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Q. Do you recollect of a public meeting in the Dean Park ?--A. I do.
Q. Did you receive any notice or application regarding that meeting ? -A. I think I did, one or two days before it took place.
Q. Who waited upon you?--A. Mr Baird met me in the street, and told me of the meeting a few days before.
Q What did he state to you?--A. That he was appointed by the committee to wait on me, to inform me the meeting would take place if I would allow it, and that if I would not he would give up the intention of holding it; I said I did not approve of the meeting, but I thought I could not prevent it. Q. Was it a numerous meeting ?-A, I could not
Q. Does it consist with your knowledge that the conduct of those at the meeting was orderly or otherwise ?--A. There was nothing of riot or disturbance that I heard of.
Q. No breach of the peace ?-A. None,
Q. Was there any kind of disturbance recently before ?--A. IA September I believe.
Q You are acquainted with Mr. Baird ?--A. Yes, I have beer long acquainted with him.
Q. He is in a respectable way of life ?--A. Very respectable.
Q. Is he a quiet and peaceable person, or tumultuous and disor. derly?-A. Always peaceable.
Q. Does it consist with your knowledge that he held a military commission in a Volunteer or Local Militia Corps ?--A. I generally understood he was a Captain.
Q. Have you seen him acting in that capacity?--A. I think I have.
Q. Down to what time did he so act ?-A. I could not say.
WALTER ANDREW sworn. Examined by Mr COCKBURN.
know Mr Baird ?-A, Yes. Q. Do you remember the meeting held at Kilmarnock in December last ? -A. Yes.
Q. There was a committee for arranging the business ?-A. Yes..
Q. Do you recollect any discussion after the meeting about printing the speeches delivered there?-A. Two or three days after the meeting, Mr Baird called on me with the manuscript of a speech which was delivered there. I said I thought indecorous expressions were in it, which ought to be kept out. He urged that objection at a meeting ; but the objection was overruled.
Q. What were the precise expressions which you called indecorous or vulgar? Do you remember the expressions!-A. I could
not repeat the words ; the passage was the same in the manuscript as in the printed pamphlet, where I read, “ which he is bound to do by the constitutional laws of the country ; but should he be so infatuated as to turn a deaf ear to their just petition, he has forfeited that allegiance? Yes! my fellow-townsmen, in such a case to with allegiance."
Q. What was it you objected to ?-A. What I have read.
Q. And Mr Baird concurred in that objection, but he was outvoted ?-A. Yes.
Q. Was there any other speech, to the printing of which he objected !-A. The last in the pamphlet; the speech of Mr Kennedy,
Q. What was his objection to Kennedy's speech ?--A. He said it was nonsense.
Q. Did he object to any of the others ? -A. To part of Mr Burt's.
Q. What was the objection to it?--A. He said it would have been better if it had been clothed in milder language.
Q. From your conversation with him, did you understand him to be the author of that speech ?--A. No. He expressed regret that some of it was not expressed in milder language.
Q. Did you ever hear him express a desire to have every thing done quietly, so as to give offence to nobody?-A. Yes.
Q. Was there any riot at the meeting !--A. Not that I heard of.
Q. Did he ever express to you any desire that Government should be overawed ?-A. No.
Q. He wished regularity of proceeding ?-A. He said the only object was to petition constitutionally, so as to give offence to no one.
Q. What was the object of printing the proceedings ?-A. To defray the expences incurred.
Rev. JAMES KIRKWOOD sworn.-Examined by Mr JBFFREY.
Q. Are you acquainted with Mr Baird ?-A. I have had that pleasure for nearly two years.
Q. Do you know him intimately? --A. Very intimately. No
one more so.
Q. In the course of your acquaintance with Mr Baird, have you had conversations with him on political subjects ?-A. I have.
Q. Has he expressed his sentiments with apparent sincerity and conviction ?-A. With the greatest, I have no doubt.
Q. Did he express an attachment to the Constitution as established by law, or a desire to have it altered ?-He expressed a desire that the popular part of the Constitution should be strengthened and increased, never that the Constitution should be overturned.
Q. He wished some reformation of the representation of the House of Commons ?-A, Yes.
Q. Did he ever explain by what means he thought this should be attempted ?-A. I have often heard him say he was anxious that any thing like violence should be avoided, and that none but constitutional measures should be taken.
Q. Does Mr Baird attend your congregation ?-A. Yes.
Q. Is he a man of peaceable and moral conduct ?-A, To the best of my knowledge he is so.
Q. Did he ever discover any tendency to riotous or disorderly conduct ?--A. I never observed any thing of that kind in him.
Q. He is a peaceable man ?-A, I think so.
Q. Do you think him capable of intentionally exciting tumult or violence among the people ?--A. I should certainly think he is altogether incapable of designedly doing so.
JOHN WYLLIe sworn.Examined by Mr COCKBURN.
office under Government ?--A. I am sure veyor of taxes for the third district of Ayrshire. Q. Do
military commission ?-I was in the Volunteers till 1809, and I still hold a commission in the Local Militia,
Q. I need hardly ask you if you are a keen reformer yourself.A. I never attended meetings for such purposes.
Q. You are rather ministerially inclined, I presume. Do you know Mr Baird ?-A. Yes:
Q. What appeared to be his political sentiments ?-A. He seemed to be a friend to the Constitution, but wished a reform in the representation.
Q. He had no desire to overturn the Constitution ?--A. I have heard him warmly extol the Constitution.
Q. Is he a quiet man !-A. Yes, he has been so ever since I knew him, and that is the greatest part of his life.
Q. Is he respectable in point of situation ?-A. Very much so.
Q. Have you served along with him in any corps ?--A. I was subaltern, and he was a captain in the Ayrshire.
Q. Did his conduct as an officer give satisfaction ?-A. He was a very active officer. Q. Do
you know of a meeting held at Kilmarnock in December last?
-A. I heard of it. Q. Had you any conversation with Mr Baird about it?-A. Yes, once or twice. I heard a gentleman read an account of the proceedings in a company, from a Glasgow paper.
Q. Did you ever hear Mr Baird say any thing about the speeches? -A. I never heard him make any remarks on them. Q. Do you know Mr M‘Laren-A. Yes. Q. Was he in that corps you spoke of?-A. Yes, in my company. Q. Did he behave well ?-A. As far as I know, Sir.
John Brown sworn.-Examined by Mr JEFFREY. Q. Are you a writer in Kilmarnock?--A. Yes. Q, Have you a partner in business ! -A. Yes, the town-Clerk Q. Are you acquainted with Mr Baird ?-A. Very well. Q. Is he a respectable man ?-A. One of the most so in the town. Q. Has he a family ?-He is a widower, with 4 or 5 children.
Q. Do you recollect a meeting in December last for petitioning Parliament ?-A, Yes, I do.
Q. Do you know whether there was a committee met before and after that meeting ?-A. I believe one sat several days before the meeting
Q. Were you a member of it?--A. No, nor was I ever at the meeting.
Q. Did Mr Baird ever communicate to you what was passing ? -A. Scarcely a day passed in which we did not converse on the occurrences of the meeting ; and I was in the habit of asking what passed at the committee.
Q. What did he state as the object of the petitioners ?-A. To procure a Reform in Parliament.
Q. By what means ?-A. By constitutional means.
Q. Did he disavow violence or other means ?--A. Most distinctly.
Q. You know Mr Baird was at the public meeting: Did he give you any account of what took place there?--A. Yes, he told me who spoke. When the proceedings were published, I was surprised at seeing a paragraph which I did not look for, and told him it was a pity it was there. He said he disapproved of it himself, and was against printing it at all, but that a vote was taken on the subject by the committee, and they determined to print it, as they did not wish a garbled statement of the proceedings to go before the public.
Q. Did he make observations on any of the other speeches ?-A. He pointly objected to M‘Laren's speech.
Q: Did he object to any of the others ?--A. He disapproved of one or two, as having language too keen and disrespectful.
Q. Does it consist with your knowledge that he has held commissions in military corps ?-A. He commanded a company of Rifle Volunteers for some time.
Q. Did he give satisfaction in his military capacity ?-I never heard any complaint against him. I always conceived he behaved like a gentleman.
Q. Was he lately appointed a commissioner of police of the town ?-A. Yes, at last annual election,
Q. From what you know of him, was he sincere in his sentiments in favour of constitutional modes of proceeding for obtain. ing redress of grievances ?-A. There is no question of that. He never approved of any other than constitutional modes of redress. I have known him intimately these eight or ten years.
Q. Was he likely to say or do any thing to produce discontent? -A. I conceive he would be the last man in the world to be guil. ty of any thing of the kind.
Q. Are you clerk to the Road Trustees ?--A. Yes.
Q. Did you understand Mr Baird objected to these expressions, not as being improper in themselves, but as likely to lead the persons who uttered them into a scrape ?--A. He did not appear to be apprehensive of any consequences to result from them, but he objected to them as improper expressions.
Q. Are you acquainted with M‘Laren ?--A. A little. I have met him on business.
Q. Do you know any thing of his character ? --A. I never heard any thing against him.
The LORD ADVOCATE then rose, and addressed the Jury in the following terms.--Gentlemen of the Jury. You have heard from the Indictment that the pannels are charged generally in the major proposition with the crime of Sedition, a crime well known in the law of Scotland, and with the general description of which you must be already familiar, but with which, at all events, you have had additional means of being made acquainted, from the luminous and satisfactory judgments of their Lordships, delivered this morning in the commencement of the trial. I shall not therefore, in this part of the observations which it is incumbent upon me in discharge of my public duty to address to you, say any thing in further explanation of the law of sedition, which, as a crime calculated to unsettle the order of society, and to introduce tų. mult, anarchy and bloodshed into these realms, which, for upwards of a century, have enjoyed the highest degree of freedom that ever fell to the lot of any people, is one of the most dangerous which can be committed against the State, Bez fore, however, concluding the remarks with which I shall have to trouble you, be necessary
for me to draw your attention to the application of the law to the charges preferred against the pannels. In the first instance, however, I shall confine myself exclusively to the evidence which has been adduced, in order to establish that the acts, at least, alleged in the Indictment to have been committed by the prisoners, have been brought home to them.
You will observe, then, Gentlemen, that in the minor proposition of the indictment, the prisoners are charged,M'Laren with having, at a public meeting, on the 7th of last December, held in the neighbourhood of Kilmarnock, and attended principally by the lower orders of the people, used certain seditious and inflammatory language, in a speech which he then delivered ;--a speech calculated to degrade and bring into contempt the Government and Legislature, to withdraw therefrom the confidence and affections of the people, and to fill the realm with trouble and dissention. cise expressions which he then employed, I shall beg leave to refer you at present to the copies of the indictment which are before you, in which the passages of the speech are detailed at length, and to which afterwards I shall be obliged more particularly to call your attention.
The other pannel Baird, again, is charged with having published this speech, and with having been accessary to ihe printing and circulating a seditious tract or statement, bearing to be an “ Account of the Proceedings of the Public
Meeting of the Burgesses and Inhabitants of the Town of
For the pre