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As far as it states what passed between you and sheriff Cooper, is it correct?-As excusing himself by saying it was sheriff Thorpe's quarter, and he would not interfere, and to go up to sheriff Thorpe at the court, that is perfectly correct; as to the rest I know nothing about it.

By Mr. R. Martin.-Where was it you were advised to go?-To the recorder's court, who was sitting.

Did you, in the recorder's court, make this request to sheriff Thorpe, to beg to be put on the grand jury panel because otherwise justice could not be done to Mr. O'Meara ?-It was impossible that I could have made such a request in the recorder's court, because I never went there.

Did you make that request to sheriff Thorpe, and for that reason, previous to the impanelling of the grand jury ?--I did not.

By Colonel Barry.-You were understood to have made application to sheriff Thorpe, to place you upon that panel?—I said, I thought he ought to do it; or, I should be obliged to him if he would place me on it, or place me upon the panel next commission that took place.

Did you offer him any inducement for doing so?-None, whatever.

Did not you tell Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, that if he placed you upon that panel, in order to try Mr. O'Meara's case, you would not divide on the play-house riot?-I did not make any compromise or offer; if the House thinks proper, I will give an explanation, as I was really indignant at hearing such a speech- -[The witness was directed to withdraw.]

Mr. Bennet wished the witness to be admonished to conduct himself with that decorum which was befitting the assembly he was addressing.

Mr. Abercromby was of opinion, that as the hon. member for Armagh had made a particular allusion to the witness, the latter ought to be allowed to give an explanation of what he conceived to be a misunderstanding on the part of the former. The witness ought certainly to be admonished not to allude personally to any member.

Mr. Bennet said, that independently of the allusion of the hon. member for Armagh, the witness's whole manner was quite indecent. The committee ought not to suffer itself to be brow-beaten thus. The witness had made the most unbecoming exhibition he had ever beheld at the bar of the House.

Sir J. Newport observed, that if the witness had answered with some degree of warmth, it was in consequence of the violent tone which hon. members had assumed towards him.

Mr. Forbes said, that the witness must have been something more than man to have tamely borne the badgering to which the witness had displayed that proper he had been subjected. In his opinion, degree of spirit which every honourable man ought to exhibit when his veracity was attempted to be impeached [Hear].

Mr. Alderman Wood concurred in the sentiments of the hon. member who had just sitten down; and added, that it was a very common practice in the city of London, for gentlemen to ask the sheriffs to place them upon the grand jury.

Mr. R. Shaw was quite sure that the witness, meant no offence whatever to the House.

[The witness was again called in.] Chairman.-William Poole, in the answers you shall give to the questions which are asked you, you will not forget the respect which is due to this House; you are to consider all questions, from whatever quarter they may be put (which is a matter merely of convenience in form), as being put by the chairman; you will therefore, take care to avoid making any personal reflection on the person who may happen to put them, or any allusion to persons who may put them; but in giving you this warning, it is not my intention, nor the wish of the House, to prevent you from saying any thing in explanation which you may think necessary for your own justification.I never had the slightest intention to be guilty of any disrespect.

By Mr. J. Williams.-Did not you tell Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, that if he placed you upon that panel, in order to try Mr. O'Meara's case, you would not divide on the play-house riot? I never did offer any such compromise.[The witness here stated several particulars relative to the general arrangement of grand juries.]

By Mr. Scarlett.-From your knowledge of the state of party feeling in Dublin, were the gentlemen selected on the grand jury, likely to have very strong party feelings?-I think the majority of them have very strong party feelings.

Were the feelings of those jurors so well known that they had strong party feelings?—I known; that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe must have am clear, that he was aware of their feelings.

By a Member. Do you suppose it possible, in the present state of party in Dublin, to select three-and-twenty men, who have not strong party feelings?-I do; I think there could be a jury who would act with strict correctness be found in the city of Dublin, if those who and conscientiousness, and many such might impanelled them thought fit to select them.

By Sir G. Hill.-Do you consider that those individuals in Dublin, who possess the same political sentiments with yourself, are of that

class of impartial men that you have described might be selected for the grand juries in the city of Dublin?—Yes; I know of men of moderate opinions, that are loyal to their sovereign and to the constitution, that do not wish to outrage the feelings of their countrymen by any hostile acts; I know many of them that could be got.

Mr. James Troy called in, and examined

By Mr. J. Williams.-What is your situation in life?-A silk-manufacturer of Dublin.

Were you in Dublin at the time of the alleged riots at the theatre, and afterwards, when some bills were presented to the grand jury?--I was.

Were you before that jury on the day the bills were ignored, or on the former day?-I believe, the former day.

Were you examined before that grand jury?

-I was.

them at the tavern, but you learnt their names since?-I had.

Did you mention to the grand jury, when those observations were made to you, that you knew the persons of the men?--I did.

And that you had since learned their names? I did.

Was it after that, that those observations were made to you by two of the grand jury ?— It was.

How long before you quitted the room was it, that these observations were made to you by two of the grand jury?-A considerable time before I left the room.

Mr. George Farley called in, and examined By Mr. J. Williams. -What is your situation in life?-An attorney.

Were you examined before the grand jury upon the subject of the alleged riot at the theatre?—I was. Upon the subject of a con

To what point were you giving your evi-versation that took place in a tavern, in which dence? -Relative to a transaction that occurred I was sitting, kept by a person of the name of in a tavern, in Essex-street, the night of the Flanagan, in Essex-street. riot at the theatre.

A transaction concerning what persons?A number of persons that were indicted. Mr. Forbes, Brownlow, Graham, and others.

You have named the whole of the persons that you have designated, have you?--There were others in the indictment, that I do not recollect.

Had you seen some or other of those persons that you have now spoken of, at a tavern? On the night on which the alleged riot took place? I had.

Did you state, what you had heard them say and do, to the grand jury?—I did.

Who examined you?-I was examined by several. I was in about a quarter of an hour. How came you to quit the room in which the grand jury were?-After undergoing examination, I was told they were done with me. Had you stated all that you had to say to the grand jury?—I think not the entire.

How did that happen; why not?—As far as I recollect at the time, I stated the occurrence that happened in the tavern; but there might be a part of the transaction that occurred there, that did not immediately come to my mind while in the grand jury room.

Did you state to the grand jury all that you knew, or if you did not, how did it happen that you did not state it all?—It occurred when a question was put to me, in giving an answer; before my answer was entirely delivered, I was interrupted by a fresh interrogation.

. Did you name the persons that were supposed to be included in that charge?--In relating the transaction as it occurred, I was desired by two of the jurors not to name any person who might have expressed himself in any way, whom I did not know by name, the night the transaction occurred.

Before that time, had you stated that you did not know their names the night you saw

Had you seen some persons, and heard some expressions from them at that tavern?I had. There was a Mr. Forbes, a Mr. Graham, and Mr. Atkinsons, and a Mr. Brownlow.

Did you give any evidence respecting the persons you had seen, and what you had heard, at that tavern?—I did.

Did you name any one person that you had seen and observed at that tavern?-I named two Mr. Atkinsons, Mr. Graham, Mr. Brownlow and Mr. Macintosh, as persons that I knew by name. I mentioned that there was another person sitting in the box opposite to me, whose name I did not know at the time that I was sitting in the tavern. I was told by the jury, not to mention the name; to say nothing that I did not know of my own knowledge. I then said, that although I did not know his name at the time, yet that I had learnt that his name was Forbes.

Was any remark made by any of the jury, on your saying that you knew the person of that man?-I was called upon to state what I had heard in the box; and in mentioning the name of Forbes I was again interrupted, and told not to mention the name of any person except I knew it of my own knowledge; I then said I had seen him that morning in court, that I was told his name was Forbes, and that I had no doubt of his being the person that I saw in the tavern. Then I was asked to mention the conversation that I heard, and I repeated almost every thing that I heard in the box upon that occasion; and I must say, that I was very frequently interrupted by some of the jury when I mentioned the name of Mr. Forbes.

In what manner?" You are not to say any thing you do not know of your own knowledge."

Did you observe whether the foreman took any part in it?-He seemed to take the most active part of any of them. He told me

twice, not to mention the name of any person that I did not know of my own knowledge. He put the questions; he asked me occasionally what was said in the tavern; what I had seen there; and when I happened to mention the name of Forbes, because I did not know him the night I saw him in the tavern, I was told not to say any thing at all about


At that time, did any other of the grand jury interpose? There was a gentleman who sat on my left desired that I should be heard; for two or three were putting questions at the same time to me; I was mentioning something, and was interrupted.

Upon that gentleman on your left hand desiring you should be heard, what was said? I proceeded then with my examination.

Was there any further interruption?-I do not think there was; I very shortly afterwards left the room. When I had finished what I had to say, I was told of course that they had done with me.

By Colonel Barry-Were not you suffered to state every fact that came within your knowledge that happened at that tavern?—I think I was, except as to the name of Forbes. From the interruptions, I did not feel myself easy in the room; but certainly I did at the time mention every thing that occurred to me, and was allowed to do so.

By Mr. Plunkett.-Did the jury receive this evidence of yours as against a person of the name of Forbes, or against a person unknown? -I cannot say.

Was the bill ignored against Forbes ?—I have heard it was.

After some further questions of an unimportant nature, the witness was ordered to withdraw. The House resumed, and the chairman obtained leave to sit again.


Wednesday, May 7.

SALE OF GAME BILL-PETITION OF MR. COBBETT AGAINST IT.] Mr. Brougham rose, he said, to present a petition from a writer of eminent talents, respecting the Game Laws, which contained statements, as he thought, deserving the gravest consideration of the House. It was signed "W. Cobbett," and it prayed, that as there was a motion for bringing in a bill for the alteration of the Game Laws, the House would be graciously pleased to pause before passing an act which, as the petitioner had been informed, was likely to go to legalize the sale of game by lords of manors, and other privileged persons to be designated in the act. It prayed that the House would weigh well and consider the state of the laws, and the severe hardships

which were inflicted on the community at present by their operation, which were greater than ever was known in any other country, or at any other period in this country: and that the House might the better judge, the petitioner offered to their consideration the following most alarming facts. The calendar for the ensuing quarter sessions in the county of Berks, contained the names of 77 persons now in Bridewell. Of these 22 were for poaching; and of these 22, there had been 9 committed by clergymen acting as magistrates in that county. The petition stated further, that, in general, poaching was punished with greater severity than offences punishable with death. In one sessions, an utterer of false silver coin had been punished with 12 months' imprisonment, a housebreaker with 24 months' months' imprisonment and hard labour. imprisonment, and a poacher with 24 Such were the statements of the petition, for which he did not pledge his own responsibility; but yet he thought that they demanded serious consideration, and the case was altogether grave enough without any aggravation. The petition went on to state, that of 16 persons condemned to death at the assizes at Winchester, in the Spring of last year, the only persons who suffered death were two young men who had resisted game-keepers. The petitioner therefore prayed the House to consider well before they passed the bill into a law, which was to give a property in wild animals to the lords of manors and others, which could only be done by oppressions, great in suffering and humiliation to the people at large, and by com, pelling the country to submit to grievances for the protection of this new property, which, in regard to the power of those who made the laws, and the abjectness of those who were called on to obey them, would be without any parallel in any country westward of Constantinople. These were the remarks and statements of a man of sufficient powers of observation and understanding to make them worthy of attention. And certainly, of all men in the world, Mr. Cobbett was not one likely to treat with leniency this offence of poaching, which took men from their lawful industry, and caused them to waste their time and destroy their morals in forbidden courses; for, as he (Mr. B) had been given by others to understand, no one act, among all those most objectionable laws upon the subject contained

in the Statute-book, had half, no, not the hundredth part of the efficacy in deterring men from poaching. This he felt to be due to a man for whom, in other respects, he could not be supposed to have the most friendly feeling.


Lord Palmerston said, that the two young men in question were executed, not for poaching, but for murder. One of them had killed a game-keeper who was in the lawful exercise of his duty, the other had levelled his piece at another gamekeeper, who received the contents in his body, but from proper treatment recovered. He was able to speak with certainty upon the characters of the young men, as they were servants of his, and he must say a more cruel and deliberate out had never been committed. Mr. Brougham said, that he did not deny the statement of the noble lord, and yet it would rather go to support the rea soning of Mr. Cobbet. It was not even necessary for him to palliate the offences of the two young men: for the question was, how came they to kill the gamekeepers? and then the answer might be, in consequence of the state of the law. That was the very argument he had used before the court on the trial of 21 persons the other day, charged with murder on the high seas, and it prevailed, too, with the jury for the men were killed in consequence of that most abominable law, which enabled revenue cruisers to fire shotted guns upon the ships of any nation within two leagues of the British coast.

Mr. Benett, of Wilts, admitted that the two young men had suffered death very properly in Hampshire. Still he thought that the state of the law demanded reformation. Most of the offences of the country might be considered as results from the severity of the game-laws. Of fenders were gradually trained from poaching to shop-lifting, and then to housebreaking, and occasionally murder.

Sir T. Baring corroborated the statements in Mr. Cobbett's petition. Half the offenders in Hampshire were committed for poaching.

The petition was ordered to be printed. The following is a copy thereof:

To the honourable the Commons of Great Britain and Ireland, in parliament assembled. "The Petition of William Cobbett, of Kensington, in the County of Middlesex, Most humbly sheweth, "That wild animals are, according to the law of nature and the common law of VOL. IX.

England, the property of him, be he rich or poor, who is able to catch or kill them; that, nevertheless, laws have been passed in this kingdom to appropriate the animals to the exclusive use of a few; and that your petitioner has been informed that certain persons intend to apply to your honourable House to pass a law to make this appropriation more exclusive, rigid and unjust than it now is, by authorizing the selling of the animals aforesaid, and by confining the right of selling to those persons who now claim and exercise a monopoly of the sport of killing those wild animals:

"That your petitioner has now lying before him the quarter sessions calendar of this present month of April, for the county of Berks; that he finds there to be 77 prisoners in the Bridewell of that county; that he finds 22 of these to be imprisoned for poaching, and that 9 of them have been committed by ministers of the Church of England, acting as justices of the peace; that he finds, in this calendar, that poaching is, in many cases, punished with more severity than theft; that he finds an utterer of base silver punished by twelve months imprisonment, and a house-breaker punished by 24 months; and that he finds a poacher punished with 24 months imprisonment and hard labour :

"That your petitioner thinks it monstrous injustice, that the rest of the community should be taxed to build and repair prisons and maintain gaolers and prisoners, and also the wives and children of so many prisoners, and all this for the preserving of those wild animals which it is a crime in nine hundred and ninetynine out of every thousand of that community to pursue, or to have in their possession; and he, therefore, prays, that your honourable House, if you should think proper to continue the present gamelaws in force, will be pleased to enact. that those who prosecute poachers shall pay all the expenses attending their imprisonment, or other punishment; and also all the expenses attending the support of wives and children rendered chargeable by such punishment:

"That your petitioner, looking at the above-mentioned scale of punishments, and bearing in mind, that, of 16 persons, condemned to death at the assizes at Winchester, in the Spring of last year, the only persons actually put to death were two young men, who had resisted game


keepers; that your petitioner, looking at these things, prays that your honourable House will repeal those terrible laws relating to the game, which were never known in England till the reign of the late king, and that, at any rate, you will not make game saleable without, at the same time, making those who are to have the exclusive profit, pay the expense of punishing poachers and also the expense of keep ng their pauper families; for, though it seemed that nothing could add to the injustice of compelling men to feed wild animals and to pay for preserving them for the exclusive sport of others, yet that injustice would assuredly be rendered more odious by the proposed measure for giving the few a monopoly of the sale of those animals, which, to the insolence of feudal pride, would add the meanness of the buckster's shop. Great has been the suffering, great the humiliation to which the people, in different countries, have, at times, been reduced by aristocratic power; but to compel the mass of the community to pay for the preserving of wild animals, to punish them if they attempt to pursue, or touch those animals, and to enable the aristocracy to sell those animals, to have the exclusive sale of them, and exclusively to pocket the proceeds, though the animals have been reared at the expense of the whole community, is, as your petitioner believes, a stretch of power on the one hand, and a state of abjectness on the other, wholly without a parallel in the annals of any country westward of Constantinople.


SHERIFF OF DUBLIN-INQUIRY INTO HIS CONDUCT.] The House having again resolved itself into a Committee on the conduct of the Sheriff of Dublin, sir R. Heron in the chair,

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Do you now mean positively to say, that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe did not make objection to the political opinions of Mr. Poole ?-I do not mean positively to say it, but I rather think he did not, in consequence, that from the circumstances that occurred, he and I were not of the same feelings in politics.

last, in forming the panel from which this Did you and Mr. Sheriff Thorpe concur, at grand jury was struck ?—We did.

You have mentioned, that the panel, when it was presented to you first, was in the hand writing of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ?-I think it was. Was Mr. Poole's name upon the panel when it was first shown to you?—It was.

You have stated that you cannot take upon yourself positively to say, at whose suggestion it was that his name was put off the panel?— It was mutually.

You mentioned on a former evening, that the reason of Mr. Poole's being struck off was, his having made the application ?-To me; if he had not made the application, I think I would have insisted on his being on.

What do you mean by your insisting on his being on?-In consequence of his standing in a similar situation with those who were on, being one of the members of the commons of the city of Dublin.

Do you mean, you would have insisted on his being on, against Mr. Thorpe's attempt to put him off?-I think I would, for I have known Mr. Poole a long time.

What was the nature of Mr. Poole's application to you; was it in the way of complaint or of application?-I think he came to me, to require me to speak to Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, to have him put on the panel.

any breach of promise in Mr. Sheriff Thorpe ? Did he make any complaint with respect to I do not think he did.

By Mr. Plunkett.-Are you positive whether, when Mr. Poole first came to you upon the

Henry Cooper, esq. was called in; and further subject of being on the jury, he did not make


By Mr. J. Williams.-Did Mr. Sheriff Thorpe interfere in preventing Mr. Poole being put upon the panel?-On communication with Mr. Thorpe, we agreed that he should not be on the panel; I had no objection to Mr. Poole's being on the panel, but in consequence of his calling on me; I rather think, had he not called on me, he should have remained on the panel.

Did not sheriff Thorpe object to Mr. Poole on the ground of his political opinions ?—I cannot be certain.

Do not you believe, that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe objected to Mr. Poole, on the score of his po

a complaint of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe having broken his word in having put him off?—I think I can go the length of saying, that he did not complain; the first complaint I heard was in the court, that Sheriff Thorpe (when the panel was struck) and Poole had some words in consequence of his not being on.

Do you not believe, that Mr. Poole had long before that, applied to Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, for the purpose of being on the panel?—I do, from conversations I have heard since, but not at that time.

And that he had promised him?—Yes.

Was that before Mr. Poole came to make his application to you?-Not before that, I did not hear.

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