Billeder på siden

Doctor, and he remained for fourteen days, and was in fact under arrest at large up to the arrival of the ship in the Derwent.

The case for the prosecution lasted three entire days, viz. Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday; and on Saturday, Mr. Gellibrand addressed the Jury on behalf of Captain Dillon, in a speech of two hours, in which he animadverted upon the conduct of Dr. Tytler to the defendant, and his conduct in the witness-box. He exhorted the Jury to lay aside any prejudice which the unguarded expressions of Captain Dillon were calculated to produce on their minds, more especially as the prosecutor was an officer of their profession; that, in point of fact, all the causes of irritation, up to the 28th February, were only introductory to the matter in issue, which simply was whether an assault had been committed on the 28th of February; and, if so, whether Captain Dillon was justified.-Mr. Gellibrand contended, that the representations made by Dr. Tytler to Mr. Dudman, the day after the ship sailed, that the Captain was mad—the repetition of the same sentiment at the cuddy table—and the introduction of a conversation respecting the ship, and the dangers of the rocks of Tucopia, were highly calculated to produce disunion between the officers and the Captain-to lessen his authority—and to produce, in the minds of the officers, that the Captain was unfit to have the command—that the officers were engaged upon an important discovery, fraught with danger, and where fear should be expelled from the minds of all. But that the defendant was only to be tried for his acts, which were as mild as the circumstances would admit, and were justifiable. He contended that the letter written by Dr. Tytler could not bear any other construction than an intimation to Mr. that the Captain was mad, and unable to command the ship, and that he (Mr.-) ought to take upon himself the como mand—that this construction was supported by the fact, that the letter was shewn to all the officers, but concealed from the Captain-that the original letter had been destroyed, and also the copy of it which had been taken—that at the time the purport of the letter was communicated to Captain Dillon, he was apprised of all these facts by his officers; and therefore, believing it was the wish of Dr. Tytler to represent him as mad, when no other person in the ship formed such an opinion, he was justified in putting Dr. Tytler under arrest, in doing which no violence was used; and that after two hours the Doctor was only under arrest at large. Mr. Dudman proved the report he made to Captain Dillon in the presence of the first officer, and that he considered the letter as an intimation that the Captain was mad, and ought to

be confined to his cabin; and stated, that, if he had been chief offieer, he would have acted upon it.

The Solicitor-general replied, upon the whole case, that the assault was clearly proved ; that there was no sufficient justification; and that it was highly aggravated by the previous conduct of Captain Dillon.

The Chief Justice summed up to the Jury, that they were not to try this case by their notions of mutiny or martial-law; that, in point of fact, the ship in question was precisely similar to a merchant vessel trading from London to these colonies ; and that the defendant had no more authority than the master of such a ship would have over his officers and crew. He observed, that the only points for the consideration of the Jury were~lst. Had an assault been committed ; and then, had a justification been made out to their satisfaction ? A justification might be made in two ways, either by the Doctor writing a letter to the officer representing the Captain to be mad, when he knew at the same time that he was not mad, and by that means dispossess the Captain of the command ; or, by his representing what he believed to be true, but what was not so in fact; and that the defendant, at the time he put Dr. Tytler under arrest, believed the Doctor had made an untrue statement for the purpose of taking the command from him. The Chief Justice expressed his opinion that, in either of these cases, the justification had been made out, and the defendant would be entitled to a verdict ; but


the latter point, the Jury ought to be satisfied that the Captain called his officers together, and consulted them upon the subject, and took all proper means of informing himself upon the nature and contents of the communication made to the officers.

In either case, the Court was desirous the Jury should specially find the facts upon which their verdict should be founded.

The Jury retired for about an hour and a half, and returned the following verdict :-"Guilty upon the 4th count. “ The Jury are of opinion that Dr. Tytler should have exer6 cised more discretion in introducing observations which he “ knew were irritating to the feelings of Captain Dillon,"

Captain Dillon was then ordered to attend on Tuesday, to receive judgment.

On that day the Chief Justice shortly adverted to the facts of the case, and stated, that he considered it necessary to mark the conduct of the defendant, and, by that means, to prevent such conduct in future by masters of ships, either to officers or to passengers : and although it was true that no violence had been used, and that the proseculor had been in close confinement only two hours, and under arrest at large

for fourteen days ; yet the facts of the case, in his opinion, manifested bad feeling, and were attended with circumstances of aggravation. The sentence of the Court was, that the defendant should be imprisoned two months in the gaol of Hobart Town, pay a fine of £50, and enter into sureties for good behaviour for twelve months.

(From the TASMANIAN, May 10th, 1827.) We have the satisfaction of informing the friends to science and humanity, that Captain Dillon, of the Honourable East. India Companys ship Research, has been this day liberated from gaol by his Excellency the Lieutenant-governor. Cap. tain Dillon transmitted a memorial to the Lieutenant-go, vernor on Thursday last, setting forth the objects of the expedition, and that a detention in Van Diemen's Land for two months would completely frustrate the humane intentions of the Supreme Government of Bengal, inasmuch as the monsoons would set in about the early part of September, and that he would therefore be under the necessity of des. patching the Rescarch to Calcutta, and the expedition be frustrated for the present. It is said that Captain Dillon, upon these grounds, memorialized the Governor to allow him to prosecute bis voyage instanter, offering any security to return to Van Diemen's Land at its termination, and satisfy the judgment of the Court.

We believe that a memorial, to a similar effect, was signed by a great number of the respectable inhabitants of Hobart Town, and also one by the public officers of the Government. It is said that the reasons attached to some of the signatures to the latter paper, were considered by Captain Dillon to be personally offensive, and the memorial was not therefore transmitted.

The Executive Council sat yesterday, when, we believe, the matter was taken into consideration; and, in the evening, his Excellency was pleased to issue a warrant for the Cape tain's discharge.

We had intended to havn offered some observations upon the severity of Captain Dillon's sentence, as compared with those which have hitherto been pronounced in the Supreme Court in assault cases, and some of them under very aggravated circumstances; but as such a measure might be painful to the feelings of some who have passed the ordeal, and, pa doubt, wish the matter to be buried in oblivion; and as the Research will now proceed upon the expedition, we shall not pursue the subject.

We believe it was at one time in contemplation to have despatched the ship to the Malicolo Islands without the aid

of Captain Dillon ; but the chief officer having refused to take the command, and not one of the officers of the ship having any knowledge either of the islands or of the customs or language of the natives, the idea was abandoned ; the fact is, that the success of the expedition rests entirely upon Captain Dillon. We hope his exertions will be crowned with complete success, and that the main objects of the expedition will not be in any way defeated by the detention of the ship at this port, or by the recent investigation. Dr. Tytler has quitted the Research, and proceeds in the Albion to Calcutta, to justify his conduct to the Supreme Government of Bengal. We hope he will be able fully and satisfactorily to explain the circumstances which have induced him to retrace his steps. We know that he carries with him some powerful letters in justification; but nevertheless we are of opinion, to use the words of the Editor of the Sydney Gazette, that he will, notwithstanding, “come off second best."

(From the TASMANIAN, May 17, 1827.) The report of the trial against Captain Dillon, in the government paper, is not only ex parte, but unjust to those concerned. After stating the whole case for the prosecution, the Editor

says :On Saturday morning, the counsel for the defendant addressed the Jury at considerable length. · In alluding to Dr. Tytler's observations upon the vessel, which had given offence to Captain Dillon, the counsel chose to designate it dastardly conduct,' upon which Dr. Tytler left the court, and did not return during the remainder of the trial.”

We think that it was due, not only to Dr. Tytler, but to all the parties, that part of a sentence, in a speech which occupied above two hours, should not have been thus in. truded upon public notice, but that all which was in connection should have appeared. We did not advert to any of the observations made on either side ; nor did we intend to do so, as our limits would not permit us to give the whole 3 but we feel bound to publish so much as relates to this particular expression.

Mr. Gellibrand, after adverting to the expressions used by Dr. Tytler at the cuddy table : “ That it was Commodore Hayes' opinion that the ship Research was only fit for a rice hulk ; that she might slip down to Van Diemen's Land, but that she would go down in the first gale of wind, or be lost on the rocks of Tucopia,” said

“ If Dr. Tytler did believe that Captain Dillon was madand after the full statements laid before you as to Captain

Dillon's conduct, I would ask you, who is the individual that had driven him into a state bordering on insanity ?—if it is true that the ship Research was a bad sailer--if it is true that she would not steer well – if it is true that she has been sent on a most dangerous expedition-if it is true that she is destined to proceed to the rocks of Tucopia, in search of the unfortunate La Pérouse-if it is true that fear should be banished from the minds of all who are engaged in such dangerous enterprises—if it is true that fear works imperceptibly, but powerfully, on the mind, and paralyzes the efforts of the body-the cuddy table was the last place to have introduced such topics, and Dr. Tytler was the last man who should have introduced them. The safety of the ship depends on the courage and confidence of those on board. If you had heard conversation like that used by Dr. Tytler, would you not have considered it a duty to put a stop to it? Would

you not have gone further? If Captain Dillon had said to Dr.Tytler-That is language calculated to alarm my officers, and if you do not put an end to it, I will put you under arrest;" and if it had been persisted in, and Dr. Tytler had been put under arrest for it, I say he would have been fully justified. Could any thing have been more dangerous than this dastardly conduct, than the dastardly expression which fell from Dr. Tytler at that table ?"

(From the AUSTRALIAN of January 4, 1828.) The Mauritius Gazette of the 27th October, treats the finding by Captain Dillon, of what he seems to consider part of the sword of the unfortunate French navigator, La Pérouse, and the interpretations put upon the marks which it bore, in a cavalier manner :

“ Many an article (it says) has been published regarding an unexpected discovery which the English captain, Dillon, is thought to have made of the spot where La Pérouse perished, and all are agreed that it was on the island Malicolo the unfortunate event occurred. To prove this, among other remnants picked up by Captain Dillon among the islands of which Malicolo forms one, the shell of a silver-hilted sword is produced. On one side of this is an inscription, which has been translated into the initial letters corresponding with the name and title of La Perouse. A second mark has been set down for a P, surmounted by a crown. From a third have been detected the letters FM F, as much as to intimate none other than brother freemason (franc-maçon-frere), and diametrically opposite this latter mark are others, which, to correspond properly, must be considered as emblems of ma

« ForrigeFortsæt »