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2-010 (Text)

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author,male,Australian, The,un addressee
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Decisions of NSW Supreme Court
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This was an action for libel. 
The plaintiff it appeared was Master of the Sydney Free Grammar School, and it was certain letters written by defendant, impeaching the plaintiff's integrity, that constituted the present grounds of action. One of these letters, the first count included, and tended evidently to harass and oppress the plaintiff as projector of the Grammar School. It appeared in the Sydney Gazette of Nov. 28, 1825, and was signed "Fidelitas."
Here the letter was read.
The second count, tending to vilify plaintiff, comprised a letter published in the Sydney Gazette of December 8, 1825, bearing the defendant's signature and was addressed to the Editor. To these defendant pleaded the general issue; and, secondly, justification on letters purporting to come from Jacob Josephson, with whom plaintiff was once on terms of intimacy and under obligations to but from a subsequent disagreement, their mutual dealings became the subject of public disquisition, and defendant considered in such case the article subscribed "Fidelitas" justifiable, and that plaintiff was not unanimously elected head master, there being 30 governors and only 14 present at his election.
Dr. Halloran, it was stated to the Court, had resided for many years in the Colony, and had been employed in the education of youth. One of the causes of the present action originated in a letter published in the Sydney Gazette of November 28, subscribed "Fidelitas," and it was contended that no person who had read that letter could avoid discovering its grossness, its tendency to vilify the plaintiff, and to sink him in the estimation of his neighbours and of the world in general. Defendant, in justification, set up a plea that plaintiff's situation laid him open to criticism; but, was it criticism to prevent an individual from gaining his livelihood? was it criticism to throw him into general disrepute? The plaintiff was elected head master by a full committee of the trustees, and it was maintained that private pique alone had actuated the defendant in penning his letters signed "Fidelitas," and E.S. Hall; and the assessors would feel themselves bound to give conscientious damages.
Mr. R. HOWE - Knows the author of "Fidelitas," and letter subscribed E.S. Hall. Has reason to think the manuscripts have been destroyed, but not since receipt of subpoena. The reason for destroying those papers was because he (witness) wished not to retain any memento of plaintiff. Thinks Mr. E.S. Hall to be the author who transmitted them for publication. The second letter was received on the 8th December, when witness communicated with Dr. Halloran. Witness in his conversations with the defendant, did not consider him to have been actuated in his letters by any particularly vindictive motives towards plaintiff - their mutual dislikes were pretty well balanced. Witness thought at first that plaintiff was the originator of the Free Grammar School, but afterward saw reason to attribute it to Mr. John MacArthur. Is a trustee, and believes that a number of young gentlemen are under the head master's care.
Examined by Mr. Wentworth - Is sorry to have known plaintiff. Thinks him quite unfit for moral instruction, and that he has libelled witness and many others for some years past. Received letters from plaintiff. One witness considered too foul for insertion. Thinks the words villain and masked assassin applied in plaintiff's correspondence to defendant, and were in witness's opinion, and in the opinion of a clerical friend, more abusive than argumentative.
Witness would feel delicate in bearing testimony to plaintiff's general conduct, as he was himself implicated wiith