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justice in Ireland, it was absolutely and indispensably necessary that every circumstance that could throw light on that investigation should be brought forward. It was impossible that the House could proceed one step, unless they knew what they were really about, and when he, for the first time, had heard of commission and of session grand juries, and a variety of other names wholly new to English members, what was more natural than to ask for distinct explanations, in order to enable them to put further questions? With that view he had put a question to the witness. How far corruption might have lurked in the answer, he could not say, because the answer had not been given.

Sir G. Hill defended Mr. Dawson, from the sarcasms of Mr. Brougham, and said that he was most anxious for the fullest scope of inquiry.

Mr. Brougham complimented the hon. baronet on his candour and manliness in declaring for an open and fair inquiry. He denied having dealt out any sarcasms. He had no cause for doing so.

[The witness was again called in.]

By Mr. Brougham.-You say the term grand juries present money, that is to say, order money to be levied for bridges, roads, and other public works; do they order money to be levied for any other expenses?-The gaols, penitentiaries, all those public buildings; in short, all monies presented off the city of Dublin, that is not presented by the sessions grand jury, is presented by them; all public expenses.

Do the term grand jury and the sessions grand jury, taken together, levy money for the payment of the salaries of different officers ?They do.

jury?-I cannot charge my memory at present with any other officers; their presentments are very considerable.

Do you recollect any other purposes for which monies are levied by the term grand jury, besides those you have mentioned ?—I

cannot charge my memory with any others. The expenses of the prison, and clothing and providing for the convicts?—Of course, I mentioned the gaol and the penitentiaries.

Who gives the contracts for the clothing of those?-The grand jury appoint. I apprehend, the expense of bread and milk, and all those matters for the gaol, is very considerable. hend the grand jury. Who give the contracts for those?—I appre

By open bidding?—I do not know. You do not understand that word?—I understand it perfectly.

Open bidding is when an advertisement is made, and any person tenders, and that person is accepted who offers on the cheapest terms. You do not know whether it is done by open bidding or by close contract?—I do not.

Who are the present sheriffs?-The sheriffs elect, are Mr. Arthur Perrin and Mr. Samuel


Mr. Sheriff Thorpe and Mr. Sheriff Cooper are in office at present?—Yes.

When were the sheriff's elect appointed to succeed the others ?-Within this month; they come into office in September.

Do you happen to know whether they were on the grand jury which ignored the bills against Handwich and Graham ?-They were; both of them.

Do you know any thing respecting the details for the expenses that are submitted to the consideration of the grand juries in the city of Dublin?—I am not acquainted with the entire detail; I have looked over the presentments, as they have been printed.

Respecting contracts, have you never heard that there is a public competition for supplying the prisons with bread, and meat and clothes, and so on?—I declare I do not know; it may be so, but I am not aware of it.

What sort of officers ?-Clerks of the crown. Are you aware, that any person contributing Any other officers?-Clerks of the peace; to the payment of the grand jury levies, is they are called the town clerks in Dublin; for able by law to traverse any presentment of a them a very considerable levy takes place, for public kind that he thinks unfair and unjust? a great deal of business is done in the Sheriff's--I apprehend that all presentments are court; all gaolers and keepers of prisons, traversable. sheriff's fees; all demands of that sort.

Any other officers?-There are other minor officers belonging to the court, the officers of the court of King's-bench, and the officers of the Commission court.

All those they levy the money for ?-They do.

Are those, or any of those, officers appointed by the corporation of Dublin?-The town clerk is of their appointment, I apprehend.

The gaoler?-Yes, and the gaoler. Any of the others?-The sub-sheriff. Do any other officers appointed by the corporation receive salaries levied by the grand

By Mr. Dawson.-Do not you conceive, from your knowledge of the citizens of Dublin, that if any unfair presentment was passed by the grand jury of the city of Dublin, that would be instantly traversed ?—I should rather hope it would.

If any improper practices are said to exist in the levying of money upon the citizens of Dublin, do not you think that the citizens are more to blame than the grand jury, if such practices exist, for not traversing the presentments? Very likely; I may be erroneous, but I would not come to that conclusion. [The witness was directed to withdraw.]

Mr. Goulburn suggested whether it would not be for the convenience of the House, if the inquiry was to be entered upon to which the question of the hon. member would lead, to examine some witness who was well informed on the

subject, which the present witness had acknowledged he was not.

Mr. Grattan thought it was impossible that the witness could answer the question.

Mr. S. Rice approved of the course of examination which had been proceeded in by Mr. Brougham.

Mr. Wynn asked whether it was proper that the House should examine a witness as to inferences? The witnesses ought to be called upon to state facts, and members might then make their own inferences.


Mr. Brougham imagined, from the tion which had been proposed by the hon. member, that his questions must have been He had never charged


the jury with malversation.

Colonel Barry thought the House ought to dispose of the case of the high sheriff in the first instance. He would then support an inquiry into the mode in which grand juries were constituted in Ireland.

Sir J. Newport thought it was impossible to disconnect the case of the high sheriff from the question of the constitution of grand juries.


Mr. Dawson said, he had only endeavoured to follow up the line of examination marked out by the learned gentleman. The learned gentleman had talked of the flagrant abuse of the administration of justice in Ireland. (Mr. D.) wished to show that the people of that country, if they were improperly treated, had the means of redress in their own hands. He would not, however, press the question.

[The witness was again called in.]

By Mr. Dawson.-Has not any person in Dublin, or in any county of Ireland, who pays the grand jury cess, a right to traverse, if he thinks any presentment unjust and unfair?—I always understood so.

As clerk of the crown, you can, perhaps, give a more decisive answer than, that you always understood so ?-In the counties on the home circuit, I know the fact; with respect to Dublin, I believe it to be so.

By Mr. Brougham.-Would the person traverse the presentment at his own expense, or the charge of the county?At his own expense.

By Sir G. Hill.-You have referred to the ex-officio information which was tried in 1811; when was your recollection first called to the filing of that information?—This day. before this day?—No, it has not. Has it not been called to your recollection

You have referred to documents this day, which prove a perfect accuracy of knowledge of the period, and the particulars, and the result of that ex-officio information, so filed in 1811 ?—I have.

Will you explain to the House, how you happened to be in possession of those peculiar documents?-With respect to the indictments, I was informed by letter from the clerk of the crown, under whom I hold a deputation, that he was applied to, for copies of indictments; they were in the commission court, of which I am an officer; they came over; he informed me that they were transmitted to London, and that he had examined them, that they were correct, and he called upon me to countersign them; I examined them, I compared them with an attested copy of the ex-officio information, of which attestation I know the officer ascertain the fact. and the signature, and upon that comparison I

You have not stated from what date those

indictments were sent from Ireland to you?— I have the letter in my pocket; it is dated "Tuesday, 29th April.'

Of what period were those indictments?— Of October, 1811.

act in that capacity in October, 1811?--The Did the present crown solicitor in Ireland

crown solicitors at that time were Messrs.

Thomas and William Kemmis, of which the

elder of that firm is dead.

Mr. William Kemmis is the present crown solicitor ?-He is.

By Sir J. Mackintosh.-Did he act as such, in conjunction with his father, in October, 1811?-I apprehend he did; he was young, however, and probably the greater part of the business was transacted by his father.

Have you an equal knowledge with him of those records in the office?—I have no knowledge of the ex-officio information that did not remain in my care; I have knowledge of the indictments in my court; but of the ex-officio information I have none.

By Mr. Bennet.-—You have stated, that you have recently seen an attested copy of an exofficio information in the case of sir E. Littlehales; where did you see that copy?—This morning, in the office or study of Mr. Blake.

Who is Mr. Blake?-A gentleman at the bar, I believe.

Was that sent to you, or was it sent to Mr. Blake to be given to you?—I apprehend it was sent to Mr. Blake; it was shown to me there.

Was it sent to Mr. Blake, or was it sent to the attorney-general ?-I do not know; I did not see the envelope. The attested copy of the information was exhibited to me; I compared it with the indictment, and found the offence to be the same accurately; the same

transaction; and I saw that the information was, attested by Mr. Bourne, whom I know to be the clerk of the crown in the Court of King'sbench, and with whose hand-writing I am perfectly familiar.

By Mr. Plunkett.-Were not the attested copies of the indictments, and the information produced by the attorney-general for Ireland, at Mr. Blake's?-I think they were.

By Mr. Bennet.-What do you mean by their being produced by the attorney-general to you; did the attorney-general give them to you, or did Mr. Blake give them to you? It was in the office or the study of Mr. Blake.

Was the attorney-general present ?—I think it was the attorney-general presented them to


By Mr. Brownlow.-Have you been in communication with the attorney-general since you have been over, upon this subject ?—I have been here but a short time, and he has had recourse to me, and has asked me questions. You hold a public situation under the crown?-I cannot say that it is.

You are clerk of the crown?-I am only deputy.

By what tenure do you hold that situation? -I may be removed to-morrow; I have no certainty of the tenure under which I hold; the gentleman who holds the patent has it for his own life, and his son's; but, I believe, I may be removed at any moment.

By whom?-By the gentleman who has the patent, under whom I hold the deputation. You are removeable at his pleasure?—I apprehend so.

You are not certain of the fact?-I have heard it stated by gentlemen of great eminence at the Irish bar.

By Mr. W. Courtenay.-You are convinced that is the case?-That is my conviction.

By Mr. Brownlow.You state, that you think it was the attorney-general who gave you the attested copies of the informations that were filed in 1811; are you not quite certain that it was he who gave you the copy?-I am. You stated, that you were shown the exofficio information by the attorney-general; was that for the purpose of comparing it with the indictment? It was; and I did compare it with the attorney-general.

Was that indictment in your possession ?—I was informed of its arrival, but it came under cover, I believe from the post-office or the castle to come free; it did not come to but I was informed of its arrival by the letter in my pocket.


Were you the person to whose custody it ought to have come?—I do not think that was


Was it directed to you?-No.

To whom was it directed?-The letter was probably directed to the attorney-general; but in the same packet I received my letter.

By Mr. Plunkett.-The indictment did come into your possession at last ?—It did.

And it was for the sole purpose of comparing

the ex-offició information with that indictment that the attorney-general showed it to you?And of attesting it, which I have done. You know the hand-writing of the person who has attested it ?-Perfectly.

It was for the sole purpose of your knowing that it was the hand-writing of that person, and of comparing it with the indictment, that it was shown to you by the attorney-general ?— Exactly.

The panels have been in your possession?— They have been; I brought them over with me in my trunk.

Have you had any other communication with the attorney-general, except on the subject of this inquiry?—Not the least.

By Mr. H. Gurney.-Is it, or not, within your knowledge, that in consequence of a great interest taken in those trials in the city of Dublin, almost the whole of the panel of fifty, sworn and unsworn, did attend?-I am not able to answer the question: I called the panel only down to a certain place; and whether more attended, or not, I really do not recollect.

Is it in your knowledge, whether the corporators of Dublin have, or have not, generally, a precedence on those panels?—I do not think they have, because on looking at the sworn grand jury, in now no less than nineteen instances, I find that upon many of those grand juries, there were none; no corporators; on some, one; on some, two. Now, for example; in a panel amounting to a hundred and seven, of which a hundred and five were called, there were but two common-council-men sworn on the grand jury.

Was it usual that those who were corporators of Dublin, stood at the head of the list ?—I believe that is a matter into which I am to. make an inquiry; I have not taken any account of the order in which corporators attend. [The witness was directed to withdraw.]

The chairman was directed to report progress, and ask leave to sit again. The House then resumed. The chairman reported progress, and obtained leave to sit again on Monday.

QUAKERS AFFIRMATIONS BILL.] Mr. John Williams moved for leave to bring in a bill" to render the Affirmations of Quakers admissible in Criminal Cases."

Mr. H. Gurney said, he believed he was warranted in stating, that the bill proposed to be brought in by the hon. and learned gentleman was by no means desired by the members of that body, who were perfectly satisfied with the law as it stood.

Leave was given to bring in the bill.


Monday, May 5.


TION FROM EDINBURGH.] Mr. Aber eromby rose to present a petition from 7,000 householders of Edinburgh. The petitioners laid most respectfully the peculiar state of the representation of their great city before the House. They offered no opinion on the great question of parliamentary reform, but confined their statement and their prayer to their own peculiar situation, asking that relief which the justice of the case should point out to the wisdom of the legislature. The number of the inhabitants of the city of Edinburgh exceeded 100,000. Since the union of the two kingdoms, Edinburgh possessed the privilege of nominally electing a representative in parliament: but who were the real electors? Thirtythree individuals sent to that House, the representative, as he was called of the city of Edinburgh; and even out of those thirty-three, nineteen elected their successors. In that number the privilege granted to the city of Edinburgh positively and substantially existed. What was the amount of property possessed by the thirty-three electors, compared with the property of the population, who possessed no voice? The property of the thirty-three electors did not exceed 2,800. while the property of the whole was rated at 400,000l. per annum. Thus, the far greater proportion of the property, the rank, the talent, the education and the morality of the population of Edinburgh was excluded from any share in the election of its representative. They had no more share in returning to that House the right hon. gentleman opposite (Mr. W. Dundas), who sat there as their representative, than they had in the election of the member for Corfe Castle. The inhabitants of Edinburgh did not even know the day of election. The business was done in a close dismal room, and terminated in a snug and select dinner party. It was charged against the reformers, that they were disposed to theories, but against the prayer of the petitioners no such objection could lie. They complained of a practical grievance, and prayed for a practicable remedy. The right hon. gentleman opposite (Mr. Canning) had opposed any form of the representation, because of its variety and capability of representing all sorts of interests. This could not apply to Edinburgh, for there was no case analogous to it in the English representation. The state of the representation in Scotland, was uniformly

bad. There was no such thing as a popular election in that country, nor did its inhabitants enjoy any constitutional means of assembling to make known their feelings and opinions upon political subjects. He promised to move for leave to bring in a bill early next session, to alter the mode of electing the member to serve the city of Edinburgh.

Mr. W. Dundas said, it had always been the wise custom of the House to strike at the root of abuses, when they were once exposed; but, in this case, no abuse was alleged to exist by the petitioners themselves. They, nevertheless, asked the House to do that which could not be done without the greatest injustice; they asked the House to infringe upon the chartered rights of the electors of Edinburgh-rights which, by the most solemn compact had been secured to them. He was satisfied that the House would not depart from their usual custom in this instance, nor proceed upon the allegations of a petition signed by persons who, though he did not know them, in point of numbers bore no proportion to the inhabitants of Edinburgh.

Mr. Kennedy was rejoiced to see this petition before the House, not only because, coming from so important a place as Edinburgh, it must command consider. able attention, but because it would bring to the test the sincerity of those persons who said they would favour reform upon a special case being shown. The statenient of his hon. friend had fully made out such a case: the result of his intended motion would prove the sincerity of the friends of reform. The right hon. gentleman had opposed the petition, and in doing so he had acted with perfect consistency: this was the petition of 7,000 of the inhabitants of Edinburgh-he was the representative of only 33 of them. Many persons in Edinburgh had refrained from signing the petition, from the ill-success of their previous attempts for a reform of the burghs.

Mr. Calcraft said, he believed the House were never before aware of the real state of the representation of the city of Edinburgh. It appeared that in a population of above 100,000 persons, the right hon. gentleman opposite was the representative of only 33, which number was in fact reduced to 14, by the circumstance of 19 electing their successors. The right hon. gentleman had lately. finished his political career in a manner

worthy of his whole course, by accepting a sinecure of 2,000l. a year. It was a melancholy view of the representation of this country. The speech which the right hon. gentleman had made, was in the true spirit of the representative of 33 constituents. It was concise and singular, inasmuch as it communicated the right hon. gentleman's ignorance of 7,000 inhabitants of the city he represented. He hoped his learned friend's appeal would not be disregarded; and that whatever gentlemen might think of the question of reform in general, the present was a case which they would deem worthy of support. He hoped, therefore, that his learned friend would bring in his bill; and that it would meet with considerable support. He even flattered himself that it would not be opposed by that great champion of the enemies of parliamentary reform, who, he believed, had been kept from assuming the government of India, that he might exert his eloquence in defence of the present state of the representation at home.

Lord Binning was at a loss to understand with what grace a sarcasm upon close representation could proceed from the hon. member for Wareham. After all he had heard of the meeting at Edinburgh, of the stage effect (for it was held in the theatre), of the exertions used, &c. he was astonished that out of a population of above 140,000, it was signed by only 7,000 persons. Every one who knew the facility with which all manner of men, women, and children, were got to sign petitions in large towns, and more particularly those who knew the extraordinary efforts which had been used to procure signatures to the petition before the House, must be surprised that they were not more numerous. Those persons who professed themselves friends to partial reform, had been called upon to support this petition. It was not in answer to that call that he rose; for he was no friend to partial, or temperate, or moderate, or any other kind of reform: but he thought this was not the case even for those gentlemen to support. No case had been made out which possessed peculiar claims. The case of Glasgow, for example, was much stronger. He considered this as an attempt to introduce parliamentary reform by piece-meal, and he trusted the House would resist it.

Mr. J. P. Grant said, that to what had just been dropped by the noble lord, coming as it did from a professed enemy to VOL. IX.

all kinds of reform, it was not his intention to offer any argument; but, to those who had said they were ready to support the cause of reform where a case for it was made out, he put it whether any could be stronger than the one submitted by his hon. friend. To the objection, that the object of the petitioners was to infringe on the articles of the Union, he replied that they sought not to deprive the present electors of their rights, but to extend similar rights to others equally entitled to them.

Sir R. Fergusson said, that so far was the petition from being signed by women or children, that of the 7,000 signatures there was not one of any person who.did not reside in a house of 5. a year in value.

Mr. Hume believed that there were not more than 10,168 houses in Edinburgh of more than 57. a year each in value. Deducting one-fourth of that number as being inhabited by females, it would appear that the petition was signed by within 500 of all the male inhabitants of Edinburgh who resided in houses of above the value of 51. a year. In his opinion, a stronger case could not exist.

Mr. H. Drummond denied that the petition expressed the sense of the population of Edinburgh. If there had been a strong feeling on the subject, it would have been signed by 40,000 persons.

Ordered to lie on the table.

SHERIFF OF DUBLIN-INQUIRY INTO HIS CONDUCT.] The House having again resolved itself into a committee of the whole House, sir Robert Heron in the chair,

Mr. Benjamin Riky was called in, and further examined

By the Chairman-Have you any returns to present to the committee?-I have. [The witpanels of grand jurors returned by the sheriffs ness delivered in "A Table of the several of the city of Dublin, &c."]

By Col. Barry-In your testimony on the former evening, you stated, that the grand jury took the best part of two days to consider of the bills of indictment?-They took from two o'clock until five on Wednesday, and from about ten on Thursday, until towards two.

Do you know what became of bills of indictment between the two days?-They were de

livered to me.

second day, in the same state that they were in Were they returned to the grand jury on the the first day?—Not exactly.

What difference was made in them? There D

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