HC Deb 15 February 1809 vol 12 cc655-6
Lord Henniker

rose to call the attention of the house to the subject of a motion made by an hon. gent. yesterday, for a writ to issue for the election of a member for Stamford, in the room of gen. Bertie, now a peer of the united kingdom. But first, he moved that the act be read which explained the cases wherein members should be deemed to have vacated their seats.—[It was read accordingly.]—The noble lord then observed, that although he was sure the motion of the hon. gent. last night for the writ in question to issue, was made with the worthiest motives, yet it appeared to him that his zeal was rather premature, as such a motion could only be warranted by a thorough conviction of the fact that the hon. general had really vacated his seat; by a letter in his hand from gen. Bertie, it appeared that that hon. member was not himself conscious of having vacated his seat; neither did he appear, under the meaning of the act now read, to have done so, by any thing stated in the motive assigned for the hon. gent's motion. It was true, indeed, that gen. Bertie had ground to consider himself as next heir to the noble title of Lindsey, and consequently a peer of the united kingdom, and might have received his summons under the great seal to assume that title; but, then he was not summoned to take his seat as a peer of parliament, which was necessary, in order to vacate his seat in that house, where peers of Ireland and Scotland, not of the upper house of parliament, might sit as members. Besides, so far from being actually in the possession of the title of Lindsey, it was necessary for the hon. general to go into the investigation of records for 160 years, in order to prove his claims. He, therefore, concluded by a wish lo put some motion for withdrawing the writ, or annulling the order of yesterday.

Mr. Madocks

said, that he was not aware of the circumstances now stated by the noble lord, when he made his motion for the writ yesterday. It had been communicated to him, that gen. Bertie was come to the title, and summoned to the upper house, and therefore feeling that the light of election and representation was the privilege of the electors of Stamford, he had moved for the writ.

The Speaker

rose to stale, with leave of the house, what occurred to him on the subject. It was usual with the house to give credit to the statement of any of its members which met with no contradiction, and therefore when the hon. member stated yesterday as a fact the circumstance which was the ground of his motion, and no objection was made, the house, as a matter of course, agreed to it, and the order was made accordingly. But now that the house was better informed upon the subject, it would be competent for them to amend the proceeding by an order to supersede the writ. Something similar had occurred in the case of gen. Egerton, the presumptive heir to the duke, of Bridgwater.—The writ was ordered to be superseded.

Forward to