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It stands thus on the testimony of the de- of your rights,” are proved by Pearce, to fendant's own witnesses. I put it to the have been spoken yet they made so little imreverend head of the flock, what was his opi- pression on the other witnesses for the denion of these expressions and the reverend fendant that they all deny that they were gentleman at last answered me, that though spoken.—The negative which such people he did not think they were used, yet he put on what the witnesses for the crown thought they had a seditious tendency. have proved, is vague, idle and illusory, for

Notwithstanding their wishing and pray- they spoke to their recollection-their recoling for peace, they either deceive themselves, lection has been refreshed by a garbled seror they attempt to deceive others. If they mon, read to them at the distance of four are the objects of delusion I pity, but should months. If the witnesses for the prosecution choose to have but little communication with are positive, and those for the defendant are them.--As the defendant's own witnesses, doubtful, the jury will certainly believe those notwithstanding their being aided and assisted for the crown rather than the defendant. by the sermon, cannot be positive as to the I will not weary the jury—some of the identical expressions, the witnesses for the words are certainly proved; all the witnesses crown cannut; but, under his lordship's direc- for the crown have proved that the defendant tion, I contend that it is not necessary to said, about paying off the national debt,-" I prove the exact words. It was yesterday speak boldly, i deny it!—One of the defendruled in the other court, and acquiesced in by ant's witnesses said the defendant was no the counsel for the defendant, that if you lay egotist, for that he did not use the word I; two sentences in the count and prove one of but being asked what he said with respect to them, if that is of a seditious tendency it is the Revolution of 1688, he said I believe he sufficient. The first object therefore of the did say I, there,—and about the French Revojury, must be the tendency of the words. lution--he might say I there. This shows The reverend doctor (Mr. Gibbs) has no there is a shuttle, and the best way to extirdoubt about their tendency; but if the wit- pate it, is to get rid of it first of all from the nesses for the prosecution are to be believed, hearts of their pastors, for till then the indivi. they proved much stronger words; and if the duals of the flock will be deceitful. jury do not join in opinion with the reverend Whether the words, “I speak boldly, I gentleman, that they were not uttered, they deny it,” are true or not, the count is proved. can have no doubt as to their tendency, or It is one among the many passages of this the motives with which they were spoken.- sermon, which I contend is seditious.—Though Can the jury believe all the witnesses on the the witnesses may differ in opinion—it is for part of the prosecution to be perjured? The the jury to decide whether Mr. Winterbotham witnesses have proved that the defendant meant to stir up his hearers to mutiny and spoke of the method of tax-gathering in Eng- rage, or to keep the people in that state of land, and said this is not liberty for a Briton peace for which their pastors pray. The jury and then of the late armaments-thrce of them will recollect the assembly was composed of he disapproved of, and said they were voted between two and three hundred of the lowest by the House of Commons contrary to the of the people—and that the witnesses for the opinion of the people—not a word of this is crown have as fair a claim to their belief as contradicted by their own witnesses.

the witnesses for the defendant; and if that They have proved a direct avowal that they is your opinion, you will have no doubt in ought to disturb the government until they finding the defendant guilty.- Much indeed got what the witnesses called their rights. has been said of his being a man of an enThe witnesses for the prosecution went on to i lightened mind, is he so? - Then he will enprove several of the counts, and if they were deavour to spread that light among all those not spoken, or words of a similar tendency, ' audiences he may hereafter address. He feels they must be perjured. As to the profession that conviction will be his ruin, but disdains of the defendant's witnesses who said they to take the advantage of such a defence. If would have left him had he uttered those conviction should ensue, he will meet it seditious expressions, that depended upon the boldly: he disdains to apply to the mercy of humour of the hearer-one set of men the jury- he does well, because mercy has thought the words seditious which another nothing to do there.- In this court, the jury did not.— The defendant's witnesses have said · have nothing to think but what is the truth they should have fired at expressions like of the case: and without giving way to indigthose mentioned in the indictment, and yet nation on the one hand, or compassion on the they could hear of the taxes and laws being other, all I have to do on the part of the oppressive, and of armaments voted contrary crown, is to intreat the jury to decide on the to the sense of the people, of inadequate re evidence:—If

the defendant said the words in presentation and the like, without thinking the way of fair, liberal, candid discussion, these words any way seditious.—But are without any seditious intention-far be it those words which would have occasioned from me to wish you to convict him. It is such abhorrence, worse words than the de- from this tribunal we derive our happiness; fondant's own witnesses have proved? The on a jury we depend for our property and our words " it is time to stand forward in defence lives; therefore I do not ask you to convict a

man if you think him innocent; on the con-| any thing, he had no doubt but it would occur trary, I intreat you to acquit him.

to the jury from their own noles.--He said But if you believe the witnesses on the that the jury were to judge from the whole part of the crown have really spoken the evidence ; -First, whether the words laid in truth (and I see no reason to doubt it), then the indictment were spoken by the defenon the other hand I demand his condemna- dant; and secondly, whether he spoke them tion.

with an intention of exciting sedition, and The crown has the same right to justice as with the sense laid in the indictment: and an individual, and the meanest individual has if they were of opinion that they were spoken, the same right as the crown: and I am well and with the intent laid in the indictment, assured that the jury will decide agreeably to they would consequently find the defendant the evidence; and with your decision, I and guilty ; but on the other hand, if they thought all those with whom I am concerned, shall the words were not spoken, or that they rest perfectly satisfied.

were spoken in a different sense from that SUMMING UP.

laid in the indictment, they would then find

him not guilty. The learned judge said that Mr. Baron Perryn, after stating the words it appeared to him that this sermon might charged in the different counts of the indict- have been preached without any intention of ment, and the innuendos there laid, pro-exciting sedition ; but it was certainly a disceeded to state the evidence given by the cussion which was improper, as it was deliwitnesses on the part of the prosecution; and vered to some of the lowest class of the then said that on the part of the defendant a people; and that it was also ill-timed, for his great number of witnesses had been called, majesty had lately issued a proclamation who had given a very contrary evidence to which ought to have cautioned the defendant, those on the part of the prosecution.--He said and he should have waved any such discuss that with regard to those witnesses, they de. sion at that period. The judge said, the most nied that the defendant used words any thing material part for the consideration of the jury like the greater part of the words charged in was whether the words were spoken in the the indictment;-the clergyman, Mr. Gibbs, sense laid in the indictment, and the jury did the same, but admitted that some parts of should consider that if the defendant was them were spoken, but in a different sense found guilty by them, his punishment would from that laid in the indictment; and said be bis utter ruin, and therefore they would that if they had been spoken as laid in the put the best construction they could upon the indictment, he would have discharged Mr. matter, and show the utmost lenity in favour Winterbotham from being his assistant, and of the defendant. despised him.

The Jury desired to withdraw, and after The learned judge then impartially stated being locked up about two hours and a hall, the evidence of the witnesses on behalf of the they brought in a verdict of Guilty. defendant, and said that if he had omitted

580. Proceedings on the Trial of an Indictment against WILLIAM

WINTERBOTHAM, for Seditious Words uttered in a Sermon, preached on the 18th of November, 1792; tried at Exeter, before the Hon. Sir Richard Perryn, one of the Barons of his Majesty's Court of Exchequer, and a Special Jury, on the 26th of July : 33 George III. A. D. 1793.

The counsel were the same as on the preceding trial.


Richard Hawkins, of Dodbrook, Devon, F.
Thomas Heathfield, of Woodbury, ditto.
William Leigh, of Salcombe Regis, ditto.
Thomas Gregg, of Sidbury, ditto.
Samuel Walkey, of East Budleigh, ditto.
Thomas Huckle Lee, of Lympston, ditto.
William Land, of Silferton, ditto-esqrs.

Joseph Ewen, of Littleham, Devon.
William Merson, of Northmoulton, ditto,
James Tapp, of ditto, ditto.
William Lake, of Witherage, ditto.

James Hodge, of Luppit, ditto.
MR. CLAPP opened this cause, by observe
ing that this was a prosecution against the de.
fendant, William Winterbotham, for that he
maliciously and seditiously intending to disa



quiet, molest and disturb the peace and the time of the delivery were considered. He mon tranquillity of our lord the king, and of told his audience his text applied to the prethis kingdom, and to traduce and vilify our pre- sent times, and that it became him to treat it sent happy constitution, and to bring our said politically-which he did particularly with lord the king and his government of this respect to France and this country; the kingdom into hatred and contempt with all serjeant stated, that the audience Mr. Winthe subjects of this realm, and to asperse and terbotham addressed was not an audience scandalize our said lord the king and his go- calculated to fathom the depth of political vernment of this kingdom, and to excite the subjects, and was therefore more easily desubjects of our said lord the king to sedition ceived by specious pretences: and he thought against his government, on the 18th day of no motive could be adduced that could have November last, did preach, speak—and pub- influenced Mr. Winterbotham at that time lish the following words, to wit :

to have gone into a political discussion, but In the first count of and concerning the that of exciting rebellion and discontent. government and magistracy of this kingdom The serjeant said, this sermon was not deliand the subjects thereof, these seditious words vered on a day that called for a discussion of following:

such a nature, it was on the 18th of Novem“ Darkness has long cast her veil over the ber, 1792, when the situation of France was land;" (meaning amongst others this king, not very eligible; the government was overdom)“ persecution and tyranny have carried turned, Paris was a scene of misery, one universal sway;” (meaning amongst others in massacre had followed another, the palace this kingdom)“ magisterial powers” (meaning itself was violated—the guards murdered amongst others magisterial powers in this the king and queen thrown into a dungeon, kingdom)“ have long been a scourge to the and the goverment seized by a mob. Hé liberties and rights of the people” (meaning said, it was at this time that Mr. Winteramongst others the people of this kingdom). botham thought proper to tell his auditory, “ It does not matter by what name these that all the powers of magistracy were usurped powers are known, whether by king, usurped, and to utter the words they had senate, potentate, or stadtholder, they are in heard read. The serjeant said, there were pereither sense usurped.”

sons who thought all government an usurpaIn the second count, these seditious words tion, and he supposed Mr. Winterbotham to following : “ The yoke of bondage among our be one of those, or he would never have conneighbours,” (meaning the French). sidered the then situation of France to be a now to be pretty well broken, and it is ex- blessing, or have said that he expected the pected the same blessing is awaiting us," same blessing was awaiting us, and that we (meaning the subjects of this kingdom)“ when should soon have to boast of having intropersecution and tyranny shall be no more; duced among us, that equality our neighbours when enjoying” (meaning when the subjects the French had acquired. The serjeant; after of this kingdom enjoying)“ the liberties of a some other general comments on the text free people, we” (meaning the subjects of this and on the absurdity and wickedness of those kingdom)“shall boast of having introduced who wished to throw us into a state of anaramong us” (meaning the subjects of this chy and rebellion by preaching up equality; kingdom) " that equality our neighbours" concluded by observing he should call his (meaning the French)" have acquired.” witnesses to prove the words laid in the indict

The third count, similar to the first. ment, and he had no doubt but the jury would
The fourth count, similar to the second. find the defendant guilty.
The fifth count, similar to the first.

Edward Lyne examined by Mr. Serjeant. The sixth count, similar to the second.

Lawrence. Mr. Serjeant Rooke said he was again called Were

you at the meeting in How's lanc on upon to prosecute Mr. Winterbotham for sedi the evening of the 18th of November last?“ tion ;-he had yesterday substantiated the Yes; I went there with Mr. Darby, in consecharges in one indictment, and he had no doubt quence of a report that Mr. Winterbotham but he should be able to do the same by this. bad preached a seditious sermon on the 5th The words laid in the indictment, and which of November. he should prove to have been uttered by Mr. Were you there before the defendant began Winterbotham, he stated to be of the most his sermon?-Yes, we were; we heard him inflammatory nature; and said they went so begin. far as to aim at the total destruction and sub Do you recollect the text he preached version of all the governments of Europe : from ?-Yes, it was Rom. 13th ch. 12 ver. for Mr. Winterbotham had not contented “ The night is far spent, the day is at hand, himself with objecting to this or the other let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, form of government, but he had asserted that and let us put on the armour of light.” they were all usurped. Of the design and How did he treat this text. After the tendency of this sermon, the serjeant said, preamble to his sermon, he said, he felt himthere could be no doubt, the manner in self bound by the present juncture of affairs, which Mr. Winterbotham introduced it, and to apply the text politically ;--we were then


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in the aisle, but on Mr. Winterbotham's pro Then it was your general christian philanposing his intention to treat his subject poli-thropy that led you to the meeting as the tically, we went into a pew and sat down ; friend of Mr. Winterbotham ?-Yes it was He then repeated the words of his text, and my general christian philantbropy that led said, “ Darkness has long cast her veil over me to go there. the land, persecution and tyranny have car As the friend of Mr. Winterbotham, 'I ried universal sway.” He then expatiated on would ask you, what is your opinion of the that head, and proceeded, “ Magisterial whole of the sermon?-I considered the whole powers have long been a scourge to the lid of the sermon as totally seditivus berties and rights fof the people; it does not Was there no part of it but what was sedimatter by what names these usurped powers tious ?--There were many moral and religious were known, whether by king, senate, po- sentiments, but the whole, in a chain, was tentate, or stadtholder, they are in cither seditious. sense usurped.' This he endeavoured to Pray how long do you think Mr. Winterprove by the following part of his discourse, botham was, in preaching this sermontwhich I do not recollect. He then adverted About three quarters of an hour. to the affairs of France, and said, “ The yoke And though you went to the meeting as of bondage amongst our neighbours, seems the friend ot Mr. Winterbotham, and though now to be pretty well broken, and it is ex- Mr. Winterbotham was three quarters of an pected the same blessing is awaiting us; when hour in preaching, you do not recollect any persecution and tyranny shall be no more, passage in the discourse but what was seditiwhen enjoying the liberties of a free people ous?-At that time I did not wish to recollect we shall boast of having introduced amongst any that were not seditious. us that equality our neighbours have ac Thongh you were the friend of Mr. Winterquired.” He then immediately or soon af- hotham, you bad no wish to retain any pasterwards rejoined, “ To possess such an ac sage in your memory but those you thought quisition, we were to cast off the works of seditions—I endeavoured to retain in my darkness and put on the armour of light.” mind those which were so strong.

Do you recollect any thing more of the But you don't recollect any other sentence sermon!~There is no other particular pas in the whole serinon, but those you have sage that I can recollect the words of. given in evidence?-I can't repeat any other

Did you ever take minutes of what you sentence. heard ?—Immediately on leaving the meet In what part off the meeting were you, during, with those observations strongly im- ing the time Mr. Winterbotham was presci:pressed on my mind, I went home to my ing?-I remained in the aisle till he talked lodgings, and there made minutes; and I am upon politics, and then I sat down in a pew. sure these are the very expressions the de I think you said, if you had thought Mr. tendant used.

Winterbotham would have been prosecuted Cross-examined by Mr. Gibbs.

you should not have attended; pray liow came

you then to be an evidence?-When he said Pray; Mr. Lyne, how came you to go to he should treat his subject politically, I then the meeting, on the evening on which this determined to attend to what he said, intenda sermon was preached ?-1 went with Mr. ing to take part against him if called upon. Darby, in consequence of the rumours which Pray in what manner did Mr. Winterbot. were circulated respecting the former sermon. ham begin his sermon ?-lle gave a moral

You say you went in consequence of cer- ex position of the text at first, but I don't tain rumours which had been circulated re- remember what he said, neither the words specting the former sermon; I would ask you nor the tenor of them. if you believed those rumours ?--No; I dis Then there was nothing seditious in the believed the report.

first part of the sermon?-I really think the I believe you are not one of Mr. Winter- first exposition of the text was such as any botham's congregation ?-No, I am not. clergyman might have used in any place of · Then as you are not in the habits of at- devotion. tending Mr. Winterbotham, and as you dis- ! But you don't remember any thing of this believed the reports in circulation respecting part of the subject which you think was unthe former sermon, I would ask you what exceptionable? –I cannot repeat any senwere the motives with which you went on tence; I did not endeavour to store in my that evening ?-I went as the friend of Mr. ' mind any part of it. Winterbotham, to take his part, that I might Though you went to the meeting as the have an opportunity to defend him against friend of Mr. Winterbotham, and for the the accusations circulating concerning him. express purpose of vindicating him from

You say you went as the friend of Mr. what you conceived to be false accusations, Winterbotham, that you might have an op- yet you did not endeavour to store in your portunity to take his part; that was your mo- inind any sentence of that part of the sermoa tive for going ?-Yes; and if I had thought he which you conceived to be unexceptionable? would have been prosecuted I would not have -No, I did not. gone.

As you say you cannot repeat any sentence


that Mr. Winterbotham uttered besides those You are sure you don't recollect any thing you have given in evidence, I'll endeavour to of the kind'; pray did Mr. Winterbotham call a few passages to your mind. I believe mention the arguments made use of by Mr. Winterbotham made several quotations the apostle for that purpose?-I listened from the preceding verse in the chapter from more to the defendant's own opinions, than which he took his text ?- There were many what he stated the apostle to think; I quotations from the Sacred History, he made considered the whole discourse as calcu. the chapter the thesis of his discourse. lated to create discontent, though there were

Mr. Winterbotham, in commenting on the nrany specious arguments used to reconcile the preceding parts of the chapter, I believe, people. speaking of the origin of magisterial power, Pray did not Mr. Winterbotham say somesaid the powers that be are ordained of God; thing in his sermon about the Africans, abouť did he pot?-I think he did mention the their deliverance from slavery?-I have some origin of all power.

faint idea that there was something said about You recollect he did say something of the the Africans, but I cannot tell what; I do not origin of power; well, do you recollect recollect any thing of the serinon but what I what he said was the origin ?-He did men- have already proved. tion that the powers that be are of God, and You say you don't recollect any thing of quoted that

verse, “Let every soul be subject the serion, but what you have already to the higher powers, for there is no power proved; I'll endeavour to refresh your mebut of God, the powers that be are ordained mory: I think Mr. Winterbotham, in his serof God:" but I considered many of his ob- mon, stated the absolute necessity of a chief servations as interspersed for the purpose of magistrate, whether dignified with the title of insinuating what was flagitious and wrong. emperor, king, stadtholder, doge, president, or

Then you think what Mr. Winterbotham any other ?-I do not recollect* said the verses preceding his text, I'll endeavour to call up your recollection was only to introduce those parts which you to another part of Mr. Winterbotham's serthiuk seditious ? - I think what went before mon. In speaking of the first part of his was consistent, in order to carry his point. text, " The night is far spent, the day is at

I believe Mr. Winterbotham, speaking of hand;" I believe he applied these words to the powers of inagistrates, not only spoke of several times and circumstances ;—you certheir origin, but also that they were the minis. tainly recollect this?-Those words were only ters of God for good, that ihey ought to be applied to the present times. obeyed and supported; I think he said some You did not hear Mr. Winterbotham apply thing of this kind ?-1 won't contend that he these words to any thing than the present did not quote the rest of the chapter, speak- times;-pray were you there the whole of the ing of the powers of government, and con time in which he was preaching ?-Yes; Mr. taining the doctrine of Christian obedience; Darby was not, he left the mceting before but if he did, any comment he made on it the sermon was ended, but I tarried. entirely escaped my notice.

Did you see Mr. Darby at any time afterPray was this sermon divided into distinct wards that evening ?-Yes, Mr. Darby came heads ?-By one person the sermon might be to me the same night. supposed to be divided into several heads, by And the I suppose you made mi tes? another not.

Mr. Darby did not then see the minutes I I believe Mr. Winterbotham, in his sermon, had made. likewise said something about different orders Has he ever seen thiem since ?-Yes, perin society; I believe he contended for the haps in the space of ten days after, or it might necessity of them; and reprobated the idea be a shorter space. of equality. You certainly recollect that Then you had no communication with Mr. something of this kind was said ?-I do not Darby that night about the sermon? you did recollect any thing in the sermon that tended not say any thing to him that you had made to show the necessity of different orders. minutes of it?-I had no communication

You don't recollect any thing of the kind ;- about the minutes; I only expressed my redo you recollect Mr. Winterbotham's saying, sentment to Mr. Darby. the man who could entertain an idea of equa Pray what are you? I am clerk to the collity, cither in character or property, was a lector of excise at Plymouth. fool or a madman, and ought to be dealt with as such?-If such arguments had been used, they would appear quite inconsistent; they * On the 15th of Dec. 1792, the defendant would appear quite contrary to the drift of rode from Ashburton to Plymouth, in comthe sermon.

pany with this witress, and Mr. Tyrell, colMight it not have escaped your notice?

-I lector of the excise; when some conversation do not know whether it could or not.

taking place respecting this sermon, the de I think Mr. Winterbotham in his sermon fendant stated this clause, and made his apinsisted on some motives, which ought to in-peal to the witness, whose answer was, he duce persons to obey the powers ordained? - believed them to be the identical words deI do not know whether he did or not. livered from the pulpit. Oris. Ed. VOL. XXII.

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