A Correct Account of the Horrible Occurence The Bishop of Clogher ... a Common Soldier!
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Transcribed from the  J. L. Marks edition by DavidPrice, email [email protected]
A CORRECT ACCOUNT
Which took place at a Public-housein St. James’s Market,
in which it was discovered that
The Right Rev. Father inGod
BISHOP OF CLOGHER,
Lately transferred from theBishopric of Ferns,
WAS APRINCIPAL ACTOR WITH
A Common Soldier!
To the disgrace not only of the Cloth, to which he wasattached, and as a Commissioner of the Board of Education, and aDictator of Public Morals, but as a Member of that Nation whichgave him Birth!
PRINTED AND PUBLISHED BY & FOR J. L. MARKS,
23, RUSSELL COURT, COVENTGARDEN.
To hold the vicious up to odium andcontempt should be at all times a particular care of the Press;but when every powerful engine is exerted to veil the vices ofthe privileged ranks, and to make it appear that crime ispeculiar to those who constitute what are called the lowerclasses, it becomes a sacred and imperative duty.
We know there are some who, from a pretended regard toreligion, would suppress every fact that exposes the licentiousconduct of its ministers, but, nine times out of ten, this ismere hypocritical cant to support those who “bind heavyburdens, and grievous to be borne, and lay on men’sshoulders.” The mistaken infidel may connect religionwith the conduct of its professors, but the truly religiousperson makes no distinction of vice but its comparative enormity,and the more he venerates the doctrine of Christianity, thegreater abhorrence he feels towards the wretch who violates everyprinciple of the religion which it is his duty to inculcate.
We see a certain Association evincing a most scandalouspartiality, by SELECTING theobjects of their prosecution from those most unable to defendthemselves! we participate in the general feeling of censureagainst them, and believe
The name of the Prelate may have appeared in the subscriptioncolumns of a newspaper, the only place where the charity of manyis heard of. Nay, we have little doubt but it might befound in the list of subscribers to the highly respectableassociation the “Bridge street gang” orthe “Society for the suppression ofvice.” We would not rob him of any actionof merit on this score, or them of any claim torespectability in the eye of the public; for ourselves wewould say, “Woe unto you, Scribes and Pharisees,hypocrites, for ye—also outwardly appear righteous untomen, but within ye are full of hypocrisy andiniquity.” Any comment on the case itself must besuperfluous, we therefore give it to the reader as extractedverbatim from the Statesman.
July 22, 1822.
Our readers have often had tooblige us by their attention to what we have said of the blessedTHING. We are now going to trouble them upon anextraordinary occasion indeed, and are going to give an instanceof the baseness and infamy of the London newspapers, such as wenever before had it in our power to give; and such as we arequite sure will, before we have done with it, implant thecharacter of everlasting infamy upon that corrupt press, whichhas so long been boasting of its independence and itshonour. What a deal we have heard about the press being theguardian of public morals! What volumes have we readabout its powers of correction of evil! We have,
We have first to insert an article from the weekly papercalled The Observer; to which paper the public will be ingreat part indebted for the knowledge of the horrible affairwhich the article describes. We shall then offer a fewobservations, that may serve just for the present on the mannerin which the thing has been and is likely to be illustrated bythe circumstances of the transaction alluded to; and then weshall lay before our readers an account of the conduct of the“respectable” and infamous part of the press, uponthis occasion; naming the several papers;
From the Observer SundayNewspaper, July 21, 1822.
“It is our painful and disgusting task thisday to notice a charge which has been made against a RightReverend Bishop, at Marlborough-street police office, atwhich human nature revolts. The circumstances are of suchpublic notoriety at the west end of the town, that it would be invain, if any delicacy were due to the party accused, toattempt to keep them from general observation. Theindividual to whom we allude was recently promoted to an Irishbishopric, and is nearly related to a Peer inParliament. He is an elderly man, and we understand wasmuch respected in that class of society to which hebelonged. On Friday night it appears that he wasdetected in a back room of the White Lion public-house, inSt. Alban’s place, St. James’s, in asituation with a private
p. 9in the Foot Guards, to which wewill not more minutely allude, but which led to his instantapprehension and removal with his companion to the watchhouse. There were not fewer than seven witnessesto the fact; and it would seem that the Reverend Prelate withdifficulty escaped the vengeance of the populace, who, ifnot prevented by the peace-officers, would have sacrificed him totheir indignation on the spot. As it was, he wasseverely beaten. On being secured in thewatch-house, he offered bail any amount for his liberation; butthis was very properly refused, and he remained locked up in thecell during the night in a state of mind which may be more easilyimagined than described. Yesterday morning he was conveyedin a hackney-coach to Marlborough street, and was soon afterwardsfollowed by the soldier. They were both pursued by theexecrations and revilings of the crowd which had beencollected on so extraordinary an occasion. Mr. Dyer, thepresiding magistrate, determined p. 10on a private examination, atwhich Mr. Alley, who attended for the Bishop, was present. The witnesses were called in separately, but their testimony wasin all respects consistent, and the case established was to acertain extent of the clearest nature. Mr. Alley,however, submitted that as the capital charge had not been borneout, his client was entitled to bail; a proposition towhich we understand Mr. Dyer was obliged to accede; andthe wretched offender was permitted, in the course of the day,to go at large, upon finding sureties to the amountof one thousand pounds. The soldier, not sofortunate, was committed to take his trial.—Forreasons which are obvious, we decline entering more minutely intothe details of this most shocking affair; but we ought in justiceto a worthy prelate, whose name has unfortunately beenmentioned by mistake, in connection with the charge, torequest our readers to reflect before they come to apositive determination as to the party reallyimplicated.”
p. 11Whenour readers have gone through this article, and have heard usdeclare our perfect conviction of its truth; when they have heardus say, that it is agreeable, as far as it goes, with theenquiries which we have made, when they have further heard, thatthe scene of the brutal transaction was in a back room of thepublic-house above mentioned; that the parties had drawn thecurtains of the room, but had left a part that the curtains didnot cover but that might be seen through; that a little girl(vindicatress of her sex!) happening to go into the back courtinto which the window looked, wondering to see the curtainsdrawn, had the curiosity to look in, where she saw the partiesengaged in that way not to be described, that the little girl(better guardian of public morals than the respectable part ofthe press) ran to the landlord, who came out with other personswith him, who were all witnesses of the fact, to that certainextent, at least, of which the Observer speaks; that afterthis, the landlord p.12and others laudably went, dashed in the door, took theparties in the state of Achilles as far as nakedness wasnecessary to their intentions; that they then dragged them to thewatch-house, in that very same state: when our readers have heardall this, they will naturally cry aloud, “why is thename of this Bishop suppressed?” It is aBishop the article says. It is a “venerableprelate;” it is a Right Reverend Father in God; and whythen, is his name suppressed? The Observer informsus that another “worthy prelate” has been named; andunfortunately named; and the Observer requests its readersto reflect before they come to a positive determination as to whothe party is. What, are all the Bishops then, tolive under this imputation or suspicion? Are all theBishops to be suspected for the sake of this wretch, as theObserver itself justly calls him? This would beinjustice towards the Bishops in general, equal to that which themost respectable and most infamous part of the press has beenguilty. p.13We shall do our duty. And we here inform ourreaders: without anticipating the decisions of courts of justice;without pretending to know whether the alledged crime can beproved or not; without pretending to anticipate any thing of thissort, we inform our readers of that which they all ought to know,that the person, who was taken from the White Lion public-houseabove-mentioned to the watch-house, and who was afterwards takenfrom the watch-house to Marlborough-street, and who was held tobail as above-mentioned; we here inform our readers that thatperson who was so taken along with the soldier of the guards wasthe