§ The House having again resolved itself into a Committee on the conduct of the Sheriff of Dublin, sir R. Heron in the chair,
§ Henry Cooper, esq. was called in; and further examined
§ By Mr. J. Williams.—Did Mr. Sheriff Thorpe interfere in preventing Mr. Poole being put upon the panel?—On communication with Mr. Thorpe, we agreed that he should not be on the panel; I had no objection to Mr. Poole's being on the panel, but in consequence of his calling on me; I rather think, had he not called on me, he should have remained on the panel.
§ Did not sheriff Thorpe object to Mr. Poole on the ground of his political opinions?—I cannot be certain.
§ Do that you believe, that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe objected to Mr. Poole, on the score of his po- 84 litical opinions?—I know they differ in principle; but I rather think he did not communicate that to me; at the same time I cannot say positively.
§ Upon your examination the other night being closed, did you not see Mr. O'Reilly, the witness?—I did.
§ Do you now mean positively to say, that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe did not make objection to the political opinions of Mr. Poole?—I do not mean positively to say it, but I rather think he did not, inconsequence, that from the circumstances that occurred, he and I were not of the same feelings in politics.
§ Did you and Mr. Sheriff Thorpe concur, at last, in forming the panel from which this grand jury was struck?—We did.
§ You have mentioned, that the panel, when it was presented to you first, was in the hand writing of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe?—I think it was.
§ Was Mr. Poole's name upon the panel when it was first shown to you?—It was.
§ You have stated that you cannot take upon yourself positively to say, at whose suggestion it was that his name was put off the panel?—It was mutually.
§ You mentioned on a former evening, that the reason of Mr. Poole's being struck off was, his having made the application?—To me; if he had not made the application, I think I would have insisted on his being on.
§ What do you mean by your insisting on his being on?—In consequence of his standing in a similar situation with those who were on, being one of the members of the commons of the city of Dublin.
§ Do you mean, you would have insisted on his being on, against Mr. Thorpe's attempt to put him off?—I think I would, for I have known Mr. Poole a longtime.
§ What was the nature of Mr. Poole's application to you; was it in the way of complaint or of application?—I think he came to me, to require me to speak to Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, to have him put on the panel.
§ Did he make any complaint with respect to any breach of promise in Mr. Sheriff Thorpe?—I do not think he did.
§ By Mr. Plunkett.—Are you positive whether, when Mr. Poole first came to you upon the subject of being on the jury, he did not make a complaint of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe having broken his word in having put him off?—I think I can go the length of saying, that he did not complain; the first complaint I heard was in the court, that Sheriff Thorpe (when the panel was struck) and Poole had some words in consequence of his not being on.
§ Do you not believe, that Mr. Poole had long before that, applied to Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, for the purpose of being on the panel?—I do, from conversations I have heard since, but not at that time.
§ And that he had promised him?—Yes.
§ Was that before Mr. Poole came to make his application to you?—Not before that, I did not hear.85
§ Do not you believe the fact to be, that before he came to make the application to you, he bad been promised by Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, that he should be upon the panel?—I declare I cannot form a belief of it.
§ From what you now know, and have heard, do you not believe that an early promise had been made by Mr. Sheriff Thorpe to Mr. Poole, that he should be upon the panel, long before the conversation with you?—I do believe, from the conversation I have beard since, that he bad been.
§ The return of the panel was in the hands of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe?—It was.
§ Why did Mr. Poole come to you, he having already had a promise from Mr. Sheriff Thorpe, to be upon the panel; why did he apply to you to put him upon the panel?—I cannot say.
§ Do you not believe that it was because he had heard, that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe had changed his mind as to putting him upon the panel?—I think it may be so.
§ From what you have since heard, do you believe that Sheriff Thorpe bad changed his intention of keeping Mr. Poole's name upon the panel, before Mr. Poole made the application to you?—I do.
§ If sheriff Thorpe had changed his intention, as to keeping Mr. Poole's name upon the panel, before Mr. Poole applied to you, how could Mr. Poole's applying to you be the cause of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe's putting his name off the panel?—This was the preparatory list, prepared for the record panel, and on reading that over, when we came to Poole's name, a conversation took place, as I have mentioned before, and I stated that he had called upon me, and under those circumstances I thought his name ought to be omitted.
§ By Mr. Leycester.—Do you know how many "conciliation-men" were upon that panel?—I know there were some very moderate minded men upon it.
§ Do you think there were five?—I do.
§ Were those five within the first 27 of that panel, or any of them?—If I had the panel I could state; but there were certainly more than that, to my knowledge, upon the panel.
§ George Harris called in; and examined
§ By Mr. J. Williams.—To what regiment do you belong?—The 7th hussars; troop-serjeant major.
§ Were you not examined before the grand jury, after the alleged riot in the Dublin theatre?—I was.
§ Who examined you?—Four or five of the jury.
§ In what manner was the examination conducted by the grand jury?—Not very courteously; indeed it was not.
§ Explain to the committee what you mean by the words "not very courteously?"—They were very careful to remind me that I was speaking upon my oath; and after I had answered a question, it was repeated to me, and that in a significant and fretful manner; and 86 when I was asked, how I could possibly know a person I had seen in one gallery from the other; one of the jurors replied to me, I do not think you could know the person you swear threw the missile." I was speaking of the person I had sworn to as having thrown the rattle.
§ Had you, at the time, positively stated your knowledge of the person?—I had stated it with the greatest confidence; I spoke to the individual who threw it; one of the jurors answered, "I do not believe that you knew the person who threw the missile."
§ When yon retired from the room, did you make any comment to the persons in the neighbourhood, to bystanders, on the manner in which you had been treated?—I did; there were several gentlemen standing at the grand jury room door, and were inquiring of most of the witnesses, as, they came out, how they had I been received by the jury; I there publicly I said, I had been used very badly, and I also I heard several of the, other witnesses say they had been used in a similar kind of manner.
§ By Colonel Barry.—Was it the mode of examination you objected to?—Yes; I thought the manner rude in which I was interrogated.
§ Did they seem to discredit your testimony?—Perfectly so.
§ Philip Burke Ryan called in; and examined
§ By Mr. J. Williams.—What is your situation?—An officer of excise at Dublin.
§ Were you examined by the grand jury, on the subject of the riot at the theatre?—I was. I was examined as to a few questions, by the foreman; and then by one or two more, immediately after him; and in the course of a few minutes, I was asked one question by one, and before I had time to give an answer, two or three more started fresh questions to me, for the express purpose, as I conceived, of shaking my testimony, from the manner in which they proceeded towards me; that was, after one of them asked me my motives and my expectations, if I was counselled or advised, or what my expectations or motives were for coming forward to give my testimony there.
§ Did you make any complaint to them of the manner in which you had been treated?—I did to the foreman; I was called from where I sat, next to the foreman, and in the event of being annoyed so much by two of the grand jurors, I immediately returned back to him, and told him, it was impossible for me to give direct answers to the questions they put, or to be able to recollect the questions they put to me, from the manner in which they acted. I told them, when they were annoying me, that I was equally sworn as they were, that I took a solemn oath in the court to do my duty, and had no other motive for doing it, and requested to be heard distinctly by them.
§ Was that after the question had been put in the manner you hive described, so that you had not an opportunity of giving your answers fully and distinctly?—Yes, it was.87
§ Were you stating evidence as to the persons of any of the men that were charged by the indictment?—Yes,I was stating the particulars of the circumstance, and the description of the person who threw the rattle; because I was asked by one of the grand jurors, were not there two Grahams there; did not one of them wear glasses, and which of them it was that threw the rattle; I said, that the one who threw the rattle did not wear spectacles, and that he was a low-sized, sallow-looking young man. One of the jury asked me, could I be mistaken in the person of the man, and I said it was impossible; he said, I think you have admitted you might have been mistaken, for I have such language on my notes; and I told the foreman of the grand jury I had used no such language; the notes were referred to, and there was no such language to be found. At the first commencement I was very civilly treated, but at the latter end I was not; for immediately after coming out of the door, I mentioned the conduct of the grand jurors to me, to a number of people standing outside the door, strangers.
§ Did you hear any other complaints by other persons?—Some of the persons who came out grumbled in a similar manner; but I do not recollect what were the words they said.
§ At the time you complained to the foreman, that you could not, in that manner of examination, fairly give your testimony, were you enabled fairly to state what you had to state?—No; for some of them looked upon me with contempt, and laughed; and from the manner in which the questions were put to me, I could very badly answer them, one at one end of the table, and another at another part of the table; I was talking to three jurymen at one and the same time.
§ By Colonel Barry.—It was you identified George Graham?—Yes.
§ You are positively certain as to his identity?—Oh, yes; if I saw the man I would know him again, equally the same as I did that night, or in the court of King's-bench.
§ By Sir J. Stewart.—You said, that somebody took notes for the grand jury?—One of the grand jury themselves; a man of the name of Joseph Henry Moore was the man who made use of the word I have just stated, that I might have been mistaken, that that was the word I made use of.
§ It ended in your telling the grand jury the whole of your evidence?—Yes.
§ You were examined before the petit-jury?—I was, in the court of King's-bench.
§ You gave the same testimony before the petit jury, as you had given before the grand jury?—To all intents and purposes I did.
§ And you swore to the same man?—I did, to George Graham, as the person who threw the rattle.
§ That man was not convicted?—At the time I appeared before the grand jury, the bills of indictment were found against him and against another; and at the time I appeared in the court of King's-bench, he was not convicted; 88 and I gave, to all intents and purposes, the same testimony before both juries. Was not there a bill of indictment found against him and another man for the riot—Yes.
§ But he was not found guilty before the petit jury?—No, he was not.
§ The grand jury found a bill for the riot against that man whom you identified, and the petit jury did not find the man guilty on the same testimony?—Yes.
§ By Mr. Brownlow.—Did you see Graham on the night of the play-house riot?—I did.
§ Where did you sit?—On the fourth or fifth seat of the middle gallery, and he was sitting I on the front seat of the upper gallery, at the time I recognized him, with the rattle in his hand. I saw him with it before he broke it, winding it in his hand, striking it against the gallery, and I saw him stand up and look into the middle of the gallery, and throw a large piece of the rattle, which struck the cushion or edge of the seat adjoining the box in which the lord-lieutenant was sitting; and I called out to a person to have him taken into custody, which he did not do.
§ What sized instrument was this that he threw?—It was not to say a very large size, but it was weightier than timber of another description; I saw it in the court of King's-bench.
§ Was it as large as that little book there?—[six inches by three]—It was a solid piece. It appeared to me a good deal larger, for it went round here, and scooped for the handle of the rattle to fit to it.
§ Was it such a weapon as a man would have attempted the lord-lieutenant's life with?—From the size and weight of it, and from the place in which it was, and from the velocity of it, I have no hesitation in saying, that if it had hit him, it would have killed him; it could not weigh less than two pounds, the wood being of a weightier description than wood in general; it may have weighed that.
§ Did you weigh it?—No; but I saw it on the stage, and saw it produced in the court of King's-bench; for the man who took it up produced it as the piece of timber he found there. The piece of timber?—It is a piece of timber in itself, though called a rattle.
§ Mr. Terence O'Reilly again called in; and examined
§ By Mr. S. Rice.—Have you had any conversation with Mr. Sheriff Cooper, on the subject of the attendance of Mr. Poole on the grand jury?—I went into sheriff Cooper's yard; and upon one occasion I saw Mr. Poole. Mr. Cooper mentioned to me that he was seeking to be on the grand jury; that he conceived it indiscreet for him to do so; I then suggested that he was as respectable a man as probably any one of the grand jury, and what injury could it do to have him on it, or words to that effect. Mr. Cooper replied, that he could not interfere with sheriff Thorpe: it was his quarter, and that he could not interfere with him. It 89 is right for me to say, that I mentioned that conversation to Mr. Cooper last night, as it being my impression of what occurred then; he contradicted that part of it which related to sheriff Thorpe's having refused to put Mr. Poole upon the jury; and he said it was he, Mr. Cooper, had objected to him, in consequence of the application to be put on; my recollection, however, previous to that denial, was as I have stated.
§ Did Mr. Sheriff Cooper make any observations to you last night, with regard to the evidence he was about to give to this House?—I told him the evidence I would give, was what I had at first mentioned; and the only thing that makes me alter my mind with respect to it, is the conversation of last night; and the impression that sheriff Cooper may probably have a better recollection of the facts, being more interested in the event than I was.
§ Did Mr. Sheriff Cooper address himself to you, did he begin the conversation?—No, I went to him, and told him my impression of the conversation which had previously occurred; and he said it was true, with respect to every thing, save that of his referring it to sheriff Thorpe; that it was his wish to keep him off the jury in consequence of his application.
§ Is your impression, independently of that conversation, such as you have stated?—Yes, independently of that conversation, it is quite clear as to what I at first stated.
§ Christopher Moran called in; and examined
§ By Mr. Nolan.—What is your situation in life?—I am a painter at Dublin.
§ Were you before the grand jury in January last?—I was, for five or six minutes. They asked me if I saw the stick or the bottle thrown; and I said I did not. I was describing the riot to them, and they did not seem to think any thing about it, and they told me that would do. They asked me the persons that I saw rioting. They asked me a good many questions.
§ When they asked you, whether there were any persons whom you saw rioting, what did you tell them?—I told them I did.
§ Did they ask you any thing more, or send you away?—I was describing how one of the rioters was taken; and some of the grand jury told me, that would do and showed me out.
§ Did they take an account of what you said, or did they send you out without it?—I believe they did; they took an account of what I said.
§ What account did you give them?—I described the persons I saw rioting and what they said.
§ What did they say upon that?—I heard them calling out, "no papist lord lieutenant."
§ Were you going to give them a further description of what had taken place?—I was; and they seemed to laugh and think little of it.
§ And they prevented you, and stopped you from going forward?—Some of them told me, that would do.90
§ Did you tell the whole of your story, or did they, by stating, "that would do, prevent you from telling it; and then show you out?—I intended to have described how one of the rioters was taken.
§ Did they prevent you from telling it; did they say that would do, and sent you out?—They did; I understood so, by their telling me that would do, that would do, and one of the gentleman showed me out.
§ By Col. Barry.—Was it late in the day when you were examined; had many witnesses been examined before you?—I do not know.
§ Do not you think it very probable that they had heard the story you were going to tell them, from many witnesses before?—I do not doubt that they had.
§ By Sir J. Sebright.—You were going on, and they interrupted you?—Indeed I think they did, by telling me that would do.
§ Had you told them all that you meant to say upon your oath, before they told you that would do?—I was going to describe how one of the rioters was taken, for it was I described him to a peace officer.
§ And they would not hear you?—One of them told me that would do; they seemed to laugh at me.
§ By Mr. S. Rice.—Did you tell your whole story; all that you wanted to tell them?—No, I did not; I wanted to tell them how this person was taken.
§ Was it what they said to you prevented you?—It was.
§ Do you conceive it was very material how the man was taken; you told them his name?—Yes, I did.
§ It was against Matthew Handwich you were about to tell this story?—Yes.
§ You say you pointed out to the peace officer a man that he was to apprehend?—Yes, I bade him to search him; he had got a big stick under his coat.
§ Did you state to the grand jury what was your reason for so pointing him out to the peace officer?—I do not recollect whether; I stated that to the grand jury.
§ Should you have stated it had they not laughed at you, and treated you in the manner you have described?—Yes.
§ Did you tell the grand jury what you saw the man do, which induced you to point him out?—Yes, I did.
§ Did you tell the grand jury what induced you to point him out to the peace officer?—I did; but I did not tell them it was I who pointed him out.
§ Why did you not tell them that?—I was about to describe that, when they told me that would do.
§ Did you see any other person concerned in the riot, and would you have informed the grand jury if they had not laughed at you, and interrupted you, and said that was enough?—I would; I saw the person throw the rattle in the theatre, but I did not see him riot; I cannot say he was the person.91
§ You were prevented giving evidence as to a person you would have given evidence about, if they had not prevented you?—From the way in which I was used.
§ Who was that person?—A person of the name of Graham.
§ That was the man who had the rattle?—Yes.
§ Were not the bills found against that man for the riot?—I believe they were.
§ Did the grand jury begin asking you any questions, or did they merely desire you to tell your story?—They asked me questions.
§ What questions did they ask you?—They asked me if I saw the bottle thrown.
§ What did you say to that?—I told them I did not.
§ Did they ask you any other questions?—They asked me, did I see the sticks thrown.
§ What did you say?—I told them, I did not see them thrown.
§ Did any of the grand jury ask you any other question?—I believe they did.
§ What was it?—They asked me, if I knew any of the persons who were rioting; I told them that I did. I described their persons and their names.
§ What person did you describe?—Matthew Handwich and Henry Handwich, the two persons I could name.
§ What did they do upon that, did they ask you more questions, or tell you that would do, and send you out of the room?—They asked me what I saw them doing; I told them I heard a hiss and a groan.
§ What did they do upon that, did they desire you to withdraw?—They did, when I was about to describe the manner in which the man was taken. [The witness withdrew.]
§ It was here understood that the ease against the Sheriff was closed, but with this reservation, that it would be open to any member, in a future stage of the investigation, to call for any information he might think proper.
remarked, that in producing witnesses on the part of the sheriff, he laboured under this difficulty, that the examination had been hitherto conducted by the principal learned gentlemen in the committee, whilst almost the whole weight of the cross-examination had rested upon himself. He hoped, therefore, for much indulgence in the performance of the duty which had devolved upon him.
§ Mr. Nicholas Murray Mansfield called in; and examined
§ By Colonel Barry—What is your situation in, Dublin?—I am the chief and only clerk in the Sheriff's office.
§ Do you know how the grand jury panel of January 1823 was made out?—It was made out in the first instance by sheriff Thorpe's writing a list, of names, and, afterwards 92 submitting it for the approbation of his brother sheriff Cooper and his sub-sheriff Mr. Whistler.
§ Were the names that were on it those of men of respectability?—Perfectly so.
§ From the character of those men who were upon that grand jury, do you, or do you not, think they were well calculated for doing business between the crown and the person to be tried on the subject at issue?—I certainly do.
§ Did you ever hear either of the sheriffs express an opinion that men of what are called warm politics should hot be on the panel?—I did; both sheriff Thorpe and Mr. Cooper. I conceive the majority of that jury to have been moderate men.
§ At what time was it that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe told you he wished no violent party man to be on the panel?—Before he submitted the panel to his brother sheriff Cooper or to Mr. Whistler.
§ Was it before the names were put down upon that panel that Mr. Sheriff Thorpe said he wished to have no party men upon that panel?—No, it was after. I did not know who were ultimately adopted, till it was inspected by Mr. Sheriff Cooper and Mr. Whistler. Mr. Sheriff Thorpe submitted it to me, and asked me whether I knew any of the men to be violent party men; I read over the names, and said I did not know any of diem to be such.
§ By Mr. Jones.—Were you acquainted intimately with any of the individuals who were upon that panel?—Certainly I was.
§ They consisted of a much smaller number than was usual on panels of the grand jury?—They did.
§ There was a very unusual circumstance attending it, the ex-sheriff was not the foreman of that jury?—He ought not of right, agreeably to my conception, to be so.
§ But according to usage he always had been the foreman of that jury?—He could not have been, the sheriff that ought to have been the foreman was sir Thomas Weyland, he was in England and unwell.
§ But one or other of the ex-sheriffs had always by custom been the foreman of the first grand jury after they went out of office?—Not always; they were always solicited to take the situation, but they sometimes declined doing so.
§ You know that sir W. Smith, who was the ex-sheriff, was what was called a conciliation-man?—I never heard him called so. I really do not know what the term means. I have heard it applied to some that I really do not apprehend to be so; I never heard it applied to sir W. Smith.
§ Was not the term conciliation-man in the city of Dublin, applied to those persons who abided, or professed to abide by the dicta of his majesty's letter?—I have no doubt it was applied to those who professed to abide by it.93
§ Do you not know that sir W. Smith was one of the persons who professed to abide by the dicta of the king's letter?—I do believe sir W. Smith did.
§ Then was not sir W. Smith a conciliation-man?—By inference, he must have been.
§ Sir Thomas Weyland was sheriff in 1822, was he?—He was,
§ Who was the other sheriff?—Sir W. Smith.
§ In what way was the last panel of that year for the commission grand jury formed?—From the best of my recollection it was formed by myself.
§ You selected the names and submitted them to the sheriff?—Yes.
§ Was that the case with all the panels of that year?—Certainly not.
§ The last panel but one, the commission before the last, who formed that?—To the best Of my recollection I did; it was formed in a like manner with the rest.
§ How was the panel for the commission before that formed?—I think about three or four of them might have been so formed, and about three or four of them by the high sheriffs themselves. I have a most positive and distinct recollection of sir W. Smith himself having formed a grand jury panel during his year of office.
§ Can you state what was the course of forming the panels in the year 1821?—When there was any extraordinary question to be tried, the high sheriffs took upon themselves to strike the grand panels; when nothing but the ordinary or common routine business was to be transacted, it was left to the sub-sheriff, and it very frequently in that case devolved upon me to do it.
§ Who were the sheriffs in the year 1821?—Sir G. Whitford, and sir N. W. Brady.
§ Can you state any instance in 1821 in which the panels were formed by either of those gentlemen personally?—No, I cannot; but my recollection is, that when an extraordinary occasion occurred they struck, when it was the ordinary routine business, it was left to the under sheriff.
§ Can you state any instances within your official duty in which you recollect that to have occurred, and from that remembrance derive that impression except the one you have slated?—No, I have no present recollection to fasten the thing on my mind.
§ Take a little time to recollect whether there was any other instance except that you have mentioned?—The only circumstance which can fasten it upon, my recollection is, that I am aware it was usual on the approach of the commissions, either for the sub-sheriff to speak to the high sheriff or to write him, informing him that the commission was approaching, and that it would become necessary to strike the juries; the line afterwards to be pursued depended on the answer of the high sheriff; he sometimes did it himself, and at other times said "There is nothing particular to be done, you may as well assist me by doing it."94
§ The general course was for the sub-sheriff to do it?—I think the general course was, unless something particular was to be done.
§ Your impression that when any thing particular was to be done it was done by the high sheriff, was in consequence of particular instances?—I think the general course was, if there was nothing particular to be done, for the high sheriff to say "Will you do this for me."
§ The impression of its having been otherwise in particular cases must have arisen out of special circumstances arising within your own knowledge?—Yes.
§ Can you state any other instances of the sheriffs themselves striking the panel, except that of sir W. Smith and this late instance of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe?—I cannot charge my memory with how the thing was done, but I am quite certain there never was a sheriff in the office that did not strike some one grand jury.
§ But except in those two instances you can recal no other?—No; nor would I have been prepared to state those two instances, but for conversations I have had on the subject of the present proceedings.
§ By Mr. Plunkett.—You have stated that you consider that panel of the grand jury in January 1823 was returned in the usual and ordinary manner?—I have.
§ In every respect?—I think so.
§ And consisting of persons who were fit and proper and impartial for the trial of the ease that was expected on?—I believe so.
§ It was your express wish and the instruction of Mr. Sheriff Thorpe that no person of warm party feelings should be returned upon it?—No, not his instructions; he submitted the list and asked me to look at it, and requested my advice as to those persons.
§ As to whether they were persons of warm party feelings?—Yes, and I said I believed they were not.
§ Was not the trial that was expected on, one that involved a good deal of consideration with respect to the dressing of the statue of king William?—Yes, I think it was.
§ There had been pretty strong opinions expressed upon that subject by certain persons in the city of Dublin?—A great many.
§ Do you not believe that an election of common-council-men took place some time in the month of November preceding that commission?—I know it did.
§ Do you not believe that a new election of corporators to the amount of 96 took place at that time?—I do know it.
§ Do you not believe that considerable exertions were made by a certain party in the corporation, to have persons returned who were favourable to the dressing of the statue?—In some of the guilds there was. By the guild of merchants particularly; but I think the principal object of the political party, in the guild of merchants, was the election of one individual who had been rejected from the brewers' corporation; a Mr. Sutter.95
§ What was the reason of his being rejected from the brewers' corporation?—I believe, that the great reason of the effort being made in the guild of merchants was, that he had exerted himself very much on the dressing of the statue, and that his whole claim to the favour of the guild of merchants was founded upon that circumstance.
§ Do you not believe, that a list was circulated of 31 persons, who were represented as fit to be elected as common-council-men for the guild of merchants, as being good men in bad times?—I know there were several lists.
§ Will you have the goodness to look at that paper? [the hand-bill produced on a former evening being shown to the witness]—This is one of the lists.
§ Do you consider that the 31 persons who are named in that list were recommended upon the ground of their being favourable to the dressing of the statue?—No, I do not believe that.
§ Will you look at the device at the top of that list?—I do.
§ It is the figure of king William treading on the emblem of the lord mayor?—It is.
§ Was not the offence, that the lord mayor of Dublin had given at that time his having given directions for preventing the dressing of the statue?—I believe it was.
§ What were the "bad times" designated in that paper; do you believe they were times in which the dressing of the statue was prevented?—I believe it refers to the dressing of the statue.
§ You believe the object was, to obtain 31 men of the like description with Mr. Sutter?—I have no doubt the party who made out this list would have returned 31 men of the description of Mr. Sutter, in preference to any other description of men, if they could have got 31 such.
§ You are not of opinion that 31 such as Mr. Sutter could have been got?—No, I think they could not.
§ Do you not find that out of the guild of merchants alone, seven of the person's who are named in that list were returned upon the panel, and sworn upon the grand jury?—I perceive there are seven of the persons in this list that were on the grand jury.
§ And that were elected of the guild of merchants upon that occasion?—Yes.
§ You have said that the jury was formed of persons dispassionate, not of warm feelings, and who were perfectly fit for the trial that was coming on?—I have said so.
§ Do you think those persons were of that description?—I do think so.
§ And it. is upon the same principle you say that the jury generally were?—Certainly. I say the circumstance of their being in this list does not mark the tenor of their politics. I am of opinion the persons who made this list would not have put them there if they could have got better men for their purposes.
§ Will yon have the goodness to say whether 96 you consider a sworn Orangeman a proper and fit person to be put upon the panel of that grand jury, for the purpose of the then expected trial?—I do not conceive he was.
§ Do you see upon the list of the grand jury a person of the name of Joseph Lamprey?—I have seen it.
§ Do you not believe that he was a sworn Orangeman?—I have no reason to believe it.
§ Have you any ground then, to form an opinion whether he was a fit person to be on that grand jury?—I never heard he was an Orangeman, and therefore I think he was a proper person.
§ Do you see upon that list the name of Edward Cusack?—I do.
§ Do you believe that he is an Orangeman belonging to the lodge 1640?—I know he is, because he subsequently told me so himself.
§ Do you now think he was a proper person to be returned?—I am quite sure he would not have been returned, if he had been known to be an Orangeman; I would not have recommended him.
§ Do you believe that Samuel Lamprey is an Orangeman?—I do.
§ Do you consider him a proper person to be returned on that panel?—I certainly would not if I had known it at the time.
§ The usual practice in your office is to have fair and independent jurors returned for trial of all the issues which come before the court?—So far as I have known, it has always been so.
§ And was so upon the present occasion?—I really do believe the parties making out that jury, were actuated by the same pure motives their predecessors had been.
§ Do you mean to inform the Committee that the sworn grand jury on that occasion was constituted with a view to the administration of impartial justice with a view to the approaching trials?—So far as I know I say it was.
§ Were you applied to by any person to return particular names on that panel for any particular purpose?—I was. There was a list or paper containing some names given to me.
§ Did you make any answer to the person who proposed to you to return that list of names?—I did.
§ Did you promise they should be returned?—No, certainly not.
§ Did you say they should not?—My answer was, whatever can be done for your friend shall be done.
§ The uniform practice of the office being to return fair lists for the purpose of impartially trying the causes that were to come on?—So far as I know, it was.
§ For what particular trial was it that those names were suggested to you?—For the trial of a Mr. O'Meara, who was to be tried for perjury.
§ Did you feel a sentiment of indignation in your mind at such a proposal being made to you?—No; such proposals have been frequently made to me.97
§ Were any of those names that were so proposed to you actually returned upon the panel?—That I cannot positively tell; I never read the names. The gentleman who made the application to me called me from the desk where I was transacting business, to a fireplace at some short distance from it; he said, "this is a list for my friend O'Meara, whom we have had some conversation about." I took the list from him, and said, "whatever can be done for your friend shall be done for him;" he walked out of the office; I walked towards the desk, and, as I had been in the habit of treating any application of that kind, I tore it, and never thought any more about it.
§ It is not in your power to state, whether the names so proposed were actually on the panel?—Quite impossible.
§ The House cannot, therefore, have the advantage of comparing the written list with the panel returned?—Certainly not; save that the f louse may have the means of coming to that information through the person who handed that list to me; a Mr. George Butler in the Six-clerks' office.
§ Do you know whether any bill was sent up against Mr. O'Meara on that commission?—I believe there was, and that it was ignored.
§ Do not you know that an application was made to the Court of King's-bench to grant an information against Mr. O'Meara for that conspiracy, on the ground of the grand jury having ignored that bill?—That I have heard only through the proceedings in this House.
§ Why did you give that kind of answer to Mr. Butler when he applied to you to return those names for a particular purpose?—Because I conceived it the shortest possible mode of getting rid of the application.
§ Do not you believe that it was an application to you to violate your sworn duty for a most fraudulent purpose?—Not my sworn duty, but a very sacred one.
§ Do you recollect the application being renewed to you?—I recollect the application afterwards.
§ Do you not believe, that the subsequent application was made to you by the same person for the same purpose?—Yes.
§ What did you say to the person when he renewed the application?—That it could not be effected, because sheriff Thorpe had taken the striking of the jury into his own hands; that answer was given precisely with the same view that the previous answer had been, namely, to get rid of the importunity.
§ Will you mention, why it was you tore that list, was it lest you should be tempted to read it?—No; the reason I tore it was, because I conceived it the mode in which every such document should be treated.
§ Do not you consider it would have been wiser to have preserved the document, to prevent any such persons from getting upon the jury?—I certainly did not; I thought I as doing my duty in getting rid of the application in the manner in which I did.98
§ You conceived you were doing your duty in first informing the party whatever could be done should be done; and then destroying the document by which the guilt of the party could have been proved?—The proving the guilt of the party never entered nay mind; I could never think of turning round on Mr. Butler, whom I had known many years.
§ Do not you think a gross insult was offered to you by the application?—If the application had been made by a stranger, I should have considered it an insult.
§ A person who knew you well, did not give you so much offence in making it as. a person who is a stranger?—Certainly, I. think a man should not be so much displeased with his friend for making applications as he would be with a stranger.
§ Then you think the more a person knew of you, the more right he would have, to make such an application to you, and would be entitled to expect a favourable reception from you?—I should give him civil treatment if a friend made such an application to me.
§ Did not you think it was your bounden duty to prosecute the person making that application for tampering with justice?—I do not see how by the prosecution of a friend the ends of justice could be answered.
§ You say that applications of that kind hate been very frequently made. Will you explain if they have been uniformly refused to be complied with why they have been so frequently made?—I cannot tell why they have been so frequently made, except that men are weak enough to think that their friends will do more for them than their friends are disposed to do.
§ Do you believe that any consideration of any kind was received by any one in the office, with respect to returning names upon that grand jury; will you take upon yourself to say there was not?—I positively do not believe any such thing.
§ By Colonel Barry.—Is not Mr. O'Meara a conciliation-man?—I understood Mr. O'Meara to be a Roman Catholic.
§ Is not he a man who is always supposed to he active in the Roman Catholic cause?—Yes.
§ Do you think the friend of a man active in the Roman Catholic cause would be likely to act in favour of persons whose crime was having acted against it?—I think if the friends of a man got upon a jury, they might go a great way to serve him.
§ Then if Mr. O'Meara's friends were put upon that jury, would they not in your opinion have defeated any intention, if such could have been entertained, of packing an Orange jury?—If the friends of Mr. O'Meara were of the same description of persons he himself was, I should think so, certainly.
§ By Sir J. Newport.—You said that the application to put those persons on the grand jury panel arose in consequence of previous conversations with the person who applied to you to put them upon it; what were those 99 previous conversations?—I recollect but one; Mr. Butler, some few days before, met me in the street, and told me some round varnished tale of a friend of his being in great distress on account of a transaction of sixteen years standing, and bagged to know if I would do any thing for him in the way of putting any of his acquaintance upon the jury. I said "You know, my dear Butler, any thing I can do for you shall be done for you."
§ In consequence of your having given these hopes to the person, that whatever could be done should be done, you had a subsequent application, and you conceive the manner of your answering upon those two occasions was the method best calculated to relieve yourself from any other application?—Yes, certainly.
§ You conceived that was the mode in which you could best discharge the duty of looking out a fair and impartial jury?—Certainly; there had not any other mode struck me at the time, but I now see it would have been the better mode to have preserved the list.
§ You are to be understood that it has been the practice more than once to make applications of a similar nature, with respect to putting persons on the panel, within your knowledge of the Sheriff's office?—Oh; certainly; I have been applied to more than once.
§ By friends?—By friends.
§ Not by strangers?—Of course no stranger would take the liberty.
§ A list contained in a hand-bill having been shown to you, you have stated that you have no doubt the person or persons who prepared that list would have selected exactly such men as Mr. Sutter, if they could have obtained them, but that they could not find 31 such names?—I did.
§ Have you any doubt that as they could not find exactly such names as Mr. Sutter, they would select men as like to Mr. Sutter as they could, in political opinions?—Assuredly.
§ You do not mean to say that 31 persons in Dublin could not be found of the same description as Mr. Sutler?—I do mean to say that 31 persons could not be found connected with the guild of merchants just like Mr. Sutter.
§ Mr. Sutter was not one of the grand jury panel?—He was not.
§ Who was the gentleman who spoke to you with respect to the names on the panel for trying the ex-officio informations?—Mr. Henry Archer, the ex-sub-sheriff.
§ When did that conversation take place?—About a week or a fortnight before the trials were to commence.
§ Will you repeat that which passed between you and him upon that occasion?—I think on Mr. H. Archer coming to the office, he asked me whether the sheriffs had commenced the striking of the jury panel, or whether they would take upon themselves so to do. I said, that I had known nothing about how the thing 100 was going on. He said, "What description of persons do you think should be on the panel?" My answer was, "respectable independent persons." He said, he thought so too, and of mercantile men. I concurred. He then took paper, and made out the list from the grand panel of freeholders, and said, "Those are the descriptions of persons that I-think ought to be on the jury for the ex-officio informations."
§ What has become of that paper?—Mr. Archer went away; shortly afterwards Mr. Sheriff Thorpe arrived? he said "I suppose it is time for us to be thinking of making out the jury for the trial of the ex-officio informations." I said "it is certainly time to be stirring about it." He said "I suppose sheriff Cooper will return a good panel." I said "here is a description of persons, certain persons would like;" sheriff Thorpe looked at the thing, smiled, and tore it.
§ By Mr. J. Martin.—You have been in the habit of making out the panels for the commission grand juries?—Sometimes. I have uniformly seen them.
§ What is the general number of which the panel consists?—They have certainly varied very much in their number on that point; there is correct information before the House from Mr. Riky. They run from 50 to 70, and from that to 100. The smallest number I recollect was that returned on the preceding commission by sheriff Thorpe; I think that was 63.
§ By Sir J. Newport.—Sheriff Thorpe consulted you and showed you the panel for the January commission?—He did.
§ Did it not strike you as extraordinary, that on a panel before which bills were to be brought for trials of the greatest consequence, the number should be much smaller than usual?—No, I would not have conceived that I circumstance of any value whatever. The grand jury is so constituted, that it does not matter what the number was; the first 23 persons that answer to their names must be of the grand jury; no objection or challenge will lie; and therefore if there was an attendance of 23 secured, it is no matter what the number was.
§ Have you ever known the first 23 answer to their names?—No, I have not.
§ In general you would not think it sufficient to return a panel of 40 names only?—I certainly would not.
§ Do you think fifty would be sufficient in general?—No. When there is nothing but ordinary routine business, and that public feeling is not interested, 50 or sixty would not be sufficient; but when the public mind is occupied with the business to be done, 50 or sixty would be sufficient, for juries are generally anxious to attend on public occasions.
§ Who are certain persons?—Mr. Henry Archer, his father alderman Archer, and his friends.
§ Did you make Mr. Sheriff Thorpe understand who certain persons were?—No, I think I went no further than the mere communication, that this was the description of persons certain persons would like to have upon the jury.
§ What did sheriff Thorpe do upon that?—He took the list, smiled at it, and tore it. I laughingly handed the list to him, and he laughingly received it, and so disposed of it.
§ Did you read any part of the list?—I really did not; I have no recollection whether I read the list.
§ Do you or not believe that the persons in that list were afterwards put upon the jury?—I cannot form a clear opinion, for I have no recollection of any of the names.
§ Is Mr. Archer a conciliation-man?—As I now understand the term he unquestionably is.
§ Looking over the list of the grand jury of January 1823, and comparing it with the recollection of former grand juries, do you think that it is composed of individuals of the same class of society as those ordinarily returned to serve on grand juries?—I certainly do.
§ By Mr. S. Rice.—Are you acquainted with William Carpenter, whose name appears upon that grand jury?—I am. He is a builder; I understand that he has had, within the last two or three years, from government, some very extensive contracts, either by himself or in conjunction with others, for some of the works about the Custom-house, and that he is a common-council-man, which entitles him to serve on the grand jury.
§ Did W. Carpenter ever serve on any former grand jury?—O yes; I believe many.
§ Can you mention any one year?—No, I cannot; but I am positive he served on a great many quarter sessions grand juries.
§ By Mr. C. Calvert.—Do you know whether Mr. Sheriff Thorpe is an Orangeman or not?—No, indeed I would not know an Orangeman if I saw him. I never heard that he was; I have asked the question myself and never could find the truth.
§ Do you recollect the making out the panel when the king's visit was expected in Dublin?—I do.
§ Was not there great solicitation to be put upon that grand jury?—So I understood.
§ Cannot you say whether you made out that panel or not?—I think I did not; I think, whichever sheriff's quarter it was at that time, made it up.
§ Did not the grand jury expect that they should have to go up with an address to the king, and be received personally?—I believe that was the ground of the anxiety to be put upon it.
§ The first application that was made to you to put some persons on the panel on Mr. O'Meara's account, was by your friend Mr. Butler?—It was.
§ Was the second application made to you by Mr. Butler also?—It was.
§ How long after the first application?—I think it might be about a week.
§ How long was that before the panel was sworn or summoned?—About a fortnight.
§ Was there any body by besides Mr. Butler and yourself?—No one. I said that sheriff Thorpe had taken upon himself to make out the panel, and therefore I could not do it.
§ Did not you assign a reason why sheriff Thorpe had taken upon himself to make out the panel?—I did not.
§ Might not you have said such a thing as this, that sheriff Thorpe had taken upon himself to make out the panel on account of the trial of the rioters?—It is perfectly possible I might;, but I have no recollection of having said that.
§ You say you destroyed the list given you by Mr. Butler; how soon was that after he gave it you?—The distance I had to go from where I stood when he handed it to me to the desk, was not farther than from this to the table; on my way from that place to the table I tore the list.
§ You thought, of course, those persons were improper persons to be put upon the grand jury?—No, really I had no such thought.
§ Did not you think that any persons recommended by any gentleman for the purpose of throwing out a bill, were improper persons to be put upon the grand jury?—I thought that, the putting them there would be an improper act; but I did not give myself any thought upon their propriety or impropriety.
§ Can you say whether those persons were, or not, on the grand jury impanelled by the sheriffs?—I cannot.
§ Did not it strike you that it would be desirable to keep that, to prevent such persons being put upon the panel?—No, it did not occur to me; but I now think from the questions put to me this evening, that would have, been a better mode.
§ Are you to be the sub-sheriff for the next year?—I really believe yes.
§ Mr. Samuel Lamprey is one of the sheriffs, elect?—Yes.
§ He is one of the gentlemen you have stated to be a sworn Orangeman?—As I have heard.
§ You are acquainted with the general description of persons who are put upon the panel to be sworn grand jurors?—I am.
§ Have you ever known Roman Catholics put upon that panel?—Certainly I have.
§ Were there any Roman Catholics upon this panel of fifty?—No, certainly not.
§ What is Lamprey?—It has subsequently come to my knowledge that he is.
§ [The Witness was ordered to withdraw.]
said, he now intended to call sir George Whiteford, the foreman of the grand jury. He knew that a grand juror was sworn not to disclose any thing which had come to his knowledge whilst in the execution of his duty, and he therefore would abstain from proposing any questions to the witness he was about to call, the answers to which would necessarily lead to a violation of his oath.
§ Mr. Wetherell
protested against the principle laid down by the right hon. gentleman. The House of Commons had the power to absolve a grand juryman from his oath of secrecy, and could compel him to answer any question that might be proposed to him.
Mr. R. Smith
said, he recollected many cases in which grand jurymen had been compelled to give evidence. There could be no doubt as to the power of the Mouse to make a grand juryman answer all questions which he might be asked.
§ Mr. Wetherell
said, the meaning of the oath was, that the grand jury should not voluntarily disclose the secrets of their room; but they were bound, and it was their duty, if ordered in a court of justice, or in that House, to disclose those secrets.
concurred entirely in the opinion which had been expressed by the two members who had last spoken; but at the same time, he hoped the question which had ben raised would not be decided without receiving further consideration, and in a fuller House. His reason for wishing this was, because he knew that many persons of very high authority held different opinions on the subject. During the inquiry respecting the Walcheren expedition, sir David Dundas was examined as to something that had passed in council. Sir David did not object to answer the questions which were put to him; but Mr. Perceval stated, that he could not do so without a breach of his oath, unless he had previously obtained the consent of the king. The question was not decided, because on the following day the king authorized sir David to declare all that had passed in council.
thought that the House could compel a grand juror to give any information that might be considered necessary.
§ Mr. Hurst
contended, that the oath of a grand juryman was too strictly interpreted if it were supposed to restrain him from making known any thing which had come before him in the execution of his duty. It had frequently come under his own observation that grand jurymen, amongst whom a difference of opinion prevailed upon some point, had come into open court, and stated what had passed in the grand jury room, in order to obtain the opinion of the judge, as a rule for their conduct.
observed, that grand jurymen had frequently given evidence of what had passed before them, in order to convict a witness of perjury.
§ Mr. Goulburn
said, that an act of parliament had been passed expressly to allow grand jurors to give evidence in cases of perjury, "notwithstanding their oath of secrecy." If he were a grand juror, he would refuse, even at the call of the House, to state what had come to his knowledge whilst in the exercise of his functions. Some of the witnesses who were about to be examined at the bar might entertain similar feelings. The House would then, in justification to its own character, be called upon to punish men for what they conceived to be a conscientious adherence to their oaths. To avoid so unfortunate a circumstance, he would entreat hon. members to weigh well their questions.
§ Mr. Abercromby
said, that the oaths which the grand jurymen took were intended for the benefit of the public. That being the case, why should they not be made subservient to the inquiry in which the House was engaged, which was also for the public benefit?
§ Mr. Ricardo
thought it was preposterous to talk of the House absolving a man from a solemn obligation into which he had entered with his Maker.
was of opinion that justice could not be done unless the committee heard all that the grand jury could state.
§ Mr. Abercromby
suggested, that if it were thought necessary to refer to the decison of the House the question, whether or not a grand juror ought to be called upon to answer as to what passed in the jury room, and which he considered he was bound by his oath not to divulge, the best way would 105 be to have n grand juror called in; and if he made any objection to state what passed, on the ground of his oath of secrecy, then the question would be raised on which the chairman might call for the decision of the House.
§ Sir George Whiteford called in; and examined
§ By Colonel Barry.—You were foreman of the grand jury in January last?—I was.
§ You recollect the circumstances which passed upon the informations preferred against certain persons, for a riot in the theatre of Dublin, on the 14th of December, which were preferred before the grand jury, of which you were foreman?—I do; I cannot exactly state every particular; being foreman, I did not take notes from the witnesses, but the secretary did take notes of the evidence.
§ Are you an Orangeman?—I am not.
§ Are you a man who hold very strong party feelings with respect to the questions which agitate the city of Dublin at this present moment?—I never conceived I did; quite the contrary.
§ Are you a man, who think that it would be for the benefit of Ireland, that general conciliation should take place between all its inhabitants?—It was always my wish, that the inhabitants of Dublin should live in peace with each other.
§ In the investigation which took place before the grand jury, what portion of time was devoted to the bills before alluded to?—I think we got the bills about two o'clock; we remained until five; and I think from ten o'clock or eleven o'clock, until about three or four the following day, in close investigation.
§ How long was it previous to, or subsequent to the riot at the theatre, that sheriff Thorpe requested you to be foreman of that grand jury?—I think it was nearly three weeks previous to the row at the theatre.
§ From what passed on that grand jury, did fair investigation seem to be the object?—I never saw a set of gentlemen more anxious to discharge their duty than they seemed to be.
§ Did you see any symptom of party feeling breaking out, with regard to any particular witnesses who were examined?—I did not.
§ If you had seen it, would you have thought it your duty to have checked it, as foreman?—I would have done so.
§ Did you hear a report of any conversation, in which sheriff Thorpe was supposed to have stated, that he had an Orange jury in his pocket?—I did.
§ Did any thing pass between you and sheriff Thorpe, upon that subject?—There did.
§ State what it was?—Previous to the jury, I heard that a man of the name of M'Connell, went before the privy council, and made affidavit, that sheriff Thorpe said, "he had an Orange panel in his pocket, that would acquit the prisoners." I went to sheriff Thorpe, and asked him, did he say such a thing; if he did, 106 that he should get another foreman, that I would not identify myself in any party feeling; and he pledged his honour, that he never made use of such an expression; and in consequence I was induced to go, on the jury.
§ By Mr. Grattan.—You dined at sheriff Smith's dinner, did you not?—I did.
§ Did sheriff Smith give the toast, "the glorious and immortal memory?"—I rather think not.
§ Was that toast given by any person at that dinner?—I believe not.
§ You did not take out an Orange handkerchief, and give that toast?—I did not.
§ By Mr. S. Rice.—Having served the office of sheriff, you are of course a Protestant?—I am.
§ And you hold in veneration the memory of king William?—Yes.
§ There has been for a great number of years, a custom of decorating the statue of king William?—I always saw it done.
§ There was a great diversity of opinion, as to a stop having been put to that ceremony?—There was.
§ You were one who thought that ceremony might as well not have been stopped?—Ceriainly, my feeling always was, that all kind of irritation should be avoided.
§ You thought that a wrong step had been taken by the authorities, in putting a stop to s that ceremony?—I did not think it a judicious measure, in the way it was done.
§ You concurred, in blaming those that so stopped it?—I certainly thought it was not judicious.
§ Then you thought those persons who did so stop that ceremony, did act a part which they ought not to have acted?—I certainly expressed my feeling so far, that I thought it was a measure that was not calculated to create conciliation.
§ You expressed that feeling?—I am not quite sure, whether I expressed that feeling; but I certainly had that feeling on my mind.
§ Have you then any doubt in your mind, that in conversation with your friends and acquaintances, you did express feelings to that effect?—I dare say I did.
§ The riot which occurred at the theatre was occasioned by the irritation occasioned by the stopping that ceremony?—I should suppose so.
§ Can you state before this committee, that the slightest doubt exists in your mind, that that riot was created by that ceremony having been stopped?—I declare I cannot say; I should suppose it arose from the stopping of the dressing of the statue.
§ By Mr. Jones.—Were you one of those who expressed disapprobation against the authorities for stopping the decoration of the statue?—I never expressed any such thing.
§ Do you approve of measures that are I calculated to promote conciliation?—I approve of measures that are calculated to create conciliation.
§ You did not express disapprobation with those who stopped the ceremony of decorating the statue of king William?—I do not think I did.
§ What did you express then?—I think I expressed myself so far as this, that it was not calculated to create conciliation.
§ Did you approve the stopping the ceremony of decorating the statue of king William?—The feeling I had on my own mind was this, that where the thing was sanctioned by the government for so many years, it was ill calculated to stop it in the kind of way it was attempted.
§ Did you disapprove of that measure?—So far as that.
§ Did not the riot that took place at the theatre originate from a disapprobation of the stopping that ceremony?—I declare I cannot say.
§ Was it not matter of notoriety, that it did take place from that circumstance?—I believe it was generally mentioned through town.
§ Do you belong to the Amicable Society in Dublin?—I do.
§ What are the principles of that society?—Loyalty and attachment to the king and constitution.
§ Are there not many persons belonging to Orange lodges, belong to that society?—I cannot answer that, for I am not an Orangeman myself.
§ Do you know any Catholics belonging to it?—No.
§ Is not the toast, "The pious and immortal memory," constantly drunk at their dinner?—Always.
§ Are you acquainted with the Hand whiches?—No.
§ By Mr. Abercromby.—You were at Mr. Sheriff Thorpe's dinner?—I was.
§ There "The pious and immortal memory" was drank?—It was.
§ You joined of course?—Of course I did.
§ Do you think that is calculated to promote conciliation?—I cannot say.
§ Is it a toast calculated, under present circumstances, to allay irritation in Dublin?—I think, from the present feeling in Ireland, that it is not calculated.
§ By Mr. Brougham.—You were present at the dinner which sheriff Thorpe gave, on coming into office?—I was.
§ Were you present when the health of sheriff Thorpe was drank by the company?—I think I was.
§ Did you hear any part of that speech?—I do not think I did.
§ How far off were you from sheriff Thorpe at that time?—I was perhaps in the middle of the room at one of the side tables; it is an amazing large room.
§ Did you hear any persons, further off than yourself, applaud what sheriff Thorpe said?—It might be the case, but I cannot recollect.
§ Did sheriff Thorpe speak in a loud, or low tone of voice?—I did not hear him.108
§ When sheriff Thorpe got up to speak, was there not silence in the room to hear him?—I should think there was.
§ Did you turn your ears towards him?—The room is so large, that if I paid ever so great attention, I do not think I should hear him from where I was.
§ Do you recollect the room, generally speaking, being attentive to sheriff Thorpe, when he made that speech?—I believe they were, but there is generally such a noise, and such a buzzing, that unless the person speaks very loud, he is not heard. When gentlemen get a little wine, they get sometimes a little out of order.
§ In what position did sheriff Thorpe speak, was he standing upon the floor or a chair?—If he spoke at all, he stood on the floor.
§ Have you any doubt whether he spoke?—I am sure he did speak.
§ Have you any recollection of where sheriff Thorpe stood?—At the head of his own table, on the floor I should think.
§ Do you recollect hearing him speak at all?—I do not.
§ By Mr. Twiss.—Do you not remember any motion to have been made, tending to the censure of the government, on which an amendment was moved by a person of the name of Poole?—I was not present.
§ By Mr. Plunkett.—You have said, that you think the measures as to the preventing the dressing the statue were not judicious, that they were not calculated to produce conciliation?—I have said, that after being countenanced by the government for so many years, I thought a sudden measure was ill calculated for conciliation.
§ Do not you think, that persons who are of I that opinion, have a right to express it publickly, and that it is a fair thing for them to do it?—Certainly, very fair.
§ Do not you think they have a right to do so, in a public theatre or any other; place?—I think they have a right to express their feelings, but not to disturb the peace.
§ That they would have no right to assault the person, either of the lord lieutenant, or of any other person?—Certainly not.
§ But they would have a right to express their disapprobation of those measures at the theatre, is not that your opinion?—My opinion is, that, as far as my own feeling would go, there should be no offence, in any kind of way, offered to the representative of his majesty.
§ Do you think it would be right, to punish any: person for merely expressing his disapprobation of those measures at a public theatre, or any other place?—My opinion is, that, unless he was hostile, and showed great hostility for merely disapprobation, hissing or hooting, my opinion is, that they are privileged to do that, at a theatre.
§ Do not you think it would be an unjust thing to punish persons for merely agreeing beforehand to go to the theatre, merely for the purpose of hissing or groaning, if they thought a measure 109 injudiciousf—My own opinion is, that they ought not to be punished for merely hissing and groaning.
§ By Mr. R. Smith.—During your shrievalty, what was your course for forming the panels for commission grand juries?—I always formed the panel, and I inclosed it to my brother sheriff for his concurrence.
§ Did you yourself select the names?—I selected the names myself from the grand panel.
§ Not your under-sheriff?—Sometimes he did; and sometimes I have done it myself.
§ What is the general course?—The general course is, for the sheriff to write out his own panel, and submit it to his brother sheriff, and then for it to go to the sheriff's office, to have it engrossed.
§ Did you yourself go to select the names from the book, or was a list handed to you from the office, for your approbation?—Sometimes I made out the list myself, and sometimes I desired the under-sheriff to make out a list; and I submitted that list to my brother sheriff, and then we got it engrossed.
§ By Mr. Brougham.—Are you to be understood to state, that the general course is, for the sheriff himself always to select the jury?—It is. The sheriff writes out his list from the grand panel, and he submits that to his brother sheriff; he encloses it to me, he sends it back, or we both go to the Sheriff's office, and agree on the panel; and then we get it ingrossed by the under-sheriff's clerk.
§ Then the general course in that office is, that one sheriff selects from the grand panel, and submits to his brother sheriff, and they agree together upon the panel, and then send it back to the sub-sheriff?—The sheriffs take it quarter about; in his quarter he makes out his panel.
§ You are understood to say, that the common course of that office is, that one sheriff selects from the grand panel, and submits these selected names to his brother sheriff, for his approbation; and that then the two agreeing upon the names, they are sent back to the sub-sheriff?—That is the course that I adopted during my quarter.
§ Is that the usual course in the Sheriff's office?—I should think it is.
§ Do you know of that course ever having been adopted in any one case, except when you were sheriff yourself?—I do not; for I had no assistance to guide me in the office.
§ Then you do not know that that is the usual course?—I do not.
§ Then what you mean by the usual course of the office is, (is it not?) the course of the office while you yourself were sheriff?—I know nothing about the course of the Sheriff's office, beyond my awn year of office.
§ And you did not then select?—I made my observations on the panel. He made out a general list for my approval. There never was a jury struck that was not submitted to my inspection; I took it to my brother sheriff, and 110 we then agreed upon the panel, and had the summonses sent out. I do not think I ever made any list but from the grand panel.
§ Do you think that the stopping the dressing of the statue was a measure likely to produce irritation?—I think it was. I think the dressing it also a measure of irritation.
§ By a Member.—Was the grand jury, in 1823, composed of a less respectable class of individuals than you had formerly known serve as a grand jury?—I think I never served on a jury with more respectable gentlemen than the grand jury in 1823.
§ Do not you believe that the course which you pursued in striking the panel, was, the usual course with sheriffs in striking a panel?—I should suppose it was. It was the course I adopted myself.
§ Are you not one of that party, in Dublin, who wish to see the dressing of the statue die a natural death?—Certainly.
§ Did you make any objection to the undressing of the statue?—No.
§ Have you ever heard, that the lord lieutenant himself used to parade round the statue of king William, on the 4th of November, in Dublin?—I have.
§ Have you heard, that the garrison of Dublin used to fire round the statue of king William, on the 4th of November?—I have.
§ Are such things observed now?—No.
§ Then, the honours offered to this monarch, are much on the decline?—I think so.
§ How often was the statue dressed subsequent to the departure of his majesty from Ireland, and previous to the prohibition on the part of the lord mayor?—I think, shortly after the departure of the king.
§ How often?—I do not recollect.
§ Did it not continue to be dressed until the lord mayor put a stop to it in November last?—It did.
§ Did you ever hear, that any application was made to the lord-lieutenant, stating the apprehensions of many of the inhabitants of College-green, from the riots occasioned by the dressing of the statue?—I did.
§ Mr. John Twycross called in; and examined
§ By Colonel Barry.—What is your situation in life?—Jeweller and silversmith and goldsmith of Dublin.
§ You served upon the grand jury last January?—I did.
§ Are you an Orangeman?—I am not.
§ Are you a supporter of what is called Catholic Emancipation?—I should be very happy if it took place to-morrow, if there was security given from any inroads on our constitution in church and state.
§ In the course of the transactions on the grand jury, were there any circumstances that-led you to think that there was any partiality shown as to the subject matter that was brought before them?—Not in the least.
§ Was it by a patient investigation of all the facts that were brought before you?—A most patient and most careful investigation of all the.
§ Was, there any thing in the conduct of that grand jury which induced a conviction in your mind, that they harboured any degree of partiality oh the subject matter submitted to them?—I have not the least doubt there was no partiality shown whatever, but every attention shown to: every witness.
§ Was the finding of the bills according to the unanimous decision of the jury?—Most unanimous; we so, declared in open court.
§ Mr. Joseph Henry Moore called in; and examined
§ By Colonel Barry.—What is your situation?—A stock broker and agent to an insurance company in Dublin.
§ Have you been in the habit of serving on Dublin grand juries?—Since 1817 have.
§ You were employed by the grand jury to take notes upon the late occasion?—:I took notes as well as others of the grand jury, memorandums of the heads bf evidence.
§ Are you in any way connected with any Orange institution?—Not any, nor never was. Are you competent to answer to such things as passed upon that grand jury?—I have taken an oath of secrecy.
§ You know the facts?—I am perfectly aware of the facts from having acted in a measure for the foreman.
§ [The witness was ordered to withdraw, and a conversation ensued, in which Mr. S. Rice, Colonel Barry, Mr. Bankes, and sir J. Newport participated, on the propriety of taking any part of the evidence of this witness, until the question was decided, whether he should be obliged to answer to matters to which the witness might conceive himself bound by his oath of secrecy. The witness was then ordered to be called in.]
§ By Colonel Barry.—Did you attend to the proceedings of the grand jury with great attention?—Most attentively.
§ Did it appear that it was the intention of the grand jury, fairly, honourably and impartially to investigate the subject matter submitted to them?—Most decidedly.
§ Did you see any instance of any witness being brow-beat or attempted to be forced out of the room' during his giving evidence?—Certainly not.
§ How long did you occupy in considering those bills?—Until five o'clock on the first day, when the court sent up to us to know if we had decided. I returned for answer to, I believe, Mr. Riky, that we had not decided; that we should remain there and examine all the witnesses, if it pleased the court, or adjourn, as the court should directs.
§ Do you remember how many witnesses altogether were examined before the grand jury?—There were 27 I think.
§ Was any impediment offered to any witness giving his testimony before the grand jury?—Certainly not; the foreman protected them in every way.
§ Were the witnesses fully examined to every point which they appeared ready to bear witness to?—The usual routine questions of grand jurors were put to them.
§ By Mr. Jones.—You state that the witnesses were protected by the foreman; did any of the grand jury then conduct themselves towards those witnesses in such a manner as to require protection?—Certainly not; in a multitude of people there may be a multitude of questions.
§ Was not there a person examined who offered evidence as to the person of one of the rioters, which evidence he was not suffered to give, because he did not know the person of the rioter at the lime of the riot having been committed?—That is a secret of the jury, I apprehend. [The witness was ordered to withdraw.]
said, he thought the understanding was, that they were not to continue the examination after the witness had objected to answer the question.
§ Mr. Brougham
said, there could be no doubt that to any fact which occurred previously to the witness being sworn as a grand juryman, or after the grand jury were discharged, he might be examined; but to an examination relative to what passed in the jury-room, he was not prepared to be a consenting party, unless a precedent could be shown for absolving the witness from his oath. In the case of admiral Byng (which he always considered as a murder)—on that infamous transaction, a bill was brought in, which passed that House, for absolving the members of the court-martial from the obligation of their oaths. It was therefore the solemn opinion of the House at that period, that an act of the legislature was necessary. But there was also the act of the 56th of the late king, for regulating grand juries, which dealt with this very matter. In that act, after directing that depositions taken before justices of the peace shall he laid before the grand jury, it is enacted, that if upon, the examination of witnesses it should appear to the grand jury that the wit- 113 nesses have sworn falsely, they may report the same to the court; and in case the court should, therefore, order a bill of indictment for perjury to be preferred, it should he competent for any of the grand jurors to give evidence on the trial of such indictment, notwithstanding the oath taken by him as a grand juror. Now, the mere enactment of the statute or question was an admission that the legislature thought that a specific act was necessary to absolve a member of a grand jury from his oath. The case of admiral Byng ran upon all-fours with the present case, it was a regular proceeding before the House of Commons. He begged, however, to guard himself against being taken to declare, that even if courts of justice were without power to absolve a grand juror from his oath, that therefore the House of Commons (whose authority was paramount to all courts of justice) could not give that dispensation without an act sanctioned by the other House of parliament, and by the Crown. He was far from intending to make any such assertion as that; because he could suppose the case of the House of Commons proceeding against a minister of the Crown, or against a member of the upper House; and being refused assistance either by the Crown or by the House of Peers. He by no means, therefore, contended, that an act of parliament was absolutely necessary to the object in question; but he thought that enough had appeared before the committee to induce it to pause, and to deliberate seriously upon the point. Perhaps it would be better, for the present, to conclude the proceeding and adjourn.
§ Mr. Abercromby
had no objection to an adjournment, but could not help wishing that the question had been mooted upon the evidence of the first witness. He thought, as far as he could give an opinion upon the sudden, that the House had power to dispense with the oath, and compel the witness to give his evidence.
believed that the power of dispensation, as regarded the oaths of grand jurymen, had existed in courts of justice prior to the 56th of the late king.
§ Sir J. Newport
said, that the 56th of the late king was meant to declare what the law was, and not to make a new law. With that avowed view, it had been introduced. It was to correct an irregularity that existed in the Irish practice of the law, and to place it upon the same footing with the practice in England.
§ Mr. Brougham
thought the statute enacting, and not declaratory. At the same time he thought that the committee ought to take the sense of the House upon the point.
§ Mr. Wetherell
thought that the oath of a grand juryman might be dispensed with by the power of a court of justice, and had not the smallest doubt that the 56th of the late king was declaratory. The case of admiral Byng stood upon other ground. The House of Commons, in that case, were not acting in the capacity of a court of justice.
§ The House resumed: The chairman reported progress, and obtained leave to sit again.