HC Deb 21 June 1811 vol 20 cc723-38
Mr. Whitbrend

said, he had a Petition in his hand from a person confined in the Castle of Lincoln, complaining of the treatment he there met with, as not warranted by the judgment of the court which had sent him there. It was from a gentleman pretty well known to that House, Mr. Finnerty, who had been found guilty of a libel. He had read the Petition through, and as he perceived nothing improper in it, and as it was accompanied by certificates of ill health, and the opinions of his medical advisers that a less rigorous mode of confinement was essential to his recovery, he could feel no hesitation in presenting it. He had in the first instance recommended to Mr. Finnerty to petition the Prince Regent, through the. Secretary of State for the home department. He had accordingly done so, and the right hon. gent. had written to the high sheriff of the county to procure information; but within these few hour no answer had been received. Under these circumstances he had approved of submitting the Petition to the House, and it was precisely the same as that intended to be laid before the Prince.

The Petition was then brought up, and read, as follows:

To the Hon. the House of Commons of Great Britain and Ireland, in Parliament assembled, the Petition of Peter. Finnerty sheweth—

"That in consequence of a letter published in the Morning Chronicle, complaining of grievous injury sustained by Petitioner and by his countrymen in Ireland, Petitioner was indicted for a libel at the prosecution of lord viscount Castle reagh. That upon receiving notice of trial for the said libel, Petitioner found that the witnesses most material to his defence were absent from England, and therefore he had a motion made in the court of King's bench, for the postponement of the said trial, which motion was rejected; contrary, as he understands, to the usual practice of that court. Petitioner being unable to establish any defence in the absence of his witnesses, thought it expedient to let judgment go by default, without, however, any consciousness of guilt, being, as he offered, when brought up for judgment, ready to prove by the most irrefragable testimony, the truth of his allegations; particularly with respect to the infliction of torture in Ireland in the months of May and June, 1798. That Petitioner was, notwithstanding, sentenced to 18 months imprisonment in Lincoln Castle, where he has experienced, and continues to experience, a degree of rigour unprecedented in modern times—unauthorised by the terms of hi" sentence—and in direct hostility to the mild and merciful character of the British constitution.

"That upon the night of his arrival at this castle in the month of February, petitioner, although evidently in a bad state of health, was committed to a felons' apartment, where he is still compelled to remain. That finding his appeal to the jailor's consideration quite ineffectual, petitioner had a remonstrance presented to the visiting magistrates of the prison, of which the following is an abstract:

" 'I am confined upon a ground floor, in a cold gloomy apartment, the door of which is nearly opposite to my bed, and opens into a yard about twenty-five feet square, enclosed by a wall about thirty feet high—so high, indeed, as to exclude the free current of air. In the centre of this yard is a grate, from whence issues the most offensive smell, owing, as I understand, to the common-sewer of the debtor's prison, which runs underneath, and which smell annoys me even in my cell. By this smell I am prevented taking any exercise in that yard, while I am denied the opportunity of enjoying air and exercise in the area which surrounds the prison, and to which all the other prisoners are admitted throughout the day, excepting only the common felons and myself. Of this privation I have the more reason to complain, because from the state of my health, being subject to indigestion and violent spasmodic affections in the stomach, I have been uniformly advised by all medical men, whom I have had occasion to consult, to seek the enjoyment of fresh air, and to take as much exercise as I could bear. Such has been the opinions of Doctors Lipscomb, Wright, and Stanton, whom I have consulted in London; and such also is the opinion of the physicians to whom I have had occasion to resort since my arrival here, and whose certificate is annexed. Such treatment as I complain of is, I am persuaded, as contrary to the intention of the Judges by whom I have been sent here, as it is I submit, inconsistent with that to which any man committed for a misdemeanor, ought to be subjected.'

"That about a week after the petitioner's arrival here, he was, in consequence of this remonstrance, visited by the magistrates, one of whom, in the course of conversation, observed, that they (the magistrates) could not compel the jailor to accommodate petitioner with rooms in the front of the prison; adding, that he understood another person confined for a libel (whom he named) paid three guineas a-week for his accommodation in another prison. To this observation petitioner said, that he could not afford to pay so much; upon which another of the magistrates observed, that his (Petitioner's) subscriptions" were likely to be considerable." In a few days after this visit, petitioner was allowed to take exercise for three hours each day, which according to his request, was fixed at from eight to nine in the morning, from one till two in the afternoon, and from five till six in the evening. But this arrangement was soon after altered, and an order issued, that such petitioner should take exercise for 3 hours in succession, namely, from eleven till two o'clock. Against this order Petitioner again remonstrated; but the orders respecting the treatment of Petitioner have throughout varied in such a manner, as to justify Petitioner in stating that they are dictated by a spirit of oppression.

"That, for a period of nearly five weeks, petitioner was not allowed to go into the area for the enjoyment of air and exercise at all, inconsequence of which his health suffered so severely, that the medical gentleman who usually attended him, thought it necessary to call in another physician; and Petitioner-despairing of any redress from the magistrates, had the certificates of these two gentlemen transmitted to the sheriff, copies of which certificates are hereunto annexed. The sheriff in reply, as petitioner understands, communicated his opinion to the magistrates, that petitioner should be allowed the air and exercise recommended by the physician, but still petitioner has been allowed only one hour each day, namely, from one until two o'clock; and if it rain at that period he is not permitted to go out at any other hour, his application to that effect having been peremptorily refused. Upon one occasion, indeed, Petitioner being severely afflicted by a headache, to which he has been, subject for some time back, sent a request to the gaoler that he might, in consequence of his illness, be allowed to go into the air of the Castle-yard, even for half an hour, in. lieu of the hour from one till two o'clock—but this request was rejected. That this allowance of air and exercise granted to him, petitioner most sensibly feels, and his medical attendant has so represented it, but in vain.

"That there are various other instances of oppression and injustice, of which pe- titioner has to complain, but by the repetition of which he does not think it right to trespass upon the patience of your honourable House. Your Petitioner, however, cannot overlook this circumstance, that about a fortnight after his arrival here, a person who came from London to attend him in his illness was excluded from the prison, and a prisoner appointed to attend him whose integrity he has cause to "aspect; but whom, nevertheless, he cannot dismiss, because no other person will be admitted, even the person who dresses his victuals being refused admittance. That under such circumstances petitioner appeals to your honourable House for relief, trusting that you will not sanction such severity as cannot be justified by the sentence passed upon him, such as he presumes to assert was not in the contemplation of the judges by whom that sentence was passed, such as was wholly unusual in this country. Petitioner particularly and earnestly requests that your honourable House, in consideration of the very weak state of his health, and the aggravation of his complaints, by the mode in which be has been hitherto treated, and which, if continued must terminate in incurable disease, will be graciously pleased to take such steps that Petitioner may be forthwith removed into an airy apartment, and allowed the air and exercise necessary for the re-establishment and preservation of his health—that such apartment may be easily afforded him, as there is room amply sufficient in the front of the jail, the jailor having set apart 13 rooms for his own use, while his family consists of only three persons.

"Petitioner begs leave to represent to your honourable House, that on or about the 27th of May last, a petition, couched in terms such as petitioner hopes were respectful, and signed by your petitioner, was transmitted through the Secretary of State to his royal highness the Prince Regent, representing the situation of petitioner.

"That petitioner has waited in the humble hope of meeting redress, through, the clemency of his Royal Highness; but having this day heard that the Secretary of State for the home department, owing to same delay, which to your petitioner suffering under such privations, appear extraordinary, has not yet been able to obtain the information which he professed it his duty to seek, previously to, his offering his advice to the Regent upon the pe- tition presented. Petitioner therefore fearing the speedy prorogation of parliament, has submitted his case to the consideration of your honourable House, not from any doubt of the justice or clemency of his Royal Highness the Prince, upon whose liberality he has the utmost confidence; but from the impatience of a man unjustly oppressed, and suffering under the pains of disease, brought on by the treatment he has received.

All that petitioner requires, is an airy apartment, with the opportunity for air and exercise, which the prison yard affords,—And petitioner will ever pray,


"Lincoln Castle, June 16, 1811.

A Copy of Dr. Charlesworth'" first Testimony to the magistrates of the County of Lincoln.

"Being professionally consulted by Mr. Finnerty, I am called upon to state my opinion, that his health, already much impaired, must materially suffer from the confinement to which he is now subjected, and from the alleged coldness of his room; and that a warm room and every possible advantage of fresh air and exercise are indispensibly necessary, not only for the chance of his recovery, but even for the preservation of his present state of health. I have the honour to be, Gentlemen, your most obedient servant,

(Signed) E. P. CHARLESWORTH, M. D.

March 1, 1811."

Copy of Dr. Faussett's Testimony.

Being called upon, in my professional capacity, to visit Mr. Peter Finnerty, in the castle of Lincoln, I found him affected, with many severe complaints, arising from disease of the digestive organs, with which, from his own testimony, he has at different times before, when deprived of the opportunity of air and exercise, been in a slighter degree affected. From the testimony, also, of Dr. Charlesworth, who has attended Mr. Finnerty during the greater part of the time he has been here, those complaints existed to a considerable degree of severity in his first coming, but almost entirely went off, on his being allowed a freer air, and more extended place of exercise.

"Within the last three weeks, since he has been again more closely confined, they have returned in a much aggravated form.

"It is my opinion that there is little or no chance of his health being restored, without a freer allowance of air and exercise than the confined court to which he is at present restricted, will admit of, but, on the contrary, every prospect of his complaints going on increasing.


"Lincoln, April 29, 1811."

A Copy of Dr. Charlesworth's second Testimony.

"After presenting, as addressed, the subjoined testimony, Mr. Finnerty was permitted to walk three hours a day in the area surrounding his prison; and in a week or ten days after that time, was so far recovered from his complaints as to render a continuance of my visits unnecessary.

"Immediately upon his return to close confinement, my professional assistance was again required, and in the course of three weeks, I find all his former symptoms not only returned, but greatly aggravated.

"Under these circumstances, it is my opinion that the same or a stronger necessity of fresh air and exercise exists than did at the time of my former application, of which the following is a copy.

(Signed) "E. P. CHARLESWORTHM. D."

"Lincoln, April 29, 1811."

Mr. Secretary Ryder

stated, that he had that day received a letter from the high Sheriff) the delay of which was owing to his having been in town, and having left directions behind him, under the expectation of an immediate return, that his letters should not be sent after him. It informed him, that Mr. Finnerty had at first en. joyed only one hour of exercise in the open air, which period was afterwards extended to three. This indulgence, however, it was found necessary to withhold, in consequence of the extreme irregularity and impropriety of his conduct, and which was stated to be of a description not more inconsistent with decorum than with the rules and discipline of the prison. He was in possession also of certificates contrary to those mentioned by the hon. gent. He had, however, no objection to make every further inquiry necessary to prove whether it was possible to relieve the inconvenience complained of, His noble friend (lord Castlereagh) had, it was but justice to say, manifested ever desire to render the confinement of Mr. Finnerty as mild as was compatible with the sentence.

Mr. Whitbread

said, he knew not what Mr. Finnerty's conduct might have been; but the charge rested entirely on the authority of the letter received by the right hon. gent. But even if this was the case, he could not see why he should be denied airy apartments. The certificates which he had received were signed by three very respectable physicians, and were therefore entitled to belief. The observations of the magistrates, as recorded in the petition, were under any circumstances highly improper, nor was a want of money a just reason for adding to the severity of the punishment of any offence. The conduct of the sheriff likewise was very indiscreet.

Sir Francis Burdett

did not know what powers were vested in the magistrates or gaoler to convert the prison into a House of correction, and inflict solitary confinement at their discretion. This appeared to have been done in this instance, and an acquaintance of his had informed him, that in passing through Lincoln, he had wished to see Mr. Finnerty, but was refused admittance. It likewise seemed to him that the Secretary of State was not a proper person to be appealed to, or any of the executive ministers of the crown. Enough had certainly been said to induce the House to take the Petition into full consideration, and extend to the prisoner all the relief and accommodation that was consistent with the nature of the sentence.

Mr. Babington

said that a friend of his had been denied access to Mr. Finnerty.

Mr. Hutchinson

thought that the allegations contained in the petition were of a nature that required an answer very different from that which had been as yet given. There could be no doubt that Mr. Finnerty had entered the prison in which he was now confined in a state of health much impaired; a circumstance which in itself ought to have been sufficient to have ensured Mr. Finnerty every possible indulgence consistent with his situation. Indeed, he thought, that this might have been rendered without any very extraordinary exercise of humanity. But instead of this, it appeared that he had been treated with downright cruelty. It was, indeed, a statement of cruelty so excessive, that in his opinion it would be to the disgrace of the House if they suffered it to remain on their table uncontradicted and unremedied. There were some parts of the, Petition to which the right hon. secretary had given no answer; one especially, which appeared to him to require the fullest explanation, if indeed it could admit of any; and that was, that the gaoler, with but three in family, monopolized to himself the exclusive use of thirteen separate rooms; while Mr. Finnerty, at the manifest risk of his life, was to continue for eighteen months confined in a damp and noisome cell. He would ask, was this to be endured? Was it to be endured that a gaoler was thus to assume the power of making an infinite difference between punishments which the courts of law originally meant to be the same. Upon what ground did this gaoler take it upon him to refuse Mr. Finnerty's friends access to him? Was this a part of his sentence? and were they to leave Mr. Finnerty in such a precarious state of health as he then was, to the discretion of a man who seemed so capriciously and cruelly to have abused his trust? He felt himself bound to entreat, from the right hon. Secretary, some distinct declaration upon this part of the subject, pledging himself to interpose his authority in the remedying what appeared to be a system of oppression. Another circumstance, not very satisfactorily explained, was the great lapse of time that had intervened between the time of the letter of the Secretary of State to the sheriff, and the receipt of the sheriff's answer; such delay might have been of fatal consequences in cases where the health of the individual aggrieved had more rapidly declined.—As far as the present question personally related to Mr. Finnerty, he confessed that he was one of those who did not think it the less deserving their attention on that account. He did not stand forward to defend Mr. Finnerty's violation of the laws of his country, for which violation he was now making so severe an expiation; but however culpable Mr. Finnerty had been, he could not forget that gentleman's past life. At a very early age, when a mere boy, he began the world by turning the advantages of a good education into the means of honourable subsistence for himself and family; it was his misfortune while yet a boy, to live in times when it was criminal to complain of oppression; times which every honest and honourable mind must have witnessed with indignant regret; times in which such a system of oppression and persecution was pursued, as must, if persisted in much longer, have ended in the ruin of the country—in such times, and under the impulse of those feelings which they were but too well calculated to excite in every ingenuous mind, did Mr. Fin- nerty pass the limits of temperate discussion, and so bring down upon himself the weighty visitation of the law. To this offence Mr. Finnerty had been led by those sentiments which in periods more favourable to the cause of liberty, have distinguished the brightest characters in the history of this country. He had been in that instance, as well as in a subsequent one, right in principle, a rooted attachment to the cause of his oppressed country was that principle; and it was a principle from which, however punishment might remotely flow, disgrace never could. In this country, as in his own, the same principle had led him into the commission of a similar offence. He had in both cases told the truth beyond the licence of the law, and in this case, as well as in the former, he suffered in the cause of his country, which was the cause of truth and justice. He thought it, therefore, extremely harsh that a man so suffering for telling the truth, unjustifiably should be classed with the greatest culprits and felons in the admeasurement of his punishment, at the insolent discretion of a gaoler. There was besides a circumstance in the sentence of the court on Mr. Finnerty, which must have operated with peculiar severity in his case. It was well known that Mr. Finnerty had been for many years employed in this great city in a way most flattering to his literary talents, and, he believed, as productive in point of emolument as it was honourable. What, then, must have been the sufferings of this unfortunate gentleman, not only to have been thrown into goal for eighteen months, but to be banished to so remote a distance as Lincoln, from the scene of his industry, and thus cut off from his literary connections, and perhaps the means of common subsistence? Under all the circumstances of the case, he thought it most particularly deserving the attention of the House. He concluded, by entreating of the right hon. Secretary to take the most speedy and effectual means of putting a stop to the system of oppression, by which Mr. Finnerty appeared to have been so shamefully persecuted.

Lord Castlereagh

said, that his right hon. friend, the Secretary for the Home Department, had done him but justice in giving him credit for his wishes, respecting the mitigation of Mr. Finnerty's sufferings. When he had first heard of that gentleman's application upon that subject, he did not feel himself prohibited from interposing with his Majesty's, government, for the immediate and effectual repression of any undue severities which might have been experienced by Mr. Finnerty. In claiming every exemption from such oppression, be thought that the petitioner was asking not for indulgence, but for justice. Neither could any proceedings that might be taken in consequence of this Petition, be considered as a mark of indulgence to the Petitioner, it would be in effect but remedying a wrong, restoring Mr. Finnerty to aright. In saying this much of the motive of the present application, which appeared to him, if Mr. Finnerty thought himself aggrieved, to be a very justifiable appeal, he could not help alluding so Jar to the remote cause of the Petitioner's present situation. He had not, he trusted, been remarkable for following up with any vindictive animadversions, attacks of a certain nature, but the one made by Mr. Finnerty, was, he must say, so gross a libel, not merely personally upon him, but upon the administration in general of Ireland at that time, that he thought his passing it over in silence might have been misinterpreted as a tame acquiescence in the truth of charges so extremely heinous. He had, therefore, no alternative left him, but such an acquiescence, or the discharge of a painful public duty; in the discharge of it he had been influenced by no private motive. The House would do him the justice to admit, that in attacks of that kind, merely affecting himself personally, he had not proved himself extremely querulous; but in the present case, had he passed it over, he should hare really thought himself guilty of a great breach of public duty; that duty, however, having been now discharged, he should have great pleasure in forwarding every means for the removal of any oppressive usage, which the Petitioner might have experienced. Nor, indeed, should he have been unwilling to have been instrumental in applying to the fountain of mercy, had not the repetition of Mr. Finnerty's assertion of the truth of his statements of torture, &c. in the petition now upon their table, tied up his bonds effectualy from any such interposition. It did not however preclude him from joining With the House in providing that the wrongs of which the Petitioner complained, should be redressed.—Having said so much upon the question, as affecting Mr. Finnerty and himself, nothing that had fallen from the hon. gent. who spoke last, should tempt him to go then into the discussion of the conduct of the Irish government during the times so warmly alluded to; but this he would take the liberty of saying, that upon that question, when brought before parliament in a way likely to be subservient to the purposes of truth, he should be prepared to meet that hon. gent. or any other, and to prove to the satisfaction of the House and of the country, that the general conduct of the Irish Administration (he spoke not of individual instances of cruelty, which nothing could justify), was at that time fully justifiable.

Sir Samuel Romilly

said, that this appear-ed to him to be a case of the very last importance; there was one material fact which had not been at all explained by his right hon. friend the Secretary for the Home Department. When this person was sent to the castle of Lincoln, there to be confined pursuant to his sentence; the gaoler locked him up in a solitary cell appropriated to felons—upon what authority did the gaoler venture to do this? the prisoner was not sentenced to solitary imprisonment—a punishment concerning which, however, he believed, there were no small doubts, as to whether there were any sanction of it to be found in the laws of England—but be that as it might, if there was such a distinction, was the imposing of it to be left in the hands of a gaoler? This would be a power beyond any thing exercised by the King's bench. That court sentenced one man to twelve months imprisonment—another to eighteen—another to two years—but what was the difference of a few months more or less confinements compared with that of solitary confinement, in a felon's cell, shut out from every intercourse, and even the means of earning subsistence wiihheld; and was this fearful discretion to be left to the whim of a gaoler? This was not the case of a private individual; it was the case of the public; this was putting into the hands of every gaoler the severest punishment that could be inflicted on a British subject short of death. Another consideration was that the punishment of the rich man would be essentially different from that of the poor man, though confined for the same offence, and under the very same sentence: from gaolers it might not be so wonderful; but what were they to say to magistrates who could have the face to tell this wretched man, that for three guineas a week more he could he accommodated with a better apartment? What! was this language for magistrates, who officially stood between the prisoner and oppression, to make use of in answer to an application for redress? This was a circumstance which could not rest there; it was certainly very late in the session, but late as it was, he thought that this fact and others, particularly the power so shamefully usurped by the gaoler, ought to be made the ground of a parliamentary enquiry.

Mr. William Smith

declared that his hon. and learned friend had said every thing he meant to have said upon the subject. If the gaoler could put a man in solitary confinement, how was that man to get redress? He gave, perhaps, a letter to the turnkey to put in the post-office, and he threw it behind the fire—how then was it to be known? The man might die, and the gaoler might report him as having died in a fit, and bring in all his turnkeys to swear to it. He wished to know, who was answerable for all this? which of the five parties already mentioned in the course of the debate had the responsibility? was it the Secretary for the home department, the court of King's bench, the magistrates, the sheriff, or the gaoler?

Mr. D. Giddy

admitted that the conversation alleged to have been held with the prisoner by the magistrates was, on their part, very reprehensible, but there could be no doubt, that even in saying what they did, their motive could not hare been of any base or unworthy description.

Mr. Secretary Ryder,

in explanation, stated, that the one hour's air and exercise had been at first enlarged to three hours at different times, one hour each time, and that on certain gross and indecent improprieties having been committed by the prisoner, that time had not been lessened; but it was thought advisable that he should take the three hours exercise at once, from eleven till two, every day: the cold of the apartment had been remedied by a baize door. If was a mistake to represent Mr. Finnerty as under solitary confinement. He was under no such thing. As to the complaint made by an hon. gentleman of the severity of banishing the petioner to a gaol so distant from the metropolis, it was in compliance with the earnest applications of the prisoner's friends that he was not sent to a prison in the immediate vicinity of London, but sent to a country gaol, and one which was con- sidered the healthiest in England. He understood that the offensive smell complained of did not exist. He professed-himself, however, ready to recommend the adoption of every measure likely to promote the health and accommodation of the prisoner, and at the same time consistent with the precautions necessary to prevent a recurrence of the same indecent irregularities to which he had alluded.

Mr. Whitbread

said that it appeared from various statements of Mr. Finnerty, that the gaoler had acted towards him in the most brutal manner possible, answering all his applications for redress by messages through the turnkey conveyed in terms the most insolent and scandalous. He hoped the right hon. gentleman would engage to get Mr. Finnerty one of the front apartments in the more airy part of the prison.

Mr. Secretary Ryder

could not give any other than the general pledge he had given, qualified by the conditions he had annexed to it.

Mr. Charles Adams

hoped, now that the right hon. gentleman had promised every thing necessary to remedy the grievances complained of by Mr. Finnerty, the object of the petition had thus been gained and since that was the case, he trusted the discussion would not continue the whole night. An hon. gentleman had favoured the House with a high and elaborate eulogium on Mr. Finnerty, and had certainly in the course of it brought certain merits of that person to light which he had never before heard attributed to him. He hoped, however, now that the wishes of the House were known upon the subject, that there would be no necessity for any more eulogies upon the great services and great talents of Mr. Finnerty.

Mr. Hutchinson

said, in explanation, that in what he had said of Mr. Finnerty, he did not affect to pass any eulogy upon him. He had merely stated what he understood to be facts; and if those facts were of a nature so praise-worthy as to amount in effect to an eulogy, he did not see why the statement of them should have been so offensive to the hon. gentleman's delicacy. He might, however, call it eulogy if he pleased; but while it was true, he should not be ashamed of it. He did not think it ought to be withheld from Mr. Finnerty merely because he happened to be at that time an unfortunate prisoner pining in a cell. His motive, in saying what he had of Mr Finnerty was to do away that prejudice which he feared had been but too active against him in this country, and which was, perhaps, in part the cause of the oppressions under which he now laboured, and which it would be to the disgrace of that House to have heard, and not remedied.

Mr. C. Adams,

in explanation, said, that he did not doubt the statement made by the hon. gentleman; but had said only that he had attributed to Mr. Finnerty qualities by which he had never before heard of his being distinguished.

Mr. Brougham

agreed with the noble lord who had expressed himself so handsomely on this question, that this was an application for justice, not indulgence. He wished to set the right hon. Secretary right as to one point. He was present when the sentence was passed on Mr. Finnerty, and the jail then mentioned, he perfectly recollected, was the castle of Lincoln. He contended that the statement in the petition amounted to an allegation of solitary confinement. A learned friend of his had applied for admission; he at first got a flat refusal, but on his pressing his right of access, he was told that Mr. Finnerty did not wish to see any body; this evasion would not serve; his friend insisted upon Yes or No, and intimidated them into their duty. The teamed gentleman then proceeded to comment upon the great hardship and injustice of lodging in the hands of a gaoler a power he might so easily pervert to satisfy the mean purposes of private pique. He insisted that the allegations of Mr. Finnerty respecting the dampness and noisome smell of the room were perfectly correct. Let the magistrates or gaoler who doubted them be treated with a night or two's lodging in the same apartment, and perhaps they might be then better disposed to agree with him. A common sewer passed, through the middle of the room immediately under the flooring, and emitted a most noisome effluvia.

Sir F. Burdett

said, he now recollected another friend of his who had called, and had been refused access to Mr. Finnerty. He was however admitted to him at a subsequent period; and so dark was the room at mid-day, that Mr. Finnerty was obliged to read the letter he brought him at the grate by the light of the fire.

Mr. Ryder

repeated what he before said as to the advice he should give for the redress of Mr. Finnerty, stating at the same time, that he had understood that the persons charged with the custody of the gaol of Lincoln had in general discharged their duty with fidelity and attention to the general accommodation of the prisoners.

The Petition was then ordered to He on, the table.