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The Trial of Maurice Margarot, before the High Court of Judiciary, at Edinburgh...
New York: James Carey, no. 91, Broad-Street, 1794. Octavo, engraved portrait frontispiece, 166 pp.; some offsetting but an unusually clean copy, in attractive modern quarter calf. New York edition of a rare work: the trial that sent Margarot to Botany Bay. Very scarce American edition of the trial of the "Scottish martyr" Margarot, and one of very few eighteenth-century American publications of Australian interest. This is in fact the first separately printed edition of this important trial, and includes not only the transcript of the trial (in which Margarot conducted his own defence) but also Margarot's long summation and the judgement against him. This is the first copy we have had of the book in over a decade.The interesting frontispiece features a portrait of Margarot signed by the American artist Benjamin Tanner (1775-1848), over a few lines from the trial transcript:Marg: Did you use these words - What shod. you think of giving him: 100 lashes, together with Botany Bay - or words to that purpose?Ld. J. Clk: Go on - Put your quests. if you have any more.Marg: Did any person - Did a Lady, say to you, that the Mob would not allow you to whip him: & my Lord, did you not say that the Mob would be the better for letting a little BLOOD?Maurice Margarot was one of the "Scottish martyrs" sentenced to transportation (for 14 years in his case). Together with a group of fellow 'seditionists' he was sent to Botany Bay on board the Surprize. Disputes over what happened on board the Surprize continue to this day, but in short Margarot was accused by fellow Scottish Martyr Thomas Palmer of having informed the captain of a planned convict mutiny on board, leading to their incarceration for the rest of the voyage. After his arrival in Australia Margarot seems to have spent the next 17 years as a highly mobile 'double agent' moving alternately between the Governor's clique, groups of disaffected army officers and Irish 'rebel' conspirators. He was vociferous during the governorship of Hunter, while his relations with Governor Kinghave been called 'complex and mysterious' (ADB). He is considered to have probably been involved in the planning of the Irish rebellion of March 1804, actions which led to him being forced to spend the next few years in Norfolk Island, Van Diemen's Land, and Newcastle, before returning to England in 1810. Margarot died five years later in poverty, although in the 1830s his reputation was rehabilitated by some of the founders of the Chartist movement.Ferguson Addenda (189a) noted only the National Library's imperfect copy (the Nan Kivell copy), but there now appears to be a second complete copy noted in the library; a complete copy has likewise since been acquired by the State Library of New South Wales. The Margarot trial was evidently of more than passing interest in the United States as in 1796 a now even rarer Philadelphia edition was published by a William Carey (presumably a relation of James)....
      [Bookseller: Hordern House]
Last Found On: 2015-03-06           Check availability:      Direct From Bookseller    

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