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vere sentence upon a defaulter in matters of of. fence, to which too many then in court were far
to account by affidavit sworn before a justice of the peace, to be
This is an invidtous and vexatious duty of the upright judge,
familiarized, created general alarm and consterna- 1805. tion amongst those in particular, whose sympa thizing consciences brought to their recollection their own guilt. Hard were the reflections upon Mr. Hart from those, who bore in mind the grounds of dissent in such of the jurors, as had refused to find Dobson guilty, because he pocketted nothing by the transaction. This was clearly bringing home to Mr. Hart the original and primary offence, in which his agent Dobson was palpably an instrument for his benefit. Mr. Hart was a man of powerful influence and connections n the county : he was an acquaintance, and had. been a client of the judge, whose virtue would not permit him to fall into such a dereliction of honor and duty, as to allow affluence or influence to countenance, screen or encourage abuses, which had already become a national reproach...
Whilst the jury was deliberating on Dobson's case, Mr. Fox read over his notes of the evidence; duct of Mr. and finding, on consideration, that Mr. Hart was strongly implicated in the guilt of that transaction, and that a well connected chain of corroborating circumstances strongly tended to bring the real guilt and infamy of it to his door, at the sure peril of offending a set of men in that county (the Orange ascendancy) whose number and power it
circumstances, Ireland is highly indebted to the firm and virtuous judge, who passed so just and necessary a sentence upon so notorious and infamous a defaulter.
. was dangerous to provoke, he sent for Mr. James
information of his (Mr. Hart's) offence, and as 1805. they had appeared on the trial of Dobson. He : concluded by directing, that the sheriff should take Mr. Hart into custody, in order that he might give bail, to abide his trial at the next assizes for that offence. Mr. Dobson, who was standing in Court near the Judge, intemperately and repeatedly attempted to interrupt him. The Judge checked
him, with an assurance, that when he had done to what his duty required of him, he would give Mr.
Hart a patient hearing, should he have any thing to say. Mr. Hart got upon the table, the moment the judge had closed, and addressed him with unbecoming warmth; he was reminded, that the court was no place for such intemperance, and the sheriff was ordered to do his duty. Mr. Hart then went from off the table to the side bar, where traversers usually stand, not to the common' dock, * or felon's bar, as Mr. Hart falsely asserted in his petition. , Thence he addressed the judge in insolent terms of reproach and menace, intimating plainly a design to challenge him. He told him, that after his treatment of a nobleman of high rank, he was not surprized at his conduct towards
* Vid. ante note, p. 13. According to the known axiom, those,. who seek redress in a court of justice should enter it with clean hands. Mr. Hart, on the contrary, obtruded Inimself on the highest juridical tribunal in the British empire, with the wages of guilt in his hands, and the words of falsehood on his lips; having (unquestionably for the purpose of inflaming the public feeling against Mr. J. Fox) in one petition five several times distinctly repeated the notorious untruth, that by order of the Judge he was committed to the common felons dock.
him : that, as a man of honour, he would resent it: called upon the Grand Jury to support his cause, and emphatically asserted, that he had done nothing more, than every man of them had been in the habit of doing : and concluded a most impudent address, by introducing again the nobleman by name, whom he had before alluded to, as if for the purpose of intimidation. Mr. Hart was not interrupted in his address. After it was finished, the Judge repelled the insolent attack with firm and dignified coolness. Mr. Hart then gave bail and was discharged.
Immediately after Mr. Hart had been admitted of to bail, and before he quitted the court, the jury to enclosed in Dobson's case were ordered into court, and after their names had been called over, and having been asked by the officer of the Court, 'whether they had agreed in their verdict ? Mr. Robinson, their foreman, answered in the negative; and instantly added, that Mr. Hart had procured access to the jury the day before, and had spoken to them, whilst shut up, and deliberating on the verdict, in words calculated to influence their verdict: that he told them Mr. M‘Dowgal had met with a most severe sentence, which he specified, and warned them, that if they found Dobson guilty he would meet with the same fate. The judge expressed suitable indignation at this outrage upon justice, and severely reprimanded Mr. Hart, who did not even attempt to repel the charge thus publicly inade upon him. Conscious of guilt, he shruuk from denial. His high crested