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acres in extent, were let to several holder. This electioneering inindividuals, from two to one hun- fluence was the bribe, which perdred, jointly. Every one of these petuated so pernicious a mode of tenants was responsible for the letting. To discourage, therefore, rent of all the rest, as well as for a practice productive of so much his own. They made a new divi- evil, an act was passed, providing sion of the arable every year or
that it should not be lawful for two; but the pasture remained any person to register, or to vote always undivided. They generally at an election in respect of, any paid a rack-rent; and after they freehold under the yearly value of had built their huts without mor- 201. held under a lease executed to tar, chimney, or window, all swore any persons jointly, in common, or on registering their freeholds, to in partnership, after the 1st of 40s. profit arising from a joint July, 1823. lease for one or more lives. The On the 25th of June, Mr. uniform results of this system were, Brougham presented a petition, squalid beggary and extreme indo- signed by two thousand Roman lence; the necessary consequences Catholics of Ireland, complaining of the industrious being liable to of the unequal administration of pay for the idle and profligate. justice in that part of the empire.
Being all bound for each other, to On the following day, after havthe whole extent of the reserved ing moved that the petition should rent, the landlord could at any be entered as read, he proceeded moment ruin any one though to the consideration of the comworth far more than his own pro- plaint contained in it.
The to portion of rent, by distraining him pics upon which he insisted were for the rent of his co-lessees. the composition of the magistracy Even where joint-tenants were in the selection of juries and the best circumstances, much of the conduct of Sheriffs and their their time was lost in watching the deputies. On the latter subject, proper application of their common he reminded the House of a cirfunds. They all attended, when- cunistance, which had occurred ever money was to be received or during the current session. paid for the general account. This gentleman of the name of Dillon system contributed also in another M’Namara, an attorney of many way, to the inultiplication of a years' standing, had been sumbeggarly population; for as per- moned upon the late inquiry into sons never value a common right the conduct of the sheriff, and like an individual one, joint-ten- grand jury of Dublin ; and, by ants readily admitted into their way of discrediting his evidence, partnership all their sons and fre- the following questions had been quently their sons-in-law. These put to him, -"Did you not some joint-tenancies were equally in- years ago offer a bribe to a subjurious to the interests of the sheriff of Dublin, if he would pack landlord: but they afforded him an a jury to get off a client of yours, easy means of increasing the num- who was going to be tried for ber of voters under his absolute con- forgery?"-Answer, “ Yes, I did.' trol; since he could, without diffi- “Did you pack the jury ?"--Anculty, have every male living on swer, No, I could not, because his estate registered as a free- the panel was up at the castle. VOL. LXV.
Did not the sub-sheriff, it would to serve, might, by not paying the be asked, perhaps, indignantly guinea, serve more frequently than reject the bribe? Did he not treat came to their turn. And this prethe offer, as every sub-sheriff in cious practice was not peculiar to every county in England would Dublin; the provinces had the treat it?
Mr. M'Namara's an- benefit of it as well as the capital, swer as to that point made no though the fee in country places mention of indignation. The was only half a guinea a year. questions went on"Did not the Thus the superior classes, who sub-sheriff reject the bribe?" An- were best calculated to act as juryswer. “ He did not get the bribe.” men, gave up, unless where they Mr. M'Namara would not say he chose to act, the duty altogether; rejected it. Question, “Why did and it fell into the hands of perhe not get the bribe?"-Answer, sons who were less competent to “ Because he did not do what I the discharge of it, and more open wanted him to do.” This was not, to undue influence. Mr. Brougham submitted, exactly Another evil was, that the prothe kind of dialogue, which would cess of the law did not reach equally have taken place between an attor- to all classes of persons. Where ney and a sub-sheriff in England, a man had money, he regularly upon the subject of packing a bribed the sub-sheriff, as soon as jury. He would not say, that the that officer came into place, and man, who would pack one jury to agreed to pay him all fees upon acquit a prisoner of felony, would writs out against him for debt, as readily pack another to convict if such writs were formally a man of high treason, or of served, provided timely notice of libel; but it would not be too much the issuing of such writs were to suggest, that there was a point given him. To the poor man, of in money matters, to which, if the course, this indulgence did not briber could manage to go, he extend: he was taken with all the might possibly find access to the rigour of the law, and full justice earof the sub-sheriff, even although was executed upon him.
Mr. he should wish to secure a con. Brougham said, that he could prove viction for an offence of that cha- this at the bar ; but, in fact, ii racter. What would the House had been proved within the last say to another practice, which he three days, before a committee could prove by competent witnesses above stairs. He would read a to exist in Dublin universally, of note to the House of the evidence the sub-sheriff, whose duty it was upon the subject. It was an atto summon the juries, being in the torney of respectability who now habit of receiving from persons spoke, giving his evidence on the liable to serve, a fee of a guinea 23rd of the present month. Quesa-year, to refrain from calling on tion. “Do you regard the diffithem to perform that duty ? So culty of obtaining money in Irethat those men, to whom it was land after judgment, as one of the convenient to pay a guinea a-year, obstacles to English capital being did not serve on juries at all ; while carried to that country?” Anthose, who could not afford to pay swer. Certainly I do; and it is the guinea, were compelled to do one of the greatest evils we have double duty, and those, who wished to contend with.” Question. "How
does it arise ?" Answer.
After a severe invective against the management of the office of lord Norbury, and some remarks on Sheriff—there is no such thing as the want of the same guarantees for executing a writ, as you do it in judicial purity as were enjoyed in England. I mean to confine this England, Mr. Brougham proceeded to executing it upon persons have to impugn the three systems of the ing the rank and means of gentle, civil bills, the revenue boards, and men ; and the city of Dublin and the assistant barristers. For the the county of Cork are exceptions civil-bill system it was scarce neto the rule. In other places it is cessary to go beyond the records of the habit, upon the appointment the House. Act after act had of a sub-sheriff, that he gets notice been passed upon the subject, each that he will be paid his fees upon admitting the faults or abuses let writs delivered, if he gives notice in by that which went before it. to the party that the writ is about For the revenue boards, their 10 issue.” Question. “Does this whole construction carried abuse practice prevail generally?” An- and mischief upon the face of it; swer. “I understand it to prevail the same individual adjudging forevery where, except in Cork county feiture one moment, and claiming and Dublin city.” Now, what was the benefit of it for his own adthe result of such a system? Avantage the next: and control over man might have 20,000l. in the the liberties and properties of the English funds, or in any invest, king's subjects committed to the ment which the law did not reach; hands of men without a qualificahe might be living in Ireland in tion which should fit them to exthe midst of luxury and magnifi- ercise it. Mr. Brougham concludcence; a hundred writs might be ed by moving, that the petition out against his person : but, so should be referred to the grand long as he could bribe the sheriff committee for courts of justice. to give him notice in time, he Mr. Goulburn opposed this might defy his creditor, and suffer course. He said, that, when he him to starve. And the evidence, looked at the charges contained in which he was quoting, did not stop the petition and the want of facts at this point. Another question was, to substantiate those charges, he "Do you mean to say, then, that could not give much credit to them. there is one practice for the higher The pure administration of justice orders in Ireland, and another for certainly ought to be the first obthe lower ?” The answer was, ject of the House ; but if they “Yes.” Question. “Stricter in
“Stricter in were bound to guard against the the one case than in the other?" corruption of it, they were equally Answer. “Certainly." Was not bound to guard against exposing this what lord Redesdale had had in that administration to unjust sushis eye, when he had said, “There picion. The grievance complained is one law for the rich, and ano- of had been divided into two ther for the poor-both equally branches--the one, that the law ill-executed ?" The evidence given was unequal with regard to Proby this man of practical knowledge testants and Catholics ; and the and habits bore out, to the very other, that the administration of letter, that which lord Redesdale that unequal law was corruptbad asserted,
Was the first grievance applicable
to Ireland alone? Why a noble lord Ireland with which he was best was just on the point of introduc- acquainted, there was no ground ing a bill, the object of which was for the accusation; nor did the to confer on the English Catholics Catholics there, to his knowledge, the same privileges as were pos- ever make or sanction it. sessed by Catholics in Ireland. Mr. Daly could not assent to the The learned gentleman had charg- proposed construction of this petied the magistracy with being more tion as applying only to the corpoor less corrupt.
Mr. Goulburn ration of Dublin. On the constated generally his belief, that trary, he saw that it cast a general the administration of justice in imputation upon the judges, the Ireland was not chargeable with magistracy, the grand and petty partiality or corruption ; and de- juries, throughout Ireland. A clared, that he could not accede to charge so broad was an attack upon a motion which was grounded on the Prostestants of the country, tono statement of facts, which con- tally unfounded in every respect. sisted in general assertion, and Much as he contended for the juswhich, if encouraged by parlia- tice and policy of the Catholic ment now, might go to the extent claims, yet he could not sacrifice to of vilifying every character and the mean popularity his sense of the whole administration by general gross injustice of the charge conand declamatory abuse.
veyed in this petition. Not a sinSeveral of the Irish members re- gle fact was stated in this petition, probated the petition in very strong and every insinuation it conveyed language. Mr. Hutchinson thought, was unfounded. He could say, as that the complaints of the peti- the representative of a large Cationers were to be understood as re- tholic county, that he never sat ferring principally to the situation
upon a jury without finding a Cain which they were placed in the tholic in the jury-box; and he had city of Dublin, and not as alluding never, in a single instance, heard to other parts of Ireland. If the from any member of that religion complaints were meant to be ge- a complaint of a mal-administranerally applicable, he and
many tion of justice; he had never heard other gentlemen could contradict from one of them even a whisper them. The distribution of justice of corruption. He owed this in Leinster, Munster, and Con- statement to the character of his naught, was perfectly fair, and left Protestant fellow-countrymen; and the Catholics without cause of he owed also to the Catholics to complaint. How could it be deny their general participation in otherwise, when, in different coun- the statements of this petition. ties, many of the grand jurors Not a single Catholic nobleman, were Catholics? If this petition member of a noble family, or bawere understood to convey a com- ronet, had signed it. There was plaint against the administration of no signature to it of any of the justice generally-against the in- great Catholic landed proprietors; tegrity of the bench as a body- nor even of any of the great Caagainst grand and petty juries ge- tholic merchants. Such a petition nerally throughout the country, did not speak the sense of the Cahe was prepared to negative the tholics of Ireland, nor did it conimputation ; for, in the parts of tain a syllable of fact from the be
ginning to the end.
After speeches from sir Henry pointed, to consider in what way Parnel, Mr. Abercromby, Mr. V. the objects stated in those resoluFitzgerald and Mr. Peel, the tions can be best carried into efHouse divided: fifty-nine voting fect.” for Mr. Brougham's motion, and These resolutions, and the prina hundred and thirty-nine against ciples of spoliation with which Mr. it.
Hume had prefaced them, were Mr. Hume directed part of his strongly opposed, particularly by attention to the affairs of Ireland: Mr. Peel, and Mr. Plunkett. The but the schemes, which he pro- latter gentleman declared, that he posed, were too extravagant to could not allow the resolutions of meet with any semblance of sup- the hon. member to be offered to port. One of his plans was em- the consideration of the House, bodied in four resolutions, which without expressing, in terms as he brought forward on the 4th of strong as the English language March. These resolutions were could supply, or the rules of par1. That the property of the liament would allow him to use, church of Ireland, at present in his sense of the folly and desperathe possession of the bishops, the tion of the measure which had deans, and chapters of Ireland, is been proposed, and without expublic property, under the con- pressing the strongest reprobation trol and at the disposal of the legis- of it which it was in his power to lature, for the support of religion, bestow. The plan of the hon. and for such other purposes as par- gentleman for governingthe church liament in its wisdom may deem of Ireland, if proper for that counbeneficial to the community ; due try, would be proper for England. attention being always paid to the If adopted by parliament, they rights of every person now enjoy- would in effect declare, that the ing any part of that property : 2. property of the hierarchy was pubThat it is expedient to inquire lic property, and was liable to be whether the present church esta- disposed of for purposes of religion, blishment of Ireland be not more or for any other purposes.
This than commensurate to the services would prepare the way for the to be performed, both as regards downfall of the hierarchy: that of the number of persons employed the throne must follow and this and the incomes they receive; nd, would, of course, involve the overif so, whether a reduction of the throw of the constitution. He was same should not take place, with no advocate for the divine right or due regard to all existing interests: the sacredness of church property 3. That the peace and best in- more than of any other kind of proterest of Ireland would be pro- perty. But he was an advocate for moted by a commutation of tithes the sacredness of all property. He those belonging to lay impro- spoke language which came home priators, as well as those in posses- to the breast of every Englishman, sion of the clergy-on such princi- when he said, that the church of ples as shall be considered just and England was an integral part of Equitable towards the interests of the constitution, and could not be the clergy and the present pose interfered with without interfering sessors, whether lay or clerical: with the constitution, But the 4. That a select committee be apa hon, gentleman said that parlia