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your lordship, if I said any thing farther at there can be no doubt; and there never was this period of the trial; for after the proof only doubt as to it at any period of the history of this can any satisfactory opinion be given on the court. The Court, however, in considering of subject.
the relevancy, must determine in the first in
stance whether the expressions complained of Lord Pitmilly. Soon after the printed copy appear to them to be seditious, and to amount of this indictment was put into my hands, I to the crime of sedition; and, on this subject I considered it with a view to the question of cannot entertain the shadow of doubt. relevancy; and although the counsel for the panels have not disputed the relevancy of the Lord Reston.— I have no doubt as to the reindictment, but reserved to themselves the levancy of the indictment. We have nothing liberty of making such observations as may to do at present with the truth of the state appear to them proper after a proof shall have ments in it. The only question now is, whebeen led, it would have been the province and ther the averments of the public prosecutor the duty of this court to stop the trial at this are put in proper shape and terms in this stage if it had appeared to us that the indict- charge. The jury will decide not only on the ment is not relevantly lạid.
bare facts, but on the legal import of them, The defence has been very properly explain. and will say whether the panels are guilty or ed by the counsel for the panels; and I shall not of the crime of sedition. be happy if they make out that defence, either I have no doubt of the sufficiency of the in exculpation, or in alleviation of the crime averments made by the public prosecutor. He charged in this indictment. The only question has averred circumstances, which, if proved, at present is as to the relevancy of the indict- amount to sedition. His averments amount to ment; and I have no hesitation in saying, that this, that what was said and published was not in my opinion, it is relevant; and that, there only calculated to produce pernicious consefore, the ordinary interlocutor should be pro- quences affecting the government and legislanounced.
ture, but must have been meant for seditious The major proposition of the indictment purposes. The indictment states, that the purcharges sedition in general terms. This is an pose of the panels was wicked and felonious. unexceptionable charge, which has never been I consider that the speech said to have been objected to, that I know of, but in one case, delivered by one of the panels is seditious in where the question regarding it was argued, all its parts, and tends to excite discontent in and the objection was repelled. I allude to the country. It was delivered in the open air, the case of Sinclair. It is known to every before a multitude of the lower orders assembled lawyer that sedition is a crime recognised by to hear it. The panel is alleged to have stated the laws of this country. It is a crime, in- that their sufferings were intolerable, and in deed, the trial and punishment of which must coarse and calumnious language to have said, be coeval with government.
“A base oligarchy feed their filthy vermin on It is stated that the one panel made a speech our vitals, and rule us as they will.” I consider which contains inflammatory remarks and se this expression as tending directly to vilify the ditious expressions, and that the other panel government, and weaken the affections of the circulated a pamphlet containing that and country towards its legislature. In this speech other seditious speeches. Paragraphs of it he talks of successful resistance. He speaks have been read, and I will not consume time of the reformation, and of the resistance made with reading or commenting on any of them to the English when their progress was stopped at present. No person who reads them can at Bannockburn. What were the feelings doubt, that the general nature of them is to meant to be excited in the audience? He was excite commotion, and to prepare the way for attempting to degrade the government, in resistance and for overturning the government. order to stimulate his hearers to resistance ; That this is the general tendency of the facts and, to give them confidence, he mentioned charged, no person can doubt. It would also former instances of successful resistance. No be wasting the time of the Court to read the doubt he proposes that the petition shall be passages of the luminous commentary by Mr. laid at the foot of the throne; and he pays a Hume on the crime of sedition, or to refer to compliment to the Prince Regent. But what the authorities and the precedents which have does he add ? “Should he be so infatuated as occurred in this court,
to turn a deaf ear to their just petition, be has The counsel for the panels are correct in forfeited their allegiance. Yes, my fellowstating, that it is the province of the jury ulti- townsmen, in such a case, to hell with our mately to determine, not only as to the facts of allegiance." Is there no intimidation-is there the utterance and the publication of the ex no threat intended by such language? It is pressions mentioned in the libel, but also with true the expression “just petition” is employregard to the law, whether the expressions are ed; but who is to judge whether the petition to be held seditious or not. On that point is just ? Were those at the meeting to judge ?
It was in effect, saying, if our petition is not * See the debate on the Relevancy of the listened to, we are absolved from our alleIndictment in Sinclair's case, How. Mod. St. giance. If the expressions shall be proved, Tt. 784.
the language is seditious in a high degree.
But this panel is not only accused of ex « The Lord Justice Clerk and lords compressing himself in this seditious manner while missioners of justiciary having considered the in the heat of addressing his audience, but he criminal indictment, raised and pursued at the is also said to have delivered up the Mís. of his instance of his majesty's advocate, for his maspeech in order to be printed. If this be proved, jesty's interest, against Alexander MʻLaren then not only did he use seditious language in and Thomas Baird, panels, they find the inthe heat of his address, for which he might dictment relevant to infer the pains of law; have been in a certain degree excusable, if but allow the panels, and each of them, to momentarily not master of himself, but he af- prove all facts and circumstances that may terwards did the utmost in his power to circu- tend to exculpate them, or either of them, or late this sedition. It was not likely that the alleviate their guilt, and remit the panels, with speech would be heard of beyond the place the indictment as found relevant, to the knowwhere it was delivered, without some effort ledge of an assize. were used to disseminate it, but he shewed his
“ D. Boyle, I. P. D." anxiety to obtain for it a wider circulation. The indictment is clearly relevant as to
The following persons were then named to M'Laren. It is likewise so as to Baird. lle
pass upon the assize of the panels. was present at the meeting. I do not say the James Watson, of Saughton. purpose of the meeting was illegal. Baird be- John Dodds, farmer at Saughton Mill. canje the trumpet of that meeting, and is said John Drysdale farmer, Clermiston. to have circulated an account of this very
David Pringle, of Blegbie. speech, which is charged as having been de- John Stewart, of Binny. livered by MʻLaren. If the public prosecutor John Calder, farmer at Drumcross. proves his averments, he makes out that a di- John Russel, farmer at Mosside. rect attack was made on the legislature, and in
William Marshall, jeweller, South Bridge, strong terms on the House of Commons. “ No Edinburgh. nobleman--no clergyman-no naval or mili- Archibald M Kinlay, haberdasher in Edinburgh. tary officer-in short, none who held places, John Baxter, confectioner there. or received pensions from government, had
James Howden, jeweller there." any right to sit in that House.” And again, William Kennedy, glover there. " Is it any wonder, my friends, that this coun
William Lindsay, wine-merchant, Leitb. try is brought to its present unprecedented state
John Gowan, wood-merchant there. of misery, when the rights of the people have James Sloddart, wine-merchant, Edinburgh. heen thus wantonly violated ?" And in ano Lord Justice Clerk.- Are the declarations of ther place it is said, “ we have these twenty, the prisoners admitted ? five years been condemned to incessant and unparalleled slavery, by a usurped oligarchy,
Mr. Clerk.-Yes, my lord. who pretend to be our guardians and represen
EVIDENCE FOR THE CROWX. tatives, while, in fact, they are nothing but our inflexible and determined enemies.”—“ They
Andrew Finnie sworn.-Examined by have robbed us of our money, deprived us of
Mr. Drummond, our friends, violated our rights, and abused You are a merchant in Kilmarnock?- Yes. our privileges.”—“ At present we have no re Do you know the Dean Park in the vicinity presentatives; they are only nominal, not real; of Kilmarnock ?-I do. active only in prosecuting their own designs, How far is it from Kilmarnock ?--About half and at the same time telling us that they are
a mile. agreeable to our wishes." If this is not a di Do you remember that a public meeting rect attack on a branch of the legislature, I do was held at the Dean park on ihe 7th of Dec. not know what can be an attack on it.
last?-I do. Our present business is only to judge of the Was there a great number of persons at it? relevancy of the indictment, and then a jury - I think about 4,000. will judge both of the law and the facts of the A great number of the lower orders ?case. If they think neither of the panels used | Yes. these expressions, or circulated them, or if they Do you remember that speeches were made are of opinion that they are not inflammatory at that meeting ?- Yes. and seditious, it is their part, not ours, to find Who opened the business ?--Alexander SO.
M'Laren. Lord Justice Clerk.-I entirely concur in the Is that the person there?-It is. opinions which have been delivered as to the He made a speech?-Yes. province and duty of the jury in a case of this What was the speech about, sir?--About kind. It is not necessary for me to state any the business that the meeting was called for, thing further at present, than that no doubt which was for the purpose of deliberating on can be entertained that this indictment is rele- the best mode of petitioning for parliamentary vant.
reform. Alexander MʻLaren and Thomas Baird : Do you remember any part of his speech, Attend to the interlocutor of the court as to any of the words that he used ?---Nothing paribe relevancy of this indictment.
ticular, except one passage near the end. VOL. XXXIII.
Repeat the passage as near as you remember Mr. Drummond.—The witness did not hear it ?-«. We will lay our petitions at the foot of the words “ be has forfeited that allegiance." the throne (or let us lay, I do not remember Witness.—That is what I meant to say. “To exactly which), where sits our august prince, hell with allegiance," is all that I heard at the whose generous nature will incline his ear to
meeting hear the cries of his people, which he is bound to do by the constitutional laws of the country; phlet ?-I was appointed to a charge about
Had you any charge as to printing that pamand we are thereby bound to give him our the printing, but I never acted to it. allegiance. But if he should be so infatuated
Who had the eharge along with you ?-Mr. as to turn a deaf ear to the general cries of his Bairdi people (or voice of his people, I do not know
And who else ?-Mr. Walter Andrew. which), to hell with allegiance."
A writer?-Yes. Is that the whole of the passage ?—The You took no charge though you were apwhole of the passage, as far as I recollect.
pointed to superintend the printing ?-I was Lord Advocate.-I wish to know whether appointed, but never was at the meeting called MʻLaren in his speech stated thať a number of for the purpose. resolutions had been drawn up by the com How were you appointed to that charge ? mittee, which were about to be read !-Yes, By the committee. about the close of his speech, after the expres Was Baird a member of the committee ?sion I alluded to, I think.
Mr. Drummond.-Did he recommend any Do you know who printed the statement of body to be called to the chair of the meeting? the proceedings ?-It was given in to Mr. -He said the committee unanimously recom- Crawford, I understood. mended Mr. Johnstone.
Court. That will not do. And did he propose him to be elected to the chair!-- Yes, I understood so.
Mr. Drummond.-Were you ever present at He was called to the chair ?– He was called the printing ?- I was, in Crawford's shop. to the chair.
Did you ever get any copies of the printed Did you see Mr. Johnstone in the other room statement from Crawford !—I did get from to-day?- I did.
Crawford printed copies. Did you ever see a printed account of
Court.–Did M'Laren's speech ?-Yes.
you buy them ?—I was to pay
for them. Was it in an account of the proceedings of the meeting ?-In a pamphlet.
Lord Hermand.-- Then you did buy them? Is that the pamphlet?
-I did not buy them particularly. [The pamphlet was handed to the witness.] Mr. 'Drummond.—Do you know whether That is one of them.
Baird sold any of them ?-He did. The rest are the same ?-I understood so.
Did Baird ever tell you so ?-He said he Did you read M‘Laren's speech ?-Yes.
got quit of them ; but he did not say he sold
them. Did it appear the same as that delivered at the meeting ?-No; there was a difference par said so.
Did he say he got quit of them all ?—He ticularly as to that passage.
Did he ever get any from you ?-About four Lord Justice Clerk.-You mean the passage dozen. in reference to allegiance ?-Yes, my lord. They were of those you got from Crawford ? Mr. Drummond:-Will you point out to us
- They were.
Did you give him all you had ?--No, I had particularly what is the difference between that
eleven or thereby left. printed passage and what he said ?-There is one part which I think is omitted.
Had you any conversation afterwards with What is that?—" And we are thereby bound certain if I had. I do not recollect at present
Baird about those remaining ?-I am not to give him our allegiance."
if I had. Do you observe any other difference?-I think that instead of "10 their just petition,'
I think you said Baird mentioned he had got he said, “ to the general cries or voice of his quit of all his. Did he make any remark on people.”
your not having got quit of yours ? — I said I had
still eleven or thereby; and he seemed surprised Lord Justice Clerk.—“ Just petition" are the as he had got quit of all his. words you see there!-Yes, my lord.
Lord Hermand.—What did you understand Mr. Drummond.--Any other difference ? - by getting quit of them ?— The committee had The words “ he has forfeited that allegiance," liberty to get what they wanted ; and copies were never mentioned that I heard ; and no were given to them when applied for. thing that I remember, but “ to hell with alle.
Court.-The witness does not understand giance."
che question. Was any price taken for them? Mr. Clerk wished to know what the witness --I understood they were to be 4d. each; that had said.
this was fixed by the committee.
Were they disposed of by sale or by gift?— , sage ?–I do not remember any other passage I do not know whether Baird sold them or not. than that about allegiance in M‘Laren's He was to pay for them.
speech. Lord Advocate.- Did you ever go to Craw
What did he say as to that passage ? ford's with Baird to inquire after the publica- That he would be inclined to keep it out altotion!—I did.
gether. What did you ask ?- We asked if any of the Did he say any thing else about it?--I do pamphlets were ready
not remember particularly any thing else he Which of you asked !-I am not certain.
said. You both went for that purpose ?-Yes. Was that proposition of his adopted by the
committee or not?-No; it was not. Andrew Finnie cross-examined by Mr. Jeffrey Did it appear to you, that Mr. Baird apfor Thomas Baird.
proved or not of that passage:--He disapYou have mentioned that you two were both proved of that passage, and wished it to be left members of the committee for arranging about out. this meeting?-Yes.
Did you understand that all the members of Were there many other members ?-From 20 the committee were to take copies of this stateto 30, I think.
ment, to forward the sale of it, and to account These were constituted before the meeting for the 4d. for each copy ?-Yes; the comwas held ?—Part. There were more added af- mittee were at liberty to get what number terwards.
they wanted, for the purpose of defraying the Was any notice given to the magistrates expenses. about the meeting ?-Mr. Baird and I were Did they all get copies :- I do not know nominated to call upon the magistrates, to in- who did and who did not. form them of the meeting.
Mr. Baird keeps a shop ?-Yes. You went ?-I did not. Mr. Baird said, he Did all the members of the committee keep went.
shops 1–No. Did he report that the magistrates had no What kind of a shop is Mr. Baird's ?-A objections to the meeting !-He did.
grocer's shop. There was nointerference of the magistrates? Has there been any other general meeting -None.
since this in Dean Park?-None that I know Were you present at tbe meeting? Yes. Was Mr. Baird there?-He was.
Certain resolutions were adopted which are to Did he speak?-No.
be found in the printed stateinent, and petiDid you hear him make any remarks ex tions to parliament were, in conformity to them, pressing satisfaction or dissatisfaction on what prepared and forwarded ?-Yes. was said -I heard him make a remark about Was there any disturbance or tumult at the passage i was talking of in Alexander Kilmarnock since that date ?-I do not recolM'Laren's speech concerning allegiance.
What did he say ?--He said it was a pity it Do you recollect any disturbance recently had been spoken.
before that, a riot about meal ?-Yes. He disapproved of it ?-Yes.
Before the public meeting took place, about You said, you, Mr. Andrew, and Mr. Baird, autumn ?-Yes; I do not know the exact time were appointed to take charge of the printing when it was. of an account of the proceedings ?—Yes. Lord Advocate.--You said that Baird disap
Was any motive alleged for the printing ? proved of printing the passage about allegiance: It was for defraying the expenses attending do you remember whether M‘Laren said any the meeting.
thing, and whatdid he state about that passage? Was there any discussion at the meeting of -I think he said, that if the committee thought the committee about the propriety or impro- there was any thing wrong, he would rather it priety of printing the whole of what had were kept out altogether. been so stated at the public meeting ?-Yes, That was as to the passage in his own speech ?
-Yes. Did any body object to the printing at all ?
When Mr. Baird objected to printing the - I think two were not for printing at all; Mr. passage, did he state his reasons why he Johnston, and Alexander M‘Laren.
thought it an improper passage to be printed ? Was M‘Laren a member of the committee? -The reason was not stated there, that I re-Yes.
member; but when he and I were talking of Did Mr. Baird take any part in that discus-it by ourselves. sion ?-I do not remember that he did.
And what did he say?-He said to me it was Was there any discussion about the propriety a very indecent expression. of printing certain parts ?-Yes.
He stated nothing to the committee of his Did Mr. Baird take any part in that discus
reasons ?-Not that I remember. sion ?-He did. Was he for printing all the words?—No, he
Andrew Finnie cross-examined by Mr. Grant 'was not.
for Alexander MʻLaren. What words did he object to, or what pas I ask the witness to look at the printed
lect of any.
of it was,
speech, and find these words, " The fact is, we When did he first say that - Was it at the are ruled by men only solicitous for their own meeting of the committee?-I do not recollect aggrandisement"?-I see them.
of his ever saying that at the committee; but I Were these words spoken?-I do not re have heard him repeatedly say so. member. “ And they care no further for the great
William Merrie sworn.-Examined by body of the people, than they are subservient to
Mr. Drummond. their accursed purposes. Was that spoken? Are you a writer in Kilmarnock?-Yes. I do not remember. I 'paid almost no atten Do you remember being at a public meeting tion to any part of the speech, except that about held near Kilmarnock on the 7th December allegiance.
last ?-Yes. How did it happen that you remember that Do you remember the speeches made at that passage so particularly, and none of the rest of meeting ?—Part of them. ihe speech ? - It struck me particularly.
Who made the first speech? --- Alexander Then you do not mean to pronounce an MʻLaren, opinion as to any thing that was uttered by Is that the man behind me?-Yes. M'Laren, except the passage about allegiance?
Do you remember any part of his speech? -No.
Very liitle of it. Do you remember what passed about the
Do you remember any words near the conopening of this meeting ? who asked M‘Laren clusion of it?-Yes. to open iti-I do not remember who asked
Can you repeat them ?—The hindmost part him.
hell with," or “ for such alleDid he volunteer, or was he requested to
giance." open the meeting ?-He was backward to open What allegiance was that he was speaking the meeting.
about ?- If I remember right, he was wishing And he was asked by the committee ?--He the people to address their august sovereign; was asked by the committee.
and he meant their allegiance to him. When was he asked ?- At a meeting of the Did he give any reason why this allegiance committee.
was to go to hell ? Lord Advocate.—How many days before the Mr. Clerk.--He has not said that. meeting ?–1 am not certain. It was some days ?—It was some days, I
Mr. Drummond.—Why did he apply the exthink.
pression to such allegiance? What did he
say?-If I remember right, it was, “ if he Mr. Clerk.- Are you sure it was some days turned a deaf ear to the voice of his people.” before the meeting? I am certain ; for imme Did he say any thing about petitioning diately or the night before the meeting, he Yes, he wished the people to petition their said he was in doubts whether he would do it august sovereign. or not.
What more do you say of this speech ?-I do Did you use any particular means to keep not remember more. the passage about allegiance in your recollec
Lord Hermand.—He has explained enough I tion ?-It struck me so forcibly at the time,
think. the language was so strong, I' kept it in my memory.
Mr. Drummond.- Do you remember any You mentioned other passages. What part other part of his speech ?-No. of the passage do you allude to just now? Did Did he use any words to shew what his yo:i consider the whole passage strong !--The meaning was when he spoke of the voice of word hell struck me. That was the particular the people?—Not that I remember of. part I thought was wrong. I did noi consider any thing wrong in the rest of it at the time.
Lord Advocate.--You said he wished the Did you write down the passage ?--No.
people to address their august sovereign; and Are you quite confident of your recollection then you stated he said, " if he turned a deaf of the whole of the passage ?-I am quite con
ear to the voice of his people.” Did he add fident it was very near to what I repeated. any thing ?-I do not remember whether he Whether the words, “ cries,” or“ voice," were
added any thing or not. used, as I said before, I am not sure of; but I
After he used the words, “ if he turned a am confident as to the rest of the passage.
deaf ear to the voice of his people," did he say
any thing or not about “ to hell with such al. Lord Advocate. At the meeting, had MʻLaren legiance ?”—That came afterwards. any paper with him?-I saw none. Did you ever see any paper with his speech
Lord Hermand.-Did he mention in what on it?-Never.
way the voice of the people was to be expressDid you ever hear him speak of the terms of ed?—No, he wished the people to petition. it after it was printed !--- I recollect of him Lord Advocate.—Did you, after this meeting, saying repeatedly, that the passage about alle- see a publication called “ Account of the Progiance was a quotation from Shakespeare which ceedings of the Public Meeting of the bufcame into his mind.
gesses and inhabitants of the town of Kilmar