8vo, pp. , 92, with a full-page woodcut illustration of the pikes; some stains but a good copy in modern grey cloth.
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Trials of Robert Watt and David Downie for High Treason … with an engraving of the pikes … to which is subjoined the celebrated speech of Sir Hercules Langrishe, on Parliamentary reform …
First edition, scarce, later reprinted in London and Philadelphia (without the illustration).
Robert Watt was an Edinburgh wine-merchant and would-be radical, who had been in an informant to Robert Dundas In 1792-3; he was executed for his part in the ‘Pike Plot’, a supposed plan to seize the city in a coup, which may have only ever been imaginary. Watt claimed he was acting as an agent provocateur; all the other conspirators turned King’s evidence except Downie, whose sentence was commuted.
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