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2-143 (Text)

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Dowling A.C.J, 29 June 1836
Bull v. Wilson. - This case, which has excited much public attention, came on for trial on the above day, before the Chief Justice and a Special Jury.
Mr. Windeyer (with whom were the Attorney General and Mr. Foster) opened the pleadings, setting forth the nature of the action, which was for a violent assault in horsewhipping the defendant, &c.
The Attorney General stated the case on behalf of the plaintiff, of the circumstances of which he was satisfied the Jury were aware from the publicity they had acquired. In laying the case before them, he was unwilling to conceal any thing. He was ready and anxious that the whole facts should be known. His client was the Editor of the Colonist newspaper - a paper established not merely for the discussion of politics, commerce, agriculture, literature, and science, but also for the discussion and promotion of the interests of religion and morality. For this latter purpose this newspaper had devoted its utmost energies, and amongst its efforts in this pursuit it had condemned and exposed the state of disgraceful concubinage, in which many person were living in Sydney. In this pursuit too, he had not spare the wealthy members of the community - he had furnished portraits of several of those most conspicuous for immorality, after the fashion of "Lodge's Portraits." Many of these persons were to be seen driving in gigs with their mistresses - some of them married men deserting their houses and families, cohabiting with married women, and with them visiting the Theatre and other places of public resort. The learned Counsel here went into a description of the visitors of the Theatre, whose conduct he censured. He was himself an approver and supporter of the legitimate drama, believing that in the words of the Poet, "its end both at the first and now was and is to hold as `twere the mirror up to nature; to shew her own feature, scorn her own image, and the very age and body of the time his form and pressure." After lamenting that the drama had been diverted from its proper objects in this Colony, he proceeded to vindicate the claim of the Colonist to the approbation and gratitude of every good citizen, for the zeal and ability with which it advocated the interests of morality and religion, and putting down by exposure and just censure, the system of open and barefaced profligacy that prevailed in this immoral community. The conduct of the defendant came under the observation of the Colonist, and he became the subject of an article in that paper, entitled "The Family Man." It had been written to expose the conduct of the defendant, who was living with a Mrs. Taylor, an actress of the Sydney Theatre, and a married woman, who lived with her husband happily, but from whose society she had been seduced. It was to expose and censure conduct such as this, that the poem had been written. It was only a moderate and merited exposure of such conduct of the defendant, who was at this time - it should be borne in mind, connected with various religious societies. It was a public disgrace that a person who was living in this state should take a prominent part in such societies, and the hyprocrisy