Other preFounding sources for the
exclusionary rule
Sir William Meredith's Reply to the Defence
of the Majority
U.S. Library holdings of this 1764 pamphlet

In the wake of the British Wilkes affair, Sir William
Meredith introduced a series of bills intended to
severely restrict royal searches and seizures. In a
contemporaneous pamphlet, he called for exclusion
of illegally seized evidence.
Entick v. Carrington, English Court of
Common Pleas, 1765
Published in Hargrave's State Trials, 4th ed.

One of the most famous cases in Anglo-American
history, which America's Founding Fathers knew
well, called for the exclusion of illegally seized
Lord Temple's Letter on the Seizure of
U.S. library holdings of this 1763 pamphlet

This pamphlet, purportedly written by a prominent
member of the House of Lords, stated exclusion
was required to remedy search and seizure
violations. Any court precedents holding otherwise,
wrote Temple, were rendered during the despotic
Stuart regimes.
Table 2 lists approximately 100 original copies of a pseudonomous English pamphlet
entitled "A Letter Concerning Libels, Warrants, [etc.]." The pamphlet circulated widely in
Britain and her colonies in the wake of the John Wilkes affair in London. It has popularly
become known as the "Father of Candor" pamphlet. At least seven editions were printed by
London printer John Almon during the 1760s, and the title of the pamphlet and number of
pages changed slightly. We know the Father of Candor pamphlet circulated widely in the
American colonies prior to the Constitution's ratification in 1789.
The Father of Candor pamphlet discussed search and seizure law in great detail and clearly
discussed exclusion as a proper remedy for search-and-seizure violations. See the second
edition, pages 44-45 (1764):

The laws of England are to tender to every man accused, even of capital crimes, that
they do not permit him to be put to torture to extort a confession, nor oblige him to
answer a question that will tend to accuse himself. How then can it be supposed, that . .
. any common fellows under a general warrant . . . [may] seize and carry off all his
papers; and then at his trial produce these papers . . . in evidence against himself . . . .
This would be making a man give evidence against and accuse himself, with a
vengeance. And this is to be endured, because the prosecutor wants other sufficient
proof, and might be traduced for acting groundlessly, if he could not get it; and
because he does it truly for the sake of
collecting evidence. (emphasis in original).

I have personally examined dozens of these original pamphlets. One of the seven editions
at the New York Public Library was previously owned by Robert R. Livingston, a Founding
Father who was on the five-man committee that drafted the U.S. Declaration of
Independence, along with Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Roger
There are three copies of Father of Candor pamphlets (one of the 2nd edition, two original
copies of Father of Candor's "Postscript" pamphlet) at the New York Historical Society
library that were owned by
Rufus King, a true "Framer" who was not only a delegate (from
Massachusetts) at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia but was also a
member of the "Committee on Style" that had a direct role in the authorship and/or
editorship of the text of the original Constitution. Later, Rufus King was a state delegate at
his Massachusetts ratifying convention, where he again signed the Constitution or
documents ratifying it. Finally, King was a member of the First U.S. Senate, which adopted
and ratified the Fourth Amendment along with the other amendments in the Bill of Rights.
Yale University holds at least 9 of these pamphlets, one of which is in Yale's


Father of Candor's "Letter Concerning Libels,
Warrants [etc.]
Father of Candor's pamphlets calling for the exclusionary rule (1764-1770)
No copyright. Please copy, discuss and circulate freely
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