« PreviousContinue »
over, the court refused to make any order. Mr. Rowan daily attended the king's bench on the following Easter term, until the same was nearly spent, and finding that no bills were sent up to the grand jury against him, he moved the court, by counsel, that the recognisance entered into by him and his bail should be vacated, and publicly declared, that if this motion was not granted, he would surrender himself in discharge of his bail. The Attorney-General consenting, the motion was granted, and the recognisance was vacated.
In the above-mentioned Easter, term, a motion was made, on behalf of Mr. Rowan, to fix certain days for trial of the informations filed ex officio against him, and the Attorney-General having agreed to the appointment of two days in the ensu. ing Trinity term, viz. the 3d and 7th days of May, those days were accordingly appointed for the purpose. However, in the Easter vacation, the Attorney-General served a notice on Mr. Rowan, stating, that he would not proceed to trial on those days, but he would apply to the court to appoint other days, grounded on an affidavit to be filed, of which notice would be e given; nothing was done upon this notice, and no affidavit was filed, or motion made thereon, and the venire, the process necessary for empannelling juries on the days appointed, having been, after being issued, kept by Mr. Kemmis, the crown solicitor, instead of being delivered to the sheriff, a motion was made on behalf of Mr. Rowan, in the last Trinity term, that the venire should be delivered to the proper offi- , cer, in order that the trials might be had on the days appointed, in case the court should not grant any motion the Attorney-General might make for postponing the trials. This motion was opposed by the Attorney-General; hé declared, that there was error in the information for distributing a seditious paper. Mr. Rowan offered to agree to an immediate amendment of the information, or that a fresh one should be filed and pleaded to instanter, or that he would release all er or's; all these offers ere severally refused.
of the Attorney-General appeared to be to postpone the tri. als, and though only one of the informations was stated to be informal, yet the day appointed for the trial of the other, which was supposed to be formal, passed away without trial, equally with the day appointed for the one which was stated to be informal. The Attorney-General afterwards withdrew the information stated to have been informal, and filed another in the stead thereof. Many of Mr. Rowan's friends suspected, that the motive for postponing the trials was the expectation of having, under the shrievalty of Mr. Giffard, juries more favourable to government prosecutions, than they could entertain any hopes of having during the shrievalty of Mr. Hutton.* In Michaelmas term last, the Attorney-General applied to the court, that a day should be appointed for the trial of the information for distributing a seditious paper; the court would not appoint a day in that term, but appointed a day for the trial of that information in Hilary term following
The following information was filed by his majesty's attorney-general, ex officio, against Arch. H. Rowan, Esq. viz.
KING'S BENCH. Of Trinity term, in the 33d year of the reign of our sove
reign lord George the third, now king of Great Britain, &c.
in the year of our Lord 1793. County of the City of Dublin, 2 BE IT REMEMBERED, That the to wit:
Right Hon. Arthur Wolfe, attorney-general of our present sovereign lord the king, who for our said lord the king prosecutes in this behalf, in his proper person comes into the court of our said lord the king, before the king himself, at the city of Dublin, in the county of the said city, on the 8th day of June in the same term,
There were strong grounds for this suspicion. Mr. G. was a captain of militia, had a lucrative office in the custom-house, and was then conductor of a government newspaper. The whole producing not less than 2,0001. a year!
and for our said lord the king gives the court here to understand and be informed, that Archibald Hamilton Rowan, of the city of Dublin, Esq. being a person of a wicked and turbulent disposition, and maliciously designing and intending to excite and diffuse among the subjects of this realm of Ireland, discontents, jealousies, and suspicions of our said lord the king, and his government, and disaffection and disloyalty to the person and government of our said lord the king, and to raise very dangerous seditions and tumults within this kingdom of Ireland; and to draw the government of this kingdom into great scandal, infamy and disgrace; and to incite the subjects of our said lord the king to attempt, by force and violence, and with arms, to make alterations in the government, state, and constitution of this kingdom, and to incite his majesty's said subjects to tumult and anarchy, and to intimidate and overturn the legislature of this kingdom, by an armed force, on the 16th day of December, in the 33d year of our said present sovereign lord George the third by the grace
of God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, and so forth, with force and arms, at Dublin aforesaid, to wit, in the parish and ward of St. Michael the Archangel, and in the county of the said city, wickedly, maliciously, and seditiously, did publish, and cause and procure to be published, a certain false, wicked, malicious, scandalous, and seditious libel, of and concerning the government, state, and constitution of this kingdom, according to the tenor and effect following, that is to say:
THE SOCIETY OF UNITED IRISHMEN, DUBLIN, TO THE
VOLUNTEERS OF IRELAND.
WM. DRENNAN, Chairman.-ARCH. H. Rowan, Secretary. « Citizen Soldiers !
“ YOU first took up arms to protect your country from foreign enemies, and from domestic disturbance; for the same purposes it now becomes necessary that you should re
sume them. A proclamation has been issued in England for embodying the militia; and a proclamation has been issued by the lord lieutenant in Ireland (meaning a proclamation which issued under the great seal of the kingdom of Ireland the 8th day of December, 1792] for repressing all seditious associations. In consequence of both these proclamations, it is reasonable to apprehend danger from abroad, and danger at home; for whence but from apprehended danger are these menacing preparations for war drawn through the streets of this capital, (meaning the city of Dublin,] or whence, if not
create that internal commotion which was not found, to shake that credit which was not affected, to blast that volunteer honour which was hitherto inviolate, are those terrible suggestions, and rumours, and whispers, that meet us at every corner, and agitate at least our old men, our women and children! Whatever be the motive, or from whatever quarter it arises, alarm has arisen; and you, volunteers of Ireland, are therefore summoned to arms at the instance of government, as well as by the responsibility attached to your character, and the permanent obligations of your institution. We will not at this day condescend to quote authorities for the right of having and of using arms, but we will cry aloud eyen amid the storm raised by the witchcraft of a proclamation, that to your formation was owing the peace and protection of this island, to your relaxation has been owing its relapse into impotence and insignificance, to your renovation must be owing its future freedom and its present tranquillity; you are therefore summoned to arms, in order to preserve your country in that guarded quiet which may secure it from external hostility, and to maintain that internal regimen throughout the land, which, superseding a notorious police, or a suspected militia, may, preserve the blessings of peace by a vigilant preparation for war. Citizen soldiers, to arms, take up the shield of Freedom and the pledges of peace peace, the motive and end of your virtuous institution. War, an occasional duty, ought never to be made an occupation. Every
man should become a soldier in defence of his rights; no man ought to continue a soldier for offending the rights of others. The sacrifice of life in the service of our country is a duty much too honourable to be intrusted to mercenaries; and at this time, when your country has, by public authority, been declared in danger, we conjure you by your interest, your duty, and your glory, to stand to your arms, and in spite of a police, in spite of a fencible militia, in virtue of two proclamations, to maintain good order in your vicinage, and tranquillity in Ireland. It is only by the military array of men in whom they confide, whom they have been accustomed to revere as the guardians of domestic peace, the protectors of their liberties and lives, that the present agitation of the people can be stilled, that tumult and licentiousness can be repressed, obedience secured to existing law, and a calm confidence diffused through the public mind in the speedy resurrection of a free constitution, (meaning that the people of Ireland had not at the time of the publishing aforesaid, a free constitution,] of liberty and equality, words which we use for an opportunity of repelling calumny, saying, that by liberty we never understood unlimited freedom, nor by equality the levelling of property, or the destruction of subordination : this is a calumny invented by that faction, or that gang, which misrepresents the king to the people, and the people to the king, traduces one half of the nation to cajole the other, and, by keeping up distrust and division, wishes to continue the proud arbitrators of the fortune and fate of Ireland. Liberty is the exercise of all our rights, natural and political, secured to us and our posterity by a real represen. tation of the people; and equality is the extension of the constítuent to the fullest dimensions of the constitution, of the elective franchise to the whole body of the people, to the end that government, which is collective power, may be guided by collective will, and that legislation may originate from public reason to keep pace with public improvement, and terminate in public happiness. If our constitution be imper