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it as a
prise and concern--of surprise, because 2dly. That the property of no man shall ihough I knew your Lordship entertained be taken from him in the shape of doubts, as to the practicability of the mea- taxes, without his CONSENT, or in any sure, I did not imagine you would represent way, except for a just cause legally
new-fangled Theory,''-of con- shewn. cern, because I feel myself compelled pub- These are the Rights and Liberties of licly to differ from a man for whose public, Englishmen. How does the Constitution and private character, I do, and have ever say they are to be preserved ? By a third felt the greatest esteem.
provision. It has been my anxious wish, my Lord, 3dly. That the People shall be repreon every account, that some person more sented in a Commons · House of Parliacompetent than myself, had entered the list ment.' on this occasion—but as no public notice Such, according to my conception, my seems to have been taken of your Lordship’s Lord, are the great and solid advantages to sentiments upon this head, I should think be derived from the Constitution of Engit a mean abandonment of the great cause 1 land; and it is very easy to perceive, that have most sincerely espoused, if I did not as far as regards the safety either of the raise my voice, "weak though it be," in persons or property of the people, all must opposing them.
depend upon this-whether ihe members Happily, my Lord, the authorities which of the House of Commons be, or be not, have induced me to espouse the cause of really chosen by the people themselvesParliamentary Reform, lay in the narrowest The friends of Reform therefore say:compass—they are within the comprehen- 1st. That by the laws and statutes of sions of all ranks in society-there is no- this realm, the subject has settled in thing perplexed or mysterious about them, him a fundamental right of property, and your Lordship must hear them, where so that without his consent it shall not I found them, (if I have not been most be taken from him. egregiously deceived), in the voice of wis- 2dly. That he shall not be compelled to dom, and the laws of my country.
contribute to any Tax, Talliage, or Your Lordship is reported to have said, other like charge not set by COMMON in the course of your canvass, and on the Consent in Parliament. day of nomination at York, “That in the 3dly. That in Parliament all the whole last Parliament, one subject had been dis- body of the realıp, and EVERY PARcussed, on which the passions of the people TICULAR MEMBER thereof, either had been raised by persons who endeavour- in PERSON or.by DEPUTATION, ed to fill them with fancies, which had no are by the laws of this realm suppossolid foundation,"-" That, under the pre- ed to be personally present. sent constitution" (the present practical one, 4thly. That by the present state of the I presume) "you trusted, we sball ever be representation, the subject's fundacontent to live without endangering it by mental right. of .property is openly visionary improvements," and that " if violated since it is a fact which canany man in the vanity of his own heart, not be denied, that numbers are taxed thought he could make a better constitution by Parliament, who have no voice in than the one under which we had so long the election of Members of Parlialived and flourished, you trusted you should ment. not be reckoned among his friends or sub
The three former of those propositions
the friends of Reform conceive they can The Reformers of England, my Lord, establish by a reference to the Common have not the vanity to suppose that they Law and the statutes of the Land. can make a better Constitution than the one The abl commentators on the laws and under which it was intended they should Constitution of England have never failed live-they want no other, but they do want to dwell upon the security which they afford that Constitution, the essence of which con- to the fundamental right of property, as one sists in two points :
of their inost distinguished excellencies, and 1st. The English Constitution provides, as the strongest proof that they were found
That no man shall suffer punishmented in the principles of freedom.
lor to Henry 6th, who wrote his celebrated
treatise de laudibus legum Anglia, expressly • Leeds Mercury, Oct, 17, 181%. to instruct the young Prince in the laws
and Constitution of his country) says, troduction to that Act of Parliament which “ That the advantage of that political mixed I have already cited, and by which the de. Government which prevails in England is, scent of the crown to James I. was recog. that no one can alter the laws, or make new nized. " As we cannot (say the Lords and ones, without the CONSENT of the Commons of that day) too often and enough, WHOLE KINGDOM in Parliament as- So can there be no ways or mcans so fil sembled." Cap. ix. xii. xiv. xxxvi. both to sacrifice our hearty thanks to Al.
Upon the same principle Sir Edward mighty God, for blessing us as well with a Goke concludes, passim, " That the Com Sovereign, adorned with the rarest gifts of MON Law of England settleth a freedom in mind and body, in such admirable peace the subject, and giveth a true property in and quietness, &c. &c. &c. as in this High their goods and estates, so that without Court of Parliament, where all the whole their CONSENT OR IMPLICITLY by an ordi- body of the realm and EVERY PARTICULAR nance wluich they consented unto by:a Com- MEMBER thereof, either in Person or by MON ASSENT in PARLIAMENT, it cannot be REPRESENTATION (upon their owÀ FREE taken from them or their estates charged. ELECTIONS) are supposed to be PERSONALLY So much for the Common Law.
PRESENT.-Slalute 1 James 1. c. 1.; · I shall now proceed to submit to your Here, then, my Lord, the right of the Lordship, the Stalutes which the friends of nation to be represented in Parliament is Reform consider as confirmatory of the Peo- recognised. This can be effected only in ple's Right to be either PERSONALLY or by one of two ways, either actually or virlually, DEPUTATION present in the Parliament. If our ancestors had meant to recognise no 1.-53 William I. An. 4.
more than a virtual representation, it would 2.-Magna Charta, Art. 4.
have been sufficient if the statute had said, 3.-Magna Charta, confirmed by Henry " That in Parliament all the whole body of III. c. 37.
the realm are deemed to be present either in 4.-Statute of Westminster, An. 3 Ed. person or by representation." Now, with
I. c. 5. where the King directs, upon the additional words, the sentence tells us pain of grievous forfeiture, since Elec- not only that the whole body of the realm tions ought to be Free, “ That no are deemed to be in Parliament by Repregreat man, or others, by force of sentation—but every PARTICULAR MEMBER arms, wenaces or malice, disturb FREE thereof PERSONALLY; or in his PERSONAL ELECTION.".. West. c. 5.
Right by REPRÉSENTATION. Now, is it 5.-Satutum de tallagio non concedendo possible to contend, that these additional 34 Edw. I. c. 1.
words expressed no more than a right to a 6.25 of Edw, I.
virtual representation ? are these words to 7.-1 Henry IV. Parl. R. 1. No. 36. be considered as a mere surplusage? Is 8.1 Henry IV. c. 3 and 4. Nos. 21, there no difference between the proposition, 22.
that the nation has a right to be present in 9.47 Henry IV. c. 14.
Parliament as a CORPORATE Body, and that 10.-39 Henry IV. C. 1.
which affirms that ever, individual of that 11.---Preamble to the 1st of James I. c. 1. nation has a right to be present in his PCE12.PETITION OF Right, 3 Charles I. SONAL CAPACITY?" If, then, this sentence
has different mcanings, as it is either with 13.- Declaration of the Prince of Orange, or without the additional words-if these
afterwards Will. III. Art. 18. “All meanings are not only different but repugELECTIONS of Members of Parliament nant- if without the additional words, it ought to be FREE-To be made with would affirm, the right to a virtual repreAN, ENTIRE LIBERTY_without any sentalion, which is our opponent's proposisort of force, or the REQUIRING the tion, and if with the words it would declare electors to chuse such persons as shall a right to an actual Representation, which be NAMED to them.' - King William's is our principle; and if, in fact, these words Declaration for restoring the Laws are a part of the statute, then must the inand Liberlies of England.
ference be in our favour;- then we are 14.-The Bill of Rights - Declaring bound to conclude, that they meant to do
that election of Members of Parliament that, which in point of fact they have done, ought to be free." -Bill of Rights, by this memorable statute-assert the Right c. 8-13.
wbich the People of England have, by their The pith and marrow of these early laws Constitution and Laws, to a Rbat mad appear to have been condensed in the in- ACTUAL parliamentary representation.
Surely, then, my Lord, it is burning any man affirm that that is now the fact ? day-light to prove that the old Law did that that relation is preserved ?-My Lords, intend to entail upon the whole body of the it is not Preserved, it is Destroyed.” -See realm, and every particular member there- Debrett, v. v. p. 154-5. of, the great Right for which I contend. " A Borough, (on another occasion, exCould, however, the policy which dictated claimed this great patriot), which, perthe laws, or the laws which declare the haps, no-man ever saw, this is what I call policy of our forefathers, stand in need of the Rotten Part of our Constitution. It additional support, the proudest and most cannot continue a century; if it does not venerable authorities which the English drop off, it must be amputated."-See Dename can boast, are at hand to give it. Let breit, v. iv. p. 291. us, then, my Lord, place Mr. John Locke "Nothing can endanger our Constitution, in our front rank --Mr. John Locke, the but destroying the equilibrium of power beavowed champion of that "ancient consti-tween one branch of the Legislature and tution, (as your Lordship observed) estaw the rest. If ever it should happen that blished at the Revolution, and which may the independence of any one of the three be considered as the consolidation of our should be lost, or that it should become liberty."
subservient to the views of either of the " Thus, to regulate Candidates and Elec- other two, there would be an end of the tors,” (i.e. according to the mode which constitution."-Blackstone. prevailed before the Prince of Orange ar- Nor, my Lord, is the doctrine New, rived, a mode too similar to our present (said Lord Camden), it is as old as the practical one) " what is it," says this great Constitution ; it grew up with it; it is its Englishman, " but to cut up the Govern- support. Taxation and Representalion are ment by the roots and poison the very foun- inseparably united. God hath joined them. tain of public security. For the people No British Parliament can put them asunhaving reserved to themselves the choice of der--to endeavour to do it is to stab our their Representatives, as the Fence to their vitals!"-Lord Camden's Speech on Ameproperties, could do it for no other end, rican Taxation. but that they might always be Freely " It is material to us (said Mr. Burke) Chosen, and so chosen, freely act."-Locke to be represented really and bona fide, and on Government, p. 2, and 299.
not in forms and types, and figures and . Mr. Locke appears to have caught the fictions of law. The right of election was above metaphor from Sir E. Coke, 4 Insti- | not established as a mere matter of form, tute, 23, where he says, “ Thomas Long it was not a principle which might substigave the Mayor of Westbury four pounds tute a Titius or a Marius, a John Doe or a to be elected Burgesse. This matter was Richard Roe, in the place of a man speadjudged in the House of Commons, secun- cially chosen, not a principle just as well dum consuetudinem Parliamente the satisfied with one man as another.
It is a Mayor fined and imprisoned, and Long re- Right, the effect of which is to give to the moved. For this Corrupi Dealing was people that man and that man only, whom Poyson to the very Fountain itself." by their own voices Actually not Construc
Tempora mutantur, however, my Lord, tively given, they declare that they know, these things, we are now told, are as " no esteem, love, and trust.”—Thoughts on lorious as the Sun at noon-day," and the the present Discontents, p. 304, 305. Mayor of Westbury, doubtless, at present
" The Constitution of this country (exmakes his return without any apprehen- claimed our virtuous and patriotic counsions.
tryman, Sir Geo. Saville,j reminds me " Whoever understands the theory of strongly of an ancient and stately oak near the English Constitution (said Lord Chat my house, though to all appearance green ham), and will compare it with the prac- and flourishing without-is all ROTTENtice, must see at once how widely they Ness and CORRUPTION within." differ. We must reconcile them to each “ The defect of Representation (said other, if we mean to preserve the LIBERTIES Mr. Pitt, in 1782,) is the national diss, of this country; we must reduce our Poli- ease, and unless you apply a remedy dia tical Practice as near as possible to our Po- rectly to that disease, you must inevitably tilical Principle. The English Constitu- take the consequences with which it is tion intended that there should be a Perma- pregnant.-Without a Parliamentary Renenl Relation between the Constiluent and fora, the nation will be plunged into New Representative body of the People; will Wars; without a Parliamentary Reform,
you cannot be safe against BAD MINISTERS, Your Lordship is reported to have said nor can even Good Ministers be of use to at LeedsIf by Reform is meant the you-No Honest Man can, according to removal of any Corrublion or Abuse, that the present system, be Minister." may have crepl. into the mode of electing
" That corruption and patronage had Members of Parliament ; or any thing overspread the land—that the King's name which affects its INDEPENDENCE, no mau was frequently prostituted by his Ministers is more friendly to it than I am. --that Majorities were found to support Now, my Lord, is not Borough Patronthe worst measures, as well as the best age an abuse ?—What says the great chamthat through Parliamentary Reform ALONE, pion of your Lordship's favourite measure, we could have a chance of rescuing our the Revolution, Mr. Locke ?-What says selves from a state of extreme peril and the Declaration of that Prince whose avowdistress, - was the solemn declaration of ed intention it was to RESTORE the ConstiMr. Fox.
tution of England ?—What says the Bill To the eloquent and recent appeals of of Rights itself!-To what purpose, if the Mr. (now Lord) Grey, and to the Petition present practice is constitutional, the first of the Society called the Friends of the and solemn resolution passed when ParPeople, praying for Parliamentary Reform, liament assembles, a resolution which as and which may now be found upon the yet has never been impugned" That for table of the House of Commons, I need a Peer to INTERFERE in the election of a not call your Lordship's attention.
Member of Parliament, is a gross infringeNothing can be farther from my intention ment of the Rights and Privileges of the than to say any thing bearing the least sem-Commons of Great Britain.”-- Is it not, blance of unkindness to a man, whose in- | my Lord, in direct opposition to these tenlions 'I believe to be perfectly upright, statutes and authorities that the supposed and whose sincerity is unquestionable; or right is founded which gives to 182 indiI might here perhaps be allowed to ask viduals, in a population of fourteen milyour Lordship ou what foundation these lions of people, calling themselves free, Jate changes have been made against the the dangerous privilege of selecting a maFriends of Reform ? Whence these de- jority of those, whom they think best fitnunciations, which to many a mind may ted to fulfil the great and sacred duties of have given considerable pain, of persons legislation ? seeking for visionary improvements, aud Perhaps it may be argued that the Bo“ raising the passions of the people by at- rough Proprietors have an interest in servtempting to fill them with fancies which ing their country, and that though they do had no solid foundation.”—To shew my nominate for Boroughs, they do not negCountrymen that the Reformers of Eng= lect the " common good.” How the paland conceive they have “ some foundation, tron sometimes finds his interest consulted and that a very solid one too,” for the by the disposal of seats, is very satisfactocause they have hitherto pursued, and in rily explained by Bubb Doddington in his which I trust they will persevere to the Diary. And Doddington was possessed of end, is the only object of this letter; and I all the qualities which are now considered trust, after the statement I have made, that necessary, a Legislature —" a great the friends of this measure will hear no Landholder-a great Officer in the State more complaints on the score of " MODERN eminent for his knowledge, eloquence, and INNOVATION."
activity."-(See Paley's Moral and PoIn endeavouring to effect this, I have not litical Philosophy.) trusted to my own speculations and in
“I believe (said this Right Hon. Paquiries I have rather chosen to submit 10 tron) there were few who could afford to your Lordship’s view the learning and the give His Majesty Six Members for nothing." researches of others. If I should have suc- 266 Mr. Pelham declared that I had a ceeded in condensing, without injuring its good deal of MARKETABLE Ware (Parliaforce---in giving it " a tangible shape? - mentary interest) and that if I would em- . in placing within every man's reach those power him to offer it to the King without valuable documents, in which he will find conditions, he would be answerable to bring his great prerogative—his Right or Suf. the affair to a good account.”—Pages 282, Frage in a Free PARLIAMENT, recognised 308, Diary. What was this account? in the laws of his country-I shall feel sa
“ The Treasureship of the Navy, he says, tisfied in having done some trifling service to the cause I have espoused !
Leeds Mercury, October 10, 1812.
the price of his seats."-Volgato imperii (or that " Tue Bill of Ricuts, with every arcano :—What has happened, my Lord, preventive regulation which our ancestors once, may happen again—What has oc- with parental anxiety suggested in the days curred in one instance, may take place in of simplicity and truth, to guard the Freeone thousand.
dom of Election, ought to be cast into the It is not, however, always the Patron's fire as waste paper and rubbish. practice to dispose of his seats to his rela- Your Lordship has often demanded of tives or friends, or persons on whose inte- the friends of Reform, to what period they grity he can reckon.—They are a commo- would revert to seek for the Constitution dity in the market--they are avowedly and of England. The Reformers, my Lord, repeatedly on sale to the best bidder-the will make answer, and tell you that the way, therefore, is as open to the monied real Constitution, only with a much greater adventurer as to the English Gentleman. latitude of suffrage than is now sought for, Mr. Pitt roundly affirmed in his day, existed from the earliest times to the fa" That the emissary of a Tartar Prince had mous disfranchising act of the 8th of Heneight seats among the Commois of Great ry 6th. Since it appears by the latest inBritain,”-having thus an equal weight quiry into the early history of our country, there with the County of Middlesex, and that the Norman Conqueror made little or the Cities of London and Westminster. no alteration in the civil government of Now, my Lord, are these colours of suffi- the country,-(See Sir W. Jones's admicient force to paint this dreadful enormity? rable speech on Parliamentary Reform, -What but a Parliamentary Reform can Vol. 5 of his works,) a speech which ought shield us from a repetition of these attacks ? to be deeply studied by every friend to the -For the same inlet through which the measure; the speech of a man who was rupees of Mahomet Ali Khan, insinuated made up of religion, learning, and intehis Agents into St. Stephen's Chapel, are grity; the speech of a man, of whom it still open, and if your Lordship's argu- was emphatically said, " that it was well ments are valid, ought not lo be shit for the world that he had been born." against any intruder.
The Reformers will tell you, my Lord, These two cases however cannot attach that it was lost both in theory and practice, to your Lordship, for no man can harbour during the distracted times of the latter the remotest suspicion, that either your period of the 15th century—that it was Lordship or your Lordship's family will kept down by the tyranny of the Tudors ever act from interested motives. Let us that it spoke again, through its organ, the then consider the last and only remaining people, to two of the Princes of the house case, let us suppose the Borough Patrons of Stewart-(see the Petition of Right,) to be actuated solely by the purest and most that its balance was by the caprice and undivided love of their country, still there partiality of our Kings, from Henry 6th to are very forcible reasons why the power Charles 2d gradually vested in the inferior should not be lodged where it is at present. boroughs” —(see the Yorkshire Memorial, Great Property, my Lord, is not always 1782,) and that it would have effectually coupled with sound judgment. The best and proudly raised its head at the “Gloof us, (and the Borough Proprietors are rious Revolution,” had not the Prince of not exempt from the common lot) have Orange bullied those of whose lives, liour Partialities! For a variety of reaberty, and property, he professed himself sons, therefore, it is obvious, that the the friend and defender. 66 Common Good" should not be at their For the real history of the Bill of Rights, disposal.
I must request your Lordship to turn to I shall pursue this subject no further. Ralph's History of England, Vol. 2, p. Upon the authority of our illustrious an- 52. Your Lordship will there find that cestors, who were the proud actors in that the Bill of Rights was only the Bill decla
great but necessary violation of the law,” ratory of our rights, and that it was to by the operation of which “ a Tyrant was have been followed up by another, making cashiered for misconduct,” and upon the specific provision to carry these rights into Bill they passed declaratory of an English-effect, which was defeated by the Prince man's rights, I fearlessly take my stand of Orange himself, who roundly declared, upon a rock, from which I trust " the that if Parliament insisted so much on lipuny breath of modern dialectics" will mitations, he would return to Holland, never be able to shake me. I contend and leave them to the mercy of King James. either that the present practice is WRONG, Thus, my Lord, to use a homely expres