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others of a similar tendency, was wickedly and feloniously printed, sold, published, and circulated, or caused or procured so to be, as above mentioned: And 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. ALL Which, or part thereof, being found proven by the verdict of an Assize, before the Lord Justice-General, the Lord Justice-Clerk, and Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, you the said Alexander M‘Laren and Thomas Baird ought to be punished with the pains of law, to deter others from committing the like crimes in all time coming.
“ H. HOME DRUMMOND, A. D."
LIST OF WITNESSES. 1. William Eaton, Esquire, Sheriff- 7. Thomas Murray, jourrseyman to substitute of Ayrshire.
the said Hugh Crawford. 2. Thomas Weir, Sheriff-clerk-depute 8. James Johnstone, muslin agent of Ayrshire.
there. 3. Alexander Murdoch, writer in Ayr. 9. David Liamsay Andrews, writer 4. Andrew Finnie, merchant in Kil.
10. 'augh Wilson, weaver there. 5. William Merrie, wright there.
11. James Samson, weaver there. 6. Hugh Crawford, printer there.
12. David Bow, shopman to Thomas
Baird, merchant in Kilmarnock. H. HOME DRUMMOND, A. D.
LIST OF ASSIZE.
County of Edinburgh. James Watsca, of Saughton.
William Watson, farmer, Middle KenCharles Fraser, of Williamston.
leith. Alexarıder Falconer, baker in Dalkeith. John Dodds, farmer, Saughton Mill. Wiriam Crichton, glazier there.
John Drysdale, farmer, Clermiston.
County of Haddington. George Rennie, of Fantassie.
Peter Sheriff, farmer at Drem. David Pringle, of Blegbie.
John Hislop junior, grocer in HadDavid Skirving, farmer at East Gar- dington. leton.
County of Linlithgow. Norman Shairp, younger of Houstou. John Calder, farmer at Drumcross. John Stewart, of Binny.
John Russel, farmer at Mosside.
City of Edinburgh.
Peter Brown, linen-draper there. Walter Lamb, upholsterer in Edinburgh. William Kennedy, glover there. Archibald M.Kinlay, haberdasher in James Gilchrist, clothier there. Edinburgh.
Charles Howden, shoemaker there. John Baxter, confectioner there.
Edward Gilchrist, haberdasher there. Sharp Callender, clothier there.
James Virtue, button-manufacturer William Pattison, junior, haberdasher there. in Edinburgh.
James Richmond, insurance-broker Andrew Mellis, haberdasher there.
there. John Pollock, insurance-broker there. James Stoddart, wine-merchant there. James Howden, jeweller there.
Andrew Wauchope, turner there. John Drummond, manufacturer there. Alexander Anderson, general agent
Town of Leith.
LORD JUSTICE-CLERK.-Alexander M Laren and Thomas Baird ;-What do you say to the libel-are you guilty or not
The following Defences had been given in. DEFENCES for ALEXANDER M'LAREN, Weaver in Kil
marnock, to the Indictment at the Instance of ALEXANDER MaconOCHIE of Meadowbank, his Majesty's Advocate, for his Majesty's interest, for Sedition.
“ T'he Pannel has been employed from his early youth in his trade as a weaver. He has always preserved the most sober and orderly habits, and, if necessury, he could bring forward complete proof of his uniform and steady loyalty. He never was engaged in any riot or disturbance whatever, and never was connected or accused of being connected with any of :he societies, or combinations of men formed for unlawful purposes, or whose objects have been regarded with suspicion. He was a volunteer in the Glasgow Highland Regiment, during the whole period of its establishment, and when the volunteer system was put an end to, be transferred his services to the Local Militia. During the greatest part of his service, he was a serjeant, a situation which he obtained by his good conduct.
« Of late years, the pannel, among many others, lamented the distresses of the country, from which he himself had severely suffered in his situation and prospects. He therefore approved of the petitions, which were presented in such numbers to his Royal Highness the Prince Regent, and the two Houses of Parliament, the object of which was to obtain relief.
“A meeting was held near Kilmarnock in the month of December last, at which a great multitude of people attended, for the purpose of considering of the expediency of petitioning His Royal Highness the Prince Regent and the Houses of Parliament upon the present distressed state of the country, and the subject of Parliamentary Reform. The pannel was present at that meeting, and made a short speech, not in the terms alleged in the libel, but in other terms, which appeared to hip to be warranted by law in such a case. The meeting was afterwards addressed by other persons; certain resolutions were agreed to; petitions were drawn out, addressed to the Prince Regent, and to the two Houses of Parliament. These petitions having been signed by a great number of persons, were sent to London and presented. The petitions addressed to the two Houses of Parliament were presented, read, and ordered to lie on the table of each house. In his speech, the pannel did nothing more than lawfully recommend the said peti. tions; and he denies that he is guilty of the crime of Sedition.
“ The pannel took no charge whatever of printing the pamphlet produced with the libel; and he finds that his own specch is in. accurately reported.
“ It is an evident misconception, that such a speech, spoken at a lawful meeting for lawful purposes, was 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 dissentions. If there are grievances or abuses, or șuch men as bad rulers, or bad ministers, those who complain against them, or petition against them, do only exercise their legal rights. The pannel, while he was disposed to petition for redress of grievances, was filled with the same reverence for the Legislature and all its different branches, and for the Government of the country as established by law, that is impressed on the mind of every good subject. “ Under protestation to add and eik.
John Clerk. « J. P. GRANT.
“ JAMES CAMPBELL." LIST OF EXCULPATORY WITNESSES. Hugh Wilson, weaver, Kilmarnock. John Kennedy, schoolmaster there. James Samson, ditto,
John Blackwood, wool spinner there. James Johnstone, muslin agent there.
DEFENCES for THOMAS BAIRD, to the Indictment at the
Instance of his Majesty's Advocate for the Crime of Sedi. tion.
“ The pannel denies that he is guilty of the crime charged against him. He was not a speaker at the meeting mentioned in the indictment, and neither spoke nor wrote any of the words there set forth. He also denies that he printed or published any of the said words; and if any circumstances shall be proved tending to connect him with the publication or sale thereof, he has, no doubt, both from the tenor of the said words and the nature of his concern with them, that it will be apparent that he is entirely guiltless of the crime here charged. “ Under protestation to add and eik.
" F. JEFFREY.
LIST OF EXCULPATORY WITNESSES.
there. David Ramsay Andrews, writer there. John Wyllie, assessor of taxes there. Walter Andrews, writer there.
Robert Howie, merchant there, Andrew Finnie, merchant there.
Thomas Murray, prirker there, James Johnstone, muslin agent there.
The Rev. James Kirkwood, relief mia John Brown, writer there,
nister there, residing at Riccarton,
LORD JUSTICE-CLERK.-Have the Counsel for the pannels any objections to state to the relevancy of this indictment ?
Mr CAMPBELL.-I appear on behalf of the pannel, Alexander M‘Laren ; and it is not my intention to state any objections to the relevancy of the libel, but to explain to the Court and the Jury the nature of the concern which he had in the transactions now brought before this Court. At the same time, it is proper I should state, that we who are his Counsel hold it to be the undoubted law, and law which has never been questioned in this part of the country, that it is the province of the Jury to consider both the facts and the law of the case ;-that it is for them to say whether the facts charged in the indictment are proved in the course of the trial, and if they find them proved, whether these facts do amount to the crime charged. And that being the case, we hold that we are not deprived of the benefit of any pleas which we may afterwards maintain, by any interlocutor of relevancy now to be pronounced.
I conceive also, that in justice to the pannel, and in justice to the opposite side of the bar, (who always meet me with liberality, and whom I wish to meet in the same manner), I should at once and openly state the nature of the defence we intend to maintain, and should say something of the history and character of the pannel. The pannel, after learning the trade of a weaver, in the county of Perth, went to Glasgow, where he continued a good many years. He acted as assistant foreman in a mercantile house, and during the whole of his engagement gave entire satisfaction to his employer. Seventeen years ago he entered into the Highland Corps of Volunteers in that city, and soon rose to the rank of serjeant, and continued with the corps till it was disbanded, and the volunteer associations were discontinued. He next went to Kilmarnock, where a great many weavers are occupied in working for the manufacturers of Glasgow; and, at the same time, he again gave his services to the public, by entering into the Local Militia Corps of that district, in which corps he continued down to 1812, when the period of its service expired. And not only was there no complaint against him during all these periods, as a man either troublesome or quarrelsome, but he maintained in Kilmarnock, during the period of nearly eight years he lived there, a character remarkable for sober habits, attachment to good order, and to the Government of the country; and last harvest, during a riot which occurred about a scarcity of meal, so far was he from taking any part in the riot, that when a house was to be attacked, he put himself forward along with two constables in order to protect the house. He enjoyed this decent, respectable, and good character, till this charge of sedition was brought against him.
He does not deny that he attended the meeting in December. His means of subsistence, and those of his neighbours about him had been gradually declining. They had arrived, before the period I speak of, at, I hope, their worst state of distress ; for he worked fifteen hours a day for 5 s. a-week, and he is not only one of the best workmen, but so expert as to be able to execute the best work in the shortest time. And I will prove, that other workmen, who could execute as good work, but who were not so expert and expeditious as my client, were able to obtain only 3s. a-week. The pannel admits, that in this distress he began to think of the causes which had reduced his neighbours and himself from a condition in which they were prosperous aud happy to a state in which they could scarcely gain the means of subsistence; and he confesses he came to be of opinion, that the evils were partly owing to the excessive taxation which had been imposed on the country, and he and some others thought it right to call a meeting of the inhabitants of the place where he resided, to consider the propriety of a petition to the Legisslature on the subject of their distress, its causes, and what appeared to them to be the proper remedies. They conceived, that to do this was their undoubted right; and it will not be denied on the opposite side of the bar that such was their right. There is no charge in the indictment that the meeting was illegal. It was a legal meeting which they were entitled to hold: it was for a legal purpose, and there was no harm in going there ; and every person was entitled to state the grievances he felt, and in a manner that might induce the meeting to take constitutional measures for what he conceived would bring them relief. The pannel did not intend to take any part in the proceedings, nor to open the meeting as he did.But those persons who were to have opened the proceedings, were not equal to the task when the time came, and he was asked to undertake what was refused by the others. He went into a house in the neighbourhood, and bastily threw upon paper some observations which he wished to submit to the meeting. He did address the meeting, but he did not submit to it, and there were not contained in that paper-what are cited as offensive expressions in the last part of the indictment. And as to the passage about a corrupt administration, which is cited in the indictment, it was in the manuscript, but was not spoken in the field. I admit that the manuscript afterwards went into the hands of the committee of the petitioners, at the re