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953] Proceedings against John Lambert, and others. A. D. 1793.
(954 Now, gentlemen, the evidence on the part of the defendant contradicts that on the part hours returned a verdict, finding the de
The Jury retired, and in about three of the prosecution, and it is for you to deter
fendant GUILTY. mine which speaks the truth; and of course you will not judge from the number of wit Mr. Mainwaring. Do you mean to find nesses, but from the whole circumstances of him guilty of all the counts in the indictment? the case ; you will consider it; I believe you Foreman. Yes, except the two last counts. are thoroughly possessed of the sense of the At the same time it is the desire of the obligation you are under to do justly. gentlemen of the jury that I recommend him
Gentlemen, I should have told you, that to mercy. there is no evidence at all of any criminal act done at Hackney, and therefore you must The Court sentenced Mr. Briellat to twelve acquit him upon the two last counts. There is months imprisonment, 1001. fine, and security no evidence to prove that any such thing was for his good behaviour for three years, himsaid at Hackney, and therefore you will find self in 5001., and two sureties for 2501. each. him not guilty of those counts.
582. Proceedings on the Trial of an Information, filed Ex-Officio
by his Majesty's Attorney General, against John LAMBERT, JAMES PERRY,* and James GRAY, for a Seditious Libel. Tried by a Special Jury in the Court of King's Bench, before the Right Hon. Lloyd Lord Kenyon, on Monday the 9th of December: 34 GEORGE III. A. D. 1793.
To the original report of this trial, pub.
stands, with respect to libel: a law admirably lished by Debrett, Mr. Perry, one of the de calculated to remove obscurity, to defeat inifondants, prefixed the following
proper influence, to facilitate the ends of
justice, by simplifying its operations, and to ADVERTISEMENT.
afford additional security for the full enjoyIn presenting the following trial to the ment of the most valuable privilege of public, at a period, the most critical, perhaps, Englishmen. with respect to prosecutions, that ever oc Impressed then with the view of this curred in the annals of this country, the trial, as connected with great principles, and editor was chiefly influenced by two consi- involving, consequences the most important, derations :
both to the present age and to posterity, I First, the question, which arose in an
have been anxious to render the following early stage of the proceedings, with respect statement of the proceedings as full and cor. to juries, deterinined a very important rule of rect as possible. Fidelity and accuracy are practice, namely, that the first special jury the only merits of a reporter; these I have struck and reduced according to law, must carefully studied; it is not allowed to him try the issue joined between parties. This who transmits the sentiments of others, to decision of a controverted point, in the man- hoast of his labours, or to claim the reward ner most consistent with common sense, and, of public approbation : in this instance, I find as appeared from the pleadings, agreeable myself sufficiently repaid, with the pleasing to the ancient practice of the courts, and reflection that I have been called, in an age founded upon the statute law of the realm, is of prosecutions, to record one verdict gained certainly lo be estimated as an acquisition of to the cause of freedom. no common magnitude to the subject.
On Tuesday, the 25th of December, 1792, Secondly, this is the first trial
, since the the following paper appeared as an advertiselibel bill passed into a law, completely con ment in the Morning Chronicle : ducted upon the principles of that bill, and may serve as the best illustration of the wise At a meeting of the society for political inand excellent provisions of the law, as it now formation, held at the Talbot-inn, in Derby,
July 16, 1792, the following address, decla* See in this collection the cases of ratory of their principles, &c. was unaniMessrs. Lambert and Perry, on a commit- mously agreed to, and ordered to be printed : ment by the House of Lords for a breach of
“ To the Friends of Free Inquiry and the privilege, a. D. 1798; and in the court of
General Good. King's-bench for a libel on the King, A. D. 1810.
“ Fellow citizens;-Claiming it as our inde
feasible right to associate together, in a peace- | without lessening rhe true dignity of the naable and friendly manner, for the communi- tion or the government: and therefore wish cation of thoughts, the formation of opinions, for satisfaction in this important matter. and to promote the general happiness, we 4. “ We view with concern the frequency think it unnecessary to ofier any apology for of wars. We are persuaded that the interests inviting you to join in this manly and benevo- of the poor can never be promoted by acceslent pursuit : the necessity of the inhabit- sion of territory, when bought at the expense ants of every community endeavouring to of their labour and blood, and we must say, procure a true knowledge of their rights, in the language of a celebrated author, · We, their duties, and their interests, will not be who are only the people but who pay for wars denied, except by those who are the slaves of with our substance and our blood, will not cease prejudice, or the interested in the continuation to tell kings,' or governments, that to thein of abuses. As men who wish to aspire to the alone wars are profitable: that the true and title of freemen, we totally deny the wisdom · just conquests are those which each makes and the humanity of the advice to approach at home, by comforting the peasantry, by the defects of government with ' pious awe promoting agriculture and manufactories;
and trembling solicitude. What better doc by multiplying men, and the other productrine could the pope, or the tyrants of Europe tions of nature; that then it is that kings desire! We think, therefore, that the cause may call themselves the image of God, whuse of truth and justice can never be hurt by will is perpetually directed to the creation of temperate and honest discussions; and that new beings. If they continue to make us cause which will not bear such a scrutiny, fight and kill one another in uniform, we will must be systematically or practically bad. continue to write and speak, until nations We are sensible that those who are not friends shall be cured of this folly. We are certain to the general good, have attempted to in our present heavy burthens are owing, in a Name the public mind with the cry of great measure, to cruel and impolitic wars, danger,' whenever men have associated for and therefore we will do all on our part, as discussing the principles of government; and peaceable citizens, who have the good of the we have little doubt but such conduct will be community at heart, to enlighten each other, pursued in this place; we would, therefore, and protest against them. caution every honest man, who has really the 5.“ The present state of the representation welfare of the nation at heart, to avoid being of the people calls for the particular attention led away by the prostituted clamours of those of every man, who has humanity sufficient to who live on the sources of corruption. We feel for the honour and happiness of his pity the fears of the timorous, and we are country; to the defects and corruptions of totally unconcerned respecting the false which we are inclined to attribute unnecesalarms of the venal. We are in the pursuit sary wars, &c. &c. We think it a deplorable of truth, in a peaceable, calın, and unbiassed case when the poor must support a corruption manner; and wherever we recognize her which is calculated to oppress them; when features, we will embrace her as the compa- the labourer must give his money to afford nion of happiness, of wisdom, and of peace. the means of preventing him having a voice This is the mode of our conduct; the reasons in its disposal; when the lower classes may for it will be found in the follo ving declara- say, “ We give you our money, for which we tion of our opinions, to the whole of which have toiled and sweat, and which would save each member gives his hearty assent.
our families from cold and hunger; but we
think it more hard that there is nobody whom DECLARATION.
' we have delegated, to see that it is not im
properly spent; we have none to watch over 1. " That all true government is instituted our interests; the rich only are represented.' for the general good, is legalized by the ge • The forın of government since the revoluneral will, and all its actions are, or ought to tion, is in some respects changed for the be, directed for the general happiness and worse : by the triennial and septennial acts prosperity of all honest citizens.
'we lost annual parliaments : besides which, 2.' " That we feel too much not to believe, the wholesome provisions for obliging privy that deep and alarmning abuses exist in the counsellors to subscribe their advice with their British government; yet we are at the same names, and against placemen and pensioners time fully sensible, that our situation is com sitting in parliament have been repealed.' fortable, compared with that of the people of It is said, that the voice of the people is the many European kingdoms; and that as the constitutional control of parliament; but times are in some degree moderate, they what is this but saying, that the representaought to be free from riot and confusion. tives are naturally inclined to support wrong
3. “ Yet we think there is sufficient cause measures, and that the people must be conto inquire into the necessity of the payment stantly assembling to oblige them to do their of seventeen millions of annual taxes, exclu- duty: An equal and uncorrupt representation sive of poor-rates, county rates, expences of would, we are persuaded, save us from heavy collection, &c. by seven millions of people ; expenses, and deliver us from many oppreswe think that these expences may be reduced, sions; we will therefore do our duty to pro
cure this reform, which appears to us of the and our situation must be too good to be utmost importance.
mended, or the present outcry against reforms 6. “ In short, we see with the most lively and improvements is inhuman and crimiconcern an army of placemen, pensioners, nal. But we hope our condition will be &c. fighting in the cause of corruption and speedily improved, and to obtain so desirable prejudice, and spreading the contagion far a good is the object of our present association; and wide'; a large and highly expensive mi- a union founded on principles of benevolitary establishment, though we have a well lence and humanity, disclaiining all connecregulated militia; the increase of all kinds of tion with riots and disorder, but firm in our robberies, riots, executions, &c. though the purpose, and warm in our affections for nation pays taxes equal to the whole land liberty. rental of the kingdom, in order to have his 7. * Lastly, we invite the friends of freeproperty protected and secured; and is also dom throughout Great Britain to form similar obliged to enter into separate associations societies, and to act with unanimity and firmagainst felonious depredations. A criminal ness, till the people be too wise to be imposed code of laws, sanguine and inefficacious; a upon, and their influence in the government civil code so voluminous and mysterious as be commensurate with their dignity and imto puzzle the best understandings; by which portance. means, justice is denied to the poor on ac “ THEN SHALL WE BE FREE AND Happy. count of the expense attending the obtaining
“ By order of the Society, it; corporations, under ministerial or party
“S. Eyre, Chairman." influence, swallowing up the importance, and acting under the voice of the people ; penalties inflicted on those who accept of
In Hilary term 1793, the following inforoffices without conforming to the violation of mation ex officio was filed in the court of their consciences and their rights; the voice King's-bench, by sir Archibald Macdonald of free inquiry drowned in prosecutions, and then attorney-general, afterwards lord chief the clamours of the pensioned and interested;
baron of the Exchequer. and we view, with the most poignant sorrow, Middleser, BE it remembered, that sir a part of the people deluded by a cry of the to wit, Archibald Macdonald, knight, constitution and church in danger, fighting attorney-general of our present sovereign lord with the weapons of savages, under the ban the king, who for our said lord the king in ners of prejudice, against those who have this behalf prosecutes, in his proper person their true interest at heart; we see with equal comes into the court of our said lord the king, sensibility the present outcry against reforms, before the king himself at Westminster, on and a proclamation (tending to cramp the Wednesday next after the octave of St. Hilary, liberty of the press, and discredit the true in this same term, and for our said lord the friends of the people) receiving the support of king gives the court here to understand and numbers of our countrymen; we see the con- be informed, that our sovereign lord the king, tinuation of oppressive game laws and de- before the printing and publishing of the structive monopolies; we see the education false, wicked, scandalous, and seditious libel and comfort of the poor neglected, notwith hereinafter next mentioned, to wit, on the standing the enormous weight of the poor twenty-first day of May, in the thirty-second rates; we see burthens multiplied, the lower year of his reign, to wit, at Westminster, in classes sinking into poverty, disgrace, and the county of Middlesex aforesaid, had, by the excesses, and the means of these shocking advice of his privy council, issued and caused abuses increased for the purposes of revenue; to be published his royal proclamation, for the same end, excise laws, those badges whereby, after reciting that divers wicked and and sources of oppression kept up and multi- seditious writings had been printed, pub plied. And when we cast our eyes on a lished, and industriously dispersed, tending people just formed in a free community, with to excite tumult and disorder, by endeavourout having had time to grow rich, under a ing to raise jealousies and discontents in the government by which justice is duly admi- minds of his faithful and loving subjects, nistered, the poor taught and comforted, respecting the laws and happy constitution of property protected, taxes few and easy, and government, civil and religious, established in that at an expense as small as our pension this kingdom, and endeavouring to vilify and list, we ask ourselves, . Are we in England bring into contempt the wise and wholesome Have our forefathers fought and bled, and provisions made at the time of the glorious conquered for liberty? And did they not think revolution, and since strengthened and con• that'the fruits of their patriotism would be firmed by subsequent laws for the preserva. more abundant in peace, plenty, and happi- tion and security of the rights and liberties of ness? Are we always to stand still or go his faithful and loving subjects; and that backwards? Are our burthens to be as heavy divers writings had also been printed, pub. as the most enslaved people? Is the condi- lished, and industriously dispersed, recom* tion of the poor never to be improved ? mending the said wicked and seditious puhliGreat Britain must have arrived at the highest cations to the attention of all our said lord the degree of national happiness and prosperity, king's faithful and loving subjects; and that
his said majesty had also reason to believe | said: nevertheless one John Lambert, late of that correspondences had been entered into the parish of Saint Clement Danes, in the with sundry persons in foreign parts, with a county of Middleses, printer ; James Perry, view to forward the criminal and wicked pur. | late of the liberty of the Rolls in the said poses above mentioned, and that the wealth, county of Middlesex, gentleman; and James happiness and prosperity of this kingdom Gray, late of the liberty of the Rolls aforesaid, did, under divind providence, chiefly depend gentleman, being wicked, malicious, seditious upon a due submission to the laws, a just and ill-disposed persons, and being greatly confidence in the integrity and wisdom of disaffected to our said lord the king, and to parliament, and a continuance of that zealous the constitution and government of this kingattachment to the government and constitu- dom, and wickedly, maliciously, and sedition of the kingdom which had ever prevailed tiously designing, contriving, and intending to in the minds of the people thereof, and that disturb the peace and tranquillity of our Lord there was nothing which our said lord the the king and of this kingdom, and to scan. king so earnestly desired as to secure the dalize, detame, and vilify the constitution, laws public peace and prosperity, and to preserve and government of this kingdom, and to bring to all his loving subjects the full enjoyment the same into hatred and contempt with his of their rights and liberties, both religious said majesty's subjects, and to infuse and instil and civil; our said lord the king therefore into the minds of his said majesty's subjects, a being resolved, as far as in him lay, to repress belief that they were oppressed by his said mathe wicked and seditious practices aforesaid, jesty's government and abuses therein, and ly and to deter all persons from following so means of cruel, impolitic wars, and unnecessary pernicious an example, by his royal proclama wars, entered into by his said majesty against tion so issued, solemnly warned all his loving foreign powers, and to excite and stir up dissubjects, as they tendered their own happiness loyalty, discontents, and seditions amongst his and that of their posterity, to guard against all said majesty's subjects, and to seduce, instisuch attempts, which aimed at the subversion gate, and encourage his said majesty's subjects of all regular government within this kingdom; to resist and oppose his said inajesty in the and which were inconsistent with the peace administration of his government, and in the and order of society, and earnestly exhorted exercise of the lawful powers and authorities his said subjects, at all times and to the vested in him by the constitution of this king. utmost of their power, to avoid and discourage dom, on the twenty-fifth day of December, in all proceedings tending to produce riots and the thirty-third year of the reign of our said tumults; and our said lord the king did thereby lord the now king, at the parish of St. Marystrictly charge and command all his magis-le-Strand, in the county of Middlesex aforetrates in and throughout his kingdom of Great said, to complete, perfect, and bring to effect Britain, that they should make diligent in their said wicked and seditious contrivances quiry in order to discover the authors and and intentions, wickedly, maliciously and sediprinters of such wicked and seditious writings tiously did print and publish, and cause to be as aforesaid, and all others who should dis- printed and published, in a certain newspaper perse the same; and our said lord the king did called the Morning Chronicle, a certain false, further charge and command all his sheriffs, wicked, scandalous and seditious libel, in tbe justices of the peace, chief magistrates in his form of an address of a society for political cities, boroughs, and corporations, and all information, held at the Talbot Inn, in Derby, other his officers and magistrates throughout July 16, 1792, declaratory of their principles, his kingdom of Great Britain, that they should, &c. and directed to the Friends of Free Inin their several and respective stations, take quiry and the General Good, in which said the most immediate and effectual care to libel are contained (amongst other things) suppress and prevent all riots, tumults, and divers false, wicked, scandalous, malicious other disorders, which might be attempted to and seditious matters of and concerning our be raised or made by any person or persons said lord the king's government of this kingwhich, on whatever pretext they might be dom, and of and concerning the constitution grounded, were not only contrary to the law, of this kingdom, according to the tenor and but dangerous to the most important in effect following, that is to say, “We” (meanterests of this kingdom; and our said lord ing the society aforesaid) “ feel too much not to the king did thereby further require and believe that deep and alarming abuses exist command all and every his magistrates afore in the British government” (meaning his said said, that they should from time to time majesty's government of this kingdom), “ yet transmit to one of his said majesty's principal we are at the same time fully sensible that secretaries of state, due and full information our situation is comfortable, compared with of such persons as should be found offending that of the people of many European kingas aforesaid, or in any degree aiding or doms, and that as the times are, in some abetting therein, it being our said lord the degree, moderate, they ought to be free from king's determination, for the preservation of riot and confusion.-3. Yet we think there the peace and happiness of his faithful and is suflicient cause to inquire into the neces. loving subjects, to carry the laws vigorously sily of the payment of seventeen millions of into execution against such offenders as afore- annual taxes, exclusive of poor-rates, county
rates, expenses of collection, &c. &c. by seven spects changed for the worse; by the triennial millions of people : we think that these ex and scptennial acts” (meaning acts of the penses may be reduced, without lessening the parliament of this kingdom), “ we lost annual true dignity of the nation" (meaning this king- parliaments; besides which, the wholesome dom)" or the government,” (meaning the go- provisions for obligsno” (meaning obliging) vernment of this kingdom)“ and therefore wish privy counsellors to subscribe thair” (meanfor satisfaction in this important matter. 4. ing their) “ advice with their names, and We view with concern the frequency of wars,” | against placemen and pensioners sitting in (meaning amongst others the wars of his said parliament” (meaning the parliament of this majesty and his subjects with foreign powers) kingdom), “ have been repealed. It is said
we are persuaded that the interests of the that the voice of the people is the constitutional poor can never be promoted by accession of control of parliament' (meaning the parliaterritory, when bought at the expense of their ment of this kingdom); “ but what is this but labour and blood; and we must say, in the saying that the representatives” (meaning the language of a celebrated author, we who are representatives of the people in the parliament only the people, but who pay for wars with of this kingdom) are naturally inclined to our substance and our blood, will not cease to support wrong ineasures, and that the people tell kings or governments, that to them alone' most” (meaning must)“ be constantly assemwars are profitable ; that the true and just bling to oblige them to do their duty. An conquests are those which each makes at equal and uncorrupt representation” (meaning home by comforting the peasantry, by pro- representation in the parliament of this kingmoting agriculture and manufactories,' by : dom)“ would, we are persuaded, save us multiplying men and the other productions of from heavy expenses, and deliver us from nature; that then it is that kings may call many oppressions; we will therefore do our themselves the image of God, whose will is duty to procure this reform, which appears to perpetually directed to the creation of new us of the utmost importance. 6. In short, beings; if they continue to make us fight and we see with the most lively concern an army kill one another in uniform, we will continue of placemen, pensioners” (meaning persons to write and speak until nations shall be cured of this folly. Weare certain our present vernment of this kingdom), “ &c. fighting in heavy burthens”, (meaning burthens of the the cause of corruption and prejudice, and subjects of this kingdom)“ are owing in a spreading the contagion far and wide; a large great measure, to cruel and impolitic wars” and highly expensive military establishment” (meaning cruel and impolitic wars entered (meaning the military establishment of this into hy his said majesty against foreign kingdom)," though we have a well-regulated powers), “ and therefore we will do all on our militia ; the increase of all kinds of robberies, part, as peaceable citizens, who have the good riots, executions, &c. though the nation” of the community at heart, to enlighten each (meaning this kingdom)“ pays taxes equal to other, and protest against them. 6. The the whole land retail” (meaning rental) “ of present state of the representation of the the kingdom, in order to have his property people” (meaning the representation of the protected and secured ; and is also obliged to people of this kingdom in the parliament enter into separate associations against felothereof) “ calls for the particular attention of nious depredations- a criminal code of laws" every man who has humanity sufficient to (meaning a criminal code of laws of this kingfeel for the honour and happiness of his dom) “ sanguine and inefficacious—a civil country, to the defects and corruptions of code” (meaning a civil code of laws of this which we are inclined to attribute unnecessary kingdom) " so voluminous and mysterious as wars, &c. &c. We think it a deplorable case to puzzle the best understandings; by which when the poor” (meaning the poor of this means justice is denied to the poor” (meaning, kingdom)“ must support a corruption" (mean- the poor of this kingdom), “ on account of in corruption of the representation of the the expense attending the obtaining it. Corpeople of this kingdom in the parliament porations” (meaning corporations of this kingthereof)“ which is calculated to oppress them” dom)“ under ministerial or party influence, (meaning the poor of this kingdom)," when swallowing up the importance, and acting the labourer must give his money to afford against the voice of the people” (meanthe means of preventing him having a voice ing the people of this kingrlom); “ penaltie” in its disposal, when the lower classes may say (meaning penalties) “ inflicted on those who We give you our money for which we have accept of offices without conforming to the toiled and sweat, and which would save our 'violation of their consciences and their rights, families from cold and hunger, but we think the voice of free inquiry drowned in prosecuit more hard that there is nobody whom we tions, and the clamours of the pensioned and have delegated to see that it is not improperly interested; and we view with the most and wickedly spent; we have none to watch poignant sorrow a part of the people" (meanover our interests, the rich only are repre- ing the people of this kingdom)“ deluded by a sented: the form of government” (meaning cry of the constitution and church in danger, the government of this kingdom), “ since the fighting with the weapons of savages under Revolution, is in somo" (meaning some) “ re- the banners of prejudice against those who VOL. XXII.