That Old English Spirit:

I was reading a (partisan) pamphlet with an account of the 1819 trial of Samuel Waddington for seditious libel. A few days after the infamous Peterloo massacre, Waddington distributed a handbill inviting people to a meeting aimed at remonstrating against the government for its actions. He had also held a board containing the placard and the words "The meeting is deferred to a future day." The government's theory, endorsed by the judge, was that this sort of material "tend[ed] to excite disaffection and a breach of the peace."

The jury acquitted Waddington, but what particularly struck me was the colloquy that followed, and on which the pamphlet ended:

The Jury retired for an hour, and returned with a verdict of Not Guilty.

The Officer hinted to Mr. Waddington, that he had better ask the favour of the Court to have his board returned. Mr. Waddington. I ask no favour, Sir; I am acquitted by my judges, the Jury. The board is my property, and as such I shall take it without leave.

He then shouldered his board, and went off in triumph.