be admitted on the evidence which he (Mr. Foster) had given; and this because it was against the laws of the United States to admit English seamen on board of an American ship; that these seamen might probably have become American citizens, in which case no difference was admitted between citizens by birth and citizens by naturalization. This was a case of such enormity, and the nature of the American doctrines were so fully shewn, that it was needless for him to offer any comments upon it. He had risen to say, that there had been no order from the British government to confine the opera tions of their fleets. Thank God! that House was about to join unanimously on that night in a measure which would do much to teach the Americans a lesson which would probably induce them to bring the war to a speedy termination. Their unanimity on that occasion, would show to France and to America, that they had nothing to hope from divisions in the British councils. It was far from his desire to intrude on the time of the House, or to say any thing that could prevent the question being carried unanimously, for it would do more than any thing that had occurred, to shew the Americans, that when our vital interests were threatened, they would go hand in hand to defend them, however they might differ in their political opinions.

After a few words from Mr. Rose junior and Mr. W. Smith,

Lord Castlereagh briefly replied, and stated, that letters of marque had been issued in consequence of the failure of the attempt to conclude an armistice by admiral Sawyer and sir G. Prevost.

The question was then put and carried

nem. con.

Friday, February 19.


moved for a Return of those Roman Catholics who, during the last ten years, had taken the Oaths, and subscribed the Declaration prescribed by the 31st Geo. 3. His lordship observed, that the Catholics having stated as a reason why further indulgences should be granted to them, their having numerously taken the Oaths and subscribed the Declaration, he wished to ascertain the number who had so done, not with any disposition to question their loyalty, believing that his Majesty had not

a more loyal class of subjects, but for the purpose of information.

Lord Holland suggested the propriety of extending the motion to Ireland, with respect to the oaths taken under the 33d Geo. 3. He wished to know also whether the object of the noble lord's motion was a return of those who had taken the oaths with a view to a qualification, or those who had voluntarily taken them?

Lord Kenyon had no objection to the motion suggested respecting Ireland. His present object was a return of those who had spontaneously taken the oaths.

The Earl of Radnor observed, that the returns were made to the privy council, and suggested therefore an alteration in the motion.

Lord Redesdale read the clause in the Act by which the returns were to be made to the privy council previous to the 25th of December in each year, and observed that chiefly those Catholics took the oaths who possessed property, or who, for other purposes, sought the quali fication which the taking the oaths conferred.

The motion was then agreed to.

Friday, February 19.

PETITION OF WINE MERCHANTS, CORRESPONDENTS OF THE ROYAL WINE COMPANY OF OPORTO.] A Petition of several wine merchants in Great Britain, correspondents of the Royal Wine Company of Oporto, was presented and read; setting forth,

"That a Petition was presented at the close of the last session of parliament to the House, by certain persons calling themselves "late members of the factory at Oporto," the intent of which Petition was to obtain the abolition of the Royal Wine Company's charter, through the interference of the House, under the pretence that the said Company was an establishment whose tendency and intention was, "the exclusion of his Majesty's subjects from the traffic in the wines of Portugal," and that in consequence of this Petition an application has been sent out from the British government to the Portuguese government at Rio Janeiro and Lisbon, for the relieving the British traders in Portugal from the operation of all the privileges of the Royal Wine Company, that are incompatible with the free and unrestricted trade and commerce carried on by British

subjects in the kingdom of Portugal, in conformity with the stipulations of the 25th article of the said treaty; and that the petitioners have every reason to fear, that if this application is deemed, in the present situation of the two countries, to be equivalent to a demand of the abolition of the Company's charter,, or of any regulations which would render it nugatory, and is acted upon in that view, under an idea that the subject has been fully investigated in this country, that the immediate consequence will be, the inundating of Great Britain with artificial compositions under the denomination of red port, and to materially injure the commerce, navigation, and revenue, of both countries; and that, to enforce their request, the said Petition appeared to contain an opinion of the lords of the Board of Trade in their favour; but that, on the petitioners applying to the said board for the grounds on which such opinion had been given, the petitioners were informed that the opinion alluded to was given about fifty years ago, and that there was not any documents to shew the grounds of it, or upon what investigation it had been founded; from this answer, as also from other documents, the petitioners have reason to believe that this opinion of the lords of trade was the result of ex parte statements, given at the first establishment of the Company, and before its beneficial effects could be felt; and that if this evidence could be produced, it would be found to be the result of disappointed interests and unfounded fears, and not of an investigation of facts, as the petitioners are unable to ascertain that either the Company, or any of its correspondents, were ever called upon to answer any statement against them before such answer was given; and that notwithstanding the heavy complaints made by those petitioners of the grievances and annoyances to which they are subject, and in language which would lead the House to suppose that they had lately arisen, and had annihilated the British wine trade in Portugal, it is a certain fact, that no new restraints have been adopted or acted upon, and those which are the subject of complaint were established to prevent British merchants at Oporto from purchasing such wines as were, before 1756, used to adulterate port wine to such a deterioration of its quality, as caused it to be pronounced in England, by the physicians, injurious to health; and the petitioners are able to prove that the

straints enforced, solely for the purpose of preventing the ruin of the trade by the adulteration of the wines; and that the petitioners observe, that it is stated that the average importation, for a series of former years, paying duty, has been 50,000 pipes; the petitioners, on the contrary, are satisfied that it will appear that the largest series of importations, and those owing to peculiar circumstances, was from 1797 to 1806, when the annual importation, for ten years, was only 47,152, and even from this should be deducted the average an nual exportation of 2,208 pipes, which leaves but 44,944 for duty on consumption, and even that this amount is far greater than has ever been annually consumed in Great Britain; and that the importation of 18,378 pipes only, in 1811, was not owing to the prices of the wines being in. creased by the monopoly of the Wine Company, and to the petitioners not being able to prevent it, in consequence of their having been driven from Oporto, but arose from the large demands for wine for the consumption of the army in Portugal, and more particularly from the large sur. plus stock of wine in the bonds of Great Britain, from the excess of importation over consumption in the above ten years, and that therefore the revenue has not been injured by the smallness of this importation, there being at the end of the year 1812, after a still smaller importation, about 50,000 pipes in the bonds ready to pay duty, if there was a necessity from consumption to take it out; and that the petitioners have reason, from evidence, to believe, that if the charter of the royal Wine Company be taken away, the greater part of the wines from Oporto would be mixed with thin acid wines, which would afterwards be brought by brandy, elderberry juice, and other intoxicating ingredients, to an artificial strength and colour, such having been the practice before the establishment of the Company, and such practice having, as the petitioners have before stated, decreased its sales; and that the Royal Wine Company was first established in 1756, for twenty years, and has had its charter twice renewed in consequence of the benefits it has produced; that in 1747, ten years before the establishment of the Company, 13,420 pipes only were exported from Oporto; in 1754 this quantity decreased to 13,820; in 1755 it further decreased to 12,869 pipes; and in 1756, the year the Company was Company was established, and the re-first established, it was reduced to 12,11

praying the House to take the premises into their consideration, and to grant such relief to the petitioners as to the House may seem meet; and that the petitioners may, in case the same should become necessary, or be deemed fit by the House, be heard by themselves or their counsel, agents, and witnesses, in proof of the allegations submitted by them to the House."

Ordered to lie upon the table.

pipes; but that, in the year 1757, immediately after the establishment of the Company, it increased to 12,488 pipes, and has ever since continued gradually to increase; so that, though in the ten years prior to the Company's charter there was exported from Oporto only 166,609 pipes of port, yet, in the first ten years after their charter, there was exported from Oporto 166,130, in the second 214,601, in the third 244,744, in the fourth 432,340, in the fifth 471,500; and that the British merchants and the British shipping receive the benefits of this importation, the Royal Wine Company never having exported to Great Britain more than 5,000 pipes in any one year prior to the invasion of Portugal; and the excess of exportations by the Company, since that period, has been to serve some of those who now petition for the abolition of the Company, without whose assistance they could not have kept their trade together; and that the petitioners are satisfied that they are able to prove, upon any candid enquiry into facts, that the Royal Wine Company's charter is not productive of any restriction or hindrance to the free commerce of British merchants, but that, on the contrary, the existence of the Company and its controul over the making of the wines, and all their regulations as heretofore and at pre-ble amount, and have been faithfully apsent enforced, is essential to the protection plied to the purposes of the charter, agreeof the trade itself; and that the peti-ably to the will of the donors; and that tioners have no wish to support any mono- the labours of the society, by means of poly or privileges injurious to the British their teachers, catechists, and missionaries, merchant, and are wholly ignorant that have, it is well known, been attended any such exist; they have in vain endea- with great success in the education of voured to ascertain upon what facts those youth, in furthering the interests of religion who complain, in this country, assert that and virtue, and in diffusing, both in Scotany restrictions which have been establish- land and America, the blessings of civilied by the Company have proved injurious zation and industry, subordination to lawto the merchant or the wine trade in ge- ful authority, and attachment to the conneral, or what particular privileges of the stitution and government of the British Company are objected to, as those who empire; and that it appears to the peticomplain have not stated them here or in tioners, that the exertions of the society Portugal; that no specific charges are can no where be employed more agreeably preferred which can be met either by ar- to the object of the royal charter, or with gument or proof, and merely general as greater prospect of success, than in those sertions of monopoly and restrictions; territories and provinces in India which and that the petitioners are most anxious now form a part of his Majesty's domifor an opportunity of meeting any charges nions; and that, while the natives of those which may be brought forward against countries have long been and still continue the conduct of the Port Wine Company, in a state of deplorable ignorance, and adbeing satisfied that the result of such inves-dicted to various idolatrous and superstitigation will completely prove, that the tious usages of the most degrading and privileges of the Company and their super- horrible description, many of our own intendence has proved most beneficial, countrymen, members of the church of and is essential to the preservation and Scotland, employed in the different civil prosperity of the port wine trade; and and military departments in India, are

PETITION RESPECTING THE EAST INDIA COMPANY, FROM THE SOCIETY IN SCOTLAND FOR PROPAGATING CHRISTIAN KNOWLEDGE.] Mr. Wilberforce presented a Petition from the Society in Scotland for propagating Christian knowledge; setting forth,


"That the society was incorporated in the year 1709, by a charter from her majesty queen Anne, for the farther promoting of Christian knowledge and increase of piety and virtue within Scotland, espe cially in the Highlands, Islands, and remote corners thereof, and for propagating the same in Popish and infidel parts of the world; and that since that time, in consequence of the donations and bequests of pious and benevolent persons, the funds of the society have increased to a considera

Perceval, that the situation required to be regulated, and indeed he proposed to regulate it much more extensively than it was the object of the present Bill to do, which merely went to assimilate the prac tice of the court of Admiralty in securing suitors' money, to the practice of the high court of Chancery. The hon. and learned member concluded by moving for leave to bring in a Bill to regulate the office of Registrar of the High Court of Admiralty and the Court of Appeals for Prizes. '

Lord Castlereagh said, that he certainly should not oppose the Bill in that stage of it, but that if it should prove to be a similar one to that brought in last session, he should feel himself compelled to oppose it in every part of its progress.-Leave was then given to bring in the Bill.

precluded from enjoying the ordinances of Christianity agreeably to the forms of the Church to which they are attached; and that, while the situation of India, destitute of the means of religious instruction, has long presented the most urgent claims to the humanity of Britons and of Christians, the restrictions to which the intercourse with those countries has hitherto been subjected, have prevented attempts for affording them the relief which the exigen. cies of their situation so imperiously required; and praying the House to take into consideration the facts which have been stated in this Petition, and to provide, in any Bill that may be passed for renewing the East India Company's charter, that it shall be lawful for the petitioners to impart the benefits of Christianity to the natives of India, and to afford the advantages of religious worship and instruction to our countryinen mem. bers of the church of Scotland, who may reside in that part of the British empire, subject always to such salutary regulations as parliament in its wisdom shall judge it nécessary to establish."

Ordered to lie on the table.

Monday, February 22.

PETITIONS RESPECTING THE CLAIMS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS.] The bishop of Chester presented a Petition from the inhabitants of Chester against the Catholic Claims.Lord Kenyon presented a Petition to the same effect from the gentry, clergy, freeholders, and other inhabitants of the county of Denbigh, which his lordship stated was agreed to at a county arch-meeting, with only one dissentient voice, that of a person who read a letter from an hon. baronet, the member for the county, whose opinions were hostile to the object of the Petition. His lordship also presented a similar Petition from the county of Merioneth.-Viscount Bulkeley presented a similar Petition from the county of Carnarvon. Ordered to lie on the table; as were also a Petition from Worcester, presented by the earl of Coventry, and a Petition from the inhabitants of Exeter, also against the Catholic Claims, presented by lord Rolle.-The earl of Radnor pre

ADMIRALTY REGISTRAR'S BILL.] Mr. Henry Martin rose, pursuant to notice, to move for leave to bring in à Bill relative to the office of the Registrar of the Admiralty. In the brief observations which he intended to make, it would be sufficient to observe, that a great part of the pro-sented two Petitions to the same effect, ceeds arose from the money of suitors in one from the corporation and the other from the Admiralty Court. It was not the in- the inhabitants of Salisbury.-The noble tention of the Bill to interfere with the earl then presented another Petition to the legitimate fees of the office. It appeared same effect, from Wallingford, which his from documents on their table, that the lordship stated to be signed by four out of average annual sum which was solely em- six aldermen, 13 out of 18 assistants, the ployed for the benefit of the noble lord clergy of the three parishes, the ministers (Arden) who now held the situation of of three dissenting congregations, all the Registrar, was 200,000l. and for which traders of the town, and a majority of the no security was taken. It had been con- voters.-Lord Holland presented a Peticeded last session, by a late right hon. tion from Wallingford in favour of the gentleman, who was certainly interested in Catholic Claims, which his lordship stated the profits of the office, for the rever- to be signed by the mayor, the recorder, sion of it was vested in him, he meant Mr. and several respectable persons.

Petitions against the Claims of the Roman Catholics were presented from the inhabitants of the county of Sligo, the deacon and clergy of Bedford, and from the bailiffs, burgesses and other inhabitants of Carnarvon. A Petition in favour of the Claims of the Roman Catholics was presented from the mayor, recorder and inhabitants of Wallingford.

Lord Sheffield presented a Petition from | no Petition from any part of that body had the inhabitants of Lewes and its neighbour-yet been presented for the purpose of urg hood, which his lordship stated to be sign-ing any claims. ed by upwards of 4,000 persons, including Lord Redesdale observed, that the promany dissenters. ceedings of the Catholics for the purpose of urging their claims were notorious; that they had been published in all the newspapers of Ireland; and productions, avowedly by their authority, had been published, in which their claims had been set forth.


The Duke of Norfolk wished to know what means had been employed to obtain the signatures, no public meeting having been held?

Lord Shefield said, he had the Petition from lord Chichester, who was unable to attend, and who had stated to him, the facts which he had now mentioned.

The Marquis of Headfort presented a Petition from the Protestants of the county of Meath against the Catholic Claims, stat ing, that he dissented from the prayer of the Petition.

The Marquis of Lansdowne stated, that a Petition would, he understood, shortly arrive, signed by a majority of the property and respectability of the county of Meath, in favour of the Catholic Claims.

The Earl of Kingston presented a Petition from the Protestants of the county of Sligo against the Catholic Claims. His lordship took the opportunity of stating, thnt he had previously voted for going into a committee on the Catholic Claims, but the recent conduct of the Catholics, in openly avowing that they would consent to no securities, had rendered him hostile to their Claims. His lordship then read part of one of the Resolutions of the Catholic meeting at Kilkenny, in order to prove the determination they had expressed, not to consent to any arrangement for securities to the Protestant establish


The Marquis of Lansdowne deprecated the idea of treating with the Catholics as with an independent power. It was for the legislature to consider their claims, and make such enactments as to its wisdom should seem meet, and it was for the Catholics as subjects to obey. He could not, therefore, see any reason why the noble earl should have altered his opinion on the policy of the measure, merely because certain resolutions had been passed by some Catholics in some part of a county in Ireland.

The Earl of Kingston also presented a Petition to the same effect from the Protestants of the county of Tipperary, which was read.

Lord Holland did not mean to object to its lying on the table; but he thought these Petitions making allegations against the Catholics were scarcely regular, when (VOL. XXIV.)

The Duke of Norfolk lamented the tone of these Petitions, which he thought would only lead to corresponding acrimony on the part of the Catholics.

The Earl of Charleville presented a Petition from the gentlemen, clergy, &c. of the county and town of Carlow. His lordship stated, that although the prayer of the Petition was inimical to the unrestricted claims of the Catholics, yet its tenor breathed a spirit of toleration and conciliation suitable to the subject; at the same time submitting to their lordships the necessity of guarding against such concessions as might endanger our Protestant constitution.-Ordered to lie on the table.

Monday, February 22.

PETITIONS RESPECTING THE CLAIMS OF THE ROMAN CATHOLICS.] Petitions against the Claims of the Roman Catholics were presented from the archdeacon and clergy of Bucks, the archdeacon of Northampton and clergy of Peterborough, from Mr. Vivian, from the mayor, &c. of Penzance, the inhabitants of Monaghan, the gen tlemen, clergy and freeholders of Merioneth, from Mr. Wilson, from the inhabitants and freeholders of Fermanagh, the mayor, &c. of New Sarum, the mayor, &c. of Drogheda, the inhabitants of Exeter, the gentlemen, clergy, &c. of Carnarvon, the Protestants, &c. of Westmeath, and the mayor, &c. of Appleby.Petitions were also presented from Mr. Mac Donnell a Roman Catholic, and from the Roman Catholics of Tyrone.

PETITIONS RESPECTING THE RENEWAL OF THE EAST INDIA COMPANY'S CHARTER.] Petitions respecting the renewal of the East India Company's charter were presented from the borough of Elgin, the merchants of Newcastle upon Tyne, the lord provost, &c. of Perth, the clothiers, &c, of Gloucester, the London rope makers, the inhabitants of South Molton, and the (2 U)

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