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spoken; the bags in which the avowed intention was to carry away the heads of some of the murdered party. Now this is truly, in all its circumstances, a case of a most extraordinary nature. It is admitted, that all these persons were met (not it is argued for a treasonable purpose) but with an intention to proceed to a cabinet dinner, to assassinate all the ministers assembled there; to what motive can this be referred : Was it private malice Was it personal revenge merely? The lots of the prisoners at the bar were cast too widely asunder from those of the objects of their vengeance, to permit us to account for their plan on any grounds of private or personal difference. Is it possible to suppose, that the object was to commit a murder merely, and stop there 2 Of this you will judge, looking to the nature of the preparations made; not merely daggers concealed, but long staves for pikes; not merely cartridges for pistols; but cartridges of a size to charge artillery; grenades sufficiently strong in their construction, to be equal to the power of a nine-inch shell—the number of arms—the quantity of ammunition—the military dépôt— the fire balls, and the surveys made.—Connecting this with what relates to the Mansion-house and the Bank—the provisional government— and the expectation that the people would rise and join—it is for you, gentlemen, to judge, whether this was merely to lead to and end in the assassination of the king's ministers; or, whether there was not an ulterior purpose of insurrection and revolution, to which the assassination was but preparatory and subserwlent. But it has been said, is it probable that persons comparatively so few in number should suppose themselves able to accomplish such a mighty purpose as to bring about a revolution in the government of the country 2 I cannot tell what in their estimation might be probable; but this is a most uncertain test by which to judge; for if I had been told there could be found five-and-twenty men on the face of the earth, and still more (and I grieve to say) five-and-twenty men of the country to which we have the happiness to belong, who could have combined to commit such a dreadful deed of barbarity and blood, I should have said, till they had been detected in the way in which these persons have been
detected, it is utterly impossible! It never did happen—it never can I cannot believe on any testimony that it is intended. But how fallacious would have been such reasoning is proved too clearly by the fact! And the fact established, the next step I fear is of no difficulty whatever. For that public revolution could only have been intended by such means, is as difficult to disbelieve as it was difficult to believe in the means till established. Besides, upon the evidence, it will be for you to say, whether extensive co-operation was not the support and consequence to what they looked, as proved expressly not only by the measures but by the different declarations given in evidence. The prisoner has called witnesses to impeach the testimony of Adams, of whose evidence you will judge. You have heard his defence, which I need not repeat to you, and in which he has desired you, before you dispose of his case, fully to examine all the circumstances, and well to weigh the verdict you may pronounce. In that prayer I most readily join. Weigh well the evidence Deliberate thoroughly on the result | And if in conclusion you can have any doubt of the facts which constitute the overt acts charged, or the purpose alleged as connected with them; if you think that, however horrible, this was an intended assassination, and nothing more ; that the conspirators were to go into the house commit the murder, and then separate, a that with that separation all operations were to cease—if this should be your opinion—in the honest exercise of your judgment apply it to the case, and acquit the prisoner. But, on the other hand, if it be impossible fairly to form such a judgment, then you will perform that duty which in the name of that Being referred to more than once in the course of these proceedings, you have been sworn well and truly to discharge, and pronounce the prisoner guilty because you believe him to be so. Finally, if you have any doubt, give him the benefit of it, and nobody will rejoice more than I shall, if you can, with satisfaction to your consciences, pronounce him not guilty.
The Jury withdrew at twenty-five minutes past eight, and returned in twenty-five minutes, finding the prisoner GUILTY on the first and third counts.
704. The whole Proceedings on the Trial of John Thom As BRUNT, for High Treason, before the Court holden under a Special Commission, for the Trial of certain Offences therein
soner. George Allen, brass-founder, challenged by the prisoner. William Reed, esq. challenged by the prisoner. George Davis, cooper, challenged by the prisoilet. John Farnell, brewer, challenged by the prisoner. John Westbrook, brick-maker, fined for nonattendance, but the fine afterwards remitted on proof of illness. Jonathan Passingham, farmer, challenged by the Crown. Joseph Drake, draper, challenged by the prisoner. Joseph Clements, market-gardener, excused on account of illness, John Fowler, iron-plate worker, sworn. Samuel Rhodes, esq. and cow-keeper, challenged by the prisoner. wo. ibbs Roberts, cooper, sworn. Richard Smith, esq. challenged by the Crown. Joseph Pendered, iron-plate worker, challenged by the Crown. Thomas Garrett, shipwright, challenged by the Crown. Matthew Ashton, coach-master, challenged by the prisoner. Richard Hatchett, esq. and farmer, challenged by the prisoner. John Dickenson, builder, sworn. William Bushby, esq. fined for non-attendance. 1. Austin, esq., excused on account of illness. John Dobson, esq., challenged by the prisoner. Thomas Dicks, silversmith, o by the Crown. Thomas Wood, painter, challenged by the prisoner. James Gates, joiner, challenged by the Crown. Robert Wells, farmer, challenged by the Crown. Edward Bracebridge, watchmaker, challenged
by the Crown. I
John Jones, stock-broker, challenged by the Crown. Thomas Partridge, farmer, challenged by the prisoner. Gorge Henn, ship-chandler, challenged by the Crown. Thomas Harby, esq. and rope-maker, challenged by the prisoner. Willian Jarrett, watch-engraver, challenged by the prisoner. Samuel Wimbush, horse-dealer, fined for nonattendance. John Bunting, gentleman and tailor, challenged by the Crown. William Dawes, farmer, challenged by the Crown. * William Cooper, gentleman, challenged by the prisoner. Robert Greaves, gentleman, excused on account of illness. Christopher Dowson, ship-builder, challenged by the Crown. William James Farmer, baker, challenged by the prisoner. David Newman, farmer, challenged by the Crown. George Thorpe, clock-case maker, challenged by the Crown, Henry Seaborn, cooper, excused on account of illness, Francis Sherborn, esq. and farmer, challenged by the prisoner. Edward Simpson, shipwright, challenged by the risoner. - William Davies, shopkeeper, challenged by the Crown, Richard Franks, esq. and silk-mercer, challenged by the Crown. John Smith, undertaker, sworn. Thomas Langley, ship-chandler, challenged by the Crown. George Priest, esq. challenged by the prisoner. Samuel Wilson, i. and o,
Mr. Curwood.—I have no cause to shew, my challenges are exhausted.
Mr. Attorney General.—The prisoner shall not suffer inconvenience from that circumStance.
Challenged by the Crown.
Michael Atkins, esq., challenged by the Crown. Alfred Batson, esq. and porter-dealer, challeng
ed by the Crown. George Taylor, bricklayer, challenged by the
Crown John Woodward, gentleman, sworn.
Alexander Barclay, John Shephard,
The Jury were charged with the prisoner in the usual form.
Mr. Attorney General-Before Mr. Bolland opens the case, I think it my duty to bring before your lordships a circumstance which has occurred since you last sat in this place. The Court, from an anxious desire that nothing should occur during the course of these trials, which could by any means operate to the prejudice of the prisoners, at the commencement of the proceedings directed that no publication of the proceedings on the first or any other trial, should take place until the whole of them were brought to a conclusion. With that injunction, I believe I may state, that the daily papers have most properly complied; but it appears by the paper which has been put into my hands, that a publication was made yesterday in the Observer newspaper of the whole of the trial of Arthur Thistlewood, and not a very short account was given also of the trial of James Ings, and my lords, this publication has been issued with a full knowledge on the part of the publisher, of the prohibition which the Court had pronounced, for I find that prohibition published in this very paper which contains the account of the trials I have mentioned.
It is not my intention at this moment to interrupt the proceedings which are about to take place, by calling upon your lordships to take any specific step upon this most daring and flagrant contempt of the authority of the Court; but I think I owe it to the dignity of the Court, and to the situation which I hold, to state thus publicly, that this conduct cannot pass unnoticed ; and that undoubtedly some proceedings will be taken, when the means are furnished to bring the matter in a proper shape before your lordships.”
Prisoner.—Would your lordship have the goodness to give me the indulgence of a seat, at intervals, when I am tired.
Lord Chief Baron.—Certainly.
The Indictment was opened by Mr. Bolland.
Mr. Attorney General.—Gentlemen of the Jury;-You have heard, from the opening of the indictment by my learned friend, the nature of the charge which is preferred against the prisoner at the bar; and as the circumstances of this case, about to be laid before you in evidence, have already come to the knowledge of some of you from the duty you have lately performed, and may probably have reached the minds of the rest; let me, in the outset, beseech you to dismiss, as far as you can, all recollection of what you have heard or read upon the subject of this proceeding, and to confine your attention exclusively to the facts which will be adduced in evidence upon the present occasion. I am convinced that every one of you has anticipated me in this
* See the commencement of the trial of Arthur Thistlewood, April 17th, supra; and the proceedings at the close of the present trial, infra.
request, and that therefore it is unnecessary, but in justice to the prisoner at the bar you will forgive me for having made it; and I am satisfied, that through the whole course of this trial, your minds will not be influenced by any thing but the evidence in the case, and that, upon that evidence alone your conclusion will be formed. The charge against the prisoner at the bar is that of high treason; and without troubling you with stating the different counts of this indictment, I shall content myself by observing to you, that it is necessary by the law, that the acts intended to be given in evidence against the accused, shall be stated in the indictment. Those acts consist in consultations and deliberations by the prisoner at the bar, and others, to overturn the constitution of the country, to excite insurrection against the established government—in having actually for.” means for that purpose—and in aving formed and acted upon an intention to assassinate all his majesty's ministers. Those statements are introduced into the indictment as indicating and evidencing the intention harboured in the mind of the prisoner at the bar and his associates, to depose the king from his royal authority, or to levy war against him, in order by force to compel him to change his measures and counsels; and I believe I may state with perfect confidence, that if these overt acts, as they are called, shall be proved to your satisfaction, they will establish the charge of high treason against the prisoner at the bar. I consider it, therefore, sufficient at present to request your attention to the nature of the evidence which will be laid before you, without troubling you further upon the law of the case. The prisoner, John Thomas Brunt, was a shoemaker, residing in Fox-court near Gray'sinn-lane, and it will be proved by the witnesses, that early in the present year, plans (which probably had for a period long before existed in the mind of the prisoner at the bar, and the other persons who were associated with him), were more matured and brought nearer to the point of execution. One of his associates was a man who must frequently be mentioned in the course of this investigation, of the name of Thistlewood, a name probably not unknown to any of you, and it is a duty I owe to the prisoner to request that you will lay out of your consideration'anything which has occurred with respect to Thistlewood, and confine yourselves strictly to the proofs which will be laid before you in support of the particular charge you are now impanelled to try. Another person, included in the present indict. ment, James Ings, by trade a butcher, will also appear to you to have been an intimate of the prisoner Brunt. At the commencement of the present year, meetings were called b these three individuals, Thistlewood, Ings, and the prisoner, at which several other persons, who will be introduced to your notice in the course of this trial, were assembled. They were held at the White Hart in Brook's-market, not in the public house itself, but in a room in the yard belonging to it. It being thought however, for some reason or other, that this was not a secure place for their meetings, another room was obtained, in the house in Foxcourt, in which the prisoner at the bar lived; and it will appear, that though hired for the ostensible purpose of being occupied by Ings as a lodging, it never was applied to that purpose, but was used exclusively for the meetings which the conspirators daily held, in order to consult upon their plans, and to prepare the means for carrying them into execution. This room was on the same floor with the apartments of the risoner Brunt ; his were in the front, that ired for Ings was at the back of the house; the key of it was kept at Brunt's, and access to it obtained by applying to him or some member of his family. It will be in your recollection that at the close of the month of January, his late majesty died. It had been part of their plan to commence operations § the destruction of his majesty's ministers, and it was thought that no opportunity would be so convenient as that which the assembling of those distinguished persons at a cabinetdinner would afford. In consequence of his majesty's death, those dinners were suspended, and therefore no such opportunity was at that time likely to occur, at least the prisoner and his associates so believed; it was therefore proposed at one of their deliberations, that although the whole of their scheme could not be accomplished, some individuals of his majesty's ministry should be cut off either at their own houses, or at other places; and it was thought that the night of the king's funeral might be a convenient time for the commencement of their plan. It was observed by one of them, that the soldiers, or the greater F. of them, would then be withdrawn from London to attend his majesty's funeral at Windsor, and that many of the police officers would be necessarily absent upon the same duty; and from these considerations it was !. to the meeting, that that night should e fixed as the period for beginning the projected operations. This proposal, however either was
not adopted, or, if then agreed to, was not
afterwards acted upon, and their operations were postponed beyond the evening of his majesty's funeral. At length the conspirators,heated and inflamed with the object which they had in view, became impatient; and you will find that on the 19th of February (a day to which your attention will be particularly directed), at a meeting at Brunt's room, at which Thistlewood, Ings, Brunt, Davidson, Harrison, and others were assembled, their impatience was exhibited. Many of them said, that they were resolved that a blow should be struck without delay, and that if no convenient opportunity occurred in the mean time, at which the whole of his majesty's ministers might at one blow be cut off, they were determined that something at all events should be attempted on
the evening of the following Wednesday. Thistlewood, acquiescing in this opinion, proposed, that upon the ensuing morning they should assemble again, and that a committee should then be appointed for the purpose of digesting the operations of Wednesday; and it will appear to you, that on Sunday the 20th of February, the party met more numerously than had been usual; twenty persons or more were, I believe, collected. The plan of these conspirators embraced other objects besides the destruction of his majesty's ministers; different parties were to be posted in various parts of this metropolis; soine were to set fire to buildings, which were to be pointed out; others were to seize the cannon deposited in Gray's-inn-lane at the Light-horse Volunteer stables, and in the Artillery-ground near Finsbury-square. It was intended, that after the taking of those cannon and the firing of different places in the metropolis, they should meet at the Mansion-house; which was to be the seat of what they termed the provisional government. This being settled and arranged on the Sunday, you will find that their activity increased to complete the preparations they had begun. Ammunition was procured in very large quantities; handgrenades, which will be exhibited to you, were prepared; fire-balls, to which they gave the appellation of illumination balls, were made, to be lighted and thrown into the houses which were to be set on fire; cartridges for the cannon were obtained in considerable quantities; arms of every description–guns, blunderbusses, pistols, and swords—were collected. Other instruments which were found will be exhibited to you; they are pikes made of staves of ash and beech, into one end of each of which were to be screwed bayonets or sharpened files; thus connected together, the bayonet and the staff formed a very formidable weapon, of the length of eight or nine feet. In order to their security, fearing that their motions at Brunt's room might be observed, they had appointed another place as a depository for the arms and ammunition which they had procured, and you will find that place was at the house of Tidd, who is another of the persons charged in this indictment, who lived in Hole-in-the-wall-passage, in Brook'smarket. They met again on the following day, Monday, the 21st, when their plans were again considered, and they were still equally eager to complete, them on the Wednesday; and you will find their deliberations turned again entirely on the mode in which their scheme was to be carried into effect. On Tuesday the 22nd another meeting was held. At that meeting a man of the name of Adams, who will be called before you as a witness, communicated to them something which had occurred with respect to himself, and which excited a suspicion in his mind that their intentions were not altogether unknown to the government, and that their motions were watched. The very suspicion of