Notable Libel Trial With a Defence by Lord Brougham [Trial]. Williams, John Ambrose [1793-1854], Defendant. The Trial of John Ambrose Williams, For a Libel on the Clergy, Contained in the Durham Chronicle of August 18, 1821. Before Mr. Baron Wood and a Special Jury. Tried at the Summer Assizes, At Durham, On Tuesday, August 6th, 1822. To Which is Prefixed, A Report of the Preliminary Proceedings in the Court of King's Bench, London. Durham: Printed by J.A. Williams, 1822. iv, 57 pp. Octavo (8" x 5"). Stab-stitched pamphlet bound into recent cloth, gilt title to spine. Light soiling to title page and verso of final leaf, light browning. Early owner signature to head of title page, interior otherwise clean. $250. * First edition. "When [Queen Caroline] died in 1821, the clergy of Durham refused to allow the bells to be tolled. Mr. John Ambrose Williams, who owned the Durham Chronicle, published an article in it attacking the conduct of the clergy, who set the law in motion against Mr. Williams in the shape of a criminal information for libel. [The] case came for trial before a special jury at Durham. Mr. Scarlett (afterwards Lord Abinger), a most consummate advocate, conducted the prosecution, and Brougham the defense. Brougham made a magnificent speech, but it was rather a political manifesto than a wise appeal to a jury at Durham, who were not likely to be pleased with torrents of irony addressed to such topics as the revenues and management of their palatinate. The result was that his client was found guilty..." (Archer). This pamphlet was also issued the same year in London and Edinburgh. OCLC locates 2 copies of the Durham issue (at Cambridge and Glasgow Universities). Archer, William Ewart Gladstone and his Contemporaries 40. McCoy, Freedom of the Press W297.
Book number 55115