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matter, while the editor cannot at the pounds had been left by Adam, and time have legal evidence for the fact. that it was to go to his nearest heirs ; From the usefulness of these publica- that in the year 1791, Mr S. got the tions, and from the rapidity with which applicant's father to draw out a power they are made up, errors may creep in; of attorney to enable him to draw the but it behoves to be made out that money from the East India House,
malice was intended, and here the Jury and that he obtained a large sum of *must see that the editor is not liable in money thereby. This was the ground
damages, when he offers to make in- of the process, and Mr S. having sworn :: stant reparation for the accident. The that he had no money nor papers be
Jury must have sufficient evidence that longing to that subject, he was assoil. malice dictated the editor to publish zied. It must therefore have been the paragraph in question, before they known and circulated on account of can award damages. In the case of this process, as the paragraph appear. the King against Wright, before the ed and was contradicted before the King's Bench, Judge Lawrence ade process was finished. The learned mitted that it was proper that pro- counsel concluded a very long and ani. ceedings in Court should be pub- mated address, by calling on the Jury lished ; and in this country, over every to give a verdict for nominal damages
other, when the Judges, the Jury, only. i and the witnesses knew their true After several witnesses had been ex
worth, and acted with candour, it amined, was necessary these proceedings should Mr Cockburn addressed the Jury,
be known for general information, and in a very particular manner stated, 6. not so in other countries, where legal that the privileges of the editors of
proceedings are carried on in a dark newspapers were great, but the laws and disguised shape. Let any gentle of the country would never allow that man go to the said coffee-room, and they should publish every gossipping
he would see in every paper the re- story that might take place in famii ports of proceedings of the same na- lies. Mr Stewart was obliged to go
ture, from all the Courts in the king. through the streets under this calum. dom ; and were it not for newspapers, ny, his friends not knowing where to much useful information would be en. find him, from the report that he tirely lost to the great bulk of the had committed suicide, through the people, in this enlightened country. It villainy he had committed in keeping was stated, on the part of the prose- up the money. The defenders did cution, that this was a matter of repa- not deny they had committed the in, ration, and the Jury would only have to jury on Mr Š., but after being writallow such damage as the pursuer had ten to, their apology was not distinctproved he had sustained. It would ly made that it was Mr Stewart, of never have been applied to Mr Stew. Glasgow Field. Their sending letters art, had the process not been in de- to Mr S. or his agents, and still withpendence, which might turn their holding the name of the author, was thoughts to him. Adam's application another proof of their reluctance to stated that John Adam, mason, parish make a proper concession ; neither has of Antermony, left this country for the pursuer, till this day, known who Bengal, in the year 1780, and that an the author is ; but by a letter exhibit. advertisement appeared in the London ed to-day, it is acknowledged that it Gazette, or some other newspaper, an- was written by Mr Mackay, though nouncing that several thousands of Mr Mackay has never acknowledged
This himself. Allan nor Mackay have the pursuer lie under, if he had let the pot given up the real author, and he is libel thus issued against him lie dor. perhaps panting in this audience now. mant. The learned counsel concluded By Mackay's own account, he hears a very excellent address, by calling on a foolish story on the street, and sets the Jury to give a verdict for every it forth through the whole kingdom, farthing claimed. and keeps the real author in the back- Lord Gillies summed up the eviground. It has been set forth in de. dence in a very concise manner; and fence, that there was no malice in the was clearly of opinion, that it was a paragraph, as the parties were unknown malicious paragraph, and not the proto each other; but could the Jury be. ceedings of a court of law. Mackay lieve, that Mr Mackay was not told, should have brought forward evidence that Mr S., mentioned in the para- that he had got the verbal account of graph, was Mr Stewart of Glasgow. the rumour from Mr Kilbee, who had feld, Glasgow, while he was receiving it from his son Edward, a boy, in Glasthe particulars on which to build his gow at that time. It even does not story? The pursuer is accused of not appear that he got the paragraph from having proved how much pecuniary Mr Kilbee, for he (Mackay) admits loss he has sustained ; but who can that he wrote it himself. His Lord tell what agony he must have suffered, ship concluded by advising the Jury, though he has lost no special sum that Mr Stewart was not only entitled that arithmetical calculation can shew, to damages, but to solatium. his name bandied through the whole The Jury retired a few minutes, and land i The defences stated, that the brought in a verdict for the pursuer, proceedings in courts of law might be - Damages L.1500. published; but in this case the para. graph was not the proceedings of a process before the Magistrates in which PROCEEDINGS IN CHANCERY RELAMr S. was concerned, for it was a ma- TIVE TO THE SHUTTING OF DRURY. licious and scandalous paragraph, be- LANE THEATRE, fore the process had been concluded, and of course biassed the public against Court of Chancery, 8th August. Mr S. before he had time to acquit himself. A Methodist minister had Sir S. Romilly, on the part of a been introduced, to give a gloss to the great majority of the proprietors of calumny that was about to be set forth. this theatre, moved his Lordship to How many accounts do we hear every grant an injunction to prevent the subday, even of our friends, that have no committee, consisting of five persons, reality in them; and might not this from proceeding in engaging any new be of the same description? It was performers, or entering into any new evident, that the paragraph was the contracts on the behalf of the proonly cause of the process being known, prietors, considering the state of their and that the rumour and vexation did funds. When the late theatre was unnot take place till the newspapertouch- fortunately burnt down, there were a ed on the story. The pursuer wishes number of engagements, and an act of to God that he had not had occasion Parliament was passed, authorising a to come here to-day; and the defenders committee of ten persons to raise the would not have been compelled to make sum of 300,0001. in shares of 1001. an appearance here, if they had given each, and the shareholders to have votes upthe real author. What infamy would in proportion to the number of shares. The legislature passed a second act, placed on his shoulders to move the in which the power of management Court to dissolve the injunction which was vested in a sub-committee of five had been obtained against the subpersons, who had full power to ap- committee, restraining them from openpoint a manager and engage perform. ing the theatre, and also from engaging ers, &c.—The debts of the theatre any performers whatsoever. He had amounted to 80,0001., and in June last carefully perused the bill and the affi. a select committee was appointed to davit, the only one filed in support of investigate the matter referred to them, the plaintiff's case, which had been and on the 8th of that month they re- made by Mr G. H. Robins, for no ported; and it was indeed evident, one else had attempted to make one, that the true state of affairs must have In looking into the acts of parliament, been kncwn to the sub-committee. Se he found very material matters for his veral resolutions were formed by the Lordship's consideration. He had select committee, which were read and looked into the proceedings of the approved of by the general meeting on gentlemen of the select committee, who the 8th of June. On the 16th July had taken on them many extraordinathe select committee gave another re. ry acts and powers, although he had port of their efforts, and recommend- looked in vain for the authority for ed the sum of 17,000l. to be raised by their so doing. Amongst the allegaloan, and George Colman, Esq. to be tions contained in the affidavit, was appointed manager. A special com- one that Mr Robins and his copartmittee at the same time reported, that ners were incumbents and proprietors, much of the incumbrances was occa- and also members of the corporation, sioned by the facility with which ar. This affidavit did not contain any alticles were procured from tradesmen, legation that the opening of the theatre and also from the very great number would be injurious to the proprietors, of orders for free admission. The re, it merely said it might be, in the conport was agreed to by the general cluding passage. It was therefore meeting of proprietors, at least by a merely presumed, that this loss and inmajority of fifty-four. The bill went jury would take place by opening the on to state that no capital remained, theatre. The bill prayed for an ac. but that money must be raised by loan. count of the debts due to the performLarge sums were due to the perform- ers and other persons, but it only pray; ers, who had consented to receive a ed it against the five defendants; and composition for their debts on certain when he took into consideration the terms. The Court was therefore great number of claimants, and the prayed to restrain the sub-committee affidavit of Mr Robins, he must say from from going on. He had no doubt the present was a most extraordinary the Court would at once interfere.
The prayer ought not to be The Lord Chancellor granted the against the five defendants, but against injunction on this ex-parte application; the corporation, for they were incorbut ordered notice to be served on the porated by the act of parliament. other side without delay.
The bill prayed that an order might
issue to sell, or mortgage, a competent Court of Chancery, Aug. 14.
part of the theatre, for the purpose of
liquidating the debts. Who could do Sir Arthur Piggot, in rising to this but the persons in whom it was move for the dissolution of the injunc. vested? This was the general body, tion, observed, that the task had been for as a corporation, in them, and them
alone, was that power vested, and not present sub-committee. By a claute in the five defendants. His Lordship in the act of Parliament power was was prayed to take an account as be. given to sell and lease certain private tween these corporators, the special boxes ; this had been done, and for committee and the sub-committee, and which 53,0001. had been received, which in the mean time to restrain the latter was to go in liquidation of the princifrom opening the theatre pending that pal sum (300,000l.) borrowed. Where inquiry. This was the most extraor. were those lessees ? had they consented dinary occurrence that ever took place to shut up the theatre were they in the memory of man, for by that the made parties ! Had they been asked position was laid down, that a theatre if the doors of the theatre sbould be with closed doors was in a better situ- nailed up? Unless the Court would ation to get rid of its incumbrances, take upon itself to suspend the acts of constantly increasing, than when it was the legislature, it had no more power open. What would be the effect of than any other person to contioue closing the theatre? Why, the corps this injunction. It has been thrown dramatique would be broken up, some out, that the sub.committee was not would go to America, some to Ireland, valid. Why, then, not apply to the some abroad, some here and some there, Court of King's Bench Why not and it would be impossible to get them move for a quo warranto against the together again. This was the remedy parties and remove them. [Ìhe leardproposed by the select committee, that ed gentleman here went into the procommittee which had filed the present visions of the act for appointing the bill, and who wished the sub-commit- committee,] If any improper managetee to resign their present situations, ment had taken place, whom had the on the consideration of incapacity. plaintiff's to thank for it but themThis was the sine qua non. The pre- selves ? Could they not have removed sent was not a bill filed by creditors ; them in three months ? The last sea. it was a bill filed by eight corporators son had been the most successful of who were not creditors; and were they any preceding; and yet this was the at their will and pleasure to bind up very time that the plaintiffs chose to all the contributors-all the old rent- make their complaint. On looking at ers who had been intitled to three shil- the 51st clause of the act relative to lings a-night, but who had been com- trustees, it would be found that they pounded with and cut down to one were not removeable unless they ceased shilling and sixpence a-night, and free to hold five shares. It was strange admissions in proportion to six shares ? that the general committee, who held There were also the incumbrancers- but three shares each, appointed the were they also to suffer? By the act sub-committee, who were required to of Parliament it would be seen, that hold five shares, so that they appointed certain old renters were to have one the sub-committee, notwithstanding shilling and threepence per night and they could not fill the office themselves
, free admissions: ‘And that when the as they were only required to hold three. new theatre was built, the same was to Why was not the Duke of Devonshire be and remain as charges. Where made a party to the present bill? he were these parties ? had they ever been surely ought to have been. The whole consulted ? It was said that a debt of accounts were to be taken against the 80,0001. had been incurred, out of defendants ; there were no others to which there were 40,0001. bond debts; make defendants, as the trustees were but this debt was not incurred by the indemnified against all acts but their
own. In respect to patents, what an mit the expenditure to the hands of swer would be given if an application one man, when the legislature had exwas made for another theatre? why, pressly said it should be vested in the the usual one, that there were two al. hands of a committee? It had been ready : But how could that be said said, that great difficulty prevailed in when one of them was closed? What obtaining goods for the theatre from attention had this select committee paid tradesmen,—that charge did not apto this circumstance? In respect to ply to the five defendants, who were the allegation that the debt had been wholly blameless. The arrangement incurred by the sub-committee, that respecting the ten shillings in the was wholly denied by the answer ; for pound had been come to on the ex. it was explicitly stated that it was due press condition, that the theatre should before they became committee-men. not open till the money had been paid, This was not like a canal: Here the and the present sub-committee had rething was established, with every thing signed, except Lord Yarmouth. What to go on, and why should it be stop- right had the select committee to enped on an affidavit made by Mr G. H. ter into any such contract ? If they Robins ?
went to the legislature for an act of Sir Arthur then proceeded to read parliament, if any defect appeared in extracts from Mr Robins's affidavit, it, they should again apply to the leand comment on them as they respec. gislature for relief ;-they had no right tively arose. The case of the persons in the Court of Chancery. One thouwho would be thrown out by closing sand pounds was all that was wanting the theatre, should also be taken into to open the theatre, and the defend consideration, since to them such a pro. ants had offered to advance it. The ceeding would be utter ruin. It had act of Parliament had directed, that the been proposed by the select commit. sub committee should be approved of tee to raise a certain sum to pay ten by the general meeting : That had shillings in the pound to the claimants, been the case, for no new one had been
but this was only to one part of formed; the present was merely addithem : and what, he would ask, was tions made on vacancies occurring. to become of the other? It was said How then could it be said that the the system should be altered. This present was not a valid committee ? brought a little day-light with it. Was The Lord Chancellor said there was it meant that the present sub-commit- an express clause in the act, chat the tee should alter their system of ma- committee, when first appointed and nagement, or that they should be turn- approved of, should be invested with ed out of their situations ? The fact the management. was, there was some job in it that was Sir Arthur Piggott proceeded :not at present known. What power The plaintiffs' shares only amounted had these gentlemen to pay certain to 401. while those of the five defenddebts? How could they do that when ants amounted to 90l., and why were they could not displace the old rent- they to be removed when there was ers? What right had the sub-com- not one specific charge brought against mittee to tolerate, for a moment, the them? All that was said was, that proposition to give to George Colman, they were generally and universally Esq. the whole and sole command over complained of. All the allegations in the theatre ? He might be the most the bill were denied by the answer. If eligible person for such a trust ; but it was intended to overhaul the mayet the committee had no right to com- nagement, the whole of the sub-com