Imatges de pàgina

would assist in destroying similar build. casion, every public speaker did the ings, if set up in this country, said no same. Had he been conscious of hamore than every English gentleman felt. ving desired, or of having used any Sir Charles Wolseley's fortune wasopu- means to cause “ a sanguinary revolulent, and affording the elegances and tion, he should have stood at the bar, luxuries of life ; his family, his rank, and at once pleaded guilty.” When his wife and numerous family, proved he had looked at that sham document, that he could not be influenced by envy, the indictment, in which he and Sir or desire to throw his property as a Charles Wolseley were bound hand prize of some desperate gambler in re- and foot, to be thrown-where ?-into volution.—He committed that client, kell! Here he was most basely traduhis liberty, his happiness, and the hapced and injured. He was determined piness of his family, with most entire to vindicate his own innocence. It confidence, into their hands.

might be said, what was his country Mr Harrison began to address the to him? “Why, gentlemen, it is every Jury with the utmost composure, and thing to me. Should they throw me with a violently methodistical twang. down, my country will receive me in The first thing he would speak of to her arms; should I be separated from them was Mr Marshall's charge to the the beloved partner of my life, my Grand Jury, as it appeared in the pa- country will comfort her heart; should pers. It struck him that it was ap. I be separated from my dear babes, my plied to himself. He knew of no case country will provide them ten fathers to which it could apply but his own. for me alone.” This time was the first This speech, so elaborate and long, opportunity afforded to him of vindi. was all directed against him, an hum- cating his character, and this opportu. ble individual as he was. (Here he nity, by the strength of Heaven, he read a great part of the charge, till he was determined to improve. (He now came to the expression that “ there read further on in the charge to the were persons destitute of honour, fame, Grand Jury.) “ Early impressions of and fortune, who hazarded their lives loyalty and religion must be removed ; for desperate purposes.") That there and this was to be accomplished by the were some bad and desperate adven- blasphemous speeches of their vagaturers, that hazarded their lives to ob. bond orators.” Vagabond orators! tain fame or fortune, he admitted, but meaning, no doubt, himself! Witness he was not among them. He had that Gospel which had been sealed always proposed to promote and effect with the blood of Jesus Christ, in the reform by legal means. The honour- preaching of which he had lived, and able Baronet could not have been al- in the practice of which he would die, luded to as the desperate adventurer, that he had done his utmost to check destitute of honour, fame, and fortune. the progress of vice and irreligion. Therefore he alone had been alluded The Gospel held out to him the hope to, or the observation was irrelevant. of a glorious hereafter ; it had been (He then read a passage, in continua- the delight of his heart, and it was still tion, from the Chester Chronicle.) If the comfort of his soul. “ The people he should fall, it would be by the vio- have a right to petition for the redress lence of his prosecutors ; " and if I of their grievances ; but they must fall,” continued he in a whining tone, exercise that right in a legal and con" the earth will shake when I fall.” stitutional manner.” And yet, for the If in the heat of argument or discourse exercise of that right it was that he be used figures too strong for the oc- now stood in his present trying predi.

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cament. Mark the buls ! The people abide it. [Here the orator stamped have a right, but they must not exert emphatically with his foot. He then it. They may have as many rights wiped his forehead, at leisure, with his as they please, but the moment they pocket-handkerchief, and continued.] seek to exercise them they are forfeit. He was sure that he had not offended ed.“ Drawing together vast multi- the Judge by his remarks ; for his tudes." Were 5000 too many for such Lordship had been looking at him with a neighbourhood to assemble on such a pleasant countenance all the while. an occasion ? One-fourth part of the He (Harrison) would tell the Jury population ? Would three men be ter- that he held in his hand a help unrified at one ? The terrorem populi had hoped for. It was a little book, ennot been made out by the prosecution. titled “ Remarks upon the lodictment He (Harrison) would not apply to the of Sir Charles Wolseley and Mr Harfeelings of the Jury; he scorned to do rison.” It was written by Jeremy Benit. Let the Jury hate him as their most tham, the greatest lawyer in the world. mortal foe, still it was their duty to give May be the Jury had heard of him ; a just verdict ; he did not ask it, he de. no doubt both their Lordships had. manded it. “ The law of England ab- Mr Harrison then went at great length hors the assemblage of great multitudes into the work of Mr Bentham, and of people on any pretence.” “Abhors!” expatiated, by way of digression, upWhat was meant by “ Abhors !"- on the merits of the Edinburgh Re“ Forbids” might have had some mean- view. There was an article in that ing; but, even then, the same argu- Review worthy the attention of the ment would apply to general elections, Jury. It treated of tumult, the offence either for county or city. “ Assassin- of which he (the defendant) was acation seems to have been one of the cused. The article was written by crimes by which this horrid conspiracy another great lawyer, Mr Brougham. was to have been accomplished.” What Mr Brougham there defended tumult; was this but an allusion to the Cato- and proved that it was not for the good street plot ? What, but an attempt to of the public that tumultuous meetings connect him (Harrison) with those should be extinguished. Mr Brougham foolish, rash—(“ Here is a gentleman wished that very crime to continue for behind won't let me speak”)-incon- which the defendants in the present siderate men ? But, be the Jury what case were indicted. Not that he (Harthey might, they were Englishmen; rison) liked tumult; he was always a he loved them ; every Englishman was peaceable man. It had been given in near and dear to his heart. “ Pretend. evidence, that the defendants had ined Reformers !” the word “ pretend- tended to assemble the whole country ed” hurt him. If they had been cool, at Oldham. It appeared then, that the and careless, and tame, and indifferent, English law punished intentions, fanat their meetings, they might have been cies, inclinaticns, thoughts, wishes, and so designated; but when they had done dispositions. If not, the indictment every thing to prove their zeal ; when was not founded upon English law. they had shewn that they felt their Insurrection had been imputed to them. grievances, and wished to get redress What was insurrection? It was rising for them ; when their exertions in the up. Was rising up a crime? Councause of Reform had subjected them sel rose up. The Jury must rise up to to abuse and to punishment, it was too give their verdict of guilty, which was much to say that they were not in ear. anticipated. Then they were guilty nest. It was too much-he could not of a crime.--Mr Harrison bad, by this

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time, spoken for nearly four hours, and and which afterwards became the subthere appeared to be no prospect of a ject of a motion before the Court of conclusion, when it was hinted to him King's Bench. At present they were by his friends, that the course which overruled by the Lord Chief Baron.] he was pursuing, was as little likely to Mr Balguy opened the pleadings. produce advantage to himself as enter- This was an indictment, in the first tainment to his audience. After a few count,charging the defendants, George observations further, therefore, he clo- Edmonds, Charles Maddocks, John sed his address.

Cartwright, Thomas Jonathan WoolA few witnesses were now called er, and William Greathead Lewis, for Sir Charles Wolseley, who did not with being malicious, seditious, and however prove any thing important. evil-disposed persons, and with un

Mr Benyon replied. The Chief lawfully and maliciously desiring and Justice summed up the case, and char- intending to raise and excite disconged the Jury at great length.

tent and disaffection in the minds of The Jury after retiring for three the king's subjects, and intending to quarters of an hour, brought in a ver- move them to hatred and contempt of dict of Guilty against both defendants. the government and constitution as by

Application for a new trial was made law established, and of the Commons in the Court of King's Bench, but re- House of Parliament as by law estafused.

blished, heretofore, to wit, on the On the 16th May, judgment was 12th of July, 1819, and on divers other pronounced. Sir Charles Wolseley days and times, as well before as after, was sentenced to eighteen months' im- with force and arms, at Birmingham, prisonment in Abingdon gaol ; at the unlawfully, maliciously, and seditiousexpiration of that time to enter into ly, did combine, conspire, and confe. sureties for his good behaviour, him- derate with each other, and with di. self in 10001, and two other persons vers other disaffected and ill-disposed in 5001. each. Mr Harrison to be im. persons, for the purposes above menprisoned for a term of eighteen months tioned, and unlawfully to nominate, (to be computed from the expiration elect, and appoint a person to be the of his present imprisonment) in the representative of the inhabitants of Castle of Chester; and at the expira. Birmingham, and to claim admission tion of his imprisonment, to enter into into the House of Commons as a securities for his good behaviour du- member thereof, neither they, the ring five years, himself in 2001. and two said defendants, nor the said other other persons in 1001. each.

conspirators, nor the inhabitants of Birmingham, being then lawfully authorized to nominate, elect, or appoint

any such representative. And that the CARTWRIGHT, WOOLLER,

defendants, and various other persons, OTHERS, FOR PROCEEDINGS AT in pursuance of the said conspiracy, BIRMINGHAM, AND FOR UNLAW- assembled, to the number of 20,000, PULLY ELECTING Sir CHARLES for the purpose of hearing divers scanWOLSELEY AS A REPRESENTA- dalous, seditious, and inflammatory TIVE TO THE COMMONS.

speeches, resolutions, and writings,

concerning the Government and the [Previous to the trial, consider. House of Commons, uttered for the able exceptions were taken to the man- purposes aforesaid. ner in which the Jury had been struck, Mr Serjeant VAUGHAN stated the


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case. He sincerely congratulated the sembled at public meetings, who inCourt, after so much time had been fused into the minds of the people lost, on the decision which his Lord. the idea that all their distress arose ship had just pronounced, and he was from the misconduct of government, much gratified in having the honour and the corrupt state of the House of of addressing so respectable a Jury on Commons. It was quite impossible the merits of the indictment against for any person who remarked at all the defendants at the bar. Looking the signs of the times, not to perceive at the nature and character of the of- that the greatest pains were taken to fence, it appeared to him to be ob- make the people suppose that all their jectionable on two grounds. It was misfortunes were owing to the misobjectionable, inasmuch as the parties conduct of government, and they were who assembled at that meeting at- stimulated to endeavour, by their own tempted to do an act for which they authority, by open force, to change had no legal authority; and because, the existing state of things. Birming. in the course of their proceedings, ham, like other places, was subject to most impudent and insolent observa. this evil ; meetings were held there, at tions were made on the legislature. which persons indulged themselves in Could it be endured that any set of abusing and reviling the different persons should attempt to make an als branches of the state, particularly the teration in the constitution of the Commons House of Parliament; and House of Commons, when it was well it was in consequence of some of those known that such a power resided alone meetings that the present question had in the House of Commons itself? To arisen. On the 3d of July, 1819, a prove the guilt of such an attempt, it special notification was given by the was not necessary to go into the his- defendant Edmonds, that a public tory of earlier times. By the law, as meeting would be held at Birmingham it now stood, it was a direct violation on the 12th, to take into consideration of the king's prerogative, and was the best mode of reforming parliament, therefore an assumption of illegal and at the same time to promote reform power. From the earliest period of in the representation of the state, not our history, the king was the only in- only with respect to Birmingham, but dividual who possessed the power of with reference to the whole empire. issuing writs, whereby individuals This notification was communicated might be called to parliament. That in the form of an advertisement, signbody could meet only under the king's ed by seven housekeepers, amongst writ; and even the king himself had whom were the two defendants, Ed. not now the authority to make that monds and Maddocks. It would be alteration in the representative system necessary to shew that what was done which these defendants had contem- was effected in concert and combinaplated. The king had not the power tion by all the parties. He would to issue a writ for a new place, neither prove that there was a specific meeting had he the power to hold one from a held, at which all the defendants asplace which' at present sent members sisted to effect one common object. to parliament. They were apprised It was impossible to have passed that there had been, unhappily, for through life without having heard of some time past, a great degree of real Major Cartwright. He was far addistress in the country. That distress, vanced in years, and was called the he was sorry to say, had been foment. venerable champion of reform. He ed by the conduct of persons who as- was one of the persons present at the

meeting, although he understood he Cartwright's lodgings, settle the course had no connection with Birmingham, of proceeding that was to be afterwards and was quite a stranger there. It was acted on. While they were engaged clear, therefore, that he only came to in this private meeting, two flags were serve a cause to which he was so much brought in, bearing political inscripattached. There was another gentle- tions; and he would leave them to say man, Mr Wooler, whose name it was whether those flags were not calculaalmost unnecessary to mention after ted to assist the object in view, and what they had heard this day. It was whether they were not likely to create not surprising that his talents should disaffection in the minds of his Majes attract a considerable portion of po. ty's subjects. One flag was inscribed, pular attention. As far as he under- “ Major Cartwright and the Bill of stood, Mr Wooler was not connected Rights and Liberty,”—alluding to a with Birmingham; but, as he had abi- bill which appeared to be a great falities to promote the cause, he made vourite with the Radicals, as they callhimself very active there. Maddocks ed themselves ; and on the other side was a pawnbroker residing at Bir- ofthe flag they found, naturally enough, mingham. Edmonds was a school- the inscription of “The Sovereignty master and printer there, and was in of the People ;" for they were going the habit of publishing political tracts; to exercise a very great act of soveand Lewis was also a printer, living at reign power—they were proceeding Coventry. Mr Wooler, he should to alter the constitution, and to give have observed, was editor and printer it a construction very different from of a pamphlet called the Black Dwarf; that to which they had long been acand by the agency of these three customed. With respect to the other presses, publicity was given to the flag, it was on one side inscribed, sentiments of those who thought like “Sir C. Wolseley and no Corn Laws.” the defendants. He charged that the On the other side of this flag was in meeting at Birmingham, on the 12th scribed, “T. J. Wooler, and the Lia of July, and of which notice had been berty of the Press." There could be given to the Clerk of the Peace on no greater blessing to a country, he the 3d, was procured by concert and was ready to admit, than a free press ; co-operation between these parties. but every one knew, that though it They would find that Major Cart was a blessing when properly directwright took lodgings in Birmingham ed, it became the direst curse to a on the 10th, and that Wooler arrived country when it was abused ; and they soon after. Major Cartwright, as the had recently seen it prostituted to the father of reform, was generally waited purposes of sedition and immorality. and attended on, but more particular- These two fags were first brought to ly by the other defendants. They call- the house in which Major Cartwright ed on him on the Saturday; they saw lived, and in which the committee him on the Sunday, the meeting being the movers of the whole business, the fixed for the following day; and the five defendants on the record, were most intimate communication subsist. known to meet. They set out from ed between them. They were closet- this house to a place called Newhalled: and, though he could not let the hill, near Birmingham, in a landaulet, Jury into the secrets of their cabinet accompanied by some music. The hills council, yet there would be no diffi- formed a sort of amphitheatre, which culty in satisfying them that they did, would accommodate a vast number of at the private meeting held at Major people, and not less than 60,000 were



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