sanctioned by the opi^ 
nions of the Judges upon other trials, but the adoption 
of it upon this occasion, however legal, undoubtedly 
exposed the Prisoners to great peril of prefudgmenty 
because almost the whole of the evidence given by the 
Crown against them had been collected by both Houses 
of Par liaifient just before the trial, and printed by 
their authority, and a Statute ^ had even been passed, 
declaring, t/iat the treacherous conspiracy which con-- 
stituted thej,rst and very important branch of tJie 
evidence, did in fact exist within the kingdom. We 
say a very important branch of the evidence, because 
undoubtedly, if the Jury had considered that the evi^ 
dence supported tlie, truth of the prearAble to the Act 
of Parliament, the Prisoners must have been in a 

* 34 Geo. III. c. 54. The preamble to the Bill states, that 
'* whereas a treacherous and detestable conspiracy has been 
" formed for subverting the existing laws and constitution, and fb^ 
*' introdaciflg lh0 sysleni of maxchy an4 confusion, which liat so 
** lately prevailed in France^*' &c. 

B 4 


manner without a defence, jfuthorily was also gwenk 
t^detaiH^ withotU bail^ persons already in custody y 
on suspicion of being engaged in the ahove conspiracy y 
or who sJiould be therenfier committed on that aecounf. 
fVith regard to tku Act oj Parliament, it is im^ 
^ possible y on the one handy to deny the constitutiokal 
covipetency of Parliament to declare the etxistente^ 
a dangerous and extended conspiracy^ endangering fibS- 
only the safety^ but the very existence of the St^te. 
On Hhe Mher handy the persons who may beoome ^6- 
noxiom to suspiciony and he stsbject^d to a pubtic pro^' 
^ecutjou inconsequence of such a legislative proceeds 
ivgy come to a trial under seemingly insurmountable^ 

• In tlie very case before iis^ the two Houses of Par^ 
liainent had ^ collected and arranged the greater part 
of the written evidence afterwards produced by the 
Crown, againsi the Prisoners y and in the preamble of 
the Act had given it the charactei* of a detestable con-^ 
spiracy, to subvert the monarchy^ atthough, as has 
been already statedy the inquiry of the Jury was to 
be divided into two branches-r^First^ whether- the evi^ 
dence, great part of which had been so cellecttid' and 
arranged in Parliament and published, substantiated 
the decktration made in the preamble of the Billy of 
the existence of such a conspiracy to suhjert the Go^ 
verjwierjtt : and secondly, whether the Prisoners had 
any tir\d what share in if,. .Now it is most obvious^ 
that if, in deference to tlie judgment of Parliament, 
the^rst part of this division had been found by the 

HreH TBiASON. 57 

Jury^ and the law of high treason^ as stated by tkf 
CiiHTfi^^/ert^e Crowk^ litidljeen oddptM, the Pristhers 
could scarc^ hane had anif defence^ oji they then 
must have been taken, uj)pii the whole of tfie evidence, 
to have been privy to proceedings throughout the whol^ 
kingdom, directed to th§ subversion of the\monarchy, 
mid destruction of Ike King. ,\ ^ 

All that ccm be said ubohsuch a case is, first, that 
dependence must be hdd^ upon the sacred trust of 
the Legislature, not wliftout urgent necessity to adopt 
such aprocSeclingi dn^ carefully to consider the fair 
result cf'\Ke evi4ence, "wJien macle the ^foundation of 
an ^ct of ParliQ.ment ; and secondly, that ihe British 
constitution provides for the safety of all tvhb have thf 
happiness' to live uMer its protection, by giving tq 
twelve men, to be taken from the mass of the people^ 
the privilege and the duty to sit in judgment upon all 
that the authority of 'Parliament may have decided to 
he the fsitt, and all that the learning' of the Judges 
may consider to be the application of the law. 

In that respect, pjfidtever may be the merits of this 
case, and tvKatever, amidst the variety of judgments 
inafreecomtry, maybe the prevailing opinion con^ 
cemingit', Ihe trial by Jury must ever be dear to 
Englishmeh.^^The verdict of Acquittal, instead of 
l^iving encouragement to whatever spirit of sedition 
might have existed at that period, produced an uni* 
versal spirit of content and corifidence in the people. 
Nothing indeed could more properly excite such senti^ 
ments, than so memorable a proof of safety under the 


Saturday y October 25tA, 17g4. 


Lord Chief Justice E\ re ; 

Lord Chief Baron Macdonald ; 

Mr. Baron Hotham ; 

Mr. Justice Buller ; 

Mr. Justice Grose ; ...... 

And others His Majesty's Justices^ &c. 
TnpMAS Hardy, John Hornb Tooke, Johx 
Augustus Bonney, Stewart Kyd, Jeremiah 
Joyce, Thomas Holcropt, JpHBr Richtkr, John 
Thelwall, and John Baxter, were arraigned^ and 
severally pleaded Not guilty. 

The Indictment charged, that the Prisoners, being 
subjects of our Lord the King, not having the 
fear of , God in their hearts, nor weighing the duty of 
their allegiance, but being moved and seduced by the 
instigation of the devil, as false traitors against our said 
Lord the King, their supreme, true, lawful, and.unr 
doubted lord, and wholly withdrawing the; cordiat 
love and true and due ohedienoe which every trup 
and faithful subject of our said Lord the King should 
and of right ought to bear towards our said Lord the 
King, and contriving, and with all their strength 
intending, traitprously to break and disturb the peace 
and common tranquillity of this kingdom of Great 
Britain, and to stir, move, and excite insurrection j 

t1SdMA$ HAH0Y/ 50 

jrebelUon, and' war agdnst our said Lord the King 
ivithin th\% kitigdora, and to subvert and alter the 
legislature, ' fute, and government now duly and 
happily established in this kingdom^ and to deposie 
Our said hotd the I^ing from the royal state, title, 
power, and government of this kingdom, and to 
bring and put our said Lord the King to death, on 
the fiiTst day of March, in the thirty-third year of 
Ithe reign of our Sovereign Lord the now King, and 
on divers othef days and times, maliciously and 
traitorously, with force and arms, &c. did amongst 
themselves, and together with divers other false 
traitors, to the said Jurors unknown, conspire, com- 
pass, imagine, and intend to stir up, move, and 
excite insurrection, rebellion, and war against our 
•said Lord the King, within this kingdom of Great 
Britain, and to subvert and alter the legislature, 
rule, and government now duly and happily esta*- 
blished within this kingdom of Great Britain, and to 
depose our said Lord the King from the royal state, 
title, power, and government of this kingdom, an4 
to bring and put our said Lord the King to death. 
And that to fulfil, perfect, and bring to effect theif' 
most evil and wicked treason and treasonable corn- 
passings and imaginations aforesaid, they, with force 
and arms, maliciously and traitorously did meet, con- 
spire, consult, and agree among themselves, and to- 
gether with divers other false traitors, to the said 
Jurors unknown, to cause and procure a convention 
And meeting of divers subjects of our said Lord the 


Kjng to be assembled and held witl^jn this kiugdooi^ 
'Vi^kh intent and in ord^r that the persons to \)e assem^ 
;bl^d at such con vcntioo and meeting abould and might 

• wickedly and traitorously^ withput and in defiance of 
the authority^ and against the wiUof theParlifunent of 
thi? Jiingdotn,, subvert and aU^r, and cause to be 
.subverted and altered^ the legislature, rule, and gq- 

• vernnient now duly and happily established in thi« 
kingdom, and depo«e and qai^gp- to be deposed our 
j^id Ivojjd the King from the royal state, .title, power, 
and governmerU thereof, An^ further toifulfil, per- 

^ifcct, and to briqg to effect their most evil and wicked 
treason and treasonable compassingsand.imagiriations 
^aforesaid, and in order the more readily and effectu- 
ally to assemble siich convention and meeting as 
•aforesaid, for the traitorous purposes aforesaid, and 
thereby to acpompKsh the same purposes, they, to- 
gether witl) divers other false traitors, to the Jurors 
.unknown, maliciously andi traitorously., did. compose 
and write, and did then and there maliciously and 
traitoroudy cauge to be composed and written, divers 
bopks, pao^pblets, letters, instructions, resolutions, 
# orders, decJarations, addresses^ and writings, and did 
thtn and there maliciopsly and traitorously publish, 
.^nd did then and there maliciously and traitorously 
cause to be published, divers other books, pamphlets, 
letters, instructions, resolutions, orders, declarations, 
addresses^ and writings, the saidbooke, pamphlets, let- 
terSi instructions, resolutions, orders, declarations, ad- 
•dcesses, and writings so respectively composed, writ- 
ten, published, and caused to be composed, written^ 


aad puUUhed, purporting and containing tlierein^^ 
aoiongotherthingSy incitements, encour^ements, and 
exhortations to move, induce^ and persuade the suiu 
jects of oar said Lord the l^ing to choose, depute^ 
and send^ and cause to be chosen, deputed^ and sent^ 
persons as delegates, to compose and constitute such 
convention and me^ng as aforesaid, to be so holder 
as aforesaid, for the traitorous purposes aforesaid. 
And forther to folfil, perfect, and bring to efiecC 
their most evil and wicked treason and treasonable 
Gompassings and imaginations aforesaid, and in order 
the more readily and effectually to assemble such 
ccmvention and meeting as aforesaid, for the trai«* 
torous purposes aforesaid, and thereby to accomplish 
^le same purposes, they did meet, consult, and de- 
liberate aiinong themselves, and together with dlvers^ 
other fsdse traitors, to the said Jurors unknown, of 
and concerning the calling and assembling such con^ 
vention and meeting as aforesaid, for the traitorous 
purposes aforesaid, and how, when, and where such 
cctfivention and meeting should be assembled and 
held, and by what means the subjects of our said 
Lord the King should and might be induced and 
moved to send persons as delegates to compose and 
CQK»titute the same. And forther to fulfil, perfect^ 
and bring to effect their most evil and wicked treason 
and treasonable oompaisings and imaginations afore* 
add, and in otd^r the mone readily and effectually to 
assemble such od^v^tibnand meeting as aforesaid, 
for the traitorous puspwte a§>tiesliid, and thereby ta 


accomplish the same purposes^ maliciously and trai* 
torously did consent and agree that the said Jere* 
miah Joyces John Augustus Bonney, John Home' 
Tooke, Thomas Wardle, Matthew Moore, John 
ThelwaU^ John Baxter, Richard Hodgson, one John 
Ix>vett, one William Sharp, and one John Pearson, 
qbould meet, confer, and oo-operate among them* 
pelves, and together with divers other false traitors, to 
the Jurors unknown, for and towards the calling and 
4ssemhliug such convention and meeting as aforesaid, 
for the traitorous purposes afcH'esaid. And further to 
fulfil, perfect, and bring to effect their most evil and 
wicked treason and treasonable compassings and ima- 
ginatioqs aforesaid, they maliciously and traitoroosty 
did cause ^nd procure to be made ^nd provided, and 
^i(i then and there maliciQusly and traitorously con-- 
Sjentand agree to the making and providing of divers 
arms and offensive weapons, to wit, guns, muskets,, 
pikes, and axes, for the purpose of arming; divers* 
subjects of o^r said Lord the King, in order and to 
the ii^ent that the same subjects should and might 
unlawfully, forcibly, and traitorously oppose aftd 
withstand our said hoitd the? {Cing in the due and 
lawful exercise of his royal power and authority in 
the execution of the laws and statutes erf this reakn, 
and should and might unlawfully,- fordUy, and tmi-^ 
torously sul?v^ and alter, and aid and assist in sub^ 
verting and altering, without and in defiance of the 
authority and against the will of the Parliament of 
tjhis kingcjqm, ,the J^islfttureje rule,^ and ^Ov^ms 


flient now duly aiKi happily established in this king^ 
dom^ and depose, and aid and assist in deposing, our 
said Lord the King from the royal state, title, power^ 
tod .government of this kingdom. And further to 
folfilj perfeot, and bring to effect their most evil and 
wicked treason and tneasonable oompassings and ima-» 
ginattons aforesaid, they with force and arms maU*" 
liciously and traitorously did meet, conspire, consult, 
and a^ree among them^Ives to r^ise, levy, and make 
insurrection, rebellion, and war within this kingdom 
of Great Britain, against our said Lord the King, 
And further to fulfil, perfect, and bring to effect 
their most evil and wicked treason and treasonaUe, 
oompassings and imaginations aforesaid, they niali^ 
ciously and traitorously did meet, conspire, consult, 
aad agree amongst themselves, and together with 
divers other false traitors, to the Jurors unknown, 
unlawfully, wickedly, and traitorously to subvert and 
alter, and cause to be subverted and altered, the le* 
gislature, rule^ and government now duly and hap* 
pily establi^ed in this kingdom, and to depose and 
cause to be deposed our said Lord the King from 
the royal state, title, power, and government of this 
kingdom. And further to fulfil, perfect, and bring 
(o effect their most evil and wicked treason and trea* 
SQoabl^ con)passings arid imaginations aforesaid, and 
in order the more readily and eflfectually to. bring 
about 6i|cb subversion, alteration^ and deposition as 
last aforesaid, they maliciously and* trait^H-ously did 
prepare e^nd ^ompose^ ^d did tli(en %nd ^|j?re txj^liy 


ciously and traitorously causeand procure to be p*c^ 
pared and composed, divers books, pamphlets, letters^ 
dedaratifiwis:, instructions, resolutioris, <>rders, ad*- 
dresses, and writings, and did then and there mali- 
ciously and traitorously publish and dispisrse, and did 
then and there maliciously and traitorously cause and 
procure to be published and dispersed^ divers other 
books^ pamphlets, letters, declarations, in^ructiona, 
resolutions,^ orders, addresses, and writings, the said 
jieveral books^ pamphlets, letters, declaration^, in* 
rftructions, resolutions, orders, addresses, and writ- 
ings so respectively prepared, composed, pubfished^^ 
.dispersed, and caused to beprepared> composed, pub- 
lished, and dispersed, as last aforesaid, purporting 
and containing therein (ainongst other things) in- 
dtetnents, ei^cduragement^, and exhortationB,- to 
mme^ indu<$e, and persuade the subjects- of our said 
Lord and King to aid and ^sist in carrying info el^ 
feet soch' traitorous subversion, aiterition^ and de- 
position as last aforesaid, and also containing therein 
(amongst other things) information, instnictioiiis^ 
ftnd directions to the subjects of our ^id Lord 
the King, how, when, and upon what oec89im)& 
the trtotorous purposes last aforesaid should^ dnd 
wigh« be carried \M<) effedt. And farther to fulfil^ 
perfect, and bring to eflfec^, tbeii* most eviJ rtSd 
wicked treason and treasonable corrtpasrings arid 
imaginations aferesafid, they did maliciously aridtmi^ 
torgiW^y e(9nsent and agreeto the proeuHng artd'pht^i. 
Tiding armfe and offensive weapotts^ td *it, -gUttS; 


muskets^ pikes^ and axqs, therewith to levy and wage 
war, insurrection, and rebellion against our said Lord 
the King within this kingdom, against the duty of 
their allegiance, against the peace of our said Lord the 
now King, his crown and dignity, and against th^ 
form of the statute in that case made and provided* 

Mr. Attorney General stated to the Court, that 
he had been informed by the Counsel for the Pri* 
loners, it was their wish the Prisoners should be 
tried separately. It was therefore his intention to 
proceed first on the trial of Thomas Hardy. 

At the request of the Prisoners' Counsel, the Court 
adjourned to Tuesday, October the 28tb. 

On Tuesday the 28th of October, the Attorney 
General opened the case for the Crown against the 
prisoner Thomas Hardy, in the following Speech* 


Ix the course of stating what t have to ofief 
to your most serious attention in this great and weighty 
cause, effecting, as it certainly does, the dearest intek 
rests of the cQmpiunity, affecting, as you will remem^ 
ber throughout, ^his business, every interest which can 
be valuable to the Prisoner at the bar, I shall have 
frequent occasion to oall that anxious attentioa to tli^ 
VOL. III. r 


difi^reut p^ts of the Indictment which has just 
been opened to you. I forbear to do so at this mo- 
inent; because I think that attention will be more 
usefully, both with respect to the public^ and to the 
Prisoner, given and required in another part of what 
I ^m to address to you. 

Gentlemen, the Prisoner, who is before you, 
stands charged (to state the Indictment generally) 
with the offence of compassing His Majesty's death ; 
he was committed, upon that charge, by His Ma- 
jesty's Privy Council : I will explain to you presently 
why r state this and the following facts. In conse- 
quence of the apprehension of this Prisoner, of several 
others charged by this Indictment, and of others^ 
whose names do not occur in this Indictment, pro- 
ceedings of some notoriety were had in Parliament^ 
and an Act passed, empowering His Majesty to de- 
tain such persons as he suspected were conspiring 
against his governm^it. .That Act. has asserted, 
that a traitorous and detestable conspiracy had been 
formed for subverting the existing laws atid govern- 
ment, of the country, and for introducing that sys- 
tem of anarchy and confusion, which had so fatally 
prevailed in France ; the Act, upon the spur of the 
emergency, which it contemplated, authorized the 
•d«:ebtTon without bail,, mainprize, or discharge, of 
-the persons thfen in prisoh for high treason, or trea- 
*sdnable practides/ or who should afterwards be com- 
^mltted^ for high treason or treasonable practices, by 
*V^afrant8( from the Privy Council or Secretary of State^ 
'^intil the first of February 1 79*. 

Gentlemen, this measure, which did not suspend 
the operation of the Habeas Corpus Act, that great 
palladium of English liberty, but with reference to 
particular persons, under particular commitments, 
for particular offences, is a measure never adopted in 
this country by Parliament but in cases, in which it 
is understood, after giving all possible attention to 
secure the right of the subject from being broken ia 
upon, to be of the last possible necessity, and which 
has been repeatedly put in force, in the best of times, 
in such cases, where the wisdom of Parliament ap- 
prehended that it was matter of their duty to provide 
that the nation should part with its liberty for a while, 
that it might not lose it for ever. 

Gentlemen, appearing before you this day in dis- 
4iarge of that duty, which I have been commanded 
to execute, and the execution of which appears tp 
me. to be absolutely necessary, you will collect from 
Ihe fact that I do appear here this day, that, accord- 
ing to the true constitutional meaning of spch an 
Act of Parliament, it is not that the trial of such per- 
sons shall be delayed during the period of the suspen- 
sion of the Act, but that the Act shall, with reference 
to the time of trial, bq allowed, in the right execu- 
tion of it^ an operation only to that extent, in wh^ch 
the due consideration of the public safety, tempered 
with a due attention to the liberty of the individu4 
lubjiect, nwy require, . 

Genttem?n<, the proceedings of the I^egislatur^ 
having been ^\^h ^ I have ^tated to^ you, Qis M^ 

w 2 ' ^ . 


jesty, constitutionally advised in the exercise of his 
duty, as the great conservator of the public peace, 
directed a commission to issue to inquire whether 
any such treasons, as the presumption of such a 
traitorous conspiracy must necessarily suppose to 
have existed, had been committed by any persons, 
and by whom. In the execution of the duties of 
that commission, a Grand Jury of this county, upon 
their oaths, have declared that there is ground of 
charge against the person at the bar, and against 
others, sufficient to call upon them, in a trial to 
be had before you, their country, to answer to an 
Hccusation of high treason, in compassing His Ma- 
jesty's death. 

Gentlemen, I have stated these circumstances, that 
I may convey to you, in as strong terms as I can ex- 
press it, this observation, that, as the proceedings 
t)f Parliament ought to have had (and I am per- 
suaded, from the deliberation which they gave the 
subject, that they had) no influence upon the judicial 
xnind of the Grand Inquest, neither ought these 
proceedings to affect youf inquiries, or to induce 
^ou to any determination, which you are to make 
upon the issue, which yeu are now sworn to try. 
* Gentlemen, there is no one circumstance of any 
proceedings before Parliament, with reference to 
which you ought to suffer yourselves to be influenced 
in the trial of this issue. It is obvious that such 
proceedings, as were had in Parliament, providing 
for great emergencies^ may be required and aath^ 


rized by the genuine spirit of the constitution, even 
in cases in which a Grand Jury might not, upon any 
thing that could be offered to their consideration, 
be justified in finding a bill: it is much more ob- 
vious, that, in a proceeding before you, a considera- 
tion of the wisdom and propriety of the acts of the 
Legislature is not called for. 

You therefore. Gentlemen of the Jury, will con- 
sider the Prisoner as standing before you in full pos- 
session of an absolute right to the presumption of 
innocence, notwithstanding he is charged with guilt 
by this Indictment, as you will hear, except so far 
as that presumption is met by the single simple fact, 
that he ha.s been accused by a Grand Jury of his 
country, - 

Gentlemen, before I conclude these general ob- 
servations, you will permit me to say, on the other 
Jiand, that, if there has been any thing that has fallen 
un^ your observation, by act or publication — any 
attempt to make any impression upon the minds of 
those who are this day impanuelled to try this great 
cause, to disparage that advice, which, under the 
most responsible sanction, may be given you in mat- 
ter of law, to work in your minds any prejudice either 
against the Prisoner, or on the Prisoner's behalf; on 
the one hand I am perfectly sure that your integrity 
will be security to the public, that you will not per- 
mit any attempt of that kind to have any operation : 
ou the other hand. Gentlemen of the Jury, I am 
equally sure that I need not ask from an English Jury, 


that they would permit no such attempt to prejudice 
them against the Prisoner at the bar,- — ^no, not even 
an injudicious or ill-executed attempt, to influence 
them in his favour. 

Gentlemen, in ofder to understand the law of 
treason, and the Indictment, I shall take the liberty 
first to state to you the character which I apprehend 
the King, for the protection of whose person and 
government the statute in question was made, has in 
the state and constitution of this country. 

Gentlemen, the power of the State, by which I 
mean the power of making laws, and enforcing the 
execution of them when made, is vested in the King; 
enacting laws, in the one case, that is, in his legis-* 
lative character, by and with the advice and consent 
of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and of the Com- 
mons in Parliament assembled, assembled according 
to the law and constitutional custom of England ; in 
the other case, executing the laws, when made, in 
subservience to the laws so made, and with the ad- 
vice, which the law and the constitution have as- 
signed to him in almost every instance, in which they 
have called upon him to act for the benefit of the 
subject. The King's authority, under the check of 
constitutional and legal provisions and limitations, 
convenes and regulates the duration and existence of 
Parliament, convening those whom, according to 
the law and custom of the country, he is bound to 
convene. The King, in his Parliament, sitting iii 
his royal political capacity, and the Lords and Com- 


mons there assembled, form the great body politic 
of the kingdom, by which is exercised sovereign 
authority in legislation. Gentlemen, whilst the pre- 
sent law, the present constitution, and present go- 
vernment of Great Britain, exist, no law can be 
made but by that authority ; no legislative power can 
be created against the will, and in defiance, of that au- 
thority. Whether in any, or in what circumstances, 
an attempt to create such a power is a treason forbid- 
den by the statute of the 25th of Edward III. I pro- 
pose to examine presently. 

Gentlemen, as in the King the power of legisla- 
tion is vested, as well as the executive power of the 
state, to be exercised with consent and advice, to be 
exercised according to those laws, which are the 
brithright and inheritance of the subject, having 
upon him the care and protection of the community; 
to him, in return, the allegiance of every individual 
is, according to the law of England, due ; that alle- 
giance, by which the subject is bound, in the lan- 
guage of the statutes of this country," to defend him 
^^ against all traitorous conspiracies and attempts 
" whatsoever, which shall be made against his per- 
^' son, his crown, or his dignity." 

Gentlemen, to ascertain to whom this care and 
protection is committed — to ascertain to whom this 
allegiance is due, the breach of which, according to 
the venerable Lord Hale, constitutes high treason, 
is necessary to the peace of the community — to 
ascertain and to define accurately what constitutes a 



breach of that allegiance, is essentially and absolutely 
necessary to the security of all that our ancestors 
have claimed, demanded, and insisted upon, as the 
ancient, undoubted rights and liberties of our coun-' 

Gentlemen, the former of these objects is secured 
by the law and constitutional custom of England ; 
that law, which alike secures to you every right, 
whether it be a right of person, or of property. It 
has made the crown, which His Majesty wears, he- 
reditary (and I beg your attention to that), subject 
to limitation by Parliament, The latter object has 
been most anxiously secured by the statute referred 
to in the Indictment, which brings forward the 
charge, the truth of which you are now to try. 

Gentlemen, the King having this hereditary crown, 
the law and constitution have also ascertained^ his 
duties — those duties, which it is Encumbent- upon 
him to execute, for the benefit of the subject, in 
the executron of which duties they have aided him 
with counsel, and in consideration of which duties 
they have clothed him with dignity, and vested him 
with high prerogatives. With respect to the duties 
of the King, they attach upon him the instant he 
becomes sqch ; from the moment that his title ac- 
crues, in the game instant the duty of allegiance (the 
breach of which is high treason) attaches to it; he 
recognises these as his duties in that oath, to which, 
throughout this business, I must again call your 
attention, in that oath which he is bound tp talgt 



upon htm^ at his coronation, to promise and swear 
*' to govern the people of this country," mark the 
words^ Gentlemen, *^ according to tlie statutes in 
^^ Parliament agreed upon, and the laws and customs 
^^ of the same ; that to his power he will cause law 
'^ in justice and mercy to be administered ; that he 
^^ will maintain the laws of God and the true profes- 
" sion of religion established by law." 

Gentlemen, this oath, stated by that great and 
venerable constitutional Judge, Mr. Justice Foster, 
to be a solemn and a public recognition, not only of 
the duties of the King, but of the fundamental rights 
of the people, imposeth upon him (and throughout 
this case it cannot be too strongly recollected that it 
imposeth upon him) the most sacred obligation to 
govern according to the laws and statutes in Parlia- 
ment agreed upon, according to the laws and customs 
of the same^ and no other. • 

Gentlemen, addressing this Court, which is a court 
of law, in which you, the Jury, are sworn to make 
a true deliverance according to the law of England, 
can I impress it too strongly that it cannot be sup* 
posed by possibility — ^not by possibility— that the 
King can, consistently With his oath, and with the 
antecedent duty recognised in the explicit engage- 
ment, the terms of which you have heard, either 
act, or permit himself to act, as King, according to 
any rules of government, formed by any bodies of 
men, assuming any character, functions, or situa- 
tiond, those rules of government being meant to 


Operate as laws, the statutes agreed upon in Parliament^ 
and the laws and customs of the same, only excepted ? 
Gentlemefi, it seems to me to follow, as a neces- 
sary conclusion from the reasoning, to be addressed 
ta a court of law, not only that those, who conspire 
to remove the King out of the government altoge- 
ther, but that those, who conspire to remove him, 
unless he will govern the people according to laws, 
which are not statutes in Parliament agreed upon, 
and the laws and customs of the same, or as the 
head of a government, framed and modified by any 
authority, not derived from that Parliament, do 
conspire to depose him from that royal state, tttlCy 
power, and government^ which the Indictment vien^ 
Honsy and to subvert and alter the rule and govern- 
ment now established in these kingdoms. He ought 
not so to govern* — ^I say he cannot so govern — he is 
bound to resist such a project at the hazard of all its 
consequences ; he must resist the attempt ; resistance 
necessarily produces deposition, it endangers his life. 
Gentlemen, to that King, upon whom these du- 
ties attach, the law and constitution, for the better 
Execution of them, have assigned various counsellors, 
and responsible advisers : it has clothed him, under 
various constitutional checks and restrictions, with . 
various attributes and prerogatives, as necessary for 
tfte support and maintenance of the civil liberties of 
thie people : it ascribes to him sovereignty, imperial 
dignity, and perfection : and because the rule and go- 
t^ernment, as established in this kingdom, cannot 


exist for a moment without a person filling that 
office, and able to execute all the duties from time 
to time, which I have now stated, it ascribes to him 
also that he never ceases to exist. In foreign affairs, 
the delegate and representative of his people, he 
makes war and peace, leagues and treaties : in do- 
mestic concerns, he has prerogatives, as a constitu- 
ent part of the supreme legislature ; the prerogative 
of raising fleets and armies : he is the fountain of 
justice, bound to administer it to his people, because 
it is due to them ; the great conservator of public 
peace, bound to maintain and vindicate It ; every 
where present, that these duties may no where fail 
of being discharged ; the fountain of honour, office, 
and privilege ; the arbiter of domestic commerce, the 
head of the national church. 

Gentlemen, I hope I shall not be thought to 
mispend your time in stating thus much, because it 
appears to me that the fact, that such is the character, 
that such are the duties, that such are the attributes 
and prerogatives of the King in this country (all 
existing for the protection, security, and happiness 
of the people in an established form of government), 
accounts for the just anxiety, bordering upon jea- 
lousy, with which the law watches over his person- 
accounts for the fact that, in every indictment, the 
compassing or imagining his destruction, or deposit 
tion, seems to be considered as necessarily co-exist* 
ing with an intention to subvert the rule apd govern- 
ment established in the country : it is a purpose to 


destroy and to depose Am, in whom the supreme power, 
rule, and government, under constitutional checks 
and limitations, is vested, and by whom, with con- 
sent and advice in some cases, and with advice in all 
cases, the exercise of this constitutional power is to 
be carried on. 

Gentlemen, this language, the tenour and charge 
of every indictment, is most clearly expressed by 
Lord Hale, when he says that high treason is an of- 
fence more immediately against the person and go^ 
vemmentof the King: I cannot state it more strongly 
to you, or from an authority, the authenticity of 
which will be less questioned by those who are to 
defend the Prisoner at the bar, than when I state to 
you the language of one of the counsel for Lord 
George Gordon upon the last trial for high treason ; 
indeed it is no more than what follows the law of 
England, as delivered by all those great lawyers, 
whose authority, I am persuaded, will not be at- 
tempted to be shaken in the course of this trial, when it 
states this principle thus :— *' To compass or imagine 
*' the death of the King, such imagination or pur- 
*^ pose of the mind, vis^ible only to its great Author, 
*^ being manifested by some open act, an institution 
'^ obviously directed not only to the security of his 
^* natural person, but to the stability of the govern- 
" ment, the life of the Prince being so interwoven 
*^ with the constitution of the state, that an attempt 
*' to destroy the one is justly held to be a rebellious 
•^ conspiracy against the other," 


Gentlemen, it will be my duty to state to you pre- 
sently what is in law an attempt against the life of 
the King. It seems, therefore, that when the an- 
cient law of England (and I would beg your atten- 
tion to what I am now' stating to you), that when 
the andent law of England was changed, Which, 
even in the case of a subject, held the intent to kill 
homicide, as well as, in the case of the King, the 
intent to kill or depose, without the fact, where 9 
measure was taken to effectuate the intent, treason, 
with a difference however as to the nature of the 
acts deemed sufficient, in the one case, or in the 
other, to manifest the one or the other intent, that, 
to use the words of a great and venerable authority, 
• I mean Mr. Justice Foster, *^ it was with great pro- 
^* priety that the statute of treason retained the ri- 
*^ gour of the law in its full extent in the case of the 
" King. In the case of him," says he, " whose life 
*' must not be endangered, because it cannot be 
^' taken away by treasonable practices, without in- 
^* volving a nation in blood and confusion : levelled 
" at him, the stroke is levelled at the public tran- 
^" quillity." 

Gentlemen, thait it may be fully understood what 
it is thdt I ha^^e to contend for in the course of this 
trial, I put you in mind again that I have before 
stated, that, as it is absolutely necessary to the secu- 
rity of individuals, not less necessary to U^e security 
of individuals, than it is necessary to the security of 
tbe nation which they compose, that tjae person and 


government of the Kj^g should be thus defended ; 
on the. other hand, for the security of the subject, it 
is equally necessary that the crime of high treason 
should not be indetermiuate^ that it should not be 
unascertained, or undefined^ either in the law itself, 
or in the construction to be m^de of that law. 

Gentlemen, this necessity is not to be coIIeGted 
merely in this country from reasonings though it 
may obviously enough be collected from reasoning ; 
the experience of your ancestors has informed you, 
I admit it, and I beg to press it upon your attention, 
as much as any man in this Court can press it upon 
your attention, the experience of your ancestors has 
informed you, in the just and bitter complaints which 
are to be found in their annals, of the periods, in which 
no man knew how he ought to behave himself, to 
do, speak, or say, for doubt of pains of treason, — in the 
anxiety with which the statute of Edward III. reserved 
the judgment of all treasons not there expressly spe- 
cified — ** that the justices should tarry without gci- 
" ing to judgment of the treason, till the cause be 
•* showed and declared before the King and his Par- 
" liament ;'* — in the expressive language, which our 
ancestors have used, when the provisions of the sta- 
tute of Edward were first introduced into th^ cpde 
of law under which we live, and of those statutes, 
"by which treasons W€ire brought back to the -provi- 
sions of that, statute, the experience of your atices- 
tors, thus handed down to^ yOu^ has demonstratisd , 
this necessity. I admit too (and my treating Jt.W 


cnbject thus in the outset may ultimately save youi; 
time) 9 before the statute was made^ upon which 
the Indictment pcoceeds^ the security of the subject 
was not sufficiently provided for. I admit that se- 
curity is not sufficiently provided for now, if cpn- 
struction can be allowed to give an exposition to the 
statute, which the Legislature did not intend it 
should receive. 

Gentlemen, upon each of these heads it was ner 
cessary for me to trouble you with some, and but with 
a few observations. . . 

That the law of treason should be determinate and 
certain, though clearly necessary for the security of 
the subject, is not more necessary for their sepurityji 
than that there should be a law of treason, and that 
this law should be feithfully, duly, and firmly 

Gentlemen, every state must have some form Of 
regimen of government ; in other words, it mast de^ 
termine by whpip, and under what mpdificatipjiSy 
the so's^rei^n povyer is to be exerci^d in the conn- 
try ; for no goviernraent can exist, unless this power 
is placed somewhere : and the attempt to subvert 
that power is, in the nature of the thing, an attempt 
to subvert the established government. It is of ner 
cessity th^t slx\ attempt of this sor^ should be guarded 
against, by severer penalties than offences, which 
being breaches of par^ticjular laws, do pot «a- 
danger the very existence of the state itself, which 
do not involve, in the destructicna of the p^te, tbjp 


destruction of all laws, but which leave the law, 
though violated in particular cases, sufficient, in ge- 
neral cases, for the protection of the personal secu- 
rity, the liberty and happiness of the subject. 

Gentlemen, this is also the reasoning of that great 
Judge, whose name I biefore mentioned to you, my 
^rd Hale : — ^' The greatness of the offence,*' he 
says, " and the severity of the punishment is upon 
*^ these reasons :-r-First, because the safety, peace, 
*^ and tranquillity of the kingdom is highly concerned 
*^ in the safety and preservation of the person, dig- 
** nity, and government of the King, and therefore 
** the laws of the kingdom have given all possible 
*^ security to the King's person and government, 
*^ and under the severest penalties." 

Gentlemen, to describe this great offence with 
precision and accuracy, was what the Legislature in 
tdward's time proposed, when they enacted the sa- 
cred statute, upon which this Indictment is founded; 
that statute was made for the more precise definition 
of this crime, which, by the common law, had not 
been sufficiently extended, and *^ the plain unex-^ 
*^ tended letter of it," you will mark the words, 
*^ the plain unextended letter of it was thought to be 
** a sufficient protection to the person and honour 
*^ of the Sovereign ;" but not only to the person and 
honour of the Sovereign, but " an adequate security 
^^ to tfie laws committed to his execution.^* 

Gentlemen, in addressing a Jury in a court of law, 
sworn to make deliverance actx)rding to that law 


which constitutes the court in which they sit, there 
are two propositions, which appear to me to be alike 
dear : — the first is, that I ought not, that I cannot 
dare to call upon you to say, that there has been 
committed under this statute any offence, if the 
facts of the case to be laid before you, by plain, ma* 
nifest, authorized interpretation of the statute, do 
not constitute an offence under it — if the statute 
should seem to any man, or to you, not to be a 
sufficient and adequate security to the person and 
honour of the Sovereign, and the due execution of 
the laws, it is nevertheless all the security which the 
law has authorized you to give them, and God for* 
bid that you should think of giving more. On the 
other hand, you are bound by your oaths, if this 
law has been violated in fact, if the fact of violation 
is proved by evidence, convincing in its nature, and 
such in its form, as the law requires (for the law in 
this case requires not only convincing, but forinal 
evidence), then you are bound to give to the person 
and honour of the Sovereign, and to the laws of your 
country, that protection, which a verdict, asserting 
in substance that the statute has been violated, would 
give, and which the statute intended should be 

Gentlemen, men of honour and of conscience, 
acting under the sanction of the oath they have taken, 
must come to the same conclusion, judging of the 
same facts, by the same law, whatever their prin- 
ciples of government may be, unless they differ 

VOL. ni. G 


upon the effect of facts laid before them. In the 
trial of. a person, whose name I shall have abundant 
reason to mention to you in the course of this pro- 
ceeding, I mean the author of the Rights of Man^ 
charged with a libel against the monarchy of the 
country, it was judiciously, truly,justly, and strongly 
admitted in effect, that, if the Jury had been com- 
posed (if there are twelve such men in this country) 
of republicans, wishing to overturn the government 
of the country, yet administerng the law of England^ 
m a court of English law; if they were convinced 
that the crime had, alluding to that law, been com-« 
mitted, no man would have the audacity to say 
they could be capable of that crime against the public^ 
to think for a moment of not coming to the concla-» 
sion, which the facts called for, according to the 
law by which they were sworn to decide upon the 
matter before them. 

Gentlen>en, the statute upon which this Indict^ 
ment proceeds, is to the following effect — it states 
(and it states most truly), " That divers opinion* 
** had been had before this time,*' that is, the 25tb 
Edward III. " in what case treason should be said,f 
** and in what not ; the King, at the request of the 
** Ijords and of the Commons, hath made a decla- 
*^ ration in the manner as hereafter followeth, that 
" is to &ay, when a man doth compass or imagine 
" the death of our Lord the King, or of our Lady hia 
" Queen, or of their eldest son and heir ; or if a ' 
^^ man do violate the King's companion^ or theKing^a 


** eldest daughter, unmarried, or the wife of the 
*** King's eldest son and heir ; pr if a man do levy 
" war against our Lord the King in his realm,, or bo 
" adherent to the King's enemies in his realm, giv:^ 
*' ing to them aid and comfort in the realm or else- 
** where, and thereof be provably attainted"-*-by 
which words I understand be attainted by evidence, 
that clearly and forcibly satisfies the minds and con- 
sciences of those who are to try the fact — " attainted 
" of open deed by people of their condition," — then 
there is this, to which you will be bound to give 
your attention for the sake of the Prisoner, as well as 
for the sake of the public, the interests of both being 
blended in this great cause ;—'* and because that 
" many other like cases of treason may happen in 
" time to come, which a man cannot think nor 
" declare at this present time, it is accorded that, 
*^ if any other case, supposed treason, which is not 
** above specified, doth happen before any justices, 
" the justices shall tarry without any going to judg- 
" ment of the treason till the cause be showed and 
" declared before the King and his Parliament, whe- 
" ther it ought to be judged treason, or other 
'' felony." 

Gentlemen, I desire to point out here, in the most 
marked way in which I can state it, the anxiety, with 
whichi the Parliament wished to preserve to itself the 
judgments of treasons, not being the specified trea- 
sons in the statute, but being like treasons, those 
which, l?y a* parity of reasoning, might be said to be 



treason. They would not trust the subjects of the 
country in the hand of any court of justice upon that 
point. I mark the circumstance, because it appears 
to me to give a degree of authority to the law of 
England upoa the subject of treason, and to the 
constructions, which have been made upon it, ancl 
to the distinctions, which have been made between 
like treasons, and overt acts of the same treason, 
that perhaps does not belong to constructions and 
distinctions adopted in the course of judicial proceed- 
ings upon any other law in the statute-book. 

Gentlemen, having read the statute to you, it is 
not unimportant, as it seems to me, to observe that 
Lord Hale and Mr. Justice Foster, who have stated 
the judicial and other expositions of this statute^ 
have stated them, and have expounded the statute^ 
under the weighty caution, which they most power- 
fully express : under the solemn protests, which they 
jpost strongly state, against extending this statute 
by a parity of reason. This circumstance alone 
appears to me to give infinite authenticity to the ex*- 
positions, which they state of it, as sound, and as 
being such as, according to the interpretation, which 
the legislature in Edward the Third's time meant, 
.ahould be put upon this statute. 

Gentlemen, I think it may also save your time, 
and that of the Court, if I trouble you here- by read- 
ing, before I state to you the expositions of the 
statute which Lord Hale has given us, deducings 
them from judgments which had been actually made 


in the history of the country, the language which he 
holds, as describing the obligations, which courts of 
justice, and n^en looking at this statute for the pur- 
pose of executing it, are under, to construe it ac- 
cording to the real specified meaning, not by a parity 
of construction as to the reason itself, when they 
came to construe it. 

Lord Hale states it thus — ^* Although the crime 
" of high treason is the greatest crime against faith, 
" duty, and human society, and brings with it the 
" greatest and most fatal dangers to the government, 
** peace, and happiness of a kingdom or state, and 
** therefore is deservedly branded with the highest 
'* ignominy, and subjected to the greatest penalties 
*^ that the law can inflict, yet by those iastances"— 
he is stating those that had occurred before the sta- 
tute of Edward III. and between that and the first 
of Henry IV. — " yet by those instances, and more 
" of this kind that might be given, it appears— first, 
*' how necessary it was that there should be some- 
" fixed and settled boundary for this great crime of 
" treason, and of what great importance the statute 
*^ of the 25th of Edward III. was in order to that 
^* end ; secondly, how dangerous it is to depart fi-om' 
" the letter of that statute, and to multiply and en-- 
*' hance crimes into treason by ambiguous and gene- 
" ral words — as accroaching of royal power, subvert-. 
^^ ing of fundamental laws, and the like ; and thirdly, 
" how dangeroua it is by construction and analogy ta 
^ make tteasobs^ where the letter of the law has nod 
'V. iig 


^^ done it^ for such a method admits of no limits or 
'^ bounds, but runs as far as the wit and invention. 
^^ of accusers^ and the odiousness and detestation of 
*^ persons accused, will carry men." 

In another passage^ after having given his com- 
ment upon this statute — ^after having stated what are 
the overt acts, which fall within the letter of it, and 
the sound interpretation of it, he says, " It has been 
*^ the great 'wisdom and care of the Parliament to 
" keep Judges within the bounds and express limits 
^^ of this act, and not to suffer them to run out upon ' 
^* thoir own opinions into constructive treasons^ 
** though in cases that seem to hare a parity of rea-^ 
** son (like cases of treason)^ but reserves them to 
*' the decision of Parliament. This is a great seeii- 
*^ rity as well as direction to Judges, and a great 
*^ safeguard even to this sacred act itself ; and there- 
" fore, as before I observed, in the chapter of levying' 
^5 of war, this clause of the statute leaves a weighty 
^ memento for Judges to be careful that they be not 
^^ over-hasty in letting in constructive or interpretative 
" treasons, not within the letter of the law, at least 
•* in such new cases as have not been formerly ex- 
*^ pressly resolved, and settled by more than one 
'^precedent." ^ . - 

Gentlemen of the Jury, I am persuaded, as those 
were persuaded who conducted the defence of Lor<t 
George Gordon, that we live in days, in which the 
Judges of the country neither have the inclination noi* 
the courage to stretch the law beyond its liniits^ ^ f 
think myself bound to state that ; and those^ who dare 


to State the contrary in any place^ do not do the ju$ti€e • 
to the country, which is due from every individual in it. . 

Gentlemen^ having stated thus much to you, I 
now state^ in order to be perfectly understood, that. 
J do most distinctly disavow making any charge of 
constructive treason ; that I do most distinctly disi* 
avow stating in this Indictmer^t any like case qftrea^^ 
Sim not specified in the statute ; that I do most dis-« 
tinctly disavow stating any thing that can be called 
cumulative treasoUy or analogous treason ; that J do most 
distinctly disavow enhancing any thing, by a parity of 
reason^ iniotreason^tohich is not specified in that statute; 
that I do most distinctly disavow enhancing crimes of 
any ki'ndy or a l\fe spent it^ crimes j^ if you choose so to, 
put it^ into treason, if it be not treason specified in the 
statute ; and the question between us I state distinctly 
to be this— Whether the Defendant is guilty of a trea- 
ton specified in the statute^ and whether the evidence 
th^l^ is to be brought before you amounts to that 
proofs th^t will be satisfactory to your minds and 
p(»(lsciences, your minds and consciences being pre- 
pared to admit no proof, but what you think you 
ought to receive under the obligation of an oath, 
proof high enough that he may be provably attainted 
of open deed,^ of a treason speci^ed in the statute* . 

Then, Gentlemen, to. state the charge to you :— % 
Hie IndiptmeiM; charges the Defendant with com-« 
pasapg and imagining the King's deaths and with, 
haying tftken measures to effectuate that purpose.--^ 
}?0W, tbat it may be thorougWji u»4pf stood, you wili 



permit me to state to you here, that there is not only 
a manifest distinction in reason, but a settled dis- 
tinction in the course of judicial practice, settled for 
no other cause but that it was a manifest distinction 
in reason, between — *^ like cases of treason," con- 
structive, analogous, or cumulative treasons, and 
various overt acts of the same treason. 

Gentlemen, whether the acts laid as overt actSxof 
treasons, specified in the statute, and specified in the 
Indictment, amount, in all their circumstances, to 
an open deed, or deeds, by which a person may be 
provably attainted of the specified treason, is the 
question which a Jury are to try. To explain myself 
upon this, I take it to be clear, and I will not, in 
this stage of the business at least, enter into thfe. 
discussion of what I call the clear and established law 
of England, because I will not, in a case of high 
treason, any more than I would in a dispute about 
the estate of any gentleman who hears me, for the 
purpose of arguing points, enter into discussions 
upon what I take to be the clear and established law 
of England ; and not only the security of the'subject 
in this respect, but the security of the subject in no 
respect, in his person, his life, or his property, can. 
be taken to exist in this country, if I am not as fully 
authorized to state to you, with as much confidence^ 
what the law is, in case of treason, from the deci- 
sions, which for centuries have been made in courts 
respecting it, as I am to state to you, from decisions 
of courts respecting property, what the law of pro-^ 
perty is ; I say I take it to be clear that deposing the 


King, entering info measures for deposing the King; 
conspiring with foreigners and others to invade the 
kingdom, going to a foreign country to procure the in- 
vasion of the kingdom, or proposing to go there to that 
end, and taking any step in order thereto— conspirilig 
to raise an insurrection, either to dethrone the King^ 
imprison the King, or oblige him to alter his mea- 
sures of government, or to compel him to remove 
evil counsellors from him, are, and have all been 
held, as Mn Justice Foster says, to be deeds proving 
an intent to do that treason, which is mentioned in 
the statute to be overt acts of treason in compassing 
the King's death. 

It would be very extraordinary if these great Judges, 
Foster and Hale, after holding the language they 
have stated, were to be represented by aBy man, aar 
not acting themselves under the effect and influence 
of that weighty memento, which they held out to 
those, who were to succeed them in the seat of 
judgment ; yet I state all this to you in the words, 
in which these learned Judges have handed down the 
exposition of the statute, who would have suffered 
death, for they both valued the liberties of their 
country, before they would have charged *^ a like 
" case of treason" in an Indictment ; . and yet they 
have concurred (as all the Judges of England have 
done, and the Parliament into the bargain) in the 
construction and exposition of the statute (and in 
fact executions have been made ' upon it), that all 
these things are overt acts of the same treason, that 
is specified in the statute. What is the reason of it? 


because the hw holds that he^ who. does an actj, 
meaning to do it^ which may eadanger the KingV 
life^ oon[)passes and imagines the death of* the King, 
if he does an act which may endanger bis life^ if^ ia 
the ordinary course of things^ and according to the 
common experi^nc^ of ms^nkind^ the measure which 
he takeSi in pursuance of a purpose to take it^ will 
bring the King to his grave. 

This therefore is not raising constructive treason^ 
it is not raising treason by analogy, it is not stating; 
'5 like cases of treason" not specified in, but leservec^ 
by the sta^tute to the judgment of Parlian^ent> but it 
is stating overt acts, which are measures taken ia 
pursuance of treasonable purposes, which measures 
must necessarily be as various in their kinds, as the. 
ways and means, by which, in facts and open deeds,^ 
taken in pursuance of its purposes, the human hpart 
manifests its intent to commit some one oi: other of 
the treasons specified in the statute. 

Gentlemen, the reserving clause in the act is ex* 
tremely material; and, if courts and juries have done, 
wrong in the manner in which they have executecl 
this statute, if the interpretations, which they hav6 
made of the statute, are not right, they have done 
it against a prohibition in the statute, which they 
were called upon by their oaths duly to expound, and 
thiey have done it in the presence and under the eye. 
of that Parliament, which had expressly forbidden 
them, to do it, I Say the conobsion upon that is^ 
that tfeey have done it rightly. 


' Gentlemen, the judgments of the courts of law are 
m this country perfectly familiar .to Parliament. Acts 
have been made, over and over again, in order to; 
bring back the expositions of the law to the true 
construction, to the letter, which is the true con- 
struction, in a sound judicial sense, to bring it back 
again to the statute of Edward III. ; but we have 
lived to this hour without Parliartnent thinking that 
they were to make so perfectly a dead letter of thd 
letter of the statute, as that they should say tfiat an 
overt act, which expressed and imported the ima- 
ginatton of the mind to do the treason specified^ 
should not be taken to be an act of high treason 
within the statute ; because the statute only men** 
tions tbe thing which is to be compassed and ima- 
gined, and does not mention the ways and means^ 
by which the human heart may show and manifest 
that it does compass and imagine what the statute' 
speaks of. 

Gentlemen, this is not all, because this id not 
only according to the law of England, as it is admini-^ 
«tered in courts of justice, but also to the proceed- 
ings in Parliament, which are a parliamentary exposi- 
tion, if I may so state it, of the law. Proceedings 
in Parliament have been had, where the statute has 
been thus construed, arid where this distinction that 
I am stating between overt acts of the specified treason 
and the " like cases of treason,** has been expressly 
taken, esptiessiy acted upon, proposed by one House 
of legislature to the other House, and acted upon by 
the Grown in executing the sentences of that Houses 


Gentlemen, the distinction then is only this — ^^ a 
^^ like case of treason*' is a case of treason not speci- 
fied in the statute, a case of the like niischief, as a 
case specified in the statute ; but the identical case 
specified in the statute must be before you, or, to 
avoid all dispute upon the subject, I say, if it is a case 
that is not specified in the statute, tt is a case that 
must be shown to Parliament according to the direc- 
tions of the statute ; but that facts alike in their na- 
ture, that open deeds alike in their nature and tend- 
ency, however various in their circumstances, may 
prove the same intention to exist in the minds of 
those who do them, and may be measures, taken in 
pursuanc^e of the same purpose, and to effectuate the 
same thing, is a distinction that appears to my mind 
to be perfectly obvious. 

Gentlemen, I conceive, therefore, that the ques- 
tion of compassing the King's death is this — whether 
the Jury are fully satisfied, conscientiously satisfied^ 
that they have that evidence, by which they find that 
th^acts, laid as overt acts of compassing the particu-* 
lar specified treason mentioned in the Indictment^ 
were measures taken in pursuance of and toefiectuate 
that treason, specified at once in the statute and in 
the Indictment, 

Gentlemen, I protest for myself I am sorry to 
trouble you thus much at large by general reasonings 
but you will find that it has an application, and a 
close apfdication to the case. This is an important 
ptiblic cause, and therefore wfe sliould be thoroughly 
understood* I cannot understand whatconstractiv^i 


overt acts mean, though I do understand construc- 
tive treasons. Levying war against the King, not 
against his person, but against his royal majesty, is 
constructive treason ; that is, if men assemble toge- 
ther without any intent to do an act, which in the na- 
tural consequence of things will affect the King's life, 
such as pulling down all prisons or houses of any 
other description, that is constructive treason; it be- 
ing, by construction, as Mr. Justice Foster says, 
against the King's royal majesty, not levied against 
iiis person ; not one of the acts of a more flagitious 
kind, wilfully done or attempted to be done, by 
which the King's life may be in danger, but which 
. are levelled against his royal majesty ; these have by 
construction been held to be treason : but even these 
the Legislature has never considered as not autho- 
rized by the letter of the statute ; these they have 
permitted to be proceeded upon in the country as 
sound decisions and constructions upon the act of 
Parliament : many have been convicted upon them ; 
execution hath followed; and no one hath ever 
doubted either the law or the justice of these deter- 
minations. But, as to constructive overt acts of 
compassing and imagining the death of the King, 
where the Indictment lays the imagining and com- 
passing as the offence, the overt act is not construc- 
tive, the step taken to effectuate it must be such an 
act, wilfully and deliberately . done, as must satisfy 
the conscience of a Jury, that there was an intention, 
by deposing, or otherwise, to put the King in cir- 


cumstances, in which, according to the ordinary ex- 
perience of mankind, his life would be in danger. 

Gentlemen^ I have before stated to you, for ano- 
ther purpose, various acts, which are overt acts of 
compassing the King's death. I will repeat thetn 
shortly : " Deposing him, — entering into measures 
*' to depose him,-^conspiring to imprison him,"-^ 
which you observe is an act that may be done with- 
out an actual intent to put him to death, — a man 
may conspire to imprison the King without an actual 
intent to put hini to. death, but you will find the 
reason why that is held to be compassing and ima- 
gining the death of the King, with the sanction of 
all times since this statute of Edward III. and with 
the sanction of every species of judicial authority, 
which the country could give; *^ tO get his person 
*' into the power of conspirators" — Why is all this 
treason? ^* Because," says Mr. Justice Foster, ** the 
" care, which the law hath taken for the personal 
" safety of the King, is not confined to actions or 
^ attempts of a more flagitious ^lind, such as attempts 
*' either to assassinate, or to poison, or other at- 
*' tempts, directly and immediately aiming at his life; 
^* it is extended to every thing, wilfully and delibe- 
•* rately done, or attempted, whereby his life n>ay 
" be endangered ; and therefore the entering into 
^* measures for deposing, or imprisoning him, or to 
*^ get his person into the power of the conspirators, 
'* these offences are overt acts of treason within this 
" branch of this statute ) for experience hath shown 

"rks triAl of thomAs. hAbDti ()§ 

^ that between the prisons and the graves of kitigs 
*' the distance is very small,"' and experience has not 
grown weaker upon this subject in modem times t 
oflences, which are not so personal £is those alrea<fy 
mentioned^ have been, with great prbpiriety, broi^ht 
within the same rule, las having a tendency^ though 
not so immediate, to the same fatal end. 

Lord Hale, upon this, says, " Though the eon- 
*^ spiracy be not immediately, and directly, and ex- 
<' pressly the death of the King, but the conspiracy 
*^ is of something that in all probability must induce 
"^^ it, and the overt act is of such a thing as must in- 
" duce it, this is an overt act to prove the com- 
*^ passing the King*s death." The instance he gives, 
as expository of his text, is this s " If men conspire to 
^^ imprison the King by force and a strong hand till 
" he hath yielded to certain demands, and for that 
** purpose gather company or write letters, this is an 
*^ overt act to prove the compassing of the King's 
*' death.'* What is the reason ? he gives the same 
in substance, though different in the terms of it, as 
that which has been assigned by Mr. Justice Foster : 
** for it is in effect to despoil him of his kingly go- 
•'' vemment." These are the words of Lord Hale ; 
tod, though the reasons given by Lord Hale and Mr. 
Justice Foster are different in words, they are the^ 
same in substance. It may be said, with equal truth, 
between despoiling a king of his kingly government 
^nd the graves of kings the distance is very smalL 
Imprisonment is the same as deposition, and he whp 


compasses the deposition of the King, according to 
all judicial construction, compasses his death ; it is 
the same as deposition, because it is a temporary de- 
spoiling him of his kingly government, which, ac- 
cording to this interpretation of the law, usually ends 
in death. 

Gentlemen, offences not so personal as those enu- 
merated fall within the same rule, as having a tend« 
ency to the same fetal end : if foreigners are not at 
war with you, the offence of going into a foreign 
country, or proposing to go there, or taking any 
step thereto in order to invite foreigners into this 
kingdom for a treasonable purpose, can only fall 
within that branch of treason of compassing the 
King's death : if they are at war with you, then the 
same act amounts to another species of treason^ 
which is an *' adhering to the King's enemies;" and 
perhaps you will ffnd that the case I have to state is 
not without pregnant evidence of this species of overt 

Gentlemen, having stated thus much to you> I 
proceed new to consider the Indictment ; and what I 
have stated, before I mentioned the substance of the 
Indictment, I have stated to lay in my claim to full 
credit with you, when I say, that no man living can 
wish to express to you more strongly than I wish ta 
do (we have indeed, each of us, as great an interest 
in the true construction of this law^ as any other 
man can have in it), that the law of treason, in con- 
eidering the charge, that I have brought- before you 


»nder the command that has authorized me to bring 
it here, must not be extended one single iota beyond 
what is the established law in this country, as esta* 
blished as the law is, that says that the property, that 
you bought yesterday, you may give to whom you 
please to-morrow. 

Gentlemen, the Indictment,' finding several per- 
sons entitled to be tried separately, though indicted 
jointly, combined in a particular act, which I will 
state by and by, has charged them with compassing 
the King*s death: it has then proceeded, because 
the compassing and imagination of the heart cailnot 
be known to man — ^and there must be an overt act 
to manifest it — it has charged them with meeting 
among themselves to cause and procure a convention 
of divers subjects of the King, to be held within this 
kingdom, and not only a convention to be held with- 
in the kingdom, but to be held with intent and in 
order that tlve persons to be assembled at such conven^ 
tion and vieeiing should and mighty wickedly and 
traitorously J without and in defiance of tfie afithority, 
and against the will of the Parliament of this kingdom^ 
subvert and alter the- legislature, rule^ and govern^ 
merit established in it, and depose the King from thf 
royal state, title, power, and government thereof. 

It then charges tliem with having composted, writ- 
ten, and pyblislied, and caused to be composed> 
written, and published, divers books, pamphlets, letf 
ters, instruction^, resolutions, orders, declarations^ 
addresses and writings, such books, pai!nphlets, let- 
ters, instruction;, r^pluUon^, .orders^ declaratiOHSi 

VOIf. u^. H 


addresses and writings, so respectively composed, 
written, published, and caused to be composed, writ- 
ten, and published, purporting and containing therein 
(amdng other things) incitements, encouragements, 
and exhortations, to move, induce, and persuade 
the subjects of the King to choose, depute, and send 
persons, as delegates, to compose, not a convention, 
but SUCH a convention and meeting, that is, a con- 
vention to act in the manner that the first overt act has 
stated ity to be holdenjbr the traitorous purposes before 

It then states, as a third overt act, consultations 
among them, how, when, and where, such conven- 
tion and meeting should be assembled and hdd, 
and by what means the subjects of the King might 
be induced and moved to send persons as delegates 
. to constitute it. 

It then charges, that these persons did consent 
and agree, that Mr. Joyce and several other persons 
named, should meet, confer, and co-operate among 
themselves, and with other traitors, to cause the 
calling and assembling such convention and meeting 
for such traitorous purposes. 

It then charges the providing of arm^, of different 
descriptions, for these purposes ; and then it charges 
a conspiracy to make war in the kingdom, and it 
charges a conspiracy to subvert anc} alter the legisla'- 
ture. and government of the kingdom, and to depose, 
the King;, that is, as I understand it, that, if you 
should not be satisfied that the calling sbch a con- 
vention^ as is mentioned in thC' first part of the In*. 


dictment, was a mean to effectuate that compassing 
and imagination, which is. mentioned in the intro- 
ductory part of the Indictment, yet you will find in 
the evidence, which is to be laid before you, even if 
you pay no attention to that circumstance of calling a 
convention, sufficient evidence of a conspiracy to de-^ 
pose the King. 

It then states iagain, that they published several 
books^ and other matters of the same kind, in order 
to bring about the traitorous purposes last mentioned^ 
and charges, as a further overt act, providing arm^ 
for that purpose. 

Now, Gentlemen, having before stated to you, 
that a conspiracy to depose the King, and I have not 
stated it to you in my own words, but in the words 
of the authorities I mentioned, that a conspiracy to 
depose the King, that a conspiracy to imprison 
the King,, a conspiracy to procure an invasion, 
with steps tfiken to effectuate such a conspiracy 
(a conspiracy indeed itself being a step for that pur- 
pose)/ is treason, you will observe that, in this lur 
dictment, a conspiracy to depose the King is expressly 
charged, and, I think, it will be clearly proved. If 
a conspiracy to depose the King be an overt act of 
high treason, perniit me then to ask. you, what can 
a conspiracy to subvert the monarchy of the pQuntry, 
JDcludrng in it the deposition of the King, be, but 
an pyert act of high treason ? . In the object of such 
fi conspiracy tb^ King is neces^sarily involved^ wdit 
i% #^ady shQwu that/cpnspirilig to depose; bitn U 
compassing his death. 

H 2 


Gentlemen, read as you are in the history of thic 
country, give me leave to ask you, if measures had 
been taken, after the Revolution, to effectuate a 
conspiracy to -dethrone King William, and to restore 
King James, without all doubt, the measure taken, 
would have constituted the crime of high treason 
within the clause of compassing the King's death, 
although the conspirators could have been shown sa- 
tisfactorily to have no more meant the actual natural 
death of King William, than they meant the actual 
natural death of King James, whom they intended to 
replace on the throne — ^but what says the law to that? 
— the law says you cannot mean to depose the King 
without meaning to endanger his life ; and, if you. 
mean to endanger his life, you must abide the con- 
sequences of it. 

Put it another way — If the project had been to 
depose the same King William, and measures had 
been taken upon it— not with a view to bring back, 
to the throne King James II. but merely to send 
back King William to his former charadtcr of Prince 
of Orange, and not to restore King James, but to 
restoi-e a commonwealth, which is, what I think, I 
ghall satisfy you, those, who are charged by this In-^. 
dictiTient, meant by " a full arid fait representation 
*\o( the people,*' whether you call it *^ a full and fair 
*^ nepreseRtation of the^^eople in f^arliamerU^^ or d6 
not use tht, words '^ in Parliament/'^ caii a lawyer bt 
found to say, that it could be stated in law, that it i^ 
not hi^h treason ? I don't 'know what n^y not be 


Stated— all that I tnean to say at presient is, that ac- 
cording to the best lights which I can get of the Mw 
..--under which I have lived, it does not appear to me 
to be probable, that any man will so state it. Far 
be it from me, however, to have thq vanity to say 
that (avowing that I should certainly not think of 
encountering the current authorities of the coun- 
try few centuries) I am^^ without the possibility of 
contradiction, stating that I am following the autho- 
rities of the country for centuries ; but I am ready to 
$ay this, that I cannot eonceive or imagine by what 
spedes of reasoning, or upon what principle, or upon 
what authority, it is to be contended, that this would 
not have been high treason. 

. Gentlemen, take it another way~If the regicidei 
of King Qiarles I. had been tried for compassing the 
death of King Charles I. supposing they had only 
deposed him, instead of putting him to death, could 
they have contended, that, though they would have 
been goilty of high treason, if they had placed another 
ioditidudl upon the throne (^hich wouW have been 
alike to the case I have put, of cdn^iring to puft 
jTames in the jrface of William), cotrtd they have 
pontefided then, that they were not guilty of high 
tiieason, kecaase they deposed the Ring, without 
lubstituting «wother King i& Ws place, and becaasfe 
iStat^ teft thfe gpvernfnent to fee filled up by the com- 
Itt^mMTQaUff), t^ithout a king ? 

. GSw mt tettve to ask .another thing— Supposfe it^ 
/Iwd 4iwp{»tied after Kin^ WSKam came to #ie 



throne, that not those events, that did actually hap- 
pen, took place, but that any set of men in thig 
country should have ventured to meet in a conven- 
tion of delegates Yrom affiliated societies, for the 
purpose of deposing King WiUipm, under pretence 
ofassembling a convention of the pe<^Ie, having, or. 
claiming the civil and political authority of the coun- 
try, and intending to have no king in the country, 
would it have been possible in Kifig William's time 
to have contended, because they met, under pre*.-, 
tenoe of being a convention of the peciple, assuming 
■to themselves civil and political authority, and with 
*uch meaning, that the conspiracy was not as com^ 
pletely a compassing the death of King William, aa 
if the conspiracy had been, by the same persons, in 
the <:ase of affiliated societies, forming the like con* 
vention of delegates, to bring King James again to 
the throne ? 

• If I levy war in this country against the King, with 
intent to bring another upon the throne, lam guilty 
of high treason. If I levy war, that is an overt act 
of compassing the King's death. If I conspire to 
levy, direct war, that is a compassing of the King's 
deatii, unless all the branches of the legislature have 
put a man to death upon an error. If I hold a for^ 
tress against the King to put another upon his 
throne, I am guilty of high treason, Am I guilty of 
no ofFence if I do the same acts, not for the purpose 
of continuing the monarchy of the country in another 
'perspp;, .l)ut for the purpose of destroying: the ftw. 


Barchy altogether ? What is this but doing an act in^ 
vciving m it high treason, and more ? High treasoa 
in depowng the King ! more — in bringing about all. 
that additional aniarchy, which we know, which the 
experience of mankind proves to be consequent upon. 
the change, where the change is not only of the personal 
\ybo administer, tb^e government, but of the govern- 
ment itself, if destruction can be called a change ? 

Gentlenijenj to asfeert therefore that measures, takeik, 
for a tot^l subversion of the monarchy of the coun* 
try, . including i« it an intention to depose the -King 
(mark the wordsjt I state, including in it an intention 
to depose the King), are not overt acts of compass- 
ing the King's d^ath, merely because the statute- of 
!p)dward III. ha$-not included all overt acts in words^^. 
but hfts l§ft ta juries to determine what are overt actj,.. 
by which pthey can provably attaint— tp assert that ^ 
the. statute does not include the case, because it i& 
compassing the death of the King, and more ; if this 
were to be asserted in a court of justice (what is 
asserted put of a coiirl;^ of justice no man pays much 
attention tp), I ,should certainly say of it, that it 
was the assertion of those who had ill considered thq 
Jaw ; and if asserted out of a court of justice, ai^d 
with a reference to what is. done in a court q 
justice, I should say it deserved to have an observa- 
tion of a. harsher kind made upon it. 

This Indictment, besides charging a conspiracy to 
depose the. King, in express terms, of which I shall 
mmX h^fore you there is abundant evidence; charges 



3 conspiracy to call a convention against the tvilt^ in 
defiance of, and against the authority of Parliament^ 
for the purpose of deposing the ^ing ; it charges fur- 
ther acts, namely, that they caused tp be con^posed 
and written divers books, pamphlets, letters, iqstru&r 
tions, resolutions, orders, declarations, addresses^ 
and writings, containing incitements, inducements^ 
and exhortations, to move, seduce, and persuade the 
subjects of the King to sepd delegates to mch con^ 
vention ; as to which I say of many of thepi, though 
I did not know their real character till I had seen 
tfcem alj together, that they are both overt apts^ and 
evidence of overt acts of high treason. 

Now, before I state to you the particulars of the 
evidence, I am gfraid I must, however painful it is 
to m6 to ask so great a portion of your attention^, 
trouble you with some general observations, that | 
think will have a tendency to render intelligible to 
you the complicated mass of evidence, vliieh I have 
to lay before you. 

Gentlemen, the convention, meant to be called 
by those who are charged with the conspiracy iii this 
Indictment, was, as I collect from the effept of the 
evidence, a convention of persons, who were tq 
assume the character of a convention of ^he people, 
clainiing, as such, all civil and poHtiqil authority, 
proposing to exercise it by altering the governrnttrt^^ 
otherwise than by acts of the present constitute^ 
Legislature, otherwise than by those statutes, accord* 
ing to which the King has swopi at tjie hazard of *iai 
jife to ^overii. 


Gentlemen^ if this is made out, ^it appears to .me 
to follow Wecessatily on the part of all who took ^ 
Btep to assemble it, that they are guilty of a conspi^ 
racy to depose the King, to depose him from the 
character, which he holds in th^ constitution of the 
sovereign power of this kingdom, as by law esta- 
blished, that law by which I again repeat to you, hfr 
is sworn to govern. 

Gentlemen, if they conspired to assemble in ^ 

convention, which wa$ of its own authority, and 

0gainst the will of the Legislature, and in defiance of 

it, to act as an assembly to constitute a government, 

and to assume so far sovereign power, it is, I con-» 

ceive, according to the law of England, a conspiracy 

to depose fronj the sovereignty him, who, under tlw 

restraints of the constitution and the law, now holdi 

that sovereignty. There cannot be two sovereign 

powers in a state ; there may be a complication of au^ 

thortties vested in a great variety of persons, making 

up one sovereign powder, but there cannot be two 

(Sovereign powers in a state : it is impossible. If a 

meeting assembled, as a convention of the people^ 

arrogating to themselves all civil and political autbo*-* 

rky as such, and meaning to exercise it, one or other 

of these consequences must follow r the King and 

the Parliament must be obedient to the meetiBg, dr 

the ineeting, assembled as a convention, must be 

obedient to the King and Parliament : if the meeting 

is to be obedient to the King and Parliameal, it can^ 

pot effect its purppses ; it is impo^sible: if itA par- 


pose be to depose the King^ I say, a conspiracy 4a 
call such a meeting is an overt act of high treason. 

. Gentlemen, I beg your attention to iny expres- 
sions : if the meeting means to oblige the King and 
Parliament to be obedient to them by the exertion of 
open force, though it may not effect its purpose, 
tiiat makes no difterence^ the law must be the same 
—I may be wrong perhaps in stating the law, but it 
appears to me that the law must be the same if the 
meeting projects the purpose, whether the force of 
the meeting is sufficient to effect the purpose or notr. 
.This,. I say, is a conspiracy to assume the sove- 
reign power 2 it is a conspiracy therefore of necessity 
meant to depose the existing power, and of neces^y 
to depose the King. I say meant to depose ; for 
I repeat it, that whether the conspiracy is successful 
Or not, is immaterial. 

Gentlemen, though the particular fact of calling 
such a convention, now alleged as an overt act of 
treason, may be represented to be new in the history 
of this country, it is not therefore, an^ because it is 
new, only inasmuch as it is more than ordinarily 
audacious, less an overt act of compassing the death 
or deposition of the King, if the intent of it w^s to 
subvert the sovereign ruling power. 

Gentlemen, there is another distinction, which 1 
would beg your attention to- It is of no consequenoe 
\^hether the first meeting, proposed tq be assembled, 
%uas deigned to be a convention, that should assume 
mil fivil and political authority, of was only (o devise 


the means of forming & constituent assembly ^ a hady^, 
which should assume - it ; for any act 'taken towards 
assuming it against the will^ in defiance of, and 
against the authority of the King and Parliament, and 
removing him from that situation in the character of 
sovereign, which he has in this country ; any act 
taken towards the formation of a body, whidh wa» 
to assume such authority, is an act q( conspiring the 
deposition of the King; any act towards convening a 
national assembly, to act with sovereign power, nofc 
fdnned by the Legislature, is an act done towards 
deposing the King, who now has, under the restrait)ts 
pf the constitution, and the provisions and limitations 
of the law, the sovereign power vested in him. You 
cannot set about organizing a body, which is thtis to 
act, without meaning to depose the King, without 
meaning to form a body that is to usurp the powers 
of goveimment. 

Gentlemen, I think the evidence, that I shall lay 

before you, will most abundantly satisfy you that the 

oonvention, which the persons charged conspired to 

form, was a convention to alter the whole form of 

the sovereign power of this country, that it was to 

form, or to devise the means of forming a represent^ 

ative government-^to vest in a body, founded upon 

universal suffrage and the alleged unalienable, and, 

» as they are called,: imprescriptible rights of man, a// 

the legislative and execiuive govefnment of the coun*- 

try,; that a ccxispiracy to this end would be an oyert 

mtQi high trBMon, I preaume cannot be disputed i 


it deposes the King in the destruction of the regal 
effioe in the constitution of the state. 

Gentlemen, I go farther : if it had been intended 
lo have retained the name and office of the King in 
the country, and to have retained it in the person of 
the present King, creating, however, by the autho* 
rity^ of the intended convention, a new legislature, 
to act with him, provided they would allow him to 
iict with such new legislature, and thus calling upon 
him to act against the express obligations of his cou 
ronation oath, if he could forget it, it still would 
have been a conspiracy to depose him from his royal 
authority, as now established : if he refused to act, 
he must necessarily be deposed from that authority ; 
if he did accept, he was not the King of England, as 
he is established by law the King of England. But 
he could not accept ; he could not so govern ; he is 
sworn not so to govern ; he must refuse, roust resist, 
and, in consequence of resisting, his life must be in 

Take it either way, that persons conspired to form 
a convention to assume all civil and political aiitho- 
rity, as pretending to be a convention of the people 
(I care not with how much audacity they pretend tb^ 
be a convention of the people), or to devise the 
mciiAis of constituting such a convention, in ordttr„ 
and with the intent, and against the authority <Qf 
ParKatnent, that there should be no King, or hi w^ 
d^ %<^ the ^evecting, by their <mn aatbority, a nMr 
legishttu!^ to itct tafl^etbcr wth tkiOugf and to||e<J3et 


nvith the King, if they permitted the present to be <A^ 
King^ I submit that such a conspiracy is an overt 
ect in the true con^ruction of law, and high trea^ 
'fion in cotfipassing the Icing's ddath. The King 
must be deposed while such a new constitution ww 
iraming ; he could not treat with audi a convention 
till he had been deposed ; it could be those only, 
that l>ad sovereign authority, that could frame a 
constitution : then he is surely, by this, despoiled of 
his kingly government, even as in a case of tempo* 
rary imprisonment. I repeat again, that he could 
not, consistently with his coronation oath, do other* 
wise than reject it when framed : it must be taken 
for granted he would reject it ; his life, therefore^ 
could not but be in danger. To suppose that such a 
mating, which proposed a new constitution, would 
depart quietly home, and not act, if it was not ac* 
cepted, k out of the reach of all human credulity ; it 
is not according to the ordinary course and expe^ 
rience of mankind, to suppose that they should meet 
in numbers, and make no use of their numbers, if 
the show of them did not produce the efiect intended i 
this is no( accordifig to the ordinaiy oourse and eK'o 
perience of mankind. 

Grentlemen, the King in his Parliamelit could not 
|)e the sovereign power the moment the meeting 
Cpirid act as a national constituting assetAbly, or 
could direct, with efl^t, such an assembly lo mect^ 
iThe power so to aot, or to organize with -^tct such, 
a meeting, that should so act, jnust J&ro t^pore de^ 


pose every other poller., This is the character of a 
oonvenkioD of the people, I think, as given in the 
^tlence I have to lay before you. With respect to 
the Defendant, I think I shall satisfy you he con^ 
spired to call such a convention ; and that he said 
ikhat The convention, which I am to caU, is irresistible^ 
it is unlirtuted^ it is uncoiitrollabe, and that by such 
d convention, my Jull and Jair represeniatioti of the 
people, or a full and fair represerUaiion in.Parlia-* 
ment (if you choose to take that expression, ibr it is 
not mere expression that determines what men mean)^ 
is* to be accomplished. 

Gentlemen, in the country in which I am speaks 
jfjg, when a vacant throne was given (I am now al- 
luding to the time of King William) by those, who^ 
Bs they are stated in the Bill of Rights, represented 
all the restates of the people of this realm, to King 
William and Queen Mary, they, who gave it, ceased 
to have or to exercise the power of sovereignty : 
in that instant, as every lawyer mast speA of i% in 
that instant the. sovereign power of this country be- 
came vested in the King and Queen upon the throne, exa-cised in legislation, undoubtedly, with the 
advice and consent of Parliament, formed according 
lo (the law and custom of the country—incapable of 
]?et!ig exercised otherwise, and, as to the ex§cutiv$ 
fiiithomty> exercised under the control of provisions 
mid limitations of the Jaw and constitution, and with 
the advice^ whichi in every act which the Kipg^ dpesi. 
makes somebody regpon^ij^le^ . ; ., 


I insist that the design of conspiring to assemble 
' the people, who were to act as a convention of the 
people, claiming all civil and political authority, <ir 
daiming power to alter, against its will, the consti- 
* tuted legislature, or a meeting to form the mean» 4f 
bringing together such a convention so to act, is ati 
attempt to create a power subversive of the authority 
of the King and Pariiament, a power, which he is 
bound by oath to resist at all hazards. But it will 
not rest here : this will be sufficiently proved ; but 
evidence will likewise be offered to you as satisfactory 
to prove that the express object of calling this con- 
vention, the express object of appointing a committee 
of conference and co-operation, which was to deviie 
the means of constituting such a convention, was 
ultimately, and finally, and in their prospect, t/te 
deposition of the King. 

Gentlemen, beyond this, and supposing it not to 
be proved, the Indictment has charged as overt acts„ 
a conspiracy, without the mean of a convention, and 
not through that medium, to depose the King ; if 
that conspiracy is made out by other acts, though 
neither a convention, assuming all political authority, 
nor a meeting to devise the means of calling a coUr 
vention, which should assume all political authoritj^, 
was intended, yet the Indictment is made good. 

Gentlemen, the Indictment further chafes -as an 
overt act of compassing the King's deiitb, whidk 
without question it is, theconspiracy to levjr w$i^; I 
do not mean constructive war* This I states* with- 

out question, to be an overt act of compassing th^ 
King's death. A rising to oblige the King to alte^ 
his measures of government amounts to levying war 
Within the statute. A conspiracy to levy war for this 
foirpose is an overt act of compassing the King^s 
death* If they conspired to form a representative 
government^ excluding the King entirely, which I say 
is the fact, or, if they conspired not to form a repre- 
sentative government, excluding the King entirely^ 
but yet to compel him, by their own strength and 
force, to govern with others, and without those, 
which he chose to remain with him, by whose advice 
and consent alone he is sworn and bound to govern^ 
I mean the great Council of the nation, the Lords in^ 
Parliament assembled, the Commons in Parliament 
assembled, according to the constitution of the coun-* 
try, and to substitute against his will, and against 
tihe will of the present constituted authority of the 
country another authority, formed on the principles 
of universal suffrage and annual representation, and. 
$o formed without the authority of Parliament, I 
must ^ubo^it to the Court, and to you, that conspir-- 
ing to do this would be an overt act of treason of de- 
posing the King, and therefore of compassing his 

Gentlemen, you will also observe the Indictmeiit 
has diarged, and proof will be offered to you to make 
it out, that thes^ objects were meant to be carried by 
A>rce, by a<:tual force. 

Gentlemen, the case^ as I have hitherto repre« 


sented it, is not a case aiming merely at intimidating 
the Legislature, and inducing it by an act done, which' 
was, .According to the forms of the constitution, to 
bury the constitution in its grave, to new-mould th€^ 
sovereign power ; the case goes far beyond this ,* ap- 
plication in any shape to Parliament was not oftly dis- 
avowed, but the very competency of Parliament, if 
applied to, to make a law to new-model the govern- 
ment, was disputed, and denied: the idea of that- 
competency was held to be irreconcilable to the very 
principle upon which these persons assembled. X 
must however insist, and I mean to do rt, with^ the? 
full concurrence of my humble opinion, that a: con-' 
spiracy to compel the King, by force, against hisr will,- 
to give his assent to an act obtained from the House* 
of Parliament in order to alter the government and* 
frame of the constitution of the country, whether it 
was obtained from the two Houses of Parliament, or 
either of them, by overawing them, or not overaw> 
ihg them,— that a conspiracy, by force, to compel the 
King, m the exercise of the highest and most esserv- . 
tSal act of the sovereignty of this country, in the act: 
of giving his consent to such an act, — to compel him,; 
by force, to do that, is unquestionably an overt act 
of treason in deposing him, and in cotopassinjihis 
deiath. It is neither more nor less, to explain it it* at 
word, than to substitute the will of those, who con- 
^ired to force him, in the room of that royal wiU^ 
in whidi, and by which alone, the laws of this coun-^- 
i)ry, aiid the constitution of this country^ have m4 
TOL. ;u. ? 


that a biir (bowever obtained before it comes to him) 
shall receive the authority of a statute. 

Gentlemen, I have thought it necessary to state 
thus much before I come to state the circumstances 
of the;Case, and I will state to you in a word why. 
It is not to be expected by persons, who execute the 
great and important duty in the great and important 
^tatioii, the functions, df which you are now called 
^pon .to execute, that counsel at the bar shall be able 
tp- state to yon law, that no man can question the 
spundness ofi nay, Gentlemen, it. is, not to be ex- 
pected by you that counsel at the bar should be able 
to stale to you in all cases law, which men of grave 
character, and excellent understandings, of great 
ijeason, and great experience in their profession, may 
x|pt dispute the soundness of. It is the duty of coun^ 
sel> more particularly. it is the duty of that counsel, 
\yho ought to remember that, if, in prosecuting the 
subject,^ he presses him unfairly, he betrays in the 
most essential point the duty which he owes to the. 
sove«ejgn < it ip his duty to endeavour faitbfwlly and 
IjipQe^tly toexplaki; and expound the la\y, that is, to* 
^pply y> the facts of the particular case, reasoning! 
upog ihi^hvi(y according as he is able to dp, it,, in tUej 
e:i:i6rci3e Qf : pain(i4 ipdu^ry, exerted und^r the^rer^ 
:Qepti$>n that he is under much. obligation at least. fe(>, 
eadeavrtir to represent the jaw. truly. , : r, . / 

.: Qentlem^nrA.r baye thpui^tit my duty,, in ap^pj., 
fteQ,utipn, . the |>rinciples. of which intere^ t^e <>r^'A: 
l^ppiness of «U Anwkind^ Jp W^ntioQr 4irtbicft}y,^i^ 

t^Hte TUlAt O^ tHOiWAS H AUDIT* ^115 

titrly' Whait are the principles upon which I proceed : 
I hkve no doubt in my own mind, but that I have 
sisiterf these 'cioctrines as the law of England would » 
state them, and I claim from you and from the pub- 
lic ' that, in the fair exercise of my dvity, conducted 
urider sugh a sense and understanding of that duty, 
as r ba^ how explained to you, you and they will 
do "file thd credit at least to think, that the principles 
^Iftcfe I 'have stated are such as I believe to be 
sancti^ed by the law of England* 
• Gentlemen, I shall presume for a moment, after 
liaVitig i^fefed to you the Indictment, and given yot* 
that exposition of it, which I humbly offfer to yom 
^tteHition, that the law has (af least, according' to nr' 
lu^ment, it certainly has) been complied wid> i'y 
these respects ; namely, the Indictment hsrs told yor- 
with sufficient certainty what it is, that is meant t<r 
he knputed as an overt act of compasiirig thfe King'f 
death. - It is not neic^ssairy to be disputing that hdt;., 
becaU^> if I have fmhd in the due execution of rttf 
diity in that respefct^ the Pfisoner cannot beinjui;*4 
• by it. ' ^ '' ' ' ' ' 

Getit\ett\bOy I have before said to you, tha*, Iht 
cAse*f high tre^sin, tlie evidericfe must not only \ih 
convihcing, -but it must be formal ; and, though tb^ 
ol^ed: of the security of the person and govertittten^ 
of tfife King te the highest object that the .few ha* 
lo^^-ed to,' yet I mu^t, at- the sSanife tfn'i*; inforf • 
y6i\; mt the laW' for'thfe s^uHty'oFthe ptiWirl 
*rhfeW i$in tMh- part of the' object involved ^in kl^^ 

X 2 


object of the security of the person and governmeqt 
of the Kipg— ris essentially united with it— and inse- 
parable from it : the, law has required not only that 
you shall have one witness, if he were the most 
credible man in the world, to give convincing evi- 
dence of the fact, but that that convincing evidaice 
must be rendered yet more conclusive by tb^ testis 
taotxy of two witnesses ; that you should at least 
have one witness to one overt act, and another to 
another overt act of the same species of tnsason. 

Gentlemen, haVing stated to you the prc^ect^ in 
a general way, to which I apprehend this lodictmenl 
applies^ I presume that you may possibly reason^thus: 
When this Indictment charges, that these persona 
compassed the death of the King and to depose him, 
-—that they conspired to assemble a convention in 
defiance of the authority of PaFliament,-^ta subvert 
the rule and government of the.kingdoni^ against 
the will and in defiance of the Legislature, — tode«» 
throne the Monarch, reigning in the hearts of a great 
Qiajorlty of his people, you will jiaturally, ask, — ^by 
what process was it, that such persons, as these> 
could effectuate such a purpose ^ Whq\ the Indict- 
ment charges, that they coippose4 a grej^t variety of 
books, containing incitements to choose persons, as 
delegates, to cpnipose a convention for such traitor- 
ous purposes,— in what^ language, you wi}l natifrally 
ask, 90uld such incitements ^ to such a mpmeotous 
project,, have been conveyed, and to whom could 
that language have beep a4dFessed? .When it 


charges, that they met, and deliberated among them- 
selves, together with divers other false traitors, — at 
what time, in what manner, and in what place, it 
may be asked, have these people met to deliberate 
upon that project, for the accomplishment of which 
so many persons must be engaged ? — By what means 
were they to bring together the subjects of the coun- 
try, to send delegates to such a traitorous convention, 
to assume such sovereign power? This sort of 
question may be pursued. I shall not pursue it by 
^servations upon every overt act in this Indictment. 

Now, Gentlemen, my answer to this is a short 
one. I think it will be proved to your satisfaction, 
that, as they meant, in the words of the act of Par- 
liament, to introduce that system of misery and 
anarchy, which prevailed in France, they meant to 
introduce it by the same means, — to proceed upon 
the same principles to tbe same end, — ^and by the 
same acts to execute the same purposes. 

Gentlemen, if the experience of Europe had not 
manifested what has passed in France (^nd this pro- 
ject might perhaps be brought from France into 
Great Britain by but an individual or two), if that 
experience had not shown . us what has passed in 
France, to the destruction of its old government — to 
the destruction alike of that government, which they 
substituted in the room of its old government— rand 
which, in the last act of its power, protested against 
the existence of clubs, as incompatible with the se- 
curity pf any country, I say, till the subversion of 



government in France took place, and upon prin- 
ciples, tp a blind admiration of which in this country, 
—a country which, under the peculiar favqur of 
Providence, is alike in its blessings, as it is in ite 
situation, *^ toto divisos or be Britannos^^ but in 
which we have found a disposition to sacrifice all 
those blessings — it could not perhaps have entered 
into the heart of man to conceive, that a project so 
extensive should have been set on foot by persons in 
number so few; — that a project, existing almost 
every where, should yet be visible ho where ;-— that 
a project should be so def ply combined, and compli- 
cated, — should exist to such an almost inconceivable 
extent, — should be formed with so much political 
craft — it could not enter into the heart of man to 
conceive, that it should have existect in any country, 
much less, that it was possible that it should exist in 
this country of Great Britain to the extent in which I 
am sure, whatever your verdict may say upon the guilt 
of the Prisoner, you will be satisfied it has existed iit 
this country. 

. But the law of England does not require that any 
such case, as this, should be proved before you. If 
you are satisfied that what the Indictment charges 
\^as imagined, and that a step was taken to efifectuate 
that intent, it is enpugh — it is not tbe extent, ia 
which the project was proceeded upon — it is not the 
extent, to which the project was ruinous — it is not 
necessary to prove, that the means were as compe^ 
tent to th^ end, proposed, as they were thought to 


be, by those who used them. No, Gentlemen, the 
providence of the law steps in upon their- first mo- 
tion, whether they furnish themselves with means 
adequate or inadequate to their purposes— the law 
stepsin then, conceiving its providence at that mo- 
ment to be necessary for the safety of the King and 
the security of the subject. 

The project, the general character of which I shall 
give you, proving it by the particular facts, and zp^ 
plying the particular facts (for I iiave no right to give 
you the general project, unless I cap. so apply the 
particular facts) to the person now accused, •eetas'tb 
me to have been this. Imported from France in tlfe 
latter end of the year 1791 or 1792, by whom 
brought hither it does riot much matted, the intent 
was to constitute in London, with affiliated societicis 
in the country, clubs which were to govern thrS 
country upon the principles of the French govern;, 
ment, the alleged unalienable, imprescriptible ri^t^ 
of man, such, as they are stated to be, incorisisWrit 
in the very nature of them, with the being of a* King 
or of Lords in a government-*— deposing, therefore^ 
the moment they come into execution, in thei act of 
creating a sovereign power, either mediately or \m^ 
mediately, the King, and introducing a republican 
government with a right of eternal reform, audi 
therefore, with a prospect of eternal revolution. ' ' 

Gentlemen, we have all heard of a fclub called the 
Jacobin Club at Paris. This, with its afHHated so- 
cieties^ — however impossible- it was thought that it 



should effect such things, — however wild the man 
would have been thought^ into whose head such an 
imagination could have entered as that it could effect 
them, first overset the old constitution, then intro- 
duced another, which could not exist upon the prin- 
ciples which gave it birth, and has finally introduced 
government after government, till it has at last left 
the country in that undescribable state of things, in 
which we now see it. 

Gentlemen, the great end of the persons concern- 
ed in this project, though not altogether visible, or 
not much disclosed upon its first formation, was, 
wh^n they had sufficiently diffused their principles 
through this country, — by artifice, — by union, — by 
.£X>mbination, — by affiliation,— by fraternization (thos6 
.^ho formed the project, whoever they were, endea- 
vouring to force it into execution by means which 
perhaps would shock the minds of men that are not 
always dwelling upon political subjects), to assemble 
a convention of delegates from clubs, to assume the 
power of the people, supported in the assumption 
and exercise of that power by the individual mem- 
bers of the ?iffiliated societies, and by their combined 

Gfsntlemen, we have no occasion in this cause to 
be disputing upon abstract questions, as to the power 
of the people to change their government. . I state 
to you that the intention w?is, to assemble a con- 
vention of delegates from those clubs, to assume the 
powers of governnieqt. The people, the infinite; 


xhajonty of the people, adverse to any change^ dis- 
tinguishing between abuses in the administration 
of the government, and vices in the form of the 
government administered, nay, ardently attached to 
the old government, must have been averse to have 
been subdued by a convention of the delegates from 
these societies, who meant to have assumed the re- 
presentation of the people, and to have exercised the 
powers which they stated to be inherent in those 
^hom they professed to represent. 

Gentlemen, it is not difficult to conceive, aftef 
what has happened in fact in France^ how it should 
happen that the opinion of the^e fraternizing so- 
cieties should have the force of the will of a majority 
' of the nation, though they consituted a vast and in- 
finite minority indeed. You will find, in the evi- 
dence to be laid before you, that it was perfectly 
understood how this might be by those who are 
named in this Indictment. The great bulk of the 
community, engaged in different pursuits, are tliere- 
fore incapable of being combined in opposition to the 
execution of a purpose, which is to be brought 
about by great bodies of men, that are combined. I 
need not give you a stronger instance of it than 
this. It is within the memory of most of us living, 
that a few thousand men in St. George's Fields, 
combined in one purpose^ reduced this metropolis to 
an absolute state of anarchy, a state in which no go- 
vernment existed. If any man had been asked, a 
fortnigbt l)efore the event to which I am now allud- 


jug, Is it possible for four or five thousand men to 
assemble in St. George's Fields, and to rob and 
jduhder every body they choose in London and ten 
mifes round it ? That would have been thought ut- 
terly impossible — ^but yet it happened — ^why ? be- 
cause a combination of the few will subdue the many, 
who are not combined, and with great facility ; and 
combined bodies of men have had, as you will find, 
an existence in this country, to an extent which few 
men had any idea of. 

Yoo will find them organized, — prepared for emer- 
gendes and exigencies, — ^relying upon their own 
Strength, — determined to act upon their combined 
strength, in a system of acting together,— in som6 
instances acting with a secrecy calculated to elude 
observation — in other instances, proceeding, by di- 
rectly contrary means, to the same end, — represent* 
ing their numbers ?is greater than they were, and 
therefore increasing their number by the very opera- 
tion of the influence of the appearance of strength 
vpon th6 minds of others, without a possibility that 
that tnisrepresentation should be set right. You 
will find them inflaming the ignorant,' under pretence 
of enlightening them ; — debauching their principles 
towards their country, under pretence of infusing 
political knowledge into them ; — addressing them- 
selves principally to those whose rights, whose in- 
terests are, in the eye of the law and constitution of 
England, as valuable as those of any men, but 
whose education does not enable them immedratilj 


to distinguish between political truth and the mi^e^ 
pmsentfitions held out to then),--^working upon the 
passions of raen, whom Providence hath placed in 
the lower, but useful and highly sespectable situa^ 
tions of life, to irritate them against all whom its 
bounty hath blessed by assigning to them situation^ 
of rank and property, — representing them as thekt 
oppressors, as their enemies, as their plunderers^ as 
those, whom they should not suffer to exist ; — and, 
in order at the same time to shut out the possibility of 
correcting original error, or rectifying the opinions 
of those whom they had so inflamed, misinformed, 
debauched, and misled, not admitting them into 
these affiliated societies till they had subscribed tests 
— ^the principles of which they w^re not to examine 
after they had been admitted, but the principles of 
which they were to carry- into execution, when 
assembled in a convention — to carry into execution 
those principles, as acting for the people, by a great 
majority of whom they were held in utter detestation. 
Gentlemen, to say that an act done wa^ meant to 
be done as a means taken in the execution of sgch 
a project as this is, till the person, who takes it, 
thinks the scheme practicable, I admit is not reason- 
able, but undoubtedly he may think it practicable 
long before it is really so. Now, you will be abuun 
dantly satisfied, that these conspirators thought that 
the time was now come — that the time for a conven- 
tion, which had been the object of anxious expecta- 
tion, doubting for a year or two whether it would 


ever be gratified^ that that time was now come, and 
the measures taken were taken upon that supposition 
—that the opportunity had arrived, which, if not 
laid hold of now, would be lost for ever. 

Qentlemen, the people of this country have in 
general a rooted attachment to its government. The 
public opinion of government is in this country, as 
well as in every other, its principal support : and 
therefore it became necessary to infuse, where so 
much could be safely suggested, where the mind 
was prepared for it, an opinion, that the form of the 
British government was radically vicious— that it was 
fomfided on principle^ of oppression — that it was 
founded on the destruction of natural, imprescrip- 
tible, and unalienable rights. — With others, yott 
will find, they thought it necessary to use a little 
more caution — not to alarm them, but to humour 
their attachment to the form* of the constitution, by 
taking advantage of well- meaning ignorance, under 
pretence of instructing it, to inlist them also alike in 
the project of destroying that constitution to which 
they were attached. To them, therefore, the form 
of the government was not spoken of in terms which 
they might understand to be a condemnation of it, 
though they were really such, but by making use of 
general expressions, such as obtaining " a full and 
*' feir representation of the people in Parliament"--*- 
'^ a full representation of the people," sometimes 
without mention of Parliament — never with actual 
piention of the King and Lords, as co-existing toge^ 

THB-TRUI. arTFHOMA^H^DV;^ , )2i 

tber with PartiBment— -by using terms^ which cer-* 
tainly may mean what it may be contended in -the 
defence they did mean'^— but terms* the same in their 
expres»on, certainly the same in their import^ a$ 
those^ which were used in every act which passed iu 
this cotmtry during the time of the Commonwealth^ 
when we neither had King nor Lords — ^that may sig- 
nify a government existing without Lords or King^ 
by declaring dip obtaining such a representation of 
the people as necessary to the natural, unalienable^ 
impresoriptibie rightii of man, as stated by Mr. 
Paine ; by these metos and artifices they attempted 
to engage in their service the physical strength of 
men, who might not and did not discover the real 
nature of theplan^ which that strength was to be 
employed in executing — ^who had not information 
enough to discover what the representation was 
meant finally to do or to execute. But you will find 
tile persons mentioned in this Indictment had no 
doubt about it.— I rhark these circumstances to you, 
because, in the evidence that is to be laid before you 
(and I am now stating the general character of the evi^ 
denc^i and not the. principles upon which the charge 
is made)-^in the evidence to be laid before you of 
the pbn, for the execution of these purposes, sohie 
very remarkable particulars occur; and when you 
com&ito. decide upon this case, I humbly beg your 
atteii^on^to those^ p^icular^; — ^some very remark-^ 
ablfe ptrtiQMlars will owat. . 
Yov will $nd t))afi the leading clobs^ by which I 

laO THJi ATTomrsT osunWs sfibqh, on 

mean the Constitution^ Society, judging of itf oon^ 
duct (ot the purpose of this c$mt^ though m some 
other cases we must go farther back, but^ for the 
purpose of this cause, judging of its oondoet from 
about the beginning of the year I79^j »nd the 
London Conresp<Hiding S^ciety^ which was formed, 
whether created, I will not say, but which was mo- 
delled by some leading members of. thft ConstitiK 
tional Society, and received its corporate existence^ 
if I may use the term, as it will he proved, under 
their own hand^writing — most distinctly from the 
hand-writing of some, who yet belong, add somev 
who ha^ ceased to belong. to the Gonstitatioi»i 
Society; these leading societies, you will find,.sen^ 
listing into their affiliation many societies in 4he 
country, composed of men who expressed Ihcir 
doubts as to the views of these societies in Londmv 
—who expressed their fears as weU as their doote. 
about those views — ^who required information as to 
the purposes of those societies in London-^-^fiotnetof 
these societies in the country professing one set of 
principles^ some another ; — but all assistance is Ukea 
that is offered : accordingly you will see ' that the 
London societies enlist persons who profess^ *)^ that 
^^ they ought to submit to no power but what they 
^^ have, themselves immediately qonstttuted :**— ^^t«^ 
these they give answers, couched in dbtrk^>oatiti5UB^ 
prudent, but satisfactory atid ; intelligible t^tMfil^^ 
those, who profess still to have attakhmidt$«^'^<9 dwr 
tionarch^ of tb^ cpuhtfj;^ 4dd' #hd cixpMW Mjj^^re- 

henaaon3/4b(u;t^^^ safety from. the principles of the 
London societies^ and the conflicting principles of va^ 
riotis cpuntrysodetie$9 they sooth into fraternisation^ 
bjr tellirig them that all would be set rjght ^' by a lull 
*^and fair representation of the people in Pariia*- 
" meat ;'* — a name which was given to the Commons 
mider Cromwell, as well as to the l^itimate Parlia- 
ments of thifi country at different periods^ — ^without 
telling them either what these wbrds meant, or how 
that Parliament was to operate to reconcile these dif- 
ferenoes, which you will find amounted only to th^ 
difierences between an attachment to an absolute re- 
public, and an attachment to a limited monarchy. 

They enlist alike those, who expressed a wish. to 
know whether they proppsed to reforpi the Home :qf 
Commo^^. 'and those who wished to know whet|;ier 
they intend jto rjp up Tno^archy by the roots ; their 
answers. were calculated to satisfy each of them, .to 
satisfy whatever n[)ight be the disposition of tho^| 
lyho .addfQSS the quefijtions to them, requiring iur 
formation aippn. subjects so totally diif^rent, 

Gkotlefnen, this is not. all : you will find again, 
that, ibr these, purppses, publicatipn^. upon the go- 
yeippfienti^f tb^.,cpivjitry,,,wljjjch,aye fiUu^ed to in 
tbis Indifitiqi^nt, 9^ wjiipb will be givi?n to ypu ii; 
evidence, :tli»t pujblic^ipj^w^ the goyefToment a( 

the qi^atry wen? adq|>^ed Ipy those societies as their 
Wn, ;ui4,(4(^la|^, ifi I inay so express myself^ i^ 
»<fW»^^VW>?4)^l?.^^ circulated Jn a manner, 

t^t::t«t?^ly;4ertr|t;^kjtii§ litv^rtfy pf t^f .press,. ii> thj? 
oountry— The liberty of the press in this country 

never ought to be niider an undue correction of tfie 
hw^ but it mu&t always be, for the ^ake of the 
people, subject to the correction of the law: you 
will find that these publications are either brought 
into the worid with such a secrecy as baffles all pro- 
secution, — published without names of authors or of 
printers, — published by contrivance, I am sorry to 
say by contrivance published in the dead of night 
(though they are the works of men who have talents 
to state them to open day, if fit to be stated to open 
day), and published in quantities, which make thcj 
application of the wholesome provisions of the laW 
utterly incompetent to the purpose of allowing the 
correction of the law to be as frequent as the com- 
mission of the offences against it. 

Gentlemen, with respect to many of these pnblf- 
cations I may take notice of what has happened iri 
the history of this country, and though no man 
wishes less to talk of himself than I do, yet I am 
speaking in the presence of many, who have heard 
me both in Court and in Parliament respecting those 
publications to which I allude (and which will be 
offered to you in evidence), express the difficulty 
that my mind laboured under to concede that sudi a 
publication as the Address to the Addressers, was 
not, according to law, an overt act of high treason. 
— ^It did appear to me that the publication of the 
book called the Address to the Addressers was anr 
overt act of high treason, for the purpose 6f yepcSJlfig 
the King } at least I thought it required an ingent^tb^ 


and subtlety, much beyond that which belonged to 
my mind^ to state satisfactory reasons why it was not 
so; but there were reasons satisfactory to those who 
can judge better than I can, and therefore that bocd^ 
was tr^ted only as a libel;— ^but when I come to. see 
it, as connected with the mass of publications al-^ 
laded to in this Indictment, — as connected with 
measures that I have to state to you iu the course of - 
caning this cause, — and as connected with the pro- 
ject which this Indictment imputes to depose the 
King, I say it is either most distinct evidence of an 
overt act of high treason, or it is an overt act of high 
treason itself^ 

' Gentlemen^ you will also not fail to observe (atld 
I state it as a general feature and character of tb6 
evidence that I have to lay before you)— the maligr 
nant art^ and, if I may so express myself, the in-* 
du^rious malignity, with which discontent has been 
spread by these two societies in London, and ilm 
means of spreading it have been studiously and. 
an)ciously taught from society to society : — the means 
of spreading sedition, fresh as from London, in every, 
town, ajl with reference (for they are not material^ 
if you do not find they had such a reference) to the. 
final accomplishment of the saipe purpose : you will 
not iail to observe, how the passions and interests of 
individuals have been assailed and the method o( 
assailing them taught, according to their stations in 
Ufb^ri^ot merely upon government,— but, for tha 
paqK>$e of subvertiiai;; government, upon tithes-^ 



coi^tf-bills— teixes-~game-laifs^-impres9 servioei^-any 
tlVifig' that could be represented as a grievance^ aa well 
as the government itself, and to this mtent— that, in 
aid and assiistance of each otlier, societies, as thejr 
eaipressed it, ** might overspread the whole fece of 
*^ the island," and '^that the island might become 
'•^ free" — you will mark their expressions—*' by the 
•• same means, by which Prance became so." 

Gentlemen, in stating to you the character of thc- 
eridence, it \& necessary for me to make one obser- 
vutidn, and it is the last I shall trouble you with : it 
is with respect to the principles upon whieh con- 
struction is to be given to the written evidence that 
viili be adduced in thie cause. Now, J ctesire to state 
this to your minds, as a principle perfeetly reaaon-^ 
able in the administpation of justice towards men, 
who are called upon to answer foi< offences, that the» 
language, which they uae> ought to> be considered- 
aoeording to its obvious sense. If the language ad<» 
mits, end naturally admits^ of a douU^ interprets* 
lion, it must then be considered aeco/ding tathe 
n^eture of the principle, which that language is pakr 
culated to cai^y into execution ; each* papef must be 
donsidiered^ with reference to the context of the same 
paper^ 4nd with reference to the contents) of ^1 oAer 
j^apers, that form the evidence of the same system^, 
which the paper produced is meant to prove. 

Now, If yon should find that, in detailing* the* 
Ejects of this Society, in detailing what th^ meant 
ta do> and in detailHig how. tbey meant to eseoit^ 

4 ^: . ^ 


what the; purposed^ they should in fact have stated^ 
that they meant neither that which was legal,-~nor 
that which was constitutional — nor that which was 
other tiian treason, it will be in vain that they 
have thought fit (for the greater prudence, the 
greater care, and the greater caution, wliich you will 
have most abundant evidence to prove they exercised 
occasioiuUy, but add to the guilt by increasing the 
danger) to assert at other times, when they have 
used general language, that what they meant to 
effect was legal, and that they meant to effect it m 
a legal and constitutional manner. It will become 
those, who have the defence upon tlieir hands, to 
State to you how, in a legal and constitutional man* 
uer, those things could be done, which were in-» 
tended to be done, and which this Indictment states 
were intended to be done, if I prove to your satisfac- 
tion that they were intended to be done by the means 
and instruments, which the Indictment refers to. 

Gentlemen of the Jury, their principle, as yott 
will find, was^ that equal active citizenship is the 
right of all men, and that upon this principle theiir 
representation of the people was to be asked for, 
Nowy it requires no reasoning to state, that a repre-* 
sentption of the people founded upon the principle 
ef equal active citizenship of all men, must form a 
Parliament into which no King, nor Lords, could 
enter. There is an end of equal active citizenship 
the moment that either of them exists, according to 
Biy coMtmolicff)^ ef equal active citi^ensbip, and i 


cording to their construction ofit\ for they state tbdt 
the effect of it is a representative government. But 
it is not enough for me to tell you that, in reason^ 
ing, this is the consequence ; — it is a circumstance 
to be taken into your, consideration ; but I say I 
shall satisfy you, if I am bound to go further, that 
the application of the principle of equal active citizen-- 
ship, according to them, was to be the foundation of 
a representative government^ rejecting the King and 
Lords out of the s)'stem. The principles were the 
principles upon which the constitution of France, in 
the year 1791> was formed: the principles of that 
constitution were the principles of equal active citi- 
zenship : , they attempted indeed to preserve a King 
in the constitutiorr, and to form what I may call a: 
royal democracy : but I shall prove to demonstration, 
that the leaders of these clubs in London knew that 
that constitution could not exist, that their principles 
led them to a distinct knowledge that that constitu- 
tion could not exist : it was in the month of August 
1 792 entirely overturned ; and you will find from 
the transactions of this Society in the months of Oc- 
tober and November 17 9^2, unless. I mistake the 
effect of the evidence, the clearest demonstration 
that these societies meant in applying those principles^ 
Vhich they themselves state had destroyed the. exists 
ence of a King in France, — ^because they must destroy 
the existence of a King in any country, you will find 
that, frgm October 1792 at }fsast^ those sodbstiies 
meant to destroy, the King in tl^is qountry^ and tba^ 


this was- the natural effect of their own principles, as 
tb^y understood them. 

Gentlemen, you will now give me leave to state to 
you, as well as I can, and as intelligibly as I can, the 
mafis of evidence, and the case which I have to lay 
before you. 

The particular act, the nature of which will be to 
be explained by all the rest of the evidence, which 
has led to the including these particular persons in 
one Indictment, arose out of a letter, dated the 27 th 
of March 1794, which was written by the Prisonerj 
then the secretary to the London Corresponding So- 
ciety, to the Society for Constitutional Information. 
The words of it are these : 

*^ I am directed by the London Corresponding So- 
'' ciety to transmit the following resolutions to the 
'' Society for Constitutional Information, and to re- 
'^ quest the sentiments of that Society respecting the 
*^ important measures which the present juncture of 
'^ affairs seems, to require. The London Corre- 
" spending Society conceives that the moment is ar- 
^' rived'' — mark the words ; for, in the rest of what 
I have to state, you will frequently hear of the time 
to which that alludes — ** when a full and explicit de- 
" claration is necessary from all the friends of free- 
" dom, whether the late illegal and unheard-of pro- 
"^cutions and sentences shall determine us to 
*' abandon our cause, or shall excite us to pursue a 
** radical reform with an ardour proportionate to the 
'^ m9gm(:ude of the object, and with a zeal as distin^ 


1S4 THE AtWR^fet fttNMAt's StBttH ON 

*' guisbed on bur part as the treachery of others jA 
*^ the same glorious cause is notorious. The Society 
'* for Conetitational Information is therefore req«iVed 
** to deterittine whether or no they will be ready^, 
** when called upon, to act in conjunction with this 
*^ and other societies, to obtain a fair represeiUation 
** of the people." Gentlemen, giv6 me your atten- 
tion presently to what they conceive to be a fair 
representation of the people, when I come to state 
the resolutions which they transmit ! " Whether 
*^ they concur with us in seeing the necessity of n, 
** speedy Convention for the purpose of obtaining** 
(thefi rt)ey use the words) " in a constitutional and 
^' legal method" — of the effect of which you wjll 
judge presehtly, for the method will not be the more 
constitutional and legal for their calling it so, if the 
tt^ethod IS in fact unconstitutional and illegal — " a 
** redress of those grievances under which we at 
'^ present labour, and which can only be effectually 
^^ Tenroved by a full and fair representation of the 
** people of Great Britain. The London Con-e- 
•'• spending Society cannot but remind their friends 
*^ that the present crisis demands all the prudence, 
^^ unanimity, and vigour, that ever may or can be 
^^ exerted by men or Britons ; nor cio they doubt but 
•** that manly firmness and consistency will finally, and 
*^ th^y believe shortly, terminate in the full accorfi- 
*' plishment of all their wishes." 

They then resolvfe, iand thiesfe i^esolutiohs ^r^ en^ 
Closed: ** 1st, Thetdc*rasjtasti<?eiat^fibert 

«^^.Bri^8^ yet <be'*vduc of ^thctn is »colniip»ratiyely 
'^sm|ll without a dgpendeocy on *beir permanency, 
" and there can be ck) secority^foir the cbntinuonq^ 
." of any rights bu^ equal laws.. . .• 

." 2d, That equal laws can tie\'er fee ^tfipioctedibat 
" by a full and fair representatitDn <9f the peapk ;.'to 
*^ obtain which, in the way pointed out by. the don- 
" stitution" — you will see what that is in the thhd 
resolution — *^ has been and is the sole object of this 
*^ Society : for this we are ready to hazard /leveiy 
" thing, and never but with our lives will wfc ldin<- 
" quish an object which involves the happiness or 
'* even the political existence of ourselves and paste- 
'' rity. 

" 3d, That it is the decided 0]Mnion of this Sd^ 
" ciety, tliat, to secure ourselves from the futuite 
^^ illegal and scandalous prosecutions, to p«tevei*t. a 
*^ repetition of wicked and unjust seaitences, and to 
^^ recall those wise and wholesotire laws which 'heatte 
^' been wrested from us, and of which scarcdy ^ 
^^ vestige re!nains"-*-Genilemen, you wifl permit mb 
to c^Il your ;attention- to what the objects were which 
were to be accomplished — ^^ there ought to 'be-ii«i- 
^^ mediately" — what J— r-'^ a Convention cfthe pmple 
" by delegates deputed for that purpose from fcite 
^^.dijffereni societies of the fiiends of freedom.** Attd 
vvbM arc the purposes which this conventioli, whitfti 
ihey theniisclves represent as a cooverrtion of thfe 
people; are to ex«oiite ? Why they^ "the delegates^ 
iQcmiDg 9 convmtioa of d^ pedple^ 4ire to leGall'thoM 


wise, wholesome laws, which they say have been 
wrested from them. Before I have done, ! shall 
prove distinctly that this is the meaning of the pas- 
sage, and the meaning of the passage will be to be 
collected from the whole of the evidence undoubted* 
'ly, not from this particular part of it. 

The Constitutional Society, there being present 
at that time six of the persons mentioned in this In* 
dictment, without any deliberation whatever, upon 
a proposition so material as this is — and therefore it 
must be left to you, upon the whole of the evidence, 
whether it is fairly to be inferred or not, that this, 
like a great many other papers of the London Corre- 
sponding Society, really came from the Constitutional 
Society— ^they immediately ordered that their secre- 
tary shall acquaint the London Corresponding &j- 
ciety, that they had received their communication, 
that they heartily concur with them in the objects 
they have in view, and thai for that view, and for 
the purpose of a more speedy and effectual co-opera- 
•tion, they Invite them to send to this Society, next 
iFriday evening, a delegation of some of their m^m<- 

Without now going into the particulars of what 
•followed upon this, give me leave to state, that 
Isome members of the Society, included in this In- 
,djctment, were named to compose that delegation ; 
that there was named at the same time a Committee 
of Correspondence of six members of this Society ; 
th^t afterwards tl\e London ^t^^rresponding Society 


formed another committee t that the two committees ^ 
met; that the two committees meeting, oame to a 
determination that this project of calling a conven- 
tion of the people should be carried into effect ; and 
then, that a joint committee of co-operation of both 
societies was formed by resolutions of both* 

Having stated what happened upon the 27th of 
March 17Q4, and connecting it, as I shall do pre- 
sently, with the very singular facts, which you wHl 
find also happened in that year, you will give me 
leave, in order to show what the true construction 
of this act is^ as well as to state the grounds upon 
which the Indictment, even without this act, charges 
a cons|>iracy to depose the King< — ^you will give me 
leave to state the transaptions of these societies from 
the month of March 1792* 

Gentlen^en, in or about the month of March 1799, 
— whether before that time the London Correspond- 
ing ScKiety had existed or not, seems to me to be 
dubious, and therefore I will make no assertion of 
that one way or other ; but supposing it to have 
existed, it will be made extremely clear that this So- 
ciety existed at that time without a constitution, as 
they call it, and was indebted to a gentleman of the 
name of Tooke for the constitution under which the 
Society was modified, and was indebted, I think, to 
a gentleman of the name of Vaughan, for his assist- 
ance in the composition of the code of its laws. 

The first correspondence that I find between the 
Constitutional Society and the London Correspond- 

138 TAB ATTOSJfAV OBK£B;^^i| , SUfiaCH ON 

ssg Society, which I ha^v^to etatti to you, is in tke 
jcoaimunication of the jprimnplos x^ the Corpe^pomi- 
ing Society, sent with a letter fligned by the Prisoner 
iflttbehau*) wfaicb letter is in the. foUovving words: 
*^ I aum ordered foy the Goounittiee to send to the 
^ Society for CoBStitutional Infbnnaiton in London 
** a copy of flour motives for Sfisociating, and the re- 
*^ SoIntibnB we have come to: we mean to .perseyere 
: ** in the cause we have eoibarked in, tiiat is, to be^6 
. ^^ (if .possible) an equal tvpresenlation of the people 
^^ of tbia nation in I^rliament." 

I observe hete fbca momentAhat .you wiH aottbe 
snrpiised, when I get to the oonchision of this him- 
ness^ that this fMxtiaM kngsiage was wed in^ the 
Ootsetrit wiIlfae.for you to judge whether ajstudkid 
ciaution is fairly imputable to the language. It: pfid* 
eeeds thus : " .Wc should be eaocecdrngiy hif^ to 
** enter into a oorrespondcnoe with that &6ciety, if 
•* it is not too oiudi presuinplTon k tfi. to expect 
*^fiudi aa honour^ but, as our cause is one, we 
•* hope that they will ddgn to tafce some notice of 
** us, who are. now entering upon a matter of such 
*' vast importance," 

This is extremely 'condescending language on tine 
'part of Mr, Hardy to the Constitutional Society.: it 
iA:;compatiies the resdutions of that Society, whr^ 
4iesoiutions purported to be signed "Thomas Hardy, 
•** Secretary*" It happened, by an accident not very 
«isy to be accounted for at present, and, notwith- 
:{9tainding which, I shall pnove diatimtly Xo yooi tbaK 

TH« TRIAL OPTflHOiaX* iTiWirP.: 1«^ 

the re«olutia»s are the act oF Mr. Hardy'; that this 
^igtiature-^** Thomas Hardy, Secrefeiry'^^-MS a sig- 
iKiture, as I am imtrocted, in the liand-writhfg of Mf . 
Home Tooke ; that is, Mr. Hardy, in tiae Lond6ii 
Corresponding Society, sends the resolutions of the 
Jjondon Corresponding Society (apologizing extreme- 
ly for the liberty he takes in presuming to send them) 
lo the Consftitutional Society, the sigtiature to those 
resolutions bearing the name of Thomas Hafdy ih 
the hand-writing of Mr. Iboke t whether- thosi^ re- 
solutions w^e finally settled by that gentleman or 
not I do not know, but you will find tliat thet'e 
^xi^s a paper which contains, I think, dist^ntt evi« 
3dehce upon the face of it, that those resolutions havfe 
been settled, with a good deal of deliberation, by thfe 
^me gentleman whose hand-writing occurs in the 
f{]giiature which I have been stating. 

Gentlemen, before these t^soJutions were sent, 
«ttd before I state the matter of them to you, you 
will allow me to mention that there had beai a cor- 
respondence between other societies and the Society 
for Constitutional Information, of such a nature, as, 
in order to make this case intelligible, will require 
some observations from me, and some attention fiom 
you ; It is the corri»pondehce of other societies, but 
which correspondence I shall connect in such a man^ 
ner with the London Corresponding Society, as in 
ftct to make the acts of the other societies the acts 
of that Society. 


Upon the 2ld of March ] 792, with a view to 
show you what were the principles of this- CoQ6titti- 
.tional Society, I must state that they come toa r&- 
eoluticfn, ** That the thanks of this Society be given 
" to Mr, Thomas Piainfe, for his most n^asterly book 
^' entitled The Rights of Man, in which npt only 
" the malevolent sophistries of hireling scribblers are 
" detected, and exposed to merited ridicule, but 
" many of the most importanfcand beneficial political 
*^ truths are stated so irresistibly convincing as to 
^^ promise the acceleration of that not very dist^ot 
^^ period, when usurping borough-sellers and profile 
*^, gate borough -buyers fehall be, deprived of what 
^ they impudently dare to call their property — the 
*^ choice of the representatives of the people. The 
.^^ Constitutional Society cannot help expressing their 
"^^ satisfaction that so valuable a publication has pr0« 
*^ ceeded from a member of that Society^ and they 
*^ sincerely hope,, that the peojde of England wiU 
*^ give that attention to the subjects discussed in Mr. 
*' Paine's treatise, which their manifest importance 
*' so justly deserves." 

Then they resolved, for what purpose you will judge 
of, when Icome to state to you the subsequent evidence 
in this bu^ness-^" That the foregoing resokitions^ 
'^ and all future proceedings of this Society, be re>- 
>' gularly transmitted by the Secretary to all our Con- 
;*^ responding Constitutional Societies in England^ 
••' Scotland^ and France,'* 

- MB*' TRIAL OFTHOMAt HAKBY;^ -" . 14 J- 

Viow, Gentlemen^ as I ^U prove what tlie book 
Was to which this resolution alhided^ I shall take the 
liberty at present to state in a few words to you, ad 
far as they affect the existence of a King in this 
country, those subjects, which, according to the . 
language of this resolution, the Constitutional So- 
ciety sincerely hope that the people of England 
would give attention to, as discussed in Mr. Paine's 
first book. In that book these- doctrines^ with re- 
spect to Great Britain, are laid down : " A consti- 
^^ tution is not a thing in name only, but in fact ; it 
^ has not an ideal, but a real existence ;" and you will 
find this extremely important, because in the result 
of the whole evidence that I have to lay before you, 
it will appear that they did not only distinctly disavow 
making any application to Parliament, but the com* 
petence of Parliament to do any thing by way of re- 
form, because the country had as yet no constitution 
formed by the people. Mr. Paine proceeds : ^' Can 
" Mr. Burke produce the English constitution ? I£ 
** he cannot, we may fairly conclude that no such 
" thing as a constitution exists.'* 

After stating that the Septennial Bill showed that 
there was no such thing as a coni^titution in Epgland, 
the book states a further fact, not immaterial, that 
the bill, which Mr. Pitt brought into Parliament 
fiome years ago to reform Parliament, was vipon the 
same erroneous principle, that is, upon die pr.incipl^ 
that Parliament jvas able to reform itself. M^ith re* 
spect to ojber ^ubjects^ tp which the attentipn . of 

the people of Eogboid was caUed, you will iiiul tliat 
this book, speaking o£ moA^s of gOTernment (aaid 
this 18 also extpefindy material with reference to the 
oonstruction of what f& afterwards to be stated to you) 
represents that *^ the two modes of governmttnt 
*' which prevail in the world are^ firsts govemmenls by 
*^ election and representation; secondly, governments 
" by hereditary succession : the former is generally 
*^ known by the name of republican, the latter by 
^' that of monarchy and aristocracy." 

He divides Government into government by elec- 
tion and representation ;-*^a representation, founded 
upon election, and election founded upon univei^sal 
suffrage ;— and government by hereditary succession,. 
He then states that, from the revolutions of America 
and France, and the symptoms that have appeared m 
ether countries, it is evident the opinion of the 
world is changing with respect to government, and 
that revolutions are pot within the progress ofpolrti-^ 
cal calculation ; and that the British government, not 
existing upon the principles he recommends, is not a 
government existing upon such principles that a na- 
tion ought to submit to it ; and that the I^rliament 
of the country is not abie to form a govemmem, thai 
will exist upon those principles. 

Gentlemen, it is a very remarkable cireuoastanoe^ 
as it strikes me, that, though various societies had 
existed in other parts of Great Britain, till about the 
time of the formation of the London Corresponding 
Society, noh$ of these societies bad asked or inx^it^d 

' * trot :TiiAs as astovu 'VitBwr/ • ^ I4t : 

tbe affiliatioh wttk thelMmdoa Constitutional So(Ml|^y 
which yen will find they aU ask and all itivvle about 
March ]7'92> whether by management or not, J do 
not prelfnd tx>cieterroiik&, it will be for you to judge; 
but (hey all ask aud all iavite afiiliatian with the Con-' 
stitutional and Corresponding Societies^ as soon a9 
the latter is formed* ^ 

Upon the l6th of March 1792, you will find a 
resolotioQ of the Society for Constitutional Infonna- 
tion, which states and returns thanks for a commu- 
nication from Manchester, signed *^ Thomas Walker, 
'^ president/' and ^^ Samuel Jackson, secretary ;'' in 
which ^^ they return the thanks of the society tq Mr. 
" Thomas Paine," who appears to have been a mem-' 
ber, a visitor of th» Constitutional Society, " for 
'^ the publication of his Second Part of the Rights 
** of Man, combining Pvmeiple and Fractke.'* I 
shaH endeavour to state to you in a few words what is» 
the cpmbination of the praclice, stated in the Second 
Part of the Rights, of Man, with the principle in the 
Hwt Part, ** a work," they say, ** of the highest' 
^^ innportaoce to every naiion under heaven, but 
^^^ fMHrtfC«>tarly to this, a& containing excellent and' 
<i practicable ptaiis for an immediate and considerable 
^ feducfiioQ of the public expenditure, for the pre- 
'^ ¥<»itiott^ of wdrS) for the extension of our manu- 
^^ factures and commerce, for the education of the 
^ ^oungV f<w the comfoi»table support of the aged, 
^^ for tibe better maiiitenainoe ^f the poor of every 
" despriptio»^ aad^ finally, fos tessenifyg, greatfy/ 

144: tHS XTtWStX d*KStAL*S 8tESCH ON 

^^ and without delay, the enormous load of taxea^ 
** under which this country at present labours. 

" That this Society congratulate their country at 
** large on the influence which Mr. Paine's puUica- 
^* tions appear to have had in procuring the repeal 
*^ of some oppressive taxes in the presept session of 
*^ Parliament ;. and they hope that this adoption of a 
** small part of Mr. Paine's ideas will be follow^ by 
*^ the most strenuous exertions to accomplish acom- 
*' plete reform in the present inadequate state of the 
*' representation of the people, and that the other 
" great plans of public benefit, which Mr. Paine has 
*^ so powerfully recommended, will be speedily car- 
/' ried into effect." 

Now, Gentlemen, as Mr. Paine's plan for the re- 
medy of the present inadequate state of the repre- 
sentation of the people was alluded to, and this book 
was alluded to, which combined *^ principle" and 
" practice," and as it is sta^ that the other great plans 
of public benefit, which he had so powerfully recom- 
mended, would be speedily carried into eflfect, it will 
be necessary to show ybu, from this letter, what' 
were those plans for the remedy of the inadequate 
state of the representation of the people, and other 
plans of public benefit, which this Society, receiving' 
the thanks of the Constitutional Society, hoped 
would be carried into eflTect. 

Gentlemen, I do not. take up your time in stating 
the passages to you, but represent to you the siib* 
ftance of that book i that it is a book dtstihctly and 


dearly rccocnmending the deposition of the King : if 
the passages in that book do not prove that assertion, 
there is no evidence that can prove any assertion,: it 
is a book, moreover, which not only puts the King 
out of the system of the government of the country^ 
but, according to which, if a perfect representation 
of the people is to be formed, it is to be formed not 
by a Parliament existing in a country— in which that 
gentleman states that no constitution exists — not by 
that Parliament, which he states to be totally and 
absolutely inadequate to the great work of forming 
the constitution upon the rights of man and equal 
active citizenship, which he recommends: it is a 
work, which calls upon the people of England to dp 
themselves justice in another way of proceeding, and 
to form a constitution for themselves before they caa 
have any government, which is to exist upon true 
principles. There is then, I say, in the beginning 
of this thing, a developement of these purposes.; 
and I say, beyond that, that if I understand theefFect 
of evidence at all, I shall satisfy you that those, 
who, voted th\s resolution of thanks, knew that the 
principles there referred to, were principles that 
would have this operation, and meant that they should 
have this effect. 

The next thing I have to state, whicl\ t shall not 
go through very particularly, is contained in a reso-* 
lution of the Constitutional Society (sorne of the 
members of which, I shall prove , to you, began to 
kaye the^ Society about this, tiqie^ stating distinctly 

VOL. III. h 


that they understood its principles to be now different 
from the principles it had formerly acted upon, and 
io be such principles as I have stated) entered hito 
upon the 23d of March 1792. They resolved that 
another communication, which is from Sheffield, 
should be published in the Morning Chronicle, and 
in several other newspapers, which they mention. 

With respect to the communication from Sheffield, 
(and it is a remarkable thing that^ from Sheffield, 
and from Norwich, they should be writing, on the 
same day, for the same purpose — that the societies 
of Sheffield and Norwich might be affiliated with the 
London Constitutional Society,,^ and the Sheffield 
people were so anxious about it, if it were their own 
act and deed, that they wrote more than one letter 
in order to ask it), it is to this effect : 

^* It is now about four months since this Society 

*^ first formed itself into a regular body ; they were 

** then but very few in number; the enclosed will 

^' inform you of their increase, and, which is most 

'* probaljle, will soon become very numerous ; and 

'^ not only this large and populous town, but the 

*^^ whole neighbourhood for many miles round about, 

*** have an attentiw eye upon us : most of the towns 

/* and villages indeed are forming themselves into 

"'^ similar associations, and strictly adhere to the 

"^^ mode of copying after us : you will easily conceive 

''*'^* the necessity for the leading meipbers of this body 

*^ to pay strict attention to good order and regularity^ 

*^ and'the-need we have of consulting and communi- 


*^ catiwg with those, who are sincere ffiends aiul able 
^* advocates for the same cause ; for these reasons we 
'^ to©k the Kberty to write to Mr. Home Tdoke, 
*^ that worthy friend and patriot for therights of thfe 
^* people^ informing him of our earnest desire of eni- 
** tering into connexion with the Sooiety of the samfe 
!'^ denomination of ours in London ; his very oblig- 
" ing and a'Sectionate answer favours us with your 
^' address ; in consequence, we have taken the liberty 
" herewith to transmit to you some resolves, which 
*• were' passed at otw last meetings by the whole 
"body, and the committee was charged with the 
** dispatch of printing and forwarding them to you 
" accordingly, for the purpose of submitting them 
**' to the consideration of your Society, and to make 
" use of them as they think most prudent. You 
" will also notice the Belpar address : they applied 
** to us about two months ago for instructions as to 
" our mode of conducting, &c. had not then formed 
*^ themselves into any regular association. Belpar is 
" nearly thirty miles from this place, in .Derbyshire, 
** and eight or ten miles from Derby. 

^^ If the Society for Constitutional Information in 
^^ London should vouchsafe so far to notice us, as to 
^^ enter into *a connexion and correspondence with us, 
** it cannot fail of promoting honour, and adding 
" strength to our feeble endeavours, and to thq 
** common cause, which is the entire motiv<^ we 
^^ have in view." . . 

They then, upon the I4th x^Mearfk l7g% know- 


ing that there was a connexion between the London 
Constitutional and London Corresponding Society 
(atid that th^y should know that fact on the 14th of 
March^ which is sixteen days before the 30tb, when 
Mr.. Hardy sent to Mr. Tooke the resolutions which 
iwre signed in the name of Mr. Hardy by Mr. 
Tdoke, as a conimunication to him that there was 
•<auch ^ body as the London Corresponding Society, 
is a circumstanoe that affords ob^rvation); they 
4hen add, *^ We have taken the liberty of enclosing 
*' a pared for Mr. Hardy, in answer to a letter from 
^* hijn to this Society, requesting some infonnatioR 
*^ ccHicerning cair method of conducting the business 
^^ we had embarked in, &c. also informing us there 
/* arp in London a number of mechanics, shopkeepers, 
;♦* &c^ forming themselves into 3 society on the broad 
f^^ basis of the rights of man. You will be so obliging 
M as to let the packet remain with you until he call 
;** fw it,, as by this post I have wrote him thereof. 
,** We have given hjn* our manner of proceeding 
*' from pnr setting out to this time, ^nd hope it may 
•* be of some use. The improvement we are abocit 
*' to adopt is certainly; the best for ojaniiging large 
•5 bodies, as in.grpat and populous tqwnsy.viz. di- 
•* vidiiig ti>em. into ^mall bodies or meetings^ of ten 
*^perj^I]iS each, and these .ten to appoint a delegate; 
** te^i of these delegates, form another meeting,, ^nd 
^' so on, delegating from one to another, till at last 
" they are reduced to a proper number for<;onstitu^ 
<^. ting the Committee or Graad Couacil." : 


Th^re IS atiother letter, of the sara^ date, which 
ha^a temarkabie ch^cumstiance aboatijt* Ic is^ad- 
dffessed to Ihe Constitutional Society, Oentlemen, 
it states that "this Society," that is, the saraesShef- 
fietd Socitety, "feeling, as they do, the grie^us 
•* fefiects of the present statie defects and abi»e of our 
" cpuntry'^ — (the word originally in this letter wan . 
consHtutiony but the word constitution, not being 
that which was liked, by some very odd accident iit 
the letter from Sheffield, the word cdantry, in the 
JiarJd-writing of Mr. Tooke, Is sabsUtated for am^ 
ititution) — '" the great and heavy oppressiotis^ which 
" th6 common people- labdui* tinder, as the fiatural 
^^ conrsequerfce of -that corrupc^on, and. at : the time 
*^1)ting sensible to a degrei^ ctf certainty; that. the 
*f ptfblic ttilridS and the genetal sentiments: of. the 
" people are^determined to obtain a radical reform 6£ 
'*^fh«*cbuMry,*' you Will rh^A these words; ^'^ as 
"sodn a» priYdenee and x}isci!^ion will permit, bci* 
'^lidVes' it thei#duty to m^keJuseof every prudent 
'* means, a^ far as their abilities can be extended, td 
^ ^obtain sa aaltftafy and desirable an c^eoty as a 
**^ thorough refbrmation* of our country,'V the word 
country fefeilig agaifl in the hand- writing of Mr. Iboke^ 
" established uporr that; system, which isconsi^ent 
^* wilte the rights of mati*—*fbr these reasons they 
state their" forming into clubs,! as. the fonhcf lettei 
did, and they (Conclude thas4~^Mhat being. thus 
" strengthened, ^^his Society may be better .enabled 
*^ to govern itself with fftore propriety^ and torendeir 



^* assistance to their iyiow-citizens in- th\s nfitgh- 
<' bourhood^ m»i in parts mure remote, th^ they, it| 
^^ their tiim may extend useful knowle^e stjU fur- 
" ther from town to village, and from vills^ t0 
*^ town, until the whole nation be sufficiently jcp- 
^^ lightened and united in the same cause, which 
" cannot fail of being th^ case, wh^i^ver the ropst 
^^ excellent works of .Mr. Thomas I^ine find r«- 
«^ sidence." 

Those works are the works which feavie held an 
hereditary monarchy, however limited, to be incon- 
sistent with the rights of tnan t which have held the 
institution of Parliament in' this country to be in* 
conisistent with the rights of mai) ; and those works, 
upon the principles of that incon^istfsnfc^, havje jbekl 
eran -the Parliament rit^lf inqdippi^t^nt %p refortn ai^ 
abuses m governmenit. 

The {iaper they trani^mit states ^s a fao|); tbat. the 
imtnber of members 8/t.$hefiidd were, in March rl 792, 
two thousand. . That the Constitutional Sooety in 
London and thfe CSonstitutioi^l Society at Sh^iidd^ 
thus numerous, should ha^^e had nO connexion by 
afiiliatian till the Uth of March 179% thoughi on 
that 14th of March I7g% it appears that t%e .Shef- 
field Society had had correspondence, and b^d be* 
coiiie'ConneGted with the London Correspond9g,So«- 
riety^ prior to the London Corresponding Society 
vending the papdr J before stated to the Constijt^r 
tional Society, is -somewhat refma)?kjable. . •^ 

The paper proceeds thus : ^^ This Sq^ly^ ooin^ 


*^ posed chiefly of the manufacturers of Sheffield, 
^^began ^hoxxt four months ago^ ^nd is alr^idy inj^, 
'* creased to nearly two thousand membeiV jln i^\\i^ 
letter, dated March 14, 179^5 '•^hey state at to bavet. 
amounted to two thousand, exclusiye of neighbofir-r 
ing towns and villages, who were forming themselves ^ 
into similar societies. They then^tate the principles r 
upon which the societies are formed, and th^t *;* they-, 
"have derived more true knowledge frpra. the twQ, 
" works of Mr. Thomas Paiiie, entitled Rights of. 
" Man, Part the First and Second, than from any 
" other author on the subject. The praotice as well , 
" as the principle of government is laid dpw^ in those 
*^ works, in a maimer so clear and irresistibly con- 
"yincing, that this Society do hereby resolve ta 
f^give their thanks to Mr. Paine for his two sai4 
^* publications entitled Rights of Map/' 

Gentlemen^ I beg your pardon for addressing you 
80 much at length on this case, hot J feel it my 
hpunden the public, to ypu, and to the Pri«. 
80^^ at the bar, to warn you fully of the whole of it* 
Tb«re is, nothing, which, I am sure, would more 
cartaiply happeny^than that I should go, not only ppt 
of tius Court, but to my grave, with pain, if I sljioiild 
have stated to you in a proceeding of this nature the: 
doQtrines of Mr, Paine, otherwise than as I think of. 
them. If that is meant to be intimated, that we 
may have no dispute abotit them, and that we may 
not misunderstand what is that principle, a#d th^t 
pcactipe;^ t« which the passage I havQ 4»ow re^ 



alludes, you will ^How me to read a few passages out 
of this Second Part of the Rights of Man, said to 
cohtain both the principle and practice of government, 
and then I ask you what those must have intended, 
with respect to the government of this country, who 
jmeant to take any step in order to make a change in 
it, in such a way as the principle and practice laid 
down in that book would require them to make it, 
recollecting that the government of this country is 
a government consisting in a King, having an here- 
ditary crown, together with Lords drid Commons, 
forming a Parliament according to the laws and con- 
stitution of England. 

Now, that author, in the first place, expresses a 
grfeat deal of what possibly may be differently thought 
df by other persons, but what 1 cannot call ^ood will 
to the people of Englarid— for he says, '^ that during 
*' the time of the' American war, hfe was strongly 
*f hinpressed Witti the idea, that if he could get over 
^^ to England without being known, arid only' remain 
*^ in safety till He could g6t out a puBliCatitin, \hit 
'* he could open the eyes of the country with' respibt 
" to the ihadness and stupidity of its government.^' ^ 
* Let'uis sedin what that itiadhess consisted accord^-' 
ing to'him':' having stated.m his forrtier book that a' 
gdvernment might to exist in ho boimtry, butab-' 
cording 'to tfie principles of the rights of rhan-^he- 
repSit^'^agaii^ the distinction he had stated' iti Wis- 
fbi^mehbbok, between what' he calls the two systennlfe't' 
lie isays, ^^ that the one now catted the old is<hen^-* 


^^^tary, either in whole' or* in part," which'- is that'of 
Erigland ; ^*^nd the hew is entirely rSpresentatiV'e,'*' 
—•that 'is, a'govemmient consisting' bf' a Cbmmbhs 
Hduse, if yoii choose so to call iti-^Wfe know; that 
in 1S49 the'Tulidg^ government iri'tHi^ cdimti'y was 
called a Parliament, called a CommorisHbuse^ and it? 
was thin enacted, that if any persons sliouldatteihpt t6 
put a King into this country, they should be dteemted 
traitors, with much less of an overt act rtimifS^€d^ 
flian IS liecessai^ at this day. A^in it • fe sfetdd, 
^* ah heritable crown, or an hetitable throiie, Or hy 
^ whatever fanciful name such things may Beoatled, 
" have no other isignificant explamatidn than thatt 
^^ mankind are heritable property. TO' inherit ago^ 
^* vemmerit, is to inherit the people, as if they were? 
^*^ flocks and herds.'* * '^* > ' « 

' *^ Hereditary succession is a builesqike uponifti-' 
•^narcHy. It puts it in the most* ridiculous tight 
"by presenting it as an office, whigh'Citiy child 
'^ or idiot may fill. It requires sorfie t«*Bft«s to W 
"a common mechanic, but (o 'be^a**Kilig'rec|uiii^ 
" only the animal figure of man,- a%6rt o#'brtothih^ 
** automaton. This sort oF^sopiei^UiltoA'may last at 
^^•few years more, ^biit it cannot long resist tiie 
'^awakmed reason dhd interest 6f man ;- thett,* *^m 
•^ whatever manner' the separate pai*ts of a conlstitu- 
*^ tion may be arranged, there is one general prin- 
*' ciplfe,. that di^tirigi}ish)s& freiidoffi fr^m slavery, 
^^ %hieh is, that aH hereditary' gov^mirfeiit cfver A 
i^ people is to theiih a spedeis of dwei^y, -atod-Zropre^ 


'^ fi/^fffytlye gi^vernment is fraedotn ;** thep^ speuku^g 
4>f t^a^e crpwn of j^gland^ that crown, in Mrhich, ac- 
oor4M>g Ih^ h^ ^nd constitution of this countfy^ 
{|cx:Drding to its. principle and practice^ is vested tbo 
^v^mffB^iy in the manner in which. I have stated it^, 
he siiys^ ^' having thus glanced at some of the def^ts 
'' of the two Houses of Parliament, I proceed to 
^ what isi called the Crown^ uppn which I shall he 
" ¥U!y poncise. 

. ^^Ii. ^gni^es a nominal office of a million sterling 
^' a :year/'~*Again, Gentlemen, give me leave to 
phsevve tihat thisj which has been so often det^d 
for the worst of purppses, cannot but be known to 
those who know any thing of the constitution of the 
eQuntry-r(I charge nobody else— those who I^now 
any thing of the constitution-^! chaise not. (hose 
whet do not know it) — ^to be in substance a gross 
misrepn^ntation*^'' the business of which oonsists 
^ in receiyiflg the money. Whether the person be 
VJwiaerOi! foolish* sane or insane, a native or a fo* 
^ifieigiierjt IMttgr^ not* Every minister acts upon 
*[:tim MQie idea -that Mr. Burke writes, naoiely^ t;hat 
^^ Ai$ popple must he hoodwinked, and hel4jft siu 
^. pei)stil^ous ignorance l^ some bugbear or other i 
^^and what is called the Crown answers this purpose^ 
^^and. therefore k answers all the purposes to be ^x^ 
^* pepted horn it." 

. Gentlemeo, in another part of this worl^, yoi^ wiU 
$nd> .that Mr. Paine was very w^U aware of w^ak 
tbcep Sbeffi^ oortei^KwdfPta wer^ «v«¥ of, if Hhey 

TUB ^fiUt OP THOMAS HAiiPY. 166 

were ttie composers oi the letter to whk;h I have 
alluded; that |he pri^ciples^ laid dowvn in the coih 
stitution.of France, whiph these two books were to 
recommend, ^nd the prhidples, stated in Maine's first 
boGk> Were absolutely inconsistent with th^constittiK 
tion itself of France^ as it existed at that moment.; 
and Paine prophetically (he would not have had 
common sense if he had stated it otherwise), even ift 
the beginning of 179^9 when. he publishes this bopk, 
ibretels that the government of France, with a King 
a part erf it, upon hi^ principles, and theprinciplet^ 
professed by the constitution of J^ranoe,, cpuld no| 
^xist: he foresaw tM in Aug^ist 1792, m4 ^ wjU 
prove, that those persons, who. were thus approving 
the principles and practice :of Paine, Jcpf^w th^t « 
King could not exist ponsistently with those priiw 
ciples ; and they adopted the;^^ therefore, as we in^ 
sist, in order that\^\ King $houkl not exist in this 
country. • 

Gentlemen, th/ese resolutions, being received per^ 
baps fmm SheiSeld, a^ «tep is taken upon them in 
the CcAistitutional Society, and a %(iep> >whf^ g?vei 
an amtbentipity to tM hook I th^ve in my k^4^ 
nami^ly, the bopl^ of their proceedings, which ia t^;^ 
markAl;4i$ enough,} fpr in this Soci^tj[*s bpok there. lu*/^ 
these i>asoIntioiis; which are supposed to be received 
from Sh^ffieldf wafered tp the hooks ^and tbw witii 
a view of a publication of them, in, tji^, Morning 
Chronicle, Worlds Post, - Xiitiev, Atg^s^ English 
Chronicle, andx Qenoral Ev^fiing" l^sty f«r th^ pur^ 


p6se' oif feirciiTating' the priiiciples of Mr. Thotna^ 
Kirifei and f6r the purpose of drcaldting the repre- 
fenfeticJn, which is naade in the^ ne^oluliob^. There 
Ts ifirst of allj in Mf . Tooke*s hand-writing, — '^ So^ 
^ ciety for Constitutional Information'^ £,ondon, 
^^ March 28 rf, 1792. This Society lutving received 
*' the following and other communicatiptts from Slkf 
^^yJeW, i;iz.*'-^his harid- writing — ^then, " March \ 4th, 
^^ 1792/^-^his hand- writing — ^then the w'6rds " two 
^' thousand members ^^^^ scored under, I cahnot say by 
hini, but by somebody, I suppose for the pui^se of 
being printed ih ItaKcs^; and there is at the conclu- 
sion of thiis minute in thfe hand-writing of Mr. Tooke, 
- '*' That the secretdry do return tfte thanks oftkii 
^ Socieiy tothe Society f of Constitutional' Ihf^rniatiori 
^^ established at Shj^ffidd, and that h^ express to them 
*^ with what- friendship and affectibn this Society em* 
** braces them, as brothers andjiilhw^ldbourers in the 
*^ same cause ;'* — of principle and practice I suppose. 
^^That he do a:ssure them &f '&ur entire concurrence 
^^ tilth thHr opiiiion, viz. that ihe -people ofthis^'coun^ 
^^try kre nopy as Mr. Burke terms ihem^ swhwi**-^ 
tiie writer of this must have known v^ry wrfl the 
sieiise 'in which an improper word^ I readily admit, 
w^ used by the person to whom he now alluitkis,— ^ 
" but ratiorkii beings, bettet qualified t^siparme tru^ 
^^ficm errbr than himself posseiiUfigr'more Amesty, 
** andles^i^fi. • ■ 1 » :i -. ; 1. *• . . 

*r Resoive4i 'thai iMs' SoUety will * on Friday next, 
*^Mar6fi-3Ut\ balUft'fer 4he iMlw' associated men^ 


'• bert recommended b^ ike Shield committee ^ and 
*^ approved at this Tnficting.^' — ^Then this paper is 
thujs ordered to be published for the primary purpose, 
I submit/ of recommending that principle and prac- 
tice, which makes the Sheffield people *^ fellow- 
^^ labourers'" with the Constitutional Society in the 
sanie cause of principle and practice, and which both^ 
in the principle and practice, was aimed at the 4^ 
^truction of the government of the country;— of 
that hereditary monarchy, which Paine represents as 
tyranny ; — of that limited monarchy, which he re.- 
presents as tyranny ; and for the purpose of recom- 
maiding that representative governments which, I 
say, is the true sense of all the words which these 
people use : but this is not all — you will observe, that 
this paper of resolutions was accompanied by a lettei:, 
in which letter there is also the hand-: writing of Mr. 
Tooke, and that the paper states that two thousand 
members belong to the Society at Sheffield,, and ^that . 
this number is to be stated by publication, as the 
number of persons belongj^g tQ the Society at Shef- 
field. In another publication they are stated tq 
amount to two thousand four.hundred-T-in Noven>- 
ber 1793, it is stated, that, they were many thou- 
sands : now you will see from the witnesses, some of 
these correspondents, these able ^len, who are so 
little corrupt, in the course of examination— you will 
sei^i, unless I am, mistaken in the effect of the evi- 
dence I have to ofF^r, the truth of an observation 
th^ I made^ that ipaqkind were to be misled, and 


societies were to be invited to he created, by the 
misrepresentation of numbers, and by giving to extst- 
•ing societies a colour in that respect, which did ndt 
belong lo them ; for to this hour, after all the pains 
which have been taken with the Sheffield people (and 
what pains you will hear), those persons, who were 
•two thousand, have yet arrived to but about six 

Gentlemen, this Society, having in this tetl^r ex- 
pressed an inclination tliat they should havfe iotn^ 
•Associated itiembers ih the Constitutional Society, that 
affiliation begihd. in the Constitutiorial Society m 
London, which I have alluded to ; and accoixlit^ly 
you Will fidd, that upon the 31st of March, twelve 
persons were ballotted for as from the ShefRdd So- 
ciety, arid became associated members of this Scfciety : 
•you observe, that this letter had stated from Sheffield 
that they had received before a communication from 
Mr. Tboke, and Mr. Tooke afterwards writes a 
draught of a letter which is sent to them, in which 
he states, ♦* I am directed by the Society forConsti- 
'^^ stutional Iiiformation to acknowledge the receipt 
-" of your letter, and to express to you that very gfeat 
" pleasure and satisfaction which they rccmed from 
** yout communication ; the Society' have otiatil- 
*^ ftiously ere<ited twelvef*' (here follow the names' of 
tHfe persons), " as associated members of this Sd- 
~^' fcifety.">^Thes6 persoriB being certainly, Geritle- 
nieh, extiiemely respiectaWe men as subjects of Great 
-Britain, but at the same time men, that one won- 


ders a little should, upon such a purpose as this, 
without a little more instruction being infused into 
their minds, have been associated as members into 
this Society— i-" and we flatter ourselves, that when 
" any business or other occasion shall lead any of 
*^ those gentlemen to London, they will be kind 
" enough to honour the Society by their presence, 
" and give us an opportunity of cementing that 
^^ friendship between us, which all the zealous 
^ friends of public freedom and the happiness of man- 
** kind ought to feel and exercise towards each other. 

*^ P. S. I am desired, by Mr. Home Tooke, to 
^^ request each of the associated members to honour 
** him with the acceptance of the books which ac- 
'^ company this letter ;'* — which were, 1 apprehend 
it appearSj^ so many parts of the Rights of Man. 

Gentlemen, upon the 24th of March 1792, a pa-? 
per appears to have been sent to the Constitutional 
Society from a nest of societies, the United Consti- 
tutional Societies at Norwich : this was the 24th of 
March 179^, and it appears, as lam instructed, that 
the words *^ 24th March ]792," are also in the 
hand-writing of Mr. Tooke. 

*^ At a meeting of the delegates of the United 
" Constitutional Societies, held the 24th March 
" 1792, at the Wheel of Fortune, St. Edmund's, 
*' in the city of Norwich, it was unanimously agreed 
*^ to communicate to the gentlemen of the London 
^* Society for Constitutional Information, the follow- 
'* mg resolutions : 


*f ist. ^e.are happy to see. the success of the 
^^ She£6{?ld Society for Constitutioual Reform, and 
i^- approve of. the delegations, whiph you and they 
/* have made in order to form a plan of general in- 
*^ formatiofn. We humWy beg th^t you wouW grant 
;*^ to us the same favour ; and it is our wish,, that all 
/^ the. societies of a similar kind in Englaxid were 
•" pnly. as so many naembers strpngly ^ndandissolubly 
i^ ttaited in one political body. 
. *^ 2dly. We believe that instructing the people in 
/' political knowledge, and in their. natural audio- 
/f heire^t: rights as men, is the only effectual way to 
-^^ obtain the grand objec;t of reform, for men need 
** only be made acquainted with the abuses of gOr 
*^ vernmenj;, and they will readily join in every law- 
*^ ful meaBS to ob^in redress ; we have the pleasure 
.*' to inforfn you that our societies consist of sqme 
** hundred?, ^d new. societies are frequently form- 
*' ing,. which* l?y delegates,. preserve a mutual inter-. 
^* course wi^rh e^h;Otherj for mutual instruction and 
" Hiformatign ;;j.and the greatest care, has bejen taken 
•^tOj preserve order and regularity at our meetings, 

" to convince the world that riot and disorder are no 

. - . • . * 

.f ^ parfs ,of oi^r political creed, , . 

*/; 3dly. We believe, and are firmly persuaded,'* 
(and if any rnan .thought so, he had ^ right to say so 
if he pleasedj^) *t^3l Mr. Burke, the once friend of 
" liberty^ has tfaducedthq gr^test and roost glot- 
•* rious revolution . ever recorded i^ the annals, of 
" history j we thank Mr. Burke forthepoliiical disr 


'^ cussion provoked, dnd by which* he has 6piatd 
** unto us the dawn of a glorious day. 

"4thly, To Mr. Thomas Paine duf ftitoks are 
*' especially due for the first and secoiid pafts of the 
** Rights of Man^ and we sincerely wish thit bd Aiay 
" live to see his labours'*— that is, the destractidn o£ 
hereditary government and limited ttional-tihy, and 
consequently the government of EngUmd— "crb^iiei 
" with success in the general diiFusidh ot lib6rty ancl 
" happiness amotig mankind." 

Gentlemen, this letter does not appeal (though 
the words, the 24th of* March, are iti the hand- 
writing of Mr. Tooke) to have been rjikd in the 
Constitutional Society till the ]4th df MdyiZpS, 
when they read this letter, and also atidthefi WhicK 
i will now state to you, from the society cilletl the 
Norwich Revolution Society. 

" The Norwich Revolution Society wishes to opea 
*' a communfication with you at this time, when cor- 
"ruptiori'has acquired a publicity in the Senate, 
'^ which exacts from the honour of the British nation 
" renewed exertions for parliamentary" refdf m-*with- 
" oiit prejudging the probable event" — (this is a 
material passage, when you connect it with whit is. 
found ' in otner si!»bsequent papers) — ^^ even of such 
*^ an application to the Le^islafiife, the Society is 
^^wflnngVfb circulalethe informaiidn, ah(i t6 co- 
'^ operate in the^ measiires^' that mdy seem* best 
^'^aSapteff^to further so desiirabi^^^ and so irnpc«rtant an 
^' ewl ; it is willing to hope the redress of every 

VOL. Ill, M 

j62 the attorney general*s speech 6N 

*^ existing grievance at the hands of a governmeajfc 
*^ resulting from an extraordinary convocation in 
" l688r-^n extraordinary convention of all, who 
y had at any preceding time been elected representa- 
" lives . of the people, assisted by the hereditary 
" counsellors of the nation, and a peculiar deputa- 
" tion from the metropolis ; which national consti- 
•" tuting assembly cashiered for misconduct a King 
" of the House of Stuart/' 

The opinions and principles of this Society are best 
explained by an appeal to their literary representative 
— " To James Mackintosh, author of the Vindiciae 
/* Gallica, the Society offers the tribute of its appro- 
^' bation and gratitude for the knowledge, the elo- 
*^ quence, and the philosophical spirit, with which 
*^ he has explained, defended, and commented on 
^' the revolution of France ; it hesitates to assent ta 
^^ this only of his opinions — that there are but two 
** interests in society, those of the rich, and those of 
'' the poor — if so, what chance have the latter ? 
'^ Surely the interests of all the industrious, from 
*' the richest merchant to the poorest mechanic, are,^ 
^^ in every community, the same to lessen the num- 
*^ bers of the unproductive, to whose maintenance 
'^ they contribute, and to do away such institutions 
/^ and imposts as abridge the me^ns of maintenance 
^' by. resisting the demand. for labour, or by sharing 
*^ in reward, as the means most conducive to this 
t^ compi^ehensive end, the Norwich Revolution So* 


" ciety desires an equi^ble representation of the 
" people. 

*^ The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine, and the 
" Advice to the Privileged Orders by Joel Barlow," a 
book which I shall give in evidence, and therefore 
shall state some passages from presently, ** have also 
*' been read with attention and circulated with avi- 
" dity/' — Now Barlow's book you will find is, in the 
plainest and most unequivocal language, as I under- 
stand it, an exhortation to all people to get rid of king- 
ly government, and addressed more particularly to the 
two societies I have mentioned, as containing the 
substance of the business, in which they are inte- 
rested, as you will see when I come to state t-he 
transactions of October 1792, 

" The Rights of Man by Thomas Paine, and the 
" Address to the Privileged Orders by Joel Barlow, 
" have also been read with attention and circulated 
" with avidity ; they point out with clearness most 
*' of the abuses which have accumulated under the 
'' British government ; they attack with. energy most 
" of the prejudices which have tended to perpetuate 
*[ them." 

Now, how any man living could thank these people 
without informing them that, if they really meant 
well to their country, they must be ignorant in the 
extreme, or something worse, if they could reconcile 
either the Rights of Man or Joel Barlow's book on 
the Privileged Orders with the principles of that 
Convention in 1 68 8,. which is the foundatiotv of the 


liberties of this counti^^ is to me quite inexplicable. 
But, after stating the constitution of this country, 
in a letter fabricated with great art, there follow the 
twelve names of the intended associated members 
from Norwich, and the description of some of the§e 
twelve happens also, from a singular circumstance, 
to* be in the hand-writing of Mr. Tooke. Then thii 
Society returns thanks to the societies at ShefEeld 
.and Norwich for these communications. 

The resolutions of the London Corresponding So- 
ciety, which I told you were sent on the SQth of 
March, are to this effect : 
" ** Resolved, That every individual has a right to 
*^ share in the government of that society of which 
** he is a member, unless incapacitated. 

*' Resolved, That nothing but non-age, pr priva- 
/• tioti df reason, or an offence against the general 
*' rules of society, can incapacitate him. 

*' Resolved, Thatit is not less the right, than the 
** duty of every citizen, to keep a watchful eye on 
** the government of this country, that the laws, by 
f^ being' mfultiplied, do not degenerate into oppres- 
*^ sion, and that those who are intrusted with the 
^^" government do not substitute private interest fbr 

public advantage. 

*' R6solyed, That the' people of Great Britaih are* 

not propfifly reprieserited in Parliameht, 

5* Itesolved, That in cohsequenoiB of a partial^ un- 
. ^^•equaV and irt^dequate represetitatioh, together 

withrt^ift cofm^ ftiethbd ki.whicfr reprea^ntativesT 





^ are elated, oppressiye taxea, unjii^laws^ restricT 
". tions of liberty, and wasting of the publip money, 
". have ensued. 

" Resolved, That the only i^emedy to tho3e evil^j 
" i^ a fair and impartial representation of the people 
** in Parliament. 

^* Resolved, That a fair and impartial rqjresenta* 
" tion can never take place until parti;il privil^fes 
*^ are abolished, and the strong temptations held 
^^ out to electors afford a presumptive proof, that 
" the representatives of this country seldom procure 
^^ a. seat in Parliament from the unbought .suifirag^ 
*^ of a free people. 

*^ Resolved, That this Societj^ do express their ab* 
*^ horrence of tumult and violence ; and th^t, as tbpjl 
*^ aim at reform not anarchy, reason, firmni^Sfi^ wd 
" unanimity, be the only arms they employ, or per- 
" suade their fellow- citizens to exert against abase o{ 
" power." 

Gentlemen, in this, which I have now read to you, 
lam willing, if you please, that you should construe 
every word of it, though certainly it is not oonsisjbent 
with the principles of British government, upon 
this principle, that those, who sent that pap^ to the 
Constitutional Society, if it even was sent there at 
all, really understood it to be con$is]bent with the 
principles of the British government ; and I claim no 
credit for the veracity with which I assert, Aat this 
conspiracy has existed, unless I show you by subset, 
quent acts of this Society, that, at this momeat, they 

M 3 


meant what Mr. Paine says, in principle, and prac- 
tice, is the only rational thing— a representative go- 
vernment ; the direct contrary of the government 
which is established here. 

You will find, by what I shall lay before yoa, that 
there was a Society in Southwark — To this Society 
the London Corresponding Society, in a letter which 
I have to read to you presently, stated their adoption 
of all Mr. Fame's principles, with a view, as 1 think, 
to the practice recommended in his work^ ; this So- 
ciety also received the thanks of the Constitutional 
Society for 9 communication which I am about to 
state to you ; and the London Correspoftding Society 
afterwards entered, as it seems to me, into a combi- 
nation with them, upon the principles stated in that 
tommunication : I say it is impossible, attending to 
these facts, for any man who reasons fairly, to doubt 
that the principle of the London Corresponding^So- 
ciety and of the Constitutional Society was to form a 
fepresentative government in this country. 

A declaration from a Sodety in Southwark was 
read 5-^^^ Resolved, That the thanks of this Society 
*^ he^ given to the Southwark Society for the following 
<* communication, and that h be published in the 
** newspapers : 

^^ April 19, 1792, at the Three Tuns Tavern, 
*^ Southwark-^Resolved, That we do now form pur- 
^^ selves into a society for th^ diffusion of political 
^^ knowledge, 


"Resolved, That the Sooiety be denominated the 
** Friends of the People. 

^* Resolved, That the following be the declaration 
" of this Society" — which is the preamble to the con- 
stitution in France, in the year 1791. 

" Considering ih^t ignorance, forgetfulness, or 
^^ contempt of the rights of men, are the sole causes 
** of public grievances, and the corruption ofgovern- 
^^ ment, this Society, formed for the purpose of in- 
" vestigating and asserting those rights, and of unit- 
•* ing our efforts with others of our fellow-citizens 
" for correcting national abuses, and restraining un- 
** necessary and exorbitant taxation, do hereby de- 
^^ clare— 

*^ First, That the great end of civil society is 
*' general happiness. 

" ** Secondly, That no form ofgovernment isgood,' 
** any further than it secures that object. 

*^ Thirdly, Tliat all civil and political authority is 
*' derived from the people'' — that people, of whom 
they were afterwards to form a convention. 

" Fourthly, That equal active citizenship is the 
** unalienable right of all men ; minors, criminals^ 
" and insane persons excepted." 

Now will my friend dispute with me what these 
principles, according to the ideas of those who state 
them, lead to? .» 

" Fifthly, That the exercise of that right, in ap-, 
'^ pointing an adequate representative govemmenC^'-^ 
that is, the government, which Mr. Paine tells you, 



rejficts every thing that' is hereditary — is what ?^ — 
*^ the wisest device of human policy" — not only that, 
but it js-T-" the only security of national freedoip," 
—•Then, is not th^t a direct 'assertion, that the 
British government exists upon principles not recon- 
cilable with the principles of a government that can 
have any security, or such a security as it ought to 
have for general freedom ? 

The Society for Constitutional Information retqr^ 
their thanks upon that also, and then those persons^ 
who write this letter say farther in the same paper^ — 

^^ We call upon our fellow-citizens, of all descrip- 
^' tions, to institute societies for the same gresdt 
'^ purpose"— that is, the purpose of introducing rcr. 
presentative government — ^^and we recQmmen4 ^ 
*' general correspondence with each other"-7-but str. 
ts^ched and ri vetted to the Constitutional Society:-^ 
^' and with the Society for Constitutional Jnformar. 
'^ tion in LfOndon, as the best means of cemant^ng 
*^ the commqn union, and of directing with greater, 
^^ energy our united efforts tb the s^me common 
'' pjbjects/'' 

What were the objects of this Society ? You will, 
£nd that the objects of this Society were the object$. 
of th? CoTjstitutional Society ; ^nd yoii will find pre- 
sently, that they were the objecJ;s of the Correspond-, 
ing Society :— The Constitutional SoQipty neeolvedj 
^^ that every sodety, desiring ^} junipq, pr corr/e- 

sppndeqce with this, and which doth not prpfess 

any pfincipl^g destfuctiyje tq ^i||h pr jjjsticfi"-T-Jipw 



this gives occasion for the first remark I have to make 
fipon language—" or subversive to the liberties of 
" our country ; but which, on the contrary, seeks, 
*^ as we do, the removal of corruption from the Ler 
^* gislature and abuses from the Grovemment, ou^ht 
** to be, and we hope will be embraced with the most 
" brotherly affection jmd patriotic friendship by thi^ 
*' Society." 

I observe upon this, that all this handsome lan« 
^uBge is perfectly consistent with this principle, 19 
the minds of those who write it, and they do ,not 
venture to explain it, because I think they durst not 
explain it — with this idea in their minds, that thos^ 
principles were destructive of truth and justice, weij? 
subversive of the liberties of the country, which were 
principles in opposition to those of Mr. Paine ; ^n4 
that all practice, that was in opposition to the pl^c-; 
tice he recommends, was subversive of the liberties qf 
the country. 

I come now to a circumstance or two, which J^ 
me to state shortly what wijl be proved to be thft 
priginal constitution of the London Corresponding 
Society — the plan, (the efficacy of which had been 
tried iii France, and which men, who caipje from 
that country, were probably well acquaintejd wi,th)-r? 
was to unite, .first, small bpcijes pf men — as soon w^ 
tibejf came to ^ greater number, to divide thepi mUsf 
9fn^\hr partie^^ upd ^o to spread themselves by^Qr 
gre?e? (^d you \yill find .}f} the letters, wa3 tJje purpose 
pf tbefe $9pieties), frofff (town to town, from village 
to village, from hamlet to hamlet, till, as they ex^ 


plain it, there should not be an unenlightened riian in 
the country, 

* The' constitution of the London Corresponding 
Society was formed upon this principle ; it will appear 
from the written evidence which will be produced to 
you, that a gentleman of the name, I think, of Felix 
Vaughan, was appointed a delegate upon the 30th of 
April, for No, 63 ; that Mr. Hardy consulted him ; 
and, being also appointed to form a constitutional code 
of laws for the London Corresponding Society, Mr, 
Hardy consulted him upon that subject. The pre* 
amble to the resolutions which formed their consti- 
tution was this : '^Whereas it is notorious that very 
^* numerous burdensome and unnecessary taxes are 
*^ laid on the persons and families of us and others 
*^ the industrious inhabitants of Great Britain, an 
** exceedingly great majority of whom are, notwith- 
^* standing, excluded from all representation in Par- 
<* liament^ and as, upon inquiry into the cause of 
^* this grievance, which is at once an obstruction ta 
^^ 6ur industry, and a diminution of our property; 
^* we find that the constitution of our country, which 
•* was purchased for us at the expense of the lives of 
*' our ancestors, has, by the violence and intrigue of 
*^ criminal and designing men, been injured and un- 
*' dermined in its most essential and important parts, 
•' but particularly in the House of Commons, where 
'* the whole of the supposed representation of the 
*^ people is neither more nor less than an usurped 
*** po\veP'— ^I hope, Gentlemen, it cannot he re- 


quired that I should contend against such an assertion 
in this place, if a court of law in this country has 
not lost all the character that belongs tp law ; how 
that usurped power was ever to be employed a$ 
an organ in the constitution of that new representa- 
tive body that this Society aimed at, consistent with 
their own principles, remains to this moment unin- 
telligible to me — ^^ arising either from abuses in the 
" mode of election and duration of Parliament9, or 
" from a corrupt property in certain decayed corpo- 
" rations, by means of which the liberties of this 
" nation are basely bartered away from the bribed 
'^ profit of the Members of Parliament : and as it 
" further appears to us, that, until this source of 
" corruption shall be cleansed by the determination, 
* ■ perseverance, firmness, and union of the people 
" at large, we are robbed of the inheritance so ac-. 
'• quired for us by our forefathers, and that our 
" taxes, instead of being lessened, will go on in- 
*' creasing, as they will furnish more bribes, places, 
" and pensions^ to Ministers and Members of Par- 
•* liament : we therefore, having resolved to unite 
*f ourselves into one firm and permanent body, for 
*^ the purpose of infoi-ming ourselves and others of 
** the exact state of the present parliamentary repre- 
" stntation, for obtaining a peaceable but adequate 
** remedy to this intolerable grievance, arid for cor- 
** responding and co-operating with other societies, 
*^ united for the same objects; have unanimously 
*^ adopted the following regulation^ for the internal 


^^ order and government of our Sociejty." They 
then state their regulations ; and their constitution 
having been thus fortn^, they publish it afterwards 
in the month of May. What observations they state 
to the public upon it in the month of May, I shall 
have occasion to represent presently ; you will see 
the manner of proceeding with respect to the election 
of their delegates, by the production of a particular 
paper. On the 13th of April, a person, whom yoq 
have heard much of, Mr. Margaret, is appointed ^ 
delegate; upon the 30th of April, Mr. Vaugban 
^as, as far as the paper is evidence of the fact, ap- 
pointed delegate for No. 63 ; Mr. Richtef, ?i.. party 
jpamed in this Indictment, and Mr. Martin, anotbqr 
party, against whom the Grand Jury have, foqnd a 
bill^ but who is not named in this Indictment;, are 
also appointed delegates. Mr. Hardy is n.Qt only 
secretary, .but he is appointed, upon the 1 3th of 
April, a delegate ; and there is a choice of delegatq$ 
for the whole of these bodies. You will fi^^d they 
afterwards met from, time to time, to pursue the 
l^reat purposes of their incorporation, at an ^lehoii^e, 
I think, the Bell in Exeter Street, in the Strand, 
from v;^,hich place some of the cori:espoijdence I ^m 
about to state to you comes. 

Genrieipen, the Society for CoBslitqtional Infcjm- 
^jtipn, hM\f)g ?ijffiliate4 several societies very suddeply 
wijtl) thenjSj^ves — ^whether jklr. P^jpe rc^m^ined, m 
tjjjis ppjipjtry or not Lpi^nnot tplj — tl^^y f^jim inclijpa- 
ti.Qp Jp afiilwte jvitb anothw ^Hy^ whicfe is to be, as 


it appears to me, in justice to thein> very strtDrig^ly 
distinguished indeed with respect to thd jJrihdiples 
upon which they acted, I mean the Sodiety calling 
itself the Friends of the People, meetihg at* Free 
Masons' Tavern ; with what prudence or discrfetiorl 
that Society formed itself is a, subject which I shall 
not discuss, but it is a most important fact;^ th^t in 
the first attempt,, which the Society foi Constitu- 
tional Information mkde (and 'it ought to be knowri 
in justice to the Friends of the Pe6ple),' the first at- 
tempt they made to affiliate themselves with the So- 
ciety of the Friends of the People, that Society, ih 
correspondence that will be read to ybu^ acts'as sbmd 
individual members of the Constitutional Society h^d 
done, they say — *' No, we discover your deStgri 
" from what you are doing ; you tell us, frbm your 
" approbation of resolutions entered inlo at M^fx- 
" Chester, slgtifed by Mr. Walker and Mr: Jackson, 
"that yo\i approve the sort of schemes Mr. Pairid 
'* ha^ sfet forth; — that you apptove projects' dfgitiri^, 
"in io6S(6 arid indefinite tfertn's- the full exteht' of 
^ wtC^t yea call tfe'rigli ts of the pedple, to tliefp6bfil^ { 
^* tliat i*^ ri6t oui'ifitent ; w6 thfek*'— ^attd, Gfefttfe^ 
tfitti; rtfartya'rtaftrti'^yvety honestly thint it; bttth^ 
ntUStgp^ab'Ofcitth'e feie6Qtidri'of hiislhoti^hts^in^ legil 
^Sif; if t(t d6es ^o thtnlt, Ifh'fe' means td ifedtidThS 
ffitrb^ti* into pra'cttcdf^^' v^6^ tHitfkthat-m'K^'erii 
"is not adequdfe id alt the ehd^ fdr ^ictl it S 
»'Mlltmai'ak^i bbdjr, thrdogK \*hich ir t6'- be 
*'^feti; a'S' f^ ai tfifecdtetltutibri rtt][tffrfey, tb(4 


*' will of the people'; but we do not mean what you 
*^ mean ; we mean to preserve the forms of the con- 
** stitution, which it is clear you do not ; we mean," 
says Lord John Russell^ in a letter, which will be 
read, " to preserve the forms of the constitution, 
*^ and therefore must decline all correspondence with 

Gentlemen, it happens— it belongs to societies of 
this, nature, and I desire to be understood therefore, 
in Stating it,, only as stating a circumstance, which 
in its nature does belong to those societies, and 
which will happen — that it was thought necessary, 
for the great purpose of doing that which was even- 
tually to be done, that a Society which had rejected 
co-operation with the Society for Constitutional In- 
formation, should still be kept, for the purposes of 
the Society for Constitutional Information, in fact and 
effect corresponding and connected with it. Accord- 
ingly you will find that this Society of the Friends of 
the People^ rejecting upon principle the plan which 
they thought abandoned the forms of the constitution, 
that this Society retained, in its own bosom, accord- 
ing to the account I have of it, many members, who 
happened to belong to the other Society, and the 
work of both societies went on by the same instru- 
ments : they were thus therefore connected in feet, 
though they did npt choose as a body to have one 
Society in. connexion with the other. . . , 
. Gentlemen, having stated that, you will allow me 
pow to mention^ though it is a little outof date^ but 


it also connects itself with and illustrates the last ob- 
servations I made, that the Sopiety at Sheffield, 
which had connected itself by affiliation with the So- 
ciety for Constitutional Information, and you will 
also find with the London Corresponding Society, 
had received, about the 24th of May, intelligence 
from the Society of the Friends of the People, which 
stated to them very correctly what their objects were, 
the means by which they meant to accomplish them, 
and the attention which they meant to pay to the 
forms of the constitution. You will now see what 
the Society for Constitutional Information under*- 
stood to be the objects of the Sheffield Society, and 
what the Sheffield Society understood to be the ob- 
jects of the Society for Constitutional Information. 
The Sheffield Society (though I do not know that 
they kept their word) distinctly disavowed, in a Ittter 
of the 26th May, to the Constitutional Society, 
having any thing more to do with that Society — called 
the Friends of the People — ^which nieant to pre* 
serve the forms of the constitution ; represented that 
they had totally misunderstood them, and would 
have nothing more to do with them, biit to the ex* 
tent, to which the Society for Constitutional In- 
formation permitted. 

You will find in a letter fi-om Sheffield, of the 
afith M^y, and this corrected by Mr. Tooke, that 
they thank the Constitutional Society for acceptii^ 
their members. They then state that they had inr 
creased \q two thousand four hundred.—^* Qn Sar 


** ttiWay last, tHfe 19th instant, we received a padcet 
^^ of printed addresses, resolutions, &c. from the 
•* Society (Prbe Masonfe' Tavern), which on mature 
" considefetion wc! find ourselves not so wdl recon- 
*^ died' tb the ideas' they convey tb us as we could 
** wish; if thfey had appeared iri a different point of 
^ view ; rior do they afford us such a flattering pro- 
*^ speet, as wd were apprehensive might he expected 
^^ fronf/ari association of so respe6tahle a hody, under 
'^* the high' denbnlitiatidn of the Friends of the 
*^ People, fn'odr ojJinioii; their answer of the 12th 
'^ instkrft' tb ybar letter df the 27th ultimo is no 
** ways comjjatible tvitH that appellatidn ; from the 
/^ kridwri respectability of many n^tnes whidh aj|j>pear 
^ amdhgst'thton, we had entertained, great hbpes of 
'^ tlidf real risd'^— ^rtark the words, Gaademen-^ 
'* id Obtaining a' tH6roag;H refortii*'— now mind wtikt 
<Jirt r^dttn ik-^*'^ in obtaining a thorough refortti 
-^^ opdn tbe prMciple^ of the rights • of inafiV'-^thd 
ii, a ri^preseritatli^e government, rejebtiif^ th'e Kirig^, 
thd rejtetiftg every other part of the cdriititutidii of 
this dottti try, eibept so far as it wai* consistent (1n-^ 
dfeld^t W riot dbnsiSterit with afty part of'it) Vith th^ 
prineij|l)Tes' of the rights of mah-^*^ whJeh cati nevef 
*' be accomplished until every riiah enjoys Hii liWful 
♦' arfd'jd^t privileges. 

^* FVe^^io^lS to the reception oT this* pacHet, we'did 
*^ ddmtifhiriiciate to them by letter the pleasing 'hbpei 
'^ it' reflected dri us oh loofc^ihg forwafcl, viewing 
f^'fiiiCli respecfabli"chafa6ters' sighalizlng tnenf^tvfe^ 


" in support of the peoples's rights, agreeable to the 
*^ above principles, and the denomination by which 
" they have entitled themselves, &c. In due course 
*' they would receive our letter last Thursday seven- 
" night;, and in consequence, we apprd^end the 
*^ packet was forwarded to us on the same day, but 
" without any written communication. We . sh^l 
*^ not attempt any further communication with.them^ 
" until wfe are favoured with ypur sentiments upon 
" the subject, or until matters of doubt which are 
^^ ^t present entertained be removed," Then there 
is a note, which shows the necessity of this fostering 
caj-e of the Constitutional Society : they say-—" Bir* 
'^ mingham in particular claims all the. assistance 
" from ejstablished societies, which possibly can be 
" administered." - 

Having written: to the Constitutional Society upon 
the 26th of May, they find it expedient, for the 
same purpose, to trouble their correspondents of the 
London Corresponding Society : " We were favoured 
" with your very affectionate letter of the 7th ultimo, 
*^ and communication, in due course; and I am di- 
" rected by this Society to inform yo^, that it is 
" with infinite satisfaction they receive the informal- 
" tion, that your firm and laudable endeavours are 
" directed to. that ^flTectual and necessary purpose^ 
'^ of opej^iing and enlightening the public mind, and 
" disseminating useful, knowledge amongst the ge* 
*' neral in^giss of the. people : by an orderly. prpceeding 
',*'in a*firra..pur«uitof truth and equity, there cannot 

VOL. ui. w 


''tea doubt but that our joint endeavours will fa 
*' due time be crowned with sucx;es8. 

*^ As brothers and fdlow-kbourers we coogratu- 
*^ late you on the rapid progress of useful and real 
** knowledge in the vai*ious parts of this nation, 
^ which svrfllidently indicates that the time cannot 
*' be far distant when truth will be tnorfe predofiii- 
^f nant, equity more generally administ^ed, and 
•* sound wisdom more universally sought after. 
^* When pride^ ambition, and ignorance, give place 
*• to these virtues,- when oppression ceases and cha- 
" rity abounds, when men in principle and practice 
f^ verify the necessity and advantage of doing to 
" others as they wish to be done by ; then, and not 
** till th^, can any people or nation be said to be 
*^ happy. 

*^ We have herewith enclosed our rules, &c. 
*^ Should have written you much sooner, but on ac- 
" count of a disappointment in the printing of our 
♦' articles, &c. 

*• Oar numbers continue to increase, both here, 
" and in the adjacent towns and villages ; ti general 
*' concurrence prevails, as to the necessity of the 
** business, and the measures adopted by this Society 
^' for obtaining our object. It will be of great im-. 
^' portance to the cause we are engaged in, that 
^^ a more frequent communication be matnteitied 
^ amongst all the similar institutions ; for whiclf rea- 
*^^. son we beg the favour of your correspondence ai 
^ ev€ty convenient opportunity, which will be highly^ 

T4E T/lIAt PP THOMAS HA??'?. J?^ 

f* phliging to this Society, who in return pledge 
" themselves to observe the same rule." 

gentlemen, having slated to you now what it was 
that .the Society of the Friends of the People discor 
vered to be the object of the Constitutional Society, 
9pd I ajgreeing with them in thinking their discovery 
uppn that subject was accurate and rights you >viU 
fii^d it necessary to go back, and to proceed in the 
order of time tp the 7th of April. Mr. Hardy sent 
frppji the London Corresponding Society a cpp^ of 
tiieir resolutions to the Society for Constitution^ In* 
formation, which was established at Manchester^ ^n^ 
desired also to have correspondence with thejii, 99 
^ey were all engaged in pne common c^use ; th^J: 
Manchester Society, you will recollect, whicj^ hop^^ 
that the other great benefits which Mr. Paine h^ 
stated, would be carried into effect. 

He says, " We began this Spciety about ten week|( 
'* ago ; it is composed chiefly of tradesmen and sh^op-- 
" kejq)ers. The enclosed will inforija yoi? of the 
^^princ^e$ we set out ppopj, — Whea we first asso- 
" fitted, ,we fluttered purselygs th^t no other societies 
'\ifi))}ij^mtiopL were formed lApop^tljes^nie principles 
" -rrjiiut b^ two pr thr^e weeks afterwards we were 
^^ ,TOPi4 ^agreeably iji^formed pf our bjre^hren at Sh^- 
^^ ^4^ ha?u)g l;aken,the lead \i^ so gloripus a caus^— 
^ Sfj^ ifni3[iediately wrote t9 them, and wereanswereji 
" VHithout delay^.ve3gprjes$ing ?i wish to pnite with us, 
" for promoting the endjs %p hayp in yiew, and yjc 


^^•are assured of success, by persevering prudently, 
^^ and with unanimity/' 

tJpon the 18th of April 1792, in furtherance of 
this plan, you will find Mr. Hardy writes a letter to 
the president of the Society in the Boroughr— Now 
that is the Society, the principles of which. I have so 
distinctly stated before, as leading to representative 
government^ (is the only security for liberty in the 
country • — It appears that their declarations had also 
been sent to the London Corresponding Society ; 
and Mr. Hardy, upon the 18th of April 179^, says, 
'* i am ordered by the London Corresponding So- 
'^^ ciety, to send a copy of their resolutions to the 
*^ Society that meets at the Three Tuns Tavern, in 
*^ the Borough, established on purpose for restoring 
*** the rights of election, or, in other words, to ob- 
^^, tain an equal representation of the people of this 
*^ nation in Parliament." 

Now they had avowed, and avowed in their decla- 
ration, that their object of a representation of the 
people in Parliament was precisely that more ex- 
tended one in its principle, which obtained at the 
time of the Commonwealth in England-^namely, a 
representation of the people in Parliament; termed a 
Parliament, but without King or Lords, arepresen- 
.tative govemjhent — ^^ We' should be very happy to 
*^* enter into a' correspondence with your Society-^-as 
^^ we are all engaged in the same'grand and important 
'^^ cause, there is an absolute necessity for us to unite 
'^ together, and communicate with each other, that 


.'^ our sentiments and determinations may ceijtre in 

:*' o^ne point, viz, to have the rigiits of ipan j-e-esta- 

/' .blished, especially in: this nation ; but our.view^ of 

" the rights of man are not confined solely to this 

/f small island, but are extended to the whole human 

" race^ — black or white/ high or low^ rich or poom 

.** I give you the. following as my own.opinion*»-pefv 

*^ haps you may think it a singular sentiment"— and 

^t^en an^ opinion is.given^ which it is .my duty ta state, 

,^pugh I do not understand it—" that the Kiti^ an^I 

V the nobles, as miich as thQ peasanj;, and ignoble, 

'^ are equally deprived of their rights-rjOur , Society 

/^ meets every Monday night." i . . , 

. Gentlemen, there is an answer to» this,,, frpm /i 

person of the name, I think, of Favsellp^ whp is chair.* 

.man of the Friends of the People in §outhwark ; bp 

.sajs-r'f I duly received, your letter, containir^ %hp 

^* resolutions of the Ix)ndon CorrespopdrpgSocjet}^ 

i*f which I hajife communicated ^o our SocieJ^y in the 

^f ^^ough — and I am directed to returji .them the 

." thanks of that Society, .and to as&ure th^p tfi^ 

." shall cordially unite with them, anfi:allsfmilar so- 

." cieties thrpugliout the kingcjop?,- in^epd^vpiiring 

^^ to effect those gre^t objects for which thqy are 

'^associated — namely, to engage the attention of 

/' their fellow-citizens-to examinie the generfil abuses 

/'of government, exercjse their deliberative 

^' wisdom tp,a calm but; intrepid wannei^i^fpplyjng 

''those remedies/'^^'jrh'^i^?'^ Ap."l » ^9^ i'i Augns^ 

they expressly iell y,9vi, that there was to bp np^reniedy 



ifdm Parliament—" In applying those remedies which 
" the country at large may ultimately require— and 
*' they sincerely agree with you in hoping that the 
** lohg-neglected rights of man will be restored, not 
*' duly in this country, but in every part of the globe 
^' where man may dwell. — ^We shall very soon trans- 
^ mit you a copy of our declaration, and hope for 
*' your farther correspondence/* 

A letter and resolutions from the Revolution and 
Constitutional Societies at Norwich, dated 26th of 
April 1792, were read at the meeting of the Society 
for Constitutional Information, on the^th of May 
following: they distinctly state — that Mr. Paine*ft 
l)6oks were to be the medium, through which the 
{Prejudices that had grown up under the British go* 
vernment were to be got rid of, and the Cohstlta- 
^tional Society return them their thanks in these 
V^ords — '^ This Society receives the above oommuni- 
*** cation with the most heartfelt satisfaction, and 
•* desifes earnestly to concur and co-operate with 
*^ those Societies in their laudable objects ; that the 
^' secretary do inform them of the same, and that 
'^ this Society has unanimously elected the twelve 
^^ members 6f the Norwich Societies to be associated 
^^ ihembers of this Society.** 

Upon the 11th of May 1792, the Constitutional 
Society resolved, that there should be a communica^ 
lion fr6m that Society with the Society of the Friends 
tof the Cbhstitdtion at Paris, known by the namfe of • 
)Jteobitts : they send an address to thtm> ifj^hich is Ja 

TH£ TRlAh or THOMAS RABfiY. 183 

these words — " Brother^ and fellovv-citians of the 
*^ world — ** 

*^ The cordial and affectionate reception with 
** w^ich you have honoured oqr worthy countrymen, 
".Mr. Thomas Cooper, and Mr. James Watt, 
*^ nij^bers of the Society of Manchester, and united , 
" y(hh Oiir Society, has been. communicated to us by 
*' the correspondence of those gentlemeii. ' 
. • '^ In ofibriiig you our congratulations on the glo- 
'^ riQus revolution which your nation has accom- 
'*.pUshed, we speak a language which only sincerity 
^' pan dictate. 

*^ The formality of courts afibrds no example to 
^^ us : to do oar thoughts justice, we give to the 
^^ heart the liberty it delights in, and hail you as 
^< brothers. . 

' <* It is not among the least of the revolutions 
^^ wbidi time is unfolding to an s^toniBhed world, 
" that two nations, nursed by some wretched craft 
^^ kk reciprocal batred* ^ha\M so suddenly breal; their 
^^ common odious chain, and rush into amity. 

'^ The principle that oan produce such an effisct, is 
" the offspring of no earthly court ; and whilst it 
^^ exhibits to us the ^pmskve iniquity of former po- 
^ Utios, it enables us with bold felicity to say wq 
^' htm done with them* 

^ In cootraiiplating the political conditbn of na« 
'^ tions, we cannot conceive a more diabolical system 
f^ tif ^owmmeat tban that wbi<^ has been generair^ 
^^frdptiiedayer tbft sfodd^ to &ed tfae j^varioet and 


^* gratify the wickedness of ambitldn • the^frtterttily 
^* of the human race has been destroyed, as if 'the 
" aeveral nations of the earth had b^ii creaited by 
/^ rival gods-rman has not conskfel^d man as the 
-** work of one Creator. - : 'l' . i>C 

* ^^ The political institutions, unde^ \fhich he' has 
*« lived, fetve been oouftter to * whatevef* reli^bn hie 
" professed. » *. , ' . j * 

" Instead of that untv^rsatbene^olence, wbich'the 
'* morality of every known religi6»» deblaims,' he4i& 
^^ been politically bred to consider' (lis species as his 
*^ natural enemy, and to describe virtues and vic^s 
^ by a geographical chart. * * 

** The principles we now declare are not pectili^V 
<^ to the Society that addresses you i they aretextenff- 
*^ ing themselves with accumulating force throiigh 
•^ every part of our country, and derive strehgth 
^' from' an union of causes, Whiob no othei^ principtds 
"admit. ; 

*^ The' religious friend of man, of every dencnii- 
^' nation, records' them 'as his own ; they anim&te>thb 
*^ lover of rational liberty, and they cherish thi heart 
'^^ of the ^ poor, now bending under an oppressidh of 
^*. taxes, byaprqspectoffielief.' 

" We havfe against us only that' samct enebtj', 
«* which is the enemy of justice in all countritk, a 
^' herd of courtiers fastening on the spoil of the 
" public; • ' ./. , - 

•" '^ It' would have given an additional triumph *to 
" o^r congratula^n^^ if tlie eqUal rights of qian^ 


^* whicli are the-feuiukition of youf dedaratioh of 
^* rights, bad been* recdgnieed by the governments 
*' around' you, and tranquillity ^estaUisbed in aU % 
*^ buti if; dei^otisms be still reservM to exhibit, «b^ 
^' compiVacy and combination, a furtlier exampk of 
^* ififemy te> ftiture ages, that Power that disposes of 
<^ e¥eMs^ best knows the means of making that ej^ 
" ample finally beneticial to his creatures. ^ 

**^ We have beheld your peaceable principles in- 
^' sultedr by despotic ignorance; we have se^ thb 
'^ right hand of fellowship, which yoa hold out to 
** the Woi^ld, rged:ed by tho^e who riot <fa it& 
^^ plunder; we now t)ehold you a.^nation provoked 
*' into defence, and %ue cdri^^e no mode ofdefprice 
^* equal to thM of establisfiing the general freedom 'fljf 
'^Europe: . j 

^' In thia best of causes we wish you success^ ovk 
•" healts go with you ; and in saying this we bdieve 
'* we utter the voice of millions." 

Gentlemen, this address was signed by* the chaitv 
mian of the Constitutional Society, and transmitted 
•to Mr« Watt, at Paris ; and, upon the OStb^of May 
1792, was ordered to be published.^ 

After this, ,the principles of Mr. Paine, which, you 
observe, Contain the doctrines that I have been stat- 
11^ to you, were carried further in a third book (I 
meattt In that book called The Address to the Ad* 
dressers, which I shall also be able to give in evidence 
to you) : Mr. Paine having there gone the length of 
averting the folly, absuijlity, and wickedness of the 


Government, under which' we ]ive<-*-not only of as*, 
aerting the incompetency of Govemmetit, 8$ it is 
constituted^ to change itself, but having a3serted 
that a conventionary representation of the people, in 
that sense in which we speak of it, must do this 
work, he proceeds to the extent of statiog the plan 
and form of an organization of that sort^ upon which 
the convention was to be framed*. 

Gentlemen^ it was impossible not to api^y to the 
justice of the law, against the attadc made upon, our 
Government by the person who went to the extent I 
am now stating, with the approbation, published 
(Over and over again, of these societies, whp^ in their 
corporate character, if I may so speak, could noi; be 
prosecuted for doing it— -it became necessai^ to ask 
a Jury of this country, whether these docfcrmea >i^ere 
to he tolerated — what is the consequence of tliat? 
Jit is, that these. societies immediately etiter ioto ^b- 
scriptions for the support of Mr. Faitie, and they 
Cpnsidiur th^msdviss as engaged in propagiiting his 
works in that way^ in which no work ever waspro- 
pagated-^4o the intent to produce that conventioii, 
without which the nation, in no organization of iis 
^ government, could be said, according to them, to 
exist in a state of freedom as a nation. 

Gentlemen, you will not h^ surprised, if H aliio 
appears that, in going on progressively to t\f^ eiEfica* 
tion of the mischief that was intended, they becaifte 
more misdxievous ; mid you wiU fiod «Mtn}i6ra part- 
ing from the Society, expressly tdliog themj^ th$t 

T&fi t>BIAL OF rfHDMAS HAR0Y. 187 

they meant to destroy the govemment of the 0600* 
try ; that they cannot, therefore, stay among tbemg 
and to which members, as far as appears from ahy 
information that I have had, they did not condescend 
toexplain themselves — to say. No, you have mistaken 
our object — ^this is not what we mean; but they 
leave them unanswered, and go on to execute the 
purposes they were about. 

Having come to those resolutions in-order to sup* 
port Mr. Fkine in these prosecutions, they publish 
the resolutions, they publish the books of Mn Paine, 
they publish these resolutions in the various news- 
papers (the editors of these newspapers insuring, if I 
may so say, themselves against the hazards of the 
law, some for more, some for less, and they risk the 
hazard of propagating the doctrines, provided the 
consideration paid is ample enough, as a premium 
for the risk), and then these publications are sent 
down to the country to various places, in hundreds, 
and thousands — ^I am sorry to say, to persons of all 
professions to distribute— I am sorry to say, to sorte 
of the most sacred professions, whose names will 
appear to you when they come to be read— ^nd this 
mode of propagating these doctrines is adapted to the 
utter impossibility of detection, and for the very 
purpose of having that effect — to make the law of 
the country unequal to the mischief, which it was to^ 

At this .time a proclamation Wa» Isstsed by the 
txeartive gov«mme6t of the country, to order to 


restrain these publkation^ ; and both thft soeieticf , 
,yott will j5ud, cloaking themselves under the words 
•^ a full and fair representation of the pepple," which 
words they have never condescended to explain, whidi 
words never do exist in any tejctof any wting of theirs, 
as. I can find, with the mientiop of a, King, or. ot,her 
,bouse of legislature ^-rthey • vilify the proclamation, 
and make the very means the executive government 
look to .suppress the .mischief, a me^^n by wjbich 
they should spread the effect qf the niipclvpf more 
widely arid diffusely than Otherwise they could- have 

f ypon the Q4th of May 179% tliere js a letter sent 
fyom Mr. Hahly, I believe jK>t in his own hand- 
writbg, but I believe in the handrwrjtiiig of.Mr. 
Vaughdn, :whom I before naTiied to.ypi\, in whiqh 
..he states, that,. by the direption pf the jLppdon Cor- 
responding Society, he had. the honour^pfTej^^lo^iqg 
to tlmrt .a copy of their address and ^f^gijilat^p^s, 
which he requests they v^jll, coinmnt^icqt?, to the 
C!onstitutional Society, The thanks of th^ Sqciety 
.were given to them for this; and that* is a publica- 
tion more guarded than anqther you wil\ ^nd pfib- 
lifihed upon the 6th of August 1792, 

After stating, their- constitution, which I beffpre 
mentionod to .you, it saj^T-" But, as;^rovidwce has 
'^•furnished men in ev^ry ^ta^ipn with facilities i;ie- 
^^ cessary for judging of what concerns themselves, 
'^ shall we, the, qaultitude, suflTer a few^ with no bet- 

,ter right than ourselves, to usurp the power pf 


' THE rv^txh op thotmas HARDt.- I89' 

** governing us without control ? Surely not: let 
"us rather unite in one comrhon cause to'cast away 
*^ our bondage, being assured, that in so doing we* 
" are protected by a jury of our countrynfien, while' 
*^ we are discharging a duty to ourselves, to our' 
*' country, and to mankind.'' ' •' 

Gentlemen, you vvifl find from a paper of the 6th' 
of August, that that, which they supposed was' to 
meet with protection from a jury of the country, was 
a combination to reform the government of the 
country by means — other than application to Parlia- 
ment — whtch binds together, with the King, as the 
great political" 'body of the country, the whole system, 
under which we live. 

Gentlemen, the Lonfdon Corresponding Society, 
as to the King's proclamation, followed the example 
of the Constitutional Society, and, on the 31st of 
May 1792^ in a paper that will be read to you, they 
Vilify the proclamation ; and thi» paper having been 
communicated by the London Corresponding Society 
to the Constitutional Society — they, aware of the 
nature of it, order, that that paper ^Ould be pub- 
lished in such newspapersasti^fff receive the adver- 
tisements of this Society *-^Thfey^ '(^ete pretty well 
aware that they were of ' sneh aMiiture as made it 
somewhat hazardous to publish thfem; 

You will ifind a leWigr, rd^ted. thb 14th of June 
1792, from certain pptson^Jstj^ng themselves the 
Ediior^ blithe Patriot (v*0 they are I am notable to 
*«t^e to j(©ia; tut ivho,« f^^tfiie, purposes^e 


s^cietiesp thought it necessary to conceal their names)^ 
10 which they desire the Corresponding Society to 
fake an importunity of enlightening the public mind 
by publications^ by advertisements, by circulating. 
tho$e lepers in villages to country farmers, desiring, 
as I stated, to conceal their najne, but requesting 
that the papers might be sent to a person, who holds 
an important situation in a subsequent part of this 
bu$iness--*a Mr. Gale, a bookseller^ at Sheffield. 

Gentlemen, there will be laid before you various 
parts of the proceedings of the Constitutional Society, 
which relate to Mr. Paine, which I shall now pass 
over, except for the purpose of calling your atten* 
tion to another publication of his upon the 6th of 
June I7g2, and which was addressed to Mr. Dundas; 
you will likjewise find that that book, which will be 
'^ven you in evidence, distinctly disavows all heredi- 
tary government; all monarchy, under in^iatever 
qualifications ; 3nd then, for the purpose of circulat- 
ing this doctrine, as they had before circulated the 
doctrines in other ivorks of this gentleman, they 
Wder, ^^ that twelve thousand copies of that letter 
*^ shall be printed for the Society, for the purpose of 
^^ being tmnemttted to oqr correspondents ij|;vx>ughr 
^^ out Great Biitain, and that a committee be ap- 
" pointed to direct, the same/' 

Gentlemen, I pass on now to the 6th of August 

ir92; at which time there appears to me to han^ 

been an extremely imp^twit tnuiswtion In >tbe XQn- 

^QCk Corresponding Society } it is jtiis pcopa^^Uoii of 


an ^dress of th«t date^ which first develc^s, as it 
seems to me, though in somewhat of covert laxi«- 
guage, the determination of these societies to work 
what they call a reform without any communication 
whatever with that Parliament, which they held to be 
inccmipetent to bring about the business. 

You wll find that, upon the 8th of August, Mr. 
Hardy wrote a letter to Mr. Tooke ; that he sent 
him a proof copy of this address ; that he hoped it 
would merit his attention, and his approbation ; that 
he should be exceedingly happy to be favoured with 
hts opinion of it before, it was printed. 

The address, after stating what tliey considered as 
the grievances of the country, states this — *^ Such 
" being the forlorn situation of three fourths of the 
'^ nation, how are Britons to obtain information and 
^^ redress ? Will the Court, will Ministry afford 
" either ? Will Pariiament grant them ? Will the 
^' nobles or the clergy ease the people's sufferings ?. 
f^ No. Experience tdls us, and proclamations con* 
" firm it, that the interest and the intention of power 
*^ are combined to keep the nation in torpid igno* 

" ranee.' 

It J&itn states the only resource to be in these so* 
cieties ; it then states various detailed reasons^ which 
you will hear, and then proceeds to this eftect : 

*^ Numerous other reforms would undoubtedly 
^^ take place, even in the first session of Parliament 
^' so elected, dependant only on their electors the 
'^ people ; untom therefor^ by faction, undivided 


/^ by party, tincorrupted by Ministry, and uninfla^ 
^* enced but by the public good. EVery tran8action 
" would tend to reform, and a strict economy, its 
** natural consequence, might soon enable us to 
" reduce our taxes ; and by the integrity of Parlta- 
•' ment, that reduction would light upon such objects 
** as best might relieve the poor ; this to the people 
*' would prove an advantageous and a novel session, 
** and to an honest Parliament not a tiresome one. 

*^ Therefore, Britons, friends,, and fellow-citizens, 
^' with hand and heart unite, claim what is your 
*' right, persevere ^nd be free, for who shall dare with- 
** stand our just demands? Oppression, already trem- 
" bling at the voice of individuals, will shrink ^way 
** and disappear for ever, when the nation united 
^* shall assert its privileges and demand their restore- 

Gentlemen, the address you will find was circu- 
lated with infinite industry to every Corresponding 
Society in the kingdom, conveyed through every 
possible channel, the doctrine adopted by all the. 
affiliating societies; and the plan, which they .went 
upon from this 6th of August 1792, appears to have 
been a plan to redress themselves by their own power, 
and by their own strength, and not by application 
to that Parliament, which alone can act in legisk* 
tlon : it seems to me to be impossible that you can 
mistake what is meant by this paper, if you will gfive 
your more particular attention to a paper which was 
teceived from a Society at Stockport^ and found m 


the possession of Mr. Hardy upon the 27th of No- 
vember 1792: this, after adverting to those nume- 
rous grievances stated in the address of the 6th d 
August 1792, is to this effect : 

" In obedience to the wishes of the Society here^ 
'* I have the pleasure of acknowledging the honour 
" of your letter, and the packet, which the kindr 
** ness of our brothers of the London Corresponding 
" Society so opportunely presented us with. 

'' It IS doubly deserving our thanks, as it shows 
^^ ypur kimlness, and as it will be useful in the 
*^ formation of our infant Society ; we stand much in 
" need of your experience in this particular^ and we 
" doubt not of your best assistance ; we are sur* 
^' rounded by a majority, a formidable one indeed in 
*' power, abilities^ and numbers, but we are not dis«* 
*^ mayed. 

*^ We have carefully perused the addresses, and I 
^/ eipn to observe ruppn thieir contents in general, that 
^^ th^ sentimepts hq^rdly^ arise to tliat height which 
*.* -we expect S^pvh men sensible to their full claims to 
" absolute and uncontrollable liberty, i; e. unatcount^ 
*-^ mble tft any,, power which they have not immedidtely 
^^ ca^sliiut^dofid appointed.^ 
> ^^ Thesd are pur sentiments, whatever may be 
yours; though, in the present state of political 
"knowledge, it may be prudent not to avow thenij 
^* Qpimly. We desire your sentiiments on the means 
'^.flifjacQpimpHshing that object^ which we presuipe 
^l )9ai0 havje ^a.vje^ ^a cooainbn with us ; we think 



•^ it expedient that we should perfectly understand 
^^ each other in the beginning, lest the sppearance 
^ of disunion might furnish matter of triumph to 
•* our enemies ; we observe one expression/' — ytm 
wlH take notice that Mr. Hardy at this time was a 
member both of the London Correspoiiding and the 
Constitutional Societies : — " we observe one expres- 
^'. sion, which says, * numerous other reforms would 
*' take place,' &c, &c. but we ask how is that Parlia- 
** nieht to be chosen ? Can we expect it Jrom the 
^' present order of things ? Would not all the evil be 
" done away at once bp the people assembling in con- 
** mention f Does it appear probable that the odidus 
•^ laws, which we complain of, will be abolished any 
'^ other way ? Can the grievances arising from ari- 
** stocracy be redressed while the • retains its' 
" present authority in the Legislature ?"— whether 
this blank is to be filled up with Crown or the House. 
of Lords is for yon to judge,— retains its present 
authority in tlie Legislature ? . *^ Is the universal ri^t 
^' of conscience ever to be attained while the B— --^-^ 
•* maintaiti their seats on the 

^^ Your thoughts on those important points^ we 
^^ most earnestly desire may be transmitted to us as 
^' soon as JjossiBFe, not directed as the last,''--and 
this you will find often occurs : letters sent under a 
feigned direction ; " we fear it will excite suspicion/* 

Thte StoAport Society say of the address of the 
6th of August 1792, sent to theiil, that they thiftk 
it hardly amduhts tq aentiifieiibi su^h ^ theits^ 


namely, that they must have absolute and uncontrol- 
lable liberty, unaccountable to any power which they 
have not immediately constituted — that could not be 
the King and Parliament of Great Britain— they say, 
" we presume you have the same view in comtnoQ 
'* with us, and we desire to have your sentiments 
*^ upon the means of accomplishing that object.'* 
What object ? The object of putting themselves in 
a situation of being unaccountable to any power, 
which they themselves had not immediately consti- 
tuted and appointed — how was that to be done ?-— 
was it to be done by Parliament ? The address of 
the 6th of August had disavowed that it was to be 
done by Parliament. Is it to be don^, while the 
other parts of the Legislature bold their situation in 
the Legislature ? We presume you have the same 
otject: tell us what you think upon this occasion. 
This was the occasion, upon which the address of 
the 6th of August ought to have been eiiplained, if 
they meant to disavow that they had any such object; 
but wlKit is the answer? The answer in efiect is; 
That full and fair representation of the people^ that 
we are aiming at, is that which is to be the mediate 
or immediate instrument of removing all the griev- 
ances we labour under, though prudence does not 
permit us to speak all we think upon the subject. 

*^ With infinite satisfaction the London Corre-' 
** sponding Society's Committee perused your letter ; 
^' tbey are happy to learn your steady determination, 
^ m s(Mte of all obstacles, to pursue that sole meana* 



^^ of political felicity, a perfect representation of the 
^' people." 

N0W5 what wds the sole means of this political feli« 
city^— a perfect representation of the people ?— Why, 
the formation of a power by the people, making 
themselves unaccountable to any other power, to any 
power but that which they had immediately them- 
selves constituted, namely, an assembly by a con- 
vention of the people. Then, Why don't they speak 
out ? They say, *^ With regard to our publications, 
*^ our sentiments are expressed in as strong terms as 
'^ prudence will permit, yet plain enough to convince 
*^ the public, that, while we expect every thing 
** from an honest and an annual Parliament/*—* 
body might exist under the term Parliament in a 
commonwealth, as well as under a King — '^ nothing 
** -short of such a senate, chosen by the whole nation, 
" will satisfy us. 

. *^ True generosity, the characteristic of this na- 
" tk)n, and of all unperverted men throughout th^ 
" globe, calling upon us to countenance at this 
'* juncture the arduous struggle of the French na* 
^^ tion against despotism and aristocracy, those foes to 
*^ the human race, we have resolved upon addressing 
•' the French National Convention.'* You will per* 
mit me to observe, this was upon the 1 1 th of Oc« 
tober 1792: the King of France was deposed in 
effect upon the lOth of August 179^. This passage, 
in the transactions of this Society, appears to me to 
be peculiarly, worthy your attention, ^* Without 


^^ Wtering into the probable effects of such a mea- 
" sure, eflfects^ which your Society will not fail to 
** discover, we invite you to join us ; and to that 
" end, herewith you have a copy of our intended 
'* address : if you approve the idea, and will toncur 
*' in sending it, be pleased to return us without de* 
" lay, a copy signed by your president ; we will then 
'^ associate your body with ours, and with some 
'* others, who have already assented to the measure : 
" if, on the contrary, you disapprove that mark of 
" zeal towards the only nation that has hitherto 
" undertaken to restore to mankitid its just rights, 
*' please to communicate to us your objections.** 
This was upon the 1 1th of October 1792 : upon the 
6th of October 1792, Mr. Barlow (whose name oc- 
curs before with respect to his publication relative to 
the privileged orders) writes a letter to the Society 
for Constitutional Information, accompanied with a 
book, called *^ Advice to the National Convention 
** of France ;'* and you will be pleased to observe 
that Mr. Barlow, and a Mr. Frost, afterwards, 
in the month of November, were sent with an ad- 
dress from the Constitutional Society to Paris, as 
their delegates for that purpose. The letter of Mr» 
Barlow is in these words : 

*' I have lately published a small treatise, under 
" the title of ^ A Letter to the National Convention 
^* of France, on the Defects of the Constitution of 
" 1791, and the Extent of the Amendments which 
^* ought to be applied :' although the observations 
' 3 


^^ contained in this letter are more particularly apfdi* 
^^ cable to the French nation in the present crisis of 
*^ its government, yet, as the true principles of 
*^ society are every where the saipe^ their examtna- 
*^ tion cannot be unseasonable in any nation/ or at 
*^ any time ; believing, therefore, that the subject 
•* of this treatise will not be thought foreign to the 
** great object of your association, I present a copy 
^^ of it to you with the sai][ie confidence as I hay6 
^^ done to the National Convention, and to the 
<^ Constitutional Society at London, a confidence 
^^ arising from the full persuasion that the work is 
'^ founded in truth and reason. I take the liberty at 
^' the same time to send you a copy of another pub- 
>^ lication, entitled ' Advice to Privileged Orders^* 
^^ The present disposition in Europe towards a 
^' general revolution in the principles of govern* 
*' ment is founded in the cqrreiit of opinion, too 
^^ powerful to be resisted, as well as loo sacrec) 
^^ to be treated with neglect ; and it is the duty o^ 
<^ every individual to assist, not only in removing the 
^' obstructions that are found in the w^y of this re- 
^' volution, but in ascertaining, with as much pre- 
^^ cision as possible, the nature of the object to be 
^^ aimed at, and the consequence to b^ expected 
*^ from the attainment : it is above all things to be 
'* desired, that the convictions to be acquired from 
^^ national discussion, should precede apd preclude 
5^ those which mvist result from physical exertion.** 
Now, you will give me leave tq state to yqu v'fhM 


tlie doctrine is in this book^ for which the Sdciety 
for Constitutional Information^ Mr. Ilaf^y then a 
member of it^ thank Mr. Barlow^ make him an 
honorary member, an4 afterwards depute him to 
the National Convention of France. 

Gentlemen^ the doctrine^ I can explaia it to you 
^nerally, without troubling^ yon by r^ing partiou- 
lar passives, amounts to this: Mr. Barlow, after 
stating the . principles > of equal active citizenship^ 
which found their way into the constitution of Franoe 
in 179J> and which constitution had made the King 
« part of the sysiem of that government, informs 
them of the glorious victory pf the loth of August, 
as the papers, which I have to adduce presently, re- 
present it ; that it had accomplished finally the effect 
of those principles, which he understands to be the 
principles of those to whom he was writing ; that it 
is impossible they should consist with this sentiment, 
that a King could be retained in a governmeni ; that 
4he constitution was at. variance with itself; that 
those who made it had not discovered that^ or^ hav- 
ing discovered it, they thought the time was not yet 
eome^ vfben they could reduce the constitution to 
that .pure government which wa^ the object of these 
sodeties ; fae then tells you, that in government, the 
maxim being thai a King eon do no wrongs the 
maxim ought to be, that he can do no good. 

TJusgentteman^ so stat'mg his doctrine as an e^« 
^lanaCioD of the principles upon which they are act- 
iog> 10 ^^dted by Jthem an honorary member^ and 

o 4 


afterwards sent to Paris with the papers, which I am 
about to, read to you : a great de(ll of evidence will 
be laid before you, to prove that they had beat up all 
the country for letters and addresses to express the 
same principles to France, not on account of the cause 
of France^ but of the cause of England, and with a 
view to introduce the same efl^ts into England. I 
shall state but two of these addresses, because they 
seem to contain the effect of all the rest that were 
actually sent. 

The London G>rresponding Society first of all 
communicated to the Constitutional Society, in the 
month of October 1792, their intention of sliding 
an address to France: the Constitutional Society 
fully approve the purpose : th^ see the end that it 
aims at, and they determine not to concur in the 
same address, but to send a separate address ;. and in 
their paper you may see the principles of both to be 
jH-inciples, which were expressed for the very purpose 
of aiding the co*9peration of the societies in exchid* 
ing the King from the government of the country, 
and of raising a republic. This is the letter : 

" Frenchmen, while foreign robbers are ravaging 
^ your territories under the specious pretext of jus-* 
^' tice, cruelty and desolation leading on their van, 
^* perfidy and treachery bringing up the rear, yet 
^^ mercy and friendship impudently held fcnth to the 
. ^^ world as the sole motive of their incursbns ; the 
^^ oppressed part of mankind" — that is. Great Britain 
*— ^^ forgetting for a while their pMi^n staffia-ings, feel 


*^ only for yours, and with an anxious eye watch th6 

*^ event, fervently supplicating the Almighty Ruler 

** of the Universe to be favourable to your cause, so 

*^ intimately blended with their own** — that cause 

which upon the 10th of August had excluded the 

King from the government of the country— ^* frown* 

^' ed upon by an oppressive system of control, whose 

*^ gradual 1)ut continued encroachments have deprived 

^' this nation of nearly all its boasted liberty, and 

*^ brought us almost to that abject state of slavery, 

*^ from which you have so enfierged ; five thousand 

^^ British citizens indignant manfully step forth to 

^' rescue their country from the opprobrium brought 

^^ upon it by the supine conduct of those in power; 

'^ they conceive it to be the duty of Britons to coun- 

^' tenance and assist, to the utmost of their power, 

^^ the champions of human happiness, and to swear 

*^ %o a nation, proceeding on the plan you have 

^^ adopted, .an inviolable friendship. Sacred from 

^^ this day be that friendship between us, and may 

^^ vengeance, to the utmost. Overtake the man who 

^^ hereafter shall attempt to cause a rupture ! 

*^ Though we appear so few at present, be assured, 
*^ Frenchmen, that our number increases daily : it is 
" true, that the ^tern uplifted arm of authority at 
'* present keeps back the timid ; that busily circulated 
^^ impostures hourly mislead the credulous ; and that 
** court intimacy with avowed Frendi traitors has 
^' some efiect on the unwary and on the ambitious ; 
^' hut with certainty we can inform you^ friends and 

.^^ fr^emw^ that inforomtion makes a rapid progress 

^^ among us ; curiosity has taken possession of the 
*^ puUic mind ; the conjoint reign of ignorance and 
'^ despotism passes away ; men now ask each other, 
*^ what is freedom ? what are our rights ? French^ 
'^ men^ you 93ft already free, and Britons are pre- 
^^ pcuring to become so ; casting far from us the cri- 
" mtnal prejudices artfully inculcated by evil-minded 
'^ men and wily courtiers^ we^ instead of natural 
/^ enemies^ at length discover in Frendimen our 
" feUow-citizens of the world, and our brethrai by 
" the same heavenly Father, who created us for the 
'^ purpose of loving and mutually assisting eadi other, 
^ but not to hate, and to be ever ready to cut each 
^^ other^s throats at the command of weak and am- 
'^ bitious KingB^ and corrupt Minister^; ^seeking our 
^' real enemies, we find them inourbosoms^ we feel 
^ CHirselves inwardly torn by and ever the victim of a 
^^ restless and alI*consuming aristooracy, hitherto the 
^' bane of every nation under the sun : wisely liave 
^^ you acted in expelling it from France. 

" Warm as our wishes are for your success, eager 
^' as we are to behold freedooi triumphant, and man 
*' eviery where restored to the .enjoyment of his just 
^^ rights, a sense of our ^diHy, as orderly citisens^ 
<^ forbids our ilying jn arms to your assistaaoe: our 
^' Gaverpmenthaspledged the national &ith la veoiain 
^^ neutral in a struggle of liberty against defpotism. 
^'£riton$ r^biain neutral !-r>0 shame ! but we have 
^Vtrusted qw King wxtk iUscretionary poweos^ we 


^' tYierefcxe mmU obey : our hands are bounds but 
" our hearts are free, and they are with you. 

^^ Let Germa d despots act as they please, we shall 
^* rejoice at theiT fall ; compassionating however theit 
*^ enslaved subjects, we hope this tyranny of their 
^* masters will prove the means of reinstating in the 
'^ full enjoymcmt of their rights and liberties millions 
^^ of our fdlow-ci^eatures. 

" With unconcern therefore we view the Elector 
*^ of Hanover" — ^that is, the King of Great Britain—* 
^'join his troops to traitors and robbers i but the 
*^ King of Great Britain will do well to reipember, 
^ that this country is not Hanover, Should h^ far- 
•^ get this distinction, we will not. 

" While you enjoy the envied glory of being th^ 
^* unaided defenders of freedom, we fondly anticipnte 
^^ in idea the numerous blessings mankind wiH enjoys 
*^ if you succeed, as we ardently wish, the triple 
^* alliance (not oi crowns , but) of the people of Ame^ 
*^ rica^ France, and Britain, will give freedom to 
" Europe, and peace to the whole world. Deaf 
*' friends, you combat for Ae advantage c^ the 
^^ human race; how well purchased will be, though 
*' at the expense of much blood, the glorious un- 
<^ pecedented privilege of saying^-r-Mankind is free : 
^^ tyrants and tyranny are no more: peoee reigns oa 
^ the earth, and this is the work of Frenchmen.** 

Gentlemen, this address, which was sent by that 
Society, was felk)wed by another from the Society 
jfpr (Ilonstitutional Information^ upon the j^th of No* 


vember 1792> which seems likewise to state their 

'^ S^rants of a sovereign people, and benefactors 
^' of mankind — 

** We rejoice that your revolution has arrived at 
^' that point of perfection which will permit us to 
*^ address you by this title" — Servants of a sovereign 
people, that is not the character of a British govern- 
ment ; this is the principle of the South wark resolu- 
tions— •^^ it is the only one which oan accord with the 
^^ character of true legislators. Every successive 
^^ epoch in your af&irs has added something to the 
^* triuHnphs of liberty, and the glorious victory of the 
'^ lOth of August has finally prepared the way for a 
^ constitution, which, we trust, you will establish on 
^' the basis of reason and nature/* Mr. Barlow had 
in ei8^t said (and they had made him an honorary 
member, and had transmitted their address by hts 
hands), that no constitution could reform upon the 
t>asis of reason and nature, that left a King in the 
government, however the government was modified. 
They proceed thus in their address — ** Considering 
'/ the mass of delusion, accumulated on mankind to 
** obscure their understandings, you cannot be asto- 
'^ nished at the opposition, that you have met both 
^l from tyrants and from slaves ; the instrument used 
'^ against you by each of these olasses is the same ; 
^/ for, in the genealogy of human miseries, igtiorance 
^^ is at once the pareut of oppression a&d the child of 
*5 putrniipsipn. 


*^ The events of every day are proving, that your 
** cause is cherished by the people in all your conti-' 
*' nental vicinity ; that a majority of each of those 
'^ nations are your real friends, wboae governments 
^* liave tutored them into apparent foes ; and tihat 
*^ they only wait to be delivered by your arms, frcmi 
'^ the dreadful necessity of fighting against them. 

'^ The condition of Englishmen is less to be d^- 
'^ plored ; here the hand of oppression has not yet 
** ventured completely to ravish the pen from us> nor 
** openfly to point the sword at you." 

Th^:y then go on to say : — ** From bosoms bum* 
'' ing with ardour in your cause, we tender you our 
^' wfiraiest wishes for the full extent of its progress* 
^^ aiid suooess; it is indeed a sacred cause; we cherish 
'^ ft as the pledge of yoiir happiness, otlr natural and 
'^ nearest friends, and we rely upon it as* the bond of 
'^ fraternal union to the human race, in whi<^h union 
^^ our own na,tion* will surely be one (^ the fir$t to^ 
*5 concur. 

» *^ Our government has still the power and ptthapi 
** the inolinatidn to employ hirelings io contradiot 
^' us; but it is our real opinion, that we now speak' 
*^ the sentiments of a great majority of the English 
^^ nation. The people here are wearied with impose-' 
" ture, and woi^n out with war ; they teive learned to* 
" reflect that both the one and the other are the off- 
^^ spring of unnatural combinations in society, as re^- 
^^lativetQ 3}'sterospf government, not the^«alt of 


^^ the natural temper of nations as relative to ezeh 
^^ other's happiness^ 

• <^ Go on, legislators, in the work of humott* hap-^ 
^^ piness ; the benefit wUI in part be ours^ but the 
*^ ^ry shall be ail yocir own ; it is the reward of 
*^ your perseverance; it is the prize of virtue, ther 
*^ sparks of liberty preserved in England for s^es,. 
** fike the coruscations of the northern Aurora,. 
*f serving but to show the darkness in the rest oS 
^ Europe. Thq lustre of the American rtptoiblfCy 
*^ like an effulgent mora, arose with increasiag vi- 
*^ goar^ but stBl too distant to enlighten dnr \iemi-'^ 
^ sphere, till the splendour of the French revoItUoiir 
^^ burst forth upon the nations in the full fervott of 
*' a meridian sun, and dtsplayed^'-^attend to the- 
xlrords^-*^' in the midst of the Euroftean work! tk& 
<^ practical result of principle, . which philosopliV'' 
^ had sought in the shade of speoulation, and which 
" experience must every where confirm,"-*-*the prtn* 
dples of Mr. Paine, who went over to form one iit 
diat Conirention, the existence of which i^ows the 
ptactical result of those principles, which philosophy 
bad sought, and which experience was to confirm*^-^' 
'f Ui dispels the clouds of prejudice fcom all pebfile, 
^^ teveals the secrets of all despotism, and creates av 
^^ :new character in. man. 

^^ In this career of improvement your example wiH 
^^ be soon followed; for nation^, rising from their 
^^ lethargy^ will reclaim the rights CMf mad with ar 
^< voice which m»n cannot resist.** 

d*irfe TBIAL^ OF THOMAS RABfiT. 007 

Gentlemei), it will nat be matter of sctiprise t^ 
\ouy that letters^ sucb as these to the Natieoai Cim^ 
vention in France, d)6uld have produced opinton» hat 
that country respecting the attachment of individuals^ 
in this to their government* It is not tberefoi^ verjr 
Extraordinary, that, upon the igth of Noveiftbef 
1792, that famous decree passed of fratefrni^ation^ 
with all subjects in all countries, who chose' to resisl* 
the governments tinder whidi. they Iwei but I think 
you will be surprised that any man ioouM retove in: 
this country, and read with approbation, and entet^ 
i!^n their proceedings the answers, which these.dd-^ 
dresses brought from France, and whidi werfe liea^ 
in the presence of the Prisoner at the bar, without 
being astonished thkt they did not at least takeisdftitf 
means to reject from them the imputatbn tfaattbey 
mebnt, in their own country^ all that these answert- 
suppose they mesniy and ^11 that diese ansWers pao^-' 
mise to ussist them in accomplishing; : • 

Yxui wHii find, updil the 14thof Decerab» 1^^; 
that a letetF from the So^tefy of the Friendi^of 
Liberty atid Equality, fitting at {^abn, the iieadjoC 
the departiAent of tht Aishe, to the^patrtDtie society 
of Londony called the Society for Conslaliiiiood inn 
%mation, is read, and referred to their CammittOQ 
of Correspondence: it is in these words^v— ^ Th© 

Society of thfe Friends of Liberty and Bqoalityt 

jsitting at Laofti^ the head of the dep^ment of tlife 
^ Aisnie^ 1J6 tlid Patriotic Society ctf London^ ieXiti 
^ tBe S6c«fty for Coastitutioiibl Inft^rmatiOD.^'^'Xsip^ 
^^ nerous republicans, the philanthr(;^ic gift that you 



^ have presented to the warriors of France*' — they 
had salt some shoes, and were at that time thinking 
of giving them some arms— ^' announces with energy 
^. the great interest that you take in toe sacred cause 
^ which they are defending. Accept the thanks of 
^ a Society, that does honour to itself in esteeming 
^.^ you* The time perhaps is not far distant, when 
** the soldiers of our liberty shall be able to testify 
^* their gratitude to you : then their arms, their, 
*^. blood itself^ shall be at the service of all your fel- 
^^ low-citzens, who, like you, acknowledge no ri^ts 
^*^ but the tights of man ; then France and England 
^ ^ail form together a treaty of union as lasting as 
^' the course of the Seine and the Thames ; then 
^ there, as here, .there shall exist noothfr reign but 
^^ that of liberty^ equality, and friendship. May this 
^c^day. of felicity aiid glory aoon shine upon thehori^ 
*^.zqn of two natioos formed to c^dmireeach other !'* 
Gentlemen^ they then enter upon the minutes of 
the Society another li^tter, from another fin^^mi^mg 
society, — wheliher one of those sooieties^ ivhich they« 
spebk cjf in the<beginning. of 1792> as affiliatii^ sp- 
cidties in. Fiance, Or not^ I do not kpowjirr^vhether 
thdy had be^ assisting to i-eduoe their pcindf^ into 
jMctioe I do not know ; but it is.clear that the affi^ 
fiattig society in France, ofiered them dieir assistance, 
foe that ptirpose. Accprdidgly, you w^l find t\»t 
the Society of the Friends of Liberty and £quality» 
ostifUished at .Macon^ write to the Ccmf^titutiopai 
Society atliondaii^ adverting to what< thc^y had ss^d 

THE tRiAL OP TitoMAs iiARtnr. iZOgi . 

in their address to the nation about the glorious vrc* 
tory of the 10th August 179^, th^ eircumstances of 
which shall be described to you in evidende^ because 
you will find that some of the persons who artt 
charged in this Indictment (and whose conduct in 
this conspiracy will, upon the clearest principles o( 
law, aflfect all of them) were then present in Paris. 
They write thus— " Yes, citizens, our brethren, and 
*^ friends, the 10th of August 179^ shall be di&tiii« 
" guished"^ — what, in the annals of France?— *« dis** 
^ tinguished in the annals of the worlds as the day 
** of the triumph of liberty. Our first revolution* 
---'(Mr. Joel Barlow or Mr. PiLine, one should have 
thought, had wrote it) — ^^ our first revolution did 
^ but show to us the salutary principles of the itit^. 
^ prescriptible rights of man : all, except the faiths* 
*^ leas and the enemies of humanity, adopted thea^ 
^ with enthusiasm. It was then that we formed 
*^ ourselves into a Society, in order the better td 
^ impress them upon ourselves, and afterwards to 
^ teach them to our fellow-citizens*^ 

^' Our first constitution had consecrated thein^ 
^ but had not always taken them for its base i thc^ • 
^ dominion of the passions, the force of habit^ thi 
*^ impression of prejudices, and the power of the in- 
•* trigues employed in our Constituent Assembly^ • 
^' found the secret to preserve sufficient authority to 
** our tyrants, to extinguish at some time the Sacred 
^ rights of nature5 and to re^^establish despotism on" 
*« its throne of iron. 

YOL. III. f 


" But * royalty, thus preserved, was not cont^t 
^ with the victory secured to it by a set of men, the 
'^ greatest part of whom it had corrupted* It was 
'f inpatient to reap the fruits that it appeared to 
'^ proniise itself; but its too great eagerness has 
'^ hastened its ruin^ and secured the triumph of 
" reason. 
• *^ The French, proud of their own existence, soon 

V perceived the fruit of their first legislature ; be* 
^i came sensible of the imperfections of thdr first 
*' laws, saw that they mad^ a surrender pf the rights- 
*^ of liberty and equality^ which they had embraced ; 
^'^ they roused themselves anew to demand a^t length 
'^ laws impartial and humane. , 

. '* From thence tlie necessary day of the 10th of 
*' August 1792, from thence a second revolutiop,' 
^^ but a revolution which is only the completion of 
^'^ the first, whicl^ has jeceived our vows and our 
'f oaths, and which we lyill bless forever, if it leads' 
^'' us, as we hope it will, to the happiness of the* 
*' nation, to the constant maintenance qf liberty and 
'* equality- 
> -' f Let intriguers, fools, and tyrants, calumniate 

V us ; we' despise them too much to condeiscend to 
*5,»nswer them, and seek for their esteem. 

, /* That which flatters us is the interest that you- 

** take; in our liabours : your attention has contributed- 

^^ to the success lof out arms. We desire your 

^? esteem, wis ate prft»d of your approbation. -r •* 

" We smile at the expression, of the aeniimciitf» 


" that you manifested to our representatives. We 
^^ behold a nation of brethren rouse itself to support 
" the cause of humanity ; we behold the brave Eng- 
*^ Hsb adopt our principles^ become our friends : we 
" say to each other with pleasure. Soon will they be- 
*^ come our allies ; and, uniting our efforts, we shall 
" go on to deliver the universe: from the yoke of 
*' tyrants, to restore the nations to reason and na- 
" ture. That day is not far distant, if we may rely 
" on our own courage, and the hope of your alli^w. 
*' In the mean time, receive our thanks, and cprre- 
'' spond with brethren who set a high value on your 
" esteem/' 

Gentlemen, on th^ 17 th of December J 792, the 
Popular, and Republican Society of another depart* 
ment at the Mouth of the Rhone, wrote then;i this- 
letter : " The Popular and Republican Society o£ 
" Apt, department of the Mouths of the Rhone, to 
'^ the Popular Society sitting at London. Live free or 
^* die. Citizens, bretWen, and friends, when two 
*' great nations, acquainted with their rights, ap-^ 
" proximated by their commercial connexions and 
*' their national situation, formed to live and to act 
*^ ip concert with fach other, begin to form the glo- 
*^ rious project of uniting themselves for the regene- 
*• ration of the human race, one may then say with 
'^ reason that Kings are ripe and ready to fall, How 
*' glorious it will be for France and England to hme 
^* formed alone a confederacy destructive of tyrants^ 
'/ and to b«tve f\milM^ at the price of their blQod 

* a. 


" the liberty of Europe ; we may say more, of 
** the whole universe! Courage, brethren and 
** friends ! It is for you to follow in the glorious and 
** hazardous career of the revolution of the world ; 
*^ can you any longer groan under the yoke of a go- 
*♦ vernment that has nothing of liberty but the name? 
** for, although your land was inhabited before our$ 
•^ by freemen, can you, without delusion, consider 
*^ your government as such? Will you content 
•^ j'ourselves with a partial freedom ? Will the Eng- 
*• lish be satisfied with principles ? Will that bold 
^^ nation, that has produced philosophers the most 
^' profound, and that first of all perceived the spark-' 
** ling rays of freedom, remain a spectatrix in so 
** noble a cause ? No, brethren and friends, no ; 
•* you will soon lift yourselves up against that perfi- 
'• dious Court of St. James's, whose infernal policy, 
•* like that which found its doom in the Thuilleries, 
'* has made so many victims in our two nations, . atid 
^ does disunite them perpetually to rule over them. 
** Your love for liberty has fixed your attention upon 
,** the wants of our defenders ; your generosity to- 
" wards them has a title to the acknowledgment of 
^ the republic ; we are impatient to furnish you the 
^^ same advantages : the Popplar Societies of France 
^* desire ardently the epoch that shall permit them to 
'' address their voice to the National Assembly of 
V Great Britain, and to offer to the soldiers of liberty 
** of your nation, arms, bayonets^ and pikes.** 
•This is the private correspondence between^ the so- 



cieties and the Society for Constitutional Informa- 
tion ; but some of .the persons named in this Indict- 
ment were present at the scenes I am now going to 
state, at the bar of the National Convention in 
France ; others of them delivering these sentiments 
by their ambassador Mr. Barlow, whose principles 
you have seen, and Mr. Frost, of whom I must state 
it, because I shall prove it, that he has been con-> 
victed in this country of coming from that country 
with the doctrine of No King: they offer these ad- 
dresses to the National Convention of France in 
terms, the substance of which I will state to you, as 
far as I understand it to be, and I believe it is an ac'* 
curate translation. 

*' Mr. Barlow and Mr. Frost, English citizens, 
^' being admitted to the bar, one of them pronounced 
*^ the following address.'*— Gentlemen, the actual 
fact of his pronouncing it will be given in evidence : 
the date is the asth of November 1792, nine days 
after the decree of the National Convention, which 
h^d promised fraternal assistance to the subjects of 
any country, that found themselves oppressed by any 
of their casts and privileged orders. 

" Citizens of France, we are deputed from the 
'' Society for Constitutional Information in Lon- 
^* don, to present to you their congratulations on the 
•' triumphs of liberty. This Society had laboured 
'* long in the .cause with little prospect of success 
/* previous to the commencement of your revolution; 
^^ conceive thpn their exultations and gratitude when^ 

If 3 


'^ by the astonishing efforts of your nation, they be- 
^**held the reign of reason acquiring an extension 
*^ and solidity which promised to reward the labour 
'* of all good men, by securing the happiness of their 
** fellow-creatures. Innumerable societies of a simi- 
*' lar nature are now forming in every part of Eng- 
^* land, Scotland, and Ireland : they excite a spirit of 
*' universal inquiry into the complicated abuses of go- 
*' vernment, and the simple means of a reform. After 
^* the example which France has given, the science of 
^^ revolutions will be rendered easy, and the progress 
** of reason will be rapid. It would not be strange if, in 
** a period far short of what we should venture to pre- 
" diet, addresses of felicitation should cross the seas 
*^ to a National Convention in England. We are 
^^ also commissioned to inform the Convention, that 
*^ the Society which we represent has sent to the 
^^ soldiers of liberty a patriotic donation of a thousand 
^' pair of shoes, which are by this time arrived at 
*^ Calais ; and the Society will continue sending a 
** thousand pair a week for at least six weeks to come; 
** we only wish to know to whose, care they ought to 
^^ be addressed." 

Why, Gentlemen, am I to be told then, that, in 
the month of November J TQ2y those who, in Au- 
gust 1792, liad said they could apply with no efFect 
to Pariiament, had no idea of such a National Con- 
vention in England, as that National Convention in 
France which they were addressing, and from which 
they were expecting to receive addresses ? Am I to 


be told that they had no idea of such a convention, 
as should overturn the constitution of this country ? 
It is impossible to put such a construction upon such 

• Gentlemen, you will likewise find that the Presi- 
dent of the Convention thought it necessary to give 
an answer to this address^ I will state the substance 
of it : it will be read in evidence ; therefore I shall 
not take up time in looking for it. The President, 
considering them as generous republicans (and well 
he might after what had passed), makes an address 
to them, expressing much the same sentiments as 
those in which they had addressed him,* and then he 
concludes by saying — " Without doubt the time ap- 
^' proaches when we shall soon send congratulations 
** to the National Convention of England.^* 

Gentlemen, you will likewise find that the London 
Corresponding Society, and the Constitutional So- 
ciety, endeavoured to excite persons in all parts of this 
kingdom to send these addresses ; that, in point of 
fact, there are various other addresses sent, of simi- 
lar import, at the instigation of these societies, and 
the intent of them, I think, cannot possibly be mis- 
understood ; but take the intent of them to be what 
you will, let my Lfearned Friend tell you, as he will, 
that there as yet was no war between Great Britain 
and France, you will allow me to say that there is 
evidence of a distinct intent that there should be a 
National Convention in England, and that the French 
soldiers of liberty should assist what they would call 



the soldiers of our liberty, whether there should be t 
Vf$Lf between Great Britain and France, or not ; and 
you will allow me to say, that, in that very month 
tOf November 179^^ & passage occurs, in which 
France does in effect declare war against all nations 
that did not adopt her principles, and allow the people 
to put them into execution* 

In a conspiracy^ as widely extended as this is, I 
phall undoubtedly insist, before you and the Court, 
that the act& of individuals^ and particularly the acts 
of persons sent to present addresses to a foreign 
country, that what they do in reference to these acts 
|s evidence against all of them ; and likewise that 
letters, which the persons write relative to the same 
^dr^sses, are evidence against each of them, whe- 
ther written by the particular individual pr no, as 
being in the prosecution of the same purpose. Upon 
the 20th of September I79?i Mr, Frost, who was 
then at Paris, states his notions in a letter to Mr. 
Tooke, of the real effect of this transaction of 
the J 0th of August 179?» about which time Mr. 
Paine made his first appearance in the National Con- 
vention-w" Without the affair of the 10th of August^ 
^' liberty was Qver-r^We dine to-day with Petion^rrrr 
^* Paine has entered his name oq the roU of Parlia- 
^' roent, and weqt through the forms of office with 
^* a great deal of non-chalance-^We are well lodged, 
f« and beside our bed-rooms, haye ap entertaining 
i' room for members to be shown into, and several 
^ liaye called upon us this morning/* 


. Then you will find, that there being a prqect to 
send 9hoes to the soldiers of France^ and arms and 
muskets, with respect to which project the Prisoner 
was a contributor — ^for the purpose of having this 
present from England to France properly distributed 
in France, the following letter is written to the mayor 
of Paris: 

*' Sir, you are in no want of friends in England, 
^^ wlio ardently wish to be useful to French liberty ; 
. '^ but we wish to know some one of your friends 
" who resides in London, in whom you have an en- 
" tire confidence, and to whom we may give our 
^^ money, in the assurance that it will be remitted 
<^ to you without delay and without fraud. Mr. 
" Frost, to whom I intrust this letter, is going to 
^* set out immediately with Mr. Paine for Paris, and 
*^ allows me no time for ceremony, if it were neces- 
*^ sary. I request you to send me the name of some 
*' Frenchman in London, merchant, or other, for 
** the purpose above mentioned. We can now begin 
** the public contribution towards our patriotic gift 
^' with a thousand pounds sterling, and I have no 
^' doubt but it will amount in time to several thou- 
^ sands ; if you consider this step in the same point 
^' of view that we do, you will see in it much use to 
*' tfie common cause in England and France. I en- 
^* treat you to give me your sentiments upon the 
'* subject, and to point out to me the means by 
" whidi I may be useful to you.** 

This is answered, upon the 1st of October, by 
Petion, thus^^^VYou cannot. Sir, doubt of my 


*^ eagerness to second views so useful, which will for 
*^ ever merit our gratitude, will rivet the links of 
*^ fraternity between us, and mufet produce the 
*^ greatest advantages to England and France. I 

*' shall have the honour. Sir, of sending you, with- 
^^ out delay, the name of the person in whose hands 
^' you may place the funds which you destine to the 
" support of a cause which, in truth, is that of all 
*^ people who cherish liberty." 

Gentlemen, it may be in the recollection of per- 
haps most who now hear me, that circumstances of 
this sort, which were supposed to be in existence, 
but which, in fact, were not capable of being proved 
to be in existence, had excited in this country con- 
siderable alarm in the minds of many persons who 
live in it. — ^This alarm, it seems to have been thought 
necessary, both in the Constitutional Society, and 
also in the London Corresponding Society, in some 
degree to lay asleep, as far as it affected them ; they 
thought it necessary, therefore, to give some decla- 
ration, as they call it, of their principles, and I will 
state to you shortly what that was — but the explana- 
tion, which the London Corresponding Society gave, 
was thought so little safe, though it was given for the 
purpose of laying asleep alarms, that it will be distinctly 
proved to you — that being written, as I am instructed 
to state to you (and I do it because I am instructed^ and 
it is my duty), being written by Mr. Vaughan,it was 
agreed to be stuck up round the town at midnight— 
that accordingly a person, of the name of Carter, a 


bill-sticker, was employed for that purpose ; — ^that 
some mistake happened between him and his em- 
ployers ; — that having made that mistake, he was not 
thought a proper person to be employed in consider- 
able business in the Society afterwards : this person 
was taken up in the act of sticking the bills round 
this town, which contains this address — he was pro- 
secuted — he was convicted — and lay six months in a 
gaol in consequence of that conviction ; and this was 
the fate that attended the issuing into the world an 
address, which was to appear not originally by day- 
light, but by midilight. 

With respect to the address of the Constitutional 
Society, I think I shall not be thought to make an 
unfair observation upon it when I say this — that if I 
had not read to you what I have already read, you 
would have found it impossible to say what it was, 
upon reading that paper, that they m^nt to say, 
who published it ; but after what I have read to you, 
I think you can have no difficulty to determine that 
the paper they pul)lished, and the paper of the Cor- 
responding Society, were by no means such as were 
calculated in any manner to disavow those principles, 
which I think I have shown you satisfactorily, from 
March 179^j were the principles they acted upon 
and adopted. 

Gentlemen, the address of the London Corre- 
sponding Society is in these words : — *^ Friends and 
** fellpw-countrymen, unless we are greatly deceived, 
** the time is approaching when the object for which 


^* we Struggle is likely to come within our reachi, 
** That a nation, like Britons, should be free, it is re- 
^* quisite only that Britons should will it, to become 
** so" — that is a passage borrowed from Mr. Paine— 
** that such should be their will — the abuses of our 
*^ original constitution, and the alarms of bur aristo- 
** cratic enemies, sufficiently witness: confident in the 
*^ purity of our motives, and in the justice of our 
*^ cause, let us meet falsehood with proofs, and hypo- 
*^ crisy with plainness ; let us persevere in declaring 
** our principles, and misrepresentation will meet its 
*^ due reward— contempt. 

** In this view the artifices of a late aristocratic 
** association, formed on the 20th instant, call for a 
•* few remarks on account of the declarations they 
♦* have published, relative to other clubs and societies 
*^ formed in this nation. It is true that this meeting 
*^ of gentlemen (for so they style themselves) have 
- ** mentioned no names, instanced no facts, quoted 
** no authorities"— it was a little difficult to do it^ 
unless they had the means of seeing all the corre- 
spondences at home and abroad — '* but they take 
*^ upon themselves to assert that bodies of their 
*^ countrymen have been associated, professing opi- 
** nions favourable to the rights of man, to liberty 

• *^ and equality" — mark these expressions-—^* and 
** moreover that these opinions are conveyed in the 

^ *' terms, no King^ no Parliament^'* 

Gentlemen, what I have been endeavouring to 
fitate to you is this^ that it S6 necessarily to h% ixh- 

TR£ trial of THOMAS HAR1>T« 221 

ferred from their principles that they did mean to 
assert^ when they were ripe for it, no King, no 
Parliament : it is not my imputation*— I do not know 
whose it was^ to which this alludes^ that they did 
express their opinion in the language^ no King, no 
Parliament ; but I say that they expressed their opi- 
nions in language, which, when accurately vlooked at, 
as forcibly import the ideas, as if they had used the 
words no King, no Parliament — *^ if this be intended 
" to include the societies to which we respectively be- 
*' long, we here, in the most solemn manner, deny the 
" latter part of the charge" — ^What is the latter part 
of the charge ? that they do not mean to have a King 
or Parliament ? No — ^but that the opinions are con- 
veyed in the terms, no King, no Parliament — ^^ Who- 
** ever shall attribute to us the expressions of no 
" King, no Parliament, or any design of invading 
^* the property of other men, is guilty of a wilful, an 
*• impudent, and a malicious falsehood" — ^and then 
this paper stating a great deal more, which, in justice 
to the paper itself, shall be read to you, concludes 
thus—'* Let us wait and watch the ensuing session 
** of Parliament, from whoip we have much to hope 
'^ and little to fear. The House of Commons may 
*^ have been the source of our calamity, it may prove 
*' that of our deliverance ; should it not, we trust 
** \ife shall not prove unworthy of our forefathers, 
^^ whose exertions in the cause of mankind so well 
*' deserve our imitation/* 
Now, Gentlemen^ I ask^ after conduding this 


letter, what this means — ^^ if Parliament should not 
** do it." — ^If vveare ready to admit that Parliament is 
formed upon principles that make it competent to do 
the thing, if it please to do it, it is all well ; but if it 
won't— then we will not prove unworthy of our forefa- 
thers, whose exertions in the (iause df mankind so weH 
deserve our imitation — ^and referring you back to the. 
correspondence between the Norwich and the Lon- 
don Corresponding Society, to the declaration of the 
6th of August 1792, which said they had nothing to 
look for from Parliaftient— to the correspondence 
with the National Convention of France — to the 
conduct, which, in the piiesence of their delegates^ 
was permitted — and. never repudiated by any act of 
the London Corresponding Society ; and referring 
you, moreover, to the subsequent evidence, which 
I have to offer to you ; I think you will find that the 
sentiment, which is expressed by the author of this 
paper, upon the J 9th of November ^ 1792, was a 
sentiment which, if followed up by those who con-* 
tinue to hold it, meant that, if Parliament did not 
give them redress, they would have it by their own 

With respect to the Constitutional Society, all it 
thinks propier to say upon the subject is. this 5— ♦ 
5' That the object of this Society^ from its first in- 
*^ stitution to the present moment of alartn, has 
^^ uniformly been to promote the welfare of the 
'* people" — I beg your attention to these wordS-^ 
f * has uniformly beea to promote the wclfiire oi the 



^^ people by all constitutional means/'' — ^Now^ if I 
were to. stop here, with, a view to show you what you' 
are to understand by the words^ — '^ all coastitutional 
" means" — are the means I have been stating con- 
stitutional, means ? Will it make the means more' 
constitutional than they really are^ because they 
choose to call th^em so ? — *^ And to expose in their 
^^ true light the abuses which have imperceptibly* 
'^ crept in^ and at last grown to such a height^ as 
^' to raise the most serious apprehensions in evety 
'^ true friend of the cbosdtution. 

" Resplved, 2dly — ^That this Society disclaims %h&. 
" idea of wishing to effect a change in the present 
^^ system of things by violence and public commQ- 
^^ tioti^ but that it trusts to the good senae of the 
^* people*' — ^You will find, before I have done, that^ 
in Apnil 1793,, it could not trust to the good sedaei: 
erf the peopje-^'^ when they shall be fully enlighisenedi 
'^ on the subject to procure, without disturbing the 
^^ public tranquillity, an efiectual and permanent re* 
*^ form» 

" Resolved, 8dly«^That the intentions, of this smd 
^^ similar societies have of lat^ been grossly calum- 
^frniated by those who are interested to perpetuate 
*^ abuses, and their agents, who have been indu$-» 
^^ trious tQ rq>resent the members of such societ^s, 
'f aa men of dangerQUa principles, wishing to destroy 
^' all social order, di;5tarb the state tf property, and. 
^f introduoe anarchy wad confusion instdad of regular 


" Resolved^ 4thly— -That, in order to counteract 
^' the c^ratioji of such gross aspersions, and to prer 
*^ vent them from checking the progress of liberal 
^^ inquiry, it is at this time peculiarly expedient that 
*^ this and similar societies should publicly a^ert the 
*' rectitude of their principles. 

•* Resolved— That the said resolutions be adopted^ 
" in order for printing in the newspapers.'* 

Now I desire any person to read that paper through 
again, and then. Gentlemen of the Jury, if it is re- 
lied upon^ be so good as to ask yourselves what ii 
the definite meaning in any one passage in it. 

About the same time there is an address from the 
Mandiester Society, dated the 14th of December 
1792, which appears to have been read in the Con- 
stitutional Society, in the presence of the Prisoner, 
and whidi address has some very particular cir- 
cumstances about it, for you il^ill find that there war 
a resolution upon the 14th of December 1792, in 
these words-p— ^' Read a printed address from Man- 
** Chester — ^Resolved, that the said address be ap-' 
** proved for publishing in the newspapers." 

It appears by a paper^ which I shall produce to 
you, that the words Read a printed address from 
Manchester y are in the hand-writing of Mr. Tooke 1 
that the address itsdf in in the hand-writing of Mr* 
Tooke ; ivhether it was a copy of any address 4it Man« 
Chester or not^ I do not know : this itddress appearf 
afterwards to be in print; it is sent for publication ; andi 
with a view to «how to the public whsit extent tbt 

9li« tKlAlf dp THOMAS ftABAts 22^5^ 

diiBti^btttidn of libels has arisen to in the jJrdgreM oF 
a treasonable pui^pdse in lK>fldoti, this address Wa$' 
ordered to be printed, and that a hundred thotinatid' 
copies of it should be distributed to their oorrespohd-* 
ents in Great Britain and Ireland. — ^Therciport that 
was made iipdn it was, that it had beeh KffP^re^ td 
the' Morning Chronicle and Morning Post, -and that 
the paper itself, though drawn by a masterly hand^ 
wa^ such, that they durst not venture to print it^-^-t 
believe it was lic^wever printed in London i Ybtl 
V^ill<;>oeasionally see papers printed in- the coairtry, at 
Mmichester, if Ixmdon will not do it ; or if thl; law* 
of ^England has reached as far as thiis side^of'the- 
T<(i^^, fioas to check the publication of a \kMi;Ahen 
it is jcarried over the Tweed, in order to be pJiiblisbed) 
in Scotland, where it might hi more salely doiie; >■' >a 
V Now in this paper, which bears date tipdn (hf; liltld 
oif December iTQ^, and recoHeciting,' as I hope(iyotfi 
will do, what L have already startSed ^toybu of>ti«k* 
principles of those who wer^ oonc^riied in thm 
trtosaction, as these principles ha4 Been mamfettedf 
in all the other tMirtsacUona I have stated to yony yoa* 
will find there is this passage: he aays — ^^ TO goftj 
'^ the poor with the insolent falsehood) that the lak^ 
'* ape the same for thie pooms tbe rich, or wiiflh idler 
*^ panegyrics on a rotten constitution, which jybui 
" have not examined, and of which you feel not th«l 
" benefit— The real friends of the people bear with 
•* pity and bear wilh patience the hourly calumnieg 
^ to which they *e exposed ; they entejtein^ how- 
vox, iix. a 


'^ ever, no personal enmiU^ no a? ersiop, ba^ to, 
<^ the enemiea of tbe peopfe^ and no difresppct to. the 
*^ ^ostitntion, but where it is hostile to the ligto 
^5 of the people." 

. JSoWy why it is said to be hostile to the rights of 
the people^ I think, can be pretty wellunderstpQ^^ 
after what I have stated to you about these oomtDti^ 
limti^m with ^France ; but it need not be left tbere^, 
for jpii will find ihat this is more distinctly stilted, 
in the draught of an. answer to a letter^ which, was; 
likewisehrMd'^nd entered an>ong* tb^ mioiutes of jtbis 
Society upon the 26th of October 17.92 : ihe draugjfc^tl 
q£ the>aiiswer seems to have been prepared on ^, 
Hd November 1792 ; it was. to be sent to the et^i^fX^. 
cffihe Patriot. The editors of the ^Patriot were p^^: 
sons mho wer;e livings lit Sheffi^d; and it will.appeac. 
IgrJtlii^papers, tl^subiMiajice of which I havis not reatly 
hodtty^atr^ngth enough to 3ta^e to yQu,.w^re4ifiiliat«d*i 
dMisanie.tiniewith theXiOiidOnCoi^resppndiogSoQiety,^ 
andiakb with; the. Constitutional Society^, in thfi.pDOr. 
pi^^aftibn >of their principles^ and this in ,an.9XtoAt» 
mhich no language caa dp jusUge to^ v^htoh it vsioir 
|k»^b}e to d^oribe to you. without reading, a^.panti* 
«M letter^ in wbich tbey >theinselve9 statei their 
Hiode of p«)C|!Beding>.and which, for the purpose of 
infiDraiing your in thi^ rejipeot, shall be presently, reiul' 
tojoui to one- of then) the following, is an answer, 
and I beglyour attenitioii to,it> gi thi& 2d. of J^ov«m«- 
-barasroO.. . ■ • . • , .r 

* l! y/fi x^Q» with : jQii in % ipcreMe cS ibt 


^^ menpbe{:$:9f tbeisoqieti^ftof freedom*; ourbidsoins' 
'^ g}io^ with 1^0 jS«Dtimeut3*-rAtre are brolbers in afw 
^Meftion .with yoiii* aTid with the freecneii of Sti)(ik*« 
" port"^ — (wJiQ. wrote that Icjtter which I beforb ob^ 
8ei;ye4 ^?^^$ which states that nothing can do bufi 
a,9piiiv^tip|}^ :and that their object ia. a foverntnoit 
iimQfldiatfly constituted by the people ;^ thst. that 
Q^qot be. while the Crown or the^ Lords, as yoti 
obj^QSi^ to coiiistirue the letter, retiun thbif authotity)r 
-nTb^y afldTTH"^ Freedom, though an feifaiit, makei 
iieiv^l^R^fi^Mrt^^-^Now they meant iHm 
^qrld t9f^|)F.ejudioe of the monarchy, they nieant 
i^pt)iii^ ini th« world but a full refM-esentation of the; 
pepplp.^ a Bairiiaaient co-existing' with Kiagi aiidr 
Jf^fM. They add — " The vipers, aristoemdy/' thab 
is, persons who have got coats upon their b«d^j»«^ 
7, and q\qn9ri;hy"-r-we have it yet in England^ Gentliew 
B^ifni^*"^ are panting and writhing under its griisp r^ 
'/irny supgess, peace, and happiness, attend- tbosd 
" eflforts !" — ^That letter, so prepared, will be pfO"^ 
duced to you, with the corrections of Mr. Hocncr 
Tooke, ;in \ii^ own hand. 

G^tlcnp^n^ I ha^e nqw gone through, as well as 
% am able, j^pd I h<>pe you will keep in view the cas^ 
]f have i5^at|e4j the^ prinpiples and practices* of theser 
atx^ieties,; wijl^fi^l Ufcir aviations. looghfcto menr 
ijqn, ^o yi94i that you will find in the evidende,. as If 
ia laid before you^ most uncommon industr)'' inpick^ 
Vig.up fresh connexions* If a paper appean^ in thcr 
Country, stating that % society of any sort was* fbrmed^ 

a 3 


you will find : immediate industry to* connect fhem, 
and affiliate them with- the London Corresponding 
and Constitutional Societied. If thede Societies pro- 
fessed^^as^ for instano^j the Stockport Society pro-* 
&ssed^*-tbat they wouJd have nothing'birt a ^o¥6m-' 
ment xxmstitnted immediately by themselves, they 
<Sontrive to. ^ive an answer satisfactoryv to them. 
If the: societies^ professed attachmeht to the'-^mbi^ 
iiarchy^ and desired explanation whether they m^tittV 
Mr. Pitt's. plan, which Mr. Paine laugks at— or 
whether they*ineant the Dtike of ftfchimbtta'S jrfttti^* 
or whether^ they -meant, as a letter, yo^a will hearb/ 
and by, says, to rip up tnonarchy by ttife rdota^ you* 
wiil find- they satisfied them aH sufficiently to^nlisU 
diem all for that putpose, 'which> from^ their own 
transactions, I state to ie neither more nor less, 
than to do,: what Mr. Paine did m his book, to 
combine the principles, whieh they stalled, wben^theT 
times were ripe for it, with the practices which x*%re 
correspondent Avith those principles; to ^applythdse' 
principles, which were alike the prifici^es of these 
societies and of the French constittition of 1^01 j 
and which , Mr. Paine, Mr. Barlow, -arid^%hos6^i(d- 
dressers to the Convention, receiving' sifch* anstr^J 
fifom the Convention in 1799, declared h^4 producecj^ 
a constittttioQ in France upon the >Jodk* 'Of August 
1792, to. apply themi not to ibrtn tha^/ nfhich m it^ 
nature is, an absundity, a royal democr^^,- but- that 
vhich iipon principle is consistent, though itia. a 
wretched Jwd ^oxemment^ <r representattie govern^ 

fne9i^3^ to be exchanged here in lieu of our limited 
monarchy, in lieu of our government, under which 
I'Btate it, with a defiance to the world to tell me that 
I do not state it truly, that a people never did enjoy; 
piuce the providence of God made us a people (you 
may talk about theories as yon please), that they 
never did enjoy, for so long a time together, such a 
quantum of actual private happiness and private pro-^ 
speiity, public happiness and public prosperity, un- 
der any constitution, as we have enjoyed under the 
constitution, to the destruction or the support of which 
it is for you to judge whether such means, as T have 
been stating to you, were designed to be employed. 

The next thing that was to be done, was to go on 
in strengthening themselves by affiliation ; and you 
will find .accordingly that they have connexions at 
Norwich, Sheffield, Leeds, and other places: iri- 
deed, there was haridly a county, in which they had 
not affiliated societies, and, if you believe them, to 
great numbers. t 

The next step they took was,^ not that they should 
have it accomplished — their principles would not let 
them accomplish it-rbutitw^s^for the purpose of at-* 
taching more and more affiliated, societies; that they 
began now to think, in the year 1293, of making ap- 
plications to Pafliam^t. Geutletpen, in the course 
eC that year 1793> whilst they are to make applica- 
tions tp Parliament, yqu will find that they distinctly 
di«K^u$^ the. utility of doing so. * The London Corre- 
fpiw^ipg^a^ci^lSyi it will ;be proved to you, take the 



<4>mkm of the societies in the country with rcspedt 
to tliree distinct propositions. Mark this. 

Now, Gentlemen, in September J79'2, the Stock* 
port Society told the London Corresponding Society 

, that there was no hope of doing any thing but in a 
Cmveniian : the London Corresponding Society give 
the answer that I have before stated. They began tb 
think of this thing called a Convention in the begin- 
ning of the year 1793, and they propose having com- 
munication, on the other hand, from the country socie- 
ties/ They state.three propositions — What is it we are 
to do? — Are we^ make an application to Parliament? 
-^Are we to make an application to the King ? — ^That 
would have been, to make application to the King, that 
he would be graciously pleased, according to the oath 
which he takes upon his coronation, td give his con- 
sent to measures, which were to destroy the govern- 
ment of the country, as it exists, and of himself as 

- a part of it ! Or are we to have a Convention ? You 
will find, when the whole of the evidence is laid be- 
fore you, th^re is a vast deal of discussion about this 
measure of a Convention, there is a vast deal of discus- 
sion about applying to Parliament. The application 
to the King is thought futile without more delkte ; but 
they come to this determination, that things are not 
yet ripe: but that the application to P^rlianient, how- 
ever, may be one means of ripening that which is not 
yet mature ; and then soliciting petitions from all 
parts of the kingdom,* telling those, from whom they 
ask them^ that they do not mean tbt^ tfatey should 


havfe any effect, that they are all waste papei^; (An* 
vassing all parts'of the kingdom, and getting signa- 
tures iii the Way you will find, they send the petitidni 
to Parliament, which, for niyself and my posterity^ 
I thank God Fkrliament did not attend to ; I meaii 
petitions to introduce a chiange ill the government 
upon the principle of ailnual scfffhige and universal 
representation. ^ 

They determined for the present that they would 
content themselves with petitions : that this would 
occasion a great deal of debate : that that would givi^ 
them a vast variety of opportunities of discussing the 
point they had had in agitation since 179^ ; and> if 
the public mind was not ripe for a Convention in 
1703, the proceedings and transactions of 1793 had 
a natural and obvious tendency, when these transac«^ 
tiohs were made a proper use of, to bring to matu«» 
rity th^ project, not yet come to maturity : you will 
find therefore that both, the London Corresponding 
Society and the Society for Constitutional Informal 
tioh k^p tftiS dbjeet in View. • 
• tilt Norwich Society, tipdn the 5 th of March 
i^#3, Write thus to the Society for Constitutional 
Inforrbatton, and which you will see had held corre- 
spondence also* with the London Corresponding So- 
ciety upon the subject of the same proposition 2 " It 
^^ is with peculiar satisfaction that we are favoured 
*^ with your correspondence,'* — they first say — *^ We 
" wish to find out ^ method df redress ; at present 
?* we ^ a gr^lrpropriety in universal suffrage and 



^^ annual elections ; but we beg you will be obligifig 
f^ enough to inform us of what you have coHected of 
^^ the sense of the people by your correspondence : 
^^ we have to inform you that our worthy Cofre* 
^* spoading Societies of London have recently sub- 
^^ mitted three propositions for our investigation ; 
^^ first, whether a petition to Parliament, or an ad* 
^' dress to the King, or a Convention.''* 

When I find here the word Convention, I think I 
may address this question to you as men of common 
sense : if, in August 1 792, the London Correspond- 
ing Society, by the address which I have read to you, 
have told you distinctly that they cannot get any 
redress from Parliament, is it not marvellous how it 
is to be made outan argument, that, in March 1793, 
they were to have a Convention in order to get it 
from Parliament, and more particularly to get it from 
that Parliament, which, upon their own principles, 
was not competent to give it, if they bad a mind to 
take it from Parliament? 

** Permit us briefly to state our views for your re- 
** visal ; and with respect to the first, we behold we 
^* are a conquered people ; we have tamely submitted 
*f to the galling yoke, and resistance in the present 
^^ circumstances is vain ; we cannot, we cannot act 
^^ the man ; and, as necessity has no law,,. .we think 
^* ourselves under that degrading necessity, to . state 
*^ our grievances to the House of Commons, with a 
^^ request for redress ; and should they^ refuse''-^* 
which they did — *^ to grant Qur reasonable petitipiii 


^^ ¥f€ have still got (na thanks to them)" — hereia an 
accurate^ a short description of the affiliated societies 
" — a formidable engine, that will convey the insalt to 
^^ the remotest, parts of the kingdom : as to the pro- 
'^ priety of the second, we wish to submit to your 
^' superior judgment, and should esteem it a favour 
^^ to be informed of4he result ; for at present we are 
" dubious of its good consequences. Lastly, a Con'- 
'* ventian ; and oh ! that the period were arrived ; 
^' but in the present state of af&irs, alas ! it is im«» 
'^ practicable: yet this is the object we pursue, and 
" esteem any other means only in subordinattcHi to^ 
^' and as having a tendency to accomplish that de- 
/^ sirable end. 

'^ We wish to be in unison with our brethren and 
'^ fellow^labourers, and should be glad of any in- 
*^ formation, as soon as it is convenient ; and we beg 
*' your advice wh^ber it is necessary, as soon si 
^^ possible, to collect signatures to a pe^tion far a 
** real representation of tlie people ?" 

This letter, of the 5th of March 1 793, having been 
received from Norwich, you will find- that Mr. Frost, 
who had then lately come from Fmnce, and was 
about that time, I believe, talking .of no King in this 
country, in which it is not yet quite lawful to say so, 
was thought an extremely proper person to draw up 
a letter in answer to this ; and accordingly it is stated 
upon the books of the Society, that Mr. Frost waa 
ondered to prepare that answer : however, it got inttt 
abler hauds; for, unless. I am aig;aia ^siiiatcb<ited; 

it was settled by counsel, inA the substance I will 
now read to you. It is dated the 1 6th of April 179a. 
*^ From the Secretary of the Society for Constitu* 
^' tional Information to the Secretary of the United 
^^ Political Societies, at Norwich.-*- We have to ac- 
^^ knowledge with great satisfaction the letter which 
^' you favoured us with, dated the 5th instant, rela- 
^^ tive to the most desirable of ail other objects.^ the 
f^ reform of a parliamentary representation. The 
^^ honour yoii do us in supposing that we are better 
f^ fitted than yourselves for the promotion of political 
^^ knowledge, we must disclaim, because we observe, 
^^ with the greatest pleasure, that our country cor* 
*^ respondents have too much zeal and information 
f^ to want success in their public endeavours, whe- 
^^ ther at Norwich, at Sheffield, at Manidiester,^ or 
^^ elsewhere, throi^hout the nation. In our: sin- 
^^ cerity for the good of our country we trust that we 
f ^ are all equal, and, as such, we doubt not of our 
^^ ultimate success* ' - *' 

: '^ We sefe with sorrow the existence of those evils, 
'^ which you so justly represent as the streairis of 
"iX)rroption overflowing this once free and pro* 
^* qperous country. We see with surprise and ab* 
^' horrence that men are to be found, both able and 
^' wilting to support those corruptions. It is, how-* 
f^ ever> no small consolation to find that others are 
f' not wanting, in every point of the nation, of an 
^^ opposite character, who are ready to remedy, by 
** all hndable and honouitible means, the defect in 


'^ oar representation^ the usurped extension of the 
*' duration of Parltamente^ and other gnevmo^^ 
"such as you notice in your letter. 

^* That the constitution of England has no more of 
" that character it once possessed ; that the supposed 
** democracy of the country has become a matter of 
*^ property and privil^e ; and that we have therefore 
** no longer that mixed government, which our adver- 
^^ saries are praising, when they know it is no longer in 
^' our possession^ are facts notorious and indisputabW: 
^' where then are we to look fbr remedy ?"^ — most as* 
suredty those who had said on the 6th of August 
] 792, they would not look to Parliament, would not 
be so inconsitent as to say th£Ct they would look to it 
in April 1793— '** to that Parliament of which we 
** complain ? to the executive power, which is impli* 
•* citly obeyed, tf not anticipated in that Parliament? 
^' or to ourselves ?" 

Now, who are ourselves? why, those affiliated 
societies ! ** ourselves represented in some meeting of 
" delegates for the extensive purpose of reform^ 
'^ which we suppose you ; understand by the term 
<^ convention.** The Norwich Sodety writes to the 
Constitutional Society, and it proposes a Con^vention 
as the only means of doing this business. The Con« 
stitutional Society states that it is to be.done only in 
a Convention,— of what ? of themselves. Why then, 
I -say, upon the i6th of April 1793,. the. Constitu- 
tional Society construed the acts of the aoth <k 
January 1794^ which I shall allude to presently, and 


the 27th of March 1794, because the Constitutional 
Society said that a Convention was a convention of 
themselves^ represented in some meeting of delegates^ 
-—and for what purpose ? for the extensive purposes 
of reform ; — how ? by applying to Parliament ? No. 
Why^ this passage states expressly that the reason 
why they would have a Convention was, because they 
would not apply to Parliament ; and cah I inipbte to 
men of understanding, that are employed ia this bu« 
siness, for there are men of understanding enough 
employed in this business ; whether that. understand* 
ing is properly employed in this business, not for 
me to say any thing about — can* I impute any thing 
60 absurd to men of understanding as that Jthey 
meant to form a Convention, which Convention 
should carry their petition toTarliament ? 

** It is the end of each of these propositipns that 
*' we ought to look to ; and, as success in a good 
^* cause nmst be the effect of perseverance and the 
** rising reason of the time, let us determine with 
'* coolness^ but let us persevere with decision. As 
*' to a Convention^ we regard it as a plan the most 
** desirable and most practicable ;'*> — when ? so soon 
as the great body of the people shall be virtuous 
enough to join us in the attempt ? Nd-4>ut " so 
^ soon as the great body of the people shall be cou^ 
''^ rageous and virtuous enough to join U9 in the at- 
*' tempt.** You will see whether the interpretation^ 
vbioh I give pf the word ^' courageous*' by. the tnan<- 

ri^ af Si'Ki^ t4nean"t<i^^j5i'ess k, is dVie t6 it or'nbti* 
by what I have to state to you. . •' » ' 

' GeritFdmeri of tKiS Jiiry^ with a view to expiain this 
fliiiig called' a Conventifeh/ as contradi^ttfgut^hedr 
from Parliament, givfe'iAe kSVe to earry back ytiur 
altentidfa for a mbrtieAt to Jantf^i^'^, 1793. lik' 
this Boeiety^ »#liich/ hi- Novetnb^^ VfQ^i had the 
cdrrespondintfe wfth Fianoe, whicb I 'stated, in Ja^' 
nuary I f^, i^i> we w^ on the eve of a^war,; awd' 
upon the"'efve* bf ft War tvhi<^h had^beenprodu^d'by^ 
the principles which brought fratet^rfizatibn^Jnto &m 
country, and took place soon after tbtt decree • of 
Novfeinib^ 17^^/ yoii wiitfiiid that these resolutions 
were come toU-^^TK3t Citizen St. Andrd, aiaembde 
*^ of the NtlConal Codyention of France," — that Con- 
vention whkK had deposed a King, as that wfaidi 
cduld not' exist in a govemmeHt, formed upon thfi 
principles of the rights of man, as disclosed by JMr^ 
Paine, liisTellow-member in that Convention, — ^^,a^ 
'^ one of the most judicious and enlightened frtendh 
^' of human liberty ^ be admitted an associated how 
" norary member of this Society. — Resolved, That' 
'* Citfeen Barrere, a member of the National Ccai- 
^^ vfehtion of Fmnce, being considered by us as one 
^*^ of the most judicious and enlightened friends of 
^^^hutnan- liberty, be admitted an associated honorary 
*^ mefmberof tbis Society. 
■ ^^ Resolved, That Citizen Roland, being also oon- 
'^ sidered by us as one of the most judicious and en- 

^f lightened friend$ of human, liberty^ bf iidnritted m 
*f associated honorary ipember* 

^^ ThM the ^ecbes'*-.*^GentienieD> I particularly 
rbqueist your attentioD to this — '^ that the speech^ 
*♦ of Citi;«a St^ Andr^. and Qtizen Barr^-e^ iasso- 
'f. iciated hpnoi^ry members of this Sqdaty, as given 
^^ in the Garotte Nationaie^ . on Mowteur uiihrexwl 
*f.of Paris, on ,tbfe 4th, 6th, an^ 7th o£ January 
^ 17y3> be iBserted in the bppks of thU So^y ;" — 
and^ as far as this Society couM ^fl^t|ia|e it, they 
aodieavoured also to have th^ae resolations published 
in the newspat^ers, andU will be. in proof to. you that,. 
in the books of the Society;, it is resolved that ^cb 
of these resolutions should be so pubUahad. 

Now, Gentlemen, I shall prore to yoi^ by evi«* 
dence completely efiectual for, that purpose, what 
tiiese speeches were, and then, if you will be so 
good as to ask yourselves what the Constitutional 
Society, which in January aqd February ordered 
tiiese speeches to be published, meant by a .G«>ve7^ 
Um in tbatletter.of the 1 6th of April 1703^, you.will 
judge whether that Convention was to be the noeana 
(because they would neither apply to the ' Kingi the 
executive power, nor to th^ Parliament), was to bo 
the means of handiiig their application toJParliamcnt^l 
or whether, on the other hand^ it waa to be tho 
means of introducing by its.own force 9l repre^niatwe 
govemmmi in this country ; that assembly^ which, 
you will find, they insist would for the time absorb 
all the powers of government^ which^ if it did exist. 

^fiMmlidskg9kelts^ only ^o lon^ as^ 

they ohptee . to/ddl^(ate it, a body cdni|>6tent ito^ 
Gt!eatei a iegislatiitrey oitid possesau^ within itedf anr 
efeei^al .po^lirer of reforoi^ an etepnal source^of revdiu-- 
tion. Withiiespeat to^. Andr^^ spqaktBg to die 
Gonvtott6n5.he says, ^^ Yoiir right to decide the.fiite 
** of Kii^ arises from your being a revolutionary 
'^ Assembly^ created by the nation'' — a. revohitionaFy 
Assembly created by the nation in soch a state 
least thitt thing, ivhickl think horgood Englishman 
ever, will wash to exist to see^««^^' 
'.^ semhly created J>yllii6 nation in a state of insun-' 
" rection." : ' ' 

Speaking of the (jial-of the King of France^ they 
say, " This proceeding is of the highest importanneitdt 
^* poblk order, absolutely necessary to the existenpq 
^^ of liberty^ and connected with whatever is hddi 
^ mostsaored by the nation* » > 

. <^ The people of Piris"-~tfais is i^n the questionr 
whether the . persoia of the King be inviolable, is 
fuwim un4ueBtio«ably:truein theconstitutibnof this 
ooinitry,i.a iBaxim.petfeatly con6iid;ent with the civik 
liberties of the people, because, . though the King'sl 
person •!& inviolable, he jbas advisers, who are vkJable 
as. toi^vi^ apt.that.he does.r~'^ The people of Paris, 
^^ by making an holy insurrectioii against the King^ 
^ on. the lOdi of August,,"— *that 10th of August,' 
wMch, in Mr. Frost's letter to Mr. Tooke, was ab- 
solntely necessary to : the existence of liberty in 
SlrnDM*^^^ diqiQved him of his dbaractec of inviola-- 


*^ bility* The people of the other departthents ap^' 
^^ plaaded this insurrection, and adopted the cx)nse- 
^' quence of it* The people have therefore formally 
*^ interposed to destroy this royal inviolabiitty. The 
^^ tacit consent of the people rendered the person of 
^^ theKing inviolable; the act of insurrection" — I pray* 
Heaven defend us from the operation of such principles 
m this country^— ^^ thie act of insurrection was a tacit 
^^ repeal of. thatoonsent, and. was founded on the 
^.^ same grooiida of law. as the consent itslif: the 
'> King's person is.itiviolable 6nly with vUktioh io4he 
^^ other braHches.of the legislature, hot not with re- 
'^ lation to the people." 

Now, I ask, what did those Gentl^meti^ who or- 
dered this speech to be published, that the KingV 
person was inviolable only with relation to the 6th|er 
branches of the legislature, when they we^ iiilkiiig 
of conventions, mean ? I am sorry to say-that my' 
mind is drawn to the condusion 4;bat they thought 
the Ring's person was not inViolafoie w;ith i^latiftm ta 
the people, a convention of whom was to beibrmed, 
and was to be formed because an application to. Far* 
fiament was useless. . ^ . 

Now, let us see the description of a Conventioo. 
^' A Convention differs from an ordinary legbiaturs. 
*^ in this respect : a legislature is only a spedeaof su* 
^^ perintending magbtracy, a moderator of the powers* 
^' of government : a Convention is a perfect repre- 
^^ sentation of the Sovereign : the members x)f the 
^J Legislative Assembly acted in Augusts upoEuihese 


^^ principles^ in summoning tbe Convention; they 
'* declane'* — ^precisely as ' is declared in the letter I 
have been reading to you — *' that they saw but one 
^^ measure which could save France, namely, to have 
*f recourse to the supreme will of the people, and to 
*^ invite the people to exercise immediately that un- 
" alienable right of sovereignty, which the constitu- 
'^ tion had acknowledged, and which it could not 
^ mh^ct to any restriction ; the public interest re- 
" quired that the people should manifest their wiU 
" by the election of a National Convention, formed 
'^ .of representatives invested by the people with un- 
'f limited powers. The people did nianifest their 
*^ will by the election of that Convention. The 
** Convention being assembled is itself that sovereign 
•^ will, which ought to prevaiL It would be contrary 
'* to every principle to suppose that the Convention is 
*^ not alone exclusivdy the expression of the general 

'* The powers of the Convention must, from the 
" very nature of the assembly, be unlimited with 
'* respect to every measure of general safety, such as 
*' the execution of a tyrant. It is no longer a Con- 
*' yention, if it has not power to judge the King : a 
^' Convention is a constituent body, u e. a bpdy 
^^ that is to make a^ constitution for the peo^e ; a 
^^ legislature makes laws under an established consti- 
^f tution, and in conformity to it. It is despotism 
^f when, in ^he ordinary and permanent establish* 
^f j»entt>£ia stete^ there is no separation of powwrsl 

f OL. XII, K 


** but it is of the very essence of a constituent body 
" to concentre for the time all authority ; it is the 
" very nature of a National Convention, to be the 
*^ temporary image of the nation, to unite in itself* 
" all the powers of the state, to employ them against 
'^ the enemies of liberty, and to distribute theni in ^ 
•^ new sdcial compact called a constitution.'* 

Gentlemen, after I have stated that to you, t 
thipk I cannot possibly be mistaken when I conceive 
that you can do no otherwise than put the same con- 
structioaupon this letter which I did. 

I Mill now take the liberty of calling your attentioil 
to a letter of the J 7 th of May 1793, and thfe answer 
of the aSth May 1 793, passing «ver a great many 
letters, the substance of which you will inform your-, 
selves of by having them read, namely, letters that 
prove affiliations solicited and granted to Leeds, 
Tewkesbury, Coventry, and many places in the king- 
dorp, more numerous than I apprehend you will be- 
lieve, till you see what the number of them is, by 
evidence actually liefore you. 

Gentleinen, I beg leave now to call your attention, 
^n order of time, to a letter of the 17th May I793, 
for it begins a correspondence most exosssively ma- 
terial with that part of the country in which the Coft- 
vcntipp lias been already held ; I meau Scotland ;-^a 
Convention which, I think I shall satisfy you, did, 
for the time, act upon the principles that I have 
stated to you, from the speech of * fiarrlrcy asfiu'^as 
it could act> an4 in which I thinly s^ ih^mcmeat 


that I a<^di-(3ss you, if it had ijot been stopped in th« 
€xecntbn of its purposes, but had been joined by 
those whosie acts we are considering this day, you' 
might hate seen, in the speeches of a National Con-' 
ventbn iri Great Britain, arepetrtron of the language 
of Barrere, instead of hearing it from cne in a court* 
<5f justice. 

- Gentl^rtien, I hold it, in the office that I fill, to 
be due to the administration of tiie justice of this 
country, to say <listinctiy, if I undei*starid the case 
upon which certain persons were tried for the acts 
which they did in Scotland, that, if they had been 
tried for high treason, they WMDuld have had no right to 
complain ; no right to complain if the question upon 
their conduct had been agitated in that shape before 
a 3«ry of the country, 

* Gentlemen, upon the 17th of May, a Mr. Ur- 
quhart going from London, Mr. Hardy, and a persoa 
of the nam^e of Margarot, celebrated in the future 
history of this business, join, and write a letter— 
Parirlamait had, as they expected it would, and as 
A^ meant it should, rejected their petition — .** The 
^* Lbndon Corresponding Society eagerly seizes the 
^* opportunity of Mr. Urquhart going back to Edin- 
^' bui»gh, to request of your Society a renewal of 
^* corrteponderice, and a more intimate co-operation 
** in that which both Societies alike seek, viz. a re- 
" form ill the parliamentary representation.' We artf 
*• very sensible that no Society can by itself bring 
^^'ahout ^at desirable end; let us, therefore, unite 



^^ as much as possible, not only with eech othef, but 
" with every other Society throughout the uation«r 
^* Our petitions, you will have learned^ have been all of 
^^ them unsuccessful: our attention must now/ther^*' 
f^ fore, be turned to some more effectual meansi from 
" your Society we would willingly learn them^ andc 
*^ you, on ycJur part, may depend upoii our adopting 
*^ the firmest measures^ provided they are constitu- 
^* tional, and we hope the country will not be be- 
** hindhand with us/' ' 

Now, by *' constitutional measures" it is clear 
that they meant that a Convention, as contradistin- 
guished from a Parliament, would be constitutional : 
it is clear they meant it, because they have said it. 

Then Mr. Skirving writes thus — " Mr. Urquhart 
'* did me the pleasure to call on Thursday afternoon, 
^* and delivered your letter of the J 7th inst. I anv 
*' much pleased with the contents of it, and shall lay 
*^ it before the first meeting of our societies her^, 
*^ which, however, does not take place till Monday 
*' sevennight. I would have acknowledged the-re* 
f ' ceipt of your favour by yesterday's posti but was 
*^ too much employed in removing our household to 
*^ another lodging to attend to any thing else." 
Now I beg your attention to thisi because you will 
see in the transactions of the people in convention in 
Edinburgh, that they looked to' what they were to 
do in case of a rebellion as well as any other. 

" If either you in England or we in Scotland 
*f shpuld attempt separately, the reform which we^ 


•* 1 trust, seek to obtain, we should, by so doing;, 
** only expose our weakness, and manifest our ignd- 
" ranee of the corruption which opposes bur im- 
*' portant undertaking: if we sought only the extirpa- 
** tioti of one set of interested men from the ma- 
*' nagement of national affairs, that place might be 
^^ given to another set ; without affecting the vitals 
** adverse to the system of reform, these might be 
" easily accomplished ; but to cut up deep and wide 
" rooted prejudices, to give effectual energy to the 
.*' dictates of truth in favour of ^ public virtue and 
^^ national prosperity, in opposition to self and all its 
^^ interested habits, and to withstand and overawe 
" the final efforts of the powers of darkness, is the 
'* work of the whole and not of a part ; a wcn-k to 
^f which mankind till this awful period were never 
'^^ adequate, because never till now disposed to frsu* 
'.V ternize, not merely or only, I trust, from the 
** sense of the common danger to which we are ex- 
" posed, but from the ennobling principle of univer- 
'* sal b^[)evolenoe. 

" I know no greater service that I can do .my 
** country, than to promote the union you so wisely 
^^ desire; and I am happy to assure you, that I Itave 
^^ hitherto discovered no sentiment in our association^ 
'^ adverse to the most intinnate and brotherly union 
^' with the associations in England. 

" 1 think the minds of all must in. th^ nature of 
.'* things be now turned to more effectual means of 
^^.reform* Not one person was convinc^ of , the 


^^ necessity of it by the most convincing; argtttnenttr 
" of reason, together with the most unequivocal ex- 
" pressions of universal desire. Wifiat then is ta 
*^ be hoped for from repetition ? I sua only afraid 
*^ that the bow in England against reform was sa 
•f^ contracted^ that i» returning it may break. Yon 
** would willingly learn^ you sovy from as-*t4 own 
^^ that we ought to be forward in this : we have at 
•*^ once in great ^\'i8doin perfected our plan of oiga^ 
^ nization^ and if we were in the same independent 
^* state of mind as tlie peopte of England, v?e would 
'' be able to take the lead — tiie associations with yoti 
*^ are no more, I fear — excuse my freedom^ — than an 
:^^ aristocracy for the good of the people : they are 
^' indeed moderate, firm, and virtuous*, and better 
^' cannot be ; but we are Ihe people themselves, and 
>* we are the first to show that the people can both 
'^ judge and resolve, if undirected by faction^ with 
^ both wisdom and moderation. 

*^ I have not a higher wish in the pnsseftt exert^fis^ 

" for reform than to see the peopte univensally and 

** regularly associated, because I am persuaded that 

^ the present disastrous engagenientswiil issue ii^ 

*^ ruin j. and the people inust then pi-ovide for thiem- 

.*^ selves ; and it would be anhappy^ wben-we shourhi 

*i be ready to act with unanimity, t^ be ocibupied jiiK>ut 

^'organization^ without wh«d), however, anavchy 

*^ most ensu§— we will not need but to be prepared^ 

' " for the event — to stand still. afid see the salvation. 

.^*-of the Lord^et us therefore take die hint given 


^ u8 by our opposers ; let us begin in earnest to 
" tnake up our minds relative to the extent of reform 
** which we ought to. seek, be prepared to justify it, 
" and to controvert objections ; let us mode! the 
** whole in the public mind ; let us provide every 
'^ stake and stay of the tabernacle which we would 
*^ erect, so that when the tabernacles of oppression 
*' in the palaces of amotion are broken down, under 
" the madness and folly of their supporters, we may 
^* then, without anardiy and all dangerous delay, 
" enect at once our tabernacle of righteousness, and 
** may the Lord himself be m it." 

Gendemen, these are things all very easy to be 

" How hurtful to the feelings of a reflecting mind, 
^* to look b^k to the wretched state in which the 
" Roman monarchy, enfeebled and broken by its 
f^ own .corruptions, left the nations, which it sub- 
^^ jected, like sheep without a shepherd ; they soon 
** became a prey to every invader, because there was 
*' none to gather and unite them ; had they, fore* 
'^ seeing the evil, associated for mutual defence, no 
*^ robber would have been able to enslave them, they 
"^^ wotdd have given laws to all parties, as well as to 
*^ tbcmaelves ; all separate colonies and nations wopld 
^^ have sought their alliance ; but not having virtue 
^^ to aasodate, and heal the divisions, and root out 
*^ the selfish, spirit, which ambition-fostering govern* 
^^ ments procure to their wisyects, they fdl under 



" oppressions, from under whose iron sceptre thdy 
^^ have never yet been able to deliver themselves. 

" We may suppose an event, which we deprecate; 
*^ nay^ should we not be prepared for every possible 
^^ is9ue of the present unprecedented drviaions of 
^^ mankind, we have a right to be apprehensive of 
*^ the abilities of tjur own managers, who are soatfraid 
^^ to de^rt from precedent, that, like men of detail, 
*^ they rp^y be inadequate to the task of preserving 
'* the vessel from shipwreck, now grapi^ing with 
'^ danger not only great, but new and uncommon. 
'^ If the present Ministry fait, who after them shall 
^* be trusted ? It requires little penetration to see 
^' the anarchy and discord which will follow ; it wiU 
^' be such, that hothing sTiort of a general union 
'' amolig the people tliemselves, will be able to heal: 
^^ haste therefore to associate, at least to be ready to 
^^ associate; if then, such a broken state of things 
*^ should take place, the civil broils that would ne-^ 
.'^ cessarily ensue, would soon subside before the 
^^ united irresistible voice of the whole. Do not, I 
•^ entreat you, hesitate thinking such a work prema- 
•" ture as yet/' — this is written in May 1793,-**" but 
." a month f and then it may be too late j a malignant 
** party may be already formed, and only waiting for 
*^ the halting of the present managers ; it wfll then 
• "be too late to seek to subject to deliberation^ after 
" a party has dated the act of rebellion. If yod go 
^^ no further than separate meetings in difitntent 
" towns^ we will not be able to confide in your con- 


r^* Tiaternity^ because while in such a state you may 
^' be but the tools of a faction ; we could have ail 
*^ confidence and unite with all affection in one as^ 
*' ^embly of coiamisswners' from all the countries of 
'' the world/' 

GehtiemeOy observe that expression; this lettef, 
in the beginning of it, speaking with reference to 
the v^'ar, does not know but the palaces of ambition 
may be all ovei'set ; the pillars will tumble with then* 
supporters. Then it says^ " we could have all con- 
'^ fide'noe end unite with all affection in one assembly 
" ijfcammimaners from all countries of the world,— -if 
*' we knew they were chosen by the unbiassed voice 
" of the people, because they would come up with the 
'^^ same disinterested views and desires as ourselves, 
*' having all agreed to a common centre of union 
^^ and interest; but we could not confide in fellow- 
^^ citizens, who kept aloof from such union, and 
^^ would not previously affiliate in bue great and in- 
** divisible family/' 

Gentlemen, I have before told you, that there was 
a Society at Birmingham. Upon the loth of iune 
1793, the London Corresponding Society writes to 
: thit Society in these terms : ^^ It is with singular 
*' satisfaction the Committee of the London Corre- 
" sponding Society received your letter; they are 
<* very gkd to see the spirit of freedom springing^ up 
•^^ in Birmingham, and they make no doubt but that 
^* the zeal of your Sodety and the increase of your 
^* numbers will soon do away the stigma thrown«on 

a&O THX ATT09KET <}£NfifiAX.*S i^XCH OK 

^* yaar town by the tiajustifiidiiie bebavionr of a 
" Church and King mob ; we are entirely of your 
" opinion with regard to the necessity of a general 
*^ ttnion, and we believe, as you do, that when once 
" the country shall have so united/'— r^what then ? 
^* ths Neroes of the day will be forced to yield t<y the 
^just demand of a long and sore oppressed people.'*- 

Gentlemen^ the political societies at Norwich alsq 
Kwrite to the London Corresponding Society with re- 
fpeetto this Convention upon the 25 th of June 1793, 
in which they say, " We also received your friendly 
" letter prior to that wherein you stated three pro- 
♦* positions: first, a petition to His Majesty, or to 
^ Parliament, or a National Convention ; and ordered 
<^ one of our Committee to answer it ; should be 
•* glad if you will inform me whether it was attended 
^* to. I gave my opinion on the subject to the 
** Coastttutional Society of London, and found their 
^ ideas congenial to my own,"-^that alludes to the 
letter they wrote him, — " viz. an address to the 
** King-^futile ; a petition to Parliament (as a con- 
'^ quered people)— -tolerable; a National Convention 
*• (if circumstances admitted), best of all." 

Gentlemen, you will find that, upon the 28th of 
lune 1793, whilst these societies were holding so 
much correspondence with respect to this national 
Convention, as the • only effectual means, it was 
thought an address to the nation should be prepared: 
that is not immaterial, because you will find after- 
«mxlf> that the project of a national Conventim iti 

THE niXt OF TaOKJiS aAKDT. . l&l 

Scotland jwas thought by inwy of the imMnfaen of it^ 
and many of the inembcrs of those bodieSy to liav^ 
failed for want of such a previous address to the nation ; 
and upon this occasion two gentlqmeEi are brought 
together^ I do not know whether one of them at that 
time was a member of the Sodety or not, bat two 
members are brought together ; Mr. Home^Iboke 
md a person of the nampe of Yorke,, who^ yoa wiK 
find, was a delegate to dae Convention in Scotkopd^ 
and who you wiil find has acted a consideniUe part 
in other parts of this country, were ta be «in|d<^ed 
in preparing liiat address* 

Upon the 6th of July 1798^ a letter having^been 
received from the politicd societies at Norwidi, the 
answer^ signed by the Prisoner at the bar, is giwn in 
these terms : 

^' Fellow-dti^ens, The London Cbrresponding 
^ Society have received, and read with pleasurse^ 
^^ yoUr letter of the 25th of June ; but the answer^ 
^^ which you mention to have been made to oar three 
*^ questions^ has not yet come to hand : we shall be 
*^ glad to be informed by your next whether it was 
^^ ever put in thepost-^office. 
' ^' With r^ard to the questions themselves, hdw- 
*^ ever individuals may have made up their minds <m 
^ them, the public seemed most toaf^rore the mode 
*^ of petitinning Pariiament/* 

Then k states the effect of the petitions. ^^ £x« 
^ horting you therefore to throw aside ali muraailing 
^ complaint^ we wish you to occupy yoursehw hi 


f' instructing the people,, in introducing and main^ 

^^' taintng older and regularity in your own Society^ 

f^ and in forming a junction with ail others associated 

^^ for the same purpose throughout the nation^ by 

f^ keeping up a constant corre^ondenoe with them ; 

vf ' but, above all, orderly and courageously preparing 

•*^ yourself for th^ event,'' — now mark the event,— 

.'^ for, as it is natural to^suppose that those, who now 

.^ prey on the public, will not willingly yield up their 

^^ enjoyments, nor repossess us of our rigJus without 

/ ^ a struggle, which by their behaviour in Ireland,*"-'^ 

that alludes to the bill in Ireland to prevent a Con* 

irention,--^^^ wt have some reason to think tlusy are 

-^^ meditating, and perhaps may intend to effect by 

*^ means of^ those very foreign mercenaries, who are 

*^ now paid by the sweat of our brow, and whom, 

:•' under some plausible pretence, it would be no difficult 

.^^ matter to land on our shore; it Tnay be more ad^ 

*^ vantageous to humanity to show them at first that 

' *^ their opponents are neither mob nor rabble, but an 

'*' indignant oppressed people, in whom is not yet en- 

*^ tirely extinct the valour of their forefathers.''^ 

Gentlemen, in a letter to Hertford, .which is writ- 
ten by the same Corresponding Society, upon the 
i3lst of July 1793, and which Society at Hertford 
had desired to know their principles, they state 
themselves in the same manner ; — *^ We receive with 
*^ pleasure your assurance of co-operating with us for 
/^a reform ia Parliament, an object to which all ottr 
." endeavours tend, and on which our hearts are in^ 


^f Arariably fixed; but as your dec]9ration thatypuyMl 
*^ not pledge yourselves to demand uniVersai suffrage 
^^ and annual Parliaments, is followed by no. specific 
** plan of reform of your own, we are under soine 
f' difficulty how to conclude; perhaps, Bsslraitgff^s^ 
*^ you write to us with that prudent reserve, ^hicfo ia 
^* sometimes . necessary,, and that idea r^c^iyea 
^f strength from your appearing afterwards convinced 
f ' that the common object of the two societies is |he 
'* same, which we readily admit; but, as mutual 
'* confidence is the basis of union^ and the only ra* 
'^ tional pledge and supp6rt for co-operative exertion, 
*f we trust your next will do away every difficulty,: * • 
" With respect to Universal suflTrage and annual 
f Parliaments, a mature conviction of their justice 
** and necessity for the preservation of liberty. and 
** prosperity to the great body of the people, and foi» 
f' securing the independence of Parliament, was^ur 
ff primiary inducement to associate* We therefore! 
f f candidly a9$ure yop, that these our principles, » 
^f already annpunced tp the public, remain iipmu* 
" table, unconnected with any party whatever ; ^we 
*^ eah consider no reform radiical^ but such as wiQ 
^' enable every individual qf the coipipunity tQ enjoys 
*^ the advantages thereof equally vifith ourselves; fof, 
V if ignorance of the nature of government, or the m^ 
f^ rits of the candidates, bean argument against uni- 
f^ versal suffi-age, as our opponents pretend, tbes^e 
^ reasons would equally incapacitate a great majprity 
f J of those Vhp now enjoj that privilege, to the e^ 


^* dcf^Dii cif very many thousands^ moch better in^ 
^' fomteA thun themselves ; not to mention that, 
'^ und^r a more equalized mode of government^ the 
^ peo])}e would be at orrce induced and empowered to 
** improve themsehres in useful knowledge. In a 
^ word^ we know no principle, consistent with justice 
^ or r6as6n, by which we could exclude conscien- 
^ tiously any part of the community from an equality 
'< of rights and privileges, which every member of 
*^ society, as he contributes to its support, ought 
** equally to ehjdy. 

••With respect to annual ParKamfents, we wUl just 
*' reQ>ark, that good members may be re-elected, 
^•whilst twelve months we think fully sufficient for 
*• the welfare of millions to remain at the mercy of a 
♦'bad representative. Having thu$ unequivocally 
•• stated our principles, we shall conclude by observ- 
** ihg, that the bill just passed in Ireland is o( a 
*' nature to awaken the jealousy of every friend to 
^* freedom aild humanity— will render every exertion 
^* justifiable, should a siniilar attack upon constitu- 
** tioTial freedom be attempted here." 

In October 1793, the Scotch Convention having 
ttM, of which we have all of us heard so much out 
ef this place, you- will find that a letter had been 
received from a Mf, Sinclair, together with an ad- 
dre^ from Skirving, who was secretary to the Con- 
vention and Friends of tlie People in Scotland, by 
the XiOndon Cons6tutional Society ; an extraordinary 
meeting of *9ie Sotiety was therefore called^- at the 

• tux TBIAI. Off tfiOlktAS IfAfttlT. 2S^ 

Crovm and Anchor^ to consider the utility and proi* 
priety of sending delegates to a Convention of dele- 
gates of the different societies in Great Britain, at 
Edinburgh^ for the purpose of obtaining a parliamen- 
tary reform. 

Upon the ISth of October 1793, this Society came 
to a resolution to send delegates to that Convention, 
•ind the two persons elected were Mr. Sinclair and 
Mr. Yorke ; and perhaps one cannot state a more 
striking instance of the extraordinary power of a small 
society, affiliating itself with societies, spread all over 
the whole kingdom, than by stating tliat Sincbiry 
who was deputed from this Society, meeting with 
other delegates in Scotland, had no difficulty of as- 
suming with others the title of a delegate to the 
British Convention — to assert their right to do acts 
in contradiction to the Legislature — than by telling 
you that this Yorke and Sinclair were deputed from 
this Society by a poll, in which he, who had the 
majority, had sevetiteen votes only ; Mr. Yorke and 
Mr. Sinclair are accordingly sent down, and they go 
with all the delegation of the power of the people, 
which this Constitutional Society, thus affiliated, 
could give them, and what they thought it was you 
will see preseftt!y.-*^The London Corresponding So- 
ciety was not to be backward in forming this Con- 
vention in Scotland — and, accordingly, you will see" 
in the evidence, whioh I haVe to state to you, a 
considerable deal of contrivance on the part of the 
l^fispner at the bar, in order to brirtg: about that 


Convention in Scotland ; lor, Gentkmeb^. he writes 
a letter to the Norwich Constitutional Society, which 
deserves your very serious attention, in which he 
expresses himself thus — ^^ We have to acknowledge, 
** at once^ your favours of the 3d of September and. 
** J 4th instant; multiplicity of business prevented 
** my answering your first, but will now inform you 
^f that the ^i;it, shown in it, gave great satisfaction 
*^ to our Society at large. The rejoicii^s for thecap- 
** ture of Valenciennes were not confined to Norwich 
** alone : the ignorant every where else throughout 
" the nation betrayed their ;imbecility on the occasion 
" —-the taking of a town, the slaughtering of thou- 
^' sands of human beings, tlie laying waste whole 
*f provinces, or the enslaving a nation (however great 
'* evils they may be), can only retard for a small space 
*^ of time the progress of truth and, reason. Be not 
** disheartened ; therefore^ pursue your plan* instruct 
'f mankind, and constitution^Iy set your faces against 
*f jExisting abuses; be assufed that many are our 
*f friei^ds, who only wait a favourable opportunity to 
"openly join us, while our enemies have much en- 
*' feeblcd themselves and their cayse by their arbitrary 
^^ exertions ; despotism is at its l«^st gasp — one or 
•* tvyo campaigns more will terminate its existence. 
, ^* We are glad to see that you begin to make a 
*f proper use of delation; where bodies of ipen 
•* are too numerous to be convened easily on every 
^f occasion, delegation is the be^t, and iiideied the 
f ^ only way to obtaiQ the general opinipi^K 3cQt(knd| 


^^ improving on the idea, have not only sommone^ 
*' their own delegates, but also invite those of eter^ 
*^ other Society to attend a kind of Convention'* (afe 
if Mr. Hardy knew nothing about it), ^' which is to^ 
*' be held at Edinburgh on the 2g&i: iostant^^-the 
^^ enclosed paper/ which I, previous to thieccnnmn'-^ 
" nicating your letter to our commitlie^ (which will 
'^ meet only to-morrow), make haste to transmit to 
^^ you,, will ^ow you that your Society is included 
'^ in the general invitation to send delegates to that 
*^ meeting, which we exhort you to do, if you po9* 
^\ sibly <!m ; I firmly believe our Society will not miss 
" the opportunity of d<»n^ the same.^ 

Now you will find that, v^on the 5th of October 

J7fi8,; H«rdy, who wroteitbis letter upon the I7th, 

wrotetoSkirvingin this way — ^' With pleasure I peruse 

.tf.ypUjf favour of the 2d instant, but, as yet^ havje^en 

f* iK)r heard nothing of the. two copies of Mr* Muir'^ 

«^' atrial, vi^hich you mention as beiog sent to the Society 

** and to myself — be kind enough, notwithstanding, 

, *^ to return that gentleman thanks for his polite atten* 

^^ tion, and assume him that we view him in the light 

^* of jsL niartyr to freedom, as well as Mr. F^flmer, 

'^and that our warmest hopes are, that the oppressors 

^Vdf mankind will either be ashamed or afraid of 

<' parrying their revengeful malice into execution » 

L *^The Gener^ Convention, which you mention, 

" appears to Mr* Margarot . (to whom ,alone I have 

*^ Cprnmunteale^ your letter,) and myself to be a very . 

*^. ei^cellent measure, and as mch, I could mshyou^ 

VOL. ui, s 


^^wiib4MU delay, to communicate it officially to aur , 
*^ Society vthhoat any ways fnentioning jlutt you had 
^^ ij6mttai to me privately-^i( in your ofHcial letter 
^^ ybo should require us to send a deputation to that 
^f mefimgj I have no doubt but our Society would, 
'^ vMk i^easul-e, aooept the invitation i mad I am 
^^ persuaded it may do much good.^^Our freedkmi, 
.«« as yott jtiAly observe^ depends entirely upon our- 
^^ selves ; and upOn our availing ourselves of this op- 
^' poitunity^ livhich, once lost, may not be recovered 
^^ sp soon. I am glad to <£scover by your testimony 
^ diat I was by no ways mistaken \n tlie high opi- 
^^ nion I always had of Lord I>aer*s patriotism : a 
^* titk may be a bar to disinterested patriotism^ but 
/^ it seems he has evinced it nut to be an insupendl>Ie 
** one. 

^^ Yott are right, it is true, that we have had rnio* 
^vtfaer general meeting, at which a hastily compdaed, 
^^ and suddenly produced address to the King waa 
^^ read, applauded, and agreed to be presented, but^ 
'* on a coql revisal, the said addr^B bdng found to 
"^^ be more iU«natured than spirited, more dangerous 
*' in its language than advantsigeouii in its object, 
^' be8i<ies being too long, the Oommittee^ with the 
*^ approbation of the majority of the Society, liave, 
*^ adofftiBd another^ much safer, Ihore apposite^ and 
^' relatft^ solely to tlie wart enclosed you have m 
^' copy of it, but you was misinformed when you 
^ was told we passed any resolutions at that meeting, 
^ for we only came to one, and that rather of a t>ii- 

V 'yat9 qntutfjfiiWtt^Jy, that the coqdupt of Sirjameis 

^' ^ii4ei«oQ9 ip jpceveif^tkig the. meeting of thj^Xoiv 

y*^4cm Correpponding Society, at the. Globe Ijavern, 

^^ Fkt^t ^treeti i^^i of such . a ,t^ture a^ to place him 

-f * be^QW. our Cffi^ui^** 

fl^ntieokmi the London Constitutional Society 
f»v«b their d«lfc»tes> Mr. Yorke knd Mr. Sinclair, 
.jifrMt^linf^enctioro, and I ought here to tell you^ bgr 
>ymy of «x|>luiw)g the effect of what I am now to 
M9J^ itbat th^ Qiannerof {sleeping the books of the 
:l^fmfdop^^(^ $9<^5 ds I understand it, 

)ro»; t^i^rrThe resolutibns^ made upon one n.ight, 
WMK'liikw upon loose minutes^ either by the secre- 
laiyv or by jother per^qn^ ,whb^ acted in his absence, 
'0t^i^th}P9re^^(^^ wheh he was not doing, that duty 
l^iislCA:^hCy iyere ebtered, before this sub^uent 
night of meetings regularly in the bbdk, and the 
lifM'^ing dpne npoii the subsequent night of meet- 
ilotfiWf^ ^ tead the resolu^ons which were made 
ittpoo; the fbrmi^i- nighty and to see that they were 
toireCt ; now it will naturally occur tliat the minutes 
U^'exphm the book, and the book may explain the 
flN^^ i : n9Wi when they come .to draw the minutes, 
.nibhdl yop will b<ve for the instruction of their dele* 
iftM^alaCcmvention, which was to be held in Scot- 
land^^ the first idea was to instruct those delegates to 
j^llQP Parli^m^nt ;. but they seem to have recol- 
}D9ti^ <hM thai was a measure, which had been 
abandoned some months before by all the societies, 
.1litl|«rh<m ^y im^affiliated ; they therefore struck ' 


oiit of their Tiiinutes4he pufpoie of applying ti^ Fa¥« 
liament, ami they send instructions in these words : 

'* The delegates are instructed, on the part of the 

•^ Sodety^ to assist in bringing fonf^ard and supportr 

*' ing any constitutional measures for procuring b 

''^^ real representation of ^the Ci^ntmons^'of Greii^Brt<- 

♦** tain in Parliament — that, in specifying the redness 

*^' to be demanded of existing abused, the ddf^tas 

•^ ought never to lose sight of the two essential pHrf- 

^ ciples^ general sufirage and annual representatioii^ 

'«< together with the unaltcfnable right iiv the people 

''< toreforhiy and that b reasonable and knowti' oocM^ 

^' pensation ought to be made to the represeritatiri^. 

^^ of the nation by a national contribntioD/' Whtt 

they meant by the representatives of the nation^ after 

what I have already read to you^ I thiok you GSimot 

possibly mistake. 

The London Corresponding Society are somewMl 
bolder in the instructions, which they send with their 
delegates to the Convention in Scotland : yoo vyiil 
find these instructions are to the following elfect.**^ 
By artide the Ist, the 'delegate is instructed ^-^ thlR 
^^ he shall on no account depart from the or%iiiil 
*' object and principle of this Society; wmeif, 
'^ the obtaining annual Parliaments, and ilniverill 
** suffrage, by rational and lawful means. -« 

^^ 2d, To support the optnion^tHat represetitativ^^ 
''in Parliament ought to be paid' by their cotliti» 
^ -^^tuents, ; • • .'.- 

* '* rth, That it 4s the dti*/ of t*ift peopIe**^-4^ofr, 

«< the duty oC.tbe peoptl^ to resist ^qy^.f^^fOf j^^aiili^rj 
^fjpa^^ repognant. tq tM prjginal {u-ipcipksof |he 
*i opnttitutioQ, as ivfookl b^ ey^vy ^ej^t tp prQhi);4t 
^ afisocjations for tf^ pmppsQ.ofjrefQrnir.r .,.; ;:;.. 
Gentkmen, there is no government .in: this 00^13^ 
tigr, if thts^ prinG^)le« is to Am, acted upon, bqDspse 
nobp4y. cap tell to. what e^^tf nt it will gq ; and ^ccQi^n 
iryj^y.ypu wjtf. fWthat tbe^ delega^^i^ j^ w^J^tff 
Scxjtjjid, Wi^bf ^k authprity An tl*^RMnd«r carRi?/* 
iheauthcii;it;y,%,,]peyQpd th^ resistafce. jvbi,ch,;t^)5 
wereauthopi^'to tnake according 1915^, prjnplplR}^ 
Kere^lqid- dpwn^ and they state a grqajt variptytjqf 
eases^ all j^pproved afterwards, bo|h hy ]^€i lK>ndpf| 
Coe^^igijimg^ ani} . the . Cqostitutioml:. ^q^ety^. jf) 
which th^ people^ and tte-Cofiventiof)*of tb^il^aoplfl^ 
were J^o reset Pariiamgit., ; \; c. . ' j, * / o,;.; 
^ GentlenieQ^ these. societies ^ving .scpt rdolegal;^ 
to tl^ CpQve;ati9n.iQ^cqtland» I pcqceed a^^^^^^te 
^at tb^ ?P^ of*fhat,&fnvention, U^^^the ^^t^^at 
M»8t tjp i!«bi(fb th^di^legate;s from thisfcouutry tY!^e 
authorized to; act, ^ ^evidepce ag^in^; thoae jji^^o 
«ep^ theni^.j^xid. ther^^r^,. against ,t|j9^^^rsopsj;J||r© 
yidictedb Pvit, fur^b^o Ihey coinnippic«tei| to #iq 
Sjocietjes h^^ Particularly tq the, Prispiier at ^th^ ^r^ 
tlieir ^ictSj; aqd |^e societi<^ here, ii^dJBtinot.r^^bi^ 
tions, acting upon ponsideratiop, ;9ppr9^f4fu^n^ 
Vl^qlei^^uct: they therefore nubd^iJiatji^^KiH^fdf 


1^ THE ArV6Kfnh 0$KEBAL*8 SPJSEClM Off 

their ii^legates W the CoHiPefitibn av fecbtlan4:t \*fte.^ 
ftier it Wad agt^e^bte • to ^he briginaJ atrtlidrit;^ irWclt 
was ^hren (hetn^ or not;' thfeir own ;' they' adttpticMt' 
bygivlngi<t1idt'%ubse^ri*hta^()t^bi^^ '*' 

^G^fltl«ricn;' jfou will find,' fifst-'of^Wi; that ihey 
r€«lvea ^'letter frorw the Siiefflaa Society- a^Rriatihg 
with them/ iri which it Svas proposefl to detiVnfrfne 
Kite Englishmen. ■, ^i y. :♦.;.: ' ^ 

After rtfeeiifing a grfeat deal of other cbrres|)ontf-' 
ekse, which IwilFnot trouble^ you H^itfc teadi%, 
th^ societies hfere prepare to send delegates to Sfebt- 
land, Mri^ Bkirving' sent a circular tetter upWithc 
ifrlfifyal' of the English defegales to the'ditegates of 
aH' the assoCratibhs in Scotland, which' were extremely 
ibdmerous, tod very widdy extended ; and I thihk 
the delegates of these different societt« came toge- 
ther to the number of one huridred^and eig^y. iUW 
sitting S01A6 tihie, Mr, Margarot, yoii'wJfl'fihd, 
who was the dekgate of the LMdon CorfespondJrig 
Society, represents t6 th'i body there tfet—^ That 
"the socitties in tiOndoh' were' veiy humeroiis; 
f^t^JtOugh sOfhetttnes fluctuating; ^hkt in some part? 
f^ of England^ Whole towns are reformers j Hiat iii 
f^ShelReld abd the environs there are fifty thodfeand; 
•^'ttlat ih Ndrwich there art thirty socfAtiei in one ; 
wifcal/ If they touM get a Convention of feiglan^ 
^'}^d Scotbnd called, ^ey might represent sit or 
**^seTch hundred thousand males, which is a m^drity 
*^ol^all the adults in the kingdom.** 
^''Tou lr81 Ifod M^. Margarot moves^ th«t^ pren-^ 


'■ tHB TIIAL Of* 9B«MA8 SASSY. ' IJlOS- 

vIsMi to'pbblklm^ an ^uUress to the pnUkf^ »eam*. 
nitlce sbbold be ^ppoinlcid to cbnrider' the means, 
flnii'dtaw'up a pkn of g*«iiefal Union andoTMlpeva-* 
tbn — ^between what ? Not between any societies inr 
die^o natioMy. iNita plm-'of |«enertd M^and do- 
(^Hitidd betttften th M0 HmHmtU. In ^ei^ieonsiitQ.^ 
tioaal purs All' ijf a ilMotj of pttrttiaBtotBfty'i«(bhn^j' 
tlM^'Bfyle tfiemselvM k OMVen^bn', and dii^ Gm.»: 
Mhen, is«ktreindy niaitei^ror ;^to'atl^>ti»f^ 
tb^ atytei themselves^ ** 1%ie British Conientioii ofr 
<<tiie*del^gaie«'4^ tiie-pe^i^ assodaied f0 obfaid 
«t«tti«em8l8)ifini^aiid'aiMMsi^rii»iAenU^ Then 
|adt:>iriuft is' ar Cotdv^tioA of thief ^eic^-aoeofd- 
'm^' b diese < steieiie«? Aboot«KBg( V»\ the pm. 
cMMg^ Sootfend^ a Convenifiato ^ (ti^' pec^ M 
«(€bbveMJ0n of tile delqgalies btm (iMise sbdteM^ in* 
SifglUli^ iMt fieolth«d. 
>'>Tf)lli^ aisekt that- the people have in t&em air<j«4l 

and again, fro«l llie^^iAoilAeHf diATthUt^ GsoWnttoA 
fMf<ai«iyH»4M SdotbAd io {tMEt-iAoibtint «f its'^Kspte- 
siiHi-aMree^UIIf ift.the' titoe of its' dispcfrskmy 
ap»iit«q)e(^ly 4«i)l{^offl jl9ifr time of Mi 4i«per4oil 
tftt4ie<Une<«f a meefkig on Hie a^tfr of' Jatiuib^, al 
th0^^«b«iTafrertt9 atid on the97«lf'<ifltfareh> whetf 
MMher OtMHreolfdi WM ftopoatAy- a» 1 statecf at tlwi 
Mliel^ thi^ fCjleateiliy ^ in tfie fn«B« pivsshi^ 
tMbt^isM^' UmI n«iir 0f iie«er iras ttie time^ wh^ 
iwiifieii%}te wew loitteei, ^t^ettikgifvipie lo^«^ %)^ 
tiar^lWtl Ite, wb^ they .'m^ ettui's ^ e b t w la^ «9 

» 4 

QiCk. THE .itV90fkNBY«$KEaft:L*S SfBECH OI^ 

p««par« thtitanAvfA' (of iheev^vt, «ad to siiow ttwse 
w-hoflt.they called their Oftjirtatfm Mid .(dundefeniii 
that (hey vrer« a braitra fsopliej'.m.whoni valour '9u. 
aot«Ktinct. /, .. •'>• \- "/ •♦.•.•, - ; ♦ 

timfxiM^h ^y^em, .iviMchttoofc fM^ upon th«.i<M^ 

fieppie of >F<fanP«irWm uoKferatctodto he feptfeacnlcd 
t)y 9,€«o»Ten4K>n<('tbe«6<l«lfg«MB t«fcii|g upbittlicoi^ 
8i3ltfei'al8Q! ;a ContKcwtidn ofrKhe pe^ple^. they 
ivftj^^i^tjPfmfiiySctKietfiUf ,thiv di^Qded .-tliA/OQiM.t 
tjy;ipto.irfe^<«!?<««4, t)](ey ap]MfQted^P4-Mii||cto/^. 

for >!<jfio*«c.4p«o««»i)ift .th#y o#««*l lw» W^'^kh^: 
appoint a Secret Committee to bN^.CfAed togat)4)r MpoiK 
4i|t)«0tidioas]^ eine|fg^ncie8,i-ap4:up<»|i jthe.Mfth'of 
Wj>wf»n,her; i79f>:th9Jf.«>lw.tQj i» ii^utioDi .Vyvf^iolkk 
Iii)i«*Jbegyoui:?np?t!8womirttep|iqi».. 1 . . br.; 
. I GeotkinDB toC, i^ ! Jwyr • J'Ott wiU -f^Miilw -thtl^ 
^•i«^t> with, autboritief, wlwPlh «tf|^,Mhth(«k 
thfiti it wd9 ikfi diity ,fff ti;t«(p§Pptip;.Vr^i«h. people ihcgfi 
|»<i .^tefc?nrqpo» tbeoftejves, to .«epiN:4ent,.it03ffisiM 
fpyacfeiof -ftiiliJWent, that s^i^d be^ e)«4i»:d>r,« 
^ailtiqplar purpo^. : Itis. h^rfl}jf« I tbinli:«r<tic> h«.ooo>^ 
tcapded> th«t thf great b^Ik .citH^h pecipte; qf..thift 
4Pun|ry) happy^ in-^h^r political -exi«t^npe«.:^.,U«n 
^^t(i% i^,aseyr^famaght^y p-their jpi^tisift 
fpsten^ 1wP»H8e .th^y<4a tuH-.^l ff^ff^nm^^-i^ 


ttuit they «|i»li)r J qvQ«n tfa ^iicb a.«iegr?jB ^9 to paH 
^ itl^sureiB of . thU fiOfti ; caul^ b^l^yie that tb^ l^ 
giirlatine, iffi th§ couqjiy, .df>i$|g jus^jcp to the^i^ 
|op|9/wh(^kj8ibai^^ tq.fHp^t, woi<U peooitia 
{vrooei^ing!<^.ihi$*kinfl .to.ffQ,Qq-r^yet, GeatWnmu 
QQBfiiling eo^moch as U>e^ .pef^oqsdid in the snpm 
fo$if4fi\9^' of ttv^ir nufnber iu^.th^t country, and.of 
th08^-«l^tv§n3to t)e:€0|vnacte4. with, them in tbi^ 
yott m\\ fiiHtthfl^t, ii||pYi^he,;^klti of JSovember 17981 
op« { of- the pwfionB^ WoRgingT ta. t^t. Gbnve^Uiop^ 
Q^ZfXktfpimlf^vrr i think), (he ipembec^ 4U atanjc^ 
nqfl.Ufigi) ;t^ir ket, foe the greater solemnitypf thq 
tt^ingk pw)fK?s?g thiBf.reaplutioiv—" Besoked^ tbait 
'/i tt^ifpllQwiqg dop^cytion a94, tresoli^tions be ia-. 
I'.Q^pted ^Mthe.en4;^ ovr n)juiutefr~< That tl)» 
^^ C(xivent)pQr*rri}^.i( H Ji)e ppsffihle to say that i^y 
Qmwirtiop .nwiU(:ttQ ^<?t las.^ Ouiventipa of the 
pfiWift, it iR tji^t}^i(ii B^a itfjjf ^^hwe the L^gifla^ 
|Hre,!ift,thft aft ^t i» ^^ing— 'S^ thi& Cpnyitpfi<«0^ 
S'if9o«Adfri9^ the caUmitpus c9nfrq()feiices.of ?^y^aot 
Y, ^ lA^ ];M^i^ti]rei which jq^ teiuJ t^deprivje Uie 
V.^lwifeiQr ai^y p^t of the peopdje of their undoubtied 
^VMigtol 09kin9e(9t> either by theiQsetv^s or by dele|^ 
!Siti9H5 i9 dfSQQ^. ^py^tnattervel^tive to their (x>m-» 
V .jftffl* HHffTfP^^ Kh^Aer of a puhlic jor private nature^ 
^^ iHid bf^ldiffg^il^ejs^nie fo be tc^ly inponsistent 
^' with the first principles and safety; of sopiety, and 
SH9lfft>]Etiil^fi^^^6^ '<>^^ knpwa an4 ack,pQwle4|ed 


" &etiiiimen, p^nnit me to'diH yont a(tc<(ilioii %ef 
&ni, that thi^ dcteliratioti, Mms pnndj|flts» foll<mis 
Aerinistrocfions thdt they h^reeinTed, Ihit, if aby 
itttinpt was inade-to bring in a€oDventiotaf Utt, they 
i»erc ^en to do so ^d tt). They then ]lNMxed AoA 
^•^ Do declare befbite God ktid the world, that yHi 
**'^viR foHovir th(tf vrholesotne example of fontier 
*» titties,- by paying no^ regard to amy act, wbidi'shril 
*' militate agaiilst tlife consfittttioto -of odr'totntiy^-* 
That IS ssjifng, that the Will t>f ClM Leglstattire il ttot 
abetter jitdge'of what Is ari iitfC agiimMthe eoitttltur 
I3on'of-th^ eotmtryv than the affiliated diAaat-S^B^ 
bm'gf^.^.;''' and shall eontinne'td ibaeml>re and tioittidef 
^tlf th^ best me3D9'f}y Mff)^ we can aicooitopQph-i^ 
"'te^r^^scntatJbil of the pebble,'' » that a<IM(a. 
mtlAt V-^** and'afrtittal election 'Ufttff'-Whaf?--** on^ 
** til com^6d ter'<tesiat by 8vit>ei*yr1b«iei • ' 
' * « And* we dtf resoKre th^tthefifaf i<oCie« giretf'U-l 
Tfie ^ TTOtTo^-i^I^tliilmeint i^ n6t' ete» fo AatuM 
tflS^ ihmg : bfdC-^' ^ ah inttmacion offt iH' mttd^' iiii 
ftitlfeteent— ^^ Wt'the-'first notice givett i» the 
*i<ife«dii«iim cf k' CftjtvbrtSon bW, or any Mi tf K 
Hitnilar'tefiaertiij' tJSfithat passed hv ftdand ill IhaL 
'^Ibst'ses^ndftht^Parllnntat, oit^irfbllllSyi^'JM 
'' sdDJpbrta^oi^ of th^fiabeas'0>rpaatAet, «<• the Ik;! 
^' (Bf'^V^etif iiigVrongoiu kripriaomiaeiit; mi, igffittSt 
'fm^e Ma^s !rr tHaU io North BHfdiii ^ Hi o><^ 
^oftAihivds^.'^ ■■ .;.'.. ii , ' 

' ^^tlef^, i"i«iU^ back to y(9iltr i«eoMiMll«i>tfj(i 
fetter of^^uryin^— .^ cal^ be^ 't<^^^fr'i;l;Mi|ftillbtt 

' * te»^ TttAt OF ^KoMAS mktiiYi ' ' 2^ 

ttotm^f i^ Met tif «ktn^g, 'b«'thflfrtti4^twc^8 

fjf Kbtrtjr ti^re promMeA to be sent Wltft ftayortiiHi and- 

pikes iipm; that cipuntry , ' which at this monleht wa^ 

jikdy tpl ttifWK ns---" or the sftimissibn dfany ftrieflgii' 

f< trooMWhatsoetPrinta Gredt Britain or Irefetid^^**-*tf 

fht'Fatli^th^ ef this country, for the purpose oPpro- 

feeting Itpdfag^&st tHat foreign invtilbn.had fefronght^ 

these forei^ trodps into: <5teat' BHtalh* or Ii^ttht!;' 

^ %ehig tbef trobps tif a iiation with Mfhich^ we ivwe^ 

ft'ihr, ffci t^fiventioh of tie people '^bs t^actdjpoti' 

^i^^iiYtr6duehon 6f ^uch fe«^igh irobpyin th& skrjdir 

^vamhr^'^i^t^ 'case of iin Wasibh b^ 

^lidse ViioVeVe it-!^ thecbnV 

^tnicekm tlrtt fifltews ^a'ttatP^that, eren If ifeU- 

^gn troA^sj 'to' tocdt tfiie cixigenoe 6f ah hivak^/ 

^^ bfttKii|ee<t— wh then^^-i-« all or ao^! one df 

t* these csi^suniiou; drcbrtstaWe«r^^\thy cabmftbui^?^ 

liiey iirqght he nec^sar)r*for the very etisHmce!'^ 

the coqntry-— t^* ^\\ be a signal to th^ sevend' cte^^ 

<^l(ega^ to repair (o such {dace as ([he Secret 

1* Cbmmi(tee of tbrs^Cdhviftntbn shall '^{ipohit/ ahdf 

1^ tlie fir^t 6exfn meifibers shall have powet^-*-to do 

fhsLt ^to do that exactly, which a ^tibnal Cdn^ 

yentidn in France wouM do-^^' to declare the lAU^ 

f* tSttgs permanent** — ^wfty? Becanae the dul|y^coii- 

sdttited Legidatore 6f ther lebimtry had dilred not to 

do an act, but to entertain t'ddiberation upon dottig 

aW ad:— the fhvt'notibe was to caD together this 

%^.t1|odsu(^ ,B^;^,ias,wp.vld,tibj(dL o£,hxu^g- ^be^nr, 
i^ve»,fqget^^er to .declare thjaif ji^iqyHiPeWpeil^ 
tjpoa.gnch, figiipMpd, as. tbiay state henKi..i^fp^y» the- 
Le^atpvQ.of. a.:gnj^|: iP9un^i:y aOft^ i^A^ c?MfSCU«> 
tipu of, tb^.|5reatidu$iqs wl^, Jaelfifi^ j^l^.tflgi^ 
^i*vr^ of {iJbat gpijiiytiry,. \y^ljQ«b, ^^eposing, ,hf UijM^ 

£roin deli)^ei?^)UppnHi^h:d^tifA?,: %rWJb# 3cts» 
cppld it bed90p>ut bflke^r^qf^y?8,ilj«y! 6tjle,lb«n„ 
ij»,.tbe mwner pf rtjev: ipre(ayihfRs^.bji;^^ ,9yi 
^iated sqpe^im* Wffffpg. thpijr,.;Btel'?4:t8MS!«rt^ 

to ))e, i)>;ec6i^ on. prqMed. by.ipcq^il;uQig,,iu3[^Mi 
kQpiv^ge, ^,that .ua^l>iu3w|e(%e..b{^^t^fty 

w^ich U to ^tt4ownjth^p:^^tipgaHtl)ipri|ji)4^.Ki»8b 
JjardB,, 9x4 Qp^wpqna. -;; n .' •; ,■;,•. - __, j .',.. . . '.,,;• 
../' TheriConye^tioQ t^^efi^ fejspl)ret -ttj^^eqcbb 
** delc^gate immefUatelyon .^rtr^iiijirn. ^qi)f: do.qop** 
*/.vene. hji; cop8t}Uiief^t$i ^,',«£]^lain tp |hem, ||i«. 
** jnopq?|^ty,pf' elecjlppga dd[^g^pr.4^^t^ ^wt 
*/.Qf.4e$|;ablisi)i)ig,^ iilo4,witl|ovi^delj^;ag^in$t j^o^r. 
*f Qf,tbese qf{)^'^^ff* fp'-k^ Q!^ thei^ expense^^d 
*/.t])at kh^idf) insj^)^,t]^Q!sf^(^.d^|f{(«|tie or 4^c^j;^ 

*^tiO bold ^^seIv(pi,i:fo4y •'*..'-;. ".•.:.:.= 
. (fC^ilfiBf^, joii ^;.vfjjat Uieyi evpepted .fropi^tlju^. 

l«g'»^^r^+it»^;^?w -tM w^ .**ifiy ^smi<ifW8 

oa^ht to proYoI;e the Le^slatuc^ ^ do w)yd tbej( 

ito^aiit t^ fiirW the Legislatare to ^.s and.tbqyiii* 

8ti-ii6l tiieir>dele^te dH deleg^ tuihold thprosfairos 

•ffeady*-^^* td depart ak oneifaoai^'^ wsru^^^r Well 

might Mr/ Skirvit)^ stfy. Chat a> vmnlA!^ ^^r> ^md 

^eAb whole was het : 'weH lAt^t Mr« Hatdy ssyi^ jvtet 

he says In letters I shall prcxluce presently, that if ttiw 

^ (^pportMirity Is; lost now, it in lost fOD e«eh«r-we. mttat 

^dct now, or: we nisver can. Having scHnetreaSQii U> 

suppose that this Goiivention would he diBpftcsed^ 

'vthey then with great solemhtty ctone toabother r«KK 

lution : . ; 

'^ Hiat the moment of any iltegal diepersioii of 
^' the British Convention sbaH be considered as a 
" siAnmons to the delegates to repair to the plaoe 
'^ of meeting appointed for the Convention of emer* 
*^< l^ency by the Secret Committee, and that theSe* 
^^ cret Committee be instructed without delay to 
^* proceed to fix the place of meeting*'* Gentlemen^ 
after these resolutions it became necessary to do a 
little more, that is, to declare Upon what principles 
this Convtotion existed. Now mark the pindples, 
and do your country justice i apply ^o much of the 
observations that I have made to you, as are worthy 
your attaf^ion, to what I have before stated as the 
neeessary eoiinexion between the prmciple and ptac* 
tice of Mr^ Paine, and of these societies. 

Gentfemeni thesQ -principles brought together the 

Frcfnch Convention-^what ts the practice.thien, tb^t 

< floWsiouiof the principle ? Why, it is the assembling 

'^f a C(>riVentiorf tpom principle obliging it Xq $i\ f<iT 

^iiepofpcM of deobmg that tbeliegiAitim 8l|«^ do 
4i€lhm|r bill wbtt Ifaey lik^drx tbut is tp 41 kHmts 
ilmd purposes Ji Nttbml ConvmtHm ; if tieta Goq* 
'fmtiim &r an etwml reform^ at )ai6t a QffivqtitioBt 
:^thiat .piBhibita theLi^lmtiireto do any thiQg )iiit\ 
• iithilt is agreeaUe to theiii« Thfn^ hwiifig met for 
ittie^eteeiitioii of the practipe, theypiocec^ itpme- 
^diatdy to the dcjdaration of the priooii^a— 4Hit they 
do not prooeed *o a declaration of the principle till- 
-Ch^ have done that strong and 8<dainn act^ which I ' 
have stated : then they resolve '^ that a conHftiltei* 
^^ be appointed to draw tip a declaration^' — This is 
^l*Vanee exactly^^It is the Southwark Spci^y in 17^ 
'*iM<< adedaration of the natural imprescriptible tights^ 
•^^ of man, and that the 9anie be prefixed to an ad- 
''dress to the people of Great Britain^ That 4 
^* oonimittee of observation/' that i$^ for the bettei^ 
effectuating the purpose thitt they had J^ore do- 
dared, *' be appointed in London to give the earliest 
*^ intiiitation ofany ttiotion of the kino^iiientioned in 
*' the foregoing resolutions totb^diflfer^ s^deti^s/* 
You tvili then find that they tnet in a plape> which 
they call Cmijmtion tiadi, under the nanie of the 
BriHsh CoHveniiM^ and (heti they ;are in£>iroied that 
the liondon Correspdnding Soeiety would undertake 
to be that cotnmittee of observatiofii.i^vihfch^ they 
ssy, ought to eaist— *aiid then yoii will find that the 
members mmtioiied tiiat Uieyhad thousandB.d^thdr 
constituents in London^ Sheffield^ NoiMdch, Leeds, 
^Scc« and lint die Coavention was Jto look at ittelf 9s 

in its tnietMlJare a flwrnwiiilcy^ jjf; Afipm^^ itfaii' 
therefoie it was nectssBry to hltiley ^ Jli^ teprfi iiti 
FrfitKje^ Primary Sade^i^ vAkO. ^all; b«. csntalleil 
«-*in oth^ ,w»ds^ that this ConoBitMe («r4he jPtoplfi 
at Editibof^b, which was t^oireciAl^tbe Jiegi^litiin^ 
was itself to be overruled hf ^se- P r i fimr y i SopktUi, 
these fuiaiary doeieties' themsdves jbeingovemikd by 
the leaders of the great clubs, from which they .ana* 
natri, and so fdriiiiDgin tUsrcooiitrya govemmenty 
under the power of a Jacobin Glufa, and that gbimiK 
tnent destroying the |»ese&t existiag Legislature of 
the kti^om^ 

You will also find ibst, before thesepersons partad^ 
Mr. Margaroi communicated to his ocmstitu^nla Abe 
proceedings of this body, which, fae. styles ali«2aya ihe 
Cowveniion qfthe Peo/>fe .associated to obtain anmial 
BeirUamcsiilis and nnirersal snffi-a^. There are let' 
ters which I shall lay before you^ wthoot detailing 
them, stating that they looked up to ti^i Lftndon 
Corresponding Soci^y, and the Society for Coasti-^ 
tutiond' Inlbriliatioti-^that their active exfritiofts 
were necessary for the acoon^lishiog the f rj^fl^^ 
which they sitting 2n fidifdtMsrgh were to «epittt; 
and then the titio dcfegatas of th« JjMdon Ome- 
ipondmg Socrkty wfite to Mr. Hardy^(jaaibe mem- 
tary of that ISoctety, an acitocmt of tliait pmefa^wv^ 
«*^tfaey gire him an account a( thatseleaafi mttiM, 
aqd of Ae manner iff mabing it^ .w^ibk' Mvyife^Jmt 
been detailiiig to yat^^^^h^y loa^ui t^y 
iiax} d«(ora)lhedito asaeinMe.iiv. Cu wim ii w la ,aoy 

^iktrcase^-^^-tlMit tfae appointmeDt of the pbce^ which 
4tii4iiiKnitii^iiGe I beg your most serioas attention 
jto^ mi» left to a Secret CommiUee% bat then they 
vieiid' Uo him an acomint of the riiotion^ inform- 
jU|f hill) in thc^ letta**~that *^ letters convey but 
'^ very imperfectly, and with no great degree of 
*^ Bsifytyf what we might wish to inform each other 

/ Now what do you think it is that they do not in* 
4mn him of in this letter ?«-^They do not inform him 
:k). this. letter^ because letters will not convey every 
thing safely — that the Convention was to^meet in case 
of ifmasion^-AhsLt was a secret, which durst not be 
trusted to correspondence by letter, and because it 
existed in that motion which was made, every other ^ 
part of it being communicated even in a letter, they 
Consider it of such a nature, that they determine not 
ta insert it even in their own minutes* 
' ^ This Secret Committee having been appointed in 
the Scotch Convention, the &ot being communicated 
tt> the Lofidoa Corresponding Society by their dde- 
gate$, you will likewise find that Mr* Sinclair, the 
^ delegate feom the Constitutional Sodety to the $q* 
ciisty at Edtnburgh, was not behindhand in the com- 
mwiication of it : he comranoicates the proceedingv^ 
mdidesiyif that a Secret Committee mi^ be appointed 
in that Sockty. It was net long affect this^ that the 
'wisdy exerted power of the magistmcy^f that coun* 
try dispetsod that Convention. The dispersicm of 
^tlatX^ventian^ which, ifrom what I hav» before 


Stated to you^ wM conceived to be a body that most 
then do its work, or its work never would be done^ 
suggested to the sociietjes of this country the neces* 
sity of undertaking the same business, of undertaking 
it at tbe isame hazard, knowing that the project must 
either :Me» be accomplished, or that it never could 
thereafter be altempted^for that no^ government 
could permit such a Convention as t]:u8 to meet^ 
when its. natpre Was really underatood^ without tak- 
ing sorm means to protect itself against !the conse- 
quences of the existence of. such a ConyentioD* 

Gentleo^n, r you will therefore find, th^t, after 
they had been cbsporsed, and after, in consequence 
of that dispersion, some of them had been pumshe4 
in. Scotland j by sentences which were pronounced 
upon oiFenees; not. stated in the records of that court 
p so aggravated a way against them< aei •tbey mighty 
in my humbly opiaion, have beet) stated, that it then 
became necessary that soi^e stqp sboukl be taken 
immediately to prevent the mischief which was me- 
ditated i for you Will find, in the evidence, proposi* 
tions in these societies about a rescue, which failed; 
bu^ yoq will $nd in their correspondence from Scot*^ 
laAdi and their correspondence from those- ships m 
which ,the members of the S<?otoh Conveiition werej 
))e^re: thciy sailed in execution of their sentences, 
qot, only the strongest invitations to do some strcxig 
9Pts in this country,; to both societies, but, on the 
other hand^ the strongfst and most unequivocal de-^ 


daration by both societies^ that these strong acts 
Qimtbe done. 

•^ Gentlemen, you will find that before they left 
Sootland, tipon the 1 1th of December 1798^ ther^ 
l» A letter from Mr;'Margarot to Mr; Hardy to this 
fcffect-— "We peceived your letter and remittance 
f^ yesterday, aqd shall be gkd to receive another such 
^« without delay, 

'* The Convention you will see has declared itself 
^' permanent; they are to sit in some other' part of 
^ the country, which is not yet declared/* 

Oentletinen, Mr. Sinclair, the delegate of the 
Constitutional Society, came to London. I have 
before observed to you, from a letter of Gerald and 
Margaret, that there were some thin^ that could 
not safely be conveyed by letter^ Margslrot Writer 
a letter from Edinburgh to the Prisoner, In which 
he 8ays-~" My colleague Gerald also proposes to 
^^ leave this place the latter end of this, or the be- 
^(^nning of the next week : he will explain himself 
** to you: pray send him money for this journey, 
^* fee. He is now gone to Perth on very urgent bo- 
'* siiless. Smc^ Sinclair's departure nothing new lias 
^^ oocurred, except the formation of a Society some* 
f ^ where kbout' the GramjMon Hills'* — this shows th* 
spirit trf fraternisation — ^^ they have already made a 
'* sabscri^it)n Jiowards it : agaift we are interrupted] 
<^ and likely tb lose the post^ unlesd^I dispatch this 
•H»i®ediii%..'' .-• . ~.:^ -- - • 

%on th^ 22d of December 1793, another tetter 


b wntten to Mr. Hardy by the same gentleman^ 
which probably led, in some degree, to the transac* 
tions that I have to state, as having passed in January 
I79<i; for, after stating what had happened to him^ 
self in SGOfland, he says-^^^ Sheffield has on this 
** occasion exhibited a most manly 6pirit"-:~The 
Sheffield Society had at that time sent out some ex^ 
cessively strong resolutions, which I shall give you in 
evidence in the course of this business — *^ I am ex^ 
*' tremely mtbnttfii^d to find so grieat a difierenpebe^ 
)*^ tween theiti and the London CSorresponding So- 
*/ ciety ; it is not however too late. For God*8 sake 
^^ send forth -somie very str(»ig resolutions^ and above 
/^all, talk of impeachments, and of petitioning the 
*^ King to remove from- their offices those persons 
^* who have thus violated the laws of the fealm." 
. ,You will find from a letter of the 24th of Decem- 
ber, that Margarot, a delegate from the London 
Society, a- delegate of Norwich, and a Mr. Brown, 
who was tlie delegate from Sheffield, . had gone to 
attend a general meeting of the Society of the fViends 
of freedom in East Lothian, and then the e^ipcession 
is*^^' Th time is' came that we micst shatv ourselves 
" worthy of liberty, or deservedly lose it. The op- 
'^ position of our adversaries is demonstration of the 
'^ propriety and efficacy of the means which we have 
*^ employed to obtain it." 

Upon the'27th of December 174)3, you wiH'dBnd 
Mr. Margarot states that Mr. Gerald was g6ne 4o 
Berth ; that 'he himself had been in ^t Lpthian ; 


that they had been well employed ; that they must 
send dixt spirited resolutions^; and yon will find, that, 
tipon the 1 !th of Janimry J 794, Mr. Hardy writes a 
letter to Norwich, relative to the proceedings I have 
now been stating, the Constitotional Society first, 
and the London Corresponding Society afterwards; 
having in their public acts approired every thing that 
this Convention had deme^ Mr. Hardy*s letter runs 
thus t 

*• I have just received a letter from Citizen. Mar- 
•* garot, at Edinburgh, with some of the .Edinburgh 
** Gazetteers, where you will see tha* Citizen Skirving 
** is found guilty, and sentenced for fourteen years 
»* transportation to Botany Bay. Margaret's trial 
** c6mes next; he meets it with great firmness and 
^ resolution. 1 have no time to make my comments 
*' on the proceedings, but I think our opponents are 
*^ cutting their own throats as fast as they can— iVb«7 
" is the time for tls to do soTnethrng worthy of men: 
** the brave defenders of liberty^ south of the Engiisft 
*' Channely are performing wonder^^ driving their 
** enemies before thevl like chaff before the tchirluind. 
*^ Margaret tells me that he has not time to write to 
** you just now, but he hope» to have time very soon, 
** when his trial is over, and immured in a prison* 
** The London Corresponding Society is to have a 
** general meeting and ai> anniversary dkifier on 
" Monday the 20tK instant, al the G^obe Tavern j, 
'' Strand." 

Gentlemen, you wilt find that Mr* Margarot, this 


delegate, with whom Mr. Hardy is thus in corre- 
spondence, writes to the Norwich United Societies — 
f^ This morning ten ships of war have left Spithead for 
^' the Channel ; and it is here reported, that the Bresi^; 
<^ fleet is out. Rumour, always magnifying thiogs, 
^^ says thwe are seventy sail of the French at s^a ; if 
*^ so, there must be a number of transports among 
** themy and a descent may probably be the comer 
*^ quence-^for God^js saie, niy jf^ortlty friends, do, not 
^^ relax in the cause of fi-eedotn.*^ — Now what coor 
nexioti had a descent with the cau^ of freedom ?-^-t 
*' Continue as you have begui^ ; consolidate your 
^* own soci^ies*— tfnite with others — persevere, and 
^* inake no doubt, but, sooner or later, yoqr endea** 
*^ vours will be crowned with success.'*. 

Gentlemen, I come now to state to you the pro- 

'^edingl of- the year J 7 94, as far as they depend upon 
written evidence ; and it must be a satisfaction to the 
mind of evary man who hears me, that, in the 
course of this business, whatever observations may 
ari6e upon' the parol evidence that will be given you, 
I think you will find so strong a congrmation of all 

Aydu are to 'hear in the written evidence that, is. to. be 
laict before you, that these observations canqot pos-r 

*^b)y: mislead you from coining t6 the true conclusion^ 
upcm the whole of the evklqnce, whatever that ipay 

• be. ' 

Gentlemen, the Conslitutibnal Society, hiving 
sent their delegate to the Scotch Convention, you 

•will find that^ at a meeting of th^ 1 7th of January 

T 3 


1794, the following resolutions were come to, to 
which I must desire your particular attention, more 
especially as there are some circumstanoes belonging 
to the composition of thoae resolutions, which appear 
to me tp be worthy of attention. I ha^'^ before told 
you that these resolutions were usually drawn from 
minqte$-^the original minutes still exist, and. perhaps 
they show that discretion, with which men are some- 
times pble to state, in different ways, precisely the 
same thing : I say, that these resolutions of the 17 th 
pf January 1794, were meant to excite the subject^ 
of this country to resistance. 

'^ Resolved, That law ceases to be an object, of 
^' obedience, whenever it becomes an instrament of 
^* oppression, 

*^ Resolved, That we recall to mind, with the 
^' deepest satisfaction, the merited fate of the in&- 
^^ mous Jeiferies, once Lord Chief Justice of Gng* 
^^ land, who, at the sera of the glorious Revolotiona 
f^ for the many iniquitous sentences which be had 
^^ passed^ was torn to pieces by a brave and injured 
^' people/* This is applied to tbe Judges of Six>t- 
)and, who executed the law upon such faots as I 
ha^e b?en stating. — *^ That those who imitate; bis 
•* example deserved his fate*' — this sort of intimation 
might have a tendency, I hope it had not, to pot ii) 
any peril those who did, in the regular course, .and 
in the due course of their judicial duties, pass-lliose 
sentences, to which these resolutions allude. 

^*That the Twee^, though it may divide icdim* 

*^ tries, ought not, and does not, make a separatipn 
" between those principles of common severity in 
*^ which Ekiglishmen and Scotchmen, ar-e equally 
"interested} that injustice in Scodand is injustice 
" in England ; and that the safety of Englishmen is 
*^ (endangered, whenever their brethren in Scotland^ 
"for a conduct which entitles them to the approba- 
" tion of all wise, and the support of all bra/te men, 
" are .sentenced to Botany Bay, a punishment hither^ 
" to inflicted only on felons. 

" That we see with regret,, but we see without 
" fear, that the period is fast approaching when the 
" liberties of Britons" — this was in January— "must 
" depend, not upon reason, to which they have kmg^ 
1^ appealed, nor on their powers of expressing it» 
f^ but on their firm and undaunted resolution, tp op- 
^^ pose tyranny by the same means by which it is 
^' exercised/* Now what is the tyranny ? The exer- 
cise of the regular government of the country. What 
is tbc means by which it is exercised ? The applica- 
tJQQ of the force of the country in support of the 
government x>f the country^ What is this resolution 
then ? Why, that the means which the Government 
takes-in the rogvilarrexercise of its functions, ought 
now to be resisted-—" We see it with regret, but do 
" not see it wjth any fear." 

. That a breach of allegiance was contemplated you 
can lu(ve no dqul)ty fo^ yon will s^e in the original of 
this,, thift it stood thu&: that, " as allegiance and 
;^' protection are reciprocal, law ceases to be $m object 

T 4 


" of obedience, whenever it becomes an instrument 
*^ of oppression."— Couple that, as it stood originally, 
with the third resolution, and what is it ? Why, it 
is — ^That the protection, which was due from him to 
whom allegiance is due, has not been afforded: 
therefore allegiance is no longer due. ^* We see 
^* with regret, but we see without fear, that the 
•^period is fast approaching^ when the liberties of 
*^ Britons must depend^ not upon reason, to which 
" they have long appealed, nor on their powers of 
*^ expressing it, but on their firm and undaunted re- , 
" solution to oppose tyranny by the same means by 
" which it is exercised •'• 

You will also find that it stood, *^ that EngKsh- 
*^ men feel the oppression of Scotchmen, which they 
^^ are determined to resist at the hazard of their 
*' lives." — ^You will find the last resolution, in the 
minutes, comparing the genuine representatives of 
this country, in the House of CommcMis, with this 
Convention in Scotland, which Convention in Scot^ 
land had taken upon itself to resolve upon resistance 
to even a motion, in either House of Parliament of 
this country, in the execution of their duty, thus : 

'' That we approve of the conduct of the British 
^* Convention, who^ though assailed by force, have 
" not been answered by arguments, and who, unlike 
*^* the members of a certain Assembly, have no in* 
*^ terest distinct from the common body of the 
'* J>eople"-^The words originally stood — who " hp^ 
♦* ing the incorrupt representatives bfmany thtmsaaidls^ 


*' have spoken the language of truth and firmness/* ' 
Can I make this Court the instrument of conveying 
to the public, what I confess I do most anxiously' 
wish to make it the instrument of conveying to the 
public, as far as it is fit, in the execution of the duty 
that I am now discharging; that they riiay under- 
stand what it is that men, when they are scattering' 
these libels through the country, mean — *^ This 
** Convention, assailed by force, have not been an- 
^^ swered by arguments'* — How was it possible to 
answer those by arguments, who were coming to 
solemn and sacred resolutions, which they did not even 
dare to put upon the face of their own minutes ? IIow 
were we to answer those by argument, who were 
working under ground till they had blown up the' 
government, and then say, You cannot point out that 
we have been acting ill, because we vvon*t tell you 
liow we have been acting ? 

Upon the l6th, Mr. Margaret writes again, leav- 
ing them to pursue what sort of conduct they please* 
' Then there is a letter of some importance of the 
2Sth of January, which is written to the person whd 
stands at the bar — ^^ We have just recdv^ no- 
*' ttce from the Sheriff to hold ourselves ready to 
** depart at an hour's warning : ' we go by night : we 
*^ imagine to Newgate : look out for us/* 

Gentlemen, you will likewise find a letter from 
Mr, Margaret to Mr. Hardy, of great consequence, 
as it explains many of the passages in the evidence 
between- the 20th of January 1794> and the ti^e 


that those persons were apprehended. Margarot 
writes from Edinburgh in this manner: — '^ Armed 
«' associations arc, J perceive, now set on foot, by 
** the rich ; wherefore should not tlie poor do the 
*^ $ame ? Are you to wait patiently till twenty thou- 
^^ sand Hessians and Hanoverians come to cut your 
*^ throats? And will you stretch forth your necks 
•^ like lambs to the butcher's kntfe, awl, like lambs, 
*^ content yourselves with bleating? Pray let me 
** hear from you soon. Remember me to Moflatt, 
^ Muir, and Palmer, and all suffering brethren.'* 

Gentlemen, upon the 20th of January 1794, there 
was a meeting at the Globe Tavern ; that meeting, 
which, you will permit me to observe. Hardy men- 
tioned in his letter of the uth of January 1794, 
which I before liave spoken of, when he said the 
Ix>ndon Corresponding Society were to have a general 
meeting, and an anniversary dinner. Gentlemen/ 
the proceedings of that day will deserve your very- 
particular attention, 

^^ At a general meeting of the London Corre- 
^rsponding Society, held at the Globe TavefB> 
" Strmd, on Monday the 20th day of January 1794^^ 
^ Citizen John Martin in the chair," — when I st^te 
4i>s to you, I ought to say that I shall pnove tliet 
Prisoner to have been presait, or to have been con- 
9^ted with all the transactions .4hat I have been 
stating— '^ the following address to the pei^e of 
fSGri^at Britain and Ireland^ was read and iigraiedto t 
'^:€Hi«eos^ We fiod the laaKipa iijiwiv^ iQ^war» 


** by which, in the course of one campaign, immense 
*• numbers of our countrymen have been slaughtered; 
'^ avast expense has been incurred ; our trade, com*- 
^^ merce, and manufactories are almost destroyed ; 
♦^ and many of our manufacturers and artists are 
^^ ruined, and thair families starving. 

*' To add to our affliction, we have reason to ex- 
^' pect that other taxes will soon be added to the in- 
*^ tolerable load of imposts and impositions, with 
^^ which we are already overwhelmed, for the put- 
.^Vpose of defraying the expenses which have been 
^^ incurred in a fruitless crusade, to re-establish the 
^^ odious despotism of France. 

^^ When we contemplate the principles of this war, 
^^ we confess ourselves to be unable to apprave.of it 
/^ as a measure either of justice or discretion ; and, if 
^^ we are to form our calculation /o( the result, irom 
^^ what has already passed, we can only look forward 
^^ to defeat, and the eternal disgrace of the British 

*^ While we are thus engaged In an extensive and 
^^ rinnous foreign war, our stete ^ home is not less 
^* deplorable. 

« We are every day told by those persons /who 
^- are interested in supporting the corruption }ist^ 
f^ and an innumerable host of sinecure plac^o^en, 
^^ that the constitution of England is the.per^ion 
^^ of human wisdom; that o)ir ]a^s (we sh^oiiid ra* 
^' Ujer say their laws) ai;6 tl^e perfeptip^ pf jpstjce; 
^Vnod tlisLt their administratipR jaf Jbe^ ]m^ 'v-^ 


•* impartial and so ready, as to afford an equal remedy 
** both to the rich and to the poor, by means of 
•* which we are said to be placed in a state of absohile 
** freedom," — ^The paper then goes on and reasons 
Upon the state of the law in this country, nnder an 
exposition of Magna Charta, which gives as nearly 
the true meaning of it as a man would give, who had 
tiever seen it. 

'* If we look to Ireland, we find that acknowledged 
^' privilege of the people to meet for the support and 
*' protection of their rights and liberties, is attempt- 
'*' ed by terror to be taken away, by a late infamous 
'* act of Parliament," — That was an act to prevent 
Convention by delegates with dangerous objects, — 
" Whilst titles of honour— no— but of drshonour, 
**^ are lavished, and new sources of corruption Opened 
" to gratify the greedy prostitution of those who afe 
^ the instruments of this oppression. 

*^ In Scotland, the wicked hand of power has been 
^^ impudently exerted without even the wretched for- 
•^ malityof an act of Parliament.*'— A piece of parch-* 
ment justice they call an act in the Convention of 
Scotland. — *^ Magistrates have forcibly intruded into 
^* the peaceful and lawful meetings of freemeh, and by 
*' fohre (not only without law, but against law) have, 
^ under colour of magisterial office, interrupted their 
^'deliberations, and prevented their association. 

" The wisdom and good conduct of the British 
'^ Convention in Edinburgh has been such, as to defy 
^^^ their bitterest enemies to name the law which th6y 


^' have broken ; notwithstanding which, their papers 
'^ have been seized and made use of as evidence 
*' against them, and many virtuous and meritorious 
'^ individuals have been^ as cruelly as unjustly, for 
^^ thfeir virtuovis actions, disgmced and destroyed by 
'^ inlampus mid illegal sentences of transportation ; 
** and these unjust and wicked judgments have been 
** executed with a rancJour and malignity neva- before 
" known in this land ; our respectable and beloved 
*' felk>w-citi2ens liave l^een cast fettered into dun- 
** geoni^ amongst felbns in the hulks, to which they 
'• were not sentenced, 

** Citizens, We all approve the sentiments, and 

" are daily repeating the ^'ords for which these our 

*^ respectable and valuable brethren are thus, unjustly 

^^ and inhpmanly, suifering ; we do associate"-~mark 

the expressioh — '^ in order to obtain a fair, free, and 

^ fiiK representation of the people in a house of real 

<*^ tiational representatives/' — Now, did the Conven-^ 

tion at Edinburgh then associate for the purpose to 

obtain a fair, freb, and full representation of the 

people in a house of real national representatives ? If 

they did, they associated to form that house of real 

i^resentatives upon this principle, that they were, 

as Mr. Skirving calls them, the people in Scotland, 

ffatttthey were to affiliate, and to associate themselves 

' Vi^fth Booreties in England ; and that, in that state of 

-aiBli^idnand association, holding a Convention, as 

they call it, of the People, from delegates of t^eSe 

societies, and not item the people — to do what ? — 

296 THE ATi^RKKY 0£N£KAVs BV^HQft O^ 

why, to meet as an Assembly, which Assembly was to 
control the operations of Parliament ; of that Parlia* 
nient^ ivhich must be the rctpresentatives of the 
Commons of the Nation ; an expression^ whieh> by 
the way^ tliey never used, adopting genefally terms 
of a different import, ^* Real National Representa-* 

" Are we also willing to be treated 9B felons for 
" claiming this our inherent right ? whiqh we are 
^< determined never to forego but with our lives, and 
** which none but thieves and traitors"— that is, per- 
sons acting in the regular execution of the functions 
of magistracy—" can wish to withhold from us ? 
^' consider, it Is one and the same corrupt and cor* 
'^ ruptiug influence, which at this time domineers in^ 
*^ Ireland, Scotland, and England: can you bdUeve 
^^ that those, who send virtuous* Irishmei) and 
'^ Scotchmen, fettered with felons :to Botany Blty> do 
^^ not meditate, and will not attempt to flet«e the first 
'^ moment, to send us after thecb ? or, if we had 
" not just Cause to Apprehend, the same inhuiDfan 
" treatment, if, instead of the most imminent dan- 
*^ ger, we were. in perfect safety from it, should we 
^* not disdain to enjoy any liberty or privilege what- 
/^ ever in which our honest Irish aod Scotch bfMlireA 
^^ did not equally and fully partieip^te withn^? 
V Their cause then, and ours, is the same, and.itiis 
*^ both our duty and our interest to stand or &U to« 

Gentlemen, recollect the escpressions that I raid 

' THfi tRl AL OF "T4I0MAS ftAUDT. 46f 

to you from Skirving's tettel- : *' will you wkit till 
'* barracks are erected in every village, and* till sabi 
** siflized Hessians and Hanoverians are upon us ?^ 
You will now see fronr the prbceedings I attv^ stating; 
to you, that the time was come, that they wfere'^ot 
only virfnmts biit coureigeous enough to do an act, 
which in ir92 and J 793, though they were virtuous 
enough to do, they were not courageous enough ta 

* " You niay ask perhaps,' by what noeans shall we 
^* feeek redress ? We answer, that men in a state of 
f^ civilized society, are bound to seek, redress of the 
J^* grievances from the laws, as long as any redresi 
*' can be obtained by the laws; but our cotnnDotl 
" Master, whom we serve (whose law is a law of 
*^ liberty, and whose service is perfect freedom), hai 
'^taught us not to expect to gather grapes from 
*' thorns, or figs from thistles : we must have redress 
** Jrom our own laws. '''^Were they to be a Convention 
of the People, then, without making laws ? They ap- 
prove the whole conduct of the British Convention, 
that would not let others make laws, and yet were 
they not to make laws ? 

^* We must have redress Jrom our own law's/* and 
not from other laws ; — the laws of Great Britain -ar* 
thus described^ — *^ the laws ofourplundererj, enemies', 
•** and oppressors .•" indeed, if the Legislature of theft- 
country .were their plunderers, enemiei, and opprest 
sors, in. their notions, it would be very difficult tb 
Huppdse, thit they were to' have- redresS^J^om'thfe 

289 • TUB AttOBNEY 6£K]teAL^8 SPBEefl pvT 

laws of .that Legtdature ; but then it follows, ^ 
course^ that they meant to have redress from laws 
made by some other body^ that had authority to 
make laws; and what that other body is, but the 
Onivention which they determine upon, must be left 
for those to say, who can find it out. They go on 
then. to say> 

^* There is no redress for a nation circumstanced 
*' as we are, but in a fair, free, and full reprcsenta- 
" tion of the people." — Now, here again I ask, what 
is that fair, full, and free representation of the 
people, not mentioned to be in Parliament } but if it 
was^ it would be precisely the same phrase as occurred 
at the time of the Commonwealth. But they take 
upon tl^m. to approve of the British Convention, and 
to Mnite the two nations of J^ngland and Scotland, to 
be, a Britiish Conventipn formed, by .delegates from 
the .different societies in this country, and professing 
to act as a Con!vention of the People ; I say, that it 
is'ihfit species of Convention, which, in their opinion, 
was ^fdir; free, and full representation qf tlie people^ 
in which, and which alone, they hoped for that rer 
dress, which they could not hope for from the Parr 
liaqient of Great Britain, those, who were their 
pluudererj, their enemies, and oppressors ? Could 
it b§ possible for them to suppose, . that they could 
make Parliament the williiig or unwilling organ of 
bringing. about this representation of the people ^tp 
subsist by ^nnual suffrage and universal r^present^^ . 
^D ? Coul4: it have enjbered into their imagination 


Unit thcMy \Mhomthey daU their plendiirers, enemies^ 
and oppressors, would €ver beoomef the vdutttary or 
inn^untary instrameni of doin^that which was the 
object of all these todieties, from Miarch 179!, tilKthey 
wpre cbedked in' the execution of their purposes ? 

Hiin follows a resolution that will require likewise 
your very particular attention: ^^ Resolved, That du- 
*f rii^ the ensuing ses^on of Parliament the General 
" Committee of this Society do meet daily ^ for the pur- 
*f pose, of watering the proceedings of the Parliament 
'^ and of the: administration of the government of 
" this country." This was to be published : they do 
not theicfore venture to insert toHdeM verbis that re* 
solution, which I have: stated to yon was so sotemnly 
made, and so sacredly sworn to in the Scotch Cbn- 
vention, but they resolve—** that upon the first in* 
" troduction of any bill or motion inimical to the 
*^ liberties of the people, such as for landing foreign 
*^ troops in Great Britain or Ireland^ for suspending 
** the Habeas Corpus Act, for proclaiming martial 
'* law, or for preventing the people from meeting in 
** societies for constitutional mfofmition'* — ^What 
the meaning of the term constitutional is, \ve can 
judge by this time — that upon any express motion of 
this nature, *' or any otlier innovation of a similar 
** nature ; that on any of thfese emergencies the Ge- 
*f nerd Committee shall issue summonses to the de* 
** legates of each division, and also to the secretaries 
*^ of; the difi^reilt societies affiliated, and correspond* 
^^ ing with this Socie^, foithwidr to^O a General 

Vol. m. ^ V 

0^ TH£n;ArT70p^l(T' fkSNBEALla SPEECH ON 

^^ Qmvention^qf4kt.}P^<^Phf to be held at soeh plaoei 
f/ and ia such ft Qiaqner, as sbaU be specified in the 
?f summons, for th^ purpose of teking such measures 
!f into their considtrafeioM/' . They omit the case of 
invasion in this publication t But what is this, sup- 
posing nothing had paased in Scotland of what I have 
stated to you ? What ! Is the l^islature, is the 
rule and government in this great country reduced td 
this state^ that it shall iipd no protection in the ad- 
ministration of the law of the country against persons^ 
associating: and affiliating themsdves for the purposes 
which.they declare here ? Is no motioa to^ be made' 
in Parliament for any purpose^ which these societies 
choose to comprehend under thei terms '* any other 
'* innovation/' ivithout explaining what it means? 
but what ? but that bodies^of men are to come toge*^ 
ther, claiming to themselves the civdi and political 
authority, which exists in the natural . and fdiysicaV 
cjuaKties of the people^ and then to contend that they 
have got a Convention qfthe People? 

Now, do they convene the people? In fi^ct, it 
will be said, nothing like it. But they call them- 
selves a Convention of the People in the very terms: 
that they use: the summonses are to go to the de- 
legates of each meeting, and also the secretaries of 
the different societies corresponding with this So-' 
ciety, and no where else. For what purpose ? To 
call a , General Convention of the People! Then, 
what is the meaning of all that, taking it with, its 
context ? It is jthis : From your, laws^^the laws of 

^ot3,%ur plunderers, eneiniei,' and oppressors — ^wecan 
exp^ no" relief : we do not me^n to eome to you for 
any r*but we will watch you, and'if you dare to propose 
in intiovation of any sort, we shall call Sifair, f^^9 
mid fall representation of the people. Composed, 
pray how ? ®y delegates from our societies, to seek, 
ds a General Contention of the people, redress from 
9Ur own laws. It appears to me that the reasoning 
up6n this paper is so whole ahd entire, that it is 
out of* the power of human ingenuity to touch it. 
• Then i they r*solVe; ** That a hundred thousand 
** copies of'ttre Address to the people of Great Britain 
** attd^ Ireland shall be printed.** Then they follow 
this up with the publication of a grestt many toasts; 
and i^lly,^ whto one mentions such a thing ^s toasts 
in the trial of a grriat national cause, sUch as this 
undoubtedly is, one is afraid of its sinking into insig- 
nificance; and y^t this is b great feature in this cause. 
You will find that, previously to one of the most 
seditious meetings which was ever held in this 
comitry, it was thought of importance enough 
that they should meet once, twice, or thrice, in 
committees, in order to frame toasts, whi^h were 
best calculated to inflame their minds, and to urge 
those forward, who were already engaged in these 
projecftfr— ^< The Rights of Man;"—" The British 
*^ Convention ;"^-^ — ^^'^ Success to the arms of Free- 
ly dom, against' whbhispever directed," This is du- 
ring th^ war-^— against whom were the arras of Free- 
dom direfted, in the opinion of these persons ? You 

u 2 


remember they said that " the Elector of Hanover 
^^ may join his troops to traitors and robbers ; but the 
<^ King of Great Britain will do well to remember 
'^ that this country is not Hanover : should he forget 
•^ the distinction, we will not.** They corresponded 
with the French in October; and in November 
17Q2, they state to you that the principles of their 
resolutions are those upon which they meant to act^ 
•—-that Great Britain was now engaged in a war—- 
which they condemned — in which the arms of free- 
dom^ as they said^ had never been engaged on the 
part of Great Britain. Then the meting of the 
toast is obvious. Another toast wa$-*-'^ The virtuous 
^' and spirited Citizens now in confinement for mat* 
^^ ters of opinion.'* Now, these matters of opinion 
are acts all done in the long tissue md detail of a 
conspiracy to subvert the monarchical government 
of this country, under its present l^ga), provisions and 

The name of Mr. Frost being mentioned — I mean 
him no disrespect in saying this— -but it is to the 
purpose of this business to take notice of it — that 
gentleman was prosecuted in thi]s country for this, 
doctrine—^* No King, none in England, I am for 
" liberty and cqu^ity every where.** What was( the 
consequence of that? The judgment of the law 
of England upon him wns^ that he was guilty of .an* 
offence: he was punished: he has suffered that 
punishment, and made an atonement to (he law: 
but these gentlemen^ who sent Mr. Fh>st, with Mrii> 

THE tMaL OF THOkAS HAkDt. 293 

BarlQW, to state such doctrirife^^tb France^ and bring 
such doctrine back from Prariee, you find that 
they have a formal tesolutioriffiat they wll sustain 
this Mr. Frost in ^H his persecutions and, prose- 
cutions. Does that mean nothing ? If Mr. Frost is 
persecuted for holdirtg doctrines in the country,' 
which were to put the King out of the systerfi, is it 
no evidence of intention withrespect to those, who 
^g2^gW in such projects, as I have mentioned, that 
they do comtB to a resolution, in which they declare 
that, the law, questioning the propriety of declarations 
of that kind, amounts to a persecution, slnd that he 
ought to be sustained against it? ' 

Gentlemen^ you will hear from wxthesse^^ who 
were present, what the proceedings on thfe 20th df 
January, and the general complex idh and nature of 
them were. Mr« Martin b^ng in the chsJr, and 
Mr. Hardy being present. Who was a member of 
both these societies, an attending roemAier in both of 
them, I win give you Martih's account of the pro- 
ceeding on the 22d of January 1704^ in a letter in 
his own hand-writing, sent to Maurice Margarot, at 
Edinburgh, who had advised,' yoii M^ill recollect, the 
London Corresponding Society to come to some 
strong resolutions-^who had urged that now is the 
ttme^ that two months in Scotland would do the husi^ 
ness^ provided they did their duty in England. 

*^ My dear Str^ I dare say yoii think I have forgot 
" you from rty hdt having written to you, but you 
^ know my sentiments so well tibait it was unneces* 

» S 




%'$9xy foT; mey and 4vould probably bavo been im^ 
7;.pj:oper to say muchtjin the^suJbje.qt of ypur nji?- 
**-jsio»''--:*tben- he -states something about private 
business.'.^-- .' - 

^' Wc hfid z reecting on J^ooday, I-yas in the. 
*'chair7-the newspaip^ gives, our mimbenB at 500,^ 
*^ but. we* were* nearer I500i ^every, thing was well 
V CQndaatefi,.-t^t;,is,.tp say.4:?^iarly, an4,t)?^.pro- 
*/ q9ediijgs..vferie;tolerabJy bold}. • Mr, Hi^r^y,' I. dare, 
V -say,: vh^s sept yp^ 3^; copy of the; ^d4/43sjj^^o^ resglu- 

^^^Yqur..gopdj?f^,T^^vgs.. uui^^^^ appro^ajtJon ; 
and though I at cone tivie f|r?ade4, the ^wafit of 
*/. tTG^on^j^ ypt .^h^t ,j?; n<j)w;ip\T9r \ t|:)0se, ,wJtio c^ppsed 

" ,^ ith?;ivir^ -bs^P/Oyf fi4^qir,px^^ ^d swear bx 

^vl^^m^^l^m?^^^ 5i5ja^pf!|,: 

iPn «9Rfi l«ifift«W^;finAj^^':?^]^^.P^r|^^ of a^ 
'I Wtw#Pt^fef.^4/i .^f}^flta?cf^^ll'f et.plfnty. of 
*ii;thfttiji^^fH| fi^fi^a^.^dlpt^e^^^puppfyies, .^^^^^ 

"{fifiW)iRr^^i!to«^Y/i^ ^t'^W'/ 5)»f^Midp t^,S.09tcb 

*^ legal knowlf^ge^.pf. my ,(^^ ,1 fir^^, be- 

" }i^Ve.,thgtt, t5j[jie l^^.^thc oply . sc^enfjei^ ^^jivhjch 
" theyjs09>v,n9tb?ng,,i.^ ;, ^ ^ j^ ,.^,j^ i .ji •^vtq ,•,.; 
. ^^'..^J'hp/^l^ifig* .^^t,y/est?rd^^^^ iB^^^Jw^yftrlia- 
'f- J39e»,i,:Waft po)y iY;e,bi^ye gp^jpp l^arl^fpent fjfpi^s, 
the, pefti#^9C,t^|s jfwq^rjrT^:' te-M .^j^ f ft <!?'slHpJ^ 

^ (his idoraiog : thnr papdrd »e not otit j bfit I 'am 
'^ told wly twelve ;|iiiBiiAj0n5 iri^e'^lbr peSaeef : Fam 
^^. glad the MtniateP^lias'HK) gr^t a niajc^ity within 
<* d&ov$ ^forthc, war; tad^ttait the pebJJe Sair^-'iJ 
^ greatjer majority wididMnddoiiB agaiitst thl6 v^^^ 
*'^. the swinish Togoesiia^theiinpttdeitidb fbWtte '-Nd 
^^ war* 6a all the doorsaiid cornet^ >of. f to HodMk^ 
<^ Lends and Commons^^and they-blkl ar^tv ^Cfttt'afi^ 
^' dacity^ to grdan add^hiss^ while his nldtt ^iit¥68 
iMVIiyesty was parsing tcr and from iheHaM^^Htii^} 
^f I am^iold^ awoiDaa; moved and ^da^ed by*th^ 
' ^^ idstigatioii.iof;tfae.deYil, and tmitorqiisly lutMdyAj^ 
^f £«;. did i^'St; James's Bark take.0fl? h«r>|)«|ftti;i 
^^ aodthcfsw it with all her force ali His M^fi/eky^' 
^^.whcffcfey the iglass of the state cAa^hf \v&s Wok^vi^^ 
^' and His Majesty puUn fear : God siave" the Kkng'/ 
« fcKiif>:&0.i*-«8>GeraU«ays"----thtef^ h«^l«v^s it. *^^ 

»fftTh«iSoaif^ 101 increasing rapidly^ both in spirit 
^^iandin tnU^ihe^s^^iaA(i the rich)how begin taeom4^ 
^f aknoKigi|»,/4UKlftor)Bit^ down ^with'-pleajiure ^dtttor^ 
^^jtbe.iiaiiesl:imte.witbith«^reathern%pons; ^ ^^I"^ 

.:<{ I ccmtd virite^to: yen istimigeithinga/ bull knott^ 
^inot .bttt tfeia!M^:be: rc^' by totaebidf before H^ 

Gentlemen, after this had passed^ y&U'^^l fkH 
thft '^bt l^ttev:.\^as.tynifiet»[l)y the €oi^e0jpo]fkdfng 
So^iofey tojthe SooieljiiibrCdnatitutioiial Information/ 
whidi I 'iir§ti mentiohcid ta^yott' npoii <he:^7tb of 
March i ^4| apd now»> mih your leftTQ ^1 wiil rtad 
*jpirtofra^tO'yauagritoil'>»;^/ cj:^!:.!^^,*':" in.^ lu^ati '* 


!^ TK9; (^TJMRiver AtinAAxJs «raeR on 

, '/ ( ^Qijdjfect^diby idle Lt^on Corcespondttig So- 
^Vcif ty to tr^nmU.the^fidlkMidiig resolatr6iM io lAife 
^,^$qQ|6tyfor CoQ^itotiiMialltifor^ i Should 

(?ilyj9P firsts ^a Hbe oitder ttf Vme, thattthedociety 
forpop^titutiiQtn^ IsifornMlkai dUtiiiottyadc^t that 
p^er of ,|he^ .LaodooiCotmafxiiiding' Sck^i^^ the' 
9Qtji,i^;|^iUit«rjS i?^, as their .OM/in^-ind order it to' 
bfil -e^jlj^rt^v i^pC^n th^ir book»; they approve of ihef 
f;i$^i^ §^n^fpi^&. otf it, and they </iiUy take it to' 
tl)iQin3elj^e8j;todU j;i!itent8 and! purposes, as if it had 
1a^9f|o a (}QpjuDpt meeting of tbeifi both. Thcn^ the 
li^^i^^Corffispoading Society baviiig hdd this Ian- * 
gM0l<f^4p0^tiiig the CdOTentioQ, and upon lhe%4th 
oCjb^^i^^ Gonatitutiooal Society having hdopt^ 
tl^^prPJeQt.of.a.CQnvcintioii stated iu tUe ^Miess of 
th^«jtp^4pi^jCpitre$poQdihgiSotuqty;ef^^^^ aotti^ iind 
the jH^tur^^ : o^ : that i Convei^ion • te(iig*a .Cdnjiemidn' 
frAIQi th^i^^jatedsooiettes, to takft p^Mai-tfaatb&ekes 
ti^f;)^^ffiqt4iVy0(.0 Gonventidti (^tthe Btkplei} ftiwou|d 
l^iSMpri^og^/indodd if theiCdnvenlim, ^hleb tbey" 
sp^k. o{ oj^iti^&l^y^^oiMaaich, sfaonldibetfliOirMren- 
tlfHAi^fl ^^r^nt: inatnze'from; thkt wfeieH' they had 
l}9th:aj|T($ed!J» vm;^hef OOth and^Mth <€ JMiu^ry^ 
and with that observation I bodae agafn^tqoibia iRtef 

^ .^.^ I an^^dice^tedibx thedEindoo CoR3^ipbii4t% So» 
Vc^Qty.ito tiatimiU tbeafi^Mowialr fes6hiiikm3 tlotiie 
']^ SpciejLy-:fpr G$ip$titotjooiil 'infbrumtjoni and to re* 
t^»<m^$Mhe ^ffHim^enlf dSth^t Society rebpeding the 
^^ important measures which(llh§ -present juilotarttiol 

riiis Vaiai. 6p THOMAS rabdt.' - * * ^f 

«^ ^^kits ^seefMB! lo^ require; • The Lohdoli 'Otfrrew 
^^K^riding'Soeiefty conceiires xthat the moment isar* 
^' ri^ee^-^ihMhghotit the ye^s 17^, 1 702, and 
1798-, they ftoaght ft was not aitft'ed— ** tv*f*n i 
^ ftiU aild explicit debtaration is nec^sary from all the 
5« friends of freedbm—^bether tlK lite' iWegkl and 
^* unhesrd^f prosecotions and sehtences shall dfeter- 
V tntne us tQ dbatidtfft ioQ»<i::abse; 6f lihalt dxcite u§ 
** to pttt'Sttea-mditial rieftH^rii, vvith *fl ardonr proporl^ 
^ liibned'to the'ndfifgnrtuSebf'tbe b^ect,' aiM iiritbii 
*^ keal us dktingAiShid on toflf parts; as *the tt'^dt^ery 
* df <Afcers-Tn the itEime 'gldrioiB ca»se'is notdricki^.' 
" Hie Soei»y Tof Cbnstitiftfenal InfortArtSbfl itf 
«< tiiemfore *-eqmred*to determine Whether op tio thej^ 
'' will be ready^ when called updn^ to act in con* 
'^ jbttctidn w(th this 'ted tttK^t* societieis, to dbtain a 
^finr'Tepresmtfttiofi df the p6ople» whetiier thef 
'' toiH^ with lis tn se^ih^ the ntoessity olf a speed/ 
^ CibnViktion fyi^ thti pdl^osd of obtaining, in a con^ 
^*^titta<$ori6l and' legal method, a redress of thoaef 
^^ gnevandlid nmler which we at present kboiir/* ^ - 
!Now, to th* 'first places' witti'respect to the words 
^^kronstitbtioilal'atod 1<^I inethod,*^ these perscms 
havnf ilbt much to claim upon the score of the effect and 
force of flie words ^' oomitiutienal and legcU fftethod,- 
w4iieh appear^ through all* their transactions df the 
y«nW 1702' and 1793^ and irtore particularly thfough 
thetratosaetSohs of 179», -^ they apply lothfe British 
Convention^ in Scotland, td be thought cohsistent 
^th the esfttencerof ^ Cdilif bhtton of soch a charac^ 

ter 9f tb«t had i and, if jt :Wd& th^r pwpo«eM;h«ve 
a Copyi^atipa of ^.tjie ^peopJ^jM^y ^i^mi^^nswi tp.^w 
K^ted^ -soeiptiep^ -that Copv^Dlioiii tp t«)(4'upo«> .iU^K 
^^ipdwerx)f»jhe peoptei it ji^ ip v^fQ,tb«|t[ thpyr tajk pf 
kgal a]:^4pon^tit|^ipi3piI nii^t^iodyi ;^;it i^Ja^aiihi, if l^e 
tbii>g. ^hey m^ap to d9> aod, th^.fn6o«ftr pf doing it, 
is not :lfigaLpJ,5«n$ti|i|tiQi»plrrypAi^ tbi4 Mter, I 
»ppreheo4, sflftV) wh%fc h*5 .p«ft*fJ*jjUi^ x:an bf^:n% 
doubt wbftt :i?. iiwant by ajC^^vWiJOP :»but it is no^ 
left tber^fc for in the IbiMffi^AtlM^ J*py.9Ute^ «ha^ 
<^ theiifc pugbt 'imnp^t^jfo Cgntmfi^ <if.ihe 
*^ P^^^.by .ddegates7--iiWrt *bp Wr<}fi— '' 4«p^)i*e* 
<^: for thatifij^rpps^ froin 4he ^ei^j)t «Qpi€;(ies qf the 
<^ frieiid^'i)^ /reedpmy sssei^^blsjilW.thfcvariPHft p>rt» 
^V'Of tbisnation.V;, ., ; ;,., n.^ . ^^b^i-i -o ^.^ - 
; ThpH;. b§ % Cony^BtibB^f ;ih!i} $fM^ ^i^^ptf ly 
of the «atBp'wim§^ and the:6al9e|^9^H4^0^TaSl|ba(^ 
mentionedin thejr^sqlptipn of U*B^t4},/?fi^qary 
1794,i f^ow, t?«:whpmJ^tbiaprqpQfp4^i)4tiftfP 
ppsi^ tQ .that ConstitPtipRal Spci|st|f» diy^bM 
adopted thiB «4dres$ of ,tJie,{Jp^ijJ5,^aRjij}fy,l7jp/ 
and whicb (biad also ^fddy b^.^rpvfpg.fhfA a^klr^ss, 
that tbey vi^e of oph;upp fbat riidnesf,^^^ jK>t tp be 
obtained by the Iaw3 of England^ but7t^j^,t|heyiWfre 
to have redress agaioat their oppresspr^ y^jundereiT^ 
aad^nemies^ by their own laws — ^by;thaj|;^i:t p^jil?* 
presenMim of the peoph^ which is foripedby-s^ QpQ? 
yentipn<of the People^ gammoned froiQ. those s^BSf^ 
ciated societies. Then what foUowa upon it,?rr^ 
though the thing is couched in phrases ^that ar^^ 

uestLyi ¥gii 4c>pb$#>ie,H^ei^ing J it id^.thaljtf^i^ 

|))e .people, w^ii^he f owff <^ tlj© -peopj^, < having aB 
c.ivil arid pxilitiaql-attfharity,:^ -^^ Prisoner i»,.siiffif 
ci^% involved akeady^ if ;$U€h: ^'fCommfiitmsm^ 
^a4:»>W Aowgl^ of ; b[u^:t|ierf;.ibe two-'Sodefeet 
^Fp?i"i% ^mgiittf&of CapfeqfPBd^rK^g^aHd Co^fQp^iV 
tipfffgk? tte?^ pqr-pose of > bringiRg tegejther tbajt G0a-i 
v^ntipn^ivybiph theyJiadjsaid.-wis^lhei^Hly.fifi^ftn, bj? 
which Britons cOulcl enjoy their liberties, or pi:o|^| 
(hftms^lyes: a|^n^4}he legitifii^e g^w»f««©t,of3he 
pcM^ntry:^ idt^uding in^^ tJiekvpluwiei^^fe ^i¥^i^ei(^ 
W.^joppreBspF8w ♦^ ; :, .'..V i i^^ir-^ V-, ?-^ .•"J^^T;- r't 
' .Crefitlemwi when, l %/ tbi^ if \fideft)jce before yo^ 
if.lstpppfti here, I shQvlilh^ g!!*d: |o learn.wbjf Ib^ 
is ^ba^tep lakeni^K! the e^ec^ition of mothiS^ purj>p$d 
4^ }l'bi&vie. beferiBf ^tate<V-^ *tep tah^n for (COrtstitatic® 
ai.lpdjr, or ar 9tepitakdq toii^arda de¥isi»g the ii}eapi| 
Qf TiHWtitutingia bbdy, whfch •^i^s, like the. Coniy^i-r 
tiwr miewt Jwed in; tb^ ^pwob off :6<irr^ie, ^p sjaper^de 
the LegjislatMBB,' vtod^jps^ ttbeJ^ing, ,fcqfii#^,Wm to 
havej.nd 4y^^nQ^ ^but : »^h%t .tfetei?! good , ^iil- and 
pleasiuyer^Q^itd 5fcj^o>v|}himji,^gain§t Jh^ .yvill, aa-tbei 
la»fU«Sgfi Qfit^ I«^iK^lP«©t;S^te^ it^ andin.d^fiaiiOEl 
of $h«^*^ority9C*he,Bai:liapni^9l<Rr-tp defose the K,iHg 
T-*5f<i*x^'if these people .have: the sQv^eign power^ «nd 
^y.iwst havie the sovereign; power upoq, their ovm 
prjncipki§-r**the.{Cingrpf .Englat>d c^nnqt havj^it ijA 

9d$ Tin AVTOtKtt lISMHAft'* SPBVOtI OM 

, was bdund to r^iftt such 9 t>rojfedt9s this : he oivikI H 
to every ^ood subject iti bis country to resist it — ^he 
was sworn to do it by the soleniin obligatidd of his 
coronation oath-T-y<i>a eannot theitefore contemplate 
a case of his acting otherwis6~the King^ being 
^nnd to resistance for the security of the teulgect, 
«nd for the sbke 6f obsei^ving his bAth, for'the'sak^ 
of ^titin^ihg to reign aceording to the term^l 6f that 
oath, according to the statutes agreed upori m Par* 
]iam&nt assembled) and the laws and custdoMof the 

Birt, Oentlenwtt, I do not stop here : ybti Witt 
find ialso that there! w»as« Meeting at'dhalk.Fttrhi, 
the particulars of which I will not stale further than 
to tfey, that, w4ien they are i^ad, you will see* that 
that meeting at Chalk Farm wiss i step iaken ih tlh^ 
further prosecution of the functions of that CMi- 
mittee of Co-(^)eralion-^that it was a medstire ti^ken 
for the express purpose of trying the tempier ot the 
people, of seeing what they could do by humbers. 
That meeting was held in April 1794, and It is very 
remarkable that it appears there were meetings in 
other parts of this kingdom; more partioukrly it ap* 
pears from a letter, found in the possession of this 
prisoner, that, as there was a meeting in the open 
Air at Chalk F^rm, so there were meetings elsewhere 
—it required Tigitance-*it required the interpoAtion 
AT some strong hand, by Fiarliament or otherwise, to 
^seilre yon in the situation in which you now are t 
if k be the will of tihese penons that yod shall not 

raBaio in it> it is at least the doty of thoAe; vvfaoam 
to watch over ithe country As lofig as it can axtst^that 
it ^hall not be destroyed by any fault of theirs : but 
you will find there were meetings in the open air at 
LeedSj Wakefield, Huddersfield, Bradford) Birstal, 
and at various other places. This project of a Con« 
vention had been communicated to many parts of the 
country, and too many of them had assented to it ; 
not only assented to it, but it will be proved; that 
the Prisoner sent a circular letter to the remotest parts 
of this kingdom (which I will now read), for the 
purpose of assembling this Convention^ for the pur^ 
pose of carrying into effect the project of this British 
Convention, the body of which had been di^sipatedy 
but which was still carrying on its purposes by mea- 
sures precisely the same as those. which had existed 
in this part of the island. 

You will find that the Prisoner writes this circular 
letter to all those societies ; and the addressing this cir« 
cular letter to all the societies, shows that the Con- 
vention that was to be called was not to be a Con« 
vention of the people at large, b^t a ConventioQ of 
delegates summoned from these societies^ to usurp 
the character of ** a Convention of the People.'' — 
*' The critical moment is arrived" — mark the differ- 
ence of language ; in J 793 the time is riot ifet come/ 
men are not virtuous nor courageous enough ; in 1 79*^9 
they expected nothing from Parliament; in 17Q3, 
they expected every thing from the societies in due time^ 
and noyf they they assert that the due time is come. 

S02 THS A;r^0ftl^t#&KtflUC»V§1*EBeif OK 

ihatihsJukMs ttf tifke'is'cbfhe''^' the critical mo- 
1f meirt is arrit^, fttvfl Britbne must ekhdr assert 
1* with zeal and firmii^ss theh' claims to liberty, or 
•* yield without resistance 'to the chains that mini- 
** sterial usurpatidn is forging for them. Will you 
** co-operate with us in the only peaceable measin-e** 
-^a very peaceable measure a Convention of this 
sort !— ** that now presents itself with any prospect 
^ of success? ' We need not intimate to yoii, that, 
^* notwithstanding the unparalleled audacity of a cor- 
*^ rupt and overbearing faction"~now this corrupfr 
artd overbearing faction is the King, Lords, - and 
Comnwns of Great Britain — ^ which at present 
*/ tramples on the rights and libertiesof the people r 
*^ our meetings cannot in England be interrupted 
** without the previous adoption of a Conveilticm 
" bill." A Convention bill ! — this shows the reason 
for their resolutions in Scotland about permanent 
sittings, and the meeting of another British Conven- 
tion, and for their language, which they held upon the 
20th of January 1794 ; " a measure it is our duty to 
** anticipate"— ^mark these words — ** our duty to ah- 
'\ ticipate, that the ties of union may be more firmly 
*^ drawn, and the sentiments and views of the differ-' 
^^ ent societies throughout the nation be compared" — 
What was their object in this circular letter ? If, 
when the British Convention in Edinburgh sat, there 
had been a motion for a Convention bill in the Par-^ 
li^ment of Great Britain, why, their object was then^ 
we perceive, that of being ready at aq hour's warning;' 

* TRl^ • I'RtAL or ' TOOMiCS ItARDT* t 803 

coitiflitinicatingJn'dH' parts 'of the-iingdomto thei# 
delegates that solemn resolation^ which had been 
made in the British Convention upon the 6th of 
November; they were instantly, before the project of 
SQch a bill coald in I^liamont ripen oat of notice of 
amotion into a hill once read, to be assembled in 
Edinburgh to prevent any such bill passing; thoy 
solemnly vowed to each other, hand in hand, and 
standing up, to give the greater solemnity to the de« 
cTaration, '* that the moment such a bill as that 
^^ was introduced into Parliament, tiiey would resist 
** it at the ba^rd of their lives." Then what did 
they mean' in this circular letter ? tiiey meant that^ 
while as yet the bare expectation of a Convention 
bill might exist, while, as yet, no notice of such a 
motion was given or heard of in Parliament— that it 
was their duty to anticipate what Parliament might 
po6$ibly think of. How to anticipate it ?~-to antici^ 
pate it by means of a Convention assuming the oha-' 
racter of a British Convention of the People, but 
delegated, from these societies, to sit not at Edin- 
burgh, but to sit at a place, as you will find, which 
they durst not name, and for the purpose of conduct- 
ing this project with more security, as you find by 
this lett^, to sit at a place that was to be kept 
secret, in order that the purpose might not be disap- 
pointed. *^ A measure," they proceed, speaking of a 
Convention bill, " it is our duty to anticipate, that 
** the ties of union may be more firmly drawn, and 
'^ the sentiments and views of the dif&rent societies. 

804 THE ATtOnt&Y «B19«iAl4?S arBtCH ON 

^^ throoghout the nation be compared, while it is 
^ yet in our power, so as to guide and direct the 
^^ future operations of the frienda of freedoni. Rouse 
^^ then to one exertion more, and let us show oulr 
*< consciousness of this important truth ; if we arte to 
^^ he heaten down with threats, prosecutions^ and 
*• illegal sentences, we are unworthy, we are inca* 
'^ pable of liberty ; wjs mtistf kmvever, be expeditious ; 
^* Il^sians and Austrians*' — here is the idea that 
came from Scotland again — ^^ are already among m, 
*^ and if we tamely submit, a doud of these armed 
^< barbarians may shortly be poured in upon us/* 
> Hie introduction of sick men into this country for 
the humane puq)ose of giving them thatair, which they 
could not obtain while on board a ship, is made the 
pretext of this letter for stating that ^^ Hessians and 
*> Austrians are already among us, and, if we tamely 
^^ submit, a cloud of these armed barbarians may be 
^^ poured in upon us. Let tts form then another 
*• British Convention.^' What was that Convention? 
they expressly state it to be a Convention of the people, 
and a Convention, which 13 to assume controlling 
powers over the Legislature. " We have a central 
** situation in our view, which we believe would be 
*^ most convenient for the whole island, but which 
*^ we forbear to niention (entreating yoUr confidence 
•* in diis particular) till we have the answer oP*— 
whom ? — ** of the societies^ with which we are in 
** correspondence/' What, is that a Convention' of 
the People ? or of the societies assuming the diarlkc* 


ter of a Cdnventipn of the People? '^ Let us have- 
" your answer then." Now, give me leave to ob-. 
serve, how nearly this project was to being carried 
into effect — *^ Let us have your answer then by the 
'* 20th at farthest, earlier, if possible, whether you 
" approve of the measure, and how many delegates 
^^ you can send, with the number also, if possible, 
*^ of your societies." 

Gentlemen, this will be proved to you to have 
travelled as far as Strathaven, to have been received 
there, and delegates to have been appointed in. con- 
sequence of the solicitation ; and then, as in the 
British Convention, in the month of November J 793^ 
this great project of calling together a body, which 
was to put an 'end finally to th^ ^istence of Parlia^ 
ment, was to be conducted by a Secret Committee 5 
because its operations, its assembling, and the means 
which were to be taken for it, could not be com- 
mitted to numbers, a Secret Committee was then 
appointed. This letter ends-pr-^^ for the management 
'^ of this business we have appointed a Secret Com- 
^' mittee:* you will judge how fiir it is necessary for 
*^ you to do the same." 

Gentlemen, the next procecdHigs. were at. Chalk 
Farm. In these proceedings, it appears, they have 
stated to the Society called ^* The Friends of the 
" People," this measure of a Convention; that mea- 
sure the Friends of the People refused to agree in. 
You will find that, refusing to. agree in that measure,' 
at the meting at Chalk PsLttriy when it was stated 

VOL, m^ X 


that the Society of the Friends of the People would 
not agree in it — indeed, agree in it they could not— 
you will find what was the reception^ which the 
communication of that information met with — ^aa 
^universal groan from a large body, of men, amount- 
ing, I believe, to a couple of thousand there as- 

Gentlemen, this Committee of Correspondence 
and Co-operation, you will find, met ; you will find 
that there is in the hand- writing of the Prisoner, in 
a very short note, an account of what was done when 
they. met; that one of the first steps towards the 
accomplishment of their purposes, was a communi«- 
cation of the correspondences of the country societies 
to those who were to be the delegates of the Con- 
stitutional Society ; but the meeting was broke up by 
the apprehension of the Prisoner and others, which 
has led, as I before stated, to this prosecution. 

Gentlemen, I have before told you that I con- 
ceived it was competent for me, as indeed I appre- 
hend without question it is, after proving the conspi- 
racy, to show the conduct of the persons, who were 
parties in that conspiracy, in furtherance of the con-r 
spiracy, when it i3 proved. You will find that one 
of the persons who attended the meeting of the 
20th of January 1794, and who was a very active 
member of t|ie London Corresponding Society, and 
likewise one of the Comnhittee of Correspondence 
and Co-operatioq, \vhicb I have alluded to as the, 
final act of this bu^iness^ gives hi^lse|f this aQ« 


count of the transactions of the 20th of January 1794, 
arid. of other circumstances : this is Mr. Thelwall. 

^^ It is with infinite satisfaction that at last X re- 
" ceived a letter from you ; it was brought this 
*' morning by Citizen Lee, and has been delayed, I 
*^ understand, this fortnight at Rotherhithe by some 
^* accident. 

*^ I am too well acquainted with mankind to be 
^* surprised, too much of a philosopher to be angry 
'^ at the ?ibuse and misrepresentation of mistaken 
:" men ; but I shall endeavour, as I wish to preserve 
** the good opinion of a man whom I remember with 
" e$teem, to send you such printed documents as 
*^ will prove to you, that, instead of having deserted 
" the cause of liberty, I have redoubled my iteal, and 
^^ that there is not at this time in England a man that 
*^ goes bolder lengths, and exposes himself to more 
^^ danger, in the cause of liberty, than myself. I 
/' have been for. four or five months past almost the 
*^ sole labourer upon whom the fatigue, the danger, 
^* and the^Xj^rtipns of the London Corresponding 
"Societies, the only avowed Sans Culottes in the 
** metropolis, have rested ; ^nd have been otherwise 
^* so active in. the cause, as scarcely to have passed a 
" Week without threats and conspiracies from the 
" Government and its purblind adherents. Ever 
** since the famous or infamous, call it which you 
*^ will, proclamation of November 1792, I have be«ti 
#^' frequenting all public meetings where any thing 
.^^ ppuW be done or expected, have been urging and 



^^stimulating high and loiv, and endeavouring to 
** rally and encourage the friends of freedom. I have 
" been constantly sacrificing interest and security, 
** offending every personally advantageous connexion^t 
*' till Ministerialists, Oppositionists, and Moderees, 
" hate me with equa] cordiality, and, if I may judge 
*^ by their conduct, fear me as much as they hate. 

** For these four months, I have been giving po- 
^^ }it}cal lectures and printing, and appropriating the 
^' whole receipts, till the last fortnight, to the sup- 
" port of our delegates to the British Convention ; 
<* for the history of which I must refer you to Gtizen 
^* Talbot, whom I have not seen, but whom I hope 
*^ to see before he leaves England.** 

He then gives an account of the meetings I have 
been stating to, you, and of his lectures : then he 

^* Adieu. I will collect together what political 
<< papers I can, to send to you when I can find leisure. 
*•* Do write to me ; let me know something about 
^^ the state of politics and society in America. I fear 
^* you are somewhat short of the true Sans Culotte 
^' liberty j that you have too much veneration for 
<< property, too much religion, and too much law.** 

<* I fear you t^re somewhat short of the tr4ie Sans 
^^ Culptte liberty," Now, that is, that you have too 
much veneration for property, too muoh religion, and 
too much law. 

Gentlemen, having now gone through the writte1(> 
evic^ence, I am to state to you some othfip circuni^i 


Stances. I have not indeed stated all the written 
evidence, because you will have written evidence 
laid before you of stimulations, under singular pre- 
texts, to these societies, 16 arm themselves. You 
will find, fur instance, that if a debate happened in 
that Parliament) where they meant hereafter to suffer 
no debate, about the Hessians and Hanoverians, 
they circulated among them papers, and it will be 
brought home to those '^ith respect to whom it is 
stated, to thi« e^t— ** The Ins tell us we are in dan- 
.** ger of invasion from the French ; the Outs lell us 
*' that we are in danger from the Hessians and Har 
*^ rioverians : in either case, we should arm ourselves. 
^^ Get arms, and learn how to use them.'* 

You will likewise find, upon this part of the case, 
that^ after the dispersion of the British Convention 
in Edinburgh, after it was seen that the law of this 
country was strong enough to beat down a conspi- 
racy of that kind, acting by their mere naked num- 
bers, that it became then, in their opinion, necessary 
to the acoomplishment of their purpose, to act with 

Now, Gentlemen, where a general conspiracy of 
this sort, among aiEliated societies, existed in Scot- 
land, Sheffield) Norwich, Manchester, and various 
'parts of the kingdom, all aiming at the same end^ all 
' acting.upon the same principle, all involved in the 
same project of having a Convention from the differ- 
ent parts of the united kingdoms, it is natural that 
■ they should think of arihs : Lut, if the conspiracy did 



not exists it would seem a very od4 thing that it 
should happen in fact> that, in these difierent parts 
of the kingdom, in Scotland, in Sheffield, and in 
London, we should find persons preparing arms of a 
sort, and of a denomination, which of late years we 
have not heard of in this country, except as existing in 
Fiance, and except as stated in a fetter from f]rance, 
which I have read to you» 

But, Gentlemen, you will find, from the evidence 
I have to offer, and indeed it is not surprising that 
you should so find — afler I shall tell you, that in the 
pocket of one of the parties in this conspiracy, and 
distributed also in divisions in the London Corre- 
sponding Society, were papers, importing that upon 
the 1st of April 1794, was to be performed, " The 
" Guillotine^ or George's Head in a Basket ;'* papers 
in which the sacred person of the King is so spoken of, 
and in which all orders of men,^umjer ludicrous repre- 
-sentations of them to their country, were doomed to 
lamp-irons, and to suspension ; after I shall tell you, 
that I am instructed that Mr. Thelvvall could, when 
retiring from Chalk Farm, take a pot of porter in his 
band, with a knife take ofF the head, andjsay, " T4ius 
" I would serve all Kings i* if you should find such 
language used, I am. persuaded you will not be sur« 
prised to find pikes in. the hands of these men, and 
their associates — to .find muskets ih the hands of 
these men and their associates. I>o not. Gentlemen, 
let us be misled by the great doctrine of the Bill of 
Rights, that every man has a ri^ht to arms for his 

rtHfi "TRIAL OP THOl^tAS HARBr. 311 

own protection — ^he has without question a right to 
convenient arms for his own defence ; but the point 
before a Jury will be, for what purpose had he the 
arms :? If he attempts to say, that he had them for 
his own defence-— if he had them in fact for a worse 
purpose, the attempt to colour the fact makes the 
fact more criminaL 

Gentlemen of the Jury, you will fmA that Mr* 
Yorke, in the month of November 1793, will be 
proved to have been at one of the divisions of the 
tjondon Corresponding Society, stating, that he vvas 
going among the sons liberty into Belgium,' to bring 
into this country the true friends of liberty* Yoa 
will find that he was a member of the London Cor«- 
responding Society, and constituted a delegate of thfe 
Constitutional Society to Scotland ; that he has been 
propagating at Sheffield the same doctrine, as his 
brother associates were propagating in London ; that 
he was there directing the form in which' pikes 
should be made, to persons who wre to make such 
instruments ; that the persons at Sh^fffeld'entfer into 
a Correspondence with the Prisoner at ihe bar ; that 
they inform him that these pikes are niade.; that hfe 
delivers the direction to persons of the Corresponding 
Society, in order that they may furnish themselves 
with these instruments ; and that they were to be 
furnished from Sheffield to a place here, I think, thfe 
Parrot, in Green Arbour Alley, or some other place 
in this town; and that, if the apprehension ef^a^e 
persons her^ and at Sheffield^ had not put an end 



to the further eKecution of the project, there .would 
have be^n a iarge imt}ortation of these pities jnta 
this part of the kingdom. 

Geritlemefij you will find that this idea' of arms 
was carried further ; you will find that, for the use 
of this Society, a plate with figures, showing the man- 
ner of learning the military exercise, was engraved by 
a Mr. Worship, a member of this Society. You will 
fihd that there was a military Society in Lambeth, 
and another in Turnstile, Holborn ; they were small 
in their beginnings, I admit ; but these things must 
be so in their beginnings ; and you will find, that the 
Pritoner at the bar gave to a witness of live name of 
Edwards, a direction of whom to obtain pokes' at 
Sheffield. Mr* Willi^m^, another witness, who will 
be called to you, who is a gun-engraver in the Tower, 
ihSde muskets for the use of these societies in Lam- 
beth, and in Turnstile, with an express protest that 
he should not be employed, unless he himself 
became a member of the societies. You will find 
•accordingly that he did becon^e a member of them. 
-V6u will find that they driJIed at particular pkice^. 
-GetltWrnejl, I give you this outline of this piirt of 
the? evidewe, because I do not wish to ertter more 
4nt{> the particulars, than to give you a general im«- 
f}fes8ion of the nature of the case which I have to 
lay before you. 

r You will likewise see, what is natural enough to 
Happetk'j \i4)eh you find in the book of the Society for 
jGonstitutional Injformation, that Mr. HortieTooke 


could thiB^ of giving notice^ tl^iat he would moya 
^^ that tw9 books should be opened^ ppie of theiii 
'^^ (bound in black) in which should be entered all 
^' the enormities of those who deserve the censure ; 
*' and in the other, the merits of those who deserve 
^* th,e gr^t^tude of the Society." You will not b« 
surprised, if you should find persons in these afHli* 
ated societies^ of lower descriptions, holding convert 
sations about seizing the most august persons in the 
nation ; if you should hear of their holding conver^ . 
sations about the situation of persons in the House 
of Commons, and the means by which they could 
know their persons. . 

Upon the whole, Gentlen^en.of the Jury, I shall 
now lay the testimony before you, submitting this 
written evidence to you, calling witnesses, above all 

. exception, to a great part of the case ; calling some 
witnesses, whom I now avow to you, you will find^^i^ 
were persons employed by Government to watch over 

jthe proceedings of these Societies, and who therefore 
became informed, in consequence of such employ- 
ment, of some of their transactions ; and Govern- 
ment n'ould have been wanting to itself, and would 
have been wanting to a degree of criminality, which 
no man can describe, if this country had. at this mo- 
ment been in the state in which it would have been^ 
if these pikes had been brought into actual exertion. 

. At Sheffield, indeed, I am, told they had got to 
the length of forming iron instrumepts, which werje 
to disable horse, which they called night- cats, and 


which would immediiitely insert themselves into the 
hoofs of horses* feet. I say, if/ with theise pro- 
jects going on in the country, a Secretary of State, 
or any other person in the executive government, 
had hesitated a moment to procure information, these 
parties might have been iable to put into execution 
the projects they werd meditating, and he would 
have been answerable for it. • ' " 

Gentlemen, it is the great province ot a British 
Jury, and God forbid these Prisoners, should not 
have the benefit of the reflection, that British Juries 
ure able to protect us all — ^are able ta sift the cha- 
racters of witnesses-— to determine what credit is due 
to them — ^listening to tnen of good character without 
iny impression against their evidencie— listening to 
ttiefi, such as I have stated, with a strong impression 
against their evidence ; that impression, however, to 
^be beat down by the concurrent unsuspicious testi- 
mony arising out of the rest of the case, if, upon the 
whole, you should find the case to be made out as I 
have stated it tb: you.^ 

Gentlemen, I forgot to mention to you, that yoQ 
will likewise find, about the time that^ this Gonvein- 
tion was talked of, that there was a new constitution 
framed for the Corresponding Society, in which they 
speak of a royalist as an enemy to the liberties of his 
coimtry— of a democrats, as a friend to the liberties 
of his country ; and yoii will find, that, in a consti- 
tution again revised, the whole was thrown into a 
scheme/ and into a system, which was to add pby- 

sical strength to the purposes of that Convention, 
#hich was^ I sobMik'to you^ to kss^m^ alt €»vil dnd . 
political authority* . • , 

If you find all these thirigs^ aiid, if under the di** 
rectioft'of that ' wisdom that presides here, with 
respect td which, Gtentldmen; let me say again, that 
the sitnition of this ^untry is indeed leduoed to 
a most miserable one, if th6 red|)ect whidhi is -due to 
the administration of the law, is sufRred to be 
weak^ied in any mahner, if the respect wbidi ts<du6 
to the administration of the law, that administrafion, 
which perhaps is the best feature of the constitution 
under which we Hve> is defetroyed, . miserable indeed 
must be tb6 situation of yoar country ! If you -find 
cinder that direction that the case, being proved "in 
fact, is also Inade out in law, you will do that on 
behalf of the public which is due to yourselves, to 
the public, to your posterity, and theirs* 

But on the other hand, if, after hearing this case 
fully stated, and attempted tp be fully proved, you 
should be of opinion that it is not proved, or you 
should be finally of opinion that the offence is not 
made out, according to the hallowed interpretation 
of the statute of Edward III. ; I say, then-, in the 
^conclusion, I join, from my heart, in the prayer 
whi<ih the law makes on behalf of the Prisoner, God 
-send the Prisoner a safe deliverance ! . 


» ' ■• . 

: Before Mr. Erskine*s Speech for the Prisoner^ we 
think it right to introduce a remarkable circumstance 
that attended this Triali namely^ that^ it being im- 
practicable to bring the evidence within the compass 
of the longest possible sittingg it became necessary^ 
from day to day, to adjourn the Court ; and the foI« 
lowing extract from the proceedings will • show to 
Avliat disadvantages, even with the indulgence of the 
Court and Jury, the Prisoners* Counsel were subjected. 
The trial began on Tuesday, the 28th of October^ 
and the Court sat till a late hour on that day. Wed* 
nesday, Thursday, and Friday, assembling at nine 
every morning. It is plain, that not a moments 
time was afforded for considering and arranging the 
various matters to be observed upop in the defence. 
Wheji the Court, therefore, was about to adjourn at 
two in the morning of Saturday (being the fourth 
day of the trial), and the evidence for the Crown be- 
ing about to close, which would have rendered it 
necessary for Mr. Erskine to open the case of the 
Prisoner at nine the same mornings the following 
^dialogue took place : - 

Mr . Erskine. My. Lords, this is the fourth day 
that my friend Mr. Gibbs and myself have stood in 
sa very anxious situation y — there has been a mo^ 
voluminous body of \yritten evidence, all of which, 
)ias not been printed ; — copies of that part which is 
unprinted, have not as yet reached me : — there have 
been two days spent in Tiearing parol evidence ; and 
we (being but two) assigned as Counsel for the Pri- 


fk>ner, have been obliged to be constiintly engaged 
in Court, in cross-examining the witnesses for th6 
Crown ; — and your I^ordships very wefll know, that 
the cross-examination of the witnesses presents an 
important feature of our case on the part of the 
Prisoner, a great deal of which has fallen upon me 5 
— your Lordships must be sensible that it was imi 
possible I could, at the time of cross-examintng sl 
witness, take: any particular note of what he liad 
said.— When the evidence for the Crown was near 
closing, I humbly requested of your Lordships 
the indulgence of ati hour or two to look over the 
papers ;-.^your Lordships were pleased to grant my 
request, which T considered as a personal civility to 
myself; but I was prevented, by extreme sicknesj^ 
from availing myself of those two hours, for I wafc 
indeed so ill, that nothing less than a case of this 
magnitude could have brought v^e into Court.— «- 
Since that time I have not had natural rest, not hav^. 
ing got home till between two and three o'clock in 
the morning, arnl having been here again at nine ; so 
that I ean say with a safe conscience, I have not had 
an opportunity of even casting my eye \ipon any 
part of the evidence, though I trust I have some^ 
thing pf the general result of it in my mind.— I 
should hope, under these circumstances, that the Pri- 
soner might be indulged with some opportunity for 
my friend Mr. Gibbs and myself to. arrange our pa- 
pers; and consider them togetjier as Counsrf for the 
Prisoner, before we are called upon to mak^ qm* de^- 


fence. — If is neceseaiy to do this; not for my address 
to the Jury only, but that, ^vhen I do address them, 
I may fwesent tp tbem prop^-ly the Prisoner's case, 
which depends much upon the arrangement of the 
evidence, — ^I feel myself in no condition to do this, 
either in a manner respectful to the Court, or for 
the safety of the Prisoner. — ^I do not wish to propose 
any particular time, but merely to leave it to the in- 
dulgence and justice of the Court, perfectly sure 
that, when I leave it there, I leave it in a safe place. 

Lard Chief Justice Eyre. I feel the weight of 
your observations ; of the diffiqolty under which you 
bbour, in: an extraordinary c&se, which can hardly be 
jodged of by the common rules on which we proceed 
in cases of this nature ; the Court are of a disposi^ 
tion to give you all the indulgence they possibly can, 
because there is a vast mass of evidence ; the case 
arises out of the evidence, and it is fit the case 
should be thoroughly canvassed. — ^At the same time, 
it is certainly notorious that the great bulk of that 
evidence has been in print a great while, and I can-* 
not believe that it has not been very well considered 
as far as it has been in print, — ^I am sure tliat must 
be understood. 

Now I will tell you very fairly, if the question 
was only the personal accommodation of yourself 
and Mr* Gibbs, at the expense of th^ personal con- 
venience of myself, my Lord, and my brothers, I 
am quite sure we shpuld have no difficulty in the 
sacrifice of our personal convenienpe j-^biiVtherie {%: 


a g;reat deal more in the case^ — we have a Jury who 
have been throwa into the most arduous service that 
ever I saw a Jury engaged in ; they have Ixni^ it in 
a manner that does them infinite honour, and I have 
no doubt but, that, as far as it is necessary that tli^ 
should continue in the situation they are in, they 
will bear it cheerfully. — I have seen such a specimen 
of their behaviour, that I cannot entertain a doubt 
of that ;-^but that we could give you an absolute 
suspension of the business in the situation that we 
are in, upon the terms of keeping the Jury in the 
situatfion in which they must be kept, is a thing ths^ 
it is perfectly impossible fpr us to think of. Now 
this occurs to me, my brothers will consider of it ;-^ 
I merely throw it out for their consideration .*^Yoa 
are men of honour, you will tell us whether yott 
really do mean to call witnesses, or to take the case 
upon the ground upon which it is already made ;--^ 
if you mean to call witnesses, you may call them to* 
morrow ; you may go on with the case as far as it 
will be necessary for you to go dn, to fill up all the 
time that ought to be filled up, leaving only a part 
of Sunday, the common interval of rest, without our 
keeping the Jury in a situation to do nothing. — ^If 
you do not mean to call' witnesses, but mean to leave 
the case with the observations which arise upon the 
evidence that is before the Court, we will go as far as 
we can ;— but if witnesses are to be called, and you 
desire not to address the Jury immediately, you must 
Immediately begin to e5;amine your witnesses, aS- 


so6n as they have dosed on the part of the Crown | 
and fill up the time that will intervene between that 
time and the time when you will be ready to go on 
with your address to the Jury. In that way I think 
we shall put the Jury under no unnecessary hard-^ 
ihSps, because, whether they hear the witnesses before 
or after the speech, is a matter of no importance to 

Mr. Ershine. L should be afraid to take upon my* 
self the experiment of trying a cause, particularly of 
this magnitude, in a manner totally different frcrni 
any that has ever occurred in the annals df this 
country. I should be afraid to begin an experiment 
of that sort, more especially when Counsel in a ca» 
pital case ; because evidence comes with infinitely 
more weight, by which I mean the proper weight 
evidence ought to have, from the bearing of it upon 
the (^se when it is first stated by the Counsel, who 
is to support his cause by it ; much of the effect of 
evidence is lost, and much of it distorted by the 
crods-esLamination of Counsel, until the true bearing 
of it has been explained* I do not propose what 
can be properly termed a su^ension of the trial, or 
which can throw any sort of inconvenience upon the 
Jury, which would, I am sure, give me as much 
pain as any body in the world ;''^but your Lordships 
will recollect that the Attorney General in opening 
his case (I am .sure I think as highly a$ is possible 
of his. ability, (ind of the manner in which ho peiw 
' fprnoed his duty),biU he found it necessary. to spencl 


mtie hours in the opf^ning of hU case^-^the Prisoner 
most unquestionably may expect, an equal time, if it 
were necessary, for bis Counsel to take the 3ame 
course in opening his ;~:9ad if I were thrown upon 
it in the present mometit, not bavmg a aulHcient 
recollection of the great points; of the evidence,: if I 
were put upon speaking to the Jury, at this onoment, 
I must take tteit course of reading at great length, 
great numbers of papfens ;— >vHefe^s, if I bad ihe'pp- 
portumty of a fe^w hoiiu-s mpre, which is th^ nature 
of my application,.^ merely to arrange my pepeis^ and 
to select such a^, in the judgment, of my learned 
friend dnd myself^ we shall think sujSicient for our de^ 
fence, it would save time. — • 

Lord Chief Justice Eyre. I dr^ad the explanation 
of a few hours. Mr. Attorney Geneml, what fur- 
ther evidence have you to produce ? . 

Mr. AHoriwy General. I think my evidence will 
not take up more than forty minutes. 

Mr. Erskine. I do not know whether your Lord- 
ships rnean to sit on Sunday ? 

Lord Chief Justice Byre. I sl^U sit late on Satur** 
day night ; I say nothing of Sunday* 

Mr. Erskine. I am literally at this moment, and 
have been all day yesterday and to-day, so extremely 
unwell, that I do not think if I were called vipon toj 
speak for any length of time, I could possibly sup* 
port it. 

Lord Chief Justice Eyre. 1 can easily think that 
to be the case, and it is a circumstance* I am ex« 

VOL. lu. y 

tremcly sorrjr-for ; an the other hand, I cMtoot Iibk 
l^rd the situstbst of the Jar;* 

Mr. Brsline. I should be wtfj to put tlfe Jurjr t& 
rniy inocmvenittioev-^l db i^ sliriok itctm the- busi* 
fiess, I am ei^tr^tnielj WrlKt^ to enuiare $ny thing, 
but I ass^iite yo»r Lofdcbiptbat my health' ifr«ktreme!y 
Mfiering by it. ' 

: Lcrd ChitfJmU^e Eyre. Wh*t is^it yott ksli for^ 
- M\ JBr^ke, As f 6ta«ed befoi'e^ the Attcirtiejjt 
Cl^Yieral tbund k mo^sdry to consuine nitie hours ; 
*-*! ehall nbt eonstmie half that titoe> — I thiuk at 
feast I shall' not constme half that- tinie^ if t have an 
^porti^nity of doing that whidh I humbly tequest 
of the Courts that is, of arranr^ng tfie materially ki 
imch a mafiner^ that I sbofsl^b^ahte to ntoke only 
thoi;e obe^rvathMs ^hieh oeeur to me to b^ the fit- 
test to be made^ ad Counsel for the Prisoner.. 
• Lord Chief Justice Eyre^ We have offered yon 
an expedient ; neithev^c^ you say to us M^hether yoo 
can 9^ept it. 

Mr. Gibbs. With respeirt to thW expe^ie*t, I hav* 
no doubt to* say that it i& utterly inipbs^ble^ Ibr'Mr, 
Erskine an ^ myselfr \^ the ifitoatioti ih Which we are^ 
lespectiog ourselves^ respecting the Gbnrt, an<i re-. 
looting ttie Public, and the Jury, it Is utterty ittipos-^ 
atble for U6 to ^hink of that^ ^ecause^ ?f any thing 
adverse should happen whetr we h^ve taken -^uch a 
Kne^ the imputation will lie upon us. 
' Lard Chiejf Justice Eyre. That it may nbt be in 
your jodgment a desirable things is Very well ; bai 


that there k jtrty othcf objedion to it, I ^finot 
dgree to. Whether the case is taken upon the dUttir 
ming up of the evidctice, or Whether k is taken «pon 
the opening of the evidence, is as to alt legal pur- 
pose the sahie; I can see no diflference: it Aiay 
Tttalte a vast liifFerence in your jadgment, as to i*hfft 
is the best manner and the best methdrd of layirijg 
*your case before the Jiity ; undotrbtediy vi^'» ar* as- 
^stifrg tb« Prfeaner l)y patting theOounsel iriftisii' 
tuition ^JO do his business in the best, manttti*,' l*y 
proposing it thus ; whereas, if they #ere put dpofc 
doing it in the ordinary eoorse, they ^ouid Ji^ ^der 
a pteoliar difficulty and dtaadvantiafge. Mr. fif^iife 
has not yet told us what he asks. . * 

Mr. Ersiine. ^te it is pat expressly t» the, I 
shall propose, unless the Jury profesis tt to 4ie a f^ftrjr 
serious inconvenience to theni^ that instead of 
coming in the morning at the time we generally 
vdmey our cQoimg ^should be at twd^e o'dock^ so 
^at the Attnvney Genetal can fid^b at on^^ Mr^ 
Gibbs will have the goodness to take a note ^aif the 
few facts stated by the witnesses^ and I shall be atie 
iy tiMit tf me 'to Hcome. 

Loni €hief Ju^ice ^e. ^en soffN^dtt W 4d« 
joitm io eleven e^irfodi. 

Mr. ^iM^. We cirleet^^^y<>Ur %Mdslii^^ ^^ p«t* 
mitMn Erskinc to open the case tff lllr.firtrfy'; 
then our witnesses will be examined^ and then I 
shall be heard after our witnesses. 

Zord Chief Justice Eyre. You v^ill conduct yOur 
If 2 


case m ^e manner you think be^t for the iat^est of 
your CUeot. 

Mr. .Erskine. I &hpuld be. glad if yonf I/>rdshi{^ 
^ould allo\T,an,Qtber hour, ; » 

/ Lard Chhf Justice Eyre. for tbp 
Situation of the Jjury^ tliat qn, their afx^oiiut I.can^ 
not tbiftk. of it. • { . ;■ ; ' 1 / . J ; . 

,Mr. Erskine. My Lord,! never was placed in jsuch 
ai situation in the \f hole course, of my pluct^^ before^ 
^tK so many Gentlemen on .tbe^ o^r side,; bow«^ 
jf^ver, I don't shrink from it. .. . ; j 
f One qf the Jury* My lordj we af]e. extremely 
willing to allow Mr. BrskinC; another \i^w, ifSPV 
Ix)rdship thinks pr9|)er. s>j , ,; 

1 L^rd * CAie/* Ju&ti^e Eyre* As, t^ie Jury ;aB|L 4\\ for 
yoij, I will not refuse yqu^ 

. i^ now being 'half past (me'o'claci, on Saturday 
mornings the Court csdjaumed to twehid^^dogk qf 
tthe same day:> • . .. i! // 

^u. ;.-::.... ... ,-.. .. ; .;',:, .,! 

The Court having adjourne/^ io tvi&lve iO^cIofii 
iui^es^d ^ mWi q^ aljpve ^mentifijiedi .(tnd^ ttx^i hours 
being spent in ^nishing the eyj^d^ce for yihftpTPWt 
Jl/r. 'Ersii^ ,p(f9i[e in^^ poMf^^, and a^resse^ the 

THB ' TBf AL OF THOlif AS H Aifo Y. S25 

Bs^ORs I proceed |6 tlie petformanee 
<rf* the mofxieutous duly which is at length cast upon 
nue^ I desire in the first pl^ace to return my thanki 
to the Judges^ for the indulgence I have receiv^ed m 
the opportunity of addressing you at this later pe- 
riod of the day^ than the ordinary sitting of tho' 
Court ; when ^ I hav^ had tlie refreshment whicl). 
nature but too much require, and a few houirsre*' 
tiretneot^ tpkrrange a little in my mind that immense 
matter^ the result of which I must no^ endeavour 
to lay. before you. I have to thank you also. Gentle 
men, for the very condescendinig and obliging ntai;!-*^ 
ner in which you so readily consented to tfiis 
acQommodatiba ;-^-Tthe Court could only speak for' 
itself, referring me to you^ whose rest and comforts 
liad been, so long interrupted.— rl shall always re- 
member ymir kindness. 

Befcye Irftdvance to the regular eonsideration of 
thia great-cause; either'as it regards the evidence or 
the law, I wish first to put aside all that I find in 
the«p!Bech of my learned friend, the Attorney (Je» 
nercd,^ ivbicli is either collateral to the merits, or in 
wfaichi cap agr©5 with hiha.— First then, in th» 
NAM£ dF THs fAisoNSn, and speaking A2> senti- 
ments, whif:b are well known to be my own also, I 
cpJDCur io the eiUogium which you have heard upon ^ 
Jhe Gojisjtituticto of oijr wise forefathers,— 3at bp^ 

9^ UU^^BMKm^^B $BS9CH OK - 

fore this eulogium can have any just or useful appli- 
cation, we ought to reflect upon what it is which en* 
titles this Constitution to the praise so jtistly h6-» 
stowed upon it* To say nothixig at present of its 
moM essential excellence^ or rather the veiy soul of 
its vi«S^ the sb^re the people ought to have in their 
gQv^rnuieDt, by a pure representation, for the asser- 
tion Qf which the Prisoner stands arraigned as a trai-* 
tor before you^-^what is it that distinguishes the 
gpDvemment of England from the most despotic mc>» 
narchies? What-r— but the security which the subject 
enjoys in a trial and judgment by his equals; rendered 
doubly secure as being part of a system of law which 
no expediency can warp> and which no power can 
abuse with impunity ? 

The Attorney GeneraPs second preliminary obser* 
vation, I equally agree to.— I anxiously wish with 
htm that yqu shall bear in memory the anarchy which 
is desolating France. — Before I sit down, / may per- 
haps, in MY turn, have occasion to reflect a little upon 
its probable causes ; but waiting a season for such 
reflections, let us first consider what the eyil is which 
has been so feelingly lamented, as leaving fallen on 
that unhappy country. — It is, that und^r the dpmi- 
iTion of a barbarous state peoesshy, every protecr 
tion pf law is abrogated and destroyed ;-~it is^ that no 
man can s^y^ undpf such a system of alarm Apdt^rror^ 
tbat his W^r bis lil:^rty, his reputation, or apy one 
hutq^ blessing, is secure to him fur a moment t it ^ 
tbtik, if aeeaised of federalivm^or.qioilfqitism/pr «pr 

THIS TntXB <m tmMAS HABDT. 3^^ 

fCNFt$iii» or of whatever dse the changing feshioas and 
ActtoHS of the cby shall ha^re lifted »p inbo high 
trwson against the State, he imist ste. his friends^' 
his family, ^nd the light of heaven, no more :-T-the 
accusation and the .seotence being the same, fol- 
lowing one another as the* thunder porsues the flash.' 
Such has been the state of £ngland,---^ttch is the state 
o£ Franoe ; — and how then, ^ince they are intro- 
duced bo you lor application, oogbt they in reason 
mid sobrjfety to be ajf^ied ? If this prosecution had* 
been commenced (as is asserted) to avert from Greait 
Britain the calaffiitiss ijEiddeyit to civil c^onfusion, lead-' 
iug in its issues to the de{4orable condition of France ( 
J call npcx) you> Gentlemen, to avert such calamity 
from filing uppn myOieqt, and through hb side opon* 
yoursdves and opon our country . — Let not him suffer' 
under vaguie expositions of tyrannicial laws, more t^-« 
rannically e:^cuted. — Let not him be hurried away to 
pre^doofiaed e^ecution^ from aa honest enthusiasm 
(oc the public safety .^-^I ai^ for him a trial by thia* 
applauded eonstitJutioQ of our country:—! call Hpoti 
yaa to administer the Jaw to him, acoording to our 
own wholesome Institutions^ by its strict and rigicj^ 
fetter :^4rhawevei^ you may eventually disapprove of 
any part of his coj^doct, or viewing it through a false* 
medium, may think it men wicli:edy I claim for him, 
as a subject of ISugt^nd^ that the law^hall deeid^' 
upo9 its crif^iiiai denotpjlnatiai^ ^^I protest, in his 
name, agamst all appeals to speculations coiKernin^ 
icojpe^ueno^s, ^vhea th^ ]a# tomm^i^s m to lo^kf 



only to INTENTIONS. — If the State be threatened 
with evils, let. Parliament administer a prospective 
remedy, but let the Prisoner hold his life under th» 

LAW. : ' 

Gentlemen, I ask this solemnly of the Court, 
whose justice I am persuaded will afibrd it to me ; 1 
ask it more emphatically of you, the Jury^ who are 
called upon your oaths to make a true deliverance of 
your countryman, from this charge :-r-but lastly, and 
chiefly, I implore it of Him in whose hands are all the 
issues of life, whose humane and merciful eye ex- 
pands itself over all the transactions of mankind ; at 
whose command nations rise, and fall, and are rege* 
nerated; without whom not a sparrow falleth to the 
ground ; — I implore it of God hiriuelfy that He will 
fill your minds with the spirit of justice and of truth; 
si> tbntyou may be able to find your way through the 
labyrinth of matter laid before you, a labyrinth in 
which no man's life was ever before involved, in the 
anoals of British trial, nor indeed in the whole his- 
tory of human justice or injustice. 
. GentleiTien, the first thing in order, is to look at 
the Indictment itself; pf the whole of which, or of 
^me integral party the Prisoner must be found guilty ^ 
pr be wholly discharged from gqilt. 

The Jndictpient charges thjit the Prisopers did 
ipaliciouj^ly and traitorously conspire, compass, and 
imagine,* to bring aad put our Lord the King to 
death; apcl that to fulfil, perfect^and bring toeflfect, 
A^eit, most e?il and wicked purpose (that say ^ 


0f bringing and ptUting the King to death)^ ^^ they 
^^ ooet, conspired, consulted, and agreed amOpg^t 
** themselves, and other false traitors unknown, to 
*^ cause and prc>cure a Convention to b§ assemble^ 
« within the kingdom, WITH INTENT—" (lam 
redding the very words of the Indictment^ which I en-t 
tre^ you to follow in the notes you have been taking 
with such honestperseverance)— ^' WITH INTENT, 
" AND IN ORDjER that the persons so assembled 
•* at such Convention; should and might traito- 
^' rously, and in defiance of the authority, and 
" against the will of Parliament, subvert and alter, 
♦^ and cause to be subverted and altered, the l(^is- 
" lature, rule, and government of the country j 
^* and to depose the King from the royal state, 
^* title, power, and government thereof." This is 
^ the first and great leading overt act in the Indict- 
ment; and you observe that it is not charged as 
being treason substantively and in itself, but 
only as it is committed in pursuance of the treasoi^ 
agiainst the King's person, antecedently imputed ; — ^ 
for the charge is not, thatthe Prisoners conspired to 
dissemble a Convention to pepose the King, but that 
they conspired and compassed his beATh ; and that, 
in order to accomplish that wiclced and detestable 
purpose, i. e. in order ia fulfil the traitorous intention^ 
ilf the mind against Ids lipe^ they conspired to as- 
semble a Convention, with a view to depose him* 
The aame observatbn applies alike to all the Other 
counts or overt acts upon the record, which mani« 

ftrtly indeed lean ut^on the establishment of the first 
for iheJr support i because they charge the puWica- 
tton of ^iflferent writings^ and the provision of arms, 
n&t a^ dmrnitt offmce^^ bat as acts dov^ to excite to* 
fhc assembling of the same Conventions^ and to main* 
tain it when assembled : but above all, and which 
most never be forgotten, because they also uniformly 
charge these different acts as committed in fulfilment 
of tbfe same traitorous purpose, to brixo the Kino 
TO 0£ATH« You wil! therefore have three distinct 
matters for consideration, upon this trial : First, 
What share (if any) the Prisoner had, in conceit 
with otliers, in assembling any Convention or meet* 
kig of subjects within this kingdom :— Secondly; 
What were the acts to be done by this Convention, 
when assembled :— and Thirdly, What was the view, 
purpose, and intention of those who projected its ex** 
istence. This third consideration, indeed, compre- 
hends, or rither precedes and swallows up the othe* 
two ; because, before it can be material to decide 
upon the views of the Convention, as pointed to the^ 
^bversion of the rule and order of the King*s poli- 
jlical authority (even if such views could be ascribed 
%o it, and brought home even personally to the Pri-* 
aoner), we shall have to examine whether that eriml- 
Itar conspiracy against the established order of the 
commtmity, was hatdied and engendered by a wicked 
contemplation to destroy the natural lifh and p^jsoti 
of the king ; and whether the acts charged *an4 


astablisified by the evidencei were donci m purmane^' 
Ond m fidJUmmit of the same traitorous purpose^ 

Genllemen^ this view of the subject is not only 
correct, but sielt evident j*-^the subversion of the 
King's poHticat governmcut^ and all couspracies tt> 
subvert it, are crimes of great magnitude and enor-r 
mity, which the law is open to punish ; but neither of 
them are the crimes before you. The Prisoner is not 
charged with a conspiracy agmnst the King^s POht^ 
TXCAL OOVSR17MEKT, but against his katvbal lifb^ 
}Ie is not accused of having merely taken steps ta 
depose him from his authority, but with having done 
so with the intention to bring him to death. It is the 
act with the specific infention, and not the act ajpne^ 
which constitutes the charge. The act of conspiring^ 
to depose the King, may indeed be evidence, accord-* 
ing to circumstances, of an intention to destroy his 
natural existence; but never, as a proposition of law^ 
oan constitute the intention itself. Where an act is 
done in pursuance of an iqtendon, surely the inten-* 
tion must first exist; a man cannot do a thing in fuU 
iilment of an intention, unless his mind first conceives* 
that intention.---^The doing an act, or the pursuit of a 
system of conduct which leads in probable conse- 
quences to the death of the King, may legally (if any 
such be be£[3re you) affect the consideration of the 
traitorous purpose charged by the record, and I am 
not afraid of trusting you with the evidence.-^How 
far any given act, or pourse of acting, independently 
pf int^f^tiop, may lead probably or inevitably to any 

332 . mr; erskxnk s sp££Ch ox • • 

natural or political consequence^ is what we have n<# 
concern with ; these may be curious questions of 
casuistry or politics; but it is wickedness and folly to 
declare that consequences-unconnected even with in-* 
tention or consciousness, shall be synonimous in law. 
with the traitorous mind; although the traitorous 
mind alone is arraigned, as constituting tbecrime. 

Geotkmen, the first question consequently for 
consideration, and to which I must thenefore earnestly 
implore^ the attention of the Court, is this :— »What 


recollecting that I am invested with no authority, I 
shall not presume to offer you any thing of my 
own;— nothing shall proceed from myself upon this 
part of 'the inquiry, but that which is merely iiitro-^ 
ductory, and necessary to the understanding of tlie* 
autliorities on which I mean to rely for the establish- 
ment of doctrines, not less essential to the general 
liberties of England, than to tlie particular^ oonsidera* 
tion which constitutes our present duty, 

First then, I maintain that that branch of the sta^ 
tute 25 th of Edward the Third, which dedares it to 
be high treasoii " tvken a ntan doth compass or 
** imaging the death of the King^ of his lady the 
*^ Qwem^or of Ids eldest son and heir,'' was intended 
to guard by a higher sanction than fi^ony, the natp- 
BAL tivfi^ of tb^ King, Queen, and Prince; and that 
no act, th^refor^ (either iixihoate or consummate), 
of resistance W, or rebellion f^gain^tj tjte King's r^gal 
eajmoiv/^ amounts to/ high tfempn qf compassing 
5 ■ . . 

TH^'TIflAt OF l-ROMksr'ttAMftr. 83^ 

^ death, u^ess where thejr cafibe ^barged' apon the 

indiottnent^ and' proved to ihe^satis&ction of the Juiy 

at the trials as overt aicts^ committed by^tbe PiSaon^ 

;ih JulfilnienM^of a traiiordus intentibTi to' destroy tbc' 

iT/n^V NATURAL tilPB. l i * ' 

Secondly^ that the ooni{^»sftigr the Kipg^ death, or, 
in other wotds, the: tfaitOTOii^ indention; to Qesttojr 
his natural exisdefwq, is the tteascxi^ and "not t the 
^vert acts, which' aite only laid, as nuiniiestaUons of 
the tnaitaroiik intention^ or, an':other words, as;ETi*> 
DBNCE competent; to be lefli to a^ary to proveit; 
and that no con^iracy to levy war agam&t.theKiogv 
nor any conspiracy against hk-^egalcfuiraettr or cm^ 
pacity, is a good? overt act of cditipassing his deatk^, 
.unless some force be exerted, or in icontemjJationi, 
•against the Kiko's pfiRsoN: a^d that such force so 
Teicierted or in cbniiemplation, is not Bubstantively iJhe 
.treason of compssaing,' bnt only comfpetent in point 
of law to* establish it, if the Jury by the verdict of 
.Guilty draw'that conclasiou of fact from the evidence 
t>f the overt act. ; 

lliirdly, th?it the charge in the Indictment,, of 
compassing the King's death,: is not laid as legal in^ 
ducement or introduction, to follow as a legal infer-*^ 
ence from the establishment of the overt iict,. but is 
laid aa an averment of a fact ; and, a^ sudi, the vety 
pst of the Indictment, to be affirmed or negatived 
by the verdict of Guilty or Not guilty. It will not (I 
am persuaded), be suspected by the Attorney Gene- 
ral, or by the Court, thiat 1 911 about to support these 

jlcctirHies' bjr 0|>poaii^ «ivy owttjddgfiMM td (he Mt^ 
thdrhative writings of the fenembk and excellent 
liord Hale^ .wfaofie memorjr wttt live in tbi» ocmtiirj^ 
and throughout the enlightened worlds as long as the 
adthinistration of pure justice ahall exist ; neither do 
I wish to dppose any (hin^ which is to be fimod in 
the other learned autboritiea prineipanjr lelied upon 
hy the Crown^ because all my poailkn» are perfectly 
consistent with a right interpretation of them ; and 
hecauae, even were it otherwiae^ i could not etpect 
^occessfully to oppose them by any reasonings of my 
^own^ whidi can have no wdgbt, but as they abaB be 
£»ind at once consistenf with acknowfe^ed asitfaoh 
iities^ and with the eslabliahed priodplea of the 
£ngtisfa law. I can do thas with the greater security^ 
facanse my re^iectal^and learned frietid^ the Aftor- 
tief General^ has not cited cases which have been the 
dii^race of tins country in former times^ nor aeaixi 
yoa to sanction by your judgment those bloody jnur«* 
4etB, which are recorded by them as acts of English 
justice ; but, as might be e5tpected of an bonourabtc 
man, hiseapositionsof thelaw (tboi%h I think. Chem 
frequently erroneous) are dr^n from the aann 
aounoes, which I look up to for doctfineflfio very difi^ 
&0eat. I find« indeed, thr^iolghout the whole range 
ef efuthoritiea (Imam th>sev)kith the AH9mey4S0ne^ 
toihm properly considered as (hserving tkafmme tani 
tkarwter) very Kttile cootradictba ; for, M ftr as I call 
disDDver, mndi more ieiitax)g}enient^ba& arisen froatt 
anw and then a trqapiog iiif tAtees^iregsiQn,, than frpaa 


wyr iKIfi^rdQce cif sen tjurnit amqtigst enrnieot and i?tr«- 
t»oim Judges^ who have either ^xamieedj^ <>r fiat ia 
JDd^eiit upoQ tim tfiofifieotout isubjeetl 

Gnentleni^n^ before I pUreue thecai»se I hate pre^ 
aciihed to mj^aelf, I ^^sire nfiMt di8tiiiet\)r ti> hitm^ 
derstoofd^ dfiat; iti "my own judgmeat the moat «dc« 
cesBfo) argnmenfcy that a conspiraqr to debtee tJbe 
King does not necoasarily eataMsh the treas^ fAarged 
xxpQni}mresxx&, is totajlly A^£$ii)B akx f>osfilM.s 
o^QBGnnEiarT irfiL^T YbucAir ha'vb tofosm trpoK^siHtf 
KTiMsN^CB BBvos£ YOU ; sindstthrougiTotit tha whole 
volumes that have been read, I Can trace notbrn^ 
thaiifven ^mii» to. the hnagimdion of aitch a €l)ii« 
^racy; and consequently the doctrit)€9 of Gck^ 
Hale^ and Forster, on iAte subject of Higli TroaaoB^ 
BSMgbt equally be^idetaiied in any. other triai that his 
ever been iproceeded upon in this |>laQe« But^ Gefttle^ 
naen^. I stand m a fearful and delicate situation •«**-A9 
a aupposed attack upon the King's civil aulhority l\» 
been transmutedi by constructiofij into a tnarderoo^ 
conspiracy against his natural person, m Uie s^wi 
manner^ and by the same arguments^ acoti^piraiey to 
Qvertlurn that civil authority, by direct ferce^ h»s 
ag^in been assicniiatedj hff further cwMrwfUnt lQ0 
dktiga t# undermhie monarchy by cbamges^^rptiighl 
through pubUc o{«ni<»o> enlai^ng gradually ttilo: Uttiit 
vetaal itrifi.; ao that I oan ^imt m^ fabe propd^sitiDB^ 
}iowe»ef i^delmi^ think k^ eafetenalappticatie*^*-^ 
J*or ai3 there is a ceeif sthuctti va coMtAAttira, raeiatta 
there is a coksxiiixctj^ve nuio^xs^; tusd IcaonM^ 


therefore, possibly know what either of them ii 
separately^ nor how the one may be argued ^ to in* 
volve the other. There are, besides, tqany Prison* 
ers,. whose cases are behind,, and whos^ lives may be 
involved in your present delibefatibn;. their names 
have been already stigmatised, and their conduct ar^- 
nugned in the evidence you have heard, as a part of 
th^ conspiracy. It is these considerations which drive 
me into so large a field of argument, because, by^saf^ 
ficiafvtiy ascertaining the law in the outset, they who. 
are ye( looking up to it for protection^ may not bd 
brought into peril. 

Gentlemen, I now proceed to establish, that a 
Qompassing of the death of the King, within the 
twent3!w6fth of Edward the Third, wlUch is the 
charge against the Prisoner^ consists in a traitorous 
intention against his katurai^ lif£ ; and that no- 
thing short of your firm belief of that detestable in* 
tentipn, from overt acts which you find him to have 
committed^ can justify his conviction. That I. may 
keep my word with . you in building niy argument 
upon nothing of my own, I hope my friend Mn 
Gibbs will have the goodness to call me back, if 
he finds me wandering from my engagement ; t&i^t 
I may proceed step by step upon the most venerfible 
and acknowledged authorities of the law. 

In this pocess I shall begin with Lord Hale^ wbd 
opens this important subject by stating the reasoa 
<^ passing the statute of the twenty-fifth of ISdward 
^ Thirds on which the Indietm^t is founded.-^ 

rn^ tfilAt 0» tttOMA3 9ABDY. 337 

I^rd {late $jEu^s^ in his fleas of the Crown> voL L 
p^g^ §2, that ^^ at commfm law there was a great fa^ 

V filu(k I4ffd in raising, offences ta the crime and pn^ 

V nishTnant rf treason, by way of interpretation 
** nnd arhitrary coNSTRUCTipx, which brought in 
'^ great uncertainty and confusion* Thus accroachingi 


^^ charge of ff^ajwi anciently, f hough a very un^ 
^^ cqrfain charge,\ so, that no man could tell what it 
'^ ' was, or what defence to make to it" I/^rd Hale 
th^n goes 9n ,ta state various instances of v^utioxi 
an4 cruelty^ and concludes with this striking obser-* 
tation : ^ By these and the Uke imt^oes that might 
f^ be given, it appears how arbitrary anb uircB&t 
" rJiii9:the law qfi treason was be/ore the statute of 
" l^thof Edward th^ I lid, whereby it cagnje to past 
♦* that almost every offence that was, or seemed to be, 
'^a breach of the faith and allegiance due to thf 


^* INTRRPRETATION, raised into the f^ence of hig^ 
" treason.'* This is the lamentation of the great 
Hale upon the state of this coimtry previous to the 
passing of the statute^ which, he sayis» jwas passed 
as a RBMEDiAL law, to put an end to them; anf) 
LordO^ke, considering it in the same lights ^J9, 
in his third Institute, page 2d, '^ The Parliament 

. ^^ wl^ch pnssedf this stafute was called (as it well de^ 
^^ served) Parliamentsffi Benedictum ; and tb^ like 

. '' hpnour wa^ giveil to it by the different statutes 
^^ which from time td time brought ba^k Irea^^ 
vol.. m, z / i 

3^^ * iifi: tMKl^t^S SPEECH 0J5f 

^ to its rftaftdard; atl agreeing ht ^dgriifyi^g dnJt 
*^ extolling this bhsstd Act.^-^llfiy^ this «tatlrte^ 
wbk^ ha^ dbtamerf the panegj^ric of ttiese great 
incn, wfcotn the Chief Justice m his Cbatgc k)6ked 
tip to fell* light and for example, and whom the At- 
terhey ©etieral- take* ftteer for his g^icfe, #ouM vfery 
ihfle havtf ttesei^Tctl tfi^ high eologittm bestowed 
tipOR itj rf^ Qiough avowedfy passed to destroy tin* 
iib^iiMj in brifyrinal ju^tke, and to beat down the 
fa b t h jiiy eonstnictions ef Jndges^ feihented by Halei 
i» dftfigui^g and dishononriAg the law; ft had, lie- 
tertfaelesi, b^en so wofded aa to give birtb to new 
febttsfrttdSptts- aftd tiiicfcrfainties, msteaMl of destroy- 
ing tKe <dd pnes. It wbuM bat i1) hav« entitled itself 
i6 the tiienontiihation of a blessed statute, if it had 
hoi in its enacting tetter, Mibich profossed tb^ re- 
inove donbts, and to ascertain the law, made xak olF 
*€i^it!S8ioiis tfie best known and understood; ahd \\ 
yrSi be found acx^ofdinglj,. that it cautiously did so. 
It will bt found, that, irv selecting 3ie expression of 
coMFASsik^ "kuE DifATH, it employed a term of 
Ibe hiost fitiA and appropriate signification ill the 
laftgtiag^ 6f English few, which Aot oitly ha jiKigb 
or eoumel, but which no* attorney or «ftonley*s 
clferk^' could misunderstand ; because hn former ages^ 
b<^re the statute, compassing the deiitb of ^nt 
XAil bad been a folony, arid what liad amounted to 
* fUclifisSfi^pa^s^ had been settfed in a thouiiand id* 
lianMi. To estabHsb this, and to shcnv also^ by fa'o 
jj^loning 6f mi^e, that the ttrin 'Veompabain|j^ tht 


cleKlh" was intended by the statute, when apfdtedto^ 
the King,, as high treason:, to hme the same signifi* 
cal^MMT^as it bad obtamed in the law when i^lkd tO' 
the'sutyeot as a felony, I shall refer to Mr. Jtistice 
Forster, and even to a passage cited by the Attorney 
General himself, which speaks sdr uneqiuvoeafly and* 
unanswerably, for itself, as to mock all toouxieDtaty. 
— <* ' TAe amimt wrkersy'^ says Forster,. ^* m trmu 
*^ rHg<ff fdtkmious liomcide^ cm^derkd ihe J^imkui' 
'^ Tvwnvnbsr manifested by plain faciSf m ike «Mir 
'^ lighi, in point of guilty as honddiU iimdf. SHb 
'^ mlewas, voLtirj»TA& rkpitxatur Bito facvo ; tthd 
'^ while this ride' prevailed^ the nature of tke e0hiiG^ 
^* neas repressed by the term comfassino thB 9iM.rH«: 
^^ T%is rule has been long laid aside as toot rigorous 
^* in Mtf ctmetf common persons ; bui in the co^e ^ 
^' tke KiKG, QufifiM, and Pbince, the si^iute ^ 
*^ treasons has, with great propriety ^ bmtawbH} U: 
^^ in its full evtent and vigour ; and in describing tha 
'^ (SSisnce, hits Hhmvise RETAINED^Ae ancieyf/ mode 
^* of ^a^essiony ichcn a man doth compass, or I'ma- 
'^ gine^ the dguth of our Lard the King, &lck and 
*^ thereof be t^n suficient proof provahlemefA^ ap^ 
'^ tainted of open deed, by. people of his cmditufn : 
^. tha mords of the statute descriptive of tke qffmce, 
^^ misty therefore, be strictly pursued in evfry in^^ 
** dictmeM for this species of treason* It MUSir 
^^ eharge that the defendant did traitorously Q9mpas$ 
^ and imagine the King's death; and then go on-aindi 
'^ ckqrge^ the several acts made use of by ^ prismm » 

z 2 

mo ^R* ek^rinb's sfebgh on 

'^ /d effecjiuaie his trutimvus purpose ; poit tu£ com* 


'^ anij liie avert acts are charged as the i»fimr 
** made use of to e/fbetuate the intentions ajiid 
" tmugiiuitions of the fieart'^ and therefar&y in 
*i the c^$se of the Regiddes, the indictment charged^ 
*^''ihat they did4raitoroushf compass and imagine the 
'^'detkh of the King, and t/te cutting ^ the head 
*^"Was laid ^ 4he overt act, and the person lehe was 
^^' supposed to have given the mortal streie was con- 
^^ victed on the same indictment.** 
•^ This eonciikltng insQinoe^ though at first view it 
may appear ridiculocis, i» well selected as an illas- 
Crettcn ; beeause, though io that case there coald be 
no poaa^Ue doubt of the intention^ since the act of 
a deliberate execnttoo involves, in common sense, 
the inteiMion to destroy, life, yet still theanom^y of 
the offence, which exisU wholly in the intention/ 
and not m the overt act, required the preservafebn 
of the form of the kidtGtment.-^rt isr surely impos^ 
sible to read this commentary of Forster, without 
seeing the true |>nrpose of the statute: The com- 
mon few bad ancieqtly considered^ even in the case 
of a (elkKi'-subject, the malignant intention to de* 
sin>y,>s equivalent to tt^ act itself; but that noble 
spirit of hmnantty which pervades the whole system 
of our jurisprudence, had, before the time of King 
Edward the Third, eat out and destroyed this rule/ 
too rigorous in its general application ; but» as Forster 
truly oh^erve^ injbe passage I have read — >^VThis 


*^ rule, too rigorous in the case of the subject, the 
^' statute of treasons RETAINED in the case qf 
'^ the 'JCing, and retained also the very ex-' 
'^ ^REssiON osed by the lnw when cohipasslnpf the 
** death of a subject was felony." 

The statute, therefore, being e^cpressly made to 
femove doubts, and acairatefy to define 'treason^ 
adopted the ancient expression of the common lawj 
as applicaWie to felonious homicide^ meaning that 1^ 
tife of the Sovereign should remain an CKceplidh, 
and that \^0LUjrrAs tro pacto, the wicked hnten- 
tion for the deed itself (as it regards! his sacred 
life), should continue for the riile: and, therefore, 
says Forster, the statute meaning to rbtatn the law 
'which was before general, retained aTsbithe ex- 
pression. It appears to me, therefore, hicontro^ 
vertible, not only by the words of the statiite' itself, 
%ut upon the authority of Porster, which 1 shklKoT- 
iow up by that of Lonl Coke and Hale, cotitradtcted 
by no syllable in their works, as I ^hatl demonstrate, 
'that the statute, as it regarded the' secilrfty of the 
King's LiFte, did not mean to enact a new security 
'never know^i to the common law in' other erases, but 
'meant to suffer a common law rule which fomicrfy 
existed universally, which was precisely known, but 
'which was too severe in cotnmort cases, to retiiam 
as an exception in favour of the Kirij^s security. 1 
do therefore positively maintain, rioi as %rt advcteate 
'^merely, but !N my own person, that',' \^ithiti 'the 
ietter and meaning of the statute, hot hing tan -ISfe a 

z 3 

64^ Un. U&Klli;6*8 SPfiBCH OK 

focp^mng the death of the King^hat would not, 
in anoient^tiiMs^ hinre been a felony in the case €)f a 
aubjeot ; for otherwise Porster and Coke/ aa w% be 
aawiy are very incorrect when they say the statote 
iiBTAiNED the old law, and the appropriate word to 
express it; for if it went betond it, it would, on 
the oontrary, have been a mew rule unknown to the 
OCHDOioii law, enacted, for the. first time, for the 
pvaservation of the King's life. Unquestionably the 
jLegislatui^ might have made such a rule; hut ^^ 
lure not inqi^iring what it might have enacted^ but 
pnvbat it has ensctedL But I ought to ask pardon for 
hairii^ rala|Nied in|o any .argument of my own qppa 
4his. subject^ ]wrhen the authorities are more expreiii 
to the; piurpdse than any language I can use. For 
Mr* Justice J^orster himself expressly says, JXs^ 
course ist, of High Treason, p. 207^ ^^ wtf// the 
^ miardi descriptive^/ the qffence^ viz, *.^« num 
'^^ detk compass or imagine, and theretf be at^ 
'< tainted <f open *deed,' are plainly borrowed from 
,^^ the common law, and therefore must bear the sam« 
f^ constniction they did at commmi law.^'-^h this 
distinct ?-*-! will read it to you again : ^^ 411 thfi 
^f^ Jfords descriptive qf the offence, via. *' ^a mftn 
^<c idofk compass or imagine, and thereof be attainte4 
r^ ^ Ppen deed/ are plainly borrowed fiom the com^ 
*^^ ffian Jaw, and therfforf must bf^r tlie sams cosfi-^ 
*^ ^p:^ciion they 4id at common law.'* 
'^Gpaltkmw, Mn Justice Fon^r is by^noine^ 
Wi^)% 19 ^ doctrine.~|/n[fl 0*e, tbf^ oracte^of 


th|^ bv» 9iid the b^t or^ that q^ qi»Q CQ^ 
standipg for a prisooefr charged wi^h trf fison, na A^ 
was the hig^ifst prerofautiv/e lawjer that pver esMs^eJi 
ffiaintaixis the eacQedoctrioq ;^'Hevc» hf^ e^f^^ Pol^j 
Ijbe infiunous prosecutor of j^eigh* w)i9($6 jobfi;^ 
^ter with posterity, a$ an Attorney General, npy w<>r<* 
thy and honooraUe fnei;id would disdain .jLO/hold^ tQ 
bt author of all his valuaUe worKs; j(«t if vmi rtbi^ 
very Ifitd Q^ himself, holds precisely tfee ^ipmP 
lai^age with Fof;ster.*-*For, in bis c^vfmmtMfV 09 
this statutej in his t^ird In^nte, p. 5, m;!^ h? 
monies to tlie word, *' vqt^ cpMPass>** i^e aayfc 
*^ JLet us see first what the .^pipa$«ng 4|ip djl^th ^ 
y A SUBJECT was before ^ nsia^ing of thif Fl^te^ 
<* whep voh^nitas reputabalur pro frcli»/WNpw i^^ha^ 
^ ^e plain JEoglish^f thi8?-rrTh9 00|iii9ffl|t«|pr.sa3^ 
J, am goiqg to instruct you, the «t»4€nt» ^h^ arp 4f 
l^ro &9m m^ the law of Epglffu], wjhat M 9 pq^v 
j^tssii)^ of the death c^ th^e Kwq ; bpt ihat I 9«ir 
mot dP^ M,hy firpt^rrying yfio 4q J«* im^ri^hat 
jifafs th^ Qompus^ng qf the death of a a&aiWT at the 
.ancaent coniinQV Uw ; becat|se tlie statiijte jbvying 
made a coppussiog, as sf^mi tf> the KilH^ the 
4:rime of high treason, which, at cofflnion law^ waa 
felony nn the «se of p, suajacx, it is impQfsih(e to 
4e$ne the o^u, withof^it looking had^ to th^ r^Rprda 
whid) illustrate the oieni&si. Tbi$ if so directly the 
train pf Lord Coke's reasooiQg^ that jq fiis^iwi^fiiK 
gulvly precise ^tyle of conunexi^atiqg]^ h^ imme^ 
4i*t«V ^y^ h^foTe U^ reader a v^rn^ty of imtaoces 


2)44 teB« BMKiNB^S SPBECH ON* 

from the attcient neoords and year-books, of compass* 
iiigthe subject's death ; and what are they P^— Not 
acts wholly collateral to attacks upon life, dogmatic 
catty laid down by the law from speculations upon 
probable or possible consequences ; but assaults with 
INTENT TO MUBDBB ; — cckispinicies to waylay the 
person with the same iktbntiok ; and other mto- 
DBBOus Ihachiitations. These were only compassings 
before the statute against the subject's life; and the 
extension of the expression was never heard of in 
the law till introduced by the craft of political judges, 
when it became applicable to crimes against the 
State. Here again I desire to appeal to the highest 
authorities for this source of constructive treasons ; 
for although the statute of Edward the Third had 
expressly directed that nothing should be declared to 
be treason but cases within its enacting letter, yet 
Lord Hale says, in his Fleas of the Crown, pagfe 83, 
that *' things were so carried by parties and pac- 
•* tiONS, in the succeedingreign of Richard the Second^ 
'^^ that this statute was but lit tie observed, but as this or 
^^ that farty got the better. So the crime of high 
*^ treason was in a manner arbitrarily imposed and 
<^ adjudgedy to the disadvantage of tfie party that 
•*^ ioas to be judged; which, by various vicissitudes 
•*^ and revolutions, mischiefed all parties, Jirst and 
*^ last, and left a great tmsettledness and unquietne^s 
<* in the minds of the people, and was one of the oer- 
<^ casions of the unhappiness of that King. 
^^ 4^1 this mischief was produced by the staM0 

rAi riaitkh OP THOMAS hasby. alS 

*^ of the 2Ut ^f Richard tlie Second^ which enacted^ 
^^ That every man that eompasseth w purswth the 
** dtath of the Kingj or to deposb him, ok tro 
*^ R&NDBR OP HIS hoMagb LiBGE, or he that raisetk 
^^ people^ and ridetk against the King, to make war 
^^ within his realm, and. of tfiat ie vvhr attainted 
*^ and aJ^udgedy shall he adjudged a traitor, of hi^ 
** treason against the Crc^rni. 

^ I%iy' says Lord Hale^ *' nras a great sikare io 

'** the subject, iHs()mu:ck that 'the statute; 1st of Henr^ 

** Phwrth, vihich repealed it, recited that rub' in<m 

*' hnew how he ought to behave himself, to do, speak^ 

. *^ or say, for doubt of suc^ pains of treason ; a7id 

'*^ therefore wholly to remove the prejudice, which 

^ might conie to the King^s subjects, the statute, IH 

^ of Henry Fourth, chap. JO, was made, which 


^* THB 35th op Edward the Third •*• 

Now if we 109k to this statute of Richard the Se- 
cond, which produced such mischiefs — what are 
'they ? — ^As for as it re-enacted the treasoh of com- 
passing the Ktng*s death, and levying war, it onlj 
're-enacted the statute of Edward the Third, biit 
'it went beyorfd it by the loose construction of 
compassing to depose the King, and raising the 
people, and riding tb mabe war, or a compassing to 
•depose him; terms new to i^he common law. 
'^t%e actual levying* of f dree, to imprison^ or depose 
the J^ingy was Already aiid properly high treason^ 
within the second' branch' of the statute ; but this 


iUtute of Richard the SecQ^d ^nlaiKod only tbc 
mrof^ qf oon^(>assii:^, makii^g it ei^nd to a fspm" 
pt^ssAxyg ,to ingfirison or depQse, wj^icb ^ai:^ Uiei^eat 
jd^ecls of an actual levying of ivar^ and makiiyg a 
iQQXnpM^HK to levy war, on a footii^ with the actual 
jb^yiiVI .it* It seems, therefi^re, izMi^t ^stimefaing, 
Ihat wy Judge coufd b^ , s^ipposed to have dcidded, 
U an abstract rote of law, tl|at a comp94sii)g ,to imr* 
.ftifm .or x^po«e th^ King wf3 %h txea/snt^ sdb^ 
BTJOsriy^hYf wx7¥0vr nzyxoixs ^HPA^v^f^ or 
j^ia ^aATj9 : aince it w^ made so hy thia .^atute, 
9)5t of Biphard the Seooodt and reprQb9tedf atig- 
XQ^ti;sed^ and repealed by the statute^ lat of ^^tmf 
^the Epiirt^ chap^ 10. '' Jnd so little qf^ci^ $^ 
Mr« J^ttstio^ Black^on^ ^^ have wer-^vwleM lams 
^Mp frwtmt afisfxrime, that within two f/ews,^^fiat 
'' this nfiw hw qf treasm respecting iv^isonvaent 
<' and deposings this verjf prithee m^s IwsLh d^iosed 
" qndwkUrieTed."" 

QenUemen, ithi$ di^inctiQQ, ma^e Igf t^humMip 
tt^tutje pf Edward ^lie Third, betiireon Jtr^wmi 
ag|U98t tb^ King> natural Ufe^, and rebellion ag^.)a9t 
hia civil authority^ and which the act of ^idbard the 
gecppd,* far a season, .h^pke dpwj^, ia /o^ndeJl ip 
wise zfiA nowd policy. A supccfBlftil atUi^ m^y |>p 
jwde wppp ,th? ^iog> iw^W ^ *H? imaligpi^ of 
gnipdividwU ^thout t^,<^n9^9tjion^f,es^fpi^ 
coti^nnoy^ or thf ^ertipfia of r«b«Uio^s.f<m)(} v 4^ 
lnw tb^rKfQ«p justly st^d9 nppn th^ vryOch lli» ci^ 
the fest oyert nyioUips^tiqia of ^r^l .«pd #^ffft^ 
a purpose,— Considering the life of the Oiief Ma^ 


^IstifsUs as infinitely iinportant to the public seourky, 
it does oot wait for the possible comummattcm of a 
crime^ which requires neither time, combinattOQ^ 
ix>r force to accompli^, but considers the trakorooB 
'purpose as a consummated treason: but the mtje 
and humane policy td our forefathers extended ifac 
-severity of the rule, voluntas pro facto y no farther 
than they were thus impelled and justified by the 
iiecessity ; and therefore an intention to levy wiff^iid 
rebellion, not con^mnmated, howev^ manifi^stod by 
•.the»moat overt aic^s of conspiracy, was tiot declared 
4o be treason, and upon the plainest principle in >the, 
world.; The ,King*s regal capacity, guarded by aH 
fthe force ^and authority of the state, could t)ot, Jtke 
his NATURAL existence, be overthrown or endangsrad 
in ;a moment, by the fir* machinitions of thejtrai- 
torops mind of an individual, or ^ven by the mir 
jumfied conspiracy of f^umbers; and therafom 4^ia 

humane and exalted institution, measuring the sancr 
(tions.of criminal ju^tiqe by the standaird of dvilne*- 
cessity, thought it suffici^t to acourge and dissipate 

unarmed conspirators by a less vindi^liiie frpoacA* 
ing. ' -^ ' . . . / ' 

Those new treasons were, hpivw«r, at tomgtfr.ajl 
Mppily swept away od the ac(»ssioii of King Hewy 
.U)e ^o\\x^9 which brou^t the \w rhmk to.Ute 
^ifitevdafdl«if ^dymidAfaeTbirds m4» iN<»i4:iii|i^ 

ivJ^Nnmg ^ btstorjr of itbi^ JhieMy^^vow»l JihiBd^^k 
ii6rtnMl[bp^ifo}j aiid,.atM)e^9Mii^di0ie5 luig^^fch 

eduragbilg'to jQbftti^> (^)r what#AiMbMifdU)a«QPif^« 

currenqe f>{ ciffcimflt^iif^^tilndfiri^ K9pen^t(Mui« 

848 MR. £ltSKIN£*S dPEBCfi ON 

ance of a benevolent Providence, the liberties of oar 
country have been established. Amidst the convul- 
mons, arising from the maddest ambition and injus* 
tice> and whilst the State was alternately departing 
from its poise, on one side,, and, on the other, thrf 
great rights of niankind were still insensibly taking 
toot and flourishing ;— ^though sometimes monarchy 
threatened to lay them prostrate, though aristocracy 
occasionally undermined them, and democracy, m her 
turn, rashly trampled on them^yet they have ever come 
safely round at last.— ^This awful and sublime con- 
templatron should teach us to bear with one another 
vhen our opinions do not quite coincide ; extracting 
final, harmony from the inevitable differences which 
ever did,^ and ever must exist amongst men. 

Gentlemen, the act •f Henry the Fourth was 
scarcely made when it shared the same fate with the 
venerable hw which it restored.— ^Nobody regarded 
jt.-^It was borne down by factions, and, in those 
days, there were no Judges, as there are now, to 
hold firm the balance of justice amidst the storms of 
state ^*-*men could not theij^ as the Prisoner can to- 
day, look up for protection to magistrates independ* 
ent of the Crown, and awfully accountable in cha- 
ractei^ to an enlightened world. As fast as arbitrary 
'constructions were abolished by one statute, unprin- 
dpled Judges began to build them up agafin, till th^ 
* ware beat dowtl by another : to rdcoiint thdt strange 
Htrtasbii^ ij^ould be ti^some and disgusting ; but their 
syKtetn-of coin^QCtioii, in tfie t6eth of po^itivte law^ 
«ay be i?eH ittiteti&ted by two lines from Pope r 


<« Bestroy his fib and soi^istry in vainj. 

*' The creatara 's at his dirty work again.*' . 

This system, both judicial and parliamentary, be- 
came indeed so intolerable, in the interval between 
the reigti of Henry the Fourth, and that of Philip 
and Mary, thai it produced, in the first year of the 
latter reign, the most remarkable statute that ever 
passed in England, repealing not only all former sta* 
tutes upon the subject, except that of Edward the 
Third, but also stigmatizing, upon thfe records of 
Parliament, the arbitrary constructions of Judges^ 
and limiting them, in all times^ to every LETTER 
of the statute. I will read to you Lord Coke*8 
commentary upon the subject. In his third In- 
stitute^ page 23, he says, — " Before the act of 
*• the 28^4 of Edward the Thirds so many trea^- 
'^ sons had been made and declared^ and in sftck, 
<< sort penned, as not only the- ignorant and ttn^ 
" learned people, but also learned and expert men, 
** Ufcre trapped and snared, ^ * so as the mischief 
** be/ore Edward the Third, of the uncertainty of 
*^ what was treason and what not, became so fre^ 
" quent and dangerous, as that the safest and surest 
" remedy was by this excellent act of Mary to abro-- 
** gate and repeal all, but only such as are specified 
" and expressed in this statute of Edward the Third. 
*^ By which laiv the safety of both the King and of the 
'• subject, and tkt preservation of the common weal, 
*^ wer^ wisely and siificiently provided for, «mf in such 
*^ certainty, that nihil relictum est arbitrio judicis.** 
The whole evil^i indeed^ to be remedied and 

300 MS* tRSKlNK'd SHBCII Oft 

avoided by tbe acst of Q^^eH Mai^ wa^ the ajki^ 
TBiUM JUMets, or judtciaf ootiMroetioiy beyond the 
Lwstuuof the statute. The sU4»l0 its^.WA^ pef* 
fecty and vras re6tx>red in its full vigour ; aud to sup- , 
posej therefore^ that when an aet was expressly 
made, because Judges bad built treasons by construe* 
tioM beyond the law^ they were to be left^ consist- 
ently with their duty^ to go on building AOAiKy h 
to imfiute a folly to the Legislature, which never yet 
Was imputed td the fir^mers df this adoiilrable statute, 
l^ut tl»s absurd idea is expiessly excluded, not q^rdy 
by the statute, according to its plain interpretatiob, 
tost tM:oordiAg to the direct authority oi Lord Cckt 
himself, \n his commentary upon it. For he goes on to 
say, ^' TuH> things are to be cb^etved^^^rsiy ihmi l&e 
*^ word expbbssbSd, in the stcUute Gf Mary^ exchJides 


** secondly i that no former attainder , judgment y pre^* 
*f €edeni, resdlution^ or (Opinion ofjudges^ of* justices y 
<* of high treason^ other than suck as are specified' 
•* and expressed in the statute of Edteard the Thirds 
^^ are to be followed or drawn into estampk^ For the' 
" words be plain and direct i that front henctfortk 
*^ no act, deed, or offence shall be taken, had, deemed' 
'* or aelfudged to be high treason, but onhf suchas* 
*^ are declared and expressed in the said act of the^ 
". 25th of Edimrd the Third, any act qf ParlkMienV 
** or statute after 25lh of Edward the Third, or any- 
*< other declaration or matter, to the contrary not^ 
<« withstanding:'' 
Gentlemeqj if the letter of the statute of Mary, 

ullevi cdyi^l«d with Lord Odie'si Mittnttntaiy^ f6<^ 
q\i««ed f^nhei^ ilkt&lintuMy it would amply tdoeive tf 
ftotti the ruBAMBBB, idHM^ o^ght to bt cogrsUed oA 
the beaft of erery man v^ho' lotoil the Ki«g4 or t^ha 
H ^eaH6^ «o Any share in \m couiKtils; ht^as hotd 
€)dkt ohoetv^^y in tthe same comfnentary ; It tvoijr 
reciKes, Ihat^ ^^ ^/le ^oie ^ a King siMdeikani^can^ 
*^ $UiHk mare assured by the Un;4 a^ feamtr nf Mt 
'* subjeiU iiumrde $heirS(meTtip^i ikm 4n tAeldredi 
*' nnd Jtaf of Ui»^^ made wUh rigf9rmi$ Oad ex* 
^* tr&rke punishmeta; and that lat^s, fka^ made 
'^ JW the pteeervatienof the ee^nmon weal, miibaui 
^ e^reme punishmeni mr pemilty, are f^(tre o/kol 
** 4ind far the ititnt pari better ki^ark^ jobm^ 
*^ iham Ifiwi^ o^ stotuiee nuide mtJi extreme punish^ 

fiot^ GdntkfiM^ni the mosti importaat {>i^ of 
Lord Gdke's conimentaiy on this statute is yet be« 
hind, whibh I shall presently' read t^ you^ and tl» 
wbioh I rmplore your most earnest attention ; be** 
^ausa I UriU show you by k^ that the linfortonate 
maHy whose iimooence I am defencSngy is armigiied 
before yO«K>of high tifeason, upon evideooe not onl/ 
wholly repUgnanl to this pavbcular statute, biitl such 
a« neveif yet Was heard of in England iipm any oa^ 
"pital trial t'^BVttixjDrclE whic^^ even with all the eSo^ 
te^tion you hiife given, to it^ 1 defy isny one of yx^l, 
at this momedt^ to say of what it consists $«^av» 
DCKCS) which (^inoe it nni^t be called bjDthatfiaoie)! 
tremble for my botdii^sa in presbttiing to stand op for 
the. lift of a man^ when I am conscious that I am itl-c 

$5ft la* ebskik»*8 obbch on^ 

e^ble of im d c r staoding froin it^ even what ficto are 
imputed to him ;-m£TiDBXCB, Tvhich.bas consumed 
lour dEip IB the reading ;--^QOt in reodiiig the acts 
o£ the Prifidher, but .the. unconnected writings of 
men, unknown to one another^ upon a hundred dift 
fnrent sttbgects ;~^bvipsnce» tbe very listening to 
whidi has deprived me of the sleep which nature 
fequire&;--H;(rhich has filled my mind with 0|iremit«^ 
^g diftrfss and agitatbn^ and wbich^ from its dis- 
dordant unoonnected nature> has suffered me to reap 
no advantage from, the indulgence^ which I began 
with thanking you for ; but wbich^ on ^le contrary, 
iias almost set my brain on fire, with the vain en- 
deavour of collecting my thoughts upon a sul^ect 
never designed for any rational course, of thinking* 
Let us, therefore, see how the unexampled con^ 
ditton I am placed in falls in with Lord Coke upon 
this sulglecti whose authority is appealed to by the 
Grown itself; — ^and let us go home and bum our 
books if they are to blazon forth the law by eulo- 
gium, and accurately to define its protector, which 
yet the subject is to be totally cut off from> when, 
even under the sanction of these very authors, he 
stands upon his trial for his existence. Lord Coke 
says, in the same Commentary, pi^ 12, that thesta* 
tiite had not only accurately defined the charob, but 
the nature of the pboof on which alone a man shall . 
he attainted of any of the branches of high treason.rr 
•* It is to be observed," says he, " that the woirf 
'^ in the act of .Edward the Third is pbovbabub* 
•* MBNT : I. e. Upon direct and manifest proofs not 

TUfi t&UL OP THOMAS HA*DY. '358 

^** upon confecturdl presUinpiiofi^, or inference^ ^ or 

** strains of wit, but upM good fmd su/^imt pHbf. 

'* jind herein ifie adverb pROVAiiLY hath A gredt 

' '' Jorce, and signi/ieth a t>/RECT PL JIN proof, 

*' which ward the Lords and Commons in Parfinmefit 

^^ did tise, for that ifte offence of treason "UfUs ^o 

^^' heinous, and was sO heavily and stverely panishied, 

'^ as none other the lihe^ and therefore the (^gfknder 

• *^ must be PROVABLY attainted, which words aYe 
*^ as forcible a^ upon direct and manifest proof. 
" Noie, the word is not vvtOikhuSt, for th^ coih- 

• •* mune argumentum might have served^ but ih^JwoYd 
*^ is PROVABLY be attainted.'* 

' Nothing can be so curiously ahd tautologttusly^ 

• laboured as this Commentary, of even that gr^^at 
pffefogative lawyer Lord Coke, Upon this single iv6i-d 
in tli^ statute ; and it manifi^tly shows, that, so far 
ft6m its beitig the spirit and pfinci^^ of the law of 
fingland, to loosen the tonstruciion of this ^tdtiffe, 

« and tt> adopt rules of cotistrtictidh BiKl prbof^ lih- 
iisual in trials for other crimes, ort the cdtifta'ry, 
the Legislature did not even leave it to the Jiidgfes \o 
apply the ordiii«ii<y rules of lega^ proof 16 trials mider 
it, but admotiislhed thetn 16 d6 jti^ice iti tlMt respect 
in the very body of the Statute; 

Lord Hale treads in th<3 *mA firth whh Lwd 

Coke, and conclude* this pArt df tti^ sribjefet by the 

following most remarkaWfc JiaSsagfe— *tol. i. diaqp, 

%u 60. 

' " Now altk(HigA the drime of high ff^asffH is the 

' '^^ greateH ctintt d^dihit fdithf dkij/^ and hmom 



^^ socieli/f^ and brings with it the greatest and most 
'^ fatal dangers to the govemnienty peace, and happi* 
^^ ness of a kingdom^ or state ; and, tliere/ore, is 
*^ deservedly branded with tlie highest ignomifitfy and 
<^ subjected to the greatest penalties that the laws 
*^ can indict : it appears, first, how necessary it was 
<^ tfiat there should be some known^ . pix£D^ set- 
*^ ThZD boundary for this great crime of treason, 
^^ and qf what great importance the statute of 25th 
^^ if Edward the Third was^ in order to that end. 
^^ Second^ How dangerous it is to depart from the 
^^ lETTBR. of that statute, and to multiply and &h^ 
^^ hance crimes into treason by ambiguous and gene^ 
'\ ^^ ral words f such as accroaching royal power, sub^ 
^' verting fundc^mental lawsj and the like,. And 
** third, how danger ou^ it is by construction,^ und 
^' 4NAL0GYj to make treasons wJiere the letter 
'^ ^ the law Jias not done it. For such a v^thod 
** admits of no limits, or bounds , but runs as far 
^^ and as wide as the wit and invention of accuser^, 
^* and the detestation of persons accused, will carry 
^' men:' . ' 

gfurely the admotjition of this superemin^ nt Judge 
ought to sink deep into the heart of every Judge, and 
of every Juryman, who i3 called- to adnjinister justice 
under^tpte ; above al], in^ th^ times and under 
the peouliar circpmstances vv^ich assemble us in this 
pla^e..; Jtlonourable rpep, fjelipg,. as th^y ought, fpr 
the safety of Government, and the tranquillity of tjie 
epuntry, find naturally indignant against those who 
we suppose^ to have broqght theip i^to peril, Qught 


ftSf that very cause to proceed with more abundant 
^caution, lest they should be surprised by their resent- 
Cients or th%ir fears ; they ought to advance, in the 
judgments they form, by sl9w and trembling isteps'*; 
— ^they ought even to fall back and look at every 
thing again, lest a false light should deceive them, 
admitting no fact but upon the foundation of cjeat 
and precise evidence, and deciding upon no inten- 
'tion that does not result with equal clearness froni 
the fact. This 'is the universal demand of justice itt 
every case criminal or civil ;— how much more .then 
in this, when the judgment is every moment iti 
danger of being swept away into the fathomleiss ab3i6S 
6f a thousand volumes ; where there is no anchorage 
for the understanding ; where no reach of thought 
can look round in order to compare their points ; nor 
any memory be capacious enough to retain even the 
imperfect relation that can be collected from them ? 

Gentlemen, my mind is the more deeply affected 
with this consideration by a very recent example in 
that monstrous phenomenon which, under the name 
of a trial, has driven usoqt of Westminster Hall for 
a large portion of my professional life. No man is 
less disposed than I am to speak lightly of ^reati state 
prosecutions, which bind to their duty those who 
have no other superiors, nor any other control ; last 
of all am I capable of even glancing a censure against 
those who hav^ Ted to or conductWthe impeachmlent, 
because I respect and love many of them, and know 
them to be ao^ongst the best and wisest men in the 

A a2 

356 ^%. |Ul$)^iN£'6 6PEf<^ 911 

n$it|pn.^rp-I know thepa iivJeed so well, as tobc.pwv 
si^aded ti\^ caui4 they have foreseen the va^t fieI4 }t 
V^fs to open^ mi the length of time k was to ocpupy, 
they never would have (engaged in it ; for J defy any 
pjjap, not illuminated by the Pivin/e Spirit, to say, 
yfiiU th? precision and certai^y of ^n Pngli^h Judge 
((^d^ig upon evidepqe befor<p him, that Mr. Ifcfttr 
logfi is S^ij'ity ^^i* >^ot guilty :^— for m^o knows wh|it is 
txefor^ hiaj, or what is not ? — Ma»y have carriec) wh^t 
jtfc^ lf:n/5w to th^ir graves, and. the HvJPg have lived 
}of;ig ^Qptfgh tQ forget it. Indeed I: pray God that 
imcb anptbi^r proceeding may never wipt in Enginndi 
l)eciiuse I cQOsider it as sl dishonour to thfe constTtUr 
Jwn, .pp4 that it brings, by.its cxftrpple, insef^nrlty 
into thi^ afdpfiinistratipn of justice *. Every man in 
civilize4 pQci^ty has a right tohqlcj- his life, Uberty> 
prqpprty, jnd reppt^ition, under pl^iij lai^P thftt^aw 
be- wi^jl urwJ^rptpQt}, J^nd j^ entitle tP ti^ve'^ipwft 
liwitei specific pgrjt of hj^ cop4uc|,- cq^^^f^d. *id 
^;cai^ined by t^eir standard i ^ut b^ ,o^bt n^t for 
seven y^frs, 119, por for §^v€n 4^^, ^ rtftwl: ae.ft 
critpnift^. before thp highest hqfWP tribi"!*!, m^ 
judgment is bewildered an4 ponft)u|»4^> :^P c<ww ai 
Ipst, P^rb^ps^ to defend |iip)#^(, ]jbfpjf;flqd«v^ with, 
fatigue, ^p4 4'spiriN wij^ ^pi^iftyi,^^^^!, m«lwdj i«, 
iny o\vQ pondition^t ^ mon],Qi)tsV4H>«ifi«f}f^'f4ati^ 

-..;-. :•. ..^'ir. -. •■ •'•-•. • 

♦ It^jr^ the gopd ffiJ^qqp^jyfJWr. J6^|^^ t^v rff\64(lf/ » Jws- 

o«ra perspn, the 6vi| tl^us coaiplaine4 9^; whe|\ he j^ejided ^ 

Ghaocellor on the trial of Lord MelvUIe, ' * . ' 


the case of atibther^— What then tiuist be the condi- 
tion of the unfortunate person whonv you are trying ? 

The Tit it grf^t question is, how the admonitions 
of these great writers are to be reconciled with what 
is undbiibftdly to be found in other parts of their 
•Wbfk's ; and' I thtrik f do not go too far, when I say, 
that It ougftt to be the inclmatioi* of every person'^ 
iWitid who isT considering the meaning of any writer, 
piartkularly if he be a person of superior learning aneJ 
iiiteUigencef, tb reconcile as milch as {iosrsrbleafl he 
says upon arty stibjeet, and not to adopt stteh a con- 
struction ^s n^e^arify raisfes up one pitrt Jn direct 
<5pposition^ for another. 

The \vtw iteelF, intteed, adopts tfcis sodnd rule of 
jttdgrtent in th<j ci^tathination of^ e\^ery nrtttet ♦which' 
i* btd before it, for a: sound cohstrulctioni arid ibd 
Jtfrfges, therefoi^, arebx^und by duty ds wdl a tea^ 

i6vt to atioiH it. 

It' appears^ to* me then, that the only ambiguity 
which arrises, or catl possibly arise, in* th* eiamitta-- 
tion of the great atithorities, and in the dompdrisoti' 
of thei» with thertselVesi, or with dne Another, iJr, 
ftotn riot righfly understanding the? meaning' olP the 
<erm oVEirr xe^t asra^pHed to thi^ sjjedies'rf treason* 
Th^ mdnWnt yoti get rigftt upbn f htf true rheanhig 
ixiS sfignitfehrton ^f thi* eJ^'pressiwr, tbectfriam i*. 
ihiwtt up, atid^^ ii Hght atfd c«rt«?tfity, - 

dehttemen, atl tiVferi irtf ol thfe M^* treastwt 
dta^gtJdf upon tftisr RteoW, t Ate^ idth^gi^eat stib*^' 
iA\mtrmtM^Xi^t^/i»'^^ irmirfy t8§# ^ 

A A3 ' 

858 MR. EASKIN£*8 8J?£SCH Ol^ 

— ^the high treason charged, is the compassing of 
Smaginii^g (in other words, the intending or design* 
ing) the death of the King ; I mean his katvbaa 
B£Axa ; which being a hidden operation of the mtnd^ 
an overt act is any thing which legally proves the 
existafice of snch traitorous design and intention— I 
say, that the design against the Kmg*s natural life, 
is the high treason under the first branch of the sta* 
lute ^ and whatever is evidence, which^may be legally 
laid before a Jury to judge of the traitorous intention, 
is a legal overt act ; because an overt act is nothing 
but legal evidence embodied upon the record. 

The charge of compssing being a charge of interim 
tion^ which^ without a manifestation by conduct^ no. 
human tribunal could try ; the statute requires by its 
very letter (but without wliich letter reason must 
have presumed) that the intention to cut off the So- 
vereign should be manifested by an open act ; and as 
a prisoner charged with an intention, could have no 
notice how to defend himself without the charge of 
actions from whence the intention was to be imputed 
to him, it was always the practice^ according to the 
sound principles of English law^ to state upon . the. 
face of the Indictment the overt act, which the 
Crpwn charges fjs the means, made use of by the Eri-^ 
soner to effect his traitorpus purpose; and aa. this 
rule was too frequently departed from, the statute oi^ 
the Seventh of King William enacted, for the bje^e« 
lit of .the Prisoner^ thft fio evidence, shojuld even be^ 
given c^ any ^ytrt^at^^pt ch^ged in die Indictment.^ 


The charge, therefore, of the overt acts in the In- 
dictment is the notice, enacted by statute to be given 
to the Prisoner for his protection, of the means by 
which the Crown is to submit to the Jury the exist- 
ence of the traitorous purpose, which is the crime 
alleged against him, and in. pursuance of which trai- 
torous purpose the overt acts must also be charged 
to have been oon^mitted. Whatever, therefore, is 
relevant or competent evidence to be received in 
support of the traitorous intention, is a legal overt 
act, and what acts are competent to that purpose, i$ 
(as in all other cases) matter of law for the Judges ; 
but whether, after the overt acts are received upon 
the record as competent, and are established by proof 
tipon the trial, they be sufficient or insufficient in 
i^e particular instance, to convince the Jury of the 
traitorous compassing or intention, is a mere matter 
of FACT, which, from its very nature, can be re- 
duced to no other standard than that which each 
man^s ovm con^ience and understanding erects in 
his mind, as the arbiter of his judgment. This 
doctrine is by no means new nor peculiar to high 
treason, but pervades the whole Taw, and may be 
well illustrated in a memorable case lately decided 
upon writ of ert-or in the House of Lords, and which 
must be in the memory 6( all the Judges now pre- 
sent, who took a part in Its decision: — ^there the 
qjuestioti was, whether^ upcAi^lhe establishment of a 
riitmberof fiiclfs^^y'IegAl'evidence, the Defendant had 
hn'^f^/bsAgbisfhiki^ t^ kniWiii^ of which would 

A A4 

36o Mil. srskixe's sf^eck ok 


leave hiai defenceless. To d.raw that question from 
the Jury to the Judges^ I denuirred to the evidenee, 
saying, that though each part of it was legally adr 
iX]iitted> it was for the law, by the m>uth of tfaie 
JjLi4ge^, to pronounce whether this &ct ^f knowledge 
could legally be inferred from it; but the liords, 
^i^ith the a^^nt of all tW Judgfss, decided, to my 
p^fect satisfaction, that such a deoaurr^ to the Qvi« ^ 
d^snoe was. irregular and invalid j tifai4hp province ^ 
the Jury ever the effi^ct ofevidencpj, ^ught- nof^ if be sq 
transferred to the Judges, and&^verfef^ b^a wetter 
ef law i — that what ^as releva^lit ^ic^^p^ tp^Q0i9€ 
before a. Jury J was the provJ^pcev pf. thg Court,— 4)MJt. 
that the cqnflusion to be dr^wq^ froo^ %4<')i^'>^ ^^i*. 
4enqe^ was>l)j^ ujr^a^ieaa^epr9vpnpc;pf t^iecoontry. 

Xo apply that reasoning to t^ cay$Q l^foce iji*:— ♦ 
The niatter. to be inquired of here i^^ the. ^^^t.Qf tb» 
Prisoner's iptentiouj as ifi the ca^ I havi^, ju^ cijted^ 
i|. wa)P the f^ct of tfie Pefepd*|flt> l^flpyi'l§(}ge^ .The. 
c^harge of a conspiracy to d^ppse. the ¥^ing» ift th^re^. 
l^id before you to establish jthat intj^^tipp ;, its^epm<«. 
petency to be l^ijd Ijtefore ypi» fc^i: l^hajt.pufpope^ is not. 
diluted ;, I am only coQjteiuiing. \^;^(h all r^^Qil^aad; 
ajutbority on my si^ie, that ifc .isi tcf be whpoitted toe 
y.our consciences and iind€r$taH4i»gS» wh^thep^ wWi 
if yqu.believed the overt^a^ jfOft.ljuf^lit^TO «Ji*c^:thl*-Ui 
propa^ded fconj) a traitpipvfi npwhifiatlQn.agjwilfittiift 
life of the Ki^g. I aip.^jly qon^Qd^ng tk^ tbe»> 
tjyp; belief mpsjt cqinfi»4B: t9jeeit»l^^ ^; Vordifl^. qS 


staaces^ 8 coiispirai^ to depose theKing^ and to an-* 
mhiliite hia»^ ^ti|)«aAyt,.mjj»ot^ atrcmg and 
sfttis&ctory €!^idkiii» o£ the inteBtion^ to <kstiO]^ hm 
UFB r^lmt okily tbat m this^ aa m ^very ether ia^ 
stanfe^ k ia for yon to coUect off not to collect (His 
treason ^tnat tbe Kmg^s life^ acoordiiig J^ Iho f^ 
sidt of yetur odfusciettliotta beli^ aad jqdgiaexit,. iton 
the acta of the. Pktioiier hH before you ; aiBbd i\^ 
the estaUiahment of the overt act, even i£ it went 
efitaUished, <}0e$.iiot estaUish the treaaon ^amat the 
King^a. life^ by a eo^sMmHcs or i^^w : biUi q« the; 
oqnferary, the ovett aot^ though punidaable io^ uyihn 
tber 9bape> as an independent Qrim^ i$ a dead kjttwi^ 
itpofi thU reeocd^ uAlea^ you bdioYa^ esperoiMng jMwr. 
egpclusive junsdictiim wgr iiie JkCU laid i^m j^if^ 
that it vma eonMitted in accompUshme^t of (b^ 
treaaoo agatnat %im ji^M'SM^h xjlfb 06» %h:m KitK«. ,, 
GeiHlemen^ thia payrticulav cr^me of compaaaiq^ 
the Ki^g'» diiea^h^ is so complete an anomaly^ be*wig»' 
wbpUy seated in> U0eonaatninated ifiten(jon> dM&the 
law cannot depaxi from daaerlbiilg it according ta» it9 
reolesaenee^ e^en when, it i^foUo^^d by his^ death? 
-— *ft man cannot he indict for . killing the. Kin^, m 
ii/^r settled » ^ eaaerof tbpi Regieides of Chasle^ 
ther Firat, aCtes feng o^ila«Atation amms ^^^ ^ 
Jadg^:r*-H^ WA held that the vet^ we^vda o£ ^ sta-u 
ttite^ nmati he; pei^swd^ aad diat althot^ thi^Kin^ 
was aelmUy nHiAdered^: the. prtaoneffs^ wha daatmyeA 
hiin eould Wfit her eftitrg^ wth the acfi itse^f^^ Aa high 
iifeaeonjrltot urith tbftKMHWpawing of hif deaW*:} vHi^a 


very act of the exccutionqr in beheading him, being 
only laid as the overt act upicm the recorder There, 
though the ov^ert act was so connected with, as to 
be even insepartible from the traitorous intention^ yet 
they were not confoonded because of the efiect of 
the precedent in dissimilar cases : and although the 
Regicides came to be tried immediately oathe resto- 
ration of the King, in the day-sprmg of his authority, 
and before high prerogative Judges, and under cir- 
cumstances when, in any country but England, their* 
^al would have been a mockery, or their execution 
have been awarded without even the forms of trial ; 
yet in England, that sacred liberty > which has for ever 
adorned the constitution, refused to sacrifice to zeal 
or enthusiasm, either the substance or the forms of 
justice. Hear what the Chief Baron pronounced 
upon that occasbn :— ^* These persons are to be pro^ 
*^ ceeded with according to the laws of the land, and 
^^ I shall 'Speak nothing to you but what are thb 
** WORDS of the law. By the statute of Edward the 
*^ Third, it is made high treason to compass and ima^ 
^^ gine the death of the King ; in no case else imagina- 
^^ tion or compassing, without an actual effect, ispu- 
** nishable by law.^^ He then speaks of the sacred 
life of tlia King, and speaking of the treason, Says ; 
-~^' The treason consists in the wicked imagination 
": which is not apparent : but when this poison swells * 
^^ out of the heart, and breaks forth into action, in 
^ that case it is high treason. Then V^hat is an 





Indeed^ Gentlemen, the proposition is so clear^ 
that one gets confound^ in the argument from the 
very simplicity of it ; but still I stand in a situation 
which I am determined at all events to fulfil to the ut- 
most ; and I shall therefore not leave the matter upon 
these authorities^ but will bring it down to our own. 
times, repeating my challenge to have produced one 
single authority in contradiction. Lord Coke, in his 
third Institute^ page II and 12, says: — '^ The In^ 
" dictment must charge that tlie Prisoner traitorously 
^^ .compassed and imagined the death and destruction 
" qf the King.'* He says too, — " There must be a 
f^ compassing or imagination ; for an aet without 
^^ compassing J intent, or imagination, is not toithi^the, 
^^ act, as appeareth by tJie express letter thereof. Et 
^^ actus mm facit reum nisi mens sit rea.** No- 
thing in language can more clearly illustrate my 
proposition. — ^The Indictment, like every other in- 
diq^^ntj^ must charge distinctly and specifically th^ 
crime : that charge n^ust therefore be in the v^ry 
words. of the statute which creates the crime; the 
crime created by thestatute not being the perpetra*^ 
tiouof any act^but beii^, in the rigorous severity of 
tl]ue lawy the very contemplation, intention, and con- 
trivance, of a purpose directed to an act ; that con- 
templation, purpose, and contrivanpe, must^befoun^t 
to exi^ without w^ch,' «^s Xprc} ^Cok^i there ofia 

d04 Mt. i^Kffunfi tftxtut M 

be no c6tnpsM\ng : dud ss tfce intemidnf df tfat! iRhd 
Guinot be invMligafted iHtboot the iifMftigaticm of 
conduct^ the overt act is required by the rtatote, and 
ntiist b6 laid in the hidicttnent and proved . it (oU 
l&m from thid d^dflctibn^ that upon the clear prm- 
oyp)€flf of the Bnglf^h \aw, every aii; may fas' hidaa an 
overt act of compassing theKing'ia death, which may 
be reasonably considered to be! relevant and com- 
petent to Hiartifert that mtentiOn ; foi', ivere ft oflier- 
^se, it would be dbotting out from the view of thtf 
Juv>% certaii^ ee>nduct of the Prisoner, which might, 
according la circumatanded, lead to manifest ffie cri- 
itftinal intention' of hi$ mind ; and a(8 more than- on^ 
invert act may be Tdid, and evtfn overt acts of drffettmt 
kinds, though not in themsefves substanrtvefy tftti- 
§oti, the Judges appear to be* justified in few, when 
fliey ruled them to be overt acts of compassing the 
death of the King ; because they antf snch.acfts as Be- 
fore the statute of King WilKam, whidi reqoinerf 
ftiat the Indictment shouW charge all overt actfe, 
would have been held to be relevant proof;' of which 
televancy of proof the Judges are* to judge a^ ititttktf 
of law ; and' therefore being relevant pecfof, rtust alto 
be relevant matter of charge, becaose nothing can B^ 
relevantly charged which may not also be rditfvjmtiy 
admitted to proof; These observations' eipkht to 
jthe meanest capacity j in what sense Lord C!bkef mchrf 
be understood, when hesaysi i^ the vtrysaiiiepagjsf, 
tfftit, " j^ pf^paration to' depose ths Mfi^i ani # 
^-Uiki thk Ring b^/btci^mdstrdng idnd^pit^^thas 


^^ yielded to eeriain demands ^ ^ a mffidtnt overt ^tt 
" to PBOVE the compamng of the King's death.** Ife 
does not say as a nK>PosiTicN of law, that be 
ivho prepares to seize th^ King, compasseth his deaths 
but that ii preparation to seize hitn is a suffieient overt 
act 70 FROTE the compassing ; and he directly giir^s 
the reason^ ^^ because of the strong tendency it has 
^^ to that end/* This latter sentence destroys $k\ 
ambiguity. J agree perfectly with Lord Coke^ a^ 
I think every Judge would so decide^ ttpot) the gene- 
ral principles of law and etidencey without any rdsol*t 
to his authority for it ; and i^r.thts plaki^tind cbvioils - 
teason :*i^The Judg^es who are by taw to decide upon 
the rdevancy or competency of the proofs in eveiy 
matter criminal and ct^l^ have immemoria% sane- 
tioned the indi8pensable> necessity of chaf^gingthe 
tndtftrous intention as the orime^ before It wiis re- 
quired by the statute of King WiHiam.-^As Ule 
txiine^is in its nature invisible and inscrutable, xm^l 
imintfestGd by sudi conduct as in the eye of reason is 
indicative of the intention, which constitutes the 
crime) no overt act is therefore held to be su(8icient 
to give jurisdtetioi^ eyen to a Jury to draw the infer- 
ence in fact of the traitorous purpose, but such acts 
' firom whence it may be r^ajsonsWy inferred ; and 
ihenesfore as the restraint ^nd imprisonment of a 
Prince has a greater tendency to his destruction than 
in the ease of a private msn> such conspifacies are 
admitted to bel^ as overt acts, upon this principle: 
thgt if a man does an act from whence either au 


inevitable or a mainly probable consequence may be 
expected to M\os9, much more if he persists delibe- 
rately in a course of co.ndiK^t^ leading certainly or 
probably to any given cons^uence, it is reasonable to 
believe that he foresaw such consequence, and by 
pursuing his purpose with that foreknowledge, the 
intention to produce the consequence may be faidy 
imputed. But then all this is matter of fact far the 
Jury from the evidence, mt matter of lam for the 
Court; further than it is the privilege and duty of 
the Judge to direct the attention of the Jury to the 
evidence, and to state th^ law as it may result from 
the* dliieEent views the Jury may entertain of the 
fiicts ; and if smch acts could not be laid as overt 
actSj they could not be Oflfered in evidence ; and 
if they could not be offered in evidence^ thfe mind 
of the Prisoner, which it was.the bl^t crf^ the trial 
to lay open as a clue to his intuition/ would be shut 
up and concealed from the Jury, whenever the death 
of the Sovereign Was sought by circuitous but obvious 
means, instead of by a direct and murderous ,machi- 
nation. But when they are thus submitted^ as mat-* 
ter of charge and evidence to prove the traitorous 
purpose which is the crime, the security of the King 
and of the subject is equally provided for: all themat- 
.ter which has a relevancy to the crime, is chargeable 
and proveable, not substantively to raise from their 
establishment a legal inference, but to raise a pre- 
sumption in facty capable of being weighed by the 
Jury with all the circumstances of tlie transaction^ as 


offered to the Crowa and the Prii^ner; their provtnoe 
being finally to say--»npt what was (he possiUeor the 
probable consequence of the oy^act laid. in the In- 
dictment^ but whether it has brought them to a safe 
and conscientious judgment of the guilt of the Pri- 
soner; i, e. of his guilt in compassing the death of 
the King, which is the treason cjbarged intheln** 
dictment. Lord Hale is, if .pos5ible5 more dimot 
and explicit upon the sulgect«-T-He says, page 107, 
** The words compass or imagine, one of a great Uk- 
" ^\ titude I they refer to the purpose or design qf the 
^^ MiNO OB WILL, that^hjhe purpose, (^design taJ^ 
^/ not effect: bid compassing or imaginingp si^iy;^ 
^^ itself^ is an j^NTBjaNAi* 9^4^ <i^d, Ufi^htrnt somtimg- 
^ /Oi MANIFEST iV, 0M4^: not p^Si^ihly fall under, any 
^^ judicial c(^gnizance but qf God^ qfo^e i and ikeref^s 
^^ this statute reqvi^res such, ajs ovEi^Tr act yz^ may 
f^ render, the compassing, or imagining capable of a 
^\ trial . and sentence by^ human Judi^aturesi.'' Nov^ 
can any., <n)an possibly d^riv^ fr<Hn. suoH a writii% 
(proceeding too* from an author of tile c^raoter of 
Lordl^le), thatan overt,actof pompassin^^ migbt 
4n his judgment be an act qommitted inadvertently 
without the intention ? .. Can any man .gail)er> from 
it> th^ a^mw, by falling into jbad company, can be 
drawn in guilty of this, specif of treason by 
rash cpndu^tj while the his Sover^gn was 
glowing in his bosom ? Can there be any pafticulat 
acts which can entitle a Judge or Counsel to pro* 
nounce as a matter qf law, what s^npthq: , mm ii|« 

tite tin; sitsitmft's tfiMH 6^ 

ftshist or thA what a men m tends is nt>t a ihattA- 
4)f fltet ^ Is theit ttny man that ^B meet the matter 
^rly, and advl&f^ and sup^rt that naked proposi- 
tkfn i ' At all etents, it is certainly not a proposition 
to ' be dealt with pubKdy ; because tlie man \vhose 
Ihihd is caplMe even of conceiving it, should be 
treamired up in a museum, and exhibited there as a 
'6ttriosftyy for money. 

GmtleiBeo, MI am aftkirig howeter, from my 
iir^ment, and I defy any pb\frer of reason upon earth 
to ttfofe m* from it, is, this: that the Prisoner being 
^kargM mth intending the King's- death, tov are to 
find whether this chatge be fehttdM * or unlbundecl ; 
jind that thefefore, put tipon the recdrd what dse 
fcfa will, — ^provc what'ybii wifl,-*-riad thfesA books 
wer and over again,«^*«nd let tn stand here a year 
.<md a day ki dts^our^g concerning them,~stih the 
qde^on must t€ixmi at last to wh^ tou atid vbV 
• OHi.y can redOJve-^/j ke guilty of thm bhse detesiuhk 
ifMntian to destroy the Kingf No* whettfer j^du 
kidkie 16 better that he is guilty }• jiot whether 
^wmgpect, nor whether H be ptitbtAlei wot whe- 
ther he Maybt ^rnvt^s ;----ho, but that Mov^kiTLT 
r|« IS ^mvt^. If ytm can tiaytWs ujibh tWereri- 
^eM^, it is yi>rfr doty to aay so, and you m*y, wfth 
tf tnMfM}QiI cotisei^llce, return to yow famtfieSj tttou^ 
by your judgment the unhappy olject 6f k mtist re- 
ttMin tl6 more to his.— Afes ! Gentlemen, what do I 
•ay ? AB has no family to return to ;— the aflfeciSdnate 
fN^MM" of Im %k has already Mm a vistim tcrthe 

surprise utkA horror whidh ajf ended tlrt sceUe now 
tfart$act4^* But let that niclttwhaly reflection 
^$$ — it should aot, perlkaps, halite beeti intrbduced— 
it certainly ought to have no efRct- upon yoa tvhd 
are td juc%e c^on yoiit oatha.-^I do not &ta»d here 
t^ desire you. ttc^ ^oflimit perjury from totnpassioti;-^ 
biii4^ at tb<e sanoe time my earnestness may be forgiven, 
sifioe it^oeeeds irom a wedcfiess conimon to us alL 
I cliiim; ao Blerit witiK the Prisoner for my zeal ;-^itl 
proceeds from a selfish prindple inherent in the ha* 
mm hearl.+— I am GounscH Gentlemen, for myself. 
ltd ev^ery wbrd I atter, I feel that I am pleading for 
the safety o^ ay ownlife> for the li^s of my- children 
after me> for the happiness of my country, and for" 
the umverBal condition c^ civil society throughout the 

But let na returh to the subject,, and pursue^ 4hd 
. dgotrine of Lord HsAe npon the true interprdtation' 
of the tcirirr* overt act, as applicable to this brandi oS 
trea9on; Ldrd Hdk says, and I do beseech ihost 
oamestly the attention of the Court and Jury to tbis' 
passagie^*'^ If men conspttfe the deadi^ of the Kingy 
^^ and thereupon' provide Weapons^ or send lett^r^y 
*^ tilts is an overt act witbm the statute." Take thia' 
ta pieces, and *hat does it afcnoiint to ?— '^ If Itteiif 
" compire th&death ei the Kih^," tfM is tk» first 
Aitt|^ Ytii. t\mintm^)t, '^ aitdf tbeiv^ipon/' tihatJa^ 
kl pilPtaande- 6f that* withed m^smkny '^ ^ovidtf 
^^ we^otes^orjMftdletterb for theaieeikit^ 
i 0iiDr;th^MMii^<^df'lihatKks^^ 

VOL. III. BE . - 

370 MR. JB^S&Iitrx's «>fiBCH Oli. 

which tliey have meditated^ f^ this is an overt act* 
^f within the statute/' Surely the tneaiMg of all 
this is self-evident— If the intention he against the 
King's life^ though the cons{Mra<^' does not imrne* 
diately and directly point to his deaths yet still the 
evert act vf ili be sufficient if it be something which' 
has so direct a tendency to^bak end^ as to be com- 
petent rational evidence of the intention to obtain it. 
But the instances givai by Lord Hale kimself for* 
nish the best illustration — " Jfmen conspire to im- 
*^ prison the King 2^^ force and a strong haki^ 
^^ until be has yielded to certain demands^ OTid for 
** that purpose gather company, or write let- 
*^ TERs^ that is an overt act to frove the compass^ 
" ing t lie King's death y as it was held in Lord Cob^^ 
•' ham's case by all the Judges.*' In this sentence 
Lord Hale does not depart from that peoiskm which 
so eminently distinguishes aU his writings ; he does 
not siay, that if men conspre to imprison the King 
until: he yields to certain deinands, and for that pur- 
pose to do so and so. This is high tfeason^^nOy nor 
even an overt act of high treason, though he might 
ip l^al language correctly have said so ; but to pre* 
vent the possibility of confounding the treason with 
matter which may be legally charged as relevant to 
the proof of it, he follows Lord Coke's expression in 
the third Institute, and says. This is w overt act tP 
prove the compassing ^f the King's dJeath : and as if 
by .this mod^ of expression he had not done enough 
to. keep the ideas asttnd$r> a6d from abwdant ri)g«r4 


ibr the rights atid liberties of the subject^ he imme-* 
diately adds, ^* But then there must be an overt act 
** TO PROVE that conspiracy ; and then that overt act 
^^to PRovje such design^ is an overt act to pro^ the 
•^ compassing of the death of the King.^ The Ian* 
guage 6f this sentence labours in the ear fxorh the 
excessive caution of tlie writer ;--afraid that his 
reader should jump too fest to his conclusion upoi> 
a subject of such awful moment, he pulls him back 
^fter he has read that a conspiracy to imprison the 
King, is an overt act to prove the compassing of his 
death, and says to him, But recollect that there must 
be an overt act to prove, in the first place, that con- 
spiracy to imprison the King, and even then that in- 
tetition to imprison him so manifested by the overt 
act, is but in its turn an overt act to prove the com- 
passing or ititention to destroy the King. Nor does 
the great and benevolent Hale rest even here, but 
after this almost tedious perspicuity, he begins the 
next sentence with this fresh caution and limitation^ 
** But then this must be intended of a conspiracy^ 
*' forcibly to detain and imprison the King,^* What 
then is a conspiracy forcibly to imprison the King ? — 
surely it can require no explanation: it can only be 
Z'direct machination to seize and detain his j^brson 
by rebellious force. Will this expression be satisfied 
by a coiispiracy to seize speeiilatively upon his autho-^ 
rity by the publication of pamphlets, which, by the 
incoleation of r^uUican principles, may in the even*- 
^sal virbttiattbn of' a course of }^ar^, perhaps in « 

B B !2 

372 MR. EBSKXNB's »££CH OH , 

pourse of centuries, in this King's tim^, or in the 
time of a remote successor, debauch men*s minds 
from the English constitution, and, by the destruc* 
tiqpof monarchy, involve the life of the Monarch ?— 
Will any man say that this is what the law means by 
a conspiracy against the King's govemmetit, sup-* 
posing even that a conspiraqy ^g^inst his govern** 
ment were synpnimous with a design upon his life ? 
Can any case be produced where a persoa h^s been. 
found guilty of high treason, under this branch of 
the statute, where no war has been actu^Uy- levied, 
ijnless where the conspiracy has been a foroblein** 
vasion of tl>e King's personal liberty or security ? I 
do not mean to say tliat a consfnraey to levy war tasy 
not, in many instances^ be laid aa an overt act c€ 
compassing the King's death, because the war may 
be mediately or immediately pcMnted distinctly to hia 
destruction or captivity; and as Lord Hsde tndyaays, 
^^ small is the distance between the prisons and 
" graves of Trinces." But multiply the histances as 
you will, still the principle presents itself. The truth 
of this very maxim, built upon experienee, renders 
an overt act of this descr^)tion rational and compe- 
tent evidence to be left to a Jury of a design against 
the King's life; but it does not) therefone,. change: 
the nature of the crime, nor warrwt any Cburt-^to. 
declare the overt act to be legally aadcondusively 
indicative of the traitorous intentioti ; because^ if thia 
be once admitted: to be law, and the Jui^aaa boond 
tafindc^he; tnsa^on upon tbeirbeUef of; the.«datenM 


of the ov^t act, the trial by the country is at an end, 
Brtd the Judges are brined with an arbitrary uncon- 
trollable dominion oVer the lives and liberties of the 
nalion. ' 

Gentleiitett, I will how proceed to show you that 
the doctrines which I am insisting on have been held 
%y all the great Judges* of this country, in even the 
"tvorst of titrie^, and that they are, besides, npt at all 
•peculiar to the* case of high treason, but pervade the 
whole system of the criminal law. Mr. Justice For- 
ster, so justly celebrated for his writings, lays down 
the rule thus: — ^It may be laid down as a general 
iWe, that ** indictments founded upon penal sta- 
^ miist pursue the statute so as to bring ike party 
^^ wtthin it.*' Arid this general rule is so express)y 
allowed to have'place in high treason, that it is ad- 
initted on all hands, that an indictment would be radi* 
t^lly and incurably bad, Hnless it charged the com- 
passing of the King's deatli, as the leading and fun- 
datrtental averment, and unless it formally charged 
the overt act to be committed in ordfcr to effectuate 
the traitorous purpose. Nobody evfer denied this 
prbposition; and the present indictlhiht is framed 
accordingly. Now it is needless to say that if the 
benignity of the general kw requires this precision ih 
the indictment, the pt'obf miist be cofrespondingly 
precise,' ifor othei*Wi§e thc5 subject would derive np 
benefit from the fetrietfifeSS of the indictment; the 
strictness of i^hich caii have tid other meahifig ih law 

B B 3 


or comipon sense» than the protactipn of the Prisoner; 
for if^ though the indictment must directly charge % 
breach of the very letter of the statute, the Prisoner 
could^ nevertheless, be convicted by evidence pot 
amounting to a breach of the i^^ttbbi then the 
strictness of the indictment, would not qnly be no 
protection to the Prisoner, but a direct vicAition of 
the first principles of justice criminal ajid civil, which 
call universally for the proof of all material averments 
in every legal proceeding. But Mr. Justice Forstfx 
expressly adverts to the necessary severity of prpof, 
as well as of charge^— for he says, that. " although a 
^* cpse is brought within the feason of a penal sta^ 
^ tute, and within the mischief Ko be presented, yet, 
" if it does not come within the unequivocal fc^er, 
*^ the benignity of the law interposeth.** If the law 
then be- thus severe in the interpretation of every 
penal proceeding, even down to an ^tion for. the 
killing pf a hare or a partridge, are its constructions 
only to be enlarged and extended as to the statute pf 
high treason jL although the single object of parsing it 
was to guard against cqnstructions ?, 

Gentlemen, the reasof> of the thing is so palpab^ 
^nd invincibly in favpur of this analogy, that it n^ver 
met with a direct opposition. The Attorn^ General 
himself distitictly admits it in one part of his address 
to you, though he se^nis to deny it in another.. \ 
hope that when I s^tate ope part of his speech to be iq 
diametrical opposition to i^nother, h^^will not suppose 
thftt I attribute the inconsistency to any defect, e}U:i^ 


in bfo HiftldrsUinding or'bls heart} far from if— they 
mse; lamconVitioed/from some of the authorities 
not being sixflkii^itly understood. 

In the begiimiiig <5f his dpeecH he adttiks that the 
evidOBoe most be ^atisfactofy and conVincitsg as to 
the intention ; but it) the latter part he seems, as it 
wprc, to^take dfFth* effect of that admissibrt. I wish 
to give you the very tvords. I took them down at 
the time ; and if I do not state them correctly, I cfe- 
aire to be corrected. *^ I most distinctly disavow;** ' 
said my Honourable Friend, " every case df con- 
^* struciion. I most distihcitly disavow ariy like casie' 
*^ of treas<Hi not within the letter of the* statute. I' 
^ most distinctly disavow cumulative treason. I most' 
*^ distinctly disavow enhancing guilt by parity of 
" reason. The question undoubtedly is, whetheir' 
*^ the proof be full and satisfactory lb your* reasons 
<f and conscienoift tfcat the Prisoner is guilty of the^ 
•^treason of compassing the Kin^S death." Gentle- 
men, I hope that this will always with equal honour 
be admitted. . Now let us s^ how the rest of the 
leaned Geiitleman*^ speeeh falls in with this. — For 
he goes on to say, that it is by no means necessary 
that the distinct, specific intention should pre-exist 
the overt ect. ^^ If the overt act," say^he, " be de-i 
*? liberately eommitted, it is a' compassing." But 
how so, iff iiie intention be admitted to be the treav' 
soo.^ What benefit is obtained by the rigorous de- 
mand of tiie statute, that the compassing of the 
Kill's, deadi shall be charged by the indictment as 

« B 4 

376 MB. £^KI|lJ&*9 fSBBOA Oir 

th^ qriine> if H crime 4}fitr4!rtt^for^Abprt of .H^ .t^anribe 
substituted fpr it in the proof gM'Aftd:hPlfc4n the 
statute of Richard the Sepond be /4i#d:to be repealed^: 
>yhich made it high tr^^son to ooinp«(«a>-to /depc^iellie 
j^ing^ independently of intention Mp$Mi hm ltfe> if the. 
Uw shall declare^ notwithstanding thQ repe^li that 
they are synonimous terips^ and that the /<?nc con- 
CLuwvBLV involves. the other ? • . .; 

Qmitleraen, if we examine the must proouoent 
cQse3, whiph. have come in judgment before Jiidgo&. 
of the most unquestionable authority* and after fhe 
constitution had become fiiced, you will .find every 
tiling that I have been saying to you justified and 
confirmed. , .. " 

The first great state trial, after the Revolution^ 
was the case of Sir John FrQind, a oonsf^rator in the 
assassination plot. Sir John Freittd.lwas indicted for 
compassing an{) imagining the dbath of King Wil- 
liam f apd the overt Bi/fit charged, and principally re-- 
lipd on, were, first, th^ isipnding Mr^ CharpocU itito* 
France to King; J^m^ desire him to pbrsnade thei 
Frepch ivjpg to send forces over to Gneals Britain, to 
levy war ag^jnst^ .and to depose :tbe Kiug, and .that- 
lylr. Chaynoqk, wa^ actually sent ; and,, aeeundly^ the 
preparing mm to be levied, to form a corps ta assist' 
in t]ie restoration o( the Pretejiidfr, andiheeaipuleion 
of l^ing WiUiam, of wfeiph S^iitJobiiFreind wv tahei 
col^n^l^— In tl^if ca?e, if the pr^ftwtrie^iwit'tQbe 
wholly, .discredited, and the- o^^^rt. aotp .were conWi 
qqently eiEtt^b}}sM^ they w^nt mtiQaaUy.^tQ<H>ii^i!ftt« 

TH8 TBiAJUiOP 'HxMAA n/aa>Y. $7t 

tiieiBinct of every^naq of the pi^-exirting ideDliob 
to desti-oy the King. . Hie compirdKy was not to do 
an act idiiob^ thougH it might lead eventually and 
speculative^ to the KHig*s deaths might not be fore* 
seen or desigoed by those who conspired together i^^ 
the conspiracy was not directed to an event, probably 
leading to anodier^ and a diiferent one, and from the 
teipperong of which second, a third stiU dHTeiient 
might be en^ei»iered, wbieh* ti^rd might agatd lelid 
iii its consei^uenMs to a fwirtib ftale of things, whieh 
might, in the revolution of eventstybHngbn thfedeatU 
of the King, tfaoogh never eompftssed or imagined :*-*• 
Freind% bonspic^cy, on the contrary, had for. itsdiwect 
and ^ootffdui/^' object the restoration !of the- Pre^ 
tender to the throne, by thejnnctioa df foreign and 
rebdlioufi Satcti, In my opinion (and I am not more 
dispofied than others to push things beyond their 
mark. in the administration of criminal justice). Sir 
John Freind, if the- evidence against him found credit 
with the Jury, coqld have. no possible defence; since 
the evrdeitee iitent directly to prove the dispatch of 
Chamock. to BVancei under his direction, to invite 
the Freneh ^ling to bring over the Pretender into 
England, aaid toplaoe hira on the throne. The in- 
tention, ihereil^reyof Sir JohaPreind to cut off King 
William, was a dear inference. from the overt act in 
question ; • not ^as) 'inference of iaw for the Court, but 
of Jaei for' thb* Jury, under the guidance of plain 
eonimon Bense ; becsarose the consequence Qf the Pre- 
trmier'a raining the tiirene, must have been th^^ 

attainder of King Williairl by act of Pitriiameiit**^ 
Some gentlem^ ioem to look. as: if they thought 
not-^but I shoiild bd g^lad to hear the position con* 
tradicted. I repeat^ that ff the Bretend^ had been 
restored, as King of England, /the legal consequence 
would hpve been, thdt King William woold have been 
a traitor and an usurper, and subject as such to be 
tried at the Old Bailey, or wherever else ^heKing, 
who took his place, thought fit to bring him to judg- 
ment. . From these premisses, therefore,, there could 
be no difficulty of inferring the intention ; and, there- 
fore, if ever a case existed, where, froajkttjte deamesa 
of the inference, the province of the Jury, tnig^t have 
been overlooked, and the overt oqt ccxifounded with 
the treason, it wasin the instance of Freind; butrso 
far was this from being the case,; that yoit will find, 
on the contrary, every thing T have 'been ^saying to 
you, since I began to address you, summed up and 
confirmed by that most eminent magistrate Lord 
Chief Justice Holt, who presided upon that trial. 

He begins thus : — " Gentiemen of the Jun/j Loeh 
^' ye^ the treason that is mentioned in the Jndkimeni is 
f ^ conspiring^ compassing, and imagining the death of 
*/ the King. To prove thb ooKSPiitACY anb dk- 
^^ SIGN of the King's DEATH, tu^o principal overt 
*^ acts are insisted on*'' He does hofc consider the 
overt act of conspiracy and consultation to be the 
treason, but evidence (as it undoubtedly was ia that 
case) to prove the compassing th^ death. Tlie 
Chief Justice then states the tiKo overt .acts above 

mjentbiied, .and soms up> the evidence fyt dnd a^itist 
the Prisoner, and leaves the int^tion to the Jary oi 
matter of fact **-^'FoT it is not till afterwards that he 
comes td answer the PriscMier's objection in [K>int of 
law, as the Chief Justice in terms puts it-^-*^ There is 
" another thing j' said Lord Qiief Justice Holt, *^ he 
" did insist up(m\ and that is matter op law^ 
^^ The statute %bth Edward IIL was read^ which is 
'^ the great statute cAout treasons^ and' that does con* 
^^ tain divers species of treason, and declares what shall 
'^ be treason: one treason is the compassing and ima* 
*' giningthe death of the King ; another is the levying 
*^.wari Now says Ae" (i. e. Freind), " here is no 
^^ war actually levied i and a bare conspiracy to /ety 
^' war, does not come iviifdn the law against treason.*^ 
To pause hevea little :' Freind'S argument was this-^ 
Whatever my intentions might be— whatever my ob* 
joot of fevying war might have been^— whatever might 
have been my design to levy it-^hcJwever the de- 
struction of the King might bafe been effected by 
my conspiracy, if it had gone on-*-flfnd however it 
might have been ray intention that it should, — ^it i^ 
not treason within the 29 th of Edward III .i— To 
which Holt rq)Ked, a little incorrectly in language, 
but right in mbatanoe — ** ^ Note fbr that I must telf 
*^ you^ if there, be only ^ conspiracy to levy war, it is 
*' NOT. treason y^ i.e. it is not a<sub$tantive treason: 
it Js not a treason in the absttmct. ^^ But if the de^ 
^^ sign and conspiracy be either to kilt the King, or to 
*^ depose kim^ or imprison him,, or put any fofrce qf 

960 Mt*. BMKIKB'6 SrSBCH ON 

^^ rWrdint upon him,'' u e, peimnal restriiat by 
force, ^* and the wny of effetting these purposes t& by 
^^ LftVTiir<| A WAR ; there the conspiracy and constdt^ 
^^ a/i<m, to levy war for that purpose, is high treason, 
^^ though no war be levied: for sucfi consuli4Uion and 
'* conspiracy is an ovebt act PROVING the com- 
*^ passing the death of the King.'* But what sort 
of war is it, the bare conspiracy to levy whtch^ is 
an overt act to prove a design against the King's 
li£^ though no war be actually levied? Gentle- 
med, Lord Holt himself illustrates this matter so 
elearly, that if I had any thing at stake short of the 
honour and life of the Prisoner, I might sit down as 
aoon as I had read it : — for if one did not know it to 
be an extract from an ancrent trial, one would say it 
was admirably and accurately, written for the present 
purpose.— It is a sort of prophetic bird's eye view of 
what we are engaged in at this miMiient:?-^^^ There 
'^ may. be war /tft;i^(QpntiniiesLord Holt in FVetnd*^ 
^.^cftse) without Kfii^'. design upon (he King's persoUy 
<^ which, if ACTV^khLY hZvi^Di, is high treason, 
^* though purposing and designing such a levyUg, of 
5* wot is. not so. As for example.i if persons do iw-» 
*/- semble ikemielves, aimlactwkh fof^oe, in oppokiiion 
*^ to some law, and fiope thereby to ^et ii repeated; 
^* this 2>. a levying war, and treason, though thb 


'^ whe^ they endeqitour, in great numbers, with 
'^ FOBCB, to maie reformation of their dwn heads, 
^^ witbfiut pursuing the methods tf the law, that isU 

THB TlttAI. Olf THOMAS HA1»T. 3^1 

^* levying war, but the purfose aitd D^E3B&!rma i* . 
" MOT so/ But if there be, as I told you, a purpose 
^ and design- to destroy the Kino, and*' (not or 
to depose him, but and to deix)se htm) " to depose 
" him from his throne, which is proposed and designeti 
^ to be effected by war that is to be levied; suck a con'- 
" spiracy and consultation to levy war poer the* 
" i^RiNGiiTG this TO PA^s" (i. c. for bringing tlw 
King^s death to pass) '^ is an overt act of high trea^ 
** son^ So that, Gentlemen:, as to that objection which- 
^ he makes, IN POINT OF LAW, it is of no force, 
** if tltere be evidence sufficient to convince you that 
*^ he did conspire to- levy war FOR SUGH AW 
'^ END." And he concludes by again leaving* the 
intention expressly to the Jury. 


to be levied, and not the conspiracy to do any act 
which the law considers as a levying of war, that 
constitutes an overt act of treason against the Kiitg'r 
life. The most rebellious movements towards a re- 
form in government, not directed against the Ntng^s 
person, will not, according to Lord Holt, support 
the charge before you. — I might surround the House 
of Commons with fifty thousand men, for the ex-* 
press purpose of forcing them, by duress, to repeal- 
any law that is offensive to me, or to pass a bill for 
altering* elections, without being a possible objiect of- 
this prosecution.— Under the other branch* of the- 
statute^ r might indeed' be convicted of levying^war, 
but not of compas^inrg' the Kirir^s death ; and if If 

382 . MR. MSKINB^S «P££CM ON . 

only conspired and meditated thU rising to repeal 
laws by rebellion^ I could be convicted of nothing 
but a high misdemeanor •'—I would give my friends 
the case upon a special verdicti and let them hang 
me if they could* — ^How much more might I give it 
th^m if the conspiracy imputed was not to eSect a 
feform by violence^ but^ as in the case before us, by 
pamphlets and speeches, which might produce uni- 
versal suffrage, which universal suffrage might eat 
out and destroy Aristocracy, which destruction might 
lead to the fall of Monarchy, and, in the end, to the 
death of the King« — Gentlemen, if the cause were 
not too serious, I should liken it to the play with 
which we amuse our children : This is the cow with 
the crumpledy horn, which gored the dog, that wor- 
ried the cat, that ate the rat^ &c. ending in the house 
which Jack built. 

I do therefore maintain, upon the express authority 
of Lord Holt, that, to convict a Prisoner,- charged 
with this treason, it is absolutely necessary that you 
should be satisfied of his intention against the King's 
life, as charged in tfle indictment, and that no de- 
sign against the King's government will even be a 
l§gal overt act to be left to a Jury as the evidence of 
such an intention (much less the substantive and 
consummate treason), unless the conspiracy be di« 
rectly pointed against the person of the King. The 
case of Lord George Gordon is opposed to this as a 
high and modem decision ; and the Attorney |Ge- 
neral descended indeed to a very humble a&d lowly 

THB rmAh-ow mouA% MABMr. 383' 

mithoritjr, wh^ he sought to loaintfiin bis argiunent 
by my owa speech, as Counsdi for that unfortdnate 
person. The passage of it alluded to lies at this 
motnent before me ; and I shall repeat it, and re- 
^nmntain it to-day. — ^But let it first be recollected,: 
tjiiat Lord George Gordon was not indicted for com* 
passing or imagining the King's death, und^r the; 
first branch of the statute^ but for levying war un<-^ 
der the second. It never indeed «entered into the con- 
ception of any man living, that such an indictment 
oould have been maintained, or attempted against 
him^ I appeal to one of your Lordships now present^ 
for whose learning and capacity I have the greatest 
and highest respect, and who sat upon that trials 
that it was ndt insinuated from the Bar, OHich less 
adjudged by the Court, that the evidence had any 
bearing upon the Jint branch of treason. I know 
that I may safely appeal to Mr. Justice Buller for 
the truth of this assertion ; and nothing surely ia 
the passage from my address to the Jury, has the 
remotest alhlsion to as^milate a conspiracy against 
the King-s government (collateral to his person) 
with a treason against his life. My words were, 
" To compass, or imagine the death of the King ; 
" such imagination, or purpose of the mind, visible.. 
*^ gnly to its great Author, being manifested by some 
^^ open act ; an institution obviously directed, not; 
^* only to the jsecurity of his natural person, but to 
" the stability of the government ; the life of the 
^' Pnn^e.beitog so interwoven with the constitution 

,3d4r Mft, istiftifrrt ifEMtn oaf 

^^ df tim State, that an aiUimpt to desi^cy the one, 
^^ k justly^ held to be » rebellious conspitiicy ag^st 
*^ the other *.^ 

What is this bat to say thflt the King^s sacred Kfe* 
ia- guarded by higher sanctions than the ordinary 
laws^ because of its more insep^tmbte cdim^xJoci; 
with the public security, and that an attempt to (te- 
atroy it is therefore made treason against the State i 
But the Attorney General is, I am sure, too collect 
i» his* logic to say, that the converse of the proposi- 
tion is therefore maintained, and that an attack ipon 
the King's authority, without design upon his per* 
sen, is affirmed by the same exprension to be trea- 
sein against his life. His correct and enlarged mind 
is incapable of such confusion of ideas. 

But it is time to quit what fell from me upon this 
occasion, in order to examine the judgment of the 
Court, and to clothe myself with the authority oP 
that great and venerable magistrate, whose mentory^ 
will always be dear to me, not only from the great 
services he rendered to his country in' the adniinis-' 
tration of her justice, but on account of the persoiid' 
regard and reverence I had for him when living. 

Lord Mansfield, in delivering the law to. the Jury 
upon Lord George Gordon's trial (I appeal to die' 
tHal itself, and to Mr. Justice Buller; no^^ present;' 
who agreed in the judgment), expres^difitittguf^fetf 
between the safety provided for the King^ef^ nttlOMf 

^ See tbe Speech fat Lord.GtoiiBa Goidos, xcL ii^jmfKt4i 


pMrmrini by ttie fir3t branch of the fi(tatate, and the 
security q( his executive power under the Becond. 
That great Judge never had .an idea, that the natutal 
person of the Kii\g, and the majesty c^ the King, 
H^efe the same thing, nor that the treasons agaiilst 
them were syoonimons : he knew> on the contrary, 
fpr he knew all that w|is to be known, that as ^- 
^tantiv^ crimen they never had been blended, t wiH 
read bis own worda : — *' There are two kinds of 
** levying war >— one against the person of the King ; 
'* to imprison, to dethrone, or to kill him ; or to 
^' fQpke him change measures, or reitioii^e counssU 
*^ Iprf : — the other, which is said to be levied against 
"the majesty of the King, or, in other words^ 
'^ against biai in rhis r^al capacity ; as when a mul- 
'^titude rise and assemble to attain by force and 
" violence any object of a general public sature ; 
" that is levying war against the majesty of the 
^' Kiog ; and most reasonably so held, because it 
*^ bends to dissolve all the bonds of society, to de- 
^^ stroy property, and *o overturn government ; and, 
'^ by foix^e of arms, to restrain the King from reign- 
*' ing according to law," But then ob^rve. Gen- 
tlemen^ the war must be actually levied ; and here 
again I appeal to Mr. Justice Buller, for the words 
of Lord .Mansfield, expressly referring for what he 
said to tjbe authority of Lord Holt, in Sir John 
Freind's case, already cited : '^ Lord Chief Justice 
"Ji(rft, in Sir John Frcind's case, says :^— If per- 
^':Wm»^9 ^sQf^ble tlieoiselyes and act with force^ 

VOL. HI. c 


^' in opposition to some law which they think incon* 
*^ venient^ and hope thereby to get it repealed^ thifr 
^* is a levying war and treason. In the present case 
** It don't rest upon an implication that they hoped 
" by opposition to a law to get it repealed ; but the 
'* prosecution proceeds upon the direct ground, that 
*' the object was, by force- and violence^ to compel 
'^ the Legislature to repeal a law ; and therefore, 
" without any doubt, I tell you the joint opinion 
'^ of Us all, that, if this multitude assembled with 
'^ intent y by acts of force and violence, to compel 
'* the Legislature to repeal a law, it is high trea- 
'' son/* Let these words of Lord Mansfield be 
taken down, and then show me the man, let bis 
rank and capacity be what they may, who can re- 
move me from the foundation on which I stand, when 
I maintain that a conspiracy to levy war for the ob-» 
jects of reformation, is not otily not the high trea- 
son charged by this Indictment, when not directly 
pointed against the King's person, but that even the 
actual levying it would not amount to the constila- 
tion of the crime. But this is the least material 
part of Lord Mansfield's judgment, as applicabte to 
the present question ; for he expressly considers the 
INTENTION of the Prisoner, whatever be the act of 
treas6n alleged against him, to be all in all. So 
far from holding the probable or even inevitable *co*i- 
sequence of the thing 'done as constituting the- 
quality of the act, he pronounces them to be nothing 
as fidpartfted -from the criminal design 4k> produte 


them. Lord George Gordon assembled an immense 
multitude around the House af Commons^ a system 
so opposite to that of, the persons accused before this 
commission, that it appears from the evidence they 
would not even allpw a man to come amongst them, 
because he had been Lord George's Attorney. The 
Lords and Commons were absolutely blockaded in the 
chambers of Parliament ; and if control was the in- 
tention of the Prisoner, it must be wholly immaterial 
what were the d.elibera^tions that were to be con- 
trolled ; whether it was the continuance of Roman 
Catholics under penal laws, . the repeal of the septen- 
nial act, or a total change of the 45tructure of the 
House of Commons, that was the object of vio- 
lence ; — the attack upon the legislature of the 
country would have been the same. That the mul- 
titude were actually assembled round the Houses, 
and brought there by the Prisoner, it was impossible 
jfor me as his Counsel even to think of denying, nor 
that their tumultuous proceedings were not in ef- 
fect productive of great intimidation, and even dan- 
ger, to the Lords and Commons, in the exercise of 
their authority : — neither did I venture to question 
the law, that the assembling the multitude /or, ^Aa< 
purpose, was levying war within the statute. Upon 
these facts therefore,* applied to the doctrines we 
have heard upon this Trial, thfere would have been 
nothing iA Lor^ George Gordon's case £o try; he 
ftiust have been instantly, without controversy, con- 
victed. But Lord Mansfield did not saytQ the Jury 

cc a 


(according to the doctrines that have been broadied 
here), that if they found the multitude assembled by 
the Prisoner, were in fact palpably intimidating and 
controlling the Parliament in the exercise of their 
functions, he was guilty of high treason, whatever 
his intentions might have Afeen.— He did not tell them 
that the inevitable consequence of assembling a bun* 
dred thousand peoples round the Legislature^ being 
a control on their proceedings, was therefore a levy- 
ing war ; though collected from folly and rashness, 
without the intention of violence or control. — ^If 
this had been the doctrine of Lord Mansfield, there 
would (as I said before) have been nothing to try ; 
for I admitted in terms, that his conduct was the 
extremity of rashness, and totally inconsistent witb 
his ranic in the coimtry, and his station as a member 
of tlhe House of Cbmmons. But the venerable 
magistrate never for a moment lost sight of the 
grand ruling principle of criminal justice, that crimes 
^n have no seat but in the mind ; and upon the 
Prisoner's intention, and upon his intention alone^ he 
expreaaty left the whole ^natter to the Jury, with the 
following directions, which I shall read verbatim 
from the Trial : *' Having premised these several 
^^ propositions and principles, the subject matter for 
^^ your consideration naturally resolves itself ' iato 
*' two points : ' 

^^ First, Whether this multitude did assemble ind 
•* commit acts of mojehce, with intent to terrify 
'' and compel tbe Legislature to repeal the act o^lci 


*^ Sir George SaVile*s— If upon this point your opi- 
*' nion should be in the negative, that makes an end 
^' of the whole, and the Prisoner ought to be ac* 
^* quitted: but if yqur opinion should be, that, the, 
** intent of this multitude^ and the violence they 
*^ committed, was to force a repeal, there arises a 
*^ second point—* 

*^ Whether the Prisoner at the Bar incited, en- 
^' couraged, promoted, or assisted in raising thi^ 
'^ insunection, and the terror they carried with 
^^ them, WITH THE INTENT of forciug a repeal oif 
*^ this law. 

** Upon these two points, wTiich you will call your 
^^ attention to, depends the fate of this trial ; for if 
*^ either the multitude had no such intent, or suppo- 
^^ sing they had, if the Prisoner was no came, did not 
** excite, and took no part in conducting, counsel* 
" ling, or fomenting the insurrection, the Prisoner 
'^ ought to be acquitted ; and there is no pretence 
'* that he personally concurred in any act of vio-^ 

I therefore consider the case of Lord George Gor- 
don, as a direct authority in my favour. 

To show that a conspiracy to depose the King, in- 
dependently of ulterior intention against his life, is 
high treason within the statute, the Attorney Ge- 
neral next supposes that traitori; had conspired to 
depose King William, but still to preserve him as 
Stadtholder in Holland, and asks whether that con- 
spiracy would not be a compassing his death : to that 



question I answer, that it would not have been a 6oin- 
passing the death of King William, provided the 
conspirators could have convinced the Jury that their 
firm and bond Jide intention was to proceed no fur- 
ther, and that, under that belief and impression, the 
Jury (as they lawfully might) had negatived by their 
finding the fact of the intention against the King's 
natural existence. I have no doubt at all, that, upon 
such a finding, no judgment of treason could be 
pronounced : but the difficulty would be, to meet 
with a Jury, who, upon the bare evidence of such a 
conspiracy, would find such a verdict. There might 
be possible cifcumstances to justify such a negative 
of the intention, but they must come from the Pri- 
soner. In such a case the Crown would rest upon 
the conspiracy to depose, which would be primd 
facie and cogent evidence* of the compassing, and 
leave the hard task of rebutting it, on the Defend- 
ants : — ^^I say the hard task, because the case put is 
of a direct rebellious force, acting against the King; 
not only abrogating his authority, but imprisoning 
and expelling his person from the kingdom. I am 
not seeking ta abuse the reasons and consciences of 
Juries in the examination of facts, but am only 
resisting the confounding them with arbitrary pro- 
positions of law. 

Gentlemen, I hope I have now a right to consider 
that the existence of the high treason charged against 
the unfortunate man before you, is a matter of fact 
for your consideration upon the evidence. To esta- 


Uish this point, has been the scope of a)l that you 
have been listening to^ with so much indulgence aiul 
patience. It was my intention to have further sup- 
ported myself, by a great many authorities, which I 
have been laboriously extracting from the different 
books of the law; but I find I must pause here, lest 
I consume my strength in this preliminary part of 
the case, and leave the rest defective. 

Gentlemen, the persons named in the Indictment^ 
are charged with a conspiracy to subvert the rule, 
order, and government of this country ; and it is 
material that you should observe most particularly 
the means by which it allies this purpose was to be 
accomplished. The charge is not of a conspiracy 
to hold the Convention in Scotland, which was 
actually held there ; nor of the part they took in its 
actual proceedings ; but the overt act, to which ^11 
the others are subsidiary and subordinate, is a sup- 
posed conspiracy to hold a Convention in England^ 
whigh never in fact was held ; and consequently all 
the vast load of matter which it has been decided 
you should hear, that does not immediately connect 
itself with the charge in question, is only laid before 
you (as the Court has repeatedly expressed it) to 
prove that in point of fact such proceedings were 
had, the quality of which is for your judgment ; 
and as far, and as far only, as they can be connected 
with the Prisoner, and the act which lie stands 
charged with^ to be left to you^ as evidence of the 

C C 4 

3^3 MR. ERSKINB's speech OKT 

intention with which the holding of the second Gjn- 
vcntion was projected. 

This intbktion is therefore the whole cause-* 
for the dmrge is not the agreement to hold a Con* 
vention, which it is notorious, self-evident, and even 
admitted that they intended to hold ; but the agree* 
jnent to hold it^br the purpose alleged ^ of asmming 
all the authority of the state, and m fulfilment of the 
main intention against the life of the King. Unless, 
therefore, you can collect this double intention from 
the evidence before you, the Indictment is not main* 

Gentlemen, the charge being of a conspiracy, 
which, if made out in point of fact, involved beyond 
all controversy, and within the certain knowledge of 
the conspirators, the lives of every soul that was en- 
gaged in it ; the first observatibn whidi I shall make 
to you (because in reason it ought to precede all 
others) is, that every act done by the Prisoners, and 
every sentence Written by them, in the remotest de- 
gree connected with the charge,' or offered in evi- 
dence to support it, were done and written in the 
public face of the world : — the transactions which 
constitute the whole body of the proof, were not 
tho^e of a day, but in regular series for two years 
together ; they were not the peculiar transaction of 
the Prisoners, but of immense bodies of the King's 
subjects, in various parts of the kingdom, assembled 
without the smallest reserve, ^nd giving to the ppb- 


lie, through the channel of the daily newspapers, a 
i^inute and regukr journal of their whole proceed- 
ings. . Not a syllable have we heard read, in the 
week's imprisonment we have suffered, that we had 
not all of us read for months and months before the 
prosecution was heard of; and which, if we are not 
st^ciently satiated, we may read again upon the file 
of every coffee-house in the kingdom. It is admit* 
ted distinctly by the Crown, that a reform in the 
House of Commons is the ostensible purpose of all 
the proceedings laid before you ; and that the at- 
tainment of that object only, is the grammatical 
sensie of the great body of the written evidence. It 
rests therefore with the Crown, to show by legai^ 
BBOOP that this ostensible purpose, and the whole 
mass of correspondence upon the table, was only a 
doak to conceal a hidden machination, to subvert 
by force the entire authorities of the kingdom, and 
to assume them to themselves. Whether a reform 
of Parliament be a wise or an unwise expedient ; 
whether, if it were accomplished, it wopld ultimately 
be attended with benefits, or dangers, to the country^ 
I will not undertake to investigate, and for this plain 
reason ; because it is wholly foreign to the subject 
before us. — But when we are trying Ihe integrity of 
men*s intentions, and are examining whether their 
complaints of defects in the representation of the 
House of Commons, be bond Jide^ or only a mere 
stalking-horse for treason and rebellion, it becomeis 
a most essential inquiry, \vHethei* they be the fii^i 


who have uttered these complaints ;--«whetber they 
have taken up notions for the first time, which 
never occurred to others ; and whether, in seeking to 
interfere practically in an alteration of the constitu- 
tion, they have manifested, by the novelty of their 
conduct, a spirit inconsistent with aftection for the 
government, and subversive of its authority. Gen- 
tlemen, I confess for one (for I think the safest way 
of defending a person for his life before an enlight^ 
ened tribunal, is to defend him ingenuously), I con- 
fess for one, that if the defects in the constitution of 
Parliament, which are the subject of the writings, 
and the foundation of all the proceedings before you, 
had never occurred to other persons at other times, 
or, if not new, they had only existed in the history 
of former conspiracies, I should be afraid you would 
suspect, at least, that the authors of them were 
plotters of mischief. — In such a case I should natu- 
rally expect that you would ask yourselves this 
question — Why should it occur to the Prisoner at 
the bar, and to a few others in the year J 794, im- 
mediately after an important revolution in another 
country, to find fault, on a sudden, with a consti- 
tution which had endured for ages, without the im- 
putation of deGect, and which no good subject had 
ever thought of touching with the busy hand of 
reformation ? I candidly admit that such a question 
would occur to the mind of every reasonable man, 
and could admit no favourable answer. — But surely 
tl;i|^, admission entitles me, on the other hand, to 



the concession^ that if, in comparing their writings, 
and examining their conduct with the writings and 
conduct of the best and most unsuspected persons 
in the hest and most unsuspected times^ we find thera 
treading in the paths which have distinguished their 
highest superiors ; if we find them only exposing 
the same defects^ and pursuing the same or similar 
courses for their removal, — it would be the height 
of wickedness and injustice to torture expressions, 
and pervert conduct, into treason and rebellion, 
.which had recently lifted up others to the love of the 
nation, to the confidence of the sovereign, and to 
all the honours of the state. The natural justness of 
thi^ reasoning is so obvious, that we have only to 
.examine the fact ; and, considering under what au- 
spices the Prisoners are brought before you, it may 
be fit that I should set out with reminding you, that 
the great Earl of Chatham began and established 
the fame and glory of his life upon the very cause 
which my unfortunate clients were engaged in, and 
that he left it as an inheritance to the present Minis- 
ter of the Crown, as the foundation of his fame and 
glory after him ; and his fame and glory were ac- 
cordingly raised upon it ; and if the Crown's evi- 
dence had been carried as far back as it might have 
been (for the institution of only one of the two 
London Societies is before us), you would have found 
that the Constitutional Society owed its earliest cre- 
dit with the country, if not its very birth, to the 
labour of the present Minister, and its professed 

3q6 , MR. ersri^e's speech on 

jprinciples to Hts Grace the Duke of Richmond^ high 
iilso in his Majesty's present Councils^ whose plan 
of reform has been clearly established by the whole 
body of the written evidence, and by every witness 
examined for the Crown, to have been the type and 
model of all the Societies in the supposed conspi- 
racy, and uniformly acted upon in form and in sub- 
stance by the Prisoner before you, up to the very 
period of his confinement. 

Gentlemen, the Duke of Richmond*s plan was 
universal suffrage and annual Parliaments ; and urged 
too with a boldness, which, when the comparison 
cbines to be made, will leave in the back ground the 
strongest figures in the writings on the table. I do 
not say this sarcastically ; I mean to speak with the 
greatest respect of His Grace, both with regard to 
the wisdom and integrity of his conduct ; for al- 
though I have always thought in politics wkh the 
illustrious person whose letter was read to you ; 
although I think, with Mr. Fox, that annual Parlia- 
ments and universal suffrage would be nothing like 
an improvement in the constitution ; yet I confess 
that I find it easier to say so than to answer the Duke 
of Richmond's arguments on the subject ; "and I 
must say besides, speaking of His Grace from a long 
personal knowledge, which begun when I was Coun- 
sel for his relation Lore! Keppel, that, independently 
of his illusfrious rank, which secures him against 
the imputation of trifling with its existience, he is a 
person of an enlarged understanding, of extensive 


reading, and of much rejl^^ion ; apd th^t.his l)oo|: 
cannot therefore be considered as the effusion /of 
rashntsss and folly, but as the well-weighed, though 
perhaps erroneous, conclusions drawn from the ^Cn 
tual condition of our affairs, viz. that . without ^ 
speedy and essential reform in Parliament (and there 
my opinion goes along with him) the very being of 
the country, as a great nation, would be los(;. Thi^ 
plan of the Duke of Richmond was the grand m4a 
spring of every proceeding we have to deal with ;— 
you have had a great number of loose conversations 
reported from Societies, on which no reliance can be 
had ; sometimes they have been garbled by spies, 
sometimes misrepresented by ignorance ; and even, 
if correct, have frequently been the extravagances 
of unknown individuals, not even uttered in the pre- 
sence of the Prisoner, and totally unconnected with 
any design ; for whenever their proceedings are 
appealed to, and their real object examined, by livhig 
members of ' them, brought before you by the 
Crown, to testify them urfder* the most solemp pblir 
gations of truth, they appear to have been foUovying^ 
in form and in substajice, the plans adopted within 
our memories^ not only by the Duke of Ricknpond^ 
hut by hundreds of the most eminent men in the king^ 
dom., The Duke of Richmond formally published 
his plan of reform in the year 1780, in a letter tQ 
Lieutenant Colonel Sharmap, who was at that ixqx^ 
^cticplly employed upjon the same object in Itf^^ 
lai^d ; s^j, tfeif is a xpos^ fn^iBCJ*! py t pf th|e (^ ; 


because you are desired to believe that the terms 
Convention, and Delegates, and the holding 
the one, and sending the other, were all collected 
from what had recently happened in France, and 
were meant as the formal introduction of her repub- 
lican constitution : but they who desire you to be- 
lieve all this, do not believe it themselves ; because 
they know certainly, and it has indeed already been 
proved by their own witnesses, that Conventions of 
Reformers were held in Ireland, and Delegates regu- 
larly sent to them, whilst France was under the do- 
minion of her ancient government. — ^They knew 
full well that Colonel Sharman, to whom the Duke^s 
letter was addressed, was at that very moment sup- 
J)orting a Convention in Ireland, at the head of ten 
thousand men in arms, for the defence of their 
country, without any commission from the King, 
any more than poor Franklow had, who is . now in 
Newgate, for regimenting sixty. These volunteers 
asserted and saved the liberties of Ireland ; and the 
King would, at this day, have had no more subjects 
in Ireland than he now has in America, if they had 
been treated as traitors to the government. It was 
never imputed to Colonel Sharman and the volun- 
teers, that they were in rebellion ; — ^yet they had 
irms in their hands, which the Prisoners never dream- 
id of having ; whilst a grand general Convention wa§ 
actually sitting under their auspices at the Royal 
Exchange of Dublin, attended by regular Delegateb^ 
tcdm' all the ebuntii^s in Irfeland.^^And' who ^were 


these Delegates?— I will presently tear off their names 
from thitf paper^ and hand it toyou.-^They were the 
greatest^ the best, and proudest names in Ireland;— 
mett who had the wisdom to reflect (before it was too 
late for reflection) that greatness is not to be sup- 
ported by tilting at inferiors, till, by the separation of 
the* higher from the lower orders of mankind, eVery 
distinction is swept away in the tempest of revolu- 
tion ; but in the happy harmonization of the whofe 
community ; by conferring upon the' people thdir 
rights; sure of receiving the auspicious^ retdrh of 
^affection, and of insuring the stability of the govern- 
ment, which is erected upon that just and natural 
basis.«-*-Gentiemen, they who put this tortured con- 
struction on conventions and delegates, know also 
that repeated meetings of reforming Societies, both 
in England and Scotland, had assumed about the 
same time the style of Conventions, and had been 
attended by regular delegates long before the phrase 
had, or could have, any existence in France ; and 
that upon the very model of these former associa- 
tions, a formal Convention was actually sitting at 
Edinburgh, with the Lord Chief Baron of Scotland 
in the chair, for promoting a reform in Parliament^ 
at the very moment the Scotch Cbnvention^ follow- 
ing its: example, assumed that title. 

To return to this letter of the Duke of Rich-* 
mond:->^It was written to Colonel Sharman, inan- 
sWer to a tettek^ t6 Hi$ Grace, desiring to know his 
plan o( reform, whkh he accordingly communicated 

400 MR. EB&KIKS^ W^fkCU PW 

liy the letter which is ia evidence ; and wbidi piw 
vas neither more nor lesa than that adopted by the 
Frisouers, of surrounding Parliament (unwiiUog to 
reform its own corruptions)^ not by armed men, or 
by importunate multitudes, but by the still and wd* 
versal voice of a whde people claiming tsbii^ 
known and 1JNALJENABI4E RIGHTS. — ^This 18 so pee* 
cjsely the plan of the Duke of Richmond, that I 
ha?e almost borrowed his expressions. His Grace 
8ay9> ^* The lesser reform has been atteiQpted with 
*^ every possible advantage in its favour; not only 
^* from the zealous support of the advocates for a 
*^ more effectual one, bjut from the assistance of men 
'^ of great weight, both in and out of power. But 
*^ with all these temperaments and helps it has £iilcd. 
'^ Not one proselyte has been gained from corruption, 
*5 nor has the least ray of hope been held out froreirany 
*f quarter, that the House of Commons was inclined 
'^ to adopt any other mode of reform. The wie^g^ oC 
^^ corruption has crushed this more .gentle, as it 
^^ would have defeated any mord efficacious plan m 
*^ the same circumstances. From that qparttfy 
'^ therefore, I have nothing to hope« It is Faom 


*1 QOOD i-r-and I am convinced^ that the only way 
'^ to make them feel tha,t they are really conoemed 
^^ in the business, is to contend for ^eir full, deatj 
*^ and ir^dispifiable rights of uniuersal repfe$mtaU0n*^' 
Kqw how does this doctrine ^ply to the defence of 
t|^ Prisoner ?«^I maintain that it has the most de^ 

fiW«i#Rpl«al"o«» l^eqiilSP thw boojk' l^s b^ftn put 

i^ttf^^-bpgn, b9n4Jde,, the pla» wbiph they pur- 
w«4* ' 

m' M^ iMflp- ,t)^ CrpVO> jifitja^sei^ jvQrthy of crtdlit? 
rr4f ^tbey iir/gjw*» l^t W retiwft *iQn)^3 «nc(B th^fce is 
IK) iey}#iiq»'9MU^ fip4 tfes cs^^ is oyer.-^AU the 
^St, i/ ^y (ihQtie be, prcwfl^ds^ from their t^^imony; 
jf (^hpy.WPtnet to be.ljeUeved, )t>h$y hay^ groLvesd no- 
-tfeof gi i^nos the CrcMYii omnpt faroe vpon you that 
.piPt-^ tfais e^vi^^qs vt^klh sifits its purpose, and ask 
,ym't(>.mjiwt itbp pther whjeh .dflp3 Joot. The wit- 
WMCSiW^fHh^.c^tip^ly cr/ejiibte, or uodeo^rving of 
.allxr^^it, ai^4 I bbiie i)o iqt^ere^ il» thie alternative. 
GPhiais pnecisely thie atafce of the Gause.-rrFof, nvith 
-n^gand tp all tbe evidisaGe that ia written, Itet it never 
:be fyscg^^, that it is ino^ jupcm.* me to defend my 
^Cli^faM'i^g^Afit it, but for (he Croyfn .to extract irom 
:it»tte.fnatems^ pf.accus^tJQ».TTThey do not con- 
lAxxH tbatthfe^tmasoa is.l^K>n the aurflice qf it, but 
rid .thfii ifet»ijt .lintpjfition ; which intention rnu^t, 
therefore, be supported by extrinsic prQof;^ bdfc wtuch 
. js jQleravth^^ dir^cUy negatived ^nd.he»k down by 
. emery !vditqe9a>th^.J|:i«ivi^ctilled/ leaving them nc^hing 
bift comtn^rttaoes ai)d JbrUicianla against ,hoth fact 
;;ateliai^;uage^ito.iMhii^,tfar the preaenit, J sh^ll con- 
tent inj^^.,ix¥(i]qae:^in^^ 
^ cguflgft: of . the Coisunty ififi tfae .eadieat^ftage jofikheir 

VOL. IJtl,' P D 

402 MK. ER8KINE*i5 fiPEBCH Olf * 

^^ If there be ground to consider the professed 
^* purpose of any of these associations^ a reform in 
•^ Parliament, as mere colour, and as a pretext held 
•^ Qut in order to cpver deeper designs— designs 
*' against the whole constitution and government of 
•' the country ; the case of those embarked lA such 
'^ designs is that which I have already considered. 
^' Whether this be so, or not, is mere matter of 
^ fact ; as to which I shall only remind you, that 
*' an inquiry into a chaise of this nature^ . which 
'^ undertakes to make out that the ostenrible pw* 
^ pose IB a mere veil, under which is concealed a 
*^ traitorous conspiracy, requires cool and ddiberate 
'^ examination, and the most attentive considera- 
*' tion ; and that the result should be perfectly clear 
*^ and satisfactory. In the aiiairs of common life^ 
*^ no man is justified in imputing to another a mean* . 
^' ing contrary to what he himself expresses, but 
" upon the fullest evidence/' — ^To this (though it 
requires nothing to support it, either in reason or 
authority) I desire to add the direction of Loi4 
Chief Justice Holt to the Jury, on the trial of Sax 
John Perkyns : 

*^ Gentlemen, it is not fit that there shoitld be 
<' any strained or forced coastruction put upon a 
<^ man^s actions when he is tried for hisdife. You 
f^ oiig&t \o have a fiill and satisfactory evidence that 
*^ he is guilty, before yoi> ipropounce him so." . 

In this asimtlation^oif the vmtiags of the societies 
to the writings o][ die Duke of Richmond ^axul others. 


r do not forget thftt it has b^n truly said by the 
Lord Chief Justice^ in the:<S)urse of this very cause, 
that ten or twenty men's coniinitting crimes^ fur- 
nishes no defence for other men in committing them. 
Gert^rnly it does not ; and I fly to no such sanc- 
tuary ; but in trying the Prisoner's intentions, and 
the intentions of those with whom he associated and 
acted, if I can shdwi them to be only insisting upon 
the same principles that have distinguished the most 
eminent men for wisdom and virtue in the country, 
it will not be very easy to declaim or arg^e them 
kito the pains of death, whilst our bosoms are glow* 
jbg with admiration at the works of those very per- 
.sOn$ who would condemn them. 

Grentlemen, it has been too much the fashbn of 
kteto overlook the genuine source of all human au^ 
tbority, but more especially totally to forget the cha- 
racter of the British House of Commons as a repre- 
sentative of the people ; — ^whether this has arisen irqm 
that assembly's having, itself forgotten it, would be 
-indecent for me to inquire into or to insinuate i-r- 
but I shall preface the authorities which I mean to 
collect in support of the Prisoner, with the opinion 
on that subject of a trply celebrated writer, whom I 
ygmh to speak of with great respect : I should, indeed^ 
ben aahamed, particularly at this moment^ to name 
biihinvidioaslyjf; whilst he is bending beneath 
the ^ pre Assure, of, ;a dQf9e?tic misfortune, which no 
Imto blifc of hi^owfh ffajaftily lan^nts; morojb^cerdjr 
than. I >dd.f .Tr¥o. differcnee o^, opinfon jsaju /vy 

* Mr. Buckets son was then dying. ,;i^ i ♦ i 

n p 2 

464 l«R« ERSKZKfi^ If^fiMH •oi«r 

make me' forget to acknowledge the sttblimity Df liis 
g'enius^ the vast reach of his understanding, and fais 
nniVersal a(!;quaintance with the litetOfie$ and dm;- 
s(itatk>ns 6F nations ; I also disavoMr the ihtrDdaction 
of the ^writings, with the View' of involving the aa^ 
ihor in ahy apparent incon«nfetencie&, which >vduld 
tend, indeed, to^ defeat tiather than to advance my 
purpose.— I ^tand here to-day to claim at your hands^ 
a feir and charitable interpretation of human con- 
dlict, and I shall not set out M^th -gWing an ex-^ 
ample of unchAritableness.-^-A tn^n may hbve reason 
to chahge his opinions, or ^^erfeflfps the defect may be 
ill myself, who collect that tftfey'dre'diaiiged • Tleave it 
to God to judge of the beirt-Mny wish is, that Chrift* 
trah charity may J)revaiP;-ti^Jthkt'tfte -'public hartridny, 
^hichlia^ feeeh Ibst, may be fertCrrttl-^— that^HEngL 
iand may re-unite in the' bonds of toveand aflfeclibH;— 
and-ttiat, w4ierilhe Cotfrt isbiJcJkdn upfcythe^acqnittal 
of the'Prkotf^rs, alt h^art^btir^ings^ arid- aniino^iltcB 
•ihay ceaSe ^— that. Whilst yefe \Km!»kitt the light, «te 
may try how we cari'Savef>(!MV'e06AttyTby.a common 
'efKfrt }• ahd that; iriste^d -Of '^iWfcfesly setthfig torife 
*hairW society 'agaiftst?'t%e>fbtfter'*tby' theifdrce of 
^ahtifeilassociafioVis, ^ iah(!l* the'^ifel'rt)r8 'dF'«burts of jue- 
'tice,feur spirit^ ahtt<(Hii» str^S^th'Tnay^ oombimd 
hi the glofrious 'fcaase^ df '({»*' fi^ddttUy^^^flyytts, il 
'do not niean in ihe Caifti d^M& pstfsetltttrafrj: wfaidi 
Iprotest'agaihit'as u«j&fet'i'^W)li^dte^ 
*<itfe^•'%llt^tfi5S li^Vim^Ah^^piAik tfwr^dhtit sttlgoct,:;! 
^% ftSVert>W'it t3<t)i«^Plifewt^t)r.!ht*e^re8Ciit- 

atioa* * '*'<^' ^''^'*^ «^^ no: i^i:^ .1 .I-f ' 

1* a a 

TBRi 1»»M OPT. T)If>;^4kSc H4i9pT. 40^ 

^' issuing immediately from the peop}^, %9n^Pp^dily 
^* 'tobibires^ed.iiUo;tIte]Cn9$9ifrPtp \i^I)i^o$; lit arose; 
**jin this^icespect j*.wfe3: mithrJwgherpwfei^f: go- 
^* -weawnoBit/wliat joricfiare in , the low^. Thfe ca- 
f5f: paoity ofa.^»»gi8teate b^ing toamtory^ as^fthfttpfa 
.« rdtiatn peri»an«it> tlie iatt^:<Mipepi^yy i| v^jaSlhgped, 
.♦:<;w©«Jd iuf ;Qoorae pcepjwd^ipjte .in:»^lK disCAWipns, 
" not only between the people and the st^n4iQ|f|att- 
i^^jithbaty. of tba Crciwr\^ bi^t bet^^^eenr^ pppple 
t^f. apd thd flcetiog authority of th^ Howee pf .Cqp%- 
>* mone >ittetf. It ;\ites JbQj«4:!-lbAtli being f^f^ >a 
<^ iwiddle^nahwQ, b^fc*?w« «iilgwt »h<i;e<i>t^rflWent, 
' ^f 'i they ^fXMdd feel: vrith a Bior^ teoder/^i>4 pr^n^^f r 
f *^ ititcresb, ^yery^^iog: flfeat goiNSrp^i. fc.h§ . pfqpjf , 
::*^ thao ,the otHer r^iic*eran<J mor^ pewjM^neijitjpsirts 
; ^. of 'tegi^latum. :' .'. i; /J 

:** Wlniateyett alteBatlotis feime imdijtlw i|ej»gsai:y 

>^ aootkisniDbdjiibion of buioniQa^. a9»y b§Me;intrQ4^if?^9 

^futhis character <5an nevor be isypfeRi^i^d^ g^^Jftfls.fte 

^*'iHou?e ofjCommoB^ sbaUrib^(ma(jQ,!fe9: bpac^;s(QCTe 

*^^ stamp of i the actual dis^wj^ilioqiiofi t)jfeipV»op}Si>t 

f^^ large: tt would. (a»iQog,pubJifi,pi6for*»nfs):.l)^^ 

»*^ evil more natbr^l and,t«l*ribl§, tto t^p.ljQua? pf 

* ^ GpmmoQs should be. Uifeqt^ wi(h Q)9ery epi^j$^i« 

""^ pal fircinzy of the pe9^, lift. Hus WQOld wdkHte 

D D 3 


^* some consanguinity^ Mine symffathy of nature^ 
^ \vitfa their cx>nstitueiit8^ than that they shoold, in 
'^^ all Gsses^ be whoUy untouehed. by the opiiioiis 
^^ and feelings of the people out of doors. .> ^tbis 
^^ want of syntpathy, they would oease (o tie k 
" House irf CcMnnjons. 

^* The virtue, spirit, and essence of a House of 
^' C6innion^5 cqnsists in its being tbeexpress image 
^^ of the ^ings of the nation* It was not insti'- 
^^ tuted to be a control upon the people^ as of late 
^^ It b^s 1^0 taught, by a doctrine of the most 
*' pernicious tendency, but M ^ control f^r the 
♦^ people.** 

' He then goes on to say, that to gire a tedmical 

shape, a colour, drpss^ and duration to popular 

'ppiniqn^ is the fruid office of a House of Commons^ 

'-^Mr. Burke is unquestionably cgrreclt ;^-^the cjon-r 

trol • x/poij tbp people is the King's Msgesty, atid 

the hereditary privileges of the Peers <*>^-^e balance 

6f the state is ^be control for the>pet^e upon 

both, in the existence of the House' of CSommon^; 

r^but how can that control exist for the people, 

' ilntefes the/ have the actual election of the House of 

(femn^otts/ whichjj it is; piost notorious, th^ have 

hbt ?— I hold in my hand a state of the represents^-: 

- ti6n. which^ if the thing were not otherwise noto- 

' fndus, I ^uld prove tP have lieen lately offered in 

proof ti) t!ie HbuseiqC Commons, by an honourable 

friend of mine now present, whose motion I hdd 

> |he h^xiour to second^ where it appeared tbit I2^0PQ 


people return near a majority of the HQu^e of pom* 
mons^ and those. again^ under the control of abou( 
200. But though these £iot$,were adrriitted, ali 
redresS;, and even discussion, was refused^; — ^What 
ought to be said of a House of Common^, that so 
conducts itself, it is not for me to pronounce ;< I will 
appeal, therefore, to Mr, Burke^ who says, '^ that a 
*' House of C!ommons, which in all disputes between 
^^ the people and administration presumes against 
*^ the people, which punishes their disprders, but 
^' refuses even to inquire into their, provocations^ 
^^ is an unnatural, monstrous state of things in the 
*^ constitution," 

But this is nothing: Mr. Burke goes on after-* 
wards to give a more full description of Parliament, 
and in stronger language (let the Solicitor General 
take it down for his reply), than any that, has been 
employed by those who are to be tried at presfent as 
conspirators against its existence. — ^I read the pas- 
sage, to warn you against considering hard ^words 
against the House of Commons as decisive evidence 
of treason against the King. — ^The passage is in a 
welUkiiown work, called, Thoughts on the Causes 
of the PRESENT Discontents ; and such discontents 
will always be present whilst their causes continue. 
—The word present will apply just as well now, 
and much better than to the times when the honour- 
able Gentleman wrote his book ; for we are now in 
the heart and bowels of another war, and groaning 
m^r its additional burden^. I sh^ll therefore le^ve 

PP 4 

it tb Ihfe l»rn4d Gefnlleiiian, who is to r^ly, to SitoW 
lis vA\it httiS batched since our author ^rbte, t^h!(?h 
lenders thfe PaHiimeftt fess liable to the saittfe ob'ser- 
Vations notv. 

* *^ !^ must be always Sihe wish of an unc6n1rtitu- 
^^ tionbl statesman, IKat a House of Commoris, 
'^ who are erttirely dependent upon him^ ishould 
^' have every right of the pfeople entirely depeiidfent 
*' upon theii* pleasurfe. Pbr it was soon diidcovered 
^* lliat tlie fbrms of a free, and the ends of in arbi- 
^' trary government, were things riot ^together iu- 
^* compatible. 

^^ The power of the Crown, almost dead and irot- 
*^ teA ki prerogative, has grown tip arifeV^, with 
^^ rriuch more strength arid far less odiutn, und^r the 
^' hatWe of influence. An influerrcfe Whidh bpfefjrted 
^^ wttholit noise &rtd violence ; whidh cofiv^i-ted thfe 
'^ very antagonist into the instrument of pow^r; 
**^ which contained in itself a perpetual principle of 
*' growth and renovatibn ; and which the dWtrefeses 
*' and the -prospeyity of the country equally tenfded to 
*^ augm^t, was an admirable substitute for a prerO- 
*^ gative, that,'bfeing only the oflspring'o^^ntiqtiated 
^^ prejudices,' had moulded iti its oHginal istaVriina 
<* irresistible priticiples of decay and dissolution.*' 

What is this but saying that the HoOSe of Com- 

mons 18 a settled knd scandalous abu6e faste^ntA upon 

. the people, instead of bei'ng an antagonist powfef j^r 

their protection ; in odious instrument df pdwer in 

the hands of the Crown, instead of a |topular balandf 

i^Aifisi kl^ tfi^ Wf.lKafkettieaii'tHat tihe prero.| 
gative df tiieCfOWti, pfoperiy atiderfetood and exer- 
dsed, was an atitiqudted pfejudice? Certainly not j 
feecaase his attacbrriefnt to a pfopei*ly balanced mo- 
narchy is notorious : — why then is it ta be fastenied 
bpon the Prisoners, that they stigmati7-e monarchy; 
ivheh they klso exclaim onfy agdtnn its ccfrruptionsf 
th the same manner, when he speats 6f the abasieis'of 
Parliament, would it be fair to Mk. Buf ke td ar^ej 
from the Strict legdl meaning 6f the i^xpfessfon, that 
tie triiluded, in the censure on P4rliameht;tHe*K^^ 
pfeVsOTh, or ftiajesty, which is part of the Pariiamerit> 
fti exmtiitiing'the' Work of aiiijautftbr-you rtitist doMfect 
lUie sehse iof his expre's^io^is frofii' the subject he ji 
itKlseJusshig ; irid if he' is writing oi^ the House ik 
tidftimons as it 'aifFects the structure find efficacy cff 
the g(Jvertimefit, you oughf to utideristand the word 
^arliaifhent So as to meet the settsfe arid obvious mean- 
ing 6^" the Writer.— Why theh is this common justice 
i^eftised to others ?— Why is the word Parliament tb 
Id'c '^a'ken in its strictest and teiast oMious sense against 
li p6bf"^hpe-mak6r, or any plain' tra^^^ at a ShdP- 
^Id club, while it is intei^i-eted iii its popular, thBugh 
less correct acceptation, in i\\e worlcS 6f the mbst 
distinguished' scholar of me age?' Acid to this, tllrft 
the cases are hoi: at alT sjinilar : Tor .Mr. Burke ifses 
'the word Parliament' l^Aroa^J^oM^^, \Yhen he is speaking 
of theftouse of domraons ; without any concomi- 
ttant words which convey an explanation, but the 
sense of his subject ; whereafi Parliament is fastened 

upoa the Prisoner as ipeaning sooaethipg beyond jtfae 
Hou3QQf Comoioiis, when it, can, have x^o possible 
meaning beyond dt; since from the b^ the 
end it Is joined with the words representatim of the 
pcjOp&.-rrthe representation of the people in Parlia- 
iiient ! — Does not this most palpably mean the House 
of CoDoiinons, whien we know that the people have 
t)0 representation in either of the pth^r brancjies Qf 
the government ? 

, J^ letter has be^n read in evidence from Mr. Hardy 
to Mr*. Fox, where. he says their object was univjsrsa^ 
representation*. Did Mi;. Fox suppose, when he re- 
ceived this letter, tl^at it was from a nest of repphjli* 
cans, clamouring publicly for an universal represeuUr 
^ve constitution like that of Frwce ? Jf \^t ba4> 
vrould he have sent the answer he did, and agreed tp 
prespnt their petition ? — ^Th^ wrote also tp the Sor 
ciety of the Friends of the People^ and invited them 
to send delegates to the Convention : — ^the Attorney 
General, who has made honourable and candid menr 
lion of that body, will not suppose that it would have 
contented itself with refusing the invitation in terms- 
of coi:di.ality and regard, if, with all the knowledge 
they had of their transactions, they had conceived 
themselves to have been invijted to the formation of 
a body, which was to over-rule ai^d extinguish all the 
.authorities of the State: yet vppn the perversion of 
these two terms, Parliament and Qonvention^ against 
their natural interpretation, against a similar use of 
. them by others^ and against the solemn explanation 


of theci^ by the Crown's own witnessesj this wl^ia 
fabric of terror and accusatipn stands for its suiq)Qrti 
lettQTSj it se^s; written to other pe<^le^ are to. be 
better understood by the Gentlemen round this table^ 
who never saw them till months after they wer^^ 
written^ than by those to whom they were addresse4 
«nd sent ; and no right interpretation^ forsooth^ is tp 
he expected from writings when pursued in their re^ 
gdar.series^ but they ari^ to be made distinct tf 
binding them up in a large volume, alongside of 
others totally unconnect^ with th^m, and the veiy 
existence of .who^ authors was unknown to ofm 

I will now. Gentlemen, ^ resume the; reading of 
tttoth^r part of Mr. Burke, and a pretty account it if 
of tills samet Parliament: *^ They who will not con«- 
.^^^r condi^t tg the public good, and cannot 
^* supfkort it by the pi^c^pgative of the Crown, have 
^^ adi^ted a toew . plan • They have totally abandoned 
.^^ the shattered mi4.<4d-fashioned fortress of prero^ 
^^ :gative, and made a lodgment in th^ strdng*hokl 
^.^of Parliament its^f. If they have any evil desiga 
/^ to which there is no ordinary legal power commei^ 
f^. curate, itl^y bring it into Parli^mentt- There the 
^^ whole 'is^eji^cuted from the beginning tO' the end": 
^^ and the power of obtaining their pl^eot absolute ; 
^^ bnd the^s^ty in the proceeding perfect; no rulea 
^^ to . confine, ndr after-reckonings to terrify, For 
^f Parliwi^nt cannot, with any great propriety, punish 
f^ath^vfpr things in which they themselv^ hw« 

« beeir aecompKfcesi Thus ' ite <iontrol \jipcm ttM 

♦'ARCCtttc^y jpowcrisldst.'^ : .i. » 

THi» is a propoMtiow uhiv^rsat; ' R «^m)^ ^bal the 

popolsr cowfrd was Idst mider this or thait' A^Ayi^ 

toistratfdwi bttty'G&]TOttAXLY,'that the peojrf^ef have no 

feewtrol'm'thfe 'House of Gommona^' <Ldt! atify n^an 

irfafiSA iup and ^y that he disbelieves thte to be »the 

ehSe^ PbeMeve hewoold find nobody tt) belte»<ehfim; 

MrJBUrfce pursues the nubjijct tfeod; •^'^he diia^ 

** tempers of monarchy Were the great • stibj^cte of 

** aJDpriBhensrioft and redress 'Jn 'the /i^/oenlury-— in 

«« <Af^, ^hedfetefnpersof Paritement.** Efere the-word 

Parliament, and the abuses belonging to \ty are put 

lA express opposition to ttie monaifchy, and carlnot 

thtfrefbre comprehend J Jt : the distempers ^f ' Pbrlitf- 

xnent then are objects 6f serious apprelienekin^ and^ ra^ 

¥^te99. What dlfitefripl*S'?- 'Not of this or Uiftt year, 

liirt -the habitual (fistempers ^ PiirUainent ;' af^ tiien 

fellbws the nature of the remedy, wWcto sfho^' thsU 

the Prisoners are «ot singular in •lhiiik!f>g' that* k'h 

ty THE \^olcfi Op'T»BPi3Qi»LE*oNLY tikl'Pdrhafftieiit 

'can be corrected.- '** It is not in Parliament ''sllone/* 

•saj'^ Mr. Burke,' '• that the refti<*<^ for Partlkfaentary 

•*^ disbrder s can be completed j^ahd hiardty indeed ean 

•^•f Jt begin there. XTnttl a confidence in gi&vertttnent 

'** IS re-established, the people ought M be eidted to 

^^ a mdre strict aiid detailed attentloti i^ tbef conduct 

■^^ bf tbclr reptesentatk^. Standards (bi< j«<i^itig 

'** iWjIre.systemafieally upon their conduot^iougiltt to 

'^* be sotted in the meetings of ieounties*ajf* <i)rpo- 

.^^ m- all hDpi»nli3nt )qaesitioQS,<0i|gbt . tQ i)^,ffiCiOWfB^ 
/^ .By -aidftiTWftns eometlwig'Hiay betd^i^.'; * I 
; ft tm the-sftofie isoMe ^ the ii^pofi^ibility f^^ a> fi^ 
4birffi id Eariiaflttint, wdthout a geperrf lexpTefifiitm^gf 
the mshes ^ tfeepbo^i^, that <}ktii|tad>tbe tDulcQ f^f 

rfiiohiiKm^'^ letter : all th^ pe|^ Ir^W hafdibqiw 
r^ectod hy I^li4iMni;-r-4lw Wacjft tJ|p J^ijJifje-i^f 
'RicfaflrfoiKl ^cl*inii, thfM^^^m thatrquAiterofiQ ?)edr^ 
riH^as to beiei;p«if^te4, )aQ4 Jtbat.fpofn tiMippeqple ak>t)e 

- he eiepeeted ^n,y goo4 ;[ a«4 ) he, tM;efpre, .eacpr^ftdy 
imrited <thetDr to/olaim . iattd) to ^$ert>0n ^e^u^l x«pc^ 

'.iteitatiun ^&-^dr ii^dubitable $n4 ttnaUeH^b)^ hwt^- 
ri^: — how to 4*e!rt their rightfe vijhfft Pi?iriiaBji9(it 
liad akeady* refiised ihetti.wM^hc^ut eyee -tite hf^t ^ 
ibb Duke e^ipresaed it, pf lis^ni^ . r^o : tif^ &qy 
more ? CouW thje people's rigljts, laader^^ich Qiraum* 
4tance8^ be aa0ertedmth0ut rebellion ? Certainly; 4(9/ 

' might:: for rebeHlon is, whea band^ of noea wHbia 

\a state 4Dppose themselves, by vid^nce, to;.the\g0o^. 

. ral'wilU as easppessedor imflied- by the)pi}b)ijB^)ailiith0- 
i%;. but ti^ie^m^^'of awhh p€iipie^ .pm^^l^ii^- 
leetedi aed op^atbg by itsmti^aliaildi^er^im i^i^t 
^ipon tJto pdUi&toqQQiU, h not rd^li;Qii,1wt i^ patti- 
mottM to; andabe pftrt^it of, authority -jteftfi; . ; 

'^etitleiaen, I am n&itherivindicatiiig^ ^an^ftpes^lc* 
^Dg, tbe»bng»age.o£ iiiiAaii&^tiPn or ^wt»tf-rl 
shaU)^ealt aothing t^t'ca^ (}if*4irb theiwderioflhe 
s(at€}; I^ani ifuUof det/otiPii t^^iis dignity iiiid|tmp- 
:quiffity/:a?id'Mi5TOWirt*^ftHf;W^W^^tet; ftiliAllaWRps- 

4T4 • IM. tflK6KlN£*S SPBWff OH 

'tiSon in this or in any other place that could leaA to 

-disturbance or disorder t— ^but for that very reason^ 

I speak with firmness of the rigri^s of the psople, 

aiid am anxious for the redress of their compbints ; 

because I believe a system of attention to them to be 

a far better security and establishment of every part 

of the government, than those that are employed to 

preserve them. The state and govemtnent of a 

^country rest, for their support^ on the great body 6f 

' the people, and I hope never to hear it repeated, in 

^any Court of Justice, that peaceably to convene tte 

•p*ople upon the sub^t of their own privileges, can 

lead to the destruction of the King :— -they are the 

- King's worst enemies who hold this language>~It is 

a most dangerous principle, that the Crown is in 

jeopardy if the people are acquainted with their rights,. 

* and that the collecting them together to consider of 

them, leads inevitably to the destruction of the 80- 

^ vereign. — ^Do these gentlemen mean to say that the 

King sits upon his throne without the consent, and 

in defiance of the wishes of the great body of his 

people, and that he is kept upon it by a few itidivi^ 

duals who call themselves his friends, in exclusion of 

the rest of his subjects ? — Has the King*s inheritance 

no deeper or wider roots than this ? Yes, Gentlemen, 

it has^t stands upon the love of the people,^ who 

consider their own inheritance to be supported .by the 

King's coniBtitutional authority: this is the true 

prop <rf the throne v find the love of every people 

upone&rth will for ever uphold a government, found- 

THB/ lOtlAI. lOP TKOMA91 HAADY, 413 

ed, as oorft is^ upon reason' and consent, as long' a$ 
Government shall be Usielf attentive to the general 
interests wbic^ are the fdiiiidations and the ^ads of 
all human authority;*^Let ns banish then these un« 
worthy andimpolittc fears of an unrestrained and an 
^enlightened pdopi^ ;-t«]et us not tremble a^ the rights 
of man, but^ by giyingto men their rights,* secure 
their affections, and, through their affeotions, tbdr 
-ebedience,; — ^let us not broach the dangerous doc«» 
•tr^ie, that the rights of kings and of men are in* 
eoni|>atible* — Oar government at the Kevolirtion be^ 
gati upon their- harmonious incorporation; anid Mi^. 
Locke defended Xing William's title upon no other 
principle than the rights of man«/ It is fi-om the re- 
vered work of Mr. Locke, and not from = the rerola* 
tion in France, that one of the papers in the evidence^ 
•die most stigmatized, most obviously flowed; for it 
-is proved that Mr. Yorke held in his band Mr. Locke 
upon Government, when he delivered his speech on 
< the Castle Hill at Sheffield^ and that he expatiated 
largely upon it ;*^well, indeed, mi^t the 'witness say 
he expistiated largely, £;)r there are many weU-selected 
.passages taken, verbatim from the book; and herf ^ 
injustice to Mr. White, let me notice the fair and 
honourable manner in which, in the absence of the 
clerk>. he Jneadthis extraordinary perf(»tnanoe» He 
> delivened it not merely with distinetness, but in a 
nannteso impressive, that^ 1 beiieve^ every man in 
Cooii.was a&cted fay it. ! ^ 

Gentlgn^n^ I aftijoiot driven to ^ttkl every. ex«^ 

^i£ > jaL« BnfizirB*s.(S?BKCtt car. 

I^reseton; someiof) than..Meifnpro|ier uadoabte^, 
fcafih apd hiAaroniatQfy :;.i)iitl teeliothing: loiheiwhola 
lakeA tog^her, cxYeh if iitiverei connected wiih the 
fnsoeer^ that goes ^at all to sm /evil purpose ia . tbe 
mrH^. But Mr.AttotD^ <j^ewml has nemaRberf 
ajppa this proceeding at Sb^6i€il4 (aod/wbakevaer &U^ 
from a, person .-of hts rank>aqd' j<iKst eslimation, . de^- 
-eerviea great aUentidn)^ be bsi^ mm^rkod that it is 
4^te apparcmt tiic^ had resolved :nat .t0 4petitiQnvt9- 
JThey had oeitainiy resolvod .not at. iAai. return to pe- 
Jidan/aad that aeema the ukmoat Awbidb-can he iMuir 
.taifiacir from the evidence. But ai^posing they.baii 
-aM^ti\'ed the ineasune altoge^r ; is thene no lacay 
^y wbieli the people matf aotively associttte fqr j^^ 
4iiirpf«e8>0f .a irefoirm in Bifliameat^ boLto ooosider 
.of^a petition, to theHouae 6£ Commons ? Might .they 
;not. I^^ly assemble to cisnsi^er the atate of their 
ijy^berti^aiul.tbe.oQndact.of thefr nefkeaentatiices ?rT- 
xMight Ihey .Jiot legally. form. Ooaveotions or Mfiftt* 
;i^g8 (for the name ia j^dst nothing) to adjust a plan 
vof rational utiion :for a wise .choioe of. Tcpr^senti^iffits 
:iwben Parliament ahould he dissohred ?-r-^ay4iQt4he 
,|)eople meet to consider their interests prepafatfStcy'tpj 
ijaod iisdependenily of^ a petition for any spep^q ob- 
ject: p-^Myfiriend seems. to consider the :Hous&.of 
vQpmnians as. a substantive and permanent parLj0f4fae 
j:constitntioa4fr-4ie .seems to foirget'that' thsicSaciia- 
imeot'diesva natural deat;h^4^that theipeopleiiien^ac- 
enter into their rights^ and that 'the exieroisevclfi thorn 
•iftthdmdst important ditkyJtfaat^jcail b8loag<JteJ«bcia|i 


±HB i'RIAL OP 'i'HdMAs HARi>T« 417 

tnan: — ^bow are such duties to be exercised with 
effect, on momentous occasions, but by concert and 
dommunion ?— May not tbe people jissfembled in 
their elective districts, resolve to trust no longer 
those by whom they have been betrayed ? May they 
not resolve to vote for no man who contributed by 
his voice to this calamitous war, which has thrown' 
such grievous and unnecessary burdens upon them? 
May they not say, ** We will not vote for those who 
** deny we are their constituents ; nor 'for those who 
** question our clear and natural right to be equally 
*^ represented ?** — Since it is illegal to carry up peti- 
tions, and unwise to transact any public business at- 
tended by multitudes, because it tends to tumult and 
disorder, may they not, for that very reason, depute, 
as they have done, the most trusty of their societies 
to meet with one another to consider, without the 
specific object of petitions, how they may claim, by 
means which are constitutional, their imprescriptible 
rights ? And here I must advert to an argument cm- 
ployed by the Attorney General, that the views of 
the Societies towards universal suffrage, carried* in 
themselves (however sought to be effected) an im- 
plied force upon Parliament :— for that, supposing 
by invading it with the vast pressure, not of the pub- 
lic arm, but of the public sentiment of the nation, the 
influence of which upon that assembly is admitted 
ought 'to be weighty, it could have prevailed upon 
the Commons to carry up a bill to the King for uni- 
yersstl representation and annual Parliaments, His 

VOL. in. B £ 

41a JilJ^. ^RSK.rX£*$ ^FJB99¥ 9K 

l\If(jesty was bound tq r^ect ^t^^ and co)ul4 nqt^ i^^m^^* 
out a, |)r^cl^ of bis coroii^ation oattli^ pcw^^t to pa^ 
i|;in^ m act;-^I cannot cpn9eive whe;^ roy fri^d. 
met whlji thU lawy or wli^t he can pQ§si|>]y mean by 
as^eifting thai tl^e Khig cannpt^ cpnsisfisntly with his. 
Qpfof^op path) cpnsent to ^ny ^w. ^bat can be sjtfited: 
9f W%'?^' pres^t^ to him as th^ act of the tw^Qb 
Hpjjfi^p of Parliament :— -be could not, ipdje^, cpn- 
f^ttp '4,\ii\ sent up to bim fi^noed by a Coaven4idn 
9^ Peleg^es a«sun)ipg legislative func^i/ops.; and f^ 
ipy friend ooujd have prove4 tb^t the Spdeties^ ait- 
ting as. 9 Pa^ji^Viept^ had sent up such a bill to Hia 
Msje^yj I shpH)d h^ye thpugbt the Prisoner;, as ^ 
q^^l^pr pjl s»Qh a p^irliament^ was at le^st in a difn 
ferept cdtqaikipn froKp th^jt in which he standi at prer* 
§gpt: but 9^ this is not onp of tl^e chimeras wbos^ 
^^tepce i$/ contended for, I return b^i^^Q to asli, upon 
wlfat ai)tl)ority, \p i$, n^ntain^di that univecsal reprcK. 
ipntation apdanni^^ Farliam^nta could notbecoa^ 
^ent^ed to Ijy the King, in conformity to the wishes oS 
tiae o^h^ branQh^9 of th^ Legislature :— on. thQ conbf- 
^ary<, ofie of the greatest men th^t this cpuHi^ e^er 
^yf^ (jqn^Wpred universal repr^s^ntatiiQU. to be, 9uph 
^^ inherent^ p^f^ of the. cqnsititutiqin, as^that the Kii^ 
himself might grant it by bi;s prerogative, evea with* 
Qi|t th« I^oird^aud Commons ; and I have uev^r h©ar4 
lfe9-pft§iit»op d^nipd. upon any oth^ footing thw the 
ppipH m^ki SjcotJaodf-r^Biut bq tbat a^ U) n»y, it is 
eppughi for; xfty fvurpps^ that, thevma^ira, thrt theJKing 
^i£«LB^:W>iYet^d r^presentAtioUj aft »<rig)ltb^ 

tuff tRlAL dp •tifOltfAJI HAUDt. 4lJ^ 

fore inherent in the whole people to be representeSdi 
stands upon the authority of Mr. Lo6ke, the man, 
next to Sir Isaac Newtpn, of the greatest strength of 
UmierBtaiyding that England, pferhaps, evier had; 
high too m the fevotir of King WilHatri, arid enjoy- 
ing' one of the most exalted offices in the state.*— 
Mr, Locke says, book 2d, eh. 15, sect. 157 and 
l&g^^*^ Things of this world 2tte iti so constant a 
•^ fltti, that hothing rem!airtA l6ng ift the sanie state/ 
** Thtts people, rich^, 'trade, po^e*, chwige their' 
^^ StfitioYII, jftourishing mtghty'citte* come to ruin, 
*^ am* p/0^, ito titt6, negleftleid desolate corners, 
" whiUt ontlfe^ unfrequented peaces groW mto p^>pu-' 
*^ \tmii couttlriesy fitted with weaHh and irihabrtkhts/ 
*^ But things ttdt a*#ays chaffgi% eqiafMly, and pri-' 
'* vate intere^ often keeping^ up customs and* pHvi- 
" legBSi when the reasons of therii are ceased, it' 
** often comes to pas's, thiit- in gbvernmeiTts, "where 
"part of the legislative consists of representa-^' 
^ ri»»j ohdseh by the peofrle, thfit itt tract of time 
" tHi^ ripre^lentatiofi h^comes'\t)ry U^tfuai and dis* 
" propDrt?iOfiate to ttte rea^orts it was at first esta-^ 
*^blist¥«i'upbn. To what gross abisunTities the fbU 
*^ lowiflj^ of iiJsto^, wlWri reasoh Has left it, liiia/ 
*^ leadj, we mflybie satisfied, when we see Ihe bar^ 
" nfiimecrf a tow«', of whith there remains not so 
'*-i»ocli»a§ ihe ruins/where 'scai*ce so much housing 
*^ *8>iirib4ep-cbte,0r more irfia^bfitkhtsthana shep* 
^*•h^ft^' iB't'6 te'ft>iitld; Sends a* many representatives 
*^fta Ihe^ gti«id aswtilbly of law-makersy as^ d- wRSle 


420 'MR. ERSKIN£*S SrEICH 05 

*' county, numerous in people^ and powerful in rtches* 
'* This strangers stand amazed at, and every one niiiist 
•^ confess needs a remedy.** 

'^ Salus poptili sUprema lex, is certainly so just 
^' and fundamental a rule, that he who sincerely foU 
** lows it, cannot dangerously err. If, therefore, the 
** executive, who has the power of convoking the le- 
^^ gislative, observing rather the true proportion, than 
^^ fashion of representation, regulates, not by old cus- 
'' tom, but true reason, the number of members in 
^^ all places that have a right to be distinctly repre* 
'^ sented, which no part of the people, however in* 
^^ corporated, can pretend to, but in proportion ta 
'f the assistance which it afibrds to the public^ it can- 
*^ not be judged to have set up a new legislative, but 
'^ to have restored the old and true one, and to have 
^^ rectified the disorders which successicHi of time had 
^^ insensibly, as well as inevitably introduced ; for it 
^' being the interest as well as intention of the people 
*^ to have a fair and equal representative, whoever 
^' brings it nearest to that, is an undoubted friend to, 
^^ and establisher of the government, and cannot 
^^ miss the consent and approbation q( the commu* 
*^ nity ; prerogative being nothing but a power, in 
" the hands of the Prince, to provide for the public 
" good, in such cases, which depending upon unfore* 
'^ seen and uncertain occurrences, certain and unal- 
^^ terable laws could not safely direct ; whatsoever 
^^ shall be done manifestly fpr the good of thepeoplej 
V and the establishing the government upon ita true 


^^ foundations^ is^ and always will be, just prerogative, 
** Whatsoever cannot but be acknowledged to be of 
*^ advantage to the^ society, and people in general, 
** upon just and lasting nieasures, will always, when 
*f done, justify itself; and whenever the people shall. 
•* choose their repre^en^a/ivwwj&ow just and undeniably 
^ equal measures, suitable to the original frame of 
** the government, it cannot be doubted to be the 
'* will and act of the society, whoever permitted or 
^* caused them so to do." — But as the very idea of 
universal suffrage seems now to be considered not 
only to be dangerous to, but absolutely destructive 
of monarchy, you certainly ought to be reminded' 
that the book which I have been reading, and which 
my friend kindly gives me a note to remind you of, 
was written by its immortal author in defence of 
King William's title to the Crown ; and when Dr* 
Sacheverel ventured to broach those doctrines of 
power and non-resistance, which, under the same 
establishments, have now become so unaccountably 
popular ; he was impeached by the people's represent* 
aitives for denying their rights, which had been as- 
serted and established at the glorious aera of th^ 

Gentlemen, if I were to go through all the mat*** 
ter which I have collected upon this subject, or which 
obtrudes itself upon my mind, from common read- 
ing, in a thousand directions, my strength would fail 
long before my duty was fulfilled ; I had very little 
vhen I came into Court, and I have abundantly less 


^rcftdy ; I must, tberefores tRjssMge Vfhd/t retfifHR»i to 
fbe best advontfi^e. I prqce? 4 tbef^fprfu X<^ t9te o 
iFiew of such parts of the ev^deiice Bfi appear tQ mf^.to 
\fi the most material for the proper^updeF^tan^tng. of 
|:be case ; I have bad no oppor|mMty ol* ooiisidi^g 
^t, but in th^ interval whioh the in4u]g«^nce pf the 
Court, and your pwn> has afforded ^y^ and that has 
b^n but for a very few houfs this morping: hut it 
occurred tq me, th^t the be^ ^^ I CQilld makf^of 
^})e time given tq me was (if po^si^Ie) to jdisi^ai^i) 
this phaos ; to throw c^^t of vie^iv ev^fjs^hipg >frfS-» 
l^vant^ which only tended to bring chaq; ^cl: ag^ 
r-tp take what rejpriain^d in ord§r qf ti{neh<^le^ i^eet 
c?ertain stages ^nd y^^ti^g-plap^^— to reyiew. ^ €?flfiwfc 
of the transactions, as V^Qught i^fore U8i,wd tl;i^.tA 
f^ how the written eyidenpif is explained by t^ te^, 
timony of the w|t;n«fses ^ho have been e^i^niraed* 

The origin pf i\^ Cpn§tit;utionftl ftoqi^jty not Jaavhtg; 
b^n laid in, evidence \3^re you, thie.i^rs^ thifigbotli 
in pqint of date„ and as applying to ihqm th^^^^nli^ 
of the different bodies, is the origing) addr^ wd^i 
spjution of the Corresponding.Sepiety pn Hs firs*, ion. 
atitution^ and when it firsi; |>#gan tp Qgree^>cim) witik* 
the other, which had formerly ranked ajnong^ its 
members so many illustrious periuPQs; ^nd befon^ we 
)pok tp the matter of this in^jtitiitipii):^ kt u« pecspUeci: 
that the objects of it were^ given without ceserva.tft* 
the public, as containing the prin^ipleis. of the 9^9^ 
station ; %nd I fnay begin, with den^nding^ wk^tHfiec 
the ajsnffls ftf ibj§ cpiiiitry, or indwi tb#: wiivei«|l* 

THJS tSial op TiroMAs hAUcdy, ii3 

histo^'y of tnahkihd, afford an instance of a ptei ind 
conspii?acy voltihtariljr givin up in its V'ery itifancy fS 
Government, and thd Whole pbblic, and' of vvhich, id 
ivoid th^ very thin^ rtiat ha^ happened, the arraign* 
fteiit of conduct at a future period, and the imputa- 
tion of secrecy where ho secret was: intended, a rft- 
gular hbticfe by Ifetter wad left wirti the Secretary of 
State, and a receipt taken at the public oiHee, as^ 
proof of the publicity of their proceedinig, and thif 
iit^hs^ they entertained of their innocence. For ihi 
views Snd Objects of the Society, we niust look to theJ 
histitution itself, which you are, indeed, desired tof 
Bok St by the Crbwti ; fbr therr iritentibrt* are notf 
dbnsidered as deceptious hi thisf instance,' but' aii^ 
pWhily rcfvedfed by thfe very wAtirig itself. 

Gtehtfimen; there was a sort of silence rh (he 
Cofirt-^^l id riot say an affected one, &r 1 m'elati ncT 
^6)^ib1e ofl^nce to any oriey but' ther^ seemed to bi^ 
tin ifftbt ejtpected from beginning, not with the-adi^ 
AeSsf itself, but with the very bold motto tait, th6iigH 
hi vei*se: 

. *** tiliHIest by viftiie, Govemmenf i league 
*' Beconies> a cirding junto of the great 
*' To rob by law j Religion mild, a yoke 
'^ To tame the stooping soul/a trick of State 
" To "mask their rapine, and to share the prey, 
•♦' Without it, wh^t are senates, but a face 
^ Of cdtisultation deep and reason free, 
♦f Whrle^the deterniiin'd voice and heaii are aold ? * 
^' What, boasted freedom, but a sanding name ? ^ 

f " And.what election, i>ut a market vilcj 
y d/siaves self-bartered V 

B E 4 


I almost &ncy I hear4 them say to me, Wb^t thini; 
you of that tp spt oat witj) ?-r-Show me the parallel 
of that. — Gentlemeifj, I api sprry, for the credit of the 
age we Uyis in, to ansvv^r, that it is difficult to iind 
the parallel ; because the age affords no such poet 
as he who wrote it :-r- these ^re the words of 
•I^omson ;— and it is under the baqnprs of his pror 
yerbial benevplence, that these men are suppose^) tp 
be engaging in olans of anarchy and mur4er ; under 
the banners of that gr^t and good man, whose figure 
you may still see in the venerable shades of Hagley,, 
placed Uiere by the virtuous, accomplished, and pub;?! 
lie-spirited Lyttelton : — the very, poem tppj? writtcii 
undef tlie auspices of His Majesty's Roy^l jp'atherj, 
when heir-apparent to the crown of Great Bfitaip^ 
nay, within the very walls of Carlton House, which 
afforded an asylum to patchless worth and genius in 
the person of this great poet : it was pnder the roof 
of A Prince op Wales that the poem ofLiBBRXT 
was written ;— -and what better return could be givqi 
to a Prince for his protection, than to blazon, in im« 
mortal numbers, t^e only sure title tp the Crown he 
was to wear — the freedom of the bSoplb of 
Great Britain? And it h tp h^ assumed, fprsootb, 
in the year 1 704, tl^at the unfortunate Prisoner be^ 
fore ypu w^s plotting treasoq and rel)ellion, bepause, 
with a taste and feeling beypnd \\\b hMQ^ble station;^ 
his firsf proceeding was ushered into view, under the 
hallowed sanction of this admir&b^e person, the friend 
and the defender of the British constitution ; Y(hp9i^ 


orantrymen are preparing at this moment (may my 
jiame descend atnongst tbem to the latest posterity!) 
to do honour tp his immortal memory. Pardon me. 
Gentlemen, for this desultory digression — -I must 
express myself as the current of my miad will carry 

' If we look at the whole of the institution itself; H 
exactly corresponds with the plan of the Duke of 
^Kichmond^ as expressed in the letters .to Colonel 
Sharman, and to the High Sheriff of Sussex t thi# 
plan they propose to follow, in a public address to 
the nation, and all their resolutions are framed for 
. its accomplishment ; apd I desire to know in what 
they have departed from either, and what they have 
don^ wbiph has not been done before, without blaiXH^ 
or censure, in the pursuance of the same object. lam 
not speaking of the libels they may have written^ 
which the law is open to punish, but what part of 
their condqdt has, ^s applicable to the subject in 
question, been unprecedented, — ^I have, at this mo- 
pient, in my pyp, an honourable friend pf mine, and 
a distinguished member of the Hofi3e of Conimpns^ 
whOi in (py Qwn remembrance, I h^ieue in J 780, 
sat publicly at Guildhall, with P^any others, sonie of 
thevn magistrates qf the city, as a Copveqtion q( de- 
legates, for the same objects ; and, what is still more 
in point, just hefore ^\ie Copyention b^n to meet 
^t Edinburgh, whose proceedings have been so much 
relied on, there was a Convention regularly a&r 
sembled, attended by the delegates from all the count 

ties of Scotknd^ for the express and ^tot^dd pd rp6sft 
of aftering the constitution of Parlmment ; not by 
rebdlion^ but by the same meiirts employed by thfe 
Prisoner : — ^the Lord Chief Bafon of Scotlatid ^t lA 
the chair, and wa« assisted by Some of the first rtiert 
in that country, and, amongst others, by an honour- 
«bie person to whtoi I aiprt nearly allied, i^ho is at the 
very hestd of the Bar in Seotland, and moisf ivawHHf 
attached to the law and the constitution •• These 
gctttfemen, whose good intentions riever fell ifrfo 
^m^picion, had presented a petition for the alterartion 
c)f election laws, which the House of Conlrtioins had 
reiedtedf, and on the spur of that tery fejfection fttey 
met in a Conv^ritioh at Edinburgh in 1793 ; irtdtftt 
style of their first rtieeting wjisl, ^ A ConteitfiiW ef 
**^ rielegates, choseti front the Counties of ScfOtfetitf, 
^^fir dUtring and amending the LaiH eWfrd^rnfd^ 
^ Mfettiofis^'^iioi for considering how' thtsy might 
Be Bert amendfed— not for peHtiorting Pkrlianrteilf ttt 
amend them; but for altering and artendSwg thrf 
fliectibn laws.— These meetings were regulirfy pufcw 
Krftcdi and! ^ill prove, tfiat their first resdutidif, 
' n» I have read it to you, D«^ brotight up to Ebndtflf^ 
$xid dfelfvered' to the editor of the Morning ChrtMieW 
by l^ir* Thomas Dundac, latefy created' a pt« M 
Ot^ BritsKn, and paid for by him^ ii i pfublb adfliri 
fisemeht. Now, suppose any' m^ri . ftrfd fiftpttt*! 
treason or seditibtt to the^ bonountbHi i^er^dhs^. vf^it 

f TbeHoit. HeBX]rIiE9LiDp,Mr.En^ 
«f the ^apulty of Advo^t^j at £diiibarj;Iu 

VfP^li havehecn the xK)n8eqaeB<yB? ITiey would 
have been considered as infamous libellers and tra- 
ducer^i wd deservedly hooted oiat of civilized Kf^: — 
)vhy tbe9 ure different constroctions to be pot iipoA 
^fnjl»r transactions P^^^Why is every thing to be hdd 
up a3 bonajfida lovhen the example id set^ AtidfnaU^de 
ivheit it ia fiiUowed ?-^Why have I not as gofo^ a claini 
to take credit for honest purpose in the poor man I am 
^efendiog^against whom notacootumelious expressiori 
bm been proved^ as when we find the same expres- 
sions io thennoutbs of the Duke of Richmond or Mr.' 
3u^i^?r4 ^k nothing more from this observafion, 
ihm that a* sober judgment may be pronoui'tced front 
Ibe quality of the acts which can be fairly e^bfis^ed ; 
^efih individual standing responsible only for his oWii' 
QQuduct^ instead o£ hsvihg our imaginations taintedf 
with ca»t .phiases^ and a farrago of writings antf 
afieeebes^ for .whdcii the Prisotter is not responsible^' 
sifi^ for which the authors^ if th^y be erimioal^ are 
liable tobe brought to justice. ' 

But it will heiaaid, Gentlemefi, that atf the coA« 
altUiittqnal-privileges of the people are eoncedi^ ; th^ 
tbeif esKistignce: was^ nevcar denied or invaded j *n4' 
thai their right to petition add to tueet for the en:- 
pre3sioii€^f their jeonq}laitits, founded or Unfbutideif^ 
vu^ iieiv!sr called ifi qt^estkwi ; these^ it wtH he said^ 
a«e. the. rights of suhjecis^;: bul that the rights ofxnm' 
axe f^Mt alainM theqi r eycfry man is considered a^ 
9i is^ym \sko t^^t^^ hvAtUs 


bugbear stands upon the same perversion with itk 

The rights of man are the foundation of all go- 
vernment, and to secure them is the only reason of 
men*s submitting to be governed ; — it shall not be 
fastened upon the unfortunate Prisoner at the bar, nor 
upon any other man, that because these natural rights 
were asserted in France, by the destruction of a go- 
vernment which oppressed and subverted them, a 
process happily effected here by sloW and impercep- 
tible improvements, that therefore they can only be 
60 asserted in England, where the government, 
^rough a gradation of improvement, is well ealou^ 
lated to protect them. We are, fortunately, not 
driven in this country to the terrible alternatives 
^hich were the unhappy lot of France, because we 
have had a happier destiny in the forms of a free 
constitution : this, indeed, is the express language 
Qf many qf th? papiers before you, that have been 
complained of; particularly in one alluded to by the 
Attorney General, as having been written by a gentle- 
man with whom I am particularly acquainted ; and 
though in that spirited composition there are^ per- 
haps, soipe expressions proceeding from warmth 
which he may not desire me critically to justify, yet 
I will venture to affirm^ from my own personal know- 
ledge, that there is not a man in Court more honestly 
public-spirited and zealously devoted to the constitu- 
tjon of King, Lords, and Commons, than the ho- 
l^purable gentleman I allude to (Felix Vau^h2inj 1^* 

THft TftlAL OP TilOMAS HAHDY. 420^ - 

barrister at law) : it is the phrase, therefore, and not , 
the sentiment expressed by it, that can alone give 
justifiable offence ; — ^it is, it seems, a new phrase 
commencing in revolutions, and never used before ii| 
discussing the rights of British subjects, and there- 
fore can only be applied in the sense of those who 
framed it ;— but this is so far from being the truth, 
that the very phrase sticks in my memory, from the 
memorable application of it to the rights of subjects^ 
under this and every other establishment, by a gentle- 
man whom you will not suspect of using it in any 
other sens^. The rights of man were considered by 
Mr. Burke, at the time that the great uproar was 
made upon a supposed . invasion , of the East India 
Company's charter, to be the foundation of, and 
paranK>unt to all, the laws and ordinances of a state : 
— the ministry, you may remember, were turned out 
for Mr. Fox's India Bill, which their opponent9 
termed an attack up the chartered rights of man, or, 
in other words, upon the abuses supported by a mo- 
nopoly in trade. — Hear the sentiments of Mr. Burke, 
when the NATURAL and CHARTERED rights of 
men are brought into contest. - Mr. Burke, in his 
speech in the House of Commons, expressed himself 
^us : " The first objection is, that the bill is an at- 
" tack on the chartered rights of men. — ^As to thij 
^* objection, I must observe that the phrase q( * the 
-^* chartered rights hfmen,* is full of afleclation ; and 
^ very unusual in the discussion of privileges con* 
<* ferred by charters of the present description^ 3ut 

490 ll§«^ BRSKINB's WEJgCfi ow 

^f it is not difficult to discover what end thai aia^^ 
<< biguous mode of expressions so often reitersited^ i^ 

V meant to atiswer. 

. ^' The rights of men, that is to say^ the natural 

V rights qf mankind, are indeed sacred things; and 
\[ if any public measure is proved mischievously to 
'* affect them^ the objection ought to be fatal to that 
^^ measure^ even if no charter at all could be set. up* 
^' against it. And if these natural rights are further 

V affirmed and declared by express covenants^ clearly 
^' defined and secured against chicane, power^ and 
♦* authority, by written instruments and positive en- 
" gagements^ they are in a still better condition; 

^* they then partake not only of the sanctity of the 
" object so secured, but of that solemn public faith 
" itself, which secures an object of such inaportance^ 
*f Indeed, this formal recognition, by the sovereiga 
*« power, of an- original right in the subject, cai> 
*\ never be subverted, but by rooting up the Fjolding 

V radical principles of government, and even of so- 
*/ ciety itself/' 

The Duke of Richmond also, in his public letter 
to the 3igh Sheriff of Sussex, rests the rights of- the 
people of England upon the same horrible and damQ«« 
able piinciple of the rights of man. Let Genllemeni^ 
tjierefore, take care they do not pull down the very 
authority which they come here tc^. support ;—rleto 
them remember,, that His Majesty's family was called 
to the Thi^on^ upon the v«ry prinoiple, that ti>e an^ 
QieUt I^pg3 o( this country had vji^ted tbetsft.aai^d 


trusts ;— kjt tfcw recplla^t too in what the violttiott 
was ^barged to ^xist; — it was charged by the Bill of 
JB^jg^t^ to exist in cruel and in^mous trials ; in (he 
packing of juries; and ii^ disarmifig the people^ 
wl^Q^e arnos are their unalienable refuge against ep* 
pression.--<-But did the people of England assemble 
to mate tht^ declaration ? — ^No! — beoattae itwaa un^ 
necessary.— The sepse of the people, against a cor- 
i;upt and scandalous government, dissolved it, by 
aknpst t]be ordinary forms by whieh the old govern- 
xa&oX itself was adpf)inistered. — King William sent 
hJ9 writs to those whp.had sat in the- former Parlia* 
njent : l^ut will any man, therefore, tell me, that 
that Parliament reorganized the government without 
th^ will of the pepple ? and that it was not their 
consent which entailed on King William a.particular 
ifjhieritance, to b,e en^yed under the dominion of the 
l^w ? Gentlemen,, it was the denial of these prin-* 
ciples, asserted at, the Bevolution in England, that 
l^fought forward the author of the Eighta of Man^ 
aj|.i4 stirred, up thi? controversy which has given such 
^l^rin tp Government :--»hut for this the. literary la*- 
l)pur$ of JS^n. Paine had;cIosed.— He asserta it hims> 
st|f in hi§ \fo6k, and eyory body knows it. It wad 
^t th^Frepph revolution, bqt Mr« Bur]te*s Heflec« 
tjlQp^ ijpon it, followed up by another work qn thQ 
aftl^e, sul^ef<(, a^, U.-r^^g^rd^d things in England^, 
vMft^ .biipiigUt iprward Mr. Paine, and which ren^ 
4sf^ ^ WQviiS:.S9 mMich the otgect of attention in, 
tbii&cft^eirjr- Hh 8«rke denied posiitive^.thjBYer/ 

foundation npon which the Revolution of 1 688 must 
rtand for its support^ viz. the right of the people to 
change their government ; and he asserted, in the 
teeth of His Majesty*s title to the Crown, that no 
such right in the people existed ;— this is the true 
history of the Second Part of the Rights of Man.— 
The First Part had little more aspect to this country 
than to Japan ; — ^it asserted the right of the people 
of France to act as they had acted, but there was 
little which pointed to it as an example for England. 
-^There had been a despotic authority in France 
vvhich the people had thrown down, and Mr. Burke 
$eemed to question their right to do so :*-Mr. Paine 
maintained the contrary in his answer; and having 
imbibed the principles of republican government, 
during the Amerioan revolution, he mixed with thc< 
controversy many coarse and harsh remarks upon 
monarchy as established, even in England, or in aiiy 
possible form. But this was collateral to the great 
object of his work, which was to maintain the^rigfat 
of the people to choose their government ;— this was 
the right which was questioned, and the assertion of 
it was most interesting to many who were most 
Strenuously attached to . the English government. 
For men may assert the right of every people to 
choose their government without seeking to destroy 
their own. This accounts for many expressions im- 
puted to the unfortunate Prisoners, which I have 
often uttered myself, and shall continue to utter 
dvery diay of my life, and call upon the spies of Go- 

vernmenttoreeordthein:^! wiu. say aky wqbre^ 

'Vtltn^VT nAR, NAY^ I WILL SAY .HBBB, WKB^fi ,1 

For, if combinations of dbsfotism CA«r accoiis* 


AMBITION ?-^Upon the very prineipJfBt of denying to^ 
people the right of governiog themselves, howl are 
we to resist the Freadh, should they attempt by vio- 
lence to fastibn their government upon jis?. Or, w:hat 
induceBf)ent would there be for resisteQpe.t^ preatfrv^ 
laws, which are not, it seems, our own, ba| ^ivb are 
unalterably imposed upon us? Ilhe.Yery iirguin^ 
strikes, as with a palsy, the arfOtamd vig^r of t^ 
nation. I bold dear the privilieges I am contending 
fprv not AS. privities hostile to:the coostttution,. bi}t 
'*»s tiec^ssary for !ks:'.pre8ervfttiQn ; ai^ if the Wrencjx 
' W€(i«i^;WBde by fopoe iipoo the gov^rnnisiM; QffffV^ 
\*«m^e0*clioiwi Jishoi^ddeave these.p^rsiandff'^ 
^tirrik'jdcla p^ofimkav jthntf; ptfrbeps, I hotter yii^tsr^tsMt 


Th^ riMt e\»idefice tdlied on^ after ihe^ iiirtitotHiii 
43f thd Coi<fdsfM>ridtog Society, i«.^ letlner wrtUen to 
ilv^ni f reii> Norwkh^ dated die ;1 14h v( November 
1792| M»l«h.die<ai]iUNrer^ dated the QJSth of the aame 
%nu»fltb<^^-il> ^fe.:a8ftr«sd^ that this conrespond^ioe 
%hQW63 4l96y <aitned at notbdng less than the total 
4aiC#SMjiDn ^ the womrd^ and that they, there- 
Hdtigi wilcth^r:intentioQ under oovert and amb%ixms 
4iA)gtia^ Ilhink^oa- the other hand, and I shell 
Miitinm to ithtnk so, as lot^ as I atn capri>le of 
lltovghty Xhtt 4t was imposaible for wonk .to convey 
ftk>re<efe<ri;yillmiexplioit%TQiial of ihdr ordinal. plau 
A^^ a toff stitttlitoal a^form in the Uous6 of Commons. 
9%}^4MMr frm» iMtrKdch, afor. coagratidating the 
O^FriisfMlditlg^Society'oniitis institotioQ, askft several 
lftl<^fidf}8 uAlitig diit of the proceedings of other sor 
«m]@s in diffhr^iparta of theliingdotn^ which th^ 
)»biV^^tiot thoiiiughly to undersltand. 

The Sb0ffi<ld(pe6ple (they dbaenre) seemed atfirst 
ii^xirmi^ed 4m auppdrt^ihe >£>ttke •of Richmond's plan 
^itily, 'hulHfaM^tbi^^ had afterwards lobserred a dispo-, 
4{ti(M> rn fhemto a ; more moderate plan of refimn 
^^priS^m by^th^ t^rieilds of theVp^ople in London^^ 
^hil^ tt(V& MdtidlBster ^pple, by laddrtssipg .Mr. 
^\tie {HA^^ ^the NiWwfoh people had :nat addn9ssed)i 
^imnklA ^^ be inttut on repUUscan ^prrndf^les oniy,; 
^iH^y- lh«Mfd#e^t n«qul96tioB,»npt-ata{l of distra9t>49r 
^l&ffi^miihikVl^Ai^de^ ifeMrthdmtva&gwdfi^ 
-tetiv^n tMm,^V9iMthiKr-^ithft. Gor^e^l^^ 


^ftiobmoticl ? or^ whether it was thdr private de^gii 
.to rip up^mouaidfiy by the roots^ and plaoe demo^ 
txmsy iai its stead ? Now hter the answer^ from 
wriaianGe it is^tnfferred that this last is their intention : 
rthejr bdgtti their i^isv^^er with recapitulating the de- 
jnaod of their oontrspondent, as regularly as atvades^- 
•rnan^ U4io has had an order for goods, recapittriates 
the order^ that there may be no ambigui^ in the 
reference or application of the reply, and then they 
say, as to the objects they have in yiew they refer 
ibem to their addresses. ^^ You will therd^y see 
^^ thftt they mean to disseminate political knowfedge, 
^ and thereby engage the judicioas part of the nation 
f^ to^aviand the RECOVfiRT of their lost rights in 
'^ AH xuAt Parliaments ; the members of these Rr*;- 
^^ Jiaments owing their election to utd)ought auf^ 
^^ frages." Tiiey then desire them to he careful to 
Avoid all dispute, and say to them. Fat monarchy, 
.democracy, and even religion, quite aside ; and *^ Let 
^^ your endeavours go to increase the numbers of 
^' thoae who desire a full and equal repr^smtation of 
^' the people, and leave to a Parliament, so diosen^ 
**' to reform all existing abuses ; and if tbey don*t an- 
^*/swer, at 'the year's end, you may choose others in. 
^^ jtheir stead.'* The Attorneys General says, this ia 
(lamely exprte»ed v-^I, on the other band^ say, thsrt; 
it is inot only not lam^ely eiepressed, but an&ioudy 
4iKOcdc(llto put an end to dangerous speculatioii5.«-r- 
ll^ve all theories undiscussed ;^«^do not perptfoc 
'^bitraebia »ith abstract questions of goveitiment ;>w^ 

F p 2 

A36 .'. lUL. bmkise's speech :o If ; 

jendeavotir practically to get honest representatives^-^ 
4lnd.if they deceive you — then, what ?--4)mg o** * 
irevdlution-?— No!— Choose others in their stead* 
:Tbey referalso to their address, wlrich lay before their 
^rrespondent, which address expresses itsdf thus: 
>^ Laying aside all claim to originality, we claim no 
:** other merit than that of reconsidering and verify- 
^^ ang what has already been urged in our comnion 
\^^caase by the Duke of Richmond and Mr. Pitt, and 
*^ tbeir then honest party." 

! When the language of the letter, which is branded 
,as ambiguous, thus stares them in the face as an un- 
ideniable answer to the charge, they then have re- 
lODUtse to. the old refuge of mala Jides ; all this they 
.say is but a cover for hidden treason. But I ask 
.you, Gentlemen, in the name of God, and as fair 
^nd honest men, what reason upon earth there is 
,to suppose, that the writers of this letter did not 
mean what they expressed ? Are you to presume in 
a Court of Justice, and upon a trial for life, that 
omen wriite with duplicity in their most confiden- 
^tial csorrespondence, even to those with whom th^y 
.arc confederated.? Let it be recollected also, that if 
ithis correspondence was cjilculated for deception, the 
cdeoeption must have been understood and agreed 
iiipou by ^11 parties concerned ;~ for otherwise you 
•Jiave a. conspiracy amongst persons: who ar&.«t crote 
-purposes .with one another: consequently. ttltscoM^ 
rsfTt^ai^, :ifj ithis -be g:jjpanoh^ is .a^ conspiracy of 
thousands land^ ten thousands, from one end of the 

. THE 'HUA^LT6F^TA4Mhlii$.HA||I>t. 487 1«. 

kingdoiD/tP theother, who atie aU guilty, if any oft 
the PriiSonerfii.afe guilty :-— ripvvard^of forty Jthot6and> 
pef$oi|8, upon the lowest cUlculattou, must idike be) 
liat>Ie to the pains, ami penalties of the law, and hold: 
their lives as tenants atM'ill of the Ministers of the^ 
Crown. — In, whatever aspect, therefore, this prose-' 
cutipn .isr^arded, tieiv diffipqlties and new uiicer-; 
tain tiesT and terrors surround it. > 

The next thing in order which we have to look at,! 
is the CpnventioQ at Edinburgh. It appears that ai 
letter had.J^n written by Mr. Skirving, *ho.^st 
connect^ r;w\th.reforitier|3 in Scotlaiid proceeding! 
avoWfeiiy u{$,Duke of Richmond's pbn^ pro<?> 
pOsiifg that theri$ Sih^uld he ^ Coo^vlsntidn from the; 
sopie^^ Ii33ettib}ed.^t^jnburgh :— now you wiH re^i 
collect, in the opening, tMt the Alfidrney General! 
cc^jsid^ired dll'th^;g{eatorig^^ sin of thisoonspiracy! 
i^a^,. treason to haV6 ciriglftat^ with the societies inl 
X»pttdon**^hat t);ie.<^QVin5vy soi^ielSes iviere orily tools ii^ 
^^rimqds,' and. that th« £«lAnl)yrghi Conv^tion nM^ 
<;^,^l|ipfliiQI|c^i)^^ pr^e»y and yet i* 

p)ain^( ag{^r^'^h^t this C^^ven^ion orighiat^d (roiit 
rf^il^i (^^th^tLpiulon gpci6(ies;ib.ut;had ita begiiimngr 
2(k:fidi«J^i)itgh»fWhQr^ i^^ before^ aConyention had 
bft?po^tij|g.fojf:fthe r^fpfW;i» RvlialliM*,, iltCDdei^ 
fejJl'-^i^ pr>9«ipftV pefSi^psni<0^.Swtlan*; and ^urdyir 
ti<H)i^o|iit ^^dve^i^ig . if ti}e ^S^tipiiaKty'tSo peculiac rtm 
tjierpeop^^ o([i^% jcow»try,i jit ig;>nQt afc alJ sufsjliduor^ 
*«$» tpiwe ti^fy^i^W®^^^^ MAd^i a)b«(*og. Cw! ; simHarj 

FF 3 

atu^ association ; and that theit depiAies iftibttld be 
cblled ddegates, when delegates bad attended the 
other Convention from all the counties^ and whom' 
they were every day looking at iii their streets, ' in the 
oonrse of the very same year that Skirvfeg wVote UH 
letter on the sbbjeet. The vietvs of th« Correspond'' 
iHg Society, as they regarded th'w Corivefttidn> triti 
consequently the views of the F^iscRief j inuA he ci^ 
lected from the written mstrtietiotls W thd dtilegH«es, 
i»k» they can be Mt^ed by ioiVMt ivhk^ i» <^- 
teval . If I. constit«it« an d^eflt/ 1 afn btMAid l^ «HM 
he doeS) b|it4l«rtfy« Wieb this^ttatidn^ fo# wbM h« 
d«S5. taithin thm»pe q^ Mi »^eHdy i-^if % bOmiStmii 
aoi agent to biiy bcM'ses for me^ and he'tidnMfilt^ )l^ 
treaddxn, it w^i not; t h^^ be ai^ued thai I *imw 
He han^.^If I conatitoti^ ad fl^t fat Unf batiaesft 
HaA em be stMdd, and he goM b«y«nd Hif itmm^ 
tmm^ he must aiibwerfoi< himsirif W^ohd fhdf Itinllf:^ 
for bey6nd them he ^s not my Kpfe^dtativet'^TN 
aata dome, therafora^ at 'thi^ ScMdh GeMWhtiCMy 
^hatm-ermay btl their qoa%i arl^^ffdeAdfrW ahcW^ 
tiistyin pioint of ittetv a certain nuMBir «f fMApl^^ 
tsigether, and did ahy tbin^ y<Hi dlidmb <&■ »aH iflt^ilf 
liit> wfar M iicoAoerns m^, if I Ma fim^jmiAiii 
you are lim^«6ift by «ny instraetiohs^ aiid b2*r6<Adt »A^ 
vaAoad i aingb atep^ u^n your joUrtley Id dbti^ilCf 
Hie r the iqstreotiona tb Skirvihf h«i<e beeM teid, tiHi 
speak for tbertselves:} the;^ aM ^fiii^tly |^) afti^ 
pnitioe tlie'avo«»ed>«b$e(it ot tbe^6ei«ty ; litMi 4t-^ 
be for th^ ^tcilor Oenfith] to fokt m^, l» ^^is ¥8^,- 

THE Tfitjj. or 'mmh^ MJ^mx. 4S9 

Gomlocti cotUrqdfiotiwy Qf the^good fti*h.Mr^t^[JMwhiirfl 
they.Ware wrife^n. The iiwtruotiaiis*^ m tbew 
WordiEr— ^' Xh^ delegfttie* ate^iMtrwtediiipa thp :f»r(t 
5^ 0f Ihis S<metiy^ to assist, m brai^g iiprw^fd w4 
<' ^u^portiiig^ wy cmstiuuional tii^$;iimfor f^r««ji»wf 
^ & real repre^^lation. of tbe Ga»R»pa9. of .Gi^vt 
" ^^ntWB.'* What do^ jro« say, ^alltm^o^ to thi^ 
iEUKgugge i-^-^w 306 men to ^xpresa th^m»div<6^ hvIml 
iMim • eoMtitatioiial refbm ^ T|[^ ^^cit md tih^ 
mode eCtifFecting H w«re €qui% )^;{dmitbt9 Wtttost 
4^kM»ibm the ooodbpt^of ^ fyrijmoeDl of Im^ 
ImA > o«i»ng ^ev dioGctioos ^om iSngbsM^ tlu^ 
|laa6etithi$jGoii9«iiUi}i) fiili, ^ iBadeft Qidtji^^iffli^. 
4«ttseMlprr koottring ihaV by tife^ ia« tsltjtoO^ it 
^ivHiid»«9ii)dtii|miiitf al-dU Wittther this ^t^temoi^ 
jmy mol with lhe4i^piN)bilioi):aif<ilboi«^ Icacojiob; 
llwmftbb^ to ii» 9Qk irod irioai^liaiii'tbityoii 

^gh)c wnd which ia efaiai^dt t^Mbyiivlth ii^fa taoi^ 
ato^' «ie ^nawdlih • pairt df what, at ,bat, i^dpfli4 '^ 
Bmi^Qcvvimftm/^ ipolfeltod to theiiitab of wling^Ui:^ 

j<aaitjtfQ|i^4av I ftm n€>fc vindlcaUpg iany^^Miigr.tbdt 
>am^fiittk)0te dtacvder in 4h6.t)OiiniiDy^ (mkI I aia mnin-r 
Hitting Ih9ft ^ worafe 4^QiiHde dt^£^ ,tbafc am M\ 

AWMtiDftft^f ^1^ Jbid iir^ndnigisoiia ]Bii^iUlficMq[iH]^ 
iilrpqmilktady^^ j^QtfbjQdQiit fd^OT aaiobiiagtd>d)e 

446 • Ul3i. BR8ltlNIt^9 SPKSCti OK 

tfaem be viiited by the laws aecordmg to the measum 
of their torbuteiK^ :^( they write libels Upon Gk>^ 
Temment, let th^m be punished' afccording to th^ 
quality of those libels: — but you must nbt, and will 
not, because the stability of the monarchy is dn im- 
IHMrtont concern to the nntion^ confound the natuf^ 
and distinctions of crimes, and pronounce that tl)e life 
of the Sovereign has beeii iiivadefd, because the prl- 
i?Ueges of the i^ple hav€f been, perh^, inn^ul^ly 
and hotly asserted : — you wiH not, ^ giv^ security 
4o GorerntMnt, repeal- tbe most sacried laws iMtii 
-tv/kd fct our pi%)teotiOny and which af ^' itidMd^^ the 
pnly cMstderation for our submitting^ a^'4H<tQ%iol 
-vernm^nt*' ^Iftbe {Jain letter, of the staluttf'df Bdf^ 
^Ard^^heOTbird appfife^ to the i:y>nduGt(c^v(4ie:^it 
lionerSi let^ it in iSod's liame be appliedi^i^-4mt4«t 
;iieitber their cbndtet^^itdr the kw that is/t&;^ge it; 
ibetdrtiiredby GonAriKHttan ; »or<sufiw the trwsMl 
4fOn,' from H^beneenyocr are to tbrm^ a diiBpqslteiiaie 
-concltt^dn^of inteMidn, to be magnified by^ saaqMi. 
loubi^thets, nor overwhelmed iitii an uncKAiiigutili^ 
^ble'.ma^ of matter^ in which jtoii cbtty be^losC^atl^ 
bewildered, having missed the only parts u4)itfh-<^id 
'hdte fujrhishfid aolikelo a jufct or rational J«d|fftitAt. 

GenikiSnen; ithia reKgioiis regard for the titorty«of 
theisot^edt, iagatnst oonstnicCive treasdil',' is well il- 
Jusliatied^ by Da: Johnson^ the great. Mthor of <<|or 
^BngUshl Dic^ionaiy, a jmn ren^ticable for h«^ 
^jdrdei-jjaild ibr high •prmctfpleai of govtol{hmtf'4MM; 
mrhd hdd 'the wisdcw to-fcnow tiMtVlie g^<et{d«f 

gdVernmetit) iti alt its form*, is- tte security oHUbdrtf 
knd life tinder the' kw. Thib tmn^of masculint 
tnimiy thbcigh ^gMted at ttib disorder which IkMx) 
George Gordon created^ felt a triumpii in his a<?qtift^ 
ikt^ and'etdaitA^dy asWli learn froAitMnBcisiRibll^ 
"^^ Phate Lord G. Gordoti^.but'I am'glad he wasi not 
^< Gdnvicted of this consttuotive tSpeison ^ &rj though 
«^ I hate hittiy I love tny country and inyaeffl^-^ThK 
l^xtraordiftary man, no dctobt, remembered mth^hosi 
Hale, that, \i^en the law- is brokefn down, injn^tide 
knows no bounds^ but nirw as Har »:tiie wit ani 
IntreDtion of ^cbusers, pn the deltotatic»i':of ]^fiai3a 
^accused, t^HI^Jan^yifci-i-Ybu will |^^ aliiioiit 

perpetbalrecurraace to daeseccxtistderations^; %ut the 
*I^r^nt'is a season when 1 have a.righ|?4(i rail dpoft 
fo\i by every thing 'aacred in humanity «nd[jaskicei; 
«^by every prinrnjile which im^t ta ibflnaace tfae 
^eart of man, to oonsider the'^sitoatbn iniwhiclrt 
^staAd bdbr^ y0u*»^I stand. h^Kfor a poor,; ucn 
Ict^own;^ 4Hiprotected) indijridQal, changed widi a do- 
^igntpT^^vie^t ^e geverntfitobof £he<eediinti7y and 
Ikit deAr(69t rights: o^itainhiUtaats;}<>^afcbiiig whidi 
tias^MMedled agaiaat'hhnf a^rfdioe aoffidon^ to oii^ 
t6 i^fettdadny^rivtftd'inari iM*4hie iirhofe;:weight ofdte 
*Ci«own i^fdsses npra him^ 'BMiament' Has beelratb- 
;ting'i^()6iiGX-psrte'evidGiiM<f3^^ aiid 

?|rahfi<)iAd*profieitty is aasbeibted; *^t>iiy4>iie tod tftbp 
'4tngdtoih corthrothi^f^itoiavevtitlie filpposM* Wnas^ 
t^iwed^^tb0MtiMso(u !>I(am: n]iiUngf«d compbiiit 
jaf/fehislnbot^rave^ itistan a3Rtfd'immnnmf^tq[iiiiipa0^ 

tU Mf6ntacm;«^sttrft]y it excused m6 for so aftea 
calling upon your integrity and ^ivnesis. to do ofasA 
Jxiatice between the Cfown» aa aifjfxortod^ anid aa 
unhappy Pmotier^ eo jun|^leGtiadw^ 

Geiiflenienji dtekre fhat I am irtAelrly a$toni$he4 

im lookbig at tbe clock, to find bo\T long I have 

bom kpeakii^ I and that, qgitated and distressed as 

iMtvr I Iwve.yM atc^igbhisi)oiigh rematfiing for the 

iienaiisider of. my d«it^ ;r^«t ev<ery ^^1 of iny bealtb 

jt shall ibe eaeHed ; fof although, i( this cauae shoiM 

aniscanry^ { know I shail hav^ justice done «ae for the 

Imesfay of wy inlefitions ; yet iwhsA Is that t9 tb^ 

fHiMic and posterity ?*^Wh^» it. t^ theM^ trheo, if 

iipaalfhiS' evidence there can stand a convjiotion^ fef 

jngb tlreasan». it sa. plain that to man can he md. tf> 

Jiwea lifo whiob ia his:dMftt^M»«Far how can iie pe»- 

mkHy ioMvir by wbift tngines it txAjf be /anared^ or 

fnMi wbai; nnknown «oufcea ttrioiay baiettackedand 

^overpowred?-^m^ a monslixHis preoed09t woiM 

he as ruindoa to the King aa tt> tiia 4Hi|9iept|^ . Wlb 

jore in a crisis'^ onraftiia^ whidkf piillii^r jwticfi 

^t: ^f tiie^uestJQli^ oalis ikViSteodifi^liey for ij^ 

r^ineatest farudciioe aod tnedtitoticaiii} ^t ik liaM^'whad 

«tfate Mitioiis amdiiqiteed tOtisubwrt^M/eiir. aitiMshh 

^aicnto, let it be our irnlAofmM miie tbf^f^jMtrfoel 

thepraiitkjribetiete.ctf^PirrMtii; letwa^.itfi/b|rifi9 

^j^bcMl bnk of .£vtL2^thetdiatfMttd iahaWtiiiltaof 4ti9 

4HifU iMl<fl)r{tQ osuforsapctuary^ dmfencoutiiaf^lhelr 

mdotiies fiiai;» ittoidssadfol oooaeqiieadsst^f ^Mtatt 

^taittii^aiaBesonaMelpefoinsiii^ panuim4x^ih^)iH 

tiiiia to'tlve folly d^ offering corrtiptton^ tb ocmthiRie; 
till thewhole ftbrfc of society U dissolved Mid tumble* 
into ruin* Landing upon oar shores^ the^ \vill isH 
thti bkssing of sefonrity) and tbe^r wilt Hisoovef-m 
Drfaat it consists ; Ib^ will ti^ this tthU smd ^bsit 
,hdArts will pa]{)itat6 at your dedsion t-Milley w91 sfff 
to one dnotbi^ry bnd their ^raioes will rtencb td Itbo 
ends of the eaifth ; May the oonstitofliofr t^ Emgland 
enAane l^r everl'^the sd^nsd and yet nemaining 
atfftlcttiary f^ the <)ppfessed:--4]iere, and bere onlyi 
ttie lot of inai^ is 6aA in security $-^^at thoogb mm 
thority, established for the ends of jaMice^, may iiill 
kficdf n{>> against it>*^virhat though the Jioosd of^ 
CottlnKSMs ^If should make an ^ex^part$ dedavalkHi 
of guiit ;4**w)iQC though ^ei-y afMdea of ait ^sboidd 
Jjte employbd ^to entanglia it^ioj^ions o£ ttas people 
^ith itvothey^euMntfiestWbiilii be iiievitaldft tobsi^UD^ 
tioir^^yelin Eiiglan^ ifXm\\ght0o4A Sn^d^ dB 
this w3I 9iot f\odk a hair fipdm the heeA of innnoermeir 
^-MAict Jury wili atift kmk ateadfastly t4> the law^ at tlia 
|f«nt p<^^rv io'dili^fr^ein fnthttr^»itlHP;««««i 
^rad^t tvlMi tdl^ ^fll'^et Mo efiwuple of di«»nto^ 
n&if'pfm^nob^ v«ftIiM«f ^mtmi M^aui^ortt^ci or 
bi!^<i^|4fobiaii6 tlibi? Judicinl 

|)fd9ift(»{MMfti iM the tfth0rlMitt4^ tKey^#}llmiiltt 
tio iiol}lbilMdai$ri66e, but detiv^HtplaiHillbMititiaoi 
fr<iin.4h« tbiN of 4to|^»stto@i«^Wh«M^ ^ur ^widict tip 
I«N)ridiin«ed; thtsi^taribe j^^ 
«Hatffd <if afiy ^ikMgatf dtfdwfv^ ai« d^Ma^ iv'tliwi 
4ri|Rctit)ri#«oPGiM^^ VMMflf ^ll'^liil^ f»lilwi^ 

444 . Iffi* £R9KIXC*S flPEECfrOlT'tr 

to reclaim them ;— they will say— Whatcvei' we have 
lost of our cx>ntrol in Parliament, we; have yet a 
sheet-anchor remaining to hold the Vessel of th6 
ifate amidst contencUog storms:— we have skill, 
thank Gody a sound bdministratioo of justice secured 
to U&, ia the independence of the Judges, in the 
r^tfl of enlightened Juries, add in tbb^ integrity of 
the Bar ;^— neady at all tiipe^, :and upon every pos-^ 
^ble occasion,' wbatewr may ht the cgnsoqi^eneei to 
(Uemsekes,. tp stand forward in defiente of th^ 
meanest xtaau in England, v^n brought for )<i%^ 
Ai*ntbefpretbelaw8of,thex5«intry; .; . - - j 

->>To retbrn to this SbottjfcGoavchtiQn.^^Tfhcirj^^^ 
pers.were all?8ejzedihy,GoveirhmGBt;: Wha* thc& 
j)hoccieditng8iwerej*hey;befit ^0Ow:;t w^i .ca»; only ste 
jrfi^ parts; ttkey choose^to. i^<^ tUSi; )lmti;irotn whal(, 
we have sieonj^iilces ahy fnan ^riomly teliovie^iihal^ 
Qsis. hneeUog M . Edinburgh; ipseant.^ tOi aisiume ai^df til 
inamtain biy'ifoi-ce. $U the^iiQetiohia'nd^futbplitliesidf 
Aic Stjjtc J-rls .th^'thing wUrirf Hhej tt>fnp»s4,Qf iku- 
ioaf»:bfiHef h-rlfia man; wSerq oUSired q-idu^^ipi-m^ 
JiBBttrtyithQusabcifpoundf ^.y4tt^/fqf tj^i^g^tojinrftoY^ 
iti \m'm^kmf^ lie b^li^v'fei iti?« .wb^:yyittiii9*jt9fln 
bkf\for\ g^rdnd hanQut5|j4>iat h^ n*s(»vi»Bfe<*5}»4d 
hiUm^\ihBLHh\s £4ijrf>yrgb>tD09ti«ig YaqAM!^lJ»ment 
folJ;(3lwt^fir•^t»SJrf(|-T4l^vr Jn4^ <mHM& (nim^th^ 
|ir(»ttj*og^.pf »ijftV/pe4(«b4e,*mri»edtn^p,ii^i3* 
ftOmgiio Kciw$t(^iitiaimtm«^^ m^nt^jafroh^ 

^itA\» qklblliar ^hMfWW jiW!9l«>e«1od»att*it>-««l^ 


4ected^ iitrie m^ey frorrt people who were welt dis* 
posed ;to Uhe cause ;• a few shillings One day, and 
perhaps Hfr many pence, jlnother ? — I think, as far as 
'I could recjcon U up, when the report, from thre great 
committee of supply, was read to you, I counted that 
there had been raised, in <he first session of this par* ' 
liatnent, Hfteeu pounds, from which indeed you must 
deduct two bad shillings, which are literatly noticed 
in the account. — Is it to be endured, Gentlemen, 
^that men should gravely say, that this body assumed 
to itself the offices of Parliament ?-^thiit a few harm- 
les* ptople, who sat, as they profess, to obtain a full 
representation of the people, were themselves, even 
*m their own imaginations, the complete representa- 
tion v^^iich they sought for?-— Why should they sit 
from day to day to consider 'how they might obtain 
what they had already got ? — If their obgect was an 
universal representation of the whole people, how is 
. it credible they could suppose that universal repre- 
sentation to exist in themselves — in the representa- 
tives of a few Societies, instituted to obtain it for the 
^country at large ? — If they were themselves the na- 
tion, why should the language of every resolution be, 
that reason ought to be their grand engine for the 
' adcomplishment of their object, and should be di- 
rected to convince the nation to speak to Parliament 
-m. a voice tliat must be heard ? The proposition, 
""tberefbre^ is too gross to {cram down the throats of 
ilbonEnifljsb people, and this is the Prisoner's secu- 
irity/^HefaBcigiun he fee^tl}e advantage <)fo^^ ^ee 

admipMtffpfcian of jusHiee: tf»is:pr^pQMtioi»i pn ^hidU 
iBa mudb 4«pexid$, ii$ not: t9 be ro^^on^ upon on 
imdhooent, to be iietivere^ pnyat(ely to magbtmtie^ 
for private judgnowt : *pr-4te ha9 tbe priTiiege af 
:0ppeali^ alopd^ 36 be now eppeafis by me^ to nn enr 
%htened asisembly, full of eyes^ mi mrs^ Bod mteb* 
Kgwce, where speajting to a Jyry is, in a manner, 
:speakipg to a nation At larg^ and flying for aanetnary 
to ite universal jusikse* 

CenUeinen, the very vwrk of Mr. Paine, nnder tfee 
iftiniers of wjjich this supposed jebellion was aet on 
foot, ix^futefs the charge it is brought fynvwd to aop^- 
pprt : foi^ Mr* Paii>€, iu his preface, and throughout 
hh whole boofc., reprobates the uee of focee^gainst 
the most evil goveramenta ; the contrary was never 
imputed to him.«-rlf his book bad been written in 
pursuance of the dcaign of force and TcJbellion, with 
which It ia now sought tso be connected, he would, 
like the Prisoners, have been charged with an overt 
act of high tr^a^n ; but such a proceeding was never 
thought of* Mf.. Paine was indicted fcr a m^sda- 
meanor, and tl>e tmi^demeanor was argued Jto conmt 
not in the ffilsehood that a nation has no right to 
choose or ^Her itsgoverniment, but in seditiously es-^ 
cijLing the nation, without cause^ to exercise that 
rif^t. A learned Lord (Lord Chief Baron Macdp- 
naWl:)>inow on; this .Bench, addressed the iijrjpas At- 
torney <Jeneral upon .this principle: his lar^gnageiiias 
this :~ The question is not, what tJ3ep€b[%&vtsia 
fight to doy 6x iiie people: ate, :uodo«falfe:Bly,vtha 


fovipdAtum. and ^orig^ of all g0verwaeal.; but ^ 

«har|^ m^ 'i(ar a^Mou^Iy ^Kng upOQ the peqptq, 

vFithout <(au/9e or roasQn^ ^o^xdirnse' a rigbtixitikv^h 

would be.^dilwa» $u|^M)skig th^right.^o^hf^n: 

for thoi]|gh.the>peopIe might'bave a right Ap dpihc 

thing siiggeated^ and though ithey af^e.not ^qited to 

the doii^ it hy force and riebalUoii^ j^t, as the 9V^^ 

•gestion goeQtQ ua^ttle U^e State^. the propsgatioQ pf 

such dpotrmes ia seditious* There is up other way> 

undoqb^Iy, lof d^spcihiog that chaige. I am .Dot 

there jsotetiog i^HP tiie application of it to Mr. Paine, 

^whose Counsel I was^ and who has. been triedalr^jr. 

To £^y that the ,peop}e have a right to chaogie U^r 

.gov.^niindtit3)i^,iiid/s^ a truisRfii everjj^ body^knows it^ 

and Ihieor .ettM:<4sed the rights qtherwise- the Ki^ 

could not ihave bad his establishment amongst |^. 

If^ iherefgre^ I ^ir up individuals to oppose bty fonqe 

die general will, seated in the.govemment, itmi^ 

be treason ; but to induce changes in a governmepf, 

byexposing to,a whole nation « its terrors apdinipef- 

|ectionS| can have no bearing upon^nqh ^n ^euc^: 

*— the utmost whiqh can be made icf it is ^a.misd^* 

meaner^ and that too depending wholly upon th^ 

j udgm^Qt^whi^rh' the Jury may f fi^nn of the. inten^dn 

of the writersi-rThe Courts, for a long time^indeed^ 

>ak«isuffiedi,tatbem$el^^ the^rovmce of* deciding ifpqn 

^his^intention^as.fa^oiatter of law, conclusively io^- 

fiQ^it from the tact of publiqatiiQn.: I isay tbe.Cwifs 

Ata^cK^iiti'thwgh it/iMap-not the dP9ctrine oflipfd 

M|tfa|i$gel4i,tot5b^fide<i^4(?wn toihim.frpipjthejpiaoiip- 

449 ^-MfHi ERSfcrNB*^ riPB^CH Ok 

*^ents of Judges before his tinicj butev«n in thail 

case^ though the poblicMion was the -drime, not, as 

In this case, the intention^ and though the quality 

of the thing charged, when not rebutted by evidence 

for the Defendant, had so long been' considered to be 

a fegal inference, yet the Legislature, to support the 

province of the Jury, and irt tenderness for liberty, 

has lately altered the law upon this important sub* 

' ject. If, therefore, we were not assembled, as we 

•are, to xonsider of the existence of high treason 

-against the King^s life, but only of a misdemeanor for 

seditiously disturbing his title and establishment, by 

the proceedings for a reform in Parliament, I should 

*thirik the.Cro^n, upon the very prinoiplie which, un- 

'derthe libel law, must now govern such a trial, quite 

as distant from its mark ; because, in ^my opinion, 

'^there is rio way by which His MajestylB title can more 

'firmly bfe seciired, or by which (abo^e all-,* it) our 

times) its piermatiency can be better established, tha'n 

*by promoting a more full and equal representa^tioii of 

the people,' by peaceable means ; and by what-oth«r 

'means has it been sought, in this iristanoe, t6 be 

"pfothoted ? • 

HSenilemen, when the members of this ConVenti<ni 
wereseized* did-they attempt resistance ? — ^Did they 
^ihstet upon their privifeges as subjects uhder the 
'laws, or as a parliament enacting tows for others ?~» 
^'tTiiheyhadsaifl or done any thing to give oolbui' to 
''iticti im idea', th^ere needed no spies to coiiviM tbenf> ; 
' Ihe Crown could -have giVea ample ii^d^^t^ '^r 


evidence from amongst themsdves : the Sodelies 
consisted of thousands and thousands of persons^ 
some of whom, upoi^ any calculation of human na- 
ture, might have been produced: the delegates, who 
attended the meetings, could not be supposed to have 
met, with a different. intention from those who sent 
them ; and, if the answer to that is, that the consti* 
tuents are involved in the guilt of their representa*^ 
tives, we get back to the monstrous position which I 
observed you before to shrink back Jrom, tffith visible 
horror^ when I stated it ; namely, the involving m 
the fn^te and consequence of this single trial every 
man, who corresponded with these Societies, gc whd^ 
as a member of Societies in any part of the kingdom^ 
consented to the meeting which was assembleid, or 
which was in pr'ospect : — but, I ttiank God, I luave 
nothing to fear from such hydras, when I see before 
me such just and honourable men to hold the balance 
of justice. 

G^Fitlemen, the dissolution of this parliament 
speaks as strong a language as its conduct when sit* 
ting. Bow was it dissolved ? When the magistrates 
entered, Mr. Skirving was in the chair, which he re* 
fused to leave : — ^he considered and asserted bis con* 
duct to be legale and therefore ii^rrated tbe magi- 
strate he must exercise his authority, that the dis-^ 
persion might appear tp be involuntary, and that the 
subject, disturbed in bis rights, might be entitled to 
bis remedy,— The npagistrate on tfcis took Mr, Slyr- 
Ying^y the fliK>ulder^ wii^o immediately obeyed ; th^ 

VOL. III. o G 


.chair was quitted in a moment, and this great parlia- 
ment broke up. What vtjis the effect of all this pro- 
ceeding 3t the time, when whatever belonged to it 
most have been best understood ?— Were any of the 
parties indicted for high treason ?— Were they in- 
<^cted even for a breach of the peace in holding the 
Contention? — None of these things. — ^The law of 
Scotland^ arbitrary as it is, was to be disturbed to find 
a name for their offence, and the rules of trial to be 
violated to convict them : — they were denied their 
challenges to their Jurors, and other irregularities 
were introduced, so as to be the subject of complaint 
in the House of Commons. — Gentlemen, in what I 
am saying, I am not standing up to vindicate all that 
they published during these proceedings, more espe- 
cially those which were written in consequence of the 
trials I have just alluded to ; but allowance must be 
made for a state of heat and irritation : — ^they saw 
men whom they believed to be persecuted for what 
they believed to be innocent ;— they saw them the 
victims of sentences which many would consider as 
equivalent to, if not worse than, judgment of trea* 
son : sentences which, at all events, had never ex<- 
isted before, and such as, I believe, never will agati^ 
with impunity « — ^But since I am on the subject of 
intention, I shall conduct myself with the same roo* 
deration which I have been prescribing; I will cast 
no aspersions, but shall content myself with lament- 
ing that these judgments were productive of conse- 
quences, which rarely follow from authwity discreetly 


exercised. How easy is it then to dispose of as much 
of the evidence as consumed half a day in the ana<* 
themas against the Scotch Judges ! It appears that 
they came to various resolutions concerning them ; 
some good, some bad, and all of them irregular. 
Amongst others they compare them to JefTeries, and 
wish that they, who imitate his example, may ipeet 
his fate.-^What then? — Irreverend expressions 
against Judges are not acts of high treason ! — If they 
had assembled round the Court of Justiciary, and 
banged them in the execution of their offices, it 
would not have been treason within the statute.— -I 
am no advocate for disrespect to Judges, and think 
that it is dangerous to the puUic order ; but, putting 
aside the insult upon the Judges now in authority, 
the reprobation of Jefieries is no libel, but an awful 
and useful memento to wicked men. Lord Chief 
Jastice JeiTeries denied the privilege of English law 
to an innocent man. He refused it to Sir Thomas 
Armstrong, who in vain pleaded, in bar of bis out- 
lawry, that he was out of the realm when he was ex- 
act^ — (ah objection so clear, that it was lately taken 
for granted, in the case of Mr. Piirefoy). The 
daughter of this unfortunate person, a lady of honour 
and quality, came publicly into Court to supplicate 
for her father ; and what were the effects of her sup- 
plications, and of the law in the mouth of the Pri- 
soner ? ^ Sir Thomas Armstrongs" said Jefterics, 
^^you may amuse yourself as much as you please 
^^iwith the idea of your innocence, but you are to be 

G G 2 

452 MB. easkinb's SPBSeH.OBr 

^^ hanged next Friday ;" — ^and, upon the natoral ex- 
clamation of a daughter at this horrible outtage 
against her parent, he said, ^^ Takie that woman oat 
^' of Court ;*' whkh 8he answered by a prayer, that 
God AImighty*s judgments might }tght upon hinir 
Gentlemen, they did Kght upon liim; and wben^ 
afte| his death, which speedily followed this transac* 
tion, the flatter was brought before the House of 
Commons, under tiiat glorious Revolution which is 
asserted, throughout the proceedings before you, the 
judgment s^^inst Sir Thomas Armstrong was de- 
clared to be a iBurder under colour of justice 1 Sir 
Robert Sawyer, the Attorney General^ was expelled 
the House of Commons for his misdemeanor in m- 
fusing the writ of error, — and the executors of Jef- 
feries were commanded to make compensation to the 
widow and the daughter of the deceased. These are 
great monuments of justice ;— ^and^ although I by no 
means approve of harsh expressions against aodso- 
rity^ which tend to weaken the holdings of society, 
yet let us not go beyond the mark in our resixaints, 
nor suppose that men are dangerously disaffisoted to 
the government^ because they feel a sort of pride and 
exultation in events, which constitute ^ dagnity and 
glory of their country. 

Gentlemen, this resentmeiit against Ihe proceed* 
ix^s of the Courts in Scotland, was jxA confined to 
those who were the objects of them ; it mis not con • 
fined even to the friends of a reform in Parltamest-** 
a benevolent public^ in both.parta of tbaxslaod^ jaiMd 


lihem in the complaint ; and a gentleman of great 
moderation^ and a mo$t inveterate enemy to parlia^ 
mentary reform^ as thinking it not an improvement 
of the government, but nevertheless a lover of his 
country and its insulted justice/ made the convicttona 
of the delegates the subject of a public inquiry :-— I 
speak of my frigid Mr. William Adam, who brought 
these judgments of the Scotch Judges before the 
House of Commons— arraigned them as contrary to 
law, and proposed to reverse them by the authority 
of Parliament. Let it not then be matter of wonder^ 
that these poor men, who were the immediate vio- 
tims of this injustice, and who saw their brethren ex- 
pelled from their country by an unprecedented and 
questionable judgment, should feel like men on the 
subject, and express themselves as they felt. 

Gentlemen, amidst the various distresses and em- 
barrassments which attend my present situation, it is 
a great consolation that I have marked from the he^ 
ginning, your vigilant attention and your capacity to 
understand ; it is, therefore, with the utmost con- 
fidence that I ask you a few plain questions, erising 
out of the whole of these Scotch proceedings. — ^In 
the first place, then, do you believe it to be possible^ 
that, if these men had really projected the Conven- 
tion as a traitorous usurpation of the authorities of 
Parliament, they would have invited the Friends 
of the People, in Frith Street, to assist them, when 
they knew that this Society was determined not te 
seek the reform of the constitution, but by means 

G6 3 


that were oonstttuttooal^ and from whom they ooold 
neither hope for support nor concealment of evil 
pur{k>8es ? — ^I ask you next^ if their objects had been 
traitorous^ would they have given them, without dis« 
guise or colour, to the public and to the government^ 
in every common newspaper ? And yet it is so far 
.from being a charge against them, that they con- 
cealed their objects by hypocrisy or guarded conduct^ 
that I have been driven to admit the justice of tbe 
complaint against them, for unnecessary inflam* 
motion and eiaggeration.-— I ask you further^ whe^^ 
ther, if the proceedings, thus published and elcagge* 
rated, had appeared to Government, who knew every 
thing belonging to them, in the light they represent 
them to you to-day j they could possibly have slept 
over them with such complete indifference and si- 
lence ? For it is notorious, that after this Convention 
)iad been held at Edinburgh ; after, in short, every 
thing had been said, written, and transacted, on 
iVrhich I am now commenting, and after Mr, Paine's 
book had b^en for aboye a year in universal circu^ 
latioii^ — ^ay, up to the very day when M^*. Grey gave 
vxiiict^ in the House of Commons, of the intention 
pf the Friends of the People for a reform in P&rlia* 
jnent, there was not even a single Indiotmait on the 
J51e for a misdemeanor; but, from that moment, 
when it waa sten that the cause was not beat dowo 
or abandoned'9 the prcglamation mi^de its appearance^ 
Hfid all the proceedings that followed bad their birth, 
rrrrl ^sl^^ you, Idstly, . G^Rtlem^n^ . wligth^ .« bp in 


human naturfe, that a few unprotected men, conscious 
in their own minds, that they had been engaged and 
detected in a detestable rebellion to cut off the King, 
to destroy the administration of justice, and to sub- 
vert the whole fabric of the government, should turn 
roimd upon their country, whose ruin they had pro- 
jected, and whose most obvious justice attached on 
them, complaining, forsooth, that their delegates, 
taken by magistrates, in the very act of high treason^ 
bad been harshly and illegally interrupted in a meri- 
torious proceeding ? The history of mankind never 
furnished an instance, nor ever will, of such extra-^ 
vagant, preposterous, and unnatural conduct ! No, 
no. Gentlemen ; all their hot blood was owing to 
their firm persuasion, dictated by conscious inno- 
cence, that the conduct of their delegates had been 
legal, and might be vindicated against the magi^ 
strates who obstructed them :^ — in that they might 
be mistaken ; — I am not arguing that point at pre- 
sent : if they are hereafter indicted for a misdemea- 
nor, and I am Counsel in that cause, I will then! 
teil you what I think of it : — sufficient for the day 
is the good or evil of it,- — it is sufficient, for the 
present one, that the legality or illegality of the busi* 
ness has no relation to the crime that is imputed to 
the Prisoner. 

The next matter that is alleged agamst the au- 
thors of the Scotch Convention, and the societies 
which supported it, is, their having sent addresses of 
friendship to the Convention of France. These ad- 

GG 4 . 


dresses are considered to be a decisive proof of rept^- 
Kcan combination, verging closely in themselves upon 
an overt act of treason. — Gentlemen, if the dtrtes of 
these addresses are attended to, which come no lower 
down than November 1792, we have only to lament, 
that they are but the acts of private subjects, and that 
they were not sanctioned by the Statfe itself. — The 
French nation, about that period, under their new 
constitution, or under their new anarchy, call it 
which you will, were nevertheless most anxiously de« 
sirousof maintaining peace with this country-^But tiie 
King was advised to withdraw his ambassador from 
France, upon the approaching catastrophe of \\$ most 
unfortunate Prince ; — ^an event which, however to be 
deplored, was no justifiable cause of offence to Great 
Britain. France desired nothing but the regenera-* 
tion of her own government ; and if she mistook the 
road to her prosperity, what was that to us?-— But it 
yvas alleged against her in Parliament, that she had 
introduced spies amongst us, and held correspond- 
ence with disaffected persons, (or the destruction of 
our constitution : this was the charge of our -Mini- 
ster, and it wasj therefore, held to be just and ueces^ 
sary, for the safety of the country, to hold France at 
arm's length, and to avoid the very contagion of con- 
tact with her at the risk of war. — But, Gentlemeni 
this charge against France was thought by many^ to 
be supported by no better proofs thah those against 
the Prisoner .-r-In the public correspondence of the 
Ambassador from the Frenolx Kitag^ aad upob his 

THE Tl^Ai:. OP THOMAft HAftDT. 45^ 

deftlh> » MtDister from the Conveiitioti, trtth- His 
Majesty's Secretary of State, documente which He 
upon the table of the House of CommoM, and which 
may be made evidence in the cauae^ the Executive 
Council repelled with indignation all the imputa^ 
tions, whidi to this very hour are held out as the vin- 
dications of qUarreK '^ If there be such persons in 
^'England," says Monsieur Chauvelin— >^ has not 
/^ England laws to punish thetn ?-^France disavows 
f^ tbeiii — sudiinen are not Frenchmen.'*— The same 
correspondence conveys the mott solemn assurances 
of friendship down to the very end of the year 17g% 
-^-a period subsequent to all the correspondence and 
addresses complained of.-~Whether these assurances 
urei^ ftithful or otherwise^ — ^whether it would have 
been prudent to have depended on them or other-' 
wise^^-^wfaether the war was advisable or unadvis- 
id^le^^— are questions over which We have no jurisdic- 
tion ;~-I only desire to bring to your recollection, 
that a man may be a friend to the rights of humanity 
end to the imprescriptible rights of social man^ which • 
is now a term of derision and contempt^ that he may 
feel to ikt very soul (or a nation beset by the sword 
of deq)Ot6^ and yet be a lover of his own country and 
its constitution. 

Gentlemen^ the same celebrated person^ of whom 
I have had occasion to speak so frequently, is the 
best and brightest illustratit^n of this truth. Mr. 
Burke, indeed, weM a great deal further than re- 
9fme$ to be press^ infa^ the present argument ; £or 

458 MB. SR6KINB'S speech ON 

he maintained the cause of justice and of truth* 
against sdl the perverted authority and rash violence 
of his country, and expressed the feelings of a 
Christian and a patriot in.the very heat of the Ameri- 
can war ; boldly holding forth our victories as defeats, 
jmd our successes as calamities and disgraces. ^' It 
5* is not instantly," &id Mr. Burke, " that I can be 
^< brought to rejoice, when I hear of the slaughter 
/' and captivity of long lists of those names which 
y have been familiar to my ears from my infancy, 
^^ and to rejoice that they have fallen under the 
^^ sWord of strangers, whose barbarous ^pellations I 
^V scarcely know how to pronounce. The gloiy ac- 
^^ quired at the White Plains by G)lonel Railhy has 
^^ no charms for me ; and I fairly acknowledge, that 
^^ I have not yet learned to delight in finding Fori 
'^ Kniphanfen in the heart of the British domimons/' 
If this had been said or written by Mri. Yorke at 
Sheffield, or by any other member of these societies, 
heated with wine at the (ilobe Tavern,^ it would have 
been trumpeted fprth as decisive evidence of a rebei- 
lious spirit^ rejoicing in. the down&ll of his country ; 
yet the great author wji^se writings I have borrowed 
from, approved himself to be the friend of this nation 
at that calamitous crisis, and had it pleased God to 
open the understandings of our rulers, his wisdom 
might have averted the storms that are now thicken- 
ing around us. We must not,, therefore, be tod 
severe in our strictures upon the opinion^ and f^lt 
ings of men as they regard £uch mighty; piid^li^i 


questions.— The interests of a nation may often ht 
one thing, and the interests of its government 
another ; but the interests of those who hold govern* 
ment for the hour is at alt times different from either. 
At the time many of the papers before you were cir- 
culated on the subject of the war with France, many 
of the best and wisest men in this kingdom began to 
be driven by our situation to these melancholy reflec- 
tions; airi thousands of persons^ the most firmly 
attached to the principles of our constitution, and 
who never were members of any of these societies^ 
considered, and still consider^ Great Britain as the ag« 
gressor against France ; — they considered, and stiU 
consider, that she had a right to choose a govern- 
ment for her^lf, and that it was contrary to the first 
principles of jdstice, and, if possible, still more re- 
pugnant to the genius of our own free constittttipn, 
to combine with despots for her destruction: an4 
who blows but that the external pressure upon 
France may have been the cause of that unheard-of 
state of society which we complain of?— who knows, 
but that, driven as she has been to exertions beyond 
the ordinary vigour of a nation, it has not been the 
parent of that unnatural and giant strength whick 
threatens the authors of it with perdition ? These 
are melancholy considerations, but they may reason- 
ably^and at all events, be lawfully entertaiisedL— *We 
owe Qbedksnce to Governiment in our acticm, but 
surdy our opinions are free. ^ 

Qentlemen, pursuing the order of time^ we are 

(4(So Mil. EMitrKfi^f SF&&CH osr 

trrived at length at the proposition to hold another 
donventwn, whicR, with the supposed smpport of it by 
Jbtee^ are the only overt ads of high treason charged 
upon this record^-^For^ strange a& it may appear^ 
there is no charge whatever before you of any one of 
those acts or writings^ the evidence of which con^ 
iBumed so many d^s in reading, and which has already 
fiearly consumed my strength in only passing thetfi 
in review before you.-— If every line and letter of aM 
the writings X have been comn>enting upon were ad- 
mitted to be traitorous machinations, and if the Con- 
vention in Scotland was an open rebellion, it is con-*^ 
ceded to be foreign to the present purpose, unless aa 
«uch criminalfty in them might show the views and 
objects of the persons engaged in them c-^^^n that 
prindple only the Court has over and ovw again de- 
dded the evidence of them to be admissiUe i and. on 
Che ^tne principle I have illustrated ttiem in their 
order ad they happened, that I might lead the Fri« 
€oner in your view up to the very point and moment 
^en the treason is supposed to have burst forth into 
<he overt act for whic^ he is arraigned before you. • 
The transaction respecting this secfond Conven<- 
tion, which constitutes the principal, or more pro^ 
'^1y the only overt act in the Indictment, lies in 
the narrowest compass> and is clouded with no aimbi- 
gutty. I admit freely every act which is impoted to 
the Prisoner, and listen not so much with fear as 
with curiosity and wonder^ to the treason sought to 
be connected with it, 


You ^11 reoollect that the first motion toimrds 
tbe holding of a second Convention^ origiotted in a 
letter to the Prisoner from a country correspondent^' 
in which the legality of the former was vincRcated^ 
and its dispersion lamented : -^ this letter was 
answered on the 27th of March 1794^ and was 
read t6 you in the Crown's evidence in these words r 
** CiTizEK, March Q;7y J 794. 

'^ I am directed by the London CcHrespondingSo- 
^' aety to transmit the foliowing Resolutions to the 
*^ Society for C!k>nstitutional Information^ and to re- 
^^ quest the sentiments of that Society respecting the 
** important measures wiiieb the present juncture .of 
*^ affairs seeme to reqnire. ^ 

^ The London Corresponding Society conceives 
'' that the moment is arrived, when a full and ex- 
*^ plidt dedaratien ys nec^dsary from, aH the friends 
^' of fifeedom^^whetlier the late illegal axhd ymkeard^ 
^< of pros€C9Uions ar^ sentences shall determine as to 
^'abandon our caiise, or shall excite us to pomue a 
^^ radical refonm, with an ardour proportioned to the 
'^ magniti»de of the object, and with a tai m disiim^ 
^^ guished on our parts as the trettchery ^ others m 
^^ the same gloriow cuu^ is notorious. The Society 
'^ for Const! tulional kilbrmation is therelbre required 
^^ to deterrai»e whether or no they wall be readyi 
'* «^en calkd wpen, to act in con)unoDbn with ibii 
^^ and otfier societies to obtain a fair tepresenvtaiHoik 
f ' 4fiiuB $&O^LE^--4ohBtker tkey' amour wkk w in 
^ A9ei9g the mcesiky Mf a i^edy QmvenSk^for tht 


^^ purpose of obtaining j in a constiitstianal and legal 
V methodj a redress of those grievances under which 
^^ we at present labour, and which can only be ejffec^ 
** tuatty removed by a full and fair representation of 
" the people of Great Britain. The London Cor- 
" responding Society cannot but remind their 
<^ frieqds that the present crisis demands all the 
'^ prudence^ unanimity, and vigour, that may or 
** can be exerted by MEN and Britons; nor do they 
'^ doubt but that manly firmness and consistency 
f* will finally, and they believe shortly, terminate ia 
^^ the fill! accomplishment of all their wishes. 
** I am^ Fellow-citizen> 

" (In my humble measure,) 

" A friend to the Rights of Man, 
(Signed) " T. Hardy, Secretary.** 

They then resolve that there is^^oo security for 
the continuance of any right but in equality of 
lauiS^; not in equality of property, the ridiculous 
bugbear by which you are to be frightened into in- 
justice;— -on the contrary, throughout every part 
of the proceedings, and most emphatically in Mr. 
Yorke's speech, so much relied on, the beneficial 
* subordinations of society, the security of property^ 
and the prosperity of the landed and commercial in- 
terests, are held forth as the very objects to be at- 
tuned by the reform in the rq>resentation whidi 
they sought for. 

In examining this first moving towards a second 
Convention>the first thing to be considered ia^ what 

TH£ llftlAL OF THOMA*S HAI^DY. 4^3 

reason there is, from the- letter I have just read to 
you, or from any thing that appears to have led to 
it^ to suppose that a different sort of Convention 
was projected from that which had been before as- 
sembled and dispersed. The letter says another Bri- 
tish Convention ; and it describes [the same objects 
as the first— compare all the papers for the calling 
this second Convention with those for assembling 
(he first, and you will find no difference, except 
that they mixed with them extraneous and libellous 
matter, arising obviously fi-om the irritation pro- 
duced by the sailing of the transports with their 
brethren condemned to exile* These papers have 
already been considered, and separated^ as they 
ought to be, from the charge, 

I will now lay before you all the remaning ope- 
rations of this formidable conspiracy up to the Pri- 
soner's imprisonment in the Tower. Mr. Hardy 
having received the letter just adverted to, regarding 
a second Convention, the Corresponding Society 
wrote the letter of the 27th of March, and which was 
found in his hand-writing, and is published in the 
first Report, page 1 1 . This letter, enclosing the 
Resolutions they had come to upon the subject, 
was considered by the Constitutional Society on the 
next day, the 28th of March, the ordinary day for 
their meeting, when they sent an answer to the 
Corresponding Society, informing them that th^y 
had received their communication, that they hear- 
tily .concurred with theim in the objects they had 


in view, and invited .them to send a delegation 
of their members to confer with them oa the sub- 

Now, what were the objects thej concurred in, 
and what was to be the subject of conference be- 
tween the Societies by their Delegates ? Look at 
the letter, whid> distinctly expresses its objects, 
and the means by whidi they sought to effect them : 
-^bad these poor men (too numerous to meet 
all together, and therefore renewing the cause of 
Farfifimentary Refixm by del^ation from the So- 
cieties) any reason to suppose, that they were in- 
volving themselves in the piim of treason, and 
tbat they were cpmpassing the King^s death, when 
they were redeeming (as they thought) his autho^ 
rity from probable downfell and ruin ? Had trea- 
son been imputed to the Delegates before } — Had 
tloe imagining the death of the King ever been 
suspected by any body ? — Or when they were prose- 
cuted for misdemeanors, was the prosecution con- 
sidered as an indulgence conferred upon men vi4iose 
lives had been forfeited ?— And is it to be endured, 
Ifeen, in this free land, made free too by the virtue 
of our forefathers, who placed the King upon his 
tibrone to maintain this freedom, that forty or 
fifty thousand peopfey in the different parts of the 
kingdom, assemfbting in their little Societies io 
q>read usefiil knowledge, and to dHTusetfae principles 
of liberty, which the more widely they are spread^ 
(!he sorer is the condition of cur free gof^ernment^ 


at« in a rtloment, without warning, without any law 
or principle to warrant it, and without prece^nt 
<>r example, to be branded as traitors, and to be 
decimated as victims for punishment ! — ^The Consti* 
tulional Society having answered the letter of the 
a7th of March, in the mann^ I stated to you ;— • 
Comisittees, from each of the two Societies, wa^e 
appointed ta confer together .—^The Constitutional 
Sodeiy appointed Mr» Joyce, Mr. Xidd, Mr. 
Wardle, and Mr. Hokroft, all indicted ; and Mr. 
Sharpe, the ^sefebrated engraver, not indicted, but 
examined as a witness by the Crown :*^fivewere ap«^ 
pointed by die Corre^xmding Society to meet these 
gentlemen, viz. Mr. Baxter, Mr. Moore, Mr; 
Thelwall,. and Mr. Hodgson, all indicted, and Mr. 
JiOV9tt> . against whom the bill Nvas thrown out. 
These gentlemen met at the house of Mr. Thel- 
wbII on the llth of April, and there published the 
resolutions already commented on, in conformity 
with the general objects of the two Sodeties, ex'- 
pressed in the letter of the 27 th of March, and 
agreed to continue to meet on Mondays mxd 
Thursdays for further conference on the subject. 
The first Monday was the 14th of April, of which 
we have heard so much, and no meeting was held 
on that day; — the first Thursday was the 17ih of 
April, but there was no meeting ;i— the 21st of 
April was the second Monday, but there was. still no 
meetki^ ;~'the 24th bf April was the second Thurs* 

VOL. in, H H 

A66 mju beskine's Hbubcu on 

day, ^wben .the five of the Corresponding Sodety at- 
tended^ but nobody coming to meet them from thef 
other, nothing of course was transacted ;— on Mon- 
<iay5 the 28th of April, three weeks after their first 
tippoiotment, this bloody and impatient batidi of 
eepspirators, seeing that a Convention Bill was in 
projection, and that Hessians were landing on our 
xx3asts, at last assembled themselves ;-«<ind now we 
cortie to the point of action. -—Gentlemen, they 
met ;~-lliey shook hands with each other f — ^they 
talked over the. news and the pleasures o( the 
day ;— they wished one another a good evening, 
and retired to their homes :^t is in vafin to hide it, 
they certainly did all these things.— ^Hie same atami^ 
ing scene was repeated on the three follo\;if-ing days 
of meeting, and on Monday, May the 12th, 
would, but for the vigilance of Government, have 
probably again taken place :— bnt on that d^ Mf. 
Hardy was arrested, bis papers seized, and the con- 
spiracy whidi pei'vaded this devoted country was 
dragged into the face of day. To be serious, 
Gentlemien, you have literally the whole of 
it before you in the meetings, I have just Statett; 
in which you find ten gentlemen, appointed 
by two peaceable Societies, conversing upon tlie- 
Mibjedt rf a cojistitutional reformr in Farfia- 
ment, publishing the result of their deliberations^, 
without any other ahns thafn one supper-knife ;i 
which,^ whtn-I eome-to tl^Q^subject ofurms, I wil^ 

tliS tRiAL OF I'lItMiffAd ttAHDT. 40/ 

tn form, l*y befcM'e you .•—Yet for this, and for this 
•lone> you are asked to devote the Prisoner before 
you^ and his unfortunate associates, to the pains 
and penalties of death, and not to death alone, 
but to the eternal stigma and infamy of having 
conceived the detestable and horrible design of dis« 
volving the government of their country, and of 
striking at the life of their Sovereign, who had 
never given offence to them, nor to any of his sub- 
jects* . 

Gentlemen, as a conspiracy of this formidable 
extension, wJiich had no less for its object than the 
Sudden annihilation of all the existing authorities of 
the country, and of evei^ thing that supported 
Ihem, could not be even gravely stated to 
have an existence, without contemplation of force 
to give it effect; it was absolutely necessary to 
impress upon the public mind» and to establish, by 
formal evidence, upon the present occasion, that 
such a force was actually in preparation .^^This most 
important and indispensable part of the cause was 
attended with insurmountable difficulties, not only 
from its being unfounded in &ct, but because it had 
been expressly negatived by the whole conduct of 
Government :*^for although the pfiotion/i of all 
these Societies had been watched for two years toge- 
ther ; though their spies had regularly attended, and 
collected regular journals of their proceedings ; yet 
when the first Report was finished, and the Habeas 

HH 2 

46s Mfi. BUSKIKB's fP«£CK ON 

Corpus Aot 8a$pended Opon the foandation of the 
facts contaiued in it^ there was not to be founc^^ 
from one end of it to the other, even the insinuation 
of arms; I believe that this circumstance made a 
great impression upon all the thinking dispassionate 
part of the public, and that the raataials of the first 
Report were thought to furnish but a slender argu- 
ment to support such a total eclipse of liberty* No 
wonder, then, that the discovery of a pike in the 
interval between the two Reports, should have been 
highly estimated. I mean no reflections upon Go- 
vernment, and only state tlie matter, as a man of 
great wit very publicly reported it ;— he said that the 
discoverer, when heiirst beheld the long-looked-for 
pike, was transported beyond himself with enthu- 
siasm and delight, and that he hung over the rusty 
instrument with all the raptures of a fond mother,| 
who embraces her first-born infant, *^ and thanh her 
*^ Godfoi' all her travail past.^^ 
, In consequence, of this discovery, whoever might 
haye ,tUe merit of it, ^nd whatever the discoverer 
might have felt upon it, perppns were sent by Govern- 
ment (and properly sent) into all * corners of the 
kingdom to investigate the cjxtent of tljye mischief i 
the frijitjp^ this inquiry has been laid.hef0re you, ancj 
I pledge .myself to sum up the evidence which you 
have had upon the subject, not by parts, or by ge- 
neral, observations, but in the same manner as the 
Court itself must sum it up to you, wlien it feys the 


whole body of the proof with fidelity before you.-r* 
"Notwithstanding^ all the deelattiatioris upon French 
imarcby^ I think I may safely assert, that it has'beeii 
distihctly proved, by the evidence, that the Shef^ 
field .people w^^ for universal ' representiatibn in a 
British House ^f Commons; This appears to have 
been the general sentimentty with the exceptidn 'of 
qheffwitoess; whose testimoi^y makes th^ truth ^iii 
iinm\fides o£ the se^timeiitsfer^more Iti^ikWgf ^^gig 
witness I allude to (George Widdison), wbosiffief^i-' 
dehce^tshill^itatein its ^pl^e/sc^n* to^'be^ a' jSOfin, 
blpat, hoafiefet:^man;-and* by the hy^, ^vbfch "nlu^ 
never be forgcrttbn of any off thanV the~Gftwn*s wit^ 
]ie^;<M-.I am> not' interested' in ^the v^i^it^^ any 
of them^ fbr. (as I hav^i&equ^tttty Adverted' tb) tb& 
Crown niust ctaketJhisin for better for worse j— it 
most su{^OFt each witness, and the*wHote'b<ldy 68 
its evidence 'thraDgh9ut.-4*.lf ypu do not helieve the 
whole of what is. proved by a witness; wha^-o(S(nfii^ 
denice can you have in parti of it, or wh« pat*t; 
can yojii sel^t to confide in ?*-tIf you are Beeeiv^ iftf 
pa3Pt,-*who shall measure • the btomdaries • of the' 
(teeeptioa ?;-^'his man ' says ' he was nt firet fofi 
universal suf&age; Mr, :¥(irKe had persitaded him/ 
frotn ati the books, that it was the best-, but thatf 
he afttirwards saw reason tothink otherwise, and was: 
not for going the length oftheDuke of Rjchmdrrtit- 
but that all the other Sbsffield*people were for ^ the; 
Duke's |>lan ; a fact confirmedby the crossrescauHt* 



nation of every one of the witne8tes«~-Yoa have^ 
therefore^ positively aad distinctly, upon the univeK 
sal authority of the evidence of the Crown, the 
people of Sheffield, who are charged as at the head 
of a republican conspiracy, proved to be associated 
on the very jmnciples which, atdiflfbreat times, hani 
distinguished the most eminent persons in ihia 
kingdom ; and the charge made .up6n them, with 
regard to arms, isdeared op by the: same uni venal 
testimony. : : ' . 

You recollect that, at a mertii^heikl^ 
Castle-hill, there were two parties in the country, 
and it is material tO: attend to what these twa partiea 
were.-<^lQ conaeqiiencei of the lung*a.prodamation, a 
great number, of hondurahle, jiesdous person-, who 
had been led .by a thousand artifices to believe, that 
there was A jtot causie of alarm in the country, tool^ 
vety extrtordinary steps for support^ of the magisn 
traoy.— The publicans wete:directed hot to entertain 
per^om who were .friendly to a reform of Parlaa- 
mefit; and alarms of change and revolution per- 
vaded the country, whidi became greater and 
greater, 'as our ears were hourly as^led with the 
successive calamities of Franoe.— -Others saw things 
in an opposite light, and considered that ihese Gala-% 
mitiels were made the pretext for extinguishing Bri* 
tisib liberty; — heart-bur6ings arose between the two 
parties; and some, I am afraid a gi-eat ihariy,' 
wickedly orignorantly interposed in a quarrel which 
zeal had begun,— The Societies were disturbed in 

TH^ TWA?! OF 5PJIOMA9 H4«py. 47^1 

tbdir mteHi^3, wdr.ev:en;tbe p?i.v^te;<i^^Uij3g8. pf^ 
tnan^ of their membefs.Ayer^. ilfepllyrviiolate^.'^It 
^ppet^m by the very ejrkleQce forrlthe Qfown^ by 
\vbtch Ihe-GaUse-miitft isitaptj ^ fail, th^^t iB^Jtiy of ^ the 
friciKJa of r^&MTOriyei^.cJaily in^tf d^rrfttoeir bo^ise^* 
threatened to be pulled down, sx:i^ tlieir peaoeal^ 
meetings beset by pretended ;i9«^§trategj without 
th6/tpJWes« of the fawi— rTh^se pi^QGe^4ipg« patu- 
rilly. TOggested the propriety of having arms for 
s^lfedefencej the. first- jindmos| unqi^estipnable pri* 
^6kgeof maiij in. or Out of s^ciety^ and e9j>fe88;ly' 
prcfvided for byrthe very letiter of Engli^ghJ^^rrl^ 
was ingeniously put by the learned 'G^iHipi^l, -ig the 
examin^iop of a witness, that it wm coipiplaiqe^.Hof 
pinongst tbem^ that very UtiJie ws iH^iSoient topb-^ 
tain a wamasit from jioifcie^ magistfiitea, an/d tb^t 
therefoii^ H wfas as well \q be provi^iefd for' tho^ w}ici 
might hav^ Warrants as. for those. v^b&iHKlviio^e^ 
Gentlemen, J am . top tpu^ ea^havy^f^ta p^rsu^^^oi^ 
argue ^uoh^dilFer^nQC) even if it^xis^e^ i^pp^rf^e 
evidence, because if the Societies inr^uff^ipa (h<^v>* 
ever mifilalcienly) consideced .th<>ir . meetfegs Jo* be 
l^dl, and the warrantt^ to distprk th^«i to.l^rl^'- 
yoiid the authority ;of:tbe ftiag^tc^te to^grfu^, thiey 
had a right, at the peril of the legal cons^qy^n^fSj 
to stand itppn their defence i iftftQjftiaiifcgnBS- 
sion of the law, muchle$a high, tf^aspn against; the 
King, ld> resist hsKolKceirs ««rlien thiyfiaas the bounds 
of their authority. ' So mueh for tte^geQeml evi- 
dence oparo)^ ; and the first and last time that even 

the name of the Prisoner 19 conneeted with the sub« 
ject, is by a letter he received from a per^h of the 
name of Davison. I am anxioqs that this ^rt of 
the case shouM he distinctly toderstood^-^nd I willy 
thercftH-e, Ining back this letter to your attention. 
The letter is as follows : ' 


'* The. barefaced aristocracy of the preisent Ad- 
^' ministration his made it necessary that we should 
*^ be prepared to act <m the defensive^ against ai^y- 
** attack they may command 4heir newly armed- 
^' minions tl> make upon us. A plan has been hit 
*^ upon, and; if encouraged sufficiently, will, no 
'^ doubt, have the effect of furnishing a quantity 
'^ of pikes to the patriots, great enough to make 
^ them formidable. The blades are made of steely 
** tempered' airid 'polished dler an approved form. 
^ They may^be fixed into any shafts (but ;^r ones 
" are recommended) of the girt ^f thetaccompany** 
'* ing hoops at the top end, and about an inch more 
*^ at the b6ttom. 

" The blades and hoops (more than which oannob 
^ properly be *nt to any great distance) will 1^ 
'' charged one shilling. Money to be sent with the 

^ ^^ As the- institution is in its infanoy, immediate 
** inbduragefneM is necessary. 

*^ Orders moi/ be ^entu the Secretaiy.of the Skef^ 
^^JieU OmtUMiondl Soeiett/.' [Struck out.'] * 
--- . }..'i .,11.1 } ., ' \. (€ RicHAJab Davison* 
<' Sheffield, April 24, 1^9^.** 

THE'^'aiAL Oip' THOMAS HARDY. 473" 

Gentlemen, 'yoa must recollect (For, if it sliould' 
escape you, it might make a great differencfe) that 
Davison directs the answer to this letter to tte ifefit 
to Robert Mopdy at Sheffield, to pre^nt po^tkif^^ 
fice suspicioh ; and that he also efnfcIttSes iiif^^ft • A*' ai^- 
ihilar one, which Mr. Hardy was 'to ft)r#ard to 
Norwcl), in orider that the Scfcietyat'tRat pltee 
;niglit provide pikes for themsfelvea, in the satrie ni4h- 
ner<hatDi¥idoii wafs re^oti^'meiidin'g, through Heif^,' 
to the pc(Jple of London:* Now '#htit toHowed ttpdiai 
the Prisoner's receiving' this* telftir?*^It i&'in'*^8»i^ 
dehc^, by this VeVy Moo(Jy, to '^h6m*the aiiswci* 
was to' be sent, 'and wfeky was examined as-a "witMeiid* 
by the Crown, that he neb^r received 'ary amwer 't0 
ike letter; and, although there was an univ^raul 
seizure of papeis, h6 such tetter, nor atiy o&ter, 
appeared tb hhi^e been written ; arid, what is mone^ 
the letter to Norwich, from Davisoh, enclosed iti 
his letter? t6 Hardy, was never forwarded, biit wnS 
found in his custody wlien lie was arrested, thrM 
^eeks afterwards, folded up in the other, and un» 
opened, as he received it.— ^Good God ! what is 
become of the humane sanctuary oif English justice 
—where is the sense and meaning of the term 
proveably in the statiite of King Edward— nf s^dh 
evidence can be received against an English subject, 
on a trial for his life? — If a man writes la letter to 
me about pikes, or about any thing else, can 1 hdp 
it ? — ^And is it evidence (except to acquit me of sus- 
picion) when it appears that nothing is dode upon 

it ? — Mr; Uardj nerar before dorresponded with 
Pavtscmrr-he nev^r desired hm to write to him. — 
(low indeed cQuJkl.he dasir^ btni when his very eji-; 
isleno^ ^.Ufi^¥^py(p tcrbiin ?-iJIe never returned 
na aQSfref ;-nJhet never forwardecl the enclosed to 
Norwiftll^'— he n^ver even ^ominunicated the, letter 
liseK; to his pwiv.jSodety, although. he was its Secr?« 
tary^' which «hpwed he f^qn^cdered it as th&.unautho- 
t}fi^^ oflloip^f;CQrmspp9dence.Qf a {u^iv^^maa ;-* 
lie never -acted upon it lA ^^, nor appe^r^ to.havei 
x^rdfd it as dangerous or importaiit, :aiuce henei- 
t)ier destroyed npr couceaM it; Qen^men, I de^ 
flfNTf I hardly know in what^^ngu^ge to.ei^n-ess my 
a^toni^hntenti that the Cfown can, ask yo4 to. s\i^ 
ti|i9:b)ood q( the man at the bar upqn such faahdsh 
tipqa^T— i^et ihis is the; whole of the writ,tem .evideuoa 
C9|)Q«rning:»n)s;. for the remainder of the plot 
T€j5t9^ .lor^lsfopodatioi^, upon the parole evic^enoe^ 
\he whic^e of which I ^hall pursue vfith preqi$ion;| 
an4*P9t eiuiTer. a linl^. of (he chain to pas^ ^nex^ 
amin^d., . ... 

WiHiam Cam^c was \\ig. first witness 7 he swore 
that the Sheffield societies were frequently insulted^ 
and threatened to be disper^d ; so that the people 
in general thought it* nei^essary |o defend themselves 
agpinfit iNeg4 attacks ;-T-;that the justices having 
ofiicioosiy intruded then^selves into their peaceable 
^nd legal meetings^ tiney thpught they bad a r^t to 
be armed; but they did^not claim this right under 
|he law of wturci or by theories of government^ 

but i^ Mvi<3tJt^m Wlfi^uiyr^, uit<jler the government 
of BNii^];ijiKi> ; for^they say in. their paper, which 
has been fead by the Crown that would coyideQin 
iima, that th^y treite eutitiedihy the.Bii4Lof Riqut^ 
to.. be armed;. Genjtteineft, :theyivMate t;heir title 
truly.*— Thfi preamble .'of that statute enumerates the 
ofibnoes of Kiog James, the Second; amongst the 
chief of v^bich v(ais> hia^ causing hh subjects to be 
disanned, tad then; our ancestors claim tiiis rioladed 
right as thdif indefeasible inheritance.. Let us th^e* 
£>re beiidiitious how we rush to the conclbsion, that 
iben are jotting treason against: the King^ because 
tifttey>are assertiilg a right, the vtcJation oi whidb^ has 
been adjudged against a Kitig li> be tresaon againsfc 
the peopld.; akid kt<ts not. dup^te that English 
subjects: are alataditti, for preparing to defend theii* 
legal : liberties with .^ikes, because pikes may have 
been accidentally .employed, in another country, to 
desti'oy both liberty ahd Jaw. Carnage saiys he was this Davison about three dozen of 
pikes — ^What then;?-^Hfe is the Crown's witniBSs, 


7RUTH,i and he started with horror at the idea of 
violence, and apoke with visible reverence for the 
King;, sayidg,! God forbid that he should touch 
him i' but he, nevierthdess, had a pike for himself^ 
Indeed, the manliness with which he avowed it, gave 
an additional Strei%th td;his evidence,— *^ No doubt," 
j»ys he, f* I had a pibe, but I would not have re- 
.^^ xnained ao hour a member of the Sodety, if I had 

^^, heard a syllable^ that itwas in the xsontmiplatioQ 
^^ of any body to employ pike& *or any'(Jlh^*^rnl» 
^ against the King or AeObVeitnmefit.- Wemtsant 
*^ to petition Partmment^ through theniten&'^of thd 
** Convention of( EdiiAorgfc, ^S^nkkig-' that the 
•^ iHotise of Gomtebris Wottli^lWtfefif tdl t^i'^^^^xpres- 
<^ ifioh of the g^nem) sedtihieM^ bf .9heip(to}de ; for 
*' U'HadTjeen thWWtt -out, >hei said; in :']ferfiatiient, 
'< that the people^ Aid ridt^des)|(6 ir< tH4iiifidvGb.V . . 
^Mri Broo*ihead> whose' e^iilend^blihiavisl already 
dortifmentod upon^' ' a - sddsatey '*plau4 ^ seiAuble > man, 
spoke also of his afiebtidt, to. tiiei^veltuhfsnt^ and 
of thi& induftg and tihreats whic^ hadibten^ofiered to 
the 'people of Shc^eld : he^ sa^sy.^^ I bo^hi of arms 
"^ on tHe Cakle^hUi^ but it is fitittliid should be dis. 
•f tihctly explained : a wicked haria^bill,. to pfovbke 
^^ aiKl terrify the multitude^ ha^ been tbitt)wii about 
^ thip town in the night, whic^ caused ^agitation in 
" the minds of the people j atodJt was theiy'^kea 
'* of, as being the right of e^^ei^y individual, t to have 
"arms for defence; but thire 'was' nb !id6a ever 
^^ started of resisting^ much • less at attacking^ \h% 
" government. I never heard of such * a thijig.' I 
*•* feair God,*' said the witness, ^""^ and: honour the 
'' King i and would not have oonsfented to"' send a 
^* delegate to Edinburgh, but for peaceable and le-^ 
•* gal purposes." 

The next evidence, upon the 5al::gect of arms, is 
wh^t is proved by Widdison, to which! I fceg your 
particular attention, because, if there be any re* 


HancR upon Ws^testinMriy, it p\it§ an end to every 
criminal .iiriputati6i\ upoti Davison, through whom, 
in the stmngfe manner already observed upon. Hardy 
could alone be criminated. • 

This man, Widdison, who waa both a turner and 
hair-dresser, . and, >vho dressed Davison's hair, and 
was his most inftimate atjquaintance, gives you an 
account of their rtiost confidential conversations upon 
the subject of the pikes^. when it is impossible that 
they ctould be imposing upon- one another 5 and he 
declares, upon his solemn oath, that Davison, with- 
out even the knowledge or authority of the Sheffield 
Society, thinking that the same insults might be 
• offered to the London Societies, wrote the letter to 
Hardy, of his own Mad, a$ the witness expressed it^ 
and that he, Widdi$<)n, made the pike-shafts, to the 
number of a don^en and a half. Davison, he said, 
was his customer ; heboid him that p^ple began to 
think themselves in danger, and he therefore made 
the handles of the pikes for s^Je, to the number of 
a do^^en and a half, and one likewise for himself, 
without conceiving that he offended against^ any hw. 
*^ I love the King," said Widdison, " as much as 
''^ny man, and all the people I associated with 4ld 
^^ the same; I Woi^ld.npt have staid with them if 
*^ they had npt:— ^Mr. Yorke often, told me pri- 
^^ vately, that h? was for univ^sal representation, 
f^ and so were we all— the Duke of Richmond's 
*' PLAN WAS OUR ONLY QZiH^CT.'' This was the 
witness who "was^ shown the pujte's letter, and spoke 

to it as being drcalated^ and as the very creed of die 
8ocieties.-~Thi8 evidence shows^ beyond all doubt^ 
the genuine sentiments of these people^ beeatise it 
consists of their most confidential commontcations 
vrith one another ; and the only answer^ therefore^ 
that can possibly be given to it is^ that the witnesses^ 
tvho deliver it^ are imposing upon the Court. But 
this (as I have wearied you with reiterating) the 
Crown cannot say; for, in that case, their whote 
proof falls to the ground together, since it is only 
from the same witnesses that the very existence of 
these pikes and their handles comes before us ; and, 
!f you suspect their evidence in part, for the reasons 
already given, it must be in Mo rgected^ My 
friend is so good as to furnish me with this further 
observatibn' ; that Widdison ^id he h£ld often heard 
those who called themselves Aristocrats say, that if 
ah invasion of the country should take place, they 
would begin with destroying theif enemies at home, 
that they might be unanimous in the defence of their 

John Hilt was next called t he is a cutler, and was 
employed by Davison to make the 'blades for the 
pikes ; he saw the letter which was sent to Hardy, 
and knew that it was sent, lest there should be the 
same call for defence in London against illegal at* 
tacks upon the Societies ; for that at SfhefEeld they 
Were daily insulted^ and that the opposite party came 
to his own house, fired muskets under the door, and 
threatened to pull it down j he swears that the/ 

THfltoTBtAf OF TKOJiKAS UXttit^ H?^ 

Wf^y I to-^ QR9fi«; (6ut4if6l . tb ithe Kmg^ anitl that tht 
]9^fqt:i|i proposed Waa in tbe.Cammom House of t^ars 

John Edvrards tvi^ calledi further to cotmedt th€ 
Prisooer with . tbia comhination of force | butsa£iif 
from establishing it, he Biwre, upon his cro^-es^ 
Umin^tion,' that his only reason for goitig to Hardy*a 
wajs, th9t he wanted a pike for his own di^fencei 
without connexion with Davison^ or with Shefikkt^ 
and without oc«icert or correspondence with any 
body. He had heard, he said^ of the violend^ at 
ShefHelcI) and of jthe pikes that had been mad«! 
there for defence ; tliat Hardy^ on his applitstttoiif 
$howed him the letter which, as has appeared^ he 
never showed to any other person. — ^This^ is th« 
whole mtti and substance of the evidence which 
applies tg. the, charge of pikes, after the closest in* 
vestigaliOO/ under the sanction^ and by the aid c^ 
t^iirliament itself;; evidence wfaich, ao/ar from esta- 
blishing thd fact, : woidd hare be^n a satisfector^ 
•rfjBvver to almost any testimony by which such a kdi 
cuuld.have been suppcH-ted t lor in this unparalleled 
proceedings t4ie BrisoMr'sr.Counsel isdriytn by hi^ 
duty to dwell upon the detail of the Crown^s- proofs; 
because the whde ht)dy .of it 48> the ccmpletesk 
answer to the indtctaaent wfakh tvm a free choice 
itself could <have* sete«ted;-»**It is sfurther worthy of 
y.Quratteot]fiaDi> that; as&raatfae evidence proceeds 
irotn theaeplahl^ -natural sourcei,\wbk^ the Crown 
driven to^* £>r the .necci^ssry loi^dation of the 

480 r . MR. SBSKIins's 8PBBCR OB 

iMM^cesdiogsbeibreyoUj it has been 8imple»-^ailifi)rtiii 
— -r^tural^ and consistent; and that whenever a 
different cpmplexion was to be given to it, it was 
only through the medium of spies and informers^ 
mA of men, independently of their infamous trade^ 
of the most abandoned and profligate characters^ 

Before I advert to what has been sworn by this 
description of persons, I will give you a wholesoiM 
caution concerning them, and, having no eloquence 
of my own to enforce it, I will give it to you in the 
language of the same gentleman whose works are 
always seasonable; when moral or political lessons dre 
to be rendered delightful. Look then at the picture 
of society, as Mr. Burke has drawn it^ under the 
dominion of ^nes an^ informers : I : say under their 
domiMiotiy for a resort to spies may, on occasions, be 
justifiable, and their evidence, wb^i confirmed, may 
deserve implicit credit : but I s&y onder the dmd^ 
nion of spieo and informers, beeause the case of the 
Crown jttust slAod alone upon* th^r evidence, and 
vpon their evidence, not only unconfirmed, but 
in direct, tontradittiwL to every witness^ not an in- 
jform^rora^/i^, andiuacase too where the trudi^ 
whatever it is; lies, within theknowvledge of forj^ or 
fifty thousand people. Mr. Burke says~-I believe I 
can teraember it wiihiMit nefertnoe to the book,' 

*'.A^ mercenary inibrmer kriaws^no distinction. 
^' Under ^suc^ a ^temr the. obnoxiona people arjp 
^'slaves, nolonly to the govennn^t, but they live 
I* at the meh^ of every individoal;. they are at once 


^ the slaves <^ ^ the ^hole opinnlumty/ and of 

*f every part of it ; and the tvorst 6nd most urinaer?- 

" dful liien sate tlio8e On whose goodness they mpst 

"depend* • 

" Ih this sitnation nien not only shrink from the 

" frowns of a stem magistrate, but are obliged to 

^' fly from their very species. The seeds of destrwc-J 

*^ tion are sown in civil intercourse and in social 

^* habitudes. — ^The blood of wholesome kindred is 

^^ infected.— The tables and beds are surrounded 

*' with snares. All the means given by Providmce 

** to make life safe and comfortaWe, are perverte4 

^ into instruments of terror and torment.r-Thia 

^* species of universal subserviency that miko^ tfetf 

** very servant who waits behind your diair, the ar- 

"hiter of your life and foKune, !hasi such a.t^n^ 

'f dency to degrade and al()ast mankind, and tp 

" deprive them of that assured arid libetral state of 

*^ mind which alone can make us what we ought to 

"Ije, that I vow to God, I would sooner bring iiny^ 

*^ sdf to put a man to immediate^death for opinions 

^' i disliked, and so to get rid of the nfian and his 

^^ opinions at onc^, than to fret him with a liverish 

?• being,* tainted with the jail distemper, of a con- 

'f tagious.servitude, to keep him above ground^ an 

'^ anhnated'mass of putrefaction, corrupted himadf^ 

** andcorrupting all about him/* 

' Gendemen, let me bring to your recollectbn the 

liepbrtment of the first of this tribe, Mr. Alexander, 

~*wIk) could not in half an hour even tell wherfe be 


48ft MR. iMKIllB^S S{»BBCH 0% > 

had livecl, or why Iw* had left his master, — Does any 
mail believe that he had forgotten these most recent 
transactions of his life? Certainly not«-»but his 
history would have undone his credit, and 'iniist 
therefore be concealed. He had Yiwd with' bi linen- 
draper, whose address we could scarcely get from 
him, and they had parted because they had words : 
•i— What were the words ? We were not to be told 
that.-«-He then went to a Mr, Killerby's, who agreed 
widi him at twenty-five guineas a year.*~Why did 
he ti6t stay there ? — He was obliged, it seems, to 
give' up this lucrative agreement, because he was 
obliged to attend here as a witness. — Gaitlemen, 
Mr. KiUeii>y lives only in Holborn, and was he 
eUiged to give up a permanent engagement with a 
ttfadesman in Holborn, because he- was obliged to be 
abseiirtat. the Old Bailey for five miinutes in one 
lingla day ? I asked him if he had toid Mr. White, 
the-Splioitor for the Treasury, who would adt have 
bi^en ^9^ cruel as td^leprive a man of his: bread, 1)y 
keeping biin upoa attendance which might have 
beciV avoided by a particular notice. — The thiig 
spokeibr itself— he had never told' Mr. White: but 
had he dv^er.tqld Mr. Killerby ?.. For iioar^elae could 
he know that his placelw^ inoonsistetit mth his i^n- 
gagement upon this Trial ?^^No^ he^badineirer totd 
hhn I — ^How then did he ^ooHecblhat hist pbde. was 
ineonsiMtnt with his iduty(f)hen3*2#U!Dbi5 queifion 
^never teceivcti^^y ahswer.*^Ydi adwlbow hd:d«alt 
with it, andihaw hQ^ stood is^tatimdring^ not jdoriBg; 


to M Up bis coBatenaiaoe in any diPe^nSofn^ooty' 
ibfed, — di9conc9ert0d^'— dud coaibamied. 

Driven from the accusation upoti the siitjeet of 
pik€6, and evien feom the viery coloorof aoeuaation^ 
aiul knowing that nothing wis to be Ame* witiioiil 
the proof of artns, we haw got diis mistrablei soli* 
.ni^y knife, held up to us as the engirie' which waa 
to destroy the constitution of thiii cfeuntry ; and 
Mr. GroveS) an Old Bailey Solicitor, employed) as ist 
^y upon tlie occasion, has been selectdd to giv^ 
pi^obfibility to this monstrQiis absurdity, by tiis r^ 
6p€€t^le evidence. I understand that this samp 
gentleman has carried his sjwtem of spying- to such 
a pitch as to practise it ^nce this unfortenate fnanr 
Ka9 been standing a Prisoiier before you, proffiiring^ 
himielf, ^)3 a friend, to the committee ptiepaarifig^'bia 
defent^, that he migf it discover to the Crown th€$ 
Biatervatls by which he meant \6 defend his Kfe. I 
atkte this only frpm report, and I J)Qpe m God I am 
mistaken ; for hom^n tiatMre starts back < appaRtifc 
from such atrocity^ and shrinks and tr^oMfes at;diq[ 
very statanent of it. . But as to the pefjw^' of this 
kiiscreant, it will appe&r palpable beyond fill qo^s;' 
tion,dnd he shall answer for it in due season^ Wb$ 
teHi^;ydu he attended at Chlalk Fanav; aifd that tliere, 
Ibrsbo^h; atnbi^sl abdot seven or eight tihous^ 
pebple, he sa«^ two or fbrM persons win^-kntvealw: 
he mighr, J t>hou)d think, ha«>e seen many mom, 
aa hardly tiny man goea vt^ithbut a knifb- of' some aort 
«*Uis poeket? H^M^ed, however^ it sfeme,*wbere 


484 MR. BE8KIinB*8 SFSfiCH OIT 

they gqlrthcftEj knives,, and was.tiirected to Green, a 
hair.dresser,.wh0.<tealc besides, in cutlery ; and ac- 
e^rdiii^jithift notable Mr. Groves went (as he told 
ps) tGk£bo83eti-s,iOod asked to puiicliase a knife ; ^when 
GrtretovmtQnA^QT^to lam. saidj *^ Speak low, far my 
'-Vwiffjifea dan^OTd jAjiatocrat.'* — ^This answer was 
•worn iclvby ^thtO'ivrotdb, to give you the idea that . 
Green, Mf ho had^ the: knives to sell, was conscious 
th^;he.*kept th^m illegal and wicked purpose, 
and that they were not to be sold in public. The 
door, be aay^ being^ a- jar, the man desired him to 
^eak low, from whence he would have 70U under- 
stand that it was becaiise this aristocratic wife was 
within bearing.H^This, Gentlemen^ is the testLmony 
of Giroves,. and Gree»ihta^f is called as the next 
" wtitn^ae; and callediiby whom? Not by me — I 
kriownotluug of him,. he is the Crown's ovm.wit- 
Besa.-r-He is fcaJledto confirm Groves's evidence^ but 
WQtieingja&pff^iiiG deci^rftd solemnly upon his 09th, 
toAJ qan confirm his eyj^nce^y several re^peqt^Ie 
pcbpk,'' tbat the knivet. in qu^tion lie .cpn^tantly,^ 
•ttA Uy^jifimip im opm ^K>p- window, in wtiat is 
catted (hex fibowvgla^, where cytl^cs, like other 
trttdesmeny exfK»e their ware to ipublic view ; agd 
tbat!bheJcnb»ei diffe^tifi npihixig frp|«.,oJherJi,pijb- 
Tidy acid in. the Strand,^ ap^ ^yevyott)gr st;)^Xia 
London' ;?M:bftl Ke b^^^^ th^m from a gder;^.:^hQ 
came r^»d fi9f>ordei:s[ iui:tbe .us3«^](W|y; th^t he 
told fittly- foortciefi'. in j all| and>. that.^.they yirere tx^d^ 
up.iifc little. piiQket*, oa^{ of .wl)i<^ MriMniy^ t*4 


who was to choose one for hiinfielf, but foiii*'Tfioi»e 
were found in his possessidfl^ bdcaii^ he was an^i^tecl 
before Green had an opportunity, of - Sending fdr 
them. *• '- ' 

Gentlemen, I think' the pik^ and knives are now 
completely disposed of'; but som^hing was said alsb 
about guns ; let us, therefore^ see what that amounts 
to, — It appears that Mr. Hardy was applied to by 
Samuel Williams, a gun-engraver, who was riot 
•even a member of any Society, and who asked hina 
if he knew any body who wanted a gun — ^Hardy saifl 
he did not ; and undoubtedly upon the Crowti^s own 
showing, it must be taken for granted that if at thSSt 
time he had been acquainted with any plan of arml 
ing, he would have given a diflfferent answer, and 
would have jumped at the offtr : — about a fortnight 
afterwards, however (Hardy in the interval having 
become acquainted with Franklow), Williams caHed 
to buy a pair of shoes, and then Hardy, recollecting 
his former application, referred him to Franklow, 
who had in the most public manner raised the forty 
men, who were called the Loyal Eambeth Associa- 
tion :«— so that, in order to give this transaction knjr 
bearing upon the charge, it became necessary to 
consider *Franklow's Association as' an armed con* 
spiracy against the Government ; — though the fcrty 
people who composed it were collected by public Ad- 
vertisement ;-— though" they were enrolled lindte? 
public articles ;— ^Vid though » Franklow himself, as 
appears from th©evidehi5e,Utt6n(Jed publicly ^t the 


496 vifB. uiuirs*8 fPBfiCK on 

GloteTftvem inf hit untfdnn, whilst the cartooeh- 
boxes and the other acoootreinents of these secret 
CQn^rstprs lay openly upon his shop-board, ex- 
posed to the open view of all his customers and 
ndghbourf « This story, tberefwe, is not less oon- 
ftemptible than thatv^ich yon must have all beard 
eonoeroiii|f Mr. Walker> whom I went to defend at 
Zianoaaterj f^here that respectable gentleman was 
bfou^it Id trial upon such a trumped-up charge, 
supported by the solitary evidence of one Dunn, a 
most infiBonous witness : but what was the end of 
that i»Y)S6cution ?«— I recollect it to the honour cS 
my friend^ Mr. Law, who omducted it for the 
CrowB^ who, knowing that there were persons 
<whose passions were agitated upon these sub^ts at 
that moment, and that many persons had enrolled 
themselves in socitttes to resist conspiracies against 
the government, behaved in a most manful and hor 
nourable manner, in a manner, indeed, which the 
public ought to know, and which I hope it never 
will forget: be would not even put me upon my 
challenges to such persons, )>ut withdrew them from 
th^ pannel ; and when he saw the complexion of the 
affkir, from the contradiction of the iniamous wit- 
ness whose testimony supported it, he honourably 
gave up the cause. 

Geiitlemen, Ae evidenee of Lynara does not re- 
quire the same eontradiction which fell upon Mr. 
GroveSj because it destroys itself by its own intrin^ 
iDQonsisteoc^ i-~I eould not^ indeed, if it were to 


save my life^ undertake to state it to youk — It lasted* 

I think^ about six or seven hoiir», but I have marked 

under different parts of it, passes so grossly oon^ 

tradictory, matter so impossible, so inconsistent with 

any course of conduct, that it will be suiEcient to 

bring these part& to your view, to destroy all the 

rest. But let us first examine in what manner tim 

matter, such as it k^ was recorded. — ^He profisssed 

to speak from notes, yet I observed him frequisntly 

looking up to the ceiling whilst he wa& speaking ;-*^ 

when I said to him. Are you now speaking from. • 

note ? Have you got any note of ^hat you are nov^ 

saying ? he answered ; Oh no, this, is fromeeoc^een 

tion. — Good God Almighty ! recollection miHiAg ib-^ 

self with notes in a case of high treason I— He did 

^ not even take down the words— ^nay, to do the.rnan 

justice^ he did not even afFect to hav^ takea ti» 

words,, but only the substance, as he himaelf tob^ 

pressed it — O excellent evidence! — Tnn svm-- 


But I must not call him a spy ; for . it seems he 
took them bondjide as a Delegate, and yet haodjlde 
as an informer ;--^what a ha{^y comhinatioa of &te^ 
lity ! faithful to serve, and faithful to betray tr^ 
correct to record for the business ^f the Sooiety, 
and correct to dissolve and to punish it !-«*Wfaat 
after all do the notes amotmt to ^ I will ^ert 
to the parts I alluded to-^-4;hey wwe^ it aeetns^ 
to goto Frith Street, t&sign the EiedaratioB Qf the . 


i88 ME. bhskxke's spbbch om 

Friends of the liberty of the Fress^ whidi lay there 
already signed by between' twenty and thirty Mem*^ 
bers of the House of Commons^ and inany other 
respectable and opulent men, and thea they were 
to b^in civil confusion, and the King*s head and 
Mr. Pitt'ft were to be placed on Temple Bar- Ira-^ 
mediately after which we find them resolving una- 
pimoualy to thank Mr, Wharton for his speech to 
support the glorious Revolution of 1688, which 
supports the very throne that was to be destroyed ! 
which same speech they were to circulate in thou* 
fsnds for the use of the Societies throughout the 
kingdom. Such incoherent, impossible matter, pro^ 
eeedii^ from such a source, is unworthy of all 
further concern. 

Thus driven out of every thing which relates to 
juiDs^ and from every other matter which can posr 
9iUy attach upon life, they have recourse to an exti 
pedient, which, I declare, fills my mind with horrop 
and terror : it is this-^The Corresponding Society 
bad (you recollect), two years before, sent Dde-i 
jgates to Scotland, with specific instructions, peaceably 
to pursue a Parliamentary Reform ;«^when the Con- 
vention which they were sent to was dispersed, they 
i sent no others -r-fbr they were arrested when only 
considering of the propriety . of another Convention, 
It happened that ^r^ Jiardy was the Secretary 
during the period «of these»:Scotch proceedings, and 
the letters consequently written by him, during that 
^period^ were all official letters froiq a large bo0j» 


circuited by him in point of form. Wheh the 
preposition took place for calling a second Conven- 
tion, Mr. Hardy continued to be Secretary, and, in 
that character, signed the circular letter read in the 
course of the evidence which appears to have found 
its way, in the course of circulation, into Scot-. 
LAND. This single circumstance has been admitted 
as the foundation of receiving in evidence againstthe 
Prisoner, a long transaction imputed to one Walt, 
at Edinburgh, whose very ejusttfnce waa afllaMMm 
to Hardy .~-This Watt had been empkyed by Go* 
vernment as a spy, but at last caught a Tartar ' 
Jn his spyshtp; ior^ in afideavooring' to urge m^ 
nocent men to a project, which never entered into 
Aek iixis^nalions, he was obliged to show hmiBdf 
jtsady to do what he recommended to others ; and 
thetaUea being turned upon him, bewashangei 
by hia employers. This man Watt read from a paper 
designs to be accomplished, but which he never 
intended to attempt, and the success of which he 
knew to be visionary. — ^To suppose that Great Bri-i 
tain could have been destroyed by such a rebel a^ 
Watt, would be, as Dr. Johnson says, to expect that 
a great city might be drowned by the overflowing of 
its kennds. But whatever might be the peril of 
Watt's conspiracy, what had Hardy to do with it ? 
The people with Watt were five or six persons, 
wholly unknown to Hardy, and not members of any 
Society of which Mr, H^rdy was a member ; I vow 
to God, therefore, that I cannot express wM'I fe^, 

4g0 IfR* BBSK1V«'» SPUOH (XSd 

when I am obliged .to skate the evidence by winch 
he is sought to be affected. — A letter, viz. the 
circular letter signed by Hardy for calling another 
Convention, is shown. tp 6egarg9 Ross/ who si^ 
he received it from one Stock, wlio belonged to a 
.Society which met in Nichokon Street, in £din* 
burgh, and that be smH it to Perth^ Strathaven, 
and Paisley^ and; c^H^r phiaxs in Sootiand; and the 
fuoif^ ywonn^ed ^evidence of this public letter, 
^B^Mg its way ufHq, .Scotland, is n»de the foonda^ 
tia^ of teUing in the whole evidence, which hanged 
WfMli against Hardy, who never knew him. Go^ 
wermBent hpn^ed .its own. spy in Scotland upon that 
0videt»ee> aad. it may be jsufficient evidence for that 
^nrpoiSe) I wiU not ai^e the case of a dead man^ 
kod, abMe att, of such a man t but I wUl say, that 
too mooh mottey was spent upon this pei^iBlrmanoe, 
ml tbivk it cost Government about fifiy thousand 
pounds. M^Ewen says, that Watt read from a 
|iaper to a committee of six or sevsen people, of 
which he, the witness, was a member, that gem 
tleifnen, residing in the country, were not to leave 
ikhear habitations, under pain of death ; that an at«- 
tack was to be made in the manner you remember, 
jrnd that the Lord Justice Clerk, and the Judges, 
l^vere to be out off by these men in buckram ; and 
then an Address was to be sent to the King, de- 
airing him to dismi6s».hjs^iMinisters and to put an 
end to the wwi Oi ^t/he might expect bad conse^ 
^MeubQf^i .Wiuyy^is Akh THIS TO Ma. Hardy? 


Moxf is it poMble to uffict him with my part 6{ 
Ithis ? Hear the sequel, and then judge for your- 
sel^s. — ^Mr, Watt said (u e. the man who ^ is 
hangedj «aid), after reading the paper^ that he^ 
Watt, wished to correspond with Mr» Hardy in a 
safe manner ; — ^so that because a rufHan and a scouik 
drel, whom I never saw or heard of, chooses, at the 
distance of four hundred miles^ to say, that he 
wiskts to correspond with me, I am to be involved in 
the gotlt of his actions ! It is not proved, or in*, 
flinitated, that Mr. Hardy ever saw, or heard of, or 
knew, that such men were in being as Watt or 
Downie :-^nor is it proved, or asserted,' that any 
letter was, in fact, written by either of them^te 
Hardy, or to any other person.— ^No such leNiHiaa 
been found in his possession, nor a trace of Unji- eon«* 
neikn between them and any member of any Eng- 
lish Society s~thc troth I believe is, that nothing 
was intended by Watt but to entrap others to ob- 
tain d reward for himself, and he has b^ amply and 
justly rewarded. Gentlemen, I desire to be under** 
Stood to be making no attacks upon Government ; 
—I have wished, throughout the whole cause, 
that good intentions may be imputed to it, but I really 
confess, that it requires some ingenuity for Govern- 
ment to account for the original existence of all this 
history, and its subsequent application to the present 
4rial. They went down to Scotland, after the arrest of 
thePrisoners, in order, I suppose, that we might be 
tftught |be law of high treason by thd Lord Jus;. 


tice Clerk of Edinbur^^ and. that t^mre should be § 
sort of rehearsal to teach the peofJe.of JEngland 
to admimsttr English laws; for, after all this ex- 
.pense and preparation, no man wa$ put upon^fs 
trial, nor ev^n arraigned under the . special. commis- 
.sion in Scotland, but these two men ; one for' read* 
ing this paper, and the other .ibr liot disseifting 
from it when it was read ; and, with regard to this 
last unfortunate person, the Crown thonght it in- 
decent, as it would indeed have been indecent and 
scandalous, to execute the law upoh.him ; i&s.a.gen- 
tleman upon his Jury said, he would die i»ther than 
convict Downie without a recommendation of mercy, 
.and he was only brought over to join in the 
. YcrCfilf under the idea that he would <not ))e exe- 
i^tedi ^^^9 accordingly, he has not sufieredexecu- 
iion. If Downie, then, was an object of mercy, 
or rather of justice, though he was in-lhe very room 
with Watt, and heard distinctly the proposition, upon 
what possible ground can they demand .the life of 
the Prisoner at the bar, on account of a connexion 
with the very same individual, th(^k he never 
corresponded with himy nor saw him, nor heard of him^ 
^^to whose very being he was an utter stranger ? 

Gentlemen, it is impossible for me to know 
what impression this observation makes upon yoo^ 
or upoii die Court; but I declare I am deeply im- 
pressed with the application of it. How is a man 
to defend himself against such implications of guilt f 
,^Whioh of us all yfQiild be safe, ^t^diqg 9t the 


Ibar of God or man, if he were even to answer for 
all his own. expressions, without taking upon him 
dit oiines or rashnesses of others ? This poor man 
has, indeed,, none of his own to answer for: ^^et 
howttol he «tand safely in judgn^i^nt before you, if^ 
in a season of. alarm and agitation, with the whole 
pm^re of Grouemment upon him, your minds are 
to b^ distracted with csiminating materials brought 
from «0 manyiquarters, and of an extent which 
mocks ' all power< -of. : discrimination ?— rl am cout 
sciooir that i have not adverted to the thousandth part 
of them^ii-i-yet I iam sinking under fatigue and 
tivteakness — I^^am at this moment scarcely able to 
atan^^i:i|riwhilstiam spetaking to y^u, deprived^as I 
havcrbeen, /i^ nights together, of everything, that 
deserWB th«MiflBie. xd rest, repose, or comfort. I 
thisrefore-hastefi, whikt yet I may be able, to remincl 
you oncoaagain of the great principle into which all I 
hsiw been saying resolves itself. 

Gentlemen, tny whole argument then amounts to 
no more than this, that before the crime of com- 
passing TKB king's BJSATH can be foixnd by yQU% ilis 
Jury^ whose .province it; is to judge of its exist- 
ence, it- moat be believed by you to have existed \x\ 
point xif &ct.-^--Bef6re you can adjudge a fact, you 
must believe /t^^not suspect it, or imagine it, or fancy 
ity^suXv.uuu[B v& iir^'^iand it is impossible to xxtir 
press- .tfaaliaman; mind with such a reaspQabJe and 
oestaitirbeKe^. as; is necessary to be impress^, b^e^ 
fivetuChratJan oc^n icaa 9dju$lge his, neighbour tq 

494 talk. BRSlCINiafs tfPII8CH ov 

the smallest penalty, much less to the pains of 
death, without having such evidence as a reasonaUb 
mind will accept of, as the infaUible test o£ tradL 
And what is that evidence ?«^Neitber more nor iass 
than th^t which the constitution has established ift 
the Courts for the general administcatioa of ju8iice< 
namely, that the evidence convinces the Jary> beyond 
all reasonable doubt, that the criminal mteniim^fxyni' 
stituting the crime, existed in the mind of Ike met 
upon trial, and was the main spring of hit con^ 
duct. The rules of evidenoe, as they arc stttled by 
law, and adopted in its general administration, aff 
not to be over-ruled or tampered with. They eie 
funded in the charities of religion^n the jihila* 
. sopby of nature — in* the truths of history, and Jn th$ 
experience of common life ; and whoevee veetsres 
rashly to depart from them, let him remember •Uitt it 
will be meted to him in the same . meesote, and 
that both God and man will judge him aceoniiogfy; 
^— These are arguments addressed to. ycmr . reeal>ns 
and consciences, not to be shakqn in uspright minds 
by ahy precedent, for no precedents GSdti qaiMtify 
hijustice ; — if ti)ey could, every human right would 
long ago-have been extinct upon the eavtbi-rn-If the 
State Trials in bad times are to be searehedforpre^ 
cedents, what murders may you «ot oommit^^**^^ 
what law of humanity may you jiait tninple 1900 ; 
~what' ¥(7le 'of justice tnzy yoit not vic]Iate.;-«iien4 
v^hat maxitn of wise policy may younotalbdgatieefid 
confound? If propedents ia bad timies ace tojhi 


impiidtly ibHowfid^ why Bbould w<e hav^e^ h^nni^oy^ 
^videhceatdOi ?'t^Ycm [might hsv$ txinvjcfedtwtihoutf 

19 this manner nmrflened, eysea by aistfl of Paflia^: 

mewL* :lf pmoedents in: bad timte $are. to befoW- 

lowed^ why should the Lords and CogaoiQiis haw 

investigatdd these diarges^ and tfae.Qiemn hftvi^r^ut 

them into this course of jodisiai 4ml ? -^-^^inqe, 

without such a trials and .eveh after an acquittal 

upon one^-^they might havexittainted all tbe Prisoo* 

ers by act of Fariiaineiit i^^ttleyt^d so in the case* 

of Lord Strafibrd.-~Thare.are preoedents^ tbereforei! 

6}t aU sttch thtng9;«i— bt»t sui^h pDecedents ja^ could 

not fora nimnent ^rvive the times of madn^9$ and; 

distraction, ii4iich gave them birth, but whioh;, o^ 

soon as the spurs ofibe occasions were Uuntadifvwjrei 

repealed, and execrated even by Parliaments M^lMsk 

(Utde as I may think of the present) ought not tp^bf^ 

cooopared with it: Parliaments sitting in the^dfiijbd 

H€6S of farmer trmeSy'^in: the night.of freedoitfHo 

before the priociplaa of gover nmient were developadjf 

and before .the coostitutipn became fixed* > Tte laafi 

of these precedents, and all . the proceediogs liperi 

it, weiie : ordered to be taken ofF^he fjl^ aod Iminl^ 

to the intent that the aarae might ; no lioijgQi^flpie?^ 

siblffiin after^ages*^ ' taiik)ord0t: (diota^odt^rnor dddhf y i A|r 

a fttiz^TtendemEbss i^nattimd ihonouii^iandjne^iit^ai^ 

a: Giiari|aUecoviBmg.for thexriitiesr of joaiN^tlMRS&K^k 

Btst'it>wa6 aiam against pbsteriby ;nit'Jwai^)» dMaaoii 

ag^ind d«cfidgr;4^rj instead q£ 


be bomt^ they should ra£her have direitoi them to 
b^ blmemed in large letters upon the wsdls of our 
Coarts of Justice^ that, Gke thercharactersdec^phenBd 
by the prophet of God, to the Eastern tyrant, they 
might enlarge and blacken in your si^fes, to terrify 
yon from acts of injustice. 

In times, when the whole habitable earth is in a 
state of change and fluctuation,— w^en deserts are 
starting up into civiliaed empires around you, — and 
when men^ no longer slare^to the prejudices of par- 
ticular countries, much less to tlie abuses of particu- 
lar governments, «nli$t themselves, like the citizens 
of an enlightened world, into whatever communities 
their civil liberties may be best protected ; it never 
can be for the advantage of this country to prove, 
that the strict, nnextended letter of her laws, is no 
g^earity to its inhabi&itts.*-^ODi.tbe'Cdntmry, when 
ao' dangerous a lure is every wUerehpldirig out to 
emigration, it will be found to be the wisest poticy 
of Great Britain to set \rp her Happy constitution,—*.^ 
the strict letter of her guardisin laws, and the proud 
condition of equal freedom, which her highest and 
her lowest subjects ought equally; to enjoy ; — ^it will 
be faer wisest policy to set up these, first of htimaii 
bltssiligB against those charms erf* ehange and novelty 
which the varying condition of' the world. is hourly 
displaying, and which mi^ deeply affect the popob- 
tion and prosperity of our country^^-^in times^i wlien 
tiie sabordination to authority is sflSd to be evisry 
where hot too little felt, it will be found to be the 


widest policy of Great Britain^ to iiastil into the go* 
veroed an almost superstitious reverence for the strict 
a^ieority of the laws ; which, from their equality of 
principle, b^t no jealousies or discontent ; — which, 
fiom their equal administration, can seldom work 
injustice; and which, from the reverence growing 
out of their mildness and antiquity, acquire a stability 
in the habits and affections of menj far beyond the 
force of civil obligation : — ^whereas severe penalties, 
and arbitrary constructions of laws intended for se- 
curity, lay the foundations of alienation from every 
human government^ and have been the cause of all 
the qalamities that have come^ and are coming i^poa 
the earth* 

Gentlemen, what we read of in books makes but a 
faint impression upon us, compared to what we se^ 
passing under our eyes in the living world. I re* 
member the people of another country, in like man* 
ner, contending for a renovation of their constitution^ 
sometimes illegally and turbulently, but still devoted 
to an honest end ; — I myself saw the people of Brar 
bant so contending for the ancient constitution of 
the good Duke of Burgundy ;— how was. this people 
dealt by ? — All, who were only contending for their 
own rights and privileges, wer£ supposed to be of 
course disaffected to the Emperor :—- they were 
banded over to courts constituted for the emergency, 
as this is, and the Emperor marched his army 
through the country till all was peace; — ^but such 
pesfce as there is hi Vesuvius, or yEtna, the very mq^ 


4g8 %llt. £RSKIKB*S SI»£KdH OK 

ment before they vomit forth their lava^ and foU 
their conHagrations over the devoted habitations of 
mankind : — when the French approached, the fiital 
effects were suddenly seen of a government of con- 
straint and terror ;-*-the well- affected were dispirited, 
and the disaffected inflamed into fury. — At that mo- 
ment the Archduchess flied from Brussels, and the 
Duke of Saxe-Teschen was sent express to ofifer the 
joyeuse entrSe so long petitioned for in vain : but the 
season of concession was past; — the storm blew 
from every quarter, — ^and the throne of Brabant de- 
parted for ever from the House of Burgundy.— 
Gentlemen, I venture to affirm, that, with other 
councils, this fatat prelude to the last revolution in 
that country, might have been averted : — if the Em-' 
p^ror had beien advised to make the concessions of 
justice and affection to his people, they would have 
risen in a mass to maintain their princess authority, 
interwoven with their own liberties ; and the French, 
the giants of modern times, would, like the giants 
of antiquity, have been trampled in the mire of their 
own ambition. In the same manner a far more 
splendid and important crown passed away firotti His 
Majesty's illustrious brows :— the imperial crown 
OP America. — ^The people of that country too, for 
a long season, contended as subjects, and often with 
irregularity and turbulence, for what they felt to be 
their rights : and, O Gentlemen ! that the inspiring 
and immortal eloquence of that man, whose name I 
have so often mentioned, had then been hear^ with 


eB^t ! — ^what was his language to this country when 
she sought to lay burdens on America,^ — not to sup- 
port, the dignity of the Crown, or for the increase of 
national revenue, but to raise a fund for the purpose 
of corruption ; — a fund for maintaining those tribes 
of hireling skipjacks, which Mr. Tooke so well* 
contrasted with the hereditary nobility of England ! 
—-Though America would not bear this imposition, 
she would have borne any useful or constitutional 
burden to support the parent state. — " For that ser^ 
** vice, for all service," said Mr. Burke, " whether 
*^ of revenue, trade, or empire, my trust is in her 
^* interest in the British constitution. My hold of 
" the colonies is in the close affection which grows 
^* from common names, from kindred blood, from 
" aimilar privileges, and equal protection. These 
^* are ties which, though light as air, are as strong 
^^ as links of iron. Let the colonies always keep the 
^\ idea of their civil rights associated with your go- 
*^ vernments, they will cling and grapple to you, and 
^^ no force under heaven will be of power to tear 
*^ them from their allegiance. But let it be once 
^^ understood, that your government may be one 
^^ thing, and their privileges another ; that these two 
'^ things may exist without any mutual relation ; 
*^ the oeqiQpt is gone ; the cohesion is loosened ; 
*^ and every thing hastens to decay and dissolution, 
'^ As long as you have the wisdom to keep the sot 
** vereign authority of this country as the sanctuary 
!*pf liberty, the sacred temple consecrated tQ our 

500 Mil. erskine's speech mr ' 

•' common faith, wherever the chosen race and sons 
«* of England worship freedom, they will turn their 
^* faces toward you. The more they multiply, thfc 
" more friends you will have ; the more ardently they 
•* love liberty, the more perfect will be their obedience. 
" Slavery they can have any where. It is a weed 
•* that grows in every soil. They may have it from 
^* Spain, they may have it from Prussia. But until 
" you become lost to all feeling of your true interest 
*^ and your natural dignity, freedom they can have 
*^ from none but you. This is the commodity of 
** price, of which you have the monopoly. This is 
*^ the true act of navigation, which binds to you the 
*^ commerce of the colonies, and through them se- 
** cures to you the wealth of the world. Is it not 
*^ the same virtue which does every thing for us here 
*' in England ? Do you imagine then, that it is^ 
*^ the land-tax act which raises your. revalue? that 
'^ it is the annual vote in the Committee of Supply, 
^^ which gives you your army ? or that it is the Mu- 
^* tiny Bill which inspires it with bravery and disd* 
"pline? No! surely no! It is the love of the people; 
'*' it is their attachment to their government, from 
** the sense of the deep stake they have in such a 
^* glorious institution, which gives you your army 
*^ and your navy, and infuses into both that liberal 
^* obedience, without which your army would be a 
** base rabble, and your navy nothing but rotteft 
« timber/* 

Gentlemen, to conclude — ^My fervent wish is^ that 


we may not conjare up a spirit to destroy ourselves^ 
tior set the example here of what in another country 
we deplore. — ^Let us cherish the old and venerable 
laivs of our fbre&thers. — ^Let our judicial administra^ 
tion be strict and pure ; and let the Jury of the land 
preserve the life of a fellow-subject> who only asks it 
from them upon the same terms under which they 
liold their own lives, and all that is dear to them and 
their posterity for ever. — Let me repeat the wish 
with which I began my address to you, and which 
proceeds from the very bottom of my heart ; — may 
it please God, who is the Author of all mercies to 
mankind, whose providence, I am persuaded, guides 
and superintends the transactions of the world, and 
whose guardian spirit has for ever hovered over this 
prosperous island, to direct and fortiiy your judg- 
ments. I am aware I have not acquitted myself to 
the unfortunate man, who has put his trust in me, 
in the manner I could have wished ; — yet I am un- 
able to proceed any further ; exhausted in spirit and^ 
in strength, but confident in the expectation of jus- 
tice. — There is one thing more, however, that (if I 
can) I must state to you, namely, that I will show, 
by as inany witnesses, as it may be found necessary 
or convenient for you to hear upon the subject, that 
the views of the Societies were what I have alleged 
.them to be:— that whatever iwegularities or indis- 
cretions they might have committed, their purposes 
were honest ; — and that Mr. Hardy *s, above all other 
men, can be established to have been so. I have, 

9oS ..MA* £RSKINfi*8 8PBBCH ON 

ind€ed9 an Honourable Gentleman (Mr, Francis ♦) 
in my eye^ at this moment, to be called hereafter a$ 
a witness, who being desirous in his place, as a 
member of Parliament, to promote an inquiry into 
the- seditious practices complained of, Mr. Hardy 
offered himself voluntarily to come forward, proffered 
a sight of all the papers, which were afterward* 
pei^ced in his custody, and tendered every possible 
assistance to give satisfaction to the laws.of his coun«- 
try, if found to be offended. I will show likewise 
his character to be religious, temperate, humane, 
and moderate, and his uniform conduct all that caa 
belong to a good subject, and an honest man. — 
When you have he^rd this evidence, it will, beyond 
^11 doubt, confirm you in coming to the conclusioa 
which, at such great length (for which I entreat your 
^rdon), I have been endeavouring to support. 

So strongly prepossessed were the multitude in 
favour of the innocence of the Prisoner, that wheq 
Mr. Erskine had finished his speech, an irresistible 
acclamation pervaded the Court, and to an immense 
distance around. The streets were seemingly filled 
with the whole of the inhabitants of London, and 
the passages were so thronged that it was impossible 
for the Judges to get to their carriages. Mr, 
]p)rskine went out and addressed the multitudej de-. 

♦ Now Sir Philip Fraacis^ K. B, 


Siring them to confide in the justice of the country ; 
reminding them that the only security of English- 
men was under the inestimable laws of England, and 
that any attempt to overawe or bias them, would not 
only be an affront to public justice, but would en- 
danger the lives of the accused. He then besought 
them to retire, and in a few minutes there was 
scarcely a person to be seen near the Court. No 
spectacle could be more interesting and affecting. 
We cannot help being of opinion, that it is the 
wisest policy upon all occasions to cultivate and en- 
courage this enthusiasm of Englishmen for the pro- 
tection of the law : it binds them to the state and 
government of their country, and is a greater security 
against revolution than any restraints that the wis- 
dom of man can impose. 

The result of this memorable Trial is well known. 
After hearing the Evidence for the Prisoner, which 
was summed up in a most able and eloquent speech, 
by Sir Vicary Gibbs ; and after a reply of great force 
and ability by the present Lord Redesdale, then So- 
licitor General, and the Charge of Lord Chief Justice 
Eyre, who presided in this Special Commission, the 
Jury returned a verdict of NOT GUILTY. 


S. GosKBLi, Printer, Little ClueenSuiet, Londmw 

This book is midor 
taken Ir 

APR 17 'i: 

JUN 1 1 :