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gpECIAL COMMISSION AT MONMOUTH;
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each prisoner seemed anxious to leasedfnrwfl ' or ! annoyance which might be caused to his fellowprisoner by the hind-bolts or chains . Aa soon as the i first party of prisoners were Becured in the ran , i Mr . Ford returned for the remaining prisoners ! i Zephaniah Williams and Waters were the first two ! ef this party . Williams has rallied wonderfully . j He appeared quite unshaken , and without the I slightest symptom of bravado ; both he , Waters , and their companions , evinced a ma ^ l y bearing they , as well as the others , exhibited a consciousness of their truly Berious situation . Williams , Waters i and Morgan saluted the few persons permitted to re-— j emiSM * ^ -
main within the yard of the gaol . The ran having been secured , and the several turnkeys having taken their places in the front peat , it was surrounded by the Lancers , the advanced party of the laiter having their lances lowered for a charge , and thus guarded it reached the Court in a few minutes . At the entrance to tho Court , and in that part of the strset between the van and the entrance , thero was placed a large temporary palisading , formed of strong timbers , consisting of two side ? , which cotnr plelely protected the pmonors from any encroachment by the spectator * , who anxiousl y crowded around to have a view of them .
Un their reaching the Court the same expression of regret for their situation , as was made on their departure from the gaol , wu also manifested , and with the same effect , on the feelings of the prisoner themselves . For some time after the prwoneri bad entered the Court the Lancer * eoatinned to Mtral in front of it , and then they returned to their quartern . ThoJudg . s arrived in tho Square in front of the Court-houiMs about ten o ' clock , Tho carriage * were procedud by two of the London polls * with baroun . two javelinmcn , and two trumpottTu to each . Hav . higrobod themiiclve * . tneir Lordnhipn , preceded by tho Mayor , Hitfh Sheriff , and oihpr officer * of tho Court , bearing wands , followed by traiii-l > oarorHand gentlemen miners , and a small force of tho metropolitan pobce , entered the Court ,
THE COURT . At thirteen minutes past ton o ' clock their Lordships , Lord Chief Justice Tindal , Mr . Baron Parko . and Mr . Justice Williams entered the court , and lilence having been proclaimed , the names of the Justices of the Comity were called over , daring which Fcargus 0 Connor , who had arrived in town early this morning , came into ihe court , and took his seat at the barrister ' s table next to Mr . Thomas . Mr . Bellamy next proceeded t <> call the names of the Mayors , Coroners , Portreeve of Usk , tbe Grand Jury , eighteen of whom answered . Every part of the court was much crowded .
The Attorney and Solicitor General , Sergeants Ludlow and Talfonrd , with Messrs . Wightman and Talbot , appeared for the Crown ; and Sir Frederick Pollock , with Mr . Kelly and sir . Thomas , for the prisouer Frost . The twelve prisoners , John Frost , Charles Waters , Jolin Lovell , Richard Benfield , John Rees , George Turner , alias Coles , Zephaniah Williams , Edmund Ldmunds , Jenkin Morgan , Solomon Brittan , William Jones , and James Aust , were then placed at the bar . The Clerk of the Arraigns then , addressing Mr . M ' ^ ' ' Jol ) n Frost , huld up your right hand . " . i a l h ^ complying with the rcqnest , took offthe black gloves which he wore , and then held -up his hand .
The oilier prisoners having also held up their hands , the Clerk of Arraigns then proceeded to read the indictment , which he did , word for word , as it has beea already published . During the time of its being read , the prisoners at the bar seemed to pay * but little attention to it . They were of course all fully aware of its contents . Some of them were observed to speak to each other ; the only one who was engaged in conversation was Zephaniah Williams , who was engaged nearly all the time with his solicitor Mr . Owen , to whom the facility was afforded ofstanding in the dock in company with the prisoners . Frost was generally either resting his hea > i upon his right hand ( his usual attitude ) , or in looking about the Court . He seemed to watch with peculiar interest
tbe box appropriated to the London reporters . The demeanour of all the prisoners was extremely proper and quite suitable to the awful situation in which they were placed . They were all respectable and verv intelligent-looking men , and all dresned in the garb of gentlemen , with the exception of Richard Benfield , John Reece , and George Turner , alias Cole . The prisoner , Zephaniah Wi Hams , is exceedingly like a person well known at the time of tbe Irish rebellion , and who was commonly called " Watty Cox , "—the publisher at a subsequent period of a very clever and satirical magazine . Lpon the conclusion of the reading of the indictment , the . Clerk of Arraigns said , " How say you , John Frost , are you guilty of these treasons or not ?"
Mr . Frost , in a very firm tone of voice , replied i " >« ot Guilty . " : Charles Waters , in reply to the same question , made the same answer in a firm tone of voice . The ' reply of John Lovell was scarcely audible . RicharU Benfield , when his name was pronounced , turned red , replied , and then looked up to the ceiling . The answer of John Reece was given in a strong tone of voice . George Turner said " Not Guilty" before tbe question was put to him . Tho answer of
Zephaniah Williams was strong and decided . Edmund Edmonds said " Not Guilty" in a very subdued tone . Jenkins Morgan gave his answer with a rather careless expression . Solomon Britton turned pale , and then repeated " Not guilty , not guilty , " in a hurried manner . Jones and Aust muttered forth their replies in such a manner as to give tbe Court and the public the idea that they looked upon the questions put to them as a mere matter of form .
After the reading the indictment , The Attorney-General rose , and applied to Sir Frederick Pollock to state now whether he meant the prisoners to aever in their challenges , because it would determine the course to be pursued by the Crown . Sir Frederick Pollock—I appear here for John Frost only , and for him I shall certainly sever . I am not , therefore , in a situation to answer for the other prisoners , who had , perhaps , better be asked . Mr . Kelly—I also appear , my Lords , for John Frost , whose intention it is to sever in his challenges . Sir F . Pollock—It is impossible for me to state the intentions of other prisoners , and therefore they had better be asked .
Mr . Thomas—I also appear , my LordB , for some of the prisoners . Tne Lord Chief Justice—Are you assigned , Mr Thomas ? Mr . Thomas—No , my Lords . Lord Chief Justice Tinda!—Then you ought to state for whom you appear , in order that you may be assigned to them . Mr . Thomas—If it would not be inconvenient to your LordshipB , I would rather , if your Lordships will permit , that the course should be Dot to do so now , but when each prisoner is called on . Lord Chief Justice Tindal—Very well : then let it be so . '
A « S ^ ! ! ~ I i may be P ™!^ my Lords , that I should also _ State that I appear as assistant counsel in ¦ Mr . John Frost ' s case . vreW ? i 2- nSti ! Tindal-With that Mr . Thomas , two conr , ^ hl ^ f t 0 - do > M lhe Etatnte oaly directs two counsel to be assigced to each prisoner . uMn ?^^^ Were then orally called zs jg xsfjftng ; a 5 MS s ^^ a . 'fflS'S ' jiffisa tWwe ^ ° - Lord Chief Justice Tindal—Very well . The Attorney-General—The officer of the court will please then to call over the names of thn Jnrv
in tne presence of all the prisoners . Lord Chief Justice Tindal—We intend calling over the names of aU the Jurors , in order that we " ^ u ^ ? PPear » "d what excuses there are . ihe Conrt then proceeded to tall over the names oftfie jurors Bummoned , which , being upwards of dO § , took up a very considerable time . The attendance wae yery respectable , there being out of the whole panel only seventy-six -who were fined , exempted , or excused , many of whom were dead , aid others were excused under the 122 d sec . of the Mu-^ "P * Aet as town-councillors , fifteen were fined * lt . eaeh , and sixty -one were exempted or excused iroa over-age , &x . The aamea .-of the panel having been fully ealled , * 11 the prisoners were removed Irom the bar , with the exception of John Frost . The At torney-General—My Lords , I now more that we proceed with the trial of John Frost .
Sir F . Pollock then rose , and said he had an tmmble application to make to their Lordships npon the part of the prisoner at the bar , whom he defended . There was little doubt that the trial would be of considerable dnration , and he , therefere , begged that , as the prisoner had been suffering under aetual mdispoBitioH , he might be allowed the use of a ehair , as has frequently been the case .
« iJ ; v . Kelly "" And | m lM > ia ttorne ' Tooke ' s ewe , the prisoner was allowed to Bit near his counsel as a matter of favour . Sir F . Pollock—Without , my Lords , beini ? at thia moment enabled to put my hand upon a case , I would refer to the one cited by my learned friend ; out the fact is that in the present case I merely re-3 « est permission for him to have a chair in the ock . The Lord Chief Justice—Wh y , if the prisoner is at any time fatigued , he can sit down ; but is your application , Sir Frederick , that the prisoner should be allowed to sit near you } Sir F . Pollock—No , my Lords ; my humble application is . that considering the length of time which it is probable the trial will take , and that the
prisoner nas Deen in ill-health , that ho may be allowed to sit down ; he has now , my Lords , been standing watching these proceeding * . Lord Chief-Justice Tindal—Well , you know if there is at any timo the slightest inconvenience , or the prisoner is tired , it can bo bo . Sir F . Polloek— I have now , my Lord * , anothor humble appliration to make . Your Lordships will observe that tho nameB of the jurors in tho panel are arranged somewhat in an alphabetical manner , and appear to hare been arranged in Homo such order , with a degreo of considerable Industry . Now , my Lordl , u jhis may render it possible , although JJmb ft * from support it to be so , » hat ^> # ry iniyiS !? » T ! * «« f »• * *• "Iwad from persons of a p *
IKttUur standing , ! humbly hop * that jotfUwUbW will in » om « of mob j ^ fimvi ^ m ^ m , direct that the name * of the Jurori may be drawn by bailot-a coumo which your Lordtthlps will readily porcoivo mtmt be tho most impartial oiwt . Mr . Kelly , on tins name sido , ob » ervt ) d that he did not know whether hU learned fYlemto , who wore tho ' aw ofJifior * of tho Cru-wn , hud any objection , but if they had , it might be matter for tlioir Lordships ' consideration , whether tho administration of justice did Hoiri'uuiro that tho nanioH of tho jury nhuuid bo drawn by chaneo , all tho numon hoing put into a box , no that tho ditt ' erent names mlnlit be drawn by ballot , and entirely by chance . Ho did not mipuose that Inn learned frionds tho Attorney mid Solicitor-General would make any objection , becuuse that courso was adopted invariably in civil cases , and generally , or at feast frequently , adopted in criminal courts . Though he iniu-t not bo supposed for a
moment to impute anything to any one , yst their Lordbhi ps would easily see if the practice were settled that tho names should be taken alphabetically from the list it might afford means of effectiog a very unfair and partial selection . The prisoners had no control over the p eparation of tho lists of the jury . The Sheriff , or whoever prepared those lists , might very easily make a selection of persons whose names began with some of the earlier letters of the alphabet—a selection of persons known to entertain particular opinions—persons whose judgments were not without prejudice . He apprehended it was of the greatest importance iu all trials , but more especially in one like tho present , for the highest crime that could be committed , that the administration of justice and every part of it should be above suspicion , and it was quite obriou * that from the number of challengesto which each prisoner was limited , that these challenges might be exhausted before the first three or four letters of the
alphabet had been gone through ; so that theeli ' ect of persevering in the course now projected would be substantially to have everv case tried by persons whose names began with tlie earliest letters of the alphabet . It would thus give a power to select a sufficient number of persons to exhaust the challenges allowed to the prisoner before those were called to whom ho might have the greatest objection . This would be a grievous injustice , aud would lay the whole proceeding open to suspicion . He apprehended this was entirely for their Lordship ' s consideration , as it must be immaterial to tho law officers of the Crown whether the names should be put into a box aud taken by chance , or to be taken alphabetically : and therefore he hoped they would not persevere in
any objection to the application . If , however , they should do so , still it was entirely for their LordshipM discretion . Their Lordships might direct that the names should be taken as they now appeared in the list , or thrown into a box and taken by chance , and he submitted that they would direct that course to be taken which would place this important part of the present trial , and the administration of justice . entirely beyond the possibility of remark flr susplfclott He hoped the officer would be directed to call the names by chance . The Attorney-General said that if their Lordships should be of opinion that in this place for the first time the jury should bo selected by ballot , he would respectfully acquiesce , for it seemed to him a
matter of the most perfect indifference , and whatever might be their judgruent , ho should bow with trje most perfect satisfaction ; but from tho time of the 7 th William III ., down to tho present time , he believed the form of proceeding now voted for had never been adopted . The course had always been to begin with the names of the persons at the top of the list . Proceedings of this nature had been conducted before gTeat and constitutional judges , aud the rule had now come down to their Lordships , and was such as he submitted they would follow . The ground upon which it was now said there ought to be this novel mode of proceeding was thia—that the jury list was alphabetically arranged ; he must say this was the very reason why in this case there was tho less necessity for proceeding bv ballot than
in any other case . He had never seen the list till it was producedin this court . Instead of making any selection , the Sheriff had arranged the names alphabetically . There was no challenge to the array , and it m \ i 8 t t > e supposed that the list had been impartially arranged , and therefore there could be no reason for this departure . If , however , their LordshipB should think it would in the slightest dregree promote not only the administration of justice , but remove from it all suspicion , he would pray that there should be the departure from the usual course altogether . Sir F . Pollock , in reply , said , that so far as his memory served , and haviuglooked overformer panels , he could not find that any panel was alphabetically arranged , but his impression was , that on one occasion it was bo .
Chief Justice Tindal—On what occasion waa that 1 Sir F . Pollock was not able to state , but he believed it was in Brandreth ' s case . Mr . Baron Parke—The Derby case . Sir F . Pollock—It was in the year 1829 . Chief Justice Tindal—1817 . Sir F . Pollock—Then it was in October 1817 . Mr . Justice Williams—ThepersonB called upon do not appear to follow alphabetically . Sir F . Pollock—Then his friend was wrong in that
instance . In all the case 3 he had looked into since the application was made , in every instance the Jury called and sworn had not been arranged alphabetically . He presumed that , in consequence of some order , the Under-Sheriff had returned the Jury probably not in a very formal way . In Hardy ' s case , and in Home Tooke ' s , and in Brandreth's case , tho panel did not appear to have been alphabetical . Mr . Baron Parke thought that at the 014 Bailey the course was always to return the list alphabetically arranged .
Sir F . Pollock was not aware how that was , but he would point out this to their Lordships . They had a list of 318 jurors ; already the number struck off waa between seventy and eighty , leaving 230 or 240 ; and their Lordships would perceive , if this course was adopted on a solemn occasion like the present , the prisoner with his thirty-five challenges without cause , and a very small number with cauBe , and the twelve sworn could hardly dispose of more than fifty or sixty , the consequence would be that the Court could hardly get through more than a very small portion of the alphabetical list . If the Sheriff returned a list alphabetically arranged , the consequence would be this—that every gentleman in the county whose initial waa low in the alphabet , would
feel satisfied he would not be required ; or were they to commence calling a Jury sometimes from the letter A , or B , or C , so as to give every man his share , because the duties here would be much more onerous than those at the general Asaiies . The Jury had a right to say the whole burden was not to be cast upon a portion , but that others should be called on to take their ihare . His application was , that their Lordships would direct that the Jury should be draws by Ballot , and he understood preparation ! for that plan had been made . In every cave into which bis friends had looked they , found .. Ao instance where a Jury had been returned alphabetically . He . therefore , trusted that the Jury might be taken by ballot , by which satisfaction would be given relative to proceedings so important as the present .
Chief Jutice Tindal , having consulted the other Learned Judges , stated , that if this application had been opposed , the Court would not have conceded to the objection , because , so far from being injurious , it was of advantage w the prisoner . The Sheriff in ordinary cases had the right to take the list fairly and impartially , and put their names in what order he thought fit , and the usual course was for the names of the Jury to be ealled as they appear on that list ; therefore ,. they could not be any disadvantage . Tne Sheriff had arranged them in a manner that the Learned Counsel could hardly say that any person had been selected for a particular pir-
poatf . . Still , as no opposition was made by the Attorney-General , the Court would allow the names to bo called by ballot . The names of the Jurymen were then called from the balloting-box . The first name called was that of Samuel Bull , of Chepstow , victualler . The next Juryman called was Daniel Walters , farmer . Sir F . Pollocft on the part of the prisoners , challenged the Juryi % an , who accordingly withdrew . John Jones , of . Itton , farmer , was then called . fair i . Pollock asked whether he was qualified to serve as a Juryman ? , If he . were not , he ( Sir F . Pollock ) was not bound to throw away a challenge .
Mr . Jones , on being sworn , stated that he rented to the value of £ 112 a-year . Sir F . Pollock-Then I challengo him . Oliver Chapman , of Chopstow , merchant , was next called , but did not answer . William Cruihp , of Abergavonny , victualler , was called , andeworo that heTiad a rental exceeding £ 100 a ^ yenryas a qualification to aervo as a juryman . —Challenged on . the part of the prisoner . William James , of Itton , farmer , called . —He bwom that ho paid a rent of £ /» 0 . —Challenged on tho part of the prisoner . Henry Jorfes , of Chepstow , being called , jwore ttut he had lately oome into poueuion of none land . fln * jfehfah itftltBsfolvan i ? 1 «( 1 _ V «» . ILauilu •>>«/ fw ^ hJch ho had gl Tou £ 100 Not allowed for want
. ~ of . aaalifttetioa WW > -rHo wore that he paid for ront in the pariah of Absrgamuy , above IA 0 a year . —Ho not being challenged , wan sworn In to servo as a juryman for th * trial . ' Walter I ) avln , of Llangattook-nlgh-UHk , farmor , callud and hwoi-o that ho paid jL'UO a year rent . — Challenged on the part of the priHonor . TbomuH DftvioA , of Aborgavoimy , butolior , called , and 8 « oro that ho paid JC' 2 \ a year rout . —Sworn in to Horvo an a Juryman on tho trial . ' Iliehard Lowih , of Llanvair , Disuood , farmor , called . —Ho Hworo that ho paid about £ 70 or £ U 0 a , year for rent . —Sworn in to servo a » a juryman .
John Collins , of Curistchwrch , farmer , called , and swore that he paid . about £ 100 a year for ront . — Challenged on tho part of the prisoner , Kdward Jonoa , of Caorloon , flour factor , called , and swore that he paid moro than £ 100 a year for rent . —Challenged on tho part of the prisoner . Charles Williams , of Redwick . farmer , called , and swore that ho had a freehold of above JtlO a year . Challenged on the part x > f tho prisoner . Walter Lewis , of Mathern , farmer , called , and sworo ho rented a small quantity of land for £ 25 a year . Challenged on the part of the prisoner . James Long , of Lauvachas , farmer , called , and swore that he rented to the value of £ 200 a year . Challenged on the part of the prisoner .
Roes Davis , of Chepstow , draper , called , and swore that he heid freehold property of about £ 1000 value . ^ Challenged on the part of the prisoner . Thomas DaviB , of Chopstow , gentleman , called , and swore that he held a freehold of above £ 10 a year value . Challenged on the part of the prisoner . Edward Davies , of Tintern Parva , farmer , called , and swore that ho held a freehold of £ 20 a vear value . fhe Attorney-General—I challenge him on the part of tne Crowp . After a pause , Sir F . Pollock rose , and said that he thought their Lordshipa would not bo surprised to his objecting to any peremptory challenge on the part of the
Crown . Inasmuch as the Court was now h ' rat called upon to put a judicial construction on a new act of Parliament , ho should be wanting in respect to the Court , and certainly } n his duty to the prisoner at the bar , if he did not call tho attention of their Lordships to tho state of tho law as affecting tho point he intended to raiso . By the 33 rd of Edward I ., statute the 4 thj' tho privilege of preremptory challengo was given to tno prisoner , but domed to the Crown . That fitatuto had been re-enacted , with the exception of ono syllable , but in substance reenacted by tho tith of George IV ., chapter 50 , section 29 , which ran in the following terms : — ' And be it further enacted , that in all inquests to be taken before any of the Courts herein before-mentioned .
wherein tho King is a party , notwithstanding it bo alleged by them that suo for the King , that the juntre of those inquests , or some of them , bo not inafffotoit for " the King , yot Buch inquests shall not remain untakeo for that cause ; but it they that euo for the King will challengo any of those jurors , they shall assign of their challenge a cause certain ; and the truth of the samo challenge shall be inquired of according to tho custom of tho Court , and it shall be provided to tho taking of tho samo inquisition , as it Bhall be found if tho . challonjr os be true or not after tho discretion of tho Court . " Ho was aware that for a long series of years it had been considered to bo the practice , and therefore to go to tho extent of law , that the Crown
should postpone assigning its cause of challongo until the panel was gono through ; but the effect of such a practice witn respect to a panel like tho present must alarm every person who thought that tho statute of Edward , and its continuation by Peel ' s Jury Bill , offered any safety or benefit to the subject . He had , however , evor been of opinion that a monstrous iujustice would be perpetrated , if the bill so recentl y passed were to receivo a construction like that of tho old statute . In the present case , thero were to bo drawn from the balloting box about two hundred and forty names . The challenges for cause assigned , coupled , with the peremptory challenges to which the prisoner was restricted , could not bo expected to exceed fiftv .
Deducting then this fifty from the two hundred and forty , thero would remain one hundred and ninety jurors , and if tho Crown were to have the right of postponing assigning the cause of challenge until the panel was gone through , the effect would be to give it the power of selecting any twelve individuals it pleased to form tho jury for tho trial of the prisoners . If that did not afford the moans of packing a jury , he did not know what did . It was sufficient for his fmrposo to show that this might be done , for the aw of England knew no distinction between what might be done and what would be done . Such was the conclusion arrived at by one learned gentleman at a former period , and he considered it was in the discretion of the Court to interfere with the practice ; and of this their Lordships would find an account in the 24 th volume of Slate Trials .
Here the Grand Jury returned into Court , and announced that they had found a true bill against George Tomlins for a riot ; another , as to the second and third counts , against Edward Kichmonds and Thoma ? Lewis , for a conspiracy and riot ; and another against William Shellard for conspiracy and riot . Sir F . Pollock then continued . He said , that in the case of Home Tooke , who objected that the Crown ought to assign cause for challenge before the pauel was gono through , Lord Chief Justice Eyre observed that the Crown had no right of peremptory challenge , but was not bound to show cause until the panel was gone through . At the eaine time the Learned Judge added , that circumstances
having rendered it absolutely necessary to make the panel vastly more numerous than in ancient times might give to the Crown an improper advantage ; but if such advantage should be attempted to be * taken , it would be for the Court to adopt some course to prevent it . The question in the present case was , whether a juryman could be excluded from serving , if the Crown assigned no reason for its challenge . A practice which the law did not warrant had hithorto been followed iu defence to the Crown , though in opposition to the principles of the constitution , and it was an evasion , if not a repeal , of tho statute of Edward 1 . now re-enacted by Peel ' s Bill . By looking back to the legal history of past times , they would find that
a preponderating influence had been given to the Crown , and that the subject had to undergo repeated struggles , in order to be placed on au equal tooting . He need not observe that this state of things had arisen , because in former times the personal and public interest of the Sovereign was considered before justice in any matter in which he wat concerned . . Their Lordships were aware that the foundation of the practice of counsel not appearing for a prisoner agamst the sovereign was the idea that he waa bound by his allegiance not to do bo , as it waa not the Sovereign ' s interest that the innocence of the aooused should be made clear . On these grounds he called upon the Court to put a jAdSeiju construction on the bill passed only ia 1821 , and to declare that the ancient practice ; founded on deference to the of the
name Sovereign , wat what meither the prerogative had a right to demand nor aoftnd loyalty would yield . Mr . Kelly followed on the same ride . He said , that there was no point at which the practice sought to be continued by the law officers of the Crown could Btop short of that of selecting the precise Jury for the trial of the prisoner . This was really not a case depending on the construction of a statute , but was a mere point of practice , which it Wat in the discretion of the Court to regulate . The act was referred to by Mr . Justice Blackstone , who said that the privilege of peremptory challenge was granted to the prisoner , but denied to the Crown , by the act of Edward I . If , however the old practice was to be continued the Crown would have an advantage not only equal but superior to the prisoner , tot it
would give to the Crown substantially the right of peremptory challenge as long as a single Juror remained on the panel . He durst say that his learned nends on the other side might refer to some lawbook or other , in which it waslaid downaslaw that he Crown had the right now sought to be exeroised but this he denied . It might be so stated in some old text book , but it wan not a rule of construction , but a rule of practice merely . What were the terms of the 6 th George IV ., o . 60 ., s . 29 ! The aot went clearly to this extent , that the Crown had no peremptory right of challenge , though it had a right to challenge for oause , and when it was assigned , the Court might proceed according to Us discretion . There was nothing In the statute to warrant tho law
officers of the Crown to demand the right to postpono assigning itscttuse of challenge ; and though lie know that her Majesty ' s present law officers would not desire to press unfairly on the subject , ya he would ask what a fearful use might be made In other hands ofthlspowor , glvlngapreponderatln « andalino 8 tov « rwhelming power to the Crown , whlchmightbeexerted to the annihilation of the privileges of prisoners and to tho destruction of the liberty of the Bubjoet , He maintained that tho right claimed by tho Attorney . General would substantially giro the Crown the power of naming the Identical tw « lv « men who » hou d try the priwner , for he might go on olialleng . tig tho juror » without auigning eau » e , utitll at la « t mot iuto thojury-boxmoh men as he might desire . The learned Mutuel here rtfemd to the words of MpWefJwMot ^ w ^ moM fcreirl IWoek , ¦
5 ? * Ti * 5 r »•»•• » 9 » jwiraw juuge aia oy toem aamu that the Court had the power of ! nterferW to ohsn « o the praotlco without having recourse to ~ the Leglila * ture . Thii took place , too , before tho passing of the ii Goorgo IV ., in which tho Important words were iiHod , " according to tho discretion of the Court . " Ho had uIho anothor objection to the chailongo of tho jurymen . That ohallonge . he understood , was not tnudo until of tor tho juror had takon up tho book to boo worn ; and this , he contended , was too late a period . In a cane reported in Cobhett s State Trial * , |> . l . 'tf , it appeared that the prisoner challenged a juror after he had placed his hand upon the book to be sworn , and the judge who presided observed , that ho ought not to place his hand on the book until ho wan allowed as a juror . The Attorney-General now rose to address tho Court , when he was interrupted by
lhe Chief Justice—The point of practice is subordinate . Let ub first hear how the fact was . Had the juror taken the book by the direotion of the officer t Sir F . Pollock—The officer said he had . Mr . Mallyon , one of the officers—The book was certainly in the hand of the juror . The Chief Justice—For what purpose 1 For the second time ! The Attorney-General—The juror is not to take the book until he is allowed to take it . If by accident he bad laid his hand on the book , that cannot be allowed to operate against the Crown . The Chief Justice—Had the officer put the book into the juryman ' s hands 1 Had you , Mr . Bellamy , directed him to take the book ? or had you given him the book ] Mr . Bellamy—I had not . Sir F . Pollock—The other officer says he had .
The Chief Justice—The question is , had the Court delivered the book , or was it a voluntary act of the juror to take It ?
Mr . Kelly—Tho officer whose duty it is to administer tho oath Bays the juror had the book in his hand . The Chief Justice—Both are officers of this Court Mr . Justice Williams—In the case of Derby the oath had commenced , and , therefore , it was held to be too late . The Attorney-General—The time pointed out by Mr . Justice Abbott is before the officer begins to administer the oath .
The Chief Justice—What ia the meaning of " beginning" to administer the oath ? Is it the taking of the book into the band ? The difficulty with the Court does not arise upon the other point , which has been argued at so great length—it ia to determine whether the Crown waa in time with its challenge . Tho Attorney-General—The challenge waa made before the oath was bo ^ un to be administered . The officer of tho Court ( Mr . Bellamy ) , the gentleman appointed for the purpoae , says he had given no instructions whatever to administer tho oath , nor had it been regularly done . In the Derby case the same question arose , when it was laid down that the officer waa the first to look to tho prisoner ' ^ counsel , then to th « counsel for the
Crown , and each shall have the opportunity of making his challenge . Would it be said that any such form had been gone through on this occasion ? Sir F . Pollock exercised his option not to make any challenge . Was thero any opportunity afforded to the Crown to make the challenge ? and did the Crown waive it ? No such opportunity had been granted . He therefore humbly submitted nothing had been done which could be considered a beginning to administer tbe oath . If the Crown had the power , which it had exercised ever since the Reign of Edward I ., to make its challenges without In tho first instance assigning the reason , he apprehended the officers of the Crown had a clear right to exercise it on the present occasion .
The Solicitor-General felt quite satisfied that no appeal had been made for challenge by the Crown officers . Hi » impression waa , the juryman had the book in his hand to be sworn on his qualification , and that be retained it either immediately in bis hand , or had his hand upon it , up to the moment when the Attorney-General challenged . No appeal whatever was made by look , gesture , or voice to the Attorney-General to know if he had challenged ; and Mr . Bellamy h&d done that in every case . It was no part of his duty to direct that the juryman should be aworn until he was challenged or not He begged his learned friends to weigh well the consequences of their Lordships deciding in favour of
this objection ; and to consider how it most operate on prisoners and defendants should such a rule be laid down . He did not think it of importance to either side how the individual juryman was disposed of , but experience showed that it was the interest , not of the Crown , but of the prisoners , that the rule should he liberally applied , not with the stringency and rigour now proposed . It is not the question whether the Crown ought or ought not to make the objection ; they were laying down a general rule by which every prisoner afterwards subject to such a serious charge will be controlled and limited in his time of making the challenge . This , therefore , was a matter of most serious
consideration ; and it was not enough to say , both parties not being aware of what was proceeding , that the individual juryman had taken the book by accident or inadvertence ; there must be the judicial assent of tbe Court ; and unless their Lordships hod judicial knowledge that Mr . Bellamy had given due opportunity of challenge to the Attorney-General this objection could not prevail . Sir F . Pollock , in reply , said he was content to take the warning held out by his learned friend the Solicitor-General , and he would abide by its peril when it arrived . It was painful to be obliged to state anything
on one ' s own personal knowledge , but tbe facts , he apprehended , were these : —The juror had taken the oath to tell truly all that should be asked of him ; he had laid the book down . He ( Sir F . Pollock ) hod declined , on the part of the prisoner , to challenge him . He had taken the book again , and some time had passed , undoubtedly . What had passed between the Attorney-General and Mr . Bellamy heoould not say , but of this he was persuaded—there wu an interval of time , and the man , having the book in bis hand , was beginning to take the oath , when a suggestion was mode from behind the Attorney-General .
The Solicitor-General ( with some warmth )—Ton are mistaken , Sir Frederick . There was no such suggestion . I bad my eye on the juror all tbe time . Sir F . Pollock—The facts amounted to this—the officer whose duty it was to administer the oath had told the juror to take the book . The juror had taken the book in his hand , and it was not until the officer was about to pronounce the oath that the Attorney-General interfered and challenged : under these circumstances he must protest against a different practice being adopted from what had prevailed on former occasions . The Derby case decided nothing but this—that the moment the oath begins to be administered it wu too late to challenge . Taking tbe oath wu one entire proceeding , like the striking of a clock ; the first stroke wu the hour , tbe others were only necessary to explain it So with the oath ; the moment the book wu taken in hand the juror bad begun to ke sworn , and it wu too late to challeafe . ^
The Chief Jtstloe—This is a question of ( bet on wtfleb we , having ourselves »• distinct observation , eanaot dedde . We must call on tbe effloer to state whether he directed the jwot to take tbebook , or desired him to lay his hand apon it Mr . Bellamy—I have no neeUectlon of hating locked to the Attomey-GeHeral , and received either his assent or distent ; nor have I any recollection of having directed the juror to take the book , and my impressleBS are co » - finned by my son , sitting nest to ma The Lord Chief Justice—I think the fact is not nude out sufficiently clearly to allew us to interfere . Tke rule is , if the prisoner means to challenge any of the jurors , he must challenge them as they come to the book to be sworn , and before they are aworn , evidently supposing that the twe acts are simultaneous . Then is no interval between them . In this cue , if the juryman of his own accord and voluntarily took the book into his hand without the direction and sanction of the Court , that circwnatan « e nut not deprive either party
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ectlng those rules of interpretation which had iS laid down and sanctioned by time , they Werenowte theih-st time to adopt new one . ! ifr $ ^ hl ** £ by the language of the clause ItseUTtobTS v * nS&K ? n £ n i ^ ol > imP * ° P * conclusion , that the Crown isS * - to be held , to assign eause for its challenges until iu panel is complete . If there was any inconvenience ia uus course , it was for the Legislature alone to remedy it . Mr . Baron Parko and Mr . Justice Williams con . 4 curred in opinion with the Chief Justice , and both objections were overruled , the challenge for the Crown being held to be regular .
The name of EdwV Berttel , another juryman , was then called , and no objection having been madaon either side , he took the oath and bis seat in the box . John Sinus , of Abergavenny , wu next called , but was challenged ; by Sir F . Pollock , on the part of the prisoner . t Thomas Swift , timber merchant , Monmouth ; Tho * ues , of Tinterfl Parva , farmer } and Charles Hale , of Nosh , farmer , were challenged by the Counsel for the prisoner . ' There was no objection to James Holllnifs , and ho wm accordingly sworn , as was Thomas Jones , of Greathouso Nnsh , farmer .
. « . m ' HM * ofN wh , famerj James O'Hare , Mon * 1 « i tiV F ^ V iohtt K » fc « to ,-of Shireuewton , miller » SSJVftS Ts' of Rockflel * « '" M" * . wore objected to by th » Counsel for tbo prisoner . . Edt ^ tteese and Edward Smith , not being objected w » were sworn . ¦ jJ ^ fi ^ r" * " ^ " - ?* ftC 00 tttlt o « ittnealthi S ^ JSST * F * , ° «»«»* J John tteee * Mitttf , of LanmarUn i Isaac Hbmui . tmtatiM . « r m . * . ^ . .. :
, mom , of Nub i Bdward Williams , farmer , of Lao langwn Uchaj William Jamos , farmer , of Ooldoroft » John Bewitt , vUtoallor , of Abwjavoany j Hainiwl Churchill , gentleman , of Llanhowoli i Philip Bonnet , farmer , of Penhowj James Young , innkeeper and farmer , Chilstcbureb i and William Henry James , of Coerlcon , were objected to by tho Counsel for the prisoner ,
O . Baker , coopor , of Abergavenny , was not objected to on tbo part of tlio-prbonw , but was challenged by the Crown , as was William Seyex , farmer , of I «* ngap ! y . Joseph Waters , farmer , of Nash , was challenged for the prisoner . Christopher John , former , of Bedrock , was not objected to , and was accordingly sworn , as « u William Williams , farmer , of Langattock , nigh Usk . Geergo Adams , tailor , of PorUkewitt , was challenged by the Crown . Joseph Coles , cordwainer , of Shirenewton , wac struck off for wont of sufficient property qualification . Charles Boucher Ho wells , corn factor , of Abergavenny , was challenged for the prisoner . Sir Frederick Pollock here announced that the number of challenges allowed him was exhausted .
John Richards not being objected to by the Crown , was sworn . Thomas Lewis , farmer , of Whitson , not answering to his name , was fined £ 10 . David Davis , farmer , of Ragland , Isaac Williams , saddler , of Uek , William Jones , tailor , of Abergavenny , and Charles Charles , innkeeper , of Tintera Parva , were challenged for the Crown . John Capel Smith , not being objected to by the Attorney-General , was sworn , and tho officer of the Court announced that the requisite number of Jurors were sworn .
The following is the list : — John Daniel Edward Reese Thomas Davies Edmund Smith Richard Lewis Christoplitr John Edward Brittle William Williams James Hollings John Richards Thomas Jones John Capel Smith Tho A ttoraey-General then addressed the Court , and ' remarked that the hour was then a late one ; he waa anxious to pursue the course which would be most convenient to the Court , and wished to ask their Loidshlps if he should proceed to open the case ? Chief Justice Tindal said it could hardly be expected that he should be called on to open the case at that hour ; but it would , perhaps , be better tbat the Jury should hear the charge read now .
The Attorney-General having assented , the first count of the indictment , and the substance only ( with the consent of Sir F . Pollock ) of the second and third counts were read . Some bills were then brought down from the Grand Jury , found against Henry Harris , Isaac Daris , David Williams , Charles Bicknell , James Moore , William Hattord , and Thomas Ball for conspiracy and riot The Clerk of the Arraigns then said that to the indictments which he had read to the Jury , the prisoner Frost had been arraigned , and fiad pleaded Not Guilty , and it waa now their charge to inquire into the truth of that plea .
Chief Justice Tindal then addressed the Jury , and said that he was sorry that the purposes of public justice required that they should be kept absent from their friends during the trial The Sheriff had , however , taken all the pains in his power to render them u com * fortable as possible , and two bailiffs would be sworn to attend on them . Two bailiffs were then accordingly sworn for this purpose . Sir F . Pollock then appled to the Court to allow access , by the prisoner ' s attorney and counsel , to him at all reasonable hours ; and , after a short conversation , it was arranged that they should have access to him at any time after seven o ' clock in the morning , or before ten at night ., A Juror hero complained of illness , and that he would be seriously injured by being confined .
Chief Justice Tindal said that this complaint should have been urged before ; but he would have attendance , and beds had been provided by the Sheriff for the Jury . The Court adjourned at half-post five o ' clock till nine o ' clock to-morrow morning .
SPECIAL COMMISSION . Monmoutb , Wednesday , Jan . 1 , Four o'clock . This morning , pursuant to tbe adjournment of last night , the Court waa opened at seven o ' clock . The Judges having taken their seats , and the Jury having been brought into their box , Mr . Bellamy directed Joha Frost to be placed at the bar . The prisoner ' * appearance was not altered—he looked dismayed , but resigned . The names of the jury having beea called over , and Mr . Talbot having briefly stated the nature of the indictment ,
Sir F . Pollock rose . He presumed his learned friend , tbe Attorney . General , was new about to open the facto of the case ; and therefore , with their Lordships' permission , and perhaps he ought also to say with the permission of his learned friend he felt bound st the earliest moment , and this wu the first opportunity he had to take an objection , which must occur the moment his learned friend should put a witness into tbe box . The Attobnky-Gkneeal considered the objec tion most irregular . J
Sir F . Pollock had intimated his objection to his learned friend , and thought he had bis permis sion , j , > l The Attornky-Genbbal had said nothing but what he should again say to his learned friend , that any objection he had a right to make he should not oppose . Sir F . Pollock sail , if his friead wonld hear him- ' The Attobn * y-Gbnk » al objected to any motion being now made by tbe prisoner ' s counsel . Sir F . Pollock was net going to make any motion ; be was going to state that his friend could not wish to make a statement which might be prejudicial to the prisoner .
Chief Justice Tindal—Is it that the witness * shall be out of eourt . Sir F . Pollock replied , that it was not with thai object , but that the prisoner had not any list of witnesses delivered to him , pursuant to the statute , and , therefor * , no witness could be oalled ; and , therefore , ke wished to prevent his learned friead making a statement which mast be very painful , aad might bt vejodicfal . to the prisoner , and to manv ether
persons . If ke wai right in the fact , this wae m it time to make the ebjtetion , and not to suffer M * learned friead to make a skatemeat whioh he could not be tllewed * prove . His Warned friend was ott in a condition to show that the prisoner had ever had a list of the witnesses delivered to him , pursuant i » the act of Parliament : b « had had none . Chief Josiee Tlidal-If there it any objection t » the listef witnesses , that shodd hate been mad . before . " '
Sir , F . Pollock said , they had never had a list at All * * The Attorney-General would interpose . He wtm entirely , in the hands of the Court , and would most readily consent to aiy course their Lordship s might think most correct , but this case must " 'be oonducted _ , ( Cwlinved in our Eighth pag * J , *
Mo ? r * orTH , Tuxsdjly Night . _ This being the day to which the Special Ccmrniscon Ftood adjourned , the Court was opened a ; an early hour with the nsnal fonnaliiies . It may be remarked that it was yesterday preceded by the greates : bustle prevailing about tbe town and neighbourhood . The bustle was caused principally by constant a-rival of witnesses from all parts of thacountry , but especially from Newport . Not the Slightest effort was made to molest these witnesses , or to h :: r ; their feelings , even by a harsh expression . As to personal outrage , there appeared to be not the slightest idea entertained of attempting it . That it was apprehended by the authorities
was , nowever , plain from this—that small parties ° l j Lancers were sent out at different times in tie day , for the purpose of scouring the country . There w ere also to be remarked , what is not usual in so great a town a 3 this , post-choise pouring in after post-chaise , and carriages following , it might be said , in a continuona line . This accession of itrangers was also to be remarked this morning , so that by the time the Court was opened , Monmouth was filled with hundreds of the middle and upper classes ; while the addition to the numbers o ! the poorer claslfe 3 was not 3 uch as to justify any remark , in such a time aa this , as to its being m the slightest degree extraordinary .
? v * opening of the Commission , it had happened ' 3 ££ " ?? ' n Pres in « forward to see the prisoners ! aopu at tne Court-house , was accidentally wonnded ' . ey a soldier 3 bayonet , it was considered right to i nave wo&den barriers made outside the Court , which i vonld be sufficiently wide to admit the prisoners from the prison van , without the possibility of anv | fnch accident again occurring . In the interior o ' f i the Court itself several alterations were made by order of Lord Granrille Somerset , Major Marriot , ' and tne Mayor , T Bjke , Esq ., the object of which was to give increased accommodation to the reporters pose connected with the London Press hive had feudal reason to be pleased with the attention paid to them , and the facilities afforded to them Shortly after nine o ' clock the bugle sounded , and Lancers were seen advanciwr from their «* v ^ i
quarters , who , with the infantry stationed in the Ticimry of the Court-house , were reviewed in the square by their several officers . The infantry filed of i ma returned to the guard-room , while the Lancer * continued mounted and under arms . A section of tne ixmdon police , under the command of Capt ^ est marched np to the Court . They were stationed along the avenues and stairs lead-A * ' t- I Coan » a ? d beJO&d the outer iron gates . At tnis hoaj applications for admission became 5 *™ s f n * iT numerous . The police discharged their S £ k y v tut resPeetfully towards all , admitting a . W * " were Proved with tiekets . At naif . pagt nine , the van for conveying the pri-KonTrr ? ^ , l ° Urt H * " ? I * the £ > caniort Arms , followed bv twrntv-wvor , T a ^ .=
' S Ford S c ° mm ^ ^ tenant Bernard 1 iW ^ f f t ? nor of the Gaol , met the van and «« aartfi EwlF-H ^" - ^ « S& tk "W " ™™ m « d >* portion of the KAe jnrpose . of bringing out the prisoners Sho each vJZf ' ^ two Be P * fate parties of six Sco ^ Jt * * *» * lv » oVof tie first part ? : ^ 5 t ^ ¥° lf& 2 % Wi J *™ "d ^ tfecmt ^ fc j ' -j * " * bTTa ^ d eounten » Lee AT »^ b e did not evince the least shrinkingrjet he " I Son in v Plaeed , There was no alter * - I -U \ h * PP «^^^? h «^* rraiS
emaciate tCT * 7 ^\ ., w * a "oniewhat 1 &ent . Mi- Pwi n ° ^ ° ) ° f ^ loDS ^ Prison-I tlanL £ . l - 2 " »* Wed most gracefully to a gen-I KrX , * hTT " £ Dnder the « c& leading ? o I * woW « f ^ PPf ^ ee , and that of his felfow " I SSon orJSSf * T ^ " ^ rs a generS el I ^ o £ lfff- ° That expression
Mosmouth , Sunday Night . This place is already beginning to present some of ¦ flie bustle and excitement ot an assize town . There were , for instance , yesterday not less than 1 H of the Bifles , who iire now statf » ned at the school-rooms ad joining the church of Monmouth , aud within a short distance of the goal ; there » ere next the counsel for the prisoners , who came in all the eclat ¦ of their professional dignity ; and to-day there were joaohes , . some filled with witnesses , aud others laden irith London policemen . The natural shrewdness of Welshmen is profitably employed in turning the New port outrages to their pecuniary advantage . I
know that in some parts » great deal of unnecessary alarm prevaila . One rumour is , that vast bodies from Ringswood , in the neighbourhood of Bristol , are coming up to Monmouth to attend the trials , jed , if necessary , to rescue the prisoners . In alluding to the reports which I have heard . I B » y as well state one or them , in which 1 fear there ii some truth . It is this—that amongst the witnesses who were examined before the Magistrates , andafterwardsgave their testimony in presence of the Grand jarj , some have been induced by the friends of ihe prisoners to abscond , and that , therefore , they will not be forthcoming at the trials . I do not suppose that the persons who have so fled can be very
material witnesses , when it is well known that numbers of witnesses are new under the care of the Mayor ¦ of Newport , and others of them have been in Losdon , from which a few aTived to-day . Any one who had the opportunity of seeing , as 1 had , the manner m which the prosecutions were got up at the Warwick Assizes by Mr . Maule , may be quite sure that he will not have suffered a single material link in the ehain of evidence to be lost . At this moment both parties are busily engaged in preparing for the tri-. alj . The Attorney and Solicitor Generals . I am told , are here ; while , on the other side , Sir r . Pollock , Mr . F . Kelly , and Mr . Thomas have been in consultation with the solicitor for the prisoners ,
Mr . Geach . It i * impossible u yet to mrmbe what cotme will fee taken with ropect to the trials ; but 1 believe that tho endeavour will bo made , on the part of the friwnen , to postpone tho trial * to thelttett possible period . It it said that no . e of them will consent to join in their challenge , and that an at ten pi wilt even b « made to impugn tbe entire panel returned by the Sheriff . It i * supposed tiiat one great object that will be thu « sained , In case of a conviction , will be w bring tho period of carrying any sentence into execution as near to tbe C ^ ueon ' s marriage as possible , in order that such a happy event may give to these u ' -happy men the benefit of an act or mercy .
If the « liitentums be acted upon , it is probable that the first two or three days will be occupied with legal arguments , and that no trial can take place before the latter end of the week . In that case the sitting Commission will be very much prolongedan event not all improbable , should the Court act Hpon the determination which it is said Sir Nicholas Tondal his expressed , that it would be adjourned by him every day at four o ' clock . The London policemen who have already arrived do not exceed seventeen in number . It is merely intended that they shall be used for the protection of
the witnesses , and the Mayor , I understand , has given orders that in no case shall they act , unless under tne direction of special constables , who are to be responsible for their conduct . With respect to the Mayor , I may remark that he has , in present eircumstauees , many duties to perform , each of which are well and satisfactorily discharged by him . This gentleman , 1 am told , is cot a Liberal in politics , but his demeanour is certainly opposite to that of a partisan . He has shown himself to be perfectly impartial , and his anxiety is to give equal Advantages , and to do equal justice to all . The following is a communication from Merthyr : —
Merthyr Tydvil , Sunday morning . "Although bo actual outbreak has taken place , still popular ferment continues unabated , and the Chartists hold their meetings at their own houses or at their several lodges , which ar * scattered very widelv timragh the hills . * The fate of Frost and the other prisoners is with them now for the most part their all-absorbing topic They feel themselves in honour bound to exert all tie if fluence within their reach to rescue them from a disgraceful death . It is idle to deny the fact thai they wouid willingly sacrifice their own lives to save the prisoners . They look on Frost not only as a political martyr , but as one whose life ia anxiously Bought af : er to satisfy private revenue . * On Thursday nigLt a printing-press and a large quantity of type arrived , with which they intend
starting a paper . This will be their organ ; but they are resolved that it 3 tone shail not be violent , ana that it will differ very widely from the extravagant principles advocated by the Western Jlndicater . Thej also contemplate abandoning the name of Chartists , and calling themselves Reformers . They propose holding a meeting this day , which is to be addressed by a Chartist preacher . The authorities have as usual received intelligence of their intention , and will act accordingly . Dr , Thomas and Captain Howies have left here for Cardiff to meet Lord Bute , the Lord Lieutenant of Glamorganshire , whose arrival was expected . Asoon as they have completed such arrangements a ; maybe deemed expedient , they will return to Vheii dntks , which , since the riots , have been onerous , anc kisome iiistauces , perilous . "
Gpecial Commission At Monmouth;
gpECIAL COMMISSION AT MONMOUTH ;
SECOND EBITION .
. f AND LEEDS GENERAL ADVERTISER .
YOL . III . N ° . 112 . jg | SATURDAY , JANUABY ^ 184 ft . —k ^ — ^ , ,. i ' " ' is » y ' S l > y : i * '"' ' ..- ">" :. /; . 7 Fiv Shllllnga per Quarter .
Northern Star (1837-1852), Jan. 4, 1840, page unpag, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/ns/issues/king-y1kbzq92ze2665/page/1/