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The Prisoners further urg'd, That they were always quiet and peaceable in their Affemblies; That the Law against Riots was never intended against them, but Popishi or such like Disturbers of the Peace. To which the Recorder answer’d, That the Papists were better Subjects to the King than they were, and that they were a stubborn and a dangerous People, and must either be brought under, or there were no Safe living by them.
The Prisoners offer'd to vindicate themselves from those foul Aspersions laid upon them by the Recorder ; telling him, That they had broken no juft Law to their knowledg, and that they never had been guilty of being Rioters and Routers, as was pretended ; which they desir'd the Jury to take notice of, and that there had not any such Proof been offer'd by the Witnesses
Whereupon the Mayor and Recorder commanded the Goalers to thrust them into the Bale-dock, and in their absence the Recorder gave his Charge to the Jury, not so much as summing up the Evidence (which truly prov'd not the tenth part of the Indictment) as giving in Matter of his own, of foul Criminations, telling the Jury, that they were á Refractory People, such who delighted in Deeds of Darkness, and that they must be crush’d, or there would be no living by them; so that upon the Indi&tment they must find thein Guilty.
Now surely there never was greater Oppression and Violence manifested in a Court of Justice, either upon the juft and righteous Law, or a quiet and peaceable People, as has been acred by the Lieutenancy (it's pity to say Magistrates) of the famous City of London. Had there been colour for their Proceedings by any Statute-Law of the Land, pointing out the Offenders and their Punilhment, these several Actings of theirs might have been in some measure tolerable. But when Men dare at once, against the very face of Luw, Justice, Equity, Reas fon, Right and Liberty, commit such Oppressions upon their Fela low-Creatures, yea, on a People too, who never yet could be justly charg'd for using. Violence, Force or Arms against any Man; no, not so much as to defend themselves againit such, who have violently and inhumanly abused and tortured their Bodies, without the least colour of Warrant or Autho. rity from the Civil Magistrate : we cannot but stand in adniration of this Court of Judicature. Let us a little see the Judgments of our Sages of the Law, touching the riatter of Riots, in former and latter Times ; not only Statute-Law, but also the Opinion of the Learned
First see the Statute of 17 R. 2. chap. 8. (1993.) It was Enacted, “That the Sheriffs, and all other die King's Oifia
“ cers, should suppress Rioters, and imprison them. 13 H.4. “chap. 7. An. 1411.) If any Assembly or Rout of People « against the Law be made, that three or two Justices of the “ Peace and Sheriff, or Under-Sheriffs, shall come with the “ Power of the County (if need be) to Arreft them, and shal 16 record what done against the Law; and that the persons
by that Record shall be conviét in manner, as inforceable “ Entries. 2 H. 5. 8. The King's Liege People, that were "“ Travellers, should be alliltant to the Justices, loc. when “ warned to ride with them in Aid to relift Riots, Routs, &e. « upon pain of Imprisonment.
The Riotors and Routers, mention'd in these Statutes, were certainly such persons, who did really meet with Force and Arms ; elle, what need was there of the Power of the Courty, as is directed, to quiet, appease, and arrest them? or elle, what need of engaging Travellers to aslift them, notwithfanding they may have the Power of the County to ap preherd them?
2dly, Read the fudgment of the Oracle of our Laws: Cook in his 3 Inft. c. 79. title Riots, Routs, and unlawful Affenblies, Forces, doc. faith thus: Riotum cometh of the French Word Rioter, i.e. Rixari; and in the Common Law signifietb, When tbra, or more, do any unlawful A&t, as to beat any Man, or hunt in bis Pat. Chije, or Warren, or to enter or take possesion of another man's Land, or to cut or destroy his Corn, Grass, or other profit, &c.
Routa is deriv'd of the French Word Rout, ha! Lamb. intr. Le- properly in Law signifieth, When three, or more, gib. Inft. ch.13, any unlawful Al, for their own, or the comment 14,15. vide Abu. quarrel, &c. As when Commoners break do chap. 26. Hedges, or Pales, or cast down Ditches, or irbuli
tants, for a way claimed by them, or the like. An unlawful Asembly is, When three, or more, assemble themselve together, to commit a Rint or Rout, and do it not.
So that it's most plain and evident, That a Quiet, Religious and Peaceable Assembly of People, were never intended ts! our Predeceffors, to be punish'd as Rioters, Routers, and ai lawful Affemblies, as our Law-Executioners now-a-days woc. have it.
The Lord Cook faid, Interest regi habere fubditos pacatos, The the King's Interest was to have his Subjects peaceable. A what, must it be the inferior Officer's intereft to have the accounted otherwise, and that for filthy Lucre-fake?
A new Contrivance to advance the Sheriff's Perquisite which our Fore-fathers were ignorant of, (viz.) The Sherid to ride to an Assembly of People, whom they, or their Conte! derates, against all Law, had forceably kept out of their How:
and Free-hold; and because (upon Proclamation by them made, for which they have no Ground or Authority by the Law) the People prefently departed not from their own Ground, and before the Door of their own House, they shall be committed to Goal as Rioters, condemned as such, and the Sheriffs shall have 400, or sool. for their day's work out of these Innocent perfons Fines.
This new construction of Religious Assemblies seems the more strange, by reason there cannot be one Precedent produced, to back this upftart Opinion, that Religious Meetings de serve of late years that ignominious term of Riots or Routs.
So that this seemly piece of Law, or Wit, must be owned to have had its Rife, Spring, and Original, from the Prerogative Brain of S. S. Mayor of London, and confirm'd by the CityRecorder, who doubtiess will not be the last that may repent of his day's work.
The next whom the Court call'd to their Tryal, was Ezekiel Archer, and Margery Fann; who being indicted for Rioters the Seffions before, and the Evidence being deficient, the Court coveting to come off with credit in all such Indi&tments as were of the new Stamp, order'd an Indi&tment for Felony to be read against them, which they had forg'd and fram’d for that purpore, and piece of Iniquity, which well deserves the search, and condign Punishment for the Contrivers : so these two were found Not guilty.
The same day this Bench callid T. Rudyard into Court. When the Clerk had read over the first Indictment, which the Mayor the former Sessions declar'd was not drawn up according to Instructions and Evidence; and also the second, which the Mayor faid he would stand by, and profecute: The Informer's Witnesses were sworn, viz. N. Grove and 7. Tillot; Grove being first to give in his Testimony, declar'd, that there was an Indictment drawn against S. Allingbridge, for saying, The first Man that dijturbid Mr. Vincent should never go out of the House alive; and that he sawa T. R. take it out of Mr. Lee's hand, and told him that it was lost, and T. R. would go with him to vir. Tanner, and drink a Pint of Wine with him, and draw up a Night Bill that might not be found. So ( said the Mayor) here's both the Indictinents prov'd already which Evidence Grove deliver’d, as being one entire Action and Discourse. And being ask'd what time this Discourse was, whether when T. R. took the Bill? he answer'd, He did not well know; and T. R. asking him some further Questions, the Mayor interrupted him, saying, He was not to examine the King's Witnetfes. 7. Tilot was next calld, who swore that T. R. acknowledg'd to him, that he had the Indictment. T.R. acquainted the Court, that he own'd that he was at the Sellions
at Guildhall; where S. Alingbridge attending, requested him to enquire and know from the Clerk, whether his Adversaries had drawn any Bill of Indictment against him, and what the Indi&tment might be: Thereupon T. R. enquir'd of the Clerk, whether he had drawn such a Bill : 70. Forman, an Officer
, ftanding by him, with several Bills in his hand, gave this Bill into. T. R's hand to read; which when he had done, in open Court, return'd the Bill to Forman, and immediately went out of Court, ordering S.A. to fend for his Witness to try the Indictment, in case the Grand Inqueft should find it Bila vera The Evidence, as it was much contrary to Truth, so it was as far short of proving the Indi&tments, as by the ensuing Ex: ceptions may appear. But what was deficient in that respect
, the Recorder made up in his Charge to the Jury.
Exceptions to the Indičment. First, It appears not by the Indictment, that the Bill of Indi&tment againft S. Alling bridge was cognizable to the Court, it being again ft the Justices Oath to take notice of it before the Grand Înquest had found it.
Secondly, It appears not, that the Words charg'd against Allingbridge were punishable by Law; for the House mentiond in the Indictment might be Vincent's Dwelling-house, so Burglary to break into it without lawful Warrant.
Then, as to the Evidence to the first Indi&tment : 1. No proof that Grove ever read the Indi&tment (which indeed he could not ) against S. A. so he swore peremptorily upon the Clerk's Information, which was a false Dath.
2. That T. R. took the Bill out of Lee's hand, could not be, for the Oficer keeps the Bills of Indictments when the Witnesses are sworn, and not the Clerk of the Peace.
3. Improbable that Grove should know that Bill amongft so many more; but impossible that he should see the Bill takea away (knowing it ) and not mention one word of it all that day, no, not when the Bill was pretended to be wanting. : 4. Not sworn he took it out of Court.
5. Not sworn that Justice, or that any course of Law was hindred against S. A.
6. As to the acknowledging the Indictment to Tilot, it was not three hours before the Tryal; who asking 1. R. whether be ever read the Indictment, T. R. answer’d, he did, and left it in Forman’s hand; Why that's enough, sáid Tillot, the Mayor fent for me to swear it, which I could not do before.
7. If T. R. had raken the Bill, it could not benefit S. A. or hinder the Prosecutor.
8. That T. R. fhould hazard his Reputation in a thing of no value, wherein he could neither advantage his Friend, nor i prejudice his Enemy, could not stop the Proceedings half an
hour, yea in a quarter another might have been written and prefer'd, is very improbable.
9. It's most apparent, that if Grove did not perjure himself, in swearing such a Bill was drawn against S. A. (he having neither read it, or had a Copy of it) he or the Mayor, or some of the Confederates must themselves have conceal'd the Bill,
and kept it in their own Custody, elle N. Grove could not - swear to it ; one of which muft necessarily be.
As to the second Indi&tment, the Words there pretended to be spoken, 1. If true, were not advising Grove to do an Action, but telling him that we would go, doc. lo nothing being done in prosecution of the words, it was only discourse.
2. Not sworn that the Advice was taken. 3. Improbable that T.R. should thus discourse to a Stranger, whom before he had never seen.
4. That he should undertake to go to Tanner, that was as much a Stranger to him.
5. T. R. never came afterward to Grove, nor spoke with Tanner ; but S. Allingbridge was try'd and convicted the very same Week, in an Adjournment of the same Sessions.
Now whether there was either sufficient Cause for an Indictment, or apparent Proofs to evidence the Truth of these upon which T.R. was try'd; or whether all these pretended Crimes and Misdemeanors, were not the product of the Mayor's malicious, envious, and inveterate Spirit, causlesy carried on against him, (who not only appears to be the first Informer, but the Maintainer and Prosecutor of the Quarrel, as allo Evidence and Judg upon ) let every unprejudic'd person (serioully considering) give his Judgment.
The Jury was commanded to withdraw, which, for the For mality's fake, they did, and not longer staying than about a quarter of an hour, return'd, again, and brought in the nine persons that were try'd, guilty in manner and form as they itood indi&ted ; which some of these Jurors had over their Cups sworn they would do, if ever they came to try the Quakers.
John Boulton and William Bayly were the last calld to their Tryal, who were indicted several ; For that they such a day, and year, and place, with Force and Arms, &c. with Two hundred more Persons, were affembled together, to disturb the King's Peace; and bea,