FORMING A CONTINUATION OF THE WORK ENTITLED
" THE PARLIAMENTARY HISTORY OF ENGLAND,
FROM THE EARLIEST PERIOD TO THE YEAR 1803."
PUBLISHED UNDER THE SUPERINTENDENCE 0:
T. C. HANSARD.
COMMENCIG TE SESSION O GORE IV.
COMMENCING WITH TIlE ACCESSION OF GEORGE IV.
COMPRISING THE PERIOD
FROM .. V
THE FIRST DAY OF MiT 7-
TIHE NINETEENTH DAY iOF JUL.Y, LIW8:3.
** 4. j
Printicb !b X. C. Van arb at tbre pater-notert-otu prcg,
FOR BALDWIN, CRADOCK, AND JOY; J. BOOKER; LONGMAN, HURST, REES, AND CO.;
J. M. RICHARDSON; KINGSBURY AND CO.; J. HATCHARD AND SON; J. RIDGWAY
AND SONS; E. JEFFERY AND SON; RODWELL AND MARTIN; R. 11. EVANS;
BUDD AND CALKIN; J. BOOTH; AND T. C. HANSARD.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF IV. KING'S MESSAGES.
LORDS. V. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.
II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF
COMMONS. VI. PETITIONS.
III. KING'S SPEECHES. VII. LIsTS.
I. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF LORDS.
May 1. Equitable Adjustment of Contracts-Petition of Mr. Thomson 1
12. Negotiations relative to France and Spain-Foreign Policy of
G reat Britain ........................................................... 170
22. Austria and Switzerland........................... ......... 435
27. Commutation of Tithes in Ireland ................................. 538
Marriage Act Amendment Bill....................................... 540
June 3. Foreign W ool ............................................................. 648
Marriage Act Amendment Bill......................................... 649
12. Dissenters' Marriages Bill............................................... 967
16. Silk Manufacture Bill .................................................. 985
19. The Duke of Devonshire's Motion on the State of Ireland ...... 1033
26. Appellate Jurisdiction .................................................. 1246
30. Marriages in Foreign Countries ...................................... 1319
Appellate Jurisdiction .................................................. 1321
July 1. Appellate Jurisdiction .................................................. 1348
4. Beer Bill.......................................... ... ............... 1432
7. Irish Insurrection Bill......... ......................................... 1439
8. Irish Tithes Commutation Bill ........................................ 1452
9. English Catholics Elective Franchise Bill ......................... 14.76
Irish Tithes Composition Bill ..................................... 1490
'>1 ~2 .
`I --;---- -~-~i~-- -- =-----=I~-i--
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
July 16. Silk Manufacture Bill .................................................. 1529
17. Silk Manufacture Bill............................................... 133
18. Roman Catholic Establishments ..................................... 1534
19. King's Speech at the Close of the Session ......................... 1543
II. DEBATES IN THE HOUSE OF COMMONS.
May 2. Negotiations relative to Spain -King's Answer to Address 8
Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ....................... 8
5. Reform of Parliament-Petition from Edinburgh ................. 31
Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ....................... 34
6. Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ...................... 69
7. Sale of Game Bill-Petition of Mr. Cobbett against it ........... 79
Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ....................... 83
8. Petition of Richard Carlile, complaining of the Seizure of his
Property .................................................................. 114
Breach of Privilege-Complaint against The British Press "... 117
Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ..................... 119
9. Spital-Fields Silk Manufacture Acts-Petition for the Repeal
thereof.................................. ............................... 143
Scotch Linen Manufacture .......................................... 150
Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ..................... 151
12. Law of Principal and Factor-Petition for an Alteration thereof 211
Importation of Tallow-Petition for an Additional Duty on ... 213
Beer D uties Bill......................................................... 214
Spital-Fields Silk Manufacture.......................................... 217
Irish Insurrection Act ................................................. 218
14. Foreign Wool Tax-Sir J. Sinclair's Petition against the Re-
peal of ............................................................. 239
Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ....................... 239
State of Newfoundland ................................................. 245
15. Slavery-Petitions for the Abolition of ............................. 255
Slavery-Mr. Fowell Buxton's Motion for the Abolition of...... 257
16. Conduct of Chief Baron O'Grady ................................... 360
Irish Tithes Composition Bill ...................................... 365
21. Insolvent Debtors Act-Petition from Westminster for the Re-
peal of.................................................................. 376
Silk Manufacture Bill .............................................. 377
Pretensions of Russia-North West Coast of America............ 387
Irish Trading Vessels-Harbour and Light Dues ................. 388
Mr. Sykes's Motion for the Repeal of the Tax on Tallow
Candles ......................................................... 390
Sir James Mackintosh's Motion respecting the Rigour of our
Criminal Laws ..................................................... 397
Bull-baiting and Dog-fights ........................................ 433
22. Standing Order respecting Bills of Trade .......................... 435
Austria and Switzerland ............................................ 439
The Greeks and Turks ,,.......... ..... ..,,.otes ... ,, ..... 441
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
May 22. Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ....................... 441
Half-Pay of the Army in Ireland....... .................. ............. 442
East and West India Sugars ......................................... 444
23. Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ....................... 467
26. Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ...................... 507
27. Small Debts Recovery Committee .................................. 543
Combination of Workmen Bill....................................... 546
Felo de Se Bill ........................................................... 550
Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ...................... 550
Irish Joint Tenancy Bill................................................... 560
28. Special Juries-Petition of Mr. John Hunt ...................... 563
British Roman Catholics Tests Regulation Bill ................... 574
Collection of the Malt and Beer Tax ................................ 592
30. Wages of Manufacturers-Use of Machinery....................... 598
Irish Tithes Composition Bill ....................................... 602
June 2. Agricultural Distress................................................... 609
Reform of Parliament-Devon Petition ........................... 609
Lord Archibald Hamilton's Motion on the State of the Scotch
County Representation............................................ 611
Sheriff of Dublin-Inquiry into his Conduct ....................... 644
Sale of Game Bill ............... ....... ............ ........... 644
3. Mr. Abercromby's Motion relative to the Conduct of the Lord
Advocate of Scotland in the Case of W. M. Borthwick....... 664
4. Breach of Privilege-Complaint against The Morning Chroni-
cle" for reflecting on the Members of the House .............. 691
Colonel Wood's Motion respecting the Law of Settlement ...... 693
Mr. J. Williams's Motion relating to Delays in the Court of
Chancery...................... ........ ..................... .......... 706
Barilla D uties ............................................................. 738
Mr. J. Williams's Motion relating to Delays in the Court of
Chancery...................................................... ....... 739
6. Reciprocity of Duties ....................... ................. 795
Irish Tithes Composition Bill .......................................... 802
9. Silk Manufacture Bill .................................................. 810
Leeward Islands-Four and a Half per Cent Duties.............. 819
Expense of the Coronation ............................................ 828
11. Silk Manufacture Bill........................ ................ 831
Mr. Western's Motion respecting the Resumption of Cash Pay-
ments and Alterations in the Currency .......................... 833
12. Mr. Western's Motion respecting the Resumption of Cash Pay-
ments and Alterations in the Currency .......................... 902
Mode of selecting Grand Juries-Petition from Liverpool ...... 964
Roman Catholic Marriages ............................................ 965
13. Barilla Duties Bill .................................................... 973
Beer Duties Bill..................... ...................... 975
Conduct of Chief Baron O'Grady .................................. 977
16. London Bridge Bill ................................................... 988
Irish Tithes Composition Bill ......................................... 989
17. Beer Duties Bill........................................................ 992
Conduct of Chief Baron O'Grady.................................. 993
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
Jane 17. Usury Laws Repeal Bill ............................................. 1014,
18. Burning of Hindoo Widows ........................................... 1017
Hindoo Infanticide......................................................... 1021
Employment of the Poor of Ireland-Mr. Owen's Plan........... 1021
Sir Gerard Noel's Motion relative to Olive (styling herself)
Princess of Cumberland ........................................... 1022
British Roman Catholics Tests Regulation Bill .................... 1031
19. Reform of Parliament-Petition from Newcastle-upon-Tyne ... 1072
Petition of Mr. Butt, complaining of his Confinement ............ 1074
Middlesex County Court ............................................ 1079
Mr. Hume's Motion relative to Promotions in the Navy ......... 1079
Jurors Qualification Bill ............................................... 1103
Coronation Expenses .................................................... 1106
20. Library of the late King-British Museum......................... 1112
23. British Roman Catholics Tests Regulation Bill .................. 1127
Lottery .................................................................. 1139
24. Petition of the Hon. Basil Cochrane, complaining of the Con-
duct of the Victualling Board in the Examination of his Ac-
counts ................................................................. 1139
Irish Insurrection Bill .............................................. .. 1147
25. Inequality in the Administration of the Law-Petition of the
Roman Catholics of Ireland ........................................ 1203
Historical Painting-Petition of B. R. Haydon.................. 1209
Mr. Hume's Motion respecting the Office of the Lord Lieute-
nant of Ireland ................... ................... 1212
Education of the Poor in Ireland...................................... 1241
Larcenies (Benefit of Clergy) Bill .................................. 1244
26. Petition of George Rowan-Complaint against Colonel Crosbie,
a Member of the House................................... ... 1253
Mr. Brougham's Motion respecting the Administration of the
Law in Ireland ..................... .................... 1255
27. King's Message respecting Viscount St. Vincent's Annuity...... 1318
Petition of George Rowan-Complaint against Colonel Crosbie,
a Member .......................................................... 1318
Usury Laws Repeal Bill ............................................... 1319
30. Private Mad-houses .................................................. 1332
Scotch Juries Bill ......................... .... ..................... 1334
Scotch Commissaries Courts Bill...................................... 1337
Roman Catholics Elective Franchise Bill............................ 1341
July 1. British Museum.............................................. .......... 1357
Petition of George Rowan-Complaint against Colonel Crosbie,
a Member .......................................................... 1361
Religious Opinions-Petition of Ministers of the Christian Reli-
gion for Free Discussion .......................................... 1365
2. New South Wales Jurisdiction Bill.................................. 1400
Capture of the Ship Requin in the Garonne by Mr. Ogilvie ... 1405
The Budget................................................................. 1412
Conduct of Chief Baron O'Grady...................................... 1422
3. General Index to Journals-Ingrossing Bills...... ............ 1428
Conduct of Chief Baron O'Grady......... ............. ........ 1429
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
July 4. Irish Tithes Composition Bill ..................................... 1434
7. Conduct of Baron M'Clelland-Petition of John Quin........... 1442
Prisons Bill-Flogging ...................... .......................... 146
New South Wales Jurisdiction Bill ................................ 1447
8. New South Wales .......... .............................. 1456
Distilleries Bill ......................................................... 1458
Collection ard Management of the Land Tax .................... 1461
Conduct of Chief Baron O'Grady..................................... 1471
9. Penitentiary at Millbank ....................................... 1493
Jurors Qualification Bill ............................................. 1496
Foreign Policy of the Country....................................... 1498
Conduct of Chief Baron O'Grady .................... .............. 1506
10. Delays in the Court of Chancery....................................... 1511
Scottish Law Commission Bill ...................................... 1512
Quarantine Regulations at Malta..................................... 1526
18. Silk Manufacture Bill................................................... 1540
III. KING'S SPEECHES.
July 19. King's Speeeh at the Close of the Session........................... 1543
IV. KING'S MESSAGES.
June 27. King's Message respecting Viscount St. Vincent's Annuity ... 1318
V. PARLIAMENTARY PAPERS.
FINANCE ACCOUNTS FOR THE YEAR ENDED 5TH JANUARY 1823.
CLASS I. Public Income................................ App.
II. Public Expenditure ...................................
III. Consolidated Fund ...............................
IV. Public Funded Debt ............................
V. Unfunded Debt.....................................
VI. Disposition of Grants ................................
VII. Arrears and Balances ................................
VIII. Trade and Navigation... ..........................
May 7. PETITION of Mr. Cobbett against the Sale of Game Bill........ 81
9. of the Silk Manufacturers of London and Westmin-
ster, for the Repeal of the Spitalfields Acts ....... 143
28. - of Mr. John Hunt respecting Special Juries ......... 563
June 24. - of the Hon. Basil Cochrane, complaining of the Con-
duct of the Victualling Board in the Examination
of his Accounts ...................................... 1143
VOL. IX. b
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
June 25. PETITION of the Roman Catholics of Ireland, respecting In-
equality in theAdministration of the Law ......... 1203
July 1. - of Ministers and Members of Christian Congregations
for Free Discussion .................................. 1366
May 12. LIST of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Irish
Insurrection Act Renewal Bill............................... 238
14. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Hume's
Motion for a Committee on the State of Newfoundland 255
21. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Sir James
Mackintosh's Motion respecting the Rigour of our
Criminal Laws .............................................. 432
22. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Whit-
more's Motion respecting the Duties on East and West
India Sugars ..................................................... 467
28. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Maber-
ley's Motion respecting the Malt and Beer Tax ......... 598
June 2. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Lord A.
Hamilton's Motion on the State of the Scotch County
3. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Aber-
cromby's Motion respecting the Conduct of the Lord
Advocate of Scotland, in the Case of W. M. Borthwick 690
5. -'- of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. J.
Williams's Motion relating to Delays in the Court of
Chancery .................................................. 794
9. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Fowell
Buxton's Motion for recommitting the Silk Manufac-
tures Bill ....................................................... 818
12. -of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr.
Western's Motion respecting the Resumption of Cash
Payments and the State of the Currency .................. 964
13. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Barilla
Duties Bill...................................................... 975
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Beer
Duties Bill......................................................... 977
16. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the London
Bridge Bill........................................................ 989
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the.Irish
Tithes Composition Bill ...................................... 992
17. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Beer
D uties Bill....................................................... 993
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Usury
Laws Repeal Bill............................................... 1017
19. of the Minority, in the House of Lords, on the Duke of
Devonshire's Motion respecting the State of Ireland ... 1072
of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr. Len-
nard's Motion respecting the State of the Middlesex
County Court ........................... ...................... 1079
of the Minority, on Mr. Hume's Motion relative to Pro-
motions in the Navy.......................................... 1102
,TABLE OF CONTENTS.
June 19. LIST of the Minority, on Mr. Hume's Motion respecting the
Expense of the Coronation ................................... 1111
24. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Irish
Insurrection Bill .............................................. 1203
25. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on the Larce-
nies (Benefit of Clergy) Bill ................................ 1246
26. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on Mr.
Brougham's Motion respecting the Administration of
Justice in Ireland........................................ .. 1317
July 1. of the Minority, in the House of Commons, on receiving
Mr. G. Rowan's Petition, complaining of the Conduct
ofa Member..................................................... 1365
aamentary D debates
During the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Fourth Day of
February 1823, in the Fourth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, May 1, 1823.
EQUITABLE ADJUSTMENT OF CON-
TRACTS-PETITION OF MR. THOMSON.]
Earl Stanhope presented a petition from
Charles Andrew Thomson, of Chiswick,
in the county of Middlesex. The peti-
tion was the same as the one presented
from the same gentleman to the House of
Commons, a copy of which will be found
S in our preceding volume, at p. 188. After
it had been read,
Earl Stanhope rose and addressed their
lordships nearly as follows:-My lords,
the petition which has just been read
brings under your consideration a subject
of very general interest and extreme im-
portance-it is that subject of equitable
adjustment, which has been so much mis-
understood by some, and has been by
others so much misapplied. An equita-
ble adjustment is a phrase which of itself
implies an adjustment upon principles of
right, a true, clear, and undeniable con-
sequence of that natural and immutable
state of affairs, without which, although
obedience to human laws may be enforced,
those laws cannot command respect. It
is evident, that if the government of a
country alter the value of its currency,
it ought in the same proportion, to alter
the value of contracts made antecedent to
such a regulation. By the introduction
' of the Bank Restriction bill in 1797, the
vilue of the currency was rendered what
it was not before ; and such has proved to
be the case not only with respect to gold,
but by that which affords a much more
accurate criterion, namely, by the value
of manufactures and commerce. With
VOL. IX. fI-}
respect to gold, it must be recollected,
that it cannot be understood as a standard
value, except when it is used for purposes
of government. For a few years, gold
became itself depreciated to a great ex-
tent, in the same manner as paper when
compared with gold. It has been stated,
that nothing can be more futile or more
fallacious than an attempt to measure the
market price of gold by the depreciation
of currency at different periods. That
argument may suit those whose endeavour
is, to prevent the matter from being viewed
in its true light. As the value of the cur-
rency, however, has been very different at
various periods, it is requisite, for the sake
of justice, to pursue the principles of
equitable adjustment, so that each con-
tract should be rectified or adjusted, ac-
cording to the real original value. the
commodity bore at the period when it
was contracted for. This is another prin-
ciple of equitable adjustment, which is
essentially different from all those pro-
posals which we have heard of, for the
purpose of altering the standard, inas-
much as it would affect all contracts in
the same proportion; for, by such an
equitable adjustment as I allude to, each
contract would be restored to its value at
the time the parties contracted. Such
are the principles that I conceive ought
to regulate an equitable adjustment; than
which none can be more just-none' can
be more necessary-I will not merely
say, for the safety and well-being, but
even for the existence of the country.-
The object of my proposition, as to an
equitable adjustment, is to rectify and to
regulate, to their original value, all con-
tracts made since the restriction of cash
aamentary D debates
During the Fourth Session of the Seventh Parliament of
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland,
appointed to meet at Westminster, the Fourth Day of
February 1823, in the Fourth Year of the Reign of His
Majesty King GEORGE the Fourth.
HOUSE OF LORDS.
Thursday, May 1, 1823.
EQUITABLE ADJUSTMENT OF CON-
TRACTS-PETITION OF MR. THOMSON.]
Earl Stanhope presented a petition from
Charles Andrew Thomson, of Chiswick,
in the county of Middlesex. The peti-
tion was the same as the one presented
from the same gentleman to the House of
Commons, a copy of which will be found
S in our preceding volume, at p. 188. After
it had been read,
Earl Stanhope rose and addressed their
lordships nearly as follows:-My lords,
the petition which has just been read
brings under your consideration a subject
of very general interest and extreme im-
portance-it is that subject of equitable
adjustment, which has been so much mis-
understood by some, and has been by
others so much misapplied. An equita-
ble adjustment is a phrase which of itself
implies an adjustment upon principles of
right, a true, clear, and undeniable con-
sequence of that natural and immutable
state of affairs, without which, although
obedience to human laws may be enforced,
those laws cannot command respect. It
is evident, that if the government of a
country alter the value of its currency,
it ought in the same proportion, to alter
the value of contracts made antecedent to
such a regulation. By the introduction
' of the Bank Restriction bill in 1797, the
vilue of the currency was rendered what
it was not before ; and such has proved to
be the case not only with respect to gold,
but by that which affords a much more
accurate criterion, namely, by the value
of manufactures and commerce. With
VOL. IX. fI-}
respect to gold, it must be recollected,
that it cannot be understood as a standard
value, except when it is used for purposes
of government. For a few years, gold
became itself depreciated to a great ex-
tent, in the same manner as paper when
compared with gold. It has been stated,
that nothing can be more futile or more
fallacious than an attempt to measure the
market price of gold by the depreciation
of currency at different periods. That
argument may suit those whose endeavour
is, to prevent the matter from being viewed
in its true light. As the value of the cur-
rency, however, has been very different at
various periods, it is requisite, for the sake
of justice, to pursue the principles of
equitable adjustment, so that each con-
tract should be rectified or adjusted, ac-
cording to the real original value. the
commodity bore at the period when it
was contracted for. This is another prin-
ciple of equitable adjustment, which is
essentially different from all those pro-
posals which we have heard of, for the
purpose of altering the standard, inas-
much as it would affect all contracts in
the same proportion; for, by such an
equitable adjustment as I allude to, each
contract would be restored to its value at
the time the parties contracted. Such
are the principles that I conceive ought
to regulate an equitable adjustment; than
which none can be more just-none' can
be more necessary-I will not merely
say, for the safety and well-being, but
even for the existence of the country.-
The object of my proposition, as to an
equitable adjustment, is to rectify and to
regulate, to their original value, all con-
tracts made since the restriction of cash
payments in the year 1797, and previous well as to society in general. It never
to the restoration of cash payments in was proposed by any man, that in fol-
1819. The effect of that would be to do lowing up the principles of equitable ad-
justice to all parties contracting; to cor- justment, we were to strike at the founda-
rect all the grievances that now exist; tion of property, to discover who were
and to place all the parties interested, in the original holders. It is clear that every
the same situation as they were in at the holder of a contract, whether by purchase
time when those contracts were entered or otherwise, is the same as the original
into. Such being the means of remedying holder: he not only possesses the same
the evil, and such the nature and object rights, but must submit also to the same
of an equitable adjustment, I should be obligations. That this is the principle of
surprised at the calumnies that have been equitable adjustment is not a discovery
heaped upon it from various quarters, that is new; but I should consider that
were I not convinced that wilful and base as being no valid objection to it: if it
representations have been made upon the were, I should refer your lordships to an
subject, by those who are perhaps in- act of parliament, passed in Scotland in
terested in the continuance of that ini- the 3rd parliament of James 3rd, for the
quity which it is the object of the pro- purpose of settling equitably all debts
posers of an equitable adjustment to pre- and contracts then subsisting. That act
vent. It was, however, with great asto- differs from the acts of our days, as it is
nishment that I heard, the other night, very short: it states, in the preamble,
this measure stigmatized as being revo. that whatever contract may have been
lutionary, on a petition presented by a made for money, it is for the good of the
noble lord not now present, which peti- realm, that the same should be settled
tion proceeded from thetounty of Here- equitably, according to the value of the
ford, and also prayed for an equitable ad- currency; it then enacts that all debtors
justment. When we talk of propositions who owe any debts upon contracts, may
being revolutionary, I should like to be allowed to pay the same, according to
know, what can be more revolutionary, the sum and substance of what was in-
or more destructive to regular govern- tended between the parties at the time of
ment and good order, than that which has making their contract. Now, my lords,
the effect of revolutionizing the value of you here see the principle of an equitable
property? What can be more terrific adjustment measured out in Scotland in
than that, when done under the sanction former times, by the authority of an act
of law ? I would beg to quote the words of parliament; and, if I be correctly in-
of that admirable petition, which the noble formed, the same principle has been es-
lord presented from the county of Here- tablished in this country by the decision
ford, in which this country is said to be of a court of law. I don't know the
governed by a violent aristocracy, and names of the parties in that case; but I
proceeding gradually towards revolution, have no doubt they are familiar to my
Can your lordships suppose that such a noble and learned friend upon the Wool-
revolution can be consummated without sack. It was, I believe, a case which
experiencing the effects of, I will not occurred towards the end of good queen
merely say a change, but a total destruc- Elizabeth's reign, with respect to a per-
tion of the constitution, and without pro- son who, having made his will at the close
during evils which no man has antici- of that reign, and (as a great alteration
pated? I retort the charge of revolu- had taken place in the value of the cur-
tionary intentions upon those who have rency at that period), his executors en-
so used it, and who attempt to calumniate tertained a doubt as to how to settle the
the measure with such epithets, but with testator's affairs, on account of the ruin-
which they in vain attempt to stigmatize ous obligations they found imposed upon
it. I would wish them to use arguments them by that will. A question was there-
instead of abuse. We have heard it lately fore agitated as to whether that testator
asserted that a system of equitable adjust- understood that the payments were to be
ment would produce dreadful confusion, made at the valuation of the currency at
It is the first time that I ever heard such the commencement of the reign, or ac-
an argument used against obtaining jus- cording to that value which existed at the
tice, tsprevent the continuance of spolia. time the will was executed ? The court
tion, and to avert the most destructive decided, inasmuch as the words of the
state of circumstances to individuals as will were, "I give and bequeath such and
3] HOUSE OF LORDS,
Equitable Adjustment of Contracts-
MAY 1, 1823. [6
such sums, to be paid to certain per-
sons named, according to the valuation
of the currency," that those words were
Sto be understood as being applicable to
the general value of the currency at
the time the payments were to be made.
Here again your lordships see the effect
of an equitable adjustment acted upon
in courts of law. Besides that, if we
look to the example of other coun-
tries, I need only refer your lordships to
the conduct of the emperor of Austria,
and for which conduct, I dare say, the
government of that country cannot be
called in any respect revolutionary; in
that country the present emperor having
made considerable alterations in his cur-
rency, issued an edict to all the magis-
trates within his dominions, forbidding
them, under the severest penalties, to
open it before a certain day; and desiring
them, at the same time, when that day
came, to give it all possible publicity.
When that edict was opened, it was
found to contain a scale for the payment
of debts, and directing all debts consti-
tuted by contracts previously obtained,
to be paid according to that scale. It is
also singular that the same country,
Austria, should exhibit an example, not
only of the sort of equitable adjustment
here proposed, but also a measure similar
in its nature to that bill, which has lately
passed in this country, commonly called
Mr. Peel's bill. Be that as it may, how-
ever, it is certain, that the paper currency
of Austria has from time to time fluctu-
ated from 440 to 250 in paper, as com-
pared with 100 in silver. The emperor
determined to ascertain the proportion
between paper and silver which was
settled at that time, and it was ascertain-
ed, that it afforded no more a just crite-
rion of the value of silver in that country,
than what are called the market-price of
Sold in this country. The emperor di-
rected, as in this country, that the debts
should be paid in silver, according to
that ratio which he then established,
and that system was begun in that coun-
try, having been occasioned by similar
causes as have existed in this. At that
time, the most grievous and intoler-
Sable inequality of payments prevailed
in that country; and, as in this, the
disproportionate value of payments was
monstrous. Such a system as formerly
* prevailed in Austria, as to the payment
of debts, was in the result, a source of
extreme dissatisfaction and discontent
throughout the whole of the emperor's
dominions.-Having troubled your lord-
ships, at this length, upon the general
principles of this measure-principles
which have been so unjustly calumniated
-allow me to apply those principles to
the case of this petitioner. His case is
this-that he is ifi danger of losing two
estates which were bought by him in the
year 1811 for 132,0001.; he is in danger
of being dispossessed and deprived of
those estates by the foreclosure of a deed
of mortgage for 60,0001., being less than
one-half of the value of the estates upon
which that mortgage was granted."-His
lordship then entered into an elucidation
of the losses sustained by the petitioner,
founded upon the statement in the peti-
tion, and also stated various other similar
cases of hardship, which had come within
his knowledge, as arising from the depre-
ciation of landed property. He men-
tioned one instance, in Herefordshire,
where an estate was sold for 25,0001.
some years ago, and which had been re-
purchased by the original proprietor for
6,0001. He would ask their lordships,
whether it was possible to state any thing
more strong and energetic, to shew the
cruelty and hardship which this peti-
tioner and others in a similar situation
were under the necessity of enduring, on
account of the injustice arising from the
inconceivably great reduction in the
value of property, without any alteration
being made in the value of the currency.
Those evils could only be remedied by
an equitable adjustment; and until that
system which he now proposed, was
adopted, the evils complained of could
not be remedied. In duty to their coun-
try, their lordships were bound to pre-
vent the mortgagee under such circum-
stances executing a foreclosure.-His
lordship also mentioned the case of a per-
son whose income had been reduced from
60,0001. a-year, to 30,0001. a year; with
the same annuities of 21,Q001. a-year to
pay out of 30,0001. a year, which-he had
to pay out of 60,0001. a-year. He was
well aware, that 9,0001. a-year was quite
enough for any man; but he only men-
tioned it to shew the proportionate hard-
ship which was inflicted by the state of
the currency upon landed proprietors. No
man could willingly submit to be thus
dispossessed of his property nor have it
swallowed up or transferred into other
hands. In order to pay claims establish-
ed upon former contracts, many were
Petition of Mr. Thomson.
7]' HOUSE OF COMMONS,
under the necessity of disposing of twice
the quantity of produce compared with
the value of the property, when those
contracts were entered into. He asked
for justice being done to the public
debtors-he asked for justice being done
tdthe suffering people of this country-
he asked for justice in redress of griev-
ances, such as those which even Buona-
parte, in the plenitude of his power,
would not have allowed to exist. Unless
those grievances (vere speedily redressed,
we might expect that the country would
be overwhelmed in ruin, or, at least, in-
volved in convulsions which no man
would desire to see, and which, perhaps,
none have apprehended as likely to arise
from such a cause. He called upon their
lordships to arrest the progress of such
consequences. But such was the state
of affairs, that those grievances met them
in every step. Should we ever again
have occasion to revert to the question of
peace or war, he should ask. their lord-
ships,, how they could be prepared to
go-to war, even if menaced by some dan-
ger or distress, under such a state of cir-
cumstances ? The sinews of war were
money; and he would ask, whether they
could expect to raise sufficient funds, if
the landed proprietors of the country
were so impoverished ? He trusted, how-
ever, that the sinews of war did not merely
consist in money, but in that unconquer.
able will and courage, which would never
submit nor yield. Even in that case, he
would ask, how they could expect that
unconquerable will and courage to be
evinced by a population oppressed as it
was by the measures of government? No
wonder that the people were distressed,
discontented, and disaffected, by the con-
tinuance of evils in a system of govern-
ment which tended to render them
desperate. Unless the government were
disposed to sink the country into a state
far more base and abject than it had ever
before exhibited at any time of its history,
he had no doubt their lordships would find
it necessary soon to redress those griev-
ances, in order to restore the ancient
energy of its population. He should
think it his duty to bring forward some
motion upon this subject of equitable ad-
justment; and he took that opportunity
of thus stating his sentiments, however
ineffectual his exertions might be, or what-
ever little success might attend them.
The attention of parliament had been un-
fortunately occupied with a review of
transactions in which they had no direct
concern; namely, that of considering the
conduct of foreign sovereigns, in which
they had, comparatively speaking, no
right to judge, and whose conduct they
had no power to control; while the
government neglected 'redressing those
grievances which existed in our own
country, and which it was in their power
to remedy. It was still his intention to
submit various motions upon the subject
of those grievances, whenever the time
arrived when the result was likely to be
more advantageous and beneficial than
at the present moment. He could not,
however, lose that opportunity of protest-
ing against leaving unredressed and un-
considered by parliament, the state of the
currency which iriposed such tremendous
grievances upon the country. The peti-
tion which had given rise to these ob-
servations, he viewed as the petition,
not of one individual, but of every in-
dividual in the realm, from the highest
to the lowest; because every one was
concerned in the benefits to be de-
rived from the just principle of an equit-
able adjustment. It was therefore his in-
tention, upon those general principles, to
move, upon some future day, that this
petition be taken into consideration; but,
at present, he should content himself
with moving that it be laid upon the
The motion was agreed to.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, May 2.
NEGOTIATIONS RELATIVE TO SPAIN
-KING's ANSWER TO ADDRESS.]-
Mr. Secretary Canning reported His Ma-
jesty's Answer to the Address of the
House, as follows:
I thank you for this loyal and dutiful
Address: I receive with satisfaction the
expression of your gratitude for my
earnest endeavours to preserve the peace
of Europe, and the assurances of your
ready and affectionate support in any
measures which I might find it necessary
to adopt for maintaining the honour of
my Crown, and the interest of my
SHERIFF OF DUBLIN-INQUIRY INTO
HIS CONDUCT.] -Mr. Spring Rice having
moved, That Dillon, M'Namara, and
Terence O'Reilly, attornies of Dublin, do
attend this House on the 9th of May,"
9J Inquiry into his Conduct.
Mr. Plunkett said, he would avail him-
self of the opportunity which the motion
afforded him of stating to the House a
S fact of considerable importance, not only
to himself but to the question which had
engaged, and was likely to engage still
further, the attention of the House. It
Swas in the recollection of the House, that
both in the speech and motion of the hon.
member for Armagh,* it was charged
against him, that in having filed an ex
oficio information, after bills of indict-
ment had been ignored by the grand jury,
he had acted, in his office of attorney-ge-
neral for Ireland, without precedent, and
had introduced into the administration of
the law a practice of which no instance
had occurred since the Norman conquest.
He had upon that -occasion suggested,
that from the authority of the Court of
King's-bench, in cases which he cited, a
fair analogy was to be traced, and suffi-
Cient to justify his proceeding. He had
remarked that it was unfair, because he
could not produce the precedents for the
reasons he then stated, to suppose they
did not exist. He had, however, since
received a letter from a Mr. Foley, an
attorney of Ireland, a gentleman whom
he had not the honour of knowing, in
* which that gentleman stated, that seeing
the reports of those debates in parliament,
in which this subject had been mentioned,
and the manner in which the argument
had been used, he was induced, from a
sense of justice to inform him that
he believed a case took place in Ireland
twelve years ago, in which an ex officio
information had been filed by the attor-
ney-general, after bills of indictment for
the same offence had been ignored by
the grand jury. He had replied to that
letter, by thanking Mr. Foley, and re-
questing him to inquire into the subject.
Mr. Foley had done so; and the follow-
ing were the particulars. In October,
1811, a bill of indictment was preferred
against a person of the name of Leach,
for writing a letter to sir Edward Little-
hales, soliciting the appointment of the
place of Barrack-master. The bill con-,
tained three counts: the first was for
sending a letter, proposing to give a
bribe; the second, for offering money by
way of bribe; and the third, for offering
securities for money by way of bribe.
That bill was ignored by the grand jury.
* The court of King's-bench, impressed
See Vol. 8, p. 964.
MAY 2, 1823. [10
with the disproportion between the evi-
dence and the finding, ordered a second
bill to be preferred. That second bill
was also ignored; and, in the November
following, an ex-officio information was
filed by-his predecessor in office. He
held then in his hands attested copies of
the indictment, and of the ex-offcio in-
formation that followed the ignoring.
And yet Mr. Saurin, the attorney-gene.
ral of that day, was never called upon to
explain the grounds upon which he took
that course. He (Mr. P.) attributed his
not having heard of that precedent,
during the recent discussions, to the fact
of its having escaped the recollection of
his predecessor. He did not feel it his
duty to laywthese documents on the table
of the House; because he would not
seem to inculpate the character of the
hon. gentleman who had preceded him;
but he owed it to his own character to
state, that, twelve years ago, the same
thing had been done for which he wab
censured, and in which he was charged
with having acted unprecedentedly. The
conduct of the attorney-general at that
period had never been impeached, npr
had any doubt been entertained of its
justice. He felt that this bore most
strongly upon his own case, because that
hon. gentleman had supposed he was
only acting in the course of his duty.
Mr. Denman asked if any judgment
had been passed in the case mentioned by
the right hon. gentleman.
Mr. Plunkett replied, that judgment
had been signed for want of a plea; but,
in consequence of the contrition express-
ed by the defendant, and of his having
lost a valuable appointment, no further
punishment had been visited upon him.
Mr. Abercromby said, he had heard this
statement with the greatest astonishment.
They had been told, from the beginning
to the end of this business, that the im-
putation upon the character of the at-
torney-general for Ireland was that of
having acted without precedent. The
hon. member for Armagh had concluded
his speech by saying, that his conduct
had been unprecedented, contrary to the
practice of the court, and not congenial
to the spirit of the British constitution.
If the fact which had been just stated had
then been known, it would have made the
greatest possible difference in the case.
He wished, however, to ask one question,
and, if it should be answered in the
affirmative, the House would' see the
11] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
bearing it must have upon this case. He Mr. Calcraft consented to withdraw his
wished to know, whether the person who motion for the attendance of Mr. Saurin.
was now the crown solicitor had held that It was certainly difficult at present to
office in 1811. There were two persons state to what extent the .examination
to whom, ex necessitate rei, all the parti- would proceed.
culars of this case must have been known Mr. Secretary Peel wished the House
-the then attorney-general and crown to suspend its judgment with respect to
solicitor. He would beg the House to Mr. Kemmis. The fact which had been
consider how the attorney-general for stated by his right hon. friend was, un-
Ireland had been served in the discharge doubtedly, very important; but still he
of his duty, when no communication of thought it possible that it might have
this fact had been made to him. If Mr. been forgotten. Mr. Townsend who had
Saurin did not think fit to communicate concurred with his right hon. friend, had
the fact to his right hon. friend, that was a also been in office in 1811, and yet he
matter of courtesy of which he (Mr. A.) did not remember it. The present lord
had no right to complain; but that the chief justice of Ireland was at the same
crown solicitor should not have informed period the solicitor general, and yet,
his right hon. friend of it, seemed some- when the cause was tried before him, and
thing more than accident. It was for the the objection urged by the defendant's
purpose of impressing upon the House counsel, that this was a case without pre-
the situation in which his right hon. friend cedent, his own memory did not furnish
was placed-the inconveniences of which him with this fact, with which it was
he believed, were shared by the lord almost certain that he must have been
lieutenant himself-that he called their acquainted.
attention to this singular conduct of the Colonel Barry said, his reason for
crown solicitor, ordering the attendance of Mr. Kemmis
Mr. Plunkett said, he was bound in jus- was, because, in the course of the exa-
tice to the crown solicitor to state, that mination, matter might come out which it
two gentlemen of the same name had would be necessary for him to explain.
held that office. They were father and From the number of witnesses summoned,
son. The father was dead, and the son it would appear that the examination was
must have been a very young man at the meant to be indefinite. If gentlemen
period to which lie had alluded. should institute an 'inquiry into the feuds
Sir J. Newport said, that however of unhappy Ireland from the time of
young that person might be, he had, Henry 2nd, he- could have no objection
at the period mentioned, acted for his to it; but he would not, therefore, lose
father; and if he was then competent to sight of the question then before them;
do so, he must be well acquainted with namely, whether the conduct of the
the facts of the case. sheriff did, or did not deserve the censure
Mr. Grattan said, that as the gentleman of the House? As gentlemen appeared
alluded to had acted for his father during willing to confine their examination to
a series of years, he thought it advisable, that point, he would withdraw his motion.
that he should attend at the bar of the The motion was withdrawn. After
House. [Loud cries of Mr. Saurin which, the Speaker informed the House,
also."] that he had received a letter from Gabriel
Sir N. Colthurst thought it very pos- Whistler, thesub-sheriffofDublin, stating
sible that the crown solicitor might have that his attendance, in pursuance of the
forgotten the matter, as the right hon. order of the House, would interrupt the
gentleman himself had done so. judicial proceedings of the commission
Colonel Barry said, he would move now sitting in the city of Dublin.-Sir
that the name of Mr. W. Kemmis the F. Burdett then moved the order of the
crown solicitor, be added to those of the day for going into a committee of the
witnesses already moved for. whole House on the conduct of the
Mr. Calcrafi moved, that Mr. Saurin's sheriffof Dublin. The House having re-
name should also be added. solved itself into the said committee, sir
Mir. Goulburn thought it would be a Robert Heron in the chair,
most inconvenient course to enlarge the Sir F. Burdett said, that having brought
examination of witnesses, unless in the the proceeding to the present point, and
course of the proceeding, circumstances put it in a train of investigation, he would
should arise of a nature to call for it. now leave it in the hands of the gentlemen
Sheriff nf Dulin--
of Ireland, who were necessarily better Who are the other persons on those grand
acquainted with the subject, and more juries, besides the aldermen?-Sheriffs-peers,
immediately concerned in the conduct I believe; aldermen and sheriffs-peers exclu-
and issue of the proceeding than he could sively.
possible. On the motion of Mr. Cal- What is the meaning of sheriffs-peers?-A
possibly be. On the motion of Mr. Cal. gentleman who has served the office of sheriff,
craft, the Serjeant was directed to cause or fined by reason of his not having served
all persons summoned as witnesses, to that office.
withdraw from the gallery. Are the committee to understand that the
Mr. Benjamin Riky called in, and examined, common council are a different body from the
sheriffs-peers and the aldermen?-I have al-
You are clerk of the crown in Ireland ?-I ways understood so.
execute the office of clerk of the crown in Dub- How are the common council elected ?-
lin. There is first the guild of merchants; the guild
By Sir J. Newport.-How many years have of merchants return, I think, thirty-one; there
you executed the office of clerk of the crown are different other corporations.
in Dublin ?-For nearly 30 years; I have been Do any of the other guilds elect as large a
in the office for 33 years. number of common council as the guild of
Have you brought with you any document merchants ?-None, I believe; the election is
by which you can ascertain the state of the every three years.
panels upon the commission juries in the city Will you state the number of sheriffs-peers,
of Dublin ?-I have. or common council, that were on the commis-
Have you with you the panels for grand ju- sion grand juries in the year 1819?-At the
ries in the years 1819, 1820, 1821, and 1822? February commission, in 1819, there were six
-I have, with the exception of the panel for common councilmen sworn on the grand jury,
Feb. 1820; I have the grandjury of Feb. 1820, and nine that were not sworn; at the July
but not the panel. commission there were five sworn, and eigh-
How comes that panel to be not in your teen not sworn.
possession?-The clerk whom I had at that Were they not sworn on account of non-at-
time is dead; I was not able to lay my hand tendance ?-They were; at the October corn-
upon it, nor has it been found; I left direc- mission, in 1819, it appears that there was not
tions when I was leaving Ireland to have it any common-council-man sworn on the grand
sent after me; I have got the grand jury, but jury, there were eleven on the panel; and at
not the panel, the December commission, in the same year, it
Put in those panels which you have with appears there were three sworn on the grand
you.-[The witness produced the same.] jury, and four others on the panel. The first,
Have you examined into the state of those in 1820, is the February commission, of which
panels, and can you state to the committee the I have not the panel, but I have the grand
number of corporators on each of those panels? jury from the record, and it appears there was
-I have, and compared them with the list of one common-council-man sworn on the grand
common-council-men. jury; at the June commission, in the same
The question asked, is confined to the com- year, there were two sworn on the grand jury,
mission grand juries. There are other grand and eleven on the panel; at the October, three
juries also impanelled in the city of Dublin, on the grand jury, and five on the panel; at
are there not?-There are. the December, three on the grand jury, and
What is the duty respectively of the com- sixteen on the panel. In February 1821, there
mission grand juries and the other grand ju- were nine sworn, and thirteen on the panel
ries?-The duty of the commission grand jury not sworn; in April there were two sworn,
is the disposing of indictments merely; that is and two on the panel who were not sworn; in
the only court in Dublin of which I am an July there were seven sworn, and thirteen on
officer; however, I attend also the court of the panel not sworn; in August, eight sworn,
King's-bench, and I know that the grand jury and thirty-two not sworn; in October there
of that court present all money affecting the were eight sworn and nine not sworn. In
city of Dublin, with the exception of certain January 1822, there were two sworn, and two
presentments, made by the quarter sessions on the panel who were not sworn; in Feb.
grand jury. two sworn, and two not sworn; in April there
Can you then state what the respective at- were two sworn, and none other on the panel;
tendatce of the corporation upon the commis- in June there was not any common-council-man
sion grand jury, and upon the other grand on the panel; of course, none sworn. In
jury, are?-The term grand juries, consist, August 1822, there was but one on the panel;
for the most part of the aldermen of Dublin; he was not sworn. In October there were five
I never have attended the quarter sessions sworn, and fourteen who were not sworn; and
court, and I do not know any thing of it. at the January commission in 1823, there were
Are the commission grand juries composed, fourteen sworn on the grand jury, and thirteen
in the same proportion of common council, as others on the panel who were not sworn; mak-
those term grand juries, you have already men- ing twenty-seven on that panel.
tioned ?-I apprehend not. With reference to the last panel you have
Inpt'dry i~ado his Conduct.
MAY 2, 1823. [14
15] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
spoken of, how many does the entire panel
consist of ?-Fifty.
Have you ever known any panel confined
to so small a number as fifty?-I have not.
Will you read the numbers of each panel?-
The number on the panel in Feb. 1819, is 61;
iniJuly, 72; in Oct. 95; in Dec. 87. In 1820,
in June, 71; in Oct., 66; in Dec., 71. In
1821, in Feb., 67; in April, 107; in July, 82;
in August, 79; in Oct., 61. In 1822, in Jan.,
77; in Feb., 87; in April, 68; in June, 72;
in August, 85; in Oct., 62; then, on the panel
of Jan. 1823, 50.
Can you state what places the fourteen who
were sworn occupied in the panel in 1823,
whether there were any persons before them
on the panel, or whether they answered, and
in what manner, according as they were placed
upon the panel?-The grand jury, in 1823,
answered within the first twenty-six names;
namely, three absent persons only.
Have you ever known an instance, before
this time, in which such a circumstance took
place, as that the persons should have answer-
ed in rotation in the manner you have just now
stated ?-I do not remember any such circum-
It appears that there were upon the panel, in
Jan. 1823, twenty-seven common-council-men ;
14 sworn, and 13 on the panel that were not
sworn; out of a number of fifty, had you
ever before known an instance in which the
common council formed a majority of the
commission panel ?-I do not find any such
What was the entire number of the panel in
August 1821 ?-Seventy-nine.
What was the number of common-council-
By Mr. Plunkett.-How do you reconcile
that with saying, that there was no instance,
except the last, in which there was a majority
of common-council-men?-I understood the
question was in equal proportions; I miscon-
ceived the question; the corporators are 27,
which is more than the half of fifty; but, per-
haps, I have fallen into an error.
By Sir J. Newport.-Were the 14 common-
council-men, whom you have stated to be sworn
upon this panel, placed at the head of the
panel?-The whole jury, with the exception
of two after the foreman, answered in succes-
sion, until I came to the twentieth, there was
then an absent gentleman, and then the other
four were sworn; so that the whole jury ran in
succession, with the exceptions I have men-
Were the three that were absent, common-
council-men or not?-Two of them, I think,
were common-council-men; Lane, Sparrow,
and White, are the absent .gentlemen. Mr.
Lane is a common-council-man; Mr. Sparrow,
I believe, is not; and Mr. White is.
Is it in the ordinary course of calling over
the commission grand jury, that the grand jury
is completed, without going nearly through the
panel, in calling them over -Very seldom;
Skerifof Dublin- [16
frequently the panel is called over twice, and
often on fines.
Will you look at the panels of the preceding
year, and state how far down the call proceed-
ed before the grand jury was completed ?-
The range is from 57 to 105; there are, of
course, intermediate numbers, 59, 67, 89, and
By Lord Milton.-In the panel of the grand
jury immediately preceding the last, what rank
on the panel was the last named of the grand
What rank was it on the one next previous
to that ?-Eighty-five.
By Mr. Brougham.-You mean by that, that
the last man sworn on the grand jury was the
eighty-fifth upon the panel ?-Yes; but it fre-
quently happens that the panel is called over
and there are not enough without calling them
Will you state the place of the last man on
the grandjury on each occasion ?-It frequently
happens that the names of the grand jury are
called over to the end of the panel; a suffi-
cient number to form the grand jury not ap-
pearing, they are called on fine, and then short
of the last man frequently a grand jury are
What is the lowest number on the panel
sworn on each occasion ?-I shall be obliged
to reckon them ; they are not numbered on the
Have you any means of informing the com-
mittee of the distinction between a person
being called on fines, and a person being cal-
led on the first time that the panel is gone
through?-In some instances, I have a state-
ment of the number of fines appearing on the
face of the panel; in other instances I have
not, as the judges sometimes direct that the
panel shall be called on fines. without actually
entering them, and not having a wish to inflict
fines ifitis notnecessary. I have alreadystated,
that 57 appears to be the lowest number, and
105 the highest.
Have you any means of stating whether, on
any given occasion, the whole of the panel was
exhausted before a jury was obtained ?-I
State in how many cases the panel was ex-
hausted?-There are 18 panels; it will take
some time to go through them.
[The witness was directed to make a return of
the number of panels which were exhaust-
ed; the number of fines imposed; and, in
respect of the panels that were not ex-
hausted, the lowest number that was
By Sir J. Newport.-In what manner is the
panel delivered in, and by whom ?-It is de-
livered to me by the sheriff, annexed to a pre-
cept which has been previously delivered to
him, calling for the grand jury.
By Mr. S. Rice.-On the grand jury, in Jan.
1823, how many common council-men were
lnquiry into his Vowduct.
Is there any other occasion that has come
with. your knowledge, in which there has
been upon the grand jury a majority of the
Scommon-council-men sworn ?-None.
Referring to the panelof 1821, on which
there was a majority of the common-council,
will you inform the committee, whether that
Swas, or was not, the occasion of the king's visit
to Ireland ?-It was.
Was there any business transacted by that
grand jury ?-The court adjourned in half an
hour, all business being then done.
By Dr. Phillimore.-At what time of the
year did the present sheriff enter into his office ?
By Mr. S. Rice.-What was the smallest
k number which you ever recollect to have been
called on the panel before the twenty-three
were sworn ?-Fifty-seven.
By Mr. Scarlett.-Is the panel delivered to
you by the sheriff or the under-sheriff?-Inva-
riably, by one of the high sheriffs; they are
usually both in court, but one hands the panel
to me from his box to where I sit under the
That was the case on the last occasion, was
not it ?-Yes, it was.
By Colonel Barry.-Is it not usual in the
commission succeeding an election of common-
council-men, to pay them the compliment of
putting them on the grand jury; and are there
not more common-council-men.put upon that
than on common occasions?-My answer,
then, is to apply to a jury every third year;
there was a new common-council I believe, in
Dec. 1822, from 1816 to 1819, and from 1819
to 1822. I do not belong to the corporation;
I am not an officer of that board.
Will you refer, by going three years back, to
Dec. 1819, and compare the one of J4n. 1820?
-There was no commission in January 1820;
the commission was in February. I have not
the panel of February, but I have the grand
Is that the only panel you have not?-It is
the only panel within this range that I have
not; but I have the crown-book, in which the
grand jury are entered from the panel. The
panel has not been looked upon as a record
when the indictments are found, and the caption
added to those indictments; I, however, pre-
That one which you asked for is the only
one which is missing ?-It is.
By Sir J. Mackintosh.-Have you the means
of answering that question, in reference to
former years, before the year 1819 ?-I have
not; my search went back, commencing with
1819; but I have the sworn grand jury alluded
to, in February, 1820.
Can you account to the committee, why that
particular panel should be missing?-I can-
SHow many common-council-men were there
upon that grand jury in February 1820 ?-One
Have you not stated, that you have in your
S VOL. IX.
MAT 2,-189%' [is
possession a document which you consider as
equivalent to the panel; the names of the grand
jury in Feb. 1820 ?-So far as the sworn grand
jury go, I have.
By Colonel Barry.-Will you explain why
you consider that equivalent to the panel?-
Because it is entered in the crown-book from
the panel immediately on the grand jury being
sworn, and becomes the record.
Does it show the number of common-coun-
cil-men who are upon the panel ?-It does
Then how can it be equivalent to the panel?
-I believe I have answered, as far as the
grand jury go; if not, I would wish to state
Can you state the names of the grand jury
in January 1823, and how they were calledand
sworn ?-[Here the witness read over from the
crown-books the panel of January 1823.]
Can you state, which of those individuals
were members of the common-council ?-I can
do it in a very short time if it is desired.-
[The witness was directed to add this to his
What is the smallest number to be found
on the panels you have brought with you be-
fore the grand panel of October 1822 ?-Sixty-
By Mr. Brownlow.-When did sheriff Thorpe
make his first return to you ?-In Oct. sitting
What number did that panel consist of?-
The next return he made to you was thegreat
panel of Jan. 1823 ?-It was.
How many did that consist of?-Fifty.
Are the panels in all cases signed by both
sheriffs ?-They are.
Was the panel in 1823 signed by sheriff
Cooper and sheriff Thorpe ?-It was; in law
we consider them but one,
Is it not a matter of notoriety, that after the
renewal of the common-council, the panel at
the succeeding great commission consists of a
greater proportion of common-council-menthan
the panels preceding the renewal of the com-
mon-council?-I never heard of that before
By Sir J. Mackintosh.-What was the number
of common-council-men who were sworn, on
the grand jury of the commissions in January
1820 ?-One only.
Was that the panel immediately after the
renewal of the common-council ?-It was, as I
By Mr. T. Ellis.-Have you any means of
ascertaining how many persons, sworn on the
grand jury in 1823, were new common-coun-
cil-men ?-No otherwise than by reckoning
them by the almanack, which marks them. .
Have you referred to that almapack?-I
have not it in the house.-[The witness was
directed to add .the number on the panel of
January, 1823, who were new common-coun-
Do you know whether all the common-coun-
1]9 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
cil-men who attended on that occasion in court,
had attended on previous occasions at one or
other times before, or whether any of them
attended for the first time on the grand jury at
that time ?P-I have not made any such exa-
mination.-[The witness was directed to add
this to his return.]
By Mr. S. Rice.-Is the year in which the
triennial election of members of the common-
council takes place, a matter of notoriety in
Dublin ?-Oh, certainly.
Didit take place in December last ?-Shortly
previous to December they enter upon their
Was there a commission of Oyer and
Terminer in Dublin, in Oct. 1822?-There
Are you aware who made out, copied, and
returned the lists of the grand juries and petit
juries for such commission?-I received the
juries from the sheriff; I know nothing of the
making of them out. I have no connexion
whatever with the Sheriffs-office; the first
knowledge I have of the panels coming from
the sheriff, is his handing them to me in court.
By Mr. Bright.-Do you know, whether, in
point of fact, those members of the common-
council who were last elected, were upon the
last panel ?-I do not know at present.
By Colonel Barry.-If there is a failure in
attendance of grand jurors, it is usual in the
court to impose a fine, is it not?-It is usual
to call the panel on fines, and frequently to
Was there not a very strong expectation of
business of very great importance in the differ-
ent courts, to occur at this commission ?-I do
not recollect any thing of importance, but the
affair at the theatre.
Was not there an indictment of the conspi-
rators, the ribbon-men ?-I believe that was in
the county of Dublin, therefore my first answer
should be with reference to the city of Dub-
lin; the business for the county and city of
Dublin is done in the same court, and going on
by the same judges.
In the October preceding, was not there a
trial of ribbon-men in the city of Dublin ?-
There was, of several.
With such important business before the
court, would the chance of a person not attend-
ing being fined, be considerably greater?-I
should suppose so.
Would not that, in your opinion, account
for a greater attendance of grand jurors ap-
pearing consecutively than upon another occa-
sion?-The jury have been frequently called
on fines, and not answered in the same conse-
cutive order, I never knew an instance of their
so answering before.
By Mr. S. Rice.-Are you acquainted with
the situation in life of Joseph Henry Moore,
who appears to have been one of that grand
jury --I cannot say that I am.
Do you know that he acts as agent to the
Atlas Insurance office, in Dublin?-I have
heard that he does ?-I do not know.
Sheriff ofDublin- [E0
By Mr. Hume.--Have you made diligent
search for the panel of 1820, which is now
missing ?--I have.
Is that the panel which you stated was miss-
ing in consequence of the death of your clerk ?
-My clerk died shortly after that period; I do
not know that it was in consequence of his
death that the panel was missing.
By Mr. Plunkett.-When did you first miss
that panel; when did you first discover it was
not among the others ?-They were never put
together; they are usually rolled round the
papers of the commission to which they belong.
That panel I missed on Friday last.
Have the sheriffs of Dublin returned any
commission grand panel to you, since January
1823 ?-They have.
How many did that grand panel consist of?
-The panel of Feb. 1823, consisted of eighty-
When did you first search for the panel of
Jan. 1820 ?-On the day on which I could not
When did you first see that panel ?-I think
I did not see it since the sitting of the com-
mission; it is usually rolled round the papers
of the commission, and they are put up in the
By Mr. Brownlow.-Where are those panels
kept ?-The papers of old date are preserved
in the office, in a room in Green-street, at-
tached to the court. The papers of more recent
date are preserved in an apartment in my
house, where the business is executed.
Are you to be understood to state, as the
probable reason of that panel of 1820 being
missing, the death of your clerk?-The panel
might not be forthcoming, if he was living; but
he would have been the most likely person, I
think, to have found it.
By Mr. F. Lewis.-Are you able to state
how many common-council-men appear in the
panel returned in Feb. 1823, consisting of 89?
-I can, by reference to the document.-[The
witness was directed to add this to lis re-
By Lord Stanley.-Are you aware of any re-
markable circumstance attending the panel that
is missing?-I was not aware of any importance
attached to it, till the questions proposed to me
By Mr. Bright.-You are not aware of any
circumstance in that panel differing from the
complexion of the other panels?-No.
Are you aware of any irregular or unusual
practice in respect of the formation of the panel
of Jan. 1823, except as far as concerns the num-
bers put upon it ?-None.
By Mr. Denman.-Have you any means of
recovering that panel in Feb. 1820, from any
other source ?-I should suppose in the Sheriffs-
office only. The panel was made out there,
and most probably they may preserve a copy
Can you obtain, yourself, the panel of Jan.
1817?-If I were in Dublin, I dare say I
Inquiry into- is Conduct.
Could you by sending for it ?-I dare say it
will be forthcoming.
Are there the means of seeing how many
common-council-men were upon that panel, in
the same way as it may be ascertained with
respect to the panel of Jan. 1823, and of Jan.
1814 ?-Of course.-[The witness was directed
to obtain those two panels.]
By Mr. R. Martin.-Are you not acting
clerk of the crown for some counties in Ireland ?
-I execute the office of clerk of the crown on
the home circuit, consisting of Meath, West
Meath, King's County, Queen's County, Kil-
dare and Carlow.
In this office, has it occurred to you to ob-
serve that a grand jury has been formed in
going over 26 of the names upon the panel ?-
I think not.
Is it not an object with gentlemen in the
counties, and conceived desirable by them, to
appear at the assizes, and be upon the grand
jury?-I have always observed a great desire
on the part of the gentlemen, to attend.
And you are pretty certain that a grand
jury was not obtained without calling for more
names than 26 ?-I have no doubt of that.
By Mr. Brownlow.-Having stated that there.
was nothing else unusual on the face of the
panel of Jan. 1823, except the small number
of names put upon that panel, was it not un-
usual for 23 out of 26 persons to answer con-
secutively ?-I thought I answered beyond the
observations I have already made; namely,
the smallness of the number on the panel; the
extent of the number of common-council-men
sworn on the grand jury, and the 13 common-
council-men that were not sworn, to be added
Then, in point of fact, there were three un-
usual circumstances attending that panel ?-So
it occurred to me.
Was there any thing unusual or irregular in
the mode of composing the panel before the
parties were sworn in Jan. 1823, except the
number upon it ?-It was unusual to have so
small a number as 50 upon the panel; to have
14 common-council-men sworn on the grand
jury; to have more than one-half of the whole
By Mr. Ellis.-You have stated Mr. Moore
to be on that grand jury?-Joseph Henry
Moore, of Bachelor's walk; I see he is. He
also appears to be a common-council-man.
Can you say whether he was not a member
of the former common-council ?-Yes, he was.
Are not Mr. Moore and his family old and
settled inhabitants of Dublin ?-I do not know
any thing of him; he appears to be a very re-
Was Mr. M'Guller, one of the persons in-
dicted, a clerk to Mr. Moore ?-I do not know.
The persons indicted were Forbes, two Gra-
hams, two Handwichs, and Brownlow.
By Mr. S. Rice.-Can you state, in reference
to the panel of Jan. 1823, whether there are
the names of any Roman Catholics' upon that
panel?-rbelieve there are not.
You can state, of your knowledge, whether,
on former panels of commission grand juries,
there were Catholics ?-It is really a matter I
never inquired into.
Have you ever known Roman Catholics
serve on the commission grand juries for Dub-
lin ?-I have not a sufficient knowledge of the
persuasion those gentlemen are of, to answer
By Mr. Plunkett.-Do you recollect having
at any time, and when, sent the six panels for
the year 1822, to any person ?-On the even-
ing of the 1st of Jan. 1823, I sent the six pa-
nels to the house of the attorney-general for
Was that the evening of the first day that
the grand jury sat ?-It was; the bills of the
indictment were preferred on Wednesday the
1st of Jan. about two o'clock in the day; the
grand jury remained together until towards five
in the afternoon, the bills were not then dis-
posed of; they were sent up the following day,
and upon the evening of the 1st of Jan. I sent
the panels in consequence of a message I re-
Were you sent by the court to the grand
jury, in the evening of that first day ?-I was;
ip consequence of the length of time that the
bills were before the grand jury, the judges or-
dered me to go up to the grand jury, and ask
them whether they were likely to dispose of
the bills that were before them; and I accord-
ingly went up.
Is it usual for the court to do so ?-It is
Have you ever known it done on any other
occasion. I cannot recollect that I do know
of it. In general, the grand jury send down
the bills pretty speedily after they are preferred;
but it may have occurred; I cannot possibly
charge my memory with it.
Had the court any business before them, to
occupy them when they sent you up ?-No; the
indictments alluded to were the first, and I
think the only ones preferred.
Have you any means of knowing the number
of witnesses they examined?-I suppose a
great number; they were sent down to the
grand jury; how many they examined I cannot
How many were sworn?-I cannot charge
my memory with it.
There were a great number sworn ?-There
If the grand jury were to examine all those,
would it strike you as any thing unusual the
time they occupied?-It occurs to me they
might have examined them all; but so much
depends upon what each witness might have to
say, I cannot say.
By Sir J. Newport.-What do you suppose
to have been the reason that the court sent you
up to the grand iury?-I should suppose it
arose from a feeling in the court that the grand
jury had had time to dispose of the bills.
What was the length of time that they were
occupied, from the time that the bills went up
MAY 2e, 182t.
-23) HOUSE OF COMMONS,
,till you went up by the desire'of the court ?-
Were there not 27 witnesses ?-No; there
were not so many sworn the first day.
How many were sworn the first day ?-I
think not more than twelve. A great number
were sworn the second day.
What answer did you get from the grand
jury when you went ?-That they had not dis-
'posed of them.
Did you report that to the court ?-Oh, cer-
Did the court make any observation ?-I de-
clare I am not aware of any.
Who were the judges ?-Judge Moore and
At what hour was it that you made your re-
port?-I returned immediately; I think about
five o'clock; the court then adjourned.
By Mr. Brougham.-Were you in your pre-
sent office in the year 1811 ?-I was.
Did you know of a bill or bills having been
preferred before the grand jury, by sir Edward
Littlehales, on a charge of bribery?-There
were two bills preferred at his suit.
Do you know what became of those bills ?-
They were ignored.
Do you know of any further proceedings
that were had upon these charges ?-I have
seen an attested copy of an ex oficio informa-
,tion, filed by the then king's attorney-general
upon the same charges by Mr. Saurin, imme-
diately after these bills were ignored, the fol-
Were any proceedings had upon that infor-
mation?-It appears that there was judgment
against the defendant for want of a plea.
Judgment went against him on the ex officio
information after the bill had been ignored?-
In the courts of Dublin are there not two
'kinds of grand juries; term grand juries, and
commission grand juries ?-There are; and in
Dublin a third, namely, the sessions.
But in no other part of Ireland are there
three ?-None that I know of.
The term, the commission, and the sessions,
are peculiar to Dublin ?-Just so.
In other counties of Ireland, there are the
,term and the commission ?-There are the
assizes and the quarter sessions.
Will you state what the sort of bills are that
are preferred before the commission grand
juries ?-All felonies, all crimes in short within
the city of Dublin that are preferred to any
grand jury, except what are tried at the quarter
sessions; in short, they appear to me to do
,the criminal assizes part.
Felonies and misdemeanors F-Yes; all the
money transactions are taken from them.
But the commission grand juries deal with
bthe charges of felony and misdemeanor ?-Yes.
What do the session grand jury deal with ?
-They dispose of minor offences.
Minor criminal charges ?-Yes, precisely;
:namely, assaults and petty larcenies, and other
misdemeanors in short,
But matters of a criminal description ?-Yes,
matters of a criminal description; they also,
I understand, present some money to their
officers, and for certain local purposes; that is
the session grand jury.
So that the sessions grand jury not only deals
with petty offences of a criminal nature, but
also with presentments respecting money to
their officers ?-So I have understood.
What do the term grand juries deal with ?-
The term'grand jury present all money, with
reference to Dublin, that is usually presented
at the assizes.
I do not understand this: it is all Irish.
Will you explain what you mean by the grand
jury presenting money; what they do ?-They
present money to be raised off the city of
Dublin for all public purposes.
To be raised on whom ?-On the citizens.
In what way is it raised upon them ?-Under
Are they assessed according to their pro-
perty?-The assessment takes place, I believe,
with reference to ministers money, as it is
called. [a laugh.]
We are getting deeper and deeper into igno-
rance. For what purposes is the money raised,
which the term grand juries present?-A
variety of purposes.
Will you name one or two ?-For the gaols;
all public works.
And bridges?-All within the city of Dublin;
in short, it is a grand jury cess, as it is called.
Lighting and paving ?-No.
Salaries to officers ?-[The witness was
directed to withdraw.]
Mr. Dawson rose to order. He said
that they had before them the case of the
conduct of juries upon criminal matters.
The learned member was going into an
examination with respect to their conduct
as to civil concerns-a course which he
submitted was irregular.
Mr. Brougham said, he had had his mis-
givings that there was something in the
state of Ireland, and in every thing con-
nected with the administration of justice
in that country, which would make it a
very ticklish thing to ask a single question
about it during the inquiry in which the
House was engaged. He was not, there-
fore, much surprised at the interruption
which had just been made. The hon.
member who had made the objection would
only allow the House a farthing candle
glimmering before their eyes, instead of a
torch, to light them through what he
foresaw would be neither a short nor a
simple examination. Now that the House
had, God be thanked, for the first time,
entered into an investigation of the gross
and flagrant abuse of the administration of
Inquiry into his Conduct.
MAY 2, 1823.
justice in Ireland, it was absolutely and jury ?-I cannot charge my memory at present
indispensably necessary that every cir- with any other officers; their presentments ate
cumstance that could throw light on that very considerable.
S investigation should be brought forward. Do you recollect any other purposes for
It was impossible that the House could which monies are levied by the term grand
proceed one step, unless they knew what jury, besides those you have meutioned?-I
proceed one step, cannot charge my memory with any others.
they were really about, and when he, for The expenses of the prison, and clothing
the first time, had heard of commission and providing for the convicts ?-Of course, I
and of session grand juries, and a variety mentioned the gaol and the penitentiaries.
of other names wholly new to English Who gives the contracts for the clothing of
members, what was more natural than to those ?-The grand jury appoint. I apprehend,
ask for distinct explanations, in order to the expense of bread and milk, and all those
enable them to put further questions ? matters for the gaol, is very considerable.
With that view he had put a question to Who give the contracts for those?-I appre-
the witness. How far corruption might B oe ddi?-I do not know.
have lurked in the answer, he could not You do not understand that word ?-I under-
say, because the answer had not been stand it perfectly.
given. Open bidding is when an advertisement is
Sir G. Hill defended Mr. Dawson, from made, and any person tenders, and that person
the sarcasms of Mr. Brougham, and said is accepted who offers on the cheapest terms.
that he was most anxious for the fullest You do not know whether it is done by open
scope of inquiry. bidding or by close contract?-I do not.
Mr. Brougham complimented the hon. Who are the present sheriffs ?-The sheriffs
baronet on his candour and manliness in elect, are Mr Arthur Perri and r. Samuel
declaring for an open and fair inquiry. Mr. Sheriff Thorpe and Mr. Sheriff Cooper
He denied having dealt out any sarcasms, are in office at present ?-Yes.
He had no cause for doing so. When were the sheriffs elect appointed to
succeed the others ?-Within this month; they
[The witness was again called in.] come into office in September.
Do you happen to know whether they were
By Mr. Brougham.-You say the term grand on the grand jury which ignored the bills
juries present money, that is to say, order against Handwich and Graham ?-They were;
money to be levied for bridges, roads, and both of them.
other public works; do they order money to Do you know any thing respecting the de-
be levied for any other expenses ?-The gaols, tails for the expenses that are submitted to the
penitentiaries, all those public buildings; in consideration of the grand juries in the city of
short, all monies presented off the city of Dublin ?-I am not acquainted with the entire
Dublin, that is not presented by the sessions detail; I have looked over the presentments,
grand jury, is presented by them; all public as they have been printed.
expenses. Respecting contracts, have you never heard
Do the term grand jury and tlfe sessions that there is a public competition for supplying
grand jury, taken together, levy money for the the prisons with bread, and meat and clothes,
payment of the salaries of different officers ?- and so on ?-I declare I do not know; it may
They do. be so, but I am not aware of it.
What sort of officers ?-Clerks of the crown. Are you aware, that any person contributing
Any other afficers?--Clerks of the peace; to the payment of the grand jury levies, is
they are called the town clerks in Dublin; for able by law to traverse any presentment of a
them a very considerable levy takes place, for public kind that he thinks unfair and unjust?
a great deal of business is done in the Sheriff's- -I apprehend that all presentments are
court; all gaolers and keepers of prisons, traversable.
sheriff's fees; all demands of that sort. By Mr. Dawson.-Do not you conceive,
Any other officers ?-There are other minor from your knowledge of the citizens of Dublin,
officers belonging to the court, the officers of that if any unfair presentment was passed by
the court of King's-bench, and the officers of the grand jury of the city of Dublin, that
the Commission court. would be instantly traversed ?-I should rather
All those they levy the money for ?-They hope it would.
do. If any improper practices are said to exist in
Are those, or any of those, officers appoint- the levying of money upon the citizens of
ed by the corporation of Dublin ?-The town Dublin, do not you think that the citizens are
clerk is of their appointment, I apprehend. more to blame than the grand jury, if such
S The gaoler ?-Yes, and the gaoler. practices exist, for not traversing the present-
Any of the others ?-The sub-sheriff, merits ?-Very likely; I may be erroneous,
Do any other officers appointed by the cor- but I would not come to that conclusion.
portion receive salaries levied by the grand [The witness was directed to withdraw.]
273 HOUSE OF COMMONS, SherifoffDublin. .[G8
Mr. Goulburn suggested whether it By Sir G. Hill.-You have referred to the
would not be for the convenience of the ex-officio information which was tried in 1811;
House, if the inquiry was to be entered when was your recollection first called to the
upon to which the question of the hon. filing of thatinformation ?-This day.
Has it not been called to your recollection
member would lead, to examine some before this day ?-No, it has not.
witness who was well informed on the You have referred to documents this day,
subject, which the present witness had ac- which prove a perfect accuracy of knowledge
krowledged he was not. qf the period, and the particulars, and the re-
Mr. Grattan thought it was impossible sult of that ex-officio information, so filed in
that the witness could answer the ques- 1811 ?-I have.
tion. Will you explain to the House, how you
Mr. S. Rice approved of the course of happened to be in possession of those peculiar
examination which had been proceeded in documents ?-With respect to the indictments,
examination was informed by letter from the clerk of the
by Mr. Brougham. crown, under whom I hold'a deputation, that
Mr. Wynn asked whether it was proper he was applied to, for copies of indictments;
that the House should examine a witness they were in the commission court, of which I
as to inferences? The witnesses ought am an officer; they came over; he informed
to be called upon to state facts, and me that they were transmitted to London, and
members might then make their own in- that he had examined them, that they were
ferences. correct, and he called upon me to countersign
Mr. Brougham imagined, from the ques- them; I examined them, I compared them
tion which had been proposed by the n. with an attested copy of the ex-officio infor-
tion which nation, of which attestation I know the officer
member, that his questions must have been and the signature, and upon that comparison I
misunderstood. He had never charged ascertain the fact.
the jury with malversation. You have not stated from what date those
Colonel Barry thought the House ought indictments were sent from Ireland to you ?-
to dispose of the case of the high sheriff I have the letter in my pocket; it is dated
in the first instance. He would then sup- Tuesday, 29th April."
port an inquiry into the mode in which Of what period were those indictments?-
grand juries were constituted in Ireland. Of October, 1811.
Sir J. Newport thought it was impossi- Did the present crown solicitor in Ireland
Sir J. Newport thought it was poss- h act in that capacity in October, 1811?-The
ble to disconnect the case of the high crown solicitors at that time were Messrs.
sheriff from the question of the constitution Thomas and William Kemmis, of which the
of grand juries, elder of that firm is dead.
Mr. Dawson said, he had only endea- Mr. William Kemmis is the present crown
voured to follow up the line of exami- solicitor ?-He is.
nation marked out by the learned gen- y Sir J. Mackintosh.-Did he act as such,
tleman. The learned gentleman had in conjunction with his father, in October,
talked of the flagrant abuse of the ad- 1811 ?-I apprehend he did; he was young
ministration of justice in Ireland. He however, and probably the greater part of the
ministration of justice in Ireland. He business was transacted by his father.
(Mr. D.) wished to show that the people Have you an equal knowledge with him of
of that country, if they were improperly those records in the office ?-I have no know-
treated, had the means of redress in their ledge of the ex-officio information that did not
own hands. He would not, however, press remain in my care; I have knowledge of the
the question. indictments in my court; but of the ex-officio
information I have none.
[The witness was again called in.] By Mr. Bennet.-You have stated, that you
have recently seen an attested copy of an ex-
By Mr. Dawson.-Has not any person in officio information in the case of sir E. Little-
Dublin, or in any county of Ireland, who pays hales; where did you see that copy ?-This
the grand jury cess, a right to traverse, if he morning, in the office or study of Mr. Blake.
thinks any presentment unjust and unfair ?-I Who is Mr. Blake ?-A gentleman at the
always understood so. bar, I believe.
As clerk of the crown, you can, perhaps, Was that sent to you, or was it sent to Mr.
give a more decisive answer than, that you Blake to be given to you ?-I apprehend it was
always understood so ?-In the counties on the sent to Mr. Blake ; it was shown to me there.
home circuit, I know the fact; with respect Was it sent to Mr. Blake, or was it sent to
to Dublin, I believe it to be so. the attorney-general ?-I do not know; I did
By Mr. Brougham.-Would the person not see the;envelope. The attested copy of
traverse the presentment at his own expense, the information was exhibited to me; I com-
or the charge of the county ?-At his own pared it with the indictment, and found the
expense. offence to be the same accurately; the same
9] Reform Vf Parliament.
transaction; and I saw that the information was
attested by Mr. Bourne, whom I know to be
the clerk of the crown in the Court of King's-
bench, and with whose hand-writing I am per-
By Mr. Plunkett.-Were not the attested
copies of the indictments, and the information
produced by the attorney-general for Ireland,
at Mr. Blake's ?-I think they were.
By Mr. Bennet.-What do you mean by their
being produced by the attorney-general to you;
did the attorney-general give them to you, or
did Mr. Blake give them to you ? It was in
the office or the study of Mr. Blake.
Was the attorney-general present ?-I think
it was the attorney-general presented them to
By Mr. Brownlow.-Have you been in com-
munication with the attorney-general since you
have been over, upon this subject ?-I have
been here but a short time, and he has had re-
course to me, and has asked me questions.
You hold a public situation under the
crown ?-I cannot say that it is.
You are clerk of the crown ?-I am only
By what tenure do you hold that situation ?
-I may be removed to-morrow; I have no
certainty of the tenure under which I hold;
the gentleman who holds the patent has it for
his own life, and his son's; but, I believe, I
may be removed at any moment.
By whom ?-By the gentleman who has the
patent, under whom I hold the deputation.
You are removeable at his pleasure ?-I ap-
You are not certain of the fact ?-I have
heard it stated by gentlemen of great eminence
at the Irish bar.
By Mr. W. Courtenay.-You are convinced
that is the case ?-That is my conviction.
By Mr. Brownlow.-You state, that you
think it was the attorney-general who gave you
the attested copies of the informations that
were filed in 1811; are you not quite certain
that it was he who gave you the copy ?-I am.
You stated, that you were shown the ex-
officio information by the attorney-general;
was that for the purpose of comparing it with
the indictme-t ?-It was; and I did compare
it with the attorney-general.
Was that indictment in your possession ?-I
was informed of its arrival, but it came under
cover, I believe from the post-office or the
castle to come free; it did not come to me,
but I was informed of its arrival by the letter
in my pocket.
Were you the person to whose custody it
ought to have come ?-I do not think that was
Was it directed to you ?-No.
To whom was it directed ?-The letter was
probably directed to the attorney-general; but
Sin the same packet I received my letter.
By Mr. Plunkett.-The indictment did come
into your possession at last ?-It did.
And it was for the sole purpose of comparing
MAY &, 1829. [O0
the ex-offcio information with that indictment
that the attorney-general showed it to you ?.-
And of attesting it, which I have done.
You know the hand-writing of the person
who has attested it ?-Perfectly.
It was for the sole purpose of your knowing
that it was the hand-writing of that person, and
of comparing it with the indictment, that it was
shown to you by the attorney-general?--
The panels have been in your possession ?-
They have been; I brought them over with me
in my trunk.
Have you had any other communication
with the attorney-general, except on the sub-
ject of this inquiry ?-Not the least.
By Mr. H. Gurney.-Is it, or not, within
your knowledge, that in consequence of a great
interest taken in those trials in the city of
Dublin, almost the whole of the panel of fifty,
sworn and unsworn, did attend ?-I am not
able to answer the question: I called the panel
only down to a certain place; and whether
more attended, or not, I really do not recol-
Is it in your knowledge, whether the cor-
porators of Dublin have, or have not, gene-
rally, a precedence on those panels ?-I do not
think they have, because on looking at the
sworn grand jury, in now no less than nineteen
instances, I find that upon many of those
grand juries, there were none; no corporators;
on some, one; on some, two. Now, for ex-
ample; in a panel amounting to a hundred
and seven, of which a hundred and five were
called, there were but two common-council-men
sworn on the grand jury.
Was it usual that those who were corporators
of Dublin, stood at the head of the list?--I
believe that is a matter into which I am to
make an inquiry; I have not taken any ac-
count of the order in which corporators attend.
[The witness was directed to withdraw.]
The chairman was directed to report progress,
and ask leave to sit again. The House then
resumed. The chairman reported progress,
and obtained leave to sit again on Monday.
QUAKERS AFFIRMATIONS BILL.] Mr.
John Williams moved for leave to bring
in a bill to render the Affirmations of
Quakers admissible in Criminal Cases."
Mr. H. Gurney said, he believed he
was warranted in stating, that the bill
proposed to be brought in by the hon.
and learned gentleman was by no means
desired by the members of that body,
who were perfectly satisfied with the law
as it stood.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Monday, May 5.
REFORM OF PARLIAMENT.-PETI-
13 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
TIroI,.FtROM EDINBUIRGHi.] Mr. Aber-
cromby rose to present a petition -from
7,000 householders of Edinburgh. The
petitioners laid most respectfully the pe-
culiar state of the representation of their
great city before the House. They offer-
ed no opinion on the great question of
parliamentary reform, but confined their
statement and their prayer to their own
peculiar situation, asking that relief which
the justice of the case should point out to
the wisdom of the legislature. The num-
ber of the inhabitants of the city of Edin-
burgh exceeded 100,000. Since the
union of the two kingdoms, Edinburgh
possessed the privilege of nominally
electing a representative in parliament:
but who were the real electors? Thirty-
three individuals sent to that House, the
representative, as he was called of the
city of Edinburgh; and even out of those
thirty-three, nineteen elected their, suc-
cessors. In that number the privilege
granted to the city of Edinburgh posi-
tively and substantially existed. What
was the amount of property possessed by
the thirty-three electors, compared with
the property of the population, who pos-
sessed no voice? The property of the-
thirty-three electors did not exceed
2,8001. while the property of the whole
was rated at 400,000l. per annum. Thus,
the far greater proportion of the property,
the rank, the talent, the education and
the morality of the population of Edin-
burgh was excluded from any share in the
election of its representative. They had
no-more share in returning to that House
the right hon. gentleman opposite (Mr.
W. Dundas), who sat there as their re-
presentative, than they had in the election
of the member for Corfe Castle. The in-
habitants of Edinburgh did not even know
the day of election. The business was
done in a close dismal room, and termi-
nated in a snug and select dinner party.
It was charged against the reformers, that
they were disposed to theories, but against
the prayer of the petitioners no such ob-
jection could lie. They complained of a
practical grievance, and prayed for a
practicable remedy. The right hon. gen-
tleman opposite (Mr. Canning) had op-
posed any form of the representation, be-
cause of its variety and capability of re-
presenting all sorts of interests. This
could not apply to Edinburgh, for there
was no case analogous to it in the Eng-
lish representation. The state of the re-
presentation in Scotland, was uniformly
Reform of Parliament. [32
bad. There was no such thing as a po-
pllar election in that country, nor did its
inhabitants enjoy any constitutional means
of assembling to make known their feel-
ings and opinions upon political subjects.
He promised to move for leave to bring
in a bill early next session, to alter the
mode of electing the member to serve the
city of Edinburgh.
Mr. W. Dundas said, it had always been
the wise custom of the House to strike at
the root of abuses, when they were once
exposed; but, in this case, no abuse was
alleged to exist by the petitioners them-
selves. They, nevertheless, asked the
House to do that which could not be done
without the greatest injustice; they asked
the House to infringe upon the chartered
rights of the electors of Edinburgh-rights
which, by the most solemn compact had
been secured to them. He was satisfied
that the House would not depart fronr
their usual custom in this instance, nor
proceed upon the allegations of a petition
signed by persons who, though he did not
know them, in point of numbers bore no
proportion to the inhabitants of Edin-
Mr. Kennedy was rejoiced to see this
petition before the House, not only be-
cause, coming from so important a place
as Edinburgh, it must command consider-
able attention, but because it would bring
to the test the sincerity of those persons
who said they would favour reform upon
a special case being shown. The statement
of his hon. friend had fully made out such
a case: the result of his intended motion
would prove the sincerity of the friends
of reform. The right hon. gentleman had'
opposed the petition, and in doing so he
had acted with perfect consistency: this
was the petition of 7,000 of the inhabi-
tants of Edinburgh-he was the represen-
tative of only 33 of them. Manypersons
in Edinburgh had refrained from signing
the petition, from the ill-success of their
previous attempts for a reform of the
Mr. Calcraft said, he believed the
House were never before aware of the
real state of the representation of the city
of Edinburgh. It appeared that in a po-
pulation of above 100,000 persons, the
right hon. gentleman opposite was the re-
presentative of only 33, which number
was in fact reduced to 14, by the circum-
stance of 19 electing their successors.
The right hon. gentleman had lately
finished his political career in a manner
S 31] Sheriffof Duifin.
worthy of his whole bourse, by accepifng
A sineeute of 2,0001. a year. It wvas a
melancholy view of the representation of
this country. The speech which the right
hon. gentleman had made, was in the true
spirit of the representative of 33 consti-
Stuents. It was concise and singular, in-
asmuch as it communicated the right hon.
gentleman's ignorance of 7,000 inhabitants
of the city he represented. He hoped
his learned friend's appeal would not be
disregarded; and that whatever gentlemen
might think of the question of reform in
general, the present was a case which they
would deem worthy of support. He hoped,
therefore, that his learned friend would
bring in his bill; and that it would meet
with considerable support. He even flat-
tered himself that it would not be opposed
by that great champion of the enemies of
parliamentary reform, who, he believed,
had been kept from assuming the govern-
ment of India, that he might exert his
eloquence in defence of the present state
of the representation at home.
Lord Binning was at a loss to under-
stand with what grace a sarcasm upon
close representation cold proceed from
the hon. member for Wareham. After
ill lie had heard of the meeting at Edin-
burgh, of the stage effect (for it was held
in the theatre), of the exertions used, &c.
he was astonished that out of a population
rf above 140,000, it was signed by only
7,000 persons. Every one who knew the
facility with which all manner of men,
women, and children, were got to sign
petitions in large towns, and more parti-
cularly those who knew the extraordinary
efforts which had been used to procure
signatures to the petition before the
House, must be surprised that they were
not more numerous. Those persons who
professed themselves friends to partial re-
ftrm, had been called upon to support
this petition. It was not in answer to that
call that he rose; for he was no friend to
partial, or temperate, or moderate, or any
other kind of reform: but he thought this
was not the case even for those gentlemen
to support. No case had been made out
which possessed peculiar claims. The case
of Glasgow, for example, was much
stronger. He considered this as an at-
tempt to introduce parliamentary reform
by piece-meal, and he trusted the House
would resist it.
Mr. J. P. Grant said, that to what had
just been dropped by the noble lord, com-
ing as it did from a professed enemy to
1AV 5, 1823. [
all kinds of reform, it was not his inten-
tion to offer any argument; but, to those
who had said they were ready to support
the cause of reform where a case for it
was made out, he put it whether any could
be stronger than the one submitted by his
hon. friend. To the objection, that the
object of the petitioners was to infringe
on the articles of the Union, he replied
that they sought not to deprive the pre-
sent electors of their rights, but to extend
similar rights to others equally entitled to
Sir R. Ferausson said, that so far was
the petition from being signed by women
or children, that of the 7,000 signatures
there was not one of any person who did
not reside in a house of 51. a year in
Mr. Hume believed that there were not
more than 10,168 houses in Edinburgh of
more than51. a yeareach invalue. Deduct-
ing one-ou rth of hatnunberasbeing inha-
bited by females, it would appear that the
petition was signed by within 500 of all
the male inhabitants of Edinburgh who
resided in houses of above the value of
51. a year. In his opinion, a stronger case
could not exist.
Mr. H. Drummond denied that the pe-
tition expressed the sense of the popula-
tion of Edinburgh. If there had been a
strong feeling on the subject, it would
have been signed by 40,000 persons.
Ordered to lie on the table.
SHERIFF OF DUBLIN-INQUIRY INTO
HIS CONDUCT.] The House having again
resolved itself into a committee of the
whole House, sir Robert Heron in the
Mr. Benjamin Riky was called in, and further
By the Chairman.-Have you any returns to
present to the committee?-I have. [The wit-
ness delivered in A Table of the several
panels of grand jurors returned by the sheriffs
of the city of Dublin, &c."]
By Col. Barry.-In your testimony on the
former evening, you stated, that the grand
jury took the best part of two days to consider
of the bills of indictment P-They took from
two o'clock until five ori Wednesday, and from
about.ten on Thursday, until towards two.
Do you know what became of bills of indicts
meant between the two days ?-They were de-
livered to me.
Were they returned to the grand jury on the
second day, in the same state that they were in
the first day ?-Not exactly.
Wh-t difference was made in them ?-There
$53 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
had been an error in the indictment, which I
discovered, and pointed out to the counsel for
the crown in the morning, and that error was
The bill of indictment was altered ?-It was.
Who altered it ?-The crown solicitor.
Do you conceive that any person has a right
to alter a record of the court; have you ever
known an instance of a bill of indictment being
altered while under the consideration of the
grand jury ?-I have.
State the instance ?-Frequently at the sug-
gestion of the grand jury themselves.
With or without the leave of the court ?-
Without the leave of the court.
Did you ever know it at the suggestion of a
prosecutor ?-In some degree it is at the sug-
gestion of the prosecutor, for'he is under exami-
nation in the grand jury room, and if it appear
that a matter of fact is erroneously stated in the
indictment, it is returned to the officer to cor-
reot it : the clerk of the crown, if it is a govern-
Was this alteration by the desire or with the
cognizance of the grand jury ?-The alteration
took place at my own suggestion.
Was it at the desire or the suggestion of the
grand jury, that the alteration was made ?-It
At whose suggestion or desire was it made ?
-I believe at mine.
You mentioned that it was by the counsel of
the crown ?-I discovered the error in the
course of the evening, when I came to enter
the indictments, that is, to form an abstract for
the judges, and the next morning I suggested
that the indictment contained that error to, I
think, the solicitor-general.
What was the error ?-The error was merely
this: the offence took place on the 14th Dec.;
the indictment stated that it was in the fourth
year of the king's reign ; I knew that it was in
the third; and I suggested the alteration from
the fourth to the third.
Did you hold yourself authorized to make
that alteration without the leave of the court ?
-I did not make it.
Who did make it ?-I made the suggestion
to the solicitor-general; Mr. Townsend was
also in court; he was disposed to think the in-
dictment was right; however, on examination,
the indictment was found to be wrong, and it
was amended by the crown solicitor.
With his own hand ?-He took the indict-
ment into the chamber; I suppose he did not
wish to be seen doing any act with respect to it
in the court; he took it into the chamber, and
it was there done.
Why do you think he did not wish to be
seen doing any act with respectto it in open
court ?-The'court was very crowded.
Why should he not wish to be seen doing
any act with respect to it in open court ?-I
declare I do not know; it was an awkward
place to engross or do any thing to an indict-
Why should he he ashamed ?-I do not
know that he was ashamed.
.Sherifof Dublin- [36
Why should he wish not to do it in open
court?-I declare I do not know; I state the
fact; he withdrew to the chamber, which was
just in the rear of the court, it occurred in
twelve or fourteen places, the fourth year of
the king's reign.
If that bill of indictment had been found by
the jury in the state in which it was originally
presented, could the persons, if found guilty,
ever have been brought up for judgment ?-I
think it ought to have been quashed.
It was the crown solicitor that made the
alteration in it ?-Yes, from the fourth to the
third ; I believe so; it was to him I gave it,
and he withdrew with it.
Were there any other alterations made but
that in it ?-None that I know of.
The alteration was a mere matter of form,
and not of substance ?-Exactly so ; the bill of
indictment was not acted upon by the grand
jury at that time.
There was no endorsement upon the indict-
ment by the grand jury before the alteration
was made ?-None.
That indictment might have been withdrawn,
and another more accurately drawn presented ?
By Mr. Scarlett.-The alterationwas not made
before the indictment went up before the grand
jury ?-The indictment wentup on the Wednes-
day; a number of witnesses were examined;
and it was returned in the evening.
Returned found?-No, nothing was done
It was before the indictment was found that
the alteration was made ?-Yes, certainly; I
could not have suffered an alteration to be
made in the indictment after the grand jury had
acted upon it.
By Sir J. Stewart.-How many persons were
in this indictment ?-I believe there were ten.
Was there any interlineation of a name after
that indictment had gone up to the grand jury ?
-None that I know of.
Was there any interlineation at all in it ?-I
believe there are interlineations in the indict-
Of names ?-Of names.
That indictment charged certain persons
with a riot and a conspiracy ?-It did ; there
were two bill.
How did those persons appear to you, from
the gaoler's calendar, committed; under what
charges ?-Their cases were distinguished upon
How many were committed under a charge
of conspiracy to murder ?-I believe three.
James Forbes was one; one of the Hand-
wiches was the second; one of the Grahams
was the third. There were two Handwiches
and two Grahams.
Perhaps you can state the person they were
charged with a conspiracy to murder ?-Per-
fectly: His excellency the Lord Lieutenant.
They had lain in gaol under this charge a
considerable time ?-For some days.
Without bail?-Three of them appeared in
Inquiry into his Conduct.
custody on the gaoler's calendar returned t(
You probably recollect the time that thost
persons were committed; did it not make
very serious and very awful sensation in al
Dublin ? [The witness was directed to with-
Mr. Goulburn said, they were assem-
bled to inquire into the conduct of the
sheriff of Dublin, and he could not see
how such a question was at all referable
to his conduct. The inquiry would be
interminable, if they did not adhere tc
that which was alone the subject of in-
Sir J. Stewart defended the relevancy
of the question he had put, and denied
that the examination could be narrowed
in the way recommended by his hon.
The Chairman thought it was utterly
impossible to lay down any strict line as
to the nature of the questions that should
or should not be put. A question which
did not at first appear relevant, might
lead to very important inferences.
Mr.J. Williams argued, thataparliamen-
tary inquiry demanded a greater latitude
than an inquiry in a court of justice.
Colonel Barry contended, that they
S would do nothing if they confined the in-
quiry to the conduct of the sheriff. He
had put questions which did not go to
that point, but which he could not con-
sider as irrelevant. One learned member
(Mr. Brougham) had declared his inten-
tion to conduct the committee into an in-
quiry with respect to the whole state of
the administration of justice in Ireland.
With such a declaration as this before
them, how could an extended examina-
tion be avoided ?
Mr. J. Grattan observed, that if they
were to go into an inquiry into the con-
duct of the guild of merchants, and of the
Lord-lieutenant of Ireland, the investiga-
tion would he without end.
The Chairman strongly recommended
that lion. members would, in their ques-
tions, as far as possible, limit their in-
quiry to matters of strict fact.
Sir J. Mackintosh wished the recom-
mendation, as far as practicable, to be
adopted. Still he thought that acts of
the grand jury might eventually affect and
involve the conduct of the sheriff.
[The witness was again called in.]
By Sir J. Stewart.-Do you recollect an ad-
dress from the lord mayor and a body of the
o respectable corporation of Dublin to the Lord-
lieutenant on his escape ?-I do.
e Have you any recollection of the gentlemen
a who signed the requisition, or any of them,
1 for calling that meeting?-It was signed by a
- great number, and amongst the rest by my-
Do you recollect being asked the other day,
* about a Mr. Moore, who was one of the grand
e jury ?-I do.
Was not he one of those who signed that
Srequisition, and one of the first ?-I do not
Know; there were a great number, and I
signed my name, and the names of two others
who directed me to do so. I did not see his
name, but I think it is very likely that he did.
Do you know whether any of the grand
jury, and if so, how many, signed that re-
* quisition ?-I cannot charge my memory with
Do you know Mr. Chambers, a solicitor of
Dublin ?-I do.
He was the solicitor for Mr. Forbes, one of
the persons indicted ?-He was.
Is that the gentleman who now sits at the
side of the sheriff, as his confidential adviser ?
-That is the gentleman.
By Mr. Nolan.-Do you know whether,
being elected as common-council-man is not
considered as an exemption from serving on
the commission grand juries ?-I do not know
that it operates as an exemption.
Is it considered as a favour for a common-
council-man to be put upon a commission
grand jury ?-I had rather understood it to be
a favour to be off of it.
Do you know, whether the usual practice is,
for the sheriff to return an open panel,,or a
signed one, for the grand jury ?-A signed
Do you mean that the panel is signed in
the first instance, or that it is first returned,
without signature, and afterwards signed in
court ?-Signed in the first instance.
Were you present a't the time that this
grand jury was returned ?-The sheriff handed
me the panel.
Were you in court at the time, and did he
hand it to the proper officer?-The sheriff
handed it to me as the proper officer.
Do you recollect any observation made by
the court considering the number of traversers,
as to the propriety or impropriety of return-
ing so small a panel ?-I do not.
According to the practice in Dublin, after a
grand jury panel is signed by the sheriff, can
any be added to it ?-If there is not a sufficient
number on the panel as returned, the sheriff
frequently adds to it.
With reference to the common jury panel,
the jury to try, is that returned as a signed
panel?-It most usually is.
After it is signed, can any persons be added
to it regularly ?-I have known the sheriff di-
rected to take his name from the panel, in
order that he might have an opportunity of
MAY 5, 1823.
39] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
By Colonel Barry.-Were you by at the
time the petit jury were called before the
court ?-I was in the court of King's-bench
when the jury were called over to try the ex-
Do yodu recollect any observation being
made by the court at that time, as to the
smallness of the panel returned ?-I cannot
distinctly bring it to my recollection.
Any thing said as to the number of
traversers?-At some period or other I re-
member the observation falling from the court,
but when, distinctly, I cannot bring to my re-
What was that observation ?-It was with
reference to the small number of jurors re-
Was it stating that they were too small ?-
Yes, with reference to the smallness of the
Finding fault with the smallness of the
number?-That was the impression that it
made upon me.
Was not that at a subsequent commission ?
-It was not at a commission at all.
It was not at the commission where this
grand jury was impanelled ?-It was at the
trial of the ex-officio information.
It had nothing to do with the grand jury
with reference to which you have been ex-
Who was the presiding sheriff to that com-
mission ?-It was a trial at bar, in the court
of King's-bench; the same sheriff who return.
ed the grand jury.
If the panel had been double the number
that it was, would it have made any alteration
in the persons who were sworn on the grand
jury at the commission ?-of course those that
followed afterwards, would not have been
called when the first six-and-twenty of the
grand jury appeared.
By Mr. Brownlow.-Do you know how many
of the January grand panel are to be found
upon the preceding panel in October 1-4I think
You stated that you were in the court of
Xing's-bench when the jury were impanelled
to try the ex-officio information ?-When the
jury were called over; I was brought there as
Did his majesty's attorney general challenge
a great number upon that panel ?-There
were a number set by on the part of the
Do not you believe that 29 were the
number ?-There were a good many, but I
cannot speak to the number.
Do you know who was the foreman of that
jury ?-I do not recollect.
bo you think Mr. Francis Mills was the
foreman ?-I believe he was.
Was Mr. Francis Mills upon the com-
mission grand jury panel in January?-I do
Will you have the goodness to see, whether
Mr. Francis Mills was upon that panel ?-
Sheroff Dublin- [40
[The witness referred to the panel] I find that
Then the foreman of the jury, to try the ex-
officio informations, was one of the grand panel
of January 1823 ?-He was.
Do you not recollect, that many were called
before his name was called?-I do not.
You were understood to say you were there;
but you do not recollect that circumstance ?-I
Do you know whether Thomas Fry was on
both juries ?-[The witness referred to the
panel] I find that he is.
Do you know whether Mr. Moore is not
brother-in-law to the provost of Trinity col-
lege in Dublin ?-I do not know.
Do you know Mr. Moore, the solicitor, in
Dublin; a neighbour of yours ?-Yes, per-
Do you not know that he is brother to the
gentleman on the panel ?-I really do not know,
but I always understood he was a most respect-
By Sir N. Colthurst.-Do you recollect any
of the Bank directors of Dublin having been
challenged by the Crown on the petit jury ?-I
cannot bring to my recollection any such cir-
Then, in point of fact, the law officer of the
crown felt it incumbent upon him to object
to a greater number upon this panel than on
usual occasions ?-Yes, it appeared so.
By Mr. J. Williams.-What number did Mr.
Mills appear upon the commission grand jury
Whatwas Mr. Fry's number upon thatpanel?
Do you recollect the number specified in the
precept?-The precept, I think, mentions
Do you know, whether the two jurors who
served upon the ex officio information, and who
had been upon the grand jury panel, had been
among the number of those who were or were
not sworn ?-The Two persons, Mills and Fry,
were not sworn on the grand jury; they were
merely on the panel.
Within these few years, has it not been usual
to call Roman Catholics on grand juries ?-I
have known it occur frequently, latterly.
You act as clerk of the Crown in a great
many counties, and in a great many of those
counties do you not recollect Roman Catholics
being called upon the grand panel promis-
cuously with others?-I have; and sworn.
Were you present when the result of the trial
of the ex-officio information was announced in
the court, by the withdrawal of a juror?-I
You have no knowledge of any ulterior pro-
ceedings being intimated by any person, to be
taken after the result of a juror being with-
drawn ?-I have not.
Mr. Terence O'Reilly called in and examined
By Mr. J. Williams.-What is your situation?
I -An attorney, in Dublin.
'In uiry into his Conduct.
Where have you resided carrying on that
profession ?-In the city of Dublin.
Were you residing in Dublin at the time
t that the commission jury was sworn in January
last ?-I was.
Do you remember when the bills went before
the grand jury?--Perfectly.
Were you in the court, or in the neighbour-
hood of the court at that time, when the bills
were before the jury ?-Alternately in the court
and in the neighbourhood of the court
during the first and second days of the com-
On either of those' days did you see Mr.
sheriff Thorpe ?-Frequently.
Were you present when it was announced
hat the bills were ignored ?-I was.
To whom was that announced ?-In the of-
fice of the clerk of the crown, Mr. Allen and
Green's office in Green-street; in an office ad-
joining the court-house, in the same building
with the court-house in Green-street, Dublin.
Were you in that office at that time?-I was.
Were any other persons there ?-There
Can you name any of them ?-It was an of-
fice of public intercourse, and a great number
of persons occasionally go in, and retire; at
that particular instant I do not recollect that
there were many persons; the conversation
alluded to, was directed chiefly to a gentleman
of the name of Ward, a professional gentle-
Was sheriff Thorpe in that office ?-He was.
How near to the time of the news arriving of
the bills being ignored ?-From an hour to
three quarters of an hour previous.
Did youhearMr. Sheriff Thorpe make any ob-
servation to Mr. Ward, or to any other person, at
the time you have now alluded to ?-He came
into the office where I was, and said, There
will be no bills found: have not I managed it
well? and my business being done I have no
How was he dressed at that time ?-He had
his appointments of sheriff, his cocked hat
and sword. He took those off; the hat I am
not quite positive about; he put on his surtout
and immediately went away, as if to communi-
cate the news elsewhere.
* Did you hear him say any thing else?- No.
Do you know any other person who was
present at the time, besides Mr. Ward ?-There
was Mr. Macnamara an attorney.
Did you mean to say that he had nothing
further to do there ?-Yes; at that place.
By Col. Barry.-How many persons were
there in the room ?-Sheriff Thorpe, myself,
Mr. Macnamara, and Mr. Ward.
S Do you suppose there were any others in the
room '-I dare say there were, but as to the
identity of them, I cannot speak to that.
Were there any clerks in the room ?--I am
quite sure there were not then; I was standing
behind the counter, and there were but three
there; and it is the usual place where clerks
were, that I was:
MAY 5, 182S. [42
Did Mr. Sheriff Thorpe say this in a tlWu
tone of voice ?-He did, in an exulting rman-
Did he speak it as loud as you are speaking
now ?-1 rather think not.
But so that it could be heard by any person
who was in the room ?-Yes.
Had you any conversation with Mr. Ward
about the probable finding of the jury --I am
not quite certain; Mr. Ward will of course tell
you if I did.
Did you make any observation to Mr. Ward
afterwards, respecting the declaration of Mr.
Sheriff, Thorpe ?-I am not quite sure whether
Have you ever mentioned to any person that
you had a conversation with Mr. Ward ?--No,
When did you first mention this declarationof
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe after you heard it ?-When-
ever the subject came to be discussed.
When did it come to be discussed ?-It oc-
curred very often.
When did you first mention it ?-I do not
recollect having mentioned it at any particular
time so that I could state it exactly, until I was
applied to as to giving evidence as to another
fact, which I was not competent to do; and I
stated my incompetency to do it.
Who applied to you to give evidence as to
that fact ?-A Mr. Costelow, an attorney.
Was it a fact connected with this inquiry ?-
It was certainly connected with this inquiry;
respecting some juror, or something of that
To whom did you mention this fact first ?-
To young Mr. Plunket, the attorney general's
When ?-On Monday or Tuesday last.
Do you remember any particular person to
whom you mentioned it previously to Monday
last ?-I do not.
Do you believe that you mentioned it to any
one in the interim ?-I did to many.
You do not remember them ?-I do not.
But you are clear you had no conversation
with Mr. Ward upon the subject ?-Perfectly
After Mr. Thorpe left the room ?-After Mr.
Thorpe left the room.
You did not mention it to him ?-I did not.
What induced you to communicate with Mr.
Costelow upon the subject?--I never commu-
nicated willingly with Mr. Costelow; he
stopped me in the hall of the court where we
were in the habit of meeting each other, and
asked me whether I recollected the circum-
stance which occurred at the commission.
What circumstance was that ?-With re-
spect to a juror that wanted or wished to be on
the grand jury of January 1823; and I told
him I was quite ignorant on that subject, and
could give no evidence whatever of it; that I
was most anxious not to give any evidence
upon the subject, and that I would feel greatly
obliged tq him not to press any thing upon
me; that I was.circumstancedin a waynow that
43] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
it would be vital to my interests in a variety of
ways to come forward.
Was that grand juror's name Poole?-It
When had you this conversation with Mr.
Costelow ?-The same day that I had the com-
munication with the attorney-general's son.
About Monday or Tuesday last.
By Mr. Brownlow.-Do you come here by
.order of this House ?-I come here by order of
the crown solicitor, who told me, with young
Mr. Plunkett, there had been an order moved
for; and in order to get a speedy return I
came here in order to give my evidence, and
get back to my professional pursuits and my
The order of this House never reached you ?
-It did not.
Then you are a volunteer ?-I am, so far.
When did you leave Dublin ?-On Friday
Where have you been since your arrival in
London ?-In one of the hotels.
What hotel is it ?-I do not recollect the
Is it the Salopian ?-That is the name of it.
Have you been talking with any one since
you came to London, with reference to the
evidence you are to give in this House ?-I
Is it Mr. Blake ?-That is the gentleman.
Were you with him to-day ?-I was
Who told you to go to Mr. Blake ?-I called
at the attorney-general's this morning, and
told him that I had arrived; he was not aware
that I had, Ibelieve, until I did come. He felt
obliged, he said, for my prompt attendance, and
requested I would call on Mr. Blake; which
What did he mean by your prompt attend-
ance ?-Coming, probably, without the order of
And he begged you to go to Mr. Blake ?-
And you went to Mr. Blake accordingly ?-
What conversation had you with Mr. Blake?
-I wrote down for him the evidence I could
Did he not ask you what you could give, as
to such and such questions ?--He did not.
What did he do with the written evidence
you wrote down ?-I do not know.
Did he talk to you at all upon the subject of
the evidence you could give ?-Yes, he did.
What did he say ?-He asked me the evi-
dence I could give; and I said, the shortest
way will be, for me to write it down; and he
said, it would; and I wrote it down.
And you had no further conversation with
By Mr. Brougham.-You have not lived in
Cotton-garden since you came here [a laugh] ?
-I do not recollect that I have.
Had you any particular acquaintance with
young Mr. Plunkett ?-No.
Or with Mr, Plunkett, his majesty's attorney-
general for Ireland ?-I never spoke to him, but
on professional business.
Have you any acquaintance with any member
of this House ?-I have the honour of knowing
many of the members of this House; not inti-
Are there any you know more than others ?-
I think I know Mister Ellis more than others.
By Mr. J. Williams.-You have stated, that
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, and Mr. Ward, and your-
self, were behind the desk at which the clerks
of the office are usually placed, at the time this
conversation took place ?-Yes.
Did Mr. Sheriff Thorpe address this conver-
sation to Mr. Ward, as to a person with whom
he was intimate ?-Yes, I conceived it so.
By Mr. Scarlett.-You have said you were
unwilling to give any evidence, were yourightly
understood ?-Yes, perfectly so; for I was so
circumstanced that nothing but a sense of duty
would oblige me to do it; I come here at very
great inconvenience to my private concerns.
By Mr. Grattan.-Do you mean to say, that
you expressed to Mr. Costelow your disinclina-
tion to attend ?-I did, and toMr. Plunkett, too,
and to every person who spoke to me upon the
By Mr. Brownlow.-Were you acquainted
with Mr. Sheriff Thorpe's person at the time
he came into the office ?-I knew him as sheriff,
but I never knew him until he was made she-
You have said that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe said,
the business had been very well managed; was
there any allusion to the jury at that time ?-I
conceive that he alluded to the management of
impanelling the jury, by the expressions that he
By Mr. C. Calvert.-You were understood
to say, that the words he used were, there
will be no bills found?"-Thosewere the words.
And he said that in a loud tone ?-Yes.
By a Member.-And you had no previous
knowledge of him, except in his capacity of
sheriff?-Yes, I knew his person as sheriff.
How came it that you never mentioned it to
any person until you mentioned it to Mr.
Plunkett,jun.?-I have mentioned it frequently;
but the particular persons I am not prepared
You have not named any person except Mr.
Plunket, jun., to whom you have mentioned it?
-There were a great number of persons present
besides those : Mr. Macnamara and Mr. Ward,
those can vouch for it.
You cannot name any other individual to
whom you mentioned it, except to young Mr.
By Sir J. Mackintosh.-Did you state Mr.
Sheriff Thorpe to have used those words in an
exulting tone, and in a voice loud enough to
be heard by you ?-He did.
Are you rightly understood in having begun
to say, that you probably had conversed, since
the occurrence of that interview, with Mr.
Macnamara, the other gentleman present ?-
That is precisely my evidence.
45] Inquiry into his Conduct. MAY 5, 1823. [46
Did you hear the whole of the conversation at the very instant, there were very few in the
that passed between the sheriff and Mr. Ward? room.
-I am not quite sure; they seemed to be very Mr. Dillon Macnamara called in, and
S intimate, and I would not obtrude myself examined
any thing more than that which was said so
loud. By Mr. Scarlett.-What is your profession?
Are you sure there was nothing said pre- -A solicitor and attorney.
viously to that you have repeated ?-Certainly Were you near the court at the time when
not. the commission grand jury, in January last,
By a Member.-You say that the sheriff left were sitting upon the bills that were before
the room as if to communicate the news; what them ?-I was.
news do you mean ?-The news of the bills Did you, upon that occasion, see Mr. Sheriff
being thrown out, against the rioters. Thorpe ?-I did.
Did you not say that this conversation passed Where did you see him ?-At various times
three quarters of an hour before the bills were in court during the day, attending to his duty
thrown out ?-I do. as sheriff.
SHow do you reconcile it, that the sheriff Do you remember seeing him at any time
should leave the office to carry the news of the in the clerk of the peace's office, adjacent to
bills being thrown out, three quarters of an the court?-I did.
hour before they had been thrown out ?-To ,What time of the day might that be?-I
communicate to his friends in the city, that think it was between two and three o'clock. I
the bills had been, or would be, thrown out. cannot be precise as to the time; about the
Do you know whether Mr. Sheriff Thorpe hour of three I should think.
had been previously in the grand jury room ? Do you remember who were present in the
* -I do not. room when you saw him there ?-No.
Were you in court when the bills were re- Can you name any persons that were pre-
turned ?-I was not; but I was so near that I sent?-Mr. O'Reilly was present; there were
knew it immediately : I was in the office that several persons in and out of the room that
just the hall divided. day, all day; whether they were present at
How long was that after Mr. Sheriff Thorpe that precise period I cannot undertake to say.
came into the office?-About three quarters of Do you recollect Mr. Sheriff Thorpe coming
an hour. I into the room, whilst you and Mr. O'Reilly
Will you take upon you to say it was not was there ?-I do.
three o'clock when Mr. Sheriff Thorpe came Did he make use of any expression in your
into the office ?-I do not think it was. hearing ?-He did.
Do you know whether Mr. Sheriff Thorpe State what you recollect him to have said ?-
had been in the habit of employing Mr. Ward He might have said various things; but relative
as his attorney ?-I know nothing about it. to the bills, he mentioned, that they were
By Mr. Brownlow.-After you first heard it, ignored ; or, that there were no bills.
and between that time and the time of com- To whom did he address that remark ?-He
municating it to Mr. Plunket, had you not expressed it to some friend who was there;
made many persons, or some persons, ac- Mr. O'Reilly mentioned to me who that gentle-
quainted with the information you possessed? man was, but I could not say positively that
-I do not know any person that I communi- that was the gentleman; if I was allowed to
cated it to; but Mr. Macnamara, being pre- speak upon my belief, I believe it was.
sent, was aware of my knowledge of the trans- You believe it was whom ?-A Mr. Ward.
action. Did you hear any question put to him, on
You have already stated, that you had com- any remark made by that gentleman to him ?-
municated it to many persons ?-I did. He asked him, had the bills come down from
You now tell us you never communicated it the grand jury; he said no, but you may make
to any person ?-I say, I do not know any per- your mind perfectly easy as to the result.
son that I can name at this instant, that I com- Was there any thing particular in his tone,
municated it to. or manner, when he said that ?-He seemed
By Mr. Dennian.-Did any person come to be well pleased at it.
from the grand jury room to Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, Did he stay in the office ?-No, I think he
about that period ?-Not that I saw. went away almost immediately after.
Was there any thing from which you could Do you remember how he was dressed when
infer, that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe had received he came into the office, or whether he changed
any particular information with regard to the his dress before he left it?-I made no remark
S probability of the bills being thrown out ?- at the time as to his changing his dress.
nothing but his coming into the room, and an- Was there any conversation that occurred
nouncing this. immediately afterwards between you and other
By Mr. J. Williams.-Was there any thing persons, upon the subject?--There was a ge-
particular in the manner of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe neral conversation in the private room, saying,
when he came in ?-He came in, in an exulting that they anticipated the result of those bills,
manner, and announced it at once; every body inasmuch as there were persons on the jury who
that was there might have heard it; I believe, would not find true bills against the persons
47) HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Was there any list of the grand jury in that
Was that list looked at, at the time, to
asce'ftiin the names ofthe persons ?-Yes.
Did you know the individuals whose names
Wvere ofi the grand jury ?-Yes, some of them.
Can you take upon you to say whether the
persons present specified a certain number of
grad jurymen that they thought would not
find the bills?-There was conversation in the
office among the persons that were there,
Stating that there were persons of a certain-
Mention the word ?-That there were fifteen
Orangemen upoh the grand jury; and other
gentlemen said that there were seventeen.
This was a conversation resulting from what
the sheriff had said in the outer office ?-It
When did you first mention this conversation
to athy body afterwards -I do not remember
thentioning it till there was a summons from
this House for some gentlemen to attend; there
were some acquaintances of mine in the court-
house of Dublin, talking of what they could
be summoned for, and I mentioned, quite
accidentally, what I have just now related,
and I immediately got a summons to attend.
SDo you know Mr. Costelow ?-I do; it was
Mr. Costelow I was mentioning it to.
By Colonel Barry.-Can you specify any
other persons 'who were in the office at the
time those conversations were supposed to take
place?-I cannot, with certainty.
How many, do you suppose, were in the
room at the time ?-I really could not say, with
accuracy; there were some of the clerks in the
office, I should think; and some five or six
Where were the clerks standing or sitting?
-I took no notice of that whatsoever.
Where were you standing when you heard
the words ?-I was standing outside the counter.
Who was inside the counter ?- Mr. O'Reilly,
I think, was inside the counter, speaking to a
gentleman there; I should rather think it was
The conversation you have stated with respect
to the gentlemen of the jury, was after the
sheriff was gone out ?-Yes.
In the same room ?-No, in the adjoining
Do you recollect hearing from any quarter,
or ascertaining before you went away, that the
bills had been ignored ?-In about an hour
afterwards or something better, the bills were
then publicly ignored.
What do you mean by that ?-That every
person in court knew it.
By Mr. Scarlett.-Were you in court when
the grand jury came in with the bills ?-I think
I was, I certainly heard Mr. Plunkett make
some observations, which makes me think I
was in court at the time.
How long was that, after the conversation
which you heard sheriff Thorpe have with a
gentleman ?-An hour or better.
Do yoq recollect what these observations
were that Mr. Plunkett made ?-TI was a kind
of lecture, leaving them to their God, I believe.
By Mr. Brownlow.-Are you an Orangeman ?
-No, I am not.
Do you belong to any association in Ireland ?
-No; some seven or eight years ago I was a
freenason; I have been a very bad member,
for I have never attended these four years.
Do you know Mr. Mansfield ?-I do; he is
a clerk in the sheriff's office in the city of
Do you recollect having had any conversa-
tion with Mr. Mansfield, in order that he might
pack a jury for a client ofyour's ?-I certainly
do recollect some eight or nine years ago, when
I was a very young man in the profession, that
there was a person who was a clerk of mine;
it was the only criminal case I was ever con-
cerned in in my life; and my client, who was
concerned in forging stamps, I believe was
afterwards transported; his trial occupied
twelve hours; I think he told me that if he
could get some friends of his upon the jury
and gave me some friends, if I could prevail
upon the sub-sheriff to get his friends upon the
panel, he would remunerate the sub-sheriff
handsomely. I think it my duty not to conceal
any thing, I do not know what the conse-
quences may be; I am perfectly independent
of the profession, and I would not conceal any
thing which had passed.
Did you communicate those names, with
the offer of the bribe, to the sub-sheriff?-I do
not think I communicated the names to Mr.
Mansfield, but I communicated the substance
of my message to him, that if he would put
certain persons on the jury, whom my client
would wish to be on it, he would be remu-
Do you recollect what Mr. Mansfield's an-
swer to you upon that occasion was ?-I think
he said, that the jury was out of his power, as
it was taken up by the crown; or, that the
solicitor of the Stamp-office had ordered the
panel to be returned to the castle, or some-
thing of that kind; and that he had not an
opportunity, even if he wished.
Mr. Mansfield is summoned to the bar of
this House ?-I heard so this night.
Did not Mr. Mansfield indignantly reject
the offer of a bribe ?-He said what I have
mentioned, that, even if he wished it, it was
not in his power; for that the panel was
ordered by the crown solicitor, or ordered by
the castle; indeed, I think further than that,
that the men that were summoned on the panel
were not to compose the jury.
Did not he reject the bribe?-He did not
get the bribe.
Why did not he get the bribe ?-Because he
did not do what I wanted.
Was your client tried ?-He was! and was,
By Lord Milton.-Who was the crown's so-
licitor then ?-Mr. Kemmis.
You said it was a crown prosecutiore?-It
was a prosecution at the suit of the Stamp office.
Inquiry into his Conduct.
Who conducted it ?-The solicitor for the
Stamp-office, Mr. Burrow.
Who were the counsel? I believe Mr.
STownsend was one of the counsel on the part
-of the crown.
Were the attorney or solicitor general em-
.ployed in the case ?-I cannot recollect.
I How long ago is it since this case took place ?
-It was either in 1815 or 1816.
What was the name of your client?-Galla-
You state, that you never thought of this
transaction till it was brought to your notice,
that you might be questioned upon it; what
do you mean by that?-I met Mr. Mansfield,
in the lobby of the house, about an hour since;
Sand he told me, that he thought it was fair to
mention it; that the party on the opposite side
of the court, that he conceived I was sum-
moned for, were aware of the fact; and that
he thought it might be asked, that I might be
By Mr. Hume.-What do you mean by the
panel having been ordered, in that case, by
* the crown or the castle ?-I took the answer
from the sub-sheriff or Mr. Mansfield, that it
was not in his power, that the jury that he
summoned were not the jury that would be
sworn upon the trial of the case.
By a Member.-When Mr. Sheriff Thorpe
stated, that the bills would be ignored, did
he add, have I not done my business cle-
verly," or words to that effect ?-He mentioned
words to that effect, certainly; have not I
managed the matter well;" or words to that
By Mr. W. Williams.-Did you deliver a
statement in writing to Mr. Blake, of what
had passed in the office from Mr. Sheriff
Thorpe ?-He begged of me to put down in
writing what I could communicate, and I did
By Mr. Goulburn.-Were the words just
stated by you, have not I managed the
matter well," contained in your statement
given to Mr. Blake ? -I should think they were.
Have you any doubt of those words having
passed ?-As to the substance of them, none
in the world.
By Mr. W. Williams.-To whom were those
* words addressed ?-I cannot positively state;
but Mr. O'Reilly having stated to me that they
were addressed to Mr. Ward, I believe they
Were they addressed to a gentleman near
Mr. O'Reilly ?-Yes.
By Mr. Denman.-Had any thing occurred,
within your observation, that should induce
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe to suppose the bills would
* be thrown out ?-Nothing that I know of.
Were you in court when the bills were all
.ignored? The bills I believe were found
The bills were ignored as to some, and found
as to some ?-Yes.
Do you remember having said, that -Mr.
Mansfield told you he had taken the panel to
the castle ?-I remember that Mr. Mansfield
said, the thing was out of his power, if he
had the inclination.
Did he say the panel was taken to the castle?
-Either the castle or-the Stamp-office.
By Colonel Barry.-You and Mr. O'Reilly
left Dublin together, travelled together, ar-
rived here together, and have lived together
ever since you came; were not you perfectly
agreed as to every word of evidence you were
to give at this bar upon this subject ?-I think
we do not differ much in substance, although
we do not agree exactly; 1 am sure he had a
stronger recollection of the case than I had.
And he refreshed your memory? He
seemed to recollect it better than I did.
Did he not refresh your memory upon the
subject ?-No, I do not think he did.
He reminded you of some circumstances
you had forgotten ?-For instance, he reminded
me that it was Mr. Ward the sheriff was speak-
ing to; which I would not certainly take upon
myself to state who was the individual that Mr.
Sheriff Thorpe addressed himself to.
These written statements that you gave in,
did you prepare them at Mr. Blake's office, or
serid them in afterwards?-No; Mr. Blake
asked us one or two words, and then said,
Would you have the goodness to put down
in substance what evidence you could give to
the House ?"
Where did you do it ?-In Mr. Blake's office,
in his drawing-room.
Were you both together?--Mr. O'Reilly
wrote his statement, and I wrote mine.
Did you see his statement ?-Yes, I did.
Before you made your own, or after ?-Be-
fore I made my own, and not agreeing exactly
in the words; for he mentioned that Mr.
Sheriff Thorpe addressed himself to Mr. Ward;
and I, not being sure of that, I wrote mine
You stated, that this gentleman, whom you
supposed to be Mr. Ward, asked him a ques-
tion, and that sheriff Thorpe's was a reply to
that question ?-Yes.
Mr. Peter Tomlinson called in; and examined
By Mr. J. Williams.-What is your situa-
tion?-A bootmaker, in Black-rock, within
four miles of Dublin.
Were you in Dublin during the trial of the
rioters?-I was, occasionally.
Do you know Daniel Smith ?-I do. He is
Do you remember going to him about the
time of these trials, about some business ?-
Perfectly, going to take orders for boots.
That was two or three days previous to the
Do you remember your having to wait some
time, in order to give the orders to Mr. Smith ?
-I remember waiting in the outside shop, near
While you were standing there, do you re-
member any body coming, to whom Mr. Smith
spoke ?-I recollect a person coming, to whom
MAY 5, 1823.
51] HOUSE OF COMMONS, SherffofDoublin- [5S
Mr. Smith said, Good morning, Mr. Sheriff. he desired me to go to Mr. Blake; and to Mr.
Well, these trials are to go on?" Yes." Blake I told what I now tell. He bade me to.
Who replied yes?"-The man whom he state what I had to say, and I did so, exactly
addressed as sheriff, answered yes." Have as I have done it now.
you made out a list of the jury?" "No, Iel c d in a e i
am just going to the office now to make it out." M. John 'Connell called in; and examined
" How many will you impanel ?" I will pick By Mr. Scarlett.-What is your situation in
about sixty that we can depend on; they may Dublin ?-A silk-manufacturer.
then challenge as many as they please; they Do you know Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-I do.
shall have as good a petit jury as they had a Do you recollect seeing him at any time in
grand jury." the house of a Mr. Sibthorpe ?-I do.
Should you ,know that gentleman, Mr. Was that before or after the trials ?-It was
Sheriff, by sight? -- Certainly; though I before the trials: on the Tuesday after the riot
never saw him before at the theatre.
Look about you? [The witness turned Do you remember hearing any remark made
round and looked about him.] I do not see by sheriff Thorpe there?-Yes; I heard him
him. make use of remarkable expressions.
Have you seen him since ?-I have not. With whom was he speaking when he made
Had you ever seen him before ?-Never to use of those expressions?-Shortly before I
my knowledge; and would not have known heard him make use of a remarkable expres-
him then, but that Mr. Smith addressed him sion, he was in conversation with William
as sheriff. Graham.
You think you should know him again ?- What was the remarkable expression to which
I have not the slightest doubt; I eyed him par- you alluded ?-" I have the Orange panel in
ticularly. my pocket."
By Mr. Goulburn.-Do you know which Was that addressed to any individual in the
sheriff it was ?-I went to the Session-house room ?-It did not appear to me to be ad-
and saw the other, who I know it was not. dressed to any individual in the room; it was
By Mr. Denman.-What was the name of uttered in a low tone of voice.
the other ?-Cooper. Who was William Graham ?--He was one
Would you know that other sheriff, the one of the traversers on the business.
whom you saw whose name was Cooper ?-I Had you been in the room before the sheriff
do not know that I would, I do not think I came in, or did you come in and find him
would. there ?-When I entered the room the sheriff
By Mr. Brownlow.-When did this conver- was in it.
station take place ?-Perhaps two or three days You found the sheriff sitting by Mr. Graham,
before the trials of the traversers that were so in the room ?-Yes.
much talked of. Who is Mr. Sibthorpe?-He is a painter and
By Mr. J. Williams.-Did you hear that there glazier.
were two trials of the play-house rioters ?-I Do you know whether Mr. Sibthorpe is a
did; this was the second, friend of Mr. Thorpe's, the sheriff?-Yes.
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe said, that he would give You have said that the sheriff was in the
them a good jury of 60 for this second trial ?- room before you entered it ?-Yes.
He said he would pack about 60 that we could By Colonel Barry.-Was that expression
depend upon; that they might then challenge that he made use of, said so that any body else
as they .pleased; that they should have as but yourself could have heard it?-There were
good a petit jury as they had a grand jury. persons nearer to him than I was; 1 heard the
Was any one present at this, besides Mr. expression distinctly.
Daniel Smith and yourself ?- One of his young Nobody had spoken to him previously upon
men, a Mr. Peter Alma. the subject of the riot at the theatre, or the
By Colonel Barry.-When did you men- trial of the prisoners ?-I did not hear that any
tion that?-That very day. person had spoken to him.
To whom?-To several; to Mr. Charles Hle bolted it out at once without any pro-
Mageen, to Mrs. Hart. vocation, I have an Orange jury in my
Do you mean to say that it was Mr. Sheriff pocket ?"--" An Orange panel."
Thorpe who made use of this observation ?-I Without any thing leading to it ?-Those
do. were the words he used, I have the Orange
By a Member.-Were you summoned by' panel in my pocket."
this House to attend at the bar ?-I was not. I Without any question being addressed to
You volunteered your services ?-I did. To him ?-I did not hear any question addressed
Mr. Hart an attorney in Dublin. to him upon the subject.
What did he say to you ?-He asked me Whom was he talking to at that time ?-Mr.
whether I was Willing to go to London, and I William Graham.
told him I was. Did you see Mr. Barrett Wadden during the *
Did you call upon his majesty's attorney- time that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe was remaining at
general for Ireland, after you came here ?-I Mr. Sibthorpe's ?-No, I did not.
went to him the night I came into town, and He lives within a door or two, does not he.
5]3 I Inquiry into his Conduct. MA 5, 182S. [54
-Mr. Wadden lives next door to Mr. Sib- expressions to any one?-The following day,
thorpe. to Mr. Mac Natten and to Mr. Wadden.
Has he been in Liverpool lately ?-I under- By Mr. Bright.-At what time were those
a stand he has. matters communicated to the attorney-general?
He is your step-father ?-He is. -I think four or five days after the conversa-
When is the last time you have seen Mr. tion had taken place.
Wadden ?-I saw him this evening, in the Were they communicated to the attorney-
lobby of this House; I saw him a few moments general before the grand jury was empanelled ?
ago. -I cannot say.
You are not on terms with him now ?-No, By a Member.-Do you believe that the ex-
I am not. pressions, respecting the marquis Wellesley,
Whom did you mention this conversation were heard by others who were present, as
first to?-To.a person of the name of Mac well as yourself?-Yes; the expressions re-
Natten. specting the marquis Wellesley, were spoken
When were you called upon, or by whom, when Mr. Sheriff Thorpe was at cards; and
.to give testimony of this ?-By Mr. Wadden. the last expression that he made use of, when
S When did you mention that expression of he wished the devil had him, was made as he
sheriff Thorpe to Mr. Wadden ?-The day after left the room; and as he buttoned up his coat;
I had heard it. I was close to him, and the company was
When were you first examined by any officer about withdrawing.
of the crown, or any professional person, on Had you, or any of the company present,
the subject ?-A few days after I had mentioned been talking of the marquis Wellesley, be-
it to Mr. Wadden. fore Mr. Sheriff Thorpe made use of that ex-
By whom were you then examined ?-The pression ?-I do not think I had been talking
* attorney-general for Ireland, at his house in of the marquis Wellesley.
Steven's-green. Was the marquis Wellesley talked of in that
Did Mr. Wadden go with you there ?-He society?-The subject of conversation, at one
did. time, related to the occurrence at the theatre;
Will you mention all the persons that were and I think the marquis Wellesley's name was
in the room when this expression was supposed mentioned.
to take place ?-Mr. and Mrs. Sibthorpe, Miss Did sheriff Thorpe say any thing about the
Sibthorpe, young Mr. Sibthorpe, William marquis Wellesley at that time ?-I did not
Graham, Mr. Sheriff Thorpe. hear any remark from sheriff Thorpe.
S Could that have been said without any one That was the circumstance that seemed to
of them hearing it ?-Yes; there were persons lead to the observation?-The act of buttoning
in the room that might not have heard it. up his coat, you mean; I observed him make
By Mr. Brownlow.-Were there not persons use of the expressions when he was buttoning
nearer to sheriff Thorpe than you, when he up his coat.
made use of the expression ?-William Gra- By Mr. Brownlow.-A man of the name of
ham was nearer to him than I was. I do not Graham was ifi the society?-Yes.
think that any other person was nearer to him. You have stated, that he was one of the tra-
Was he the nearest person of the party to versers ?-Yes.
him at the time ?-Yes, he was. Was he aware at the time, that he was ac-
Then of course that conversation that came caused of having conspired to assault and in-
to your ears, could not have escaped William sult the lord lieutenant in the theatre ?-I can-
Graham's ?-I think he could have heard it. not say.
Did Mr. Sheriff Thorpe seem to direct that Did you know that he was ?-No.
expression to Graham ?-No, he did not ap- Ienry Cooper, esq. called in; and examined
pear to direct it to any particular person.
By Mr. Goulbourn.-Were not you ex- By Sir G. Hill.-You are one of the sheriffs
* tremely surprised that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe of Dublin ?-Yes.
should have been so indiscreet as, in the hear- Do you recollect the striking of the panel of
ing of several persons, to state, that he had the grand jury, that has caused this inquiry?
got the Orange panel in his pocket ?-I was. -Yes.
Have you heard any other remarkable ex- Were you called upon, on that occasion, to
pressions on the part of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?- take any part in the striking of that panel ?-I
I have. He said, I wish the devil had the was.
marquis Wellesley out of this." By whom?-By the solicitor, Mr. Kemmis;
Were there'any others that you recollect by letter.
* used by him ? Yes; I cannot repeat his Have you that letter in your pocket ?-I
exact words; but the meaning of them was, have not.
he is an annoyance, he is in our way." Can you state what the purport of that letter
Are you stating the substance of a conver- was ?-It was, that I should take a part in the
station, or only a particular expression ?-I am striking of that jury, to prevent any observa-
only stating the substance, the meaning that I tions.
attached to what I heard. That letter was from whom ?-From Mr.
At what period did you communicate those Kemmis.
553 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
The crown solicitor ?-Yes; I think it went
so far as to say, by desire of the attorney-ge-
Would you have interfered with your bro-
ther sheriff in the striking of that panel, if you
had not received that letter ?-I do not think
And why ?-I conceived, that the sheriffs
acting quarterly had that prerogative of
striking their own juries; he was the elder
Is there any etiquette between the sheriffs,
with regard to each striking a grand jury at a
commission by themselves, without the inter-
ference of their brother sheriff ?-I conceive
What is the usual arrangement between the
sheriffs in that particular ?-The usual arrange-
ment is, that the sheriff for the quarter strikes
his panel; and that he may or may not com-
municate with his brother sheriff.
Is it the arrangement, that the senior sheriff
strikes the panel of the first grand jury ?-It is.
And the junior sheriff the next grand jury ?
--The next quarter.
What occurred between you and your bro-
ther sheriff, when you attended at the striking
of this grand jury at the request of the crown
solicitor ?-He had made his document for
the sub-sheriff to strike the panel; I attended,
and we concurred on the panel which was
struck. I mean, that my brother sheriff and I
had agreed upon the gentlemen who were put
upon that panel.
Do you mean thereby to say, that you and
your brother sheriff went through the list of
the proposed grand jurors who were to serve
upon it ?-Yes.
Did you go through that list, and canvass
the names individually ?-We did, with the
sub-sheriff, Mr. Whistler.
Had you any feeling, that you had a more
peculiar duty than on other occasions to per-
form, when you were so, particularly called
upon to assist your brother sheriff in striking
this panel ?-I did, in consequence of the letter
Did you feel any particular responsibility
upon yourself upon that occasion, to look to
the individuals that were proposed to serve
upon that grand jury?-I considered, that those
men who were put upon that panel, should be
respectable citizens of Dublin.
Did you, as a sheriff, feel yourself personally
responsible for the characters of the individuals
upon that panel, as far as your intelligence
could assist you ?-Yes.
Have you a pretty large acquaintance with
the citizens of Dublin ?-Indeed, pretty gene-
What is your own situation in life ?-A coach-
How long have you belonged to the corpo-
ration of Dublin ?-About 13 years.
Did it occur to you, to offer any objection
to your brother sheriff, 'with respect to any of
the names proposed upon that panel, as in any-
wise objectionable --I did.
Sheriff of Dublin- [50t
Did you object to any of them in conse-
quence ?-I did.
What became of those names that you did
object to?-They were struck off the panel.
Do you recollect how many there were ?-
One particularly, I think.
Did you consider, that that grand jury was
as respectable, for all the purposes of dis-
charging their duty, as grand juries usually
are ?-They were.
To whom was the crown solicitor's note ad-
dressed ?-The letter I received was directed
personally to me.
Did you exercise a more than ordinary
scrutiny with regard to that panel, in conse-
quence of that letter, or not?-From the
names that appeared to me, I exercised it so
far, as I conceived those men who were put on
it to be fully responsible for the situation in
which they were placed.
Were the names that were struck upon that
panel, usually to be found on other grand jury
panels in Dublin ?-I rather think they were.
Did it appear to you, upon the examination
of that panel, that there was any extraordinary
number of persons that had not usually been
upon the grand jury panels placed upon it ?-
Were those individuals that were struck off
that panel, objected to upon any political
By Mr. Brmwnlow.-A witness, that has been
at the bar of this House states, that Mr. Sheriff
Thorpe said, on the 17th Dec., he had an
Orange panel in his pocket; when did you and
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe agree upon the grand panel
of January 1823 ?-I think it was three days
previous to the summonses for the jury being
Did Mr. Sheriff Thorpe represent to you,.
that a man of the name of Poole had applied to
be on that grand jury ?-He did.
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe suggested that to you ?-
No, Mr. Poole applied to me.
Do you recollect Mr. Sheriff Thorpe making
any observations on the name of William
Poole in that list ?-I recollect that a conver-
sation occurred, that Mr. Poole had applied to
me; he came to my office to say that Mr.
Sheriff Thorpe promised to put him on that
panel, and applied to me to speak to Sheriff
Thorpe; I told him that it was his quarter, and
I referred it to him.
What passed between you and Mr. Sheriff
Thorpe upon the subject of Mr. Poole?-In
consequence of his .application, we mutually
agreed that we did not think he should be one
on the panel, from his application.
It was by Mr. Sheriff Thorpe your attention
was called to the name of Poole upon that list?
-I had myself an objection, in consequence of
his calling on me.
In which objection Mr.: Sheriff Thorpe con-
curred ?-He did.
Have you seen Mr. Sheriff Thorpe in com-
pany with the lord lieutenant of Ireland, since
the striking of this grand commission panel?-
I have, more than once.
Did his excellency receive Mr. Sheriff If that fifty-three had contained names, or
Thorpe as a public delinquent, as a man who had been composed of those people you
had packed the jury to acquit men guilty of an thought objectionable, with a view to the end
assault upon his person; how did the lord of justice, could you not have desired it might
lieutenant receive Mr. Sheriff Thorpe P-As have been altered--Yes.
far as I perceived, perfectly politely. Would you not have desired that panel
Did he receive him cordially ?-He appeared should have been increased, if you had thought
to receive him as he received me. it right ?-I would.
He made no distinction between you ?-I You have stated, you and your sub-sheriff
perceived none. were chiefly engaged in composing the panel
Did he shake you by the hand ?-The last for the petit jury, could that have been de-
place I had the honour of being shaken by the scribed, with any justice, by Mr. SheriffThorpe,
hand by his excellence, was at church; he also as an Orange panel?-From my feelings, I
shook sheriff Thorpe and the lord mayor by the think not.
hand there too. Are you an Orangeman ?-I am not.
When was that?-I think on yesterday Is sheriff Thorpe, to your knowledge, an
fortnight. Orangeman?-Not to my knowledge.
Since a motion of censure was made against Was not Mr. Sheriff Thorpe the first sheriff
the attorney-general for Ireland in this House ? who gave that obnoxious toast at the sheriffs
-Oh, long since, dinner, after the visit of the king to Ireland ?-
By Colonel Barry.-Who prepared the panel He gave The Glorious and Immortal
for the petitjury, on the ex-officio informations, Memory."
in the first instance ?-That was in my quarter, Who is the person who serves the summonses
it was prepared by my sub-sheriff, sheriff on the grand jurors ?-There are different
Thorpe, and me. persons to serve them.
Did sheriff Thorpe, or you, take the most The bailiff?-Yes.
active part in the formation of that panel ?-I Is he paid by the sheriff?-He is paid by the
If sheriff Thorpe had declared that he would He pays nothing to the office?-No, I
take care to have as good a petit jury for the believe not.
trial of the ex-officio informations, as he had Was there any different mode of delivering
had a grand jury for the ignoring the bills of the summonses on that occasion, from that
indictment, could he have effected it?-Cer- usually adopted?-I do not know any thing of
tainly not through me. the serving of those summonses; the others
If sheriff Thorpe had wished to pack a petit were in my quarter, and I was particular with
jury for that purpose, could he have effected the bailiff himself, and I swore him to the ser-
it ?-Certainly not. vice of those summonses.
If you were told, that sheriff Thorpe said, in Are you aware that the same was done on
a company, that he would do so, would you the part of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-I am not.
believe it ?-I should not suppose he would be Did you suggest to sheriff Thorpe any names
capable of making use of such an expression; to be added to that grand panel?--I do not
if he did, I think he was wrong, recollect that I did.
Are you a party man ?-No. By Mr. N. Calvert.-You stated, you ob-
By Mr Brownlow.-The sheriffs give public jected to three persons on the panel, whose
dinners in Dublin, do they not ?-They do. names were in consequence struck out ?-To
Did you give The glorious memory" at two or three.
your dinner ?-I did not. Those objections you state were not at all on
You are understood to say, that when you account of their political principles ?-No, I
attended Mr. Sheriff Thorpe to strike the panel knew not their politics.
for the grand jury, there was a list of names Several persons whose names were upon the
prepared ?-Yes. panel were canvassed between you and your
That list was ready when you got there ?- brother sheriff, as to their fitness or unfitness to
It was. remain on the panel; had you conversation
Out of that list you found, who did you ob- about it?-We had.
ject to ?-I think there were three that I ob- Was it at all on the ground of the political
jected to. principles or party feeling of any of those per-
Those names being omitted the remainder sons, that this canvassing took place between
stood ?-Yes. you -No.
Are you acquainted with all or the majority You have stated, that in going to communi-
of those names that appeared upon the list ?- cate with your brother sheriff, respecting this
Pretty generally. panel, you conceived it your duty to see that it
Were you acquainted with their political was formed of respectable citizens of Dublin ?
sentiments ?-No, I was not. -I did.
Then you and your brother sheriff did not Was that the only consideration ?-Nothing
select the names out of the corporators at large, more.
but out of a list of fifty-three ready prepared You had not any means of judging whether
by Mr. Sheriff Tliorpe ?-Yes. this panel consisted of fewer names than usual,
MA-kt 5, i8q3. ps
Inqui'ry into his Condulct.
59] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
or not, at the time it was handed to you ?-I
considered it shorter than what the usual panels
Have you been in the habit of observing
what was the usual number of common-coun-
cil-men on a commission grand jury ?-I think
they varied frequently.
Have you formed any notion in your own
mind, what the usual number of them were
upon the panel ?-At that period I did not
consider it; at this moment I have seen eight,
ten, or twelve.
Did it occur to you, on looking over that
panel, that there was an unusual number of
common-council-men upon that?-It did not,
Have you since observed that circumstance?
-Since, from remarks, I have observed that
there were more common-council-men than
usual upon it.
SIs there one sub-sheriff for both the sheriffs,
or have you each one ?-One for both.
You spoke of your sub-sheriff forming the
panel for the trial of ex-officio information i-
Concurring with me.
What is the manner in which that is done ?-
It is formed partly by the sub-sheriff and partly
by the high-sheriff.
In what manner was that panel formed ?-
He submitted the list of respectable citizens
to me; with this, and with my own knowledge
of the city, I struck that ex-officio jury, and re-
turned it to him.
The body of the list is presented to the sheriff
in the usual course, ready formed by the under-
sheriff ?-No; he submitted a number of names
,of the respectable merchants and traders of
Dublin; with those whom I added myself, we
afterwards made a list for the panel, at which
sheriff Thorpe was present.
Can you at all state the proportion of names
you added to those that he submitted to you ?-
I dare say there might be one half; those men
whom he submitted I very well knew.
Then it was the same person who performed
the office you have stated in forming the panel
for the petit jury for the ex-officio informations,
who had in like manner primarily formed the
panel for the grand jury, in January 1823 ?-
No, I cannot say that.
Was not it the same sub-sheriff?-Yes; how
far sheriff Thorpe communicated with him I
You do not know whether that is the usual
course for the sub-sheriff to form this subject
to his communication with the high sheriff ?-
It depends upon the sub-sheriff and the high-
sheriff; I have that confidence in the sub-sheriff,
to believe that he would not submit any man
upon that, that I would not myself think a
In whose hand-writing was the panel for the
grand jury, when it was submitted to you?-I
believe it was in sheriff Thorpe's.
By Mr. Plunkett.-What is the ordinary
course in the office of returning the commission
grand, jury; is, it by the high-sheriff, or the
Sheriffof Dulin- [60
clerk in the office ?-I cannot account for any
thing but what has occurred since; I came into
office at the exact moment.
Have not you understood what is the usual
and ordinary course in the office; is it not the
ordinary course for the panel to be returned by
the clerk in the office,and not bythe high-sheriff?
-I rather think not.
Is there any difference in the mode of framing
the panel of the grand juries and the petty
juries ?-I always understood the high-sheriff
took that prerogative to himself of returning
the grand jury.
Always, in ordinary cases, that he took that
prerogative to himself ?-In all cases, I under-
stood it so.
Do you mean to say, that the usualand or-
dinary practice in the Sheriff's-office is for the
high-sheriff to return the panel of the grand jury,
and not to have it returned by the clerk in the
office ?-It is my feeling in the office ; that is
what has been done since I came into office.
At what time was it that you first interfered
with respect to the return of the January grand
jury panel ?-On receiving the letter from Mr.
Kemmis, I communicated to the sub-sheriff and
to the high-sheriff; that was my first interfe-
A panel was then shown to you, in the hand-
writing of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-I believe it to
Do you not believe that a great proportion
of the persons who were returned upon that
grand jury panel by Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, were
persons of very strong political feeling upon
the particular question of dressing the statue
and drinking the toast?-I include that
some were, and some were not; if I could
form an opinion of the whole I would do so.
Had there not been an election of corporators
in December?--There was.
Was not there a very strong agitation in the
public mind, at the time of the election of
those corporators, particularly on the subject
of the dressing of the statue?-Not to my
knowledge at that time.
In December had not the dressing of the
statue been prevented, by order of the lord
mayor, in the month of November ?-Yes.
Was not there a censure of the lord mayor,
by the corporation, for doing so ?-There
Was not there a censure of the lord mayor by
the guild of merchants, for doing so ?-I believe
Was not it in the midst of that agitation, that
the new corporators were elected, in the month
of December ?-It was.
Was not there a very strong political feeling
in the minds of a great body of the corporators
who were so elected in December, at the very
time when those censures were pronounced ?-
In some guilds there was strong political feelings
expressed, I believe.
In the guild of merchants, particularly, was
there not a very strong political feeling ex-
pressed ?-I conceive there was.
S 01] Inquiry into his Conduct.
The guild of merchants elect 31 common-
Will you have the goodness to look at that
paper [a paper being handed to the witness] ;
do not you believe that that printed list was
furnished by the persons who are the friends of
dressing the statue to the corporators, for the
Purpose of having a list chosen of common-
council-men from the guild of merchants accord-
ing to it?-I consider this alist for the purpose
of returning those men that were in it.
Will you have the goodness to read the
title of it ?-" Guild of merchants; the
glorious and immortal memory list; good men
in bad times."
There is a picture at the top, representing
king William on horseback?-I believe it does.
He is represented with his horse treading
upon the knave of clubs ?-I suppose it does.
Do not you understand that, as repre-
senting the lord mayor ?-I should suppose it
Do not you find seven of the names who
were returned in that list as good men in bad
S times," and for that purpose sworn upon the
grand jury in January 1823 ?-I think there
are seven names appear here.
Name the seven persons ?-Mr. John Stevens
was on it, I think; Mr. Joseph Henry Moore,
Christopher Graham, Joseph Lampray, John
Davis, Robert Lodge I think was on it, and
Do you, or do you not believe, that those
persons who were so named, as good men in
bad times," and who are elected on that re-
commendation, were persons of strong political
bias upon the subject of dressing the statue,
and drinking the toast ?-As to their strong
political feelings I cannot say.
Do you believe they have any political feel-
ings ?-I think they have; but as to strong po-
litical bias, I cannot form an opinion.
Do you think that those seven persons were
fit, fair, and impartial jurors to try a question,
for the purpose of finding a bill of indictment
upon the subject then pending ?-I do.
If the 31 persons, who are named in that list
had been returned upon the panel of the grand
jury, would you have thought them objec-
tionable, as fair persons, to try that question ?
* -Some I would not have returned; I cannot
say that they were unfair, but I would not put
Did you object to any person proposed by
sheriff Thorpe, in the panel that he submitted to
you, on the ground of their political opinions ?
-I do not recollect that I did.
All you looked to was, that they were
respectable citizens ?-Fair and respectable
Would you have thought yourself at liberty,
when sheriff Thorpe returned you the list Of
fair respectable citizens, to object to any one
of them, on account of a political bias?-I
think if I had expressed a reason, that he would
have struck off any that we would have mu-
tually struck off.
MAY 5, 1823. [62
Would you have objected to any one re-
spectable citizen returned on sheriff Thorpe's
list, merely because you thought he had a bias ?
-If I did not consider him a violent man, I
would not have struck him off.
Were you aware, when sheriff Thorpe sub-
mitted that list to your consideration, that thete
were 27 corporators returned upon that panel,
who had been elected in the month of De-
cember previously ?-I was not aware, exactly,
of the number when it was submitted.
Do you believe that there was any one of
those 27 corporators so returned, who was not
friendly to the dressing of the statue ?-I rather
think there were men on that panel that would
rather, under the circumstances, that the state
was not dressed.
Can you mention under what circumstances ?
-That is my feeling of those jurors.
Do you mean, out of the 27 common-Couil-
cil-men ?-As to the men who were on that
panel, I do consider some of them, men who
would not wish to have the statue dressed;
some of those men on the grand jury.
Can you explain the circumstance of the
entire grand jury being sworn out of the
first 26 persons upon the panel ?-I really
cannot, except their attendance in consequence
of being liable to fines; I do not know any
Had they not, on all former occasions,
been liable to fines ?-They had, as far as I
Have you ever heard of any instance in
which a grand jury of 27 was obtained on any
former commission, without coming down as
low as the 57th man upon the panel ?-I cannot
answer that question accurately.
When you came to frame your panel of the
petit jurors, did you at first frame it in the
same manner in which you finally, returned
it P-There were some alterations, but very few.
Did you frame your own panel, or did you
receive a panel framed from your sub-sheriff ?
-Part by the sub-sheriff, and part my own
Is it not the ordinary course in returning the
panel of the petit jury, to take the grand panel,
and out of that to take some of the most re-
spectable and leading names ?-I did it so.
After you had done it so, were there any
alterations made, and at whose suggestion ?
-There were very few, for they were of such
a respectable return, that it was not ne-
By whom were those few suggested; do you
speak of those that were returned by the sub-
sheriff?-I speak of the whole panel.
How many were returned by the sub-sheriff;
what proportion did the number returned by
him bear to the whole panel ?-I think it pro-
bable it might be from 20 to 30 or more.
You have said, that you are n6t a persat df
any party feeling; do you mean to i:y, rlit the
sub-sheriff, Mr. Whistler, was not?-I do 66t
think him what I would term a violeftt party-
63] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Sherif of Dublin-- [64
Wasihe a man of party feeling; or was he self declared that was done ?-Not to my
a man, as you are yourself, a man of no party knowledge; I never heard of it.
feeling ?-It is difficult for me to answer to the How many names do you. say were struck
feelings of another, off the panel of the grand jury, after Mr.
What is the reputation of Mr. Whistler in Sheriff Thorpe had consulted you ?-I think
that respect; is he, or not, considered a man there were probably three or four, and other
of party feeling ?-I would not consider him a names substituted.
man of high party feeling. Was Mr. Poole's one of those names that
Twenty or 30 of the names were returned by were struck off?-He was.
him ?-I think about that number. Have you heard, or do you believe, that,
The whole panel consisted of sixty ?-Yes. before the riot had happened, Mr. Sheriff
Twenty or thirty were returned by the sub- Thorpe had promised to put Mr. Poole's name
sheriff?-Submitted to me. upon the panel?-Mr. Poole told me so him-
Did you adopt those that were submitted self.
to you by the sub-sheriff?-I think I did, the Do you believe that ?-Yes, I do.
whole of them. That he had promised him before the riot ?
Are there not some circumstances that -I do not know as to the time of the pro-
would have rendered it rather awkward for you mise.
to decline adopting the panel sent you by your Have you any doubt the promise was before
sub-sheriff?-I think not. the riot ?-I declare the time was not stated,
You do not feel then, under obligation to and I do not know whether it was before or
the sub-sheriff ?-No; I felt them of that after.
description of men that were of the highest Do you not know that, afterwards, Sheriff
,character in Dublin, from my knowledge of Thorpe refused to let his name remain upon
them. the panel?-H-e agreed in the objection, in
Do you mean, that those gentlemen were consequence of Mr. Poole requesting me to
not men of any party feeling ?-Not to my speak to Mr. Sheriff Thorpe to put him on; we
knowledge, positively, thought that he had some motive we did not
Will you undertake to say, whether the know; I objected to him under those circum-
twenty or thirty, then suggested by Mr. stances.
Whistler, were, or not, men of strong party In the interval between his having been
feeling?-I took the whole panel of that sixty; promised to be put on and his being struck
for I was cautious on that, that I made the off, had not Mr. Poole taken -an active part
observation, we would not have high party in the corporation, to prevent the dressing of
men on the panel, the statue ?-Not to my knowledge.
High party men ?-Or party men. Had not you heard of it ?-I heard of it. I
Were there any names suggested upon that do not know of any active part he could take
panel, who were not upon the grand panel ?- to prevent it; the police prevented it.
I cannot answer that question. Had he not been an active person in the
What alterations were made in the panel, corporation, to declare his disapprobation of
from the time that you had first taken the sub- it ?-Yes.
sheriff's suggestion, and had given your own He had done so in December, in the corpo-
namesI till you returned it into court; were ration ?-I so understood that he always had.
there not alterations made ?-The alterations Have you not heard that sheriff Thorpe de-
that were made, were, I think, putting men of cleared he could not place him upon that panel,
greater respectability from the bottom to the because he was a conciliation man?"-No,
top of the panel, according to theirrespectabi- I never heard those expressions.
lity. Or any expression to that effect ?-No;
Were there not new names added ?-I do sheriff Thorpe did not communicate it to me.
not think there were more than one or two. By Colonel Barry.-Did not some of the
Do you know a person of the name of persons who were sworn on that grand jury,
Stoker ?-I do. I apply to be excused from serving ?-They
Was he not a person who was considered did.
as having been very much concerned in the Were they not told, that if they did not
planning of the riot at the theatre?-I heard attend they would be fined, or that they must
something of it; but I know nothing of it. attend ?-As far as came to me, I always gave
He was a. clerk of alderman king's ?-He that for answer, and that I could not take
was. them off.
Have you ever heard, that, by the sub- Would not that account a good deal for their
sheriff that panel was taken and shown to consecutive attendance for their answering
Stoker, and that, at his suggestion, any names as their names were called ?-I would con-
were added to that panel, or any alterations elude so.
made?-Never; I know very little of Mr. If those men were anxious to be put on for
,Stoker; but I do not think the sub-sheriff of sinister purposes, do you conceive they would
Dublin would be guilty of submitting the have applied to you to leave them out ?-No.
panel to Mr. Stoker for his approbation. In the state of Dublin now, do you hold it
SHave you ever heard that Stoker has him- to be possible almost to find a'grand jury who
Inquiry into his Conduct.
have not formed some opinion, one way or
another about the dressing of the statue ?-If
I was to form an opinion, I would conceive
That every man in Dublin has formed some
opinion upon it.
Do you conceive those men who were on
the grand jury, having, in common with the
rest of the citizens of Dublin, formed such
an opinion, they were men who would have
perverted justice on their oaths, by finding a
partial verdict, in consequence of those opi-
nions they had formed ?-I do not.
By Mr. Brougham.-Your sub-sheriff, Mr.
Whistler, is an attorney ?-He is.
How often has he served the office of sub-
sheriff ?-I believe this is the second time; it
is many years since he served before.
There is a bye law, or an act of parliament,
which prevents a person serving oftener than
once in three years, is there not ?-I under-
stand there is.
Who served the office of sub-sheriff the year
before Mr. Whistler ?-Mr. Archer.
Who is Mr. Archer?-An attorney.
S Is he at all connected with Mr. Whistler ?-
I am almost certain not.
Do you know of any person in the employ-
ment of Mr. Whistler serving the office of
sub-sheriff the year before ? -No, serving as
sub-sheriff a year or two before; there is no
such clerk in the office as Mr. Archer.
The year before Mr. Archer, did the person
who was a clerk in the employment of Mr.
* Whistler serve the office of sub-sheriff?--No.
Do you know it one way or the other ?-
No; I know there is no sheriff has served, an
under clerk to Mr. Whistler; nor connected
with him in any way.
Who elects the sheriff?-The commons;
there are a number sent from the commons to
the board of aldermen, and from this number
the two sheriffs are chosen.
Do you mean by the commons, the common-
Did you ever hear of a society called The
Amicable Society ?"-I have.
Is it composed of common-council-men ?-
There are a number of common-council-men
Are the bulk of the society common-coun-
S ecil-men ?-No, they are not.
Are a considerable number of the members
of it common-council ?-As members of the
society, there are a good many common-coun-
Do the Amicable Society exercise an influ-
ence upon the election of sheriffs ?-They.re-
commend the friends of that society, I rather
Do they not exercise a considerable influ-
ence in the choice of the sheriff?-They do,
rather in the returns, not in the choice of
In the return to the aldermen of those out
of whom they are to choose ?-Yes.
How many are sent up to the aldermen ?-
S VOL. IX.
Did you ever hear of an understanding be-
tween the persons who are to be recommended,
to be assisted in the election by the Amicable
Society, an understanding between them and
the common-council or the Society, as to the
conduct they are to hold while they are sheriffs ?
-No, I do not know that there is any such
There is nothing in writing, but is there any
thing understood between them ?-I do not,
think there is any understanding.
Any thing understood between them as to
the patronage of offices ?-1 think not.
You must be quite sure of that, one way or
another, in your own case '-In my own case
I am certain of it; as to the patronage of the
office, certainly not.
You have no recollection yourself, of any
understanding as to the line you were to adopt
in the conduct of your office ?-No.
Is there not a considerable degree of patron-
age in the power of the sheriff ?-No, not to my
Do they not name to a number of things?-
To none but the sub-sheriff.
That is the only appointment they have ?-
Yes, I believe so.
Is that the only appointment you yourself
have named to, or had a share in naming to ?
-The only appointment.
Is there not a keeper of the sheriff's prison ?
Have they nothing to do with the nomina-
tion of the keeper ?-The nomination of the
under officers of the prison comes from the sub-
Does that include the keeper of the sheriff's
prison ?-The sub-sheriff named him, and I
concurred in the appointment.
Do you mean that the sub-sheriff is the man
who appoints those officers, or does he submit
the names to the sheriff?-He submitted those
names; and I concurred in his appointment.
Do you recollect any other of those inferior
officers ?-No; only the officer under him,
which is his clerk in the sheriff's office, and this.
Are those officers changed with every sub-
sheriff?-They are not, I believe.
They continue in them after the time when
the sheriff is changed ?-When they are well-
behaved persons, I conceive they do.
Is the office of the sub-sheriff a lucrative
one ?-I believe it depends upon circumstances.
I dare say it may be worth from 600 to 7001.
Does he account for the fees to the high-
Does he pay any other consideration to the
high-sheriff, besides accounting for the fees ?-
Not that I know of; not to me.
The sub-sheriff gives you a security, does he
not ?-He does.
Would you not consider yourself interfering
with the safety of that security, if you inter-
fered with his appointment of those officers,
south as the keepers of the gaol, and others you
have alluded to ?-It would.
MAY 5, 1823.
673 IOCSE OF COMMONS, Seri'fofDub6lin- (6
By Sir G. Hill.-Amongst the citizens of Have you joined in a panel for a term or
Dublin, do you not think that, generally, each presenting grand jury at any other time ?-No.
man in society has formed his opinion upon Have you ever served individually upon
the propriety of what is called, granting the either term or commission grand juries ?-I
Roman Catholic claims?-I rather think they have on both.
have, almost every man in Dublin. What kind of persons composed the term or
Are you of opinion, that a man who is hos- presenting grand juries ?-Principally the cor-
tile to the Roman Catholic claims is disquali- portion of Dublin.
fled as a grand juror, or incapable from that Are there any other individuals upon them?
circumstance of performing his duty as a -I do not know that there have been.
grand juror, upon his oath ?-I do not. Do you know, as sheriff of Dublin, whether
Then, comparing that grand jury with other it is the usage to select those grand juries out
grand juries that you have known sworn in of the members of the corporation ?-I believe
the city of Dublin, do you think that grand it is, generally.
jury was as capable of performing its duty con- Is the serving on a commission grand jury,
scientiously as any one you have known ?-In considered a burthen or an advantage ?-It
my opinion they were. would be considered an inconvenience to men
By Lord Milton.-The panel was formed in business.
out of a list written in Mr. Sheriff Thorpe's Is the serving on a presenting grand jury,
hand-writing ?-I believe it was. considered as a burthen or an advantage ?-I
You suggested the propriety of striking off declare, I do not know the advantages of it; I
some names in that list?-Yes; I think three; would avoid them; I never was but on one.
and others were substituted. On the commission grand jury on which you
In point of fact, the panel, as it stood, con- served, how many members of the corporation
sisted of names, all of which were suggested by were there ?-I should suppose the number to
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-They were sure; those be 10, or 12, or 14.
struck off, and those substituted in the place of Can you 'state, whether there is a general
them, that we mutually agreed on. anxiety to serve on a presenting grand jury?-
Were there any substituted in the room of I have heard it, but I do not know it accurately.
those struck off?-There were. Do you believe, that there is a general dis-
By whom were they suggested ?-I think inclination to serve on the commission grand
they were mutually agreed upon by both of us. juries ?- Some men will serve on the commis-
By whom were they suggested ?-I really sion grand juries, in consequence of their be-
think, that, taking the almanack, we spoke on ing short, to avoid being put on others.
several citizens probably, and took them from By Mr. Hume.-You have stated, that in
those names that we mutually talked of. consequence of a letter which you received
But not particularly suggested by you?- from the crown solicitor, you attended Mr.
We agreed that those persons should be sub- Sheriff Thorpe, where is that letter, and can
stituted in the room of the others. you produce it ?-I have the letter perfectly
Were they suggested by you, did they come safe at home.
from a list you suggested ?-No; I had no list. You have stated, that you went to Mr. She-
By Mr. Goulburn.-When you met sheriff riffThorpe in consequence of that letter, and
Thorpe, for the purpose of arranging the panel, found that he had drawn out the list of the pa-
did you know what bills were to be brought be- nel, which he produced to you; in consequence
fore the grand jury, against whom ?-I con- of the discussion which took place, was any al-
ceived of course, those men who were in pri- teration made in the order in which the names
son, with any others, for the riot in the theatre. were placed upon that list ?-There were al-
Did you know that a person of the name of terations made in that respect, moving the
M'Culler, was to be indicted before that grand names up.
jury ?-Not at that time I did not. You have stated that several of the corpora-
Mr. Joseph Henry Moore was on that grand tion applied to you to be excused from serving,
jury ?-He was. can you remember the names of such corpora-
Was he proposed originally by Mr. Sheriff tors as prayed to be excused?-I remember
Thorpe ?--He was in the list. Mr. Forster applying.
Do you know whether he bears any relation You have stated, that you did not consider,
to Mr. M'Culler ?-Not to my knowledge. I and do not consider the seven names, which
do not know any further than having heard he you read from the paper which you hold in
was his clerk. your hand, to be violent party men; will you
Has not Mr. Moore been in the habit of at- state whether you consider Mr. SheriffThorpe
tending the commission grand juries con- a violent party man or a moderate party man?
stantly ?-He has, frequently. -I would consider him inclined to party, but
Do you happen to know that Mr. Moore's as to violence it is a difficult matter for me to
sister is married to the provost of Dublin Uni- form an opinion.
versity ?-I do not know it, as my own know- Do you consider Mr. Sheriff Thorpe a de-
ledge, but I believe it to be so. cided party man?-Oh, I think him a party
By Mr. S. Rice.-Were you a party to the man, decidedly.
panel in'October, 1822 -I was not. Do you consider those seven individuals less
Inquiry into is Conduct.
party men than Mr. Sheriff Thorpe?-I would
consider some of them less party men, and
some probably have similar feelings.
Will you state any onle of those seven, whom
you consider more decidedly party men than
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-I would consider Mr.
Graham and Mr Stevens as more moderate.
If Mr. Sheriff Thorpe had been one of the
jurymen, would you have considered him ob-
jectionable, as a strong party man, to try such
a cause ?-Had he taken the oath as a juror, I
would have considered him perfectly eligible.
By Mr. Brougham.-Did the sheriff send a
copy of the panel, when it was settled, either
to the crown solicitor, or to the attorney-
general, or to the castle ?-I do not think he
did ; not to my knowledge.
You have stated, that, according to your opi-
nion, the panel could not be called an Orange
panel; and youlyve stated also that you do not
know the political feelings of the persons upon
it; what ground have you, therefore, for form-
ing an opinion, that it was not an Orange
panel ?-I had no grounds for forming an
opinion on it; I know no man upon it to be an
You stated, that three or four names were
removed, with the concurrence of your brother
sheriff, and as many more substituted in their
places, upon what grounds were those persons
so removed ; was it political grounds, or for
misconduct, in your view ?-Not from political
The House resumed. The Chairman
reported progress, and asked leave to sit
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
MAY 6, 1823. [70
duct was so extraordinary, that-he could
scarcely believe the man to be in the right use
of his senses; that there were a number of per-
sons present, namely, the sheriff, the sheriff's
lady, Mrs. Sibthorpe, Mrs. Sibthorpe's daughter,
John M'Connell, young Mr Sibthorpe, and
William Graham, one of the rioters, or at least
one of the persons supposed to be a rioter in
the theatre the preceding evening ; that they,
were playing at cards, and that William Gra-
ham in playing the knave of clubs, threw it
down and said, there's the lord mayor and
be damned to him, I wish he were out of office
till I could have a lick at him;" that Mrs. Sib-
thorpe sat in one corner of the room, and she
said, how could you do it, for you are too
little;" Graham was a very small man, and his
answer was, by God, I would jump up and
have a lick at his neck ;" that the sheriff then
said, be damned to the marquis Wellesley,
we shall do no good in this country until he is
out of it." That in another part of the evening,
a question was asked by John M'Connell.
namely, what is likely to become, or what is
likely to be done with the persons now in con-
finement for the alleged riot?" and that the
question was put by John M'Connell, not to
any particular person in the room, but it was
answered by the sheriff, they are in safe
hands; I will give them a jury that will ac-
quit them, for I have an Orange panel in my
pocket," at the same time tapping his pocket.
This was the communication made to me the
Wednesday evening following; the conversa-
tion having occurred in Mrs. Sibthorpe's par-
lour the Tuesday evening; and certainly I did
consider the communication to be of that im-
portance, that I was only discharging the duty
I owed my fellow citizens and my country at
lnro in cnmmunicatino" it to the government.
Tuesday, May 6. which I did. He also informed me, that sheriff
SHERIFF OF DUBLIN-INQUIRY INTO Thorpe, when he retired home, in buttoning up
His CONDUCT.] The House having again his coat, just as they opened the door, said,
resolved itself into a Committee on Ihe well, at all events, be damned to the marquis
Conduct of the Sheriff of Dublin, sir R. Wellesley." I received this information on
Heron in the Chair, Wednesday; the following day I communi-
Heron in the air, cated it to the government; and on the Satur-
Mr. Barrett Wadden was called in; and day following, John M'Connell was summoned
examined up to the castle; and the matter there, I be-
By Mr. J. Williams.-Where do you reside ? lieve, taken upon oath. I communicated it to
-In Palace-street, Dublin. Mr. Matthews, the private secretary of the lord-
What is your situation in life ?-That of a lieutenant. In consequence of that communi-
silk-manufacturer, cation, the attorney-general had a conversation
Do you know a person of the name of with me about the matter.
M'Connell?-Ido. He was before this House Did you state to the attorney-general, what
last night. He is my wife's son by a former you have mentioned to this committee now ?-
husband. I saw him the Wednesday after the The principal part of it.
riot in the theatre. Have you been unfortunate in trade ?-Ex-
Did he make any communication to you, tremely so; for I have been a bankrupt.
about that time, of any thing that he had heard ? Have you obtained your certificate ?-No, for
-He did. Idid notwant to obtainit; the commission hav-
What was it that he stated to you at that ing been superseded, and I reinstated in my
time ?-He expressed his surprise at the con- business, to the satisfaction of my creditors;
duct of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, in whose company for I have but two in the world.
ie had been the preceding evening : his iden- Have you, at any time, been compelled to
tical words were, that the sheriff had not leave Ireland?-I have never been compelled
only betrayed:great ignorance, but that his con- to leave my house for one moment.
71] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
By Col. Barry.-You have said, that you subject of the jury ?-I had a few words on the
stated part of what you have now stated, to the subject of a jury, but it was before the riot
pttorney-general, and part you did not; will took place at the theatre; it was on the com-
you static, what part you did not state ?-The mission grand jury for the city of Dublin,
communication that I made to the attorney- where I have been in the habit of attending,
general, in the first instance, principally alluded and have been very high on the panel, and I
to the expressions that were used by Graham, spoke to sheriff Thorpe, en passant, one day in
as applicable to the lord mayor. Our lord mayor Sackville-street, saying, I should wish to be
of Dublin is a card-maker, and when the knave on the next commission jury;" and he said, it
of clubs was thrown down by Graham, it was should be so.
accompanied by that expression as applicable, When was that ?-About the middle of No-
not only to the lord mayor as such, but as card- vember.
maker; and the communication I made to the What passed between you and Mr. Sheriff
attorney-general, as it related to Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-I requested to be on the jury the
Thorpe, was the expressions I have stated the next commission, and he said I should be so.
sheriff to have used, as applicable to the mar- Did you see Mr. Sheriff Thorpe again, either
quis Wellesley; for I should state, that the before or shortly after the trials of the alleged
whole of the evidence that I have now given to rioters ?-I did not see sheriff Thorpe, to speak
the House was not communicated to me by to him, on the subject of the grand jury, until
John M'Connell at one time. after the jury were sworn, and then I saw him
Did you mention those remarkable circum- in the Sessions house and spoke to him.
stances of having an Orange panel in his What passed between you upon that occa-
pocket, to the attorney-general, in your first sion ?-- spoke to sheriff Thorpe in remon-
interview ?-I did not. strance; I thought he had treated me ill, by
Why did you not ?-Because the communi- not putting me on the jury; and he said he had
cation had not been made to me. I would di- a very hard card to play, and many parties to
vide the communication into two parts; the please. I told him that was no affair of mine,
first was made to me on the Wednesday fol- but that I felt he had left me off the jury for
lowing the riot in the theatre; the second, as party purposes, and had broken his word, and
applicable to the Orange panel, was made to that, as such, I felt he was not a proper person
me on the following Saturday morning. to fill that situation of sheriff.
When did you mention that to the attorney- What circumstances did you allude to ?-I
general ?-That communication I mentioned alluded to his not placing me on the panel of
to the attorney-general, in a letter written by the grand jury, and to the circumstance of the
me to him not more than a fortnight or three trial of the rioters.
weeks ago. To what did you allude when you used the
Then you looked upon it as an immaterial word" promise ?"-To the conversation we had
point of the conversation ?-As a most material in Sackville-street, en passant.
one; and the reason that I did not make the What did Mr. Sheriff Thorpe say to that re-
communication sooner to the attorney-general monstrance ?-He said he had a very hard card
was, that the attorney-general himself was ac- to play; it was impossible he could please
quainted with the fact, I believe, in one hour all parties.
after it had been communicated to me. I have You were understood to say something about
good reason to believe that the attorney-general leaving you out for party purposes ?-Yes, I
had the information on paper from John said that he had left me out of my place in the
M'Connell an hour afterwards. He was sent jury, for I had been in the habit of being very
for to attend the castle, was there examined on high on the jury, for party purposes ; that he
oath, and the fact of the sheriff having said that had broken his word for party purposes, and I
he had an Orange panel in his pocket, for the felt that li had acted improperly.
trial of those traversers, was then sworn to by What did you mean by leaving you out for
John M'Connell. party purposes ?-What I meant was this, be-
Mr. William Poole called in, and examined cause I abided by the king's letter; and in
the election for the brewers' corporation, the
By Mr. J. Willilams.-What is your situation respectable part of that corporation, with my
in life ?-I follow no profession or business at own exertions, put out a Mr. Sutter, who made
present; I occupy some land in the county himself very conspicuous in dressing the statue
of Dublin, which I hold to my advantage. I of king William, and in acting in collision with
have been a member of the corporation since his majesty's government in opposing their
1802 ; I represent the corporation of brewers; measures.
they are composed of very respectable mem- Had that Mr. Sutter once belonged to the
bers. brewers' corporation with you ?-He did.
You remember the time of the trial of the Had you contributed to expel him, Sutter,
persons charged with committing a riot in the from that corporation ? I certainly voted
theatre ?-I do, perfectly. against him.
Do you remember about the time, of the When you made those observations, did Mr.
alleged riot and those trials, having any con- Sheriff Thorpe make any answer to you ?-He
versation with Mr. Sheriff Thorpe on the said he had a very hard card to play; and
73] Inquiry into his Conduct.
that, conciliation-men" would not do for that
jury; or words to that effect.
Was that after you had said, that you were
omitted for party purposes ?-Yes.
Do you know whether Mr. Sheriff Thorpe is
acquainted with that Mr. Sutter ?-Intimately.
Do you know of any cause for your being
omitted from that panel, except what had
passed with respect to Mr. Sutter in the brewers'
company ?-I do not.
Had you ever any difference with Mr. Sheriff
Thorpe before your being omitted ?-We never
agreed in politics. We have not been con-
nected, we have not mixed much together.
After this conversation upon the subject of
your omission, did any thing further pass be-
tween you and Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-I do not
think I saw sheriff Thorpe, until the quarter's
assembly after; I was going down stairs, and
sheriff Thorpe got hold of my hand; he said,
I hope every thing will be forgiven and for-
gotten, and we shall be friends :" I walked
down and took no notice. Connected with
this, I would mention, that he asked me to his
S civic dinner, and pressed me to go; I said, if I
dined in town I would; but, at the same time,
I had no intention of going, and so I dined in
the country; there is another dinner follows a
week after that, and I was invited to that, but
I did not go.
Has there been any other quarterly assembly,
since the one of which you have been speak-
ing ?-There has been one last April.
SDid you see Mr. Sheriff Thorpe at that
quarterly meeting ?-I certainly did, in the
Did any thing pass between you and Mr.
Sheriff Thorpe upon that occasion ?-This Mr.
Sutter is returned for the merchants ; he got up
to move a resolution for a committee to prepare
a vote of censure and petition to this honour-
able House, condemning the measures of the
* attorney-general for Ireland; I opposed him,
and' moved an amendment; and I was
seconded; but Mr. Sheriff Thorpe declared the
measure to be carried, and refused putting my
By Col. Barry.-What was your reason for
asking to be on the grand jury?-One of the
reasons was, that it was my right to be on it
from my standing on the corporation; another
reason was, there was a Mr. O'Meara, whom I
had known for some years, he called upon me
to say, that he saw my name on the panel and
to request I would attend on the next jury; I
said I had no objection; he began stating the
case with respect to some affair that occurred
between him and lord Rossmore, about'seven-
teen years back; I interfered, and said, if I
was one of the jury I would do every justice,
but he must pardon me from hearing one word
upon the subject till the witnesses came into
Did you apply to sheriff Cooper, to be on
the jury ?-I did.
What reason did you give to him ?-Alder-
man Smith wished me to be on the jury, and
MAY 6, 1829. [74
he expressed his surprise; he said, "Mr.
Poole I regret that you are not to be on the
panel; that speech you made at the brewers'
corporation, that conciliation speech is the rea-
son you are not to be on the jury; sheriff
Thorpe will not put you on. I would recom-
mend to you to go over to sheriff Cooper and
speak to him on the subject."
What had Mr. O'Meara to do with the grand
jury ?-There were bills of indictment preferred
against him, and he called upon me to request
I would attend upon that panel. I met sheriff
Thorpe and said, I wish to be on this com-
mission jury." You shall be on it," he said,
Was it before or after you applied to sheriff
Cooper, that you had that conversation with
O'Meara ?-Before; for I applied to sheriff
Cooper not more than three days before the
jury was struck.
Were you acquainted with the circumstances
attending the accusation against Mr. O'Meara ?
-I was not. I heard it was some transaction
with reference to lord Rossmore, and nothing
more I know of it.
By Sir G. Hill.-Do you consider sheriff
Thorpe as a high party man, in Dublin --I do.
He is what is called a Protestant ascendancy
By Sir J. Stewart.-You have said, that one
of your objects for being on that grand jury
was, that you considered it your right ?-Yes,
from my standing in the corporation.
Was it a presenting grand jury ?-It was
not. It was a commission grand jury.
Is it usual for men in your high station in
the corporation, to solicit to be on the com-
mission grand jury?-It is generally the prac-
tice in the corporation, that any member of it
who wishes to be on a particular jury, if they
merely signify their intention to the sheriff, they
are put on.
What answer did Mr. Sheriff Cooper give
you when you applied to him?- Sheriff
Cooper said, that he felt that I ought to be on
the jury; but, says he, it is not my quarter,
I have not the impanelling of the jury; but
go up to sheriff Thorpe, he has the panel in
his pocket; he is attending the recorder's court,
and I dare say he will arrange it for you." I
went out of the gate with that answer; but I
never went to sheriff Thorpe; I felt indignant,
and determined not to let myself lown.
Will you attend to the statement which has
been made to the committee respecting you,
and state whether it is correct?--An extract
was read from the evidence of Mr. Sheriff
Cooper, of yesterday.]
Is there any part of sheriff Cooper's testi-
mony, which you have just heard read, which
you object to in point of fact ?-I think for the
most part it is not founded on real fact; the
only part that I conceive of that, that I know
to be true, is that in which he says, he re-
ferred me to sheriff Thorpe at the Sessions
house, who had the panel in his pocket; as to
the rest I know nothing about it,
75b' HOUSE OF COMMONS,
As far as it states what passed between you
and sheriff Cooper, is it correct?-As excusing
himself by saying it was sheriff Thorpe's
quarter, and he would not interfere, and to
go up to sheriff Thorpe at the court, that is
perfectly correct; as to the rest I know no-
thing about it.
By Mr. R. Martin.-Where was it you were
advised to go?-To the recorder's court, who
Did you, in the recorder's court, make this
request to sheriff Thorpe, to beg to be put on
the grand jury panel because otherwise jus-
tice could not be done to Mr. O'Meara?-It
was impossible that I could have made such a
request in the recorder's court, because I never
Did you make that request to sheriff Thorpe,
and for that reason, previous to the impanel-
ling of the grand jury ?-I did not.
By Colonel Bamiy.-You were understood to
have made application to sheriff Thorpe, to
place you upon that panel?-I said, I thought
he ought to do it; or, I should be obliged to
him if he would place me on it, or place me
upon the panel next commission that took
Did you offer him any inducement for doing
Did not you tell Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, that
if he placed you upon that panel, in order to
try Mr. O'Meara's case, you would not divide
on the play-house riot ?-I did not make any
compromise or offer; if the House thinks pro-
per, I will give an explanation, as I was really
indignant at hearing such a speech-- [The
witness was directed to withdraw.]
Mr. Bennet wished the witness to be
admonished to conduct himself with that
decorum which was befitting the assembly
he was addressing.
Mr. Abercronby was of opinion, that
as the hon. member for Armagh had made
a particular allusion to the witness, the
latter ought to be allowed to give an ex-
planation of what he conceived to be a
misunderstanding on the part of the for-
mer. The witness ought certainly to be
admonished not to allude personally to
Mr. Bennet said, that independently of
the allusion of the hon. member for Ar-
magh, the witness's whole manner was
quite indecent. The committee ought not
to suffer itself to be brow-beaten thus.
The witness had made the most unbe-
cominig exhibition he had ever beheld at
the bar of the House.
Sir J. Newport observed, that if the
witness had answered with some degree of
warmth, it was in consequence of the
violent tone which hon. members had as.
sumed towards him.
Sherif 'of Dublin- [76
Mr. Forbes said, that the witness must
have been something more than man to
have tamely borne the badgering to which
he had been subjected. In his opinion,
the witness had displayed that proper
degree of spirit which every honourable
man ought to exhibit when his veracity
was attempted tobe impeached [Hear].
Mr. Alderman Wood concurred in the
sentiments of the hon. member who had
just sitten down; and added, that it was
a very common practice in the city of
London, for gentlemen to ask the sheriffs
to place them upon the grand jury.
Mr. IR. Shaw was quite sure that the
witness meant no offence whatever to the
[The witness was again called in.]
Chairman.-William Poole, in the answers
you shall give to the questions which are asked
you, you will not forget the respect which is
due to this House; you are to consider all
questions, from whatever quarter they may be
put (which is a matter merely of convenience
in form), as being put by the chairman; you
will therefore, take care to avoid making any
personal reflection on the person who may
happen to put them, or any allusion to persons
who may put them; but in giving you this
warning, it is not my intention, nor the wish
of the House, to prevent you from saying any
thing in explanation which you may think
necessary for your own justification.- I never
had the slightest intention to be guilty of any
By Mr. J. Williams.-Did not you tell Mr.
Sheriff Thorpe, that if he placed you upon
that panel, in 6rder to try Mr. O'Meara's case,
you would not divide on the play-house riot?
-I never did offer any such compromise.-
[The witness here stated several particulars
relative to the general arrangement of grand
By Mr. Scarlett.-From your knowledge of
the state of party feeling in Dublin, ,were the
gentlemen selected on the grand jury, likely
to have very strong party feelings ?-I think
the majority of them have very strong party
Were the feelings of those jurors so well
known; that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe must have
known that they had strong party feelings ?-I
am clear, that he was aware of their feelings.
By a Member.-Do you suppose it possible,
in the present state of party in Dublin, to se-
lect three-and-twenty men, who have not strong
party feelings?-I do; I think there could be
a jury who would act with strict correctness
and conscientiousness, and many such might
be found in the city of Dublin, if those who
impanelled them thought fit to select them.
By Sir G. Hill.-Do you consider that those
individuals in Dublin, who possess the same
politidl (tntiments with yourself, are of that
Inquiry intp his Conduct.
class of impartial men that you have described
might be selected for the grand juries in the
city of Dublin?-Yes; I know of men of
moderate opinions, that are loyal to their so-
vereign and to the constitution, that do not
wish to outrage the feelings of their country-
men by any hostile acts; I know many of them
that could be got.
Mr. James Troy called in, and examined
By Mr. J. Williams.-What is your situation
in life ?-A silk-manufacturer of Dublin.
Were you in Dublin at the time of the al-
leged riots at the theatre, and afterwards,
when some bills were presented to the grand
jury ?-I was.
Were you before that jury on the day the
bills were ignored, or on the former day ?-I
believe, the former day.
Were you examined before that grand jury ?
To what point were you giving your evi-
dence ? -Relative to a transaction that occurred
in a tavern, in Essex-street, the night of the
riot at the theatre.
A transaction concerning what persons?--
A number of persons that were indicted. Mr.
Forbes, Brownlow, Graham, and others.
You have named the whole of the persons
that you have designated, have you ?-There
were others in the indictment, that I do not
Had you seen some or other of those per-
sons that you have now spoken of, at a tavern ?
On the night on which the alleged riot took
place ?-I had.
Did you state, what you had heard them say
and do, to the grand jury ?-I did.
Who examined yod ?-I was examined by
several. I was in about a quarter of an hour.
How came you to quit the room in which
the grand jury were ?-After undergoing exa-
* mination, I was told they were done with me.
Had you stated all that you had to say to
the grand jury?-I think not the entire.
How did that happen; why not ?-As tar as
I recollect at the time, I stated the occurrence
that happened in the tavern; but there might
be a part of the transaction that occurred there,
that did not immediately come to my mind
S while in the grand jury room.
Did you state to the grand jury all that you
knew, or if you did not, how did it happen
that you did not state it all ?-It occurred
whel a question was put to me, in giving an
answer; before my answer was entirely de-
livered, I was interrupted by a fresh interro-
Did you name the persons that were sup-
posed to be included in that charge ?-In re-
lating the transaction as it occurred, I was de-
sired by two of the jurors not to name any
person who might have expressed himself in
any way, whom I did not know by name, the
night the transaction occurred.
Before that time, had you stated that you
did not know their names the night you saw
them at the tavern, but you learnt their names
since ?-I had.
Did you mention to the grand jury, when
those observations were made to you, that you
knew the persons of the men ?-I did.
And that you had since learned their names ?
Was it after that, that those observations
were made to you by two of the grand jury ?-
How long before you quitted the room was
it, that these observations were made to you by
two of the grand jury ?-A considerable time
before I left the room.
Mr. George Farley called in, and examined
By Mr. J. Williams. -What is your situation
in life ?-An attorney.
Were you examined before the grand jury
upon the subject of the alleged riot at the
theatre ?-I was. Upon the subject of a con-
versation that took place in a tavern, in which
I was sitting, kept by a person of the name of
Flanagan, in Essex-street.
Had you seen some persons, and heard
some expressions from them at that tavern ?-
I had. There was a Mr. Forbes, a Mr. Gra-
ham, and Mr. Atkinsons, and a Mr. Brownlow.
Did you give any evidence respecting the
persons you had seen, and what you had
heard, at that tavern ?-I did.
Did you name any one person that you had
seen and observed at that tavern?-I named
two Mr. Atkinsons, Mr. Graham, Mr. Brown-
low and Mr. Macintosh, as persons that I
knew by name. I mentioned that there was
another person sitting in the boxopposite to me,
whose name I did not know at the time that I
was sitting in the tavern. I )vas told by the
jury, not to mention the name; to say nothing
that I did not know of my own knowledge. I
then said, that although I did not know his
name at the time, yet that I had learnt that
his name was Forbes.
Was any remark made by any of the jury,
on your saying that you knew the person of
that man ?-I was called upon to state what
I had heard in the box; and in mentioning
the name of Forbes I was again interrupted,
and told not to mention the name of any per-
son except I knew it of my own knowledge;
I then said I had seen him that morning in
court, that I was told his name was Forbes,
and that I had no doubt of his being the per-
son that I saw in the tavern. Then I was
asked to mention the conversation that I heard,
and I repeated almost every thing that I heard
in the box upon that occasion; and I must say,
that I was very frequently interruptedby some
of the jury when I mentioned the namre of
In what manner ?-" You are not to say
any thing you do not know of your own know-
Did you observe whether the foreman took
any part in it ?-He seemed to take the most
active part of any of them. He told me
MAY 16, 1623.e
79] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Sale of Game Bill- I80
twice, not to mention the name of any person which were inflicted on the community at
that I did not know of my own knowledge. present by their operation, which were
He put the questions; he asked me occa- greater than ever was known in any other
sionally what was said in the tavern; what I country, or at any other period in this
had seen there; and when I happened to men- country: and that the House might the
tion the name of Forbes, because I did not .
know him the night I saw him in the tavern, better judge, the petitioner offered to their
I was told not to say. any thing at all about consideration the following most alarming
him. facts. The calendar for the ensuing
At that time, did any other of the grand jury quarter sessions in the county of Berks,
interpose ?-There was a gentleman who sat on contained the names of 77 persons now in
my left desired that I should be heard; for Bridewell. Of these 22 were for poach-
twp or three were putting questions at the same ing; and of these 22, there had been 9
time to me; I was mentioning something, and committed by clergymen acting as magis-
was terrut ntleman on your left hand de- trates in that county. The petition stated
siring you should be heard, what was said?- further, that, in general, poaching was
I proceeded then with my examination. punished with greater severity than of-
Was there any further interruption?-I do fences punishable with death. In one
not think there was; I very shortly afterwards sessions, an utterer of false silver coin had
left the room. When I had finished what I been punished with 12 months' imprison-
had to say, I was told of course that they had ment, a housebreaker with 24 months'
done with me. imprisonment, and a poacher with 24,
By Colonel Barry.-Were not you suffered months' imprisonment and hard labour.
to state every fact that came within your know- Such were the statements of the petition,
ledge that happened at that tavern ?-I think for which he did not pledge his own re-
I was, except as to the name of Forbes. From for which he did not pledge his own re-
the interruptions, I did not feel myself easy in sponsibility; but yet he thought that they
the room; but certainly I did at the time men- demanded serious consideration, and the
tion every thing that occurred to me, and was case was altogether grave enough without
allowed to do so. any aggravation. The petition went on
By Mr. Plunkett.-Did the jury receive this to state, that of 16 persons-condemned to
evidence of yours as against a person of the death at the assizes at Winchester, in the
name of Forbes, or against a person unknown? Spring of last year, the only persons who
-I cannot say. suffered death were two young men who
Was the bill ignored against Forbes ?-I suffered death were two young men who
have heard it was. had resisted game-keepers. The pe-
After some further questions of an unim- titioner therefore prayed the House to
portant nature, the witness was ordered to consider well before they passed the bill
withdraw. The House resumed, and the into a law, which was to give a property
chairman obtained leave to sit again, in wild animals to the lords of manors and
others, which could only be done by op-
HOUSE OF COMMONS. pressions, great in suffering and humilia-
Wedne Ma 7. tion to the people at large, and by com-
Wednesday, May spelling the country to submit to grievances
SALE OF GAME BILL-PETITION OF for the protection of this new property,
MR. COBBETT AGAINST IT.] Mr. which, in regard to the power of those
Brougham rose, he said, to present a pe- who made the laws, and the abjectness of
tition from a writer of eminent talents, those who were called on to obey them,
respecting the Game Laws, which con- would be without any parallel in any
trained statements, ashe thought, deser- country westward of Constantinople.
ving the gravest consideration of the These were the remarks and statements
House. It was signed W. Cobbett," of a man of sufficient powers of observa-
and it prayed, that as there was a motion tion and understanding to make them
for bringing in a bill for the alteration of worthy of attention. And certainly, of
the Game Laws, the House would be gra- all men in the world, Mr. Cobbett was not
ciously pleased to pause before passing an one likely to treat with leniency this of-
act which, as the petitioner had been in- fence of poaching, which took men from
formed, was likely to go to legalize the their lawful industry, and caused them to
sale of game by lords of manors, and waste their time and destroy their morals
other privileged persons to be designated in forbidden courses; for, as he (Mr. B)
in the act. It prayed that the House had been given by others to understand,
would weigh well and consider the state no one act, among all those most objec-
of the laws, and the severe hardships tionable laws upon the subject contained.
Petition of Mr. Cobbett against it.
in the Statute-book, had half, no, not the
hundredth part of the efficacy in deterring
men from poaching. This he felt to be
due to a man for whom, in other respects,
he could not be supposed to have the most
Lord Palmerston said, that the two
young men in question were executed, not
for poaching, but for murder. One of
them had killed a game-keeper who was
in the lawful exercise of his duty, the other
had levelled his piece at another game-
keeper, who received the contents in his
body, but from proper treatment re-
covered. He was able to speak with cer-
tainty upon the characters of the young
men, as they were servants of his, and he
must say a more cruel and deliberate out-
rage had never been committed.
Mr. Brougham said, that he did not
deny the statement of the noble lord, and
yet it would rather go to support the rea-
soning of Mr. Cobbet. It was not even
necessary for him to palliate the offences
of the two young men: for the question
was, how came they to kill the game-
keepers ? and then the answer might be,
in consequence of the state of the law.
That was the very argument he had used
before the court on the trial of 21 persons
S the other day, charged with murder on the
high seas, and it prevailed, too, with the
jury: for the men were killed in conse-
quence of that most abominable law, which
enabled revenue cruisers to fire shotted
guns upon the ships of any nation within
two leagues of the British coast.
Mr. Benett, of Wilts, admitted that the
two young men had suffered death very
properly in Hampshire. Still he thought
that the state of the law demanded refor-
mation. Most of the offences of the
country might be considered as results
from the severity of the game-laws. Of-
fenders were gradually trained from poach-
* ing to shop-lifting, and then to house-
breaking, and occasionally murder.
Sir T. Baring corroborated the state-
ments in Mr. Cobbett's petition. Half
the offenders in Hampshire were com-
mitted for poaching.
The petition was ordered to be printed.
The following is a copy thereof:
STo the honourable the Commons of
Great Britain and Ireland,'in parliament
assembled. The Petition of William
Cobbett, of Kensington, in the County of
Middlesex, Most humbly sheweth,
That wild animals are, according to
the law of nature and the common law of
England, the property of him, be he rich
or poor, who is able to catch or kill them;
that, nevertheless, laws have been passed
in this kingdom to appropriate the animals
to the exclusive use of a few; and that
your petitioner has been informed that
certain persons intend to apply to your
honourable House to pass a law to make
this appropriation more exclusive, rigid
and unjust than it now is, by authorizing
the selling of the animals aforesaid, and
by confining the right of selling to those
persons who now claim and exercise a
monopoly of the sport of killing those wild
That your petitioner has now lying
before him the quarter sessions calendar
of this present month of April, for the
county of Berks; that he finds there to
be 77 prisoners in the Bridewell of that
county; that he finds 22 of these to be
imprisoned for poaching, and that 9 of
them have been committed by ministers
of the Church of England, acting as jus-
tices.of the peace; that he finds, in this
calendar, that poaching is, in many cases,
punished with more severity than theft;
that he finds an utterer of base silver
punished by twelve months imprisonment,
and a house-breaker punished by 24t
months; and that he finds a poacher
punished with 24 months imprisonment
and hard labour :
That your petitioner thinks it mon-
strous injustice, that the rest of the com-
munity should be taxed to build and re-
pair prisons and maintain gaolers and
prisoners, and also the wives and children
of so many prisoners, and all this for the
preserving of those wild animals which it
is a crime in nine hundred and ninety-
nine out of every thousand of that com-
munity to pursue, or to have in their pos-
session; and he, therefore, prays, that
your honourable House, if you should
think proper to continue the present game-
laws in force, will be pleased to enact,
that, those who prosecute poachers shall
pay all the expenses attending their im-
prisonment, or other punishment; and
also all the expenses attending the sup-
port of wives and children rendered
chargeable by such punishment:
That your petitioner, looking at the
above-mentioned scale of punishments,
and bearing in mind, that, of 16 persons,
condemned to death at the assizes at Win-
chester, in the Spring of last year, the only
persons actually put to death were two
young men, who had resisted game-
MAY 7, 1829. 9
83] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
keepers; that your petitioner, looking at
these things, prays that your honourable
House will repeal those terrible laws
relating to the game, which were never
known in England till the reign of the
late king, and that, at any rate, you will
not make game saleable without, at the
same time, making those who are to have
the exclusive profit, pay the expense of
punishing poachers and also the expense
of keep ng their pauper families; for,
though it seemed that nothing could add
to the injustice of compelling men to feed
wild animals and to pay for preserving
them for the exclusive sport of others, yet
that injustice would assuredly be rendered
more odious by the proposed measure for
giving the few a monopoly of the sale of
those animals, which, to the insolence of
feudal pride, would add the meanness of
the huckster's shop. Great has been the
suffering, great the humiliation to which
the people, in different countries, have, at
times, been reduced by aristocratic
power; but to compel the mass of the
community to pay for the preserving of
wild animals, to punish them if they at-
tempt to pursue, or touch those animals,
and to enable the aristocracy to sell those
animals, to have the exclusive sale of
them, and exclusively to pocket the pro-
ceeds, though the animals have been
reared at the expense of the whole com-
munity, is, as your petitioner believes, a
stretch of power on the one hand, and a
state of abjectness on the other, wholly
without a parallel in the annals of any
country westward of Constantinople.
SHERIFF OF DUBLIN-INQUIRY INTO
HIS CONDUCT.] The House having again
resolved itself into a Committee on the
conduct of the Sheriff of Dublin, sir R.
Heron in the chair,
Henry Cooper, esq. was called in; and further
By Mr. J. Williams.-Did Mr. Sheriff Thorpe
interfere in preventing Mr. Poole being put
upon the panel ?-On communication with Mr.
Thorpe, we agreed that he should not be on
the panel; I had no objection to Mr. Poole's
being on the panel, but in consequence of his
calling on me; I rather think, had he not
called on me, he should have remained on the
Did not sheriff Thorpe object to Mr. Poole
on the ground of his political opinions?-I
cannot be certain.
Do not you believe, that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe
objected to Mr. Poole, on the.score of his po-
Sheriffof Dublin- [84
litical opinions?-I know they differ in prin-
ciple; but I rather think he did not communi-
cate that to me; at the same time I cannot say
Upon your examination the other night being
closed, did you not see Mr. O'Reilly, the wit-
ness ?-I did.
Do you now mean positively to say, that
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe did not make objection to
the political opinions of Mr. Poole ?-I do not
mean positively to say it, but I rather think he
did not, in consequence, that from the circum-
stances that occurred, he and I were not of
the same feelings in politics.
Did you and Mr. Sheriff Thorpe concur, at
last, in forming the panel from which this
grand jury was struck ?-We did.
You have mentioned, that the panel, when
it was presented to you first, was in the hand
writing of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-I think it was.
Was Mr. Poole's name upon the panel.when
it was first shown to you ?-It was.
You have stated that you cannot take upon
yourself positively to say, at whose suggestion
it was that his name was put off the panel?-
It was mutually.
You mentioned on a former evening, that
the reason of Mr. Poole's being struck off was,
his having made the application ?-To me; if
he had not made the application, I think I
would have insisted on his being on.
What do you mean by your insisting on his
being on ?-In consequence of his standing in a
similar situation with those who were on, being
one of the members of the commons of the city
Do you mean, you would have insisted on
his being on, against Mr. Thorpe's attempt to
put him off?-I think I would, for I have
known Mr. Poole a long time.
What was the nature of Mr. Poole's appli-
cation to you; was it in the way of complaint
or of application ?-I think he came to me, to
require me to speak to Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, to
have him put on the panel.
Did he make any complaint with respect to
any breach of promise in Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?
-I do not think he did.
By Mr. Plunkett.-Are you positive whether,
when Mr. Poole first came to you upon the
subject of being on the jury, he did not make
a complaint of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe having
broken his word in having put him off?-I
think I can go the length of saying, that he did
not complain; the first complaint I heard was
in the court, that Sheriff Thorpe (when the
panel was struck) and Poole had some words
in consequence of his not being on.
Do you not believe, that Mr. Poole had long
before that, applied to Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, for
the purpose of being on the panel ?-I do, from
conversations I have heard since, but not at
And that he had promised him ?-Yes.
Was that before Mr. Poole came to make his
application to you ?-Not before that, I did hot
Inquiry into his Conduct.
MAY 7, 1823. [86
Do not you believe the fact to be, that be- when I was asked, how I could possibly know
fore he came to make the application to you, a person I had seen in one gallery from the
he had been promised by Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, other; one of the jurors replied to me, I do not
that he should be upon the panel ?-I declare think you could know the person you swear
I cannot form a belief of it. threw the missile." I was speaking of the
From what you now know, and have heard, person I had sworn to as having thrown the
do you not believe that an early promise had rattle.
been made by Mr. Sheriff Thorpe to Mr. Poole, Had you, at the time, positively stated your
that he should be upon the panel, long before knowledge of the person ?-I had stated it with
the conversation with you ?-I do believe, from the greatest confidence; I spoke to the indivi-
the conversation I have heard since, that he dual who threw it; one of the jurors answered,
had been. I do not believe that you knew the person
The return of the panel was in the hands of who threw the missile."
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe?-It was. When you retired from the room, did you
Why did Mr. Poole come to you, he having make any comment to the persons in the neigh-
already had a promise from Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, bourhood, to bystanders, on the manner in
to be upon the panel; why did he apply to which you had been treated ?-I did; there
you to put him upon the panel ?-I cannot say. were several gentlemen standing at the grand
Do you not believe that it was because he jury room door, and were inquiring of most of
had heard, that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe had changed the witnesses, as they came out, how they had
his mind as to putting him upon the panel ?-I been received by the jury; I there publicly
think it may be so. said, I had been used very badly, and I also
From what you have since heard, do you heard several of the other witnesses say they
believe that Sheriff Thorpe had changed his had been used in a similar kind of manner.
intention of keeping Mr. Poole's name upon By Colonel Barry.-Was it the mode ofexa-
the panel, before Mr. Poole made the applica- mination you objected to?-Yes; I thought
tion to you ?-I do. the manner rude in which I was interrogated.
If sheriff Thorpe had changed his intention, Did they seem to discredit your testimony ?
as to keeping Mr. Poole's name upon the panel, -Perfectly so.
before Mr. Poole applied to you, how could Philip Burke Rn i ad examined
Mr. Poole's applying to you be the cause of Mr. Pil Burke Ran called in; and examined
Sheriff Thorpe's putting his name off the panel ? By Mr. J. Williams.-What is your situation?
-This was the preparatory list, prepared for -An officer of excise at Dublin.
the record panel, and on reading that over, Were you examined by the grand jury, on
when we came to Poole's name, a conversation the subject of the riot at the theatre ?-I was.
took place, as I have mentioned before, and I I was examined as to a few questions, by the
stated that he had called upon me, and under foreman; and then by one or two more, imme-
those circumstances I thought his name ought diately after him; and in the course of a few
to be omitted. minutes, I was asked one question! by one,
By Mr. Leycester.-Do you know how many and before I had time to give an answer, two
conciliation-men" were upon that panel ?-I or three more started fresh questions to me,
know there were some very moderate minded for the express purpose, as I conceived, of
men upon it. shaking my testimony, from the manner in
Do you think there were five ?-I do. which they proceeded towards me; that was,
Were those five within the first 27 of that after one of them asked me my motives and my
panel, or any of them ?-If I had the panel I expectations, if I was counselled or advised,
could state; but there were certainly more or what my expectations or motives were for
than that, to my knowledge, upon the panel, coming forward to give my testimony there.
George Harris called in; and examined Did yo m e any complainto tha the
manner in which you had been treated ?--I
By Mr. J. Williams.-To what regiment do did to the foreman; I was called front where I
you belong ?-The 7th hussars; troop-serjeant sat, next to the foreman, and in the event of
major. being annoyed so much by two of the grand
Were you not examined before the grand jurors, I immediately returned back to him,
jury, after the alleged riot in the Dublin and told him, it was impossible for mf to give
theatre ?-I was. direct answers to the questions they put,
Who examined you ?-Four or five of the or to be able to recollect the questions they put
jury. to me, fiom the manner in which they acted.
In what manner was the examination con- I told them, when they were annoying me,
ducted by the grand jury ?-Not very courte- that I was equally sworn as they were, that I
ously; indeed it was not. took a solemn oath in the court to do my duty,
Explain to the committee what you mean by and had no other motive for doing it, and
the words not very courteously ?"-They requested to be heard distinctly by them.
were very careful to remind me that I was Was that after the question had been put in
speaking upon my oath; and after I had an- the manner you have described, so that you
swered a question, it was repeated to me, and had not an opportunity of giving your answers
that in a significant and fretful manner; and fully and distinctly --Yes, it was.
87] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Were you stating evidence as to the per-
sons of any of the men that were charged by
the indictment ?-Yes,I was stating the particu-
lars of the circumstance, and the description of
the person who threw the rattle; because I was
asked by one of the grand jurors, were not
there two Grahams there; did not one of them
wear glasses, and which of them it was that
threw the rattle; I said, that the one who threw
the rattle did not wear spectacles, and that he
was a low-sized, sallow-looking young man.
One of the jury asked me, could I be mistaken
in the person of. the man, and I said it was
impossible ; he said, I think you have admitted
you might have been mistaken, for I have such
language on my notes; and I told the foreman
of the grand jury I had used no such language ;
the notes were referred to, and there was no
such language to be found. At the first com-
mencement I was very civilly treated, but at
the latter end I was not; for immediately after
coming out of the door, I mentioned the con-
duct of the grand jurors to me, to a number of
people standing outside the door, strangers.
Did you hear any other complaints by other
persons ?-Some of the persons who came out
grumbled in a similar manner; but I do not
recollect what were the words they said.
At the time you complained to the foreman,
that you could not, in that manner of examina-
tion, fairly give your testimony, were you
enabled fairly to state what you had to state ?
-No; for some of them looked upon me with
contempt, and laughed; and from the manner
in which the questions were put to me, I could
very badly answer them, one at one end of the
table, and another at another part of the table ;
I was talking to three jurymen at one and the
By Colonel Barry.-It was you identified
George Graham ?-Yes.
You are positively certain as to his identity ?
---Oh, yes ; if I saw the man I would know him
again, equally the same as I did that night, or
in the court of King's-bench.
By Sir J. Stewart.-You said, that somebody
took notes for the grand jury?-One of the
grand jury themselves; a man of the name of
Joseph Henry Moore was the man who made
use of the word I have just stated, that I might
have been mistaken, that that was the word I
made use of.
It ended in your telling the grand jury the
whole of your evidence ?-Yes.
You were examined before the petit-jury ?-
I was, in the court of King's-bench.
You gave the same testimony before the
petit jury, as you had given before the grand
jury ?-To all intents and purposes I did.
And you swore to the same man ?-I did,
to George Graham, as the person who threw
That man was not convicted ?-At the time
I appeared before the grand jury, the bills of
indictment were found against him and against
another; and at the time I appeared in the
.court of King's-bench, he was not convicted ;
Sherif of Dublin- [8
and I gave, to all intents and purposes, the
same testimony before both juries.
Was not there a bill of indictment found
against him and another man for the riot I-
But he was not found guilty before the petit
jury ?-No, he was not.
The grand jury found a bill for the riot
against that man whom you identified, and
the petit jury did not find the man guilty on
the same testimony ?-Yes.
By Mr. Brownlow.-Did you see Graham on
the night of the play-house riot ?-I did.
Where did you sit ?-On the fourth or fifth
seat of the middle gallery, and he was sitting
on the front seat of the upper gallery, at the
time I recognized him, with the rattle in his
hand. I saw him with it before he broke it,
winding it in his hand, striking it against the
gallery, and I saw him stand up and look into
the middle of the gallery, and throw a large
piece of the rattle, which struck the cushion or
edge of the seat adjoining the box in which the
lord-lieutenantwas sitting; and I called out to
a person to have him taken into custody, which
he did not do.
What sizedinstrument'was this thathe threw ?
-It was not to say a very large size, but it
was weightier than timber of another descrip-
tion; I saw it in the court of King's-bench.
Was it as large as that little book there ?-
[six inches by three]-It was a solid piece. It
appeared to me a good deal larger, for it went
round here, and scooped for the handle of the
little to fit to it.
Was it such a weapon as a man would have
attempted the lord-lieutenant's life with?-
From the size and weight of it, and from the
place in which it was, and from the velocity of
it, I have no hesitation in saying, that if it had
hit him, it would have killed him ; it could not
weigh less than two pounds, the wood being of
a weightier description than wood in general;
it may have weighed that.
Did you weigh it?-No; but I saw it on
the stage, and saw it produced in the court of
King's-bench; for the man who took it up pro-
duced it as the piece of timber he found there.
The piece of timber ?-It is apiece of timber
in itself, though called a rattle.
Mr. Terence O'Reilly again called in; and
By Mr. S. Rice.-Have you had any conver-
sation with Mr. Sheriff Cooper, on the subject
of the attendance of Mr. Poole on the grand
jury?-I went into sheriff Cooper's yard;
and upon one occasion I saw Mr. Poole.
Mr. Cooper mentioned to me that he was
seeking to be on the grand jury; that he con-
ceived it indiscreet for him to do so; I then
suggested that he was as respectable a man as
probably any one of the grand jury, and what in-
jury could it do to have him on it, or words to that
effect. Mr. Cooper replied, that he could not
interfere with sheriff Thorpe: it was his quarter,
and that he could not interfere With him. It
S 89] Inquiry into his Conduct. MAY 7, 1829, [f9
is.right for me to say, that I mentioned that Did you tell the whole of your story, or did
conversation to Mr. Cooper last night, as it .they, by stating, that would do," prevent you
being my impression of what occurred then; from telling it; and then show you out?-I in-
S he contradicted that part of it which related to tended to have described how one of the rioters
sheriff Thorpe's having refused to put Mr. was taken.
Poole upon the jury; and he said it was he, Did they prevent you from telling it ; did
Mr. Cooper, had objected to him, in conse- they say that would do, and sent you out ?-
S quence of the application to be put on; my re- They did; I understood so, by their telling me
collection, however, previous to that denial, that would do, that would do: and one of the
was as I have stated, gentleman showed me out.
Did Mr. Sheriff Cooper make any observa- By Col. Barry.-Was it late in the day when
tions to you last night, with regard to the evi- you were examined; had many witnesses been
dence he was about to give to this House ?-I examined before you ?-I do not know.
told him the evidence I would give, was what Do not you think it very probable that they
I had at first mentioned; and the only thing had heard the story you were going to tell
that makes me alter my mind with respect to them, from many witnesses before ?-I do not
* it, is the conversation of last night; and the doubt that they had.
impression that sheriff Cooper may probably By Sir J. Sebright.-You were going on, and
have a better recollection of the facts, being they interrupted you?-Indeed I think they
more interested in the event than I was. did, by telling me that would do.
Did Mr. Sheriff Cooper address himself to Had you told them all that you meant to say
you, did he begin the conversation ?-No, I upon your oath, before they told you that would
went to him, and told him my impression of do ?-I was going to describe how one of the
the conversation which had previously oc- rioters was taken, for it was I described him to
a curred; and he said it was true, with respect a peace officer.
to every thing, save that of his referring it to And they would not hear you ?-One of them
sheriff Thorpe; that it was his wish to keep told me that would do; they seemed to laugh
him off the jury in consequence of his applica- at me.
tion. By Mr. S. Rice.-Did you tell your whole
Is your impression, independently of that story; all that you wanted to tell them ?-No,
conversation, such as you have stated ?-Yes, I did not; I wanted to tell them how this
independently of that conversation, it is quite person was taken.
clear as to what I at first stated. Was it what they said to you prevented you?
Christopher Moran called in; and examined Do you conceive it was very material how
By Mr. Nolan.-What is your situation in the man was taken; you told them his name ?
life ?-I am a painter at Dublin. -Yes, I did.
Were you before the grand jury in January It was against Matthew Handwich you
last ?-I was, for five or six minutes. They were about to tell this story ?-Yes.
asked me if I saw the stick or thebottle thrown; You say you pointed out to the peace officer
and I said I did not. I was describing the riot a man that he was to apprehend ?-Yes, I bade
to them, and they did not seem to think any him to search him; he had got a big stick
thing aboutit, and they told me that would do. under his coat.
They asked me the persons that I saw rioting. Did you state to the grand jury what was
They asked me a good many questions. your reason for so pointing him out to the
When they asked you, whether there were peace officer ?-I do not recollect whether I
any persons whom you saw rioting, what did stated that to the grand jury.
you tell them ?-I told them I did. Should you have stated it had they not
Did they ask you any thing more, or send laughed at you, and treated you in the manner
you away ?-I was describing how one of the you have described ?-Yes.
* rioters was taken; and some of the grand jury Did you tell the grand jury what you saw the
told me, that would do and showed me out. man do, which induced you to point him out
Did they take an account of what you said, -Yes, I did.
ordid they send you out without it?-I be- Did you tell the grand jury what induced
lieve they did; they took an account of what I you to point him out to the peace officer ?-I
said. did; but I did not tell them it was I who,
What account did you give them ?-I de- pointed him out.
scribed the persons I saw rioting and what they Why did you not tell them that?-I was
said. about to describe that, when they told me that
S What did they say upon that?-I heard would do.
them calling out, no papist lord lieutenant." Did you see any other person concerned in
Were you going to give them a further de- the riot, and would you have informed the
scription of what had taken place ?-I was; grand jury if they had not laughed at you, and
and they seemed to laugh and think little of it. interrupted you, and said that was enough ?-I
And they prevented you, and stopped you would; I saw the person throw the rattle in the
from going forward ?-Some of them told me, theatre, but I did not see him riot; I cannot say
that would do. he was the person.
91] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
You were prevented giving evidence as to
a person you would have given evidence about,
if they had not prevented you ?-From the way
in which I was used.
Who was that person?-A person of the
name of Graham.
That was the man who had the rattle ?-
Were not the bills found against that man
for the riot ?-I believe they were.
Did the grand jury begin asking you any
questions, or did they merely desire you to tell
your story?-They asked me questions.
What questions did they ask you?-They
asked me if I saw the bottle thrown.
What did you say to that?-I told them I
Did they ask you any other questions ?-
They asked me, did I see the sticks thrown.
What did you say ?-I told them, I did not
see them thrown.
Did any of the grand jury ask you any other
question ?-I believe they did.
What was it ?-They asked me, if I knew
any of the persons who were rioting; I told
them that I did. I described their persons and
What person did you describe ?-Matthew
Handwich and Henry Handwich, the two per-
sons I could name.
What did they do upon that, did they ask
you more questions, or tell you that would
do, and send you out of the room?-They
asked me what I saw them doing; I told them
I heard a hiss and a groan.
What did they do upon that, did they desire
you to withdraw ?-They did, when I was
about to describe the manner in which the man
was taken. [The witness withdrew.]
It was here understood that the case
against the Sheriff was closed, but with
this reservation, that it would be open to
any member, in a future stage of the in-
vestigation, to call for any information he
might think proper.
Colonel Barry remarked, that in pro.
during witnesses on the part of the sheriff,
he laboured under this difficulty, that the
examination had been hitherto conducted
by the principal learned gentlemen in the
committee, whilst almost the whole weight
of the cross-examitlation had rested upon
himself. He hoped, therefore, for much
indulgence in the performance of the duty
which had devolved upon him.
Mr. Niciolas Murray Mansfield called in;
By Colonel Barry.-What is your situation
in Dublin P-I am the chief and only clerk in
the Sheriff's office.
Do you know how the grand jury panel of
January 1823 was made out ?-It was made
out in the first instance by sheriff Thorpe's
writing a list of names, and afterwards
Sheriff of Dublin- [92
submitting it for the approbation of his
brother sheriff Cooper and his sub-sheriff Mr.
Were the names that were on it those of
men of respectability ?-Perfectly so.
From the character of those men who were
upon that grand jury, do you, or do you not,
think they were well calculated for doing bu-
siness between the crown and the person to
be tried on the subject at issue ?-I certainly
Did you ever hear either of the sheriffs ex-
press an opinion that men of what are called
warm politics should not be on the panel ?-I
did; both sheriff Thorpe and Mr. Cooper. I
conceive the majority of that jury to have been
At what time was it that Mr. SheriffThorpe
told you he wished no violent party man to
be on the panel ?-Before he submitted the
panel to his brother sheriff Cooper or to Mr.
Was it before the names were put down
upon that panel that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe said he
wished to have no party men upon that panel?
-No, it was after. I did not know who were
ultimately adopted, till it was inspected by
Mr. Sheriff Cooper and Mr. Whistler. Mr.
Sheriff Thorpe submitted it to me, and asked
me whether I knew any of the men to be
violent party men; I read over the names,
and said I did not know any of them to be
By Mr. Jones.-Were you acquainted inti-
mately with any of the individuals who were
upon that panel ?-Certainly I was.
They consisted of a much smaller number
than was usual on panels of the grand jury ?--
There was a very unusual circumstance at-
tending it, the ex-sheriff was not the foreman
of that jury ?-He ought not of right, agreeably
to my conception, to be so.
But according to usage he always had been
the foreman of that jury ?-He could not have
been, the sheriff that ought to have been the
foreman was sir Thomas Weyland, he was in
England and unwell.
But one or other of the ex-sheriffs had
always by custom been the foreman of the first
grand jury after they went out of office ?-Not
always; they were always solicited to take
the situation, but they sometimes declined
You know that sir W. Smith, who was the
ex-sheriff, was what was called a conciliation,
man ?-I never heard him called so. I really
do not know what the term means. I have
heard it applied to some that I really do not
apprehend to be so; I never heard it applied
to sir W. Smith.
Was not the term conciliation-man, in the
city of Dublin, applied to those persons who
abided, or professed to abide by the dicta
of his majesty's letter ?-I have no doubt it
was applied to those who professed to abide
Inquiry into his Conduct
Do you not know that sir W. Smith was
one of the persons who professed to abide by
the dicta of the king's letterP?-I do believe
* sir W. Smith did.
Then was not sir W. Smith a conciliation-
man ?-By inference, he must have been.
Sir Thomas Weyland was sheriff in 1822,
Swas he ?-He was,
Who was the other sheriff?-Sir W. Smith.
In what way was the last panel of that year
for the commission grand jury formed ?-From
the best of my recollection it was formed by
You selected the names and submitted them
to the sheriff?-Yes.
Was that the case with all the panels of that
* year ?-Certainly not.
The last panel but one, the commission be-
fore the last, who formed that ?-To the best
of my recollection I did; it was formed in a
like manner with the rest.
How was the panel for the commission be-
fore that formed ?-I think about three or four
of them might have been so formed, and about
* three or four of them by the high sheriffs
themselves. I have a most positive and dis-
tinct recollection of sir W. Smith himself
having formed a grand jury panel during his
year of office.
Can you state what was the course of forming
the panels in the year 1821 ?-When there was
any extraordinary question to be tried, the high
sheriffs took upon themselves to strike the grand
panels; when nothing but the ordinary or com-
mon routine business was to be transacted, it
was left to the sub-sheriff, and it very frequently
in that case devolved upon me to do it.
Who were the sheriffs in the year 1821 ?-
Sir G. Whitford, and sir N. W. Brady.
Can you state any instance in 1821 in which
the panel's were formed by either of those
gentlemen personally ?-No, I cannot; but
my recollection is, that when an extraordinary
occasion occurred they struck, when it was
the ordinary routine business, it was left to the
Can you state any instances within your
official duty in which you recollect that to have
occurred, and from that remembrance derive
that impression except the one you have
* stated ?-No, I have no present recollection
to fasten the thing on my mind.
Take a little time to recollect whether there
was any other instance except that you have
mentioned?-The only circumstance which
can fasten it upon my recollection is, that I
am aware it was usual on the approach of the
commissions, either for the sub-sheriff to speak
to the high sheriff or to write him, informing
S him that the commission was approaching,
and that it would become necessary to strike
the juries; the line afterwards to be pursued
depended on the answer of the high sheriff;
he sometimes did it himself, and at other
times said There is nothing particular to
be done, you may as well assist me by
MAY 7, 1829. [94.
The general course was for the sub-sheriff
to do it?-I think the general course was,
unless something particular was to be done.
Your impression that when any thing parti-
cular was to be done it was done by the high
sheriff, was in consequence of particular in-
stances -I think the general course was, if
there was nothing particular to be done, for the
high sheriff to say Will you do this for me."
The impression of its having been otherwise
in particular cases must have arisen out of
special circumstances arising within your own
Can you state any other instances of the
sheriffs themselves striking the panel, ex-
cept that of sir W. Smith and this late in-
stance of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-I cannot
charge my memory with how the thing was
done, but I am quite certain there never was a
sheriff in the office that did not strike some
one grand jury.
But except in those two instances you can
real no other ?-No; nor would I have been
prepared to state those two instances, but for
conversations I have had on the subject of the
By Mr. Plunkett.-You have stated that
you consider that panel of the grand jury in
January 1823 was returned in the usual and
ordinary manner ?-I have.
In every respect ?-I think so.
And consisting of persons who were fit and
proper and impartial for the trial of the case
that was expected on ?-I believe so.
It was your express wish and the instruction
of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe that no person of warm
party feelings should be returned upon it ?-
No, not his instructions; he submitted the list
and asked me to look at it, and requested my
advice as to those persons.
As to whether they were persons of warm
party feelings ?-Yes, and I said I believed
they were not.
Was not the trial that was expected on, one
that involved a good deal of consideration
with respect to the dressing of the statue of
king William ?-Yes, I think it was.
There had-been pretty strong opinions ex-
pressed upon that subject by certain persons
in the city of Dublin ?-A great many.
Do you not believe that an election of
common-council-men took place some time in
the month of November preceding that com-
mission ?-I know it did.
Do you not believe that a new election of
corporators to the amount of 96 took place at
that time ?-I do know it.
Do you not believe that considerable exer-
tions were made by a certain party in the cor-
poration, to have persons returned who were,
favourable to the dressing of the statue ?-In
some of the guilds there was. By the guild
of merchants particularly; but I think the
principal object of the political party in the
guild of merchants, was the election of one
individual who had been rejected from the
brewers' corporation ; a Mr. Sutter.
95) HOUSE OF COMMONS,
What was the reason of his being rejected
from the brewers' corporation ?-I believe, that
the great reason of the effort being made in
the guild of merchants was, that he had ex-
erted himself very much on the dressing of the
statue, and that his whole claim to the favour
of the guild of merchants was founded upon
Do you not believe, that a list was circu-
lated of 31 persons, who were represented as
fit to be elected as common-council-men for
the guild of merchants, as being good men in
bad times ?-I know there were several lists.
Will you have the goodness to look at that
paper ? [the hand-bill produced on a former
evening being shown to the witness]--his is
one of the lists.
Do you consider that the 31 persons who
are named in that list were recommended upon
the ground of their being favourable to the
dressing of the statue ?-No, I do not believe
Will you look at the device at the top of that
list ?-I do.
It is the figure of king William treading on
the emblem of the lord mayor ?-It is.
Was not the offence, that the lord mayor of
Dublin had given at that time his having
given directions for preventing the dressing of
the statue ?-I believe it was.
What were the bad times" designated in
that paper; do you believe they were times in
which the dressing of the statue was prevent-
ed ?-I believe it refers to the dressing of the
You believe the object was, to obtain 31
men of the like.description with Mr. Sutter?
-I have no doubt the party who made out
this list would have returned 31 men of the
description of Mr. Sutter, in preference to any
other description of men, if they could have
got 31 such.
You are not of opinion that 31 such as Mr.
Sutter could have been got ?-No, I think they
Do you not find that out of the guild of
merchants alone, seven of the persons who are
named in that list were returned upon the
panel, and sworn upon the grand jury ?-I
perceive there are seven of the persons in this
list that were on the grand jury.
And that were elected of the guild of mer-
chants upon that occasion ?-Yes.
You have said that the jury was formed of
persons dispassionate, not of warm feelings,
and who were perfectly fit for the trial that
was coming on ?-I have said so.
Do. you think those persons were of that
description ?-I do think so.
And it is upon the same principle you say
that the jury generally were ?-Certainly. I
say the circumstance of their being in this list
does not mark the tenor of their politics. I
am of opinion the persons who made this list
would not have put them there if they could
have got better men for their purposes.
Will you have the goodness to say whether
Sheriffof Dublin- [96
you consider a sworn Orangeman a proper and
fit person to be put upon the panel of that
grand jury, for the purpose of the then ex-
pected trial ?-I do not conceive he was.
Do you see upon the list of the grand jury
a person of the name of Joseph Lamprey ?-I
have seen it.
Do you not believe that he was a sworn
Orangeman ?-I have no reason to believe it.
Have you any ground then, to form an opi-
nion whether he was a fit person to be on that
grand jury?-I never heard he was an Orange-
man, and therefore I think he was a proper
Do you see upon that list the name of Ed-
ward Cusack ?-I do.
Do you believe that he is an Orangeman
belonging to the lodge 1640 ?-I know he is,
because he subsequently told me so himself.
Do you now think he was a proper person
to be returned ?-I am quite sure he would
not have been returned, if he had been known
to be an Orangeman; I would not have re-
Do you believe that Samuel Lamprey is an
Do you consider him a proper person to be
returned on that panel ?-I certainly would
not if I had known it at the time.
The usual practice in your office is to have
fair and independent jurors returned for trial
of all the issues which come before the court?
-So far as I have known, it has always
And was so upon the present occasion?-I
really do believe the parties making out that
jury, were actuated by the same pure motives
their predecessors had been.
Do you mean to inform the Committee that
the sworn grand jury on that occasion was
constituted with a view to the administration
of impartial justice with a view to the approach-
ing trials ?-So far as I know I say it was.
Were you applied to by any person to re-
turn particular names on that panel for any
particular purpose ?-I was. There was a list
or paper containing some names given to me.
Did you make any answer to the person
who proposed to you to return that list of
names ?-I did.
Did you promise they should be returned?
-No, certainly not.
Did you say they should not ?-My answer
was, whatever can be done for your friend
shall be done.
The uniform practice of the office being to
return fair lists for the purpose of impartially
trying the causes that were to come on ?-So
far as I know, it was.
For what particular trial was it that those
names were suggested to you ?-For the trial
of a Mr. O'Meara, who was to be tried for
Did you feel a sentiment of indignation in
your mind at such a proposal being made to
you ?-No; such proposals have been fre-
quently made to me.
Inqtiry into his Gonduct.
Were any of those names that were so pro-
posed to you actually returned upon the panel ?
-That I cannot positively tell; I never read
S the names. The gentleman who made the
application to me called me from the desk
where I was transacting business, to a fire-
place at some short distance from it; he said,
this is a list for my friend O'Meara, whom
we have had some conversation about." I took
the list from him, and said, whatever can
be done for your friend shall be done for
him ;" he walked out of the office; I walked
towards the desk, and, as I had been in the
habit of treating any application of that kind, I
tore it, and never thought any more about it.
It is not in your power to state, whether
* the names so proposed were actually on the
panel ?-Quite impossible.
The House cannot, therefore, have the ad-
vantage of comparing the written list witl the
panel returned ?-Certainly not; save that the
House may have the means of coming to that
information through the person who handed
that list to me; a Mr. George Butler in the
* Six-clerks' office.
Do you know whether any bill was sent up
against Mr. O'Meara on that commission ?-I
believe there was, and that it was ignored.
Do not you know that an application was
made to the Court of King's-bench to grant
an information against Mr. O'Meara for that
conspiracy, on the ground of the grand jury
having ignored that bill ?-That I have heard
only through the proceedings in this House.
Why did you give that kind of answer to
Mr. Butler when he applied to you to return
those names for a particular purpose ?-Be-
cause I conceived it the shortest possible mode
of getting rid of the application.
Do not you believe that it was an applica-
tion to you to violate your sworn duty for a
most fraudulent purpose ?-Not my sworn
duty, but a very sacred one.
Do you recollect the application being re-
newed to you?-I recollect the application
Do you not believe, that the subsequent ap-
plication was made to you by the same person
for the same purpose?-Yes.
What did you say to the person when he
* renewed the application ?-That it could not
be effected, because sheriff Thorpe had taken
the striking of the jury into his own hands;
that answer was given precisely with the same
view that the previous answer had been,
namely, to get rid of the importunity.
Will you mention, why it was you tore that
list, was it lest you should be tempted to read
it?-No; the reason I tore it was, because I
S conceived it the mode in which every such
document should be treated.
Do not you consider it would have been
wiser to have preserved the document, to
S prevent any such persons from getting upon
the jury?-I certainly did not;. I thought I
was doing my duty in getting rid of the ap-
plication in the manner in which I did.
MAY 7, 18s [98
You conceived you were doing your duty in
first informing the party whatever could be
done should be done; and then destroying
the document by which the guilt of the party
could have been proved ?-The proving the
guilt of the party never entered myymind; I
could never think of turning round on Mr.
Butler, whom I had known many years.
Do not you think a gross insult was offered
to you by the application ?-If the application
had been made by a stranger, I should have
considered it an insult.
A person who knew you well, did not give
you so much offence in making it as a person
who is a stranger ?-Certainly, I think a man
should not be so much displeased with his
friend for making applications as he would be
with a stranger.
Then you think the more a person knew of
you, the more right he would have to make
such an application to you, and would be en-
titled to expect a favourable reception from
you ?-I should give him civil treatment if a
friend made such an application to me.
Did not you think it was your bounden
duty to prosecute the person making that ap-
plication for tampering with justice ?-I do not
see how by the prosecution of a friend the ends
of justice could be answered.
You say that applications of that kind have
been very frequently made. Will you explain
if they have been uniformly refused to be com-
plied with why they have been so frequently
made ?-I cannot tell why they have been so
frequently made, except that men are weak
enough to think that their friends will do
more for them than their friends are disposed
Do you believe that any consideration of
any kind was received by any one in the of-
fice, with respect to returning names upon
that grand jury; will you take upon yourself
to say there was not ?-I positively do not be-
lieve any such thing.
By Colonel Barry.-Is not Mr. O'Meara a
conciliation-man?-I understood Mr. O'Meara
to be a Roman Catholic.
Is not he a man who is always supposed to
be active in the Roman Catholic cause?-Yes.
Do you think the friend of a man active in
the Roman Catholic cause would be likely to
act in favour of persons whose crime was
having acted against it?-I think if the friends
of a man got upon a jury, they might go a
great way to serve him.
Then if Mr. O'Meara's friends were put
upon that jury, would they not in your opi-
nion have defeated any intention, if such could
have been entertained, of packing an Orange
jury ?-If the friends of Mr. O'Meara were of
the same description of persons he himself
was, I should think so, certainly.
By Sir J. Newport.-You said that the ap-
plication to put those persons on the grand
jury panel arose in consequence of previous
conversations with the person who applied
to you to put them upon it; what were those
99] HOUSE OF 'COMMONS,
previous conversations ?-I recollect but one;
r. Butler, some few days before, met me in
the street, and told me some round varnished
tale of a friend of his being in great distress
on account of a transaction of sixteen years
standing, and begged to know if I would do
any thing for him in the way of putting any
of his acquaintance upon the jury. I said
" You khow, my dear Butler, any thing I can
dlo for you shall be done for you."
In consequence of your having given these
popes to the person, that whatever could be
done should be done, you had a subsequent
application, and you conceive the manner of
your answering upon those two occasions was
the method best calculated to relieve your-
self from any other application ?-Yes, cer-
You conceived that was the mode in which
*ou could best discharge the duty of looking
out a fair and impartial jury ?-Certainly;
there had not any other mode struck me at the
time, but I now see it would have been the
better mode to have preserved the list.
You are to be understood that it has been
'the practice more than once to make applica-
,tions of a similar nature, with respect to
putting persons on the panel, within your
*knowledge of the Sheriff's office ?-Oh; cer-
tainly; I have been applied to more than
By friends ?-By friends.
Not by strangers?-Of course no stranger
would take the liberty.
A list contained in a hand-bill having been
shown to you, you have stated that you have
no doubt the person or persons who pre-
pared that list would have selected exactly
such men as Mr. Sutter, if they could have
,obtained them, but that they could not find
'1 such names ?-I did.
Have you any doubt that as they could not
'And exactly such names as Mr. Sutter, they
would select men as like to Mr. Sutter as
they could, in political opinions ?-Assuredly.
You do not mean to say that 31 persons in
Dublin could not be found of the same de-
scription as Mr. Sutter?--I do mean to say
that 31 persons could not be found connected
with the guild of merchants just like Mr.
Mr. Sutter was not one of the grand jury
panel ?-He was not.
Whowas the gentleman who spoke to you
with respect to the names on the panel for
trying the ex-officio informations? Mr.
Henry Archer, the ex-sub-sheriff.
When did that conversation take place ?-
About a week or a fortnight before the trials
were to commence.
Will you repeat that which passed between
you and him:upon that occasion ?-I think on
Mr. ', Archer coming to the office, he asked
I, e whether the sheriffs had commenced the
striking of the jury panel, or whether they
would take upon themselves so to do. I said,
that I had known nothing about how'the thing
Sherffof Dblin- [-lo
was going on. He said, What description
of persons do you think should be on the
panel?" My answer was, respectable inde-
pendent persons." He said, he thought so too,
and of mercantile men. I concurred. He
then took paper, and made out the list froth
the grand panel of freeholders, and said,
" Those are the descriptions of persons that I
think ought to be on the jury for the ex-officio
What has become of that paper?-Mr.
Archer went away; shortly afterwards Mr.
Sheriff Thorpe arrived ? he said I suppose
it is time for us to be thinking of making out
the jury for the trial of the ex-officio inforia-
tions." I said it is certainly time to be
stirring about it." IHe said I suppose sheriff
Cooper will return a good panel." I said
here is a description of persons, certain per-
sons would like;" sheriff Thorpe looked at the
thing, smiled, and tore it.
By Mr. J. Martin.-You have been in the
habit of making out the panels for the commis-
sion grand juries ?-Sometimes. I have uni-
formly seen them.
What is the general number of which the
panel consists?-They have certainly varied
very much in their number on that point;
there is correct information before the House
from Mr. Riky. They run from 50 to 70, and
from that to 100. The smallest number I re-
collect was that returned on the preceding
commission by sheriff Thorpe; I think that
By Sir J. Newport.-Sheriff Thorpe con-
sulted you and showed you the panel for the
January commission ? -He did.
Did it not strike you as extraordinary, that
on a panel before which bills were to be
brought for trials of the greatest consequence,
the number should be much smaller than
usual?-No, I would not have conceived that
circumstance of any value whatever. The
grand jury is so constituted, that it does not
matter what the number was; the first 23
persons that answer to their names must be of
the grand jury; no objection or challenge will
lie ; and therefore if there was an attendance
of 23 secured, it is no matter what the number
Have you ever known the first 23 answer to
their names ?-No,-I have not.
In general you would not think it sufficient
to return a panel of 40 names only ?-I cer-
tainly would not.
Do you think fifty would be sufficient in
general?-No. When there is nothing but
ordinary routine business, and that public
feeling is not interested, 50 or sixty would
not be sufficient; but when the public mind
is occupied with the business to be done, 50
or sixty would 'be sufficient, for juries are
generally anxious to attend on public occa-
You have said 'that when yOu gave that
paper of whidh you have spoken, into sheriff
Thorpe's hands, you said, that was the list df
Inquiry into his Conduct.
names which certain persons wished to be re-
turned ?-I did.
Who are certain persons? -Mr. Henry
S Archer, his father alderman Archer, and his
Did you make Mr. Sheriff Thorpe understand
who certain persons were ?-No, I think I went
no further than the mere communication, that
this was the description of persons certain
persons would like to have upon the jury.
What did sheriff Thorpe do upon that?-
He took the list, smiled at it, and tore it. I
laughingly handed the list to him, and he
laughingly received it, and so disposed of it.
Did you read any part of the list ?-I really
did not; I have no recollection whether I read
* the list.
Do you or not believe that the persons in
that list were afterwards put upon the jury?
-I cannot form a clear opinion, for I have
no recollection of any of the names.
Is Mr. Archer a conciliation-man ?-As I
now understand the term he unquestion-
Looking over the list of the grand jury of
January 1823, and comparing it with the re-
collection of former grand juries, do you think
that it is composed of individuals of the same
class of society as those ordinarily returned to
serve on grand juries ?-I certainly do.
By Mr. S. Rice.-Are you acquainted with
William Carpenter, whose name appears upon
that grand jury ?-I am. He is a builder; I
understand that he has had, within the last
two or three years, from government, some
very extensive contracts, either by himself or
in conjunction with others, for some of the
works about the Custom-house, and that he is
a common-council-man, which entitles him to
serve on the grand jury.
Did W. Carpenter ever serve on any former
grand jury ?-0 yes; I believe many.
S Can you mention any one year ?-No, I
cannot; but I am positive he served on a
great many quarter sessions grand juries.
By Mr. C. Calvert.-Do you know whether
Mr. Sheriff Thorpe is an Oraugeman or not?-
No, indeed I would not know an Orangeman if
I saw him. I never heard that he was; I have
asked the question myself and never could
* find the truth.
Do you recollect the making out the panel
when the king's visit was expected in Dublin?
Was not there great solicitation to be put
upon that grand jury ?-So I understood.
Cannot you say whether you made out that
panel or not ?-I think I did not; I think
whichever sheriff's quarter it was at that time,
* made it up.
Did not the grand jury expect that they
should have to go up with an address to the
king, and be received personally ?-I believe
that was the ground of the anxiety to be put
By Mr. Nalas.-When Mr. Archer gave
lie l St to you, do ypq apprpehend he seriwsly
May 7, 1823.
intended you should hand that list to the
sheriff?-I think he never intended that I
should adopt it.
The first application that was made to you
to put some persons on the panel on Mr.
O'Meara's account, was by your friend Mr.
Butler ?- It was.
Was the second application made to you by
Mr. Butler also ?-It was.
How long after the first application?--
think it might be about a week.
How long was that before the panel was.
sworn or summoned ?-About a fortnight.
Was there any body by besides Mr. Butler
and yourself?-No one. I said that sheriff
Thorpe had taken upon himself to make
out the panel, and therefore I could not do its
Did not you assign a reason why sheriff
Thorpe had taken upon himself to make out the
panel?-I did not.
Might not you have said such a thing as
this, that sheriff Thorpehad taken upon himself
to make out the panel on account of the trial
of the rioters ?-It is perfectly possible I
might; but I have no recollection of having
You say you destroyed the list given you by,
Mr. Butler; how soon was that after he gave
it you ?-The distance I had to go from where
I stood when he handed it to me to the desk,
was not farther than from this to the table; on
my way from that place to the table I tore the
You thought, of course, those persons were
improper persons to be put upon the grand
jury ?-No, really I had no such thought. *
Did not you think that any persons recom-
mended by any gentleman for the purpose of
throwing out a bill, were improper persons to
be put upon the grand jury ?-I thought that
the putting them there would be an improper
act; but I did not give myself any thought
upon their propriety or impropriety.
Can you say whether those persons were, or
not, on the grand jury impanelled by the
sheriffs ?-I cannot.
Did not it strike you that it would be de-
sirable to keep that, to prevent such persons
being put upon the panel?-No, it did not
occur to me; but I now think from the ques-
tions put to me this evening, that would have
been a better mode.
Are you to be the sub-sheriff for the next
year ?-I really believe yes.
Mr. Samuel Lamprey is one of the sheriffs
He is one of the gentlemen you have stated
to be a sworn Orangeman ?-As I have heard.
You are acquainted with the general de-
scription of persons who are put upon the
panel to be sworn grand jurors ?-I am.
Have you ever known Roman Catholics put
upon that panel ?-Certainly I have.
Were there any Roman Catholics upon this
panel of fifty ?-No, certainly not.
Did y. knowy that there were pay 0Tapge-
men upon it ?-Certainly I did not, ni4 crP.
103] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
tainly if I had, I would have advised the
sheriff to have put them off.
What is Lamprey ?-It has subsequently
come to my knowledge that he is.
[The Witness was ordered to withdraw.]
Colonel Barry said, he now intended to
call sir George Whiteford, the foreman of
the grand jury. He knew that a grand
juror was sworn not to disclose any thing
which had come to his knowledge whilst
in the execution of his duty, and he
therefore would abstain from proposing
any questions to the witness he was about
to call, the answers to which would neces-
sarily lead to a violation of his oath.
Mr. Wetherell protested against the
principle laid down by the right hon.
gentleman. The House of Commons had
the power to absolve a grand juryman
from his oath of secrecy, and could com-
pel him to answer any question that might
be proposed to him.
Mr. R. Smith said, he recollected many
cases in which grand jurymen had been
compelled to give evidence. There could
be no doubt as to the power of the House
to make a grandjuryman answer all ques-
tions which he might be asked.
Mr. Wetherell said, the meaning of the
oath was, that the grand jury should not
voluntarily disclose the secrets of their
room; but they were bound, and it was
their duty, if ordered in a court of justice,
or in that House, to disclose those secrets.
Mr. Wynn concurred entirely in the
opinion which had been expressed by the
two members who had last spoken; but
at the same time, he hoped the question
which had ben raised would not be decided
without receiving further consideration,
and in a fuller House. His reason for
wishing this was, because he knew that
*many persons of very high authority held
different opinions on the subject. During
the inquiry respecting the Walcheren ex-
pedition, sir David Dundas was examined
as to something that had passed in council.
Sir David did not object to answer the
questions which were put to him ; but Mr.
Perceval stated, that he could not do so
without a breach of his oath, unless he had
previously obtained the consent of the
king. The question was not decided, be-
cause on the following day the king au-
thorized sir David to declare all that had
passed in council.
Mr. Bankes thought that the House
could compel a grand juror to give any
information that might be considered
Mr. Hurst contended, that the oath of
a grand juryman was too strictly inter-
preted if it were supposed to restrain him
from making known any thing which had
come before him in the execution of his
duty. It had frequently come under his
own observation that grand jurymen,
amongst whom a difference of opinion pre-
vailed upon some point, had come into
open court, and stated what had passed in
the grand jury room, in order to obtain
the opinion of the judge, as a rule for their
Colonel Barry observed, that grand
jurymen had frequently given evidence of
what had passed before them, in order to
convict a witness of perjury.
Mr. Goulburn said, that an act of par-
liament had been passed expressly to
allow grand jurors to give evidence in
cases of perjury, notwithstanding their
oath of secrecy." If he were a grand
juror, he would refuse, even atthe call of
the House, to state what had come to his
knowledge whilst in the exercise of his
functions. Some of the witnesses who were
about to be examined at the bar might
entertain similar feelings. The House
would then, in justification to its own cha-
racter, be called upon to punish men for
what they conceived to be a conscientious
adherence to their oaths. To avoid so un-
fortunate a circumstance, he would entreat
hon. members to weigh well their ques-
Mr. Abercromby said, that the oaths
which the grand jurymen took were in-
tended for the benefit of the public. That
being the case, why should they not be
made subservient to the inquiry in which
the House was engaged, which was also
for the public benefit?
Mr. Ricardo thought it was prepos-
terous to talk of the House absolving a
man from a solemn obligation into which
he had entered with his Maker.
Mr. Bennet was of opinion that justice
could not be done unless the committee
heard all that the grand jury could state.
Mr. Sykes said, the question was one of
so delicate a nature, that it ought to be
referred to the consideration of the whole
Mr.Abercromby suggested, thatif itwere
thought necessary to refer to the decision
of the House the question, whether or not
a grand juror ought to be called upon to
answer as to what passed in the jury room,
and which he considered he was bound by
his oath not to divulge, the beat way would
Inquiry into his Conduct.
be to have a grand juror called in; and if
he made any objection to state what
passed,on theground ofhis oath of'secrecy,
then the question would be raised bn which
the chairman might call for the decision of
Sir George Whiteford called in; and examined
By Colonel Barry.-You were foreman of
the grand jury in January last ?-I was.
You recollect the circumstances which passed
upon the informations preferred against certain
persons, for a riot in the theatre of Dublin, on
the 14th of December, which were preferred
before the grand jury, of which you were fore-
man ?-I do; I cannot exactly state every par-
ticular; being foreman, I did not take notes
from the witnesses, but the secretary did take
notes of the evidence.
Are you an Orangeman ?-I am not.
Are youa man who hold very strong party
feelings with respect to the. questions which
agitate the city of Dublin at this present
* moment ?-I never conceived I did; quite the
Are you a man, who think that it would be
for the benefit of Ireland, that general conci-
liation should take place between all its inhabit-
ants ?-It was always my wish, that the inhabit-
ants of Dublin should live in peace with each
In the investigation which took place be-
fore the grand jury, what portion of time was
devoted to the bills before alluded to ?-I think
we got thebills about two o'clock; we remained
until five; and I think from ten o'clock or
eleven o'clock, until about three or four the
following day, in close investigation.
How long was it previous to, or subsequent
to the riot at the theatre, that sheriff Thorpe
S requested you to be foreman of that grand
jury ?-I think it was nearly three weeks pre-
vious to the row at the theatre.
From what passed on that grand jury, did
fair investigation seem to be the object ?-I
never saw a set of gentlemen more anxious to
discharge their duty than they seemed to be.
Did you see any symptom of party feeling
breaking out, with regard to any particular
* witnesses who were examined ?-I did not.
If you had seen it, would you have thought
it your duty to have checked it, as foreman ?-
I would have done so.
Did you hear a report of any conversation,
in which sheriff Thorpe was supposed to have
stated, that he had an Orange jury in his
Did any thing pass between you and sheriff
* Thorpe, upon that subject ?-There did.
State what it was ?-Previous to the jury,
I heard that a man of the name of M'Connell,
went before the privy council, and made affi-
davit, that sheriff Thorpe said, he had an
Orange panel in his pocket, that would acquit
the prisoners." I went to sheriff Thorpe, and
asked him, -did he say such a thing; if he did,
that he should get another foreman, that I
would not identify myself in any party feeling;
and he pledged his honour, that he never
made use of such an expression; and in con-
sequence I was induced to go on the jury.
By Mr. Grattan.-You dined at sheriff
Smith's dinner, did you not ?-I did.
Did sheriff Smith give the toast, the glori-
ous and immortal memory ?"-I rather think
Was that toast given by any person at that
dinner ?-I believe not.
You did not take out an Orange handkerchief,
and give that toast ?-I did not.
By Mr. S. Rice.-Having served the office of
sheriff, you are of course a Protestant ?-I am.
And you hold in veneration the memory of
king William ?-Yes.
There has been for a great number of years,
a custom of decorating the statue of king Wil-
liam ?-I always saw it done.
There was a great diversity of opinion, as to
a stop having been put to that ceremony?-
You were one who thought that ceremony
might-as well not have been stopped ?-Cer-
tainly, my feeling always was, that all kind of
irritation should be avoided.
You thought that a wrong step had been
taken by the authorities, in putting a stop to
that ceremony ?-I did not think it a judicious
measure, in the way it was done.
You concurred, in blaming those that so
stopped it ?-I certainly thought it was not
Then you thought those persons who did so
stop that ceremony, did act a part which they
ought not to have acted ?-- I certainly expressed
my feeling so far, that I thought it was a mea-
sure that was not calculated to create concili-
You expressed that feeling?-I am not quite
sure, whether I expressed that feeling ; but I
certainly had that feeling on my mind.
Have you then any doubt in your mind, that
in conversation with your friends and acquaint-
ances, you did express feelings to that effect ?
-I dare say I did.
The riot which occurred at the theatre was
occasioned by the irritation occasioned by the
stopping that ceremony ?-I should suppose
Can you state before this committee, that
the slightest doubt exists in your mind, that that
riot was created by that ceremony having beer
stopped ?-I declare I cannot say; I should
suppose it.arose from the stopping of the dress-
ing of the statue.
By Mr. Jones.-Were you one of those who
expressed disapprobation against the autho.
cities for stopping the decoration of the statue ?
-I never expressed any such thing.
Do you approve of measures that are not
calculated to promote conciliation ?-I approve
of measures that are calculated to create conci-
Then you disapprove of measures that are
MAY 7, 1823.
410] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Sherif ofDublin-,: [10
pot calculated to create conciliation --Cer. When sheriff Thorpe got up to speak, wat
tairly. there not silence in the room to hear him ?-I
You did not express disapprobation with should think there was.
those who stopped the ceremony of decorating Did you turn your ears towards him ?-The T
the statue of king William --I do not think I room is so large, that if I paid ever so great at-
did. tention, I do not think I should hear him from
What did you express then ?-I think I ex- where I was.
pressed myself so far as this, that it was not cal- Do you recollect the room, generally speak-
etlated to create conciliation. ing, being attentive to sheriff Thorpe, when he
Did you approve the stopping the ceremony made that speech ?-I believe they were, but
of deeorating- the statue of king William ?- there is generally such a noise, and such a
The feeling I had on my own mind was this, that buzzing, that unless the person speaks very
where the thing was sanctioned by the govern- loud, he is not heard. When gentlemen get a
ment for so many years, it was ill calculated little wine, they get sometimes a little out of
to stop it in the kind of way it was attempted. order.
Did you disapprove of that measure ?-So In what position did sheriff Thorpe speak,
far as that. was he standing upon the floor or a chair ?-
Did not the riot that took place at the theatre If he spoke at all, he stood on the floor.
originate from a disapprobation of the stopping Have you any doubt whether he spoke ?-I
that ceremony ?-I declare I cannot say. am sure he did speak.
Was it not matter of notoriety, that it did Have you any recollection of where sheriff
take place from that circumstance ?-I believe Thorpe stood ?-At the head of his own table,
it was generally mentioned through town. on the floor I should think.
Do you belong to the Amicable Society in Do you recollect hearing him speak at all ?-
Publin ?-I do. I do not.
What are the principles of that society ?- By Mr. Twiss.-Do you not remember any
Loyalty and attachment to the kng and consti- motion to have been made, tending to the cen-
tution. sure of the government, on which an amend-
. Are there not many persons belonging to ment was moved by a person of the name of
Orange lodges, belong to that society ?-I can. Poole ?-I was not present.
not answer that, for- I am not an Orangeman By Mr. Plunkett.-You have said, that you
myself, think the measures as to the preventing the
SDo you know any Catholics belonging to it? dressing the statue were not judicious, that
s--No. they were not calculated to produce concilia- *
Is not the toast, The pious and immortal tion ?-I have said, that after being counte-
memory," constantly drunk at their dinner?- nanced by the government for so many years,
Always. I thought a sudden measure was ill calculated
Are you acquainted with the Handwhiches ? for conciliation.
-No. Do not you think, that persons who are of
By Mr. Abercromby.-You were at Mr. that opinion, have a right to express it pub-
Sheriff Thorpe's dinner?-I was. lickly, and that it is a fair thing for them to do
There The pious and immortal memory" it ?-Certainly, very fair.
was drank ?-It was. Do not you think they have a right to
You joined of course ?-Of course I did. do so, in a public theatre or any other
Do you think that is calculated to promote place ?-I think they have a right to express
conciliation ?-I cannot say. their feelings, but not to disturb the peace.
Is it a toast calculated, under present cir- That they would have no right to assault the
cumstances, to allay irritation in Dublin ?-I person, either of the lord lieutenant, or of any
think, from the present feeling in Ireland, that other person ?-Certainly not.
it is not calculated. But they would have a right to express their
By Mr. Brougham.-You were present at the disapprobation of those measures at the
dinner which sheriff Thorpe gave, on coming theatre, is not that your opinion ?-My opinion
into office?-I was. is, that, as far as my own feeling would go,
Were you present when the health of sheriff there should be no offence, in any kind of way,
Thorpe was drank by the company ?-I think I offered to the representative of his majesty.
was. Do you think it would be right to punish any
- Did you hear any part of that speech ?-I person for merely expressing his disapprobation
do not think I did, of those measures at a public theatre, or any
How far off were you from sheriff Thorpe at other plaee ?-My opinion is, that, unless he
that time ?-I was perhaps in the middle of the was hostile, and showed great hostility for
toom at one of the side tables; it is an amsna- merely disapprobation, hissing or hooting, my
ing large room. opinion is, that they are privileged to do that
SDid you hear any persons, further off than at a theatre.
yourself, applaud what sheriff Thorpe said ?. Do pot you think it would be an unjust thing
It.might he the case, hut I aanastt recollect. to punish persons for merely agreeing before
Did sheriff Thorpe speak in a loud, or low hand to go to the theatre, merely for the purpose
tone of voice ?-I did wtt hqar his otiasing or groanng, if they thghi measure
Inquiryrinto his 'Qonduct.
injudicious?!-My oWn opiatoh is, that they
ought not to be punished for merely issing and
S By Mr. R. Smith.-During your shrievalty,
what was your course for forming the panels
for commission grand juries ?-I always formed
the .panel, and I inclosed it to my brother
* sheriff for his concurrence.
Did you yourself select the names?-I
selected the names myself from the grand
Not your under-sheriff ?-Sometimes he did;
and sometimes I have done it myself.
What is the general course?-The general
course is, for the sheriff to write out his own
panel, and submit it to his brother sheriff, and
S then for it to go to the sheriff's office, to have
Did you yourself go to select the names from
the book, or was a list handed to you from the
office, for your approbation ?-Sometimes I
nade out the list myself, and sometimes I de-
sired the under-sheriff to make out a list; and
I submitted that list to my brother sheriff, and
* then we got it engrossed.
By Mr. BrOugham.-Afe you to be under-
stood to state, -that the general course is, for
the sheriff himself always to select the jury ?-
It is. The sheriff writes out his list from the
grand panel, and he submits that -to his brother
sheriff; he encloses it to me, he sends it back,
or we both go to the Sheriff's office, and agree
on the panel; and then we get it ingrossed by
the under-sheriff's clerk.
Then the general course in that office is,
that one sheriff selects from the grand panel,
and submits to his brother sheriff, and they
agree together upon the panel, and then send
It back to the sub-sheriff ?-The sheriffs take it
quarter about; in his quarter he makes out his
You are understood to say, that the common
course of that office is, that one sheriff selects
from the grand panel, and submits these
selected names to his brother sheriff, for his
approbation; and that then the two agreeing
upon the names, they are sent back to the sub-
sheriff?-That is the course that I adopted
during my quarter,
Is that the usual course in the Sheriff's office ?
--I should think it is.
Do you know of that course ever having been
adopted in any one case, except when you
were sheriff yourself?--I do not; for I had no
assistance to guide me in the office.
Then you do not know that that is the usual
course ?-I do not.
Then what you mean by the usual course of
the office is, (is it not?) the course of the office
while you -yourself were sheriff ?-I know
nothing about the course of the Sheriffis office,
*beyond my own year of office.
And you did not then select-?-I made my
observations on the panel. He made out Ot
general list for my approval. There never was
a jury struck that was not submitted to my in-
spectiui; I tdok it to my brother sheriff, and
MAY 7, 182.
we then agreed 'upontthe panel, tan had thte
summonses sent -oit. I do gnt 't~ihf I I'et
made any list but from the grand panel.
Do you think that the stopping the dressing
of the statue was a -measure likely t' produce
irritation?-I think itwas. Think the dressitr
it also a measure of irritation.
by a Member.-Was the grand jtfry,~in 1i'2,
composed of a less respectable class of 'inadi
-viduals than you had formerly known seLrv
as a grand jury ?-I think i never seiod on a
jury With more respectable gentledin 'than the
grand j-try in 1823.
Do not you believe that the coulbe which
you lpursued in striking the panel, 'was the
usual course with sheriffs-in striking a patiel ?
-I should supposeit was. It was the course
I adopted myself.
Are you not one of that party, inDublin, who
wish to see the dressing of the statue die a
natural death ?--Certainly.
Did you make any objection to the undressing
of the statue ?-No.
Have you ever heard, that the lord lieutenant
himself used to parade round the statue of c ing
William, on the 4th of November, in Dublin?
Have you heard, that the garrison ofDliblia
used to fire round the statue of king William,
on the 4th of November ?-I have.
Are such things observed now ?-No.
Then, the honours offered to this monarch,
are much on the decline ?-I think so.
How often was the statue dressed subsequent
to the departure of his majesty from -Ireland,
and previous to the prohibition on the part of
the lord mayor ?-I think, shortly after the de-
parture of the king.
How often ?-I do not recollect.
Did it not continue to be dressed until the
lord mayor put a stop to it in November last ?
Did you ever hear, that any application-was
made to the lord-lieutenant, stating the appre-
hensions of many of the inhabitants of College-
green, from the riots occasioned by the.dressing
of the statue ?-I did.
Mr. John Twycross called in.; and
By Colonel Barry.-What is your situation in
life ?-Jeweller and silversmith and goldsmith
You served upon the grand jury last-JanuaryF?
Are you an Orangeman ?-I am not.
Are -you a supporter of what is called Catholic
Emancipation ?-I should be very happy -if it
took plade to-morrow, -if there was security
,given from any-inroads on our constitution i
;church and 'state.
In the outrse of:the trantsa~tions on Ihe grend
jifry, Were there any direumstances tha'led you
-to think that there was anny partiality shown s
to the subjedt'ttnatter-that as brougfhtB'OefOe
them ?-Not in the least.
Dild it appear :to 'you, -tat-thdte 'Was an
Ill] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
anxious wish, conscientiously to discharge the
functions of grand-jurymen -Mostparticularly
so by every individual.
Was it by a patient investigation of all the
facts that were brought before you ?-A most
patient and most careful investigation of all the
Was there any thing in the conduct of that
grand jury which induced a conviction in your
mind, that they harboured any degree of par-
tiality on the subject matter submitted to them ?
-I have not the least doubt there was no par-
tiality shown whatever, but every attention
shown to every witness.
Was the finding of the bills according to the
unanimous decision of the jury ?-Most unani-
mous; we so declared in open court.
Mr. Joseph Henry Moore called in; and
-By Colonel Barry.-What is your situation ?
-A stock broker and agent to an insurance
company in Dublin.
Have you been in the habit of serving on
Dublin grand juries ?-Since 1817 I have.
You were employed by the grand jury to take
notes upon the late occasion ?-I took notes as
well as others of the grand jury, memorandums
of the heads of evidence.
Are you in any way connected with any
Orange institution ?-Not any, nor never was.
Are you competent to answer to such things
as passed upon that grand jury ?-I have taken
an oath of secrecy.
You know the facts ?-I am perfectly aware
of the facts from having acted in a measure for
[The witness was ordered to withdraw, and a
conversation ensued, in which Mr. S. Rice,
Colonel Barry, Mr. Bankes, and sir J. Newport
participated, on the propriety of taking any
part of the evidence of this witness, until the
question was decided, whether he should be
obliged to answer to matters to which the
witness might conceive himself bound by his
oath of secrecy. The witness was then ordered
to be called in.]
By Colonel Barry.-Did you attend to the
proceedings of the grand jury with great atten-
tion ?-Most attentively.
Did it appear that it was the intention of the
grand jury, fairly, honourably and impartially
to investigate the subject matter submitted to
them ?-Most decidedly.
Did you see any instance of any witness being
brow-beat or attempted to be forced out of
the'room during his giving evidence?-Cer-
How long did you occupy in considering
those bills ?-Untilfive o'clock on the first day,
when the court sent up to us to know if we had
decided. I returned for answer to, I believe,
Mr. Riky, that we had not decided; that we
should remain there and examine all the wit-
nesses, if it pleased the court, or adjourn, as
the court should direct.
Were there a great number of fresh witnesses
sworn and. sent up to you the second day ?-
Do you remember how many witnesses alto-
gether were examined before the grand jury P-
There were 27 I think.
Was any impediment offered to any witness
giving his testimony before, the grand jury ?-
Certainly not; the foreman protected them in
Were the witnesses fully examined to every
point which they appeared ready to bear wit-
ness to ?-The usual routine questions of grand
jurors were put to them.
By Mr. Jones.-You state that the witnesses
were protected by the foreman; did any of the
grand jury then conduct themselves towards
those witnesses in such a manner as to require
protection ?-Certainly not; in a multitude
of people there may be a multitude of ques-
Was not there a person examined who
offered evidence as to the person of one of the
rioters, which evidence he was not suffered to
give, because he did not know the person of
the rioter at the time of the riot having been
committed ?-That is a secret of the jury, I
apprehend. [The witness was ordered to
Mr. Calvert said, he thought the under-
standing was, that they were not to con-
tinue the examination after the witness
had objected to answer the question.
SMr. S. Rice considered the partial
testimony given ought not to stand on the
Mr. Brougham said, there could be no
doubt that to any fact which occurred
previously to the witness being sworn as
a grand juryman, or after the grand jury
were discharged, he might be examined ;
but to an examination relative to what
passed in the jury-room, he was not pre-
pared to be a consenting party, unless a
precedent could be shown for absolving
the witness from his oath. In the case of
admiral Byng (which he always con-
sidered as a murder)-on that infamous
transaction, a bill was brought in, which
passed that House, for absolving the
members of the court-martial from the
obligation of their oaths. It was there-
fore the solemn opinion of the House at
that period, that an act of the legislature
was necessary. But there was also the
act of the 56th of the late king, for regu-
lating grand juries, which dealt with this
very matter. In that act, after di-
recting that depositions taken before
justices of the peace shall be laid before
the grand jury, it is enacted, that if upon
the examination of witnesses it should
appear to the grand jury that the wit-
Petition of Richard Carlil
nesses have sworn falsely, they may re-
port the same to the court; and in case
the court should, therefore, order a bill of
* indictment for perjury to be preferred, it
should be competent for any of the grand
jurors to give evidence on the trial of such
indictment, notwithstanding the oath
* taken by him as a grand juror. Now,
the mere enactment of the statute or
question was an admission that the legis-
Jature thought that a specific act was ne-
cessary to absolve a member of a grand
jury from his oath. The case of admiral
Byng ran upon all-fours with the present
case, it was a regular proceeding before
the House of Commons. He begged,
however, to guard himself against being
taken to declare, that even if courts of
justice were without power to absolve a
grand juror from his oath, that there-
fore the House of Commons (whose au-
thority was paramount to all courts of
* justice) could not give that dispensation
without an act sanctioned by the other
House of parliament, and by the Crown.
He was far from intending to make any
such assertion as that; because he could
supposethecase of the House of Commons
proceeding against minister of the Crown,
or against a member of the upper House;
and being refused assistance either by the
Crown or by the House of Peers. He by
no means, therefore, contended, that an
act of parliament was absolutely necessary
to the object in question ; but he thought
that enough had appeared before the
committee to induce it to pause, and to
deliberate seriously upon the point. Per-
haps it would be better, for the present,
to conclude the proceeding and adjourn.
SMr. Abercromby had no objection to
an adjournment, but could not help wishing
that the question had been mooted upon
the evidence of the first witness. He
thought, as far as he could give an opinion
* upon the sudden, that the House had
power to dispense with the oath, and com-
pel the witness to give his evidence.
Mr. Wynn believed that the power of
dispensation, as regarded the oaths of
grand jurymen, had existed in courts of
justice prior to the 56th of the late king.
Sir J. Newport said, that the 56th of
S the late king was meant to declare what
the law was,, and notto make a new law.
With that avowed view, it had been in-
troduced. It was to correct an irregu-
clarity that,existed in the Irish practice of
the law, and to place it upon the same
footing with,the practice in England.
e. MAY 8, 1823. [114
Mr. Brougham thought the statute
enacting, and not declaratory. At the
same time he thought that the committee
ought to take the sense of the House upon
Mr. Wetherell thought that the oath of
a grand juryman might be dispensed with
by the power of a court of justice, and had
not the smallest doubt that the 56th of
the late king was declaratory. The case
of admiral Byng stood upon other ground.
The House of Commons, in that cas'.
were not acting in the capacity of a court
The House resumed: The chairman
reported progress, and obtained leave to
HOUSE. OF. COMMONS.
Thursday, May 8.
PETITION OF RICHARD CARLILE
COMPLAINING OF THE SEIZURE OF IHS.
PROPERTY.] Mr. Hume presented a pe-
tition from Richard Carlile, a prisoner in
Dorchester gaol, praying the House to
consider the hardship to which he had
been put. The treatment which Mr.
Carlile had received wasnovel in its nature.
There were strong prejudices against
Carlile, which he regarded as being wholly
without foundation. The fact was, that
Carlile was, previously to the distresses in
1816, a very respectable mechanic.
Those distresses had so reduced him in
his circumstances, that he was forced to
become a hawker of pamphlets; and At
the time of lord Sidmouth's circular he
had been employed under Sherwin, who
published a Political Register. But, up.
to this day he would say, that Mr. Carlile
was one of the best moral characters in
England [hear!]. Notwithstanding that
hear !" he would persist in his opinion.
Mr. Carlile's religious opinion might differ
from that of some other persons; but that
did not affect his moral character; and.he
would dare any one to contradict hip
when he said, that as a husband, as a
father, as head of a family, and as, a
neighbour, Mr. Carlile might challenge
calumny itself. Now, what had those by
whom this man had been persecuted made
of it? Why, it appeared that the circu-
lation of the books had been prodigiously
increased by the measures which had been
adopted for the purpose of suppressing
them. Previous to Mr. Carlile's first trial,
he had published an edition of Paine's
religious works, and though W0 e4pip. of
1151 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
that edition were subscribed for by the
trade before it was published, still the sale
was very limited till the trials began; but,
ift the course of those trials the sale of
that, and.of all Mr. Carlile's other pub-
licatiotis had been increased to 13,000
coples. If this was the way in which the
Sale of works, supposed to be hostile to
tellgion was to be diminished, it was, he
would say, a very strange way. But why
be so scrupulous about those works ?
Wsreehe principles of religion not to be
Explained ? Was there not to be a freedom
'of opinion on that very subject upon which
ieifhad the greatest personal grounds for
having themselves well informed ? The
course which had been taken with respect
to Mr. Carlile in the court of King's-bench
was such as entitled him to complain.
Upon the ground that the judge could
not hear the Christian religion questioned
'by a defendant, he had been debarred of
that full hearing which was his right as an
.English subject. The petitioner also
dioplained of the interruption given by
the court to his defence, and of the op.
preasiVe sentence passed upon him of
three years imprisonment, and 1,5001.
fihe, arid also of the still more oppressive
execution ofa levrifacias, which took away
from him all power of paying the fine,
and subjected him, in default thereof, to
cbhtinual imprisonment. A course so ar-
bitrary was more worthy of the Inqui-
sition than an English tribunal; and the
dn'ly effect of such proceedings would be,
to awaken a spirit of enthusiasm among
the lower orders, and prepare the minds
of hundreds among them for a new spe-
,dies of martyrdom. His own opinion was,
that if the devil were put on his trial, he
dught to be fairly heard, and receive no
more than his due proportion of punish-
.ment. He begged the law officers of the
' iiown to pay particular attention to the
BAi, that the prosecution of this person
Ifld caused an unprecedented diffusion of
t01Biweks, for the publishing of which he
iad been prosecuted.
The Slioitor Gensra, in answer to the
ittierk of the hon. gentleman, as to the
ilite uption of the defence, begged leave
WWetmind the House of the course taken
b the petitioner. He had occupied from
glit t4 ten hoiursof three successive days
ift his defenwc, after which he was con,
idr the vei'dtft, which he argued for
t~rifl hoamr Tlhe ifetiber for Notting-
lasriad moved.i arrest of judgment in
Petition of Richard Carlile. [116
a speech of considerable length,, aftei-
which the petitioner was heard for a still
longer time in mitigation of punishment.
Thus much for the conduct of the trial.
The petitioner, after these various pro-.
ceedings, had boasted that he would con-
tinue to publish the same works-that his
wife was willing to become a iartyr in
this cause-that if she should be prosecuted,
convicted, and imprisoned, he had a sister
who would take her place, and encounter
the same perils and that if the same
fate should overtake his sister, there were
hundreds willing to run the same risks
over and over again. How well he had
kept his word the House Would judge,
when they should learn that his wife and
sister and others of his agents, had been
convicted and were now in prison for the
offences, and that at this moment a prose-
cution was pending against another of his
agents on the same account. As t6 the
levarifacias, the whole proceeding was
according to the usual course of law. If
not, Mr. Carlile had only to move the
court, and the writ would have been
stayed. As to his inability to pay the fine,
by the statement just made by the hon.
member, it appeared that Mr. Carlile had
sold 15,000 copies of the work in question,
at half-a-guinea each. So that, by the
admission of the petitioner, the prosecu-
tion must have put much more money
into his pocket than the fine levied upon
Mr. Lennard considered the sentence
passed on Mr. Carlile as one of uncon-
stitutional severity. That severity he
looked upon as one of the signs of the
times. It appeared to him that the sup-
porters of the six acts having failed in
their efforts to procure the punishment of
perpetual banishment, had contrived,
through the agency of the judges, to
supply that deficiency by sentences
which amounted to perpetual imprison-
Mr. Hume accounted for the inability
of Mr. Carlile to pay the fine, by the fact
that he had invested the profits of his
former sale, in the expense of the works
which were seized under the levy.
Mr. Denman observed, that the pro-
ceedings in the case before the Housd
proved that irreligion could also produce
its martyrs. Such were the effects of that
re-action which the Operation of the joint-
stock purse of the self-called Constitl-
tional Association" had produced.' He un-
derstood that the fndfs of that purse WetV
Breach ef Priviikge.
exhausted, never, he trusted, to be reple.
nished. The punishment he considered
to be excessive. Had the judges been
* aware of the inability of Mr. Carlile to pay
the fine, at the time judgment was passed,
he was sure they never would have passed
it. He trusted, therefore, that the go-
vernment would interfere and modify it
to the actual circumstances of the peti-
Mr. Secretary Peel said, it was admit-
ted that the prosecutions had caused so
extensive a sale of the libellous books,
that the petitioner must have been fully
S enabled to pay the fine. But Mr. Carlile
was not in prison merely for the non-pay.
mnent of the fine; he was also called upon
for recognizances for his good behaviour.
He had, however, continued, according to
his promise, up to the latest minute, to
publish the offensive books. He did not
wish to press the circumstance against
him; but certainly it formed a good
ground for using precaution as to the per-
sons who were prepared to become bound
for him. As the margin of the petition
contained the titles of all the offensive
books sold by the petitioner, if the House
should print it, they would give a publicity
to them which it was, on all accounts, de-
S sirable to avoid.
The petition was ordered to lie on the
BREACH OF PRIVILEGE-COMPLAINT
AGAINST THE BRITISH PRESS."]
Colonel Barry rose for the purpose of
* calling the attention of the House to an
article in a newspaper respecting the
pending inquiry into the conduct of the
sheriff of Dublin. He felt reluctant to
propose the bringing a printer to the bar
of that House; but the object of the pa-
ragraph to which he alluded was so ob-
viously to impede the course of public
S justice, that he felt obliged to notice it.
The obscurity of the paper in which it
was contained might have induced him to
pass it by in silence, were not its wicked,
ness and falsehood such as to make it
unfit that, even upon the limited number
of the readers of that paper, such an im-
pression should be suffered to remain. He
* then proceeded to read an article from
The British Press," animadverting upon
the conduct and character of the Orange
party in Ireland, and commenting upon
thp evidence given at the bar of the House,
The hon. smenber proceeded to read a pre-
cedleg f~sli the Joerilp of the Hooe,
MAY 8, 1823. iJ
where a prosecution by the attorn.y-g"e
neral had been ordered during tl!hinqyuqr
on sir E. Impey's case, in 1788. That
course it was not his intention to pursue,
but he still thought he should not be
doing justice to those persons whose cha-
racter it was the object of the writer of
the paragraph to blacken, unless some
notice was taken of it, He should now
therefore move thatthe printer of The
British Press," do attend that Ho1se
Sir M. W. Ridley thought, that as tbe
paragraph read by the hon. gentleman di4
not contain any reflection upon the cba-
racter of any member of the House, al-
though its insinuations were injurious tq
the characters of others, enough had been
done in the notice which had been already
taken of it. As those individuals, who,
some how or other, obtained a knowledge
of the proceedings of the House, had in
general abstained from commenting upon
the inquiry, he would suggest to the hiOp
gentleman the expediency of withdrawing
Colonel Barryhad no objection to adopt
the course recommended, if the House
were of opinion that the article which he
had read was an instance of gross injus-
tice. He did not wish to bring the House
in collision with those people. But un-
less something be done," said the hon.
member, the press will become our
masters, instead of we being theirs."
Mr. Wynn said, that witnesses and even
culprits charged in that House were updet
its protection. He, however, thought ip
the present instance, that sufficient a
been done to prevent a repetition of the
Mr. Abercromhy observed, that if thp
newspapers refrained frino making 4ay
comments upon theinquiry now in prQegrs
they would be better employed. With
respect to the article just read, he W p op
hesitation in saying, that;it wAs 4 higjllyt
coloured statement. He was, h4weygy,
happy to have that opportunity of stating,
that since he had become a member of
that House, there was no instasc i1
which he had received such a multiplig~iy
of newspapers, pamphlets, and other Writ-
ings, all coming from the other pidp, rl
containing statements that were rmost e~r
aggeraed with respect to the cop4Au4 of
the attorney general for IrOelnd, He rw
quested the hon. member (p eqsI-e,
whether, under all the circum rqtg s, i
woqld be advisajl to engage t~e 1hias
11] HousE OF COMMONS,
in a cotest, which it was not probable
that they could speedily get rid of. There
were other publications which contained
statements fully as bad on the opposite
Mr. Secretary Peel said, he would ad-
vise his hon. friend not to proceed further.
Much consideration was certainly due to
his wounded feelings, but he should re-
collect that his character was proof against
any attack of the kind. When the liberty
of the press was so abused, its licentious-
ness became its own correction; for it was
the natural consequence of gross and dis-
raceful exaggerations to lessen the cre-
it of the source from which they pro-
The motion was then withdrawn.
SHERIFF OF DUBLIN-INQUIRY INTO
HIS CONDUCT.] The House having again
resolved itself into a committee to inquire
into the Conduct of the Sheriff of Dublin,
sir R. Heron in the chair,
Mr. Joseph Henry Moore was called in; and
By Mr. Jones.-Was there not a person ex-
amined, who offered evidence as to the person
of one of the rioters, which evidence he was
not suffered to give, because he did not know
the person of the rioter at the time of the riot
having been committed ?-No such thing took
Was there a man of the name of Ryan ex-
amined before the grand jury?-[The witness
was ordered to withdraw.]
Mr. Plunkett said, that before the com-
'mittee proceeded to examine the witness
on points involving the performance of
his duty as a member of a grand jury,
they.ought to decide the general princi-
ple of the capability of dispensing with
the obligation of his oath of secrecy. A
grand juryman was sworn not to divulge
the counsel of the king, or of himself or
fellows. The examination now about to
-be entered upon might put a grand jury-
man in a situation at variance with that
oath. As to the power of absolving the
witness from such obligation, he would
express no opinion, but would leave it for
the committee to determine.
Mr. Wynn maintained that the House
Swas entitled, in the discharge of its highest
.functions, to call on grand jurors to an-
swer such questions as might be deemed
necessary. This had been decided in the
case of sir John Fenwick. Sir John had
absconded, in consequence of a serious
chargee that had been brought against
him and the House could not proceed
to his expulsion, until proof of that charge
was laid before them. For that purpose
it was found necessary to examine some
of the grand jury before whom the bill of
indictment had been preferred. He in-
sisted that the case of admiral Byng,
which had been adduced on the oppo-
site side, was not relevant, and that the
act of parliament for regulating the pro-
ceedings of Irish grand juries, did not op-
pose any obstacle to the inquiry.
Mr. Abercromby stated it to be the opi-
nion of Mr. Fox, that when the House
acted in the capacity of a court of inquiry
its powers ought to be as large as possi-
ble. He then went into an explanation
of the actfor the regulation of the proceed-
ings of Irish grand juries, which bill did
not relate to viva voce examinations, but
to indictments found upon written depo-
sitions. He contended, that neither the
bill as drawn up by Mr. Horner, nor a
particular proviso which had been added
to it, went against the right of the House
to dispense with the obligation of a grand
juror's oath, for the purposes of public jus-
tice. An inquiry of this kind was for the
benefit of the public at large, and the
committee had a right to call before them
every person who could give them infor-
mation, and oblige them to answer fully
Mr. Secretary Peel said, the present
was a question of very great difficulty.
No man felt more strongly than he did the
necessity of granting to the House the
most extensive power for carrying on an
inquiry of this description, and no man
was more ready to admit that they were
not, in their proceedings, to abide by the
rules of a court of justice. There was, he
conceived, only one case to which their
authority did not apply, and that was the
present case precisely, which was one of
conscience. First of all, they placed in-
dividuals in a situation in which they were
compelled to do certain acts. The grand
jurors were obliged to take an oath, not
to divulge their own counsel, the king's
counsel, or the counsel of their fellows,"
and then the House turned round and de-
manded of them to violate that oath. Was
there, he would ask, any power in that
House to release men from so solemn an
obligation ? Or, if there were, was it pru-
dent, when the force of such an obliga-
tion depended altogether oh conscientious
feelings, to compel men to act in contra-
diction to those feelings ? Might not the
Inquiry into his Conduct.
members of the grand jury appeal, on
this subject, to a higher authority than
that of the House of Commons? Might
they not appeal to the authority of the
whole legislature ? In 1819, that House
was party to an act having for its ob-
* ject the regulation of Irish grand juries.
Gentlemen knew that the grand juries of
Ireland had two distinct functions to per-
form-those of finding bills, and of money
presentments. By the act of 1819, grand
juries were allowed to divulge matters re-
lating to presentments; but the other part
of their oath, with reference to the con-
* cealment of evidence given on bills of in-
dictment, remained binding on them. This
plainly showed the light in which the le-
gislature viewed the subject. Every grand
juror swore to conceal the evidence given
before him, So help him God," or, in
other words, he said, may the divine
S protection be withheld from me, if I dis-
close what is stated in evidence." Could
that House compel him to divulge that
which he had thus impressively sworn to
conceal? Suppose the House. thought
they could do so, and the individual an-
swered I know not what your construc-
tion maybe, I feel myself bound by the oath
which I have taken, and no interpreta-
tion of others shall induce me to violate
it," suppose the witness made such an an-
swer, would the House commit him? In
that case, the conscientious observer of
an oath would be committed, because he
entertained a religious abhorrence of its
violation. A committal on such a ground,
* would be the worst exercise of that power
which belonged to the House in cases of
ordinary contumacy, and he doubted very
much its policy. If they were not pre-
pared to commit a witness who was con-
vinced that no power on earth could re-
lieve him from the sanction of an oath,
then they ought to consider whether they
must not leave it to the witnesses whom
they called, to determine whether they
would answer or not. There could be no
other alternative, and the House ought to
pause before it placed itself in that situa-
Sir J. Mackintosh said, the question
'was, properly, whether an individual could
be absolved from the sanction of an oath
annexed to civil services of state, or the
pure administration of justice, where the
S service was not for his own advantage,
but was a duty imposed upon him. The
right hon. gentleman opposite denied that
any human authority could dispense with
MAY 8, 182. IS
the obligation. He did not recollect any,
instance of such a doctrine having been
laid down, even in papal times, when the
church in the name of religion, but fre.-
quently to its abuse, imposed laws, and
assumed the direction of all the affairs of
society. When religion lent its sanction
to civil offices, and enforced the obliga-
tions imposed by magistrates and the law,
all the theologians casuists and moralists
with whom he was acquainted, agreed that
so soon as the competent authority which
imposed the obligation thought proper to
dissolve it, the influence of religion
ceased with the existence, of that obliga-
tion which it was called in to enforce. If
that were not the true doctrine, what
must be the consequence with respect to
the oath of allegiance ? The people of
this country took the oath of allegiance
to James 2nd, and afterwards to William
and Mary. The latter oath was, of course,
a positive repeal of the former; but, were
they on that account to accuse the people
of England with having committed gross
perjury ? No; the oath of allegiance was
but a promissory oath, from which a man
might be relieved under extraordinary
circumstances. No man could be re-
lieved from an oath of testimony; be-
cause that was direct and immediate,
and could not, therefore, be applic-
able to this case; but the oath of alle-
giance being promissory, was not binding
longer than the original duty of allegi-
ance. What was to be said of oaths which
the clergy of England had broken, with
regard to the see of Rome? Were the
statutes of the Reformation founded in
perjury ? Were Cranmer and Tillotson,
and other great divines liable to such'an
imputation ? Were the founders of our
mode of religion at the Reformation, and
its protectors at the Revolution, grossly
ignorant of the sanctions of religion and
the obligations of law ? He would not
weary the House by going into the argu,
ment of the marriage oath; but he might
be permitted to say, that that was another
instance in which the sanction of religion
was added to civil duties, and ceased as
soon as the temporal obligation was dis-
solved by law. As to the manner in which
the House was bound to treat witnesses
whohad religious scruples, that was a ques-
tion of tenderness to conscientious feelings,
and was very different from the question
of the right of the witness to refuse to
answer. It was not incompatible with
the maintenance of the power of the
1933 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Mouse to be tender to the religious im-
pressions of individuals. No one would
deny that the state had a right to exact
oaths from the society called Quakers, as
well as from all other subjects, but it was
equally true, that it was wise and be-
coming to consult their conscientious
scruples, and relieve them from an oath.
It was his opinion, that if any juryman
Called to their bar should conceive that
his oath was not to be dispensed with, he
ought not to be examined; for he
thought no witness ought to be question-
ed who was not content to be thoroughly
Mr. Wetherell entirely concurred in the
opinion, that no court ought, on light
grounds, to interfere with the scruples of
religious persons, in the construction of
an obligation., But, what was the case
here? Let them not confound in one
common sense, civil and religious obliga-
tions. What was the nature of the oath
,n this case ? It was strictly an obliga-
tion for the performance of a civil duty:
it had, certainly, from its nature, two as-
pects-one a religious, the other a civil
obligation: but, in what sense did the re-
ligious part become involved ? Why, to
give effect to and to enforce the civil. It
was, in fact, a pledge eoram Deo, that
the civil duty should be duly discharged.
The true construction of such an oath,
then, was that which aided the civil ob-
ligation. What was the principle which
governed the construction of an oath?
Some principle was actually necessary;
for otherwise, as there were two parties
-the one imposing the oath, and the
other contracting it-they might clash
with each other in their respective con-
struction of the obligation. The principle
long established was this-that the oath
should' be construed in the sense of the
party administering it, and according to
the terms he imposed, The hop, and
learned gentleman then quoted Dr. Paley
in illustration of this principle, that, as
the oath was intended for the security of'
the party imposing it, it ought to be taken
according to his avowed construction.
With respect to the application of this
principle to the particular case, if he
were to hazard an opinion-for he would
not venture to go further-he almost felt
disposed to say, that the oath of secrecy
Ofa grand juror was only intended to
operate until the party was put upon his
riall; for then, of necessity, the informa-
tonp previously given becgitp public,
and the motive for secrecy no longer
existed. Writers, he knew, were obscure
upon the subject, and he would only ven-
ture to hazard an opinion. In applica.
tion of the principle which he had already
stated, he would ask, by whom, and for
whose benefit, was the oath of a grand
juror administered ?-by the state, and in
furtherance of the purposes of justice.
Was it not lawful, therefore, for the state
to say-" We, who administer the oath,
release you who took it from the obliga-
tion. it imposed." Why? Because the
purposes of justice, which rendered that
oath necessary, now require that you
should, in the particular instance, be re-
leased from the secrecy which it imposed.
If parliament had not the power of con-
ferring this release, what an absurdity to
have given them the right of entering
into an unlimited power of inquiry!
If the oath were inexpiable, then their
inquisitorial power could at any time,
where a grand juror was concerned, be
stopped by what was called a scruple of
conscience. The indissolubility of this
oath, and the privileges of parliament,
could not exist together. And, could the
legislature have ever meant, or contem.
plated, that they should come in con-
tact? The only question, then, respect-
ing this oath, was, quis imposuit, et quo
animo ? His answer was, the state nm-
posed the oath, and the quo qnimo was in
furtherance of justice. The oath, then,
must be considered with reference to its
real purpose, and the state which regu-
lated that oath must have reserved to
itself the power of removing the bond of
secrecy when the interests of justice re-
quired further information. But then he
might be told that a severe religionist
might say, My scruples are so strong,
that I must have an act of parliament to
exonerate me," To such a man he would
reply, How will an act of parliament
remove your scruples If they are sin-
cere, you will stand just the same, as re-
gards your conscience, after the act of
parliament as you do before ?" Let those
who were severe religionists remember
the university oaths which they took, and
the manner in which they qualified that
taking, Why, in the university of Oxford,
of which the right hon. secretary was
so able a representative, nine-tenths of
the gowns-and-caps-men who. walked
about that city talking English, and who
stayed out of bgd after nine o'clock every
eveniPg, wete, in the daily habit of com-
. quiIdty itaio-.it Conduct,
hitting perjury, if this extreme constru.-
tion of ian oath were to be maintained.
They had sworn to talk in the Latin lan-
S guage, and to go to bed at nine o'clock
every night. But, how did they recon-
cile this conduct to the oath they had
taken? They did it in this manner:-
they said that the progress of time had
altered the character of the hour of the
night, and that if the founder who had
imposed the obligation were now alive, he
would alter the hour to meet the custom
of modern times. Indeed, he recollected
that there was one statute which enjoined,
S that no higher price than two-pence a
pound should be paid for mutton used in
a particular college. But, were those
persons who finding it impracticable to
obtain mutton at that price, bought it at
a greater, to be taunted with perjury ?-
Although this particular case had never
S yet been solemnly decided, yet analogous
cases had bean so. There was the case
of sir John Fenwick, which was strictly
applicable. With respect to the case of
admiral Byng, the oath of the members
of a naval court-martial bound them to se-
crecy, unless they should be released by
act of parliament. As to the privy coun-
sellor's oath, it was not necessary to con-
sider it, but the cases were not exactly
analogous, because in the case of the
privy counsellor, the authority imposing
the oath was the Crown. Upon the whole,
the best consideration which he had been
able to give to the subject, confirmed the
conviction which he yesterday entertain-
* ed, that what it was proposed to do, was
no excess of power.
Mr. Bright contended, that upon a
question of such vital importance as this,
it was incumbent upon the House to ex-
ercise its undoubted privilege of obtain-
ing the utmost information, and he ap-
pealed to the highest authority in that
House to declare whether their privileges
would not be affected, if they were com-
pelled to stop here. Let the House see
the state in which they would be placed.
The acquittal of this sheriff would follow,
not upon the merits of the case, but upon
the absolute impossibility of their obtain-
ing theinformation necessary for the ends
S of justice.
Mr. Baring said, that however im-
pottant this case was, the House were
* bound to take care that the more important
interests of the community were not made
*tbservient to its Convenibnce. The
question really was, was the grand juror's
oath An unqualified obligation, o0 Whiv ft
not ? If, as he maintained, it was, theft
that House had no power to initerpbse.
What had college statutes, about talkifig
Latin, early hours, and the priCe of
mutton, to do with such a subject, and
what was the tendency of introdttein
them, but to weaken the obligation of ah
oath where it ought to be most seriously
impressed ? But it wgs said the state it-
posed the oath, and the state was now ih-
terested in the disclosure. Was the state
the only party interested in a grand
juror's oath? Was there not a third party
more importantly concerned-the indivi-
dual against whom the evidence was
given, who might not be tried, ot if tried,
might possibly be acquitted? Surely
such an individual ought not to have the
ex parte evidence given before the grand
jury lightly promulgated against him. He
was not disposed to treat in so qualified
manner so serious an obligation.
Mr. Denman argued that this was A
proper case for calling upon a grai
juror to give his testimony at the bar.
The case of James 2nd, who had brokeii
his compact with the people and the go-
vernment, furnished an instance in which
subjects might be said not so much to
have been absolved from their oath of
allegiance, as that that oath no longer ap-
plied to them. If so much stress was
to be laid upon the doctrine, that in no
possible case was a grand juror to be freed
from the obligation of his oath, let the
House observe what mischievous conse-
quences might follow : a man might prefer
a bill against another before a grand jury,
fraudulently and maliciously, upon his
oath; and when that bill should come orA
to be tried before a petty jury, he might
swear precisely contrary to the tenor of
his former oath; and a grand juror, hap-
pening to be present, would be prevented
from at once demonstrating the perjury
of such a witness, and the innocede of
the accused, because he was to be held
bound not to divulge what had taken
place before him. The hon. and learned
gentleman then proceeded to show, on
the authority of lord Somers, that the
oath of a grand juror not to disclose the
king's counsels, his fellows, or his own,'"
was intended for the security of the
rights, lives, and property of the kigti
subjects, and could by rto mealn be cone
strued to prevent a grand Juror frort
giving his evidence in aid of jurtfce. b
concluded by expressing his ciuerrttetce
MAV 8, 182. (126
127] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
with the hon. member for Bristol, that it
was impossible to condemn the party be-
fore the House, unless the House- gave
him the benefit of every evidence that
could be properly resorted to.
Mr. Canning could not at all agree
with those who considered that the oath
taken by grand jurors by no means
strictly connected itself in their minds
with the business before the grand jury.
He did believe that they who took the
oath to keep secret the king's counsels,
their own, and their fellows', imagined
that'they were solemnly pledging them-
selves to keep secret what might pass
amongst and before them, on the subject
of such bills as were brought under their
consideration. If this was an erroneous
view of the character of the oath, it
would rather be a ground for a new
legislative enactment, than for the course
which had been proposed on the present
occasion. The practical question to be
decided by the House was, whether the
proposed mode of inquiry was to be pro-
ceeded in? This question, in his view of
it, involved two most material points;
first, as to the authority possessed by the
House of enforcing such a course of ex-
amination; and secondly, as to the dis-
cretion which they ought to use in carry-
ing that authority into execution. Now,
as to the power of the House to enforce
such a mode of inquiry in cases of emer-
gency, certainly no one could deny it.
:But, unless in cases of great emergency,
he thought even the discussion of that
right a matter pregnant with much dan-
ger. It was a question which, on every
ground, ought not to be debated, except
when a case arose that rendered its agi-
tation necessary. The present was not a
case of that kind; and the case put by
the hon. and learned gentleman opposite
was of little importance in its bearing
upon it. The House need hardly con-
sider in what way it would be disposed to
exercise its discretion upon the matter
before them, if it was not called upon to
do so under existing circumstances. It
seemed to be admitted on all hands, that
a refusal by a party who had taken the
oath of a grand juror to answer certain
questions that might be put to him in
the course of this inquiry, would not con-
stitute, whether arising from purely con-
scientious, or merely discretionary mo-
tives, such- a case as should call upon the
House for the exercise of its extreme
severity in sending the witness from their
Sher ofDublin- [128
bar to Newgate. He called upon hon.
gentlemen, therefore, to consider whether
they would exercise their authority in this
instance; for he could not see the pos-
sible advantage of their saying, before-
hand, as it were, If you don't answer
such and such questions, that will not be
a case in which we shall exercise our
privileges." This had been put as a case
for a tender conscience; but, was it not
perfectly clear, that the persons most
likely to take advantage of such a'de-
claration were those whose consciences
were of another character ? The right
hon. gentleman, after arguing to show
the inexpediency of discussing abstract-
edly a very nice and difficult question,
observed, that if the matter was pressed
to a division, he should vote against any
inquiry of the sort proposed. He then
deprecated the course which an hon. and
learned friend of his had pursued, in re-
sorting, upon the question of an oath, to
ridiculous comparisons, such as had been
attempted to be instituted between the
solemn oath of a grand juror, and those
obsolete and formal oaths which gentle-
men were in the habit of taking at the
university, and violating without offence,
or scruple, or remorse. An oath of this
more grave and serious nature, was, after
all, the last resort of good faith among
men; and it was unwise, and more than
improper, to treat it in any way that
might derogate from its sanctity.
Mr. Wetherell, in explanation, begged
that he might not have all the high merit
and distinction of treating the question of
certain oaths with some degree of ridicule.
That merit was to be shared at least with
that great and enlightened moralist and
divine Dr. Paley, whose book he had
Mr. Plunkett rose merely to state what
he conceived to be the bounden duty of
the House. A charge had been brought
forward by an hon. baronet against the
sheriff of Dublin, for having improperly
empanelled a grand jury. Now, without
entering into the question which had that
night been so much discussed, it would
surely be a gross injustice to the sheriff
if the evidence affecting the empanelling
of that jury if the testimony of the
grand jury itself-could not be heard, sup-
posing it necessary to his defence. He
rose, therefore, to submit to the House,
that if these interrogatories were not to
be put, all the previous evidence that had
been taken affecting the conduct of the
Riaquiry into his Conduct.
grand jury ought to be expunged from the
minutes. At all events, that part which
was inculpatory ought not to be kept in,
* if that which might be exculpatory was to
be put out.
Mr. Brougham said, that he had last
night recommended delay, in order to give
S opportunity for a mature inquiry into a
point of so grave and serious a nature as
the present. He was now anxious to offer
a few observations upon it, and the more
so as he confessed that he now felt much
fewer doubts upon it than he did on the
former occasion. He certainly was of
opinion, that if the House could avoid
coming to any decision upon this point-
if they could prevail on themselves not to
decide upon it-that would be the most
convenient, as well as the safest course
which they could adopt; but that course
could only be adopted by their abstaining
altogether from inquiring into what passed
* before the grand jury. For it certainly
would be going against justice to enter at
all upon the inquiry without pursuing it to
its fullest extent. Then, the practical
question for the consideration of the com-
mittee was, could this inquiry go on with
safety to its own object-could it be ef-
fectually prosecuted-without inquiring
what did take place before the grand jury?
If there was any member in that House
who thought not, then that member must
be also of opinion, that the inquiry must
be prosecuted to its fullest extent. And
then would come the inquiry as to the
power of the House to absolve a grand
juror from the obligation of his oath. He
saw no middle course. If they could not go
into thatinquiry without taking this course,
and if the House did not possess the power
of taking it, then it must drop altogether-
a circumstance for which he has no doubt
every member of the House would feel
extremely sorry. But he did not feel that
S they were placed in this dilemma: he did
not conceive that what had passed before
the grand jury of Dublin was necessary
to the vindication of the sheriff's cha-
racter; and his reason for thinking so was
this: The main question to be inquired
into was, whether the sheriff had packed
the grand jury? Now, if that jury so
packed, had done as it was expected they
would do, and if this were proved, it cer-
tainly would tend much to the crimination
of the sheriff; but if they had been diso-
bedient, and had not, done what it was
expected they would do by the person
who packed them (always supposing them
MAY 8, 1823. [130
to have been packed), that would not, in
his view of the case, tend to exculpate
that officer. To be sure, an officer having
such an object in his view, would select
men fit for his purpose, or whom he
thought fit for his purpose; he would try
to find men who would say to A. B.
" We can't listen to your evidence re-
specting such a man, because you did not
know his name at the time that.you saw
him do so and so." But the disobedience
of such a jury would be no proof of the
innocence of the sheriff. He was par-
ticularly anxious to guard against its be-
ing sent forth to the world that the House
doubted its power to act in cases of emer-
gency. All that was necessary to be done
in this case was, to decide that there was,
in this instance, no necessity for its ex-
ercise. Such an occasion might arise
-it might arise even on that very night;
but sufficient for him was it to perceive,
that that occasion was not now arrived.
If any hon. member were to say that the
character and credit of the sheriff were
not safe without such an inquiry, that
alone would be sufficient ground for en-
tering on the present discussion, if a dis-
cussion upon the point should be thought
necessary; but he had heard no hon.
member yet assert that that was the case.
He now begged to observe, that he
thought he had been misled with regard
to some of the doubts he entertained re-
specting a clause in the act of the 56th
of the late king. He had since consulted
a gentleman who had taken an active part
in the framing of that act, arid he found
that if it were considered a new enact-
ment to make that law which was not law
before, then he must say that the law of
Ireland differed from the law of England
-an admission which he was very loth to
make, and which ought not to be lightly
made. Upon the law of England, he
was at a loss to see how any doubt could
be raised upon this point. Would any
man pretend to say that a person could
not be prosecuted for perjury committed
in his evidence before a grand jury ? If
they once admitted this, then every man,
who, from spiteful or malicious motives,
went before a grand jury to prosecute his
neighbour, would be free from the pun-
ishment due to his crime; because, innine
cases out of ten, there were no persons
listening to his evidence but the grand
jury; who, according to this doctrine,
would be prevented by their oaths from
appearing against him. But, an hon. and
131] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
learned friend of his had furnished him
with a case decidedly in point on this sub-
ject. A man was tried for a capital of-
fence; the witness for the prosecution
deposed strongly against him ; and as the
case was going on, a grand juror threw
down a note to the prisoner's counsel,
stating that the witness had sworn quite
the reverse before the grand jury on that
morning. The statement was instantly
made known to the court, and Mr. Justice
Buller ruled, that the grand juror should
be allowed to appear as a witness: he did
appear, the man was acquitted, and he
understood that the witness was afterwards
convicted of perjury on the evidence of
that grand juror. The oath of the grand
juror was never intended to impede the
course of justice; it was meant to prevent
idle gossip; to prevent persons from talk-
ing over at an ale house or at a gentle-
man's table after dinner, the whole of the
circumstances which had taken place in
the grand jury room. The oath of a
grand juror bound him to keep the king's
counsel, his fellow jurors and his own.
That the king's counsel should be kept
was necessary, as otherwise the accused
might escape and justice be evaded; but
it never could have been intended, that a
juror's oath should prevent him from ap-
pearing as a witness against a person guilty
of perjury before him. The House ought
to give every sort of credit to, and act
with all manner of kindness towards, really
conscientious scruples. At the same time,
their proceedings would be most impro-
perly impeded, if the witness was to be
the judge of the expediency of yielding
to those scruples. It would be for a wit-
ness to make an objection, and for the
House to determine whether the objection
was a valid one. If a witness was allowed
to pldad the tenderness of his conscience
as an excuse for not giving his evidence,
there would be an end of nll inquiry.
What would be said if one of the society
of friends were to come into a court of
justice, and say that his conscience not
only precluded him from taking an oath,
but because he had strong feelings on the
subject of capital punishments, also pre-
vented him froni giving evidence which
might affect the life of an individual?
The answer which would be given to such
a person would be this-" Sir, you have
no right to have a conscience on such a
subject at all: the legislature is the only
judge of the necessity of taking away a
man's life, and your notions of jurispru-
Sheriffof Dulin.- i[lS
dence must not stand in the wny of juq.
twice So, with respect to witnesses at
the bar of that House who might plead a
tenderness of conscience, he would say-
Place your conscience in our keeping;
we will deal with it with all tenderness;
but we are the proper judges of what
ought or ought not to be given in evidence
in this House."
Colonel Barry said, he shouldextrelnely
regret any circumstance which would pre-
vent the sheriff of Dublin from producing at
their bar testimony which would go to con-
tradictthat which he (col. Barry) believed
in his conscience to be false evidence. In-
deed, he should regret any thing which
would put an extinguisher upon the pre-
sent inquiry. The grand jury themselves,
as far as he had been led to understand,
had no objection to state at the bar what
took place before them, as they did not
conceive the obligation of their oath went
so far as to prevent them from giving evi-
dence in any inquiry instituted by that
House for the purpose of attaining the
ends of justice.
The Attorney General observed, that
when, two nights ago, the first question
was put to a witness with respect to the
conduct of the grand jury, he had entered
his protest against such a line of evidence,
because he foresaw, that, if it were perse-
vered in, the committee would be placed
in the dilemma in which they now stood.
He regretted that the House had not
listened to his advice upon that occa-
sion. He knew that in the case of sir
John Fenwick the House had compelled a
grandjuror tostateproceedings which had
passed in the jury room; but he doubted
whether it would be expedient to follow
that precedent upon the present occasion.
He had not yet made up his mind upon
that point, and he hoped that the com-
mittee would not come to a hasty deci.
sion of the question before it. Of this he
was satisfied, that if the committee should
refuse to receive the evidence of the
grand jury, they ought, in justice to those
gentlemen, to expunge from the minutes
of evidence every word which related to
Dr. Lushinglon said, that in his opinion
the House hbad decidedly the power to in-
quire into what passed before the grand
jury, and that it would be no violation of
the oath of any grand juror to give the
fullest information the House might re-
quire of him. If the question under con-
sideration was, whether in every case that
MAY 8, 1823. 3
House had the power of absolving a man
from the obligation of an oath, he should
give it his decided negative; because, it
was absurd to say that any one branch of
the legislature could undo that which was
the united act of the three. But that the
legislature had the power of abrogating
certain oaths, was undeniable, otherwise
the half of our ancestors were perjured
men ; because, previously to the Reforma-
tion, there existed many oaths, exacting
the performance of certain duties, which
oaths were altogether abrogated after the
Reformation. If the matter were not
sifted to the utmost, it would be the duty
of the House to strike out of the minutes
every thing relative to the conduct of the
grand jury. It would be the height of in-
justice to hear charges against that body,
and to deprive them of the power of an-
swering those charges.
Sir J. Newport suggested that a motion
should be made to expunge from the
minutes all that related to the conduct of
the grand jury. [Cries of move."] He
would first wish toknow the opinion of the
right hon. gentleman opposite.
Colonel Barry was of opinion, that the
proceeding suggested by the fight hon.
baronet would be an act of gross injustice
towards the grand jury. Could the com-
mittee, after having allowed all the
Calumny (he did not use the word in an
offensive sense) which had been uttered
against the grand jury to be published,
now refuse to hear and record their vin-
Sir J. Newport said he would not make
the motion in opposition to the opinion of
the right hon. gentleman.
Mr. Dawtson said, he had been in doubt
whether any examination of a grand
juror should take place, but the speech of
the hon. and learned gentleman (Mr.
Brougham) had completely removed that
doubt from his mind. After what had
been said of the conduct of the sheriff and
the grand jury, it would not be doing jus-
tice to either, nor dealing fairly with the
administration of justice in Ireland which
was thus impeached, if they did not go
into the fullest examination of all those
whose evidence tended to the elucidation
of truth. However inconvenient the
course of examination proposed might be,
he thought it ought to be gone into.
Mr. Goulburn said, it was very natural
for an Irishman to wish to clear the admi-
nistration of justice in that country from
every imputation of partiality. He was
as anxious to do so as any hon. member,
but he must think that the course pointed
out would be attended with very consi-
derable inconvenience. He had given ihe
utmost attention to the arguments which
had been urged in favour of examining the
grand jury ; but he had not yet heard
any thing which satisfied him of the jus-
tice of compelling parties to violate so
sacred an obligation as an oath.
Sir N. Colthurst said, that the attorney-
general for Ireland had declared it was
not his intention to cast any imputation
upon the grand jury. It appeared, how,
ever, that in the list of witnesses which
he had given in, there were five persons
who could not be examined for any other
purpose but thatof impugning the conduct
of the grand jury, as they were called to
state how they had been treated when
called before that body to give their evi-
dence. Under 'these circumstances, he
thought the fullest inquiry should be en-
tered upon, for the purpose of giving all
the parties an opportunity of defending
Mr. Canning said, that the decision of
the House, if it should be for allowing the
question objected to to be put, would still
leave the real point open for discussion, for
the witness might go on with his testi-
mony until he came to some point which
he might consider himself prevented from
answering by his oath of secrecy. The
question would then be raised as to the
power.of the House to compel him. If,
however, the committee should decide that
the question should not be put, they would
cut off the matter altogether. The right
hon. gentleman then referred to the peti-
tion of the grand jury, in which they com-
plained of the imputations cast upon them
by the attorney-general for Ireland, and
which imputations they observed they
were prevented from rebutting by the oath
of secrecy by which they were bound. Now
this, he observed, was sufficient to show
the feeling which that jury entertained
with respect to their oaths, and that the
committee were proceeding to do that to
which they had such a conscientious ob-
Sir J. Mackintosh said, that since the
presentation of the petition, the grand
jury had presented another jointly with the
sheriff, in which they prayed for the fullest
investigation into their conduct, and ex-
pressed their willingness to repair to Lon-
don for that purpose.
Mr. Canning said, that if all the jury
Inguiry into hris Condurct.
135] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
had no objection to be examined, it might
be another question; but if some should
object to be examined, the committee
would have to come to the question as to
the propriety of compelling them. Now,
he thought that would be objectionable ;
and therefore if the committee divided, he
would give his vote for not putting the
question, by which the matter would be
set at rest.
Mr. Brougham said, if the sheriff and
his friends desired it, he saw no objection
to the examination ; but he did not think
the examination of the grand jury at all
necessary to the case of the sheriff.
Mr. Dawson said, if the grand jury
sought to give an explanation of their con-
duct, the opportunity should not be denied
them of answering charges so unequivo-
Mr. Tierney conceived that they must
have all the evidence respecting the grand
jury or none. Would it not be better to
shape some middle course, and instruct
the chairman to state to any grand juror
who might come before the committee,
that he must either be silent as to the
conduct of the jury, or consent to be exa-
mined touching all that occurred.
Mr. Keith Douglas said, that rather
than have the proceedings conducted in
this undecided manner, he would wish the
whole inquiry to be put a stop to at once;
and if any member felt disposed to second
him, he would move that the chairman do
report progress, and ask leave to sit again
that day six months.
Sir ,. Mackintosh did not see how the
committee could possibly refuse to the
grand jury an opportunity of defending
themselves if they required it, As to the
oath of secrecy, the grand jury by their
joint petition with the sheriff, in which they
complained of the charges made against
them, and expressed their readiness to re-
pair to London to aid any inquiry which
the House might please to go into, dis-
tinctly waived the question of secrecy ;
because no examination could take place
to exculpate them, but an examination of
themselves. This petition either gave up
any objection to be examined as to what
passed in the jury room, or it was a dis-
honest attempt to deceive the House.
Sir G. Hill thought that the evidence
already gone into respecting the grand
jury was by no means necessary to the
case of the sheriff. Indeed it was his
opinion, that it would be greatly for the
convenience of the House and the coun-
try, if the entire investigation was to close
Mr. Plunkett said, that the House had
to come to a decision upon this abstract
point-whether the House ought to com-
pel a grand juror to answer? He had
declared from the outset, that unless the
proposed interrogatories were put and
answered, gross injustice would be done to
the sheriff, by suffering what was already
on the minutes to remain there without
giving him the opportunity of reply.
Mr. R. Smith proposed to move,
" That, under all the circumstances of the
case, it is not expedient to proceed with
the inquiry with respect to any thing that
passed before the grand jury."
Colonel Barry was opposed to the ex-
punging of any thing from the minutes.
If any thing were expunged, the charge
would have been published in all the news-
papers, without the means of giving it an
answer. He was willing to rest the case
of the grand jury on what had already
appeared, without pressing it further.
Mr. Peel observed, that the committee
had, in fact, nothing to do with the grand
jury, but as its conduct implicated or ac-
quitted the sheriff. He saw no reason
why it should not proceed with other parts
of the inquiry, regarding which all were
agreed, and postpone this question re-
specting the grand jury, until it was found
necessary to decide it.
Mr. Brougham fully concurred in what
had been said by the right hon. gentleman.
The only practicable method was to post-
pone to the last moment the decision of
the abstract question. It would thus be
left open to the hon. colonel to call any
grand juror he thought right to bring for-
ward. If he did not think it necessary to
produce them, the question would not
Colonel Barry added, that he should
call some of the grand jurors, but not to
any matters connected with what had
passed before them when the bills were
Mr. John Davis called in; and examined
By Colonel Barry.-What is your situation
in life?-I have been educated in a respect-
able mercantile establishment; since that I
have been much on the continent; I now re-
side near Dublin, within a few miles of it.,
Do you know a person of the name of Ad-
dison Hone?-I do.
Is he supposed to be a man of what are
called strong political feelings ?--I certainly
consider him a man coming under the derio-
mination of possessing high political feelings. shall be returned by both the sheriffs, as the law
Do you recollect being present at any con- requires. We, &c. Thos. & Wm. Kemmis."
versation between Addison Hone and sheriff Mr. Willia Carpenter called in; and
Thorpe ?-I do. examined
State what that conversation was ?-I recol-
lect walking with Mr. Addison Hone, some By Colonel Barry.-Do you know any per-
few days, probably three or four, previous to son of the name of William Poole ?-I do.
the meeting of the January grand jury. I re- Did you hear any conversation between him
member Mr. Hone, having met Mr. Sheriff and sheriff Thorpe, a few days before the com-
Thorpe, addressing him; he informed him, that mission ?-I did; it was in the court-house, in
he understood Mr. Sheriff Thorpe had received Green-street. Mr. Poole came to sheriff
a communication from the crown solicitor, re- Thorpe, and he told him that he was informed
lative to this panel. Mr. SheriffThorpe, with- that he was not on the panel; and he said,
out any reply, seemed to affirm that he had, that he was astonished, as Mr. Thorpe had pro-
without explaining the nature of that commu- mised him, about six weeks, or two months
nicatiori. Mr. Hone then observed, that it back, to put him on the jury. Mr. Thorpe told
was not his intention to go on this jury, but him, that he could not put him on the jury;
that in consequence of that communication, as that the panel had been made out by his bro-
it was generally well known through the city their sheriff and himself. Mr. Poole some time
of Dublin, he now declared his wish to occupy after, told him, that if he put him on the panel
his place on that panel, and requested the she- he would not interfere with the matter which
riff to put him on it. The sheriff replied occurred in the theatre.
something synonymous to this, that he was Did he state any particular reason for wish-
considered a party man in the city; that as ing to be on the grand jury ?-He mentioned
there were some circumstances of a very par- that there was a bill of indictment against a
ticular nature would come before that jury, Mr. T. O'Mearn, for perjury. He said he would
he was anxious to be free from any appearance be able to explain the circumstance to the
of partiality, and under that impression he jury, if he was put upon the panel.
should not put him on;" I think he added, What reply did sheriff Thorpe make?-He
" that the same would not apply to Mr. Davis, told him that that very circumstance would
and that he would be on the jury." prevent him from putting him on the panel.
What did you conceive the sheriff meant by This was about two or three days prior to the
a party man?-I considered it applied in that jury being sworn for the commission. It took
sense to Mr. Hone; that he is a gentleman place in the Sessions house, in Green-street.
who has avowed his sentiments on the politics By Mr. S. Rice.-Do you recollect having
of the day; he is considered a high protestant made any declarations, with regard to the pos-
ascendancy man. I believe there is an im- sibility of bills being sent up to a grand jury,
pression very generally prevailing, that he is respecting this play-house riot, before you
an Orangeman; but I believe that he is not. served upon that grand jury ?-No, I do not.
By Mr. S. Rice.-Are you an Orangeman? You never declared, that if such bills had
-I am not. been preferred to a grand jury, they ought to
Are you a member of the grand jury ?-Of have been thrown out ?-Never.
the January grand jury I was. Did you belong to an Orange association at
Do you know of a subscription that was the time that you were sworn as a grand juror?
made in Dublin, for the purpose of dressing -I did.
the statue ?-No, certainly not, at the time of By Mr. R. Smith.-Who was present, be-
the dressing of the statue, sides yourself, when Mr. Poole addressed this
You do not know any thing with regard to conversation to sheriff Thorpe ?-There was a
that subscription of your own knowledge ?- vast number in the court, but not near us
Certainly not. I was sitting between sheriff Thorpe and Mr.
The right ho. Wiliam Plunkett made the Poole, in the sheriff's box with sheriff Thorpe.
The following declaration in his Plunkett made the He spoke across you to sheriff Thorpe ?-Yes
following declaration in his place : he did.
On communication with the law officers, I Had you any previous acquaintance with
determined to have a letter addressed by Mr. Poole?-O, yes.
Messrs. Kemmis to both the sheriffs, for the Have you been in the habit of private inti-
purpose of their joining in returning the panel; macy or friendship with him?-Nothing more
and that letter, now shown to me, is the than meeting him in the assembly, and on
letter which was accordingly sent. [The letter committee, and on grand juries.
was delivered in and read; and is as follows :] Is he a man whom you reckon a warm mar
Kildare-street, 24th Dec. 1822. in politics ?-I think so.
Gentlemen;-In pursuance of a communi- An Orangeman ?-No.
cation we have this day received from his ma- Is he what you call a conciliation-man ?-]
jesty's attorney-general, we have the honour to believe so.
inform you, that, in order to avoid any suspi- Have you and he been often on the sam
cion of partiality, on the approaching trials at side atmeetings of the common-council?-No
the commission, it is expected that the panels on the same side.
Inquiry into his Conduct.
MAY 8, 1825.
L89] HOUSE OF COMMONS, Sherifff Dublin- [140
You have been divided ?-Always, member could repeat the oaths he had
That made no heat of blood between you? taken at the table of the House.
-No. e Lord Milton thought the observations
You agreed perfectly well ?-Perfectly well. of the right ohn. secretary extreme e
Did you not think it somewhat extraordi- e hon y extremely
nary, his holding this conversation with sheriff weak, and beside the .question. Did it
Thorpe before you ?-No, I did not, at the follow, because hon. members might not
time. be able to recite the oaths they had taken,
Have you often heard men talk in this way, that they did not know the tenor of them?
to sheriffs, about being put on special juries, He agreed with his hon. friend that this
and making bargains what they would do, and man's testimony ought to be received with
what they would not?-I have heard men great caution, after his declaration that
make the request, he did not recollect the oath lie had taken.
Did you ever hear another man make a re- he believed it w as well kow thattae
quest to alderman Thorpe ?-Never. He believed it was well known that the
To what sheriff have you heard requests Orange oath contained something beyond
made ?-I think Mr. White; I made a request the mere obligation to support the king a
myself to get a gentleman on the jury. -He and constitution.
was an Englishman, and had never been on a Colonel Barry begged to state, in the
jury in Dublin, and he wished to get on the first place, that he was no Orangeman.
grand jury. As to the terms of the oath, they were in
Did you ever mention this conversation, print. The witness could have no mo-
which Mr. Poole addressed to sheriff Thorpe, tlve to conceal what was known to almost
to any body else ?-I cannot recollect.
Did Poole, soon after he had said this, go every body. He hoped it would not be
out of the box, and leave you two alone, or did laid down, that because an individual had
you leave him with sheriff Thorpe ?-When he taken an oath as an Orangeman, he was
was leaving the box, he told sheriff Thorpe he therefore not to be believed.
had not treated him gentlemanly.
What didsheriff Thorpe say when Mr. Poole [The witness was again called in.]
proposed to have nothing to do with this matter
of the riot, if he would put him on; did sheriff By Mr. Peel.-Do you conceive that you
Thorpe make any reply ?-He said he could not took any oath or obligation of any kind, which
alter the panel, as it had been made out by hij prevents your telling this House the truth,
brother sheriff and himself, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth ?-
After he was gone, had you any conversa- No.
tion with sheriff Thorpe about what had passed? By Sir J. Mackintosh.-Have you taken an
-I had; I mentioned to' Mr. Thorpe, he seem- oath of secrecy of any kind as a member of the
ed to feel so anxious, "if you possibly could, Orange association ?-No; I really do not
it will be as well not to have any difference consider the oath a secret one, for I have
between you and Mr. Poole, if you could put shown the oath.
him on the panelY" the circumstance he has Does the oath which you take as a member
mentioned," said he, would prevent my put- of the Orange association, bind you to keep C
ting him on the panel, any thing secret and what ?-It does; there
By Mr. lHume.-Do you take an oath as an are signs among Orangemen which are kept
Orangeman ?-I do. secret.
Have you any objection to state what that Does it bind you to conceal nothing but the
oath is ?-I really do not recollect it, but the signs by which Orangemen know each other ?
principle of it is this; to support the king and -I believe not; I do not recollect any thing;
constitution. I cannot speak positively.
Is there any thing else but to support the By Mr. Jones.-How long have you be-
king and constitution : do you recollect nothing longed to an Otange lodge ?-About three
more?-I do not recollect.-[The witness was years.
directed to withdraw.] You have been on habits of intimacy have
r. n o t t q you not with sheriff Thorpe ?-Sometimes.
Mr. Goulburn objected to the ques- Did sheriffThorpe know you were an Orange-
ti n. man ?-He had no reason to know that I was
M1r. Hume, contended, that this was ne- one.
cessary to ascertain how far the witness You did not keep it a secret that you were an
was bound to secresy. After his decla- Orangemanfromyourfriendsand acquaintances,
ration, that he did not recollect what he did you -I never made it very public, any
had sworn to, his testimony ought to be thing more than in society.
received with great caution. Did you at the same time keep it secret ?-
Mr. Goulburn protested the Tolerably so.
Mr. Goulburn protested against the id not your friends and acquaintances
inference of the hon. member. He know you were an Orangeman, generally
should be glad to know, whether the hon. speaking --A great number of them did.
141] Inquiry into his Conduct,
Amongst those friends and acquaintances,
sheriff Thorpe was one ?-Yes.
By Sir J. Mackintosh.-What is the number
of the Orange lodge of which you are a memr
Does not the oath you have taken as an
Orangeman bind you to be faithful and true to
all Orangemen ?-It does, and it binds me as
well to my brother Roman Catholics.
Does the oath contain words to this effect,
I swear to be faithful and true to all Orange-
men ?"--I believe it does.
You have said that you also swore to be
faithful and true to all your Roman Catholic
brethren, are you sure the oath contains these
words, I swear to be faithful and true to all
S Roman Catholics," or words bearing that im-
port ?-It is very near that I think.
You wish the committee to believe that the
same words are applied to Orangemen and
Roman Catholics in the oath you have taken ?
-No, I do not think they are exactly the same
Are they words of the same meaning?-
Do not you recollect that you just now said
that they were very nearly the same ?-It is
really so long since I have taken the obligation
that I do not recollect the words.
You have used the words, my Roman Ca-
tholic brethren," will you say that the oath
contains the words, Roman Catholic breth-
ren ?"-The word Roman Catholic" is in the
Will you state that the word Roman Ca-
tholic," has in the oath any friendly application
to the Roman Catholics, in the same way as
when it is applied to Orangemen?-Not in
the same way, but it is in a friendly way in
Does the oath contain any thing else about
Roman Catholics ?-I do not recollect.
9 Does the oath not contain an express decla-
ration, that the person taking it is not, and
never was, a Roman Catholict?-It does.
Are Roman Catholics once mentioned or
twice mentioned in the oath ?-I do not re-
How came you to tell the committee that the
oath bound you to be faithful and true to your
S Roman Catholic brethren as well as to the
Orangemen ?-I stated the matter to the best
of my recollection.
Your recollection at that period was differ-
ent from your recollection at the present was
it ?-It must be.
You recollected five minutes ago that you
had sworn to bear friendship towards Roman
Catholics, and now you recollect only to have
sworn to disavow and disclaim being a Roman
Catholic, how do you reconcile both those
statements ?-In admitting members into the
lodge, they must swear that they never were
Roman Catholics; that is what I alluded to.
Do you know how many Orangemen were
among the fourteen common-council-men, who
served on the commission grand jury last Janu-
4WAY 8, 1829. 142
ary ?-There was one to my own knowledge:
a Mr. Cussack.
Do you know whether Joseph Lamprey was
an Orangeman ?-I have heard so I believe
Is Mr. George Holmes an Orangeman to
your knowledge ?-I have no reason to believe
Do you know whether Mr. John Foster is an
Orangeman ?-I do not know.
Or a Protestant ascendancy man ? He
would certainly drink that.
Mr. John Stephens, do you know whether
he is an Orangeman or not ?-I do not know.
Is he a Protestant ascendancy man ?-He
would drink the toast.
Is Mr. Joseph Moore a Protestant ascend-
ancy man ?-He is.
Is he an Orangeman ?-Not to my know-
Is Mr. Perrin an Orangeman?-I do not
Is he a Protestant ascendancy man ?-Yes.
Is Mr. John Davis a Protestant ascendancy
And Mr. Andrew Woods ?-Yes.
By Sir G. Hill.-Will you state whether you
are aware that there is any thing in the oath
taken by an Orangeman, that has not been
published over and over again?--It has fre-
Has there been any thing in any oath to
your knowledge, taken by an Orangeman, that
has heen withheld from publication repeatedly?
By Mr. Hume.-Are any contributions of
money collected in your lodge, or any quarterly
payments made ?-Nothing more to my know-
ledge than what pays for the expense of the
night, what is drank.
By Mr. R. Smith.-Do you think that any
saving could be effected in those expenses?
[a laugh IJ-No ; I do not, indeed.
By sir J. Newport.-You were present at
sheriff Thorpe's dinner when his health was
drank, did he make a speech ?-He did.
Did sheriff Thorpe in that speech pledge
himself to pursue any line of conduct during
his shrievalty ?-To the best of my recollec-
tion he did; the only part that I recollect was,
that he pledged himself to give the glorious
Do you recollect whether Mr. Sheriff Thorpe
pledged himself during his shrievalty to act up
to the opinions of those who had made him
sheriff?--I believe he did.
Whom do you consider that he meant by
those who had made him sheriff?-The Com-
mons; what is commonly called the glorious
You stated that in the conversation that Mr,
Poole had with sheriffThorpe, he said he woul4
not interfere if he put him on the jury : wh t
did you mean by that expression ?-What M4
meant by that was, there were bills of indict.
nient against those persons for rioting in the
theatre, and that was what Mr. Poole alluded
Spitalfields Silk Manufacture Acts. [144
to, that he, said he would not vote upon that.
Do you consider yourself bound by any oath
which you have taken as an Orangeman, to
conceal any evidence you have it in your power
to give to this committee ?-Certainly not.
Was there any subscription in your lodge,
for the subsistence of the traversers, the men
who were to be tried under this indictment ?-
Not to my knowledge.
How many members have you in your lodge ?
-At the time I attended, there were perhaps
about 25 or 30.
Did you ever hear of any subscriptions
among the Orange lodges in Dublin, for the
support of the traversers ?-I did, I heard of
Do you meet by summons ?-Yes.
What are the toasts given?--" The King" is
generally the first toast; and then The duke
of York" and The duke of Clarence and the
And the usual toast of" King William ?"-
You drink the usual toast, "The glorious
Did not you state that Mr. William Poole
was a conciliation-man ?-Yes.
Do you know what induced Poole to say he
would take no part against the rioters, on the
inquisition, provided he was left on the panel
-Yes; he mentioned the reason, that there
was a bill of indictment,against Mr. O'Meara.
Do you know what induced Poole, a conci-
liation-man, to hold out an offer to sheriff
Thorpe, that if he was left on the panel, he
would give no vote as to the rioters at the
theatre ?-The only reason which I know is,
that Mr. Poole has differed with the majority
a good deal, in the Commons; and that perhaps
Mr. Thorpe might think that if he was on the
jury, there would be a difference.
Did sheriff Thorpe, when this offer was made
by Poole, of not interfering with the rioters at
the theatre, express any surprise or indigna-
tion?-He did; for he told him that would be
the very means of preventing him from putting
him on the panel.
The House resumed. The chairman re-
ported progress, and obtained leave to sit
HOUSE OF COMMONS.
Friday, May 9.
SPITALFIELDS SILK MANUFACTURE
ACTS PETITION FOR THE REPEAL
THEREOF.] Mr. T. Wilson presented a
petition from the Silk-manufacturers of
London and Westminster against the sta-
tutes of the 18th, 32nd, and 51st of the
late king, usually styled the Spitalfields'
Acts, which empower the magistrates to
fix the wages of journeymen silk-manu-
facturers, and impose other restrictions
highly injurious to the trade. In proof
of the evil tendency of these acts as they
affected the workmen, the hon. member
stated, that the population employed in
this manufacture had of late years de-
creased. In no part of this manufacture
were these laws of any use; and there
were many in which they were highly
detrimental. The fabric was so fettered
and regulated by the statute, that fancy
silk goods, in imitation of the French,
could not be made in London. As a proof,
however, that the trade, which had de-
creased in London, where alone those
laws were in operation, had flourished in
other parts of the country, it might be
mentioned, that the value of raw silk an-
nually imported, which, 50 years ago had
not exceeded 120,0001. was now upwards
The following is a copy of the peti-
To the honourable the Commons of
the United Kingdom of Great Bri-
tain and Ireland, in parliament as.
The humble petition of the under-
signed silk-man.ufacturers, residing
within the city of London, the county
of Middlesex, the city and liberty
of Westminster, and the liberty of
the Tower of London:
Sheweth-That your petitioners are
extensively engaged in the manufacture of
silk, within the city of London, the county
of Middlesex, the city and liberty of
Westminster, and the liberty of the
Tower of London, and which manufacture
is, in the opinion and judgment of your
petitioners, at present so circumstanced,
as to require the attention of your hqnour-
That the silk manufacture of this
kingdom, from an inconsiderable begin-
ning, has gradually attained to great im-
portance in a national point of view, sup-
plying to the state a large revenue-sup-
porting a numerous and industrious popu-
'lation-and affording the means of an ex-
tensive and beneficial investment of ca-
pital. In the earlier periods of this trade,
it had to contend, under the greatest dis-
advantages, with the rival and favourite
manufacture of France. The proximity
of the latter country to Italy, her.do-
mestic growth of the raw material, and
the possession of machinery far surpass-
ing, in its application to silk, any hitherto
employed in this country, gave to France,
for a long series of years, such predo-
1143] HOUSE OF CQ~r4MONS,
-Petilion for the Repeal thereof.
minant advantages, as entirely to confine
the sale of English manufactured silks
within the British dominions. Of late
years, however, Bengal silk has been so
greatly improved in quality, and so pro-
digiously increased in quantity, as no
longer to leave the trade in its former
state of nearly total dependence on Italy.
From documents of unquestionable au-
thority it appears that, in the year 1770,
the annual supply from Bengal and China
was about 100,000 lbs. weight only; that
in 1780 it amounted to but 200,000 lbs.;
that in 1800 it was 292,385 Ibs.; and that
S in 1820 it had increased to upwards of
one million of pounds: which, added to
the amount of raw and thrown silk drawn
from Italy, will give a total of silk im-
ported into Great Britain, in the year
1820, of 2,547,212 lbs. weight: exhibiting
a two-fold increase during the space of
twenty years, and greatly exceeding the
S consumption of the French manufactories.
That, important as this manufacture
is acknowledged to be, and much as it
has recently been extended, it is still de-
pressed below its natural level, and pre-
vented, by existing laws, from advancing
to a far higher degree of prosperity than
it has hitherto attained; and which, under
m ore favourable circumstances, it would,
without difficulty, realize. Possessing, as
this country does, access to an unlimited
supply of silk from its eastern possessions,
an indefinite command over capital and
machinery, and artisans whose skill and
industry cannot be surpassed, your peti-
tioners hesitate not to express their con-
viction, that, by judicious arrangements,
the silk manufacture of Great Britain may
yet be placed in a situation ultimately to
triumph over foreign competition; and that
silk, like cotton, may be rendered one of
the staple commodities of the country.
That, in addition to the pressure of
* heavy duties, imposed on the raw material
of this manufacture, the London branch
of the trade is further depressed by inju-
dicious and vexatious restrictions on the
wages of labour, by which the operations
of. your petitioners are so fettered and
embarrassed, as to compel them to seek
relief from your honourable House. By
S the 13th George 3rd cap. 68, intituled
an act to empower the magistrates to
settle and regulate the wages of persons
employed in the silk manufacture within
* their respective jurisdictions," and com-
monly known by the name of the Spital-
fields act, the lord mayor, recorder, and
aldermen of London, and the magistrates
of Middlesex, Westminster, and the li-
berty of the Tower, are severally empow-
ered to regulate the wages, which are to
be paid to the journeymen silk weavers
by masters residing within those districts;
and that if masters, so residing, employ:
weavers in other districts, they are liable
to ruinous penalties.
That, by an act of the 32nd George
3rd cap. 44, the provisions and penalties
of this statute are extended to manufac-
tures of silk mixed with other materials;
and by an act of the 51st George 3rd cap.
7. the provisions for regulating the wages
and prices of work of the journeymen
weavers, mentioned in those acts, are ex-
tended to journeywomen also.
." That, since the passing of these acts,
a great variety of orders from time to time
have been issued by the magistrates, in-
terfering in a vexatious manner with the
minutest details of the manufacture; such
as limiting the number of threads to an
inch ; restricting the widths of many sorts
of works; and determining the quantity
of labour not to be exceeded without extra
wages. That from the total omission in
these acts of all limitation in point of time,
within which informations may be brought,
as well as from the impossibility, proved
by experience, of bringing under specific
regulation the infinite variety of articles
to which silk is now applied, penalties
may be incurred to 'an enormous amount,
for the breach of some order of which tihe
manufacturer may be totally unconscious.
That, by the operation of this law the
rate of wages, instead of being left to the
recognized principles of regulation, has
been arbitrarily fixed by the award of
persons, whose ignorance of the details
of this very intricate pnd complicated
manufacture, necessarily renders them in-
competent to give a just decision; and the
result of this mode of regulation has been
to fix the labour of many sorts of goods
so extravagantly high, as to .drive the
manufacture of them altogether from the
districts within the operation of the act,
to other parts of the country, which are
free from magisterial interference. That
these acts, by not permitting the masters
to reward such of their workmen as exhibit
superior skill or ingenuity, but compelling
them to pay an equal price for all work,
whether well or ill performed, have ma-
terially, retarded the progress of improve.
ment, and repressed industry and emula,
MAY 9, 1823.
Spitalfields Silk Manufacture Acts.
That these acts totally prevent the
use of improved machinery; it having
been ordered by the magistrates, that
works, in the weaving of which machinery
is employed, shall be paid precisely at the
same rate as if done by hand; thus, while
every other branch of our national manu-
factures has enjoyed the full advantage of
this powerful auxiliary, andwhile improved
machinery has been kept in full operation,
by our foreign rivals, the London silk
loom, with a trifling exception, remains
in the same state as at its original intro-
duction into this country by the French
refugees. Your petitioners beg to state
that they are in possession of improved
machinery ready to be applied to several
important works, but which they cannot
use with success or profit, while under the
restrictive operation of these acts.
That the fixed rate of wages which,
under all circumstances, the manufacturer
is bound to pay, has had the effect of com-
pelling him, whenever a stagnation in the
demand takes place, immediately to stop
his looms; and the distress consequent on
such a suspension of work has been mani-
fested by the appeals repeatedly made by
the districts concerned in this manufacture
to the charity of the public, and to the
aid of parliament.
That the inevitable tendency of the
,provisions of these acts is, to banish the
trade altogether from the vicinity of the
metropolis, strong symptoms of which
are manifesting themselves every day.
Many works of the first consequence,
which would have afforded employment
to thousands of hands, have already been
transferred to Norwich, Manchester, Mac-
clesfield, Taunton, Reading, and other
towns, where they are performed at from
one half to two thirds of the price for
which under these acts they can be made
in London, Westminster, or Middlesex.
That the removal of the entire manu-
facture from the metropolis, which your
petitioners deem inevitable if these acts
be allowed to continue much longer in
force, cannot but be considered as a great
and extensive calamity, involving the de-
struction of large capitals, long invested,
and hitherto productively employed; and
consigning to distress a numerous popula-
tion, which it would be impossible to re-
move, and which for a long period has
depended upon the London silk manufac-
ture for the means of subsistence. That
even if the removal of the trade could be
effected without entailing upon thousands
the ruin and misery here anticipated, yet
your petitioners respectfully submit to your
honourable House, that such an event
would still be most undesirable; the neigh-
bourhood of London being, from its
proximity to the largest market and to
the seat of fashion, the most eligible and.
appropriate spot on which this manufac-
ture could be conducted.
That several of your petitioners were
examined on the subject of these acts
before the select committee of the House
of lords, appointed to inquire into the
means of extending the foreign trade of
the country in 1821, when, after a full
and complete investigation, their lordships
are understood to have reported that
unless some modification takes place in
this law, it must be, in the end, ruinous
to the silk manufacture of Spitalfields, and
as injurious to the workmen, as it will be
to the employers;' which report your
petitioners are informed, was afterwards
laid upon the table of your honourable
House, and to which report, and the
evidence on which it was founded, your
petitioners respectfully beg to refer, in
proof of the foregoing allegations.
That, in the experience of your pe-
titioners, these acts have frequently given
rise to most vexatious regulations, the
unconscious breach of which has subjected
manufacturers to ruinous penalties; that
these provisions have prevented the intro-
duction and improvement of all machinery
by which labour might have been facili-
tated and cheapened, and prevent your
petitioners from affording relief to their
workmen in times of stagnation of trade,
by compelling your petitioners instantly
to stop their looms; and that the opera.
tion of these acts is rapidly banishing
what yet remains of the trade in Spital-
fields, to places which are free from such
That, notwithstanding these and other
grievances to which your petitioners are
subjected by the operation of these acts,
still it is not so much their desire to seek
relief from their operation in the parti-
culars lastly stated, as to be exempted
from the arbitrary, injurious, and impo-
litic enactment which prevents them, while
they continue to reside within certain dis-
tricts, from employing any portion of their
capital in such other parts of the king-
dom as may be deemed most beneficial;
thereby depriving them not only of the
fair exercise of their privileges as free
subjects, and totally preventing all the
147f 'HOUSE OF COMMONS,
, MAY 9, 1823. E19
public benefit which would arise from a
competition between the London and the
country manufacturers, but depriving
* them also of all hope of ever participat-
ing in the foreign trade of the Empire.
Your petitioners, therefore, most
humbly pray your honourable House, that
* for the reasons and under the circum-
stances hereinbefore set forth and re-
ferred to, the several acts of the 13th
George 3rd cap. 68, the 32nd George
Srd cap. 44, and the 51st George 3rd cap.
7, in so far as they relate to the manufac-
ture of silk, or of silk mixed with other
materials, may be repealed : or that your
petitioners may have such further or other
relief in the premises, as to the wisdom
of your honourable House may seem
just and proper, and their case may re-
And your petitioners shall ever pray,
* Mr. Ricardo could not help expressing
his astonishment that, in the year 1823,
those acts should be existing and in force.
They were not merely an interference
with the freedom of trade, but they
cramped the freedom of labour itself.
Such was their operation, that a man who
was disposed to embark in the trade
could not employ his capital in it in Lon-
don; and, as it might be inconvenient, in
many instances to carry that capital
out of London, the trade was necessarily
cramped and fettered.
Mr. Wallace perfectly agreed in think-
ing the acts unjust to the merchant, unjust
to the manufacturer, and, above all, unjust
to the workmen. He thought them a dis-
grace to the Statute-book.
Mr. Huskisson fully agreed in the pro-
priety of repealing the acts. He could
only account for the existence of such
statutes by their having been passed at a
time when the silk-trade was almost con-
* fined to Spitalfields. Since the manufac-
ture, however, had been carried into other
parts of the country, the provisions of
those acts must be got rid of, or Spital.
fields would be deserted. His attention
had been drawn to the subject almost im-
mediately upon his coming into office;
buthe had abstained frombringing forward
a any specific measure, because he wished
to convince the manufacturers first of the
necessity ofan alteration. Some prejudice,
and indeed, a good deal, still existed
among the workmen; but the House
really ought to act for them without re-
ference to those prejudices. It was his
intention, on the earliest possible day, to
submit a motion to the House for the re-
peal of the acts in question.
Lord Milton rejoiced in any prospect
of getting rid of the obnoxious statutes,
and observed upon the absurdity of raising
a duty upon raw silk imported. Under
the present system, a duty was levied upon
raw silk imported, and, on the other hand,
a bounty was given upon the exportation
of manufactured silks. Now, great diffi-
culty was found in apportioning the
bounty, particularly upon goods com-
posed of silk mixed with other material.
Would it not be wise, and generally con-
venient, to get rid of the duty on one
hand, and the bounty on the other ?
Mr. F. Buxton gave the petition his
decided support, from a conviction that
a compliance with its prayer would tend
to better the condition of all connected
with the trade, and of none more than
Alderman Thompson bore testimony to
the pernicious operation of the law, which
he hoped to see repealed, and trusted that
the trade would be relieved from the duties
on raw silk.
Mr. W. Williams said, that the re-
straints of the existing law had driven one
considerable branch of the silk-trade from
Spitalfields to Norwich.
Mr. Ellice hoped that the parties who
supposed themselves interested in the ex-
isting restraints would be afforded time to
Mr. Huskisson said, he would propose
his resolutions on Monday, and move for
leave to bring in a bill for an alteration
of the law, in the different stages of which
the parties alluded to would have suffi-
cient opportunity to present their peti-
Ordered to lie on the table.
SCOTCH LINEN MANUFACTURE.] The
House having resolved itself into a com-
mittee on the Scotch linen manufacture
Mr. Huskisson said, it was his intention,
in proposing that committee, to move
for the repeal of several statutes, which
imposed regulations injurious to the trade,
These statutes had been passed at a time
when the House was in the habit of in-
terfering with the business of individuals.
The 13th of George the 1st was in it-
self a striking instance of the absurdity
of such enactments. It professed to re-
gulate, not only the shape of the cloth,
Scotch Linen Manufachtrre.
151j HOUSE OF COMMONS,
but the number of threads in every hank
of yarn. Another object of the bill
would be, to abolish the use of the stamp
on linen, which was found to be an in-
strument of fraud instead of a security
against it. If, however, there were any
so prejudiced in favour of the custom as
to wish to preserve it in their manufacture,
the bill would leave them free to do so,
removing, however, all the penalties from
those who wished to dispense with it. The
right hon. gentleman concluded with
moving, that the chairman should be in-
structed to move for leave to bring in the
Sir R. Fergusson expressed his thanks
to the right hon. gentleman for the pains
he had taken to remove the vexatious
enactments under which the trade had so
long suffered, and declared his conviction
that the intended measure would be re-
ceived with satisfaction and gratitude by
the people of Scotland.
Mr. Maberly concurred in approving
of the measure, but regretted that it
should be found necessary to continue
for a single day so useless an expence as
the stamp commissioners. He trusted,
however, that they would be enabled to
put an end to that board in the next ses-
sion of parliament.
Sir H. Parnell thought, that as the
same system must produce the same evils
in Ireland, the benefit of this measure
ought to be extended to that country.
Mr. Hume agreed that it would be an
advantage to Ireland; but as there were
prejudices in that country which might
throw obstacles in the way of its execu.
tion, he thought the right hon. gentleman
had done right not to mix up the case of
the two countries.
Mr. Ricardo thought, that if it could
not be done at present, it ought as soon
as possible to be extended to Ireland.
Leave was given to bring in the bill.
SHERIFF OF DUBLIN-INQUIRY INTO
HIS CONDUCT.] The House having again
resolved itself into a Committee of the
whole House to inquire into the Conduct
of the Sheriff of Dublin, sir Robert Heron
in the Chair,
Mr. John Jackson was called in; and examined
By Colonel Barry.-What is your situation ?
-A jeweller and Tunbridge warehouseman, in
Do you recollect being present at any party,
at the house of Mr. Sibthorpe ?-I do. On
the 17th of December; there were present,
Sherifof Dublin- [152
Mr. Sibthorpe, jun., Mrs. Sibthorpe, Miss
Sarah Sibthorpe, Mr. Thomas Sibthorpe, sheriff
Thorpe, Mrs. Thorpe, William Graham, my-
self, and John M'Connell.
Did you hear sheriff Thorpe make use of the
expressions, that he had an Orange panel. in
his pocket, or any words to that effect ?-I did
You are very confident that no such expres-
sion was made use of that night, as long as
you were there ?-Perfectly so.
Did sheriff Thorpe talk any thing about the
forming of a jury or a panel, or any thing else
of the kind ?-Not a word on the subject.
Do you suppose M'Connell could have
heard any expression which you did not ?-I
am sure he could not.
By Mr. Jones.-At what time did this party
begin in the evening ?-About 2 past 8; I re-
mained till about i past 11.
Do you mean to say, that for all those hours
you sat nearer sheriff Thorpe than M'Connell
did ?-I mean to assert it.
Were there cards playing in this room ?-
Some part of the night.
Do you mean to say that you heard every
syllable that sheriff Thorpe uttered on that
night ?-I am very certain I heard all that
could have been said, unless it was whispered.
By Colonel Barry.-Such a remarkable ex-
pression as that must have attracted your
attention if it had been made use of ?-Most
undoubtedly it would.
By Mr. R. Smith.-Was there any conversa-
tion whatever respecting the trials about to
come on ?-It could not be possible. It was
not known whether the trials would commence
or not, at that period.
Was there no conversation at all about the
Did you hear sheriff Thorpe utter any senti-
ment of approbation, or of commendation of
what had been done ?-I did not.
Did you hear any body say a word about
marquis Wellesley ?-Not one person.
Do you recollect holding the knave of clubs
in your hand ?--I did not, on that occasion.
SDo you know any body who did on that oc-
casion ?-I do.
Do you recollect his playing it ?-I do.
SWhat did he say ?-He made a reflection
upon the lord mayor. I believe it was tanta-
mount to damning the lord mayor.
Do not you recollect that some person said,
" I wish I could have a lick at him ?"--I do
not recollect that part.
What sized man was he who used that ex-
What was his name?-William Graham.
Did any lady remind him that he was a very
little man ?--I believe 1 do remember an ex-
pression of that import.
What did the lady say ?-That she thought
his expression was very extraordinary for a
man of his stature to make use of respecting
the lord mayor.
Are you a conciliation-man, ora Protestant-
Inquiry into his Conduct.
ascendancy-man, or a purple-man, or what ?-
I am in favour of Protestant ascendancy.
By Mr. Brougham.-During the whole of
4 the time, are you certain there was no person,
except Mr. Graham, between you and Mr.
Sheriff Thorpe ?-No, there was no one.
What called your attention particularly to
* that night, and to your relative position ?-
From a question I merely asked of Graham,
relative to the transactions at the theatre.
What was that question ?-I asked him if it
was a fact that a bottle was thrown; and his
answer I do not precisely recollect.
How do you happen so particularly to recol-
lect their positions ?-They were standing with
their backs against the piano.
How do you happen to recollect that so
particularly?-From an expression that M'Con-
nell made use of.
What was it ?-He made use of some gross
reflection upon the misconduct of those that
were termed the rioters at the theatre.
By Mr. R. Smith.-How long was it after
this evening, that you heard M'Connell had
* stated such an expression to be used at Mr.
Sibthorpe's, as has been put to you ?-I am
confident it was less than a week.
By Mr. Plunkett.-Did you pay more atten-
tion to sheriff Thorpe than to any other person
in the room, during that evening ?-No, I did
By Mr. Goulburn.-Will you take upon you
to say, that no person in the room, during that
evening, could have said any thing without
your hearing it ?-I think it is impossible.
Did you not hear some person say, I wish
the devil had the marquis Wellesley?"-I did
By Sir G. Hill.-You heard, within a few
days after you had been in this company, that
it had been stated by M'Connell, that sheriff
Thorpe should have made this declaration
about his having the Orange panel in his
pocket?-I did learn it, in a very few days
Did that tend to call your attention more
particularly to all that had passed in that com-
pany?-It led me to endeavour to recollect
more minutely than I otherwise should have
S By Mr. Thompson.-Who commenced the
conversation about the riot at the theatre ?-
Sheriff Thorpe and Graham first commenced a
conversation upon that head.
By Mr. F. Buxton.-What was the gross
expression, relative to the conduct or miscon-
duct of the rioters, that M'Connell made use
of ?-I do not recollect it; but I considered it
so at the time.
S What was the question you asked Graham
respecting the rioters ?-Whether a bottle had
What was Graham's answer?-I think he
said not: that it had not been thrown.
How happens it, that you forget the gross
expression made use of by M'Connell; you are
not certain to the answer of Graham; and yet,
are sure you recollect every expression made
use of by sheriff Thorpe, during the evening I
-I am not certain to every expression.
By Mr. Brougham.-Did you come into the
room with sheriff Thorpe ?-No: I preceded
him, I rather think; I am not certain on that
Did you leave the room before sheriff
Thorpe ?-No, after him.
You are not certain whether sheriff Thorpe
was in the room when you arrived there, or
whether you were there first yourself?-I am
pretty sure he was.
Was Mr. M'Connell there before your ar-
Are you now as sure Mr. M' Connell came
into the room after you, as you were about a
quarter of an hour ago, that sheriff Thorpe
came into the room after you?-I did not think
it of consequence to ascertain whether it was
the case or not.
Then, having forgotten the gross expression
used by M'Connell, and having forgotten the
precise answer to your question respecting
Graham, how does it happen that your reason
for recollecting the positions of the different
persons in that room; was M'Connell's gross
expression, and your question about Graham?
-At the time, I was informed of M'Connell's
giving the information that was stated to me, I
endeavoured to recollect as minutely as me-
mory would serve me, the relative position of
every person, and as much of the conversation
as I could recall to mind.
You never attempted to recollect the answer
to the question about Graham, or the gross
expression of M'Connell?-The answer of
Graham about the bottle, was, as I said before,
that it was not thrown.
How long have you been sure that he said
it was not thrown ?-Ever since he.made use
of the expression. I have no reason for sub.
sequently recollecting more than I should at
the moment when the conversation occurred.
Then, is your reason for now recollecting so
accurately the position of different persons at
that time, the conversation which you had two
days after that time, respecting what passed
between sheriff Thorpe and M'Connell ?-The
reason was, I was shocked at the'conduct of
M'Connell, in making use of expressions that
Which expressions you have now forgotten ?
-I allude to the information, I ought to have
said, that M'Connell had given, respecting the
conversation that night.
Then M'Connell did not make use of any
expressions that night ?-Only such as I con-
sidered as applicable to Graham.
And those you forget ?-I cannot recollect
precisely; I considered, at that moment, that
it was a gross expression.
Did you go away before sheriff Thorpe left
the party ?-After.
Who went away with you ?-I think Graham
Sand M'Connell and myself went out nearly at
the same time.
MAY 9, 1829.
1551 HOUSE OF COMMONS,
Did sheriff Thorpe go away alone, or any
body with him ?-His wife was with him.
By Mr. Sykes.-You stated, at the early part
of your examination, that you did not recollect
the answer that Graham gave to your ques-
tion ; you have subsequently stated, that you
do precisely recollect what that answer was;
to which of those answers of yours do you ad-
here ?-That the bottle had not been thrown.
Then why did you state, at the commence-
ment of your examination, that you did not
recollect what that answer was ?-If I said so,
I must have had made a mistake; I did not
If you do not recollect his expression, which
you call a gross one, why do you term it a
gross reflection ?-If I might be allowed to
answer in a general way, I would prefer to
forget all gross expressions.
What made you term it a gross expression ?
-I consider all expressions gross, that are not
grammatically correct, for instance.
Is that the answer you mean to stick by ?-
It is not a good one, but it is for want of re-
collecting a better.
Do you mean to say, that your credit is to
rest upon the credit due to that answer?-By
If sheriff Thorpe made use of the expression,
that he had an Orange panel in his pocket,
should you have considered that a gross ex-
pression ?-I should indeed.
Do you adhere to the opinion, that yon
heard, and that, having heard, you must have
recollected every expression made use of in
that company ?-I do not mean to say that I
could recollect all the expressions made use of
in that company.
Mr. William Graham called in; and examined
By Colonel Barry.-What is your situation
in life ?-A printer.
Were you in company at Mr. Sibthorpe's,
shortly after the riot took place at the theatre ?
Do you recollect who the company consisted
of ?-Mr. Sibthorpe's family, myself, a Mr.
Jackson, a Mr. M'Connell, and Mr. Sheriff
Thorpe and his lady.
Were you or sheriff Thorpe in the room
first ?-Mr. Sheriff Thorpe.
Was M'Connell or you in the company first?
-I believe I was.
Do you recollect sheriff Thorpe making use
of any expression relative to the panel of a
Do you think that if any such expression had
been made use of in your presence, it would
have attracted your notice ?-I should think so.
Are you very certain that no such expres-
sion was made use of by sheriff Thorpe, in
your hearing ?-Certainly not in my hearing.
Do you think that if it had been made use
of, in the common tone of conversation, you
would have heard it ?-From the size of the
room, I should think so.
This was three day a after the riot, was not
it ?-It was.
Did you, or sheriff Thorpe quit the company
first ?-Sheriff Thorpe.
Did you, or M'Connell quit the company
first?-We retired together, I think.
After you left the room, sheriff Thorpe and
M'Connell were not together ?-Not that I can
By Mr. Brougham.-You had an ex-officip
information filed against you, for a riot at the
theatre ?-I had.
Was a bill preferred against you before the
grand jury, upon that subject ?-Yes.
Was it ignored or found ?-Ignored.
Have you been with the other witnesses at
all since you came ?-In the apartment in this
Have you ever, before any person, spoken
abusively respecting those witnesses, who de-
posed against the sheriff ?-Yes.
Do you know one serjeant Harris?-I have
Did you not speak so of those witnesses,
that the serjeant said, you deserved to be
Then what did he say about ducking you ?
-His words were If you are heard to say
those expressions, you might be ducked."
That was with reference to the expressions
you were using touching the witnesses P-It
might have been so.
It was after you had been speaking respect-
ing the witnesses ?-Not respecting the wit-
nesses generally speaking, but persons similarly
To whom similar ?-The expressions I made
use of were as to a similar description to those
in Dublin; that if persons in Dublin heard me
use those expressions, I might be ducked or
thrown into the Thames.
Were those expressions that you talk of,
which created that conversation, in the ser-
jeant's opinion, applied to the witnesses ?-No.
To whom were they applied ?-Generally to
persons of bad character.
Then you talked abusively of persons of bad
character in general ?-Yes.
And the serjeant said, that if you went on
talking against people of bad character you
might be ducked; was that so?-I should
suppose it was meant so.
When you were in the witness room, had
you a cane in your hand ?-Yes.
With a sword in it; what is called a sword-
No sword-cane or sword-stick ?-I had not
one of my own.
Had you one in your hand belonging to any
body else ?-I might.
Have you any doubt you had ?-No.
Were not you flourishing and brandishing it
in the witness room ?-I might.
Did not you say while you were in that con-
versation, with that sword-cane, that you would
do some execution before you left London?-I
Chairman.--Witness, you do not appear to
have a proper considleation either of the place
Inquiry/ into his Conduct.
in which you stana; or of the importance of
being examined, touching the subject in con-
sideration before the House; I recommend you
* to give more proper, respectful and direct
By Mr. Brougham.-Did you attend parti-
cularly to every thing that fell from Mr.
S Thorpe at Mr. Sibthorpe's that night ?-No, I
Mr. M'Connell was there?-He was.
There was not any conversation about who
threw the bottle ?-Not that I heard.
You heard every thing that passed ?-I think
Did you hear Mr. M'Connell in conversation
with any body ?-Not particularly.
o He never used any gross expression or made
any gross reflections upon any body in your
There were cards playing that evening, were
there not ?-There were.
The whole party played together, did they
not, at the table ?-I think so, I think I did.
Whom did you go away with?-I went to
* the door with Mr. M'Connell and Mr. Jackson.
And you left Mr. Sheriff Thorpe in the
He had gone before ?-Yes.
M'Connel was in the room before you came ?
-Yes; I think to the best of my recollection,
By Mr. R. Smith.-Do you recollect when
you were at cards, playing the knave of clubs,
S and using any expression when you played it?
State what your expression was-." There
is the lord mayor."
Was there not more ?-" And be damned to
him," I think.
Was that all?-Positively no more.
Was any observation made to you upon
your saying so?-I cannot possibly recollect;
You do not recollect any of the ladies saying
any thing to you?-There might, I cannot
Was Mr. Sheriff Thorpe playing with you at
that time ?-I believe he was.
Did he say any thing to you ?-I do not re-
S You are frequently in the habit of damning
the lord mayor ?-I have done so.
Did you ever damn the lord lieutenant ?-
You did not that night ?-No.
You did not wish him at the devil ?-No.
Did any man there wish him at the devil?-
Did you wish him in heaven ?-No.
S Did you hear his name mentioned that night ?
-I did not, certainly.
Did you hear any conversation about the
riot that evening ?-No.
Did nothing pass in your company respect-
ing the riot in the theatre ?-Most certainly
-Were you one of those men who were sent
MAY 9, 1823.
to gaol for conspiring to take away the lord
lieutenant's life ?-No.
Had you any suspicion at this house of Mr.
Sibthorpe's on this occasion, that you were
charged with having been a rioter at the theatre,
or implicated in the charge of having been a
rioter ?-None in my life.
How long after this evening at Sibthorpe's
was it that you knew you were so charged ?-
Are you an Orangeman ?-I am.
Do you know whether the persons who were
tried were all Orangemen?-One I know to
be an Orangeman, Forbes, and Brownlow.-
[The Witness withdrew, and the sergeant at
arms was ordered to keep him apart from the
The right hon. W. C. Plunkett, Attorney Ge-
neral of Ireland, examined in his place as
By Colonel Barry.-Will you have the good-
ness to look at that letter-[letter signed T.
and W. Kemmis, produced yesterday]-was
that letter written by your direction ?-Cer-
What was the cause of your directing that
letter to be written ?-An apprehension that I
entertained, that the sheriff, who, according
to the routine of office, would have to return
the jury, was a partizan, and had made de-
clarations. with respect to the mode of pre-
paring the panel.
And therefore you wished that the other
sheriff should join in preparing the panel ?-
What nature of panel would you have wished
to have had to try the issue ?-I should have
wished, if possible, that there should have
been a panel of unprejudiced persons; if that
was not to be obtained, I should wish a panel
composed partly of persons of all opinions,
and not confined to persons of any one opinion.
Would you have thought, that a man's being
an Orangeman, would have been a sufficient
objection to his serving on that panel ?-I cer-
tainly would, it would have been an objection
in my mind; I should have thought the return
of a jury of Orangemen would have been a
gross violation of propriety, and would have
excluded any reasonable chance of justice be-
ing properly administered.
Mr. Wetherell rose to order, and object-
ed to the attorney-general for Ireland be-
ing examined in a case which involved his
Colonel Barry said, that he should not
have examined the right hon. gentleman
without first obtaining his consent.
Sir G. Hill said, that unless the exami-
nation was to ascertain some specific fact,
he must object, on the ground of public
convenience, to the attorney-general's
examination in this manner. He was the
law-officer of the Crown, and had, in some
159] -HOUSE OF COMMONS,
degree, the whole of the police of the
country under his observation. It would
be most inconvenient to call upon such
an officer to state the information which
his situation enabled him to command.
Mr. Wynn had no objection to the exa-
mination of the right hon. gentleman, but
thought that any inquiry, having for its
object the sort of jury that ought to have
been empanelled, would be highly inju-
Colonel Barry felt himself placed in a
very painful situation, but painful as his
duty was, he would not shrink from it.
If the house thought fit, through any
overstrained delicacy, to interfere, he
must submit; but till they did, he should
persevere [Hear, hear]. He now wished
to ask the right hon. gentleman whether
he had ever had an opportunity of seeing
the rules and regulations of Orangemen ?
Mr. Plunkett.-I do not know exactly what
is meant by the question; I have had an op-
portunity of seeing a printed book, containing
tle rules and regulations of Orangemen, and
I have had an opportunity of seeing extracts
from books, containing rules and regulations
of Orangemen; in that sense I have seen the
rules and regulations of Orangemen.
Mr. Wetherell, before the house pro-
ceeded further, begged to rise to order.
Mr.Plunkett begged his learned friend's
pardon. The present investigation he
conceived to be into the conduct of Mr.
SheriffThorpe, and any question touching
that matter he would willingly answer to
the best of his power.
SMr. Wetherell repeated his objection,
and added, that in the whole course of
his parliamentary experience he knew of
no case in which an attorney-general, on
such an examination, seeing how inti-
mately he must be connected with the pro-
secution of the inquiry, would not of ne-
cessity, be a witness against himself. His
objection was to the irregularity and in-
expediency of such an examination, and
was not founded on any apprehension
arising from his fears for the honour, the
candour, or the ability of the right hon.
gentleman. He was convinced it would
be most unadvisable to pursue this exami-
The Attorney General thought that his
right hon. and learned friend, like any
other hon. member, was liable to exami-
nation by the house, on any topic con-
nected with the pending investigation,
unless the question put should be an im-
proper one. As far as the inquiry had
yet gone, he had heard nothing that was
Sir J. Mackintosh observed, that they
were not called upon prospectively to de-
cide whether such or such a particular
question would be an improper one to put
to the learned gentleman, but whether, as
attorney-general for Ireland, he ought to
be examined at all? In his opinion, the
learned gentleman ought not to be exa-
Mr. Alercromby said, that the course
of the examination pursued in order to
ascertain what the conduct of Orangemen
had been, was perfectly right; but it was
quite a different thing to examine the at-
torney-general for Ireland, whether he
had become acquainted with the oaths of
Orangemen, and whether he had adopted
any proceedings in consequence. This
would be in fact nothing less than asking
for the legal opinion of the right hon.
gentleman on the question.
Mr. Plunkett said, that, in a popular
sense, he had no objection to answer the
question proposed to him.
Mr. Scarlett said, it would be best to
proceed in the examination, leaving it to
the sound discretion of the right hon.
gentleman to refuse answering any ques-
tion when he saw the propriety of doing so.
By Colonel Barry.-Do you know whether
those tracts were extracts from the books of
the lodge 1612 ?-I really am not able to say.
Would you object to stating the nature of
those extracts ?-I have not the least objection;
I have a difficulty arising from want of memory,
but I have not the least objection so far as I
do recollect them.
Were they different in substance from the
printed regulations which were laid before
you ?-No, what I mean by extracts, is names
of individuals, and of acts done, resolutions
entered into, and things of that description.
I have had an opportunity of seeing them, but
I cannot undertake to recapitulate them.
Mr. Thomas Sibthorpe was called; in and
By Colonel Barry.-What is your situation ?
-A medical student.
Were you present on the 17th of December
when a company was assembled at your father's
house ?-I was.
Who were there?-My father, Mr. Sibthorpe,
my step-mother, my sister, the sheriff and his
wife, William Graham, and John M'Connell.
Was a man of the name of Jackson there ?-
And John Jackson.
Did you ever hear that John M'Connell
made an affidavit that sheriff Tiorpe said he
had an Orange panel in his pocket ?-I did.
S161] Inquiry into his Conduct. MAY 9, 1823. .[16
Did:you hear any such expression made use Supposing another person in the company
of by sheriff Thorpe ?-I did not. to have stated to the committee that they heard
Do you think it could have been made use that observation, supposing a second witness
S of without your having heard it ?-I'do not had said he had not heard sheriff Thorpe made
think it could. any remark about lord Wellesley, might nqt
By Sir J. Mackintosh.-Was there any poli- the remark about the panel have .been made
tical conversation passed in the room that without your hearing it?-I have said that we
evening ?-The conversation principally turned were all seated together during the time that
on the riot in the theatre.. remark was supposed to have been made, but
Did Mr. M'Connell take any part in that that the sheriff was going away, and we were
conversation ?-Not more than the rest; I scattered, and possibly some might have been
made no remark on his taking part. near and some at a distance from the sheriff
Do you remember that he said any thing when the other was made use of.
gross; or threw out any gross reflections on How do you know when that remark about
any body in the course of the evening ?-I do the Orange panel was supposed to have been
not recollect that he did. made?-I spoke to M'Connell about his having
S Do you recollect any conversation about the made oath that such conversation had taken
lord mayor ?-It was rather an observation, place; I waited on M'Connell on the 26th
By whom?-By Graham: It was during the Dec. or the 27th, having heard that he had
time we were playing at cards; on throwing made such an assertion, and I stated that I
down the knave of clubs, he made use of the had not heard any such conversation take
expression, bad luck to you, Fleming." place, nor had any of our family, and that I
By which he meant the lord mayor ?-I sup- was willing to make affidavit if necessary; and
pose so. he replied that he supposed that I thought so
Was there nothing said about the lord-lieu- or I would not say so.
tenant ?-There was no conversation about the By Mr. Plunkett.-Did M'Connell say any
lord-lieutenant, thing to you which enabled you to state the
Was there no observation made about him ? particular time at which that remark on the
-The sheriff made an observation, panel was supposed to have been made ?-No.
What was the nature of his observation ?- By Sir J. Mackintosh.-You have said, that
That he wished the marquis Wellesley at the the remark about lord Wellesley might not
devil. have been heard by other members of the com-
Was he playing at cards, or was it before or pany, because Mr. Sheriff Thorpe was .then
after cards, that he made that observation ?- near the door, can you take upon yourself to
It was when going away. say, that the remark about the panel might not
Did he make that observation loud enough have been made in the room and you not have
to be heard by every body present?-Those heard it; what was the difference of circum-
that were at a distance might not have heard stances which enables you to say, that the one
it; those that were near him would, remark could not have been made without
Did you hear any conversation or observa- your overhearing it, and that the other might
tion made about the bottle ?-No particular have been made without other members of the
conversation do I recollect about the bottle; company having heard it ?-There was no
* the bottle was merely mentioned as having conversation after that.
been thrown. Was there no conversation very long before
Was there no question put to Graham, whe- that ?-The whole night.
their the bottle was or was not thrown ?-I do How can you say, that the remark about the
not recollect any. panel could not have been made during the
You are not certain, though you heard that whole preceding period of the visit, by Mr.
civil remark of the high sheriff respecting the Sheriff Thorpe at your house, and you not have
lord lieutenant, that all the other persons in the heard him; what is the difference between that
room heard it ?-I can only answer for myself. remark and the other ?-On sheriff Thorpe's
Then the sheriff might have made remarks departure, I stated, that the company were up
respecting the Orange panel which you did in various parts of the room, and that no con,
not hear also?-I rather think not, because we versation occurred after that; so that it could
were all seated at that time, but this was when not have occurred after that, because he went
he was about to depart, away.
That was his farewell remark, was it, his Might not sheriff Thorpe have made that re-
farewell benediction ?-I cannot say. mark about the panel before that remark which
How do you happen to recollect so exactly he made about lord Wellesley ?-We were
and correctly the precise time at which that seated; unless in a very low tone, or rather in
remark was made ?--I really cannot say how a whisper, it could not have been made.
I can recollect it, but by its striking me and During the whole period, from the entry of
my keeping it in my memory. Mr. Sheriff Thorpe into the room, till the mo-
Do you take upon you to say with absolute ment of his going away, it could not have been
certainty that sheriff Thorpe did not use those made without your overhearing it ?-Tnless it
words about an Orange panel ?-I do most as, was made in a confidential tone. The room
suredly. was so small,
VOL. IX. M
163] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
By Mr. Peel.-When you were asked first,
how you happened to know the particular part
of the evening at which this remark was al-
leged to have been made about the panel, you
went on to say, you had a conversation with
'2VConnell; what was that conversation; did
M'Connell tell you any thing that helped you
to fix the time when he stated that remark to
have been made ?-I said he did not.
Did you or not mean to allude to a particu-
lar time of the evening when that remark was
supposed to have been made ?-I said that af-
ter the observation alluding to the marquis
Wellesley, Mr. Thorpe went home.
Have you read M'Connell's evidence that he
gave before this committee ?-I have in the
M'Connell states, does he not, that it was
made at a certain period of the evening ?-
Does not he state that that expression was
made use of by sheriff Thorpe, soon after you
passed him in the room, and said to him,
4< When will these poor fellows be brought to
trial?"-So I read.
At what time did the party begin ?-About
At what time did you sit down to cards ?-
Some short time afterwards.
How long did you continue playing at cards?
-Till about eleven.
How soon after the card party had finished
,did sheriff Thorpe leave the room ?-Almost
By Mr. R. Smith -To whom was it that
sheriff Thorpe made that observation about
the marquis Wellesley, was it to yourself ?-It
was rather generally, I should think.
Was this the first time you had heard the
marquis Wellesley's name mentioned that
evening? Except about the riot at the
theatre, no conversation relative to him.
This was the first observation you heard
'made in his praise or his dispraise ?-Yes.
Did not you consider it a little extraordinary
'that for the first time, just as a man was going
'out at a door without any thing to lead to it,
-he should say, I wish the lord lieutenant
'was at the devil" ?-Indeed, I do not know
what I thought of it.
Is it to be understood that it was uttered
just like a grace after dinner, without anything
introducing to it ?-Indeed I do not know.
Did not you hear sheriff Thorpe express any
wish that lord Wellesley was out of the coun-
try ?-No, I did not.
John Crosby Graves, esq. was called in; and
By Colonel Barry.-What is your situation
in life ?-I am a barrister and magistrate of
the head office of police in Dublin.
You recollect the riots that happened at the
theatre, on the 14th December ?-Yes, I at-
tended at the theatre on that night.
There were certain persons accused of hav-
ing been active in those riots ?-Yes,
First of all there were two persons taken up
for that?--I understand three, two -andwiches
and George Graham. "
Did you commit those persons ?-No; those
persons were carried to the office of the sixth
division; the police division in which the
theatre is; they were there examined, and the
informations taken in that office.
Do you recollect, when Forbes was first
named as a rioter ?-He was first apprehended
in the theatre by myself.
Was he detained then ?-He was not then
detained; he was taken to the watch-house;
he there gave bail, under my direction; and
on the following morning, there were no cir-
cumstances at the time of sufficient importance,
to be considered a foundation for any serious
He was afterwards accused of rather a seri-
ous charge; do you recollect what that charge
was ?-The charge was of a conspiracy, to kill
and murder the lord-lieutenant.
Was not the state of public feeling in Dub-
lin considerably exasperated?-It was very
In a case of high exasperation of public
feeling, do you not think there is a consider-
able difficulty in obtaining a panel of fair and
impartial men to judge a question of that na-
ture ?-I should conceive so.
Do you think the committal of Forbes, for
that capital crime, tended to increase that ex-
asperation ?-It was one of many circumstances
that might so contribute.
Did you commit Forbes for that crime ?-I
did not sign the committal for Forbes.
Was it ever proposed to you to sign his
committal?-No; there were grounds why I
think it was not proper for me to sign that
committal, nor the other two committals for
the capital charge. The two informations re-
specting the other prisoners, and the facts re-
specting them, were deposed to in the sixth
divisional office of police, the College-street
office; the informations against one of the
Handwiches, Henry Handwich, and George
Graham, against whom there were capital
charges preferred, were sworn in that office;
the informations not being before me, it was
not for me to sign them; I sent for the magis-
trate of the office, before whom they had been
sworn; he had the informations before him,
and he signed the committals against those
two men; in the case of Forbes I was myself
a witness; I had apprehended him, I had
made an information which was part of the
evidence to affect him, and it did not strike me
as at all proper for me to be the committing
Had you any other reason for not signing
that committal?-I had made a statement in
the way of deposition against him, on facts
coming within my own knowledge at the time
of his apprehension; and I mentioned it to my
brother magistrate, as a reason why I should
not -be the magistrate to commit.
Did you subscribe the information upon the
Inquiry into his Conduct.
capital charge ?-I subscribed one or two in-
formations, which seemed to me afterwards,
when attending upon the trial before the petit
S jury, to be one of the principal informations
affecting him, with respect to a conversation
taking place after the performance at the
theatre, and giving a more serious colour to
the case than it had struck me in, when I had
Did you subscribe the jurat of the informa-
tion upon which the capital committal took
place ?-I cannot say that; I subscribed one
information, as to a transaction taking place in
Essex-street, after the representation was over,
which I believe was of as serious a nature as
any other information sworn, except that an-
* other party, who was present at the same con-
versation, and who did not swear the informa-
tion before me, did recollect that conversation,
I believe, more fully, and did state something
which more considerably affected Forbes, than
did the informants who gave the information
Did any information which you subscribed
warrant a committal on a capital charge, in
your opinion ?-If I had had the case before
me in the ordinary way, simply upon the in-
formations that were sworn before myself in-
dividually, I should not have shaped a capital
committal on anything which had been deposed
to before me.
Was it proposed to you to comfnit upon the
capital charge upon those informations?-- I
S got no immediate direction upon the subject;
one of my brother magistrates came into the
office and stated, that it was directed that three
of the persons charged were' to have capital
committals made against them; he came from
the council-chamber, and he stated that it was
by the attorney-general, or by the law officers,
I do not know which.
Were you required, or desired, to sign those
* capital committals?-No, that was all that
passed upon the subject, inl the way of a direc-
tion; the committals were then framed accord-
Would it be likely for a sheriff to talk of his
having a panel in his pocket, before the offen-
ders had been committed ?-I should think,
speaking a priori, it would not have been
William Leadour called in; and examined
By Colonel Barry.-Did you know a man of
the name of James Ormsby ?-I did; he is dead.
Shortly previous to his death had you any
conversation with him ?-I had; in the begin-
ning of March, I called upon him for the pur-
pose of getting a book of mine which I heard
he had: I found him in a very dangerous state
of health; when alone in his room, and speak-
ing with respect to the termination of the trials
for the riots at the theatre, he said, The lads
have cope off. much better than might have
been expected, they little knew that it was
poor James Ormsby, who will be soon going to
Davy Jones, who threw the pieces of wood,"
Did he die shortly after ?-In the course of
Was he a low sallow man?-He was.
Do you know whether lie had made that
communication to any body else ?-I have
heard he told it to George Graham, the person
who was accused of having thrown those mis-
Do you know why your friend supposed
those lads had got off better than might have
been expected, if they were not the persons.? -
I should presume by their not having been
At the time you had the conversation with
Ormsby, did he appear to you to be appre-
hensive of his approaching dissolution ?-I am
decidedly of opinion, that it was under that
impression he made the declaration to me.
By Mr. Goulburn.-Had your friend Mr.
Ormsby been long ill?-He had been in a bad
state of health a good while, nearly a year.
Was he in the habit of attending tle
theatre ?-I cannot say.
Had you seen him frequently before this ?-
I had seen him as a visitor in the prison of
Newgate, where the traversers were confided;
I went to see Mr. Forbes at the time he was
Did Ormsby go there for that purpose?-
No; but for the purpose of seeing the Hand-
Do you suppose he would state to Hand-
wich that he threw the rattle ?-Indeed, ,I
would suppose so.
Do you think it likely Handwich would keep
that secret ?-- think it probable he would. ,
Was not it possible to get evidence, that
Ormsby had thrown the bottle ?-I was not.ii
the theatre, and cannot state what passed
there that night.
Do you remember making any inquiries
about a person of the name of Farrel ?-I do
Who was examined as to the throwing the
What inquiries did you make concerning
him ?-Sometime in the last week of Decem-
ber, a person called on me and stated, that he.
had heard Farrel say, at the door of the police
office, in College-street; that, thank God, his
oath was taken, and now they should have sa-
tisfaction of the bloody Orangemen. I having
a wish that matters should be 'set in a fair
way, and that the parties accused should be
honourably acquitted, inquired who Farrel
was, I found out his occupation and residence;
and the person who made this communication
to me, I requested he would go to his abode to
recognize him; 'on the day of the trial, he went
there, and returned to me, and told,me, it was
the same person; and that if he wbuld come
forward and swear that Handwich.was the per-
son who threw the boiile, 'he was ready, to
swear that he h1d made. ue of this expressionn
at the door of College-street police office.
Was that person examined ?-He was not
MAY 9, 1825.
'167] HOUSE OF COMMONS,
By Mr. Brougham.-Were you intimate with
the prisoners ?-I was particularly intimate
with Mr. Forbes, Mr. W. Graham, and Mr.
You are what is commonly called an
Ofangeman ?-I am.
Are you a purple-man ?-I am;
You have taken the Orange oath?-I have.
And the purple oath ?-Yes.
Were you intimate with Mr. Ormsby?-I
was not I had seen him about a year back ;
but I never spoke to him in my life, till the
time the traversers were in confinement.
I At that time Mr. Ormsby was very ill ?-He
was, but was able to be out.
Then when he talked about the Mr. Jones,
in the way you have described, he had not the
prospect of death ?-I did not mention Mr.
Davy Jones?-Yes; that was in the month
of March I am speaking of the last week in
When had you that conversation with him ?
--The time he made use of that expression to
me, was the first week in March.
Was he very ill then ?-Very ill indeed; he
was sitting up to have his bed made, he never
left his room after that.
Was he in that state of mind, that a person
Istually is in the prospect of dissolution, when
he used the expressions which you have just
stated ?-I consider him to be perfectly in that
'state of mind, so much so, that a clergyman
had been with him, I believe, an hour before.
What made you so anxious that the priso-
trets Ahould be honourably acquitted ?-Being
'a particular acquaintance, I felt sorry that an
imputation of the kind should be made against
You felt no peculiar interest in consequence
of their belonging to the same system as your-
"self?-Certainly; I -considered that the same
idium would be brought against the system,
nd that, together with my individual feeling
for them, roused me to exertion ih their favour.
Robert Gilbert called in; and examined
By Colonel Barry.-What is your situation
in life ?-I am the under gaoler of Newgate in
Do you recollect any person coming to the
gaol of Newgate, for the purpose of seeing the
prisoners who were confined for being coh-
cerned in the riot at the theatre on the 14th of
December ?-I do.
Do you recollect any person pointing out
oanp of them, as the man that threw the rattle ?
SWho was that peison?-I have heard since
that it is a Mt. Lewis.
WWhom did he identify as the person who
"thew the rattle ?-A man of 'the name of
'"Orusby; a man in the last stage, as I thought
at the l.m-, of a consumption.
M.'l.-'r Tandy was present at 'his?--He was.
When -did thie take place ?-I t1ink sthe day
or 'the day but 'one after the prisoners were
Lewis pointed out Ormsby as the one who
threw the rattle ?-He did; there were about
ten prisoners in the yard where the man was ;
I was asked to show the prisoner Graham
which I declined doing: I said it was not my
practice to show any man singly, but I would
show the yard where he was; I brought them
up to an eminence and said, Gentlemen, the
prisoner is in that yard." Ormsby was talking
to Matthew Handwich, and he pointed over
his finger and said, That is the man." I
was greatly astonished, and after some little
delay, said, Sir, I think you are mistaken, fdr
that man is not one of the prisoners." He
then seemed to be more positive as to his dress
than to his features.
You are sure that major Tandy was in a si-
tuation to hear all that passed ?-Certainly, he
was not further than this gentleman from me.
Did not you point out Graham to Lewis ?-
Not till after he had asked me if I would show
him, and I said I would then.
You are positive he pointed out Ormsby in
the first instance ?-Certainly.
What passed when Lewis pointed out Gra-
ham ?-There was some conversation between
him and major Tandy, which I did not mind;
Mr. Tandy being a magistrate I did not inter-
fere between him and Mr. Lewis.
Did not Mr. Lewis say something to you
upon the subject ?-No, I think not.
Did any other persons apply to you to point
out Graham to them P-No, not Graham.
Or Forbes?-The prisoners in general, I
was asked to show them all; I recollect on new
year's night there came the crown solicitor to
the gaol, with a gentleman whose face was
covered so that I could not see, and he asked
me to bring the prisoners, and to place them
in a situation with other persons, that they
should be inspected. I brought them all down
into one of my own apartments, and placed
them in a room, and the gentlemen walked up
into the toom, and the gentleman who came to
identify them, I recollect, identified a man of
the name of Davern, who was in custody for
forgery for a length of time before ; I then told
the gentleman he must have been mistaken,
for that person was in custody for a long time
before the riots in the theatre ; he then request-
ed I might bring down Forbes and show him;
I told him I did not think that would be right,
that he was in a most conspicuous place in the
room, and I did not think it would be treating
him well to show him singly.
Did you afterwards learn who that gentleman
who was muffled up was ?-A Mr. Vignoles,
one of the lord-lieutenant's aide-de-"amps.
Did not you consider it a circumstance of
:some considerable importance, when Lewis
pointed out Ormsby as the person who had
thrown the rattle ?-I did.
Was the circumstance of its being in major
Tandy's hearing, a -circumstance that made you
'think it was unnecessary to make it ikown to
persons in authority ?-Yes.
-Majo& Tandy is a police magistrate -AYes
.lquiry into his Conduct.
On what day did this take place ?-I think
a day or two after the prisoners were fully
S By Lord Milton.-Do you know who Lewis
is ?-Sub-sheriff of the county of Kildare.
When Lewis stated, that Ormsby was the
person who had thrown the rattle, did he state
it upon his own knowledge or common report?
-On his own knowledge.
Did he state, that he had seen it ?-He did;
that he was in some situation in the boxes,
that he could see him and had a clear view of
He was quite certain Ormsby was the per-
son who threat the rattle?-Yes, he seemed to
be quite certain at first; but when I told him,
* he was not one of the prisoners, he seemed not
to be so certain as to his features, but more
certain to his dress.
When you told him, that Ormsby was not
one of the prisoners, some doubt was thrown
Supon his mind whether he was the person ?-
Certainly : and I thought him quite mistaken
myself at the time.
Did not Mr. Lewis ask you whether Graham
had not changed his dress ?-He did.
Did you ever mention to the Handwiches, or
any of the prisoners, the fact'that Mr. Lewis
'had pointed out Ormsby ?-I went down im-
mediately, and said, What is your name ?"
He said, My name is Ormsby." I said,
There was a gentleman after pointing you
out as the person who threw the rattle; were
S you at the theatre that evening ?" He said,
I was at the theatre." I observed while I
was talking to him he seemed a good deal agi-
tated. I said, When you were at the theatre,
had you this coat on ?" He said, No, I had
not this coat upon me." I asked him this, in
consequence of the gentleman seeming to
speak more to his dress than to his person.
Did you ever mention to the prisoners that
S Ormsby had been pointed out as the man ?-I
Did sheriff Thorpe ever visit the prisoners
in gaol, the traversers ?-He did.
By Mr. Ellice.-Can you account for the
reason of your not having been called on the
trial, after having acquainted the Handwiches
and other prisoners of this error in Mr. Lewis
S in pointing out any improper person; were
you summoned on the trial ?-No, I was not,
but I attended the trial almost every day.
You were not called ?-No; they told me,
if that gentleman was produced, it would be
then necessary to call on me.
They did not think it necessary to show that
Ormsby had been pointed out as the person
who threw the rattle ?-I suppose they did
mot, or they would have produced me.
Do.you mean to say, you communicated to
them before the trial, that a gentleman brought
there by major Tandy, had identified another
person as the person who threw the rattle, but
"that they did not produce you?-Yes.
Were the prisoners visited by their counsel
.or agents between the.day of which you are
Mat 12,'14829. J170
speaking, and the trial?-They were; and
their agent was in possession of that fact; I
told it to the agent,
Who were they ?-Mr. Fearn was one; and
Mr. Chambers was the other.
You were in court when the case was before
the petit jury, in February ?-Yes; I am' ob-
liged to attend all the trials.
Was any thing said about this on that trial?
-No, not a word.
By Mr. Denman.-Were Graham and Orms-
by like in person ?-They were alike in height,
but Ormsby had a stoop; the other was a strait
stout little fellow.
Who told you that the person who pointed
out' Ormsby was Mr. Lewis ?--t was Mr.
Stodart, a police magistrate.
Henry Cooper, esq. called in; and further
By Sir J. Mackintosh.-At the time. Mr.
Poole came to you, to ask to be put on the
grand jury, did you tell him to go to Mr. She-
riff Thorpe ?-I referred him to, Mr. Sheriff
Did you and Mr. Sheriff Thorpe settle the
panel immediately after the receipt of Mr.
Kemmis's letter ?-I attended the Sheriff's
office, and retired into a room from the public
office, and there we examined the panel which
Was that immediately after receiving the
letter of Mr. Kemmis ?-I think it was theday
after I received it; but I cannot be particular
as to dates.
Have you reason to believe, that you lost no
time in settling the panel after receiving that
letter ?-The regulation of the panel was for
the purpose of giving it to the sub-sheriff for
his record panel; I think there was no altera-
tion from that, whatever.
Was not that panel settled before.Mr.,Poole
came to you, and had that conversation with
you?--I am almost certain it was not.
The House resumed. The Chairman
reported progress and obtained leave to
Monday, May 12.
NEGOTIATIONS RELATIVE TO FRANCE
AND SPAIN-FOREIGN POLICY. OF THIS
COUNTRY.] Earl Grey rose and said,
that when he recollected the importance
of the war now carrying on by France
against Spain-when he adverted to the
'consequences likely to result from it, and
the manner in which it would .affect this
country, as well as the dangers which
threatened.the peace of Europe, he was
assured their lordships would feel with
him the necessity of having. before them
every paper on a subject of such parar
171] HOUSE OF LORDS, Negotiations relative to France and Spain- [172
mount importance. He should not,
therefore, trouble the House with any
further apology for the motions which he
intended to make, with a view of throwing
alight on the subject. The first point
on which he wished to obtain some in-
formation was one which had created
some sensation; and he should be glad if
any thing satisfactory could be added to
what had been said in explanation of the
transaction in another place. He alluded
to the capture of a Spanish ship by a
French man of war, which must have
sailed from France before the advance of
the French army, and must, therefore,
have had her orders whilst the French
government were making those pacific
assurances on which his majesty's minis-
ters had relied for the preservation of
peace, and on the faith of which they had
induced this and the other House of Par-
liament to abstain from all inquiries with
a view to the accomplishment of their
hopes. It was with a view of enabling
his majesty's ministers to contradict, on
the part of the French government, what
at.present appeared an act of the greatest
perfidy, that he now mentioned the
matter. If this country could stand by,
and see the greater infamy of the invasion
of Spain by France, because the former
had made alterations in her constitution
which concerned herself alone-if we
could see this odious and indefensible ag-
gression, and think the interests of this
country required us to maintain a strict
neutrality, he did not think we had any
right to interfere in that lesser act of
robbery and plunder-the seizure of the
Spanish ship before the French army had
marched, and whilst negotiations were
-still pending. It was with the view,
therefore, of relieving the French govern-
ment from this act of perfidy and villainy
that he thought himself now called upon
to ask for some explanation, and with a
view also to relieve his majesty's ministers
flom the odium of having been so grossly
deluded. He had before alluded to what
'had passed in another place, when a se-
cretary of state was stated to have said,
" that a representation was immediately
made to the French government, the an-
swerito which was, to a certain extent,
satisfactory:" but as all the facts must
have been long since ascertained, he
thought therewas no reasonable ground
foar refusing :the papers which he now
,wished-for,. in order to a full understand-
-ing ofithe transaction.
The next point to which he wished to
call the attention of the House related to
an act of the provisional government
established in Spain, he believed, by the
duke d'Angoul&me, but certainly under
the protection of the French government
and army. He had read in the public
papers a proclamation by that provisional
government, in which they declared, that
all acts done by the present government
of Spain, since 1820, should be null and
void. The consequence of this would be,
that not only all acts of an internal na-
ture, but all engagements with foreign
powers, including the engagements made
with this country, to render satisfaction
for injuries done to our trade in the West
Indies would be null and void. This
proclamation was made by the provisional
government, and must be supposed to
have the sanction of the duke d'Angou-
&1me. He should be glad if it were not
so ; but he thought his majesty's ministers
were bound to show that they had made
representations to the French government
on a subject so deeply affecting our in-
terests, and to show also what satisfaction
they had obtained. This was a point on
which he thought representations ought
to have been made, and respecting which,
he should wish the House to be in pos-
session of the answers given; of course
limiting his motion to copies or extracts,
which would enable his majesty's minis-
ters to withhold any thing of a secret
nature which it might be improper to
The third point was one which he con-
sidered of very great importance. It re-
lated to the state in which France stood
with respect to the sovereigns assembled
at Verona, and went to show whether
France was acting with the assurance of
their-assistance and support, or whether
France was engaged in a strictly national
war, to which those great powers were
no parties. This appeared to him a point
of very great importance, and one in
which the interests of this country and
of the world were essentially concerned.
The consideration of this point necessarily
led him to what had passed in the course
of the late negotiations; and, after every
attention which he had paid to the sub-
ject before the discussion, and since, he
was confirmed in the opinion which he
had already stated, that on no occasion
in the history of this country, had its in-
terests been so betrayed, its honour so
tarnished, and its power and prosperity
Foreign Policy of this Country.
exposed to so much danger, as they had
been by his majesty's government in the
course of that negotiation. He felt that
* he was called upon, not only to establish
the propriety of granting the papers for
which he asked, but also to establish his
own right to call for them. On a former
night the noble earl opposite had alluded
to opinions of his (earl Grey's) stated on
another occasion. The noble earl had
not stated them very distinctly, and he
(earl Grey) had only given a short ex-
planation, in which lie undertook to show
that there was no variation in the opinions
* he had held at the time to which the
noble earl had alluded, and at the present
moment. That was the position which
lie had undertaken to maintain, and which
he felt it necessary to maintain, in conse-
quence of the attack which had been made
upon him in another place. For what
purpose he would not now stop to in-
quire; but he felt that some apology was
due to their lordships, as it was of no
importance to them what his opinions
were, either now or at any former period;
since it was not by the opinion of any
individual that their lordships would go-
vern themselves, but by the reason and
circumstances of the case. But it was of
some consequence to him that he should
not be thought to entertain opinions lia-
ble to change and vary with every slight
alteration of the political compass; and
it was of some consequence, also, to the
cause which he undertook to advocate.
He was now adverting to the opinions
which he held in the year 1810, and lhe
wished to recall to their lordships' recol-
lection the grounds of the policy which
he had recommended to their lordships,
when the subject was then brought before
them. He had then stated, that to justify
this country in a warlike interference,
there should not only be a just cause of
* war-and that an essential interest of this
country should be involved in it, but that,
after we were satisfied on these points,
we should also be assured that we had
probable means of acting with effect and
success. Those were the principles he
had then stated; and they were so incon-
trovertible, that he need waste no time in
* illustrating them. They were not princi-
ples of to-day or yesterday, but were
applicable to all times, and all circum-
stances. It was to the supposed contrast
of those principles that he would now call
their lordships' attention; and in reading
that speech, he begged to assure their
lordships that for the publication of it
he was in no degree responsible, though
he believed it stated his sentiments cor.
rectly, as he felt assured that they were
then, and now, the opinions which he
entertained; though, probably, better ex-
pressed than he had expressed them. He
had no hesitation in avowing, that he had
never corrected but two of his speeches;
one of which he delivered in 1807, and
the other was a speech on the circular of
the noble viscount (Sidmouth) whom he
did not now see in his place. The noble
earl then read the following extract from
the Parliamentary Debates of 1810:
But I cannot concede to the senti-
ments of the noble marquis, the inference
which his declarations assumed, that in
order to warrant this country to embark
in a military co-operation with Spain,
nothing more was necessary than to show
that her cause was just. In my mind,
my lords, in passing judgment upon such
a policy, it was not enough that the
attack nf France upon the Spanish nation
wds unprincipled, perfidious, and cruel;
that the resistance of Spain was dictated
by every principle, and sanctioned by
every motive honourable to human na-
ture; that it made every English heart
burn with a holy zeal to lend its assist-
ance against the oppressor: there were
other considerations of a less brilliant and
enthusiastic, but not less necessary and
commanding nature, which should have
preceded the determination of putting to
hazard the most valuable interests of the
country. It is not, my lords, with nations
as with individuals. Those heroic virtues
which shed a lustre upon individual manj
must in their application to the conduct
of nations be chastened by reflections of
a more cautious and calculating cast.
That generous magnanimity and high-
minded disinterestedness, proud distinct.
tions of national virtue (and happy are
the people whom they characterize!)
which, when exercised at the risk of
every personal interest, in the prospect
of every danger, at the sacrifice even of
life itself, justly immortalize the hero,
cannot and ought not to be considered
justifiable motives of political action, be-
cause nations cannot afford to be chival-
rous and romantic. Before they engage
in any enterprise which is to be supported
by the exertions and energies of the peo-
ple, it is the duty of the government to
see, first, that there exist the means of
rendering them effectual; secondly, that
MAY 12, 1823.
175] HOUSE OF LORDS, Negotiations relative to France and. Spain- [ 17
there is sufficient policy to warrant the
application of the means; and, lastly, that
there are grounds of probability to induce
a hope of success. It is only by an at-
tention to such preliminary considerations
as I have stated, that the affairs of nations
can be prosperously or even safely con-
This had been relied upon, in another
place, as exhibiting a contrast to the opi-
nions which he held at the present mo-
ment; with what view he could not ima-
gine, except to induce a belief that he
had.then recommended something like a
shrinking from the cause of Spain which
he at present advocated; but on this
subject he could confidently appeal to
those with whom he had private commu-
nications at the time, that when that most
unprincipled, that unparalleled (he had
almost-said) attack on Spain took place
(but now no longer unequalled), he had
from the first moment of resistance,
wished success to the Spaniards. There
was no assistance likely to contribute to
that end, and within the means of the
country to afford, that he was not
desirous of giving them. And in that
opinion he differed from a friend of his,
with whom he was connected by the ties
of relationship and mutual regard, and
with whom he had often fought, under
Mr. Fox, the battles of the constitution.
The noble earl here read the following
extract from the address to his majesty,
with which he had concluded his speech
onwthe occasion referred to:-" To state
to his majesty that we cannot doubt his
majesty's readiness to embrace the first
opportunity of concluding a peace on just
and reasonable terms; but that looking to
the nature of the contest in which we
are engaged, to the power of France, now
unhappily established over the greater
part of Europe, and to the spirit and
character of the government of that coun-
try, we are convinced that this event, so
anxiously desired by his majesty's loyal
people, will be best promoted by proving
to the world, that while his majesty is ac-
tuated by the most just and moderate
views, we possess the means of permanently
supporting the honour and independence
of our country against every species of
attack by which the enemy may hope to
assail them." He could confidently ap-
peal to that very speech to show that his
feeling, as to the attack on Spain, was the
same then as it was now, Whatever of,
difference there was, arope only frjm dif-
ference of circumstances, and related
solely to the most advantageous mode of
carrying on the war in which we were
engaged, and which we were bound to
support. He thought he had sufficiently
proved the uniformity of his opinions as
to the case of Spain, and that the only
difference could be as to the mode in
which it was to be supported. Looking
to the situation of Spain and Europe in
the years 1809 and 1810, it did not appear
to him that the employment of all the
disposable military force on which we had
to depend for our own preservation
against the most alarming power that ever
threatened the peace of the world, was
the best mode of maintaining the cause
of Spain; and, taking the same data, he
should still entertain the same opinion.
What, in the year 1810, was the situation
of Europe? Holland was at the disposal
of France; from Italy she drew some of
her finest soldiers; Sweden had declared
war against us; and Denmark, by an
unjustifiable aggression which he should
never cease to reprobate, indulged the
bitterest enmity against us. Austria, after
the defeat of Wagram, had concluded a
peace with France, and the emperor
Francis, as-a confirmation of it, had mar,
ried his daughter, Maria Louisa, to Na-
poleon. Russia also followed in the train
of vassal states, having submitted to Buo-
napart6, who was at the head of armies
that had conquered the world. He pos-
sessed not merely the forces of France,
but of the whole peninsula of Italy, as
the instruments of his ambition, and pas-
sively subservient to his purposes: he
threatened the extinction of the last re-
mains of independence in Spain. What,
too, was the situation of Spain ? The
passes of the Sierra Morena had been
forced, and so completely had the French
troops overrun that noble kingdom, that
they were quartered in Seville. True it
was, that they had at last been driven
from the Peninsula, and it was at the
present moment highly encouraging to
reflect, that notwithstanding all the dis-
asters they had at that time suffered, they
had been still able to afford an apparently
desperate but an effectual resistance. The
expectations of the French in 1810 might
be gathered from a dispatch of marshal
Soult, dated on the 27th- of January in
that year, which was couched in such
terms as almost led to the supposition
that the duke d'Angouleme was at this
moment provided with the identical se.
MAY 12, 1823. '[178
cretary. Marshal Soult talked of the
happy and placid countenances of the
people indicating the delight with which
* their deliverers were hailed, adding that
king Joseph was every where received
with enthusiastic joy; in short, the whole
nation appeared desirous of submitting,
being sick and tired of the sufferings to
which they had been so long exposed."
The French were then in military posses-
sion of the whole of Spain, with the ex-
ception of the Isle of Leon, and even there
the French had established a fort from
which they bombarded Cadiz. Under
S such circumstances, he would ask whether
any reasonable hope could at that time
be entertained that the French would be
finally expelled from the Peninsula; par-
ticularly when the House recollected, that
the result of the most brilliant victory
of Talavera had been, that the nobleduke
opposite had been obliged to retire to
the lines of Torres Vedras, leaving his
sick and wounded at the mercy of the
enemy? He had there, indeed, conduct.
ed himself with a degree of skill that
had subsequently raised the military re-
nown of his country to the loftiest height;
but he feltjustified in saying, that while
affairs were thus situated, any man might
S have reasonably objected to the burthen-
some and almost hopeless sacrifice of
sending as additional army to Spain. He
had objected to it, but events had disap-
pointed him; and when he said this, he
hoped that the fit sense would be put
upon the word he employed; for, in the
S issue of the contest, no man more sincerely
rejoiced than himself. There were three
events that he had not foreseen. First,
that Napoleon would in this instance, for
the first time, depart from that principle
which in former cases had been the main
cause of his success; namely, that of
finishing that one enterprise before he be-
* gan another. After the retreat of sir John
Moore he had not expected that Napoleon
would divert his forces towards Austria-
that before he had completed the subju-
gation of Spain, he would have laboured
to establish what had been termed the
continental system against the trade and
commerce of Great Britain, or that he
* would have meditated and commenced a
new attack upon Russia. Pleading guilty
to the charge of having limited his views
to the ordinary extent of human faculties,
S he would observe that in the second place,
he had not foreseen that the government
of Spain, driven to the Isle of Leon,
would be able to make the heroic resist-
ance which the world had subsequently
witnessed. When he considered the
courage, the perseverance, the unconquer-
able resolution displayed by the people of
Spain In that memorable struggle-when
he recollected that the cause for which
she fought was not only her own, but
the cause of the world-when he reflected
that Louis 18th owed the crown he wore
to the bravery of Spain, and that Great
Britain was indebted to that land both for
her renown and her security-when he
remembered that the invincible spirit dis-
played to an admiring world by the
Spaniards in the Isle of Leon, was not
less to be admired than the bravery of
Rome when Hannibal was at her gates,
he could scarcely restrain his indignation
within the bounds of parliamentary de-
cency. He had said, that the invasion of
Spain by Napoleon was unprincipled, per-
fidious, and unjust; the invasion of Spain
by Louis 18th was not less unprincipled,
less perfidious, or less unjust, with this
additional distinguishing and odious qua.
lity-that it was marked by the blackest
ingratitude. He did not wish needlessly
to speak of sovereigns with personal dis-
respect, nor did he mean to apply the
words which he had used personally to the
king of France ; butthegovernment of that
monarch had induced him to turn his arms
against that very people whose heroic ex-
ertions had *stored him to his throne.
There was also a third point which he had
not foreseen. In 1810, he had witnessed
the disgraceful convention of Cintra, the
calamitous expedition to Walcheren, and
the unfortunate retreat of sir John Moore
to Corunna. These instances of misma-
nagement had led him to entertain little
hope of the future efforts of-the then ad-
ministration; he had not looked forward
to the display of that great military ge-
nius on the part of the noble duke oppo.
site which had finally re-established the
independence of Europe.
Such was his justification-if a justifi-
cation were necessary-of the opinions he
had then held as to the state of this coun-
try, as to the dangers of the Peninsula,
and as to the mode in which the war
should be conducted. That justification
was complete, unless the absurd principle
could be established, that where Spain
was concerned, it was necessary to act by
certain fixed and invariable rules, and not
to vary the system of policy according to
the circumstances of the times. He had
Poreign Policy qftthe Countrwy.
179) 'HOUSE OF LORDS, Negotiations relative to France and Spain- '1.80
been often taunted with the failure of
his.predictions; but he should have been
surprised if he had not entertained the
opinions he had expressed, knowing, as
he did, that they were sanctioned by the
approbation of every military man lie had
atthat time consulted. Admitting, then,
that he had been mistaken in 1810, there
were.subsequent periods in which he had
qualified, and explained, and even chang-
ed his sentiments. Nobody could know
better than the very person who had made
this charge, what had subsequently fallen
from him (earl Grey) upon this subject.
After the year 1810, a great change of
circumstances occurred. Before 1812,
the noble duke.opposite had opened a
new and a brighter prospect of success.
In 1812, the right lion. gentleman who
now arraigned his consistency was out of
office, and in the March of that year, a
noble baron, now a noble earl, and who
sat on the opposite side (Borringdon)
made a motion for a more efficient admi-
nistration. That motion he (earl Grey)
had supported ; and here he begged leave
to refer to the speech he had then made,
observing, in the first instance, that the
motion was not made without the con-
currence of the present secretary for
foreign affitas. He (earl Grey) had said
-' With respect to the policy which the
circumstances of the present crisis de-
manded to be maintained in the affairs of
the Peninsula, he certainly*was not pre-
pared to say that it was expedient to re-
call. our troops immediately home; but
he certainly did not wish to proceed on
that expensive mode of warfare, without
having some military authority, as to the
probable result of it; and he wished,
above all, to see the opinion of the il-
lustrious commander of the forces in that
country on the subject. No part of
national policy was more open to repeated
discussion, or more calculated to engender
a diversity of opinion, than the most
proper mode of carrying on foreign war-
fare. The first principle in the policy of
all wars was, to inflict the utmost possible
injury on the enemy, at the expense of
the least possible injury to ourselves.
Such a question, therefore, as that which
related to the continuance of the present
contest in the Peninsula, depended on a
variety of considerations arising out of
recent events, and the consequent and re-
lative situations of ourselves and of the
enemy. In determining on the expediency
.of any measure of this nature, he was to
be guided upon calculations formed on an
extensive combination and comparison of
circumstances. He thought, and thought
most decidedly, that a reduction of our
expenditure was called for by reflections
of the most urgent and powerful kind;
and he should feel it to be his duty, be-
fore he could agree to the continuance of
any continental enterprises like those in
which we were now engaged, to take a
wide survey of our own resources, to mea-
sure their extent, and the means of their
application to the objects for the attain-
ment or promotion of which they were
proposed to be exerted. If the result of
such an estimate were to establish any
thing like a certainty of success in the
schemes that were devised, all his hesita-
tions and difficulties would be removed,
and he should consider even the most ex-
tensive scale of foreign operations as re-
commended and supported by the princi-
ples of economy itself." That speech
certainly had the vote and approbation of
the noble marquis now at the head of the
Irish government, who, of all men, was
least likely to support opinions hostile to
the vigorous prosecution of the war in
Spain. With this document before him,
it was a little singular that the person to
whom he hadalluded should have attacked
his consistency, and, in order to do so,
should have made a partial extract, which
even taken by itself, did not bear that
right hon. person out in the attempt lie
had made to contrast opposite opinions. It
did not, however, rest there, for a further
and more accurate explanation had been
given. Their lordships would remember
that in 1812, the death of Mr. Perceval
unfortunately took place. Upon that
event, the noble earl opposite, thus de-
prived of such powerful support, found it
necessary to seek for new strength for
his ministry. His first application had
been to Mr. Canning, who thought it ne-
cessary to consult his friends, and the con-
clusion at which he arrived was stated in
a letter dated the 18th of May 1812, ad-
dressed to the noble earl opposite (Liver-
pool.) Mr. Canning said-" The result
of their opinion is, that by entering into
the administration upon the terms pro-
posed to me, I should incur such a loss of
personal and public character as would
disappoint the object which his royal
highness the Prince Regent has at heart;
and must render my accession to his go-
vernment a new source of weakness, ra-
ther than an addition of strength. To
18'l Foreign Policy of the Country. MAY 12, 1823. [I18s
become a part of your administration with abandoned. He alluded to these matters
the previous knowledge of your unaltered merely historically, and to show what
opinions as to the policy of resisting all right such a man had to set himself up as;
consideration of the state of the laws af- a judge of the consistency of others. This.
fecting his majesty's Roman Catholic attempt to acquire strength having failed,
subjects, would, it is felt, be to lend my- lord Wellesley was empowered to enter
self to the defeating of my own declared into negotiations, and he, in conjunction
opinions on that most important question with Mr. Canning and a noble friend now
-opinions which are as far as those of absent, made two propositions: first, that
any man from being favourable to preci- the state of the laws affecting the Roman
pitate and unqualified concession ; but Catholics should be taken into considera-
which rest on the conviction, that it is the tion with a view to a conciliatory adjust.
duty of the advisers of the Crown, with ment; and, secondly, that the war in the'
a view to the peace, tranquillity, and Peninsula shouldbe vigorously prosecuted
strength of the empire, to take that whole with an adequate force. The first great
question into their early and serious con- object of the new ministry was, to lay the
sideration, and earnestly to endeavour to foundation of internal peace by a measure
bring it to a final and satisfactory settle- that would have avoided the million of
ment." He did not stop to inquire whe- woes by which Ireland had since been
their the right hon. secretary had or had afflicted; and the second, the prosecution
not changed his opinions with regard to of the war in Spain, with a view to its'
the Roman Catholics, or whether the conclusion, by measures of vigour and de-
different circumstances of the times had cision. Further explanations took places;
induced him not to act upon them so and, without going more at length into
strictly and rigidly as he expected of what passed, he (earl Grey) would merely
others. He did not expect that the noble state, that the result appeared highly sa-1
earl opposite, with whom Mr. Canning tisfactory to the marquis Wellesley and'
could not then act because he would not Mr. Canning, and the negotiation was-
" lend himself to the defeating of his own concluded in a letter, addressed by the,
declared opinions," had changed his de- former, to him (earl Grey), which con-
termination on the Roman Catholic claims. tained the following passage:-" But I can.
He did suppose that the noble and learn- not omit this opportunity of assuring your
ed lord on the woolsack had relaxed from lordship, that I have derived from the
the severity of his tenets upon this most sentiments, so justly expressed in your'
important question." When it was pro- letter, a firm expectation, that iftheadvice'
posed to send the right hon. secretary to which I have humbly offered to the Prince
India, the pain the learned lord had ex- Regent should be ultimately approved, a
pressed could not be forgotten, and all happy prospect will open to the country
must remember the valediction he had of recovering internal peace, and of pro-
pronounced at his supposed departure, securing the war with success, under an
[Hear, and a laugh !]. It had been found administration worthy of the confidence-
necessary, however, to secure the services of the prince and of the people, and equal
of the right hon. gentleman at home; but, to the arduous charge of public affairs,
in order to attain that important object, amidst all the difficulties and dangers,of
that summum bonum, he (earl Grey) did the present crisis." That the right hon.
not believe that the learned lord on the gentleman (Mr. Canning), in the teeth of'
woolsack had changed his notions asto the such evidence should have made such a
inexpediency of concession to the Roman charge, was one of the most extraordinary.
Catholics. Who, then, had changed ? for occurrences that had ever taken place in
if any credit were due to the letter of Mr. the history of debate; he must add, that
Canning, it was quite evident that then, the proceeding was not only most extra-:
at least, he had made the early and se- ordinary but most unfair [Hear, hear!]..
rious consideration" of that most im- But enough, and too much of this. In-;
portant question" a sine qua non of his deed, he should not thus long have de-
acceptance of office. All he would say trained their lordships, had he not felt,
was, that when he read Mr. Canning's that whatever weight he possessed with
speech at Liverpool, he had told a friend either party did not arise from any abili-
who had been incredulous from the outset, ties he possessed, but from the consist-
that Mr. Canning would not go to India, ency head maintained,
and that the Roman Catholics would be He now came to the last branch of the-