Abbildungen der Seite

preservation of discipline. At this time,, judgment to the debate. The first comwhen every thing depended upon the fi- plaint of Corporal Curtis related to shoes delity and obedience of the army, it was and breeches. He demanded three pairs not to be held out as a crinie, that men in two years, or as he termed it, three sowing the seeds of disunion in the army, shoes a year. This he stated to be the should be brought to a court martial regular allowance and uniformly made. (Hear :) Neither he, (Colonel Langton,) | It had happened, that in 1804, two pair of nor any of the officers of the regiment shoes were given in the year. It was the wished to evade the strictest enquiry, be- year of entering from the supplementary cause they knew the more strict it was, militia. The men received a pair as supthe more clear the character of the Oxford plementary, and a pair as militia-men. regiment would come out before the coun- They thus had two pairs. But it was try (Hear ! Hear!) He was not accus found that one pair was sufficient, and tomed to speak in that House, and would five shillings was allowed for the pair, beg permission to refer to some papers. which money was not given immediately (Here he read the evidence of the two to the men, but put to the account of other men already alluded to, as to the offer of articles, which were paid for out of the the twenty guineas for proof against Cur- soldier's stoppages. Curtis applied to tis, which offer they positively denied.) the Colonel as to the stoppages for shoes [Colonel Langton then read a letter from and breeches. On the subject of shoes, Curtis himself, acknowledging his error, the regulation shewn to him proved, that and thanking the Colonel for his gene- he was wrong, and he went away seem. rosity, in allowing the punishment to be ingly satisfied. He demanded the second commuted for service abroad. This letter pair of breeches, and was told, he should was signed by Curtis and the Adjutant, have them if he wanted them. He got with the declaration of the latter, that them, without informning the pay-serCurtis signed it with every mark of sin- jeant who was to make the stoppage ; cere regret for the part which he had and it was only when he was refused taken.) He (Colonel Langton) had been the third pair, that he demurred. thirty years in the Oxford Regiment, (Hear !) Government allowed a stoppage and during that time he had never refused of eighteen pence a month to be made, a soldier his fair demand. Curtis said, taking the breeches at seven and sixpence he was entitled by the regulation to three a pair, and if the breeches were not repairs of shoes in two years : the regula- quired, as was in many instances the case, tion actually was, that three pair in two the money was returned to the soldier. years were allowed. Another of his de- (Hear!) Curtis was brought to a Courtmands was relative to the stoppages for martial, for being found a mile from his breeches. Curtis required that he should quarters, and in coloured clothes. He had have two pair of breeches in the year; the conversation with his Colonel on the if he wanted breeches at the time, he 25th, but lost all memory of it on the 26th. should have got them for asking, but he But this was nothing ; for nothing was had actually a good whole pair on him at more natural than for a man to forget this the very time of his complaint. (Hear, day, that he had seen a particular person and laughing.) After some further details, the day before (Hear, hent !) or that he Colonel Langton apologized for taking up had altogether forgot the conversation the time of ihe House. He had been in which he had held the day before (Hear!) it for sixteen years, and he had never The Hon. Member (Colonel Wardle) presumed to address them before ; he could not have so far forgotten the habits hoped he should never have reason to of his military life, as not to know, that in tr pass on them again (Hear!)

a regiment of the line, at least, the comMr. MannerS SUTTON (Judge Advocate manding officer might reduce an offender General) courted all enquiry on any sub- to the ranks without any court-martial ject that could with propriety be brought In the mean time, Curtis was arraigned of into discussion ; but it would be only on other charges, charges not relative to a case that would have some ground of clothing, but incurred previously to the probability stronger than the one before sitting of the Court. It might be almost the House. On the present subject, how- said, that it was fortunate that the Hon. ever, a very simple statement would, in Member had fixed upon the Oxford regiall likelihood, be satisfactory to every ment for his peculiar attack; for nothing man who came with an unprejudiced could belter bear şifting to the bottom than

the conduct of the Officers in the whole mander in Chief answered him, that her transaction. Curtis demanded a General | would be obliged by the Colonel's stateCourt-martial. As lo the circumstance of ment of any grounds of inquiry, as nothing the trifling tumult which was said to báve could give him greater satisfaction than to taken place on that occasion, and which do justice. (Hear !) Colonel Wardle wrote the Hon. Member (Wardle) mentioned to back, that he would give no statement; the House, as merely a slight stir; he (Mr. that he demanded, as a Member of Para M. Sutton) would say, that the person who liament, nothing more or less than that acted as Deputy Judge Advocate on that the Commander in Chief should actually occasion wrote to him, to know how the stay proceedings on the subject, during Court was to be relieved from the confu- Colonel Wardle's pleasure. (Hear!). If sion which was taking place. His (Mr. it were really that Honourable Member's M. Sutton's) answer to the letter was, that object to do good to the service, his judg. the Court must make itself respected; that ment was most lamentably deficient. Did if any military man disturbed the Court, he actually think, that he was doing good he should be committed, and any other to the army by standing forward as the should be taken before a Magistrate ; and advocate of every open, avowed, convicthe (Mr. M. Sutton) would be pledged to ed culprit ? The House had apparently have him prosecuted at the next Sessions. made it a rule, not to interfere with miliYet this was the slight stir which merely tary matters, except in cases of obvious flashed across the Hon. Member's recol- importance. But the Honourable Genlection, and which he mentioned to the tleman seemed to think it his best priviHouse as a piece of accidental information. lege to hunt out and bring those unsuitable On the Court Martial, Curtis was acquitted subjects perpetually before the House. of the first of the three charges. He was He seemed to think, that he had a kind of found guilty on the second and third. roving commission for all charges of that The second was, for saying, that “ He nature. (Hear!) With respect to Bellis would tear the coat off the Colonel's back," and Reeve, the two soldiers who were stated and " that he would cashier the heads of to have been sent abroad for their testithem.” When he was advised to consider mony in favour of Curtis, the plain truth what he was about, he said " that he was, that on the trial, they brought forward wanted no counsel, he had good advice." written calumnies against their officers, The charge was not laid as mutiny, and that they were tried for those calumnies, therefore the punishment was not capital; that they were found guilty, and their but it was quite proper that the sentence sentence of 500 lashes each was commuted of such a Court should be no matter of into foreign service. This was called, lightness. They had exercised a sound sending them away for their testimony on discretion in awarding a severe punish- the trial. If there ever was a case of a ment for so serious an offence. The Hon. court-martial which would bear the most Member might think that such a punish- minute and intimate examination, it was ment ought not to be inflicted; but it was the present one. Mr. M. Sutton conclud. eminently wrong, for any purpose of po- ed his speech by declaring that it was impularity, to come down to that House with possible he should assent to the motion, under a string of unfounded statements which all its circumstances. must go forth from the House to the pub Sir Francis BURDETT observed, that if lic. The Hon. Member went so far as to the Honourable Gentleman would be addemand of the Commander in Chief, leave vocate, judge, and witness in the same cause ; 10 pot written queries to the prisoner. as the Honourable and Learned Gentle. (Hear, hear!) Perhaps the Hon. Member man, who had just spoken, appeared to forgot that (Hear !) But if he had any be, it could not be surprising that he doubts on the subject, perhaps the sim- should carry every thing before him by plest mode of removing them would be to the force of his own assertion. This, read his own letter. (Here Mr. M. Sutton without meaning any disrespect to that read a letter from Colonel Wardle to the Hon, and Learned Gentleman, seemed to Commander in Chief, mentioning that he him to be precisely his situation. To the had come to Portsmouth to see the person facts stated by the Hon. Gentleman who who had been punished, and finally re brought forward this motion, which were questing that a gentleman might be allow. represented as founded only in assertion, ed to go over to the Isle of Wight, to put the Hon. and Learned Gentleman had rewritten questions to Curtis.) The Com- plied only by agsertions. So that in this

respect both that Hon. and Learned Gen-cussed on another opportunity, they formtleman and the Hon. Member who made ed no part of the question under discusthe motion, were placed exactly on the sion, and it would be unfair to make them same ground, with this exception, that the a part of this case. He however knew of latter undertook to prove and make good no law human or divine that authorised all his assertions. It had been said, in the infliction of a punishment wbich budeed, that what had been stated by the man nature was unable to bear. It apHon. Gentleman, near him (Mr. Wardle) peared in this case, that twelve days after was not founded in fact ; but how could one fifth of the punishment bad been inthat be known, unless he were to be at flicted, the individual was scarcely able to liberty to prove the correctness of his stand. It had been objected to the Hon. statements ? By the reasoning of the Hon. Member that he had dealt in insinuations : and Learned Gentleman opposite, all was but it appeared to him, on the contrary, to be taken for granted which was asserted that the Hon. and Learned Gentleman opon his part, whilst every thing was to be posite had thrown out some heavy insinuaquestioned which was advanced by the tions agaiost the Hon. Mover of this, ques. other Honourable Member.

With re

tion. It was strange, that, when it was spect to the Honourable Colonel who had | admitted that there was po objection that been adverted to (Colonel G. Langton) this matter should be sifted to the bottom, he would be the last man whom he would the Hon. Gentleman should not be al. suspect of being guilty of the oppression, lowed to go into the proof. Under these or of the other charges implicated in this circumstances he could not content hincase. But as far as he could collect from self with giving a silent vote after the un, the statement of the Hon. Gentleman, the fair treatment which the Hon. Gentleman charges were directed not so much against had received (Hear, hear, hear!) The the Colonel or the Lieutenant Colonel, as Hon. Gentleman, too, bad said, that the against the Quarter Master of the Oxford- individual had undergone a series of cruelshire regiment. It appeared to him, how-ties, that many of the witnesses had been ever, that when charges were preferred by tampered with, and others intimidated, Corporal Curtis against a commissioned and these facts he offered to prove. Such officer, the Colonel had no discretion, but a statement was not to be met by, a laugh, to grant it. When this was refused, it was or aspersions on the character of the innatural for the man to say that he had not dividual who made it. But it had been justice done him. The next step was the said that this proceeding was likely to appeal made to the Commander of the create discontent in the army; but what disirict, which had been represented as discontent could be excited if the state. mutiny. How an appeal to a superior of- ment were not true, and proved not to be ficer could be construed into an actof mu well founded? Would it not be a satisfactiny, he was at a loss to conceive. When tion to men, placed in the glorious and Curtis had preferred his charges and honourable situation in which British solthought he was to go to trial for having diers were now placed, to know that if them, he found he was to be tried for they suffered any grievance, there was one another offence. The being absent in co- place at least to which they could look loured clothes more than a mile from with confidence for justice.

Upon all quarters might be a military offence, but these considerations he should vote for the as not only Corporal Curtis but all the men inquiry. in the regiment were in the habit of going Lord Charles Somerset, as the Hó. to Arundel, it was not to be expected by nourable Member had charged him, as him that he should be tried for such an General of the district, with a breach of offence. This seemed to bim to be a mere the articles of war, felt it necessary to trick. What was the consequence? He trouble the House with a very few words. was deprived of his appeal to a General There was one part, and only one part of Court-martial, which he would have had the statement of that Hon. Gentleman, in if his charges had been tried. He be- which he concurred, riz, that in which be lieved from the statement, that the Colonel, bestowed praise on the Hon. Colonel of in refusing the Court-martial on the charges the Oxfordshire regiment. It did not, perpreferred by this man, had been guilty of haps, become him to say what he felt on a breach of the articles of war. As to the that occasion relative to that Honourable severity of the punishment and the cruelty Officer, but he must remark, that the Hoof its nature, though fit topics to be dis nourable Gentleman could not say too

much of him, as a zealous, correct, atten- , the mob having entered into a subscription tive, and humane officer as any in the ser: to enable him to employ Counsel, he apvice. (Hear! Hear!) This opinion he had plied to the Court for time to procure expressed in the General Orders as strongly Counsel, wben the Court adjourned to one as he could, both with respect to the Co-o'clock; and on its being re-assembled, lonel and Lieụt.-Colonel of that regiment. the Judge Advocate offered to the Counsel The Hon. Gentleman had accused him of the proceeding for his perusal. The Ho. not having listened to the appeal of Cor. nourable.Baronet had said, that the man poral Curţis: he certainly had not listened was entrapped into a trial for one offence to that appeal, because that person had when he was prepared to expect the trial not a right to make it. The Article of War for another. The fact was, that on the 4th (wbich the Noble Lord here read) took of July a list of the charges had been away the appeal from a person found given to the prisoner; on the 6th the guilty of a military offence by a regimen- Court met, when he was called upon for a Lal Court-martial, The General Court-mar. list of his witnesses; and even on the 7th iial was for the trial of heinous offences: and Sth be called fresh witnesses, With the Regimental for petty oftences. When respect to the charge of intimidation of the person, whose case was referred to, witnesses by Serjeant Cox, as stated by the was charged with a heinous offence, he Hon. Gentleman, if any such thing had appointed a General Court-martial, but at taken place, it must have been mentioned the same time, took care that no officer, in the Defence; and yet not one word was who had served on the Regimental Court said of it on the trial.

If there was any Martial, indeed that no officer of the regi- thing to be remedied, the Commander-inment should serve upon the General Court, Chief had offered to have the matter inHe trusted after what he had stated, that quired into. The course proposed by the the House would consider him clear of the Hon. Member was therefore not the only charge of having committed a breach of means of investigation. He returned the articles of war. As to this man, he be- thanks to the House for its attention, and lieved he went away from bis Colonel on should vote against the motion. the 25th of April, perfectly satisfied that Mr. LOCKHART knew both the unfortu. his complaint was unfounded. On that nate man and his father, they being both day he signed his return, “ all well.” In his constituents. The impression upon the following May, Major General Hous- | the mind of this man's family was not ton (we believe proceeded on his half- that he had been treated with severity, yearly inspection through the district. It He had received a letter from the father was part of his duty to ask, whether any of the man, begging him to apply, not for individual in the regiments inspected had a revision of his sentence, but for mercy, any complaints to make. This duty he He had written upon the subject to the knew was performed by that officer, and Dukes of Kent and Cumberland, and not a word of complaint was heard from made application to the magistrates, who any individual in the Oxfordshire regi- bumanely exerted themselves to obtain ment. As to what had been said about the execution of justice in mercy. The Bellis and Reeve having been forced out father of this man knew nothing of the of the country, he should only say, that motion of the Honourable Gentleman. there was no foundation for the charge. The speech of the Hongurable Gentleman When their conduct was known, he did was deserving of the severest criticism, not order a Court Martial. He directed | If popularity was the object of the Ho. the Major General to inquire into the cir-nourable Member, he would recommend to cumstances, and on his report had brought him to court it by other means, by means the men to a Court Marțial. Wilh respect which, as Lord Mansfield well observed, to the treatment of the man in prison, he would make popularity follow him instead had certainly ordered the mob, for mob of his pursuing popularity. he would call them, not to be admitted to The CHANCELLOR OF THE EXCHEQUER him; but he at the same time directed would not rise except in justice to Sic that his friends and witnesses should have David Dundas, to shield him against free access to him, and that he should be some imputation which seemed to have allowed ille use of pen, ink, and paper, been insinuated. He did not mean to But to shew more clearly with what in infer that the Honourable Gentleman who dulgence and lenience he had been trealed, brought forward those charges took adhe need only 'say, that on the 8th of July vantage of his situation as a Member of

Parliament to propagate inflammatory

OFFICIAL PAPERS. and mischievous harangues, (Heur, hear,

ISLE OF FRANCE.--Dispatch from Maj. hear!): he'rather supposed he came down to seek redress for some supposed injury.

Gen. Abercromby.

(Continued from page 448.) He was the more ready to believe this, as every man who wished well to the coun. Having halted for a few hours during the try must be aware bow very much the night, the army again moved forward bebringing forward military charges in that fore daylight, with the intention of not House ought to be avoided (Hear, hear!) halting till arrived before Port Louis ; but The Right Honourable Gentleman here the troops having become extremely exread a correspondence between Sir David | hausted, not only from the exertion which Dundas and Mr. Wardle, in which Mr. they had already made, but from having Wardle desired that the condemned Cor- been almost totally deprived of water, of poral Curtis should not be sent abroad, as which this part of the country is destirute, he, as a Member of Parliament, was de. I was compelled to take up a position termined to make the matter the subject at Moulin à Poudre, about 5 miles short of investigation (Hear, hear!); and in of the town. which Sir David uniformly answered, Early the next morning Lieutenant Cothat he would be ready to accede, prolonel M’Leod, with his Brigade, was de. vided Mr. Wardle stated the grounds of tached to seize the batteries at Tombeau his application. (Hear, heur !) This, how- and Tortue, and open a communication ever Mr. Wardle declined doing. He with the fleet, as it had been previously must state this in justice to Sir David arranged that we were to draw our supplies Dundas. But Mr. Wardle broached a from those two points. principle which would go to convert the The main body of the army, soon after freest country under heaven into the most it had moved off' its ground, was attacked wicked and abominable tyranny which | by a corps of the enemy, who, with seveever existed. He, denying all informa- ral field pieces, had taken a strong position, tion, demanded, as a Member of Parlia- very favourable for attempting to make an ment, the suspension of the Law. What, impression on the head of the column, as was he to arrogate to himself the right of it shewed itself at the end of a narrow becoming a walking Committee of the road, with a thick wood on each flank. House of Commons? (Hear, heur!) He seem- The European flank battalions, which ed also to insinuate that the military could formed the advanced guard, under the not have fair play under a Regimental command of Lieutenant Colonel CampCourt-martial! He could not conceive a bell, of the 33d regiment, and under the viler or more unfounded insinuation ; but general direction of General Warde, formthough he was ready to give the Honourable ed with as much regularity as the bad and Gentleman every allowance as to the puri- | broken ground would admit of, charged ty of his views, still he was sure the House the enemy with the greatest spirit, and would allow he could not have chosen a worse compelled bim to retire with the loss of his way, or adopted a more injudicious course guns, and many killed and wounded. towards their accomplishment. (Hear, This advantage was gained by the fall of hear!)He should now conclude, having made Lieutenant Colonel Campbell, a most ex. these few remarks on a speech which he cellent and valuable officer, as well as was sure' all men in that House must re- Major O'Keefe, of the 12th Regiment, gret, and which none should regret more whom I have also every reason sincerely than the person who delivered it. (Hear, to regret. hear!)

In the course of the forenoon the army Colonel Wardle very briefly replied, occupied a position in front of the enemy's and the House divided :

lines just beyond the range of cannonFor Colonel Wardle's Motion ...... 1 shot; on the following morning, while I Against it..........

91 was employed in making arrangements for Majority

.-90 detaching a corps to the southern side of There were, besides the one, who voted the town, and placing myself in a situafor the motion, the two Tellers, who were tion to make a general attack, General de MR. Wardle and Sir F. BURDett. The | Caen proposed to capitulate. one was Colonel LANCTON!

(To be continued.)

Published by R. BAGSHAW, Brydges-Street, Covent - Garden :-Sold also by J. BUDD, Pall-Mall,

LONDON :Printed by T. C, Hansand, Peterborough-Court, Fleet-street,

« ZurückWeiter »