chapter  XIII
Pages 14


WHILE he was in jail, Cobbett, in appending his signature to his articles in the Register, regularly gave also his location. On July 8th, 1812, he wrote his last article from jail, and appended to it the words, "State Prison, Newgate, where I have just paid a thousand pounds fine TO THE KING; and much good may it do his Majesty." 1 He was released the following day, and entertained the same evening at a great dinner in celebration of his release. Six hundred guests, under the chairmanship of Sir Francis Burdett, sat down at the Crown and Anchor Tavern, always the gathering place for the Radical celebrations of the time. That very morning, The Times, in its own way, had also celebrated Cobbett's release by publishing a vicious attack upon him, including a garbled account of his offer to drop the Register before his imprisonment. The opening paragraphs of the suppressed Farewell Address to his readers were quoted, and Sir Francis Burdett and his other friends were warned to have nothing to do with such a double-dealer. This attack was also struck off in leaflet form, and handed to all the guests by men specially posted outside the Crown and Anchor. A waiter was also bribed to place copies of it, and of Cobbett's attacks on Burdett in his old anti-Jacobin days, under the soup-plate of each guest. Cobbett, thus suddenly faced with the garbled version of the story, met it, as we have seen, with a complete denial. He was believed, and the attempt to use his old strictures on Burdett against him only provoked laughter.