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THE BEADLE'S DEPOSITION.

« On Tuesday the 23rd of September, I waited on Dr. Bentley, and told him I had orders from Mr. Vice-chancellor to arrest him at the suit of Dr. Middleton ; he asked me why I came so late, that he had expected me all the afternoon, designing to write by the post to the king about it; I told him I brought it soon after I received it. Well, said he, it is illegal and unstatutable, and I will not obey it; let me see your arrest—are there nine heads to it? I told him I could not part with it, because it was my authority: well, said he, you shall have it again, only let me peruse it. Then he took it, and said it signified nothing, because there was not the consent of nine heads; and added, that the vice-chancellor used him worse than he would any common doctor of the town, that the vicechancellor was not his judge, and that he should find the king alone was his judge, as he was his Regius Professor ; that the vice-chancellor should not think that he would be concluded by what he and four or five of his friends determined against him over a bottle; that they acted foolishly, calling an arrest and a summons to his court the same thing, and that if he

gave

bail or went to prison, he satisfied the law. I told him I thought that was only part, and then asked him for my arrest; he said, I might leave it with him, but that he would give it me whenever I called for it or wanted it, and so we parted. “ The next day in the morning I went and demanded it of

I him ; he said he had farther occasion for it, and could not part with it. I told him he broke his word and promise with me, and pressed him to restore it: well, well, said he, you shall come to no damage by it; and he added, that he would give it me when Friday was over : I said he dealt uncivilly by me, and would put me on difficulties ; but he absolutely refused to do it, and so I went off; and going to the vice-chancellor, told him

I had met with; he told me I must get another decree, which I did from Mr. Cooke of Magdalen's, but when I went with it to Dr. Bentley's, he would not see me, and I was refused admittance.

“On Thursday September the 25th, about two of the clock, Mr. Simpson and I went together to Dr. Bentley's, into the

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room where they dine; the company was just gone out, and after a little time Mr. Simpson left me, and went to the vicechancellor's. Not long after Dr. Ashenhurst, Mr. Lisle, and Mr. Witton came in to me. Mr. Lisle asked me what authority I had to stay in another man's house against the master's leave; I said, I was not to give him an account: he said he believed I could not justify it; I then asked him why he did not turn me out; well, said he, if you want your arrest, I will give it you, and have orders to tell you, you shall come to no damage so far as a hundred pounds go. I said if Dr. Bentley would give it me I would thank him, but would receive it from no other hand; they staid some time longer with me, and then going out, Dr. Ashenhurst said, well, Mr. Beadle, if you will not go out of the room, I will lock you in ; which he did, but soon after returned and opened it.

Awhile after this the master's servant came in and desired I would go away: I told him I had orders to stay longer; on which he said he was commanded to lock the door; and the doors on both sides of the room were locked on me for two hours at the least. After six of the clock I knocked, and the door was opened to me, not long after which Mr. Simpson came and called me away.

“On Saturday, September the 27th, at night, I went again to Dr. Bentley's. Mr.Witton came out and asked

my I told him I came to speak with Dr. Bentley from the vicechancellor ; he came out again and said the doctor was busy, and had nothing to say to me; I told him I wanted my decree. He came out the third time and brought it in his hand; I said I would not receive it but from the doctor himself as he had

promised; he said the doctor knew I came to complete the arrest, and would not then be seen by me, and that I must not think he would be arrested when I please, but that three or four days hence perhaps he would consent to it.”

Edward Clarke. Edvardus Clarke, Bedell. Arm. Jurat Dept' in præ Script.

esse vera Juram'to ei delat' per me Robertum Grove, cui Dmns. Procanc. Potestať dedit Juram'tum in hac parte deferend

Ita, Test. Robertus Grove Not. Publicus

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Your lordship will observe that Dr. Bentley peremptorily pronounces the vice-chancellor's decree to be illegal and unstatutable, and declares that he will not obey it; adding that the vice-chancellor was not his judge; which is followed with a great threatening to the vice-chancellor, and that “ he shall find;" so sure did he make himself from the beginning that he should be supported in his disobedience to the jurisdiction of the university; though I assure your lordship we do not in this place conclude from these big words that the doctor had any encouragement from his and our superiors to treat the judge and jurisdiction of our courts in the manner he has done. But this is not all: he once more renounces obedience to the vicechancellor in terms of great reproach to him and his heads; " the vice-chancellor must not think that he would be concluded by what he and four or five of his friends determined against him over a bottle." Pray consider this expression ; the circumstance here added of their being over a bottle is very indecent and rude : but the great contempt and indignity lies in the suggestion that the vice-chancellor and heads had determined against him even before the decree for his appearance was served on him. How would this be indured in the case of any other judge? What must become of a man who should atfirm of any other of the king's judges, that they came determined against a certain man before his cause was heard ? If this in the present case can be justified or even excused, then is the university unfortunate indeed; since of all the courts in the kingdom hers is the only one that may be safely despised, contemned, and trampled on; her judge the only one whose office ought not to screen bim from contempt and reproachful

But why do I expostulate ? Surely there is not a man of sense in the kingdom who will vindicate such behavior.

The next thing observable in the deposition is, that Dr. Bentley got the decree from the beadle under pretence of reading, and on promise of returning it again, and then put it in his pocket, and absolutely refused to deliver it back : and when the beadle appeared concerned that he had so unwarily parted with the decree, being conscious that he should give but an ill account of himself to the vice-chancellor, the doctor encourages him to

censure.

despise the vice-chancellor, and tells him he shall come to no damage; which was not said by chance, for afterwards on another occasion he had the same encouragement from the doctor delivered in a message by Mr. Lisle, who acquainted him that he had orders to tell him that he should come to no damage as far as a hundred pounds went. So that first the doctor by a very unfair art (to say no worse) gets the decree into his possession; then tries to corrupt the officer, and to encourage him in not doing his duty by a promise to bear him harmless, and names how far he would go, to a hundred pounds. Your lordship is better acquainted with our laws and the practice of them than I pretend to be; and pray, my lord, what name would

any other court give to such tampering with one of their officers ? What would my lord chief justice say to one who should get his warrant out of the officer's hands, and then to ease the officer for his negligence promise to support him against the King's Bench? I suppose that in common law this would be reckoned a great contempt; in common sense I am sure it

is so.

Hitherto the beadle was not ill used in his person ; but when it appeared that he was not manageable, but that he persisted in demanding the decree, then a new scene opens : instead of good words and promises of a hundred pounds to secure him from damage, he is made a prisoner and locked up. The first who turned the key on him was Dr. Ashenhurst, though I suppose it is not his ordinary business to lock up the lodge: soon after he returns and opens the door; soon after which a servant of the master comes and locks the door again. I take it for granted now the defence for all this is to be, that any man may lock his own doors, or may order his servant to do it; though the true design was to impound the officer of the court, and nothing else was thought of when Dr. Ashenhurst locked the door; but when that was done they began perhaps to consider how to justify it; in order to which it was thought, I presume,

I more proper that a servant of the master's should shut the doors on the officer, for he would act a natural part in shutting up his master's house : Dr. Ashenhurst therefore comes to unlock the door ; a servant soon follows to lock it again : but will such a thin disguise cover an action of this nature, when all the

SHERL,

VOL. V.

G

circumstances so plainly speak the true sense and meaning of it?

Your lordship has observed in the beadle's deposition, that a second decree was granted by the vice-chancellor in order to bring the doctor into judgment, on his having possessed himself of the first ; I am therefore to give your lordship an account what became of it. Mr. Clarke the beadle attended several times to serve it, and what usage he met with you

have seen in his own words ; it was afterwards put into the hands of an

; other of our university beadles, who served it on the doctor, on which he gave bail for his appearance ; and this circumstance is insisted on in behalf of the doctor as a cure for all that passed before, as that which made him rectus in curia, and wiped away all the contempt shown to the jurisdiction and judge of the university, and all the violence and vexation offered to the officer of the court in the discharge of his duty. But, my lord, if it shall be made evident to you that, notwithstanding the doctor put in bail for his appearance, yet he did not appear at the court day, this circumstance, I suppose, will pass for an aggravation, and not for an excuse or justification of his offence. The truth is that Mr. Lisle (one of the proctors of our court) now affirms that he was ordered by Dr. Bentley to appear for him, and was in court for that purpose; and for any thing that I know certainly to the contrary, he might inform the court of it. Be that as it will, yet this was no appearance. Our statute is very express that no man can appear in our court by his proctor who does not first appear in person, (unless it be in case of sickness,) and desire the judge to assign him a proctor; and it is to be presumed that Dr. Bentley, who has himself been judge of this court, (though I think he hardly ever came at it,) at least it is certain that Mr. Lisle who has practised as a proctor of the court near four years, could not be ignorant of this matter : but I shall have occasion to mention this circumstance again, when I have the honor to inform your lordship of the proceedings of the vice-chancellor and the university.

It will take up a little time to transcribe the passages from our statutes, which must necessarily be sent to enable you to judge in this affair. But I hope within a post or two to give your lordship a satisfactory account.

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