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704. The whole Proceedings on the Trial of John Thomas
Brunt, for High Treason, before the Court holden under a
SESSIONS HOUSE, OLD BAILEY,
Mr. Barclay was sworn.
Edward Hughes, gentleman, excused on account MONDAY, APRIL 24th, 1820.
Edward Grant, cow-keeper, excused on acPresent
count of illness.
Joseph Sheffield, esq. and ironmonger, challen-
ged by the prisoner. And others his Majesty's Justices, &c.
Thomas Goodchild, esq. sworn.
Joseph Haynes, bricklayer, challenged by the [The Prisoner was set to the Bar.] Crown. The Jury Panel was called over, commen- Robert Stephenson, anchorsmith, challenged by cing with No. 219.
the Crown. Richard Emery, cooper, challenged by the Mr. Stephenson.-I am sorry to be under Crown.
the necessity of appealing to your lordship, Stephen Gaurd, bricklayer, challenged by the but I should think, having been challenged Crown.
twice* I may claim a right to withdraw altoJohn Apple, drug-grinder, excused on account gether.
Lord Chief Baron.—Certainly not.
Mr. Stephenson.--I have always applied myWilliam Butler Baker, challenged by the self strictly to do my duty, as I have been Crown.
taught from my infancy, but I conceive I am William Benn, farmer, challenged by the trified with.
Mr. Solicitor-General.—It is no reproach to
any gentleman that he is challenged, either on William Norton, sawyer, challenged by the the one side or the other, and ought not to be
Richard Blunt, gentleman, challenged by the
prisoner. Mr. Barclay.-My lord, I feel so completely Isaac Gunn, baker, challenged by the Crown. influenced by the facts that came before me William Churchill, gentleman, and wine-meron the former trial, tthat I really do not feel chant, challenged by the Crown. myself a competent judge.
Thomas Suffield Aldersey, esquire, sworn. Lord Chief Baron. It is no objection unless Thomas Wilkinson, farmer, challenged by the the parties object.
Samuel Fish, tobacconist, challenged by the
by the Crown.
James Herbert, carpenter, sworn. Mr. Justice Richardson. It is no objection John Shuter, gentleman, sworn. in point of law.
Josiah Bartholomew, watchmaker, challenged
by the prisoner. • See the preceding and following Cases.
+ He was one of the Jury on the trial of * Now, and in the case of Arthur ThistleArthur Thistlewood.
John Jones, carpenter, challenged by the Crown. John Jones, stock-broker, challenged by the Henry Ramsey, boat-builder, excused on ac- Crown. count of illness.
Thomas Partridge, farmer, challenged by the Thomas Bristow, coachmaker, challenged by prisoner. the prisoner.
George Henn, ship-chandler, challenged by the Samuel Granger, lighterman, challenged by the Crown. prisoner.
Thomas Harby, esq. and rope-maker, challenged George Dickenson, builder, challenged by the by the prisoner. prisoner.
William Jarrett, watch-engraver, challenged by Thomas Parkinson, upholsterer, challenged by
the prisoner. the prisoner.
Samuel Wimbush, horse-dealer, fined for nonThomas Ashton, esq. and ship-chandler, chal
attend .ice. lenged by the prisoner.
John Bunting, gentleman and tailor, challenged Jarres Wilmot, market-gardener, sworn.
by the Crown. George Phillips, jeweller, challenged by the Willium Dawes, farmer, challenged by the prisoner,
Crown. Thomas Bird, distiller, challenged by the pri- William Cooper, gentleman, challenged by the
prisoner. William Johnson, baker, challenged by the Robert Greaves, gentleman, excused on account Crown.
of illness. John Echvard Shephurd, gentleman, sworn. Christopher Dowson, ship-builder, challenged Samuel Gould, calico-printer, challenged by the by the Crown. Crown.
William James Farmer, baker, challenged by James Wadynore, esq. challenged by the prisoner. the prisoner. Thomas Brown, oilman, challenged by the pri- David Newman, farmer, challenged by the
Crown. George Allen, brass-founder, challenged by the George Thorpe, clock-case maker, challenged prisoner.
by the Crown. William Reed, esq. challenged by the prisoner. Henry Seaborn, cooper, excused on account of George Davis, cooper, challenged by the pri- illness.
Francis Sherborn, esq. and farmer, challenged John Farnell, brewer, challenged by the pri- by the prisoner.
Echoird Simpson, shipwright, challenged by the John Westbrook, brick-maker, fined for non- prisoner.
attendance, but the fine afterwards remitted William Davies, shopkeeper, challenged by the on proof of illness.
Crown. Jonathan Passinghum, farmer, challenged by the Richard Franks, esq. and silk-mercer, chalCrown.
lenged by the Crown. Joseph Drake, draper, challenged by the pri- John Smith, undertaker, sworn.
Thomas Langley, ship-chandler, challenged by Joseph Clements, market-gardener, excused on the Crown. account of illness.
George Priest, esq. challenged by the prisoner. John Fowler, iron-plate worker, sworn. Samuel Wilson, gentleman and merchant, Samuel Rhodes, esq. and cow-keeper, challenged
Mr. Curwood.-I have no cause to shew, by by the prisoner. William Gibbs Roberts, cooper, sworn.
challenges are exhausted. Richard Smith, esq. challenged by the Crown. Mr. Altorney General.—The prisoner shall Joseph Pendered, iron-plate worker, challenged not suffer inconvenience from that circumby the Crown.
stance. Thomas Garrett, shipwright, challenged by the
Challenged by the Crown, Crown. Matthew Ashton, coach-master, challenged by Alfred Batson, esq. and porter-dealer, challeng
Michael Atkins, esq., challenged by the Crown. the prisoner. Richard Hatchett , esq. and farmer, challenged George Taylor, bricklayer, challenged by the
ed by the Crown. by the prisoner.
John Woodward, gentleman, sworn.
THE JURY. illness.
Alexander Barclay, John Shephard,
James Wilmot, Jobn Woodward. James Gates, joiner, challenged by the Crown. Robert Wells, farmer, challenged by the Crown. The Jury were charged with the prisoner in Edward Bracebridge, watchmaker, challenged the usual form.
by the Crowa.
Mr. Attorney General.-Before Mr. Bolland request, and that therefore it is unnecessary, opens the case, I think it my duty to bring but in justice to the prisoner at the bar you before your lordships a circumstance which will forgive me for having made it; and I am has occurred since you last sat in this place. satisfied, that through the whole course of this The Court, from an anxious desire that nothing trial, your minds will not be influenced by any should occur during the course of these trials, thing but the evidence in the case, and thai, which could by any means operate to the pre- upon that evidence alone your conclusion will judice of the prisoners, at the commencement be formed. of the proceedings directed that no publication The charge against the prisoner at the bar of the proceedings on the first or any other is that of high treason; and without troubling trial, should take place until the whole of you with stating the different counts of this them were brought to a conclusion. With that indictment, I shall content myself by observing injunction, I believe I may state, that the to you, that it is necessary by the law, that daily papers have most properly complied; but the acts intended to be given in evidence it appears by the paper which has been put against the accused, shall be stated in the ininto my hands, that a publication was made dictment. Those acts consist in consultations yesterday in the Observer newspaper of the and deliberations by the prisoner at the bar, whole of the trial of Arthur Thisilewood, and and others, to overturn the constitution of the not a very short account was given also of the country, to excite insurrection against the trial of James Ings, and my lords, this publica established government–in having actually tion has been issued with a full knowledge on prepared means for that purpose--and in the part of the publisher, of the prohibition having formed and acted upon an intention which the Court had pronounced, for I find to assassinate all bis majesty's ministers. Those that prohibition published in this very paper statements are introduced into the indictment which contains the account of the trials I have as indicating and evidencing the intention hars mentioned,
houred in the mind of the prisoner at the bar It is not my intention at this moment to and his associates, to depose the king from his interrupt the proceedings which are about to royal authority, or to levy war against him, in take place, by calling upon your lordships to order by force to compel him to change his take any specific step upon this most daring and measures and counsels; and I believe I may flagrant contempt of the authority of the Court; state with perfect confidence, that if these overt but I think I owe it to the dignity of the Court, acts, as they are called, shall be proved to your and to the situation which I hold, to state thus satisfaction, they will establish the charge of publicly, that this conduct cannot pass unno- high treason against the prisoner at the bar. ticed ; and that undoubtedly some proceedings I consider it, therefore, sufficient at present to will be taken, when the means are furnished request your attention to the nature of the to bring the matter in a proper shape before evidence which will be laid before you, without your lordships.*
troubling you further upon the law of the Prisoner. — Would your lordship have the case: goodness to give me the indulgence of a seat, shoemaker, residing in Fox-court near Gray's
The prisoner, John Thomas Brunt, was a at intervals, when I am tired. Lord Chief Baron. --Certainly.
inn-lane, and it will be proved by the witnesses,
that early in the present year, plans (which The Indictment was opened by Mr. Bolland. probably had for a period long before existed
in the mind of the prisoner at the bar, and the Mr. Attorney General.-Gentlemen of the other persons who were associated with him), Jury ;-You have heard, from the opening of were more matured and brought nearer to the the indictment by my learned friend, the point of execution. One of his associates was nature of the charge which is preferred against a man who must frequently be mentioned in the prisoner at the bar; and as the circum- the course of this investigation, of the same stances of this case, about to be laid before of Thistlewood, a name probably not unknown you in evidence, have already come to the to any of you, and it is a duty I owe to the knowledge of some of you from the duty you prisoner to request that you will lay out of have lately performed, and may probably have your consideration?any thing which has occurred reached the minds of the rest; let me, in the with respect to Thistlewood, and confine outset, beseech you to dismiss, as far as you yourselves strictly to the proofs which will be can, all recollection of what you have heard or laid before you in support of the particular. read upon the subject of this proceeding, and charge you are now impanelled to try. Anoto confine your attention exclusively to the ther person, included in the present indict. facts which will be adduced in evidence upon ment, James Ings, by trade a butcher, will the present occasion. I am convinced that also appear to you to have been an intimate of every one of you has anticipated me in this the prisoner Brunt. At the commencement
of the present year, meetings were called by See the commencement of the trial of these three individuals, Thistlewood, Iogs, and Arthur Thistlewood, April 17th, suprd; and the prisoner, at which several other persons, the proceedings at the close of the present who will be introduced to your notice in the trial, infra.
course of this trial, were assembled. They
were held at the White Hart in Brook's-market, | the evening of the following Wednesday. not in the public house itself, but in a room Thistlewood, acquiescing in this opinion, pro in the yard belonging to it. It being thought posed, that upon the ensuing morning they however, for some reason or other, that this should assemble again, and that a committee was not a secure place for their meetings, ano- should then be appointed for the purpose of ther room was obtained, in the house in Fox- digesting the operations of Wednesday; and court, in which the prisoner at the bar lived; and it will appear to you, that on Sunday the 20th it will appear, that though hired for the ostensi- of February, the party met more numerously ble purpose of being occupied by Ings as a lodg- than had been usual; twenty persons or more ing, it never was applied to that purpose, but were, I believe, collected. was used exclusively for the meetings which The plan of these conspirators embraced the conspirators daily held, in order to consult other objects besides the destruction of his upon their plans, and to prepare the means for majesty's ministers ; different parties were to carrying them into execution. This room was be posted in various parts of this metropolis ; on the same floor with the apartments of the some were to set fire to buildings, wbich were prisoner Brunt; his were in the front, that to be pointed out; others were to seize the hired for Ings was at the back of the house; cannon deposited in Gray's-inn-lane at the the key of it was kept at Brunt's, and access Light-horse Volunteer stables, and in the to it obtained by applying to him or some Artillery-ground near Finsbury-square. It was member of his family.
intended, that after the taking of those cannon It will be in your recollection that at the and the firing of different places in the metroclose of the month of January, his late majesty polis, they should meet at the Mansion-house; died. It had been part of their plan to come which was to be the seat of what they termed mence operations by the destruction of his the provisional government. This being majesty's ministers, and it was thought that no settled and arranged on the Sunday, you will opportunity would be so convenient as that find that their activity increased to complete which the assembling of those distinguished the preparations they had begun. Ammunition persons at a cabinet dinner would afford. Incon- was procured in very large quantities; handsequence of his majesty's death, those dinners grenades, which will be exhibited to you, were were suspended, and therefore no such oppor- prepared ; fire-balls, to which they gave the tunity was at that time likely to occur, at least appellation of illumination balls, were made, the prisoner and his associates so believed ; it to be lighted and thrown into the houses which was therefore proposed at one of their delibera- were to be set on fire ; cartridges for the cannot tions, that although the whole of their scheme were obtained in considerable quantities ; arms could not be accomplished, some individuals of every description-guns, blunderbosses, of his majesty's ministry should be cut off pistols, and swords were collected. Other either at their own houses, or at other places; instruments which were found will be exhibited and it was thought that the night of the king's to you; they are pikes made of staves of ash funeral might be a convenient time for the and beech, into one end of each of which were commencement of their plan. It was observed to be screwed bayonets or sharpened files; by one of them, that the soldiers, or the greater thus conuected together, the bayonet and the part of them, would then be withdrawn from staff formed a very formidable weapon, of the London to attend his majesty's funeral at length of eight or nine feet. Windsor, and that many of the police officers In order to their security, fearing that their would be necessarily absent upon the same motions at Brunt's room might be observed, duty; and from these considerations it was they had appointed another place as a depoproposed to the meeting, that that night should sitory for the arms and ammunition which be fixed as the period for beginning the projected they had procured, and you will find that operations. This proposal, however, either was place was at the house of Tidd, who is another not adopted, or, if then agreed to, was not of the persons charged in this indictment, who afterwards acted upon, and their operations lived in Hole-in-the-wall-passage, in Brook'swere postponed beyond the evening of his ma- market. They met again on the following jesty's funeral. Atlength the conspirators, heated day, Monday, the 21st, when their plans were and inflamed with the object which they had again considered, and they were still equally in view, became impatient; and you will find eager to complete them on the Wednesday; that on the 19th of February (a day to which and you will find their deliberations turned your attention will be particularly directed), again entirely on the mode in which their at a meeting at Brunt's room, at which Thistle scheme was to be carried into effect. wood, Ings, Brunt, Davidson, Harrison, and On Tuesday the 22nd another meeting was others were assembled, their impatience was held. At that meeting a man of the name of exhibited. Many of them said, that they Adams, who will be called before you as a were resolved that a blow should be struck witness, comgunicated to them something without delay, and that if no convenient op- which had yuccurred with respect to himself, portunity occurred in the mean time, at which and whicha excited a suspicion in his mind the whole of his majesty's ministers might at that their intentions were not altogether unone blow be cut off, they were determined that known t-% the government, and that their mosomething at all events should be attempted on tions suwere watched. The very suspicion of
this excited great agitation in the minds of only that he was seen in Grosvenor-square, those who were present; they were so con- but that he was engaged in playing at dovinced of the fidelity of each other, so con- minos in a public-house at the corner of fident in the means which they had prepared, Charles-street, which is close to the square, that they could not brook the notion that there with a young man of the name of Gillan. was any possibility of failure. Such, at least, Upon the following morning, the 23rd, the was the general impression upon the minds of day on which the plans of the conspirators the persons assembled there; but you will find were to be carried into effect, you will find that one of them, called Palio, who was to that they met at Brunt's house ; and that in head a detachment for setting fire to the town, the afternoon, between two and three o'clock, thought that the suggestion made by Adams many of the persons again assembled there for ought not to be treated with inattention. the purpose of proceeding to another place, to Brunt proposed, in order to ascertain whether which I shall now call your attention. It was their scheme had been detected or not, that a thought, by these persons, that, in order) to watch should be set that night. Gentlemen, carry into effect the plan of assassinating his I ought previously to have stated to you, that majesty's ministers at lord Harrowby's house, upon the morning when this which I am re- those who were destined for accomplishing lating to you, took place, it had been ascer- that part of the plot should be brought togea tained by the meeting, from a newspaper, that ther at some spot not very remote from Grosupon the following day a cabinet dinner was venor-square; and it will be proved to you to be given by lord Harrowby; an event long that on the Tuesday it was resolved that they anxiously wished for; an opportunity long should meet near Tyburn turnpike; and that desired by the prisoners, as by finding all his those who were not intrusted with the whole majesty's" ministers assembled at one place, of their schemes should have a word given they hoped the more easily and the more them, by which they might be able to ascereffectually to perform their diabolical work of tain, at their arrival there, who were the perassassination. Brunt proposed that a watch sons with whom they were to act. It however should be set, and the spot fixed upon was so happened, that before the Wednesday, the lord Harrowby's house. Brunt said, “If our prisoner Harrison procured a stable in an plan has been detected ; if there be any ground obscure street, called Cato-street, leading into for this suspicion which Adams entertains, no John-street, in the Edgware-road, which was doubt there will be some preparation made at considered by them a very convenient place lord Harrowby's house, to meet the intended for assembling and making their preparations attack; and if, therefore, upon watching his for the attack at lord Harrowby's house. The house to-night and to-morrow morning, it shall access to Cato-street, at each end, is under an appear that no soldiers are introduced into archway; so that it has the appearance rather that house or any of the adjacent houses, that of a mews than of a street; at one end it is no preparations are made for the expected accessible only by foot passengers, at the other attempi, we may be quite satisfied that our end there is an entrance for carriages. This plans remain undivulged, and that we are in stable was prepared for their meeting on that perfect security." I will not repeat to you evening ; Harrison and others were seen carthe expressions which were used at that meet- : rying things into it in the course of the aftering; the exultation which was displayed at noon of the 23rd, and some cloth or sacking finding that at last this opportunity they had was nailed up against the windows of the been so long expecting would occur, and that building on the side looking into Cato-street, at last the day had arrived, on which they for the obvious purpose of preventing the would be able to perpetrate their nefarious persons opposite from observing what was crimes. It will be sufficient for you to hear passing within. them once, from the witnesses who will be On the afternoon of that day, Thistlewood, called before you.
Ings, Bradburn, Hall, and others of the party On that evening, in pursuance of the sug- met at Brunt's room, and you will find that gestion of Brunt, a watch was set in Grosvenor. they were seen putting flints into their pistols, square at six o'clock. Two persons, one of accoutring themselves, and arming themselves whom was Davidson, were to take the duty with blunderbusses, pistols and swords, with from six till nine, when they were to be re- which they were to proceed to Cato-street, lieved by two others, who were to remain till and afterwards to lord Harrowby's. twelve; it was thought that from that time till It was thought by Thistlewood that it would four in the morning no observation would be be proper to prepare some sort of address to necessary, but that at the last mentioned hour the people, which should be exhibited that the watch should be resumed. Davidson and night in different parts of the town, for the his associate went into Grosvenor-square, and purpose of exciting disaffection, and of incontinued there from six till nine. At that ducing persons to join their party; and he sat hour they were relieved by Brunt and the down, and wrote a proclamation, in the prewitness Adams, and a remarkable circumstance paration of which, circumstances occurred occurred upon that evening, which puts it out most material for your consideration. It will of all doubt that the
prisoner Brunt was there. appear to you, that there being in the room It will be proved to you, by witnesses, not no paper upon which Thistlewood could write