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ON Friday, the 18th of July, Lord Russell was,
placed within the bar of the Old Bailey, to take his trial for high-treason. ‘
The clerk of the Crown, having desired him to hold up his hand, proceeded to read the indictment, the substance of which was “ for conspir“ ing the death of the King, and consulting and “ agreeing to stir up insurrection; and to that “ end to seize the guards, (appointed) for the “ preservation of the King’s person.”
On the question of guilty, or not guilty, being put to him, Lord Russell asked the Lord Chief’ Justice, (Sir Francis Pembertom) if he might not have a copy of the matter of fact laid against him, in order that he might know how to answer it; but being told nothing could be granted until he should plead, he pleaded, Not Guilty. The usual question then being asked, how he would be tried? Lord Russell observed, he
' thought a prisoner was never arraigned, and
tried at the same time. To which the Lord
Chief Justice answered, “ that for crimes of this nature it was continually done.”
The Attorney-General said, his Lordship had no reason to complain ; since Monday se’nnight he had had notice of trial, and the matter alleged against him; that he had the liberty of counsel to advise him ; and that no sort of privilege had been denied, which became a subject in his condition to have. ,
Lord Russell repli’ed, he had heard only some general questions: he expected witnesses who could not arrive before night; and thought it very hard he. could not be allowed one day
’ more. , The Lord Chief Justice told him, without the
King’s consent, they could not put off the trial. Lord Russell then demanded a copy of the pannel of the jury, that he might challenge them.
The Lord Chief Justice and Attorney-General expressed their surprise, that his lordship had not received a list, as they had ordered the Secondary Normansel to prepare one. Lord Russell begging that he might have one, the Lord Chief Justice wished to defer his trial till the afternoon, which the Attorney-General opposed. Upon this he observed his case was very hard; to which Sir Robert Sawyer, then Attorney-Ge.
neral, answered, “ Do not say so; the King does
WILLIAM LORD RUSSELL. 37
“ not deal hardly with you; but I am afraid it "5‘ will appear you would have dealt more hardly “ with the King ; you would not have given the “‘ King an hour’s notice for saving his life.” The Secondary Normansel was then sent for, - when it appeared’ that a list of names had been given to Lord Russell’s servant, who delivered it to Lady Russell, from whom his lordship received it ; but Lord Russell stated, the names of the persons' on the list were those who were generally on juries, but not a pannel. A conversation then took place between Lord ' Russell, the. Lord Chief Justice, and the Attor-. ney-General, in which Lord Russell complained of not having been furnished with a proper copy of the pannel; and requested his trial might be postponed until the afternoon. The Lord Chief Justice answered ; the King’s counsel did not think his request reasonable, and would, not delay the trial any longer. , The clerk of the Crown then addressed the prisoner, telling him, that if he challenged any of the jurors, he must speak as they came to the book to be sworn, and before they had sworn. Lord Russell asked for pen, ink, and paper, and the use of any papers he had, which request being granted, he said, ‘ “ May I 'have somebody write to help my f‘ memory ?’i . ‘a ' D 8 ‘ l
Attorney-General. “ Yes, a servant.”
Lord Chief Justice. “ Any of your servants “ shall assist in writing any thing you please.”
Lord Russell. “ My wife is here, my lord, to " do it.”
Lord Chief Justice. “ If my lady please to give “ herself the trouble.” ,
The being then called, Lord Russell objected to Sir Andrew Foster as not being in the list. John Martin was next called, upon which Lord Russell asked if he was possessed of a freehold of forty shillings a year, adding, he hoped none would be allowed in the pannel but those who were freeholders, for by the statute of .‘2 Hen. V., it was enacted, that no person shall be judged, in cases of life and death, but by persons possessing freehold property to that amount.
The Lord Chief Justice answered, that the city of London belonging much to nobility and gentry who live abroad, was an. exception to this. Upon which Lord Russell requested, as it was a point of law, his counsel might be called in to argue it.
Mr. Pollexfen, Mr. Holt, and Mr. Ward, the counsel assigned to Lord Russell, were then calledband used many arguments to prove that no Pei-son could be a juryman in this case, who did not possess freehold property, in which they were opposed by the‘Attorney and Solici
' tor-General. The Lord Chief Justice, the Lord
Chief Baron, Mr. Baron Street, and the Justices Windham, Jones, Leving, and Withins, gave their opinions against Lord Russell. The Lord Chief Justice then'delivered the opinion of the Court in the following words :-.
“ My Lord, the Court is of opinion, upon “ hearing‘. your lordship’s counsel, and the .“ King’s, that it is no good challenge to a jury, “ in case of treason, that he has not freehold ff within the city. But I must tell your lordship .“ withal,. that your lordship has nothing of “ hardship in this case, for notwithstanding that, .“ I must tell you that you will have as good a f‘ jury, and better than you should have had in .‘! a county of 4'1., ‘or 4108. a-year fi'eeholders. “ The reason of the law, for freeholds is, that no f‘ slight persons should be put upon a jury, “" where the life of' a man, or his estate, comes in
F‘ question ; but in the city, the persons that are ’
“ impannelled are men of quality and substance, “ men that have a great deal to lose. And there“ fore your lordship hath the same in substance, “ as if a challenge was allowed in freehold. It “ will be no kind of prejudice to your lordship “ in this case. Therefore, if you please, apply “, yourself as the Jury is called, and make your “ exceptions if you shall make any.”