Engraved for the Trial of Maurice Margarot ... Questions put to the Lord Justice Clerke
by Margarot, Maurice
London: H. D. Symonds, 1794. First printing. Very good condition. Stipple engraved portrait of Maurice Margorot, from 'The trial of Maurice Margarot :before the High Court of Justiciary, at Edinburgh, on the 13th and 14th of January, 1794, : on an indictment for seditious practices'. In 1794 Margarot was on trial in Edinburgh for sedition, following which he was found guilty and transported with the other "Scottish Martyrs to Liberty" (Thomas Muir, Thomas Fyshe Palmer, William Skirving, and Joseph Gerrald) to New South Wales. In spite of mob demonstrations and an immense crowd which escorted Margarot to his trial, his speech in self defense failed and was itself deemed seditious. Margarot's questions to the judge are printed below his portrait, including the line "... my Lord, did you not say that the Mob would be the better for letting a little BLOOD".Margarot was a founding member of the London Corresponding Society, a political organization with the goal of ensuring universal suffrage for British men. He was transported to New South Wales in May 1794; arriving in Sydney his demand for immediate freedom was denied, but his status as a political prisoner allowed him to avoid forced labor. Margarot continued his political agitation, providing support to the Society of United Irishmen. Eventually Governor King seized his papers, which led to the suspicion of his involvement in the Castle Hill Rebellion, and a term of hard labor at Norfolk Island, Van Diemen's Land and Newcastle (1806).Margarot returned to England around 1810, and continued his political work, appearing as a witness in Parliamentary hearings on corruption in New South Wales. He continued his claim that his term of transportation was unjust in length. 3 3/4 x 5 3/4". Trove 9727349 records a copy in the Kivell collection. (Inventory #: 22361)
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