Chief Justice Whitshed





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

prosequi.





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