Wednesday, 19 August 2015

19th August 1815: The Leeds Mercury responds to the Leeds Intelligencer's editorial about the Charles Sutton trial

We [illegible] a moment from more agreeable and more [illegible] pursuits, to notice a [most] violent [and impudent] attack made upon the paper by the [Editor] of the Leeds Intelligencer, who has, we [hear], [just] [arrived] from the parties of St. Giles’s, and whose language seems to be well suited to that [illegible] region. It is perhaps not known to the public, that the Editor of the Intelligencer, having written himself down, has been driven to the necessity of calling in the aid of an auxiliary, and by a very discrete choice, has, it is said, selected as his coadjutor the quondam conductor of a defunct journal, which, owing to the violence of its principal and the poverty of its talents, lately expired at Nottingham. These two negatives, which it is hoped may make an affirmative, are now uniting their wits, and it is to this promising coalition of mental energies that their small remaining stock of readers are to be indebted for the judicious, temperate, and profound observations which will in future flow from the "Intelligencer Office," and of which the last paper presents a happy specimen. Having found, from experience, that these ephemeral scribes "will die of themselves if you let them alone," we shall not be very anxious to notice their future ravings, nor would they have claimed our attention on the present occasion, had we not been inclined to put the public in possession of a secret that these combined editors, in excess of their modesty, appeared dispensed to withhold—probably from an indisposition to admit that additional aid was found requisite to prop a declining interest. As the alliance formed by these luminaries between the Leeds Mercury and the Nottingham Review, we have no objection to it whatever—they are quite at liberty to unite us with any part of the press they think proper, except with the slavish sycophants of power, the panders of ambition, and the servile tools of an existing administration. The watchfulness they have announced over the public papers, that dare to be honest in the worst of times, may recommend them to the French Minister of Police, who is just at this moment in need of a legion of censors of the press, to guard against the free discussion of political subjects; but, thanks to the glorious and successful struggles of our ancestors—thanks to the happy institutions of our country—and thanks the patriotic feeling of the present race of Englishmen, who know how to defend their best inheritance—censors of the press in this country are held in deserved detestation, and in proclaiming themselves as the fit instruments of such an office, the con-joint Editors hold themselves up to public execration. We have only further to observe, that so little are we influenced by the arrogant pretensions that have called forth these observations, that, under all circumstances, we shall keep on the even tenour of our way, and that though all the sycophants in the kingdom should be congregated to watch over us, we shall fearlessly endeavour to make the potent instrument placed in our hands administer to the liberty, the happiness, and the prosperity of our country.

This is from the Leeds Mercury 2167, Saturday 19th August 1815.

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