"For Administering Unlawful Oaths" [Trial]. McKinley, Andrew [1799-1817], Defendant. The Trial of Andrew McKinley, Before The High Court of Justiciary, At Edinburgh, On the 18th Day of July, 1817, For Administering Unlawful Oaths. Edinburgh: Printed for Manners and Miller, 1818. [iv], 70 pp. Octavo (7-3/4" x 5"). Stab-stitched pamphlet in near-contemporary three-quarter calf over marbled boards, gilt title to spine. Moderate rubbing to extremities with some wear to spine ends and corners, front hinge cracked, rear board beginning to separate but secure, front hinge mended, later owner bookplate (of Norman and Janey Buchan) to front pastedown. Light browning to interior, light soiling to p. 70 and title page, which has an illegible signature dated 1858 to the upper outside corner. $650. * Only edition. Intended to suppress radicalism, the Unlawful Oaths Act of 1812 (c.104. 52 Geo. 3) prescribed the death penalty for anyone guilty of "administering of any oath or engagement, purporting or intending to bind the person taking the same to commit any treason or murder, or any felony, punishable by law with death." McKinley was tried under this act, and ultimately acquitted, for his role in an unsuccessful 1817 labor uprising, one of many instigated by the economic depression that followed the Napoleonic Wars. These uprisings culminated in the Cato Street Conspiracy and Radical War, or Scottish Insurrection, a week of strikes and unrest in Scotland, England and Ireland. OCLC locates 6 copies, 1 in North America (University of Pennsylvania Law School). Catalogue of the Library of the Harvard Law School (1909) II:1137.
Book number 72881