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to the case of the prisoner, Thomas Baird. f-go-by to this passage, what could be the true For, though I did not think it necessary or meaning of those who were accessory to this proper in me to dwell on that circumstance in most scandalous libel on the clergy of Scot-: my observations to the jury when I summed land. I have asked myself, whether it was up the evidence to them, I do now think it meant to be applied to the Established Clergy, my duty to state, that the situation in which who are thus branded with being “ Reverend that gentleman stood,—the rank of life in hirelings, who would convince the people that which he formerly moved the character he they are suffering under the visitation of the possessed, -the influence he had,-and, above Almighty, and therefore ought to be submisall, the commission which he had lately held | sive under the chastening stroke.” Is there as an officer, do, in relation to this offence, any thing in their character to warrant such and to the circumstances in which it was com- imputations against them? Did not all those mitted, render his case of greater aggravation who attended that meeting know, that there is than that of the other prisoner.
not one of the Established Clergy who is not This gentleman, although moving in an completely independent of the crown itself, elevated sphere in the town of Kilmarnock, and that they hold their situations as securely and selected by its inhabitants to be a com- as any persons whatever do their property? missioner of police, is proved, by incontro- What is there then in the conduct and characvertible evidence, to have associated for days ter of the Established Clergy which could with persons, some of them of the very lowest render them liable to the shameful imputation, rank (for M‘Laren is only an operative wea- that, as hirelings, they could be guilty of ver), forming a deliberate plan for the meeting inculcating any particular doctrines ? And which has brought him into his unfortunate what is the foundation of this charge? It is, situation. I should have conceived Mr. Baird that they are guilty of having endeavoured to would have much better discharged his duty impress on their hearers, that the distress of to his country,would have shown a much the country is to be viewed as the dispensation better attention to the general distress, of Providence. Is there any man, with the (for which I greatly feel, but trust it is now slightest impression of religion on his mind, in a way to be alleviated), had he confined who will deny, that the severity of a bad : his exertions to contributing, according to his season, the pressure of a bad harvest, proceeds means, for the mitigation of that distress, from the will of Providence? Or was it instead of taking those active measures which meant to be impressed on the deluded and it is proved he did take, in preparing the ignorant hearers at that meeting, that the business-in meetings,-in concocting the Government, or any portion of the people, measures of the day,-and, above all, in were responsible for the distress prevalent in actually putting in the mouth of the automaton the country, which had been occasioned by a who appeared in that box, a speech, which, bad harvest, that had doubled the price of the when it is examined, will be found to contain necessaries of life? And yet because resignthe most scandalous and seditious matter. ation to the Divine Will had been recomFor the contents of that speech, whether Burt mended by the Clergy, they are branded as was the real or pretended author of it, Mr. hirelings. Baird rendered himself responsible. I must On the other hand, I have asked myself therefore say, that, considering Mr. Baird had whether this charge was meant to be imputed filled the honourable situation of Captain in a to the respectable body of dissenting clergy. . volunteer corps, he had altogether forgotten men, who, almost without a solitary exception, his duty in ever lending himself as a party to have shown themselves to be attached to the aay such proceedings, the guilt of which is best interests of the country, and have been : now attached to him by the verdict of the distinguished for their loyalty and steady jury.
allegiance? Is it this class that was meant to With regard to Alexander MʻLaren, I have be so branded? If so, they have to thank only to say, that he has been found guilty of those of their flocks who could give countenance : delivering a speech which answers for itself, to the publication of such scandal against : and I shall add nothing more on the subject. them. This passage appears to me to desig
But there is one observation which, in my nate the true character of the publication as former remarks, I omitted to state to the Jury, most objectionable and inflammatory. It was and therefore now think it my duty to make, intended to weaken the affections of the peoupon the passage in the indictment taken ple to the government and established constitue from one of the speeches, in reference to the tion of the country, while the character of the conduct of the clergy of Scotland. Your ministers of religion was likewise to be den lordships know well to what I allude. The graded. I ask, what would be the consequences passage is, “Their Reverend hirelings would if such proceedings were unchecked ? convince you that you are suffering under the Notwithstanding this circumstance, however, visitation of the Almighty, and therefore ought which it was my duty not to omit to notice, I to be submissive under the chastening stroke." am happy, that in reference to the strong I have asked myself this question, after pay- testimony borne to their good characters in ing every attention to the ingenious and elo- times past, backed by the recommendation of quent observations made in order to give the the jury, we are justified in the discharge of our sacred daty, in pronouncing the mild 1. While the subjects of this country are ensentence (for the sentence certainly is extremely titled to state their grievances to the legislature, mild) which has been proposed, viz. that they they must be careful, that neither in the preshall be imprisoned for six months within the vious proceedings, the speeches and resolutions, Tolbooth of the Canongate of Edinburgh (thus nor in the petitions themselves, they insert making the punishment of imprisonment as matter which is clearly of a criminal nature, light as can be done), and that Thomas Baird seditious in its tendency, and likely to produce shall find security to keep the peace for three lasting mischief to their country. It will teach years under the penalty of 2001.; and that them, that although entitled to exercise that Alexander M‘Laren, in reference to his cir- right, they must not, in its exercise, be guilty cumstances, shall only find security for the of a violation of law. I therefore trust that same period under the penalty of 401. the result of this trial will be of important
Alexander M‘Laren and Thomas Baird : benefit to you in the course of your future after a most careful and attentive consideration lives, and that this Court shall not, with regard of the whole circumstances of the case that to you or others, have soon occasion again to was exhibited against you, a jury of your animadvert on the crime of sedition. I like-> country has found both and each of you, the wise trust, that considering the recommendaone by a plurality of voices, and the other, all tion of the jury, and the lenient punishment in one voice, guilty of the crime of Sedition, which, under all the circumstances, is about to as charged in the indictment. It is, I can be awarded against you, you will firmly reassure both of you, a painful duty for me to solve, that, when you again return to society, announce to you, in reference to this verdict, in which you formerly moved in a respectable the judgment which the Court has found it line, you will be sincerely loyal in your hearts, necessary to award against you. I say, I do and attached to the true interests of your it with sincere regret, when I reflect on country and the constitution under which you the strong testimony that was borne to your have the happiness to live. former good characters. I lament that you had permitted yourselves to be misled on this
SENTENCE unfortunate day of the 7th of December, the one to utter, and the other afterwards to give missioners of Justiciary having considered
The Lord Justice Clerk and Lords Comcirculation to what a jury has pronounced to be sedition. I do trust and hope that the the verdict above recorded, in respect thereof result of this verdict, and of the opinions
you and Thomas Baird to be carried from the bar
decern and adjudge the said Alexander M‘Laren have heard pronounced by the whole Court, will have its due effect on both of you ; that it to the Tolbooth of Canongate of Edinburgh, will teach you, that however apparently inno- therein to be detained for six months from
this date, and thereafter until they shall find cent your proceedings may have been, they did result in crime, and might have been, if sufficient caution and surety, acted in the the example had been generally followed, pro- for the space of three years from and after the
books of Adjournal, for their good behaviour ductive of mischief to the interests of your expiration of the said period of imprisonment, country. I trust also, the salutary check given and that under the respective penalties folto proceedings of this description, will have lowing: viz. The said Thomas Baird under an important effect on the public mind, by the penalty of 2001. sterling, and the said showing, that sacred as the right of petition is, Alexander M'Laren under the penalty of 40l.; entitled as the people of this free country and upon the lapse of the said period of imare to state their grievances to government and the legislature, and to point out what may
prisonment, and finding caution as aforesaid, appear to them as remedies, that right affords grant warrant to and ordain the magistrates of no screen or protection to those, who, in the Canongate and keepers of their
Tolbooth to prosecution of that lawful object, lose sight of set the said. Thomas Baird and Alexander
MʻLaren at liberty. their duty, and are guilty of the crime of saditioni
(Signed) D. BOTLE, I. P. D.
699. Proceedings in the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh,
on two successive Indictments, raised by his Majesty's Advocate, against WILLIAM Edgar, for administering unlawful Oaths, April 9th, May 26th : 57 GEORGE III. A.D. 1817.
COURT OF JUSTICIARY.
APRIL 9, 1817.
Counsel for the Crown.
cate (afterwards a lord of Session and Justi
ciary, with the title of Lord Meadowbank.] James Wedderburn, Esq. Solicitor-General. H. Home Drummond, Esq.
H. Warrender, W. S. Agent.
Counsel for William Edgar.
G. W. Boyd, W. S. Agent. William Edgar and John Keith were placed at the bar.
Lord Justice Clerk.-William Edgar and Joho Keith, pay attention to the indictment against you, which is now to be read.
“ William Edgar and John Keith, both present prisoners in the Castle of Edinburgh, 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 preventing the administering or taking unlawful 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
iaking the same to commit apy treason or VOL. XXXIII.
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 felon, without benefit of clergy. And further, by section fourth of the said act, it is enacted, • That persons aiding and assisting at the administering of any such oath and 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 persons or person 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, 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 William Edgar and John Keith, are both 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 as far as you, the said William Edgar and John Keith, having, at Glasgow, and in the vicinity thereof, in the course of the months of November and December 1816, and of January and February, 1817, 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 ta bold and attend secret meetings, for the pure
pose of obtaining annual parliaments, and L
universal suffrage, by unlawful and vio- John Connelton, now or lately cottonlent means, did then and there, both and spinner in Calton of Glasgow, or to one each, or one or other of you, wickedly, or other of them, and to other persons, maliciously, and traitorously administer, whose names are to the prosecutor unor cause to be adıinistered, or did aid known, the said oath or obligation, thus or assist at the administering, to a great binding, or purporting to bind the pernumber of persons, an oath or engage- sons taking the same to commit treason, ment, or an obligation in the nature of an as said is. (2.) And further you, the said oath, in the following terms, or to the William Edgar and John Keith, did, upon following purport :- In awful presence the 4th day of January, 1817, or on one of God, I, À B, do voluntarily swear, or other of the days of that month, or of That I will persevere in my endeavour- December immediately preceding, or of ing to form a brotherhood of affection February immediately following, at the amongst Britons of every description, who house of Neill Munn, innkeeper and are considered worthy of confidence; and slabler, in Ingram-street, Glasgow, or that I will persevere in my endeavours to elsewhere at Glasgow, or in the immeobtain for all the people in Great Britain diate vicinity thereof, both and each, or and Ireland, not disqualified by crimes or one or other of you, wickedly, maliciinsanity, the elective franchise, at the age ously, and traitorously administer, or cause of twenty-one, with free and equal repre- to be administered, or did aid or assist at sentation, and annual parliaments; and the administering an oath or obligation in that I will support the same to the utmost the terms above set forth, or to the same of my power, either by moral or physical purport, to the said Peter Gibson, John strength as the case may require : And I M'Lauchlane, John Campbell, Ilugb Dickdo further swear, that neither hopes, fears, son, M‘Dowal Patė, or Peat, and James rewards, or punishments shall induce me M“Ewan; as also to James Hood, Anto inform on, or give evidence against any drew Somerville, John Buchannan, and member or members, collectively or indi- "James Robertson,
all present prisoners in vidually, for any act or expression done the Tolbooth of Glasgow, or to one or or made, in or out, in this or similar so- other of them, and to other persons, whose cieties, under the punishment of death, to names are to the prosecutor unknown, be inflicted on me by any member or the said oath or obligation thus binding, members of such societies. So help me or purporting to bind, the persons taking God, and keep me steadfast,” Which the same to commit treason, as said is. oath or obligation did thus purport or in- And you the said William Edgar having tend to bind the persons taking the same been apprehended and taken before to commit treason, by effecting by physi- Daniel Hamilton, esquire, one of the cal force the subversion of the established sheriffs-substitute of Lanarkshire; did, in government, laws, and constitution of his presence at Glasgow, on the 6th day this kingdom. And, more particularly, of March, 1817, emit and subscribe a deyou, the said William Edgar and John claration; and having been taken before Keith, did, upon the 1st day of January Robert Hamilton, esquire, Sheriff-depute 1817, or on one or other of the days of of Lanarkshire, you did, in his presence, that month, or of December immediately at Glasgow, upon the 7th and 8th days of preceding, or of February immediately March, 1817, emit and subscribe two sefollowing, at a secret meeting held for veral declarations : And you the said that and other unlawful purposes, in the John Keith having been apprehended, and house of William Leggat, change-keeper taken before the said Robert Hamilton, in King-street, Tradeston, in the vicinity esquire, did, in his presence, at Glasgow, of Glasgow, or elsewhere at Glasgow, or on the 6th and 7th days of March, 1817,
in the immediate vicinity thereof, both emit and subscribe two several declara19 and each, or one or other of you, wickedly, tions: All which declarations, being to
maliciously, and traitorously administer, be used in evidence against each of you or cause to be administered, or did aid or respectively, will be lodged in due time
assist at the administering an oath or ob- in the hands of the Clerk of the High Fligation in the terms above set forth, or to Court of Justiciary, before which you
the same purport, to Peter Gibson, John are to be tried, that you may have MʻLauchlane, John Campbell, and Hugh an opportunity of seeing the same. At
Dickson, all present prisoners in the least, times, and places foresaid, the said Castle of Edinburgh ; as also to James oath or engagement, or an oath or enM'Ewan, now or lately carding-master at gagement to the same purport, was Humphries Mill, Gorbals of Glasgow, and wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously M-Dowal Pate or Peat, now or lately administered, or 'caused to be adminis
weaver in Piccadilly-street, Anderston, intered; and some persons did aid or bio the vicinity of Glasgow, who, conscious assist at the administering thereof; and
of their guilt in the premises, have ab- you the said William Edgar and John basconded and fled from justice, as also to Keith are both and each, or one or
LIST OF WITNESSES.
other of you, guilty thereof, actors or James White, tobacconist in Dalkeith. actor, or art and part. All which or Robert Lyle, baker there, part thereof, being found proven by the John Wood, merchant there. verdict of an assize, before the Lord Jus John Brown, farmer, Carrington. tice General, the Lord Justice Clerk, and Andrew Johnston, farmer, Primrose-barns. Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, you
County of Haddington. the said William Edgar and John Keith ought to be punished with the pains of William Aicheson, junior, of Drummore. law, to deter others from committing the John Sommervill of Moreham. like crimes in all time coming.”
William Hay, farmer, lowden.
John Brodie, farmer, West l'enton.
County of Linlithgow. 1. Robert Hamilton, Esq. sheriff-depute of William Glen of Mains.
Lanarkshire. 7. Daniel Hamilton, Esq. one of the sheriffs- John Trotter, farmer af Stacks.
William Dawson, younger, Bonnytoun. substitute of Lanarkshire, 3. Daniel M'Callum, clerk to Joho Drysdale, George Turnbull, farmer at Northbank.
Robert Taylor, residing at Blackness. sheriff-clerk of Lanarkshire. 4, Matthew Burns, clerk to George Salmond,
City of Edinburgh. procurator-fiscal of Lanarkshire.
Robert Fraser, jeweller in Edinburgh. 3. John Leslie, clerk to the said John Drys- Thomas Richardson, merchant-tailor there. dale.
David Whitelaw, watch-maker there. 6. Joseph Reid, writer in Glasgow.
Peter Peddie, trunk-maker there. 7. Alexander Calder, sheriff-officer in Glas. | William Trotter, upholsterer there. gow,
Alerander Russell, coach-maker there. 8. James Thomson, clerk to the said John John Inverarity, upholsterer there. Drysdale.
George Yule, merchant there. 9. Alerander Hunter, change-keeper, Old Alerander Ainslie, saddler there. Wynd of Glasgow.
John Steel, confectioner there. 10. Marion M Laren, or MʻLachlan, now or James Innes, gunsmith there.
lately servant to the said Alexander Daniel Forrest, hosier there.
Peter Sawers, saddler there.
William Rose, tailor there.
steam-boiler maker and smith at Gird- John Luing, saddler there.
esontown, in the vicinity of Glasgow. Francis Davidson, confectioner there. 13. Janet Rentoul, pow or lately servant to William Cooper, boot-maker there.
Neill Munn, innkeeper and stabler in William Dumbreck, hotel-keeper there.
Ingram-street, Glasgow, 14. Alison Wilson, now or lately servant to the
Town of Leith. said Neill Munn.
John M.Kenzie, merchant in Leith. 15. Matthew Fyfe, -spirit-dealer in Wilson- Archibald Cleghorn, corn-merchant there. street, Glasgow
Thomas Morton, ship-builder there. 16. Jean Boyd, wiĉe of the said Matthew Fyfe. Robertson Paterson, painter there. 17. William Leggut, change-keeper, in King- Charles Robertson, merchant there.
street, corner of Centre-street, Trades. John Sanders, agent there.
ton, in the vicinity of Glasgow. John Glover, wright there. 18. Hugh Dickson, present prisoner in the
AD. GILLIES. Castle of Edinburgh.
D. MONYPENNY. 19. Peter Gibson, present prisoner there.
DAVID DOUGLAS. 20. John M.Lauchlane, present prisoner there. Lond Advocate.-From certain circumstan21. William Simpson, present prisoner there. ces, I find it proper to move the Court to 22. James Hood, present prisoner in the Tole desert the diet against John Keith pro
loco et booth of Glasgow.
tempore. He will therefore be committed to 23. John Campbell, present prisoner in the prison upon a new warrant.
castle of Edinburgh. 24. Thomas Sinclair, present prisoner there.
[This motion was accordingly agreed to. H. Home DRUMMOND, 4. D. Lord Justice Clerk.--William Edgar, what
do you say to this indictment ?--Are you
guilty or not guilty of the charges contained. County of Edinburgh. Francis Curteret Scott, of Ballerno.
William Edgar.-Not guilty, my Lord. Richard Wooley of Whitehouse. .
Mr. Cranstoun.--I am of Counsel in this case
LIST OP ASSIZE.