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provincés. Since 1809 the greater The sitting being terminated, his part of the strong places in Spain Majesty rose and retired amidst achave been taken after memorable clamations. sieges. The insurgents have been beat in a great number of pitched
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS. battles. England has felt that this war was approaching its termination, and that intrigues and gold were no [The following well written Melonger sufficient to nourish it. She morial was presented by Mr. Drafound herself therefore obliged to kard to the house of Commons, prechange the nature of it, and from vious to Lord Folkstone's unsuccessan auxiliary she has become a prin- ful motion on the subject.”] cipal. All she has of troops of the
MEMORIAL; line have been sent into the Penin. Humbly sheweth, sula. England, Scotland, and Ire That your Memorialist is proprie.. land are drained-English blood has tor, printer, and publisher of a newsat length howed in torrents, in seve. paper, called DR.AKARD's Stamford ral actions glorious to the French News, which is published in the arms. * * * * * * * town of Stamford, in the county of
This conflict against Carthage, Lincoln; and that he has recently which seemed as ifit would be decided been prosecuted by the King's Atin fields of battle on the ocean, or be- torney-General, on an information yond the seas, will henceforth be ex-officio, for publishing in the said dicided on the plains of Spain! When newspaper, an article on military England shall be exhausted when punishment. she shall at last have felt the evils Memorialist further states, that which for twenty years she has with he was found guilty at the last asso much cruelty poured upon the sizes for the county of Lincoln, of continent, when half her families the charges laid in the information shall be in mourning, then shall a against him; and that, in consepeal of thunder, put an end to the . quence of his conviction, he has affairs of the peninsula, the destinies been sentenced to eighicen months of her armies, and arenge Europe imprisonment in the gaol for the and Asia by finishing this second said county,—to pay a fine of two Punic war..
hundred pounds to the King, and to * “ Gentlemen Deputies of Departo give security for his good behaviour
ments to the Legislative Body, for three years, himself in four hun. “I have ordered my minister to , cred pounds, and two sureties in two lay before you the accounts of 1809 hundred pounds each. and 1810. It is the object for, which Memorialist deeming himself, and
I have called you togeiher. You in his person, the principles of the · will-sce in them the prosperous state constilution and the security of the
of my finances.—Though I have subject injured by the proceedings placed within three inonths 100 mils of the law officer's against bim,
Jions extraordinary at the disposal brings his complaint and prayer for · of my ministers of war, to defray redress before your honourable house,
the expences of new armaments humbly conceiving that he thereby wbich then appeared necessary, I acts in perfect conformity with the find myself in the foriunate situation spirit of the British law,-according of not having any new taxes to in- to which your honourable house, pose upon my people---} shall not clected by and representing the peoincrease any tax-] have no want ple, is to be considered as the peoof any augmentation in the impost." ple's peculiar guardian, and defence
against ahuse from whatever quarter right of freely discussing the meait may proceed.
sures of government, which by law And Memorialist, in justification belongs to every British subject. of the step he has taken, and And Memorialist prays for such reprompted by a feeling of gratilude, dress as your hon. house may, in Tecalls to the recollection of your its wisdom, think proper to grant, honourable house, the many former and offers to prove the truth of his instances in which the Commons of several allegations whenever your England, assembled in parliament, hon, house may be pleased to call have interfered with effect in behalf of upon him so to do. the liberties of the subject, when en- Memorialist submits to your hon. dangered by proceedings in the courts house, that the article, for publishof law; of which liberties, it is highly ing which he has been convicted and probable, not a vestige would at this punished, was, with the exception day remain, had it been adopted as a of a few sentences that in no way principle that the decisions of these alter the general import of the courts should ever be permitted to rest whole, copied into another newsundisturbed.
paper, the proprietors of which have Nevertheless, Memorialist begs to also been prosecuted for such pub. disavow an intention to cast any im- lication by the King's Attorney. putation on the jury by whom he General, but have been, by a jury was tried :-he too highly venerates of their country, fully acquitted of the right or trial by jury to question criminality. And Memorialist de. the integrity of jurymen. But Me- clares, that after a jury had thus morialist submits to your honoura- pronounced the article in his news. ble house, that, in cases of prosecu- paper, for publishing which he is tion by his Majesty's Attorney Ge. now in prison, to be in all its imneral on information ex-officio, the portant parts perfectly innocent, it peculiar disadvantages under which was again put on its trial before anothe defendant labours, which arise ther jury, who have pronounced it from the practice of the courts, are criminal. Memorialist submits to so many and important, that inno- your hon. house the impropriety and cence has but small chance of clear- indecency of such a proceeding, tend. ing itself: – which circumstance, ing, as it evidently does, to shake Memorialist humbly submits, ren- the confidence of the public in trial ders it very necessary that your hon. by jury, by opposing two juries, the house should exercise a vigilance one against the other,' and leading and controul over the proceedings of necessity, to the conclusion, that in such cases, — for otherwise the an act of injustice has been in one judges, who will allow no one to ques- case committed. ition or gainsuy the practice of their Memorialist denies, to your hon.
courts, might, under corer of regula- house, what was alledged against tions, riolate the fundamental princi- him on his trial, namely, that the ples of the law.
strongest passages in his publication Memorialist, therefore, without were omitted by the parties who coimpeaching the verdict of the jury pied the greater part of it,—and, as that tried him, grounds a complaint a proof of the fallacy of such a plea, to your hon, house on the following submits, that the extracts were procircumstances connected with his secuted by the King's Attorney-Geprosecution by the King's 'Autorney neral as well as the original; which General:- believing them to evince extracts, however, were by a jury a derumined hostility on the part of acquitted of the guilt which tht A!. certain persons now in power, to the torney-General imputed to them:
and memorialist further submits to chiefly to fall on those persons conyour hon. house, that the informa- cerned in the executive, who, by tion filed by the Attorney-General continuing the abuse, have provoked against him, did contain, in several the warmth of the attack.--Your separate counts, the respective pas- hon. house will, no doubt, be sensages in the article prosecuted, which sible, that in proportion as such atwere deemed chiefly to evince the tack is likely to be effectual, it will criminal intention of the publisher, occasion an irritation and desire of
and that all these passages, so revenge in the breasts of those condeemed highly criminal, were ex- cerned in the abuse ; who, even if tracted and published by the parties compelled to abandon it, will get who were acquitted ; and that no exert themselves to punish those by one passage which these parties o- whom they have been driver to so mitted to extract and publish, was disagreeable an expedient. -- And included in a separate count of the memorialist further submits, that information filed against your me the uncertainties and contradictions morialist. Memorialist submits, that of the law of libel, with the numethis circumstance clearly proves, thật rous advantages given by the pracin the estimation of the Attorney-Ge- tice of the court to the King's Atneral himself, the article convicted at torney-General, in cases of informaLincoln, contained nothing of a morc tion ex-officio furnish ample means dangerous nature than that which was to gratify the displeasure so enteracquitted by a jury in the court of tained by persons in power, to the King's Bench at Westminster. great injury of the subject's right of
Memorialist feels confident that free discussion, which your hon. your hon. house will learn with house is in a peculiar manner called great concern, 'that the publication upon to protect. pronounced innocent by one jury, Memorialist states to your hon. but for which your memorialist is house, that by severely censuring fined and imprisoned, was intended the frequent infliction of the disto advocate the propriety of affccting graceful and savage punishment of that alteration in the military law flogging, as used in the army, before of the land, which your hon, house the late alteration in the law,-he has since, in its wisdom, effected. has but imitated the example of the And it will no doubt excite the just first officers in the service who have jealousy of your hon. house, which in publications given by them to the represents the Commons of the coun- world, described such punishment try, that the King's Attorney-Ge- in glowing language, as destructive neral, pursuing to certain punish- of our military strength, and injument the publisher of an argument : rious to our national character. intended to pave the way for, and to These officers have deemed it their reconimend to the public a measure duty to enlarge on the horrible and since adopted by parliament. Me- disgusting circumstances attending morialist submits to your hon, house, military fogging, in order to raise that no such thing as free discussion public indignation against ils conti. can exist, if the law officers are to nuance. They have specified partitake advantage of the zealous man- cular regiments as the worst in the ner in which a discussion may be service, and have attributed their conducted, the principle of which is inferiority to flogging. They have
to attack and expose a long standing alluded to others as the best, and - but generally acknowledged abuse: have traced their pre-eminence to
and further, that, whatever blame' exemption from flogging. In short may attach to such discussion ought they have done all that your enemorialist has done ; but they have not the existing authorities; and that been foned and imprisoned ; they have the individuals most instrumental in in the contrary, been raised to the attaining them, have generally incurhighest honours of their profession. red the fate of your Memorialist, by
Memoralist appeals to your ho- the toice of the judges. nourable house, whether it be con- Memorialist further submits to sistent with the principles of the your hon. house, that it was falsely British Constitution, that what is represented to his jury, for the purdeemed laudable in persons of high pose of prejudicing their minds arank shall be held criminal in one gainst him, that he had manifested of inferior station. It was stated an attachment to the cause and perby the King's Attorney-General, to son of the enemy of his country, 'bre truly laughable for the printers of Napoleon Bonaparte: Memorialist newspapers to expeet that the same did, in consequence, bring forward, credit should be given to their mo- in an affidavit, made by him in mitives, which was justly due to the tigation of punishment, numerous intentions of general officers: but and convincing proofs to the conyour hon. house, deriving its exis- trary; and that the said Napoleon tence from the people, and of whom Bonaparte had ever been held out 10 it has been said by a respected states. abhorrence in Memorialist's newspaman, “the virtue, spirit, and es- per, as the fue of liberty and of bu" sence of which consist in its being man happiness:-and in consequence “ the express image of the feelings of certain other charges falsely las of the nation," will deem itself brought against your Memorialist, called upon to protect the people he further proved in his affidavit, from the effects of so unconstitution by extracts from his newspaper, al a maxim. And your hon. house that he was warmly attached to, will doubtless learn with great con. and had ever inculcated a high recern, that the judge who presided spect for, the constitution of his go. at the trial of your Memorialist, verament, including the kingly ofcountenanced and supported this fice as one of its most essential parts: principle so utterly repugnant to the and in contradiction to other ca. spirit of freedom, -and further laid lumnies urged against Memorialist it down to the jury, that the mea- to his jury, and wbich no doubt sures of the government were not to bad the effect of unduly prejudicing be censured out of parliament. Me- their minds against him,-his coun. moralist, as the citizen of a free sel being, by the 'practice of the state, protests against this doctrine, courts, denied leave to refute themi as subversive of his legal rigbts, at the time,-Memorialist further which he is determined to uphold proved in his affidavit, by extracts at all hazards, in bumble imitation from his newspaper, that he was no of the patriots of former times, who, common libeller,—that the liberty
in defiance of prosecutions and pu- of the press had never been disho“nishments, maintained those immu- noured in his hands,—but that the nities which by law belong to the discussion in his newspaper bad ever subject, but which by lawyers have been conducted in an impartial manbeen frequently questioned and en- ner, according to your Memorialist's dangered. And Memorialist recalls sincere conviction, without regard to to the recollection of your honour- pecuniary profit. able house, that those blessings. Your hon, house will learn with which afford persons in power a sub- surprise, that this affidavit, containject for panegyric, have only been ing passages in reprobation of the attained after a hard struggle with relentless despotism which now op
presses Europe, induced the judges' enemy, it is very possible that a of the court of King's Bench, when person in your Memorialist's, situapassing sentence on your Memorial tion shall be severely punished for ist, to accuse him of a new and un- rendering an essential service to his heard of offence--the offence of hav- country, and to the cause of truth ing published libels against an alien and virtue. power with whom this country is Your hon. house will regard' this now at war. Your hon. house must possibility with extreme concern ; be sensible that this charge cannot for what effect must it have on the be warranted by law; and your Me- public mind to know that individu. morialist appeals against the injus- als are liable to heavy fine and imtice of accusing him, when on his prisonment, for doing that which trial, of being a friend to Bonaparte, common sense, religion, and mora. and, in consequence of his refuting lity, will justify. Yet while the the calumny, charging him when present interpretations of the law of brought up to be sentenced, with libel are persisted in, it cannot be libelling that person.
pretended that to publish what is Your hon. house will perceive that called a libel is in every case a mothe Judges of the Court of King's ral crime. Bench, by accusing Memorialist of Memorialist doth instance to your having libelled the enemy, inasmuch hon. house, as a provf of what he as he has 'disapproved in strong lan- avers, the case of a person recently guage of the despotic principles prac- prosecuted by the Attorney-General, tised by the government of France, on an information er-officio for libel. have declared their opinion as to This person was told by the prewhat constitutes the crime of libel. sent Lord Chief Justice of the Court ling; which opinion doubtless regu- of King's Bench, that his publica. lates the charges given by them to tion was not less calumnious and juries when questions of Inbel come consequently not less guilty-hebefore them. And Memorialist sub- cause it might be true. But when mits that this declaration contains brought up to receive the sentence a sentence of death against free dis of the court, it was declared from cussion ; for if it be libelling to con- the Bench that if the libel, of which sure so great a tyranny as that exer- he stood convicted, were true, it cised by Bonaparte, what hope is would prove the individual libelled, left that we shall be permitted to who was at that time a member of expose the faults of our own govern- the administration, to be unfit to ment; -- and if we have no such enter the presence of his Sovereign, permission, how can we be said to and indeed unworthy of honourable possess the right of free discussion? society. · Memorialist further subunits to Memorialist need not point out -your hon. house, that the opinions to your hon. house the extreme of the judges are conveyed to juries hardship of refusing an accused iniin very strong, and frequently in dividual permission to prove the passionate language, which is calcu- truth of his publication, while the lated to overawe the minds of those absence of proof to that effect is to whom it is addressed; and that urged against him to justify the seif juries shall by any means be in- verity of his punishment. Neithre duced to conform their verdicts to will your Memorialist take up the the sentiment conveyed from the time of your hon. bouse by dwelling Bench when your Memorialist was upon that perversion of language sentenced --namely, that it is libeland violation of moral feeling, isaJous to censure tyranny even in an cluded in probouncing an individual