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His sayings, Charles aptly replied, were his own; his acts those of his ministers. He ordered well indeed when he placed Penn where he did in the New World and he meant wisely when he decreed that the red races should possess, free and forever, the lands beyond the Alleghanies. With Penn's venture we need have no more to do than to recall that so long as his control lasted or his wishes extended, the Pennsylvania Indians and their cousins of New York and Ohio, were at peace with the whites; that his words and those of his agents were trusted; that Pennsylvania sheltered the persecuted Palatines and that the Liberty Bell first rang in the city he had named Philadelphia — the City of Brotherly Love!
The Trial here recited began in London, on the first of September, 1670, a fortnight before his father's death, while the disturbance of which it was the outgrowth, occurred on the fourth of August preceding.
The text is repeated from the report embedded in the second volume of the four great folios, comprising “A Compleat Collection of State Tryals, covering the period of English justice and injustice from the reign of King Henry the Fourth to
the end of that of Anne, printed for six venturesome London booksellers, Timothy Goodwin, John Walthoe, Benjamin Tooke, John Darby, Jacob Tonson, and John Walthoe, Junior, in 1719, where is found this first record of a legal effort to punish free speech among the English race — and by the same token to vindicate it. Reported by the accused, it no less reads fair. The “Observer” whose comments interlard and conclude the “Tryal” was Penn. It was a rare proceeding in which both prisoners and jury ended up in jail for their obduracy in maintaining that right to speak as we may, which is still one of the most difficult to maintain, and yet remains the foundation of human liberty.
D. C. S. Cos Cob, Conn., March 15, 1919.
THE TRYAL of WILLIAM PENN and
WILLIAM MEAD, at the Sessions held at the Old Baily in London, the Ist, 3d, 4th, and 5th of September, 1670. Done by themselves.
PRESENT SAM. STARLING, Mayor RICHARD FORD, AlderTho. HOWEL, Recorder. man. Tho. BLOODWORTH, JOSEPH SHELDEN, AlderAlderm.
man. WILLIAM PEAK, Alderm. JOHN SMITH, Is John ROBINSON,
JAMES EDWARDS,) Alderm.
RICHARD BROWNE. CRYER. O Yes, Thomas Veer, Edward Bushel, John Hammond, Charles Milson, Gregory Walklet, John Brightman, William Plumsted, Henry Henley, Thomas Damask, Henry Michel, William Lever, John Baily.
The Form of the OATH. “You shall well and truly Try, and true “ Deliverance make betwixt our Sovereign “Lord the King, and the Prisoners at the “Bar, according to your Evidence. So “ help you God.” That William Penn, Gent. and William
Mead, late of London, Linnen-Draper, with divers other Persons to the Jurors unknown, to the Number of 300, the 14th Day of August, in the 22d Year of the King, about Eleven of the Clock in the Forenoon, the same Day, with Force and Arms, &c. in the Parish of St. Bennet Gracechurch in Bridge-Ward, London, in the Street called Gracechurch-Street, unlawfully and tumultuously did Assemble and Congregate themselves together, to the Disturbance of the Peace of the said Lord the King: And the aforesaid William Penn and William Mead, together with other Persons to the Jurors aforesaid unknown, then and there so Assembled and Congregated together; the aforesaid William Penn, by Agreement between him and William Mead before made, and by Abetment of the aforesaid William Mead, then and there, in the open Street, did take upon himself to Preach and Speak, and then and there did Preach and Speak unto the aforesaid William Mead, and other Persons there, in the Street aforesaid, being Assembled and Congregated together, by Reason whereof a great Concourse and Tumult of People in the Street aforesaid, then and there, a long