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Newgate Calendar Improved. Traitors. Cato Street.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 10:19 am
by Nevis
History of the Cato Street Conspiracy.
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ON the morning of Thursday the 24th of February 1820, the metropolis was thrown into the greatest consternation and alarm, by the intelligence, that, in the course of the preceding evening, a most atrocious plot to overturn the government of the country, had been discovered, but which, by the prompt measures directed by the privy council, who remained sitting the greatest part of night, had been happily destroyed by the arrest and dispersion of the conspirators. Before day-light the following proclamation was placarded in all the leading places in and about London.
Arthur Thistlewood.jpg
Arthur Thistlewood

LONDON GAZETTE EXTRAORDINARY,
Thursday, February 24, 1820.
Whereas Arthur Thistlewood stands charged with high treason, and also with the wilful murder of Richard Smithers, a reward of One Thousand Pounds is hereby offered to any person or persons who shall discover and apprehend, or cause to be discovered or apprehended, the said Arthur Thistlewood, to be paid by the lords commissioners of his majesty's treasury ; upon his being apprehended and lodged in any of his Majesty's gaols. And all persons are hereby
cautioned upon their allegiance not to receive or harbour the said Arthur Thistlewood, as any person offending herein will be thereby guilty of high treason. SIDMOUTH.

The above-named Arthur Thistlewood is about forty eight years of age, five feet ten inches high, has a sallow complexion, long visage, dark hair, (a little grey), dark hazel eyes and arched eye-brows, a wide mouth and a good set of teeth, has a scar under his right jaw, is slender made, and has the appearance of a military man ; was born in Lincolnshire, and apprenticed to an apothecary at Newark ; usually wears a blue long coat and blue pantaloons, and has been a lieutenant in the militia.

The particular part of the plan of the traitorous conspirators, which had been frustrated by their arrest the previous evening, was the following ; and its atrocity fully justified the alarming impression which the first rumours had created. It had been ascertained by the gang, that the greater part of his majesty's ministers were to dine together at the Earl of Harrowby's, and this was considered as a favourable opportunity for effecting their entire extermination : Thistlewood was to have knocked at Lord Harrowby's door, with a letter, purporting to be a despatch, or with a red box, such as is used in all the public offices, desiring it to be delivered immediately to the cabinet ministers at dinner, without delay. The servant, it was supposed, would immediately proceed with the despatch, while Thistlewood, with another of the conspirators, entered the hall as if to wait. They were immediately to open the street-door, others were to come in with hand grenades, which were to be thrown into the house; and, in the confusion produced by them, all the rest of the conspirators were to rush into the dining-room, where the ministers were at dinner, and the work of assassination was to have been instantly begun.

ARREST OF THE CONSPIRATORS
The sensations thus excited in the public mind, were by no means allayed, when, in the course of the day, the details of the horrible transaction began to develop themselves ; everyone felt a breathless anxiety to probe to the bottom the secret workings of so detestable a conspiracy, confidence between man and man became weakened, and that social intercourse which constitutes the peculiar charm of society in this happy country, seemed to be placed at the mercy of the midnight assassin ; the only hope left to the upright and the loyal portion of the community was, that the discovery would finally terminate in the beneficial result of purging society of some of the foulest members that apparently ever moved in it.

For some time previous to the day on which the arrests took place, it had been known to his Majesty's government, that an attempt at the assassination of his Majesty's ministers was meditating, and that Arthur Thistlewood was at the bottom of it. On Tuesday, the 22d of February, certain advice was received, that the attempt was to be made on Wednesday night, at the Earl of Harrowby's, in Grosvenor-square. It is supposed that the Earl of Harrowby's was fixed
upon, because, being nearer the outlet from London than the residence of any other of the cabinet ministers (Lord Westmoreland's excepted, who lives in the same square,) escape out of town, after the attempt had been made, would have been more easy. Be this as it may, the conspirators, as soon as they had ascertained that the cabinet dinner was to be held there, lost no time in arranging their dreadful and diabolical project.
Stable in Cato Street.jpg
Stable in Cato Street

The place chosen to arrange finally their proceedings, to collect their force, and to arm themselves, was near the Edgeware-road. John-street is a short distance on "the road, and intersected by another street, called Cato-street. Cato- street is rather an obscure street, and inhabited by persons in an humble class of life; it runs from John-street into Queen-street, and is parallel with Newnham-street. It is open at one end for the admission of carriages, but is closed by posts at the other. The premises occupied by the conspirators consisted of a three-stall stable, with a loft above, in a very dilapidated condition. They are the property of General Watson, and have been recently in the possession of an old servant of his, who had turned cowkeeper. From this man they had been engaged by some of the diabolical crew whose machinations have been so happily discovered. The people in Cato-street were utterly ignorant that the stable was let until Wednesday, when several persons were seen to go in and out, and carefully to lock the door after them. Some of these individual carried sacks, and parcels of various descriptions.

For two or three hours previous to the entrance of the stable, the police-officers were on the spot, making their observations, but still no suspicion was excited of the real object of their attack; and so well was the plan of surprise laid, that, until the discharge of fire-arms was heard, every thing remained perfectly quiet. Thus accurately informed of the intentions of the conspirators, warrants were issued to apprehend them while they were assembled. These
warrants were put into the hands of the police officers, under the able direction of Richard Birnie, Esq., the chief magistrate of Bow-street. A detachment of the Coldstream Guards from Portman -street barracks, were also ordered to accompany the police-officers. They proceeded to the place of meeting in Cato-street, the police officers proceeding first. The conspirators had taken the precaution to place a sentinel below. The military consisted of the picket-guard of the 2nd Coldstream Regiment, which was stationed in Portman-street barracks. It consisted of thirty men, including a sergeant and corporal, and commanded by Captain Frederick Fitzclarence, who happened to be on duty at the time. They were called out about a quarter to eight o'clock; each man provided with twenty rounds of ball cartridge. The detachment immediately proceeded in the direction of the Edgware-road.

The men were not acquainted with the business on which they were called out. They supposed a fire had taken place, and that they had been sent for to protect the property. On their arrival within about sixty yards of the house in Cato- street, John- street, the place of the meeting, they were halted for a few minutes, during which they were ordered by Captain Fitzclarence to fix bayonets and shoulder arms. They were also enjoined to observe the strictest silence. The detachment then marched on, but had not proceeded more than a few yards when they heard the noise of fire-arms. They were then ordered to advance in double quick time, and instantly came in junction with the civil officers, who had arrived previously on the ground, and were engaged with the party in the house.

The only approach to this pandemonium was by a narrow ladder. Ruthven, one of the principal Bow- street officers, led the way, and he was followed by Ellis, Smithers, Surman, and others of the patrol. On the door being opened, about twenty-seven or thirty men were seen within, all armed in some way or other; and some of them engaged either in charging firearms, or in girding themselves in belts similar to those worn by the military, while others were in close and earnest deliberation. There were tables about the room, on which lay a number of cutlasses, bayonets, pistols, sword-belts, pistol-balls in great quantities, ball-cartridges, etc;. As the officers entered the room, the conspirators all started up, when Ruthven, who had been furnished with a warrant from the magistrates, exclaimed — " We are peace-officers ! Lay down your arms !" In a moment all was confusion. The notorious Arthur Thistlewood,
opposed himself to the officers, armed with a cut-and-thrust sword of unusual length.

Ruthven attempted to secure the door, and Ellis, who had followed him into the room, advanced towards the man, and, presenting his pistol, exclaimed —
" Drop your sword, or I'll fire instantly!" Thistlewood brandished his sword with increased violence, when Smithers, the other patrol, rushed forward to seize him; and on the instant the ruffian stabbed him to the heart. Poor Smithers fell into the arms of his brother- officer, Ellis, exclaiming — " Oh, God! I am .. " and in the next instant was a corpse.

Whilst this deed was doing, the lights were extinguished, and a desperate struggle ensued, in which many of the officers were severely wounded. Surman, one of the patrol, received a musket-ball on the temple, but fortunately it only glanced along the side of his head, tearing up the scalp in its way. The conspirators kept up an incessant fire ; whilst it was evident to the officers that many of them were escaping by some back way. Mr. Birnie exposed himself everywhere, and encouraged the officers to do their duty, whilst the balls were whizzing round his head. At this moment Captain Fitzclarence (a young-
officer well known for his gallantry and gentlemanly conduct) arrived at the head of the detach ment of the Coldstream Guards. They surrounded the building, and Captain Fitzclarence, with Sergeant Legge and three files of grenadiers entered the stable, where the first object that presented itself to their sight, was one of the party running out of the stable, apparently with intention to make his escape. He was seized by one of the soldiers, when the ruffian instantly approached the gallant captain, and presented a pistol at his breast; but, as he was in the act of pulling the trigger, Sergeant Legge rushed forward, and, whilst attempting to put aside the destructive weapon, received the fire upon his arm. Fortunately for this brave man, the ball glanced along his arm, tearing the sleeve of his jacket, from the wrist to the elbow, and only slightly wounding him.

A black man was the next that was started from his place of concealment ; he was armed with a cutlass. He also aimed a blow at captain Fitzclarence, but was seized and secured by one of the soldiers, James Basey, without any injury to the latter but a slight cut on the finger. Then addressing himself to his friends in the house, he exclaimed, " Fight on while you have a drop of blood in you — you may as well die now as at another time.". The detachment was then ordered to rush forward which they did, headed by their captain, who darted into a stall, and seized by the collar a fellow who was standing in it, and who grappled with him with one hand, while he attempted to fire a pistol at him with the other, which did not go off, the powder flashing in the pan. The miscreant still holding firmly by the coat, the captain called out to his men to disen-gage him. Two of them, James Revel and James Basey, immediately seized him, and he surrendered himself, saying, " Do not kill me, and I'll tell you all.''

This scene took place in the stable on the ground-floor. It was a three-stalled stable, with a hay-loft over it, with which it communicated by a ladder placed at one end. The detachment led by Captain Fitzclarence then mounted the ladder and into the loft, now filled with smoke, and only illuminated by the occasional flashes of the fire-arms of the conspirators. In the confusion naturally occasioned by the contest, Thistlewood contrived to make his escape, almost unobserved, and the constables had by this time retired for the purpose of surrounding the house, and intercepting the flight of any others of the gang. On entering the loft, the military came in contact with the dead body of the murdered Smithers, (the constable), and a ruffian lying at his side all covered with the blood of the dead man. The fellow rose, and did not appear to have sustained any hurt or injury. Addressing himself to the soldiers, he said, " I hope they will make a difference between the innocent and the guilty." Three others were next taken together; they were huddled in a corner among some shavings. One of them jumping out said, " I resign myself ; there is no harm; I was brought in here innocent this afternoon."

These four were all of them found by the soldiers in the room, making, with the man taken below in the stall, and the two outside, seven prisoners. The constables had previously taken two, one of whom made his escape down the street, but was pursued and re-taken. The moment he was caught he fired a pistol, which he had concealed on his person : it went off, but did no injury. Muddock, one of the soldiers, when he entered the loft, in the midst of darkness, ran against something which he at the moment conceived to be a part of the building. He was, however, soon undeceived, by a wretch snapping a pistol at him, which happily missed fire. Failing in this detestable purpose, the miscreant threw himself on the ground, exclaiming, " Use me honourably," and the gallant soldier contented himself with making him prisoner. When this was mentioned to Captain Fitzclarence, he asked Muddock why he had not stuck his opponent ; the reply of the brave fellow was, " Why, your honour, I had him by the heels, and I took his pistol from him, and I wanted no more." The pistol was loaded nearly to the muzzle.

It is impossible to give a minute detail of the desperate conflict which took place, or the numerous instances of personal daring manifested by the peace officers and the military, thus brought into sudden contact with a band of assassins in their obscure den, and in utter darkness. Unfortunately, this darkness favoured the escape of many of the wretches, and the dreadful skirmish ended in the capture of only nine of them. The military, on searching the loft, found a great quantity of pistols, blunderbusses, swords, and pikes, about sixteen inches long, made to screw into a handle. They also found a great many common files, sharpened to a point at the ends, and made to be used as pikes : they also found a large quantity of ammunition, consisting of ball- cartridges, powder flasks, slugs wrapt up in paper, and a sack full of hand-grenades. The military, accompanied by the constables, then withdrew, and proceeded to Bow-street-office with their prisoners.

The soldiers were laden with the arms and ammunition which they found in the stable; and having delivered their prisoners and booty, four of them were examined briefly by the Magistrates, viz., James Revel, James Basey, William Curtis, and John Muddock. They identified the prisoners who were then standing at the bar, as the persons whom they had taken in the stable. The fire-arms and ammunition were then shown to them, which they also identified. Captain Fitzclarence, with his detachment, then marched back to Portman-barracks, to which also they conveyed the arms and ammunition taken, and deposited them in the Captain's room. Shortly after the arrival of the cavalcade at the police-office, in Bow-street, Mr. Birnie, the Magistrate, arrived, and having taken his seat at the bench, the prisoners were placed at the bar in the following order: — James Ings, a butcher, James Wilson, a tailor, Richard Bradburn, a carpenter, James Gilchrist, a shoemaker, Charles Cooper, a bootmaker, Richard Tidd, a bootmaker, John Monument, a shoemaker, John Shaw, a carpenter, and William Davidson, a cabinet-maker.

Davidson was a man of colour, and a worthy coadjutor of Messrs. Watson, Thistlewood, and Co,, upon many occasions. At the meeting in Finsbury market place, & few months ago, this fellow was one of the principal speakers, and advised the persons assembled to go armed to all public meetings; and was also the bearer of the black flag, with a death's head, in the mob which attempted to excite a tumult in Covent-garden, during the election. When Ellis, the officer, was putting the handcuffs on him, he amused himself by vociferating passages from the popular air of "Scots wha ha'e wi' Wallace bled," and frequently exclaiming, "B — st and d — n the eyes of all those who would not die for liberty."'

Ings was* a fierce ruffian, a rather stout man, apparently between 30 and 40, but of most determined aspect. His hands were covered with blood; and as he stood at the bar, manacled to one of his wretched confederates, his large fiery eyes glared round upon the spectators with an expression truly horrible. The rest had nothing extraordinary in their appearance. They were for the most part men of short stature, mean exterior, and unmarked physiognomy. The office was crowded with soldiers and officers, bringing in arms and ammunition of various kinds, which had been taken on the premises, muskets, carabines, broadswords, pistols, blunderbusses, belts, and touch-boxes, ball cartridges, gunpowder, (found loose in the pockets of the prisoners), haversacks, and a large bundle of singularly-constructed stilettoes.

These latter were about 18 inches long, and triangular in form : two of the sides being concave, and the other flat; the lower extremity having been flattened, and then wrung round spirally, so as to make a firm grip, and ending in a screw, as if to fit into the top of a staff. Several staves indeed were produced, fitted at one end with a screwed socket; and no doubt they were intended to receive this formidable weapon. The depositions of a number of officers, most of them wounded, and several of the soldiers, having been taken, their evidence substantiating the foregoing narrative, the prisoners were asked whether they wished to say any thing? Cooper, and Davidson the black, were the only ones who replied, and they merely appealed to the officers and soldiers to say, whether they had not instantly surrendered themselves. Ellis, the patrol, who received the murdered body of his comrade Smithers in his arms, replied, that Davidson had made the most resistance. At the moment when the lights were extinguished, he had rushed out of the place, armed with a carbine, and wearing white cross-belts. Ellis pursued him a considerable distance along John-street; and, having caught him, they fell together, and in the deadly struggle which ensued, Davidson discharged his carbine, but without effect, and Ellis succeeded in securing him. Captain Fitzclarence had seized and secured one or two of the prisoners with his own hands, and he was not only much bruised, but his uniform was almost torn to pieces.

We will here shortly digress, for the purpose of stating the immediate circumstances which led to the frustration of the sanguinary plot, and the arrest of its fiend-like authors. It had been for some time well known to government, that Thistlewood, forgetful of his narrow escape on the former occasion of an indictment for High Treason, and, as it were, unconscious of the blessings of that constitution, which in the equal and upright administration of justice to all, gives to the accused party the advantage of the conscientious doubts of the jury, and which beneficent feature in the trial by a British Jury had alone saved him from condign punishment, had never ceased to pursue his disloyal and traitorous designs, but had still continued in darkness and obscurity, to hatch new plots, as preposterous as diabolical, and to entrap new agents, as weak as they were wicked, and as certain of being ultimately involved in the same sacrifice to public justice, as he himself seemed devoted to by a besotted perseverance in his horrid principles.

Conscious, however, as were the ministers that some dreadful scheme was perfecting, and that a tremendous blow was about to be struck, they were ignorant of the time or nature of the intended movement, until the very day destined for its consummation, when a communication was made to the Secretary of State for the Home Department, by Lord Harrowby, who stated that he had that morning been stopped by a man, when riding in St James's-park, who delivered to him a letter, the contents of which were, that a gang of assassins were to assassinate his Lordship and the rest of the cabinet ministers, when assembled at his house on the evening of that day at a cabinet dinner. His Lordship, although he did not know the man, listened to his representation, in addition to the contents of the letter, and afterwards consulted his brother ministers upon the subject; and they immediately determined to postpone the cabinet dinner.

The discovery, indeed, of the infamous wretches and their intended diabolical act is next to a miracle, and is only to be attributed to the determination and perseverance of the man who made the communication to the earl of Harrowby : he called at his lordship's house, in Grosvenor- square, on Wednesday morning, (the 23rd), between eleven and twelve o'clock, and inquired of the porter if the noble earl was at home ? The porter replied in the negative. The man appeared very anxious to see his lordship, but the porter did not give him any hopes, as he refused to tell his business ; the man, however, urged the necessity of seeing his lordship, without loss of time; and at length he observed, that if he did not see him, the porter would not be sitting in his chair in the hall to-morrow. This observation astonished the porter, and induced him to believe that the man really had something of a serious and alarming nature to communicate to the noble earl : he then told him that his lordship was riding on horseback in the park, directed him to that part in which he was most likely to find him, and described his groom and the livery he wore. The man hastened to the Park, and discovered the groom, as described by the porter, hailed him, and asked him if the gentleman before was the earl of Harrowby? The groom replied in the affirmative. The man then told him, that he wanted and must speak with his lordship. The groom informed his noble master, who immediately stopped his horse. The man then presented a letter to him, which the earl opened and read. The man having informed him that he had a deal more to communicate, his lordship dismounted, and walked and talked with the man for some time; and the result of their interview was the communication to the secretary of state, of which we have just spoken.

Precautions were immediately taken at the secretary of state's office, for the discovery and apprehension of the villains. The first intimation that was given of the affair at the office in Bow- street was at past seven o'clock, when it was made known that a number of officers, constables, and patrol, would be wanted. Ellis, who is a conductor of a party of patrol, was ordered to leave his division, and repair to the office with the men under his direction. The expedition upon which they were to be sent was kept a secret till they started, which was between half-past eight o'clock and nine. The place of rendezvous of the assassins was in Cato-street, John-street, in the Edgware-road, where the neighbours had become alarmed by a number of strange men assembling in a stable, and a loft over it, after dark ; sacks being hung up on the inside of the windows to prevent detection.

In the course of the day inquiries had been made, and the result was, that some desperate act was expected to take place. The ministers' servants were armed with pistols, and two officers or constables appointed to each residence. The Earl of Harrowby and Viscount Castle'reagh dined with the Earl of Liverpool; and at nine o'clock they went to the secretary of state's office for the home department, at which time all the cabinet ministers assembled. Mr. Birnie, the magistrate, was directed by Viscount Sidmouth to be in Cato- street, and in readiness to act in case of emergency. A party of the guards, under the command of Captain Fitzclarence, was ordered to march to Cato-street, to assist the police, if necessary. Unfortunately, however, they were not clearly directed, or they did not understand where the place was, as they were at the contrary end of the street when the assassins commenced their murderous attack upon the officers, and it was only by the discharge of pistols that they found out where the building was. When the police-officers arrived, they found two sentinels at the door, armed with guns and swords. These opposed their admittance without the password. The officers, however, soon overpowered and secured them. They then gave an alarm, and the officers heard by the noise in the loft that several person were up stairs. They ascended to the loft by a ladder which the conspirators themselves had used; when the contest, which we have already described, ending in the arrest of most of the conspirators, took place.

The same sources of information which led to the detection of the conspiracy enabled the magistrates to trace the hiding-place of Thistlewood. Instead of returning to his own lodgings in Stanhope-street, Clare-market, it was discovered that he had proceeded to an obscure house, No. 8, White-street, Little Moorfields Thither, at nine o'clock on Thursday morning, the 24th of February, Lavender, Bishop, Ruthven, Salmon, and six of the patrol, were despatched. On arriving at the house, three of the latter were placed at the front, and three at the back door, to prevent escape. Bishop observed a room on the ground floor, the door of which he tried to open, but found it locked. He called to a woman in the opposite apartment, whose name is Harris, to fetch him the key. She hesitated, but at last brought it. He then opened the door softly. The light was partially excluded, from the shutters being shut; but he perceived a bed in the corner, and advanced. At that instant a head was gently raised from under the blankets, and the countenance of Thistlewood was presented to his view. Bishop drew a pistol, and presenting it at him, exclaimed, " Mr. Thistlewood, I am a Bow-street officer; you are my prisoner:" and then, "to make assurance doubly sure," he threw himself upon him. Thistlewood said, he would make no resistance.

Lavender, Ruthven, and Salmon, were then called, and the prisoner was permitted to rise. He had his breeches and stockings on, and seemed much agitated. On being dressed, he was handcuffed; in his pockets were found some ball-cartridges and flints, the black girdle, or belt, which he was seen to wear in Cato-street, and a sort of military silk sash. A hackney-coach was then sent for, and he was conveyed to Bow-street. In his way thither he was asked by Bishop, what he meant to do with the ball-cartridges; he declined answering any questions. He was followed by a crowd of persons, who repeatedly cried out, " Hang the villain! hang the assassin!" and used other exclamations of a similar nature. When he arrived at Bow-street, he was first taken into the public office, but subsequently into a private room, where he was heard, unguardedly, to say, that "he knew he had killed one man, and he only hoped it was Stafford," meaning Mr. Stafford, the chief clerk of the office, to whose unremitting exertions in the detection of public delinquents too much praise cannot be given.

Mr. Birnie, having taken a short examination of the prisoner, sent him to Whitehall to be examined by the Privy-Council. Here the crowd was as great as that which had been collected in Bow-street. Persons of the highest rank came pouring into the Home Office, to learn the particulars of what had transpired. The arrest of Thistlewood was heard with infinite satisfaction; he was placed in a room on the ground-floor, and a vast number of persons were admitted in their turn to see him. His appear ance was most forbidding. His countenance, at all times unfavourable, seemed now to have acquired an additional degree of malignity. His dark eye turned upon the spectators as they came in, as if he expected to see some of his companions in guilt, who he had heard were to be brought thither. He drank some porter that was handed to him, and occasionally asked questions, principally as to the names of the persons who came to look at him. Then he asked " to what gaol he should be sent? — he hoped not to Horsham." (This was the place in which he was confined, in consequence of his conviction for sending a challenge to Lord Sidmouth.)

At two o'clock he was conducted before the. Privy-Council. He was still handcuffed, but mounted the stairs with alacrity. On entering the council-chamber he was placed at the foot of the table. He was then addressed by the Lord Chancellor, who informed him that he stood charged with the twofold crime of treason and murder; and asked him whether he had anything to say for himself? He answered, that " he should decline saying any thing on that occasion." No persons were suffered to have access except those on business to the public offices at Whitehall, nor was any individual allowed to hold communication with the prisoner. About a dozen soldiers were in the hall and adjoining lodge; they formed a part of the military escort that accompanied the police-officers to the spot where Thistlewood and his companions were first discovered. The soldiers had with them the different articles and weapons found upon the party when taken, among which were two small pistols, one of them loaded, and a bundle of files, similar to those used in small brass- work. The points of such files are always sharp, and the part of the file which goes into the handle is necessarily pointed, to penetrate the hole made in the wood for its reception; some of the files appeared, however, to have had the handle-points brightened, and the ends made more fine, as if by being whetted upon a stone.

There were also in the hall two or three bags, containing three bayonets and some amnunition, made up in both small and large cartridges. The soldiers who had seized those articles were examined before the Privy-Council. After his examination, Thistlewood was taken back to the room in which he had been previously placed; his commitment to Cold bath-fields was made out, and he was conveyed to that prison under the care of six officers. There was a partial shouting and groaning, as the carriage in which he was placed drove off'. The appearance of Thistlewood at this time was wretched in the extreme. When in custody with Watson, Preston, and Hooper, on the charge for high treason, he was a stout, active, cheerful looking man, with something of a fearless and determined cast of features. His deportment at that time was free and unembarassed, with much of the air of a sea-faring man. Within the six months previous to the present arrest, his appearance had, in every respect, undergone a total change; he had been seen constantly in the streets, dressed in a shabby manner; his countenance squalid and emaciated, and his whole dress and the expression of his features, denoting a man who was reduced to a state of extreme indigence.

He was generally observed walking or running through the streets with eager impetuosity, and his shoes and an old surtout coat, which he generally wore, bearing all the marks of the poverty and distressed circumstances of the wearer. When before the Privy-Council, his dress was an old black coat and waistcoat, which were threadbare, corduroy breeches very much worn, and old worsted stockings. His general appearance indicated great distress; his limbs were slender, and his countenance squalid and somewhat dejected. There was nothing of agitation in his manner. He sat with his eyes chiefly fixed on the ground, except when he occasionally raised them to survey Members of the Privy-Council, as they passed through the hall on their way to the Council room.The following Privy-Councillors were present at his examination: — The Duke of Wellington, the Earls of Harrowby, Liverpool, and Westmoreland, Lords Sidmouth, Castlereagh, and Melville, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Canning, Mr. Wellesley Pole, Sir William Scott, the Chief Baron of Scotland, the ex-Attorney-general, (Sir S. Shepherd), Mr. Bragge Bathurst, and other members of the cabinet.

It is impossible to describe the anxiety and horror which prevaded the countenances of thousands of persons who went to view the scene of action the day after the arrest. Through the whole of the day, and till very late in the evening, several persons of the highest consideration in the country visited the place. A man no way authorized took possession of the place, and imposed on the public by demanding a shilling from each person for admission. The alarm in the neighbourhood, on hearing the report of fire-arms, and the noise of contest on premises which they considered untenanted, may be more easily conceived than described. It was heightened by every circumstance of tenor that the imagination could form to itself. The house was surrounded with soldiers and police officers — fighting was heard within — officers were obscurely seen scaling a ladder and entering the scene of battle, while their fate and the cause of the combat were entirely unknown. Some of the persons belonging to the public-house adjoining, after running to the spot, fled in dismay when they heard the balls whistling about their ears.

Several of the inhabitants of Cato- street had observed, since the preceding Monday, strange looking men coming about the empty premises. On the morning of Wednesday, (the day of the arrest) they saw Davidson, the man of colour, and three others, watching at different ends of the street, while some of their associates were heard nailing up the windows within the loft. Before dusk Davidson again made his appearance, with a sack on his back, which the neighbours at the time supposed to contain carpenters' tools for repairing or new-modelling the interior of the building, but which had in fact conveyed the arms with which they were to equip themselves for their daring enterprise. After the arsenal was formed, the band arrived; and the people in the public-house were surprised, if not alarmed, to see upwards of twenty persons, entire strangers to the place, hovering about their premises, and at last entering the den. Still they had no suspicion of what was going forward, and no presentiment of what was in a short time to occur. The police soon arrived, and the murderous struggle took place which we have already described.

The body of Smithers, who was murdered, was removed to the Horse and Groom public- house, opposite. He must have died instantly, and without convulsion. He received only one wound, about an inch below his right breast, and about an inch in width. His body was exposed in a room on the first floor of the public-house, above-mentioned, in the dress in which he was killed. His breast and neck were covered with blood, but his countenance was as placid, and his features as composed, as if their expression had been arrested, and life extinguished, during a tranquil sleep. On his death being mentioned to Lord Sidmouth, his Lordship expressed great regret at the event, and sympathy for his surviving widow; saying, with great humanity, that, as he could not, restore to her her husband, he would take care that she should not want his assistance in a pecuniary point of view. The unfortunate man's sister, from Putney, was one of the first to view the dead body of her brother, and deeply affected the spectators with the poignancy of her sorrow.

The sword with which the murder of Smithers was perpetrated is of foreign manufacture, and nearly a foot longer than those which we are ordinarily in the habit of seeing. A lady, of the name of Northmore, who lives in a street immediately adjoining that in which the conspirators assembled, found a sabre in her yard, which had been thrown away by one of the gang, in his flight. This also is a weapon of foreign manufacture, and, from its appearance, had evidently been ground within a day or two. It was perfectly sharp on both sides, and, in addition to its brass hilt, there was attached to it a handkerchief, so disposed as to afford a sort of guard for the arm. Mrs. Northmore, on finding the weapon, sent for a friend, who advised her to transmit it to Bow-street. This was accordingly done; and, extraordinary to relate, it was recognised by an active member of that establishment as exactly representing one of two sabres, of which a description had been given at the office, and which were known to have been lately taken to a cutler, for the purpose of grinding.

The hand-grenades found in the loft, and pro- duced in the examination, are about the size of a large orange, made of cast-iron, filled with combustibles; they have a round hole, in which is placed a fuse, which, on being set fire to, is thrown by the hand, and when it falls it explodes-: the splinters caused by the explosion spread in all directions, and one of them has been known to kill ten or twelve persons. It was intended to explode these horrible instruments at the Earl of flarrowby's house. After the committal of Thistlewood by the Privy Council, the whole of the prisoners underwent an examination, likewise by the Privy-Council; and on their being re-committed, one of them proposed to become king's evidence, which offer was accepted. During the attendance of Mr. Birnie upon the Privy-Council on Thistlewood's examination, the officers arrived at Bow-street, with all the persons found in the house where Thistlewood had been apprehended, and Mr. J. E. Conant the magistrate, proceeded with their examination; they consisted of the landlady of the house, Mrs. Hill, a lodger, and Lewis Casper, a man who did not lodge in it.

Elizabeth Harris, the landlady, stated, that her husband worked at the letter-foundry of Messrs. Caslon and Catherwood, in Chiswell-street, Moorfields. On Wednesday, the 23d of February, she had a bill in her window to let her lodgings, when in the morning, between ten and eleven o'clock, Thistlewood came into her house, and inquired about the lodging : she told him it was only half a bed with her nephew. Thistlewood agreed for the half bed, for which he was to pay two shillings and sixpence a week, and was to take possession of it that night. She at first said, that she had a slight knowledge of Thistlewood, but
denied it afterwards. It was supposed she was concealing him, as he was locked up in the room. This she explained, by saying the door flew open, and she could not keep it shut without locking it. She said Thistlewood arrived at her house between ten and eleven o'clock on Wednesday night : he observed that he was late; she replied he was late, and she had almost given him up. He then went to bed. Her street-door standing open only by a latch, the officers had entered and searched the upper part before she knew they were there, when they asked her to unlock the door where Thistlewood was in bed, which she
instantly did. She did not know Lewis Casper had been in her house till she found him in the coach with her when they were brought away.

Newgate Calendar Improved. Traitors.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:32 pm
by Nevis
Continued:

Lewis Casper stated himself to be a watch finisher, residing in Union-street, Bishopsgate, and accounted for his being in the house by saying he was with Mrs. Hill, the lodger, who washed for him, and he appointed his little boy to call for a key there. This man was detained till it was ascertained if he was the man he represented himself to be. Mrs. Harris and Mrs. Hill were discharged for the present. In the course of Thursday, the 24th of February, the following persons were arrested as concerned in the conspiracy: —

Brunt, who was to have been second in command to Thistlewood. He was a shoemaker; an excellent workman, and earned between forty and fifty shillings a week. He was taken in bed. He had previously provided himself with a sword and a brace of pistols, in case of need, but he did not make use of them on this occasion. He was apprehended at his lodgings in Fox-court, Gray's- inn-lane; in his room a vast quantity of handgrenades, and other combustibles, were found. These were charged with powder, pieces of old iron, and other materials, calculated upon explosion to produce the most horrible consequences. A great number of pike- blades, or stilettoes, such as were discovered in Cato- street, and a number of fire-arms, were likewise found. The whole of these were taken to Bow- street. He was afterwards sent to Whitehall, and then committed to Coldbath-fields.

Firth, the person by whom the stable was let to Harris. He admitted that he has attended some of the Radical meetings, but denied any knowledge of the conspiracy. Cooper, a shoemaker, living in Garden-court, Baldwins-gardens: he was apprehended in the middle of the day.

Simmons, a footman, living with a respectable family in Seymour-street. He underwent an examination before the secretary of state for the home department, and another before the magistrates at Bow-street, was ultimately committed to Tothill-fields' prison.

The following account of Richard Tidd was given about the period of his arrest. He was about 50 years of age, and lived with his wife and family in a small and miserable dwelling situated in the Hole-in-the-Wall-passage, leading from Baldwin's-gardens to Torrington- street. His family consisted of one daughter, and two orphan children, whom he had taken under his care. He had been esteemed among his neighbours, and by those who had employed him in his trade, as an industrious sober man, and an excellent workman. He had earned by his own hands forty shillings a week, and very often even a greater sum. During the whole course of his life, he was never known to neglect his work, or become inebriated; but within the last week he had been in a drunken state, and his family had been at a loss to account for the extraordinary change in his conduct. On Wednesday night, three men came to Tidd while in such a state of drunkenness as scarcely to be able to keep his legs, and forced him away, notwithstanding the earnest entreaties and remonstances of his wife and family. Nothing was said by the men who took him away, as to their object, either to the wife or anyone in the house; and during the whole night, and the greater part of the next day, they were in total ignorance of the circumstances since disclosed, and were at a loss to account for the absence of Tidd. In the morning (Thursday), between seven and eight o'clock, two men came to the house, laden with a box of a considerable size, and, putting it down on the floor, said, "they would call in a few minutes for it." The men refused to answer the interrogatories put to them as to their object in leaving the box, and only repeated, that, they would call in a short time, and take it away: Very soon afterwards, two more men came with a large bundle of sticks, some of them of the thickness of a man's wrist. These were left in a similar manner, and the men also refused to answer any questions, saying only, that they would call again for them in a few minutes. Ten minutes had not elapsed before two police-officers entered the house, and seized the box and sticks. When opened, the box was discovered to contain a great number of pike-heads, sharpened ready for use. The sticks were also seized, and carried away by the officers. It would appear, from this statement, that Tidd was taken by the three men whom we have described to the stable in Cato-street, where he was subsequently apprehended, and carried to Bow-street, together with several others.

Robert Adams, living in a miserable hovel in Brooks'-market, Holbom, and working as a shoemaker, was arrested. He had been a private in the Royal Horse-guards, in which regiment he served for five years. He very much resembles Thistlewood in his person, but has a cast in his left eye.

In addition to these arrests, several warrants were issued, among which was one against a native of France.

The lodgings of Thistlewood, and of all the others who were taken into custody, were searched, and several important papers, and quantities of arms., were discovered and seized. Among those found in Thistlewood's apartment was a copy of the bill furnished to Dr. Watson by Mr. Ottley, owner of the Crown and Anchor Tavern, in the Strand, for the expenses of the dinner given to Hunt, on his return from Manchester. Judging from his former connexions, it may be considered as fortunate for the Doctor that he was not able to liquidate this debt, being at the time of the arrests an inmate of Whitecross- street prison on account of this bill, and thus saved from the temptation of joining his former associates. It is a singular fact, that when Thistlewood was arrested, he had not a farthing of money in his possession. The same observation may be made with respect to his comrades, all of whom were in the most wretched state of poverty.

We will here suspend for a time the particulars of the proceedings against the Conspirators, for the purpose of recording the proceedings of the Coroner's Inquest on the body of Richard Smithers, the unfortunate Bow-street officer, who was murdered, as before stated, when in the the execution of his duty, in Cato-street. The inquest was held on Friday the 25th February, at the Horse and Groom public-house, John-street, Edgeware-road, which is situated but a few yards from the spot where the atrocious deed was perpetrated. In the course of the day great numbers of persons visited the miserable building which the Conspirators had selected as the scene of their deliberations, and one universal feeling of horror and detestation against Thistlewood and his infamous associates appeared to actuate the multitude.

The Coroner for the county of Middlesex, Thomas Stirling, Esq., having arrived, and proclamation having been made by the beadle of the parish of St.Mary-le-bone, that the Jury summoned should proceed to inquire "when, how, and by what means, Richard Smithers came by his death," the Jury were sworn.

The foreman of the jury observed to the coroner, that he and his fellow-jurors wished to inspeet the body in the presence of the surgeon, in order that he might be ready to answer any question that might arise on the moment. This suggestion was complied with; and on the return of the jury from viewing the body, Mr. Fisher, the surgeon, was sworn, and deposed as follows: — I am surgeon to the Polio; establishment in Bow-street. I was called upon for the first time, this day, to examine the body of the deceased. I found an external wound under the right breast. It was two inches in length, and half an inch broad. I opened the body to ascertain the depth and direction of the wound and I discovered that some sharp instrumen had penetrated between the fifth and sixth ribs, wounded the outward surface of the right lobe of the liver, passed through the diaphragm into the chest, lacerated the pericardium, penetrated the right ventricle of the heart, wounded the left lobe of the lungs, and struck against the ribs of the left side. The wound I supposed to be about twelve inches in length. The blood flowed from the heart, and occasioned immediate death. The opening in the pericardium was larger than that presented by the external wound, which was always the case with wounds of this description^ The weapon was prevented from passing entirely through the body by the ribs on the left side. It must have been a very sharp instrument, both pointed and cutting, to make such a wound. The membranes, which were cut asunder, could only have been severed by an exceedingly sharp instrument. That death was inevitable after such a wound, the heart having been cut open, and the blood effused into the cavity of the chest.

George Thomas Ruthven being sworn, said, I am an officer belonging to the public-office in Bow-street. On Wednesday evening last, at half- past eight o'clock, I was in this house. I received an order from Mr. Birnie, who is a Justice of the Peace for the county of Middlesex, to go to a shed or stable in Cato-street, in consequence of a number of men being assembled there for treasonable purposes. There was a warrant issued by Mr. Baker, a magistrate of Marlborough-street. On entering the house, I observed in the lower place a man with a cutlass at his side, and a musket on his shoulder. The door by which I entered from the street was not fast ; there were persons going in and out; the man with the musket seemed as if he was guarding the staircase; there was only one man on guard. Ellis, Smithers, the deceased, and several others, went in with me. I don't know how they came in. They were of course ordered. They were all constables, in number about a dozen. I was the first person that entered. Mr. Birnie, the magistrate, was not there at that time ; he was at hand in the street, giving orders. The man who stood at the door as sentinel was walking about. I did not stop to see what he did particularly, but immediately called out to some of the party who followed to secure him. I am not aware that they did secure him, for I immediately went up the stairs. I believe that man was taken; but I am not aware that he was apprehended then; I believe he was caught afterwards. I ascended by a sort of step- ladder staircase. The stairs were so narrow, that the officers were obliged to go one by one. When I got up to the top of the ladder, I observed a sort of table or carpenter's bench, and a number of arms on it. Thistlewood was on the right-hand side of the table. I know Thistlewood very well. I have followed him for days and nights together. I think about twenty-four or twenty-five persons were assembled. There were different sorts of arms on the table: a variety of pistols and swords. They looked as if they were sorted out. They were handing about as if they were giving or distributing them to each other. Arthur Thistlewood was one. I am quite certain that he was present: I have followed him for days together. He stood by the side of the table handing arms about. He had on a sort of a long brown coat, I think. I knew him as well as I knew my father; quite as well. I could not be mistaken. I have no doubt whatever as to the identity of Thistlewood.

As soon as I thought that three or four of the party were up, I said aloud, " We are officers, seize their arms." I did this to warn the people who we were. As soon as I said this, they each took up what they could from the table, and retired to the farther part of the room. Thistlewood, being near a door that leads into a little closet over the coach-house, retired into that room. He was not further from the door of the little room than I am from that gentleman who is writing there (pointing to a gentleman who sat writing within about four feet of witness). There were others in that little room; how they got in there I cannot tell. I suppose there were five or six, or four or five persons in it. The whole party appeared at that time to be armed.Thistlewood, as he retired, had a sword in his hand, which he moved in a menacing way to keep the officers off. He was not striking with it, but moving his arm round as if to make a stab. The sword appeared bright. As we approached, he retired; and Smithers, who was within a pace of me to the right, stepped forward with his staff. Thistlewood immediately stabbed him, and he fell on me. A pistol was then fired; I know not by whom. I saw the swords of the party directed against the candles, which were immediately put out. Thistlewood stabbed the deceased in the right side as he approached. He did not come out of the little room to do it. He was within the little room, and thrust forward his arm to strike the blow. I saw the sword he carried; it was bright, and glittered. I did not see the hilt. It was a long blade, three feet and a half or four feet long. It appeared straight; but he waved it in such a way, that my mind may have deceived me as to its shape. When Smithers fell, he fell upon me, being stabbed on the right side, and I standing a little to his left. I could not at the moment tell whether he appeared to be much injured. In falling, he said "Oh, Lord ! Oh, my God ! 1 am done !" I believe these were his words, or something of that sort. I don't know whether Thistlewood drew the weapon out of his body; for instantaneously a pistol was fired, and the lights were put out.

I have been enabled to recognise three of the persons who were in the room, besides Thistlewood, I think, since. They are Shaw Strange; he has another name; a man named Blackburn, and James Wilson. There was another man who stood at the door, and fired at a sergeant; his name is Tidd : I don't know his christian name. The sergeant at whom he fired is present. Tidd first attempted to fire a pistol at Captain Fitzclarence. I seized his arm, and he pulled me down on him. I called on the sergeant to take the pistol from him, and he fired at the sergeant and tore his clothes. I am sure that Blackburn, Wilson, Shaw Strange, and Tidd, were present. There were also two other persons taken, who had been in this house (the Horse and Groom) in the course of the evening.I did not recognise them in the room; but I know they were apprehended, and, I believe, admitted that they had been there. They left a slick behind them in the Horse and Groom; the end of it was evidently cut for the purpose of holding a weapon. It was like a broom-stick, with a hole cut in the top. The persons that I allude to have admitted that they were in the room at the time the officers entered; but I do not know it. One of thern was taken by Captain Fitzclarence; I have seen him here before. These two persons came in to drink a pint of porter, and left the stick behind them in a mistake. One of them came 'back, and asked for a little walking-stick. The boy, who thought it a queer sort of a stick, had taken it upstairs, but returned it to the person who called for it.

That stick was at the public-office. These persons called at the Horse and Groom an hour before the officers proceeded to the loft. Nothing took place before the party fired, except my exclaiming, "We are officers — take their arms." When Smithers fell, a pistol was fired, and the lights were put out. I cannot say by whom the pistol was fired. The moment Smithers fell, somebody in the room where Thistlewood was, cried out—" Kill the b __rs; throw them downstairs!" I also cried, "Aye, kill them," that they might mistake me for a friend. There were nine persons taken that night. I was not present at the apprehension of all of them. While I was securing two of them the rest were brought in. After I had secured Tidd, Wilson, and Blackburn, I proceeded to secure the others; they were then conveyed to Bow-street, and afterwards to the House of Correction. Several of the party escaped; nine only being taken, and the number in the room appearing to me to be about twenty-five.

When the prisoners were secured by the soldiers, I went up into the loft, and saw Smithers lying on his face ; this was twenty minutes or half an hour after the entrance had been made. There were hand-grenades and arms lying about the room. I had no time before to pay attention to Smithers. A man below stairs endeavoured to escape from the door; he had a pistol in his hand. I called out, "Secure that man !" When I did so, he lifted his arm, and attempted to fire the pistol at Captain Fitzclarence; I caught hold of him, and the sergeant coming up, I desired him to take the pistol. The man fired, and struck the sergeant's coat with a bullet. I believe only four of us got up. The party in the room fired directly at the staircase, thinking we were coming up in numbers. If they had not done so, they would have killed me, for I stood at one side of it. There was somebody below who I expected would take care of the sentinel; but, in the confusion, he was handed from one to another, and thus escaped for a few minutes. It was quite dark, and I could not see the party escaping. There were, I think, twenty shots fired at us. It appeared to me as if some shots were fired from the window into the street to create alarm. The whole civil power present on the occasion was not more than twelve or fourteen men. I do not know the man who was acting as sentinel; I believe his name is Davidson. He is a man of colour. I had not time to notice him particularly. I believe he was the man who was walking at the foot of the stairs, with a cutlass by his side, and a musket on his shoulder.

I believe there was one light in the lower part of the building where he was. Some one, however, cried out, "They are upstairs," and we heard the clashing of arms. I cannot identify the man who was below stairs, I cannot swear to him. There was another officer shot on the left side of the head; he was dangerously wounded; his name is Surman. Another officer, of the name of Westcott, had two or three shots through his hat. One of the bullets struck him on the finger but did not hurt him materially. 1 was not wounded at all. At the time I did not know friend from foe. Immediately when the party cried out, " Kill the b __s," I also said, " Kill them," in order to deceive them. I had a brace of pistols; one of them flashed in the pan. The lights being out, I was afterwards afraid to fire, lest I might kill one of my comrades. There was a latch to the door which led into the street, and I found no difficulty in getting in, I secured a considerable quantity of arms; amongst the rest there was a large grenade, and several hand-grenades. The large one consisted of a tin canister, with a plate at top, strengthened by several pieces of iron, and bound round with a quantity of tarred rope. I got eight of the hand- grenades; they were about the size of my doubled fist. I also found in the room two swords, and some ball-cartridges, which are in my possession.

The large grenade weighs fourteen or fifteen pounds. It is a canister strongly bound with tarred rope. It is not circular. A number of pistols, swords, cartridges, and bullets, were also found in the room. No person but Thistlewood offered violence before the candles were put out. There were likewise found in the room about three dozen of weapons, which resembled a sort of bayonet. The bottom part had not a socket like a bayonet, but a screw to fasten into a stick. I found also a dozen of sticks, formed for the purpose of being fitted to those bayonets. The bayonets appeared to be newly made. They are very rough, and not at all brightened or polished. The balls I picked up in the room were not fired from pistols. If they had, they would have been flattened; I desired the men to pick the arms up, and each man to keep safely what he found: in consequence, some where in the possession of one man, and some in that of another. Two or three muskets were either found in the room, or else taken from some of the persons who had been apprehended. The party had no notice but what I gave that we were officers.

The deposition of this witness having been read over to, and signed by, him, James Ellis was next called. — Having been sworn, he stated, 1 live at No. 22, Paradise-row, Palmer's-village, St. Margaret's, Westminster, and am an officer belonging to the Bow-street patrol. I am also a constable. On Wednesday night last, about half-past seven o'clock, Mr. Stafford, the chief clerk at Bow-street, directed me to take Richard Smithers, John Surman, and William Gibbs, and to proceed in a coach with them to John-street, Edgeware-road, as fast as possible, there to meet Mr. Birnie, who would give us further orders. We did so; and when we arrived at the spot, we found Mr. Birnie waiting. He inquired whether we had seen any thing of the military. We told him we had not. He said he expected them every minute. In about twenty minutes Mr. Birnie called us together. Some inquiries were made, but I don't know of whom, as to what number were likely to be in the room to which we were going, and whether Arthur Thistlewood was to be there. Mr. Birnie gave me a warrant, signed by Mr. Baker, of Marlborough- street, to apprehend Arthur Thistlewood and thirteen other persons named in it. I have not the warrant; I have given it to Mr. Baker. On our being called together, and Mr. Birnie being given to understand that Thistlewood and others were in the room, he asked how many there might be present, and was informed that there was about a dozen. He then inquired how many there were of us. We told him about a dozen also. He said he had been disappointed in the soldiers, who had perhaps missed their way, and were half an hour too late, and that we must proceed to apprehend the parties. We said we would do the best we could. Smithers observed, if there were forty of them we would secure them. Mr. Birnie then directed me to call Ruthven, another officer, out of the Horse and Groom, and we were sent forward to the house, the military not having come in time. Ruthven opened the door and went in; it was a kind of stable where the meeting was held. Ruthven went in first, I followed him.

When I entered the stable I observed a man with belts on, a musket or fusil on his arm, and a sword at his side. I believe he held the musket in the position which soldiers do, when on duty. He was walking backward and forward. Ruthven desired some person to take charge of him. I took him by the collar, turned him half round and gave him to some other person, observing at the same time that he was a man of colour. At that moment Ruthven was at the foot of the ladder, up which he went. I followed as closely as I possibly could, and was immediately followed by Smithers. Before I got up the ladder, I heard a clattering of swords. I heard Ruthven say at that moment, "We are officers, seize their arms," or "lay down your arms," I cannot tell which. Upon gaining the top of the ladder, Ruthven turned a little to the left, to go round a table or carpenter's bench. I observed a number of men falling- back to the other end of the room. They were apparently all armed. I also saw three or four men backing into the little room on the right. They were all armed with swords or cutlasses. A tall man immediately brandished a sword at me: his foot was advanced in a fencing attitude, as if he meant to stab. I held up my staff in my left hand, and presented a pistol at him with my right; I held up my staff that he might see it, to shew him what I was. The light was then as good as it is here: it was very lightsome: I desired the man to desist, or I certainly would fire. I did not fire then, I did afterwards. I did not know who the tall man was that threatened me at the time, but I have seen him since, and I know it was Thistlewood.

There were some persons in the further room to the right. There was another closet near to the ladder, which was not discovered nor opened for half an hour afterwards. No one was found there. Smithers rushed past, and endeavoured to get into the little room. I saw the all man draw his hand back, and make a thrust of a sword at him, which I saw strike him on the breast. It was the same tall man, Thistlewood, who had flourished his sword at me. The manner in which he did it made me fix my eyes on him, so as to mark the kind of countenance he had. Smithers, on being struck, immediately threw up his hands, fell towards me, and exclaimed, " Oh ! my God !' I instantly fired at the man who killed Smithers, but I missed him. Smithers fell against me at the time, so as to drive me to the head of the stairs. A rush was then made by the party, and I was knocked down from the top to the bottom of the ladder. The moment I fired, the candles were all put out with the swords.

I think there were four or five and twenty persons present. There were four or five in the small room. The time was so short that very little observation could be made. I ran to the door, when two or three shots were fired in the stable below, where I was. I don't know by whom. they were fired. It was in the dark, and I could not discover friend from foe. 1 do not know that any officer fired except myself. I have not heard of such a thing. When I arrived at the door, I heard a cry of " Stop him," and instantly saw a man running at the other side of the street; I pursued, and took him in the street, about twenty yards from the door. When laying hold of him, he made a cut at me with a long sword. This was the man of colour. I received a cut, a very slight one, in the leg. I think it was when his arm, in striking at me, swung round my neck, that the sword, which was a very long one, hit my leg. The man's name is Davidson. I believe him to be the same man who kept the door, but I will not positively swear to that. I took him to a shop at the corner, and seized his fusil, which was that of a light-horseman, but perhaps rather heavier. I have seen Thistlewood, and I believe him to be the man that struck Smithers. I did not know him at the time. I saw him for six or seven seconds, or more, when he brandished his sword at me, until he went towards the little room. On seeing that, Smithers rushed forward, and the moment he got near the door, I saw him struck. I was sure that he was killed. It was a stab — a thrust — he received. The sword was very long, very bright, and triflingly turned at the end. It seemed sharp on both sides. He brandished it at me.

The whole space of this time was not more than ten or twelve seconds. 1 saw the man with his sword, before I got to the top of the ladder. As soon as Davidson was secured, I returned to the place, and I then found the military had come. I left Davidson in a shop, with two of our people to take care of him. The prisoners were all disarmed, and I proceeded to tie them together. I was only a few minutes gone when I took Davidson. I stayed as little time as possibly could. As soon as I had tied the prisoners I went to Smithers; he was lying on his face. I turned him up, and I believe he breathed faintly. I afterwards found a pistol, a bayonet, a quantity of ball cartridges, and several bullets. Many other weapons were found by the officers. I am most positive of the identity of Thistlewood. I feel no hesitation on the subject.

[Here the witness handed some of the bullets which he had taken to the Jury.] Witness continued. —

I was entering the centre of the room when Smithers passed me. I had my eyes fixed on Thistlewood, when he was brandishing his sword. I am able to recognize him, though I could not recognise any of the others. I saw him for eight or ten seconds, but I cannot speak to his dress: it was a dark dress, but I cannot speak to it distinctly. I heard yesterday, that Thistlewood was the person who struck the blow, but that did not affect my opinion. I would sworn to him, if it had not been mentioned. There were several persons wounded. An officer named Biggs was wounded. The place where the business ocurred is not ten yards from this. It is the first stable down the yard, and is, I think, on the north side of the street. When I fell down the ladder, I fell on some of the officers who were coming up. I should have been shot if I had not so fallen. There were several shots fired in the stable. I had a cutlass by my side, but could not use it. The flashes were numerous below, but I could not see who or what they were who fired. In the confusion Davidson escaped, but I afterwards took him. When I came back there were several persons in custody. There were many shots fired from the window. We officers carry cutlasses, but they could be of no use against the length of the swords which the party made use of. I cannot state the specific words of the warrant. It was given to me in the street by Mr. Birnie, and has been placed in the hands of Mr. Baker, the magistrate. The Coroner inquired of Pyall, the beadle, whether he had the warrant in his possession, and was answered in the negative. The Witness . — The warrant was in my possession; it authorized us to apprehend Arthur Thistlewood and thirteen other persons named in it, for unlawfully assembling together, but for what specific purpose I cannot say, and to bring them before the sitting magistrate, to be dealt with according to law. Pyall, the beadle, was despatched to Mr. Baker for the warrant, and the deposition of Ellis having been read over to him, he signed it.

William Westcott next underwent an examination to the following effect: —
I live at No. 10, Simmons-street, Sloane-square, Westminster, and am one of the assistant patrol of Bow street. — On Wednesday night last, I was sent to the stable in Cato-street, by order of Mr. Birnie. I accompanied Ruthven, Ellis, Smithers, and others to the spot. Ruthven went first, and I followed Smithers. I was behind him in the stable. The moment Ruthven, Ellis, and Smithers had gone up the ladder leading to the loft, I seized a man in the stable below dressed like a butcher. His name I believe was Ings. — When I entered, he rushed out against me: and finding resistance, put his hand to his belt, as if to pull something out of it. I immediately knocked him down by hitting him on the right eye. He was dressed in a long coat beneath his jacket, and had an apron over the whole. This happened be- fore the first pistol was fired, and I was in the act of handcuffing him when I heard a fresh pistol fired in the loft. I had not quite succeeded before Thistlewood came down the ladder, and as he was upon the steps fired a pistol; whether levelled at me or not I cannot say. Seeing me so busily engaged in securing the butcher, he levelled another shot at my head, and at the same time made several cuts at me with a sabre. The pistol went off, and the shot penetrated my hat. I knocked him down with the stick I had in my hand, but he rose and succeeded in making his escape. While I was engaged with Thistlewood, Ings contrived to make his escape also ; when Thistlewood was gone, I found that I was wounded in the hand, and that some shot had gone through the flap of my coat. In the mean time both Thistlewood and Ings succeeded in getting away. I pursued Thistlewood, but in vain, and after having followed him through several streets, I returned to the stable. I then went into the loft, and saw the deceased lying dead on the floor. There were several persons present, and the prisoners had been subdued. The Jury asked the witness whether Thistlewood was the first who came down the steps? — There was a complete rush, and I did not particularly observe whether he did or not. Did he come down before the officer Smithers fell ? — I did not see the officer fall. You went with the whole body of the officers? — Yes, I did. There were only three officers, I understand, in the loft ? — I believe no more. Where were the others ? — They were upon the scout. Then I understand that after the three officers mentioned had gone up, Thistlewood came down, and prevented others from ascending the steps? Yes; and he fired down the steps to prevent the ascent of others.

Newgate Calendar Improved. Traitors. Cato Street.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 05, 2017 2:46 pm
by Nevis
Continued ....

Charles Moy. — I live at No. 11, London court, Mary-le-bone, and am a watchman. On Wednesday night, about half-past eight, I apprehended Ings, while Brooks was in pursuit or him. He fired at Brooks; but I cannot say what firearms he used, as he threw it down before I reached him. Brooks cried out, Stop thief! and I immediately apprehended him. The ball went through the coat and waistcoat of Brooks, and grazed the top of his shoulder. I took Ings down to Mary-le-bone watch-house, assisted by Brooks and another officer. I searched him, and found seven or eight bullets in his pockets, some gunpowder in a tin flasket, and a haversack. He had a kind of belt on each side for pistols. Sergeant Legge, of the 2d battalion of Coldstream Guards, was next examined. — On Wednesday evening last I was called up about eight o'clock, and received orders to march to John- street, Edgware-road. I was then quartered in Portman-street barracks. A picket, usually employed on occasions when the military is required in aid of the civil power, was ordered out. It was commanded by Captain Fitzclarence. Upon arriving at John-street, we were unable to ascertain the spot whither we ought to proceed, and the captain advanced to ascertain what we were to do. When he returned, he ordered the picket to advance at double quick time. Upon reaching the stable in Cato-street, I observed a man standing with a pistol in his hand. He presented it at Captain Fitzclarence, and I knocked it aside with my pike. I then seized the muzzle-end of the pistol with my hand, and a scuffle ensued between the man and myself about the pistol. I kept firm hold of it till it went off, and the ball passing by my arm, tore the cloth off my sleeve. (Witness here exhibited the sleeve of his coat, which appeared to be very much torn.) In wrestling with the prisoner, I held my face down to the lock of the pistol, and as it went off the ball grazed my right eyebrow. As soon as the pistol was discharged, the prisoner let go his hold. I secured him, and delivered him over to the police. I believe the prisoner's name is Tidd. After this skirmish I followed my officer and part of the picket up the steps into the loft. The greater part of the picket had reached the loft before I was disengaged from the prisoner. When I had reached the loft I discovered a table in the centre of it, nearly covered with pistols, blunderbusses, ammunition, and other arms of various descriptions. Three men had then surrendered; I think their names were Monument, Cooper, and Gilchrist. I do not recollect what police-officers were present at the time. Upon looking on the floor, I saw the deceased lying dead at my feet. His body was examined by the picket, and I perceived the wound on his right breast. I was ordered back to the barracks for a reinforcement, and when I returned, the whole of the prisoners taken that moment were collected into the loft. Upon the arrival of the reinforcement, the prisoners were conveyed to Bow-street.

Here one of the jury observed that the inquest had proceeded far enough to ascertain the acts of Thistlewood. The Coroner replied, that those, who were aiding and abetting in the murder were equally guilty as the principal; and it would be necessary to ascertain who they were, and what they did. Here the examination was. interrupted by the arrival of a messenger, with a letter from Mr. Baker, the magistrate, to the Coroner. It was read aloud, and was to the following effect : — " I beg to inform you, that I granted a warrant on Wednesday the 23d instant, for the apprehension of Arthur Thistlewood, and several others, on a charge of felony, and that I afterwards received from Mr. Ellis an order to lay it before the Privy-Council on the examination of the prisoners when in custody. It has not yet been returned to me, nor do I think that I shall be able to obtain it at the present moment. Perhaps it would be better to adjourn the inquest for the present, and I will endeavour to get it for you tomorrow, or send you the information on which it was issued."

William Sarmon, — I live in Edgeware-road, and am a tailor by trade. On Wednesday night, about eight o'clock, I was passing through Cato- street, and when opposite to the stable I heard Westcott say that Smithers had been stabbed. In two or three minutes afterwards two men rushed out of the stable. One of the two cut me with a sabre on the hat. He was a tall man dressed in a dark coat. He struck at me twice, and hit my thigh, but fortunately did not wound me. I was so frightened at the moment, that I could not tell which way he ran, and I did not stop to look. There were many people in the street at the time. I do not know the appearance of Thistlewood. I only observed that the man who struck me was of a pale complexion, and wore a dark long coat. The other man who accompanied him out of the stable did not attempt to strike me. They both passed behind me on the right hand, I think, through the gateway towards John-street. I heard several shots within the building, while I was standing opposite the stable. That night I wore a loose coat, and by that means I was not wounded. I saw Westcott go into the stable, and I knew him well. I had seen him many times before.

Here the examination of the witnesses terminated, and the Coroner expressed a wish to receive some information respecting the christian names of those who had been described as having been apprehended in the stable. He thought there was no distinction between the case of Thistlewood and the other prisoners; they all entertained the same mischievous design, and shewed their purpose but too plainly, in being so well furnished with fire-arms, hand-grenades, etc. He wished to know whether the gentlemen of the Jury were satisfied with the evidence already received. A juryman said, he wished to put a question to Ruthven, the officer, before the verdict was pronounced ; but Mr. Pyall, the summoning officer, stated, that Ruthven had gone away, not withstanding his particular request that he should remain. The Coroner wished to know whether any of the Jury required an adjournment of the inquest; if they did, he would willingly attend to their request. The Jury unanimously declared that they were satisfied; and the Coroner, in a formal manner, asked, " Is Arthur Thistlewood guilty or not guilty of murder?" Foreman. — Guilty. Coroner. — Is William Davidson guilty of murder or manslaughter? Foreman. — Guilty of murder. One of the Jury wished to ask a question, which he thought of some importance, before the verdict was pronounced upon all the prisoners. He wished to know whether those who might have met for a different purpose were equally guilty of the murder with Thistlewood ?

The Coroner replied, that there could be no doubt that they were implicated in the murder as much as Thistlewood himself, for whatever illegal purpose they might have met. They had impeded the officer in the execution of his duty, and one of them had killed him. A Juryman. — If any of the prisoners had been put in the same situation as Thistlewood, they would probably have acted in the same manner. Another Juryman. — But are those who surrendered themselves equally guilty ? Coroner. — There can be no doubt of it. They were all assembled for one common purpose, and the act of one is the act of the whole. It is clearly murder in them all. If a man intends to do a mischief to another, and, instead of killing him, happens to kill a second, it is equally murder, as if he had killed the man he intended. A Juryman. — Another doubt arises in my mind. Had not these men a right to defend themselves, after the pistol had been fired by the officer Ellis? Coroner. — Certainly not; there cannot be a doubt upon it. The jury, by their foreman, then pronounced a verdict of " Guilty of Murder" against the following prisoners: James Ings; Charles Cooper; Richard Tidd; John Monument; John Charles Strange; Richard Blackburn; James Wilson; James Gilchrist ; and others unknown.

In the course of the day, the afflicted parents of the deceased visited the body, and showed much feeling upon the occasion. The old couple were so decrepit as scarcely to be able to get up stairs. Smithers was a stout, good-looking man, about thirty-three years of age. In addition to the wound that was the immediate cause of the death of Smithers, it was found that a pistol bullet had penetrated his shoulder nearly six inches. It was extracted by Bennett, and was found to have been cast from pewter. A second sabre wound was also found under his blade-bone. In what manner these wounds were inflicted, there are no means of knowing, but it is supposed they occurred after his fall. On Thursday afternoon, the 2d of March, at four o'clock, his remains were removed from his lodgings in Carteret-street, in the Broadway, Westminster, and buried in the church-yard of St. Margaret's, Westminster, amidst a great concourse of sympathizing spectators. It was too trying a task for his widow to undertake to follow him to the grave, and she was prevailed on not to attempt it. The deceased's father and brothers followed as principal mourners. They were succeeded by some private friends, and a numerous assemblage of officers and others belonging to Bow-street office; Mr. John Lavender, belonging to Queen- square police-office, to which the deceased formerly belonged; Mr. Armstrong and his son, both officers belonging to the police-office in Worship-street; making in the whole 67 persons; thus showing the last mark of respect to a de-parted officer, who had fallen a sacrifice by the hands of a ferocious assassin.

The procession passed through the following streets; the windows of each house were filled with spectators of both sexes ; — Tothill-street, Dartmouth-street, Great and Little Queen-streets, Great George-street, and through the grand opening leading to St. Margaret's-church. The rush from the crowd to gain admittance into the latter place was astonishing; but no accident occurred. The service was performed by the Rev. Mr. Rodber. The church-yard was filled with an immense crowd of persons of all descriptions, among which were numerous soldiers belonging to the Guards. A general regret and pity seemed to pervade the whole of this vast assemblage at the melancholy fate of this unfortunate man. The procession then returned through Tothill-street to Carteret-street, when the officers returned to the undertaker's. The whole of this funeral was conducted in the most decorous manner; and several magistrates were amongst the spectators.

On Sunday, the 27th of February, at one o'clock, the Cabinet Council assembled at the secretary of state's office for the home department, to proceed with the investigation of the charges against the assassins. Their lordships were assisted by the law officers. Robert Adams, late a private of the Royal Horse-Guards, and who had become king's evidence, was examined before their lordships, which occupied their time till half-past two o'clock, which was then too late an hour to proceed with the examination of Abel Hall, a tailor, who had been apprehended on Saturday morning by Lavender, Bishop, and Salmon, the officers, in Seward-street, Chiswell-street. A quantity of ball-cartridges, a musket, and a cavalry sword, which they found concealed in a ruinous shed at the back of a small house near the Regent's park, were this day produced. The woman occupying the house was also brought up, but after a short examination she was discharged. It did not appear that she had any knowledge of these things being on her premises. These articles appear to have been deposited in the place where they were found by some of the conspirators in their retreat.

On Monday, the 28th of February, the Privy Council again met, and on this day a proclamation was placarded in different parts of London, offering a reward of 200/. for the apprehension of John Palin, alias Peeling, who had been charged with high treason. He was described as being a child's chair-maker, and as having been formerly a corporal in the East London Militia, and about forty years of age. Private information was the same evening given to Lavender and Bishop, that Palin, for whose apprehension the reward of 200/. had been offered, was concealed in a house in the neighbourhood of Battle-bridge. They proceeded immediately with their informer to the spot described, but found that there was no ground for the suspicion which had arisen. Though the officers did not find Palin, they found three men and a woman of somewhat suspicious appearance. One man was in bed, and said he was unwell. The patrol suspecting him to be one of the Cato-street gang of assassins, and that he was in bed in consequence of the bruises he had received, made him get up, when he was found to have all his clothes on except his shoes. They stripped him, but he had no bruises. The other two men were melting lead in a frying-pan. One of the men lived at that place, the others in Monmouth-street and Brownlow-street. They were all three brought to the office, and underwent an examination be- fore Mr. Birnie, when there being no charge against them, and they not being known, they were discharged. It is supposed that Palin might have taken the alarm, and escaped at the back of the house while the officers were knocking at the door.

The notorious Preston, the cobbling politician, of Spa-fields' memory, was also this day arrested on suspicion of being concerned in the plot, under a warrant issued by R. Birnie, Esq. It appears that the lodgings of this man were searched a few days before, but nothing of a suspicious nature was found. On those occasions he facetiously said — " his armory could not boast of a swan-shot, nor his port-folio of a scrap of paper of the slightest political interest." Circumstances afterwards transpired which led to his arrest upon a charge of high treason. He was found industriously engaged in mending a shoe, with his family about him. He was surprised at this new visit, but submitted to his fate with cheerfulness, not unaccompanied by an apparent sense of his own importance. His daughters were highly indignant at this intrusion on their domestic privacy. The officers conducted their prisoner to Bow-street office, from whence he was sent to the Marquis of Anglesea public-house opposite. He was placed under the care of Lack, one of the patrol. He called for "a pipe and pot," and, seating himself before the fire, seemed perfectly happy. He laughingly said to a gentleman who went to see him, that he thought "the farce would not be complete till he was taken." He had previously denied all knowledge of the late conspiracy. After being shortly examined before Mr. Birnie, he was sent to Covent-garden watch-house, where he remained in confinement during that night. On the following morning he was removed from that place of confinement to the secretary of state's office for the home department, where, at twelve o'clock, the Lords of the Council assembled, consisting of the Cabinet Ministers, the Marquis of Camden, Mr. Peel, Sir William Scott, Sir John Nicholls, Mr. Sturges Bourne, together with the Attorney and Solicitor-Generals, and other law
officers.

Mr. Buller, one of the principal clerks of the council, attended to take the minutes of the proceedings. When Preston was taken in before the Lords of the Council he behaved with his usual boldness and low insolence to most of their lordships personally. He called upon them with the most ludierously impudent arrogance, and asked what they meant by sending for him to disturb his peace of mind, and to disturb the economy of his family, alluding to his three daughters binding shoes, and himself making them. The examination of this impudent fellow lasted about half an hour, after which he was committed to Tothillfields-bridewell in the custody of two of the Bow-street officers. When he returned from the Council Chamber he was almost breathless, and gasped out to those about him — "Bless me, how I perspire ! but I always do when I have any thing like a subject to speak upon." Whilst his commitment was making out, he requested to be assisted with a little porter. Some porter was given to him, and whilst he was drinking it Lord Castlereagh passed through the hall, when Preston observed, " Aye, there he goes! His lordship will remember what I have said to him as long as he lives. I have talked more treason, as they call it, to-day, than ever I did in my whole life before." The porter seemed to inspire him, and he was proceeding with more remarks, when the officers received his commitment, and he was led to the coach which was to convey him to prison. A number of gentlemen were assembled in the hall ; and, as he passed through the midst of them, he bowed and smiled on all sides, repeatedly saying, "God bless you all."

In the course of the day an application was made at the police-office, Bow-street, by one of Preston's daughters, to be allowed to see her father, and to deliver him some clean linen; she was referred by the magistrate to Lord Sidmouth, and accordingly wrote the following letter to his Lordship, which she carried to the office of the Home Department, and delivered it to one of the messengers, while she waited in the hall for an answer : — " My Lord, — I entreat your Lordship to allow an agonized daughter to have an interview with her father, who was dragged from home, and his family, consisting of three daughters besides myself, totally unprotected, on a charge of which he is completely innocent, and of which he has no knowledge whatever. My father's house was searched four times successively on four different days, and nothing was found that could at all criminate him in the late dreadful proceedings. I have called at Bow-street for the purpose of giving my father some linen, and also to know if he could be held to bail, and have been referred to your Lordship. I am now waiting in the lobby of the Home Department Office with the linen to give to my father; and I hope your Lordship will grant me an interview with him. I am, my Lord, Your Lordship's obedient humble servant, "Ann Preston."' 17, Princes-street, Drury-lane -To Lord viscount Sidmouth

After being absent some time, the messenger who carried the letter to his Lordship returned, and told her she must call again on the following day for an answer. She then inquired where her father was, and was informed that he had been examined that day before the Privy- Council, and had been committed. She then left the office in tears. The next morning she waited at the office of the Home Department, as she had been directed, for
an answer to her application. She saw Mr. Hobhouse, and was told by him, that she could not see her father till after the following Friday; and, if she would call again on the Saturday, she would probably have an order to see him. She waited in the lobby until her father was brought out, after his examination before the Privy-Council, and he looked very anxiously at her; but they were not allowed to speak to each other. She had a bundle of linen; and, when her father was conveyed to Tothill-fields prison, she followed him, and gave the linen to the governor. About this time Waddington, the fellow who had been brought into some notoriety, by his arrest for being the bearer of a placard, the object of which was to create an unlawful assembly on Kennington Common, appeared before Mr. Hicks, the sitting magistrate at. Bow-street, and with ridiculous effrontery, stated that the reason of his calling was to say that the officers had seized his books and papers, which they were very welcome to do, as he had nothing in his possession that he was ashamed of, or that could lead to any charge. His landlady, who was present when his place was searched for books and papers, told him that the officers had left a message, desiring him to attend at the office, as he was wanted there; and he consequently attended.

Mr. Hicks, the magistrate, professed himself unacquainted with the affair; but desired that inquiries should be made, and it turned out that some of the police-officers had searched his lodgings, and had seized his books and papers; but they denied having left any message for his appearance at the office, and there was no doubt but that it was a mistake of his landlady in relating to him what had passed. The magistrate informed him that he had no charge against him. Waddington withdrew from the office, after telling the magistrate that he might always be found when wanted. We are happy, however, to announce that this man has since relinquished politics, and taken up the more quiet occupation of porter to a tallow- chandler. From his former enthusiasm in the cause, however, it was supposed possible that he might have afforded shelter to some of his quondam friends, and accordingly the officers were directed to search his lodgings. They found no trace of radicalism, except a whole-length portrai of himself, blowing a horn, carrying a large bundle of twopenny trash under his arm, and in his hat a paper, inscribed " Order, order! Public Meeting in Smithfield on Wednesday next. Underneath was written " Samuel Waddington, printer and publisher to the Radical Union."

Having had occasion to introduce the names of these men, who have lately forced themselves on the notice of the Public by their absurd, but highly mischievous, interference in politics, it may not be thought altogether irrelevant if we introduce a description of the Radical Committee Room, at the White Lion, Wych-street, this being the rendezvous, or place of meeting, where these self-elected Radical Committees held their nightly meetings. The White Lion was a public-house, but has very properly been deprived of its license by the Magistrates. It is situated a short distance from Newcastle-street, towards the New Inn; the entrance to it from the street is up a dark narrow passage, about thirty yards long. In the tap-room, over the embers of an expiring fire, sat a set of suspicious, ill-looking fellows, huddled close together; whilst at a small deal table to the right sat Mr.-- with a book and some papers and printed bills before him; from the obscurity of the place, having no light but what proceeded from a candle placed before Mr.-- , or from that in the bar, a stranger coming in would not be able to recognise any of the faces on seeing them afterwards elsewhere. On the right hand, on entering the house, is a small parlour; here of an evening a select committee assembled, and no others were admitted. This was the room in which the most private transactions were carried on; Mr. Thistlewood or Dr. Watson always came out into the passage to speak to any person who called there on business. In a very large room upstairs, and which is occasionally used as a school-room, upwards of a hundred ill-looking persons have assembled of an evening; in it the open committee and loose members of the society met; it had ranges of forms all round and across the room, and had hardly ever more than two or three candles to illuminate it. Here their processions, were arranged; their flags, etc, kept; whilst the more private business was carried on below in the parlour.

We now resume our narrative of the proceedings previous to the final committment of the prisoners for trial.

On Thursday, March 2nd, the Lo rds of the Council met by appointment at the Secretary of State's office for the Home Department, at twelve o'clock in the forenoon, to deliberate on the charges against the prisoners, and to determine on the best and most proper mode of proceeding against them without interrogating the prisoners or examining any witnesses. The meeting was attended by the Cabinet Ministers, the Marquis Camden, Viscount Palmerston, Mr. C. P. Yorke, the chief Baron of the Court of Exchequer in Scotland, the Hon. R. Ryder, Sir John Nicholl, Mr. R. Peel, Mr. W. Huskisson, the Master of the Rolls, and Mr. S. Bourne. There were also present the Attorney- General, the Solicitor-General, and Mr. Baker, the magistrate belonging to the police-office in Marlborough-street, who signed the warrant for entering the premises in Cato-street, and for the apprehension of the gang. Their lordships continued in deliberation till near half- past two o'clock. In consequence of some mistake in the transmission of an order, a number of the prisoners were brought up from Coldbath-fields prison, to the Secretary of State's office, but as their lordships had determined not to enter into any examination of the prisoners themselves on this day, they were sent back under an escort, a few minutes after their arrival.

The next day another meeting of the lords of the council took place, which was attended by the same persons as that on the previous day, with the addition of Mr. Sheriff Rothwell, Sir William Curtis, and other public characters. Soon after eleven o'clock in the morning, Lavender, Salmon, and other officers, arrived in three coaches at Coldbath-fields prison, with orders from the Secretary of State, to bring the conspirators to Whitehall, for examination before the Privy Council. Mr. Adkins, the governor of the prison, immediately delivered over the following prisoners into the care of the officers, viz., Thistlewood, Monument, Wilson, Davidson, Tidd, Gilchrist, Ings, Bradburn, Shaw, Cooper, and Brunt. They were immediately conveyed in the coaches provided for their reception to Whitehall. The prisoners were all handcuffed to each other. About the time that this detachment reached Whitehall, Mr. Nodder, the Keeper of Tothill- fields prison, arrived at the same place in a coach, with Preston, Simmonds, Harrison, Hall, and Firth, the keeper of the loft in Cato-street. The whole of the prisoners, on their arrival at Whitehall, were placed in the first apartment. Those from the House of Correction were placed in a line, handcuffed together, on the bench immediately facing the entrance, and the Tothill- fields' prisoners were seated on a bench at the
right-hand side of the room. The appearance of the whole was wretched in the extreme, and one or two of them seemed mere boys. Thistlewood appeared quite downcast, his features every day undergoing an alteration for the worse; his complexion had become quite jaundiced, and his general appearance nerveless and emaciated; he wore the old brown surtout in which he had been seen of late in the streets, and kept his eyes occasionally gazing with indifference upon the strangers who thronged the room, but mostly fixed on the ground. Davidson, the man of colour, seemed perfectly at his ease, and talked cheerfully to the prisoner who sat next him. Preston was not only quite composed, but enjoying a constant smile of self-complacency at the inquisitiveness with which strangers as they passed asked " Which is Preston ?" " Which is Thistlewood ?" Preston seemed in his usual good spirits, and had not a little of the appearance of having exhilarated them in the course of the morning by a jolly draught. While the prisoners were in this room, a considerable number of gentlemen were permitted to pass through the room, but none to converse with them. The police-officers were stationed at the end of each seat.

The Council being assembled, they were examined singly before their lordships.

Re: Newgate Calendar Improved. Traitors. Cato Street.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 06, 2017 11:06 am
by Nevis
Continued .......

Arthur Thistlewood was the first who was called in. The officers immediately unlocked the handcuff of the prisoner, and conducted him to the Council-chamber. He went up stairs with great alacrity, and being introduced, he was placed at the end of the table, with an officer on each side of him. The Lord Chancellor presided, and informed the prisoner that he was about to be committed upon the double charge of high treason and murder. He made no reply; but looked round at the assembled ministers with a malignant scowl. This was all that passed, and he was immediately re-conducted to his companions. He smiled as he came back, and returned to his former seat. In a short time, as if in contempt of the authority by which he was coerced, he put on his hat, and assuming a look of defiance, remained in that state for the remainder of the day. All the other prisoners were subsequently taken up in the same manner. Monument and Simmonds were the last, and these did not return for nearly half an hour. It appears that they, at this time, endeavoured to make their peace by a disclosure of what they knew. The soldiers engaged in the affair were then called in, and desired to look at the men whom they thought they could recognise. Sergeant Legge and nine privates were present. They soon came forth, and said they had no doubt as to the identity of the men they had assisted in securing. All the arms and ammunition taken from the prisoners, and in Cato-street, were deposited in an adjoining room under a guard. When Ings returned from the Council-cham- ber, he resumed his seat with great sullenness; and as soon as the officers had replaced his hand- cuffs, he and Thistlewood entered into conversation with great eagerness. Thistlewood spoke almost in a whisper; but Ings was more loud; and, at the close of their conference, he ejaculated, as if talking to himself, but loud enough to be heard by all in the room — " It is want of food which has brought us here. Death — death would be a pleasure to me — I would sooner be hanged this instant, than turned into the street there; for I should not know where to get a bit of bread for my family; and if I had fifty necks, I'd rather have them all broken, one after the other, than see my children starve !"

Preston continued very talkative and lofty. He seemed bursting with impatience to go before the Council; raising himself from his chair every time the door opened, in hope of being the next called; then sinking back into his seat with vexation and disappointment, and exclaiming, " Oh ! how I long to go up ! My genus is so great just now, I don't think there is any man alive has so great a genus as mine is at this moment." Then he would pore upon the ground for a minute or two in deep cogitation; and at length break out into the following soliloquy : — " If it is the will of the Author of the World that I should perish in the cause of freedom — his will, and not mine, be done ! It would be quite a triumph to me !— Quite a triumph tome!" — at the same time throwing his arms about in a manner which savoured strongly of insanity. It was not, however, his fate to be called before the council at all at this time; though, when Thistlewood and some others expressed regret that they had not applied to have their families admitted to see them — he desired them very pompously to make themselves quite easy upon that head, for he would take care to mention it in his speech to their Lordships. Immediately after the prisoners had all been called in, an express was sent off to Captain J. H. Elrington, fort-major of the Tower of London, directing him to prepare for the immediate reception of ten state prisoners.

The whole of the examinations having been brought to a conclusion, the council proceeded to deliberate upon the course which was to be adopted with respect to each individual case. They remained thus engaged for nearly two hours. During this interval the crowd in front of the office greatly increased, and the most anxious entreaties were made to be permitted to see the conspirators. These were in most cases ineffectual. Only a few noblemen were permitted to enter, including lord Westmoreland, lord Stair, and some others. The prisoners being themselves pretty well apprized of the charges which were to be preferred against them, became less equivocal in their behaviour. Wilson, Davidson, and Tidd, who were linked together, were most daring. They laughed in derision at the persons who came to view them, and seemed to be little affected by the situation in which they were placed. Brunt in imitation of his captain, put on his hat, and thus assumed the character which has been assigned him, of being second in command. At half past four Mr. Day, the clerk of the papers, was sent for by Mr. Hobhouse, the under secretary of state, who communicated to him the orders of the council. On Mr. Day's return, he stated to Sir Nathaniel Conant and Mr. Baker, who were remaining in his office, that eight of the prisoners were to be forthwith committed to the Tower. He then produced the list, and called over the names of the persons to whom he alluded.

These were: Thistlewood, Monument, Brunt, Ings, Wilson, Harrison, Davidson, Tidd.

The men came forth as they were called, and were handcuffed two and two. A short time now elapsed while the warrant to the constable of the Tower was preparing, and until messengers were despatched to obtain carriages, and require the presence of an escort of the Life Guards. This period was occupied by the prisoners in a sort of confused conversation. Harrison and Thistlewood at once threw off all reserve, and shook hands. The others began to speak freely. Davidson said he should like about a pound of beef-steak and a pot of porter, and his companions agreed that it would be no bad finish to their day's amusements. Thistlewood said aloud, "I hear the Spaniards are getting on famously!" Wilson answered, "Are they — a cursed good job!" "Aye," replied Thistlewood, "They'll all have it in their turn; they may scrag a few of us, but there is more going on than they are aware of. "Harrison laughed, and exclaimed, "Aye, time will show all things." A bustle outside now announced the approach of the Horse Guards, who drew up in a double column in front of the office, under the command of Captain Mayne a hackney coach then drove up to the door, into which Thistlewood and Brunt were put, accompanied by Mr. Ruff, one of the king's messengers, to whom the warrant was delivered, and by two police-officers. The coach then drew off to a short distance, preceded and followed by four of the Life Guards. A second carriage then came up, into which Davidson and lngs were put; they were likewise guarded by two officers. Ings, as he mounted the coach, exclaimed, "Hurra, boys!" in expectation, no doubt, of having a cheer from the crowd that was assembled. In this, however, he was disappointed; not a word escaped from the lips of the by-standers at all in unison with the principles of the conspirators — on the contrary, they seemed to be viewed with feelings of strong disgust.

Wilson and Tidd were placed in the third hackney coach: they went out laughing; but, previous to their departure, they turned round, and, in common with all those who had been confined in Cold Bath Fields prison, begged to return their grateful thanks to Mr. Adkins, the governor, and to his assistants, for the humane and kind treatment which they had received while under their care: they also were guarded by two police-officers. The last who went out were Harrison and Monument. The latter, whose diminutive size made him appear somewhat ludicrous when placed beside his gigantic companion, was greatly depressed. These men were in like manner guarded by two of the Bow-street patrol. The whole four carriages being now in readiness, and a constable having mounted each box, the cavalcade set off, completely surrounded by the Horse Guards. They proceeded over Westminster-bridge, and from thence bv the Westminster-road, through the Borough, and over London-bridge, up Fislstreet-hill, down Fenchurch-street, the Minories, across Trinity- square to the Tower gate; and although followed all the way by an immense throng, not one expression of commiseration was heard to escape. Ings's conduct was most daring: he continued to exclaim against His Majesty's Ministers with the most undisguised abuse, using language of the most revolting nature. He either knew, or affected to know, many persons in the crowd, to whom he nodded, and some of whom gave him a significant shake of the head in return.

Thistlewood made no observation: he seemed to be looking anxiously from the coach window, as if to see if there were any persons passing whom he could recognise. Brunt looked extremely gloomy, but did not say anything. Davidson did not seem at all affected by his situation, and continued in good humour. Wilson and Tidd laughed, and looked out of the coach windows with apparent indifference; and little Monument seemed to have sunk into a state of despair: he said he supposed he was not long for this world. On reaching the upper gate of the Tower, leading to the armoury, it was found shut; but, on a regular summons being made, it was opened without hesitation, and the prisoners and their guards admitted. Notice had been sent off to the Tower, in the early part of the day, to prepare rooms for the prisoners, but still it was with some difficulty that secure apartments could be got in readiness; at last the necessary accommodations were obtained, and the prisoners were left under the care of the yeomen of the guard.

The warrant upon which they were received by the constable of the Tower, was to the following effect : —

You are hereby required to receive into your custody, Arthur Thistlewood [then followed the names of the other prisoners] who stand charged with high treason, and them safely to keep till discharged by due course of law, for which this shall be your sufficient authority. " — Then followed the names of the privy-council, commencing with the Lord Chancellor, Earl Westmoreland. This warrant was written on a sheet of foolscap paper, with a black border, and bore the official seal. It was accompanied by a private note to the constable, containing instructions as to the manner in which the prisoners were to be treated. They were accordingly received by Captain Elrington, the major of the Tower, who, after some difficulty, from the shortness of the notice which he had received, succeeded in finding them secure apartments. Each prisoner was placed in a separate apartment; two warders armed in the usual way, with cutlasses and halberds, were placed in each room; and at each door was stationed a sentinel armed, to whose care was intrusted the key of the room, with strict orders not to permit more than one warder to be absent at a time, and that only for occasional purposes.

Thistlewood was placed in the prison known by the name of the Bloody Tower. Davidson was in the prison over the water- works. Ings in a different room of the same prison. Monument in the prison at the back of the Horse-armory. Brunt and Harrison occupied separate apartments in the prison over the Stone kitchen. Tidd was secured in the Seven-gun Battery prison, and Wilson in the prison over the parade. The prisoners were permitted to have, by the indulgence of the law, what is called state allowance, for their daily maintenance, which, to such wretched poverty as theirs, must have made even their awful situation, as compared with their confinement in Coldbath-fields, a change for the better. The number of warders sufficient to do ihe ordinary duty of the Tower is ten; but, as soon as the command for preparing the prisons reached the proper quarter, directions were given to increase the number of warders to sixty. The iron gate at the east end of the Tower was closed on the arrival of the prisoners as usual upon such occasions. Immediately after the departure of the delinquents charged with the crime of high treason, from the Secretary of State's office, Mr. Adkins, the Keeper of the House of Correction, in Coldbath-fields, was informed that six of the remaining prisoners were to be consigned to his custody, namely — Bradburn, Strange, Firth, Gillchrist, Hall, and Cooper. These men were then brought out, and escorted to Coldbath-fields prison, under circumstances precisely similar to those which had attended those who had gone to the Tower. They were accompanied by Mr. Silvester, a King's Messenger, to whom the warrant for their commitment, similar to the one addressed to the Constable of the Tower, was intrusted, and several officers of the police, and by an escort of the Life-Guards.

Mr. Adkins, the Governor of the House of Correction, was asked if he had got the Coroner's warrant for the commitment of the men pronounced by the Coroner's Jury to have been guilty of the wilful murder of Smithers? He answered in the negative. No such warrant had been transmitted to him by Mr. Stirling. A messenger was then despatched to the coroner, who had omitted to make out the warrant, and he waited while it was prepared in the usual form. Simmonds, the footman, and Preston, were remanded to the custody of Mr. Nodder, the governor of Tothill-fields prison, and were taken there in a hackney-coach; and thus ended the final examination of the conspirators by the Privy- Council. In addition to the gang taken at Cato-street, and the subsequent arrests which we have already recorded, a young man, named Robert George, was apprehended, who was with good reason, suspected of being one of that gang, and whose discovery and apprehension arose out of the following extraordinary circumstances: At the time the coroner's inquest was sitting on the body of the murdered Smithers, Perry, the conductor of the patrol, who was then in attendance, was called out by two soldiers, who informed him, that on that day they had been informed by a boy, that he had discovered a depository of fire-arms and deadly weapons in an extraordinary way, by his having been at play in Chapel-street, Paddington, and losing a marble behind some building in that street. He went behind the house of Mr. George, a haberdasher and tailor, in search of the marble, and seeing in a closet some fire-arms, a sword, etc, he mentioned it to the soldiers.

Upon this intimation Perry hastened to the spot as soon as possible, and found a narrow passage leading to the back of Mr. George's premises, and also a closet fastened by a staple, situated under a staircase, which answered the description of the information he had received where the fire-arms and deadly weapons were deposited. Perry inquired to whom the closet belonged, and was informed that it belonged to Mr. George, the tailor and haberdasher. Mrs.
George soon appeared, of whom Perry also in- quired how the closet became fastened, when Mrs. George informed him that she had fastened it in consequence of the wind blowing it open. He desired her to produce the instrument with which she had fastened the staple, which, on being produced, resembled a hammer, and with which she also unfastened it. On the door being opened, Perry discovered a musket, a bayonet, a pistol, sword, powder, and balls. He then inquired if those articles be- longed to them, and the mother denied that they did. The daughter, who was present during the investigation, wrung her hands, and appeared greatly distressed. Perry then proceeded into the house, and found Mr. George employed in his business of a tailor, who also denied any knowledge of the fire-arms and deadly weapons, and admitted that his son occupied a house on the opposite side of the street, and might have deposited the fire-arms, in that place.

On inquiry it was ascertained, that the son had absconded since the night of the meeting in Cato - street. Perry desired that Mr. George would attend at the office, and he himself accompanied Mrs. George and her daughter. On their arrival at the office, they underwent private examinations before Mr. Birnie, but nothing appeared which could incriminate any of them; but strong suspicions existed that their son, Robert George, was present at the Cato-street meeting, at the time Thistlewood murdered Smithers. From that time the officers had used every vigilance in endeavouring to trace him out. Ruthven and Salmon received information of his being concealed at a house in Goswell-street, whither they repaired, but were unsuccessful in finding him. They nevertheless had discovered that his anxiety to leave this country was so great, that he had offered himself to be engaged in any capacity whatever, in any vessel going to the East-Indies; they also learned that, having before been a seafaring man, he had succeeded in engaging himself as a servant on board an lndiaman; and their exertions were so great, that they gained intelligence, on which they could rely, that the last place he would be at, previous to leaving London, would be the Dundee Arms, Wapping, near the Commercial Road, where they went and waited, having no doubt but he would be there to start by the boat for Gravesend on Sunday, the 5th of March, from which latter place the Indiamen were to sail on the following day. They waited there till about seven o'clock, at which time Robert George entered the house. he inquired for the Gravesend boat, and was informed that it had sailed a few minutes previous. On receiving that information, he appeared extremely agitated and disappointed: he called for some brandy and water, and seated himself.

During this time Ruth ven and Salmon had satisfied themselves beyond a doubt of his identity, and having had reason to believe that he would be fully prepared with arms for a desperate resistance, Salmon watched an opportunity, when he instantly rushed upon him, and, presenting a pistol to his head, exclaimed, "If you offer to stir, I will fire." Ruthven then handcuffed and pro- perly secured him. On searching him they, however, found that he was not prepared with any arms, and his luggage consisted only of his clothes. The officers placed him in a hackney- coach, and lodged him in Covent-garden watchhouse. During the following day they made diligent inquiry as to the manner in which he had disposed of his time since his escape from Cato- street, when they learned that a lodging had been procured for him in Earl-street, Bricklane. They also traced out his brother, who lived in that neighbourhood, who denied any knowledge of his place of residence ; but the officers discovered that the brother had actually procured the said lodging for him, and in his possession they found a large thick stick, at the bottom of which was a thick iron ferrule, about two inches long, which was hollow at one end, and appeared calculated to receive a pike or dagger, which he acknowledged to have received of his brother George, on his parting with him on Sunday evening, previous to his entering the Dundee Arms.

On searching Robert George's lodgings in Earl- street, they did not discover any thing of a serious or dangerous nature. The prisoner underwent a private examination before Mr. Birnie, which was reported to the Secretary of State's office for the Home Department ; no " orders were, however, sent for his conveyance there, and therefore a commitment was made out for the prisoner, Robert George, to the House of Correction, on a charge of high treason, whither he was conveyed in a hackney-coach, in the custody of Mr. Atkins, the governor of that prison, Perry, who was originally in the pursuit of him, and one of the patrol. Before entering on the trial of the notorious Arthur Thistlewood, for the double crime of high treason and murder, for which we have traced his commitment on the clearest and most satisfactory evidence possible, we shall present the reader with a brief sketch of his early life, and some particulars of his conduct after his arrest.

Thistlewood was a native of Horncastle, in Lincolnshire, and was born in the year 1770; his father was land-steward to an ancient family in that neighbourhood; he was placed at an early period of life with an eminent English schoolmaster, to be educated as a land-surveyor. This pursuit in life he afterwards declined following, and at the age of twenty-one became a lieutenant in a militia regiment ; soon after this, he married a young lady, of the name of Bruce, residing near Bawtry, in Yorkshire, who was possessed of property amounting to 300/. per annum. Thistlewood resigned his commission in the militia, and obtained another in a marching regiment, with which he went, at the commencement of the revolutionary war, to the West Indies, where he soon gave up his commission in it, and afterwards proceeded to America ; there he resided for some time, when he obtained a passport for France, and arrived there shortly after the downfall of Robespierre. He became initiated in all the doctrines and sentiments of the French Revolutionists, and at the peace of Amiens returned to England, when he became acquainted with the disaffected in his native country ; since which his whole life, it seems, has been spent in seeking opportunities to overthrow its constitution.

From the period of his release after his former indictment for high treason, the Government had taken care to have alibis actions watched, and his movements traced; but even with all this precaution, it is possible that the diabolical scheme, of which he was evidently the author and chief mover, would have been carried into effect, had it not been for the remorse of the man who made the disclosure to Lord Harrowby. One night, during his confinement in Coldbath- fields prison, the following remarkable occurrence took place in the cell of Thistlewood. In the course of the evening, Mr. Adkms, the governor, sat with him a short time, and conversed with him on general topics. He was very communicative on the subject of the different prisons in which he had been confined. He spoke of Horsham as being extremely strict, and observed, that the rules laid down for the management of the prison were observed to the letter, without any reference to the rank of the party confined. He gave the preference to the Tower as a place of incarceration. The usual hour for locking up having arrived, he was left to the society of his usual companions. He soon retired to rest. His mind seemed restless, but, after some time, he fell into a profound sleep— thus he continued awhile, when he became evidently agitated— at last he exclaimed, with a sort of convulsive shriek, "Ha! I've got you now !" and then, becoming more strangely disturbed, he awoke in a sort of frenzy: for a moment he did not seem to recollect where he was; but, on seeing his companions with their eyes fixed upon him, he affected to laugh, and said, "What strange things one thinks of in one's sleep." He remained awake for a considerable time, and, at length sunk again into an unquiet slumber.

On the subject of his arrest he spoke freely before his final commitment, declaring that he knew the man by whose instrumentality he was taken, and that he was with him that morning, and was the only man who knew of his retreat. He added that but for the people in the house, the patrol who arrested him in White-street, and his brother officers should have fallen. His companions said, "Why you had no arms; how could you have effected their destruction?" "Ah !" he replied, "they thought they were very cunning; but cunnning as they were, they were not cunning enough." This was but a vain boast; for, at the moment the officer seized him, he was evidently paralized. He shewed no disposition to resist. No arms were found in the room, with which he could defend himself, and when he was carried off to Bow-street, six officers were left behind to search every hole and corner in the house. This they did, and found nothing to warrant an opinion that he was capable of making a formidable resistance. It is, however, rather a suspicious circumstance, that while the officers were engaged in securing their prisoner, the landlady, Mrs. Harris, slipped out, and gave an intimation of what was occurring to her husband, who was a type-founder in the manufactory of Messrs. Caslon. From that time he has been "out of the way." It was ascertained that he was the manufacturer of all the bullets found upon the conspirators. A warrant was issued for his apprehension.

The officers are satisfied that the arms which Thistlewood had in Cato-street have not been found, and imagine that he deposited them with some friend. It is a matter of surprise, that in getting rid of these evidences of his guilt, he should have kept in his possession the black belt which was seen round his waist in the loft, and which, with some ball cartridges, was found in his pocket in White-street. Up to the time of his last appearance before the Privy-Council, he made no inquiries respecting his family, but was particular in his questions as to the persons who had been arrested. Among others, he mentioned the name of Palin, for whose apprehension a reward of two hundred pounds had been offered, and again describing in the most minute manner the person of Brunt, with an evident intention to avoid mentioning his name, he asked if he was arrested ? Upon these heads he received no satisfactory answer. Mrs. Thistlewood is a smart, genteel little woman, dresses well, and from the first seemed perfectly alive to the situation of her husband, in whose political sentiments she heartily concurs. On the officers going to search her lodgings, she did not manifest any of that alarm which, in a female, might be considered natural. She received them with calmness, accompanied by a certain air of dignity, and demanded their authority for searching her premises. Being satisfied on this head she permitted the search to be made without further hindrance. She has a son, who seems a genteel ingenious youth. When she obtained permission to visit her husband, the interview always took place in the presence of an officer, and her person was scrupulously searched, even to the removal of her stays and cap, and these precautions were continued from first to last.

The prisoners all standing fully committed on the clearest and most satisfactory evidence, the preparations for their trial commenced, and on the 8th of March the following Special Commission of Oyer and Terminer was issued by the Crown : — George the Fourth, by the grace of God, of the united kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, King, defender of the Faith, to our most dear cousin, William Henry Duke of Portland; our well-beloved and faithful Councillors, Sir Charles Abbott, knight, Chief-Justice, assigned to hold Pleas before us ; Sir Robert Dallas, knight, Chief- Justice of our Court of Common Pleas; Sir Richard Richards, knight, Chief-Baron of our Court of Exchequer , our beloved and faithful Sir William Garrow, knight, one of the Barons of our said Court of Exchequer; Sir William Draper Best, knight, one of the Justices assigned to hold Pleas before us; Sir John Richardson, knight, one of the Justices of our said Court of Common Pleas ; Sir John Silvester, baronet ; Newman Knowlys, Francis Const, Charles Bosanquet, Charles Trelawny Brereton, James Clitherow, James Ferguson, Edmond Alexander Howard, Richard Paul Joddrell, Samuel Purkis, Thomas Wood, and Peregrine Dealtry, Esqrs., greeting.

That that we have assigned you, and any two or more of you (of whom one of you, the aforesaid Sir Charles Abbot, Sir Robeit Dallas, Sir Richard Richards, Sir William Garrow, Sir William Draper Best, and Sir John Richardson, we will shall be one) our Justices and Commissioners to inquire by the oath of good and lawful men of our county of Middlesex, of all High Treasons and misprisions of High Treason, (other than such as elate to the coin), and of the murder of one Richard Smithers, deceased, and of any other crime or offence touching the death of the said Richard Smithers; and of any offence or offences against, touching, or concerning the persons of Frederick Fitzclarence, William Legge, James Ellis, John Surman, William Westcoatt, William Charles Brooks, John Muddock, and Benjamin Gill, or any of them, contrary to the form of an Act made and passed in the forty-third year of the reign of our late royal father, King George the Third, entitled " An Act for the further prevention of malicious shooting, and attempting to dis- charge loaded fire-arms, stabbing, cutting, wounding, poisoning, and the malicious using of means to procure the miscarriage of women; and also the malicious setting fire to buildings;" and also for repealing a certain Act made in England, in the twenty-first year of the late King James the First, entitled, " An Act to prevent the destroying and murdering of bastard children;" and also an Act made in Ireland in the sixth year of the late Queen Anne, also entitled, " An Act to prevent the destroying and murdering of bastard children, and for making other provisions in lieu thereof ;" and also the accessories of them, or any of them, within our county aforesaid, as well within liberties as without, by whomsoever and in what manner so ever done, committed, or perpetrated, when, how, and after what manner; and of all other articles and circumstances concerning the premises, and every or any of them, in any manner whatsoever ; and the said treasons and other the premises according to the laws and customs of England for this time to hear and determine ; and therefore we command you, that at a certain day and place, which you or any two or more of you (of whom one of you, the said Sir Charles Abbott, Sir Robert Dallas, Sir Richard Richards, Sir William Garrow, Sir William Draper Best, and Sir John Richardson, we will shall be one), shall for this purpose appoint, you make diligent inquiries into the premises, and that you do hear and determine all and singular the premises aforesaid, and do cause to be done therein what to justice appertains, according to the laws and customs of England ; saving to us the amerciaments, and other things from thence to us accruing. We do also command all and every our officers, ministers, and subjects, by virtue of these presents, that they attend, advise, obey, and assist you in the execution of the premises, in all things as it behoves them. And we do also command, by these presents, and sheriff of our said county of Middlesex, that at such certain day and place, may you, or any two or more of you, (of who one of you, the aforesaid Sir Charles Abbott, Sir Robert Dallas, Sir Richard Richards, Sir William G arrow, Sir William Draper Best, and Sir John Richardson, we will shall be one), shall make known to him, he do cause to come before you, or any two or more of you (of whom one of you, the aforesaid Sir Charles Abbott, Sir Robert Dallas Sir Richard Richards, Sir William Garrow, Sir William Draper Best, and Sir John Richardson, we will shall be one), such and so many good and lawful men of our said county, as well within liberties as without, by whom the truth of the matter in the premises may be better known and inquired into. In witness whereof, we have caused these our letters to be patent. Witness ourself at Westminster, the eighth day of March, in the first year of our reign. BATHURST.