In December 1817 the radical publisher and satirist William Hone was put on trial by the government. He stood accused of blasphemous libel for publishing - and likely writing - three political parodies of the church liturgy that mercilessly attacked both Lord Liverpool’s cabinet and the Prince Regent. Hone faced three trials (one for each parody) across three consecutive days at the Guildhall in London.
He conducted his own defence and against all the odds, including the bias of the presiding judges, he was thrice acquitted in what was a significant triumph for the freedoms of speech and press.
To mark the 200th anniversary of the trials, academics and students from the University of Warwick will mount a staged re-enactment of this courtroom drama using verbatim testimony.
in association with
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