Jacobite trials

Extract from Mr Dickenson’s account of the trial of Manchester magistrate, Mr. Fowden, Jacobite, at Lancaster assizes, May 1747 (SP 36/97/113).


From W. Sharpe May 1747

I here send you the particulars of the Tryals against Fowden and others the last Assizes with the Circumstances Attending the same Agreable to what I last Writ you – When our Council had read over and Considered their Briefs We appointed and had a Consultation in Order to advise and determine what matters to go upon and how to Introduce our proofs Conformable thereto

And first as to Fowden the material proofs and Facts against him were

1. His going in the procession to the Market Cross and proclaiming the pretender and his Voluntarily directing a person who was Standing in the Street to go and tell the Borough Reeve (an officer of the Town) to meet them imediately there

2. His giving directions (when none of the Rebels were with him) to a person to go Work for the Rebels at the Artillery Ground and he would pay him

3. His giving a Warrant signed in his own Name to a person, desired him to go with it and press 12 whitesmiths to pollish Bullets for the Rebels, who got some persons accordingly.

4. His Ordering persons to go and Cast Bullets for the Rebels.

5. His going to Demand Horses for the Rebels, and tho’ Maddox a Neighbour of his (who took on with the Rebels) was with him, yet it could not be supposed he could be under forced or intimidated by him

6. His going to Demand the Militia Arms for the Rebels and Swearing a Woman on a Book to discover where the same were

One Sparks a Lancashire Man who Joined the Rebels was with him, but it could not be thought he was forced by him

7. His telling a person who was a Drummer in Manchester He must beat up for Recruits for the Rebels which he did

8. Warrants Issued out to the Constables in the Country in the Names of Fowden and Whalley to bring in Forrage and Horses and Carriages for the Rebel Army Stiled [styled] in the Warrants the Princes Army

9. Fowden being amongst and Intimate with the Chief of the Rebels at a Tavern in Manchester and Drinking Confusion to the Elector of Hanover and Success to Prince Charles

These were the Chief things we relyed on as Overt Acts to find Fowden Guilty – The Witnesses to Support those charges were very Strong and particular in their Informations before the Justices and even upon my first Examining them, but as I Examined and Cross Examined them Several Times afterwards and before the Day of Tryal in Order to get them Stick up to the Points, I found such a variation amongst some of them in favour of Fowden in regard to some material charges against him that I was obliged to draw the Proofs of those over again and made Copys thereof for the Councel to prevent their being deceived – But tho; we were in some measure deceived in proving the Charges in the 4.7. and 8th Articles yet We made out the Charges in the other Articles Evident enough, and had it not been for the Strong and Possitive proof Fowden had of a continued Force upon him backt with a Crowd of Witnesses (for he had no less than 32 Examined) I am inclineable to think he must have been found Guilty.

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