|Proceedings of the Old Bailey|
ROBERT THOMAS CROSSFIELD, offences against the king : treason, 11th May, 1796.
The Proceedings of the Old Bailey Ref: t17960511-1
* Crime(s): offences against the king : treason,
* Verdict: Not Guilty,
* Other trials on 11 May 1796
* Name search for: ROBERT THOMAS CROSSFIELD,
* Associated Records...
316. ROBERT THOMAS CROSSFIELD was indicted for High Treason, in compassing and imagining the death of the King , September 8, 1794.
The Pannel of the JURY called over.
||Hilton Wray, Birchin-lane, Esq. - challenged.||John Anderson , Philpot-lane, merchant - not a freeholder.||John Vincent Gondosh , Throgmorton-street, merchant - challenged.||Tho. Dunnage , Philpot-lane, merchant - excused on account of age.||Peter Pope, Esq. Fenchurch-str. Esq. - excused on account of age.||Robert Emerson , Crown-court, Fleet-street, Esq. - ||fined.Abraham Favene , Throgmorton-street, merchant - ill.||John Naylor , Bread-street, merchant - challenged.||Joseph Norvill , Cornhill, merchant - not a freeholder.||David Jones , Friday-street, merchant - challenged on the part of the Crown.||Thomas Latham, Tower-hill, merchant - described Tower-bill, instead of Tower-street.||John Mair , Friday-street, merchant - not a freeholder.||William Mellish , Bishopsgate-street, merchant - fined.||John Thompson , Broad-street, merchant - not summoned.||Sir Walter Rawlinson , Threadneedle-street, banker - ill.||John Henry Scheider , Bow-lane, merchant - challenged.||Claud Scott , Fenchurch-street, corn-factor - challenged.||Rowland Stevenson , Lombard-street, banker - excused an account of deafness.||Joseph Berwick , Cornhill - fined.||James Atkinson , Mincing-lane, merchant - ||challenged.Richard Heatly , Mincing-lane, merchant - not a freeholder.||Duncan Hunter , Bow-church-yard, merchant - challenged on the part of the Crown.||Charles Wall, Old Broad-street, merchant - fined.||Robert Ladbroke , Leadenhall-street, banker - fined.||William Axe, Cornhill, stock-broker - not a stockbroker.||W. Armand, Little Love-lane, merchant - his name is Annand.||John Greenside , Mark-lane, cornfactor - sworn.||Mark Wayland , St. George's-lane, Billingsgate, merchant - excused on account of age.||William Ward , Coal-Exchange, coal-factor - challenged on the part of the Crown.||John Cholmley , Austin-friars, merchant - not a freeholder.||John Prestwidge , Mincing-lane, hop-merchant - not a freeholder.||Thomas Fothergill , Catherine-court, Seething-lane, cornfactor - challenged.||Henry Fourdrinier , Lombard-street, stationer - challenged.||Charles Fourdrinier , son to the last gentleman - abroad.||Francis Barstow Nixon, Brabant-court, Philpot-lane, merchant - sworn.||Nathaniel Brassey , Lombard-street, banker - ill.||John Lister , Clement's-lane, wine merchant - fined.||William Morley , sen. Broad-street Buildings, cornfactor - not a householder.||Lewis Tossier , Old Broad-street, merchant - challenged.||James Trimby , Queen-street, merchant - fined.||John Read , coal-Exchange, coal-factor, not a householder.||Robert Reeve , Mark-lane, corn-factor - challenged on the part of the Crown.||Paul Agutter , Aldermanbury, Esq. - excused on account of age.||James Brander , Angel-court, Throgmorton-street, merchant - not a freeholder.||Samuel Brandram , Size-lane, merchant - challenged.||Charles Hamerton , Bread-street, Esq. - profession that of a pavior not ||described.William Hallier , Bread-street, merchant - challenged.||Joseph Chaplin Hankey , Fenchurch-street, banker - fined.||John Willis , St. Paul's Church-yard, gentleman - ill.||William Walker , Gravel-lane, Houndsditch, sugar-banker - sworn.||Francis Cooper , Brabant-court, Philpot-lane, wine-merchant - fined.||David Pugh , Rood-lane, grocer - not a freeholder.||Edward Simeon , White-hart-court, Bishopsgate-street, merchant - challenged.||Henry Stokes , Friday-street, merchant - not a ||householder.Percival North , Bridge-street, grocer - challenged on the part of the Crown.||Rich. Lawrence, Goodman's-fields, sugar-baker - not a freeholder.||Henry Mitton , Lombard-street, banker - not a householder.||John Thistlewood , Muscovy-court, Tower-hill, corn-factor - fined.||Henry Turner , Cornhill, merchant - challenged.||E. Brocksopp, Savage-gardens, Tower-hill, corn-factor - challenged.||William Breeze , Cooper's-row, corn-factor - fined.||Alexander Black , Bread-street, merchant - sworn.||John Rodgers , Old Broad-street, merchant - not summoned.||William Robinson , Old Broad-street, merchant - challenged.||William Shone , Mincing-lane, wine-merchant - sworn.||Daniel Shirley , Tower-street, wine-merchant - not a freeholder.||John Garratt, St. Thomas Apostle, tea-broker - challenged.||Thomas Higgins , London-wall, grocer - not a freeholder.||John Hamet, Lombard-street, banker - challenged.||William M'Andrew, Lower Thames-street, orange merchant - in the list delivered to the prisoner, Lower Thomas-street.||James Bell, Little Distaff-lane, sugar-baker - ill.||Miles Stringer , Monument-yard, spice merchant - ill.||John Sherer , Mark-lane, merchant - challenged.||Joseph Stonard, Tower-hill, corn-factor - challenged on the part of the Crown.||Samuel Isbetson , Ludgate-hill, mercer - challenged.||Henry Isherwood , Ludgate-hill, paper-maker - not a freeholder.||Windham Knatchbull, Gracechurch-street, linen-draper - not a householder.||William Ayscough , Fore-street, undertaker - challenged on the part of the Crown.||John Addison , Gracechurch-street, linen-draper - challenged.||Thomas Wright , Grub-street, soap-boiler - his name James.||Arthur Windus, Bishopsgate-street, coach-maker - sworn.||Richard Clark , Grub-street, coachmaker - his name is Robert.||William Purdy , Mark-lane, broker - challenged.||Edward Penny, Cheapside, glover - not a householder.||Michael Eaton , Gracechurch-street, hosier - challenged on the part of the Crown.||Timothy Fisher , Holborn-bridge, linen-draper - not a householder.||Edward Newberry, Old Broad-street, bricklayer challenged.||William Norris , Pilgrim-street, Blackfriars, mason - sworn.||Thomas Loveland , Aldersgate-street, baker - challenged.||William Lynes , Milk-street, warehouseman - ill.||William Gosling, Great St. Helen's, carpenter - sworn.||Benjamin Heath, Whitecross-street, shoemaker - out of town before the summons.||Benj. Hansom, Botolph-lane, orange merchant - not a freeholder.||Daniel Hawkins, Bishopsgate-street, oilman - fined.||James Tyers, East-Cheap, sugar-broker - not a freeholder.||Edward Vincent , Satisbury-square, Esq. - fined.||Henry Goldsinch, Lombard-street, hatter - challenged.||William Axford, Ludgate-street, grocer - dead.||Henry Thomas Avery, Bride-lane, currier - ill.||Nicholas Browning , Little Moorfields, baker - challenged.||John Blades , Ludgate-hill, glass-man - not a freeholder.||John Rowbuck, St. Mary-hill, grocer - described a broker in the list delivered to the prisoner.||Edward Jackson , Gracechurch-street man's mercer - 70 years of age, and not a freeholder.||Joseph Warner, Rood-lane, grocer - challenged.||Thomas Whipham , Fleet-street, silversmith - ill.||William Curtis , Ludgate-hill, oilman - not summoned.||John Crutchfield , Holborn-bridge, oilman - challenged.||William Crutchfield , Holborn-bridge - challenged.||Daniel Pindar , Blackfriars, mason - sworn.||Henry Neuleship, of St. Bartholomew's-hospital, gentleman - not a freeholder.||James Lyon , High Timber-street, lighterman - challenged.||William Leach, Ludgate-hill, vintner - his name John.||John Turner , Fleet-street, linen-draper - challenged.||Robert Harris , Aldersgate-street, tobacconist - not ||summoned.William Humphreys, sen. Bread-street-hill, grocer - challenged.||Anthony Brown, Thames-street, fish-broker - 74 years of age.||Walter Brind , Foster-lane, silversmith - 74 years of age.||Christopher Smith , Queen-street, Cheapside, wine merchant - challenged on the part of the Crown.||George Seddon, the elder, Aldersgate-street, cabinet-maker - fined.||Thomas Cable Davis, Fish-street-hill, hatter - on a journey before the summons.||Richard Fisher , Fleet-street, haberdasher - not a freeholder.||Thomas Ovey, Fleet-street, hatter - challenged on the part of the Crown.||John Mackenzie, Bishopsgate-street, oilman - challenged.||Thomas Justeries, Washing-street, linen-draper - a Quaker.||William Parker, Fleet-street, glass-man - ill.||Thomas About Green, Ludgate-hill, silversmith - not a freeholder.||Walter West, Old-Bedlam, ironmonger - challenged.||Benjamin White , Fleet-street, bookseller - sworn.||Stephen Adams , St. Ann's-lane, Foster-lane, silversmith - ill.||Andrew Abnot , Fleet-street, Potter - not a freeholder.||John Reid, Fan-street, Aldersgate-street, distiller - sworn.||Philip Rundie, Ludgate-hill, goldsmith - challenged on the part of the Crown.||William Collier, Bishopsgate-street, gentleman - challenged.||John Coe, White-hart-court, Bishopsgate-street, taylor - sworn.||William Ellis , Fenchurch-street, upholsterer.||Francis Newbery, St. Paul's Church-yard, Esq. - not a freeholder.||William Lambert , Ludgate-hill, oilman - not a freeholder.||Richard Townsend , Ludgate-hill, feather merchant.||Quintin Kay , Ludgate-hill, upholsterer - fined.||Bolton Hudson, Bridewell-hospital, gentleman - not a freeholder.||Jonathan Hayter, King-street, linen-draper.||William Bedford , Friday-street, linen-draper.||John Butts , Fleet-street, ironmonger - lives in Chatiam-place.||Herman Shroder , College-hill.||John Stracey, distiller - not a freeholder.||William Sutherland , Fish-street-hill, grocer - not a freeholder.||Richard Draper , Bishopsgate-street, grocer.||John Miles, Bishopsgate-street, warehouseman - fined.||Harvey Walklate Mortimer, Fleet-street, gun-maker -subpanaed as a|| witness.||Daniel Allenby, Fleet-street, linen-draper - not a freeholder.William Gould , Gracechurch-street, gilder.||
James Woodbridge , Tower-dock, cooper - not a freeholder.||John Welford, Tower-dock, fail-maker - not a freeholder.||Richard Woodyer, Bishopsgate-street, carpenter.||Coles Child, Thames-street, toyman - ill.||Henry Coxwell, Fleet-street, druggist.||John Jacobs , Coleman-street, carpenter - dead.||Granger Ive, Fleet-street, ironmonger - not a freeholder.||Thomas Jones , Fleet-street, pawnbroker - not a freeholder.||Joseph Pring, Coleman-street, innholder.||Thomas Parker , Fleet-street, pawnbroker - not a freeholder.||Enos John Pinegar , Ludgate-hill, woollen-draper.||John Parkinson , Racquet-court, Fleet-str. dentist - not a freeholder.||William Rowe, Little St. Thomas Apostle, skin-broker.||Benjamin Noton , Fleet-street, grocer - not a freeholder.||Edward Nairne , Cornhill, optician.||William kyne, Walbrook, gentleman - not a freeholder.||John Thorne , Fleet-street, wine merchant - not a freeholder.||Thomas Burnell , Wine-office-court, Fleet-street, mason - not a freeholder.||Thomas Beresford , Ludgate-hill, woollen-draper - not a freeholder.||John Hounsam , Fleet-street, linen-draper - not a freeholder.||Christopher James Hayes , Fenchurch-street, painter.||Thomas Darke, Ludgate-hill, haberdasher - not a freeholder.||William Knight , Foster-lane, ironmonger.||George Penton , New-street, Fetter-lane, founder - not a freeholder.||William Portall , Salisbury-square, wire-dealer - not a freeholder.||William Plumley , Ludgate-hill, watch-maker - not a freeholder.||William Moore, Ludgate-hill, jeweller - not a freeholder.||William Moore , Fleet-street, chymist - not a freeholder.||John Mountford , shoe-lane, carpenter - not a freebolder.||Henry Scambler, Bishopsgate-street, stable-keeper.||Jonathan Sills , Upper Thames-street, wharfinger - ill.||Peter Schooley , Nicholas-lane, ham merchant.||Joseph Cupelo , Aldgate High-street, inn-holder. - fined.||William Thornberry Brown, Cheapside, goldsmith.||Joseph Boome, Aldgate High-street, oilman - ill.||Benjamin Wood , Bishopsgate-street, cheesemonger.||William White , Garlick-hill, tallow-chandler.||John Jeffries , Ludgate-hill, printseller - not a freeholder.||John Troughton , Fleet-street, optician - not a ||freeholder.Charles Lincoln, Leadenhall-street, optician.||John Risden, St. Mary-hill, stop-seller - not a freeholder.||Joseph Rose , St. Ann's-lane, Foster-lane, watch-maker - ill.||William Rich , Ludgate-hill, pastry-cook.||Abraham Newman, Fenchurch-street, grocer - ill.||Launcelot Sharp , Fenchurch-street, grocer - a freeholder of only eight: pounds a year.||Henry Sheppard , of East-Cheap, orange merchant - not an orange merchant, but Water-Bailiff of the City of London.||W. Francis, Gracechurch-street, linen-draper - not a householder.||Abraham Keylock , Ludgate-hill, ironmonger - not a freeholder.||Onesimus Ustonson, Fleet-street, fishing-tackle maker.|
John Greenside ,
John Greenside , Francis Barstow Nixon , William Walker , Alexander Black , William Shone , Arthur Windus , William Norris , William Gosling , Daniel Pinder , Benjamin White , John Reid , John Coe ,
The indictment was opened by Mr. Abbot.
Mr. Attorney General. May it please your Lordship. Gentlemen of the Jury. - In the discharge of the very painful duty which belongs to the situation which I hold, I am called upon this day to address you, with reference to a case of a most serious nature: - whether it is considered with regard to the public, or with regard to the prisoner who stands at your bar. Gentlemen, the indictment, which you have heard read, charges the prisoner with the highest offence known to the law of your country; and it charges the prisoner with the most aggravated species of that offence; it charges him with having compassed and imagined the death of the king; and with having, for the purpose of carrying that imagination into execution, prepared the means of destroying the Sovereign. Gentlemen, I shall have very little occasion, in the course of what I have to offer to your attention, to say much to you upon the law of this particular case; I shall state it to you in the words of a great Judge, a man attached, as he unquestionably was, to the genuine principles of this constitution, whose name has long been revered, and will continue to be revered, while the constitution of the country itself shall endure, I mean the late Mr. Justice Foster. Gentlemen, he states the statute of the 25th of Edward the Third, upon which this indictment is framed, and which you probably, in the course of that attention which you will be obliged to give to this cause, will hear read and commented upon by great modern living authorities. He states the statute in these words - "When a man doth compass or imagine the death of our Lord the King, and thereof be, upon sufficient proof, attainted of open deed, by people of his own condition," he states, "that in the case of the King, this statute of the 25th of Edward the Third, has, with great proprity, retained the rule, voluntas pro facto, that the will is to be taken for the deed." -With respect to homicide, in the case of individuals, the law of this country once was, that even as to them, the will should be taken for the deed; that law has been altered in the case of private individuals, but remains unchanged with respect to the Sovereign of the country; and the reason why the law has been continued as it anciently was, is stated in the book which I have been reading to you, as follows: - "The principle upon which this is founded, is too obvious to need much enlargment: the King is considered as the head of the body politic, and the members of that body are considered as united and kept together by a political union with him, and with each other; his life cannot, in the ordinary course of things, be taken away by treasonable practices, without involving a whole nation in blood and confussion; consequently, every stroke levelled at his person, is, in the ordinary course of things, levelled at the public tranquillity. The law, therefore, tendereth the safety of the King with an anxious concern; and, if I may use the expression, with a concern bordering upon jealousy: it considereth the wicked imaginations of the heart, in the same degree of guilt as if carried into actual execution from the moment;" (and I would beg your attention, Gentlemen, to this passage, from the moment,) "that measures appear to have been taken to render them effectual." Gentlemen, God alone can read the heart of man; and the legislature has therefore insisted upon this in every trial between the King and a prisoner indicted, that he shall be attainted of open deed by people of his condition; that is to say, that some measures shall be taken to essectuate that evil imaginstion of the heart, some fact shall be done, or attempted to be done, in order to prove to man's judgment, that that conception, and that imagination, did enter into man's heart. This measure, the proof of which is made necessary by the law, is ordinarily known by the name of an overt act; and every indictment for treason, as you will hear, must charge, that the party compassed and imagined the death of the King; and then it must state, upon the face of it, those circumstances and facts which are the measures by which the prosecutor insists that the party has disclosed that traiterous compassing and imagination of his heart.
Gentlemen, the present indictment specifies several such overt acts; conspiracy with others is of the essence of them; with respect to many of them, they are so framed, that if this prisoner is alone guilty, the circumstance that he is the sole person to whom, upon that supposition, guilt could be imputed, will be no objection to his being found guilty, if the justice of the case, upon a due attention to the circumstances of the case before a Jury of his country, requires that he should be convicted; I say, the circumstance that he is, in that way of putting the case, the only person guilty, will form no objection to his conviction.
Gentlemen, I will state no more upon the law of the case, but to add a single word to what I have already mentioned, and that is this observation, to which I would beg the attention of the Court, as well as your attention, that if a Jury should he satisfied that the measures which were taken, by a person indicted, were measures, in his intention, calculated to the end of destroying the King, in his idea, effectual for the purpose intended, it cannot be a question which ought to entangle your consciences at all, whether those measures could have effectually exccuted the purpose, with reference to which they were taken. Gentlemen, I have stated to you, that they offence with which the prisoner is charged, is the highest known to the law of England; I have stated to you that it makes the party, in the case of the King, answerable for the intention itself, by an overt act, to the same extent as that in which he would be responsible for the actual execution of that act in the case of a private person-Gentlemen, when I have so stated the law of the country to you, I am also to represent to you, on the other hand, that the legislature of the country has provided more securities for the person accused, than it has provided for any party who is the object of accusation in any other case known to the law of England.
It has provided, in ancient times, many of those securities; and the provision was made in times to which the wisdom of the legislature did not think proper to apply those provisions which they were ordaining for the defence of posterity, or such of them as should be accused of such offences. In the case of murder, one of the highest offences known to the law of England, the party may be convicted upon the evidence of a single witness; he meets in the Court, where he is tried, a Jury whose names, at that moment, he for the first knows; he fees in the Court where he is tried, for the first time, the witnesses upon whose testimony the deliverance is to be made between him and the country; to that hour he may be, and he generally is, ignorant even of the names of those witnesses. Our ancestors have provided otherwise in the case of treason: they have required, and it is my duty so to state it to you, that the proof shall not be only such as shall satisfy the minds of a Jury of the guilt of a prisoner, but that it must be formal proof, and such as the law requires; that is, if an individual, to whom every one of you should be disposed to give the utmost credit, upon whose veracity you would pledge your own lives, if an individual witness should speak to a single fact, though you may believe that witness; you cannot convict the prisoner; there must be, in cases of treason, two witnesses to convict the prisoner: one witness to prove one overt act laid in the indictment, and another witness to prove another overt act; that is, there need not be two witnesses to each overt act, but one witness to one overt act, and another witness to another overt act, are required and allowed by the law to be sufficient to convict in the case of treason.
Gentlemen, the individual meets the accusation in the face of his country, also under circumstances which form a great protection to him, which I will state to you presently, in the words of the same great Judge, whose authority I before cited to you; and I will state distinctly why I beg your attention to his words upon this part of the case. Gentlemen, the law has required, that, in the case of treason, the prisoner shall have his indictment a given number of days before he is called upon to plead to it: it likewise requires that, at the same time, that a copy of the indictment is given, a list of his jurors should be given him, a list of the witnesses who are to he produced in order to establish the charge, shall be put into his hands; the prosecutor, therefore, meets a person accused of this offence, in this situation, a situation new in the law of England till a very late period: I think the trial of my Lord George Gordon, being the first, which, in the history of the country, admitted the application of the statute of Queen Ann, with reference to the point upon which I am now addressing you; for the legislature did not think sit to allow those provisions in the situation in which the country then was, but confined it to a period which did not arrive till about twenty years ago. Mr. Justice Foster, writing upon this subject, before those provisions took place, speaks thus, "The furnishing the prisoner with the names and places of abode of the jurors, and of the witnesses who are to be produced, may serve many bad purposes too obvious to be mentioned; one good purpose, and but one, it may serve, it gives the prisoner an opportunity of informing himself of the character of the witnesses and the jury;" but this single advantage will weigh very little in the scale of justice, or found policy, against the many bad ends which may be answered by it; if it weighed any thing in the scale of justice, the Crown is entitled to the same opportunity of sifting the character of the prisoner's witnesses.
Gentlemen, with respect to this matter of the witnesses, we meet to-day to try a cause, in which the prisoner has been in possession of the names of all that can be produced, in order to support the indictment, while, at this moment, the names of those who are to support the defence, although given in to an officer of the Court, are, very properly, with a view to do justice to the intention of the legislature, withheld, even to this moment, from those who are to prosecute, Gentlemen, I mention this circumstance for the purpose only of desiring your attention to an observation which I am now about to state to you, and it is this, that in a case of the extraordinary nature of the circumstances of which I have to tell you, on the one hand, it may possibly occur, that I may be obliged to call witnesses, who may be unwilling enough, some of them, to state the truth to you upon this subject; and that on the other hand you will give, I am persuaded you will, that attention which the policy and spirit of such a law as this must require from a Jury of the country, I mean a jealous and anxious attention to the testimony, and the nature of the testimony, which every witness, on every side, in this important business, shall lay before your consciences, remembering that the country and an individual meet together under those disadvantages which I have been stating.
Gentlemen, some of the overt acts in this indictment, charge the prisoner with conspiring with the other parties named in it - Paul Thomas Le Maitre, John Smith , and George Higgins, to procure and provide a certain instrument for the purpose of discharging an arrow, and likewise an arrow to be charged and loaded with poison, with intent to discharge, and cause to be discharged, the same arrow, by means of the instrument, against the King's person, and thereby to kill him. The next overt act stated, is, that the prisoners employed a person of the name of Hill, to make and fashion two pieces of wood, as models for the making and forming certain parts of the instrument from which the arrow was intended to be discharged, and delivered to him a certain paper with certain drawings thereon, designed as instructions for making such models. There is also consultations charged, and the delivery to Upton of a paper, the delivery to him of a model, part of the instrument, and then the indictment charges over again the same overt acts, leaving out the fact of the consultation about, and the fact of intending to kill the King by means of this arrow, charging them with a conspiracy to procure and provide such an instrument for such a purpose, without making the arrow a part of the contents to be discharged.
Gentlemen, before I state to you, which I shall be able to do without employing a great deal of your time and attention in opening this case, the circumstances of it, you will give me leave to state very shortly what has passed relative to this matter, before I had the honour of addressing you impannelled in that seat. Gentlemen, there was a person of the name of Upton, whose name occurs upon this indictment, and whose name you will hear very frequently in the course of this trial, who was a mechanic, and lived in Bell-yard, near Temple-bar, who gave an information to the highest description of Magistrates of this country, I mean his Majesty's Privy Council, a considerable time ago, in which he distinctly charged himself, the prisoner at the bar, and the other persons, whose names occur upon this record, with the offence relative to which you are this day to determine. Gentlemen, I have before stated to you, that the law of England requires two witnesses in the case of hightreason, they must be two credible persons, and one should have to lament certainly, that one of them was an accomplice in the fact; it became necessary to scrutinize this matter, this mysterious matter, as in some parts of it, it may appear to be, very diligently and accurately. The prisoner at the bar, charged with this offence, thought proper, as I am instructed, I shall prove to you, to fly from the accusation, and not to meet the justice of his country; the other persons, whose names occur in this indictment were apprehended, that species of diligent examination was given to the subject, which it was the duty of those great Magistrates to give in a case which aimed directly at the life of the Sovereign; in the course of this business, those persons were discharged upon bail, and after the discharge of those persons upon bail, Mr. Crossfield, the prisoner, came from France to this country, under circumstances, which it will be my duty to state to you, and accompanied with a body of evidence upon this subject, to which it will be necessary, when I do state it, that you should give particular attention, and which made it incumbent upon those who have matters of this sort to direct, to propose to a Grand Jury of the country the whole of the case, with a view that they should determine, in the first instance, whether this charge ought to be submitted to that Jury of the country, which is this day to decide.
Gentlemen, this business, if looked at with reference to all the circumstances which affect all the parties in it, it is extremely complicated; it was carried in the form of an indictment before a Grand Jury of the country, upon principle; whether that principle was founded in the law of the country or not, it is not material for me at this moment to consider; but from principle they refused to permit the evidence in this business to be laid before them in the order which had a dency to make that evidence intelligency they e whole matter into their own hands, and examining all parties upon the subject, and particularly examining that person of the name of Upton, whom I have before described to you as an accomplice, they found the bill against all the prisoners. Gentlemen, unwilling as any person would have been, undoubtedly to have tried this cause upon the credit of Upton alone, or of Upton confirmed by any other individual, or confirmed even by strong circumstances, it would unquestionably have been my duty if it had been in my power to have called that person to give evidence to you, to have stated as far as became me, under the correction of the wisdom that presides here, that his evidence ought to have been received with great jealousy and with great attention; that you ought to protect against such a witness, a prisoner put upon his deliverance before you, till your unwillingness to receive his testimony had been subdued by a conscientious conviction arising out of all the circumstances of the case, not only that he was as guilty as he admitted himself to be, but that other persons represented by him to be equally guilty with himself, actually were so. Gentlemen, it has, however, happened, whether fortunately for justice or not, I will not take upon myself to determine, because, in my situation, and as a man, I do feel, that if on the part of the public, I have to regret that this man's testimony cannot be offered to you, on the other hand, I ought to feel, that if this man's testimony could have been repelled by any circumstances, by any examination on the part of the persons accused, who, until they are found guilty are entitled to a presumption in favour of their innocence, except so far as the finding of the Grand Jury has implicated them in suspicion; I say, if any examination by the prisoners, or by any others respecting the truth of the evidence of such an accomplice could send to establish the innocence of the prisoners, it would undoubtedly be a public duty to produced such a person, with a view, not only on the one hand, that guilt might be detected, if guilt does exist, but on the other hand, that innocence may be vindicated. Since the bill, however, was found, Gentlemen, it has happened, that by the act of God, that man has ceased to exist; he is dead, and I shall have occasion probably, in the course of what I have to offer to your attention to prove that circumstance; it is very remarkable, that as I should unquestionably have asked you if I had had that person to have produced as a witness at the bar this day, not to convict the prisoner upon his evidence, unless you had been satisfied by his evidence as confirmed by other testimony in the cause of the prisoner's guilt; I say, it happens very remarkably, that I have a case to lay before you, in which I may say in the outset, as I should have been disposed, if he had been here, to have said in the conclusion, you may lay this testimony out of the case from the beginning to the end of it.
Gentlemen, I shall proceed now to state to you the circumstances of this case as it respects the prisoner at the bar, Mr. Crossfield. Gentlemen, it was in the month of August, I think, 1794, that the charge was first brought forward by Upton; and without stating to you what I am very unwilling to do, (though it is both a delicate and a difficult talk to avoid it, as I wish to avoid it), any representation that he made upon the subject; I will proceed now rather to state to you the effect of that representation, by stating the facts, which, I am instructed to say, the witnesses I shall call will prove against the prisoner at the bar, than by representing to you that Upton made any representation whatever, with respect to any of those facts. Gentlemen, there are two circumstances of fact which will deserve your particular attention; the first is, whether the prisoner at the bar really was engaged in a concern to fabricate such an instrument as is mentioned upon this record? and the next question for you to try will be, whether, if that be demonstrably clear, it is, or is not, equally clear that that instrument he was so engaged in fabricating, he was engaged in fabricating with the intens, and for the purpose charged in this indictment, that is, to compass, what he had imagined, the death of the King? With respect to the former of these facts you will find, by a witness whom I shall call to you of the name of Dowding, that in September 1794, upon the 8th of that month, and I should here apprize you, that some of those witnesses, whose evidence I am about to state, do not know some of the individuals who applied to them; but it will be proved to you, by other persons, who those individuals were; that a person of the name of Dowding, journeyman to a Mr. Penton who lives in New-street-square, and who is a brass-founder, he will inform you, that upon the 8th of that month, in the afternoon, three men, whom I now state to you, were, Upton, who is dead, the prisoner Crossfield; and, I shall mention here to you, that Upton was a lame man, it may be material that you should attend to that by and by; the prisoner Crossfield, and a person of the name of Palmer, who will be called to you, came to his master's shop, that they asked him for a tube three feet long, and the eighth of an inch thick; you will find they state the dimensions at the other brass-founders in the same way, five eighths of an inch in the bore, and smooth and correct in the cylinder; they shewed him a tube, informed him it would do, but said, it must be thicker, that it must be smaller in the bore; the expence of it, as they seemed anxious in their enquiries about the expence, he stated to them in general, would be high; but what would be the particular expenditure he would not take upon himself to state; he enquired what they wanted this tube for, and you will find, if I am rightly instructed, that they said, the purpose for which they wanted it was a secret; and that they could not diselose it to him. Gentlemen, they applied, upon the same day, to another person of the name of Bland, the former not being able to supply them with the article they wanted, who is a brass-founder, No. 40, Shoe-lane, Fleet-street; two of them came originally to him; there were but two, and you will have reason to be satisfied that these two were Upton and the prisoner at the bar, they asked for a pattern to make another by; after they had asked for this tube, Palmer came in; this witness not being able to supply them, you will find they made another application upon the same day, to a person of the name of James Cuthbert, who lives in Cock-lane, Snow-hill, and is likewise a brass-founder; and, upon their addressing to him a similar question to that they had addressed to the wit nesses whose names I before mentioned to you, he referred them to a person of the name of Flint, a man in that shop, who will likewise be called to you, and he will inform you that they asked him also for a tube, the barrel of which was to be five-eighths of an inch in the bore, and the eighth of an inch in the thickness; that they proposed to finish it themselves, if the witness would cast and bore it; that the witness told them he must have a pattern; and then some conversation passed with respect to this pattern; they were very anxious to know, as you will find from his testimony, how long it would be before this barrel could be made, and he told them; and you will hear under what circumstances they parted; after these applications made to these several brass-founders, Upton and Crossfield, the prisoner at the bar, then applied to a man of the name of Hill, who will likewise be called to you, Palmer being also in their company; and the evidence that Hill will give you, is this, that Crossfield produced to him a paper, which I have now in my hand, which contains the model of part of an air-gun, that is to say, it contains a drawing, by which drawing Hill, whose business was that of a turner in wood, was to fabricate the wooden part, the model for the instrument. Hill also asked them what the purpose of this instrument was? and they did not inform him, that it was a secret, but told him it was for an electrical machine. Gentlemen, this paper will deserve your very particular attention, because I have reason to believe that you will find, not only that this paper was delivered by Crossfield to Hill, but that that part of the writing upon the paper, which states the dimensions of the instrument, is in the hand-writing of
Crossfield.Gentlemen, Hill, in consequence of this, following the drawing, turned some of the wooden parts of the model, a part of which I have now in my hand, and which it will be proved he carried, according to his orders, to Upton, in whose possession it will be proved this part of the model was found, as well as the tube, it will be material to give your attention to these circumstances by and by. Gentlemen, besides this, it will likewise be proved to you, that there was in the possession of Upton another drawing, containing models of this instrument, which we have charged in the first part of the indictment, was to eject an arrow, for the purpose of destroying the King; and when I state to you by and by the conversations of the prisoner with respect to the tube, and the arrow, and the nature of the instrument, you will see the materiality of the circumstances to which I am at present calling your attention; that other paper I have in my hand, and it contains different parts of this intended instrument; there is one part of it to which you may think, perhaps, your particular attention was due because, if I prove the circumstances that I have already stated, it will be incumbent, I apprehend, more particularly after the evidence which I have to offer to you, with respect to the intent, that on the part of the prisoner, they should give you some evidence for what purpose such an instrument as this could possibly be constructed; there is a drawing of the arrow, which has a forceps at the end of it in this form, like a barbel hook, but it has this peculiar circumstance about it, that it is so formed, that when it presses against any hard substance the two forks compress together and enter into the substance, and there is a hole at the end of it, which would emit some substance that it is calculated to hold. Gentlemen of the Jury, it will also be proved to you by another witness whom I shall call, of the name of Cuthbert, that Upton and the prisoner at the bar, went to him some time in the month of August, that same month of August 1794, for the purpose of looking at an air-gun that Cuthbert had, who appears to have been an acquaintance of Upton's; you will hear from the witness himself what was the conduct of the prisoner at the bar, with respect to that air-gun in the possession of Cuthbert; he examined it, he handled it, he stated that it would do very well for the purpose; and after a conversation of this fort, they left Cuthbert. Gentlemen, that may probably be proved, if necessary, with respect to the case of this prisoner, that some of the instruments were found in the hands of other persons; upon this record also, capable of proof, that papers, material to establish facts alledged against some of those parties, may be thought, according to the course which this cause may take, necessary to be produced in evidence upon this trial. But without detaining you, with respect to the particulars of the evidence which apply to other persons, I think, if I prove the facts already stated as against Crossfield; and if you should find distinct evidence of the intention with which he was engaged in drawing these models, and providing for the fabrication of this instrument, that there can be very little doubt indeed with respect to his case.
Gentlemen, I before told you, that Crossfield absconded; I believe I shall be able to prove, to your satisfaction, by a witness whom I shall have to call to you, of the name of Palmer, whose name I have before mentioned, some of the circumstances which I am now about to open to your attention, as well as a great many of the circumstances which I have already stated. Mr. Crossfield had usually lived in London; the first place he hid himself after this charge was made, was at Bristol; he returned afterwards from Bristol to London; from London he went to Portsmouth, where he engaged himself on board a ship, called the Pomona, which was engaged in the South-sea whale-fisnery: I probably need not mention to you, Gentlemen, that the voyage, which a ship engaged in that commerce takes, is of very considerable duration; I believe, sixteen or eighteen months; being a surgeon, he hired himself at Portsmouth on board that vessel, by the name of the Doctor; it will be proved to you by witnesses who come forward in this business, under circumstances that entitle them to great credit, at least, so I submit to your consideration, that this vessel failed from Portsmouth to Falmouth, and during the voyage from Portsmouth to Falmouth; you will find, if I am rightly instructed, with respect to the representation that the mariners on board this vessel gave Crossfield, he conducted himself with the greatest decency and propriety; his name, however, was unknown, they failed from Falmouth, and after they got out to sea, in their progress upon this vogage, Mr. Crossfield informed the witnesses, who will he called to you, who he was; you will hear the account that he gave of himself; the account that he gave of the part that he had in this transaction, and the circumstance of his stating, that if it were known he was leaving this country in that vessel, that the govern ment would probably send a frigate after him; that he states in the most distinct manner, even before the capture of that ship, to some of the witnesses that will be called to you, circumstances of his own connection and transaction in the business which I have been opening to you, with express reference to these models, to the tube, to the arrow, and to the other particulars that I have opened.
Gentlemen, in the course of the voyage, this vessel was taken by a French Privateer, the La Vengeance, and she was carried into Brest. You will hear from the witnesses, the conversation that passed between them and Crossfield when this capture took place, the satisfaction which he expressed, that he had got even out of that situation of danger, which he conceived himself to be in whilst he was part of the crew of any English ship; the satisfaction that he had in having been captured by a French frigate, and taken into that country where he would be safe; you will hear the whole of his demeanour while he remained on board that French ship which captured him, whilst she was in the harbour of Brest; he was first removed in consequence of conduct, the details of which will be given to you by the witnesses as connected with this business, on board a corvette; from that corvette into another vessel, cailed the Elizabeth, which was an English ship that had been captured by the French, and out of her into another vessel; and a number of persons of respectable situations among the prisoners detained in those vessels, will be called to state to you evidence, which, without detailing it to you particularly, I think, can leave (if it is entitled to credit), no doubt upon your minds, that if Crossfield was concerned in the fabrication of this instrument, and this drawing of those models, that the intent with which he was concerned in that fabrication, and that drawing, was most distinctly the purpose and intent charged in this indictment, that of killing the King.
Gentlemen, you will not be surprised, if you hear from the witnesses, that Crossfield, being carried into Brest under such circumstances as I have stated, was rather in the situation of a superintendant over the English prisoners on behalf of the French, than as the companion of those unfortunate persons taken by the French, and captured there. I think you will have reason to believe it was his project, either to remain there, or go into Holland; in the mean time, however, cartel ships were to come over to this country; with what intention he came over to this country is not for me to examine or insinuate, you will collect it yourselves from the evidence these witnesses will give you; but you will hear those circumstances, which are remarkable enough, that Mr. Crossfield, who was constantly in company with the commissary of the French prisoners, who appears to have gone on shore a day or two before these cartel ships left Brest to meet two of the members of the convention; that shortly before he left that country, he took the name of Wilson; that in his own hand-wring he was mustered among the prisoners, by the name of Wilson, as having been captured by the "La Vengearce," not out of this vessel called the Pomona, but out of a vessel called the Hope; for what purpose he changed his name, and for what purpose he changed the name of the vessel in which he was captured, it will be for you to determine when you have heard the whole of the evidence; witnesses will also be called, who will state to you the circumstances that took place, when the prisoner was put into this cartel ship.
Gentlemen, you will also hear witnesses who will inform you, that, in the course of the voyage between France and this country, Mr. Crossfield distinctly desired one of them, the only one, I believe, who was in the vessel in which he came over, not to state his name, and not to state these circumstances of conduct and declaration which had taken place whilst these persons were all together detained in the harbour of Brest. I think they landed at a place called Fowey, in Cornwall, which is in the neighbourhood of a place called Menagessy; some of these witnesses, persons in a respectable situation on board these ships, mates, and officers, thought it their duty, under a very different impression with respect to Mr. Crosefield's conduct, than, perhaps, they ought to have had, yet they were under an extremely serious impression upon their minds, to go instantly to a Magistrate, and inform him what had been passing in France relative to the conduct of this person; in consequence of that charge, made by persons who knew nothing of what had been passing in this country, except so far as those circumstances had been related by the prisoner himself; the prisoner was apprehended, and being apprehended, it will be in evidence before you, that as he went, I think, from the Magistrate's to the county jail, that he intimated to the persons conducting him there, that it might be for their interest to permit him to escape; that a sum of five shillings was all that they could expect for the duty they were then upon, that he had the means of giving them much more. These persons will state to you the whole of the conversation which passed; it will end in the suggestion, I think, of one of them, that that plan would not answer the purpose of Mr. Crossfield, because, what was to become of the post-boy? and the answer given to that was, that the post-boy might be disposed of by the use of a pistol which one of these officers had. Mr. Crossfield was brought up before the Privy Council, and in cosequence of all those circumstances that I have stated, it became a matter of duty to submit the whole of the case to a Grand Jury of the country, who found the Bill; the prisoner's deliverance upon which is now before you. Gentlemen, I have studiously forborne to mention several circumstances which relate more particularly, and more especially to other persons whose names are upon this record. If I prove this case, as I am instructed to say, I shall prove it; and if I prove it, as I have opened it to you, I apprehend there can be no doubt of this prisoner's guilt if that is the result of the testimony given; then, gentlemen, though it is a painful duty, it is a duty absolutely incumbent upon me to ask, at your hands, on behalf of the country, a verdict of guilty. On the other hand, if you are not satisfied, that an offence, according to the statue, is proved, according to law, by evidence against the prisoner, you do no more in that case than your duty to your country, in acquitting the prisoner. You have before you, a case of great importance, it is a case which I am sure you will listen to with great attention: I am confident that you will decide it with unimpeachable integrity, whatever your verdict may be, the country will feel a perfect satisfaction, that they have had the case fairly, fully, and maturely deliberated upon by the twelve men to whom I have had the honour of addressing myself.
Evidence for the Crown.
JOHN DOWDING sworn.
Examined by Mr. Law. I work with Mr. Penton, brass-founder, No. 32, New-street-square.
Q. Were you in his employment on the 8th of September, 1794? - A. I certainly was.
Q. Do you remember on that day any men coming to your house not known to you? - A. Yes; I was called down on the 8th of September; when I came into the counting-house, there were three men standing in the counting-house; one of them was a lame man; he walked on an iron.
Q. Who was that lame man? - A. Upton; one of the others was a tall man.
Q. Do you know who the other men were? - A. No.
Q. If you saw them, should you recollect them? - A. I cannot say I should; he asked me if I could make them a tube; I asked what sort of a tube; they told me three feet long, five-eights the inside, the bore seven-eighths, the outside the eighth of an inch thick.
Q. Did they say how the cylinder in the inside was to be? - A. Quite perfect; the inside to be a smooth cylinder.
Q. Did you show them any part of tube? - A. I did; they asked me how much it would be; I told them I could not tell them; they asked me if I could tell to a few shillings; I said no, as my master was not within; I shewed them a cylinder; they told me that would do, provided it was thicker, and I would make it smaller in the bore.
Q. Did you ask what it was for? - A. Not then, I did afterwards; I said it was an out of the way job that I must make a tool on purpose to make a cylinder of that size; I was very busy myself, and it was not a job worth while undertaking.
Q. Was there any question asked what use it was to be of? - A. Yes, I told them if I knew the use it was for, I could be the better judge how to make it, and be of service to them; they said it was a secret; Upton made the answer, and the others seemed to make answer with him that it was a secret; they all seemed to be in one voice that it was a secret; they produced a piece of tube they bought before, and had some money returned; they delivered the tube to me, and the clerk returned the money, which was 10d.; it was such a piece of tube as this, but this is not the same.
Q. Did they all seem to be concerned in the business? - A. They appeared to be.
Q. You stated, that what one said the rest assented to? - A. Yes.
Q. Did you undertake the job? - A. No; I would not undertake it, and they went away.
Cross-examined by Mr. Adam. Q. This past on the 8th of September, 1794? - A. Yes.
Q. Three persons came together? - A. They were together when I came down into the warehouse; I cannot say whether they came there together.
Q. The only one of these men you can speak to positively, is Upton? - A. Yes.
Q. You never saw any of the others before or since? - A. No; I have seen Upton since; him I can swear to.Q. Whe
n you talked of a tube they had got at your house and returned, were they all together when it was returned? - A. Yes.
Q. When was it they got the tube at your house? - A. I don't know, the books will tell; the clerk returned the money.
Q. You cannot tell any thing about this tube yourself? - A. I can tell that they returned it.
Q. The money was not returned at that time, was it? - A. Yes; the money was returned at that time.
Q. Upton was the person that spoke? - A. Upton was the person that spoke most; the rest joined sometimes.Q. Can you re
collect what Upton said? - A. He asked me if I could make a tube.
Q. And you discoursed about the price? - A. Yes, afterwards.
Q. Did you say it would be a things of great cost? - A. I said it would come expensive.
Q. Can you take upon you to swear positively that these persons were present during the whole of the conversation with Upton? - A. I can.
Q. Were there not women employed in lacquering brass? - A. Yes.
Q. Does that go in the place where you met these men? - A. In a different room.
Q. If any of the persons went into the room where the women were lacquering brass, they would be in another apartment? - A. Yes; they did not go in while I was talking to them, as I recollect.
Q. Among the three, Upton was the person that spoke most? - A. Yes, Upton spoke most.
Q. When you were told that it was a secret, it came from Upton's voice? - A. Upton told me so; but they all answered.
Q. The other persons did not say any thing that you can recollect? - A. No.
Q. Did they say any thing about the secret? - A. They were just going away, when they said it was a secret; I cannot say that I heard any of the other's voice; Upton spoke, and they all seemed to join; as to the other's voice I cannot say.
JOSEPH FLINT sworn.
Examined by Mr. Garrow. I am a brass-founder in Cock-lane, Snow-hill.
Q. Do you remember being applied to in September, 1794, to attend any persons respecting a brass tube? - A. Yes, I do.
Q. Do you recollect what day it was? - A. No.
Q. Do you recollect what day of the week it was? - A. I cannot recollect.
Q. What time of the day was it? - A. I believe after dinner.
Q. Have you been able, by enquiry afterwards, to satisfy your mind what time of the month it was? - A. No; I was called to attend to these persons, by my apprentice, James Cuthbert .
Q. Did you make any observations upon these persons? - A. There were three, one I observed to be a lame man.
Q. Did you observe how he walked, whether he had an iron on? - A. I did not; I observed he limped as he was going out of the door. They applied for a long pistol barrel, I produced a musketoon barrel to them; they observed, that would not do, they did not want it plugged up at the end, from that I inferred it must be a strait cylinder they wanted; they said, it must be five-eighths of an inch diameter in the bore, and an eighth of an inch thick; that if I would cast it and bore it, they would finish it themselves; upon which I told them I should not undertake to do it without they brought a pattern, and one of them observed, would not a rocket case do, I observed it would do, if they plugged up the ends.
Q. That was for the model? - A. Yes, and they went away; after that, I believe one of them asked how long it would take making, I said, about three days.
Q. Did they all take a share in the conversation? - A. The lame man was the principal; it was not the lame man that asked in what time it would be done; the lame man was the person that principally conversed, to the best of my recollection.
Q. Since that time, have you ever seen a person of the name of Upton? - A. I saw him in September 1795.
Q. Did you recollect then that you had ever seen him before? - A. I did not.
Q. Did you recollect that he was the lame man that conversed with you? - A. I did not.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. When you were called down, these persons were in your shop? - A. Yes.
Q. Who spoke to you first? - A. The lame man.
Q. Do you remember any thing that either of the other men said? - A. There was something about a rocket case.
Q. All but that was said by the lame man? - A. Yes.
Mr. Garrow. Q. Respecting the time of its being done, related to the same business? - A. Yes.
THOMAS BLAND sworn.
Examined by Mr. Wood. I am a brass-founder, I live at No. 40, in Shoe-lane, Fleet-street.
Q. Do you remember any body coming to your shop in September 1794? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember the day? - A. No; two men came in first; and five minutes after, when they were gone, one came to enquire for them; the two that came in first, asked for a tube or a barrel; I told them it was not my business, if they wanted a barrel, they must apply to the cock-makers; if they wanted a tube, to those that draw tubes; I gave them a short answer, and they went away, and the third came and enquired for them.
Q. Who was the third? - A. I think it was Palmer; they were gone down the lane and he went after them.
Cross-examined by Mr. Adam. Q. Do you know Palmer? - A. I have seen him.
Q. Did you know him at that time? - A. I did not.
Q. How long after was it before you came acquainted with Palmer's person? - A. I saw him before the Privy Council, they told me his name was Palmer.
Q. Do you know who the other persons were? - A. One was the lame man; they told me his name was Upton.DAVID CUTHBE
Examined by Mr. Law. I am a mathematical-instrument-maker, I live at No. 9, Greyhound-court, Arundel-street.
Q. Do you know Upton? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember calling upon him at any time? - A. Yes, I do; I called upon him to subscribe some money for the wives and children of the persons under charge of high-treason.
Q. Had you any conversation at that time? - A. A very little; it was so insignificant, I don't remember any thing of it; I called upon him the second time to know how the subscription came on; instead of answering me respecting the subscription, he answered respecting the Corresponding Society; Upton, being a watch-maker, I gave him an invitation to look at an engine.
Q. When did he call upon you? - A. About Bartholomew-fair time.
Q. Do you recollect any conversation with him about the powers of air? - A. Yes; he saw an air-pump lying in the shop, I explained it to him as well as I could. I shewed him an air-gun, and I explained that to him; he came again to look at it the next day, and a man with him.
Q. Did you take any notice of the person that came with him? - A. No, I did not; Upton had displeased me with his conversation the time he called before, and I did not like him nor his friend. The gentleman said he was fond of shooting, and told me that he had lost three of his fingers by the explosion of a gun; but I did not look to see whether he had or not.
Q. Did he handle the gun? - A. He looked at it, and viewed it, and said it was a handsome piece.
Q. Did he apply to you to do any job? - A. Upton did; I said, I had so much business of my own I could not undertake it.
Q. Was the person that came with him present at that time? - A. He was at the outside of the door.
Q. Did he say any thing about the properties of air? - A. No.
Q. Have you ever seen that man that came with Upton, any time since? - A. No; and I don't know that I should have known him again six hours after. I don't know that I should have known him if I had met him in the street a minute after; it is an absolute fact.
Q. Did you see any person afterwards with Upton before the Privy Council? - A. No; I never saw Upton before the Privy Council at all.
Q. Did you see any body before the Privy Council that had lost any fingers? - A. No; I was before the Privy Council, and there was a man in the lobby of the name of Dennis, he said, there he goes; I said who? and he said, Crossfield; he appeared to be much taller than the man I saw with Upton.
Q. Did you see any person with a defect in his fingers before the Privy Council? - A. I did not at all.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. Do you know what time in September Bartholomew-fair is held? - A. I believe it is somewhere about the 9th; but it is all supposition.
Q. You invited Upton for the purpose of shewing him something, you thought, in his way? - A. Yes.
Q. An air-pump being in the way, you talked to him about the properties of air? - A. Yes.
Q. Did he talk to you about the properties of air? - A. I believe he did.
Q. Did he appear to be acquainted with the properties of air? - A. No; he did not in my judgement.PEREGRINE PALMER swo
Examined by Mr. Wood. Q. You are an attorney, in Barnard's-inn? - A. Yes.
Q. How long have you been acquainted with the prisoner Crossfield? - A. I believe about fifteen or sixteen years.
What is he by profession? - A. A physician.
Q. Where did he reside? - A. At a number of places since I knew him.
Q. Did he reside in London the latter part of the time you were acquainted with him? - A. He resided in Dyer's-buildings, Holborn.
Q. Whether you belonged to any club, or society, of which the prisoner was a member? - A. Yes, several; one of them was the London Corresponding Society.
Q. Was he a member there? - A. I have seen him there; I believe he was a member.
Q. Have you any doubt of it? - A. No.
Q. You were a delegate were not you? - A. Yes.
Q. And a chairman of the committee? - A. I consider a delegate as a kind of chairman.
Q. Did Crossfield attend the meetings pretty regularly? - A. I believe I have seen him there three or four times.
Q. Did he belong to the same division as you did? - A. Yes.
Q. Was not he a very regular attendant? - A. I have seen him there frequently, three or four times.
Q. Did you know, by name, a person called Upton? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember, in September, 1794, accompanying the prisoner, Crossfield, to Upton's house? - A. Yes, I do.
Q. What time of the month? - A. The beginning of the month, I cannot tell the day.
Q. Did you and Crossfield accompany Upton to any where? - A. Yes; to a house in New-street, or New-street-square.
Q. To a house of any business? - A. Yes; the person was a brass-founder.
Q. What passed at the brass-founder's you were so in company at? - A. Upon my word I don't know what passed; Upton had some business; I have no recollection of any thing that passed there.
Q. How long were you in company with Crossfield and Upton at that house in New-street-square? - A. A few minutes.
Q. What business was transacted while you were present? - A. Upton said he had some business, I don't know what it was.
Q. What did he converse about at the brass-founder's? - A. I cannot say.
Q. Was any thing produced at the brass-founder's? - A. I don't know that any thing was.
Q. Will you swear that nothing was produced? - A. No; but I don't know that there was any thing produced.Q. When you
had finished your business there, where did you go to next? - A. To a house in Shoe-lane.
Q. What business was carried on there? - A. The same; a brass-founder.
Q. How long were you in company with Cross field and Upton there? - A. Not at all; I did not go into the house.
Q. How long were they in the house? - A. A short time; I suppose, a minute.
Q. Where did you go to from the brass-founder's in Shoe-lane? - A. To a house in Cock-lane.
Q. I observe, you did not go in with them into the house in Shoe-lane? - A. No.
Q. Did you go in after wards to enquire for them? - A. I did.
Q. In consequence of the information you received, which course did you pursue; where did you go then? - A. To Cock-lane.
Q. Where did you overtake them? - A. In Shoe-lane; I was informed they were just gone.
Q. What trade was the house you went to in Cock-lane? - A. The same trade.
Q. Did you go in there? - A. I believe, I did.
Q. Have you any doubt about it? - A. No.
Q. You three went in together? - A. Yes.
Q. Tell my Lord and the Jury what passed there. - A. There were some directions given about something.
Q. About what? - A. About something in Upton's business.
Q. Do you know what a tube is? - A. Certainly.
Q. Was there any conversation about a brass tube? - A. I cannot recollect that there was.
Q. Was there any conversation about a model? - A. I cannot recollect; there might be some such conversation, or there might not, I cannot recollect.
Q. Was there any brass tube produced by any body? - A. I don't know; I don't recollect that there was.
Q. Did you ever see this tube before? - A. I believe I saw something like it before the Privy Council.
Q. Do you remember ever seeing it any where else? - A. I don't recollect that I did.
Q. Have you been long acquainted with Crossfield? - A. Yes.
Q. Are you well acquainted with his hand writing? - A. I am not; there is nothing that I am particularly acquainted with in his hand-writing but the manner of signing his name.
Q. Have you corresponded with him? - A. I never received above five letters from him.
Q. Whose hand writing do you take that to be?(shewing him a letter) - A. I cannot swear to it.
Q. Whose hand-writing do you believe it to be? - A. I cannot swear to a belief of it; I am not sufficiently acquainted with the hand-writing to form a belief on the subject.
Q. Have you ever seen that paper before, (shewing him a paper)? - A. Upon my word I don't know.
Q. I ask you, upon the oath you have taken, whether you have seen that paper before? - A. I don't know; there was a paper shewn me before the Privy Council.
Q. Have you any doubt that that paper was shewn to you before the Privy Council? - A. I don't know that this paper was.
Q. Do you mean to say, after looking at it, that you cannot form any belief whose hand-writing it is? - A. I can form no belief whose hand-writing it is.
Q. You cannot be sure you ever saw this paper before? - A. No.
Q. Have you ever seen any paper that contained drawings similar to those on the paper I have shewn you? - A. I don't remember the paper.
Q. Upon your oath, have you ever seen any paper with similar drawings to those? - A. I have no recollection of any thing of the kind.
Q. Have you no belief that you have? - A. I have no recollection, and therefore can form no belief.
Q. I ask you once more, upon your oath, have you never seen a paper similar to that? -
Court. This kind of examination is not regular on the part of the prosecution; for when he has disgraced himself there is an end of his credit.
Mr. Wood. Q. Look at this paper Mr. Palmer,(shewing him a paper), do you know that paper? - A. No; I do not.
Q. Do you recollect ever seeing it before? - A. I cannot say I recollect seeing it before; but such a paper was shewn me before the Privy Council.
Q. Do you recollect ever seeing it before you saw it before the Privy Council? - A. No.
Q. Do you know whose hand-writing it is? - A. No; I do not.
Q. Do you know whose hand-writing that is?(shewing him another paper). - A. This hand-writing I am not acquainted with.
Q. The last place you were at was the brass-founder's, in Cock-lane. - A. Yes.
Q. How long were you, Upton, and Crossfield, at that brass-founder's? - A. A very few minutes.
Q. Do you recollect any thing that passed? - A. I do not.
Q. Where did you go to next? - A. To Mr. Hill's, Bartholomew-close.
Q. What is he? - A. I have heard he is a turner.
Q. Was he a member of the Corresponding Society? - A. He was, at that time.
Q. Upton and Crossfield accompanied you to Hill's? - A. Yes.
Q. What passed? - A. Upton gave some instructions to Hill about something, and I think the word model, or pattern, was mentioned.
Q. Was any drawing produced upon that occa sion? - A. I think Upton produced a drawing as instructions for something Hill was to do.
Q. Was that drawing left with Hill? - A. I cannot say.
Q. You did not see a drawing made at the time? - A. I think Upton made it at the time, I cannot swear to it.
Q. Do you recollect any thing else that passed? - A. No.
Q. After you left Hill's, where did you go to next? - A. I forget; Crossfield and I were going some where together, I forget where we went to.
Q. Did you, as far as Upton and Crossfield were concerned, part there? - A. I cannot recollect; I believe we parted some where there about.
Q. Where did Upton live? - A. In Bell-yard.
Q. How many times had you met Crossfield at Upton's? - A. I suppose once or twice before.
Q. How often afterwards? - A. I cannot recollect that I saw them afterwards; these transactions I did not know where of the kind I should be called to give evidence of, I considered them as mere trivial concerns.
Q. You heard of Upton and the other's being taken into custody? - A. Yes.
Q. Where did Crossfield live then? - A. In Dyer's buildings.
Q. How long after did he remove from Dyer's-buildings? - A. I cannot say; I went myself about that time into the country.
Q. Perhaps he went with you? - A. We went together to Bristol.
Q. How soon after Upton's examination before the Privy Council was it that you and Crossfield went to Bristol? - A. I cannot recollect how soon.
Q. Was it before the advertising and offering a reward for the apprehending of Crossfield? - A. Many months before that.
Q. When was it you went? - A. I believe, in October 1794.
Q. Is Crossfield a single man, or has he any family? - A. He is a married man; his wife, I believe, resided with him, in Dyer's-buildings.
Q. Did his family go with him? - A. His wife did not accompany us.
Q. How long did you continue at Bristol? - A. I continued a few days; he had a design of settling at Bristol as a physician, and meant to make some experiment on the waters there.
Q. Did you see him afterwards at Bristol? - A. No.
Q. Did you see him in London again, before he was in custody? - A. Yes; when he returned from Bristol.
Q. Where did he reside in London? - A. I don't know where he was; I saw him two or three times at my chambers.
Q. Did he go back to Dyer's-buildings? - A. No.
Q. Did you correspond with him while he was at Bristol? - A. I believe I received one letter from him.
Q. Did you write to him in consequence of that? - A. I cannot recollect.
Q. Whether you addressed to him as Crossfield, or by any other name? - A. If I wrote to him at Bristol, I addressed the letter to him as Crossfield; I don't think I wrote to him at all.
Q. Did you enquire where he was to be found? - A. I believe I did, I cannot recollect; - I recollect, when I come to consider of it, I did enquire where he was to be found.
Q. Can you tell what time he left London after his return from Bristol? - A. I cannot say.
Q. Did you correspond with him after you left London again? - A. No; I never saw him but once since, that was before the Privy Council.
Cross-examined by Mr. Adam. Q. You have known Crossfield fifteen or sixteen years? - A. I have.
Q. You were very much in the habit of intimacy with him in September 1794? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you happen to know, at that time, the particular state of Mr. Crossfield's health? - A. Yes.
Q. What state of health was he in? - A. In a very ill state of health; he used to take large quantities of opium at that time.
Q. Upon a particular day of the month, you don't mention in September, 1794, you went with him to Upton's? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you happen to know how long Crossfield and Upton had been acquainted before that time? - A. I don't know; it was a very short time before.
Q. How long had you been acquainted with Upton before that time? - A. I cannot say, I suppose it might be a month or two months.
Q. Can you tell whether Crossfield's acquaintance with Upton was in consequence of your acquaintance with Upton? - A. I believe Upton's acquaintance with Crossfield was, by seeing him at a division of the Corresponding Society.
Q. Can you say how long, antecedent to the time that you went to Upton's house with Crossfield? - A. I cannot say how long.
Q. Upton was a watch-maker? - A. Yes.
Q. Was he a mechanic in any other respect? - A. I think he was, for I remember seeing, at Upton's shop, an electrical machine, which he shewed as a curiosity.
Q. Upton was a member of the Corresponding Society? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you know whether there were any proceedings of the Corresponding Society, respecting Upton, at this time? - A. I cannot say, I remember Upton was disgraced in that Society.
Q. Do you happen to know whether any of the persons charged upon this indictment were among those who disgraced him in that Society? - A. Yes; I know that Mr. Le Maitre was one man that particularly objected to him.
Q. Do you know of any other? - A. No, I don't.
Q. Can you tell whether the enquiries, respecting Upton, were going forward about this time in the month of September, or the beginning of August 1794, and to the latter end of September? - A. I cannot charge my memory as to dates; about that time, I was in the habit of attending meetings of that Society, when that transaction took place; I think it was in the month of August or September.
Q. Subsequent to that, you went to New-street, or New-street-square, you don't know which? - A. There are several streets of that name, it was about Gough-square.
Q. What was the particular circumstance that led you to go to Upton upon that particular day? - A. Upton had that day a watch of mine to repair; I think Crossfield and I dined that day together, and I afterwards called with Crossfield upon Upton for my watch.
Q. Do you recollect where you dined that day? - A. I don't, it was somewhere in the neighbourhood of Temple-bar.
Q. And, from the reason you have given, you went to call upon Upton? - A. Yes.
Q. When you went to New-street, or New-street-square, it was to a brass-founder's? - A. Yes.
Q. Did you all three go in? - A. I believe we did.
Q. Did you know who was the person who came to you upon that occasion? - A. I don't know whether it was the master or the servant; I have no recollection upon the subject.
Q. From that you went to another place in Cock-lane? - A. Yes.
Q. I think you told us you did not go into the house upon that occasion? - A. No; that was in Shoe-lane.
Q. Was there any thing particular prevented you from going in? - A. Yes; I had a natural occasion to stop, and when I went in afterwards they were gone, and I followed them.
Q. Was it in consequence of overtaking them that you went with them to the next place? - A. Crossfield and I were going together upon business into the city, and Upton said he was going the same way, and would accompany us.
Q. And then you went to Cock-lane next? - A. Yes; and then we went to Hill's in Bartholomew-close.
Q. You were asked by my learned friend, with respect to Mr. Crossfield's place of abode? - A. Yes, Dyer's-buildings.
Q. Did he live in family there? - A. No, in lodgings.
Q. About the time you first heard of Upton being carried before the Privy Council, and Le Maitre, Smith, and Higgins, being committed, do you remember having seen Crossfield? - A. Yes.
Q. Did you, at that time, see him as publickly as you had used to have seen him before? - A. Yes, and frequently; I staid but a few days in town; I frequently go to the West of England at that time of the year, and I was just upon the eve of setting out; it was soon after Le Maitre and Smith were in custody.
Q. You went to Bristol with Mr. Crossfield? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you recollect any thing that passed between you and Mr. Crossfield, relative to going to Bristol? - A. I remember he talked of going to see the Bristol waters, he thought he might be able to make some discoveries in his medical capacity.
Q. How long did you remain at Bristol? - A. A few days.
Q. Had you frequent opportunities of seeing Mr. Crossfield there? - A. Yes, every day.
Q. Did he go about publickly? - A. Yes; as publickly as any man possibly could do.
Q. You left him at Bristol, and he remained there some time? - A. He remained there a month, or two months, I cannot exactly say; he remained there till the time I was first called before the Privy Council; he returned to town about that time; I saw him then in London.
Q. Did he make any mystery of his situation then? - A. No; the first time I saw him, I did not make any particular enquiry about him.
Q. He remained in London for some time, do you know at what time he left London? - A. I don't know at what time he left it; I think the last time I recollect to have seen him, was the last day I was called before the Privy Council; I was called before them three times in the course of ten days; I think it was in the month of January.
Q. Upton, Le Maitre, and Higgins, were called before the Privy Council in the month of September? - A. I think it was, but I cannot tell.
Q. And you saw him as late as the month of January? - A. I think it was.
Q. With respect to his being advertized, and a reward offered, when did you first see it? - A. I cannot speak as to the time when it appeared; but this I know, it was a considerable time after I last saw him, and a considerable time after I heard that he was failed.
Q. Had you ever any conversation with Upton, with regard to that instrument? - A. No, I never had.
Mr. Garrow. Q. It is necessary to ask you one or two questions; I think you almost concluded my learned friend's examination, by saying, that the last time you saw him, was the last day you was before the Privy Council? - A. Yes; at my own chambers, after he had come from Bristol.
Q. You told him, doubtless, you had been before the Privy Council? - A. Yes.
Q. Upon which of your three examinations before the Privy Council was it you undertook to seek after Crossfield and find him? - A. I think, the truth.
Q. How often, between the first and third examination, did he visit you at your chambers? - A. Once or twice; I don't mean to say he was no more than twice; I cannot say particularly.
Q. Was it on that part of the day after you had concluded your examination? - A. I think it was before I went to the Privy Council.
Q. You said he went to Bristol, with a view to enquire whether that was an elegible situation for him as a physician, and to make some improvements upon the waters; did he announce himself as a physician newly arrived there, at Bath, or Bristol? - A. He did not go to practice as a physician, he went to see whether Bristol would be an eligible place for him to practice in.
Q. Before he went to Bristol, he was publickly about here in town? - A. Yes.
Q. But if I did not misunderstand you, in answer to my questions, you told me, that after he returned, though you enquired after him, you did not find out where his residence was? - A. Certainly, and I can give you a reason for it; the reason he assigned was this, I told him the circumstance of my being summoned before the Privy Council the first time, and I acquainted him, that his attendance was likewise required; he told me, that he was engaged to go abroad, as the surgeon of a ship, that he had no objection to it, but he knew nothing at all of the matters then pending between the Privy Council, and that his staying in town would be the means of preventing him going his voyage.
Q. You explained to him, that his attendance was very much wanted, and that you had promised to procure his attendance as a witness? - A. Yes.
Q. Did not your examination close, without the Privy Council having the smallest idea that you knew where to find him? - A. I did not know where to find him.
JOHN HILL sworn.
Examined by Mr. Law. Q. You are a turner? - A. Yes; in Bartholomew-close.
Q. What division of the Corresponding Society are you a member of, or were you a member? - A. Division six.Q. Wer
e you acquainted with Upton in September 1794? - A. A little; I knew him.
Q. Do you know Palmer likewise? - A. Yes; Upton; Palmer, and another man, came to my house about that time. Upto asked me if I could turn wood; I told him, yes; and he asked if I would do him a job; I said, yes; then he began to tell me about what sort of a job it was to be; I did not rightly understand, according to what he said to me, what sort of a thing he wanted; and then they produced a bit of a sketch of it.
Q. Look at that, (showing him a paper), is that it? - A. I think this is the sketch that was produced.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. Was it done with ink or pencil? - A. Ink. I supplied them with pen and ink.
Mr. Law. Q. There is written at the back of it "a house to let, enquire within;" was that wrote upon it before? - A. Yes.
Q. Were all the three persons present when that sketch was drawn? - A. Yes.
Q. Had you any conversation with them about the way in which the thing so sketched out was to be done? - A. I asked Upton what it was for, and he said, it was something in the electrical machine way; he desired me to bring it to his house, and I should be paid for it.
Q. Do you recollect which of the three persons sketched that out, Upton, Palmer, or the stranger? - A. The stranger did do something at it, to the best of my recollection.
Q. Were there more persons than one that did any thing at it? - A. I think I did something at it. at the desire of Upton; I don't recollect that Palmer did any thing to it.
Q. Was there any conversation about a straight piece that was to be done? - A. Nothing; but I asked what it was for, and they said, something in the electrifying machine way.
Q. Was there any distinction taken in your conversation about the straight piece that was to be done, and the bit of brass work? - A. It was to be turned straight along, like that in the drawing; like a round ruler.
Q. Is this that which you did, in consequence of that direction, like a round ruler? - A. I think this is it.
Q. Now look at that; is that what you did as a model for the brass work? - A. Yes; it looks like it.
Q. You did this as meaning to conform to the directions contained in the sketch? - A. I took them to Upton's house according to his direction, to see if it was right, about three days or so after they were ordered.
Q. Which of them told you you should be paid for it? - A. Upton.
Q. You are sure none of the others mentioned any thing about paying for it? - A. No; none of them.
Q. Did you see Mrs. Upton when you went there? - A. I cannot say; he was playing at cards with a man I think I did see a woman come into the place in the mean time, and I left the things.
Q. Do you happen to recollect the particular day, in the month of September, when they were ordered? - A. I think about the middle of September, or towards the latter end, I cannot tell exactly.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. You have stated that you yourself was a member of the London Corresponding Society? - A. Yes.
Q. Of that society Upton was likewise a member? - A. Yes.
Q. Have you any knowledge of any enquiries that were going forward at that time respecting Upton in the Corresponding Society; were there any imputations thrown upon Upton's character in the Corresponding Society? - A. Yes, there were.
Q. Do you know any persons principally concerned in throwing those imputations; was Le Maitre active in it? - A. I cannot say exactly; but I think, Higgins said something that affronted Upton, and they were about to investigate his character.
Q. Were you present at any other meeting when any persons, whatever, brought any charges against Upton? - A. I was at no meeting when there was any thing said respecting his character, but in a committee one night, where he was.
Q. Do you recollect, while that examination into Upton's character was going on, having any conversation with Higgins respecting Upton; did you hear Higgins say any thing in the society respecting Upton's character? - A. I cannot say I recollect Higgins saying any thing respecting Upton's character; but he was going to save them the trouble of expelling him; he was going to take himself away; upon which Higgins said, there he hops off; and Upton was affronted, because it was a reflection upon his lameness.
Q. Were there or not expressions of violent animosity between Higgins, Le Maitre, and Upton, in the society? - A. There were; but I cannot say what it arose from, nor how it ended.
Q. In point of fact, were Le Maitre and Higgins pursuing any enquiry into the character of Upton? - A. Not that I know of.
Q. Did Upton call upon you at your house at any time, after Le Maitre, Higgins, and Smith were apprehended? - A. After Upton was apprehended himself, on the Sunday, he called upon me.
Q. How long before that had he himself been taken up? - A. He had only been taken up the Saturday night, as he told me himself.
(Here Mr. Attorney General took an objection, that in point of law, the animosity of Upton to the other persons charged in the indictment could not be gone into, which was argued on the side of Mr. Adam).
L. C. J. Eyre. As to the declarations of Upton, I will not pronounce a positive opinion upon them, because I cannot say what may be brought in evidence to let in those declarations; at present it is inadmissible, because it is the declaration of a man not upon oath, of a man who is dead, but not made under those circumstances that place it upon the footing of an oath, and, therefore, whatever Upton may have said, is not in its own nature evidence, and consequently cannot be received, unless in one particular case, and that is, where it is argumenium ad bominem, by way of taking off the credit of any thing that the same witness has said upon his oath, there to be sure, what he has said at another time may be gone into otherwise, in the nature of the thing, such a declaration is no evidence at all.
John Le Breton called in. - (Ordered to withdraw.)
Mr. Garrow. My Lord, I call this witness to two important facts; the first is, the time and manner of the slight of the prisoner after this accusation; and the next is, to his distinct declarations as to the share of guilt which he had in this transaction.
Mr. Adam objected, that according to the evidence then before the Court, there was no proof that could entitle them, on the part of the Crown, to give evidence of such declarations, and such confessions, inasmuch as there had been only one witness to prove one overt-act.
L. C. J. Eyre. I conceive here are two witnesses, and more than two witnesses to one overt-act in the way the prisoner's own council put it; a model being made by Hill, and approved of by one at least, and they were all present; it is a question for the Jury, whether those who were present did or not concur in it, and if they did concur in it, there are surely two or three witnesses; but if it were not so, it would be a very good objection for you to make when they have closed their evidence, that there has been but one witness, and that this confession will not supply the want of evidence, that may be good, but this evidence is to make the evidence that has been produced, intelligible, which perhaps it never may be; the authority cited, shews that the prisoner's confession is always to be received in corroboration of the evidence already offered; and, therefore, in that view, it may be offered upon the ground of there being two witnesses to the overtact; but I am of opinion it might be offered, even if there had been but one, because some other evidence might be produced afterwards, which would.
JOHN LE BRETON sworn.
Examined by Mr. Garrow. I failed from Falmouth on the 13th of January, 1795, in the Pomona; I was boat-steerer; she is a South-Sea whaler; we were bound to the Southern fishery, round Cape Horn; the prisoner, Crossfield, came on board our ship as surgeon, about a week before we failed from Portsmouth, which was about the 29th or 30th of January, I cannot say exactly.
Q. By what name did he pass from the time he came on board till he arrived at Falmouth? - A. By the name of the Doctor, as it is most commonly used on board a ship; the Captain might know his name, but I did not; we failed from Falmouth on the 13th of February, and were taken on the 15th of the same month by a French corvette, called the La Vengeance, and carried into Brest on the 23d.
Q. Had you ever heard from the prisoner what his name was, or did you know him by any other description than that of the Doctor? - A. Not till we arrived in France; he wrote his own name in the list that was sent to shore, Robert Thomas Crossfield.
Q. After your capture, you were shifted on board the Frenchman? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember any expression of his upon his leaving your ship? - A. Yes; me and the ship's mate being left on board, as he was going over the side he wished us good by, saying, he was happy he was going to France, he would sooner go there than to England.
Q. When you arrived at Brest, did you find the prisoner there? - A. Yes, on board the same corvette; our ship did not go into Brest; the Pomona was turned a-drift, and I was taken into the same corvette as he was.
Q. By what name did you find him passing in France? - A. He passed by his name in the muster list; we mustered frequently, and he always answered by the name of Crossfield.
Q. After you had arrived at Brest, did you hear the prisoner make use of any expressions with respect to his Majesty the King of England, or any share he had had in any thing relating to his Majesty? - A. Yes; I heard him say, he was one of those who invented the air-gun to assignate his Majesty; I asked him what it was like; he told me the arrow was to go through a kind of tube, by the force of inflammable air; he described the arrow to me as like one of our harpoons that we kill the whale with; I don't recollect any thing further.
Q. Did you hear him use those expressions more than once? - A. Yes, two or three times; this time particularly.
Q. Do you recollect any song that he sung? - A. Yes, he sung a song.(Mr. Adam objected to the question).Mr. Garrow. Wa
s it a seditious song, disrespectful to his Majesty?
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. I think you had better not go into that.
Mr. Garrow. How long did the prisoner pass at Brest by the name of Crossfield? - A. Till he came away; we came from Brest in a cartel from the West Indies, and then he wrote down his name in the muster list, H. Wilson, of the Hope, passenger.
Q. Who made out the muster list to transfer you from the French ship into the other? - A. He was one of the people himself.
Q. Was he muster-master while you were there? - A. Not particularly; any Englishman used to write the names down.
Q. Did he embark on board the cartel ship in the name of Wilson? - Yes, we called him Doctor as before.
Mr. Adam. Q. Do you know what became of the muster roll? - A. I believe it goes to the representative of Brest.
Mr. Garrow. Q. Do you recollect, during the time you continued at Brest, any other disrespectful or seditious expressions respecting his Majesty? - A. I don't recollect any thing particularly.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. The whole of it is, that he absconded, and when he returned to England, he came under a feigned name.
Mr. Garrow. And his declaration of a share in this transaction -
Lord Chief justice Eyre. O yes,
yes.Cross-examined by Mr. Adam. Q. Do you know, of your own knowledge, any thing with respect to the manner in which this muster list is disposed? - A. I cannot tell.
Q. For any thing you know then, this muster list may be sent over to the Admiralty in England? - A. It may be there for ought I know.
Q. You are sure that you read this muster list with attention at the time it was submitted to you? - A. I am sure I both saw it and heard it read over.
Q. And you can charge your memory at this distance of time correctly, with what you have stated? - A. Yes.Q. What
number of crew were on board the Pomona? - A. I think twenty-three, to the best of my remembrance it was not less, including the captain, whose name is Charles Clarke.
Q. Did he continue a prisoner in France all the time? - A. Yes, he did.
Q. Did he come back with you to England? - A. Yes, he did; in the same cartel ship.
Q. Have you seen him frequently since you came back to England? - A. Yes, frequently; but never since Christmas.
Q. You were examined before the Privy Council? - A. I was.
Q. Was captain Clarke examined before the Privy Council? - A. I believe not.
Q. Did he attend there? - A. He did not.
Q. Have you seen him since your examination at the Privy Council? - A. Yes; in London.
Q. At what particular place? - A. At the Solicitor's, Mr. White.
Q. Have you ever seen him in any other place? - A. Yes, on board of his ship.
Q. Have you never seen him at any house on shore upon the banks of the river Thames? - A. Yes, I have; at his lodgings in Wapping, near Gun-dock.
Q. Should you recollect the name of the landlady if I were to tell it you? - A. I think, I should.
Q. Is it Smith? - A. No; not the last time he came to London. I was at Mrs. Smith's once or twice with him, but he did not lodge there; that was at the time he was sitting his ship out after he returned from France.
Q. Had you any conversation with him at that time upon this subject? - A. I cannot rightly say that I had.Q. Then
, if any body were to come and say you had conversation with him upon this subject, at Mrs. Smith's, at Wapping, since your return from France, of course, they cannot be speaking truth? - A. I don't know that they could.
Q. Your recollection is very accurate to the words Crossfield spoke; your recollection is very accurate to the words you read in a paper; and both those things happened a great while before you saw captain Clarke at Wapping, at Mrs. Smith's; now, upon your oath, had you no conversation there upon the subject of Crossfield and this accusation? - A. I had not; no further than I told him I had been examined at the Privy Council.
Q. In consequence of your having so told him, did nothing further pass upon the subject of Crossfield? - A. No.
Q. Upon your oath, I will put it again; do you not recollect any conversation with captain Clarke, about what captain Clarke must have over-heard pass, upon the subject of this accusation? - A. I do not; captain Clarke was never so inquisitive as to ask me.
Q. Nor you so anxious as to tell him? - A. No; I did not. I don't believe I called at Mrs. Smith's with him above two or three times.
Q. Is he your captain now? - A. I cannot pretend to say; he may be on the coast of Africa for ought I know; he went about Christmas.
Q. When did you return from France? - A. I think about the first of September we landed.
Q.I think you told us Crossfield came on board the ship at Portsmouth? - A. He did.
Q. And failed upon the 13th to Falmouth? - A. Yes.
Q. For any thing you know, you captain might have known Crossfield by his real name? - A. He might.
Q. Before you failed from St. Helen's he came on shore, I believe? - A. Yes; he was on shore two different times with me.
Q. Who came on shore with you besides? - A. The boat's crew; I remained on shore two or three hours; we went to buy stores.
Q. You and Crossfield went publickly about the streets? - A. Yes.
Q. After you had failed from St. Helen's, you were driven into Falmouth? - A. We put into Falmouth.
Q. What was the ship loaded with? - A. Casks and water, with provision for the voyage.
Q. Do you mean to say,that casks and water were all that the captain and owners had laid in to go this voyage to the West-Indies? - A. No; there was the captain's private trade.
Q. Had you no private trade of your own? - A. No; only two dozen pair of stockings.
Q. Did not the captain's private trade consist of jewellery, and watches, and articles of that description? - A. I believe, they were.
Q. What day did you put into Falmouth? - A. I believe, it was the 2d of February, I cannot say rightly the day; we were in Falmouth ten or eleven days.
Q. Was Crossfield on shore at Falmouth? - A. I don't recollect that he was.
Q. Will you take upon yourself to swear that he was not frequently on shore? - A. I will take upon myself to swear that he was not on shore more than once, if he was that; I don't know that he was at all.
Q. Then you cannot take upon yourself to say any thing about it? - A. No, I cannot.
Q. As soon as you were captured, were you all put over into the corvette? - A. Not directly; we got into Brest on the 23d.
Q. During that time, what sort of weather had you? - A. Pretty moderate, considering the time of the year.Q. How m
any English prisoners, altogether, were on board the French ship? - A. None but our ship's crew, at first.Q. Do you
recollect any scheme, upon the part of your ship's crew, to take possession of the French ship? - A. I do; we were all concerned in it, as far as I know; captain Clarke and I were concerned in it; and, I believe, Crossfield was; about three days after we had been on board, it failed, because some of them were outlandish men, and would not agree to it.
Q. Upon your oath, was not Crossfield one of the first men, and declared himself ready to go into the cabin amonst them, with his sword drawn? - A. I was not there to see.
Q. Where did you first go to from Brest harbour? - A. Into the Roads.
Q. Had you any intercourse with any other English ships at that time? - A. Not till we had got on board another ship.
Q. Did you meet any English prisoners there? - A. Yes, numbers; I don't rightly recollect the names of any of them.
Q. Was not Crossfield carried on board a prison ship? - A. Yes; the Elizabeth.
Q. Do you remember the Achilles? - A. Yes; she say pretty near hand.
Q. Was the Normandy close to you? - A. Pretty near.
Q. I need not ask you whether Crossfield speaks French? - A. He does.
Q. Did he not serve as interpreter between the French and the English prisoners? - A. Sometimes he did; there were several that did.
Q. Do you recollect any English prisoners on board the Achilles or the Normandy? - A. I don't recollect.
Q. Do you recollect captain Yallery? - A. I don't remember him particularly; there was one captain Yallery, who was captain of one of the transport ships, he was not in the prison ship; I met with him in the Landerneau-river.
Q. Do you remember Mr. Cleverton? - A. I do; he was taken by the same ship two or three days after we were; he came on board the same prison ship with us.
Q. Did he stay on board the Elizabeth all the while Mr. Crossfield was there? - A. Yes.Q. You
did not mess with Crossfield at this time? - A. I did not.
Q. Do you know if captain Cleverton messed with him? - A. I am not sure; I believe he did.
Q. Do you know captain Collins? - A. Yes; I cannot say whether he was on board the Elizabeth or not.
Q. You were afterwards removed from the Elizabeth prison ship to a prison ship in Landerneau-river, were not you? - A. Yes; the Peggy, and the Active Increase were lashed close along side; you might jump from one to the other.
Q. They were used as prison ships? - A. Yes.
Q. Was Crossfield on board the Peggy with you? - A. Yes; and captain Cleverton; captain Yallery was not; captain Clarke was.
Q. Now, from the time you were removed from the Elizabeth prison ship, in Brest-harbour, to the Peggy and Active Increase, in the Landerneau-river, to the time you came back to England,Crossfield, yourself, captain Clarke and captain Cleverton, were all on board the same ship? - A. Not all the time; captain Cleverton was sick, and at the Solptech.
Q. I believe, when any body appeared to be sick, or stated themselves as sick, they were immediately taken from on board the prison ships to the hospital on shore? - A. They were, when they were very bad; they let them be pretty bad first, and then they were taken on shore.
Q. Captain Cleverton was taken on shore for some time? - A. Yes; and he came back and remained on board the Peggy till we all embarked for England.
Q. Who commanded the cartel that brought you home? - A. Captain Gallery , or Yallery, I cannot tell which, he commanded the cartel.
Q. Was captain Collins on board the cartel? - A. I cannot say whether he was or not; there was a captain Collins commanded one of the transports, I believe.
Q. Long before the coming on board the cartel to return home, you knew perfectly well that the person, called the Doctor, was Crossfield? - A. Yes.
Q. And all the ship's crew? - A. I cannot say that, I saw his name wrote, and saw him write it.
Q. I think you said he continued a prisoner under the name of Crossfield till you came away? - A. Till nearly we came away.
Q. And he was known by the name of Crossfield? - A. By the name of Doctor among our own people.
Q. There was no secret in his name? - A. No; several asked me his name, and I told them.
Q. You told me your own private trade consisted of silk stockings? - A. No, cotton stockings, and the captain's private trade of jewellery.
Q. How were they stowed; did they take up a considerable bulk in the ship? - A. No.
Q. Upon your oath, were not these articles conveyed on board the prison ships, and made the subject of sale by the persons who had been taken prisoners? - A. There was a trifle which they had, which they broke open.
Q. Was there any quarrelling about this? - A. No.
Q. Did Crossfield say any thing about it? - A. No.
Q. You never had any words with Crossfield about it? - A. No, I never had.
Q. You are quite sure there were never any words between you and Crossfield? - A. I don't recollect that I ever had a word in anger in my life with him.
Q. Did you not hear Crossfield say, that he would inform the underwriters that they were stole, and had not been captured? - A. I did not.
THOMAS DENNIS sworn.
Examined by Mr. Wood. I was chief mate of the Pomona, in January, 1795; we failed from Portsmouth the latter end of January; the prisoner, Crossfield, failed in the same ship, in the capacity of surgeon; I did not know his name; he used to go by the appellation of Doctor; I did not know his name till we got to France; we were captured on the 15th of February by the La Vengeance corvette, and carried into Brest.
Q. Had you ever seen the prisoner before he came on board at Portsmouth? - A. Never.
Q. In the course of your voyage, did you hear him say any thing, and what? - A. The night after we failed from Falmouth, the prisoner said, if Pitt knew where he was, he would send a frigate after him; moreover, that Pitt would have been shot, but he went across some bridge instead of Westminster-bridge, which bridge I have forgot.
Q. Did you ever hear him say any thing about his Majesty? - A. Yes; I heard him say that his Majesty was to have been assassinated in the play-house with a dart blown through a tube, and that he knew how the dart was constructed.
Q. Did he tell you how it was constructed? - A. No, I heard nothing further about the dart; I never heard him mention the form of it; I believe he did mention something of its being in the shape of a harpoon, but I cannot tell the particulars; he said his Majesty was to be assassinated by it.
Q. Did you ever hear him say any thing more upon that subject? - A. I don't recollect any more about the King.
Q. Did he say any thing about the construction of the tube? - A. No, any further than it was to have been blown through a tube.
Q. After the capture did you hear him say any thing of his being glad to leave England? - A. Yes; when we were first taken, he took me to the helm, and said, he hoped I should get the ship safe to England; that he was very happy he had got to France, and was not going to England.
Q. On your arrival at Brest, was there any muster taken? - A. Yes; a list of the prisoners was made out and sent on shore to the War-office, to which Crossfield signed his name, R.T. Crossfield; he said, there was no occasion to be ashamed of his name now.
Q. How long did he go by that name? - A. All the time he was in France, till the day that the list of prisoners was made out to come away, and then he changed his name to H. Wilson.
Q. Did you see the list in which H. Wilson was entered? - A. Yes, and overhauled it; it was written in his own hand; it mentioned his being captured in the Hope brig, instead of the Pomona, by the La Vengeance.
Q. Did you hear the list called over? - A. I did; the Commissary from Brest called it over, and he was called by the name of H. Wilson.
Q. Did he answer to that name? - A. Yes, and walked aft directly.
Q. Were you the person that gave information to the Magistrate? - A. No; I heard of it upon the road as I was coming to town, at a place called Bodmin.
Q. Who did you inform of this? - A. I was subpoenaed to the Privy Council.
Q. But who did you give information to? - A. To nobody before.
Q. Did not you go before a Magistrate? - A. No; I did not mention his name to any body; I was going to sea the next day as I was subpoenaed.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. How many days were you upon your voyage to Brest after you were taken? - A. I believe we got in upon the 22d or the 23d.
Q. Do you recollect any plan in the course of this voyage among the English prisoners to seize upon the French ship? - A. I do; I was concerned in it, and captain Clarke, and I believe Crossfield was.
Q. And the last witness? - A. Yes; we all meant to rise upon the French and seize the vessel; those that messed in the cabin were to seize upon the cabin.
Q. The ship that took you, took another vessel? - A. Yes; the Hope brig, captain Faulkner.
Q. Was there a captain of the name of Cleverton on board that ship? - A. Yes; he was put on board the Elizabeth, and remained on board as long as we staid.
Q. Was captain Yallery on board that ship? - A. No.
Q. Captain Collins? - A. No.
Q. You were removed afterwards from the Elizabeth to the Peggy? - A. Yes; the Active Increase was moored along side of her; captain Yallery, and captain Collins, were captains of two cartels, at a little distance from us; they used to come on board of us once in a week or a fortnight.
Q. Crossfield left the Peggy after some time? - A. Yes; and went on board one of the ships, on board of which captain Faulkner, or captain Alexander was.
Q. You were enabled, by the politeness of the French captain to save some part of the cargo of the ship, were not you? - A. No.
Q. Some part of the private trade of your captain and yourselves? - A. Yes.
Q. What were they? - A. Stockings.
Q. Watches? - A. The captain saved some watches; I had none.
Q. Was this property insured? - A. I don't rightly know; I had none of my own insured.
Q. Was captain Clarke's insured? - A. I cannot say; I believe there was some of it insured.
Q. It was afterwards the subject of traffick on board the prison ship? - A. Yes.
Q. Was any observation made by Crossfield, respecting this being a fraud upon the under-writers? - A. Not that I recollect.
Q. Brush up your recollection? - A. It did not concern me, I cannot say.
Q. Did not Mr. Crossfield expressly charge you and captain Clarke with defrauding the under-writers? - A. No; I don't recollect any such thing.
Q. You never had any words with him upon that subject? - A. No.
Q. If any body says so, they say that which is not true? - A. Yes; I never had any words with him, or he with me; I never exchanged fifty words with him to my knowledge, all the time I was in France.
Q. How many might you exchange before you went to France, fifty more? - A. I cannot say.
Q. You were not very confidential in your communications with each other? - A. My station was upon deck, and his below.
Q. Were there any words between you and him, such as that the ship was taken owing to your negligence? - A. No; there were no words between him and me; he never said that to my face; I heard that he did behind my back.Q. Ther
e were no disputes between you and captain Cleverton, and Crossfield? - A. No, none at all.
Q. That you are quite positive of? - A. I am.
Q. You understood Crossfield behind your back to have blamed you for the capture of the ship? - A. I have heard that he has said so, but he never mentioned it to my face.
Q. I believe Mr. Crossfield lived constantly on board the Elizabeth with captain Cleverton, captain Clarke, and those persons? - A. Yes; there were nine of us in number, we messed at the same table.
Q. Was he in considerable intimacy with any of them? - A. Not remarkably that I know of.
Q. I believe you were miserably off in these prison ships for want of provisions? - A. There was no want of provision, we had bad provisions.
Q. Bad provision, and confinement together, are not very pleasa nt? - A. Not very.
Q. Did you ever take any steps whatever towards getting your liberty? - A. No.
Q. Did you ever state to the French, either directly, or through the medium of Mr. Crossfield, that you was an American? - A. Yes.
Q. Did you forge a certificate of your being an American? - A. I did write a certificate to the Consul.
Q. And consequently, as a republican, you know Americans all are? - A. Crossfield said, he had interest enough in France to get us all our liberty.
Q. Did not Crossfield endeavour to get his enlargment, by saying he was a naturalized Hollander, that he had a diploma from Leyden? - A. I know he wrote to some place, but what place I cannot say.
Q. Was not Mr. Crossfield a man of the most grave and serious deportment imaginable? - A. No.
Q. I believe, very much the contrary? - A. He was a man that drank very much.
Q. Was he a man of grave deportment, or of a great deal of levity? - A. A great deal of levity.
Q. Talking and rattling a great deal? - A. Yes.
Q. You hardly knew whether he was in jest or earnest sometimes? - A. I never paid much attention to him.
Q. For that very reason? - A. He was a bad principle altogether.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. Did they oblige the prisoners to go on board the cartel ships, if any body said they had an inclination to stay? - A. I did not hear that any body said they had an inclination to stay.
JAMES WINTER sworn.
Examined by Mr. Fielding. Q. You are master of a vessel called the Susannah? - A. I was the owner of both ship and cargo.
Q. On board of her, on your passage to Newfoundland from Spain and Portugal, you were captured? - A. Yes; by a French frigate and two corvettes, on the 6th of December, and arrived at Brest, on the 13th; I was put on board a prison ship for some time, and afterwards removed into Brest Castle.
Q. During your being at Brest, did you at any time see Mr. Crossfield, the prisoner at the bar? - A. Some time after, on the 20th of March, I was taken out of the Castle, and put on board one of the English cartels in Landerneau-River; there were seven of them there, but three were lashed together, Mr. Crossfield came on board the ship where I was, somewhere about the beginning of the 2d or 3d of April; it was on board the Revolution brig, Capt. Yallery. Capt. Yallery introduced him to me by the name of Crossfield; and he said his name was not Crossfield, it was Thomas Paine , and laughed; I said nothing to him, but after supper, he began singing some very bad and audacious songs.
Q. Did any thing afterwards pass relative to his Majesty, the King of England? - A. Yes; he said, he shot at his Majesty, but unluckily missed him. He and I were walking upon the quarter-deck some time after, and I asked him where it was that he had shot at his Majesty; he hesitated some time, and then said, between Buckingham-house and the Palace. It was his continual conversation every day after dinner and supper for five months; and unless he was on shore with the Commissary, we dined together every day.
Q. Did you ever hear him say any thing more relative to his Majesty? - A. Yes.
Q. Mr. Fielding. Did he give any description of the weapon he shot at his Majesty with? - A. Yes; I saw a thing he had, which I understood he did it with; it was as long as that candle and candlestick, like a pop-gun; it was round and hollow, and about a foot and an half long, made of iron. He said he intended to put some poisoned darts in it; and that he had shot at a car with one and killed it.
Q. Did he say he intended to put some poisoned darts in, or that he had done it? - A. He said, he had done it; that he shot at the cat with it, and the cat expired in a short time in great agonies.
Q. Did he describe this instrument whether it would make a noise? - A. He said it would not make a noise; that he could kill a man at thirty yards, and nobody perceive that he had done it; and he repeated that many times.
Q. When you were in company with him, were there other people in company with him? - A. Yes; there were generally nine of us dined together every day.
Q. Was this conversation before the other people? - A. Yes; it was not confined to me, except at certain times; may be, when we were walking upon the quarter-deck, or down in the cabin. He put his finger upon the table, and dipped it in a little wet, and shewed me in what manner they were made; there seemed to be hairs out of each side; and, he said, it opened in the front when it struck, and something flew out, and let the poison in.
Q. Had you any conversation about preparing the poison, or where the poison was got? - A. He said, he prescribed it; he said, he was the very person that ordered it to be made up, that he had got it at a shop. He said, he had fired at his Majesty, but he did not say it was with that; he said, many times, that he had fired at his Majesty, and, unluckily, missed him; sometimes, he said, it was very unlucky, and sometimes, damned unlucky. There was not a soul in the cabin at the time, some of them were gone on shore.
Q. Did you ask him for any further explanation of these things, or not? - A. No, I never did; I was afraid to do it; I never asked but only one question, where it was that he shot at the King? and he said, it was between Buckingham-house and the King's Palace.
Q. Do you remember any conversation with him in August, relative to his wishes to the people in London, and his Majesty? - A. Yes; he said, he hoped he should live to see the day that the streets of London were up over his ankles in blood of the King and his party.
Q. Do you recollect the names of any gentlemen that might be present? - A. Yes; I remember one gentleman in company, captain Yallery, said, God forbid, matters might be done more easily.
Q. When this conversation took place, of his having shot at his Majesty, did he say any thing of what he was obliged to do? - A. He said, he went to Portsmouth, and there he went on board a South-Sea-man; and two or three days after, met with a French frigate, and luckily he was carried into Brest.
Q. Did he say any thing about a pursuit being made by a King's messenger? - A. He said, there were two King's messengers after him.
Q. Did you know any thing of the name, particularly, by which he went at Brest at different times? - A. He went by the name of Crossfield, except only the time as he introduced himself as Tom Paine ; he said, he went by the name of Tom Paine on board some other ships; when he entered his name in the list to come home, he entered it as Henry Wilson.
Q. Go on, and endeavour to recollect all the conversation that passed at that time, when he said he wished to see the streets of London flowing with blood? - A. That was the constant conversation all that night, till captain Yallery interrupted him, and said, God forbid, matters might be done more easily.
Q. Was captain Collins in company? - A. That was another time; captain Collins said, he should be happy to have the cutting off of the head of both King, Pitt, and the Parliament; Crossfield said, have patience, have patience, I hope to have the cutting off some of them by and by myself.
Q. When did you come from Brest? - A. On the 7th of August; I came in the same cartel with captain Yallery, in the Revolution.
Q. Do you know how Crossfield came away? - A. In the same ship.
Q. How long was he embarked on board that ship before you failed from Brest? - A. He was not long on board; I was on board the French Commodore with him; he and captain Yallery went on board the French Commodore, and they were then, I believe, for half an hour or an hour, and then captain Yallery and he came away, and Crossfield with them; he said, every thing is now settled to my own satisfaction; this was on the 27th of August, the day we left Brest, upon the gang-way of the French Commodore.
Q. What became of him afterwards? - A. One of the captains held up his hand to stop him not to say any more.
Q. One of what captains? - A. The masters of the vessels, captain Byron or captain Lambton, I cannot say which.
Q. What became of him then? - A. He said, the French had given him great encouragement, and would provide for him; he often said that, I suppose fifty times, but never explained what he meant by it. Then he went on board the cartel, and we went out that very day.
Q. How long were you upon your passage before you came to England? - A. Three days.
Q. During your being upon the passage, did any thing remarkable take place? - A. No; not a word.
Q. How came that, that nothing passed between you, when so much passed between you before? - A. He was very close; he never said a word, I think, from the 19th of August, not till that very day he left the French Commodore, that ever I heard.
Q. When you came to England, where did you land? - A. At Menagessy; I went to a public house and asked for the landlord, and the landlord came, and I enquired for a Justice of Peace; he told me there was one about two miles off, and he would go with me himself; I went immediately to the Justice with him; I was not on shore ten minutes before I went; he was not at home, we saw him afterwards; I laid an information immediately against Crossfield, they granted a warrant to have him apprehended; the next morning they came to have him apprehended, and the vessel was gone over to Fowey, and he was apprehended there.
Cross-examined by Mr. Adam. Q. May I ask you what age you are? - A. Fifty-nine.
Q. You belong to New foundland? - A. I am a resident at that place at present, but was born in England; I have a family at Newfoundland.
Q. And you happened to be captured, and taken into Brest as a prisoner? - A. Yes; on the 6th of December, 1794.
Q. You were brought on board this prison ship, after being some time in Brest-castle? - A. Yes; on the 20th of March; it was an English prison ship, the Berwick.
Q. You have mentioned the names of two persons you found on board that prison ship, captain Collins, and captain Yallery; can you mention any of the other persons who used to mess with you at that time? - A. Yes; captain Alexander, captain Lambton, William Byron, and Henry Byron , Richard Taylor , Crossfield, and myself.Q. Where a
re those gentlemen now? - A. I don't know; captain Yallery I believe is in London now; I believe the two Byrons reside in Shields.
Q. Were you never asked where they were by any body? - A. No; I mentioned them to the Justice at Menagessy, as having come home with me in the cartel ship.
Q. They were respectable men, I believe, these Mr. Byrons? - A. I don't know, they seemed to be very well there.
Q. Perhaps you thought nobody so respectable as yourself? - A. Oh, yes, I thought them so, certainly.
Q. They were mentioned by you as a part of the company that you used to keep in France? - A. Yes; that such people dined with me every day.
Q. Do you remember captain Clarke at any time? - A. I remember there was such a person there, but I never had any conversation with him.
Q. You were never on board the Peggy? - A. Never.
Q. When you were first introduced to Crossfield, he called himself Tom Paine ? - A. Yes.
Q. Did you know enough of Crossfield, at that time to know any thing of his manner of life? - A. No; I had not been with him above half an hour then.
Q. Were you enough with him to know whether he was in the habit of drinking strong liquor? - A. Yes; when he could get it, but he could not get it there; he would drink it if he could get it, I believe.
Q. How long was it from the time you became acquainted with Crossfield, to the time you came away? - A. About five months.
Q. And he was in intimacy with you and these gentlemen all the time? - A. Yes; he dined and supped with them every night, except he was with the commodore, on shore.
Q. And, consequently, all these gentlemen lived with him all those five months? - A. Yes.
Q. Therefore, every thing that you knew, they must know? - A. They must have known the greatest part of it.Q. Do
you know any thing about a hare; you may think it a strange question to ask? - A. No.
Q. You don't remember any thing about a hare jumping into your arms? - A. Yes; I was coming from Axminster to Lyme, and I stopped by a style to make water; I was buttoning up my breeches, and the hare jumped out, and I caught her in my arms, about twelve o'clock at night; and I threw her over the gate among a parcel of dogs; and the next day, just as the parson was going to church, the hare jumped out, and the dogs followed her.
Q. How long did the hare remain among the dogs? - A. Till after dinner.
Q. This was a story that used to amuse the company very much? - A. Yes, it did, I assure you.Q. What
did you tell those gentlemen you took this hare to be? - A. To be a hare.
Q. How did you think this extraordinary hare could keep so long among dogs alive? - A. If any gentlemen choose to dispute my veracity, send to Lyme and they will get a voucher for it.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. What did you take the hare for, did you take her for a witch? - A. They say that place is troublesome now. I took it for an old hare.
Mr. Adam. Q. Did not you tell these gentlemen that this hare you took to be a witch, or the devil? - A. No; they used to say there was something used to walk there; this was an old hare that had been hunted many times by dogs, and they never could catch it.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. What sort of a place was it you threw this hare into? - A. Over a wall seven feet high, about twelve o'clock at night.
Q. Have you ever been sworn in a Court of Justice before? - A. I have been upon the Grand Jury, in Newfoundland twenty-four times.
Q. Were you ever sworn in a Court of Justice as a witness? - A. Yes.
Mr. Attorney General. Q. You raised a corps in Newfoundland yourself, I believe? - A. Yes; I supported fifty men, and bought utensils for them, during all the American war; and sixty-nine in the present war, at my own expence.
WILLIAM PENNY sworn.
Examined by Mr. Abbott. I am master at arms on board the Hope; I was taken prisoner, and carried into Brest on board the Elizabeth.
Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar? - A. I should know him if I see him.
Look round, and tell us if you see any body that you remember to have seen on board the prison ship. - (The witness went down and pointed him out). A. That gentleman, sitting down there;(the prisoner); I remember seeing him on board the prisonship.
Q. Do you remember hearing him sing a song? - A. Yes.
Q. And had some conversation with him the next morning in consequence of that song? - A. I had.
Q. Did you say nothing to him respecting the King of England upon that occasion? - A. I did; when he had sung his song, the chorus of the song was "Damnation to the King," and I said, what King? and he said, the King of England.
Q. What observation did you make to him upon that? - A. No more.
Q. What further did he say relating to the King? - A. He mentioned something about Mr. Pitt, in the song.Q. But t
he next morning? - A. I went up and spoke to him; I said, Doctor, you can never be a true Englishman, and sing that song; he said, he would put me in irons; that he was one of the ringleaders that attempted to blow the dart at his Majesty, in Covent Garden; if he does not know me, I will put on the jacket that I had on when I was with him in the French prison.
Q. Did he say any thing more; did he express any sorrow at being a prisoner in France? - A. No; he said, Tom Paine 's works were the best works he ever read.
Q. What more did he say? - A. That Tom Paine 's works were the best works he ever read; and if he ever arrived in England, he would attempt the like again.
Q. When you returned to England, in the cartel ship, did the prisoner return with you? - A. Yes; in the Revolution, captain Yallery.
Q. Did he say any thing to you as you returned home on board that ship? - A. He mustered me on board; and when we came home, I was upon the Revolution's main deck, and he said to me, young man, was not you on board the Elizabeth? I said, I was; that was before we came into Menagessy; when we were coming in, he desired I would not take any notice of what was said on board the Elizabeth.
Q. How came it that you gave evidence upon this occasion? - A. For the good of my country.
Q. Did you give information to any body? - A. I mentioned it to a gentleman at Portsmouth.
Q. Did you lay any complaint before a Magistrate? - A. I swore to a Magistrate.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. How soon after you landed did you mention it at Portsmouth? - A. I was told to go to the King's Solicitor, and I went as soon as I had an opportunity.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. When did you go on board the Elizabeth? - A. I was taken the 22d of December 1794.
Q. You found Crossfield on board that ship? - A. No; he came on board the Elizabeth.
Q. How soon after you were there? - A. He came in May.
Q. How long was he on board that ship? - A. About a month before he went up to Landerneau.
Q. Who were the persons in his mess? - A. I believe there is one of them an evidence in Court, but I cannot tell his name.
Q. Point him out, who is he, Mr. Dennis? - A. I believe that is it. There were seven in the mess.
Q. Were you in that mess? - A. No.
Q. Did you associate much with Mr. Crossfield? - A. I never talked to him but that time.
Q. You never had conversed with him at other times? - A. No; because he went from the Elizabeth up to Landerneau.
Q. During that month, had you any other conversation with him? - A. No, I had not.
Q. During the month he was on board the same prison-ship with you, had you any other conversation than what you have told us? - A. No; not after that time. When we were coming home, he desired me not to say any thing about what had passed; when we were on board the Elizabeth, I saw Crossfield in very closs conference with a French officer from Brest, abast the poop, they shook hands with each other.
WALTER COLLINER sworn.
Examined by Mr. Law. I live at Fowey: On the 31st of August last, I was applied to to apprehend Crossfield, Mr. Stocker assisted me; we took him on board the cartel lying at Fowey.
Q. Did he answer to the name of Crossfield? - A. Yes; and as we were going with him to Bodmin gaol, he said he would give me a guinea to let him go; he tried to take his irons off; I suppose, he said, we should only have a few shillings for carrying him to Bodmin, and we should have a guinea each if we would let him go; some time after that he offered us two guineas each; I asked him what he would do with the driver; he told me if I would let him have one of our pistols, he would pop at him, and soon settle that business.
Q. You neither took his money, nor lent him the pistol? - A. No.
Cross-examined by Mr. Adam. Q. What state was he in at the time you took him? - A. In the morning we took him first; it was in the evening when we were going to Bodmin.
Q. What sort of condition was he in then? - A. I cannot say whether he was in liquor or not.
Q. Don't you think he was very much in liquor? - A. Not very much; he might be the worse for liquor.ELIZABETH UPTON
Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. I believe you were the wife of a person of the name of Thomas Upton . - A. Yes.Q. You
have been under examination before the Privy Council? - A. Yes.
Q. Where did you reside at the time you last saw your husband? - A. In Wapping.
Q. When did you see him last? - A. On Monday, the 22d of February.
Q. At what time in the morning did he leave you and his home? - A. Between eight and nine.
Q. Did you ever see him afterwards? - A. No, never.
Q. Have you ever since seen any article of his wearing-apparel? - A. Yes; his hat, Thomas Annis , a waterman, brought me the next morning, which he had on when he left home.
Q. Had he given you any thing when he went from home in the morning? - A. He gave me a seal that he usually sealed his letters with.
Q. You have never seen him since? - A. No, nor heard of him, except by the information of this waterman.
Q. Have you any reason to know or believe he is alive? - A. I believe he is dead, I know nothing to the contrary.
Q. Was he man addicted to drinking, or a sober man? - A. I never saw him disguised in liquor in my life.
Q. Do you know a person of the name of Crossfield? - A. Yes.
Q. Have you seen him more than once at your husband's house? - A. Yes.
Q. Before your husband was examined by the Privy Council? - A. Yes, frequently.
Q. Perhaps, if you cast your eye round, you will see a gentleman of the name of Palmer? - A. I have seen him frequently at my husband's, but I don't see him here.
Q. Have you seen him there in company with Crossfield? - A. Yes; (the model and tube shewn her), I think I have seen these at my husband's shop in Bell-yard.
Q. Do you know a person of the name of Hill? - A. Yes.
Q. Did you see this (the model) brought to your husband's shop? - A. Yes; there was something brought, which I believe to be this, by Mr. Hill.
Q. (Shews her a long brass tube). Look at that? - A. I don't recollect ever having seen that before.
Q. Be so good as cast your eye upon this paper, tell us if you recollect having seen that in your husband's possession, (the drawing)? - A. I don't recollect to have seen any thing like it.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. At what place did you reside at the time you last saw Mr. Upton? - A. In Wapping.
Q. Do you reside there now? - A. No.
Q. Where do you reside now? - A. In Gray's-inn-lane.
Q. Have you lived there ever since you lost your husband? - A. Yes.
GEORGE STEERS sworn.
Examined by Mr. Wood. I live in Gatwood's Buildings, Hill-street, Finsbury-square.
Q. Are you a Member of the London Corresponding Society? - A. No, I am not, nor never was.
Q. Did you ever attend any of their meetings? - A. I did unfortunately attend one meeting, with two fellow clerks of mine, the latter end of 1794, I believe about the month of August, I am not certain.
Q. Do you know Upton? - A. I know him no otherwise than seeing him the night I attended the meeting; I never saw him before nor since; I was told that it was Mr. Upton.
Q. Were you near him? - A. Yes; a fellow clerk of mine sat next to him; I don't know that I should know the man, but from his being lame of one foot.
Q. Did you observe any thing that he had with him? - A. Yes; I observed he held something in his hand, which I thought, from his being lame, was part of a walking cane.
Q. Did you ask to see it? - A. No, not being a member of the Society. I had no right to ask any question; a fellow clerk of mine asked him what it was, but I did not hear him give any answer; he shewed it him, and I perceived it was brass.
Q. Look at that, was it any thing like that(the tube)? - A. It was in appearance the same as this, but I took very little observation of it.
Attorney General. The one you saw before the Privy Council was the same, was it not? - A. It has the appearance of it, and I believe it is, but I made no mark upon it.
WILLIAM HENRY PEWSEY sworn.
Examined by Mr. Law. Q. Were you at the Corresponding Society with the last witness, Steers, in September, 1794? - A. I was with him one evening, but I cannot speak as to the time.
Q. Do you remember being there one evening when Upton was there? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember seeing any thing particular under Upton's coat? - A. Yes, a tube; I cannot say the dimensions.
Q. If you were to see the tube, do you think you should know it again; is this it? - A. It was something resembling this; I asked him what it was, I cannot say now particularly whether I spoke to him first or him to me, but I think I spoke to him first, and asked him what it was, for I saw a bit of it, and he pulled it further out; he did not give me any answer, but shook his head; he did not tell me what it was for.
Q. Did you ask him what it was for? - A. Yes, but he made no answer, and shook his head.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. Did you take notice whether it was hollow or not? - A. I think it was.
Q. But what reason have you to think so; had you an opportunity of seeing the light through it? - A. No, I cannot swear that it was; but it appeared to me to be something of that sort.
Mr. Law. Q. Did it appear to be a hollow instrument, or a solid one? - A. A hollow one.
Q. It was brass? - A. Yes.
Q. And about that length? - A. Yes.
EDWARD STOCKER sworn.
Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. I believe, in the month of August last, you were one of the constables of the Borough of Fowey? - A. Yes; I and Colliner apprehended the prisoner, and took him to Bodmin.Q. How fa
r was it from Bodmin that you took him into your custody? - A. About twelve miles; he said we was better take a guinea each and let him go; he said, he thought he was man enough for us both; he then said he would give us two guineas each; Mr. Colliner asked what we should do with the driver; he said, lend me one of your pistols, and I will pop at him, and settle that matter.
Q. Was there any conversation as to the quarter from whence the money was to come; who you was to draw upon? - A. He said he would give us a draft upon somebody that was at Fowey, but not any inhabitant,
Q. And you conducted him safely to gaol? - A. Yes.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. This was in the evening, was it not? - A. It was in the evening, about nine o'clock, when we left Fowey.
Q. Crossfield was not very sober at that time? - A. I cannot say.
Q. Are you quite sure that Crossfield was perfectly sober? - A. I don't know that he was in liquor, he might or might not.
Q. Are you quite sure he was not? - A. I don't think he was much in liquor.
Q. Was not his manner of speaking very queer? - A. I don't know as to words speaking; I don't know any thing of the man.
Mr. Garrow. Q. Had he the means of getting drunk to your knowledge? - A. I cannot say.
Mr. Adam. Did Crossfield sleep in the post-chaise? - A. He slept, I believe, when he got about half way.
Q. And slept on the rest of the way? - A. Yes.
HARVEY WALKLATE MORTIMER sworn.
Examined by Mr. Garrow. Q. You are a gunsmith, in Fleet-street? - A. Yes.
Q. How long have you been in that business? - A. About thirty years.
Q. You have been used not only to the construction of ordinary fire-arms, but to the construction of the air-gun? - A. Yes.
Q. Is that sometimes constructed in the form of a walking-stick? - A. Frequently.
Q. Is it one of its properties to discharge and accomplish its object of destruction, without explosion? - A. Not entirely without explosion.
Q. Less explosion than is made by gunpowder? - A. Yes; if that explosion is where the air passes quickly by you, you will hardly feel it yourself, but if it is in a confined room, it will make a noise something like this (smacking his hands together.)
Q. There would be less explosion in a large theatre, than in a small room? - A. Certainly.
Q. Is it another property, that it has less recoil than gunpowder? - A. So little recoil, that you may rest it against your naked eye, and it will not injure you.
Q. So as to take a most accurate aim? - A. Nothing so accurate, I have frequently tried to shoot at the head of a nail, and hit it twice out of three times, and drove it through the board without touching any other part; a friend has held something for me to aim at between his finger and thumb, and I have struck it out without touching him.
Q. May an air-gun be made to discharge an arrow as well as the ordinary charge of it a bullet? - A. Yes.
Q. Be so good as cast your eye upon that arrow? - A. Here is a drawing of two arrows, one of which is barbed, and the other not barbed.
Q. Now, supposing the one that is barbed to be so constructed, as that the barb should, in the exploding it, be collapsed, and so penetrate the opposing body in that state, and then open; do you suppose an arrow so constructed, might be discharged by the air-gun? - A. I conceive that impossible.
Q. You don't understand me? - A. I think I can explain it, you say that this, a barbed arrow might collapse in the act of discharging.
Q. No, quite otherwise; I am supposing something constructed, the two barbs so brought into this collapsed state, and so put into the air-gun, and then obtruded by the composed air, would that, so collapsed, penetrate the opposing body and then open; would it not, as soon as it was out, immediately gain its native position? - A. Undoubtedly it would.
Q. You see no difficulty in putting a barbed instrument that has the capacity of bringing its barbed parts together again? - A. Yes, if the springs of the barb are not too strong; but those springs could not act without a joint, in the part near the end of the place where this barb is; they must act upon a joint, and if it does, undoubtedly it would expand again, when it came into the open air.
Q. Have you any doubt, that an instrument so constructed, projected by the force of the air-gun, would occasion death? - A. I should not have the least doubt; I think it would be a very dreadful instrument indeed, if it was projected by the strength of the air-gun.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Can Mr. Mortimer give us any account of these two pieces of wood, supposed to be models for some instrument.
Mr. Garrow. Q. Do you apprehend, that piece you have in your hand might be used as the model of the cylinder of an air-gun, or an air instrument to project such a weapon as we have now been speaking of? - A. I could make such an instrument as this into a condenser, supposing this part to be left for the bore, and make a tube inside of this; I should not think it too large, I should think it well contrived; I should choose, if I was to make it, to have the cylinder rather less than this, it would be too much labour as it is.
Mr. Garraw. Q. Supposing I had wanted a cylinder of the external dimensions of the largest part of that piece of wood, though it would not have described it well to you, would it not be a sort of a thing by which you would have given the required thickness, the brass, the bore, and the external surface, which would describe the thickness of the tube, it would, though awkwardly perhaps set you to work? - A. Yes; but I should have asked a question or two first; if this was meant for a piston to condense air, I should have made my air-gun, if I had made it with the piston, internally in the hand, that nobody should have seen it, it should have been in a very small compass, this must have been made to put on occasionally, not to have carried in your hand with the gun.Q. Sup
posing such a piston applied to a brass tube, would it not have condensed air enough to expel the arrow as an instrument of death? - A. Yes; to have condensed air enough to expel three or four times without re-charging.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. You say it would have been a model for an instrument to condense the air sufficiently for the gun to discharge three or four times? - A. Yes.
Mr. Garrow. Q. Look at the drawing upon that paper, does it appear to you to describe this? - A. Yes; but it is very evident, that the person that drew this, is not master of drawing.
Q. Does it describe that piece, (the model)? - A. Yes.
Q. Be so good as look at another part, and see if that describes sufficiently another piece that now lies upon the table, (it is shewn him); do you find any part of the drawing that appears to describe that piece of wood you have now in your hand? - A. Inaccurately it appears to do so.
Q. Do you think it gives an idea of it? - A. It is drawn so very bad, that I should not have made any thing like this from it.
Q. Do they appear to have such a correspondence, as that the one might have been made from the other, with some verbal assistance? - A. It might, but certainly not well without; I cannot say that there is any thing like sufficient for me to suppose it was made from this, unless the person had some verbal directions besides; the top part is well enough described, the piston is plain enough described.
Q. I observe, that the one you have in your hand, has got additions, several round parts, that it is necessary to be more acquainted with drawings to describe? - A. Yes.
Q. But looking at it, though perhaps very little like a scientific drawing, is it like the thing you hold in your hand? - A. If I had met with them in private, and seen them upon the table, I should not have supposed the one was a drawing of the other.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. But with verbal directions these two pieces of wood might have been formed from that drawing? - A. Yes, no doubt of it; supposing verbal directions were given with it.
Cross-examined by Mr. Adam. Q. Suppose this had been put into your hand without any thing being said about it? - A. I could not positively have known what it was for, because we don't make them in that form, but in a snugger, neater manner.
Q. This is a bungling method of making it? - A. Yes.
Q. Are you in the common practice of making them? - A. Yes.
Q. And you make them in walking-sticks? - A. Yes, in different forms; I have a pair of pistols now in the shop that I can shoot with air only.
Q. You sometimes make them in the form of a walking-stick? - A. Yes.
Q. And you then make them for sale? - A. Yes; I sold one that his Majesty sent as a present to the Dey of Algiers.
Q. So that the air may be carried about condensed in the cane? - A. Yes.
Q. And it may be carried about with the piston, or without it? - A. Yes; I have thought about this a great deal, and I will tell you the result: a barbed arrow may be put in with ease, the point must be solid; at the end of that barb, there are two joints, each of which will bend when it strikes a body, if it is put into the gun with being bent only a little, as it comes out it will open, and it will keep open till its strikes a body, and as it enters the body, it will immediately press down and open the two joints where it parts, and it will let out the liquid that is contained in it, but if it is internal matter, it cannot be discharged till it strikes the body; now, that arrow would be very easily made, so as in the bottom part of it, where it was hollow, you might put a little condensed air, so that whenever that struck against any body, it might force out whatever was in it by the pressure behind it; but if it is so made, it must be feathered as that appears to be upon the drawing; but it must be feathered a little more than that is, so as to press totally round the cylinder, and the whole force of the air is then upon it, none of it would pass, it would be wind-tight, like a ball that rolls down a barrel, the whole action would be upon it; I could, with a tube, blow with my mouth only, without any condensed air, to do mortal injury to any man living within five or six yards.
Mr. Attorney General. Q. Do you mean to say, that it being feathered is material? - A. Yes.
Mr. Garrow. Q. Do you sell these things now, in your shop, in walking-canes? - A. I have not sold one these five years, I think them very dangerous.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. Can you, from the construction of these things, be able to inform the Jury for what use these pieces were intended? - A. I verily believe for the purposes of an air-gun.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. When the air-gun is constructed, I supose, it may carry an arrow, or shot, or any thing else that is offensive? - A. I can shoot a ball at sixty yards.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. And your judgment is, that upon the inspection of these two pieces of wood, they appear to be models of that which you please to make a part of an air-gun? - A. Taking the tube and the model together, I am satisfied they were meant for an air-gun.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. What tube? - A. The long brass tube.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. But without the brass tube? - A. It would be satisfactory that it was something of that sort, but not so satisfactory as with the tube; it is an additional evidence to my mind.
- WARD, Esq. sworn.
Examined by Mr. Attorney General. Q. You are a Barrister at Law? - A. I am.
Q. Do you remember seeing Upton any time in September 1794? - A. On the 12th of September 1794.
Q. Have the goodness to look at these two papers, and inform us whether you saw them in his possession? - A. Yes, I did; I am clear as to the one,(that with the barbed arrow upon it), I am not as to the other.
Q. Did you happen to see these in Upton's possession? (the models). - A. Yes, I did.
Q. Did you see the tube? - A. I did not.
Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney. Q. At what time did you communicate this fact to any of his Majesty's Ministers? - A. I think it was on Friday when I saw these things in the possession of Upton; and, I think, on the Saturday I waited upon Mr. Pitt, but I did not see him till the Wednesday following.
Mr. Adam. (To Palmer.) Q. Do you know any thing of Mr. Crossfield's circumstances? - A. Yes, I do.
Q. What sort of circumstances is he in? - A. His whole property was assigned over for the benefit of his creditors.
Q. Was he in debt? - A. Yes, he was.(The Court adjourned from half past ten till eight o'clock on Thursday morning, when the trial proceeded as follows:)
Mr. Adam. May it please your Lordship. Gentlemen of the Jury. We are now come to that stage of this cause, in which I am to address you on the part of the prisoner; and, Gentlemen, I cannot help congratulating you, and I cannot help congratulating myself, that the measure of adjournment, from the heat of the Court of last night, to the quietness and composure of the morning, has taken place. I am sure, Gentlemen, it is for the benefit of us all, that we come here with fresh recollections, that we come here with our minds not impaired with a long and fatiguing attendance, in order to discharge that most important, that most weighty, and, to me, that most awful duty, which I have now to discharge. Gentlemen, I may fairly say, I can say it with truth, and I say it with the same energy that I speak it with truth, that I never before stood in such a situation. Gentlemen, it never happened to me before, in the course of my professional life, to be engaged as the person who was chiefly charged with the defence of a prisoner upon a trial for his life; far loss has it happened to me to be charged with the defence of a prisoner indicted for the offence with which the prisoner now stands charged. Gentlemen, when I mention that I can assure you, and I can assure the learned and respectable Judges who preside upon this occasion, that I do it not with a view of consuming your time, by any vain or particular applications to myself; I do it, Gentlemen, because I think, upon this occasion, it will suggest, which, if it were necessary, I am sure I have much need of, namely, that according to the true principles of the law of this country, even in a case of treason, where the law, as my learned friend, the Attorney General stated it, has deviated from the rule of other crimes; that the learned and respectable persons who preside here, will consider themselves as counsel for the prisoner; I know it is their disposition, I know it is the constant and general tenor of their practice; and I am sure I stand in need, and my client trusting his cause in my hands, stands in need of that aid. Gentlemen, I trust too, that it will have this effect, if any thing were wanting to excite your attention, to awaken your feelings, or to call upon you for a patient attention to the hearing of this case, I am perfectly sure, Gentlemen, that it will have that effect; and if you came into this Court with that determination, which I know is impressed upon all your minds, impartially, patiently, and with that integrity which is your true portion of proper virtue, to consider this cause, that all these qualities will be enhanced, they will be all excited by the particular circumstance in which I have described myself to stand.
Gentlemen, I can assure you, that from the moment I left this Court last night, to the moment I am now addressing you, I may say, even during the few hours of refreshment by sleep, which I have had the opportunity of taking, my mind has been constantly employed in this weighty and important matter; and I have endeavoured to use that time to the best advantage, not only for the purpose of defending the prisoner, but for the purpose of defending him, so as to arrange the matter in that order, to state it with that perspecuity that the time enables one to arrange in a business of this complicated nature, in order to save your time, and yet do justice to my client.
Gentlemen, before I proceed to state the observations I have to make, either upon the nature of the case, or upon the evidence, as it has been laid before you, or upon that evidence which I shall have occasion to state in reply, I will shortly state to you what I consider the question now to be tried; the prisoner is, as the Attorney-General has stated, indicted for high-treason, the particular species of high-treason for which he is indicted, is that of compassing and imagining the death of the King. By the law of the land, as it was stated by the Attorney-General, the will in that case goes for the fact, that is to say, the intention of killing the King is as much a crime as if the fact were actually committed; and I agree perfectly with my learned friend, that it is impossible to conceive a wiser institution, that, if that institution is wife for the purpose of any monarchial government, it is particularly wife for the purposes of the government of this country; for an attempt, or an intention to attempt the life of the King, in this mixed monarchy, where the nature of our government gives a free scope to a variety of opinions to make that treason, is certainly a most wife, and most important enactment of the legislature. At the same time, however, that the legislature has most peculiarly been cautious; at the same time, that the legislature has wisely interfered, in order to guard that sacred life, on which I state, with the same energy as Mr. Attorney-General, the well-being of the state, so much, so eminently, and I might almost say so solely depends; it has been most anxious, at the same time, to sence the situation of the prisoner, to take care that he shall have a fair trial, to lay down such rules, both for the manner of assembling you in the place in which you are now seated, and the manner in which you are to receive the evidence in such a case, in a way that is sure to protect the prisoner, so that the law and constitution, in a case of this kind, is of this sort; at the same time, that it protects the Crown by rendering the will equally to the deed; it is equally cautious, as that is the most difficult situation in which a subject can be placed, and as that difficult situation is applicable to the present case, I wish you to attend to it: I say, at the same time, that the law has provided these safeguards for the subject to which I have alluded; one of those safeguards is, that there shall be stated upon the face of the indictment those overt-acts, or open deeds, which are supposed to have had the tendency to accomplish the end in question. Gentlemen, upon the present question you have had it stated to you, and, therefore, I will only recite it again shortly, that this indictment does state such overt acts, that it states, in the first place, a conspiracy between the prisoner, and three other persons, who do not now stand upon their trial, and other persons to the jurors unknown, to prepare a certain instrument, to be loaded with a certain arrow, to be sent forth from thence, for the purpose of taking aay the life of the King; it like wise states the same overt acts, but states it without laying it as being done in conspiracy with others; it like wise states overt acts of consultation, where they consulted and conferred together for the purpose of taking away the life of the King; these are, generally speaking, the overt acts stated in the indictment, and you will find throughout, Gentlemen, that there are two distinct propositions in this case, the one proposition, that there was an instrument prepared, or ordered to be prepared; the other is the intent, or the purpose to which that instrument was meant to be applied; there are two distinct propositions upon the face of the indictment, and they are distinct too; in that proof, as I shall have occasion afterwards to shew you when I come to speak to that part of the evidence.
Gentlemen, you have heard upon this occasion, that there have been various rules laid down by lawyers relative to the manner in which evidence, in a question of this nature, is to be considered by a Jury. Gentlemen, I confess to you, that in my opinion, as there is no very difficult question of law, nor any very difficult application of the rules of evidence in this case, I flatter myself that I shall have the happiness of making myself distinctly understood upon the present occasion. Gentlemen, my learned friend, the Attorney General, cited as doctrines of the law of England with respect to treason, from an authority to whom he paid the highest tribute of applause, and to which authority it is impossible to pay too high a tribute of applause, namely, from the authority of Mr. Justice Foster, whose name, he said, would live as long as the Constitution of England lived. Gentlemen, I shall have occasion in the sequel of what I am addressing to you, to have recourse to the doctrines and learning of that eminent person, who deserves the character that has been given him; but I flatter myself, neither the learned Judges upon the Bench, nor you, whom I have the honour more peculiarly of addressing, will think I deviate from that propriety which is due to your situation, from that rule of conduct which relates to mine, or from that duty which I owe, above all, to the prisoner at the bar, if I call your attention to a much earlier period of the English law, and attempt to deduce authorities from persons at that early period, down beyond the time in which Mr. Justice Foster wrote. Gentlemen, the Act of Parliament says (for this is an indictment upon the stat. 25 Edw. 3.) "When a man doth compass or imagine the death of the King, and thereof be provably attainted of open deed by people of his condition, it shall be adjudged treason." This is shortly that part of the statute which relates to the crime in question, which I state to you distinctly from the other treasons enacted by that statute, in order that you may distinctly understand that the only question for you to try is, whether the prisoner at the bar did, upon the evidence, imagine and compass the death of the King, and whether he be thereof provably attainted of open deed. Now, Gentlemen, this word provably has been upon these occasions a word extremely relied upon in the construction of this act; the meaning of that word has received a variety of confirmations in judicial determinations, and it did receive a most solemn, a most deliberate, and a most distinct consideration from a very eminent person in the law of this country, my Lord Chief Justice Coke, who, in writing upon this statute, says, upon the word provably, that by provably is meant "that it shall be upon direct and manifest proof, not upon conjectural presumptions or inferences, or strains of wit, but upon good and sufficient proof; and herein the adverb provably hath a great force, and signifieth a direct and plain proof, which word the King, the Lords, and Commons in Parliament did use; for that the offence was so heinous, and was so heavily and severely punished as none other the like, and therefore the offender must provably be attainted, which words are as forcible as upon direct and manifest proof. Note, the word is nor probably, for then commune argumentum might have served, but the word is provably be attainted." Now, Gentlemen, this is the construction; this is the opinion laid down by Lord Chief Justice Coke, considering this statute deliberately in his closet, a person well acquainted with the principles of the law of England, and you see that he here makes a great deal to depend upon the word provably; that the distinguishes most materially between provably and probable, and says, that on account of the severity of the punishment, and for the protection of the prisoner, that the legislature meant that he must be attainted provably, that is, by manifest and direct proof. Gentlemen, this was laid down by my Lord Chief Justice Coke, at a time when he was considering this important statute, at a time when he was laying down that which was by common consent (and it will be so stated by the Court) to be the clear and distinct law of the country, and to be incorporated as completely in the constitution and law of the country, as any other maxim, as any other principle, as any other declaration of the common law whatever. Gentlemen, this which was laid down by Lord Coke in his closet, this which has become the law of the country, this which is uniformly rested upon by Judges and by Juries in all questions of treasons, was carried into effect, was realized and acknowledged by another great luminary of the law, in a great and eminent prosecution, nor a prosecution for treason, indeed, but a prosecution in which he brings the doctrine directly home to the question of treason, and by which you will see, Gentlemen, that the same principle laid down by Lord Coke in his closet, is adopted and acted upon by Lord Bacon, when he was Attorney General, when he was addressing a Jury impanelled as you are to try a prisoner indicted by the Crown. My Lord Bacon, in the trial of Lord Somerset, (and I flatter myself, that in expounding a question of this sort you will not think me tedious, or improperly drawing your attention to these subjects. Lord Bacon says, "As for the manner of the evidence, the King our master has given us command that we should not expatiate or make invectives, but materially pursue the evidence, as it conduceth to the point in question; a matter, which though we are glad of so good a warrant, yet we should have done of ourselves: for far be it from us by any strains of wit or arts to seek to play prizes, or to blazon our names in blood, or to carry the day otherwise than upon sure grounds. We shall carry the lanthorn of Justice (which is the evidence) before your eyes upright." Then he goes on - "I will speak somewhat of the nature and greatness of the offence which is now to be tried, not to weigh down the prisoner with the greatness of it, but rather trariwise, to shew that a great offence needs a good proof, for the offence next to that of high treason in the greatest" In that case, Lord Bacon is speaking in the trial of a person for murder, and you see he brings the whole doctrine home to the case of treason. He says, the King, our master, hath commanded us not to expatiate or make invectives; and, Gentlemen, I am sure that excellent monarch under whom we live, who respects his own life only for the benefit of his subjects, would not, I am sure, have given such a command. I am sure, at the same time, I do no more than justice to my learned friend to say, that such an insinuation was unnecessary; for throughout all the opportunities I have had of seeing his practice in the eminent situation in which he stands, he has copied manfully the doctrines laid down by Lord Bacon in this case. Gentlemen, Lord Bacon brings it home to treason; he lays it down in the case of murder; but he says expressly, that is the highest crime except treason; he therefore does most undoubtedly bring the whole doctrine of Lord Coke, with regard to the meaning of provably, to the point of treason, that it is to say, he lays it down, that in a question where there is a prisoner at the bar tried for his life, whether it be for treason or for murder, the evidence is to be carried upright, and uses the words of Lord Coke, and says, it is not by him meant by any strains of wit or arts to seek to play prizes.
Gentlemen, having stated this to you as the will, by which this evidence must be judged of; I earnestly request you to treasure it in your minds, to lay it up in your understandings, for the purpose of applying it in the sequel of this case, when I shall have the honour of stating the evidence particularly to you; permit me to state to you what the nature of this question is, from the manner in which it arose. Gentlemen, my learned friend, the Attorney-General, has brought into your notice a person of the name of Upton; he has not been able to bring his person into your presence, about which I shall say a few words by and by; the indictment itself brings Upton to your notice, and you certainly have heard from the best of all authority, namely, that of the Attorney-General himself, that if Upton had come into the situation of any of the witnesses examined, that the would have appeared to be a person concerned in the same crime, and discovering that crime to the government of the country; that is the situation in which he is represented. Gentlemen, I shall have occasion, in the sequel, most lamentable indeed, to regret that that person has not been in a situation to be brought here, that most undoubtedly I shall have to regret. But, Gentlemen, upon the present occasion, I bring him to your notice, merely for the purpose of drawing your attention to the probabilities in which this case is founded; and, I think, I shall be able to demonstrate, that the probabilities are all against the existence of such a conspiracy, and that there is no proof provably given, sufficiently to establish a contrary conclusion, or that ought to satisfy your minds, that, in a case of life and death, that, in a case of blood, that, in a question high as the crime is that is stated upon the indictment, and none can feel the enormity of it more than I do. Gentlemen, I think I shall satisfy you, that under a view of the probabilities on the one hand, and under a view of the evidence taken, provably on the other, there is not a ground or foundation for you to rest your verdict of guilty upon, and that I shall feel myself confidently intitled to that verdict which will send the prisoner forth among his fellow-subjects, I trust, to pass there the residue of his life, in a conduct which will make it perfectly impossible to impute to him any thing like that imputation which now rests against him. Gentlemen, I must call to your attention, not only the particular character of Upton, but I must likewise state to you, what is proved in part by the cross-examination of the witnesses for the prosecution; and what I shall lay before you in direct and manifest proof, coming home to the very point, and the very issue in question; I shall be able to lay before you evidence of the situation in which Upton stood with the persons with whom he is supposed to have conspired, and with whom he was an accomplice, and afterwards the spy to government; and I think I shall be able to corroborate that testimony, which you already have in part, that Upton was in a situation of dispute with Higgins, at enmity with Le Maitre, and had no particular acquaintance with Smith; and that there was not any thing like an acquaintance and confidence between him and the prisoner; for you have it proved, by incontestible testimony, that the prisoner had been but for a very short time indeed acquainted with Upton. Now, Gentlemen, if I can establish to you that he lived in direct enmity with Le Maitre, that his enmity had gone to such an extent that he had sent him a challenge to sight him, and that Le Maitre had not given him satisfaction; and I think, if I can prove he lived in that situation with Le Maitre, if I can prove to you, that that enmity to Higgins was, in fact, in consequence of an enquiry carried on with great diligence, an enquiry commenced with great form, an enquiry that had for its object the search into Upton's crimes, an enquiry that had for its object a discovery of those crimes, an enquiry that had for its object the banishing him from a society, where, if he was not an active member, he was a spy, who might expect to receive emolument from his situation in that society; if I prove that, then is not the probability against the existence of such a conspiracy? I ask you, whether you can suppose conspirators, not only not acquainted at all, but living in a state of enmity to each other; and whether under such circumstances, these men, living in a state of such enmity, carrying on an enquiry at the very time, leading to the destruction of the very man who is the discoverer and accomplice; I ask if it is possible to find its way to the human heart, that such a conspiracy, under such circumstances, could possibly have existed? I call upon you then for the necessary conclusion, the grand foundation, the principal ground-work of this great crime being destroyed, annihilated, abolished, and done away; that consequently when the foundation is gone, the superstructure must fall, and all that my learned friend has built upon it, and all he wishes to have you infer from that evidence, and all that upon which he wishes you to confer guilt upon that unfortunate person at the bar, turns directly the other way; and then you must have manifest proof, not invectives, not by a strains of wit or art, to seek to play prizes, but you must have the lanthorn of Justice clearly before your eyes; and I am sure I am addressing myself to twelve persons who have consciences, who have integrity, who have intelligence, who have every quality that can belong to your situation; and confident I am, that if I establish that, I shall go at least a great way to destroy every idea of the existence of this conspiracy. Gentlemen, this is not all, this relates only to the improbability of such a conspiracy. I now request your attention to the probability of such a contrivance, as I contend, Upton, who has not appeared before you, has contrived. Gentlemen, what has been his situation? his conduct was enquired into for crimes of the deepest dye; the whole tenor of his life will hold forth a man, who, if he had appeared in that place, you would have shrunk back from with horror. What was the situation of this man? what was the particular time in which he spoke? what is the peculiar turn, as the history of all ages have proved it, of men of such a description, in such times, and such situations? the man was such as I have described him; he had no means of rescuing himself but from the fabrication of a plot; he had no means of rescuing himself but by imagining and turning that which he had invented (God Almighty knows for what perpose he may have invented it), to the vilest purpose. Gentlemen, if I prove this, I shall then establish, not only the improbability of a conspiracy on the one hand, but a distinct and manifest probability of Upton contriving it on the other. Gentlemen, what was the situation of the times? is it possible for any man, with a love for his country, with a regard to the interests of it, not to call back his attention to the peculiar time at which the alarm took place with respect to the situation of this country? it was at the time of this alarm that this thing was contrived; not only so, but it was contrived at that particular period when, you will recollect, I am sure your Lordship will recollect, when conviction had taken place in the northern part of this country, of persons tried for high treason, who were tried upon the ground that there had been a conspiracy against the government of the country, to destroy this country, those persons were convicted; and there were trials in this country were persons were tried for the same crime, and those persons were acquitted.
Gentlemen, I bring nothing (nor ever will upon any occasion) into a Court of Justice, but the duties of an advocate; I make no observations upon the convictions in the one country, nor upon the acquittals in the other. But, Gentlemen, I state it to you for this material purpose, that, in the intervening time, when the alarm, which I am sure I don't say had unjustly taken possession of men's minds; but the alarm, which, if you please, had justly taken possession of men's minds, had been raised to a considerable height, by the proof of that upon which the alarm was founded, owing to the convictions in Scotland; and before the acquittals here, which tended to appease men's minds, just at that peculiar moment, was this plot brought forward by Upton, was this discovery made, and till that time it never had an existence. And, Gentlemen, mark the co-incidence of circumstances, that that very time will be proved to you to have been the time of accusation; that very time will be proved to you to be the time that excited Upton, not only for his personal safety, but every other motive to make the accusation. Whey then, Gentlemen, I have got three grounds, which establish, according to all human probability, and we am to judge of human actions from the nature of man; I have got three grounds shewing the strongest probability, that this man invented this plot for his own purposes; I have his personal safety, I have his revenge, I have the particular circumstances of the times exciting him to it, and then I have, in addition to that, the hope of reward.
Now, Gentlemen, I desire you will examine all these different motives; I desire you will carry them in your minds; I anxiously intreat you to consider the nature of them; and I am sure, when you do consider them, you will find, not only these different actives, but motives that cannot exist in the same breast, at the same times and that there is nothing in a person being urged by a love of revenge and a hope of reward in order to bring to justice persons whom he knew were completely innocent. Gentlemen, this is not all; what was the state of society at that time; was it calculated to encourage such motives, and bring them into action? Gentlemen, when I am addressing myself to you, I am not speaking to persons who are ignorant of the history of their country; I am not speaking to persons who are ignorant of the history of mankind; I am speaking to intelligent men, capable of judging of this case, in all its views, and under all its circumstances; and I believe the history of the world does not furnish an instance of strong public alarm, like that which pervaded men's minds at that time, without producing persons of the character of Upton, and without those persons taking advantage of the times to answer their own wicked purposes.
Gentlemen, I will not lead you out of the history of your own country; but I am sure I say nothing that has not a direct analogy to this cause, when I call upon you to bear in your minds the memorable words of an eloquent and philosophical historian, who, when this country was alarmed in 1670 odd, at the idea of a Popish plot, there sprung up persons of this description, and he describes the principle of the human mind; I have recourse to that great judge of human nature, in order to impress upon your minds and understandings that such circumstances do, on all occasions, excite such men to do such things, as I now charge this infamous, perhaps non-existing man, perhaps not non-existing man, with having contrived upon the present
occasion.Gentlemen, the way in which that period is described, I am sure you will all realize in your minds, because you cannot have been without the apprehension of something like it; and I am not afraid of bringing those apprehensions back to your minds, because the honesty of your natures will not suffer those apprehensions to operate in disfavour of the prisoner. Gentlemen, the historian, speaking of the people of this country, says."They thought their enemies were in their bosom, and had actually got possession of their country; each breath and rumour made the people great with anxiety, like men affrighted and in the dark, they took every figure for a spectre; the terror of each man became the source of terror to another, and a universal panic being diffused, common sense and common humanity lost all influence over them." Gentlemen, that was the situation of the public mind, the first part of the description perhaps may paint that which gave this abandoned man hopes of success in his abandoned measures. The latter part of it, I know, does not describe the present times; thank God the enlightened Judges, and the enlightened minds of Juries, their openness to receive information abandoning all ideas, except in the single cause in question, throwing aside every prejudice; these characterize the present times; unfortunately at that time it was not so, Juries were not so constituted, the annals of that period certainly do not send forth what the annals of the present period do, a bright area in the history of England. Gentlemen, I know the prisoner is as safe in your hands as if no such circumstance had taken place at that period in which this invention was made; I know perfectly well, you will banish such ideas, and consider the question of guilty, or not guilty, upon the probability on the one hand, and upon the proof on the other.
Gentlemen, I have now, I believe, gone through every circumstance that relates to the original history of the case, to the situation and character of Upton, to the probability of their being no such plot, because the conspirators were totally unacquainted and at enmity with each other, and to the probability of there being such a contrivance as that which Upton made. Gentlemen, having done so, it is now my duty to bring you to the particular evidence in the cause, and to call your attention to that evidence, in the different points in view in which it appears to me. And, Gentlemen, I hope to do that without being tedious, at the same time, as this is the important part of the cause, and as we are all engaged in a most solemn and important duty; here I do most anxiously intreat your patience, and I am sure, my Lord, and you will pardon me, if in discharge of a duty of this sort, I should rather be prolix than run the risk of leaving any thing unsaid that may be for the benefit of the prisoner.
Gentlemen, the witnesses upon this occasion, are of two sorts; one set of witnesses were brought to prove, that an instrument, such as is described in the indictment, was prepared; another set of witnesses are brought to prove, that that instrument was meant to be used for the particular purpose laid in the indictment. Gentlemen, you will observe, that these two sets of witnesses are witnesses of a very different nature, that they speak to facts of a very different sort; the one set of witnesses, that is, those who prove the instrument, speak to facts that passed before their eyes, but with regard to any use of the instrument, with regard to any application of the instrument, they speak to no facts whatever, that tends, in the smallest degree, to establish any thing like an application; the other set of witnesses speak merely to declarations; so that you observe, in this case, the evidence of facts only establishes the making of a particular instrument; how far those facts bring it home to the prisoner, is a question for you to try, and for me to discuss; the evidence of confession and declaration, therefore, is the evidence that tends to establish the use of it. Gentlemen, therefore, without taking these witnesses in the order of time in which they were called, I will take the liberty of classing them in this manner, for the purpose of applying the evidence particularly to these two modes of proof, because different observations and different principles apply to the one set of witnesses and the other, owing to the different nature of the question they prove, and the different mode in which it is proved.
Gentlemen, the first witness is a person of the name of Dowding, he does not speak to any thing particularly being prepared, he does not speak at all to the prisoner; he only says three persons came, that Upton was the principal spokesman, and that it was Upton who said it was a secret. But you observe, Gentlemen, this person stated also a very material fact; he states, that they higgled and talked about the price. Now, Gentlemen, I wish to call your attention, coolly and deliberately to that fact; mark what the nature of the charge is, a great, an important, and a terrible charge, if it is true: one, however, which must be bottomed in a design which has some view or object, which must be bottomed in something more than four poor people meeting at a blind alehouse, for the purpose of contriving this extraordinary thing, and yet no evidence is given upon this trial, that any individuals were concerned in it but the prisoner and Upton (if the prisoner was concerned in it), and that is the nature of the subject that they were supposed to be talking to Dowding about. Now, what does Dowding say, that they higgled about the price; now I ask you, as judges of human nature, and capable of understanding the nature of man, of the human heart, and the human conduct, whether it is a natural thing, that persons carrying on such a plot as this, connected with such circumstances, could be in a situation to think the price of a poor miserable metal tube, a few shillings the one way, or a few shillings the other, at all an object. Why, Gentlemen, that very circumstances, in my opinion, tends to establish a strong negative to any such thing existing in the minds of these people, as that which is attempted to be proved. Dowding prove nothing to be done, and there I end my observations upon his evidence.
Gentlemen, the next is Bland; and by his evidence, nothing, whatever, is proved to be done; there were only two present at that conversation; Palmer remained behind, and Palmer accounted to you, in his evidence, why he remained behind; they were there a very short time, so short a time, that when the circumstance that led him to stop was over, they had been into the shop, and come out into the street, and he overtook them, so that the conversation could not have lasted above a very few minutes; Palmer was not present; he is supposed to have been a person concerned in this plot; Palmer, as well as Upton, is supposed to be cognizant with the particular object with which the prisoner is charged. Is it not a most extraordinary thing, is it not contrary to all probabilities, is it not contrary to the course of nature, is it not contrary to the common understanding of man, that, in a scheme of this kind, which scheme was carrying on, bottomed in the idea of taking away the life of the King, which one can hardly mention without shuddering at, by persons anxious that it should be carried into execution; that a conspirator in that very scheme, who is ushered into Court by the Attorney General, and examined by Mr. Garrow, as if he was a witness of mine, called upon cross-examination, and not as a witness examined in chief; that this witness, Palmer, is so little concerned, that he stays behind, to ease nature, till they are gone from the shop again; I ask, Gentlemen, is it a thing that happens in the ordinary affairs of human life? why then, Bland speaks to nothing particularly done; and this is all you learn from him.
Now, Gentlemen, I wish you next to attend to the evidence of Cuthbert. Cuthbert is a person who makes air-instruments, and he spoke to an air-pump; Cuthbert has nothing to do with the making of this instrument; Cuthbert has nothing to do with the supposed conspiracy; Cuthbert does not give any proof whatever of the fact of fabricating the machine; but he states to you, that Upton, being a watchmaker, and he having occasion to go to Upton for a particular purpose, to pay him money for the wives and children of persons in Newgate for treason, he invited him to come to his house to see some of his machinery; and then, he says, that he saw Upton was a very disagreeable kind of person, that the second time he came, he took no notice of him; he says; they seemed to be extremely ignorant of the power of air; and it is clear, that they did not go there for the purpose of learning what the power of air was, because he establishes this fact, that he went at the particular invitation of him, Cuthbert. Then, I say, we have now again conspirators ignorant of the machine they were to use; conspirators going to the shop of an artist, not to learn the principle upon which the machine was to be constructed, but going at the invitation of the person as a matter of curiosity. You will therefore take into consideration, whether it is proved provably or not; but Cuthbert's testimony is produced merely for the particular purpose of giving a colour, it does not go to the main and particular question of the fabrication of the machine.
Gentlemen, I come now to the evidence of Flint; there was a short conversation, nothing, however, was done; he speaks positively to the lame man being the spokesman; he does not identify the prisoner at the bar, or say, that any thing was done of any
kind.Gentlemen, the next witness to whom I shall call your attention is Palmer, a witness whom my learned friend, the Attorney-General, in his opening, and Mr. Garrow, in his examination, treated as a witness standing in a particular situation; and that therefore it might be difficult to get out the truth, what his circumstances are, or any thing respecting him, I have nothing to do with; I will state such observations as occur to me upon what he has proved.
In the first place, Palmer ascertained this fact, and he ascertained it without leaving a doubt upon the mind of any man who heard him, that his acquaintance with Upton was of very short duration, it could not extend to a month; I would therefore call your attention to that part of the case on which I have already addressed you, the relative situation of the persons conspiring; for if any thing requires mutual confidence, it is a conspiracy, and if any conspiracy requires mutual confidence, it is such a conspiracy as is now the subject of your investigation. But, Gentlemen, Palmer establishes another thing, that they dined that day in the neighbourhood of Temple-bar, that it was a mere accident that led them to Upton's, that he went there for the purpose of having a watch repaired, and it appears to have been an accidental meeting. He then states to you, the various circumstances with respect to their going from place to place, but he can give no particular account of what passed upon that occasion; and, as far as he goes, there certainly is not any colour to say, that the thing was prepared, was ordered by the prisoner; or that he had any hand in the ordering of it, or any thing but an accidental accompanying of Upton, and nothing passed that could lead to a supposition that it was made with the intention attributed in the indictment. Palmer also proves to you the state of Crossfield's circumstances, and the situation in which he was before this conspiracy is supposed to have taken
place.Gentlemen, I would wish to call your attention particularly to dates, because dates are of great importance; and dates are that sort of thing that the more frequently they are repeated and inculcated, the more hold they take upon the mind; and I wish you; in the first place, to recollect, that Mr. Ward said he went to Mr. Pitt on Saturday the 12th of September, that he saw him on Wednesday the 16th of September; it will be proved to you that Le Maitre was apprehended on the 27th of September; that Smith was apprehended on the 28th; and it will be proved to you, that the advertisement of a reward for seizing Crossfield was not till late in the month of February. Gentlemen, I desire you, at present, to attend to those dates, because, in the sequel of what I have to address to you, I shall be under the necessity of making observations of considerable weight respecting them.
Gentlemen, I now come to the evidence of Hill, the person who was employed to make the model in wood. Now, Gentlemen, you will observe, that, throughout the whole of Hill's evidence, Upton too is the person who orders, Upton is the person who said he should be paid, Upton was the person to whose house he carried it, and Upton was the person to whom he applied for payment. He tells you that he had no knowledge whatever of the prisoner, that the prisoner did not interfere in the business, except aiding Upton when he was giving the description; but he does not seem to take any particular part in it. You will observe, likewise, Gentlemen, that all that he said upon that occasion, was, that the stranger might do something, but he spoke with a very saint recollection with regard to him. Against that, you have the evidence I have already stated, you have the different facts that I have observed upon falling from the witnesses and the grounds of the accusation. If Hill is supposed to prove any thing material, it is only the making up of a thing; he has not proved the use of it, or the application of it; so little has he proved the application of it, that a scientific man, who wished to shew us, as much as he possibly could of it, says, it is impossible to tell what those models were for, that it was only in consequence of a verbal description that he could have told what they were.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. No, you misapprehend him, he said, he believed it was for the purpose of a piston for the air-pump, but upon seeing the tube he was more satisfied, and that taking them together he had no doubt.
Mr. Adam. Gentlemen, you have now heard from my Lord, what the evidence of Mr. Mortimer is, and the observation I have to make upon that, as applicaple to the testimoney of Hill, is this, that Hill, most undoubtedly from Mr. Mortimer's evidence, being an ignorant man, could not conclude what this was for, therefore, all that appears from Hill's evidence, is, that he made a thing, and you will recollect, that as far, as I think, I am able to trace the evidence, Hill is the only person who speaks to the actual manufacture of this model; I mean always, with the exception of the general confessions to which I shall come by and by, and upon which I shall observe in course.
Gentlemen, the next witness, whose evidence I shall call your attention to, is, that of Mrs. Upton; and, upon the present occasion, I wish merely to state that Mrs. Upton was particularly called, in order to prove her husband's death; she was examined to some other circumstances, as to some of the things found in her husband's possession, and you will recollect she could swear to none of them, but the models, neither to the drawings nor the tube, consequently she only swears to these models being there. Gentlemen, with regard to her evidence as to her husband, that I shall have to observe upon by and by; and now I beg leave shortly to state to you the evidence of Steers and Pewsey, who were called to shew that Upton had something with him like a tube, at the meeting of the Corresponding Society. Now, whether it was a tube or not, upon the view that I take of this case, bottoming myself throughout upon the malignity and wickedness of Upton's character, combined with facts and circumstances, that he might have contrived such a thing for a wicked purpose, and that he might have converted it to the injury of others, and to the gratification of his own revenge, as long as I conduct my defence upon that ground, it does not signify whether it is proved positively, or, as it was proved doubtfully, it does not come home to the prisoner, he was not present; it does not come home to the Corresponding Society, not one of them is supposed to be concerned in this conspiracy; it does not come home to any of the individuals charged in this indictment, for not one of the individuals are stated to have been present in the Society upon that occasion; in short, it is a story that relates singly to Upton, which belongs to his malignity, which is bottomed in the advantage he thought fit to take of those whom he supposed to be his enemies, and taking advantage of the circumstances of the times.
Gentlemen, I come now to the evidence of Mr. Ward, and that is merely to prove, that he was told by Upton he had informed his Majesty's ministers; and, in consequence of that, the persons were committed at a subsequent time; you will observe, however, that the information was not communicated till the 16th, and there was no apprehension of the parties till the 27th, and no advertisement of the prisoner at the bar till the end of February; and I contend that that last fact is a most important one, because it shews that whatever the diabolical intentions of Upton might have been, that they had not an idea that there was an evidence, at that time, before them upon which to apprehend the prisoner; and, therefore, when I come to examine the circumstances of his demeanor after the apprehension of the other three prisoners, you will always bear this in mind, that there was no ground of suspicion against that man, till his Majesty's ministers thought it their duty to offer a reward for his apprehension.
Gentlemen, this is the evidence upon the instrumentary part of the case, if I may so express myself; and, I think, you will agree with me, with respect to the fabrication of the instrument, there is but one witness who speaks positively to it; that, that one witness speaks only to a small part of it, and that, that one witness does not speak, in the smallest degree, to the purpose of it, nor does any of the other instrumentary witnesses; for with regard to the fabrication of the arrow, which forms a most essential ingredient in this case; because without it, the means are inadequate to the end; I say, that that rests entirely upon that part of the evidence to which I am now about to come, namely, the confessional evidence; and when I come to treat upon the confessional evidence, I shall have to impress it strongly upon your mind, because I am strongly impressed with it myself, that evidence of declaration, particularly such as that in question, founded upon the testimony of a single witness, to that which may be deemed an overt act, the use of a piece of wood, to which no intention is given by the person who framed it; I say, that upon such evidence, it is impossible for you to lay your hands upon your hearts in judgment upon the life of that unfortunate person, and say, that is clear, distinct, and manifest evidence, which, according to my Lord Coke and my Lord Bacon, amounts to an open act of treason proveably; for you are not here, as Lord Coke says, to deal in probabilities; you are not to deal in conjectures, but you are to lay up this in your minds - do or do not these facts prove provably, manifestly, and incontestibly the guilt of the prisoner at the bar?
Gentlemen, I come now to what I call the confessional evidence, or evidence of the declarations of the prisoner, to which part of the case there were four witnesses, Le Breton, Dennis, Winter, and Penny. Gentlemen, permit me to observe, that evidence of declaration is of a very singular sort; I am sure I do not say any thing in which I shall be contradicted by any authority in this Court, when I say that it is to be taken with great consideration before it is admitted to prove a fact; and, I think, you will very easily apprehend me, when I state to you, that legal demonstration consists in this, that if a witness speaks true, the fact must be true; and, therefore, all evidence to the fact of high treason, such as a person being out in rebellion against the state, is proved legally to demonstration; but when evidence is given of a confession, observe what the nature of it is - the person who gives his testimony may speak truly, and yet the fact not be true; because the fact does not depend upon the witness, but upon another person who has stated it to the witness; therefore, it requires great deliberation in receiving all evidence with regard to confession; but the thing goes much further than that, it is not founded in any abstract question of law, but in the very nature of things. Gentlemen, the nature of confessional evidence is this, that not only the person making the confession must be clear from all motives either of hope or of fear, that his mind must be a mind so tinctured and so prepared, that you shall believe accurately what he professes to be true, and that he is not led by hope on the one hand, or fear on the other, to state a circumstance in his own favour; and I state that for this reason, because in all evidence of confession, and in all evidence of declaration, if you will observe, the nature of it is of that sort, for which it is next to impossible to prefer an indictment for perjury. How is it that witnesses are secured to speak the truth? what does the law say upon the subject by its regulations? for that is the mode of considering the question; it says, they come here under the terror of a penal prosecution if they do not speak the truth; a person who comes to speak to a confession, comes to speak to that which cannot be negatived, because all that a person can say is, that he did not hear him say it; therefore, the first person who speaks to a declaration, speaks without risk; apply that to the present case, and see how strong it is; look at the nature of the present question that you have to try; it is a question of intention, the instrument may, perhaps, be innocent in itself, perhaps, intended for experiment, and, perhaps, not. Now, Gentlemen, I beg you will observe upon what the purpose of it rests, it rests merely upon confession; what is the indictment? the indictment is an indictment for high treason, where the intention of the party is to be taken for the fact, and you will see that, in that case, where the intention is to be established, and where the intention does not arise out of the fact, but is to arise out of declarations; it is almost impossible to indict for perjury, I might say absolutely. How then do I stand? I stand, in a case of this sort, that the prisoner is indicted for high treason; that the treason consists in forming a machine for a particular purpose; that one witness only speaks to a part of that machine being formed, and that the only colour given to it is the declaration of the prisoner. Then here is a fact made up, first of the intention to which it was to be used; and next, of the evidence by which that intention is to be proved, which is a declaration, and these two facts so proved, are proved by a witness who cannot be indicted for perjury.
Gentlemen, that is the situation in which these witnesses appear. - Now, Gentlemen, there is another thing, and that is founded in the plain principles of human nature; we all know how very liable man is to exaggerate a story; we all know how difficult it is for a story to be told twice exactly in the same words. Declaration, or confession, is a mere story told; and if the declaration relates to a particular fact, perhaps, the person may be able to bear it in his memory; but even there it is very difficult to contradict it by negative evidence. If confession is applied to a common and ordinary thing in which the mind of man is not much interested, in which those ideas of exaggeration, and those natural feelings of the mind are not naturally involved, there may be a correct recital; but consider how different is this case, here is the recital of a confession relating to high treason, that is a thing that greatly captivates the mind; here is a thing relating to the life of the best person in his dominions upon whose existence the safety of society depends. Gentlemen, do not these things all tend to excite exaggeration; and, Gentlemen, you will take it that the prisoner at the bar was at that time in a state of captivity, and he might flatter himself with a hope, by such declarations, of relieving himself from that captivity. Gentlemen, I do feel this so deeply impressed upon my own mind, I feel it so essential a part of your duty well to consider it, that I am anxious to carry it beyond the authority of the advocate for the prisoner at the bar, and am desirous to follow the example of my learned friend, and to cite authors to shew that confession is a species of testimony, which, according to the best lawyers that ever dispensed justice in this country, is to be received with very great doubt indeed. The first that I shall cite to you is, Mr. Justice Blackstone, who, in his fourth volume, in which he professedly treats of crimes, says, with regard to confession - "But hasty unguarded confessions, made to persons having no authority, ought not to be admitted as evidence under this statute." He is here speaking of the statute in question; and I do not apply it now to you with regard to the question of admissibility, or inadmissibility, the evidence is undoubtedly admitted under the first of all authority, and, therefore, I apply it to you how with regard to credit."And, indeed, even in cases of felony at the common law, they are the weakest and most suspicious of all testimony, ever liable to be obtained by artifice, false hopes, promises of favour, or menaces, seldom remembered accurately, or reported with due precision, and incapable in their nature of being disproved by other negative evidence."
Gentlemen, it has also lately been laid down, in the very place in which I am speaking, from very high authority, and is stated in Mr. Leach's addition of Hawkins's Pleas of the Crown, second volume, page 604; and this was stated in 1786."The human mind, under the pressure of calamity is easily seduced, and is liable, in the alarm of danger, to acknowledge, indiscriminately, a falsehood or a truth, as different agitations may prevail. Confession, therefore, whether made upon an official examination, or in discourse with private persons, which is obtained by a defendant, either by the flattery of hope, or by the impressions of fear, however slightly the emotions may be implanted is not admissible evidence."
Gentlemen, I come last of all to the author, relied upon by my learned friend the Attorney-General, I mean, Mr. Justice Foster; Mr. Justice Foster says, "Words are transient and fleeting as the wind; the poison they scatter is, at the worst, confined to the narrow circle of a few hearers; they are frequently the effect of a sudden transport, easily misunderstood and often misreported." And, Gentlemen, in another part of this excellent work, he lays down the principle correctly and accurately, and he lays it down, confirming, in a very few words, that which I am afraid I have been very seebly able to illustrate and enforce upon your minds. Gentlemen, in the case of Willis it occurred to consider whether a confession is evidence proper to be left to a Jury or not, under particular circumstances, which I may have occasion by and by to state; Mr. Justice Foster says, after discussing that case, which it is unnecessary for me to trouble you with at present."The reader fees that opinions have been various, touching the sufficiency of this sort of evidence," that is, the admissibility of confessions: "But, perhaps, it may be now too late to controvert the authority of the opinion in 1716, warranted, as it hath been by later precedents; all I insist on is, that the rule shall never be carried farther than that case warranteth, never farther than to a confession made during the solemnity of an examination before a Magistrate, or person having authority to take it, when the party may be presumed to be properly upon his guard, and apprized of the danger he standeth in, which was an ingredient in the case of Francia and of Gregg, cited in the argument on Francia's case, and in all those already cited which came in judgment before the statute of King William." He then goes on to give the reason, and he gives it in his simple and eloquent manner."For partly confessions made to persons having no authority to examine, are the weakest and most suspicions of all evidence. Proof may be too easily procured, words are often misreported, whether through ignorance, inattention, or malice." I beg, Gentlemen, you will mark the words, "it mattereth not to the defendant, he is equally affected in either case, and they are extremely liable to misconstruction, and withal, this evidence is not in the ordinary course of things, to be disproved by that sort of negative evidence, by which the proof of plain facts may be, and often is confronted." Why then, Gentlemen, I have the authority of these authors expressed in the most solemn and emphatic language, in order to enforce upon your minds the doctrine I have taken the liberty of laying down. Gentlemen, you see, from Mr. Justice Foster, that there was a time, when there was a question, with regard to the admissibility of such testimony, and you see his opinion upon that admissibility. And when I state this, I know I state that in which the learned Judges will bear me out, that whenever there is a question of admissibility or inadmissibility, of competency or incompetency, it involves necessarily a question of credit; if the question of admissibility is got over, the question of credit goes to the Jury undoubtedly, but it goes to the Jury clogged with every observation that could be made to the Judge to prevent him from admitting that evidence; and therefore I am now addressing you upon principles deliberated upon by wife authority, sitting down in their closers in the most serious moments, in the contemplation of a case precisely similar to the present. Gentlemen, I say, therefore, that I am in my proper place, when I am so addressing myself; and therefore, in the language of my Lord Chief Justice Hale, who lays down the same doctrine, but whom I don't trouble you with citing upon the present occasion, speaking of the blessings of this constitution, he says, Juries are not only triers of the cause, but of the credit of the witnesses, it is a necessary consequence of your situation; nay, you are not only triers of the credit of the witnesses, but of the credit of the facts, and therefore I come round to the principle with which I set out, that this fact of intention is not provably proved; because legal demonstration is, if the witness speaks true, the fact must be true, but in the case of confessional evidence the witness may speak truth, and yet the fact be literally false, because it depends upon two things, the mind that conveys and the mind that receives, and it is unrepellable by negative evidence.
Gentlemen, I must beg leave to enforce this upon your minds, because I am perfectly confident, that honest, just, and humane men as you are, will not touch a hair of that man's head, unless you are perfectly convinced, that the facts upon which the intention depends, must be such facts as are true. Now, how does Mr. Justice Foster treat this case? He says, that evidence of confession is corroborative evidence; what does he mean by that? That is auxiliary evidence: - Auxiliary evidence to assist what? To assist the overt-acts previously established, Why then does not Mr. Justice Foster, when he uses the word corroborative evidence, in 1756, mean the very same thing that Lord Coke meant, when he said, two centuries before that, it must be proved provably. Consequently, I have the whole history of the law in my favour, I have the statute in my favour, I have the doctrines of criminal jurisprudence as laid down in a Court of Justice, by that great and enlightened man, Lord Bacon, acting as prosecutor for the Crown; I have then, as laid down by Mr. Justice Blackstone, whose works are so popular, that no doubt yourselves have read them, and I have the authority of Mr. Justice Foster; all these different testimonies concurring with the doctrine, I have taken the liberty of laying down, and which I am sure, when I have observed, upon the evidence, you will lay home to your hearts and your bosoms, and ask yourselves whether it is possible to convict the prisoner of the crime charged in the indictment.
Gentlemen, what is the nature of this confessional evidence of Le Breton, Dennis, Winter and Penny? Le Breton says, he heard him say, that he was one of those who invented the gun to shoot at his Majesty. Now, Gentlemen, Dennis says, that he said the King was to be assassinated by a dart blown through a tube, and he knew how it was constructed. Winter says, that he told him he had shot at his Majesty, and it damned unluckily missed him. Now, Gentlemen, Penny says, that he had said he was one of the ringleaders of those who attempted to blow a dart at his Majesty in Covent-Garden. Now observe what is the fact upon which the indictment and my learned friend relies; it is for a conspiracy in 1794; that that conspiracy was discovered by Upton; that, in consequence of that, three of the conspirators were arrested; Upton was not arrested, because he was the spy and discoverer; that Crossfield was not advertized till February after; that, in the mean time, this plot, if it had any existence, was totally at an end. The positive, direct evidence, upon which my learned friend must rest his right to call upon you for a verdict, is this; that here was a plot, in which the prisoner had a share, which plot was completely destroyed, annihilated, put an end to by the arrestment of the three principal conspirators in the month of September; and what is this man doing in the harbour of Brest, in a prison ship, in a situation where, perhaps, such conversation might avail him with the French, or he might think so: to these people he gives four contradictory accounts, they give four contradictory testimonies, and if you observe, some of them suppose this thing actually done, and some suppose it done in one way, and some in another; now the fact, upon which the cause rests, is this, that the thing was intended to be done, but never carried into execution; well, then, does not that shew you, that the very testimony in this case is of so fragile a nature, and of so brittle and untangible a nature, that it is impossible it can make an impression upon upright minds or minds of integrity and discernment. Does it not tend to shew the infinite risk of admitting such evidence; that a person, old like winter, believing the most ridiculous stories, treated as he stated himself to be treated, like a person scoffed and jested at, rather than any thing else; that such a person as Dennis, who seemed to have an enmity to the prisoner, from his declarations at the Privy Council, that these persons should be persons upon whom it is possible to say that proof is established, so as to convince your minds, that in a case of this sort, that instrument, of which you have only a proof by one witness, Hill, the existence of which is not proved at all, except the model, which received no application at all, that witnesses of this sort shall be supported by the confession of the prisoner, under such circumstances as are absolutely contrary to the fact, so adverse to the fact upon which the Attorney General must rest his cause, that you should by possibility find the prisoner guilty: but it does not rest here; you have the evidence of Le Breton, Dennis, and Penny, and you will recollect their testimony with respect to the situation of the ships, with respect to the variety of persons who, if these things were spoken, must have heard them; you will recollect, above all, Dennis's testimony, with regard to captain Clark, and with what unwilingness Le Breton admitted he had had any conversation with captain Clark at Mrs. Smith's; you will recollect Le Breton's testimony under these particular circumstances; then, in what situation do I stand, that here are persons whom I have already characterised, who have come into Court as the only four witnesses to speak to this confession, when these very witnesses state that there must have been three times four witnesses, persons who knew the prisoner, lived in intimacy with him, came over in the same cartel ship, who messed at the same table with him, all of whom might have been brought here to prove this case.
Gentlemen, it was in the power of the Crown so to do, it they got information of the names of the witnesses, it would certainly have been the wisdom of my learned friend to have brought them here; how it happens that captain Clark is not brought here, I cannot conceive, but I will prove most distinctly, the conversation supposed to have passed between Le Briton and captain Clark. Gentlemen, I am capable, by mere accident, because it is not in the power of this poor man to afford to keep the witnesses here; but it does happen, that I can produce two of these witnesses, Now, Gentlemen, mark the situation in which I produce these witnesses, and mark the argument with respect to this confessional testimony that is to be derived from it. In the first place, I will prove to you, from these witnesses, that the prisoner expressed cheariulness at leaving France; in the next place, that he might very easily have staid behind it h it; in the next place, I tender these witnesses to the cross-examination of my learned friends; I know their powers and their abilities, I know the sense they have of their duty. and I am ready to risk the confirmation of their case by these witnesses, if it is possible to confirm it; I say, if persons of respectability are brought, and will say they heard no such declarations, does it not amount to a negative proof, were they not the persons most likely to have retained any confessions with fidelity, if there had been any, and would it not have been better to have rested the testimony upon such men, than upon the men I have described.
Gentlemen, I find it necessary to recall my recollection now and then, that I may omit no part of my duty to my client; it does not seem to me, in going over the evidence, that I have omitted any of the heads to which they have been called; it is a great satisfaction, that my learned friend, who sits by me, will have to address you, and will amply make up for my deficiencies, and it is a still greater satisfaction that the learned Judges who are to preside, and whose understandings and opinions upon evidence are as enlightened as ever existed in any times, will correct me if I am wrong.
Gentlemen, I come now to a part of the case, which it is impossible to pass over, and when I state that, I don't state it from any fear of encountering it, but from a conviction, that if there is any impression upon that part of the subject, I am able to relieve your minds from it.
Gentlemen, I come now to the conduct and demeanour of the prisoner, from which my learned friend wishes to draw a proof of his guilt, that is, immediately after his apprehension, that he was acting in such a manner, as to lead you necessarily to conclude, that he must be guilty. Gentlemen, in the first place, I am sure it is a conclusion you will not rashly jump to upon such evidence alone, even if no answer was to be given to it; because, you know perfectly well, who know the nature of man, that though a man may not be guilty, he may wish to keep out of a situation of peril that is perfectly natural, and, therefore, it is too much to say, that a bad motive is always to be imputed, when in point of fact a lesser motive can be imputed; you ought rather to impute the motive that leads to mercy, than that which leads to an imputation of guilt. But, Gentlemen, consider what the nature of this gentleman's demeanour was - he remained some days in London, after he knew of the discovery of this supposed plot, he then went to Bristol; now the testimony which you have with regard to his being at Bristol, is of this nature, he assumed no feigned name, he retired into no private place, he made no attempt to leave the country, and yet Bristol is a sea-port town, and a sea-port-town, from which he could have got a communication, that would infinitely have suited his purpose better than that which he afterwards adopted; for, from Bristol, ships go to every part of the world, and he might have gone without coming to London; the South-sea ships go out and return to this country, without landing any where, but he never attempts to leave the island; from Bristol he goes into places of public resort, and does not change his name. Now, what is the situation of Bristol, and compare the situation of Bristol with that of London; I need not state to you, that a man at Bristol is more easily discovered than in London, it is a smaller place, and undoubtedly has a great intercourse with the capitol; then he afterwards returns to London, and, you observe, it is the month of January before he embarks; he goes on board at Portsmouth, and according to Le Breton, comes on shore twice, goes about with him in the public streets at Portsmouth, where his Majesty's officers are, where every body is upon the watch, and where besides all, to the credit of the Magistrate of that town, there is the best regulated police in this country, and it is a great happiness that it is so, considering the number of sailors in that town, you are desired to believe that they come on shore, go to buy things in Portsmouth; he is eagerly sought after to be seized by government, and that yet this person, in this town of well regulated police, does not conceive himself in the smallest danger. Well then, they put into Falmouth, but Le Breton, who is a very unwilling witness I must say, says, they put into Falmouth but once; I could have proved, if I had had Capt. Clark here, that he lived very much on shore with him; then mark the situation of Falmouth, the most westerly port in this kingdom; the place from which all the public packets go; a small place, a place with one street, a place where no person can conceal himself, a place of resort of all his Majesty's messengers, the very persons sent to apprehend such persons; the place where it was more likely to be taken than any other situation. I have evidence that he did go on shore once, I hope to have the evidence that he did go on shore more frequently; but this I can say, upon the evidence, that at this time he never changed his name, and was advanced now to the 13th of February, and yet all this time it is supposed there was an eagerness on the part of government to seize his person. Then they are captured, and I come now, Gentlemen, to a most important fact indeed, you have had his evidence of confession, you have had evidence likewise from these witnesses, stating that he expressed great joy at getting to France; you have likewise evidence, stating that he had taken some part in the minute arrangements for the French, in short you have this as evidence of declaration.
Gentlemen, mark what you have upon the other hand; you have the evidence of a fact, in which he risked his life, in a double way, where he might have been killed in the attempt, or where he must have gone to inevitable execution, if he had not been killed in the attempt; the attempt, with others, to rescue the ship, to rescue that ship, to rescue the French ship that captured them, to seize the captain and the crew for the purpose of escaping; escaping from whence? escaping from France: at what risk? at the risk of his life; and he is already upon the evidence proved to be one of those who joined in that attempt. Gentlemen, I am not talking of the morality of the attempt; I am not talking of the abstract principle which ought to guide men in that situation; but I am sure my Lord will think, that whatever casuists may say upon a subject of that kind, that I am using a fair argument for my client, because I am establishing a fact against all his declarations - What is the nature of declarations? that they may lie: What is the situation of the witness? that he cannot be convicted of perjury; what was always said by that great luminary of the law, Lord Mansfield, for the long time he presided over the criminal justice of this country; look at the facts and circumstances - see the evidentia res - see how the thing lies - no cross-examination can shake it, no circumstance can very it, it is a thing that carries conviction to the mind irresragably if it is proved. Then I have proved from the mouth of the unwilling witness, Le Breton, and from the mouths of the other witnesses who come here to prove the confession; who prove the joy of this man in going to France; that this very man, at the risk of his life, endeavoured to seize the ship and the captain, and that with a view of avoiding French bondage - of avoiding that joy which they suppose him to have expressed upon that occasion, at risks, which I am sure, if he were the man they attempt to describe him, never could have been impressed with such feelings; for, would a base man, supposed to have aimed at the life of his sovereign, a man supposed to have acted upon opinions destructive of this blessed constitution, which I hope will last for ever: Would a person, in that situation, have attempted to rescue himself? surely not he would have entered into a conspiracy to prevent it; no, he entered into that design at the risk of his life; he did it to release himself from French bondage. Gentlemen, he did more, the fact proves this, it proves that he was so incapable of the crime imputed to him, that he was not capable of disclosing that design to the French, who then most undoubtedly would have received him with joy in France, who would have said, you are our deliverer; and all that is proved of him is, that he stood at the poop with the commodore. Gentlemen, recollect this fact, recollect the importance of the fact, recollect the fact in all its bearings, and then tell me, when you add to this, the learned observations that you have heard read to you, upon the nature of confessional and declaratory evidence, whether it does not amount to irresragable evidence, that the prisoner, whatever the levity of his life may be, whatever he may be as to the debaucheries of wine or opium, or women, or any thing else; I am not standing here to defend the prisoner, as a pure, moral unspotted man, but to state reasons, and, I think, decisive reasons, to shew that he is not guilty of the crime of high-treason, with which he is charged, and I am sure, under these circumstances, it will be difficult for you to believe he could; at the same time, enter into the design against the French captain, and to harbour the design against the government of his country.
Gentlemen, I feel that I have exhausted almost every part of this case; but, Gentlemen, there are two circumstances remaining, which, I think, I can account for in such a manner, as even, if any impressions remain upon your minds with respect to the prisoner, they will be wiped away; the first is, his conduct with respect to his name in France; and the next, his conduct upon his landing in England. His conduct with respect to his name in France, seems of an extraordinary nature, if there is any thing in it at all; it appears that he was acquainted with all the other witnesses; that when he made these declarations, he is supposed to forward a design, and in order to impute this treason to him, for that is the thing you are to try, in order to impute to him this treason, they tell you that he changed his name. Now, if I have destroyed the colour intended to be given to the fabrication of this instrument, that circumstance alone will have but little effect; in the first place, he was a man in very difficult circumstances with respect to his pecuniary affairs; in the next place, when you consider him according to the common principles of action, he was known to them all by the name of Crossfield in the prison ships; now, Gentlemen, he being known by that name, mark what he does, he changes his name to another; to do what? to come to England; with whom? with the very persons with whom he had lived every day; now, it does not appear that when he landed he attempted to conceal his name at all; none of the witnesses say he called himself Wilson, but, on the contrary, he answered to the name of Crossfield. Now, is it not a most extraordinary thing that a person, in order to conceal an imputed treason which he was to commit, or an imputed treason which he had not committed, that he should change his name for this purpose, to the manifest knowledge of all the persons in the ship, who were capable of discovering him upon the moment of his landing.
Gentlemen, the other circumstance is, his conduct upon his landing; you have heard of his general conduct, of his general intoxication, they say he was a little intoxicated; now they were not accustomed to him, and it is difficult to say whether a person is much or little intoxicated whom we are not acquainted with. Now, Gentlemen, intoxication is no defence against a crime, but it is a clear defence against that sort of conduct which is to raise an inference of a crime; because, although drunkenness will not release a person from the guilt of an actual crime committed, yet, undoubtedly, when only an inference is to be drawn, it will. Now mark what he does after this colloquiam with them, he falls fast asleep, and he sleeps all the rest of the way, for more than half the way. Now is it not a most extraordinary thing, that if he was not inebriated, or if he was not a person who had very little apprehention of the crime for which he was taken up, that he should so soon fall asleep. I call upon you again to examine this, upon the principles of human nature, and to say-Whether his conduct was not the consequence of inebriety; and that the sleep also was the effect of that inebriety?
Gentlemen, I have now, I think, gone through every thing with relation to the evidence that has been given; 2nd it is now my purpose, very briefly, to address you upon the nature of the evidence, that I shall lay before you. Gentlemen, I shall do this very briefly, for two reasons; first of all, because I have consumed a great deal of your time; and in the next place, because my learned friend, who comes after me, I know will do it with great ability, and with great advantage to his client. But, Gentlemen, there is a part of it which I am under the necessity of sating to you very particularly; because it relates to one of the main and singular features of this cause. Gentlemen, you have heard again and again from me; you have heard from the record; you have heard from Mr. Attorney General, the name of Upton; you have heard that name from all the witnesses except the witnesses to declaration. Gentlemen, you have heard that name likewise from Mrs. Upton, the widow, as she stored herself, of Mr. Upton. Gentlemen, I hardly know how to state to you the extraordinary circumstance I am about to mention; there was no part in this case, I do assure you sincerely, that gave me more anxiety than the report that this person was drowned, or was no more I know that if that person had been brought here, that his demeanour alone, and those circumstances which could have been proved respecting him, would have completely satisfied your minds upon this cause; and that all those observations I have had the honour of addressing to you, would have had double force from his demeanour and his character.
Gentlemen, the evidence of Mrs. Upton is, that his hat, the only part of his apparel, has been found; that he left a seal with her the morning he went away; I could not understand what my learned friend Mr. Garrow meant by that, is it was not this, that it was a token of love and friendship, that he was to leave with the wife he was to see no more, when he was going to take away his own tie; I can put no other construction upon it. Mrs. Upton did not say, that his body had been interred, she did not say, that his body had been found, and yet it is a rare thing that nothing should be found about the body, and more rare in this country than any other, because we all know there is a legal proceeding upon all events of that kind. Mr. Upton has not appeared since that day, whether he will appear again in this world or no, I cannot pretend to say; but I am perfectly sure of this, that I shall be able to say before you testimony that will at least amount to as strong testimony, that he is now living, as that of Mrs. Upton, that he is dead.
(Here the Attorney-General interrupted Mr. Adam, by an observation which was not distinctly heard).Gentlemen, I have
received the intimation of my learned friend, as I receive every intimation from his, I am sure, with great respect, and I have considered as far as the moment will give me an opportunity of considering what course I shall steer; and, Gentlemen, I have no hesitation in saying to my learned friend, that whatever the wisdom of the Court my hereafter determine, with respect to the testimony my learned friend wishes to propose upon this subject, that I think it is so essential to this case in one point of view, not at all essential in another, which I will state by and by, that the evidence, with respect to Upton's doubtful situation, should be said before you, that I think it my duty to lay it before you; when I say, in one respect, and not in another, I will state to my learned friend how I don't think it essential in one respect; it is not from the least idea, that every diligent search, that every active enquiry, that every industry that talents can direct, and that integrity and diligence can pursue, has not been used in order to obtain this man to bring him into a Court of Justice; because, I know perfectly well, that my learned friend is not a person who states that for the fact, which he does not mean in reality; I know he is not that person, and, therefore, when I speak of the doubtful state of Upton, I say it without a view to the most distant suggestion of that kind; but I think it essential for this reason, that if I can fasten upon your understandings a belief that this man is not dead, but has gone out of the way; if I can raise a presumption in your minds that this seal was delivered as a trick and as a plan, and that that man, who had committed every other crime almost, had contemplated, or at least wished others to contemplate, that he wished to end his life by suicide; if i establish this, I establish the foundation of this plot to result from a mind fraught with such infamy, loaded with such opprobrium, that I heardly know how to find words to express it; and therefore, as it has its origin in this man, as it intrinsically has its origin in him, as it declaredly has its origin in him, I think, judging as I now do, under the friendly warning of the Attorney General; judging, as I now do, for the interests of my client, I think it essentially necessary to lay this evidence before you; I have already observed upon the effect of that evidence, and therefore will not take up one word more upon it; when that evidence is given, it will be for my learned friend to direct your attention to it, and if the case should take that turn, which it may from what the Attorney General says, I may have an opportunity of stating a few words to you upon the whole of the evidence respecting Upton. Gen tlemen, I have almost sufficiently pointed out the other evidence that I have to lay before you, in the course of what I have said; I shall produce witnesses from France, I shall produce witnesses to Upton's character, I shall produce witnesses to the circumstances of the disputes, of the rancour of the animosity, and of the challenge between him and the other prisoners, and, Gentlemen. there my case will rest.
Gentlemen, I have now little more to add; I have, in the first place, however, to return to you my most sincere, and I do assure you my most grateful thanks, for the profound attention which you have been pleased to pay to me during a very long address, upon a very important subject, in a question in which I find great anxiety and great uneasiness, and which I hope I have discharged tolerably well for my client; I am sure of this, that nothing could be more sincere or more earnest than the anxiety I felt to discharge that duty. Gentlemen, I cannot fail to have perceived, from the nature of the evidence, that prejudices may have arisen in your minds, or in the minds of those who heard that evidence, with regard to the prisoner at the bar, as the evidence certainly went to a variety of things which tended to show the general disposition and tendency of his mind, but not the particular application of that mind to this particular subject. Gentlemen, I am sure you will lay aside all prejudices, except such as the evidence necessarily imposes upon you.
Gentlemen, the unfortunate prisoner at the bar most undoubtedly stands now before you, after you have heard the evidence which I have stated, to have his deliverance, or to have a verdict of guilty. Gentlemen, upon such an occasion as that, all topics are useless, and they are all trite, and therefore I shall most undoubtedly not detain you with any topics upon that important part of your duty; the whole frame of my address has been, I hope, calculated to impress it, soberly, seriously, and, I trust, without any impropriety, anxious as I am to discharge my duty to my client, upon your minds; I wish you ever to think upon what the principal part of this case depends, and to recollect no colour whatever is given to the treason in question, but from the evidence in question; I will not weary you with a repetition of the arguments, or even with a summary of the arguments upon that part of the subject. But, Gentlemen, as I set out with quoting some authorities from times when men spoke with great fear, and thought with great correctness, I hope I shall not deviate from the line of an advocate, or any thing un usual in a Court of Justice, if I Rate, in words much more emphatic than any that I can invent, the particular duty that you have to discharge upon that particular branch of this cause.
Gentlemen, my Lord Strafford, when he was tried for a crime at the bar of the House of Lords, said, with respect to a question of this sort -
"it is now ages since any man was touched to such an heighth on such evidence; we have lived happily for ourselves at home, we have lived gloriously abroad to the world, let us not awaken those sleeping lions to our destruction, those sad precedents of judicial disgrace which have lain so many ages by the wall forgotten and neglected." Gentlemen, let me apply these words to the present case; let me entreat you not slightly, upon such evidence, to awaken those sleeping lions; what is evidence to one man may be evidence to all; the case of every individual prisoner that comes before a Jury is the case of the whole community; because, the whole community are interested in the distribution of Justice, and in the principles upon which Juries decide.
Gentlemen, this, in that view, like every other case, is a most important one; and I entreat you to consider it; and, without adding one world more, I now, after this address, return you my most sincere and hearty thanks for the honour of the attention you have bestowed upon me.
Evidence for the Prisoner.
JAMES PARKINSON sworn.
Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a surgeon and apothecary, in Hoxton-square.
Q. Were you, in August and September 1794, a member of the London Corresponding Society? - A. Yes.
Q. At that time, did you frequently attend its meetings? - A. Of the committee of correspondence, not of the general committee.
Q. Was a person of the name of Upton, a member of that committee? - A. No.
Q. Was Le Maitre? - A. No; Higgins and Smith were; there was an enquiry, instituted by Higgins and Smith, at the request of the committee of correspondence, into the character of Upton; I was one who was very solicitous for that enquiry; it was stated by Smith, or by Hodgson, that he had heard it reported that Upton had set his own house on fire, in Cold-bath-fields.
Q. Was that enquiry pursued to any considerable length? - A. They were desired, at one meeting of the society, to make the enquiry.
Lord Chief Justice byre. You don't mean, I hope, to detain the Court with a detail of the proceedings of such a committee; I beg, for the honour of this Court, that we may not have their proceedings detailed.
Mr. Gurney. Q. In point of fact, were there any disputes between Smith, Le Maitre, or Higgins and Upton? - A. I can only speak of a dispute that subsisted between them, by the report of Smith and Higgins.
Q. That is not evidence; did you, upon that occasion, see Upton yourself? - A. Only once, which was for the purpose of delivering to him, or carrying a letter to be delivered to him, to expel him the society.
Q. Were you present at any meeting at which Upton was present, with Smith, Higgins and Le Maitre? - A. At one.
Q. At that meeting did any thing pass either peaceable or hostile to each other? - A. Nothing particular that I recollect.
Cross-examined by Mr. Attorney General. Q. Are you the same Mr. Parkinson that was examined some little time ago? - A. The same.
Q. The same person that produced, upon your last examination, a paper, entitled the Guillotine, or George's Head in a Basket? - A. I don't know that it was produced in Court, it was not produced in Court by me.
Q. You are the same person that produced that paper at the Privy Council? - A. I delivered no such paper to the Privy Council.
Q. You had, in your possession a paper, entitled the Guillotine, or, George's Head in a Basket, which you got from the society? - A. I have it now.
Q. Do you know a person of the name of Pearce, a member of the society? - A. Yes.
Q. You have forgot that Le Maitre, Higgins, Smith and Upton, met at Pearce's, and were reconciled over a bottle of wine? - A. I heard that they were reconciled, and I hear now, from the learned Counsel, where they met, and from no one else.
Q. You know that they were reconciled? - A. I heard so.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. Who were reconciled? - A. Le Maitre and Upton.
Mr. Attorney General. Q. Do you know Hill, the turner? - A. Yes.
Q. You had a considerable situation, I understand, in the society you belonged to, what was called the committee of correspondence? - A. I belonged to the committee of correspondence.
Q. It was sometimes called the secret committee? - A. It was once called so, in my hearing, by Upton, for which he was much reprobated.
Q. Hill was a member of the Society, was not he? - A. He was.
Q. Do you recollect going to him, after some of these people had been apprehended? - A. I went to Hill for the purpose of gaining all the information I could, respecting this business; I went to other places for the same purpose, that I might give the Privy Council all the information I could.
Q. You never heard of any quarrel that Upton had with Crossfield, did you? - A. Never.
Q. Did you hear from Hill, any thing about any models that any body had given him? - A. It was in consequence of Hill having mentioned his uneasiness of mind, respecting something which he had turned, that I called upon him; it was not till then, that I conceived there could be any thing in the plot.
Q. Did he name to you, or any body in your hearing, who the persons were, that came to bespeak the models.
Mr. Gurney objected to the question.
Mr. Attorney General. I will not pursue it. -
Q. Do you know Crossfield's hand-writing? - A. No, I do not.
Mr. Gurney. Q. You have been asked as to some paper said to be got in the society; did you get that paper in the society? - A. I did not.
JOHN BONE sworn.
Examined by Mr. Gurney. I am a muslin-clearer, No. 8, Weston-street, Southwark.
Q. Were you, in August and September 1794. a member of the London Corresponding Society? - A. I was a member of the general committee.
Q. Of that committee was Upton a member? - A. No, he was not; Le Maitre, Smith, and Higgins were; Crossfield was not.
Q. Do you know any thing of any disputes between Upton, Smith, Higgins, and Le Maitre, or either of them? - A. I do; I cannot be particular as to the time they took place; it was sometime after the commencement of August.
Q. How long did they continue? - A. I did not know that; they were healed, because they originated in Upton's had character; and they had a bad opinion of him in consequence of that character, which I never knew was wiped off.
Q. Do you recollect the day when Smith, Higgins, and Le Maitre were taken up? - A. The 27th of September, I believe, or therabouts.
Mr. Attorney-General. I shall certainly admit to the Jury, the time when these persons were apprehended; there can be no doubt about it.
Mr. Gurney. Q. Were those imputations respecting Upton's character. pursued by either Smith, Higgins, or Le Maitre. - A. Yes, they were, by Smith and Higgins; I know Le Maitre, but I had not an opportunity of conversing with him, because I only saw him when he was doing his duty in the general committee.
Q. Did you ever see Upton and Le Maitre in the general committee? - A. Yes.
Q. Was there any charge brought by Le Maitre against Upton? - A. I cannot say; there was a dispute between them, which was carried on with very great violence, I believe it was the 4th of September; their quarrel went to a very considerable length, and threw the whole assembly into a very great agitation, in consequence of a letter that had been introduced into the committee, casting a stigma upon the committee, written by Upton; and when he confessed it, Le Maitre was remarkably severe upon him; he called him the man, for he considered him unworthy the name of citizen, and thought he ought to be turned out of the committee; Upton, in consequence of this, broke out in a train of abuse, and used all those epithets which men, in the habit of abuse, generally use.
Q. Do you recollect any of them? - A. I cannot; they were so very violent, that he threatened to be revenged of Le Maitre; and Le Maitre said, if he had any thing to settle with him. he had bet ter do it at another place than the present, and for that purpose wrote his address. The same evening, in consequence of Upton's very disorderly behaviour in the general committee, a vote of censure was moved by Higgins, and the committee discussed the propriety of it; some were against passing a vote of censure, and others for it; but the generality of the committee being for a vote of censure, he seemed to with to avoid the vote of censure, and went towards the door - Higgins called out, and said, if they were going to pass a vote of censure, they must be quick, for he was hopping off; you wretch, says he, that is a reflection upon my natural infirmity; Higgins said, if he used his own language, he should tell him that he Ked, but it should suffice for the present that he did not mean it. In the general committee, Upton's bad character was first broached, and Smith and Higgins were very active in getting informations for the committee upon that occasion, and Smith expressed himself, that if Upton's name continued in the printed list of the society, his name should not continue in it.
Q. Were you present at any other disputes between Upton and either of these persons? - A. I don't recollect that I was.
Q. Were you present at any meeting subsequent to that, with Le Maitre and Upton, Public or private, when any thing like a reconciliation is supposed to have taken place? - A. Certainly not.
Q. Was this enquiry concluded at the time of Upton's apprehension and their's? - A. The business had come to a conclusion for ought we knew, for we had the night, I believe, before Smith and Le Maitre were apprehended, resolved to publish our lists without the name of Upton being in it, which would finally shew -
Q. No matter what it would shew. Then, in fact, the dispute had not terminated the night before? -
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. He does not say that; he goes to a fact, that they resolved to publish the list without Upton's name.
Mr. Gurney. Q. Do you recollect how lately before they were taken up, any thing had passed between Upton, Smith, Le Maitre, and Higgins? - A. I do not.
Q. In point of fact, the enquiry had not terminated the night before? - A. It had so far terminated that we were satisfied of his character.
JOHN HUNTLEY sworn.
Examined by Mr. Adam. I am a watch-spring maker, in Great Sutton-street, Clerkenwell? - I have had a knowledge of Upton about five years.
Q. Did you see him about the month of September, 1794? - A. I believe that was about the time; I was in company with him at a person's of the name of Brown.
Q. What did that conversation end n? - A. Concanning the prisoner, who had then been taken up; Le Maitre, Higgins, and Smith, I walked backwards and forwards; I looked upon Upton to be a dangerous man, and I persuaded Brown to come away; I heard him discoursing about these people, and he said, it was their own faults, for he should not have troubled his head about it if they had not made a noise about his character; as much as to say, an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
WILLIAM BROWN sworn.
Examined by Mr. Adam. Q. Do you know Upton? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember having any conversation with him in September 1794? - A. Yes; I was asking him concerning Crossfield, what it was that he was detained for? he told me, he could not tell; he mentioned the place where he was detained in the country, but where I cannot recollect; I asked him further, if he knew what the chief accusation was against him; he said, he did not know.
Q. Had you any conversation with him about Le Maitre, and Higgins? - A. Yes; I asked him if he did not know Higgins and Le Maitre? he said, yes, he knew them; for Smith, Le Maitre, and Higgins, were three damned villains; and they had used him in a most villainous manner, and they were still continuing to hurt his character wherever they went; and they frequently attacked him in the street, by giving him the name of informer, and gathered a great number of people about him; he thought his life was in danger; and if they did not desist, he would take some other means to make them; I told him, he should make an allowance by the ill language he had given against them; he said, I was unacquainted with the former part of the story, seemingly, and he would relate the whole of it to me; he told me, that prior to that, when the State Prisoners were taken up, the London Corresponding Society chose to raise subscriptions to give some little assistance to some of their families; they thought it convenient to open a subscription, and amongst the rest of the houses that the committee appointed to be opened for that purpose, his was one; Higgins, Le Maitre, and Smith, came forward, and accused him as a thief, and incendiary, and injured his character as much as they possibly could; the society refused to give him a fair trial for it, and they still continued to go on in that abusive way, in public company; I told him such accusations could not arise from nothing; and he said he did once keep a house in Coldbath-fields, and that his house was burnt down; and that he was advertised, and a reward for the apprehension of him; and he agreed with a friend of his, if he would give him a note of hand for part of the reward, he would bring him in so much money, which he did, and his friend delivered him up to justice; and then he appealed to me whether there was ground to accuse him in public of such a thing, if so powerful a body of men as the Phoenix Fire-office had entered into a prosecution against him, and could not bring any thing against him, he ought to be acquitted in the eye of the law; I told him there certainly was room to suspect he was a bad character; and whether he had brought the accusations against Le Maitre, Smith, and Higgins, it had turned out for good at last; for that, after the trials of the State Prisoners, the society had encreased, in three weeks, more than ever it did before.
Mr. Attorney General. I have no objection to your taking him to be a bad man, and his motives to be as bad as you please.
JOHN CLEVERTON sworn.
Examined by Mr. Adam. Q. Were you a prisoner in France? - A. Yes; I was at Brest when the prisoner Crossfield was there; we were on board the same prison ship from the 19th of February till early in May; during that time I was constantly with him.
Q. Were you with him about the time he came away? - A. No; the hospital was removed to another ship.
Q. You remained behind? - A. I was in the ship after he lest her.
Q. During your intercourse with Mr. Crossfield, have you ever heard him make any declarations respecting the King? - A. No, I don't recollect any thing; I have heard him sing Republican songs.
Q. Did you mess with him? - A. Yes.
Q. Who was of your mess? - A. There were captains of vessel's: captain Clarke, of the Pomona, and captain Bligh.
Q. Is he in England now? - A. I believe he is at Exeter.
Q. Who besides? - A. Mr. Dennis, and two other mates of vessels; Mr. Denton, mate of captain Bligh's ship; I believe he is at Exeter; and Mr. Widdiman, mate of the ship I was in.
Q. Mr. Crossfield used to be very jolly, I believe? - A. Yes.
Q. I believe it was a custom there for persons, if they were sick, to quit the prison-ship and be carried on shore to the hospital? - A. Yes.
Q. Did it require any serious illness to carry them to the hospital? - A. No; I had a slight illness and was carried to the hospital; I was there from May till the 19th of June.
Q. Did you come over in the same cartel? - A. Yes.
Q. If you had wished to have remained, could not you have accomplished remaining there? - A. cannot tell.Q. If yo
u had been indisposed with a flight illness, and carried to the hospital? - A. Several persons were carried to the hospital a few days before I came away.
Q. And, of course, did not come home with the cartel? - A. No.
Q. You knew him perfectly well by the name of Crossfield? - A. Yes; he signed his name to some papers of mine as a witness.
Q. What time was that? - A. The latter end of May; a little before I went to the hospital.
Q. Was he generally known in the mess by the name of Crossfield? - A. We generally called him Doctor; but I knew his name, I saw him sign it.
Q. Was he the only medical man in your mess? - A. Yes.
Q. Consequently you called him the Doctor? - A. Yes.
Q. Were Le Breton and Dennis in the same cartel? - A. Yes.
Q. Did you ever see them and Crossfield together? - A. Not particularly engaged in conversation; there were three hundred of us on board this cartel.Q. Do you
remember to have seen them particularly together in Brest harbour? - A. Not more so than others; they were very intimate with captain Clarke and Mr. Crossfield, the early part of the time.
Q. Do you happen to know how that intimacy ceased? - A. I understood it was from a watch that Mr. Crossfield had of Mr. Clarke's, which he would not give up to him.
Q. Did you ever hear any conversation between Le Breton, Dennis, and Crossfield, respecting the property in the ship, the Pomona, at the time? - A. No; I have heard him say he would not give up this watch.
Q. Did Crossfield mess with you in the cartel as you came over? - A. No.
Q. Where did you land? - A. At Fowey, in Cornwall.
Q. How did Crossfield appear at the time of coming away? - A. He appeared to be very glad that he was coming home.
Q. He did not shew the least unwillingness to return? - A. No.
Q. What is your professional situation in life? - A. I was going out agent to the Canaries, for a house in St. John's-street, and was captured on the 18th of February.
Q. Did Crossfield drink hard? - A. Very hard.
Q. You were not going out as an agent for government? - A. I was going out for wincs for government.
Cross-examined by Mr. Attorney General. Q. He appeared very glad he was going home? - A. Yes.Q. Per
haps you might be by when he said things were all settled now to his satisfaction? - A. I don't recollect that expression.
Q. Were you by when he was mustered by the name of Wilson? - A. No; I was in the ship, and I heard such a report, but I did not know it myself.
Q. You heard it on board? - A. I heard that he had put his name down in the list, but I never saw it.
Q. You frequently heard him sing republican songs? - A. Yes.
Q. Did that occasion any quarrels among you? - A. No.
Q. Do you recollect a song with a chorus that began "Plant, plant the tree?" - A. Yes.
Q. Be so good as read that (shewing it to him) and tell us if you ever heard the prisoner sing that song? - A. I believe I have heard him sing that song, but I cannot recollect.
Q. Have you any doubt about it? - A. I have not.
The song read, of which the following is the first stanza:
See, Britons, see, the rising beam, The eastern skies adorn, Tis freedom's sun begins to gleam, And wakes a glorious morn. Now despotism from France is chac'd, And near illusions vanish'd, Ne'er let them on our isle be plac'd, But far from Britain banish'd.
Plant, plant the tree, fair freedom's tree, Midst dangers, wounds, and slaughter, Each patriot's breast it's soil shall be, And tyrants blood the water.
Mr. Attorney-General. Was the chorus sung at the end of each of these verses, "Plant, plant the tree?" - A. I cannot say.
Q. You recollect the chorus? - A. I do very well.
Q. Favour me with casting your eye over that song (another)? - A. I never recollect hearing that song.
Mr. Adam. Can you take upon yourself positively to swear those were the words of the song that he sung? - A. No, I cannot; I never heard him sing it above once or twice, and paid but little attention to it.
Q. And many of the verses might have been transposed? - A. I cannot say.
ANTHONY COLLINS sworn.
Examined by Mr. Adam. Q. You were in the prison ships at Brest at the time Crossfield was there? - A. Yes; I commanded one of them.
Q. They were English ships, and they put English prisoners to commanded them? - A. No, they were cartels; they remained there a long time? - A. No, they were cartels; they remained there a long time, and they thought fit to fill them with prisoners of war; I heard of a medical man being on board one of the other ships; he was not then on board my ship; I made application to the commandant for him to come on board, which he did, and I am sure, from his great care and attention, he must have saved fifty or sixty lives; during that time he lived in the cabin with me and several other gentlemen, two of the name of Byron, both brothers, captain Lambton, and captain Taylor.
Q. Do you know if the Byrons are now in England? - A. He is now at Portsmouth.
Q. Was he a captain? - A. He was a passenger only.
Q. Is he a person in the same station of life that you yourself are? - A. Yes; he is a young man.
Q. Do you know where captain Taylor is now? - A. I do not know.
Q. Captain Lambton? - A. I believe he is in Newcastle.
Q. Were there any more? - A. Not at that time.
Q. Did he live in great intimacy with you? - A. Yes, as being a deserving man, and taking care of the poor prisoners.
Q. Independent of his profession, what sort of character is he? - A. I did not know the man before.
Q. Did the grog use to go pretry freely round? - A. I confess, for want of better employment, it did.
Q. Did Crossfield say any thing to you about any plot he was concerned in? - A. During the time I was with him, I solemnly swear not one word was mentioned about plots against his Majesty, or the government.
Q. Do you know an old man of the name of Winter? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you remember any stories he used to tell? - A. Yes, a number.
Q. Do you recollect any particular story about an animal that he caught? - A. A number of foolish stories of that kind; one in particular about catching the devil in the shape of a hare, and such ridiculous nonsense as that.
Q. Did he say he took this hare for the devil? - A. He certainly did, and was very much displeased when we contradicted him.
Q. Do you take upon yourself to swear that he absolutely used to say this hare was the devil? - A. Yes, and believed it too, and another story much of the same kind.
Q. In short, he was a man who dealt in the marvelous? - A. Yes, and was the common laughing stock of the whole ship's crew; from his whole conversation, I really believe he was somewhatview a gif image of the original
fileSee original slighty at times; I understood that he had lost a great deal of property, and whether it was from that or his imprisonment, and one thing and another, I really believe he was deranged; the sailors laughed at him; I have known him walk the deck, talking to himself, the whole night; I have got up frequently, and seen him walk, talking to himself; he was a man that slept very little; he was the last in bed and the first up.
Q. Was not Winter, in consequence of this disposition, a person you used to make rather a but of? - A. Yes, for want of better employment.
Q. Had you ever any conversation with Winter upon the subject of Crossfield? - A. Never any private conversation of any sort, for he was a man not of a cast for me to converse with
Cross-examined by Mr. Law. Q. Your intimacy was with Crossfield? - A. All of us, indeed, there were seven or eight.
Q. As being particularly intimate with him, he would probably tell you the reason of his leaving England? - A. No, he never did; he mentioned his circumstances and his pecuniary matters, which were deranged; in short, he had no money.
Q. I hough he was very intimate with you, he never mentioned what he had left England for? - A. No; only that he was taken in a ship going to the South Seas.
Q. As the grog was going round, did you ever hear him first? - A. Yes.
Q. What sort of songs; were they songs favourable to good government? - A. I don't recollect any song against the government.
Q. You never happened to hear him sing, "Plant, plant the tree, fair freedom's tree"? - A. I never heard him sing any thing of the kind; he is quite another kind of man.
Q. Perhaps he sung God save the King? - A. I cannot say.
Q. Rule Britannia? - A. I cannot say whether he sung them or not; we have sung them in company.
Q. You never heard him sing any song of a seditions tendency? - A. No.
Q. Do you happen to know by what name he was mustered, when he came back to England? - A. I was informed he put down a different name.
Q. Did not that strike you as very odd? - A. I took it to be on account of his pecuniary circumstances being bad.
Q. And that his behaviour was that of a good, orderly subject, uniformly throughout? - A. Yes.
Q. And you was with him, dining with him every day, from April to August? - A. Yes.
Q. He was remarkable for the decency of his behaviour? - A. As to political principles, he never said any thing, but reprobating the war as an unjust one.
Q. But, in other respects, he was a man of eminent loyalty? - A. Yes; I likewise have heard him say, that he had offers from the commandant to stay in the country to look after the sick, which he thought proper to refuse, in order to return to his own country again; I have heard him say, that he had offers of that kind several times to superintend the hospitals at Landernean. which he said he thought he would refuse, as he wished to come to his native country.
Q. Did you hear him say that every thing was settled between him and the people of France to his satisfaction? - A. He spoke French and I did not understand him.
Mr. Adam. Q. But he is supposed to have said this in English? - A. I never heard him say, that any thing had been settled to his satisfaction, only the offer of superintending the hospitals.
Mr. Law. Q. But that he rejected? - A. Yes.
Q. You did not hear what terms were settled between them upon his coming away? - A.
No.ELIZABETH SMITH sworn.
Examined by Mr. Adam. Q. I have been a widow eight years; I live at No. 17, Great Hermitage-street, Wapping; I have lived about eight years in that house.
Q. How long did you live in the house you were in before? - A. About seven years, in Red-lion-street, Wapping.
Q. So that for the last fifteen years, you have been a constant resident in Wapping, in two houses? - A. Yes.
Q. Do you know the prisoner at the bar, Mr. Crossfield? - A. yes; I have been acquainted with him these five years.
Q. You have seen a good deal of him during that time? - A. Yes; he has been very often to and from the house.
Q. Have you seen enough of him to know any thing of his disposition and character; is he a man of levity, or seriousness? - A. A man of levity.
Q. Is he a man of severe, harsh temper? - A. No, not at all, quite the reverse.
Q. Do you know captain Clarke of the Pomona? - A. Very well, he lodged with me.
Q. How long have you known captain Clarke? - A. About two years.
Q. Do you know a person of the name of Le Breton? - A. Yes; I have not known much of him; he was before the mast, with captain Clarke, and used to come to the house; captain Clarke had my first floor, and boarded in the house, and his wife.
Q. Do you remember Mr. Le Breton coming to your house at any time, to see captain Clarke, since captain Clarke returned from France? - A. Yes.
Q. About what time was that? - A. I cannot exactly say; I believe it was about ten days after captain Clarke left my house to go to Yarmouth; after coming from the prison ship, Le Breton called upon me, to tell me that I might expect captain Clarke in the evening.
Q. Were you present when Le Breton repeated some things to captain Clarke? - A. Yes; Le Breton said to captain Clarke, he had heard Crossfield describe this gun, and that captain Clarke was present at the time, and captain Clarke said, he never heard it.
Q. Did any thing pass upon that subject between them? - A. Yes; Le Breton said, several times, he hoped they would hang him
Q. In what name did Crossfield lodge at your house? - A. In the name of Crossfield, never any other; he has lodged at my house three different times, about three years ago; and the last time he lodged at my house was, about a month before Christmas; he dined on Christmas-day 1794, with captain Clarke, at my house, but captain Clarke did not go till February.
Q. Where was he all that time? - A. At our house.
Q. By the name of Crossfield? - A. Yes.
Q. He was universally known at your house by that name? - A. Yes; captain White lodged with me at the same time.
Q. Did he use to go about with captain White and other gentlemen? - A. Yes; he used to go out to Change, and other places, with the other gentlemen.
Q. Without any appearance of concealment? - A. There never was any concealment.
Q. Were you present when any thing passed between him and captain Clarke, respecting his going to the South-seas? - A. Doctor Crossfield came in one day, and a gentleman came in and asked him if he could recommend him to a surgeon, and he said, he did not know, but he would go with him.
Q. What is his character and disposition? - A. I am sure, a very good-natured man, that would hurt nobody.Q. Did Le
Breton say any thing further about captain Clarke having heard this matter that passed respecting the plot? - A. No.
Q. Did he press captain Clarke upon it? - A. He said so two or three times.
Cross-examined by Mr. Wood. Q. Did Crossfield lodge at your house just before he went down to Portsmouth? - A. He lodged there about two months before he went down to Portsmouth; he went sometime in the beginning of February.
Q. You endeavoured to learn from Le Breton and Dennis, I believe, what they had sworn before the Privy Council? - A. No.
Q. You never asked Le Breton and Dennis what they swore before the Privy Council? - A. No, I never did; and they will not say so, I am sure.
Q. Have not you endeavoured to persuade Le Breton to be very favourable to Crossfield? - A. No.
Q. Not never said a word to him upon that subject? - A. No.
Q. Did you not tell him, that the truth was not to be spoke at all times? - A. No, I never did say so.
Q. Remember, you are upon your oath? - A. I am, and I am positive I never said any such thing.
Q. Nor to Dennis? - A. No, to neither of them.
Q. They may be called, and therefore I wish you to recollect yourself? - A. They will clear me, if they are, I am sure I never told them any such thing.
Q. Nor nothing to that effect? - A. No; I have not seen them since that time; they were constantly about the house then, and that was the time to speak of it.
THOMAS GREENLAND called in.
Mr. Adam. I call this witness to prove Upton's existence.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. It will then remain uncertain, whether he went away to avoid being now examined, and what were his inducements to go away; whether they were inducements on the part of the prosecution, or on the part of the prisoner, or whether it was the pure effect of his own feelings; now all that being left perfectly uncertain, it seems as if that enquiry was quite beside the present case, but if you think it right to go into it, having admitted some evidence on the other side, which, perhaps, was rather admitted, rather by way of anticipation than otherwise, I shall not stop you.
Mr. Adam. My Lord, I wish to repeat now what I said before, that I am perfectly satisfied there has been no attempt, on the part of the prosecution, to keep him out of the way; and after the suggestion that has fallen from your Lordship, I will not give your Lordship the trouble of discussing, whether it is admissible or not.
Lord Chief Justice Evre. I think you do perfectly right, for it would only puzzle the case.
Mrs. WATSON sworn.
Examined by Mr. Adam. I did live in Dyer's-buildings; Mr. Crossfield lodged at my house.
Q. In what name? - A. The name of Crossfield.
Q. Did you always know him by that name? - A. Yes.
Q. Did he lodge in your house in September and October 1794? - A. He did.
Q. Of course you know a great deal of his way of life, and the way in which he kept every thing; was he a man who was remarkably careful of his papers? - A. Not at all; he had nothing in the world locked up while he was at my house.
Q. He passed in his own name publickly? - A. Yes.
Q. He went about every where? - A. Yes.
Q. You don't know any thing of his disposition and character? - A. He behaved extremely well while he was at our house.
Q. When did he leave your house? - A. I cannot ascertain the day; it was about seven weeks or two months after he first came.
Q. He did not come back to lodge with you? - A. No.
Mr. Attorney-General. Q. Did he visit you about January or February after? - A. No; he did not.
Mr. Adam. Q. Do you recollect whether enquiries were made at your house about him? - A. No; not after he left me.
MARGARET BREARY sworn. Cross-examined by Mr. Adam.
Mr. Adam. These witnesses are merely to character; I believe it will not be exceptionable to call them all in together.
The Attorney-General consented.
Mrs. Breary. I know Mr. Crossfield; I have known him about four years, to the best of my knowledge.
Q. Have you known him intimately? - A. Rather so; I never knew any thing against his character.
Q. Is he a humane good-natured man? - A. I have always heard so.
- WILD sworn.
I have known him about three years; he is a very good-natured humane man.
Q. What are you? - A. A surgeon in the Kent road.
- WILSON sworn.
I have known Mr. Crossfield ever since I was a child; ever since I remember any thing; I always thought him an exceeding good humane man; I never thought he would commit the least crime.
- HEPBURN sworn.
I am a surgeon in Great Arundel-street; I have known Mr. Crossfield about four years; I have been very often in his company; I attended his family; I never saw any thing amiss of him; he is a quiet, easy, good-natured man, too much so.
DENNIS called in again.
Mr. Law. Q. Were you in Court when Mrs. Smith was examined? - A. No; I am just come from the coffee-house.Q. Do you know
Mrs. Smith? - A. Yes.
Q. Had you any conversation with her about Mr. Crossfield? - Not since I was first before the Privy Council.
Q. Did she make any enquiries what your examination was? - A. Yes.
Q. Did she seem anxious to know? - A. Yes; she asked me what I knew about Mr. Crossfield, and hoped I would not say thing to hurt him; I dined there; there were several captains of ships there at the same time; she said, she would say any thing to save him, not to hurt him.
Q. Was any thing said about truth should not be spoken at all times? - A. No.
Mr. Adam (to Mrs. Smith). Q. Is what this man says true. - A. No; I never examined him.
Dennis. Captain Smith got into very warm disputes, and said, Mrs. Smith you ought to be ashamed of yourself to say any such thing.
Lord Chief Justice Eyre. Q. Who is that captain Smith? - A. A gentleman in the African trade; he lodged with this good lady.
Q. Who were the other persons present at that time? - A. Captain Smith, and a young gentleman, a wharfinger, I believe.
Mr. Gurney then addressed the Jury, in a speech of considerable length; Mr. Attorney-General replied; and Lord Chief justice Eyre summed up the evidence, when the Jury having withdrawn an hour and thirty-five minutes, returned with a verdict of
NOT GUILTY .