The Works of the Rev. Jonathan Swift/Volume 12/From Constantine Phipps to Jonathan Swift - 4


ORMOND-STREET, JAN. 14, 1720-21.

HAVING been a little indisposed, I went at Christmas into the country, which prevented me from sooner acknowledging the favour of your letter. As to Waters's[1] case, I was informed of it; and the last term I spoke to Mr. Attorney general[2] about it; but he told me, he could not grant a writ of errour in a criminal case, without direction from the king; so that Waters is not likely to have much relief from hence, and therefore I am glad you have some hopes it will drop in Ireland. I think the chief justice[3] should have that regard to his own reputation, to let it go off so; for I believe the oldest man alive, or any law-book, cannot give any instance of such a proceeding. I was informed who was aimed at by the prosecution, which made me very zealous in it; which I shall be in every thing, wherein I can be serviceable to that gentleman, for whom nobody has a greater esteem, than your most faithful humble servant,

  1. Dr. Swift's printer: he was prosecuted for printing "A Proposal for the universal Use of Irish Manufactures," said by mistake to have been written in 1721. The dean, in his letter to Pope, dated January 10, 1721, says, that the jury, which tried him, had been culled with the utmost industry; but that, notwithstanding, they brought him in not guilty. That Whitshed, the judge, sent them out nine times, and kept them eleven hours; till, being tired out, they were forced to leave the matter to the mercy of the judge by a special verdict. The duke of Grafton, lord lieutenant, soon after, upon mature advice, and permission from England, granted a noli prosequi.
  2. Sir Robert Raymond.
  3. Whitshed.