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Prisoners: Is William Penn Guilty in Manner and Form, as he stands indicted, or Not Guilty?
FORE-M. Here is our Verdict, holding forth a piece of Paper to the Clerk of the Peace, which follows;
We the Jurors, hereafter named, do find William Penn to be Guilty of Speaking or Preaching to an Assembly, met together in Gracechurch-Street, the 14th of August last, 1070. And that William Mead is Not guilty of the said Indictment.
Fore-m. Thomas Veer, Charles Milson,
Edward Bushel, Gregory Walklet,
OBSER. This both Mayor and Recorder resented as so high a rate, that they exceeded the Bounds of all Reason and Civility.
MAY. What will you be led by such a silly Fellow as Bushel? an impudent canting Fellow? I warrant you, you shall come no more upon Juries in haste: You are a Fore-man indeed, addressing himself to the Fore-man, I thought you had understood your Place better.
Rec. Gentlemen, you shall not be dismist till we have a Verdict, that the Court will accept; and you shall be lock'd up, without Meat, Drink, Fire, and Tobacco; you shall not think thus to abuse the Court; we will have a Verdict, by the help of God, or you shall starve for it.
PEN. My Jury, who are my Judges, ought not to be thus menaced; their Verdict should be free, and not compelled; the Bench ought to wait upon them, but not forestall them. I do desire that Justice may be done me, and that the Arbitrary Resolves of the Bench may not be made the Measure of my Jury's Verdict.
Rec. Stop that prating Fellow's Mouth, or put him out of the Court.
MAY. You have heard that he preach'd, that he gathered a Company of tumultuous People, and that they do not only disobey the Martial Power, but Civil also.
PEN. It is a great Mistake; we did not make the Tumult, but they that interrupted us: The Jury cannot be so ignorant, as to think, that we met there, with a Design to disturb the Civil Peace, since (1st.) we were by Force of Arms kept out of our lawful House, and met as near it in the Street,
as their soldiers would give us leave; and (2dly.) because it was no new thing (nor with the Circumstances expres'd in the Indictment) but what was usual and customary with us; 't is very well known that we are a peaceable People, and cannot offer Violence to any Man.
OBSER. The Court being ready to break up, and willing to huddle the Prisoners to their Goal, and the Jury to their Chamber, Penn spoke as follows:
PEN. The Agreement of Twelve Men is a Verdict in Law, and such a one being given by the Jury, I require the Clerk of the Peace to record it, as he will answer it at his Peril. And if the Jury bring in another Verdict contradictory to this, I affirm they are perjur'd Men in Law. And looking upon the Jury, said, You are Englishmen, mind your Privilege, give not away your Right.
BUSH. &c. Nor will we ever do it.
OBSER. One of the Jury-men pleaded Indisposition of Body, and therefore desired to be dismist.
MAY. You are as strong as any of them; starve with them; and hold your Principles.
REC. Gentlemen, You must be contented with your hard Fate, let your Patience overcome it; for the Court is resolved to have a Verdict, and that before you can be dismist.
JURY. We are agreed, we are agreed, we are agreed.
OBSER. The Court swore several Persons, to keep the Jury all Night without Meat, Drink, Fire, or any other Accommodation; they had not so much as a Chamberpot, tho' desired.
CRY. O Yes, &c.
OBSER. The Court adjourns till Seven of the Clock next Morning (being the 4th Instant, vulgarly call'd Sunday) at which time the Prisoners were brought to the Bar: The Court sat, and the Jury called to bring in their Verdict.
CRY. O Yes, &c. Silence in the Court, upon pain of Imprisonment.
The Jury's Names called over.
CLER. Are you agreed upon your Verdict?
Prisoners at the Bar. Is William Penn Guilty of the Matter whereof he stands indicted, in Manner and Form as aforesaid, or Not guilty?
FORE-M. William Penn is guilty of Speaking in Gracechurch-Street. May. To an unlawful Assembly?
BUSH. No, my Lord, we give no other Verdict than what we gave last Night; we have no other Verdict to give.
MAY. You are a factious Fellow, I'll take a Course with you.
BLOOD. I knew Mr. Bushel would not yield.
BUSH. Sir Thomas I have done according to my Conscience.
MAY. That Conscience of yours would cut my Throat.
BUSH. No, my Lord, it never shall. MAY. But I will cut yours so soon as
REC. He has inspired the Jury; he has the Spirit of Divination, methinks I feel him. I will have a positive Verdict, or you shall starve for it.
PEN. I desire to ask the Recorder one Question, Do you allow of the Verdict given of William Mead?