How glorious the aera, thrice happy the day,
When private int'rest to public gives way;
When bribes cannot tempt your Lordships to sell
The birthrights of freemen to tyrants of hell.
How glorious th' aera, thrice happy indeed,
When traitors and minions are sentenc'd to bleed;
When justice shall reign, and at heaven's great call
The proud seed of hell just victims do fall.
My Lords,

YOU have a peculiar claim to an address from the authors of the Crisis, and it shall be our business in this paper to preserve, if possible, the perishable infamy of your names.

The motion made by Lord Radnor, on Monday the 27th of February, concerning number III. of the Crisis, was unjust and villanous, the paper contains nothing but the most sacred truths, and therefore could not be a false or scandalous libel; the amendment of the epithet treasonable, pro­posed and supported by the Lords Pomfret, Suf­folk, Apsley and Sandwich, was infamous, and of a piece with every other proceeding of the present [Page 58]reign, and present ministry. It shewed, in a parti­cular manner, the bloody minded dispositions of prostituted Court Lords, the instruments of murder and public ruin. The immaculate Lord Sandwich insisted that the word treasonable should stand part of the motion, as a proper foundation for bringing the authors to exemplary and condign punishment. Suppose, my Lords, this infamous amendment to the Radnor motion had been car­ried, and it had stood a false, scandalous and trea­sonable libel, could the mere ipse dixit of a few venal Lords make that treason, which in the lite­ral or constructive sense of the word was not so.

The author of number III. is perfectly well acquainted with the statute of treasons, passed in the reign of Edward the IIId. and likewise with the various expositions and interpretations of it. He well knew, the paper was written upon the true principles of the Revolution, and that it could be justified by the laws of the land; he well knew (though there is hardly any villany but what court sycophants may do with ease) that it was not in the power of Lord Mansfield, with all his chica­nery, with all his artifice, with all his abuse of the law, with all his perversion of justice, with all the aid of false construction, and forced inuendos, to bring it within the meaning of that statute; he well knew the disposition of the sovereign and his mini­ons, and that nothing would, or can satiate royal Scotch, or ministerial revenge, but the blood of those who oppose the present most horridly cruel, and most infamously wicked measures of govern­ment; and, my Lords, he well knew the shocking prostitution of hereditary peerage, and the bare­faced treachery and villany of a purchased majority in the House of Commons.

[Page 59] Has there not, my Lords, been innocent blood enough shed in this reign, that your Lordships should still thirst for more. Why should your Lordships be so desirous of stopping every channel of public information, the infamy of your actions are sufficiently known, and will be handed down to the latest ages of time, while your names will stink in the nostrils of posterity.

The statute of treasons, my Lords, passed in the 25th year of the reign of Edward the IIId. was an act of vast importance to the public weal; for till then, there was hardly a word spoke, or a paper written, but what was deemed treason, and the parliament, which passed it, were called Bene­dictum Parliamentum, the Blessed Parliament.

The substance of this statute is branched out by my Lord Cooke into six heads, which we shall here give, with some observations of our own, to shew your Lordships, and the world, that number III. of the Crisis is not within the meaning of either of these heads, and that by your amended motion you designed to lay the ground work of a prosecution, the most cruel and infamous ever car­ried on in this country, worse than those which, without proof or the colour of guilt, took away the lives of the great Lord Russel, and Algernoon Sidney.

The first head is concerning death; by compas­sing or imagining the death of the King, Queen, or Prince, and declaring the same by some overt deed. By killing or murdering the Chancellor, Treasurer, Justice of either Bench, Justice in Eyre, Justices of Assize, Justices of Oyer and Terminer, in their places, during their offices.

[Page 60] The second, is to violate, that is to know car­nally, the Queen, the King's eldest daughter un­married, the Prince's wife. The third is levying war against the King.

The fourth, is adhering to the King's enemies, within the realm or without, and declaring the same by some overt act.

The fifth is, counterfeiting the Great, the Privy-Seal, or the King's coin.

The sixth and last, by bringing into this realm counterfeit money, to the likeness of the King's coin.

First. To compass and imagine, is to contrive, design, or intend the death of the King; but this must be declared by some overt act, declaring by an open act a design to depose or imprison the King, is an overt act, to manifest the compassing his death. I believe, my Lords, the author of num­ber III. of the Crisis is not under the predicament of this exposition.

Second. By the word King is intended, 1. A King before his coronation, as soon as ever the crown descends upon him; for the coronation is but a ceremony. 2. A King de facto, and not de jure, is a King within this act, and treason against him is punishable, though the right heir get the crown.

Third. Note, It is very strange, but in the printed stature book, it is there said, probably at­tainted, which is a gross error; for the words of the record are, et de ceux provablement soit attaint, and shall be thereof provably attaint; and it is amazing to me that so gross a mistake should be suffered, since my Lord Cooke has so expressy ob­served the difference in these words following, 3. [Page 61]Inst. fol. 12 In this branch, saith he, four things are to be observed. 1. This word (prova­blement) provably, that is upon direct and manifest proof, not upon conjectural presumptions, or in­ferences, or strains of wit, but upon good and sufficient proof; and herein the adverb (provable­ment) provably hath great force, and signifieth a direct and plain proof; and therefore the offender must provably be attainted, which words are as forcible as upon direct and manifest proof. Note, The word is not probably, for then commune ar­gumentum might have served, but the word is pro­vably be attainted. 2. The word attaint necessa­rily implieth that he be proceeded with, and at­tainted according to the due course of law, and pro­ceedings of law, and not by absolute power, or by other means, as in former times had been used; and therefore if a man doth adhere to the enemies of the King, or be slain in open war against the King, or otherwise die before the attainder of treason, he forfeiteth nothing, be­cause (as the act saith) he is not attainted; where­in this act hath altered that, which before this act, in case of treason, was taken for law. And the statute of 34 Ed. III. sayes nothing to the King, but that which was in esse, and pertaining to the King at the making of that act. And this appear­eth by a judgment in parliament in ann. 29, H. VI. that Jack Cade, being slain in open rebellion, could no ways be punished, or forfeit any thing, and therefore was attainted by that act of high trea­son. 3. Of open deed, per apertum factum, these words strengthen the former exposition of (prova­blement) an overt act must be alledged in every in­dictment upon this act, and proved compassing by [Page 62]bare words is not an overt act, as appears by ma­ny temporary statutes against it. But there must be some open act, which must be manifestly proved. As if divers do conspire the death of the King, and the manner how, and thereupon provide wea­pons, powder, poison, harness, send letters, and the like for the execution of the conspirators. If a subject conspire with a foreign Prince, to invade the realm by open hostility, and prepare for the same by some overt act, this is a sufficient overt act for the death of the King. 4thly, A conspi­racy is had to levy war, this is no treason by this act, until it be levied, therefore it is no overt act, or manifest proof of the compassing the death of the King within this act, for the words are de ceo, &c. thereof, that is, of the compassing of the death. The wisdom of the makers of this law would not make bare words to be treason, seeing such variance commonly among the witnesses, about the same, as few of them agree together.

In the preamble of the statute of 1 Mar. (con­cerning the repeal of certain treasons declared after this statute of 25 Edw. IIId. and before that time, and bringing all things to the measures of this sta­tute) it was agreed by the whole Parliament, that laws justly made for the preservation of the com­monwealth, without extreme punishment, are more often obeyed and kept than laws and statutes made with great and extreme punishments, and in special such laws and statutes so made, whereby not only the ignorant and rude unlearned people, but also learned and expert people, minding honesty, are often times trapped and snared, yea many times for words only, without other fact or deed done or perpetrated. Therefore this act of the 25th [Page 63]Ed. IIId. doth provide that there must be an overt act. 5thly, As to treason, by levying war against the King we must note, that though con­spiring or compassing to levy war, without a war de facto, be no treason, yet it may conspire a war, and only some few actually levy it, all are guilty of the treason. Raising a force to burn or throw down a particular inclosure is only a riot, but if it had been to have gone from town to town, to throw down all inclosures, or to change religion, or the like, it were levying of war, because the in­tended mischief is public. Holding a fort or castle against the King's force is levying war. 6th, Counterfeiting the Great or Privy Seal is trea­son, but it must be an actual counterfeiting there­of, compassing to do it is no treason; affixing the Great Seal by the Chancellor without warrant, is no treason; fixing a new Great Seal to another pa­tent is great misprison, but no treason, being not counterfeiting within this act; but aiders and con­senters are within this act. 7th, Treason concern­ing coin is counterfeiting the King's coin; and this was treason at common law, and judgment only as of petty treason; but clipping, &c. being made treason by other statutes, the judgment is to be drawn, hanged and quartered. Money here extends only to the proper money of this realm. 8th, As this statute leaves all other doubt­ful matters to be declared treason in parliament, but not to be punished as such, till so declared. So in succeeding Kings reigns abundance of other matters were declared treason, which being found very grievous and dangerous by the statute 1 Mar. it is enacted, that thenceforth no act, deed or offence, being by act of parliament or statute, made treason, petty treason, or misprison of treason, [Page 64]by words, writing, cyphering, deeds otherwise however, shall be taken, had, deemed or adjudged to be high treason, petty treason, or misprison of treason, but only such as be declared and expressed to be treason, petty treason, or misprison of trea­son, by this statute of 25 Edw. IIId.

Here we rest the matter, my Lords, convinced the author of Number III. is not within the mean­ing of this statute, nor any exposition of it, and that the design of your Lordships, in adding the epithet treasonable, was wicked, base and infa­mous, and will be sure to secure to you the con­tempt and detestation of every honest man.

[To be continued.]


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