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As illustraled in the Prosecution and Punishment of
WILLIAM COBBETT. 31]
[32 In order that my countrymen and that the two sureties in the sum of 1,000 pounds each; world may not be deceived, dnped, and cheated that the whole of this sentence has been executed upon this subject, I, WILLIAM COBBETT, upon me, that I have been imprisoned the two of Botley, in Hampshire, put upon record years, have paid the thonsand pounds TO THE the following facts; to wit: That, on the 24th KING, and have given the bail, Timothy Brown June, 1809, the following article was pub- and Peter Walker, Esqrs. being my sureties; Jished in a London news-paper, called the that the Attorney General was Sir Vicary Gibbs, COURIER: -“ The Mutiny amongst the LO- the Judge who sat at the trial Lord Ellenborough, « CAL MILITIA, which broke out at Ely, was the four Judges who sat at passing sentence Ellen" fortunately suppressed on Wednesday by the borough, Grose, Le Blanc, and Bailey; and tbat "arrival of four squadrons of the GERMAN the jurors were, Thomas Rhodes of Hampstead * LEGION CAVALRY from Bury, under the Road, John Davis of Southampton Place, James « command of General Auckland. Five of the Ellis of Tottenham Court Road, John Richards
ringleaders were tried by a Court-Martial, and of Bayswater, Thomas Marshan of Baker Street, « sentenced to receive 500 lashes each, part of which Robert Heathcote of High Street Marylebone, “ punishment they received on Wednesday, and John Maud of York Place Marylebone, George
à part was remitted. A stoppage for their knup Bagster of Church Terrace Pancras, Thomas “ sacks was the ground of the complaint that ex- Taylor of Red Lion Square, David Deane of St. « cited this mutinous spirit, which occasioned John Street, William Palmer of Upper Street « the men to surround their officers, and demand Islington, Henry Favre of Pall Mall; that the “ what they deemed their arrears. The first Prime Ministers during the tinie were Spencer 6 division of the German Legion halted yesterday Perceval, until he was shot by John Bellingham, 6 at Newmarket on their return to Bury.”- and after that Robert B. Jenkinson, Earl of LiThat, on the 1st July, 1809, I published, in the verpool; that the prosecution and sentence took
Political Register, an article censuring, in the place in the reign of King George the Third, and strongest terms, these proceedings; that, for so that, he having become insane during my impridoing, the Attorney General prosecuted, as sedi-sonment, the 1,000 pounds was paid to his son, tious 'libellers, and by Ex-Officio Information, the Prince Regent, in his behalf; that, during my me, and also my printer, my publisher, and one imprisonment," I wrote and pnblished 364 Essays of the principal retailers of the Political Register; and Letters upon political subjects; that, during that I was brought to trial on the 15th June, the same time, I was visited by persons from 197 1810, and was, by a Special Jury, that is to say, cities and towns, many of them as a sort of depuby 12 nien ont of 48 appointed by the Master of ties from Societies or Clubs ; that, at the expirathe Crown Office, found guilty ; that, on the tion of my imprisonment, on the 9th of July, 1812, 20th of the same month, I was compelled to give a great dinner was given in London for the pur. bail
' for my appearance to receive judgment; pose of receiving me, at which dipger upwards of and that, as I came up from Botley (to which 600 persons were present, and at which Sir place I had returned to my family and my farm Francis Burdett presided; that dinners and other on the evening of the 15th), a Tipstaff went parties were held on the same occasion in many down from London in order to seize me, per- other places in England; that, on my way home, sonally; that, on the 9th of July, 1810, I, toge. I was received at Alton, the first town in Hamp. ther with my printer, publisher, and the news shire, with the ringing of the Church bells; that man, were brought into the Court of King's a respectable company met me and gave ne a Bench to receive judgment; that the three dinner at Winchester; that I was drawn from former were sentenced to be imprisoned for more than the distance of a mile into Botley by some months in the King's Bench prison; that I the people; that, upon my arrival in the village, was sentenced to be imprisoned for two years in I found all the people assembled to receive ne; Newgate, the great receptacle for malefactors, that I concluded the day by explaining to them and the front of which is the scene of numerous the cause of my imprisonment, and by giving hangings in the course of every year; that the them clear notions respecting the flogging of the part of the prison in which I was sentenced to be Local Militia-men at Ely, and respecting the emconfined is sometimes inhabited by felons, that ployment of German Troops; and, finally, which felons were actually in it at the tiine I entered is more than a compensation for my losses and all it; that one man was taken ont of it to be trans- my sufferings, I am in perfect health and strength, ported in about 48 hours after I was put into the and, though I must, for the sake of six children, same yard with him; aud that it is the place of feel the diminution that has been made in my confinement for men guilty of unnatural crimes, property (thinking it right in me to decline the of whon there are four in it at this time ; that, offer of a subscription), I have the consolation to besides this imprisonment, I was sentenced to see growing up three sons, upon whose hearts, I pay a thousand pounds TO THE KING, and to trust, all these facts will be engraven. give security for my good behaviour for seven
WN. COBBETT. years, myself in the sum of 3,000 pounds, and Botley, July 25, 1812.
Published by R. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent-Garden.
LONDON: Printed by J. M'Creery, Black-Horst-Court, Fleet-street.
COBBETT'S WEEKLY POLITICAL REGISTER.
VOL. XXIII. No.2.] LONDON, SATURDAY, JANUARY 9, 1813.
-[34 ships, of all sizes, on the American station; SUMMARY OF POLITICS.
and what were they to do more? I recolAMERICAN WAR. - This war, which lect, and so must the reader, that, at the was spoken of by the hireling of the Times time of the rencounter between Commodore' news-paper and others, with such ineffable Rodgers and Caplain Bingham, the words contempi, lias now assumed a very formi- in the mouths of all these writers were: dable mien; and those who were so eager “Let one of our FRIGATES meet with for the war, begin to revile each other with “ Rodgers, and we ask no 'more" This regard to the conducting of it. There wish; this challenge, was repeated a thouare, at ihis time, three political factions in sand times over; the public cannot have the country; the one that is in possession forgotten the fact ; nay, the sentiment was of the distribution of the public money; universal., Upon what ground, then, are, the Whig faction; and the faction of the the ministers now to be blamed? Are they Wellesleys and Cannings. The two latter to be blamed, because, upon trial, it has would join if they could; but, each aims at been found, that our Frigates are noi a. the possession of the power of giving places match for those of America ? Are they to and pensions, and, in short, at being the be blamed, because they did not entertain ministry. - These two, therefore, cannot a meaner opinion of our frigates, compared agree wholly; but, they buth attack, though with those of America, than any other man upon different occasions and different in England eutertained, or, at least, dared grounds, those who are in possession of the to say that he entertained ?We are paradise of Whitehall. ---Amongst other told, by the writers in the interest of the objects of attack is that of negligence as to wo OUT factions, that the Republican the American war. The Chronicle and the Frigates are bigger, longer, have heavier Times are equally bitter against the minis- guns, and the like, than our Frigates have, ters upon this subject ; they revile them for ." The varlet's a tall man," said Bos having plunged the country into a war with badil when he had been cudgelled, America without providing a sufficient ma- But, are these new discoveries? Were the ritime force to cope with that new enemy. facts not all well known before to all these A sufficient force! Why, the Times news, writers, when they so boldly challenged paper spoke of the navy of the United States out the American Frigates to combat with as a thing not worthy of the name; it ours ? When Rodgersjattacked Bingharu, laughed at “Mr. Madison and his navy ;” the size of his ship was, well known and it predicted that a few months would add particularly described ; and, yet, no one that navy to our own; it, in short, spoke then called for heavier ships to be sent out of it in a tone of contempt which I should to the American coast. Why, then, are io vain attempt to describe.-- -And yes, the ministers to be blamed for not sending it now blames the ministers for not having out heavier ships? - Besides, they have provided a sufficient force to cope with that heavier ships upon the station, and it cancontemptible navy; that navy which was not be their fault if those ships do not fall an object of the most cruel ridicule. The in with the American Frigates. What are defeat and capture of the Guerriere, the they to do with our frigates? If ours are Frolic, and the Macedonian must, of course, unable to face the American frigates, what be matter of astonishment to those, who are, I ask, the ministers to do with them? listened to the language of these presump- Are they not to suffer them to go on a tuous and foolish men; but, in what respect cruise, lest they should fall in with a lull are the ministers 10 blame for it any more Yankee? In short, it is another of the than they were for the evacuation of Madrid, tricks of faction to blame the ministers for and for all the consequences of the unex- these misadventures of the navy; and, the pected retreat of our army in the Peninsula ? attempts made by the ministerial prints to The ministers had a great abundance of account for our defeat upon the ground of
our inferiority of force is another of the briety, vigilance, and consideration for his means made use of to deceive the people, crew; and these qualities are within the and to encourage them in the continuation reach of every man. The American goof the war. When, until now, did we vernment, too, has a wide range for choice think of disparity of force? When, until with it no intrigues; commonly called " innow, did we dream of an English ship sur- terest,” is likely to prevail; because the rendering to a ship, the superiority of the possession of the powers of the state depend force of which it required a minute calcula- solely upon the will of the people, and the tion to show? When, until now, did an government, having such support, is not reEnglish Captain hesitate to attack a ship of duced to the necessity of seeking support a few guns more than his own? --Instead from any individuals; and, of course, is pot of all the calculations that we have seen in exposed to the danger of being compelled to the news-papers ; instead of those swelled employ as commanders, or as officers of any out accounts of the vast force of the Ame- rank, persons not recommended by their rican frigates, we should be plainly told, own good qualities. This is a very that we have now an enemy to cope with great advantage possessed by the American equal to ourselves as far as his numbers government; an advantage to which, per
- Amongst all the calculations haps, ii owes those successes, which we so and computations, however, that we have sorely lament, and which seem to be very heard, I have not perceived it any where likely to form an era in the naval history of taken into account, that we have experi- the world.- -But, let what will be the ence, which the Americans have not. final result of these transactions, I really Where did Isaac Hull gain his naval expe- can no good ground for accusation rience; and where Mr. Decatur? There against the ministers on account of the mis. are two Decaturs, the father and son. fortunes that have befallen our frigates. They were my neighbours, in the country, Blamed they may be for the war. There, in Pennsylvania. They were farmers more indeed, there is matter for blame; because, than seamen, though the elder went occa- if my reasoning upon the subject be correct, sionally to sea as commander of a merchant they might have avoided the war without ship. If it be the father who has taken the any dishonour to England; but, for this Macedonian, he must be upwards of three they cannot be blamed by those who are score years of age ; and, if it be the son, I seeking for their places ; because some of am sure it is the first battle he ever was in; those very persons were amongst the men for, twelve years ago, he was but a mere who adopted and adhered to the measures lad. The father was a man of great pro- which produced the war; and, the rest of bity and of excellent sense; and, I have no them have pledged themselves to prosecute doubt that the son is the same; but, I'll it upon its present ground. -Mr. Canengage, that both have had more experience ning and Lord Wellesley were, in succesin raising Indian corn than in naval tactics. sion, Secretaries of State for Foreign Af
-Something, therefore, in our estimates, fairs while the dispute was maintained should be allowed for our superiority in against the abolition of impressment of perpoint of experience. We have no officer of sons on board of American ships. Indeed, the navy, who has not passed a great part the former has expressed his disapprobation of his life on actual service; we have of the “ concessions," as he calls them, scarcely one who has not been in numerous made to America, in the repeal of our Orbattles; and, in the unfortunate cases above ders in Council. Of course he cannot comspoken of, one of the Captains appears to plain of the ministers for going to war; have been of long standing even in that and Mr. Ponsonby, as the organ of the rank. When we are speaking of the Whigs, distinctly declared, thai, if Ame: naval preparations of Napoleon, we always rica was not satisfied with that repeal, he dwell upon the difficulty of his forming would support the war against her.--naval officers; but, here we see, in the case Not, therefore, being able to find fault with of America, that that is attended with no the ministers for the war itself, they fall on difficulty at all; we here see gallant and upon them as to their manner of conducting consummate commanders start up in a trice; it; and, as I think, I have shown, they do and, in a moment, is dissolved the charm this without a shadow of justice. We, which bound us in ignorance as to this im- "Jacobins," blame all the three factions ; portant species of information.- -The some of them for causing the war, and truth is, I believe, that, amongst the first others for pledging themselves to support qualities of a naval commander, are so- it; nor have the least hesitation to predict, that, day after day, will tend to shilling of the £6,000 that, as President, convince all persons of impartiality, that he receives. And, why should he not? we are right. -This war we owe entire- What claim would he have to the title ly to the presumption inspired by our fool- of patriot, if he grudged to use his talents ish and venal writers. The language of for his country; or, which is the same the late Perceval, who talked of not wish thing, if he refused to use them without ing for the destruction" of America, and being paid for their use? If such were his who spoke of her as of a power depending disposition, what claim would he have to on his will for her very existence; this lan- the confidence of his fellow-citizens ? But, guage, which will long be remembered, with the common soldier or sailor, or other was the general language of the press. inferior person employed by the governWe could not believe it possible, that a go- ment, the case is wholly different. He vernment, the whole of the officers of which, has nothing but his labour for his inhePresident and all, did not receive from the ritance ; he possesses no part of the counpublic so much money annually as one of try; his time is his all; and, of course, our sinecure place-men; we could not he is paid for that time at as good rate as if conceive, that a government who did he laboured for an individual.---Those not get more money for itself would who speculate upon the resources of Amebe able to get money enough to carry on a rica should not overlook these important war more than sufficient to last our sloops circuinstances ; but, hitherto, I am sorry for a few months. We have now found to say, that we have almost wholly overour mistake ; and, indeed, the premises looked them. I never shall forget the which we had in our eye should have led obstinacy of many persons with whom I am to a directly different conclusion ; for, acquainted, as to the intention of the Amewould not common sense have told us, that rican government to go to war. They perthe less of the public money was taken by sisted to the very last, that it was imposthe officers of Government for their own sible. They called the declaration of the use ; the less of it that was devoured by Congress 6 bullying;" they said it was all placemen, and by others for no services - smoke;" and so, indeed, said the hired rendered the public, the more there must press, that vehicle of lies, that instrument of -be for the Government to employ in the ill to England. They have found some public service? This would have been fire as well as smoke ; they have found that the rational conclusion ; but, to reason the Republicans have something at their thus, susted not those who had, and who command besides words; and, when it is too have, the control over ninety-nine hun-late, I fear that they will find, that this is dredth
parts of the press of this country. the most fatal war in which we have yet They, therefore, represented America as been engaged. One effect of it appears to a nation destitute of warlike means; when me to be inevitable ; and that is, the crethey should have made an estimate of her alion of a Navy in America.Pray, resources upon the grounds stated in my good hired men, do not laugh at me; for I Jast number. -The persons in high am quite serious when I say, that my fear offices in America are badly paid; but (and is, that this war will lead to the creating of the fact is worth great attention) those in a formidable navy in America. The means low rank, or, no rank at all, are well paid. are all in her hands, and her successful The former have very smalt salaries; their beginning will not fail to give activity to gains are much less than those of any con- those means.- A Navy, a military inasiderable merchant or manufacturer, law- rine, in America, is, to me, a most sormiyer, or physician; but, the common sol-dable object. ' Twenty frigates only would dier and sailor are paid at a very high cause an expense to us of millions a-year, rate ; at such a rate as not to make him unless we resolved to yield the West India regret his change from civil life.IIslands at once. I would not advise should not say, perhaps, that the former our government to look upon the rearing are badly paid ; because, there is something of an American Navy as something necesin the honour of high office, which the sarily distant. America has swelled her common man does not enjoy; and, besides, population from about two to about eight there is something due from every man to millions iu the space of less than 30 years. his country; and, the greater that is his Another ten years may see her population
stake in the country, the less is his right to amount to twenty millions. From not bear ; draw from her purse. Mr. Madison does, ing permitted to make a hob-nail," she I dare say, expend, as President, every has risen to be an exporter of numerous
useful manufactures. I state it as an unde- the end; but, I could have wished the
in my opinion, not fail to make America an exchange of the products of one climate
say, that, in less than half a cenlury, the world. The English news-papers conwe shall not ship a bale of cloth to that tain a record of their love of war, of war
country.” This put me in mind of the against any body, so long as it promised effect that the Botley Parson's sermons used gain to them. They have, over and over to have upon me; and I lost no time in again, called the war which began in an changing the subject of conversation.. invasion of France by the Duke of BrunsI am not one of those who shall regret this wick, “a just and necessary war;" but, independence of America, which I do not of late, they appear to have been taught by illink will prove any injury to England in their poor-books and the list of Bankrupts,