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STATE TRIALS,

Hc. fc.

587. Proceedings in the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh,

against JAMES TYTLER, on an Indictment charging him with Sedition, January 7th: 33 GEORGE III. A. D. 1793.

Curia Justiciaria S. D. N. Regis, tenta in some other place to the public prosecutor un

Nova Sessionis domo de Edinburgh, sep- known, wickedly and feloniously compose timo die Januarii, millesimo septingen- and write, or cause to be composed or written tesimo et nonogesimo tertio, per hono- a seditious libel or writing, adiressed “ To rabiles viros Robertum Mac Queen de the People and their Friends,” whereof the Braxfield Dominum Justiciarium Cleri- tenor follows: cum, Alexandrum Murray de Blenderland, Davidem Rae de Eskgrove, Joannem

“ To the People and their friends. Swinton, et Alexandrum Abercromby de A reform in Parliament being now uniAbercromby, Dominos Commissionarios versally talked of, it seems necessary for you Justiciariæ dicti S. D. N. Regis.

to consider of the means by which that reform

is to be accomplished, which means have not Curia legitimè affirmata.

yet been seriously taken into consideration THE which day the diet of the criminal by any person, or number of persons, that I letters raised and pursued, at the instance of have heard of. It is said, that Mr. Pitt will Robert Dundas, esq. of Arniston, his Majes- perhaps bring in a reform; and I understand ty's Advocate for his Majesty's interest, that this has been held forth to you by certain against James Tytler, chemist, residing in colonels and captains (perhaps I may inistake King's Park, in the neighbourhood of Edin- their titles), in whom I wish you to put no burgh and in the county of Edinburgh, being confidence. What right has Mr. Pitt to called; which criminal letters make mention, make the parliament good or bad as he That albeit, by the laws of this and all other pleases? Or what right have the parliament well governed realms, the wickedly and felo- to lengthen or shorten the time of their own niously writing or printing, or causing to be sitting? Will you still suffer yourselves to be written or printed, any seditious libel or duped, and to be made the tools of every one writing; as also the wickedly, and felo- who thinks proper to assume the authority niously distributing and circulating any over you? I have been told, that those who such seditious writing, or libel, when so would be your leaders, advise you to petition printed; or the causing the saine to be dis- parliament. The proposal involves itself in tributed and circulated among the inhabi- contradiction. The parliament has already tants of a populous city, the metropolis of showed itself unworthy of confidence, and it a country, are crimes of an heinous nature, has usurped a power to which it has no right. dangerous to the public peace, and severely if the House of Commons is composed of the punishable; yet true it is, and of verity, that representatives of the people, these must be he the said James Tytler has presumed to the servants of the people. Will you then commit, and is guilty of all and each or one or be so absurd as to petition your own servants, other of the foresaid crimes, actor or art and or people who ought to be so ! But the part: in so far as, upon one or other of the truth is, that the members of this house days of the month of November in this pre- have become the masters not only of the sent year 1792, or of the month of October people but of the king also. How many peimmediately preceding, or upon some other titions have of late been presented to the day in this present year to the public prose- house of commons, and how few to the king? cutor unknown, the said James Tytler did, at As the Popish priests absorbed the worship Edinburgh, in the county of Edinburgh, or at due to the Deity by stocks and stones and VOL. XXIII,

B

rascally saints, so have the house of com- | honest and upright behaviour is the only mons artfully drawn away the attention of qualification. Wealth has too long usurped the people of Britain from the king to them the place and the rights of virtue; let virtue selves. Those who advise you to petition the now resume its own power and dignity, to the house of commons, insidiously and slily tell exclusion of every thing else. Remember, you, that these are your only just and lawful that it was by an unwarrantable stretch of masters; yet these very persons will rail | power, that the commons enlarged the duraagainst the corruptions of the house of com- tion of their own sitting. If they get this mons as much as any body; nay they are power sanctified by a petition from the napart of the house whom they desire you to tional convention, it is precisely what they petition; so that their advice ends in the want: and instead of obtaining any reform, very modest request that you would peti- the chains of the nation will be rivetted.” tion themselves! But, besides this ab- Which seditious libel or writing the said surdity, you must consider the house of com- James Tytler delivered to William Turnbull, mons as your enemies. They affect to con- printer in Edinburgh, upon one or other of sider themselves as the democratical part of the days of the said month of October in this the constitution. They are not; they are a present year, or of the month of November vile junto of aristocrats. The majority of following, and employed him to print the them are landholders; and every landholder same ; and he having accordingly done so, is a despot in the most true and literal sense and thrown off five hundred copies, or thereof the word. He can, directly or indirectly, by, thereof, which were delivered by him to extort from the country what he pleases: He the said James Tytler, on the 26th day of the can raise the price of provisions; he can turn said month of November, or some one or people out of their possessions; he can drive other of the days of that month, or of Octothem to the utmost ends of the earth; and, in ber preceding, or of December following, he short, turn the country, at least that part of the said James 'Tytler did, immediately thereit which he possesses, into a wilderness, if after, and upon one or other of the days of he pleases. It is this monstrous power of the said months, wickedly and feloniously the landholders that you have to combat; distribute and circulate, or cause to be disand it is the want of something to balance tributed and circulated, amongst the inbabithis power, that is the true foundation of all tants of the city of Edinburgh and its suburbs, the grievances you labour under. If you wish a considerable number of the said seditious a remedy for the evils which you suffer, and ( libel or writing, so printed, as aforesaid, to the are resolved to petition, surely you must pe- amount of two hundred and fifty, or thereby. tition the person who has it in his power to And the said James Tytler, with the view, grant the remedy; and this is no other than and for the purpose of inflaming still more the king, whom you seem entirely to have the minds of the inhabitants of the said city forgot. You cannot be ignorant that the king of Edinburgh and its suburbs, inciting them can dissolve parliaments, and call them toge to break the public peace, and of inspiring ther when he pleases. If you wish parlia-them with sentiments hostile to our happy ment to sit only three years, petition the king constitution, and injurious to the peace and to dissolve it at that term; and, if he con- happiness of the inhabitants of this realm, sents, you have your desire, at the same time did, within some few days after the so printthat the parliament has no reason to com- ing, publishing, and distributing and circulatplain. If you wish to have an equal repre- ing of the said seditious libel, as aforesaid, sentation, let those who are not represented compose and write, or cause to be composed petition the king: let them set forth, that and written, a wicked and seditious parathey are oppressed and enslaved by an as- graph, of the following tenor : sembly of aristocrats, who call themselves "If the king do not hear you, our Magna the representatives of the people, but are not; | Charta hath this for its basis, that the people let them request that the king will allow need not pay any contributions towards the them to choose representatives for them- public exigencies of that country to which selves; and that they may choose any person they do not belong; for it bears, that we of good understanding and character to this must appear, either in person, or by our reoffice, though he should not be a landholder; presentatives, and calmly and deliberately put nay let them make an exception, that these our hand, as it were, to our pocket, and pay representatives shall not be landholders, and what we please, or what is agreed to; and as it will be so much the better. Let not the this at present is not the case, but only with minister, or his spies, however, deceive you, a small number, the rest of the nation are by promising a reform, and admitting the either slaves, or not of their community; and inferior class of landholders as electors, or consequently not under their law, until such capable of being elected, as I am told he has time, so to speak, as we be naturalized. This offered. Thus you would be overwhelmed is the law of our Magna Charta : and as we with an inundation of tyrants, and in a worse are without the national bond, in this we are situation than you are. Let not money, or beyond their law, as by it we must have our land, or houses, be thought to make a man voice in framing our laws, or they are none of fit for being an elector or representative; an ours; consequently, we may as timidly sub

mit to laws imposed on us by the pope, as thereof, and afterwards circulated as aforesaid, submit to laws imposed on us by such a junto. both also subscribed by the said James Tytler The conclusion is, if the king hear you not, and the said John Pringle, esq. and other keep your money in your pockets, and frame persons, be lodged in due time with the your own laws, and the minority must submit clerk of the high court of justiciary, before to the majority.”

which the said James Tytler is to be tried, Which seditious writing or paragraph the that he may have an opportunity of seeing said James Tytler did, upon one or other of the same. At least, times and places afore the days of the said monih of November, in said, the said wicked and seditious libels or this present year, or of October preceding, or writings were written, printed, published, disDecember following, also deliver to the said tributed, and circulated, as aforesaid, and the William Turnbull, with directions to print the said James Tytler is guilty actor, or art and same on the back or second page of the afore- part thereof. All which, or part thereof, said wicked and seditious libel, that had been being found proven by the verdict of an so printed, as aforesaid ; for which purpose, assize, before our lord justice general, lord the said James Tytler returned to the said justice clerk, and lords commissioners of jusWilliam Turnbull such of the copies of the ticiary, the said James Tytler ought to be said seditious libel or writing that had been punished with the pains of law, to deter printed as aforesaid, as had not before that others from committing the like crimes in all time been distributed or circulated by him the time coming. said James Tytler, to the number of two And the said James Tytler having been hundred and fifty, or thereby; and the said often times called in court and three times William Turnbull having accordingly, in terms at the door of the court house, he failed to of the said directions, printed, or caused to appear to underlye the law for the crimes be printed, the said wicked and seditious specified in the said criminal letters. writing, or paragraph, on the back of the Whereupon his majesty's advocate moved, copies of the aforesaid seditious libel, that had that sentence of fugitation and outlawry been so returned to him for that purpose by might be awarded against him; and as he the said James Tytler, he did thereafter de- understood bail had been given for the apliver the whole of the same, or nearly so, to pearance of the said James

Tytler when apthe said James Tytler : and he, the said prehended by the sheriff of Edinburgh, he James Tytler, did thereafter, on one or other craved that the bail bond might be forfeited, of the days of the said month of November, and the penalty recovered. or of October preceding, or December follow- The lord justice clerk and lords commising, wickedly and feloniously distribute and sioners of justiciary, decern and adjudge the circulate, or cause to be distributed and cir- said James Tytler to be an outlaw and fugiculated, amongst the inhabitants of the said tive from his majesty's laws, and ordain him city of Edinburgh and suburbs thereof, the to be put to his highness's horn, and all his said seditious libel, originally printed and moveable goods and gear to be escheat, and thrown off as aforesaid, with the addition of inbrought to his majesty's use, for his conthe said seditious paragraph so printed on the tempt and disobedience in not appearing this said second page of the same. And the said day and place, in the hour of cause, to have James Tytler having been apprehended on underlyen the law for the crimes of sedition suspicion of being guilty of the said crimes, and others specified in the said criminal and carried before John Pringle, esq., sheriff letters raised against him thereanent, as he depute of the county of Edinburgh, he did in who was lawfully cited to that effect, and his presence emit and sign a declaration upon oftimes called in court, and three times at the the 4th day of December 1792, which was door of the court house, and failing to appear likewise subscribed by the said John Pringle; as said is; and ordain the bond of caution and being to be used in evidence against the granted by James Hunter and Robert Ross, said James Tytler at his trial, will for that booksellers in Edinburgh, for the appearaned purpose, together with two printed papers, of the said James Tytler, under the penalty of (the one which is marked No. 1. being one of six hundred merks Scots to be forfeited, and the aforesaid seditious libels so first printed the penalty therein contained to be recovered and circulated as aforesaid, and the other by the clerk of this court, to be disposea o marked No. 2. being one of the aforesaid as the Court shall direct. seditious libels to which a paragraph was (Signed)

ROBERT M'QUEEN. afterwards added and printed on page and

J.P. D.

588. Proceedings on the Trial of John MORTON, JAMES ANDER

SON, and MalcOLM Craig, on an Indictment charging them with Sedition. Tried before the High Court of Justiciary at Edinburgh, on the 8th, 9th, and 11th Days of January: 33 GEORGE III. A. D. 1793. *

Curia Justiciaria S. D. N. Regis, tenta in persons above complained upon with others

Nova Sessionis domo de Edinburgh, their associates did with a seditious and octavo die Januarii, millesimo septin- wicked design, in the evening of the 18th gentesimo et nonogesimo tertio, per day of November of this present year 1792, or Honorabiles viros Robertum Mac Queen upon one or other of the days or nights of that de Braxfield Dominum Justiciarium month or of October preceding, come into the Clericum, Alexandrum Murray de Hen- Castle of Edinburgh in the county of Edinderland, Davidem Rae de Eskgrove, burgh, and having gone into the room comJoannem Swinton de Swinton, Dominum monly called king James's room, in the lower Gulielmum Nairn de Dunsinan Baro- canteen or sutlery of the said Castle, and netum et Alexandrum Abercromby de having called for some liquor, they did then Abercromby, Dominos Commissionarios and there, all and eaclı, or one or other of Justiciariæ dicti S. D. N. Regis.

them, in the presence of Thomas Hume, Curia legitimè affirmata.

corporal in the Grenadier Company of the

37th regiment of foot, and of Thomas Huxter, Intran,

Alexander Stronach, and Michael Fish, John Morton, apprentice to Stewart Ruth- soldiers in the said 37th regiment of foot, then ven and company, printers in Edinburgh. garrisoned in the said castle, and some of

James Anderson, journeyman printer with whom had been purposely sent for to join Mundell and Son, printers in Edinburgh; and their company, among other wicked and sedi

Malcolm Craig, also journeyman printer tious speeches, propose or drink or cause to be with the said Mundell and Son, printers in drunk as a toast, “ George the third and last, Edinburgh, Panels.

and damnation to all crowned heads"-or

words of the same meaning and import; and INDICTED and accused at the instance of they the said persons complained upon, did Robert Dundas, esq. of Arniston, his ma farther insist upon the said corporal and other jesty's advocate for his majesty's interest, for soldiers aforesaid then present, to join with the crimes of sedition and others mentioned them in the said wicked and seditious toast; in the criminal libel raised against them and they the said John Morton, James Anderthereanent, bearing, That where by the laws son, and Malcolm Craig, or one or other of of this and of every other well governed realm, them, did at time and place foresaid seditiously the uttering, seditious speeches, tending to and feloniously endeavour to raise discontent create a spirit of disloyalty and disaffection to in the minds of the said corporal and soldiers, the sovereign and to the established governor of one or other of them, and to seduce them ment; more especially when such discourse from their duty and allegiance to their soveand speeches are addressed to persons in the reign and their country, by falsely and insimilitary service of the country, whose peculiar diously pretending that their pay was too province it is to protect the king and constitu- small, and holding out to them the prospect tion as by law established, and uttered with a of higher pay if they would join a certain deview to corrupt and withdraw them from their scription of men whom the said persons duty and allegiance to their sovereign and styled “ The Friends of the People," or a their country is a crime of an heinous nature, “Club for Equality and Freedom." And the tending to the subversion of all order and go- said John Morton having upon the 20th day vernment and severely punishable; yet true of November 1792, been brought before John it is and of verity that the said John Morton, Pringle, esq. our sheriff depute of the shire of James Anderson, and Malcolm Craig, are all | Edinburgh 'did emit and sign a declaration ; and each or one or other of them guilty actors and the said James Anderson having upon or art and part t of the foresaid crime aggra- the said 20th day of November 1792, been vated as aforesaid. In so far as the said brought before the said John Pringle, esq.,

did emit and sign a declaratiat; and the said Compiled from the records of the court Malcolm Craig having upon the said 20th day of justiciary, and the periodical publications of November 1792 been brought before the of the time.

said John Pringle, esq., did emit and sign a + As to this, see in this Collection the case declaration; which three declarations above of David Hackstoun, unte, Vol. x. p. 807, note. mentioned will be used in evidence against

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