Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

45

“ Magistrate under the operation of the "worth, who could not find sufficient in “ 31st of the King; he had read the Act " the statement of the Gaoler to justify the

attentively, and had found in it no such 6 exercise of power he wished to resort to,

authority. (Hear!):--It did give cer- " and expressed his concern to the Prisoner "tain powers in the control of Houses of " that he could not punish him. (Hear!) "s Correction to the Magistracy, but such " This regret, however, could not have

prisous as the castle of Lincoln, county "been of long duration, for he was again « guals were, he contended, the prisons of brought before this Dr. Caley Illingworth, " the Sheriffs, and not of the Magistracy." and was sentenced, in two days after, to " ( Fear, heer!).--- If this power had been 66 close confinement in a felon's cell. Here

given by that Act, it would have been “ he remained eleven days and nights, and "given in plain and direct words; and if " might have remained indefinitely long, as the power be not given, it was in vain had it not been for the arrival of the in

talk to that House of what this or that telligence of a conversation which had lawyer thought of the construction that taken place in that House on the subject "might be put on the Act, when it was of Mr. Finnerly's Atition, complaining "evident to any man who read it, that no " of abuses in that prison, on the part of 6 such construction was within the mean- so the same Gaoler. On the arrival of this

ing of the Legislature, at the time it was news, the Petitioner was immediately " enacted. (Hear, hear :).—But as to the " discharged from his cell. And here he “ offence of the petitioner, it was sinply " could not help congratulating the House " this :-He had refused to be supplied upon this instance, among numberless 66 with a bed by the gaoler, and wished one "sochers, of the great benefits resulting from " of his own to be brought into the prison; public discussion. (Hear!) He had " this was no indulgence. He had a right ho often voted in minorities of even six and “10 this accommodation by virtue of the sixteen, where the discussion upon the " 32d of George II. chapter 28, section 4, question on which they were out-voted " a provision obviously made with the view - had, by becoming public, led to a cor• of protecting the prisoner from the rapa-“rection of the abuses to which it related. “ city and extortion of the gavler, who " (Hear!) He thought that these circum“ might otherwise insist upun his own price “ scances did lay grounds for suspecting “ for an accommodation so indispensable. "both extremely corrupt motives in the " The petitioner, however, was threatened 5 Gaoler, and most criminal connivance in 6. with being turned over into the pauper's "The Magistrale. ( Hear!) The Honour6 ward, in case he brought in his own bed. “ó able Gentleman who' cheered hiin would " He was then thrown into a rooin contain- " have every opportunity, and no doubt 66 ing seven beds and thirteen prisoners. come prepared to vindicate both Gaoler " It was in summer--the weather uncom- “ and Magistrate; but he could not forget 6 monly hot, and the room very close. what had been stated in Mr. Finnerty's " To this room were two doors-an inner petition, and never contradicted, that one " and an outer grated door. One night, of the Mogistrates, in the presence, too, " after the Petitioner had been sent to ihis ** of another Magistrate, told Mr. Finnerty

room, the inner door was closed as well us that he had heard that in other prisons,

as the outer, and thus the usual opening prisoners, by paying for them, could get 66 between the room and the outer door was belter apartments than others; and that s closed. It is not improbable that the" if he gave three guineas a week, he might 66 Petitioner (though it is not so stated) gel better; and that on Mr. Finnerly re" might have expressed, in strong language, monstrating that he had not the means lo 56 his indignant sense of such an act of op- pay so high a rent, the other Magistrale os pression directed against himself, because s observed, that he understood a subscripor lie did not succumb to the extortion of " tion was going forward which might so the Gaoler. (Hear, hear') Be that as "enable him lo do so. (Hear, hear!) He " it might, he and the remaining thirteen could not forget that the Member for o were, innocent as well as guilly, shut up "Lincolnshire, who came down prepared " in this room; the usual circulation of air to answer every other allegation, was 66 denied then, all on account of the sup- obliged to suffer that to remain wholly "posed contumely of one (hear'), and in uncontradicted. (Hear, hear, hear!)consequence

of what then passed between" He had heard of a meeting of the Magis. so the Petitioner and the Gaolcr, the former trates on the first of May, who portioned I was brought before Dr. Caley Illing. " out the nine sleeping rooms for debtors in

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

" the following manner : seven to those well as commit; and, if their authority " who could pay for their beds, and the were to extend to the interior of the jails,

remaining tivo to all the rest ihat could they would become the finishers as well as " not pay. (Hear!) By an order of those the beginners of the law.---Tlie Justices "Magistrates, places and cells had been of the Peace are munerous; they, in all

appropriated for refractory and disorder cases of prisons, will necessarily be many ;

ly debtors. He knew not the authority they are, too, a fluctuating body; some are "Sunder which they made such an order, dropping off and others coming on conti" and he spoke as a lawyer. (Hear, hear!; nually. In sucli a body there can be no " He stated also, that the Gaoler of Lincoln responsibility; or, at least, it is so difficule " Castle had a fixed salary of 3001. a year, to fix it, that the object must generally be

independent of all other emoluments. defeated. This is not the case with the “ He stated also a case of a debtor in the Sheriff, who is one ; who is known; and

agonies of death, who died in the night who cannot shelter himself under the vote s time before any one dared to disturb the of a majority of colleagues.” Then,

repose of the Gaoler. He did not say again, what are, or, at least, what may be, " that the debtor might not have died, these magistrates? Why, any man who “ whether a medical man had been timely has a hundred pounds a year (less than the "called in or not. It had been lately said, wages of a butler in some families) arising " that the gaol was in an insurrection; if out of lands, tithes, or certain offices. Any

So, it was an insurrection of complaint. such man may be a Justice of the Peace; “. But the prisoners bad addressed their and, as to who are the Justices of the Peace,

complaints in the humblest and the most all I shall say is this: that they are ap“ respectful language. Such gaols and pointed by the Lord Chancellor upon the

prisoners were, he contended, the She-recommendation of the Lords Lieutenant, riff's, whose duty it was, not to ride on a and that the Lord Chancellor and the Lords

caparisoned horse into the assize town be- Lieutenant are appointed by the Minister. “ fore the Judge, with white staffs and -The Sheriff, too, is, indeed, now.a. “ trumpets sounding, but to consult the days, appointed by the Minister. Former“ ease and comforts of his prisoners (for his ly he was not. He was, in former times, " they were) as far as that comfort was con- elected by the people. However, he is ge“ sistent with their confinement. For- nerally, as yet, a man of considerable for“ tunately those new lights had not broken tune in the county; he is known; he is "' out when the-great Howard undertook conspicuous; and, at any rate, he is one " the duiy of Sheriff. He then concluded and has a name, and, therefore, in so ne “ with moving for the Select Committee.” way or other he can be made responsible,

Here is a scene developed! Here are which alone is a reason quite sufficient for facts to be proclaimed to the world! preferring his superintendence and authoAfter expressing my sincere thanks to Sir rity, in this case, to those of Justices of the Samuel Romilly for his conduct upou this Peace. -Sir Samuel Romilly congrailloccasion, in which I shall, I am sure, be lated the House on the effect which its conjoined by every man in England, who is versations had produced upon a former ocnot a tyrant in his nature, or who does not casion; and observed, that, frequently, thrive or hope to thrive, under tyranes ; after having been left in a minority of six and, after having begged the reader to re- or sixieen, in the House, he had seen the Aleci on what a characier these facts are cal object of the discussion obtained in the siculated to give this nation in the world; lent correction of the abuse complained of. after this I proceed to offer a reinark or two I do not think this a subject of congraupon Sir Samuel's speech before I go on to tulation. I think it, on the contrary, a thing the rest of the debate.-- He here says, of which, if true, that House ought to be (and lie speaks as a lawyer) that the magis ashamed. What, shall a body of legislators irales have no right to meddle wilh the ma- and representatives of the people reject, at nagement of prisoners in county jails. the nod of the minister, an application to This 1 lately said upon the reason of the redress a grievance; shall they vote almost thing; and I am exceedingly glad to see it unanimously against the request of the apconfirmed by such authority. There are plicant; and shall they, when they aftermany reasons why magistrates should have wards see the minister or soine of his unnothing to do with the treatment of pri. derstrappers, redress the grievance theinsoners. In the first place, they are, in selves; shall they look upon this a matter many cases, judges; they pass sentence as of congratulation ? The people, indeed, the sufferers in the case, and those who for, I am persuaded, the public will look have voted in such minorities as Sir upon it as a very mieritorious acı; and, if Samuel mentioned, might be congratulated Mr. Finnerty was the mover, upon this ocon this score; but, according to my no-casion, as he appears to have been, he has tions, the circumstance was not at all thereby acquired a new claim to the thanks calculated to do honour to the House of the country, however impatient Mr.

The only persons who attempted to Charles Adams may be to hear his name speak in justification of the conduct of Mer- pronounced accompanied with any thing in ryweather and Doctor Caley Illingworth the way of commendation.-----Lord Casand the other Justices, were, as appears by tlereagh spoke after Mr. Chaplin; but, I the report, MR. CHAPLIN and MR. shall notice his speech hereafter. We will ELLISON, the former of whom was, as now hear Mr. Ellison, who, it appears, is the reader will bear in mind, the person also a Colonel, and whó “ warmly disapwho brought in the famous Spilsby Poor-proved of the motion.

He was perHouse Bill, which was demolished by the fectly willing to agree that Magistrates opposition made to it by Sir Samuel Ro- ought not to abuse the powers and authomilly and others; but principally by Sir“ rities with which they were vested; but Samuel Romilly. By that Bill, certain - he would say, that he had been twentypersons to be called Directors were em- " five years an acting Magistrate of the powered to cause the poor to be flogged in county, and he had served the office of certain cases at their discretion. But, to " Sheriff, during all which period he had return to the subject before us, Mr. Chap- never known of any such abuse. He had lin and Mr.. Ellison, both Justices of the " not been an inattentive inquirer into this Peace in the county of Lincoln, opposed Sir subject; nay, he would even say, that he Samuel's motion for a Committee; and, as 66 had been since last year a most diligent I am very anxious that the public should inquirer. He was convinced the interhave all the ineans of being correctly in

66 ference of the House would be producformed upon every part of this subject, I " tive of no good, but, on the contrary, of will insert the whole of what these gentle-"infinite mischief. The speeches which men said, as I find it stated in the report of" went out of the House on the subject inthe Morning Chronicle of the 26th of June." flamed and unsettled the minds of people

.6 Mr. Chaplin said, that he was con- throughout the country, and produced 66 fident that when an inquiry was gone 6 nothing but a spirit of discontent. He "into, the result would be favourable to 66 would refer it to the mind of every wise 6 the Gaoler and the Magistracy.—[We man who heard him, if this motion would " endeavoured to follow the Honourable " have any tendency to allay that wild “ Member, but he was quite inaudible in spirit which was now walking aboul. " the gallery.]-He believed this petition " (Laugh). With respect to the case 66 would never have come into the hands of " mentioned by an Honourable and Learn66 the Honourable Member by whom it was “ed Gentleman (Mr. Brougham), what

presented, unless for the solicitation of a were the real facts of the case? It apperson whom he would not name. (Al.

peared from the evidence given by Mr. luding, we presume, to Finnerty).”- Evans, the surgeon who attended on the But, pray, Mr. Chaplin, of what importance" unfortunate man, that he had been a was ihis circumstance? What signified it 66 hard liver, and laboured under the disto the merits of the case? The question ease of erisypelas. The surgeon

said he was not, how the petition came into Sir “ left hiin on the night on which he died, Samuel Romilly's hands; but whether the 66 satisfied that from the state of mortificaallegations in it were true. This was the ution he was in, he would not live till question. But, one may notice here, that, “ inorning; and when he called in the if it be true, that it required the interven- “morning, he very naturally asked if the tion of a gentleman like Mr. Finnerty to get poor man was not yet dead. Mr. Evans the petition forward, there is the greater complained of the conduct of Mr. Finnecessity for attending to it, seeing that the " nerty, and another Gentleman, who, he poor oppressed creatures are supposed to be said, went so far as even to threaten to wholly unable to get a petition forward " strike him, when giving his evidence bethemselves. Mr. Chaplin ought, in jus- " fore the Coroner. He was sure the Hocice, to have named the person who was 66 nourable and Learned Gentleman liad :he cause of getting the petition forward;" stated nothing which he did not believe ; “ but there was not one thing which he had it appears reasonable to suppose, that an " said which was not disproved by the fact. inquiry which should shew that the allega66 The Honourable Member then went into tions against the Jailer and Justice Doctor, " the case of the Petitioner, who, he said, Caley Illingworth and compeers were false;, " had been confined, because he had dis- to me it appears, that such an inquiry, so “ turbed the rest of other persons in the far from tending to do mischief, by inflam-, “ gaol; and he was set at liberty on his ing the minds of the people, must of neces-,

promising to abstain from such conduct sity tend to a precisely opposite effect. “ in future. He regrelled that a Committee I must, however, 'here be understood as " was to be appointed. He would lay having in my eye a real inquiry; an in" claim to as much humanity and philan- quiry where all the evidences shall be " thropy as the Honourable and Learned called and examined; not a sham inquiry; “ Gentleman could possibly possess; and not a smothering inquiry; not a base cheat " it was rather unfair in that Honourable under the name of an inquiry. I must be " Gentleman to suppose, that nobody was understood as meaning an inquiry of the “possessed of humanity but himself. He former kind, and such as win, I trust, now 6 wished lo vindicate the conduct of the take place; for, otherwise, I must confess,

Magistrates of Lincoln from the imputa- that the inquiry would tend to inflame the " tions which had been thrown out against people, and to do great mischief instead of bi them in that House.". -Now, as he good. -What Mr. Ellison may mean by wished to vindicate the conduct of the Juss the WILD SPIRIT which is now walktices of the Peace of Lincoln, why did he "ing about," I do not know. But, if express his sorrow at the appointment of a there be any wild spirit at work, is it, i Committee to inquire into the grounds of would ask, likely that it should be allayed the petition preferred against those Justices ? by a refusal, on the part of the House of How is it possible to vindicate their con Commons, to inquire into the grounds of duct without inquiry? If, indeed, the so serious a complaint as that made by the motion had been to censure their conduct petitioners in this case ? Would such reat once, a simple negation might have been fusal tend to allay a wild spirit? The spienough, as a prelude to a vote against the rit of which the Colonel speaks is, I supmotion; but, the motion was for inquiry, pose, a spirit in opposition to the present and, that being the case, to vote against the system of public measures; but, does the motion was, surely, not the way to accom- Colonel suppose, that this spirit would be plish the Colonel's wish of vindicating the rendered stronger by the parliament's lisaccused parties. If it was true, that all tening to a petition complaining of most that had been advanced would be disproved enormous abuses? If this be Colonel Elby the fact; why did Mr. Ellison wish to lison's notion, I must say that I wholly dis keep those facts from being inquired into ? sent from it. -Mr. BROUGHAM followed He says, that he has been a Justice himself Col. Ellison, and what he said was of great in the county for many years; that he has importance. The subject was an unfortunate made diligent inquiry into the treatment of debtor who was said to have died in Linprisoners in the jail; and that he has coln jail for want of medical assistance, known, and does know, of no abuse. Why, owing to the door of his prison not being then, did he so “warmly oppose inquiry?" suffered to be unlocked. This is the case It is not usual for the friends of the inno- alluded to in the speech of Mr. Ellison, cent to oppose their being put upon their who, it will be perceived, contradicted trial. —- But, he says, that the interfe- what Mr. Brougham had said upon the rence of the House will do great mischief; subject on a former occasion. In answer, that the speeches made there inflame and therefore, to Mr. Ellison, Mr. Brougham unsellle the minds of the people; and that said, that " what he had said was, that he leaves it for wise men to say, whether " an improper delay occurred in the

prothis motion will have a tendency to allay curing medical assistance, and that the that wild spirit that is now walking aboul. " presumption was, had no such delay

-Really, Mr. Ellison, are you so afraid os taken place, that the result might have of the effects of a motion relative to the 66 been more favourable, and that the proof treatment of prisoners in the jail of Lin- 66 of the contrary was thrown on the other coln! And especially when you are party.

When Mr. Evans was before very sure, that all the alleged facts will be “ the Coroner, he stated, that his being disproved. It appears to me, who, to be “ called an hour sooner or later would have sure, am not a Lincoln Justice; but, to me " made no difference ;-but, before Mr

SO

was one,

"racter.

“Evans gave this evidence, how stood the "firmed by three of the Jurors themselves, 6 fact?

He now held in his hands a do- " who, in a certificate signed by them, * cunient signed by twelve respectable per

of which he held in his hands, expressly sons, prisoners for debt in the Gaol of" state, they wished to bring in a verdict " Lincoln, of whom no doubt Mr. Finnerty" of " died by negligence of the gaoler ;

And here he would observe, “ but on its being put to them by the Co6 that all that Mr. Finnerty had stated roner that they must either bring in a

respecting a puisance in the Gaol was “ verdict of wilful murder, or by the vi

proved in the event to be completely ac- “sitation of God, they were obliged to "curate, notwithstanding all the assertions relinquish their wish. He had several " to the contrary, made with so much so- " other documents, but it was unnecessary " lemnity by the Honourable Members for at present to enter upon them."- After “ Lincoln. ' 11 so happened, that when this, Sir FRANCIS BURDETT, in a speech

they examined the sewer a great part of of some length, expressed his hope, that “ it was found not to be in a perpendicular the inquiry would be a real inquiry, and "direction, as bad been stated, but to run not such an one as he had witnessed upon "in a shelving manner under that part of a former occasion. There are two points " the prison where Mr. Finperty was con- belonging to this subject, which are parti* hned. Now, thouglı be found Mr. Fin- cularly worthy of attention. Lord Castlesnerty's name among this number, he reagh observed, that the practice of re65 was inclined to attach some credit to the ceiving such petitions ought not to be in16 document. There were among them dulged, because complainants ought to " several otlier very respectable persons, resort first to all other modes of legal ress and he would particularly inention Mr. dress. Sir Samuel Romilly answered to 66 Drakard, of whom all ibat he knew re- this, that the Justices of ihe Peace, whoin "flected the greatest honor on his cha- the petitiouer would naturally apply to for

He would say of him, that he protection, were charged with being acso was not a seditious author, but an ho complices with his oppressor.

But, fur"nest and respectable tradesman, who ther, docs Lord Castlereagh rnean to say,

was punished for an article which he that no one shall apply to parliament while 1 did not write. Another gentleman, of the law offers him any mode of proceeding " whom he had heard very favourably, against his oppressor ? If so, the poor

was a Mr. Þarris. It appeared from man can have little chance of redress. How, o this document, that in a previous con- for instance, was a pennyless deb:or to go “ versation with Mr. Evans he gave a per- to law with Merryweather and Doctor

fectly different account from that which Caley Illingworth ? How was he to bring solie afterwards gave before the Coroner. his action of trespass, which would, per" It appeared, also, that the Coroner be haps, have cost him a hundred pounds, " haved throughout in a manner which and might not have been brought to tried

was completely reprehensible, and treat- for a year ? lu cases between man and man, ried the evidence in particular in a very to be sure, the party injured must have 66 unbecoming way. The sort of persons recourse to the law; but, this is no such " whom he insisted on putting on the In-case; here is an individual on one side,

quest were the workmen whom he em- and, on the other, Justices of the Peace

ployed about the prison. (Hear!] When and a Jailer; that is to say, a portion of "one reflected on his conduct throughout the judiciary and executive branches of the o this business it was impossible not to be government, against which it is not to be “ struck with the propriety of the observ- supposed that the purse of any individual rsations made by Judge Blackstone on the is sufficient to contend, and to protect the “great powers vested by the Constitution people against any abuse of authority in " in this officer, and the very low hands which branches is one of the first, and, " into which the office generally came. lu indeed, the very first duty of the parliao directing the Jurors to bring in their ment, and especially of the Commons'

verdicts, the Coroner stated that they House of Parliament. Lørd Castle" must rither find the prisoner died by the reagh is reported to have said, that “par“ visitation of God, or find a verdict of " liament would place themselves in a es wilful murder by the gaoler. He would “ DEGRADED situation," if they were to « admit of no verdict which should state encourage the making of the complaints of " the case as it really took place. This individuals to them to the neglect of seekBicamente

lie was now making was con- ing legal redress. Ah! my Lord Cas

[ocr errors]
« ForrigeFortsett »