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by the declarant and Sheriff-substitute as relative hereto. Declares, That the proceedings of said meeting were printed by Hugh Crawford, and a great number of copies were sent to the declarant's shop, and he retailed them at 4 d. a-piece; and being shewn a copy of the publication, declares, That it is a copy of the proceedings which were published and circulated as above, and is doqueted and signed as relative hereto; all which he declares to be true. In witness whereof, &c. &c.
EVIDENCE IN EXCULPATION.
JAMES SAMSON sworn.-Examined by Mr GRANT.
Q. You remember a public meeting at Kilmarnock last December: Was it for the purpose of petitioning Parliament; or what was the object ?--A. To petition Parliament.
Q. Were you a member of any committee regarding that meeting? A. Yes.
Q. Are you well acquainted with the objects of those who were concerned in that meeting ?-A. I know as to any meetings I was at of the committee, what I heard there.
Q. What was its object then?-A. Entirely to petition Parliament.
Q. Do you know who were proposed to open the business of the meeting by a speech ?--A. Different persons. Q. Do
of their names ?-A. I could not say I entirely recollect, except him thầt did it; but I know that others were proposed.
Q. At what time was it proposed that Mr M.Laren should open the meeting ?-A. About a week before the meeting took place.
Q. Did he accept readily the office of opening the meeting?-A. He did not.
Q. Did he object to doing it -A. Yes.
Q. Did he suggest any other person ?--A. He was for imposing it on me.
Q. Did you consent to do it ?--A. No.
Q. What was the last time he urged you?--A. About an hour before the meeting took place.
Q. Did he state he was prepared or unprepared ?--A, I did not know that he had any thing prepared ; but he said he was not a fit hand for it.
Q. It was on your refusal that he undertook the office himself? A. Yes..
Q. What was the object of the petition? What was it about?A. To obtain a reform in Parliament.
Q. Was there any conversation as to what was to be done in case the petitions were not assented to ?-A. Yes.
Q. What was to be done?-A. To petition again.
Q. Did you hear Mr M'Laren make his speech?-A. I was present and heard some of it, but I did not hear it distinctly.
Q. From what cause?-A. One reason was, that I was behind him, and the wind carried the sound of his voice to the other side; and as' I knew I had to read a speech myself, I was a little agitated.
Q. From the general import of the speech, did you gather its purpose was to excite riot and disturbance, or to induce people to come forward to sign this petition ?-A. The latter.
Q. Do you know that petitions were proposed ?--A. Not then, The resolutions were read and approved of, and the petitions were to be according to the spirit of these resolutions.
Q. What steps were taken for preparing the petïtions ?--A, I could not say positively about that.
Q. Did you sign any petitions ?-A. Yes.
Q. To whom were they addressed ?--A. To the Prince Regent, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons.
Q. Do you know whether they were forwarded ?-A. I believe they were.
Q. Were you ever molested in consequence of having signed any of these petitions ?--A. No.
Q. Did you ever hear of any one being molested ?-1. No.
Q. Have you known Mr M‘Laren a long time?-A. A considerable time.
Q. In your opinion what was his character as to quietness of demeanour and loyalty ?-A. He was regarded as one of the loyalest men where he lived previous to this charge of sediticon.
Q. Have you ever conversed with himn on political questions? A. Sometimes about the doors; and I have heard hirn dispute with others, and support the side of Administration.
Q How long ago is it since you heard him express his opinion on such subjects !-A. More than a year since.
Q. In disputing with others, what side did he take? Did he oppose those that were on the Opposition side ?-A. Yes.
Q. Was he a man given to riotous proceedings, or wars he industrious at his business, and quiet in his conduct A. He was industrious at his business, and quiet in his conduct.
Q. Was he ever connected with any society, except tl is committee ?--A. No, never.
Q. Is he a sober man, or is he given to company and ligquor?A. Not that I know of; he is a sober man.
Q. Were you present at the committee when there was a talk of printing the proceedings ?--A. Yes,
Q. Did you see, or hear read before the committee, a manuscript purporting to be a speech of Mr M'Laren ?-A. It was not at that committee I think; it was at a previous one.
Q. There was a subsequent committee -A. Yes.
Q. And you heard read over what purported to be a speech of Mr M Laren A. Yes.
(The pamphlet was handed to the witness.)
Q. Do you recollect a passage in the printed speech about allegiance ?-A, I could not say , I think so.
Q. Look at these words. Do you remember of hearing the manuscript read ? and do you recollect in it the words at the end about allegiance, and so on, which are now in that printed paper? -A. I could not say they were there.
Q. Can you say they were not there?--A. They were not there, I think, when he delivered the paper.
Q. Say what was not there.-A. I think the two or three last lines were not in the manuscript : “ Yes, my fellow-countrymen, in such a case:, to
with our allegiance." Q. Do you recollect the appearance of the manuscript ?-A. I think it was folded in a narrow stripe like a sheet folded over again. It had been folded, I think, before it was written on.
Q. Was the paper folded thus ?-(A sheet of foolscap paper shewn to the witness folded in octavo.)-Yes, it was folded in that
Q. Was it written bookwise ?-Yes, I think so.
Q. I do not ask you who did what I am going to mention, but if any body at that committee, not Mr M‘Laren, made any pencil marking on that paper :- A. Yes, I think they did. It was not Mr M‘Laren.
Q. Do you know what these marks were ? -A. I did not see the marks.
Q. Did you hear any person read the alteration made by the marks ?--A. Yes.
Q. Was this correction immediately read ?-A. Yes.
2. Did the person who read that correction read it as a correction he had made with these pencil marks ?-A. I think he did.
Q. What was the purport of that correction ?-A. It is now at the end of this printed speech.
Q. You signed the petition to the House of Commons: Would you knov v the purport of it if you saw it?--A. I think I would.
Q. Look at that (page 82. of the printed Votes of the House of Common.s).
A, I cannot recollect every word or sentence. I think that is the petitiion. I see sentences that were there,
Q. You recollect the words where you see a x?-A. I could not say positively. Q. Dio
any of them ?-A. One part about indemnity for the past in the sentence.—(The passage which Mr Grant read was pointed out to the witness.)
Q. Do you remember that passage ? -A. I cannot remember it.
(Cross-examined by the LORD ADVOCATE.) Q. Who were present when these pencil marks were made on the manuscript speech ? - A. 1 for one.
Q. I suppose so. Who more ?-A. John Kennedy.
Q. That is three. Who else was there?-A. I do not recollect any.
Q. Do you say there were no more present ?- A. There were thers
Q. Let us hear the names of some more of them ?-A, Mr Baird was there
Q. Was M.Laren ? ---A. He was there.
Q: Was it by any of those you have named that the pencil marking was made ? -- A. Yes.
Q. Which of them ?-A. Mr Baird,
Q. You have the book lying before you, tell us what was altered?--A. The latter clauses or clause.
Q. Was any thing put in or left out?--A. It was put in the manuscript by Mr Baird.
Q. Did he give his reason for putting it in ?-Ą. Yes; because the manuscript delivered was not complete according to the way in which the speech was spoken, and therefore Mr Baird put it in.
Q. Did 'Mr •Laren make any objections to this alteration ?A. I did not hear.
Mr GRANT.-We would have brought several witnesses in addition to those for the Crown, to testify as to the character of the prisoner M‘Laren; and it is my duty to inform you of a mistake by which we have been deprived of this opportunity. The letters of exculpation, with instructions to cite witnesses to prove the good character of the prisoner M.Laren, were, by a mistake of the proprietors of the coach at Kilmarnock, forwarded to a person of the same name as that on the address on the parcel in a different town, and not returned till the night of Thursday before the trial, which circumstance we are in condition to prove to your Lordships; and we have therefore nothing we cao legally produce in addition to the testimony given of their characters. But we have certificates which your Lordships may perhaps allow to be read.
Lord Justice-CLERK.—Not at present; you may state the import of them in the address to the Jury; but they cannot be put in here in evidence.
LORD ADVOCATE.- If any statement had been made to me of any wish that the trial should have been delayed, I would have willingly conceded the delay.
Mr ĞRANT.—The thing was not thought of sufficient importance, and the mistake did
not appear till last night. Mr CLERK.-Your Lordships have heard some evidence which shews that the meeting was for the purpose of petitioning the Regent and the two Houses of Parliament. And you have heard that a petition was forwarded to the House of Commons; and rem ference has been made to a paper which we state to be a copy of the Printed Votes of that House. We wish to produce evidence of this, and of some others of the same description, for the purpose of shewing what sort of language is permitted to that House. I need not state how necessary it is for our plea to shew you what language it is lawful to use in such cases. In preparing the petitions, and in debates on the subject, such language must of course also be permitted. We can have the productions proved by Mr Grant.
LORD ADVOCATE.- I think it competent to object to these productions, and to the evidence proposed to be brought as to the accuracy of them.
Mr CLERK.-Do you admit them?
LORD ADVOCATE.— I have not read them, and I know nothing of them.
LORD Justice-CLERK.- The Lord Advocate only admits that it is the practice to print votes of the House, and that these offer. ed in evidence have the appearance of being copies. It is not usual to call on counsel to be evidence in the trial. As an agent for the prisoners could not be admitted as evidence, I think it would be better to call on some other person than Mr Grant. I observe a noble Lord present whose testimony might be given.
Lord GILLIES. -Mr Grant can be examined as a haver.
LORD ADVOCATE.- go so far as to say that I have no reason to doubt the genuineness of the copies.
Mr CLERK.--I conceive you have been in the use to receive papers
from agents, and to examine them as havers of these papers. An agent does not give parole evidence in the cause, but only gives his testimony to the authenticity of a paper in his possession; that is all that Mr Grant would be asked to do. Mr Grant can certify, not only that he believes them to be the Printed Votes of the House of Commons, but also that he received them under cover from the Vote-office, certifying to him that they are the Votes of the House of Commons.
LORD ADVOCATE.-The evidence would not be complete; Mr Grant can only explain how he came by these papers.
LORD Justice CLERK.-In a legal sense what Mr Grant could certify would not make them evidence. The question of their being actually the Votes of the House would remain to be established.
Mr CLERK.—After they are made public, they are matters of notoriety, which any persons may refer to before your Lordships.
LORD ADVOCATE.--I admit my belief of their genuineness.
JOHN ANDREWS sworn.-- Examined by Mr JEFFREY for
Q. Are you Chief Magistrate of Kilmarnock ?-A. Yes.