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in his character, or a combination of these with other causes, it is not material that I should stop to inquire."
The case was simply this: in the course of the visitation, and in answer to one of the articles of inquiry, one of the canons returned, amongst other things, that "the presentations to the vicarages in the dean's patronage are usually sold ;" and thereupon the visitation was continued; evidence was taken in support of the charge of simony: though no regular monition or citation, or notice of articles, was served on the dean, who attended only to protest against the proceeding; having withdrawn, the case was declared contumacious and counsel for him was refused a hearing till the contempt was purged; no libel was propounded nor any attempt made to take proceedings to deprivation, according to the strict and regular course of ecclesiastical usage and law; neither was any notice taken of the then recent act of 3 & 4 Vict.; nevertheless, sentence of deprivation was pronounced by the archbishop on the 2nd April, 1841. In Easter Term of the same year, Sir William Follett moved for and obtained a rule nisi for a prohibition; and the matter came on for argument before the Queen's Bench in the month of June. There was a formidable array of counsel for the archbishop-the Attorney-General (Campbell), the Solicitor-General (Wilde), Mr. Dundas, and Dr. Phillimore, jun.; the argument lasted three days. On the second day Mr. Cresswell argued in support of the rule, and, as Mr. Cockburn rose to follow him, the court intimated a wish to postpone the further argument till next term. This would have been most injurious to the dean and Mr. Cockburn urged strongly and at last obtained a postponement of the argument to the next morning, when he continued his argument. He insisted that there was no such jurisdiction in the archbishop as that which had been exercised in the case; but that even if the jurisdiction did exist, all the essentials of the administration of justice, all its necessary and established formalities, and even all its decencies, had been so utterly forgotten or disregarded, that the court would feel it a duty to issue a prohibition, and prevent further proceedings. His speech was acknowledged on all hands to be as able as elaborate, and to have met and disposed of the arguments in favour of the commissary made by Sir John Campbell and Sir Thomas Wilde. It wanted, however, a reporter. Coming at the end of long previous arguments, and in the midst of the anxious preparations for an impending election, the daily newspapers contented themselves with a few lines of summary, and though the profession at large were aware of the line of argument, toge
ther with the skill and dexterity of the advocate, the authentic reporters do not give a line of the arguments: Adolphus and Ellis content themselves with a copy of the elaborate judgment of the Lord Chief Justice (Lord Denman); and the court not entertaining any doubt upon the question, did not direct the parties to declare in prohibition, but made the rule for the prohibition absolute, thus virtually restoring Dr. Cockburn to the Deanery of York.
In the next important case, and one in which the merits of the advocate became fully known, Mr. Cockburn was fortunate in having for the reporter a gentleman, who was of the legal profession, and to whom the merits of the advocate were not unknown. The speech was delivered on a Saturday, and, a day having elapsed, on the following Monday morning the speech appeared at full length in the "Morning Chronicle" of the 6th March, 1843, occupying ten columns, all written, as we happen to know, by the same hand, and containing more columns than was known on the press to have been given in one paper by one hand in a single day. That speech was delivered in defence of M'Naughten, who had shot Mr. Drummond, and in support of the plea of insanity. The excitement was great-the popular feeling strong--the prejudice vast. It was the firm belief of most that Sir Robert Peel was to have been the victim, and not his secretary. Sir Robert's own notion must have been strongly in favour of the same view of the matter, for he seldom left the House afterwards without the attendance of a policeman to his own home in Whitehall Gardens: the general sympathy was in favour of the premier and the sufferer: and the plea of insanity itself had been brought into something like disfavour, in the case of the pot-boy, Oxford. Moreover, Sir William Follett appeared for the crown. These were strong odds against an advocate, but the strength of his facts and his arguments was greater and notwithstanding the prejudices of the jury, the force of reasoning prevailed- the unhappy man was saved from the scaffold: his subsequent conduct shows how correct that verdict was. The speech is remarkable for the delicacy with which the subject is approached and treated, and the sustained eloquence with which it abounds. In his exordium Mr. Cockburn says
"I rise to address you on behalf of the unfortunate prisoner at the bar, who stands charged with the awful crime of murder, under a feeling of anxiety so intense of responsibility so overwhelming-that I feel almost borne down by the weight of my solemn and difficult task. Gentlemen, believe me when I assure you that I say this, not by way of idle or common-place exordium, but as expressing
the deep emotions by which my mind is agitated. I believe that you-I know that the numerous professional brethren by whom I see myself surrounded, will understand me when I say that of all the positions in which, in the discharge of our various duties in the different relations of life, a man may be placed, none can be more painful or more paralysing to the energies of the mind than that of an advocate to whom is committed the defence of a fellow being in a matter involving life and death, and who, while deeply convinced that the defence which he has to offer is founded in truth and justice, yet sees in the circumstances by which the case is surrounded, that which makes him look forward with apprehension and trembling to the result. Gentlemen, if this were an ordinary case, if you had heard of it for the first time since you entered into that box, if the individual who has fallen a victim had been some obscure and unknown person instead of one whose character, whose excellence, and whose fate had commanded the approbation, the love, and the sympathy of all, I should feel no anxiety as to the issue of this trial. But alas! can I dare to hope that even among you, who are to sit in judgment on the accused, there can be one who has not brought to the judgment-seat a mind imbued with preconceived notions on the case which is the subject of this important inquiry. In all classes of this great community, in every corner of this vast metropolis, from end to end, even to the remotest confines of this extensive empire, has this case been already canvassed, discussed, determined, and that, with reference only to the worth of the victim, and the nature of the crime, not with reference to the state or condition of him by whom that crime has been committed, and hence has arisen in men's minds an insatiate desire of vengeance; there has gone forth a wild and merciless cry for blood, to which you are called' upon this day to minister! Yet do I not complain. When I bear in mind how deeply the horror of assassination is stamped on the hearts of men, above all, on the characters of Englishmen, and believe me, there breathes no one on God's earth by whom that crime is more abhorred than by him who now addresses you, and who, deeply deploring the loss, and acknowledging the goodness dwelt upon with such touching eloquence by my learned friend, of him who in this instance has been its victim, would fain add, if it may be permitted, an humble tribute to the memory of him who has been taken from us; when I bear in mind, I say, these things, I will not give way to one single feeling-I will not breath one single murmur of complaint or surprise at the passionate excitement which has pervaded the public mind on this unfortunate occasion. But I shall, I trust, be forgiven, if I give utterance to the feelings of fear and dread by which, on approaching this case, I find my mind borne down, lest the fierce and passionate resentment to which this event has given rise, may interfere with the due performance of those sacred functions which you are now called upon to discharge. Yet, gentlemen, will I not give way to feelings of despair, or address you in the language of despondency. I am not unmindful of the presence in which I am
to plead for the life of my client. I have before me British judges, to whom I pay no idle compliment when I say, that they are possessed of all the qualities which can adorn their exalted station, or ensure to the accused a fair, a patient, and an impartial hearing. I am addressing a British jury, a tribune to which truth has seldom been a suppliant in vain. I stand in a British court, where justice, with mercy for her handmaid, sits enthroned on the noblest of her altars, dispelling by the brightness of her presence the clouds which occasionally gather over human intelligence, and awing into silence by the holiness of her eternal majesty the angry passions which at times intrude beyond the threshhold of her sanctuary, and force their way even to the very steps of her throne. In the name of that eternal justice, in the name of that God, whose great attribute we are taught that justice is, I call upon you to enter upon the consideration of this case with minds divested of every prejudice, of every passion, of every feeling of excitement. In the name of all that is sacred and holy, I call upon you calmly to weigh the evidence which will be brought before you, and to give your judgment according to that evidence."
Then having referred to the various authorities on the subject of insanity, English and foreign, and to the leading cases, including Lord Ferrers and Hadfield's, the latter with the aid of Lord Erskine's advocacy, he drew this deduction,
"The observations which I have cited to you are the results of scientific inquiries; they rest for their basis upon experience; they are the observations of men who have no interests to advocate, who are likely to take no partial view, or be operated upon by any bias. They have held the calm light of science over this intricate question, and they have come to results which I have taken the liberty of laying before you, acting on the belief that they will afford you the best aid to guide you in this inquiry. What then, gentlemen, is the result of these observations? What is the practical conclusion of these investigations of modern science upon the subject of insanity? It is simply this, that a man, though his mind may be sane upon other points, may, by the effect of mental disease, be rendered wholly incompetent to see some one or more of the relations of subsisting things around him in their true light; and, though possessed of moral perception and control in general, may become the creature and the victim of some impulse so irresistibly strong as to annihilate all possibility of self-dominion or resistance in the particular instance; and this being so, it follows, that if under such an impulse a man commits an act which the law denounces and visits with punishment, he cannot be made subject to such punishment, because he is not under the restraint of those motives which could alone create human responsibility. If then you shall find in this case, that the moral sense was impaired, that this act was the result of a morbid delusion, and necessarily connects itself with that delusion,-if I can establish such case by evidence, so as to bring myself within the interpretation which the highest authorities have said is the true principle of law
as they have laid it down for the guidance of courts of law and juries in inquiries of this kind, I shall feel perfectly confident that your verdict must be in favour of the prisoner at the bar.”
Next, he applied himself to the particulars of the extraordinary case before them; traced the conduct of the prisoner from his early days with a succinctness worthy of the emulation of the members of the Western Circuit at large, who have not profited by the example of Follett; and proceeded thus eloquently,
"That these fantasms long existed in that man's mind there is no doubt, before he at length sought relief by flight from this hideous nightmare, which everlastingly tortured his distracted senses. No doubt these delusions existed in his mind before, but it was not until he left his business that they were revealed to others in anything like a definite shape. And, gentlemen, you will learn from the medical authorities that it was natural for him, who became at last borne down by these delusions, to struggle against them as long as he could; to resist their influence, and to conceal their existence, until, at last, the mind, overwrought and overturned, could contain itself no longer, and was obliged to give form, and shape, and expression, a local habitation and a name,' to the fantasies against which it had struggled at first, believing it may be, for a time, that they were but delusions, until their influence gradually prevailing above the declining judgment, they at last assumed all the appearance of reality, and the man became as firmly persuaded of the substantiality of these creations of his own fevered brain as of his very existence. Therefore it is that, coupling all the communications subsequently made respecting this man, with the fact of his giving up his business under circumstances in which every inclination of his mind would have led him to continue it, I can understand that those delusions had been for a long time existing in his mind, first, in an indefinite and shadowy form, then assuming a vague outline, and afterwards growing and increasing until they became stamped with the character of reality; and I believe, gentlemen, that when all the facts are before you, you will have no hesitation in coming to the conclusion that such was the case. But to proceed with this painful history. In the year 1841, the prisoner had disposed of his business under the circumstances which have been mentioned, and then went to live at a house of a Mrs. Patteson. She will be called in evidence, and will give you a history of the prisoner from his infancy; she will concur with the other witnesses in telling you that a more mild and inoffensive man than he has shown himself, during the greater part of his life, does not exist. From this witness you will also learn the nature of the delusions under which the prisoner laboured, and to which I have already referred; she will tell you that shortly after he had taken lodgings with her, he left without notice or warning, and was absent a considerable time; and it will be seen that during that absence he believed himself to be the object and victim of the most unrelenting