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established by the laws now in being; now in force, his majesty's Roman Catho--that they have disclaimed, disavowed, lic subjects, who form so great a propor“ and solemnly abjured any intention to tion of the population of Ireland, and con“subvert the present church establishment tribute so largely to the resources of the “. for the purpose of substituting a catholic state, do yet labour under many incapa“ establishment in its stead;" and that they cities, restraints, and privations, which have also solemnly sworn, “ that they will affect them with peculiar severity in almost
not exercise any privilege, to which they every ståtion of life; that more especially ." are or may become entitled, to disturb they are denied the capacity of sitting or
or weaken the protestant religion or pro- voting in either of the honourable houses “ testant goverument in Ireland.”
of parliament; the manifold evils conse“ Your Petitioners most humbly beg quent upon which incapacity they trust it leave to shew, that however painful it is to is unnecessary to unfold and enunjerate to their feelings, that it should still be thought this honourable house. necessary to exact such tests from them “ They are disabled from holding or ex(and from them alone of all his majesty's ercising (unless by a special dispensation) subjects), tliey can with perfect truth af- any corporate office whatsoever in the cifirm, that the political and moral princi- ties or towns in which they reside; they ples, which are thereby asserted, are not are incapacitated and disqualified from only conformable to their opinions, but holding or exercising the offices of sherifis expressly inculcated by the religion which and sub-sheritls, and various oflices of
they profess; and your Petitioners most trust, honour, and emolument in the state, i humbly trust, that the religious doctrines, in his majesty's military and naval service,
which permit such tests to be taken, will and in the administration of the laws, in be pronounced by this honourable house this their native land. to be entitled to a toleration, not merely "Your Petitioners, declining to enter partial, but complete, under the happy into the painful detail of the many incapaconstitution and government of this realm; cities and inconveniencies avowedly inand that his majesty's Roman Catholic sub- flicted by those statutes upon his majesty's jects, holding those principles, will be Roman Catholic subjects, beg leave, howconsidered as subjects upou whose fidelity ever, most earnestly to solicit the attention the state inay repose the firmest reliance. of this hon. house, to the humiliating and ig
“ Your Petitioners further most humbly nominious system of exclusior, reproach, shew, that 26 years have now elapsed since suspicion, which those statutes generate their most gracious sovereign and the ho- and keep alive. nourable houses of parliament in Ireland, “ For your Petitioners most humbly by their public and deliberate act, de- shew, that in consequence of the hostile clared, that, “ from the uniform peace-spirit thereby sanctioned, their hopes able behaviour of the Roman Catholics of of enjoying even the privileges, which, Ireland for a long series of years, it appeared through the benignity of their Teasonable and expedient to relax the dis- gracious sovereign, they have been capaabilities and incapacities under which they citated to enjoy, are nearly altogether frus laboured, and that it must tend not only trated, insomuch that they are, in effect, to ihe cultivation and improvement of this shut out from almost all the honours, digkingdom, but to the prosperity and strength nities, and offices of trust and emolument of all his majesty's domivions, that his in the state, from rank and distinction in majesty's subjects of all denominations his majesty's army and navy, and even should enjoy the blessings of a free consti- from the lowest situations and franchises tution, and should be bound to each other in the several cities and corporate towns by mulual interest and mutual affection;" throughout his majesty's dominions. a declaration founded upon unerring prin- “And your petitioners severely feel, ciples of justice and sound policy, which that this unqualified interdiction of those still remains to be carried into full effect of their communion from all municipal (although your Petitioners are impressed stations, from the franchises of all guilds with a belief, that.the appreliensions which and corporations, and from the patronage retarded its beneficial operation previous and benefits annexed to those situations, to the union cannot exist in the parliament is an evil not terminating irr itself for they of the united kingdom).
beg leave to state, that, by giving an ad".For your Petitioners nost humbly vantage over those of their communion tô shew, that, by virtue of divers statutes others, by whom such situations are exa
clusively possessed, it establishes a species frestraints upon his majesty's prerogativeof qualified monopoly, universally ope that they are hurtful and vexatious to the rating in their distavour, contrary to the feelings of a loyal and generous people spirit, and highly detrimental to the free- and that the total abolition of them will be dom of trade.
lound not only compitible with, but high“ Your Petitioners likewise severely feel, ly conducive to, the perfect security of that his majesty's Roman Catholic subjects, every establishment, religious or political, in consequence of their exclusion from the now existing in this realm. offices of sheriffs and sub-sheriffs, and of “For your Petitioners most explicitly the hostile spirit of those statutes, do not declare, that they do not seek or wish, in fully enjoy certain other inestimable privi- the remotest degree, to injure or encroach leges of the British constitution, which upon “the rights, privileges, immunities, the law has most jealously maintained and possessions, or revenues appertaining to secured to their fellow subjects.
the bishops and clergy of the protestant “ Your Petitioners most humbly beg religion, as by law established, or to the leave to solicit the attention of this hon. churches committed to their charge, or house to the distinction which has conceded to any of them ”-the sole object of your the elective, and denies the representative petitioners being an equal participation, franchise to one and the saje class of his upon equal ternis with their fellow-subjects, his majesty's subjects; which detaches of the full benefits of the British laws and from property its proportion of political constitution. power under a constitution whose vital “ Your Petitioners beg leave most hum. principle is the union of the one with the bly to observe, that although they might other; wbich closes every avenue of lega- well and justly insist upon the firm and unlized ambition against those who must be bated loyalty of his majesty's Roman presumed to have great credit and in- Catholic subjects to their most gracious fuence among the mass of the population sovereign, their profound respect for the of the country; which refuses to peers of legislature, and their dutiful submission to the realm all share in the legislative repre- the laws, yet they most especially rest, sentation, either actual or virtual; and their humble claims and expectations of Tenders the liberal profession of the law to relief upon the clear and manisest conduRoman Catholics a mere object of pecu- civeness of the measure which they solicit niary trafic, despoiled of its hopes and of to the general and permanent tranquillity, its honours.
strength and happiness of the British em“ Your Petitioners further most humbly pire. And your Petitioners, entertaining shew, that the exclusion of so numerous no doubt of ils final accomplishment, from and efficient a portion of bis majesty's its evident justice and utility, do most sosubjects as the Roman Catholics of this lemnly assure this hon. house, that their realns from civil honours and offices, and earnest solicitude for it, at this peculiar from advancement in his majesty's army crisis, arises principally from their anxious and navy, actually impairs, in a very ma- desire to extinguish all motives to disunion, terial degree, the mosi valuable resources and all means of exciting discontent. of the British empire, by impeding bis “ For your Petitioners humbly state it majesty's general service, stilling the most as their decided opinion, that the enemies honourable and powerful incentives to of the British empire, who meditate the civil and military merit, and vonecessa- subjugation of Ireland, have no hope of rily restricting the exercise of that bright success, save in the disunion of its inprerogative of the crown, which encou- habitants; and therefore it is, that
your rages good subjects to promote the public Petitioners are deeply anxious, at this mowelfare, and excites them to meritorious ment, that a measure should be accomactions, by a well regulated distribution of plished which will annihilate the principles public honours and rewards.
of religious animosity, and animate all de“ Your Petitioners beg leave most hum- scriptions of his majesty's subjects in an bly to submit, that those manifold incapa- enthusiastic defence of the best constitucities, restraints, and privations, are abso- tion that has ever yet been established. lutely repugnant to the liberal and com- “ Your Petitioners, therefore, most prehensive principles recognized by their humbly presume to express their earnest, most gracious sovereign and the parlia- but respectful hope, that this bon. house will ment of Irelaud : that they are impolitic in its wisdom and liberality, deen the se
veral statutes, now in force against then, and undermine the fortifications which had no longer necessary to be retained ; and been raised for the protection of the church that his majesty's loyal and dutiful subjects, and state. He must use these words church professing the Roman Catholic religion, and state,' because they presented an idea inay be effectually relieved from the ope- to liis mind, which he never could separate ration of those statutes, and that so they from that of the constitution of the country, may be restored to the full enjoyment of Having said thus much, he again expressed the benefits of the British constitution, his hope that the business would not be and to every inducement of attachment to suffered to lie over, but that it would be that constitution, equally and in conimon brought forward as speedily as possible. with their fellow subjects throughout the Lord Grenville would not use one word British empire. And your Petitioners of argument in support of the petition. will ever pray, &c. Signed Shrewsbury, He should only observe, that so far as it Waterford, and Wexford; Fingal, Ken- was in his power to expedite the business, mare, Gormanstown, Southwell, Trimles- it would be forwarded, and he was anxious town, &c. &c."
that no unnecessary delay should take Lord Grenville again rose, and moved, place. He also assured their lordships, that it do lie on the table. He said, it was that when the subject was brought fornot his intention to make any other mo-ward, it should, as far as depended on tion at present, on a subject of so much him, receive a deliberate, calm, and disimportance; much deliberation was neces- passionate discussion. With regard to the sary previous to any notice being given of inerits of the petition, he would say noa motion for the consideration of the pe. thing now; that was what he wished to tition. When it should be thought fit to avoid at present, eren if any thing could submit that proposition to the house, he have induced him to offer any observaassured their lordships that ample notice ticns on a motion for laying this petition would be given.
on the table. Lord Auckland felt himself bound to say Lord Hawkesbury, after what had passed, a few words before the petition was laid could not permit the petition to be laid on on the table. He declared that the na- the table, without taking the opportunity ture of the petition, until this moment, had of saying a few words upon the motion, been perfectly unknown to him. He had, The right of petitioning he held to be so however, listened attentively to it while sacred a privilege, that nothing could exreading, and, from what caught his ear, it cuse their lordships from receiving petiappeared to him that the petitioners claim- tions from any description of his majesty's ed a full participation of all the rights and subjects. To this general proposition he privileges of the other subjects of his ma- knew only two exceptions : 1st, when the jesty. That was a claim which merited grievance complained of was one the most serious consideration. If it were which their lordships had no jurisdiction, to be conceded, the consequence would be, and which they therefore could not redress. that their lordships would see a protestant 2d, when there was something disrespectkiag, in this country, maintaining the pro- ful in the form or language of the petition. testant religion here, while it was losing The present petition, however, camé not its ascendency in Ireland. In Ireland, within either of these exceptions, and he their lordships would see the protestant therefore should not object to its being religion established by law, while the ma. laid on the table. He concurred with the gistrates and legislators of the country noble baron who had introduced the petiwould be Roman Catholics. He regretted tion, in deprecating all premature discus. that this subject had been brought forward, sion; but, if it was that noble baron's inbut since it had come under the notice of tention to bring the subject again before their lordships, he trusted that the question the House, he thought it but justice now would be fully investigated. Their lord- to declare, that if any motion should be ships could not now let the subject pass made for carrying into effect the prayer of over, but must feel it to be their duty to the petition, he should then, but not till discuss it minutely, calmly, and dispassion- then, state his reasons for opposing any ately. He would give no opinion at pre- such measure. sent; but be must confess that he saw Lord Grenville said, he only rose, that nothing in the signs of the times that would it might be distinctly understond, that it induce liim to break down the barriers, was his intention to bring forward the sub,
ject of the petition and its prayer to the farther proceeded in that house, and in consideration of the house, and that with that manner.' as little interval of delay as the circum- The Lord Chancellor did not then wish stances of the case would admit.-The to offer any opinion as to the substance of petition was then ordered to lie on the his noble friend's motion, but be recom. table.
mended that the consideration of such a The Duke of Norfolk rose, to move that proposition should be deferred for a few the Petition should be printed. He was days. On the first view of it, they should not aware whether such a motion was con- hesitate ere they agreed to put such a proformable to the custom and usage of the position to the judges, as containing points house; but when he considered the im- upon which he, for one, perhaps, could portance of the subject, and the variety have no doubt. He should, however, ist of assertions made in the. Petition, all of the interval he meant to propose, pay a which it was indispensably necessary their most sedulous attention to the precedents, lordships sboull thoroughly investigate, he and to the records on the journals. It wished, if there was no order against it, certainly required some deliberation, as to press upon the attention of the House a possibly, by taking such a step precipie motion for printing the petition. He at tately, they inight advance further in error. the same time regretted, that a noble lord, After considering the proposition in a vaholding a high situation in his majesty's riety of legal points of view, in the course most intimate councils, should have pre- of which he deprecated the putting such maturely expressed an opinion inimical to questions to the learned judges without the prayer of the petition.
further inquiry and deliberation; he movThe Lord Chancellor said, he believed ed, that the further consideration of the it would be found, on the one hand, that motion be adjourned till this day se’nnight. there was no order against printing a peti
Lord Grenville did not mean to oppose tion, and that, on the other, there was no the amendment of the noble and learned example of any petition having been print- lord, but agreed in favour of a great deal ed. He thought that the importance of of what fell from the noble lord who
openthe petition deinanded that it should re ed the discussion. He contended, that main on the table, for the examination of sooner than persist in error, they should, every one of their lordships, ivstead of if found necessary, tread back their steps ; being sent out of the House to be printed. and he hoped, that no fear of imputed in-The motion was negatived.
consistency would deter them from doing (CONDUCT OF JUDGE Fox.] Lord Auck- that which they should find to be right, land, agreeably to the notice he had given, He thought it would be proper to take brought forward some farther propositions the opinion of the judges on the occasion, in reference to the pending case of this who, it should be recollected, had, offimagistrate. After some general obser- cially, seats in that house. No objection vations, as to the peculiar importance of would be urged, he thought, to the noble the case, the necessity which existed for and learned lord's amending the language their lordships deciding upon it with the of the proposition, as he should deem proctmost caution and deliberation, with a per; and, after adverting to what he cone view equally to the correctness of their ceived a difference in the line of argument own proceedings, as well as to the impor- then adopted by the learned lord, and tance of the case in the way of precedent, what he had urged on former occasions, aud, adverting to the circumstance of the observed, that he should not hesitate to proceedings in the committee being ad-follow that line of conduct adopted by lord journed till the beginning of May, against chancellor Clarendon, on an occasion which period their lordships might be fur- nearly similar, who resorted for informanished with the necessary information of tion and advice to that quarter, which the advice upon the point, moved to the gene- usage of that house, and the constitution, ral effect, that the case against Mr. equally pointed out as the most eligible in Justice Fox, the charges alleged, and steps such cases. uken in consequence, be referred to the Lord Hawkesbury conceired, that the consideration of the judges for their opi- proceedings then before their lordships nion of the same; and whether the case, were not upon an address to his majesty, as it stood, could, consistently with the for the removal of a judge ; but the quess relevant acts and usage of parliament, be tion was, what proceedings should be had
previoys, to such an address ? Those pro- were so very competent to give their lordceedings, so far as they had gone, he cou- ships the necessary assistance. ceived, must be either substanțially right, Lord Grenville then read the case of or formally wrong, and the very loarned Bridgman against lord Chief Justice Holt, and elaborate argument of the noble baron for the satisfaction of lord Ellenborouglio (lord Grenville), and the several cases which case his lordship bad chiefly relied which he had cited in support of that ar- upon. · The cause originated in the refusal gument, were : by no means in point, but of the Chief Justice to receive a bill of were quite distinct and separate from the exceptions which had been tendered to question before their lordships... With bim.—The question for postponing the fure great respect and deference to the noble ther consideration of the matter until this baron, he considered it rather, a quibhle day se'nnight was then put, and carried. upon the question, than ani, argument Adjourned, grounded upon sound. principles and the strict justice of the case. He contended,
HOUSE OF COMMONS. ibat the proceedings hitherto bad been regularly and formally. right. Their lord
Monday, March 25. skips coulg. pursue 10 other course; he,
[MINUTES.] A message from the lords therefore, thought the consideration of announced their lordships' assent to the the question should be postponed for some Irish Customs bill, Excise bill, Stamp Duty days, in order to afford an opportunity of bill, the Postage bill, the Malt and Spirits digesting the subject.
bill, the Sugar Drawback bill, the English - Lord Ellenborough conceived that the Exchequer Bills bill, the English Sugar question before the house was, not whethier Drawback bill, the Promissory Notes bill, their lordships were to address his majesty and the Expiring Laws bill, all without tor, the removal of one of the judges, but any amendment. Soon afterwards, the whelber : their, lordships would take the gentleman usher of the black rod appeared opmion of the learned judges, as to the at the bar, and summoned the speaker manner of their future.proceedivgs ? His and house to attend in the house of lords, Jordshịp had no objection to his learned to hear his majesty's assent given, by come friend's wish to postpone the considera- mission, to certain bills. The Speaker tion of the question for some days, as in and members accordingly attended ; and truth he thought it but right they should on his return be acquainted the house, take time upon so important a proceeding; that he had heard the royal assent given, but the inipression upon his mind was by commission, to several public and prithat, before any address should be pre- vate bills, among which were those above senied to his majesty, the question should enumeraled, as also the Irish Warehousing be tried by a court of law, and Mr. jus- Lills.-A person from the Stamp-ofhee tice Fox should be either found guilty, or presented an account of stamp duties and acquitted, of the charges laid against him, balances in the hands of the collectors at by the verdict of 12 bonest, and upright this present period.-Mr. Bagwell, after nien. The regular proceedings should be obtaining leave to withdraw the Irish bad upon that verdict, a writ of error Election bill which be had lately brought should be brought, and the verdict either in, moved for leave to present one more alfirmed or reversed; if the former, then perfect. Agreed to.-Mr. Fitzgerald mothe matter would come properly before red for leave to bring in a bill for regu. their lordships. His lordship then went lating the Right of Common in Ireland, in into some observations of considerable the same manner as in England. Leave length, upon proceedings by impeachment, given,--Mr. Fitzgerald, also moved, that which he considered would be the most there be laid before the house copies of the preferable mode.
Ile expressed a strong patents under wbich the commissioners of desire that the opinion of the learned the treasury in Ireland held their offices, judges should be taken upon the question. at the time of making their returns; and It was by no means beneath the dignity the warrant or warrants issued for paying of that house, or at all derogatory to their their salaries; also a list of the several lordships' privileges, to take such an opi- persons appointed commissioners of the pion. It was for such purposes the learned treasury, and the funds out of which the judges sat in that house, and he trusted several payments have been inade. On: their lordships would resort to them, who derede