« PreviousContinue »
A Postscript The Copy of Judg Keeling's Case, taken out
of the Parliament-Journal.
Die Mercurii, 11. Decembris, 1667.
the Matter of Restraints upon Juries; and that upon the Examination of divers Witnesses, in several clauses of Restraints put upon Juties, by the Lord Chief Justice Keeling: Whereupon the Committee made their Resolutions, which are as followeth.
First, That the Proceedings of the Lord Chief Justice, in the Cases now reported, are Innovations, in the Tryal of Men for their Lives, and Liberties; and that be bath used an Arbitrary and illegal Power, wbicb is of dangerous Consequence to the Lives and Liberties of the People of England, and tends to the introducing of an Arbitrary Government.
Secondly, That in the place of Judicature, the Lord Chief Justice hath undervalued, vilified and contemned Magna Charta, the great Preferver of our Lives, Freedom and Property.
Thirdly, That he be brought to Tryal, in order to condign Pumilis rent, in such manner as the House should judg most fit and requisite.
Die Veneris, 13. Decembris, 1667. Refolved, doc.
That the Precedents and Practice of Fining or Imprisoning Jktors for Verdi&ts, is illegal.
Now whether the Justices of this Court, in their Proceedings (both towards the Prisoners and Jury) have acted according to Law, to their Oaths and Duty, and to do Juftice witliout partiality; whereby Right might be preserv'd, the Peace of the Land secur'd, and our anticnt Laws establishd: Or, whether such Actions tend not to deprive as of our Lives and Liberties, to rob us of our Birth-right, the Fundamental Laws of England: And finally, to bring in an Arbitrary and Illegal Power to usurp the Benches of all our Courts of Justice, we leave the Englisl, Reader to judg.
Certainly there can be no higher Affront offer'd to King and Parliament, than the bringing their Reputations into suspi
cion with their People, by the irregular Aations of subordinate Judges : And no Age can parallel the Carriage of this Recorder, Mayor, &c. Nor can we think so ignobly of the Parliament, as that they should do less than call these Persons to account, who fail'd not to do it to one less guilty, and of more repute, (to wit) Judg Keeling: For if his Behaviour gave just ground of Jealousy, that he intended an Innovation, and the introducing an Arbitrary Government, This Recorder much more. Did Chief Justice Keeling say, Magna Charta was Magna farta ? so did
this Recorder too. And did Juftice Keeling Fine and Imprison - Juries contrary to all-Law? lo did this Recorder also. In short,
there is no difference, unless it be, that the one was questiond, and the other deserves it : But we desire in this, they may be said to differ; That tho the former escap'd Punishment, the latter may not; who having a Precedent before, did notwithstanding notoriously tranfgrefs.
To conclude: The Law supposes the King can't err, because it is willing to suppose he always acts by Law (Et Voluntas Legis ejt Voluntas Regis, or the King's Will is regulated by the Law) but it says no such thing of his Judges. And since they are oblig'd by Oath to disregard the King's Letters (tho under the Broad and Privy-Seal, if they any wise oppugn or contradict the Laws of the Land; and considering that every singular Action of an inferior Minifter, has an ugly Reference to the Supreme Magistrate, where not rebuked; we can't but conclude, that both Judges are answerable for their Irregularities, especially where they had not a Limitation of a King's Letter, or Command; and that the Supreme Magiftrate is oblig'd, as in Honour and Safety to himself, Alfred-like, to bring such to condign Punishment, left every Sessions produce the like Tra, gical Scenes of Usurpation over the Consciences of Juries, to the vilifying and contemning of Justice, and great Detriment and Prejudice of the good and honest Men of this Famous and Free City.
Phenir XII .
The Second Part of the People's
Antient and Just Liberties afferted, in the
in London the last Day of the 6th Montb, sna there continued till the 7th Day of the 7th Month next following, in the Tear 1670. against the Arbitrary Procedure of that Couri, and Justices there.
The PREFACE to the READER.
TAAT State which would preserve it felf from Ruin and
Destruction is ever to keep its inhabitants pure and clen
from Vice and Debauchery, and their Laws from Vialstion and Corruption; as the first is a way or means to engage 4 2 Chron 13.
conscientious Obedience and Observation of the just and upright Lam of God; fo the second, by reason of their due execution, are the Sinews or Sanétuaries that bind the Inhabitants of such State in a perpetual Bond of Safety and Tranquillity: And it's certainly true, where either of these are violated or negle&ted, the Ruin of that State is near af band. There's no better way to incline the Subjefts of any State to Morality and Vertue, than that those that fit at the Helm, or have the Government thereof, should hold forth clear Examples and Patterns of Piety and Justice in their Lives and A&tions.
Regis ad exemplum totus componitur Orbis, Saith the Poet, The whole World imitate the Example of their j
King. And the Divine Historian, Josephus, observes in his Ec!' 'clefiaftical History, fol. 209. But (Jaith he) mor.
tal men most usually are corrupted by the untoward Flatteries of wavering Fortune, as ap- 18, 19, 20. peareth by King Rehoboam: seeing his Kingdom thus increas’d, he bent himself to all unjuft and impious Actions, and contemnd the Service of God the People also conformd themselves to his Impieties; for the Life of the Subjects is oftentimes perverted by reason of the corrupt and diffolute Life of their Princes: And those that are Inferiors beholding the Riot of their Superiors, will easily be withdrawn from all Modefty, and follow those Vices they profess, as if they had been their profess’d Vertues : For should they do the contrary, they should seem to disannul and mislike the Actions of their Princess The Subjects addicted themfelves to Impiety, and all Errors; for they would not make profession of Honesty, for fear they should seem to study the means to be offentive unto the King,
From this lively Pattern, or Representative of our present Times or State, we must wiss thit Princes in this Age would consider, and put in practice that Golden Rule of De- W.H's Epistle mofthenes
, Bene gubernare, recte judicare, in his Transjuste facere ; to govern will, juds rightly, and do lation of Mirjulily ; lo should their Kingdoms jiourish, and they tor of Justice. themselves be in bigh estimation in the eyes of their People.
And next the Prince's curious eye over his own personal Alions, due heed, care and regard is to be had to hk Representatives in his Courts of Justice; viz. those Justices whom he constitutes by his Commision to hear and determine betwixt him and his people, that they be such who by their due Administration and faithful dispensing of the Laws, Justice and Right may be done to all men without reSpelt of persons
But as Vice and Debauchery have devour'd and eaten up the Nation's Pra&tice of Religion, foarce leaving us the outside shell of Profession! So hath the Corruption of our Laws, and the Violation thereof, turn'd back those wholesom Streams of justice which should naturally flow from the use of them.
And that thou, Reader, mayst see that thy self art one, who is in danger of being buried in the Ruins of Religion and Piety, as well as thy Civil Rights and Liberties ; which are the two Bases, or Foundstions, on which thy temporary here, and future well-being hereafter, confifts and stands i Calt thy eye upon the Magistrates of the City of London (antiently lliled Caput Regni & Legum) in their Court of Fudicature at the Old Baily, and behold on the one hand Vertue term’d Vice, Sobriety Debauchery, Religion Faction, Pious and Peace. able Assemblies Riots and Routs, and punisk'd as such ; on the ot ber
hand, the antient written Laws denied, and their not Quod non le written ones the Court's Authority: Justice turn'd into go non cre- Gaul, Right and Equity by Will and Power over-ruled. do. Auguft. So that it's now become a Proverb, Tell me thy
Judg, and I'll tell thee thy Law. Said the Learned Cuke, Qui non libere veritatem pronusciat, proditor veritas est ; He who conceals Truth, is a Betrayer thereof. Therefore for the sake of Truth, and the Reader's Be. nefit, were thejë Proceedings made publick, and according to that due Observation and impartial Account, which could be taken and colle&ted of the manner of that Bench's Arraigning and Condemning as well Religion, Piety, Vertue and Sobriety, as Right, Equity, Liberty and Property, with due Comments upon their Procedures from the antiens and fundamental Laws of this Land, are laid to thy view.
And had not the Mayor and Recorder, with the rest of the Bench, prohibited many, by severe Threats, from writing down the Court's partial Dealings both towards the Prisoners and Furors ; and also by violence took away what others had adventur'd to colle&t (commanding Some to their Bale-dock) in all probability this ensuing Piece migbi have been much more enlarg'd to thy fatisfa&tion.
But what has been faithfully colleited and observed, and whereaf there were some hundreds of Witnesses, is presented to the World ; tbe Author (defiring rather to spare their Injustice, than wrong their f*dicature) has contralted this Relation to what comes within the limits of his own knowleds and undeniable proofs; but impartially laid Judy. ment to the Line, and discover'd that which miy tend to the Good of bis Countrymen, in the Vindication of the Laws, Íruth, Innocency, Equity, and 7ustice.