§ Sir W. Lemon
presented a petition from the inhabitants of Truro, in Cornwall, complaining of the late proceeding by Bill of Pains and Penalties against their beloved and gracious Queen. They prayed the House to use its influence in restoring her majesty's name to the Liturgy, and in re-instating her in all the constitutional rights and privileges which belonged to her as Queen Consort of these realms; they also prayed an inquiry into the conspiracy by which her majesty had been accused; and expressed a hope that parliament would exert itself to prevent a recurrence of those disgraceful proceedings against her, by which the country had so long been agitated.
presented a similar petition from the inhabitants of Bridgewater, upon which he begged to offer a few observations. The petition would show the sentiments entertained by them of her majesty's innocence of the gross charges made against her. For himself, he was not influenced by any opinion either of her majesty's guilt or innocence. He disapproved of the whole proceeding, because he felt that the charges brought against her majesty were of a most vague and indefinite nature, and in opposition to the established laws of the country.—He disapproved of those proceedings, because they did not afford her majesty the same means of defence which were grant- 66 ed to an accused party in every other case. But looking at those proceedings in another point of view, he disapproved of them because he conceived them to be a violent attack upon the Constitution; for if the Bill of Pains and Penalties had been forced through both Houses of Parliament, and had received the royal assent, he knew not how soon or how often new prejudices might arise, and new charges be made out against other parties. He knew not how soon new modes of trial might be introduced, calculated to insure a conviction against any individual accused, however exalted, or however innocent [Hear hear!]. He opposed the measure, because he felt convinced that it was "derogatory from the dignity of the Crown, and injurious to the best interests of the country." The House of Commons had endeavoured to put an end to the proceeding, but, unfortunately, in vain. It was not, however, yet too late to step in and preserve the confidence of the country; it was not yet too late to exert themselves for the preservation of what yet remained of the constitution. That constitution had of late been suspended, and in its room were substituted laws hastily enacted, and calculated for temporary purposes only.—These were the sentiments which he entertained upon the late proceedings, as well as upon the present state of the country. He did not at first intend to make any observations on presenting the petition; but knowing that it expressed the sentiments of a great portion of the loyal inhabitants of Bridgewater, he conceived himself bound to say a few words upon it.
§ Sir Robert Wilson
thought, that as ministers took care to publish all the loyal addresses, as they were called, and the loyal addresses only, in the gazette, the petitioners to Parliament in favour of her majesty were entitled to have their petitions printed. He therefore moved, that the said petitions be printed.
The petitions were accordingly ordered to be printed.
§ Mr. Pearse
presented a petition from, the inhabitants of Northallerton, complaining of the late proceeding against her majesty, which they observed had its origin in a foul and malignant conspiracy. They prayed the restoration of her majesty's name to the Liturgy, that a provision suitable to her rank as Queen Consort should be made for her, and that an immediate inquiry should be entered into, as to the origin of the Milan commission, 67 from which all the charges against her majesty appear to have originated.
said, that a petition had been presented, praying that House to institute an inquiry into the conspiracy against the Queen. He wished to learn from the noble lord opposite when he meant to institute that inquiry. The noble lord had said, during the last session, that if there was any conspiracy, it ought to be investigated, it ought to be probed to the bottom, in order that its nature, extent, and authors might be known. He (Mr. W.) would say, that a more foul and abominable conspiracy he had never heard of. The evidence produced against her majesty was proved to be all false and perjured. The accusations brought by his majesty's ministers had been supported by testimony which was proved to be perjured, bribed, procured by the most corrupt means and influence. The whole of the base and abominable proceeding was marked by bribery, perjury, and subornation. It was perfectly clear that the Milan commission was at the bottom of this foul and atrocious conspiracy.
said, he would not be dragged prematurely, by large and high sounding phrases into a discussion of such an important question. He meant no personal disrespect to the honourable member; but, on a question so grave and so important, he would not make any statements until it should come under the judgment of the House fairly. If the hon. gentleman thought it proper that parliament should institute an inquiry of the kind alluded to, it was perfectly competent for him to move such an inquiry. He was in the recollection of the House, when he said, that in the last session, when a gallant general (Sir R. Ferguson) had moved for the production of documents to show the nature of the Milan commission, he (Lord C.) had complained of the choice of time for such a motion, when the conduct of the Queen herself was under investigation. He must really express his surprise that gentlemen who had on every occasion when the house met moved an address to his majesty for a prorogation, in order to extinguish all inquiry on the subject of the Queen, should now appear so anxious to move any question on the subject.
Sir R. Fergusson
said, it was true, that he had, last session made a motion on this subject, of which the noble lord had got rid by a mode peculiar to himself; that 68 of moving the previous question. He wished, however, to remind the noble lord of his having then expressed his readiness to enter on the inquiry, when the proper period arrived. Now then, the proper period was arrived, and he put it to the noble lord whether he was ready to redeem his pledge?
said, the gallant general had assumed that this was the proper time for entering upon such an inquiry. If he conceived so, let him make any motion he pleased upon the subject.
said, that, when the infamous bill of Pains and Penalties was in the other House, and when the infamous evidence in support of it had been circulated through the country, he had taken upon himself to say, that the evidence was decisive of the existence of a conspiracy—he would not say by whom—against the honour and dignity of the Queen. The noble lord had then said, that if a conspiracy did exist, he wished most anxiously to have it brought to light. He now called upon the noble lord to put his most anxious wish into execution. Ministers owed it to themselves, to the Crown, and to the country, to institute an inquiry into this odious transaction. Be they guilty or not guilty, they were charged by the country with having conspired against the honour and character of her majesty; and they were bound to enter upon the inquiry, if they valued what remained of their character. The noble lord accused the Opposition side of the House, with having last year endeavoured to put a stop to the proceedings against her majesty. True, they did so, because they not only saw the iniquity of the measure, but the evils which it would bring upon the country. Therefore it was, that they called for a prorogation of parliament. But now they called for inquiry, for the purpose of punishing the guilty, even though they should be found to be the confidential ministers and advisers of the Crown. There was nothing more natural than that ministers should wish to keep themselves safe; but the hoxir for such an inquiry would come, and that he hoped and trusted very shortly. He was anxious, for the honour of his majesty, that a full inquiry should be gone into. That House was bound to speak strongly, to prove that there existed a mutual feeling between the House and the country, and to force and drag for- 69 ward not only the Milan commission, but all the advisers of that proceeding, and to insist on the restoration of her majesty's name to the Liturgy.
said, it was for those honourable members who alleged that a conspiracy existed to prove it. It was rather too much to call upon those who were not aware of any such conspiracy to prove its existence.
Sir R. Fergusson
asked the noble lord, whether the conspiracy, or whatever it was called, by which the evidence was collected, did not cost money? and if so, whether that expense was to be brought under the notice of parliament?
§ Mr. Curwen
said, he held in his hand a petition from the borough of Cocker-mouth, which was most respectably signed, by a great proportion of the inhabitants of that town. The petitioners complained of the injustice done to her majesty in striking her name out of the Liturgy, before any trial had been instituted against her. They went on to state, that they had seen with sorrow and indignation the perjury and prevarication used in the witnesses against her majesty. They prayed that her majesty's name might be restored to the Liturgy; and also that the House would exert its influence in advising his majesty to dismiss from his councils his present ministers; men who, for the last twenty years, had declined practising that economy which was recommended from time to time by the Crown. He felt himself bound to support this petition. He had for years been listening to the tales and slanders which had been circulated against her majesty, and what was the result? They had heard the evidence brought forward against her majesty—evidence upon which, as a juryman, he, upon his oath, would have acquitted her. He pledged himself, that he, for one, would use every effort in his power to restore to her majesty those rights and privileges which belonged to her as Queen Consort. He hoped ministers would retrace their steps, and render to her majesty that justice to which she was entitled. This was the only means by which the peace of the country could be restored.
§ Mr. Sykes
presented a similar petition from the inhabitants of Kingston-upon-Hull. The hon. member said, he would not, after what had been already said, offer a single observation upon this petition, were it not that those persons who 70 signed such petitions were branded with the charge of radicalism. If this was radicalism, then the greatest portion of the country were radicals. His majesty's ministers had, from the moment they advised the omission of the queen's name in the Liturgy, systematically attacked and insulted her majesty. They had caused an irritation of the public mind, which would exist until her majesty was restored to those rights and privileges which belonged to her exalted station in the country.
§ Mr. Lambton
said, he held in his hands a petition from the inhabitants of Stockton, in the county of Durham, most numerously and respectably signed, deprecating the late odious and uncalled for proceedings against her majesty, and praying the interference of that House to have her restored to all her just and constitutional rights. In availing himself of this opportunity for submitting a few observations on the subject, he must remark, in the first place, that it would be more to the honour of the House, and would tend more to sustain its character and dignity, if they were to pay a greater degree of attention to the sentiments and prayers of the people. The present was a time when the House was labouring under the just reproach of but ill representing the sense of the country. He could not easily understand, therefore, with what propriety it could be made matter of charge against any individual member, that he had given expression to the feelings and opinions of his constituents. The petitioners in this instance complained, after professions of their own loyalty and attachment to the constitution, of a class of persons calling themselves exclusive loyalists, (No, no; from a member on the ministerial side of the House.) If the hon. member who thus interrupted him could show that he was stating what was not the fact, he should be ready to confess his error; but if he was accurately describing the contents of this petition, he was not to be deterred by such cries from the open and fearless discharge of his duty. He should, therefore, now repeat, that the petitioners complained of a class of persons arrogating to themselves the merit of exclusive loyalty, and accusing their fellow-countrymen of hostility to the throne, on no other ground than their hostility to his majesty's ministers. Amongst the many amusing exhibitions 71 which characterised the discussion of last night, there was not one more singular than the effort of the noble lord opposite to persuade himself and the House that he and his colleagues possesed the confidence of the people. To the noble lord's assertion he would, without fear of contradiction, reply, that not only nine-tenths, but nineteen-twentieths of the people of the United Kingdom were in avowed and open hostility, not to the sovereign, but to his ministers. The lion of England, it had been said, was roused; but it was rather out of character that the den of the British lion should be found in rotten boroughs, in Scottish counties and close councils. He sincerely trusted that the House would at length feel the necessity of attending to the petitions of the people. The refusal might possibly lead to consequences which all of them might rue. The petition which he held in his hand deprecated the unparalleled persecution to which her majesty had been exposed, and prayed for her restoration to the Liturgy, from which she had been so unjustifiably excluded. In these opinions of the petitioners, he most cordially concurred. He should have the honour on a future occasion, to present a similar petition from the county of Durham.
said, he was not aware of any disposition on the part of the House to treat the petitions of any class of his majesty's subjects with indifference or neglect; but the hon. member had attributed to him a speech which it might have been desirable that he should make, but which he nevertheless had not made. All that he recollected to have said on the subject was, that he was not bound to answer any question when he considered that it might be inconvenient to the public service.
§ Mr. Lambton
denied that he had put into the noble lord's mouth any sentiments which he had not uttered, or that he had any intention of placing the noble lord in a wrong light before the country. His allusion, in the first instance, was to the noble lord's answer that evening to the observations of his hon. friend the member for Essex. The expression relative to the British lion he did not ascribe to the noble lord; he had met with it in a part of the Press which was very zealous and active in the service of his majesty's ministers.
§ Mr. Benett,
of Wiltshire, said, he was 72 intrusted with a petition from the freeholders of the county of Wilts, agreed to at a meeeting very numerously and respectably attended. He mentioned this on account of the circumstance of the petition being subscribed only by the high sheriff and 100 freeholders—a circumstance which was owing entirely to the shortness of the interval between the time at which the meeting was held, and the assembling of parliament. Had this period been of longer duration, the petition would have been signed, by many thousands. It prayed that the House would use its best endeavours to prevent the unfortunate, unconstitutional, and uncalled-for proceedings against the Queen from being revived; and, by procuring the re-insertion of her majesty's name in the Liturgy, to put an end at once to all further agitation of the question. He had been desired to support the prayer of this petition, and he now supported it, not in obedience to the order of his constituents—an obedience to which he did not think himself bound-but from inclination, and because his own opinion fully coincided with theirs. It had, indeed, his most cordial support. He did not know what might be the intentions of his majesty's ministers as to any ulterior proceedings on this subject; but after the abrupt and ungracious manner in which parliament had prorogued at the close of the last session, leaving the Queen in a predicament such as no crminal was ever placed in—that is, after accusation, and trial, to be left in a state neither of acquittal or conviction for six weeks, but in a state almost as anomalous as the trial itself—from all this, it was not unnatural to infer, that some renewal of the odious measure was still in contemplation. Whether the proceeding was to be brought forward in a direct shape, or was only to affect the necessary arrangements for the Queen's establishment, he was at present ignorant. Whatever difference of opinion might prevail with regard to what had been proved against the Queen, he for one denied that any offence had been proved, and maintained that upon every principle of justice, as well as in the eye of the law, she was fully acquitted; but, however men might differ as to that point, all were agreed, that it was high time to put a stop to proceedings which had agitated the public mind in an unheard of manner, and to take the state of the 73 country into serious consideration, with a view of relieving the distresses of a loyal and suffering people. He believed this was the unanimous opinion of the county of Wilts; and a more loyal county there was not in the realm of England. He therefore entreated his majesty's ministers, if they had any respect for public opinion—if they had any feeling for the distresses of the people—if they had any regard for themselves and for their own character, to bring at once this question to a close, and to heal the differences which it had so unhappily created.
§ Mr. Tennyson
said, that he had a petition to present from the borough of Great Grimsby, in the county of Lincoln. What had fallen the night before from the noble lord had led, certainly, to an inference in his mind, that it was not the intention of his majesty's government to take any further steps against the Queen. He understood the noble lord to say, that but one proposition would be submitted relative to the Queen, and. that this would be on the subject of the income to be provided for her. All he should say, therefore, at present, on this point was, that his majesty's ministers would have better consulted their duty, if, instead of abruptly dismissing parliament, they had, by proposing an immediate provision, and candidly disclaiming any intention to renew the prosecution, rendered the numerous meetings which had since taken place, and the petitions which were now pouring in upon them, unnecessary. This remark, however, he made on the presumption that no further proceedings were meditated; but it was a presumption in which he was strongly fortified by the expression of the noble lord. With respect to the restoration of her majesty's name to the Liturgy, he must observe, that the principle on which he always understood it to have been originally excluded, was the existence of charges, an inquiry into which might afterwards render it necessary to remove it. His majesty's ministers were now reduced to the alternative of allowing that the charges had not been proved, or maintaining that the defence had failed. They had not maintained the latter proposition; and he could not, therefore, conceive what fair objection could be now urged to the insertion of her majesty's name. He should now present the petition, which prayed, that a royal residence might be assigned to the Queen, and 74 that she should be put in possession of all the dignities and privileges of her exalted station.
§ Mr. Hume
presented petitions from Perth, Aberdeen, Annan, and Banff, praying for the restoration of her majesty's name to the Liturgy, and that a suitable income and residence might be afforded her. He had no hesitation in stating, that if Scotland had been adequately and fairly represented—if it had the benefit of that reform in the state of the representation, the necessity of which was felt by the whole empire, and which he fondly anticipated, there would not have been a single petition from that class now called the exclusive loyalists of the country.
§ Mr. Estcourt
said, he held in his hand a petition signed by 400 persons, inhabitants of Devizes. It complained of the exclusion of her majesty's name from the Liturgy, the corrupt offer which had been made to her to induce her to remain abroad, the refusal of every advantage to enable her to make a full defence, and the production of a mass of false evidence against her. It prayed that the House would adopt measures for restoring her to the full and and unqualified enjoyment of all her rights and privileges, as the only means of averting consequences detrimental to the best interests, and dangerous to the tranquillity of the country.
Mr. Robert Gordon
observed, that he had anticipated that which had now taken place. The hon. member did indeed present the petition of 400 of the inhabitants of Devizes, but he had not thought proper to say one word in support of it. Although the hon. member and his hon. colleague (Mr. Pearce) were members for the town of Devizes, and therefore had no objection to present this petition; yet, in point of fact, those who subscribed it had no right to look for any support from either of them. In common parlance, the two hon. gentlemen, for whom he personally entertained great respect, were called members for Devizes; but in reality were the representatives only of some twenty or thirty aldermen in that borough. This was a very happy illustration of what had, the night before, fallen from the noble lord (Castlereagh,) as to his hopes of enjoying the confidence of the House and of the country. The confidence of the House, indeed, the noble lord was pretty sure of possessing, just as he was sure of possessing the confidence of the aldermen at Devizes: but was he 75 as secure of the confidence of the people of that town, four hundred of whom had signed the petition? They stated, that they viewed the proceedings of his majesty's ministers with abhorrence and execration; and would the noble lord, therefore, boast that he enjoyed any portion of their confidence. A more complete illustration of the noble lord's popularity, and of the general confidence which was placed in his measures, could not possibly have occured. For his own part, in giving his support to this petition, he might regard himself as much more the representative of Devizes than the hon. member, as many of its inhabitants were freeholders in that part of Wiltshire with which he was connected. He should only add, that he concurred most cordially in all the sentiments contained in the petition.
§ Mr. Pearse
said, that, as one of the members for the town of Devizes, he had communicated with some of the petitioners; and when they had desired him to support the prayer of their petition, he had told them frankly, that he had an opinion as well as themselves upon the subject of it, and that he could not give it his support. The 400 persons whom the hon. gentleman had described as of so much consequence at Devizes as fairly to express the general sense entertained there, were not persons of weight or consequence, but had been selected with great pains, and without reference to their qualifications. An address, containing very different sentiments, had been agreed to by those who possessed the intelligence and respectability of the town.
Sir Francis Burdett
observed, that as an example of the great variety of opinion which existed on this painful subject, they were told, that the view taken by the 400 petitioners differed from that of the mayor, and a few, he believed twelve, aldermen. This was undoubtedly a very fair specimen of the manner in which the people were represented, and their sentiments expressed in that House. He trusted, however, that the country was to be at length tranquillized; and that, by a compliance with the prayer of so many petitions, parliament would find leisure to apply its attention to more important subjects. He was gratified to hear from the noble lord an explanation of what was before somewhat ambiguous, and that ministers no longer contemplated 76 any further hostile proceedings against the Queen. This would undoubtedly prove consolatory to the public; and indeed it seemed to him that, the bill having failed, there was no longer any justifiable ground for withholding any of the privileges which were usually annexed to her majesty's exalted station. It was but a corollary from that failure, that she should be placed in the same situation as she would have occupied, had no charges been preferred, and especially as the bill bad so utterly failed—as it had never passed one House, but had been abandoned, as if they were ashamed of it, by its own authors. It was but consonant with those principles of justice which so happily characterised the people of this country, that after the prosecution had broken down—after the prosecutors themselves had in shame retreated from their odious proceeding—no aspersion should be thrown or indignity remain attached to the character of the Queen. Those very persons who arrogated to themselves the designation of exclusively loyal, if they had sense or policy, must feel the necessity of such a course. It was due to the dignity and character of the monarchy. Nothing could be more derogatory to either, than to adopt a line of proceeding which, though incompetent to effect a conviction, uncandidly refused to acquit. The noble lord himself, he should imagine, must regret that the investigation had ever been entered on, and that he had not adopted the advice tendered to him by that House. The treatment which the Queen had received had roused the indignation of every honest mind, and had excited a feeling of disgust which similar conduct would always produce in this country. She had been treated as one neither convicted nor acquitted, but on whom it was wished to affix a stigma. Nothing now would satisfy the public, but that she should enjoy all the rights of Queen Consort.
did not rise to make any general observations on what had fallen from the hon. baronet; but lest it might be supposed, from the tone and temper assumed by the hon. baronet, that his majesty's government had altered or abandoned some intention which they might have entertained in the period intervening between the commencement of the proceedings and the giving up of the bill, he could assure the hon. baronet, that no such alteration had taken place. 77 The bill was withdrawn without any idea of substituting any other proceeding in its place, and ministers continued in the same position of determination.
§ Mr. Estcourt
observed, in answer to what had fallen from the hon. baronet, that he was elected, not by 12, but by 36 persons (a laugh.) Undoubtedly, he was elected to represent the borough of Devizes, by that number of individuals; but his apprehension was, that when he was sent to the House of Commons, he was one of the representatives of the whole nation, and was called on to take care, not merely of the interests of his constituents but of the empire at large. A more loyal, independent, or respectable body of men did not exist, than the corporation of Devizes; and the hon. baronet was mistaken if he supposed that any kind of improper inducement was held out to the members of that corporation to influence them to pursue a course contrary to their honest conviction, when the election of members to serve them in parliament took place. It was not true that the corporation of Devizes was biassed by any unworthy feeling; and it was equally untrue, that the members for that borough, when they came into the House of Commons, were influenced by any feeling but an honest desire to promote the good of the empire at large.
Sir F. Burdett
begged pardon for setting the hon. gentleman right upon one point. He had not said a syllable that in the slightest degree reflected either on him or his constituents. With respect to the question he had put to the noble lord, he did not consider the answer that had been given to it as satisfactory. From what the noble lord said, it appeared that ministers now continued in the "position of determination" which they had formed previously to the commencement of those proceedings. But he conceived it to be very important for the House and the country to know, and to know distinctly, whether they were to consider that no further criminatory proceedings would be resorted to against the queen.
said, that when the hon. baronet, had before put this question, he expressed himself as if the government were now occupied in considering some proceeding which they had not contemplated previously to the withdrawing of the bill. In answer, he had distinctly stated to the House, that the moment the bill was withdrawn, government ceased 78 to entertain the idea of any further hostile proceeding. It did not, however, follow, that her majesty's name should be restored to the Liturgy.
§ Mr. Brougham
said, the noble lord had informed the House, that all proceedings against her majesty had ceased, and that it was not the intention of his majesty's government to institute any further proceedings in the way of trial. Was he to understand, not only that no further trial would be instituted, but that nothing in the nature of punishment would be continued, as if the trial had proceeded and terminated in a conviction?
said, that punishment was not to be presumed or supposed, because his majesty was not advised by his ministers to alter that arrangement which his majesty, in council, had thought fitting to have carried into effect before the proceeding was instituted.
§ Lord John Russell
begged to call to the recollection of the noble lord the grounds on which, during the last session, the exclusion of her majesty's name from the Liturgy was defended by ministers. Would they, it was asked, place in the Liturgy the name of a person over whom heavy charges were pending, and which name, in the event of guilt being established, they would be bound to erase? If then, such exclusion was continued, he was forced to conclude that ministers took it for granted, that those heavy charges had been substantiated against her majesty.
rose to present a petition from the inhabitants of Ilchester, in which the petitioners expressed their detestation of the measures that had been adopted towards her majesty, and prayed that a provision suitable to her rank might be afforded her, and that she should be restored to her just rights and immunities. He was in the recollection of the House, and they would be able to judge of the correctness of the statement he was about to make. The noble lord, in answer to a question put to him by a right hon. friend of his, relative to the adjournments that took place during the last session, had said, that the consideration of the question would be postponed to a future day, in order to see whether the proceedings would arrive at such a conclusion, in the House of Lords, as to occasion the measure then in progress to be brought down to this House; and that, if it took a different turn, parliament would meet to make a provision for her majesty. (Lord 79 Castlereagh expressed his dissent.) The noble lord shook his head, but still he believed that his statement was correct. He was sorry that they were not at once called on to make a provision for her majesty. He lamented, for the sake of the country, that from the course ministers were pursuing, all those questions which had already created so much unpleasant feeling, were likely to be farther discussed; and, in consequence, that disgust which bad already been excited, and that spirit which ought if possible, to be softened down, would be extended and encouraged. The petitioners expressed their wish that her majesty's name should be immediately restored to the Liturgy, and that the House would institute an inquiry into the origin of the Milan commission, and bring to punishment all those who had been instrumental in the persecution of her majesty. Would to God he could entertain any rational hope that the House would acquiesce in the prayer of the petition! But he could not expect that, so long as he saw the sentiments of the people opposed to the majority of their representatives, It would be well if they attended to the petitions of the people before the day came—and it might come much sooner than many persons imagined—when a reform would be hastily resorted to, instead of being the result of calm deliberation.
observed, that if the learned gentleman meant to say, that he had intimated, that, in the event of the bill not passing the other House of Parliament, the House of Commons should meet for the purpose of granting a provision to her majesty, he must declare that he never said the House should so meet; and that he could not have said so, because he never had any such impression on his mind. He thought the learned gentleman must recollect what passed on that occasion; and if he did, he would find that it did not bear him out in his statement. He had said, that if the bill came down from the other House, he would then enforce the call; but if it did not, he considered that step unnecessary. Now it was evident they could not have proceeded to consider of a provision for the Queen, without entering into all the collateral topics that were connected with the subject; and that could never have been done without an enforcement of the call. The observation of a noble lord on that occasion, was, that there would be, 80 in the event of the failure of the bill, two subjects for consideration; one, the provision to be made for the Queen, and the other the conduct of his majesty's ministers. He (Lord C.) however, stated (and such was the understanding of the House) that if the bill did not come down, the House would not meet to consider of the provision necessary for her majesty, or to investigate the conduct of ministers; and he added, that under these circumstances, parliament would be called on at the usual period to decide on a provision for her majesty.
said, he did not see the force of the reasons which the noble lord had adduced, with respect to what his learned friend had stated to have occurred on a former occasion. The noble lord might assert that he had no intention of stating the proposition that the House was to meet in order to provide for her majesty, and yet he might, unawares, have thrown out such a statement. When it was so strongly stated, as matter of recollection, that the words were used, it was more fair to suppose that something of the kind was said, than that no expression of that description occurred. The noble lord declared his statement to have been, that if the bill did not come down, the call of the House was not to be enforced; but if it did, that then the call would be enforced; and he argued that it would be impossible to discuss the subject of the intended provision, and the other topics connected with it, unless there was a call of the House. But it was very singular that they were now rapidly proceeding towards the consideration of the necessary provision for her majesty, and yet no call of the House had taken place. There was, it was true, a very full attendance of members, and doubtless many good reasons could be assigned for it. Notwithstanding what the noble lord had said, he would state most positively, that the impression on his mind was precisely the same as that which his learned friend appeared to have imbibed. The noble lord had said, that if the bill went on, there should be a call of the House; but if the bill did not proceed, it was consented to, by all parties, that the call should not take place for the purpose of adopting measures respecting the provision for her majesty. Now, he (lord F.) complained, that the call was not enforced for the purpose of considering those other matters to which the noble lord had re- 81 ferred.—He now begged leave to notice an observation which had fallen from the noble lord in the early part of the evening, when, in a manner that appeared most extraordinary, the noble lord had refused to answer a question put to him by the hon. member for Essex, relative to an inquiry into the origin of the Milan commission. The noble lord had said, "Oh, bring your question forward in the shape of a motion, and see how I'll treat it." But, nobody in that House knew better than the noble lord, the difference between a question brought forward by gentlemen on the other side of the House, and one introduced by those who were seated near his honourable friend. His honourable friend urged the necessity of an inquiry, with reasons which appeared to him to be extremely forcible; but, at the same time, he treated the application as a matter of courtesy. For his own part, he conceived that an inquiry ought to be instituted, on the very proposition laid down by the noble lord, who had said, that, if the bill failed, and if it were supposed that a conspiracy had been formed against the Queen, he would be the first and the most zealous in endeavouring to detect its authors. But he now met those who called for inquiry, with various observations on their inconsistency; as if it were inconsistent in those who attempted, in the first instance, to stop proceedings of which they disapproved—to go on with inquiries when those proceedings had ceased, tending to discover their origin. There was no inconsistency in it. He and his friends condemned the whole proceeding as bad. They considered it cruel and unjust. It was, he might say, an attack on hereditary monarchy—an attack on those principles on which hereditary monarchy was founded; and he was sorry that the different adjournments prevented such measures from being taken as would have put a stop to it much sooner, livery day that he considered this measure, he saw more and more the necessity that existed of putting an end to it at an earlier period. But the noble lord would not put a stop to it; and when he had poured forth a mass of filth and obscenity from the green bag, he turned round, and told those who had all along deprecated the measure, that they had no right to call for inquiry. When almost every man in the country felt that foul practices bad qeen adopted to injure the Queen, was it not incumbent on ministers, for their own 82 honour—was it not incumbent on the noble lord, out of regard for his own character as a promoter and supporter of those offensive measures—measures which had broken down under him and utterly failed—to institute an immediate inquiry? He should have thought, that the noble lord would have found it perfectly consistent with his honour and character to inquire into the origin of those measures; but certain he was, that there was no inconsistency in the conduct of those who had, from the beginning, opposed those proceedings, in now demanding that they should be probed to the bottom.
felt a strong conviction of his own correctness. He might be mistaken; but he hoped when the noble lord next made any statement on a subject of so important a nature, both to his majesty's government and the country, he would express himself in plain and intelligible language. This would be extremely convenient to honourable members, many of whom had come out of the country, eutertaining precisely the same opinion that he did.
§ Sir T. Acland
presented two petitions, condemning the conduct of ministers in the proceedings against the Queen, and praying, that her name might forthwith be restored to the Liturgy, One of them was from the inhabitants of Axminster; the other from the inhabitants of Colyton.
Mr. Alderman Heygate
rose, to present a similar petition from the inhabitants of the borough of Sudbury. He observed, that it prayed, that her majesty might be restored to the enjoyment of all her lawful rights and privileges; and, what was not common in these days, the language in which it was couched was not only respectful to both Houses of parliament, but also to the sovereign. He wished to take that opportunity of expressing his opinion on the subject of the petition, which his constituents had called upon him to support. This was a time when every man who valued the constitution should speak out. No man could deplore more than he did, the introduction of the bill of Pains and Penalties; and he deplored it because he firmly believed that it was not justified by any state necessity, nor could tend to any good purpose. He could not but congratulate the Mouse and the country on the declaration of the noble lord opposite, that there would be no further proceedings instituted against her majesty. He was one of those who de- 83 plored the original omission of the Queen's name in the Liturgy, because he foresaw that it would be productive of many evils; and because it gave the best opportunity to those who cared nothing for the Liturgy, to revile the sovereign, and to abuse and embarrass the government of the country [hear, hear! from the ministerial benches]. But it was one thing to regret the original omission, and another to vote for an address to the sovereign, to request the insertion of her majesty's name in the Liturgy. This subject was not to be decided by the Queen's guilt or innocence alone as to the charges preferred against her. There was another very important consideration; the line of political conduct which her majesty had chosen to pursue since her return to this country, and which was not more unbecoming her dignity, than it was at variance with the counsels of her sound and legitimate advisers. This line of conduct she had persevered in during the last four months; yet, on her first coming to this country, and when the proceedings against her had just commenced, she declared, that she would not mix her cause—the vindication of her character and honour; yes, she said she would not mix up that cause with the views of any political party whatever. Unfortunately, her majesty did not persist in that determination many days; she soon put her name to a letter addressed to her sovereign and husband; yes, to her husband; and he spoke as he was sure every man would speak, who felt for the character of his country; this letter contained sentiments, which, addressed to a private gentleman, would have been considered disrespectful in the extreme; but, when applied to the sovereign, became little less than what, in any other person, must have been visited with the punishment of the law. This letter was followed by a long series of attacks on the authority of both Houses of parliament; and they, were gravely told, if the bill passed both Houses, and became a law, it would be a matter of doubt how far the people would be bound to obey it. Incitements were also held out to the military, who were paid by that House, to interfere with the administration of justice. If the individuals who signed these petitions forgot these things, he, for one, was not prepared to forget them. He could not sit in silence, at such a moment, when the constitution was in danger; and it became 84 the House of Commons to reflect seriously before they paid honour and respect to an individual, however illustrious, and however unfortunate, who had been a party to those proceedings. He was willing to make great allowance for her majesty. It might have been supposed, that the foreign education of the Queen, and her imperfect knowledge of the language might have led her to have allowed sentiments to go abroad of a dangerous nature, without knowing the full extent of them; or that her feelings might on some occasions have made her intention appear worse than it really was. For those things he would be willing to make all due allowance, and if the mischief of which he complained had happened only once or twice, he should not have taken notice of it. But when it was not once or twice, but repeatedly, that those insults were offered to the stale and to the sovereign, when they were renewed at every opportunity, and were to be met perpetually in every newspaper which contained her answers to addresses; and that after repeated remonstrances from her best advisers, he could not but think that something serious was intended by the persons by whom she was surrounded. But, if nothing further was intended, and nothing, he knew, was more contrary to the advice which she received from her legal advisers, whose good sense, judgment, and real patriotism, made them aware of the evil that her cause must sustain from such proceedings, while the triumphant exertions of their talent bore it up even against those disadvantages, yet he must repeat, if nothing further was intended, parliament ought still to consider, that should they carry up an address to the throne in favour of a person who had so conducted herself, it would appear as if they acted upon a recognition of the propriety of such conduct. These were his unbiassed sentiments. He had never courted ministers on the one side, nor popular opinion on the other; and however they might be received, he never would be afraid to speak his sentiments. He hoped the moment would soon arrive when the memory of all those unhappy proceedings would be buried in complete oblivion. He trusted that the time would soon come when this question would altogether disappear, and the permanent and great interests of the country would occupy the attention of parliament, that we might be no longer the ridicule of 85 foreign nations. We had already suffered from this question in many respects, and he trusted it would not long continue to interrupt the proper business of the legislature and distract the community.
§ Mr. Hume
said, he was extremely sorry the lion, member had made a sort of general charge of treason—for he thought it was no less—against the Queen, for having uttered the sentiments contained in the letter to his majesty. He wished the hon. member had confined himself. to a statement of specific facts, and particular circumstances. He held that letter in his hand, and he called on the hon. member to point out any one passage that could justify the assertion he had advanced, much less that could warrant him in directing such an attack on an individual who was not, and who could not, be present to defend herself. The hon. member's conduct, in this instance, was like that of ministers on all occasions. The proceeding he had adopted was most ungenerous, most unmanly, most unfair; and in the face of the House, he protested against it. Why should the hon. member pursue the plan of the noble lord opposite, and endeavour, by a side-wind, to do that which he could not effect in a direct manner? If he wished to censure her majesty, or any of her advisers, he would have an opportunity of doing it plainly and openly; but the mode which he had been pleased to adopt was most unfair. He was as much disposed to support the authority of that House and the dignity of the throne as any man, but yet he would say, that no sentiment contained in the letter of the 7th of August, to which the Queen had put her name, appeared to his feeling to be at all improper [Hear, hear! from the ministerial benches]. Those who could lay their hands upon their hearts and applaud themselves for the conduct they had observed towards a deserted and defenceless woman, were of course extremely glad to receive any little assistance which gentlemen at either side of the House might be inclined to bestow on them. Therefore it was, that they so loudly cheered the hon. member who had just sat down; and the present cheers, though conveying a different meaning, formed a part of the same system. But let those who condemned the Queen place themselves in the situation in which she stood when that letter was written. Was there a man in that House so mean, 86 so dastardly, as to trample on an unprotected, a defenceless woman? Sorry he was to say, the ministers had done so. They had endeavoured to trample her to the dust by the basest and most infamous means. He used the word "infamous" in its strongest meaning—he used it in the broadest sense the English language could possibly affix to it. The people could now judge of the means to which her majesty's persecutors had had recourse. The proceedings in the Housed of Lords were in their hands; and all the country must perceive, what he, in his conscience believed, that, from the beginning to the end, the whole of the measures adopted against her majesty were most base and infamous. What was the situation of this illustrious but unfortunate woman? To what situation was she to come? The worthy alderman admitted, that it was highly improper and highly wrong to strike the Queen's name out of the Liturgy; and yet, though he made this admission, he said he could not call for its restoration to the place from which it had been so unjustifiably withdrawn—thus adding injury to wrong and perpetuating injustice. The avowal of such a doctrine was most disgraceful. Let the noble lord opposite, who had cheered the worthy alderman, in the course of his observations, reflect, if ever. reflection met him, when he laid down his head upon his pillow. [A laugh from the ministerial benches, and cries of "Hear!" from the opposite side.] He could expect nothing else than that laugh from the gentlemen opposite—he could expect nothing else from those whose public and, private sentiments were devoted to the cause of ministers, and who sacrificed every thing at the shrine of power.—But he would call upon the House to recollect the situation in which the Queen was placed on the eve of her return to this country: to understand and fairly appreciate her majesty's conduct, it was necessary to refer back to the situation in which she had been placed by his majesty's ministers. As Queen Consort upon the demise of the late king, she was entitled as such to the same respect on account of her rank as the king was by virtue of his. If royalty were to be supported, there could be no distinction between the two. The law conferred particular rank on each, and by the same right, both the one and the other were entitled to it. If his majesty were de facto King, why was not her majesty 87 to be considered de facto Queen Consort? Was it not the duty of the king's ministers to pay her the respect to which, from her situation, she was entitled; and to take care that she should suffer no improper indignity? But what did they do? When her majesty was about to return to this country, she applied to lord Liverpool to provide a suitable residence for her; she also applied to lord Melville for a proper vessel to convey her across the Channel. The former returned no answer, and the latter transmitted a refusal—that is, a refusal to pay the Queen of England that respect in the mode of conveyance which was allotted to every petty German prince who visited this country. Was that justifiable treatment? Was it becoming, or decent, or proper? England had been disgraced in the eyes of Europe by such a transaction. He repeated, that by it, England had been disgraced, through the misconduct of his majesty's ministers. [Hear, hear.] The whole proceeding adopted towards her majesty carried with it ignominy, and unfortunately the country must share a portion of it with its government. Was it not enough, that her majesty should have been refused a house? Was it not enough, that she should have been refused a ship to carrry her to the British shore? Was not all this neglect monstrous enough, without the omission of her name from the Liturgy? Ministers ought to have felt the shame of compelling the queen to accept the assistance of an honest and humble individual of the city of London. What was the Queen to do upon finding herself in this destitute and insulted situation, and with such charges preparing against her? She knew that the green bags were planned against her. She saw that she was about to be brought before a tribunal upon the construction of which he would call upon the hon. alderman to avow his opinion. Was it, he would ask him, a tribunal which met the sanction of the country? Was it not, under all the circumstances of the case, contrary to the best principles of law? Under such circumstances, was it not natural for her majesty to feel indignant? Was she then to be blamed by the hon. alderman for writing a letter to her lord and protector, whom she thought she had reason to apprehend, at the time, was countenancing the machinations of her enemies? But, what did she say in that letter of the 7th of August? She protested against her persecutor being 88 among her jurors. Was that an unfair protest? When, therefore, the complaint was just and the indignation natural, it was unmanly for the hon. alderman to complain of her majesty's protest against a court so composed, and which he admitted to have been improper. The horn alderman admitted this, and yet blamed and deprecated the letter, without pointing out a single passage which was not called for upon the occasion. The Queen wrote that letter when she made the last effort to induce her sovereign to protect her. If that protection to which she was entitled had been then afforded, that letter would have never met the public eye. See the situation in which the Queen would have been placed, had she not made a last effort to spare the country the pain of these calamitous proceedings! She had already used every means in her power to prevent the sort of trial which she saw approaching, and the consequent mischiefs which that trial must entail upon the country. So far from incurring any blame for having made the attempt, he thought the act was creditable to her majesty; and that opinion he entertained with the great bulk of the community; for there was not one in a hundred who was not of the same opinion. He held the Queen's letter in Iris hand; and he again called upon the hon. alderman to point out any passage it contained which justified his observation. Was it where the Queen said, "I have always demanded a fair trial," that he thought her incorrect? Was she not entitled to a fair trial? Was she not entitled to have that claim for justice granted by her sovereign and husband? He saw not one word in that letter which was not called for by the occasion; and he challenged the hon. alderman to refute his assertion, by pointing out an objectionable passage.
Mr. Alderman Heygate
claimed the indulgence of the House while he vindicated himself from the attack of the hon. gentleman. He was perfectly surprised at the manner in which his observations had been met. Any body who had heard them and had not heard his own observations, would naturally have thought that he had defended the bill of Pains and Penalties, and justified the original rejection of the Queen's name from the Liturgy. Equally surprised was he to hear a charge of having made an unmanly attack upon an unfortunate and illus- 89 trious woman. Whatever else he might have done, the term "unmanly" could have no reference to him. He had not slunk into any hole or corner to deliver his sentiments—he had not shrunk from the public eye to utter them; but had openly, before the country, and in his place in parliament, endeavoured to state his own opinions and justify them to that House and to his constituents The hon. gentleman had asked, whether he approved of the mode of trial appointed for the Queen. To this he answered—No; and if the bill of Pains and Penalties had unfortunately come down to that House, there was no human being in or out of it who would have shown a more decided opposition to it through all its stages. But, objecting to it, as he did most decidedly to that bill, he was obliged to condemn also the language into which the Queen had been betrayed by her advisers. The hon. gentleman had called upon him to produce the objectionable passages. Not having that letter about him, he could not produce it; but he would appeal to the recollection of the House, whether such an expression as this ought to be tolerated in an appeal to the sovereign:—"Your court (and this speaking to the king) is a scene of low debauchery." Was that fit language? But he did not complain alone of the language used in that letter. It had been said by one of her majesty's friends, when speaking of the bill:—"This bill darkens the perspective in the future, lowering the prospect into civil war." There were similar expressions, equally censurable, in many of the answers which her majesty had unfortunately been advised to transmit. He particularly alluded to the answers to the artisans, to Nottingham, to Cripplegate, &c. The following were paragraphs from some among them; and it was for the hon. gentleman to say if he thought them proper or not:—"These are times when the well-understood interest of armies can never be separated from the interests of the people."—"The slave of his appetite only cankers for his fatuity."—The answer to the Cripplegate address called the government of the country an insolent domination."—In her majesty's letter of the 7th of August (although, not having the letter near him at the moment, he could only quote from recollection,) there was a declaration that the Queen would not submit) except compelled by 90 actual force, to any sentence, except one pronounced by a legal court of justice; The answer to the Cripplegate address contained the following paragraph:—"If such a bill should pass, it may perhaps hereafter be proposed to the people of England how far it may be obeyed;" In the answer to the artisans there was this expression—"Owing to the hard-hearted conduct of your oppressors, you cannot earn by the sweat of your brow what will prevent your watering your pillow with your tears." And then that" hereafter their sufferings would only appear like a troubled dream." Were such phrases, so applied, proper or becoming? But he need not dwell upon them for his justification, for he should rest that upon the concurring opinion of a noble earl (Grey,) distinguished for his eloquence and talents, whose speech he did not know whether it would be competent for him, in point of order, to refer to. [Order.} Finding that it would be irregular to quote it, he should throw himself on the candour of the House for a fair and just interpretation of the sentiments which had brought down upon him the attack of the hon. member. If the extracts which he had quoted could be considered fair or proper, then he should confess he was in error in alluding to the improper advice under which he feared her majesty had acted. He meant merely to state his own opinions openly and fairly; and certainly the last thing he contemplated was, to take any advantage of the situation of an unfortunate and illustrious lady, which he lamented as much as any man, though he could not see how parliament could remedy the evil in the manner pointed out.
§ Mr. Lockhart
said, he felt extreme reluctance in coming forward on this occasion. He cordially agreed in the wish expressed by an hon. member early ill the evening, that something might be done which would bury in oblivion this unfortunate question. The hon. alderman appeared to concur in this wish; but he was sorry to find that the expression of his sentiments was rather at variance with the promotion of that salutary conclusion which was on so many accounts desirable. The hon. alderman had read to the House several objectionable passages which her majesty had been so ill advised as to insert in her answers to addresses. It was, he feared, but too true that much objectionable matter would be found on both 91 sides. This was remarkable throughout the whole of the late unfortunate proceeding. Evidence had been published, and comments made upon it, from day to day, which were calculated to impair the dignity of any court of justice, and to violate that respect which was due to the highest tribunal in the land. This objectionable conduct was not, however, confined to one side of the question; it pervaded both, and was alike censurable. He had seen sentiments put into her majesty's mouth, by her irresponsible, not her legal advisers, which he deplored as much as any man, and which he attributed to improper advice acting upon highly irritated feelings. If the House of Lords witnessed these proceedings from day to day, and could apply no remedy to them; if the highest court of judicature in the kingdom, with the Attorney-General, were doomed to witness these libels, without exercising any power to restrain their circulation, how could that House in future prevent them? If a system of irritation were unhappily continued—if the Queen were to be suffered to continue in her present situation, where was the force or the energy to suppress that which hitherto had been openly promulgated? It was for the purpose of stopping the continuance of an agitation which he deplored, that he expressed an ardent hope that all proceedings against the Queen, whether in the nature of acts, or in the nature of omission, should be finally set at rest. The noble lord opposite seemed disposed to take no step for restoring the Queen's name to the Liturgy, and the hon. alderman appeared to concur in the opinion. The noble lord, however, deprecated the assumption, that the omission of the Queen's name in the Liturgy should be considered as a punishment. On the contrary, he denied it was a punishment, but that it had been done in the ordinary course of an arrangement in council. Now the error, he thought, was in the assumption, that the omission was not a punishment. It could be considered in no other light than as a punishment, inflicted for a crime which was not proved, and for a prosecution which was abandoned. It was either that or a gratuitous personal degradation;—one or the other it must be. Was it thought that ministers could satisfy the public mind by such a course? Pecuniary arrangements the Queen was to have; but were they calculated to promote a tranquil end? Ministers had already tried pe- 92 cuniary measures; but, instead of being an anodyne, they rather acted as a stimulus. They had had no tendency to tranquillize the minds either of her majesty or the public. The attempt having failed, a different effort should be made to set the matter at rest forever. The Queen's name had unfortunately been omitted in the Liturgy. She was placed, then, in the situation of a person deemed guilty, notwithstanding the accusation had been abandoned. Her majesty's name was thus placed in a situation of painful suspicion to every religious person in the community, on that day when all party feeling should be laid aside, in the common supplication of the God they all adored. So that it was impossible but the omission of the Queen's name in the Liturgy must operate as a degradation. Those who thought her majesty guilty, had, in this manner, an opportunity of gratifying their feelings; although the result of the trial did not justify that sentiment; while those who thought the Queen innocent, and those who thought her not proved guilty, had a right to complain of the degradation inflicted. This being the consequence arising out of her majesty's present position, in what situation was she placed? Her circumstances were to be enriched, but her character was to remain disparaged; and with a disparaged character she might hold a court! Ministers were to give her wealth, which to a certain extent was power and command, but with a depreciated character it was to be used indifferently. How could her majesty, placed in this situation, summon about her those constitutional advisers of rank and character who would dignify the establishment of a Queen? Was not this course calculated to consign her majesty into the hands of evil advisers, who would care little for hen rank and character, and only care about producing all that mischief which ministers themselves seemed to reprobate. If the Queen were put into a situation of innocence—and she was entitled to be called innocent since no charge had been proved against her—she would then be entitled to hold her proper station in society; to summon about her person those who, having high station and character themselves, would only advise her for her good, and assist in rendering her the ornament of her rank. That was the fair and just course which ministers ought 10 pursue, instead of throwing the Queen into the hands of irresponsible advisers, who 93 would rake together, as was done in the answers to the addresses, all the nonsense of the French Revolution, calculated to inflame rather than heal popular discontent. He earnestly hoped ministers would not take this course, but that by placing her majesty in the possession of an untouched character, they would give her the advantage of the counsels of her legal advisers, and prevent those irritable consequences which a different policy must necessarily engender. The country would never be satisfied until this healing policy was adopted. It would not endure, that the attention of parliament should be for months drawn away from the consideration of the pressing difficulties of the different classes of the community; they would not endure, that parliament should, week after week, be wholly occupied in debating points of trifling punctilio with ministers, when the mighty interests of the country ought to have their undivided consideration. The agricultural interests of the country were left untouched; although he knew part of the evil might be remedied, for it was produced by the laws. He had hitherto in general supported ministers—he had supported them throughout the war, which by their wisdom, fortitude, and perseverance, they had brought to so triumphant a conclusion. For their political conduct, at the period to which he alluded, their names would stand high in history; but he doubted whether they understood the arts of peace as well as those of war. He concluded by earnestly calling upon them to restore her majesty's name to the Liturgy, in fact to recede in toto from the course they had hitherto pursued towards the Queen; and, by so doing, put an end to a controversy so useless in itself, and so fatal to the best interests of the country.
§ Lord Nugent
begged to say a word on what had fallen from the honourable alderman, in the elaborate vindication which he had entered into of himself, as to what he had been charged with having said in his original speech. In the lion, alderman's first speech, he had thought fit to charge her majesty with having been guilty of a crime in her letter to the king, for which any other subject would have been amenable to the law. When, however, the hon. alderman was called upon to point out the passages in which that charge was founded, he failed to produce them, and professed, that he had forgotten them. He now again called 94 upon him either to produce them or to remember them.
Mr. Alderman Heygate
explained, that what he had said was this—that not having the letter by him at the moment, he could not quote the passages he alluded to with accuracy from recollection.
§ Lord Nugent,
in continuation, contended that the hon. alderman could not be surprised at being charged with unmanliness, when he came forward with charges against the Queen, founded on a document, which, when he was called upon to produce, he said he had not in his possession, and the contents of which he had forgotten. Instead of producing the passages in the letter on which he had founded his charge, the hon. alderman had quoted certain passages from answers which had been given by her majesty to the addresses presented to her. He would be the last man to say, that many of those answers were not highly improper, or that they did not reflect great disgrace on those by whom her majesty had been advised to present them. At the same time, the unfortunate and anomalous situation of her majesty—the persecution she had suffered—the obloquy that had been heaped upon her by a venal press, all these were circumstances which ought to be taken into account, in estimating the course which she had pursued. It was, in his opinion, not very manly, harshly to condemn her majesty under such circumstances. It was too much like the conduct of those Spanish Inquisitors, who, having stretched their victim on the rack, converted the ravings of pain into additional matter of accusation. This mode of conduct he could not think manly or English. Undoubtedly, he thought with the hon. alderman, that many passages in the answers of her majesty to the addresses that had been presented to her were extremely reprehensible, and that they reflected great disgrace on the good sense and education of those who had advised her majesty to make them. But this he would say, that ill as he thought of those who had advised her majesty to make those answers, he thought the blame which those persons had justly incurred, vanished into air, compared with the blame to which those persons were liable who had advised his majesty to give the answers which he had given, to addresses from certain bodies of the people. The hon. alderman must recollect some of these; and especially one to an address which the hon. alderman, 95 among others, was charged to present—an address from the metropolis of his majesty's empire. His majesty's answer to that address was calculated to produce mischief; in comparison to which, all that could be dreaded from any of her majesty's answers sunk into insignificance.
§ The several petitions were laid on the table and ordered to be printed.