« PreviousContinue »
question that was put by one of the jurymen, | aiming to depose the king, was a levying of
liberty's cause; and I would have died there Now I will go a little further; when the upon the spot, if my lord Sidmouth and lord jury were called back, the learned judge will Castlereagh had come to take me, they should admit this I am sure, whether it might be that not have had me; but when I heard the man he did not hear I will not say, I will not impute say at the door, the soldiers are coming, I wrong motives to the judge, whether he did made the best of my way off; I found the not hear the question I cannot tell, but I will thing could not be done then, and now I am presume to say this, that two of the learned indicted for high treason. If resisting the judges, the one on his right and the other on police, if resisting a man that came into the his left, immediately rose frrom their seats, room and stood forward, as I declare a man and whispered to the learned judge that tried did to this man ( Thistlewood), and said, if you me. I have not the pleasure to know his make any resistance I will blow your brains name, nor is that material, but the jury were out, is treason, where is the man that can called back, and he wished the gentleman to withhold his arm then? Is not my life as dear repeat the question again, at which he was to me as a peace officer's life? certainly; had very confused, as, I dare say, a man of com- the man come as a soldier, I should have said, mon capacity in a crowded court is, and he he has sworn allegiance to the king, and it is may make an error; he begged the judge's my duty to obey him; but when a man comes pardon for intruding, but he considered it a threatening me with authority, without shewduiy to put ibe question to the judge; and ing a warrant, and threatening to kill me, bere the learned judge said, the conspiring and is an arm that, while there is a nerve in it,
shall resist. This is the extent of my guilt, | justice in this Court; I never conspired, and but why say I am guilty of conspiring to levy no man can be found, unless he is a villain war or depose the king ? I have never been and a traitor, to say that I conspired to depose guilty of any thing of the sort.
my sovereign, or that I conspired to levy war, Now, gentlemen, on the other hand, as I am unless the repulsing the police officers is treason; here for the last time of declaring the truth if you call that treason, I am guilty of treason; which I know, I will declare another fact re- and I admit that I and others have agreed to specting the two Monuments, upon whom the attempt that which I wish we had done ; for learned solicitor-general did not forget to pass if I could have seen some of those men put the highest encomiums for gravity; their ap out of the way, I should have thought the pearance standing up there at that bar; they country would have been highly compensated, were such pure witnesses that no man in his for I think it is what they merit, I actually senses could doubt that they were very good think it is what they merit; I think the cir. indeed; these two witnesses came forward cular issued by lord Sidmouth was nothing here to swear the lives of eleven individuals but a thing sent out to instigate the cavalry here, and I know they have rehearsed their to murder those men at Manchester; and if a evidence as common as they do a new piece man murders my brother I have a right to at the theatre; these men have been in the murder him. What does the scripture say, habit of meeting twice a week in the Tower; “ An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth." I know they have met twice a-week; I do I have no private enmity against any gentlenot even know their christian names, but I men in the country; it was for the public believe they were John and Thomas; the one good that I came forward, and I would have who is in custody said to me at Cold-bath- gone through with it. I declare, at the hazard fields, and at Whitehall, at the Treasury, that of my life, which I cared nothing for, but the he knew me, and why did not I tell him some- king's name was never called in question thing; I told him for certain reasons, namely, where I was; and as to the attempt to find because I did not know myself; he says at me guilty of conspiring to depose his majesty, this bar he was instigated by fear to come; or to levy war against him, I am not guilty ; and he said to me in the room, “why did not the verdict ought to be set aside. Try me for you tell me what was going to be done, and I murder-hang me--draw me-quarter mewould have brought my brother;" then when , but let me have justice, that is all I have to say. he sees me at Cold-bath-fields, he says, why
Tidd.-My lords and gentlemen, being only did not you tell him more? and I said, because I knew nothing more.
found guilty so late last night, I have not had
Then my lord Sidmouth, who has a very great feeling to us, or
an opportunity to make up any defence; for
my own part, I am a very indifferent orator, the public in general, sends his brother to him; but, my lord, I have a previous remark
or perhaps I might have brought in something to make-my lord Sidmouth told him, in the
more satisfactory; but all I can say is this, first instance, “I will be a friend to you ;"
that I do positively say, that every evidence that would enlisen him very much, and if he
that came against me swore falsely, exclusive could have sworn all the Englishmen's lives and he stated, that he did not know that I shot
of that gentleman there, captain Fitzclarence, away that were upon the earth, he would have
at him; but sooner than I would shoot at that done it; and as a small memorandum, says he, he sent my mother a pound note, as she gentleman, as a private gentleman, I would was very much disturbed; then this very inan, gentleman, for I am not prepared.
shoot my own father. I cannot say further, who is coming as an evidence against us, goes twice a-week to the Tower, and, because his Wilson.—Gentlemen, I am not gifted with brother knows nothing there, he tells him some a tongue much to say much, but I certainly thing ; they rehearsed together, and they do have been drawn into this by Hiden. not deviate a jot or a tittle; how can they, till one of them comes to speak of what passed in they have all sworn falsely against me.
Harrison.— They were all false witnesses; the room, and then the brother was not there; this is admitted to be a very excellent witness; Bradburn.-My lords and gentlemen, the it must be famous evidence to take my life evidence that Adams has given against me I upon, when they met twice a-week for two or consider is not right. three months, to compare their evidence, in order to take my life; he swears, that I said I
Strange.--I have only thus much to say,
gentlemen, that as to the evidence that Mr. would sooner perish myself than the cause should be dropped ; and Adams swears, that Brunt's apprentice, Joseph Hale, and likewise I said if there were only six or eight I would lemnly to God, before whom I now stand, and
Mr. Adams gave against me, I declare sobe one. To take my life away on such evi- the gentlemen'round, they are both perjured dence cannot be justice.
villains. I expect to go out of the world shortly; I care not how soon it is, for I shall die with Gilchrist.–What I shall say I will say as in the same sentiment that I stand here; I know the presence of my God, and before you. I that injustice is done me, and that I have an knew ng of it till about four o'clock in undoubted right, as an Englishman, to demand the afternoon ; I was going to look for work ;
I had neither money nor bread, so I met with
SENTENCE. a man who told me to come to the Horse and Groom, that they were going to have a supper Lord Chief Justice Abbott,----Arthur Thistlethere. I was not a man that suffered myself to be wood, William Davidson, James Ings, Thomas ainong radicals, but I had nothing to eat, and Brunt, William Tidd, you have severally absent from my friends, and none to help me. · been tried and found guilty upon an indict. I went to the place appointed, as I have stated 'ment charging you, together with others, with to my Attorney, and likewise stated to my the crime of high treason, in compassing and lord Sidmouth, at six o'clock at night; I can- imagining to levy war against bis majesty, in not cut it short; I must tell the truth; I went order to compel him to change his measures to the place at six o'clock at night, and met and councils. four or five men whom I did not know, but John Harrison, Richard Bradburn, John Charles Cooper. I borrowed a halfpenny, and Shaw Strange,James Gilchrist, Charles Cooper, bought some bread at a shop; with that I fol. --you being each persons charged with the lowed Hiden ; I was a few yards behind him same offence, by the same indictment, orie in going to this shop; before I could get a ginally pleaded Not Guilty to that indictment, penn'orth of bread they were away from me; but after the trial and conviction of the five I followed them on, not knowing what I was persons first indicted, you desired to be algoing about; as my God hears me that is lowed to withdraw those pleas of Not Guilty, true, and I never wish to come out of this and to plead guilty to the charge of treason place if I say any thing false. I went on, not imputed to you by that indictment, and you knowing what I was going about, and when I were permitted so to do. went up stairs, in a very little time came in James William Wilson, you having been bread and cheese ; I took an old sword and charged with the same offence, pleaded to that hacked it down; the men came round seem- indictment a mistake in your name of that ingly as hungry as I was, and I never asked, ' plea you had the benefit, but it was a benefit 'ull near about the conclusion that the officers, that could not long be of any avail; another came, the meaning of those arms; this very indictment for the same offence was preferred man that came here was the very man that ' against you, and to that indictment you, after answered me first; he says, you shall know by the trial of the five persons whom I first named, and by; there is one that we expect to come; have also thought proper to plead guilty. says I, I am not willing to stop here ; says lie, ! You, therefore, James William Wilson, John ranging the swords, any man that shall go out | Harrison, Richard Bradburn, John Shaw here I will run him through. I immediately, Strange, James Gilchrist, and Charles Cooper, in a manner, went backwards from the end of have thought fit voluntarily 10 acknowledge the table, stepping towards this little man, the crime with which you are charged, and to and I was then going to make an excuse to get cast yourselves upon the mercy of your soveaway out of this company, when up came an reign. If any of you shall have your life sparofficer, and the words that he said were, “ Lay ed, which as to some of you I trust may be the down your arms.” I heard no more ; I was case, I hope you will always bear in your confounded. I knew hy his neckcloth, and minds, that you owe that life to the benignity the appearance of a gentleman, that it was of your sovereign-to his merciful disposition, my duty to surrender myself. I never had aided and seconded by the merciful dispositioa any thing in my hand, but that sword that I also, of those very persons whom you had cut down the loaves with, and I stand here doomed to a violent and sudden death. convicted of high treason. I served my king One of you (Arthur Thistlewood) has now and my country twelve years, and this is the complained, that at your trial, you proposed recompense; O God! I have nothing more to call certain witnesses, whom the court re
fused to hear. It is true that you did request Cooper.--My lord, I have very little to say; permission to call a person with a view of imI am brought in here unexpectedly this morn- pugning the testimony of a witness of the name ing; I did not expect to be called up so soon; in of Dwyer, and no other, as far as I then unthe first place, they have called no evidence, derstood ; the learned counsel
, whose assistbut they convict ine of high treason, I have for the same purpose; it could not be allowed
ance you have had, previously called witnesses been given to understand. I consider, my lord, there is no evidence to convict me of to you, according to the ordinary course in high treason; I am certain of that. It was
which justice has been administered in this my intention to say more, but it seems the country for ages, at that time to adduce such desire of my friends, that I should say nothing evidence; nor, indeed, could it have availed more; but I consider myself a voluntary exile any thing, if you had been allowed so to do, for the good of my friends.
because your case did not depend upon the
testimony of that witness alone; and three Gilchrist.— I would volunteer myself, if my several verdicts pronounced upon the same life would save another man's. I never knew conspiracy, by juries before whom that witness this man (Cooper) till I came into this room, Dwyer was not examined, have shown that the but with compassion I will resign myself, if it testimony of that person was not necessary to is to save another man's life. I am innocent; establish the conspiracy, or to prove the guilt indeed I never meant to take any man's life. of any of those concerned.
Some of you have thought fit to say much of as to many others before you, that the princia person who has not appeared as a witness pal instruments by which you are brought to upon this occasion. We proceed only upon justice, are persons who have partaken in your the evidence that is laid before us ; of that per- own guilty design. I trust that that circumson, therefore, to whom you have alluded, or of stance will have its due weight in the conhis actings, we have had little proof; upon the sideration of all who shall become acquainted testimony, however, that was adduced against with your situation, and with the circumstances you, there was abundance to satisfy the juries of the trials, and that they will ever, for the of your guilt, and that each of you voluntarily sake of their own personal safety, if they cantook a most active part in the treason.-From not be restrained by any other consideration, all that has appeared in the course of these be induced to abstain from those evil combinatrials—from much that has been now urged by tions and confederacies which have brought you many of you, the Court has plain reason to see into the melancholy situation in which you that you did not embark in this most wicked now stand. The intention to assassinate has design, till you had first suffered your minds to been now avowed by some of you; an in. be corrupted and enflamed by those seditious tention to which, all that we had ever heard and irreligious publications with which, un- of, before we became acquainted with your happily for this country, the press has so long case, bears no comparison. That individuals, teemed. Your case shows that which indeed, laying aside the national character, should meet even without evidence, may in the case of all and assemble to destroy the lives, in cold blood, great crimes be reasonably presumed, that no of fifteen persons unknown to them, except by man wholly forgets his duty to his king, or his public character, is without example in the duty to his neighbour, until he has put from his history of this country, and I hope will remain thoughts the fear of God and a future state. without a parallel in future times. I make not these remarks to aggravate your It now only remains for me to pass upon guilt, or to enhance the sufferings of your pre- you the awful judgment of the law; but before sent situation; I make them as a warning to allí do so, let me exhort you to employ the time those who may hear of your unfortunate end, that may yet be left to you, in endeavouring to that they may be taught by your example to obtain mercy from that Almighty Power whom avoid those dangerous instruments of seduc- you have so deeply offended; the mercy of tion, by which the heart of man is influenced Heaven may be obtained by all who will duly to every evil deed, and is withdrawn from seek it; but it must be sought in penitence every moral and proper sentiment.
and in prayer, sorrow for your crime, and The treason with which you were charged, prayer to the Almighty for mercy, through the and of which you have been found guilty, was merits of our Redeemer. Whether the exthat of compassing and imagining to levy war hortation that I have offered to you will be by against his majesty, for the purpose of com- you received and acted upon, it is not for me pelling bim to change his measures and coun- to say; but I again, once more, solemnly incils. The assassination of those persons by treat you not to suffer your eternal happiness whom the affairs of his government were at to be lost by a perseverance in that hardness that time, and had for some time before, been of heart which too many of you have exhibited administered, was intended by you as the first, even in this place at this time. Repent, I exbut by no means the only step to be taken; hort you-repent, and obtain the mercy of many of you hoped, that at that same instant, that God whom you have offended. The judge other persons, connected with yourselves and ment of the law is, that you, and each of you, acquainted with your designs, would make be taken from hence to the gaol from whence violent attempts in other parts of this great you came, and that you be drawn on a hurdle metropolis, to seize arms and ammunition, and to the place of execution, and there be hanged who were to be joined by you after you should by the neck until you be dead; and that afterhave accomplished that abominable purpose. wards your heads be severed from your bodies, You vainly hoped that there were in this great and your bodies divided into four quarters, be town, thousands and tens of thousands ready disposed of as his majesty shall direct, and to join you in your purpose of mischief and may the God of mercy have mercy upon your destruction, and to enable you to assume the souls ! whole government of this country into your Tidd.-The irons I have got on are so own hands.
To the proof of that intention on heavy, that I cannot step; my legs are very your part, the evidence of all the witnesses tender, they have been very bad for some time. concurs; and the gentlemen of the jury by whom you were tried, must have been satisfied the keeper of Newgate will do every thing in
Lord Chief Justice Abbott.-I have no doubt that the assassination of his majesty's ministers his power to contribute to your ease, so far as was a part only of the purpose which you had it can be done with safety. contemplated.
You have endeavoured now to complain of Mr. Attorney General.—My lord, an order the testimony of some of those persons who was made three days ago, directing Mr. were examined as witnesses against you ; several of them were accomplices in your guilt. and conclusion of the trial of John Thomas
See the proceedings at the commencement It has happened to you on the present occasion | Brunt supra.
Clement, the proprietor of the Observer, to Lord Chief Justice Abbott.—Is the newsattend here. this day at nine o'clock, to show paper a weekly paper ? if he could give any reason why he had published the trial of Thistlewood and the trial of
Mr. Attorney General.— Yes, my lord; the Ings, notwithstanding the injunction of your who purchased it, who was a newsman, was a
price paid for the two sheets by the person lordship. I have an affidavit of the service of that order.
shilling; the price paid by the public is seren
pence for each sheet. [William Innell Clement was called, but did It will be in the recollection of your lordnot answer.]
ship, that at the request of the prisoner's counLord Chief Justice Abbott.-Let the affidavit desired to withdraw from the court, in order
sel, the witnesses for the prosecution were of service be read.
that they might not be apprised of what was [The affidavit of Elijah Litchfield was passing during the examination of others; and read, stating, that he had, on the 26th in- undoubtedly your lordship's order was instant, served the order of this Court above tended more for the benefit of the prisoners referred to, upon William Innell Clemeut, than otherwise, that the subsequent juries by delivering it to a servant of Clement, might come, with as flittle knowledge as posat the house of Clement, No. 169, in the sible of what had passed, to the consideration Strand, at the same time showing to the of the cases they were to try. servant the original order. The order was read, directing William In
Lord Chief Justice Abbott.—No person can nell Clement, the printer, publisher, and pro- has been complained of, manifestly tended to
rationally doubt that the publication which prietor of a certain newspaper, called the Observer, to attend this Court this morning obstruct the course of public justice; it is exat the hour of nine precisely, to answer for tremely desirable that all the gentlemen who uolawfully and contemptuously printing and may be assembled as jurymen to serve on any publishing in the said newspaper, the trials
. trial should come with minds as little influenof Arthur Thistlewood and James Ings, forced as possible by any thing that may have high treason, pending the proceedings against taken place on any former trial. It was John Thomas Brunt and others, who were requested by the learned counsel for the included in the same indictment with the prisoners, that the witnesses to be examined said Arthur Thistlewood and James Ings,
on the part of the Crown at the first trial for the same high treasons, contrary to the should be examined separately, that no one order of this Court and to the obstruction should know what another had said ; but by of public justice.]
the publication of what had been said on any
one of the trials, the persons summoned as Mr. Attorney General.--My lord, I have witnesses were enabled to obtain that knowalso an affidavit, which will satisfy your lord- ledge previously to a future trial, which it was ship of the extent of this publication; an affi- the proper desire of those who were intrusted davit of the register of newspapers in the i with the interests of the prisoners to prevent Stamp-office, and also another person, that on their obtaining. The mischievous tendency the 15th day of April instant, there were sup- of such publications cannot, as I have already plied at the Stamp-office, for the use of the said, be doubted by any mind; the Court Observer-newspaper, published by William thought it right before the first trial was begun, Inaell Clement, of No. 169, Strand, in the said to express in the strongest terms its opinion county of Middlesex, fifteen thousand stamps; as to the impropriety of any such publication, and on the 21st instant, three thousand stamps, and to admonish those who were concerned for the same paper; and on the 26th instant, in the publication of the daily or weekly five thousand stamps for the same paper, papers to abstain from such insertion; to that making a total of twenty-three thousand. admonition it seems the editors and publishers The other deponent then states, that he has for of all the daily papers, and, as far as I am the last six months supplied ten thousand informed, of all the weekly papers, yielded a stamps every week for the said Observer- due and respectful obedience, with the excepnewspaper; so that it appears that during the tion of the single person whose case has been last week, in consequence of the publication brought before us; that person, therefore, must of these trials, they had stamps to the extent have been led to this by a desire of gaining to of twenty-three thousand. This Sunday news- himself extraordinary profits, by becoming the paper was published in a double sheet, one first who was to gratify the public curiosity, sheet containing the trial of Thistlewood, and by the publication of these trials—a desire to the greater part of the other occupied by the engross the whole of the profit to himself, in trial of Ings; and in this very paper, as I have contempt of the admonition of the Court, in stated to the Court, there is a notice given by contempt of the general rules and principles the lord chief justice on the first day, on the of law, and to the prejudice of all persons commencement of the trial, interdicting the concerned in the public newspapers, who publication of these trials, so that this person had, as I observed before, yielded obedience has knowingly published this against the to the law and to the admonition of the Court. express injunction of the Court.
Being called upon now by an order of this