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to some of the United Irishmen before I knew what they meant.” He denied that he ever said he intended to desert, though he might have said he was drunk when he enlisted.

Q Had you ever any conversation with one Walker, a soldier, about being Up.

A I never advised him to be Up.
Q. Had you ever any such conversation with Walker?

A. I might endeavour to learn what he knew about being Up.

Q. Did you ever tell him he might take the oath of secrecy without going further?

A. I told him I would show him what was in my pocketbook, which was only a parcel of old letters.

Q. Did you ever tell him how you United Men, got powder from abroad in flax-seed hogsheads, and how you

had smiths at work making you pikes.

A. I never told him of powder; what I might have told him about pikes was only in the way of a whim.

The second witness, Lindsay, did not attempt to swear any thing of the words, nor even of the nature of the oath, whether it was innocent or guilty, lawful or unlawful. He only said, he was in the room when an oath was administered, and of course was dismissed by Mr. Sampson without any cross-examination, as a witness, whether swearing false or true, totally immaterial.

[Here the evidence for the crown closed.]

The counsel for the prisoner, Mr. Curran and Mr. Sampson, nuw insisted, that, from the evidence in this case, if the prisoner was guilty of any thing, it was high treason—that they believed him innocent of that and every such charge; but, in order that that matter might be investigated according to the known law and constitution of the country, the present indictment must be given up, or quashed, and a bill for high treason sent up, otherwise it was in vain that the wisdom of former times, that the experience of ages, and the voice of the wisest and most upright judges hath allowed and sanctioned the statute 25 Edw. III. called by Lord Coke the Blessed Statute, as the Parliament which enacted it was called Parliamentum Benedictum. It was in vain that this excellent statute, never deviated from but for the worst of purposes, and in the worst of times, had given to the accused of treason 'many securities against that power ever too likely to be exerted against an inidvidual accused and prosecuted by, the crown, for any alleged offence directly against the royal power. Experience had shown how horribly the accusations for high treason had been multiplied by princes or their ministers. How hard it was for any subject to have a fair trial, against whom the angry brow of offended royalty was knit; against whom the treasure of the nation was lavishly employed; against whom influence, authority, and power, open and secret, were hostilely arrayed; when the sheriff might be a dependent on the bounty of the crown, as in times of baseness and oppression usually had been the casé, since sheriffs ceased to be elected by the people ; who might be induced to select from his county, not the indifferent, the disinterested, and unbiassed, to pass judgment upon their fellow creature's life, but the ignorant, the bigoted, the servile, or the mercenary; who, like the executioner, forgetting that they were sworn to judge of the guilt or innocence of the accused according to the evidence, and make true deliverance between the king and the prisoner, might only await the beckon of authority to do their office.

So careful had the law of England been to guard against the various ways by which power might oppress, and defence be borne down; against the partiality or frailty of judges, juries, factions and parties, that, in England, a man to be tried for such an offence as now was attempted to be proved, would, under the 25th Edw. III. have a list of his jurors delivered to him in due time, in order to be well prepared to challenge such as he did not think impartial. He would


be entitled to thirty-five peremptory challenges, and as many more as he could show reasonable cause for challenging. He would be entitled to a list of witnesses for a length of time previous to his trial, in order to enable him to sift their character, and, if it was bad or vile, to be able to make that important circumstance appear to the jury, so as to set aside such testimony in the whole, or in part, as the case might warrant; and two witnesses, at least, must swear to the same treason before he could be affected. He would also be entitled to a copy of his indictment five days, at least, before his trial, in order to apprize him of the exact nature of the charge to which he was to apply his defence. And, lastly, he would be allowed, by his two counsel, to make a defence, by observations upon the law and the fact of his case, and to utter, fully and boldly, whatever might tend to direct the consciences, or inform the understandings of his jury, as to his intention, which is, in other words, as to his innocence or guilt.

For what reason, might be matter of curiosity, but nothing to the present case, there was less protection and less indulgence to the accused in Ireland, but still there was a great deal, in case of treason, to make the law esteemed. But, see how all these wise and boasted provisions of freedom and glories of the English law will be filched away, if high treason, (for such it is, if any thing,) specially prosecuted by the crown, out of the stock-purse of the nation, by the king's attorney-general, and other select and able lawyers of the crown, in times so heated, and a situation so critical, that, if ever there was occasion for these blessed protections against prejudice and power, it is that time; when so great a part of the community is accused, and secret informers publicly advertised for, if high treason be tried under this insurrection act, made hastily on the spur of an unfortunate occasion, and happily, if not already expired, shortly about to do so. The prisoner will be tried, it is true, and possibly be found guilty; but it will be a finding contrary to the most sacred

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law, and a violation of that statute which stands now almost singly the glory of our national jurisprudence, and the bulwark of public security. Better would it be to wait until the legislature should repeal or suspend this statute, if they so thought fit, as they had already done the habeas corpus act, than for a court of justice thus directly to do so by trying under another form that which, if it be any thing, is high treason. For, thus, the unfortunate prisoner is deprived of every safeguard, and even of that natural right of the accused, to explain his own intentions and reasons upon the nature of the testimony offered against him.

Perhaps, a few observations by those whose professions have taught them to discriminate between the fictitious and artful relations of a hired informer and the simple tale of truth, might tend to save the life of an innocent and honest man; if so, terrible, indeed, would be the consequence of the prevention. That peculiarity in our law, that, though in cases of the smallest import, counsel shall be heard at length, whereas in capital lonies their mouths shall be shut, is reconciled by supposing the judge a counsel for the prisoner; but that was a forced supposition, and against the fact and nature of mankind. The makers of the wise statutes of treason knew that judges were men in a station greatly exposed to influence, and guarded against their frailties. They knew that judges, however upright in their intentions, could not take the pains of studying a prisoner's case, as he himself or his counsel could; and that in any cause which implied a contention between the higher order of society and the lower, with which he had neither intercourse nor fellow feeling, it required virtue, sagacity, and magnanimity enough, to be merely indifferent. That a most cogent reason for adhering to the good old law, and the exact and precise classification of offences was, that, in this very case, though the prisoner was tried and acquitted under this indictment, yet it could not be pleaded in bar, without averments dangerous and difficult to an indictment for high treason, which might be supported by the identical testimony, and thus a man might be twice put in jeopardy of his life for the same of fence.

Mr. Attorney General made a very short reply to these arguments; he called upon any man to say in what instance he had prosecuted with any unbecoming rigour; and whether, on the part of the crown, throughout the circuit, the business had not been conducted as mildly and as mercifully as possible. He also made some observations upon what seemed to him an extraordinary motion, where the counsel for the prisoner sought to have their client tried for a deeper and more penal offence than that for which he had been already indicted by the crown. He could not conceive that the gentlemen expected any further benefit from this motion, than to give them an opportunity of addressing the passions of the audience.

The Lord Chief Baron, after hearing the counsel for the prisoner at length, refused the motion, observing, that he had heard it patiently, by which it might appear, that the prisoner had no cause to complain of rigour or hardship; although arguments seemed not so much directed to him, as artfully and ingeniously designed, under the pretence of addressing the court, to affect the minds of the jury and bystanders.


On this the counsel for the prisoner called a witness of the name of Charles M'Claverty, in order to discredit and contradict the testimony of Wheatly, who swore, that in Já. nuary last he overtook Wheatly, with one Serjeant Millar, on the road from Ballyclone to Carrickfergus; they went together into an alehouse on the road side to drink, when a man, ' who was lying on a bed in the room where they sat, spoke to Millar, and claimed acquaintance with him, having served with him abroad. Nothing happened there, till Wheatly called the witness out and proceeded on the road together..

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