1820 May 10.
Morn. Chron. May 10th.
"Court of King's Bench – May 9th.
"In the Court of King's Bench, this day, the vendors of seditious
"publications were brought up for judgement. After hearing
the defendants and reading affidavits, the following
sentences were passed:–
Charles Harris, to be imprisoned seven weeks in Cold
Bath Field's Prisons, and to find security himself for three
years, himself in 50£ and two sureties in 25£ each.
Robt. Shorter and W<hi rend="superscript">m Watling</hi>, to be imprisoned in
the same prison, each six weeks, and give a similar security.
Thos. Whitehorn, to be imprisoned for one month in
the same prison, and give the like security.
Philip Frances and John Cahuac, to be imprisoned
each one month, and give the like security.
None of the defendants had Counsel except Cahuac, for
whom Mr Holt appeared, and addressed the Court at considerable
The Solicitor General addressed the Court in each
case in aggravation of punishment, he said he would not
press the cases beyond what they required, but persons in the
situation of defendants must be taught to know that no
work would be allowed to be published that had a tendency
to sap the loyalty, or destroy the Established Religion of
the country, public security, the security of the laws, the
religion, and the Government, demanded the prosecution
of these works; and the Court would think his Learned
Friend the Attorney General would not have done his duty
if he had not brought these defendants before the Court. It
had been stated that they were not the authors; it was true
nor did he wish to press for that punishment as he would
do, if it was the author that was before the Court, for he
was certain that no reflecting man could consider any
punishment too severe for such an individual. He believed
his Learned Friend knew who the author was, but not a
single material could be obtained whereon to institute a
prosecution; in order, therefore, for their suppression, the
venders must be made answerable. With these observations
he should leave the defendants in the hands of
Mr Justice Bayley, after consulting with the other
judges, proceeded to pass sentence, and in doing so animadvented
upon the dangerous tendency of the offences imputed
to the defendants, who, it was to be understood, were
as criminally liable for the vending of such works as if
they knew their tendency before publication. Booksellers
and publishers ought to be cautious in selling works, before
they knew their imports and if regardless of the consequences,
they ventured blindly to publish every work which
came out they could not complain if they should subject
themselves to criminal punishment. The Court however
were not disposed to visit the present defendants with any
great degree of severity, considering that this was the first
occasion on which, in this reign they were called upon to
Identifier: | JB/109/145/001
"JB/" can not be assigned to a declared number type with value 109.
Collectanea To Juries
Morn. Chron. May 10th / Court of King's Benth - May 9th
C WILMOTT 1819