Page images

ous man from giving his testimony, either in mercy and compassion themselves had some criminal or civil causes? A inan may love wine particular pique against truih, and were re. or a mistress, be vam in bis discourse, cherish solved to put an affront upon her. But alas ! his avarice or his ambition, yet loath conspi- Clemency had no hand in it.—The witnesses racy, disloyalty to his prince and treachery to were birelings and impostors. But oow, Lassa his country. Vicious men are seldom guilty of Crudelitas began to grow penitent, and to cry accumulated vice; but setting aside the parti. Peccavi for her former severity, which will cercular inclination of nature, are in other things tainly be the construction of them that heremorally just and honest, religiously giving to after shall go to play the Causinus's with our Cæsar that which is Cæsar's, and abominating story. the foot-steps of seemingly pious and sober vil- The next plea of the prisoners was, That the lainy.

evidence were strangers to them; and that they To rèproach their need and exigency, was as had started a new charge; of which they delittle to their advantage : For who, can any clared themselves utterly ignorant before the man think, would do the drudgery of a Plot, council. A very strange thing, that the quescarry letters and portmanteaus from place to tion should be all of a sudden, whether famiplace, run from post to pillar, and be at the liarity should be necessary for the conviction of beck of inferior superiority, but they who had such secret and grand delinquents ? This was not their fat benevolences and rewards to sup- rather an argument of the truth. For what moport them? Surely they would not have had tive can any rational man propose, that should the lords in the Tower have run upon their er- induce persons unacquainted with the prisonrands. Neither could there be a greater symp- ers, and consequently, such as could not be tom of urging necessity, than for a man to ac- thought to have received any personal injuries cept of money to murder bis prince. Why did from them, out of a prepense and studied malice not they, that boast so much sobriety and sanc. to seek their blood! Hopes of reward. But tity, make the discovery themselves, and put by that is a scandal that blasphemes the integrity these flagitious witnesses from having the hand of that authority which gave the testimonies Very fine indeed!

countenance to prosecute: that impeaches both “ Clodius accusat Mochos-"

the parliament and council, as if they were the

rewarders of people to take away the lives of As if any but they who had been as flagitious the innocent. They saw that apparently there as themselves, could have ever discovered their was a plot, and that there was a design io take designs! would they have bad the Protestants away the king's life, and had as much reason to divined them? would they have had an angel believe the information of clandestine poisonfrom heaven have come on purpose to disclose ing, as the private pistolling. But these witthem? or else would they have had the evil nesses did know the prisoners, and had seen spirit of Brutus to have risen a third time? no them in the company of the conspirators, bad certainly, they would not have had it revealed heard them discourse together of the design itat all : but because these persons did reveal it, self, had seen the acquittance for receipt of the therefore they must be flagitious. Fulvia and money, and that by all the circumstances of the Sempronia, that revealed the conspiracy of discourse, the money could be paid upon no Cataline, were both courtesans, and yet they other account, than to poison the king, which that read the story, will not find, that either was the thing at that time intended, and the Cicero the consul, or the Ronan senate gave thing then only spoken of. And this was certhe less credit to them for that. The Allo- tainly and most unanswerably a knowledge sufbroges at that time were suppliants and peti- ficient of the persons, without any necessity tioners, and yet their information past. Thus that the king's evidence should be any farther, far upon the supposition that they had been or more intimately acquainted with him. If á men of a loose life or necessitous; but bere man sees a thief break a house, it is not to be was no such thing: there was not any one of conceived, that the witness should be contheir accusations or reflections that they could strained to go and drink a pot of ale, and enter prove against them. So that reason, in the into a strict league of friendship with the selon, second place, admires why there was so much before he can accuse him of the felony. freedomn allowed their lavish tongues ; or that As to the other objection, That the charge men should be so much moped in their senses, of the king's evidence was not so ample before to be carried away with such a slight stream of the lords of the council, as the bar of Oyer and false and proofless suggestions.

Terminer; the answer of the king's evidence Such answers as these were not so remote was very fair and probable; and the reasons of from the quick apprehensions of men of busi- bis omission, were credibly balanced in his beness, but that they might easily have been half, as the averment against him. He was produced to defead the reputation of the king's sworn to be in a most weak and feeble condievidence, from the batteries of men in despair, tion, being tired by public and eminent service: that verily believed their business had been And how far the weaknesses of the body may done, and therefore cared not what they said. disorder the faculties of the mind, is not onCertainly some gentle constellation reigned that known to vulgar experience. day, more tender-hearted than moist St. It was enough he charged him at the bar, Swithin, or the weeping Pleiades; or else charged him bome, and backed his charge with a reserve of circumstances sufficiently con- misses, that their tale should be so courteously vincing; and therefore there was no necessity allowed that bad neither head nor tail? Why to aggravate and prosecute such a prime ob- matters should be so ill managed, that the king's jection to such an egregious height, as if it had witnesses should have occasion to complain, been done on purpose to throw disgrace and that his evidence was not rightly summed up? shame upon desert, to make way for unsea- And wherefore for such a requisite piece of unsonable and untoward compassion.

mannerliness, he should be so severely checked This is not the judgment of a few, but the ge- and frowned upon. neral murinur and complaint, the general voice Lastly, What was the meaning of so many of the people; for they are making it:eir queries foreign visits, which, upon what account soin every coffee-bouse, and cry, Wby should orie ever they were, were then neither prudently man bé hanged for paying 5,0001. upon a trea- uor warily admitted at that time? sonable account, and another man be acquitted Now though the people ask these questions, for receiving the same 5,000l., upon account of yet, they say, that many of them can answer the same treason? Why the same witnesses ihemselves; or at least, that there are certain should condemn the one for the payment, and Davids among them, that can unfold all these be rejected.

mysteries : but they are so surly, that they As to the receipt, seeing they swear as possi- cry, They will take their own time; and so tirely to the one as the other, why the memory they must, if there be no other remedy. of man should fail at one particular juncture so But what have these acquitted offenders got remarkably, as to leave out or forget the most by this excuse? It is true, they are acquitted at material points of the king's evidence? Why the bar of common trial, and so have saved the bare allegationis for the criminals should be their lives; but they are still as guilty as ever, so lugged and caressed, and an oath of spotless before the tribunal of reason: so that, als credit for the king, looked upon as a mere in though they are let loose again into the world, truder, and passed by with as little respect? yet it is with that indelible mark of Cain, which What necessity or provocation was given by at length they will carry to their graves, after the king's evidence to be publicly upbraided they have only led a miserable life, rejected with beggery, upon the slighter tittle tattle of from the society of all good men, that are lovers an idle thing in petticoats; How there came to of their prince and country. be so much courtship used toward Corker's two

The Lord Chief Justice Scroggs's Speech in the King's-Bench, the

first Day of this present Michaelmas-Term, 1679, occasioned by many libellous Pamphlets which are published against Law, to the Scandal of the Government, and Public Justice. Together with what was declared at the same time on the same Occasion, in open Court, by Mr. Justice Jones, and Mr. Justice

DOLBEN. I have bound over this man, Richard Rad- , on the 7th day of August, 1679, over-against ley, to his good behaviour, and to appear here the house of the said Richard Radley, the said this day, for saying false and scandalous words Richard Radley told him, If you expect the of me, which are sworn to by two several affi- money you have overthrown me in, you may davits; viz.

go to Weal-hall; for there is money enough “ William Lewis maketh oath, That on the come in now.

“ Rub. RAYLETT." 7th day of August, 1679, there being a dif- Jurat. 4to die Septem. ference between Robert Raylett and Richard 1679, coram me, Radley, we heard the said Richard Radley

WM. SCROGGS. say to him the said Raylett, If you think to bave the money you have overtbrown me in, not so revengeful in my nature, nor so nettled

First, I would have all men know, that I an go to Weal-hall to my lord Scroygs; for he with this aspersion, but that I could have passed bas receired inoney enough of Dr. Wake

45 by this and more; but that the many scanman for his acquittal. “ Wu. LEWIS." Jurat. 4to die Septem.

dalous libels that are abroad, and which reflect

upon public justice, as well as upon my private 1679, coram me, WM. Scroogs.

self, make it the duty of ny place to defend

one, and the duty I owe to my reputation to * Robert Raylett maketh oath, That tbere vindicate the other. was a Trial at the last Essex Assizes between And having this opportunity, I think this the bim and one Richard Radley, where he re properest place for both. If once our courts covered 38l; and he happening to be at works of justice come to be awed or swayed by vulgar noise, and if judges and juries should manage all that trial, without fear, favour, or reward, themselves so as would best comply with the without the gift of one shilling, or the value of humour of times, it is falsely said, that men it directly or indirectly, and without any proare cried for their lives or fortunes; they live rise or expectation whatsoever. by chance, and enjoy what they bave as the This I


to honest men, that know me not, wind blows, and with the same certainty: the if any that do know mne needed this, they should giddy multitude have constancy, who condemo not have had it, for they use me ill; he that or acquit always before the trial, and without knows me and doubts, so long thinks it an even proof.

wager, whether I am the greatest villain in the Such a base, fearful compliance made Felix, world or not; one that would sell the life of willing to please the people, leave Paul bound; the king, my religion, and country, to papists who was apt to tremble, but not to follow his for money: and he that says great places have conscience. The people ought to be pleased great temptations, has a little, if not a false with public justice, and not justice seek to heart himself; for no temptation is big enough please the people. Justice should flow like a for a sin of this magnitude. mighty stream; and if the rabble, like an un- I would not have the papists now make any ruly wind, blow against it, it may make it false conclusions from what I say, That because rough, but the stream will keep its course. I reprove the insolence of some men's tongues Neither, for my part, do I think we live in so and pens,concerning this trial,they should thence corrupted an age, that no man can with safety infer they have not had,or at least cannot expect be just and follow his conscience: if it be fair play, because some foolish men cry out otherwise, we must hazard our safety to pre- of their acquittal, and think there is no justice serve our integrity.

where there is no execution. Tbey have had And to speak more particularly as to sir fair trials, and some that have suffered bare George Wakeinan's Trial, which I'am neither had the ingenuity to confess it; and they shall afraid nor ashamed to mention, I know that all still be tried according to the evidence, and the honest and understanding men in the kingdon probability and credibility it carries with it.(speaking generally) are thoroughly satisfied But this I'must say, he that thinks there is no with the impartial proceedings of that trial, Plot, is blind with prejudice, or wilfully shuts taking it as it is printed; which was done with his eyes. The priests and Jesuits bad a design but the perusal of one line by me, or any friend to root out the Protestant religion, and bring in of mine. Though, by the way, I wonder by popery, and that is directly to overthrow the what authority that arbitrary power was as- government; and to effect this, that they would sumed, to forbid any friend of mine the seeing kill the king. Were there no more, their docof it, before it was put out. However, as it is, trine and practices go very far to prove it; and I will appeal to all sober and understanding be that says the contrary is as much out, as men, and to the long robe more especially, where in a printed pamphlet he too confidently who are the best and properest judges in such asserts, that in all their papers that were searchcases, as to the fairness and equality of that ed, there was not one ill letter found, or any trial.

thing thal was suspicious. Coleman's letters, For those hireling scribblers that traduce it, and the letter found ainongst Harcourt's papers, who write to eat, and lie for bread, I intend to will never be answered; not by saying, that a meet with them another way, for they are only meeting so exactly appointed, with all cautions safe whilst they can be secret ; but so are imaginable (as not to appear too much about vermin, so long only as they can hide them the town, for fear of discovering the design, selves. And let their brokers, those printers which in its own nature requires secrecy), that and booksellers by whom they vend their false this was only a meeting to choose an officer.-and braded ware, look to it; some will be And yet to affirm, that this is not so mucb as found, and they shall know that the law wants suspicious at least, is a confidence, that the innot power to punish a libellous and licentious genuity of à jesuit only will undertake to own. press, nor I a resolution to execute it.

However, in the mean time, the extravagant And this is all the answer is fit to be given boldness of mens pens and tongues is not to (besides a whip) to those hackney-writers, and be endured, but shall be severely punished : for dull observators, that go as they are hired or if once causes come to be tried with complaspurred, and perform as they are fed, who cency to popular opinions, and shall be insonever were taught.

lently censured if they go otherwise, all public If there be any sober and good men that are causes shall receive the doom as the multitude misled by false reports, or by subtilly deceived happen to be possessed; and at length every into any inisapprehensions concerning that cause shall become public, if they will but trial, or inyself; I should account it the highest espouse it ; at every sessions the judges shall be pride, and the most scornful thing in the world, arraigned, the jury condemned, and the verdicts if I did not endeavour to undeceive them. over-awed to comply with popular noise, and

To such men therefore I do solemnly declare undecent shouts. bere, in the seat of justice, where I would no There are a sort of men, I doubt, that too more lie or equivocate than I would to God at much approve and countenance such vulgar the Holy Altar. I followed my conscience, ways, and count it art and stratagem, that emaccording to the best of my understanding, in brace all sorts of informations, true or false,


likely or impossible, nay, though never so silly | print whatever they please, the Papists will be and ridiculous, they refuse none :

so shall all

sure to put in for their share too : So that what addresses be made to thein and they be looked between them, and the factious, and the mere on as the only patrons of religion and govern- cenaries that write for him that hires, and for ment, though they should have but little of the what they are hired, we shall be infected with one, and would maintain the other only so far the French disease in government, and be over. as their own sharein it comes to.

run with lies and libels; which agrees neither These, Sir Politics, (if such there are) de- with Englishmen's honesty, nor courage, who ceive themselves as much as they do others, were wont to scorn to say what they durst not and are not what they imagine themselves to be, with understanding and honest men ; no

Mr. Justice JONES. not with those they think they gull neither, for they use them to serve their purposes as they

We have a particular case here before us, in think they serve others, and if ever time shall

a matter of scandal against a great judge, the serve it will prove so.

greatest judge in the kingdom, in criminal Let us pursue the discovery of the Plot, in causes; and it is a great and an high charge God's name, and not baulk any thing, where upon him. And certainly there was never any there is danger of suspicion upon reasonable age, I think, more licentious than this, in asgrounds; but not so over-do it, as to shew our persing governors, scattering of libels and scanzeal: we will not pretend to find what is not; rity; and, without all doubt, it doth become

dalous speeches against those that are in authonor stretch one thing beyond what it will bear, this Court to shew their zeal'in suppressing it. to reach another : nor count him a turn-coat, and not to be trusted, that will not betray his feel the smart of it yet) the beginning of the

I am old enough to remember (and, perhaps, conscience and understanding, that will not

late rebellion (for a rebellion it was, and decountenance unreasonable boldness, nor believe incredible things, lest we fall into what we just runner of such libels, and scandals against the

serves no other name.) I know it had the forely condemn in the Papists, cruelty, and vain credulity: such courses cannot be the result of government, as this is; and it followed almose honest intentions, but shrewdly to be suspected dom. As for the trial hinted at in this affidavit,

to the subversion of the happiness of the kingrarber a disguise, in pursuing one villainy to commit another.' For my own part, without by iny usual infirmity, so that I could not at

I was not present at it anyself, I was detained any other meaning or reservation wbatsoever, I tend that service; nor indeed have I read the freely and heartily declare, I will never be a Papist nor a rebel; but will, to my power, give a judgment upon it: But I am very con

relation of it in print, so considerately as to suppress Popery as an open enemy, and factionfident, (upon my knowledge of the integrity of No act of oblivion ought to make us to for- that were there, for there were all the chief

iny lord, and the rest of my lords the judges get by what ways, our late troubles began, judges, and almost all my brothers) that that when the apprentices and porters mutinied for trial was managed with exact justice, and perjustice, in their own sense. And though I am morally certain, that no such effect will follow

fect integrity, by them. as did then, yet the like insolence ought not to

And therefore I do think it very fit, that this be suffered for the example past and to come.

person be proceeded against by an information, The city of London, I mean the lord mayor such as shall presume to scandalize the govern

ihat he may be made a public example to all and aldermen, and generally all men of value and worth there, I think in my conscience, are

ment, and the governors, with any



sions or accusations. at this day as loyal and religiously disposed to delead the king and the government, and main

Mr. Justice DOLBEN. tain the true Protestant religion to their utmost

I am of that mind, truly; and am very glad as any former age whatsoever can shew; and I know the king thinks so too, and is therefore scandals. I was present at that trial, and, for

we have lit upon one of the divulgers of these really and heartily as kind to them. And therefore, though our jealousies may be many justice was a scandal to us all that were there;

my part, I think the scandal to my lord chief our fears need not be so : for whosoever they for if he bad misbehaved himself in such a manare that design disturbances, and public dissentions, for private ends, will find they are rather

ner as some have reported, we had been troublesome than dangerous : and the greatest strange people to sit still and say nothing, or not mischief they will be able to effect, will be upon therefore I desire this man may be proceeded

interpose to rectify wherein he did ainiss: And themselves.' In short, it is the proper business of this court and our duty that sit judges here, against, for an example to others. to take care to prevent and punish the mischiefs May 29, 1680, this Richard Radley was conof the press.

victed of speaking scandalous words against the For if men can, with any safety, write and lord chief justice Scroggs, and fined 2001,

as a secret one.

[blocks in formation]

254. The Trial of CHARLES KERNE, at Hereford Assizes, for High

Treason, being a Romish Priest :* 31 CHARLES II. A. D. 1679. ON Monday the 4th day of August, Charles Biddolph. About a year. Kerne was brought to the bar, and being ar- L. C. J. Had you any discourse with him? raigned, be pleaded Not Guilty to the lodict- Biddolph. No, I never had any. ment: Then the Court (after the usual for- L. C.). Look on the prisoner, can you say malities performed) proceeded to the trial as that is the man ? followetli.

Biddolph. No, my lord, I cannot. Cl. of Arr. Gentlemen of the jury, Look L. C. J. Can you say you ever saw or knew upon the prisoner, and hearken to his cause. him? You shall understand that he stands indicted by Biddelph. I cannot. the name of Charles Kerne, late of the parish L. C. J. Set him down. Call another wit. of Weobly in the county of Hereford, gent. ness. For that he being born within the kingdom of Cl. of Arr. Swear Margaret Edwards. England, the 29th day of April

, in the 31st [Which was done.] year of the reign of our sovereign lord king L. C. J. Do you know Mr. Kerne? Charles the 2nd, by the grace of God, of Eng- Edwards. Yes, my lord, I do. land, Scotland, France, and Ireland, king, de- L. C. J. How long have you knowu him? fender of the faith, &c. Then being a seminary

Edwards. Five or six years. priest, made, professed, and ordained by the L. C, J. Where did you know him? authority and jurisdiction challenged, pretend- Edwards. At Sarosfield, at Mrs. Monington's. ed, and derived from the see of Rome, the said L. C. J. Were you a servant there? 29th day of April, in the year aforesaid, within Edwards. No, I went thitber about business. this kingdom of England (viz.) at Weobly afore- L. C. J. Where did you first see him? said, in the county aforesaid, traitorously did Edwards. At Mr. Wigmore's of Lucton. come, was, and did remain, against the form of L. C. J. Had you any discourse with him the statute in that case made and provided; there? and against the peace of our sovereign lord the Edwards. No. king, his crown and dignity.

L. C. J. How came you to see him at Mrs. Upon this Indictment he hath been arraign- Monington's ? ed, and thereúnto pleaded Not Guilty; and Edwards. My lord, one James Harris's wife for his trial hath put himself upon God and his being very sick, I was desired by him to go to country, which country you are. Your charge Mrs. Anne Monington to seek some remedy for is to enquire whether lie be guilty of the High- her: He desired ine the rather, for that she Treason whereof he stands indicted, or Not being a papist, and I of the same religion, he Guilty : If you find hiin Guilty, you are 'to en believed for that reason she would be the more quire what lands, goods or tenements he had kind to her. at the time of the treason connitted, or at any L. C. J. Were you a papist then? time since; if you find him Not Guilty, you are

Edwards. Yes, my lord. to enquire whether he did fee for the same : If L. E. J. Well, what said Mrs. Monington to you find be did flee for the same, you are to en- you? quire what lands, tenements or goods he had at Edwards. My lord, she told me she was glad the time of such fight, or at any time since; if that they had sent me, for that she did not care you find bim Not Guilty, nor that he did flee to discourse the distempers of a woman to a for the same, you are to say so, and no more ; man.. and hear your evidence.

L. C. J. Well, go on. Cl. of Arr. Call Edward Biddolph. [Who Edwards. My lord, after she bad discoursed was sworn.]

to me concerning the sick woman, she desired L. C. J." (Sir Wm. Scrogas) Give the jury me to go with her, which I did; and she


brought me into the chapel, where I saw Mr. L. C. J. Biddolph, do you know Mr. Kerne? Kerne in his rubes.

Biddolph. I do not know him now : I did L. C. J. Were there any more in the room know such a man about 6 years ago ; I have besides him? seen him once or twice at Mr. Somerset's at Edwards. Yes, my lord, 4 or 5: He was in Bollingham, about 6 years ago.

his robes and surplice, and was at the altar, and : L. Č. J. "How long is it ago since you saw gave the Sacrament to the rest, but I did not him last ?

receive it.

L. C. J. What did you see him do? See the Case of David Lewis, supra, p. 250, Edwards. I saw him give the Sacrament. aud the Cases of Brominich, of Atkins, and of L. C. J. What did he say? Johnson, in this same year 1679; and of An- Edwards. He said Corpus Christi, or some derson alias Munson and others, in the follow. such words. ing year, infra. The Stat. 27 Eliz, ch. 2, is set L. C. J. Did you see him deliver the wafers? forth in Brommich's Case.

Edwards. Yes, my lord.

pen, ink,

« PreviousContinue »