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resolutions to the meeting. Intro- poses. He trembled at the opposiductory to the business he rear se- tion to reform, because if not acveral passages from a petition pre- quired the corruption must be prosented in 1793 by Lord Grey to the ductive of a violent revolution. house of Commons, illustrative of Sir F. Burdett apologized to the the general topics insisted upon by meeting for being obliged soon to the friends of reform, and he after leave them, on account of a motion wards entered into a discussion on which he had that night to make in the corrupt state of the representa- the house of Commons, relative to tion. Parliamentary reform was nci. the flogging of soldiers. Before he ther the wild project of inexperi- went, however, he could not avoid enced politicians, or confined to the expressing his concurrence with ibe enterprising extravagance of aspiring resolutions which had been brought demagogues. This reform had the forward. It would be merely taking sanction of the most distinguished up their time to attempt to prove characters, amongst whom were Mr. what every person who came there, Fox and Mr. Pirt, but the latter had he had no doubt, was already con- . proved an apostare to the cause. He vinced of, the necessity of a reform concluded with asserting, that the in the representation of parliament. friends of reform appealed to the Undoubtedly, if the house of Conreason, and not in the passions of mons was corrupt, every part of the the people; and then read four very country necessarily became corrupi, Spirited resolutions.
for how could a country not be cor. The resolutions were seconded by rupt, when they knew that the most Mr. Peter, also of Cornwall. He flagrant acts of corruption were com. accused ministers during the last mirted, and avowed to be commit: week of offering that servile adula- ted, hy those who were enti usted tion at the foot of the Ibrone which with the making of their laws would have disgraced the senate of The purity of persons in judicial si. Buonaparte, and of treating with tuations was of the utmost consecontempt the complaints of a suffer- quence to the country; and here he ing people. The borough system would not say that the persons at was the fruitful source of all the present on the bench were not as misfortunes of the country, it had pure as it was possible for persons alienated the affections of Ireland, in their office to be; but it was well and had involved the nation in de- known from history, that the instrustructive wars.
ments and tools by which, in former Mr. Blount, of Staffordshire, point- times, the subjects were oppressed, ed out the difficulties with which were ncither more nor, less than the the friends of reform had to encoun- judges of the land. In what a state ter.—The remedy was, that meet. at present was the liberty of the ings be held in every county, that press? The doctrines which were petitions be presented from every di- formerly cherished by the first names rection, and when the public voice in the country, were now a sufficient was raised, it would enforce obe- cause of persecution, and judgments dience.
which, in former times, would not Mr. Burgoyne, of Essex, said, have disgraced the star chamber, that the cause for which ibis assem- were every day pronounced. He bad hly was convened was not that of no hesitation in saying, that the li: Englisbmen only, but of all man-' berties of the country were now exkind. Ile was proud to be associa- posed to more peri! than ever they , ted with gentlemen whose rank in were under the Stuarts. Under all life placed them above sinister pur- these circumstances, be could not
help heing grateful to the press for present meeting and no personal in what it continued to do. Lirile did convenience, no private attairs would they know the perils and nice escapes he have allowed to interfere with his of those who had to conduct the attendance. He did not like equivo. press in the present tiines; for the cal, temporizing principles, which inost innocent expressions, exposing held forth one thing, but had not themselves to the risk of trial, and the courage to execute it. He wanta. to be brought to ruin. He could ed no moderate reform, no radical not, therefore, avoid expressing him. reformhe wanted the English con. self thankful for what they continu- stitution. He would not temporize ed to receive from the press, consi- give him that or nothing. Would dering the state of degrarlation and they submit to a corrupt faction of corruption in which it was now borough-inungers ? --Look at the Red placed. The origin of all this evil Book--not only younger sons, but was to be traced to the house of young ladies are there provided for, Cominons; the bouse of Commons --- Lady ihis and lady that so was to be considered as the pendulum much a-year, because their father, of the clock on which the proper though a man of great fortune, was motion of all the other parts depend. literally so poor, as not to be able So long as they should continue sub- to support them. There were two ject to that corrupt borough-mon- kinds of poverty-one, which every gering system, by which a small man of feeling wished to see diminumber of individuals had it in nished-parish poverty; the othertheir power to retain a majority of national poverty, when persons who the house of Commons, they remain- ought to contribute to their country ed subject to the most contemptible were so mean as to take alms. The and odious of oligarchies contemp- whole country was indeed involved tible on account of its corruption, in the vortex of corruption. He and odious on account of its power. thought they ought not to separale He had heard of radical reforms; without coming to something specibut could any thing be more mode- fic; and he did not know whether rate than the reform they were askin, any specific plan had been prepared. ing, a reform which the people of Mr. Cunning, of Warwickshire, England were indisputably entitled said, many flagrant abuses had hi10. The righis of the people of En- therto disgraced the country --he gland were violated -- the rights meant the conduct of the contending which were provided for in the com- parties in parliament. When they pact between the government and got into power they soon forgot who the people, as that compact which opposed them. The country had was now violated. The people of trusted to the declaration of those England would not allow themselves out of place, but no sooner did they to be defrauded of their rights; they get in, than they shewed that they would insist on restoring the consti- had forgotten their former profestution to its purity; they would sions and pledges. He trusted the stick to the text of the constitution, events of the last ten years would and have nothing but the constitu- dispel the illusion. tion of the country. They would Mr. Northmore, alluding to the . not merely skin the ulcer o'er the freedom of election, said, he was sore, while rank corruption festered saved much trouble by the honourall beneath.
. able house itself, when it has been Mr. Jones, of Hampshire, said he offered to be proved that “ 157 indicame from the country last week. viduals have the power of returning a with high anxiety respecting the mujority”—where the traffic in seats has been declared “ as notorious as mean servility; that corruption will the sun at noon-day"-wbere a noted cease to reign in his presence; but M. P. (Mr. Windham) declared that if ever he does condescend to in that corruption existed from top to corrupt, I hope it will be the only bottom."--And yet At one sime such . ambition becoming a good Prince, misdeeds, " at the sound of which our that corruption which solicits the ancestors would have startled with in- hearts of his people. Gentlemen, dignation,"are not to be punished be- we want members of honesty and in. cause of their notoriety; and at ano- tegrity we want not orators-we ther," because the attempt died in bave too many of these-we walit embryo, and there is no result." In men who will not sell their conscithat house it was declared by a no- ences for a job, nor barter their intelble Lord, that it was " fortunate lects at the expence of their integrithat such places did erist;" another ty. Such men you can only obtain member said, that " that the thing by a reform ; a reform equally benebad become familiær by custom.” Nay, ficial to king apd people. I know a celebrated Whig(Lord Milton) last how much a certain class of men is. wear gave it as his opinion, “ that given to hiss and hoot when their the public were nearly as well repre- dinner is in danger--but I beg you sented in the present state of the house to recollect that there are two aniof Commons as it was possible.” After mals in the world which have no oall this (said Mr. Northmore,) and ther means of venting their applause more, what will you think of the but by hisses, and those are geese Heclaration (as recorded in the de- and serpents. bates) of the minister, who, after al- The thanks of the meeting to their lowing in another place the exis. Chairman, Sir John Throckmorton. tence of these things, and that it for his attention to the business of was “a scandalous abuse,” had the the meeting were then moved. The boldness to declare in his place. meeting then broke up. June 15th, 1809, that the “ peuple The business of the morning bewere more united against reform ing concluded, the meeting at six than almost upon any other ques. o'clock, sat down to dinner, which tion, because they thought reform un- was served in excellent style, and necessary.” Gentlemen, I hope this was conducted with the utmost rediay will teach the minister to dis- gularity. After the cloth was remove credit his assertion. You will teach ed, the company were enlivened by that corruption is not necessary to some appropriate songs, and many govern England. I trust that the suitable toasts were given. present Royal Prince, who has so mobly declared, that the “ power and
RESOLUTIONS. Honours of the crown are a trust
Resolved-That the much quoted pe yested there for the benefit of his
tition, presented by Mr. Grey (now Earl people;" and that it is “his fixed
Grey) on the 6th of May, 1793, to the
Comnons house of parliainent, and then determination never to bestow any entered on its jouruals, affords a demone place or appointment, meant to be stration that the said house doth not rean assylum or reward for the toils present the people. and services of our gallant soldiers That it halb been the perpetual theme or seamon, on any person upon ac. of the despised prayers and remoncount of parliamentary connection,
strances of innumerable petitioners, that or in return for parliamentary votes;"
"; the said house doth not speak the sense,
of the nation. and his education of his daughther That it bath been a subject not only in these sentiments-I trust that of national complaint, but of parliamena suck a Prince will put a stop to
tary protests, that parliaments have had Resoloed - That this parliamentary an unconstitucional duration.
oligarchy becaine powerful, only because That these fatal corruptions in that the nation was supine-rash amri mtemassembly, which ought to be the guar- perate, only because the nation, misled dian of our liberties, are the radical and by iinpostors, forgot its rights and ner. true causes of national wrong and cala- lected its duties. mity, in all their forms and varieties; Ainong a people, whose constitution whether of intemperate quarrels with is an unrivalled fabric of political wis other states, or of ruinous debt and the dom-a people acquainted with their pauperising of millions or of the op- . rights and their duties, and conversat pressive, relentless, and inquisitorial cha- with the foundations of both the wars racter of taxation, or of repeated re- of parliamentary reform are ways of strictions on the freedom of the press-or freedom and peace-ivasmuch as this of the complicated evils and dangers of reform can only be obtained by appeals the present conflict-or of encroach- to truth and reason, to law, justice, and ments on the independence of the crown; morality. Such are the foundations of or, to sum up all, of a systematic ten- the English constitution, dency to subvert the constitution; where. The objects of parliamentary reform. tore it is the conviction of this meeting, a constitutional representation of the that a Reform in the Commons huse of people in parliament, would as far sure parliament, is equally essential to the pass Magna Charta and the Bill off independence of the crown, and to the Rights, excellent as they are, as politiliberties of the people.
cal liberty in possession can surpass paResolved - That it being highly expe- per declarations of a right to-it. dient, that the nation in all its divisions Resolved--That in the wpinion of this should, on the subject of the decay of meeting, those Howards, the illustrious representation, proclaim its opinions, descendants of the barons of Runny both as to the wrong and the remedy, mead, those of our nobility and gentry this ineering for itself declares
in whose veins continues to flow the That the aggregate of usurpations blood of the Hampdens, oi the Pyms, off which have taken from the people a the Sidneys, the Russels, or the Caveve majority in the Commons house of par dishes, with all who respect the founders liament, has established that inost per and assertors of our constitution, und nicious of all species of governments, an who wish it to remain a glorious monuoligarchy.
ment of English courage, wisdom, and That the King, with prerogatives ba virtue, may be expected actively to prolanced by the independence of a parlia- mote county and other local meetings. ment, holding the national purse, would that public opinion may be declared. have no more than a wholesome degree and a patriot union of men of rawk, .pro of authority, essential to good govern- perty, talent, and public spirit, may be ment, but yet perfecily congenial with consolidated, with a hope that mumerous freedom; whereas an oligarchy, that petitions may be presented to parliausurps legislation and the public purse, ment for a reform in the representation bath unbounded means of oppression of the people.
INQUIRY RESPECTING ship’s opinion, but particularly on that PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE. part of it where he justifies the break
ing into a house by the practice of the The late argument of Lord Ellen. inferior courts, for a contempt.-borough on the question of Privilege should be glad if any of your corhas excited no small surprise in the respondents would tell me in what minds of those who have given any at law or law book that power is to be tention to that subject; and for one I found. As to the legality of the must confess myself totally at a loss Speaker's warrant, it can have arisena to account for the grounds of his lordonly from the tacit permission of the
courts, because in our best law books try. The last was obstinately petand according to the theory of our severed in, because France being in constitution, the power to grant a a revolutionary state, threatened all warrant resides solely in the execu. surrounding governments with a si tive or its representatives. Neither milar state. France has since been Coke in his Institutes, nor Hawkins, in possession of a regular monarchiin bis Pleas of the Crown, mention cal governinent, and the greater part any other kind of warrant, and the of the continent is in possession of former expressly says, “ that all the inestimable blessing of peace, in. “ warrants in order to be lawful, ternal and external, and yet we no "must have a lawful conclusion, less obstinately persevere in war, in " that is safely to keep till delivered the ardent hope of throwing the “ hy law, and not till further orders," whole of the continent into that reand for this he refers to the Perition volutionary state we once so professof Right granted by Charles I. ed to dread. I remain &c.
I was led to these reflections by A3 W. BURDON. looking over a few evenings since, two Hartford, near Morpeth, June 7. or three political pamphlets written
soon after the close of the late war,
(1802,) and one in particular, writSTATE OF THE NATION AS - ten by a considerable omnium holder, DLSORIBED IN 1802.
and of course a warm supporter of
the existing administration. The • Sir,
monied men in general do not seem It is somewhat unfortunate that to have had so very high an idea of the opinions and speculations of our the flourishing state of our affairs as politicians, those more particularly the writer, nor to have been so san. which enter into the system of the guine as to“ the certainty of peace for ruling powers, should so soon be “ a long series of years," or of the burried down the 'stream of time, to "3 per cent consols rising to par.” the land of oblivion. I cannot but The pamphlet however so amused be of opinion, that if my country- me, that I cannot help sending you men had been more attentive to past the following extract, which may events, and seriously reflected upon probably afford equal amusement to the cost of the various unsuccessful your readers. The title is-Consiplans to subjugate America and derations Political, Financial and France in the two last wars, they Commercial on the important Suhject would not have been so easily per- of the Public Funds. By Simeon Pope. suaded to involve themselves in a “ It is not only the opinion of the third war; commenced in injustice; most profound poliricians, but of which has not all along had a ra the public at large, that no æra of tional object in prospect, and which PEACE ever presented so fair a prosthreatens the country with ruin. pect of a durable enjoyment of its But so versatile are the plans of mi- many blessings, as that recently colle nisters, and the opinions of their sup. cluded with the French government. porters with respect to what system --The reasons are pretty obvious.is necessary to promote our national Europe, in the whole annals of the prosperity, that in the course of a world, never experienced, throughfew years we find those measures out, so great a convulsion, and so pursued which are in direct opposi- universal a prostration of strength, tion to those on which we were as-as what at ten years war de sured I not only be us
with the body poli