Smuggling & Smugglers in Sussex - online book

An Account of a notorious Smuggling gang in the early 18th Century

Home | Order | Support | About | Contact | Search

Share page  

Previous Contents Next

"Although this indictment hath made a distinction between the several prisoners, and divided them into two classes, of principals and accessaries, yet the law makes no distinction in the crime. And in case all the prisoners are guilty of the charge in this indictment, they will be all equally liable to the same judgment and punishment.
" In the outset of this trial I shall not enlarge upon the heinousness of murder in general; nor shall I dwell upon those circumstances in aggravation attending this in particular. When I come to mention those circum­stances of cruelty and barbarity, I doubt not but they will have all that effect upon the jury which they ought to have—to awaken and fix your attention to every part of the transaction, and to balance that compassion which you feel for the prisoners, though they felt none for others. The effect I mean these circumstances should and ought to have, is to clear the way for that justice which the nation expects, from your determina­tion and verdict.
" To comply with this general demand of justice upon the prisoners, his Majesty, in order to give the prisoners the earliest opportunity of proving their innocence and of wiping off this foul suspicion of murder they now lie under, or if guilty of a breach of the laws of God and man, that they may suffer the punishment due to their guilt, has been pleased, by a special commission, to appoint this trial to be before their lordships, not less knowing in the laws than tender and compassionate in the execution of them.
" I cannot here omit taking notice of the unhappy cause of this fatal effect, now under your consideration. Every one here present will, in his own thoughts, anticipate my words and know I mean smuggling.
Previous Contents Next