From the Times, 14th Dec 1830


Mansion-House. - Yesterday a man named John Popjoy, the principal evidence in the case of piracy on board his Majesty's ship the Cyprus, waited upon the Lord Mayor, and stated that he had an affidavit to make of very great importance.

One of the principal officers mentioned, that if the affidavit related to the trial of the men who had been convicted at the Admiralty sessions for piracy, the better plan would be to swear it at Doctors'-commons.

The Lord Mayor asked whether the object of the affidavit was to benefit the unfortunate men who were sentenced to be executed, as, if that were the case, all forms should be waved, and the oath should be administered at once.

Popjoy handed in the statement, to the truth of which he professed his readiness to swear.

The paper mentioned that a man, who had been tried at the same time with the two unfortunate men who were ordered to be executed on Thursday next, was much more culpable than they; that that man had concerted the whole of the operations, and persuaded the rest to join in his plan; and that, although the ringleader, a verdict of acquittal had been pronounced with respect to him. The paper also stated, that the two prisoners who had been found guilty of the offence, but whose lives were spared by the royal clemency, were more criminal than those on whom the last penalty was about to be inflicted. Under these circumstances, the chief witness for the Crown, who was not himself an approver pardoned by the King, but was, as he described himself, the saver of the lives on board, submitted that it would be worthy of the merciful character of the present Government, as well as perfectly consistent with the principles of justice, to extend the lenity exercised towards the more guilty to those whose offence was of a lesser degree.

The Lord Mayor said the statement contained matter of a very important nature indeed, and that the Secretary of State would not hesitate to give it immediate consideration. The two cases selected as examples no doubt appeared to the high authorities to be the most criminal, but the public were already aware that His Majesty's Government did not act with any exorbitant pretensions to infallibility, and every thing might be expected from them in which mercy could be blended with justice.

Popjoy then swore to the accuracy of the statement, and went, by the advice of the Lord Mayor, to the Sheriff, in order to have his application backed by the authority of their officers.

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