HC Deb 18 May 1827 vol 17 cc903-23
Mr. Legh-Keck

moved the second reading of the Penryn Election bill.

Mr. Barclay

said, he owed it to his constituents, though he did not oppose the second reading of the bill, to declare that it had been urged on very hastily. He hoped that the House would consider that they were now dealing with the interests of five hundred persons.

Lord Althorp

said, that he had been requested to state, on behalf of Mr. Grenfell, that he had not, as it had been asserted in the House, withdrawn from the election because of his having lost his interest with the electors; but because he felt certain that he could not be returned without resorting to corrupt practices. With the leave of the House, he would read the letter:—

"My dear Lord:

—On perusing the report of what passed in the House of Commons on Tuesday last, when the evidence from the Penryn committee was under the consideration of the House, Mr. Barclay is represented (how correctly I know not) to have stated, that 'I had withdrawn as a candidate from Penryn, not in consequence of any opinions entertained by me injurious to the character of the borough, but because I had lost the confidence of the electors;' and, as it might be inferred from this supposed assertion of Mr. Barclay, if not contradicted by me, that I had done something to justify the electors in withdrawing their confidence from me, I should be much obliged if you could avail yourself of some opportunity of stating, on my behalf, that, although I am satisfied that this assertion by Mr. Barclay can only have been the result of erroneous information, conveyed to him by others, I must, in justice to myself, declare, that nothing can be more incorrect than the assertion itself: for the truth is, that I withdrew from Penryn, not because I had any reason to believe that I had lost the confidence of the electors, but because I felt that the electors had forfeited the confidence I had placed in them. I had confided in the sincerity of the assurances which they made to me, both before and after my election in 1820, that they would continue to support me upon the principles which I most distinctly told them were the only principles upon which I would accept their suffrages. I had adhered strictly, on my part, to those principles. I had never deceived them, but I had reason for believing that the electors were preparing to break their compact with me. As soon, therefore, as I had satisfied myself, by representations made to me from various quarters, that I had no chance of being elected a second time, without a recurrence to those illegal practices which had formerly prevailed in the borough, I determined at once to withdraw from it.

"It has, indeed, been stated, that the two gentlemen who now represent Penryn were elected without any participation, either directly or indirectly, in those acts of bribery and treating which, in the report now before the House, are proved to have been practised at the election in June last; but, whatever means they may have possessed for thus recommending themselves to the pure and unbiassed choice of the electors, I am satisfied that no such means were within my reach, and that I had no chance of success at Penryn without lending myself to those acts of corruption which are now proved to have occurred at the last election, although without the knowledge or participation of the two hon. members who at present represent this borough.

"I cannot conclude without concurring in the opinion which has been expressed by others as to the respectability of many individuals who are electors of Penryn, and who are not only incapable of being parties to, but who reprobate, in the strongest manner, the corrupt practices referred to. I have the honour to be, my dear lord, very faithfully your's,


"Charles-street, St. James's, Friday, May 11."

Mr. Ferguson

said, it was absolutely necessary for parliament to interfere in defence of the purity of election, against the practices that had prevailed in this borough. On the report that had been presented with respect to the late election, he should have had very considerable difficulty in making up his mind as to the course to be followed; but, when he perused the reports of the two several committees in 1807 and 1819, both disclosing, in the evidence on which they were founded, the grossest and most shameful cases of bribery and corruption that had ever come before parliament, he had no doubt whatever as to the duty he ought to perform. In 1807, it appeared, by the report of the committee, that a positive agreement had been regularly made between sir Christopher Hawkins, who was supposed to be the patron of the borough, and a committee of the burgesses, by which it was settled, that each elector should receive twenty-four guineas for his vote. There was every reason to believe that the money had been paid in pursuance of this agreement. The report also stated, that proof had been given of various other acts of bribery. The result was, that sir C. Hawkins was, by the returning officer, declared duly elected. On a petition against his return, a committee of the House resolved, that sir Christopher had been guilty of bribery and corruption. He was, of course, unseated by the report, and a prosecution followed in the court of King's-bench. What were the facts in 1819, with regard to Mr. Swan and another gentleman, who was then a candidate for this borough? It was stated in the report on that election, that that gentleman (whom he would not name), in the public and open day, went from house to house, and paid 5l. to each elector for his vote. Yet that gentleman was, by the returning officer, declared duly elected. A petition was afterwards presented against his return, and he was unseated, as being guilty of bribery and corruption. There could be no doubt, therefore, as to the necessity of visiting Penryn with a punishment suitable to its offence. Parliament would not disfranchise every borough where bribery might take place; but when it was proved, by successive inquiries, that the great mass of the electors were contaminated with the corruption by which the members were returned; it was the bounden duty of the House to vindicate its privileges, and maintain the purity of election. He was now prepared, on the evidence reported by the last committee, and confirmed by the two former committees, to vote for depriving Penryn of the right of election which it had hitherto exercised. If he had had only the last report before him, he might have found considerable difficulty in this case; as the committee, though they had found that gross bribery and treating had taken place, had nevertheless declared, that one of the sitting members was duly elected, and that no case of corruption had been brought home to them. They declared there had been gross cases of bribery, but that Mr. Manning had not been concerned in them.—For the discussion of this bill, it mattered not how the case stood with reference to that hon. gentleman. There were certainly many difficulties in considering the report; because, if the agency of Sewell and Stanbury was proved, it followed irresistibly, that that agency was brought home, if not to the sitting members, at least to their immediate friends and agents. The bribery was of the grossest kind. Sovereigns were given, under pretence of giving dinner tickets, and the electors who had taken both the dinner and the sovereign were allowed to vote for the hon. gentleman who had been petitioned against. There was sufficient ground in this report, and the previous ones of 1807 and 1819, for the House to proceed against this borough. The bill contained a provision, opening the right of election to the adjacent hundreds. That was a remedy which he thought highly objectionable. The neighbourhood of such a borough as Penryn was the last place to which he would transfer the franchise. He would infinitely prefer to adopt the opinion expressed by some hon. members, that the right of returning a member to parliament should be transferred to some great manufacturing and commercial town. He entirely agreed, that no place required the benefit of representation in that House so much, considering its extensive trade and immense population, as Manchester.

Mr. H. Gurney

remarked, that the statement of Mr. Grenfell might be reconciled with that of the hon. gentleman (Mr. D. Barclay), by supposing that he had lost the confidence of the small minority whom it was not necessary to corrupt.

Lord Althorp

said, that the only answer to that explanation was, that Mr. Grenfell stated positively, that that was not the case. Mr. Grenfell denied that he had lost the confidence of the respectable part of the inhabitants.

Sir C. Hawkins

addressed the House, but was totally inaudible in the gallery.

Sir C. Burrell

understood that his name had been used by the hon. baronet. If he did not reply to the allusion, he trusted his conduct would not be imputed to disrespect; as he really had not been able to catch one word of the hon. baronet's speech. As to the general question, he advised the House not to discuss what should be done with the franchise of Penryn, until they had decided whether any thing at all should be done with it. There could be no doubt that Penryn was, to a certain degree, impure. In 1819, a bill had been actually carried up to the lords to disfranchise that borough. That fact ought not to be wholly out of their sight during the present discussion. If, in addition to the many acts of bribery then proved against Penryn, it appeared that corrupt practices had since prevailed there, the House could come to the conclusion, that such a borough was unfit to send representatives to parliament.

Sir E. Carrington

admitted, there could be no doubt that bribery had been proved; but it was by no means clear, therefore, that the ultima ratio of parliament was to be applied, and the borough disfranchised. Were the wrong doings of the guilty only to be borne in mind, in order that the unoffending might be deprived of the rights and privileges which they had never abused? They had done their duty faithfully, yet they were to be punished. He utterly disapproved of the proposition to extend the right of voting to the hundreds. He objected to that course on principle, in all cases. It was making a sort of petty county election; and therefore it should be viewed as a dangerous innovation on the ancient system of representation. He knew how this kind of remedy had operated practically, being a near resident to Aylesbury. Certainly at Shoreham, the change had turned out to be no great improvement. He would not enter into the discussion of the propriety of transferring the representation to Manchester. It would, he thought, be more discreet not to mention the name of any place, until the question as to the disfranchisement of Penryn was decided.

The bill was read a second time. On the question that it be committed,

Mr. D. Barclay

again addressed the House. We understood him to say, that notwithstanding the prejudices which prevailed against the borough of Penryn, he was convinced that its character had been undergoing a gradual change for the better since the year 1807. The House went into a committee on the bill, and witnesses were ordered to be called to the bar.

John Stanbury

was then brought in under the custody of the governor of Newgate, and examined by Mr. Legh-Keck, to the following effect.—He said his name was John Stanbury, and that he received a summons to attend upon the committee appointed to consider the Penryn election petition, but that he did not so attend. He was a resident of Penryn at the time of the last election. He acknowledged that he had taken an active part in the election before the last, when Mr. Weeding was a candidate, and that he had received three several sums of 1000l.—350l. and 500l., to treat the electors. At the last election he had two rooms in the House of John Pawley. He never received more than 20l. to treat the electors; and he certainly did not receive 275l. He did not recollect any such circumstance as his telling a person named Sewell to support Manning, because lord Perceval's party were so poor they could not pay any money; was quite sure that he did not receive gold and notes at his room, from Sewell, in order to treat the electors, and did not join Mr. Mannings party. He received no money, except for the payment of debts incurred for treating the electors. He was quite sure there were no debts except for treating the electors. He knew Thomas Pitts, and lent him ten pounds; was certain the money was only lent. He never said to Pitts or to any other person, that he had received 1300l. for the exertion of his interest in the borough of Penryn. He knows John Curran, but never gave him any money. He knows John Joyce, and gave him two pounds ten shillings, which he owed him. He paid Thomas Jones nineteen pounds during the time of the election for his services during two years. Thomas Jones was in his employment as a manager in electioneering concerns; but in no other that he knew of. He confessed that his clerk kept a list of the names of the voters, with the amount paid to each put down at the end of the name. Those sums, however, were all paid in a legal way. He admitted that he was to get money, but it was not to pay any voters; it was for his services; he did not recollect having said that be had been deceived; that he was very angry, and that unless he was paid, he would expose the whole transac- tion; he had not had any communication with Mr. Sewell since the election; he denied having said to Mr. Haddy, that if this petition were proceeded in, the borough of Penryn must be disfranchised; he had never paid any money to voters in Penryn for the purpose of obtaining their support.

The witness was then examined by Mr. Brougham. His answers were to the following effect:—

He was born at Penryn; had no property, and had followed no trade there; had intended to open a grocer's shop, but never did so; he had been engaged as a borough agent; at Barnstaple, Tregony, Penryn, Exeter, Lincoln, and at St. Alban's. At Exeter he had introduced Mr. Dyson as a general candidate, but had received no money or promise of money from him; Mr. Dyson had declined the contest; he had never been engaged in any election before the last, except at Barnstaple. Although he was not born at Barnstaple, nor had lived there, he had been requested by the principal men to introduce a candidate. He had formerly been a clerk in the East-India House. He was so for eight years. He ceased to be so in 1806. He had resigned. Before he was a clerk, he had been a labourer in the East-India House. He had been a labourer from the age of 17. He had served his apprenticeship to a cobler at Barnstaple. He was engaged in the Barnstaple election in 1802, and again in 1806. After he had resigned his situation as a clerk in the East-India House, he was a clerk in the War-office for four years. That employment ceased in 1812. He had since been a yeoman—a farmer. He had three labourers. He farmed his own property—a farm of forty-two acres. It was near Plymouth. He had also a cottage at Tregony. He had for two years rented a house at Penryn at 15l. a-year, besides the taxes. From 1812 to the present year he had never done any thing except cultivating the forty-two acres he had mentioned. He had built houses at Tregony, but had not yet received any rent for them. He had laid out about 2,000l. at Tregony. He was not obliged to tell how he got this money. The rent of land in his neighbourhood was five pounds an acre. But he did not think he could let his forty-two acres for 200l. He did not think he could let them for 100l. He had not bought the land. He had not, just before, said that it was his own property. He was living in Newgate, at present, under an order for contempt. If he had said that the land which he cultivated was his own property, he had told an untruth. He denied that he had said that it was his own property. He now said, that it was not his own. It belonged to squire Guinness. He paid 38l. a-year for it. When he said that land in his neighbourhood was worth five pounds an acre rent, he meant some land. He thought eight, if not twelve acres of the land which he farmed was worth five pounds an acre; but he could not recollect the name of any field or close in which the land he so valued was situated. He had his farm on a lease of seven, eleven, or fourteen years. He had always paid his rent to Mr. Guinness. It was not by farming that he made the money which he had laid out in houses at Tregony. He had had no other trade or occupation since 1812 but that of a yeoman. He became acquainted with Mr. Freshfield on the 13th of June, 1826. He had never before seen or corresponded with him. Mr. Freshfield called on him at Penryn. He had not taken a house at Penryn for the purpose of turning the election for that place to his own account. Mr. Freshfield called upon him to request his support of Mr. Manning. His answer was, that he had no objection to support Mr. Manning. No terms were mentioned. He was not to be employed at so much a day, or so much a week; he made no stipulations whatever. He did not know that he was to receive anything. Mr. Freshfield never said, that it would be advantageous to him to support Mr. Manning. The way in which he was to support Mr. Manning was by inducing voters to vote for him. Mr. Freshfield had never seen him afterwards on the subject. He had seen Mr. Fresh-field after the election, and had told him that he had been at some expense at his house on account of the election. Mr. Freshfield said, he could say nothing about it. He did not say that he could say nothing about it for fourteen days. It did not occur to him, that Mr. Freshfield meant that; although he knew that no petition could be presented to parliament complaining of bribery which had taken place until fourteen days after the election. He had told Mr. Freshfield, that he had no claim upon him. Mr. Freshfield was not Mr. Mannings agent. He did not know who was Mr. Manning's agent. He did not know what. Mr. Freshfield came down to Penryn for. He had heard that Mr. Freshfield was Mr. Manning's solicitor. He had never seen Mr. Freshfield again; although he had written to and received letters from him. He had asked for some little expenses which he had been at. They amounted to about 40l. He had never, however, demanded any larger sum. He left it to Mr. Freshfield. He should have been satisfied with 50l. He had not said that he had been 40l. out of pocket. To the repeated question, whether he would have been satisfied with the balance of ten pounds for his trouble, the witness answered that he had had no trouble. He should have been satisfied with 50l. When he said before that he should have been satisfied with 50l. he meant that, although he should have been satisfied with 40l. he should have been better satisfied with 50l. He had never paid anything at Penryn but what was justly owing to persons. Mr. Freshfield had never given him a farthing. He had not applied to anybody else. He had not had any further communication with Mr. Freshfield since that which he had described. He had not been paid in so scanty a manner at some other elections. He had been paid liberally. At Barnstaple he had received from sir Eyre Coote in 1812, 500l. for his services.—Was that 500l. clear nett profit, or had you the handing of any other money? It was clear money.—Were you his agent? No.—Then for what was the money? For my services, travelling about to see the electors, and associating with the voters.—Did you ever get any other money? Perhaps I might.—Come, what did Mr. Taylor give you? In 1806, I think, he gave me 300l.—Did you ever receive any other money from Mr. Taylor but that 300l. I think that out of respect for me, he might have let me have a couple of hundreds afterwards.—Besides the 300l. clear pay, and the 200l. respect money, how much more did Mr. Taylor give you? I do not understand you.—How much did that election cost Mr. Taylor? Perhaps 3,000l.—Perhaps 6,000l.? No it did not. I know not what it cost him. In 1806, it did not cost him quite 3,000l.—In what way was that 3,000l. disbursed? Each of the London voters had 8l. to go down, and 8l. to come up, and that made 1,600l., as there were a hundred of them. The Bristol electors had to be paid besides 12l. each.—Had you the payments to make? Yes; all that money passed through my hands.—Was that the whole of the expense? No, I believe not.—This was at Barnstaple: how much did you get at Tregony? There was no expense there.—What! no expense in getting a hundred and eighty voters at one side in a contested election? None, only the treating. Did the treating money pass through your hands? Yes.—Did you pay it all yourself? Yes.—Out of your own pocket? No.—How much? I cannot tell.—Come, tell us within 500l. of the sum. I cannot say.—Was it 3,000l.? I don't know.—Was it 2,000l.? I don't know.—Was it 1,200l.? I don't know.

The witness was ordered to withdraw.

The Attorney-General

said, he would submit to the committee, whether it was expedient, by continuing the course which his hon. and learned friend had adopted, to go into matters which took place at other elections, when the question before the committee was what had transpired at the election at Penryn. He really thought his hon. and learned friend had, by his questions, brought another issue before the committee, which was in no way essential to the matter before them.

Mr. Brougham

said, he was astonished at what had fallen from his hon. and learned friend. It was both the privilege and the duty of the British House of Commons, when they got within their reach such persons as this, to expose them as much as it was possible they could be exposed, and to hold them and their worthless employers up to the scorn and indignation of the country. He required no other argument—he would seek for no other argument—than this, by which to justify himself in adhering to a practice which all former attorney-generals had rather thought it their duty to sanction than to attempt to stifle by taking technical objections,—a practice which he had always followed, and had never before seen excepted to,—a practice, moreover, in which he was sure he should be upheld and protected by the House, no matter by what authority it might be impugned, even though it should be that of his majesty's Attorney-general [cheers]. He would defy the subtilty of his hon. and learned friend to point out any question of his which did not make for the purpose before them,—which did not involve the credit of testimony. If he were not allowed to put questions to which an intelligible and dis- tinct answer must be given, the witness had nothing to do but to make up his mind to say "No," as he had done to the questions of the hon. member for Leicestershire. He had no doubt that his hon. friend had other testimony by which he could confront and confound these answers of the witness. He could see plainly that his hon. friend had such testimony in reserve, by the manner in which he had, in his questions, referred to other persons, and associated them with the subject of those questions. He called upon the House to consider but for a moment the unsatisfactory, the negative answers of the witness; and he would then ask them, if it was not absolutely necessary to put such a man to the test of a rigorous examination. He never knew before that night, that such a character was one that ought to be protected: a character the most despicable—a regular Cornish borough-monger. He should be sorry to go one step further than his duty directed him, but with one step short of that he would not content himself; and he hoped that his majesty's present government would not allow any let or hindrance to be thrown in the way of such a course.

The Attorney-General

said, that his learned friend had much mistaken him, if he supposed that he meant for a single moment to protect the witness. He felt quite as much indignation at his conduct, as his learned friend could possibly feel. It was not because he felt less than his learned friend, that he had taken a less indignant tone; but because he thought that a temperate discussion was better suited to the purpose of the committee. If any member of the committee thought it necessary to go into these matters, he should be the last man to stop such a course. His only reason for rising was, that many gentlemen around him thought the matter had been pushed a little too far. His object was that of saving the time of the committee. If, however, his learned friend, or the hon. member who had brought the subject forward, thought that it ought to be gone on with, he would cheerfully withdraw all opposition.

Mr. N. Calvert

thought it expedient to enter into a cross-examination, however diffuse, if the truth from such a man could be elicited by such means.

Mr. Wynn

said, that this man being already in Newgate, and having now exposed himself by so many falsehoods, appeared to him to be in a situation, that "non habet unde cadat." It was impossible for him to fall any lower.

Mr. Brougham

said, he perfectly concurred in that view of the matter; and, if that was the impression of the committee, he was perfectly satisfied.

The Attorney-General

said, he was satisfied half an hour ago that no one in the House believed the witness.

Mr. Legh-Keck

heartily thanked the learned gentleman, for the able manner in which he had cross-examined the witness; because he was sure that he had screwed himself up to the sticking place of denial.

Mr. Hume

thought the language which the hon. gentleman (Mr. Wynn) had used in speaking of the witness hardly tolerable. It ought not to be said, that a man's character was blasted, unless there was very strong grounds for such an assertion. If it could be proved that his evidence was false, such language might be fairly used; but, until then, he thought it uncalled-for. He had not seen any thing to warrant the language which the hon. gentleman had used.

Mr. Wynn

said, that, in his opinion, the witness had flatly contradicted himself, and was therefore altogether unworthy of belief.

Mr. S. Bourne

thought, that if his hon. friend had known the character of this witness before, it would have been better not to have produced him at all; as no reliance could be placed upon his evidence.

Mr. Legh-Keck

said, that the witness would not appear before the committee, and he was therefore glad that he had been enabled to produce him before the House, in order that it might be satisfied, that what other witnesses had said of him was correct.

Mr. Ferguson

said, there was scarcely a fact sworn to by the witnesses in the evidence which this man had not contradicted; and yet the hon. member for Montrose wished to hear other evidence, before an opinion was pronounced upon the credibility of the witness.

Mr. D. W. Harvey

thought it very important that this man should be farther examined. He had said, that his clerk kept a list of voters, with the sums paid to each marked against their names. It was very desirable that it should be ascertained who paid these sums. Though the evidence of the witness was not worth any thing of itself, yet it might be received, in support of the less questionable evidence of others.

John Stanbury

was then re-called.

Examined by Mr. S. Bourne .

—He had told them before, that his clerk kept a list of the voters, together with an account of the money paid to each. That money came from Mr. Weeding. The money paid to these voters was in consideration of services performed by them. They had been engaged for the last two years.

By Dr. Phillimore.

—All the money he received was for treating at Penryn. Perhaps three hundred electors might have partaken of this treating. The nature of the treating was eating and drinking. On one occasion, he recollected distributing four bullocks.

By Dr. Lushington .

—He never gave, or promised to give, any money to the electors of Penryn for their votes. He kept two banking accounts in Cornwall, and one in London; he kept a banking at Praed's at Truro; at Carnes's at Penryn; and at Barclay's in London. All the sums which he paid did not pass through his bankers' hands. He had some of the bankers' books with him in London. At Penryn, the money he paid passed through Carnes's hands; he had not got that banking book with him. He was at Medlicot's house, at Tregony, when the summons to attend the committee on the Penryn election was served upon him. He did not obey that summons, because he was prevented by illness. His illness arose from carbuncles. He had a certificate to that effect, signed by two physicians. Neither of these physicians resided at Tregony. They both lived at Truro. He had to send ten miles for them. They had not attended him before he received the summons. He sent this certificate up to London, and afterwards petitioned the House. When he left Tregony he went to Barnstaple. He was able to take that journey in spite of his carbuncles. He took no means for keeping that journey a secret. He did not recollect telling any body not to say where he was gone. He did not recollect that he told Mr. Medlicot to keep his journey a secret. He was not shut or locked up in Mr. Medlicot's house, for the purpose of avoiding being served with the summons. The person who served him with the summons, said, that he had a claim upon him for some straw, which he wished to have settled; and when he came into the room he served him with the summons. He did not go away in order to avoid the sum- mons. He went away upon business. He knew the guard of the Falmouth coach. He believed he gave him half-a-crown. He did not think that he ever said any thing to the guard about keeping his journey a secret. He had no reason for wishing to have it kept a secret; or for telling the guard not to put his name in the way-bill,

By Mr. Legh-Keck .

—He meant the House to understand him as deliberately stating, that he did not believe any of the voters to have received money for their votes.

Robert Weeding was then called.

Examined by Mr. Legh-Keck .

—He had never authorized John Stanbury to pay any money for election debts. He knew two persons of the names of Mallet and Harvey. He did not recollect that these persons ever came to him and told him, that if John Stanbury did not pay the money which he had promised the voters, he (witness) had no chance of coming in. He advanced three sums of money to Stanbury: two sums of 500l. each, and one of between 300l. and 400l.

By Mr. D. W. Harvey .

—The money he advanced to Stanbury was by loan. Stan-bury did not say that any part of the money was to be devoted to election purposes.

By Mr. C. Barclay .

—He suspected that there was not a sufficient number of persons who would vote for him without remuneration; and it was for that reason that he went away.

The witness, in answer to various interrogatories admitted, that he lent a sum of money to Stanbury, who said he had pressing necessity for it. Witness lent the money to Stanbury, because he believed his representation, and wished to serve him.

Examined by Lord Palmerston .

—Would witness state what sum or sums of money the electors of Penryn expected to receive? Could not say.—How did they express their expectations? In no intelligible form.—Were you informed that the electors were in the habit of receiving money for their votes? No, never.—What led you to suppose that they expected money from you, if they did not expect money from other candidates? They first promised me their votes, and then stipulated for the sums they were to receive for them.—Did you not lose your election from the corrupt practices in the borough of Penryn, or because you could not be returned on other grounds? I conceived I had no chance, unless I resorted to corruption.

In answer to subsequent inquiries, he said that he had visited Penryn about a fortnight before the election, and that he visited every voter in the borough, amounting to about four hundred. Witness had given Stanbury a note of hand for 1,000l. and a warrant of attorney for 300l. The charges of petty matters connected with the election did not amount to more than 150l.

Mr. John

Cearn was examined by Mr. Legh Keck. Was a voter of Penryn, and knew Stanbury; was once sent by him for some money to a person named Anderton; went by Stanbury's direction, but did not receive the money; Anderton sent back word that he would see Stanbury in the course of the day. Was not aware that this money was for the purposes of bribery.

James Mallet

was called to the bar, and examined by Mr. Legh-Keck.—Is it not a custom in the borough of Penryn to give a breakfast on the morning of an election, at which the sum of 20l. is given to each voter? He was not aware of such a practice.—Do you know what is meant by a phrase, which is very common in the borough; namely, to make people "comfortable?" No; I never heard the term mentioned until now.

Examined by Mr. D. Barclay .

—How long since has the practice of giving breakfasts in the borough ceased to exist? I cannot say.—Has it been practised within the last twenty-two years? I do not know.

By Mr. Harvey .

—What was the object of the practice? I cannot say.—Was it not understood, that a sum of money was paid for each vote at the breakfast? Witness professed his inability to answer the question. Witness remembered to have heard of "breakfasts," but did not know that they were given within the last twenty-two years.

Mr. Charles Francis Addy

was examined by Mr. Legh-Keck.—Witness is a solicitor, and canvassed the borough of Penryn in 1824 for lord Perceval. He found a great disinclination in the voters to speak out. The general expression was, "I wish you well, Sir; you may have me if you like; you have only to speak to my wife, and it is your own fault if you have not my vote." Witness added, I considered that I had no chance at that time. The ground was wholly in the interest of Mr. Barclay, and it was not considered advisable to proceed any further then. In 1825, I canvassed the borough with lord Perceval in person. The reception we met with was nearly similar to that which I had before experienced. I found a general disinclination towards us, because it seemed to me that the people were used to receive money, and expected we would give it. I was not asked for money until a few days before the last election. I was present at a meeting on the green a few days before the election. The object of it was to induce the candidates to open houses as usual. A crier went round the town, calling upon the voters to attend, that they might send for the two unsuccessful candidates from Tregony, to offer themselves. The consequence was, that an open system of treating commenced. Without that system, I believe the candidates would have had no chance. I had several offers of support for money. On one occasion, I was called up at two o'clock in the morning, by a person who offered me seventy votes at 10l. a-piece. I did not accept that offer, which was made by a person of the name of Moore. I do not believe that a candidate can be successful in that borough, without money or a promise of money. If one candidate bribes, the man opposed to him who does not bribe has no chance whatever. I found great difficulty in getting the voters up on Monday and Tuesday: some came up on the Wednesday, but a great many on the Thursday. I was informed, that bribery was going on, and that we had no chance. Several tenders of votes were made to me. The parties did not ask for money down; but said that if the thing was made "all right" they would vote. Several told me that they would rather vote for 5l. a head from lord Perceval, than for 10l. from the other party. There were several who voted for lord Perceval who had not got any money or promise of money. It was found that the party who bribed, seeing that lord Perceval would not bribe, stopped; and then many persons came and voted for his lordship, who would not otherwise have done so. A person of the name of Stephens came and offered me ten votes at 10l. a head. On the fourth day of the election I became a candidate. I did so for the purpose of administering the bribery oath. I did order it to be administered; but it was objected to by Mr. Manning's counsel. Several persons advised me not to press it, as it was very obnoxious in the borough, and many of them had strong objections to take it. I found it was useless to press it; for I saw some who offered me their votes for money take the oath. Witness then proceeded to state, that it was a usual practice in the borough for candidates to pay the rates of those voters whose rates remained unpaid at the time of the election. For this purpose, a certain sum was deposited by each candidate; and, if a man voted for two candidates, his rate was paid between them. The rates of a hundred and ninety-five voters were so paid at the last election. He believed there were witnesses who could prove the payment of the poor-rates. He believed that nearly all the voters partook of the treating; and that more than half of them were bribed.

By Lord Milton .

—Lord Perceval received seventy or eighty promises in 1825. All those promises were not fulfilled. I myself took up a body of eighteen to vote, and nine of them voted against us. There were four hundred and thirty voted. We were in the Swann party, as many of the lower orders had promised their support to that interest. I did not see the same disposition in the higher classes of voters to take money as in the lower. Some of the higher classes offered votes, for situations in the India House, or other places.

By Mr. C. Barclay .

—I do not mean to say that a candidate would have no chance of success if neither party bribed. Mr. Manning's voters divided their second votes with Mr. Barclay; so did lord Perceval's. I do not say that Mr. Barclay was guilty of bribery at the last election. He had no occasion for it.

By Mr. D. W. Harvey .

—There was a general system of treating throughout the borough at the last election. Witness was satisfied, that if bribery had not been employed by his opponent, lord Perceval would have carried his election. There were a hundred and seventy-two voters who had promised plumpers to lord Perceval, and many others had promised to vote for him, as soon as Mr. Barclay wassafe. Lord Perceval only polled a hundred and fifty-two votes; and of these a great many were votes split between him and Mr. Barclay. Witness believed that the voters who neglected their promises to lord Perceval had been bought over by the other side. Witness saw Stanbury at Penryn during the election. He believed that a great many voters went to the house where Stanbury lodged, and, whilst there, either received or were promised money for their votes. A voter told me, that he had first received 10l., then 2l., and then 3l. more from Mr. Anderton, who was Mr. Manning's agent at Penryn, for his vote. Two other voters told me that they had also received money from Mr. Anderton.

By Mr. Peel .

—When witness received a promise of a hundred and seventy-two plumpers for lord Perceval, the total number of voters, to the best of his belief, was four hundred and thirty-four. He believed that those persons expected to receive money after the election, but they did not express that expectation to him. They said, that, if they were in the hands of honourable men, they would be satisfied with an understanding.

By Mr. Leslie Foster .

—Witness believed that one of the sitting members was not indebted to bribery for his seat. He believed that the other was indebted to bribery for his seat, as his counsel objected strongly to witness's administering the bribery oath. He thought that the payment of 700l. to Moore would have enabled lord Perceval to carry the day.

By Mr. Stanley .

—Witness thought that a large proportion of the inhabitants of Penryn could not have taken the bribery oath with a safe conscience.

By Mr. Brougham .

—There was treating as well as bribery. Both were carried on very extensively. All the candidates treated. There was an express order issued by me, that there should be no treating; but the public-houses were kept open, just as if such an order had never been given. Every body had just what they liked; and witness never interfered to see whether his order was observed or not. There was no understanding among the candidates, that they would not take advantage of one another for treating. When witness gave the orders which he had just mentioned, he suspected that they would not be complied with.

By Sir J. Graham .

—Witness was of opinion, that in every borough in England the non-bribing candidate would have but little chance against the bribing candidate.

By Mr. R. Grant .

—Witness believed that half the electors of Penryn, if not more, had voted at the last election from corrupt motives: that at least one half of them had been bribed. His reason for that opinion was, that when he asked them for their votes, the answer he received was generally,—"Speak to my wife—she manages such things for me." Witness believed that a great many respectable inhabitants of Penryn would rather see the borough disfranchised, than see the elections for it conducted in the present unconstitutional manner.

By Mr. P. Thompson .

—Witness was never asked more than 20l. for a single vote. The price of votes at that time was not running high. Witness never heard of shopkeepers advancing money to the poorer electors, on condition that it should be repaid to them out of the price they might receive for their votes at the next election. He had heard of very extraordinary prices having been given at Penryn for cats, dogs, and canary-birds, previous to and during the election. He knew that 40l. had been given for a canary-bird.

Captain Pellew was the next witness. He was resident in Penryn, and knew the circumstances of the election of 1824, and certainly believed that bribery and corrupt practices prevailed to a considerable extent. He had been present at the last election, though he was unwell, and had heard a great deal of bribery, but could not speak to it of his own knowledge; nevertheless, he verily believed it, and, moreover, that any candidate, offering himself upon merely independent principles, without bribery, would not have a chance of success. He was not himself privy to any bribery or corruption; but from the opportunity of observation which he had had as a magistrate, and a long residenter in Penryn, he thought that bribery and corruption prevailed to a considerable degree. He had heard of a meeting at a certain green, called by the bellman, but he had not heard the bellman mention any thing about bribery or corruption. He had heard at the election before the last, a voter talking of 10l. for a vote, and another mention that some one expected 30l.; but, although he had canvassed some of the voters, he knew of no bribery of his own knowledge. He had never actually heard any elector ask money for his vote. He had heard an elector say, that he would have very willingly voted for a certain candidate, but that he understood the other party were going on in a different manner. Believed he heard a voter mention, that he was too wary to say any thing. He had no doubt but that a great portion of the electors were ready to sell their votes to the highest bidder. He believed a moiety of them, or of a certain class of them, were to be obtained by bribery; but many of the electors were persons of the most respectable character. He had gone about with one of the candidates in 1824; but never heard of a promise of a bribe. He had himself told some of the electors before a candidate came to the place, that a respectable candidate was expected, but he had not made any promise of a bribe himself, nor had he heard any such promise made by a candidate. From his knowledge of the mode in which the business was done among the mass of the electors at Penryn, he had no doubt but that the election was carried by bribery.

Thomas Olive

stated, that he was acquainted with the election of 1824, and with the circumstances of the last election. He knew that considerable bribery and general treating were carried on. He was conscious no candidate could succeed without bribery. Had known several persons in possession of money who could not have obtained it but as bribes. He canvassed the borough for lord Perceval. Several persons told him that they would have nothing to say to him, but he would find their wives at home, and they would do the business. None of the voters ever alluded to the political opinions of the candidates.

Lord Milton

said, he had something of importance to communicate to the House. There were two witnesses, Mallet and Cearn, but certainly there was one, Cearn, who had, in the course of his evidence, stated that he had not seen Stanbury since he came to town; and the turnkey of Newgate was in attendance to prove that Cearn had seen Stanbury in Newgate that day.

On the motion of the noble lord, the evidence of Cearn was read over; and in it he had denied that he had seen Stanbury, except in the lobby of the House. Harris, the turnkey of Newgate, was then called in, and stated, that he had seen Cearn at Newgate that day with Stanbury.


was then called in, and Harris said he was the person he had seen. The evidence Cearn had before given was read to him, and he was asked if that was the evidence he had given? Yes.—Have you seen Stanbury this day? Yes: I saw him this morning.—How long did you stay with him? A quarter of an hour.—Why did you not state that circumstance when you were before examined? I was so much occupied with the question put to me that I forgot it.

Mr. W. Wynn

moved, that the chairman report forthwith, that John Cearn, in the evidence he had given before the committee, was guilty of prevarication and falsehood. The motion was agreed to, and the chairman having reported the resolution of the committee, moved "that John Cearn, for his said offence, be committed to Newgate.—Ordered.

Mr. Legh-Keck

said, he thought the case was sufficiently strong as it was. He should therefore decline calling other witnesses.—The chairman reported progress, and obtained leave to sit again on Monday.