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Innocent, Upright, Quiet, and Peaceable People. What proportion is there here betwixt the pretended Fault, and the asseffeit Fine? Provides not the fourteenth Chapter of the Great Charter - against such unjuft Judgments and partial Censures, which declares, A Freeman thall not be amerced " for a small Fault, but after the quantity of the Fault ; for
a great Fault after the manner thereof? And the Amerce."
mcnt shall be assess’d by the Oath of honeft Men of the - Vicinage.
Here's Justice and Equity, Righteousness in Judgment, which affords every man common Right, declares, That all Offenders ought to be amerced by their Neighbourhood, according to the quantity of the Trespass. Wherein have thefe Judges (who are commanded by the Statute of 25 E. ț: confirm'd by Pet. Right, 3 Car. 1.) allow'd the Charter before them in Judgment, in all its Points, doc.
It may truly be said, that our antient, just, and fundamental Laws, which Coke on the 14th Chapter of Magna Charta calls a Law of Mercy, are (as the same Author there writes) now turn'd into a shadow. For by the. Wisdom of the Law, these Amercements were instituted to deter both Demandants and Plaintiffs from unjuft Suits, and Tenants and Defendants from unjust Defences; which was the Canse in antient time of fewer Suits : but now we have “but a Iliadow of them. Habemus quidem fenatufconfultum, Cicero. sed in tabulis reconditum ty tanquam gladium 'in vagina repositum. Yea, our antient Charters are as a
2 Inst.f.28. Sword in its Sheath, which if drawn, are and will be sufficient to defend us against all Injustice, Tyranny, or Oppression whatsoever.
But it's often objected by many of their adversaries, That the Publick Meeting-Houses, wherein the People call'd Quakers are, and have been of late accuitom'd to meet, and are femble themselves together, and out of which the Military Forces do from time to time hale and expel them, and by force keep and restrain them from entrance, are by Orders of the King and Council, invested and stablish'd in the now King, and that he has right 'to dispose of them, as his own Inheritance ; yea, to pull them down, fell and burn the Materials of them, aś his inferior Officers have lately done by some about London : And thereupon such who come there to assemble together, are Trespassers, Rioters, Routers, and unlawful Allembiers, and as such are rightly and duly punish'd according to the Laws,
To which is answer'd, That by the Antient and Fundamental Laws, which have been already recited, as the 29th of Magna Charta, there is no man's Right, Property or Free-hold shall be taken away from him, but by trial of a Jury, and the Law of the Land.' Read Stat. 2 E. 3.8. 5 E. 3.9. 14 E. 3.14. 28 E. 3. 3. Regift. fol. 186. Coke pla. fol. 456. Coke 2 Inft. 45. 3. Inft. 136.
And see a Statute of latter date, 17 Cat. 1. cap. 10. entitled, An A&t for Regulating tbe Privy Council, &c. which speaks in this wife: Be it likewise declar'd and enašted by the Aut bority of this piefent Parliament, That neither bis Majesty, nor his Privy Council, bave or ought to have any Jurisdi&tion, Power, or Authority, by Eng. lith Bill, Petition, Articles, Libel, or any other Arbitrary way webatfoever, to examine or draw into question, determine or dispose of the Lands, Tenements, Hereditaments, Goods or Chattels of any of the Subjets of this Kingdom; but that the same ought to be tried and determin'd in the Courts of Justice, and by the ordinary course of Law.
Allo Learned Coke in his 2 Inft. fol, 36. faith, The Commor Law (of which the Great Charter is declaratory) hath so admeasured the prerogative of a King, as he cannot take or prejudice the Inberitance of any.
So that by the Law of the Land these pretended Offenders are ftill rightfully possess’d of their own Houses and Places of publick Assemblies; and their cruel Adversaries have no more Property, Right, Interest
, or due Claim therein or thereto, than a Pirate has to the peaceable Merchantman's Ship, a Robber has to the innocent Traveller's Purse, or the Wolf to the Blood of the harmless Lamh, And in caso such Laws as these will not preserve that Interest which those people have to their Inheritances and Properties, we can none of us ex. pect to have our Rights or Liberties, Wives or Children, yea, or our Lives secured unto us longer than pleaseth or liketá the Will and Pleasure of cruel and ravenous Adversaries.
It's worthy taking notice of, that after the Jury bad, on so flight ground, brought in T. R. amongst others guilty in manner and form, how palpably the Court manifefted their Envy and Malice, in the Fines imposed upon him. And the, as is declar'd by the Statute of 20 E. 3. cap. 1. That Justices fall do even Right to all people, without . Mewing favour move to one than to anot ber; according to that juft Law, Lev, 19. 15. Ye fall den Varighteousness in Judgment; thou shalt not respect the person of the Poor, nor honow the Person of the Mighty, but in Righteousness shalt thou judg thy Neighbour : Yet for a piece of writen Parchment, the Value whereof was not ido a thing whereof a Court of Justice could not take cognizance, according to the juft Laws of this Lant, or Damages in case it had been
taken away, or Profit to any man that could have it, not appearing to be any, neither indeed could there be to any Per son living; no course of Law obstructed, admitting all to be true of that Fa&t, which the Mayor gave in, or his Witnesses fwore falfly to the Jury ; the Cause of Juftice againft an Of fender not a moment prevented ; these painted Sepulchers op partial Inquisitors fined or censurd him an hundred pounds, altho they had before convicted S. Alling bridge, and fined him but five marks for being Principal (yet too much for such an offence) and T. Rudyard being as an Acceffaty must be a hun. dred pounds. Whether this be just and equal, let the World be judg; and to proceed from a Person (I mean the Recor: der) who has had for many years the Reputation of Honesty and Justic-, which it's fear'd he carry'd about with him, only as that aspiring Clergyman did his Fishing-Net, which he caus'd to be laid afide, fo foon as he had procured a Cardinal's Cap, saying, The Fish is caught. And truly lo may the City of London say of its Recorder, who has not since he came to be Recorder, manifefted that candid and equal Justice towards this City, or Citizens in their publick Concerns, as was expected ; yea, little but what first passes the Stamp of our Sword-Alder men, and Claffis of the City Lieutenancy:
And since he by experience has found, that sowing and dedi: cating his Law and Endeavours to their Designs, is that
which procures him the best, and most fruitful Harvest, he ever has been sedulous to plead and ftudy that cause: whose Actions may be the more clearly manifefted to this City and
Nation, if weigh'd in the Ballance of Justice and Righ: teousness.
As God's Indignation rested on the Children of Israel, till one Achan's Theft was discover'd and punish'd; fo this City suffers fore Judgments, till it has purged it self of these many Achans that lodg in her Bosom, not only robbing her Inhabitants of their Rights, Liberties, and Properties, but also her Chamber of her Treasure, the poor Orphans Security.
Our Predeceffors, out of their prudence and care that equal Justice and Right should be done to all men, by a Statute in the 18 E. 3.3. appointed Judges an Oath, wherein is this Charge; “ And that you take not by your self, or any other
privily nor apertly, Gift, nor Reward of Gold, nor Silver, « nor of any other thing that may turn to your profit, unless 4 it be Meat or Drink, and of small value, of any man that shall “ have any Plea or Process hanging before you, as long as the “ Process thall be fo hanging, nor after the same Caule.
If the City Recorder hath forgotten this Oath, his Crime's not the less in breaking it ; the Justice of it remains, and all
Persons in Judicature are to do justice to all, Blagna
and sell or deny it to none. And Bribery is Cbarta c. 29.
such a Crime, that it's punishable wherever it's
found: And it's hoped Justice may reach this Recorder, if it appear that his Fingers have touch'd this 10:bidden Babylonisl, Garment.
But in order to discourse of this so foul a Crime, first see the mark which such an Action leaves behind it: Fortese cap. 51. " Bribery (faith he) is a great Milprition, when any « man in judicial place takes any Fee, or Pention, Roll, oi « Livery, 'Gift, Reward, or Brocage of any Person, that “ hath to do before him any way, for doing his Office,
or by colour of his Office, but of the King only, unless i 6 be of Meat and Drink, and that of. Imall value, upon di
“ vers and grievous Punishments. Saith Coke, 31
“ This word Bribery cometh of the French word
“ Briber, which fignifiech to Devour or Eat gret“ dily, applied to the devouring of a corrupt Judg; of whom the
“. Pfalmift,speaking in the Perion of God, faith Psalm 13. 4. Qui devorat plebem miam ficut escam panis : Qui ag. Prov. 28. 21. “nofcit faciem in judicio, non bene facit, ifte pro Coke 3. Inft. “ buccella panis deferit veritatem. In the 230 145.
“ Year of E. 3. Sir William Thorpe, Chief Juftice
“ of the King's Bench, for taking of four Per“ fons 50 l. against his Oath, was tried and judgd upon his
“ acknowledging the Fact, to be hangd, oc. Coke further sets forth, “ That this Offence of
Bribery may be committed by any that hath any Judicial Place (or Ministerial Oifice) either Ecclefiaft:
“ cal or Temporal. Non accipies perfonam ne: Deut. 16. 19. munera (and the reason is express'd by the
“ Holy Ghost) quia munera excecant oculos fupi« entum, do mutant verba jultorum. If Bribery hath so great “ force, as to blind the Eyes of the wise Judg, and to change " the words of the Just: Beatus ille, qui exuit manus suas id “ ommi munere, Judex debet babere duos Sales; Salem Sapientia, ne “ sit insipidus, do salem conscientiæ, ne fit diabolus. Thọ the Bribe be small, yet the Fault is great; and this
appeareth by a Record in the Reign of Pasc. 17 E. 3. “ E. 3. Quia diversi justiciarii ad audiendum e Coram Rege. “ terminandum aflign.itceperant de Johanne BerRot, 139. Ese “ ners, qui indi&tatus fuit, 4 1. pro favore babendo
. Jo. Berner's
« die deliberationis sud, finem fecerant domino Regi Case, Rot. Pa. per (V. M. Marcas : So as they paid for every 7 R. 2. num.
« Pound a thousand Marks, See before Sir 12, 13 “ William Thorp's Cafe, Rot. Par. 7 R. 2. The
« Chancellor was accused of a Bribe of ten pounds, and « his Man four pounds and certain Fish; whích tho the " things are small, yet it had been punilh'd, if it had been « proved.
But now to the Fa&t of the City Recorder, it was obferved, That when he gave Judgment against the several Convicts before related, and affeíš’d the leveral Fines and Amercements upon the Convicts and others, both for their Hats and pretended Crimes for which they were indi&ted; that John Smith, one of the Sheriffs of London, being, as was supposed, overjoy’d to hear the Court's Gratitude in rewarding his pains, for making Proclamations in the Streets, doc. but being somewhat in doubt whether many of the Fines might not fall short, or prove bad Debts, haftily fteps out of his Chair, and going to the Recorder, faid, But bow Mail we come by these Fines ? To which the Recorder answer'd, Give me one of them, and I will secure you all the rest. At which answer, with a seeming Joy and Alacrity, 7. Smith return to his Chair, and spoke to some who were supposed his Friends, there present in Court, and audibly declar'd to them, that the Recorder told him, That if we (meaning the Sheriffs) would give him one of the Fines, he would secure ws all the rest of them.
Surely this was too open and publick a place to make such Bargains as these: But what wonder, when scarce any Para sage or Action of theirs, that Sessions, was in Law and Righteousness any more juftifiable? What Ratification or Confirmation of this piece of contracted Bribery has been ince betwixt them in their private Chambers, we know not; but what's done and acted in publick Courts, we may and can alsert, and declare to the world.
Some may conjecture, That the Mony which 7. Howel the Recorder afterwards receiv'd, was upon the first proposed and offered Contract, made in open Court with 7. Smith the Sheriff.
Others may imagine, That it was the Mayor's Benevolence, for justifying his dirty and filthy Actions and Prosecutions before the People at the Sessions. But the case is this, That the Mayor, Sheriffs, J. Robinson, &c. and other the Justices for that Sessions, being met together at Guildhall in a Court of Aldermen, proposed to pay the Recorder for his extraordinary pains, and reward him for his execution of Juftice, or litting in Judgment at the Old Baily upon the Quakers. 7. Robinson, the chief of that Flock, and not the backwardest to give what's not his own, told the Court, That the Recorder dejei ved an hundred pounds for his Service done at the Old Baily tbe lat Se fiens. Whereupon the Court consented to pay