Page images
PDF
EPUB

ceptions, with regard to the form of this recog. As to the proceeding for an attachment nizance, if there was any weight in then, the against Almon, in respect of the publication of defendant migbt have taken advantage of them, the Letter concerning Libels, Warrants, Seiif a Scire Facias had been brought upon it. zure of Papers, &c.' see vol. 19, p. 1082, and But what the defendant has done, has in lord chief justice Wilmot's Notes of Opinions judgment of law amounted to an appearance ; and Judgments as there cited. and as that is so, all defects io the recog. Concerning the non-examination of Miller, nizance are thereby cured; for this purpose the p. 835, see what Mr. Dunning said in the chief justice mentioned the case of Widridgton House of Commons, reported 16 New Parl. and Charlton, Trin. 11 Anne. That was an Hist. p. 1279. appeal of murder ; the defendant did not ap- of the conversation which passed between pear till the Exigeot; and when he did appear, Mr. Mackworth and lord Mapsfield, p. 838, his appearance was entered in the most cautious see Mr. Mack worth's account, 16 New Parl. manner that could be, for it was in these words, Hist. pp. 1149. 1189. • Et prædictus defendens, salvis sibi omnibus Mr. Burke, in the debate upon a motion of

advantagiis et exceptionibus tam ad breve the late lord Mulgrave, respecting the Infor• origioale quam ad processam, venit;' and mation ex officio, animadverted upon this case thereopop for faults in the Exigent be demurred. of Almon, see 16 New Parl. Hist. pp. 1152, Lord Macclesfield, Mr. Justice Eyres, and Mr. 1153. 1192. See, also, the Reply of the AtJustice Powis held, that all defects in process torney-General De Grey, pp. 1155. 1194, of were cured by the party's appearance. Mr. the same volume. Justice Powel indeed was of another opinion, as this was a Writ of Appeal; but agreed such 1.38, Mr. Serjeant Hil bad written in his copy

To the words "they had affidavits," p. 850, defect would have been cured by appearance of Burrow the following Note: in every other action.

“The rest of the Court agreed with the Chief “ The facts in the affidavits ought to have Justice in the present case; accordingly the been proved at the Trial : as they were not, motion was disallowed of."

nor any reason given why they were not, they

could not by the known course of the court, See, also, another report of the same case nor ought in reason to have any weight, on a iu W. Kelyng, p. 161. Io 8 Mod. p. 177, motion for a new trial; therefore there must Fortesc. 37, are two reports of the King v. be some mistake in this report; perbaps they Earbery, which I suppose relate to this same might be read in exteguation of the punishperson, though the points are not the same. ment, but certainly could not be for a new Fortescue says, “ Earbery was a worthy bo- trial; unless as above intimated, the affidavits nest clergyman, and a good divine, but was had goue further, and given some good reason drawn in by some of his party to write a why the facts in the affidavits were not proved, pamphlet, in which the ministry thought there such as sudden illness in defendant's witnesses, were some scandalous reflections upon the go- or non-attendance, though served with subveroment."

pænas, for sickness of ihe witnesses, if not In the preceding Report of Almon's Case sudden, would not be sufficient, but the defen. are some incorrectoesses which I have not veu- dants should have moved to put off the trial." tured to alter.

See, also, supr. pp. 844, 845.

554. The Trial of John MILLER, Printer, before Lord Mansfield,

and a Special Jury of Citizens of London, at Guildhall, for
re-printing Junius's Letter to the King, in the London Even-
ing Post, of the 19th of December, 1769: 10 GEORGE III.
A. D. 1770. [Taken in Short-hand.*]
SPECIAL JURY.

in reading over the paper itself, and in cousidera, Samuel Athawes, of Martin's-lane.

tion of the proofs that are to be laid before you, Henry Voysey, Clement's-lane.

I should have tbought it a case so plain, and Joseph Lancaster, Green Lettice-lane.

in so ordinary a course of justice, that it would William Gill, Abchurch-lane.

absolutely be impossible to have mistaken, Joho Whitmore, Lawrence Poultney-lane.

eitber the application of the proofs of the Joshua Redshaw, St. Peter le Poor.

charges that are laid, or the conclusion to be William Derisme, Bartholomew-lane.

made from them. I have not of myself been able to inagine, por

re I learnt from the Talesmen.

conversation of any one man, that there is a William Cave, of Farringdon Without. serious man of the profession in the kingdom, William Washer, Bishopsgate Within. who has the smallest doubt whether this ought George More, Farricgon.

to be deemed a libel or not: my memory deJoshua Woodward, Bell-yard, Gracechurch- serts me exceedingly, if the learned gentlemen street.

who spoke of this subject before, did any time Richard Ayres, Bishopsgate-street.

venture to say, in so many plain words, that

the contents of that paper were legal and July 18, 1770.

jonocent. I am mistaken if they did. k 'The The record stated, that the defendant: John member it right, from the general and loose case was opened by Mr. Walker.- seems to me impossible that such an idea

can be formed; but instead of it, if I reMiller, did unlawfully priot and publish, or discourse of them, concerning the liberty of cause to be privted and published, a certain seditious paper, entitled, The London Evening ject, concerning the right of individuals to

the press, it was a large and undefined sub. Post, Saturday, December 16th, to Tuesday, speak, to write, to publish with freedom, their December 19ih, in which was contained a certain libel, reflecting upon the King, the jects; these topics were pretty largely,

own free thoughts, upon all manner of subadministration of government, his principal | the same time pretty generally bandled. Now, officers of state, and the members of ihe hon. it does not appear to me they were or could, in House of Commons, in these words, [The the nature of it, be applied to the present case. paper read.]:

The defendant pleaded Not For I weither do, por ever will, attempt to lay Guilty.

before a jury, a cause, in which I was under Sol. General (Thurlow). Please your lord- the necessity of stating a single priociple that ship, and you gentlemeu of the jury, I am like- went to intrench, in the smallest degree, upon wise of counsel for the crown in this prosecution, the avowed and acknowledged liberty of the which is brought by the Attorney General subjects of this country, even with regard to against John Miller. I have very seldom found the press. The complaint I have to lay before myself more puzzled how to state a question to a you, is, that that liberty has been so abused, court, and in what manner to adapt it to a court, so turned to licentiousness, in the mapper in than I ain upon the present occasion. Because which it has been exercised upon the present

occasion, that under the notion of arrogating * Published in the London Museam (of liberty to one man, that is, the writer, printer, which Miller was the publisher) for October and publisher of this paper, they do, in effect 1770.

and consequence, andibilate and destroy the f Owing to a neglect of the summoping liberty of all men, more or less. Undoubtedly officer, only seven of the Special Jury attend the man that bas indulged the liberty of robed, upon which Mr. Beardmore, the defen. bing upon the bighway, has a very considerdant's attorney, complained to the Court of the able portion of it allotted to him. But where summonses for the Special Jury not being is- is the liberty of the man that is robbed? Where sued in proper time, and that to his certain is the liberty of the man that is injured ? Likpowledge, no summonses were delivered the berty consists in a fair and equal, public and day before at twelve o'clock. The Court al- general enjoyment of every man's person, forlowed the complaint to be just, but took no lune, and repatation, under the protection of further notice of it. Five Talesmen were then the law; and the moment the law is silent or drawn. Orig. Edit.

inattentive to protect any man's reputation # See it, p. 805, of this volume.

whatsoever, his reputation is taken away from

but at

him, and tyranny of the vilest sort is expected, is indeed to shift for itself. Now, gentlemen,
and an opportunity is given to hired and venal I have stated to you in general, what I look
writers, to vent their malice for money, against upon to be the import of this libel. If I was
the best characters in the country, and against to mention even the passages, is there one of
every character which they can be bired to them would fall short of the representation I
insult for money. All I desire is, that the line bave given them? In the first place, the king
may be fairly drawn, and justice so adminis: is supposed utterly ignorant of the duty of bis
tered, as to protect the general liberty of man- office; in the next place, he is looked upon to
kind; and out under the notion of protecting have a fixed prejudice against the character of
the liberty of those that do wroog, encourage an honest man. “ Supposing bim (says the
them in licentiousness and destruction of all libel) male sensible at last of the great duty he
laws human and divine, of all countries as well owes to his people.”
as this, wbich all people will agree, upon the Is it fit that any magistrate should be talked
principle of common sense, ought to be pro- of in that manner, much less is it fit, that the
fected and defended. Gentlemen ; these are king should * that he should be made sensible
the only principles upon which this prosecution of his own disgraceful situation"—is that the
depends; and if the prosecution is not to be language for the first magistrate in this coan-
supported upon these principles, I desire it try? No matter how improbable thus the best
may be rejected and abandoned, and I ought of characters of honest meaning men, is re-
to be ashamed to maintain it at all. With re- moved by such writers; but to be sure, that is
gard to the present libel, the business of those a very unfair aud unjust idea to give the per-
that maintain this prosecution, is to prove son of a king, and yet they would have you
these facts. The man that is charged with suppose, that is no libel at all. " It is the
having printed and published this paper, has misfortune of your life, and originally the
printed and has published a paper, in which cause of every reproach and distress which
concerning the king, concerning the House bas attended your government, that you should
of Commons, concerning the great officers of never have been acquainteil with the language
state, concerning the public affairs of the of truth, will you found it in the complaints of
realm, there are ultered things of such ten- your subjects." Can a man be branded with
dency and application, as ought to be punished. a more odious and disgraceful representation of
Now, gentlemen, when I state the proposition him, than that he had been so educated from
so, it will be very manifestly anil obviously the beginning to the end of bis life, as to be
understood I am proceeding, not only to prove utterly ignorant of the language of truth. The
the fact of the present defendant baving printed stile, the insolent manner of it, is what will
and published that paper, but to go so far into occer to any body. He desires bim to dis.
the particular parts of that paper, as to prove tinguish between the permanent dignity of
it does apply as the charges of ihe information a king, and that wbich serves only to promote
express. To prove that it does apply, or 10 the temporary interest and miserable ambition
consider it as a subject liable to discussion and of a minister. “You ascended the throne with
doubt, is, when I come to consider it, but an a declared, and, I doubt not, a sincere resolu-
insult upon your understanding; for you have tion of giving universal satisfaction to your
no one reproachful epithet, which is not, in the subjects. You found them pleased with the
various shapes which a long jingle of words novelty of a young prince, whose countenance
could be turned into, put upon the person of promised even more than bis worils, and loyal
the king. He has been reviled throughout the to you, not only from principle, but passion.
history of his life, from his birth to the present It was not a cold profession of allegiance to the
moment. His education has been represented, first magistrale, but a partial, animated attach-
as converted to the most frivolous, to the most ment to a favourite prince, the native of their
malignant purpose; his heart is represented, to country. They did not wait to examine your
be corrupt to such a degree, to be abandoned conduct, nor to be deternsinert by experience,
so, that all the sacred duties of the great trust but gave you a generous credit for the future
reposed in him, have been violated: thus the blessings of your reign, and paid you in ad-
possible business of private contention, with a vance the dearest tribute of their affectious.
character, for the purpose of making a king Such, Sir, was once the disposition of a people,
more contemptible, he is represented as the who now surround your throne with reproacbes
most contemptible character upon earth. You and complaints. Do justice to yourselt, banish
have been told, in consequence of that, he has from your mind those inworthy opinions, with
set upon edge against bim the minds of all his which some interested persons bave laboured
subjects; and in conclusion after that, the 10 possess you. Distrust the men who tell you
king is threatened with another revolution, in the English are naturally light and incoostant,
the stile of manifest rebellion, like new pro- that they complain without a cause. Withdraw
claiming war. When we are come to that your confidence equally from all parties, from
situation, when it shall be lawful for any man ministers, favourites, and relations, and let there
in this country to speak of the sovereign iu be one moment in your life in which you bave
terms attempting to fix upon him such con- i consulted your own understanding."
teinpt, abborrence, and hatred, there is an end Gentlemen ; is it fit that the first magistrate
of all government whatsoeper, and then liberty of this country should be represented to his

[merged small][ocr errors]

people in the way in which I have now stated duty to the crown as paramount to all other to you, as never having once consulted his own obligations whatsoever. To us, says the anounderstanding ? I do not even dwell opon the nymous writer, to us they are indebted for an epithets, which are the natural consequences of accidental existence. I wonder of what memtreating the person of the king in that manner. ber he happens to be the elector! it would be

The next charge upon hiin, is, that be takes more honest if he was to shew himself, that we a share in the narrow views, and fatal maliguity might know who he is. To us they are inof some individuals, and to sacrifice, couse- debted for an accidental existence, and they quently, private objects under the government, have justly trausferred their gratitude from for the private purposes of gratifying pique and parents to benefactors, meaning "fri m the elecresentment; then it mentions [that by the iors to the ministers;. from those who gave peace] England was sold to France, and his them birth, to the minister, is the very expresmajesty was deserted and betrayed in it. But sion. Now, whatever may be the flippancy of the next article, the king is chiarged with, is some men's inanner of telling things, all orders wbat I mentioned to you before, wbich is, le of government, where the form of government has put himself into the condition of an ene- subsists, as well as in this country; no man of my, a private enemy to an individual man. sense can admit that it ought to exist, and at For God's sake, why? What man could, with the same time it ooght to be subjected to reout offending the laws, put himself in a situa- proaches, at the pleasure of every man that tion, either to deserve, or actually to meet the thinks proper to put reproach upon them, by private enmity of the king; and, as I told you publishing a libel. I only wish to bave those before, in order to lessen ibe king the more in iwo propositions examined. That two great your esteem, this gentleman is represented to bodies, whose whole bevefit and existence, nay you, who, in the former part of his life bad their authority, is to govern the whole pation; acted upon a settled opinion, that there were apilare they to be in the power of every man few excesses to which the character of an Eng- whatsoever to revile them with what personal lish gentleman might not be reconcileil, and insolence of language he pleases ? Does this that he could take the same latitude in the come at all to the idea, that an honest man choice of political principles as he bad in the would allow his own opinion, under the preconduct of his private life. With regard to tence of discussing public subjects? Will any tbe former, it seems to be somewhat singular. man of bonour say you may revile, with imI have always understood that principles, putations of reviling, the persons of men, witheither moral or political, were fixed upon the out going any further? Is that a colour to cover consciences of men, and an honest man was this libel? After having treated the House of not at liberty to choose different principles. Commops thus, he returns again to the king, But this is all said with a view of lessening the and is pleased to threaten the king with an unicharacter of that gentleman, to make the con- versal revolt of all bis injured subjects. IIe clusion afterwards, that it is an unworthy con- begins with the kingdom of Ireland, whicli he tention, and it is represented as unworthy) is pleased to call a plundered and oppressed and giving an air of ridicule to the difficulties, kingdom, with no more regard to truth than in which the king has been betrayed ; and understanding and knowledge enough of the making it a principle of government; that subject to keep up the probability ; for of all he had not only stretched every nerve of quarters of the world, he should not have looked government, but vjolated the constitution by an ihere for that sort of imputation, as he is pleased ill-advised personal resentment. Is this lan- to put it. And here he is introducing apotber guage to tell a king? If you were to tell a character upon the stage, merely for the sake common justice of peace, that in the adminis. of traducing the king afterwards ; that is lord tration of ihe duty of his office, he had sacrificed Townshend. " The people of Ireland every his duty to his resentment, I apprehend my day give you fresh marks of their resentment. lord will agree with me, and I lay it down as a (speaking of the king) They despise the miproposition of law, you would be liable to be serable governor you have sent them, because prosecuted; and it such a thing was published, he is the creature of lord Bute ; nor is it from it would be a libel if wrote upon him. Aod any patural confusion in their ideas;" no, they here we are come seriously to debate, whether are right enough in that, be supposes" that they telling the king he has not only sacrificed the are so ready to confound the original of a king, duties of his office, but betrayed the trust re- with the disgraceful representation of him.” poseil in him, and his articles were not per- | This is the manner of talking to the king. I formed-and all that to gratify ill-bumour have had the honour 10 converse and live with and resentment—if that is not a libe', I own lord Townshend, as long as any body. All I my imagination cannot reach to what is a libel, have to say of bim, is, he is very far from deand I do not understand the subject the least in serving such a character. But I hope that the world, if it is not to be so understood. will not be taken as a very gross observation, After that, he is pleased to go to the House of that a man who bas lived with bim, dare to say Commons: with regard to them, he says he so. But I desire but one word concerning the can readily believe there is influence enough immorality of that sort of conduct, that under to recall what they look upon as a pernicious the cover of anonymous publication, men are to vole. The House of Commons consider their bespatter in thi kind of way, and in that way reflect upon the condition of officers in another. If you have any difficulty of imathis situation. If he should apply to a court of gioing what that crowo is, what bis title is, law, and subnit it to a jury, it ibey were not who is in possession of that title, acquired by deaf to his complaints he would be relieved, one revolution, and what it is that is meant unless they were not disposed to protect his by another ; they are difficulties that bave character, and, upon the contrary, were to not yet occurred in any ope coffee-house in take the part of a man, who under cover of this great metropolis, nor one place in the counan anonymous publication, attacks his cha- try, from one end to the other, wherever this racter jo tbis manner, with this method of tack. libel has been published; such is the nature of ing to it at the end, that he was a proper re- the libel, with respect to that. After having presentative of the king.

stated to you, what I look upon to be the apThe next article is : “ He has taken a deci- plication of the paper, to the several articles sive personal part against the subjects of Ame- mentioned more particularly than all to the rica, and those subjects know how to distinguish king; and having laid before you what will be the sovereign and a venal parliament upon one the general form of the evidence, in order to side, from the real sentiments of the English prove the present defendant guilty of printing nation upon the other." For God's sake, is that and publishing this paper, it will be for you to no libel? To talk of the king, as taking a determine, if I may use a word that looks so part of an hostile sort against one branch of his like doubting the determining upon such a subjects, and at the same time to connect him question as this. If you have, any of you, in the article of acting in this manner with that any serious thoughts, whether the author of parliament, which be calls a venal parliament; this paper did mean the king; and whetber he is that no libel? I beg leave to observe, con did mean the great officers, the lord lieutenant cerving what parts apply to him, that Eng- of Ireland, or any other; and whether be did land he bas represented as being engaged in a mean concerning the officers of this country, quarrel against the king; and consequenily, and endeavouring to set one party of the that he stands against them with a few un country against another; if you have any happy people, who are not at liberty to choose doubts upon that among yourselves, that will their principles; but fancy themselves bound admit you to acquit him. If you have no to voliappy principles ; those few men, he de doubts, and do retura a verdici of acquittal sired to be understood, were the wbole support, without such doubts, or that you return å ver. and the whole attachment to the king. Then dict wbich the Court must upilerstaod in a dif. be goes to the partiality of bis understanding ferent way, wbich the Court must construe difto the soldiers. 'Now it is worth your atten- terent from what you inteod, then you find a tion, gentlemen, to see how very malignant the false verdict. For it lies upon you, to find a object of that man must be who wishes to set conclusion from the evidence; or to say, whatthis party against the other; and tells the king ever we think of the evidence, and however he night learn to dread the undisguised resent we are convinced of the conclusion, we are dement of people that are ready to meet their so termined to reject that evidence, and to deny vereign in the field. Then you see how ma- that conclusion, and to betray the sense of our lignant that must be, and how it applies, when own minds, ratber than to execute the laws. you read that part with respect to ibe guards, But, gentlemen, upon the contrary, you where be says, “ when the distant legions took will proceed in the administration of justice the alarm, ibey marched to Roine and gave and the law, without adopting the part of the away the empire.” This is the representa- author, who bas set bimself up for ihe accuser tion of the occasion, upon which the guards of his king, and as yet bas noi had the face to had preferments lavished upon them, and the shew bimself, though he has been the rancruely with which the marching regiments corous enemy of so many people. bad been treated, in order to raise a quarrel, in

Daniel Crowder sworo. short, between them. Now, gentlemen, there are an hundred different passages, in which

Examined by Mr. Morton. the king is told he has no good quality, but Crowder, what is your business ?--I am an every bad one upon earth. He is bid to dis- assistant to the messenger of the press, Sir. card bis little personal resentments, which have Very well. Do you know the defendant 80 long directed his public conduct. Is it not Jobo Miller ?-I believe I koow him, I believe shametul to talk in that manner? and in a he is in that quarter. thousand instances, too long and too disagree- Now, Sir, give my lord and the jury an acable to repeat, the king has been treated ihus, count, whether at any time, and when, you from the beginning to the end; and in con- bought the paper, which I believe you have clusion, he is told' what he is to expect next, in your hand.-[No answer. The paper proupless be conforms to tbis anonymous writer; duced.] that is, another revolution; and that the Wbat is Miller? What business does he fol. prince whio imitates the conduct of the Stuarts, low?-He is the publisher of the London should be warned by their example, and while Evening Post. be plumes himself upon the security of his title Now give an account where you bought that to the crown, should remember, that as it was paper.- I bought it at Mr. Miller's; it was acquired by one revolution, it may be lost by served to me by his publisher.

« PreviousContinue »