ANN MERRYWEATHER, Royal Offences > treason, 16th January 1693.

Reference Number: t16930116-57
Offence: Royal Offences > treason
Verdict: Guilty
Punishment: Death > burning

ANN MERRYWEATHER was Indicted and Tried for High-Treason, for Composing, Printing, and Publishing the late King James's Declaration : The Gentlemen who were summoned to Try her were called over, and the Prisoner had liberty to make Exceptions against whom she pleased, according to the Prescription of Law; she Challenged to the Number of about Thirty; and the Gentlemen who were sworn are those whose Names follow;

George Ford .

Matthew Bateman .

Tanner Arnold .

William Webb .

Thomas Phillips .

Richard Awbrey .

Thomas Lathwell .

John Mills .

Nicholas Burnel .

Richard Ingram .

Samuel Billing .

Robert Longland .

Then the Indictment was read against her, which set forth, That she being a person of a turbulent spirit, and instigated and

seduced by the Devil, and minding and intending to Depose and put to Death Their most Sacred Majesties King William and Queen Mary; and to subvert and alter the Government of this Kingdom; and to draw away the hearts of Their Majesties Subjects from their Duty and Allegiance, and to incline them to adhere to the Interest of the late King James and the French King; did on the Seventh day of November last past, Compose, Print, and Publish, a most False, Pernicious, Traiterous, and Scandalous Libel, Signed J. R. and entituled, His Majesty's most Gracious Declaration to all his Loving Subjects; commanding their Assistance against the Prince of Orange and his Adherents.

After this the Council for the King and Queen opened the Indictment to the Gentlemen of the Jury; telling of what bad Consequence and evil Example such Libels were; and how it tended to raise a Disaffection in the hearts of Their Majesties Subjects; and that the Prisoner at the Bar had done all that lay in her power to promote the Interest of the French King, and the late King James, and to Levy War and Rebellion against our present King and Queen, and to Restore the late King James. Several Hundreds of the Declarations were found in her House in Covent-Garden , besides other Seditious Pamphlets, entituled, The Dear Bargain; and Just Weights and Measures, &c. To prove which, the Witnesses for the King were called and Sworn: The first of which deposed, That having Information that the Prisoner was an Ill Woman, a Warrant was obtained to search her House, under a pretence of her being a Clipper; and when the Constable came there with his Assistants, they found the Prisoner up two pair of stairs; and as they were searching in the Garret, in an old Trunk was found a great Number of the Declarations, about a Thousand or more besides other Pamphlets, entituled, The Dear Bargain; Just Weights and Measures; and another, called Hodge-Podge as before-mentioned: The Prisoner seemed very much surprized at their taking of the Papers; and told the Searchers, That they came to look for Clipp'd Money, and therefore what had they to do with Papers, &c.? They seized the Pamphlets and the Declarations, as also the Prisoner, and carried her before a Magistrate, who committed her to Newgate for the Offence. There were several concurring Evidence to the Matter of Fact; especially two, one of which declared, That she owned that she had the Papers from Westminster, brought to her by a Boy who she called Black or Jack; but would not acknowledge who was the Author or Printer of the same; and that she sate up all night to dry the Declarations, being newly brought from the Press; and that she bundled them up, and carried them out in the Night in Coaches. Another Evidence swore, That the Prisoner had Confess'd to her, That she had disposed of several of them amongst her Friends, (but she lookt upon them to be no more than Waste Paper), and that the Papers were to be brought to her, and when she received them she promised the Witness that she should have one of them. The Prisoner called some Evidence, who said, That she was an ingenuous Woman, and behaved her self well in times past, in her general Conversation. After which, the Jury withdrew to Consider of the Evidence; and after half an hours time they brought in a Verdict, That the Prisoner was Guilty of High-Treason. After which, she was Condemned to be Burnt for the same .


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