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The Autobiography of William Jerdan
Sir Nicholas Conyngham Tinal 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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“I am of opinion that no action is maintainable by Mr. Jerdan against Mr. Taylor for the words spoken by the latter. No action will lie for words of the nature stated in the case, unless they either impute to the party of whom they are spoken the commission of some legal crime, or unless they are spoken of him with reference to a trade or profession which he carries on; and I think the words spoken by Mr. Taylor do not fall within either of those two classes. The word thief, indeed, in its strict literal sense, imports the legal offence of felony; but it is also a word of common vulgar abuse, without any very definite meaning; and when the question is left to the jury in what sense Mr. Taylor used those words, it would be impossible for
them to think that Mr. Taylor intended to accuse Mr. Jerdan of the commission of any felonious threat. As to the words spoken with reference to his fitness for conducting the paper, there is no sufficiently express reference to Mr. Jerdan’s situation as conductor; nor, indeed, do the slanderous words themselves apply to the situation which he holds. Mr. Jerdan, under the deed of partnership, is the sole editor of the paper, but he has no concern whatever with the money transactions arising out of it. Now the words spoken by Mr. Taylor seem not to apply to the ability or diligence of Mr. Jerdan, or to any other requisite which an editor is expected to furnish, but to honesty in money concerns, with which, as editor, he has no interference. I therefore think no action will lie for the words.

“With respect to the letter, I am of opinion that it may, in strictness, be made the subject of an indictment, because it certainly does appear to contain insinuations which are calculated to provoke Mr. Jerdan to a breach of the peace. But at the same time I must observe that it is but just within the law of libel. The allegation that Mr. Jerdan’s motives are those of a swindler, is very far from a direct allegation; and, indeed, the whole of the objectionable passage in the letter is so obscure as to be scarcely intelligible. I am of opinion that, in cases of this nature, it is the most prudent and politic course not to indict, unless the offence is so clearly defined, and so aggravated in its nature, that there can be no doubt of the event or the measure of the punishment; because an indictment begun and not carried through, or, if carried through with success, terminated at last by a slight punishment, is more a matter of triumph to the defendant than to the prosecutor. This point, however, I leave to the discretion of the prosecutor.

NICOLAS C. TINDAL, Inner Temple,”