Page images





Second arti cle of


was made to arraign or censure a single measure of 1805. his Adininistration. Thus Nr. J. Fox stands clearly acquitted of this first of the nine charges by the positive, evidence of each of the most noble prosecutors own witnesses.

The second of the nine articles of complaint, Second arti was, “.that J. Fox at Enniskillen 'on the same circle of "cuit did with a like view and in the same spirit of "disaffection to the Government endeavour to pre“vail upon J. H. Cottingham, Esq. to use his influ"ence with a corps of yeonany, of which he was "Captain, to address his Majesty for the removal of "the Lord Lieutenant.” This Mr. Cottingham was also a Lawyer and a Banker. He was brought over to London at the public expence, and after some private rehearsals of his evidence in support of the charge, which had been twice made and laid on the table of the House of Lords, and had made a prominent feature of the most noble Marquis philippic on the 31st of May 1804, he was dismissed without being exhibited at the bar of the House of Lords; and the charge was silently withdrawn. Thus was the Marquis of Abercorn countenanced and supported by the leader of the system in sporting with the character and honor of one of his Majesty's Judges of Record, because he disclained to bend to power or connive at corruption. With impunity did the Marquis accuse him of disaffection to his Sovereign, and a violation of his oath, in the face of the highest tribunal in the jealm; he aggravated the accusation with all the powers of his eloquence behind the back of the

1805., accused ; after it had been reduced to writing, his

Lordship pledged the word of a Peer, that he would substantiate the charge, which he had taken nearly twelve months to prepare : after the "reflection of six more months, viz. on the 5th of January 1805, he renewed the charge, laid it once more on the table of that high tribunal, and reiterated his pledge for proving it in its full extent. He became conscious of having preferred an unfounded charge of disaffection against one of his Majesty's Judges, and he was permitted to withdraw it, without reparation* for the injury done to the party by the wide circulation of an unfounded, and therefore malicious accusation.

The third head of accusation refers to the imposition of fines, which are stated by the accuser to have been “heavy and enormous, and to the “ great oppression of his Majesty's loyal subjects, “ who for public motives, and to support the “ laws, had accepted the office of Magistrates, and “ of those, who were discharging the duties of “ Sheriffs in the several counties of the said cir“ cuit.” The charge in specifying the offences

Mbird charge.

* In the days of Charles II. one of his Majesty's Judges of Record in England, was charged with disaffection by a clergyman of no dignified rank. He was first prosecuted by his Majesty's Attorney General for the offence, and fined 50001. by the sentence of the Court. The Judge afterwards brought his action, and recovered by verdict of a Jury 10,0001, damages for the injury done to his character. He, like Mr. J. Fox, was an independent, not a courtly Judge. He was one of the four, who had signed an opinion against the legality of ship money.

complained of, begins with setting forth, that the 1805. said Luke Fox did impose the excessive fine of 5001. on the High Sheriff of the county of Fermanagh, and it enumerateş other fines to the amount of 201. : all of which were in July 1804, and in January 1805, charged to be heavy and enormous: but after the private examination of witnesses, in May 1805, the ground of objection to the fines was altered, and then they were charged to be illegal and excessive; and the number objected to was reduced from 20 to 8. The bare statement of the law and facts, shews the ignorance, falsehood and malice, with which this head of complaint was prepared and preferred against Mr. J. Fox. The substraction of 12 out i of 20 charges speaks for itself. Mr. Gerard Irvine, the Sheriff of Fermanagh, failed in his duty by not ateending according to notice to meet the Judges on the verge of the county. An offence particularly enhanced by the perilous state of the times; for which he was fined by Mr. J. Fox, not in 5001. but 100l. ; as appears by the records of the Court of Exchequer in Ireland, where the following estreat is entered. “County of Fermanagh, “ At a general assizes and general goal de

livery, held at Enniskillen on the 18th day

of August 1803.
" Gerard Irvine, Esq. High Sheriff of said

county, for not meeting or attending the
Judges at the verge of the said county on


their arrival there on the commission day of the assizes of the said county 'fined

- 1001.” This fine was agreeably to law estreated into the Exchequer in November 1803, and it is morally impossible, that Mr. Irvine, and all those, who busied themselves about this head of complaint, should not have known, that the fine was 1001. and not 5001. long before it was so grossly and repeatedly misrepresented to the House of Lords. llad Mr. Irvine felt himself aggrieved by the fine, he had a prompt and easy remedy at law before a Jury of his country both before and after the estreat: for the words of a recent statute * are; “ If

* 21 & 22 Geo. III. c. 20. 8. 10. . It may open the reader's eyes to the nature and spirit of the whole persecution of Mr. J. Fox, to remind him, that by the 27 Edw. I. c. 3. commonly called the statute de finibus, it is enacted, that Justices of assize shall enquire, if Sheriffs or any others have let out by replevin persons pot repleviable. That by the 23 Hen. VI. c. 10. Justices of assize are authorized to determine of office without special commission of and upon all Sheriffs, Under-Sheriffs, bailiffs, officers, and other Ministers, as to matters of arrest and taking bail. That by the 10 Car. I. (Irish) Justices of the Peace shall not admit any persons to bail for offences not bailable ; that in cases bailable, Justices of the Peace shall, before they admit any persons to bail, take the information of the prosecutor, and reduce the same to writing, and that they shall certify such infor. mation to the next general goal delivery. That Justices of the Peace should in cases not bailable, before they shall commit a prisoner to goal take the information of the person bringing such prisoner before them, and shall certify the same to the next goal delivery : that Justices of the Peace shall bind prosecutors by recognizance or bond to appear and prosecute at the next general goal delivery, and shall to the same certify such bond or recog.


“ the party shall shew any sufficient matter in
“ law, equity or good conscience, why he ought
“ not to be charged, and sufficiently prove the
“ same, the Court may discharge him accord-
“ingly.” Another part of this charge, though
less in quantity, is alike in quality ; " That at
“ Longford on the said circuit, the said Luke
“ Fox did impose a fine of 201, on John D'Arcy,
“ and fines of 51. each on eleven other persons,
(named in the article) for not answering to
" their names, when called in Court to attend as
“ Jurors, although no proof was produced or
even directed by the said Luke Fox to satisfy
“ him, that any of the said persons had been sum-
“ moned to attend for that purpose.” In answer
to this part of the charge: 1o. The record of the
Court again convicts the prosecutors of false-
hood : the estreat of Mr. D'Arcy's fine is only of
51.: 20. It is not necessary by law to prove, that
the parties have been summoned. The Sheriff
must be presumed to obey his precept and not to
return any for Jurors, but such as have been sum-
moned. If he fail in his duty, he is answerable
to the party: 3°. Each of these persons had in
fact been duly summoned; as appeared by affida-
vits. procured by the Clerk of the Crown, after
Judge Fox had received a copy of the charges.

nizance. « And in case any Justice of the Peace shall offend in any thing contrary to the true intent and meaning of this act, that the Justices of goal delivery shall for every such offence, set such fine on every suck Justice of the Peace, as the suid' Justice shull think meet.”

« PreviousContinue »