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Source: Bell's Weekly Messenger, No.1839, Sunday, July 3, 1831.

Court Martial.

A Court martial was held on board hid Majesty's Caledonia, at Spithead, on Wednesday, the 29th ult. for the trial of the Right Hon. Lord Wm. Paget, Captain of his Majesty's ship Winchester, on charges preferred against him by John Ayscough, Esq. Captain in his Majesty's Navy, and late Commissoner for Naval Affairs at Bermuda, viz:—For forcibly ejecting him from the cabin allotted to him by Vice-Admiral Colpoys, Commander-in Chief on the West India and North American stations, to accommodate a lady and her child, to whom Lord Wm. Paget had given a passage; and also for disrespectful and unofficer-like conduct to him during the passage to England. William Parker, Esq. Rear-Admiral of the Blue, was President.

The Court having assembled, the names of the witnesses were called over, and the order for holding the Court-martial was read, and the members of the Court were sworn, when the prosecutor delivered the following address:—

"Mr. President and gentlemen of this Honourable Court,—My legal adviser having examined the witnesses on whose testimony I relied, and having intimated to me that there is not sufficient evidence to support the charges against Captain Lord William Paget, I feel myself bound, as an officer and a man of honour, to make a declaration of that as early as possible, and to state that I shall not take up the time of this honourable Court unnecessarily by calling witnesses, nor put his lordship to the trouble of entering upon his defence. I should not have troubled this honourable Court to assemble had I been aware of the circumstance of a material witness not being able to prove a fact on which the whole case rests, and which, on account of his absence, I have only been able to ascertain since I came on board his Majesty's ship Caledonia this morning. This explanation will, I trust, be satisfactory to this honourable Court."

The Court was then cleared, and on its being re-opened, Lord Wm. Paget was informed of the resolution of the Court.

The Court agreed that the charges had not been proved against the Right Hon. Lord William Paget, and did adjudge him to be fully acquitted of all the charges and every part thereof; and the Court deemed it necessary to express their regret that an officer of: Captain Ayscough's rank and standing in the service, should have brought forward charges of a nature so seriously affecting the character of an officer in his Majesty's service, without having, according to his own statement, any evidence to prove the facts.

And the President, on delivering Lord Wm. Paget his sword, addressed him as follows:—

"My Lord William Paget, it gives me great pleasure to return you your sword, which has always been worn by you with great credit; and I am most happy in being enabled to inform you that the Court consider no blame whatever can attach to your. lordship; but that, on the contrary, your character and reputation in the service remains as unsullied in every respect as it ever has done; nor can any man living ever impute to you the least blame on account of these proceedings."