Previous to 1886 the crime of murder was only punishable by 10 years' imprisonment, a sentence which in practice was reduced to two-thirds of that term; slander and libel were formerly offences which the law had no power to restrain, and no responsibility attached to seditious publications.
The population generally were, however, distinctly antagonistic to Balmaceda; and this feeling had become accentuated since the 17th of August 1891, on which date he had ordered the execution of a number of youths belonging to the military college at San Lorenzo on a charge of seditious practices.
Lloyd was an indefatigable opponent of the Roman Catholic tendencies of James II., and was one of the seven bishops who for refusing to have the Declaration of Indulgence read in his diocese was charged with publishing a seditious libel against the king and acquitted (1688).
But James's expectations that the pope would prevent dangerous and seditious persons from entering the country were unfulfilled and the numbers of the Jesuits and the Roman Catholics greatly increased.
It seemed exceptional, for in addition to the usual reasons which justified the other belligerents in instituting official press bureaus and censors to control seditious utterances, the United States faced conditions unknown to them.
Equally praiseworthy is the generous pardon that the emperor, after much intercession, granted to the seditious people of Antioch, who, out of anger at the growing imposts, had beaten down the imperial statues of their city (387).
In 1817 the Habeas Corpus Act was suspended, and Sidmouth issued a circular to the lordslieutenant declaring that magistrates might apprehend and hold to bail persons accused on oath of seditious libels.
The 27th of March Lord Sidmouth opened the government campaign against the press by issuing a circular to the lords-lieutenants, directing them to instruct the justices of the peace to issue warrants for the arrest of any person charged on oath with publishing blasphemous or seditious libels.
During the World War he issued, in 1915, an order barring unneutral envelopes and cards from the mails, and after America became a belligerent he instituted a censorship designed to suppress treasonable and seditious newspapers.
He was imprisoned for seditious libel in 1840, and after his release became prominent for his attack on John Bright, and the anti-corn-law league.