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in the newspaper, I am not entitled to ask as to that recollection; but my question is, whether he can recollect the substance, not the terms of it, without the newspaper? I wish that to be further cleared up.
Lord Justice Clerk.-I think it right to state what I have taken down from the witness.
“That if he had not seen it in the newspapers |
he would not have remembered another word of it; and that, with the exception of the words in the beginning he has stated, he could not have repeated on his oath any part of it, had he not so seen it in the newspapers.” Under these circumstances, we are ... it would not be consistent with any rules of justice to have the witness examined further as to the terms of that oath, for he could only give his recollection from the newspaper."
Lord Hermand.—In answer to my question, he said he could not without the newspaper have recollected the last part of the oath; so he cannot be examined further on the terms of the oath.
[Witness brought back.]
By whom was this oath administered at Robertson's 1–By the prisoner.
Mr. Jeffrey.—To whom was it administered? —To a man whom we met upon the road.
What other persons were present?—We went in with John Buchanan and this man, and John Buchanan went out to see another man, and then came in; and I am not sure whether the administering was done when he returned.
No other person?—No.
You do not know his name?—No.
Hugh Dickson sworn.—Examined by the Lord Advocate.
Do you know the house of William Leggat? —Yes, I have been in the house. Who were all there —A number of men. Was the prisoner there?—Yes. Was Peter Gibson there?—Yes. Was M'Lachlane there?–Yes Was John Campbell there?—Yes. Was any oath taken or administered at that meeting —There was what we called a bond of union agreed among us at that meeting. Can you repeat it?—No. Can you tell the import of it?—Hearing it read, I could give an idea if it was like it. I never read the original. Did you hear it read that night?—Yes. Who read it?—I could not be certain of his name who read it. Was it the prisoner?—No. Was he present when it was read?—I think he was. Did you take it? Was it given to you? Was it administered to you?–After it was agreed upon, it was taken by a vote. From
circumstances that occurred through that day, I could not say it was taken as an oath. It might be the case. | In what form was it taken —They stood up and held up their hands. I do not remember any words used at the time. Part of the time it was read, they held up their hands !—Yes. What were the circumstances that happened through the day ?—Being the first of January, I had got some liquor through the day. Did it affect your memory? — I could not take upon me to speak with certainty as to that night. Were you at Munn's 1–On the 4th of Ja
Lord Advocate. —Withdraw the witness. Having now concluded the most material part of the evidence upon which I had expected to | establish the charges laid in the indictment, and finding that the witnesses have not given testimony corresponding to their previous examinations, and on which I was most thoroughly persuaded I should have convicted the panel, deem it incumbent on me, in justice to your lordships, whose time is too precious to be | needlessly wasted, not to take up a moment | longer than necessary, by going into further evidence, which I believe to be still less conclusive, and without proceeding further in which, I am now satisfied the panel is entitled to a verdict of acquittal. However much, therefore, I must regret a result so different from what the truth of the case and public justice demanded, my consolation will be, that I have discharged my own duty in submitting the investigation to the judgment of a jury.
Mr. Jeffery.—After what has been stated, with so much candour and propriety, by his majesty's advocate, I should be to blame, if I were to dwell on the course of evidence which has been led. I should be infinitely to blame, | if even any feeling of joy or triumph, excusa|ble on such an occasion, should lead me to make any further observations. I shall be satisfied with that verdict which the good sense and right feeling of the jury shall determine upon; and, in whatever terms that verdict shall be contained, I am sure it will do ample justice to the whole case.
Lord Justice Clerk.-Gentlemen of the jury, I am happy to think, that, after what has taken
s place, the panel can expect nothing but an ac
quittal. Your duty is now an extremely light and pleasant one, and very different from that which must have been expected when we commenced this trial. It is your duty to return such a verdict as you may think due to the case, taking all the circumstances into consideration, and to find the panel either Not Guilty, or the libel Not Proven.
I leave the case in your hands, you being possessed of all the facts as hitherto disclosed, and quite able to discriminate the circumstances of the evidence. And as to the verdict you return, it may be vivá voce, if you are unanimous; but, if not, we will sit with great pleasure to receive your verdict in writing, if you think it necessary to retire for that Purpose.
The Jury, without retiring, unanimously found the libel Not PRov EN.
Lord Justice Clerk.-Gentlemen of the Jury, you are now discharged from your fatiguing duty; and I have to express my entire concurrence in the terms in which you have expressed your verdict.
Andrew M*Kinley, in consequence of what has passed this day, relative to the charge exhibited against you, the jury have returned a verdict, all in one voice, finding the libel Not Proven. It is, therefore, the duty of the Court to assoilzie you simpliciter, and to dismiss you from that bar. But, Sir, I cannot help noticing, upon this occasion, that the verdict of your countrymen has not pronounced you to be Not Guilty of the charge that was exhibited against you; and I have already stated in your presence, that, in reference to the evidence, unsatisfactory and inconclusive as it was with respect to the full measure of your guilt, and looking, above all, to those declarations of yours, which were proved and made part of the evidence by a regular minute of admission by your counsel, I am decidedly of opinion the jury were bound to return the verdict now upon record—a verdict which leaves a mark upon your character, that nothing but a life of future rectitude in every respect can wipe off. You are now to be delivered from all risk of punishment for any degree of guilt you may have incurred relative to the transactions mentioned in the indictment; and I do hope and trust, that, after the full, fair, and impartial trial you have undergone, in which, while an attempt was made to establish the charge against you, you had the protection of the laws of your country, and the blessed safe
guard of a jury of your countrymen to watch over your interests, you have now an entire and perfect conviction of the happiness and security under which the people of this country at present live, that you are now fully convinced the constitution of your country affords a complete safeguard to its subjects; and that there can be no risk of their lives or liberties being invaded, while the sanction of the law at all times extends its protection to them. I hope, therefore, when you return to the society in which you formerly lived, that, in whatever proceedings you may have formerly been engaged — whatever secret meetings you may have attended — whatever description of persons you may have been linked with by bonds of union, oaths, or engagements, you will from this time resolve to abstain from all such proceedings, and never render it even possible that any such charge should again be exhibited against you; that, on the contrary, you will use your utmost endeavours, by holding out the example of the protection of the law, which you have experienced, to convince them that they ought to unite with you in preserving unimpaired that happy constitution and government, under which the subjects of this country live;—that, in short, you will act the part of a good subject, justify the verdict in your favour, and prove, that, though you may have been misled by the designs perhaps of other men, you are not wicked in heart, and will live peaceably in time to come. I trust what I have now said will have a due effect, and I congratulate you upon the verdict you have received.
629] Proceedings against James MoEwan and others. A. D. 1817.
Proceedings against JAMEs M'EwAN, and others, at Glasgow.
ExTRAct from the Record, containing Proceedings in the Circuit Court of Justiciary at Glasgow, against JAMEs M“Ewan, M“Dow AL PATE, or PEAT, and John CoNNElton, 23rd April, 1817, before Lords Hermand and Gillies.
The diet was then called of the criminal prosecution at the instance of his majesty's advocate, for his majesty's interest against James M“Ewan, now or lately carding-master at Humhrie's Mill, Gorbals of Glasgow; M*Dowal ate,or Peat, now or lately weaverin Piccadillystreet, Anderston, in the vicinity of Glasgow; and John Connelton, now or lately cottonspinner, in Calton of Glasgow, for the crime of administering unlawful oaths, as particularly mentioned in the indictment raised and pursued against them thereanent bearing:— James M*Ewan, now or lately carding-master at Humphrie's Mill, Gorbals of Glasgow; M“Dowal Pate, or Peat, now or lately weaver in Piccadilly-street, Anderston, in the vicinity of Glasgow; and John Connelton, now or lately cotton-spinner in Calton of Glasgow: You are indicted and accused at the instance of Alexander Maconochie of Meadowbank, his majesty's advocate, for his majesty's interest: That albeit by an act passed in the fifty-second year.of his present majesty's reign,intituled, “An act to render more effectual an act passed in the thirty-seventh year of his present majesty, for F.; the administering or taking unlawl oaths," it is inter alia enacted, “That every person who shall, in any manner or form whatsoever, administer, or cause to be administered, or be aiding or assisting at the administering of any oath or engagement, purporting or intending to bind the person taking the same to commit any treason, or murder, or any felony, punishable by law with death, shall, on conviction thereof by due course of law, be adjudged guilty of felony, and suffer death as a felony without benefit of clergy.” And further by section fourth of said act, it is enacted, “That persons aiding and assisting at the administering of any such oath or engagement as aforesaid, and persons causing any such oath or engagement to be administered, though not present at the administering thereof, shall be deemed principal offenders, and shall be tried as such, and on conviction thereof by due course of law shall be adjudged guilty of felony, and shall suffer death as felons without benefit of clergy, although the person or persons who actually administered such oath or engagement, if any such there shall be, shall not have been tried or convicted.” And further, by section sixth of the said act, it is enacted, “That any engagement or obligation whatsoever, in the nature of an oath, purporting or intending to bind the person taking the same to commit any treason, or
murder, or any felony punishable by law with death, shall be deemed an oath within the intent and meaning of this act; and in whatever form or manner the same shall be administered or taken, and whether the same shall be actually administered by any person or persons to any other person or persons, or taken by any other person or persons without any administration thereof by any other person or persons.” Yet true it is and of verity, that you, the said James M*Ewan, MoDowal Pate, or Peat, and John Connelton, are all and each, or one or other of you, guilty of the said crimes, or of one or more of them, actors or actor, or art and part; in so far as you the said James M*Ewan, M*Dowal Pate, or Peat, and John Connelton, having at Glasgow, and in the vicinity, thereof, in the course of the months of November and December, one thousand eight hundred and sixteen, and of January and February one thousand eight hundred and seventeen, wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously conspired and agreed, with other evil-disposed persons, to break and disturb the public peace, to change, subvert, and overthrow the government, and to excite, move, and raise insurrection and rebellion; and especially to hold and attend secret meetings for the purpose of obtaining annual parliaments and universal suffrage by unlawful and violent means, did then and there, all and each, or one or other of you, wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously administer, or cause to be administered, or did aid or assist at the administering, to a great number of persons an oath or engagement, or an obligation in the nature of an oath, in the following terms, or to the following purport: —“In awful presence of God, I, A. B. do voluntarily swear that I will persevere in my endeavouring to form a brotherhood of affection amongst Britons of every description, who are considered worthy of confidence, and that I will persevere in my endeavours to obtain for all the people in Great Britain and Ireland, not disqualified by crimes or insanity, the elective franchise at the age of 21, with free and equal representation, and annual parliaments; and that I will support the same to the utmost of my power, either by moral or physical strength, as the case may require. And I do further swear, that neither hopes, fears, rewards, or punishments shall induce me to inform on, or give evidence against any member or members, collectively or individually, for any act or expression done or made, in or out, in this or similar societies, under the punishment of death, to be inflicted on me by any member or members of such societies. So help me God, and keep mestedfast.” Which oath or obligation did thus purport orintend to bind the persons taking the same to commit treason, by effecting by physical force
631] the subversion of the established government, laws, and constitution of this kingdom. And more particularly you, the said James M*Ewan, M“Dowal Pate, or Peat, and John Connelton, did, upon the first day of January one thousand - eight hundred and seventeen, or on one or other of the days of that month, or of December immediately preceding, or of February immediately following, at a secret meeting, held for that and other unlawful purposes, in the house of William Leggat, change-keeper in king-street, Tradestown, in the vicinity of Glasgow, or elsewhere at Glasgow, or in the immediate vicinity thereof, all and each, or one or other of you, wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously administer, or cause to be administered, or did aid or assist at the administering of an oath or obligation in the terms above set forth, or to the same purport, to Peter Gibson, John M'Lachlane, John Campbell, and Hugh Dickson, all present prisoners in the Castle of Edinburgh, or to one or other of them, and to other persons, whose names are to the prosecutor unknown ; the said oath or obligation thus binding or purporting to bind the persons taking the same to commit treason as said is. And further, (2.) you, the said James M*Ewan, M*Dowal Pate, or Peat, and John Connelton, did, upon the fourth day of January one thousand eight hundred and seventeen, or on one or other of the days of that month, or of December immediately preceding, or of February immediately following, at the house of Niel Munn, innkeeper and stabler in Ingram-street of Glasgow, or elsewhere at Glasgow, or in the immediate vicinity thereof, all and each, or one or other of you, wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously administer, or cause to be admimistered, or did aid or assist at the administering an oath or obligation in the terms above set forth, or to the same purport, to the said Peter Gibson, John M'Lachlane, John Campbell, and Hugh Dickson; also to James Hood, Andrew Somerville, John Buchanan, and James Robertson, all present prisoners in the Tolbooth of Glasgow, or to one or other of them, and to other persons, whose names are to the prosecutor unknown; the said oath or obligation, thus binding, or purporting to bind,
57 GEORGE III. Proceedings against James MoEwan and others. [632 701. Proceedings in the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh, against Neil Doug DAs," Universalist Preacher, for Sedition, May 26: 57 Geo. III. A. D. 1817.
the persons taking the same to commit treason, as said is: And you, the said James M*Ewan, M“Dowal Pate, or Peat, and John Connelton, conscious of your guilt in the premises, have absconded and fled from justice. At least times and places foresaid, the said oath or engagement, or an oath or engagement to the same purport, was wickedly, and maliciously, and traitorously administered, or caused to be administered; and some persons did aid or assist at the administering thereof; And you, the said James M*Ewan, M*Dowal Pate or Peat, and John Connelton, are all and each, or one or other of you, guilty thereof, actors, or actor, or art and part. All which, or part thereof, being found proven by the verdict of an assize before the Lord Justice General, the Lord Justice Clerk, and Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, in a Circuit Court of Justiciary, to be holden by them, or any one or more of their number, within the burgh of Glasgow, in the month of April, in this present year one thousand eight hundred and seventeen, you the said James M*Ewan, M*Dowal Pate, or Peat, and John Connelton, ought to be punished with the pains of law, to deter others from
committing the like crimes in all time coming. (Signed) H. Home DRUMMOND, A. D.
And the said James M*Ewan, M*Dowal Pate or Peat, and John Connelton, having been all and each of them oftentimes called in open Court, and three times at the door of the Court-house, yet failed to appear,
The Lords HERMAND and GILLIES decern and adjudge the said James M*Ewan, M*Dowal Pate, or Peat, and John Connelton, all and each of them, to be outlaws and fugitives from his majesty's laws; and ordain them to be put to the horn, and their whole moveable goods and gear to be escheat and inbrought to his majesty's use, for not appearing this day and place, to underlie the law for the said crime of administering of unlawful oaths, as they who were lawfully summoned for that effect, several times called in open court, and thrice at the door of the Court-house, yet failed to
appear, as said is. (Signed) AD. GILLIES. P.
“Neil Douglas, Universalist preacher residing in Stockwell street of the city of Glasgow, you are indicted and accused, at the instance of Alexander Maconochie of Meadowbank, his Majesty's advocate for his Majesty's interest: That albeit, by the laws of this and of every other well governed realm, sedition, more especially when committed by a minister, or by a person exercising the functions of a minister, in the performance of divine worship, is a crime of a heinous nature, and severely punishable: Yet true it is and of verity, that you the said Niel Douglas are guilty of the said crime, aggravated as aforesaid, actor, or art and part; In so far as, on the 9th day of March 1817, or on one or other of the days of that month, or of the months of February or January immediately preceding, in a house, hall or room, called the Andersonian Institution Class-room, situated in John street of the said city of Glasgow, you the said Niel Douglas, being a minister, or exercising the functions of a minister, did, in
the course of divine worship, wickedly, slanderously, falsely and seditiously utter, before crowded congregations, chiefly of the lower orders of the people, prayers,sermons, or declamations, containing wicked, slanderous, false and seditious assertions and remarks, to the disdain, reproach, and contempt of his Majesty, and of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, in their persons as well as in their offices; and also to the disdain, reproach and contempt of the House of Commons, and of the administration of justice within the kingdom; all which wicked, slanderous, false and seditious assertions and remarks were calculated and intended to (i. prejudice and dishonour of his Majesty, *. of his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, both in their persons and offices; to withdraw from the §. and legislature the confidence and affections of the people; and by engendering discord beiween the king and the people, to inflame the people with jealousy and'haired against the Government, and to fill the realm with trouble and dissension. More particularly, time and . aforesaid, you the said Niel Douglas did j slanderously, falsely and seditiously, in the course of the prayers, sermons or declamations uttered by you, assert and draw a parallel between his Majesty and Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, remarking and insinuating that, like the said king of Babylon, his Majesty was driven from the society of men for infidelity and corruption: Andyou, then and there, did further wickedly, slanderously, falsely and seditiously assert, that his Royal Highness the Prince Regent was a poor infatuated wretch, or a poofinfatuated devotee of Bacchus, or use expressions of similar import: And you, them and there, did wickedly, slanderously, falsely and seditiously assert and draw a parallel between his Royal Highness the Prince Regent and Belshazzar king of Babylon; remarking and insinuating that his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, like the said king of Babylon, had not taken warning from the example of his father; and that a fate similar to that of the said king of Babylon awaited his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, if he did not amend his ways, and listen to the voice of his people: And further, time and place foresaid, you did wickedly, slanderously, falsely and seditiously assort that the House of Commons was owrupt, and