Page images
PDF
EPUB

AN

INQUIRY INTO THE EVIDENCE

RELATING TO THE

CHARGES BROUGHT BY LORD MACAULAY

AGAINST

WILLIAM PENN

BY JOHN PAGET, ESQ.

BARRISTER-AT-LAW

"I know my enemies, and their true character and history, and their
intrinsic value to this or other Governments ; I commit them to time,
with my own conduct and afflictions."---Letter of William Penn, 1693.

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS
EDINBURGH AND LONDON

MDCCCLVIII

210, 6, 322,

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

INTRODUCTION.

My attention was first direeted to the subject of the following pages by finding in Lord Macaulay's picture of William Penn a character, so inconsistent with itself, that one would not expect to meet with it until we discover a country inhabited by centaurs, or succeed in catching a living mermaid. I was thus led to examine the authorities on which he relies. A short time served to convince me that the dark stains with which he has disfigured the portrait of Penn were not to be found in the original, but owed their existence solely to the jaundiced

eye

of the artist. I have endeavoured,

[blocks in formation]

in the following pages, to collect into a small compass all the evidence I could meet with on the subject, in the hope that by so doing I might enable others, with less labour, to form their own opinions upon a question which involves, not only the character of the dead, which has become a sacred trust in the hands of the living, but also the degree of confidence which ought to be placed in the statements of the most popular and eloquent of modern writers. I have examined for myself the different documents referred to, having been enabled to do so by the liberality of the Right Hon. S. H. Walpole, and the kind assistance which I have received from the Gentlemen in whose immediate custody the documents preserved in the StatePaper and Privy Council Offices are deposited. It appeared to me, that notwithstanding what has already been done by Mr Hepworth Dixon and others, matters of considerable interest still remained to be gleaned ; I have therefore

[blocks in formation]

done my best to collect them, and to lay them before the reader in as concise a form as possible. Lord Macaulay in the present year has reiterated his charges, and in some instances has attempted to justify them. The issue, upon the character of William Penn and the trustworthiness of Lord Macaulay, is therefore now fairly before the public.

J. P.

3 BRICK COURT, TEMPLE,

Nov. 1858.

« PreviousContinue »