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motion was carried without opposition. 7"he prisoner, was withdrawn from the bar, and their Lordships returned to their 1 louse, in the fame order in which they had left it, a Herald having called upon each class of Lords in turn, and no clast stirred till it was called,—" He called first, My Lords Barons j" next, "My Lords Bishops j" then " My Lords Viscounts j" next, " My Lords Earls;" afterwards, "My Lords Marquisses;" and, finally, " My Lorcjs Dukes."
The Court of Peers made a truly noble and grand appearance; every thing attending the business of the day wo* great. The occasion was. .great; the wrongs, or fupposeuVwrongs, of millions of people depending upon the British Emtiire.——The accusers were great; the Commons of Great Britain.—-The judges Were great; for they were the nobles of Britain, the third estate in the Legislature.—The-accused was great; a gentleman who had the high honour of representing, in the mighty empire of Indostan, the greatness and majesty of the British nation.
14. The Court proceeded to read tlie charges and answers, the whole of which tvas finished at half past four o'clock. Their Lordships then adjourned.
15. The anxiety of the public to hear Mr Burke's opening speech, was the occasion of the galleries' for Peers tickets being filled at half after nine.
At half after eleven, the Committee of •he House of Commons, with Mr Burke at their head, came into the gallery ; and a few minutes after, the procession of the Peers entered the House, which was infinitely more solemn and magnificent than on the two former days. There were present, Barons 54—Bishops 17—Earls, Marquisses, and Viscounts 68.—Dukes Jj—Judges 9.—Princes of the Blood 4—in all 164. The Court being seated, and proclamation made, Mr Hastings sjvas surrendered by his bail.
The Lord Chancellor demanded of the Committee, who were the accusers of the prisoner ? upon which Mr Burke immediatefy rose, and, after a few moments pause, informed their Lordships, "that be stood forth by order of the Commons Of England to charge Warren Hastings, Esq; with the commission of high crimes ana misdemeanours, and that ne had a body of evidence to produce to substantiate the whole of these charges.
Mr Burke then proceeded to open the business to the House of Lords.—Were tt^ permitted to report the proceedings
of this High Conrt, we should despair of representing properly the manner of tins Riirht Hon. Gentleman, or the effect* which it produced. To depict them faithfully, would require abilities and language not inferior to his own. We (hall only fay, therefore, that in his description he was luminous and fervirf; and 1a his arguments, nervous, animated and perspicuous. If, to the general regret, a degree of hoarseness had not been at times perceptible, the energy of his manner would have fully kept pace with the solemnity of the occasion.
His first observations were directed t» a supposition which has been lately and assiduonlly inculcated, that these proceedings 10 long prepared, and so long expected, would have been suddenly terminated from some deficiency in forms. This idea he combated with infinite force.. That the most solemn proceeding which: is known to the British constitution, and so intimately suited to its dignity—so strongly demanded by the occasion, monks be terminated by trivial informalities, was an idea, which, if common sense did not immediately reject, could not, he said, be too strongly reprobated.
He then opened the proceedings with a very accurate detail of the rise of the East India Company, from the time they were invested with the military government in the reign of Charles I!, to that when the two contending companies were united nnder Queen Anne. He briefly stated the progress of their various settlements, from the first debarkation on that peninsula, uutif 17.50, when they were invested with the DmUn of Bengal. From thence he passed to a description of the manners and situation of the natives of Hindustan, which wa* admirably calculated to inform the Court how far their manners were deranged, and their situation affected by the misfortune of En^ ropean connections. The character of their morality was, before that period, as sublimely attractive as their manners were innocent and fascinating. Having dwelt for a considerable time on those and several other collateral topics, Mr Burke was so fatigued as to be under the necessity of requesting the indulgence of the Court, and that they would suspend any farther proceedings for the present. When he had next the honour to addrefir them, he said, he would be able to enter on the narrative of the conduct of Warren Hastings, and to give a general outline of his proceedings, the colouring of whkb Would be belles supplied by other gentlemen.
tentlcraen speaking on the different charges, with that ability and imprciEon which their genius could give, and which was due to the different points of the accusation fubmitted to their Lordships:
Mr Burke spoke for two hours and twenty-nVe minutes, at the end of which time, he, from the effect of an accidental cold, appeared to be extremely exhausted. 16. Mr Burke took up the matter where he left off the preceding day, and having spoken for three hours aitd a quarter with much ingenuity, learning, and uncommon ability, their Lordships, upon the motion of Lord Fitzwilliam, adjourned.
H.ofC. 15. Mr. Fox moved, that the pamphlet published by Stockdale, entitled, " A Review of the Charges against Warren Hastings, El'q;" was an audacious iihel against his Majesty, and the proceedings of the Commons of Great flritain upon the Charges against Warren Hastings, Esq;
Mr Pitt agreed totally with the Honourable mover upon the libellous nature of the pamphlet, but could by no means aKrse that it extended to the Sovereign, lie would therefore move, that the words referring to his Majesty be expunged from the motion.
On the question being put, there appear*d in savour of Mr Pitt s amendment, Ayes, 131 — Noes, 66 Mr Fox then moved, that an address he presented to his Majesty, that he would be graciously pleased to direct his Attorney and Sol. Gen. to prosecute the author7, piibli/btri, &c. of said libel.—Ordered.
Wejim. Hall. 18. Mr Burke resumed his speech. He said, that the Committee os Managers, solicitous, of coming as quickly as possible to the trial, and of grappling at once with the prisoner at the bar, had instructed Kim to depart from the intention which he had intimated to their LordIhips of gning through the whole of the Charges with a prefatory explanation, which must necessarily engage a considerable part of their Lordships time. Instead of this course, he would have the particular Charges to Tie respectively discussed by the Hon. Gentlemen who should have to open them, and he would only trespass on their indulgence, by briefly exposing what he, and what they all considered as the spring and source of all the enormities of India.
Tbi« he described in a most beautiful vein of eloquence, to be the lust of money t aad in order to prove to the High '"I this was the foOataiivhtaJ of
all the crimes—the mums in which all the corruptions had been engendered, he gave a short recital of the motives that led io the execution of Nunducomar. He stated the cafe of the public sale and dispossession of the Zemindars. He neat went to the measure of appointing ^Council of Finance, consisting of four gentlemen, and a black secretary whose functions were unlimited, and who was universally considered as the most complete* subtle, and enormous villain, that ever India had produced, the notorious Gunga Govind Sing.
He then went into a minute relation of the enormities committed by Devi Sing, for purposes of rapacity and plunder; and here it is irrrpomblt* to give any idea, of the savage picture which he exhibited' to the astonished audience. The cruelties practised on the helpless people, so shocking to humanity, to modesty, and to every tender and manly feeling, Cob-. vulsed and agitated the whole assembly. The ladies were, throughout the whole' Hall, in an agony of grief, and the tear of compassion stood in the eye of the most veteran soldier present. In this part of his discourse, Mr Burke was so warmed by the passion, that he exhausted himself;, and taking a draught os cold water, her was seized with a cramp in the stomach, which obliged him to relinquish his de'fign -of concluding that day; and the Court at three o'clock adjourned.
19. Mr Burke again took up his speech, and having concluded, Mr Fox adareued himself to their Lordships, and said, he was ready to proceed to the opening of the first Charge, but that he was directed by the Managers, on behalf of the Com-' mons, to state the mode in which they meant to proceed, which was, to open the first Charge; then to call the witnesses to corroborate the fame, then to permit the counsel for the prisoner to speak to that charge, and to examine witnesses; then the managers to reply, and their Lordships to d.cide upon it. He said, it was the intention of the managers for the prosecution, to proceed on each charge in the like manner, until they had got through, the whole.
The above method of proceeding upon> the Charges being stronjly objected to> by the counsel for Mr Hastings, was ordered to be taken into consideration by their Lordships on the 21st.
it. H. o/L. The order of the day being read for takinz into consideration the mode of proceeding on the articles of impeachment against Warren. Hastings,
Esq; the I,ord Chancellor left the woolsack, opened the business, and spoke with great force against the n»ode proposed by the committee*
Earl Stanhope, in a speech of considerable length, declared, that he was averse to carrying on the trial article by article j and likewise he thought it highly improper to determine all the charges together. He therefore wished a medium might be struck out, which was to class the crimes, viz. all the acts of cruelty under one head. In like manner the charges of corruption, &c.&c. His Lordship concluded with moving, " That the Managers for the Commons of Great Britiin be directed neither to proceed upon the whole of the charges, nor upon their a< cusations article by article, nut to proceed upon the criminating allegations one by one."—Thi; brought on a very warm and animated detatr. 'Lord Coventry wished to give the prisoner every advantage the law afforded him.
The Earl of Abmgdon said, is a divinity was to be tried in the manner proposed by the Managers, he must be convicted.
Lord Loughborough contended, with peat force and eloquence, in favour of trying the charges separate, or at least reducing them into such classes as might render the vast complicated matter easy to be comprehended.
Lord Stormont asserted, that the defendant was entitled, bv the immutable and eternal laws of justice, to make his defence in any mode he pleased. Lord Grantlev attacked the positions laid down by Lord Loughborough j when the latter answered the Lord Chancellor, and Lord. Loughborough spoke again, chiefly upon poults of law. The Earl of Carlisle was of opinion, that the defendant should not be tied down to open Jiis defence before he had heard all the evidence in support of thecharges. The D. of Norfolk contended, that as the Commons could, at their pleasure, bring up fresh articles of impeachment, arising out of the evidence, it was more manly to give into their propbsitions in the first instance.
Question was afterwards put, to agree with the proposition as stated by the Mastagers for the Commons. "Contents 33 —»• Non Contents 88 'Qatrstion.—-" That the Managers for the Commons be directed to proceed upw on the whole of the charges, before the prisoner be cill.-cl upon to open his de
Carried in the affirmative without a division.
SfOTLAXD. Ed'mburgb, Jan. it). The Court of Session determined the very important question, Whether the Member* of the College of Justice have the privilege of beinp exemnted from all taxations and assessment" for the support os the poor within the city of Edinburgh .'—As many of our readers may be unacquainted with the nature of this cause, we will be excused for giving a inert narrative of the particulars.
Some time ago, tie Magistrates of Edinburgh, with a view of increasing the present fund for supporting the poorr applied to Parliament, and, in the bill brought in for tbat purpose, there w»< a clause proposed to be introduced, enacting, that, in future all the inhabitants, of whatever description, should be liable to the tax. The Members of the College of Justice, considering this a* an infringement of their rights, petitioned to be heard against the clause, which was granted, and the bill was dropped. Soon after, the Magistrates passea an act of cotmci!, empowering their collectors to levy the a per rent, (from which the Members of the College of Justice had been hjthertb exempted) on all the inhabitants without exception. The consequence was a bill of suspension, at the instance of the Dean ana Members of the Faculty of Advocates, and the Writers to the 9ig» net, whirh brine passed, the cause was; brought before the Lord Ordinary,"who, aster hearing parties at great length, took it to report, and appointed informations. Among a variety of able and ingenimis arguments, it was stated, on the part (of the Members of the College of Justice, that, from the period of its institution, more than two centuries ago, to the present hour, they had enjoyed a variety of privileges, which were granted upon occasions highly honourable to them; these Srivilegesbad been ratified by subsequent atutes,- and confirmed by the Union; and'had been enjoyed by them, and acknowledged by tbe Magistrates, for more than a century, without challenge or complaint. The first act that pasted in this country for the regular support of the poor -was in 1579, which enacted, that the tax should be levied on all the inbaiitantj) without exception of persons; but this,"fay the College, was by no means intended to compreher-1 them, as, besides lacing only occasional resident
«r» in the burgh, they had been previously exempted from all taxa''. in, and to deprive them or this, a special clause in the act was necessary. No attempt whatever was made to subject them to the operation of the above statute; and by. a subsequent act in 1597, anent the taxation os boroughs, the en.ertainmcnt of the poor, and watching and warding, it was specially declared, that that act should not prejudice the privileges and immunities of the Members of the College of Justice.
With respect to the effect* of this privilege on the interests of the poor, and the citizens of Edinburgh, it could not enter into this question; their oaying or Hot paving the assessment would neither iii-rease nor diminish the amount of what flows from them anauajly for the relief of distress; and the interest of the, citizens could only suffer on the supposition that what they give in consequence of a legal assessment is the utmost extent of their charity.
On the part of the Magistrates, it was, with much ability, argued, that in none of the statutes which form the poors laws of this country, was any thing to be found, wV'ch, by fair interpretation, created or supposed an'exemption in favour of the College of Justice. The act 1.579, which was the basis of those laws, undoubtedly comprehended the members of the College of justice, as well as the other inhabitants of Scotland. It is not disputed, that, under the authority of this statute, -they are liable to be assessed in every otlier part of Scotland, except Edinburgh; yet, in no part of this statute is any distinction made betwixt Edinburgh and other burghs. It is a genera! enactment, which, if it -could not reach them in Edinburgh, should as little affect them in Mv other part. That, as to their not being inhabitants, it was an argument very difficult to be treated with becoming fifriousness. Many of them had no other residence, and, if they were not inhabitants of Edinburgh, they were inhabitants no where. The act 1507, which contains a clause saving the privileges of the College of Justice, appears to have been formed on some emergency j and though the poor are mentioned in the preamble, the salvo could only relate to the exemption from watching and warding, which was always admitted.
5t had been asserted, on the other fide, that the plea maintained by the Magistrates had been, that the Court ought fr abelifii M established privileilre, mere
ly because there was, no just reason for originally granting it; an idea which never once entered their imagination'. They knew too well the province of a court of law to suppose it had power either to confer a privilege because there was a good reason for it, or take away an acknowledged privilege because it was absurd, had they-indeed been addressing their argument to the legislature of their country, they would have taken the liberty of submitting, Whet her it was proper ot becoming in the members of a great and respectable incorporation, to insist upon the continuance of a privi-' lege, supposing it really belonged to them, which was to have the effect of throwing upon others the whole of a. public burden, from which thev derive as much benefit as the reAV-of the inhabitants of Edinburgh: That, considered with' a view to pecuniary emolument, the exemption in question could be no object, except to those who were resolved not to give voluntarily, for the maintenance of the poor, what the law compels others in the fame situation to pay; or, if the Members of the College of Justice were desirous to preserve it aa an honorary distinction, they would do well to consider, whether, in this free government of Great Britain, it » not the point of honour, that every person should submit to his share of public burdens; men of the highest rank, not excepting the hereditary nobbs of the kingdom, being nowise distinguished in thta reflect from the meanest of the people, except by submitting to a heavier load, in proportion to the value of their property ;—and whether any thing can be added to tliereal dignity osthe profession, or os the individuals who follow it, by insisting that others stall be obliged to pay for them what they owe to the poor of their neighbourhood—-those, whom age or infirmity has rendered unable to work—the debt of humanity, recognised and enforced by law. But it would be improper to enlarge farther upon what does not belong to a court of la*. Upon these topics,'and such as these, the world at large wilt judge, ar perhaps have judged already.
Their Lordships delivered their several opinions atgreatlength,and unanimously determined, that the privilege of exemption from this ass ssme.nt clearly and indisputably belonged to the Members of the College of Justice, both from statute and usage. Their Lordships spoke wita much candour and liberality on die sunjest.
ject. They felt the delicacy os deciding 4 cause in which they themselves were parties ; but whatever might iic the wish of some to wave a privilege apparently ungracious, the immunities of an ancient And most respectable corporation were not to be infringed. They lat as judges, not as legislators; the interpreters, not the makers of the law. It was only for the High Court of Parliament to interfere in. a matter of such magnitude and importance.
Feb. %. Great praise is due to the Proprietors of the New Assembly Rooms, who, without other inducement than the felendour of the metropolis, have reared such a suite of apartments; and we doubt not, in due time, to see them finished and furnished with becoming elegance.
That no city of equal magnitude in Surope better deserves them, the display of beauty and faihion, last Thursday night, amply proved, and gave the most pleating testimony of general approbation in the Master of Ceremonies, for whose emolument the evening was allotted, The Ladies were, for the most part, in elegant fancy dresses, much in the taste of those worn at St James's on the late birlii-u.ty.
Among many others of the first rank and fashion, the following Nobility and Gentry were present :— , The Countesses of Errol, Bucha/i, Selkirk, Aberdeen, Rothes; Lady Colvill; Lord and Lady Elphiuston i Lord and Lady Macleod; Karl of Clem-aim, and Lady £. Cunningham; Ladies Charlotte-,. Isabella, Augusta, Harriet, Margaret, and Maria Hay; two Lady Steuarts; Lady Isabella Douglas; Lady Mary Hogg; Lady Margaret Watson; the Lady Charteris's; Lord and Lady Haddo; Earl of Eglnupn; Lord Torphichen; Lord Doune; Lady Susan and Man- Gordon; Hon. Gen. Leslie; Hon. Mr=Hay; Hon. Mise Serapill; Sir William and Lady Forbes , Sir Archibald and Lady Hope; Sir Alexander and Lady Purves; Sir John Henderson: Sir
James Hall; Lord Chief Baron and Mrs lontgomery; Hon. Mr Baron Norton; Lord Ankerville; Mrs Miller; Mrs Macrae; General Fletcher; Hon. Mr Gordon; Hon. Captain Maitland:—In short, so splenid a company has hardly ■fceen seen at once in the Rooms. It is supposed near a thousand persons were present.
a. An extraordinary Council was held, when the Lord Provost, Magistrates, and Council, signed a petition to the Hoc
House of Commons in name of the community, uraying for leave to bring in a bill to i'arliamcnt for deepening and widening the harbour of Leith, and for empowering the Magistrates to purchase grounds, &e. in the vicinity of the harbour. The petition was this day transmitted to London.
4. Came on before the High Court of Justiciary, the trial of Allan Macsarlane officer or expectant of Excise, lately i a Creenock, now iu Edinburgh, and Richard Firmin, soldier in the 39th regiment of foot, now quartered in the Castle of Edinburgh, indicted at the instance of his Majesty's Advocate for the crime of murder. The libel sets forth, That upon the 4th of July 1787, Allan Macsarlane and Richard Firmin having been employed, along with others, in making a seizure ot a still-pot, or pots, or of some of the apparatus belonging to a still, at the village of Denobn in the fiure of Argyle; and a scuffle having ensued at or near the more, in the neighbourhood of the said village, at which time Dugald Fcrguslbn, ferryman at Denoon, now deceased, had gone into a boat lying off the shore, Aflan Macfirlane gave orders to Richard Firmin, and others who were along with him, and who were armed witli loaded nuisqmts, to fire; and immediately Firmin levelled and fired his piece at Fergusson, whereby he was mortally wounded, and died immediately, or soon after.
Mr Charles Hope, as counsel sot the paimcls, made a very able speech on the relevancy of the libel. He laid, that tho* he did not mean to make any objection to it, yet the circumstance recited in the; indictment itself, of " a scuffle having ensued," would have sufficiently justified him in so doing; because that of itself dearly shewed, that the murder was not wickedly, feloniously, and deliberately committed, as stated in the indictment. Mr Hope said, that, so far from this being the case, the pannels were employed in the lawful execution of their duty, when they were violently attacked by a great mob of disorderly people, and were put. in imminent danger of their lives. Fergusson, the unhappy sufferer,' being the ringleader, and who was employed, at the very instant he was shot, m putting off their boat from shore, after having knocked down the two boatmen who were taking care of it. This boat, Mr Hope observed, was the only means left for the pannels and their party, to make their escape from the great mob in