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applied to the proper officer, for the necessary authority. In consequence of the absence of a clerk, some new delay occurred, until, at length, snatching up a pen, he himself drew up the order for the commitment of his own uncle; which being accompanied soon after with the usual official signature, he was enabled to return, and transfer the supposed traitor, from all the comforts of a good room and a blazing fire, to an apartment and accommodations of a very different description.

Although above ground, this possessed all the true and genuine characteristics of a dungeon. The water trickled down from the walls, the floor had been just washed, and the bed clothes were so damp, that the moisture actually exhaled in clouds of vapour, on the application of artificial heat. Such were the comforts reserved for a man, who had attained nearly sixty years of age, was oppressed by misfortunes, overwhelmed by disease, and doomed to stand a trial for his life and fortune!

CHAPTER IV.

FROM 1794 TO 1801.

Trial and Acquittal for Treason.-Contest with the Commissioners of Income Tax.-Becomes once more a Candidate for Westminster.

ON the 10th of September, 1794, a special commission of oyer and terminer was issued under the great seal, to inquire of certain high treasons and misprisions of treason within the county of Middlesex; and on Thursday, October 2, the same was opened at the session house, in Clerkenwell, in presence of:

The right honourable sir James Eyre, knight, lord chief justice of the court of Common Pleas;

The right honourable sir Archibald Macdonald, knight, lord chief baron of the Exchequer ;

The right honourable sir Beaumont Hotham, knight, one of the barons of the court of Exchequer; The honourable sir Francis Buller, baronet,

one of the justices of the court of Common Pleas;

The honourable sir Nash Grose, knight, one of the justices of the King's Bench;

And the honourable sir Soulden Lawrence, knight, one of the justices of the court of King's Bench.

After the commission had been read with the usual forms, the pannel of the grand jury was delivered by the sheriffs, and the following gentlemen were sworn:

1. Benjamin Winthrop, esq. foreman.

12. Samuel Hawkins, esq.
13. George Ward, esq.
14. Thomas Boddam, esq.
15. Joseph Lancaster, esq.
16. Robert Wilkinson, esq.

2. John HenrySchneider, esq.
3. Edward Ironside, esq.
4. Benjamin Kenton, esq.
5. Rawson Hart Boddam, esq.
6. John Aris, esq.

7. William Pardoe Allet, esq. 17. George Galway Mills, esq.

8. John Perry, esq.

9. Henry Peter Kuff, esq. 10. Thomas Winslow, esq. 11. Thomas Cole, esq.

18. Henry Wright, esq.
19. John Hatchett, esq.
20. Rowland Stephenson, esq.
21. John Campbell, esq.

The charge to the grand inquest, by lord chief justice Eyre, consisted of a long and elaborate address, stating that they were assembled under the authority of the king's commission, which had originated in a late statute, declaring "that a traitorous and detestable conspiracy had been formed for subverting the existing laws

and constitution, and for introducing the system of anarchy and confusion, which had so lately prevailed in France." His lordship then entered into an explanation of the statute of the 25th of Edward III, passed for the purpose of defining the nature of high treason, which consists in compassing and imagining the death of the king, provided each compassing and imagining be manifested by some overt acts proved by two witnesses.

He observed "it was matter of public notoriety, that there have been associations formed in this

county and other parts of the kingdom, the professed purpose of which was a change in the constitution of the commons house of parliament, and the obtaining of annual parliaments; and that to some of these associations other purposes, hidden under this veil-purposes the most traitorous have been imputed, amounting to the crime of high treason.

"If there be ground to consider the professed intention of any of these associations (a reform in parliament,) as mere colour, and as a pretext held out in order to cover deeper designs-designs against the whole constitution and government of the country-this case has been already considered. Whether this be so or not is mere matter of fact, as to which you should be re

minded, that an inquiry into a charge of this nature, which undertakes to make out that the ostensible purpose is a mere yeil, under which is concealed a traitorous conspiracy, requires cool and deliberate examination.

"The result, indeed, should be perfectly clear and satisfactory; in the affairs of common life, no one is justified in imputing to another a meaning contrary to what he himself expresses, but upon the fullest evidence. On the other hand, where the charge can be made out, it is adding to the crime meditated the deepest dissimulation and treachery, both with regard to those individuals who may be drawn in to embark in the ostensible purpose, as well as to the public, against which this dark mystery of wickedness is fabricated.

"But, if we suppose these associations to adhere to the professed purpose, and to have no other primary object, it may be asked by what process is it, that an association for the reform of parliament can work itself up to the crime of high treason? All men may, nay, all men must, if they possess the faculty of thinking, reason upon every thing that interests them, and among the objects of the attention of freemen, the principles of government, the constitution of particular governments, and, above all,

VOL. II.

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