« ElőzőTovább »
in cases in which the Crown was con-| his successors. But let us ascribe it to cerned, after a lapse of twenty years; and the true causes-to the long and steady he complained that the Crown should not, experience of the blessings of a governin this respect, stand in the same situation ment, administered on British principles, as a private party.—His hon. friend, who and above all, to the introduction of the had lately returned from India (Mr. Fer- trial by jury. To this happy system, now gusson), had stated his own view of the deeply cherished in the affections of the case: he had alluded to it as it had fallen people, and revered as much as any of under his own observation. The descrip- their oldest and dearest institutions, I do tion he (Mr. Brougham) had given of it confidently ascribe this pleasing alteration ; was drawn from the notes of the judge. and it may be boldly asserted, that while What he had complained of was the delay, it continues to be administered with firmand that the property should, in the mean ness and integrity, the British government time, be attached by a sheriff's officer. will hold an interest in the hearts of its The law was, perhaps, wise, but the results Cingalese subjects, which the Portuguese he had stated were certainly sufficient to and Dutch possessors of this island were warrant all he had said on the subject. never able to establish.” Sir Hardinge The hon. and learned gentleman then then cited a report of the advocate fiscal, came to the subject of extending the trial who said, “ Amongst the inbabitants of the by jury in the East Indies, and begged to maritime provinces, I know the jury system read to the House an extract from a speech to be already a favourite; the wisdom of the delivered in 1820, by the late sir Hardinge Supreme Court has most happily adapted Giffard, the chief justice of Ceylon, which it, even to their prejudices.” Now he (Mr. had just come into his possession. Pre-Brougham) said, “ you had better trust viously, however, he begged to explain, to the hearts of the people of India than that in mentioning the story of the Brah- to 250,000 sepoys, who, though excellent min juryman of Ceylon—which, it was troops, were, perhaps, of doubtful fidelity.” said, showed the danger of allowing natives The fiscal added," “ Armies may waste to sit on juries—he had merely intended away from climate or disease, and seasons to show, that the vehement prejudice of a and circumstances may baffle the utmost jury had been checked by one unprejudiced exercise of human foresight; but fixed on person, who had discovered such amazing the attachment of the people to our jurisability in analyzing the evidence. The prudence, I look upon the security of the passages he should read were most im- British interests in Ceylon to be impregportant :-"It is too well recorded," said nable." The idea of jury-trial in India was sir Hardinge, addressing the magistrates by no means novel and modern in its origin. of Columbo," and is within the personal A usage which closely resembled this mode knowledge of some of yourselves, that of administering justice, as to principle, in during the Candyan war of 1803, the times of great antiquity, prevailed throughrevolt of some of our maritime districts out that country. It was essentially a added, in no slight degree, to the diffi- species of arbitration, and decided such culties of that melancholy period. It has cases as came under the cognizance of been my duty to examine the criminal juries, by a reference to five men, who calendars of that period, with a view to gave judgment according to their opinion inform myself of the state of offences ge- upon the evidence. The next point to nerally, and I have been both surprised which he desired to refer, was an impresand gratified to observe, that during this sion that he had passed one unsparing, interval-an interval marked by violence universal, indiscriminate, and sweeping, and convulsion in the interior-there does censure upon the whole system by which not appear to have occurred in our mari- magistrates, and every thing relating to time provinces a single instance of even a magisterial jurisdiction were regulated. charge of turbulence, sedition, or treason, This was the charge to which any man was or of any offence bearing the slightest tinge necessarily liable, who brought forward of a political character. To what are we any system for the purpose of pointing out to attribute so remarkable a change ? the errors which existed in it. Such a Certainly not to the superior character of man, so engaged, did not stop to panegyrize the government; in mildness and bene- the valuable parts of that system.
His volence Mr. North's administration was object was to shew that there were imperassuredly not exceeded by that of any of | fections in it which ought to be corrected.
But it was not fair to call observations of that, and in their proper persons ? Not insufnature a vague and general accusation of the ficient lawyers, not ignorant men, not inwhole system. For himself, he highly re- experienced persons, not individuals chospected the voluntary zeal which induced sen by a lord-lieutenant; but individuals many individuals to take upon themselves chosen by a minister responsible for the the magisterial functions: he well knew that selection, and whose duty it was, out of the many of those individuals were highly use- whole profession of the law, to nominate ful and deserved the gratitude of the com those who were most distinguished for munity. But that which he had said, and their professional talents, for their extenwhich he was prepared to maintain was, that, sive knowledge and experience, and for the unless a change was made either in the mode soundness of their judgment. So chosen, of nominating or appointing magistrates, or and so superior these learned persons were in their manner of acting, or in their respon- responsible for their conduct in the manner sibility, the continuance of the present sys- which he had described. Yet the justices tem must be pregnant with great evils. of the peace, not so chosen, not so qualiHe had never doggedly maintained that the fied, were exempt from such responsibility. present mode of nomination must, under What was his conclusion ? Not to abolish any circumstances be altered. His state the whole unpaid magistracy of the counment had been, that whether that mode try: he had never dreamt of such a thing; was right or wrong, or even if it should but to apply some remedy to the existing turn out to be impossible to devise a better, evil. To limit the number of sessions—to at all events those judges should be so limit the number of magistrates sitting at nominated that they might be under much the sessions—to make it clear that the more control than they were at present. same individuals would always be present, If they continued to be appointed by the that of itself would be a considerable imlord-lieutenant of the county, it must be provement. He was delighted to hear his recollected, that the lord-lieutenant was learned friend state, that many of the masubject to less responsibility for his choice gistrates would jump to get rid of that than other authorities would be; that he portion of their present duties which rewas liable to be biassed by local feelings; lated to the licensing of public houses. by private favour and affection; by the ser- He heartily concurred with his learned vices which certain individuals might have friend in the expediency of such a change; rendered, or might be capable of rendering, and he would jump, though perhaps he his family; by the solicitation of friends; could not jump so high as some persons, by a disposition to mutual accommodation, to see it accomplished. He was most deeither with persons of rank and influence sirous to put an end to the licensing sysin his own county, or with the lords-lieu- tem. According to his learned friend, tenant of other counties. But was not his many of the magistrates thought it a great argument irrefutable—that if that mode of burthen and grievance to themselves; the appointment, acknowledged to be imper- people at large, he knew, thought it a great fect and exposed to inevitable abuse, must burthen and grievance to themselves. In be resorted to, it became the more abso- God's name, therefore, why not get rid of lutely necessary that the individuals so ap- it? And here he thought it but right to pointed, should be made strictly responsible observé, that a friend of his had spoken to for the manner in which they exercised him on the subject of the letter which he their authority? He had said, in his ad- had read the other night in the House, stadress to the House, on introducing this ting, that the establishment of the Goldensubject, that the judges of the land were re- lane Brewery had for the time lowered the sponsible by name, and in their own proper price of porter; and had assured him, that persons, for the judgments which they gave. the statement was destitute of foundation. It was the judgment of lord Tenterden, or He repeated, that in the observations which Mr. Justice Bailey, or Mr. Justice Holroyd, had fallen from him on the occasion to or Mr. Justice Littledale
. Their decisions which he had so frequently alluded, in all were liable to be reviewed over and over that he had said of “justice's juice," &c., again. They were liable to be reviewed in he had by no means intended to allude to their own courts, and they were liable to the respectable portion of the country mabe reviewed by the assembled Judges in gistracy. But that great abuses existed in the other courts. And who were the indi- the licensing system was evident, even from viduals who were so responsible by name, the report of a committee of the House it
self; in which report a frightful picture of parliament could not reply to all the was drawn of the conduct of some of the letters he received ; and that his abstaining licensing justices; and more especially of from doing so ought not to be attributed the clerical justices, who it was evident (he to any want of respect for the writer. was sorry to say it) bore the bell in point Every county member knew how serious of impropriety. That report made good was the evil to which he alluded; and how the doctrine" which he had lately held; frequently their correspondents thought namely, that a mixture of the ingredients themselves slighted when no offence of any of a clergyman and a justice of the peace, kind was intended. To revert to the letters though each might be good in itself, fre- which he had received on this subject, quently made a very nauseous compound. the writers all, without a single exception, -There was one point on which he wished joined in declaring the necessity of a law to say a few words. Since he had first reform; and in expressing their gratitude brought the subject under the consideration to the House of Commons, for having of the House, he had been overwhelmed with shown a disposition to entertain the quesletters. Ever since the matter had been tion. He now came to the main pointcirculated throughout the country, he had the form in which the motion should be received from twenty to thirty letters a day submitted to the House. He was quite respecting it. These letters came from two ready to adopt the words recommended by descriptions of persons ;—from justices of the right hon. Secretary. At the same the peace, and from practitioners in the time, he certainly wished that some other law; the greater number perhaps from the subjects were comprehended. The comlatter. He was happy to say, with re-mercial law, for instance, required great ference to the letters which he had re- revision; and in no parts of it more than ceived from magistrates, that so far were the the law of merchant and factor, and the writers from considering that he had been laws of partnership. The latter especially captious or unjust towards their body, that were so intricate, that it was frequently they expressed the greatest gratitude to exceedingly difficult to determine what a him for what he was doing, and declared partnership actually was—whether A was that no men could be more sensible than really a partner with B or not. He also themselves of the necessity of a reform in lamented the exclusion of chancery prothe system ; more especially in that part ceedings from the inquiry; for he was perof it which related to the licensing of pub- suaded that every attempt to reform the lic-houses.—By the by, would the House law of the country must be very imperfect, permit him to make a single observation which did not contemplate recovering a with respect to these letters? He begged, great deal of business out of courts of then, to express his hope, that the writers Equity, and restoring it to courts of Law. of them would not conceive that he was On that subject he differed from much of deficient in personal respect because he what had been said by his learned friend left them unanswered. Many of them the member for Weymouth. He was at a contained highly valuable suggestions ; in- loss to understand why trusts might not formation of great importance, with refer- be as well dealt with in Common Law as in ence both to the facts and to the law. the Equity Courts. Why not let trustees But, not having a secretary, he was wholly sue and be sued? Why not let mortgagers unable, with his other avocations, to an sue and be sued ?-At that late hour he swer one half of them, if he were to attempt would not trespass further
the House. the task. The consequence of this convic- He returned them his hearty thanks for the tion was, that he had determined to answer patience with which they had listened to none. He had thought it necessary to say him, both when he made his original statethis in vindication, not more of himself than ment and on the present occasion; and be of others. He had frequently seen mem- would now move, “ that an humble address bers of that House annoyed, attacked, and be presented to his Majesty, respectfully threatened by correspondence in news requesting that his Majesty may be pleased papers, who, fancying that they had more to take such measures as may seem most time and power by half than they really expedient for the purpose of causing due possessed, became exceedingly wrath when inquiry to be made into the origin, progress they found that their communications re- and determination of actions in the superior mained unanswered. Gentlemen in the Courts of Common Law in this country, country ought to recollect, that a member I and other matters connected therewith;
and into the state of the law regarding to them. The Test act he considered to be the transfer of real property.”—One word most offensive to every principle of relimore. It was absolutely necessary that gion. It made the most sacred rite of the greatest care should be taken in the faith a means for disregarding all faith in choice of the Commissioners. Unless they order to occupy offices. The noble lord were selected in the best possible way, mentioned an instance, as not unlikely to and with reference not only to the general occur, of a man being obliged, from porespectability and liberality of their cha- verty, to fill an office, perhaps worth 1501. racters, but to their sound and practical or 2001. a year, though he might feel conlegal knowledge and experience, it would scientious scruples in qualifying himself signify very little indeed what kind of for it. Their lordships, he supposed, all Commission was appointed, or with what remembered the lines of Cowper, and, in power it was invested. He did hope and repeating them, he would address himself trust, that a wise and beneficial course particularly to the right rev. bench oppowould be pursued; and that persons of site : peculiar qualifications, some as related to
" Hast thou by statute shov'd from its design the law of real property, others as related The Saviour's feast, his own blest bread and to the law of actions, would be chosen for
And made the symbols of atoning grace the purpose.
He knew some persons of An office-key, a picklock to a place, great zeal, and of most unexceptionable That infidels may prove their title good qualities and attainments-men divested By an oath dipp'd in sacramental blood ?
A blot that will be still a blot, in spite of all party feelings and considerations
Of all that grave apologists may write ; who were, he believed, perfectly disposed
And, though a Bishop toil to cleanse the stain, to sacrifice certain branches of their own He wipes and scours the silver cup in vain." practice, and, for a very moderate com- These laws were enacted in the most dispensation, steadily and zealously to devote graceful reign of that most disgraceful themselves to the proposed investigation. monarch Charles 2nd, by the violation of The motion was then put and agreed to. whose declaration at Breda sixty thousand
persons were thrown into prison, five thonHOUSE OF LORDS.
sand of whom had perished. An eloquent
writer in the “ Edinburgh Review,” in a Monday, March 3.
late criticism of Milton's religious work, Test and CORPORATION Acts.] Lord translated, he had understood, by the
preClifden said, he held in his hand a peti- sent bishop of Winchester, called the two tion from the Catholics of Liverpool; not, kings, Charles and James, Belial and however, praying for any thing for them- Moloch; names which they justly deserved. selves, but for the repeal of those laws that He hoped the day was coming, however, injured and insulted the Protestant Dis- when those most unjust laws would be resenters. A noble friend had presented pealed. last week, a petition to the same purport Lord Redesdale thought the noble lord from Ireland, and another to the same opposite had made a few mistakes. In effect had been presented to the House of the first place, Charles 2nd would have Commons, signed by seven thousand Ca- been very glad not to have passed one of tholics of England, among whom were the those laws of which the noble lord comfirst duke and the first earl in the king- plained ; and with respect to a person dom, five other peers and several baronets. qualifying himself for office, against his The petition he had now to present was conscience, the fault did not lie in the signed by two thousand persons, and the law, but in the person so doing. The seven first names of those in it were those principle upon which those laws were of Catholic clergymen. He troubled their made was, that property could not be safe lordships with this prologue, because it in any country, unless those in power were was the fashion to say that the Catholics interested in its support. In like manner were enemies to civil and religious liberty. the established church could not be safe, The petitions which had lately been pre- unless those in power were interested in sented from that body were a sufficient its support. In this country when was answer to that most unjust accusation. that church in danger ? The Catholics were now petitioning, not that time when the power and the army for themselves, but in favour of that class had got into the hands of those who were of persons who were thought to be hostile hostile to the church. How was it that
Henry 8th had been enabled to execute of the day for going into a committee on his plans against the monasteries ? Be- this bill. cause he had a complete control over par Mr. G. Bankes moved, that counsel be liament: he was, in fact, the absolute called in, to be heard on behalf of a petimaster of it. He believed the real object tion from certain inhabitants of the of all these applications to parliament, borough. A short discussion took place whether coming from Dissenters or Catho- relative to the proper course of proceeding, lics, was the overthrow of the established and whether counsel should, or should church. The subject resolved itself into not, be called in, before the committee this plain question—would their lordships proceeded to examine witnesses. have an established church?
The Speaker called the attention of the would, they must support it. The ques- House to the state of the question. Certion was simply a political one, and upon tain persons had approached the House political grounds he would oppose any with a petition which concluded in this alterations in the present laws.
way—“ Your petitioners represent to your Lord King said, that the learned lord honourable House that they have no rehad stated, that the question was totally a presentative of their own in the House, political one, yet he seemed very ready to and they pray that they may be heard by derive all the religious aid he possibly their counsel, in support of the petition, could. The noble lord said, that Charles against the enactment of the proposed 2nd was not the maker of these Tests. If bill.” The question was, whether the Charles was not a maker of Tests, at House would suffer the petition to be reany rate he was a great taker of them. ferred to the committee, and then allow Charles 2nd, first of all, qualified himself the petitioners to be heard by counsel on for the crown of Scotland by signing the the petition. Covenant. After that, he came to Eng Mr. G. Bankes shaped his motion acland, and qualified himself for the crown cordingly. of this country, according to all the cere The House having resolved itself into monies of the established church, and the committee, it was moved and carried, when on his death-bed, he qualified hims that counsel be called in. Mr. Denman self for dying as a true Catholic, by re- accordingly appeared at the bar.
The ceiving extreme unction. That showed chairman inquired for whom he appeared ? the value of Tests. He did not think that Mr. Denman replied, that he appeared on all the learned lord's ingenuity could make behalf of the petitioners against the bill. out that the church derived any security Mr. G. Bankes moved that counsel be from the Test laws against bad men.
now heard. Against good men there was no need for Mr. Tennyson having risen, counsel was security, and against bad men there was ordered to withdraw. The hon. member no security in consequence of these laws. proceeded to oppose the hearing of coun
Lord Calthorpe thought it was the ob- sel until all the evidence had been heard. vious meaning of the oaths alluded to, that Mr. Littleton thought there was no they should be taken in a proper manner, difference in the proceeding on this occainstead of which they were made a pass- sion and on a bill affecting private proport to office. He could scarcely conceive perty. The custom was to call in witnesses any thing more injurious to the character to prove the preamble of the bill; then of the Church of England, than to say that to hear the argument first, and the evidence its security mainly depended on acts like after. those. He thought the continuance of Mr. Peel was for not limiting the pethese laws as little consistent with the in- titioners, as to the time when they were to terests of the Church of England as they be heard against the bill. were creditable to parliament.
Mr. G. Bankes was only anxious to Ordered to lie on the table.
discharge his duty to the petitioners, and would be governed by the opinion of the
committee. HOUSE OF COMMONS. Mr. Wynn argued, that the proper time Monday, March 3.
for hearing counsel on the part of the pe
titioners, was after evidence had been East RETFORD DISFRANCHISEMENT | heard in support of the bill which they Bill.] Mr. Tennyson moved the order I opposed.