« PreviousContinue »
Monday, April 7. The Verdict,
..143 The Lord Justice Clerk's Speech to the Jury,
ib. 'The Lord Advocate craves the judgment of the Court on the punishment to be inflicted on the Pannels, ...........
ib. Mr Jeffrey's Speech objecting to the Verdict,
.144 Lord Justice-Clerk's Observations on Mr Jeffrey's Objections,
ib. Lord Hermand's
ib. Lord Hermand's Speech on the Sentence to be pronounced, ....................145 Lord Gillies' Speech,
.......146 Lord Pitmilly's Speech,
ib. Lord Reston's Speech,
...................148 Lord Justice-Clerk's Speech,
ib. Lord Justice-Clerk's Address to the Prisoners on pronouncing the Sentence,
...........151 The Sentence, ...................................................................................... 152
ALEXR. M LAREN & THOMAS BAIRD
Counsel for the CROWN. Rr. HON. ALEXANDER MACONOCHIE, LORD ADVOCATE. JAMES WEDDERBURN, Esq. SOLICITOR-GENERAL. H. H. DRUMMOND, Esq.
H. WARRENDER, Esq. AGENT. J. A. MACONOCHIE, Esq.
Counsel for ALEXANDER M-LAREN. JOHN CLERK, Esq.
JAMES CAMPBELL, Esq. J. P. GRANT, Esq,
Counsel for THOMAS BAIRD. FRANCIS JEFFREY, Ésq.
J. S, STEWART, Esq. HENRY COCKBURN, Esq.
. S. Agent.
LORD JUSTICE CLERK._ALEXANDER M-LAREN and Tho. MAS BAIRD,--Attend to the Indictment against you, which the Clerk of Court will read.
“ ALEXANDER M LAREN, now or lately weaver in Kilmarnock, in the county of Ayr, and THOMAS BAIRD, merchant there, 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 is a crime of a heinous nature, and severely punishable : YET TRUE IT IS AND OF VERITY, that you the said Alexander M.Laren and Thomas Baird are both and each, or one or other of you, guilty thereof, actors or actor, or art and part: In So Far As, you the said Alexander M‘Laren did, at a public meeting, held at Dean Park, in the vicinity of Kilmarnock aforesaid, on the 7th day of December 1816, or on one or other of the days of that month, or of November immediately preceding, or of January immediately following, which meeting was attended by a great multitude of persons, chiefly of the lower orders, wickedly and feloniously deliver a speech, containing a number of seditious and inflammatory remarks and assertions, calculated to degrade and bring into contempt the government and legislature, and to withdraw therefrom the confidence and affections of the people, and fill the realm with trouble and dissention; in which speech there were the following or similar wicked and seditious expressions:-" That our sufferings are “ insupportable, is demonstrated to the world, and that they “ are neither temporary, nor occasioned by a transition from
war to peace,' is palpable to all, though all have not the
courage to avow it. The fact is, we are ruled by men only “ solicitous for their own aggrandizement; and they care no “ farther for the great body of the people, than they are sub“ servient to their accursed purposes. If you are convinced “ of this, my countrymen, I would therefore put the question, “ Are you degenerate enough to bear it? Shall we, whose “ forefathers set limits to the all-grasping power of Rome; “ Shall we, whose forefathers, at the never to be forgotten field “ of Bannockburn, told the mighty Edward, at the head of “ the most mighty army ever trode on Britain's soil, Hither“ to shalt thou come, and no farther;' Shall we, I say, whose “ forefathers defied the efforts of foreign tyranny to enslave “ our beloved country, meanly permit, in our day, with“ out a murmur, a base oligarchy to feed their filthy vermin on our vitals, and rule us as they will ? No, my country
Let us lay our petitions at the foot of the Throne, “ where sits our August Prince, whose gracious nature will in" cline his ear to listen to the cries of his people, which he is 66 bound to do by the laws of the country. But, should he be “ so infatuated as to turn a deaf ear to their just petition, he “ has forfeited their allegiance. Yes, my fellow townsmen, in “ such a case, to hell with our allegiance." And you the said Alexander M‘Laren did, shortly thereafter, deliver, or cause to be delivered, your said speech, in manuscript, to Hugh Crawford, printer in Kilmarnock, to be by him printed and published. And you the said Thomas Baird having been present at the said meeting, and having heard the said speech,
and others of a similar tendency, delivered there, did, shortly thereafter, and in the course of the said months of December or January, wickedly and feloniously print, or cause or procure to be printed, at the printing-office of the said Hugh Crawford, in Kilmarnock aforesaid, a seditious tract or statement, entitled, “ Account of the Proceedings of the Public “ Meeting of the Burgesses and Inhabitants of the Town of « Kilmarnock, held on the 7th of December 1816, for the pur“ pose of deliberating on the most proper method of remedy^ ing the present distresses of the country, with a full report of " the speeches on that occasion;" which printed tract or statement did contain a number of seditious and inflammatory remarks and assertions, calculated for the purposes above mentioned; and, in particular, a report of the said speech of you the said Alexander M'Laren, with the passage aforesaid, in the same, or nearly the same terms; as also the following wicked and seditious passages, viz. Page ninth,-And a House of “ Commons-but the latter is corrupted; it is decayed and
worn out; it is not really what it is called, it is not a House 66 of Commons.”—Page tenth - The House of Commons, 6 in its original composition, consisted only of commoners, “ chosen annually by the universal suffrage of the people. No “ nobleman, no clergyman, no naval or military officer, in “ short, none who held places, or received pensions from Go“ vernment, had any right to sit in that House. This is what “ the House of Commons was, what it ought to be, and what " we wish it to be; this is the wanted change in our form of “ Government, the Commons House of Parliament restored “ to its original purity; and this, beyond a doubt, woull strike 6 at the root of the greatest part of the evils we groan under " at the present day.”—Page eleventh, “ Is it any wonder, “ my friends, that this country is brought to its present un“ precedented state of misery, when the rights of the people “ have been thus wantonly violated ?"-Page twelfth, - But “ let us come nearer home. Look at the year 1793, when o the debt amounted to two hundred and eleven millions, and " the annual taxation to about eighteen millions; when liber
ty began to rear her drooping head in the country; when « associations were framed from one end of the kingdom to “ another, composed of men eminent for their talents and vir“ tue, to assert their rights; when a neighbouring nation had “ just thrown off a yoke which was become intolerable,—what “ did the wise rulers of this country do? Why, they declared
war, not only against the French nation, but also against “ the friends of liberty at home.”—Page twenty-ninth, “ Our
oppressors have taxed the very light of Heaven; and they
seem surprised and indignant that we should not bear the “ insupportable burden, with which folly, corruption, and “ avarice, have loaded us, without reluctance and complaint." - Page thirty-second, “ Their reverend hirelings would con. “ vince you that you are suffering under the visitation of the * Almighty, and therefore ought to be submissive under the s chastening stroke.”—Page thirty-fifth, “ We have these “ twenty-five years been condemned to incessant and unparal“ leled slavery, by a usurped Oligarchy, who pretend to be our “ guardians and representatives, while, in fact, they are nothing “ but our inflexible and determined enemies." —" They have “ robbed us of our money, deprived us of our friends, violated “ our rights, and abused our privileges.”--- At present we have
no representatives; they are only nominal, not real ; active “ only in prosecuting their own designs, and at the same time “ telling us that they are agreeable to our wishes."-And you the said Thomas Baird having obtained a number of copies of the said printed tract or statement, containing the said false, wicked, and seditious passages, and others of a similar tendency, and being altogether of a seditious nature, did, in the course of the said months of December and January, and of February immediately following, at your shop in Kilmarnock aforesaid, wickedly and feloniously sell, publish, and circulate, or cause to be sold, published, or circulated, many of the said copies thereof, at the price of fourpence each, or other small sum, one of which was then and there purchased by Hugh Wilson, weaver in Kilmarnock. And you the said Alexander M Laren and Thomas Baird having been apprehended and taken before William Eaton, Esquire, Sheriff-substitute of the county of Ayr, did, in his presence, at Kilmarnock, on the 26th day of February 1817, both and each of you emit and subscribe a declaration ; which declarations, being to be used in evidence against each of you respectively, and the manuscript of nineteen pages, and the half sheet of paper, titled on the back, “ No. 5." both referred to in the said declaration of you the said Thomas Baird, being to be used in evidence against you the said Thomas Baird,-as also, three copies of the printed tract, or statement, above mentioned, being to be used in evidence against both and each of you, will be lodged in due time in the hands of the Clerk of the High Court of Justiciary, before which you are to be tried, that you may have an opportunity of seeing the same. AT LEAST, times and places foresaid respectively, the said seditious speech was wickedly and feloniously delivered, containing the said or similar wicked and seditious expressions: And the said seditious tract or statement, containing the said seditious and inflammatory passages, and