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TRIAL

OF

WILLIAM EDGAR, &c.

FOR

ADMINISTERING UNLAWFUL OATHS.

PRESENT.

Right Hon. DAVID BOYLE, Lord Justice Clerk.

LORD HERMAND. LORD PITMILLY.

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Right Hon. ALEXANDER MACONOCHIE, Lord Advocate.
JAMES WEDderburn, Esq. Solicitor-General.

H. HOME DRUMMOND, Esq. H.WARRENDER, W.S.Agent.

Counsel for WILLIAM EDGAR.

JOHN CLERK, Esq.
GEO. CRANSTOUN, Esq.
THOS. THOMSON, Esq.

JAMES MONCRIEFF, Esq.

FRANCIS JEFFREY, Esq.

J. P. GRANT, Esq.

HENRY COCKBURN, Esq.
J. A. MURRAY, Esq.

G. W. BOYD, W. S. Agent.

WILLIAM EDGAR and JOHN KEITH were placed at the Bar.

LORD JUSTICE CLERK.-WILLIAM EDGAR and JOHN KEITH, Pay attention to the Indictment against you, which is now to be read.

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"WILLIAM EDGAR and JOHN KEITH, both present prisoners in the Castle of Edinburgh, you are Indicted and Accused, at the instance of ALEXANDER MACONOCHIE of Meadowbank, his Majesty's Advocate, for his Majesty's

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interest: That albeit, by an Act passed in the fifty-second year of his present Majesty's reign, entitled, " An Act to "render more effectual an Act passed in the thirty-seventh "year of his present Majesty, for preventing the Adminis "tering or Taking Unlawful Oaths," it is inter alia enacted, "That every person who shall, in any manner or form "whatsoever, administer, or cause to be administered, or be "aiding or assisting at the administering, of any oath or engagement, purporting or intending to bind the person "taking the same to commit any treason or murder, or any "felony punishable by law with death, shall, on conviction "thereof by due course of law, be adjudged guilty of felony, "and suffer death as a felon, without benefit of clergy. And further, by section fourth of the said Act, it is enacted, "That persons aiding and assisting at the administering of "any such oath and engagement, as aforesaid, and persons "causing any such oath or engagement to be administered, "though not present at the administering thereof, shall be "deemed principal offenders, and shall be tried as such; "and, on conviction thereof by due course of law, shall be "adjudged guilty of felony, and shall suffer death as felons, "without benefit of clergy; although the persons or person "who actually administered such oath or engagement, if 66 any such there shall be, shall not have been tried or con"victed." And further, by section sixth of the said Act, it is enacted, "That any engagement or obligation whatso"ever, in the nature of an oath, purporting or intending to "bind the person taking the same to commit any treason or "murder, or any felony punishable by law with death, shall "be deemed an oath within the intent and meaning of this "Act, in whatever form or manner the same shall be ad"ministered or taken, and whether the same shall be ac"tually administered by any person or persons to any other person or persons, or taken by any other person or per66 sons, without any administration thereof by any other person or persons:" Yet true it is and of verity, that you, the said William Edgar and John Keith, are both and each, or one or other of you, guilty of the said crimes, or of one or more of them, actors or actor, or art and part: In so far as you, the said William Edgar and John Keith, having, at Glasgow, and in the vicinity thereof, in the course of the months of November and December 1816, and of January and February 1817, wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously conspired and agreed with other evil disposed persons to break and disturb the public peace, to change, subvert, and overthrow the government, and to excite, move,

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and raise insurrection and rebellion, and especially to hold and attend secret meetings, for the purpose of obtaining annual Parliaments and universal suffrage, by unlawful and violent means, did, then and there, both and each, or one or other of you, wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously administer, or cause to be administered, or did aid or assist at the administering, to a great number of persons, an oath or engagement, or an obligation in the nature of an oath, in the following terms, or to the following purport:-" In aw"ful presence of God, I, A B, do voluntarily swear, That "I will persevere in my endeavouring to form a brother"hood of affection amongst Britons of every description, "who are considered worthy of confidence; and that I will "persevere in my endeavours to obtain for all the people in "Great Britain and Ireland, not disqualified by crimes or "insanity, the elective franchise, at the age of twenty-one, "with free and equal representation, and annual Parlia "ments; and that I will support the same to the utmost of "my power, either by moral or physical strength, as the "case may require: And I do further swear, that neither "hopes, fears, rewards, or punishments, shall induce me to "inform on, or give evidence against, any member or mem"bers, collectively or individually, for any act or expres❝sion done or made, in or out, in this or similar societies, "under the punishment of death, to be inflicted on me by "any member or members of such societies. So help me "God, and keep me stedfast." Which oath or obligation did thus purport or intend to bind the persons taking the same to commit treason, by effecting by physical force the subversion of the established government, laws, and constitution of this kingdom. And, more particularly, you, the said William Edgar and John Keith, did, upon the 1st day of January 1817, or on one or other of the days of that month, or of December immediately preceding, or of February immediately following, at a secret meeting, held for that and other unlawful purposes, in the house of William Leggat, change-keeper in King-street, Tradeston, in the vicinity of Glasgow, or elsewhere at Glasgow, or in the immediate vicinity thereof, both and each, or one or other of you, wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously administer, or cause to be administered, or did aid or assist at the administering an oath or obligation in the terms above set forth, or to the same purport, to Peter Gibson, John M'Lauchlane, John Campbell, and Hugh Dickson, all present prisoners in the Castle of Edinburgh; as also to James M'Ewan, now or lately carding-master at Humphries Mill, Gorbals

of Glasgow, and M'Dowal Pate, or Peat, now or lately weaver in Piccadilly-street, Anderston, in the vicinity of Glasgow, who, conscious of their guilt in the premises, have absconded and fled from justice; as also to John Connelton, now or lately cotton-spinner in Calton of Glasgow, or to one or other of them, and to other persons, whose names are to the Prosecutor unknown, the said oath or obligation, thus binding, or purporting to bind, the persons taking the same to commit treason, as said is. (2.) And further, you, the said William Edgar and John Keith, did, upon the 4th day of January 1817, or on one or other of the days of that month, or of December immediately preceding, or of February immediately following, at the house of Neill Munn, innkeeper and stabler in Ingram-street, Glasgow, or elsewhere at Glasgow, or in the immediate vicinity thereof, both and each, or one or other of you, wickedly, maliciously, and traitorously administer, or cause to be administered, or did aid or assist at the administering an oath or obligation, in the terms above set forth, or to the same purport, to the said Peter Gibson, John M'Lauchlane, John Campbell, Hugh Dickson, M'Dowal Pate, or Peat, and James M'Ewan; as also to James Hood, Andrew Sommerville, John Buchanan, and James Robertson, all present prisoners in the tolbooth of Glasgow, or to one or other of them, and to other persons, whose names are to the Prosecutor unknown, the said oath or obligation thus binding, or purporting to bind, the persons taking the same to commit treason, as said is. And you the said William Edgar having been apprehended and taken before Daniel Hamilton, Esquire, one of the Sheriffs-substitute of Lanarkshire, did, in his presence, at Glasgow, on the 6th day of March 1817, emit and subscribe a declaration; and having been taken before Robert Hamilton, Esquire, Sheriff-depute of Lanarkshire, you did, in his presence, at Glasgow, upon the 7th and 8th days of March 1817, emit and subscribe two several declarations: And you the said John Keith having been apprehended, and taken before the said Robert Hamilton, Esquire, did, in his presence, at Glasgow, on the 6th and 7th days of March 1817, emit and subscribe two several declarations: All which declarations, being to be used in evidence against each of you respectively, will be lodged in due time in the hands of the Clerk of the High Court of Justiciary, before which you are to be tried, that you may have an opportunity of seeing the same. At least, times and places foresaid, the said oath or engagement, or an oath or engagement to the same purport, was wickedly, mali

ciously, and traitorously administered, or caused to be administered; and some persons did aid or assist at the administering thereof; and you the said William Edgar and John Keith are both and each, or one or other of you, guilty thereof, actors or actor, or art and part. All which, or part thereof, being found proven by the verdict of an Assize, before the Lord Justice General, the Lord Justice Clerk, and Lords Commissioners of Justiciary, you the said William Edgar and John Keith ought to be punished with the pains of law, to deter others from committing the like crimes in all time coming.

H. HOME DRUMMOND, A. D.

LIST OF WITNESSES.

1 Robert Hamilton, Esquire, Sheriff-depute of Lanarkshire.

2 Daniel Hamilton, Esquire, one of the Sheriffs-substitute of Lanarkshire.

3 Daniel McCallum, clerk to John Drysdale, Sheriff-clerk of Lanarkshire.

4 Mathew Burns, clerk to George Salmond, Procuratorfiscal of Lanarkshire.

5 John Leslie, clerk to the said John Drysdale.

6 Joseph Reid, writer in Glasgow.

7 Alexander Calder, sheriff-officer in Glasgow.

8 James Thomson, clerk to the said John Drysdale.

9 Alexander Hunter, changekeeper, Old Wynd of Glasgow.

10 Marion McLaren, or M'Lachlan, now or lately servant to the said Alexander Hunter.

11 John Robertson, innkeeper and stabler, Gallowgate, Glasgow.

12 Agnes Campbell, wife of Thomas Dow, steam-boiler maker and smith at Girdwood and Company's foundry in Hutchesontown, in the vicinity of Glasgow. 13 Janet Rentoul, now or lately servant to Neill Munn, innkeeper and stabler in Ingram-street, Glasgow. 14 Alison Wilson, now or lately servant to the said Neill Munn.

15 Mathew Fyfe, spirit-dealer in Wilson-street, Glasgow. 16 Jean Boyd, wife of the said Mathew Fyfe.

17 William Leggat, changekeeper in King-street, corner of Centre-street, Tradeston, in the vicinity of Glasgow.

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