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Documents Biography Criticism

The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Robert Gray to William Jerdan, [1816]

Vol. I. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Introductory
Ch. 2: Childhood
Ch. 3: Boyhood
Ch. 4: London
Ch. 5: Companions
Ch. 6: The Cypher
Ch. 7: Edinburgh
Ch. 8: Edinburgh
Ch. 9: Excursion
Ch. 10: Naval Services
Ch. 11: Periodical Press
Ch. 12: Periodical Press
Ch. 13: Past Times
Ch. 14: Past Times
Ch. 15: Literary
Ch. 16: War & Jubilees
Ch. 17: The Criminal
Ch. 18: Mr. Perceval
Ch. 19: Poets
Ch. 20: The Sun
Ch. 21: Sun Anecdotes
Ch. 22: Paris in 1814
Ch. 23: Paris in 1814
Ch. 24: Byron
Vol. I. Appendices
Scott Anecdote
Burns Anecdote
Life of Thomson
John Stuart Jerdan
Scottish Lawyers
Sleepless Woman
Canning Anecdote
Southey in The Sun
Hood’s Lamia
Murder of Perceval
Vol. II. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary
Ch. 2: Mr. Canning
Ch. 3: The Sun
Ch. 4: Amusements
Ch. 5: Misfortune
Ch. 6: Shreds & Patches
Ch. 7: A Character
Ch. 8: Varieties
Ch. 9: Ingratitude
Ch. 10: Robert Burns
Ch. 11: Canning
Ch. 12: Litigation
Ch. 13: The Sun
Ch. 14: Literary Gazette
Ch. 15: Literary Gazette
Ch. 16: John Trotter
Ch. 17: Contributors
Ch. 18: Poets
Ch 19: Peter Pindar
Ch 20: Lord Munster
Ch 21: My Writings
Vol. II. Appendices
The Satirist.
Authors and Artists.
The Treasury
Morning Chronicle
Chevalier Taylor
Foreign Journals
Vol. III. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Literary Pursuits
Ch. 2: Literary Labour
Ch. 3: Poetry
Ch. 4: Coleridge
Ch 5: Criticisms
Ch. 6: Wm Gifford
Ch. 7: W. H. Pyne
Ch. 8: Bernard Barton
Ch. 9: Insanity
Ch. 10: The R.S.L.
Ch. 11: The R.S.L.
Ch. 12: L.E.L.
Ch. 13: L.E.L.
Ch. 14: The Past
Ch. 15: Literati
Ch. 16: A. Conway
Ch. 17: Wellesleys
Ch. 18: Literary Gazette
Ch. 19: James Perry
Ch. 20: Personal Affairs
Vol. III. Appendices
Literary Poverty
Ismael Fitzadam
Mr. Tompkisson
Mrs. Hemans
A New Review
Debrett’s Peerage
Procter’s Poems
Poems by Others
Poems by Jerdan
Vol. IV. Front Matter
Ch. 1: Critical Glances
Ch. 2: Personal Notes
Ch. 3: Fresh Start
Ch. 4: Thomas Hunt
Ch. 5: On Life
Ch. 6: Periodical Press
Ch. 7: Quarterly Review
Ch. 8: My Own Life
Ch. 9: Mr. Canning
Ch. 10: Anecdotes
Ch. 11: Bulwer-Lytton
Ch. 12: G. P. R. James
Ch. 13: Finance
Ch. 14: Private Life
Ch. 15: Learned Societies
Ch. 16: British Association
Ch. 17: Literary Characters
Ch. 18: Literary List
Ch. 19: Club Law
Ch. 20: Conclusion
Vol. IV. Appendix
Gerald Griffin
W. H. Ainsworth
James Weddell
The Last Bottle
N. T. Carrington
The Literary Fund
Letter from L.E.L.
Geographical Society
Baby, a Memoir
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Produced by CATH
Dear Sir,

“Underneath I send you a copy of Mr. Marryat’s opinion, from which it appears, upon the whole, that it would be better to drop the idea of any action or indictment.

“I have read your case as drawn by yourself, and think it exceedingly well put together; so much so, that it will be laid entire before the counsel this evening, to draw the bill in equity. I have added but a line or two on one occasion, where I thought it was required, and I will hasten the gentleman who has the framing the bill every moment I possibly can. Mr. Marryat had some personal knowledge of Mr. Taylor, but spoke very loudly in his disfavour; however, he desired it might not be repeated to Taylor. I go to Oxford to-morrow morning early, and do not return till Saturday evening, but in the meantime your papers will be before counsel.

“Yours truly,

“I am of opinion that the terms used in the letter to Mr. Stuart* are not so distinctly libellous in point of law (though ‘very analogous’ to a libel) as to sustain either

* The present eminent Chancery barrister, ex-member for Newark, and I rejoice to add member for Bury St. Edmunds, which could not have a more able or honourable representative, and one of my oldest and dearest friends, to whom Taylor had addressed one of his abusive epistles.

an indictment or an action. No criminal prosecution can be supported for the mere verbal slanders. And of all the words stated in this case to have been used by
Mr. Taylor (with the addition mentioned in the note of the 13th instant), that of ‘thief’ alone is actionable. Even this expression if explained by the accompanying conversation, or by the witness to it, as not meant to convey an imputation of felony, would not be a legal ground of action, and as it is stated to have been mixed with a variety of other abuse, it was probably introduced as mere general declamation or invective, and I therefore discourage any proceeding on that account.