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The Master of the Crown-office sends to the Sheriff
or his deputy, who attends with the Sheriff's book of Freeholders. From
this book, forty-eight names are taken, and a copy thereof given to each
of the parties; and, on a future day, notice is again given, and the
Solicitors meet a second time, and each strikes out twelve names. The
list being thus reduced from forty-eight to twenty-four, the first
twelve that appear in Court, and answer to their names, is the Special
Jury for that cause. The first operation, that of taking the forty-eight
names, is called nominating the Jury; and the reducing them to
twenty-four is called striking the Jury.

Having thus stated the general process, I come to particulars, and the
first question will be, how are the forty-eight names, out of which the
Jury is to be struck, obtained from the Sheriff's book? For herein lies
the principal ground of suspicion, with respect to what is understood by
packing of Juries.

Either they must be taken by some rule agreed upon between the parties,
or by some common rule known and established beforehand, or at the
discretion of some person, who in such a case, ought to be perfectly
disinterested in the issue, as well officially as otherwise.

In the case of Merchants, and in all cases between individuals,
the Master of the office, called the Crown-office, is officially an
indifferent person, and as such may be a proper person to act between
the parties, and present them with a list of forty-eight names, out of
which each party is to strike twelve. But the case assumes an entire
difference of character, when the Government itself is the Prosecutor.
The Master of the Crown-office is then an officer holding his office
under the Prosecutor; and it is therefore no wonder that the suspicion
of packing Juries should, in such cases, have been so prevalent.

This will apply with additional force, when the prosecution is commenced
against the Author or Publisher of such Works as treat of reforms, and
of the abolition of superfluous places and offices, &c, because in such
cases every person holding an office, subject to that suspicion, becomes
interested as a party; and the office, called the Crown-office, may,
upon examination, be found to be of this description.

I have heard it asserted, that the Master of the Crown-office is to open
the sheriff's book as it were per hazard, and take thereout forty-eight
_following_ names, to which the word Merchant or Esquire is affixed.
The former of these are certainly proper, when the case is between
Merchants, and it has reference to the origin of the custom, and to
nothing else. As to the word Esquire, every man is an Esquire who
pleases to call himself Esquire; and the sensible part of mankind are
leaving it off. But the matter for enquiry is, whether there be any
existing law to direct the mode by which the forty-eight names shall be
taken, or whether the mode be merely that of custom which the office has
created; or whether the selection of the forty-eight names be wholly
at the discretion and choice of the Master of the Crown-office? One or
other of the two latter appears to be the case, because the act already
mentioned, of the 3d of George II. lays down no rule or mode, nor refers
to any preceding law--but says only, that Special Juries shall hereafter
be struck, "_in such manner as Special Juries have been and are usually
struck_."

This act appears to have been what is generally understood by a "_deep
take in_." It was fitted to the spur of the moment in which it was
passed, 3d of George II. when parties ran high, and it served to throw
into the hands of Walpole, who was then Minister, the management of
Juries in Crown prosecutions, by making the nomination of the
forty-eight persons, from whom the Jury was to be struck, follow the
precedent established by custom between individuals, and by this means
slipt into practice with less suspicion. Now, the manner of obtaining
Special Juries through the medium of an officer of the Government, such,
for instance, as a Master of the Crown-office, may be impartial in the
case of Merchants or other individuals, but it becomes highly improper
and suspicious in cases where the Government itself is one of the
parties. And it must, upon the whole, appear a strange inconsistency,
that a Government should keep one officer to commence prosecutions, and
another officer to nominate the forty-eight persons from whom the Jury
is to be struck, both of whom are _officers of the Civil List_, and yet
continue to call this by the pompous name of _the glorious "Right of
trial by Jury!_"

In the case of the King against Jordan, for publishing the Rights of
Man, the Attorney-General moved for the appointment of a Special Jury,
and the Master of the Crown-office nominated the forty-eight persons
himself, and took them from such part of the Sheriff's book as he
pleased.

The trial did not come on, occasioned by Jordan withdrawing his plea;
but if it had, it might have afforded an opportunity of discussing the
subject of Special Juries; for though such discussion might have had
no effect in the Court of King's Bench, it would, in the present
disposition for enquiry, have had a considerable effect upon the
Country; and, in all national reforms, this is the proper point to begin
at. But a Country right, and it will soon put Government right. Among
the improper things acted by the Government in the case of Special
Juries, on their own motion, one has been that of treating the Jury with
a dinner, and afterwards giving each Juryman two guineas, if a verdict
be found for the prosecution, and only one if otherwise; and it has been
long observed, that, in London and Westminster, there are persons who
appear to make a trade of serving, by being so frequently seen upon
Special Juries.

Thus much for Special Juries. As to what is called a _Common Jury_, upon
any Government prosecution against the Author or Publisher of RIGHTS OF
Man, during the time of the _present Sheriffry_, I have one question
to offer, which is, _whether the present Sheriffs of London, having
publicly prejudged the case, by the part they have taken in procuring
an Address from the county of Middlesex, (however diminutive and
insignificant the number of Addressers were, being only one hundred and
eighteen,) are eligible or proper persons to be intrusted with the power
of returning a Jury to try the issue of any such prosecution_.

But the whole matter appears, at least to me, to be worthy of a more
extensive consideration than what relates to any Jury, whether Special
or Common; for the case is, whether any part of a whole nation, locally
selected as a Jury of twelve men always is, be competent to judge and
determine for the whole nation, on any matter that relates to systems
and principles of Government, and whether it be not applying the
institution of Juries to purposes for which such institutions were not
intended? For example,

I have asserted, in the Work Rights of Man, that as every man in the
nation pays taxes, so has every man a right to a share in government,
and consequently that the people of Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield,
Leeds, Halifax, &c have the same right as those of London. Shall, then,
twelve men, picked out between Temple-bar and Whitechapel, because the
book happened to be first published there, decide upon the rights of
the inhabitants of those towns, or of any other town or village in the
nation?

Having thus spoken of Juries, I come next to offer a few observations on
the matter contained in the information or prosecution.

The work, Rights of Man, consists of Part the First, and Fart the
Second. The First Part the prosecutor has thought it most proper to let
alone; and from the Second Fart he has selected a few short paragraphs,
making in the whole not quite two pages of the same printing as in the
cheap edition. Those paragraphs relate chiefly to certain facts, such
as the revolution of 1688, and the coming of George the First, commonly
called of the House of Hanover, or the House of Brunswick, or some such
House. The arguments, plans and principles contained in the work, the
prosecutor has not ventured to attack. They are beyond his reach.

The Act which the prosecutor appears to rest most upon for the support
of the prosecution, is the Act intituled, "An Act, declaring the rights
and liberties of the subject, and settling the succession of the crown,"
passed in the first year of William and Mary, and more commonly known by
the name of the "Bill of Rights."

I have called this bill "_A Bill of wrongs and of insult_." My reasons,
and also my proofs, are as follow:

The method and principle which this Bill takes for declaring rights and
liberties, are in direct contradiction to rights and liberties; it is an
assumed attempt to take them wholly from posterity--for the declaration
in the said Bill is as follows:

"The Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, do, in _the name of all
the people_, most humbly and faithfully _submit themselves, their heirs,
and posterity for ever_;" that is, to William and Mary his wife, their
heirs and successors. This is a strange way of declaring rights and
liberties. But the Parliament who made this declaration in the name, and
on the part, of the people, had no authority from them for so doing;
and with respect to _posterity for ever_, they had no right or authority
whatever in the case. It was assumption and usurpation. I have reasoned
very extensively against the principle of this Bill, in the first part
of Rights of Man; the prosecutor has silently admitted that reasoning,
and he now commences a prosecution on the authority of the Bill, after
admitting the reasoning against it.

It is also to be observed, that the declaration in this Bill, abject and
irrational as it is, had no other intentional operation than against the
family of the Stuarts, and their abettors. The idea did not then exist,
that in the space of an hundred years, posterity might discover a
different and much better system of government, and that every species
of hereditary government might fall, as Popes and Monks had fallen
before.



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