A section of the Indictment preserved in the 'Proceedings' reads as follows: 'DENBIGHSHIRE (to wit) It hath been found, by a certain inquisition of the county, that William Davies Shipley, late of LLANNORCK PARK, in the parish of Henllan, in the county of Denbigh, Clerk, being a person of a wicked and turbulent disposition, and maliciously designing and intending to excite and diffuse, amongst the subjects of this realm, discontents, jealousies, and suspicions of our Lord the King, and his Government, and disaffection and disloyalty and to raise very dangerous seditions and tumults and to diaw the government of this kingdom into great scandal, infamy and disgrace; and to incite the subjects of our Lord the King to attempt, by force and violence and with arms, to make alterations in the government, state and constitution of this Kingdom wickedly and seditiously published a certain false, wicked, malicious, seditious, and scandalous libel, of and concerning our said Lord and King in the form of a supposed dialogue between a supposed gentleman and a supposed farmer The Dean pleaded not guilty, and strangely, 'the Treasury would not prosecute'. In September 1783 the trial was put off on the application of the prosecutor. In April 1784, the prosecutor, on the morning upon which the tiial was to have come on (the special jury having been struck the day before), produced a certiorari to remove the Indictment into the Court of King's Bench, when the Court directed it to be tried at the next assizes at Shrewsbury. The temptation to quote at length from the Proceedings must be resisted. The Dean, as on another occasion mentioned by Pennant, was 'backed by his friends he brought with him', and they were an influential group of 'three or four gentlemen of great consequence and reputation in that county where the Dean lives, to prove his general deportment and behaviour'. Among the friends who testified on his behalf were Sir Watkin Williams Wynn, Sir Roger Mostyn and Colonel Myddleton. The verbal exchanges of Counsel make fascinating reading even now almost two centuries later. One can still read Mr. Justice Buller's caustic comments on the methods of Counsel for the Defendant; and of the considerable severity of the Judge's technique of handling the jury as he realised that they lacked impartiality. The Judge's summing up and the general trend of his questions indicated that he was not impressed by the Dean or by the defence put forward (at great length), on his behalf. The details are no longer important, but such a case by its unique nature, and by the enormous public interest it would in- evitably engender throughout North Wales, must have left a legacy of ill-feeling that was still present in the Diocese in 1786. Williams of Fron might well have regarded as 'Shameless' the inclusion of the name of the Dean at the head of the Loyal Address under these circumstances.
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