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Chief Justice Whitshed

Irish Humour Home

Swift, in a letter to Pope, thus mentions the conduct of this worthy
Chief Justice:--

I have written in this kingdom a discourse to persuade the wretched
people to wear their own manufactures instead of those from England:
this treatise soon spread very fast, being agreeable to the sentiments
of a whole nation, except of those gentlemen who had employments, or
were expectants. Upon which a person in great office here immediately
took the alarm; he sent in haste to Lord Chief Justice Whitshed, and
informed him of a seditious, factious, and virulent pamphlet, lately
published, with a design of setting the two kingdoms at variance,
directing at the same time that the printer should be prosecuted with
the utmost rigor of the law. The Chief Justice had so quick an
understanding that he resolved, if possible, to outdo his orders. The
grand juries of the county and city were practised effectually with to
represent the said pamphlet with all aggravating epithets, for which
they had thanks sent them from England, and their presentments published
for several weeks in all the newspapers. The printer was seized, and
forced to give great bail: after this trial the jury brought him in not
guilty, although they had been culled with the greatest industry. The
Chief Justice sent them back nine times, and kept them eleven hours,
until, being tired out, they were forced to leave the matter to the
mercy of the judge, by what they call a special verdict. During the
trial, the Chief Justice, among other singularities, laid his hand on
his breast, and protested solemnly that the author's design was to bring
in the Pretender, although there was not a single syllable of party in
the whole treatise, and although it was known that the most eminent of
those who professed his own principles publicly disallowed his
proceedings. But the cause being so very odious and unpopular, the trial
of the verdict was deferred from one term to another, until, upon the
arrival of the Duke of Grafton, the Lord Lieutenant, his Grace, after
mature advice and permission from England, was pleased to grant a nolle

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