ON Thursday in the Afternoon, William Anderton , Printer , was brought to the Bar, and an Indictment of High-Treason was read against him; for that he did Compose, Print and publish Two Malicious, Scandalous and Traiterous Libels, The first Entitled, Remarks upon the present Confederacy, and late Revolution in England. The second Entitled, A French Conquest neither desirable, nor practicable . After the Indictment was read, The Prisoner pleaded Not guilty; And the Court upon his Request ordered him a Copy of the Pannel, and gave him time till Saturday to prepare for his Trial. Accordingly, on Saturday morning about Nine a Clock he was again brought to the Bar; and the Gentlemen that were summoned to appear to try the Issue were called over, and their Appearances recorded; and the Prisoner had liberty to make his Exceptions, according to the Prescription of Law, which he did to the number of 35, being the full number, &c.
The Jurors sworn were these Gentlemen whose names follow, viz.
Then the King's Council opened the nature of the matter of Fact contained in the Indictment, telling them, That the Offence that was contained in it, was High-Treason in the highest degree, (viz.) The compassing and designing the death of the King and Queen; and that there must be some Overt Act to discover the Intention of the man; and that which made the Overt Act in this Case, was in Composing, Printing, Publishing and dispersing of two Treasonable Libels, as they had heard read to them; in which there was contained, the Rankest, Vilest, and most malicious Treasons that ever could be imagined by any man to be put into Paper; for he had no other name for the King, but the Prince of Orange; and the design of it was merely to incite all the King's Subjects to stir up, and raise War and Rebellion against him, and to restore the Late King James. After which the Evidence for the King were called and sworn, the first of which was Mr. Robert Stephens , Messenger of the Press, who declared, That he had known the Prisoner for above these two years to be an Offender against the Government in printing Seditious Libels, but never could tell where he worked till on the 2d day of May last spying two Journey-men Printers, who he had missed from the publick Printing-houses this half year, he followed them, and saw them go exactly into the House of one Skudamore (where the Prisoner was found) and where he suspected they worked privately: So having got the Beadle, and another person or two with him, to assist him, he went to the Door, leaving the other a little way off, to avoid any suspicion, &c. When he came to the Door, he first asked what Lodgers they had, then turning his head aside, he saw the Prisoner's Mother in the Yard, and she well knowing Mr. Stephens, she immediately cry d out Thieves, and came up to him, (her Daughter, the Prisoner's Wife, being with her) fell upon him, and tore his hair off his Head, crying out Murther; at which time the Prisoner came out of the House, and fell upon him, and abused him in a very uncivil manner, telling him he scorned to be a Subject to Hook-Nose; then the Beadle and the other person came to his assistance, and took the Prisoner, but not without a great deal of trouble: Mr. Stephens, and, the other who were with him made a particular search, and in a Chamber, which the Landlady said was the Prisoner's Lodgings, and that he went by the name of Williams, and a Lapidary by Trade, and where he owned he had been asleep. There they saw him shoving a Bed, which run upon Wheels, close up against a Wall, which gave suspicion to Mr. Stephens to remove it, which having done, there he found a Door which opened with a Latch, and entring a Room, where he found a Printing press, Letters, and all other Materials fit for the Trade; and searching farther, he found in an old Trunk a great quantity of Libels, and Li
Then the Lord Chief Justice Treby summ'd up the Evidence to the Gentlemen of the Jury, Telling them what dangerous Consequences such Treasonable Libels were of; and that it was as great, and as malicious a Treason as ever could be imagined; but especially when considered to be done against so good a Prince, who had done so much for this Nation, with so great a mind, and so good an intent: This was done only to exasperate, and to stir up Sedition and Rebellion amongst us; therefore if they did believe what the Witness for the King had sworn, to be sufficient Evidence that he printed the Libels, then they must find him guilty, otherwise acquit him.
Then the Jury having withdrawn for about three hours time, they brought a Verdict, That the Prisoner, Mr. William Anderton, was guilty of High-Treason.
The last day of the Sessions he was brought to the Bar, and asked what he had to say why Sentence should not pass upon him according to Law: He read a Petition, wherein he desired the Court would please to allow him Counsel, to plead to a point of Law; the Court told him there was no matter of Law did arise. Then he desired that he might have a longer time than the rest; to which he was answered, That it was in the power of the Queen to do that and not the Court.