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554. The Trial of John Miller, Printer, before Lord Mansfield,
and a Special Jury of Citizens of London, at Guildhall, for
in reading over thre paper itself, and in consideraSamuel Athawes, of Martin's-lane.
tion of the proofs that are to be laid before you, Henry Voysey, Clement's-lane.
I should have thought it a case so plain, and Joseph Lancaster, Green Lettice-lane.
in so ordinary a course of justice, that it would William Gill, Abchurch-lane.
absolutely be impossible to have mistaken, Jobo Whitmore, Lawrence Poultney-lane.
either the application of the proofs of the Joshua Redshaw, St. Peter le Poor.
charges that are laid, or the conclusion to be William Devisme, Bartholomew-lane.
made from them. I have not of myself been
able to imagine, nor have I learnt from the Talesmen.
conversation of any one man, that there is a William Cave, of Farringdon Without. serious map of the profession in the kingdom, William Washer, Bishopsgate Within. who bas the smallest doubt whether this ought George More, Farringdon.
to be deemed a libel or vot: my memory deJoshụa Woodward, Bell-yard, Gracechurch- serts me exceedingly, if the learned gentlemen street.
who spoke of this subject before, did any time Richard Ayres, Bisbopsgate-street.
venture to say, in so many plain words, that
the contents of that paper were legal and July 18, 1770.
innocent. I am mistaken if they did. It "ГНЕ case was opened by Mr. Walker.
seems to me impossible that such an idea The record stated, that the defendant, Jobn member it right, from the general and loose
can be formed; but instead of it, if I reMiler, did unlawfully print and publish, or discourse of them, concerning the liberty of cause to be printed and published, a certain seditious paper, entitled, 'The London Evening ject, concerning the right of individuals to
the press, it was a large and undefmed sub. Post, Saturday, December 16th, to Tuesday, speak, to write, to publish with freedom, their December 19ih, in which was contained a certain Jibel, reflecting upon the Kiog, the
own free thongbts, upon all manner of subadministration of government, his principal the same time pretty generally handled. Now,
jects; these topics were pretty largely, but at officers of state, and the mernbers of the hon. it does not appear to me they were or could, in House of Commons, in these words, [The the nature of it, be applied to the present case. paper read.]t
The Jefendant pleaded Not For I weither do, nor ever will, attempt to lay Guilty.
before a jury, a cause, in wbich I was under Sol. General (Thurlow). Please your lord- the necessity of stating a single principle that ship, and you gentlemen of the jury, I am like- went to intrench, in the smallest degree, upon wise of counsel for the crown in this prosecution, the avowed and acknowledged liberty of the which is brought by the Attorney General subjects of this country, even with regard to against Jobn Miller. 'I have very seldom found the press. The complaint I have to lay before myself more puzzled how to state a question to a you, is, that that liberty has been so 'abused, court, and in what manner to adapt it to a court, so turned to licentiousness, in the manner in than I ain upon the present occasion. Because which it has been exercised upon the present
occasion, that under the notion of arrogating * Published in the London Museum (of liberty to one man, that is, the writer, printer, which Miller was the publisher) for October and publisher of this paper, they do, in effect 1770.
and consequence, annihilate and destroy the + Owing to a neglect of the summoning liberty of all men, more or less. Undoubtedly officer, only seven of the Special Jury attend the man that has indulged the liberty of robed, upon which Mr. Beardmore, the defen. bing upon the highway, has a very considerdant's attorney, complained to the Court of the able portion of it allotted to him. But where summonses for the Special Jury not being is is the liberty of the man that is robbed? Wbere sued in proper time, and that to his certain is the liberty of the man that is injured ? Liknowledge, no summonses were delivered the berty consists in a fair and equal, publie and day before at twelve o'clock. The Court al general enjoyment of every man's person, forlowed the complaint to be just, but took no iune, and reputation, under the protection of further notice of it. Five Talesmen were then the law; and the moment the law is silent or drawn. Orig. Edit.
ivattentive to protect any man's reputation See it, p. 805, of this volume.
whatsoever, his reputation is taken away from
him, and tyranny of the vilest sort is expected, is indeed to shift for itself. Now, gentlemen, and an opportunity is given to hired and venal I bave stated to you in general, what I look writers, to vent their malice for money, against upon to be the import of this libel. If I was the best characters in the country, and against to mention even the passages, is there one of every character which they can be hired to them would fall short of the representation I insult for money. All I desire is, that the line have given thein ? In the first place, the king may be fairty drawn, and justice so adminis. is supposed utterly ignorant of the duty of bis tered, as to protect the general liberty of man office; in the next place, he is looked upon to kind; and live under the notion of protecting bave a fixed prejudice against the character of the liberty of those that do wrong, encourage
an honest man. Supposing bim (says the them in licentiousness and destruction of all libel) made sensible at last of the great duty he Jaws huinan and divine, of all countries as well owes to his people.”
as this, which all people will agree, upon the Is it fit tbat any magistrate should be talked i principle of common sense, ought to be pro of in that manner, much less is it fit, that the
tected and delegded. Gentlemen ; these are king should " that he should be made sensible the only principles upon which this prosecution of his own disgraceful situation"—is that the depends; and if the prosecution is not to be language for the first magistrate in this counsupported upon these principles, I desire it try? No matter how improbable thus the best may be rejected and abandoned, and I ought of characters of honest meaning inen, is reto be ashamed to maintain it at all. With re moved by such writers; but to be sure, that is gard to the present libel, the business of those a very unfair and unjust idea to give the perthat maintain this prosecution, is to prove son of a king, and yet they would have you these facts. The man that is charged with suppose, that is no libel at all.
" It is the having printed and published this paper, has misfortune of your life, and originally the printed and has published a paper, in which cause of every reproacb and distress which concerning the king, concerning the House has attended your government, that you should of Commons, concerning the great officers of never bave been acquainted with the language state, concerning the public affairs of the of truth, till you found it in the complaints of realm, there are uitered things of such ten your subjects." Can a man be branded with dency and application, as ought to be punished. a more odions and disgraceful representation of Now, gentlemen, when I state the proposition him, than that he had been so educated from so, it will be very manifestly and obviously the beginning to the end of his life, as to be understood Lam proceeding, not only to prove utterly ignorant of the language of truth. The the fact of the present defendant baving printed stile, the insolent manner of it, is what will and published that paper, but to go so far into occur to any body. He desires bim to disthe particular parts of that paper, as to prove tinguish between the permanent dignity of it does apply as the charges of ihe information a king, and that which serves only to promote express. To prove that it does apply, or to the temporary interest and miserable ambition consider it as a subject liable to discussion and of a minister.
“ You ascended the throne with doubt, is, when I come to consider it, but an a declared, and, I doubt not, a sincere resoluinsult upon your understanding; for you bave tion of giving universal satisfaction to your no one reproachful epithet, which is not, in the subjects. You found them pleased with the various slapes which a long jingle of words novelty of a young prince, whose countenance could be lurned into, put upon the person of promised even more than his words, and loyal the king.
He has been reviled throughout the to you, not only from principle, but passion, history of his life, from bis birth to the present it was not a cold profession of allegiance to the moment. His education has been represented, first magistrate, but a partial, aoimared attachas converted to the most frivolous, to the most ment to a favourite prince, the native of their malignant purpose; his heart is represented, to country. They did not wait to examine your be corrupt to such a degree, to be abandoned conduct, nor to be determined by experience, so, that all the sacred duties of the great trust but gave you a generous credit for the future reposed in him, have been violated : thus the blessings of your reign, and paid you in adpossible business of private contention, with a vance ihe dearest tribute of their affectious. character, for the purpose of making a king Such, Sir, was once the disposition of a people, inore contemptible, he is represented as the who now surround your throne with reproaches most contemptible character upon earth. You and complaints. Do justice to yourself, banish have been told, in consequence of that, he has from your mind those unworthy opinions, with set upon edge against bim the minds of all his which some interested persons have laboured subjects; and in conclusion after that, the to possess you. Distrust the men who tell you king is threatened with another revolution, in the English are naturally light and inconstant, the stile of manifest rebellion, like new pro- that they complain without a cause. Withdraw claiming war. When we are come to that your confidence equally from all parties, from situation, when it shall be lawful for any man ministers, favourites, and relations, and let there in this country to speak of the sovereign, in be one moment in your life in which you have terms attempting to fix upon him such con consulted your own understanding." tempt, abhorrence, and haired, there is an end Gentlemen ; is it fit that the first magistrate of all goverument whatsoever, and then liberty of this country should be represented to his
people in the way in which I have now stated duty to the crown as paramount to all other to you, as never having once consulted his own obligations whatsoever. To us, says the anounderstanding? I do not even dwell upon the nymous writer, to us they are indebted for an epithets, which are the natural consequences of accidental existence. I wonder of what mentreating the person of the king in that manver. her lie happens to be the elector! it would be
The next charge upon him, is, that he takes more honest if he was to shew bimself, that we a share in the narrow views, and fatal malignity might know who he is. To us they are inof some individuals, and to sacrifice, conse denied for an accidental existence, and they quently, private objects under the government, have justly transferred their gratitude from for the private purposes of gratifying pique and parents to benefactors, meaniog fr: m the elecreseptinent; then it mentions [that by the tors to the ministers; from those who gave peace] England was sold to France, and his them birth, to the minister, is the very expresmajesiy was deserted and betrayed in it. But sion. Now, whatever may be the Appancy of the next article, the king is charged with, is some men's mavner of telling things, all orders what I mentioned to you before, which is, he of government, where the form of government has put himself into the condition of an ene subsists, as well as in this country ; no man of my, a private enemy to an individual man. sense can admit that it ought to exist, and at For God's sake, why? Wbat mau could, with the same time it ought to be subjected to reout oflending the laws, put himself in a situa proaches, at the pleasure of every man that tion, either to deserve, or actually to meet the thinks proper to put reproach opon them, by private enmity of the king; and, as I told you publisbing a libel. I only wish to have those before, in order to lessen the king the more in two propositions examined. That two great your esteem, this gentleman is represented to bodies, whose whole benefit and existence, nay you, who, in the former part of his life bad their anthority, is to govern the wliole nation ; acted upon a settled opinion, that there were and are they to be in the power of every man few excesses to which the character of an Eng-whatsoever to revile them with what personal lish gentleman might not be reconcileil, and insolence of language he pleases? Does this that he could take the same latitude in the come at all to the idea, that an honest man choice of political principles as he had in the would allow his own opinion, under the preconduct of his private life. With regard 19 tence of discussing public subjects ? Will any the former, it seems to be somewhat singular. man of honour say you may revile, with imI have always understood that principles, putations of reviling, the persons of men, witheither moral or political, were fixed upon the out going any further? Is that a colour to cover consciences of men, and an honest man was this libel? After having treated the House of not at liberty to choose different principles. Commons thus, he returns again to the king, But this is all said with a view of lessening the and is pleased to threaten the king with an unicharacter of that gentleman, to make the con versal' revolt of all bis injured subjects. He clusion afterwards, that it is an unworthy con begins with the kingdom of Ireland, which he tention, and it is represented as unworthy) | is pleased to call a plundered and oppressed and giving an air of ridicule to the difficulties, kingdom, with no more regard to truth than in which the king bas been betrayed ; and understanding and knowledge enough of the making it a principle of government; that subject to keep up the probability ; for of all he had not only stretched every nerve of quarters of the world, he should not have looked government, but violated the constitution by an there for that sort of imputation, as he is pleased ill-adviseil personal resentment. Is this lan to put it. And here be is introducing another guage to tell a king? If you were to tell a character upon the stage, merely for the sake common justice of peace, that in the adminis. 1 of trailueing the king afterwards; that is ford tration of the duty of his office, he had sacrificed Townshend. “ The people of Ireland every his duty to his resentment, I apprehend my day give you fresh marks of their resentment. lord will agree with me, and I lay it down as a (speaking of the king) They despise the mi. proposition of law, you would be liable to be serable governor you have sent them, because prosecuted ; and it such a thing was published, he is the creature of lord Bute ; nor is it from it would be a libel if wrote opon bim. And any natural confusion in their ideas;" no, tbey here we are come seriously to debate, whether are right enough in that, he supposes" that they telling the king he has not only sacrificed the are so ready to confound the original of a king, duties of his office, but betrayed the trust re with the disgraceful representation of him.” poseil in him, and his artieles were not per- | This is the manner of talking to the king. I formed-and all that to gratify ill- hamour have had the honour to converse and live with and resentment—if that is not a libel, I own lord Towoshend, as long as any body. All I my imagination cannot reach to what is a libel, hare to say of him, is, he is very far from deand I do not understand the subject the least in serving such a character. But I hope that the world, if it is not to be so understood. will not be taken as a very gross observation, After that, he is pleased to go to the House of that a man who has lived with him, dare to say Commons: with regard to them, he says he But I desire but one word concerning the can readily believe there is influence enough immorality of that sort of conduct, that under to recall what they look upon as a pernicions the cover of'anonymous publication, men are to vote. The House of Commons consider their bespatter in this kind of way, and in that
way reflect upon the condition of officers in another. If you bave any difficulty of imathis situation. 'If he should apply to a court of gining what ihat crowd is, what bis title is, law, and submit it to a jury, it ihey were not who is in possession of that title, acquired by deaf to his complaints he would be relieved, one revolution, and what it is that is meant unless they were not disposed to protect bis by another; they are difficulties that bave character, and, upon the contrary, were to not yet occurred in any one coffee-house in take the part of a man, who under cover of this great metropolis, nor one place in the counan anonymous publication, attacks his cha- try, from one end to the otber, wherever this racter in this manner, with this method of tack- libel has been published ; such is the nature of ing to it at the end, that he was a proper re the libel, with respect to that. After having presentative of the king.
stated to you, what I look upon to be the ap. The next article is : “ He has taken a deci- plication of the paper, to the several articles sive personal part against the subjects of Ame- mentioned more particularly than all to the rica, and those subjects know how to distinguish king; and having laid before you what will be the sovereign and a venal parliament upon one the general form of the evidence, in order to side, from the real sentiments of the English prove the present defendant guilty of printing nation upon the other." For God's sake, is that and publishing this paper, it will be for you to no libel? To talk of the king, as taking a determine, if I may use a word that looks so part of an hostile sort against one branch of his like doubting the determining upon such a subjects, and at the same time to connect him question as this. If you have, any of you, in the article of acting in this manner with that any serious thoughts, whether the author of parliament, which he calls a venal parliament; this paper did mean the king ; and whether he is that no libel? I beg leave to observe, con did mean the great officers, the lord lieutenant cerning what parts apply to bim, that Eng- of Ireland, or any other; and whether he did land he has represented as being engaged in a mean concerning the officers of this country, quarrel against the king; and consequently, and endeavouring to set one party of the that he stands against them with a few un- country against another; if you have any bappy people, who are not at liberty to cboose doubts upon that among yourselves, that will their principles; but fancy themselves bound admit you to acquit him. If you have no to unhappy principles ; those few men, be de- doubts, and do return a verdict of acquittal sired to be understood, were the whole support, without such doubts, or that you return a verand the whole attachment to the king. Then dict which the Court must understand in a dif. he goes to the partiality of his understanding ferent way, which the Court must construe difto the soldiers. Now it is worth your atten- ferent from what you intend, then you fiod a tion, gentlemen, to see how very malignant the false verdict. For it lies upon you, to find a object of that man must be who wishes to set conclusion from the evidence; or to say, what. this party against the other; and tells the king ever we think of the evidence, and however he mighi learn to dread the uudisguised resent we are convinced of'ibe conclusion, we are dement of people that are ready to meet their so termined to reject that evidence, and to deny vereign in the field. Then you see how ma- that conclusion, and to betray the sense of our lignant that must be, and bow it applies, when own minds, ratber than to execute the laws. you read that part with respect to the guards, But, gentlemen, upon the contrary, you where he says, “ when the distant legions took will proceed in the administration of justice the alarm, they marched to Rome and gave and the law, without adopting the part of the away the empire.” This is the representa- author, who has set himself up for ihe accuser tion of the occasion, upon which the guards of his king, and as yet has not had the face to had preferments lavished upon them, and the shew bimself, though he has been the ran. cruelty with which the marching regiments corous enemy of so many people. had been treated, in order to raise a quarrel, in
Daniel Crowder sworo, short, between them. Now, gentlemen, there are an hundred different passages, in wbich
Examined by Mr. Morton. the king is told he has no good quality, but Crowder, what is your business ?-1 am an every bad one upon earth. He is bid to dis. assistant to the messenger of the press, Sir. card bis little personal resentments, which have Very well. Do you know the defendant so long directed his public conduct. Is it not John Miller ?-1 believe I know him, l'believe shameful to talk in that manner ? and in a he is in that quarter. thousand instances, too long and too disagree Now, Sir, give my lord and the jury an acable to repeat, the king has been treated ihus, count, whether at any time, and when, you from the beginning to the end; and in con- bought the paper, which I believe you have clusion, he is told what he is to expect next, in your hand.--[No apswer. The paper prounless be conforms to this anonymous writer ; duced.] that is, another revolution ; and that the What is Miller? What business does he fol. prince who imitates the conduct of the Stuarts, low?-He is ibe publisher of the London should be warned by their example, and while Evening Post. he plumes himself upon the security of bis title Now give an account where you bought that to the crown, should remember, that as it was paper.- I bought it at Mr. Miller's; it was acquired by one revolution, it may be lost by served to me by his publisher,
What is his name?-His name is Phipps, I and when printed, brought into the office to be believe.
charged for the duty, one of each paper every Where did he serve you with it?--In day. Queen's-Head Passage.
Whose servants bring them to be stampt?Is that the place where his business of print- Mr. Miller's. After they are stampt, the moing is carried on?-I never saw them print ney is sent, it may be by bimself, or bis serthere.
vants ; the money for 15,000 may be brought Is that the place where they are sold ?-It is together, then they are returned to the office the place where they are published.
after they are printed, for the number of adHave
you frequently bought that paper at vertisements to be found out and charged with that shop?- I have.
the duty. What name do you call his shop where you Who pays for the advertisements ?-Nr. bought it ?- The publishing room; 1 do not Miller. It does happen sometimes that the know whether that is proper, but that is what number of papers may not be sold, then the they call it.
money is returned. At any time have you been there, and have You say, the duty is returned ?-For the you seen the defendant ?-[No answer.] unsold, the duty is returned.
Wbom did you buy it of?-I bought it of a How do you verify that ?—They are returnlad, who is servant to Mr. Miller, they call him ed, and they make an affidavit that they Frank, and I think Phipps, I won't be certain made no profit of the papers, and then the as to that; he was always called Frank by stamps are returned again, and the duty is reevery body.
turned. Have you at other times been at that place Who makes that affidavit ? -Mr. Miller. called the publishing room, for the paper that How is the account of the advertisements bears the name of the London Evening Post, settled ?--We settle it every month. and have you bought them there?— Yes, Sir, Who comes to settle with you -We charge every time they were published; either 1, or them. one belonging to me; I can't say always that Whom do you charge the London Evening I have been there myself.
Post to ?-To Mr. Miller. Have you frequently? I have frequently. Who comes to pay you at the end of the Have
you waited at any time till the papers month ?-- It may be two months, or it may be bave been ready to be delivered ?-Very rarely. three months before they are paid. I have seen people wait and go up stairs, but Who comes?—May be Mr. Miller, may be they are generally the readiest of any body.
bis porter. 'bey are the most diligent of any others ?-- Does he come himself frequently ?-Yes, They are in general the most forward.
sometimes. A Juryman. You bought that paper ? Does he settle and pay for the advertiseCrowder. Yes, gentlemen, I bought that paper.
ments ?-Yes. Mr. Morton. How long have you known Have you
of Saturday December Frank Phipps, the lad you bought it of? 16, to Tuesday December 19, 1769 ? Crowder: I have known him ever since he began to publish that paper.
[The witness looks at his volume of papers How long is thai?--About three quarters of
and turns to that paper.]
This is the paper sent from Mr. Miller to The London Evening Post read in court, No. your office ?-Yes, Sir, they are brought into
our office. 26,572, that part of it signed Junius.
Mr. Wallace. The paper is of the same date, Robert Harris sworn.
and number 26,572.
Mr. Thurlow to the defendant's counsel. Examined by Mr. Wallace.
Do you ask this witness any questions ? To what business are you? What office do Defendant's Counsel. No. you belong to?- The Stamp-office.
Sol. Gen. Then we have done. What office do you hold there?—The register of painphlets and news-papers,
Serj. Glynn. Please your lordship, and you Pray, Sir, are news-papers brought to your gentlemen of the jury, to favour me in this office to be stampt?-Yes, Sir.
cause, in behalf of Mr. Miller, the defendant. Do you receive the duty for advertisements | Gentlemen, the learned gentleman who opened in news-papers ?-Yes, Sir, I do.
the cause in support of the information, has Pray, Sir, do you know who the printer is told you, that of this publication, no lawyer, of the London Evening Post ?--I have it here. not a man of the profession in the kingdom, he [Looking at a large parcel of news-papers thinks will seriously avow,-the learned genbound together in a book.]
tleman who appears in support of the informaDo you know the defendant Miller ?—Yes, tion, has said, no man will seriously avow a I do.
defence and justification of the publication now Are
papers bronght to your office for print- under your consideration. Gentlemen, I have ing the London Evening Post on ?- They are had the misfortune to be very much misunderfirst brought to be stampt, and sent out blank, stood, if I gave any inference of myself, or any