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not pass

“ Bill.

House to refuse its consent to the “ habitants of the parish of Castle, “ bill for placing Ireland under Jordan, King's county, praying 6 martial-law.

“ the House not to pass the Irish No. 2. “ From Huddersfield, against

“ Coercion Bill. “the Irish Coercion Bill; 130 feet No. 14. “From the undersigned, the “ long, with 9,300 signatures.

“ body of shoemakers of the town No. 3.

From Padiham, Lancashire; “ of Galway, against the Irish praying for a repeal of tithes in “ Bill, and for redress of grieve Ireland, and that the House will

ances. the Irish Coercion Bill. No. 15. “ From the undersigned inhabiNo. 4. “From Mr. Samuel Sidebottom, “tants of Clonpriest, Mayo, pray

Hyde, clerk; against the Irish “ing the House not to pass the
“ Coercion Bill, and for relief of " Irish Coercion Bill.
" the country generally.

No. 10.“ From the inhabitants of MeliNo. 5. “From Keightley, Yorkshire, nagh, Ireland, praying the House

“ praying the House not to pass “ to take the grievances of Ireland " the Irish Coercion Bill, but to do “ into its consideration, and to re

away with the Protestant church « fuse its consent to the Coercion " establishment in Ireland, and a

“repeal of the legislative union. No. 17. “ From the inhabitants of the No. 6. “From the undersigned inhabi- “parish of Westport, Mayo, against

os tants of Greenwich and Dept- «the Irish Coercion Bill; and a foril, against the Irish Coercion “ redress of grievances; for the “ Bill, praying that poor-laws "English Jury Bill, and for voting may be extended to Ireland.

by ballot. No.7. “ From the undersigned inha- No. 18. “From the victuallers of the town

“ bitants of Congleton, Cheshire, of Galway, against the Irish

against the Irish Coercion Bill. “ Coercion Bill, and for measures of No.'8.“ From the undersigned at Bar

tonstreet, Yorkshire, praying the No. 19. From the inhabitants of Ta“ House not to pass the Irish Co- “ cumshaw, Wexford, against the “ ercion Bill, it being unconsti

“ Coercion Bill, and for measures “tutional, according to the Pre- of relief, “ mier's own showing.

No. 20. “From the inhabitants of BallyNo. 9. “From the undersigned inha- naslaney, against the Coercion

“ bitants of Stratford-on-Avon, " Bill, and for redress of griev

praying the House to send Ire“ land measures of liberty and jus. No. 21. “From the members of the “ tice, instead of bayonets ; and,

Westminster Society for the Dife “ therefore, to refuse its consent “ fusion of really Useful Know" to the Coercion Bill.

ledge, praying that the Irish Bill No. 10. “ From the inhabitants of may not pass.

Bledington, Gloucestershire, pray- No. 22. “From the undersigned opera“ing the House not to pass the

tives of Warrington, Lancashire, “ Irish Bill. This petition is sign- praying that martial-law may not “ed by nearly every male inha- be established in Ireland ; and “ bitant of the parish.

saying, that, if that be done, it No. 11. “ From the freeholders and 66 will show that our boasted consti-.

“ inhabitants of Eastry, Kent, " tution is a mere mockery.

“ against the Irish Coercion Bill. No. 23. “ From Castlebar in the county No. 12." From the undersigned inha- “ of Mayo, against substituting

“bitants of Lecanvy, County Mayo, “ courts-martial for trial by jury.
"against the Irish Bill, and for re- No. 24. “From the parishioners of En-
“ dress of grievances.

niskeen, against the bill, against No. 13. “ From the undersigned in- ti thes, and church-rates.

" relief.



66 bill.

No. 25. “ From the inhabitants of the to the whole of them, after having read

parish of St. Michael and St. the list of them, such as I have inserted

"John, in Dublin, against the bill. it above. I had no desire whatever to No. 26. “ From the borough of South- consume the time of the House unne

wark, in the county of Surrey, cessarily, and therefore I pursued this " against the bill.

course ; and, in future, I shall classify No. 27. " From the parish of St. the petitions, which I have to present,

George the Martyr, in the county so as to save time; so as to keep men's

“ of Middlesex, against the bill. ideas distinct, and thereby to cause the No. 28." From the inhabitants of West- petitions to have a better chance to prominster, against the bill.

duce their desired effect. I take the No. 29..“ From the undersigned in ha- speech from the Morning Chronicle, not “bitants of Marybonne, against the having any other paper at hand, and I

insert it as being only substantially a No. 30. “ From the undersigned inha- report of what I said.

“bitants of the borough of the
“ Tower Hamlets, in the county Mr. CORBETT said he had had the

of Middlesex, against the bill.” honour of having committed to his care The first thing that I have to observe, thirty petitions, upon the subject of the is, that since I presented these thirty bill before the House ; and had not the petitions, I have received from Belfast; petitioners, who had sent him, other from Great Yarınouth, in Norfolk ; petitions, understood that tireir petitions from the parishes of Saint Nicholas. were to pass through the Post-office, without and Saint Bridget, Saint Luke post-free, he should have had several and the deanery, in the city of Dublin; more petitions, each signed on an are. from the inhabitants of the town of rage by about 5,000 na!nes. The rolls Callan, in the county of Kilkenny; from were large, and he had been compelled to the members of the Sevenoaks Political re!ur! them to the l'ost office, unless he Union, in the county of Kent; from had chosen to incur an expense of about Clitheroe, in the county of Lancaster ; 151. in postage during the last week. from the parish of Kilcormack, in the He would occupy as little of their time county of Wexford ; and from the pa- as possible, and he would speak, once rish of Clone, in the county of Wexford; for a!), upon the whole of the petitions, petitions containing many thousands of it being always his desire to trespass as signatures, and all praying most ear- little as possible on the time of the nestly that Ireland may not be deprived House. He could have occupied their of trial by jury, and subjected to courts- time with petitions, but he had never martial. When I shall be able to pre- presented one until now, and therefore sent these petitions, or the other peti- he hoped he might be permitied to tions of which I have spoken before, state generally the contents of his petiand which I have not yet presented, I tions. The first was from Guildford do not exactly know; but the peti- and Godalming, in Surrey, praying tioners may be assured that I will not partly for a relief from taxation, but neglect this part of my duty, above all chiefly that the House would refuse to others; knowing, as I well do, that I give its assent to a bill to place Irelaod can do nothing without the people at under martial-law. The next was from my back. My colleague is of the same Huddersfield, to the same effect; it con. opinion ; and we are both ready, at all tained 9,300 signatures, and measured times, to act in conformity with that 130 feet long. It was more than iwice opinion. I shall now insert the pub- as long as this House, passage and all, lished report of my speech upon the pre- and all that length it was a yard wide. senting of those petitions, observing, (Laughter). The petitions which he first, that I thought it much best not had to present, if-spread on the floor of to speak upon each petition separalely, that House, benches, table, chairs and but to make one statement in reference all removed, would cover the whole of

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it. The next petition was from Padi- which was to put the lives and liberties ham, in Lancashire; one from Hyde, of his Majesty's subjects at the mercy in Cheshire; and one from Keightley, of military officers. The next was a in Yorkshire, the latter praying the petition from the parish of Westport, in House to pause before it adopted a che county of Mayo, having the same measure of coercion with regard to Ire- ohject in view ; and predicting, as he land, and to do away with the tithes (Mr. Cobbett) did, that the bill would and the Irish hierarchy. These mea- not pass ; at all events, without very sures the petitioners stated to be the only considerable alterations. The next means of restoring peace and tranquillity petitions upon the same subject were in that country. The next was from froin the town of Galway, from Tacum. Deptford and Greenwich, signed by six shaw, in the county of Wexford, and or seven thousand persons, praying the from Ballynaslaney; then he had one House not to pass a law which was to from the members of the Westminster cause the King's subjects to be tried Society for the Diffusion of really Usebefore officers in the army, who were ful Knowledge. The latter was not from wholly dependent for their bread on the the society that was patronised by high pleasure of the King's servants. The authority, but from one which showed next was from Congleton, in Cheshire, the people the manner in which they the petitioners of which felt convinced were fleeced, and how the money was that this measure was intended to be taken from their pockets-(hear, hear); only the first step in that career of ty not from a society, whose object was to ranny which would finally end in the make them content with empty bellies, total slavery of the people, or in a con- but from one that taught them how vulsion which would overthrow the they were taxed, while those who reGovernment. The next was from Bar-ceived the taxes escaped taxation altotonstreet, in Yorkshire, declaring the gether. They besought the House not measure to be unnecessary and unconsti- to pass the bill in any form or shape tutional. Petitions also to the same whatever, but particularly deprecated effect from Stratford-on-Avon, from the establishment of military tribunals, Bledington, in Gloucestershire, and which, if once introduced into Ireland, from the parish of Eastry, in Kent, they foresaw would soon be introduced signed by all the freeholders in that into England. (Hear, hear). The next parish except one. The petitioners per- petition was from Warrington, very nuceived that the present measure was. merously signed, and a very sensible only a stepping-stone to the introduc- petition it was, praying that martial-law tion of a similar one into England ; that might not be established in Ireland, and it

intended to continue the predicting that if it were, it would soon grinding system of taxation by means be established here. The people all of military law; they relied upon the saw, from one end of the country to House, as he (Mr. Cobbett) relied that the other, that that would be the case, they would not pass it. The next was and they were resolved to resist it if from a parish in the county of Mayo, they could. They said if it were done, àsserting, as all petitions from that our constitution would be a mere mockcounty had done, that the statements ery. He cordially agreed with them; which had been made of its disturbed nay, he thought it would be much worse condition were entirely void of founda- than a mere mockery; it would be the tion. He presented petitions also from grossest insult to talk of the constituCastle-Jordan, in King's county; from tion. After reading the definition of a the body of shoemakers in the town of constitution, given by Blackstone, no Galway;

from the inhabitants of Clon- person would have the impudence to priest, Mayo, and from Melinagh, in talk of the constitution in any sensible Ireland. The latter prayed the House company, if martial-law should be into take their grievances into considerá- troduced into Ireland; there would, in tion, and to refuse their assent to a bill fact, be no such thing as the constitu


tion. The next petition was from Cas- to the House, and in a manner to be tlebar, in the county of Mayo, against approved of by the clerk of the House. the substitution of courts-martial for That would be the way to get rid of the trial by jury. This was the grand hinge, petitions; but if the systein was to be and nothing could be so unpalatable to continued, of reading only the headings the people, as that the liberties of his of them, and if some days hon. MemMajesty's subjects should be dependent bers might speak about them, and upon the appointment of a few young sometimes they might not, the people officers. Ambition and dread of po- would get out of temper ; they would verty both operate powerfully in their get dissatisfied with the House; they minds (the strongest stimulants the would consider themselves ill-treated, human mind can have), to make them and it would not be difficult to conjecobey the commands of Government. ture what the consequence would be, The next petition was from Enniskeen. He was sure he should not be thought The next was from the parish of St. out of order, if he made a few observaMichael, Dublin. The next was from tions on the contents of the petitions the borough of Southwark, in Surrey. before him. As he had said, there were The next was from the parish of St. thirty of them; and one speech (if it George the Martyr, Middlesex, against could be called so) for thirty petitions, what the petitioners called the red-coat could not be considered out of the way. court-of-justice bill. (Laughter). The (Hear). If every gentleman only made Dext was from the inhabitants of West- one speech on the presentation of thirty minster, to the same effect; but he petitions, they should get on pretty would not repeat the name the peti- well. The first which he would pretioners gare to the bill He believed sent, was the petition from Guildford, they were quite in order in the appel- in the western division of the county of lation they affixed to it, but he did Surrey; and he presented that petition not like to pronounce it. The next pe- first, for several reasons, because it occaition was from the inhabitants of Mary- sioned in his mind feelings of pleasure, of bonne ; and the last was from the pride, of sorrow, and of shame. (Hear, Tower Hamlets, also against the bill. hear). Of pleasure, because there was The hon. Member then said, that there a body of Englishmen the most peacewere thus thirty petitions on the table able, the best-disposed, and the most before them, the presentation of wbich industrious in England, who proved had been intrusted to him ; but as it that they had a fellow-feeling for the would be vexatious to read them all people of Ireland, and had come forthrongh, he should not press for leave to ward to express their feelings in the

His opinion was, however, that most sensible manner; of pride, beit would be much more gratifying to cause this petition came from the spot the petitioners to have no speeches on which he himself was born ; of sormade on the presentation of their peti- row, because there were circumstances tions, but that their petitions be read, which had prevented the petitioners and afterwards printed. What the pe- sending their petitions by their own imtitioners wanted was, in the first place,to mediate representative ; of shame, bebe heard, and the next thing they wanted cause it was notorious that he himself was to have their words put on record. had made extraordinary exertions to seAs to expense, he would undertaketo find cure the return of that representative. a printer who would print them all for The petition from Huddersfield was less than the sinecure of Lord Grenville deserving of great attention.

He was himself. Lord Grenville had had 4,0001. sorry he did not see the hon. Member a year for doing nothing, and God for Huddersfield in his place, who had knew he had had it long enough. lately spoken respecting the condition Now, for 4,000l. ; a year, he would of the people of Huddersfield. He undertake to find a printer who would said that the labouring manufacturers print every petition that was presented there were earning two shillings at

do so.

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least, and in general three shillings as fact was, Ministers had been beat in the day. By his representation, therefore, the elections in Ireland. They saw a small people there were not a parcel of paupers, band of members returned to that and this was a petition signed by 9,300 House, who were determined to do the of them, praying that this bill might people's work (cheers), and that was not pass into a law, and expressing the the reason why that bill had been greatest disapproval of it. They prayed | brought forward. It was not a bill dithat military law might not be esta- rected against Whitefeet or Blackfeet, blished in Ireland, because, if the or why put a stop to meetings in the House allowed it, they anticipated open day? Why should members of that the same would be extended to Parliament be subjected to its operaEngland. They further said that they tion, or why should those accused of would, by all legal means, resist the libelling be dragged before those milibill, and every other of a similar de- tary officers ? Members of Parliament scription. He should now state the were not midnight marauders ; libellers general opinion and prayer of the peti- were not Whitefeet or Blackfeet. The tioners. They said that they saw no petitioners said, the measure was not proof produced by the Ministry to introduced for the protection of persons show that such a measure was necessary; and property; no, not even of the parthey said that all the pretended proof sons, but for the purpose of upholding adduced by Ministers, if produced in a the odious system of lithes. They were court of law, would not be sufficient to for the abolition of tithes in England, send a beggar to a whipping-post. It as well as in Ireland, and they consiwas all hearsay evidence; not only dered this bill as merely a warning-as hearsay, but anonymous ; and how was much as to say, " Take care what

you E the House to know but that it was got are about; take care of what you say.

from spies, who were paid out of the " This bill is a mere trial of the patience * secret-service money? One of the pe- of the people, and the provisions of it etitions stated (he believed the Hudders-“ may be extended to England.” (Hear,

field one) that they were astonished to hear). He could assure the House that observe that no clause was introduced tithes were far from being popular in to protect members of that House from England, and would never have been

the operation of the bill. He had never paid so long in England, had it not been i seen or heard of an oppressive bill being for the constant presence of soldiers and

passed without such a clause being in- bayonets amongst the people. No doubt si troduced. No such bill as this, without it was a hopeless sort of resistance

such a clause, was ever introduced even when naked breasts were opposed to in the times of Sidmouth and Castle- bayonets, but there might be circumreagh; no, not even in the time of the stances to blunt the bayonets before tyrant Pitt. In every former bill of they reached the breast. There was

this sort there had been a provision, no man in his senses but must see & that a member of that House could not that his Majesty's servants intended 3 be sent to prison, till a complaint had to reduce the whole of the country

been brought before the House, and it to military law. (Cries of Oh, oh! No, I had decided upon the imprisonment of no). He said, yes, yes.) No man in

the member. But this bill was aimed at his senses-no man who was not born | the Members. By this bill he might an idiot, but must see it; but let the

go to Ireland one day, next day a pro- people only he convinced that that was

clamation might come out in the morn- the intention, then a struggle would , ing; he might be seized, taken before take place such as never had been seen

some of the red-coated gentry in the in this country. He had always been afternoon, and next day he might be in the advocate of a government of King, Botany Bay (general laughter), on his Lords, and Commons. But if there be road to Botany Bay. (Renewed laughter), a Government of King, Lords, and Well, then, sailing to Botany Bay. The Commons, to give us courts-martial to

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