« PreviousContinue »
s circumstances had taken place, without notice, and
behind his back? Eighth The eighth charge is specific, and requires some of Mr. Hart, detail to disclose to the uninformed or prejudiced
the real facts of the case, which will, at the same time, expose, in full deformity, the barefaced falsehood and malignity of the charge: “That at " the said assizes of Lifford the said Luke Fox did “ contrary to every principle of law and justice, “and with great indignity and outrage, arraign, “ prejudge and imprison John Hart, Esq., and “ did also conduct himself towards the jury iin.
pannelled in the unwarrantable and unconstitu"tional manner represented in the petition of the " said John Hart, by confining the said jury " from Saturday evening until the Monday niorn“ing following; declaring, that they might “ cool their consciences until that time.” Invention could have hardly brought together so ma. ny fancied incidents, as in this case actually concurred to illustrate the iniquitous traffic of Grand Jury presentments and road jobs * in Ireland.
turday the 27th of August 1803, at the M'Dougel assizes at Lifford, one M’Dowgal a substantial far. I
on. mer vas tried before Mr. J. Fox by a jury of the
county of Donegal, of which the Rev. Mr. Ro binson was the foreman, for having cheated the county of 461. Os. 4d. which had been raised un-' der a presentment for repairing a road, of which he had been appointed overseer by the grand jury
Vid. Ante Note, p. 29.
affidavit sound that suin upon it,
whe treasurer of
of the county. By that appointment he was to ' 1805., make and repair the road, aud. upon producing an affidavit signed by a justice of the peace, that he had expended that sum upon it, he would have become entitled to receive it from the treasurer of the county. He procured a Mr. G. Keys a magistrate to put his name to the form of an accounting affidavit, which he had not sworn, and thus fraudulently received the money without expending any part of it upon the repairs of the road. The practice was so frequent and public in that county, that Mr. M Dowgal hardly thought of defending himself against the indictment, and was found guilty without hesitation by the jury. Immediately after M’Dowgal's trial was finished, another person of more easy circumstances and respectability named Dobson, was put on his, trial for a similar offence; with this difference, that the sum presented and paid was 45l. ; that Mr. Hart, (through whose ground the road ran) was one of the three overseers appointed by the grand jury, well knew, that a very trifling part of the money had been laid out on the road, and that he (Mr. Hart) to whom Dobson was agent and receiver received the whole sum of 451, from the treasurer.' of the county ; that Dobson procured Richard Irvine, who was one of the overseers jointly with Mr. Hart to sign his name to the form of an affidavit, purporting, to account for the expenditure of 451. in making and repairing the road, as if the said Richard Irvine had sworn the same; and that said Dobson had procured Mr. Alexander M’Cul
loch a justice of the peace for that county to put
been given by the county. Mr. Chambers further
* It will be remembered, that this charge of Mr. Hart against Mr. J. Fox was the first and only one brought forward against him so late as the 31st of May 1804. It prominently carries upon the face of it the essential spirit of the state persecution of
1:05. to prosecute him. It appeared further in evidence,
that Mr. Hart had received the entire sum of 451. so presented, soon after the Lent, assizes in 1802, and had allowed his tenants, in arrear of rent, to the amount; and that Dobson gave them receipts by his directions: That Mr. Hart was a grand juror at the time the presentment was first passed: and also when an alteration was made by the grand jury in the appoiutment of the overseers: Mr. Irvine, who though no tenant, was under the influence of Mr. Hart, having been substituted in the lieu of a. Mr. Michell. That Mr. Hart was likewise a grand juror, when the fictitious accountįng affidavit was given in by Dobson his agent in 1802. He was also on the grand jury, when Dobson at the Spring assizes in 1803, confessed his guilt: and when they passed the resolution of censure against him : and he was one of the grand jurors, who actually found the bill of indictment against Dobson, for the fraud and cheat, at which they were so highly indignant. Yet this very Mr. Hart, one of those indignants, came on the table at the next assizes, and putting off the character of a censorious grand juror, and assuming the qua
an upright and firm judge making a virtuous stand against the managers and controulers of a country, in which fraud, pecula. tion and perjury were admitted to be a common practice. Mr. Hart's petitions to the Lords and Commons were manufactured by Mr. James Galbraith, who exhibited himself at the bar of the House of Lords, as attorney to the prosecutor, crown solicitor, grand juror, purveyor of evidence, paymaster of witnesses, drawer of petitions, and witness in the cause.