William Godwin's Diary


This may be a reference to the action that Horne Tooke was engaged in with Charles James Fox after the Westminster Election of 1790, following which Tooke had petitioned parliament to claim that the electors had been disenfranchised. The case was heard in April 1792. Godwin may well be referring to the proceedings of the case


However, this is just a possibility. The nature of the charge seems very odd - obscenity gossipping and sinister argumentation sounds more like an ecclesiastical offence than a criminal one, although it might be civil. But there is no record of a court sitting in London on this day, and the entry remains perplexing.

See DNB and Proceedings in an action for debt, between the Right Honourable Charles James Fox, plaintiff, and John Horne Tooke ... Defendant. Published by the Defendant (London: Joseph Johnson, 1792).