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bone, otherwise Marybone, in the county of day of June, in the 20th year of the reign of Middlesex, esquire, commonly called lord our said sovereign lord the now king, and on George Gordon, being a subject of our sove- divers other days and times between that day reign lord George the third, by the grace of and the 10th day of the same month of June, God of Great Britain, France, and Ireland, at the said parish of Saint Margaret within king, defender of the faith, &c. not having the liberty of Westminster in the said county the fear of God before his eyes, nor weighing of Middlesex, unlawfully, maliciously, and the duty of his allegiance, but being moved traitorously did compass, imagine, and intend and seduced by the instigation of the devil, to raise and levy war, insurrection, and rebeland entirely withdrawing the love, and true lion against our said lord the king, within and due obedience which every subject of this kingdom of Great Britain, and to fulfil our said sovereign lord the king, should, and and bring to effect the said last mentioned of right ought to bear towards our present traitorous compassings, imaginations, and insovereign lord the king, and wickedly devis- tentions of him the said George Gordon, ing and intending to disturb the peace and he the said George Gordon, on the said and public tranquillity of this kingdom, on the day of June, in the 20th year aforesaid, and 2nd day of June, in the 20th year of the reign on divers other days and times, between that of our sovereign lord the now king, at the day and the 10th day of the same month parish of Saint Margaret, within the liberty of June, with force and arms, &c. at the said of Westminster, in the said county of Middle- parish of Saint Margaret, within the liberty sex, unlawfully, maliciously, and traitorously, of Westminster, in the said county of Middledid compass, imagine, and intend to raise and sex, with a great multitude of persons whose levy war, insurrection, and rebellion, against names are at present unknown to the jurors our said lord the king, within this kingdom aforesaid, to a great number, to wit, to the of Great Britain ; and to fulfil and bring to number of 200 persons and upwards, armed effect the said traitorous compassings, ima- and arrayed in a warlike manner (that is to ginations, and intentions of him the said say) with colours flying, and with swords, George Gordon, he, the said George Gor- clubs, bludgeons, staves, and other weapons, don, afterwards (that is to say) on the said as well offensive as defensive, being then and 2nd day of June, in the 20th year aforesaid, there unlawfully, maliciously, and traitorously with force and arms, &c. at the said parish of assembled and gathered together against our Saint Margaret, within the liberty of West- said present sovereign lord the king; most minster, in the said county of Middlesex, wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously did orwith a great multitude of persons whose dain, prepare, and levy public war against our names are at present unknown to the jurors said lord the king, his supreme and undoubtaforesaid, to a great number, to wit, to the ed lord, contrary to the duty of his allegiance, number of 500 persons and upwards, armed against the peace of our said lord the king, and arrayed in a warlike manner (that is to his crown and dignity, and also against the say) with colours flying, and with clubs, blud- form of the statute in such case made and geons, staves, and other warlike weapons, as provided.” well offensive as defensive, being then and
On the 25th of January, 1781, the prisoner, there unlawfully, maliciously, and traitorously by virtue of a Habeas Corpus, directed to the assembled, and gathered together, against lieutenant of the Tower upon the motion of our said sovereign lord the king, most wicked Mr. Attorney General
, was brought up to the ly, maliciously, and traitorously did ordain, bar of the court of King's-bench, and pleaded prepare, and levy public war against our said Not Guilty to his indictment, and the Court lord the king, his supreme and undoubted appointed the Trial for Monday the 5th of lord, contrary to the duty of his allegiance, February. against the peace of our said lord the king, his crown and dignity; and also against the form of the statute in such case made and provided. And the jurors aforesaid, upon Alonday, February 5, 1781, their oath aforesaid, further present, That the said George Gordon, being a subject of
The Court being opened and the prisoner our sovereign lord George the third, by the set to the bar, the jurors returned by the
sheriff were called into court : grace of God, of Great Britain, France and Ireland, king, defender of the faith, &c. not William Atwick, of Portman-square, esq. having the fear of God before his eyes, but not being a freeholder of the county of Midbeing moved and seduced by the instigation dlesex, he was rejected as a juror. of the devil, and entirely withdrawing the William Feast, of the City-road, esq. and love and true and due obedience, which every brewer, excused on account of illness, subject of our said sovereign lord the king Roger Griifin, of Islington-road, esq. chalshould and of right ought to bear towards our lenged by the prisoner. said present sovereign lord the king, and John Dawes, of Islington, esq. and stock wickedly devising and intending to disturb broker, challenged by the prisoner. the peace and public tranquillity of this king- Nathaniel Clackson, of Islington, est dom; afterwards, to wit, on the said and challenged by the prisoner,
Thomas Saunders, of Highgate, esq. not a John Perry, of Blackwall, esq. and ship! freeholder.
builder, challenged by the prisoner. James King, of Mortimer-street, esq. not a Joseph Hankey, of Blackwall, esq. and freeholder.
ship-builder, challenged by the prisoner. Henry Horace Hayes, of Percy-street, esq. Arthur Shakespear, of Church-street, Stepexcused by consent, both of the counsel for ney, esq. and rope-maker, challenged by the the crown and the prisoner.
prisoner. John Peter Blaquire, of Hampstead, esq. Robert Buttery, of White-chapel, esq. and and stock-broker, challenged by the prisoner. corn-chandler, challenged by the crown.
Robert Vincent, of Hampstead, esq. and Thomas Flight, of Hackney, esq. chalbrewer, challenged by the crown.
lenged by the crown. Thomas Collins, of Berners-street, esq. and
Marmaduke Peacock, of Hackney, esq. surveyor, sworn.
Thomas Parry, of Berners-street, esq. not Nathaniel Paul, of Clapton, esq. not a freea freeholder.
holder. Henry de la Mayne, of Berners-street, esq. Francis Degan, of Hammersmith, esq. and wine merchant, not a freeholder. Henry Hastings, of Queen Ann-street, esq. James Scott, of Hammersmith, esq. chal
lenged by the crown. James Calvert, of Old-street, esq. and Simon Le Sage, of Hammersmith, esq. and vinegar merchant, challenged by the pri- silver-smith, sworn.
Stephen Pitt, of Kensington, esq. chalJohn Horsley, of Haberdasher's-walk, esq. lenged by the prisoner. challenged by the prisoner.
Robert Lathrapp, of Kensington, esq. not a George Friend, of St. James's-walk, Clerk- freeholder. enwell, esq. and dyer, not a freeholder. Thomas Ayliffe, of Kensington, esq. not a
John Marshall, of Holywell-street, esq. and freeholder. brewer, challenged by the prisoner.
Robert Armitage, of Kensington, esq. Thomas Proctor, of Holywell-street, esq. sworn. and brewer, challenged by the prisoner. James Trimmer, the younger, of Old Brent
Richard Barker, of Caroline-street, esq. not ford, esq. and brick-maker, challenged by the a freeholder.
prisoner. William Harrison, of Lamb's Conduit-street, Thomas Bramley, of Acton, esq. challenged esq. not a freeholder.
by the prisoner. Matthew Carrett, of Hatton-street, esq. and John Bullock, of Kensington, esq. not a merchant, not a freeholder.
freeholder. Thomas Brown, of Arundel-street, esq. Thomas Moore, of Kensington, esq. not a challenged by the prisoner.
freeholder. Thomas Bray, of Bedford-street, esq. chal- Edward Ellicott, of Hornsey, esq. and lenged by the prisoner.
watch-maker, challenged by the prisoner. Edward Hulse, of Harley-street, esq. sworn. Henry Adkins, of Lambs Conduit-street, Thomas Ahmuty, of Queen-street, esq. not carpenter, not a freeholder. a freeholder.
Robert Walford, of St. James's-walk, ClerkBarington Buggin, of Harpur-street, mer- enwell, brewer, not a freeholder. chant, not a freeholder.
Joseph Manwaring, of Islington, gentleEdward Pomfret, of New North-street, man, challenged by the crown. wine merchant, sworn.
John Rix, of White-chapel, distiller, sworn. Joseph Spackman, of Hackney, esq. not a
List of the JURY. freeholder.
Thomas Collins, of Berners-street, esq. Gedeliah Gatfield, of Hackney, esq. sworn.
Henry Hastings, of Queen Anne-street, esq. Robert Mackey, of Hackney, esq. chal
Edward Hulse, of Harley-street, esq. lenged by the crown.
Edward Pomfret, of New North-street, esq. Joseph Pickles, of Homerton, esq. sworn. Cecil Pitt, of Doleston, esq. not a free
Gedaliah Gatfield, of Hackney, esq.
Joseph Pickles, of Homerton, esq. hoider.
Edward Gordon, of Bromley, esq. Peter Mestaer, of Bethnal-green, esq. and
Marmaduke Peacock, of Hackney, esq. ship-builder, challenged by the prisoner.
Francis Degon, of Hammersmith, esq. Charles Digby, the younger, of Mile-end
Simon Le Sage, of Hammersmith, esq. road, esq. challenged by the prisoner.
Robert Armitage, of Kensington, esq. Thomas Sayer, of Bow, esq. not a free
John Rix, of White-chapel, esq. holder. Edward Gordon, of Bromley, esq. and dis
The Clerk of the Crown charged the Jury tiller, sworn.
with the Prisoner. John Milward, of Bromley, esq. and dis- Counsel for the Crown.-Mr. Attorney Getiller, challenged by the prisoner.
neral, Mr. Solicitor General, Mr. Bearcroft, William Daliug, of Bromley, esq. chal Mr. Lee, Mr. Howorth, Mr. Dunning, Mia lenged by the crown.
Norton. VOL. XXI.
Counsel for the Prisoner. Mr. Kenyon, thc tholics in this country, contained in an act of hon. Thomas Erskine.
parliament made in the 11th and 12th year of Mr. Norton. May it please your lordship, which it was the ohject of this act to repeal
king, William 3.* The particular provisions and you, gentlemen of the jury, the noble prisoner at the bar, George Gordon, esq. com- every popish priest, exercising any part of his
were these; by the statute of king William monly called lord George Gordon, stands in function in this kingdom, was liable to perpedicted of high treason, in intending to levy tual imprisonment; every person of the popish war against his present majesty, within the kingdom of Great Britain ; and, gentlemen, himself the education, government, or board
religion keeping a school, or taking upon the indictment further states, that the pri- ing of youth, was liable to the same punishsoner, to effect this traitorous intention, did, ment. And by another part of this act, Roon the 2d of June last, and at divers other times, between that day and the 10th of the heriting or taking by devise or limitation
man Catholics were rendered incapable of insame month, at the parish of St. Margaret's, within the liberty of Westminster, in this any estates from their parents or others, un
less they should take oaths and subscribe a decounty, with a great multitude of persons, armed and arrayed in a warlike manner, with claration, which by their religion they could.
not conscientiously do, and their estates were weapons offensive and defensive, and with colours Aying; being then and there unlaw- Protestants, and them and their families left
to go immediately over to their nextof kin being fully and traitorously assembled, most wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously did prepare which made them incapable of taking an esa:
to starve. There was another provision too and levy public war against our sovereign lord
tate by purchase. the king, contrary to the duty of his allegiance, against the peace of our said lord the could only be justified by the necessity of the
This act containing such severe penalties king, his crown and dignity. and against the statute in such case made and provided.
case, for the salvation of the state and our reTo this indictment the prisoner has pleaded
ligion. It is the height of severity to punish
men for serving God in their own way, or that he is not guilty, and hath put himself upon his trial; we who are of counsel for the employing themselves in one of the most imthe prosecution; and if the evidence shall be doomed to a loathsome prison for their crown shall call our witnesses in support of portant duties to society, the education of
that men shall for these reasons alone prove the charge to your satisfaction, then it will be your duty, under the direction of the lives, and to the perpetual society of the most court, to find the prisoner guilty.
profligate and wretched of mankind, is cruel,
and horrid. The other part of the act was Mr. Attorney General. [Wallace.] May it extremely severe in depriving a man of his please your lordship, and you gentlemen of birthright and inheritance. the jury, I am also of counsel in support of The history of the times indeed does not this prosecution against the prisoner at the furnish any proof of the necessity, nor afford bar, which imputes to him a crime in the an apology for the hardship of these provihighest class of offences known to the law of sions; an account of the commencement and this country—that of high treason; and the progress of the act is given by a very learned particular species of high treason you find, divine, who was at that time a member of the from the opening of the indictment, is levy- House of Peers, bishop Burnet. It originated ing war against the king within his realm. in party faction, in opposition to the court at
The offence of levying war against the king that time. The Bill was brought into the within the statute of the 25th of Edward S, House of Commons that the court party is of two sorts, the one directly and imme- might reject it, and draw upon themselves the diately against the person of the king, the odiumn of a measure in favour of the Cathoother, called constructive levying of war, is | lics, for those that brought in the Bill did not against the majesty of the king, as a great i mean it should pass; they were disappointed and numerous insurrection of the people to in their view, for the court party made no opeffect by force an alteration of the established position to it. They then wished to drop it, law of the country, the redress of national but they could not; upon which bishop Burgrievances, or the reformation of evils real or net says, they added very severe and unreaimaginary, in which the insurgents have no sonable clauses to the Bill and sent it up to particular or special interest.
the House of Lords, in hopes that that House, It is of the latter kind of levying war with would reject it; in this they were disappointwhich the prisoner at the bar stands accused ed too, for the House of Lords did not reject by this indictment.
the Bill, but suffered it to pass with the seYou, gentlemen, who reside in this county, vere penalties and punishments I have stated. are not strangers to the occasion of this pro- It is too much, in my opinion, for any party secution—In the month of May in the year or faction to stake upon their
the liber-, 1778, an act of parliament* passed to repeal ties and fortunes of others. certain provisions affecting the Roman Ca- The Catholics submitted to this law, they * Stat. 18 G. c. 60.
* Stat. 11 and 12 W. 3, c. 4,
expected, no doubt, that parliament would see this kingdom. None could receive the benefi the hardships imposed upon them by these of this repeal, who did not give the public provisions, and administer redress. They made that pledge. no application, and indeed the penalties and Upon the passing of this act, many of the punishments appeared to every body so ex- Roman Catholics of the first characters and fortremely harsh and severe, that very few pro tunes in the kingdom, and others of all descripsecutions were carried on upon this act; in tions, came in, and gave the security to governmy own time I only remember one, which ment, under the sanction of an oath, which the was against a person for saying mass in a act required; no person at that time seemed house somewhere about Wapping; he was dissatisfied; but in the winter following it was convicted, and of course doomed by the pro- supposed that a Bill would be brought into visions of this act to perpetual imprisonment. parliament, to take off some penalties which But the Roman Catholics were still liable to were inflicted by the laws of Scotland upon private extortionary demands, which they the Roman Catholics of that country. And yielded to, to avoid either prosecution, or that in the beginning of February were received they might have the liberty of enjoying what from Edinburgh, and published in every paper, had long been in their families and had de- accounts of a most violent insurrection in that scended to them as their birth-right.
country, to put a stop to that measure. It This law remained in the statute book (and appeared from these accounts that, upon the though seldom put in execution was sufficient 2d of February, an insurrection happened in to occasion perpetual alarms) till the year the city of Edinburgh, that two Roman Ca1778, when an act of parliament was brought tholic chapels had been attacked and set on into the House of Commons to relieve his fire; that the houses of the Roman Catholics majesty's Roman Catholic subjects against there in different parts of the town, were atthe particular provisions I have stated. The tacked, ransacked, and demolished; that the propriety and justice of that measure, the utmost exertions of the civil magistrate, ascircumstances attending it pretty plainly sisted by some of the fencibles, could not supevince.
press the tumult; nor until the provost of the The Bill was brought in by a member of the city gave assurances in the most public manHouse of Commons distinguished for his love ner, that the scheme was dropped, that no of the civil rights of rankind, and for his firm act of parliament would be applied for, reand zealous attachment to the Protestant specting the Roman Catholics of Scotland, religion, and who besides possesses every pub- could any check be given to the violence and lic and private virtue that can adorn the citi- outrages committing to the destruction of zen and the man. I mean sir George Savile* many innocent men. This put an end to an -it passed through the House of Commons attempt to obtain the act of parliament, conwith almost unanimity, the opposition made to ceived by some gentlemen of distinction of it from some was not to the principle of the Bill, that country, to be a very salutary, proper, but that it did not go far enough in the re- and just measure. I take notice of this indress; it should in the opinion of those have surrection in Scotland, because when I come been extended to other penalties, for I must to state to you the conduct of the prisoner at inform you that in the time of passing the act the bar, it will be found to be a very material of king William, the Roman Catholics stood circumstance. by law excluded from any share in govern- Things remained for some time quiet in ment, from any office of trust, civil or military, this country, but an association was formed, and the persons of that religion performing called the Protestant Association, every one any part of their functions, as priests or keep- of you, gentlemen, have heard of it, and ing of schools or educating youth, stood liable where pains were taken to create a belief that to many pecuniary penalties, and in some in the repeal of the statute of king William stances to temporary imprisonments. This would be attended with immediate langer to was their situation at the time when these | the state, and to the Protestant religion ; additional penalties and punishments were upon that ground it seems a petition was de inflicted upon them. This repeal was not ab- termined upon, and if they apprehended dansolute and extending to all affected by the ger, they did right to petition; it is the inhestatute of king William, but was conditional, rent right of the subject to petition parliaand restrained to those who should take an ment; and whenever they imagine a case oath established, by that act, of the strongest proper for the consideration of parliament, assurance of their loyalty and affection to the they do right to bring it before them; and I government, and an abjuration in explicit believe this petition was at one time intended terms of every pretender to the crown and go to have been presented in a legal, constitutionvernment of this kingdom, and besides a posi- al, and orderly manner. tive renunciation of any authority of the see You will find, for I shall give you
geneof Rome, in civil or temporal cases, within ral outlines of the business before I state the
particular conduct of the prisoner, that upon See Mr. Burke's most eloquent speech to the the 2d of June, in consequence of public adclectors of Bristol. Burke's Works, vol. 4. p. 1. vertisements published in the news-papers, Ed, of 1801.
and pasted up at the corners of streets, and
of hand bills distributed, there was collected hended, I think about thirteen, that night together in St. George's fields, a multitude of or the next morning. On Saturday they people, or more properly, a very large army; paraded in different parts of the town, but I believe consisting (the particulars we may I do not find that much mischief was done hear from the witnesses) of many thousands; on the Sunday they appeared in Moorfields, 20, 30, or 40,000—under the pretext of pre- they there attacked a chapel in that neigtisenting a petition to parliament. Though it bourhood, and the houses of many Roman is the birth-right of the subject to present a Catholics, situated thereabouts, and competition to parliament, yet the petitioners are pletely demolished the houses and effects not to dictate to parliament, or take from par- of these unfortunate people. I only give liament their deliberation and judgment upon in general, an account of what they did : I the subject; that would tend directly to the am convinced many of you were eye-wildissolution of the constitution, and the sub- nesses to what I am now stating. On the version of government.
Monday, the men who were taken up were This body of men were arranged, according examined at sir John Fielding's: five of to the direction of the advertisement, into them were committed to Newgate : they three or four divisions; the London to the were examined under the apprehension of a right, the Scotch division to the left, and the rescue from the violence that was without the Westminster to one part, and the Southwark door; it was with difficulty that they were division in another ; one division, consisting conducted to Newgate by the guards; but, of many many thousands, marched over as soon as they were lodged there, these London-bridge, through the city, down the people made an attack upon the house of a Strand, and so to the House of Commons, Mr. Rainsforth, who had been active in apwith colours Aying, distinguished by blue prehending them, and a witness against cockades, and making a march as regular as them; they made an attack too upon the an army trained to it; they had baypipes, house of a Mr. Maberly, who had been a witwhich belonged, I fancy, to the Scotch divi- ness before the magistrate; and also upon the sion; in this way they marched; they ar- house of sir George Savile; and they did rived at the House of Commons about one other injury that night. The next day, being o'clock; and, being joined by the other divi- the Tuesday when the parliament was to sions, took possession of all the avenues lead meet again, all the parties of this army reing to the House, and of the lobby, and it assembled about the House of Commons, and was with the utmost difficulty the members there continued with great riot and congot admittance into the House ; some mem- fusion, with shouts for a repeal, and No bers of each House were insulted and ill- Popery, till the House was obliged to adjourn. treated by the populace, as examples, I pre- Upon this their first attack was upon the sume, of what the rest were to expect, if'the house of Mr. Hyde; the offence given by Mr. wishes of the moh were not complied with ; Hyde, was partly his attendance at the jusin this situation the petition was presented, tices upon the Monday at the examination, and those in the lobby were desired to with- but principally for his activity as a magistrate draw. If it was a constitutional purpose, they in saving the life of a member of the House had in coming to the House, it was answered; of Peers, the earl of Sandwich, who, in going but they would not stir, and with great riot to attend his duty, had been violently attacked and confusion insisted upon a repeal of the by the mob. They ransacked and set fire to the
cry was, A repeal! A repeal! No Mr. Hyde's house, and burnt the furniture, Popery !- The civil power was in vain sent and totally demolished every thing they for to disperse them, they still kept posses- could. In this they were accompanied with sion; they besieged the House, they kept their colours, for they appeared again with the members imprisoned. Thus they con- their flags and with their cockades. Very tinued till between nine and ten at night, large parts of the mob marched to Newgate; when the civil power, by the assistance of the they set fire to the keeper's house; they atmilitary, were able to deliver the Ilouse of tacked the prison; and, in a very short time, Commons from the disgraceful situation in they set at large all the prisoners; a place which they had been to that time, and which for its security seemed to be equal to a must have been conSned till they had granted, prison in the centre of the earth. They afas far as they could, the prayer of this pe- terwards attacked and demolished many tition,
As soon as the House was delivered, houses belonging to Roman Catholics, burnt they ordered the business to be considered, and destroyed the furniture and effects. and adjourned to the Tuesday following; but Upon the Wednesday they attacked and the mob, not having succeeded in their pur- broke open the other prisons in and about this pose, and being driven from the House in metropolis, with an exception of the Poultry
the manner I have stated, immediately be- Compier, and set at liberty all the prisoners; took themselves to other measures ; they in- they continued their proceedings without constantly resolved to attack the chapels of the troul or check all that night, and until some foreign ministers, which, in every civilized time the next morning; in that night various country, are protected and deemed sacred houses in different parts of the town were from insult; some of them were appre-in flames at the same time; in short nothing