[ Thomas Noon Talfourd, judge and author. ] Autograph draft of part of his opening speech to the jury on behalf of the defendants in the Court of Exchequer libel case 'Richmond versus Marshall and Miles'.

Sir Thomas Noon Talfourd (1795-1854), English judge and author, friend of Charles Dickens [ Alexander Baillie Richmond ('Richmond the Spy'); Tait's Edinburgh Magazine; Simpkin and Marshall ]
Publication details: 
[ Court of Exchequer, London. December 1834. ]
SKU: 18636

The background to this document is ably explained in an article in the Spectator, 27 December 1834, 'The Spy System: Richmond versus Marshall and Miles', which begins: 'The Court of Exchequer was occupied the whole of Saturday and Monday last with the trial of an action of libel, brought by Alexander Baillie Richmond, the individual for many years known in Scotland by the title of "Richmond the Spy," against Messrs. Simpkin and Marshall, the London publishers of Tait's Edinburgh Magazine. The plaintiff maintained that his character had been seriously damaged by some articles in the Magazine, entitled "The Spy System, or, 'tis Thirteen Years since."' The trial, in which a number of the witnesses for the defendants, 'mostly men in humble life', delivered their evidence 'in many passages resembling the Scottish dialogues in the Waverley Novels', ended with Richmond being nonsuited. 1p., 8vo. In good condition, on lightly aged and worn paper, watermarked 'W KING | 1834'. The page is headed '12. T' and contains nineteen lines of text, with deletions and emendations, beginning: '[...] incapable of being served with the compulsory notice of this court or of quitting their duties? Is not the conclusion obvious? But that is not all - Even the publication of 1832 is not the first publication on the subject of Mr. Richmond's exploits; nor is the author of that publication the person against whom Mr. Richmond has most cause to complain.'