HC Deb 20 July 1807 vol 9 cc845-6
Mr. Barham

stated, that he held in his hand a petition from Mr. Jonathan Brundrett, now a prisoner in Newgate, offering to answer the questions which the house might put to him, and expressing sorrow for having incurred the displeasure of the house. It happened, unfortunately, that, upon the motion of an hon. gent. (Mr. Jeffery), the further consideration of the business was postponed till Thursday. As to the case of Mr. Brundrett, he trusted that it would meet the general feeling of the house to bring him up to-morrow, in order that he might be examined, and then discharged, as his present confinement was very injurious to him in his professional avocations. The petition was then read. It stated, that the petitioner was sensible that he had justly incurred the displeasure of that house. He declared that, in refusing to answer questions put to him by the house, his motive was not from any disrespect of the house, or disregard for its authority, but that he had acted merely from a general sense of his professional fidelity. He also declared that he was by no means instrumental in delaying the writ, as he delivered it to the person who employed him, within a very few hours after he had himself received it. He was himself entirely unacquainted with any of the candidates for the borough of Poole. He no longer persevered in refusing to disclose the persons who employed him, and was ready and willing to answer whatever questions the house should think proper to put to him, and hoped the house would permit him to be examined at their bar.— The petition was ordered to lie on the table. Mr. Barham then moved that the petitioner should be brought up to-morrow to be examined.

The Speaker

conceived that it would be contrary to the established rules of the house, that a business, which was fixed for Thursday, should be taken up sooner than the day appointed. He did not recollect a single instance of such a thing having been done.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer

conceived that the house could not, in this instance, depart from its accustomed rules, but he had no objection to Mr. Brundrett's being called up to-morrow, for the purpose of being discharged. He thought that Mr. Brundrett had by his petition, and declaring himself ready to answer, set himself right with the house, and he did not think that it could be their wish to keep him longer in confinement. If, then, the hon. gent. would alter his motion, and move for his being called up, not to be examined, but to be discharged, the personal inconvenience would be removed from the individual, and the rules of the house would be preserved.

The Speaker

thought this would remove the objection. He might be discharged to-morrow, and an order might be then made that he should attend for the purpose of being examined on Thursday, that the house should go into the business.

Mr. Jeffery

said, that he should be perfectly satisfied under those circumstances, that Mr. Brundrett should be called up tomorrow, for the purpose of being discharged. It was then ordered, that Mr. Brundrett should be called up to-morrow, for the purpose of being discharged.

Back to