[ocr errors]








Guildford was presented by lord Walsing-judices from these than their' being exham.

cluded from parliament and public emThe Duke of Norfolk observed upon an ployments; and that by them the Proexpression in the Petition, setting forth testant religion was sheltered from all the that the Catholics had repeatedly claimed designs of the Roman Catholics against it, “ the right of enjoying political power,” or against the public safety; and that thathis Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects these laws could not be said to carry any never had laid claim to political power, severity in them against the Roman Cabut only to the eligibility of attaining it if tholics upon account of their consciences, their merits should be found deserving of being only provisions qualifying men to it. He could not, therefore, let such an be members of parliament, or to be capa. unfounded assertion in the Petition pass ble of bearing office, by which they must without contradicting it.

declare before God and man that they The Petition was ordered to lie on the were for the Protestant religion; so that table.

indeed all this amounted to no more than

a securing the Protestant religion from HOUSE OF COMMONS.

any prejudice it might receive from the

Roman Catholics ;” and that the petiFriday, February 12.

tioners, after thus expressing their real PetitiONS AGAINST THE CLAIMS OF

sentiments, beg leave further to observe TAE ROMAN CATHOLICS

to the House, that even the strongest ad. Clergy; &c. OF CHICHESTER ARCH- vocates for the repeal of the existing laws

Of Lewes-Mayor, &c. Of prfoess however not to wish for it unless GuildforD-DEAN AND CLERGY OF SARUM, in a way which should not be prejudicial AND Archdeacon, &c. Of Wilts-ARCA to the established Church, which the pe.

AND CLERGY OF SARUM-ARCH- titioners humbly conceive, implies a con

Essex CHURCH- cession that it might be effected in some WARDENS, &c. of St. LEONARD's Shore- ways, which would be prejudicial; they DITCH.] A Petition of the clergy and conceive also that in such a case they certain of the laity within the archdea- who wish for the repeal of existing laws conry and diocese of Chichester, was pre- are themselves bound, prior to any dissented and read; setting forth,

cussion of the subject, to point out speThat the petitioners have understood cifically the securities intended to be of. that their fellow subjects professing the fered, in order that the establishments Roman Catholic religion have an inten- which have been hitherto preserved by tion of applying during the present ses- means of those laws shall not be endansion of parliament for the repeal of those gered by the repeal of them; but they acts which exclude them from holding observe, with real concern, that nothing certain offices and situations of power of this sort has yet been attempted to be and trust; and that they must begin by pointed out; on the contrary, they beg professing their strong and steady ad- leave to remark that one of the slightest herence to the principles of that Revolu- and least important of those securities, tion which placed his majesty king Wil- which even Catholic states and princes liam on the throne of these kingdoms; have found it necessary to adopt against and they desire clearly to express their the intolerable doctrines and pretensions opinion that every degree of toleration of the bishop of Rome, has nevertheless compatible with the security of the esta- been formally refused, and declared to be blished Church ought to be granted with inadmissible by the prelates of the Irish out hesitation both to the Roman Catho. Catholics; and that the petitioners also lics and to Protestant Dissenters; but beg leave to submit it to the consideration they crave leave to adopt the very words of the House, as an undisputed fact of of that great and wise prince whom they history, that many of these doctrines and have mentioned, wbo, though himself a pretensions of the bishop of Rome are dizealous friend to civil and religious liberty, rectly adverse to the well-being of every and a decided enemy to every species of independent kingdom, and have been so persecution, declared however openly, found and declared to be by many states that he could by no means agree to the and princes who have professed the Rorepeal of those laws that tended to the se. man Catholic religion ; and that the pecurity of the Protestant religion, since the titioners are not aware that any of these Roman Catholics received no other pre. doctrines or pretensions have ever been renounced or disclaimed by any of the worshipping God according to the dicbishops of Rome; on the contrary, they tates of their own conscience; but the pe. find, in many late publications, some of titioners cannot conceal that ihey consider which are supposed to proceed from high the further extension of political power to authority among the Roman Catholic their Roman Catholic fellow subjects clergy in Iceland, the direct avowal, that would be destructive of the fundamental the religious opinions of the Roman Catho- principles of the British constitution, and lics being unchangeable are applicable to most dangerous to the religious and civil all times; and that on these grounds the liberties of the Roman Catholics thema petitioners humbly conceive that the very selves, as well as of the Protestants, being same dangers which our forefathers were fully persuaded that the admission of a foat so much pains to guard against, are reign jurisdiction in spiritual malters, which still undiminished, and that the same pre- foreign jurisdiction the Roman Catholics cautions against them are still necessary; admit, will necessarily bave great influence they therefore most humbly implore the over them in civil and political matters; House not to repeal those laws, nor to re- and therefore most earnestly praying the voke those securities which our ancestors House, that the blessings and advantages thought it incumbent on them to enact of our present happy constitution may not and provide for the stability and perma- be endangered by innovations and hazard. nence of our civil and ecclesiastical esta- ous experiments, and that the House will blishments.”

maintain inviolable this essential principle

of the British constitution, that the legisA Petition of the clergy of the arch- lative and executive authority of ihis deaconry of Lewes, was read; setting Protestant country should be administered forth,

only by a Protestant government." “ That the petitioners beg leave humbly to represent to the House, that they A Petition of the dean and chapter of are informed an application is intended to the cathedral church of Sarum ;-two be made to parliament, to repeal the laws Petitions of the dean of Sarum, the clergy which render Roman Catholics incapable of his jurisdiction and the clergy of other of holding certain situations of power and peculiar jurisdictions, within the diocese of trust under government; and therefore Sarum;-and a Petition of the archdeacon with all humility, they request to express and clergy of the archdeaconry of Wilts, their firm reliance on parliament for con- were also presented and read; setting forth, tinuing such restraints upon them as in its That the petitioners, in common with wisdom it may deem expedient, being per the Protestant laity of this United Kingsuaded that a full and unqualified eman dom, sincerely and heartily rejoice in the cipation would be inconsistent with the toleration which has been granted to their security of our civil and ecclesiastical fellow subjects professing the Roman Ca. establishment.”

tholic religion, and should equally rejoice

in the concession of any further indulA Petition of the mayor, corporation, gences, if any such are wanting, to make and several inhabitants of Guildford, Sur- that toleration complete ; and that they rey, was read; setting forth,

have been hitherto unwilling to increase “ That the petitioners have long wit- the ferment created by repeated discusnessed, with anxious concern, the repeated sions on the claims of the Roman Catho. claims of the Roman Catholics to the right lics, but, apprehensive less further silence of enjoying full and unrestrained political should be construed into acquiescence, if power, but that, relying on the wisdom of not approbation of their pretensions, they parliament to resist such claims, they redeem it their duty to express their alarm frained from petitioning against them till at the perseverance of the Roman Cathothey became apprehensive that their si-lics in demanding unlimited admission lence might be construed into indifference not only to offices of high trust and power, , or even approbation; and that the peti- tut even into the legislature itself, under a tioners are firmly attached to the cause of monarchy and constitution fundamentally toleration in all matters of religious wor. Protestant; because, by the unequivocal ship, and are influenced by no illiberal or avowal of their own priesthood and most bigotted spirit of exclusion or oppression, enlightened advocates, the Roman Cathobut rejoice to see all their fellow subjects lic Church is still the same in its doctrines possessing, as they now do, the right of and discipline as at the time of the Refor

mation ; because it still claims the same to employ that power, when obtained, to spiritual power, still arrogates the same the destruction of our constitution both infallibility, still considers all Protestants in Church and State; should it appear, as without the pale of Christian commu- however, to the House in its wisdom, that nion; and, finally, because the members these alarming effects, which the petiof that Church in these realms still ac- tioners cannot help anticipating, are not knowledge themselves subject to a foreign likely to result from the measure in consupremacy; and that, convinced that the templation, still, as the appointed ministers Protestant succession to the throne, the of the true faith in this land, they consider liberty of the subject, and the safely of that they should be justly chargeable with the established Church, rest on the same a shameful dereliction of their sacred basis, and are inseparably connected, the trust, were they not on this occasion to petitioners do most humbly but ardently remonstrate, as they most respectfully do, implore the House to maintain those laws against the surrender of those bulwarks and preserve inviolate those securities and by which, under Divine Providence, that bulwarks of our constitution in Church and faith has long been defended; and that, State, under which this country, since the aware of the miserable confusions which epoch of the Revolution, has enjoyed a would be the cunsequence of the estadegree of prosperity and happiness un- blished Church being deprived of that toknown to other nations, and unexampled lerant ascendancy, which equally prevents in former ages."

the unchristian conflicts of contending

sects, and the overbearing jurisdiction of A Petition of the archdeacon and clergy a foreign supremacy; and persuaded that of the archdeaconry of Sarum, was also every indulgence, consistent with the read; setting forth,

safely of a Protestant establishment, has “ That the petitioners beg leave, with already been granted to the members of all due respect and humility, to lay before the Rumish Church, that more cannot, in the House their Petition, on behalf of the their opinion, at least be done for them, Prolestant establishment of the United without encouraging the growth of PoKingdom, endangered, as they conceive, pery, and exposing this free and enlightby the measure now under consideration ened country to the danger of those erroin favour of their fellow subjects of the neous, intolerant, and slavish principles Romish persuasion; and that, under the which have in former times been its midue influence of that spirit of Christian serable companions; they humbly, but charity, which is among the distinguish at the same time most earnestly pray, that ing marks of the true Church, they can. whatever measures in favour of our fellow not possibly entertain the most distant subjects of the Romish persuasion poliwish to interfere with that perfect tolera- tical wisdom shall at this time deem expetion which constitutes an amiable featuredient, (a subject on which the petitioners in the constitution of this country; but may not be fully competent to form a judge Tegarding, as they most certainly do, meni,) that those judicious securities, by Protestantism to be an essential part of the which the pure faith and worship of our British constitution, when, on looking into venerable. Church, the invaluable pur. the

page of history, they observe in wbat chase of the labours, the wisdom, and the way the Church of Rome employed that blood, of our pious ancestors, have, under power which it formerly possessed in this the continuing favour of a gracious Prokingdom; and when they consider that vidence, long been preserved, may, the character of that Church, according through the constitutional decision of the to the declaration of its most enlightened House on this important occasion, be advocates, is unchanged, and unchange-handed down inviolate to our latest geneable, having been publicly and expressly ration.” told, that “ if any one pretend to insinuate that the modern Roman Catholics differ in A Petition of the clergy of the archdea. one iota from their ancestors, he either conry of Essex, was read; setting forth, deceives bimself or he wishes to deceive “That the petitioners have viewed with others;" they cannot contemplate, with much apprehension the several efforts out the most serious apprehension, a resto which have been made for obtaining inration of power to those who stand so• dulgences to persons of the Roman Catholemnly bound by the canons of their lic communion, even beyond what the councils, and their religious obligations, wisdom of parliament has already granted, under the mild government of their be- necessary safeguards of the constitution : loved sovereign, and fearing that those and they therefore humbly, but earnestly, efforts may be repeated, would humbly pray that the House will, in their wisdom, represent the danger which, in their be pleased to continue those salutary liopinion, would arise from farther conces. mitations against the Roman Catholics, sions; and that the petitioners, knowing under which, by the protection of the Al. themselves fallible, presume not, on points mighty, this nation has enjoyed the bless' of faith and doctrine, to fetter the opi. ings of a pure religion and uncorrupt adnions of other men, and would allow to all ministration of equal laws, and a Protes. the utmost freedom in religious worship, tant succession to the throne in the family but must deprecate any indulgences which of a monarch whom, both as their gracious may increase the means of propagating sovereign, and as the zealous defender of what the petitioners conscientiously be their faith, the petitioners love and relieve to be error, and what, as ministers of vere. the Gospel, and of the Protestant Church, they feel it their duty to counteract; and

A Petition of the churchwardens, overthey conceive that it would be derogating seers, and inhabitants, of the parish of St. from the sincerity and zeal of the Roman Leonard Shoreditch, Middlesex, in vestry Catholics, to entertain a doubt of their assembled, was read; setting forth, continued endeavours to disseminate the “That the petitioners observe with principles to which they have shewn much concern and alarm the persevering themselves so strongly attached ; and that efforts of the Roman Catholics to oblain the petitioners fear not only their increase admission to offices of trust and authority, of error in religion, from the success of both civil and military, and to the exercise these efforts, but also great political dan- of legislative functions; and that it is ger; they have considered the civil estab. with unfeigned satisfaction they see their lishment of this kingdom, as united, in its fellow subjects of the Romish Church essential interests, with the national freed from all pains and penalties on acchurch, and must always feel serious count of their religion, and in the full alarm for both from those particular opi- enjoyment of the blessings of toleration, nions of the church of Rome wbich are but they feel it their bounden duty not immediately connected with political only to themselves but to posterity, to retenets and practice, and which have, in sist the endeavours of the Roman Catho. times past, been found powerful instru. lics (notwithstanding the numerous conments of policy, through their influence cessions already made to them) to attain on the minds of their adherents; and that political power and legislative authority, the petitioners are humbly of opinion, and thereby to destroy that Protestant asthat the nature and tendency of these cendancy to which the people of this tenets remain unaltered, although their country are indebted, under Providence, effects have been limited by the wise re- for the establishment of their liberties on straints imposed by the constitution of this a firm and solid basis, for the petitioners realm, and, until they are expressly, and consider it as a fixed and unalterable prinby authority, disavowed in principle, and ciple of our glorious constitution-wisely discontinued in practice, the petitioners seitled at the Revolution, that the legislacannot but consider it highly dangerous tive and executive authorities of this counto intrust any share of power, in framing try can be safely administered by Protesor dispensing the law, or in conducting tants only; and that the petitioners regard the government of the country, to the the laws by which that principle is estab. hands of their Roman Catholic brethren, lisbed, as no less sacred and inviolable who, while they demand the removal of than Magna Charta and the Habeas every restraint or precaution against them, Corpus Act, and they implore the House do not offer on their parts any correspon- to reject all applications for the repeal of dent concession; and the petitioners those laws.” humbly conceive, that favour towards the Ordered to lie upon the table. Roman Catholics has been extended to the utmost limit of toleration in religion, SINECURE Offices Bill.] Mr. Bankes and even beyond it, in the public patronage rose, pursuant to notice, to bring forward of one of their principal seminaries; and his promised motion upon this subject. that the few remaining civil restrictions, He should not, he said, mis-spend the time of which they are impatient, are but the of the House on this occasion, in detailing

the grounds upon which this measure rest- I in a future stage of the proceeding he ed; a more appropriate opportunity would should state fully the grounds upon which offer in a future stage for the full discus- he felt it his duty to oppose his right bon. sion of its merits. Although he had to friend's proposition in the last parliament, address a new parliament, with a consider and upon which he still felt bimself bound able accession of new members, upon this to maintain the same opinion. He could important subject, he could not doubt that not, however, let this opportunity pass by the arguments in its favour would meet without stating his conviction, that the 'as favourable a reception as they had ex- principle of reform pursued by his hon. perienced from the last parliament, and friend on this subject was perfectly novel, that the present House of Commons would and by no means in accordance with the be found as solicitous for retrencbment and principles acted upon in the regulation of public economy as any of its predecessors. public offices in former instances, either The main object of his Bill, the hon. gen. by Mr. Burke or by his late right hon. tleman described to be, to bring back friend, Mr. Pitt. This he should be preoffices to the principle of their original pared to show at the proper time. But creation, namely, that those officers who there was one remarkable feature belong: had any duty to perform for the public, ing to this measure, which he never could should receive the remuneration drawn overlook, and which indeed must impress from the public purse for that purpose, the mind of any man by whom it was fully and that those offices to which no duty at considered, namely, that his hon. friend tached, namely, sinecures, should be gra. was not able to shew that his proposition dually abolished. But he would take would, in a pecuniary view, be productive care to provide that those who had vested of any saving to the public, while in a conrights should suffer no injury. His next stitutional view it directly tended to trench proposition was to establish a permanent upon the royal prerogative, and involved and certain fund for those meritorious ser- a very exceptionable innovation upon old vants of the public who might have de-established practice. rived reward from the sinecure offices Leave was given to bring in the Bill. which he called upon parliament to abolish. Thus his measure was meant to LOCAL TOKENS Bill.] The Chancellor be wholly prospective. Following the of the Exchequer, in proposing the committal same principles of reform which had been of the Local Tokens Bill, observed, that acted upon by Mr. Burke and Mr. Pitt the period to which he proposed to extend upon similar occasions, and thus avoiding the power for allowing the circulation of any innovation, he proposed to leave the Local Tokens, he was induced, upon far. rights and interests of the present posses- ther consideration, to abandon. That sors of the offices to which his Bill referred period was the 1st of October, but he now quite untouched, while he would endea. meant to fix upon the 5th of July, because vour to persuade the House to put an end parliament might in that case make farto the further continuation of offices which ther arrangements, should an adequate were really a blot upon our system. As supply of Bank Tokens happen not to be to certain offices in the law which his Bill forthcoming, which appeared by no means was intended to regulate, he could not probable. Indeed, he had every reason conceive it possible to defend an arrange- io expect that the Local Tokens might, ment under which particular individuals without any public inconvenience, be received enormous emoluments, while all wholly dispensed with, at even an earlier the duties of their offices were performed period than the 5th of July; such was the by deputies for a small remuneration. improved prospect of the currency. As The hon. member concluded with moving to the animadversions upon bis right for leave to bring in a Bill "for abolishing hon. friend the Chancellor of the Irish and regulating sinecures and offices exe- Exchequer, in consequence of bis allusion cuted by deputy, and for providing other to the probable necessity of a different means for recompensing the faithful dis- measure upon the subject for Ireland, he charge of high or effective civil offices, thought it necessary to say a few words. and for other economical purposes." It was but candour in his right hon. friend

Lord Castlereagh disclaimed any intento express the inclination of his mind, in tion of opposing the motion of his hon. order that, if the measure he at the time friend, or of entering into the discussion of of the expression contemplated, should its merits on the present occasion. But, really become necessary, no member

« ForrigeFortsett »