HL Deb 28 March 1862 vol 166 cc231-2

rose to call attention to the case of James Watson, Joseph Watson, and Joseph Tomlinson, lately convicted at the York assizes for unlawfully and maliciously placing gun powder in a nail maker's shop at Thorpe, near Rotherham, with the intent to damage and destroy the same; and to inquire if a report of the trial has been received by Her Majesty's Secretary of State for the Home Department; and whether, under the very peculiar nature of the case, he is disposed to recommend them as fit and proper objects to obtain the Queen's par don? The noble Viscount stated the particulars of the recent trial of these persons at York. A very strong case of alibi was made out for the prisoners; and when the evidence for the defence had been concluded, Mr. Justice Mellor, the learned Judge who tried the case, asked the counsel for the prosecution whether he intend ed to proceed any further. The learned counsel, Mr. Maule, replied that he was in the hands of the Judge. The Jury said that they wished the case to go on. Mr. Justice Mellor summed up the case very strongly in favour of the prisoners; but, notwithstanding, the men were convicted and were sentenced to penal servitude for fourteen years. Very great dissatisfaction at the verdict was expressed in the neigh bourhood of the alleged offence. He did not know why it was the jury had arrived at the conclusion that the prisoners were guilty. If, in consequence of the prevalence of such offences, they had felt bound to convict some person or persons, he thought their selection was an unfortunate one.


said, that the learned Judge who had tried the case had intimated to the Home Secretary that the newspaper report was not strictly accurate. Up to that time no petition on behalf of those men had been received by the Secretary of State.

House adjourned at half-past Five o'clock, to Monday next, a quarter before Five o'clock.