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the articles of war, the words, “ in a Presuming, therefore, that the House scandalous and infamous manner, only calls upon me to efface the imprese becoming the character of an officer and a sion of those epithets which tend to fix a gentleman."
stigma on my moral character, and to Sir, being again become a private mem- show, that through the various charges, the ber of civil society, I am too sensible of language of the articles of war beforethe respectability of those noblemen and mentioned, does not necessarily attach gentlemen, who sat as my judges, and of on my conduct: I beg leave to call the the importance of courts.martial in gene- attention of the House to the main crimi. ral to the public safety, to harbour a nating point of the first and second thought, or to utter a word, that could charges, which charge me, whatever moral have the remotest tendency towards guilt is alleged to be included in them, shaking the general estimation, in which with the term fraud. Sir, I presume, I hope and trust they will ever be held by from the evidence, that the fraud meant all ranks of people, as a highly honour- to have been proved, was supposed to able, and indispensably necessary tribunal. have been effected, by concealing from But I hope, nevertheless, that the whole different persons the terms in which a influence of military law will be entirely contract made with them was conceived, confined to military offences, and limited and which contract was signed by them. to military tribunals. For, Sir, I cannot To that point I confine my defence; but omit observing, that lately I was called if the complexion of the case is either to upon before a court-martial, not only to establish or refute any intention in me to answer for my conduct as a colonel of a commit a fraud, when I first drew for the regiment, but to be responsible for acts whole of the marching guineas, it must done by me as deputy-lieutenant, and so surely weigh with the House to find that charged and made amenable to a military I paid every guinea instantly to every tribunal for offences of a civil nature, man at that time in the regiment ; that I although I had entered a formal and so- offered to return the remainder to the relemn protest against such proceedings. ceiver-general, who refused to accept it; To-day I am called upon to attend in my that long before the exhibition of any arti, place, to answer for acts done by me as a cles against me, a general voucher passed colonel of a regiment, and thus charged for the expenditure of the whole of that and made amenable in this high civil tri- sum,which, in fact, was expended, for which bunal for offences of a military nature. the captains gave vouchers, and which But, Sir, from a consciousness of never they have sworn they would not have having acted from corrupt motives, and a given, unless convinced that the whole confidence in the unprejudiced investi- sum had been expended; and that this is gation of this honourable House, it is the not a case where it is even pretended that anxious wish of my heart to be tried by the supposed object of the fraud could you, conformably to the usual course of possibly have tempted any man to commit your proceedings in all cases of trial ; it. For it is but on the irregular app!i. having no doubt that, under the scrutiny cation (and which the charge terms misof your awful inquiry, I should receive a application) of a few of these guineas, determination that would heal my wound that the whole charge is grounded, and ed character, and re-establish my moral not on an embezzlement of them. Even and social reputation. I am sure, Sir, the this circumstance, I assure the House, House of Commons will never consider arose from a misconception of the act, itself as a supplementary court, for the from which I conceived the recruits, as purpose of receiving and registering the well as the men of the regiment, who were sentence of courts-martial, for the govern- embodied in the county, were entitled to ment of their proceedings upon one of its their marching guinea also, before they own members, nor deem it consistent marched out of the county, and therefore with its dignity and justice, to see with agreed with them before they enlisted, their eyes, and to hear with their ears, the for the payment of it along with their competency of evidence received by bounty, whilst in the county, and paid virtue of military laws. Nor will this it to them. The moral turpitude of makHouse, I humbly apprehend, consider the ing such an agreement with any man before proceedings of a court-martial as a suffi- he was entitled, who knew what he was ciently legal proof for them to decide upon doing, and consequently was free to acthe guilt or innocence of its members. cept or reject any terms offered to him, I (VOL. XXXII.]
profess I cannot discern. If the recruit agreement, how could they be ignorant even did not understand specifically the of the contents of five lines of a plain, meaning of the word marching guinea, as uninterpolated slip of paper, and which described by the act, yet if he generally they set their names, not their marks, to? understood (and indeed the receipt ex- Could they write without their eyes being presses it), that it was something besides, fixed upon the paper and if drunk, ought and addition to, his bounty, and that that they to have been admitted to come forsum was all he was to have for coming ward in a court of justice, to affirm or into the regiment, it was his own act; and deny any part of a conversation which is it not with the utmost caution that men passed during their intoxication two ought to be allowed to come into courts years before? Whose honour or life is of justice to rescind their own agree. safe, if a fraud or felony can be establishments, and that by criminating those ed by men, who, relating long conversawith whom they were made, when they tions, say they were drunk at the time offer no other proof of imposition than they heard them! Had these men pro. their own testimony, itself inconsistent, fessed, in the out-set of their evidence, and contradicted both by written and that they were deceived by having been verbal testimony also ? But I submit to made drunk, such a fact, had I countethe House, that no receipts or agreements nanced it, would have been worthy of the have been fraudulently obtained from any most serious discussion; but in their exman; and even if they had been, it was nei- amination in chief, they do not pretend ther with my privity or consent.-Six men to have been drunk at all; it is in their only, out of the many recruits enlisted at cross-examination that they first introthe board of lieutenancy, were called to duce the circumstance of drunkenness, prove that the agreements for their boun and that, not as an imputation on me, but ty, including their marching guineas, had as an exculpation of the gross inconsis. been fraudulently obtained from them. tency of their evidence. Four of these say, they either agreed with And here I submit, that though various me or my serjeant; and two say they objections were made by me to different agreed with certain men called 'militia questions and evidence, they do not apinsurers, or their principals. The first pear. in the printed report of the trial. It four affirm, that they never agreed for might have been justly expected by me, their marching guinea, and that the paper that the whole evidence of men, who on expressing that circumstance, was never cross-examination had confessed themeither read to them or by them, though selves intoxicated, ought to have been this
paper is a plain printed slip of paper struck out of the minutes of the proceed. (except in one instance, and then it was ings. As to the two other men, they not produced), containing five lines in were two substitutes, not engaged by me large letters, the words “ marching gui- at all, but by men called militia insurers, neas," distinguished by large roman capi- who paid them their bounty ; receipts for tals. In their examination in chief, they their marching guinea were also taken offered to give a clear and distinct relation from them. But the evidence proves this of all that passed at the board when en- circumstance to have originated in hurry listed: they at first positively denied any and mistake, and through the inadverexplanation or reading of the agreement; tence of the recruiting serjeants. Rut but one, when pressed, admitted the ser- supposing these agreements had not been jeant did read the agreement, but he paid read, my orders, as proved by one of the little attention to it; and the three others, prosecutor's witnesses, as well as by capwhen offering to the Court a supposed tain Mason, were always to read and excorrect account of many facts that hap- plain those agreements to the substitutes, pened at the same time, then nearly two and which both he and captain Mason years before, and assuming correctly to swear were duly observed. If the serjeant remember every word and fact which did not do so, was he so far my agent for could have a tendency to criminate me, the purpose of defrauding another withbut choosing to forget every thing which out my concurrence ? and by what law passed that would have refuted the charge could I be responsible for his not doing of imposition, when unable to reconcile that which I positively ordered him to do? part of this testimony, said they were If the complexion of the case, subsequent drunk, intoxicated, or in some manner to my causing these receipts to be taken, besotted. If sober when they signed this is to bear on this question, I intreat the
House to look to the evidence of the duke , a guinea to their bounty. Four out of of Richmond : it will there be found, that the six witnesses on this charge, and I communicated the circumstance of the those adduced by the prosecutor himself, men having signed these receipts to his are men engaged by this militia insurer. grace, to whom the men had complained, But that I converted the guinea to my informing him, that when I enlisted the own use, I solemnly deny, and it is as men, I had agreed to give a certain sum solemnly proved on the trial, that I never of money, including their marching gui touched it, but that the regimental taylor neas, and that that circumstance was ex. had it, and gave value for it: each pressed in the receipt for the bounty. had for his guinea, a coat, waistcoat, and His grace, in several conversations, gave hat, and ultimately a pair of breeches it me as his opinion, that the men who also. They all had their regimental had given receipts could not make any clothing in addition, and in the same year farther claim on that account, always sup- also. This plan of clothing was to beneposing such receipts to have been bona fit the service, and not for my own emofide given. This matter was peculiarly lument; and although some men might referred to his grace, and, according to have worn their slop-clothing a few the prosecutor's letter, dated March, months extraordinary, yet, upon the 1794, the matter there rested as a disput- whole, the regiment was benefited, and no able question with him. I beg farther to man was deprived of one single article of refer to the production and full discussion clothing which government allows. of these receipts, among my officers at The 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th charges Shoreham; and however irregular some are dividable into two heads: the first, a may have deemed these receipts, yet corrupt receipt of monies for a corrupt there and in all our meetings, neither the purpose, and the converting to my own prosecutor, nor any other man, ever sug- use that money: the second, an embezgested the idea of a fraud ; and he has zlement of monies taken for an innocent ever represented me so pertinacious in my or an indifferent purpose. This first opinion of my receipts, as constantly, and point comprehends the discharge of dein all companies, to assert their validity, serters and other men, giving money to to commit them into all hands, to declare provide a substitute; the second, the my readiness to try the question, and to non-immediate application of monies desleave these to the captains to do any tined to provide the regiment with rething that might draw an inquiry on them. cruits. To the first, I entreat the House Are these the acts of a man who has to observe, that having undertaken the committed, or authorized a fraud ? recruital of the regiment in part, as other
As to the eighth article, which accuses colonels of a regiment might have done, me of deducting a guinea from the boun- I did conceive myself at liberty to permit, ties of the soldier, alleging it to be so under some circumstances, men to quit done for clothing, and converting it to the regiment on their putting into my my own use, I answer, whether the guinea hands a sum to procure a man in their was deducted from the bounties, or whe. place; and I did conceive that if I contither it was agreed that it should be ex. nued without intermission that recruital, pended in slop-clothing for the recruit I fully, and not corruptly, discharged the before he ever enlisted, is a matter of engagement which I so contracted. On fact which the House will judge of on this principle I did discharge some of the due reference to the evidence before men who were deserters, but no more than them. But the proof that the men did three in the course of three years. For I contract for slop-clothing is, that they solemnly deny, that I knew of the discomplained that the contract had not charge of two men, mentioned in the been fully performed on the part of the charge : one or two men, not being deregimental taylor, and that this also was serters, I also discharged, whose particuthe system at the board ; a system adopt- lar situation rendered them anxious to ed on the suggestion of the prosecutor quit, and who were considered by me not himself, to prevent desertion. One wit. fit for the service. These sums were ness has sworn, that he informed all his openly proposed, and openly received, for men, before they engaged with him, that the purpose of finding other men; but I the deposit and payment of the guinea at in no case took such sums of money as a the board, would be required of them bribe. The House cannot draw an inferwhen sworn in, for which reason he addedence from hence that the money paid was a bribe to me to pardon and discharge | very suspension found me in the summer the men; for tile evidence proves that the of 1795, in the act of expending it. money was expressly taken by me, in order As to the charge of rejecting fit men, with it to find another man ; that I received and engaging unfit men, on account of it as such, and on written documents that I the difference of bounties, I must refer the acknowledged it for that purpose received. House to the evidence, to learn, whether I have expressly charged myself with that I, in any instance, so did ; or whether my money for that purpose. Can the House, agents did so by my orders; for the reason then, conclude it was originally given for alleged in the charge, I do not fear that any other purpose, than the evidence the House will find that fact wilfully done proves it was given for; or infer an inten- by me or any of those whom I employed; tion contrary to the fact ? Sir, I beg and although it may be true that the leave to ask, what constitutes the promi- bounty given for men was not always conent features of the conduct of a man, extensive with the sum received for the corruptly receiving money for a corrupt purpose, yet the saving resulting from purpose? what, but extortion, rapacity, thence it was never my intention to conand secresy. I have not taken advantage vert to my use; but, on the contrary, of the situation of any man having de- I have proved my having expended on serted, nor proportioned my demand to the regiment a sum of above 4,0001., which his expectation of punishment, nor re- far exceeds any savings I could have in quested my name not to be mentioned, hand from any surplus of bounty, and no nor burned, nor obliterated the proving part of which is allowed by government. documents ; but, on the contrary, have To the charge of wilfully keeping the regiever given them away against myself. It ment incomplete, though it be true, the is true that deserters have, in some in- severe epithets of the article of war are stances been posted to persons from not introduced, as in the other charges, whom I had received money to provide a yet I cannot refrain from observing, that man for; but this was a practice which I though this regiment, at the time of my found when I came to the board, and suspension was deficient in numbers 88, which not thinking either criminal or er. yet, when I first took the command of it, roneous, I never contradicted. The mo. was 164 deficient. As to the charge nies arising from all these circumstances, of making a false entry in my orderly constituted publicly a fund in my hands book, relative to a decision of a regimental to be applied in finding men for the regi- court-martial, I solemnly deny the word. ment. That fund I so employed, and it ing of that entry; and it does not appear was every day diminishing; it was every on the evidence, that I ever gave any day applied towards the purpose for order on the subject, except by telling which it was received. If I originally re- the serjeant himself, whom I restored to ceived that fund for the purpose of getting his rank, to go to my serjeant major and substitutes, and was daily so applying it, to tell him to put him in orders again as I ask the House when the embezzlement serjeant, without in any manner alluding began, and by what it is proved? I entered to a court-martial at all. The man did into a competition with the recruiting for so; he communicated my general order the city of London ; I gave two guineas himself to the serjeant major, from whose more than they allowed, I held addi- misconception of the man's situation the tional boards, and got many of the best men, wording of the order must have become who otherwise would have enlisted with erroneous. To the fact of the erroneous them. I paid all the expenses of enlisting return, my answer is, that it was entirely myself. I paid all the bounties myself. I unknown to me, and occasioned by the applied the fund I had received for the circumstance of the regimental clerk purpose for which it was received. Neg- being ignorant of the discharge of some lect and delay (if even they had existed) men whose names were improperly by him in applying this fund, might call down inserted in the roll; but this seems to me upon me a military censure; but my so solely a military offence, that I shall moral character, my character as a gen- be silent upon it. tleman, will not, I trust, under these cir- Sir, to compress the substance of my decumstances, stand impeached, when no- fence into such a compass as could retain thing but the suspension of my command, the attention of the House, I do not conprevented me from expending every ceive possible, considering the voluminous chilling I had received, and when that size of my trial; but what I have not been able to do, that I trust the House will, on the more he was convinced of the justice examining into my fuller and printed de- of the sentence. It was with regret he fence, see whether it accords with the perceived that the crimes imputed to the evidence produced before the court, and unfortunate member were not, as he had whence I trust, that though my conduct, attempted to show, an error in judgment, in point of military regularity, may not be or the casual conduct of a day; but that found wholly unblamable, yet my moral he had persevered in them for a considecharacter, in my civil capacity, will not rable time. There were two or three necessarily be found to deserve that, after points to which he would call the attention the punishment I have already submitted of the House; and first, as to a converto, the effect of those epithets should sation said to have been held by this remain attached to it. I farther must unfortunate member with another colonel. beg leave to intimate to the House, that It appeared from the evidence, that the it may possibly appear to them, that the defence he had set up, on the score of court-martial did exceed their jurisdic- inadvertency, was not founded in fact. tion, in putting me on my trial on several When it was observed to him, that his articles of accusation, for which I conceive conduct was disapproved of by his general, I was responsible solely in my civil capa- what was his reply? " I dont care a city; and that as I protested against damn for my general; my brother officers that excess of jurisdiction, and I called agree with me that I should not, and I on the court or judge-advocate, to take will not." What terms were strong enough the opinion of his majesty's law officers, to reprobate such a speech? His brother on those points, and which I do not learn officers, so far from countenancing his was done-I say it may possibly be the conduct, frequently expressed their suropinion of the House, that should they prise at his having so long withheld from even be disposed to carry my punishment his men what was granted to them by still farther, in so doing, they must neces parliament, and could scarcely be induced sarily give their sanction to that which I to believe he could be guilty of such ofhumbly conceive was an unconstitutional fences. This was done at a time when act. Sir, I have not yet learned that there was considerable apprehension of there does exist any precedent of a pro- tumult and discontent in the regiments. ceeding in this House, against any of its This consideration was no small aggravamembers, grounded on any military sen- tion of his guilt. He had heard much of tence or proceeding. Dear to me as the precedents, but he should quote none of rights and privileges of this House are, it them, because he thought it unnecessary. is not for me, in my situation, to stand as Indeed in what he was doing he was fol. it were in their defence, but to leave to lowing the impulse of his own mind the House in its wisdom to decide and merely; he did not know there was one discuss, how far a precedent established in man in the House who would second his my person may aifect the relative situa- motion. The great object he had in view tion of the House and the army, and what was that of keeping up the respectability effect or possible control on the House of the militia, which was so essential to such a precedent may produce, by the safety of the country. If once the seeming to authorize, in times less con- character of that body, for honour, intestitutional, and under a less firm govern- grity, and independence should be gone, ment than that under which we live, a virtual farewell to the internal security of Great influence of the military over the members Britain. The House should not suffer a of this House. Perfectly resigned to the man to continue a member, who had done determination of the House, I here close that of which the unfortunate gentleman my defence. Mr. Cawthorne then with had been proved to be guilty. He should drew.
therefore move, “ That the said John General Smith said, that the task which Fenton Cawthorne, esq., having been had fallen to his lot, of instituting an found guilty of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, investigation into the personal misconduct 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 11th, and 13th, articles of a member of that House, was a most of charge, mentioned in the said proceedpainful one; but the performance of his ings, in the ternis expressed in the duty wus with him paramount to all other sentences given thereon by the said courtconsiderations. He had read the pro- martial, be expelled this House.” ceedings of the court-martial with great Mr. Wigley conceived that the House attention and the more he examined them, should pause before it came to a decision,