Royal Offences > seditious libel, 22nd May 1822.

846. A certain man who refused to discover his name, was indicted for publishing a blasphemous and seditious libel .

MR. ADOLPHUS conducted the prosecution.

MR. WILLIAM PAYNE . I am clerk to the sitting Aldermen at Guildhall. I have a pamphlet lodged with me on the 27th of December, 1821, by William Smith , who made the deposition annexed to it, and upon which a warrant was issued.

WILLIAM SMITH . I know the prisoner. I saw him at Richard Carlile 's shop in Fleet-street, on the 27th of December. The words

"Temple of Reason" were written up I think. I saw him serving in the shop, and bought this book of him; I wrote my name on it at the time, and paid 6 d. for it - I had seen other people purchasing at the shop, but not of the prisoner. I went straight to Guildhall, and gave the book to Mr. Payne; a warrant was issued - I went with an officer to point out the man, and asked him for another book; he was going to give it me when the officer took him.

Cross-examined by the Prisoner. Q. Were you employed to buy the pamphlet - A. Yes, by John Purton , who belongs to Bow-street - I saw nobody employ him. I have only been paid for my loss of time; I may have received 3 l. more or less. I read part of the pamphlet as I went along the streets.

Q. You found out in the streets that it was blasphemy - A. No, I did not; a former conviction settled that. I was told it was blasphemy, and I swore at Guildhall that it was blasphemous.

Q. Will you be kind enough to state what you understand by blasphemy - A. Speaking against God and the Scriptures. Sedition is speaking against the King and the Constitution.

MR. ADOLPHUS. Q. You say you have received about 3 l., is this the only pamphlet you have bought, or have you been employed about others things - A. I have.

The Prisoner's Defence was of such a nature as to shock the ears of every person present, and is of course unfit for publication.

GUILTY .

Confined Eighteen Months , and to find Sureties for

Five Years then to come.

London Jury, before Mr. Common Sergeant.


View as XML