Early Modern Crime and the Law

George Frost, seditious libel

Denbighshire 1681

Depositions from Great Sessions gaolfiles, National Library of Wales 4/33/6.28

[Robert Brerewood esquire]... deposeth, that upon Wednesday night being ye 8th day of this instant June, as he was takeing a pipe of tobacco at ye house of ye said Edward Brereton [at Borras, Gresford parish], with one George Frost a leade miner (late of Darbyshire) the said George Frost, began to tell ye said deponent; that he was appointed to be a watchman, in ye late rebellion, in ye said county of Darby (where he then liv'd); to demand an account from all passengers; of the occasion of their travelling; which he was unwilling to be concern'd to doe, because he did belive yt ye late king of blessed memorie, was marryed to the late duke of Monmouth's mother & that there were wittnesses to prove it, but ye king would not suffer them to be heard, but did not mencion who yt king was. Upon which, this deponent answered the said George Frost, that then he would make the late duke of Monmuth's son lawfull heire; unto which the said George Frost answered suddenly in these very words, that he should have it & he would fight for him, but neither mencioned crown nor kingdome; & at that very tyme when this discourse was made by the said George Frost, this deponent advisd him to be wary & consider how he spoak such things, least he whould possess ye countrey people with an ill oppinion of his present majesty; & att that tyme the said George Frost was very farr in drinke, and after some tyme of consideracion taken of what he had spoaken to this deponent, he seem'd to be very sorowfull & tould this deponent that he had noe reason to speake against his present majestie for he had bin kinder to him then any king of England ever was... [autograph]

[Samuel Smallwood]... deposeth that on ye said 8th day at night of this instant June, he happened to be in a passage neare the kitchin in ye house of ye said Edward Brereton where the said Robert Brerewood & ye said George Frost were together a takeing of tobacco, without any other company with them, & he over heard the said George Frost say that Monmouth's son was right heir to the crown and that he would fight for him; and further saith yt the said George Frost was at that tyme drunke... [autograph]

[George Frost]... saieth yt he was upon the 8th day at night of this instant June in company with the said Robert Brerewood in the kitchen of the said Edward Brereton as aforesaid; but remembers not what discourse past betwixt him & the said Robert Brerewood; being then very much in drinke... [autograph]

[Examinations taken before Sir Thomas Powell and Edward Brereton JPs, 9 June 1687]