HC Deb 05 April 1805 vol 4 cc215-7

A petition of the lord mayor, aldermen, and commons, of the city of London, in common council assembled, was presented at the bar by the sheriffs; setting forth, "that the petitioners have observed, with infinite concern and disquietude, a petition lately presented to the house by the Roman Catholics of Ireland, on behalf of themselves and of others, his majesty's subjects professing the Roman catholic religion," praying a repeal of the several statutes by which they are precluded from offices of trust and power, the only remaining bulwarks now in existence for the preservation and security of the Protestant reformed religion, as finally settled at the glorious revolution of 1685; and that the petitioners conceive they would incur the imputation of criminal indifference, as the first municipal body in his majesty's dominions, were they lightly to regard an application to the legislature so formidable in its claims, and so mischievous in its tendency to the religion, laws, and liberties, which it has ever been their glory to admire, and their ambition to guard and secure in every perilous situation; and that the oaths of supremacy and allegiance are an integral part of the bill of rights proposed, as the declaration of the lords and commons of 1688, expressly states, "in order to such an establishment as that their religion, laws, and liberties, might not again be in danger of being subverted; "that the abrogation of or dispensation with those oaths to any class of his majesty's subjects, would not only weaken at present, but ultimately destroy, those solid foundations on which the wisdom and virtue of our ancestors erected our free and happy constitution, the envy and admiration of the world; and that the petitioners regard, with veneration and gratitude, those unextinguishable principles which led the legislature of that day to provide for the happiness and freedom of their posterity, by so carefully guarding the protestant succession, which has placed the house of Brunswick on the throne of the united kingdom; and they rely, under Providence, that the spirit of our forefathers will animate and strengthen the virtue and patriotism of their honourable successors, the commons of the imperial parliament, to preserve, uninjured, the glorious fabric they have raised; and that the petitioners conceive every equality is already allotted to the Roman catholics, in common with the rest of his majesty's subjects, consistent with the safety of the church and state; but that to grant an indiscriminate participation of power, without requiring and enforcing the oaths of supremacy and allegiance taken by every other class of his majesty's subjects, must be productive of future unavoidable anarchy and misery; and therefore praying, that the remaining salutary restrictive statutes respecting the Roman catholics may not be repealed." Ordered, That the said petition do lie upon the table.