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703. The whole Proceedings on the Trial of James Ings, for High
Treason, before the Court holden under a Special Commission, for the Trial of certain Offences therein mentioned, on the 21st and 22nd days of April : 1 Geo. IV. A. D. 1820.*
SESSIONS HOUSE, OLD BAILEY,
Edward Cherill, jeweller, challenged by the FRIDAY, APRIL 21st, 1820.
John Mayne, gentleman, challenged by the Present
David Pain, esq. challenged by the prisoner. The Right Hon. Lord Chief Justice Dallas.
Richard Tucker, cheesemonger, challenged by The Right Hon. Lord Chief Baron (Richards].
the prisoner. The Hon. Mr. Justice Richardson.
Thomas Beachamp, farmer, sworn. The Common Sergeant.
Robert Ceeley, rigger, challenged by the pri-
Thomas Brunt, Richard Tidd, William by the Crown.
George Burrows, silversmith, fined for non-atThe Jury panel was called over, commen
tendance, fine afterwards remitted on his cing with No. 108.
appearance, and swearing he had been preCharles Farmer, hardwareman, sworn.
vented being in time by indisposition. Christopher Dowson, ship-builder, challenged by Edward Ellis, gentleman ånd stock-broker, the prisoner.
challenged by the prisoner. William James Farmer, baker, challenged by Benjamin Blyth, organ-builder, swom. the prisoner.
William Clare, feather-dresser, challenged by David Newman, farmer, challenged by the the prisoner. Crown.
John Jackson, glass-cutter, challenged by the George Smith, japanner, sworn.“
prisoner. George Thorp, clockcase-maker, challenged by John Beck, gentleman and seedsman, sworn. the Crown:
Felix Booth, esq. and distiller, challenged by Henry Seaborn, cooper, excused on account of the prisoner, illness.
Charles Benham, market gardener, challenged Francis Sherborn, esq. and farmer, challenged by the Crown. by the prisoner.
Thomas Robins, silversmith, challenged by the Edward Simpson, shipwright, challenged by the Crown. prisoner.
John Ray, gentleman, excused on account of William Davies, shopkeeper challenged by the the indisposition of a child in a dangerous Crown.
state. Richard Franks, esq. and silk-mercer, chal. Francis Dorrill, esq. challenged by the prisoner, lenged by the prisoner.
William Percy, plasterer, sworn. Thomas Langley, ship-chandler, challenged by John George Holmden, fuse-cutter, challenged the Crown.
by the prisoner. George Priest, esq. challenged by the prisoner. Archibald Ritchey, stone-mason, challenged by Samuel Wilson, gentleman and merchant, chal.
the Crown. lenged by the prisoner.
John King, gentleman, challenged by the Crown. William Moore, bricklayer, sworn.
Charles Elton Prescott, esq. challenged by the Michael Atkins, esq. challenged by the Crown. prisoner. James Ede, farmer, sworn.
Benjamin Rogers, farmer, sworn. Alfred Batson, esq. and porter-dealer, challeng- Richard Laycock, esq. and cow-keeper, fined ed by the Crowo.
for non-attendance. George Taylor, bricklayer, challenged by the George Fox, sawyer, challenged by the Crown. prisoner.
William Acock, plumber, challenged by the John Woodward, gentleman, challenged by the
Edward Cuel, carpenter, challenged by the
Crown. • See the preceding and following Cases. George Golding, surveyor, challenged by the
Robert Roberts, oilman, challenged by the With respect to the law, as applicable to Crown.
this subject, it will not be necessary for me to William Bound, founder, challenged by the trouble you with a single observation. No Crown.
doubt can be entertained upon it. No quesCharles Page, esq. and merchant, challenged tion has hitherto been raised in the course of by the prisoner:
these inquiries with respect to the law. The William "Cole, farmer, challenged by the charge against the prisoner at the bar, divested prisoner.
of every thing that is technical, is shortly and John Lewis, watchmaker, challenged by the simply this ; that he has conspired with other Crown.
men, whose names will be mentioned in the Edward Flower, esq. schoolmaster, challenged course of these proceedings, to overturn by by the prisoner.
force and violence the laws and constitution John Balm, gentleman and tallow-chandler, of the country. This, though stated in technichallenged by the Crown.
cal language upon the record, is the substance John Young, gentleman and scalemaker, sworn. of the charge against the prisoner at the bar. Stafford Price, gentleman, and currier, chal- The object at which the parties aimed was to lenged by the prisoner.
be effected by means of an extensive plan of James Cary, joiner, sworn.
assassination; it was to be effected also by William Edgcombe, joiner, sworn.
other means to which I shall presently have occasion to direct your attention.
In this stage of the prosecution, all that I
have to do is, in a plain and simple manner, Charles Farmer,
John Beck, George Smith, William Percy,
carefully abstaining from all exaggeration, to William Moore, Benjamin Rogers,
state to you the facts that will be detailed in James Ede, John Young,
evidence in support of this charge. I shall Thomas Beachamp, James Cary,
state them as I now know they will be proved, Benjamin Blyth, William Edgecomb.
without distorting a single fact or circumstance
to the prejudice of the prisoner at the bar. The Jury were charged with the prisoner in We are all interested in the fair and impartial the usual form.
administration of justice; no motives arising
out of any particular circumstances can pose The Indictment was opened by Mr. Bolland. sibly operate upon the mind of a person stand
ing in the situation in which am now placed Mr. Solicitor General.-Gentlemen of the to lead him to forget his duty. The fair, ime jury ;-It is my duty to state this case on the partial, and upright administration of justice part of the prosecution, and I am sure, know- is that upon which we justly pride ourselves; ing whom I now have the honour of address- it is the best gift we enjoy under the laws and ing, that it is unnecessary for me to request constitution of our country. your serious and patient attention to the par- The prisoner at the bar, with a person of ticulars which I am about to detail; you must the name of Thistlewood, a person of the name feel that you owe it to yourselves; you must of Davidson, another of the name of Brunt, a feel that you owe it to the public justice of person of the name of Wilson, and several the country; you must feel in a particular Others who will be mentioned in the course of manner that you owe it to the prisoner him- this inquiry, held, in the early part of the self who now stands before you for his deliver- year, secret meetings and consultations at a
place known by the name or sign of the White Gentlemen, there is a circumstance to which Hart, in Brook’s-market. Those consultain justice to the prisoner, it is my duty to tions were held in a back room in a yard beadvert. I should not have alluded to it if it longing to that public-house. I shall not must not of necessity have already come to trouble you by stating what took place at those your knowledge-I mean the conviction that meetings, because, after they had been held in has already taken place. I entreat and conjure that place for a short period of time, for some you
will not suffer that conviction at reason to which it is unnecessary that I should all to operate upon your minds, to the preju- direct your attention, they left that place, and dice of the prisoner who now stands before held their meetings in another situation to you. You are to decide upon this case accord- which I am now about to advert. ing to the impression which the evidence shall One of the prisoners, a man of the name of make upon your own minds; and you are not Brunt, who is a shoemaker by trade, lived in to be influenced by an impression which evi- a place called Fox-court, in Gray’s-inn-lane; dence that has already been heard may have he occupied two apartments in the front of made upon the minds of other men. You are the house; there was in the back of the house, to come to the consideration of this question upon the same floor, another unfurnished totally divested of all previous prejudices and room, and that room was hired for the purpose impressions, and you are to decide this case of continuing those meetings which had been impartially, according to the evidence as it formerly held at the White Hart. The prishall be given upon oath before you against soner at the bar and Brunt, in conjunction, the prisoner at the bar.
hired the apartment. This took place about
the middle of the month of January, and from tion, arms of various description were prothat period to Wednesday the 23rd of Feb- cured. It is unnecessary for me to particuruary, to which your attention will often be larize the whole of them, but I shali direct called in the course of this inquiry, those your attention to one or two descriptions of meetings were held always once, and fre- weapons. Independently of swords and pisquently twice a day, by the persons whom I tols and a great number of pikes, there were, have mentioned, all of them, except Thistle- collected, for this purpose, a number of wood, being in humble situations of life, jour- hand-grenades. These were collected chiefneymen mechanics- Thistlewood himself was ly by the prisoner Davidson : they were in a more elevated situation, having formerly, formed, each of them, of a tin box filled with I believe, held a commission in his majesty's about a quarter of a pound of gunpowder; a service. The object of those meetings was, to fuse communicated with the interior; large form a plan for overturning the government pieces of iron were placed round the box, and of the country; and the plan which was form the whole was secured with cord, and aftered, which will be proved to you in the most wards dipped into pitch and tar, and cemented distinct manner by the evidence I shall lay strongly together. Those grenades were inbefore you, was of this nature. In the first tended, in the first instance, to be thrown into place it was proposed, that when an oppor- the house where the ministers were assembled tunity offered, all his majesty's ministers, being at dinner : and they were also to be made use assembled at a cabinet dinner, which is usually of for the purpose of aiding in the further pro. held about once a week during the meeting of jects which the parties had in view. Another parliament, should be assassinated. It was description of instrument, prepared for the proposed that arms should be provided for occasion, were fire-balls, which were called by ihat purpose, which I will by and by describe. them illumination-balls, to be made use of by About thirty or forty persons were considered the party, under the direction of Palin, in as sufficient for the accomplishment of this setting fire to different buildings in the metro, object, and it was arranged that on knocking polis. These preparations went on for a cona at the door, under pretence of delivering a siderable period of time. As the instruments letter, a party armed with swords, pistols, and of destruction which I have thus described hand-grenades, should rush into the room were successively prepared, they were brought where those persons were assembled at dinner, to the place in Fox-court for inspection, and and that they should be all destroyed. Ano- they were afterwards transferred from that ther party was to watch the stair-case, to pre- place to what was called the dépôt, the lodgvent any assistance from the servants; a third, ings of one of the conspirators, a man of the the area, and other persons were to take care name of Tidd, who lived in a place called that no interruption should occur to the exe- Hole-in-the-wall-passage, near Brook's-market. cution of this project from persons without. The plan which had been thus formed, be. This was a part of the general plan. It was fore it was completely matured and ready for thought the blow would create such an im- execution, was suspended by the death of the pression, in striking off all the first authorities king. In consequence of that event the cain the country, that it would afford an oppor- binet dinners were discontinued, and it became tunity for carrying into complete effect the therefore impossible to execute the project at other projects of the conspirators. One of the period when it was originally intended, these projects was, to set fire to various parts and you will find these parties were continually of the town, and a party to be headed by a expressing their disappointment at the delay. person of the name of Palin (who was one of They became at last so impatient, that, on Sathe association) was to execute that project. turday the 19th of February, they determined Another project was, to take possession of some to consider whether some other plan, if not so pieces of cannon stationed in the Artillery- effectual, at least to a degree effectual for the ground. The party to carry into effect that accomplishment of the purpose they had in part of the plan was to be headed by a person view, "might not be substituted for it; and of the name of Cook. A fourth party was to accordingly they determined, that on the foltake possession of two pieces of artillery sta- lowing day, Sunday, in the forenoon, a comtioned in Gray's-inn-lane,
mittee should be appointed for the purpose of It is necessary for me to inform you that considering what measures should be taken, it all the persons whose assistance was to be col- was then considered that there was no imme. lected on this occasion were not to be let into diate prospect of all the ministers meeting tothe whole history and contrivance of this plot.gether, so as to enable them to attempt the The secret was confined to those who were in enterprise which had been contemplated. On the habit of assembling in Fox-court; but the Sunday, they accordingly met together, they had associates without, who understood and formed themselves into a committee; and that a plan was going ou; that something was Thistlewood, who undoubtedly was the leader in preparation to which they were to lend and framer of the whole plan, proposed that their assistance, when it was ripe for execu- as it was probable they might be able to coltion, and that when ripe for execution, the lect about forty men for the purpose of exeparticulars were to be communicated to them. cuting what was denominated the west-end
For the purpose of carrying this into execu- job, forty determined persons calculated for VOL. XXXIII.
an enterprise of that kind should divide them at too remote a distance from the spot where selves into four parties, for the purpose of the blow was to be struck. In order, thereputting to death, at the same time, four of fore, to carry on their design with more facithose who were considered the leading mem- lity, they had hired premises in an obscure bers of the cabinet. This plan was agitated, street, called Cato-street, near the Edgwareproposed, considered, and at last resolved road; a street through which there is no pasupon. It was determined that all the rest of sage for carriages. Premises consisting of a the project should be carried into effect, as it small stable, a cart-house, a loft, and two had been originally intended; but that instead rooms communicating with the loft, were hired of striking the blow at all his majesty's minis- for the purpose of carrying the plot into efters, as circumstances did not permit that to fect, from a person of the name of Firth, by be carried into effect, they would confine Harrison, one of the parties most active in the themselves with the means they possessed to conspiracy; and it was determined that on the taking off four of the leading members of the following evening, about six or seven the cabinet, whose names will be mentioned o'clock, armed in the manner necessary for to you in the course of the evidence. The accomplishing their object, they should asprisoner at the bar expressed a hope that he semble at these premises in Cato-street. should be of the party destined to put to death When this project was thus cearly ripe for my lord Castlereagh, and he exclaimed, “It will execution, it was conceived that they might, not be necessary to draw lots for the purpose with the less danger, communicate the partiof knowing who shall be the individual to put culars of it for the purpose of getting additional him to death, for I am ready to do that with assistance; and accordingly a communication my own hand.” After this resolution was upon the subject was made by one of the conadopted, the parties separated, and it was un- spirators, Wilson, to a person of the name of derstood, that if on the following Wednesday Hiden, a milkman, living in the neighbourhood (which was the day on which the cabinet of Manchester-square. Wilson told him that dinners were usually given) there should be there was a design to overturn the government no opportunity of striking the great blow, of the country: he told him that this was to be then the plan should be carried into effect in effected by means of assassinating his majesty's the manner I have now stated. They met ministers, who were to dine on the following again on the Monday, and also on the Tuesday day at lord Harrowby's; and that there were morning.
parties who were to take possession of the In the mean time the king's funeral had artillery in Gray's-inn-lane, and in the city, taken place, and as a proper interval had and another party to set fire to the town, in elapsed, it was considered that those dinners different parts, for the purpose of producing might again be renewed; and in the latter end general confusion and disorder; and as the of the preceding week, either on the Friday or labouring classes of the people were supposed on the Saturday, cards of invitation had been to be disaffected to the government of the issued by the desire of lord Harrowby, re- country, that it was hoped a general rising questing the attendance of the cabinet minis. would take place, and that a force would be ters at a dinner to be given at his house, on collected sufficient to set at defiance the reWednesday the 23rd. You are aware that maining authorities of government. these dinners are usually announced in the When this communication was made to public papers, and particularly in the papers Hiden, he listened to it with astonishment; and which are supposed to be in the interest of when required to join in it, he immediately Government. The court reporter sent the ac- assented, because he felt that when such a procount of the invitation to the New Times, and position was made to him by persons capable it appeared in that paper on the morning of of forming such a plan, if he should refuse his Tuesday the 22nd instant. These conspi- assent to it, his own personal security would rators were assembled on that morning, at their be endangered. He promised, therefore, to place of rendezvous, in Fox-court.
meet the conspirators, said he would bring mentioned that a dinner was to be held on such accession of force as was in his power, the following day, and that it was advertised and after this communication was made, rein the newspapers.
A newspaper was sent turned to his own home. He then began to for, the paragraph was read, and the utmost reflect seriously upon the nature of this exultation was expressed in terms so gross diabolical project; he turned in his mind what that I do not choose to repeat them) by the course he should pursue, and he immediately prisoner now on his trial. Every thing was sat down and wrote a letter to my lord Castleimmediately in a bustle, and they determined reagh, communicating the particulars of the to go round to their different associates, to get plan. With this letter he proceeded to St. them in readiness, to carry into effect the en- James's-square, afraid to knock at the door of terprise on the following night.
my lord Castlereagh, lest he should be observed, I should state to you that they did not con- but remaining in the neighbourhood for the sider that the room in Fox-court would be a purpose of seeing his lordship in the street, of convenient spot, from whence to issue to the delivering to him this letter, and of making the execution of their project. They were exposed important disclosure. No opportunity of carry, there to a good deal of observation, and it was ing this design into effect occurred, and he then proceeded from St. James's-square to Grosve. had so secured in order that he might have the nor-square, where my lord Harrowby resides, firmer hold. He was resolved, he said, to take for the purpose of endeavouring to make a off the heads of two of the ministers wlo will communication to that pobleman. Fortunately be mentioned, and to expose them for the pure my lord Harrowby went out to ride unac- pose of exciting the people to insurrection. companied by a servant; Hiden stationed Such was the language of the prisoner, mishimself at Grosvenor-gate, and waited his calculating extremely the feelings of the people return. This occurred about two o'clock on of this country, if he supposed they could be the Tuesday. He told his lordship that the excited to insurrection by assassination and letter contained information of a most im- murder; for, if any thing were wanting to have portant nature, and requested his lordship to deterred them from engaging in such an take care that it should be instantly delivered enterprise, it would be sufficient that it had to lord Castlereagh. Lord Harrowby asked been commenced by assassination--a crime whether he had given his name and address in foreign to the character of Englishmen, and the letter; he said he had not, but he immedi- which I hope and trust will ever remain alien ately delivered a card to his lordship; and the to their feelings and habits. moment this communication was made to After the prisoner had thus prepared himgovernment, of course every step was taken self, the conspirators by degrees went off for at the police offices for the purpose of counter- the purpose of assembling themselves in Cato. acting the design, and securing the conspirators, street. They met there at about six o'clock. when they should assemble the next night in When they arrived, their numbers amounted Cato-street for the accomplishment of their only to about twenty; fewer than they had object.
calculated upon, for it was supposed that froin At about two o'clock on the following day, thirty to forty was the number that would have many of the parties assembled in Fox-court, assembled at that meeting. For some little for the purpose of finally equipping themselves time, there was a suspicion and a jealousy for their enterprise, and, among others, the in the meeting, in consequence of the nonprisoner at the bar. Thistlewood came in, appearance of Tidd: they were surprised that and seeing them thus engaged, used some he had not come, and became alarmed and words of encouragement, and said, "we must agitated. But Brunt, who knew him well, write a proclamation.” Brunt, who lived in stepped forward at this juncture, and said he the front room, sent out his boy for some sheets would answer for Tidd that he would not forof cartridge paper; six sheets were produced, sake the cause. Shortly afterwards, Tidd, and Thistlewood sat down and wrote three accompanied by a person of the name of copies of a proclamation in these terms :- Monument, whom we shall call as witness, “ Your tyrants are no more :--the friends of entered the room. Still there were many of liberty are requested to come forward, as the the persons present who, looking round, and provisional government is now sitting”- sign calculating their force, and at the same time ed “J. Ings, secretary.”—It was intended that considering the object to which it was to be these proclamations should be posted up in directed, felt that it was inadequate to the the neighbourhood of the places where the purpose. They betrayed symptoms of uneasifires were
ghted, that they mi be seen by ness and doubt. Thistlewood, who saw what the persons there assembled, and might add to was going on, and who was apprehensive lest the general alarm; and, gentlemen, what the scheme should be abandoned, said they would have been the state of the metropolis at were too far advanced to recede; that if it was that moment, supposing, at nearly the hour of now given up, it would be another Despard's midnight, it had been circulated through this job; and begged them not to abandon the extensive city, that every one of his majesty's cause. Their numbers, he said, were abundantly ministers had been cut off by assassins; that sufficient: “we shall take them by surprise; the town was set on fire in different places; though they may have many servants, they and, in addition to all this, that artillery was will be unarmed: we are now five and twenty, moving from different points towards the city; fourteen will be sufficient to enter the room, and that a provisional government consisting and the rest may guard the entrance." Brunt, of unknown persons, and therefore, perhaps, who was always eager and zealous in the cause, the more terrific and alarming, was actually then stepped forward, and said, “ I presume installed and substituted in lieu of the legiti- those who betray alarm are not aware of the mate government of the empire ;--what would instruments we have prepared,” and he then have been the state of agitation, alarm, tumult, pointed to a grenade of very large construction, and disorder in the metropolis, if such an event intended to be thrown into the room, and had taken place?
which would at once have effected the destrucAfter this the prisoner prepared himself for tion of all the persons there assembled. Ings, the purpose of proceeding to the place of ren- the prisoner at the bar, also declared that if dezvous, with pistols in his belt, à sword, two they did not proceed to the accomplishment of bags or haversacks over bis shoulders, and a the object, he would either hang himself or butcher's knife (for he is by trade a butcher) cut his throat immediately. After this scene, which he produced to the party, with the it was put to the vote whether they should prohandle wound round with wax end, which he ceed, and they were unanimous in their