Wednesday, 26 August 2015

26th August 1815: The Leeds Mercury publishes a final editorial on the Charles Sutton affair

In the last Intelligencer a boast is put forth by the new Editor that he contributed to bring down upon a rival publication at Nottingham, the vengeance of law! After this we should not be surprised to hear those loyal vagabonds, the common informers, who go about the country seeking whom they may devour, boasts of their patriotic services in inflicting upon the inadvertent offenders against the revenue laws the terrors of the Exchequer. There is, indeed, this difference between the two characters—the one is actuated by a spirit of revenge, the other by a spirit of avarice; but, as to their loyalty, they are exactly upon a par. This literary informer finding himself incapable of contending with his adversary in the fair field of political combat, was, according to his own confession, obliged to summons to his aid the assistance of the Attorney-General, against whose ex officio logic all other arguments are unavailing. But when he boasts of having scorched his rival, he ought, in justice, to have added, that he destroyed himself. The Nottingham Review, which he opposed, was prosecuted; but the Nottingham Gazette, which he conducted, was annihilated. If this egotist only succeeds as well as at Leeds as he did at Nottingham, his master will have no great reason to exult in his powers, and his absence will be as little regretted here as it is there. For ourselves we have only to say, that a tolerable share of vigilance has, we believe, been exercised for the last dozen years over the productions of this press, but hitherto without any very distinguished success. For the future we rely more on our own discretion than upon any forbearance in the quarter in question. In fact, we asked no forbearance—we shall acknowledge no favour; and we despise alike the threats and the clemency of all the servile slaves of power.

We have not published the Leeds Intelligencer that this editorial refers to: although the publication is online, the relevant page is missing.

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