William Godwin's Diary


The Seditious Meetings Act restricted the size of public meetings to fifty people and required lecturers and debating societies to obtain a magistrate's licence. The Treasonable Practices Act made it high treason to 'compass, imagine, invent, devise or intend death or destruction' to the king and therefore 'incorporated the doctrine of constructive treason, which had been challenged in the courts, into statute law.'

See Boyd Hilton, A Mad, Bad, and Dangerous People: England 1783-1846 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2006), p. 72.