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assert that people had been cut down and of inflammatory declamation rather than trampled to death in broad day, without to put it into any train of legal inquiry? having been guilty of any violation of law; If ihere were any man, or any body of and that ministers, so far from bringing to men, under a charge of murder, and no punishment the perpetrators of that atro- person stepped forward to bring them to cious act, had rewarded them by trans- punishment, it was a reproach to the mitting in the first instance the thanks of gallant general that he had not travelled their sovereign, and by subsequently con- out of his military character, and assumed ferring upon the individual by whose or the civil functions of a public prosecutor. der the people bad been trampled upon, With regard to the thanks which his maa place of great emolument. This peti- jesty bad been advised to give to the mation, so far from being deemed objection- gistrates of Manchester, he should always able, ought to be received with readiness glory in the share he had had in protectby ministers, who had thus an oppor- ing men who had saved the country from tunity of redeeming themselves from the the base attempts which evil-minded perdisgrace and infamy of countenancing the sons had made to subvert its constitution. destruction of 620 persons who had been The true reason why the conduct of the wantonly killed, wounded, and maimed on magistrates and yeomanry had not been the 16th of August at Manchester. He brought before a jury was, that there was in a court of justice the other day existed no grounds for such a proceeding. when an hon. baronet (sir F. Burdett), Though ministers, in the line of conduct was receiving sentence for having ex. which they had pursued, had not the good pressed his indignation at the murders fortune to possess the favourable opinion that had been committed at Manchester, of the gallant general, they had obtained -murders which he was prepared to what they valued much more—the approprove at the bar, if the House would bation of that House.

As to the quesgrant him the opportunity. He had heard tion immediately under consideration, he the judge declare, that no wrong could be hardly knew any thing that could be said inflicted in England without redress of the ministers of the Crown, which Where then was that redress for the peo- ought to prevent the House from reple of Manchester? He and others had ceiving a petition; but when it spoke in been in vain seeking to obtain redress unbecoming language of the legislature, for that outrage. The conduct of minis- or impugned the administration of justice ters, in suffering it to pass without in- in the courts of the country, it was the quiry, justified the people in considering duty of the House to express its opinion their subsequent acts so lawless as to call in such a manner as should repel the unfor a bill of indemnity.

founded charge. Perhaps it would have Lord Castlereagh said, he could not been the more natural course to have obhelp admiring the strain of feeling in which jected to the petition being received ; but the gallant member thought proper to in. he did not see that because that had been dulge, when he launched out in describing neglected, they were deprived of all disacts of the most extraordinary descrip- cretion, so far as to be obliged to send tion, and at once charged ministers with before the country sentiments so unbeprotecting from punishment known vio- coming and so dangerous. lators of the law, Thank God the people Sir R. Wilson said, he had not asserted of England lived in a country where the any thing that he was not prepared to ministers could not, if they were so dis- prove. He charged the parties to the posed, protect any individual who had transaction of the 16th of August with offended against the laws from being murder, and he was prepared to take the amenable to their jurisdiction. The mi- responsibility of that charge. nisters bad here no power to screen any

Lord Castlereagh said, it was open to man from the consequences of his act: the hon. general to establish his charge the highest and the lowest were alike before a competent tribunal. amenable to the law. Why did the gallant Sir M. W. Ridley said, that if he had officer indulge in this theme of declama- been in the House when the petition was tion, when the laws were open to the read, he should have objected to its aggrieved party? Was it because it an- lying on the table; but he thought that swered better the views of the gallant as it had been received it ought to be member, and others who thought with printed. lim, to keep this subject afloat as a topic Mr. Wynn could not accede to the proposition that every petition that was re- 1 pressed any thing which could be underceived was fit to be printed, as there might stood as a doubt as to the propriety of be petitions presented containing reflec- receiving the petition. Indeed, with retions on individuals which it would be spect to that part of it which said that highly improper to send forth.

« when the people uttered the language Mr. Bathurst contended, that the of complaint and woe, they were conHouse had sanctioned the principle that signed to the scaffold," he contended that a petition might be received and not be it was literally the fact. The distress of printed, by deciding that after it had been the people had been worked into rebellion Taid on the table there should be a dis- / by the conduct of spies and informers. tinct question that this petition be referring to the transactions at Manchesprinted."

ter he said it was odd enough that minis. Mr. B. Wilbraham declared that the ters themselves had never instituted any magistrates of Manchester were anxious, inquiry. There had however been a little for a full inquiry into their conduct. No judicial inquiry; and although it had been bills had been presented against any of broadly asserted that cart-loads of stones them. As to the yeomanry, they stood had been carried to the meeting at Manin a situation somewhat different ; for chester, and that one of the magistrates bills had been presented against them, had been trampled upon, yet not the and had been thrown out by the grand slightest evidence had been offered upon jury.

the judicial inquiry at York, for the purMr. Brougham thought it must be the pose of shewing the truth of those statedesire of the House to put the petition in ments. He was aware that many of his print. The phrase « disgraceful acts of friends were not inclined to go the length parliament,” must be understood as ap- of the sentiments contained in the petiplicable to the conduct of ministers; and tion. But he never remembered a peti. he contended that the people had a right tion presented to that House which met to stigmatise acts of parliament carried with the unanimous approval of all parties. by the influence of ministers. With re- The people were not bound to couch their spect to the other parts of the petition complaints to that House in such language he considered that the people had a con- as should suit its taste. The House stitutional right to go great lengths in the should know what were the sentiments of language of petition. With respect to the people; and this being done in the the transactions at Manchester, nothing form of petitions, they were in the ordion that subject which had occurred since narycourse printed for the accommodation those transactions, had altered his of the House. It was not for the purpose original opinion. Indeed he thought that of disseminating libels through the counwhat had happened since, had done more try, nor could it have that effect, that he to abate the respect of the people for the desired the present petition should be administration of the public justice than printed. any thing he had ever known before. No- The question being put, “ That the thing had so tended to shake the confi- petition be printed,” the House divided : dence of the people in that best and Ayes 64. Noes 130. surest support of a government. He regretted that the grand jury of Lancaster

List of the Minority. had not found ihe bills of indictment ;

Allen, J. H.

Duncannon, visc. becauso, had they found those bills, the Beaumont, T. P.

Althorp, visc. Ellice, Ed. subsequent proceedings upon them, the Becher, W. w.

Fergusson, sir R. C.

Gordon, R. co iction or acquittal of the accused Birch, J.

Graham, Sandford would have restored the public confidence Bright, H.

Grant, J. P. in the laws.

Brougham, H. Griffiths, J. W. Mr. Lushington observed, that the Bury, visc.

Guise, sir W. House had last session rejected a motion Calvert, C.

Hamilton, lord A. for the printing a petition ; and if there Caulfield, hon. H. Harbord, hon.E. was ever a case in which the House should Colborne, N. W.R. Heathcote, G.J. exercise its discretion, it was in the case Crespigny, sir W. Hobhouse, J. C. of this petition, the language of which Curwen, J. C.

Creevey, l'hos. Honeywood, W. P.

Hornby, Ed. was so universally acknowledged to be Davies, T. H. Hughes, W.L. objectionable.

Denison, W.J. Hume, J. Mr. Denman denied that he had ex. Dickenson. W. Hutchinson,hon.C.H.


Lambton, J. G. Rice, G.

the allegations of the petitioners proved Lennard, T. B. Ridley, sir M. W.

to be true, he apprehended that there Lushington, Dr. Robarts, A.

could be no doubt, as to the propriety of Maberly, John Robarts, G. Macdonald, J.

some animadversion upon the conduct of Robinson, sir G. Martin, John Stanley, lord

the sheriff. When the allegations should Monck, J. B. Sefton, earl of

be established in evidence, it would then Moore, Peter Smith, w.

be for the House to consider how a sheriff Moore, A.

Stuart, lord J. should be dealt with, who had thus interNewport, sir J. Taylor, M. A. fered with the right of the people to petition. O'Callaghan, J. Wharton, John. In the year 1680, the House had come to Ord, Wm.

Wilson, sir R. a unanimous resolution, that any violation Ossulston, lord Wortley, J.S.

of the right of petitioning, by obstructing Palmer, C. F.

Wyvill, M. Phillips, G.

the people in the exercise of that right, Phillips, G. R. Bennet, hon. H. G.

or in any demand for the redress of griev. Power, R. Denman, T.

anees, was an unjustifiable act. There

was also a precedent, which immediately CONDUCT OF THE Sheriff of Ches- ! followed, of a distinct censure pronounced TER.] Mr. Creevey rose for the purpose by that House upon the conduct of sir of submitting a motion, founded upon a George Jeffries, who, as recorder of Lonpetition from the freeholders of the county don, had presumed to obstruct the citiof Chester, which petition was presented zens in the exercise of the right of petito the House on the 9th instant. In the tioning. Here, then, were precedents difirst place, he would move that that peti. rectly applicable to the case to which this tion be read. [The petition was here motion referred the first containing an read by the clerk.] He understood the assertion of the right of the people to pecase to be briefly this :--A meeting of the tition, the second the referring of a com. nobility, clergy, gentry, and freeholders plaint upon the subject of this right to a of Cheshire was convened by the sheriff. committee of the House, and the third At that meeting an address was submitted. conveying a just animadversion upon an An amendment to the address was moved individual, by whom that right had been and seconded by two noblemen, ear] violated. Now, upon these precedents he Grosvenor, and lord Crewe; the effect of proposed to act; and therefore, he should which was to suggest another and a dif- \ in the first instance, move for the referferent address, deprecating the conduct ence to a select committee, of the petition of ministers, and requiring the restoration presented to the House on the 9th instant, of her majesty's name to the Liturgy. | from certain freeholders of Cheshire, with Both addresses were equally loyal, but power on the part of that committee to there was this material difference between examine evidence touching the allegations them, that the one moved by lord Gros- of the petition, and with instructions to venor entered into a little detail of facts report thereupon. The precedents which and opinions, which it was thought right he had quoted running, according to the to submit to the consideration of his ma- common expression, on all fours with jesty, with regard to which the address the case to which he had to call the aton the other side was totally silent. The tention of the House, he could not apprepetitioners complained that the sheriff re- hend aey objection to his motion. Whefused to put the address of lord Gros- ther the statement of the petitioners were venor at all, and also, that he would not well or ill-founded would appear from the allow the negative to be put upon the ad- examination and report of the committee; dress of the other side, declaring on the and upon that report being presented, first show of hands, that the majority of it would be for the House to determine the meeting were in its favour, and imme. as to any subsequent proceeding. If the diately withdrawing himself from the allegations of the petition were estabchair. The petitioners further alleged, lished in evidence, the House would dethat the majority of the meeting were ad- cide how the sheriff should be dealt with. verse to the original address, and de- This, then, would be matter for considercidedly for that of lord Grosvenor, as ation upon a future day. At present, the would have been testified had the sheriff sheriff alluded to appeared to have been put that address first, as they conceived guilty of a gross violation of the right of it his duty, as that was an amendment petitioning, and therefore the House was upon the address originally proposed. If particularly called upon to take cognizance of the charge against him. There | Wellington club at Stockport. This was, indeed, in the circumstances of the club, instituted in honour of the great present times, a very forcible reason why captain of the age, contributed freely to that House and the public should be pe- the columns of the Guzette their assumpculiarly jealous of the right of petitioning. tions of peculiar loyalty, their abuse of From the obnoxious acts which had not their fellow-citizens, and their political long since been passed, it was evident horror of blasphemy. Earl Grosvenor, that ministers and their adherents, were and the great body of the county were peculiarly jealous of any expression of therefore desirous of expressing their the public opinioc. So, indeed, the loyal sentiments ; but the sheriff had not noble lord (Castlereagh) manifestly was, thought that they were entitled to this sawhen he solely and emphatically dwelt tisfaction. He begged to call the attenupon those addresses from corporations tion of the House to another address. It and clergymen which made such a figure was from the corporation of Harwich rein the London Gazette. But while cor- presented in that House by the president porations and clergymen were at liberty of the board of control, and the chancelto express their opinions and to present lor of the excbequer.

Harwich was a their addresses, was it too much to desire regular treasury borough, and would that the same liberty should be possessed have as readily returned the two chiefs by the people at large? That the senti- who had come to this country from New ments of the people were adverse to mi- | Zealand, as the two right hon. gentlemen nisters was matter of notoriety. He opposite, provided there should be no would dare even the noble lord to dispute suspension of the usual facilities bethe fact. But how could those senti-tween them and the treasury. "The ments be expressed if a sheriff, who was name of your majesty's royal progenitor, one of the few persons at present autho- (say these addressers) the many virtues rized to convene a public meeting, were which enriched and adorned his characallowed to act as the sheriff of Chester ter, were but so many pledges that in his was accused of having done in this case ? immediate successor, the first object of If such conduct were indeed overlooked, his anxious solicitude would be the preministers having the appointment of the servation of external peace, and internal sheriffs, and possessing considerable influ- tranquillity. On the assumption of the ence in the appointment of most corpo- regal character, your majesty openly marate officers, their wish to suppress the wifested such desire, and the voice of gravoice of the people might be gratified tulation, which on that occasion was first by very easy management. Let the cor- heard in the centre, struck upon the porations and the clergy declare any opi. heart of every faithful subject, and was nion they might entertain ; but at the quickly reverberated from the remotest same time, such men as lords Grosvenor extremities of the empire.” Pretty well and Crewe, as well as the petitioners this for oyster-sellers « Lawless and before the House, should have an oppor. designing men have, however, since availtunity also of expressing their opinions ed themselves of extrinsic and adventitiupon public affairs. If what were called ous circumstances, and with unceasing the loyal addresses contained the foulest vituperation sought to disturb your maabuse upon the nation, was it to be en- jesty's repose, to deride your councils, to dured, that the people should be prohi- trample under foot our holiest institutions bited, not only from addressing their sove- and to undermine the fabric of our happy reign, but from speaking even in their own constitution. Enlinked with blasphemy, defence? Let the House hear extracted disloyalty dares to rear a shameless front, from the London Gazette, the language of and under the feigned terms of reform in the loyal clergy and gentry of Chester. parliament and amelioration of governHere the hon. gentleman read the follow- ment, means only to level all orders ing extract “ Now, when the disaffected among men, to dissolve the social comare almost unfurling the standard of re- pact, destroy the grand palladium of Bribellion, when the blasphemer is aiming to tish freedom, and to institute in their overthrow the Altars of his God; we feel stead a reign of terror and confusion." it to be the duty of all to come forward This address was transmitted to the chanand defend our well-poised constitution, cellor of the exchequer, who, from some and our holy faith." There was an ad- feeling as to the eulogium it contained dress, too from the members of the loyal upon himself and his colleagues, might

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have declined to present it. But, not- / that might be fixed on would be previa withstanding the absurdities with which it ously occupied, he resolved to hold the teemed, he had no objection whatever meeting in the Salt-house, but in the that it should be framed and glazed, for mean time insisted on all persons, of the edification of ministers and their ad. whatever party, being removed out of it. vocates. All be desired was that such Having exerted himself alike for each men as lords Grosvenor and Crewe should party, he regretted to say that he had be allowed to give public expression to been unsuccessful in obtaining them a their sentiments, as well as the loyal, hearing. He denied that he had refused rotten borough of Harwich. He knew to put the amendment. From his ignothing of the gentleman who was high norance of the parliamentary manner sheriff of Chester. All he knew was, that of putting such questions, he had not if the petition was true, the sheriff had been aware that the amendment ought done wrong, and he hoped that the House first to be put, and he had therefore would prevent the repetition of such put the address. The address having wrong. The hon. gentleman then moved, been carried by a large majority, there “ That the said petition, complaining of was no room to put the amendment. the conduct of the sheriff of the county of He was not so presumptuous as to Chester, be referred to a Select Com- think that he had not erred; but he mittee, to examine the matter thereof, was sure that he had acted according and to report the same, with their opinion to the best of his judgment. This was thereupon, to the House."

the statement of the high sheriff, and Mr. Davenport said, that not having many who had been present at the meetbeen present at the meeting referred to, ing were ready to prove the same facts, he hoped he should be excused for offer- if required to do so. It had been obing a few observations. The sheriff was jected that “ freeholders” had been subas independent in character and fortune stituted for inhabitants” in the requisias any man in the county, and if he had tion. Mr. Potts, the under sheriff, bad acted' wrong it was only an error in judg- written an explanation of this matter. In ment. He had never heard that he was a the original requisition it had been “ noparty man. Was it to be said that he bility, clergy, &c.” The high sheriff, was a party man because he was con- when he directed a meeting to be called, nected with a yeomanry corps ?

That wrote to Mr. Potts" You will take care yeomanry corps had been raised by a that the &c's. be filled up in the usual way." subscription wt a county meeting conven- Mr. Potts stated, that he had been many ed for that purpose. A committee had years in the habit of making up such doa then been appointed, not only for the cuments, and had used always the same management of the funds, but the nomi- terms. If there was any blame it rested nation of officers. If it was a party corps, with him, not with the high sheriff. it was an extraordinary party, for whigs Mr. Gipps hoped the House would not and torries had subscribed. The House think it necessary to notice the conduct should recollect, before they agreed to of the high sheriff, unless something such a motion, that it was no trifling more serious were established against him. matter to drag the high sheriff up to ac- The case as it now appeared was, that tend a committee of that House. The lord Grosvenor and the petitioners had office of high sheriff was an arduous, and been outnumbered, and felt sore in congenerally a thankless office.

sequence. If they did not like the man. Mr. Égerton said, that as soon as the ner in which the meeting was conducted, petition was known in the county, the why could they not have withdrawn to high sheriff had written a letter explaining some other place and voted counter-rehis conduct, which, with permission of solutions ? the House, he would read. The letter Mr. Philips said, that the only object was hastily written, as little time was left of his hon. friend was, to make some profor explanation of the circumstances. vision against the recurrence of such Hear the hon. member read the letter.] { conduct as the petitioners complained of. The high sheriff admitted that he had | As to the approbation of his conduct, acceded to earl Grosvenor's proposal to upon which the high sheriff professed to adjourn the meeting to the fields, believing rely, that approbation came only from the Salt-house to be too small: but that, on one quarter. There was not a single ina representation by others that the place dividual on the other side whose appro

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