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198   HISTORY OF CANADA.

governor, Sir John Colborne, to extend executive clemency to this unfortunate man was attributed to vindictiveness on the part of the officials, and did much to excite public sympathy. The prosecution of .Toseph Howe (1835) for libel upon the magis

trates who governed Halifax resulted in his triumphant acquittal. Though the law of criminal libel did not allow a plea of justification (that is, a plea that what had been written was true and therefore no libel), Howe boldly set up that his article was written without criminal intent, in a fair aml legitimate attempt to procure the re-form of notorious abuses. These he described to the jury, and the strong light thus thrown upon the conduct of municipal government finally resulted in the passage of the Halifax Act of Incorporation already mentioned.

Mackenzie's Printing Office Raided.—While active in enforcing the law against their opponents, the Family Compact of Upper Canada were guilty of a most flagrant act of lawlessness. The victim of their violence was that "peppery Scotchman,"

William Lyon Mackenzie, editor and proprietor of The Colonial Advocate, at that time the most pronounced and uncompromising exponent of popular grievances. Mackenzie had already felt the weight of executive displeasure. He had started his newspaper at Queenston, and upon the occasion of the laying of the corner-stone of Brock's monument in 1824, a copy of it had been placed under the stone. Sir Peregrine Maitland ordered the

WILLIAM LYON MACCxExzIE. stone to be lifted, and the obnoxious

sheet was removed. Mackenzie after-wards moved his printing office to York, and his outspoken utterances there made him an object of extreme dislike to the

HON. JOSEPH HOWE.

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