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uccess to that measure in our in even of high treason itself, no less and county. I am proud of the industriously than falsely circulated ceftimony your lordship is pleased to by my cruel and implacable enegive me; and am happy, in these mies, together with all the various days of peace, to leave so amiable a insolence of office, form but a part corps in that perfect harmony of my unexampled ill-treatment, which has from the beginning sub- Such inhuman principles of flar fifted. I am, my lord, &c. chamber tyranny will, I trust, by

John Wilkes. this court, upon this solemn occaThe earl Temple himself was fion, be finally extirpated; and soon after removed from being lord henceforth every

innocent

man,, lieutenant of the county of Buck, however poor and unsupported, ingham.

may hope to sleep in peace and se. On Friday, May 6, about eight curity in his own house, inviolated in the morning, Mr. Wilkes was by king's messengers, and the arbibrought from the tower, and reach- trary mandates of an over-bearing ed Westminster-hall about nine. secretary of state. The lord chief justice, and the I will no longer delay your jus other judges, came about ten, tice. The nation is imparient to when Mr. Wilkes said,

hear, nor can be safe or happy

till that is obtained. If, the laine My Lords,

perfecution is after all to carry me “ Far, be it from me to regret before another court, I hope I that I have passed so many more shall find that the genuine fpirit days in captivity, as it will have of Magna Charta, that glorious inafforded you an opportunity of do- heritance, that distinguishing chaing, upon mature reflection and racteristic of Englishinen, is as relirepeated examination, the more giously revered there, as I know it signal justice to my country. The is bere, by the great personages beliberty of all peers and gentlemen, fore whom I have now the happi. and what touches me more sensibly, ness to stand ; and (as in the everthat of all the middling and infe- memorable case of the imprisoned rior class of people, who stand most bishops, that an independent jury in need of protection, is in my case of free-born Englishmen will perthis day to be finally decided up- fist to determine my fate, as in conon: a question of such importance science bound, upon constitutional as to determine at once, whether principles, i by a verdict of guilty English liberty be a reality or a or not guilty. I akk no more at the shadow. Your own free-born hearts hands of my countrymen.” will feel with indignation and compassion all that load of oppression When Mr. Wilkes had made an under which I have so long labour- end, lord chief justice Pratt stood ed. Close imprisonment, the ef- up, and delivered theopinion of the fect of premeditated malice, all court on the three following heads, access for more than two days which were chiefly insisted on by denied to me, my house ransacked council; and plundered, my most private First, The legality of Mr. and secret concerns divulged, every Wilkes's commitment. vile and malignant insinuation, Secondly, The necesity for a

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thor of this paper, whoever he may the militia for the county of Buckbe, has, upon constitutional princi- ingham, I am commanded to fignify ples, done directly the reverse, and his majesty's pleasure to your lordis therefore in me, the supposed au- fhip, that you do forthwith give the thor, meant to be persecuted ac- neceffary orders for displacing Mr. cordingly; the particular cruelties Wilkes, as an officer in the militia of my treatment, worse than if I for the said county of Buckingham.

been à Scots rebel, this court I am, my lord, &c. will hear, and I dare say, from your

EGREMONT, justice, in due time redress.

In consequence of which letter, I may, perhaps, still have the his lordship immediately wrote the means left me to shew that I have following to Mr. Wilkes: been fuperior to every temptation

Sir, Pall-Mall, May 5, 1763. of corruption. They may, indeed, have fattered themselves, that when the tower,'I received the inclosed

" At my return laft night from they found corruption could not letter from the earl of Egremont : prevail, persecution might intimi- in consequence of his majesty's com. date. I will fhew myself superior mands therein fignified, you will to both. My papers have been please to observe, that you no keized, perhaps with a shope the longer continue colonel of the milibetter to deprive me of that proof of sia for the county of Buckingham. their meannels and corrupt prodi

I cannot, at the fame time, belp gality, which it may poffibiy, in a proper place, be yet in my power to loss of an officer, by his department

expressing the concern I feel in the

in command endeared to the whole Thé cafe was then learnedly ar

corps.

I am, Sir, &c. gued by eminent lawyers on both

TEMPLE. fides, and when they had finished, the court, after making a polite ex

To which Mr. Wilkes made the cufe to Mr. Wilkes for the delay, following return: took time to consider the case, and My Lord, Tower, May 5, 1763. to give their opinion ; therefore 6. I have this moment the ho. they remanded him prisoner to the 'nour of your lordlhip’s letter, figoitower till Friday the 6th of May, fying his majesty's commands, that at which time he was ordered io i should no longer continue colonel of be brought up, that the atrair might the militia for the county of Buckingbe finally determined; but directions bam. I have only to return your were given, that, in the mean time, lord ship my warmeft thanks for the both his friends and lawyers should spirit and zeal you have fhewn in have free access to him.

the support of that constitucional * Next day lord Temple received measure from the very beginning. the following letter :

Your lord ship will please to rememWhitehall, May 4, 1763. molt who offered their services to

ber, that I was among the foreMy Lord,

their country at that crisis. Buck« The king having judged it im- inghamshire is fenfible, and has al. proper that John Wilkes, Esq; should ways acknowledged, that no man any longer continue to be colonel of but your lord hip could have given

success

give.”

success to that measure in our in even of high treason itself, no less land county. I am proud of the industriously than falsely circulated teftimony your lordship is pleased to by my cruel and implacable enegive me ; and am happy, in these mies, together with all the various days of peace, to leave so amiable a infolence of office, form but a part corps in that perfect harmony of my unexampled ill-treatment, which has from the beginning sub- Such inhuman principles of fiar fifted. I am, my lord, &c. chamber tyranny will, I trust, by

JOHN WILKES. this court, upon this solemn occa. The earl Temple himself was fion, be finally extirpated; and soon after removed from being lord henceforth every innocent

man,, lieutenant of the county of Buck- however poor and unsupported, ingham.

may hope to sleep in peace and feOn Friday, May 6, about eight curity in his own house, unviolated in the morning, Mr. Wilkes was by king's messengers, and the arbi, brought from the tower, and reach- trary mandates of an over-bearing ed Westminster-hall about nine. secretary of state. The lord chief justice, and the I will no longer delay your jur. other judges, came about ten, tice, The nation is impacient to when Mr. Wilkes said,

hear, nor can be safe or happy

till that is obtained. If, the same My Lords,

perfecution is after all to carry me “ Far, be it from me to regret before another court, I hope I that I have passed so many more thall find that the genuine fpirit days in captivity, as it will have of Magna Charta, that glorious inafforded you an opportunity of do- heritance, that distinguishing chaing, upon mature reflection and racteristic of Englishinen, is as relirepeated examination, the more giously revered there, as I know it fignal justice to my country. The is bere, by the great personages beliberty of all peers and gentlemen, fore whom I have now the happi. and what touches me more sensibly, ness to stand ; and (as in the everthat of all the middling and infe- memorable case of the imprisoned rior class of people, who stand most bishops, that an independent jury in need of protection, is in my case of free-born Englishmen will perthis day to be finally decided up- fist to determine my fate, as in conon: a question of such importance science bound, upon constitutional as to determine at once, whether principles, by a verdict of guilty English liberty be a reality or a or not guilty. I ask no more at the shadow. Your own free-born hearts hands of my countrymen.” will feel with indignation and compaffion all that load of opprefsion. When Mr. Wilkes had made an under which I have so long labour- end, lord chief justice Pratt stood ed. Clofe imprisonment, the ef- up, and delivered the opinion of the fect of premeditated malice, all court on the three following heads, access for more than two days which were chiefly insisted on by denied to me, my house ransacked council: and plundered, my most private First, - The legality of Mr. and secret concerns divulged, every Wilkes's commitment. vile and malignant infinuation, Secondly, The necefity for a

fpecification of those particular they related to the point in quepaffages in the 45th number of the stion, was not at all necessary; for North Briton, which had been even supposing the whole of the deemed a libel. And,

45th North Briton had been in. Thirdly, Mr. Wilkes's privi- serted in the body of the warrant, lege as a member of parliament. yet it by no means came under his In regard to the first

, his lord- lordship’s cognizance at that time; ship remarked, that he would con for the matter in consideration fider a secretary of State's warrant, then was, not the nature of the of. through the whole affair, as no- fence, but the legality of the comthing superior to the warrant of a mitment; the nature of the of. common justice of the peace : and fence not resting in the bosom of that no magistrate had, in reality, a judge without the affiftance of a a right ex oficio, to apprehend any jury, and not being a proper subperson, without ftating the particu- ject of enquiry, till regularly lar crime of which he was accused; brought on to be tried in the culbut at the same time he observed tomary way of proceeding. there were many precedents where With respect to the third and a nice combination of circumstan- last point, how far Mr. Wilkes had ces gave so ftrong a suspicion of a right to plead his privilege as facts, that though the magistrate member of parliament, his lordcould not be justified ex officio, he ship remarked, that there were was, nevertheless, supported in the but three cases which could porcommitment, even without re- fibly affect the privilege of a mem. ceiving any particular information ber of parliament, and these were for the foundation of his charge. treason, felony, and the peace. The The word charge, his lord ship took peace, as it is written in the instinotice, was in general much mif- tutes of the law, his lordship exunderstood, and did not mean the plained to signify a breach of the accufation brought against any perr peace. He remarked, that when fon taken up, but his commitment the seven bishops were sent to the by the magistrate before whom he tower, the plea which was used might be brought. Upon the when the spiritual lords contended whole of this point, according to for their privilege, was, that they the customary rule which had been had endeavoured to diffurb the peace. for a series of years observed by This, at that arbitrary time, was the fages of the law, even in the judged sufficient to forfeit their reign of Charles the second, privilege; but his lordship took when this matter was so frequently notice, that, out of the four contested, his lordship was of opi- judges then upon the bench, there nion, that Mr. Wilkes's commit was buť one 'honest man, Powel, ment was 'not illegal.

E9; and he declined giving any opiIn relation to the next article, nion. His lordthip then observed, which required a specification of that the privilege of parliament the particular passages in the North Mould be held sacred and inBriton which were deemed a libel, violable, and as there were but his lord ship took notice that the three particular cases in which that insertion of these passages, so far as frivilege was forfeited, it cnly re

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nained to examine how far Mr. my poor thanks Thanks are due Wilkes's was endangered. Mr.- to you from the whole English naWilkes stood accused of writing a tion, and from all the subjects of ibel ; a libel in the sense of the the English crown. They will be aw was a bigb misdemeanor, but did paid you together with every testinot come within the description of mony of zeal and aff:ction to the reason, felony, or breach of the peace; learned ferjeant*, who has fo ably at molt it had but a tendency to and constitutionally pleaded my disturb the peace, and consequently cause, and in mine (with pleasure could not be sufficient to deftroy I say it) the cause of liberty. Eve. the privilege of a member of par- ty testimony of my gratitude is liament.

juftly due to you, and I take my · Thus was this point of privilege leave of this court with a veneradetermined, and Mr. Wilkes irn. tion and respect, which no time can mediately discharged. He had not, obliterate, nor can the molt gratehowever, quitted the court, when ful heart sufficiently express." a gentleman of eminence in the

When Mr. Wilkes had ended, law stood up, and told the lord

the audience expressed their fatischief justice that he had just re

faction by an universal shout,which ceived a note from the attorney

was often repeated. Mr. Wilkes and folicitor-general, to intreat his staid fome little time in a room lordship not to give Mr. Wilkes adjoining to the court, in expectaleave to depart till their coming, tion that the crowd would disperse; which would be instant, as they but finding it to no parpofe, he had something to offer against his walked out of the back door of the plea of privilege. The motion was,

Common Pleas, and was received however, reje&ted; upon which by a prodigious multitude of peoMr. Wilkes Itood up and said :

ple, who attended him to his house My Lords,

in Great George-street, WestminGreat as my joy must natu

ster, where being entered, he went rally be at the decision which this into his dining room fronting the court, with a true spirit of liberty, street, and throwing open his winhas been pleased to make concern-dows, paid his compliments to the ing the unwarrantable seizure of populace. my person, and all the other con

The next day the following leta sequential grievances, allow me to

ter was printed, and some thouaffure you that I feel it far less fen- fands of it dispersed : sibly on my own account, than I Great George Street, May 6,1763do for the public. The sufferings

- On my return here from West, of an individual are a triling ob-minster-hall, where I have been ject, when compared with the discharged from my commitment whole, and I should blush to feel to the tower, under your 1-3 for myself in comparison with con warrant, I find that my house has fideracions of nature so transcen- been robbed, and am informed that dently superior.

the stolen goods are in the poiler. I will not trouble you with fion of one or both of your laps.,

I there.

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* Serjeant Glynn.

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