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purposes of this society were, you will presently learn, from their declared sentimients and criminal actings. He opened his doors, then, to receive this society; --they assembled, night after night, in numbers, to an amount which you will hear from the witnesses: sometimes, I believe, the extended number of such assemblies amounting to more than a hundred per
There were three considerable rooms allotted for their reception. In the lower part of the house, where they were first admitted, they sat upon business of less moment, and requiring the presence of smaller numbers ;-in the upper part, they assembled in greater multitudes, and read, as in a school, and as it were to fashion and perfect themselves in every thing that is seditious and mischievous, those writings which have been already reprobated by other Juries, sitting in this and other places, by the Courts of law, and in effect, by the united voice of both Houses of Parliament. They read, amongst other works, particularly the works of an author whose name is in the mouth of every body in this country ; I mean the works of Thomas Paine ;-an author, who, in the gloom of a French prison, is now contemplating the full effects and experiencing all the miseries of that disorganizing system of which he is, in some respect, the parent--certainly, the great advocate and promoter.
The works of this author, and many other works of a similar tendency, were read aloud by a person of the name of Jackson, who exercised upon those occasions the mischievous function of reader to this society. Others of the Defendants had different functions assigned them ; some were busied in training them to the use of arms, for the purpose, avowedly, in case there should be either a landing of the French, with whom we were then, I think, actually at war or about to be immediately at war; or in case there should take place a revolt in the kingdoms of Ireland or Scotland, to minister to their assistance, either to such invasion or to such revolt. That they met for such purposes is not only clear from the writings that were read aloud to them, and the conversations that were held, but by the purposes which were expressly declared and avowed by those who may be considered as the mouth-pieces and organs of the society upon these occasions.
The first time, I think, that the witness Dunn, whom I shall presently produce to you, saw the Defendant Mr. Walker, Mr. Walker declared to him, " that he hoped they should soon overthrow' the con" stitution.” The witness I have alluded to, was introduced to the society by two persons, I think of the names of M'Callum and Smith, and who, if I am not misinformed, have since taken their flight from this country to America. The first night he was there, he did not see their president Mr. Walker, but on the second night that he went there, Mr. Walker met him as he entered the door, and observing, from his dialect, that he was a native of Ireland, Mr. Walker inquired of him how the vo
lunteers went on, and said, with a smile as he passed him in his way up stairs to the rest of the associated members, “ We shall overthrow the constitution by “ and by.” The witness was then ushered into this room, where he saw assembled nearly to the number of a hundred or a hundred and fifty persons. The room was, I understand, a large warehouse at the top of the house; there were about fourteen or fifteen persons then actually under arms, and some of those whose names are to be found in this record were employed in teaching others the military exercise." It would be endless, as well as useless, to relate to you the whole of what passed at these several meetings.
Upon some occasions, Mr. Walker would talk in the most contumelious and abominable language of the sacred person of our Sovereign. In one instance, when talking of monarchy, he said, “ Damn Kings! “ what have we to do with them, what are they to “ us?" and, to show the contempt in which he held the lives of all kings, and particularly that of our own Sovereign, taking a piece of paper in his hand, and tearing it, he said, “ If I had the King here, “ I would cut off his head, as readily as I tear this
Upon other occasions, others of the members, and particularly a person of the name of Paul, who I believe is now in Court, held similar language : damning the King ;-reviling and defaming him in the execution of his high office ;-representing the whole system of our public government as a system of plunder and rapacity ;-representing, particularly, the administration of a neighbouring kingdom by a Lord-lieutenant, as a scheme and device merely invented to corrupt the people, and to enrich and aggrandize the individual to whose care the government of that kingdom is more immediately delegated ;--in short, arraigning every part of our public economy as directly productive of misgovernment and oppression. The King himself was sometimes more particularly pointed at by Mr. Walker. He related of him a strange, incredible, and foolish fable, which I never heard suggested from any other quarter ;“ That His Majesty was possessed of seventeen “ millions of money in some bank or other at Vienna, “ which he kept locked up there, and would not “ bestow a single penny of it to relieve the dis
tresses and indigence of any part of his own sub“jects.” Many other assertions of this sort were made, and conversations of a similar import held, between Mr. Walker and the persons thus assembled.
About three months after the formation, as far as I can collect it, of this society, that is, about the month of March 1793, a person of the name of Yorke-Yorke of Derby, I think he is called,--arrived at Manchester, with all the apparatus of a kind of apostolic mission, addressed to the various assemblies of seditious persons in that quarter of the kingdom. He harangued them upon sạch topics as were
most likely to interest and inflame them;
he explained to them the object of the journey he was then making through the country. ;-he said, he was come to visit all the combined societies, in order to learn the numbers they could respectively muster, in case there should be an invasion by the French, which was then talked of, and is yet, I am afraid, talked of but upon too much foundation;--to know, in short, what number they could add to the arms of France, in case these arms should be hostilely directed against Great Britain itself ;-he stated that the French 'were about to land in this country to the number of forty or fifty thousand men, and that he was collecting, in the different societies, the names of such persons as could be best depended upon; in order to ascertain what number in the whole could actually be brought into the field upon such an emergency.
When this person was present, there seems to have been a sort of holiday and festival of sedition : each member strove with his fellow which should express sentiments the most injurious and hostile to the peace and happiness of their country. Dunn, the witness I have already alluded to, will speak to the actual communication of all the several persons who are Defendants upon this record in most of the mischievous councils which were then held, and which are the subject of this prosecution. They met during a considerable length of time he attended (and here you will not be called upon to give credit