Cobbett's First Attempt to Promote Reform [Trial]. Powell, Richard, Captain, Primary Defendant. [Cobbett, William (1763-1835), Reporter]. Proceedings of a General Court Martial Held at the Horse-Guards, On the 24th and 27th of March, 1792, For the Trial of Capt. Richard Powell, Lieut. Christopher Seton, and Lieut. John Hall, Of the 54th Regiment of Foot; On Several Charges Preferred Against Them Respectively by William Cobbett, Late Serjeant-Major of the Said Regiment; Together With Several Curious Letters Which Passed Between the Said William Cobbett and Sir Charles Gould, Judge-Advocate General; And Various Other Documents Connected Therewith, In the Order of Their Dates. London: Printed and Published by J. Gold, 1809. 32 pp. Octavo (8-1/4" x 5-1/4"). Disbound Stab-stitched pamphlet. Light soiling and edgewear, moderate toning to text, "10" in early hand to head of title page, which has a small chip near its upper corner. $150. * Only edition, one of two accounts published in 1809. Before he launched his career as a reformer though his Weekly Political Register and his pamphlets Cobbett was a soldier. It was during this time that he took his first steps toward his future vocation. While stationed in Canada from 1784 to 1791 he found that several officers were stealing provisions. Moreover, there behavior established a system of corruption that influenced the other ranks. Cobbett collected evidence against these officers. After he returned to England and left the army in 1791 he presented his evidence to the Secretary of War. A court- martial of his former officers was convened, but no one appeared to prosecute the case. The charges were dismissed and the defendants acquitted. Fearing reprisals, he fled to France, then the United States. He returned to England in 1800. Catalogue of the Library of the Harvard Law School (1909) II:1168.
Book number 69969