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no man who has not wished to encourage rebellion in any state who has not concurred in opinion with Mr. Justice Foster---that insurrections, under such circumstances, are levying war against the King in his realm, Gentlemen, persons are sometimes confounded on the term levying war, by supposing it must be carried on by foreign force. In one sense it means by foreign force; but the only war a subject can carry on against his own government is in truth insurrection and rebellion, for that in the subjects of a state is war, as much as hostile invasion by a foreign state is war.
Gentlemen, it is not necessary, in order to constitute a levying war, that the parties who have begun to do so should arrive at that degree of success to put the whole kingdom as it were in a state of actual flagrant war and contest, such as this country has in former unhappy times been subject to; if they assemble themselves together with the treasonable purpose of overturning the government, with the treasonable purpose even of overawing the parliament, with the treasonable purpose of making, by armed force, the King change his measures, that is as much a levying war as if they had a hundred thousand men in battle in the field ; though in one case they might have inore chance of success, and in the other there would be the greatest probability that, in the end, their schemes would be frustrated and defeated; you will therefore look at this-What was the object that this prisoner and those concerned with him had, when they were guilty of those acts which I am about to detail to you? How are you to find what are the objects of men, unless indeed you are in the very interior of their consultations, and can read their inmost thoughts? How are you to find out what are the objects of men when they are guilty of certain acts but by considering the declarations they themselves make previous to, and accompanying those acts, and the nature of the acts themselves, and the objects that they must necessarily have in view when they are guilty of the conduct which is imputed to them? Gentlemen, when I make that observation, I do not mean to say that therefore if I
should prove men did certain acts, I am entitled to say to you, now tell me what it was they intended ? That is not enough, I agree; but what was their intention must be a fair inference from the acts themselves, as well as made out by the declarations that accompanied the acts, at the time their schemes were going on.
Gentlemen, in the present case the persons who have been guilty of this offence, had laid, as will be manifested beyond all doubt, a plan for the purpose of overturning or endeavouring to overturn the government and constitution of the country. What these wild men, for so I cannot help calling them, what these men intended to establish in lieu of that which they were about to destroy, it is impossible for you or me to conceive; no matter what they intended to establish, no matter whether they had any definite object which they intended to establish, the question is this, did they mean to endeavour to pull down and to subvert that which exists, and whether they intended that the consequence of that should be, that which necessarily must be the consequence, anarchy, confusion, and misery, to the community; or whether they had some defined or immediate project and scheme of government of their own either by national convention or otherwise, no matter, the question is did they intend by insurrection and force to subvert and to overturn the government and constitution of the country; because if they did no man alive can deny, whilst the law of England remains such as it has been for years and such as I hope it always will remain, that if that was their object they were guilty of palpable Treason against the clause of the statute in levyž ing war against the King.
Gentlemen, the other two counts which are charged in the Indictment in fact in this case, resolve themselves into the same thing; the other counts in the Indictment only go upon this, that imagining and intending to do that or conspiring together to do that which these men ultimately did, namely, levying war would be a Treason, even if war had not been levied by them.
Gentlemen, having stated this to you, I will detail
to you as shortly as I can the nature of the proceedings, particularly as they effect the present prisoner Brandreth. Gentlemen, let me make one observation to you here, which is this, that he is the only person at present upon trial; but it will be necessary in the course of detailing the evidence, and more particularly in the course of proof, to prove that which many other persons did, many of whom are named in this Indictment, and that which many other persons did as concerned and combining with the prisoner who are not named in the Indictment, because those acts done by the prisoner all consist in conspiring in acting in concert, that is to say, with other persons, for it would be iinpossible almost, nay quite impossible, for any one man to levy war by himself.
Gentlemen, a number of persons in this county, and in other parts as I think, will be shewn to you by the evidence, and by the evidence as coming from the mouth of the present prisoner himself and others in his company, had conceived a scheme of endeavouring to overturn the government of the country, of resorting to hostile armed force for the purpose of compelling some thing to be done which they thought it was an object to attain ; many meetings had been holden amongst different persons, the prisoner at the bar was certainly not an attendant at many of those meetings. I shall introduce the prisoner at the bar to you in that part of the transaction which at present appears to me to be the most prominent as against him, but from that which will be proved as against him in that
part of the transaction where I particularly begin to affect him, it will be most palpable and most obvious that he was acquainted with and a party to the previous proceedings of those with whom he ultimately acted and others; and that his conduct in that which he pursued in the course of this transaction, was for the purpose of effectuating the object by force of arms which had been consulted upon previously, whether together with him or not I know not, but which had been consulted upon, and advised and determined upon previous to the time when I begin to affect the prisoner immediately and personally,
Gentlemen, you observe upon the face of this Indictment that the Prisoner is called the Nottingham Captain, that is a designation which either he gave to himself, or which those who were concerned with him gave him at the time of the transaction. A conspiracy had been formed to make a rising in this county, and not only to have a rising and insurrection here, but it was stated by these parties themselves that it was to be in concert with certain other parts and places in this kingdom; in short, to be a general insurrection as far as they intended, and as far as they could effectuate it throughout the kingdom to concentráté their forces at some particular and given place, in order then to march on for the purpose of having a general and open insurrection and rebellion.
Gentlemen, part of this hostile force, for so I call it, was to bé assembled in your county, other parts were to be assembled in other places, and particularly at the town of Nottingham, which is at no great distance from the part of your county where these transactions particularly took place, and with respect to those persons who were to act in this county and in this neighbourhood, Nottingham or Nottingham Forest, I think it is called, and town of Nottingham, was the place to which the Derbyshire conspiråtors were to resort for the purpose of effecting a junction in Nottingham Forest, and of taking the town of Nottingham.
Gentlemen, as it should seem, from the declarations of these persons themselves, meetings had taken place between those who were the conspirators in Nottingham and those who were the conspirators in Derbyshire, the plan had been settled, that at two or three different villages or towns in Derbyshire, which I will mention to yoù presently, those Derbyshire men were to assemble themselves together on one particular night, namely, the night of the 9th of June; and, when they had assembled themselves from the different villages, they were to march from the ultimate spot where all the Derbyshire men were to collect themselves together in order to proceed to Nottingham, there to join those whom they stated or thought
to be ready at Nottingham for the purpose of effectuating their treasonable purpose. That night, whatever might have been the previous consultations upon the subject. The night fixed upon for this purpose was Monday, the 9th of June; during the course of that night they were 10 assemble from their different places of habitation, so as to reach Nottingham by the Tuesday morning.
Gentlemen, the prisoner at the bar, Brandreth, was to be, and was the leader, and the conductor, and the commander of the Derbyshire Insurgents, for the
purpose of conducting them to Nottingham. At what immediate period he came over from Nottingham for this purpose I do not know that I can accurately state to you; but here he was in Derbyshire most certainly on Sunday the 8th of June. I believe he had been at a previous meeting a day or two before, and had been at one meeting of the conspirators, and another resort of the conspirators a day or two before ; but on Sunday the 8th of June he was over at Pentridge, which is a village or towa in your county ; which some of you may probably know where he came for the express purpose not only of taking the lead of the insurgents when they should actually rise, but for the express purpose of receiving the insurgents in the course of that day, and stating and explaining the plan of operations which was to take place, and pointing out to them the course they were to pursue, and of designating to them the object they had in view, namely, that of a Revolution and subverting the Government, and wiping all off, every thing off, or every thing clean, to use one of their own phrases, in fact of subverting the Government and Constitution of the country through the medium of hostile force and open rebellion.
Gentlemen, there is at Pentridge a publie house, called the White Horse, kept by a person of the name of Weightman, a widow I believe, who was the mother of one of the persons concerned in the conspiracy with Brandreth, and one of the persons extremely active as a leader of the insurgents in the transaction I am about to state to that White Horse, on the 8th of June, Bran.