Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

eye

[merged small][ocr errors]

besu sufficient for the offence, such

can measure with his 'and

preas that might have been. He could pare to encounter, should be let discover' but oile objection to the loose upon him for such an offence measure which he was about to pro- as that which he had committed ; pose, and that was, from the prac- or that the homage of Mr. Jones, tice of the house in requiring a a man in humble life, should be petition to be presented at their bar, thought the cnly thing that could acknowledging the justness of the appease the angry pride of the punishment, and expressing con- house? This was not to be per. trition for the offence. It might sisted in; but, let the feeling of be a fair object of question, whether offended dignity be what it might, there was any thing in the principle there were superior feelings which of that house which utterly prohi. the house would acknowledge. bited a spontaneous act of justice; Those were the feelings of justice, or whether it was beyond the privi- the feclings of reason, the feelings lege of any member to suggest that of that great compound of justice act of justice. It might be asked, and virtue, humanity. The hon. whether such a requisition as an member concluded a most eloquent acknowledgement of the offence speech, by moving that Mr. Gale was strictly in the power of any Jones should be summoned to the court dealing in justice. But the bar of the house, on Tuesday, and house would feel that their power then discharged. was to be exercised with less vio- This motion excited a long and lence to human feelings than that very animated debate, in which all of any other jurisdiction ; and that the force and powers of eloquence if they were powerful-if jurisdic- were in its favour, but it was never tion had been intrusted to them by theless negatived by a majority of a people loving their liberties--if 48. they had obtained a right to inflict April 17. Lord Cochrane punishment, that infiction was to brought up the petition of the elecbe the rarest exercise of their tors of Westminster, on that day strength: they were to feel the assembled in Palace-yard, and movsolemn pledge under which they ed that it should lie on the table. stood, the great responsibility un- The following is a copy of the der which they were charged to petition :administer justice tempered with " To the hon. the commons of mercy. After much sound reasoning the united kingdom of Great Britain and a fine appeal to the feelings of and Ireland in parliament assemthe house, the learned and hon. bled. member asked, was the sufferer to “The petition and remonstrance be released, not by the justice of the of the inhabitant householders of house, but by its want of power the city and liberties of WestminSupposing Mr. Jones indissolublyster, assembled in New Palacewedded to his opinion, an obstinate yard, the 17th day of April 1810, heretic, was it to be justified that by the appointment of Arthur the worst.of all the kinds of punish. Morris, esq. the high bailiff, in ment, indefinite punishment, “the pursuance of a requisition for that hope deterred,” that oppresses and purpose. bends down the whole man more “We, the inhabitant householdheavily than any infliction which heers, electors of the city and liber

ties of Westminster, feel most sen- other similar petitions will be nosibly the indignity offered to this ticed further on.] city in the person of our beloved April 30. The chancellor of Tepresentative, whose letter to us the exchequer brought up a mese has fallen under the censure of sage from his majesty, which was your honourable house ; but which, read by the speaker, and was in so far from deserving that censure, substance as follows: ought, in our opinion, to have led “George R.--His majesty finds your honourable house to reconsider it necessary to state to the house the subject which he had so ably, of commons, that in consequence legally, and constitutionally dis- of the continued occupation of the cussed. We were convince that territories of the duke of Brunsno one ought to be prosecutor and wick by the French armies, since juror, judge, or executioner in his the unfortunate events which were own cause ; much less to assume, attended by the lamented death of accumulate, and exercise all those his illustrious father in 1806, his offices in his own person. We are serene highness the duke of Brunsi convinced that the refusal of your wick Wolfenbuttel, his majesty's hon, house to inquire into the con- nephew, has, after a series of galduct of Lord Castlereagh and Mr. lant but univailing efforts for Perceval, then two of his majesty's the recovery of his possessions, been ministers, when distinctly charged compelled to seek an asylum in his with the sale of a seat in your hon. majesty's dominions. "His majeshouse, evidence of which was offer- ty, therefore, recommends it to this ed at the bar by a member of your house, to consider of the means of honourable house ; and the avowal enabling him to make some proviin your honourable house, thatsion for the establishment of his such practices were as, notorious as serene highness, during such time the sun at noon-day,' practices at as the state of the continent may the bare mention of which the continue to preclude the return of speaker declared that our ancestors his serene highne:s to his own dowould have startled with indigna. minions; and his majesty relies tion; and the committal of sir with confidence on the loyalty and Francis Burdett to prison, enforced attachment of his faithful commons by military power; are circum- to make such provision for this purstances which render evident the pose as may be suitable to the rank imperióus necessity of animmediate and to the misfortunes of a prince Tetorm in the representation of so, nearly allied to his majesty's the people. We therefore most throne, and for whom his majesty's eamestly call upon your honoura- feelings are so strongly interested. ble house to restore to us our repre

“ G. R." sentative; and, according to the May 4. The chancellor of the notice he has given, to take the exchequer moved, that the house state of the representation of the should resolve itself into a commitpeople into your serious conside- tee of the whole house, on his maration ; a reform in which is, in jesty's message, relative to a proour opinion, the only means of vision for the duke of Brunswick; preserving the people from military which was accordingly done (Mr. despotism."

Lushington in the chair). The [The success of this and many right lionourable gentleman then

said, it would not be necessary for droits of admiralty amounted 10.2 him to trouble the house with many very large sum, which was entirely observations. Since the commence at the disposal of his majesty, and ment of the French revolution, the he thought it the duty of ministers house had uniformly acceded to to consider, and answer to the house grants of provision for those who, why this provision, and others of a had sacrificed their interests on the similar nature, should not be procontinent, by espousing the cause vided out of that fund. which this country had embraced Mr. H. Martin was exactly of in the contest. In addition to this, the same opinion with the noble he believed that the near connec- lord who spoke last ; and though tion between the illustrious indivi- he did not mean to oppose the mo. dual in question and the sovereign tion, he thought the provision of this country was to be considered should be made from the droits of as the principal cause why such admiralty, and not from the pocextreme severity had been exercised kets of the people. against him. When, in addition Captain Parker expressed himself to this, it was recollected, that the in favour of the motion. It would, duke of Brunswick had given such he said, be a dreadful thing to see a splendid instance of heroism in a prince begging in the streets, and the diversion he had made in fa- much more repugnant to the feelvour of Austria, and afterwards in ings of the people of this country fighting his way from the borders than the payment of the sum reof Bohemia to the banks of the quired. Elbe, with the brave band who ac- Mr. I. H. Brown thought that companied him, he thought no one in the present high commercial would object to the motion he prosperity of this country, the should submit to the consideration house ought not to hesitate at grantof the house; the object of which ing the sum required by the mowas to settle on the duke of Bruns- tion. When it was considered how wick the sum of 70001. year out nearly allied the illustrious personof the civil list, over and above the age in question was to his majesty, pay as colonel of the regiment he and that he had a large family

, to brought over with him, which support as well as himself, he hoped would be about 15001. a year. there would be no objection to the

Lord Milton did not rise to ob- motion, which had his hearty, conject to the motion; but when he currence and support. considered the immense pressure of Sir J. Newport said, that neither taxes under which the people of the noble lord nor bis honourable this country at present laboured, to friend who followed him had made which cause he really believed the the smallest objection to the grant, irritation and discontent that now but only to the fund from which it prevailed was more to be attributed was to be drawn. The honourable than to any other that had been gentleman who had just sat down mentioned, the house ought to be had stated that the duke of Brunsextremely cautious how they con- wick had a large family to support. sented to add to such burdens. If so, he supposed the piety of the There were other sources out of honourable gentleman must be which such grants might issue, much offended, as he (sir J. Newwithout burdening the people. The port) had been informed the duke

of of Brunswick was 'not married. If his piety must be offended at the the provision now asked was taken duke of Brunswick’s having a fami. out of the droits of admiralty, it ly, as he understood the noble duke would not be a burden on the peo- ly not married. It was true that ple: and he thought ministers illustrious personage had no wife, ought at least to give an answer but that arose from his having had why it was not taken from that the misfortune of losing her ; but fund, rather than from the civil he was left with two children to list.

support, which was certainly a very The chancellor of the exchequer heavy charge; and he was shocked said, he was in hopes the right to think how much his character honourable baronet would have might liave been injured by such profited by the lesson he received kind of insinuations, if not explainlast night, and have inquired into ed. the subject before he ventured on The motion was then read and rash assertions. He said to his agreed to, and a bill brought in, honourable friend behind him, that which finally passed both houses.

CHAPTER VII.

Lord Grey's Motion on the State of the Nation--Sr Francis Burdett's Notice

to the Speaker-Alderman Coombe's Motion on th: Rejection of the City Address -Alderman Curtis's Motion for the Admission of the City Pelision and Remonstrance-Processes served on the Speaker, S rgrant-at-Arms, and Lord Moira, by Sir Francis Burdett-Report from the Committee of Privileges Mr. Wynne's Motion on Privilege-Petition from the East India Company ; Debates on in the House of Commons and House of Lortis Budget-Mr. Grattan's Motion in favour of the Irish Catholics-Mr. Branile's Motion on Parliamentary Reforn-Lord Grey's Motion on the State of the Nation-Mr. Brougham's Motion on the Slave Trade.

THE discussions in parliament house, and sir Samuel Romilly in do not yield in importance and real rities, the mass of the public.who interest to any that were ever agi- can think and reason for themselves, tated in this country. The right might well conclude that their reof the house of cominons to impri- presentativeshad gone beyond those son for what has been deemed a powers which were intrusted to breach of privilege, was called in them for their own private protecquestion by the ablest speakers and tion, and for the freedom of debate. soundest lawyers in both houses. Hence, petitions from all parts

of On this side of the question have the country were presented to the appeared lord Erskine in the upper commons, praying an immediate 1810.

K

release

[ocr errors]

release of their fellow-subjects from he endeavoured to view our situawhat the petitioners deemed an un- tion, either as to the conduct of gojust and illegal imprisonment. vernment, or the state of the pub. Some of these petitions were reject-' lic mind, he must confess that the ed, as containing too much the spi- feelings by which he was actuated rit of remonstrance; others were were any other than those of joy, admitted to lie on the table. They or cheerfulness, or hope. The almost all asked, as a security from claims that such considerations had similar proceedings, a reform in upon their lordships' attention, and parliament. This subject was, as that of every public man in the we shall see, taken up by Mr. country, were irresistible; and he Brande, the member for Hertford felt it to be his bounden duty to take shire, and the measure which he this public notice of them in their proposed was the most moderate lordships' house of parliament. ihat could be conceived, and ap- Our situation was, indeed, such as peared almost unexceptionable. It must make it desirable to give supwas simply to have a commitize to port to the government and constitake the representation into consi- tution of the country, which were deration, in order that such correc- at present placed in a situation of tions might be suggested as the singular danger. But it was far state of the case required. The ar- from his intention to add to the guments adduced by the honoura- evils of the country by rallying ble member were strong and borne round, as it was called, or joining out by facts that could not be denim with the

present

administration, ed; but the majority was decisive which was so mainly the cause of against all inquiry.

The same

our existing dangers. Notwithweight, and by nearly the same standing that report had been pretty persons, was opposed to the argli- generally, he hoped not malicious ments of Mr. Grattan and others, iy, circulated, he took that opporin defence of the rights and privi- tunity to state to the house and the leges of our catholic brethren. public, that it was very far from

The first subject which now de- any intention entertained by him. mands our attention was that intro. On the contrary, he felt it to be his duced by earl Grey, respecting duty to arraign and to expose their *the present state of the country.' gross mismanagement and repeated His lordship, on the 17th of May, and dangerous misconduct, to par. rose in his place, and said that liament and to the nation. To rally when he turned his mind to the round them entered not into his consideration of the present state of mind; but he would rally round this country, which every thinking the parliament and the constitution. man must at this moment be coin. No man could look upon the state pelled to do with the utmost serie of our affairs under their mismaousness and anxiety; whether he nagement, without participating in looked at our situation as connected the anxieties and fears and indig. with foreign affairs, or the manage- nation which he felt on the subject.ment of our domestic concerns; While he saw the necessity for parwhether he looked at the conduct liament's taking the subject into and events of the war in which we their most serious consideration, he were engaged, or at the measures must sły, unless. parliament were pursuied at home; in whratever light fully impressed with a deep sense

of

« ZurückWeiter »