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Title: An Authentic History of the Cato-Street Conspiracy
Author: Wilkinson, George Theodore
Language: English
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|Transcriber’s note:                              |
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|Obvious typographic errors have been corrected.  |
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High Treason and Murder;





_With Portraits of all the Conspirators, taken during their Trials, by
Permission, and other Engravings._




_And sold by all Booksellers in the United Kingdom_.


To those, who are accustomed to look with an observant eye upon the
causes which lead to the fall and destruction of nations, the present
epoch offers materials for their most weighty consideration. They have
seen their country involved in one of the most destructive and arduous
contests ever recorded in its annals; they have seen the combined
force of the civilized world directed against its very existence; they
have witnessed its unexampled and glorious struggle; the loyalty and
patriotism of the people, and finally they have beheld it, rising at
the close of the contest, not subdued nor conquered, but towering with
renovated fame and lustre, and scattering to their loathsome dens the
dark demons of anarchy and ruin; they beheld the industrious artisan
returning to the shuttle--the laborious peasant to the plough--the
war-worn soldier was seated at his native hearth telling the story
of his battles, and the weather-beaten sailor, in the fulness of
his pride, was glorying in the wounds obtained in the defence of
his country. Peace gave to the nation its blessings, and round the
consecrated altars of our fathers knelt the children of this favoured
land in grateful prayer to that God, who had gone forth with them
in the day of battle; and who, in the wreck of surrounding kingdoms,
had vouchsafed to spread over this his protecting hand. But, in the
midst of these cheering prospects, the pestilential air of Atheism and
Infidelity was raging abroad like the blasting heat of the Simoon in
the desert, and throwing its sickening hue over the beautiful forms
of Religion and Virtue. Men, if such an exalted name can be given
them, who have openly thrown off all submission--all reverence--all
duty and love to their God; who, in the most blasphemous manner,
had reviled and denied their divine Redeemer, considered themselves
enfranchised from every moral and religious duty, from allegiance to
their earthly Sovereign and obedience to the laws of the country. In
the latter they beheld an irksome, and disagreeable restraint upon the
exercise of their degenerate passions, they tore themselves away from
the great human Society, despised its relations and its duties, and in
their midnight assemblies traitorously plotted the massacre of some
of the most exalted individuals of the country. In themselves they
united the dreadful characters of traitor, incendiary, and murderer.
Apostates from their religion, a spirit of horrible infidelity hardened
their hearts against all the tender feelings of humanity and virtue,
blinded their understandings to the dictates of truth, and rendered
them capable of the vilest crimes. But the eye of Providence watched
over their victims in the dark recesses where their hellish plots were
engendered; the Omnipresent Being marked their actions, and, at the
very moment of their expected accomplishment, dragged them forth to the
execration and vengeance of their injured country.

We live in times teeming with events of such uncommon magnitude,
that they seem to laugh to scorn all that we used to call important
in our former history. Let us not deceive ourselves. It is no petty
danger that threatens us; we are not anxious about some dubious point
of honour, nor are we contending for any secondary interest; but for
the very body and substance of our Island: not for the foliage, nor
even the branches, but for the trunk of the British Oak; that Oak so
different in all respects from the Tree of Liberty, intended to be
reared in the Country by certain pretended Patriots; that Oak beneath
which a grateful and a happy people had so long sheltered; and under
which the distressed of other countries have often found a refuge, when
driven to seek protection from the stormy blasts in their own less
happy land.

But to what are the temporal evils which now afflict the country to be
traced? Undoubtedly to apostacy in religion, and to the alarming growth
of infidelity and deism. Conspirators never found an asylum in the
habitations of Christians. The roll of turbulent revolters that History
has recorded and transmitted to us, as the assertors of the _Rights of
Men_, exhibits not one disciple of the meek and lowly Jesus. The true
believer in the doctrines of Christ feels himself, in the view of the
picture exhibited of the real Christian, grounded still stronger upon
the sure foundation of his faith upon the solid rock of this heavenly
dispensation. His soul catches new fire from the host of examples which
Christian History records: he shudders at the attempts which are made
proud and factious men to withdraw subjects from their allegiance, to
plunge them into the horrors of anarchy and civil war; he trembles with
astonishment and indignation, when men rejoice over the mangled remains
of Princes and of statesmen, and over the bloody corpses of Sovereigns
butchered by the hands of their own rebellious subjects. It is to the
progress of irreligion and the decay of morals, that the increase of
crime which now stigmatises the country, is to be attributed. It is to
the fatal neglect of their religious duties, and to the renunciation
of the blessings which Christianity offers them, that the miserable
men, whose dreadful acts are recorded in the following pages, have been
doomed to expiate their crimes on the scaffold. Religion does not leave
the interests of mankind within the contracted circle of his social
duties: its influence is extended in its protection to the utmost
possible degree. The Christian is not only obliged by his profession to
be a good man, but also to be a good citizen. He must be obedient to
the governing powers under which he is born and placed. No subtilty of
reasoning, nor any perversion of language or texts of Scripture will
countenance him in acts of rebellion against his lawful Sovereign.
Whenever, indeed, the standard of rebellion is unfortunately lifted up
against our Prince, it is the duty of the Christian to be active in his
allegiance, and to defend the Government to which he belongs, with all
possible energy.

It has, however, pleased an Almighty Providence to protect the Rulers
of this Country from the diabolical machinations of a set of lawless
wretches who sought to erect their own interest on murder, rapine,
and treason. Their names are transmitted to posterity, branded with
the most horrible crimes that disfigure human nature; their lives are
forfeited to the injured Laws of their Country: and, although they may
have attempted to console themselves with the vain belief that the
punishment for their deeds ends in this world, the dread reality has
now flashed upon them that there is also another world in which the
hardened and unrepentant sinner will meet his everlasting doom.

To the Atheist and the Infidel let the blood of these men speak with
the most solemn admonition. The time is fast approaching when the veil
of earthly things will be removed from their sight; when the cobweb
texture of their fancied theories will be torn asunder; and truth, with
its radiant light, burst upon them. Then let them pause, ere it be too
late: a dreadful example has been set before them of the effect of
irreligion and immorality. If the Atheist bear the holy name of father,
let him ponder well ere he resign his soul to everlasting perdition:
let him, as his babes cling around him, picture to himself the horrors
of that grave on which no morning breaks; and the excruciating horrors
of that death-bed which is not blessed with the hope of a future state.
Let him, in his dispassionate moments, visit the grave of the murderer
Thistlewood; let him there reflect upon the end of a life of infidelity
and irreligion; and then may that Almighty Being, who looks with a
benignant eye upon the weaknesses of his creatures, guard him from the
error of his ways, and teach him that real and substantial happiness on
earth is only to be found in RELIGION, VIRTUE, and MORALITY.


Among all the wild, wicked, and visionary schemes of which we have seen
the rise and fall, in this age of infidelity and disaffection, none
can be compared with that of which we are about to give the frightful
history, for extravagance in its origin, ferocity in its details, or
fiend-like triumph in its anticipated consummation. It is an event
which must for ever blot with disgrace the fair page of British
history, and it exhibits an awful and humiliating view of the state
of degradation to which the human mind may be brought, when once it
has cast off the fear of God, as inculcated in the divine precepts of

The present work professes to be an authentic and digested history
of the rise, progress, discovery, and termination of the atrocious
Cato-street Conspiracy; interspersed with so much of the personal
history of the individuals concerned, as may be necessary to illustrate
the principle which it is the main object of this work to inculcate,
namely, that to the abandonment of the duties of our holy religion
alone, is it to be attributed that we have men among us wicked enough
to conceive, and others so weak as to assist in, such preposterous and
atrocious schemes.

The first part contains the history of the plot; its detection; the
murder of Smithers, the peace-officer, in the execution of his duty;
particulars of the subsequent arrests; all the proceedings before the
Police Magistrates, and the Privy Council; and a full and accurate
description of the horrid weapons of destruction, and infernal
combustible machines, intended to be used by this detestable gang of

The second part contains, at great length, the TRIALS of all the
executed conspirators, and the disposal of the other persons arrested,
with a variety of additional particulars relative to the plot. The
accounts of the execution, and decapitation, which are given with great
correctness and fidelity, will be found interesting and affecting, and
the APPENDIX contains sketches of the lives and conduct of the executed
criminals, together with a copious history of the proceedings relative
to that base and infamous individual GEORGE EDWARDS, the Spy and
instigator to Treason.

The work is confidently submitted to the public, in the earnest
hope that it may be found so serious a comment on the intentions
and ultimate views of sanguinary and designing men,--who traverse
the country, intruding themselves into all classes of society, with
specious plans of reform in their mouths, but, in reality, with
revolution, massacre, and plunder in their hearts,--that every honest
man, and every Christian, may be induced to shun their councils as he
would a pestilence, and to adopt for his motto and rule of conduct the
truly-British sentiment of our forefathers,



     Place this quarter sheet, (a) containing ADDRESS, _&c._
     immediately between the Title and the Preface, and insert the
     PLATES in the following order, viz.:

Portrait of Thistlewood to face Title-page.

View of the Premises in Cato-Street      10

Portrait of Adams}
---- Hyden       }                     109
---- Monument                          167
---- Tidd                              325
---- Davidson                          339
---- Ings   }
---- Brunt  }                          378

The Execution                          385



Cato-Street Conspiracy,

_&c. &c._

On the morning of Thursday the 24th of February 1820, the metropolis
was thrown into the greatest consternation and alarm, by the
intelligence, that, in the course of the preceding evening, a most
atrocious plot to overturn the government of the country, had been
discovered, but which, by the prompt measures directed by the privy
council, who remained sitting the greatest part of night, had been
happily destroyed by the arrest and dispersion of the conspirators.
Before day-light the following proclamation was placarded in all the
leading places in and about London:--


     _Thursday, February 24, 1820_.

     Whereas _Arthur Thistlewood_ stands charged with high treason,
     and also with the wilful murder of Richard Smithers, a reward of
     _One Thousand Pounds_ is hereby offered to any person or persons
     who shall discover and apprehend, or cause to be discovered or
     apprehended, the said Arthur Thistlewood, to be paid by the
     lords commissioners of his majesty’s treasury; upon his being
     apprehended and lodged in any of his Majesty’s gaols. And all
     persons are hereby cautioned upon their allegiance not to receive
     or harbour the said Arthur Thistlewood, as any person offending
     herein will be thereby guilty of high treason.


     The above-named Arthur Thistlewood is about forty-eight years of
     age, five feet ten inches high, has a sallow complexion, long
     visage, dark hair, (a little grey), dark hazel eyes and arched
     eye-brows, a wide mouth and a good set of teeth, has a scar
     under his right jaw, is slender made, and has the appearance of
     a military man; was born in Lincolnshire, and apprenticed to an
     apothecary at Newark; usually wears a blue long coat and blue
     pantaloons, and has been a lieutenant in the militia.

The particular part of the plan of the traitorous conspirators, which
had been frustrated by their arrest the previous evening, was the
following; and its atrocity fully justified the alarming impression
which the first rumours had created.

It had been ascertained by the gang, that the greater part of his
majesty’s ministers were to dine together at the Earl of Harrowby’s,
and this was considered as a favourable opportunity for effecting
their entire extermination: Thistlewood was to have knocked at Lord
Harrowby’s door, with a letter, purporting to be a despatch, or with
a red box, such as is used in all the public offices, desiring it to
be delivered immediately to the cabinet ministers at dinner, without
delay. The servant, it was supposed, would immediately proceed with
the despatch, while Thistlewood, with another of the conspirators,
entered the hall as if to wait. They were immediately to open the
street-door, others were to come in with hand-grenades, which were to
be thrown into the house; and, in the confusion produced by them, all
the rest of the conspirators were to rush into the dining-room, where
the ministers were at dinner, and the work of assassination was to have
been instantly begun.

The sensations thus excited in the public mind, were by no means
allayed, when, in the course of the day, the details of the horrible
transaction began to develope themselves; every one felt a breathless
anxiety to probe to the bottom the secret workings of so detestable a
conspiracy, confidence between man and man became weakened, and that
social intercourse which constitutes the peculiar charm of society in
this happy country, seemed to be placed at the mercy of the midnight
assassin; the only hope left to the upright and the loyal portion of
the community was, that the discovery would finally terminate in the
beneficial result of purging society of some of the foulest members
that apparently ever moved in it.

For some time previous to the day on which the arrests took place, it
had been known to his Majesty’s government, that an attempt at the
assassination of his Majesty’s ministers was meditating, and that
Arthur Thistlewood was at the bottom of it. On Tuesday, the 22d of
February, certain advice was received, that the attempt was to be made
on Wednesday night, at the Earl of Harrowby’s, in Grosvenor-square. It
is supposed that the Earl of Harrowby’s was fixed upon, because, being
nearer the outlet from London than the residence of any other of the
cabinet ministers (Lord Westmoreland’s excepted, who lives in the same
square,) escape out of town, after the attempt had been made, would
have been more easy. Be this as it may, the conspirators, as soon as
they had ascertained that the cabinet dinner was to be held there, lost
no time in arranging their dreadful and diabolical project.

The place chosen to arrange finally their proceedings, to collect their
force, and to arm themselves, was near the Edgeware-road. John-street
is a short distance on the road, and intersected by another street,
called Cato-street.

Cato-street is rather an obscure street, and inhabited by persons in
an humble class of life; it runs from John-street into Queen-street,
and is parallel with Newnham-street. It is open at one end for the
admission of carriages, but is closed by posts at the other. The
premises occupied by the conspirators consisted of a three-stall
stable, with a loft above, in a very dilapidated condition. They
are the property of General Watson, and have been recently in the
possession of an old servant of his, who had turned cow-keeper. From
this man they had been engaged by some of the diabolical crew whose
machinations have been so happily discovered. The people in Cato-street
were utterly ignorant that the stable was let until Wednesday, when
several persons were seen to go in and out, and carefully to lock the
door after them. Some of these individuals carried sacks, and parcels
of various descriptions.

For two or three hours previous to the entrance of the stable, the
police-officers were on the spot, making their observations, but still
no suspicion was excited of the real object of their attack; and so
well was the plan of surprise laid, that, until the discharge of
fire-arms was heard, every thing remained perfectly quiet.

Thus accurately informed of the intentions of the conspirators,
warrants were issued to apprehend them while they were assembled. These
warrants were put into the hands of the police-officers, under the able
direction of Richard Birnie, Esq., the chief magistrate of Bow-street.
A detachment of the Coldstream Guards from Portman-street barracks,
were also ordered to accompany the police-officers. They proceeded to
the place of meeting in Cato-street, the police-officers proceeding
first. The conspirators had taken the precaution to place a sentinel

The military consisted of the picket-guard of the 2d Coldstream
Regiment, which was stationed in Portman-street barracks. It consisted
of thirty men, including a sergeant and corporal, and commanded by
Captain Frederick Fitzclarence, who happened to be on duty at the
time. They were called out about a quarter to eight o’clock; each
man provided with twenty rounds of ball cartridge. The detachment
immediately proceeded in the direction of the Edgware-road. The men
were not acquainted with the business on which they were called out.
They supposed a fire had taken place, and that they had been sent for
to protect the property. On their arrival within about sixty yards
of the house in Cato-street, John-street, the place of the meeting,
they were halted for a few minutes, during which they were ordered by
Captain Fitzclarence to fix bayonets and shoulder arms. They were also
enjoined to observe the strictest silence. The detachment then marched
on, but had not proceeded more than a few yards when they heard the
noise of fire-arms. They were then ordered to advance in double quick
time, and instantly came in junction with the civil officers, who had
arrived previously on the ground, and were engaged with the party in
the house.

The only approach to this pandemonium was by a narrow ladder. Ruthven,
one of the principal Bow-street officers, led the way, and he was
followed by Ellis, Smithers, Surman, and others of the patrol. On the
door being opened, about twenty-seven or thirty men were seen within,
all armed in some way or other; and some of them engaged either in
charging fire-arms, or in girding themselves in belts similar to
those worn by the military, while others were in close and earnest
deliberation. There were tables about the room, on which lay a number
of cutlasses, bayonets, pistols, sword-belts, pistol-balls in great
quantities, ball-cartridges, _&c._

As the officers entered the room, the conspirators all started up, when
Ruthven, who had been furnished with a warrant from the magistrates,
exclaimed--“We are peace-officers! Lay down your arms!” In a moment
all was confusion. The notorious Arthur Thistlewood, opposed himself
to the officers, armed with a cut-and-thrust sword of unusual length.
Ruthven attempted to secure the door, and Ellis, who had followed him
into the room, advanced towards the man, and, presenting his pistol,
exclaimed--“Drop your sword, or I’ll fire instantly!” Thistlewood
brandished his sword with increased violence, when Smithers, the other
patrol, rushed forward to seize him; and on the instant the ruffian
stabbed him to the heart. Poor Smithers fell into the arms of his
brother-officer, Ellis, exclaiming--“Oh, God! I am----” and in the next
instant was a corpse.

Whilst this deed was doing, the lights were extinguished, and a
desperate struggle ensued, in which many of the officers were severely
wounded. Surman, one of the patrol, received a musket-ball on the
temple, but fortunately it only glanced along the side of his head,
tearing up the scalp in its way. The conspirators kept up an incessant
fire; whilst it was evident to the officers that many of them were
escaping by some back way. Mr. Birnie exposed himself every where,
and encouraged the officers to do their duty, whilst the balls were
whizzing round his head. At this moment Captain Fitzclarence (a young
officer well known for his gallantry and gentlemanly conduct) arrived
at the head of the detachment of the Coldstream Guards. They surrounded
the building, and Captain Fitzclarence, with Sergeant Legge and three
files of grenadiers entered the stable, where the first object that
presented itself to their sight, was one of the party running out of
the stable, apparently with intention to make his escape. He was seized
by one of the soldiers, when the ruffian instantly approached the
gallant captain, and presented a pistol at his breast; but, as he was
in the act of pulling the trigger, Sergeant Legge rushed forward, and,
whilst attempting to put aside the destructive weapon, received the
fire upon his arm. Fortunately for this brave man, the ball glanced
along his arm, tearing the sleeve of his jacket, from the wrist to the
elbow, and only slightly wounding him.

[Illustration: _Exterior View._]

[Illustration: _Interior View._]

A black man was the next that was started from his place of
concealment; he was armed with a cutlass. He also aimed a blow at
Captain Fitzclarence, but was seized and secured by one of the
soldiers, James Basey, without any injury to the latter but a slight
cut on the finger. Then addressing himself to his friends in the house,
he exclaimed, “Fight on while you have a drop of blood in you--you may
as well die now as at another time.”

The detachment was then ordered to rush forward which they did, headed
by their captain, who darted into a stall, and seized by the collar a
fellow who was standing in it, and who grappled with him with one hand,
while he attempted to fire a pistol at him with the other, which did
not go off, the powder flashing in the pan. The miscreant still holding
firmly by the coat, the captain called out to his men to disengage
him. Two of them, James Revel and James Basey, immediately seized him,
and he surrendered himself, saying, “Do not kill me, and I’ll tell
you all.” This scene took place in the stable on the ground-floor.
It was a three-stalled stable, with a hay-loft over it, with which
it communicated by a ladder placed at one end. The detachment led by
Captain Fitzclarence then mounted the ladder and into the loft, now
filled with smoke, and only illuminated by the occasional flashes of
the fire-arms of the conspirators.

In the confusion naturally occasioned by the contest, Thistlewood
contrived to make his escape, almost unobserved, and the constables
had by this time retired for the purpose of surrounding the house, and
intercepting the flight of any others of the gang. On entering the
loft, the military came in contact with the dead body of the murdered
Smithers, (the constable), and a ruffian lying at his side all covered
with the blood of the dead man. The fellow rose, and did not appear to
have sustained any hurt or injury. Addressing himself to the soldiers,
he said, “I hope they will make a difference between the innocent and
the guilty.” Three others were next taken together; they were huddled
in a corner among some shavings. One of them jumping out said, “I
resign myself; there is no harm; I was brought in here innocent this

These four were all of them found by the soldiers in the room, making,
with the man taken below in the stall, and the two outside, seven
prisoners. The constables had previously taken two, one of whom made
his escape down the street, but was pursued and re-taken. The moment he
was caught he fired a pistol, which he had concealed on his person: it
went off, but did no injury.

Muddock, one of the soldiers, when he entered the loft, in the midst
of darkness, ran against something which he at the moment conceived
to be a part of the building. He was, however, soon undeceived, by a
wretch snapping a pistol at him, which happily missed fire. Failing in
this detestable purpose, the miscreant threw himself on the ground,
exclaiming, “_Use me honourably_,” and the gallant soldier contented
himself with making him prisoner. When this was mentioned to Captain
Fitzclarence, he asked Muddock why he had not stuck his opponent; the
reply of the brave fellow was, “Why, your honour, I had him by the
heels, and I took his pistol from him, and I wanted no more.” The
pistol was loaded nearly to the muzzle.

It is impossible to give a minute detail of the desperate conflict
which took place, or the numerous instances of personal daring
manifested by the peace-officers and the military, thus brought into
sudden contact with a band of assassins in their obscure den, and in
utter darkness. Unfortunately, this darkness favoured the escape of
many of the wretches, and the dreadful skirmish ended in the capture of
only nine of them. The military, on searching the loft, found a great
quantity of pistols, blunderbusses, swords, and pikes, about sixteen
inches long, made to screw into a handle. They also found a great many
common files, sharpened to a point at the ends, and made to be used as
pikes: they also found a large quantity of ammunition, consisting of
ball-cartridges, powder-flasks, slugs wrapt up in paper, and a sack
full of hand-grenades. The military, accompanied by the constables,
then withdrew, and proceeded to Bow-street-office with their prisoners.

The soldiers were laden with the arms and ammunition which they found
in the stable; and having delivered their prisoners and booty, four of
them were examined briefly by the Magistrates, _viz._, James Revel,
James Basey, William Curtis, and John Muddock. They identified the
prisoners who were then standing at the bar, as the persons whom they
had taken in the stable. The fire-arms and ammunition were then shown
to them, which they also identified. Captain Fitzclarence, with his
detachment, then marched back to Portman-barracks, to which also they
conveyed the arms and ammunition taken, and deposited them in the
Captain’s room.

Shortly after the arrival of the cavalcade at the police-office, in
Bow-street, Mr. Birnie, the Magistrate, arrived, and having taken
his seat at the bench, the prisoners were placed at the bar in the
following order:--

James Ings, a butcher,
James Wilson, a tailor,
Richard Bradburn, a carpenter,
James Gilchrist, a shoemaker,
Charles Cooper, a bootmaker,
Richard Tidd, a bootmaker,
John Monument, a shoemaker,
John Shaw, a carpenter, and
William Davidson, a cabinet-maker.

Davidson is a man of colour, and a worthy coadjutor of Messrs. Watson,
Thistlewood, and Co., upon many occasions. At the meeting in Finsbury
market-place, a few months ago, this fellow was one of the principal
speakers, and advised the persons assembled to go armed to all public
meetings; and was also the bearer of the black flag, with a death’s
head, in the mob which attempted to excite a tumult in Covent-garden,
during the election. When Ellis, the officer, was putting the handcuffs
on him, he amused himself by vociferating passages from the popular air
of “Scots wha ha’e wi’ Wallace bled,” and frequently exclaiming, “B--st
and d--n the eyes of all those who would not die for liberty.”

Ings is a fierce ruffian, a short stout man, apparently between 30
and 40, but of most determined aspect. His hands were covered with
blood; and as he stood at the bar, manacled to one of his wretched
confederates, his large fiery eyes glared round upon the spectators
with an expression truly horrible. The rest had nothing extraordinary
in their appearance. They were for the most part men of short stature,
mean exterior, and unmarked physiognomy.

The office was crowded with soldiers and officers, bringing in
arms and ammunition of various kinds, which had been taken on the
premises; muskets, carabines, broad-swords, pistols, blunderbusses,
belts, and cartouch-boxes, ball cartridges, gunpowder, (found loose
in the pockets of the prisoners), haversacks, and a large bundle of
singularly-constructed stilettoes. These latter were about 18 inches
long, and triangular in form: two of the sides being concave, and the
other flat; the lower extremity having been flattened, and then wrung
round spirally, so as to make a firm grip, and ending in a screw, as if
to fit into the top of a staff. Several staves indeed were produced,
fitted at one end with a screwed socket; and no doubt they were
intended to receive this formidable weapon.

The depositions of a number of officers, most of them wounded,
and several of the soldiers, having been taken, their evidence
substantiating the foregoing narrative, the prisoners were asked
whether they wished to say any thing? Cooper, and Davidson the
black, were the only ones who replied, and they merely appealed to
the officers and soldiers to say, whether they had not instantly
surrendered themselves. Ellis, the patrol, who received the murdered
body of his comrade Smithers in his arms, replied, that Davidson
had made the most resistance. At the moment when the lights were
extinguished, he had rushed out of the place, armed with a carbine, and
wearing white cross-belts. Ellis pursued him a considerable distance
along John-street; and, having caught him, they fell together, and in
the deadly struggle which ensued, Davidson discharged his carbine, but
without effect, and Ellis succeeded in securing him.

Captain Fitzclarence had seized and secured one or two of the prisoners
with his own hands, and he was not only much bruised, but his uniform
was almost torn to pieces.

We will here shortly digress, for the purpose of stating the immediate
circumstances which led to the frustration of the sanguinary plot, and
the arrest of its fiend-like authors.

It had been for some time well known to government, that Thistlewood,
forgetful of his narrow escape on the former occasion of an indictment
for High Treason[1], and, as it were, unconscious of the blessings
of that constitution, which in the equal and upright administration
of justice to all, gives to the accused party the advantage of the
conscientious doubts of the jury, and which beneficent feature in the
trial by a British Jury had alone saved him from condign punishment,
had never ceased to pursue his disloyal and traitorous designs, but
had still continued in darkness and obscurity, to hatch new plots,
as preposterous as diabolical, and to entrap new agents, as weak as
they were wicked, and as certain of being ultimately involved in the
same sacrifice to public justice, as he himself seemed devoted to by a
besotted perseverance in his horrid principles.

Conscious, however, as were the ministers that some dreadful scheme was
perfecting, and that a tremendous blow was about to be struck, they
were ignorant of the time or nature of the intended movement, until the
very day destined for its consummation, when a communication was made
to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, by Lord Harrowby,
who stated that he had that morning been stopped by a man, when riding
in St James’s-park, who delivered to him a letter, the contents of
which were, that a gang of assassins were to assassinate his Lordship
and the rest of the cabinet ministers, when assembled at his house on
the evening of that day at a cabinet dinner. His Lordship, although
he did not know the man, listened to his representation, in addition
to the contents of the letter, and afterwards consulted his brother
ministers upon the subject; and they immediately determined to postpone
the cabinet dinner.

The discovery, indeed, of the infamous wretches and their intended
diabolical act is next to a miracle, and is only to be attributed
to the determination and perseverance of the man who made the
communication to the earl of Harrowby: he called at his lordship’s
house, in Grosvenor-square, on Wednesday morning, (the 23d), between
eleven and twelve o’clock, and inquired of the porter if the noble
earl was at home? The porter replied in the negative. The man appeared
very anxious to see his lordship, but the porter did not give him any
hopes, as he refused to tell his business; the man, however, urged
the necessity of seeing his lordship, without loss of time; and at
length he observed, that if he did not see him, the porter would
not be sitting in his chair in the hall to-morrow. This observation
astonished the porter, and induced him to believe that the man really
had something of a serious and alarming nature to communicate to the
noble earl: he then told him that his lordship was riding on horseback
in the park, directed him to that part in which he was most likely to
find him, and described his groom and the livery he wore, _&c._ The
man hastened to the Park, and discovered the groom, as described by
the porter, hailed him, and asked him if the gentleman before was the
earl of Harrowby? The groom replied in the affirmative. The man then
told him, that he wanted and must speak with his lordship. The groom
informed his noble master, who immediately stopped his horse. The
man then presented a letter to him, which the earl opened and read.
The man having informed him that he had a deal more to communicate,
his lordship dismounted, and walked and talked with the man for some
time; and the result of their interview was the communication to the
secretary of state, of which we have just spoken.

Precautions were immediately taken at the secretary of state’s office,
for the discovery and apprehension of the villains. The first
intimation that was given of the affair at the office in Bow-street
was at past seven o’clock, when it was made known that a number of
officers, constables, and patrol, would be wanted. Ellis, who is a
conductor of a party of patrol, was ordered to leave his division, and
repair to the office with the men under his direction. The expedition
upon which they were to be sent was kept a secret till they started,
which was between half-past eight o’clock and nine. The place of
rendezvous of the assassins was in Cato-street, John-street, in the
Edgware-road, where the neighbours had become alarmed by a number of
strange men assembling in a stable, and a loft over it, after dark;
sacks being hung up on the inside of the windows to prevent detection.

In the course of the day inquiries had been made, and the result was,
that some desperate act was expected to take place. The ministers’
servants were armed with pistols, and two officers or constables
appointed to each residence. The Earl of Harrowby and Viscount
Castlereagh dined with the Earl of Liverpool; and at nine o’clock
they went to the secretary of state’s office for the home department,
at which time all the cabinet ministers assembled. Mr. Birnie, the
magistrate, was directed by Viscount Sidmouth to be in Cato-street,
and in readiness to act in case of emergency. A party of the guards,
under the command of Captain Fitzclarence, was ordered to march to
Cato-street, to assist the police, if necessary. Unfortunately,
however, they were not clearly directed, or they did not understand
where the place was, as they were at the contrary end of the street
when the assassins commenced their murderous attack upon the officers,
and it was only by the discharge of pistols that they found out where
the building was. When the police-officers arrived, they found two
sentinels at the door, armed with guns and swords. These opposed
their admittance without the pass-word. The officers, however, soon
overpowered and secured them. They then gave an alarm, and the officers
heard by the noise in the loft that several persons were up stairs.
They ascended to the loft by a ladder which the conspirators themselves
had used; when the contest, which we have already described, ending in
the arrest of most of the conspirators, took place.

The same sources of information which led to the detection of
the conspiracy enabled the magistrates to trace the hiding-place
of Thistlewood. Instead of returning to his own lodgings in
Stanhope-street, Clare-market, it was discovered that he had proceeded
to an obscure house, No. 8, White-street, Little Moorfields. Thither,
at nine o’clock on Thursday morning, the 24th of February, Lavender,
Bishop, Ruthven, Salmon, and six of the patrol, were despatched. On
arriving at the house, three of the latter were placed at the front,
and three at the back door, to prevent escape. Bishop observed a room
on the ground-floor, the door of which he tried to open, but found it
locked. He called to a woman in the opposite apartment, whose name
is Harris, to fetch him the key. She hesitated, but at last brought
it. He then opened the door softly. The light was partially excluded,
from the shutters being shut; but he perceived a bed in the corner,
and advanced. At that instant a head was gently raised from under the
blankets, and the countenance of Thistlewood was presented to his
view. Bishop drew a pistol, and presenting it at him, exclaimed, “Mr.
Thistlewood, I am a Bow-street officer; you are my prisoner:” and then,
“to make assurance doubly sure,” he threw himself upon him. Thistlewood
said, he would make no resistance. Lavender, Ruthven, and Salmon,
were then called, and the prisoner was permitted to rise. He had his
breeches and stockings on, and seemed much agitated. On being dressed,
he was handcuffed; in his pockets were found some ball-cartridges
and flints, the black girdle, or belt, which he was seen to wear in
Cato-street, and a sort of military silk sash.

A hackney-coach was then sent for, and he was conveyed to Bow-street.
In his way thither he was asked by Bishop, what he meant to do with the
ball-cartridges; he declined answering any questions. He was followed
by a crowd of persons, who repeatedly cried out, “Hang the villain!
hang the assassin!” and used other exclamations of a similar nature.

When he arrived at Bow-street, he was first taken into the public
office, but subsequently into a private room, where he was heard,
unguardedly, to say, that “he knew he had killed one man, and he only
hoped it was Stafford;” meaning Mr. Stafford, the chief clerk of the
office, to whose unremitting exertions in the detection of public
delinquents too much praise cannot be given.

Mr. Birnie, having taken a short examination of the prisoner, sent
him to Whitehall to be examined by the Privy-Council. Here the crowd
was as great as that which had been collected in Bow-street. Persons
of the highest rank came pouring into the Home Office, to learn the
particulars of what had transpired.

The arrest of Thistlewood was heard with infinite satisfaction; he was
placed in a room on the ground-floor, and a vast number of persons
were admitted in their turn to see him. His appearance was most
forbidding. His countenance, at all times unfavourable, seemed now to
have acquired an additional degree of malignity. His dark eye turned
upon the spectators as they came in, as if he expected to see some of
his companions in guilt, who he had heard were to be brought thither.
He drank some porter that was handed to him, and occasionally asked
questions, principally as to the names of the persons who came to look
at him. Then he asked “to what gaol he should be sent?--he hoped not to
Horsham.” (This was the place in which he was confined, in consequence
of his conviction for sending a challenge to Lord Sidmouth.)

At two o’clock he was conducted before the Privy-Council. He was
still handcuffed, but mounted the stairs with alacrity. On entering
the council-chamber he was placed at the foot of the table. He was
then addressed by the Lord Chancellor, who informed him that he stood
charged with the twofold crime of treason and murder; and asked him
whether he had anything to say for himself? He answered, that “he
should decline saying any thing on that occasion.”

No persons were suffered to have access except those on business to the
public offices at Whitehall, nor was any individual allowed to hold
communication with the prisoner. About a dozen soldiers were in the
hall and adjoining lodge; they formed a part of the military escort
that accompanied the police-officers to the spot where Thistlewood
and his companions were first discovered. The soldiers had with them
the different articles and weapons found upon the party when taken,
among which were two small pistols, one of them loaded, and a bundle
of files, similar to those used in small brasswork. The points of such
files are always sharp, and the part of the file which goes into the
handle is necessarily pointed, to penetrate the hole made in the wood
for its reception; some of the files appeared, however, to have had the
handle-points brightened, and the ends made more fine, as if by being
whetted upon a stone. There were also in the hall two or three bags,
containing three bayonets and some ammunition, made up in both small
and large cartridges. The soldiers who had seized those articles were
examined before the Privy-Council. After his examination, Thistlewood
was taken back to the room in which he had been previously placed; his
commitment to Coldbath-fields was made out, and he was conveyed to that
prison under the care of six officers. There was a partial shouting and
groaning, as the carriage in which he was placed drove off.

The appearance of Thistlewood at this time was wretched in the extreme.
When in custody with Watson, Preston, and Hooper, on the charge for
high treason, he was a stout, active, cheerful-looking man, with
something of a fearless and determined cast of features. His deportment
at that time was free and unembarassed, with much of the air of a
sea-faring man. Within the six months previous to the present arrest,
his appearance had, in every respect, undergone a total change; he
had been seen constantly in the streets, dressed in a shabby manner;
his countenance squalid and emaciated, and his whole dress and the
expression of his features, denoting a man who was reduced to a state
of extreme indigence. He was generally observed walking or running
through the streets with eager impetuosity, and his shoes and an old
surtout coat, which he generally wore, bearing all the marks of the
poverty and distressed circumstances of the wearer.

When before the Privy-Council, his dress was an old black coat and
waistcoat, which were thread-bare, corduroy breeches very much worn,
and old worsted stockings. His general appearance indicated great
distress; his limbs were slender, and his countenance squalid and
somewhat dejected. There was nothing of agitation in his manner. He sat
with his eyes chiefly fixed on the ground, except when he occasionally
raised them to survey Members of the Privy-Council, as they passed
through the hall on their way to the Council-room.

The following Privy-Councillors were present at his examination:--The
Duke of Wellington, the Earls of Harrowby, Liverpool, and Westmoreland,
Lords Sidmouth, Castlereagh, and Melville, the Chancellor of the
Exchequer, Mr. Canning, Mr. Wellesley Pole, Sir William Scott, the
Chief Baron of Scotland, the ex-Attorney-general, (Sir S. Shepherd),
Mr. Bragge Bathurst, and other members of the cabinet.

It is impossible to describe the anxiety and horror which pervaded the
countenances of thousands of persons who went to view the scene of
action the day after the arrest. Through the whole of the day, and till
very late in the evening, several persons of the highest consideration
in the country visited the place. A man no way authorized, took
possession of the place, and imposed on the public by demanding a
shilling from each person for admission.

The alarm in the neighbourhood, on hearing the report of fire-arms, and
the noise of contest on premises which they considered untenanted, may
be more easily conceived than described. It was heightened by every
circumstance of terror that the imagination could form to itself.
The house was surrounded with soldiers and police-officers--fighting
was heard within--officers were obscurely seen scaling a ladder and
entering the scene of battle, while their fate and the cause of the
combat were entirely unknown. Some of the persons belonging to the
public-house adjoining, after running to the spot, fled in dismay when
they heard the balls whistling about their ears.

Several of the inhabitants of Cato-street had observed, since the
preceding Monday, strange-looking men coming about the empty premises.
On the morning of Wednesday, (the day of the arrest) they saw
Davidson, the man of colour, and three others, watching at different
ends of the street, while some of their associates were heard nailing
up the windows within the loft. Before dusk Davidson again made his
appearance, with a sack on his back, which the neighbours at the time
supposed to contain carpenters’ tools for repairing or new-modelling
the interior of the building, but which had in fact conveyed the arms
with which they were to equip themselves for their daring enterprise.
After the arsenal was formed, the band arrived; and the people in the
public-house were surprised, if not alarmed, to see upwards of twenty
persons, entire strangers to the place, hovering about their premises,
and at last entering the den. Still they had no suspicion of what was
going forward, and no presentiment of what was in a short time to
occur. The police soon arrived, and the murderous struggle took place
which we have already described.

The body of Smithers, who was murdered, was removed to the Horse and
Groom public-house, opposite. He must have died instantly, and without
convulsion. He received only one wound, about an inch below his right
breast, and about an inch in width. His body was exposed in a room on
the first floor of the public-house, above-mentioned, in the dress
in which he was killed. His breast and neck were covered with blood,
but his countenance was as placid, and his features as composed, as
if their expression had been arrested, and life extinguished, during
a tranquil sleep. On his death being mentioned to Lord Sidmouth, his
Lordship expressed great regret at the event, and sympathy for his
surviving widow; saying, with great humanity, that, as he could not,
restore to her her husband, he would take care that she should not want
his assistance in a pecuniary point of view. The unfortunate man’s
sister, from Putney, was one of the first to view the dead body of her
brother, and deeply affected the spectators with the poignancy of her

The sword with which the murder of Smithers was perpetrated is of
foreign manufacture, and nearly a foot longer than those which we are
ordinarily in the habit of seeing.

A lady, of the name of Northmore, who lives in a street immediately
adjoining that in which the conspirators assembled, found a _sabre_ in
her yard, which had been thrown away by one of the gang, in his flight.
This also is a weapon of foreign manufacture, and, from its appearance,
had evidently been ground within a day or two. It was perfectly sharp
on both sides, and, in addition to its brass hilt, there was attached
to it a handkerchief, so disposed as to afford a sort of guard for the
arm. Mrs. Northmore, on finding the weapon, sent for a friend, who
advised her to transmit it to Bow-street. This was accordingly done;
and, extraordinary to relate, it was recognised by an active member of
that establishment as exactly representing one of two sabres, of which
a description had been given at the office, and which were known to
have been lately taken to a cutler, for the purpose of grinding.

The hand-grenades found in the loft, and produced in the examination,
are about the size of a large orange, made of cast-iron, filled with
combustibles; they have a round hole, in which is placed a fuse,
which, on being set fire to, is thrown by the hand, and when it
falls it explodes: the splinters caused by the explosion spread in
all directions, and one of them has been known to kill ten or twelve
persons. It was intended to explode these horrible instruments at the
Earl of Harrowby’s house.

After the committal of Thistlewood by the Privy-Council, the whole of
the prisoners underwent an examination, likewise by the Privy-Council;
and on their being re-committed, one of them proposed to become king’s
evidence, which offer was accepted.

During the attendance of Mr. Birnie upon the Privy-Council on
Thistlewood’s examination, the officers arrived at Bow-street, with all
the persons found in the house where Thistlewood had been apprehended,
and Mr. J. E. CONANT, the magistrate, proceeded with their examination;
they consisted of the landlady of the house, Mrs. Hill, a lodger, and
Lewis Casper, a man who did not lodge in it.

ELIZABETH HARRIS, the landlady, stated, that her husband worked at the
letter-foundry of Messrs. Caslon and Catherwood, in Chiswell-street,
Moorfields. On Wednesday, the 23d of February, she had a bill in
her window to let her lodgings, when in the morning, between ten
and eleven o’clock, Thistlewood came into her house, and inquired
about the lodging: she told him it was only half a bed with her
nephew. Thistlewood agreed for the half bed, for which he was to pay
two shillings and sixpence a week, and was to take possession of
it that night. She at first said, that she had a slight knowledge
of Thistlewood, but denied it afterwards. It was supposed she was
concealing him, as he was locked up in the room. This she explained,
by saying the door flew open, and she could not keep it shut without
locking it. She said Thistlewood arrived at her house between ten and
eleven o’clock on Wednesday night: he observed that he was late; she
replied he was late, and she had almost given him up. He then went to
bed. Her street-door standing open only by a latch, the officers had
entered and searched the upper part before she knew they were there,
when they asked her to unlock the door where Thistlewood was in bed,
which she instantly did. She did not know Lewis Casper had been in her
house till she found him in the coach with her when they were brought

LEWIS CASPER stated himself to be a watch-finisher, residing in
Union-street, Bishopsgate, and accounted for his being in the house by
saying he was with Mrs. Hill, the lodger, who washed for him, and he
appointed his little boy to call for a key there.

This man was detained till it was ascertained if he was the man he
represented himself to be. Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Hill were discharged
for the present.

In the course of Thursday, the 24th of February, the following persons
were arrested as concerned in the conspiracy:--

BRUNT, who was to have been second in command to Thistlewood. He was
a shoemaker; an excellent workman, and earned between forty and fifty
shillings a week. He was taken in bed. He had previously provided
himself with a sword and a brace of pistols, in case of need, but he
did not make use of them on this occasion. He was apprehended at his
lodgings in Fox-court, Gray’s-inn-lane; in his room a vast quantity of
hand-grenades, and other combustibles, were found. These were charged
with powder, pieces of old iron, and other materials, calculated upon
explosion to produce the most horrible consequences. A great number of
pike-blades, or stilettoes, such as were discovered in Cato-street, and
a number of fire-arms, were likewise found. The whole of these were
taken to Bow-street. He was afterwards sent to Whitehall, and then
committed to Coldbath-fields.

FIRTH, the person by whom the stable was let to Harris. He admitted
that he has attended some of the Radical meetings, but denied any
knowledge of the conspiracy.

COOPER, a shoemaker, living in Garden-court, Baldwin’s-gardens: he was
apprehended in the middle of the day.

SIMMONS, a footman, living with a respectable family in
Seymour-street. He underwent an examination before the secretary of
state for the home department, and another before the magistrates at
Bow-street, was ultimately committed to Tothill-fields’ prison.

TADD, a shoemaker, of whom the following account was given at the
period of his arrest. He is a man of the age of 49, and lived with
his wife and family in a small and miserable dwelling situated in
the Hole-in-the-Wall-passage, leading from Baldwin’s-gardens to
Torrington-street. His family consists of one daughter, and two orphan
children, whom he had taken under his care. Tadd has been esteemed
among his neighbours, and by those who have employed him in his trade,
as an industrious sober man, and an excellent workman. He has earned
by his own hands forty shillings a week, and very often even a greater
sum. During the whole course of his life, he was never known to neglect
his work, or become inebriated; but within the last week he had been
in a drunken state, and his family had been at a loss to account for
the extraordinary change in his conduct. On Wednesday night, three men
came to Tadd while in such a state of drunkenness as scarcely to be
able to keep his legs, and forced him away, notwithstanding the earnest
entreaties and remonstrances of his wife and family. Nothing was said
by the men who took him away, as to their object, either to the wife
or any one in the house; and during the whole night, and the greater
part of the next day, they were in total ignorance of the circumstances
since disclosed, and were at a loss to account for the absence of
Tadd. In the morning (Thursday), between seven and eight o’clock, two
men came to the house, laden with a box of a considerable size, and,
putting it down on the floor, said, “they would call in a few minutes
for it.” The men refused to answer the interrogatories put to them as
to their object in leaving the box, and only repeated, that, they
would call in a short time, and take it away. Very soon afterwards,
two more men came with a large bundle of sticks, some of them of the
thickness of a man’s wrist. These were left in a similar manner, and
the men also refused to answer any questions, saying only, that they
would call again for them in a few minutes. Ten minutes had not elapsed
before two police-officers entered the house, and seized the box and
sticks. When opened, the box was discovered to contain a great number
of pike-heads, sharpened ready for use. The sticks were also seized,
and carried away by the officers. It would appear, from this statement,
that Tadd was taken by the three men whom we have described to the
stable in Cato-street, where he was subsequently apprehended, and
carried to Bow-street, together with several others.

ROBERT ADAMS, living in a miserable hovel in Brooks’-market, Holborn,
and working as a shoemaker. He some time since was a private in the
Royal Horse-guards, in which regiment he served for five years. He very
much resembles Thistlewood in his person, but has a cast in his left

In addition to these arrests, several warrants were issued, among which
was one against a native of France.

The lodgings of Thistlewood, and of all the others who were taken into
custody, were searched, and several important papers, and quantities of
arms, were discovered and seized. Among those found in Thistlewood’s
apartment was a copy of the bill furnished to Dr. WATSON by Mr. Ottley,
owner of the Crown and Anchor Tavern, in the Strand, for the expenses
of the dinner given to Hunt, on his return from Manchester. Judging
from his former connexions, it may be considered as fortunate for the
Doctor that he was not able to liquidate this debt, being at the time
of the arrests an inmate of Whitecross-street prison on account of
this bill, and thus saved from the temptation of joining his former

It is a singular fact, that when Thistlewood was arrested, he had not a
farthing of money in his possession. The same observation may be made
with respect to his comrades, all of whom were in the most wretched
state of poverty.

We will here suspend for a time the particulars of the proceedings
against the Conspirators, for the purpose of recording the proceedings
of the CORONER’S INQUEST on the body of RICHARD SMITHERS, the
unfortunate Bow-street officer, who was murdered, as before stated,
when in the execution of his duty, in Cato-street. The inquest was
held on Friday the 25th February, at the Horse and Groom public-house,
John-street, Edgeware-road, which is situated but a few yards from the
spot where the atrocious deed was perpetrated. In the course of the
day great numbers of persons visited the miserable building which the
Conspirators had selected as the scene of their deliberations, and one
universal feeling of horror and detestation against Thistlewood and his
infamous associates appeared to actuate the multitude.

The Coroner for the county of Middlesex, THOMAS STIRLING, Esq., having
arrived, and proclamation having been made by the beadle of the parish
of St. Mary-le-bone, that the Jury summoned should proceed to inquire
“when, how, and by what means, Richard Smithers came by his death,” the
Jury were sworn.

The foreman of the jury observed to the coroner, that he and his
fellow-jurors wished to inspect the body in the presence of the
surgeon, in order that he might be ready to answer any question that
might arise on the moment. This suggestion was complied with; and on
the return of the jury from viewing the body,

Mr. FISHER, the surgeon, was sworn, and deposed as follows:--I am
surgeon to the Police establishment in Bow-street. I was called upon
for the first time, this day, to examine the body of the deceased. I
found an external wound under the right breast. It was two inches in
length, and half an inch broad. I opened the body to ascertain the
depth and direction of the wound, and I discovered that some sharp
instrument had penetrated between the fifth and sixth ribs, wounded
the outward surface of the right lobe of the liver, passed through the
diaphragm into the chest, lacerated the pericardium, penetrated the
right ventricle of the heart, wounded the left lobe of the lungs, and
struck against the ribs on the left side. The wound I supposed to be
about twelve inches in length. The blood flowed from the heart, and
occasioned immediate death. The opening in the pericardium was larger
than that presented by the external wound, which was always the case
with wounds of this description. The weapon was prevented from passing
entirely through the body by the ribs on the left side. It must have
been a very sharp instrument, both pointed and cutting, to make such
a wound. The membranes, which were cut asunder, could only have been
severed by an exceedingly sharp instrument. That death was inevitable
after such a wound, the heart having been cut open, and the blood
effused into the cavity of the chest.

GEORGE THOMAS RUTHVEN being sworn, said, I am an officer belonging
to the public-office in Bow-street. On Wednesday evening last, at
half-past eight o’clock, I was in this house. I received an order from
Mr. Birnie, who is a Justice of the Peace for the county of Middlesex,
to go to a shed or stable in Cato-street, in consequence of a number
of men being assembled there for treasonable purposes. There was a
warrant issued by Mr. Baker, a magistrate of Marlborough-street. On
entering the house, I observed in the lower place a man with a cutlass
at his side, and a musket on his shoulder. The door by which I entered
from the street was not fast; there were persons going in and out; the
man with the musket seemed as if he was guarding the staircase; there
was only one man on guard. Ellis, Smithers, the deceased, and several
others, went in with me. I don’t know how they came in. They were of
course ordered. They were all constables, in number about a dozen. I
was the first person that entered. Mr. Birnie, the magistrate, was
not there at that time; he was at hand in the street, giving orders.
The man who stood at the door as sentinel was walking about. I did
not stop to see what he did particularly, but immediately called out
to some of the party who followed to secure him. I am not aware that
they did secure him, for I immediately went up the stairs. I believe
that man was taken; but I am not aware that he was apprehended then; I
believe he was caught afterwards. I ascended by a sort of step-ladder
staircase. The stairs were so narrow, that the officers were obliged
to go one by one. When I got up to the top of the ladder, I observed
a sort of table or carpenter’s bench, and a number of arms on it.
Thistlewood was on the right-hand side of the table. I know Thistlewood
very well. I have followed him for days and nights together. I think
about twenty-four or twenty-five persons were assembled. There were
different sorts of arms on the table: a variety of pistols and swords.
They looked as if they were sorted out. They were handing about as if
they were giving or distributing them to each other. Arthur Thistlewood
was one. I am quite certain that he was present: I have followed him
for days together. He stood by the side of the table handing arms
about. He had on a sort of a long brown coat, I think. I knew him as
well as I knew my father; quite as well. I could not be mistaken. I
have no doubt whatever as to the identity of Thistlewood. As soon as
I thought that three or four of the party were up, I said aloud, “We
are officers, seize their arms.” I did this to warn the people who we
were. As soon as I said this, they each took up what they could from
the table, and retired to the farther part of the room. Thistlewood,
being near a door that leads into a little closet over the coach-house,
retired into that room. He was not further from the door of the little
room than I am from that gentleman who is writing there (pointing
to a gentleman who sat writing within about four feet of witness).
There were others in that little room; how they got in there I cannot
tell. I suppose there were five or six, or four or five persons in
it. The whole party appeared at that time to be armed. Thistlewood,
as he retired, had a sword in his hand, which he moved in a menacing
way to keep the officers off. He was not striking with it, but moving
his arm round as if to make a stab. The sword appeared bright. As we
approached, he retired; and Smithers, who was within a pace of me to
the right, stepped forward with his staff. Thistlewood immediately
stabbed him, and he fell on me. A pistol was then fired; I know not by
whom. I saw the swords of the party directed against the candles, which
were immediately put out. Thistlewood stabbed the deceased in the right
side as he approached. He did not come out of the little room to do it.
He was within the little room, and thrust forward his arm to strike the
blow. I saw the sword he carried; it was bright, and glittered. I did
not see the hilt. It was a long blade, three feet and a half or four
feet long. It appeared straight; but he waved it in such a way, that my
eyes might have deceived me as to its shape.

When Smithers fell, he fell upon me, being stabbed on the right side,
and I standing a little to his left. I could not at the moment tell
whether he appeared to be much injured. In falling, he said, “Oh, Lord!
Oh, my God! I am done!” I believe these were his words, or something of
that sort.

I don’t know whether Thistlewood drew the weapon out of his body; for
instantaneously a pistol was fired, and the lights were put out. I
have been enabled to recognise three of the persons who were in the
room, besides Thistlewood, I think, since. They are Shaw Strange; he
has another name; a man named Blackburn, and James Wilson. There was
another man who stood at the door, and fired at a sergeant; his name is
Tidd: I don’t know his christian name. The sergeant at whom he fired is
present. Tidd first attempted to fire a pistol at Captain Fitzclarence.
I seized his arm, and he pulled me down on him. I called on the
sergeant to take the pistol from him, and he fired at the sergeant and
tore his clothes. I am sure that Blackburn, Wilson, Shaw Strange, and
Tidd, were present. There were also two other persons taken, who had
been in this house (the Horse and Groom) in the course of the evening.
I did not recognise them in the room; but I know they were apprehended,
and, I believe, admitted that they had been there. They left a stick
behind them in the Horse and Groom; the end of it was evidently cut for
the purpose of holding a weapon.

It was like a broom-stick, with a hole cut in the top. The persons
that I allude to have admitted that they were in the room at the time
the officers entered; but I do not know it. One of them was taken by
Captain Fitzclarence; I have seen him here before. These two persons
came in to drink a pint of porter, and left the stick behind them in a
mistake. One of them came back, and asked for a little walking-stick.
The boy, who thought it a queer sort of a stick, had taken it
up-stairs, but returned it to the person who called for it. That stick
was at the public-office. These persons called at the Horse and Groom
an hour before the officers proceeded to the loft. Nothing took place
before the party fired, except my exclaiming, “We are officers--take
their arms.” When Smithers fell, a pistol was fired, and the lights
were put out. I cannot say by whom the pistol was fired. The moment
Smithers fell, somebody in the room where Thistlewood was, cried
out--“Kill the b----rs; throw them down stairs!” I also cried, “Aye,
kill them,” that they might mistake me for a friend. There were nine
persons taken that night. I was not present at the apprehension of all
of them. While I was securing two of them the rest were brought in.
After I had secured Tidd, Wilson, and Blackburn, I proceeded to secure
the others; they were then conveyed to Bow-street, and afterwards to
the House of Correction.

Several of the party escaped; nine only being taken, and the number in
the room appearing to me to be about twenty-five.

When the prisoners were secured by the soldiers, I went up into the
loft, and saw Smithers lying on his face; this was twenty minutes or
half an hour after the entrance had been made. There were hand-grenades
and arms lying about the room. I had no time before to pay attention
to Smithers. A man below stairs endeavoured to escape from the door;
he had a pistol in his hand. I called out, “Secure that man!” When
I did so, he lifted his arm, and attempted to fire the pistol at
Captain Fitzclarence; I caught hold of him, and the sergeant coming
up, I desired him to take the pistol. The man fired, and struck the
sergeant’s coat with a bullet.

I believe only four of us got up. The party in the room fired directly
at the staircase, thinking we were coming up in numbers. If they had
not done so, they would have killed me, for I stood at one side of it.

There was somebody below who I expected would take care of the
sentinel; but, in the confusion, he was handed from one to another,
and thus escaped for a few minutes. It was quite dark, and I could not
see the party escaping. There were, I think, twenty shots fired at us.
It appeared to me as if some shots were fired from the window into the
street to create alarm. The whole civil power present on the occasion
was not more than twelve or fourteen men. I do not know the man who
was acting as sentinel; I believe his name is Davidson. He is a man of
colour. I had not time to notice him particularly. I believe he was the
man who was walking at the foot of the stairs, with a cutlass by his
side, and a musket on his shoulder. I believe there was one light in
the lower part of the building where he was. Some one, however, cried
out, “They are up-stairs,” and we heard the clashing of arms. I cannot
identify the man who was below stairs, I cannot swear to him. There was
another officer shot on the left side of the head; he was dangerously
wounded; his name is Surman. Another officer, of the name of Westcott,
had two or three shots through his hat. One of the bullets struck him
on the finger, but did not hurt him materially. I was not wounded at
all. At the time I did not know friend from foe. Immediately when
the party cried out, “Kill the b----s,” I also said, “Kill them,” in
order to deceive them. I had a brace of pistols; one of them flashed
in the pan. The lights being out, I was afterwards afraid to fire,
lest I might kill one of my comrades. There was a latch to the door
which led into the street, and I found no difficulty in getting in. I
secured a considerable quantity of arms; amongst the rest there was a
large grenade, and several hand-grenades. The large one consisted of
a tin canister, with a plate at top, strengthened by several pieces of
iron, and bound round with a quantity of tarred rope. I got eight of
the hand-grenades; they were about the size of my doubled fist. I also
found in the room two swords, and some ball-cartridges, which are in my

The large grenade weighs fourteen or fifteen pounds. It is a canister
strongly bound with tarred rope. It is not circular. A number of
pistols, swords, cartridges, and bullets, were also found in the room.

No person but Thistlewood offered violence before the candles were
put out. There were likewise found in the room about three dozen of
weapons, which resembled a sort of bayonet. The bottom part had not
a socket like a bayonet, but a screw to fasten into a stick. I found
also a dozen of sticks, formed for the purpose of being fitted to those

The bayonets appeared to be newly made. They are very rough, and not
at all brightened or polished. The balls I picked up in the room were
not fired from pistols. If they had, they would have been flattened; I
desired the men to pick the arms up, and each man to keep safely what
he found: in consequence, some were in the possession of one man, and
some in that of another; two or three muskets were either found in the
room, or else taken from some of the persons who had been apprehended.

The party had no notice but what I gave that we were officers.

The deposition of this witness having been read over to, and signed by,

JAMES ELLIS was next called.--Having been sworn, he stated, I live at
No. 22, Paradise-row, Palmer’s-village, St. Margaret’s, Westminster,
and am an officer belonging to the Bow-street patrol. I am also a
constable. On Wednesday night last, about half-past seven o’clock, Mr.
Stafford, the chief clerk at Bow-street, directed me to take Richard
Smithers, John Surman, and William Gibbs, and to proceed in a coach
with them to John-street, Edgeware-road, as fast as possible, there
to meet Mr. Birnie, who would give us further orders. We did so; and
when we arrived at the spot, we found Mr. Birnie waiting. He inquired
whether we had seen any thing of the military. We told him we had
not. He said he expected them every minute. In about twenty minutes
Mr. Birnie called us together. Some inquiries were made, but I don’t
know of whom, as to what number were likely to be in the room to which
we were going, and whether Arthur Thistlewood was to be there. Mr.
Birnie gave me a warrant, signed by Mr. Baker, of Marlborough-street,
to apprehend Arthur Thistlewood and thirteen other persons named in
it. I have not the warrant; I have given it to Mr. Baker. On our
being called together, and Mr. Birnie being given to understand that
Thistlewood and others were in the room, he asked how many there might
be present, and was informed that there was about a dozen. He then
inquired how many there were of us. We told him about a dozen also. He
said he had been disappointed in the soldiers, who had perhaps missed
their way, and were half an hour too late, and that we must proceed to
apprehend the parties. We said we would do the best we could. Smithers
observed, if there were forty of them we would secure them. Mr. Birnie
then directed me to call Ruthven, another officer, out of the Horse
and Groom, and we were sent forward to the house, the military not
having come in time. Ruthven opened the door and went in; it was a
kind of stable where the meeting was held. Ruthven went in first, I
followed him. When I entered the stable I observed a man with belts
on, a musket or fusil on his arm, and a sword at his side. I believe
he held the musket in the position which soldiers do, when on duty. He
was walking backward and forward. Ruthven desired some person to take
charge of him. I took him by the collar, turned him half round, and
gave him to some other person, observing at the same time that he was
a man of colour. At that moment Ruthven was at the foot of the ladder,
up which he went. I followed as closely as I possibly could, and was
immediately followed by Smithers. Before I got up the ladder, I heard
a clattering of swords. I heard Ruthven say at that moment, “We are
officers, seize their arms,” or “lay down your arms,” I cannot tell
which. Upon gaining the top of the ladder, Ruthven turned a little to
the left, to go round a table or carpenter’s bench. I observed a number
of men falling back to the other end of the room. They were apparently
all armed. I also saw three or four men backing into the little room
on the right. They were all armed with swords or cutlasses. A tall
man immediately brandished a sword at me: his foot was advanced in a
fencing attitude, as if he meant to stab. I held up my staff in my left
hand, and presented a pistol at him with my right; I held up my staff
that he might see it, to shew him what I was. The light was then as
good as it is here: it was very lightsome: I desired the man to desist,
or I certainly would fire. I did not fire then, I did afterwards. I
did not know who the tall man was that threatened me at the time, but
I have seen him since, and I know it was Thistlewood. There were some
persons in the further room to the right. There was another closet
near to the ladder, which was not discovered nor opened for half an
hour afterwards. No one was found there. Smithers rushed past, and
endeavoured to get into the little room. I saw the tall man draw his
hand back, and make a thrust of a sword at him, which I saw strike him
on the breast.

It was the same tall man, Thistlewood, who had flourished his sword
at me. The manner in which he did it made me fix my eyes on him, so
as to mark the kind of countenance he had. Smithers, on being struck,
immediately threw up his hands, fell towards me, and exclaimed, “Oh!
my God!” I instantly fired at the man who killed Smithers, but I
missed him. Smithers fell against me at the time, so as to drive me to
the head of the stairs. A rush was then made by the party, and I was
knocked down from the top to the bottom of the ladder. The moment I
fired, the candles were all put out with the swords.

I think there were four or five and twenty persons present. There were
four or five in the small room. The time was so short that very little
observation could be made. I ran to the door, when two or three shots
were fired in the stable below, where I was. I don’t know by whom they
were fired. It was in the dark, and I could not discover friend from
foe. I do not know that any officer fired except myself. I have not
heard of such a thing. When I arrived at the door, I heard a cry of
“Stop him,” and instantly saw a man running at the other side of the
street; I pursued, and took him in the street, about twenty yards from
the door. When laying hold of him, he made a cut at me with a long
sword. This was the man of colour. I received a cut, a very slight one,
in the leg. I think it was when his arm, in striking at me, swung round
my neck, that the sword, which was a very long one, hit my leg. The
man’s name is Davidson. I believe him to be the same man who kept the
door, but I will not positively swear to that. I took him to a shop at
the corner, and seized his fusil, which was that of a light-horseman,
but perhaps rather heavier.

I have seen Thistlewood, and I believe him to be the man that struck
Smithers. I did not know him at the time. I saw him for six or seven
seconds, or more, when he brandished his sword at me, until he went
towards the little room. On seeing that, Smithers rushed forward, and
the moment he got near the door, I saw him struck. I was sure that he
was killed. It was a stab--a thrust--he received. The sword was long,
very bright, and triflingly turned at the end. It seemed sharp on both
sides. He brandished it at me. The whole space of this time was not
more than ten or twelve seconds. I saw the man with his sword, before
I got to the top of the ladder. As soon as Davidson was secured, I
returned to the place, and I then found the military had come. I left
Davidson in a shop, with two of our people to take care of him. The
prisoners were all disarmed, and I proceeded to tie them together. I
was only a few minutes gone when I took Davidson. I stayed as little
time as I possibly could.

As soon as I had tied the prisoners I went to Smithers; he was lying
on his face. I turned him up, and I believe he breathed faintly. I
afterwards found a pistol, a bayonet, a quantity of ball cartridges,
and several bullets. Many other weapons were found by the officers.

I am most positive of the identity of Thistlewood. I feel no hesitation
on the subject.

[Here the witness handed some of the bullets which he had taken to the

Witness continued.--I was entering the centre of the room when Smithers
passed me. I had my eyes fixed on Thistlewood, when he was brandishing
his sword. I am able to recognize him, though I could not recognise any
of the others. I saw him for eight or ten seconds, but I cannot speak
to his dress: it was a dark dress, but I cannot speak to it distinctly.
I heard yesterday, that Thistlewood was the person who struck the
blow, but that did not affect my opinion. I would have sworn to him,
if it had not been mentioned. There were several persons wounded. An
officer named Biggs was wounded. The place where the business occurred
is not ten yards from this. It is the first stable down the yard, and
is, I think, on the north side of the street. When I fell down the
ladder, I fell on some of the officers who were coming up. I should
have been shot if I had not so fallen. There were several shots fired
in the stable. I had a cutlass by my side, but could not use it. The
flashes were numerous below, but I could not see who or what they were
who fired. In the confusion Davidson escaped, but I afterwards took
him. When I came back there were several persons in custody. There were
many shots fired from the window.

We officers carry cutlasses, but they could be of no use against the
length of the swords which the party made use of.

I cannot state the specific words of the warrant. It was given to me
in the street by Mr. Birnie, and has been placed in the hands of Mr.
Baker, the magistrate.

The Coroner inquired of Pyall, the beadle, whether he had the warrant
in his possession, and was answered in the negative.

The WITNESS.--The warrant was in my possession; it authorized us to
apprehend Arthur Thistlewood and thirteen other persons named in it,
for unlawfully assembling together, but for what specific purpose I
cannot say, and to bring them before the sitting magistrate, to be
dealt with according to law.

PYALL, the beadle, was despatched to Mr. Baker for the warrant, and the
deposition of Ellis having been read over to him, he signed it.

WILLIAM WESTCOTT next underwent an examination to the following
effect:--I live at No. 10, Simmons-street, Sloane-square, Westminster,
and am one of the assistant patrol of Bow-street.--On Wednesday night
last, I was sent to the stable in Cato-street, by order of Mr. Birnie.
I accompanied Ruthven, Ellis, Smithers, and others to the spot. Ruthven
went first, and I followed Smithers. I was behind him in the stable.
The moment Ruthven, Ellis, and Smithers had gone up the ladder leading
to the loft, I seized a man in the stable below dressed like a butcher.
His name I believe was Ings.--When I entered, he rushed out against
me: and finding resistance, put his hand to his belt, as if to pull
something out of it. I immediately knocked him down by hitting him on
the right eye. He was dressed in a long coat beneath his jacket, and
had an apron over the whole. This happened before the first pistol was
fired, and I was in the act of handcuffing him when I heard a fresh
pistol fired in the loft. I had not quite succeeded before Thistlewood
came down the ladder, and as he was upon the steps fired a pistol;
whether levelled at me or not I cannot say. Seeing me so busily engaged
in securing the butcher, he levelled another shot at my head, and at
the same time made several cuts at me with a sabre. The pistol went
off, and the shot penetrated my hat. I knocked him down with the stick
I had in my hand, but he rose and succeeded in making his escape. While
I was engaged with Thistlewood, Ings contrived to make his escape also;
when Thistlewood was gone, I found that I was wounded in the hand,
and that some shot had gone through the flap of my coat. In the mean
time both Thistlewood and Ings succeeded in getting away. I pursued
Thistlewood, but in vain, and after having followed him through several
streets, I returned to the stable. I then went into the loft, and
saw the deceased lying dead on the floor. There were several persons
present, and the prisoners had been subdued.

The Jury asked the witness whether Thistlewood was the first who came
down the steps?--There was a complete rush, and I did not particularly
observe whether he did or not. Did he come down before the officer
Smithers fell?--I did not see the officer fall. You went with the
whole body of the officers?--Yes, I did. There were only three
officers, I understand, in the loft?--I believe no more. Where were
the others?--They were upon the scout. Then I understand that after
the three officers mentioned had gone up, Thistlewood came down, and
prevented others from ascending the steps? Yes; and he fired down the
steps to prevent the ascent of others.

CHARLES MOY.--I live at No. 11, London court, Mary-le-bone, and am a
watchman. On Wednesday night, about half-past eight, I apprehended
Ings, while Brooks was in pursuit of him. He fired at Brooks; but I
cannot say what fire-arms he used, as he threw it down before I reached
him. Brooks cried out, Stop thief! and I immediately apprehended him.
The ball went through the coat and waistcoat of Brooks, and grazed the
top of his shoulder. I took Ings down to Mary-le-bone watch-house,
assisted by Brooks and another officer. I searched him, and found seven
or eight bullets in his pockets, some gunpowder in a tin flasket, and a
haversack. He had a kind of belt on each side for pistols.

SERGEANT LEGGE, of the 2d battalion of Coldstream Guards, was next
examined.--On Wednesday evening last I was called up about eight
o’clock, and received orders to march to John-street, Edgware-road.
I was then quartered in Portman-street barracks. A picket, usually
employed on occasions when the military is required in aid of the civil
power, was ordered out. It was commanded by Captain Fitzclarence.
Upon arriving at John-street, we were unable to ascertain the spot
whither we ought to proceed, and the captain advanced to ascertain what
we were to do. When he returned, he ordered the picket to advance at
double quick time. Upon reaching the stable in Cato-street, I observed
a man standing with a pistol in his hand. He presented it at Captain
Fitzclarence, and I knocked it aside with my pike. I then seized the
muzzle-end of the pistol with my hand, and a scuffle ensued between
the man and myself about the pistol. I kept firm hold of it till it
went off, and the ball passing by my arm, tore the cloth off my sleeve.
(Witness here exhibited the sleeve of his coat, which appeared to be
very much torn.) In wrestling with the prisoner, I held my face down
to the lock of the pistol, and as it went off the ball grazed my right
eyebrow. As soon as the pistol was discharged, the prisoner let go his
hold. I secured him, and delivered him over to the police. I believe
the prisoner’s name is Tidd. After this skirmish I followed my officer
and part of the picket up the steps into the loft. The greater part
of the picket had reached the loft before I was disengaged from the
prisoner. When I had reached the loft I discovered a table in the
centre of it, nearly covered with pistols, blunderbusses, ammunition,
and other arms of various descriptions. Three men had then surrendered;
I think their names were Monument, Cooper, and Gilchrist. I do not
recollect what police-officers were present at the time. Upon looking
on the floor, I saw the deceased lying dead at my feet. His body was
examined by the picket, and I perceived the wound on his right breast.
I was ordered back to the barracks for a reinforcement, and when I
returned, the whole of the prisoners taken that moment were collected
into the loft. Upon the arrival of the reinforcement, the prisoners
were conveyed to Bow-street.

Here one of the jury observed, that the inquest had proceeded far
enough to ascertain the acts of Thistlewood. The Coroner replied, that
those who were aiding and abetting in the murder were equally guilty as
the principal; and it would be necessary to ascertain who they were,
and what they did.

Here the examination was interrupted by the arrival of a messenger,
with a letter from Mr. Baker, the magistrate, to the Coroner. It was
read aloud, and was to the following effect:--

“I beg to inform you, that I granted a warrant on Wednesday the 23d
instant, for the apprehension of Arthur Thistlewood, and several
others, on a charge of felony, and that I afterwards received from Mr.
Ellis an order to lay it before the Privy-Council on the examination
of the prisoners when in custody. It has not yet been returned to me,
nor do I think that I shall be able to obtain it at the present moment.
Perhaps it would be better to adjourn the inquest for the present,
and I will endeavour to get it for you to-morrow, or send you the
information, on which it was issued.”

WILLIAM SARMON.--I live in Edgeware-road, and am a tailor by trade.
On Wednesday night, about eight o’clock, I was passing through
Cato-street, and when opposite to the stable I heard Westcott say that
Smithers had been stabbed. In two or three minutes afterwards two men
rushed out of the stable. One of the two cut me with a sabre on the
hat. He was a tall man dressed in a dark coat. He struck at me twice,
and hit my thigh, but fortunately did not wound me. I was so frightened
at the moment, that I could not tell which way he ran, and I did not
stop to look. There were many people in the street at the time. I do
not know the appearance of Thistlewood. I only observed that the man
who struck me was of a pale complexion, and wore a dark long coat.
The other man who accompanied him out of the stable did not attempt
to strike me. They both passed behind me on the right hand, I think,
through the gateway towards John-street. I heard several shots within
the building, while I was standing opposite the stable. That night I
wore a loose coat, and by that means I was not wounded. I saw Westcott
go into the stable, and I knew him well. I had seen him many times

Here the examination of the witnesses terminated, and the Coroner
expressed a wish to receive some information respecting the christian
names of those who had been described as having been apprehended in
the stable. He thought there was no distinction between the case of
Thistlewood and the other prisoners; they all entertained the same
mischievous design, and shewed their purpose but too plainly, in being
so well furnished with fire-arms, hand-grenades, _&c._ He wished to
know whether the gentlemen of the Jury were satisfied with the evidence
already received.

A juryman said, he wished to put a question to Ruthven, the officer,
before the verdict was pronounced; but Mr. Pyall, the summoning
officer, stated, that Ruthven had gone away, notwithstanding his
particular request that he should remain.

The Coroner wished to know whether any of the Jury required an
adjournment of the inquest; if they did, he would willingly attend to
their request. The Jury unanimously declared that they were satisfied;
and the Coroner, in a formal manner, asked, “Is Arthur Thistlewood
guilty or not guilty of murder?”


_Coroner._--Is William Davidson guilty of murder or manslaughter?

_Foreman._--_Guilty of murder._

One of the Jury wished to ask a question, which he thought of some
importance, before the verdict was pronounced upon all the prisoners.
He wished to know whether those who might have met for a different
purpose were equally guilty of the murder with Thistlewood?

The Coroner replied, that there could be no doubt that they were
implicated in the murder as much as Thistlewood himself, for whatever
illegal purpose they might have met. They had impeded the officer in
the execution of his duty, and one of them had killed him.

A _Juryman_.--If any of the prisoners had been put in the same
situation as Thistlewood, they would probably have acted in the same

_Another Juryman._--But are those who surrendered themselves equally

_Coroner.-_-There can be no doubt of it. They were all assembled for
one common purpose, and the act of one is the act of the whole. It
is clearly murder in them all. If a man intends to do a mischief to
another, and, instead of killing him, happens to kill a second, it is
equally murder, as if he had killed the man he intended.

A _Juryman_.--Another doubt arises in my mind. Had not these men a
right to defend themselves, after the pistol had been fired by the
officer Ellis?

_Coroner._--Certainly not; there cannot be a doubt upon it.

The jury, by their foreman, then pronounced a verdict of “_Guilty of
Murder_” against the following prisoners: James Ings; Charles Cooper;
Richard Tidd; John Monument; John Charles Strange; Richard Blackburn;
James Wilson; James Gilchrist; and others unknown.

In the course of the day, the afflicted parents of the deceased visited
the body, and showed much feeling upon the occasion. The old couple
were so decrepit as scarcely to be able to get up stairs. Smithers was
a stout, good-looking man, about thirty-three years of age.

In addition to the wound that was the immediate cause of the death of
Smithers, it was found that a pistol bullet had penetrated his shoulder
nearly six inches. It was extracted by Bennett, and was found to have
been cast from pewter. A second sabre wound was also found under his
blade-bone. In what manner these wounds were inflicted, there are no
means of knowing, but it is supposed they occurred after his fall.

On Thursday afternoon, the 2d of March, at four o’clock, his remains
were removed from his lodgings in Carteret-street, in the Broadway,
Westminster, and buried in the church-yard of St. Margaret’s,
Westminster, amidst a great concourse of sympathizing spectators. It
was too trying a task for his widow to undertake to follow him to the
grave, and she was prevailed on not to attempt it. The deceased’s
father and brothers followed as principal mourners. They were succeeded
by some private friends, and a numerous assemblage of officers and
others belonging to Bow-street office; Mr. John Lavender, belonging to
Queen-square police-office, to which the deceased formerly belonged;
Mr. Armstrong and his son, both officers belonging to the police-office
in Worship-street; making in the whole 67 persons; thus showing the
last mark of respect to a departed officer, who had fallen a sacrifice
by the hands of a ferocious assassin.

The procession passed through the following streets; the windows of
each house were filled with spectators of both sexes;--Tothill-street,
Dartmouth-street, Great and Little Queen-streets, Great George-street,
and through the grand opening leading to St. Margaret’s church. The
rush from the crowd to gain admittance into the latter place was
astonishing; but no accident occurred. The service was performed by
the Rev. Mr. Rodber. The church-yard was filled with an immense crowd
of persons of all descriptions, among which were numerous soldiers
belonging to the Guards. A general regret and pity seemed to pervade
the whole of this vast assemblage at the melancholy fate of this
unfortunate man. The procession then returned through Tothill-street to
Carteret-street, when the officers returned to the undertaker’s. The
whole of this funeral was conducted in the most decorous manner; and
several magistrates were amongst the spectators.

On Sunday, the 27th of February, at one o’clock, the Cabinet Council
assembled at the secretary of state’s office for the home department,
to proceed with the investigation of the charges against the assassins.
Their lordships were assisted by the law officers.

ROBERT ADAMS, late a private of the Royal Horse-Guards, and who had
become king’s evidence, was examined before their lordships, which
occupied their time till half-past two o’clock, which was then too late
an hour to proceed with the examination of ABEL HALL, a tailor, who had
been apprehended on Saturday morning by Lavender, Bishop, and Salmon,
the officers, in Seward-street, Chiswell-street.

A quantity of ball-cartridges, a musket, and a cavalry sword, which
they found concealed in a ruinous shed at the back of a small house
near the Regent’s park, were this day produced. The woman occupying
the house was also brought up, but after a short examination she
was discharged. It did not appear that she had any knowledge of
these things being on her premises. These articles appear to have
been deposited in the place where they were found by some of the
conspirators in their retreat.

On Monday, the 28th of February, the Privy-Council again met, and on
this day a proclamation was placarded in different parts of London,
offering a reward of 200_l._ for the apprehension of JOHN PALIN,
_alias_ PEELING, who had been charged with high treason. He was
described as being a child’s chair-maker, and as having been formerly a
corporal in the East London Militia, and about forty years of age.

Private information was the same evening given to Lavender and
Bishop, that Palin, for whose apprehension the reward of 200_l._
had been offered, was concealed in a house in the neighbourhood of
Battle-bridge. They proceeded immediately with their informer to the
spot described, but found that there was no ground for the suspicion
which had arisen. Though the officers did not find Palin, they found
three men and a woman of somewhat suspicious appearance. One man was in
bed, and said he was unwell. The patrol suspecting him to be one of the
Cato-street gang of assassins, and that he was in bed in consequence
of the bruises he had received, made him get up, when he was found to
have all his clothes on except his shoes. They stripped him, but he
had no bruises. The other two men were melting lead in a frying-pan.
One of the men lived at that place, the others in Monmouth-street
and Brownlow-street. They were all three brought to the office, and
underwent an examination before Mr. Birnie, when there being no charge
against them, and they not being known, they were discharged. It is
supposed that Palin might have taken the alarm, and escaped at the back
of the house while the officers were knocking at the door.

The notorious PRESTON, the cobbling politician, of Spa-fields’ memory,
was also this day arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the
plot, under a warrant issued by R. Birnie, Esq. It appears that the
lodgings of this man were searched a few days before, but nothing
of a suspicious nature was found. On those occasions he facetiously
said--“his armory could not boast of a swan-shot, nor his port-folio
of a scrap of paper of the slightest political interest.” Circumstances
afterwards transpired which led to his arrest upon a charge of high
treason. He was found industriously engaged in mending a shoe, with his
family about him. He was surprised at this new visit, but submitted
to his fate with cheerfulness, not unaccompanied by an apparent sense
of his own importance. His daughters were highly indignant at this
intrusion on their domestic privacy. The officers conducted their
prisoner to Bow-street office, from whence he was sent to the Marquis
of Anglesea public-house opposite. He was placed under the care of
Lack, one of the patrol. He called for “a pipe and pot,” and, seating
himself before the fire, seemed perfectly happy. He laughingly said to
a gentleman who went to see him, that he thought “the farce would not
be complete till he was taken.” He had previously denied all knowledge
of the late conspiracy. After being shortly examined before Mr.
Birnie, he was sent to Covent-garden watch-house, where he remained in
confinement during that night. On the following morning he was removed
from that place of confinement to the secretary of state’s office for
the home department, where, at twelve o’clock, the Lords of the Council
assembled, consisting of the Cabinet Ministers, the Marquis of Camden,
Mr. Peel, Sir William Scott, Sir John Nicholls, Mr. Sturges Bourne,
together with the Attorney and Solicitor-Generals, and other law

Mr. Buller, one of the principal clerks of the council, attended to
take the minutes of the proceedings. When Preston was taken in before
the Lords of the Council he behaved with his usual boldness and low
insolence to most of their lordships personally. He called upon them
with the most ludicrously impudent arrogance, and asked what they
meant by sending for him to disturb his peace of mind, and to disturb
the economy of his family, alluding to his three daughters binding
shoes, and himself making them.

The examination of this impudent fellow lasted about half an hour,
after which he was committed to Tothillfields-bridewell in the custody
of two of the Bow-street officers. When he returned from the Council
Chamber he was almost breathless, and gasped out to those about
him--“Bless me, how I perspire! but I always do when I have any thing
like a subject to speak upon.” Whilst his commitment was making out, he
requested to be _assisted_ with a little porter. Some porter was given
to him, and whilst he was drinking it Lord Castlereagh passed through
the hall, when Preston observed, “Aye, there he goes! His lordship will
remember what I have said to him as long as he lives. I have talked
more treason, as they call it, to-day, than ever I did in my whole life
before.” The porter seemed to inspire him, and he was proceeding with
more remarks, when the officers received his commitment, and he was led
to the coach which was to convey him to prison. A number of gentlemen
were assembled in the hall; and, as he passed through the midst of
them, he bowed and smiled on all sides, repeatedly saying, “God bless
you all.”

In the course of the day an application was made at the police-office,
Bow-street, by one of Preston’s daughters, to be allowed to see her
father, and to deliver him some clean linen; she was referred by the
magistrate to Lord Sidmouth, and accordingly wrote the following
letter to his Lordship, which she carried to the office of the Home
Department, and delivered it to one of the messengers, while she waited
in the hall for an answer:--

“My Lord,--I entreat your Lordship to allow an agonized daughter to
have an interview with her father, who was dragged from home, and
his family, consisting of three daughters besides myself, totally
unprotected, on a charge of which he is completely innocent, and of
which he has no knowledge whatever. My father’s house was searched four
times successively on four different days, and nothing was found that
could at all criminate him in the late dreadful proceedings.

“I have called at Bow-street for the purpose of giving my father some
linen, and also to know if he could be held to bail, and have been
referred to your Lordship. I am now waiting in the lobby of the Home
Department Office with the linen to give to my father; and I hope your
Lordship will grant me an interview with him.

“I am, my Lord,

Your Lordship’s obedient humble servant,


“_17, Princes-street, Drury-lane, Feb. 29._
_To Lord Viscount Sidmouth_, &c. &c.”

After being absent some time, the messenger who carried the letter
to his Lordship returned, and told her she must call again on the
following day for an answer. She then inquired where her father
was, and was informed that he had been examined that day before the
Privy-Council, and had been committed. She then left the office in

The next morning she waited at the office of the Home Department,
as she had been directed, for an answer to her application. She saw
Mr. Hobhouse, and was told by him, that she could not see her father
till after the following Friday; and, if she would call again on the
Saturday, she would probably have an order to see him. She waited in
the lobby until her father was brought out, after his examination
before the Privy-Council, and he looked very anxiously at her; but
they were not allowed to speak to each other. She had a bundle of
linen; and, when her father was conveyed to Tothill-fields prison, she
followed him, and gave the linen to the governor.

About this time WADDINGTON, the fellow who had been brought into some
notoriety, by his arrest for being the bearer of a placard, the object
of which was to create an unlawful assembly on Kennington Common,
appeared before Mr. Hicks, the sitting magistrate at Bow-street, and
with ridiculous effrontery, stated that the reason of his calling was
to say that the officers had seized his books and papers, which they
were very welcome to do, as he had nothing in his possession that he
was ashamed of, or that could lead to any charge. His landlady, who was
present when his place was searched for books and papers, told him that
the officers had left a message, desiring him to attend at the office,
as he was wanted there; and he consequently attended.

Mr. Hicks, the magistrate, professed himself unacquainted with the
affair; but desired that inquiries should be made, and it turned out
that some of the police-officers had searched his lodgings, and had
seized his books and papers; but they denied having left any message
for his appearance at the office, and there was no doubt but that it
was a mistake of his landlady in relating to him what had passed.

The magistrate informed him that he had no charge against him.
Waddington withdrew from the office, after telling the magistrate that
he might always be found when wanted.

We are happy, however, to announce that this man has since relinquished
politics, and taken up the more quiet occupation of porter to a
tallow-chandler. From his former enthusiasm in _the cause_, however,
it was supposed possible that he might have afforded shelter to some
of his quondam friends, and accordingly the officers were directed
to search his lodgings. They found no trace of radicalism, except a
whole-length portrait of himself, blowing a horn, carrying a large
bundle of twopenny trash under his arm, and in his hat a paper,
inscribed “Order, order! Public Meeting in Smithfield on Wednesday
next.” Underneath was written “Samuel Waddington, printer and publisher
to the Radical Union.”

Having had occasion to introduce the names of these men, who have
lately forced themselves on the notice of the Public by their absurd,
but highly mischievous, interference in politics, it may not be
thought altogether irrelevant if we introduce a description of the
_Radical Committee Room, at the White Lion, Wych-street_, this being
the rendezvous, or place of meeting, where these self-elected Radical
Committees held their nightly meetings.

The White Lion was a public-house, but has very properly been deprived
of its license by the Magistrates. It is situated a short distance from
Newcastle-street, towards the New Inn; the entrance to it from the
street is up a dark narrow passage, about thirty yards long. In the
tap-room, over the embers of an expiring fire, sat a set of suspicious,
ill-looking fellows, huddled close together; whilst at a small deal
table to the right sat Mr. ----, with a book and some papers and
printed bills before him; from the obscurity of the place, having no
light but what proceeded from a candle placed before Mr. ----, or from
that in the bar, a stranger coming in would not be able to recognise
any of the faces on seeing them afterwards elsewhere. On the right
hand, on entering the house, is a small parlour; here of an evening
a select committee assembled, and no others were admitted. This was
the room in which the most private transactions were carried on; Mr.
Thistlewood or Dr. Watson always came out into the passage to speak
to any person who called there on business. In a very large room up
stairs, and which is occasionally used as a school-room, upwards of a
hundred ill-looking persons have assembled of an evening; in it the
open committee and loose members of the society met; it had ranges of
forms all round and across the room, and had hardly ever more than two
or three candles to illuminate it. Here their processions, _&c._, were
arranged; their flags, _&c._, kept; whilst the more private business
was carried on below in the parlour.

We now resume our narrative of the proceedings previous to the final
commitment of the prisoners for trial.

On Thursday, March 2d, the Lords of the Council met by appointment
at the Secretary of State’s office for the Home Department, at
twelve o’clock in the forenoon, to deliberate on the charges against
the prisoners, and to determine on the best and most proper mode
of proceeding against them without interrogating the prisoners or
examining any witnesses. The meeting was attended by the Cabinet
Ministers, the Marquis Camden, Viscount Palmerston, Mr. C. P.
Yorke, the chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, the
Hon. R. Ryder, Sir John Nicholl, Mr. R. Peel, Mr. W. Huskisson, the
Master of the Rolls, and Mr. S. Bourne. There were also present the
Attorney-General, the Solicitor-General, and Mr. Baker, the magistrate
belonging to the police-office in Marlborough-street, who signed
the warrant for entering the premises in Cato-street, and for the
apprehension of the gang. Their lordships continued in deliberation
till near half-past two o’clock.

In consequence of some mistake in the transmission of an order, a
number of the prisoners were brought up from Coldbath-fields prison, to
the Secretary of State’s office; but as their lordships had determined
not to enter into any examination of the prisoners themselves on this
day, they were sent back under an escort, a few minutes after their

The next day another meeting of the lords of the council took place,
which was attended by the same persons as that on the previous day,
with the addition of Mr. Sheriff Rothwell, Sir William Curtis, and
other public characters.

Soon after eleven o’clock in the morning, Lavender, Salmon, and
other officers, arrived in three coaches at Coldbath-fields prison,
with orders from the Secretary of State, to bring the conspirators
to Whitehall, for examination before the Privy Council. Mr. Adkins,
the governor of the prison, immediately delivered over the following
prisoners into the care of the officers, _viz._, Thistlewood, Monument,
Wilson, Davidson, Tidd, Gilchrist, Ings, Bradburn, Shaw, Cooper, and
Brunt. They were immediately conveyed in the coaches provided for their
reception to Whitehall. The prisoners were all handcuffed to each other.

About the time that this detachment reached Whitehall, Mr. Nodder, the
Keeper of Tothill-fields prison, arrived at the same place in a coach,
with Preston, Simmonds, Harrison, Hall, and Firth, the keeper of the
loft in Cato-street.

The whole of the prisoners, on their arrival at Whitehall, were placed
in the first apartment. Those from the House of Correction were placed
in a line, handcuffed together, on the bench immediately facing the
entrance, and the Tothill-fields’ prisoners were seated on a bench at
the right-hand side of the room.

The appearance of the whole was wretched in the extreme, and one or
two of them seemed mere boys. Thistlewood appeared quite downcast,
his features every day undergoing an alteration for the worse; his
complexion had become quite jaundiced, and his general appearance
nerveless and emaciated; he wore the old brown surtout in which he
had been seen of late in the streets, and kept his eyes occasionally
gazing with indifference upon the strangers who thronged the room,
but mostly fixed on the ground. Davidson, the man of colour, seemed
perfectly at his ease, and talked cheerfully to the prisoner who sat
next him. Preston was not only quite composed, but enjoying a constant
smile of self-complacency at the inquisitiveness with which strangers
as they passed asked “Which is Preston?” “Which is Thistlewood?”
Preston seemed in his usual good spirits, and had not a little of the
appearance of having exhilarated them in the course of the morning by
a jolly draught. While the prisoners were in this room, a considerable
number of gentlemen were permitted to pass through the room, but none
to converse with them. The police-officers were stationed at the end of
each seat.

The Council being assembled, they were examined singly before their

ARTHUR THISTLEWOOD was the first who was called in. The officers
immediately unlocked the handcuff of the prisoner, and conducted him to
the Council-chamber. He went up stairs with great alacrity, and being
introduced, he was placed at the end of the table, with an officer
on each side of him. The Lord Chancellor presided, and informed the
prisoner that he was about to be committed upon the double charge of
high treason and murder. He made no reply; but looked round at the
assembled ministers with a malignant scowl. This was all that passed,
and he was immediately re-conducted to his companions: he smiled as
he came back, and returned to his former seat. In a short time, as if
in contempt of the authority by which he was coerced, he put on his
hat, and assuming a look of defiance, remained in that state for the
remainder of the day. All the other prisoners were subsequently taken
up in the same manner. Monument and Simmonds were the last, and these
did not return for nearly half an hour. It appears that they, at this
time, endeavoured to make their peace by a disclosure of what they knew.

The soldiers engaged in the affair were then called in, and desired
to look at the men whom they thought they could recognise. Sergeant
Legge and nine privates were present. They soon came forth, and said
they had no doubt as to the identity of the men they had assisted in
securing. All the arms and ammunition taken from the prisoners, and in
Cato-street, were deposited in an adjoining room under a guard.

When INGS returned from the Council-chamber, he resumed his seat
with great sullenness; and as soon as the officers had replaced his
handcuffs, he and Thistlewood entered into conversation with great
eagerness. Thistlewood spoke almost in a whisper; but Ings was more
loud; and, at the close of their conference, he ejaculated, as if
talking to himself, but loud enough to be heard by all in the room--“It
is want of food which has brought us here. Death--death would be a
pleasure to me--I would sooner be hanged this instant, than turned into
the street there; for I should not know where to get a bit of bread for
my family; and if I had fifty necks, I’d rather have them all broken,
one after the other, than see my children starve!”

PRESTON continued very talkative and lofty. He seemed bursting with
impatience to go before the Council; raising himself from his chair
every time the door opened, in hope of being the next called; then
sinking back into his seat with vexation and disappointment, and
exclaiming, “Oh! how I long to go up! My _genus_ is so great just now,
I don’t think there is any man alive has so great a _genus_ as mine is
at this moment.” Then he would pore upon the ground for a minute or
two in deep cogitation; and at length break out into the following
soliloquy:--“If it is the will of the Author of the World that I should
perish in the cause of freedom--his will, and not mine, be done! It
would be quite a triumph to me!--Quite a triumph to me!”--at the same
time throwing his arms about in a manner which savoured strongly of
insanity. It was not, however, his fate to be called before the council
at all at this time; though, when Thistlewood and some others expressed
regret that they had not applied to have their families admitted to see
them--he desired them very pompously to make themselves quite easy upon
that head, for he would take care to mention it in his speech to their

Immediately after the prisoners had all been called in, an express was
sent off to Captain J. H. Elrington, fort-major of the Tower of London,
directing him to prepare for the immediate reception of ten state

The whole of the examinations having been brought to a conclusion,
the council proceeded to deliberate upon the course which was to be
adopted with respect to each individual case. They remained thus
engaged for nearly two hours. During this interval the crowd in front
of the office greatly increased, and the most anxious entreaties were
made to be permitted to see the conspirators. These were in most cases
ineffectual. Only a few noblemen were permitted to enter, including
lord Westmoreland, lord Stair, and some others.

The prisoners being themselves pretty well apprized of the charges
which were to be preferred against them, became less equivocal in
their behaviour. Wilson, Davidson, and Tidd, who were linked together,
were most daring. They laughed in derision at the persons who came to
view them, and seemed to be little affected by the situation in which
they were placed. Brunt, in imitation of his captain, put on his
hat, and thus assumed the character which has been assigned him, of
being second in command. At half past four Mr. Day, the clerk of the
papers, was sent for by Mr. Hobhouse, the under secretary of state, who
communicated to him the orders of the council.

On Mr. Day’s return, he stated to Sir Nathaniel Conant and Mr. Baker,
who were remaining in his office, that eight of the prisoners were to
be forthwith committed to the Tower. He then produced the list, and
called over the names of the persons to whom he alluded. These were:


The men came forth as they were called, and were handcuffed two and
two. A short time now elapsed while the warrant to the constable of
the Tower was preparing, and until messengers were despatched to
obtain carriages, and require the presence of an escort of the Life
Guards. This period was occupied by the prisoners in a sort of confused
conversation. Harrison and Thistlewood at once threw off all reserve,
and shook hands. The others began to speak freely. Davidson said he
should like about a pound of beef-steak and a pot of porter, and
his companions agreed that it would be no bad finish to their day’s
amusements. Thistlewood said aloud, “I hear the Spaniards are getting
on famously!” Wilson answered, “Are they--a cursed good job!” “Aye,”
replied Thistlewood, “They’ll all have it in their turn; they may
scrag a few of us, but there is more going on than they are aware of.”
Harrison laughed, and exclaimed, “Aye, time will show all things.”

A bustle outside now announced the approach of the Horse Guards, who
drew up in a double column in front of the office, under the command
of Captain Mayne. A hackney coach then drove up to the door, into
which Thistlewood and Brunt were put, accompanied by Mr. Ruff, one of
the king’s messengers, to whom the warrant was delivered, and by two
police-officers. The coach then drew off to a short distance, preceded
and followed by four of the Life Guards. A second carriage then came
up, into which Davidson and Ings were put; they were likewise guarded
by two officers. Ings, as he mounted the coach, exclaimed, “Hurra,
boys!” in expectation, no doubt, of having a cheer from the crowd
that was assembled. In this, however, he was disappointed; not a word
escaped from the lips of the by-standers at all in unison with the
principles of the conspirators--on the contrary, they seemed to be
viewed with feelings of strong disgust.

Wilson and Tidd were placed in the third hackney coach: they went out
laughing; but, previous to their departure, they turned round, and, in
common with all those who had been confined in Cold Bath Fields prison,
begged to return their grateful thanks to Mr. Adkins, the governor,
and to his assistants, for the humane and kind treatment which they
had received while under their care: they also were guarded by two
police-officers. The last who went out were Harrison and Monument. The
latter, whose diminutive size made him appear somewhat ludicrous when
placed beside his gigantic companion, was greatly depressed. These men
were in like manner guarded by two of the Bow-street patrol. The whole
four carriages being now in readiness, and a constable having mounted
each box, the cavalcade set off, completely surrounded by the Horse

They proceeded over Westminster-bridge, and from thence by the
Westminster-road, through the Borough, and over London-bridge,
up Fish-street-hill, down Fenchurch-street, the Minories, across
Trinity-square to the Tower gate; and although followed all the way by
an immense throng, not one expression of commiseration was heard to

Ings’s conduct was most daring: he continued to exclaim against His
Majesty’s Ministers with the most undisguised abuse, using language of
the most revolting nature. He either knew, or affected to know, many
persons in the crowd, to whom he nodded, and some of whom gave him a
significant shake of the head in return.

Thistlewood made no observation: he seemed to be looking anxiously from
the coach window, as if to see if there were any persons passing whom
he could recognise.

Brunt looked extremely gloomy, but did not say any thing.

Davidson did not seem at all affected by his situation, and continued
in good humour.

Wilson and Tidd laughed, and looked out of the coach windows with
apparent indifference; and little Monument seemed to have sunk into a
state of despair: he said he supposed he was not long for this world.

On reaching the upper gate of the Tower, leading to the armoury, it was
found shut; but, on a regular summons being made, it was opened without
hesitation, and the prisoners and their guards admitted. Notice had
been sent off to the Tower, in the early part of the day, to prepare
rooms for the prisoners, but still it was with some difficulty that
secure apartments could be got in readiness; at last the necessary
accommodations were obtained, and the prisoners were left under the
care of the yeomen of the guard.

The warrant upon which they were received by the constable of the
Tower, was to the following effect:--

“You are hereby required to receive into your custody, Arthur
Thistlewood [then followed the names of the other prisoners] who stand
charged with high treason, and them safely to keep till discharged
by due course of law, for which this shall be your sufficient
authority.”--Then followed the names of the privy-council, commencing
with the Lord Chancellor, Earl Westmoreland, _&c._

This warrant was written on a sheet of foolscap paper, with a black
border, and bore the official seal. It was accompanied by a private
note to the constable, containing instructions as to the manner in
which the prisoners were to be treated.

They were accordingly received by Captain Elrington, the major of the
Tower, who, after some difficulty, from the shortness of the notice
which he had received, succeeded in finding them secure apartments.

Each prisoner was placed in a separate apartment; two warders armed in
the usual way, with cutlasses and halberds, were placed in each room;
and at each door was stationed a sentinel armed, to whose care was
intrusted the key of the room, with strict orders not to permit more
than one warder to be absent at a time, and that only for occasional

Thistlewood was placed in the prison known by the name of the Bloody

Davidson was in the prison over the waterworks.

Ings in a different room of the same prison.

Monument in the prison at the back of the Horse-armory.

Brunt and Harrison occupied separate apartments in the prison over the

Tidd was secured in the Seven-gun Battery prison, and Wilson in the
prison over the parade.

The prisoners were permitted to have, by the indulgence of the law,
what is called state allowance, for their daily maintenance, which,
to such wretched poverty as theirs, must have made even their awful
situation, as compared with their confinement in Coldbath-fields, a
change for the better.

The number of warders sufficient to do the ordinary duty of the Tower
is ten; but, as soon as the command for preparing the prisons reached
the proper quarter, directions were given to increase the number of
warders to sixty.

The iron gate at the east end of the Tower was closed on the arrival of
the prisoners as usual upon such occasions.

Immediately after the departure of the delinquents charged with the
crime of high treason, from the Secretary of State’s office, Mr.
Adkins, the Keeper of the House of Correction, in Coldbath-fields,
was informed that six of the remaining prisoners were to be consigned
to his custody, namely--Bradburn, Strange, Firth, Gilchrist, Hall,
and Cooper. These men were then brought out, and escorted to
Coldbath-fields prison, under circumstances precisely similar to
those which had attended those who had gone to the Tower. They were
accompanied by Mr. Silvester, a King’s Messenger, to whom the warrant
for their commitment, similar to the one addressed to the Constable of
the Tower, was intrusted, and several officers of the police, and by an
escort of the Life-Guards.

Mr. Adkins, the Governor of the House of Correction, was asked if he
had got the Coroner’s warrant for the commitment of the men pronounced
by the Coroner’s Jury to have been guilty of the wilful murder of
Smithers? He answered in the negative. No such warrant had been
transmitted to him by Mr. Stirling. A messenger was then despatched to
the coroner, who had omitted to make out the warrant, and he waited
while it was prepared in the usual form.

Simmonds, the footman, and Preston, were remanded to the custody of
Mr. Nodder, the governor of Tothill-fields prison, and were taken
there in a hackney-coach; and thus ended the final examination of the
conspirators by the Privy-Council.

In addition to the gang taken at Cato-street, and the subsequent
arrests which we have already recorded, a young man, named ROBERT
GEORGE, was apprehended, who was with good reason, suspected of being
one of that gang, and whose discovery and apprehension arose out of the
following extraordinary circumstances:

At the time the coroner’s inquest was sitting on the body of the
murdered Smithers, Perry, the conductor of the patrol, who was then
in attendance, was called out by two soldiers, who informed him, that
on that day they had been informed by a boy, that he had discovered a
depository of fire-arms and deadly weapons in an extraordinary way,
by his having been at play in Chapel-street, Paddington, and losing a
marble behind some building in that street. He went behind the house
of Mr. George, a haberdasher and tailor, in search of the marble, and
seeing in a closet some fire-arms, a sword, _&c._, he mentioned it to
the soldiers.

Upon this intimation Perry hastened to the spot as soon as possible,
and found a narrow passage leading to the back of Mr. George’s
premises, and also a closet fastened by a staple, situate under a
staircase, which answered the description of the information he had
received where the fire-arms and deadly weapons were deposited. Perry
inquired to whom the closet belonged, and was informed that it belonged
to Mr. George, the tailor and haberdasher. Mrs. George soon appeared,
of whom Perry also inquired how the closet became fastened, when Mrs.
George informed him that she had fastened it in consequence of the wind
blowing it open. He desired her to produce the instrument with which
she had fastened the staple, which, on being produced, resembled a
hammer, and with which she also unfastened it.

On the door being opened, Perry discovered a musket, a bayonet, a
pistol, sword, powder, and balls. He then inquired if those articles
belonged to them, and the mother denied that they did. The daughter,
who was present during the investigation, wrung her hands, and appeared
greatly distressed. Perry then proceeded into the house, and found
Mr. George employed in his business of a tailor, who also denied any
knowledge of the fire-arms and deadly weapons, and admitted that his
son occupied a house on the opposite side of the street, and might have
deposited the fire-arms, _&c._, in that place.

On inquiry it was ascertained, that the son had absconded since the
night of the meeting in Cato-street. Perry desired that Mr. George
would attend at the office, and he himself accompanied Mrs. George and
her daughter. On their arrival at the office, they underwent private
examinations before Mr. Birnie, but nothing appeared which could
criminate any of them; but strong suspicions existed that their son,
Robert George, was present at the Cato-street meeting, at the time
Thistlewood murdered Smithers.

From that time the officers had used every vigilance in endeavouring
to trace him out. Ruthven and Salmon received information of his being
concealed at a house in Goswell-street, whither they repaired, but were
unsuccessful in finding him. They nevertheless had discovered that
his anxiety to leave this country was so great, that he had offered
himself to be engaged in any capacity whatever, in any vessel going
to the East-Indies; they also learned that, having before been a
seafaring man, he had succeeded in engaging himself as a servant on
board an Indiaman; and their exertions were so great, that they gained
intelligence, on which they could rely, that the last place he would
be at, previous to leaving London, would be the Dundee Arms, Wapping,
near the Commercial Road, where they went and waited, having no doubt
but he would be there to start by the boat for Gravesend on Sunday, the
5th of March, from which latter place the Indiamen were to sail on the
following day. They waited there till about seven o’clock, at which
time Robert George entered the house. He inquired for the Gravesend
boat, and was informed that it had sailed a few minutes previous.
On receiving that information, he appeared extremely agitated and
disappointed: he called for some brandy and water, and seated himself.

During this time Ruthven and Salmon had satisfied themselves beyond a
doubt of his identity, and having had reason to believe that he would
be fully prepared with arms for a desperate resistance, Salmon watched
an opportunity, when he instantly rushed upon him, and, presenting a
pistol to his head, exclaimed, “If you offer to stir, I will fire.”
Ruthven then handcuffed and properly secured him. On searching him
they, however, found that he was not prepared with any arms, and his
luggage consisted only of his clothes. The officers placed him in a
hackney-coach, and lodged him in Covent-garden watch-house.

During the following day they made diligent inquiry as to the manner in
which he had disposed of his time since his escape from Cato-street,
when they learned that a lodging had been procured for him in
Earl-street, Bricklane. They also traced out his brother, who lived in
that neighbourhood, who denied any knowledge of his place of residence;
but the officers discovered that the brother had actually procured
the said lodging for him, and in his possession they found a large
thick stick, at the bottom of which was a thick iron ferrule, about two
inches long, which was hollow at one end, and appeared calculated to
receive a pike or dagger, which he acknowledged to have received of his
brother George, on his parting with him on Sunday evening, previous to
his entering the Dundee Arms.

On searching Robert George’s lodgings in Earl-street, they did not
discover any thing of a serious or dangerous nature. The prisoner
underwent a private examination before Mr. Birnie, which was reported
to the Secretary of State’s office for the Home Department; no
orders were, however, sent for his conveyance there, and therefore a
commitment was made out for the prisoner, Robert George, to the House
of Correction, on a charge of high treason, whither he was conveyed in
a hackney-coach, in the custody of Mr. Atkins, the governor of that
prison, Perry, who was originally in the pursuit of him, and one of the

Before entering on the trial of the notorious ARTHUR THISTLEWOOD, for
the double crime of high treason and murder, for which we have traced
his commitment on the clearest and most satisfactory evidence possible,
we shall present the reader with a brief sketch of his early life, and
some particulars of his conduct after his arrest.

Thistlewood was a native of Horncastle, in Lincolnshire, and was born
in the year 1770; his father was land-steward to an ancient family in
that neighbourhood; he was placed at an early period of life with an
eminent English school-master, to be educated as a land-surveyor. This
pursuit in life he afterwards declined following, and at the age of
twenty-one became a lieutenant in a militia regiment; soon after this,
he married a young lady, of the name of Bruce, residing near Bawtry,
in Yorkshire, who was possessed of property amounting to 300_l._ per
annum. Thistlewood resigned his commission in the militia, and obtained
another in a marching regiment, with which he went, at the commencement
of the revolutionary war, to the West Indies, where he soon gave up his
commission in it, and afterwards proceeded to America; there he resided
for some time, when he obtained a passport for France, and arrived
there shortly after the downfall of Robespierre. He became initiated
in all the doctrines and sentiments of the French Revolutionists, and
at the peace of Amiens returned to England, when he became acquainted
with the disaffected in his native country; since which his whole life,
it seems, has been spent in seeking opportunities to overthrow its

From the period of his release after his former indictment for high
treason, the Government had taken care to have all his actions watched,
and his movements traced; but even with all this precaution, it is
possible that the diabolical scheme, of which he was evidently the
author and chief mover, would have been carried into effect, had it
not been for the remorse of the man who made the disclosure to Lord

One night, during his confinement in Coldbath-fields prison, the
following remarkable occurrence took place in the cell of Thistlewood.
In the course of the evening, Mr. Adkins, the governor, sat with him
a short time, and conversed with him on general topics. He was very
communicative on the subject of the different prisons in which he had
been confined. He spoke of Horsham as being extremely strict, and
observed, that the rules laid down for the management of the prison
were observed to the letter, without any reference to the rank of
the party confined. He gave the preference to the Tower as a place of
incarceration. The usual hour for locking up having arrived, he was
left to the society of his usual companions. He soon retired to rest.
His mind seemed restless, but, after some time, he fell into a profound
sleep--thus he continued awhile, when he became evidently agitated--at
last he exclaimed, with a sort of convulsive shriek, “Ha! I’ve got
you now!” and then, becoming more strangely disturbed, he awoke in a
sort of phrensy: for a moment he did not seem to recollect where he
was; but, on seeing his companions with their eyes fixed upon him, he
affected to laugh, and said, “What strange things one thinks of in
one’s sleep.” He remained awake for a considerable time, and, at length
sunk again into an unquiet slumber.

On the subject of his arrest he spoke freely before his final
commitment, declaring that he knew the man by whose instrumentality
he was taken, and that he was with him that morning, and was the only
man who knew of his retreat. He added that but for the people in the
house, the patrol who arrested him in White-street, and his brother
officers should have fallen. His companions said, “Why you had no arms;
how could you have effected their destruction?” “Ah!” he replied, “they
thought they were very cunning; but cunning as they were, they were not
cunning enough.”

This was but a vain boast; for, at the moment the officer seized him,
he was evidently paralized. He shewed no disposition to resist. No arms
were found in the room, with which he could defend himself, and when he
was carried off to Bow-street, six officers were left behind to search
every hole and corner in the house. This they did, and found nothing
to warrant an opinion that he was capable of making a formidable

It is, however, rather a suspicious circumstance, that while the
officers were engaged in securing their prisoner, the landlady, Mrs.
Harris, slipped out, and gave an intimation of what was occurring to
her husband, who was a type-founder in the manufactory of Messrs.
Caslon. From that time he has been “out of the way.” It was ascertained
that he was the manufacturer of all the bullets found upon the
conspirators. A warrant was issued for his apprehension.

The officers are satisfied that the arms which Thistlewood had in
Cato-street have not been found, and imagine that he deposited them
with some friend. It is a matter of surprise, that in getting rid of
these evidences of his guilt, he should have kept in his possession the
black belt which was seen round his waist in the loft, and which, with
some ball cartridges, was found in his pocket in White-street.

Up to the time of his last appearance before the Privy-Council, he made
no inquiries respecting his family, but was particular in his questions
as to the persons who had been arrested. Among others, he mentioned the
name of Palin, for whose apprehension a reward of two hundred pounds
had been offered, and again describing in the most minute manner the
person of Brunt, with an evident intention to avoid mentioning his
name, he asked if he was arrested? Upon these heads he received no
satisfactory answer.

Mrs. Thistlewood is a smart, genteel little woman, dresses well, and
from the first seemed perfectly alive to the situation of her husband,
in whose political sentiments she heartily concurs. On the officers
going to search her lodgings, she did not manifest any of that alarm
which, in a female, might be considered natural. She received them
with calmness, accompanied by a certain air of dignity, and demanded
their authority for searching her premises. Being satisfied on this
head, she permitted the search to be made without further hindrance.
She has a son, who seems a genteel ingenious youth. When she obtained
permission to visit her husband, the interview always took place in
the presence of an officer, and her person was scrupulously searched,
even to the removal of her stays and cap, and these precautions were
continued from first to last.

The prisoners all standing fully committed on the clearest and most
satisfactory evidence, the preparations for their trial commenced,
and on the 8th of March the following Special Commission of Oyer and
Terminer was issued by the Crown:--

     GEORGE the FOURTH, by the grace of God, of the united kingdom
     of Great Britain and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith,
     to our most dear cousin, William Henry Duke of Portland; our
     well-beloved and faithful Councillors, Sir Charles Abbott, knight,
     Chief-Justice, assigned to hold Pleas before us; Sir Robert
     Dallas, knight, Chief-Justice of our Court of Common Pleas; Sir
     Richard Richards, knight, Chief-Baron of our Court of Exchequer;
     our beloved and faithful Sir William Garrow, knight, one of the
     Barons of our said Court of Exchequer; Sir William Draper Best,
     knight, one of the Justices assigned to hold Pleas before us; Sir
     John Richardson, knight, one of the Justices of our said Court
     of Common Pleas; Sir John Silvester, baronet; Newman Knowlys,
     Francis Const, Charles Bosanquet, Charles Trelawny Brereton,
     James Clitherow, James Ferguson, Edmond Alexander Howard, Richard
     Paul Joddrell, Samuel Purkis, Thomas Wood, and Peregrine Dealtry,
     Esqrs., greeting.

     +Know ye+ that we have assigned you, and any two or more of
     you (of whom one of you, the aforesaid Sir Charles Abbot, Sir
     Robert Dallas, Sir Richard Richards, Sir William Garrow, Sir
     William Draper Best, and Sir John Richardson, we will shall be
     one) our Justices and Commissioners to inquire by the oath of good
     and lawful men of our county of Middlesex, of all High Treasons
     and misprisions of High Treason, (other than such as relate to
     the coin), and of the murder of one Richard Smithers, deceased,
     and of any other crime or offence touching the death of the
     said Richard Smithers; and of any offence or offences against,
     touching, or concerning the persons of Frederick Fitzclarence,
     William Legge, James Ellis, John Surman, William Westcoatt,
     William Charles Brooks, John Muddock, and Benjamin Gill, or any
     of them, contrary to the form of an Act made and passed in the
     forty-third year of the reign of our late royal father, King
     George the Third, entitled “An Act for the further prevention of
     malicious shooting, and attempting to discharge loaded fire-arms,
     stabbing, cutting, wounding, poisoning, and the malicious using of
     means to procure the miscarriage of women; and also the malicious
     setting fire to buildings;” and also for repealing a certain
     Act made in England, in the twenty-first year of the late King
     James the First, entitled, “An Act to prevent the destroying and
     murdering of bastard children;” and also an Act made in Ireland in
     the sixth year of the late Queen Anne, also entitled, “An Act to
     prevent the destroying and murdering of bastard children, and for
     making other provisions in lieu thereof;” and also the accessories
     of them, or any of them, within our county aforesaid, as well
     within liberties as without, by whomsoever and in what manner
     soever done, committed, or perpetrated, when, how, and after what
     manner; and of all other articles and circumstances concerning
     the premises, and every or any of them, in any manner whatsoever;
     and the said treasons and other the premises according to the
     laws and customs of England for this time to hear and determine;
     and therefore we command you, that at a certain day and place,
     which you or any two or more of you (of whom one of you, the said
     Sir Charles Abbott, Sir Robert Dallas, Sir Richard Richards, Sir
     William Garrow, Sir William Draper Best, and Sir John Richardson,
     we will shall be one), shall for this purpose appoint, you make
     diligent inquiries into the premises, and that you do hear and
     determine all and singular the premises aforesaid, and do cause
     to be done therein what to justice appertains, according to the
     laws and customs of England; saving to us the amerciaments, and
     other things from thence to us accruing. We do also command all
     and every our officers, ministers, and subjects, by virtue of
     these presents, that they attend, advise, obey, and assist you in
     the execution of the premises, in all things as it behoves them.
     And we do also command, by these presents, our sheriff of our said
     county of Middlesex, that at such certain day and place, as you,
     or any two or more of you, (of whom one of you, the aforesaid
     Sir Charles Abbott, Sir Robert Dallas, Sir Richard Richards, Sir
     William Garrow, Sir William Draper Best, and Sir John Richardson,
     we will shall be one), shall make known to him, he do cause to
     come before you, or any two or more of you (of whom one of you,
     the aforesaid Sir Charles Abbott, Sir Robert Dallas Sir Richard
     Richards, Sir William Garrow, Sir William Draper Best, and Sir
     John Richardson, we will shall be one), such and so many good
     and lawful men of our said county, as well within liberties as
     without, by whom the truth of the matter in the premises may be
     better known and inquired into. In witness whereof, we have caused
     these our letters to be patent. Witness ourself at Westminster,
     the eighth day of March, in the first year of our reign.


Monday, March 27, 1820, was the day appointed for opening the Special
Commission for the trial of the Conspirators engaged in the Cato-street
plot, and the officers of the Crown attended accordingly in the court
at HICKS’S-HALL, at nine o’clock in the morning. The gentlemen who were
summoned on the grand inquest were also in attendance.

The witnesses for the Crown, about thirty in number, were placed in
a room by themselves, preparatory to their being taken before the
Grand Jury. Those witnesses who themselves stood charged with being
parties to the conspiracy were in separate rooms, under the charge of
constables. Among them were Monument, who, it will be recollected,
was committed to the Tower; and Adams, who remained for some time a
prisoner in St. Martin’s watch-house, but was afterwards committed
to the House of Correction in Cold-bath-fields. This man had been
labouring under severe indisposition ever since his apprehension.

The pike-handles, guns, pistols, swords, grenades, daggers, ammunition,
and other articles seized on the persons of the prisoners, and in
Cato-street, at Brunt’s lodgings, and elsewhere, were deposited in
the office of the clerk of indictments. When collected together they
presented a formidable appearance.

At ten o’clock the Attorney and Solicitor-Generals entered the Court,
and took their seat at the barristers’ table. In a few minutes
afterwards Chief-Justice Abbott and Chief-Justice Dallas, together with
Mr. Const, and other magistrates, whose names were mentioned in the
Commission, came upon the bench.

Proclamation was then made for silence, and the commission was
immediately read by Mr. Dealtry, one of the clerks of the Crown-office.

The names of the gentlemen summoned on the Grand Jury were then called
over, and the following gentlemen were sworn:

Job Raikes, esq.
John Stock, esq.
Thomas Milroy, esq.
Robert Batson, esq.
William Hills, esq.
Henry Thomson, esq.
Richard Gibbs, esq.
Thomas Lomet, esq.
James Gordon, esq.
William Anderson, esq.
William Parry, esq.
John Booth, esq.
John H. Pakenham, esq.
John Warren, esq.
George Frederick Young, esq.
Robert Meacock, esq.
Richard Jennings, esq.
James Taylor, esq.
John Johnson, esq.
Francis Douse, esq.
John William Horsley, esq.
William Benning, esq.
Stephen Taylor, esq.

These gentlemen having been sworn by Charles Abbott, esq. marshal to
the commission, proclamation was made for silence while the charge was

LORD CHIEF-JUSTICE ABBOTT then addressed the Grand Jury in the manner

“Gentlemen of the Grand Inquest--We are assembled in this place, under
the authority of his Majesty’s Special Commission, issued for the
purpose of inquiring into, hearing, and determining, certain offences
therein particularly mentioned. These offences are, first, all high
treasons, except such as relate to the coin of the realm; secondly, all
misprisions of treason; thirdly, the murder of one Richard Smithers,
deceased, and any other crime or offence touching the death of that
person; and, fourthly, any offences committed against the persons of
Frederick Fitzclarence, George Legg, John Surman, William Westcott,
John Muddock, James Basey, and other persons, or any of them, contrary
to the form of an act made and passed in the forty-third year of
the reign of his late Majesty, for, among other things, the further
prevention of the malicious shooting, maiming, stabbing, or wounding,
any person or persons; and, gentlemen, it has become my duty to offer
to your consideration some remarks on each of these subjects, for your
assistance in the discharge of the important duty which will devolve
upon you when the bills are laid before you.

“The particular crime of treason to which it would be proper to call
your attention is to be found, 1st, in the ancient statute 25 Edward
III., and 2dly, in a statute passed for very wise purposes in the 36th
year of the reign of his late Majesty. [His Lordship here recited the
enacting clauses of the statutes to which he referred; the first of
which declares it to be high treason to compass and imagine the death
of the King or the Queen, or to levy war against the King within his
realm; and, the second enacts, that if any person, within or without
the realm, compass or imagine the death of the King, or his deposition,
or to do him any bodily harm, such as maiming, wounding, or imprisoning
him, in order by force to compel him to change his measures or counsels
of government, any persons so offending shall be guilty of high

“You will observe, gentlemen, that in each of the description of
offences that I have enumerated, except the levying of war, which
is in the ancient statute that I have alluded to, the words are,
“imagination and intention,” which are words of the same meaning,
and the actual perpetration of the crime is not mentioned. But it is
further required by an ancient statute, that the party accused shall
be provably attainted; and by a latter statute it is mentioned, that
if the party shall express, utter, or declare his intention by any
printing or writing, that is an overt act of such intention. The law
has wisely provided for the public safety, that in cases of this
kind, which involve the most extensive public mischief, the intention
shall be adjudged the crime; but, at the same time, for the safety
of the individual charged, it is required that such intention shall
be manifested by some act tending towards the accomplishment of the
criminal object charged.

“It may be proper to mention, that, before the passing of a late
statute, it was settled by several cases, and the opinions of the first
text writers, that all attempts to depose the king from his royal
state, to restrain his person, or to levy war against him, were high
treason; and all conspiracies, consultations, and agreements for those
purposes, were overt acts of compassing and imagining the death of
the king. By the late statute, all these things are made substantive
treasons, and thereby the law is made more clear to those who are
bound to obey it, and to those who may be engaged in the administration
of it.

“It may be also proper to remark, that all the pomp and circumstances
of military array are not necessary to the first levying of war.
Insurrections for the purpose of accomplishing the designs I have
mentioned to you by force, however ill arranged, if they are to
accomplish an innovation in public affairs, in which the parties
have no special or particular interest, are an actual levying of
war. Rebellion at its first commencement is rarely found in military
discipline or array, although a little success may soon lead it to
assume those appearances. Any act manifesting a criminal intention, and
tending towards the accomplishment of the criminal object, is, in the
language of the law, an overt act. Overt acts may be committed openly
and manifestly; but there are other overt acts, such as meetings and
consultations, and contrivances, agreements and promises of mutual
support and assistance, and incitements to others to engage in the
same scheme, are also overt acts. Assenting to the designed purpose,
assisting in the preparation of weapons, or any other thing necessary
to the general design, are all overt acts of the particular kind of
treason, of the particular compassing and imagination to which they may
happen to apply; and in this crime of high treason the law acknowledges
no accessories,--all are principals. All who participate in the
design and object, whether they enter into them early or late, are
equally guilty; for it will be found in conspiracies of a treasonable
nature, as well as all other conspiracies, that each is engaged in
accomplishing some particular object, which is a part of the general
design. Some are more zealous and ardent, others are more close and
reserved; but, as they are all acting in pursuance of the same view and
object, all are equally guilty. Overt acts are most important matters
for your investigation. It is necessary that the proof be set forth
in the indictment, in order that the accused may be prepared for his
defence; but it is not necessary that all the circumstances of proof
should be detailed. It is also required, in cases of high treason, that
there should be two witnesses to the overt acts. It is not necessary
that there should be two witnesses to every overt act; but if there
be one witness to one overt act, and another to another, that is
sufficient. Some one overt act must be proved to have taken place in
the county in which the trial takes place, as in the present case, in

“Having said thus much upon the law, as it applies to high treason,
I shall now address myself to the cases likely to be brought before
you, in order that you may apply that law. But in any thing I may say,
with reference to the inquiry in which you are likely to be engaged, I
request you will consider it all as supposition.

“It has been supposed that a conspiracy was formed to assassinate
certain persons engaged in the administration of the government of
the country, when they were assembled at a dinner at the house of
one of them, on February 23d: and it is supposed that a treasonable
hostility to the government dictated that act, for the abolition of
that government would follow this assassination. In furtherance of
this design, seven persons were found almost in the act of immediate
preparation, in a stable, with arms and offensive weapons, suitable
to the accomplishment of such a traitorous purpose. Those persons,
when attempted to be arrested by the peace-officers and the military,
in their endeavours to escape, which many of them effected, killed
one Richard Smithers. Pistols were discharged--weapons of death were
used--and some or all of the persons named were wounded.

“Of these matters all of you have, no doubt, read and heard; therefore
I take the liberty most earnestly to entreat you to confine your
attention to the evidence laid before you, and to banish from your
minds such information as you may have previously received as to the
motive or object of this supposed conspiracy, or as to the conduct of
the particular individuals supposed to be engaged in it.

“I should tell you that a conspiracy to murder public persons, however
important their situations may be, if arising from private malice,
and not intended to bring about any other object, does not constitute
the crime of high treason. But if the assassination of such persons
is meant as the first step of a general design to attack and destroy
by force the government of the country, or to compel the sovereign to
adopt such measures as they may think fit, then that assassination
assumes a different complexion, and may be considered an overt act
of one or both of those species of treason which I have mentioned.
If, therefore, a conspiracy to take away the lives of his Majesty’s
ministers should be proved, you will look to the object about to be
obtained by that assassination, and also to the number and rank of the
persons intended to be assassinated; for the crime increases not only
with the number of the conspirators, but with the number of the persons
intended to be assassinated.

“It is, indeed, difficult to conceive that persons could from private
malice alone, and without having a public object in view, conspire
together to assassinate a number of individuals of whom they could have
no knowledge but from the public situations which they filled. But the
difficulty of the supposition must not supply the place of evidence. We
well know that all attempts to subvert the government of this country
must, in the calm and sober eye of reason, appear wild and hopeless;
but you will consider that the mad persons who indulge such views are
led to diminish the difficulties and to magnify the success and the
benefit attending their schemes. It is natural for the vicious to think
that there are others as wicked as themselves, and that they shall
gain numerous adherents if they succeed in their first attempt. It is
this belief that often leads them to a premature disclosure of their
purposes to those whom they think likely to participate in their guilt,
and that thus furnishes evidence of their dangerous designs; but dark
and deep designs are seldom developed but through those who have joined
in them. The evidence of accomplices, however, is always to be received
with caution, and the conviction arising from such evidence should rest
on circumstances of credibility rather than on the personal characters
of the witnesses themselves. If such testimony were on all occasions
to be rejected, one of the greatest securities to the honest part of
society would be annihilated--namely, the want of mutual confidence in
those engaged in wicked schemes.

“The next subject which is likely to come under your observation is
misprision of treason, which consists in the concealment of treason,
when it is within the knowledge of the parties by whom it might be
divulged, and whose duty it would be to go before the first magistrate,
and make known the evil purposes which they know to be contemplated.

“The third subject to which your attention may be directed is the
murder of Richard Smithers, and any other offence touching the death of
that person, who lost his life on the occasion of the attempt made to
arrest those persons now in custody. It will be material to take into
your consideration the place, the time, and the circumstances, where,
when, and under which, that attempt to arrest them was made.

“The caution required by law as to the conduct of officers of
justice in apprehending persons charged with crimes applies only to
a dwelling-house whereof the doors are not open, and that caution
is confined to a dwelling-house alone. All other buildings or places
of meeting may be lawfully opened and entered for the apprehension
of persons charged with crimes against the law, without any previous
notification made. And when those officers have declared the character
in which they appear, the persons within are bound to yield themselves
in the same manner as if they had been met in the fields, or in the
open street; and if any of these officers be killed when the arrest
would have been lawful, then the party by whom the death-wound is
inflicted becomes guilty of the crime of murder. The arrest of persons
under the authority of a warrant from the magistrates is a lawful
arrest. So also is the arrest by peace-officers, without a warrant,
of persons supposed or reasonably alleged to have committed felony.
So also is an arrest by peace-officers, without a warrant, of persons
actually engaged in any breach of the peace, or of persons assembled
and arming, or otherwise preparing for the immediate perpetration
of murder; because such an assembly and such a perpetration are in
themselves criminal, and the arrest is actually necessary for the
prevention of the accomplishment of a still more heinous design. I
mention this, because the case likely to be submitted to you may fall
within these observations. The persons required to surrender to the
officers of the peace, though they may not be authorized to arrest
them, are not warranted in assaulting those officers with deadly
weapons, without warning them to stand off; and if they do, and death
ensue, they all subject themselves to punishment for the crime of
murder--at all events, they would be guilty of man-slaughter.

“In speaking of those guilty of murder, you will bear in mind that all
who unite in resistance, and use words manifesting that determination,
are equally guilty with him who inflicts the death-wound.

“Gentlemen, having said so much upon the third head of your inquiry,
very little remains to be said of the fourth. This comprises all
offences committed on the person of F. Fitzclarence, and the others
maimed, contrary to the 43d of the late king, the title of which is set
forth. You will therefore see that the jurisdiction does not extend
to all offences committed against these persons, but only such as are
contrary to the statute I have just mentioned to you. That statute is
the fifty-eighth chapter of the 43d of his late majesty; and as no
doubt it has been brought under the view of many of you, I need not
enter fully into it. The provisions of this act are--‘That it is a
capital felony for any person to shoot at, or wilfully to present and
point loaded fire-arms at, and attempt, by drawing the trigger, to
discharge the same at any of his majesty’s subjects, and also wilfully
and maliciously to stab or cut, with intent to murder, rob, maim,
or disfigure any of his subjects, or to do them any grievous bodily
harm.’ There is an express provision in this statute which enacts, that
these offences must be committed under such circumstances as that,
if the attempt succeeded in depriving a fellow-creature of life, it
would be murder. Now, if such an attempt be made in the open street,
which probably is a case that may be brought before you, there can be
no question of a malicious design to murder, or to do some grievous
bodily harm. As, however, no case is likely to come before you falling
within the excepting provision of the statute, I forbear to trouble you
with any further observations, being well aware, that in this case,
as well as in every other, the best security for the due discharge
of the important trust reposed in you will be found in your own good
sense, your own sound discretion, and your own general knowledge.
If, however, in the progress of your investigation any unexpected
difficulty shall arise, the Court will be found ready to give you such
further advice as you may require.

“Having detained you thus long, with such observations as I have
thought necessary, I now dismiss you to the discharge of that important
duty for the execution of which you are assembled.”

At the conclusion of his Lordship’s address, the Jury retired to their
room, and proceeded to examine witnesses upon the indictments which
were preferred before them. The Judges continued sitting in Court for
upwards of an hour, when the foreman and a few other members of the
Grand Jury returned, and an arrangement was made that their Lordships
should resume their seats at twelve o’clock, and that the Grand Jury
were to assemble at ten o’clock.

On this occasion, the following witnesses were in attendance:--The
Right Hon. Nicholas Vansittart, R. Baker, Esq., R. Birnie, Esq.,
Captain Fitzclarence; Monument and Adams (in custody); Ruthven, Ellis,
Westcott, Lee, Brooks, Surman, Wright, Taunton, Bishop, and Gill
(officers); Serjeant Legge, John Muddock, Jonathan Curtis, Joseph
Basey, Joseph Rivell, and Joseph Edgar (soldiers); Joseph Hall, Thomas
Droyer, Thomas Hiden, Joseph Harry Price, Emanuel Francis, James
Pocock, James Munday, Richard Munday, George Paylock, Mary Rogers,
Eleanor Walker, _&c._

Soon after twelve o’clock the Judges left the Court; and at half
past twelve the Grand Jury, having then been a considerable time in
deliberation, proceeded with the examination of witnesses.

Mr. BOUCHIER, one of the solicitors to the Treasury, was the first
witness examined: he was only a few minutes before the Jury.

ROBERT ADAMS, the ex-Oxford Blue, and an accomplice of the
conspirators, was next called. He was brought from the House of
Correction, where he had been in confinement since the final
examination of the conspirators before the Privy-Council, in the
custody of Mr. Adkins, the Governor, and the principal turnkey. He was
three hours under examination. He appeared perfectly cool and collected
when he came from the Grand Jury Room. After his examination he was
taken back in custody to the Cold-Bath-fields Prison.

The Right Hon. NICHOLAS VANSITTART, Chancellor of the Exchequer,
was the third witness. The Right Hon. gentleman, together with
CAPTAIN FITZCLARENCE, and other witnesses of the superior order, was
accommodated with a private room, while waiting the summons of the
Grand Jury. He was not more than ten minutes under examination.

JOSEPH BAKER, servant to the Earl of Harrowby, and fourteen other
witnesses, were then examined in succession. Amongst them was

JOHN MONUMENT, one of the eight committed to the Tower on the charge
of high treason. He was brought from the Tower in the custody of two
Yeomen of the Guard, and several officers, and was kept in a private
room, attended only by the Yeomen, with their swords drawn, during the
day. He seemed very uneasy, and continued pacing the room about the
whole time that he remained there. He appeared pale and dejected, and
by no means a willing witness. After his examination, which lasted
nearly an hour, he was conducted back to the Tower in the same custody.

There were several women among the persons examined. They were of
respectable appearance. Two boys were also called.

Captain Fitzclarence was the last witness called, and at six o’clock
the Grand Jury adjourned until nine o’clock on the following morning.

Tuesday the 28th of March, the court again met, pursuant to
adjournment, and soon after twelve o’clock, the Chief-Justices of the
King’s Bench and the Common Pleas, and the Attorney and Solicitor
Generals, took their respective seats.

At half-past two o’clock, the Grand Jury, having gone through the
examination of the whole of the witnesses, entered with true bills
for high treason against Arthur Thistlewood, William Davidson, James
Ings, J. T. Brunt, Richard Tidd, J. W. Wilson, John Harrison, Richard
Bradburn, James Shaw Strange, James Gilchrist, and Richard Charles

The bills for high treason against Abel Hall and Robert George, were

The Lord Chief Justice then expressed to the Attorney-General his
wish that the persons against whom true bills had been found might
have intimation, without the trouble of coming into court, that
their attorneys and counsel would have ready access to them. The
Attorney-General promised that every facility should be given to the
communication with their legal advisers.

On the following day the court assembled a third time to inquire into
the murder of Smithers, and divers acts of felony alleged to have
been committed by the prisoners; accordingly at twelve o’clock the
Lord Chief Justice of the King’s Bench took his seat in Court. The
Solicitor-General attended for the Crown.

The Grand Jury immediately entered, and delivered several bills to the
clerk, who read as follows:--

True bills for murder against Arthur Thistlewood, John Thomas Brunt,
Richard Tidd, James William Wilson, John Harrison and James Shaw

No bills for murder against William Davidson, James Ings, Richard
Bradburn, James Gilchrist, Abel Hall, and Richard Charles Cooper.

True bills for felony against James Ings, Richard Tidd, James William
Wilson, and Arthur Thistlewood.

The Foreman stated, that there was no other bill before them.

The Solicitor-General said, that it was not intended to prefer any more
bills at present.

The Court was then adjourned by direction of the Lord-Chief Justice
till the 13th day of April then next ensuing, at half-past 9 in the

A material omission occurred in the bills of indictment preferred
before this Grand Jury, assembled under the Special Commissions, with
regard to _Davidson_, the man of colour, who, on the night of the
capture of the conspirators, was standing sentry at the entrance to the
place of meeting, armed with a carbine, and sword of immense length,
and in resisting the attempt of the officers to take him into custody,
discharged his carbine at one of them. In preferring the bills against
the prisoners for the several offences with which they were charged,
this circumstance was overlooked, and it was not recollected, till
Wednesday the 19th of April. An order was consequently given on that
evening by Mr. Maule, the solicitor to the Treasury, to Ruthven, Ellis,
Gill (the man shot at), and other witnesses, to attend before the
Middlesex Grand Jury, at Clerkenwell, on the following day, and to take
with them the arms taken from Davidson. They attended accordingly, the
bill of indictment was preferred, and a true bill found against William
Davidson, for feloniously shooting at Gill, with intent to kill, &c.
Only three witnesses were called. The bill was preferred before the
Grand Jury summoned to dispose of the ordinary Sessions business, and
not that which had assembled under the Special Commission.

On Monday the 3d of April, copies of the indictments, with lists of the
jurors and of the witnesses to be produced on the trial, were delivered
to each of the prisoners in their respective places of confinement.

The LIST of the JURORS contained the names of 227 freeholders of the
county of Middlesex, resident in the different parishes, many of them
at a considerable distance from the metropolis.

The INDICTMENT contained four counts, on each of which certain overt
acts were charged, manifesting and proving the acts of treason set
forth. The following is an abstract of the Indictment.

     _The King against Arthur Thistlewood, William Davidson, James
     Ings, John Thomas Brunt, Richard Tidd, James William Wilson, John
     Harrison, Richard Bradburn, John Shaw Strange, James Gilchrist,
     and Charles Cooper._


That they did compass, imagine, invent, devise, and intend to deprive
and depose our said Lord the King of and from the style, honour, and
kingly name of the imperial crown of this realm.

     _First overt act._--That they did assemble, meet, conspire, and
     consult to devise, arrange, and mature plans and means to subvert
     and destroy the constitution and government of this realm, as by
     law established.

     _Second overt act._--That they did conspire to stir up, raise,
     make, and levy insurrection, rebellion, and war against our said
     Lord the King within this realm, and to subvert and destroy the
     constitution and government of this realm, as by law established.

     _Third overt act._--That they did conspire to assassinate, kill,
     and murder divers of the Privy-Council of our said Lord the King,
     employed in the administration.

     _Fourth overt act._--That they did procure, provide, and have
     divers large quantities of arms, in order to assassinate divers of
     the Privy-Council.

     _Fifth overt act._--That they did procure, provide, and have arms,
     with intent therewith to arm themselves and other false traitors,
     in order to raise, make, and levy insurrection, rebellion, and war.

     _Sixth overt act._--That they did conspire, consult and agree to
     seize and take possession of divers cannon, with intent to arm
     themselves and other false traitors, in order to make war against
     the King, and destroy the constitution.

     _Seventh overt act._--That they did conspire to set fire to,
     burn and destroy divers houses and buildings in and in the
     neighbourhood of London, and divers barracks, and to provide
     combustibles and materials for the purpose.

     _Eighth overt act._--That they did compose and prepare, and
     cause and procure to be composed and prepared, divers addresses,
     proclamations, declarations, and writings, containing therein
     solicitations, and incitements to the liege subjects of our
     said Lord the King, to aid and assist in making and levying
     insurrection, rebellion, and war, against our said Lord the
     King, within this realm, and in subverting and destroying the
     constitution and government of this realm, as by law established.

     _Ninth overt act._--That they did compose and prepare, and cause
     and procure to be composed and prepared, a certain paper writing,
     purporting to be an address to the liege subjects of our said Lord
     the King, containing therein that their tyrants were destroyed,
     and that the friends of liberty were called upon to come forward,
     as the provisional government was then sitting, with intent to
     publish the same, and thereby to solicit and excite the liege
     subjects of our said Lord the King to aid and assist in making and
     levying insurrection, rebellion, and war against the King, and in
     subverting and destroying the constitution and government.

     _Tenth overt act._--That they did assemble themselves, with
     arms, with intent to assassinate, kill, and murder divers of
     the Privy-Council, and to raise, make, and levy insurrection,
     rebellion, and war against our said Lord the King, and to subvert
     and destroy the constitution and government of this realm.

     _Eleventh overt act._--That they, armed and arrayed in a warlike
     manner, did ordain, prepare, levy and make public war against the


That they did compass, imagine, and intend to move and excite
insurrection, rebellion, and war against the King, within this realm,
and to subvert and alter the legislature, rule, and government, and to
bring and put the King to death.

     _First overt act._--Same as in the first count, with the addition
     of “and to deprive and depose our said Lord the King of and from
     the style, honour, and kingly name of the imperial crown of this

     _Second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth,
     tenth, and eleventh overt acts_, same as in the first count.


That they did compass, imagine, and invent to move, and intend to levy
war against the King, in order by force and constraint to compel him to
change his measures and councils.

     _First overt act._--That they did assemble, meet, conspire and
     consult to devise, arrange, and mature plans and means, by force
     and constraint, to compel the King to change his measures and

     _Second overt act._--Same as in the first count only leaving out
     the conclusion, “and to subvert,” &c.

     _Third and Fourth overt acts._--Same as in the first count.

     _Fifth and Sixth overt acts._--Same as in the first count,
     omitting as before, “and to subvert,” &c.

     _Seventh overt act._--Same as in the first count.

     _Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth overt acts._--Same as in the eighth,
     tenth, and eleventh overt acts in the first count, omitting at the
     end of the eighth and ninth as before, “and to subvert,” &c.


That they did levy and make war against the King, and endeavour by
force and arms, to subvert and destroy the constitution and government
of this realm, and to deprive and depose the King of the crown.

The following is the LIST OF WITNESSES, containing 162 names, and
amongst them some of the most distinguished Members of Administration,
the Police Magistrates and Officers, the Soldiers employed in the
arrest, many women, boys, &c.

Adams, Robert, cordwainer, an accomplice, in custody
Alderson, Leonard, Antelope-gardens, Holywell-mount, cordwainer
Aldous, James, Berwick-street, pawnbroker
Avis, George, Bow-street patrol
Adkins, William, governor of the House of Correction, Coldbath fields
Bathurst, Right Honourable Charles
Baker, John, servant to the Earl of Harrowby
Baker, Robert, Esq. Justice of the Peace, Bow-street
Baker, Gabriel, yeoman, warder of the Tower
Baldwin, William H. shopman to Mr. Colnaghi, printseller, Cockspur-street
Barrow, William, chair-maker.
Basey, James, soldier, 2d regiment coldstream guards
Bishop, Daniel, officer, Bow-street
Bissex, Charles, watchman
Birnie, Richard, Esq., Bow-street office
Brind, Joseph, servant to J. Saunders, St. John-street, Clerkenwell
Brooks, William Charles, Bow-street patrol
Bourchier, Charles, Esq., assistant solicitor, Treasury
Bulmer, John, warder of the Tower
Bubb, Thomas, watchman
Bamford, John, captain and adjutant of the London and Westminster
  Light Horse Volunteers
Buller, James, Esq., one of the clerks of his Majesty’s most
  honourable Privy-Council
Brand, George, turnkey of the House of Correction
Brand, Henry, ditto
Castlereagh, Viscount
Carr, Thomas, cordwainer
Carter, Robert, yeoman, warder of the Tower
Caylock, George, Cato-street, blacksmith
Champion, Joseph, Bow-street patrol
Chapman, Robert, ditto
Chetwynd, Richard, Viscount, one of the Clerks of his Majesty’s
  most honourable Privy-Council
Claddis, Stephen, yeoman, warder of the Tower
Clark, John, ditto
Clark, William, ditto
Clark, Thomas, Great York-mews, Portman-square, tailor
Cooper, William, warder of the tower
Curtis, Jonathan, soldier, 2d coldstream guards
Cygrove, John, ditto
Davy, John, Parker-street, Drury-lane, wheelwright
Davies, Jeremiah, warder of the Tower
Davies, H. servant to the Earl of Ailesbury, Grosvenor-square
Davison, Thomas, printer, Duke-street, West Smithfield
Denne, George, yeoman, warder of the Tower
Devisme, Gerard, Esq., Bryanstone-street, merchant
Dobson, Jonathan, Silver-street, Clerkenwell, dealer in old iron
Dobson, Esther, wife of the above
Dwyer, Thomas, Gee’s-court, Oxford-street, bricklayer
East, James, warder of the Tower
East, Richard, ditto
East, Robert, White-street, Moorfields, letter-caster
Edwards, George, Ranelagh-place, modeller
Edgar, James, soldier, 2d coldstream guards
Ellis, James, Bow-street patrol
Farrell, Thomas, Duke-street, Lincoln’s-inn-fields, green grocer
Fitzclarence, Frederick, ensign, 2d coldstream guards
Flanagan, Patrick, St. Giles’s, watchman
Fletcher, William, warder of the Tower
Ford, William, Mount-street, Lambeth, cordwainer
Francis, Emanuel, Southampton-mews, Marylebone, labourer
Fryer, William, warder of the Tower
Gill, Benjamin George, Bow-street patrol
Gillan, Henry, servant to Mr. Whittle, apothecary, Mount-street,
Gould, Mary, Adam’s-mews, Grosvenor-square, wife of George Gould,
Gould, Elizabeth, Stanhope-st. wife of Robert Gould, victualler.
Gibbs, William, Bow-street patrol
Harrowby, Dudley, Earl of, Lord President of his Majesty’s
  most honourable Privy-Council
Hale, Joseph, apprentice to John Thomas Brunt, boot-closer
Hanson, Edward, sergeant of artillery, Tower
Harknett, John, Clement’s-inn, labourer
Harrell, James, Lamb’s Chapel-court, Monkwell-st., cordwainer
Hatton, Thomas, warder of the Tower
Hayward, Joseph, Long-alley, Moorfields, cordwainer
Hiden, Thomas, Manchester-mews, milkman
Hoare, Mary, Great Wild-street, spinster
Hobbs, John, White Hart-yard, Brook’s-market, victualler
Hobhouse, Henry, Esq., one of his Majesty’s Under Secretaries of State
Howard, George, Fox-court, Grays-inn-lane, cordwainer
Humphrey, William, warder of the Tower
Humphreys, Samuel, Radnor-street, St. Luke’s, iron-founder
Inglis, James, soldier, 2d regiment coldstream guards
Jennings, Thomas, New Compton-street, carver and gilder
Isaacs, Jane, Cato-street, spinster
Keyes, Thomas, Frith-street, Soho, victualler
Keyes, Thomas, the elder, gent., same place
Knowles, Walter, warder of the Tower
Lane, John, gent., gaoler of the Tower
Lavender, Stephen, officer, Bow-street
Lee, William, patrol, Bow-street
Leeson, John, warder of the Tower
Legg, William, serjeant 2d regiment coldstream guards
Litchfield Elijah, Clerk of the office of solicitor of the treasury
Lawson, Edward, Brown’s-lane, Spitalfields, currier
Lott, James, sergeant 2d regiment coldstream guards
Main, Thomas, warder of the Tower
M’Carthy, Anne, Gray’s-buildings, Manchester-square, wife of
  James M’Carthy, labourer
Mansfield, John, servant, to ensign Fitzclarence
Maule, George, Esq. solicitor to the treasury
Miles, Thomas, warder of the Tower
Moay, Giles, Franklin, Marylebone, watchman
Monument, Thomas, Garden-court, Gray’s-inn-lane, cordwainer
Monument, John, an accomplice, prisoner in the Tower
Morris, Thomas, warder of the Tower
Muddock, John, soldier in the 2d regiment coldstream guards
Munday, Richard, Cato-street, labourer
Munday, James, same place, labourer, son of the above
Maidment, Jeremiah, constable, Bow-street
Morison, John Hector, Drury-lane, cutler
Morris, Stephen, turnkey, House of Correction
Nixon, Luke, patrol, Bow-street
Palmerston, Henry John, Viscount, secretary at war
Pargiter, Henry, messenger to the solicitor to the treasury
Pocock, J. Tunbridge-row, Lord’s Cricket-ground, whitesmith
Poulson, Jonathan, servant to the Lord Archbishop of York
Powell, John, warder of the Tower
Pratt, Edward, Fox-place, Lord’s Cricket-ground, smith
Price, J. H. Kendal’s-mews, Blandford-street, brassworker
Privatt, Mary, Vine-yard, Southwark, char-woman
Phillips, Henry, Pleasant-row, Lord’s Cricket-ground, labourer
Raven, Henry Baldwin, clerk to the solicitor to the treasury
Read, William, officer, Hatton-garden
Revell, James, soldier, 2d regiment coldstream guards
Ridsdale, William, waiter, Peele’s coffee-house
Rochfort, George, Little Park-lane, Regent’s-park, watchman
Rogers, Mary, Fox-court, Gray’s-inn-lane, chandler’s-shop keeper
Rogers, George, warder of the Tower
Ruthven, George Thomas Joseph, officer, Bow-street
Sallibanks, William, Holly-row, Lord’s Cricket-ground, carpenter
Salmon, William Joseph, Seymour-place, Marylebone, tailor
Salmon, William, officer, Bow-street
Saxelby, warder of the Tower
Sheppard, Robert, ditto
Shephard, Sarah, Great Wild-street, victualler
Simpson, Edward, corporal-major, 2d regiment life-guards
Smart, Thomas, Wood-street, Westminster, watchmaker
Smith, Augustus, Swan and Horse-shoe public house, Little Britain,
  plumber and glazier
Spooner, Ralph, servant to Armstrong and Co. Leather-lane
Stafford, John, chief clerk, Bow-street
Strickland, James, corporal 2d regiment coldstream guards
Surman, John, patrol, Bow-street
Sutch, William, John-street, Grosvenor-mews, cordwainer
Smith, John Clark, John-street, West, Edgware-road, victualler
Taunton, Samuel H., officer, Bow-street
Taylor, Sarah, Warwick-street, Golden-square, printseller
Thompson, Abraham, warder of the Tower
Tomlin, William, Gray’s-inn-lane, victualler
Townshend, John, patrol, Bow-street
Vansittart, Nicholas, (the Right Hon.) chancellor and under-treasurer
  of his Majesty’s exchequer
Valentine, Benjamin, William, officer, Marlborough-street
Underwood, William, warder of the Tower
Wales, John, officer, Marlborough-street
Walker, James, Gun-street, Old Artillery-ground, coffee-house keeper
Walker, Eleanor, spinster, servant to Henry Rogers, Fox-court,
  Gray’s Inn-lane
Weeden, James, Edgeware-road, oil and colour-man
Welford, John, South-street, Park-lane, clerk to James Denew,
  auctioneer and appraiser
Westcott, William, patrol, Bow-street
Wood, Robert, Elliot’s-row, Lord’s Cricket-ground, tinman
Woodward, John, High-street, Islington, cordwainer
Wright, John, patrol, Bow-street
Wheeler, Henry, turnkey, House of Correction
Weston, Elizabeth, Cato-street, wife of Edward Weston, plumber
  and glazier.

In addition to the copy of the indictment, and lists of jurors and
witnesses, the prisoners received each of them the following notice
from the Solicitor to the Treasury:--

     “The King _v._ Arthur Thistlewood, Wm. Davidson, James Ings,
     John Thomas Brunt, Richard Tidd, Jas. Wm. Wilson, John Harrison,
     Richard Bradburn, John Shaw Strange, James Gilchrist, and Charles
     Cooper, for high treason.

     “You are hereby required to produce, upon the trial of this
     indictment, certain paper writings, written or prepared, or caused
     to be written or prepared by you, or some or one of you, on or
     about the 23d day of February last, each of these purporting to
     be an address to the people of this kingdom, stating therein that
     their tyrants were destroyed, and that the friends of liberty were
     called on to come forward, as the provisional government was then
     sitting, or to the like purport or effect; and also a certain
     other writing, written or prepared, or caused to be written or
     prepared by you, or some or one of you, purporting to be an
     address to the soldiers, soliciting them to join the friends of
     liberty, and that they should have their discharge, * * * * * and
     full pay for life, and twenty pounds to take them to their homes,
     or to the like purport or effect; and also all other addresses and
     proclamations whatsoever, written or prepared, or caused to be
     written or prepared, by you, or any of you, between the 1st day of
     January, and the 24th day of February last.

     “Dated this 8th day of March, 1820.

     “GEO. MAULE, Solicitor for the Prosecution.

     “To the above-named Arthur Thistlewood, &c., and to each and every
     of them.”

The reason for the service of the above notice was as follows: It was
supposed that the accomplices who had become king’s evidence, would,
in their examination as witnesses, state, that such an address as that
referred to in the notice was prepared and in the possession of some
of the defendants; and as the prosecutors would not, according to the
rules of evidence, be allowed to give verbal testimony of the contents
of the address without previously giving notice to the defendants to
produce the original, the Crown Solicitor served them all with notice.

On the 13th of April, Mr. Sheriff Rothwell received a summons from the
office of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, requiring
his presence at Whitehall, to make the necessary arrangements for the
removal of the state prisoners in the Tower to Newgate. The Sheriff,
accompanied by Mr. Under-Sheriff Turner, immediately proceeded to the
Home-office, where they were introduced to Lord Sidmouth.

The mode of conveying the prisoners having been decided upon, Lord
Sidmouth delivered to Sheriff Rothwell a writ, empowering him to
receive into his custody, from the Warder of the Tower of London, the
bodies of _Arthur Thistlewood_, _William Davidson_, _James Ings_,
_John Thomas Brunt_, _Richard Tidd_, _James William Wilson_, and _John
Harrison_, charged with high treason. His Lordship at the same time
intimated that a military force would be in attendance, to guard the
prisoners to their place of destination.

In consequence of the plan adopted, on the morning of the 14th, as
early as half-past six o’clock, Mr. Sheriff Rothwell, Mr. Under-Sheriff
Turner, Mr. Under-Sheriff Pullen, Mr. Brown (gaoler of Newgate,) Mr.
Wontner, (the Chief City Marshal,) and Mr. Brown, (the Deputy Marshal,)
arrived at the Tower, and were immediately introduced to the resident
Governor, Major J. H. Elrington, who had been apprized of their coming,
and had given directions to the Warders to have their prisoners in
readiness. A numerous detachment of the Life Guards soon afterwards
arrived at the fortress, and these were followed by a strong party of
Bow-street officers, in seven carriages, which were engaged for the

At seven o’clock, every thing being in readiness, directions were given
to the Warders to bring forth their prisoners. The prisoners were then
conducted separately from their respective places of confinement,
between two Warders, into the Court-yard, where they were delivered
to the officers in waiting, by whom they were handcuffed. While the
handcuffs were being placed on Thistlewood he was greatly agitated, and
trembled exceedingly.

Their names were called over from the writ, and Mr. Brown, the gaoler
of Newgate, was thus enabled to recognize their persons. They were
all perfectly silent until about to depart, when they expressed their
thanks to the Warder for the humane attention which they had received.

The whole being now assembled, they were marched, each between two
Bow-street officers, to the Fosse-gate, beyond which the carriages had
been drawn up. Thistlewood was placed in the first carriage, and was
joined by three police officers. The remaining prisoners were each
placed in a separate carriage, and each attended by three Bow-street
officers. They were accompanied by a troop of Life Guards, and
proceeded in a direct course to Newgate prison.

The carriages were flanked on each side by Horse Guards in single file.
Notwithstanding the early hour of the morning, and the secrecy with
which the removal was so prudently conducted, as the carriages issued
from the Tower gates, an immense throng had assembled to witness their

In the gaol of Newgate, the Marshal’s men, and a large body of
constables, were assembled at seven o’clock, for the purpose of
preserving order; and when, at twenty minutes before eight, it was
announced that the prisoners were approaching, they sallied forth and
formed a half-moon in front of the felons’ door. In a few seconds
afterwards, the Horse Guards turned the corner of the Old Bailey, and
rode up to the prison.

Mr. Sheriff Rothwell, and the Under-Sheriff, drove up to the private
door of Mr. Brown’s house, and obtained admission to the gaol by that
means. The prisoners alighted at the felons’ door, and were received
by the chief turnkey. Thistlewood as he went up the steps, appeared
greatly dejected; as did Ings, Tidd, and Brunt. Davidson, Harrison, and
Wilson, seemed to maintain their confidence.

The prisoners were ultimately conducted to the cells which had been
previously prepared for their reception; and the whole being thus
safely delivered to the proper authorities, the Horse Guards rode off
to their quarters.

Thistlewood was placed in a small but comfortable cell by himself,
having a fire and other accommodations. In the day-time an officer was
constantly present with him; and at night two were kept on guard.

The other six prisoners brought from the Tower were placed altogether,
and had the accommodation of a large yard on the north side of the
prison, in which they were allowed to take the air. With them also one
officer in the day-time, and two at night, were always present.

At three o’clock in the afternoon the four prisoners confined in the
House of Correction, likewise arrived at Newgate, without any military
escort. They were brought in two carriages, accompanied by five or six
police-officers. These four prisoners were placed in a separate cell
apart from those who had been brought from the Tower.

With respect to the prisoners arrived from the House of Correction,
the same precautions were taken, and one guard in the day, and two at
night, were appointed to be constantly present with them.

In order to prevent any disturbance of a serious nature taking place, a
further precaution had been taken. A detachment of the London Militia
arrived in the course of the afternoon at Newgate, and continued there
until the whole of the trials were concluded.

A committee was formed among the friends and partizans of the
prisoners, for the purpose of raising subscriptions to support the
wives and families of the unfortunate men, who, it will be recollected,
were all of the lowest and most abject class of society, during their
imprisonment, and for employing a solicitor, retaining counsel, and
arranging other matters for their defence on the approaching trial.

The following hand-bill, containing a forcible appeal to the feelings
of the public, was put forth by the families of the misguided men,
under the direction of the committee for the management of their
defence. How far the assertions so confidently expressed in this paper
were borne out by the evidence given on the trial, on which we are now
about to enter, we leave our readers to determine.


     “The WIVES and FAMILIES of the _unfortunate persons_ now
     imprisoned for an _alleged conspiracy_ against the present
     government, venture to intrude their helpless and unprotected
     situation on the immediate attention of their countrymen, and to
     offer this imperfect, but they trust not unsuccessful, appeal.

     “Into the truth or falsehood of the charges, by virtue of which
     their husbands and parents are suffering under the double weight
     of public obloquy and rigorous confinement, they do not now
     presume to enter; they merely put in their claims in behalf of
     their unhappy relatives, that they may not be deprived of the
     benefits common to every Briton, _viz._, that of being at least
     not condemned until _legally_ proved guilty, nor excluded from all
     possibility of a fair and unbiassed trial, _before a jury of their

     “They beg to remind their countrymen that, hitherto, the
     unfortunate accused have had no opportunity of proving their
     innocence, or offering any thing in their own defence; that
     all is _ex-parte_ statement, consisting of the testimony of
     _Bow-street Officers_, and the exaggerated reports contained in
     the public Journals, the former of which in many instances have
     been _interested parties_, and have even been _proved_ to have
     instigated to the commission of crime, that they might afterwards
     _betray the delinquents, and obtain the promised reward_; and the
     latter are notoriously guilty of loading their daily columns with
     the most scandalous falsehoods and misrepresentations.

     “Under these impressions, they trust that a generous and humane
     Public will suspend their judgment, until the whole of this
     unhappy business has undergone the solemn and final adjudication
     of a Legal Tribunal, when the guilt or innocence of the respective
     parties may be rendered manifest to the world at large. Of this
     they are naturally the more solicitous, because it will be
     recollected, that when upon a former occasion, some of the persons
     who now stand charged with the crime of High Treason, were accused
     and tried for a similar offence, it was found, after a patient and
     impartial investigation, to the perfect satisfaction both of the
     Jury and the British Public, that the alleged Conspiracy was (as
     they verily believe the present will also be proved,) nothing more
     than the artful invention of _hired Spies_ and _secret Agents_,
     who endeavoured to instigate to the perpetration of crime, that
     they themselves might reap an ample harvest from the blood of
     their deluded victims, and recommend themselves to their employers.

     “Waiving for the present, however, all further discussion upon
     this painful and distressing subject, it is earnestly hoped that
     whatever opinion or prejudice may be entertained respecting the
     guilt or innocence of the accused, a generous Public will not
     confound the innocent with the guilty, or suffer the defenceless
     and unprotected Women and Children, who have no share or concern
     in these melancholy transactions, to perish for want of timely
     relief, while their Husbands and Parents are lingering in solitary
     confinement, unable to stretch forth a helping hand to save them
     from impending ruin: they are at this moment actually destitute of
     the means of subsistence, and dying for want of food.

     “It is hoped that this imperfect but faithful statement of their
     real situation and circumstances, will induce the benevolent to
     step forward and contribute their liberal aid, to rescue those
     distressed objects from famine and despair.

     “Subscriptions will be received by the Printer, 10, Duke Street,
     Smithfield; Mr. Griffin, 10, Middle Row, Holborn, (opposite
     Gray’s-Inn Lane:) Mr. Walker, Gun Street, Spitalfields; and by the
     Relatives of the accused Persons The smallest Donations will be
     thankfully acknowledged.

     _Mary Brunt_, for herself and one child.
     _Mary Tidd_, and eight children.
     _Amelia Bradburn_, and eight children.
     _Mary Strange_, and two children.
     _Charlotte Preston_, and three sisters.
     _Susan Thistlewood_, one child.
     _Sarah Davidson_, and six children.
     _Caroline Harrison_, and three children.”

Mr. HARMER was employed by the Committee for all the prisoners, except
Bradburn, having been previously employed for Bradburn by that man’s
relations and friends.

Mr. ADOLPHUS and Mr. CURWOOD, were retained as counsel for Thistlewood,
Brunt, Davidson, Ings, and Tidd; and Mr. WALFORD and Mr. BRODERICK, for
the remainder of the prisoners.

It may be proper here to state, that during the whole time the
prisoners were in custody, on the awful charges which we have so
minutely detailed, the greatest attention possible was paid to their
personal comfort and convenience, consistent with their safe custody;
and indeed the unhappy men themselves felt and acknowledged the humane
attention with which they had uniformly been treated.


[1] See Newgate Calendar, Vol. IV.





This being the day to which the Court had been adjourned for arraigning
and receiving the pleas of the eleven prisoners, against whom Bills of
Indictment for High Treason had been found, the proceedings commenced.
At ten o’clock precisely, the Commissioners entered the Court, preceded
by Mr. Sheriff Rothwell; they were, the Lord Chief-Justice Abbott, the
Lord Chief-Justice Dallas, the Chief Baron Richards, and Mr. Justice
Richardson. The Common Sergeant, who is also in the commission, was
likewise present; and Sir William Leighton, Sir R. Carr Glynn, Mr.
Alderman Christopher Smith, &c.

The _Lord Chief-Justice Abbott_, after the Commissioners were all
seated, rose, and presented to Mr. Shelton the indictments which had
been found under the Special Commission, for the purpose of having
them tried under the General Session of Oyer and Terminer, and Gaol
Delivery, then holden in that Court.

Mr. _Shelton_, on receiving them, immediately gave directions to Mr.
Brown, the gaoler, to bring up his prisoners.

The prisoners were then brought into court, each man accompanied by a
constable, and placed at the back part of the dock.

Arthur Thistlewood entered first; he looked pale and dejected. He was
dressed in a black coat and velvet collar, light-coloured waistcoat,
blue trowsers, and shoes. None of the prisoners were either handcuffed
or bolted. The other men were decently clad, according to their means,
and appeared cleanly and healthful. The whole being assembled,

Mr. _Clarke_, the deputy clerk of the arraigns, proceeded to call
over their names from the back of the bill found for high treason,
preparatory to


_Arthur Thistlewood_ first came forward, and was desired to hold up his
hand. Having complied with this direction, he was placed at the bar.
William Davidson (the man of colour), James Ings, John Thomas Brunt,
and Richard Tidd, were then called, and went through the same ceremony.

Upon coming to the name of James William Wilson, Wilson, who remained
with the other prisoners, did not answer. The name was twice repeated,
but still he took no notice. One of the turnkeys then addressed him
personally, and said, “Come forward, Wilson,” to which he replied,
“That is not my name.”

Mr. CURWOOD now stated to the Court, that he was Counsel for some of
the prisoners, and that it was intended to put in a plea of misnomer as
to this man.

The _Lord Chief Justice_.--That must be done when the indictment is
read, and when the prisoner is called on to plead.

The remaining prisoners, John Harrison, Richard Bradburn, and John Shaw
Strange, James Gilchrist, and Charles Cooper, were then called, and
severally came to the bar, and held up their hands.

The _Lord Chief Justice Abbott_.--“Prisoners, attend while the
indictment is read;” and then, addressing himself to Mr. Clarke, “Let
their names be called over again.”

Their names were accordingly called over; and Mr. Clarke proceeded to
read the indictment for high treason, for which see page 90.

On coming to the second count,

Mr. _Curwood_ submitted, that as the overt acts in this count were
similar to those in the first count, it was scarcely necessary to give
the officer of the court the trouble of reading, or the court the
fatigue of listening to it.

The _Lord Chief Justice Abbott_.--You think it may be dispensed with:
very well, This may the more readily be acquiesced in, as all the
prisoners have been furnished with copies of the indictment. Unless the
prisoners themselves desire it, therefore, this count need not be read.
His Lordship then addressed himself to the prisoners, and asked them
whether they wished any more of this count to be read? He added, that
their counsel thought it unnecessary.

_Ings._--I do not think it is necessary.

The other prisoners all acquiesced in this determination.

The succeeding counts were then read, when Mr. _Clarke_ addressed
himself to Arthur Thistlewood, and asked him, whether he was guilty or
not guilty of the treasons and felonies whereof he stood charged?

_Thistlewood._--Not guilty.

Mr. _Clarke_.--How will you be tried?

_Thistlewood._--By God and my country.

The same question, which is the usual form in arraignments, was then
put to Davidson, who also pleaded Not Guilty, and agreed to be tried in
the same way.

_Ings_, in a firm tone of voice, said, “I am not guilty. I will be
tried by God and by the laws of reason. The laws of reason are the laws
of God.”

The _Lord Chief Justice_.--Instruct him to plead in the usual way.

Mr. Brown having spoken to the prisoner, he agreed to the ordinary
terms of the plea, and said he would be tried by God and his country.

John Thomas Brunt and Richard Tidd followed the example of Thistlewood
and Davidson.

Mr. Clarke next called the name of “James William Wilson.”

Wilson came forward, and repeated his declaration, that that was not
his name.

The _Lord Chief Justice Abbott_.--What is your name?

_Wilson._--My name is James Wilson.

Mr. CURWOOD.--We mean to plead in abatement that this man has been
indicted by a wrong name.

The _Lord Chief Justice Abbott_.--Is your plea prepared?

Mr. CURWOOD.--Yes, my Lord.

The _Lord Chief Justice Abbott._--Let it be sworn.

The plea was then handed to Wilson, and he was sworn, in the customary
form, to answer all such questions as the Court should demand of him.

The _Lord Chief Justice_.--Have you read the contents of that plea,
and the form of affidavit subjoined; and is it true in matter and in

_Wilson._--I have, my Lord; I have signed it; it is true.

The _Lord Chief Justice_.--You swear the contents of your affidavit are


The _Lord Chief Justice_.--Let the plea be received.

The plea was handed accordingly to Mr. Shelton.

The _Lord Chief Justice_.--The plea is received by the Court. It is for
the Attorney General to consider what he proposes to do with it. For
the present, take that man back.

The prisoner stood back. Harrison, Bradburn, Strange, Gilchrist, and
Cooper, then pleaded Not Guilty, and pursued the course adopted by the
other prisoners.

Thistlewood, Brunt, Tidd, Wilson, Harrison, and Strange, were
then arraigned on a second indictment, charging them, in various
counts, with the wilful murder of Richard Smithers, in the parish of
Marylebone, in the county of Middlesex, on the 23d of February last.

They all pleaded Not Guilty, with the exception of Wilson, who
again pleaded the misnomer, and a plea was ordered to be prepared

Ings now attracted the attention of the Court, and said, “I wish to
speak, if I am permitted. I wish to know whether we are going to be
tried altogether or separately? My wish is to be tried separately.
I think I shall be able to prove that I am innocent of the charges
alleged against me.”

The _Lord Chief Justice_.--It is probable your request may be attended
to; but this is not the proper time for making it. We will hear that

The whole of the eleven prisoners were next arraigned on a third
indictment, which was founded on the coroner’s inquisition, by which
they were all, together with certain other persons to the jurors
unknown, pronounced guilty of the wilful murder of Richard Smithers.
In this indictment the name of Wilson was correctly set forth: he,
therefore, together with the other prisoners, pleaded Not Guilty.

Arthur Thistlewood was then arraigned separately on an indictment,
charging him with shooting at, with intent to kill, or do some grievous
bodily harm to, William Westcott, one of the Bow-street patrol engaged
in arresting the conspirators in Cato-street. He pleaded Not Guilty, as

James Ings and Richard Tidd to similar indictments preferred against
the latter, for shooting at, with intent to kill, William Legg,
serjeant in the Coldstream Guards; and the former for shooting at
William Charles Brooks, one of the Bow-street patrol.

To each of these indictments a count was added, alleging the intent
to be to obstruct certain officers of the peace in apprehending them
while in the pursuit of illegal objects, and conspiring to murder and
assassinate certain liege subjects of our Lord the King.

James Wilson was put to the bar to plead to an indictment against
him for shooting at John Muddock, one of the soldiers engaged in
Cato-street; but, being again described as James William Wilson, he
pleaded his misnomer once more, and a plea was ordered to be prepared

The whole of the indictments having been gone through,

The _Attorney-General_ addressed the Commissioners, and said, that
as he understood it was the wish of the prisoners to separate their
challenges, he begged that the prisoners might be apprized that Arthur
Thistlewood would be tried alone upon the indictment for high-treason
on Monday morning.

The _Lord Chief Justice_ desired that the prisoners might be asked,
whether it was their wish to challenge separately?

The prisoners all expressed their wish to that effect.

Mr. _Shelton_ then addressed Thistlewood, and informed him that he
would be put upon his trial for high-treason on Monday morning, at nine

The prisoners were then all taken from the bar, with the exception
of Wilson, who remained to make affidavits to the pleas which he had

The _Attorney General_ then adverted to the necessity of assigning
Council to the prisoners under the terms of the statute.

The _Lord Chief Justice_ desired that the names of the Council selected
by the prisoners might be stated to the Court.

Mr. _Harmer_ immediately announced, that Mr. ADOLPHUS and Mr. CURWOOD
were to be the Counsel for the first six prisoners, including Arthur
Thistlewood; and that Mr. WALFORD and Mr. BRODERICK would conduct the
defence of the remaining five.

The _Lord Chief Justice_ directed that the Council named should be
assigned accordingly.

The additional pleas of Wilson were then brought into court by Mr.
Harmer, and the prisoner was sworn to their contents.

The _Lord Chief Justice_.--Let the pleas be received. His Lordship
subsequently announced, that the Attorney-General had filed his
replication to the pleas in question.

[Illustration: Thomas Hiden.]


_Wivell Del^t._      _Cooper Sculp._

Robert Adams.]

Wilson was then taken back to Newgate, and the whole of the prisoners
were re-conducted to their respective places of confinement.
Thistlewood shook hands most cordially with some of his companions,
whom he had not previously seen since his commitment.


FIRST DAY, APRIL 17, 1820.

The interest excited by this trial was strongly manifested by the
assemblage of a crowd in front of the Sessions-house, as early as seven
o’clock. Previous to this time a numerous body of the civil force
had arrived, and were stationed in such situations as to control the
multitude. For the purpose of preventing the interruption arising from
the passage of carriages and carts through the Old Bailey, rails were
erected at the two ends, next Ludgate-hill and Fleet-lane. These were
only opened to admit the carriages of persons engaged in the business
of the Court.

At eight o’clock the arrival of the jurymen who had been summoned
created considerable bustle, and this was greatly increased by the
pressure of other persons for admission to the Court. Regulations were
adopted to prevent the entrance of those who were not provided with
tickets. This was the more necessary, as from the limited nature of the
Court but a small portion of the public could obtain accommodation.
The Jury alone, who stood in the body of the Court, were upwards of
two hundred in number. Certain boxes were devoted to the reception of
females, several of whom were present.

The witnesses for the Crown were divided into two parties. The more
respectable were placed in the Grand Jury room, and those of an humbler
class remained in a contiguous apartment.

Monument, who remained a prisoner in the Tower, was brought from thence
in the care of two warders, and Lavender and Bishop. He was placed in
a room by himself, as was Adams, who was brought from the House of
Correction in the custody of Governor Adkins.

The pikes, swords, guns, pistols, grenades, ammunition, and other
articles intended to be produced on the trial, and which the witnesses
brought with them, presented a most formidable appearance.

At half-past eight Thistlewood was conducted from his cell, in the care
of one of the Turnkeys. He appeared greatly dejected. He was placed in
the apartment usually devoted to those about to be put on their trials.
The other prisoners were not brought down.

As the time appointed for the sitting of the Commissioners approached,
the body of the Court became greatly crowded; while the galleries,
which are private property, and to which admission could only be
obtained by the payment of a guinea, were comparatively thin. The
boxes assigned to the Committee of City Lands and the Grand Jury were
completely filled.

At nine o’clock the Commissioners entered the Court in the same order
as described on Saturday. The Court was then opened in the usual form.

Mr. _Shelton_ immediately proceeded to call over the names of the
Jurymen summoned. As they answered, they were asked, whether they were
freeholders in the county of Middlesex to the amount of ten pounds
a-year, or of a freehold and copyhold together of that amount? In the
event of their answering in the negative, they were passed over. Those
who did not answer when called, were called upon their summonses “to
come forth and save their fines of 100 shillings and issue.” Several
were in this predicament.

The object of this ceremony was to ascertain the number and eligibility
of the Jurymen in attendance, preparatory to their being subsequently
subject to the challenges of the crown officers and the prisoners. Some
of the gentlemen were excused from attendance on the ground of their
health being so infirm as to preclude them from doing their duty as

While this form was going through, the prisoner Thistlewood was put
to the bar, and attracted general attention. He was dressed as on
Saturday, and came forward with apparent firmness. He had in his hand a
pencil and a sheet of paper. He paid particular attention to the names
as they were called over.

The Council for the Crown in attendance were, the Attorney-General,
the Solicitor-General, Mr. Bolland, and Mr. Littledale. Those for
the prisoners were, Mr. Curwood, Mr. Adolphus, Mr. Walford, and Mr.
Broderick. Such was the pressure occasioned by the assemblage of the
Jury, that they were constrained to ask permission to quit the Court as
their names were called over. This request was complied with, but they
were desired to remain within hearing.

As the prisoner stood at the bar, and while the Court was occupied in
attending to the list of the jury being called over, a man of shabby
appearance contrived to get to the corner of the dock, and to place his
hat on the board in front, and then, calling Thistlewood’s attention,
directed him to take the contents. Thistlewood immediately took from
the hat five oranges, which he put in his pocket. Mr. Brown, who was
in his box, witnessed the transaction, and admonished the obtruder. He
afterwards directed one of his turnkeys to take the oranges into his
possession. Thistlewood, on being asked, delivered up the fruit, and
they were carried out of Court to be examined.

There might seem, in this conduct, on the part of Mr. Brown, something
of harshness; but when it is recollected that an orange might be
made the vehicle of conveying to the prisoner the means of personal
destruction, or some other thing which the precautions already taken
were meant to prevent, it will be seen that he did no more than
became the vigilant execution of his duty. The oranges, having been
examined, were returned. It was intimated to Thistlewood that he should
be provided with any thing in the way of refreshment which he might
require. We have already stated, that all communication with the
prisoner, save under an order from the Secretary of State, had been
most positively interdicted. The act of the individual in the present
instance, however well-intentioned, was in direct contravention of this

Subsequent to this transaction, two letters, which had come by post,
were delivered to Mr. Brown. We believe they were addressed to the
prisoners, and, after they had been shewn to him, Mr. Brown felt it his
duty to enclose and send them to the Solicitor of the Treasury.

At twelve o’clock the whole of the jury had been called over.

_Thistlewood_ then addressed the Court, and said, “Will your Lordship
allow me a chair?”

The _Lord Chief Justice_.--Considering the length of time which your
trial is likely to last, the Court will grant you this indulgence.

A chair was then placed at the front of the dock, and the prisoner sat
down, having first thanked the Court.


_Mr. Shelton_ then announced to the prisoner, that the jury were about
to be called; and that, if he was disposed to challenge any or either
of them, he would do so on their coming to the box to be sworn, and
before they were sworn.

A considerable number of challenges then took place, both on the part
of the crown and of the prisoner; at length the following jurymen were

Alexander Barclay, Teddington, gent. and grocer.
Thomas Goodchild, North-end, Hendon, Esq.
Thomas Suffield Aldersey, Lisson-grove, North, Esq.
James Herbert, Isleworth, carpenter.
John Shooter, North-end, Hendon, gent.
Samuel Granger, Blackwall, lighterman.
George Dickenson, Colt-street, Limehouse, builder.
John Edward Sheppard, Eden-grove, Holloway,
John Fowler, St. John-street, iron-plate-worker.
William Gibbs Roberts, Ropemakers-field, Limehouse, cooper.
John Dobson, Felix-place, Islington, Esq.
William Cooper, Grove-street, St. Pancras, Esq.

After which the _Lord Chief Justice_ thus delivered himself:--“As there
are several persons charged with the offence of high treason by this
indictment, whose trials are likely to be taken one after the other, I
think it necessary, in the furtherance of justice, strictly to prohibit
the publication of the proceedings of this, or any other day, until
the whole of the trials shall be brought to a conclusion. It is highly
necessary to the purposes of justice that the public mind, or the
jurymen who are hereafter to serve, should not be influenced by the
publication of any of the proceedings which may take place, until the
whole of those proceedings shall be finished. It is expected that all
persons, therefore, will attend to this admonition.”

_Mr. Shelton_ then called the attention of the prisoner, and read the

_Mr. Bolland_, as junior Counsel for the Crown, having shortly opened
the indictment, the Attorney-General, at half-past one, proceeded to
address the jury.

“May it please your Lordship, and gentlemen of the jury; you are
now assembled to discharge one of the most important duties that
can devolve to the province of a jury, to decide upon the guilt or
innocence of a party charged with the highest offence known to the
law; and, upon such an occasion, I am satisfied it is unnecessary for
me to bespeak your patient attention to the case before you, still
less even to hint to you the necessity of coming to the investigation
with unbiassed and unprejudiced minds. You, I am sure, will discharge
from your recollection every thing you may have heard or read relative
to the charge which is about to be preferred against the prisoner
at the bar, confining your attention solely and exclusively to the
evidence which will be adduced in support of the charge, and forming
your conclusion on that evidence only. Gentlemen, the charge as I have
stated to you, is one of the highest nature known to the law. Other
offences, generally speaking, however heinous and however enormous, may
in their consequences, except so far as example is concerned, end with
the fate of the perpetrators, or with the individuals who have been
injured; but, with respect to high treason, not only in its inception,
but still more so if it is unfortunately completed, it draws after
it consequences of the most important kind, affecting, not merely
individuals, but the whole community against whom it is directed.

“Gentlemen, I shall not trouble you in the observations I have to make
to you, painful as the duty now imposed upon me is, with any lengthened
detail with regard to the law as it affects the charge imputed to the
prisoner; because, if I mistake not, that law is so clear, and if I err
not greatly, the facts that will be proved to you will establish the
case against the prisoner in so clear and satisfactory a manner, that
it would be an idle affectation in me to cite any authorities before
you in support of the charge; because if the overt acts, as they are
called, or any of them, are proved to your satisfaction (and I have no
doubt but a considerable number of them will be proved,) no man who
hears me can entertain the slightest doubt that the offence charged in
the indictment will be established in point of law.

“Gentlemen, the charges in this indictment, though four in number,
will be all proved to you by the same evidence; and if the evidence I
shall lay before you be sufficient to establish one of them, it will, I
believe, completely establish the whole. Three of the offences charged,
consist in compassing and imagining the deposition of the King from his
throne; the death of the King; and a conspiracy to levy war, in order
to compel him to change his measures for the government of the kingdom.

“It is hardly necessary for me to state to you, that in proof of
these charges, it is not essential that the plans of the parties
accused should aim directly and immediately either at the life or the
deposition of his Majesty; because, if they are aimed at that form of
government which now exists--if intended to bring about a change in the
system of rule now established, by means of war, which would naturally
tend to effect that which must ultimately result either in the removal
of the King from his kingly dignity, or in compelling him to change
his measures in Council, that would be high treason; and therefore
in these cases it is quite sufficient to shew that the plans framed
were of a description and nature aiming against the government, (which
will undoubtedly be proved in this case) although not directly and in
the first instance aimed against the personal safety or the personal
authority of the Crown. If, therefore, the consequences of the acts
of the accused in this case, if those acts had been perfected, must
inevitably have led to these results, they establish in point of law
the treason charged; and therefore, Gentlemen, not to bewilder you
in the inquiry which you are about to enter upon, I think it quite
sufficient in the outset to state to you, that, in which I believe I
shall be confirmed by the highest authority in the law when this case
comes to be summed up to you, _viz._, that if the overt acts and facts
charged in the indictment as evidencing the intention existing in the
minds of the conspirators be proved to your satisfaction, they do prove
the charges laid in this indictment; and, therefore, it is unnecessary
to trouble you with any further observations on the law of the case.

“Gentlemen, important as the duty is which you are called upon to
discharge, and anxious as that duty certainly must be to you, mine, I
say, is no less anxious; for although in the address I purpose making
to you, I do assure you I mean only to inform your minds of the nature
of the charge brought before you, and of the evidence by which that
charge will be substantiated, yet my duty is most painful; and I make
this address with no view of leading your minds to any conclusion which
the evidence itself does not warrant--with no intention of making any
addition of my own, for, God knows, the facts want no addition to
accelerate the inevitable conclusion to which you must come. It is my
duty to state to you, as counsel for the prosecution, the case against
the unfortunate man at the bar, as detailed to me in my instructions.
My anxiety, therefore, is, I do assure you most conscientiously, not
by any thing I shall state to you to attempt to lead or direct your
minds to the conclusion which you ought only to draw from the evidence,
but to state to you calmly and fairly the facts which I believe will
be proved, without any attempt at exaggeration on the one hand, or
any thing but a fair and candid narrative on the other, without any
colouring whatever, because no colouring can alter the real facts
of the case, however high. If I should err in this, and if in any
thing I state to you, you shall, when you come to make up your minds,
think the statement not proved in evidence, or the observations or
inferences which I may have drawn shall not be fairly borne out by
the facts proved, you will dismiss them from your minds, and confine
your attention to that alone which is proved. But if you believe the
statement I shall make, if you believe the observations made in that
statement are fair and natural on the facts, then you will give them
the weight they deserve, and you will suffer them to operate so far,
and no further, as you, in your judgment, think they ought.

“Gentlemen, having said thus much, I will, without farther preface,
call your attention as perspicuously and as shortly as I can to the
facts which will be proved in evidence to support the charges. The
prisoner at the bar, Arthur Thistlewood, must be already known to you
by name; but, as I before stated to you, let nothing that you have
known or heard of him before you came into this court to discharge the
solemn duty you are bound to perform, have the least effect upon that
verdict you are to pronounce. The prisoner at the bar, however, I state
to you, as it will be proved in evidence, had for some time conceived
the wicked and nefarious plan of overturning the government so long
established in this country; and it will appear to you that several,
nay, all of the persons mentioned in the indictment, were participators
in the same design; some of them, probably, coming into that purpose
and design at a later period than others, but all of them concurring in
the last criminal event which led to their detection. I shall prove to
you by the most satisfactory evidence, that all of them were combining
in that act, which was to be the commencement of that revolution in the
country, which was meditated. I would, however, call your attention to
two persons, whose names you will frequently hear in the course of this
inquiry, I mean a person of the name of James Ings, and a person of the
name of John Thomas Brunt.

“The prisoner at the bar resided, during the time of the transaction
which I am about to relate to you, in Stanhope-street, Clare Market.
The person named Brunt, I believe, was a shoe-maker or boot-closer,
residing at a place which will be frequently mentioned in the course
of the evidence, Fox-court, Gray’s Inn-lane; he inhabited two rooms in
a house in that court, I believe the second floor, and in one of which
his trade was carried on, and in the other his family, consisting of
himself, his wife, an apprentice of the name of Hales, and his son,

“I shall not carry your attention very far back in the narrative of
this transaction; it will be sufficient for me particularly in the
outset, to call your attention to circumstances that took place between
the close of the month of January and the 23d of the following month of
February. Undoubtedly it will appear to you, that long prior to that
period the prisoner at the bar, the two persons I have mentioned, and
several of the others, whose names are included in this indictment,
had consulted and devised plans for the purpose of overturning the
Government. They had frequent meetings at a public-house, called the
White Hart, in Brooks’ Market, in a room which they had obtained for
the purpose of these meetings, behind that public-house.

“About the latter end of January, or at the commencement of the month
of February, they thought it prudent to remove their meetings from this
place, and that it would be better that they should be carried on, if
possible, in a room in the house where Brunt lived in Fox-court; and
to avoid suspicion, they therefore had recourse to this contrivance,
that another room in that house, and upon the same floor on which Brunt
resided, should be taken by the prisoner Ings, who is, I believe, by
trade a butcher. Brunt and Ings on that occasion hired that room,
for the avowed purpose of a lodging for Ings, but for the secret and
real object of having their meetings there, where they might devise
their plans, and prepare the means for carrying the object of their
conspiracy into execution; that being a place of more security and
privacy than the one at which they had previously held their assemblies.

“At the close of the month of January, or the beginning of the month
of February, you will learn, that having previously prepared means
for effecting their plans, their meetings at Brunt’s room became more
frequent and regular. They had determined--and, Gentlemen, I here
regret, that in an English Court of Justice I have to state to you
the horrible purpose which then entered into their minds, and the way
in which they intended to consummate the nefarious operations they
had in view.--It was thought by Englishmen, that the assassination
of several, if not all, of his Majesty’s ministers would be a proper
step towards carrying into effect the revolution they intended; and
you will find that they meditated and consulted on the means by which
that horrible purpose was to be completed. They entertained hopes that
they might be enabled, at some meeting of his Majesty’s ministers, to
effect all at once the double purpose they had conceived. Having done
that, they intended at the same moment, or about the same time, to
set fire to various parts of this metropolis--to endeavour to obtain
possession of the cannon which were at the Artillery Ground, and at the
Light Horse Volunteers’ Stables in Gray’s Inn-lane--to create as much
confusion and dismay as they could by these various operations, and
then to establish, what, in their vain expectations, they had imagined
themselves capable of effecting--a provisional government, the seat of
which was to be at the Mansion-house. They had frequent deliberations
on this plan.

“You will recollect that his late Most Excellent Majesty died on the
29th of January. At this time their deliberations were going on with
the greatest activity. During the latter end of that month and the
beginning of February, it was thought that the meeting of his Majesty’s
ministers at the King’s funeral would be a proper occasion for carrying
their plans into effect. They had intimation that upon that occasion,
the greater part of the troops centred in the metropolis would be
removed to Windsor, to witness the solemnity; and they imagined that
would be a fit and proper period to commence their operations; but,
however, they found that their schemes embraced more objects than at
that period they had the means of effecting, and upon that night they
did not attempt the purposes they had in view. But, gentlemen, brooding
over their nefarious schemes, many of these men became impatient at
the delay which from unavoidable circumstances, interposed between the
present day and that on which they hoped to accomplish their purposes;
and you will find that on the 19th of February, to which I shall
presently call your attention, the impatience became so great on the
part of many of these persons as to be restrained no longer. They found
that during this delay, an opportunity offered at which they could
effect the horrible purpose I have mentioned--the assassination of all
his Majesty’s ministers assembled at one and the same house.

“They got intimation on Saturday the 16th of February, that on the
Wednesday following the opportunity would occur when they would be able
to effect their purpose, by finding that his Majesty’s ministers would
be assembled at the same house. Upon hearing that such an assemblage
was to take place, they determined, at a meeting held for that purpose,
that at all events, on the following Wednesday some blow should be
struck, and that the revolution they had in contemplation should
actually take place.

“Having thus determined, they appointed a meeting on the following day,
Saturday, at Brunt’s house, for the purpose of forming a committee,
upon whom should devolve the plan which was to be effected on the
ensuing Wednesday, at that meeting; and indeed at all the meetings,
you will find the prisoner foremost in every thing. He was to be
their leader, and he was to be one of the men on whom they placed the
greatest reliance. You will find that at this meeting he is the person
who addressed them, and prepared the plans, and in whose plans they
placed the greatest confidence.

“Gentlemen, upon this 19th of February it was, that Thistlewood
proposed that which I have stated to you. He stated, that as it did not
appear from the intelligence they could collect, that Ministers were
likely to meet at the cabinet-dinner soon, they immediately ascertained
the strength of their respective parties, and having so ascertained
them, these parties should be divided into different bodies, upon some
of whom should devolve the horrible duty of destroying as many of his
Majesty’s ministers as their means and convenience would allow; that
upon others should be imposed the duty of setting fire to various
parts of the metropolis; and that others should be assigned other
duties, which were there pointed out by the prisoner.

“This plan, formed at that meeting, was seconded by Brunt, whose
name I have already mentioned; and there too it was agreed as I have
already stated, that on the following day, Saturday, a meeting should
take place at Brunt’s room, in order to appoint a committee, upon
whom should devolve the final arrangement of the plan which was to be
executed on the following Wednesday.

“On the Sunday the meeting accordingly took place, attended by the
prisoner, by Ings, by Harrison, by Wilson, and by other persons, whose
names are mentioned in this indictment, and with which I do not at
this moment trouble you, because, as your attention is confined to the
present prisoner, it is unnecessary to do so. At the same time, in the
course of this investigation, connecting, as we shall do, all these
persons in one common plan and design, the acts and declarations of
each will be most important, because they will all be answerable for
the acts of each in furtherance of their common purpose. Upon that
occasion they met at Brunt’s, and it was then agreed that they should
meet again on the following morning, Monday, February 21.

“After the plans, I should tell you, on the Sunday were again repeated
by Thistlewood, they were again approved by these persons. I think the
number who attended on that occasion amounted to fourteen or fifteen
persons. They then agreed that no activity should be wanting in the
mean time. I mean to prepare that to which I shall by-and-by, call
your attention. They met again on Monday at Brunt’s. The same plan was
again canvassed. No objection was made, and they then separated for the
purpose of communicating it to their different friends in different
parts of the town; and for the purpose of collecting as many persons as
they were enabled to do for the meeting on the following Wednesday. On
Tuesday the 22d of February, a meeting took place again in the morning,
at Brunt’s; and upon that occasion, one of the parties communicated
to some who were present, that he had discovered by the newspapers,
that a cabinet dinner was to be given on the following day, Wednesday,
at my Lord Harrowby’s, in Grosvenor-square. Gentlemen, you will be
shocked when you come to hear the evidence detailed, to find with what
exultation this intelligence was received. Brunt, with an impiety
which must shock every well-regulated mind, exclaimed, ‘that till then
he disbelieved the existence of a God, but that now he was satisfied
the Almighty was favouring their designs, and that this dinner was
appointed by Providence on the following day to enable them at one blow
to effect that purpose which had been levelled against each of his
Majesty’s ministers separately, and that they might be enabled by that
means to accomplish at once, the whole destruction they meditated.’
The exultation was not confined to him; you will find, that Ings
and the other persons present equally rejoiced at the prospect of a
speedy termination of their nefarious purposes, and hoping that on the
following night they should at length attain that which was so great
an object of their desire, and which they had pursued with the utmost
anxiety. The newspaper was then sent for, to see if the intelligence
was true. On being brought it was immediately determined, that instead
of the plan of endeavouring to assassinate some of his Majesty’s
ministers at their respective houses, that my Lord Harrowby’s should
be the place of attack; and that there in the evening, between eight
and nine o’ clock, after all the guests were assembled, and were lulled
into security, that the attack should be made on the house, and that
the ministers should be destroyed by the means I shall state to you.

“Their activity on this intelligence being received, was redoubled;
they met again in the evening--their different partizans were requested
at once to obtain all their fire-arms, the ammunition they had
previously collected, and the different instruments of mischief which
you will find they had prepared for execution, and that they should
be in a state of preparation on the following evening to effect this
purpose. I should have stated to you, gentlemen, before I had come to
this part of the narrative, that a person of the name of Tidd, who
is also included in this indictment, and who lived, I believe in the
Hole-in-the-Wall-alley, Brooks’-market, was one of the conspirators,
and had embarked in these plans. His house was made the depôt of arms
and ammunition.

“As the meeting of the conspirators had been held at Brunt’s, they had
a suspicion that their proceedings might be watched, and they thought
it unsafe that that should be the place of deposit, and therefore
Tidd’s house had, for some time, been the depository for the arms and
ammunition which had been collected.

“As Brunt’s house was, as you know, at some considerable distance
from Grosvenor-square, where the commencement of this scene of blood
was to take place, they thought it would be better to procure some
place of rendezvous nearer to the house of Lord Harrowby; and you will
find therefore, though it was not communicated at that moment to the
different parties, who were to be engaged in the transaction, that
a place was procured at the west end of the town, in Cato-street,
which runs into John-street, and thence to the Edgeware-road. A place
was there procured by Harrison, another of the conspirators, for the
purpose of meeting on the following evening, preparatory to their going
to Grosvenor-square.

“Gentlemen, it frequently and providentially happens, as it generally
will in conspiracies of this nature, that some of the parties, previous
to the perpetration of their wicked designs, feel some compunction,
which leads to a disclosure of their plans, and a prevention of their
intentions; and you will find in evidence, in this case, that upon the
Tuesday, the day on which the intelligence was received that the dinner
was to be at Lord Harrowby’s the next day, which really was the case,
one person of the name of Hiden, who had these plans communicated to
him, because it was hoped that he would become a participator in their
designs, felt such compunction as to compel him to communicate to Lord
Harrowby the plan that was designed; and you will find, that upon that
day, this person took an opportunity of watching Lord Harrowby from his
house, on horseback, into the park, and there he generally communicated
to him that some mischief was intended against him, and therefore
forewarned him of it.

“It will also appear to you, that at their meeting on Tuesday some
little alarm had been excited in the minds of some of the party, by
a person named Adams, who had been told by the publican at the White
Hart, that their meetings had been suspected, and that they were in
some hazard of being discovered. He therefore stated to Thistlewood,
and others, on Tuesday, that a communication had been made to him
by the landlord that their meetings at the White Hart public-house
had been observed by some of the police officers, and therefore he
expressed his apprehensions, that their plans had been discovered,
or were likely to be discovered. This excited in the minds of those
present the greatest agitation. They were astonished that Adams should
have ventured at such a meeting, consisting of fourteen or fifteen
persons, to hint that there was a possibility of their plans being
discovered. The intelligence produced the greatest alarm, and they
immediately took into consideration what was best to do.

“The prisoner Brunt, in order to ascertain whether there was any ground
for the suspicions entertained by Adams, proposed that some of the
party should be posted near Lord Harrowby’s house, on Tuesday evening,
and early on the following Wednesday, with a view of seeing whether any
preparations were made to receive any intended attack, and thereby to
ascertain to their satisfaction whether or not their plans had been
discovered; and you will find that the suggestion of Brunt was carried
into effect, by sending two or three parties, amongst whom was a man
named Davidson, who will be a very conspicuous person throughout this
transaction, and one of the most active partizans, to watch the house.
They sent him and another person about six o’clock that evening, to
watch Lord Harrowby’s house, and they were to be relieved between eight
and nine o’clock by two others of the party, who were to keep three
hours’ watch; at the end of which time they were to be relieved by
others, who, in their turn, would be relieved by four in the morning.
It will be proved to you that they actually went there on that night,
and were seen by different persons in Grosvenor-square, watching Lord
Harrowby’s house for the purpose mentioned, and finding, as was the
case, that there appeared to be no alarm--that there were no police
officers, or troops of any description introduced into Lord Harrowby’s
house, or stationed in the neighbourhood, they felt quite satisfied
that it was a groundless alarm on the part of Adams--that there was no
foundation for suspecting that any of their plans were discovered; and
therefore they proceeded without hesitation or dread to complete, as
far as they could, the purpose they had in view.

“On the Wednesday morning, great preparations were made. Arms were
brought by Brunt in great abundance to the stable in Cato-street; they
consisted of sabres, swords, guns, pistols, and other destructive
instruments of offence. But one of the most terrific instruments,
and calculated for the most deadly purposes, and which they prepared
themselves, was what was called a hand-grenade. It was composed in
this way--there was a quantity of gunpowder enclosed in a tin case,
three or four inches in circumference, round which was tied a quantity
of tow, and on the outside was a quantity of iron, in pieces of
various descriptions, sharp-pointed, and otherwise shaped, which were
fastened together, and tied round with the same sort of material I have
mentioned, so as to enable the instrument to explode with the greatest
force; and the object of this machine was stated without disguise to be
this: that upon their entrance into Lord Harrowby’s house, it was to be
lighted by a fusee, communicating with the powder, and then thrown into
the room; and by the explosion, the persons exposed to the mischief
might be killed or wounded, as would naturally be the case. It seems
they had prepared a great number of these destructive instruments; I
know not how many.

“They had also prepared what they, in their mode of expression,
called illumination balls, made for the purpose of setting fire to
any buildings which it was their object and purpose to destroy. They
had prepared also a large quantity of ball cartridges, the amount of
which will probably surprise you, considering the apparently feeble
means these persons had of procuring articles of this description.
Will it be believed, that they had prepared between 11 and 1,200
rounds of ball cartridges? They had also prepared several sorts of
cartridges of a different description, made with flannel bags, and had
provided themselves with a very large quantity of powder. They had also
prepared a great number of pikes, and pike handles, for the purpose of
arming their friends and associates, who had no other arms. All these
preparations must, obviously, have been the work of a considerable
length of time. They must have been the fruits of very great labour,
and they were all prepared and ready on the 23d of February for their
intended operations.

“On the morning of the 23d of February, several of the conspirators
assembled at Brunt’s house, where they were engaged in completing
their hand-grenades, putting flints into their pistols, loading their
arms, and, in short, making every preparation for the approaching
attack. These facts will be proved to you by Brunt’s apprentice. I
have already told you, that for the purpose of their meeting, and for
the convenience of having some place near to Lord Harrowby’s house, a
stable had been hired by one of the conspirators in Cato-street, near
the Edgeware-road.

“I know not whether curiosity has led any of you, as it has done a
great many of the public, to visit the place; but if it has not, I will
endeavour to describe the situation, and I think you will agree with
me, that a more appropriate situation for the purpose contemplated
could hardly be selected. It is an obscure street, having a very narrow
access at either end. I think at one end there is not any access for
carriages, and at the other there is an archway, and under it posts,
to prevent none but foot-passengers going in or out. The east end
passes into John-street, and the west end, which is a very narrow
cartway, runs into Queen-street, both John-street and Queen-street
running parallel with each other into the Edgeware-road. The stable
is the first building as you enter Cato-street from John-street on
the right-hand side of the way, and it is nearly opposite the small
public-house, called by the sign of the Horse and Groom. The stable
had been occupied by General Watson, who is abroad, and rented of him
by a person of the name of Firth, by whom it was let to Harrison for
this purpose. It consists below stairs of a stable, with three stalls,
and a small place adjoining, for the reception of a carriage or cart;
and at the further end of it, nearly opposite the door, as you enter,
is a step-ladder leading up into the loft over the stable, on the side
of which are two small rooms, which are immediately over the cart or

“It will be proved to you, that previously to the meeting on that
evening, which was to take place about seven or eight o’clock,
preparations had been made by Harrison, and several others of the party
in the stable, for the reception of those who were to be assembled. In
order to avoid the observation of the neighbourhood, some pieces of
canvass had been nailed up against the window of the loft, to prevent
persons from observing on the opposite side of the street what might be
passing; and it was remarked by several of the neighbours, that this
place was visited by a great number of persons during the afternoon,
who were carrying something on their backs which the neighbours did
not discover, but which, I have no doubt, were the arms and other
implements of mischief collected there, and found when the prisoners
were taken. Harrison, who was known to be one of those persons, was
observed going into the stable in the afternoon; and on being asked
what his purpose was in going there, he said, he had taken it from
Firth, and was cleaning it out. About six o’clock, Davidson, the man
of colour, was also observed by some of these persons residing close
to the stable, going in with something on his back, and under his arm,
which they could not discover, and a number of candles in his hand. You
will find that he applied at one of the houses adjoining the stable, at
six o’clock, to light one of these candles, with which he went into the
stable. A party was to meet at Brunt’s lodgings, in order to proceed
from thence to this stable. Tidd, whose name I have already mentioned,
and who lived in the Hole-in-the-Wall-alley, was to accompany another
party. They had not communicated to all the party, at first, the
precise place of meeting, but some were to meet at the Horse and Groom,
and others were to go to the Edgeware-road, near John-street, where
some of the conspirators were to shew them to the place of rendezvous.

“Between seven and eight o’clock Brunt, and some others from his
house, took their departure with arms, with which they had there
provided themselves, and concealed under their coats, to this stable in
Cato-street. They met there Thistlewood, Ings, Wilson, and some others,
and here they proceeded to arm themselves with the weapons provided,
and which were afterwards found; such as guns, pistols, swords, a great
number of hand-grenades, and a considerable number of pikes, rudely
formed, but sufficient for the purpose of doing incredible mischief.
The handles of the pikes were composed of rough ash sticks of a large
size, the ends of which were planed off, to admit a ferrule, and at the
end was stuck a pike-head or bayonet; for articles of both descriptions
were found, screwed on for the purpose of being afterwards used.

“At first their party at Cato-street consisted only of fourteen or
fifteen persons, and some little alarm was excited, and some little
suspicion evidently raised, in the mind of Thistlewood and some
others, at Tidd’s not making his appearance at the appointed time, for
there being some remarks made that their number was not so large as
was expected, it was stated by Thistlewood, and by some others, that
there were other persons, who would by-and-by assemble, and that other
parties were gone for different purposes about the metropolis, who were
not to accompany them to Lord Harrowby’s house in Grosvenor-square.
In a short time afterwards, however, Tidd made his appearance with a
person named Monument, who will be produced as a witness; a person who
had only been recently induced to participate in their schemes--who a
short time before had been introduced to Thistlewood, and who had an
intimation generally with respect to their particular views; but he
had not been admitted to a knowledge of the whole scope of the plan,
until he arrived at Cato-street, although he might be aware that their
object was to overturn the Government in some way or other. He arrived,
however, with Tidd about seven o’clock, and the party at that time
consisted of about twenty-five persons; two of them were appointed to
remain as sentries below stairs to prevent any interruption. These
persons were Davidson and Ings, and they remained on guard whilst the
other conspirators were above stairs talking over their plans, and
making the final arrangements for proceeding to Lord Harrowby’s house,
in Grosvenor-square, which they proposed to do between seven and eight
o’clock. Some alarm, as I have already told you, had prevailed in the
party. Some of them expressed a fear that their own strength was hardly
adequate to the object in view. Upon which Thistlewood and Ings said
the opportunity must not be lost; that there was enough to complete
the purpose of destroying his Majesty’s ministers; that when that was
accomplished, the other consequences would follow; that they should
have parties ready to set fire to different parts of the metropolis;
that they would be joined by immense numbers the moment the first blow
was struck, and therefore, there could be no hesitation in their minds
to execute the intended purpose.

“Having thus assembled their forces, and prepared themselves for
the desperate object of their enterprise, they began between seven
and eight o’clock to consider who should be the party to enter Lord
Harrowby’s house to destroy the ministers. The plan had been, that
Thistlewood was to knock at the door, under the pretence of having a
note to deliver to Lord Harrowby, and by that means having obtained
access to the hall, they were to compel the servants to shew them to
the room where the ministers were assembled; that they were to secure
the servants, who, they naturally believed, would be soon overpowered,
and should then immediately make their way into the room; and then
they should, without discrimination, without reserve, or without any
remorse, destroy every one of his Majesty’s ministers who should be

“I have stated to you, gentlemen, already the exultation and impiety
displayed by Brunt on one occasion, when he contemplated the completion
of his sanguinary purpose; and I cannot conceal from you one fact,
as it affects the man named Ings, which will be distinctly proved;
he had been a butcher, and he had armed himself on this occasion
not with a blunderbuss, a gun, or any thing of that sort, but with
a large butcher’s knife, and for the purpose of enabling him to use
it with more effect he had twisted round the handle a quantity of
thread, in order that when saturated with the blood of his victims,
it might not slip out of his hand; and he stated, in language of the
most gross and horrible import, that with this knife he would himself
effect the murder and mutilation of some of the persons who should be
assembled. The cruelty of the designs this man expressed, is beyond
all description. The scenes, in fact, which had disgraced another
country some years back, were to be acted again on British ground, and
the heads of some of the ministers were to be triumphantly paraded
through the streets, to procure converts to this detestable cause!
Gentlemen, that very knife was found upon, and taken from, that man;
and I mention that only as a corroborating fact, if corroboration be
needed. Gentlemen, thank Heaven, that Providence which kindly watches
over the acts and thoughts of men, mercifully interposed between the
conception of this abominable plot, and its completion, which was all
but perfected.

“In consequence of the communication made to Lord Harrowby, measures
were taken in other quarters to prevent the impending danger. It being
stated that these persons had met in Cato-street, for the purposes I
have already mentioned, means were immediately taken to secure the
conspirators, which, however, were not so effectual as could have been
wished, but certainly so far as to prevent the execution of their
dreadful purposes. In order to remove all suspicion from the minds
of the conspirators, it was determined by Lord Harrowby, that the
preparations for the dinner, which he had intended undoubtedly for his
Majesty’s ministers, on that occasion, should go on; and in order that
there should be no suspicion in the house of my Lord Harrowby, his
servants were desired to proceed in the necessary arrangements for the
dinner, because there is no doubt, that if any alteration had taken
place in the arrangements of the day, it would have been communicated
to the conspirators; and if they suspected that the dinner was not
intended to take place, they would have changed their measures, and the
ends of justice would have been defeated.

“In consequence, therefore, of the seeming perseverance in the design
of having a cabinet dinner, all suspicion was removed from the minds of
the Cato-street conspirators, who no doubt expected that they should
be enabled, from the short distance of their rendezvous, to reach Lord
Harrowby’s in about ten minutes or a quarter of an hour, and accomplish
their purpose unmolested--a circumstance not unlikely, considering
that the hour of eight was chosen; considering that the neighbourhood
was the most quiet and retired in London; at a time, too, when the
inhabitants of the square and its vicinity were employed in domestic
retirement; at that hour when suspicion must be lulled asleep, and
when no apprehensions could be entertained of personal danger; for
that hour, and that moment was chosen by the Cato-street conspirators
to issue from the scene of their nefarious deliberations. Precautions,
however, had been taken as I have stated to you, in order to prevent
the accomplishment of their designs. A number of Bow-street officers
and patrol, had been directed to go to the spot, and endeavour to watch
their movements, and counteract their operations, before they took
their departure, and endeavour to secure the whole assemblage.

“A party of the Guards also were to attend in John-street, to assist
the police; and, just at the moment that these persons were about
to set out, and when Thistlewood was calling over those who were to
separate from the rest to execute this horrible plan, the officers
entered the loft. Upon their entrance into the stable below, they
found two persons there, armed, who will be proved to be Davidson,
for his colour, which is nearly black, was perceived; he had a double
belt round his waist, in which were pistols and a cutlass, and he had
a gun over his shoulder; they found him inside the door, and another
person, who will be distinctly identified to be Ings. He was found at
the bottom of the ladder, with this knife, with a cutlass, a sword, and
with pistols.

“The officers, with a resolution and courage which does them high
honour, considering the desperation and determination of these
characters, immediately ascended the ladder without securing the
persons below. They merely gave directions to those who followed,
to keep them secure, and they thought that would be enough, without
actually confining them. The first man who went up was a person of the
name of Ruthven, who will be called to you: he was followed by a man
named Ellis: after whom came a man, of whom you have undoubtedly heard
before, named Smithers, who met his death by the hand of Thistlewood.

“On Smithers ascending the ladder, either Ings or Davidson hallooed
out from below, as a signal for them to be on their guard above, and
upon Ruthven ascending the ladder, Thistlewood, who was at a little
distance from the landing-place, and who was distinctly seen, for
there were several lights in the place, receded a few paces, and the
police-officers announced who they were, and demanded a surrender.
Smithers unfortunately pressed forward in the direction in which
Thistlewood had retreated, into one of the small rooms over the
coach-house, when Thistlewood drew back his arm, in which there was a
sword, and made a thrust at the unfortunate man, Smithers, who received
a wound near his heart, and, with only time to exclaim, “Oh! God!” he
fell a lifeless corpse into the arms of Ellis. Ellis, seeing this blow
given by Thistlewood, immediately discharged a pistol at him, which
missed its aim. Great confusion followed; the lights were struck out;
the officers were forced down the ladder, which was so precipitous,
being almost perpendicular, that they fell, and many of the party
followed them.

“Thistlewood, among the rest, came down the ladder; and, not satisfied
with the blood of one person, he shot at another of the officers as he
came down the ladder, and pressed through the stable, cutting at all
who attempted to oppose him, and made his escape out into John-street,
the military not having yet arrived; and he was no more seen at that
time, except with a sword in his hand in the Edgware-road. By the other
persons an equally desperate resistance was made.

“Conscious of the evil purpose for which they had assembled, they
waited not to know on what charge they were about to be apprehended;
but instantly made a most desperate resistance. Ings, Davidson, and
Wilson, were particularly desperate, each, I believe, firing at some of
the officers or military, who had only come to the ground on hearing
the report of the fire-arms, not having been previously directed to the
exact spot.

“Notwithstanding the resistance, however, which they so desperately
made, and in which resistance Thistlewood, Tidd, Davidson, Ings, and
Wilson took a most active part, by attacking the officers and soldiers,
the whole of the conspirators were, at length, fortunately overcome,
and eventually eleven of them secured. Not on that night, however,
for three out of the eleven for the time escaped, namely Thistlewood,
Brunt, and Harrison. The officers, however, not only secured on that
night the eight men, but various articles of fire-arms, numerous
weapons, and certain combustibles.

“The prisoner Brunt, gentlemen, one of those who escaped, returned
that night to his own house. He was accompanied by another man, and
his own boots were in such a state, as not to fail to excite the
attention of some persons in the house. His boy (an apprentice, named
Hale) soon learned, from the conversation which passed between his
master and the man, that they had just escaped from Cato-street, and
Brunt expressed a belief that his person had not been discovered.
The prisoner, gentlemen, remained home the whole of the night, but
early on the morning following, he called to him the apprentice boy
I have named, and asked him as to his knowledge of some street in
the Borough, where he wanted to convey some baskets. These were all
carefully packed up, and it is a remarkable circumstance, which will
be spoken to in evidence, that so anxious was he for the concealment
of its contents, that one of the baskets was secured with the apron of
his wife! Gentlemen, the prisoner now thought all secure; but he had
scarcely effected his plan, and retired into another room, previous to
despatching the baskets, when the officers entered the house and seized
him. This, you may suppose, was not a little surprising to Brunt; for,
most material would it have been to him to have the baskets removed.
Upon searching these, gentlemen, were found a number of hand-grenades,
fire-balls, and other articles of destruction. Upon their discovery,
Brunt for some time affected ignorance of the thing, but he was told it
was of no use.

“The prisoner at the bar, Thistlewood, who also escaped on the
night of the 23d, retired not to his own house, however, but to an
obscure lodging in White-street, where he thought to conceal himself.
Information, however, soon reached the police-office, Bow-street, of
his retreat, and early the next morning, a strong party of officers,
headed by Bishop, were sent to apprehend him. Upon their arrival at
the place, every precaution was, of course, taken to prevent an alarm;
while the officers, at the same time, knowing the desperate sort of
character they had to contend with, were equally guarded to resist any
attack which might be made upon them. They proceeded to search the
house, beginning with the top and descending to the lower rooms. They
then observed a small room on the ground-floor, the door of which was
locked, and Bishop demanded the key, which he procured; and knowing
from what had taken place, the determined desperation of this man, he
opened the door as softly as he could, and perceived by some slight
light that came through two or three holes in the window-shutters,
the person of Thistlewood lying on a turn-down bed. The moment he
opened the door, Thistlewood put his head up, and Bishop immediately
discovered him, and he immediately threw himself upon him, to prevent
mischief. He then said, he should make no resistance, and on being
taken out of bed, it was discovered that he had been laying in his
breeches and stockings. Gentlemen, by these means the prisoner at the
bar was taken; and thus ends, in point of fact, the evidence which will
be adduced before you.

“Gentlemen, I have now to state to you, at the suggestion of a learned
friend, a fact which I had almost forgotten. It is material for you to
know, that on the 22d February, the conspirators held a consultation
at the house of Brunt. Every thing was, on this occasion considered
as finally arranged. I have already told you, it was their plan to
set fire to various parts of the metropolis, and among other places,
the barracks in King-street were fixed upon, not only because troops
would be there, but because Harrison, who had been, I am sorry to
say, in his Majesty’s service, was acquainted with the situation of
the building, and pointed out the means by which it could be easily
fired; and thus the soldiers, who would have retired to rest, would
be unable to accoutre themselves or their horses. But this is not
all, gentlemen; for at this very consultation, Thistlewood sat down
and wrote two proclamations, in anticipation of the success of his
diabolical schemes, and which proclamations were upon that success to
be issued. But you will observe, gentlemen, it was not considered by
the prisoner duly official to write these proclamations on paper, and
Hale (the apprentice of Brunt) was sent in search of parchment. This
being procured, he wrote an address to the following effect, intended
for the people generally:--



“_The Friends of liberty are desired to come forward and
support the Provisional Government, which is now sitting._”

“So that, Gentlemen, if any doubt could be entertained of these men’s
ulterior designs not being confined to the destruction of his Majesty’s
Ministers, this proclamation, written by Thistlewood, would put it
beyond all doubt. He wrote two or three of these. He read them aloud
to the party assembled, and told them that they were to be stuck up
where the houses were on fire, that the people might see it. Afterwards
he sat down, and endeavoured to compose another proclamation, which
was to be issued to the soldiers, and that contained an offer to the
soldiers, calling on them to join the friends of Liberty; promising
them twenty pounds each to carry them home, and that they should be
rewarded with full pay and a pension for life!! These proclamations,
Gentlemen, were read aloud by Thistlewood to the conspirators, and they
were unanimously approved. Some of them, I should tell you, were to be
posted as convenient as possible to every barrack or public place which
might be set fire to or destroyed. Thistlewood himself carried the
proclamations from the house of Brunt to Cato-street.

“And now, Gentlemen, having stated these facts, let me pause to ask
you, whether, if I prove them in evidence, you can come to any other
conclusion than that the prisoner who stands before you, is guilty?
What answer, I will ask, can be given to such evidence as this, and
if no answer can be given in evidence, what answer can be given
in reason? It may be urged, in a general sense, that such schemes
and such plans as the facts I have related to you disclose, ought
scarcely to be credited in a Court of Justice. This may be inferred
from the circumstance of heated men with heated passions conceiving
and proposing the adoption of plans, wild and visionary, and in fact
wholly impracticable. In this case, however, such a principle did not
exist; for here were long laid regular plans, extensive schemes, and
the most abundant preparations, to effect a wicked purpose. And will
not desperate and designing men, infuriated by their passions either
influence others to the accomplishment of such plans, or be worked upon
by them themselves. Look then, Gentlemen, to the facts of the case
yourselves. You will view them as calm and sober men, and in doing
so, you will perceive such a system and such an adroitness towards
the execution of that system, that their object requires but little

“Gentlemen, it is not your duty to consider whether the schemes in
question were wild and visionary, but whether they had for their object
an illegal or wicked purpose; and if illegal, and that towards the
execution of their plans they took but one step, they have then done
that which renders them amenable to the offended laws of their country.
If these arguments, Gentlemen, won’t avail, what then may not be urged
for the prisoner? But you will also be told that accomplices are not to
be believed on their oath in a Court of Justice. I contend, however,
that they should; and if it was not permitted to accomplices in guilt
to give evidence for the purposes of justice, then the blackest and
foulest crimes would be daily committed, and go unpunished. But it is
not the law of England, alone, to hear the evidence of an accomplice.
It is the law of reason also, and has been the law of all ages and
nations. I admit that you should watch with the greatest caution
and jealousy the testimony of an accomplice. You should weigh his
story well, and see whether it be confirmed by the more indifferent
witnesses. Not confirmed in every part, for then his evidence would not
be required at all: but in certain collateral parts which may be found
to correspond with the other testimony. If therefore, Gentlemen, an
accomplice is produced before you, and you believe a part of what he
relates, you are bound in a great measure to believe that the whole of
what he tells you is true.

“No man, or set of men, who had ever conceived such plans as I have
laid before you, could have so conceived them without an intention of
pursuing them. The plans, therefore, at least for some time, could be
known only to themselves and to their God. I say then that the evidence
of an accomplice is not only highly necessary, but even laudable; for
if you resist such a principle, the more dark will be the crime, the
more secret the scheme, and the more wicked the purpose. As I told you
before, Gentlemen, it has long been the law of England to receive the
evidence of an accomplice, and even in cases of murder, it has proved
most salutary in the administration of justice.

“I will call a witness before you,Gentlemen, named Adams, an
accomplice, as you will find, and he being in the full confidence of
the conspirators, will prove to you the nature of all their proceedings
from time to time, and of the different plans and communications
which were made between him and them. I will call another man to you,
Gentlemen, who was the first to make known the diabolical plans of the
conspirators, to my Lord Harrowby; but this man was not much known to
them, nor did he therefore rank high in their councils.

“This man in fact, when he heard the dreadful plan related of visiting
his Majesty’s ministers with destruction and death, his heart
shuddered, his conscience smote him, and he could hold out no longer.
Some men, you know, have very strong minds, and are not to be deterred
from the most wicked purpose. Others are less firm, and more easily
shaken in the accomplishment of a cruel or immoral design. The witness
whom I shall produce to you, Gentlemen, and whose name is Hiden, is one
of this description.

“A third witness I shall produce to you, is an individual who was
rather more in confidence with the conspirators. His name is Dwyer,
and you will find that Thistlewood and Davidson applied to him for
his advice and assistance towards the execution of their murderous
purpose. You will even find that they solicited his aid on the very
day in which that purpose was to be put into execution. This witness,
however, horror-struck at the intended massacre, and feeling it to be
his bounden duty, ran almost instantly and communicated the fact to
others. He first communicated it to his wife, and next to an officer
in the army, named James, with a view that it might be immediately
conveyed to his Majesty’s ministers. This, under the special order of
Providence, was done.

“And now let me again ask you, Gentlemen, is this testimony to be
rejected? Surely it never can by enlightened men such as you are. But
this even does not furnish my case for the prosecution; for I assure
you it does not rest upon the testimony of Adams, Hiden, and Dwyer;
but there are facts in this case which, I fear, the prisoner will
not be able to answer. Why, I would ask, were these men assembled in
Cato-street, and why at night? There were none of them related to
each other, yet they were all armed with deadly weapons, and found in
close deliberation in an obscure stable. There were also found there
a quantity of destructive grenades and fire-balls, together with a
large portion of ammunition. But this is not all. At the houses of two
others of the conspirators, namely, Brunt and Tidd, there were found
similar articles of destruction, particularly ammunition. The weight
found of the latter, gentlemen, amounted to between eleven and twelve
hundred pounds; and I would ask, in the name of God, what object could
these men have had in the possession of such a quantity of ammunition?
Surely it could not even be for an individual murder! No, gentlemen, it
was the destruction of his Majesty’s ministers in the first place, the
burning and levelling of public barracks and edifices in the next, and
finally, the establishment of a revolution, and the appointment of a
Provisional Government.

“These men, Gentlemen, could never have been unfriendly towards
ministers as individuals. It must have been a hatred of them in the
character of their office alone, and their design was more particularly
levelled at Lord Harrowby, because his Lordship was President of the
Council. Can you doubt, that after this dreadful blow was made, and
it had succeeded, that it was the intention of these conspirators to
have established a provisional government, and thus spread anarchy
and confusion around. In fact, that was the eventual blow meant to be
carried into execution. I say, therefore, that even if the learned
counsel for the prisoners were to contend most successfully against
the evidence of the accomplices, the facts I shall produce to you by
other testimony, will answer the purposes of this just and necessary

“What was the conduct of the prisoners when they were discovered in
Cato-street? I want not, Gentlemen, by a repetition of this term, to
inflame your minds: but it will be extremely important for you to
remember, that when the officers entered the loft there, and said, ‘we
are officers,’ they submitted not to their authority, but resisted them
even in the most ferocious manner, and one officer, as you have before
heard, unfortunately lost his life. The prisoner at the bar, however,
is not under trial for that offence, nor should the fatal circumstance
operate in the present case against him. But I must again ask you, what
became of the prisoner on the 23d, the intended night of blood and
slaughter? Why he flies from the desperate scene, not to his own home,
as you have already been told, but to an obscure place of concealment.
These, then, Gentlemen, are the facts of this momentous case; and once
more I ask you, what possible conclusion can you draw from such facts,
if they be supported in evidence?

“Gentlemen, I repeat it, that this is a momentous and important
case, and if these plots of the conspirators, and of the prisoner in
particular, be proved to have existed--if the means had been used which
I have described to you for effecting the nefarious and diabolical
plans they had formed, then I call upon you, in the name of justice,
to give that verdict which will best satisfy the laws of your country,
and tend to protect the lives of your fellow-creatures. Commiseration
(if I may use the term) towards a prisoner, I never should withhold;
and God forbid, Gentlemen, that you should not give to the man at the
bar the advantage of every, even the slightest, circumstance of doubt
which may arise in his favour. If these doubts also should predominate,
it will be your duty to acquit the prisoner; but if, on the other hand,
the facts which I have laid before you be substantiated, and you feel
in your consciences that the charge is made out, it will then become
your painful but bounden duty to convict him. Should these facts, I
say, for the last time, be brought home to the prisoner, it will then
be your duty, as men, as citizens, and as fathers--as men desirous of
maintaining the laws, and of acting under the solemn obligation of your
oaths, to pronounce him guilty.”

The learned gentleman’s speech occupied the attention of the Jury for
nearly two hours.

Before the first witness for the prosecution was put into the box, all
the prisoners named in the indictment were brought up, with the view,
we suppose, of having an opportunity of hearing the evidence, it being
principally the same which is to be adduced against most of them. They
entered the Court with much apparent indifference.

Davidson and Ings were particularly remarked for the calm indifference
with which they surveyed the Bench and the spectators around them.

During the examination of Adams, some of the prisoners whispered
together. Thistlewood throughout preserved the most perfect composure.

The first witness called was

ROBERT ADAMS, examined by the Solicitor-General.--I live at No. 4,
in Hole-in-the-Wall-passage, Brooks’-market. I am a shoemaker. I was
in the Royal Regiment of Horse Guards. It is 18 years last Christmas
since I left them. I knew Brunt at Cambray, in France, he went then by
the name of Thomas Morton, it is 18 years ago since I first knew him.
I know Thistlewood. I knew him first on the 16th of January last. He
then lived in Stanhope-street, Clare-market. I was introduced to him by
Brunt and Ings. I saw him at his own place. We had some conversation

Here Mr. Adolphus objected to the witness mentioning any thing of the
conversation which passed on that occasion. The crime against the
prisoner was charged in the reign of his present Majesty, and against
his crown and dignity, and no act of the prisoners in the late reign
ought to be adduced.

Lord Chief-Justice Abbot said, the Court might hear of the commencement
of the transaction, as connected with what had occurred in the present

The examination of the witness was continued.

When I went in, Brunt said to Thistlewood, This is the man I was
speaking to you about. Thistlewood said, “You were once in the
Life-Guards?” I said, “No, I was not, I originally belonged to the
Blues.” Thistlewood said, “You are a good swordsman?” I said, “I could
use a sword to defend myself; but I could not use it very expert, as
I had not used any arms for a long time.” Thistlewood said, there was
no one who was worth 10_l._ who was worth any thing for the good of
his country. As to the shopkeepers of London, they were all a set of
aristocrats together, and were all working under the same system of
government. He should glory to see the day that all the shops were
shut up, and well plundered. He then alluded to Mr. Hunt, and said,
he (Hunt) was a d----d coward, and were he (Thistlewood) to go to
Whitehall, he was sure he would find his (Hunt’s) name there, as a spy
to government. He then turned the conversation to Cobbett, and said, he
was equally the same as Hunt, and for all his writings, he had no doubt
he was also a spy. This ended the conversation then. I was afterwards
confined for debt in Whitecross-street Prison. The next interview I
had with Thistlewood was on the 16th, at the White Hart public-house.
It was in a room in the back yard. Thistlewood was present, and Ings,
Brunt, and Hall, and before they broke up, Tidd. On the 17th I went to
prison, and remained fourteen days there. I came out on Sunday, the day
after the death of the King. I saw Thistlewood on the Monday evening
following. I saw him in the same floor in the house where Brunt lived,
in a back room. This was in Fox-court, Gray’s Inn-lane. There were
Brunt, Ings, Hall, and Davidson, present. There was nothing particular
took place that night. To the best of my recollection, I met them next
on the Wednesday, (by them he meant Thistlewood, Brunt, Davidson,
Harrison, and Ings,) I had a conversation--

Mr. Curwood here objected to the witness speaking to what then
occurred, as no over-act was set forth in the indictment on that day.
It merely referred to a meeting on the 16th, and at divers other times.

Lord Chief-Justice Abbott observed, that the present mode was the
invariable form of such indictments, and no objection was ever made
to it. If all the particulars of overt-acts were set forth, it would
occasion a great prolixity.--The objection was over-ruled.

Witness continued--I went into the room and saw a number of pike
staves, and Thistlewood wanted to have them ferruled. Thistlewood
then asked why Bradburn (the prisoner) was not present, and he added
that Bradburn was intrusted with money to purchase ferrules, and was
not satisfied lest he should not buy them. The staves were green, and
seemed as if they had just come from the country. Thistlewood said he
would not give a damn for a man who would spend the money in such a
way. I do not recollect any thing further then. The meetings were held
twice a-day from thence to the 23d of February. The room was hired
by Brunt for Ings; Brunt said so. I remember one circumstance that
occurred: one evening, about ten days before the Cato-street business,
I went in and saw Harrison, Thistlewood, and Brunt. Harrison said, he
had been speaking to one of the horse-guards, and he told him, that
the whole of them would be down at Windsor at the King’s funeral; and
Harrison said, this would be a good opportunity to do something that
night (the night of the funeral.) Thistlewood said it was a good place,
and added, that if they could get the two pieces of cannon in Gray’s
Inn-lane, and the six pieces in the Artillery-ground, they could so
help themselves as to have possession of London before morning; and he
said, that when the news should reach Windsor, the soldiers would be
so tired as not to be able, when they came back to London, to do any
thing; but that by activity some might go to Hyde-park, and prevent
any person or messenger from going to Windsor. He also said, that
they should go over the water and take the telegraph, to prevent any
communication with Woolwich.

He then said that they should form a Provisional Government, and
send to the sea-ports, to prevent any gentlemen from leaving England
without passports. He particularly mentioned to send to Dover,
Brighton, Margate, and Ramsgate, and he most particularly mentioned
Brighton--not that he thought the new King would be there, or at the
funeral. He said the present family had inherited the throne long
enough, and it was no use for the present King to think of being
crowned. Brunt and Ings came in after this, and Thistlewood mentioned
to them what passed; but they said that nothing would satisfy them but
their plan of assassination. They had talked at a former meeting of
this plan of assassination. Two or three of them had drawn out a plan
of assassinating his Majesty’s Ministers at the first public dinner
they had. They talked of assassination at every one of their meetings.
I could not say there were pikes in the room before this. I met them on
Saturday, the 19th of February, at eleven or twelve in the forenoon.
I saw Thistlewood, Davidson, Brunt, Harrison, Ings, and Hall. They
were all set round the fire, and seemed in a conversation betwixt
themselves. They all got up and turned round, and said, “It is agreed,
if nothing turns out before next Wednesday night, next Wednesday we
will go to work.” It was said they were all sworn that they would not
wait any longer.

Thistlewood proposed they should meet the following morning at nine, to
draw out a plan to go by. Thistlewood said to Brunt, “You had better
go round this afternoon and mention it, in order to have the committee
to-morrow.” Brunt said, he did not think he should be able to go, as he
had some work to do, but he would go on the next morning, and perhaps
he might see some of them: it was not necessary to bring a great many.
Brunt appeared to be leaving the room then, and Thistlewood called
to him, and said--“O, Brunt, it will be highly necessary for those
that come to-morrow morning to bring fire-arms with them, in case any
officers should come up.” On which Brunt said, “D--n my eyes, if any
officer should come in here, the time is so near now, I would run him
through the body. I would murder him here sooner than we should be

On the next morning I went there about eleven o’clock. It was a little
dark in my eyes when I went in after the snow. There were Thistlewood,
Brunt, Harrison, Cooke, Bradburn, Tidd, Edwards, and Wilson, myself,
and another. William Cooke, on looking round the room, said, “There
are twelve in the room, and I think it enough to form a committee.”
Thistlewood proposed that Tidd should take the chair. Tidd took the
chair, and sat with a pike in his hand. Thistlewood was on his right
and Brunt on his left. Thistlewood said, “Gentlemen, you all know
what we are met for;” and then he turned to the door, as if unwilling
to mention it, and said, “the west-end job.” Brunt then said, “D--n
my eyes, name it.” On which Thistlewood again said, “Gentlemen, we
are come to the determination to do this job, that we were talking
about so long, and as we find there is no probability of meeting them
(Ministers) altogether, we shall, if no opportunity of doing them
altogether occurs, take them separately, at their own houses, and do
as many as we can. If we can only get three or four at a time we must
do them.” He also said, “I suppose we can take forty or fifty men to
do this west-end job; and I propose to take the two pieces of cannon
in Gray’s Inn-lane, and the six pieces in the Artillery-ground.” He
proposed Cooke to lead this party, and he himself would command. He
said they should take the Mansion-house as the seat of the Provisional

They were next to take the Bank of England; and Palin should be the
man who should set fire to the barracks, and several parts of London.
This was the principal part of the plan, but if any thing else occurred
before Wednesday, they would think of it. Brunt was then going to
put a proposition which he had for assassinating the Ministers, but
Thistlewood said, his plan should be first put from the chair, as they
were nearly all agreed on it. He desired the chairman to ask if any of
them had any thing to say, and that they should say it; but none of
them saying any thing, the plan was carried unanimously. Brunt then
came forward with his plan, which was, that they should assassinate
as many of his Majesty’s Ministers as possible; that they should draw
lots to assassinate some of the Ministers; and whoever the fellow was
on whom the lot fell, he should murder the Minister, or be murdered
himself; and that if any man failed in the attempt, he (Brunt) swore by
all that was good, he should be run through the body. On which I got
up, and said, “Mr. Brunt, do you not think it possible for a man to
attempt such a thing, and not succeed in it; and do you mean to say he
should be run through the body for not doing it?” To which he said, “I
do not: if a man should attempt it and not succeed, he is a good man;
but if he shews any cowardice, he deserves to be run through the body.”
This proposition of Brunt’s was then put to the meeting.

Soon after this, Palin, Potter, and Strange, came in. They were
welcomed, and were desired to sit near the fire, as they were wet.
Palin said, “There is one thing I want to know; if it can be done, it
will be a great assistance to our plan. I want to know what men are to
perform each part of the plan, and who are to take the cannon. I want
to know, in calling upon the men, whether I can tell them in part or
whole what is to be done.” The chairman said, “I don’t see where the
harm is of telling what is to be done.” Mr. Palin, seeing that he had
that liberty, sat down quite satisfied. Nothing regular was transacted
in the chair after that. Mr. Thistlewood said, “O, Brunt, that is well
thought of, as Palin is here: you and Palin go, and see if the house
near Furnival’s Inn is fit for setting fire to.” They went (Palin and
Brunt), and reported it would make a d----d good fire. Thistlewood
talked of getting means for a treat on Tuesday and Wednesday. Brunt
said, he would be d----d, but he would contribute the only 1_l._ note
he had earned for a long time. They proposed the White-Hart for the
house. Thistlewood proposed his own room; but afterwards thought it
would not do, as it might lead to suspicion. This was all on the Sunday
morning. On Monday morning they met again. Witness then told them
what Hobbes told him on Sunday night, of inquiries made respecting
radical meetings at his house, and that information of it was given at
Bow-street office, and at Lord Sidmouth’s office. Harrison turned round
on witness like a lion, and said “Adams, you have acted d----d wrong.”
Brunt said so too, and added, “Whatever you have to communicate, you
have no business to communicate but to me and to Thistlewood.” Witness
said, it concerned all, and he should tell all of it. They repeated the
same observations. They talked of calling a meeting of the Mary-le-bone
Union, as they wanted some money; and Brunt said, it would be of use
for that purpose.

Witness and Potter went in the evening to the White-Hart; Palin and
Bradburn joined them. Next morning they were there too, and with them
Thistlewood, Tidd, Ings, Harrison, and Brunt. Edwards came, and told
them there was to be a cabinet dinner next night. Thistlewood said,
he did not think it was true. A newspaper was sent for, and read
by Thistlewood. He read that they were to dine at Lord Harrowby’s,
Grosvenor-square. Brunt then said, “I’ll be d----d if I don’t believe
there is a God. I have often prayed that he would bring all these
thieves together, in order to destroy them. He has answered my prayer.”
Thistlewood proposed, that they should form a committee and sit
immediately. Witness took the chair.

Thistlewood proposed immediately a fresh plan to be formed respecting
the assassination. Witness expressed a hope they had paid due
consideration to what he said yesterday. All got into confusion.
Harrison said, “D--n that man who attempted to throw cold water on the
plan, but he would run him through with the sword.” Witness left the
chair, and Tidd took it. Brunt moved that a watch should be set on the
Earl of Harrowby’s house that night. The object was to see if any men
or soldiers went into Earl Harrowby’s. Two were to go at six, to be
relieved at nine, and they were to continue till twelve. The watch was
to be resumed at four next morning.

Thistlewood said he hoped they would be satisfied that no officers or
soldiers went in. They would do what they had determined to-morrow
evening; and added, that it would answer their purpose much better than
to attack their houses separately, when only two or three could be got
together. Here they would have fourteen or sixteen; a rare haul to
murder them all. “I propose,” continued he, “when the door is opened,
to rush in, seize the servants, present pistols, and threaten to kill
them if they make any noise; two to take the entrance to the stair
upwards, and two others to the stair to the lower part of the house,
armed with blunderbusses and hand-grenades; and if any attempt to pass,
to throw hand-grenades and destroy them all. Others are to go where the
ministers are to murder them all. If there shall be any good men, kill
them for keeping bad company.” All agreed. Ings said, he would go in
first, with a brace of pistols and knives. The two swordsmen would cut
off all their heads; and Castlereagh’s and Sidmouth’s should be flung
in a bag by themselves. He added, “I shall say, my Lords, I have got
as good men here as the Manchester yeomanry; enter citizens, and do
your duty.” Harrison and witness were to be the swordsmen. After the
execution of Lord Harrowby, at his house, Harrison proposed that some
should go to King-street horse-barracks, and set fire to the premises
by throwing fire into the straw in the stable.

Harrison and Wilson were to go to Gray’s Inn-lane, and, in case they
could not carry the cannon out of the military-school, they were to
wait till a party came to assist them. Thence they were to proceed to
the artillery barracks, to assist Cooke in taking the cannon there. If
they found their strength sufficient to proceed, they were to advance
to the Mansion-house, and plant three of the cannon on each side of the
Mansion-house, and to demand the Mansion-house. If it were refused,
they were to fire, and then it would be given up. The Mansion-house was
to be made the seat for the Provisional Government.

The Bank of England was next to be taken. They would take the books,
which would enable them to see further into the villany of the
government. The further parts of the plan were delayed till Wednesday.
They agreed upon a sign and countersign. The word was “Button;” the man
who came up was to say B-u-t; and the other was to reply t-o-n.--Being
asked as to the watch, witness said, There are other things which I
wish to state. I went there next morning, and found Edwards, Ings, and
Hall, making fusees for the hand-grenades. Davidson went on the watch
at six. Witness and Brunt went to relieve the watch. They saw Davidson
in the square, on the watch. They went into a public-house, where
Brunt played at dominos with a young man.

About eleven they went out into the square, and walked for some time,
till witness got ashamed of himself. They went away at twelve o’clock.
He went next day to Fox-court, between two and three. He found Brunt
there. Strange came in, and in a few minutes afterwards two more
strangers. Strange and another were trying the flints. They went into
a back room to avoid the strangers, where witness saw cutlasses,
blunderbusses, &c. Thistlewood, Ings, and Hall came in. Thistlewood
said, “Well, my lads, this looks like something to be done.” He touched
witness on the shoulder, and asked how he was. Witness replied that
he was very unwell, and in low spirits. Thistlewood sent for beer and
gin. Thistlewood then wanted some paper to write bills on. Witness
said, cartridge paper would do. The paper was brought; and table and
chair were got. The bills were then written; they were to be set on the
houses, to let the people know what had been done. Thistlewood read as
part, “Your tyrants are destroyed--the friends of liberty are called
upon to come forward--the Provisional Government is now sitting. James
Ings, Secretary. February 28.” Thistlewood was much agitated, and could
write only three. Another bill was written, which was an address to
the soldiers. Another person was employed to write it, and Thistlewood
dictated to him.--Witness said he would tell what he had seen.

Mr. Adolphus objected to this, and contended, that the writing alone
was evidence.

Witness could not say what became of the papers, and he had not seen
them since.

Mr. Solicitor-General now stated, that notice had been given to produce
the writings.

Witness said that this second kind of bill was not finished,--they
could not agree as to the terms.

Mr. Adolphus renewed his objection to the question what Thistlewood
dictated to be written.

Lord Chief-Justice Abbot.--In whose hands had you last seen the paper?

Witness did not know him.

His Lordship said, some doubts were entertained by some part of the

Mr. Solicitor-General said, he would not press it.

Witness went on.--Ings had two black belts on, one for two pistols, the
other for cutlasses. He had two bags on his shoulders, like soldiers
haversacks. He looked at himself and said, he was not complete yet,
he had forgot his steel. He took out a large knife, and brandished
it about, and said, it would cut off the heads of Castlereagh and
Sidmouth, and it would be thought a great deal of at some future time.
The knife was a large broad knife, twelve inches long, the hand bound
round with wax to keep a firm hold of it. Others were busy at other
arms. They began to leave the room about half-past four or five, to go
about the business.

Palin came in half an hour before. Palin said they ought to be aware
of what they were about, and to think within themselves whether they
were to do their country service or not, and whether the assassination
would be countenanced by their country. If they thought their country
would join them, then the man who flinched should be run through on the
spot. Unless they came to this determination they would do no good.
A tall man came in, and asked what the business they were about was.
Witness had never seen him before. The tall man said, if they were
to serve their country, he was their man, and if any one was afraid
of his life, he ought to have nothing to do with such a concern as
that. Thistlewood was then gone. Brunt was told, that inquiries were
made by some who were present, as to the plan they were about, Brunt
said, that was not the room for telling that; but they should go
with him, and they would know. Brunt promised spirits; and the tall
man cautioned against drunkenness, as ruinous to a cause like that.
They went along the street, two and two, and at some distance, that
they might not be observed. There was a cupboard in the room used for
swords, hand-grenades, and flannel bags for cartridges, one of which
was full. The rest of the arms were in Tidd’s room; that was the depôt.
Thistlewood was always in a hurry to carry every thing that was got
ready into the depôt, lest any officer should see it. Witness carried
a brass-barrelled blunderbuss. There were pikes made of old files.
Witness as he went on missed all his associates. He returned back, and
met Brunt, who returned back with him along the Edgeware-road, till
they met Thistlewood.

They went altogether to the stable in Cato-street. Witness stayed
behind till Harrison came up, and made him go in. He saw there,
Davidson and Wilson below, Thistlewood, Ings, Hall, Bradburn, Strange,
Cooper, the tall man, and others above. There were, as Thistlewood
calculated, at last, eighteen above and two below. There was a bench
above and arms on it. Some beer was standing on the table. There
were lights. There was a chest. Before Tidd came, Thistlewood went
out for some time. Witness heard a deal of talk below, and he found
Thistlewood, Brunt, Harrison, Davidson, and Wilson. They spoke of
the good news, they heard that the carriages were arriving at Lord
Harrowby’s as fast as they could. Witness went up to the loft, and saw
Thistlewood and Brunt much agitated. They spoke of Tidd’s absence.
Brunt pledged his word that he would come. He soon afterwards came.
Thistlewood said, “I hope you will not give up what you are going to
do; if you do, this will be another Despard’s business.” He then
counted twenty persons, and said that was enough, fourteen would be
sufficient to go into the room, and the other six would take care of
the servants and doors. They then set apart fourteen.

The gin bottle was then started. Thistlewood said, if Lord Harrowby had
sixteen servants, that was nothing, as they would not be prepared. A
noise was heard below. Thistlewood took a candle and looked down to see
who they were, and then set down the candle quite confused, according
to witness’s judgment. Two officers took command of the room, holding
small pistols, and said, “A pretty nest there is of you. We have got
a warrant to apprehend you all, and hope you will go peaceably.” A
man who was on the step of the ladder said, “Let me come forward.”
This was the man murdered. A group of persons had got into the little
room, and then came forward, and one of them stretched forward an arm,
witness saw nothing in it, and another presented a pistol. The man
fell. It was impossible for him to give a particular account of the
other transactions. He got away, went home, and was apprehended on the
Friday, and remained in custody since. He identified Davidson, Wilson,
Brunt, Ings, Cooper, Harrison, Tidd. There were two he did not know.
They were again called forward, but he said he could not swear to them.
He was sent forward near the dock: but he said he did not know them.
One of them, he said, he saw at the meeting.

Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--He went not there to assassinate his
Majesty’s Ministers. His legs carried him there. His outward intent
to all appearance was for that; but his inward intent was against it.
He was kept to it, because Brunt said, whoever forsook them would be
marked. He became acquainted with Brunt in Cambray, in 1816. He had
been a soldier years before. He was a shoemaker. He had never been
treasurer to a benefit society. He carried with him 40_l._ He thought
the money his own. He had never been charged with stealing it. He
was introduced to Thistlewood by his friend Brunt, to assassinate
his Majesty’s Ministers. That was the first object. He first gave
information on the Saturday after. It was indeed from compunction.
“My motive was, gentlemen of the Jury, I do assure you, that I made a
vow to God that I should tell the whole truth. I did indeed regard it
with horror. I felt compunctious visitings before I was in custody. It
was not because I felt my neck in danger, or because I thought it was
better eighteen should be hanged than myself.” The greatest number he
ever saw present was fifteen men. The greatest sum he saw was sixpence.
There was no collection of halfpence and pence for the newspaper.
Tidd’s was the depôt. He saw no muster-roll, and no cannon-ball. The
cannon were to be charged with cartridges, and a large hammer was to
be bought to strike down the tops of the iron palisades, as it was
thought they would do more execution than balls. The newspaper was
“The New Times.” Witness did not know whether it was correct. He had
seen nothing of Edwards since. He was employed to carry a sword, as
being expert at it. He was not sufficiently near to have killed the man
in the loft with the sword. His hand was not extended. He could tell
nothing of the proceedings that followed. He went away, and did not
deliver himself up, because he saw no officer. He went home to abide
the event.

Re-examined in chief.--He said, the British army were at Cambray when
he became acquainted with Brunt there.

Another witness was then called, but the Court and Jury were of
opinion, as it was half-past seven, that it was the best time for
adjourning. The Court was accordingly adjourned till nine o’clock on
Tuesday morning.


The Court met this morning at nine o’clock, and the names of the Jury
having been called over, and Thistlewood and the other prisoners being
put to the bar, the evidence for the prosecution was continued.

ELEANOR WALKER examined by Mr. Gurney.--I am servant to Henry Rogers:
he lives at No. 4, Fox-court, Gray’s-Inn-lane. We had a lodger named
Brunt. He occupied two rooms on the second floor. They were front
rooms. In January a lodger came, introduced by Brunt. This was a month
or five weeks before Brunt was taken up. He (Brunt) said the lodger
lately came from the country, and he wanted a room; and as we had
one to let, he wished him to have it. The room was unfurnished. He
paid three shillings a week for it. He (the lodger) said he might not
bring his goods in for a week or better. He never brought any in to my
knowledge. I do not think I should know him again. I do not remember
having heard him called by his name. The room he took was a two-pair
back room.

This witness was not cross-examined.

Re-called.--While this person occupied the room, I heard persons
frequently go up stairs.

MARY ROGERS, the aunt and mistress of the last witness, examined by
Mr. Gurney.--The room was let by my maid while I was out. After the
lodger had been in the house for a week, I said to Mr. Brunt, “You
have brought a lodger.” He said, “Yes, I have, and I hope he will pay
you. I know nothing of the man, but seeing him at a public-house, and
seeing him want a room.” He said he was a butcher out of work. He paid
me for four or five weeks. I cannot say whether he ever slept there;
he did not to my knowledge. I and my maid in the evening saw three men
coming up stairs. The one in the middle was a black man. The light from
my room was on their faces. At other times I heard persons going up
stairs, but took no particular notice.

This witness was not cross-examined.

JOSEPH HALE, a young lad, the apprentice of Brunt, examined by Mr.
Gurney.--I am apprentice to Brunt. I have served two years and better
of my apprenticeship. I lived with him in Fox-court. I remember a
person coming to lodge there in January. His name was Ings, a butcher.
Brunt and he looked at the room. Brunt said, “It will do; go down and
give them a shilling.” After that Ings used to come to the room. The
key was mostly left in the front room, and Ings used to come there for
it. Persons used sometimes to come to the room before my master was
taken up. This was every evening. I saw different persons. They were
Ings, Tidd, Thistlewood, Bradburn, Edwards, Hall, Potter, and Strange.
I remember a man named Adams: he came. Davidson, the black man, came
also. Others used to come, but I do not recollect them. They used to
stay nearly about two hours. There was no furniture in the room that
ever I saw. They used to take chairs in, out of the front room. I did
not hear any of their conversation. They used to call Thistlewood
sometimes T., his initial, and sometimes Arthur. I once saw the door
of Ings’s room open, and saw some long poles, like branches of trees
cut rough; I suppose about twenty of them. I sometimes heard hammering
and sawing in the room. My master was taken on Thursday, the 24th of
February. On the Sunday before that there was a meeting in the room.
There were more that morning than ever I had seen come up before.
All the persons whom I have named were there that morning. After the
meeting broke up I saw Strange in my master’s room. There was no
meeting on the Monday evening. There was no meeting on Tuesday. On the
Wednesday there were several persons going in and out. Some of them
came into the front room, where I worked. They got some pistols, and
were putting new flints in them. There were five or six pistols. One of
the men said there were people overlooking them from the next house,
and Brunt told them to go to the back room. Strange and a man whom I
did not know were the men who had the pistols. I cannot say how many
I saw go in and out. I saw Thistlewood that day. In the afternoon he
asked me for a sheet of writing-paper. I gave him one. He took it, I
believe, into the back room.

My master after this came out of the back room, and desired me to get
six sheets of cartridge paper. He gave me sixpence. I bought the paper
and gave it to him, and he took it into the back room. This was about
four or five in the afternoon. I heard people going down stairs between
five and six. My master was in and out several times. He went away
finally about six. There was a man went with him. It was not one of
the men I used to see there. A table had been taken that day from my
mistress’s room to the back room. I wanted the table, and went for it.
I knocked at the door, and Potter opened it. There were four or five in
the room besides Potter. After my master was gone, I saw Tidd between
seven and eight. Mrs. Brunt called him, and he came into her room. She
showed him a pike-head and a sword. She asked him what she should do
with them. She then gave them to him, and he took them out of the room
into the back room. After this I heard some persons go down stairs.
Tidd left a message, that if any persons called they should be sent
to the White Hart. Some persons did call on my master, and I went to
show them to the White Hart. Potter came, and he went. He knew the way
himself. There were three came to whom I shewed the way.

My master came home that night at about nine o’clock. I observed his
dress was dirty. He appeared confused. I heard him say to his wife, it
was all up, or words to that effect. He said that where he had been,
a great many officers had come in. He said he had saved his life, and
that was all. Just as he said this, another man came in. I do not know
that man. Brunt shook hands with him, and asked him if he knew who had
informed. The man said, no. The man then said, he had had a dreadful
blow on the side, which knocked him down. Brunt then said, “There is
something to be done yet.” After this Brunt and the other man went
away together. Mrs. Brunt and I after this went to Ings’s room. I saw
several rolls of brown paper with tar in them. I saw only one pole
remaining. I saw something rolled up, and tied round with strings. I
understood them to be hand-grenades. I saw an iron pot belonging to
Brunt. My master came in about eleven o’clock. He told me to get up
in the morning as soon as I could and clean his boots. They were very
dirty. He called me in the morning at half past six, and when I got up
he asked me if I knew the Borough. I told him yes. He then asked if
I knew Snow’s-fields. I said no. He then went into the back room and
put the things out of the cupboard into two baskets; one of which was
afterwards put into a blue apron belonging to Mrs. Brunt. This apron
had before this been as a curtain in Ings’s room.

My master told me that Potter lived in Snow’s fields. When we had the
baskets ready, two officers came in and took my master into custody.
I knew where Tidd lived. He lived in the Hole-in-the-Wall-passage,
Brooks’-market. Adams lived next door.

Cross-examined by Mr. Adolphus.--My master is a journeyman shoemaker:
not a very poor man. Adams is also a shoemaker. Ings had the lodgings
five weeks. I believe they had meetings there every night. I thought
there were about twenty persons there on the Sunday. I know some of the
prisoners. Strange is a boot-seller--selling boots in a shop. Edwards
was an artist. Edwards was there very often: oftener than Adams--almost
every day. Hall was a journeyman tailor, I believe. I don’t know where
he lives. I cannot say how many persons were there at one time on
Wednesday. The baskets used by my master were rush baskets. As near as
I can guess there were about twenty poles. They were branches of trees
in a green raw state. I believe they kept a fire in Ings’s room. I do
not know whether the poles were cut up to light the fire or not.

THOMAS SMART examined by Mr. Littledale.--I am a watchman of the parish
of St. George, Hanover-square. I was on watch on the south side of
Grosvenor-square, on Tuesday the 22d of February. I went there about
eight o’clock. About half-past eight I saw four suspicious men walking
the square. I thought they were after no good; one of them was a dark
man, and the other a tall man. I watched them. They were looking down
the areas. Charles Bissix’s box is at the west side of the square.

Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--It was not a very uncommon thing to see
suspicious men walking about.

HENRY GILLAN examined by Mr. Bolland.--I am a servant to Mr. Whittle,
apothecary, at 15, Mount-street, Grosvenor-square. I sometimes use
the Rising-sun public-house. It is in Charles-street, which runs into
Grosvenor-square and Mount-street. I was there on Tuesday the 22d of
February. I saw that short man (pointing to the prisoner Brunt) there.
There was a tall man with him. They had some bread and cheese and
porter. There were dominos on the table, and the short man challenged
me to play with him. I played two games with him, and left the house
before ten, leaving them there.

JOHN HECTOR MORRIS examined by the Attorney-General.--I am a journeyman
cutler to Mr. Underwood, in Drury-lane. I remember on Christmas-eve
a man brought a sword to my master’s shop. The man was habited like
a butcher. He drew the sword from under his smock-frock, without a
scabbard. He wished to have it ground sharp, particularly at the point.
He said to put the name of Inns on it; but I am hard of hearing, and it
might be Ings. He called for it in a few days. In about a fortnight he
brought another sword to have it sharpened in the same way. It was much
longer than the other. [Here the witness identified the prisoner Ings
as the man who brought the swords.] I should know the swords again.

EDWARD SIMPSON examined by the Attorney-General.--I am a corporal major
of the 2nd Regiment of Life-Guards. I know a person named Harrison. He
was in the Guards. (Here he identified Harrison.) He was discharged in
1814. When I knew him, he was in King-street barracks, Portman-square.
He had an opportunity of knowing them. Part of the barracks looked into
Gloucester Mews. There was a loft with five windows looking into it.
There was hay and straw in that loft; the windows had been stopped up
since the Cato-street business.

Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--I don’t know how many men are in
Knightsbridge barracks; they would hold about 300.

JAMES ADAMS examined by the Attorney-General.--I am a pawnbroker in
Berwick-street. I know the prisoner Davidson from his having pledged
things at my shop. He came on the 23d of February, in the morning, and
took a brass-barrelled blunderbuss out of pledge.

This witness was not cross-examined.

THOMAS HYDEN examined by Mr. Gurney.--I am a cow-keeper. I was formerly
a member of a shoemakers’ club. I knew Wilson there. I saw him a
few days before the 23d of February; he met me in the street, and
made a proposition to me. He asked me if I would be one of a party
to destroy his Majesty’s Ministers; he said they were waiting for a
cabinet dinner, and that all things were ready. He told me they had
a sort of things which I never saw; they were called by the name of
hand-grenades,--and, he said, he depended on me to be one. He said
that Mr. Thistlewood would be glad to see me, if I would be one. He
said, the use to be made of the hand-grenades was to be put under the
table, at the cabinet dinner, with the fuse alight, and those who
escaped were to be destroyed by the sword or some other weapon. He
also said that fires were to be lighted, and the town to be kept in
confusion for several days, till the thing became general. He named
some houses. Lord Harrowby’s, Lord Castlereagh’s, Lord Wellington’s,
Lord Sidmouth’s, the Bishop of London’s, and several others which I
do not remember. I told him I would make one. This was, I believe,
four or five days before the Cato-street business. Before that I
went to Lord Harrowby’s. I do not remember the day. I followed his
Lordship in the park. I gave him a note. On Wednesday, the 23d, I saw
Wilson again. I believe it was between four and five o’clock in the
afternoon. I met him in Manchester-street, Manchester-square. He said,
“Hyden, you are the very man I wanted to see.” I asked him what there
was going to be; and he said, there was to be a cabinet dinner at Lord
Harrowby’s, Grosvenor-square. He told me I was to go to the Horse and
Groom public-house, the corner of Cato-street. I was to go in there,
or otherwise I was to wait at the corner until I was _shoved_ into a
stable close by. I asked him the hour, and he said about half past
five or a quarter before six. I then asked him how many there were
to be, and he said twenty or thirty. I asked him, was that all there
was going to be? and he said, there was to be another party in the
Borough, another in Gray’s Inn-lane, and another in Gee’s-court, or
in the city. He said, all Gee’s-court were in it; but they would not
act till after the English began, as they had so often deceived them
before. Gee’s-court is inhabited by Irish. It is at the St. Giles’s
end of Oxford-street. He also said there was a gentleman’s servant
supporting them with money; and, if they would act on the subject, he
would give them a great deal more. He asked me if I had a gun; and I
said yes, but it was only a _rubbishing_ one. He then said they would
provide me with a gun, and something to work with. There were, he also
said, two pieces of cannon in Gray’s Inn-lane, which they could get by
breaking in a small door. He said there were four pieces of cannon in
the Artillery Ground, and they could be very easily taken, by killing
the sentinel. After they left Grosvenor-square, they were to meet near
the Mansion-house. I was told to come to my time, or the thing would be
done before I came.

I went to John-street that evening; it was nearly seven o’clock. The
entrance to Cato-street is a little gateway from John-street. When I
got there I saw Wilson and Davidson; I had seen him (Davidson) before.
Davidson said I was come, and he asked me if I would go in. I said no,
as I was going somewhere else to look for some cream. He said if I
would go in, Mr. Thistlewood was there. I asked him what time I should
be there, and he said eight o’clock. If I were not there in time, he
said, I was to follow them down to Grosvenor-square, and, at the fourth
house from the corner, at the bottom of the square, I should find them.

Cross-examined by Mr. Adolphus.--I am not certain whether the
first conversation I had with Wilson was before the Sunday, before
the Cato-street business. I am not quite certain. It was four
or five days before. I am not able to say what day I gave the
information to Lord Harrowby. It might be a day or two before I saw
Wilson in Manchester-street. The conversation with Wilson was in
Manchester-street; we were walking up and down the street.

A note was here put into witness’s hand, which he said was the one
given by him to Lord Harrowby. It was in his own hand-writing.

Cross-examined.--The reason why I gave the note to Lord Harrowby was,
because I could not see Lord Castlereagh.--I did not call at Lord
Castlereagh’s house, but I went three or four times near the house,
in order to see him. I did not see him, and then I gave the note to
Lord Harrowby. I am certain that in Wilson’s conversation with me, the
words, “His Majesty’s Ministers,” were used.

The EARL of HARROWBY examined from the bench by the
Attorney-General.--I reside in Grosvenor-square, on the south side,
near Charles-street, next door to the Archbishop of York’s. I am a
Privy-Councillor, and one of his Majesty s Ministers. I am President
of the Council, and one of the Cabinet. On the 23d of February last,
I intended giving a cabinet dinner; I think it was on Wednesday, the
23d. Only those who compose the Cabinet are invited to Cabinet dinners.
I believe the invitations went out the latter part of the week before,
but my head servant can speak to that more correctly. Invitations were
sent to the Lord Chancellor; to the Earl of Liverpool, the First Lord
of the Treasury; to Mr. Vansittart, the chancellor of the Exchequer;
to Earl Bathurst, the Secretary of State for the Colonial department;
to Lord Sidmouth, the Secretary of State for the Home Department; to
Lord Castlereagh, the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs; the Duke
of Wellington, Master General of the Ordnance; Mr. Canning, the First
Commissioner of the India Board; Mr. Robinson, President of the Board
of Trade; Mr. B. Bathurst, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster; Mr.
Wellesley Pole, the Master of the Mint; and the Earl of Mulgrave; all
these are Privy-Councillors. They are employed in the different offices
I have mentioned, and also form what is called the Cabinet. In common
parlance they are called his Majesty’s Ministers. On the Tuesday before
the intended dinner, I was riding in the Park without a servant. It
was about two o’clock. I went to a Council at Carlton-House. I am not
positive as to the hour. As I came near Grosvenor-gate a person met me,
and asked me if I was Lord Harrowby. I said, yes. He said he wished to
give a note to Lord Castlereagh, which was of considerable importance
to him and to myself. He then gave me a letter. After some further
conversation, he gave me a card, with his address. I saw the man again
by appointment on Wednesday morning in the ring, among the young
plantations in Hyde-Park. The dinner did not take place at my house
on Wednesday. The preparations went on as if the parties were to dine
together, until I wrote a note from the Earl of Liverpool’s to my head
servant, to say the Cabinet would not dine there. It would be seven, or
half past, at which the party would dine.


_Wivell Del^t._      _Cooper Sculp._


Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--I had some general knowledge of
some conspiracy, or something of the kind, going on before this. I
do not know a person named Edwards. We had some general information
a considerable time before this, that some plan was in agitation,
but we did not know the time at which it was to take place, or the
particulars. I will not say to two months. It was some considerable
time before this.

JOHN BAKER examined by the Attorney-General.--I am butler to Lord
Harrowby. The cards of invitation were issued for the cabinet dinner on
the 18th, or 19th. It was about eight in the evening of the 23d when
I first knew that the Cabinet were not to dine at my Lord Harrowby’s.
The preparations for it went on till then. The Archbishop of York lives
next door to my Lord Harrowby’s. I can’t say whether his grace had
company on the 23d of February. I noticed several carriages draw up at
his door.

JOHN MONUMENT examined by the Solicitor-General.--I am by trade a
shoemaker. I generally live near Brooks’-market, but I am now a
prisoner in the Tower. I know the prisoner Thistlewood. I met him at
the house of one Ford some weeks before the transactions of the 23d
of February. He afterwards called upon me at my lodgings. He was not
alone. Brunt was with him. He told me that he wanted to speak with me
in private. In consequence I went out of the room with him, my mother
and brother being at that time in the room with me. Brunt staid behind
when I went out. Thistlewood then said to me, “Great events are now
close at hand--the people are every where anxious for a change. He had
been promised support by a great many men, who had deceived him, but
he had now got men who would stand by him.”

He then asked me if I had any arms. I said, “No, I had not.” He said,
that every man of them, that is, of those who were attached to him,
had arms, pikes, pistols, or sabres; and added, that I might buy a
pistol for four or five shillings. I said that I was too poor to buy
one. He replied, that if such were the case, he would see what could
be done for me. Brunt called upon me again in four or five days. He
said, that he could not stay long with me; there were several more men
of his trade waiting to see him on this business, and he must call on
them. I did not see him afterwards for some time. He called, however,
again upon me on the Tuesday previous to the 23d. I then told him
that I thought I had lost him, as he had staid away so very long. He
replied, that owing to the King’s death, an alteration had taken place
in their plans. I asked what those plans were. He said that I should
know them better at a meeting to be held the night afterwards, than
he could tell me. I asked him where the meeting was to be. He said at
Tyburn-turnpike. He did not tell me what was to be done there.

I asked him if I was to see any persons there how I was to know them
as friends, and requested him to give me the word. Brunt then told
me, that if I saw any persons about, I was to say B-U-T; and if they
were friends, they would say T-O-N. He would, however, call on me the
following morning, and tell me more particulars.

On the Wednesday afternoon, between four and five, he did call again:
he came by himself. He called me down stairs, and asked me if I was
ready to go. I said, “No, I have got some work to do, and it must be
done before I go.” He asked me how long it would be before it was
finished. I said, that it would be done about six o’clock. He then
said, that he could not wait for me so long--that I must therefore come
to the place appointed along with the man to whom he had introduced
me; that man’s name was Tidd. He charged me not to be later than six
o’clock, as Tidd had others as well as myself, to take with him to the
place of meeting.

I went to Tidd’s at half-past six, who complained that many men had
disappointed him. We waited till seven, but no person came. Tidd then
went into a corner of the room, took out a large pistol, and stuck it
in a belt, which he wore round his waist. He also took out four or five
pike-heads, which he wrapped up in brown paper. He took also several
shafts, four or five feet long. We then went out, along Holborn, and
up Oxford-street. I asked him, in his room, where we were going. He
said to a room in a mews in John-street, Edgware-road. When we got into
Holborn, he gave me the pike-shafts, and told me to take care of them.
I asked him again, as we were going along, where we were going; and
wanted to know whether it was to the House of Commons. He said, “No,
there were too many soldiers near there.” I again pressed him on the
subject, and he said that they were going to Grosvenor-square, as there
was a cabinet dinner there that evening. I did not ask him any more
questions; for on his saying that, I was satisfied for what purpose
they were going.

We then went to Cato-street. Under the archway I saw two men, whom Tidd
appeared to know. He spoke to them; and, after a few moments we all
went into the stable together. There were in the loft and stable about
twenty-four or twenty-five persons. I had not been there long when some
one proposed to count the numbers assembled. Thistlewood replied, that
there was no occasion to do so, as he knew that there were about four
or five and twenty persons in the room. There was a person in a brown
great coat sitting on a carpenter’s bench, who spoke of the impropriety
of going with so small a number to Lord Harrowby’s. Thistlewood
replied, there were quite enough of them. He only wanted thirteen to go
into the room, and supposing Lord Harrowby to have sixteen servants,
that number would be quite enough to master them.

The man in the brown coat said, “After we have done, there will be a
crowd about the door, how are we to make our escape?” Thistlewood said,
“You know the larger body is already gone to arrange matters; we, the
smaller, are left to do the business.” Davidson then blamed the tall
man in the brown great coat for throwing cold water on the plan, and
added, that if he was afraid, he might as well go away. Brunt said,
“Rather than give up the business, I will go to the house and blow
it up, though I perish myself in the ruins, for you know we have got
that which can easily do it.” The man in the great coat then said, as
they were all for it, he would not oppose it. He then proposed that
all in the room should put themselves under the orders of Thistlewood.
Upon which Thistlewood said, that all engaged in the business were
equal, and should have the same honour as himself, and proposed that
fourteen should volunteer to go into the room at Lord Harrowby’s. Those
that volunteered were to range themselves on the side in which the
fire-place stood. They did so in the course of a few minutes. Whether
they were exactly fourteen I don’t know.

I heard nothing said of what the rest were to do. On somebody asking
that question, Thistlewood replied, that they all knew their places.
Thistlewood then went out for a few moments. On his return, he said
that he had received intelligence that the Duke of Wellington and
Lord Sidmouth had arrived at Lord Harrowby’s. I was myself taken into
custody in the room.

Cross-examined by Mr. ADOLPHUS.--I never saw Thistlewood till I saw him
at Ford’s. I attended at the meeting in Finsbury-market. I was so far
off that I could not tell whether Thistlewood was there, nor even the
purpose of the meeting. There was no particular acquaintance at that
time between me and Thistlewood. I did not then know Brunt or Edwards.
There was a long interval between my first and second conversation with
Brunt. I thought that they had done with me, finding me so reluctant
to join in their measures. The man in the brown coat was not Adams. I
have seen Adams since, at Hicks’s Hall. The room was much crowded--the
parties in it were eating bread and cheese. I do not know that I ever
saw Adams before I saw him at Hicks’s Hall. I recollect the prisoner
Davidson from his colour. If any person had addressed them besides the
man in the brown coat, I must have heard him. I was taken in the room
when the soldiers came. I had no arms. I made no resistance.

Re-examined by the Solicitor-General.--I was nearly the last person who
entered the room. I was there nearly a quarter of an hour before the
officers came. I was unacquainted with every person in the room except
Thistlewood, Brunt, and Tidd. It was candlelight. On the bench were
swords, pistols, and blunderbusses. When I was brought up to Whitehall,
I was handcuffed to Thistlewood; who advised me, when I came before
the Privy-Council, to say that I had been brought to Cato-street by
Edwards. I asked him how I could tell such a falsehood, when I had
never seen such a man as Edwards in my life. He said that was of no
consequence. If asked what sort of a man he was, I was to say, he was a
little taller than myself, and dressed in a brown coat.

By a Juryman.--I have had no communication with Adams since my

By the Solicitor-General.--I never saw him except when I was brought up
as a witness to Hicks’s Hall.

THOMAS MONUMENT.--I am brother to the last witness. I remember
Thistlewood calling upon my brother. He brought Brunt with him. They
did not stay in the room more than five or ten minutes. Thistlewood
then asked my brother if he might speak with him. On my brother’s
replying yes, they went out together for ten minutes. They then
returned; and Brunt and Thistlewood went away.

On the Tuesday before the Cato-street business, Brunt called again on
my brother, with a man named Tidd. My brother said, “Brunt, I have not
seen you for so long a time, that I thought I had lost you.” Brunt
said, “The King’s death had made some alteration in our plans.” My
brother asked what those plans were. Brunt said, they had different
objects in view. Brunt asked my brother to meet him at Tyburn-turnpike
that evening, when an outline of their plan should be given to him.
Brunt said that he ought to be there at six o’clock: if he saw any
persons about, he should say, B-u-t, and if they were of their party
they would say, t-o-n. They did not press me to go, but spoke only to
my brother. I did not go. Brunt called at five the next evening for
my brother to go. He said, he could not go then, as we had work to
do. Brunt then bade my brother call on Tidd, at the Hole-in-the-wall
passage, at seven. He did so, as I was informed.

Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--Not suspecting that any mischief was
going on, I was not anxious to know to what the conversation of my
brother and Brunt referred. I thought that it might perhaps relate to
some club-dinner.

THOMAS DWYER examined by Mr. Gurney.--I live in Cheese-court,
Oxford-street. Some time in February I became acquainted with Davidson.
He introduced me to Thistlewood. We went together to a public-house
at the end of Molyneux-street, not far from Cato-street. This might
be about the 9th, 10th, or 11th of February. Thistlewood said nothing
particular to me at that time. He observed, that he had been in four or
five revolutions, and that Ireland was in a disturbed state. I am an
Irishman. Thistlewood said, that he had a good many of my countrymen
with him. He pressed me to go with him also.

I saw Davidson on the night before the 23d. He told me that he was
going to stand sentry. The next morning I was called upon by a person,
who took me to Fox-court, Gray’s Inn-lane. He was a tall man, and his
name is Harrison. We went into a two-pair back room; the room door was
locked. He knocked at another door, and a woman gave him the key. He
opened the door, and we entered.

There was a cupboard in the room, out of which was taken a ball,
wrapped up in yarn. Harrison told me the purpose for which it was
intended, and called it a grenade. Shortly afterwards Thistlewood,
Davidson, and a few more, came in. Davidson had a blunderbuss, a pair
of pistols, and a bayonet, in his side pocket. Others also came in, but
I did not know their names. [The witness was here told to look into the
dock, and see if he could identify any of the prisoners as being then
present. He instantly identified Brunt.] On Davidson’s saying that he
had only given twelve shillings for his pistols, Brunt said he would go
out and buy a pair.

I had some conversation with Thistlewood about the hand-grenades.
Thistlewood said, that some of them were to be thrown into the
horse-barracks, and others into Lord Harrowby’s house, to set fire to
it, and blow it up. Thistlewood asked me how many of my countrymen
I could muster, as he should want some of them at half-past eight
that evening. I told him that I could muster about twenty-six or
twenty-seven. He told me that they, meaning himself and friends,
were to assemble at the Horse and Groom; and ordered me to be at
the Pontefract Castle, at the end of Barret’s-court, a house much
frequented by Irishmen. He told me that I was to pick out the best of
my countrymen, and go to the Foundling Hospital, knock at the porter’s
lodge, put a pistol to his breast, and turn on to the right hand, as
there were twenty-five or twenty-six stand of arms in the other lodge:
these I was to seize. At the same time another party would secure
two pieces of cannon which were in the Light Horse Riding-School,
Gray’s Inn-lane. Another party was in the meantime to go to the
Artillery-ground, Finsbury, and seize what was there. He also mentioned
that there was to be a cabinet dinner at Lord Harrowby’s, and that the
party there were to be attacked.

After this, I saw a bundle, containing gunpowder, taken out and laid
upon the floor; a tin measure was produced, and several smaller woollen
bags were filled with it. This was done by Harrison. I afterwards heard
Thistlewood give directions generally to them all. He said that a dozen
pike-handles were to be taken to Mary-le-bone, some others to Finsbury,
and some elsewhere. I was asked, but refused, to take some of them. I
saw a bag; and the powder which had been measured out, and also the
grenades, were put into it.

I heard directions given to a man by Harrison, to take something to the
Horse and Groom, at the end of Cato-street. In the mean time another
person went out to get the pike-handles. I got back to my own place at
twelve o’clock. I told Major James of what I had seen and heard: in
consequence of what he said, I went to the Secretary of State about
one, or half-past one o’clock that day.

Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--I am a bricklayer by trade. I never,
before the month of February, saw Davidson. Davidson introduced me
to Thistlewood on the ninth of that month. They did not know me, and
I did not know them, yet I was let into their secrets on the morning
of the 23d of February. I have lived fifteen years in the parish of
Mary-le-bone, with a good character, and yet all of a sudden a band of
traitors intrusted me with their traitorous designs. I told them that
it was a hard thing to inveigle men into a scheme like theirs, and
doubted whether I should be able to accomplish it. Though I expressed
this doubt, I was sent to the Foundling Hospital to take the arms.
I acceded to their proposal at the time, but had no intention of
executing it. I do not know a man of the name of Hugglestone. I never
was in a court before, except on the trial of a woman for stealing. I
was in Ireland at the time of the rebellion. I cannot tell how old I
was then.

GEORGE KAYLOCK examined by Mr. Littledale. I live at 22, Cato-street.
I saw Harrison and another against the stable-door in Cato-street,
at five o’clock on the 23d February. I asked Harrison how he did. He
replied, pretty well; he had taken two rooms there, and was going to do
them up. Between five and seven o’clock I saw more than twenty people
go in at the stable-door.

RICHARD MONDAY examined by Mr. Littledale.--I live at 23, Cato-street.
About twenty minutes after four, on the 23d, as I was coming from my
work, I saw Davidson standing under the archway. I knew Davidson, from
seeing him with Firth, the cow-keeper. I went home and got my tea. I
came out again at twenty minutes past five, and went to a public-house.
On leaving it, I saw Davidson going into No. 1 for a light. In going
into the stable, into which Harrison admitted him, he stooped for a
bundle, and I then observed that he had two belts on, one across his
shoulder, and the other round his waist; in that round his waist, on
the left side, two pistols were inserted; on the other a sword was
suspended, which jutted out considerably. The place where they met is
a stable, belonging to General Watson; it has lately been used as a
cow-house by Firth. There is a chaise-house, and a stable below, and a
loft, with two rooms above. One of these rooms has a window, the other
is dark. I observed, in the course of the afternoon, that something
like a coarse matting was hung over the windows, and the partition in
the stable-yard.

ELIZABETH WESTALL.--I live at No. 1, Cato-street. About three o’clock
I saw a man go into the stable with a sack on his shoulder. About six
o’clock I went out, and saw a man of colour standing by the stable. I
was much alarmed by that circumstance, thinking that the stable was
unoccupied. I was out ten minutes. Shortly after I returned, the man
of colour came into my house, and asked me for a light. I gave him a
light. He then went back to the stable where I had seen him at first.

GEORGE RUTHVEN, the police-officer, was then examined by Mr. Bolland.

I went, on the 23d of February, to Cato-street. Three others were to
meet me there. When we were all assembled we were about twelve of us.
I went into the stable, and saw a man with a sword by his side, and
a blunderbuss on his shoulder. I saw one man below, and I have some
faint recollection that I saw another. The whole of my party followed
me into the stable. On seeing the man with the blunderbuss on his
shoulder, I told some of the party to secure him. I went up a ladder,
which led to a loft.

When I got there I saw several men; heard the clattering of arms, and
saw swords and pistols. Three or four of my party went up with me. I am
sure that Ellis and Smithers were with me. From the view which I had
of the place, I think there were 24 or 25 persons present. The size of
that room is 15 feet, five one way, and ten feet ten the other. There
are two rooms adjoining this, separated by doors. When I got into the
room, I said, “we are officers; seize their arms.” I saw in the room
Thistlewood, whom I have known for four or five years.

Thistlewood was standing, at the time we entered, at the right hand
side of the table, near the door of the little room. On my saying, “We
are officers,” he seized a sword, which was drawn, and retreated to
the little room. The sword was a very long one, and rather bright. He
stood in the entry of the door fencing, to prevent any one’s approach.
Smithers approached him. Thistlewood stabbed him, and Smithers fell,
saying, “Oh, my God! I’m done,” or something to that effect. Somebody
from the corner of the room where Thistlewood stood said, “Put out the
lights--kill the b----rs, and throw them down stairs.” The lights were
then put out; I joined in their cry of “kill them,” and rushed down

I did not observe any thing till I got into John-street, where I met
the soldiers, whom I brought. Several shots were fired from the corner
of the room where Thistlewood was standing; I think down the stairs.
On arriving a second time at the stable, I met Tidd grappling with one
of the military. I secured him. I was afterwards in the public-house,
(Horse and Groom) and saw Bradburn brought in. On him were found six
ball-cartridges and three balls. Davidson and Wilson were brought in.
Davidson sang a song. I then went back to the loft, and found there,
Shaw Strange, Cooper, Monument, and Bradburn. I saw arms in the hands
of several persons. I found two swords and a bag. The bag contained
ten hand-grenades. I also found balls and fusees. They were brought to
Bow-street, and remained since in possession of an officer. Afterwards
I went to the Horse and Groom. I had seen Cooper there, with a stick,
and Gilchrist came back for it, but did not get it. I observed it cut.

Cross-examined by Mr. Adolphus.--Thistlewood had not been much out of
sight since Watson’s trial. Witness had seen him five or six times. He
had a motive for it. It was not for this purpose, that he was aware
of. There were four or five Edwardses, officers with him, but he was
not aware that Edwards, who had been concerned in this business, was
connected with any of them. He knew nothing further, than that he was
directed to watch Thistlewood.

JAMES ELLIS, by the Attorney-General.--Went with the other officers
to Cato-street on the 23d of February; he went in immediately after
Ruthven. He saw two men, one having on two cross-belts; either in
his right or left holding a carbine, in the other a sword. Witness
observed, that he was a man of colour. The other person was between
the foot of the ladder and the stall next to it, for there were three.
He followed Ruthven up as close as he could. The man of colour said
something ending with “men.” He heard the men above rushing back behind
the carpenter’s table, and a noise like fencing with swords. There
might be twenty or twenty-five men. Ruthven said, “We are officers,
seize their arms, or surrender your arms.”

Witness had not known Thistlewood before, but he was satisfied it was
he who menaced with the sword. Witness had before held forward his
staff of office; he now presented a pistol, and desired him to desist,
or he would fire. Smithers then gained the top of the ladder, and
advanced towards the little room. Thistlewood struck him with the sword
near the breast. Smithers fell back, held up his hands, and exclaimed,
“O, God!” Witness fired on Thistlewood, and Smithers staggered towards
him. The candles were put out, and the witness was forced down. He
stood at the door to the street. Several shots were fired: some balls
passed him. On going out he heard a cry. Saw a man running towards
Queen-street, with belts on. He secured him. It was Davidson, the man
of colour. He had a carbine in the one hand, and a sword in the other.
He afterwards assisted in securing four, to whom he could not speak

Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--He was a constable, and had the
warrant. He had a part in conducting the officers; but Mr. Ruthven was

WILLIAM WESTCOTT had part in conducting the patrol at Bow-street, and
was a constable. He was down in the stable the whole time, and heard
firing on the loft. He saw Ings in the stable, who wanted to rush out,
while the other officers were up. Witness and Ings had a contest. There
was terrible confusion in the loft; some came tumbling down, and some
singly. He knew Thistlewood. There was a light. Thistlewood fired at
witness. Three holes were in his hat by balls. Witness rushed towards
Thistlewood, when he was struck down. Thistlewood then made a cut at
him with a sword, and ran out. Witness was wounded in the back of his
hand with one of the balls, as he had held up his hand to protect his

HUGH NIXON, one of the Bow-street officers, saw Ruthven, Ellis, and
the deceased go up the ladder. He went up, and saw Ellis fire. There
was a rush down, and he saw a man fire a pistol; he rather believed it
was Thistlewood. Ings was pursued and brought back. Witness found a
sword in the stable, and a bayonet up stairs.

JOHN WRIGHT, a patrol of Bow-street, was one of the officers who went
to Cato-street. They mustered at the Horse and Groom. He saw Cooper
having a broom-stick, and another coming to drink beer. Cooper left
the stick. Witness took a sword and a knife from a man who was in the
stable, near a stall. That moment he was knocked down, and received a
stab in his side. Wilson and Bradburn were afterwards taken. Witness
found about two dozen ball-cartridges in Wilson’s pocket, and a pair of
scissors; and found two haversacks on his sides.

WILLIAM CHARLES BROOKES, a patrol, being directed by Mr. Birnie
towards persons passing, saw Ings, and a person in front of him with
a cutlass, and spoke to them. Ings fired, and slightly wounded him on
the shoulder. Witness staggered into the road. Ings went off towards
the Edgware-road. Witness pursued. Ings threw away the pistol. Moy took
him. Witness asked him why he had fired at him, a man whom he had never
seen. He said, “I wish I had killed you.”

Ings.--“Pray, my Lord, am I not allowed to ask any question?”

Court.--“You are not on your trial at present.”

Witness stated, that two haversacks, a knife-case, and a tin box, three
parts full of powder, were found on Ings.

GILES MOY confirmed this evidence, so far as he was concerned.

ROBERT CHAPMAN, one of the Bow-street officers, went to Cato-street;
saw Ings in the stable, and heard him say, “Look out, above.” Witness,
in the watch-house, took from Ings a knife-case, two balls, and a
pistol-key. He saw one running through the stable with a sword in his

CAPTAIN FITZCLARENCE appeared on the right of the bench, and said, he
was a lieutenant in the Coldstream Guards; he went with a piquet to
John-street on the 23d of February, about eight in the evening. On
hearing reports of pistols, they went to Cato-street. He was directed
by a police-officer to the stable. He met two men at the door: the man
on his right cut at him with a sword, the other man presented a pistol.
He got in and seized a man, who called out, “Don’t kill me, and I will
tell you all.” He gave him in charge, and then secured another man in
one of the stalls. On going up stairs, he secured three, four, or five
persons. He fell against the body of poor Smithers, who was lying dead.
He saw several arms.

SAMUEL TAUNTON, a Bow-street officer, went to Brunt’s lodgings,
searched the front and back rooms, and found two baskets. Brunt, who
was in the front room, and had been previously taken into custody,
said, he knew nothing of the baskets. The room did not belong to him
in which they were; it was the back room. In the same room there was a
pike-staff and an iron pot. Witness sent for the landlady, Mrs. Rogers.
She said, her niece had let the back-room to a man she did not know.
Brunt, said, it was a man at the public-house, and he did not know his

Witness then went to Tidd’s, in the Hole-in-the-Wall passage, near
Gray’s Inn-lane. There he found a box full of ball-cartridges, 965
in number; he found ten grenades, and a great quantity of gunpowder.
He found, in haversacks, 434 balls. He found also sixty-nine
ball-cartridges, and about eleven bags of gunpowder, one pound each.
The grenades were in a wrapper. In one of the baskets at Brunt’s were
nine papers of rope-yarn and tar; in the other, three of the same, two
flannel bags of powder, one pound each, and five empty bags, a paper of
powder, one leathern bag, with three balls in it. They were all here.

Cross-examined by Mr. Adolphus.--This was on the 24th. Brunt had been
in custody before. Tidd was absent.

DANIEL BISHOP, a Bow-street officer, went on the morning of the
24th, with other officers, to apprehend Thistlewood, about ten
in the morning, to Whitecross-street, Moorfields. The house was
kept by Harris. He received a key from Mrs. Harris, which opened a
ground-floor. There he saw Thistlewood, who thrust his head from under
the clothes in bed; the shutters were shut. Witness told his name
and business, and, having a sword in one hand, and a staff in the
other, threw himself on the bed. Thistlewood said, he would make no
resistance. He had his breeches on, in the pockets of which they found
two balls, two cartridges, and some flints. They also found a small
silk sash.

Cross-examined.--A man of the name of Edwards did not go, nor any who
knew where Thistlewood was.

LAVENDER produced and identified the belt found in Thistlewood’s

RUTHVEN produced the pike-staff, grenades, _&c_.

All the soldiers and officers who had any of the articles seized were
now arranged behind the witness-box, and handed to Ruthven their
several charges, and Ruthven laid them on the table. A pike was
screwed on a staff, and handed to the Jury. The whole of the frightful
apparatus was now exposed to view. Guns, blunderbusses, carbines,
swords, pistols, pikes, sticks, cartridges, bullets; even the pot in
which the tar was boiled,--all were produced and identified.

The fire-arms remained loaded till produced on this occasion, when the
charges were drawn; they were loaded with ball. One of the grenades had
been given to a person by an order of Colonel Congreve to be examined.
The production of Ings’s knife excited an involuntary shudder; it was a
broad desperate-looking weapon.

The Jury inspected the arms separately, and particularly the pikes,
the construction and formation of which have already been minutely
described. The whole had a most formidable appearance.

JOHN HECTOR MORRISON, servant to Mr. Underwood, cutler, in Drury-lane,
was re-called, and looked at two swords, which, he said, were the same
he had ground for Ings.

Serjeant EDWARD HANSON, of the Royal Artillery, examined by Mr.
Gurney.--I examined one of the grenades produced to me at Bow-street;
it is composed of a tin case, in the form of a barrel, in which a tube
is soldered. The case contains three ounces and a half of gunpowder.
The priming in the tube is a composition of saltpetre, powder, and
brimstone. The tin was pitched, and wrapped round with rope-yarn, which
was cemented with rosin and tar. Round the tin, and in the rope-yarn,
twelve pieces of iron were planted. From the lighting of the fusee to
the explosion might take about half a minute. If one of them were to
be exploded in a room where there were a number of persons, it would
produce great destruction. The pieces of iron would fly about like

[The witness here opened another of the grenades for the satisfaction
of the Jury; it was composed in the manner already described. The
pieces of iron principally consisted of old cart-nails, such as the
tires of wheels are nailed on with. The carcase, or tin-case, was
wrapped in an old stocking, and the powder which it contained was
pronounced very good.]

Witness, in continuation.--I examined one of the fire-balls; it
consisted of oakum, tar, rosin, and stone-brimstone, pounded. If one of
these was thrown into a house, and alighted on wood, it would be sure
to set it on fire. The effect would be still more certain on straw or

The Attorney-General.--“That is the case, my Lord, on the part of the


Mr. CURWOOD now rose to address the Jury on the part of the prisoner.
He commenced by stating, “That if it were consistent with a sense of
moral and professional duty, he would not have stood there to address
them. It was one of the characteristics of the profession to which he
had the honour to belong, however, and one which perhaps reflected
upon it the greatest credit, that they were not at liberty to refuse
their assistance to persons in the situation of the unfortunate man at
the bar. No man could feel more impressed than himself with the sense
of the great and weighty duty he had to perform. He felt that the
unhappy prisoner had a right to call upon him to do his duty boldly and
fearlessly, and without any consideration for the Government who were
the prosecutors on this occasion; he felt also that he had a duty to
perform to his country, by assisting in the administration of the law,
and not by any power which he possessed, if he did possess such power,
to endeavour to pervert that law. He owed something too, to his own
fair fame, which was all, his only inheritance.

“With these feelings pressing upon him, he might truly say, he was
placed in a trying and critical situation. It was fit on an occasion of
this sort, that they should know something of the man by whom they were
addressed. It could not be denied that the unfortunate transactions,
to which their attention had been so painfully directed, had arisen
out of that state of the country which they must all alike lament and
deplore. It was clear also, that while they had attachments to certain
parties, prejudices would arise which it was out of their power to
control in favour of the sentiments of those parties. With respect to
himself, although like every other Englishman, he had his feelings upon
certain points, yet he never belonged to any particular party, nor
was he in the habit of attending political meetings. With respect to
Government, he never had received any place or appointment from them,
nor was it likely that he should. In the present instance, therefore,
he had no motive to influence him in doing his duty, or at least in
endeavouring to do it fairly and honestly.

“It was due to his Learned Friends and to himself to state, that in
consequence of the lateness of the moment in which they were called
upon to undertake this arduous task, not having received their
instructions till a late hour on Thursday, that the difficulties with
which they had to cope were of no ordinary kind; and these difficulties
became the more formidable, when it was recollected that they had
arrayed against them the most distinguished talents which it was in
the power of the Crown to procure--talents not a little aided by the
advantage of study, and of a mature consideration of all the facts
of the case which they were called upon to discuss. No doubt, in the
notice which they (the Jury) had given to the Attorney-General, when he
opened this case, they had not failed to observe, and he had observed
it with unfeigned surprise, that he had not stated to them precisely
what were the points which they were called upon to try. He had indeed
stated that it was a prosecution for high treason, but he had only
defined what was the quality of the treason which he meant to impute.

“Unfortunately, there was mixed up with this transaction a great deal
for which the prisoner might hereafter be answerable, and which was
calculated to make a deep impression on the minds of the Jury; but
whatever was their opinion upon the moral guilt of the prisoner, if,
upon a review of the evidence, they should not be of opinion that he
had committed the precise offence charged in the indictment, it was
their duty to pronounce a verdict of Not Guilty. It therefore devolved
upon him to state precisely what they had to try; it was not merely a
question of high treason, but a question of a particular species of
high treason.

“The indictment was very long, and contained many things which, in the
language of the law, were called overt acts. They were not, however,
because a great body of evidence had been given to them, to jump at the
conclusion, that the substantive treason alleged had been committed.
The sorts of treason charged were four in number: the first was founded
upon the late statute of the 36th of the King, for conspiring to depose
his majesty from his imperial style and dignity. It was now nearly
400 years since that statute, to which Englishmen had been wont to
look with veneration as a protection for the dearest rights of man--he
meant the statute of Edw. III.--had been passed. There, among other
treasons set forth, was the conspiring to take away, or the compassing
and imagining, or intending to compass or imagine the King’s death--but
there had subsequent treasons started up. There was now another Act of
Parliament in existence, which embraced not merely the compassing and
imagining the King’s death; but the conspiring to depose him from his
imperial style and dignity. It was also treason to conspire to levy war
against his majesty. This was the question then which they had to try.

“First, had the prisoners at the bar conspired or imagined the death
of the King; secondly, had they conspired to depose his Majesty from
his imperial style and dignity; thirdly, had they conspired to levy war
against the King; and lastly, had they actually levied war against the
King? He apprehended that they must be satisfied that one or other of
these charges was proved, before they could find a verdict of _guilty_.

“Before he came to these topics, they would look to the probability of
the evidence which had been laid before them. The great mass which had
been adduced certainly led them to conclude that a conspiracy of some
kind had existed; but it did not follow that the substantive treason
charged in the indictment had therefore been committed. It did not
follow, as a matter of course, that the removal of the administration
of the King must be succeeded by the deposition of the Monarch himself.
Let them go by steps. There was continually in Parliament one party
endeavouring to remove another; that was to say, endeavouring to remove
the existing administration. He would admit, probably with the best

“Would it be contended, that this removal of an administration was
necessarily connected with the deposition of the Monarch, and that
every man who attempted to effect such a purpose would be involved in
the crime of high treason?

“Again, other men might think it necessary that an administration
should be removed by violence; and this too with the most virtuous
intentions. He desired not to be misunderstood, as meaning under
that plea to justify assassination. Nothing was further from his
feelings; but all he meant to argue was, that they must not take it
as a necessary consequence that the death or destruction of a whole
administration involved the death or deposition of the King. If they
(the Jury) were of opinion that it did not involve such a consequence,
the evidence on this occasion did not support the substantive treason
laid in the two first divisions of the indictment.

“There were two other treasons, however; one was the conspiracy to levy
war against his Majesty; and the other, the actual levying of war. Now
he called upon them to look to the evidence, and see whether they could
draw from that a fair inference, that there was a conspiracy to levy
war, and that what had been done amounted to an actual levying of war.
In the detail given by the first witness, Adams, who in fact proved
the whole case--he thought there was much more for ridicule, than for
serious consideration. In his opinion, the testimony of this man was
utterly incredible, independent of the fact of his being an accomplice.

“The Attorney-General had told them that an accomplice was a necessary
witness; but though necessary, he was not of necessity to be believed.
The more atrocious the guilt in which he had steeped himself, the less
worthy he was of credit; and where a most atrocious and wicked witness
came to tell them a tale, not only improbable, but most ridiculous in
itself, would they not at once dismiss him from their notice?

“It often happened, that those who were the most ingenious in devising
and promoting mischief, were the first to become informers; and that
this was the case in the present instance, he should be enabled to
prove. They would, however, consider the evidence which had been given
by Adams to support the fact of there having been a conspiracy to levy
war against the King. They would lay out of their consideration for a
moment all that had been said of the assassination of his Majesty’s
Ministers; and they would consider the evidence as it had been given
by him to support that conspiracy. They had here everything to raise
their passions.

“They had all the materials and preparations for war before them (the
arms on the table); but what was the result of all the discussions
which took place at all the meetings of the conspirators from the 4th
of February, in which the assassination of his Majesty’s Ministers had
been repeatedly debated?

“In the cross-examination of Adams, it appeared that one of the
conspirators, Palin, had, with some degree of sense, when all those
things were talked of, asked where the men were to come from to effect
this mighty revolution? In one moment his Majesty’s Ministers were to
be assassinated!--a detachment was to go and take possession of two
pieces of cannon in Gray’s Inn-lane!--another detachment was to make
a descent upon the Artillery-Ground!--a third party were to seize the
Mansion-house, as a seat for the Provisional Government! and yet to
effect all this, what was the actual strength of the conspirators in
its most exaggerated state? Why, forsooth, forty men, two old sabres,
six shillings, and a reputed pound-note!! Where an infamous witness
told them such a story could they believe it?--was it credible? Would
they take away the life of a man under such circumstances? If it were
possible for them to do so, he could only say that they would be more
insensible than the deluded men themselves.

“Then as to the other point, the actual levying of war; what a
levying of war was, he hardly knew how to define. Lord Hale had said,
that this was a question of fact, which a Jury alone was capable
of deciding.--That learned Judge had also talked of “marching with
unfurled banners, and being furnished with military officers”--but
where were the unfurled banners here, or where the military
officers?--The only military man they had heard of was one disbanded
soldier, and the purpose to which he was to be applied was the
destruction of his Majesty’s Ministers--an act which, he contended,
even if effected, did not amount to a levying of war.--If they were
told the contrary, he was sure they would treat such an intimation as
absurd and ridiculous. Where was this great conspiracy concocted? In
a two-pair back room! Where was the battle fought? In a stable! Where
were the traitors incorporated? In a hay-loft! How were they armed?
With a few rusty swords, halberts, and old pistols!

“He would put it to the plain common sense and understanding of the
Jury, whether they would pronounce persons so assembled and so armed,
guilty of levying war against the King? It was rather a levying war
against the constables, at the very name of whom they trembled. Then,
if there was no levying of war, was there a conspiracy to levy war? The
only evidence they had of such a conspiracy came out of the mouth of
those three witnesses who were so far contaminated, that it was beyond
all doubt they had themselves been deeply implicated in the projected
assassination of his Majesty’s Ministers.”

“The question, then, for their consideration resolved itself into this
point: they would consider, even supposing that the assassination of
the Ministers was intended, whether this of necessity implied that his
Majesty was also to be deposed. If they did not think that the one must
of course follow the other, then their verdict must be “Not Guilty.” He
implored them to do their duty strictly according to law, to consider
what the law of the country was, to step neither to the right nor
to the left, but to come to a fair and impartial and unprejudiced
conclusion. He implored them to do so, not only for their own sakes,
but for the sake of the country; for if once jurymen suffered their
feelings of indignation towards one offence to lead them to admit the
existence of another of a different character, not proved, there would
be an end of the due distinctions of justice. If this man had been
guilty of another offence, there was another indictment against him, on
which he must take his trial if he were acquitted of this: and if he
were convicted under that, he would suffer the penalty of the law. But,
upon this occasion, he called upon them not to find him guilty of High
Treason, because they thought him worthy of death for having incurred
the guilt of assassination.

“In conclusion, the learned gentleman said, he would proceed to call
a witness to prove that Adams, who had been called for the Crown,
together with an accomplice of the name of Edwards, who had not been
called, were the persons who had conveyed the arms and ammunition to
the house of Tidd on the very morning they had been found there by the
Bow-street officers.”

Mr. ADOLPHUS then proceeded to call the


MARY PARKER examined.--I am the daughter of Richard Tidd; I live with
my father; I remember the police officers coming and finding some boxes
and things in our lodgings; they came about half-past eight; those
things had been in the house when they came, about a quarter of an
hour; they were brought that morning; among them were the pike staves;
it was no person in my father’s employment who brought them; he had
been taken into custody the night before; I know a person of the name
of Adams; I have seen him at my father’s; I know a person of the name
of Edwards; I have also seen him there; he has been there often; I have
seen similar things before the officers came; I believe these to be
the same things; Edwards took part away; I do not know who took the
rest; he took them away on Wednesday; my father did not take them away;
Edwards did not take away the box; he only took away some things that I
have since heard were used; the box was brought a day or two before my
father was taken; it never was uncorded; Adams brought a large grenade;
I do not know what Edwards was.

The Attorney-general declined asking this witness any question.

EDWARD HUCKLESTONE examined by Mr. Curwood.--I know a man of the name
of Dwyer. I have known him for some years. Latterly I have known him
intimately. I used the same public-house. I do not think he is to be
believed on his oath.

Cross-examined by the Attorney-General.--I saw him with plenty of
money, and knowing that he had little or no work, I was surprised. I
was in distress. He told me he would put me in the way to make plenty
of money, if I would go with him. I agreed; and he proposed that we
should charge gentlemen with an unnatural offence. That he was to go up
first, and then I was to join him. I left him quite shocked. This was
about three months ago. He said he had got ten pounds at a time from a
gentleman in St. James’s-street, by only catching him by the collar,
and accusing him. I met him the next night at the Rodney’s-head, and
he called me a coward. I told him of the danger, and reminded him that
his brother had been transported for the same thing. He said he knew
better how to general it than his brother. I ought to have communicated
it to a magistrate; but I was afraid of falling a “wictim” to the
Irishmen who lived in the neighbourhood. I have spoken to him since. I
was a shoemaker, but am now articled to a cow-doctor in Newman-mews.
I first communicated this to my brother, about a week ago. I did not
mention it before, lest I might be ill-treated, as I had to go so
much about among the cows. Some of the Irishmen have gone away from
the neighbourhood now, and that induced me to summon up courage to
mention it to my brother. I did go with Dwyer to the Park, but I was
always struck with the horror of the thing. When I saw the names of the
witnesses in this case in the paper, I made the communication to my

(The witness was desired not to go out of Court.)

Mr. JOSEPH DOANE examined by Mr. Adolphus.--I am called the Court
Reporter; I prepare for the newspapers an account of the movements of
the Court, the cabinet dinners, _&c._ I send the same accounts to six
papers, among others to _The New Times_, [Looked at the announcement
in the _New Times_, of the cabinet dinner, on Tuesday the 22d of
February.] The intelligence respecting the Court in this paper I sent.
The paragraph respecting the cabinet dinner, from the wording, I think
I did not send. I think so from the use of the word “grand;” cabinet
dinners are always alike, and I do not think I used the word “grand.”

ANDREW MITCHELL: I am printer of _The New Times_; I produce the
original of the paragraph respecting the cabinet dinner, announced in
_The New Times_ on the 22d of February.

Mr. Doane recalled: That is not my manuscript; I always write from a

Andrew Mitchell: I did not receive that from Mr. Doane, but from a
person of the name of Lavenue, who furnishes things in the same way.

JOHN WHITTAKER: I searched in eleven newspapers of the 22d of February
for the annunciation of a cabinet dinner at Lord Harrowby’s, and in
none of those papers was there such an announcement as that in _The New

The Attorney-General: These papers ought to be here.

The Chief Justice Abbot: Strictly speaking, they ought to be here.

The witness: _The New Times_ alone had the annunciation of the dinner
at Lord Harrowby’s on the 22d of February.

Mr. Adolphus: This is all the evidence I intend to offer on the part of
the prisoner.

Mr. Gurney: I wish, my Lord, that Dwyer should be again called.--The
witness, Dwyer, was then again put in the box, and examined by Mr.
Gurney: I do not know a man of the name of Hucklestone.--[The witness
Hucklestone was desired to stand up.]--Dwyer: I know that man, but did
not know his name was Hucklestone. I have met him in Oxford-road. Not
in a public-house. I never proposed to him to charge any person with an
unnatural offence. In February last I was at work at the parish mill,
and got three shillings. I have a wife and family.

Cross-examined: I did not know Hucklestone by name. I saw him with
other chaps at the corner of James-street, near where I live; but
I never associated with him. I have seen him in Hyde-park. I never
went into a public-house with him. I resorted to the Rodney’s-Head,
but never knew him to resort there. I have not repeatedly met him
in a public-house. I don’t know that I can swear I never saw him
in a public-house. I will swear I have not been with him at the
Rodney’s-Head within this three months. I am a bricklayer by trade, and
worked fourteen years for one master.

Mr. Adolphus now entreated permission to be allowed till the ensuing
day to prepare himself to address the Jury on the part of the prisoner.
The state of exhaustion to which he had been reduced, as well as the
shortness of the time which had elapsed since he had received his
instructions, and the great importance of the duty which he had to
perform, where the life of a fellow-creature was at stake, the more
imperiously impelled him to entreat this indulgence, if consistent with
the views of the Court.

The Lord Chief Justice felt the propriety of the appeal, and after some
conversation relative to the convenience of the Jury, the Court was
adjourned till the following morning.


The Court opened again at nine o’clock this morning, and a few minutes
after Mr. ADOLPHUS rose to address the Jury on behalf of the prisoner,
and commenced by observing, that “he could not request their attention
to the feeble and humble efforts which he was going to make in defence
of the prisoner at the bar, without returning them his sincere thanks
for the kind and gracious manner in which they had conceded to him
further time for the preparation of his defence. Under all the
circumstances of the case, the situation in which he (Mr. Adolphus)
stood was sufficiently distressing; but it would have been still more
so if he had been compelled to address them yesterday evening with a
mass of evidence totally undigested, with a memory wandering over all,
but steadily directed to none of the points which had come out during
the trial; and without any of that simplification of the case which he
had been able to effect, though imperfectly, in the few hours which, by
their kindness, he had been able to steal from sleep.

“The inquiry in which they were then engaged was a most anxious and
important inquiry: indeed, so anxious and so important was it that
it was only natural to expect that the minds of counsel engaged in
conducting it would sink under the heavy task imposed upon them. During
the course of his professional career many trials similar to the
present had taken place: but in none of them did the parties accused
labour under such dreadful charges as were now brought against the
prisoner at the bar; in none of them had they been so totally deprived
of all assistance and support as the unfortunate individual had been on
whose fate they now stood impanelled to decide.

“To say that he (Thistlewood) had all the weight of office arrayed
against him--to say that the prosecution was conducted with all the
talent and all the power of Government, was to say nothing more than
that Thistlewood was indicted for high treason. He (Mr. Adolphus)
meant not to blame the Government for exerting all its energies in a
case like the present; by no means--the Crown had, on all occasions,
and particularly on an occasion like this, a right to demand of its
best servants their best services: he only meant to contrast the
difficulties against which Thistlewood had to contend with those which
had surrounded other unfortunate men in his situation.

“Against the great legal talent which had been employed against them by
the Crown, there had come forward advocates of high character, and not
inferior ability--advocates who voluntarily embarked themselves in the
cause of their clients--gave up their whole time and attention to their
interests, methodized and simplified the evidence necessary to maintain
them, and entered the Court prepared to meet the case brought forward
by the Crown on every one of its points and bearings.

“Far different was the case of the unhappy man then standing at their

“On the evening previous to his trial he was scarcely acquainted with
the name of the counsel who was to defend him: and that counsel had
scarcely more early information of the grounds on which his defence
was to be rested. He (Mr. Adolphus) could assure them that he was only
chosen counsel for Thistlewood on Thursday last; that unavoidable
business had kept him out of town during the whole of Friday; and that
he had appeared before them on the Monday with such information as he
could collect in the interim. He deplored this circumstance, but he
could not complain of it. His want of ability and preparation was not,
however, the only circumstance which rendered Thistlewood’s case more
desperate than that of the individuals who had formerly been placed in
his situation. Many of them had been allied with, or supported by, men
of power, and rank, and influence in the country. Thistlewood, on the
contrary, was aided by no party, was supported by no subscription, but
was deserted by men of every class and party in the community. He (Mr.
Adolphus) had received no assistance, no information, no instructions,
from him; all that he knew of the case was derived from the materials
which the solicitor, the gratuitous solicitor for the defence (Mr.
Harmer), had been able to collect within the last few days.

“Besides these circumstances was another still more extraordinary and
unfortunate. At the state trials of 1794, whoever was discharged by
a verdict of his countrymen was discharged at once from all further
prosecution; and with the inquiry of that Court ended all inquiry into
his conduct.

“This man, Thistlewood, however, was so beset, that, even though he
obtained at their hands a verdict of acquittal upon this charge, he
had to undergo a similar trial upon other indictments: indeed he (Mr.
Adolphus) did not hesitate to say that he (Thistlewood) was surrounded
by every danger which could possibly environ the life of a single
individual. It appeared as if this melancholy choice alone were left
him, whether he would have the execution of his sentence end with the
severing of his head from his body, or whether he would have his body
given up after his execution to the dissecting knife of the surgeon.
If his guilt were of such a nature as to demand that penalty to be
added to the others inflicted by the law, he had only himself to blame
for it: far was it from his (Mr. Adolphus’s) intention to palliate his
conduct upon that point: the only reason which he had for even alluding
to it was to implore them to place out of their consideration every
circumstance which was not connected with the subject of their present
investigation, and which had not been brought regularly before them in
the course of the trial.

“The Attorney-General had made the same request to them, and it had
well become his character and legal knowledge to do so. It was not
less his duty as a man and as a Christian, than as a high officer of
the Crown, to give them that advice: for, bound as he was to protect
the interests of the Crown, he was not less bound not to exercise his
power in wantonly running down those subjects, who were living under
its fostering care and protection. Made, then, as this request had
been made to them by the Attorney-General, he (Mr. Adolphus) could
not help repeating it; for he was well aware how difficult it was to
dismiss from the mind the impressions of ill-will and dislike which
were naturally conceived against any one who was, or ever had been, the
subject of general reprobation.

“On occasions like the present a man’s usual convictions stole into
his mind, in spite of himself: it therefore became them to be doubly
on their guard, and to view the case then under their consideration
as if they had never heard the name of Thistlewood before, and as if
they had never received any other information than that which had come
under their notice in the course of the trial, upon which, and upon
which alone, they were sworn to give their verdict. He agreed with the
Attorney-General that the present was a case of infinite importance;
not, however, to the prisoner at the bar merely, whose life was at a
stake, (indeed in that point of view it was of less importance than in
any other) but also to the state and to all posterity.

“It was of importance to the state that verdicts should be given
upon strict evidence alone, and not upon favourable or unfavourable
impressions conceived by the Jury regarding the party on his trial. It
was of importance also to posterity; because if, as against a bad man,
a certain kind of evidence should now be allowed to procure conviction,
it would, in time, be also allowed to procure conviction against a
good one; and, in that case nobody could tell whose fame might not be
impeached, whose property might not be injured, whose life might not be
destroyed, by the same kind of evidence as had been produced on this
trial; evidence which ought never to have the credence of any jury, or
the sanction of any court.

“It was not, therefore, so much for the value of Thistlewood’s life
(though God forbid that he should undervalue the life of any man) as
for the value of a precedent in a case of treason, that he was then
contending; for if a charge of high treason could be substantiated
against any British subject on such evidence as had just been adduced
there would be an end to all our well-founded boasts of the excellence
of our law regarding high treason. Such an event, however, he, for
one, did not anticipate, when he recollected with what care the law
of treason had been guarded by the legislature, and with what caution
executed by our juries, ever since the period of its first institution.
Nor was such caution, vigilance, and correctness, as had been always
exhibited by our juries, with some few exceptions, and those in bad
times, unnecessary or uncalled-for.

“An accusation of high treason was a fearful accusation. In all other
criminal cases, from a simple assault up to a murder, the King though
not the real, was the ostensible prosecutor: in a case of high treason,
however, the King was not merely the ostensible but also the real
prosecutor; he was directly arrayed against the prisoner, and therefore
it was the imperative duty of the Jury to see that the subject was not
oppressed. The present case of high treason was as important as any of
those which had ever preceded it; and the Jury ought, therefore, to be
peculiarly careful not to allow one tittle of evidence to weigh with
them which had not been admitted on former occasions, and, if they
had any doubts with regard to its admissibility, ought to lean to the
prisoner, and not to the Crown, however interested they might be in its
preservation, and the preservation of its authority.

“He had before had occasion to state to them, that the defence of the
prisoner at the bar had come to him, in the course of his professional
business, as an enforced duty. He had not sought it; he had not refused
it; indeed, as an advocate, he could do neither one nor the other.
Standing, however, as he did, in that Court, as the advocate, the
unfee’d, and therefore, in some respect, the voluntary advocate of the
prisoner Thistlewood, he deemed it right (unnecessary and improper as
it might be on any other occasion for an advocate to press his own
political opinions on the Jury) to state that, during the whole of his
life he had never given his assent to any proposition tending to change
the constitution, as established at the Revolution, either in church or
state. He had been born a subject of his late most gracious Majesty;
to him, whilst alive, he had paid a subject’s loyal obedience. He was
now a subject of his present most gracious Majesty, and the allegiance
which he had paid to the father he willingly transferred, as his due to
the son.

“To the questions which had lately agitated the country, he had never
lent himself for a single moment; on the contrary, he had always
opposed, to the utmost of his power, every design of faction and
innovation. Thus much he thought it necessary to state in the peculiar
situation in which he stood; but making as he had that declaration
of his political principles, he also felt, both as a man and as an
Englishman, that he had a strong principle to advance and establish
in this defence; and he therefore trusted that, if any persons were
present who felt an interest in the fate of the prisoner, they would
not think that he would relax, in his efforts on his (Thistlewood’s)
behalf, on account of the difference of their political opinions.
If any thought that he would relax, he was sorry that they should
entertain such an opinion of him: he would, however, use every exertion
to make a fair defence for the prisoner: if it were not conducted with
ability, it would be not from want of intention, but from want of
ability, which would be the prisoner’s misfortune as well as his own.

“The learned Counsel then proceeded to observe, that the line of
defence which he found it necessary to pursue was the most difficult
which it had ever fallen to the lot of an advocate to make good; and
he should here be deficient in respect to the good sense and talent
of the jury, if he pretended to assert that the prisoner at the bar
was perfectly guiltless. He was afraid that it was but too evident
that he (Thistlewood) and those with whom he was connected had
meditated assassination, a crime which was little less horrible than
the commission of it. He did not intend to palliate Thistlewood’s
conduct in doing so--far from it: it was a crime not to be palliated:
the very blood recoiled from it--the best feelings of human nature
revolted against it, and the indignation and execration of society
always followed it. Still he thought it possible that Thistlewood,
though he might be guilty of murder and the other crimes imputed to
him in the various indictments, might not be guilty of high treason.
Unless, therefore, he was fully and clearly proved to be so, it was
their duty to acquit him; and in so acquitting him, in spite of all the
odium and prejudice which surrounded him, they would be doing honour to
themselves, and benefit to their posterity.

“He was not weak enough to say this in any hope that, by flattering
them, he should obtain their verdict; he should be sorry to obtain it
on such terms; for if they gave a verdict for him against the evidence,
they would be doing no honour to themselves, and a great injury to
their posterity. He had once thought of stating to them, at some
length, the nature of the law of treason, but he had afterwards found
reason to change his opinion, it having been suggested to him that
the law on that subject would come better to them from the Court. He
should therefore proceed, before he entered into a minute examination
of the evidence (on the general nature of it he had already made some
comments) to state to them the nature of the indictment.

“They had heard the indictment read over to them, and would have
perceived, unacquainted as they were with the technicalities of the
law, that the same offence was charged against the prisoner, though
somewhat varied in terms. There were four charges, or counts, to which
he particularly wished to call their attention; there were to each of
these ten or eleven overt acts, all of which, it had been said, must
be considered as shewing the intention with which the prisoner had

“The prisoner was charged, in the first count, with “compassing,
imagining, inventing, devising, and intending to deprive and depose our
Lord the King, from the style, honour, and kingly name of the imperial
crown of this realm.” The overt acts stated in the indictment were,
conspiring to assassinate several of the Privy-Council; procuring
large quantities of arms with intent to assassinate them; as also to
subvert and destroy the constitution as by law established; issuing
proclamations to the King’s subjects containing solicitations to aid
and assist them in making and levying insurrection; and various other
acts specified therein. Before, however, they found the prisoner
guilty upon this count; they ought to be convinced that the intention
to depose the King existed previously, and not subsequently, to the
commission of these overt acts. For though they should be perfectly
convinced that the prisoner had gone to Lord Harrowby’s house with the
intention of killing the King’s ministers, that fact alone did not
render him guilty of high treason: it was necessary that a treasonable
intention should be first proved to exist.

“To meditate the assassination of a privy-councillor was certainly
a crime of great magnitude, and by 3 Hen. VII. cap. 14., had been
made a felony; and by a later statute, that of 9th Anne, cap. 16, to
assault or attempt to kill one in the execution of his office was made
a felony, without benefit of clergy. Thus it was clear that to kill a
privy-councillor was not in itself an act of high treason, unless it
were coupled with other acts tending to prove a treasonable intention
previously existing in the mind of the prisoner. They must, therefore,
before they brought in a verdict of guilty against him, be convinced
of one of these four points: either that he did intend to deprive and
depose our Lord the King from the style, honour, and kingly name of the
imperial crown of this realm; or that he did intend to excite rebellion
and insurrection within this realm, in order to subvert the government;
or that he did intend to levy war against the King, in order, by force
and restraint, to compel him to change his measures and councils; or
that he did intend, with force and arms, to effect those purposes.

“These were the points which must be established before they could
find the prisoner at the bar guilty of high treason; and what was the
evidence produced to establish them? He did not hesitate to affirm,
that never was evidence so weak tendered to prove charges so heinous.
It was contradictory, it was inadmissible, it was incredible, coming
from any quarter, but still more incredible, coming, as it did, from
men destitute of all character, avowedly engaged in a conspiracy to
effect a hideous murder, and therefore men of such a description as
ought never to be allowed by their oaths to bring the life of man into
danger at all. Before he proceeded any further, it would be requisite
to call their attention to the degree of credit which ought to belong
to an accomplice. The Attorney-General, in calling an accomplice
as witness, had stated that he was to be believed, whenever he was
supported by other collateral evidence. On this doctrine he would not
comment just at present, but would content himself with observing,
that it must be clear to all of them that the whole charge of high
treason rested in this case solely on the evidence of an accomplice.
For if the testimony of Adams were to be dismissed from their notice,
there was not a single syllable said by all the other witnesses who had
been produced, (so loosely indeed had they supported the testimony of
Adams) tending to convict Thistlewood of high treason.

“The question then came to this point, whether a charge of high
treason ought to be considered as made out, which rested solely on the
testimony of an accomplice, and an accomplice, too, like Adams. He
maintained that it ought not, for if Adams were believed, no witness
could hereafter be rejected as unworthy of credit, and consequently
no man’s life or honour could be considered secure.” An accomplice,
however, continued the Attorney-General, not indeed in those very
words, but in words to that effect, “ought not to be expected to
receive support on every point which he mentions in evidence, because
if he were to receive such support, there would be no reason to call
him at all.”

“It was true that the evidence of an accomplice might be believed
under certain circumstances, that is, when he was supported by other
more respectable witnesses; but then he must not be supported by only
a few witnesses, but by all the witnesses which could be called to
confront him. He would even go so far as to say that those who availed
themselves of the evidence of an accomplice were bound to produce every
witness acquainted with the facts to which he swore, not merely those
who could support, but even those who were likely to contradict them.
These persons were the solemn gages of his truth, and like witnesses
to the signature of deeds, ought to be called forward for the common
good of all parties. This was not merely his opinion, but the opinion
of many eminent lawyers who had gone before him. Indeed he had read an
opinion of one of them in a book, which he could not with propriety
mention there; an opinion which was so much in unison with his own,
though much more forcibly expressed, that he could not omit the
opportunity of reading it to them. The argument in it was clear and
satisfactory, and the law was not more accurately laid down than it was
forcibly expressed. The passage to which he alluded was as follows:

“‘An accomplice may be a witness; even unconfirmed, he is a witness
competent to be heard.’--A witness of the most infamous character,
unless he has been actually convicted of certain specific crimes,
and the record is brought into Court, may indeed be heard; but it
is for you, gentlemen, to determine what degree of credit you will
give to his evidence. Let him be heard; let him be examined; I thank
them for calling this witness: I thank them for submitting him to the
admirable cross-examination of my learned friend: I thank them for
stopping certain subjects of inquiry; all this must satisfy you, that
no reliance can be placed upon his testimony. I am sure, that if this
were a case not of the immense importance which it is; but if it were
a suit instituted to decide the smallest question of civil right, that
you would not attend or give the slightest credence to such evidence.
But in a case of this nature and of this magnitude, in a criminal case,
in a case of treason, in a case of the highest description of crime,
and, with respect to its inflictions and penalties, the severest that
the law recognizes; in a case of high treason, I say, to build your
decision upon evidence of this character, upon such a witness, and such
a treacherous foundation, is it possible that my friends on the other
side can expect it; is it possible that they can hope, or even wish for
it? Can you believe that they could have known the previous conduct and
character of this man, when they brought him into Court? It would be an
insult to your understandings; it would be an outrage to common sense;
a mockery of justice, to suppose that the smallest degree of reliance
can be placed upon such evidence.

“But it is said that he is confirmed; and because he is confirmed
in some facts, you are therefore to believe him in the rest. This
is a position which lawyers are in the habit of stating in a very
unqualified manner; but it is not a position which can be maintained to
this extent, according to any principle of common sense. There is no
man who tells a long and complicated story, like that which you have
heard, who may, and must not of necessity, be confirmed in many parts
of it. The witness was upwards of eight hours in giving his evidence,
and of course stated many facts, which no man denies, which have been
in all the newspapers for weeks and for months past; and because he is
confirmed in certain particulars, you are therefore required to believe
the whole of his story to be true. Is this a proposition to be insisted
upon? Can it for a moment be maintained to this extent, and in this
broad and unqualified way? But, gentlemen, every profession and science
has its phrases; the necessary qualifications are by degrees lost sight
of, and the worst errors are thus introduced.

“Let us then look at the mischief of this doctrine, and see the evils
and injustice that have arisen out of it. The notorious Titus Oates,
the witness for the Crown in the trials founded upon the Popish Plot,
in the reign of Charles the Second, that most infamous and perjured
wretch, who was afterwards convicted of perjury for his evidence upon
those trials, and suffered the punishment of the law for his crime,
was confirmed in his testimony in many most important particulars.
Unfortunately, the juries, misled in those times of heat and party
animosity, were prevailed upon to believe him, and many unhappy persons
suffered in consequence of the extreme punishment of the law; and
murders were committed, under the forms of justice, in consequence of
the reliance placed upon the frail and fallacious testimony of a man
of that description. You perceive, then, gentlemen, the danger of this
doctrine; and that it is not because a man is confirmed in certain
circumstances that you can safely believe him, as to other facts where
that confirmation is wanting.

“What is the character of falsehood? Who has lived in the world,
and has at all examined the operations of the human heart and mind,
who does not know that this is the usual and proper character of
falsehood--that it does not wholly invent, falsehood engrafts itself
upon truth, and by that artifice misleads and deceives, truth is
exaggerated, things that exist are discoloured or distorted--these
are the usual operations of falsehood; this is a part of its nature,
its address and dexterity. It arises, therefore, out of the very
nature of perjury, that it must be confirmed to a certain extent; and
it is because there is confirmation in certain particulars, to which
particulars I shall, by-and-by, take the liberty of drawing your
attention, that you are gravely required to believe the whole of the
miserable fictions with which you have been insulted in the evidence of
this abandoned wretch.

“But let us look with a little more accuracy to the shades and
distinctions upon this material point. I beg you to follow me; for it
is most important, according to my apprehension of the question. A man
may be seduced into the commission of an offence, who had previously
maintained a good character; he may repent of his crime, and give
information, and then come into court as a witness. If the story which
he tells is found to be probable; if he is not only uncontradicted in
any facts, but is confirmed in essential particulars; if there are
no circumstances of suspicion arising out of the situation in which
he stands, a jury, may, possibly, upon such evidence, be justified
in finding a verdict of guilty. I repeat it, that if the previous
character of the man were good; that if the story he tells is probable;
if it is not proved to be false in any part of it; if he is confirmed
in essential particulars, and there are no circumstances of suspicion
arising out of the persons with whom he is connected, and by whom he is
surrounded, then the Jury may give credit to his evidence.

“He could not help observing, that, if he had desired the best friend
whom he had in the world to enlarge his mind by the infusion of good
sound legal opinions, or to compose for him a dissertation on this
express subject, that friend could not have given him any sentences so
adequate to the expression of the sentiments which he wished to convey
to the Jury, as were the sentences which he had just read to them. He
could have wished to have given them the book which contained these
sentences to keep in the box with them, but the practice of the Court
prevented him from doing so; he would, however, ask them to retain
them, if they could, in their minds, as a shield of protection for the
prisoner, against a man, who ought not to be believed on any one point,
but who had interwoven with his falsehoods many truths, which he had
acquired either from common report in common conversation, or which had
been impressed on his recollection by the injunction of those under
whom he acted.

“The next step which he had to take, would be to comment on the
evidence, but before he entered into an examination of it, he should
beg leave to describe the nature of the defence which he was going
to make. He thought it, therefore, his duty, to say at once, that no
doubt could be entertained of Thistlewood having been at a meeting
in Cato-street, and that he, with the other members of that meeting,
had determined to murder all the Cabinet Ministers. To entertain a
doubt of the existence of the meeting, or the sanguinary designs which
those who attended it entertained, would be full as absurd as to doubt
the existence of light now that the sun was casting its full radiance
upon the Court. Whilst that meeting was in deep deliberation, it was
interrupted by the arrival of a party of police officers. In the affray
which ensued, Smithers met his death, or, he ought rather to speak out
plainly, was murdered.

“Making, however, these concessions, and admitting the facts to be as
bad as bad could be against the prisoner at the bar, believing even, as
he did believe, that Thistlewood was guilty of the murder of Smithers,
still he maintained that his guilt did not amount to high treason.
He would admit, that from motives of a personal nature, Thistlewood
wished to kill one of his Majesty’s ministers; and that, in order to
effect that purpose, he had no objection to kill them all. The Jury
ought, however, to recollect that, whilst influenced by this wish, he
had always been accompanied by two spies: how far they had advised
these plots was not clear, but one thing was clear, that, upon such
evidence as theirs, they were called upon to convict Thistlewood of
high treason. That he had been guilty of murder he (Mr. Adolphus) was
not now going to dispute; but it was too bad that the crimes of murder
and treason should now be blended together, and that he should be
represented as meditating a crime which he never had for one moment in
his heart.

“He had already stated to them, that if Adams’s evidence did not
convict Thistlewood, none else did, for the evidence of the other
witnesses was little or nothing. If, therefore, he shewed them, as
he hoped and trusted he should shew them, that the witness Adams was
totally unworthy of belief, then a verdict of acquittal must be given
for the prisoner at the bar. In order to convince them how totally
undeserving he (Adams) was of credit, he (Mr. Adolphus) should beg
leave to direct their attention to three points. He should ask them how
far Adams had been confirmed in that part of his evidence which related
to the treason; then how far he had been contradicted by his own
evidence, or that of others; and, lastly, how far he might have been
confirmed by others, if the Counsel for the Crown had thought proper to
call them.

“What then was the testimony which Mr. Robert Adams had given to
them? He (Mr. Adolphus) would tell them. The man had commenced his
evidence by informing them, that he had been a soldier some years in
the Blues. That any subject of the King should entertain such schemes
as had been entertained by these alleged conspirators, was certainly
deplorable; but that a man in the situation of Adams, a soldier, sworn
to defend his Majesty to the best of his ability from all harm and
danger, should have voluntarily entered into them, and should never
have felt any of what he (Adams) had termed compunctious visitings as
to the guilt in which he was going to involve himself, until four days
after the execution of that guilt had been rendered impossible, was a
circumstance so atrocious as to deprive him of all claim to credibility
and respect.

“This loyal soldier, however, proceeded to inform them, that he had
become acquainted with Brunt about three years ago, when the British
army was at Cambray, at which time Brunt was attending it in the
capacity of a shoemaker. After the dispersion of the army he lost sight
of him for some time, but afterwards met him again in the month of
January last, when Brunt introduced him to Thistlewood. Then occurred
one of the most extraordinary circumstances which he (Mr. Adolphus)
had ever heard of, though it appeared to be nothing else than the
fashion throughout the whole of this case. At his very first meeting
with this Mr. Adams, Thistlewood let him into the whole secret of his
traitorous designs. But could any one believe that Thistlewood himself
was so reckless of life, as to use language to a stranger equivalent
to this?--‘My fate is so hard, my circumstances are so desperate,
that I care not a straw what becomes of me. I put myself, and all my
designs, into your hands, without any regard to the consequences; and
yet those designs are so horrible and so sanguinary, that if you have
the slightest portion of loyal feeling about you, you must denounce
me to Government, you must hand me over to justice, you must embrace
the opportunity which I have given you of condemning me, without any
scruple, out of my own mouth.’ Was it possible that any man in his
senses could be thus blind and foolish? Could the most credulous man
alive be persuaded to attach credit to so incredible a story? He
thought not; and he therefore trusted, that on such evidence, they
would never find the prisoner guilty of high treason.

“But though the prisoner, and those with whom he was connected, had
not meditated so great a crime as treason, the evidence inclined him
to believe, that after the perpetration of the bloody deeds which
they meditated, they had intended, under shelter of the confusion
which such atrocities would have created, to have commenced a general
plunder and devastation of the metropolis. Such an intention, though
it enhanced their guilt, did not make it amount to high treason; and,
indeed, any person who carefully perused the evidence, would observe
that it tallied well throughout with a design to plunder, but very
ill indeed with a design to depose the King and to alter the form
of Government. For what was it that Mr. Adams next said? Why, after
some conversation as to his excellence as a swordsman, Thistlewood is
represented as saying, ‘No man worth 10_l._ was worth any thing for
the good of his country. The tradesmen and shopkeepers of London were
a set of aristocrats together, and all worked under the same system of
government. He should like to see the day when all the shops should be
shut up and well plundered.’ Why, the whole intent of their conspiracy
was disclosed in this sentence. Here was nothing about depriving
the King of his style and dignity; but there was a good deal about
plundering the city. Their arms, too, were fitted for this purpose,
but not for overturning the Government, as must have been evident to
all, from the miserable display of their armory which had been so
ostentatiously made on the preceding evening. Therefore, unless they
could suppose, that to murder the man whom they hated, and to plunder
the shops during the trepidation ensuing on such murder, amounted to a
deposing of the King, they must acquit Thistlewood of high treason.

“At another meeting, this formidable band of traitors declared that
they were so poor, that they could not wait longer than the ensuing
Wednesday for the effecting of their intended revolution. He left it to
the jury to say, whether such a declaration savoured more of plunder
or of high treason. But, in his opinion, a scheme of plunder was the
only thing which could be thus easily arranged; not a revolution in the
state, which must depend upon many fortuitous events and circumstances.
After this, their conversation became sportive; they gave certain
facetious nick-names to certain distinguished noblemen; how justly
it was not their business then to decide. This occurred on the 13th
of January, just one month and ten days before the transaction in
Cato-street. What occurred next, according to the testimony of the
respectable Mr. Adams? Why, that three days afterwards he was himself
arrested for a small debt, and carried to Whitecross-street prison,
which residence he did not leave until the 30th of January. Was this
man, who could not even preserve his liberty, more likely to be found
engaged in a design to destroy the state, or in a design to commit
pillage and plunder, to enrich himself? He had nothing to lose, he had
every thing to gain; and if the worst came to the worst, he had only to
save himself, and hang the rest of his companions, by turning King’s
evidence against them.

“After Adams had got out of prison, he returned to his old friends,
and had several conversations with them, at all of which Edwards was
present. He wished to call their attention to this curious fact, that
Edwards, who could have proved all the conversations which had taken
place--Edwards, whose name was placed on the back of the indictment as
a witness to be summoned on behalf of the Crown, had never once been
put into the box. Shortly afterwards they took a room to themselves,
and had meetings in it twice or thrice every day. Adams attended
them all, became acquainted with all their projects, made himself an
active partner to all their intended atrocities; and yet, though a
soldier of the King’s, never disclosed a syllable of them to any of
the constituted authorities until he was apprehended. What next? Why,
between the 3d and the 16th of February, another conversation occurred;
and then this plot is described as assuming, for the first time, a
treasonable shape, ‘One evening,’ says this respectable witness, ‘I
went in and saw Harrison, Thistlewood and Brunt: Harrison said, that
he had been speaking to one of the horse-guards, who had told him that
the whole of their regiment would be down at Windsor on the King’s
funeral. He said that this would be a favourable opportunity to _kick
up a row_, and to see what could be done.’ Kick up a row! That very
phrase explained the whole matter--all the troops would not, indeed, be
out of town, but all the officers of police would, and therefore it was
a favourable opportunity to kick up a row, and to commit depredation.
‘Thistlewood’ continued Mr. Adams, ‘said that it was a good plan;
and, added, that if they could get the two pieces of cannon in Gray’s
Inn-lane, and the six pieces in the Artillery-ground, they would so
help themselves as to have possession of London before morning. He
also said, that when the news should reach Windsor, the soldiers would
be so tired from being up all night, as to be incapable of doing any
thing when they returned to London.’ In possession of London! Why
this fellow, with his military education, ought to have known that he
could not take military possession of any single respectable street in
the metropolis with ten times the number of men said to be engaged in
this wild attempt to overthrow a mighty empire. For were their numbers
unknown? No--their whole battalia was well known to consist of not more
than twenty-five men; and yet, with this mighty force, and with eight
pieces of artillery, they were to be able to keep possession of London,
because the poor dear soldiers would be tired to death by being kept up
on duty a whole night at Windsor. Were such idle dreams and dotages to
be credited in a court of justice? or were they to be dismissed from
their recollection with that scorn and contempt which was so eminently
their due?

“Adams then represented Thistlewood continuing as follows:--‘By
persevering after they had got the cannon, and by using some activity,
they might go to Hyde-park and prevent any person or messenger from
going to Windsor, and giving the alarm. Another party should then
cross the water, and take the telegraph, to prevent any communication
being made at Woolwich of what was going forward at London.’ The man
who devised such a plan, might, indeed, be considered as mad--but at
least there was method in his madness. Roads were to be commanded in
this, important diversions operated in that direction, telegraphs to be
seized in one town, and soldiers paralyzed in another. All this, too,
was to be done by twenty-five men and eight pieces of artillery, who
were to be gifted, in addition to all their other qualifications, with
the most wonderful ubiquity.

“That a wicked man, or that even a madman, might devise such a
project, he could easily believe; but that any man should propose
it as a feasible project to any body of men, was more than he could
ever be induced to credit. For no story of oriental romance was
so extravagant--no exploit of any hero of school divinity was so
inconsistent with reason and probability, as was the design which Adams
had shown to have been recommended by Thistlewood to his associates.
And yet these men were to form a provisional government, and the
forming of this provisional government was to constitute a chief point
of their guilt! They form a provisional government for this mighty
empire! In what way? by what means? out of what materials? Out of those
illiterate and beggarly individuals, he supposed, who could not agree
on the drawing up, on cartridge-paper, of three lines, to be exposed on
the great day of the revolution on the blazing buildings of London, for
the good of the people.

“This provisional government, formed from such materials as he had
described, was not to begin the exercise of its authority, however,
until the soldiers, who were to be tired to death by sitting up all
night at Windsor, were fairly disposed of. From his talking thus coolly
of tiring the poor soldiers to death by the labours of one night,
it was quite clear that Adams, with all his military education, had
either never heard of such a thing as a bivouac, or else that he had
conceived all virtue and all valour, as well as all honesty, to have
left the army when he quitted it. The provisional government being
formed, it was only natural to expect that the business of the drama
would crowd more thickly upon the Jury, and therefore they might be
excused for asking what came next. Why, the provisional government was
to send to the sea-ports to prevent any gentlemen from leaving England
without passports: it was to send to Dover, to Brighton, to Margate,
to Ramsgate, and other places, orders to that effect; to send to all
of them, too, during the night of the King’s funeral--and, above all,
was to send these orders to Brighton in particular. Why so? because
the mention of Brighton brought the prisoner at the bar into contact
with the reigning Sovereign, and laid a foundation for a charge of high

“The King, however, was not at that time at Brighton, but unfortunately
confined to his palace in London by so severe an indisposition as to
require the issuing of daily bulletins regarding the state of his
health. From that indisposition he had now recovered, and he (Mr.
Adolphus) prayed to God that he might long be preserved from the
recurrence of it. The prisoner at the bar, however, if they were to
believe the testimony of Adams, was of opinion, that the present family
had inherited the throne long enough, and that it was of no use for the
present King to think of ever being crowned.”

The learned Counsel proceeded, “Thus, gentlemen, is the secret
detected! Here is the word of the wise and the edict of the powerful!
By means like these was the greatest metropolis in the world to be
taken, the great roads of communication with the country occupied,
and the sea-port towns seized! Yet, by this shameless fabricator of
incredible falsehood, and by him alone, is the first count of the
indictment supported. It required the greatest human fortitude of face
to state it. Well, it was discovered that the first Cabinet dinner was
to be given. Cabinet dinners were said to be suspended during the death
of the late King, and the illness of the present. On occasion of this
first Cabinet dinner the plan was to be executed. Mark, now, how this
story breaks itself to pieces!

“On the 16th of February the plot is formed; yet then there was no
ministry, and no intention of a Cabinet dinner. This is flagrant,
gross, and palpable, too palpable for detection, too flagrant
for exaggeration. Several meetings are said to have been held at
Fox’s-court. It was found, on the 19th February, that the soldiers had
done their duty, and were not to be surprised, therefore something new
must be devised. For this purpose comes the ever memorable information
in _The New Times_. They had nothing in view but plunder; they sought
only the surest way to plunder. Poverty was their goad, plunder their
aim. Their designs were not directed against any individuals, however
exalted, but as means of plunder. But a committee was appointed, and
we see them assembled on the 20th. This is eminently worthy of your
attention. On Sunday, at eleven o’clock in the morning, when the snow
fell so thick that one could scarcely see his way, the committee met.
Tidd took the chair at this rehearsal of the provisional government.
Tidd sat in the chair with a pike in his hand. Thistlewood took his
station on his right; Brunt was on the left; Thistlewood opens:--‘I
presume you know what you have met here for; I mean the west-end
job.’ This is presumptuous enough, certainly. Brunt speaks next: he
never speaks without an oath, and he, characteristically, says,
‘D--n my eyes, mention it out.’ Tidd calls to order. So orderly was
this meeting! Thistlewood then proposes to assassinate the ministers
separately, as they cannot be got together.

“Their arrangements for this are like all the other arrangements;
barracks were to be taken, cannons carried away, ministers
assassinated, government subverted, the Mansion House occupied, all by
fifteen or twenty men. Twenty-five were the greatest number ever spoken
to. Twenty-five would find themselves completely lost in the Mansion
House; they might as well wander through the Tower of Babel. Palin,
who was to be particularly important in his services, was to travel
from place to place with satchels of burning materials on his back,
and was alone to set fire to several places. Mr. Palin alone was to be
seen wandering about, setting fire to houses for amusement, or for the
perfection of their plan. Each individual was to have his distinct act
of assassination; whoever failed was to be himself assassinated. But
who the spare assassin was, to assassinate the rest if they failed, was
not told. But this is one of the many fictions which you are called
upon to swallow.

“The witness ventured, for the first time, to express here some
difficulty, and asked whether, if failure proceeded from unavoidable
causes, and not from cowardice, the same consequence must follow.
Thistlewood relieved him from this apprehension. But how the
court-martial was to be formed to try the case was not discovered.
Such, gentlemen, is the delirium of delusion, or the suggestions of
frenzy, which you are called upon to believe. Mr. Palin delivers a
speech in parliamentary form. ‘Agreeing as I do with the plan proposed,
I wish to know where men are to be found.’ Then he asks whether the
plan is to be communicated to those he meant to call upon. Thistlewood
authorizes him to use his own discretion. Gentlemen, if you find in
this testimony some remote pointing to probability, believe it; but can
you, for a moment, hesitate respecting this gross and flagrant fiction?
Furnival’s Inn was selected for setting fire to. No building is less
liable to be burnt. It is a modern building, and there are strong
party-walls. Other places, which I shall not name, and where some of
us live, would be much fitter. Many places between Furnival’s Inn and
Fetter-lane, all timber, would take fire at once. But Furnival’s Inn
appeared fittest in fiction.

“The witness had been in prison, and having forgotten that Furnival’s
Inn was rebuilt, and inventing what he should say to the Privy-Council,
he represented Furnival’s Inn as the place to be burnt, because, in
its former state, it would readily take fire. The Privy Council,
their clerk, as well as the Attorney General, I believe, gave him no
assistance; they only placed him before an impartial jury. You know
that if the plan were contemplated and effected, a chandler’s shop at
Charing-cross, where the various communications diverge into the town,
would create more alarm. But this suited the grossness of fiction, or
the fondness of delusion, by which this witness looked for impunity
and reward. We now come to the business of the exchequer. Brunt says,
“D----n my eyes, though I have not worked for some time, I have a
1_l._ note, and I shall give it for a treat.” You will not, gentlemen,
suppose that I repeat these oaths as feeling pleasure in doing so. It
is painful to me, and disgusting to you; but, in my humble judgment, it
is not a needless repetition.

“Suppose Brunt’s generous purpose accomplished, it will give a slice of
cheese, a piece of bread, and a glass of gin to each. It appears that
6_s._ was the largest sum seen with them: there was 1_s._ on another
occasion; there was 7_d._ for a newspaper, 7_s._ 7_d._ was the treasury
then. Whether this and the prospect of sharing in the produce of a
1_l._ note, could induce fifteen men to subvert the Government, I leave
you to judge. Nothing stimulated them, then, but the hope of plunder.
When they should have done something to create alarm, they expected to
have full liberty of plunder.

“Thus have I endeavoured, gentlemen, by hours stolen from my rest, to
lay before you the real character of their intentions. My Lord will
fairly state the law to you; I need not, therefore, anticipate any
thing on that subject. At the meeting on the 21st, information is said
to have been given that their proceedings were known at Bow-street,
and at the Secretary of State’s office. We might have had evidence
whether this information could be well founded, but we have none. Next
day, the 22d, the cabinet dinner is announced. Who announces it? Mr.
Edwards. This corresponds with what is in evidence before you, that the
intelligence was fabricated, and put into the paper for this purpose.
“Poverty goads on these men; it is fit,” said the prompters, “that we
put them on to what will serve our own purposes.”

“The Court reporter himself did not know of the cabinet dinner. He has
told you, that the word ‘grand’ could not be applied by him, as one
cabinet dinner was not grander than another. You see, then, how it has
been fabricated. I will here once more allude to the execrations of
Brunt, and from this time dismiss them from your observation.

“The Attorney General animadverted properly on the impiety and obduracy
of heart which the language of Brunt indicated. If it was true, his
infamy baffles description. It is, that up to that moment he had been
an infidel, but he had been praying to God, and he now believed,
because his prayer was answered. Such are the words uttered by the
fiction-making witness’s mouth. ‘I have prayed to God, in whom I did
not believe, to put in our power innocent men, who are highly favoured
in this world.’ These are the fictions of a gross, rank, ignorant,
conspirator; they defy the grasp of human investigation; they almost
persuade us to believe them, because they are impossible. We are almost
led to say, as one said on another occasion, ‘I believe it, because no
man would invent what is so incredible.’ But, on a question of life and
death, gentlemen, you will not listen to such fictions; you will not
regard such fantastical decoys. Perforated by the witness’s own act,
his creation sinks to the bottom of the sea; it can form neither buoy
nor vessel--it is sunk and destroyed for ever. But he is an infamous
witness who cannot be believed at all. You find himself next in the
chair; and when one turns upon him like a bull-dog, and another like a
bear, he remains firm.

“It was then resolved to have a watch set upon Lord Harrowby’s
house. This was certainly done, and was a part of the plan which was
undoubtedly formed to murder his Majesty’s Ministers. But after that
should have been done, so barren were they of invention, that they were
to fall back on their old plan of carrying away cannons without horses;
of occupying posts without men; and of performing great deeds without
any means.

“Provisional Government! Unless the pronouncing of these words were to
‘raise spirits from the vasty deep,’ I know not what it could mean.
A printing press, one would have thought, was indispensable. But no
means of printing a placard had they. Their proclamations were written
on a piece of cartridge paper. I beg pardon, let me not understate the
means possessed by them; on three pieces of cartridge paper were the
magical words written. ‘Your tyrants are destroyed.’ Ministers were the
tyrants then. Be it so. This is not high treason. It might have been
murder; but it is not high treason. ‘The friends of liberty are invited
to come forward.’ If this were told by a witness deserving of faith, it
would stagger belief; told by one tainted as this witness is, it can
excite no inclination towards faith. On the blazing building, I think I
am correct in stating it so, these proclamations were to be stuck up,
in order that the friends of liberty, happening to pass by the ruins,
might know that a provisional government was sitting, we know not
where, or for what purpose.

“Is it possible, gentlemen, to sacrifice human life upon evidence like
this? Is it possible to credit evidence that has no point of contact
with common sense? The Provisional Government, dropped from the clouds,
is sitting: the finger-post is destroyed, with the blazing building to
which it was attached; you know not where the Provisional Government is
to be found.

“The witness stated, that Ings, the butcher, was arrayed in a belt
and two bags. The articles which were exhibited to you last night
are removed from the table to-day. The bags were to carry human
heads. If there is in the human mind any thing so atrocious as to
crown assassination with an exhibition like this, I am truly, truly
heart-struck with sorrow for it. I was led to review the French
Revolution, to which allusion has been made by the Attorney General,
and at that early age every drop of blood in my body was chilled with
horror at human heads paraded through the streets, and at the atrocious
barbarities inflicted on the royal family. I rejoiced that the country
to which I belonged was free from such crimes.

“From the hasty view I took of the bags, and it did not occur to me
till I left the Court, but from the hasty view I took, I think they
are not large enough to contain a human head. I am told that they are:
if so, I only say it has the impression of a hasty view. But, for
God’s sake, let us not decide by these ignorant visions. Was not Lord
Harrowby’s plate, the salvers and goblets, &c., a more natural object
of desire, and not heads, which, if any carried, every hand would
instinctively strike him from the face of the earth? The hand of Lord
Castlereagh was to be put into pickle, whether in order to be shewn
for money, as might appear suitable to the situation of Ings, or to be
exhibited as a trophy, does not appear.

“The witness says, when the officers entered the loft in Cato-street,
they cried out, ‘Here’s a pretty nest of you,’ &c. I shall afterwards
remark upon this, because I think it pregnant with importance as to
the witness’s testimony, for I think he was not there at all. With the
experience which you have had in courts of justice, some of you may
have felt astonished that my learned friend did not proceed further
into the cross-examination of this witness. Every art has its own
difficulties, and my learned friend never shewed more consummate skill
in his art than when he refrained from further cross-examination of
this witness.

“When my learned friends, the Solicitor General and Mr. Gurney
asked questions of this witness, which were the natural and regular
inquiries, you heard him refuse to answer, and add, ‘No, I have
something else to say before I come to that.’ When their experience and
judgment suggested the proper questions, he would not let his contrived
and fabricated tale be mutilated. ‘No,’ says the untractable witness,
‘I have not come to that yet.’ If my learned friend had wasted time
in cross-examination, he could only have got repetitions of the same
words. Such testimony is not to be overthrown by cross-examination,
but by his manner before you, and by the probability of the statements
he makes. But this important declaration was got from him by

“When my learned friend asked him, in the words quoted by the Attorney
General from a great poet, whether he had given information from
‘compunctious visitings,’ he replied, that conscience alone made him
disclose what he knew. He is quiet from the murder of Smithers on
Wednesday night till Saturday, when he plumes his wings, and goes to
the Privy-Council to disburthen his heart. I have had a good deal of
experience of the evidence of such persons; and I have heard one, who
was chairman of the quarter-sessions for Middlesex twenty-six years,
say, that, from the moment that observation was made by an accomplice,
he was not to be believed, because that was incredible. Apply that
here. He sees the murderer, and goes away, unconcerned as if nothing
had happened. He rests on the stings of his conscience for four days.
He must think that you have no hearts yourselves--no consciousness of
the operations of human feelings--if he imagines that you can believe
what no schoolboy would give credit to.

“Have I used levity upon this subject? for God’s sake, absolve me
from the intention! Have I treated lightly the contemplation of
assassinating men possessing and deserving the highest veneration?
For God’s sake, excuse the observations which the absurdity of the
evidence made necessary! I cannot hear, without indignation, that the
wisdom which has so long presided in one of the most important of our
Courts, was thus to become a corpse; and that the valour which fought
at Waterloo (for the Duke of Wellington was to have been at the dinner)
was to have fallen by assassins. From these two take the measure of

“When the destruction of worth and wisdom, of learning and talent, is
thus contemplated, the most hardened and flinty heart that ever dwelt
in a human bosom recoils with horror, and melts with compassion.

“If then, I have used a light expression, impute it, gentlemen, to
inadvertence of language, and not to hardness of heart, because the
absurdity of the witness made the observations I offered unavoidable.

“Let us now see how far this witness is supported by other witnesses.
Mary Rogers proves his statement as to the lodgings; Joseph Hall
confirms him to a similar extent. Lord Harrowby and his servant
confirms him so far, as to prove the intention of giving his cabinet
dinner on Wednesday night. Of this there is no doubt. Hyden is proved
to have spoken to his Lordship in the Park. Three witnesses are called,
which was not necessary, to prove that the room in Cato-street had
been taken; but the parade of confirmation in this matter is meant to
cast an air of credibility over other parts of the evidence. I now
advert to collateral confirmations. The sharpening of Ings’s sword, the
acquaintance of Harrison with the state of the barracks, the redeeming
of a blunderbuss from pawn for murder, not treason, have been all

“It is true, Hyden and Dwyer are not accomplices, they are to be
believed, if their testimony is credible. Hyden long ago, before
his late Majesty’s death, states to Wilson, with whom alone he was
acquainted, that grenades were to be thrown under the table, and
that those who should escape were to be killed with the sword. But
he mentions no ulterior object deserving of the name of treason.
Whatever the object might be, Hyden goes first to Lord Castlereagh,
who was the object of their peculiar spleen; then not finding him,
to Lord Harrowby. But what the nature of their plan was you may
judge from this that, Wilson would not, for the accomplishment of
it, lose a shilling or half-a-crown to be gained by going with cream
to a nobleman. He knew that no such thing as a revolution was to be
done. This, gentlemen, is not the way that kings are destroyed, and
governments overthrown.

“I do not say that the question should not enter into your
consideration, but I say that you cannot find a verdict for the
Attorney General, if you do not believe Adams; and I have laboured very
much in vain, if you have not dismissed his evidence from your minds.
Monument has not in the slightest degree confirmed Adams as to the
proceedings previously to those in Cato-street; and he has no memory of
having ever seen so remarkable a man as Adams at Cato-street. Monument
knew nothing of the murder of Ministers, and the expectation of plunder
as the consequence of its effects on others.

“You have next the very extraordinary and very irregular evidence of
Dwyer. He, according to his own account, is a very modest bricklayer,
and has for thirty years served one master. His conscience told him,
and he told Thistlewood, “It is a very hard thing for me to inveigle
the minds of men.” A man who had such notions of right and wrong, ought
to have told him that it was very wrong to murder. He gave information
to Colonel James within an hour of the time the communication was
made to him on the 23d of February. Colonel James advised him to go
to the Secretary of State. He tells that Thistlewood was in five or
six revolutions. I don’t know Thistlewood’s history or revolutions.
[Here the learned Council read large extracts of Dwyer’s evidence.]
Here is evident intention of riot, but nothing of a revolution; and it
is remarkable that there is not a tittle of mention of a Provisional

“The whole fabric of treason falls to the ground like the card-house
of a baby. Adams sees not what is done in Cato-street. Monument sees
not Adams, and is not seen by Adams. Dwyer sees neither Adams nor
Monument on any occasion. Monument, like Wilson, is so cold in the
cause, that, when he has a pair of shoes to mend, he pays no attention
to the plot. This is not evidence on which you can believe the
existence of treason.

“As a plot, it is beneath the attention of Government.

“That plan of assassination which has filled the nation with horror,
was such, that nothing can be too effectual to guard against it, and
the utmost vigilance of the magistrates ought to be exercised to
prevent a mischief so nefarious from finding shelter in society. But
I will say, in the words of a great writer, that ‘the chirpings of
the grasshoppers disturb not the stately ox, who grazes unconscious
of their noise.’ So is it unworthy of the Government of this country
to prosecute as traitors some dozen of ragged beggars, impatient of
extreme poverty.

“I shall point out to you in what points Adams is materially
contradicted. Here you will remember that one contradiction is of
more importance than ten thousand confirmations. Confirmations to any
extent, only prove that the witness spoke truth to that extent; one
contradiction proves the unprincipled contempt of an oath, and the
wilful fabrication of falsehood.

“The learned gentleman again adverted to the meetings which were held
in the house where Brunt lodged, and asked, ‘was it not strange that
the landlady, Mrs. Rogers, should have known nothing of those frequent
meetings, where so many persons attended, and where such noises were
made as had been described. Would not the Jury think it a very singular
circumstance that the landlady should have been ignorant of all this
passing in her own house?’ Let the Jury now look to the account given
by Adams of what passed in Cato-street. He stated that there was only
one candle lighted. The officers, however, proved that there were
eight, and that they were all put out on the firing of the pistol. He
was equally incorrect in describing what was said. It was not as he
swore, ‘there is a pretty nest of you.’ No; for the evidence of the
officers themselves went only to the words,--‘We are officers, lay down
your arms.’ He (Adams) knew when in prison, that something was said
by the officers, and he made that account which he thought the least
likely to be contradicted.

“What would the Jury infer from those contradictions and
inconsistencies in his evidence; but, that he was a man who respected
neither God nor his Gospel, and who swore to that which he knew to be
untrue. Would they, under such circumstances, attach any weight to
his evidence? But he (Mr. Adolphus) would come to another part of his
evidence, where he was not only contradicted with the account given by
others, but where he was inconsistent with himself.

“It would be recollected, that he swore to Strange being present at
the meetings on two occasions; yet, when Strange was put to the bar he
could not recognise him--not point him out whom he swore to as having
been present at two meetings held in the open day. Was this the man
upon whose evidence the Jury could return a verdict, which would affect
the life of the unfortunate prisoner at the bar.

“He now begged the attention of the jury to another part of the case.
They had heard of the name of Edwards in this case; this man, who lived
at 166, Fleet-street, who afterwards lived at Ranelagh-place, why was
not this man called? He was not an accomplice in any criminal degree,
as must be inferred from the conduct of Government in letting him go
quite at large. Why was not this man called? They would then have the
spy to support the testimony of the informer. He could tell the Jury
why; because it was remembered what had been the effect of calling a
witness of a similar description on a former occasion. The witness
then produced underwent a long and able cross-examination from the
Counsel employed for the prisoners, and the result was, that he and
his testimony were put out of Court together, and had no other effect
on the minds of the Jury, than to convince them that the whole was a

“If Edwards had been called, he would have told the Jury how this case
had been got up; for he was well acquainted with the whole machinery of
it. It would be recollected, that it was he who made the fusee for the
hand-grenades; what would the Jury infer from his non-appearance, but
that the whole of this case, as far as related to the charge of high
treason, was a fabrication destitute of any foundation whatever.

“He would now come to a part of the statement made by the
Attorney-General in his address to the Jury. He had said, that
he supposed a part of the defence would be, that the Jury should
discredit the whole of this story, from its great improbability. He
(Mr. Adolphus) had never any such intention, nor did he think, that
the youngest advocate at the bar would have attempted such a line of

“To deny the existence of a plan, however wild and visionary, on the
ground that it was improbable, would be to go in the face of the most
authentic historic authority. He would take as an example one of the
most familiar cases on record. The Earl of Essex, it was known, in a
moment of moody displeasure with Queen Elizabeth, did not contrive a
regular plan for displacing her from the throne, but in the instant
he rushed forth into the streets, at the head of some few of his
followers, and endeavoured to stir up the citizens to rebellion;
imagining that the people might be induced to second his scheme, and
effect in a moment that which he had madly fancied.

“This was a most wild and visionary plan; but, if we were reject it on
the ground of its improbability, we should be blotting a page from our
history, the truth of which was never before doubted. No, it was not
his intention to deny the existence of the present plan, on the ground
of its improbability, but he wished the Jury to disbelieve the witness,
on the ground of the improbability of the plot as he had described
it. When, in the course of yesterday, they saw the pikes, and swords,
and pistols and guns, and hand-grenades, which were taken from the
prisoners, or at their houses, no doubt they might have felt some alarm.

“They might have participated in the feelings of some persons who
were near him at that moment; one of whom said, he should not like
to have one of those instruments presented to his breast. No doubt;
nobody would like it: but let the Jury seriously consider, how those
instruments were to be applied. If they took the twelve hundred rounds
of ball-cartridge which were said to have been taken, and divided them
by twenty-four, they would find that they had just ammunition enough
only for fifty men; but where were those fifty men--or if they were
in existence, where were the arms to use this ammunition with? They
had only seen a few guns and pistols, and putting them together, there
was not sufficient for a party to commit more than an ordinary highway
robbery with. Could it be supposed that it was ever intended to upset a
government, and dethrone a sovereign, by such means? Was there, taking
the evidence of those who appeared before them, recollecting that
others who might have been called were kept out of the way; was there,
he would ask, sufficient to shew that the object of the prisoners was
to upset the government and constitution of this country? He thought he
could shew, that their object was quite of another description.

“Let the Jury look at the situation in which the prisoner at the bar
stood. They had, as was stated by the Attorney General, often before
heard of him. He had, not very long before the present transaction,
been released from Horsemonger-lane prison, where he had been confined
in consequence of a letter sent to my Lord Sidmouth. He came forth
from that prison with rancorous feelings against that noble lord, and
probably against others of his Majesty’s ministers; would not such a
man be a fit subject to work upon, in proposing an attack upon the
lives of those ministers? Must not the Jury suppose that the other
prisoners would have heated feelings, after the transaction which
took place at Manchester? He would not offer any comments upon that
transaction, further than to say, that all which was said and written
upon it, was not without an effect; and, on the minds of the prisoners,
would it be strange, that an artful and cunning man might work such
an effect as to excite them to the murder of his Majesty’s ministers,
which would not of itself amount to high treason? With their feelings
worked up, some of them with strong personal enmity against some of
those ministers, they had determined upon making an attack upon several
of them at their houses.

“They were in this state, when forth came the never-to-be-forgotten
announcement in _The New Times_, placed there by the hand that was to
betray them, that a Cabinet dinner was to take place on the Wednesday
following at Lord Harrowby’s. Did not the whole of their conduct
shew that it was against the ministers themselves that the attack was
intended, and not against the government, or with a view of effecting
a revolution? and was there not proof, that this personal feeling was
excited by some of the recent transactions at Manchester to which he
had alluded? What was the speech which Ings was to have made on the
arrival of the party at Lord Harrowby’s house, where the ministers
were expected to be assembled? ‘My lords, you see we have got men as
good as the Manchester yeomanry;’ and then, turning to his associates,
‘Citizens, advance, and do your duty!’

“During the whole of these proceedings, nothing was heard of any
intended attack upon Carlton-House, or upon any of the branches of
the illustrious family of Brunswick. There was no such thing. The
whole which their preparations and intentions embraced, were--first,
the murder of his Majesty’s ministers, and then robbery. This was the
object of setting fire to some houses, that plunder might be obtained
in the confusion which might be thereby created.

“These, to be sure, were heinous crimes, but they did not amount to
the charge of high treason against the prisoners. The setting fire
to buildings, with the intention of robbing in the confusion which
the fire would create, was not, unfortunately, a novel case. He was
old enough to remember, and perhaps some of the jury might also
recollect the circumstance of the setting fire to the premises of a
timber-merchant, in order to rob a pawn-broker’s shop, which was close
by it. Indeed, the manner in which some of the prisoners had spoken of
the shopkeepers of London, shewed that their object was plunder, and it
appeared that bags were made for the purpose of holding such plunder.

“He had now gone through the whole of the points on which it was his
intention to trouble the Jury. He had done so, perhaps, imperfectly,
but he would not apologize for the time which he had delayed them. He
had not, on this occasion, all the preparation which was desirable. On
the contrary, he had but a very short notice of the duty which he was
to perform; and, he remembered, on a former occasion, that one of the
most learned Counsel at the bar expressed his inadequacy to a similar
task, though he stated, that he had occupied a month in preparing for
the defence.

“In pleading for the life of the unfortunate man at the bar, and,
after him, of the other prisoners, it was not too much for him to
ask the Jury to consider well the nature of the evidence which had
been given in support of the charge of high treason. He now, however,
left the case entirely with the Jury. If they thought, under all the
circumstances, that there was evidence sufficient to prove the charge,
then he should submit; but if, on the other hand, they were of opinion
that the case was not made out, or that it was not proved to their
satisfaction, they would, he was confident, acquit the prisoner.

“The learned gentleman again expressed his own inability to give the
Jury a perfect direction on this important trial; and concluded by
praying that God might direct and enlighten their minds on the awful
occasion, so that they might administer impartial justice, always
remembering that the highest attribute of justice was mercy; and that,
whether the result of their verdict should be, that the prisoner
would only have a week to live, or run out his days to that length to
which Providence might please to extend them, it would be dictated by
justice, tempered with mercy.”

The _Lord Chief Justice_ now addressed the prisoner, and said, if you
wish to offer any thing for yourself, in addition to what has been
said by your Counsel, you are at liberty so to do.

_Thistlewood._--I wish, my Lord, to have two witnesses examined to the
testimony of Dwyer. There is a man in Court who will prove that Dwyer
extorted money from him.

The _Lord Chief Justice_.--You must not state that; you should have
consulted with your Counsel. The time for giving evidence is now past.

_Thistlewood._--I will waive it then, my Lord. I have nothing further
to offer.

The SOLICITOR-GENERAL now commenced his reply. He said, “That in rising
to address the Jury in support of this prosecution, he felt that he had
a most anxious and painful duty to discharge. As the servant of the
public on this occasion, it was his duty to perform the service with
which that public had intrusted him to the utmost of his ability and
power. He was anxious, therefore, that nothing should be omitted on his
part for the purpose of presenting this case in a fair and proper view
before them. At the same time, he felt anxious that, in the prosecution
of what he was about to state, he should not misrepresent a single
fact, far less a single argument, against the prisoner, or offer an
observation which the justice of the case might not fairly warrant.

“He begged leave to join with his learned friend (Mr. Adolphus) in
praying the gentlemen of the Jury to dismiss from their minds all
prejudices and impressions unfavourable to the prisoner, and to confine
their attention solely and undividedly to the evidence which had been
laid before them, on the oaths of the witnesses whom they had heard.
In saying this, he was aware that it was superfluous and unnecessary.
He was addressing an English Jury--a body of men sworn to administer
justice to the public on the one hand, and to the prisoner on the
other; and he ought to apologize for suggesting a doubt, that, in the
discharge of their momentous duty, they would not keep their eyes
steadily fixed on the evidence, upon which the fate of the person at
the bar must ultimately turn.

“The situation in which the prisoner then stood was an admirable proof
of the excellent system of our laws, and of their being built and
formed upon the principles of liberty and freedom. They had had it not
only proved in evidence, but admitted by the Counsel for the prisoner,
that he had projected and harboured in his mind the assassination of
the confidential servants of the Crown.

“They were aware of the passions and prejudices which were excited by
this discovery in the public mind, and they saw that this prosecution
was not commenced, nor was the unfortunate man placed upon his trial,
until an opportunity was afforded for those passions and prejudices to
subside. Independent of this, he was entitled to the delivery to him
of all the particulars of the accusation which he was called upon to
answer; and these particulars had been delivered to him at a period
so far back as three weeks from the present time. This indulgence
was granted to him, in order that he might have an opportunity of
consulting Counsel as to any point of law, or any objection which might
arise in his favour; and in order also that he might bring forward such
testimony as might be necessary to his defence. He had also a list
of all the Jurymen, who could by possibility be called to sit on his
trial, and these he might reject, without assigning a cause, to the
number of thirty-five.

“On this account he was justified in saying, that the Jury whom he was
then addressing, whatever might be the result of their deliberations,
was a Jury of the prisoner’s own choice. The prisoner, also, had
received a list of the witnesses who were to be called by the Crown.
That list was furnished in order that he might have an opportunity
of inquiring into the previous character, history, and conduct of
every witness who might be called against him, and for the purpose of
enabling him to impeach their character, if his inquiry should enable
him so to do. Such was the benevolent spirit of the British law; and
such the advantages to which a man, placed in the situation of the
prisoner, was entitled.

“The charge against the prisoner was, that of having conspired to
overturn the Constitution under which that system of Government
existed. It was a question whether the substitution of the Government
which he might have contemplated, would have been distinguished by
a character of so admirable a description. He had no doubt that the
Jury would pay that anxious and careful attention to this case which
its importance demanded, and that they would not come to a verdict of
Guilty, unless they were satisfied that that verdict was justified
by the clearest evidence. But, at the same time, he called upon them
to perform their duty, fearless of all consequences; to turn neither
to the right nor to the left, but to pronounce such a verdict as was
consistent with a proper feeling towards their country, and with a due
regard to the solemn obligation into which they had entered.

“With respect to the law upon the subject, it was not necessary to
trouble them with any observation. In the charge against the prisoner
there was nothing of a difficult or questionable description. He was
charged with conspiring for the purpose of overturning the Government
of the country, and with endeavouring to accomplish that by means of
the assassination of his Majesty’s Ministers. If the Jury, upon a due
and careful examination of the evidence, were satisfied that he had so
conspired, and that he had been found taking measures to accomplish
that object, then, in point of law, he was guilty of the crime imputed
to him. It was admitted on all hands that a plot had been formed to
assassinate the Ministers of the King, and not to assassinate one,
two, or three, of those individuals against whom the prisoner might
be supposed to have some personal enmity. The blow had been aimed not
against one, but against all.

“The Jury would consider whether such an intention was founded with a
view to overturn the Government of the country; or, whether, as had
been fancifully surmised by the Counsel for the prisoner, the sole
object had been the plunder of private property, and the gratification
of private revenge. They would look with jealousy to the testimony
which had been adduced before them, and upon that they would conclude
whether the steps which had been taken were directed by the desire of
promoting revolution, or solely with a view of obtaining plunder in the
confusion which would necessarily follow.

“In considering the evidence of an accomplice, they would naturally
look to his previous character; they would see whether there was any
thing in his former course of life, from whence to conclude that he was
a man capable of pursuing a continued and undeviating course of crime;
but, above all, they would consider from all the circumstances of the
case, what degree of credit ought fairly to be given to his evidence.
He knew of no law that applied to accomplices, which did not apply to
every other witness who came into a Court of Justice.

“The evidence of every witness ought to be examined with care and
jealousy, and in proportion only as his story was consistent with
probability was he entitled to belief. Now let them look to the fair
test upon which the evidence of Adams was to be tried. His character,
up to the time of his entering into the diabolical schemes of the
prisoner, was unimpeached; and, if any thing could be urged on that
score, no doubt the prisoner Brunt, with whom he had been intimately
acquainted, would not fail to have adduced it. In so much, therefore,
he stood upon fair and eligible grounds.

“Then they would ask themselves, what interest he could have in stating
that which was not true? The more criminal the plot which he disclosed,
the blacker hue he gave to his own reputation; and, added to this, he
knew that, from the candour and correctness of his confession could he
alone hope for mercy towards himself. Then he must be aware, that if he
stated that which was false, his story was capable of contradiction,
and therefore altogether fruitless. So that, in every point of view, he
was a competent witness. As was before said, however, the Jury still
had the power of exercising their own sound discretion, and of placing
in him only that degree of confidence which he seemed to deserve, and
which the confirmation he had received fairly justified.

“The learned counsel for the prisoner had made use of the gratuitous
expression, that this man, Adams, was the only witness to prove the
case. Was this the fact? Were there not three other witnesses who
all spoke to the same occurrences; he alluded to Monument, Hiden,
and Dwyer; the two latter of whom were, in all respects pure and
uncontaminated; for what had been said of Dwyer was absolutely beneath
consideration. These men were all unknown to each other--had never seen
each other--and yet they all agreed in their story as to the plan for
assassinating his Majesty’s Ministers, seizing cannon, providing arms,
burning houses, and establishing a provisional government. Independent
of these, a variety of other witnesses had been examined, who spoke to
points trivial in themselves, but all confirmatory of Adams, and, as it
were, completely dovetailing with the most minute parts of his story.

“This was the case with regard to Brunt’s apprentice; to the landlady
of the house in which Brunt lived, and her daughter; to the officers by
whom Brunt’s house had been searched; and even to Tidd’s own daughter,
whose story was precisely consistent with the plan which had been
detailed, but which had been so providentially frustrated. In fact,
each witness formed a link in the general chain, which was complete in
all its parts. But there was a still stronger argument in favour of all
that had been stated, and that was, that it had not been contradicted
by evidence, although such evidence was capable of being produced.
For, if what Adams had disclosed was not true, why were Potter, and
Cook, and Palin, to all of whom he spoke as having been present at the
various meetings which took place, and who were eligible witnesses for
the prisoner, not called.

“The absence of these men afforded an additional reason for giving
implicit belief to all which the witnesses for the crown had said. The
learned gentleman then proceeded in a luminous and eloquent strain,
still farther to illustrate his argument, and with great ingenuity
to contend that it was impossible, under all the circumstances of
the case, for the Jury to come to any other conclusion than that the
several charges of high treason imputed to the prisoner had been
established beyond all doubt. If, however, as had been said by his
learned friend (Mr. Adolphus) any doubt did exist, to the benefit of
that doubt the prisoner was fully entitled.”

Lord Chief-Justice Abbot proceeded to sum up. “This, he said, was an
indictment against Arthur Thistlewood, the prisoner then at the bar,
and several other persons, who, in the progress of the trial, had
appeared at the bar, in order to be identified for the crime of HIGH
TREASON. That offence had truly been stated as the highest crime known
to the law. It was so, because it did not merely produce individual and
private evil, as most other crimes did, but, in addition to that, it
created great and extensive public mischief.

“A charge so grave and serious required therefore, at the hands of an
English Jury (and would, he was sure, from what he had seen, receive)
the most mature and patient consideration. The charge, as it stood in
the indictment, consisted of several counts. First, conspiring and
imagining to depose the King; 2d, conspiring and imagining to put the
King to death; 3d, conspiring and imagining to levy war against the
King, in order to compel him to change his councils; and 4th, actually
levying war against the King.

“Two of these offences, conspiring the deposition of the Monarch,
and levying war against him, were declared to be treason, by a
statute passed so long ago as the reign of Edward the Third. In the
construction of that statute, it had been held, not only in many cases
decided in this country, but also in the opinion delivered to us by
various learned writers on this law, that all conspiracies and attempts
to depose his Majesty, and all conspiracies to levy war against him,
were treasonable, and must be considered as overt acts, proving an
intention to take away his life; because, as historical experience
showed, the death of a sovereign generally followed the loss of his
kingly authority.

“But, in order to remove any mistake that persons might fall into on
this subject, a statute was passed in the reign of his late Majesty,
similar in substance, and nearly so in language, to statutes that
had been enacted in former years, but which had expired. By that
statute, the conspiring or compassing to depose the King, or to levy
war against him, were declared to be substantive treasons. Some of the
persons called before them on this occasion were represented, and truly
represented, to have been accomplices in this traitorous design. This
character did not, however, apply to all the witnesses who had been
brought forward.

“Much observation had been made on the degree of credit that ought to
be given to persons, who admitted that they had joined in the design.
On this point he should only say, that, according to the law of this
country, and, he believed, of every other country, accomplices were
considered competent witnesses; but the credit that should be given to
them was matter of consideration. The evidence of an accomplice was to
be weighed, with reference to the probability of the story he told, the
confirmation of it, so far as it was capable of confirmation, and the
absence of that contradiction which might be adduced, if the story were

“There was, however, no rule of law which said, that the testimony of
an accomplice ought to be credited; neither was there any rule of law
which declared that it must be rejected. To declare the latter would be
to open the door, and give the greatest latitude and impunity to crime.
For, as had been said by the learned counsel for the prosecution, if
such a doctrine were acted on, bad men would feel that they might
proceed in their base designs with perfect security, and they would
trust each other without reserve; whereas bad men now distrusted each
other. They were afraid of detection; and that distrust prevented the
commission of many offences which could not be perpetrated without the
assistance of several persons.

“Having made these general observations, to direct their attention
to the evidence, he would now, some hours having elapsed since the
witnesses were heard, read to the Jury such parts of the testimony as
were necessary for their consideration in coming to a decision. [Here
his Lordship proceeded to recapitulate the evidence, briefly commenting
on it as he went on.]

“The first witness was R. Adams, who undoubtedly stood in the situation
of an accomplice. But, if the story he told were false, there were
several persons mentioned by him, and they could have been brought
forward to disprove his statement, and to discharge themselves of the
crime imputed to them, if they were innocent, but whom the Crown could
not compel to appear. This witness said, that the officers, when they
entered the room in Cato-street, cried out, ‘Here’s a pretty nest of
you; we have a warrant to take you all;’ and the officers swore they
only called out, ‘We are officers--surrender.’ This difference was not
material. The two expressions were nearly the same in import; and, in
the scene of confusion which undoubtedly occurred on the entrance of
the officers, it was very possible that a mistake might arise as to the
exact expression used.

“That part of the evidence, in which Adams described his irresolution,
gave, his Lordship observed, the exact picture of a man of weak mind,
not knowing whether he should go on or recede--balancing whether he
should remain true to his associates, or make a discovery--and who,
when taken into custody, did come to the resolution to disclose all he
knew. If his testimony were true in substance and general effect, it
proved not only a determination to assassinate his Majesty’s Ministers,
but shewed to them that that was only a part of a more extended
and general plan, which embraced the seizure of arms, the taking
possession of the Mansion-house, and the forming of a Provisional
Government; a plan formed on some vain expectation, that, if the blow
were ever struck, there were a great number of people in the metropolis
who would readily join in the scheme, and levy war against his Majesty.
Such an expectation was vain then, and he hoped would ever be found so
when such treasonable attempts were made.

“This witness mentioned a man, named Edwards. Why he was not examined
his Lordship could not say. Perhaps the prosecutors did not wish to
call him for very good reasons. How far the Jury would disbelieve Adams
on that account, it was for them to say. What he had remarked on the
evidence of this witness, he was sorry to say, was considerably against
the prisoner. As to the character of Adams, before this transaction,
they knew nothing. No person had said any thing about it. Hyden was a
witness of a very different description; for he, it appeared, disclosed
all he knew, early enough to prevent the mischief that was meditated.

“John Monument, another accomplice, corroborated Adams. He stated
that the prisoner said to him, ‘Great events are at hand; the people
everywhere are anxious for a change.’ This observation shewed that the
assassination of Ministers was not the sole and only object of the
parties. The evidence of Thomas Dwyer, as far as it went, confirmed
the testimony of those who were examined before him. If his statement
were correct, the prisoner told him the general plan and object which
he and his associates had in view. These were the four witnesses
called to explain the designs of the accused parties. Two of them were
accomplices; but, in general, none but accomplices could be acquainted
with such foul and illegal designs. The two other witnesses did not
stand in the same situation. Communications were made to them, on
the subject of the conspiracy, it appeared, with little reserve;--a
circumstance of which the Jury were to judge.

“A great many other persons had been called, chiefly for the purpose
of confirming the testimony given by these witnesses; for, if they had
spoken to truth, without farther evidence to the facts, treason was
undoubtedly proved. They proved the intention to levy war, to form a
Provisional Government, and, of course, to change the Government as by
law established. Eliza Walker proved that the prisoner Brunt had hired
a lodging for Ings in the house where he resided; and Joseph Hale,
Brunt’s apprentice, deposed to the meetings that were held from time
to time in Brunt’s room. He proved that meetings were held there every
evening, and that grenades, fire-balls, and pikes, were on the premises.

“Thomas Sharp, a watchman, deposed, that he saw four suspicious
persons, on the 22d of February, watching about Lord Harrowby’s house.
Morrison, a cutler, proved that Ings brought him two swords to sharpen,
and a sword found at Cato-street appeared to be one of them. Alderson,
a pawnbroker, deposed, that, on the 23d of February, Davidson took a
blunderbuss out of pawn. Thomas Monument, the brother of John confirmed
his testimony in several points. This was the evidence confirmatory of
the testimony of the first four witnesses. Many of the facts stated by
Adams were spoken to by them; but the treasonable purpose could not be
well proved, except by accomplices. Information on that point could
scarcely be expected from a pure source. Hyden was a witness of that
description; but Dwyer, to a certain degree, was not.

“The prosecutors then called persons to prove what occurred at the
stable in Cato-street; and Captain Fitzclarence, and several Bow-street
officers, gave a detailed account of the transactions there. It did
not appear to him necessary that he should go, in detail, through the
testimony of these witnesses. It was not necessary to inquire by what
particular hand a gun or a pistol was fired; but it was material to
observe, that, when the officers did come, many at least of the persons
present made a most desperate resistance. A knife, said to belong to
Ings, was found on the premises; and two bags and a case-knife were
found on his person. The bags were important; because it was sworn that
he stated the purpose for which he brought them. It was argued by the
Counsel for the defendant, that they were meant for the reception of
plunder, and not for the horrible purpose that had been stated; but
this did not invalidate the testimony of Adams, because Ings might not
have wished to declare that he meant to put plate in the bags; and, if
so he might have said, what he was sworn to have uttered, as a reason
for carrying them. This closed the evidence for the Crown.

“On the part of the prisoners, Mary Baker was called, who, the Jury
would recollect, was not cross-examined. This arose from a commendable
delicacy, on account of the near relationship in which she stood to one
of the prisoners. The Jury would say, whether her evidence went at all
to shake the case. Indeed, it appeared from her statement, that she had
seen at Tidd’s lodgings instruments similar to those produced in Court.
A man named Hucklestone was then called, to prove that Dwyer was not
to be believed on his oath; and he stated, that he thought he was not
worthy of belief, because Dwyer had informed him that he procured money
by base accusations. This however, was entirely contradicted by Dwyer;
and it was for the Jury to say which of the two witnesses was entitled
to their credit.

“The Jury would also consider the character and bearing of the
evidence of Doane and Mitchell, with respect to the paragraph in _The
New Times_, announcing a cabinet dinner at Lord Harrowby’s, which,
according to Whittaker, was not on the same day in any other newspaper
in London. It was, however, a matter of no consequence how it found
its way into the paper, since it was proved that cabinet dinner was
intended to be given on the 23d of February. This was the whole of the
evidence on each side. No witness was called to impeach the veracity
of Adams, Hyden, and Monument. And if they gave credit to any one of
those persons, (even to Hyden, who supported what the others told them,
and whose account, though more concise than theirs, was the same in
effect), they must find a verdict against the prisoner.

“Besides the testimony of the witnesses, they had seen on the table a
considerable quantity of arms, which were proved to have been found
in Cato-street, and at the lodgings of one of the prisoners. It was
almost conceded, that a conspiracy was entered into for the purpose of
assassinating his Majesty’s Ministers at Lord Harrowby’s house. Indeed
there could be little doubt of it.

“If then it were admitted that this most wicked scheme was entertained,
it was for them to consider whether it could reasonably be supposed
that that was all which was intended? They were to consider, what was
the probability that those persons, unconnected in any respect with
each other, except so far as this plan brought them together--and
certainly quite unconnected with the persons who conducted the affairs
of his Majesty’s Government--did not view that assassination as part
of a scheme, having for its object a general and tumultuous rising of
the people, to levy war against the King; or whether they conspired to
effect that assassination alone?

“Whether they adopted this plan to satisfy their thirst for blood, or
to accomplish that ulterior scheme to which the witnesses had spoken?
In deciding this question, it was fit that the Jury should attend to
the great quantity, as well as the nature of the instruments produced.
They certainly were far more in number than could have been wanted, or
used in the abominable attempt that was to be made at Lord Harrowby’s.
Some of them could not have been used there at all. The hand-grenades
might have been thrown, but the fire-balls could not have been used
for the purpose which they meant to effect at that house. When those
dangerous articles were found, some at one place and some at another,
it was for the Jury to take the circumstance into their serious

“If, on a view of the whole case, they, as just and conscientious men,
felt satisfied that a conspiracy to levy war was made out in proof
before them, if their minds were freed from all doubt on the subject,
they would, he was convinced, discharge the painful duty that devolved
on them with proper firmness. But if, after a due examination of all
the circumstances, and after attending to the observations of the very
eloquent counsel, who had addressed them on the part of the prisoner,
first and last, their minds were not satisfied that the case was
proved, they would discharge the more pleasant duty of acquitting the
prisoner. The case was now in their hands; and he doubted not but their
verdict would be consonant with the principles of justice.”

The Jury then retired; but, in a few minutes returned into court, and
requested his lordship to read to them the Act of the 36th of Geo. III.

Lord Chief-Justice Abbot said, he meant to hand it to them; but he
would, in the first place, state, that, by the terms of the statute,
it was to continue in force during the life of his late Majesty, and
till the end of the next session of Parliament: therefore the Act had
not expired when the alleged conspiracy was discovered. But, if it ever
had expired, it would have been of no consequence, since, by a late Act
of Parliament, the statute of the 36th of Geo. III. was made perpetual.
His lordship then read the Act, and particularly pointed out the clause
which made it treason--“to compass, imagine, invent, devise, or intend
to deprive or depose the King from the style, honour, and kingly
name of the imperial crown of this realm; or to levy war against him
within this realm, in order to compel him to change his councils.” His
lordship observed, that it seemed to be admitted by the Counsel on both
sides, that if the project stated on the part of the prosecution were
proved, it fell within the meaning of this Act; for, if a Provisional
Government were formed, the royal style must of necessity cease. To
levy war did not require soldiers drawn up in military array. It was
sufficient if a number of people met to do some public act, in which
they had no private interest, but which affected the country at large.
Devising to force the King to change his measures was always considered
a levying of war, under the old statute of Edward III.

The Jury again retired, and, in about a quarter of an hour, returned
INDICTMENT. That is to say, on those counts which charged the prisoner
with conspiring to levy war, and with the actual levying of war against
the King.

The verdict, which was in some measure anticipated, was received by the
Court in perfect silence; and the wretched man was taken from the bar,
surrounded by several officers.

Throughout the trial he had maintained the greatest composure, but
during the absence of the Jury he seemed poignantly to feel the
melancholy situation in which he was placed. The candid avowal,
however, of his Counsel, as to his ultimate fate upon the indictments
for murder, had left him no hope of escape of an ignominious death.

When taken back to the cell, he seemed to be absorbed in the melancholy
contemplation of his approaching fate, which he of course felt was
irrevocably sealed. He scarcely uttered a single word to those by whom
he was accompanied, but threw himself into a chair, and appeared to be
entirely abstracted from all about him. He partook of some refreshment,
but was unable to recover his spirits.

In the course of the evening he asked for a glass of wine, which Mr.
Brown instantly sent to him.

It appeared that up to the last moment, Thistlewood confidently
anticipated an acquittal, as indeed did many persons of respectability
who were in Court. The speech of Mr. Adolphus had a powerful effect
upon his auditors; but the reply of the Solicitor-General at once
dissipated the momentary impression which he had made.

It was observed that a number of persons were collected in the
neighbourhood of the Sessions-house, who were known to have been
constant attendants at the Smithfield, Spa-fields, and Finsbury
Meetings. Some of these intimated an intention to give three cheers if
the verdict was such as they expected; but upon the real verdict being
announced, they departed with strong manifestations of disappointment.

At the termination of Thistlewood’s trial, the Court was adjourned till
the following Friday, the 21st of April.



_First Day, Friday, April 21, 1820._

At eight o’clock in the morning the jurymen, who had been summoned,
arrived at the Sessions-house, and, at nine, Lord Chief Justice Dallas,
Chief Baron Richards, Mr. Justice Richardson, and the Common Sergeant,
took their seats.

The prisoner, James Ings, was then put to the bar; he seemed to labour
under strong feelings of agitation and had none of that firmness of
aspect which he displayed on the former days: he was dressed in a suit
of black.

Mr. Shelton, the clerk of the arraigns, proceeded to call over the list
of the jurymen, commencing at the name with which he had terminated,
when the jury in Thistlewood’s case was impanelled.

After a considerable number of challenges, both on the part of the
crown and of the prisoner, the following jury was finally impanelled
and sworn:

Charles Palmer,
William Moore,
Thomas Beecham,
John Beck,
Benjamin Rogers,
James Carey,
George Smith,
James Eade,
Benjamin Blythe,
William Percy,
John Young,
William Edgecombe.

Mr. Shelton then proceeded to read the indictment against the prisoner,
which was the same already described in the case of Arthur Thistlewood.

Mr. Bolland, at a few minutes after ten, opened the indictment in the
usual way to the Jury.

The Solicitor-General rose at ten o’clock to address the Jury for the
prosecution. “It was hardly necessary for him, he said, to entreat
their serious and patient attention to the statement he had to make
to them in the performance of his duty: they owed it to themselves,
to their country, and, above all, to the prisoner at the bar. In
justice to him, there was one fact now known, and to which he might
without impropriety allude. One of the parties in this conspiracy had
been already convicted. That circumstance they were bound not to let
operate to the prejudice of this prisoner; towards his part of the
offence they were bound to look, not through the medium of any thing
that had already passed in that Court, but solely through that which
would this day be laid before them in evidence; to that alone they were
to direct their attention, and by that must they form their opinion
of the guilt or innocence of the prisoner. On the law of the case it
would be unnecessary for him to make a single observation, for upon it
not a single objection, not a single doubt, had been stated since this
commission had sat. The charge against the prisoner, divested of all
technicalities, was simply this, that he had conspired with others,
by force and violence, to overthrow the laws and constitution of the
country. This was to be effected by an extensive plan of assassination,
and by other means which he should hereafter mention.

“In behalf of the prosecution, he would plainly and simply narrate the
facts as he knew they would be proved in evidence. He would narrate
them without the smallest exaggeration or distortion of facts. The best
gift and pride of the people was the pure and impartial administration
of the laws of this country, and he would state the facts as they
would soon hear them in evidence, and leave them to decide upon their
applicability to the prisoner.”

The Solicitor-General then detailed the evidence he had to adduce
against the prisoner; it was exactly as it is subsequently given by
the witnesses, and corresponded entirely with that given already on
the trial of Thistlewood. When the learned gentleman came to that
part of the evidence which described the conflagration that was to
have been made on the night of the intended assassination, and the
proclamations which were to have been posted up on the night of the
intended assassination, calling on the friends of liberty to meet,
for their tyrants, meaning the members of his Majesty’s government,
were murdered, and in which they were called upon to rally round the
provisional government which was then sitting; he observed, “what would
not have been the situation of this great metropolis if this dreadful
project had been carried into effect?

“The people would have seen pieces of artillery moving in different
directions; they would have seen a general conflagration; they would
have heard of a provisional government, and that too rendered perhaps
more terrible by the ignorance of the people who were to compose it.
It was impossible to judge what would have been the result of such
a notification. He was, indeed, willing to believe, that the people
of this country were too sound to be effectively invited to rally
round men whose projects were introduced to them by the horrible and
atrocious crimes of assassination and murder. He trusted that hitherto,
at least the natural indignation of Englishmen would revolt at any
propositions coming from such a source, and to be sustained by such
diabolical means.”

After detailing very minutely the evidence he meant to give against
the prisoners (as it is hereafter detailed), he informed the Jury
they must hear it from one or more accomplices; on the extent of
whose credibility he made similar observations to those made by
the Attorney-General in his opening speech on Thistlewood’s trial,
and dwelt on the comparative impunity with which dark and secret
conspiracies would escape, if the evidence of an accomplice were not

“But even without this testimony, they had the unimpeachable evidence
of Hyden, and also a number of facts which spoke for themselves; and he
would here ask, could any assignable cause be given for the meeting in
Cato-street--the ammunition--the arms--but that given by the evidence
which they would hear? He then observed, that it was not because the
plot was contemptible and ill-formed, and left so much to hazard, that
therefore its existence was to be disbelieved, the history of all
plots was of the same description; they were generally characteristic
of a total want of foresight and prudence, but though wild, though
extravagant, yet if the project had existence, and they were satisfied
of the prisoner being a party to it, then they must be prepared, if the
evidence carried conviction to their minds, to bring in a verdict of
guilty against the prisoner, without any reference to the consequences
of that verdict.”

The learned Solicitor’s speech occupied an hour and ten minutes in the

The following prisoners were then put to the bar with Ings, to be
identified: Davidson, Brunt, Tidd, Harrison, Bradburne, Strange,
Gilchrist, and Wilson.


The witnesses to support the case thus described were then called;
but much of their testimony was similar to that given in the trial of
Thistlewood. We, therefore, confine ourselves as much as possible to
the new facts which came out, and which applied immediately to the
conduct of the prisoner.

ROBERT ADAMS was first called, and examined by the Attorney-General.
His testimony was almost in all respects similar to that on the former
trial. He added, that he heard that the pike-staves which he saw in the
room in Fox-court were quite green; he understood they had been brought
from over the water; Ings said he had brought them. The same evening
Ings drew a pistol from his pocket. There was a conversation about the
illness of the present King; Thistlewood said he would rather the new
King lived a little while longer, but it was not their intention he
should ever wear the crown.

On this occasion Ings said, that the day the Prince Regent last went to
Parliament, he himself went to the Park with a pistol in his pocket,
with the sole intention to shoot him; and as a test of his sincerity,
he said, “there’s the pistol I took with me,” alluding to the pistol
he had previously produced. He regretted he had not done it, and if he
had, he should not have cared a farthing for his own life. Witness saw
Ings at all the subsequent meetings.

On the meeting held about the time of the King’s funeral, when the
plan for a rising was talked of, during the absence of the horse and
foot guards, it was Ings and Brunt that said, nothing short of the
assassination of the King’s ministers would satisfy them. Ings said,
with his blood all of a boil, “that he must have them, (the ministers,)
if possible, before the parliament was dissolved.”

On the meeting held on Saturday the 20th of February, at which Tidd
took the chair, with a pike in his hand, and at which Thistlewood
proposed the murder of the ministers in detail, Ings was present, and
said, “whoever has the lot to murder Lord Castlereagh, I am the man to
turn out to murder that thief!”

On the Tuesday, at the meeting at Brunt’s, witness saw Ings pull three
daggers from out of his pocket: he was asked what was the purpose of
pulling out these daggers? When he seized one, and making a sort of a
rush, and a motion with his arm, said, with an exclamation, to “run
into their ---- bodies.” After Edwards had communicated the paragraph
in _The New Times_, respecting the cabinet dinner on the Wednesday,
and after Brunt declared his belief in a God, from his prayers being
answered in bringing the ministers together, Ings exclaimed with
exultation, that “he should have a better opportunity of cutting off
Lord Castlereagh’s head.”

“It was subsequently arranged, that Ings should head the party to go
into the room in which the ministers were assembled. He was to cut off
Lord Castlereagh’s and Lord Sidmouth’s heads, and to bring them away.
He was also to cut off Lord Castlereagh’s hand, which he was to cure
(pickle), as it would be thought a great deal of at a future day.” He
was to be armed with a pair of pistols and a butcher’s knife.

The same afternoon, Ings was employed in making fire-balls to set fire
to the different buildings; Edwards was making fusees to the grenades.
On Wednesday evening, February the 23d, the proclamation, written by
Thistlewood, was signed “James Ings, Secretary.”

Witness then described Ings’s preparation for action, his brandishing
his knife, and his sanguinary declarations that he would cut off the
heads of his Majesty’s ministers, and bring away the heads of Lord
Castlereagh and Lord Sidmouth in his bags. The handle of his knife, he
said, he had bound round with wax-end, “in order to prevent his hand
from slipping while he was at work.”

The witness then proceeded to detail the well-known occurrences in
Cato-street, and the part which Ings took therein. He swore he would
rather die or hang himself than not do the job that night.

In cross-examination by Mr. Adolphus, witness said, I was born at
Ipswich; I am now a Christian; there was a time when I was not a
Christian; I was then a man in the same form as now. I was what
they termed a Deist. I believed in God. I renounced Christianity
and believed only in God. I re-commenced Christian after the 23d of
February. I renounced my faith as a Christian last August. I never
pronounced my disbelief in God--nor ever denied Christ, till I read
that cursed work of Paine’s! I never was an Atheist, but always
believed in a God. I have no pension.

The paper produced is my hand-writing; I was examined here on Monday,
and have since been in Coldbath-fields. I have had no communication
with any body. I have had a room in the house of the Governor; I have
seen nobody that has told me any part of the proceedings in this Court.
During the days when I was here, I was kept in a room by myself. Heard
nothing of the progress of the proceedings, except the conviction of
Thistlewood. I had known Edwards from the first part of January. From
the time I joined Brunt and the others, I never intended to commit
murder, nor to give information; I intended to wait for an opportunity
to see if any thing enabled me to creep out of it; I was prevented
from creeping out, from threats that had been held out; I was not
disposed to plunder the shops, although I was in a society that were so

Before I went into prison, I was asking Brunt what was the plan that
was first drawn out? Brunt said that nothing would be communicated till
the day of action, and then the men would be called together, receive a
treat, and be told what was to be done; after which they would not be
lost sight of. Brunt said, if he had any suspicion of any one giving
information, he would run him through. This was on the 16th of January.
When I was examined on Monday, it did not come to my recollection about
Ings telling of shooting the Prince Regent.

Mr. GURNEY: We studiously passed over certain points of the evidence
for the purpose of shortening it.

The Witness: I can tell many things, if I am asked, that I did not tell
on Monday. If any thing fresh comes to my mind as I stand here I’ll
tell it. There were things that transpired that I did not state last
Monday, and that I have not stated to-day. I had no personal knowledge
of Monument. I can be answerable, that there was one candle in the room.

I did not see more than one a-light. If a man spoke the truth, he could
not say there were eight candles in the room. If any man said there
was, I should say he was a false man. I cannot be answerable for every
word which passed.

I always found Mr. Edwards very deep, and very deep in conversation
with Brunt and Thistlewood.

There was a shot-hole in my coat from a pistol that was fired from the
window, when I was escaping from the stable.

I do not know a man of the name of Chambers. I never called upon a
person of that name in company with Edwards. I did call with Edwards
upon a woman at Pimlico, to buy a pair of boots. On that day I did not
call upon any man of the name of Chambers to solicit him to kill his
Majesty’s ministers. I never said I would kill his Majesty’s ministers,
and have blood and wine for my supper. I never had any conversation
with any body to use Cashman as a watchword.

After the affair at Cato-street I did not take any ammunition away
with me from Cato-street. Hall gave me a pistol and live rounds of
ball-cartridges. I loaded the pistol, and laid it on the bench; I did
not touch it again; and threw the four ball-cartridges away in the room.

I never carried the large hand-grenade. I cannot say that I can charge
my memory with a score of words which Edwards ever said; whatever he
said was always in a side-winded way amongst themselves.

ELEANOR WALKER, on being examined by Mr. Gurney, gave similar evidence
to that given by her on the former occasion.

MARY ROGERS, Joseph Hale (apprentice to Brunt), Thomas Smart (watchman
in Grosvenor-square), C. Bissex (also a watchman for the same place),
Frederick Gillan, John Hector Morrison (journeyman to Mr. Underwood,
the cutler, in Drury-lane), Edward Simpson (corporal-major of the 2d
Life-Guards), and James Aldous (pawnbroker), also detailed the same
facts to which they before deposed.

THOMAS HYDEN, the man who gave the information to Lord Harrowby,
recapitulated the facts proved on the former trial.

In cross-examination, he said, he had been formerly a gentleman’s
servant; that was six years ago. He lived with Colonel Bridges last. He
might have lived with him a month or more. He could not certainly say.
He had lived in Manchester-mews for five years. He had not been there
all the time himself. He was away two or three months.

He was now in the Marshalsea; he was not ashamed of the place. It was
for a debt of eighteen pounds, and due to Mr. Powell, a milkman. He
went into prison last Saturday, on execution. He had been sued at the
beginning of last summer. I was at home at different times in June,
July, and August, at Manchester-mews. My family were there till last
Saturday. I said on Tuesday last I lived in Manchester-mews. I am
living now at this place where I stand. My family goes there now two or
three times a day. I have known Davidson three or four months. I do not
know Mr. Edwards.

I know a person of the name of Edwards. I know a good many persons two
hundred miles in the country. I have been to the Scotch Arms, in some
small court somewhere down by the Strand. I was there twice, to the
shoemakers’ club, with a friend of the name of Clarke, a master-tailor.
It was reported to be a shoemakers’ club. I am not able to say whether
politics and the affairs of the State were the topics of discussion.

I never was at any of the meetings in Fox-court. I knew nothing of the
affair in Cato-street till told by Wilson; I was to get the cream for
a family in Princes-street, Cavendish-square. I have served them about
three years, but I do not know their name. My wife brought home the
order for the cream. I have been at the house, but I do not know when.
It was the first time I saw Wilson; he said to me that I need not be
alarmed, for a gentleman’s servant furnished money. He said this more
than twice.

Re-examined: My family continued to carry on my business in
Manchester-mews till Saturday last, when I was arrested. As far as I
know my family have possession of the premises now. I believe the
house in Princes-street is No. 6. My wife serves the family sometimes;
I have been there; I believe the house to be the front door going from
Cavendish-square towards Oxford-street.

LORD HARROWBY appeared on the right of the Bench, and spoke to the
interruption of cabinet dinners, and the issuing of cards of invitation
for the 23d. His Lordship named the company who were to be present.
His Lordship then stated the receipt of Hyden’s communication, and the
change of arrangements adopted in consequence.

His Lordship, in cross-examination by Mr. Curwood, said, he had not
personally known any thing of it before; but he had heard a long time
antecedently, that something of this nature was to be attempted.

JOHN BAKER corroborated the testimony of Lord Harrowby as to the
intended cabinet dinner.

JOHN MONUMENT was next examined, and was again conducted into Court in
the charge of two of the yeomen warders of the Court. His evidence in
chief was precisely the same as that which he gave on Thistlewood’s

In cross-examination, witness said, that Thistlewood remarked, that
every man would have equal honour with myself. I went to Cato-street
for fear. I was foolish, for I certainly went there without knowing
what I was to do. I thought they were going to the House of Commons.
When I was told by Brunt they were going to a cabinet dinner, I fully
thought they were going to destroy the ministers, and yet I went. I
went to Tidd’s, because I was afraid. I cannot tell why I did not go to
a magistrate to tell my fears. My intention was, when I got into the
room and found out what they were going about, to run away.

THOMAS MONUMENT confirmed the last witness in every particular.

RUTHVEN repeated his former testimony. In cross-examination, he said,
he had no doubt there were four or five lights in the loft, and others
in the little room.

James Ellis, William Westcott, Luke Nixon, Joseph Champion, John
Wright, and William Charles Brooks, police officers, likewise repeated
their former testimony.

CAPT. FITZCLARENCE.--The first thing he saw was a police officer, who
cried out, “Soldiers, soldiers; stable door, stable door!” He was
met by two men at the door, one having a pistol, another a sword. He
followed one of them into the stable, and took him.

Serjeant WILLIAM LEGG, of the 2d regiment of Coldstream Guards, was
at Cato-street; saw the pistol levelled at Captain Fitzclarence, and
seized it, when it went off. It was Tidd who levelled it. He took him
into custody. He saw above on the loft, Cooper, Gilchrist, and Monument.

HERCULES TAUNTON gave evidence of the seizures made at Brunt’s and

Cross-examined by Mr. Adolphus.--A reward had been offered for the
apprehension of Palin. He was not apprehended, nor Potter, nor Cook.

DANIEL BISHOP was called, but not being in attendance, his examination
and the production of the various articles seized was postponed till
to-morrow morning, and the Court adjourned at eight o’clock.

The Jury were then, as in the former case of Thistlewood’s trial,
placed in a room by themselves, and not permitted to have conversation
with any person whatever.

Ings in the course of the day revived in spirits, as he became
interested in the evidence; but he frequently reverted to a state of
gloomy sullenness.

The other prisoners were anxious to keep the witnesses out of Court,
when not under examination, and repeatedly called on those who
accidentally made their appearance to withdraw.


At a quarter before nine the Jury were conducted to the box by the
sheriff’s officers.

Shortly after this the guns, pistols, swords, pikes, grenades,
ammunition, and other materials of war, seized in Cato-street, were
brought into court, and placed on the table.

At nine the same learned Judges who presided the day before, took their

Ings and the other prisoners were then put to the bar.

_Evidence for the Crown continued._

DANIEL BISHOP was now put in the box, and described the circumstances
attending the apprehension of Thistlewood, which were detailed in his
former evidence.

In cross-examination by Mr. Adolphus: Witness said he had apprehended
the prisoner from private information, not received from an officer; he
did not know a man of the name of Edwards.

RUTHVEN was next called, and said there were now placed on the table
the arms and ammunition taken in Cato-street; he then proceeded to
select each article separately, and to exhibit it to the Jury; the
pikes and grenades were minutely inspected. A pike blade was placed in
one of the handles in order to show the manner in which it was to be
used. When thus presented it had a most terrific appearance. The knife
stated to have been found on the person of Ings was next produced, and
exhibited to the Jury. While they were examining it, Ings exclaimed,
“It was not found upon me, my Lord.”

HECTOR MORRISON, servant to Mr. Underwood the cutler, identified the
two swords which he ground for Ings. They were made extremely sharp
from heel to point. The prisoner directed that they should be made as
sharp as a needle at the point, and that they should be made to cut
both at the back and front; this was done. The swords seemed since to
have been rubbed on a stone to make them keener.

SAMUEL TAUNTON selected the articles found in Tidd’s lodgings, as well
as those found in the back room of the house in which Brunt resided.

Serjeant HANSON, of the Royal Artillery, described the formation of
the fire-balls and hand-grenades, and opened one of the latter, as in
Thistlewood’s case, for the information of the Jury. He also looked at
the flannel bags found in Tidd’s lodgings. They were what are termed
flannel cartridges for a 6-pounder. They were the same as those used by
the Royal Artillery, only that those produced were formed of flannel,
whereas those used by the artillery were composed of serge.

It was now announced that the other prisoners might retire, and they
were re-conducted to their apartments.

Serjeant HANSON, examination by one of the Jury, said, that the
grenades found in Cato-street were not made exactly in the same
manner as those made for the use of the artillery, although they were
calculated to produce similar destructive consequences. The cart-nails
would be propelled with irresistible force by the explosion of the tin
carcase, and would scatter death around. There was rather more powder
in the case than was sufficient to burst a nine inch shell.

The Attorney-General: That is the case on the part of the Crown.


Mr. CURWOOD then rose to address the Jury on behalf of the prisoner,
and commenced by lamenting the effect which the conviction of the last
prisoner must have upon their minds, however good their intentions,
and however anxious they might be to decide this case free from all
preconceived impressions. This circumstance, undoubtedly weighed
heavily upon his (Mr. C.’s) feelings, knowing that the construction of
the human mind was such, as rendered it almost impossible to get rid of
opinions once entertained. The disadvantage under which he laboured, in
this respect, was the more distressing, because although the general
features of this case bore a strong resemblance to the last, yet it
wanted a most material circumstance of confirmation, which was produced
on a former occasion.

Sir ROBERT DALLAS interposed, and objected to any allusion to what had
passed on the former trial. The Solicitor-General, in opening the case,
had most humanely abstained from any reference to the former case,
and had entreated the jury to dismiss from their minds the fact that
another prisoner had been convicted. The Court was bound to treat this
as a case depending upon its own merits, and his Lordship was persuaded
that the Jury would forget that such a person as Thistlewood existed,
and dismiss from their minds all knowledge of the former case, if they
happened to have heard any part of it.

Mr. CURWOOD resumed, and said “he should bow with respectful
deference to the correction of his Lordship. His learned friend the
Solicitor-General had told the Jury that, in stating the case for
the prosecution, he was only anxious to acquit himself as a faithful
servant of the public, by fully and fairly laying before the Jury
the whole of its circumstances; and that as far as his own personal
feelings were concerned, he was regardless of the result. No man would
withhold from his learned friend the fullest credit for the sincerity
of that statement. Though his (Mr. Curwood’s) task was much more
irksome than that of his learned friend, yet he hoped he should have
credit for the same feelings; that he was most anxious, not only to
do his duty towards the unfortunate man at the bar, but towards his
country and his own character. He was sure that the Jury were also
animated by the same feelings, and that whatever might be their private
sentiments, they would form their judgment upon the evidence alone,
and, if upon an impartial consideration of that evidence, they found
it did not bear out the facts charged in the indictment, would gladly
deliver him, by their verdict of Not Guilty.

“The Solicitor-General had also told them, that the law of the case was
extremely clear. No doubt it was; but it was necessary to point out
the precise question for their consideration, before they ventured to
apply the facts of the case to that law; because the question here was
not guilt, or innocence in the abstract, for although there was strong
suspicion against the prisoner of moral guilt, yet the question they
had to try was, whether he was guilty not only of high treason, but of
that high treason which was specifically charged in this indictment.
In order, therefore, to enable them to discharge their duty fully
and fairly towards the prisoner, they must not only take into their
consideration the precise question they had to try, but also apply the
evidence produced, in order to see whether the specific charge of high
treason was made out.

“The history of the Statute of Treasons, 25 Edw. III., was well known.
It was passed in order to define what treason really was, and that the
ignorance, and even cruelty, which had previously prevailed upon the
subject, by the erection of certain acts into crimes against the state,
might be exploded. That statute contained a few short and distinct
propositions, which in fact comprehended the whole law of treason. In
the language of Lord Coke it was called the _blessed_ Statute, from
the admirable regard manifested in it for the liberty and safety of
the subject. It declared first, that whoever should compass or imagine
the death of the King, should be guilty of high treason; and, second,
whoever should levy war against the King and this realm, should be
guilty of the like offence.

“A number of other enactments of treason had taken place at different
times since then, introducing a most horrible system of cruelty and
oppression, but at length it was found necessary to return to that
blessed statute. It was true, that in the reign of his late Majesty a
statute passed for extending the law of treason. He lamented that such
a statute should ever have passed, and still more that any occasion for
it should ever have existed. Upon both of these statutes the present
indictment was founded.

“By the 23d of Edward III. it was made treason to compass or imagine
the death of the King; and by the 36th Geo. III. it was made treason to
attempt to depose him from his kingly office.

“By the statute of Edward, it was made treason actually to levy war;
and by the statute of George, it was made treason to conspire to levy

“The four charges, therefore, which they had to try, were these: Did
the prisoner at the bar compass, or imagine the death of the King? Did
he conspire to depose him from his imperial dignity? Did he actually
levy war against his Majesty? And did he conspire to levy war with
an intention to compel his Majesty to change the measures of his
government by force? These were the precise issues they had to try, and
whatever might be their opinion of his guilt, as it respected other
charges still pending over him, and for which punishment would reach
him if he were guilty, yet unless they were conscientiously satisfied
that he had actually committed some one of these four offences, they
were bound to pronounce him Not Guilty.

“It had been admitted by the Solicitor General, that if the case in all
its parts was not proved by unequivocal testimony, they were bound to
acquit the prisoner; and he apologized for the evidence he proposed to
offer, by saying, that in all cases of conspiracy it was necessary to
have the evidence of some of the conspirators, in order to ascertain
the purposes of their dark consultations.

“This was another of the miseries resulting from a departure from the
statute of Edward. That admirable statute enacted, that before a man
should be found guilty of the treasons there set out, he shall be
‘proveably convict’ of the same.

“Upon the meaning of the words ‘proveably convict,’ the great Lord Coke
had written a whole section, shewing that they did not mean probably
convict, but convict by the most unequivocal and satisfactory evidence.

“The object of the statute, therefore, in making this wholesome
provision was to protect his Majesty’s subjects, whose lives might
be at the mercy of the most infamous of mankind. It was necessary,
therefore, that the Jury should examine the facts proved with the most
scrupulous circumspection, before they made up their minds to the
conclusion of the prisoner’s guilt.

“The Solicitor General had admitted, that the evidence of the
conspirators ought not to be believed unless it was confirmed in
all its material circumstances. It was to be observed, that the
confirmation alluded to, was not meant to apply to collateral facts
irrelevant to the matter in issue, but to the whole body and substance
of the evidence; and therefore if they found that the material
witnesses to establish the conspiracy were not confirmed in the
substantial part of their evidence, it was their duty to pronounce a
verdict of acquittal.

“The learned counsel admitted that there was sufficient evidence to
establish an intention on the part of the prisoners to commit, perhaps,
a dreadful riot, to commit murder, and to effect the destruction of
houses; but he strenuously urged, that this was not sufficient to
make out the crime of high treason, as alleged in the indictment. He
adverted to the evidence of Adams, and other witnesses, and contended
that it was wholly incredible, and inconsistent in every part.

“But supposing the conspiracy which they had proved, really to have
existed, he urged that it was the most ridiculous plot that could
ever enter into the mind of the most infatuated man, considering the
absolute destitution of means to carry it into effect. The records of
fiction and of history did not furnish an instance of such a wild and
chimerical scheme.

“After commenting with considerable ingenuity, upon the evidence of
the principal witnesses of the Crown, he proceeded to deprecate in
strong terms the doctrine of constructive treason; and called upon the
Jury, as guardians of their own and the public liberties, to make a
stand against the further extension of this abominable doctrine, which
had been condemned by Lord Hale, and some of the wisest judges that
ever sat to administer justice. Returning again to the description
of evidence adduced to support the conspiracy, he insisted that they
could give no credence to Adams, who stood confessed the betrayer of
his companions, a traitor to his king, a rebel against his country,
intending to assassinate and murder his fellow-subjects, an apostate to
his religion, and a scoffer of his God.

“Would a British Jury in this sanctuary of justice sacrifice to
torture and death eleven men, merely upon the evidence of such a
self-convicted wretch? He had stated to the Jury the danger to which
our liberties and lives would be exposed, if a man could be convicted
of high treason, on evidence like that which they had heard; but as he
preferred supporting himself in all cases by the authority of great
men, he would remind them of what the present Solicitor-General had
said, without telling them on what occasion the words to which he would
allude had been spoken, or how long it was ago.

“A witness was called to discredit the testimony of another. He, on
cross-examination, admitted, that he had accompanied a person to
the Park, who went there for the purpose of extorting money from
individuals, by charging them with certain practices. On this occasion
the natural feelings of his learned friend, the Solicitor-General,
broke forth, and he inquired, ‘Would any honest man--would any man
worthy of belief in a court of justice, accompany a person who went
on such an expedition? Would any man, entitled to credit with a jury,
agree with another in such a plan to extort money?’ This, in point of
fact, had not been done by the witness to whom he alluded; but he, Mr.
Curwood, must beg to apply this sort of reasoning to the principal
witness for the prosecution, and ask if a man who had acted as Adams
had done was entitled to belief in a court of justice.

“Was a man entitled to credit, who, like Adams, was an apostate, a
traitor, a rebel, a betrayer of his companions, a murderer, and an
assassin--all of which he admitted that he had intended to be?

“Yet such a man had his learned friend put up on the present occasion.
But who would believe him, unless, indeed, it were made out, which no
lawyer would say it was, that such a man was entitled to credit when he
came into a court of justice to seek the lives of men, though not in
other cases, where his object was different.

“If this principle were not established, then out of their own mouths
was the principal witness for the prosecution condemned. He called upon
the Jury to look if he were confirmed, he would not say by good, but
even by infamous witnesses. It was nothing that he was corroborated in
various insignificant particulars, but he was borne out in nothing that
went to prove that the prisoner at the bar had committed high treason;
and he therefore begged of them, under these circumstances, to give
that verdict which would dismiss Adams with shame, as a man not to be
believed in a court of justice on his oath.

“If such a man were corroborated by other infamous witnesses, it would,
in fact, be no confirmation; how, then, did the case stand when they
found that he was not even confirmed by the testimony of those who
were almost as infamous as himself. Having done with Adams, the next
witness was Hyden, he described himself to have formerly belonged to
a shoe-making club, and to have been introduced to Thistlewood in the
month of February. And what was the first proposal made to him? Why,
Thistlewood was represented to have said, without any disguise or
reserve, “Will you be one to murder his Majesty’s ministers?”

“Good God!--what must that man be whose heart would not revolt with
horror from such a proposal? But this person expressed no disgust at
the plan with which he was thus made acquainted. Was this man then more
worthy of belief, than one who would join with another to extort money?

“Was this, to use the words of the Solicitor-General, a man worthy of
belief in a court of justice? The answer that his learned friend would
feel disposed to give must be, that he was not. Then what confirmation
could his evidence supply to that of Adams? It was not necessary for
him to go through all the details of the conversations between this
witness and Adams, but he must remark, that of these not one word went
to confirm the facts that would amount to the crime of high treason,
though they all tended to establish a plot to assassinate his Majesty’s

“It was true, that something was stated to have been said of seizing
the cannon in the Artillery-Ground, and of retreating to the Mansion
House. All this proved that a great riot was in contemplation, but it
evinced no intention of committing high treason. This witness described
himself to have joined in the plan, and to have told the conspirators
that he would be with them.

“The next witness was Monument. He had sworn that he was told by
Thistlewood he ought to get arms, as all his (Thistlewood’s) friends
were armed. At that period it could not be denied, that there was a
great ferment in the public mind, in consequence of the transactions
which had taken place at Manchester but a short time before.

“Many of the warmest friends to the measures of government were
of opinion, that an inquiry into those transactions ought to be
instituted; while others, without reserve, termed what had occurred
at Manchester ‘a massacre,’ and declared that since they were liable
to be so dispersed at public meetings, they would attend them armed,
that they might be prepared to defend themselves. Thistlewood had used
words to this effect. He (Mr. Curwood) would not deny that to go armed
to such meetings, was a desperate resistance of the law; but he would
maintain that it did not amount to high treason, and he entreated the
Jury never to dismiss from their minds that it was for high treason,
and for high treason only, that they were trying the prisoner at
the bar, and not for disobedience to the law in other respects; and
therefore if the facts proved did not amount to high treason, it would
be their duty to return a verdict of NOT GUILTY.

“The witness, Monument, had confirmed the evidence given of the
existence of a plan for the assassination of his Majesty’s Ministers,
and for creating a riot; but he proved nothing respecting that
proclamation which was said to have been prepared by Thistlewood, and
which alone went to give the conspiracy the character imputed to it in
the present indictment. But the witness, Monument, he contended, had
shewn himself during this trial to be the same unfeeling villain he had
set out with being; yet, from the aggregate of infamy brought forward
on this occasion, there resulted no proof of high treason.

“Palin and Cook, who might be able to give evidence in favour of the
defence, he shewed that he had no means of bringing forward, as, if
they were to offer that testimony which might acquit the prisoner
of high treason, they would bring themselves into peril, as the
Attorney-General well knew that if they were to appear in the witness’s
box, they would not be suffered to depart with impunity. Eleanor Walker
and Mary Rogers had only proved the taking of the room in which the
consultations of the conspirators were held. This was not denied.
It was admitted that they held consultations, and for a nefarious
purpose; but the question for the Jury to try was, whether or not these
consultations related to high treason. Hale had also proved the room
and the purchasing of some sheets of cartridge paper. This he (Mr. C.)
contended, was wanting for their cartridges. Adams said it was for
their proclamations, but of this there was no proof, and the fragments
of cartridge paper that had been found were not written upon.

“The three next witnesses proved various facts connected with the plan
of assassination, but nothing that amounted to high treason; and what
was proved to have taken place in Cato-street, though murder and riot
appeared to have been in contemplation, he could discover nothing like
‘a levying of war.’ If they had not ‘levied war against the King,’
conspiring to do that which had been done, could not be ‘conspiring to
levy war against the King.’

“This was a question which must be left to the understandings of the
Jury. They all knew what war was between different states. It was
carried on by large bodies of men, formed into companies, under the
direction of proper officers, and accompanied by all the _materiel_ of
war. A civil war was the same, but that one part of a state in a civil
war was opposed to another part of the same state. It would be for them
to determine whether enough had been proved to shew that any thing like
war had been levied. It had been laid down by Sir Matthew Hale, that
any disturbance was not necessarily a ‘levying of war;’ for in that
case every riot would be high treason. To constitute a levying of war,
there must be something worse than a common riot or outrage; ‘there
must be a _species belli_?’

“Could the Jury find this on the present occasion? The utmost force
that had been mentioned consisted of forty men. These forty men were to
be marched with unfurled banners through the city, to take two cannon
in Gray’s Inn-lane, and six in the Artillery Ground, and they were to
possess themselves of the Mansion-house. Was this a levying of war?
That the conspirators had been formed into companies was more than he
had ever heard, and where was the money that was to carry on the war?
In what holes and corners had they hidden themselves that nothing was
known of them?

“From the circumstances to which he had called their attention, he
would leave the Jury to judge how far the charge of levying war,
or conspiring to levy war against the King had been made out. In
a former instance, if he recollected right, the same charges were
brought forward on a former trial that were now preferred, and in that
case there were stronger circumstances--great bodies of persons had
assembled, gunsmiths’ shops had been broken open, and arms had been
stolen from them; yet in that case the Jury, not denying the existence
of any guilt whatever, had rightly determined, as he thought, and as he
hoped the present Jury would do, that the party accused was not guilty
of high treason.

“He then shewed, that to endeavour to remove the ministers from their
situations was not a crime; and he argued, that to attempt removing
them by force was not high treason.

“He trusted the Jury would believe that he contemplated the plot to
assassinate ministers with all the horror and indignation that such a
design was calculated to inspire; but he could not sacrifice his duty
to his feelings, and he hoped that they would feel as he did, and feel
how necessary it was for the safety of other lives, that those who
were concerned in it should not for that offence be convicted of high
treason. It was most consoling to him to reflect, that he should be
followed by his learned friend, who would address them with much more
eloquence than he could command.

“He concluded by calling on them, whatever their feelings might be, to
look at all the circumstances of the case, and see if they could find
it proved by good, or even by bad witnesses, that there had been a
levying of war. If they did find this, he could not expect a verdict;
but if they found, as he thought they must, that there had been no
levying of war, they must return a verdict of “NOT GUILTY.”


THOMAS CHAMBERS examined: I live in Heathcock-court, Strand. I have
seen a man of the name of Adams in company with a man named Edwards,
about a week before the Cato-street business took place, in my room.
They came together. They made a proposition to assassinate his
Majesty’s ministers. Adams and Edwards asked me to go with them. I
refused. Adams said, “They were going to kill his Majesty’s ministers,
and that they would have blood and wine for supper.” They came again
on the Monday night before the Cato-street business took place. They
brought with them a large bag.

Cross-examined by Mr. Gurney: I am a bootmaker; I might have seen
Ings. I am not certain. I cannot say how long I have known him. I
don’t suppose I have been in his company above twice or three times.
The first time was at a place where they sold the Black Dwarf and the
Medusa, kept by a man of the name of Watling. I cannot state where else
I have seen him. I know a house called the Scotch Arms, in Round-court,
in the Strand. I have been there three times, but did not see him.
Those times were before Christmas. There was no chair there. There was
no person sitting in a chair. There was no chairman. It was in no other
room but the tap-room.

I have been at the Black Dog, in Gray’s-Inn-lane, once; there was no
chair there; there might be about seven persons there; it was on a
Sunday night; I cannot say whether before or after Christmas; I was
invited there by a man of the name of Bryant, who was going to the
Cape of Good Hope. They were all strangers to me except one, and that
was Mr. Thistlewood; I know Brunt very well, he was not there; I don’t
think I know Palin; I will not swear I did not see him; I was at all
the meetings in Smithfield; I cannot state who carried the black flag;
I carried no flag at the last meeting; I before carried two flags--one
had inscribed on it “The Manchester Massacre;” I never saw such a flag
as “Let us die like freemen, and not be sold like slaves.” I carried
the flag inscribed “Trial by Jury,” at Mr. Hunt’s entry into London. I
know Davidson. I have not much knowledge of Tidd. I know Wilson. I know
Harrison very well. I have not much knowledge of Strange nor Cooper.

I have known Mr. Hunt ever since his triumphal entry into London. I was
shocked at the proposition of going to murder his Majesty’s ministers,
at least so much that I did not go. Though Bow-street was so near, I
did not go there to give information of the plot.

MARY BARKER spoke to Edwards’s bringing grenades to Tidd’s, her
father’s. There was one very large ball brought away by Adams.

This was the whole of the evidence for the prisoner.

Ings here requested, and was permitted to withdraw for about a minute.
He returned with an orange in his hand, which he sucked with great

Mr. ADOLPHUS then rose to address the Jury.

“Gentlemen of the Jury,--I call for serious attention and kind
indulgence, if for no other reason, for this consideration, that, if
your verdict should be against the unfortunate man at the bar, these
are the last favourable words that he shall hear uttered. My Lord will
state the law and the evidence to you fairly; but, beyond that, he
will say nothing for the prisoner. I feel the languor that necessarily
arises from the attempt to tread over ground already trodden, and
trodden in vain. But I advance to the task with a clear mind, and
faculties unfettered, because I can lay my hand upon my heart, and say,
that no opinion I formerly offered is now changed.

“The Solicitor-General, in his fervid opening, and my Lord, have told
you, that the former case is to be kept entirely out of view. I say
so; but I know how difficult it is to prevent the judgment from being
influenced by the memory. I cannot help here contrasting the joy and
alacrity of the Solicitor-General with my own feelings. He told you,
that he had to lay before you, not what he hoped to prove, but what he
had already proved. I have no such encouragement. It is for me a new
case; for Adams has, in this case, brought forward evidence which he
thought proper to keep in his own breast on the former trial.

“Much fervid declamation has been addressed to you by the
Solicitor-General upon the consequences of success in the alleged
plot. But you are to dismiss from your minds this speculative danger.
The Solicitor-General has also stated propositions of law upon the
subject of accomplices with great eloquence, but with less accuracy
than might have been expected from his station and character. He asked,
‘Has the accomplice any interest in giving a deeper dye,--in making a
stronger point,--in carrying conviction?’ I answer, ‘Yes, yes, yes!’
His impunity is conditional. He comes before you in chains, and in
custody.--I refer to your own breasts, whether a man that can himself
be yet prosecuted, has no interest in giving not true but acceptable
evidence. The accomplice has the advantage too of having all who could
contradict him tied up by the prosecution, and he therefore swears

“We are told, we might call Palin. Most gracious offer! When a great
reward cannot stimulate the police-officers to find him, how should
we find him, and persuade him to put his life in peril? It is more a
taunt than a kindness; more a reproach on our weakness than an essay
on our strength. On the part of the prosecution, a witness has not
been called who was proposed to be called; and a witness that has been
called has been withdrawn, when our witnesses have been on the floor
to contradict him. This has further impoverished my poor, my destitute

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL objected to these observations.

Mr. ADOLPHUS proceeded.--“Cook and Harris may be imaginary persons, and
how could we call them? If high treason in this case comes entirely
from the mouth of an accomplice, you cannot receive it. It is the whole
of the charge; and, if in that the accomplice is not confirmed, that
charge is unsupported; for, if you strike out the evidence of Adams,
there is not one word to prove treason.

“Let me ask you to try his testimony, then, by these tests.--1. Is
his account probable, or even possible?--2. Is his manner such as to
entitle him to credit?--3. Is he contradicted by witnesses for the
prosecution?--4. Is he confirmed? or is confirmation withdrawn? Upon
the first question, the learned Counsel argued with great force and
animation, that the witness, Adams, could not stand any one of these
tests, and therefore was not to be believed. If, said he, any thing
is to be gained by success in these prosecutions, it is to strengthen
the Government in the minds of the people; it is to obtain applause
for Ministers who have so vigilantly protected us. But your verdict,
gentlemen, is to decide the fate of that man, and no more. Great
Britain and Europe will judge of the conduct of Ministers; posterity
will decide upon their merits.

“In all questions at issue, in history and in politics, if any thing is
kept back, it ought to operate against the party who keeps it back.
Adams has fathered upon others what he has himself done. Call Ings a
murderer--call him an assassin--call him a felon--call him what you
will--but, for God’s sake, gentlemen, believe him.” After some animated
comment on the evidence of Chambers, the learned Counsel returned to

“The meeting in Cato-street affords no evidence of the intention. Adams
alone states it. The very situation of Cato-street, however convenient
for the assassination, disproves the treason; for it is two miles and
a half from Gray’s Inn-lane, and two or three miles more from the
Mansion-house. They never could thus have removed to the greatest
possible distance from the points of action. What, then, are you to
make of two bags to carry two heavy heads? You cannot for a moment
raise this into treason; as well might you believe that an attempt was
to be made to liberate the prisoners in this gaol by throwing cherries
and carraway-seeds. Did they, then, levy war?

“I recollect seeing a man convicted at that bar of the murder of
a Minister of State (Mr. Perceval). I never can forget Sir James
Mansfield, the tears streaming down his aged venerable cheeks. If
strong feelings could make the assassination of a Minister treason,
that would have been treason. Suppose they had seized the cannons,
that would not be a levying of war; for they are not the King’s, but
the property of private individuals. The Mansion-house and the Bank
were not the King’s. The only tittle to support the treason was the
absurdity of a ‘Provisional Government,’ stated by Adams.

“Some of you remember, as I do, the conflagration of houses, and the
blazing of prisons, by a mob misled by an individual. The actors in
that scene were tried, convicted of felonies, but not of treason. Their
infatuated leader was acquitted of high treason. God forbid that I
should say my client stands before you free of guilt. God forbid I
should apologize for his conduct!

“The evidence precludes me from denying that there was an intention to
assassinate Ministers. Poverty rendered the men desperate, and impelled
them to crime. But treason is incredible and impossible. The whole
hinged on Thistlewood. He had but lately got out of prison, having
challenged Lord Sidmouth, who properly prosecuted him, instead of
accepting it. That he should entertain feelings of revenge was natural
and inevitable, considering that his was a bad mind. But this is not

The learned Counsel having concluded his very able speech, the prisoner
was addressed as follows, by

_Chief Justice Dallas._--James Ings, do you wish to leave your defence
to the observations of your counsel, or do you wish to say any thing

_Ings._--I wish to state the particulars how I became acquainted with
this party, if you will allow me.

_The Chief Justice._--Any thing and every thing you wish to state, of
course the court and jury will hear. Now is the time for you to state
those things; speak loud, and we will attend to what you say. Probably,
before you say any thing, you will consult your counsel.

_Ings._--I have but little to say.

_The Chief Justice._--After having drawn your attention to the
propriety of consulting your counsel, you will now do what you think

_Ings_, addressing himself to the Jury, spoke as follows:

“Gentlemen of the Jury, I am a man of no education and very humble
abilities. If you will hear me with patience, I will not detain you
long. I lived in Portsea. I came to London in the beginning of May,
1819. I came with my wife and family. The reason I left Portsmouth was,
that I was unable to get employ to support my family (here the prisoner
seemed affected by his feelings.) When I came to London I thought I
could get employ, but I was for a considerable time, and could get
nothing to do. Knowing nobody I suppose was the reason. I had a few
pounds with me when I came from Portsea. Finding my money going I did
not know what to do. It did not go by drinking or gambling.

“I determined to get into business, and I went up to Baker’s-row,
where I set up a butcher’s shop. I stopped there three months, from
Midsummer to Michaelmas; the summer being hot was against me; I lost
a considerable deal of money in the course of the summer; I then took
a house in Old Montague-street, which I opened as a coffee-shop; in
fitting up the shop my money was all gone; I did not take money enough
to support my family. I now persuaded my wife to return to Portsea
among her friends, where I thought she would be better than with me in

“After my wife had left me some considerable time, there was a man
who used to come and take a cup of coffee at my shop. I had never
nothing to do with politics; but he began to speak about the Manchester
massacre. I said very little; I always took him to be an officer. He
came frequently before I left the house.

“Some time after I met him in Smithfield. I went there to see if I
could get any employ. He asked me how I did; and I said very well. He
said, he had been often to my house, and asked me to stand treat. I
said it was not in my power, and my reason was, that I had no money;
I added that I should be obliged to sell my things. He asked me what
things I had to sell, and I told him various articles. He agreed to
buy a sofa bedstead.

“I then went to live in Primrose-street. This was in January last. A
few days after, I met him in Fleet-market. He asked me where we could
have something to drink; and respecting the sofa bedstead, he said he
thought he had a friend that would buy it. I took him to my house, but
we could not agree. We came back to Fleet-street; he then told me there
was something going to be done. I asked him what it was, and he said no
good man would want to know what was to be done before it was begun. We
went directly and had some bread and cheese. He took me to the White
Hart, where I saw a few of my fellow-prisoners. I asked who he was. I
understood his name was Williams; but I since know that it was Edwards.
He told me that it was he made Thomas Paine (the statue of Paine) at
Mr. Carlisle’s; and it was the same man that did make it. He afterwards
took me to another room where I got refreshment.

“I did not know the particulars of any thing that was going to be done.
I was a stranger, and went for food. That very day he brought me a
sword to get ground for him, which I took to the cutler’s in my own
name; and do you think, gentlemen, if I knew that any thing was going
on, that I would have left it in my own name? I often went to the man
afterwards, for I had no friends. On the 23d of February, he came to me
at my lodging, in Primrose-street, for my landlord charged me nothing
for my lodging, and says, ‘There’s something a going to be done; do
you come up to the alley opposite Mrs. Carlisle’s; about six o’clock,
I shall meet you there.’ I went from there up to the room. I was there
all day, and I got some bread and cheese.

“At six I went to Fleet-street. He was standing in the alley. I
understand since, from the list of witnesses, that he lives in that
alley. He told me to wait, which I did, for an hour. He then came and
gave me a couple of bags and a belt, and asked me to come to the room
in Fox-court. On my going there he told me that he was going to put
some gin in the bags; and that it was to be got on the sly. That was
the sole reason that I put the bags under my coat, lest the patrol
should see them. I went with him up to St. Giles’s, where he said we
were to get the gin. When we got there, he told me it was not there. We
went up to Oxford-street, where he said a friend lived. He left me and
I waited for him an hour. He then took me up to John-street, I believe
it was, for I never was there before, to the stable. He told me I would
see some friends there; he then left me.

“When I came under the archway, I saw Davidson; Davidson took me into
the stable. I never was up in the loft. I declare positively, before
God, I was not in the stable more than five minutes when the officers
came in: there was only me there. Mr. Ruthven, then, or somebody with
carroty whiskers, and another, went up the ladder into the loft, and a
third man came in, collared me, and said, “You are my prisoner.” Very
well, I says. Soon after he collared me, he began beating me with his
staff till my head swelled most dreadfully. In the mean time I heard a
gun or pistol go off in the loft.

“When he let me go and run out of the stable, I followed him into the
street. On going into the street, an officer went after me, and I ran
all down the street. I met a man who struck me violently on the head
with a stick as I was going towards him. I ran from him, and with that
I was pursued, when I was stopped by a watchman who beat me also. They
took me down to the watch-house. That is all I know about the meeting.

“I am like a bullock drove into Smithfield market to be sold. (Here
the prisoner burst into tears.) I say I am like a bullock drove into
Smithfield to be sold. (This he repeated with great energy.) The
Attorney-General knows the man. He knew all their plans for two months
before I was acquainted with it. (Still crying.) When I was before Lord
Sidmouth, a gentleman said, Lord Sidmouth knew all about this for two
months. (Still in tears.) I consider myself murdered if this man is not
brought forward. (A more violent gush of tears.) I am willing to die
on the scaffold with him. He told of every thing which he did himself.
I don’t value my life if I can’t get a living for my family. (In still
greater grief.) My life is of no use to me if I want bread for my wife
and family. I have a wife and four children. I never was in the habit
of drinking, nor nothing of the sort. I cannot describe my feelings to
you about my wife and family. (In tears.)

“I hope, before you give your verdict, that you will see this man
brought forward, or else I consider myself a murdered man. I knew
nothing of their plots; he was the instigation of it all. I never
attended none of their radical meetings. I hope you will weigh well
this in your minds before you return your verdict. That man Adams, who
has got out of the halter himself by accusing others falsely, would
hang his God. I would sooner die, if I had 500 lives, than be the means
of hanging other men.”

Lord Chief Justice DALLAS.--Is there any thing more you wish to say?

INGS.--Nothing more. I have only one thing to prove my character. A
gentleman put it down from my childhood. (He here handed a paper, which
his Lordship declined to take.)

The ATTORNEY-GENERAL rose to address the Jury about three o’clock. It
had been more than insinuated that these prosecutions were intended
to extend the law of treason, and that their verdict would enlarge the
powers of the Crown. But it was not so; by the due administration of
justice alone were they to pronounce on the guilt or innocence of the

“The 36th of the late King was not calculated to introduce uncertainty
and speculation. If the prisoners had the intention, and acted upon the
intention, of levying war, it was treason, however inadequate their
means. No man could doubt the truth of the story which Adams related.
The learned gentleman then commented on the evidence at great length,
insisting that the case was satisfactorily proved.”

Lord Chief Justice DALLAS proceeded to address the Jury. This most
painful inquiry having, in point of proof, been terminated, it became
his duty to recapitulate the whole of the evidence, and to make such
observations on the case as the different points seemed to him to

“With respect to the indictment, it contained a number of different
counts and charges, which were founded on two specific statutes. The
first, an ancient statute, passed in the reign of Edward III.; and the
second, a more recent act, passed in the reign of the late King. But,
to make the case as clear as possible, they might dismiss most of the
counts from their minds, and look to the charge as composed of two
heads; one, conspiring to depose the King, and the other conspiring to
levy war to compel him to change his measures. He should now proceed to
recite the evidence as he had taken it. [The learned Judge here read
the evidence of the whole of the witnesses, pointing out those facts
which were most worthy the consideration of the Jury.] The learned
Judge then, in allusion to the testimony of Adams, observed, that,
if the doctrines held that day could be adopted, no such thing as an
accomplice could be admitted in a court of justice. His evidence would
be at once got rid of, by stating that he was guilty himself.

“They were, however, informed, that though it was often necessary to
receive the evidence of an accomplice, yet in the practical application
of that evidence, they were to view it with a suspicious eye. They were
not to receive it, except it was confirmed. On this point he had heard
the law grossly mis-stated.

“The testimony of an accomplice ought to be confirmed in some
particulars, but not in all; for if they possessed the means of proving
all he stated, there would be no necessity to call him to give evidence.

“It was for the Jury to say whether the prisoners had not a
revolutionary object in view. If they were assembled merely for the
purpose of assassination, of course the charge of treason was not made
out, but if they thought otherwise, undoubtedly it was. It might be
said that it was impossible men could entertain such an extravagant
project; if he had been told that there were twenty-five men on the
face of the earth, and still less, of the country to which he had the
honour to belong, who intended to commit the foul and dreadful act of
butchery and blood which had been described, he should have said, till
they were detected, that it was utterly impossible--that such a thing
never had happened and never could. But looking to the evidence, it was
clear and undoubted that such an occurrence had happened.

“The prisoner had called witnesses before them, and he had implored the
Jury, ere they disposed of his fate, to consider his case maturely. In
that request he went hand in hand. If they were of opinion that those
persons assembled only to destroy fourteen individuals, and that the
materials found were merely collected for that purpose, they would then
give the benefit of that doubt to the prisoner. But, on the other
hand, if, in the discharge of their duty, acting in the name of that
Being who had been more than once appealed to in the course of this
inquiry, they believed that the offence was proved, they would then, he
was sure, fearlessly and intrepidly return with a verdict in conformity
with their sentiments.”

The Jury retired at twenty-five minutes after eight o’clock, and, at a
quarter before nine, returned a verdict of--GUILTY, ON THE FIRST AND
THIRD COUNTS--that is, of conspiring to depose the King, and to levy
war to compel him to change his measures.

The prisoner was then taken from the bar, and the Court adjourned.



_First Day, Monday, April 24, 1820._

At nine o’clock in the morning, the Lord Chief Baron Richards, Mr.
Baron Garrow, Mr. Justice Richardson, and the Common Serjeant, took
their seats.

The prisoner, Brunt, was then put to the bar. He was decently dressed
in coloured clothes, and had with him several papers, some of which
were closely written upon. He looked rather paler than before, but
preserved his accustomed composure.

Mr. Shelton proceeded to call over the names of the Jurymen in
attendance. The first name called, and to which there was no challenge
on the part of the prisoner or the Court, was Mr. Alexander Barclay.

Mr. Barclay stated, that, as he had been on the Jury by which
Thistlewood had been tried, he hoped he might be excused on the present

Mr. Curwood said, that it was because he was on the former Jury he
wished him to be on the present, as he would be enabled to see the
difference of evidence.

The Solicitor-General said he had no objection.

Mr. Barclay was then sworn; and he was foreman of this as well as the
former Jury.

Mr. Curwood exhausted his right of challenging peremptorily before
the Crown, on whose behalf the last four challenges were made in
succession. As the Jurors were sworn, they were very attentively
noticed by the prisoner. After the challenges had been gone through,
the following Jury was impanelled:

* Alexander Barclay, of Teddington, grocer, (foreman).

* Thomas Goodchild, Esq., North-End, Hendon.

* Thomas Suffield Aldersey, Lisson-grove, North, Esq.

* James Herbert, Isleworth, carpenter.

* John Shooter, North-End, Hendon, gent.

James Wilmot, Western-road, Isleworth, market-gardener.

* John Edward Shepherd, Eden-Grove, Holloway, gent.

* John Fowler, St. John-square, iron-plate-worker.

* William Gibbs Roberts, Ropemakers’-fields, Limehouse, cooper.

John Dickenson, Colt-street, Limehouse, builder.

John Smith, John-street, Oxford-street, undertaker.

John Woodward, Upper-street, Islington.

     Those gentlemen to whose names a * is prefixed served on the first

Mr. Bolland immediately proceeded to open the indictment against Brunt.

The Attorney-General then stated the case to the Jury, going over all
the facts already detailed in the former trials, and commenting upon
them with great clearness and ingenuity. As soon as he had concluded
his address, the other prisoners (untried) were brought into Court.

ROBERT ADAMS (the first witness against Thistlewood and Ings) was put
into the box, and examined by the Solicitor-General. He detailed the
same story, in substance, which he gave on the former trials; adding
some things which he had then omitted, and varying a little his account
of others. In the course of his evidence he came to that part where he
described Brunt to have said, that, if any officers came in there, he
(uttering an oath) would murder them, and they might be easily disposed
of afterwards, so as to prevent their murder being discovered.

_Brunt_, (rising hastily from his seat at the bar)--My Lords, can the
witness look me in the face, and look at those gentlemen (pointing to
the Jury), and say that I said this?

_Adams_, (turning towards the prisoner, and laying his hand upon his
breast)--I can, with a clear and safe conscience.

_Brunt._--Then you are a bigger villain than I even took you to be.

The Court here interfered to prevent any further conversation between
the parties.

Adams then continued his evidence.--When he came to that part where
he mentioned the hand-grenades, he added--“I think it necessary here
to state, as Mr. Brunt thinks proper to deny what I have said, that
he was the very man that took the hand-grenades to Tidd’s house;
for I followed him all the way, and I saw, with my own eyes, Tidd’s
daughter put them in a box under the window.” [The witness uttered this
with considerable emphasis and action.] In relating the arrangements
which had been made for the murder of Ministers, and the subsequent
proceedings which were intended, he added--“I think it right to state
one circumstance, which escaped my memory before. Ings proposed, that
after the heads of Lords Castlereagh and Sidmouth were taken off,
they should be placed on a pole, and carried through the streets.
Thistlewood improved the plan, and said that they should be carried
on a pike behind the cannon in the streets, to excite terror. On this
Bradburn observed, that, after they had used Lord Castlereagh’s head,
they would enclose it in a box, and send it to Ireland.--Another
circumstance which he also omitted before was, that, by an arrangement
between Thistlewood and Cooke, it was agreed, that, if Cooke
succeeded in taking the Mansion-house, he was to send an orderly to
St. Sepulchre’s Church, where he was to be met by another orderly,
despatched by Thistlewood from the west-end of the town; and they were
to convey to the parties an account of the progress which each had made
in their stations.”

Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--On my former examination I repented
when I got home, and before that. When I perceived the error of my
ways, I acknowledged it. Till I received that infernal publication,
Paine’s _Age of Reason_, which Tidd gave me, I was very particular.
I was not, however, so good a christian as I might have been. The
principles which Brunt, the prisoner at the bar, endeavoured to instil
into my mind perverted my understanding. Brunt wished to throw down
the pillars of Christianity altogether. I find my conscience satisfied
at the atonement I have made to my Maker. My satisfaction did not
merely arise from getting my neck out of the halter. I never considered
the assassinating of men, in cold blood, to be consistent with the
principles of reason. On the 2d of January, the prisoner told me that
it was intended to murder his Majesty’s Ministers. I was introduced to
Thistlewood on the 12th: during the intermediate period of ten days,
I had an opportunity of considering the plot. I did not discover it,
owing to the insinuations of Brunt. In that time, I attended several
meetings, and was a chairman at one of them. Whenever I hinted any
dislike to the business, the parties were like madmen. I knew Edwards,
and saw him making hand-grenades. I intended to put a stop to the
business if possible; but, at the same time, I wished to save these
people, and to avoid the trouble of the trials here.

Re-examined by Mr. Gurney.--My mind was perverted by Paine’s _Age of
Reason_, and Carlisle’s publication.

Eleanor Walker, Mary Rogers, Joseph Hale, Thomas Sharp, Charles Bisset,
Henry Gillam, Edward Simpson, and J. H. Morrison, gave precisely the
same evidence as they had given on the former trials.

JOHN MONUMENT, the accomplice, was brought into Court in the custody of
two wardens of the Tower. He was examined by the Solicitor-General, and
gave precisely the same evidence as he had done on the two preceding
trials, relative to his connexion with the conspirators.

Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--I have read Paine’s _Age of Reason_.
It rather shook my faith; but it did not destroy it, because it was
accompanied by the Bishop of Llandaff’s _Apology for the Bible_.

THOMAS MONUMENT, examined by the Solicitor-General.--His testimony
to-day was precisely the same with that which he had given on the
former day, and fully corroborated that of his brother. He was not

John Monument was then re-called, and re-examined by the
Solicitor-General, as to the advice which had been given him by
Thistlewood to say that Edwards had taken him to the meeting. He
repeated his former testimony, and added, that Thistlewood told him
to pass it round to the other prisoners, that it was Edwards who had
betrayed them. Bradburn paid no attention to this advice.

THOMAS HYDEN, examined by Mr. Gurney, repeated his former evidence.
This is the man who gave information of the plot to Lords Harrowby and
Castlereagh, of which he on this occasion gave a detailed account.

Cross-examined by Mr. Curwood.--I know a man of the name of Bennett, a
bricklayer. I asked him to go with me to the shoemakers’ club. I cannot
swear that I did not ask him to go there, because something was to be
done there for the good of the country. I wrote to Lord Harrowby myself.

Here the learned Counsel asked him to write a word or two. He did so.
Mr. Curwood observed, that he asked the question because he had been
informed that the witness could not write. He had been mis-informed,
and had now done with the witness.

After the examination of this witness had closed, he evinced a
disposition to stay in Court, on which the prisoner, Brunt, observed,
“My Lord, the witness stays in Court.” Wilson then rose, and said, with
great indignation, “My Lord, let that perjured villain be turned out of
Court.” He then took his departure.

The EARL OF HARROWBY was next called, and repeated his former evidence.

JOHN BAKER, the butler to the Earl of Harrowby, corroborated his
Lordship’s evidence.

RICHARD MUNDAY and GEORGE CAYLOCK proved the presence of the prisoner
in Cato-street on the evening on which the plot was discovered.

the police-office in Bow-street, were then examined as to the seizure
of the gang in Cato-street.

CAPTAIN FITZCLARENCE repeated the evidence which he had given on the
former trial.

Mr. Gurney then stated to the Court, that the case for the prosecution
was closed, except so far as related to the examination of the arms,
ammunition, _&c._, which had been seized either in Cato-street, or on
the premises of the conspirators. It would be more prudent to examine
them by day-light.

The _Lord Chief-Baron_ acquiesced in the proposition, and adjourned the
Court till the next day at nine o’clock.


At nine o’clock in the morning the proceedings were resumed. The arms
and ammunition were brought in, and underwent an inspection in presence
of the Jury.

Mr. GURNEY proceeded to call

GEORGE RUTHVEN, who had seized the arms found in Cato-street. He
identified certain arms placed on the table of the Court as the arms
which he had seized, and repeated the evidence which he had given on
the former trials. He also produced the grenades.

HECTOR MORRISON said, that he had sharpened a sword, which was produced
to him, from heel to point, by desire of Ings.

SAMUEL TAUNTON produced several pike-heads, fire-balls, cartridges,
_&c._, which were found at Brunt’s and Tidd’s lodgings, and repeated
his former evidence.

SERGEANT HANSON described the composition of the fire-balls, and opened
one of the grenades for the satisfaction of the Jury. It contained
twenty-five pieces of old iron. He stated, that it was quite clear that
it had not been made by any military man. His evidence was the same as
it had been on the former occasions.

The case for the prosecution was then closed.


Mr. CURWOOD addressed the Jury on behalf of the prisoner, and urged
all those topics already detailed in his former speeches. He concluded
by calling a witness of the name of JOHN BENNETT, who was accordingly
sworn and put into the box, but before his examination commenced,

Mr. Gurney begged to ask the purpose for which this witness was called.

Mr. Curwood stated, that he was to contradict part of the testimony
given by the witness Hyden, in his cross-examination.

Mr. Gurney observed, that he had a few observations to make regarding
the relevancy of the evidence of this witness, and therefore desired
that he might be ordered to withdraw for a few moments from Court.

The witness accordingly withdrew.

Mr. Gurney then observed, that he conceived that this witness was
called to prove that Hyden had asked him to go with him to the
shoemakers’-club, because something would be done there for the good
of the country. Now Hyden refused to swear that he had not used such
expressions; he said that he thought that he had not, but he could not
positively tell. Supposing then that Bennett were to prove the words
imputed by the learned Counsel to Hyden, he would not prove any thing
which would invalidate Hyden’s testimony. He therefore hoped that his
learned friend would not waste the time of the Court by calling this

Mr. Curwood stated, that Hyden had sworn that he had never made use of
the words imputed to him. He, therefore, intended to call evidence to
prove that he had.

The Judges then referred to their notes, and after examination of them,
said that Mr. Curwood was mistaken in his opinion as to Hyden’s words;
they were to the effect stated by Mr. Gurney.

Mr. Curwood then declined to call Bennet, and said that he had no other
witness to examine.

Mr. ADOLPHUS then shortly addressed the Jury on the same side with Mr.
Curwood. He took a comprehensive view of the whole of the evidence;
denied that the evidence of Adams, the accomplice, was entitled to
the slightest credit; and contended that, as it was not supported by
more credible witnesses, the offence of which the prisoner had been
guilty, however great, did not amount to the charge in the indictment
of high treason. He concluded his address, in which he displayed much
zeal and ability, by appealing to the Jury on the danger to society of
receiving the unsupported evidence of an avowed accomplice, in a crime
of a nature so serious as that with which the prisoner stood charged.
He entreated them not to convict the prisoner because he was a bad man,
but to examine how far the charge against him had been substantiated.

A Juror rose and observed, that there was no evidence in the present
case of the ammunition having been brought back to Brunt’s house.

The Chief-Baron said there was not, or of several other matters
alleged, which he would advert to afterwards.

Mr. Adolphus said he had no intention of overstating any point; that he
had been unavoidably absent during part of the trial, and that might
have occasioned some inaccuracies--

The Solicitor-General interposed, and Mr. Adolphus sat down without any
further remark.

While Mr. Adolphus was delivering his address, Mr. Harmer’s clerk
delivered to the prisoner a written paper, which he began to read; but
he did not seem to view its contents with much attention.

The Chief Baron addressing the prisoner, said, “John Thomas Brunt; your
learned counsel have concluded their very able defence; but if you wish
to say any thing in your own defence, this is the time.”

The prisoner then rose and spoke as follows:--

“My Lord, I have had a defence put into my hands only a few minutes
ago, which I have not had time to peruse over. Yet I have two or three
observations to make respecting the evidence--particularly respecting
the evidence of Monument. It’s quite useless for me to deny that I was
in the room in Cato-street; but immediately on the arrival of Monument
in Cato-street, he approached me, and asked me what was going to be
done, when he saw the arms on the bench; to which I replied, that I
was not aware of any thing being going to be done, for that Edwards
had not brought so many men by thirty as he stated he would bring, and
that it was not my intention to endeavour to do any thing with so few
men. I would not be led by any individual. Accordingly, perceiving that
Monument betrayed a great deal of fear, I persuaded him to go away.

“My Lord, a considerable stress has been laid upon what I said
respecting the number of men who were to go to Lord Harrowby’s
house. This I declare was not true. I will admit, my Lord, that when
Thistlewood, as has been stated, addressed himself to the few men who
were there, and spoke, as the witness said, that if they did not go it
would be another Despard job, that some few men did go into the small
room; but, my Lord, it never came into my mind, I solemnly protest, to
go there. They were endeavouring to see if fourteen or fifteen men were
disposed to go to the square; but I would not agree to a plan which I
knew must expose these few individuals to instant death.

“I will now call your Lordship’s attention to two circumstances
respecting the conduct of myself. In the first place, Adams says, in
order to implicate me more deeply, that I declared that I would go into
the room and blow the house about their ears. This, my Lord, is false.
For you see that when Monument comes forward, he makes a declaration to
you, gentlemen of the Jury, that I declared I would go myself and bury
myself in the ruins. Is this consistent?--is it upon such evidence as
this, that you will deprive a son of a father, and a wife of a husband?

“I should wish to advert to another circumstance. While I was in
Coldbath-fields prison,--when I was there for nearly three days, during
which I was scarcely out of my room, even to wash myself. When I came
down out of my room to the fire I saw Monument; I saw Strange; I saw
Cooper; I saw Bradburn. Monument, my Lord, came to me, and sat himself
down close by me, and whispered in my ear these words: he said, ‘What
did you say when you came before the Privy Council?’ I says, ‘That I
said I knew nothing about the matter.’ This, my Lord, induced me to ask
Monument what he said? and I says, ‘What did you say?’ upon which he
says, ‘I could say nothing--you told me nothing. Why did you not tell
me more?’ I says, ‘It were impossible for me to tell you what I did not
know myself. You know very well, that when you saw the man call on us
to go into the small room I declined.’

“I admit, as was said by Adams, that I was one that was named to go to
the house; but, gentlemen of the Jury, you were not told that he was
the villain who so named me, and that he constantly came to my house
twice a-day, although he now comes to give evidence to deprive me of
my life.

“I am no traitor--I was determined, when I entered into this base plot,
that I would lose my life sooner than I would betray an individual.
I would be put to death--I would die on the rack, rather than I
would betray a fellow-creature. This is my principle. This shews the
intention of Monument to betray me.

“Now, my Lord, I come to advert to a circumstance which occurred to
me at Cambray, in France. It becomes me to state any thing which may
be of use to me and my fellow-prisoners. While I was in Cambray, in
France, my Lord, I met Adams when I first came from Paris. Adams worked
for the officers, and I assisted him in work which he was incapable of
performing himself. He afterwards became so jealous, that he threatened
to take my life, and I was obliged to leave the house, which I did, and
I never worked for him again. I afterwards went from Cambray to Lisle,
where I worked for an English tradesman of the name of Brailsford. I
worked for him two or three months, until I got a little money. During
this time I knew nothing of Adams.

“When I came home I found that my wife had lost her senses, and was in
St. Luke’s, in consequence of her having heard that my son and myself
had been assassinated in France. I settled myself, and my wife shortly
after came out. I got a good seat of work, and at this time I was
persuaded to receive, as my apprentice, Hale, the witness, who has been
called to you.”

Here the prisoner entered into some details relative to the character
of the relations of Hale, in which he was interrupted by the Chief
Baron, upon the principle, that these persons were in no way connected
with the present case. He then went on to detail a variety of acts on
the part of his apprentice, all tending to prove him a person of bad
character, and unworthy of credit, to which he said, if he had the
means, he could bring evidence. He then spoke as follows:--

“Of Hyden I know nothing.” Here he again referred to the written
defence with which he had been furnished. He said he had not had time
to read it, but continued.

“I wish to advert to a person of the name of Edwards, who was the first
person that ever instigated me to enter into this snare. This Mr.
Edwards I first saw in company with Mr. Thistlewood, at the White Lyon
in Wych-street. This Edwards came to my lodging in Fox-court. I was
very short of work, and he used frequently to call on me--such a thing
as two or three times a-day; and this was long before the back room was
taken. If I was not at home he would wait for me; and often followed
me to places where I went for work. This was the case at the house of
a gentleman of the name of Scott, who saw him, and asked me if he was
waiting for me? and said, ‘Why does he not come in?’

“This man constantly harassed me, and oftentimes, my Lord, he supplied
me with money. He told me, and I can bring other people to prove it,
that he said that if he could get a hundred such men as me, he could
do any thing. He considered me a staunch man, my Lord, and thought,
I suppose, that I was a fit man to make a prey of. He often took me
out to call on people, and to treat them with drink. This was his
constant practice. He was continually with me before this business;
and I solemnly declare, that this was the individual, and not Mr.
Thistlewood, who brought me into this plot.

“I must now, my Lord, advert to what took place in Cato-street, and to
his (Edwards’s) conduct on that evening. I will state nothing but the

“My Lord, from the different favours I received from Edwards, I had
a good opinion of the man. When the officers came up into the room in
Cato-street, I made my escape in the best manner I could. I did not
make my escape, however, like a coward or a traitor, I did not desert
my companions. I went immediately to Grosvenor-square, where I knew
this villain was, although I shall, probably, by his means, be sent
into another world very shortly. I went to the villain, and told him
what had happened; at which he seemed very much surprised, and left the
square with me.

“Shortly after up came Thistlewood and another person, who was in the
room in Cato-street; but who has not since been taken, nor never will
I dare say, my Lord. However, we proceeded from Grosvenor-square, and
he took us into several wine-vaults to drink; I now believe, merely for
some person to identify us. I then went to Fox-court, Holborn, where I
had not been many minutes, when, as my apprentice stated, another man
came in, who said he had received a violent blow in the side. But my
apprentice has not stated, as the fact was, that the very individual
who came on the stairs and called us out, was Edwards.

“We went with him; and, on going into Holborn, there we met a man
of the name of Palin, and three more individuals with him. We went
altogether into Mr. Thompson’s wine-vaults, opposite St. Andrew’s
Church, on Holborn-hill. We drank some small glasses of liquor. When
we came out of the shop, we were followed very shortly by Edwards,
who called me on one side, and said he wished to speak to me. I heard
what he had to say. He began to find fault with Palin, who was drunk.
He declared that he was the man that had betrayed us, and that he was
unworthy to live. He said, that, to prevent treachery, he ought to be
made away with.

“From that we walked on till we came to Little Britain, or somewhere
thereabouts. We came to a dark place, where Edwards said that Cook
lived; but I did not know myself. He urged me again respecting Palin,
who still remained much intoxicated. He said to me, that it would
be the safest way to put him out of the world. He urged me several
times to assassinate Palin. He then put his hand in his pocket, and
pulled out a brass-barrelled loaded pistol, with which he told me to
assassinate Palin. He likewise offered me a sword-stick; and he said,
‘If you put him out of the world, we shall be safe.’ He also shewed me
a constable’s staff; and said, ‘I will act in the same capacity as I
did in Grosvenor-square; and, if there is any alarm, I will officiate
as an officer, and you may depend on it no discovery will take place.’

“Finding he entreated me to be guilty of murder, I made this reply: ‘If
you consider Palin a villain, the weapons are in good hands.’ Finding
he could not entreat me to commit murder, he says, ‘I must wish you a
good night; I am going to conduct Thistlewood to some secret place.’ As
he had always appeared to be a particular friend of Mr. Thistlewood’s,
I thought he was the most proper person to do this.

“Knowing of no evil intention myself against any individual, I was
determined not to know where he went; and I consented to bid him good
night. I then went home. Edwards afterwards came to me, and whispered
to me, and told me that he thought Palin and Potter had betrayed us,
and that he had not the smallest doubt of it. He then advised me to
send the articles which were found in the basket in the back-room, and
which my apprentice has described, over to a place in the Borough,
which I was going to do, but afterwards abandoned that intention.

“This is all I wish to say respecting what I know of the plot. Now
Edwards was the man who always found money, and who went about to
old-iron shops, buying pistols and swords, and other things for the men
who could not afford to buy them themselves.

“This, I declare before God, whose awful tribunal I shall, in all
probability, ere long, be summoned to attend, is the truth. Should
I die by this case, I have been seduced by a villain, who, I have
no doubt, has been employed by Government. I could not have abused
confidence reposed in me; and, if I die, I shall die not unworthy
the descendant of an ancient Briton! Sooner than I would betray a
fellow-man, I would rather suffer a thousand deaths! This is all that I
wish to say.”

The prisoner delivered the last part of his speech with great energy,
striking his clenched fist on the board before him. He then took his
seat with perfect composure, holding in his hand the defence which he
had made no use of.

The CHIEF BARON began to sum up the evidence; but, while his Lordship
was proceeding, Brunt said, “My Lord, there are some of the witnesses
for the prosecution in Court; and, as their hearing the evidence summed
up may prejudice the trial of some of my fellow-prisoners, I hope your
Lordship will order them to withdraw.”

Mr. Gurney.--My Lord, they are only those witnesses who were permitted
to remain by common consent; they are the officers.

The Lord Chief Baron.--They are only those whom your Counsel have
consented to remain.

Mr. Baron Garrow repeated the same observation to the prisoner, who
bowed respectfully to the Court, and resumed his seat.

The CHIEF BARON began his charge to the Jury by telling them, that this
was not constructive treason. A nefarious assassination was admitted
by the Counsel for the prisoner, and by the prisoner himself, to have
been intended; an assassination of some of the most honourable and the
most amiable of the King’s subjects.

His Lordship then read the evidence.

In recapitulating the evidence of Adams, his Lordship observed, upon
that part where he (Adams) mentioned “that he had been induced to
give up Christianity by reading that infernal work, Paine’s _Age of
Reason_, and the writings of Carlile,” that the circumstance was
important for the consideration of the Jury. They would weigh every
part of his testimony with jealousy, considering the situation in which
he was placed, and look upon his statement as requiring corroborative
proof. Unless it was supported by such evidence, they would, of
course, receive it with considerable hesitation; but if they found
it corroborated by the evidence of unsuspected witnesses, they would
consider of it accordingly. His Lordship then went through the evidence
of the other witnesses, remarking upon those parts where they coincided
with the account given by Adams. He then adverted to the arguments
of the prisoner’s Counsel, and to the observations of the prisoner
himself; which latter (though, perhaps, it might not have produced the
impression which they could have wished, for the sake of the prisoner)
they would give every attention to.

As soon as his Lordship concluded, and before the Jury retired, one of
them addressed the Court: “My Lord, I hope your Lordship will allow me
to ask a question as to a point of law.”

_The Lord Chief Baron._--Certainly, Sir; any thing you please.

_Juror._--My Lord, we are bound to take the law from your Lordship, and
no doubt you will give it to us most correctly. I wish to know whether,
if the evidence bore out that an arming had taken place, and that there
was a resistance to the civil power, would that, in the law, be a
levying of war?

_The Lord Chief Baron._--Undoubtedly. After a short pause, his Lordship
said, “Gentlemen, do I understand the question rightly? Please to
repeat it again.”

The Juror repeated the question; and his Lordship replied, that a
resistance to the civil authority would not constitute a levying of war.

_The Juror._--My Lord, if there was an arming for the purpose of
inducing his Majesty to change his measures, would that be a levying of

_The Lord Chief Baron._--That, gentlemen, would constitute a levying
of war; and, if you believe that it was proved in evidence, it would
support the indictment under the Act of his late Majesty. I put only
the first and third counts to you, gentlemen, not to embarrass the case.

_The same Juror._--I would wish to consider the whole of the
indictment. I hope your Lordship will excuse my asking these questions.

_The Lord Chief Baron._--Certainly, gentlemen, it is your province to
consider the whole of the case before you. You have also an undoubted
right to ask any questions you may think necessary.

The Jury then retired at twenty minutes before four; and in about ten
minutes returned with a verdict of GUILTY on the THIRD and FOURTH

The prisoner’s appearance was in no degree altered by the annunciation
of the verdict. He bowed slightly to the Court, and was removed in the
care of two of the gaoler’s assistants.



_First Day, Wednesday, April 26, 1820._

At ten minutes after nine o’clock, Mr. Baron Garrow, Mr. Justice
Best, and the Common-Serjeant, took their seats on the bench; the
Attorney-General, Mr. Gurney, and Mr. Bolland, and the prisoner’s
counsel, Messrs. Adolphus and Curwood, appeared in Court at the same

After a short consultation between Mr. Curwood and the
Attorney-General, Mr. Harmer quitted the Court, and proceeded to
commune with the prisoners in the gaol.

During the absence of Mr. Harmer, Mr. Baron Garrow addressed the
gentlemen who were waiting to be called on as Jurors. “They might,” he
said, “feel some surprise at the delay” and the Bench, therefore, felt
it right to declare that the present interruption was caused entirely
by an application made by the prisoners’ counsel. He hoped that the
Jury would not consider the delay as intended to convey any want of
respect towards them.

One of the Jurors said, he hoped the Court would allow them to sit
down, as many of them had come a considerable distance to attend the

Mr. Baron Garrow said, that the Court felt every disposition to
accommodate, in every possible manner, the gentlemen of the Jury, and
requested them to occupy the seats vacant in the Court.

Soon afterwards Mr. Harmer returned to Court, and communicated to Mr.
Curwood the result of his conference.

Mr. Curwood then, addressing Mr. Baron Garrow, stated, that a
proposition, which he had thought for the benefit of his clients, had
been acceded to by them, and that two of them (Tidd and Davidson) were
willing to take their trials at the same time.

Mr. Baron Garrow then addressed the Jurymen, and said, “Gentlemen,
I may now communicate to you that which it would have been improper
to have made known to you before. The learned gentleman who appears
here for the prisoners, and whose exertions you have witnessed upon
more occasions than one, has thought fit to consult his clients as to
whether it is necessary to pursue the course which has already been
adopted in severing their challenges, or whether two of them might not
take their trial by the same Jury. By this pause we have in effect
saved time, for the two next prisoners have agreed not to sever their
challenges, but to be tried at the same time.”

The prisoners, Tidd and Davidson, were then put to the bar; Mr. Shelton
called over the list of the Jurors, and after a number of challenges on
both sides, the following Jury was ultimately impanelled--

* W. Percy, Cleveland-street, Mary-le-bone, plasterer.
J. G. Holmden, St. James’s-walk, Clerkenwell, fusee-cutter.
J. King, Islington-road, Gent.
C. E. Prescott, Colney-hatch, Esq.
* Benjamin Rogers, Lampton, farmer.
Charles Goldings, Jamaica-place, Limehouse, surveyor.
Charles Page, Crouch-end, Esq. and merchant.
* J. Young, Frederick-place, St. Pancras, Gent.
William Butler, Hounslow, baker.
Joseph Sheffield.
William Churchill.
* Samuel Grainger.

     The Jurors thus marked * had served on some of the previous trials.

Davidson asked whether the Court would allow him and his
fellow-prisoner to sit down. The Court complied with his request, and
chairs were brought to them.

Mr. Gurney having stated the case with great clearness and ingenuity,
he proceeded to call the witnesses for the Crown--beginning with,

ROBERT ADAMS. His evidence was the same as before, with some additions.
He said, that when the proposition was made for assassinating the
Ministers, it was added, that they had found out where they kept their
specie, and that they were to return and plunder it. Bradburn was to
make a box for the purpose of sending Castlereagh’s head to Ireland.

In cross-examination by Mr. Curwood, he said he came back to the belief
in Christianity about the 24th of February--the day after he was in
marvellous great danger of being hanged. The halter might have had
some effect. It was never lawful in his sight to sweep off fifteen men
in cold blood. He thought it was a cruel act when it was proposed.
Nevertheless, from the 12th of January to the 23d of February, he still
continued to frequent the society in which that matter was debated.
He was once a chairman. The largest body he ever saw collected was in
Cato-street. There was a talk of a great many more, but he did not
know them by name. His single sword was all he agreed to contribute.
He never heard where Mr. Cook’s party were to come from. Nobody
objected to the proclamation written by Thistlewood--“Your tyrants are
destroyed,” _&c._

He did not know a man of the name of Chambers, nor did he ever call
upon such a man, and say he would have “wine and blood for supper,”
and solicit him to join in this plot. His object in joining their
parties was, to search further into the principles of Brunt; he joined
them because he had a foolish and curious idea to know what Brunt’s
principles were; and for this reason he joined in this plot. He did not
know a man of the name of Watman. Tidd did not say he had been deceived
in the loft in Cato-street; but he said, “it never can be done.”

Tidd and Davidson now both expressed a wish to ask the witness some

Mr. Baron Garrow humanely interposed, and suggested whether, for their
own advantage, it would not be more consistent with prudence to put
their questions through their Counsel, as they might do something
prejudicial to themselves.

The prisoners both thanked his Lordship, and communicated to Mr.
Harmer’s clerk, the inquiries which they wished to be made.

The witness then, in answer to questions put by Mr. Curwood, said, that
he could not say that Davidson was armed in Cato-street; he did not
notice any arms.

In re-examination by the Solicitor-General, he said that Davidson
brought 500 bullets to Fox-court, on the 22d of February. He had
changed his religion in consequence of reading Paine’s _Age of Reason_,
which was put into his hand by the prisoner Tidd; he did not see Palin,
or Cook, or Potter, in Cato-street; he did not know of what numbers
their parties consisted.

ELEANOR WALKER, MARY ROGERS, JOSEPH HALE, (apprentice to Brunt), were
then called; they repeated their former testimony as to the presence
of Davidson and Tidd at the meetings in Fox-court.

Hale, in cross-examination by Mr. Curwood, said, that Edwards was
oftener at the meetings in Fox-court than Adams.

THOMAS SMART and CHARLES BISSEX, watchmen in Grosvenor-square, were
next called. They were followed by Hector Morrison, servant to Mr.
Underwood, the cutler; Henry Gillan, of Mount-street, Grosvenor-square;
Edward Simpson, James Aldous (pawnbroker), John Monument, and Thomas
Hyden, who communicated the plot to Lord Harrowby. The last witness, in
cross-examination, said, that he had known Wilson for a long time. He
agreed to join in the plot to save himself. One evening at his friend
Clark’s he was accused of not supporting the committee, and Davidson
said, “those that did not come forward would be the men that they would
first murder.” This made him agree to what Wilson said.

He knew a man named Bennet, but he never did ask him to attend ‘a
private radical meeting.’ He believed, he said, he might speak or not
speak when he was there, as he chose. He did not say “Radical meeting,”
nor did he say that he must take up arms, if he were called upon so to
do; he did not recollect saying so; he had no recollection that he ever
did say so.

In re-examination, witness said he had been twice at a
shoemakers’-club, where he saw Davidson, Wilson, and Harrison. This
club was held at a public-house, called the Scotch Arms, in a court in
the Strand. He asked Bennet to go there with him, and Clark; that was
four or five or six months ago.

were next examined, in confirmation of the former witnesses; and these
were followed by the officers and other persons who were present at
the occurrences in Cato-street, and the subsequent arrest of Brunt and

Tidd, in reference to Ruthven’s evidence, said, that Ruthven, on
searching him, had said, “Curse me, here’s nothing here but a

Ruthven, on being asked by Mr. Baron Garrow, denied that he had made
use of any such expression.

The Attorney-General now addressed their Lordships, and stated, “that
the case for the Crown had now been concluded, with the exception of
producing the arms and ammunition found in Cato-street and elsewhere.
As it was now late, (five o’clock) the Court would perhaps defer the
production of these things till the next morning.”

Mr. Baron Garrow:--“Gentlemen of the Jury, the case for the prosecution
is now closed, all but the production of the arms. If by sitting late
there were any probability of bringing the trial to a close this night,
I should consult you as to the propriety of doing so; but as we cannot
finish it by sitting late, and thereby exhausting ourselves, this is
the best time for adjourning.”

Davidson stood up and addressed the Court:--“My Lord, as I have been
taken by surprise, I am quite unprepared with my witnesses. I hope you
will allow my wife to see me this night, that notice may be given them
to attend.”

Mr. Baron Garrow:--“The Court has no power to make any order on the
subject you have mentioned; but I can say that care will be taken that
any proper person may be admitted to you for any proper purpose.”

The Court then adjourned till nine the next morning.

Davidson took notes during the day, and frequently sent communications
to his counsel. He conducted himself altogether with great composure
and propriety. He paid close attention, and made his remarks, both
verbally and in writing, without effort or confusion.

Tidd seemed to have perfect self-possession, but a flush that
occasionally animated his face indicated some hurry and eagerness of

SECOND DAY.--THURSDAY, _April 27, 1820_.

This morning the Court assembled in pursuance of adjournment, at nine
o’clock. The prisoners, Tidd and Davidson were immediately put to the
bar. They were provided with chairs as on the preceding day. Davidson
had a bible in his hand, which appeared to have been much read, and
in the leaves of which were several marks. He had also a large book
composed of sheets of paper sewn together, in which there appeared to
be a good deal of writing, and in which he occasionally wrote while in

The arms, ammunition, and other materials of war, found in Cato-street,
and in other places, connected with the machinations of the prisoners,
were brought into court previous to the arrival of the judges.

The Court having been opened in the customary form, RUTHVEN, the
Bow-street officer, was called, and described the arms and other
articles taken in Cato-street, and on the persons of the prisoners.
These were again separately exhibited to the Jury.

SAMUEL TAUNTON selected the ball cartridges, hand grenades,
pike, handles, and arms found in the lodgings of Tidd, at
Hole-in-the-wall-passage, Brook’s-market. We have already given their
enumeration. The long sword and carbine, taken from Davidson when he
was apprehended by Ellis and Chapman in Cato-street, as well as the
pistol taken from Tidd, after he had attempted to discharge it at
Lieutenant Fitzclarence, were next produced, and underwent a minute

Sergeant HANSON was next called; he repeated his description of the
fire-balls, and the probable effects which would result from their
being thrown upon buildings. He also explained the nature of the powder
in flannel bags, which, as before, he stated were cartridges for six
pounders. He then opened one of the hand-grenades, and exhibited its
component parts to the Jury. This one was only armed with four large
spike nails, but some of the others which were opened had no less than
twenty-five separate pieces of old iron enfolded within the outer
wrappings of rope-yarn. The large grenade, weighing nearly fourteen
pounds, and constructed in the same way, but upon a larger scale, was
not inspected.

Mr. Gurney announced that he had closed the evidence on the part of the


Mr. CURWOOD rose to address the Jury on the part of the prisoners. He
said, “that he had now rose for the fourth time, to urge those topics
on behalf of the unfortunate men at the bar, which he had previously
submitted to other Juries in the course of these trials. The force
of those topics remained in his mind undiminished; he was still
conscientiously satisfied, that the charge of high treason in these
cases was alone supported by the testimony of Adams,--a man, the infamy
of whose character ought in his estimation, to deprive him of all
claims to credit.”

The learned gentleman then went over the different points of the
evidence, and contended with great ingenuity, “that whatever might have
been the diabolical intentions of the prisoners--however ready they
might have been to inflict vengeance on those whom they might suppose
to be the authors of those melancholy transactions, but too frequently
designated as ‘the Manchester Massacre,’--yet, that in all these things
there was nothing in reason or common sense, that could lead to a fair
and rational conclusion that they had it in contemplation either to
compass and imagine the death of the king, or to levy war against the

“If the Jury, under all the circumstances, entertained with him
this opinion, he had no doubt they would not hesitate to acquit the

During the time Mr. Curwood was addressing the Jury, Davidson took
from his pocket a Bible, into several parts of which he inserted small
pieces of paper, for the purpose of enabling him to turn more readily
to certain passages which he intended to quote in his defence.

Mr. ADOLPHUS now called the witnesses for the defence.

MARY BARKER, the daughter of Tidd, deposed, that she knew Edwards and
Adams. Edwards left at her father’s house, about a fortnight before the
affair in Cato-street, a number of grenades and some powder. Adams also
left a very large grenade. They were to be called for again. Edwards
took them once away, and brought them back afterwards. They were taken
away again on the 23d of February by Edwards; and some were brought
back on the morning of the 24th, about a quarter of an hour before the
officers came. She did not know the person by whom they were brought
back. A box remained which had never been opened.

As the witness left the Court she squeezed her father’s hand. They
both seemed much affected. Tears came into the eyes of Tidd, which he
endeavoured to suppress. The daughter was in an agony of grief.

THOMAS CHAMBERS deposed, that he lived in Heathcote-court, Strand;
Edwards and Adams repeatedly called upon him. They came together to
his house about a week before the Cato-street business, when Edwards
said, “Won’t you go along with us?” Witness said, “Go where?” when
Edwards answered, “Oh, you must know that there is something on foot.”
He replied, he did not; when Adams said, “We are going to kill his
Majesty’s Ministers, and we shall have blood and wine for supper.”
Edwards said, “By ----, Adams, you’re right.” On the Monday before the
Cato-street business they came again. Edwards brought with him a bag,
which he wished to leave with witness. He asked what it contained; when
Edwards said, “Only some pistols, and things of that sort.” Witness
would not receive it, and they went away. He saw no more of them.

In cross-examination, witness said, “I believe I have been sworn on
the prayer-book. I never was sworn before above twice; I believe in
Christianity. I was brought up in the Christian faith, and continue
in it. I am no member of any faction. I never saw Paine’s works. I
know the two prisoners. Davidson I know since the time of Mr. Hunt’s
procession. Tidd I have known only in the trade. I cannot say how
long; I might have known him at the Smithfield Meeting, and elsewhere.
I attended all the meetings held in the open air. I scorn all secret
meetings. I know Thistlewood, Ings, Harrison, Strange, and Bradburn.
I carried banners in some of the processions. I carried no weapons.
Thistlewood has been repeatedly at my house. I took all the flags to my
house. I saw him also at the Black Dog, in Gray’s Inn-lane. I used to
frequent the White Lion, in Wych-street; I went to attend the meetings
there. They called themselves Reformers. I was always in the waggons
with Hunt. When I refused to go with Adams and Edwards to kill his
Majesty’s Ministers, I did not think they would ever get any persons to
be so foolish as to join them. I may be a great fool, but not foolish
enough to enter into such a scheme. I did not communicate the project
to any magistrate. I never heard any thing said against his Majesty’s
Ministers, more than what I saw in the newspapers. I do not read
Paine’s works; I only read Cobbett, and have a drawer full of them. I
also read the Prayer-book and Bible.”

JOHN BENNETT deposed, that he knew Hyden; he called on him to ask
him to accompany him to a private radical meeting. He endeavoured to
persuade him to go more than ten times. He told him, that he might hear
and see what was doing; but he need not speak unless he liked.

Several witnesses were now called to the general character of the

Mr. COOK, of Charlotte-street, Blackfriars’-road, knew Davidson six
years ago; he then worked for him, and was an industrious hard-working
man. He had not known much of him since.

Mr. M’WILLIAM, an architect, knew Davidson at Aberdeen, in the years
1800 and 1801; he was then studying mathematics; he had only seen him
three or four times since in the streets, and was surprised to have
been called on to give him a character. Davidson was, at the time he
was at Aberdeen, an apprentice to a cabinet-maker. He had been at
college, and had, in Mr. M’William’s estimation, “a gigantic mind.”

correctness of the conduct of Tidd in private life. He was an honest,
industrious, hard-working man, and apparently much attached to his
family. Other witnesses were expected, but did not attend.

Mr. ADOLPHUS addressed the Jury on behalf of the prisoners. His speech
was marked by an acute examination of the whole of the evidence, a just
and forcible reprobation of the atrocity of a betraying accomplice, and
an energetic and powerful appeal to the Jury, not to condemn men on the
evidence of an avowed conspirator, who had broken the bonds of society,
forfeited his allegiance to his Sovereign, and his duty to God. The
learned gentleman, in the course of a very eloquent speech of an hour
and a half, remarked that it would be the last time he should appear on
these trials.

_Baron Garrow_ then addressed the prisoner as follows:--“William
Davidson, the law of England, in its excessive tenderness to persons
indicted for high treason, has allowed them privileges of defence not
extended to other cases. If, therefore, in addition to the able defence
of your Counsel, you wish to say any thing, now is the time. Do it
deliberately, and the Court will hear you attentively.”

_Davidson_ then rose, greatly agitated, and spoke nearly as
follows:--“I am much obliged to your Lordship, and will call your
attention to a few particulars in this instance. My Lord, from my
life up, I have always maintained the character of an industrious and
inoffensive man. I have no friends in England, but have always depended
upon my own exertions for support. I have an extensive family, and for
their sake alone is my life a value to me.

“The charge which has been brought against me, I can lay my hand upon
my heart, and, in the presence of that God whom I revere, say I am not
guilty of. Concerning how I came in possession of the blunderbuss I
will state. I had a friend, whose name is Williamson, who told me he
had bought an old blunderbuss, which was all over rust. He was going to
the Cape of Good Hope, and gave it to me to clean.

“I have been doing business for myself for the last five years, and
that is the reason I cannot bring any more of my employers than Mr.
Cook to speak in my behalf. To Mr. Edwards I owe being brought into
this situation. I never knew any thing of him till I attended Mr.
Hunt’s procession; that was the first time I ever went into public
in my life. Mr. Edwards told me that he would take me to a place to
have this blunderbuss raffled for. When I went to the place, I there
saw Mr. Thistlewood for the second time; I had previously seen him at
Mr. Hunt’s dinner. I saw Mr. Adams there also, but I knew none of the
others. Mr. Edwards proposed to commence raffling for the blunderbuss;
but, as they did not put down any money, I would not agree. I then
heard a great deal of improper language, and would not stop.

“I went to Mr. Williamson, who was waiting to know the result, and told
him what had passed. He then said that he wanted to get some money, and
I proposed pledging the blunderbuss with a pawnbroker. He agreed, and
requested me to take it for him. I did so, and got seven shillings upon
it from Mr. Aldous, who knew me. The money I gave to Mr. Williamson.
I afterwards went to see Mr. Williamson on board the Belle Alliance,
which was about to sail for the Cape. He made me a present of the

“On the 22d of February, Edwards called upon me, and told me that he
had been to see Mr. Williamson, and that he had given him an order to
get the ticket for the blunderbuss. I said very well, and consented
to go and get it out of pledge for him, as, he said, he was to get
ten shillings by it, part of which I was to have, and he gave seven
shillings and two-pence for that purpose. He told me to meet him at the
corner of Oxford-street, which I did; when he said he would take me to
Fox-court, where there was a countryman of mine; a man of colour he
meant. I objected to going.

“My Lord, I never associated with men of colour, although one myself,
because I always found them very ignorant.

“I now pass over to the sword concern; I shall state the truth. On
a Monday after the Manchester massacre, I met a person of the name
of George Goldworthy, to whom I had been apprentice in Liverpool; he
expressed his surprise at seeing me in London; I told him I was out of
employment, and that there was nothing worse than being a small master,
as all the rest of the trade, from jealousy, set their face against me;
he said he had a little business of his own in the country, and that he
would employ me if I would go. I agreed to go at 30_s._ a week. He then
appointed me to meet him at a house he called the Horse and Groom, in
John-street, Edgware-road, on the Wednesday following. All this time I
did not know that Goldworthy was an acquaintance of Edwards’s, but he

“On Wednesday evening accordingly I went to the Horse and Groom. I
looked into the house, but did not see Goldworthy. I stopped at the
corner to wait for him, my lord, which your lordship and gentlemen must
well know I being a conspicuous character would not have done, if I
was about any thing improper. I saw Adams there; but I went on to walk
a little further. On my return I saw several persons going in and out
of the house, but still Goldworthy did not come. A little after eight
o’clock, while I was in the Edgeware-road, up came Goldworthy. He asked
me if I was not surprised he had not come. I said I was. He then said
he was going to call upon a friend, and gave me a sword, which he said
he carried for self-protection against thieves about the country.

“At this time I had not the least intention of any thing directly or
indirectly concerning the business in Cato-street. I went down the
street accidentally, and hearing two or three pistols fired, I went to
see what was the matter. I never was afraid of any man. I then heard a
cry of “Stop thief!” and I was seized and taken to gaol. I never drew
the cutlass nor offered to strike; but gave myself up quietly.

“I have ventured my life fifteen times for my country and my King, and
ask you, gentlemen, if you think it possible that I should be so vain
as to attempt to join a few weak men to trample down that well-founded
constitution, in which this country has so much reason to glory? I
would scorn such an act--and I solemnly protest there was nothing found
on me but the sword which I received from Goldworthy, and a little

“It was said, that I said ‘I would die for liberty’s cause,’ and that I
was searched in a public house; this is not true; and if the landlord
was here he would prove the contrary. I know nothing at all of the plot
in Cato-street, directly or indirectly. I know nothing of a plot to
plunder--to burn houses--or to massacre the Ministers. I did not know
that any such plot was in existence.

“I will now, my Lords and Gentlemen, give you an instance where one
man of colour may be mistaken for another--as must have been my case.
Whenever I had any leisure time I employed it as a teacher in a
Sunday-school: there a similar mistake was made. A person, a man of
colour, insulted one of the female teachers at Walworth. The young lady
said it was me, and I found I was slighted, although nothing was said.
I sent in my resignation, when the gentlemen waited upon me in a body,
and stated what had been alleged to my charge. I was so confounded,
that I could not say any thing, and let them go away without making any
defence. I afterwards, however, set myself to work, and actually found
the man who had committed the offence, made him acknowledge it, and beg
the young lady’s pardon. The young lady could not look me in the face,
knowing how she had injured me, but held out her hand as a token of her

“Now, my lord and gentlemen, this shows how one man may be mistaken
for another. I would as lieve be put to death as suppose that you, my
lord, or the gentlemen of the crown, should think me capable, for one
moment, of harbouring a thought to massacre any person whatever.” (Here
the prisoner applied for a glass of water, which was handed to him.)
“Although I am a man of colour, that is no reason that I should be
guilty of such a crime. My colour may be against me, but I have as good
and as fair a heart as if I were a white.

“I have a very few words more to say. I have a very numerous family,
and a wife that never earned me a penny in her life. All my distress
arose from the consideration of the helpless situation of my family.
Were it not for that, I would not care what became of me. Like Isaiah
it may be said of me, ‘He was persecuted, yet he opened not his mouth.’
As a father, I wish to discharge my duty,--for them I wish to live--and
for their sakes I wish, if possible, to clear up the black charge which
has been brought against me.

“First of all, Mr. Adams positively swore that he had not seen me in
the loft, and that I was down stairs; and then comes Mr. Monument,
who said that I addressed the congregation, and told those that were
afraid of their lives to walk out. They must see that this was an
exaggeration, and in fact altogether an invention, or would not both
of these men who were present at the same time have agreed in the same
story? I admit that I was in Cato-street; but even admitting this, what
does it amount to?

“I now very well know that Mr. Goldworthy was an accomplice of Edwards,
and it is clear that by these persons, for purposes best known to
themselves, I was entrapped into this snare. As for myself, my Lord,
I have served my country, and done all that I could do for it. I
have supported my family by honest industry, and I never directly
or indirectly associated with any persons at public places. I never
attended any meeting but as a common spectator.

“I know nothing of these men (Tidd and the other prisoners). I have no
knowledge of their plots; I do not blame the gentlemen of the crown for
the manner in which they have conducted this case; because they have
done no more than their duty, according to the evidence which has been
brought before them; but I say, the witnesses, as far as regards me,
are altogether false sworn. I have selected a few passages from the
Bible, which I wish to read on this subject, and these I offer, not for
the purpose of insulting the court. The indictment charges that I did
certain things ‘not having the fear of God before my eyes, but having
been instigated by the devil.’ Now, I always had the fear of God before
me, and always cherished the feelings of virtue and humanity. I always
subscribed to the beautiful lines of Mr. Pope:--

     “If I am right, thy grace impart,
         Still in the right to stay;
     If I am wrong, oh! teach my heart,
         To find that better way.

     Teach me to feel another’s woe;
         To hide the fault I see:
     The mercy I to others show,
         That mercy show to me.”

“The verses from this sacred Book, which I think applicable to my case
on the present occasion, are these:--

     ‘One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity,
     for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two
     witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be

     ‘If a false witness rise up against any man, to testify against
     him that which is wrong;

     ‘Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand
     before the Lord, before the priests and the judges which shall be
     in those days.

     ‘And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and behold, if
     the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against
     his brother;

     ‘Then shall ye do unto him, as he had thought to have done unto
     his brother; so shalt thou put the evil away from among you.

     ‘And those which remain shall hear, and fear, and shall henceforth
     commit no more any such evil among you.

     ‘And thine eye shall not pity; but life shall go for life, eye for
     eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.’

“These words, gentlemen of the Jury, I wish to impress on your minds.

“I am a stranger to England by birth; but I was educated and brought
up in England; my father was an Englishman, my grandfather was a
Scotchman; I may too claim the prerogative of an Englishman, from
having been in the country from my infancy,--still I have not a friend
in England,--I have not a relative who will stretch out his hand to my
helpless family. Then will you not think it hard to have my life taken
away for a scene of intended iniquity, of which I know nothing. To have
me torn from the bosom of her whom I lived but to cherish,--to have
me exposed to the ruthless knife of the executioner, while my innocent
starving babes seek in vain for consolation.


_Wivell Del^t._      _Cooper Sculp._


“Gentlemen, when I think of this, it unmans me. I am no plotter--no
assassin--no traitor! Look well to the evidence, and to your own
hearts, before you pronounce the fatal verdict of ‘Guilty.’

“Gentlemen, the Earl of Harrowby I have known for years; I worked on
his Lordship’s estate in Staffordshire. Gentlemen, I knew him but to
respect him;--and yet it is suggested that I could raise the dagger of
the murderer to his breast.--Forbid it providence! Had I known that
this plot existed, I would have been the first to warn his Lordship
of his danger; but I declare solemnly that I knew not of such an
intention. I knew nothing of all these dark and bloody projects.

“Gentlemen, I have now done. I repeat, I will readily submit to death
if you think me capable of harbouring an intention to commit the crime
of high treason. If that is your persuasion, pronounce your verdict
accordingly. I hope my death may prove useful to my country,--for still
England I call thee so,--and I trust that those by whom I shall be
condemned, may lay down their lives with as clear a conscience.”

BARON GARROW, then addressed Tidd as follows:--“Richard Tidd, do you
wish to add any thing to what your counsel has stated for you? If you
do, this is the proper time.”

TIDD rose, and said, in a meek and humble voice, “The first thing I
have got to say is, that I had the misfortune to get acquainted with
Brunt about a month before Christmas, by his frequently going to see
Adams, who was living next door to me; our windows joined; by that
means I became acquainted with him.

“During the Christmas holidays, we kept them together; after the
holidays, I was introduced to Edwards, who does not now appear
against me; he was constantly coming to me afterwards; I always was a
hard-working man, working sixteen and eighteen hours a day. I never
had any time to spare, except on a Sunday. Messrs. Edwards and Brunt
together told me that there were certain meetings going on.

“I never attended any meeting after the acts to prevent illegal
meetings, till Edwards told me that he had authority to state from
persons high in rank, that meetings might take place to procure reform
in Parliament. I was then introduced to a room, where I was taken to,
in Brunt’s house. I did not see there any thing particular, till the
Sunday when I was proposed to take the chair.

“Certain propositions were then made, which made me declare I would
never more attend such meetings, and I fully determined that I would
not keep company with them afterwards. Prior to this Edwards came up
to my house, and said, that he had got certain materials, and Mr.
Thistlewood would be obliged to me if I would let them remain in my
house. I said, I would allow no such thing. He then went away, but
in the evening he came and brought the things, which the officers
afterwards seized.

“On Tuesday, Edwards and Brunt came to me, and asked me if I kept to my
determination--they added, that all the proceedings that were going on
were entirely flustered; they then said there was to be a meeting of
the Mary-le-bone Union, and asked me to go.

“Edwards said, every body going there for self-preservation took a
weapon of defence. I told him I had none; he said, if I had not, the
club would supply me with one; he then pulled out a pistol, and said,
you ought to arm yourself now.

“He also had a sword-stick, which he offered me. He afterwards gave
me a direction where the meeting was to be held. I have it now in
my pocket.”--[Here the prisoner produced a small piece of paper,
on which was written these words:--‘Horse and Groom, John-street,

Tidd then went on. “During Wednesday, while I was at work, Edwards and
Brunt came to me, and said there was some people I must bring to the
club. I afterwards took Monument, but I do declare before you I never
knew any thing about a cabinet-dinner. It was never mentioned to me. I
was introduced into the stable, and in ten minutes after the officers
came in and apprehended me.

“This is all I have to say, and you may depend I have told the truth.”

The _Attorney-General_ rose to reply, and proceeded to point out the
various instances in which the evidence of Adams had been confirmed:
it was confirmed by Monument, who had not been deeply concerned in
the plot; but it was much more strongly confirmed by Hyden, who was
no accomplice, and who was in every way worthy of belief. There was,
he contended, a compleat chain of evidence, to prove that there was a
conspiracy to overturn the government: and if they believed that the
two prisoners at the bar took a prominent part in it, they could have
no hesitation as to the verdict they should give.

Mr. _Baron Garrow_, proceeded to deliver his charge to the Jury. He
went over the whole of the evidence, and commented on all the material
parts of it in a most perspicuous manner. While his lordship was
reading over the evidence of Monument, the prisoner Davidson caused a
written paper to be conveyed to him, and said he hoped it might be
read as a part of his defence, which he had before forgot to notice.
The learned Judge observed, that although it was not strictly regular
to comply with the prisoner’s request in the present stage of the
business, yet he was ready to allow him to make any statement which
might be of use to him. The statement was, that his (Davidson’s) house
had been searched, and nearly pulled down, and not the slightest
evidence was there found which went to show that he had been guilty of
any conspiracy.

After his Lordship had read over the evidence of Hyden, he said it was
the most important of any that had been given to the Court, because
the conspiracy had been communicated to him by one of the parties,
who invited him to assist in it; and because he went immediately and
communicated to Lord Harrowby the danger which ministers were in. He
pretended to show a readiness to join the conspirators, but he never
did join them; and one reason for not refusing to take a part in the
plot was, a threat held out that any man who did not join would be put
to death.

“The learned counsel for the prisoners had endeavoured to throw some
discredit on this witness, on the ground of his being an accomplice;
but there was not the slightest ground for such a supposition; nor
did it appear to him that the slightest inroad had been made on his
testimony. On the contrary, he ought to be considered as an instrument
in the hands of Providence in saving fifteen of the first men in the
country, and perhaps many others, from destruction; and all persons
then present in Court, ought to consider themselves indebted to him.

“Here it was clearly in evidence, that the intention of the
conspirators was to murder the most respectable and virtuous characters
in the kingdom; and that not content with that, they were to destroy
the house of the Bishop of London, one of the most amiable men in the
kingdom, who of all other men in the world was the least likely to give
offence to any body.

“What then could be their motive for all these unprovoked atrocities,
but the ulterior object of revolution? If plunder was their object,
where were the implements in which they were to carry away their
plunder? What necessity was there to add murder to their offence? What
occasion had they for a box full of ball cartridges? What was their
object in all this, but the ulterior object of effecting a revolution?
The usual argument of inadequacy of means had been used on this
occasion; and it was said, nothing certainly could be more preposterous
than to suppose a revolution could be effected by such contemptible
means; but it was proved, that a plan had been formed--that a band of
ruffians, reeking with the blood of the most illustrious men in the
kingdom, had intended to overturn the government, by stirring up the
people to insurrection.

“Such men as these might imagine that the object could be effectual,
without ever considering the adequacy of the means. Before the
commencement of the French Revolution, the first beginnings were
as contemptible as this; and every body knew the vast extent and
the wide-spreading desolation, by which these small beginnings were

After a variety of other observations, all tending to show that the
evidence of the accomplices was confirmed in various instances by
credible witnesses, particularly by Joseph Hale, the apprentice of
Brunt; and by Hyden, the cow-keeper, who was no party in the plot, and
who acted honestly and conscientiously, his Lordship concluded his

The Jury then retired, and after an absence of forty minutes, returned
with a verdict of “GUILTY UPON THE THIRD COUNT,” with the exception
of the eighth and tenth overt-acts. The count in question alleged a
conspiracy to levy war.

At the conclusion of the trial of Tidd and Davidson,

Mr. CURWOOD addressed the Court, intimating a desire, on the part
of James Wilson, to withdraw his plea of misnomer to the indictment
against him for high treason, and to plead “Guilty,” and the
Attorney-General stating that he had no objection to this course,

James Wilson was put to the bar, and, on being questioned by Mr.
Shelton, pleaded Guilty.

Mr. WALFORD then said, he was instructed to make a similar tender on
the part of the five remaining prisoners, and

Mr. BARON GARROW directed the prisoners to be brought to the bar.

John Harrison, Richard Bradburn, John Shaw Strange, James Gilchrist,
and Charles Cooper, were then brought into the Court, and

Mr. Walford again addressed his lordship, and said that he had watched,
with great diligence, the whole of these proceedings, and from what
had passed under his observation, he thought he should best consult
the interests of the five unhappy men at the bar, for whom, with his
learned friend (Mr. Broderick), he was counsel, by recommending them to
acknowledge the deepness of their offending, and to throw themselves on
the leniency of their Sovereign, who, he was persuaded, would follow
the steps of his revered father, by tempering justice with mercy.

Mr. BRODERICK said, he too had watched with the most anxious solicitude
the progress of the trials which had taken place upon this indictment,
and he felt satisfied that he could not better consult the interests
of the prisoners, than by adopting the course suggested by his
learned friend. These unfortunate men were desirous of making the
only reparation in their power to the offended laws of their country,
by acknowledging their guilt. They did not ask for mercy, but they
entertained a hope that their contrition would have the desired effect,
and would induce an extension towards them of that brightest attribute
in the person of the Sovereign.

Mr. BARON GARROW then explained to the prisoners the situation in which
they stood, and that their plea must be received without any pledge
on his part, and with a full understanding that they were to receive
judgment to die.

They all expressed their concurrence in what had been said by their
counsel, and, having withdrawn their previous plea of _Not Guilty_,
they pleaded _Guilty_, and were removed from the bar; and the gentlemen
of the Jury were dismissed with the thanks of their country.


The following morning, Friday April 28th, at a quarter after nine, Lord
Chief-Justice Abbot, Chief Justice Dallas, the Chief Baron, Mr. Justice
Richards, Mr. Justice Best, and the Common Sergeant, took their seats.

Mr. Brown, the gaoler, was immediately requested to bring the prisoners
to the bar. In a few minutes the clank of chains was heard, and the
eleven prisoners entered the court. They were all double ironed,
with the exception of Ings, who had been much indisposed since his
conviction. Thistlewood came first, and advanced to the bar. There was
a melancholy resignation in his countenance, and his appearance was
considerably altered since the last time of his being in Court.

All being in readiness,

Mr. Shelton (the clerk of the arraigns), addressing himself to
Thistlewood, said,

“Arthur Thistlewood, you stand convicted of High Treason;--what have
you say why you should not receive judgment to die, according to law?”

THISTLEWOOD immediately drew forth a manuscript address, which he
proceeded to read in a mournful tone, as follows:--

“My Lords,--I am asked, my Lord, what I have to say that judgment of
death should not be passed upon me according to law. This to me is
mockery--for were the reasons I could offer incontrovertible, and
were they enforced even by the eloquence of a Cicero, still would the
vengeance of my Lords Castlereagh and Sidmouth be satiated only in the
purple stream which circulates through a heart more enthusiastically
vibrating to every impulse of patriotism and honour, than that of any
of those privileged traitors to their country, who lord it over the
lives and property of the sovereign people with barefaced impunity.

“The reasons which I have, however, I will now state--not that I
entertain the slightest hope from your sense of justice or from your
pity. The former is swallowed up in your ambition, or rather by the
servility you descend to, to obtain the object of that ambition--the
latter I despise. Justice I demand. If I am denied it, your pity is no
equivalent. In the first place,

“I protest against the proceedings upon my trial, which I conceive to
be grossly partial, and contrary to the very spirit of justice,--but,
alas! the judges, who have heretofore been considered the counsel of
the accused, are now, without exception, in all cases between the Crown
and the People, the most implacable enemies of the latter. In every
instance, the Judges charge the Jury to find the subject guilty; nay,
in one instance, the Jury received a reprimand, and that not in the
gentlest terms, for not strictly obeying the imperious mandate from the

“The Court decided upon my trial to commit murder rather than depart,
in the slightest degree, from its usual forms. Nay, it is with me
a question, if the form is usual which precluded me from examining
witnesses to prove the infamy of Adams, of Hyden, and of Dwyer. ’Ere
the Solicitor-General replied to the address of my Counsel, I applied
to the Court to hear my witnesses. The Court inhumanly refused, and I
am in consequence to be consigned to the scaffold.

“Numerous have been the instances in which this rule of Court has been
infringed; but to have infringed it in my case, would have been to
incur the displeasure of the Court, and to forfeit every aspiring hope
of promotion.

“A few hours hence and I shall be no more; but the nightly breeze which
will whistle over the silent grave that shall protect me from its
keenness, will bear to your restless pillow the memory of one who lived
but for his country,--and died when liberty and justice had been driven
from its confines by a set of villains, whose thirst for blood is only
to be equalled by their activity in plunder.

“For life, as it respects myself, I care not; but, while yet I may, I
would rescue my memory from the calumny which, I doubt not, will be
industriously heaped upon it, when it will be no longer in my power to
protect it.

“I would explain the motives which induced me to conspire against the
Ministers of his Majesty; and I would contrast them with those which
these very ministers have acted upon in leading me to my ruin. To do
this, it will be necessary to take a short review of my life, for a
few months prior to my arrest for the offence for which I am to be
executed without a trial, or, at least, without an impartial one by a
jury of my peers.

“’Tis true, the form, the etiquette of a trial has been gone through;
but I challenge any of the Judges on the bench to tell me--to tell my
country--that justice was not denied me in the very place where justice
only should have been administered. I challenge them to say that I was
fairly tried. I challenge them to say if I am not murdered according to
the etiquette of a Court (falsely denominated) of Justice.

“I had witnesses in Court to prove that Dwyer was a villain, beyond
all example of atrocity.--I had witnesses in Court to prove that Adams
was a notorious swindler, and that Hyden was no better.--These were
the three witnesses--indeed, almost the only ones--against me.--But
the form and rules of Court must not be infringed upon, to save an
unfortunate individual from the scaffold.

“I called those witnesses at the close of Mr. Adolphus’s address to the
Jury, and before the Solicitor-General commenced his reply; but the
Court decided that they could not be heard.

“Some good men have thought--and I have thought so too--that before
the Jury retired, all evidence was in time, for either the prosecutor
or the accused; and more particularly for the latter; nay, even before
the verdict was given, that evidence could not be considered too late.
Alas! such people drew their conclusion from principles of justice
only; they never canvassed the rules of Court, which have finally
settled my unhappy doom!

“Many people who are acquainted with the barefaced manner in which I
was plundered by my Lord Sidmouth, will, perhaps, imagine that personal
motives instigated me to the deed; but I disclaim them. My every
principle was for the prosperity of my country. My every feeling--the
height of my ambition--was the welfare of my starving countrymen. I
keenly felt for their miseries; but, when their miseries were laughed
at, and when, because they dared to express those miseries, they were
cut down by hundreds, barbarously massacred, and trampled to death;
when infants were sabred in their mother’s arms, and the breast, from
which they drew the tide of life, was severed from the parent’s body,
my feelings became too intense, too excessive for endurance, and I
resolved on vengeance--I resolved that the lives of the instigators
should be a requiem to the souls of the murdered innocents.

“In this mood I met with George Edwards. And if any doubt should
remain upon the minds of the public, whether the deed I meditated was
virtuous, or contrary, the tale I will now relate will convince them
that, in attempting to exercise a power which the law had ceased to
have, I was only wreaking national vengeance on a set of wretches
unworthy the name or character of men.

“This Edwards, poor and pennyless, lived near Picket-street, in the
Strand, some time ago, without a bed to lie upon, or a chair to sit in.
Straw was his bed--his only covering a blanket; but, owing to his bad
character, and his swindling conduct, he was driven even from thence by
his landlord.

“It is not my intention trace him through his immorality. Suffice it to
say that he was, in every sense of the word, a villain of the deepest
atrocity. His landlord refused to give him a character.

“Some short time after this he called upon his landlord again--but mark
the change in his appearance. Dressed like a lord, in all the folly
of the reigning fashion, he now described himself as the right heir
to a German Baron, who had been some time dead, and stated that Lords
Castlereagh and Sidmouth had acknowledged his claims to the title and
property, had interfered in his behalf with the German government,
and supplied him with money to support his rank in society. From this
period I date his career as a Government Spy.

“He procured an introduction to the Spenceans--by what means I am not
aware of--and thus he became acquainted with the Reformers in general.

“When I met with Edwards after the massacre at Manchester, he described
himself as very poor; and, after several interviews, he proposed a
plan for blowing up the House of Commons. This was not my view: I
wished to punish the guilty only, and therefore I declined it. He next
proposed that we should attack the Ministers at the _fête_ given by the
Spanish Ambassador. This I resolutely opposed, because the innocent
would perish with the guilty;--besides, there were ladies invited to
the entertainment--and I, who am shortly to ascend to the scaffold,
shuddered with horror at the idea of that, a sample of which had
previously been given by the Agents of Government at Manchester, and
which the Ministers of his Majesty applauded.

“Edwards was ever at invention; and at length he proposed attacking
them at a cabinet-dinner. I asked, where were the means to carry his
project into effect? He replied, if I would accede, we should not want
for means. He was as good as his word: from him came, notwithstanding
his apparent penury, the money provided for purchasing the stores which
your Lordships have seen produced in Court upon my trial.

“He who was never possessed of money to pay for a pint of beer,
had always plenty to purchase arms or ammunition. Amongst the
conspirators, he was ever the most active;--ever inducing people to
join him, up to the last hour ere the undertaking was discovered.

“I had witnesses in Court who could prove they went to Cato-street by
appointment with Edwards, with no other knowledge or motive than that
of passing an evening amongst his friends.

“I could also have proved that subsequent to the fatal transaction,
when we met in Holborn, he endeavoured to induce two or three of my
companions to set fire to houses and buildings in various parts of the

“I could prove that subsequent to that again, he endeavoured to induce
men to throw hand-grenades into the carriages of ministers as they
passed through the streets; and yet this man, the contriver, the
instigator, the entrapper, is screened from justice and from exposure,
by those very men who seek vengeance against the victims of his and
their villany.

“To the Attorney and Solicitor-General I cannot impute the clearest
motives. Their object seems to me to have been rather to obtain a
verdict against me, than to obtain a full and fair exposition of the
whole affair since its commencement. If their object was justice alone,
why not bring forward Edwards as a witness, if not as an accomplice;
but no, they knew that by keeping Edwards in the background, my
proofs--aye, my incontrovertible proofs of his being a hired spy, the
suggestor and promoter--must, according to the rules of court, also be

“Edwards and his accomplices arranged matters in such a manner as that
his services might be dispensed with on the trial, and thus were the
Jury cut off from every chance of ascertaining the real truth. Adams,
Hyden, and Dwyer, were the agents of Edwards, and truly he made a most
admirable choice, for their invention seems to be inexhaustible.

“With respect to the immorality of our project, I will just observe,
that the assassination of a tyrant has always been deemed a meritorious
action. Brutus and Cassius were lauded to the very skies for slaying
Cæsar; indeed, when any man, or any set of men, place themselves above
the laws of their country, there is no other means of bringing them
to justice than through the arm of a private individual. If the laws
are not strong enough to prevent them from murdering the community, it
becomes the duty of every member of that community to rid his country
of its oppressors.

“High treason was committed against the people at Manchester, but
justice was closed against the mutilated, the maimed, and the friends
of those who were upon that occasion indiscriminately massacred. The
Sovereign, by the advice of his Ministers, thanked the murderers, while
yet reeking in the blood of their hapless victims! If one spark of
honour--if one spark of patriotism--had still glimmered in the breasts
of Englishmen, they would have risen to a man--for Insurrection then
became a public duty--and the _Blood of the Slain_ should have been the
watchword to vengeance on their murderers. The banner of independence
should have floated in the gale that brought the tidings of their
wrongs and their sufferings to the metropolis!--Such, however, was
not the case, and Albion is still in the chains of slavery--I quit it
without regret--I shall soon be consigned to the grave--my body will be
immured beneath the soil whereon I first drew breath. My only sorrow
is, that the soil should be a theatre for slaves, for cowards, for

“My motives, I doubt not, will hereafter be justly appreciated. I will
therefore now conclude by stating, that I shall consider myself as
murdered, if I am to be executed on the verdict obtained against me, by
the refusal of the court to hear my evidence.


_Wivell Del^t._      _Cooper Sculp._


“I could have proved Dwyer to be a villain of the blackest dye, for,
since my trial, an accomplice of his, named Arnold, has been capitally
convicted at this very bar, for obtaining money under circumstances of
an infamous nature.

“I seek not pity--I demand but justice:--I have not had a fair trial,
and, upon that ground, I protest that judgment ought not to be passed
against me.”

It is impossible to describe the feelings of horror and disgust
which pervaded the mind of every individual in the court during the
delivery of this most treasonable and ferocious harangue.--It was of
course expected that the wretched criminals would offer something
in extenuation of the crimes of which they had been convicted, but
it could never have been conceived that any man existed so deeply
depraved, and so dreadfully hardened in crime, as to venture to justify
projects of assassination, and to propagate doctrines of treason and
murder, while standing as it were on the very brink of eternity, and
about to be ushered into the presence of that God whom he had braved,
by the impious and inhuman declarations to which he had just given

Mr. Shelton next addressed himself to DAVIDSON, and put to him the same
question which he had put to Thistlewood. Davidson advanced, and spoke
to the following effect:

“My Lords, you ask me what I have to say why I should not receive
judgment to die for what has been said against me? I answer that I
protest against the proceedings in this trial in toto.

“In the first place, I always thought that in a court of justice the
balance of justice was held with an even hand. But this has not been
the case with me; I stand here helpless and friendless. I endeavoured
to shew that the evidence against me was contradictory and incredible,
and I hoped I had made an impression on the gentlemen in the box; but
the moment I was done, the Attorney-General got up, and told them that
the evidence was pure and uncontaminated, and to this I may add, that
Mr. Baron Garrow almost insisted that they should pronounce me guilty.

“I would ask, has any person identified me but the officers? who, every
one knows, have at all times been instrumental in the death of innocent

“I do not now plead for my life; I know I must fall a victim to the
vengeance of my enemies. But in what manner have I been guilty of High
Treason? It would seem I was a silent spectator; none of the witnesses
impute to me a single observation. Now is this probable? I had always
got a great deal to say for myself, consequently I was not the person
who would stand by without uttering a word; and yet such has been the
testimony of Adams.

“Then, with regard to the blunderbuss;--I have already explained that
this was not mine, and that I acted in that affair entirely as the
agent of Edwards. I have also declared how I came by the sword, and I
now declare upon my soul, which will shortly appear before its Maker,
that I never made any blow at any man, or discharged any carbine.

“As for Munday, the man who swore that I had a long sword, with a pair
of pistols in my girdle, who is he? He is a poor labouring man who
comes here for his day’s pay and his victuals, to swear away the life
of a fellow creature, and to support the unfounded charge against me
that I meant to assassinate his Majesty’s Ministers.

“I appeal to any man, whether it is upon such evidence the life of an
innocent man is to be sacrificed? But even supposing, for the sake of
argument, that the lives of his Majesty’s Ministers were threatened,
it did not follow that this was to extend to the King himself.

“In a passage of Magna Charta, it was ordained that twenty-five barons
should be nominated to see that the terms of the charter were not
infringed; and, if it was found that his Majesty’s Ministers were
guilty of such infringement, then four barons were to call upon them
for redress. If this were not granted, then the four barons were
to return to their brethren, by whom the people were to be called
together to take up arms, and assert their rights. Such an act was not
considered in old times as an act of treason towards the king, however
hostile it might be towards his ministers. But this does not apply to

“I had no intention of joining in any scheme whatever, either to put
down my King, or to murder his Ministers. I was entrapped by Goldworthy
and Edwards, in order for some private purposes of their own, that they
might have my life sworn away.

“I have no objection to tender my life in the service of my country;
but let me at least, for the sake of my children, save my character
from the disgrace of dying a traitor. For my children only do I feel,
and when I think of them I am deprived of utterance--I can say no more.”

JAMES INGS was next asked what he had to say, why he should not receive
judgment to die? He replied--

“I have very little to say. My abilities will not allow me to speak.
If Mr. Edwards had not got acquainted with me I should not be here.
He came to me, unfortunately when I had no business, nor no means of
getting a livelihood for my family. I entered into the conspiracy only
through him; and it was only necessity, and the want of the means to
support my wife and family that brought me here.

“It is only through Edwards that I shall lose my life. I do not mind
dying, if you will let that man come forward, and die with me on the
scaffold. It was through him that I was going to do that which, I must
allow, was of a most disgraceful and inhuman nature.

“On the other hand, his Majesty’s Ministers conspire together, and
impose laws to starve me and my family and fellow-countrymen; and if I
was going to assassinate these Ministers, I do not see that it is so
bad as starvation, in my opinion, my Lord.

“There is another thing, my Lord. A meeting was called at Manchester,
under the protection of the law of England, for which our forefathers
died, and which King John signed in the open air. This meeting was
called under the protection of that law, for the people to petition
parliament to give them their rights; but, previous to the business of
the meeting, the Manchester yeomanry rode in among them, and cut down
men, women, and children, in a manner that was a disgrace to the very
name of Englishmen. These yeomen had their swords ground beforehand;
and I had a sword ground also: but I do not see any harm in that.

“I shall suffer, no doubt; but I hope my children will live to see
justice done to their bleeding country. I would rather die like a man
than live like a slave. I am sorry I have not the power, gentlemen, to
say more; I shall, therefore, withdraw.”

JOHN THOMAS BRUNT was next called upon. He came forward in a quick
and rather hurried manner; and, in answer to the usual interrogatory,
addressed himself to the Court in a firm and confident tone.

He said, he “had intended to have written the observations which he
should make, but he had not had the benefit of ink and paper. He would
repeat what he had before stated to the Jury on his trial, which had
been so ably knocked down by the Solicitor-General, whose sophisticated
eloquence would make even crime a virtue. He then proceeded to
recapitulate the circumstances already stated by him in his defence.
He protested against the verdict; not that he valued his life. No man
valued it less when it was to be sacrificed in liberty’s cause.

“Looking around him in this Court, and seeing the sword of justice
and the inscriptions which were placed on the walls above the Learned
Judges, he could only say, that he felt his blood boil in his veins
when he thought how justice was perverted, and her sacred name
prostituted to the basest and vilest purposes. He was a man of his
word, and not a shuttlecock, as some might suppose. If he pledged
himself once to destroy a tyrant, he would do it.

“Edwards, that infamous villain, whom the Solicitor-General had not
dared to bring forward, had preyed on his credulity; and Adams had
betrayed him. Where was the benefit which would result to Christianity
from the able defence made of it by the Solicitor-General? What was
Christianity? Why, did its doctrines promulgate so horrid an idea, as
that supposing a man to have been a Deist, and all at once to have
been converted by seeing the halter staring him in the face, he would,
therefore, be strengthened by Almighty God to become a villain and a
perjured betrayer of his associates?

“That this was the case with Adams was evident from his own confession.
Was this, then, Christianity? If it was, he prayed God he might die
without it; for very different, indeed, were the ideas he had formed of

The prisoner then proceeded to attack the character of the witness,
Hale, his apprentice; in which, however, he was interrupted by the
Lord Chief Justice, who said, he would not allow persons and witnesses
not before the Court to be vilified.

_Brunt_ proceeded--“He had antipathy against none but the enemies of
his country. He was a friend to the lower orders, and, as an honest
man, had a fellow-feeling for his countrymen, who were starving through
the conduct of Ministers. Lord Castlereagh and Lord Sidmouth had an
antipathy against the people; and if he did conspire to murder them,
was that high treason? He readily acknowledged that he had agreed to
assassinate Ministers; but he denied having ever conspired to dethrone
or injure the Monarch. But, if resisting the Civil Power, or opposing
wicked Ministers, was treason, then he confessed he was guilty. He was
no traitor to his country--he was no traitor to his King; but he was an
enemy to a boroughmongering faction, which equally enslaved both the
King and the people.

“The happiness, the glory, and the safety of the King, depended on his
being free as well as his people; but this was not the case now. A
faction ruled both King and people with lawless sway. He had, by his
industry, been able to earn about three or four pounds a week; and,
while this was the case, he never meddled with politics: but, when he
found his income reduced to ten shillings a week, he began to look
about him, and to ask to what could that be owing? And what did he
find? Why, men in power, who met to deliberate how they might starve
and plunder the country. He looked on the Manchester transactions as
most dreadful, and thought that nothing was too severe for men, who had
not only caused, but even applauded, the dreadful scenes which occurred

“With pleasure would he die as a martyr in liberty’s cause for the good
of his country, and, to have been avenged on her tyrants would have
given him pleasure to have died on the spot. He was not a traitor, nor
a friend of a traitor, and it was only a villain who could call him so.
While a nerve of his body could move, that nerve should and would be
exerted against the enemies of the people.

“He had joined the conspiracy for the public good. He was not the man
who would have stopped. O, no; he would have gone through with it to
the very bottom, or else have perished in the attempt. Their death was
necessary for the public good. They might quarter his body--they might
inflict on him every species of torture; but they could not shake his
resolution, nor subdue his spirit. He would mount the scaffold with the
same firm intrepidity he now evinced, and, if his life was called for,
if his wife was to be made a widow and his child an orphan, in this
mighty cause he would cheerfully sacrifice it!”

In the course of this daring address, the wretched man had worked
himself up to a degree of passion bordering on rage. A feeling of
horror was visible in the face of all within his hearing, whilst the
unhappy man was coldly explaining and justifying his murderous purposes.

The same question was put to each of the remaining prisoners, who
severally returned answers to the following effect:

RICHARD TIDD said, he had been convicted so late last night, that he
had no time to prepare a written address, as he could have wished. He
denied that the evidence against him was true, with the exception of
that of the gentleman he saw on the bench (Captain Fitzclarence); and,
as for shooting him, why he would as soon have thought of shooting his
own father.

JAMES WILSON declared that he had been drawn into the plot by one of
the witnesses (Adams) who appeared against him.

JOHN HARRISON, on being called upon, said My Lord, they were all false

RICHARD BRADBURN.--The evidence of Adams was false.

JOHN SHAW STRANGE.--I have only this much to say, my Lords, that the
evidence of Adams and Hale was false, and that they are perjured

JAMES GILCHRIST was much affected, and some time elapsed before he
could speak. He said--

“My Lords, what I say, I shall say and think as in the presence of my
God. I knew nothing of the business until four o’clock on the day on
which it took place. I then had not tasted a morsel of food the whole
day. [Here the prisoner burst into tears.] I then went to a place
where a person appointed to meet me at six o’clock, where I saw four
or five men, not one of whom I knew, except Cooper; of him I borrowed
a halfpenny, to buy a bit of bread. I appeal to God who now hears me,
(casting up his eyes), and knows that this is true.

“I went into the room at Cato-street, where I found a number of men
eating bread and cheese, which they cut with a sword. I cut some for
myself. Seeing so many men and arms, I was anxious to get away, but
Adams stopped me, and brandishing a sword, said, ‘If any man attempts
to go from here, I will run him through.’ An officer then came in, and
I surrendered without opposition.

“This was all I knew of the business, and yet I stand here convicted of
high treason. I have served my King and country faithfully for twelve
years, and this is my recompense, this is my recompense, O God!” [Here
the prisoner again burst into tears, and could proceed no further.]

CHARLES COOPER said, My Lords, there is no evidence to convict me of
high treason.

GILCHRIST came again to the bar, and said, My Lords, I have no
objection to die; I would willingly resign my life to save that of
another. (It was not known to whom he alluded). He again retired from
the bar in tears as before, and continued so till the whole of the
prisoners were removed from Court.

Proclamation was now made by the Crier that the Judge was going to
proceed to pass sentence on the prisoners, and enjoining strict silence
in the Court.

The Lord Chief-Justice ABBOTT, having put on that solemn part of the
judicial insignia, the black velvet cap, proceeded to his awful duty,
and thus addressed the prisoners:--

“You, Arthur Thistlewood, James Ings, John Thomas Brunt, William
Davidson, and Richard Tidd, have been severally tried and convicted of
High Treason, in Compassing and Levying War against his Majesty.

“You, James Wilson, John Harrison, Richard Bradburn, John Shaw Strange,
James Gilchrist, and Charles Cooper, did originally plead _Not Guilty_
to the same indictment; but, after the trial and conviction of the
preceding prisoners, you desired to withdraw your plea, and plead
_Guilty_. You have cast yourselves on the mercy of your sovereign; and
if any of you have your lives spared, which I trust will be the case
with some of you, I hope you will bear in mind that you owe it to the
benignity and mercy of your sovereign, and to some of those public
officers whom you had devoted to a cruel and sudden death.”

His Lordship then proceeded with his address. “Thistlewood,” he
observed, “had complained that the Court had refused to receive the
testimony of some witnesses, after the evidence had closed on both
sides. But he should recollect that his trial was conducted according
to the law, as it had been administered in this country for ages. The
witnesses whom he proposed to call were for the purpose of impugning
the testimony of a man of the name of Dwyer, and no other. His learned
counsel had previously called witnesses to the same effect. It could
not be allowed to him, according to the ordinary course of proceeding,
to do more. Indeed, even if he had been allowed so to do, it could have
been productive of no advantage, because his case did not depend upon
the evidence of that witness alone. This observation was confirmed by
the fact, that in subsequent cases, where the evidence of Dwyer was
altogether omitted, a similar verdict of guilty was returned.

“Some of them had thought fit to say much of the character of a person
who had not appeared as a witness upon this occasion. The Court could
proceed only upon the evidence which was brought before it. Of the
person, therefore, to whom they alluded, or of the practices of which
he had been guilty, they could have no knowledge. Upon the testimony,
however, which had been adduced against them, there was abundantly
sufficient to induce a Jury of their country to come to a conclusion,
that the whole of them had taken an active part in the crimes imputed
in the indictment.

“From all that had appeared in the course of these trials, as well
as from much of that which they had then heard, it was plain to see,
that they did not embark in their wicked designs until they had first
suffered their minds to be corrupted and inflamed by those seditious
and irreligious publications, with which, unhappily for this country,
the press had but too long teemed. He did not make these remarks to
aggravate their guilt, or to enhance the sufferings of persons in their
situation. He made them as a warning to all who might hear of their
unfortunate fate, that they might benefit by their example, and avoid
those dangerous instruments of sedition, by which their hearts and
minds were inflamed, and by which they were drawn from every feeling of
morality, from every sense of obligation towards their Creator, and of
justice towards society.

“The treason of which they were charged, and found guilty, was that
of compassing and imagining to levy war against his majesty, for the
purpose of inducing him to change his measures and Ministers; the
first step towards effecting which was to have been the assassination
of Ministers themselves. They had endeavoured now to complain of the
testimony of those persons who had been examined as witnesses on the
part of the prosecution. Some of them were accomplices in their guilt.

“It had here happened, as it had upon other occasions, that the
principal instruments in the hands of justice were partners in their
wickedness: he trusted that circumstance would have its due weight
and consideration with all those, who became acquainted with their
situation, and with the circumstances of their trial. He hoped that,
for the sake of their own personal safety, if they could not be
restrained by any other consideration, they would abstain from evil
communications and from evil connexions, such as had brought the
prisoners to the unhappy position in which they stood.

“Some of them had avowed their intention to have taken away the lives,
and to have steeped their hands in the blood of fourteen persons, to
many of them unknown. It was without a precedent to see Englishmen
laying aside their national character, and contriving and agreeing on
the assassination, in cold blood, of fourteen individuals, who had
never offended any of them. This was a crime which hitherto was a
stranger to our country, and he trusted it would, after the melancholy
example of the prisoners, be unknown amongst us.

“It now,” he said, “only remained for him to pass upon them the
awful sentence of the law; but before he did so, he exhorted them,
he implored them, to employ the time yet left to them in this life
in endeavouring, by prayer, to obtain mercy from that Almighty Power
before whom they would shortly appear. The mercy of heaven might be
obtained by all those who would unfeignedly, and with humility, express
contrition for their offences, and seek that mercy through the merits
of their blessed Redeemer.”

This awful appeal, delivered by the judge in the most impressive
manner, was wholly lost on Thistlewood, who, with apparent careless
indifference, pulled out his snuff-box, some of the contents of which
he took, casting his eyes round the court, as if he were entering a
theatre. His indifference was the more conspicuous when contrasted
with the solemn manner in which the Lord Chief-Justice addressed the

His Lordship continued.

“Whether the prisoners would profit by the advice which he thus
sincerely gave them he could not say, but he once again begged that
they might not allow themselves to be led away by such feelings and
opinions as seemed hitherto to have influenced them.

“He had now to pronounce upon them the sentence of the law, which was--

“That you, and each of you, be taken from hence to the gaol from whence
you came, and from thence that you be drawn upon a hurdle to a place
of execution, and be there hanged by the neck until you be dead; and
that afterwards your heads shall be severed from your bodies, and your
bodies be divided into four quarters, to be disposed of as his majesty
shall think fit. And may God of his infinite goodness have mercy upon
your souls!”

The crier said aloud, “Amen!” in which he was joined by many in the
Court, who were deeply affected by his Lordship’s address.

The prisoners were then removed from the bar; some of them,
particularly Thistlewood, Brunt, and Davidson, appearing to be wholly
unconcerned at the awful sentence which had been passed upon them, and
the whole of them evincing great firmness and resignation.

Tidd complained of the immense weight of his irons, when the Lord Chief
Justice, with that humanity and feeling which had characterized his
conduct throughout the whole of this arduous and painful business,
said he was sure the gaoler would grant the prisoner every indulgence
consistent with his safety.




The public anxiety had been, as we have already stated, more than
usually excited during the trials of the conspirators, and much
curiosity was, of course, felt as what would be the final result, and
on what particular day the unhappy, deluded wretches, would suffer the
last dreadful sentence of the law. The public suspense was, however,
terminated on Saturday, the day after the passing sentence of death,
when his Majesty held a Privy Council, at which Newman Knowles, Esq.,
the Common-Serjeant of London, (in the absence of the Recorder through
indisposition,) was admitted into the presence of the King, to make a
Report of the persons convicted of the crime of High Treason before
the Special Commissioners, in which the Learned Serjeant was assisted
by the Judges present, who tried the prisoners. The Council, at which
his Majesty was present, assembled at two o’clock, and continued in
deliberation till near four; and, after the Report had been received,
the Council proceeded to deliberate upon the fate of the prisoners, and
upon the period when it might be proper the execution should take place.

It was at length determined, with a view to render the example more
imposing, and to mark the sense which was entertained of the atrocious
offence of which the wretched culprits were found guilty, to order them
for execution on the following Monday; and that THISTLEWOOD, BRUNT,
INGS, DAVIDSON, and TIDD, should be the sufferers. But that part of
the sentence which directed that their bodies should be quartered was

The sentence of death on HARRISON, WILSON, COOPER, STRANGE, and
BRADBURN, was commuted to transportation for life, in conformity with
the implied pledge which they received when they agreed to plead
_Guilty_ to the indictments; and GILCHRIST was respited, without
mention of the commutation of punishment.

Mr. Brown, the Governor of Newgate, received the warrant at seven
o’clock in the evening, and, accompanied by the Under-Sheriff,
immediately went to the condemned room, in which were sitting those who
were ordered for execution, attended by eight officers.

When he entered, they rose in the most respectful manner. He held in
his hand the Recorder’s warrant, of the contents of which they appeared
conscious. A dead silence prevailed; but there was not the slightest
agitation observable in the countenances or manner of any one of the

Mr. Brown addressed them in the following words:--“It is my painful
duty to communicate to you, that I hold the Recorder’s warrant for the
execution of you, Thistlewood, Ings, Brunt, Davidson, and Tidd, on
Monday morning. I hope and trust that the short time you have to remain
in this world will be employed by you in making preparation for that to
which you are going.”

Thistlewood immediately, and in the calmest manner, said--“The sooner
we go, Sir, the better. Our wish is to die as soon as possible.” The
others expressed the same sentiments.

Mr. Brown.--“If any of you wish to have the assistance of a clergyman
of any persuasion, during your preparation, let me know it, and I
shall apply to the authority by which I am convinced you will not be

Not a word was uttered by any one of the prisoners.

Mr. Brown then said, “Let me entreat you with effect to give up your
thoughts to the contemplation of the change which you are about to
undergo. Your time in this life is very short; devote it to repentance,
and prayer to that Being who will not desert you at the moment of fatal

The prisoners did not speak, nor make any sign.

Mr. Brown then left the room, and the miserable men turned to the
conversation in which they had been engaged before he entered, without
any reference to the tidings they had just heard.

Upon going to the condemned room where the six conspirators who pleaded
guilty were confined, Mr. Brown observed a very striking contrast
to the scene which he had just quitted, as far as regarded Strange,
Bradburn, Cooper, and Gilchrist.

He entered with the Recorder’s warrant in his hand, which contained
cheering intelligence to them. Strange, Bradburn, Cooper, and
Gilchrist, seemed struck with consternation; but Harrison and Wilson
shewed no symptoms of agitation, but appeared rather to despise than to
pity the deplorable condition of their companions, and uttered not a
word expressive of hope or fear.

Mr. Brown then informed them, that mercy had been extended to them, and
that their lives were spared.

Strange, Cooper, Bradburn, and Gilchrist, immediately fell on
their knees, and, after a pause, gave utterance to incoherent and
unintelligible expressions of gratitude. Harrison and Wilson still
remaining silent, and apparently unmoved.

Mr. Brown said, “I have now to show you the dark side of the picture.
Your unfortunate miserable companions in crime who were tried, are
ordered for execution on Monday morning; and you, Harrison, Wilson,
Cooper, Strange, and Bradburn, are transported for life.”

Wilson, who before had appeared perfectly callous, now exclaimed, “Ah!
our poor friends; I am indeed sorry for them.” Harrison said nothing;
the others were too much occupied with the joy of their own escape to
bestow a thought upon those who were to forfeit their lives.

Mr. Brown said, “There is one of the most remarkable circumstances
attending your cases that ever took place upon any occasion; and, if
you have any feeling, it must make a deep and indelible impression upon
you. Those very persons against whose lives your hands were about to be
raised, are the men by whose intercession your lives have been saved.”

After Mr. Brown had performed so much of his painful task, he proceeded
to another step, which excited in the breast of some of the prisoners
a strong feeling of irritation, namely, to place them in separate
condemned cells.

They had entertained a hope that they would be permitted to spend the
last few hours of their life together, mutually to cheer each other
by their example, and to obtain those consolations which the society
of friends in so melancholy a situation must necessarily produce. Mr.
Brown, however, had received his instructions, and was bound to attend
to them, although he might himself have been anxious to grant them
every indulgence consistent with their safety.

The five unhappy men, whose hours were now numbered, were each removed
to the place appointed, and were still accompanied by two of the under

The reason assigned for this arrangement, was the existence of a spirit
of hardihood among the unfortunate men, which, while they remained
together, seemed but to increase.

In the early part of Saturday, they had been visited by the Reverend
Mr. Cotton (the Ordinary of Newgate), and exhorted by him to have
recourse to those prayers which had been so strongly and humanely
recommended by the Lord Chief Justice. They were, however, deaf to his
entreaties, and conjointly told him, that however much they respected
his motives, still that their minds were made up on religious subjects;
they were Deists, and therefore not inclined to join in that form of
appeal to Heaven, which, in the exercise of his sacred functions, he
thought it necessary to suggest. Mr. Cotton finding that his arguments
were productive of no good effect, left them with regret.

He repeated his visits during the afternoon, but with as little
success, and then determined not to renew his solicitations for some
hours, which would allow time for quiet reflection, concluding that
while their minds were in a state of irritation, he was still less
likely to open their hearts to that contrite feeling, from which he
could alone hope to bring them to a true sense of their situation.

On Sunday morning he re-commenced his pious labours, and on entering
their cells, repeated his former arguments; but they again repeated
their disbelief in the divinity of Christ, and refused through his
mediation to seek pardon of their offended Maker.

Davidson alone listened with attention, and he at length begged Mr.
Cotton to procure him a Wesleyan minister. His wish was communicated
to Mr. Brown, who, in the course of the morning attended at Whitehall,
and reported the circumstance. The Wesleyan minister selected by
Davidson, was a person of the name of Rennett, who, it seems, had been
a journeyman tailor, and had sometimes preached among the Wesleyans;
Davidson’s selection of him on this occasion, was founded on some
slight knowledge of him. As this man, however, was in a situation in
life not well adapted to reveal the holy tenets of salvation to a dying
man, it was thought prudent to decline introducing him to the prisoner.

In the course of Sunday, a most decided change took place in Davidson’s
manner and conduct, and having been induced to abandon his wish
of receiving spiritual comfort from the Wesleyan minister, it was
suggested, that if he desired it, he should have a regular clergyman
of any persuasion he might think fit. On hearing this proposition
again repeated to him, the rays of Christianity, burst, as it were,
through his dungeon’s gloom, and he immediately requested the spiritual
consolation of the Reverend Mr. Cotton. That gentleman visited him
immediately, and continued to attend him, and to administer all the
consolation in his power to the wretched man, up to the last moment of
his life. The unhappy Davidson also begged to be favoured with pen,
ink, and paper, as he was anxious to write to Lord Harrowby, towards
whom he continued to express the warmest respect. This request was
granted, and he wrote a letter of some length, (see p. 410) which he
sealed, and which was afterwards given to Mr. Under-Sheriff Turner, to
be delivered.

On Sunday afternoon, the heart-rending scene of introducing the
families of the wretched men to take a last farewell, was gone through.

Thistlewood’s interview with his wife and son was truly affecting; and
the scenes exhibited in the other cells were of the most agonizing
description. The unfortunate children, capable of understanding the
situation of their unhappy parents, were convulsed with sorrow. The
strongest feelings of commiseration were excited in the minds of those
whose painful duty it was to be present.

Brunt formed a solitary exception to this remark. His composure on
taking leave of his wife was of the most extraordinary description: he
expressed himself in the most unmoved manner, and declared that the day
of his execution would be to him the happiest of his life.

The solemn service of the condemned sermon, usually preached in the
chapel at Newgate, to repentant criminals, who are about to expiate
their crimes with their blood, was on this occasion, reluctantly
dispensed with. The miserable malefactors had so decidedly pronounced
themselves Deists, and (with the exception of Davidson, and even he,
until Sunday, had fully concurred with them) had evinced in all parts
of their conduct so awful a disregard of the precepts of Christianity
and disbelief in its divine origin, as to excite an apprehension
that their blasphemous principles would manifest themselves in some
dreadful act of infidelity during divine service; it was therefore
thought more prudent to omit the ceremony altogether, than to subject
the administration of our holy religion to public insult by avowed and
hardened infidels; and this determination was perfectly agreeable to
the miserable beings themselves, who had boasted of being impenetrable
to repentance, and determined to end the brief remnant of their days
in the same horrid anti-christian principles which they had throughout

In the course of Sunday, Alderman Wood called twice upon Mr. Brown, and
requested to be introduced to the prisoners. Mr. Brown said he would
willingly have complied with the worthy Alderman’s request, but his
instructions were, not to permit any person to have intercourse with
the unhappy men, save their families, unless under the sanction of an
order from the Privy Council.

Mr. Alderman Wood then begged that he would carry to the prisoners
three written questions, and obtain the answers; but this also Mr.
Brown refused, upon the principle of the strict performance of his duty.

During nearly the whole of Sunday night, the deluded malefactors,
who were attended by the city constables, slept soundly, and were
only awakened by the unbarring of their cell doors, to admit the
Reverend Ordinary. He found them in their separate cells, and went
to each, urging every pious argument to reclaim them to the paths of

On Thistlewood, Tidd, Ings, and Brunt, however, his arguments were
unavailing; but on Davidson his endeavours were crowned with success,
and in the most fervent manner this unfortunate man joined in prayer
with Mr. Cotton for mercy at the hands of his Redeemer.

The cells in which these delinquents were confined, though separated
by strong walls of stone, were not sufficiently detached to prevent
them from speaking to each other, and Ings, speaking, during the night,
of the approaching awful exhibition they were to make, remarked to
one of his companions, with savage disappointment, “that there would
be plenty of persons present; but d--n the ----, they had no pluck.”
Indeed, it seemed impossible to divert the mind of this wretched man
from the original object by which he had been actuated; he often
made declarations of the most terrific nature, and, amongst others,
“he wished that his body might be conveyed to the King, and that his
Majesty, or his cooks, might make turtle-soup of it!”

At five o’clock on Monday morning, Mr. Cotton went again to the gaol,
and proceeded to the condemned cells with the hallowed elements of the
sacrament, which was administered to and received by Davidson with the
utmost devotion.

The Reverend Gentleman offered the same means of redemption to the
other culprits, who, however, were immutable in their infidelity.

Brunt partook of the wine offered to him, but only for the purpose of
drinking the King’s health, which he appeared to do cordially. Davidson
also drank the King’s health, and joined fervently in the prayer for
him and the Royal Family, which is in the established Church Service.

At six o’clock breakfast was ordered for the wretched men, and all but
Davidson expressed a desire that they might be allowed to breakfast
together. It was known, however, that they wished to arrange and mature
what each should say upon the scaffold, and therefore Mr. Brown most
prudently refrained from complying with this request.

While these occurrences were taking place within the gaol, the
exhibition without was not destitute of interest; and the arrangements
making among the persons whose official duties connected them with the
final execution of the law, were of the highest importance.

The Sunday papers had announced the period fixed for the execution,
and as this was accompanied by a speculation that a scaffold was to be
erected on the top of the prison, upon which the ignominious sentence
was to be performed, thousands of persons flocked towards the Old
Bailey, and continued to do so during the day, assembling in groups for
information, and not unfrequently indulging in language disgraceful to
themselves, and alarming to those who felt anxious for the peace of the
metropolis. Among these persons were many who had long been known as
the constant attendants at those factious meetings, the repetitions of
which have been productive of so much mischief.

On Saturday evening, Mr. Sheriff Rothwell and Mr. Under-Sheriff
Turner, had waited on Lord Sidmouth to arrange the mode in which the
execution should take place. The plan at first proposed of erecting a
scaffold on the top of the prison at the end near Newgate-street, was
then considered and abandoned, Lord Sidmouth being of opinion that
there was no necessity for departing from the form customary on like
occasions; and, on the suggestion of Sheriff Rothwell, it was further
resolved to dispense with that part of the sentence which directed that
the culprits should be drawn on a hurdle to the place of execution, in
consideration of the great inconvenience that might arise in conveying
them along the streets in the manner which had been adopted on former
occasions, namely, from the court-yard in front of the Sessions-house
to the scaffold.

On the return of Mr. Sheriff Rothwell and Mr. Under-Sheriff Turner,
from the office of the Secretary of State, with their final
instructions, they directed Mr. Montague, one of the surveyors of
public buildings in the city, to make the necessary arrangements
for resisting the pressure of the crowd which was anticipated, and
for enlarging the ordinary scaffold to such a size as would admit
of the performance of the more awful part of the ceremony--that of
decapitating the criminals.

To effect these works, a great number of men were suddenly called into
requisition, and during the whole of Sunday they were actively engaged.

The addition to the scaffold was made in the Court-yard in front of the
Sessions-house, and the loud strokes of the carpenters’ hammers soon
attracted the attention of the passengers, hundreds of whom mounted
upon the wall to view what was going forward. The confusion created at
this spot induced Mr. Montague to send to the Lord Mayor for the aid
of some constables, and in a short time the City Marshal, arrived at
the head of several officers. The crowd was immediately removed from
the wall, and order was restored.

Curiosity was next directed to the workmen at the ends of the various
avenues leading to the Old Bailey, across which strong posts and rails
were erected in such a manner as to prevent the distant crowd from
throwing the whole of their weight on those in front, and thereby
preventing that confusion and danger which otherwise would have been
incurred, and which was productive of such melancholy consequences at
the execution of Holloway and Haggerty, for the murder of Mr. Steel[2].

There were double rows of rails across the top of the Old Bailey,
across Newgate-street, Giltspur-street, Skinner-street, Fleet-lane, and
in fact at the mouth of every approach to the prison.

In the course of Sunday morning Mr. Sheriff Rothwell and Mr.
Under-Sheriff Turner held a consultation with the Lord Mayor, as to
the necessity of applying to the Secretary of State for the Home
Department, to direct the attendance of a military force, not alone in
the prison, but in its immediate vicinity.

The result of their deliberations was, that such an application was
highly proper; and accordingly Mr. Turner was despatched to Whitehall,
with a letter to Lord Sidmouth, intimating the wish of the Lord Mayor.
In consequence of this application, in the course of the afternoon
one hundred men were ordered to proceed to the gaol of Newgate, and a
detachment of fifty was quartered in Giltspur-street Compter.

Other detachments were on duty at a short distance from the prison. In
fact, every possible precaution was adopted to prevent disturbance or

As the evening advanced, the throng in front of the prison increased,
and at eight o’clock the pressure was so great, that it required the
utmost exertions of the constables on duty to prevent the interruption
of the workmen. Thousands of all ranks and ages congregated in front of
the gaol.

The scaffold had been brought forth from the Court-yard, and the
carpenters were busily employed in erecting the additional platform,
which was ten feet square, and constructed with great solidity. They
continued their operations by torch-light, which seemed as it were but
to make “darkness visible,” and considerably enhanced the solemnity of
the scene.

Such was the anxiety of some to witness the execution, that they
literally determined to remain in the neighbourhood all night, and
thousands sacrificed their natural rest to the gratification of their

The windows of the houses in the Old Bailey and the streets adjacent,
commanding a view of the scaffold were let out at exorbitant prices.
The sums demanded for a view from the windows were from ten shillings
to two guineas, but even at these prices there was a superabundance of

Very early on Monday morning, the bar, which had previously been
bounded but by one rank of spectators, was enclosed by a second, and
the assembling populace soon began to assume the appearance of a crowd.
They stood in immense masses by the time the clock struck five.

An idea partially prevailed, that the area immediately without the rail
which encompassed the scaffold, where on ordinary occasions spectators
are allowed to stand, would be cleared out when the constables arrived,
and this induced many to take their stations beyond the first barrier.
This apprehension turned out to be well-founded; and, at a quarter
past five, those who had been for hours clinging to the inner rail
were obliged reluctantly to abandon the situations in which they had
proposed to witness the execution. No exceptions were made; and none
but officers, and those engaged to assist in the preparations, were
suffered to remain. Compelled to retire from the immediate vicinity of
the scaffold, they attempted to take up a position beyond the first
rail, but they were again disappointed, and the officers still pressed
on them till they had retreated beyond the second bar, which was placed
at the very extremity of the Old Bailey, on a line with Newgate-street.

The lamp-iron which is fixed in the wall of the prison between the
corner of the street and the Debtor’s door had been climbed by three
persons, and that at the corner was taken possession of in the same
way. Both were now relieved from the load which they had sustained
for hours. The pump, and the lamps above it, were crowded to an
extraordinary degree. The situation appeared one of danger, but those
who had taken the trouble to ascend it were suffered to remain.

When the crowd had passed the second bar (that which crossed the
road from the end of Newgate-street), it was immediately lined with
constables. In the opposite direction, a similar course was taken, and
a bar erected a little below the Felons’ door precluded on that side
any closer approach.

An extensive area was thus taken from the ground which the populace
on ordinary occasions are suffered to occupy. The precautions adopted
on this occasion greatly surpassed those resorted to on that of
Bellingham’s execution; but placards like those then addressed to the
populace, warning them of the danger of pressing forward too eagerly,
from the more efficient measures taken to guard against the pressure
of the crowd, were thought unnecessary.

Between five and six o’clock a great quantity of sawdust was brought
out and deposited beneath the scaffold on which the decollations were
to be performed. It was shortly afterwards transferred to the top of
it, and at the same time black cloth was brought, and the scaffold
erected in the rear of the drop was completely covered with it. The
posts which sustained the chains above it received the same sable
attire; and while these preparations were in progress, every avenue
leading into the Old Bailey was carefully secured by strong wooden
rails fixed across, and guarded by constables.

At twenty minutes before six, a party of the Foot Guards (sixty-one
in number) came out of the prison by the felons’-door; they passed
down Brown’s-yard, opposite Newgate, where they were ordered to remain
till their services should be required. At the same time, a detachment
moved down Newgate-street towards the City, to secure the peace of the
metropolis, should it be in any manner threatened.

Before six o’clock, the City-Marshals arrived; and Mr. Sheriff Rothwell
made his appearance at the same moment. He was not accompanied by his
colleague, the Junior Sheriff. He carefully inspected the preparations
for the awful business of the morning. The crowd, before repressed
beyond the felons’-door, were about this time compelled to move still
lower down towards Ludgate-hill.

Mr. Alderman Wood also arrived on the spot very early in the morning;
and, on first going into Mr. Brown’s office, expressed considerable
indignation at his not being suffered to commune with the convicts when
he called at Newgate on Sunday; stating that the gaol was no longer
under the direction of the city, but under that of Lord Sidmouth,
orders having been issued from the Secretary of State’s office, to
suffer no one to see these convicts, unless by a properly authenticated

At six o’clock the constables assembled in immense numbers, and the
firemen from the different insurance-offices were among them.

Shortly after six, the City-Marshal called over the names of the
officers in attendance from the different City wards. This done, they
were formed into several parties, and its proper station was assigned
to each.

At this time the Lord-Mayor attended, and, accompanied by the
City-Marshal superintended the whole of the arrangements.

During the time occupied by the preparations above described,
the conduct of the countless thousands assembled on this awfully
interesting occasion was peaceable in the extreme. Curiosity seemed
powerfully excited; but no political feeling was manifested by any part
of the crowd, and they awaited the termination of the dreadful scene in
silence. Sometimes a low murmur ran through the expecting multitude,
as some new object connected with the proceedings was pressed on their
attention; but it was a murmur of surprise or of interest, which never
took the tone of clamorous disapprobation.

For a rescue--if it was ever contemplated--all hopes of accomplishing
it must have been annihilated by the precautions we have enumerated.
The powerful force assembled on the spot must have convinced the most
frantic Radicals that all resistance was vain, and escape on failure

It was generally reported that the execution would take place an hour
before the usual time of execution. At a quarter before seven, the
persons accommodated at the top of the prison were observed to retire
from the front of the building. This, in consequence of the rumour
just alluded to, caused it to be generally surmised that the prisoners
were about to be led out immediately. The rumour, however, proved to be

At seven o’clock, the crowd which was collected about the prison, in
every avenue leading to it, or commanding the most distant glimpse
of its walls, was beyond all calculation; but still there was not
the least appearance of disorder. In fact, such were the formidable
preparations to preserve the peace, that no possible alarm could exist.
In the event of a riot, however, the Lord Mayor was prepared with large
boards on poles, ready to be used, should it become necessary to read
the Riot Act. They were brought within the rail which enclosed the
gallows; and bills were immediately nailed to them, containing, in
large characters, the following words:


These were then laid down on each side of the debtors-door. Of course
they were not exhibited to the populace, being only prepared to be used
in case of necessity, that, if unhappily it should become the duty of
the civil authorities to have recourse to so strong a measure, it might
be impossible for the multitude to be ignorant of the peril to which
they would be exposed by neglecting to yield prompt obedience to the

A party of the Life Guards was stationed towards the lower end of
the Old-Bailey, and a small detachment appeared at the end next St.
Sepulchre’s Church. On a sudden a loud noise attracted the attention
of every one; this was caused by the awkward situation in which a
person had placed himself, who, having got within the second bar, had
clambered up against one of the houses, where the constables, who felt
it their duty to remove him, could not get at him. He was at length
pulled down by the heels, amidst the boisterous laughter of the crowd,
who in this manifested all the thoughtless levity of a common mob--a
levity not unlike that described by the unfortunate Hackman to have
preceded the execution of Dr. Dodd[3].

Several persons of distinction--among others some military officers of
rank--arrived in the course of the morning, and Mr. Brown, the gaoler,
afforded them accommodation in his house. They took their places at the
drawing-room windows, and were thus enabled to command an excellent
view of the whole melancholy scene.

Shortly after seven o’clock, the executioner made his appearance on
the drop, and placed the steps by which he was to ascend to tie the
sufferers to the fatal beam. The saw-dust, which had been previously
collected in two small heaps on the second scaffold, was now spread
over the boards.

The coffins were then brought out, and placed on the saw-dust, the foot
of each being put so as nearly to touch the platform, from which those
who were to fill them were to be launched into eternity. They had no
lids on them. The coffin of Thistlewood was first lifted out. The third
coffin brought out appeared longer than the others, and was supposed to
be intended for Davidson, who was the tallest man; but this conjecture
proved erroneous.

The persons employed to bring the coffins swept out the large one,
and then proceeded to throw saw-dust into them, that the blood of the
sufferers might not find its way through.

The block was now brought up, and placed at the head of the first
coffin. Most of the spectators were surprised at the shape of the
block, as, instead of presenting a flat surface, it was slanted off,
so that the top of it was quite sharp.

The awful moment was now rapidly approaching when the ill-fated men
were to be removed to another world. Each of them conversed freely with
the officers who had them in charge, and severally declared that moment
to be the happiest of their lives.

Davidson alone continued to pray fervently to the moment of his
removal; but the others seemed perfectly unmoved by their approaching

The six prisoners who had received the royal clemency, had been
previously removed to another part of the prison, under the care and
superintendence of a turnkey.

The four before-mentioned, _viz._ Strange, Cooper, Bradburn, and
Gilchrist, continued to express themselves in the most grateful and
enthusiastic terms, that their lives had been saved through the kind
and benevolent interposition of those illustrious personages whose
lives were intended to fall sacrifices to their diabolical project; but
Wilson and Harrison persisted in the most obstinate indifference to the
mercy which had been so graciously extended towards them. During the
night and morning, they became excessively uneasy; and, while they wept
for the ignominious fate of their companions, they expressed a wish
that they might have been participators in its consequences, horrible
as they were.

About half-past seven o’clock, the Sheriffs, Under-Sheriffs, several
young noblemen, and a number of gentlemen, walked in the procession (as
is usual) through the various passages in Newgate, till they arrived at
the door of the condemned cells, which comes into the press-yard. The
unhappy criminals, since receiving sentence of death, had been confined
in the lower ward of the prison assigned to capital convicts.

Thistlewood came out of the condemned cell first; he bowed to the
Sheriffs and gentlemen present; he looked very pale, he cast up his
eyes, and said, “It appears fine.” He displayed uncommon firmness,
and held out his hands for the assistant executioner to tie them. He
observed to the persons near him, that he never felt in better spirits
in the course of his life. He was attired in the same apparel that he
wore during his trial. The composure he exhibited was striking; but
there was nothing like bravado or carelessness. He now advanced to the
block to have his irons knocked off; and, while the turnkey was in the

Mr. Alderman Wood advanced to Thistlewood, and said, “Thistlewood, I
wish you to give me an answer to two or three questions.”

_Mr. Sheriff Rothwell_--“Mr. Alderman, I must interfere. I am sure you
have had quite experience enough of magisterial duties to know, that
on a solemn occasion of this kind, you ought not to interfere with a
prisoner on the point of death.”

_Mr. Alderman Wood_--“You prevented me, Mr. Sheriff, from entering
Newgate yesterday, to obtain the information I am now about to seek.
You have no authority to prevent me from now having it, as the gaol is
this day under the superintendence of Lord Sidmouth; and I must persist
in obtaining answers to my questions, if the prisoner chooses to give

_Mr. Sheriff Rothwell_--“I cannot suffer you to disturb the quiet of
this unhappy man’s mind at this awful moment, Mr. Alderman. I must, by
virtue of my office, interfere, and prevent you from doing any thing
which can have a tendency to distract the mind of a man in his awful
situation--one who is indeed dead in law.”

_Mr. Sheriff Parkins_--“I must insist on the Worthy Alderman’s being
permitted to put any question he pleases, unless the prisoner objects.
I now authorise Alderman Wood to put whatever questions he wishes.”

_Mr. Sheriff Rothwell_--“Well, I must again object. I think it highly

_Mr. Alderman Wood_--“I have the questions here written down, and I’ll
put them to you. Thistlewood, when did you first become acquainted with

_Thistlewood_--“About June last.”

_Mr. Alderman Wood_--“Where did you become acquainted with Edwards?”

_Thistlewood_--“At Preston’s.”

_Mr. Alderman Wood_, who did not appear to have heard the final letter,
said, “At Preston, in Lancashire?”

_Thistlewood_--“No: at Preston’s, the shoemaker.”

_Mr. Alderman Wood_--“Did he ever give you any money?”

_Thistlewood_--“Yes, I had a little from him, a pound-note at a time.”

The Worthy Alderman wrote down the answers he had received to his

Mr. Sheriff Rothwell appeared extremely angry at the course taken
by the Worthy Alderman, while his colleague, Mr. Sheriff Parkins,
expressed his warm approbation of it.

Tidd next made his appearance; he came out of the cell into the
Press-yard with an air of assumed gaiety. He smiled during the time
he was being pinioned, and continued quite cheerful during the time
his irons were knocking off. The moment his legs were free from their
burden, he ran towards Thistlewood, who had taken a seat on a bench
(placed in the yard for the purpose), and said, “Well, Mr. Thistlewood,
how do you do,” and they shook hands most heartily. Thistlewood said,
“He was never better.” Tidd conversed in the most gay and cheerful
manner with the turnkey, while he was driving the rivets out of his
irons, and composedly assisted the man in taking them off.

Ings then came out of the cell, and danced as he came down the steps
along the yard. He was dressed in his usual clothes as a butcher, a
rough pepper-and-salt coloured worsted jacket, and a dirty cap. During
the time his hands were being tied he became thoughtful, afterwards
he seemed hurried and in great mental pain; but before his irons were
knocked off he began to laugh and shout, and afterwards took a seat by
the side of his fellow-sufferers.

Brunt was then brought into the Press-yard; he was perfectly composed,
but looked round eagerly to see his wretched companions. He nodded to
them, and then held out his hands to have them tied. He said nothing
during the time he was being pinioned and having his irons taken off;
but afterwards he addressed Thistlewood, Tidd, and Ings; he told them
to keep up their spirits, and to one of his companions he said, “All
will soon be well.”

Davidson was then brought out of his cell; he seemed a little affected
at the sight of his companions, but soon regained that composure which
he evinced during the trials. His lips moved; but he did not betray
much anxiety till his irons were knocked off. He then looked wildly at
the Rev. Mr. Cotton, and appeared to be in prayer, very devoutly; the
others declared they were about to die in peace with all mankind, but
that they had all made up their minds on religious matters, and were
determined to die Deists.

Davidson took the sacrament in the morning at six o’clock, from Mr.
Cotton, and prayed most fervently. He also joined the Rev. Gentleman in
a prayer for the prosperity of his Majesty King George IV., though he
avowed he had not the same feeling for his ministers. A glass of wine
was offered to Thistlewood, who politely refused. Tidd and Brunt took a
glass each.

The irons of the culprits were then knocked off in succession.
Thistlewood requested Mr. Cotton to speak to him, but for no other
motive than to request he would observe his conduct had been manly, and
to state that he was perfectly happy, and died in peace with God.

Even to the last moment, the attentions of the Reverend Ordinary
to the four men whom we have pointed out were unavailing: to every
remonstrance he offered, the only answer was, they wanted no assistance
of his, their minds were perfectly made up on religious subjects, and
they believed they should receive mercy at the hands of God.

When the awful ceremony of pinioning the culprits by the yeoman of
the halter was concluded, they each shook hands, and most fervently
exclaimed, “God bless you.” The Reverend Mr. Cotton then began to read
the burial service, commencing at the words “I am the resurrection and
the life,” _&c._, and, the arrangements being completed, the procession
advanced through the dark passages of the gaol, led by the Sheriffs and
Under-Sheriffs. The Reverend Mr. Cotton moved first.

Thistlewood followed, with his eyes fixed, as it were, in abstract
thought, and apparently lost to his situation. A vacant and unmeaning
stare pervaded his countenance, which seemed unmoved by the devotions
of the pious Ordinary.

Tidd walked next, and although somewhat affected by his situation, his
manner was collected, manly, and unaffectedly firm.

Ings came next, and was laughing without reserve, and used every forced
effort to subdue the better feelings of nature, which might remind him
of his awful situation; his conduct was more like a delirium of fear
than an effect of courage.

Brunt, in fixed and hardened obduracy of mind, next advanced, and with
a sullen and morose air of indifference surveyed the officers who were
conducting him to his fate.

The unhappy Davidson came last, with clasped hands and uplifted eyes,
praying most devoutly; and the officers of the gaol closed the mournful

On their arrival at the Lodge, from which the Debtors’-door leads
to the scaffold, a moment’s pause took place, while the dreadful
paraphernalia of death were adjusted without. Thistlewood, who stood
first, clasped his lips, and with a frown surveyed, from the door-way
in which he stood, the awful preparations for his fate.

The Under-Sheriff, at this period stepped into the road from the
Governor’s house, to ascertain how far the preparations had proceeded.
Every thing seemed to be completely arranged. A party of the
Horse-Guards seemed about to pass the barrier beyond which they had
previously been stationed, but they did not persevere, in consequence
of the difficulty of penetrating the crowd.

The persons who had previously retired from the front of the prison
now (at twenty minutes before eight) returned to their old places on
the top of it. This, with other circumstances just particularized,
announced that the culprits were about to be conducted to the scaffold.

The re-appearance of the executioner, and the solemn sound of the bell,
removed all doubt on the subject. Every one felt that the awful moment
was at hand; and the assembled thousands stood uncovered in silent,
breathless, expectation.

Those opposite the prison saw in the next moment the procession from
the interior of it reach the door through which the culprits were to
pass to expiate their crimes with their blood.

The Ordinary ascended the platform, and at a quarter before eight
Thistlewood made his appearance on the scaffold. His step faultered a
little as he mounted the platform, and his countenance was somewhat
flushed and disordered on being conducted to the extremity of the drop.
His deportment was firm, and he looked round at the multitude with
perfect calmness. He had an orange in his hand. On the cap being placed
on his head, he desired that it might not be put over his eyes. While
the executioner was putting the rope round his neck, a person from the
top of the houses exclaimed, “Good Almighty bless you.” Thistlewood
nodded. The Reverend Mr. Cotton, by whom he was preceded, endeavoured
to obtain his attention; but he shook his head, and said, “No, no.”
He looked round repeatedly, as expecting to recognise some one in the
crowd, and appeared rather disconcerted at observing the distance to
which the populace were removed.

Some of those to whom the face of Thistlewood was not familiar,
imagined that he gave proofs of the fear of death upon the scaffold,
but in this supposition they were much mistaken. At the moment that he
has been heard uttering his dangerous politics in safety, and declaring
his determination to stand or fall by them, the expression of his
features was the same; and Thistlewood with the rope round his neck was
the same Thistlewood that appeared so conspicuous at Smithfield.

Mr. Cotton approached him while the executioner was making his awful
arrangements, and spoke to him upon the subject of his thoughts of
hereafter. Thistlewood shook his head, and said he required no earthly
help upon that subject. He then sucked his orange, and, looking down
at the officers who were collected about the scaffold, said, in a firm
voice, “I have but a few moments to live, and I hope the world will be
convinced that I have been sincere in my endeavours, and that I die a
friend to liberty.”

The figure of the miserable man, which naturally was not good, had
undergone a change for the worse: in consequence of the pressure of
the rope with which his arms were fastened behind, his shoulders were
raised to a degree that closely approached deformity. The executioner
having placed the cap upon his head, and fastened the rope round the
beam, looked towards the Sheriff as a signal that his duties towards
Thistlewood were completed.

While the executioner was performing his last offices without to this
wretched man, the scene within the Lodge was almost beyond the power of
description. The dreadful obduracy of Brunt and Ings filled with horror
the small assemblage of persons among whom they stood.

Ings, with a hardihood almost indescribable, sucked an orange, with
which Sheriff Parkins had provided him, as well as all the other
prisoners, and sung, or rather screamed, in a discordant voice, “Oh!
give me death or liberty!” Brunt rejoined, “Aye, to be sure. It is
better to die free, than to live slaves!”

A gentleman in the Lodge admonished them to consider their approaching
fate, and to recollect the existence of a Deity, into whose supreme
presence a few minutes would usher them.

Brunt exclaimed, “I know there is a God!” and Ings added, “Yes, to be
sure; and I hope he will be more merciful to us than they are here.”

Tidd, who had stood in silence, was now summoned to the scaffold. He
shook hands with all but Davidson, who had separated himself from the

Ings again seized Tidd’s hand at the moment he was going out, and
exclaimed, with a burst of laughter, “Give us your hand! Good-bye!”

A tear stood in Tidd’s eye, and his lips involuntarily muttered, “My
wife and----!”

Ings proceeded--“Come my old cock-o’-wax, keep up your spirits; it all
will be over soon.”

Tidd immediately squeezed his hand, and ran towards the stairs leading
to the scaffold. In his hurry, his foot caught the bottom step, and he
stumbled. He recovered himself, however, in an instant, and rushed upon
the scaffold, where he was immediately received with three cheers from
the crowd, in which he made a slight effort to join.

The applause was evidently occasioned by the bold and fearless manner
in which the wretched man advanced to his station. He turned to the
crowd who were upon Snow-hill, and bowed to them. He then looked down
upon the coffins and smiled, and turning round to the people who were
collected in the Old-Bailey towards Ludgate-hill, bowed to them.
Several voices were again heard, and some in the crowd expressed their
admiration of Tidd’s conduct.

The rope having been put round his neck, he told the executioner that
the knot would be better on the right than on the left side, and that
the pain of dying might be diminished by the change. He then assisted
the executioner, and turned round his head several times for the
purpose of fitting the rope to his neck. He afterwards familiarly
nodded to some one whom he recognised at a window, with an air of
cheerfulness. He also desired that the cap might not be put over his
eyes, but said nothing more. He likewise had an orange in his hand,
which he continued to suck most heartily. He soon became perfectly
calm, and remained so till the last moment of his life.

In the interim, Davidson, who had not yet come out, leaned with
his back against a dresser in the lodge, and continued with his
hands clasped, praying in the most fervent manner, and calling with
unfeigned and unreserved piety for the intervention of the Redeemer.
Brunt and Ings, however, persevered in the same hardihood that they
had manifested throughout, and continued venting their thoughts in
unreserved ejaculations.

A humane individual who stood by remonstrated with Brunt again, and
besought him to ask pardon of God.

Brunt, with a fierce and savage air, surveyed his adviser
contemptuously, and exclaimed, “What have I done? I have done nothing!
What should I ask pardon for?” The stranger rejoined, “So you say,
Brunt; but if you have ever injured any man, or done any thing which
your conscience tells you is wrong, ask pardon of God, penitently
and sincerely, and you will, I have no doubt, obtain mercy.”--Brunt
replied, “I die with a perfectly clear conscience. I have made my peace
with God, and I never injured no man.” The stranger proceeded, “Believe
in the Lord Jesus Christ!” Brunt surveyed his humane adviser again, and
muttered, “My mind is made up.”

“Well done, Brunt!” exclaimed Ings, and was again proceeding to sing,

     “Oh give me death or liberty,”

when he was summoned to the scaffold. He turned to Brunt, and, with a
smile on his countenance, shook hands with him, and prepared to go.
While the hatch was opening, he exclaimed, with a loud voice, “Remember
me to King George the IVth; God bless him, and may he have a long
reign.” He now recollected that he had some clothes left behind, which
he requested might be given to his wife. The wretched man had thrown
off the clothes in which he had been tried, and had put on an old
butcher’s jacket, determining, as he said, “that Jack Ketch should
have no coat of his.”

[Illustration: JAMES INGS.


_Wivell Delin^t._      _Cooper Sculp^t._]

While he stood on the edge of the steps, at the door of the gaol, he
said to Davis, one of the turnkeys, “Well, Mr. Davis, I am going to
find out this great secret,” and then springing upon the scaffold,
exclaimed, “Good-bye! Gentlemen. Here goes the remains of an
unfortunate man.”

He rushed to the platform, upon which he leaped and bounded in the most
frantic manner. Then turning himself round towards Smithfield, and
facing the very coffin that was soon to receive his mutilated body,
he raised his pinioned hands, in the best way he could, and leaning
forward with savage energy, roared out three distinct cheers to the
people, in a voice of the most frightful and discordant hoarseness.
But these unnatural yells of desperation, which were evidently nothing
but the ravings of a disordered mind, or the ebullitions of an assumed
courage, struck the majority of the vast multitude who heard them with

Turning his face towards Ludgate-hill, he bowed, and cried out, “This
is going to be the last remains of James Ings,” and shouted out part
of the song in which the words _Death or Liberty_ are introduced. He
laughed upon looking at the coffins, and said, turning his back to
them, “I’ll turn my back upon death!--Is this the gallows they always
use? Those coffins are for us, I suppose.”

Tidd, who stood next to him, and had the moment before been in
conversation with Thistlewood, turned about, and said, “Don’t, Ings.
There is no use in all this noise. We can die without making a noise.”
Ings was silent for a few moments; but as the executioner approached
him with the rope, he called out, “Do it well--pull it tight!”

When the executioner threw the rope round the beam, he said, “Give me a
better fall; the others won’t have fall enough.” When the man put him
on the cap, Ings said, “I have got a cap of my own; put it over this
night-cap, and I’ll thank you.” The executioner proceeded to do so; but
Ings said, “It will do when we are going off: let me see as long as I
can.” He then pushed the cap from his eyes. The others had raised the
caps from their eyes. “Here I go, James Ings!” said he, “and let it be
known that I die an enemy to all tyrants. Ah ha! I see a good many of
my friends are on the houses.”

Again Tidd turned round to Ings, and, as it appeared, at the suggestion
of Thistlewood, requested that he would not continue the noise. Ings
laughed and remained silent for a few minutes.

Mr. Cotton approached Tidd and Ings, but they turned away from him.
Ings smiled at his interference, but Tidd turned round to Thistlewood
and spoke a few words, in which he seemed to complain of the
inclination of the Ordinary to break in upon their last moments.

Thistlewood now said to Tidd, “We shall soon know the last grand

Brunt, who, after the departure of Ings, stood by himself within
the porch of the prison, having no companion of his own principles
to encourage him, (as Davidson stood far away from him,) muttered
something about the injustice of his fate. The persons around him
repeatedly entreated him to alter his religious creed, during the
last few moments left, and to believe in the Saviour of the world.
Still immutable--still hardened in iniquity--he listened not to
the remonstrances of sincere friends, who besought him, for his
wife’s sake, and for the sake of his son, to ask the protection
of the Redeemer for them; but he appeared tired of these friendly
importunities, and wished to ascend the scaffold next.

Davidson, however, was summoned before him, and with a composed
countenance and a firm step he passed by his former companion in guilt
to his fate, without noticing him.

Brunt now appeared considerably irritated. “What,” he exclaimed, “am I
to be the last? Why is this? They can have my blood but once, and why
am I to be kept to the last? But I suppose they are afraid I should say
something to the people, because I spoke my mind on the trial. However,
I don’t care.”

Davidson walked up the platform with a firm and steady step, but with
all that respectful humility becoming the condition to which he had
reduced himself. He bowed to the crowd, and instantly joined Mr. Cotton
in prayer. He seemed inattentive to every thing but the journey he was
about to take, and his lips moved in prayer until he was no longer
able to speak. He made no request to have his eyes uncovered, but was
evidently preparing himself for bidding an eternal adieu to a world of
which he had ceased to be an inhabitant.

Brunt was the last summoned to the fatal platform, and he rushed
upon it with impetuosity. Some of the people cheered him, which
evidently gratified and pleased him. It brought a sort of grin on his
countenance, which remained till his death. But his aspect “belied
his utterance.” Externally he appeared to have shrunk more from his
fate than any one of his wretched companions; his cheeks had sunk
extremely, giving a degree of ghostly prominence to a forehead,
cheek-bones, and chin, naturally very much protruded, and his colour
was of a livid paleness; but the eyes of the man sent forth from their
deep recesses glances of distressing keenness; his lips were firmly
compressed together; not a tear trickled down his cheeks; there was no
quaking of the members. To use an expressive phrase of his speech on
receiving sentence, “he went through with the business.” “What,” said
he, “soldiers! What do they do here? I see nothing but a military
government will do for this country, unless there are a good many such
as we are. I see a good many of my friends round about.”

While the rope was being adjusted, he looked towards St. Sepulchre’s
Church, and perceiving, or affecting to perceive, some one with whom
he had been acquainted, he nodded several times, and then made an
inclination of the head towards the coffins, as if in derision of the
awful display. His conduct was marked by the same irrational levity to
the last. When his handkerchief was taken off, the stiffener fell out,
and he kicked it away, saying, “I shan’t want you any more.”

His last act was to take a pinch of snuff from a paper which he held in
his hand. He stooped to put it to his nose, and this he was only able
to effect by pushing up the night-cap which hung over his face. He also
threw off his shoes.

The executioner was now proceeding to adjust the ropes, and to pull the
caps over the faces of the wretched men. A voice from the crowd again
called out, “God bless you, Thistlewood!” Thistlewood looked towards
the place from which it issued, and slightly inclined his head. He then
said a few words in a whisper to Tidd, and awaited his fate in silence.

Brunt refused altogether to speak with Mr. Cotton upon the subject of
the next world, and declared that he had done all he thought necessary
for the place to which he was going. He appeared disposed to address
the crowd, but they were at too great a distance, and the executioner
was quick at his work.

The cap was first drawn over the face of Thistlewood, and his cravat
was bound over his eyes. He stooped gently while the man tied it, and
appeared to direct him as to the way in which he wished it done.

When the executioner came to Ings, the unhappy man said, “Now, old
gentleman, finish me tidily. Tie the handkerchief tight over my eyes.
Pull the rope tighter; it may slip.”

When the handkerchief was tied over his eyes, he cried out, “I hope,
Mr. Cotton, you will give me a good character!” and commenced swinging
about in his hand an old night-cap in the most careless manner.

Tidd’s lips were in motion just before he was turned off, as if in
prayer. Davidson was in the most fervent prayer, and seemed to feel his
situation with a becoming spirit. He firmly pressed the hand of the
Rev. Mr. Cotton.

The executioner having completed the details of his awful duty, by
placing the criminals in a proper situation upon the trap-door, walked
down the ladder, and left Mr. Cotton alone upon the scaffold. The
Reverend Gentleman standing closer to Davidson than to any of the rest,
began to read those awful sentences which have sounded last in the ears
of so many unhappy men. Suddenly the platform fell, and the agonies of
death were exhibited to the view of the crowd in their most terrific

Thistlewood struggled slightly for a few minutes, but each effort was
more faint than that which preceded; and the body soon turned round
slowly, as if upon the motion of the hand of death.

Tidd, whose size gave cause to suppose that he would “pass” with little
comparative pain, scarcely moved after the fall. The struggles of Ings
were great. The assistants of the executioner pulled his legs with all
their might; and even then the reluctance of the soul to part from its
native seat was to be observed in the vehement efforts of every part of
the body. Davidson, after three or four heaves, became motionless; but
Brunt suffered extremely, and considerable exertions were made by the
executioners and others to shorten his agonies, by pulling and hanging
upon his legs. However, in the course of five minutes all was still.


Exactly half an hour after they had been turned off, the order was
given to cut the bodies down. The executioner immediately ascended the
scaffold, and drew the legs of the sufferers up, and placed the dead
men, who were still suspended, in a sitting position, with their feet
towards Ludgate-hill. This being done, the trap-door was again put
up, and the platform restored to its original state. The executioner
proceeded to cut Thistlewood down; and, with the aid of an assistant,
lifted the body into the first coffin, laying it on the back, and
placing the head over the end of the coffin, so as to bring the neck on
the edge of the block. The rope was then drawn from the neck, and the
cap was removed from the face.

The last convulsions of expiring life had thrown a purple hue over the
countenance, which gave it a most ghastly and appalling appearance; but
no violent distortion of feature had taken place. An axe was placed on
the scaffold, but this was not used.

When the rope had been removed, and the coat and waistcoat forced down,
so as to leave the neck exposed, a person wearing a black mask, which
extended to his mouth, over which a coloured handkerchief was tied,
and his hat slouched down, so as to conceal part of the mask, and
attired in a blue jacket and dark-grey trowsers, mounted the scaffold
with a small knife in his hand, similar to what is used by surgeons in
amputation, and, advancing to the coffin, proceeded to sever the head
from the body.


When the crowd perceived the knife applied to the throat of
Thistlewood, they raised a shout, in which exclamations of horror and
of reproach were mingled. The tumult seemed to disconcert the person
in the mask for the moment; but, upon the whole, he performed the
operation with dexterity; and, having handed the head to the assistant
executioner, who waited to receive it, he immediately retired, pursued
by the hootings of the mob.

The assistant executioner, holding the head by the hair over the
forehead, exhibited it from the side of the scaffold nearest
Newgate-street. A person attended on the scaffold, who dictated to
the executioner what he was to say; and he exclaimed with a loud
voice--“This is the head of Arthur Thistlewood, the traitor!” A
thrilling sensation was produced on the spectators by the display of
this ghastly object, and the hissings and hootings of part of the mob
were vehemently renewed.

The same ceremony was repeated in front of the scaffold, and on the
side nearest Ludgate-street. The head was then placed at the foot of
the coffin; while the body, before lifted up to bring the neck on the
block, was forced lower down, and, this done, the head was again put in
its proper place, at the upper end of the coffin, which was left open.

The block was then moved by the hangman, and placed at the head of
the second coffin. The cap and rope were removed from the face and
neck of Tidd. The same livid hue which overspread the countenance of
Thistlewood was perceptible.

The coat and waistcoat being pulled down, the masked executioner again
came forward. He was received with groans, and cries of “Shoot that
---- murderer;” “Bring out Edwards,” _&c._ He seemed less disconcerted
than at first, and performed the operation with great expedition, and,
having handed the head to the person who had before received that of
Thistlewood, he retired amidst yells and execrations.

The assistant executioner then advanced to the side of the scaffold,
from which the former head was first exhibited, holding the head
between both hands by the cheeks, the forehead of Tidd being bald, and
exclaiming, “This is the head of Richard Tidd, the traitor.” The same
words were also repeated from the other two sides of the scaffold, and
the head was then deposited with the body in the second coffin.

The block was now removed to the third coffin, and the body of Ings,
being cut down, was placed in it with the face upwards. The person
in the mask again came forward, severed the head from the body, and
retired amidst the hootings of the crowd. The assistant-executioner
proceeded to exhibit the head, holding it up by the hair in the same
way as he had Thistlewood’s, from the three sides of the scaffold,
exclaiming, “This is the head of James Ings, the traitor.” The head was
then placed in the coffin.

The block being removed to the fourth coffin, the body of Davidson was
taken down from the gallows, the noose taken from about the neck, and
the cap removed from the face, which remained in death exactly what it
had been while living. The mouth was a little open, but no expression
of agony, or change of colour, could be remarked. The body was placed
in the fourth coffin, and the man in the mask having performed his
part, the head was exhibited in the same way as the last, with the
exclamation, “This is the head of William Davidson, the traitor.”

Little or no blood had fallen from the other heads, but from this it
fell profusely. The hisses and groans of the crowd were repeated
on this occasion, while the head was deposited in the coffin which
contained the sufferer’s body.

The executioner and his assistant now proceeded to cut down the last
of the sufferers, Brunt. The block was placed at the head of the fifth
coffin. The blood which had stained the block was wiped off with the
saw-dust, and, the rope being cut, they attempted to lift the body to
the place where the last part of the sentence was to be executed, when
it was found that in putting up the platform part of his clothing had
been shut in with it, and held him so tight, that a considerable effort
was necessary to disengage the remains of the wretched culprit. He was
placed in the fifth coffin.

His miserable and cadaverous countenance presented but a ghastly
spectacle while he was alive; but dead, its aspect was little less
than terrific; and the dark hair which overhung his forehead came in
frightful contrast with the purple hue produced by the agonies of death.

The masked executioner, while performing his duty, happened to let the
head fall from his hands on the saw-dust. The howlings and groans of
the spectators were again heard at that moment, and amidst these the
operator retired, having first handed the discoloured “trunkless ball”
to the assistant executioner, who advancing, as in each of the other
cases, first to the side of the scaffold nearest Giltspur-street, then
to the front, and lastly to the side looking towards the Felons’-door,
proclaimed aloud, “This is the head of John Thomas Brunt, the traitor.”
His head was then placed in the coffin, and thus terminated this part
of the awful business of that memorable day.

The execution occupied an hour and eight minutes. It was a quarter
before eight when Thistlewood walked up the steps leading to the fatal
platform; and it wanted seven minutes to nine when the head of Brunt
was placed in the coffin.

From the manner in which the last part of the execution was performed
very little blood was seen on the scaffold. The bodies being placed
almost in a sitting attitude in their coffins, the blood could not flow
copiously from them at the moment the heads were taken off. It was not
till they were laid in a horizontal position that the vital stream
could escape freely from the heart.

The person who wore the mask, and who performed the ceremony of
decapitation, is said to be the same person who beheaded Despard and
his associates. This, however, may be doubted, as, from the quickness
and spring of his motions, he seemed to be a young man. His mode of
operation showed evidently that he was a surgeon. In performing his
dreadful duty, the edge of the first knife was turned by the vertebræ
of Thistlewood, and two others became necessary to enable him to finish
his heart-appalling task.

The coffins containing the remains of the sufferers were left on the
scaffold but for a few minutes after the sentence of the law had been
carried into effect. While there they continued open. At nine o’clock
they were conveyed into the prison by the Debtors’-door, and this
dreadful scene being thus ended, the crowd began peaceably to separate.

In such an immense assemblage, as might be expected, some accidents
occurred through the dreadful pressure of the crowd. Some women (and
it is painful to record that many women were among the crowd) were
brought out fainting, and a boy was severely hurt by the falling of a
part of the railing in front of St. Sepulchre’s church. The persons
whose weight brought down the railing from the stone base in which it
was planted, were thrown on the shoulders of those beneath them, and
caused great confusion at the moment, but no more serious accidents
occurred than the injury received by the boy above-mentioned.

In addition to the military arrangements on this awful occasion, which
we have incidentally mentioned, it was thought necessary to adopt
the following precautionary measures, that should any thing like a
breach of the peace be attempted, it might be crushed in its infancy;
and it is a pleasing part of our duty here to record the prudence
which gave rise to these measures, the very excellent and effectual
manner in which they were carried into execution, and, above all, the
exemplary conduct of the soldiers who were on duty throughout the
morning, although they were at times severely, and indeed unavoidably
pressed upon by the crowd. The Life Guards were incessantly attentive
to prevent their horses from doing any injury, while occasionally
driven out of their position by the momentary agitation of the persons
immediately near them.

At a very early hour, the neighbourhood of Blackfriars-bridge, being
the place appointed for the rendezvous of a considerable number of
troops, presented a very novel spectacle. At five o’clock in the
morning, six light field-pieces of flying artillery arrived in front
of the livery stables, near Christ Church, escorted by the usual
complement of men. They drew up in the centre of the street, and
remained there until after the execution took place.

At a still earlier hour, three troops of the Life Guards arrived in the
neighbourhood of Newgate; one troop and a picquet remained near the
scaffold; another picquet was stationed in Ludgate-hill, facing the Old
Bailey; and the remaining troop drew up in Bridge-street.

The moment the prisoners were about to be brought out to the scaffold,
an officer rode from his station in front of Newgate, communicated
with the picquet on Ludgate-hill, and then rode on to the troop in
Bridge-street, to whom he immediately gave the word of command to
advance. The troop instantly followed the officer, and proceeded
onwards until they joined the picquet on Ludgate-hill, with which they
halted, and formed in a line, still facing the Old Bailey.

The flying artillery, near Christ Church, also made a movement in
advance just at the same time, and formed a crescent across the road;
the guns pointing towards the bridge.

The City Light Horse were under arms, in their barracks in
Gray’s-Inn-lane, and a number of troops were stationed at various
depôts, assigned them at convenient intervals throughout the metropolis.

A little before ten, the multitude having completely dispersed, the
detachments marched off to their respective barracks.


On the day of execution the friends of the families of the unfortunate
men who were executed met at a public-house, and after some discussion
upon the subject of raising a subscription for the wives and children
of those who were transported, as well as of those who were hanged,
adopted a resolution to apply through Lord Sidmouth for leave to take
away the bodies of the deceased from Newgate.

The following petition was accordingly drawn up, in the names of the
widows of the wretched criminals, and forwarded to Lord Sidmouth, to be
by him delivered to his majesty:

_To His Most Gracious Majesty the King._


     “The Petition of Susan Thistlewood, Mary Tidd, Mary Brunt, Celia
     Ings, and Sarah Davidson, humbly sheweth, That your Petitioners
     are the widows of the unfortunate men who this morning suffered
     the dreadful sentence of the law at the Old Bailey.

     “Your petitioners most earnestly entreat your Majesty to grant
     them one consolation, by restoring to them the mangled remains
     of their late unfortunate husbands, that they, your petitioners,
     may shed a silent tear over their mutilated remains, ere they are
     consigned to the tomb.

     “We are confident that all desire of further vengeance has ceased,
     and that your Majesty will be graciously pleased to order the
     restoration of the bodies to your humble Petitioners, that they
     may have them decently interred; and your Petitioners will, as in
     duty bound, for ever pray, _&c._

     “MARY TIDD,

The petition was accompanied by a request to his Lordship that the
bodies might be given up to the friends of the deceased, and stating,
that the object was the humane one of raising the means of support for
the wives and children by a public exhibition.

It is almost unnecessary to state that Lord Sidmouth did not hesitate
to refuse the request, a compliance with which would be attended with
great inconvenience at least. His lordship stated, in the mildest
terms, the impossibility of granting it, contrary as such compliance
would be to established usage.

At a late hour in the evening, the wives of the executed men were
informed by the keeper of Newgate, that the bodies of their husbands
were buried.

In the course of the afternoon a channel had been dug alongside of the
subterraneous passage that leads to the cells, and, about seven in
the evening, after the coffins had been filled with quick lime, they
were strongly screwed up, placed in a line with each other, strewed
over with earth, and finally covered with stones, and of course no
trace of their end remains for any future public observation. On this
circumstance being communicated to their unhappy wives, they were
entirely overcome by the poignancy of their feelings.

On the following morning an individual petition was forwarded to the
Privy-Council on the part of Mrs. Thistlewood, and was presented to
his Majesty, for the body of her husband. A laconic answer was almost
immediately returned, “That Thistlewood was buried.”

_Transportation of the respited Traitors, Discharge of the suspected
Persons, &c._

VERY early in the morning of Tuesday, the 2d of May, the day following
the execution of their partners in crime, five of the respited
traitors, namely, Wilson, Harrison, Cooper, Strange, and Bradburn, were
removed from Newgate in three post-chaises, and conveyed under a proper
escort to Portsmouth, where they were put on board a convict-ship,
which soon after sailed for New South Wales.

Gilchrist was still detained in Newgate, but it was expected his
confinement would not be of long duration; the peculiar circumstances
of his case having excited a feeling of mercy towards him.

On Saturday the 6th of May, the following persons, whose arrests on
suspicion we have previously mentioned, were placed at the bar of the
Old Bailey, previous to the adjournment of the court, _viz._ Thomas
Preston, William Simmons, Abel Hall, Robert George, William Firth, and
William Hazard. The prisoners being addressed by order of the court,
and informed that, as no prosecutors appeared against them, they were
discharged, bowed respectfully, and departed, with the exception of
Preston, who made an attempt to address the Court, but was immediately

We have now completed, as far as the individuals arrested were
concerned, our narration of the whole of the proceedings relative
to the horrid conspiracy, which at one time threatened such awful
consequences; but as many circumstances connected with the personal
history of the conspirators have been brought to light in the course of
the proceedings, which could not well be interwoven in the history of
their crimes, we have added in an APPENDIX such particulars respecting
the principal actors in this dreadful tragedy, as we have been able to
collect, from a conviction that every circumstance connected with the
lives of the ferocious criminals will be considered as interesting.

The infamous Spy and instigator, GEORGE EDWARDS, has also been
frequently named as playing a very prominent part in this horrid
drama, and, independent of the disclosures of his criminal conduct,
incidentally made in the course of the judicial proceedings against the
conspirators, the answers given by Thistlewood to the questions put to
him by Mr. Alderman Wood, on the morning of the fatal first of May,
imparted a certain degree of interest to every circumstance connected
with that vile character, and a feeling of indignation, horror, and
disgust, was excited in the public mind relative to this consummate
villain, which had never been equalled but in the sensation caused by
the first discovery of the plot itself.

Consonant with these feelings were the proceedings instituted by Mr.
Alderman Wood, both in and out of Parliament, for the apprehension and
bringing to trial of this worthless wretch on charges of diverse acts
of high treason alleged to have been committed by him; and although we
stop not to inquire whether the protection from the consequences of his
crimes, experienced by this fellow, be justifiable, or otherwise, we
shall certainly be rendering an acceptable service to society and to
future generations, in tracing this serpent through all his intricate
paths of villany, and cautioning the thoughtless and unsuspecting from
becoming the dupes of similar villains, (if any such exist) in their
intemperate moments of political animosity.

With this view we have collected all the particulars attainable of the
conduct of this arch-fiend both in public or private, as an appropriate
addition to the lives of his partners in crime, and, perhaps, in some
respects, the victims of his villany.


[2] See Newgate Calendar, Vol. 3.

[3] See Newgate Calendar, Vol. 2.



     _Brief Sketches of the Lives of the Executed Conspirators, with
     copies of their Letters; an account of the infamous George
     Edwards, the Spy; the efforts made to bring him to justice, and
     the Parliamentary Proceedings thereon; with other particulars
     relating to the Conspiracy._


In page 70, of the preceding narrative, we have briefly touched on the
history of this ill-fated man, and we now add some further particulars
relating to him.

Very early in life he manifested idle and unsettled habits, and
remained a burden on his family until the period of his obtaining a
commission in the Militia, soon after which he married a young lady of
property; but even that step, so promising in the outset, was pregnant
with future troubles. Thistlewood had supposed her fortune to be at
her own disposal, but it was in fact so settled, that she received
the interest only during her life, and the principal, at her death,
reverted to her relations. Sixteen months after their marriage, she
died in child-bed, and Thistlewood was left almost without a shilling
of her property.

       *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

In London he formed an acquaintance with a number of young military
officers; was introduced into all the vices and dissipation of the
metropolis, and gave loose to his passion for intrigue and gaming. On
one night he was filched by a notorious black leg, and some of his
companions, at one of the _Hells_, in the neighbourhood of St. James’s,
of upwards of 2,000_l._ His money being nearly all gone, he fled in
despair. Legal proceedings were commenced to recover the amount; but,
owing to some informality in the pleadings, it was not recovered; and,
soon after, those who had pigeoned him left the kingdom.

       *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

In France his evil genius still followed him; on one occasion, having
an improper passport, he was detained by the police, and during his
detention, a circumstance occurred which produced him a long period of
confinement. He had always expressed himself a hater of oppression and
injustice. An Englishman, named Heely, was arrested for being without
a passport, and conveyed to the same prison where Thistlewood was
confined. Upon Thistlewood and Heely receiving orders from Paris for
their liberation, Heely used some insulting language to the officer
who brought him to prison; the officer struck him with a cane, and
Thistlewood knocked the officer down with his clenched fist.

In consequence of this outrage, they were thrown into close
confinement, and lay there for several weeks before they were able to
obtain their final liberation.

Thistlewood having obtained a passport, then went to Paris, having
sufficient knowledge of the French language to be able to converse. He
entered the French service, and was present during the perpetration of
numberless atrocities by the French troops.

Although a man of but middling talent, he had a considerable knowledge
of military tactics; was an excellent swordsman, and always fearless
of death.

He entered a regiment of French grenadiers, and was at the battle of
Zurich, commanded by General ----.

After a variety of adventures in France and on different parts of
the Continent, he returned to England, and became possessed of a
considerable estate, by the death of a relation; which he subsequently
sold to a gentleman at Durham for 10,000_l._

He felt inclined to settle himself, and courted Miss Wilkinson of
Horncastle. The gentleman to whom he sold his estate, instead of paying
him the money, gave him an annuity bond, agreeing to pay him 850_l._
per annum for a number of years. In eighteen months this purchaser
became a bankrupt, and Thistlewood was again reduced, not to want or
poverty, but his finances were at a low ebb.

Thistlewood’s father and brother, both of whom now reside and are most
respectable farmers in the neighbourhood of Horncastle, assisted him
to take a farm; he continued to occupy it till he found he was losing
annually a considerable sum, in consequence of the high rent and taxes,
and farming produce being very low; he then parted with it. He came
with his present wife and son to London, and formed an acquaintance
with the Spenceans.

The Evanses were his constant companions; he took young Evans to
France, paying all expenses for near twelve months; and since his
return his history is but too well recorded in the annals of crime.

The son who took an affecting leave of him in prison, is not the
offspring of the first marriage, but a natural child of Thistlewood’s,
whom his second wife (the present widow) took under her care shortly
after her marriage, and to whom she has shown great kindness. By the
widow he had no issue.

The following lines are said to have been written by him while under
sentence of death in Newgate:--

     Oh what a twine of mischief is a Statesman!
     Ye furies! whirlwinds! and ye treach’rous rocks!
     Ye ministers of death! devouring fires!
     Convulsive earthquakes! and plague-tainted air!
     Ye are all mild and merciful to him!!


Was born at Grantham, in Lincolnshire. His age at the time of his
execution was forty-five. He was apprenticed to Mr. Cante, of Grantham,
but quitted his situation at sixteen years of age. He then went to
Nottingham, where he lived two years and a half; from thence he came
to London, where he resided several years. He thought it prudent to
retreat into Scotland in 1803, and he stopped there for five years.

This flight was made in consequence of his having voted for Sir Francis
Burdett, at the Middlesex election, when the Honourable Baronet was
opposed by Mr. Mainwaring. Tidd swore that he was a freeholder--the
fact being otherwise, and fled to avoid prosecution for perjury. A
reward of 100_l._ was offered for his apprehension.

On his return from the north, he went to live at Rochester, and for
nine years worked at his trade of shoemaker in that town. He was
engaged in the conspiracy for which Colonel Despard suffered; but a
temporary absence from town preserved him from sharing the same fate.

His last stay in town commenced on the 10th of March, 1818. From that
time he attended all Mr. Hunt’s meetings, public and private, and was
present at all the subsequent Radical meetings. He was introduced to
Edwards by Brunt, at his own residence, Hole-in-the-Wall Passage,
Baldwin’s-gardens. Edwards’s assumed violence suited his disposition,
and he eagerly closed with every proposition, however desperate.

It was a most extraordinary circumstance that he had constantly an
impression on his mind, for the last twenty years, that he was to be
hanged. He frequently expressed to his wife that he should die on the
gallows, who felt distressed at his entertaining such an idea, but he
would still persist that such would be his fate. He was unhappily too
good a prophet, and thus a life of irregularity terminated in the most
ignominious manner.

Mrs. Tidd is a very decent woman; Tidd has left a brother and one
daughter to deplore his fate.

Tidd, during the war, enlisted into more than half of the regiments
under the crown, and received the different bounties. It is astonishing
how he escaped detection; he was always in disguise when he enlisted,
and, as soon as he had obtained the bounty, he deserted. When he had
spent the money, he enlisted into another regiment.

It will be evident from this account, that the statements of his
uniform good character and conduct published at the period of his first
arrest, for the crime of which he was ultimately found guilty on an
impartial trial by a Jury of his countrymen, were put forth by some
zealous friend to produce a favourable impression on the public mind in
his behalf.


Was a native of Hampshire. His relations were respectable tradesmen. He
has left a wife and four children. Ings was a butcher at Portsmouth,
and at the time of his marriage had a handsome property, consisting of
several houses, and some money in the funds.

Trade growing bad at the termination of the war, and his property
having decreased, some of his tenements were sold, and he came up to
London about eighteen months ago, with a little ready money, produced
by the sale of a house, and opened a butcher’s-shop at the west-end
of the town. He could, however, get no business, and in a few months
gave up the shop, and, with a few pounds he had left, he opened a
coffee-shop in Whitechapel.

Business becoming dull there, he was involved in great distress, and at
last was compelled to pawn his watch to enable him to send his wife and
children down to Portsmouth to her friends, to prevent their starving
in London.

At the coffee-house in Whitechapel he sold, besides coffee, political
pamphlets, with which he was supplied by Carlile, of Fleet-street.
Having given up the shop, and finding that there was no prospect of
supporting himself and his family with credit, he gave himself up to
despair. He had read the different Deistical publications during the
time he sold political pamphlets, and, from being a churchman, he
became a confirmed Deist.

He was a most affectionate husband and father; and his desperate
situation, no doubt, was a principal cause of his joining the
Cato-street plot.

Edwards, Adams, Thistlewood, and Brunt, had frequently visited Ings
during the time he kept the coffee and political-pamphlet shop,
and when he was in more desperate circumstances, he became a fitter
companion for persons engaged in such an atrocious crime as the one for
which he suffered the sentence of the law.

For some weeks before the Cato-street discovery, Ings was in the utmost
distress, quite pennyless, and the money he was supplied with to
subsist upon was given him by George Edwards. Ings was also supplied
with money by the same person to take an apartment, where arms and
ammunition could be safely placed. He took a room in the house where
Brunt lodged, and thither the greater part of the ammunition and arms
was conveyed by Edwards, Adams, and himself; indeed, it was the depôt
of the conspirators.

The following Letters were written by Ings in Newgate, the night before
his execution:


“My dear Celia,--I hardly know how to begin, or what to say, for the
laws of tyrants have parted us for ever. My dear, this is the last time
you will ever hear from me. I hope you will perform your duty without
delay, which is for the benefit of yourself and children, which I have
explained to you before. My dear, of the anxiety and regard I have for
you and the children, I know not how to explain myself; but I must die
according to law, and leave you in a land full of corruption, where
justice and liberty has taken their flight from, to other distant
shores. My dear, I have heard men remark that they would not marry a
widow, not without her husband was hanged. Now, my dear, I hope you
will bear in mind that the cause of my being consigned to the scaffold
was a pure motive.

“I thought I should have rendered my starving fellow-men, women, and
children a service; and my wish is, when you make another choice, that
this question you will put before you tie the fatal knot. My dear,
it is of no use for me to make remarks respecting my children. I am
convinced you will do your duty as far as lies in your power. My dear,
your leaving me but a few hours before I wrote these few lines, I have
nothing more to say. Farewell! farewell, my dear wife and children, for
ever! Give my love to your mother and Elizabeth. I conclude a constant
lover to you and your children, and all friends. I die the same, but an
enemy to all tyrants.


“PS. My dear wife, give my love to my father and mother, brother
and sisters, and aunt Mary, and beg of them to think nothing of my
unfortunate fate; for I am gone out of a very troublesome world, and I
hope you will let it pass like a summer cloud over the earth.”

“Newgate, 4 o’clock, Sunday afternoon,
April 30, 1820.”


“To my dear daughters.--My dear little girls, receive my kind love and
affection, once more, for ever; and adhere to these my sincere wishes,
and recollect though in a short time you will hear nothing more of your
father, let me entreat you to be loving, kind, and obedient, to your
poor mother, and strive all in your powers to comfort her, and assist
her whilst you exist in this transitory world, and let your conduct
throughout life be that of virtue, honesty, and industry; and endeavour
to avoid all temptation, and at the same time put your trust in God. I
hope unity, peace, and concord, will remain amongst you all. Farewell!
farewell, my dear children! Your unfortunate father,


“To Wm. Stone Ings,
and his Sisters.”


“My little dear boy, Wm. Stone Ings, I hope you will live to read these
few lines when the remains of yr. poor father is mouldered to dust.
My dr. boy, I hope you will bear in mind the unfortunate end of your
father, and not place any confidence in any person or persons whatever;
for the deception, the corruption, and the ingenuity in man I am at a
loss to comprehend: it is beyond all calculation. My dear boy, I hope
you will make a bright man in society; and, it appears to me, the road
you ought to pursue is, to be honest, sober, industrious, and upright,
in all your dealings; and to do unto all men as you would they should
do unto you. My dear boy, put your trust in one God; and be cautious
of every shrewd, designing, flattering tongue. My dear boy, be a good,
kind, and obedient child to your poor mother, and comfort her, and be a
loving brother to your sisters. My dear boy, I sincerely hope and trust
you will regard these my last instructions. Yr. loving and unforte.


“Newgate, Sunday Night, 8 o’clock,
April 30, 1820.”

The following petition to the King was written by Ings, the day
previous to his execution, it contains a repetition of some of the
facts urged by him in his defence, but of course produced no effect in
his favour.


I was born near Waltham, in Hampshire, but I have lived ever since I
was about fifteen years of age at Portsea, and every one that knows
me knew no harm of me; and the masters that I have lived with sent me
a character for me to give to the Jury, but the Jury never saw the

I married a girl that I loved, and she had a little property, and I
continued working till I could get nothing to do, and I went into
business, and it turned out very unfortunately, and I lost a great
deal of money, not through drinking and gambling, for I never went to
a public-house in my life but to smoke my pipe, or for the sake of
company. I can assure your most gracious Majesty, that I never was
tipsey but three times in my life, and that was not through the love of

The times being so very bad at Portsea, and I had nothing to do, me
and my wife made up our minds to come to London: me and my family
left Portsea the beginning of May 1819. I thought when I came to town
I should get a situation, but to my sad disappointment I soon found
all my hopes was blasted. I tried every means I was master of to get
employ for the support my family: I did not know how to act, for it was
not my intention when I came to town to enter into business, I had a
little money by me, for me and my wife mortgaged her property--a house
I mean--to the full value of it, if it was to be sold now.

I went and took a butcher’s shop in Baker’s-row, Whitechapel-road, and
I carried on business from Midsummer to Michaelmas. When I came to look
over my little stock of money, I found it was very much reduced, and
the summer being so very hot, was very much against me; and after I
had paid my rent, and a few little bills beside, my money was nearly
all gone.

I left Baker’s-row at Michaelmas, and I took a house in Old
Montague-street, Brick-lane, and I fitted it up for a coffee-house,
and then my money was gone. It did not turn out to my expectation, for
I did not take money enough, if it had been all profit, to keep my
family. I persuaded my wife to return to Portsea with the children: the
reason was, I thought she had better be among her friends without money
than in London.

I remained in the house a short time after my wife had left me: there
was a man used to come frequently and take a cup of coffee, and he
used to enter into conversation about the Manchester massacre, and
Government, _&c._ I did not make but very little reply, for I took him
to be some officer.

After I had left my house, I met him in Smithfield-market; he said I
have caught you out, I shall make you stand treat. I am sorry it is
not in my power, for I am very short at present; if I do not get some
work very shortly, I must sell my few things. What have you to sell?
A sofa-bedstead--it is the best piece of furniture I have. I should
like to see it; if I like it I will buy it, and give you as much as
any person will. I took him to my lodging, No. 20, Primrose-street,
Bishopsgate, and shewed him my sofa, but it did not suit him, and he
took me to a friend of his, a broker, to buy my sofa, but it did not
suit him, and we parted early in January.

I met him in Fleet-market, and he asked me how I did? I told him I was
very low in spirits: come, he says, have a glass of gin--that will rise
your spirits. No, I thank you, I never drink so soon in the morning.
We walked up Fleet-street, and we went and bought the very sword that
was produced in the Court, and I took it to the cutler’s, and I left my

If I had known at that time what was going to be done, I am sure I
should not have left my name. He took me to the White Hart, and gave me
beef-steaks, _&c._ for my dinner, and I thought he was the best friend
I had, for he used to give me victuals and drink when I was very short;
and this was Edwards that introduced me to the party, which I never
should have known if it had not been for him.

There have been a great deal more said about me in the Court than is
true, but it is of no use for me to try to contradict what has been
said. I never was at a political meeting in my life not before this
time, and I can assure you it was through Edwards, and the anxiety for
my wife and family, which brought me to this sad unfortunate situation.
I can assure your most high and mighty and gracious Sovereign, that I
have been a true and faithful subject till now, but being in distress,
and hearing the language I did, when irritated, took advantage of my
distressed situation.

I know not what to say or how to address a King, but I hope your most
gracious Majesty will spare my life--life for the sake of family--for I
was not the inventor of this plot.

I shall in future, if your most gracious Majesty spare my life, be a
true and faithful subject.



Was born in the year 1786, at Kingston, in Jamaica. His father was Mr.
Attorney-General Davidson, a man of considerable legal knowledge and
talent. He had several children.

William, his second son, was sent to England when very young, for the
purpose of receiving an education suitable to the rank of his father,
and his own prospects. His mother was a native of the West-Indies, a
woman of colour: she opposed her son being sent to England; but her
husband was resolved: he wished William to be brought up to his own
profession--the law. William was therefore sent to Edinburgh to be

Having learned the first rudiments of education, he was sent to the
academy of Dr. ----, where he studied mathematics. Having left school,
he went to his father’s agent, a friend who resided near Liverpool.

After some time he was apprenticed to a respectable attorney at
Liverpool, at whose office he remained near three years, when he became
tired of confinement. He had for some time felt great inclination to go
to sea, and the captain of a vessel, to whom he disclosed his wishes
upon the subject, promised to take him out as his clerk on his next

Without taking leave of the gentleman to whom he was articled, he
entered on board the merchant vessel, and soon had cause to repent, for
after the vessel had left the port, he was compelled by the captain to
perform duty.

On the voyage a king’s ship stopped the vessel, and impressed
Davidson and many of the crew. He arrived in England about six months
afterwards, and wrote to his father’s friend a supplicatory letter.
His father’s friend sent for him, and at his own particular desire,
apprenticed him to a cabinet-maker, in Liverpool.

Davidson was a personable young man, and was upon the point of marriage
to the daughter of a respectable tradesman at Liverpool; but her
friends sent her off, and prevented the match taking place. Davidson
being somewhat disappointed, determined to leave England, and to visit
his relatives at Kingston, in Jamaica.

He took a passage on board of a West India merchantman, and on his
voyage again experienced the misfortune of being impressed into the
King’s service. He took the first opportunity of running away from the
vessel on its arrival in port, and having obtained some money from his
friends, he got work at his trade as a journeyman.

About twelve months after, his mother allowed him two guineas per week,
which was paid him regularly through her agent. Davidson was employed
by Mr. Bullock, a cabinet-maker at Litchfield. He was a most excellent
workman, and was able to get three or four guineas a week, being a
man of considerable taste in his profession, and chiefly employed in
fitting up the houses of noblemen and gentlemen in the neighbourhood.

With his mother’s allowance he was able to live and dress very
genteelly; and the company he kept was highly respectable. By some
accident he met a young lady of the name of Salt, who resided at
Litchfield; she was only sixteen years of age. She imbibed a strong
regard for Davidson, and, unknown to her family, she allowed him to
visit her. Miss Salt had at her own disposal, when of age, the sum of
7,000_l._ She communicated to her mother her passion for Davidson. Her
mother objected to it; but finding that nothing could wean her from her
attachment, she consented to allow Davidson to visit her daughter.

He frequently paid visits unknown to the young lady’s father: the
latter, however, at length obtained information of these clandestine
interviews, and laid wait for him; and, as he entered the garden late
one evening, he fired a pistol at his head, and the ball it contained
passed through Davidson’s hat. A constable was sent for, and Davidson
was taken before a magistrate, charged with attempting to commit a
robbery; but upon Davidson stating the simple facts of the case,
precisely as it occurred, that he was courting the daughter, with
the privity of Mrs. Salt, though against the desire of Mr. Salt, he
immediately set Davidson at liberty, and committed Mr. Salt to prison
for shooting at him.

While Mr. Salt was in prison, he sent for Davidson, and promised him
his daughter, if he would not prosecute him. Davidson did not appear
against him, and he was set at liberty.

Mr. Salt afterwards repented of his promise, and, to evade the pledge
he had given, he told Davidson that he would not object if he would
only wait till she was of age. Davidson communicated to Miss Salt the
wish of her father. She replied, “You know my sentiments towards you
now. I cannot say, if I remain single till I am of age, what they may
be then;” and expressed herself angry that Davidson should be inclined
to agree to her father’s proposal for deferring their union. Davidson
had previously written to Jamaica, to his mother, and informed her of
his intended union, and she had remitted 1200_l._ to a banking house in
London, and placed it at his disposal.

Miss Salt was sent by her father to see a relative in a distant part
of the country, and before she had been many months there, she married
another suitor.

Davidson, who had entertained very great affection for the lady, upon
hearing that she had broken her faith with him, went to a chemist’s
shop at Litchfield, and in a fit of despair, purchased some poison,
and took it; he had not swallowed it long before he communicated to
a friend the rash act he had committed, when the latter immediately
procured a powerful antidote, which Davidson took, and which destroyed
the effect of the poison in a great degree, though he was unwell for
a considerable time after. When he recovered, he left the place, and
took a large house near Birmingham.

With the money his mother had sent him he entered into an extensive way
of business; but being, from the disappointment in his marriage with
Miss Salt, rendered quite unsettled in his mind, he did not attend to
his business, and in a short time the whole of his money was expended.

Previous to his acquaintance with Miss Salt, he was employed by Lord
Harrowby to fit up his house, and had frequent conversations with the
Noble Lord upon the plan of decorating the interior of the mansion.

After Davidson’s failure in business, near Birmingham, he came to
London, and was employed as a journeyman by Mr. Cox, a cabinet-maker,
in the Haymarket, to whom he had been strongly recommended, by some
gentlemen forming part of the congregation of a Chapel at Walworth,
which Davidson frequented, and where he also made himself active as
a teacher to the Sunday-school attached to the Chapel. It was during
the period of his service with Mr. Cox, that the circumstance happened
alluded to by Davidson on his trial, of an indelicate attack on
the person of one of the female teachers at the school; but we are
compelled to state, that his account of the affair is directly the
reverse of the truth. The fact was, that he habitually indulged in
attempts of a gross and indelicate nature on the persons, not only
of the teachers, but even of the children of the school; way-laying
them on their return home, particularly in the evening after their
attendance on divine worship, and taking improper liberties with them.
The outward sanctity of the man screened him from suspicion, and the
indelicate nature of his attacks silenced for too long a period the
virtuous and innocent females, who were the objects of his vile
attempts; but at length his conduct became too gross for endurance,
and one of the ladies communicated it to the committee. This led
to enquiry, and the result was the most perfect unmasking of the
hypocrite, who was expelled with contempt and indignation from that
society and religious community, which he had so long disgraced by
making it the means of indulging his brutal propensities.

After this detection and exposure, his conduct was more narrowly
observed, and his habitual lying, prevarication, and intrigue, became
notorious. Indeed he seemed to delight in evasion, and scarcely ever
spoke the plain truth.

About four years ago he entered into business for himself at Walworth,
and then married a Mrs. Lane, the widow of a respectable man, who had
left her with four small children; for a short time he appeared to be
doing well. At length trade fell off, and he was obliged to remove to
London. He then took a lodging in Mary-le-bone.

He had known Harrison (one of the transported conspirators) for several
years previous to his coming to Walworth, and by him he was introduced
to Thistlewood, and by the latter to Edwards, the spy.

Edwards frequently called upon Davidson at his lodgings during the
getting up of the Cato-street plot, and was, for several weeks before,
his and Thistlewood’s constant companion. Edwards breakfasted with
Davidson on the morning before the Cato-street plot was discovered; and
on the same evening, in the presence of Mrs. Davidson, gave him money
to get a blunderbuss out of pawn.

On the Sunday night, when Davidson parted, for the last time, with
his distressed wife, he expressed himself very strongly against Lord

After he had kissed her, he said, “If I should betray a weakness when
I come out on the scaffold, I hope the world will not attribute it to
cowardice, but to my intense feelings for you and my dear children.
Farewell, love! pray that God will take mercy on me, and receive my
soul.” Mrs. Davidson then left him.

This unfortunate woman is left with six children; four by her former
husband, and two fine boys by Davidson, both under four years of age.

The following letter was written by Davidson to his wife, enclosing the
notice served upon him by the solicitor for the prosecution, that the
indictment for high treason had been found by the Grand Jury.

     “My dear Sarah,--According to the promise your entreaties caused
     me to make to you concerning matters of counsel, _&c._

     I have sent you here the order I received last night--an order for
     application to either of the several justices therein mentioned,
     whereby an order will be granted to the applicant for the free
     admission of counsel, solicitors, _&c._ But I would rather, for
     my part, use such an order for you and my dear children, in
     preference to counsel, _&c._; and would now retain my integrity
     of not having any, only as it is the first time you ever ask the
     favour of being dictator, and as in such considerations I did
     grant you that request, I will not now fall from such a promise,
     to one whose sole interest and young family entirely depends
     on the result of this trial. Therefore, you can be advised how
     you are to act; for my own part, I am careless about it, as I
     am determined to maintain my integrity as a man against all
     the swarms of false witnesses, and I hope you will never be
     persuaded, or suffer the public to be led away with a belief, that
     I am fallen from that spirit maintained from my youth up, and
     had so long been in possession of the ancient name of Davidson
     (Aberdeen’s boast), and is now become feeble. Death’s countenance
     is familiar to me. I have had him in view fifteen times, and
     surely he cannot now be terrible. Keep up that noble spirit for
     the sake of your children, and depend that, even in death, it will
     be maintained, by your ever affectionate husband,

     “WM. DAVIDSON.”

     “Mrs. Sarah Davidson,
     “12, Elliott-row, Mary-le-bone.”

The following is a copy of the letter, which he wrote to Lord Harrowby,
referred to in page 357, it is evidently a rank falsehood, written in
the hope, perhaps, of obtaining a respite:

     “My Noble Lord,--It is with the greatest pleasure I write to
     inform your lordship of my innocence of the charge wherein I am
     shortly about to suffer death. My Lord, permit me to inform your
     lordship, from the personal knowledge I have of your lordship’s
     family, it is impossible I could be guilty of the slightest
     intention to harm your lordship in any way. My lord, I have had
     the honour of working at your lordship’s seat, in Sandon-hall,
     Staffordshire, wherein I worked for Mr. Bullock, of Rugeley, and
     would at any time rather lose my life in your defence than to be
     an accomplice to harm you, or any other man, be his condition
     ever so poor, much more so many illustrious persons, and among
     them one I had so great a respect for, from personal knowledge,
     as your lordship. I declare now to your lordship, as I hope to
     be saved, that Edwards was the man who gave me the money to
     redeem the blunderbuss, which Adams carried away to Cato-street;
     I gave it to him not knowing of any plot: and, as I related
     to the Privy-Council, Mr. Goldworthy met me in John-street,
     Portland-road; he gave me a sword to take to Cato-street, and a
     bundle, which contained belts. When I found I was entrapped, I
     naturally attempted to escape, but never fired. I never had any
     pistols in my possession; and, in truth my lord, Mr. Edwards must
     know that I am not that man of colour that was in their party, if
     he will do me the justice to say so.”


Was born in Union-street, Oxford-street, London. His father was a
tailor: he apprenticed his only son John Thomas, at the age of fourteen
years, to Mr. Brookes, a lady’s shoemaker, in Union-street. He served
Mr. Brookes till he was eighteen years of age, when, his father dying,
his mother purchased the remainder of his time, and his indentures were
given up to her, and he supported his mother for some years by his

At the age of twenty-one years he articled himself to learn the
boot-closing; and, in a short time became an excellent workman: A
prize-boot in the shop of a tradesman in the Strand was made by him.
When he was twenty-three years of age he married a respectable young
woman, named Welch. On the 1st of May, 1806, she brought him a boy,
who is now living with his mother. He was fourteen years of age on the
day his unfortunate father suffered the sentence of the law. Brunt was
thirty-eight years of age.

The following lines were written by Brunt in the Tower, upon the
Secretary of State sending a letter in answer to one written by the
Major, that the alleged traitors were not to be allowed knives or
forks, and only to be allowed to walk on the leads an hour each day:

     The Home Department’s _Secretaire_,
     His orders they would make you stare;
     An hour a day allowed to walk,
     But mind you neither wink nor talk!
     For these are gifts of human reason,
     And you are adepts in high treason:
     No bigger rogues on earth there be on,
     For so says Edwards the _espione_!
     Let them eat and drink and sleep,
     But knives and forks pray from them keep,
     As they’ll commit assassination--
     The rogues would overturn the nation!

At the bottom of the above lines were written the following couplets:

     In modes of faith let graceless zealots fight,
     He can’t be wrong whose life is in the right.
     Life’s but a jest, and all things show it,
     I thought so once, but now I know it!

     J. T. BRUNT, _Tower of London_.

The following verses were written by Brunt, in Newgate, on the
Sunday evening, after taking leave of his wife; they were inclosed
in an envelope, which was addressed to his wife; it contained also a
shilling, the last money he possessed, and he requested his wife to
keep the shilling for his sake as long as she lived:

     Tho’ in a cell I’m close confin’d,
     No fears alarm the noble mind;
     Tho’ death itself appears in view,
     Daunts not the soul sincerely true!
     Let Sidmouth and his base colleagues
     Cajole and plot their dark intrigues;
     Still each Briton’s last words shall be,
     Oh! give me death or liberty!

     J. T. BRUNT, _Newgate, April 30, 1820_.

_Proceedings relative to_ GEORGE EDWARDS, _the Spy_.

On Tuesday, the 2d May, Mr. Alderman Wood rose in his place in the
House of Commons, and said, that “he had a question to bring under the
consideration of the house, which he considered as one of the greatest
importance, and particularly to the house itself. He might be wrong in
the course which he had proposed to himself to pursue; but, if he were,
the Speaker would, no doubt, instruct him what was the proper mode
of bringing the matter forward. He had come to the determination of
treating it as a breach of privilege; and would here very briefly state
what were the facts.

“Seven persons had applied to him, in his official capacity of
magistrate, for a warrant to take up a man, stated to be then resident
in Fleet-street, whose name was said to be George Edwards. He
immediately went into a private examination of those individuals, with
the assistance of Sir W. Domville. Four of the parties deposed to some
very material facts, some of which, affecting the safety of that house,
he should now mention; but others, which were detailed at great length,
were of too horrible a description for him to repeat.

“They involved a plot, not merely to effect the destruction of that
house, and the honourable members within it, but of one of the highest
personages in this kingdom, and of his majesty’s ministers also. He
would, however, confine himself to the facts of the case as they
regarded that house. He would read the words of the deposition.

“Some time in that year deponent saw a man, of the name of Edwards,
going from one public-house to another, inviting persons to unite with
him in the execution of the plots against the government, which he
intended to bring forward. It then went on to state, that one of his
great plots was this:--He said, ‘that he could bring into the House of
Commons six or eight men very readily, and that it was not necessary
that they should come in _clean_.’ By that expression he meant, that
they might easily enter the House with something under their arms; for
they could so come into the lobby and other parts of the House with
books; no objection would be offered to their passing in with books
under their arms.

“These books were to have been filled with gun-barrels, cut down to the
length of four inches only, which were to be filled with gunpowder, and
plugged up at both ends; and these implements being thrown down in the
middle of the House, upon some occasion of a full attendance, when it
would be in a very crowded state, would explode with great violence,
and cause much destruction. The deposition went on to shew, that
Edwards on one occasion said, ‘Thistlewood is the boy for us; he’s the
one to do our work: he will very soon be out of Horsham-gaol.’ Now the
evidence next showed, that, two days after, Thistlewood did come out
of Horsham-gaol, and he was introduced to this Edwards at the house of
Preston, the cobbler; and that which was the strongest confirmation of
the whole statement, and proved it beyond all doubt, was, that Edwards
did get those very books made for the purpose; and that he procured the
gun-barrels, and had them cut up.

“At that time, too, he had not money enough to buy a pot of beer.
All at once, however, he got supplied with cash, and was enabled
to purchase several other weapons of defence, and arms, which the
deponents spoke of.

“Now, this was the general substance of the depositions as they
regarded that house; as to the other parts, which related to the
intended taking off of certain individuals, he had hardly satisfied
himself what might be the best mode of proceeding; or whether, from
the nature of the case, he might be justified in asking the House to
indulge him with a committee of secrecy, in which case it would not be
necessary for him to proceed with his present observations. The other
details, however, which he did not at present feel it his duty to bring
before the House, were of a most terrible description, and unfolded
plots of the most dreadful character.

“The persons who had made the depositions were respectable persons,
and not at all implicated in the late legal proceedings, as having
been evidence for the crown or for the prisoners. He had had several
other persons with him that same morning, who were all ready to swear
that they knew Edwards to have been engaged in these plots from time
to time. He had been asked by several individuals, how he intended
to proceed in this case; and he could now declare, that his mind was
made up to call that person (Edwards) before the bar of the house.
Whether, however, he should ask for a committee of secrecy, or proceed
in any other way, he was ready to bring this important business before
them, and he thought that he discharged his duty in so doing. He had
not thought it proper to swear those deponents to the truth of their
allegations, because all the acts charged against Edwards were stated
to have occurred either in the county of Middlesex or the city of
Westminster. As he never interfered in such a case, he told the parties
that they must go before a magistrate, either of Westminster or of the
county; or else that they must apply for a warrant to Lord Sidmouth. He
directed them to go to his Lordship; and promised that, upon procuring
the warrant, he would get it immediately backed, so as to make it
operative within the city of London.

“He thought the thing a matter of such importance that he took the
depositions in charge himself; and ordered the witnesses to attend him
at Lord Sidmouth’s immediately; but it so happened that his Lordship
had left the place a few minutes before his arrival. He left the
depositions with a person whom he had now in his eye, and had received
an answer; but he did not think proper now to give it.

“The existence of such a man as this Edwards it was almost impossible
to conceive. It was difficult to imagine a man, going about with all
this boldness from public-house to public-house--nay, even from one
private house to another, framing and discoursing of all these plots.
For his own part, however, when he looked at all the facts, he thought
it clear that Edwards had become connected with the conspirators at a
very early period; and he pledged himself, that, if the house should
adopt any question upon the subject, he would bring forward such
evidence as must convict the man. It was only to be apprehended that he
was not, perhaps, in the country, which he might have quitted by this
time; otherwise, no doubt, there were honourable gentlemen who were in
possession of him, so that he might be produced. He, therefore, felt
it his duty, under all the circumstances, before he sat down, to move,
‘That George Edwards be immediately brought to the bar of this house.’”

Mr. BATHURST objected to the motion, on the ground that an individual
charged with such high crimes as those imputed to Edwards, was an
improper person to be brought to the bar of the House of Commons,
on the charge of a breach of privilege; but stated that there was no
doubt, if the question was brought before the House in a proper shape
it would be entertained.

Mr. Alderman WOOD in reply said, “that he certainly set out with
intimating that he saw great difficulties in this question, but was,
indeed, quite happy to hear it observed, that if the business were
brought before the House properly, the House would properly entertain
it. He thought it right to state, that he had applied to another
quarter, to get the individual in question prosecuted, but in that
application he had been disappointed.

“When he first read over the depositions, which were of a nature, he
was sure, to make every man shudder with horror, he thought that not
a moment was to be lost in taking Edwards up, if he could be found;
and, he took it for granted that he could be found; for he was known
to have been in the possession of certain persons for a long time. His
plots were truly diabolical; and from the evidence it could be proved,
beyond contradiction or dispute, ‘that Edwards was the sole plotter and
founder of the whole Cato-street plot.’ At present knowing of no other
way than the motion he had suggested by which the man might be brought
to justice, he should leave the matter in the hands of the House.”

A short debate on the question then ensued, but it appearing that the
charge could not regularly be entertained by the House as a breach of
privilege, Mr. Alderman Wood was induced to withdraw the motion for the

On the 9th of May the worthy Alderman, having newly-modelled his
motion, so as to move for a committee of secrecy to examine the
depositions in his possession, again called the attention of the House
to the subject. He commenced by stating that “in bringing forward the
motion, he had no object in view but the furtherance of justice, no
end to attain but the elucidation of certain extraordinary facts. He
had not willingly embarked in this business, which he wished to have
been taken up by his Majesty’s ministers. He had done all he could to
induce the Secretary of State for the Home Department[4] to bring to
trial and to punishment the individual whose name was so intimately
connected with the late conspiracy. He had done so as a magistrate.

“In consequence of information which he had received, he deemed it
necessary to lay before the Secretary of State all the documents he
could collect on the subject of Edward’s proceedings; and he produced
a number of persons who were ready to swear to the matters contained
in their depositions. He farther added, in his correspondence with
the Secretary of State, that he was then enabled to bring forward a
considerable body of evidence in support of what had previously been
alleged. He had attentively looked over a vast number of depositions,
which appeared to him to be of great importance. He had brought down
about thirty of them; and he craved the indulgence of the house while
he read over the whole of this evidence, preparatory to his moving for
a secret committee. His only wish was that a secret committee should be
appointed; and if the House at once agreed to it, he should be quite
contented with that result.

“If he could show that Edwards was the person who directed that
plot--if he could show that he was going about for two years
endeavouring to effect it--if he could prove that it was Edwards who
purchased the swords and the arms of all kinds--if he could prove, by
good evidence, that it was he who made the instruments of destruction
which were produced on the trial, and others which might now be
produced--he thought it would be quite impossible for the House to
refuse his motion. He could substantiate all this by evidence--by
the evidence of persons whose characters could not be impeached. He
could bring forward witnesses, who had lived four, five, and six
years with their employers, from whom they had received the best of
characters. They stated, that Edwards had called on them at different
times, and had endeavoured to seduce them: that he had drawn them into
public-houses--that he had made purchases of arms--and that he had sent
arms to their houses, they not knowing from whom those arms came, until
subsequent evidence made them acquainted with the fact.

“He had traced this man during a period of five years, although his
motion was confined to two. Some years ago he was living at Windsor,
and some favour was shown to him by persons about the Castle. He was
employed as a modeller in plaster-of-Paris[5]. Sometimes he was in
deep adversity, at other times his circumstances were better. At one
period he was walking about the streets selling his busts, without
shoes or stockings; and all at once he became comparatively rich. To
account for this, he stated that he was the relation of a German count,
from whom he had received some money; in obtaining which, he said, he
was assisted by Lord Castlereagh. This circumstance was sufficient to
excite suspicion in any rational mind.

“He would also prove that Edwards had been long connected with the
police-officers. This was a point which certainly must be considered
as very important. He pledged himself to show that Edwards was in
connexion with a police-officer who was the intimate friend of Castles,
and by whom Castles was employed to entice individuals to assist in
the liberation of French officers, those individuals being immediately
afterwards seized, for the purpose of procuring the reward. If he
traced deeds of this description to Edwards, he contended that the
committee ought to be granted. All this, doubtless, would be denied;
but he was prepared to prove it, and was determined to do his duty. He
had sought out the history of this man, as, on a former occasion, he
investigated and exposed the conduct of three individuals who stood in
a similar situation, and who, for the purpose of receiving the reward,
were inciting men to the commission of crimes.

“When, at last, he brought the villany of this atrocious traitor (he
could not denominate him a man) before the House--when he traced him,
forming his plots--meeting individuals at an appointed place, for the
purpose of carrying his schemes into execution--telling them, if they
were surprised, to proceed to Lord Harrowby’s--employing himself in
making those arms which were produced on the trial--and, above all,
when he proved that Edwards had brought Thistlewood to the lodging at
Davis’s house--that he had hired that lodging for him--that he did
not cause his apprehension the night of the discovery, but that he
caused his arrest the next morning, having waited until the _Gazette_,
offering a reward of 1,000_l._, was published;--when he proved all
this, could they refuse a full and fair enquiry? He could incontestibly
show, that Edwards told the persons engaged in the conspiracy, in
case they were disturbed, to follow him to Grosvenor-square; that he
accompanied a part of them on their way towards Cato-street to Holborn;
that he quarrelled with one of the persons who declined going further;
that when the discovery was made, he informed Mrs. Thistlewood where
her husband was; that he went the next morning to Harris’s, and desired
him to keep Thistlewood all day, and that he would be removed at night;
and finally, that he brought the officers to seize him.

“He could further show that Edwards had taken lodgings, under the
assumed name of Walls, in Pimlico. He referred the owner of the house
to a porter, at Buckingham-gate, for his character, who told him,
‘This is Mr. Walls, of Windsor.’ He remained at these lodgings for a
considerable time with a police-officer.

“He would now proceed to the depositions:

“A person named Pickard[6], a weaver, working for his father, deposed
that he had casually met with Edwards at a public-house. Edwards called
him by name, though he did not recollect having seen him before.
Edwards told him “It was time the b--y thieves _was_ destroyed. A
number of persons, say six (he continued), might get admission into
the gallery of the House of Commons, provided with tin cases, painted
to represent books, and filled with pistol-barrels. One of these,
provided with hemp, as a fuse, might be thrown into the House, when the
members were engaged in debate.” Deponent farther said, that Edwards
gave him a small steel instrument, to fix to a walking-stick. He also
stated that Edwards was constantly going after him.

“Another individual, William Coudry, stated, that he attended several
meetings when Edwards was present, and was informed by him, on one
occasion, that a cabinet dinner was to be given at Lord Westmoreland’s,
at which Lord Castlereagh would be present. Edwards said, ‘the b----y
Irish butcher must be made away with.’ Coudry stated also that he had
often seen Edwards afterwards preparing destructive instruments.

“A person named Seymour stated, that he knew Edwards four or five
years, having met him some time ago, and he proposed that deponent
should go to a meeting in Smithfield. He replied to Edwards, that he
would not go, for that he was not inclined to join in those bad pranks.
Edwards afterwards told this man that the meeting had not turned out
to their expectation. This was a man of considerable respectability.
Another man had seen Edwards at a coffee-house, in June, and was told
by him that the only means was, to destroy his majesty’s ministers,
by throwing hand-grenades into their carriages. Another individual
was called on by Edwards on the 19th of August, three days after the
dispersion of the meeting. Edwards stated to him, that Manchester was
on fire, that the New Bailey was taken, and that Hunt was killed, and
added, ‘Come out immediately, all are ready; we have nothing to do but
rallying our forces.’ Edwards came again at eight in the evening, and
said something so wicked, that the man would have nothing more to do
with him.

“Edwards called on another man at his mechanical business, and asked if
the men were all reformers. After coming several times he saw a sword
hung up in the place, and said he would be very much obliged to him for
it. The individual gave it. Edwards said, ‘you have more?’ He replied
that he had not. Edwards said such swords were very cheap, and they
could get them as cheap as the government. The man gave him no more,
but soon afterwards a bundle was brought to him containing twenty-four
swords and some pikes, and Edwards carried away a number of them under
his coat, and sent for others. He said to this individual, ‘Pray come
and see what we are about.’ He went, and saw Edwards in a flannel
jacket, surrounded with combustibles; he saw him making cartridges and
hand-grenades, and arranging all the implements of destruction. The
man, who had formerly been at sea, would stay no longer.

“A man of the name of Chambers[7] was visited by Edwards, and was
desired to permit him to leave there some arms. Edwards said that
all was ready. He offered money to two Irishmen who came in, and
brought them to a public-house, where he treated them with some drink.
Mary Barker, daughter of one of the unfortunate men, stated that the
hand-grenades and other things found in her father’s (Tidd’s) house,
were entirely brought in the night before by Edwards.[8]

“Another individual--he was not desired by any of those persons to
conceal their names, and if any member wished for the names he was
ready to give them,--the individual to whom he alluded knew Edwards; he
had known William Edwards, brother of this Edwards, connected with the
police, and had worked with him at the palace at Windsor. This man was
conducted by Edwards to Cato-street, but when he saw the preparations
there, he immediately ran away. Edwards presented his sword to prevent
another from going away from Cato-street. To another person Edwards
said, ‘Now is the time to destroy his majesty’s ministers, if the
country is not to be ruined.’ The man replied, ‘Such a thing might do
very well for a foreigner; it would not do for an Englishman.’ Edwards
then got Thistlewood to come along with him to this man. Thistlewood
had sold an estate to a friend of the man’s, and was therefore known
to him. But the man said to them, ‘I’ll hear no more of that.’

“Another man was applied to by Edwards, on the 19th of January, and
was told by him that the destruction of ministers, either in their
carriages or at cabinet dinners, was determined on. He would not weary
the house by detailing all the practices of this infernal person. One
very long and very interesting paper in this matter, which explained
the whole from beginning to end, was written by one of the unfortunate
individuals who had been seduced--it might therefore be said that it
was deserving of little credit. Another person stated Edwards to have
been patronized at Windsor, and that he knew him to be a spy. Another
person, who had been on the waggon at the Smithfield meeting, stated,
that Edwards gave a hint to a person who was about to speak of what he
should say--gave him a pint of beer--told him to speak out, and among
other things suggested, that they were ready with fire-balls. It was a
very extraordinary disclosure, and never had there been a thing devised
so well. In the whole proceedings not one instance was found of one
person seduced, seducing another. A was not found to have seduced B;
but in all cases Edwards was the seducer.

“Of some of the papers he was not prepared to give any account, as they
had come into his hands only since he came into the house; but he had
stated the facts brought forward by such persons as were sufficient
to convict Edwards. He should hear, perhaps, that those persons were
themselves guilty of misprision of treason; he was prepared to hear
that, and to say something in reply. But that did not at all lessen the
guilt of the individual who was seducing others to acts of treason.
Edwards had gone on with these practices, and supplied others with
money. He could prove money to have passed from Edwards to many of the
deluded persons. It was remarkable that Edwards was near the spot when
Thistlewood was taken in Harris’s house. Whether he had received the
1,000_l._ or not, he did not know. If he had, he could now live without
labour, at least without such labour as he might otherwise be dependent

“This was established by the testimony of a very respectable man,
who kept a school in St. George’s, Hanover-square, with respect to
whose conduct in this business the trustees had held a meeting, and
found nothing to blame. This gentleman (Mr. Fowler) was applied to
by Edwards under the name of Wards, for lodgings, and Mr. Wake, who
kept Buckingham-gate, said to Mr. Fowler that he was a respectable
person. After he had been six weeks there, he said to Mr. Fowler, if
Mr. Sheriff Parkins or Mr. Sheriff Rothwell should call for him, his
name was Edwards. Mr. Fowler exclaimed, ‘Good God! have I got a spy
in my house all this time?’ There had been no subscription to provide
any money, except indeed a trifle for one of the persons implicated,
who had been in the debtors’ prison, but it was very small. There had
been, therefore no money provided among them that could account for
Edwards’ mode of living and acting.” The worthy alderman concluded
by moving, ‘That a secret committee be appointed to examine evidence
touching the criminal conduct of George Edwards for the last two years,
and particularly touching his connexion with the conspiracy detected in

The motion was seconded by Sir Robert Wilson, and a warm and animated
debate, between most of the leading members of the house ensued, in
which the principle of employing spies was strongly censured and
condemned by some members, and approved of and supported by others,
as a justifiable measure of state policy. The question was, however,
ultimately negatived.

The exertions of Mr. Alderman Wood in the House of Commons having been
rendered nugatory by the rejection of this motion, recourse was had
to the ordinary means of justice, and on Monday the 22d of May, the
Grand Jury for the County of Middlesex found a true bill against GEORGE
EDWARDS, for High Treason, and among the witnesses examined by the
Grand Jury in support of the charge were, Mrs. Thistlewood, Mrs. Brunt,
and Julian Thistlewood, (the son). Mr. Harmer was authorized to offer a
reward for the apprehension of Edwards, and the following advertisement
immediately appeared in the newspapers:

_High Treason.--One Hundred Guineas Reward._

     A True Bill of indictment having been found by the Middlesex
     Grand Jury against GEORGE EDWARDS for HIGH TREASON, whoever
     will apprehend and lodge the said George Edwards in any of his
     Majesty’s Gaols, shall, on application to Mr. James Harmer, of
     Hatton-garden, London, receive the above reward.

     The said George Edwards is by trade a modeller; he is about 5 feet
     3 inches high, thin and pale faced, with an aquiline nose, grey
     eyes, and light brown hair; he has lately gone by the name of
     Wards, and is supposed to be about to leave this country for New
     Brunswick under that assumed name.

The retreat of Edwards, however, has never been discovered, and the
general expectation is that a free pardon will be granted to him for
all acts of treason committed previous to a certain time, by which he
will be secured against the consequences of the bill found against him.

The witness Hiden, and the accomplices Monument and Adams, who became
evidence for the crown, are also detained in confinement, but will
probably be hereafter released by a general pardon.


London:- Printed by W. CLOWES, Northumberland-court.


[4] The following are copies of letters which passed between Lord
Sidmouth and Mr. Alderman Wood, on the subject:

_From Lord Sidmouth to Mr. Alderman Wood._

Whitehall, April 26, 1820.

Sir,--I have to thank you for the statements of Mary Barker, Thomas
Chambers, William Tunbridge, and George Pickard, which you left, in my
absence, in the hands of Mr. Clive.

You are probably aware, from the list of witnesses which has been
delivered to the prisoners now on their trial, that George Edwards, who
is alluded to in those statements, is named in that list, and is liable
to be called as a witness for the Crown; and there does not appear to
me any sufficient ground for instituting any proceedings against him.

I am, Sir, your most obedient humble servant,
Mr. Alderman Wood, _&c. &c._      SIDMOUTH.

_To the Right Honourable Viscount Sidmouth._

My Lord,--Having brought a question respecting George Edwards before
the House last evening, it is my intention to renew that question in a
different form. I have received considerable information, besides those
documents I left at your Lordship’s office, confirming the infamous
conduct of Edwards. I have, therefore, to request your Lordship will
prevent Edwards from leaving the country, as I have been this day
informed he is preparing to leave England for America.

I have the honour to be, my Lord, your most obedient servant,
May 3, 1820.      M. WOOD.

_From Lord Sidmouth to Mr. Alderman Wood._

Whitehall, May 3, 1820.

Sir,--I have received your letter of this date, in which you request me
to prevent George Edwards from leaving this country; and, in reply, I
have to acquaint you, that I know of no ground which could justify me
in issuing a warrant against Edwards, that being the only mode by which
I could comply with your request.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,
Mr. Alderman Wood.      SIDMOUTH.

_To the Right Honourable Viscount Sidmouth._

My Lord,--I am honoured with your Lordship’s answer to my letter of
yesterday, respecting George Edwards, wherein you state, that “you
know of no ground which could justify you in issuing a warrant against
him.” I consider that those depositions which I left at your Lordship’s
office, contain such charges as would fully justify your Lordship in
apprehending George Edwards. Perhaps your Lordship’s objections are,
that they are not sworn; if so, I beg to inform you that the parties
were in attendance at your Lordship’s office, to give evidence, and
were ready to be sworn to their statements, and are now ready, at an
hour’s notice, to attend your Lordship. I have also other evidence to

I remain, your Lordship’s most obedient humble servant,
7, South Audley-street, May 4, 1820.      M. WOOD.

_From Lord Sidmouth to Mr. Alderman Wood._

Whitehall, May 4, 1820.

Sir,--I have to acknowledge the receipt of your letter of this day’s
date, in which I see no ground for altering the opinion communicated to
you in my former letters.

I have the honour to be, Sir,
Your most obedient humble servant,

[5] The following account of a professional intercourse with Edwards,
who strove hard to convert it into a political connection, has been
published by Mr. Carlile.

“On my entering the house at 55, Fleet-street, I became the neighbour
of Edwards, who previously held the little shop which bears the No. 55½
as being part of 56. Edwards was no sooner aware that I had taken 55,
than he strenuously applied himself to become a tenant or lodger of
mine, before I had the least idea of letting any part of the house. I
had a strong dislike to his appearance, and particularly the party whom
he stated himself to be connected with, which were the Spenceans, and
consequently gave him no hopes that I should receive him as lodger.

       *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

He was in the habit of coming into the shop to purchase my pamphlets,
and I soon conceived the notion of having a figure of Paine modelled;
he expressed himself quite anxious for the job, and observed, that
from his admiration of the principles of Paine, he would be satisfied
with a small price for it. On my wishing to fix him to a price, he
proposed five pounds, which would just cover the expense he should
be at, without including his time or abilities: this was agreed on
immediately, and he was to proceed forthwith: this happened in the
latter part of February, or beginning of March.

“A few days after Mr. Edwards expressed a wish to have the money before
hand, and observed, that it was usual with modellers. I hesitated,
refused, and offered him one pound, which he accepted. A head, or bust,
was soon ready, and I gave him three guineas further, for the copyright
of it, but I could get him no further with the figure, (although I
had gone to the expense of the pedestal and other requisites for it,)
until the fall of the year, the whole of which time he appeared to be
in a state of abject poverty,--was obliged to give up his shop, and
was never to be found at home. I urged him, by continual messages, to
proceed with the figure, and, in the month of September, I got him to
finish it.”

       *    *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *     *

Edwards was paid for his figure before it was finished and set up, and
altogether considerably in addition to the first agreement.

“From this time he stuck very close to me, on one pretence and the
other; followed me twice to Blackheath, for the purpose of modelling
my likeness on his own account, which he completed in the King’s Bench
Prison, without any apparent object of making any thing of it. He
pleaded great poverty, and twice solicited the loan of money from me,
after the figure of Paine was finished and paid for; I as often refused
him, because his whole conduct had convinced me that he was both
dishonest and ill-disposed. I had never the smallest idea that he was a
spy, and as I know him to be in the habit of running after Thistlewood
and his party, I often asked him what project they had in view, as a
matter of joke.

“It was Edwards who informed me that the person who visited me in the
King’s Bench Prison, in company with Davidson, was a spy, and that it
was he who conveyed all the information to Lord Sidmouth and the Lord
Mayor. Edwards was the fourth person who entered the room while they
were there, and it struck me forcibly that there was a strange coolness
and distance between the three who had frequently met together before.
I had never for a moment suspected Edwards to be any thing further than
an idle, dissolute character.”

[6] Our limits will not admit the insertion of all the depositions read
by the worthy Alderman in support of his motion; we, however, present
our readers with copies of two of them, to shew the course pursued by
the infamous Edwards in entrapping his destined victims, which was
nearly the same in all cases.--The following is Pickard’s deposition:

“George Pickard, 15, Hare-Street, Bethnal Green, says, I know Edwards.
I first saw him before the first Smithfield Meeting. I never much
associated with him, I considered him so much of a blackguard. I knew
his brother also, who was secretary to the Spencean Society. I met him
some time about July, at the White Lyon in Wych Street; there were two
or three others there. He knew me, better than I did him. He asked
me how I did, and said, ‘What a pity it is, Pickard, that we can’t
destroy these b---- vermin.’ A trifling conversation took place; at
last, ‘I’ll tell you what it is,’ said he, ‘any body can get into the
House of Commons with an order, nor does it require that they should go
clean. Suppose we have an iron case made in the shape of a book (for
any person is allowed to carry in a book,) and have some old gun or
pistol barrels, which may be got cheap, cut into pieces about three or
four inches long: let them be plugged up at each end with lead, and the
centre filled with powder, and a touch-hole made; half a dozen of cases
may be made full of them, for a similar number of men to take into the
House. One man might have a bottle of phosphorous, and a lighted match
might be taken with a piece of a rope, without giving any alarm to
the persons present, and applied to the fuse, which would communicate
with the contents of the cases--they should be thrown when the House
was full, from the gallery. The opportunity should be taken when some
important business was going forward. ‘What b----y destruction it would
make,’ said he, seemingly quite pleased, and laughing at the idea.
He next said, that Thistlewood would soon be out, and he was the boy
for doing business. When he comes, we will set all things to rights.
After some further talk, he drew out a grenade, saying, ‘What do you
think of this?’ ‘What do you call it?’ said I; ‘Oh, you are a d----d
fool, you know nothing;’ and then he told me it was a hand-grenade. He
asked me if I would make one of thirty or forty men for some desperate
purpose, which he did not explain; but such things he added, should
not be entered into without having a guard against the b----y police.
Upon which he drew forth a curious instrument from his waistcoat
pocket, and said, it might be put into a common walking cane by having
a hole bored in the bottom, and be instantly fit for use. I told him
I must know him better before I would have any thing to do with him.
He replied, that Thistlewood knew him well, and that that would be a
sufficient recommendation. I met Edwards and Thistlewood previous to
the Cato-Street business, on the Saturday. Thistlewood asked me various
questions respecting business, and after shaking hands he bid me good
day. Then Edwards turned quite round, and after looking for some
minutes, held his hand out to shake hands. I do not recollect the first
few sentences that passed, but on parting he said, ‘You b---- Pickard,
you must fight before long.’ On the following Monday two persons called
at my lodgings, when I was absent, and inquired for me. One of them
answered the description of Edwards. They left no message, but called
again on Tuesday, but I was away; I never heard of him since then.
Previous to the last time of my seeing Edwards I went to the Scotch
Arms, in Round-Court, Strand, and saw Adams and Edwards there. They
both talked about destroying the Ministers, and invited me to go to a
meeting, and Adams gave me a grenade, and Edwards gave me a small pike.
I told Whadman of the circumstance; he advised me to have nothing to
do with the business. Adams and Edwards called at my lodgings the day
before the Cato-street business, but I had left.”

[7] Chamber’s deposition, is as follows:--

“I, Thomas Chambers, say, that I am a bootmaker, residing at 3,
Heathcock Court, Strand, and have been in the employment of Mr. ----,
shoemaker, Tavistock-street, for seven years, and still continue
to work for him; that about five months ago I became acquainted
with George Edwards, by meeting him by accident at the White Lion,
Wych-street; that some time after he called upon me, at which I was
much surprised, not knowing much of him; he at the same time talked
about politics in a strange violent manner; he came to me again soon
after, and held the same sort of language, saying, ‘It was nonsense
talking, people must arm themselves.’ On Christmas Eve he again called
on me, with several persons, among whom were two Irishmen, who were
drunk, and whom I had never seen before. Edwards at this time had with
him an old cavalry sword which he kept under his coat, and also a
sword stick in his hand. He said to the Irishmen, ‘would not you wish
to have Castlereagh’s head to carry about on a pole, for the good he
has done your country.’ One of the Irishmen said, ‘He,’ meaning Lord
Castlereagh, ‘is a big rogue;’ on which Edwards said, ‘Here is what
will cut off his b--y head.’ One of the Irishmen said he would not
enter into any thing until he was sworn. Edwards then asked me for
a Bible to swear the man: I said, I will have no swearing here, and
being at work, and not liking their language and noise, I bid them to
leave my house, and they went away. Edwards called on me again about a
week after, much against my wish, and held forth, in violent language
about the government, and said, ‘that after the tyrants (meaning
ministers) were cut off, Hunt and Cobbett must go to pot.’ Finding I
did not like their language, he went away. About a fortnight before
the Cato-street business, Edwards called on me, and said to me, ‘the
tyrants must fall,’ and added, ‘all must come together armed, and you
must come with your sword and pistol, as I suppose you have got them.’
I told him I had nothing of the kind: he then said that I should not
want for them. Some short time after this he came to my lodgings quite
down in spirits, and said he could not find any one to have courage to
join, and he had a great mind to cut his throat. A short time after
this Edwards came again with two men, and in good spirits, and said,
‘I suppose you will go with us, you know what I mean;’ I answered, I
do not; he said, ‘you are not such a fool, as not to know there is
something on foot, we mean to destroy ministers.’ I answered, that I
would not be in such a Despard’s business. He then clapped his hand on
the wall of the house, and said, ‘this is all lath and plaster, and
you shan’t be safe, we’ll blow you out of your bed.’ I did not see
Edwards after this till Monday, the 21st of February, when he came, in
company with a very tall man, who had a cast in his eye, and Edwards
had a large bag with him, which he requested me to allow him to leave
in my room. I asked him what it contained, he replied, ‘Oh! only a
few pistols, and such like.’ I instantly bid him take them away, that
I would have nothing to do with such things in my place. He urged me
very much to permit the bag to remain, but I would not. I again told
him I would on no account have any thing to do with such things, and
immediately made him take the bag away, assisted by the persons who
came with him. Since then I have seen nothing of Edwards.”

[8] See Mary Barker’s evidence on the Trials, pages 191, 277, 315.

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