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the leaders of opposition. The friends of each frequently mentioned it in the highest terms of commendation.

The speeches' delivered by the respectable persons who presented the petitions of the British catholics to the houses of parliament, were perfect models of senatorial oratory, and alike calculated to conciliate their protestant, and to gratify their catholic hearers.— What protestant was not propitiated, what catholic was not dearer to himself, after he had heard the following dignified and

generous exposition from Mr. Wyndham, on presenting the petition of the English roman-catholics to the honourable house of which his lordship is so bright an ornament.

I have a petition to present ; into the merits “ of which it is not now my intention to go. It

respects a body of people, who labour under op“pressions of peculiar severity ; I mean the roman“ catholics of England.

“ I admit the right of states to impose religious “ restrictions upon the people; but that right should “ be only exercised, when called for by an impe“ rious and over-ruling necessity. It is obvious no “ such necessity exists for the restrictions upon the

roman-catholics of England, as they ask for “ nothing but that, which both church and state “ must deem it necessary to grant, and which justice “ must confirm. Who can pretend to have any “ fear of the roman-catholics ? Or to. dread a “ disclosure of their power, by which their virtues " must also be revealed ?

“ I will assert, then, if their power prove consi“ derable, their inclinations are in a proportionate

degree favourable to the interests of the country ; “ if their character be unknown, if they be obscure, " --it is because they are deemed unworthy of our “ consideration, and are branded with our neglect. “ When I speak of their obscurity, I do not mean, “ that they are destitute of hereditary virtues and

hereditary dignity—that they are not a part of “ that class which ought to be denominated Ultimi " Romanorum.-I CANNOT CONTEMPLATE A MORE


MIDST OF HIS PEOPLE, EXERCISING THE VIRTUES OF BENEFICENCE, HUMANITY, AND HOSPITALITY. -If they are obscure, it is because they are pro* scribed as aliens to the state ; because they are “ shut out from this assembly, where many of those, “ who are far less worthy, are allowed to sit. Have “ they ever tried those vile arts which are exercised “so successfully by so many to creep into pension “ and place? Have they ever attempted to obtain “ their rights either by clamour or by servility ? On the contrary, THEIR CONDUCT HAS PROVED " THAT NO OTHER BODY IS MORE JUSTLY EN


“ I wish the petition to lie upon the table, that " the contents may sink deep into the minds of “ this house; and I hope the consideration will

bring a final success to the cause of virtue and of “ truth. It is impossible that we can for ever bear “the sight of our own injustice. Rectitude must ultimately prevail, and I presume, that the object “ of this petition will be granted without a strug


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SUCH was the situation of the British catholics, when the proceedings for their complete and final relief were begun.

On the 15th of February 1820, a full meeting was held of the British catholic board, his


the duke of Norfolk was in the chair. An address to his majesty on his accession to the throne was unanimously agreed to : such an address was afterwards presented and graciously received.

On the 7th day of the following June, a petition from the catholics was presented to his majesty at the levee : it was expressed in the following terms: “ To the King's most excellent Majesty :

“ The humble petition of the undersigned persons, professing the roman-catholic religion in Great Britain,

Sheweth, -That your petitioners approach your majesty's presence, 'ever entertaining the

• deepest gratitude for the benefits conferred upon “ them, by the acts passed for their relief during “the benevolent reign of your majesty's royal “ father, their late lamented sovereign.

“ That there are, however, several penal and “ disabling laws still in force against them, which “ are alike injurious to their particular interests, “and prejudicial to the general welfare of the state. • They impose upon your petitioners the same incapacities, with which the law visits convicted

guilt: they encourage popular prejudices : they “ perpetuate religious dissentions : and they prevent “ that general concord in the empire so essential “ to its happiness, prosperity and independence.

That, though your petitioners are marked “ out as persons unworthy of public trust, yet they “ yield to no class of their fellow subjects in affec“ tionate loyalty to your majesty, in dutiful sub“ mission to the laws, in attachment to the liberties, “ and zeal for the honour of their country. They “ have been accused of giving to a foreign potentate “ part of that allegiance, which they owe to your “ majesty's sacred person and government; but

they have repeatedly denied the charge, and they

beg leave, at the foot of your majesty's throne, “ again most solemnly to deny it.

They have lately joined with heart and voice “ in proclaiming your majesty their liege lord and “ sovereign. To your majesty they swear full and “ undivided allegiance : in your majesty alone they “ recognize the power of the civil sword within “ this realm of England. They acknowledge in no foreign prince, prelate, state or potentate, any

power or authority to use the same, within the “ said realm, in any matter or cause whatever, “ whether civil, spiritual, or ecclesiastical.

“ With these sentiments your petitioners throw “ themselves upon your majesty's wisdom, liberality “ and justice. They humbly pray, if it shall seem “ meet to your royal judgment so to do, that your

majesty may be graciously pleased to recommend “ their case to the favourable consideration of

parliament. And they beseech Almighty God,

by whom kings do reign, to bless your majesty “ with long and happy years to rule over them.”

This petition was signed by the duke of Norfolk, the earl of Surry, lord Shrewsbury, lord Kinnaird, lord Stourton, lord Petre, lord Arundell and lord Clifford; by doctor Gibson, the vicarapostolic in the northern district, doctor Smith his coadjutor; by doctor Collingridge, vicar-apostolic in the western district ; by doctor Poynter, vicar-apostolic in the London district; by doctor Alexander Cameron, vicar-apostolic in the lowland district in Scotland, by doctor Alexander Paterson, his coadjutor ; and by doctor Ronald Mac-Donald, vicarapostolic in the highland district; by almost all the catholic baronets, (including sir George Jerningham, the claimant of the Stafford peerage); by alınost all the catholic clergy, and by most other catholics of family. From the list of those who signed, we must except doctor Milner: he objected to the language of the petition : but his objections were not distinctly pronounced ; and it is probable that

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