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and the attempts to lead their attention The LORD ADVOCATE observed away from the evidence. Although that this step must be taken without he had frankly given his opinion, they any pledge, or even any confident ex. were in no degree bound to follow it, pectation of pardon. in case their own judgment led to a Mr Jeffrey acquiesced. different conclusion.
The prisoners then severally with. The Jury withdrew at five minutes drew their plea of Not Guilty, and before one o'clock, and returned into pleaded Guilty. Court in twenty minutes, finding the LORD President Hope.-My Lords, prisoner Guilty on the second and before any further procedure is held fourth Counts of the Indictment, and in this matter, I am sure your LordNot Guilty upon the first and third ships will all agree with me in saying, Counts.
that although Mr Jeffrey thought
himself entitled in point of law to obOn the 14th July John BAIRD was ject to the appearance of Mr Serjeant brought to trial ; but as the proceed. Hullock, or any English counsel, in ings did not and could not differ from this cause against him, yet, in point those in the trial of Hardie, unless in of fact, there never did exist, or could unimportant particulars, we have pre- exist, less necessity for any counsel ferred giving a full report of the one, fearing to meet another counsel of rather than a more meagre report of any bar whatever ; and I am sure, if both. He was found Guilty on the all the bar of England had attended second count of the indictment. here on behalf of the unhappy men
now convicted, it is impossible they
could have been better or more ably Stirling, 5th July, 1820. defended. Every point was hit that
it was possible to hit for them, and James Clelland,
pleaded in the ablest manner; and it Thomas M'Culloc,
must be satisfactory to the country, Benjamin Moir,
that the result of these trials has been Allan Murchie,
to raise the character of the Scotch Alexander Latimer,
bar, and to shew they are fully comAlexander Johnstone,
petent to the conduct of any case Andrew White,
whatever. With regard to the last David Thomson,
proceeding, he has acted with as much James Wright,
judgment as he did with ability in the William Clarkson,
defence of his other clients.
Stirling, 31st July, 1820.
John M Millan,
James Burt, were set to the bar.
Andrew Burt the younger, Mr JEFFREY rose and stated, that Daniel Turner, after the issue of the two last trials, James Aitkin, grocer, he considered it his duty to his unfor- James Aitkin, wright, tunate clients to advise them to plead Andrew Dawson, and Guilty, and to throw themselves on John Johnstone, the mercy of the crown.
were then put to the bar, and severally pleaded Not Guilty. Their trial er was the channel through which the was fixed for the 4th August.
communication was carried on bet ween
the seditious at Strathaven, and the Stirling, 4th August, 1820. provisional government established at
Glasgow for treasonable purposes ; John M Millan and Andrew Dawn and that he was the person to whom son were put to the bar. Mr John their messages were delivered. Through Peter Grant then rose, and stated his means chiefly, there was reason to that, at his advice, given upon a care- suppose, that a treasonable handbill ful consideration of all the circumstan- (the same exhibited in the trial of ces of the case, the two prisoners were Hardie) was posted in Strathaven. desirous of pleading Guilty. This The recommendation contained in it being admitted, the Lord Advocate to all labourers to desist from work rose and said, that these two being was followed at least to a great exthe most criminal, he was ready to ac- tent. The proclamation was farther quiesce in a verdict of acquittal upon acted upon by the ring leaders assem. the rest.
bling one evening at the house of The Lord President then pronoun- Wilson, whence they issued in parties, ced sentence of Death upon all the and violently robbed different houses prisoners who had been found Guilty. of arms, which they brought to his It was enforced, however, only against house. Early on the following morntwo, Andrew Hardie, and John Baird, ing, a party, of from ten to fourteen, whose execution took place on the came out from the house, variously 8th September, 1820.
armed, and accompanied by Wilson himself, wearing a sword. From dif
ferent notices it would appear, that WILLIAM WILSON, STRATHAVEN, they were going to join their brethren For High Treason.
at Glasgow, and accordingly they
marched along the road to that city Glasgow, 26th June, 1820. as far as Kilbride. Here they met a
gentleman and a lady in a gig, from The Grand Jury being impanelled, whom they learned, that all was quiet true bills were found against William at Glasgow, and that there was not the Wilson, William M.Intyre, William smallest prospect of succeeding in their Robertson, and William Watson. The undertaking. Upon receiving this intwo latter had absconded, and were telligence, ihey gave up their march, not in custody.
and slunk back to Strathaven as quiet
ly as they could. The Lord Advocate 8th July, 1820.
contended, that those facts establish
ed beyond a doubt that they had, William Wilson was put to the bar, with a treasonable intent, come forand the indictment being read, the ward in arms against the King, and Lord Advocate rose and stated the with a view to overthrow the establishnature of the charge. He observed that ed system of government. the house of the prisoner was the place The facts were proved by very vowhere the disaffected met and arran- luminous evidence, for an abstract of ged their plans. The meeting there which our limits oblige us to refer took in the Black Dwarf, the Spirit to the speeches of Mr Murray and Mr of the Union, and other papers exci- Hullock. ting to disaffection. There would ap. The prosecutor was then about to pear reason to believe that the prison- put in evidence the declarations of the prisoner. Mr Monteith objected to the length of that drawn up against the first, because Mr Aiton, who re- this poor individual. ceived it, though he had told the pri- The prisoner at the bar was accusoner, that he was not obliged to make sed of an attempt to subvert the Conany declaration, liad yet added, that it stitution ; where was there any thing would be better, in his opinion to be pointing at such an attempt? Where candid and to tell the whole truth; was there any thing stated on his part that this was what he himself would do like a dislike to the Constitution of in a like case. This, Mr M. urged, was his country, any thing short of the holding out an expectation, or half most implicit admiration and attachpromise, of some favour to be extend. ment to it? He was accused, because ed to him, in consequence of making persons met at his house in January to the confession. The objection was read certain newspapers, the Black sustained. Mr Monteith then ob- Dwarf, or the Black Book, as some jected to a second declaration to the called it, the Manchester Observer, same effect, because, though nothing and the Spirit of the Union. What did of the kind had been then said, nothing the Jury know of these newspapers ? had been said to do away the impres. what evidence was there that they consion which had been produced by the tained any thing at all wrong?. He first. Although this objection was knew nothing of them; they might be strenuously combated by Serjeant the best or the worst in the world. Hullock, it was finally sustained by Supposing they were bad, they had the Court.
been given up on the 10th of January. Mr Murray, for the panel, then He surely thought that this was was. expressed the reluctance with which ting the time of the Jury. he had undertaken this cause, which The next charge was for publishing he had neither leisure nor experience and posting up a treasonable Address. of the subject, sufficient to do justice Heagreed implicitly in the description to; but he had considered himself given of it ; it was an improper, treabound to sacrifice every personal con- sonable, and detestable Address. But sideration, and even his professional where was the evidence that his client character, rather than incur the great. had any share in its composition and er stain of refusing the repeated appli- posting up? When, after an investications of a person in distress. Mr gation of several months, this trial Murray considered it a hardship to his was so pompously announced, he neclient, that English law did not require ver doubted that we were now to deal the same precision in indictment as is with the persons who had made the required by Scots law. He justified Address, and with some members of himself against the insinuation that he the provisional government who dichad unnecessarily taken up the time of tated it. As to his client, there was the Jury by causing all the material not the shadow of proof, or attempt parts of the indictment to be read; he to prove, that he ever even saw it. considered himself bound to do so, and There was nothing more than evidence had abridged it as much as possible. of its being seen and posted up in At the same time, he arraigned the Strathaven. Among numerous witenormous length of the indictment, to nesses, some had, and some had not which he did not believe there had
seen it, so that it probably remained ever been a parallel. That against a up a very short time; and yet, because man who had conspired against the the prisoner might by chance have life of King William, was not a twen.
this Address, they were
uptieth, he believed not a fiftieth part of on to believe that his conduct was un
VOL. XIII. PART II.
der its dictation. He would never gainst those Judges who impaired the cease to call it a most criminal and statute by introducing constructive treasonable Address; but because that treasons. He called these “ damnable Address was framed in one town, and damned opinions." These were and posted up in another, was a man strong words, especially from a man of in that other, who is never proved to his station and gravity ; but they were have even seen it, to be considered as
not too strong ; because he who perthe author ?
verted this great law, committed a crime, There was a charge of purchasing compared to which any common trea. and providing arms, in order to attack son or murder might be considered as the soldiers of the King, and to make small. To constitute treason, then, war against the King.” The utmost there must be an intention to kill or that was proved under this head was, levy war against the King, and there that some persons had assembled one must be an overt act proving that night at the prisoner's house, when he intention. No doubt must be left on was absent, and committed certain the minds of any of the Jury, that the outrages; and that on another day, prisoner had that state of malignant ten, twelve, or at most fourteen men, mind, throwing off his allegiance, and had marched in a certain way upon the either levying war or compassing the road, while the prisoner, subject to King's death. This state of mind their power, certainly went unwilling- must be known by an overt act, ly along with them. This was the guarded from construction, and conjec- . war against the King-this was the ture, and suspicion. The bare fact parading with arms.
must come in such a manner, as irrecharges in the indictment for drilling, sistibly to lead the minds of persons and for attempting to seduce the sol. of his condition, a fair and honest Jury, diers of the King ; but not a shadow to this conclusion. If they were not of proof to substantiate these charges. satisfied, they were guilty of a crime Mr M. complained of the hardship more heinous and atrocious than he under which he had laboured, in not would mention, if they should find having seen the precise charges, noreven him guilty. After the most anxious the declaration of the prisoner, as he search, he could never find a trial would have done by the law of Scote for Treason at all like this. Was there land; perhaps he had injured his client a conspiracy against the life of the by procuring the rejection of that de- Sovereign ?'was there an attempt to claration, but he had been obliged to seize his garrisons ? was there an at. proceed upon such conjecture as cir. tack made with a great armed array? cumstances allowed.
The utmost of the statement is, not Mr M. now entered at some length that he put up the placard, not that into an illustration of the law of trea- he knew the people who put it up,
This, which had before been not that he is proved to have read vague, was limited by the statute of it, but that he and some others, in a Edward III. to compassing the death small village in this county, seem to of the King, Queen, or heir, and to have gone so many miles on the road, levying war against the King; “but and then they turned back. He could he must be probably attainted by open hardly believe he was addressing them deed by people of his condition.” upon a charge of seducing soldiers
, Lord Coke had justly called the Par. levying war, and forming this traitorliament which passed this Act “a ous hand-bill and provisional governblessed Parliament,” and he had ex
There was merely evidence pressed the strongest indignation a- that persons met at his house, but
without any violence committed while One witness had been seized the night he was present. Could the Jury, before and closely guarded. In the day against their souls, their oaths, and time, an attempt to escape would be consciences, put it to their breasts that much more difficult, especially in a he saw this proclamation, when there person of a certain age. There was was not a tittle of evidence bringing no ground of law or common sense, on ic directly against him? Never was which it could be said that this retreason or law more strained, than in an straint might not continue during attempt to obtain their verdict on a the whole of the eight miles that he ground which would make the life of accompanied them. It could not every person as unsafe as in the most be expected that the proof of com. unfortunate times. There may have pulsion should be made out on every been a great treason-there may have step on the road. He accompanies been a provisional government; if so, let these persons, not a band of rebels proof be adduced; but here there was carrying on war--not going on with nothing of the kind.
any disorderly and improper attempts, Mr Murray now proceeded to re- or doing any crime in his presence. Yet mark on the testimony of some partie he went, even on the evidence of the cular witnesses. James Thomson had Crown, dejected and unwilling. He been brought to prove, that he heard had not attended a meeting held on a knocking and a hammering. The in- the Monday, not far from his residence. terence, MrM.supposed, was, that they Mr M. endeavoured to prove that were knocking and hammering arms. every meeting, at which he was present, On the trial of a mouse would this be had been conducted in a much more held as evidence ? We are going to orderly manner than when he was abput the worst possible interpretation sent. There was the evidence of a Mrs on every thing, and because they had Hamilton to a speech made the evening got a noise, to believe they had got a before, expressing approbation of treatraitorous conspiracy. Was this evi- sonable designs, and intention to acdence to affect a man's life? He was company the party ; but this witness safe from a thousand such points ; it had a brother who had fled the coun. was only important as shewing that try, and who, she might hope, would there was nothing so trifling, but some be left unmolested, after the law had envious neighbours would put unchari. been satisfied with other victims. It table constructions upon. After this, appears that during the whole of the it behoved the Jury to examine scru- march, Wilson had advised returning, pulously all the attempts made to bias and on the first opportunity that of them. The same witness, when exa. fered, away he goes. To a person at mined to prove the prisoner's coming Kilbride, he expressed a wish that it out, said that he held his sword down; should be said he was there on busion cross-examination, that he seemed ness; this Mr M. imputed to a desire downcast. There was certainly evi- to screen his companions, who were dence that he came out that day, and relations or intimate associates. proceeded with these people along the Several witnesses were now produroad for a certain distance. He goes ced on the part of the plaintiff. from Strathaven a certain way upon
On the following day Mr Murray the road. Mr M. trusted he should be resumed. In consequence of the evaable to prove the compulsion under sion of the other persons engaged, he which he acted. Could it be doubted was deprived of his natural witnesses, that compulsion might be employed ? and obliged to have recourse to bs