Friday, 12 April 2013

12th April 1813: 'An Attentive Hearer' writes another missive in the Leeds Intelligencer

Mr. PRINTER,—In reply to the "Printer’s" Paragraph this week, I inform him, that my Witnesses do speak positively, they state positively that they distinctly heard Mellor’s Confession. The "Diligent Enquirer" knows this, and he also knows he is the author of a wilful untruth, when he says they contradict one half of what I say: they do not contradict one word of what I have advanced! he is not ashamed, in order to make his defeat appear less complete, to shelter himself behind a battery of falsehood.

And forsooth, unblushingly to charge me with falsifying the Evidence of his Authorities! a charge which I shall prove to be as false, as all his other attempts to prove me in error.

First then I will state what I said respecting them: my words were "Out of seven brought to oppose them, (i.e. my authorities,) six say they cannot positively say how it was; and one, to the best of his knowledge and belief, thinks it was not so." For this my Opponent publicly charges me with falsehood; with having given as evidence what I was not warranted in doing. Let him read the following Paragraph; "We the undersigned were present at the Execution of Mellor, Thorp and Smith, and we believe that Mellor never made use, (in his prayer just before the execution) of the words, "us poor murderers;" and, "Die Game;" and we are of opinion if he had used them, we should have heard him; but we cannot positively say, we should have heard and remembered them." This is a literal Copy of what five of his authorities have affixed their names to, and must consequently be taken as their testimony. The sixth was asked to sign the above, or the following; "We the undersigned, were present at the execution of Mellor, Thorp and Smith, and distinctly heard every word Mellor used in his prayer, just before he was executed; and we are positively certain that no such words as, "us poor murderers" and, "Die Game;" fell from his lips; and we are sure if they had, we should have both heard and remembered them."—He however refused to sign either, but stated, if he were to sign one, it would be the former; he observed, "he was of opinion the words in question were not used," but added "at such times my mind is so taken up with what is passing, that I cannot positively say he did not use them."—The seventh refused to sign either one or the other; and said he was of opinion the words were not used; so that the last paragraph stating that they were positively certain, remains without a single signature—It may be necessary here to observe, that nine persons were named by the "Diligent Enquirer," two of whom had already made themselves parties in the dispute, and consequently have never been treated as Authorities by either party; seven being the number allowed on both sides.

I have now complied with the "Printers" wish, and "published the written and verbal testimony of his seven witnesses;" which he declares, I have falsely stated in my last Letter. The result of my enquiries is correctly given above, as nearly verbatim as possible; and I defy any one, to prove in any one instance, that it is contrary to my last report. Let it be remembered that the above Gentlemen, were declared by the "Diligent Enquirer," to be quite positively certain I was wrong! Has not the result of my enquiries, proved his report to be a falsification of Evidence?—This charge however he has falsely laid on me; I challenge him to prove his assertion; and if he fail, I call upon him publicly to declare himself in error; and confess he has falsely charged me with a Lie. If he refuse to do either, I have no hesitation in publicly declaring him, to be every thing that a Gentleman ought not to be.

In the beginning of this controversy my opponent proved himself to be truly expert in the language of abuse; now, he weakly asserts with the most unblushing effrontery, things which he knows to be false; if in future he should expect me to notice his observations, I must beg he will cease to insult his readers with his palpable falsehoods;—if he will not deviate from truth, I am ready at all times to answer his remarks.


Leeds, April 2d, 1813.

This is from the Leeds Intelligencer of 12th April 1813.

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