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Lord Mansfield. Now the primate was well known to Lord George, and might have confirmed this testimony. The examination of these Jacobites forms a conspicuous event in Lord Orford's Memoirs.
The most important witnesses on his trial were the Marquis of Granby, Lieutenant-Colonel Fitzroy, brother to the Duke of Grafton, and Lieut.-Colonel William Augustus Pitt. These families stand pre-eminent in Junius's letters, A careful perusal of the trial, and a knowledge of the parties connected with it, must convince every reader that the pen
of a disgraced soldier was afterwards exercised in retaliation; not one family being spared who had any share in the transaction; and what is particularly worthy of notice, nearly the whole of the names on whom Junius is most severe, were military characters, or connected with the army in one way or another. Lord Mansfield is however one of the exceptions. Party spirit then ran very high, and any imprudent interference of that nobleman might easily have verified the truth of Junius's assertion, viz. “I see through your whole life one uniform plan to enlarge the power of the crown, at the expense of the liberty of the subject. To this object, your thoughts, words, and actions have been constantly directed.”—Letter XLI.
The press at this time teemed with the most vindictive pamphlets; during which period Lord George himself was not idle. He wrote several letters to the Secretary of State, and other members of the privy council. I have seen a book wherein the government is more severely satirised, if possible, than in any of the letters of Junius. Similar allusions induce me to believe it proceeded from the same source.
So severe were many of the passages, that Lord Mansfield endeavoured to lay further restrictions on the press, but the ingenuity of the writer baffled all attempts at discovery, and he came off victorious.
On what occasion Lord Mansfield first gave offence to Lord George Sackville, we have no means of ascertaining, except the disappointment he felt when his sentence was pronounced, Lord Mansfield having assured him previously to his trial, that he could not be convicted. This circumstance would naturally lower Lord Mansfield in his esteem, as I have never been able to trace any friendship (which Lord Orford mentions previous to his trial) subsisting between Lord George and Lord Mansfield after this event; on the contrary, after Lord Mansfield's charge to the jury on Woodfall's trial, we find Junius's severe letter to that nobleman, and at the same time a most violent and satirical speech of Lord George in the House of Com
mons, considering it indispensably necessary that his conduct should be enquired into.
The tenor of that speech proves that no friendship subsisted between them at that time. Nevertheless, conscious that he had carried his resentment to too great a height, we find Lord George, previous to his death, sending Mr. Cumberland expressly for Lord Mansfield, that he might not leave the world without asking his forgiveness.
I said his trial came on March 7, 1760. Lord George conducted his defence himself, and refuted in the most able manner the aspersions that had been urged against him ; concluding with these memorable words:
“ If there are contradictions in the evidence, that imputation must fall somewhere; let it fall where it ought. Let those who have sworn falsely, feel it in their breasts. Let them remember they have sworn wrong: let them feel the effects of it: this is punishment. A guilty and a disturbed conscience will inflict that punishment, without any other resort. Let it light where it is due. Let them examine their hearts, whether they have given their evidence as they ought : Let them, if they can, spend their lives without being punished.”
The result of the trial was as follows. “ This Court, upon due consideration of the
whole matter before them, is of opinion that Lord George Sackville is guilty of having disobeyed the orders of Prince Ferdinand of Brunswick, whom he was, by his commission and instructions, directed to obey as commander-in-chief, according to the rules of war; and it is the farther opinion of this court, that the said Lord George Sackville is, and he is hereby adjudged, unfit to serve his Majesty in any military capacity what
Which sentence was confirmed by the king:
“ It is his Majesty's pleasure that the above sentence be given out in public orders, that officers, being convinced that neither high birth nor great employments can shelter offences of such a nature; and that seeing they are subject to censures much worse than death, to a man who has any sense of honour, they may avoid the fatal consequences arising from disobedience of orders.”
This addition to his sentence by the executive power, was considered by Lord George as a measure highly derogatory to the king, and reprehensible on the part of ministers, who advised it. It fully tended to convince him there was a secret intrigue in the cabinet, to ruin his character for ever. The sentence in itself, amounted to no more than the verdict of the jury in the case of Junius's letter to the king: yet how widely different the result! In the former, no
act of cowardice is proved, nor any unwillingness displayed to share in the combat. In the latter, no libellous matter is proved, merely guilty of printing and publishing. Woodfall's sentence was nominal. But in the case of Lord George, his name was erased from the privy council list, he was stripped of all his emoluments under government, and declared incapable of serving his Majesty in any military capacity whatever. His enemies did not even wait till the result of his trial was known, but deputed the Honourable John Barrington to signify to him that his services were no longer required ; so that, in fact, the law was arbitrarily infringed upon to gratify private resentment. The places held by Lord George were bestowed by the king on those very men who had given evi. dence against him. The Marquis of Granby was appointed commander-in-chief and mastergeneral of the ordnance. Lord Townshend, lieutenant-general of the ordnance. The Honourable Colonel Fitzroy was appointed aidde-camp to the king, and one of the grooms of the bed-chamber, in conjunction with the Earl of Chatham and Lord North. Lord Charles Manners and the Honourable John Barrington, were promoted at the same time: as well as the Duke of Bedford, who was made a lieutenantgeneral in the army, and deputy-ranger of the Phoenix Park, Dublin, which had been Lord