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Book Description
Subject to VAT. A collection of five manuscript documents relating to the trial of William Cobbett, on the 15th of June 1810, including an outline of Cobbett’s defence, and the Official Receiver’s account of the proceedings neatly transcribed on to vellum.
Dealer Notes
Tried with Budd, Bagshaw and Hansard, Cobbett was found guilty of treasonous libel on 15 June 1810 after objecting in The Register to the strong-arm tactics of a Hanoverian legion, acting in the King’s name, over a group of local militiamen in Ely. Cobbett claimed the flogging of the militiamen was akin to atrocities committed by the unprincipled troops who fought in the name of Bonaparte. He was sentenced to two years imprisonment in Newgate Prison. While in gaol he wrote the pamphlet Paper against Gold, warning of the dangers of paper money, as well as numerous essays and letters. On his release a dinner was given in his honour in London; presided over by Sir Francis Burdett, a fellow proponent of parliamentary reform, more than six hundred well-wishers were in attendance.
The collection contains:
1. A brief note, on a scrap of paper, signed by Mr C. Litchfield, 21. June: ‘K. v. Wm. Cobbett. The Attorney General has mentioned Thursday the 5th July for the defendants being called for Judgment if you see no objection to that day.’
2. A brief outline of the events of the 15th of June 1810, written in an unknown contemporary hand. ‘The King agt William Cobbett - (impeached with others).’ This 33-line document, written over first two sides of 4pp foolscap (watermarked Golding and Snelgrove, 1809), is written in note form, and gives particulars of witnesses called (and dismissed), some of the officials present, and a brief order of events. It also notes that the defendant admits to being the ‘sole proprietor of the newspaper & author of the paragraph in question - & that these were troops in his Majesty’s service called the German Legion’. It is furthermore noted that ‘Mr Cobbett begins at ten finishes at 25 minutes past 11; Mr Attorney General replies, finishes at 10 minutes past 12’. The judge Lord Ellenborough is quoted as stating ‘I do pronounce that this is a most seditious Libel’. The note-taker finally states, ‘Finishes at half past 12 - jury find the Defendant Guilty’.
3. A brief note, headed ‘The King v Hansard Esq v Cobbett Esq.’ Mr Litchfield presents his compliments to Mr Dealtry [Henry Dealtry - Clerk of the Rules on the Crown’s side of His Majesty’s Court of King’s Bench] and will be obliged to him ‘to have the goodness to send the inclosed lists to Mr Mainwaring ...’.
4. A 16-line list, on single side of a foolscap leaf, outlining some of the key events of the trial.
5. A vellum document, dated ‘Michas. Term in the 50th year of King George Third’, giving the official proceedings of the trial over five pages. Tied with law string; a little dusted, but fully readable.
Author COBBETT, William.
Date 1810

Price: £1500.00

Offered by Jarndyce

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