A Petition of the mayor, burgesses, and tries comprised within the limits of the E. commonalty of the city of Bristol, in com- 1. Company's present exclusive privilege, mon council assembled, was also presented and the petitioners may add with as much and read; setting forth,

security to the due collection of the duties “ That the petitioners, impressed with of customs and excise as in the port of a deep sense of the great importance of, London; and praying, that the House will and the national and individual benefit not consent to a renewal of any of those which may be expected to arise from lay- exclusive commercial privileges which are ing open the capital skill and industry, contained in an act passed in the 33d of and restoring the inherent right of his his present Majesty ; but, on the conMajesty's subjects throughout the ports of trary, that at the expiration of that act, the United Kingdom to the fuil and free the trade to the east of the Cape of Good enjoyment of trade and commerce to all Hope may be as fully and freely enjoyed ports and places either in possession by all his Majesty's subjects to and from of or in amity with his Majesty, observe, every port of his Majesty's United Kingwith the strongest feelings of regret, dom as it is at present by the East India that it is in the contemplation of the East Company and the port of London excluIndia Company to apply to the House for sively." a renewal of the Charter granted in 1793; Ordered to lie upon the table. and that the petitioners observe, by the correspondence which has been carried on PETITIONS AGAINST THE CLAIMS OF THE between the chairman of the E. I. Com- ROMAN CATHOLICS-PROM The Dean AND pany and the commissioners for the af. CanoŅs of Windsor-THE CLERGY OF fairs of India, that the E. I: Company have NORFOLK-AND THE Mayor, &c. or BEconceded the general principle of a free verley.) A Petition of the dean and trade from the out. ports of the kingdom to canons of Windsor, was 'presented and the E. I. settlements, still that their con- read: setting forth, cession is coupled with propositions, which, « That the petitioners humbly beg if adopted by parliament, must effectually leave to express their hope that they shall exclude the merchants of this city, as well not be thought to merit the imputation of as those of every other part of the United intolerance, if they pray the House not to Kingdom (except London), from any grant the right of admission either to the prospect of advantageous participation in highest offices of trust and power, or to the trade when so opened; and that it is the exercise of legislative functions, of a declared object of the E. I. Company to late so importunately claimed by our felprevail upon parliament to continue in low subjects the Roman Catholics of the ihemselves the exelusive possession of the United Kingdom; and that the petiBritish trade with China, under an appre- tioners presume to maintain, with confi. hension that the greatest danger of quarrels dence, that, in presenting this their humble and the ultimate loss of the China trade Petition to the House, they prove themwould be likely to ensue from a free com- selves to be the friends and advocates of mercial intercourse with that nation, toleration in the only just and constituwhereas the experience of a long course tional acceptation of the term, for they of years, during which the subjects of the cannot forget that the bulwarks erected United States of America have traded ex. by our forefathers in defence of the Protensively with China, must completely set testant faitb, were designed as barriers aside all ground for such alarm; and that against the ascendency of those whom exthe petitioners humbly presume, that no- perience bad but too fatally shewn to be thing can possibly tend in a greater de intolerant of any other religion than their gree to the increase of the revenue, and own; and that these barriers and restricthe prosperity of a nation, than the free- tions the petitioners humbly conceive to be dom of its commerce, and the general dif- essential to the integrity of the British con. fusion of the means of carrying it on; and stitution in Church and State, a constitution that, from the recent and very extensive under which, ever since they were imposed, improvemenis which have been made in a greater share of happiness bas been enthe harbour of Bristol, ships of very con- joyed than ever fell to the lot of any siderable burthen can receive and dis- other people, and which has consequently charge their cargoes afloat, and the port been the envy and admiration of the is in every respect suitable for carrying world; and that, to the possession of so on an extensive commerce with the coun: great a blessing, as Englisbmen, the petitioners cannot wish to be thought insen- of the United Church of England and sible, but, as ministers of religion, they Ireland, cemented in the blood of its marconceive that they should betray the tyrs, unless parliament shall in its wisdom trust committed to their charge, if they provide other means of security, which refrained from humbly imploring the the petitioners have never yet seen deHouse to frustrate all attempts to deprive tailed, that may prove a support and dethem of the support and protection of fence equally permanent and solid.” those provisions and enactments to which, under God, they ascribe it, that the purity A Petition of the mayor, aldermen, and of the holy faith which they profess has burgesses of the town of Beverley, in the been hitherto maintained.”

county of York, in common council as

sembled, was also presented and read; A Petition of the archdeacons of Nor setting forth, wich and Norfolk, and of the clergy of “ That the petitioners have seen, with the county of Norfolk, was also presented alarm and sorrow, the unceasing efforts of and read; setting forth,

his Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects to That the petitioners view, with in- be admitted into offices of the highest creasing concern and alarm, the repeated trust and power, and even to sit in the and persevering efforts of the Roman Ca- imperial parliament to legislate for a tholics of the United Kingdom to obtain Protestant Church and State ; and that from the legislature an elevation to a de- the petitioners look, with satisfaction, at gree of political power, which, in the the degree of toleration which has been humble opinion of the petitioners, cannot granted to his Majesty's Roman Catholic be granted them without the most immi- subjects, but at the same time they regard nent danger to the constitution both in Protestant ascendency as essential to the Church and State; and that the peti- safety and stability of the constitution, tioners feel they should be guilty of a and dread any innovation which may endereliction of duty were they longer todeferdanger the civil and religious liberty expressing, in the most unequivocal but which this kingdom has so long enjoyed, respectful manner, not only that firm and and which has raised it to its present state zealous attachment to the Church of which of pre-eminence among the nations of they are ministers, springing from the Europe; and praying, that the House will belief that its doctrines are scriptural, and resist those claims of his Majesty's Roman its ordinances apostolical, for which they Catholic subjects, and continue those safeclaim credit from the House and their guards by which our invaluable constitucountry, but also their full persuasion tion in Church and State has hitherto been that, with the preservation of that Church, preserved." the best interests of true religion, as well Ordered to lie upon the table. as the stability of the monarchy, and consequent happiness and prosperity of the

HOUSE OF LORDS. people, are most intimately, and indeed inseparably connected; but great as is

Wednesday, February 3. their confidence in the purity of the PetitIONS AGAINST The CLAIMS OF THE Church as by law established, the peti- Roman Catholics.) The Bishop of Chitioners contemplate, with unfeigned satis- chester presented a Petition from the archfaction, the complete and unrestrained deacon, clergy, and others, of Chichester, exercise of their religion granted to all against the Catholic Claims.—He also who separate from her communion; and presented a Petition from the bishop, dean, they humbly conceive that Roman Ca. and chapter of Ely, against the Catholic tholics, in common with all Protestant Claims. -Earl Nelson presented a Petition dissenters, enjoy this toleration in the from the archdeacons of Norwich and most ample manner; and therefore the Norfolk, against the Catholic Claims. petitioners humbly and most earnestly The Bishop of Norwich observed, that implore the House not to relax those salu- the Petition was contrary to his sentitary regulations in the instance of persons ments, and he could not but give his pubprofessing the Roman Catholic religion, to lic testimony against the propriety of the which all Protestants are at this time com- clergy interfering in this question-a pelled to subruit, nor to remove those question which nearly concerned the wel. guards and fences which have been so fare of several thousands of his Majesty's wisely planted round the venerable fabric loyal and faithful subjects, and which ought to be left to the unbiassed decision devised, and by the most solemn appeal of the legislature. He could not but la- to God, denied that they entertained any ment that any part of the clergy should such tenets. lead the way in contriboting to raise the The Bishop of Salisbury, also presented detestable cry of No Popery, which on a a Petition from the dean and chapter, the former occasion had produced so much archdeacon and clergy of Exeter, against mischief, and he deeply regretted that the Catholic Clains.-- Viscount Sidmouth those illiberal and uncharitable sentiments presented a Petition to the same effect which petitions of this nature upheld, and from the mayor, aldermen and assistants which had been banished from the rest of of the borough of Leeds.--Ordered to lie the world, should leave their last footsteps


the table. in the sanctuaries of our religion and our temples of literature,

East INDIA COMPANY'S CHARTER.) Vism The Petition having been read, count Melville presented Petitions from

The Duke of Norfolk observed, that one the chamber of commerce of Edinburgh, expression in it, that the Catholics enjoyed the convention of the royal burghs in the same privileges as the Protestant Dis. Scotland, and the corporation of Stirling, senters, was not founded in fact, Pro- assembled in guild, against the continu. testant Dissenters being allowed to sit in ance of the monopoly of the East India parliament, whilst a part of the oaths ten- Company. dered was levelled expressly at Catholics to prevent their sitting there.

The Bishop of Salisbury presented a
Petition from the dean and chapter of

Wednesday, February 3. Salisbury against the Catholic Claims.- PetitIONS RESPECTING THE East INDIA He also presented a Petition to the same COMPANY'S CHARTER-FROM THE MERCH, effect from the archdeacon and clergy of ANTS, &c. OF MANCHESTER AND THE MABerks, and the dean, archdeacon, and GISTRATES, &c. op GLASGOW—AND THE clergy of Salisbury, and two other juris. MERCHANTS OF BRISTOL.] A Petition of dictions within the diocese of Salisbury. the merchants, and manufacturers of Man, On one of these Petitions,

chester and Salford, was presented and The Duke of Norfolk observed, that it read; setting forth, stated that the Catholics still believed in That many of the petitioners have the infallibility of the Pope; and on an- been long and extensively engaged in, other, that it charged the Catholics with commercial transactions, embracing still holding the tenet, that sovereigns chiefly the sale and exportation of the inight be excommunicated by the Pope. cotton manufactures of this kingdom, on On the language of Petitions which were which the numerous population of the now lying for signature in every alehouse town and neighbourhood of Manchester in Westminster, it would not be worth mainly depend for their support; and while to remark; but when a Petition that the petitioners have entered fully into came from a learned body, it was natural the various considerations which arise 10 expect that it would be correctly ex- from the efforts of the East India Compressed. It was, therefore, with surprise, pany to obtain a renewal of their expiring he found the Catholics still charged, in charter, and it appears to the petitioners Petitions from learned persons, with hold-capable of the most satisfactory proof, ing the tenets of the infallibility of the that the exclusive privileges hitherto en Pope, and the excommunication of sove- joyed by the company, under the authoreigns;, although, by the strongest oaths rity in question, have been found highly that could be put to man, they had abso- injurious to the general interests of the lutely denied that they entertained any country; and that, after the very ample such tenets. These Petitions, therefore, discussions the subject has received, and asserted that which was not the fact, and the detrimental consequences which have it was of importance that the misrepresen- resulted from the system of monopoly so tation should be contradicted.

universally complained of, the petitioners Lord Holland thought the noble duke bere abstain from troubling the House, entitled to thanks for thus vindicating the with the detailed grounds they are preCatholics from misrepresentation, it being pared to prove, and on which they urge notorious that all the Catholics of Ireland ihe national injustice of prolonging these had, by the strongest oaths that could be evils; and that the serious pressure occa(VOL. XXIV.)

(2 A)

[ocr errors]

sioned by the unexampled measures of ment as may be ascertained to be, upon the enemy to effect the destruction of the whole, the most just and expedient ; British commerce, and the natural results and that the petitioners humbly conceive of the wars in which the nation is now that, in point of justice, all his Majesty's unavoidably engaged, are circumstances subjects are equally entitled, as the united which call loudly for every attention to company of merchants trading to tbe new and legitimate sources of a more ex- East Indies, to hold commercial intertended and permanent trade; and that, course with all the quarters of the babito establish an open commercial inter- table globe: they apprehend that freedom course generally with the countries from of commerce is one of the birthrights of which the existing charter excludes the Britons, which nothing but state necessity, British merchants, would not only afford or strong and obvious national expediency, the most effectual relief in the present situa- ought ever to induce the legislature to tion of public affairs, but would, as the peti- abridge or controul; and they submit tioners confidently submit, most essentially that the present question is in reality not contribute to the lasting benefit and pros- whether parliament ought to take from a perity of the kingdom at large, for it can- trading corporation its vested rights and not be doubted that the daily improve- privileges, for these, being of an artificial ment and marked superiority of our ma- and temporary nature, necessarily cease chinery, the unrivalled skill and ingenuity with the charter to which they owed their of our artificers, and the great variety and origin, but whether parliament can, in the perfection of our manufactures, would discharge of its great and paramount duty, constantly ensure them the advantage of longer lend its sanction to an exclusive the markets alluded to; and that the peti-grant, which experience has proved to be tioners therefore earnestly trust that the highly inexpedient in general, and not House will be pleased to adopt such mea even advantageous to the possessors, and sures as may, after the termination of the by which the interests of the whole are present charter, fully secure to all his obviously sacrificed to those of a part of Majesty's subjects the right of a free and the nation; and the petitioners cannot enunlimited trade with those countries be- tertain a doubt that, by laying open to the yond the Cape of Good Hope from capital, the skill, and the enterprize of whence they are now prohibited ; and that British merchants, those vast regions from with this view the petitioners humbly which they have been so long excluded, crave leave to be heard, by their counsel, the manufactures of this country will be against the expediency of renewing the promoted, its commerce and navigation Company's exclusive powers, and that, if extended, and the financial and naval renecessary, they may be also allowed to sources of the government thereby auggive evidence on the subject at the bar of mented ; and the opening of such a field the House."

is certainly at the present conjuncture pe

culiarly necessary, when the overgrown A Petition of the magistrates and com- power of the tyrannical ruler of France mon council of Glasgow, in council as, excludes this nation from so large a portion sembled, was also presented and read; set of the European continent, and when the Ling forth,

natural intercourse with the North Ame• That, observing, from its recent reso- rican States is for a time interrupted ; and lutions, that the House is to take into its that the petitioners are convinced that, early consideration what arrangement under proper regulations, the import as ought in future to be adopted for the re. well as the export trade with the countries gulation of the commerce of these king- beyond the Cape of Good Hope may be doms with the countries situated to the extended indiscriminately to the ports of east of the Cape of Good Hope, and to the the united kingdom, without any risk of west of Cape Horn, the petitioners deem it the payment of the revenue derived by their duty again to appeal on this most government from that source being important subject to the justice, the wisevaded; and, if the latter object can be dom, and the liberality of parliament; attained, the extension of the privilege to and that the petitioners have learned, with all his Majesty's subjects who are in a surprise, that it has been maintained the condition to avail themselves of it is cerHouse is precluded, by the vested rights tainly most consistent with the liberal and privileges of the East India Com. policy of the British legislature ; and that pany, from adopting such an arrange the petitioners are also firmly persuaded that, under proper regulations, the mer- ture by the East India Company, for a rechants of Great Britain and Ireland may newal of their exclusive privilege of trade, be admitted to a free and unfettered com- and confident in the justice and wisdom mercial intercourse with the provinces of of the House, the natural and powerful India, without exciting any unfavourable guardians of the people's right, deem it disposition in the natives towards this their indispensable duty thus early to recountry, and without any danger what present to the House, that the full and freeever to the stability of the provincial go right to trade to and with all countries and vernment; and, while they cannot but people in amity with their sovereign, and consider as extremely hard the existing more particularly with those countries and enactments, by which foreign nations settlements acquiredand maintained by the have been admitted to the benefit of efforts and valour of the forces of his Ma. this commercial intercourse, and Bri- jesty, is the undoubted birthright and intish subjects excluded, the petitioners heritance of the people of this empire ; humbly suggest the propriety of making and that the exclusive privilege of the such arrangements as may in future secure E. I. Company is a manifest infringement to the British merchant trading to the of that right, from which many

and great British possessions in Asia that protection evils have resulted; and that the petiand reception to which he is justly en- tioners further humbly submit to the titled; and that finally, the petitioners House, as a sound and incontrovertible own they cannot perceive that the expen- principle, that, in this enlightened age, diture incurred by the company in the commerce can neither be benefited nor ex. extension and in the government of the tended by monopoly; and that all ideas British possessions in the Indian peninsula of direct participation by the public trea. affords any sufficient ground, in justice or sury in behalf of the nation, in the profits expediency, for continuing to that corpo. of trade, as a compensation or purchase ration the monopoly of the trade to China; for such monopolised commerce, must and they have reason to believe that the trade ever will be vain and illusory; and the with China, although laid open to all his petitioners humbly adduce the disap. Majesty's subjects, may be placed on pointed expectations of the nation and such a footing, and under such regula- the legislature, in regard to the E. I. Comtions, as to prevent any risk of offence pany in complete illustration of this prinby individuals to the government or peo- ciple; and that the petitioners refer to the ple of that vast empire; and they are de- information before the House, lo show cidedly of opinion, that admission to the that the trade carried on by the E. I. ComChinese trade is indispensably necessary pany has decreased at the very time when, to enable the British merchant to carry on by British exertions, its field has been exthe trade with the British possessions in tended and itself protected from enemies Asia with advantage, and with success; and hostile rivalry; and that foreigners, and praying the House, in its wisdom, to by the advantages of free and unfettered refuse its sanction to any renewal of the exertions, have been at the same time sucexclusive commercial privileges of the cessfully competing with the E. I. ComE. I. Company, and to restore to his Ma- pany not only in the trade of the Comjesty's subjects in general their right to pany's own settlements, but also in the carry on, from as many of the ports of the trade to China to a vast amount, whilst united kingdom as the security of the such trades have been long and obstinaterevenue will permit, a free trade with the ly denied to the subjects of the United British possessions in Asia, and with the Kingdom; and that the petitioners førother countries situated to the east of the ther humbly submit to the House, that Cape of Good Hope, particularly the em- the prospect of pecuniary participation pire of China; and farther praying to be held out to the country in 1793, not only heard by counsel in support of this pe has not been realised, but has been contition.”

verted into repeated claims by the E. I.

Company on the public purse and credit ; A Petition of several merchants, traders, and ibat further and still greater pecuniary and other inbabitants of the city of Bris. assistance will be required to avert emtol, was also presented and read; setting barrassments in which the E. I. Company forth,

must otherwise soon be involved ; and “ That the petitioners, in contemplation that the petitioners rely, with the utmost of an intended application to the legisla- confidence that the House will disregard

« ForrigeFortsett »