Page images

Mr. Attorney General.—That he may be made after great consideration by the Court. punished for his contempt in such way as the with a view to prevent michief and injustice ; Court may think right.

nothing can be more prejudicial to justice than Mr. Justice Richardson. It will be proper to

to publish proceedings of this description in the direct the attendance of the party, that we may ordered to attend here on Friday morning, at

course of an inquiry. The person must be see whether he has any excuse to offer.

the sitting of the court. * Mr. Attorney General.-I will apply in the first instance for a rule to shew cause, if your

• See the further proceedings upon this lordship pleases.

subject on Friday, April the 28th at the con. Lord Chief Baron. This is undoubtedly Richard Tidd,


clusion of the trial of William Davidson, and a very grave accusation; the order was certainly

705. The whole Proceedings on the Trial of WILLIAM DAVIDSON

and RichARD TIDD, for High Treason, before the Court holden under a Special Commission, for the Trial of certain Offences therein mentioned, on the 26th and 27th days of April : 1 Geo. IV. A. D. 1820.*



SESSIONS HOUSE, OLD BAILEY, [Richard Tidd and William Davidson were WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26th, 1820.

set to the Bar.] Present

The Jury Panel was called over, commenco The Hon. Mr. Baron Garrow.

ing with No. 145. The Hon. Mr. Justice Best.

Edward Cherill, stonemason, challenged by the The Common Sergeant,

prisoner. And others, his Majesty's Justices, &c. John Mayne, gentleman, challenged by the

Mr. Baron Garrow.—Gentlemen of the Jury: David Pain, esquire, challenged by the priit may perhaps have surprised you that, as we are sitting and you are in Court, we should not have proceeded to business. The Court Richard Tucker, cheesemonger, challenged by are so anxious to show that we attend with the

the prisoner. greatest solicitude to your convenience, that I Thomas Beachamp, farmer, challenged by the think it proper to state, that the pause is at the prisoner. solicitation of the learned counsel for the pri- Robert Ceeley, rigger, challenged by the prisoner. I am sure that you will feel it proper, that we should wait a few moments to give Thomas Fagg, esquire and coach-master, chaleffect to that solicitation.

lenged by the Crown. Mr. Curwood.—My lord, the prisoner

Matthew Belcher, vintner, excused on account

of illness, Davidson, has no objection to uniting in his challenges with the prisoner Tidd, whose trial Benjamin Watson, gentleman, challenged by the Attorney-general had proposed to take next. George Burrows

, silversmith challenged by the Mr. Baron Garrow.Gentlemen, I have now

prisoner. to communicate that to you to which it would

Edward Ellis, gentleman and stock-broker, have been improper to advert before. The learned counsel for the prisoners (whose exer

challenged by the prisoner. tions have been witnessed more than once) Benjamin Blyth, organ-builder, challenged by

the prisoner, have thought it necessary to communicate with

William Clare, feather-dresser, challenged by them, whether it would be necessary to pursue the course of severing their challenges, or John Jackson, glass-cutter, challenged by the

the prisoner. whether two of them would take their trial by the same jury. We have in effect gained John Beck, gentleman and seedsman, chal

prisoner. time by the pause, for he has communicated

lenged by the prisoner. to me, that the two next prisoners are content not to sever their challenges, but to be tried

Felix Booth, esquire and distiller, challenged together.

by the prisoner. Charles Benham, market-gardener, challenged

by the Crown. * See the preceding trials of Thistlewood, Samuel Littlepage, baker, excused on account Ings, and Brunt.

of illness.


Thomas Robins, silversmith, challenged by the ticular reasons may occasion an objection to a Crown.

particular individual, but I cannot take it for Francis Dorill, esq., challenged by the prisoner. ' granted that on a future trial you might not be William Percy, plasterer, sworn.

called upon to serve with a ready assent on John George Holmden, fuse-cutter, sworn. both sides, therefore I cannot dispense with Archibald Ritchey, stone-mason, challenged by your attendance on this occasion; I wish I the Crown.

could. John King, gentleman, sworn.

Mr. Attorney-General.— There are several Charles Elton Prescott, esquire, sworn. Benjamin Rogers, farmer, sworn.

gentlemen sworn on the present jury, who Richard Laycock, esquire and cow-keeper, chal- bave been challenged on one side or the other, lenged by the prisoner.

on preceding trials. George For, sawyer, challenged by the Crown. Mr. Baron Garrow.–From circumstances William Acock, plumber, challenged by the of a private nature I have not been able to Crown.

attend in the early part of the proceedings Edward Cuel, carpenter, challenged by the here, but that which I stated as the result of Crown.

practical experience is exemplified on the George Golding, surveyor, sworn.

present occasion; for gentlemen who have Robert Roberts, oilman, challenged by the been challenged on former trials, are sworn to Crown.

try the prisoners now at the bar: if they arose William Bound, founder, challenged by the out of any supposed incapacity or party prioCrown.

ciple, those objections would continue; furCharles Page, esquire and merchant, sworn. ther information may induce those, protecting William Cole, farmer, challenged by the pri- the interests of the public, or of the accused,

to do in other instances that which they apJohn Lewis, watch-maker, challenged by the pear to have done in several instances already. Crown.

Joseph Sheffield, esquire and ironmonger, swort. Edward Flower, esquire and schoolmaster, Joseph Haynes, bricklayer, challenged by the challenged by the prisoner.

Crown. John Balm, gentleman and tallow-chandler, Robert Stephenson, anchorsmith, challenged by challenged by the Crown.

the Crown. John Young, gentleman and scale-maker, sworn. Richard Blunt, gentleman, challenged by the Stafford Price, gentleman and currier, chal- prisoner. lenged by the prisoner.

Isaac Gunn, baker, challenged by the Crown. James Cary, joiner, challenged by the prisoner. William Churchill, gentleman and wine mere William Elgecombe, joiner, challenged by the chant, sworn. prisoner.

Thomas Wilkinson, farmer, challenged by the Richard Emery, cooper, challenged by the prisoner. Crown.

Samuel Fish, tobacconist, challenged by the Stephen Gaurd, bricklayer, challenged by the

prisoner. Crown.

Edmund Collingridge, water-gilder, challenged Thomas Brayne, mason, challenged by the by the Crown. Crown.

William Shore, farmer, challenged by the William Butler, baker, sworn.

Crown. William Benn, farmer, challenged by the Josiah Bartholomew, watchmaker, challenged Crown.

by the prisoner. John Roper, gentleman, challenged by the John Jones, carpenter, challenged by the Crown. Crown.

Thomas Bristow, coachmaker, challenged by William Norton, sawyer, challenged by the the prisoner. prisoner.

Samuel Granger, lighterman, sworn.
William Blasson, gentleman, challenged by the

Thomas Lester, bookseller, challenged by the William Percy, Charles Page,

John George Holmden, John Young,
Mr. Lester.- My lord, as this is the third Charles Elton Prescott, Joseph Sheffield,

John King,

William Butler, time that I have been challenged, * may I

Benjamin Rogers, William Churchill, request to be dismissed.

George Golding. Samuel Granger. Mr. Baron Garrow.— I can only assure you, in the language of the lord chief baron, that by the name of Golding ; I am told his name

Mr. Shelton. One of the Jurymen is sworn though the objection has obtained the name

is Goldring. of challenging the juror, it ought not to be considered as giving any offence to him. Par- Mr. Curwood.-We have no objection to

him. He had been challenged in the previous cases of Arthur Thistlewood, and John Thomas

Mr. Gurney.-Nor the Crown. Brunt.

Mr. Shelton. Then I may proceed.


[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Mr. Gurney.-Yes.

dinner; and it was then hoped, when all the The Jury were charged with the prisoner in persons intrusted by his majesty with the

direction of public affairs should have been cut the usual form.

off at one blow, that by following that up by The Indictment was opened by Mr. Bollandpolis, and by armed men acting in various direc

conflagrations in different parts of the metroDavidson.-Will your lordship be pleased tions, the reins of government might be seized to grant us a seat?

by these conspirators and the government

itself overthrown. Mr. Baron Garrow.-Yes, certainly.

To perfect this plan, and enlist into its Mr. Gurney.-Gentlemen of the Jury ;-It execution as many persons as possible, meetis my duty to lay before you, very shortly, a ings were held in various places : we shall not statement of the circumstances which will be have occasion to follow those meetings into adduced in evidence on the part of the Crown, different parts of the town but we shall confine in support of this indictment. You will have our evidence principally to meetings which observed that the charge which is made by it took place first in a baek room at a publicagainst the two prisoners now at the bar, house called the White Hart, and were William Davidson and Richard Tidd, is not afterwards removed, for greater security to of any private nature; it does not impute to a two-pair of stairs back room in a house them any acts affecting the interests of private in which the prisoner Brunt (who has been individuals, but it accuses them of the highest tried) actually lodged in Fox-court, Gray'serime known to the law, of that which strikes inn-lane. It was contrived, that Ings should at the existence of the government, and aims take the lodging ; that he should profess an at its entire subversion to substitute, in its intention to bring his furniture in; but no place, some provisional government, whose furniture was ever brought in: the key of the pledges for good government were to be room was kept by Brunt; and in this room slaughter and conflagration.

sometimes once a-day and sometimes twice 2It will not be necessary for me to state to day, the meetings of these conspirators were you the indictment more particularly than that held, for the purpose of maturing the plan that in the first count it charges a compassing and had been conceived, and of devising all the imagining (that is an intent) to depose the king, means of its execution. and in another a compassing to levy war The death of his late majesty (which took against the king, in order to compel him to place on the 29th of January) for some time change his measures. The evidence which we disconcerted their plan of operations. Until shall lay before you will most completely after his late majesty's funeral, of course substantiate both of those charges.

cabinet dinners were suspended; the conspiThe law has wisely made the intention to rators became impatient of the delay which commit these crimes high treason, so as that occurred, and that impatience gave birth to intention be manifested by overt (or open) other projects for carrying the same object into acts; the acts done in furtherance of this in effect. At one time it was proposed to divide tention are charged in the indictment, and will their force into several parties, to attack the be proved by the witnesses.

ministers separately at their respective houses ; The indictment comprehends several per- and it was thought that by this means, though sons, Arthur Thistlewood, James Ings, and it was not likely all should take effect, they John Thomas Brunt (whose trials have taken might be able to take off four or five whom place), the two prisoners at the bar, Davidson they particularly marked for destruction ; at and Tidd, upon whose fate you are to pro- another time, another project was entertained, nounce (and six other persons) of the names of 10 break out on the night of his late maWilson, Harrison, Bradburn, Strange, Gilchrist jesty's funeral, at which time the cabinet and Cooper, all of whom, and many others ministers would necessarily be at Windsor, will necessarily be introduced to you in the and the guards would be at Windsor ; when, course of this inquiry.

therefore, there would be neither the head Of these persons the first , named Arthur to direct, nor the arm to execute the resistance Thistlewood, was undoubtedly the leader; he to the measures which they projected ; and it had sustained the rank of a gentleman; and it was thought, in the absence of all those means is a striking feature in this case, that a person of resistance, they might carry their plan into in that rank should be found associated as he execution. This, however, was on consideration has been with the other persons named in the abandoned, and they looked forward with indictment, most, if not all, of whom are eagerness to the next cabinet dinner that working mechanics.

should take place, which by bringing all his When this plan was first conceived, it may majesty's ministers into one house, and into not be in our power to demonstrate; but you one room, would give them the means, at will find, that so far back as the month of one blow of effecting their destruction. January, it had arrived at considerable These cabinet dinners take place during the maturity; that the plan (which was afterwards sitting of Parliament, at the houses of the memacted upon) had then been formed to assas- bers of the cabinet alternately, usually I believe, sipate his majesty's ministers at a cabinet on a Wednesday; but though no notice had

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

5; la



been given of any dinner, they were certainly held a larger meeting than usual to concert looking forward to that Wednesday to which their measures: they met again on the Monday; you will particularly direct your attention (the they met again on the Tuesday, on which 23rd of February) for the accomplishment of morning they received intelligence that a their pupose; and, as the time drew near, newspaper announced a cabinet dinner for the every exertion was made to complete their next day at the earl of Harrowby's, in Grospreparations; pikes were provided and pike- venor-square. The news was at first doubted; handles, composed of rough sticks cut from but the newspaper being sent for, it was found trees seven or eight feet long, ferruled at correct. This excited the greatest degree of the end, with holes bored for the admission of exultation, expressed by some in the most sapike-heads ; pike-heads were procured, some vage and ferocious terms, by another in terms old bayonets, others old files filed to a point of shocking impiety; but it was received by ali to operate as a bayonet or pike-head; pistols, as good news that now all their enemies were blunderbusses, swords, hand-grenades and to be brought together within one room, all fire-balls. l'he hand-grenades which were within the means of destruction; and ebey constructed were not such as are made by lost no time in proceeding to consider and to military men, but, for the purposes of destruc- develope all the means by which they should tion, perhaps scarcely less effective ; about effect their guilty purpose. Thistlewood de three ounces and a half of gunpowder put into tailed those means to the meeting in a manner a tin case or chamber rather smaller than this, which showed that they had been all well cos which I hold in my hand (holding up to the sidered; the detail was received with aejury an ink-stand), a tin fuse brazed into it, quiescence and approbation, and a determinacontaining a powder prepared for priming, tion that the plan should be carried into exewhich communicated with the gunpowder in cution. The course of proceeding which This the tin case or chamber, then stocking or cloth tlewood proposed was this: That they sbould cemented round the tin case ; a number of proceed in a body to the house of the earl of nails or other pieces of iron inserted round that; Harrowby ; that Thistlewood should knock at then more cloth cemented ; and the whole the door, and offer to the porter a letter ; that bound round very tight by tarred string, so the body should instantly rush into the house ; as closely and completely to compress it; and, that two, armed with swords pistols and handas you very well know, it requires no grenades, should guard the staircase wbich led military skill to be aware that if fire be com- to the upper part of the house ; that two others, municated to the fuse, and so to the powder similarly armed, should guard the staircase in the chamber, that would explode, and those leading to the lower part of the house ; and pieces of iron would be scattered round like that two others, with the same weapons, should so many bullets. The greatest destruction be left to guard the area ; and that then fourwould be thereby effected. It was proposed teen should enter the noble earl's dining-room, that these hand-grenades should be one means armed with swords, pistols and band-grenades, of the destruction of his majesty's ministers, by and should massacre every one they found being thrown into the room where they were there. They were then to go to other places, assembled; but many more were constructed where other parties were to act-for other than were requisite or could be used for that parties were to be assembled in different parts purpose, these were intended to effect the of London ; one to set fire to the barracks in other and ulterior objects of their guilty plan. King-street, by throwing one of those fire-balls

Besides these, there were fire-balls, com- into the hay-loft, which had a window looking posed of pitch, tar, oakum, brimstone, and into a mews; others to proceed to Gray's-indresin, which had been all made up into balls lane, to seize two pieces of artillery that were to be set on fire ; these thrown into the windows there; others to proceed to the Artillery-ground, of buildings would infallibly set those build- to seize four pieces of artillery which were ings on fire; a considerable number of these there; to march from thence to the Mansionwere provided. Besides these there was a house, to plant the cannon so as to batter it, in large number of cartridges for muskets and case those within should refuse to surrender ; pistols, and not a few cartridges for cannon. to take possession of the Mansion-house, to Many of these instruments were prepared at establish therein a provisional government; Fox-court, many in other places, and the prin- then to take the Bank, and to give it up to cipal dépôt for them was in the house of the pillage. prisoner Tidd ; and you will find, that though This most atrocious plan, as I before said, Arthur Thistlewood was looked up to by these was approved of, and they all resolved to act conspirators as their leader, the two prisoners, upon it; and every degree of necessary activity Tidd and Davidson, were not inconsiderable seemed to be infused into every mind, to be or inactive coadjutors, that they entered into ready for the perpetration of the crime. They the conspiracy heartily and zealously, that they parted, to enable Thistlewood and some others forwarded it to the utmost of their power, and to visit some meetings in another part of the that they were amongst the most eager for its town (one known by the name of the Mary-lecomplete and perfect execution.

bone Union) and it was settled they should On the Sunday preceding the Wednesday meet there the next day. The next day they which I have mentioned, these conspirators did meet there; all things seemed ready.

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][merged small]

Thistlewood was pleased to find them so for their followers, ascended by a ladder into the ward in their preparations; the pistols were loft, and they found there above twenly perflinted, pikes were got ready, sent off to their sons, with that magazine of arms which will be associates in other parts of the town, and the exhibited to you. They announced that they men who were there armed and accoutred were officers, and called upon them to surthemselves, and in different parties proceeded render ; instead of surrendering, the persons from Fox-court. It had been thought that that there, conscious of the nefarious purpose for room was not a fit place of rendezvous from which they were assembled, desperate from the which to issue forth to the accomplishment of knowledge that they had forfeited their lives their purpose in Grosvenor-square, and another by what they had already done, made a most place had been selected and engaged by determined resistance, and Thistlewood their them, which seems to have been admirably leader stabbed one of the officers, Smithers, adapted for their purpose : it was so on ac- who fell on the floor a lifeless corpse ! The count of its proximity to Grosvenor-square; it lights were extinguished; the cry was "to kill was so also on account of the obscurity of its the officers;" in the confusion the officers were situation, which was not likely to attract public pushed down the ladder; they were followed observation : it was a stable and cart-house by several of the persons there, some of whom with a loft and two rooms over them, in a very entirely escaped, but those who are included obscure street called Cato-street, one end of in this indictment (with the exception of Thise which comes into John-street, in the Edgware- tlewood and Brunt) were taken. These desroad, but enters only by a gateway, which perate men were not content with taking the looks like the gateway of the yard of a public life of Smithers, but Thistlewood fired at anohouse ; the other end is almost equally obscure. ther officer and made a cut at him with his Just as you enter this street from John-street, sword. The prisoner Davidson was pursued; and turn to the right, you will come to the he resisted ; with his sword he cut at one, and stable in question. This had been vacant for he fired his carbine at another. Ings, another some time, and it was taken for this purpose. of the prisoners who has been tried, fired at ano

Some of the conspirators began to assemble therofficer, and expressed a savage regret that he early in the afternoon; weapons were carried had not killed him. The prisoner Tidd resisted there in the course of the afternoon, and then, to the utmost of his power; he fired a pistol for the purpose of excluding observation, a at lieutenant Fitzclarence, and was taken only cloth was nailed against the window, in order by the superior force of those with whom he that those who lived opposite might not see was in conflict. what should pass therein. They were within I have before stated that Thistlewood esa little more than ten minutes walk of Gros- caped; he was apprehended the next morning, venor-square; they would have to go down the not at his own residence, but at another part Edgware-road and Park-lane, and would ar- of the town, where he had taken refuge. rive there almost immediately; and it was Brunt also escaped; he was taken the next thought (and certainly not without reason) that morning. The other prisoners were apprethey had chosen a convenient place of rendez- hended either in the loft in the stable, or in vous, and that they were not likely to be dis- escaping from the stable In. that loft were covered.

found guns, bayonets, pikes, hand-grenades, In this loft and in this stable there were fire-balls and cartridges. This was the magaassembled, in the course of the evening, all zine intended for that party which was to the persons named in this indictment, and as execute the first and most important part of many more as amounted to about five-and-their guilty project-the assassination of his iwenty, all armed for the purpose. To guard majesty's ministers. against surprise, they placed sentries in the Gentlemen, this is the conspiracy which is stable ; one of those sentries was the prisoner charged upon the prisoners,—This is the high Davidson; he was armed with a sword and a treason which is imputed to them by this carbine. At first some little apprehension was indictment. It will be proved to you by evibetrayed that their force was insufficient, and dence which you cannot doubt. some alarm was excited on account of the non- To give you those details which can be attendance of the prisoner Tidd, who was looked given by no other persons, it will be necessary up to as a person of importance in the execu- to call before you accomplices in their crime. tion of the plan. Their alarm was however Traitorous conspirators do not sound a trumremoved by the appearance of Tidd. The pet in the market-place to invite honest men to time approached for the accomplishment of their councils; they admit none to their countheir

purpose, and Thistlewood had just called cils but those who partake in their guilty plans. out the fourteen who were to enter the dining- For what passed, therefore, in their private room at the earl of Harrowby's, when they councils, we must resort to the evidence of were surprised by the officers of Bow-street, accomplices. A great and signal benefit to followed by a party of the guards, who had the community arises from that circumstance, been ordered to attend them. When the in the prevention of very many crimes; it sows officers entered the stable, they found Davidson the seeds of distrust among men who meditate and Ings, the two sentries. TI officers who those crimes which cannot be committed by a were foremost, leaving them to be secured by single hand, but require the co-operation of VOL. XXXIII.


[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »